- Product highlight
- Brainpower tip
- Time tip
- Finance tip
- Security tip
- Health tip/Fitness tip
- Thought for the day
1. Product Highlights
Summer Tradition: Losing Winter Fat|
Summer officially begins in just a couple of weeks. During
winter, most of us didn't think about exposed summer midriffs or legs. Now with
summer upon us, the idea of "losing weight" is a frequent thought. What you want
to do is lose fat.|
Our sister site,
http://www.supplecity.com, has several
articles on how to do this the right way. But the right way takes time. What if
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simply expensive replacements for coffee.
What if I told you that:
is a supplement that you can take at night, it really does boost your fatburning
significantly, and it even helps you sleep better, and
B. There is another supplement that you can take during
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C. That Mindconnection offers a package deal on these to
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Yep, you guessed it: the thumbnails for these are pictured
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sell. If it's not good, we don't sell it.
2. Brainpower tip
I recently learned of a city council that passed an absurd
ordinance banning "mixed marriages." Obviously, they can't mean
"inter-racial," because that's unconstitutional and race is an
inconsequential characteristic that says nothing about a person. Right? So,
they must mean they are banning marriages between people of different sexes.
That's the only logical conclusion a person can reach.|
Both propositions are absurd--the actual one (they really do
mean race--perhaps there was a time machine malfunction in their area?) and the one based on extending the "logic." This kind of
absurdity, while offensive, also exists in many forms that are less
offensive. It arises from delusional "thinking." I don't mean that
pejoratively--I mean that descriptively.
Many years ago when I was learning computer
programming (which I never really gained a fondness for), we abided by the
maxim "garbage in, garbage out." But I had already learned that in Second
Grade Health Class. The maxim there was "you are what you eat," but these
maxims say the same thing.
No matter how powerful a person's brain is, that brain
is fairly useless for anything beyond simple survival if it's
predispositioned to delusion.
If you doubt this, just take a close look at the track
record of any government agency. These agencies are dominated by people who
live in an alternate universe--where such things as cost and efficiency are
foreign concepts. Thus, they live for the purpose of creating process rather
than getting results. This is not the view of the ignorant, and it's not a
layman's conspiracy theory. US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
gives a startling example in her book
Lazy B. You can look at any government agency and see that hiring 10
people to do the job of 1 is normal.
In some agencies, they forget that government is the
servant and they "labor" under the delusion that the citizen is the servant.
This second delusion is why one particular agency--which plunders families
and businesses with no regard to their status as human beings--is so
universally hated. This particular agency is 100% unnecessary and does not
perform even one useful function, yet has more people on its payroll than
the combined US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines combined.
For your brain to have real power, you must
continually safeguard it from delusion. In our culture of brainwashing,
grandstanding, excuse-making, hyper-marketing, and instant
gratification--that is no easy task.
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Prevent contamination. This is actually quite
easy. The primary sources of brain contamination are television and
newspapers. Simply avoiding these will go a long way to preventing brain
dysfunction. If you're especially disciplined, you could be selective
about television and take in only that which is valuable. Regarding
newspapers, I don't believe this is possible because of who owns these
sources of disinformation.
- Look at all sides. A common exhortation in
analysis is to look at both sides of an issue. But in reality, most
important issues are multi-faceted (that is, they have many sides). On
just about any issue, you will find two emotional camps diametrically
opposed. But a clear analysis reveals common ground between both sides.
By avoiding the sound-bite mentality that boils an issue down to two
non-representative points of view, you can approach it intelligently.
- Balance the equation. I have two undergraduate
technical degrees and an MBA. So, I am pre-disposed to looking at things
mathematically. This, however, isn't a bad thing--it's called rational
thinking. What you do is weigh things and see how they add up. If things
don't add up, you have missed something.
- Eliminate the stupid. Now, this point is counter
to the "look at all sides" point. At least, that is true on the surface.
Some arguments are not worth considering. They simply have no merit. If
you do consider them, you inherently unbalance the equation. I'll
illustrate that with two examples--two issues on which people get all
emotional and rarely apply actual thinking. I picked these two "hot
button" issues for a reason--read carefully, and you'll understand that
Example 1: In the so-called "gun debate," it's very simple--there is no
debate. In an Illinois town, a father went to prison for <gasp> killing
a man who had broken into his home and was in the process of attacking
this man's young daughter. The "debate" here is over the rights of
violent criminals to kill small children in front of their fathers.
