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Mindconnection eNL, 2005-01-23

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In this issue:

  1. Product Highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
  4. Finance tip
  1. Security tips
  2. Health tip/Fitness tip
  3. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

Reduce your waistline
There's an old saying that goes like this. "You can't get there unless you know where you started from."

Apparently, quite a few people have recently taken heed. Our hottest selling item right now is the Gold FatTrack II Digital Body Fat Caliper. I personally own an older version of this, and it's accurate. Click on the image at right for more information.




2. Brainpower tip

Replace rage with a deliberate "other thought." You could easily make a list of the annoyances that can drive you up the wall every day. For example:
  • You realize you forgot to turn the dishwasher on last night, and there's no flatware for your breakfast.
  • You snag your coat getting into your car.
  • You are stuck behind a slow-poke who won't get out of the way. Fifteen miles under the speed limit for the next four miles....
  • You have a wannabe racer sitting 5 inches off your rear bumper.
  • You get to work only to find your passkey card doesn't work. You have to wait in the cold for someone else to let you in.
  • Someone threw a banana peel in your wastebasket last night, and now your cubicle stinks.
  • Your computer takes forever to boot up, then you realize you have to call tech support to fix it. And you have a deadline to meet.
  • Two hours later, your computer is running again. But your mouse sticks so you are frustrated as you try to click on things.
  • Your socks fail to stay up after lunch, but they were fine when you put them on in the morning.
  • That pest from another department is over in your department apparently trying to set a new record for most gas emitted by a single human being.

And on and on it goes. Each of these annoyances just grinds away at your ability to concentrate--unless you quickly disperse the negative feelings. We all have a tendency to "reach the boiling point" and just be so mad we can hardly see straight. That's OK. But don't stay mad. Don't fuel the fire by yelling or going into a snit. Instead, acknowledge that you have a right to be mad. Then move on.

Sometimes, it helps to think of pleasant thoughts. For example, recent accomplishments, that great supper you had, a world without the IRS.

Anger isn't the only path to being "brain dead." Other emotions can also interfere with our ability to think. Most divorced people will tell you love is one such emotion. So, should you shut out emotions? Not at all. What you need to do is be in the moment. Have that emotion, but don't mix it with the thinking process. Sometimes, this means delaying something that requires thought.

For example, you have a fight with your spouse. This kind of thing happens, and it's not necessarily bad (unless you don't fight fairly). But while you are upset, don't hop in your car and get out into traffic unless you absolutely must.

What if you are in the car and you start arguing? First of all, that was just a bad place to start arguing. What you can do, rather than get in an accident, is say, "You know what? You made a good point. I don't agree with it, but maybe I should pull off at an exit and we can walk for a bit and talk about it."

Of course, it's easy to advise these kinds of things. It's very hard to put them into practice. But the reason it's hard to put them into practice is we're all so used to allowing our emotions to try occupying the same space as our thinking. And that prevents you from being successful with either your emotions or your thinking. Let each have its place.

3. Time Tip

The weather is a common conversational topic. Why do people act surprised when there's snow or freezing temperatures in the winter? Why do people assume you want to know what their local weather is, or if they are local that you don't know what your own weather is and are just dying to find out from the first person who calls you?

Is this a minor point? If you take two minutes of weather reporting times the number of phone calls you engage in each year, how many hours do you waste talking about the weather? Unless you are very young, any weather you are experiencing today is weather you have experienced before (with rare exceptions).

Have you ever read an obituary that said, "He always accurately reported the weather whenever he called?" Don't you want your obituary to say something more substantial?

Weather reporting as a phone topic is one of those annoyances (see Item #1 above) that can drive a sane person bonkers. I am now using humor and an immediate change of subject to try to get people to stop annoying me with this waste of time.

Caller: "Well it sure is cold here."

Me: "Yep. It gets that way every winter. <chuckle> So, what else is new at your end?"


4. Finance tip

This tip is for our American readers, who make up the bulk of this audience.

In the USA, we have a tax code that has proven to be an abject failure, despite nearly a century of tinkering with it. Our total tax bite is punitive and extremely high compared to the tax bites taken from the hides of folks in civilized countries.*

Your largest single expense is taxation. Don't think of it just as the federal income tax (which comes in four flavors, two of which can completely devastate you). You pay 128 taxes on a single loaf of bread (source: National Taxpayer's Union). The SS Tax, which is levied to support a mandatory Ponzi scheme, takes over 15% of your wages. And then there are dozens of other taxes that all add up to an astonishing level of confiscation.

