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Mindconnection eNL, 2007-02-04

Past issues

In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

Solve problems permanently
Our course on problem solving makes problems easy to solve, so that they don't come back.

Discover key elements you can to solve problems--once and for all. The knowledge you gain from this course will allow you to put problems to pasture, permanently! 

2. Brainpower tip

I've had the pleasure of interacting with various subscribers to this eNL, and have been impressed with just how truly smart people can be. It's a challenge to come up with brainpower tips for such an audience, without being superfluous.

I thought with this edition, I would look at the stupidity epidemic that is raging all around us. I'm not well-equipped to examine it with any degree of authority, but perhaps my thoughts on it will help you.

Speaking from the layman's point of view, I see two types of stupidity: momentary and chronic. We've all had bouts of momentary stupidity. We call them brain farts, senior moments, or transitory politician emulation. I think the normal cause is just plain old inattention. Information overload is probably a factor in this. A poor night's sleep will cause this, too.

If you suffer a bout of momentary stupidity, don't be embarrassed by it. Shrug it off. It'll pass.

A person who routinely lapses into thoughtless acts, sticks to self-defeating habits, neglects proper rest and nutrition, and doesn't exercise his mind makes himself chronically stupid. And the world seems to be overrun by such people. This does not have to happen to you.

Here are some tips:

  • Don't be judgmental. When you are interacting with someone who comes across as stupid, don't assume the other person has a case of characteristic stupidity rather than just momentary. This can lead to the "self-fulfilling prophecy" effect. I have found that if I make a judgmental remark that makes another person feel stupid, suddenly our collective IQ takes a nosedive. So, through my own carelessness and thoughtlessness, I have created stupidity and exposed myself to it. But what happens if you take the opposite approach? Cut the other person some slack. Show respect and confidence in the other person, and you may unleash some hitherto untapped brilliance.
  • Avoid contagion. Remember peer pressure in school? It's also very much alive in places where grownups tread. You can inoculate yourself by simply choosing ahead of time not to join other people in their stupidity. I'm sure you can think of examples. Let them do it and wish them well, just don't join in.
  • Lower your organic stupidity risk. The human brain is a product of its environment. It's an organ that functions best when it's healthy. If you strive to have a lean, healthy body, those very efforts will promote the optimal environment for keeping your brain organically healthy.
  • Lower your chemical stupidity risk. Fill your body with toxins, and those toxins cross the blood/brain barrier to lower your IQ. It really is that simple. In our fast food nation, stupidity is inevitable.
  • Fertilize your intellectual roots. Spend more time with interesting people who challenge you and make you think. Avoid the brainwashing that comes with television and the alleged news media. Read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, to stimulate different parts of your brain and add to your mental storehouse information you can use.

The cure for the stupidity epidemic is the same as for the fuel crisis, the obesity epidemic, and just about everything else that ails us: personal discipline.

  • Fuel crisis. Drive a smarter vehicle, and drive less.
  • Obesity epidemic. Eat less.

Isn't that simple? The best solutions to life's problems usually are. To stay smart, you just need to be a little disciplined about it so your "marbles" don't become all chipped and pitted.

3. Time Tip

4. Finance tip

Quite a few "experts" have come out of the woodwork lately, with tips on how to "live cheaply." Notice, I did not say "how to live well on a budget." There's a difference.

When it comes to clothing, for example, cheap fabrics are costly. The "poster child" of cheap fabrics is probably polyester. Polyester duds can seem like quite a bargain because of the lower price tag that usually accompanies them. But, they have real drawbacks. Here are some:

  • Pilling. Wash a polyester shirt a couple of times, and you start noticing little knobs of fabric. This means the polyester is coming apart. Based on this one problem alone, a $15 polyester shirt that you can wear twice is far more expensive than a $50 cotton shirt that you can wear 100 times. Do the math.
  • Melting. Polyester is banned in electrical work, and it should be banned in your home. Why? Because in the event of high heat (as in a fire or blast), polyester doesn't just melt. It melts down into your skin. This greatly intensifies the burn, scarring, and pain. Don't think this applies? You may be right, if your home doesn't have a stove, candles, or a coffee pot.
  • Sheen. One reason polyester is considered the fabric of people with no taste is it often looks like badly ironed cotton. People who wear it think it looks like silk. It doesn't.
  • Stench. People who wear polyester stink. I don't need to look at you to know you've been wearing it for a few hours. I can smell you coming. It doesn't breathe
  • Comfort. Polyester doesn't breathe. It doesn't wick away perspiration. It makes your skin clammy. It feels hot, when the cotton equivalent feels comfortable.

