In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness |
Factoid | Thought 4 the Day
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1. Good News
Item 1. As a company and as a marketplace, eBay has made great strides
in the past couple of years. Recently, a preeminent European monitoring agency
gave eBay an award for its anti-counterfeiting efforts. See the full story here:
eBay has also tightened down on reviews of sellers and products, ferreting out
fake negative and fake positive ones. Amazon, by contrast, has stopped doing
that. Even if an Amazon seller provides proof that a review is fake and/or
violates Amazon's guidelines the "review team" won't correct a bad call by the
review bot. Surely, Amazon will feel the backlash from this before much longer
and get this problem under control. If you see a fake review on Amazon, send a
note about it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm sure
he'd like to know, so Amazon can catch up to eBay in this area.
Item 2. The 2017 Tax Law, inarguably the best piece of legislation
passed since the 1964 Civil Rights Act, has more citizen benefits to it than
many people realize. Of course, that $12,000 standard deduction was very good
news when the law was announced. But it doesn't end there. If you are 65 or
older, you can claim an additional $1,300 for your standard deduction in 2020.
If you and your spouse are both over 65 and file jointly, you can claim an
additional $2200. If you're unmarried and not a surviving spouse, you can claim
an additional $1650 if you are over 65. I am under 65, and was able to claim an
additional $200 (for a total of $12,200).
This huge standard deduction not only shelters all that money from the 1040
tax and ratchets your total income down by that amount in the tax brackets, it
also protects you from the dreaded IRS audit. Actually, audits are not that bad.
I've been through over a dozen of them (I always come out clean). What is bad is
IRS Collections; to these people, whether you owe additional taxes or not is
irrelevant. They just make up a number and try to collect it. But amazingly,
they are under some kind of obligation to make the claim plausible. They have
traditionally disallowed some deduction or another and then heaped on the
penalties and interest. When you use the Standard Deduction, you don't itemize
and this whole threat goes away. Thank you President Trump for signing that bill
Item 3. The People's Republic of California passed a law that
reclassifies Uber drivers as employees. This means they can no longer file a
Schedule C and claim business expenses, such as car repairs or tire replacement
(very high costs for them). Cars used for taxi service are considered "hard
service" vehicles; recommended oil changes are at half the mileage of normal
vehicles. A smart way to go for a Uber driver is to lease a car through his/her
Uber business, then replace it when the lease is up. Expensing that option also
goes away under this punative, unjust law enacted by the PRC.
Uber driving is already a minimum wage job when all is considered, but in the
PRC these people will be working for free or maybe even less than that. The good
news is the financial stupidity and cruelty that characterize the way the PRC
treats businesses and individuals is very slow to spread. At the time of this
writing, the so-called "Uber Law" has not been implemented by any other state of
the USA. Not even NY.
Item 4. A newly developed molecule can convert energy
from the entire spectrum of sunlight, and that has many implications. For
example, it can harness over 50% more solar energy than current solar cells can.
And there's much more to it. Read the full story, here:
Item 5. The libtards complain that President Trump spent most of his
first year in office rolling back or nullifying "Obama's" (Soetoro's) policies.
Recall that during the eight years he illegally held office, Soetoro drove
unemployment to record levels (exceeding those of the Great Depression) and
economic growth was either negative or barely positive. All that rolling back
and nullifying resulted in the lowest unemployment rate in over 50 years, and
2.3% GDP growth last year. Does that sound like grounds for impeachment to you?
The phrase "libtard logic" is an oxymoron, as those brain-disabled
inDUHvidual have no grasp of
logic or anything else related to reality.
2. Product Highlight
Save your precious photos and other files before something happens and it's too
late. This capacious, easy to use 128 GB backup stick is the perfect solution.
- The Photo Backup Stick is an all-in-one picture and video backup and
storage tool. It contains special software to back up from Windows
computers, Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Android phones, and
- Keep your pictures safe without the need for expensive and complicated
- Supports almost all picture and video formats.
