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Mindconnection eNL, 2006-03-26

Past issues

In this issue:

  1. Product highlight
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tip
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Miscellany
  4. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

Don't Forget!
Chris Hooper in Australia developed this course years ago, and we've been selling it longer than I can remember.   :)

This memory course gets straight to the point and maximizes your mental ability to give you a total memory recall. This system will teach you how to memorize any or every subject you choose, quickly, painlessly, and easily. You can automatically store data to be recalled instantly.

It's not very expensive, and it will give you powers of recall that you probably thought weren't possible. The good news is they are.

Click the photo or use this URL:

http://www.mindconnection.com/product/CRS-MEMORY.html



2. Brainpower tip

Brainpower pays. The more you realize this, the more likely you are to take determined measures to improve what you've got. You don't have much to work with--and neither do I.

Most of our cognitive power resides in the cortex. We're talking about a slab of protein and fat that's about the volume of a deck of cards. It consists of six thin layers mostly wrapped around the previous layer of brain. What do I mean by "previous layer?" Crack open your anatomy books, and you'll see the brain is actually a compilation of successive models of brain (for those who "don't believe in evolution," the answer to this "debate" is literally in your head). Yep, you still have a discrete brain structure that we call the "reptilian" brain. And there's another structure on top of that. And another....

The structure of the human brain completely destroys the "Intelligent Design" theory. Why? Imagine cobbling a computer together out of a 286, 386, 486, Pentium, and Pentium II. That's not a very intelligent design now, is it? None of us would pay for such a poorly designed system, or even want to use it. Yet, we all walk around with the same thing in our heads. Interesting, to say the least....

OK, enough of a topic that will only get me flamed if I continue. That isn't the focus here, anyhow. I just wanted to give you a bit of information on the brain and to highlight the fact that we aren't working with much to begin with (and politicians apparently work with even less). So, we have to make the best of what little we have.

Note: in politicians, the brain is located at the other end of the body, next to a gland that secretes the spending hormone.

So, how does brainpower pay? Let us count some ways:

  • An engineer in US manufacturing will make $40 to $50k per year. The same person would make $65k to $80k per year working in an engineering house doing design. One firm is producing goods, the other is producing intellectual property.
     
  • Make that engineer a manager (rather than a "doer") and the salary goes up considerably. Even if that engineer isn't a particularly good manager.
     
  • You can buy a canvas and paint for only a few dollars. Try to buy a Rembrandt painting for "only" a few million dollars. What's the difference? The first two items are commodities. The second is a product of the mind.
     
  • A lawyer with five years of experience charges $250 an hour. Someone with ten years of experience working on the production line in a Tennessee motor plant is making less than $12 an hour.
     
  • Years ago, a CEO made, on average, 1200 times the wages of any fellow employee actually using his or her hands to make anything. The gap has grown considerably since then.
     
  • The wealthiest companies produce intellectual property, not widgets.

Why the difference in money? Well, this is basic economics. As a side note, I am qualified to explain this--I took graduate economics and came out with a 98.5% average. (To put that in context, the failure rate was 50%--there was no score inflation). And I read voraciously on this subject.

At the bottom are producers of raw materials. There is no value added, here. The materials are commodities, and there is no differentiation between them. So, the producers have to compete on price and delivery. But mostly on price. What's the old saying? "Parts is parts, Vern." But it's even more basic than that.

As you add more value at each step, the price goes up because the value goes up. There is more differentiation between the offerings, too, so there is less commoditization. This is why, for example, people pay $3500 for a high-tech bicycle weighing 15 lbs but they don't pay $3500 for 15 lbs of aluminum ore and carbon. Unless, of course, they are buying these things for the military--where it's OK to pay $900 for a toilet seat.

What happens if you remove the "material" part of the equation? Then the price goes up even more! This is why, for example, Tobey Maguire is making $15 million (or is it $19M?) this year to star in Spiderman III. Plus, he gets to kiss Kirsten Dunst. More than once. That illustrates another point I won't go into at this time.

Here is the general hierarchy--as you move along this spectrum in a national economy, the level of prosperity rises:

  • Raw materials. Even with oil, the result is usually abject poverty on a national scale. For example, Nigerians are extremely poor despite having enormous amounts of oil. In this environment, there is no value added. So, you don't get smart people running things. Yes, we see rich Saudis. But if you look past the exceptions to see the rule, you find that vast oil does not equal a prosperous economy or prosperity among the populace as a whole. All of Central America is a testimony to that. Ditto for copper and other raw materials.
     
