In this issue:
Product Highlight |
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Miscellany | Thought for the Day
1. Product Highlight
translator now in red, limited time promotion|
The amazing iTravl is now available in three different colors. Most
customers are buying the Corrida (red) color.
We have the iTravl in more than 30 language pairs, plus combination packages (e.g., 9
language pairs on one device) and deluxe (includes a scanning pen).
The iTravl features voice output, speech recognition, a anguage
learning program, and an extensive travel guide. Every language pair
has a huge word count (some are over 1 million), plus 14,000
The iTravl has a color touch screen, and virtual keyboards with
full character sets. It's about the size of a cell phone, with
similar controls. Just tap iTranslate and start translating. It
really is that easy to use.
We have a special promotion going, for a limited time. Click a
picture for more info.
What about that Deluxe version? You get a scanning pen and
cradle charger, plus double-sized virtual keys. A sweet package.
Consider the 9c Deluxe: Scan text and engage in 2-way
communication with others in English, Chinese, French, German,
Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. It has sentence
translation, voice output, speech recognition, travel guide, 5.2
million words, and 126,000 categorized phrases (14,000 per language
The 9C Deluxe is the same thing as the 8W Deluxe, but adds in
Chinese for free (limited time offer on this pricing).
2. Brainpower tip
The deluge of disinformation is a problem for the
brain-enabled among us. These days, it seems nobody cares to check basic
facts before spewing forth on some topic or another. We used to call these
people liars or idiots. Now we call them everything from "nonfiction author"
to "Mr. President."|
(I'm not picking on
President "can't get my facts straight" Obama, who is just upholding what
has become a tradition for that office).
There's a difference between being a little off and
being fundamentally wrong. There's a difference between getting some
tangential fact wrong and basing your entire position (or speech) on a set
of fundamentally wrong facts. If you have a point to make or a position to
present, base it on verifiable facts or stay silent.
How can we prevent ourselves from:
- Doing the disinformation shuffle ourselves?
- Believing disinformation just because someone
said it or wrote it?
- Becoming detrimentally reliant on disinformation?
Believe it or not, there are standard methodologies
for vetting information. Arguably one of the best ways to learn these
methodologies is to obtain formal training in debate. I am not referring to
the kind of "debate" that the so-called candidates perform during our
so-called "elections." Those are not debates. Those are posturing. They have
no substance. Real issues aren't discussed. There are no rigorous arguments.
In high school, I was on the Debating Team. This was
one of the most valuable experiences of my life. To win a debate, you must construct logical arguments
based on information from reliable sources. There are primary sources, such
as researchers. There are secondary sources, such as experienced
practitioners or professionals. There are other kinds of sources, and the
further down the line you get the less "authority juice" the information
has. Most of what passes for news today comes from sources devoid of
One solution to all three problems posed above is to
visit your library and check out one book per month on formal debate until
you have read several such books. Focus on the areas that discuss
Other solutions are available, and many are just as
good. I offer this one because I am familiar with it.
3. Finance tip
Bad financial news hits all the time. In the USA, we are shouldering the
largest tax burden (roughly $600 grand per working person) of any nation
in history. And most of that money has been spent in an unconscionably
reckless manner. This crushing debt is a root cause of the current
crisis, and yet many of our politicians are pushing for even more debt.
I suppose bringing a gasoline truck to a housefire sounds smart to some
people, though I don't follow the logic.|
The good news is multifold,
- The entire system isn't collapsing. Banks in the Midwest are
generally doing pretty well.
- State and city governments are actually cutting back on
"services" (read, "wealth transfers and wasteful spending") because
citizens are saying no to ever higher costs.
- The Fair Tax is gaining stature, despite the best efforts of the
mudstream media to misrepresent it. One of the MM's absurd claims is
that the federal income tax is progressive, despite the fact that
its compliance costs are far larger than the 1040 taxes and are a
tax in themselves--a highly regressive tax. Passing of the Fair Tax
would be a financial boon to the general economy and to everyone who
makes an honest living.
- People are re-assessing their spending patterns. Getting a 9
year loan for a land barge instead of buying a practical car is just
stupid. Slaving away to support the costs of a McMansion is also
stupid. People are jumping off of the stupidity wagon and getting
smart about their spending.