- Backs Up from Windows. Run the Windows backup app to find and backup
from the computer, storage device(s) connected to the computer, or even
phones or tablets connected to the computer.
- Backs Up from Mac. Run the Mac backup app to find and backup from the
computer, storage device(s) connected to the computer, or even phones or
tablets connected to the computer.
- Backs Up from Androids. Plug the stick directly into Android phones or
tablets and use the Android app to back up to the stick without using a
Backs Up From iPhones and iPads. Backup from iPhones & iPads by plugging
them into a Windows or Mac computer and run the backup app from the stick.
- Removes Duplicates. Each photo and video will be backed up only once.
Every time you backup, only new photos will be backed up. The Windows app
also allows you to remove duplicates just in case you have multiple copies
that have been backed up.
- You can back up from the default locations or select to scan the entire
computer or specific drives or folders.
- You can also connect phones and tablets to the computer and back them up
at the same time.
- The Windows app allows you to remove duplicates even if they were backed
up from other devices. It also allows you to easily copy your backed-up
files to a computer or drive.
- Choose to keep your photos organized in the same folder structure they
are on your computer or have them saved to one single folder on the stick.
- For Android phones and tablets, download the free Photo Backup Stick DC
app, plug the stick into your device using the included adapters, and back
up directly to the stick without using a computer.
- For iPhones, iPads, or iPod Touch, plug your device into a Windows or
Mac computer, unlock the screen and trust the computer, and run the backup
app from the stick. All your pictures and videos will be backed up directly
to the stick for safe keeping.
The Photo Backup Stick works on Windows 7, 8, or 10 as well as Mac OS 10.12
or newer. For direct connection to Android devices, the device must support OTG
connections of USB drives. If OTG is not supported, devices can be backed up
using the Windows or Mac apps. For Apple iOS devices, you must connect the
devices to a computer using a data cable and use the Windows or Mac app to
Buy yours now.
Mindconnection, LLC is an Authorized Paraben Dealer.
3. Brainpower tip
4. Finance tip
Many people confuse the price of something with its total cost. To determine how
much something actually costs you, look at its TCO (total cost of ownership)
over the intended time of use. Let's say you buy a cheap particle board bookcase
from one of those big box warehouse style stores. You plop down $99 and consider
that a bargain compared to the $800 you would have spent on a solid oak one.|
Two years later, you replace that cheap one because it began falling apart.
During those two years, it emitted formaldehyde fumes into your home. But hey,
increased risk for various forms of cancer and respiratory problems aside,
you're still ahead $700. Then you decide to move, and when your $99 bookcase
arrives it's not worth using. So you buy a third one. You pull that one out to
clean behind it, and it falls apart. Every 2 to 3 years, you're replacing this
piece of junk. After 20 years, you've spent $800 on book cases. Forty years
later, you've spent $1600 on crappy, disappointing, poison-emitting book cases
but your smart buddy spent only $800 and his oak one still looks great.
I apply this TCO principle when making purchase decisions.
Prior to the Unaffordable Care Act (signed by a President whose mother was in
Africa at the time he was born in Hawaii, what a miracle!), I had medical
insurance. Though the coverage was on the questionable side, the premiums
weren't budget-busters. But with the UCA, that all changed so I stopped paying
for it.I've shopped for medical insurance several times since the UCA initially
caused me to drop my plan (if you like your plan, you can keep your plan--so
much for that).
The problem is the TCO is just way too expensive. In looking at the coverage,
nearly all of it is inapplicable. For example, both my age and my sex preclude
my getting pregnant so all the coverage related to that is irrelevant to me.
Then there's all the disease coverage. Because I don't engage in the
disease-producing lifestyle, my chances of getting prostate cancer, colon
cancer, osteoporosis, or esophageal cancer are less than 0.0001%. My chances of
getting adult onset diabetes are a flat zero.
In working through the numbers, I acknowledge that I could suffer a major
injury. For example, I could fall and break a femur. I'm a climber, after all.
But in looking at the femur break statistics, I find I am actually not in the
high risk group. The odds are below 0.0001%.
