Van Jones and the No Good Very Bad Math

Van Jones has a new piece up over at the Huffington Post Blog entitled Hope for Homeowners.  In the piece, he uses the story of Jaime Gonzalez’s wallet-busting mortgage payments to make the argument that congress must act immediately on reforms which would force the banks to allow home-owners to renegotiate their interest rates.

Do you remember when buying a home was a part of the American Dream?

Jaime Gonzalez does. It was that dream that encouraged the retired state police officer and his wife, a retired nurse, to purchase their home for $150,000 in Oviedo, FL in 2004. With 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and one great grandchild, the house was part of their dream for the future.

They pay $1,493.53 towards that dream every month. Of that, only one hundred dollars goes towards their principle, the other $1,393.53 all goes towards their massive interest rate of 7.5%.

Nice try Mr. Jones, but those numbers, which I’ve highlighted for your convenience, just don’t add up.  Now Mr. Jones, I’m assuming based upon the fact that you posted on Huffington Post’s Blog, that you have access to the world wide web.  The internet plays host to several hundred free mortgage calculators, like this one and this one and this one.

Here is what happened when I plugged Mr. Jones’ numbers; $150,000 for the loan amount, 30 year term (the term length was never specified by Mr. Jones) and a 15 year term at an interest rate of 7.5% into this mortgage calculator:

The closest I could get to finding a term length that would result in the $1,493.53 monthly payment amount cited by Mr. Jones was 13.25 years:

Let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and accept that a bank would give Mr. Gonzalez a 13.25 year term on his mortgage for the purchase of a $150,000 home in 2004.  I plugged those numbers into the handy dandy amortization schedule calculator and the result:

Eight years into a 13.25 year mortgage,  $1,000.86 of Mr. Gonzalez’s $1,491.25 monthly payment would be put toward the principal and the remaining $490.39 would go towards paying down the interest.

I’m sorry Mr. Jones, it doesn’t add up.

Free People or Free Stuff?


Free People or Free Stuff? That’s what it’s all about. From the Tea Party protests, to the Occupy Wall Street camps, to the latest go-round featuring Ms. Fluke vs Rush Limbaugh, the real issue, the one that no one seems to define correctly is this; do we want to be a free people or a people who demand free stuff?

The driving force behind the Tea Party movement has been the protection of the individual against the tyrannical overreach of big government. Theirs is the full-throated cry of a free people who do not wish to be slaves, and to that end they steadfastly refuse to sacrifice their labor and lives to those who demand something for free.

The Tea Party people have chosen instead to cast off the chains, and turn on their would-be masters, and look at the result. The masters loosed their dogs on them. The media happily served in the vanguard. They ferociously attacked the Tea Party on a daily basis. They fabricated stories about the Tea Party in an attempt to discredit them so that people would disregard their message. The 2010 mid-term election results proved that their efforts failed, people were still willing to listen. Then we saw a new movement rise, the people who demand free stuff. They call themselves Occupy Wall Street.

The Occupy Wall Street people say that they represent the 99% and have continually asserted that we all have a right to certain objects of value; houses, college educations, jobs, etc. But claiming to have a right which forces another to give you something, while they receive nothing in return, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what a constitutes a right. Rights, as understood by our framers and enshrined by them in our founding documents, are a natural consequence of our existence. We are born with them. None of us enters this world with a cell phone, a month’s supply of birth control pills, or free college tuition clutched within our tiny fists. If this should ever happen we can most certainly revisit the topic.

Free people and people who demand free stuff, cannot peacefully coexist within the same society. For when people demand they be given something for free, what they are doing, whether it be knowingly or unwittingly, is echoing the call made by every despotic and tyrannical government, for the enslavement of some for the benefit of others.

The time for choosing is upon us, what’s it going to be, free people or free stuff?

Cap and Trade? More like Slap and Rape

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“That’s right I said it!” ~ Mark Levin

You may be thinking, wow that’s some harsh language you’ve chosen and that it may be, but it is a far superior explanation of what the so-called Cap and Trade legislation really does.  The choice of such innocuous language, Cap-and-Trade, is in no way accidental.  It is an integral part of disguising the dangerous repercussions which will certainly ensue if this agenda is adopted by the United States.

I refuse to allow this manipulation of language to mask the reality of the situation which is this; Cap and Trade amounts to slapping a fine on harmless carbon emissions, raping industries of their profits and it will lead to the eventual destruction of all industrial nations.

