In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight |
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness |
Factoid | Thought 4 the Day
1. Good News
|While whackos in Washington
continue to divert scarce resources to dubious uses, thereby
destroying job growth in the cradle, there is still some good news
despite their best efforts to keep America down.
- 2011-08-11. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that
Phoenix Closures, an Illinois-based manufacturer of plastic
packaging, plans to open a plant in Greencastle, IL. While the
Porkulus destroyed (by some estimates) 11 million jobs, this
plant will bring back 90 of them by about 2016. OK, it's a
start. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
- 2011-08-23. Aye, dance a jig! An Irish
firm is investing in the USA. The Area Development Online
Newsdesk reports that C&F Group of Galway, Ireland, is building
a new facility in Kingsport, TN. It's an automotive project
worth $12.5 million. Located in the Northeast Tennessee Business
Park, it should bring in 450 new jobs over a four-year period.
And it's the spearhead for C&F's new standalone business C&F
Manufacturing USA. Inc.
- 2011-08-29. The IndyStar provided some
good news for 23 citizens of Indiana. Idemitsu Lubricants
America recently will be expanding its Clark County,
Indianapolis facility. It's a $21.2 million investment that will
create up to 23 new jobs. Small news compared to Obama's
aggressive job destruction that has evaporated millions of
American jobs, but it's a trend in the right direction.
- 2011-08-29. Industry Week provided this very happy news:
Thus far this year, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers
says, exports of U.S. construction equipment now exceed more
than $11 billion. That is a 50% increase over the same time last
year. Pretty huge improvement! If the federal govt cut spending
by 50% (very, very easy for it to do), think of how THAT would
send the economy skyward.
Good news that may occur
If the Democratic primary nomination goes to anyone other than
Obama, there will be new hope for America and possibly an end to the
steady stream of bad news since he began his job destruction
program. Register now as a Democrat, and defeat Obama in the
Primaries. His approval rating is nearing that of termites. But if
we had termites we wouldn't need to endure another 18 months of
insanity and destruction.
End of the epidemic?
Possibly, the stupidity epidemic is subsiding (it's too early to
tell for sure). Here's a tidbit supporting that idea. I noticed
something new on Amazon's reviews. They now require reviews to be at
least 20 words long. Someone probably figured out that vacuous
reviews aren't worth posting.
It's nice to see that stupidity is taking yet
another free throw penalty.
Something else new. My Amazon reviews go live instantly,
bypassing the multi-day review queue. I guess Amazon has identified
which reviewers consistently write solid, meaningful reviews.
They've also instituted a 20-word minimum, which helps eliminate the
text messaging kind of "reviews" that have come to dominate that
feature on Amazon.
2. Product Highlight
back in the ReadingPen business. And we have a great new product for
ReadingPen 2. I've been playing with this and with the
ReadingPen TS here at the office, and just cannot say enough good
things about these products.
What does the ReadingPen 2 do, exactly? With this pen, you can
hear text read to you. Just scan a word or line of text, and the
ReadingPen 2 reads it aloud to you (earbuds included, if you don't
want to be overheard).
This mobile pen scanner requires no computer. It even helps with
reading fluency and comprehension by providing immediate definitions
from the American Heritage Children's Dictionary and Thesaurus,
American Heritage College Dictionary, and Roget's II Thesaurus.
Further enhancing the user experience, the natural female human
voice of the ReadingPen 2 makes it pleasurable to work with.
Watch this video
Earlier this year, we ended our relationship with Wizcom, not
because of any issues with the products. The products are excellent.
The problem was the retard of a manager we had to deal with, plus
his retard of a boss. They've both been fired (yippee!) and replaced
by two people who really "get it" when it comes to customer service
and those other things that businesses need to pay attention to. So
we're really happy to be offering these products.
3. Brainpower tip
|Don't work from crappy data.
I'm amazed at how much brainpower is simply wasted, because it's
applied to crappy data and thus cannot possibly produce results that
are useful or reliable.
As an example, consider a recent psychodrama conducted purely for
theater. I am referring to the "budget deficit debate." This was
nothing more than criminals arguing about their accounting methods.
Why is that the case?
First of all, a budget deficit results when planned spending
exceeds projected revenue. So the whole "debate" could have been
solved the same way Bill Clinton "balanced the budget." Simply lie.
They could have just inserted ultra rosy revenue projections.
They could have asserted that, despite overwhelming evidence to the
contrary, sucking capital from the economy actually improves the
economy! Oops, they did that already (remember the job-destroying
But really, they didn't have to lie to prevent a "budget
deficit." They merely had to follow the law. That particular idea is
a foreign concept to them, but it is the solution to all federal
By some estimates, 90% of what the federal government does is
illegal. I find it hard to believe the number is really that low. My
personal view is it's another order of magnitude higher, but I think
we can agree that 90% is bad enough. We can use that as the basis
for discussion and analysis, even though it would feel better to use
a more accurate (and thus higher) number.
