The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly 2-8 Stupid Tourists. Passports. Biggest Killers. Magic Number.. and so much more….

I find it interesting that Americans, as a whole, don’t travel internationally. Actually, I would guess that a vast number of people have never left their home state, or to be generous, their home state and the one adjacent. In spite of that, Americans are regarded as being rude and demanding when they travel. I wonder if we are as rude as the French are rumored to be.


I think it’s the stupid tourists who are rude. They travel to visit a different culture, and then they want everything the same as it is at home. Why bother to travel? Stay at home and look at pictures on the internet or tv. You can download a bunch of photos, put them in an album and then label the album Bucharest or Budapest – yes, those are two different cities in two different countries. And then you can go to your local restaurant and have your same meal with your same friends (who also have never travelled) and you can leave the same cheap tip for your waiter as you always do.


However, if you do travel, spend money, and the natives won’t hate you quite as much. I remember the last time I was in Paris, and someone asked if I was American. I responded in my grade school French and I made a friend. Make an effort, and have some fun. But do you even have a passport – one that is current? Well, 61% of you will only sleep in your own bed according to the State Department statistics from early last year. I actually read a comparison of the passport states and the presidential election results from 2012. It was interesting enough to comment on, but I have a severe allergy to politics. You can go here to look for yourself.


There are 10 states where more than 50% of the citizens have current passports: Can you guess which is the most passported state: The answer is revealed elsewhere in this issue. Here are #’s 2 – 10.

Massachusetts – 59%, Alaska – 58, NY – 58, Connecticut – 56, California – 54, New Hampshire – 54, Vermont, Washington and Maryland – all at 51. Which state has the most?


Of course, one of the reasons you don’t travel is because of all the cool things that you don’t want to know about in some countries – like Dracula’s (aka Vlad the Impaler) Castle in Romania that is about 1000 years old (according to the tour guide), or that place in England where all those big rocks are in a circle and are said to be more than 70 years old (Stonehenge) or ski areas in the Alps that have been used for hundreds of years (even before the modern Olympics – that was started in 1896), and so much more. Get your passport because the government needs your fees.


I use my passport frequently. One of my friends insists that I need a passport to go from the Valley into the City (Los Angeles) for many reasons. But I don’t really believe him anymore! Try giving a bank teller your passport for identification. Most of them will freak out and ask for a drivers license because they have never seen a passport before.


Meanwhile, in other news, it seems that windows are one of the biggest killers of birds on an annual basis. No, don’t run out and buy a Mac – the windows that I’m referring to are the glass ones. Science News says that between 365 and 900 million birds are killed annually by flying into glass. I mean, that’s a big range. Lots of room for mistakes with that statistic! But the biggest bird killer are those nefarious, evil, creepy, skulking four legged critters know as…. cats. Those allergen carrying animals kill about 3.7 Billion birds annually. I’m sure that  there is a range in that number as well. The good news is that those felines keep the predator robins under control. Who knows how many worms and bugs they annihilate!

New Jersey is at 63%.

The important thing is that you know, and recognize, that my specialties are loans ($50K to $5MM) to businesses anywhere in the country, and California real estate loans. The magic number is the same – 818.305.4695.

Have a better week!


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

“She got her good looks from her father.  He’s a plastic surgeon.”  –  Groucho Marx

“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep.  What do you want, an adorable pancreas?” – Dorothy Parker.

“I do not want actors and actresses to understand my plays.  If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I will guarantee the results.” – GB Shaw.

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily, this is not difficult.”  –  Charlotte Whitton



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 Les Berman CMC
Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
Voice: 818.305.4695



March 2, 2014 - Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, small business, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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