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Mindconnection eNL, 2011-10-16

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In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

As with any surveys or similar data, don't read into them what's not there. These are snapshots in time, looking at slices of reality. When you review them and ask, "Compare to what," there's no answer. That makes such things emotional indicators, not absolute measurements of anything we can really identify.

The takeaway is that people have hope, for whatever reason. Unlike endless despair, this positive mindset is good news.

  • SEP. Business Finance Magazine reported encouraging responses from a survey of U.S. manufacturers.
     
  • SEP. The Associate General Contractors of America reported an increase in construction employment in some areas over the past year. For example: North Dakota (up 19%, 4,000 jobs), Illinois (up 8.2%, 15,400 jobs), Michigan (up 8%, 9,600 jobs), and Oklahoma (up 6%, 4,000 jobs). Source: EC&M.
     
  • SEP. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) keeps a motors shipped index. Motor shipments increased by 13.1% in 1Q2011 and 16,4% in 2Q2011. Source: EC&M.
     
  • OCT. The Institute for Supply Management says the US manufacturing industry is making positive strides.
     
  • 07OCT. The Week reported that Americus, GA, now has a manufacturing plant that churns out 10 million chopsticks per week. And sells them in China. The plant employs 80 people, and due to demand from China is in the process of hiring 70 more. The article didn't say whether the chopsticks were sprayed with lead paint, the way Chinese toys for American kids are.

2. Product Highlight

Discontinued.

The Mongoose PC Surveillance Tool allows you to monitor and control access to home or office computers and laptops from anywhere, any time.

Simply insert it into a USB port on the computer you want to monitor, run the 60 second setup program that installs the secret monitoring system, and remove the Mongoose. After that, you can monitor and control that computer from any other computer.

You can record and restrict almost any activity. The secret monitoring system is completely invisible to the user.

This tools is perfect for detectives and security specialists, but also useful for regular people who just want to protect themselves from illegal government intrusion (per the illegal "Patriot" Act), prevent warrantless searches, and keep other unauthorized snoops and criminals out of their computers.

3. Brainpower tip

The common view of forgiveness is it's something you do for the other person. This illogical view is predicated on the assumption that your opinion actually matters to the other person. If things are so bad that you "can't forgive," this assumption is probably not true.

Staying angry at another person usually doesn't punish that person. But it always punishes you.

Holding a grudge has many costs. If you read a few books on forgiveness, you read about the ill effects on your physical and emotional health. Something not well publicized is this behavior also makes you stupid. Maybe not overall, but at least in the moment when you are re-living the presumed offense.

I say presumed offense, because typically the offender meant no offense. It was just taken that way. Even if the offender did mean to offend, what is the benefit to you of re-inflicting the hurt and anger upon yourself just to keep a grudge going?

Grudges produce mental negativity. Instead of seeing a glass as half-full, you see it as half-empty. Or maybe you don't even see any of the liquid in the glass. Grudges distort your reality and blind you to opportunity. It's always better to think about how you can make something work for you, rather than how you can blame someone for your misery.

I like to think of a grudge as a rubber mental crutch. Boost your brainpower by replacing grudges with problem-solving. And if you can't solve the problem, either make it work for you or just accept it.

Don't be a doormat

That is not to say you should be a doormat for abusers. Yes, you can label a person as toxic and avoid that person for your own good. But when do you determine a person is toxic? You can do it by judging (not recommended) or observing (recommended). If you've exercised assertiveness (not aggression) and gotten nothing but vitriol in response, you're dealing with a toxic person.

The assertive process is, in a nutshell, this: You state the problem and you make the other person aware of how the problem affects you.. You ask how "we" can solve it. You toss in an idea that should provide benefit to the other person, if you can think of one. In other words, you give the other person an opportunity to do right by you.

Example

I have severe allergies. Next door to the north, my neighbor had a lung removed. The neighbor behind him had open heart surgery. The next door neighbor to the south is on chemo. We all live in a valley. People who live uphill from us burn leaves. It's legal for them to do that, and they mean no harm.