Simply eliminating the illegal activities of the federal
government would eliminate so much cost from the budget that the
budget would produced a huge surplus.
Rather than simply read, and follow, the plainly stated language
of the 10th Amendment, the people who misrepresent us in CONgress
applied their brainpower (such that it is) to bad data.
There was no budget crisis. There was only a crime crisis. The
debate should have been along the lines of "Do we shut down the IRS,
DEA, BATFE, and other illegal, harmful agencies today--or do we wait
Bringing the federal government into conformance with the law
would require enormous changes, because it is so very far from being
in compliance. But some things are, ahem, no-brainers.
There is no legitimate reason, for example, to be burning $10
billion a day (figure out how much that is per year--yikes!) in
Afghanistan. There is no legitimate reason to keep funding the IRS,
DEA, BATFE, or a slew of other illegal, harmful agencies. I am not
saying all govt agencies are illegal and harmful. I am only saying
that many are illegal and many are harmful. Some illegal agencies
are actually beneficial, but that doesn't change the fact they are
illegal. At the very least, we should eliminate the ones that are
illegal AND harmful.
So if CONgress really cared about the nation's finances
(obviously, it does not), there would not have been any "debate"
about a fake budget ceiling. It would have simply gone about the
business of eliminating the criminal activities that are the easiest
to eliminate, or that morally cry out an imperative for elimination
(e.g., IRS, DEA, BATFE to name three).
Some people have commented that I seem to have a hankering for
using CONgress as an example of stupidity. That's not at all the
case. I have a hankering for using CONgress as an example of gross
disregard for the laws of this nation. The fact these people tend to
be stupid is a side issue. The fact they tend to be egregious
criminals is a major issue.
For the purposes of this issue's brainpower column, the point is
that CONgress spent whatever limited brainpower (such that it is) it
has on bad data. The data are bad because they are all fiction and
have nothing to do with the actual problem.
If you want to solve a problem, first limit your data set to what
is actually relevant. Then, examine the data for veracity. Eliminate
false data. This is hard for many people to do, because what they
really want is data that fit their pre-conclusions (conclusions made
prior to actual analysis).
What they end up doing is engaging in a brainpower-free exercise
in justifying the indefensible. That's, unfortunately, standard
operating practice for CONgress. It does not have to be your SOP.
4. Finance tip
|With the economic Depression
having accelerated under Spendbama, many people are desperately
trying to reduce their personal overhead. One place people are
cutting big-time right now is going to restaurants. This is not
necessarily the cost-savings it's made out to be.
Restaurants have their place. For example:
- It's often more convenient to eat at a restaurant when
traveling, than to pick up groceries and make meals in your
- If entertaining guests, you may find going to a restaurant
is less hassle than trying to use your own kitchen to
accommodate the unhealthy food choices of your guests.
- Some restaurants are not in the people poisoning business,
and thus can be frequented without damaging your health.
But for many people, these considerations aren't considered. They
simply eat out as a matter of habit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
says that US families spend an average of nearly $2,700 each per
year on eating out.
Some experts look at the cost of the
ingredients and say you can save 80% of your restaurant bill by
eating at home. They are neglecting to count the many things you get
for your restaurant dollar. The savings are usually closer to 40%,
Making meals is, in itself, a pleasurable experience. A family
that prepares and eats together has emotional advantages over a
family that outsources the preparation. It typically has health
advantages, too. So preparing meals at home makes a great deal of
sense. But not in all cases.
People who have been used to eating at restaurants and then start
making meals at home may find their costs go up, not down. Some
- Even worse food choices. For example, they'll buy iceberg
lettuce rather than the many other lettuces available in the
typical grocery store. They'll also by "convenience" foods like
frozen dinners, chips, mixes, sauces, and dressings.
- Poor hygiene. In restaurants, food is kept either chilled or
heated. This reduces bacteria immensely. In many homes, people
leave food sit out until it may as well be a petri dish in a
biological weapons lab.
- Poor techniques. People not skilled in cooking quite often
destroy the nutritional value of the food by overcooking or
- Lousy taste. People who don't understand how to put
complementary foods together, or even what foods to buy in the
first place, try to make up for blandness with sauces and
condiments that are high in sugar and hydrogenated oil.
- Unlimited quantities. People who eat because it's there will
fare much worse at home than at a restaurant.
Now, the above problems also exist in restaurants, to some
degree. And I'm not saying not to eat at home. I'm saying that
simply ending your restaurant going can easily bring new expenses
and new problems.
Learn about healthy, sensible food selection, preparation, and
storage before trying to go it alone. This is very much worth your
time, and it can save you a good bit of money. Not so much on food
purchases, but on medical care purchases.
5. Security tip
|While we're waiting for CONgress to improve our
security by ending the illegal anti-Patriot Act, there are other
security issues we can address. Here's one sent by an alert reader
who wishes to remain anonymous.
From a member of our Home Owners Association. The police referred
to are the Austin Police Department. Watch those incoming cell phone
calls (and landlines too, for that matter) and treat them the same
way as you do your Internet messages--don't give out personal
information to anyone you don't know for sure who is calling.