Would you call that an intelligent debate?
Example 2: In the so-called "debate" about "banning abortion" there is
no debate. All we have to do is ask what the logical consequences are.
An abortion ban will not stop abortions--it simply mandates that they
must be done by coat hanger unless you're rich enough to have the
operation done in France. Now, I realize this is an emotional hot button
for many people. Read what I wrote here very carefully. I did not come
out for or against abortion. What I came out against was the only
possible outcome of laws against abortion. It's stupid to require girls
to conduct coat-hanger abortions. So, there is no "debate" here. If we
can get past the emotional rhetoric that prevents thinking, we can work
together to find solutions to problems on "both" so-called sides.
- Have reverence. This is where today's culture
falls woefully short. I don't know if it's because people watch too many
superhero movies and then assume they can do anything, or what. But the
level of irreverence today is staggering. And, it's costly in many ways.
Let's keep in mind that the sun is 330,033 times larger than the earth.
If we scaled both down such that the sun were the size of a basketball
you would not be able to even see the earth! And we humans are so small
that all 7 billion of us could fit inside Texas standing up. This should
fill you with a sense of awe for the universe around us. We are not
masters of the universe. We are at the mercy of powers far greater than
For an example of irreverence, read the book "Into
Thin Air." That book is about a horrendous disaster on Mount
Everest--one caused by human hubris. To understand reverence, read
Touching My Father's Soul: In the Footsteps of Tenzing Norgay by
Jamling Tenzing Norgay. Yes, both are Everest-oriented. But Jamling's
thoughts will impress you. He doesn't mention reverence per se--that's
3. Time Tip
Why will the subject of multi-tasking not die? This is
an example of the delusional thinking mentioned earlier. With today's
standard brain inputs being relatively short, multi-tasking can appear
Yes, it's true that our days are
more fragmented. We get interruptions from telephones, for example. But
it's not true that our processing abilities have suddenly switched from
serial to parallel. And therein lies the poison pill of the myth of
People confuse activity with results. So what if
you are sending a text message to one person while talking on the phone
to another person? What did your text message really say--anything
useful? How deep and beneficial is that conversation?
Then there's a hugely obvious example: The person
who is yakking on a cell phone while oblivious to the traffic around him
or her. Yes, you can talk and drive at the same time. But you cannot do
both activities well at the same time. Both will try to access certain
parts of the brain at the same time, and the brain will simply put one
request in queue. This is why, for example, you can drive down the
interstate during low traffic hours and not have any problem on the
phone; but why trying to chat while driving in intense traffic always
results in one-finger salutes and blaring horns (and sometimes in
If you are multitasking, you have given short
shrift to the reverence principle. You are assuming you can violate the
rules that result from the construction of your own body. This is a
recipe for failure.
A more productive approach is to evaluate which
things need to be done first. Do those first, and do those well.
Does multitasking ever work under any
circumstances? Yes. And that is part of the problem. People extrapolate
from one success the idea that the same technique will always succeed.
When you have two activities that don't compete for the same areas of
the brain, multitasking works. This is why you can file papers away or
dust your bookshelves while talking on the phone. But filing papers and
dusting are far simpler tasks than driving a car.
4. Finance tip
The tax code does provide some ways to get tax-free
income, without the risk of tax shelters or the complexity of "creative"
investments. If you live in a country that is so barbaric it has an
income tax (e.g., the USA), these tips apply to you. Based on the
current insanity that is our 13,000 page federal income tax code....|
You do not need a tax shelter to reduce your taxes, Part Eight.
We have pretty much exhausted the legitimate means by
which you can reduce your taxes without a tax shelter. But, there's one
more item: adoption expenses. You may be able to negotiate with your
employer to assist you with these. In the 2005 Tax Code, that assistance
could be as high as $10,630.
As our absurd federal income tax code continues its
cancerous growth as part of the electoral spoils system, more tax
exemptions will pop up from time to time. These are often so poorly
described and poorly administered that using them can cost you every
penny of your assets plus nearly all of your future income for the next
It doesn't matter what the statute actually says or
how logical your interpretation of it is. If the AT decides it means
something else, then that is what it means. Don't expect to go to Tax
Court and be treated with at least the same protections afforded a mass
murderer--you won't get them.
