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Mindconnection eNL, 2006-06-04

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

Summer Tradition: Losing Winter Fat
Summer officially begins in just a couple of weeks. During winter, most of us didn't think about exposed summer midriffs or legs. Now with summer upon us, the idea of "losing weight" is a frequent thought. What you want to do is lose fat.

Our sister site, http://www.supplecity.com, has several articles on how to do this the right way. But the right way takes time. What if you need a little help? Well, there are all kinds of magic potions out there--many of which just speed up your system the way caffeine does. They are simply expensive replacements for coffee.

What if I told you that:

A. There is a supplement that you can take at night, it really does boost your fatburning significantly, and it even helps you sleep better, and

B. There is another supplement that you can take during the day, it really does promote fatburning, and it doesn't make you jittery, and

C. That Mindconnection offers a package deal on these to maximize your fatburning at the lowest cost?

Yep, you guessed it: the thumbnails for these are pictured at right. Click on them and read the details. Remember, we test everything we sell. If it's not good, we don't sell it.

 

 


2. Brainpower tip

I recently learned of a city council that passed an absurd ordinance banning "mixed marriages." Obviously, they can't mean "inter-racial," because that's unconstitutional and race is an inconsequential characteristic that says nothing about a person. Right? So, they must mean they are banning marriages between people of different sexes. That's the only logical conclusion a person can reach.

Both propositions are absurd--the actual one (they really do mean race--perhaps there was a time machine malfunction in their area?) and the one based on extending the "logic." This kind of absurdity, while offensive, also exists in many forms that are less offensive. It arises from delusional "thinking." I don't mean that pejoratively--I mean that descriptively.

Many years ago when I was learning computer programming (which I never really gained a fondness for), we abided by the maxim "garbage in, garbage out." But I had already learned that in Second Grade Health Class. The maxim there was "you are what you eat," but these maxims say the same thing.

No matter how powerful a person's brain is, that brain is fairly useless for anything beyond simple survival if it's predispositioned to delusion.

If you doubt this, just take a close look at the track record of any government agency. These agencies are dominated by people who live in an alternate universe--where such things as cost and efficiency are foreign concepts. Thus, they live for the purpose of creating process rather than getting results. This is not the view of the ignorant, and it's not a layman's conspiracy theory. US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor gives a startling example in her book Lazy B. You can look at any government agency and see that hiring 10 people to do the job of 1 is normal.

In some agencies, they forget that government is the servant and they "labor" under the delusion that the citizen is the servant. This second delusion is why one particular agency--which plunders families and businesses with no regard to their status as human beings--is so universally hated. This particular agency is 100% unnecessary and does not perform even one useful function, yet has more people on its payroll than the combined US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines combined.

For your brain to have real power, you must continually safeguard it from delusion. In our culture of brainwashing, grandstanding, excuse-making, hyper-marketing, and instant gratification--that is no easy task.

Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Prevent contamination. This is actually quite easy. The primary sources of brain contamination are television and newspapers. Simply avoiding these will go a long way to preventing brain dysfunction. If you're especially disciplined, you could be selective about television and take in only that which is valuable. Regarding newspapers, I don't believe this is possible because of who owns these sources of disinformation.
     
  • Look at all sides. A common exhortation in analysis is to look at both sides of an issue. But in reality, most important issues are multi-faceted (that is, they have many sides). On just about any issue, you will find two emotional camps diametrically opposed. But a clear analysis reveals common ground between both sides. By avoiding the sound-bite mentality that boils an issue down to two non-representative points of view, you can approach it intelligently.
     
  • Balance the equation. I have two undergraduate technical degrees and an MBA. So, I am pre-disposed to looking at things mathematically. This, however, isn't a bad thing--it's called rational thinking. What you do is weigh things and see how they add up. If things don't add up, you have missed something.
     
  • Eliminate the stupid. Now, this point is counter to the "look at all sides" point. At least, that is true on the surface. Some arguments are not worth considering. They simply have no merit. If you do consider them, you inherently unbalance the equation. I'll illustrate that with two examples--two issues on which people get all emotional and rarely apply actual thinking. I picked these two "hot button" issues for a reason--read carefully, and you'll understand that reason.

