The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 10-27 Perfect Child. Bone Fragment. Big Oil. Roadblocks

When I was a little kid, I was a perfectly behaved child. That lasted until I was six months old. But there is some help for you, according to the Pediatrics journal. What was really interesting was that when I googled that phrase, better behaved children, there were thousands of articles. I’m absolutely amazed (?) that there are so many people who need help with this. I thought we all had perfect children. I’m impressed that so many people think that both French and German kids are well behaved, and then wonder why. Do you think that it could be because wine is always on the table? More wine, less whine !

According to the research report, a test group got an average of 27 minutes more or 27 minutes less sleep every night. That 54 minute swing was significant. The sleep deprived were found to be more impulsive and irritable, were quicker to cry, lose their tempers or get frustrated. Those with more sleep had a better handle on emotions and were more alert in class. Now, the researchers did not get the same conclusion that I did. And here it is – if you, the parent, get an extra hour of sleep each night, you’ll be in better shape to cope with the sleep deprived kids who won’t go to bed !!+

While we’re on kids, do you remember when yours started to talk? Grunts, gestures, sounds and eventually words and sentences. And once they started, they have not stopped. Except possibly when they are sleeping. So now, scientists have evidence of white beluga whales talking and they have recorded sounds. In one instance, a diver was in a whale’s enclosure and came out of the water asking who told him to get out of the enclosure. Then they heard the whale saying “out, out, out.” In the 1970’s, there was a beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium that made sounds like garbled Russian or Chinese.

I lived in Vancouver then, and I can tell you, absolutely, that when it comes to making sounds like garbled Russian or Chinese, that expertise is also mine !


Scientists come up with amazing information. How can they tell me about the owner of a bone fragment – one that is only 3.3 million years old?! Someone found a complete shoulder blade of a child that old. And then another scientist spent 11 years flecking sandstone away from what remained of her bones. ELEVEN years. And from these fragments, the scientists are telling me that this child, walked upright and also was adept at climbing trees. So I get the part about the shoulder blade and it being positioned in a way that could make tree climbing easier. But how do they know that these fragments are 3.3 million years old – and not 3.2 million. I mean, what is 100,000 years in that timeline. Did they find a calendar near the bones? I don’t think so. So what would Mr. Darwin have said?


While we’re at it, have you been to the Galapagos? I think that some species there have not changed in thousands of years. I’d really like to get there in the next year or two. I’ve always been fascinated with what I’ve read or seen about those islands. I may be asking for contributions pretty soon !


Perhaps, some millions of years ago, some flora and fauna got caught in a big hole and that was the beginning of oil. And then about 150 years ago, someone figured out what to do with the black gold. And eventually J.D. Rockefeller figured out how to get control of oil production and Standard Oil was born. So where am i going with this. I am fed up with everyone picking on big oil and big business. Guess what people. Get your collective heads out of the dark place. Without ‘big’ oil, investing in refineries, investing in pipelines, employing tens of thousands of people, our gas prices could be double what they are today. People take risks, and those risk takers are allowed to earn a return on their investment. And the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. And millions of people agree with this, because they have bought stock, with their savings, in big oil and big business. And these investors are also entitled to a reward for their investments.

Yet our government insists on putting up more and more roadblocks to any kind of business. I don’t understand it. What is wrong with making a profit! Why does government take a simple three  page form that no one read, and make it into a 12 page form that no one will read. If there are people who do not want to take a risk, then don’t do it ! But don’t criticize and hate those that do take a risk, and win.

I met a married couple in 1997. He bought his first share of stock in 1931. He was making pennies and invested everything he could. His wife told me how much money they were giving away every year, and what kind of tax problem they still had. I estimated that their portfolio was worth $25 – $30 Million. They didn’t take risk – but they bought stock in companies that did. And they didn’t sell anything – buy and hold. It worked! So quit your complaining and do something. It’s easier than ever to make conservative investments. Don’t want to do it. Your option, but please, shut up !!


It’s all about planning. A client of mine believes in planning. He owns two houses – one that he bought when he was in his late 20’s, and another that he bought about 15 years later. He called me after being turned down by his bank and asked what I could do. He was prepared to pay income taxes for one more year so that we would have a solid two year history. He had looked at the analysis that I had sent him, analyzed his tax cost vs savings on mortgage payments and made his decision to proceed. He’s paying taxes so he can free up locked in capital, and pay a ridiculously low interest rate. And he’ll use the freed up money to invest in other opportunities.

What is your situation? If you want to see accurate figures, call me at 818.305.4695 and spend 15 minutes with me. I’ll create a detailed analysis for you and give you the tools necessary to make a decision. Whether your situation is simple or complex, you have to have the numbers. And this is something that I give you without any obligation. This is part of the value added service that I give to my clients and friends. Pick up the phone – you have everything to gain !

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

Broken pencils are pointless.

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.


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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695



October 27, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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