It doesn't matter that you relied on a tax
professional. If you sign the tax return, you are the target. This is
true, even if you were not at fault or were even defrauded. If you don't
believe this, then ask the thousands of retired people who are losing
their homes because they bought municipal bonds a quarter century ago
and now the proceeds from those bonds are not tax-free.
Don't be tempted by any tax sheltering scheme. Even
if the AT sends you a letter saying that investment is fine, note that
the AT renegs on such written promises routinely. So, how do you know
what's going to be OK and what's not? The answer is you don't know. Any
time you attempt to reduce your taxes through anything that even appears
to shelter them, you take a risk. Even if the shelter is legitimate, but
those operating it may be running a scam.
As with all financial transactions, don't do things for the tax
motivation. Do them for the business motivation, and then avail yourself
of the tax breaks. That is your first line of defense in staying out of
Remember, the AT can void the statute of limitations on the
flimsiest of grounds, and assess you whatever interest and penalties
they feel will most painfully destroy you. Following statute or
Congressional intent is not in their game plan. In their sick, twisted minds,
they get a thrill out of inflicting massive damage on other people. Don't give them an excuse to do it to you.
Once the "Borg" locks onto you, getting rid of them is almost
This ends our series on trying to reduce the sting
of the federal income tax. Please keep in mind that there are actually 5
types of federal taxation of individual income. One of them, the
antiSocial inSecurity tax, is 15% of your wages (unless you are a member
of CONgress, which has a far better plan for the privileged few). This,
for something like 85% of Americans, takes a larger bite than the
official federal individual income tax. Remember, the brackets of
percentages don't apply to all income--they apply only to income above
the level where the bracket begins.
So, playing games with the federal individual
income tax is a high-risk game with probably minimal payoff. You could
very easily go from a maximum rate of 15% to a minimum rate of 1500%.
This happens to millions of Americans each year, and there is nothing
they can do about it.
* American Taliban.
5. Security tip
Here's a great article on ID theft:|
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
In our previous issue, we discussed various oils
(e.g., walnut oil, peanut oil, etc.). It should be clear from that
discussion that not all fats are the same. We discussed the good fats,
first. Now let's look at the bad fats.|
discussion of bad fats would have to include the subject of saturated
fats. You get these from such animal sources as butter, lard and fatty
meats. You also get them from such plant sources as coconut oil,
cottonseed oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil. But let's not get too
excited about calling these "bad."
It's better to think of them as fats to limit
rather than fats to avoid. Your body can handle small amounts of these
fats. If you look at the shape of human teeth, it quickly becomes
obvious we are intended to eat meat. And meat contains saturated fat.
Compare the length of our digestive tracts with those of more
carnivorous animals, such as cats, and you can see we are intended to
eat relatively small quantities of meat.
But the fat phobia that began in the 1960s
resulted in wholesale promotion and adoption of another class of fat.
It's one we aren't designed to eat. Those are the trans fats. You'll
find these in margarine, shortening, and most baked goods. If an oil is
hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, it's a trans fat.
For the producers of "fast food" and packaged
"food," trans fats are a bonanza. It's easier to bake with such fats,
and they give the food a longer shelf life. Smart marketers began
warning of the dangers of saturated fat, and holding up trans fats as
the healthy alternative. So, many consumers got conned into giving up
tolerable, harmless levels of saturated fat and replacing that with
But trans fats do so much damage that health
researchers are still trying to catalog it all. We do know that trans
fats play havoc with your cholesterol profile, cause arterial damage,
increase the risk of various cancers (bowel, rectal, colon, and prostate
among them), and are linked to adult onset diabetes. Meanwhile, they
have zero health benefits.
If you have trans fats in your diet, stop eating
them. If you have bread in your home, do me a favor right now:
- Read the label and look for hydrogenated oil.
- If you see that on the label, toss the bread
in the trash (it's animal cruelty to feed it to birds), and shoot me
an e-mail telling me you did this.
- If you still want bread, buy only bread that
does not have hydrogenated oil in it.
- Do not eat bread served at restaurants. It
has hydrogenated oil, and is therefore toxic.
A coat hanger is 44 inches long when
straightened. That's more than a meter. If you remember the 1978 movie
"Halloween," starring Jamie Lee Curtis, she used a coat hanger as a
self-defense weapon. It has another use, mentioned above. Let's try to
avoid that other use.
It has some great offers that are worth following
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8. Thought for the Day
Nobody ever solved a problem just by complaining about it.
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