Mindconnection eNL, 2004-07-04
1. Product Highlights
2. Brainpower tip
Here it is, the 4th of July. For our international subscribers, I'll tell you quickly this is a celebration of the birth of our nation, the United States.
While I am grateful for this nation and all it offers, I find the holiday celebration to be a bit over the top. So, I will comment on it here in my own party-pooping style (just allow for that, and you will pick up some good tips).
We celebrate the 4th by keeping working people up way, way, way past their bedtimes, so they drag their butts from sleep deprivation for the next three weeks. In POW camps, the guards do this by waking the prisoners with a variety of methods including the setting off of explosives. In the USA, the welfare workers and kids who are out of school do this by waking the working folks with a variety of methods including the setting off of explosives. This goes on for several days before and after the holiday, with the peak period being on the 4th.
Accident rates are higher, productivity is lower, and so on. I personally don't see the point in this annual abuse of the working class, but hey, what do I know? And I still don't understand the attraction of blown-off fingers, blasted ear drums, and permanent blindness. Call me a killjoy, but I guess I'm just not into those things.
How can you deal with this sleep deprivation, other than leaving the country for a few days? Here are some suggestions:
|The single largest
expense you face is taxation. This expense is more than what you pay for
food, clothing, and shelter combined. The most recognized component of
this tax is the Federal Income Tax. But, the fed actually has several
forms of income tax and some of these are levied by bureaucratic fiat
rather than by law.
Politicians keep spending our money to get re-elected, then raising our taxes to pay for it. This is really an interesting business model. I am amazed that people willingly put up with it. The result of this nonsense is a tax system that, in itself, is an enormous burden. But, we also have burdens of compliance and bookkeeping that are staggering. In addition, we have the fact that this tax system has enabled a vast criminal enterprise within the IRS. This is a group whose employees, a couple of years ago, stole 4300 computers from its offices. What does that tell you about their trustworthiness?
Well, here's your tip. Do what you can to end this complex system of excess taxation and the racketeering that it has enabled. In the USA, a group called Americans for Fair Taxation http://www.fairtax.org/ seems to have a very good approach. Keep in mind, these are not tax protestors. These are people who simply want a taxation system that works. What we have right now is too politicized, too expensive, and too absurd. Citizens of other countries should look for similar groups. If we can get our so-called governments to actually govern rather than rob us blind to fuel the job security program of "elected" officials, we will vastly improve our quality of life.
|If someone calls you
asking you to verify your credit card charges, this could be a
legitimate call from the security department of your credit card
provider. Then again, it could be a scam to obtain information from you.
That's information that can be used in an identity-theft based crime.
I recently spoke with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials about this issue. Here is the advice they gave:
What law enforcement officials were not allowed to say on record is that much of the credit card information comes from government agencies. They are trying to crack down on the abuse, but it's almost impossible. IRS employees are notorious for re-selling your private information. You are required by law to give this information, and there's nothing you can do about the illegal selling of it.
However, you can monitor your credit card charges (check with your credit card company about the ability to do this online, so you can check daily) and you can guard your credit cards. When making a purchase, never let your credit card out of your sight. Granted, in restaurants, this can be a problem--but that is also statistically where the largest number of credit card numbers are stolen (they get the number plus the verification code--plus they look your name up in the phone book to get your address and it's a slam dunk). Consider paying in cash.
|I was recently at a 4th of July
party where people were drinking sodas, eating cake, and consuming vast
quantities of sugar-contaminated food (for example, fruit that had been
sitting in syrup). I noticed that roughly 94% of these people sported a
Something else of interest, here. I hardly knew anyone at that party. I mingled quite a bit, and people would invite me to sit at their table with some greeting like, "Have a seat, young man." While listening to their conversations, it became apparent that they were pretty close to my own age. This is not unusual for me. Every now and then, someone would come around with cake and offer it to those at a table. I would invariably be the only person turning it down. It has been 38 years since I last ate cake, with one exception.
My point here is there is no such thing as "moderation" when it comes to poisoning your body. If you drink sodas (osteoporosis in a can) or eat any of the long list of highly-processed junk that passes as food, you will pay for it. I don't look young enough to be my own child because of genetics. I look that way because I totally abstain from these poisons. I am missing nothing. There is plenty of good-tasting food on God's green earth and we don't need to eat the garbage to have a delightful culinary experience.
Now, let me clarify something here. I did not come up with this idea--I'm just not that talented. But, many years ago I listened to some people who were following this way of being. Ask yourself why Jack LaLanne looked half his age when he was 60. It's because he spent a lifetime abstaining from toxin ingestion while also engaging in healthy behaviors.
You can do the same thing. I have no idea if you can reverse damage already done, if you are along in life X number of years. But, I do know you can stop accruing more damage.
People invariably say such things as, "I want to enjoy life" as an excuse to poison themselves with junk food. I have to wonder what part of physical illness, incapacity, bad breath, premature aging, debilitating illness, financial ruin, surgery, and dependency they find enjoyable. Call me crazy, but I just don't see the appeal.
|Here's an item contributed by Don
I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up.
Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves. Pass it on. So I decided to check it out before I sent it forward.
Checked Snopes.com and copied the status: Claim: Sears pays the difference in salaries and maintains benefits for their called-up reservist employees. Status: True. http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/sears.asp.
Then I sent the following email to the Sears Customer Service Department:
I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store.
Here is their answer to my email:
Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of the greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.
Bill Thorn Sears Customer Care email@example.com 1-800-349-4358
Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military. THIS IS AMAZING AND A TRUE SIGN OF SOMETHING GOOD IN TODAY'S WORLD OF BUSINESS! BRAVO TO SEARS.
If any of you readers know of other businesses that help our service people, please let me know. I want to thank the service people of New Zealand and the U.K. for being our staunch allies, also.
By the way, Mindconnection also supports our Americans in uniform. A few weeks ago, I was at one of our city's finest restaurants with a friend/business partner from New Zealand. While there, I had the privilege of getting the waiter to give me the check for a sailor in uniform and his well-dressed dinner companion. From his insignia, it was obvious he was a Seaman. This means he was home on his first leave and getting ready to be deployed. After I got their bill (yikes!), it was obvious this was his fiancée and he was really trying to treat her.
To my embarrassment, the sailor left his table to ask if we were the ones who paid for his dinner. When he said, "Thank you," I told him, "I was only trying to thank you for what you are doing. It's not thanks enough." And, it really isn't. I told her she should be proud of her man in uniform, and she said she couldn't be more proud. In my family, sailors will always hold a special place in our hearts. My Uncle Craig died in a uniform like that, and, well....
I encourage everyone to take advantage of any opportunity to help our men and women in uniform. There are many small things you can do, such as trading places in line with them, picking up their tab, or simply thanking them for wearing that uniform.
What do you think of when you start your day? Many of us just get up and deal with what the day throws at us. But, I suggest to you that you may find more fulfillment by starting each day with at least one or two goals that you really look forward to. Let these energize and motivate you.
Wishing you the best,
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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