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shopping spree. (Some folks might really like it).In this issue:
- Product Highlights
- Brainpower tip
- Time tip
- Finance tip
- Security tips
- Health tip/Fitness tip
- Thought for the day
1. Product Highlights
|Because "project management" has come from large, complex
projects and there's a lot of jargon associated with it, you may find it intimidating. Most
people do. And, project
management software can leave your head spinning. But, there's an
alternative to that: Project Kickstart.
One new ProjectKickstart user
found this software so easy to use that she used it to plan
her trip to Europe!
So, whether you are putting
up a new building, planning a trip, working projects at the office,
remodeling your kitchen, improving your landscape, or just trying to run
an organized life--ProjectKickstart can really help. It's affordable and easy to
use. UPDATE: Mindconnection no longer sells this product, due to distributor
changes made by the developers.|
2. Brainpower tip
When faced with a case that is a conflict of interest,
a judge is expected to "recuse" himself (herself) from that case.
Often, "information" sources conflict with
our interests. For example, the New York Times pursues an agenda
that has nothing to do with reporting the news and consequently publishes
many things that are simply not true. People who read this paper do so
either because they don't know any better, or they want to be assured
their own myth-based views are OK. But, isn't it better to get to the
truth and actually know what's going on? Not according to the editors of
What happens when people allow bad information
sources to have access to their minds? Rumors circulate,
misinformation becomes dogma, and people base opinions on falsehood. When
later presented with the truth, most people do not change their opinions,
but instead stick to the original misinformation they received (which is
one reason people argue). Most people have an aversion to admitting their
previous views were wrong--and that is an aversion to learning. We should
all be alert to such irrationality in ourselves and seek to overcome it.
To avoid crippling your brain with misinformation, recuse
yourself from notoriously bad sources of
"information. Yes, it's good to get divergent points of view.
But, it is not good to expose yourself to brainwashing. The words of the
intellectually dishonest do leave an impression--it is not possible to un-ring
3. Time Tip
|Here's one that you
won't find in the typical time management seminar.
Question: Where do people waste the most time?
Answer: On the job.
How many times have you worked very hard on
something, only to find your boss changes directions yet again and your
work is wasted? This happens all too frequently in the typical
The problem isn't that bosses are deliberately
wasting your time. The problem is they are not availing themselves of
the right tools to avoid mismanaging their most important resources.
To avoid this problem, get your boss in the idea
habit. You'll need to find a good time to approach your boss about this.
Do so in a friendly manner, and plan out what you'll say. Here's a
- Tell your boss, "Your success is important
to me. I think you are being asked to do too much, but I know how
you can overcome the odds. Would you like to talk about that?"
- If your boss isn't open to this, find a new
boss. If your boss is open to this, explain, "I think we can
both agree you've been forced to abandon some perfectly good plans
and a lot of hard work. And has meant a big waste of your time and
that of your team."
- Then, tell your boss, "Did you know that
Toyota has not laid off one person since 1950, even when their sales
were down 37% during the Carter era oil embargo? There's a reason
for that. And it's the same reason that they dominate the J.D.
Powers Quality Survey while being the world's most efficient
automobile producer. Do you want to know the reason?"
- If your boss says no, find a different boss. If
your boss says yes, say, "The power of ideas. They don't
believe the boss should be alone in trying to solve problems. We
need to explore how they do that and use the same concept so we can
also get astounding results."
- You might want to give your boss the book,
"Ideas are Free." You can get it from http://www.mindconnection.com/
if you click the radio button and paste the text "Ideas are
Free" (no quotes) into the search box.
If you follow this advice and your boss follows
the Toyota example, you will see a huge drop in time wasted at work.
You'll feel more job satisfaction, and your whole team will be less
likely to be laid off. Surely, those rewards make the effort worth
4. Finance tip
|I'll start with a
tip just for Americans, then pass along one for our more general
Here we are on Labor Day. Did you know that most
of your labor goes to pay taxes? In the USA, we have embedded
taxes. These are taxes that we pay at the register because the price of
the product or service includes all the payroll taxes, property taxes,
sales taxes, and so on of the people who made that product or provided
that service--plus all their suppliers all down the line.
total tax bite of an American's income is far higher than most people
think. If you walk through
the numbers you get 70%--and that's at the low end! Which means that the
least taxed among us will work 28 hours out of each 40 just to pay
taxes. If you work 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday, then you don't
get paid for anything you do from the start of the day Monday until
after lunch on Thursday! Does the phrase "excessive
confiscation" come to mind?