However, in burning those leaves, they cause harm to several people. My solution begins by following the smoke to its source. I greet the person who is burning, and introduce myself. Then I explain I live in the valley below, where their smoke accumulates. I say I realize they have a legal right to burn the leaves and mean no harm to anyone else.

"But," I say, "what you may not realize is we end up breathing this smoke even several hours after you stop burning. One of my next door neighbors had a lung removed, one had open heart surgery, and another is on chemo. The smoke is really bad for them. I'm wondering if you can find another way to dispose of these leaves in the future?"

I have yet to get a negative response. But suppose I do? Well, I can accept that this person is just thoughtless and I have no power to do anything about the behavior. Becoming angry just adds damage on top of the damage done by the smoke. The best response in that moment is to say something like, "I wish you no harm. If you can think about responding in kind, that would be good." Staying there and arguing the merits of my position would actually cause the other person to become entrenched in the very behavior I objected to.

No results?

What can you do about the intransigent person who just refuses to accommodate your wishes, even if s/he verbally agreed to at some point? Reassess the situation. It's been demonstrated that this person won't change his behavior. So continuing to try will only frustrate you, until you give up and go into grudge mode.

Here are some possible solutions:

  • Just accept it. One neighbor on the block has lower lawn care standards than everyone else. Is this really worth getting worked up about?
     
  • Allow for it. Does someone annoy you by always showing up late? That person means no offense, but you are taking offense over predictable behavior. Adjust your own timetable. Instead of asking that person to meet you at 1700, ask him to meet you earlier by the amount of time that person is normally late. Then you show up at 1700 and you are both on time. Don't chastise the person for being late, as that serves no purpose. Maybe if you show you are happy to see that person, he will find reasons to show up sooner.
     
  • Offer to help. Going back to the lawncare thing, for a moment. A neighbor of mine really hated yardwork, and consequently her yard was covered in a blanket of leaves. One day, I saw her outside and broached this topic. "You really hate yardwork, don't you?" She said she did, because it was boring. I asked her if it would be boring if she had someone to talk to. She said no, and I offered to help her rake up all the leaves. She thought this was neat. We talked to each other more in that leaf-raking time than all the previous time combined.
     
  • Ignore or delay. Suppose you have a boss who can't figure out what he actually wants. You could hold a grudge, viewing everything the boss says as idiotic. After all, look at all the rework he makes you do! I've had bosses like that (not my last boss, for sure--one of the best bosses anyone could have). The solution is to map out what really needs to be done, get your boss to approve, and then delay any changes to the plan until further delay is no longer possible. If the boss is a true idiot, you can just ignore the first request unless it actually makes sense.
     
  • Find ways to make it work for you. The neighbor behind me has a beautiful black Lab/Rottweiler mix. He is just the sweetest dog. But the husband went out of town for several months on a job, the wife was working two jobs, and the kids went off to college. This left the dog home alone for long stretches, which wasn't a good situation. Making matters worse, a mean squirrel (is there any other kind) liked pelting this dog with sticks and other objects.

    The dog became a barker. Annoyingly so. I could have griped to the neighbors and been mad at them. Instead, I looked at this as an opportunity. I knocked a slat out of the fence so the dog could stick his head through or I could pet him. We've become buddies. Sometimes, I take him for walks and that's always a pleasure. These neighbors have me babysit him when they're going to be gone a while.

    But, gee, isn't a barking dog a sign of neglect? Perhaps, but not in this case. This dog is very well trained. He stays at my place when I babysit him, and he is the perfect guest. One of the things we do is walk, leashless, around the block to his place twice a day just to make sure everything's fine. Never any problems. Along the way, he picks up the newspapers from people's driveways and drops them on their porches. What a dog!

