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Mindconnection eNL, 2009-06-21


In this issue:
Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Product Highlight | Thought for the Day


1. Brainpower tip

Unclear speech creates an enormous drain on brainpower. It's become trendy these days to be inarticulate, inexact, and inconsiderate when speaking or writing. People blurt out clichés with no clue as to what those mean, and thus the wrong meaning, if any, is conveyed. Don't even get me started on how people misuse e-mail--it's a travesty.

Part of the problem is an aversion to studying grammar. This does create a few problems,  but not ones that are typically very bad. English has inconsistent rules of grammar, so minor grammar gaffes are routinely accepted as normal and we've built a sort of shadow language to get around those anyhow. A general competence in grammar is usually good enough, though more competence is better in many ways.

Where things get dicey is when people fail to think of the structure and logic of what they're saying. They further complicate things by refusing to be exact. This puts you firmly in the role of mind-reader.

What's your reaction? Do you take your best guess? Or do you refuse to be confused?

Many communication experts say to repeat it back in your own words. But that doesn't necessarily work. The other person is just as likely to say "Yeah, that's it" than to correct your misperception.

The solution is to ask specific questions that require specific answers. Don't ask "yes/no" questions, as there's a 50% chance the answer will be incorrect each time.

Suppose you have a pal named Joe. Let's use an example of how this pal might ask a question.

Joe: "I've been hearing about this new exercise routine. You do a bunch of heavy weight and then stretch. Do you think it will work?"

Now, that is just plain inarticulate. He's given you almost no information. If you guess and answer it, your answer is liable to make you look stupid because there's no context now but there will be later. The lack of context means there is no chance you can give a correct answer.

If you sit there and think about it, you're wasting mental energy that you could put to a productive use doing something else. To figure out WTF he's talking about, start off with a statement:

"That's interesting, Joe, but there are many exercise routines and I don't know which one you mean." Then, you need to ask questions to draw the information out of Joe so you can give an accurate answer. This will be an iterative process, in which you ask a question and Joe answers it. If you ask multiple questions without giving Joe time to answer in between, that's attacking rather than conversing. Ditto if your tone is anything but friendly. You're not trying to grill Joe, but to understand him.

Here are some questions you might ask:

  • Does this exercise have a name? (If he says yes, then "What is it?"--though he should just tell you the name as his answer.)
  • What do you mean by heavy weight? In relation to your body weight? How do you hold the weight?
  • Do you stretch with the weight, or do you stretch after using the weight?
  • Where did you hear about this exercise? Where have you seen someone do it, if you've seen it?
  • Which muscle group(s) does it work?
  • Is there a particular training issue you're trying to address by perhaps introducing a different exercise?
  • What are you doing now that is at least somewhat like it?

If you answer inarticulate people in this manner, several benefits accrue. These include:

  • You show another person you are actually interested in what s/he has to say. That's a compliment.
  • The other person rises to a higher standard.
  • You respectfully protect your intellectual boundaries, by changing a non-conversation into a conversation.
  • You practice focusing.
  • The other person feels respected, and in turn feels more respect for you.
  • The other person gets an object lesson in communication, and has motivation (your respect) to learn from that lesson.

Here's an example of how Joe could have asked the question.

"At the gym, I keep running into a guy who does brutal workouts but doesn't take very long. He says with my front squats, I should add 25% more weight, do shorter sets, and stretch between sets. This isn't the way I was taught, but this guy looks and sounds like he knows what he's doing. Do you have any information on working out this way?"

Compare that to the first way he asked. Joe is now asking an exact question, based on specific details you don't have to beat out of him. This is also how you should ask questions, if you want good answers.