Because I do have to work for a living, I don't have time to go through every
conceivable medical condition and calculate the odds. But I do have a general
feel for that based on looking at example calculations and the health
implications of my lifestyle.
A basic medical insurance policy would run me about $800 and cover nothing
that I would likely incur. Even if, against all odds, I got a condition or
injury it did cover, the deductibles make me basically uninsured anyhow. To get
reasonable coverage for anything that could reasonably stand a chance of
occurring, that premium goes up to $2500/month. That's $30,000 a year. I could
"save money" by settling on the $800 policy, the same way I could "save" money
by settling for a particleboard book case.
I hate it that the medical insurance industry, the government, and many
others lie when they talk about this insurance and call it "health care
insurance." Think about that. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, it
covers the replacement cost of your possessions in the event of a fire. But it
doesn't do anything about fire prevention, or if you will--the "health care" of
your home and possessions.
Health care is what you do to take care of your health, not what you have
someone else do to attempt corrective action when you don't take care of your
Most Americans spend about zero on health care. Some pay for gym memberships,
a step in the right direction. Does your "health care insurance" pay for weight
training equipment or gym memberships? If you forget to pick up kale at the
store, can you file a claim? What if you spend 30% more on groceries because you
buy real food instead of processed fake food; do they pay you that 30%? What if,
for career reasons, you are forced to eat at a restaurant; does your "health
care insurance" provide any sort of detox program benefits for you? No, your
"health care insurance" has nothing to do with health care. Your health care is
all on you. Your health choices, your health actions, your behavior; that's
So instead of spending $800 per month on a totally worthless medical care
insurance policy (or $30,000 a year on one that could actually benefit me), I
spend time and money on health care. Here's an off the cuff summary of my health
- Real food. I buy fresh spinach, broccoli, kale, bok choy, eggplant,
squash, non-factory farm eggs, etc. regularly. This stuff isn't cheap. Let's
say I spend $150 a month more on groceries than someone who is on the
disease lifestyle diet.
- Supplements. Not just multivitamins, but athlete-geared supplements such
as creatine, glutamine, etc. Plus some health-related ones such as turmeric.
Let's say I spend another $150 a month here.
- Climbing. Gym passes, shoes, chalk, various equipment, various supplies.
Let's say this works out to $100/month.
- Exercise equipment. I already have an impressive collection, so I spend
- Non-toxic cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar actually cost less than the
cancer-causing stuff in the cleaning supplies aisle, but I also buy
non-toxic body wash, non-toxic laundry detergent, and non-toxic dish soap. I
can drink any of these items with no ill health effects; that cannot be said
of their more traditional counterparts. Let's say I spend an extra $20 a
- Books, audio books, gifts for friends, and other mental health
expenditures. On average, let's say $20/month.
So my health care costs are about $440/month. But I'm also not spending money
on prescription drugs and other medicines. I remember when my mom was my age,
she and her second husband had so many prescription medications they each had a
special dispenser system to keep things all sorted out. I don't take any
medications. How much a month do I save there? I don't know, but in many plans
there is a $50 monthly copay for prescription drugs so let's just say I save
$50/month. That puts my net health care costs at $390/month, for a savings of
$410/month over a useless medical care plan.
If I were to opt for the $2500/month medical care plan, I would have to get
the money from somewhere. By a strange twist of logic, it makes sense
financially (only) to forego the health care. This would save $390/month and
allow me to tap into the benefits of the medical care due to disease that would
otherwise be prevented so that I at least get back some of that $30,000 per
This is my personal analysis. Each person's situation is different. But I am
willing to bet that few people who pay dearly for medical insurance have done
any sort of cost analysis at all. They just pay the insurance out of fear of
loss, without realizing two very important things:
- If you can actually afford reasonable coverage, you are either filthy
rich or are sacrificing too much in other areas (such as health care).
- If you opt for an "affordable" plan, it's mostly going to pay for
ineffective, painful treatment of illnesses a health care plan would have
prevented, but only after you pay ghastly amounts in deductibles and copays.