  • Agrarian. Here, there is some value added. Take seed, grow it, and harvest it. This is what the USA did in its beginning stages. It also had vast raw materials. But it wasn't a raw materials economy (it was in an even earlier time). As the nation grew, more raw materials were used in higher processes to grow things and make goods. The folks who trapped raccoons for fur didn't find themselves owning large tracts of land, now, did they? That land went to the farmers. For a while. Then it went to manufacturers....
     
  • Manufacturing. High value add, here. Take raw materials and make something. The problem is someone else can copy your methods and commoditize your products. This drives prices down to the lowest cost producer. Costs of entry tend to be high, and margins tend to be slim. They get slimmer as competitors fight against each other for market share.

    Today, you can look at countries with a heavy manufacturing base and what do you see? A much lower wage base and lower standard of living than in countries that have moved beyond that stage. This is something the Taiwanese understood back in the 1970s, and they launched an education initiative to develop a brains economy vs. a hands economy.
     
  • Services. This is an odd sector that is really two dissimilar sectors: non-exportable services (e.g, dry cleaners), and exportable services (e.g., banking).

    The services sector contains "enabling" industries (e.g., restaurants) that support those that add to the economy. And, it includes government--which saps the economy when too large but is also an enabler. These do not add jobs or wealth. They do move wealth around.

    This sector also includes schools. The USA does a brisk business in higher education of folks visiting the US for that purpose. This industry is a bit of both enabler and producer, as are several others.

    Then we get to producers. An example of a "producer" service would be consulting. For example, McKinsey and Company may sell consulting services to a company outside the U.S., thus bringing dollars into this country. A small team can generate millions of dollars.

    The USA has a massive "producer" service sector, and it brings more wealth to the USA than all of our manufacturing combined. This, despite the fact that the USA is manufacturing more goods now than at any point in our history. If not for our huge competitive disadvantage of embedded taxes, manufacturing might be able to challenge the service sector on this metric. But, that's just not our present situation.

    If you look at this sector one industry at a time, you can find both those that produce something and those that merely enable.

    Margins in "producer" services are astronomical.
  • Intellectual property. This is where the bulk of wealth is generated in the USA today. Software, for example, is intellectual property. Margins here can be, and often are, beyond "merely" astronomical. This is where you make the most money with the least investment.

    A national economy based on intellectual property is about as robust as you can get. This is why Iceland, for example, is becoming a destination for such industries as engineering and software. They have extremely reliable power, and the place is wired. That is, there is cheap broadband everywhere. Outside of thermal energy and fish, they don't have appreciable raw materials. And they don't manufacture diddly.

    This robustness is also why when you drive through neighborhoods populated by manufacturing workers you see one type of home, and when you drive through neighborhoods populated by software developers see another. The two groups live at entirely different levels of wealth and comfort.

Now, there is one huge fly in the ointment, at least on a national scale. While historically we've seen countries get along just fine with a one-sided economy--for example, they import all of their steel while exporting banking services--this is a risky way to live. Not that we're debating national policy here, but I just want to point out that a nation also needs to be able to produce. If it doesn't, then it has an inherent weakness.

This is an area economists debate incessantly. Where on this spectrum should a country be? It's a trade-off between national security and national prosperity. I personally don't pretend to have the answer, and I doubt anyone has the right answer. But certainly, diversity is important.

So, a long article this time. The point of all this is to show the spectrum of value and how brainpower sits at the pinnacle. But the same "diversify" caution applies to people as to nations: Don't be all "brains." You also need a healthy body and some skills that aren't "high-end." Know how to do handyman things. Diversify your personal economic base and your personal skills base. Form alliances, but avoid dependencies.

I define real brainpower as the ability to see past the surface impressions, emotional claims, propaganda, and agendized "information"--and reason things out based on reality. Real brainpower is scarce, in this age of brainwashing, disinformation, and toxicity.

Having real brainpower gives you a real edge. And you can turn that edge into money. That, friend, is basic economics.



3. Time Tip

One of the techniques used to torture prisoners is sleep deprivation. Even a small loss of sleep can cause problems. For example, the Sleep Institute has found that a person who is 20% sleep-deprived has the mental acuity of someone who's drunk.

Interestingly, in most parts of the USA we have a bizarre and deadly ritual called Daylight Wasting Time. In the spring, we move our clocks forward so that we lose an hour of daylight each morning. Folks get up earlier and drive to work in the dark. In the fall, we repeat this insanity so folks drive home in the dark. Note: Arizona and Indiana have decided to be insanity-free zones, at least in regard to this clock-changing things, so they don't do this to their citizens.