2. Finance tip

Change is inevitable, except from the federal government. No matter which end of the Demopublican turd is presumably in charge, it's business as usual: spending your money (that's a euphemism for handing your money over to the corporations that employ some 15,000 federal lobbyists--and, yes, that is the actual number).
  • Under Clinton, we got hit with $5 trillion in debt over eight years.
  • Bush added another $6 trillion over eight years.
  • In less than 6 months under Spendbama, we're in hock now to the tune of about $13 trillion (that's 13 million million dollars) in current debt and more than $100 trillion in unfunded future obligations.

If you want to figure out what your share of the Clinton/Bush/Spendbama debt is, there are about 75.6 million wage earners in the USA to support this debt. Do a little division, and you have the answer. If it doesn't leave you gasping, you made a math error.

The CBO predicts deficit spending of more than $1 trillion a year, which means the federal bandits aren't even making the minimum payment on that particular credit card. Buying without intent to pay is called "fraud." This systemic fraud has been ongoing for decades, and it is now burying us.

Remember who brought you this fraud and the resultant debt. If you vote Demopublican, you will only get more of the same.

If you want change, vote Libertarian. The LP is America's second major political party.

It's worth noting that, on a city and county level, more seats go to Libertarians with each election. That's because the wealth transfer schemes that the Demopublicans live for are not part of the LP mission. So local taxpayers are getting property tax reductions and better services, courtesy of their LP-dominated county boards and city councils.

Am I making a political pitch here? No. It's an economic one. I don't have the funds to pay my share of the $13 trillion current debt or the $80 trillion in unfunded obligations that the Demopublicans have saddled me with. Unless you are extremely wealthy, neither do you.

3. Security tip

When I was growing up, there were two phrases that struck terror into people. One was 'the atom bomb." The other was, well can you guess? It still terrifies people today.

How about "the IRS?"

I looked up "terrorist" in the dictionary, and it describes IRS precisely (a key word there being "intimidate"). Also, I think the normal reaction upon receiving a notice from the IRS is one of being terrified. Our culture is saturated with references to this terror, so it's not just my impression. It's basically what everyone thinks. And with good reason.

So, we need to be more clear in our language when discussing this terrorist group with our so-called representatives in Congress who have yet to abolish it.

Those who are blithely unaware of the trail of dead bodies the IRS leaves in its wake might quibble over whether this band of criminals is a terrorist organization. They do have armed foot soldiers who do kill people. They rack up a higher body count by using indirect means, however, such as psychological and social methods. These include such tactics as:

  • Phoning you in the wee hours, repeatedly.
  • Making death threats by phone (plausible deniability, that way).
  • Phoning your employer or clientele, and making false and damaging statements about you.
  • Sending fraudulent and intimidating correspondence to your employer or clientele.
  • Asking leading questions about you to your friends and business associates.
  • Spreading innuendo about you to people in a position to hurt you.
  • Engaging in a long list of harassment tactics that go well past absurd.
  • Monitoring your phone calls and e-mails to identify who is important to you so they can harass those people as well.
  • The list goes on and on. You can find more in the huge number of books and documentaries about this.

IRS also has, unlike other terrorist groups, financial methods of terrorizing and then "terminating" people. Al Queda can't seize your assets. IRS can. And with zero actual justification for doing so.

In the "IRS lottery," your name may be randomly drawn through no fault of your own. Suddenly, you are a criminal with no rights. In our tax law system, you are guilty until proven innocent (the opposite of our criminal law system). Once your name is drawn, you are the target of a financial destruction project an IRS employee will doggedly conduct for the purpose of getting a promotion in a pointless career.

Direct resistance is futile, because these people are above the law and they know it. The solution is to change the law. The single best hope of doing that is the Fair Tax. Supporting the Fair Tax is the single best way to protect your assets (and feel free to truncate that word to get my actual meaning).

Now, think what would happen if we shut down this giant, expensive, damaging agency that serves no legitimate purpose. Our economy would boom. Terrorism in America would suddenly be just about zero. And the 111,000 people now wasting their lives in the employ of this agency could put their lives to some good purpose.