This agenda which the Obama Administration supports, is being pushed by the ‘green’ environmental movement and is tantamount to a toxin which will infect and kill American industry at the same time placing a heavy burden upon all American taxpayers and consumers.  When taxes are levied against businesses the costs of those taxes are inevitably passed on to the consumer.  The price of goods and services will increase to compensate for the revenues lost due to the taxation.  I implore you, please do not be lulled into complacency by President Obama’s empty promise of tax cuts for “95% of working Americans”.  The Commander in Chief himself has admitted, ever so quietly that energy bills will necessarily skyrocket for everyone should this legislation be enacted.

Now, I’d like to address the alleged consensus of Global Warming/Climate Change.  Regardless of what ideologues like Al Gore would like you to believe, THERE IS NO CONSENSUS ON GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE!  Every year an increasing number of scientists are challenging the findings of the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  There is a petition being circulated with the signatures of over 31,000 scientists to date, which urges the United States government to reject the Kyoto Agreement.  It also points out that there is no convincing evidence that the human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases are or will cause a disruption of Earth’s climate.  For reasons unknown these factual assertions of these scientists continue to go unreported while the alarmists environmentalists are heralded and never questioned regarding the merits of their garbage science.

For over two decades environmentalists have been pushing their agenda.  They brazenly wield the sword of fear to accomplish their goals.  They insight undue panic with their outlandish claims and are never held to account when their junk science falls apart.  Case in point:  In the fourth grade (1987) I was taught that a hole had appeared in the ozone layer.  This hole was a result of Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs.  These evil little molecules were being released into the atmosphere via aerosols.  I remember pleading with my grandmother to discontinue her use of Aquanet hairspray because it was destroying our planet.  As a nine-year-old the environmentalists had me convinced that humans, although infinitesimally small in comparison to the earth, had the ability to influence and manipulate its atmosphere.

Environmentalists effectively lobbied for the banning of CFC’s.  The ban came into effect with the signing of the Copenhagen Protocol of 1992.  Now I ask you to think about the last time you heard mention of the hole in the ozone.  My guess is it’s been at least a decade, and why is that?  Has the hole closed up because those vicious CFCs are no longer invading the atmosphere?  Nope, the hole is still there although the nomenclature has been changed.  It is no longer called a hole but rather according to NASA,  it is a ‘region of exceptionally depleted ozone in the stratosphere.’

So if the hole or ‘exceptionally depleted ozone in the stratosphere’ still exists why aren’t the environmentalists talking about it?  I can only assume that it has stopped being profitable for them.  The research grants have dried up, and even though the hole or whatever you choose to call it, persists to this day it is no longer a concern of theirs.  Now as a twenty nine-year-old I stand completely convinced that they have no idea what they are talking about.  I simply refuse to allow them to sucker me into believing their science or their altruistically cloaked motives.  They have moved on to the much more profitable agenda of Global Warming/Climate Change (hundreds of billions are spent on Global warming research grants each year).

**UPDATE Since 2009, when this piece was originally published, NASA has added a page to its site OZONE HOLE WATCH it has all kinds of nifty data that tracks the size of the hole that still remains in the ozone today.  I especially enjoyed this graph which clearly shows the size of the hole has remained relatively the same for the last thirty years. **

Their target this time is CO2 which they claim is a dangerous green house gas chiefly responsible for Global Warming.  They blatantly ignore the inescapable fact that human beings and animals exhale CO2 and plants in essence inhale CO2.  They also choose to overlook the fact that huge amounts of CO2 are produced by the Earth’s oceans and volcanoes.

According to the alarmist environmentalists actions need to be taken immediately to curb the 2% of greenhouse gases created by human beings.  According to their data this 2% comes from coal burning powerplants, cars, airplanes and buildings.  They have chosen to keep relatively quiet about the 18% of greenhouse gases created by livestock flatulence.  This was brought to light recently however when cow flatulence tax legislation was proposed in both Ireland and Denmark (€13 per cow in Ireland and €80 in Denmark). 

**UPDATE The link to that the story about taxing flatulence, originally published in The Times UK, is no longer working.  I could not find another credible source to link to, but what I did find is an article published in 2010 about the EPA’s desire to tax US livestock owners.**

The reason for their silence in this regard is unmistakably obvious, no one in their right mind would ever believe that cow farts should be treated as a pollutant no matter how noxious they may be.