How can you reduce your tax bill? Get active. Tell your local government that they don't need more money for schools. They need, instead, to spend their income wisely--just as you must do. Don't approve any new spending or any new taxes. Go to city council meetings, and make it known you do not have infinitely deep pockets. Complain about waste at every opportunity.

If enough people do this, the local politicians who become state politicians who become federal politicians will have a message from early in their careers that we can't afford to pay for bloated bureaucracies and we are tired of being milked like so many dairy cows while our retirement funds get whittled away.

Pundits like to complain that Americans don't save. Our present savings rate is less than 1%, according to the latest figures. But what is our tax rate? To claim it's 80% would be reasonable. It's hard to determine exactly what it is, because the various schemes used to part us from our money are well-obfuscated. The Europeans have straightforward taxing--they know what their taxes are. If our taxes were not absurdly high, our politicians would also be unafraid to tell us what those taxes are. But our system rewards them for vote-buying behavior and they raise your taxes (reduce your wages and savings) to pay for their getting in office. Not a very good deal for you, is it?


(* No nation that sponsors a group like the IRS can be honestly classified as civilized. The IRS operates on a completely different legal system from the criminal and civil justice system. And the IRS system completely suspends any rights you may have as a human being.)

5. Security tip

How safe is your money in the bank? It's actually pretty safe, unless an identity thief or someone in the IRS decides to take it. In the second case, this person can create a bogus tax debt for you, send the bank an intimidating letter, and sweep your funds clean. All without due process or legal justification. It just happens.

There are some things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Send the bank a letter stating they cannot allow anyone to take your funds, including the IRS. Remind them that Bank of America was successfully sued over such an action and the suit was upheld in Appeals (you can find this case online).
  • Keep some cash on hand. I don't mean a lot of cash, but some. Enough for gas and groceries, in case you get a nasty surprise from the IRS, identity thieves, or some other crooks.
  • Spread your money over multiple banks, if you can. For example, keep a $500 emergency acct at a bank that doesn't charge a maintenance fee. If they charge transaction fees, that's OK. You just want money in case something happens to your main account.
  • Maintain your relationships with friends, neighbors, and relatives. If disaster strikes, you may be able to turn to these people for temporary assistance.
  • Keep your credit record clean, and pay off debts. This way, you aren't saddled with--for example--credit card debt when your funds are suddenly cut off.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in people over 50. The risk goes up by a factor of four for smokers. If you value your eyes (and every other organ that has a blood supply going to it--which is every organ), don't smoke.

Now, keep in mind that you cannot define "smoking" by who is sucking on the butt of a given cigarette. You are smoking any time you are breathing smoke, no matter if you are also sucking on the butt. A cigarette has no way of knowing who is sucking its butt and who is not. Smoke does not magically become harmful in one direction and harmless in another. And those filters on cigarettes do not protect you. So, don't smoke--that means don't place your face in air where people are burning cigarettes. Remember, you do not have to wrap your lips around the exhaust pipe of a bus to gag from the fumes. Ditto for cigarettes.

Smoking damages your eyes in other ways, too. Cataracts are a common result. This is where the lens of the eye starts clouding over, and it keeps going until eventually you are blind. Smoking is brutal to the thyroid, and this causes thyroid eye disease. What happens here is an overactive thyroid causes enlargement of the muscles that move your eyes. If you think this feels good, then jam your fingers into your eye sockets while reading the entire text of War and Peace.

Ah, we're not done yet! Smoking also fills your bloodstream with free radicals. So, your chances of eye cancer go up. Additionally, the smoke from cigarettes is abrasive, and that can lead to eye infections. If you would like to try out a smoke-induced eye infection but aren't able to get enough smoke, try wiping your eyes with 40-grit sandpaper or steel wool to speed up the process. You'll get the same result as being in smoke-laden air, but in less time.

If you can't imagine life without going to smokey bars or other places where cigarette smoke is in the air, then imagine life without eyesight. Buy a blindfold and wear it for 90 days. If you still think your eyesight isn't a precious gift worth protecting, then at least you have some experience to back up that opinion. If you have children or pets, though, it is your duty to protect them from the ravages of this insane practice of burning various chemicals known to cause severe damage to the body.

 7. Thought for the Day

Delusion is a common escape from responsibility and a path toward tragedy. Think of all the delusions that surround you. They aren't easy to identify, but you can start by looking at the "it won't happen to me" delusion. You'll see this in effect when people mow their lawns without wearing safety glasses, or when they engage in other risky behavior. How many other "it won't happen to me" delusions can you spot in the next three days? Make a list. You'll be amazed.


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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