The federal government would have more income if it shut down the IRS and did nothing more, simply because the IRS costs us more than it takes in.

Now imagine if we shut down the IRS and provided a means to add to federal funding. That would help us erase that massive debt talked about above, thereby helping protect the generations to come. And it would do that even if we paid all IRS employees what they make now just to stay home.

There are no losers in this scenario.

4. Health tip/Fitness tips

In our previous issue, I mentioned Diane Villano's article about carbohydrates. Given the unity plus bounceback rate of "low carb" diets, I think it's good to add a bit more on this subject.

What's a "unity plus bounceback rate," you ask? It means after you recover from the diet, you end up fatter than you were before. There are actually several mechanisms at work, here. Perhaps the most fat-inducing one is the loss of muscle mass, which results in a lower metabolism, which results in more calories being stored as fat. Or maybe it's the triggering of starvation mode, or maybe it's the deleterious effect on your liver, or maybe it's the way it leaves you too depleted to exercise properly.

But rather than try to sort out what most makes you fat in a low carb diet, let's just not go there.

Here's another article about this self-sabotaging diet strategy:

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders


As regular readers know, I'm 48 years old in the picture (above, right), taken in December. I don't diet down for summer. I don't have good genes for maintaining a lean body, I really have to be conscientious and disciplined about it. That doesn't mean I suffer, eat bland foods, or starve myself.

At, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:

  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

Nor does it mean being hungry all the time (you are less hungry on six small meals a day than three large ones), being weak from hunger (on a proper dietary regimen, you will have much more energy than otherwise), or "giving up pleasures" (I have no idea where this concept comes from, unless a person considers being sick a "pleasure.").


5. Factoid

A giraffe has a tongue that is 14 inches long and black in color. A Demobuplican member of CONgress has a forked tongue and helps put budgets in the red.

6. Product Highlight

Translators for EMTs and other Medical First Responders

Created specifically for the emergency response community, the Ectaco Medical, Fire & Rescue MD-5 electronic translator provides two-way communication instantly in English and Spanish.

Voice output, speech-activated phrasebook. Specific tools for fire, trauma, pre-hospital, history, registration, medications, and other situations.

Over 1 million words; 14,000 categorized phrases per language pair. Color touch screen, virtual keyboards with full character sets. About the size of a smart phone, similar controls.

Pass this along to your local city council rep, hospital administrative office, or (if applicable) first responder admin at work. You may help save a life.


Comes with 19-item extensive accessory kit:


Medical Communications
This is an extensive phrasebook organized by situation. So, for example, when admitting a patient to the ER, you go to that section and you'll find pre-translated phrases developed specifically for medical communications within the ER.

You can speak into the device to say the phrase you want, and the device will speak it back out. The patient will hear the voice of  a professional narrator speaking in the patient's own language.

EMS Commands
This section allows you to create profiles for multiple people. Each person can then add their own translations that are trained to their voice. Speaking a short command (a "voice tag") pulls up the translation in that person's voice.

For example:

  • John says, "Introduce me" into the unit.
  • The unit says (in the other language), "Hello. My name is John Holt and I am an emergency medical technician. I am here to help you. I don't speak Spanish, but this machine will help us talk. Did you understand what I just said?"
  • A simple nod is all John needs in reply.
  • Next, he speaks a series of other initiation words or phrases and the Spanish Translator MD5 for Medical, Fire, Rescue speaks to the patient each time.

You can adapt this to your organization's specific procedures.

The Spanish Translator MD5 for Medical, Fire, Rescue understands thousands of medical, fire, and rescue phrases spoken in English. It can pronounce the translations back to those you are trying to help. This hands-free/ eyes-free operational unit produces 100% understandable translations spoken by professional native-speakers. Now you have the assistance you need to make the right decision and provide the help that saves lives.



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7. Thought for the Day

Reality and rhetoric rarely align.

Please forward this eNL to others.


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.

Wishing you the best,
Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection, LLC 

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