On this last point, a couple in the Seattle area have a medical insurance
plan they thought provided comprehensive coverage; it was well beyond the basic
$800/month plan. They don't rigorously practice health care, but they aren't
devotees of the disease lifestyle either. However, they drink sodas and don't do
the testosterone building workouts that eliminate osteoporosis risk. She fell
and broke her femur. They paid $10,000 in out of pocket expenses and her
insurance picked up the rest. Had she been uninsured, they probably would have
paid the same $10,000 out of pocket but not the $1700/month per person they paid
for insurance premiums. They would have a savings of $17,000 in only 10 months,
more than enough to pay that $10,000. The $7,000 difference could have gone into
a rigorous health care plan, which would have prevented her femur from breaking
in the first place. If he also opted out of this insurance, that would be a
savings of $34,000 in only ten months. Three months of premiums are about equal
to that $10,000 they paid.
I hesitate to say medical insurance exists just to rip people off, but it
certainly is not health insurance and it certainly is not affordable. If you are
in a high risk category, invest the time into seeing how you can bring your risk
down. For some people, this produces little or no benefit, for example people
with genetic conditions such as Type 1 diabetes or conditions such as MS. These
conditions are not behavior-induced, so you can't prevent them. If you have such
a condition, you would be foolish to not have medical insurance. But still look
at how to practice health care so that you aren't also saddled with
For medical care to become affordable, many things in our society must
change. For example, people need to stop seeing disease acquisition behavior as
sane. It's not.
And the insurance business itself must change dramatically. The automobile
insurance industry gives discounts for safe behavior. If the medical insurance
business did this, then more people would be able to buy the insurance while at
the same time fewer people would file claims. If the medical insurance industry
followed the example of the automobile insurance industry, the cost reductions
(more than an order of magnitude) would allow the medical insurance industry to
actually increase profits while offering better coverage for premiums that are
at least 90% less. It would actually be insurance, rather than a wealth transfer
Insurance should exist to cover the insured in the unlikely event of a large
financial loss; that is how automobile insurance is structured. It's part of a
risk management strategy. Medical insurance is structured to have high premiums
with no attention whatsoever to cost control or reduction of risk.
5. Security tip
I received this message from one of the banks I use:
"...the security of your account is very important to us, and we want to
help you keep it protected. We recently discovered a text message scam and
wanted to make sure you are armed with everything you need to know to avoid
falling victim to it. This scam involves sending text messages alerting you
that your account has been restricted and that you'll need to call a phone
number to regain full account access. Once you call the provided number, the
scammer will attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as your:
• Date of birth
• Social Security Number
• Mother's maiden name
• Card account number
• Card expiration date
• 3-Digit security code"
Giving out any one of those bits of information can give the scammer all
they need. Maybe they already have your date of birth because you put that
up on your Facebook page. Now you give them your SSN and they can start
posing as you. Maybe they already have your credit card number and mailing
address. They don't ask you for your card number, they just want to "verify"
you have the card so they ask for the security code and expiration date.
Don't give out any of this information to some caller who may well be
pretending to be a trusted party. Especially via a text message; that is not
a way that banks and other institutions request information. Your next step
is to contact the card-issuing bank via the number on the back of the card
and report this. The bank will probably insist on issuing you a new account
number; if so, accept the offer.
On a related note, you may find yourself in Collections for federal taxes
you don't even owe. Often, this scam is low-level, just a couple hundred
bucks so it seems prudent to simply settle with them. Other times, the
amount can be huge. The Institute of Reprobates and Sociopaths, after
denying you due process and simply declaring you guilty, may offer a payment
plan or may lie to you that they will consider an Offer in Compromise. These
are phishing tactics. What they are really after, and you will see this on
the forms they send you, are your bank and credit card account numbers.