But being in the dark isn't the real problem with Daylight Wasting Time. The real problem is the fact we change clocks at all. Without adequate "normalizing" beforehand, this clock change causes people to lose at least an hour of sleep (typically more, for reasons we won't go into) no matter which way you change the clocks. The result is jet lag on an enormous scale.

This is why we have a rash of traffic "accidents" and industrial injuries for the three weeks following the clock change (the human body's clock needs about three weeks to reset). This is a very expensive exercise, in terms of dollars and sheer human suffering.

Why don't we just insist our various governments stop killing citizens and causing massive economic damage this way? That won't do any good. If we have learned anything from history, it's the simple fact that we're deluding ourselves if we expect anything remotely resembling common sense to emanate from government. It's like expecting cancer to make you younger.

The good news is we have a way to cope with this semi-annual sleep deprivation torture ritual and greatly reduce the potential for catastrophic loss.

Last month was the time to start going to bed earlier (in the northern hemisphere, anyhow). Just fifteen minutes, in week one. Then, fifteen minutes the next week. And so on for four weeks. Under that scenario, you'll slowly adjust your body clock, instead of jarring it from one position to another.

Now, so close to DWT-day, there is still hope. The key is still "go to bed earlier." Only now, you have to go in larger increments and change them daily. You're still going to have to adjust over three weeks, and thereby suffer some negative effects. But those will be blunted. This will allow you to focus on your main problem if you commute by automobile--namely, all of the idiots driving while effectively intoxicated.

When you awake after that first night of going to bed a bit early, get up immediately. Don't dally in bed. You may feel a bit sleepy, but that's OK. Get up and get going, and the sleepiness will pass. Go to bed a bit earlier that night.

If you are using an alarm clock, you are making a huge error. You aren't getting enough sleep. This means you are less efficient all day long. Save time by going to bed earlier and waking up naturally.

If you have problems falling asleep or staying that way, then you need our Sleeplessness Causes and Cures course.



4. Finance tip

The tax code does provide some ways to get tax-free income, without the risk of tax shelters or the complexity of "creative" investments. If you live in a country that is so barbaric it has an income tax (e.g., the USA), these tips apply to you. Based on the current insanity that is our federal income tax code....

You do not need a tax shelter to reduce your taxes, Part Four.

  • Cashback credit card rebates are not taxed. But, sometimes they are. The American Taliban (AT) released a ruling on this, and I agree with their philosophy on this one. Yes, they got something right--will wonders never cease? Basically, that rebate is a reduction of fees on a card used for personal charges (a personal card). For a business card, it's considered income.

    If you inadvertently use your business card for a personal charge, don't worry about sorting out the small increase in refund that is taxable. Similarly, if you use your business card for a personal charge, don't try to take that refund off your business income. These are minor amounts, not worth messing with. However, it's best to avoid ever mixing the uses of the two cards. And don't do it with the idea of hiding income--that's just stupid.

    Why is it stupid? If you're thinking this is a great way to scam the tax system for some undeclared income, you're risking taking a deliberate action for a reward that isn't very much. An incidental amount isn't a problem. But make a pattern of it, and it will be noticed. And if there's a large amount, you're going to have to crunch some numbers and provide documentation. The burden will be on you to prove you didn't commit a crime. Don't put yourself in that position. A simple mistake is easy to explain. Don't make a series of actions that you can't explain.
     
  • Frequent-flier miles are not taxed. The AT said it's not going to try to tax them in the future, either, and if they change their minds they'll give us advance warning. But my guess is they'll never tax these because members of CONgress would then have to pay more in personal taxes and we can't have that now, can we? No, those jokers want to spend the country into a hole and then tax everyone else to pay for it.
     
  • Heirs pay no income tax on capital gain property held until death.  What happens is the tax basis gets moved up to the current market value. This wipes out all appreciation in the property up to that date. Look for this break to disappear.
     
  • An employer can pay up to $200 a month for your parking, and that's tax-free. The same applies to car-pooling expenses or transit passes, but only for $105 per month. Look for the parking exclusion to disappear, and the others to expand--in response to our increasing attention to excessive petroleum use due to unnecessary driving.
     
  • Federal government bonds bring tax breaks, mostly because they are such lousy, low-return investments. Federal bonds are also exempt from state taxes.
     
  • State and municipal bonds are often tax-free (state, local, and federal taxes), but there's a huge catch. The rules on these are incredibly complex. Consequently, some states and municipalities have issued tax-free bonds that aren't tax-free after all.

