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Mindconnection eNL, 2002-12-14

In this issue:

  1. Surviving the times
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day


1. Surviving the times

Many people think the current news of layoffs is just a passing fad that will resolve "when the economy recovers." Ah, Grasshopper, this is not so. Layoffs are part of today's reality, and you are unlikely to outlive the "fad." Let's look at why:

  • The banks in Japan have been in a continual state of crisis since 1990. They were actually in deep trouble long before then, due to practices that are just plain wrong.

  • The Japanese, like a recreational drug user, have been in denial. They won't go through detox.

  • The Japanese banking system has a huge effect on the world markets.

  • The Japanese are not alone. Bundesbank (Germany) is also having severe problems.

  • In the United States, we underwent 8 years of completely insane policy-making. During that time, Americans were hammered with two record tax hikes. Taxation (which is really a wage cut) removes capital from the economy. This is like removing gasoline from a car engine. You don't have to be very smart to figure out what happens.

  • Where I live, one employer has laid off 12,000 people in the past 12 months. Another large employer has cut its workforce in half in the past three years. These are not isolated events, but just markers on a road more and more people are traveling.

Some other things to consider:

  • The US Government started tracking layoffs in 1995. We have set a record each year since then. In mid-2002, we passed the 2001 record.

  • Companies have been responding to government regulations passed in the 1990s by moving operations, and their attendant employment opportunities, offshore.

  • The "criminal class"--CEOs and their cohorts--has raped, bled, and beaten companies into states of desperation.

Certain industries have been especially hard-hit by insane legislation, and these industries have a profound effect on the employment food chain. For example:

  • In 1957, the first attempted hijacking ended with no danger to the crew or passengers. Why? The armed pilot shot the sucker dead.

  • Some time after that lesson in why pilots should be armed, morons in the legislature (my apologies to Mark Twain for repeating myself) passed anti-human legislation mandating pilots be unarmed. Insane? Of course. Why else would they do it?

  • Unarmed pilots were unable to stop a few barely armed, physically unimposing, mildly retarded men (with underarm odor) in 2001.

  • As a result of the tragedies of September 11, 2001--all of which would have been prevented by four handguns in the hands of four pilots on four aircraft--the airlines are laying off massive numbers of people. Those people, in turn, aren't buying things. A domino effect occurs. Welcome to the economy, as dictated by people who are insane.

With insanity as the normal mental state in our legislature, how are you to cope? Well, there are some things you can do:

  • Network. This means identifying people who are "on the ball," identifying what you can do to engender good will with each of them, and doing it. Build relationships. Networking is not about handing out business cards or sending out resumes. It's about being of service to others. Here's a book on networking--I suggest you buy this one and then donate it to your library after you read it: Don't Send a Resume. The book is aimed at the job seeker, but its principles also apply to the job keeper.

  • Communicate. To know how to help others, you have to ask what they want. You have to listen. You have to replace chest-pounding with relating to others. Dale Carnegie's classic is still at the head of the pack: How to Win Friends and Influence People.

  • Market yourself. If you want to market yourself properly, start with What Color is Your Parachute? Marketing is not sales. It's how you package yourself and how you display your special competence and the return on investment you bring to whomever hires you or employs you. Tip: Time at the office isn't much of a marketing edge. Your wastebasket puts in 24 hours a day and doesn't make nearly as much as you do. Think about it. You don't buy a car based on whether the people who built it lost their marriages or had heart attacks from overworking. Why would you assume your employer makes decisions that way?

  • Learn. You have many resources for this. For example, Mindconnection has some kick-butt courses that provide "they never teach you that in school" kinds of things. The books recommended in the eNL will help you learn. There's the eNL itself--you are already on track with this concept! Don't forget seminars, conferences, association meetings, formal classes, and just asking folks who seem to have their act together.

  • Be ethical. One ethical lapse can torpedo the whole thing. Many folks turn to the Christian Bible for ethics training. Others turn to the religious documents of other faiths. For many folks, conforming to ethics is merely a matter of remembering the ass-whupping they got as a kid. In polite company, we typically don't use the A-word. However, I have heard more than one minister just come out and say it in a sermon about what some folks need to straighten out their lives, because we all know the drill and that kind of clarity drives the point home.

  • Exercise "plain vanilla." This means give people what they ask for, rather than go overboard and give them what they don't want. If someone wants a plain vanilla ice cream, that is what that person is hungry for. You are not "exceeding customer expectations" by loading that person up with a big concoction of other stuff. You are ignoring that person's expectations. You exceed expectations by meeting specifications with courtesy and efficiency. Going beyond specifications is simply a way to hang your insecurities out like a shingle while simultaneously irritating people.

