Bookmark and Share
Subscriptions
Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2010-04-04

Home

In this issue:
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Product Highlight | Thought for the Day

1. Brainpower tip

Have you read any of the provisions of the grossly misnamed "Patriot Act?" The Act is illegal. Even a cursory glance through its 342 tiny-print pages gives you the impression it was written expressly to contradict and eviscerate the Bill of Rights (and further reading shows that to, indeed, be the case).

There's a lesson here, and you may see it as we go. If not, I'll recap so you see it when I'm done with this example of shutting off the human brain.

Now, we are talking about the so-called Patriot Act and the mudstream media still maintain that folks who object to it are "alarmist." Just so you don't think I'm an "alarmist," I encourage you to download a copy of the Act (Google it) and compare each of its provisions against the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 10th Amendments. Remember the Constitution is the law of the land. Legislation conflicting with it is unlawful.

Don't have a copy of the Bill of Rights? We can fix that. Go here:
http://www.mindconnection.com/library/legal/amendments.htm

You will find the Constitution itself here:
http://www.mindconnection.com/library/legal/constitution.htm

With even a little reading, you'll see the Patriot Act is not only egregiously illegal, but is anathema to the spirit of the Constitution and the major concepts presented therein.

On top of that, it never answers the question of how we're better off without our Constitutional rights or how eliminating due process makes us safer. In fact, it makes us less safe. Due process was put into our Constitution expressly to make us safe--from the government.

This abomination of legislation was written by the same government organization that torched several families to death at Waco (the DOJ).

These "human rights activists" (ha, ha) presented their manifesto to CONgress only two days before the vote was taken on it. Obviously, nobody had time to read it--much less understand it. Yet we overpay members of CONgress to evaluate proposed legislation and then decide on it as our alleged representatives.

Why didn't anyone in CONgress say, "Whoa, now. Something smells rotten here. We need time to read this bill. What I've read so far has nothing to do with patriots and nothing to do with making the country safer. In fact, what I've read so far conflicts with our Constitution and presents only a loss of the same freedoms that our President says we were attacked for having. Are you for us or agin' us?"

No, working with facts and truth would mean behaving responsibly. And in the US CONgress, we can't have that. It would break with tradition.

OK, here's the lesson. Don't let labels do your thinking for you.

The Bill became law because of the labels and rhetoric. Based on the labels, nobody wanted to oppose it. What was really in it (not that they even wanted to know) was starkly different from what the label indicated.

The Act had a four-year sunset date. It was, amazingly, passed yet again! However, that wasn't the last time. In 2008 a Presidential candidate won the "election" based on "hope and change" and civil liberty. "Yeah, we'll fix the mess the Republicans left." Yet, he and his Democrat-controlled CONgress passed it yet again!

D = R is a topic for another column. What I'm pointing out here is you need to evaluate something based on what it is rather than what someone calls it.

Most of the big government programs have labels that describe the exact opposite of what they do. The rest have labels that sound good, but are irrelevant to the actual program.

Our misrepresentatives in CONgress may be incapable of thinking (if we assume they aren't consciously being criminals), but that doesn't mean we have to join them in being no smarter than a block of wood. It also means we should be smart enough not to re-hire these dummies (or criminals, depending on which you choose to believe--and it has to be one of the two).

Simply switching from D to R or vice-versa doesn't stop the stupidity train from pulling out of the station. One thing we can do is refuse to play the label game.

Ask your CONgressman (in person, at a townhall meeting or at his/her office) what s/he is going to do to repeal the Bill of Rights Evisceration Act. Then, write to your senator with the same question. Ask them to read the Act and compare it to the Bill of Rights, and then to do the job they are paid to do. Ask them to stop playing label games.

If even a few people ask each member of the House, in person, to stop playing label games, the message will get through. Using the Bill of Rights Evisceration Act is a great place to start. Maybe, with enough effort, we can raise the average IQ in CONgress to the level of a rock.

Let's keep our own brainpower level high, by not letting others play us via the label game.