If you find yourself needing to patch things up, remember that civility and respect go a long way. If a person is truly a total jerk, you do not gain anything by sinking to that person's level. Don't let someone goad you into "justifying" his own inexcusable behavior. Yes, it can be very hard to stay polite and in control. Just do your best.

Remember that holding a grudge in your heart is like holding a knife by the blade instead of the handle.

4. Finance tip

Under the free market theory, price gives you the information you need to wisely select goods that represent the best allocation of resources. The theory is good, but the reality is prices get distorted by the vagaries of law, regulation, and even stupidity.

For example, factories in the USA must abide by the EPA but across the river in Sarnia, Ontario or El Paso, Chihuahua, they don't. The price you pay does not reflect the difference in the pollution you breathe from the cheaper goods.

Until such time as we have a responsible CONgress that actually cares about the USA, we are going to continue to have laws that reward foreign manufacturers for not following our laws. Granted, they (like CONgress, apparently) are under no obligation to follow our laws. But we need to level the playing field.

Since CONgress is too busy finding ways to divert our money to Goldman Sachs and Halliburton, it hasn't come up with a way to level the playing field.

An easy way to do this would be to:

  1. Evaluate the per product cost of each regulation.
  2. Assess an equalization tariff for that cost, on imported goods.
  3. Provide an equalization rebate on exported goods.

How could we get foreign countries to go along with this? Simple. Reciprocate the same way. If they have regulations our manufacturers don't have to follow, then our manufacturers pay the equalization tariff.

I used to work in manufacturing, as a plant engineer. Typically in these plants, fake thermostats are installed everywhere. Why? So that people will adjust the fake thermostat and feel they actually adjusted the temperature. Of course, what they do has zero effect. This way, Jill can turn it up 5 degrees and Joe can turn it down 5 degrees. The actual temperature is completely unaffected, but both people feel they influenced it anyhow and so they don't complain. They are comfortable. Just like Democrats and Republicans. Zero effect, but the illusion of having an effect is there.

Every two years, there's an exam administered in the USA. It tests to see who is under mind control, and who has taken the red pill instead. It's called a "federal election." Those who toss their vote away on a false choice between the Demopublican and Republocrat are basically saying yes to crime.

We won't have a law-abiding government until people stop playing around with fake thermostats. While we wait for people to stop voting Demopublican so there's a hope of change, what can we do in the meantime? A reader sent in the following item, which is good food for thought:

***

This probably sounds crazy, but just yesterday I was in Wal Mart looking for a wastebasket. I found some made in China for $6.99. I didn't want to pay that much so I asked the lady if they had any others. She took me to another department and they had some at 2.50 made in USA. They are just as good. Same as a kitchen rug I needed. I had to look, but I found some made in the USA and they were 3.00 cheaper.

We are being brainwashed that everything that comes from China and Mexico is cheaper. Not so. That is also why I don't buy cards at Hallmark anymore. They are made in China and are expensive. I buy them at Dollar Tree....50 cents each and made in USA.

One Light Bulb at a Time

A physics teacher in high school once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American.

Good idea . . .. one light bulb at a time

Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments... They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there.

They were made in USA. Start looking.

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track.. Let's get behind her!

My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more.

My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats they were the same except for the price.

The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland, Ohio.

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here.

So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets... yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada ... The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time!

Stop buying from overseas companies!

Let's get with the program and help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA.

5. Security tip

I still haven't figured out how it can possibly be a good use of time to use Facebook, MySpace, and other social blathering sites. Maybe it's because I've never visited any of them, but I haven't visited because nobody who has visited can articulate why doing so is actually beneficial. I don't see these as particularly social, and to me the idea of "networking" with people who have nothing better to do with their time is an exercise in "notworking." Just my view, there.

What many people have been able to articulate, however, are the dangers of posting certain kinds of information. For example:

  • Where you live. You should keep your name and your home address separate as much as is reasonable. Many people don't have packages or mail delivered to their home for this reason. It's a basic Security 101 precaution. What possesses some folks to post their address on Facebook?
     
