In this issue:
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Product Highlight | Thought for the Day
1. Brainpower tip
Here's an experiment, for those of you with a garden hose. If you have one of
those 4-station or 5-station nozzles, set it to the widest possible spray
pattern (usually, this is called "shower"). You'll notice this feels pretty
mild. If you were to try to do any work with it, such as remove a hardened
bird deposit, you'd be there all day.|
Now, set it to the most focused
spray pattern (usually, this is called "jet"). If you were to foolishly aim
the stream onto your skin, you'd notice it feels pretty intense. Painful,
actually. If you were to aim the stream onto that baked-on bird mess, you'd
be able to remove it in short order.
What do garden hoses and bird crap have to do with brain power? Not much,
really, except members of Congress appear to have the latter for brains.
What is relevant here is the concept of focus. Increasingly, the
world is becoming an "ADD place." People don't focus, and the problem is
accelerating the stupidity epidemic. You can't chat on the phone and drive
at the same time, unless you think it's OK to do both jobs poorly. If you
are dividing your brain between two tasks, how do you decide which task to
be more stupid at doing? Why not, instead, focus on one task and do it well?
Here's an example that helps drive the point home (no pun intended).
Back in the late 1990s while working for a publishing
company as an editor, I spent a day with someone many people (including me)
admire greatly and consider top-notch. His name is David Miller, and at the
time he was a sales rep. But he was no ordinary sales rep.
- For some reason, David was consistently bringing
in deals that had people asking, "How the heck did he come up with this
and get them to bite?"
- For some reason, advertisers spoke well of the
other sales reps but spoke in glowing terms about David.
- For some reason, David never got turned away and
was never made to wait.
- For some reason, David had access to top decision
makers. Direct access.
On that morning, we were talking about one of his accounts and it's a
very major company. I mentioned a question I had about this company, and
David remarked, "I'm sure their CEO could answer that, but I can't. Would
you like to ask him?"
I laughed and said sure, but the odds of having an audience with someone
that high up were about zero. David disagreed. He told me that even if I
wanted to talk with the Chairman of the Board he could arrange that.
Now, I'm thinking to myself there is no way an ad sales guy could get me
in front of the Chairman of the Board. Jokingly, I said, "It'd be something
if you could call him and make a lunch appointment."
David pulled over at the next stop and made a phone call (notice, he
didn't call while driving). That day, we had lunch with the Chairman of the
Board and later stopped by the corporate office for a chat with the CEO.
During these meetings, I noticed that these powerful people were
completely relaxed with David and didn't once consult their watches. I also
noticed that David was completely focused on them and didn't waste their
Notice again that David pulled over to make that call. During the
call, he was able to tap his entire brain and concentrate on the call. The
administrative assistant was happy to help him and the Chairman of the Board
agreed to meet him for lunch. Just like that.
Now, I had been out with other sales reps. None of them ever pulled over
to make a call. They thought it was smarter to "be efficient" and
The harried salesman trying to meet his monthly quota makes use of "dead
time at the windshield" to make a call. The person being called doesn't
consciously pick up on the fact that this salesman isn't completely there,
but the damage is done anyhow.
Suppose that, during meetings with the folks buying ad space, David is
thinking about the next appointment. How effective is that meeting going to
be? Or suppose David is thinking about how to pitch them a sale, rather than
listening to what they are trying to accomplish? Think about that, as we
continue this short story. Think about how it all ratchets up a few notches
when you are talking with the most senior of the senior executives. This is
a "stress test" for seeing just how well one philosophy stacks up against
During the meeting with the Chairman of the Board, we talked about the
company's new strategy and its new flagship product. This is what the
Chairman of the Board wanted to talk about. This is what filled his days.
This is what we focused on. No side issues, no talk about ad space, no talk
about how great and wonderful we are. Only about the market and how the
company's new flagship product fit. We talked about strengths and weaknesses
of the product and we talked about what the customer is really looking for.
We talked about what the Chairman of the Board cared about, and didn't try
to diffuse things with our own agenda.
We did not ask to meet with the CEO. But as we were leaving the
restaurant, the Chairman of the Board said, "You fellows seemed mighty
interested in what we are doing. I'd like to have you meet with [Name of
CEO] this afternoon if you can swing it."
David replied, "We'd love to. We can wait while you call him to see if
he's available and when. Then we'll look at our schedule and see if we can
He would be available in 20 minutes. But we had to be at another
appointment in 30. David called that next appointment, and asked if we could
reschedule. He didn't give any reason, just asked. They said no problem
(they had already learned to love David because he solved a marketing
problem for them--unrelated to ad sales). They became our last appointment
of the day (rather than jamming them in between two other appts and causing
us to rush).
We met with the CEO, got a "you can't tell anybody about this" tour, and
then had plenty of time to make the next appt. We ended up working an extra
hour that day due to the rescheduling, but who cares?
That major advertiser was already one of our top three accounts in terms
of ad dollars spent. During that trip, David never once tried to sell them
anything. He focused on his goal--listen to the customer. If that resulted
in something we could get paid for, fine. If not, maybe next time.