If you follow up on everything in this short "Surviving the Times" article, you will do far better than just survive.


2. Brainpower tips

Go massively parallel. What does that mean? Focus on what you can do well, and use your network to fill in where you are weak. Think of how computer networks function. SETI is an example (for those who don't know, SETI--Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence-- is a network of millions of computers). After giving up on finding intelligent life on earth (ha, ha), researchers are able to combine millions of small computers in a way that grossly exceeds the capabilities of the most powerful computers ever built. Astronomers don't look at stars, these days. They listen to them. To do that requires immense computational power. SETI is able to provide this by tapping into its massive network. You can do the same.

Just make sure you watch for "viruses" in your cerebral network. That is, filter incoming information through the sieve of critical thought. This point is so critical, you should read at least one book on critical thinking each quarter.

You might want to arrange with a college or doctor to administer to you the Watson Glaser test of critical thinking. I got a perfect score on this, which means I have a blunt way of looking at things to see them exactly as they are. Thus, many folks who are brainwashed to the conventional stupidity find my views odd. I'm not always right, but I am never functioning in "non-reality" mode.

Consider my earlier reference to insanity in our legislature. That particular body has a gross lack of critical thinking, as was amply demonstrated on September 11. It took over a year just to approve prevention of a similar occurrence--which astounds me, considering the cost in human life and financial wealth. A critical thinker would not have allowed such a situation to begin with, but in any case would have rectified it before the day had passed.



3. Finance tips

Your largest single expenditure is taxes. You can improve your finances by becoming politically active in your local area. These days, nearly any property tax increase (which affects renters as well as owners) gets passed at the ballot box. Why is that? Because the people pushing that increase claim it's for education or roads or something else important to you. This is a bait and switch or shell game maneuver. The money for what you want is already there. It's just apportioned to the wrong things. Rather than increase the funding (and drive employers out of the area), force your local legislators to make choices. After all, aren't you forced to do this?

Here's an example of the tax-increase mentality at play in the household:

  • Joe is a 30-year old living off a generous allowance from his parents (half their income, which is actually less than the "allowance" you pay your government via taxes).

  • One of Joe's chores is to buy the family groceries from his allowance.

  • Joe buys dog food for his parents, claiming he doesn't have enough money for people food.

  • Joe gets a raise in his allowance to pay for people food.

  • Joe buys people food for a month, then switches back to dog food and hires a hooker.

  • Joe asks for more money.

This is exactly how your legislators handle your money. Get active in the process and stop letting them waste your money. Your largest single expenditure is taxes. 



4. Health tip

Stress is a leading cause of heart attacks. It's number three, behind smoking and poor diet. The leading cause of stress? Financial worries. The leading cause of financial worries? Taxation. See #3 above. You'll be healthier if you can lower your taxes.


5. Fitness tip

The typical American gains 10 pounds of body fat during the pagan festivities at year's end. Fat loss efforts over the next 10 months focus on getting rid of this. Fat added via other methods stays on. Thus, Americans get fatter each year. To free yourself of this, don't use the holidays as an excuse to eat the wrong foods.

Recently, a client told me such advise is absurd. "I'm going to enjoy life. I am not going to be a picky eater like you, over the holidays." This person showed a lack of the ability to use critical thinking. Here is why:

  • You enjoy life more when you are not stressing out for 10 months trying to lose the fat you acquired through two months of self-abusive dietary choices.

  • Good food is just as enjoyable as bad food, if not more so.

  • If you need bad food as a crutch for having a good time around people, your problem is not the food.

  • Most Americans want only two foods: sugar and damaged fat. Thus, most Americans are extremely picky eaters. A person with a healthy diet enjoys a far wider range of foods, while rejecting only two instead of thousands.

  • Being sick is not enjoyable, at least not to a sane person. You enjoy life when you have vigor, ample energy, and the ability to be free of medication. Why choose the exact opposite?


6. Thought for the Day

Looking at things as they really are can make you seem odd to others. The movie "The Matrix" was more social commentary than it was fiction. Think about the ways this is so. Think about what it means to actually have some freedom and control your life, rather than to just conform to the negative pressures around you. Each of us has the kernel of humanity inside us, but many folks don't let it sprout. You don't have to be a robotic consumer. You can be an active participant in your destiny. The process begins with critical thinking. If you're already there, and hundreds of readers of this eNL are (Hi, Sheri! Hi, Don! Hi, Rosemary! Hi, Howard!), then great. Keep up the good work and keep sending me those e-mails that help me pursue this myself--you are part of my network.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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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