    Example 1: In the so-called "gun debate," it's very simple--there is no debate. In an Illinois town, a father went to prison for <gasp> killing a man who had broken into his home and was in the process of attacking this man's young daughter. The "debate" here is over the rights of violent criminals to kill small children in front of their fathers. Would you call that an intelligent debate?

    Example 2: In the so-called "debate" about "banning abortion" there is no debate. All we have to do is ask what the logical consequences are. An abortion ban will not stop abortions--it simply mandates that they must be done by coat hanger unless you're rich enough to have the operation done in France. Now, I realize this is an emotional hot button for many people. Read what I wrote here very carefully. I did not come out for or against abortion. What I came out against was the only possible outcome of laws against abortion. It's stupid to require girls to conduct coat-hanger abortions. So, there is no "debate" here. If we can get past the emotional rhetoric that prevents thinking, we can work together to find solutions to problems on "both" so-called sides.
     
  • Have reverence. This is where today's culture falls woefully short. I don't know if it's because people watch too many superhero movies and then assume they can do anything, or what. But the level of irreverence today is staggering. And, it's costly in many ways.

    Let's keep in mind that the sun is 330,033 times larger than the earth. If we scaled both down such that the sun were the size of a basketball you would not be able to even see the earth! And we humans are so small that all 7 billion of us could fit inside Texas standing up. This should fill you with a sense of awe for the universe around us. We are not masters of the universe. We are at the mercy of powers far greater than our own.

    For an example of irreverence, read the book "Into Thin Air." That book is about a horrendous disaster on Mount Everest--one caused by human hubris. To understand reverence, read Touching My Father's Soul: In the Footsteps of Tenzing Norgay by Jamling Tenzing Norgay. Yes, both are Everest-oriented. But Jamling's thoughts will impress you. He doesn't mention reverence per se--that's not necessary.


3. Time Tip

Why will the subject of multi-tasking not die? This is an example of the delusional thinking mentioned earlier. With today's standard brain inputs being relatively short, multi-tasking can appear to work.

Yes, it's true that our days are more fragmented. We get interruptions from telephones, for example. But it's not true that our processing abilities have suddenly switched from serial to parallel. And therein lies the poison pill of the myth of multitasking.

People confuse activity with results. So what if you are sending a text message to one person while talking on the phone to another person? What did your text message really say--anything useful? How deep and beneficial is that conversation?

Then there's a hugely obvious example: The person who is yakking on a cell phone while oblivious to the traffic around him or her. Yes, you can talk and drive at the same time. But you cannot do both activities well at the same time. Both will try to access certain parts of the brain at the same time, and the brain will simply put one request in queue. This is why, for example, you can drive down the interstate during low traffic hours and not have any problem on the phone; but why trying to chat while driving in intense traffic always results in one-finger salutes and blaring horns (and sometimes in collisions).

If you are multitasking, you have given short shrift to the reverence principle. You are assuming you can violate the rules that result from the construction of your own body. This is a recipe for failure.

A more productive approach is to evaluate which things need to be done first. Do those first, and do those well.

Does multitasking ever work under any circumstances? Yes. And that is part of the problem. People extrapolate from one success the idea that the same technique will always succeed. When you have two activities that don't compete for the same areas of the brain, multitasking works. This is why you can file papers away or dust your bookshelves while talking on the phone. But filing papers and dusting are far simpler tasks than driving a car.

 

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 13,000 page federal income tax code....

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

We have pretty much exhausted the legitimate means by which you can reduce your taxes without a tax shelter. But, there's one more item: adoption expenses. You may be able to negotiate with your employer to assist you with these. In the 2005 Tax Code, that assistance could be as high as $10,630.

As our absurd federal income tax code continues its cancerous growth as part of the electoral spoils system, more tax exemptions will pop up from time to time. These are often so poorly described and poorly administered that using them can cost you every penny of your assets plus nearly all of your future income for the next 20 years.

It doesn't matter what the statute actually says or how logical your interpretation of it is. If the AT decides it means something else, then that is what it means. Don't expect to go to Tax Court and be treated with at least the same protections afforded a mass murderer--you won't get them.