Some folks will say polyester saves them money because "It's wash and wear. You don't have to iron it." Cotton that's properly woven and cared for doesn't really need ironing, either. And you can wear it more than twice.

This is just one example of saving money by spending a little more to get something of quality. I'm not a clothing expert, but a person who is could no doubt expand this short article to hundreds of pages.

When it comes to such items as clothes, shoes, bedding, and furniture, nobody has ever saved money by going cheap. That's not to say you shouldn't shop for a bargain. But don't think you're saving money by purchasing junk instead of quality.

5. Security tip

The American Taliban, a hotbed of criminal activity itself, does provide some useful information for its pool of potential victims.

Under the guise of "eliminating" or reducing your taxes, scamsters peddle schemes that Americans often desperately grab it. The AT has a list of such scams. And, no, I'm not talking about those idle promises your CONgressman makes just to get you to vote the crook back in office.

Some common tax scams:

  • Constitutionality claim. Allegedly, you can sue the AT and get a court to protect you from any reprisals, if you simply know how to present your case. This whole farce presupposes that the Constitution, which the AT has long been free to disregard while its employees enrich themselves in direct violation of it, will actually apply in your special case. Not gonna happen. Hasn't happened yet.
  • Filing a petition to classify yourself as a "Free man." This allegedly takes you "out of the system" and excludes you from the SS scheme, the federal income tax, and the rectal cavity searches that the AT is famous for. Only illegal aliens escape these things, so don't waste your time. If you can get yourself reclassified as an illegal alien, then there's no need to file this petition.
  • "Form 843 Tax Abatement" claim. Allegedly, filing this magical form allows you to ask for and receive an abatement of tax. It's just as easy to write, "Please make my life a living hell" on a blank sheet of paper and mail that to the AT. The sadistic folks in the AT will be only too happy to oblige.
  • Zero wages ploy. The promoters sell you a "tax elimination" kit or course. Allegedly, you'll be in possession of information that will allow you to "zero out" your wages. They tell you to attach a Substitute Form W-2 or "Corrected" Form 1099 that shows zero wages. You're also supposed to include a statement that you're rebutting information on the W-2 or 1099 the AT has on file. This does nothing other than get you targeted for an audit--or worse.

None of these things--or any other things--will actually lower your taxes. All they do is give one more justification (to some people, anyhow) for the continued existence of the AT, as though the AT actually serves a purpose.

Do you understand what taxes actually are? For those who don't, here it is:

Taxes are the way we pay for the wasteful spending that senators and members of CONgress engage in so that they can get re-elected. Oh, and we also have to pay for the 1% or so of govt function that is actually needed. Taxes do not have to be levied to be collected. In fact, most taxes are not. Taxes take hundreds of forms, and most taxes are collected in forms that most Americans don't even recognize.

The only way to lower your taxes is to push vigorously for your senators and your misrepresentative in CONgress to reduce spending. That doesn't mean scale back on the amount of new spending. It means things like eliminating entire govt agencies, and going through the budget and saying no to things that don't need doing.

You cannot lower your taxes by latching on to hare-brained schemes that affect only the federal income tax. Most of your tax bit is chewed off by other means, anyhow.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

7. Miscellany

  1. The WD in WD-40 stands for Water Displacer. The CON in Congress stands for exactly what it spells.
  2. See: Special Offers (expired link now removed). It has some great offers that are worth following up on.

  3. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).

  4. Please forward this eNL to others.


8. Thought for the Day

It often isn't how smart you are that matters. It's how well you avoid doing something stupid.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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