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Mindconnection eNL, 2012-12-06


In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

Not so much good news as simply uplifting to watch:

2. Product Highlight

Mindconnection offers a wide variety of flatbed scanners. Some of them are great for home use. Some are out of that price range, and are meant for the business-level scanning needs.

The ArtixScan DI 4020 Duplex crosses the price barrier to make professional performance affordable for home users.

Why not digitize all of your records, so you can store them safely securely? With records in digital format, you can store them cheaply on a server somewhere and then still have access to all of your important records even if your house burns down.

This ultrafast and reliable high performance duplex scanner comes with true 600-dpi optical resolution and 48-bit color depth. Efficient high speed (up to 40 ppm) document imaging plus great image quality. It Includes 100-page Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). If you need to digitize really large quantities of paper files, this is the scanner for that job. With simultaneous double-sided scanning, you blast through the work. Simultaneous double side scanning!

Removed 2014-06-02

3. Brainpower tip

20 Great Audiobooks


4. Finance tip

Over the past few years, there's been a quiet movement of money from banks to credit unions. Of course, the state-run media do not want you to know this. The Mindconnection eNL is a great source for information that the media actually try to hide.

You may consider using a credit union for some, or all, of your "banking" needs. When comparing the two, the first thing to know is that credit unions are non-profit, while banks are for-profit.

You join a credit union as a member. Many credit unions cater to a specific demographic, for example there's at least one for veterans. Some credit unions limit membership tor employees of specific companies. If you have a special interest, there's likely a credit union for it.

You don't have to "join" a bank, though sometimes you might feel as if you've joined the Mob due to the constant shakedown via bank fees.

Even though there's no effort on the part of the bank, you may pay monthly "maintenance" fees for the privilege of letting them use your money while you write only a few checks a month against that account.

Some banks will waive these fees for reasonable conditions, such as you use their debit card once a month (Bank of America does that). Others will waive these fees for unreasonable conditions, such as you keep a minimum balance of $5,000 (meaning it never drops below that, even for one second). If you could keep that large of a balance in a no-interest account (or even had a reason to), the fees probably wouldn't bother you. But for the typical peasant-class citizen who hasn't had a real raise in over 10 years and who is barely scraping by, that just isn't realistic.

Credit unions almost never have such fees. They don't need to generate a profit or pay multi-million dollar salaries to members of CONgress or to bank executives, so they have lower cost than banks do. Instead of bleeding people nearly to death with a laundry list of "gotcha" fees, they provide a cost-accessible way of doing "banking."

Credit unions don't need to play games with your money, either. In one common scam, the bank takes your deposit but delays credit for nine days while the check "clears" (Bank of America gives you next day credit on most counter deposits, just as credit unions do).

In another scam, the bank counts your daily deposits last. So let's say you deposit $500 (maybe direct payroll deposit or whatever) but your account has $50 in it. A $400 check you wrote a few days ago now hits and guess what? You get an "insufficient funds" hit. The bank charges you an overdraft fee of $35, further lowering your balance. You have some autopays set up, and a $10 one triggers another $35 overdraft fee.

Thus far, your debits add up to $480--$70 of which are overdraft fees even though you had the funds there. You started out with $50 in that account, but now instead of having $140 (550 - 400 - 10) you have only $70. Not knowing about these fees, you charge a bank debit card $80 "knowing" you will have $50 left over. WHAM! Another $35 fee, and you get hit with yet another $35 overdraft fee to cover that overdraft fee!

So even though the bank had your money, they charged you $140 in overdraft fees on your tiny account. You don't see this until you check your online statement the next day.

This overdraft fee is probably THE thing that has made people flock to credit unions and online-only banks.

Credit unions also have lower fees in general for loans. Their loan process is easier, and their terms tend to be more generous.

So, it seems like the credit union is better than the bank. But not always. Credit unions have disadvantages, too. These vary, depending upon the credit union, but the biggest one is that credit unions typically lack decent online banking, if they even have that service at all. Another deficiency is credit unions can't come anywhere near matching banks in the number of physical branches.

On this last deficiency, that isn't usually a problem for most credit union members. Because the credit union is tied to some other membership, the branch is conveniently located. Many times, an employer-based credit union has an onsite presence. It might be only on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings at your location, but unless you're taking out a car loan or mortgage every day, that shouldn't be an issue.