2. Finance tip

There's nothing wrong with debt per se. But for debt to be beneficial, rather than harmful, to your financial condition, it must meet a few requirements. These are:
  • It needs to serve a specific purpose. That is, you take a loan for a specific reason. Debt should never accumulate due to "ordinary" spending that you simply lose control of.
  • Servicing that debt must be well within your means, and the debt must be structured to keep it that way. Planning to cope with higher debt later with money you don't have is the kind of lame-brain behavior we get from CONgress. You can do better than their low standard.
  • It needs to come with a plan for getting rid of it in a reasonable time. What's "reasonable" depends on many factors. For example, a 20-year home mortgage is reasonable while a 7-year car loan is not.
  • It should be for something that is of value and that will last well after the loan is paid off. For example, a young married couple might get a small loan for a few pieces of high quality furniture.

Other conditions also apply, depending upon the individual. Your overall goal with debt should be to use it as a temporary means of taking care of unusual expenses. It should never be used to support a lifestyle you can't afford without the debt.

And the type of debt matters. There's a huge difference in borrowing via a short-term bank loan at 6% and borrowing with a credit card at 21%. Credit card debt isn't deductible, and it carries a high interest rate. Be careful on debt that is deductible, as it is still debt and it still has carrying costs.

The key with credit cards is to use them only for "normal" expenses such as groceries and other things you would buy anyhow. The reason for this is so you don't carry a balance and thus make those usurious payments.

Now, there's an exception to this "normal expenses only" rule. Suppose you want to buy a new refrigerator because your old one seems to run too much and you've replaced the door gaskets three times already. So you go shopping for refrigerators and decide on one. Do NOT buy it!

Once you're back at home, figure out whether you'll have enough money to pay off the refrigerator if you buy it now. If not, you have three choices:

  • Defer the purchase. In this case, probably not a good idea.
  • Buy a smaller, less expensive unit. The fridges in the USA are something like 4X the size of the ones our counterparts buy in European countries. You really don't need a gigantic fridge. And is it worth $600 to add in all the whiz bang features that will surely also bring big repair bills in the future?
  • Cut back somewhere else, until you can manage the purchase.

In a sense, you're getting an interest-free loan by using the "no balance" rule with credit cards. The problem is that it's a very short-term loan.

You can get a longer unsecured loan (or a loan with easy security requirements), if you really need something can can't possibly pay for it within 20 or 30 days. The bullet points made above factor into how easily this is for you to do. Banks are a common source for such loans, but not the only source.

Generally, you want to avoid loans altogether. But if you're going to add debt to your financial condition, add debt in a way that won't make you a slave to debt.

3. Security tip

Credit card fraud is a big thing. It costs merchants billions of dollars each year, and puts many out of business entirely. Ask any merchant about this, and you're likely to hear that credit card companies treat it as a profit center.

The consumer is "protected" from it. Or so the credit card companies say.

Let's take an example to see how this works.

  1. Someone uses your name, address, phone number, and c/c info to make a fraudulent purchase online in the amount of $2.700.
  2. The merchant sees this transaction, calls your phone number to verify, and gets your cheery outgoing message that includes your name. The merchant notes that the AVS matches, the billing address matches, and the security code matches (the match / no match info is presented to the merchant, not the actual security code). So, the merchant approves the charge and ships the product.
  3. Your c/c company calls you within 15 minutes of this transaction. You say you never placed that order. The c/c company, however, doesn't inform the merchant.
  4. Six weeks later, the merchant gets a chargeback. The merchant is out the merchandise and now has no hope of recovering it. The merchant has to pay a stiff chargeback fee, 3% of the original purchase, and 3% again to do the refund.

How does this harm you? That theft has to be made up somehow. Merchants charge higher prices or cut back on service. Fraud hurts everyone, EXCEPT the credit card companies. They make out like bandits. And so does the bandit.

How do the bandits manage to place such an order? Simply put, people are careless with their information. Here are two common mistakes:

  1. Your phone number is on your paper checks (right along with your address). If you have such checks, order new ones with no ph# and shred the old ones.
  2. You've used your card in person and let it out of your sight. How do you know someone didn't photograph both sides of it?

If your credit card company contacts you about a fraudulent purchase, insist they give you the contact information for the merchant BEFORE you will say one way or the other if the purchase is legit. Insist they contact the merchant, then follow up and do so yourself. If the merchant cancels the order right away, that makes this fraud attempt futile for the bandit. If everyone did this one simple courtesy, fraud would stop completely.