If you look at your largest expenses, they are all beyond your
immediate control. And they are all government spending related or the
result of excess regulation. I want to qualify that remark by saying not
all regulation is bad and the "excess" I am talking about are insane
things like Sarbanes-Oxley that are expensive yet accomplish none of the
goals that "justified" the legislation in the first place.
To reduce these expenses, prevail upon your misrepresentatives in
CONgress to have some mercy on regular citizens and think about the
consequences. Ask them to cancel govt programs, reduce the size of
agencies, and roll back regulations. For example, which regulations were
enacted in 2008? We survived 2007 without those, so can we just repeal
On the other expenses, look for waste and stop creating it. Do you
really need new ring tones, for example? Why?
Financial gurus advise us, "Track your expenses." But have you ever
done this? Most people do not and will not, because there isn't an easy
way. Ditto for budgeting. So, what can you do instead?
In project management, one way to deliver on time is to limit the
scope. For expenses, you can do the same thing. Since most
"discretionary" expenses (definitions of "discretionary expense" differ)
are probably unnecessary, start off by tracking those. After a few
months, you'll have made significant progress and you can switch to
looking at other expenses.
You have "fixed" expenses such as mortgage (or rent) and insurance.
You may consider downsizing your digs and re-evaluating your insurance
for some savings.
You have "variable" expenses, such as utilities, clothing, and
groceries. The average person can cut these in half, easily. For
example, most of what's in the typical grocery cart is some packaged
crap that damages your health and costs more than what you should be
eating instead. If you eat out, look very closely at that.
One tool for getting a handle on where your money goes is financial
software. You just have to discipline yourself to use it. Doing so is
nearly always worthwhile.
4. Security tip
From the experts on theft:|
Ten Things the IRS Wants You to Know
About Identity Theft
1. If you receive a letter or notice from the IRS which leads you to
believe someone may have fraudulently used your Social Security Number,
respond immediately to the name and address or phone number printed on
the IRS notice.
2. If you receive a letter from the IRS that indicates more than one
tax return was filed for you, this may be a sign that your SSN was used
3. Another sign that you may be the target of identity theft is an
IRS letter indicating you received wages from an employer unknown to
4. The IRS has a department which deals specifically with identity
theft issues. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available
if you have been in contact with the IRS about an identity theft issue
and have not achieved a resolution.
5. You can contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by
calling the Identity Theft Hotline at 800-908-4490 Monday through Friday
from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific
6. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is also available if
you believe your identity may be at risk of being stolen due to a lost
or stolen purse or wallet or due to questionable activity on your credit
card or your credit report.
7. The IRS never initiates communication with taxpayers about their
tax account through emails. If you receive an e-mail or find a Web site
you think is pretending to be the IRS, forward the e-mail or Web site
URL to the IRS at email@example.com.
8. The IRS has many more resources available to help inform taxpayers
about identity theft on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov. On IRS.gov you can
access information on how to report scams and bogus IRS Web sites. You
can also visit the IRS Identity Theft Resource Page, which you can find
by typing Identity Theft Resource Page in the search box on the IRS.gov
9. The Federal Trade Commission is also available to assist taxpayers
with identity theft issues. You can reach them at 877-ID-THEFT
10. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for protection tips from the federal
government and the technology industry.
Of course, with the IRS still "at large" all other groups of
criminals are statistically insignificant. There is a solution. See
5. Health tip/Fitness tips
Check out these Free
Back pain is a constant, for many people. In my own case, I have to go
beyond "normal" prevention because I
have an abnormal back. But for most people, their back pain is their own
fault. The upshot there is it is within your power to reduce or
eliminate back pain.
The free reports above will help you move in the right direction
toward a strong, pain-free back.
On a related subject, people have asked how many sit-ups I do each
day. The answer zero. I don't do sit-ups, and neither should you.
Strong abs are important to preventing back pain, but you don't
get them from cranking out sit-ups.
My favorite exercise for developing powerful abs is the front squat, and
I do those twice a month. I do hanging leg raises once a week
(skipping some weeks).
- At the deepest point in the ocean, the pressure
is more than 8 tons per square inch. That's the equivalent of one person
trying to support 50 jumbo jets. However, that's nothing compared to the
burden on the US taxpayer, trying to support millions of millions
dollars in wasteful spending by CONgress.
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7. Thought for the Day
Neither how hard you work at the wrong things nor how
busy you are doing them will define how successful you are.|
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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