    The AT hasn't gone after these other governments. Instead, they've gone after the 88-year old widows who hold those "securities" and slammed them with backtaxes, interest, and penalties. I sh-- you not. This is par for the course with these folks, though. For an example of how they really go off the deep end, see http://www.mindconnection.com/hoyt. This is an amazing story that has you wondering if the Allies really beat the Nazis in WWII after all. It's looking more like the Nazis just took jobs in the AT (which, by the way, has more people than our combined Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines).

    My advice: don't buy bad debt. Government produces nothing, so its debt is bad by definition--there is nothing to back it other than "faith." If there's allegedly a tax incentive added to a bond or other "security," consider that a red flag. What you're buying may be called a "security," but in reality it may be anything but that.

There are many ways that money coming to you isn't taxable income. Just make sure you look up the current rules and follow them. Don't try to scam the system.

As with all financial transactions, don't do things for the tax motivation. Do them for the business motivation, and then avail yourself of the tax breaks. That is your first line of defense in staying out of tax trouble.

Remember, the AT can void the statute of limitations on the flimsiest of grounds, and assess you whatever interest and penalties they feel will most painfully destroy you. Following statute or Congressional intent is not in their game plan. In their sick, twisted minds, they get a thrill out of inflicting massive damage on other people. Don't give them an excuse to do it to you. Once the "Borg" locks onto you, getting rid of them is almost impossible.

In our next issue, we'll present more ways you can reduce your taxes without shelters or other dubious means.

5. Security tip

Nearly everyone these days has a cell phone. And that phone can be a useful addition to your "security arsenal" if you do one very simple thing. Find the phone number for your local emergency services and program it in. Typically, this is your Sherriff's office or local police department dispatch. Now, here are tips on how to do that correctly:
  • Find the actual phone number, with area code. Do not program in 911. What you are doing here is programming in a number you can dial from anywhere.
     
  • For the name, don't put "Sherriff." Instead, put "00Sherriff." This places the number at the very top of your address book. Along similar lines for travelers, use AirDelta, AirMidwest, AirSouthwest, and so on.
     
  • Test it. Emergency services do not like people to dial without an emergency. That's understandable. But picture yourself in an emergency and the number doesn't work. Simply call the number and say, "This is not an emergency. I am testing this number so I know it works if there is an emergency. Have a great day." If the operator gives you grief, don't argue. And whatever you do, don't be rude to these people.

How you can use this number--some examples:

  • You're driving on the interstate, far from home. Some maniac is tailgating you at 75MPH. You call your emergency number, explain that you are traveling, and have an emergency. You need to be patched through to Highway Patrol for Iowa (or wherever), and you are on Interstate 80, mile-marker 110 (or whatever). If they balk at this, just say, "Well, I do have a 12 gage shotgun sitting next to me. Would you rather I use that than this phone? Your choice. Make it quick."
     
  • You witness a carjacking. Now you can quickly call for help while driving inconspicuously behind the criminals for the first turn or two. This allows you to tell the authorities which way these fools are headed. But don't try to be a hero and tail them, if it's just the car. If there's a child also being abducted, of course, that changes everything. If they get away, the kid's going to die. So, you won't increase the risk to the child no matter what you do. Personally, I can't imagine worrying about my own safety in such a situation.
     
  • You stop at a collision, and three people need an ambulance. You can quickly call for help.
     
  • As you crest a hill, you almost run over kids playing in the street. Most adults feel obliged to stop and lecture the kids. But if you don't know them and they have an attitude, this can be dangerous. You can just call it in and explain that you're driving your car and don't have access to a phone book. If the dispatcher balks at you, apologize for using the only number you have and say your only concern was to avoid having a police car come through there on patrol and kill a kid. "I don't know a single police officer who wants that. Now, are you going to help me?"
     
  • You're in a convenience store, and it gets held up. If you live in one of the 46 states that have a right to carry law, you empty a clip at the coked-out robbers. But what if they are still standing? What you should have done was press that phone number and then "talk." Then you might have felt more calm as you proceeded to aim carefully at the junkies and take them out. The dispatcher would have then heard the shots and asked where you are. If you live in a place where the government believes violent criminals are legally entitled to safe working conditions (e.g., those other 4 states), shut your phone off. You don't want anyone to know you're there. Hide. You might survive, that way.

Having that emergency number with you can really improve your personal safety. But use it wisely and recognize its limitations.

For example if you are out walking and a huge dog comes lunging at you. So do you reach for your sidearm or your phone? Studies have shown that huge dogs are not swayed by calls to emergency numbers. Interestingly, many people feel this also applies to armed robbers, rapists, and coked-out junkies. Many of these people refer to the fact that Florida's violent crime rate dropped by 90% during its first year of right to carry. But heck, why base your opinions on fact? What a concept....