Providing crooks with just one bit of information, such as your phone number, may be enough for them to have a complete set of information on you for purposes of using your identity to commit fraud. Don't give out information unless the other party really has a need to know. Follow the "need to know" rule, and you help stop crime.

Just because you don't pay for the cost of this kind of fraud right away and in full doesn't mean it doesn't cost you. It costs everyone. Let's end that.

Pass this column along to others, so they know what to do also.

4. Health tip/Fitness tips

Wind sprints are excellent for reducing body fat. This type of training is also called "burst" training. What you do is run full out for a short period, then take about twice that long to rest before going full out again.

This works far better than simply running for a long distance. The reason is the difference in intensity. Those short bursts don't burn more calories than covering the same distance slowly, but they burn more fat calories. They also have a positive hormonal effect, while long-distance running has a negative hormonal effect. The main hormones in question are testosterone (promotes fat burning) and cortisol (promots fat storage).

Back in my martial arts heydays, I ran bleacher sprints. These are brutal, because you are adding a resistance (your body weight) in addition to the running part.

Wind sprints, done intensely enough (the only way anyone should do them) really zap your energy. They leave you drained. In such a condition, you're easier prey for a mugger. Thus, I don't do these by myself. The problem for me is I can't find a wind sprint partner.

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders
 

For lack of a wind sprint partner, I haven't done these in many years. That problem was solved recently when I babysat my neighbor's dog. He's part lab and part rottweiler, so a very strong dog. My neighbors said, "You can take him for a walk, if you want." I had no idea what I was getting myself into....

The area where I live is crisscrossed with steep hills. The dog loves to run up these hills. Our "walks" alternated between these all out sprints uphill and a brisk walk down.

Now I have to find another excuse for not wind-sprinting. Lack of a partner isn't it.

If you are looking to lose fat quickly, try wind-sprinting. If you don't have a partner or a suitable dog, find someone with a young, large dog who needs some exercise.

Caution: Dogs will keep running even if they feel like a heart attack is coming on. Don't overwork the animal, and don't do this in hot weather. After you do a few of these sprints, sit down in the shade and note how the dog's breathing and panting are. If the dog is panting heavily, that is probably because the dog is overheated and it's time to stop.

Just 15 minutes of this twice a week will produce amazing results. There's no need to go overboard.

As regular readers know, I was 48 years old in the picture (above, right), taken in December 2008. I don't diet down for summer. I don't have good genes for maintaining a lean body, either. I really have to be conscientious and disciplined about it. That doesn't mean I suffer, eat bland foods, or starve myself.

At 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 and intense.
  • 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").

 

5. Factoid

If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction. If the population of CONgress walked past you, you'd get your pockets picked at least 350 times!


6. Product Highlight

Burn, baby, burn!

Still carrying around those holiday pounds of extra fat? Sure, you need to reduce portions so that fat slowly melts off and stays off. But that could take a while.

Speed things up with our fat burners. My favorite one is the Nitro PM night-time fatburner, shown at left. Click on the image for more info. Not only is it my favorite, it's our best-selling fat loss product so it's really everyone's favorite.

Nitro All Natural Night Time Fat Burner

Yes, it does actually help you sleep.

 

This eNL is supported by sales from www.mindconnection.com. Please shop there, as appropriate.



7. Thought for the Day

Everything has a cost. Some things are worth the time and energy spent on them, others are not. Do you measure the cost of what you say and do? If so, how?

Please forward this eNL to others.

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.

Wishing you the best,
Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection, LLC

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.

To subscribe, change your e-mail address, offer your own tidbit, tell us how much you love this eNL, ask how to put us in your will <grin>, or to (gasp) unsubscribe, write to comments @ mindconnection.com (paste that into your e-mail client, and remove the spaces).

Let other potentialreaders know what you think of this e-zine, by rating it at the Cumuli Ezine Finder

Articles | Book Reviews | Free eNL | Products

Contact Us | Home

This material, copyright Mindconnection. Don't make all of your communication electronic. Hug somebody!