  • Where or when you were born. So, do you really like the idea of having a credit card, drivers license, or birth certificate forged with your name and birth date on it? If so, just put this info up on a social notworking site.
     
  • Your mother's maiden name, your favorite color, the name of your high school. These are all challenge question answers used to help secure online banking, etc. Don't give this info out.
     
  • Names of your business contacts. Post this info only if you want to lose friends (real ones) and alienate people (the very people who can help you in business matters).

    On LinkedIn, you can show which people are most important to you. Talk about making yourself vulnerable to a malicious attack! For this reason, LinkedIn does allow you to add security measures such as blocks and permissions. But why put yourself in a situation where you need those? The answer depends on whether you have a real need. For some people, the answer is to use LinkedIn religiously. For others, it's just a security-risky time-waster.
     
  • Any information whatsoever as to the identity of your lawyer, accountant, doctor, dentist, etc. These particular business contacts can be "breached" to reveal sensitive information about you.
     
  • Updates on your purchases. Nice of you to save a burglar the effort of casing the joint. Also, it's not just burglars you must fear. Rogue employees of the IRS love this kind of info, and they use it far more effectively than any amateur burglar.
     
  • Questions or comments about your personal or business travel. This just announces when you'll be gone. Don't expect your stuff to be there when you get back.
     
  • Names of pets or kids. You probably use this info in a computer password, don't you?

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

In our previous issue, I provided some insight on why 97-year old next door neighbor is still enjoying a healthy vigorous life.

Since that time, a customer nearly 30 years her junior phoned me. He's now using a walker and even that is becoming difficult. People tend to avoid what's difficult. When it comes to your physical strength and vitality, the law of "use it or lose it" means avoiding what's difficult makes you increasingly weaker.

My advice to this customer was to find a stairway and walk up and down it until he was exhausted, and to do this every other day. My 97-year old next door neighbor walks up and down multiple stairways every day, which is why she can still walk up and down stairways whenever she wants to. Or needs to.

Age 50.

 

Another change I advised him to make was to look at the FDA Food Pyramid and replace "grain" with "green." Grain in itself isn't necessarily bad. I eat raw oats often. So do race horses, so think about that for a bit.

What's up with grain? Here are a few of the problems:

  • Just plain too much. The typical American diet is grossly overloaded with grain and grain products. Not only does this result in a larger caloric intake, but it displaces other foods that you need to be eating instead.
     
  • Altered for sugar. Take standard corn, as an example. It's been bred for higher sugar content for over 5,000 years. We even call it sweet corn. There's so much sugar content in a few helpings of this corn that your body lacks the ability to control the sugar. This results in what endocrinologists call endocrine modification. You get cell oxidation, bone calcium loss, fat storage, and other effects that just are not good.
     
  • Altered by processing. Now, your Uncle Fred regularly ate buttered corn on the cob and was spritely until keeling over in an IRS audit at the age of 83. So how can corn be bad? First of all, that butter is a fat and it blunted the insulin response. The amount of butter you can actually get onto an ear of corn isn't enough to cause saturated fat problems. Eat a dozen ears that way a day and of course you're overloading.

    The problem with grains like corn and wheat is their highly processed forms show up in many foods. The processing tends to produce an endocrine bomb. Eat that stuff, and you will cause massive damage in your body. You may not feel it happen, but it happens. Every time.
     
  • Encourages muscle loss and fat accumulation. People on a high-grain diet (defined as one with too much grain consumption or any consumption of highly-processed grains) change their hormonal environment to one that is catabolic. The body digests its own muscle tissue and stores every spare calorie as fat.

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.

7. Factoid

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. And in a Jiffy, the US CONgress can transfer trillions of dollars from the middle class to the corporations that control members of CONgress.

8. Thought for the Day

Praise about something specific is far more effective than vague, general praise.

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.

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