If you don't have a sidearm (it could happen, especially if you live in one of those "criminals get a free pass" states, as I did until KS chose life this past week), remember that anything can be a weapon. Roll up a magazine, and you have a baton. Pick up sand or gravel, and you can blind your opponent.

It's a good idea to practice using everyday items as weapons, so you are prepared. Keep your knees slightly bent, and don't lean forward. Also, playing nearly any sport will help you learn balance and make you that much more graceful in a confrontation. If you don't like sports, take up dancing. Just get used to using your body. It makes a huge difference.

I make a practice out of looking around me and picturing how I might use things as weapons. For example, I walk into a nursery. Flowerpots are all around me. I feel quite safe. I also have that phone, but it's for after the fact, not during.

Basically, if you are in danger then use a weapon rather than the phone. If danger is clearly headed your way or you are merely threatened, then use the phone. With any luck, the police will be able to arrive in time to intervene and prevent the threat from escalating. I have found this quite true in my own case in traffic situations.

While the best thing is to avoid situations, we have to contend with the reality that nutcases are all around us. Be prepared. Very prepared.

 

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Controlling Quantity, Part Four

I know at the end of Part Three, it sounded like there wouldn't be a Part Four. And I hadn't intended for there to be one. But I apparently left some questions unanswered for our readers, so here we are.

Retrain your eye and your stomach. That is, change your perceptions. We get used to enormous portions, and think those are normal. We expect them. What you have to do is be different. Don't get into the bad habit of eating the quantities presented by restaurants and group settings. Don't give in to other people's wrong idea of what's "normal." While they are busy stuffing their faces and courting bowel cancer and knee replacements, you can eat the right amounts and enjoy life.

Many experts say to reduce the amount you eat slowly and incrementally. That often does not work. What happens is you start out reducing a little here and there, but you quickly bounce back the other way.

Most people find the best approach is to just "right size" your portions, and tough it out until your body adjusts. In addition to being less of a discipline issue, this also produces results much faster so you feel like it's worth it.

Since typical portions are based on three meals a day, you automatically need to cut your portions in half if you are going to the more sensible eating schedule of six small meals a day. And since typical portions are far too large for even that three meal a day pattern, you have to cut further.

How much should you cut? That's not really the question to ask. Cutting isn't the way to think of this. Instead, determine what you need and eat no more than that. We've covered that issue in previous installments of this series, plus you can find great articles about it at www.supplecity.com.

Now, there are some problems to overcome when you reduce portion size:

  • Sense of deprivation. You aren't "getting" as much, so your meals seem like they are somehow cheating you. To counter this, remember your goal isn't to stuff yourself but to supply your body with essential nutrients. You're not depriving yourself of anything but illness and ugliness, and most of us probably feel fine giving up those two things. If you also eat real foods rather than processed junk, you will enjoy nature's bountiful flavors and not feel deprived. If you limit your food to the typical American flavors of processed grain or damaged fat, you will "need" to eat more to get any satisfaction.
     
  • Hunger. This is a biggie. Most of this is driven by habit and by pattern. You can break this by maintaining the new pattern for three weeks. After that, much of what drives hunger simply goes away. But you also have less food in your stomach--which has been stretched by overeating--so you have to deal with that. Drink coffee, tea, or water to help fill you up.
     
  • Cravings. This differs from hunger. You keep picturing the food you are "missing." Bill Phillips has a great solution to this. Give yourself a "free day" once a week. Let's say that's Saturday. You have cravings all week. But rather than indulging them (so that they just keep coming back), you just look forward to Saturday. On Saturday, you pig out. But the great thing is you are still going to come out ahead on net calorie savings. With time, you'll adjust down and eat even less on that "free day." Eventually, you'll not even need it. But let that be your safety valve for however long you have cravings.

If you are too fat, you got that way one bite at a time. You have to get unfat the same way. There are no miracle diets.



 

7. Miscellany

  1. A mole can dig a tunnel three hundred feet long in a single night. An American Taliban employee can steal thousands of dollars in the same amount of time--and get away with it.
     

  2. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to www.mindconnection.com and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).
     

  3. Please forward this eNL to others.
     

  4. See: http://www.mindconnection.com/main/specialoffers.htm. It has some great offers that are worth following up on. I especially like this one: Free special offer for people who aretired of not sleeping. Visit QualityHealth to get your free special offer and get the sleep you need.

 

8. Thought for the Day

Sometimes, in our desire to gain acceptance we deny it to others. But when we give acceptance, we nearly always get it in return.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection

Authorship

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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