Their intention is to sweep those bank accounts daily and run max out those
credit cards. So you definitely do not want to provide them this
When you say no the first time, they will threaten you. When you say no the
second time, they will make the threat more intense. Don't give in, because
without that information they can't do much to you. But with it, they can
render you homeless and destitute. You cannot discharge any of the
subsequent debt in bankruptcy court. Nor can you make payment arrangements
with your other creditors because IRS has first dibs. If you do survive, you
will have zero credit for 10 years, after which time you will need to start
rebuilding your credit.
If you are at the point where the Institute is insisting that you provide
them with the very means to destroy you, do the following:
- Contact a tax attorney immediately. Shop carefully for one, as they
range from being client-hostile IRS collection assistants (Mark
Rosenberg in Chicago) to being true champions of the victimized (Merriam
& Associates in Seattle). Briefly explain the situation, and ask what
documents the attorney need to see. Also sign a POA so IRS will have to
go through your attorney.
- Once your POA is signed, you do not have to talk with IRS. If they
come to your home with guns and badges, show them a printout of your
signed POA. If they phone you, simply hang up.
- From whatever checking account you have been paying IRS in the past,
close it and open a new one at another bank (preferably in another
- Be sure to use a cross-shredder when shredding any financial
documents; IRS is likely to send someone by your home to collect your
trash so they can reconstruct those numbers.
Many people believe, mistakenly, that privacy isn't very important. But it
is. Keeping certain information private is a cornerstone of protecting
yourself legally and financially. That fact is why, for example, we have the
6. Health tip/Fitness tips
Photo taken a couple of weeks after my 59th birthday.
Note that the information provided here will likely conflict with the "fad
of the moment" and other unsustainable, unproductive ways of looking at
health and fitness.
Article appears below.
my climbing videos here:
How to manage hormones naturally, Part 5|
Consistency. Don't skip meals and don't skip workouts. Skipping arguments is
Failure to be consistent is arguably the single worst mistake (and most
common) made in hormone management. You see, you are training your body and
it will respond to what you put it through.
If you skip meals, your body responds with a hunger or starvation
response. That response does not include a positive hormonal response, it's
the opposite. Decades of trial and error by hundreds of millions of athletes
(including body builders) and people in labor-intensive jobs have shown that
eating every two to three hours results in higher energy levels. At least,
people feel more energetic. What is really going on is not more energy per
se, it's their hormonal system is not going into the hunger or starvation
response so their hormonal system is staying on the desired track.
Those iron workers have an orange and a peanut butter sandwich during
their morning break and some other food on their afternoon break not because
they are bored but because that's how they are able to sustain the physical
exertion. If they ate all of their calories at lunch or breakfast instead of
spreading them across the day, their body would see those long stretches of
no food as a time of deprivation and respond accordingly. This means dialing
down the hormonal system so that it stops producing muscle (which burns
calories) and starts storing fat. It also means a general sense of fatigue,
compared to how they feel by eating on break.
There are good reasons why our system changed to legally require
industrial workers to take a break between starting time and lunch and
another break between lunch and quitting time. It wasn't so much to rest,
but to refuel. That lunch pail or cooler would often have an extra apple or
pear for the first break and maybe a slice of cherry pie or pizza for the
second break. The pie and pizza aren't the best options, but they are
examples of what people would eat for break. Many shops installed vending
machines and many construction sites allowed vendors with "break carts" to
offer goodies for sale. Many factories open their cafeteria for breaks or
have vending machines available. The gist of it is, there's a long tradition
of stopping to eat thrice a day across the workday. So you'd have breakfast
and dinner for a total of five meals. Granted, most meals are small with
dinner often being noticeably larger than the others. Then there's the snack
before bedtime, for a total of six.
The six meal a day pattern was picked up and refined by bodybuilders and
other athletes who place high demands on their bodies or need to optimize
their lean mass to fat ratios for looks, performance, or both.
Simply staying consistent with your six meals is the single best thing
you can do to keep your endocrine system from going sideways. Of course,
what you eat and how much of it you eat are also important factors.
Why would you need to be consistent with workouts? If you are doing
low-intensity workouts, such as walking or "cardio" then the consistency
effect is mostly psychological with little impact on your endocrine system.