It doesn't matter that you relied on a tax professional. If you sign the tax return, you are the target. This is true, even if you were not at fault or were even defrauded. If you don't believe this, then ask the thousands of retired people who are losing their homes because they bought municipal bonds a quarter century ago and now the proceeds from those bonds are not tax-free.

Don't be tempted by any tax sheltering scheme. Even if the AT sends you a letter saying that investment is fine, note that the AT renegs on such written promises routinely. So, how do you know what's going to be OK and what's not? The answer is you don't know. Any time you attempt to reduce your taxes through anything that even appears to shelter them, you take a risk. Even if the shelter is legitimate, but those operating it may be running a scam.

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.

This ends our series on trying to reduce the sting of the federal income tax. Please keep in mind that there are actually 5 types of federal taxation of individual income. One of them, the antiSocial inSecurity tax, is 15% of your wages (unless you are a member of CONgress, which has a far better plan for the privileged few). This, for something like 85% of Americans, takes a larger bite than the official federal individual income tax. Remember, the brackets of percentages don't apply to all income--they apply only to income above the level where the bracket begins.

So, playing games with the federal individual income tax is a high-risk game with probably minimal payoff. You could very easily go from a maximum rate of 15% to a minimum rate of 1500%. This happens to millions of Americans each year, and there is nothing they can do about it.

* American Taliban.



5. Security tip

Here's a great article on ID theft:

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/money/idtheftwhat/idtheftwhat.htm

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

In our previous issue, we discussed various oils (e.g., walnut oil, peanut oil, etc.). It should be clear from that discussion that not all fats are the same. We discussed the good fats, first. Now let's look at the bad fats.

Any discussion of bad fats would have to include the subject of saturated fats. You get these from such animal sources as butter, lard and fatty meats. You also get them from such plant sources as coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. But let's not get too excited about calling these "bad."

It's better to think of them as fats to limit rather than fats to avoid. Your body can handle small amounts of these fats. If you look at the shape of human teeth, it quickly becomes obvious we are intended to eat meat. And meat contains saturated fat. Compare the length of our digestive tracts with those of more carnivorous animals, such as cats, and you can see we are intended to eat relatively small quantities of meat.

But the fat phobia that began in the 1960s resulted in wholesale promotion and adoption of another class of fat. It's one we aren't designed to eat. Those are the trans fats. You'll find these in margarine, shortening, and most baked goods. If an oil is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, it's a trans fat.

For the producers of "fast food" and packaged "food," trans fats are a bonanza. It's easier to bake with such fats, and they give the food a longer shelf life. Smart marketers began warning of the dangers of saturated fat, and holding up trans fats as the healthy alternative. So, many consumers got conned into giving up tolerable, harmless levels of saturated fat and replacing that with trans fat.

But trans fats do so much damage that health researchers are still trying to catalog it all. We do know that trans fats play havoc with your cholesterol profile, cause arterial damage, increase the risk of various cancers (bowel, rectal, colon, and prostate among them), and are linked to adult onset diabetes. Meanwhile, they have zero health benefits.

If you have trans fats in your diet, stop eating them. If you have bread in your home, do me a favor right now:

  1. Read the label and look for hydrogenated oil.
  2. If you see that on the label, toss the bread in the trash (it's animal cruelty to feed it to birds), and shoot me an e-mail telling me you did this.
  3. If you still want bread, buy only bread that does not have hydrogenated oil in it.
  4. Do not eat bread served at restaurants. It has hydrogenated oil, and is therefore toxic.


 

7. Miscellany

  1. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened. That's more than a meter. If you remember the 1978 movie "Halloween," starring Jamie Lee Curtis, she used a coat hanger as a self-defense weapon. It has another use, mentioned above. Let's try to avoid that other use.
     
  2. See: http://www.mindconnection.com/main/specialoffers.htm. It has some great offers that are worth following up on--such asgasoline offers. I especially like this one: Free special offer for people who are tired of not sleeping. Visit QualityHealth to get your free special offer and get the sleep you need.
     

  3. 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).
     

  4. Please forward this eNL to others.

8. Thought for the Day

Nobody ever solved a problem just by complaining about it.

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection.com

 

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