The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly 11-10 Silence. Skeletal Remains. Student Arrested. Easy Money. 11-11-11-11 REMEMBER and HONOR


At the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we take time to remember those who have fought and died for our freedoms, and to honor those who stand among us, having defended and helped to build the free world as we know it today. Thank you to those who have served and are serving.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”

An excerpt from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian physician serving during WWI, after having buried a friend. He noticed how quickly poppies grew around the graves. Take a minute. Honor those who have served. And thank them.

Have you noticed the quiet in the TV and radio ads ? The silence is deafening... and wonderful. I wonder what it would take to stop negative ads in political campaigns. Can’t we simply get back to those bombastic declarations such as “If elected, I will give to every, man, woman, and child, a $20 gift certificate to the restaurant of my choice!!” Of course, because you have your fingers crossed, it won’t mean anything anyway. After what we have been through, I would rather hear promises that won’t be kept. And to those who are weeping about the loss, suck it up – it’s done !! And to those who are gloating about the win, it’s time to shut up.

I marvel, continually, at the discoveries that are made on a regular basis. Fifty years ago, a paleontologist (like Ross Geller) found some fossils in the hoodoos (no, I don’t know what they are but it is a neat name) in Alberta, Canada. A lot of dinosaurs liked the area and that must be why there is so much oil in Alberta. Anyway, the paleontologist put the fossils in a drawer and forgot about them. Ten years ago, some other guys found the fossils, put them together and decided that our favorite dinosaur, the triceratops, had a cousin named xenoceratops. The paleontologists (that’s a long word to keep typing) decided that the male of that species had outlandish headgear to show dominance or to impress females. So there are two possible reasons for me to include this story: 1). to see if anyone can properly pronounce the name of this dinosaur and 2) to tell you how some scientists are excited about how dinosaurs used to attract each other. Frankly my dear ….

Leaving the pre-historic world, let’s jump over to Monterey Bay, off the California coast. Once again, we have scientists who discovered a meat eating sponge that they call the “harp sponge”. Now this is not your ordinary kitchen tool, but, once again, the scientists without a fancy name, have figured out that these things are carnivores and that they have a different approach to reproduction. Now, I’m not worried about encountering one of these sponges because they live about two miles deep in the water, but I am concerned about meeting yet another scientist who gets excited about something else’s reproduction methods.

Meanwhile, over in England, the skeletal remains of a pigeon were found with coded message still attached. Many of  you likely know that during WWII, communications were far more primitive that they are today. Frequently, pigeons were dispatched from the Front with these encoded messages. So no one has that code and it was sent to Bletchley Park for deciphering. That in itself is interesting. But really, why did these homeowners not clean their chimney for 60+ years? Really?

I looked it up  for you. Bletchley Park was the site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), where ciphers and codes of several Axis countries were decrypted, most importantly the ciphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines.

And Bloomberg reports that a smart student got arrested for selling books that he had legally purchased. The story is that a grad student found that he could buy textbooks in his native Thailand, have them shipped to the US, and sell them here for a profit . So now, this smart guy’s case has made it to the US Supreme Court because the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, sued and got a judgment against the student. Here’s the lineup: siding with the student are companies like eBay, Costco, libraries and second hand stores; and in the other corner, backing Wiley, are the motion picture industry, music, software and publishing industries. On the surface, it seems like the smart student was smart. And he was not doing anything that big companies and others have not done before, and continue to do. This case has made its way to the Supreme Court. Very interesting, If you want to follow this, The case is Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, 11-697.

Here’s a question. If you could put $90 in your pocket every month for the next five years,guaranteed, that’s $5400, would you do it? What about $10,800 over 10 years? Would you do that? How about if you had a one time cost to get that money of say, $500? Would you do that? What would you do if I could save you  $140,000 over the next 20 years? At a cost of perhaps $500. Would you do that? The formula is simple. Mortgage rates are at all time lows. A ten minute phone call is all you need. Call me at 818.305.4695, and we’ll have a brief discussion. Then I send you, without obligation, a total cost analysis that will show you how and if you can put money in your pocket. Or, if you prefer email, answer the following questions: What is your address? your phone number? how long are you planning to stay in the house? are you a W-2 employee? and how do you think your credit is? Oh yeah – I would like your name. You owe it to yourself to get and keep money that you had already planned to give to banks.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’?

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.

A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf,’ which is French for ‘egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans (mis)pronounced it (what a surprise!) ‘love.’

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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
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November 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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