That's because low-intensity and moderate-intensity workouts do not
stimulate the adaptive response.
If you train such that you absolutely must do a split routine thanks to
the intensity of your training, that's good. Unless you overtrain, what you
are doing each time is akin to getting a testosterone injection. If you
train five or six days a week, that's like getting a testosterone shot
nearly every day. On leg days, especially if you do squats and deadlifts,
it's like getting two testosterone shots plus a big dose of DHEA.
When you consistently stimulate the adaptive response nearly every day,
you get a cumulative rise in testosterone and the other hormones that you
need to have elevated. Your body elevates these in response to the demands
you placed on your body. The body is trying to prepare itself to handle
those demands in the future. If I train legs on Monday, the testosterone
elevation from that will still be with me the following Friday. If I train
shoulders on Tuesday, Abs and glutes on Wednesday, then back and biceps on
Thursday and each workout gives me a boost for three to five days, can you
see what happens here?
Many people who have no problem skipping meals and/or workouts won't skip
an argument. Arguing is usually a mindless response to some perceived slight
or to an underlying insecurity. It's almost impossible to win an argument,
because both sides get defensive and you have a collective monologue instead
of a dialogue. The usual hormonal response is elevation of cortisol, a
hormone that depresses testosterone. So all that consistency you were so
good about with food and training amounts to nothing. If you feel a need to
argue in anti-social media, take a month off of anti-social media; you must
cure yourself of this urge. It can be addictive once you start, so go cold
turkey maybe forever.
Life isn't fair and I personally have a hard time letting go of something
when I've been treated unfairly. I have to remind myself that I have already
tried to discuss the problem and gotten nowhere. The offending party is not
going to make it right or even admit wrongdoing. Confirmation bias sets in,
and the offending party takes my additional attempts at resolution as being
proof that I deserved the mistreatment dished out earlier. If if I keep
going, I will only be frustrated. And I could irreparably damage the
relationship with the offending party. All they hear is "You are wrong, you
are wrong" and nobody likes to hear that. My logical side says my case is
solid and I should continue communicating it. My emotional side says, "Logic
has its limits, be at peace with this."
Don't make excuses for missing meals or workouts. Schedule them as
important appointments and work everything else in around them. Don't make
excuses for someone who has mistreated you, but don't latch onto them like a
dog with a bone. If you've made your complaint two or three times and been
rebuffed, continued effort is pointless. Exercises in futility create
stress, which sends your hormones in the wrong direction.
And arguing with strangers in the online idiot rooms serves no purpose
whatsoever. You may think you need to "correct" someone who said something
foolish, but you are not going to accomplish that mission. Have discussions
with friends, don't have arguments with idiots you really don't even know.
Most people want their opinions validated, not corrected. You don't have to
validate or correct their opinions, simply ignore them.
How to manage hormones naturally, Part 6
Mental focus. People who lack focus tend to fail at everything, rather than
succeed at anything. This can become depressing. Concentrate on the task at
How to manage hormones naturally, Part 7
Positive mental attitude. That glass isn't half full, it's overflowing!
How to manage hormones naturally, Part 8
Supplements. How to sort scams from the good stuff.
How to manage hormones
naturally, Part 9
Chemicals to avoid. Many commonly-used chemicals adversely affect endocrine
How to manage hormones naturally, Part 10
Handling social pressure. Rather than use willpower to fight social pressure
from the disease-embracing, health-averse culture, follow these tips to use
social pressure to your advantage.
www.supplecity.com, 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.
Former President Obama (not his real legal name) is the
only human being on the face of this earth to claim that he was born in one
location while at the same time his mother was 11,000 miles away in another
location. Sadly, millions of people believed him!
8. Thought for the Day
It takes no talent, skill, or intelligence to be rude,
belligerent, or uncharitable toward others. Treating others with respect and
being graceful while you do it is an art form that reflects well on those who do
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.
Please pass this newsletter along to others.