The effect of all these taxes is American products
are far more expensive than they should be. And that makes it hard for
us to compete in the international marketplace. If you want to help keep
jobs here in America, then support our President's tax cuts. Remember:
when you take capital out of a capitalist economy, you weaken the
economy. And we all rely on the economy for our jobs and other income
I mention taxes in our finance tips so often
because taxation is your single biggest expense. It's also the one that
provides the lowest rate of return. And it's the one you can have the
most control over if you raise a ruckus with public officials. Demand
rollbacks on spending and taxes. It's your money, not the
Hillary Clinton said that high taxes are justified
because people aren't smart enough to spend their money wisely.
She forgets that people work in government also,
and if government people are making those spending decisions then what
problem is she solving? She also forgets that her approach failed in the
Soviet Union. If you think you are stupid, then logic says you agree
with Hillary (because her basis for confiscatory taxation is her belief
that you are stupid). Otherwise, logic says you disagree with her. The
reality is that confiscatory taxation has no benefits.
What amazes me is that people actually vote for
someone who tells them they are stupid. We should let people like
Hillary enjoy their delusions on their own--pay attention this November.
Vote NO to more confiscation of your money.
Now, a more general tip. This one's on insurance.
If you do some comparison shopping, you'll find a huge variance in
prices. Granted, it's hard to make direct comparisons. So, here's one
general process that works well:
- Determine what your actual insurance needs are. Most people
over-insure their cars, over-insure their health, and under-insure
- Develop an "insurance picture" for each type of
insurance you are going to shop for. Determine what you will cover,
how much coverage you want, and what your deductibles will be.
Modify this as you learn new things.
- Determine which insurance you don't need. For example, life
insurance is usually a waste of money. Ditto for travel-related
insurance. For some people, these forms of insurance make sense. But
for the vast majority of folks, they are about as effective as
flushing your money down the toilet (or trusting Hillary to spend it
better--same thing). Watch that tank handle.
While shopping for insurance, consider the following:
- Lowest prices don't always mean the best deal. Some insurance
companies are very stingy about paying out claims and find petty
reasons for screwing you over. If it sounds too good to be true,
there's your first clue! Ask the insurance agent to provide
something to show the insurance company has a record of dealing in
good faith. Empty assurances don't count--you want numbers. Look up
complaints and court cases online--that's not hard to do.
- Check insurers out, and make a list of very pointed questions you
can ask them about exactly what is covered and what is not. Write down the answers you get. Ask the insurer to
send you something in writing, as well.
- Use online resources such as www.insure.com
or just do a Google search. We have a great search tool at www.mindconnection.com/search.htm,
and you should probably bookmark that.
- Cut car insurance 40% or more by carrying a higher deductible.
Remember, insurance companies raise your rates or may even cancel
you for simply making a claim. So, small claims are just not
advisable. That said, consider deductibles of $1500 rather than $250. Ask to
see how the rate changes based on various coverage options and
- Visit www.kellybluebook.com
and determine the fair market value of your car. When the repairs to
your car exceed this value, the car is considered
"totaled." How much are you going to pay to insure this
car? If you have the car paid off and there's not much resale value
left, you might want to cancel comprehensive on it. The savings can
- Be careful not to skimp on the automobile and
homeowners liability insurance. Also, some
people believe they don't have to pay if the
collision is ruled the other driver's fault because it's illegal to
drive without insurance. The reality is that many people drive
without insurance and the money to pay your bills has to come from
somewhere. A dry well is not going to be the source.
- Homeowner's insurance is rife with trickery. Don't assume
anything--the policy you get may not reflect at all what you and the
agent discussed. These policies are often written in such a manner as to discourage
reading them. You are supposed to "carefully
read" a policy that is in very tiny print and laid out in a
manner designed to obfuscate. What you need to do is tell the agent
the policy is incomprehensible and you want a summary in plain
English stating what the policy covers and does not cover. Bullet
points are preferable.
- Consider very high deductibles for home and
health. Cover yourself for catastrophic costs.
5. Security tip
|This one is based on
an item from Don Brennecke, a long-time reader and contributor to this
When you are in the checkout line at a store, be
aware of people with cell phones out. The cell phones that are camera
phones allow these people to photograph the front and back of your card.