David later asked me to write up some ideas, go over them with my boss,
and send him a final draft. He then parlayed that into an additional
advertising sale equal to all three of our annual salaries combined.
What if he had set his brain to "shower" instead of "jet?" Where do you
2. Finance tip
George Bernard Shaw, although an avowed Socialist, was bright enough
to acknowledge “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always
depend on the support of Paul.”
Now, look at who makes the campaign contributions (you can find that
with a Google search) and you begin to understand why the Spendbama
misadministration ended up appointing one tax cheat after another to its
cabinet. OK, maybe "tax cheat" isn't the right phrase. The Secretary of
the Treasury committed Tax Evasion, which means he should be serving a
prison sentence until about, oh, 2040. Instead, he's running our
These people are robbers. Robbing you is what they get paid to
do. They do it very well. And it's costing you far, far, more than
anything else is costing you.
But this robbery problem conducted by people who get away with
financial crimes they personally commit is nothing new. During the Bush
misadministration, a similar thing happened--just not with seemingly
every appointee. Look back into the Clinton misadministration, and you
see the same pattern of criminals getting top posts.
It's not just the Presidency. The Chairman of the House Ways and
Means Committee, Chuck Rangel, should be serving 30 to 50 years in
prison on multiple counts of tax evasion. But he is still writing the
tax laws instead!
Now, it seems pretty obvious that if the people who are making the
laws have a bad habit of breaking the laws, it can't be good for the
rest of us.
If those people have a history of stealing, by what logic can we not
expect them to rob us blind when they are given authority over our
financial system, tax system, federal spending, or anything else?
I keep saying in this eNL that your single largest cost is the
federal government. If you state this to most people, they immediately
disagree. That, my friends, is the power of television. Or perhaps
serious drug abuse. Same thing, when it come to brain power.
You as an individual cannot do much about this pattern of blatant
robbery, this ransacking of your finances that is so bad your share of
the incurred debt now exceeds your lifetime earnings (unless you are in
the top 5% of earners). But enough individuals doing something
meaningful to stop the crime spree will have an effect. How can we
organize? Well, "we" have already organized:
- A group called the National
Taxpayers Union, www.ntu.org,
monitors federal spending, individual spending records of senators (Spendbama
had a grade of F--meaning failure--during his Senate career), and
other key information. And, the NTU lobbies on behalf of those of us
who aren't buying senators and Congressman with bribes and $10,000
campaign dinner tickets.
- A group called the Libertarian Party,
http://www.lp.org, was formed in the
mid-1970s. The Demopublican Party has had a monopoly on the
"elected" positions of the federal government since it reformed
during Reconstruction and began pretending it was two parties. The
LP is our best hope for a second political party in the USA. Many
people do not "get" this, because they look at the red herrings
rather than the issues. And we all pay dearly for that blindness.
- Recently, we (in the USA) celebrated Memorial Day, in honor of
the soldiers and sailors who gave their lives for this country so
that presumably freedom would be defended. Yet, if we look at the
track record of the IRS we see this particular group considers
freedom something to be stomped out (the IRS record of malfeasance
speaks for itself). This is a foot on the gas and foot on the brakes
The obvious solution is to eliminate the IRS. Since the IRS costs
more than it produces in revenue, anyone with an IQ above 50 can see
that eliminating it would leave everyone better off (including the
folks on the IRS payroll--their lives could become useful instead of
harmful). Yet, this pestilence is still with us. The single best
hope for ridding us of it is the
Fair Tax, www.fairtax.org.
If you're not supporting one of these organizations, you aren't
working on your single largest financial liability. Don't forget the
recent betrayal of the American People, which cost us each $66,000. That
was, of course, Spendbama's Porkulus Package. He got away with that, so
you can expect more of the same wealth destruction before this is over.
We have to stop these criminals while we can. You have three
organizations available to help you do your part to control your single
3. Security tip
CONgress managed to rack up over $1 trillion in additional debt in the
first three months of the new misadministration. They also managed, via
the Porkulus Package, to create a permanent ongoing cash drain (the gift
that keeps on giving) through new wealth transfer schemes (useless
agencies and programs) that benefit the companies paying lobbyists but
don't benefit you. But you pay for these anyhow.|
If you look up a few
dismal numbers and work a little math, you'll see how much your share of
the federal debt has grown in each of the last 21 years (Bush, Clinton,
Bush, Spendbama). It isn't pretty. Worse, the federal govt isn't even
making the minimum payments on this particular credit card.
But there's more in store for you, my friend. Spendbama and many key
members of CONgress are now working on a new plan, their OSHA for
Most Americans find this kind of program objectionable. I used to
object to this, as it adversely affects my personal security in a very
big way. But after some consideration, I'm all for it. Really. Here's
Think about the poor criminal who is just trying to make a living
robbing people or the lonely rapist who just needs to beat some victim
into a coma and then have his way with her. Presently, these people are
discriminated against and forced to endure the embarrassment of being
held at gunpoint until the police arrive. Oh, the humiliation.