The online banking issue is more of a hurdle for most folks. But today, we write far fewer paper checks. If you set up auto bill pay with your reward points credit cards and eliminate automatic outbound transactions from your credit union checking, this situation is manageable. Or, if you choose, you can use the credit union in conjunction with a bank to have the best of both worlds.

What's important is that you look at the options and figure out what works best for you. Don't assume you have to do all of your "banking" at traditional banks.

5. Security tip

In conducting an audit one year, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) discovered that gang members of the Institute of Reprobates and Sociopaths stole 2300 computers from their own offices. Top officials at this lawless agency assured the GAO that no sensitive taxpayer information was on those computers. But those same officials could not identify which computers were stolen.

The GAO also found that, per capita, the amount of tax cheating in the Collections Division was higher than that of any other group they had looked at.

Yet somehow, we peasants are supposed to trust these people with confidential information. If we don't provide it, they can (and do) send people with guns to take us off to jail. Or engage in other "by force" actions that can be very painful for the afflicted.

However, there are some things you can do. For example, if one of the reprobates calls you or writes you and demands information the agency already has, remind that person (gently) that the law forbids them from demanding information they already have and you don't want to get them in trouble by helping them break the law. They already have your SSN, previous years' returns, address, employment info, etc. It's possible that person is actually decent, because even in this agency there are some good folks. They are just a tiny, tiny minority and don't stay there long. Count on it that the one who contacts you is a psychopath, because that's very likely the case.

Probably the most important thing you can do is protect your checking account. It's important because the reprobates can make up a phony tax debt, then seize whatever is in your account. And they can do that with no warning whatsoever (they do not have to issue you a 10 day notice anymore). If you have overdraft protection with a credit card, they can run that card to the limit.

If it's a  $10,000 limit you have just been stuck with a $10,000 loan at high credit card rates. Adding injury to injury (they don't stop at just an insult), having a maxed out card damages your credit rating. And that damage stays on your record for seven years.

Here are some options to prevent this situation:

  • Pay them out of a checking acct, at a bank other than the one your other checking accounts are at, designated for that purpose. Downside: If the bank charges you monthly fees, this is costly.
  • Pay them with a money order. You will pay a fee.
  • Send them cash. Yeah, right. If they'll steal a computer, you can kiss that cash goodbye as soon as it arrives.

If you also pay quarterly estimated taxes, property taxes, city taxes, etc., with a check then probably that first option above is your best option. The reprobates can easily get your checking acct number by demanding it from employees of these other taxing bodies.

Note that the same logic for paying them applies to depositing any refund checks.

Just to clarify, this in no way means you are hiding any information you are required to report. That is not the purpose of having a designated account as described here. The most likely outcome of breaking their illegal laws is you will face very stiff reprisals up to and including prison time. If you really do not want to reveal information to them, consult with an attorney who specializes in tax law. Don't just assume "it won't happen to me" in terms of getting caught. Whatever justification you may think you have, it's probably not a valid defense legally.

Of course, the ultimate solution is a lawful federal government. That would mean abolishing the Institute of Reprobates and Sociopaths because the federal government lacks the legal authority to establish such an organization even with its presumed mission. Its actual mission, as we can conclude by observing its behavior, is to subjugate the people through systematic abuse and terrorism. Of course, no lawful or moral government would abide such a collection of whackos doing the outrageous and downright evil things done by this bunch of whackos.

Restoration of lawful government isn't likely to happen any time soon. So in the meantime, take prudent measures to help protect yourself from harm. Yes, that means complying with the illegal "laws" and such these folks pretend give them the authority to behave this way. It also means making your sensitive information a little bit harder for them to come by.

Remember that this situation was inflicted upon the nation by the worst POTUS of all time, Woodrow Wilson. He was a Democrat, and the Democrats have yet to right this terrible wrong. It's worth noting that the Republicans haven't done diddly about it, either. The Libertarian Party, however, would remove this pestilence. Keep that in mind when you vote.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

A reader wrote to me about yoga. The gist of this was that my focus on weightlifting fails to develop flexibility and I should take up yoga instead.

The picture at right was taken in November of last year. The photographer just happened to catch the downward stroke of what began as a reverse roundhouse kick, now coming down on on an imaginary collarbone. Does this look like I've failed to develop flexibility?