This means they have your credit card number, security code, and
signature. And they can take this photo while your card is in the air
between your pocket and the scanner. Simply covering the card with your
hand or blocking the view while signing isn't enough.
If a person is near you with such a phone, point
that person out and insist s/he put away that phone. If you get any
guff, ask the clerk to call. They are likely to catch a criminal who's
been stealing from many people, and the phone will have the evidence. If
the clerk won't do it, call the manager. If you have to wait for more
than a couple of minutes, leave your purchases and walk out. Then,
follow up with a letter to that store's district manager. You will
probably get a discount coupon in addition to an apology.
Don't worry about being thought of as rude. Don't
worry if other shoppers are irritated. You have a right--actually, a
duty--to protect yourself. Yes, you have liability limitations with that
card. But, you can also drop into "identity-theft hell," by
not being careful. All it takes is one time. Don't let it happen to you.
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
|A non-subscriber who
says he's been trying to "lose weight" for years expressed to
me he just can't lose it. He has some major misconceptions, which I
cleared up with him and will address here.
First, some background.
- This man began by telling me he was 5'10 and
weighed 220 lbs. He said he was going by the height and weight
tables, so he didn't have that much weight to lose. He saw 200 lbs
as being near the top of normal, so he figured he was almost there.
He said he needed to lose about 20 lbs. I told him 200 lbs was very
heavy for 5'10, and unless he were a competitive body builder he
probably needed to lose more than 20 lbs.
- To get an idea of where he was, I asked him his
waist size. He said 38. That is also very large, but I know many men
wear their pants below the waist. This is what he did, as I later
- But, I said I needed more information. So, I
asked him to go to his gym and get a complete list of current data
(various measurements) for me.
- As it turns out, he was 5'5" and he
weighed 240 lbs. His build (based on bone measurements) is
small-frame, bordering on medium-frame. So, he was at least 100 lbs
- We looked at his diet. He had read that nuts
are good for you. And, that's true. But, he was eating about 800
calories worth of nuts twice a day--adding 1600 calories to his diet
with nuts alone.
- He was also taking various oils supplementally.
He was overdoing this, as well. Between the fish oil capsules, EFA
capsules, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and other oils, he was getting
another 1,200 additional calories a day.
- On top of this, he was eating supplemental
protein to add another 1,080 calories a day.
- So, right off the bat we identified caloric
overload--nearly 3,000 calories a day, not counting food! He needed
a total caloric intake of about half this level. I sent him a copy
of the article "Hidden Calories," which you can find at http://www.supplecity.com/articles/hiddencalories.htm.
Some lessons learned
From this one small example, we can glean several
- Get an accurate assessment of your condition.
Forget height and weight charts. Those do not give you good
information to go on. Instead, find out what your body fat
percentage is. That can be inexpensive to do. We sell body fat
calipers that I have found produce results consistent with my Tanita body fat
scale, and they are inexpensive.
- Forget the height and weight tables. They are
too "generous" and they don't account for muscularity. The
"normal" range isn't normal--it's fat unless you are very,
- You cannot rewrite the laws of physics. If you
take in more calories than you expend, you will gain fat. There is
no getting around that. Look for hidden calories--count all of your
sources. Hint: If it goes in your mouth, count the calories.
- A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. You can
burn about 50 calories an hour, walking on a treadmill (70 hours to
burn a pound of fat). It takes about 10,000 sit-ups to burn 3500
calories. How many sit-ups a day are you willing to do? How many
sit-ups a day can you do, before injuring yourself? Hint: Sit-ups
work the hip flexors much more than they do the abs, and can ruin
the natural curvature of the back. I never do sit-ups. You can see
my abs here: www.supplecity.com
and judge for yourself if I am missing out on something by not doing
- The key to fat loss, then, is not exercise
(closing the barn door after the horse gets out). It's limiting
caloric intake. You can do this through portion control and through
eating foods that are less calorie-dense and more nutrient-dense.
Other factors also affect fat loss (yes, exercise definitely helps,
as does watching the glycemic index). But, nothing has the effect
that simply eating fewer calories has.
We review several diets at www.supplecity.com/articles/diets.
Also, you can find out the truth about a new
supplement scam by reading the article at http://www.supplecity.com/articles/glutaminepeptide.htm
7. Thought for the Day
If you find yourself justifying
yourself to others, stop. It's always better to show than tell. Be
comfortable in your own skin, and others will be more comfortable with
Wishing you the best,
The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.
Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.
Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).
The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).
Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.
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