Beyond the emotional pain, there's another issue. It's just too
dangerous for folks in the violent crime industry.
In fact, we have an overwhelming body of evidence showing this single
hazard (self-protecting citizen) causes many of our most promising
violent criminals to quit and seek a different line of work. Overall
employment in the violent crime industry has dropped since the ending of
the 10-year long Clinton Firearms Fiasco, indicating that bit of
legislation helped boost employment in the violent crime industry. Now
that this criminal protection legislation has expired, and these people
are having a tougher time working in their trade.
Can we really afford, as a nation, to see another industry die out?
What will workers in this industry do for a living?
So Spendbama is actually helping our society by trying to provide
these people with decent working conditions through aggressive promotion
of OSHA for Criminals. We can all give him a round of applause.
But after further consideration, I don't think the recently proposed
Criminal Protection bill goes far enough. It should also require
homeowners to equip their homes with a burglar bathroom (with First Aid
Station and snack bar) and to have on hand suitable equipment for
transporting merchandise. If you lack an appliance dolly for your stereo
or widescreen TV, you get a $10,000 fine for each infraction.
ADA compliance should be mandatory for homes, convenience stores, and
other places that might be robbed. At the very least, every potential
victim home should have a wheelchair ramp for disabled criminals to use.
Two story homes should be required to have an electric elevator.
It's good that we have "activist judges" who ignore such petty things
as basic civics and legislate from the bench. They are doing great work.
For example, a court ruled that a man who was stealing projectors from a
school and fell through a skylight should receive a lump sum payout of
$100K and then $30K a year for life from the school district due to
their carelessness in leaving a tripping hazard on the roof. It saddens
me that they didn't have the principal flogged while they were at it.
But still, this leaves a gap. Why should any hard-working criminal
have to rely on the courts for protection? Shouldn't criminal protection
laws already be in place? Why should judges be forced to violate the
Constitution by legislating from the bench? This is the change that
Spendbama is bringing us. Ah, leadership at last and we don't have to be
confined by "laws" and "statutes" and "common horse sense" anymore.
Speaking of leadership, I'm sure Spendbama will lead the way by
example and do away with the Secret Service so that he isn't personally
posing a threat to violent criminals. We all know how honest, sincere,
and right-thinking he is.
He could help reduce the massive deficits he's run up by also doing
away with police departments and criminal courts, which suck down
taxpayer money while interfering with an industry that Dianne Feinstein
has deemed vital to this country's future. So, save an entire industry
and reduce federal debt--what's not to like?
Your personal security isn't important. Only violent criminals
matter. Write to your misrepresentative in CONGress today that your
personal security means nothing and you are all for the passage of OSHA
Somebody told me, "There is no law compelling anyone to rob, rape, or
murder other people. So, they should do it at their own risk, not ours."
What a curmudgeon!
4. Health tip/Fitness tips
Diane Villano isn't just good-looking. She's a
goddess. She got that way by eating
right and training hard. She didn't
get that way by avoiding carbs.
A lot of folks are doing various
carbohydrate-centric diets, right
now. If you are one of those folks,
stop. The diet you're on probably
won't help you in the long run, and
it probably won't produce the
results you really want. It's
Personally, I enjoy carbohydrates. I just get them
from real foods, not from processed
grains. Give me an apple or some
strawberries, and I am not the least
bit concerned about the carbs. It is
simply not true that you can make up
for poor dietary decisions by
avoiding one of the three
macronutrients. That, itself, is a poor dietary decision.
Read what Diane has to say, here:
As regular readers know, I'm 48 years old in the picture (above,
right), taken in December. I don't diet down for summer. I don't have
good genes for maintaining a lean body, I really have to be
conscientious and disciplined about it. That doesn't mean I suffer, eat
bland foods, or starve myself.
www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative
articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to
do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:
- The best workouts are short
- A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.
Nor does it mean being hungry all
the time (you are less hungry on six
small meals a day than three large
ones), being weak from hunger (on a
proper dietary regimen, you will
have much more energy than
otherwise), or "giving up pleasures"
(I have no idea where this concept
comes from, unless a person
considers being sick a "pleasure.").
The first airline was established on October 16, 1909, to carry
passengers between German cities by Zeppelin (unfortunately, with no
music from Led Zeppelin during the trip).
By November 1913, over
34,000 people had used that airline. The name of the airline was "DELAG,"
an early indicator of how some day a midget on Fantasy Island would
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7. Thought for the Day
The Rocky series of movies spanned 30 years (1976 to 2006). If you saw
Sly Stallone in the last one, you can't help but be amazed at his
physical condition. Hint: it comes from hard work.|
Sly provides the thought for this issue's Thought for the Day. "It's not about how
hard you can hit, but about how hard you can get hit and keep moving
The ability to keep moving forward comes from hard work and
preparation. Think about how well (or not) you're preparing for the hits
that are coming your way.
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