I have nothing against yoga, but I think it can only complement a good physical training program. It cannot replace it.

Yet, this reader was correct in tying the concept of weight training to lack of flexibility. The reason becomes apparent when you watch people in a gym. What are they doing?

When they're not standing around talking, they are usually "working out" on machines or doing "sit down" or "lie down" isolation exercises. Both of these practices create muscle imbalances while also reducing flexibility and joint stability.

Age 51.
Click for more detail.

Look at my photo, again. I'm doing something that requires  high degree of strength, flexibility, and stability. You can develop all of these with proper weight training. Let's first review a few things that proper weight training is not:

  • Seated leg presses. These are not squats. They don't work the hamstrings, but do work the quads. The result is severe muscle imbalance. An almost as bad exercise is the Smith squat. When you do front squats correctly, they work your entire core, develop your pelvic floor, increase your lung capacity, work front and back of upper and lower legs, improve your balance, help straighten your spine, and even work your groin. You will not get those benefits by lying back on leg press and pushing up, but you will put excessive strain on your vertebral disks.
  • Preacher curls. This insane exercise is a favorite among gym rats. One reason why is you can see the biceps ball up. However, it pronates the shoulder and thus puts tremendous strain on your rotator cuff. It fails to achieve the necessary stimulation for muscle growth, too. If you want to see the biceps ball up, there's a standing curl that does that just fine. I do that as the third exercise in my biceps workout. The first one works the biceps at the stretch range, the second at the mid range, and the third at the contraction range. By that third exercise, the muscles are flooded with blood and make a ball much larger than you can possibly get by doing preacher curls. And it's safe.
  • Stretching hamstrings after a workout. Or before, either way causes harm if this is what constitutes your stretching. When you stretch a muscle, you elongate and weaken it. Why people think "leg stretching" means hamstrings only, I have no idea--but they invariably get back pain and this is why. If anything, stretch your quads. I briefly stretch whatever body part I've just worked, after my last set. There are good and bad ways to stretch.
  • Doing unnatural motions. Things like behind the neck pull-downs don't make sense. In addition to putting you into poor posture (as do leg curls, hamstring curls, preacher curls, and every other sitting or lying down isolation exercise curl), they attempt to develop strength along a plane your body does not use. Your body's design matches certain utility, such as walking, running, pulling yourself up, picking things up off the ground, and raising things to your face. You will find these motions duplicated in the training regimens of all professional athletes.
  • Lift until failure. Not that he would know anything about muscle-building, but 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney says you want to stimulate muscles, not annihilate them. Weight-lifting causes muscle cells to actually burst and die. The body's response is to replace them.

One key to proper weight lifting is in that last bullet point. To get the body to over-respond and build more muscle than you lost, you must train intensely.

It's not about how long you train, but about how hard you train. What you want is maximum muscle contraction during the lift, and you need to work the muscle from three ranges of movement to stimulate all the fibers. Not coincidentally, this type of lifting also gives you more range of motion--what we call flexibility.

This is why the large compound exercises done with free weights produce better results than any other method. Some among the gym rat crowd argue about this concept, but those who believe in some other approach can never produce anything to substantiate their theory.

It's not by mere coincidence that the weight-training regimen of every professional football team is based on large-motion compound exercises done at high intensity. With, of course, that full range of motion. Nobody wants to end a million dollar contract due to training wrong and getting a preventable injury.

Recently, I had the privilege of climbing with some guys who are far more advanced in climbing than I am. Now, there's a sport that requires flexibility (try doing a knee lock hold while upside down, for example). All three also do parkour, and two of them compete successfully in MMA. Guess how they train? Yep, big compound exercises at high intensity.

The only exception I make to this rule is I train calves with a seated calf raise. Because I use about 450 lbs, it's just not safe for me to do that with free weights. Calves are notoriously hard to train, and it takes big poundages to stimulate the adaptive response that increases their size.

There's a lot more to proper training than what little I've outlined above. My main point was that a proper weightlifting program gives you a good level of flexibility, and it does that without reducing strength and stability.

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.

7. Factoid

  • The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%.
  • The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%.
  • The percentage of CONgress that spends wildly: 99%.

8. Thought for the Day

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle

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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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