Remember, if a bank or business is calling you, they already know
who you are and what your account number is! If they don't, they
Thought I’d give you a heads up….got a call on my CELL phone tonight
at about 820 and the message said it was from my bank (Bank of
America) telling me that my debit card had been “frozen” for
The recorded voice wanted me to press “1” and of course, this was
weird so I hung up and called Bank of America directly from my HOME
phone. They confirmed it is a fraud/scam call and recommended that I
make a local police report. I called the police and they said this
has been going on a lot lately, and opened a case.
Please make sure your friends know about this and don’t give out
any information. The police said they want you to key in your
account number if you continue the call. FYI, the number that called
866.587.1237, the same as the other police reported calls. And I
don’t know how they got my cell phone number.
Another big scam is callers who identify themselves as being with
the IRS--and actually are! Do NOT discuss anything with them. Doing
so can only hurt you, despite any assurances to the contrary. Do not
even confirm information such as your address.
Politely inform the caller that you are, with good justification,
terrified of the IRS and therefore cannot discuss anything with
them. Politely insist that they mail you a letter with the issues or
questions. Don't give them your address; the IRS Manual prohibits
the IRS from asking you for information they already have (so does
the 1998 Taxpayer Bill of Rights and several other regs).
The employee calling you can't hurt you. All this employee is
doing is fishing for information that some other IRS employee can
subsequently use to damage you--perhaps severely. So, give no
Once you get the letter, you can decide whether to ignore it or
pay a tax attorney to review it. If the IRS has not contacted you
previously, the latter is probably the better choice. Do not reply,
yourself. Doing this shows you are open to attack. And when sharks
smell blood, well, it ends badly for the bleeding one. That would be
you, in this case.
Yes, hiring a tax attorney is expensive. That, unfortunately, is
the price we must pay for not having yet persuaded CONgress to
abolish this unnecessary, barbarous, and harmful federal agency.
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
|Through good planning and proper
attention to intensity, I've mostly managed to avoid overtraining.
But there have been exceptions.
I got a painful reminder of this, with my latest overtraining
episode. Normally, Thursday is my rest day. Except for posture
exercises and stretching, which are low-intensity, I don't do any
On Sunday, I put in a couple of hours at the climbing gym. It was
mostly low-intensity, as far as physical demand went. But still,
it's hard on the legs.
On Monday, I did my front squats. They were harder than usual,
because my legs were still a few days away from recovering from the
On Thursday, I decided to add wind sprints to my schedule. I'd
just ease them in....
To do wind sprints, you need a steep hill or some other
vertically challenging running surface. In my twenties, I used
bleachers. That may have been a youthful indiscretion. Looking back,
I feel lucky that I never missed a step and broke my front teeth.
I've also used stairways inside office buildings. That’s better, but
it still poses a fall risk.
I now live in a hilly area, and I have the perfect monster hill
not far from my front door. So, that's my wind sprint running place.
That Thursday, I did three runs up that hill. I ran up that steep
hill as hard and as fast as I could until my legs "ran out of run."
Then, I walked down. I did this three times. Of course, my distance
shrank considerably with each run.
JS Nitro Cell Drive when I got home, then followed that with
glutamine later. This practice is what has allowed me to do
squats as frequently as I do. Years ago, I did squats once a month,
due to the recovery time involved. But by supplementing this way, I
found I could actually do them once a week if I would skip a week
every so often.
The following Monday, I started my front squats but just "did not
have it" for this exercise. I got through five sets of five, but
they didn't feel right. I just could not get the intensity going. I
ended that session thinking, "Yeah, those wind sprints are probably
still with me."
So on Thursday, I walked to my wind sprint starting point. I took
off for that first run up, and barely covered any distance before it
felt like someone was sticking a pair of metal spikes into my right
As it turned out, I had severely overworked two of the quadriceps
muscles in that leg. In addition to the climbing, squats, and
sprints, I was also doing a good deal of squatting for yardwork plus
I climb the stairs in my home many times per day. Just my normal
activity level was keeping these muscles from repairing.
Well, I'm now on the mend from that episode. But it should not
have happened in the first place.
The lesson here is to account for all of your activity. When
planning your workouts, look ahead and behind in your schedule, and
tailor your program to fit your activities.
And keep in mind that when you are doing real work on real
surfaces, things do get uneven. That's ultimately good for your
training program and your balance, but you still have to account for
that (e.g., two muscles in my right leg). The "solution" of using
machines at a gym isn't a solution. It's recipe for injury. Stick
with real exercise that uses motions that you are likely to do.
Front squats, for example, are very hard to beat in this respect.
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.
|A crocodile cannot stick out its
tongue. But members of CONgress constantly stick us, well, you know
8. Thought for the Day
|People who are obese got that way
one bite at a time, over time. Reversing the process, over time,
solves the obesity. Many problems are like this. What problems do
you have that are of the "one bite at a time" kind?|
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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!).
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