The environmentalists who are trying to slap a tax on cow farts are the same ones screaming that Cap and Trade legislation must be passed!  These people are deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to true scientific research about Global Warming/Climate Change.  The Earth has always gone through cooling periods and warming periods and will continue to do so as long as it exists.  They seem to at least recognize this to the extent that they have changed their language once again, Global Warming is now slowly morphing into Climate Change.  Calling it Global Warming only made sense when temperatures were rising, but since 2003 global temperatures have been declining.  Instead of admitting their lack of indisputable scientific evidence, they simply change the name to something that can never be called into question; Climate Change, which encompasses all possible temperature shifts.

This language is simply preposterous.  Climate or temperature if you prefer, is constantly changing, it did so before the first human graced the face of the Earth and will continue to do so until the Earth ceases to exists.  Yes it’s true, the Earth does have a finite life-span, but we humans will have nothing to do with its demise.  You see the Sun’s gravitational force is ever so slowly pulling all of the planets toward it.  The closer the Earth’s orbit gets to the sun, the hotter the Earth will become and eventually the Earth will be swallowed up by the sun.  There is nothing that can stop this from happening.

We can not allow the propaganda of the radical environmental movement to corrupt the logic and facts of the situation.  We must pick apart their phony claim that CO2 emissions must be taxed because they are destroying our planet.  We must point out that if CO2 is as detrimental as the environmentalists would like us to believe, then they would be calling for an outright ban on CO2 emissions.  They would not seek monetary compensation as an acceptable trade-off for that which they deem poison being released into the atmosphere.  Their goal in reality has nothing to do with the environment but everything to do with the halting of human progress.

They wish to kill all industry and advancement.  Their ideal world is one with no livestock, no cars, no buildings and no factories.  They believe the caveman to be more in tune with the Earth and therefore superior to the modern industrialist.  They have set out to force modern man back into the caves, and Cap-and-Trade shall be their greatest victory in this battle.  A victory we must never allow them to achieve.

The Phony Outrage Over AIG Bonuses

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I never knew how entertaining C-SPAN could be until yesterday.  I tuned in just in time to see House Republicans square off against House Democrats about the so-called (by our President) ‘shocking’ bonuses given to AIG executives.  The only shocking thing about the situation is how stupid the White House along with House and Senate Democrats must believe us all to be.  They feigned outrage, gnashed teeth and dodged questions as House Republicans pointed out over and over again that these same individuals had voted this provision into law when they voted in favor of the 1,100+ page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   Here is the exact provision from the bill; (iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.

President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi created this situation by insisting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act be passed immediately.  This ensured that no one had the time to read it let alone debate any aspect of it.  The nation was in crisis and we needed to act quickly and blindly in order to save our very existence.  Look at where it has gotten us.  We have Barney Frank demanding  that Edward Liddy, CEO of AIG, reveal the names of the executives that received the bonuses he approved when he signed a bill he hadn’t read.  Liddy said he would not do so unless Frank could ensure the safety of the executives.  Frank scoffed at this, and threatened court action to obtain the names.  Demanding the names of American citizens, in a public forum, that did nothing more than receive a monetary bonus that Representative Frank voted for himself is deplorable.  What purpose does it serve to share these innocent individuals’ names other than to make them targets?  A lightening rod for the American people’s anger to strike, while Frank and his Democrat cohorts quickly pass a new, unconstitutional law, which will strip these executives of 90% of the Congress-approved bonuses they received.

At the same time we have the White House and the Treasury Secretary claiming ignorance.  They had no idea the provision existed.   This claim is a a blatant lie, an insult to my intelligence and that of my fellow citizens.  Despite my public school education and state university degree, I am literate.  I had no difficulty reading and understanding the language clearly laid out in the aptly named; TITLE VI – EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION section of the bill.  I can easily explain why no one seems to have read this portion as it appears at the tail end of the mammoth bill which no one could bear to read in its entirety.

Ladies and gentleman, our Congress and President believe you to be completely devoid of intelligence, in fact they are counting on this.  They aim to stoke the flames of class envy.  They want you to be angry with a group of executives who did nothing illegal. In fact they played by the rules established upon the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  I implore you, do not let them fool you.  Demanding 90% of this money be returned makes them the only criminals in this scenario.

The Government Doesn’t Make Money, They Take Money

dont-stealI repeat, the government doesn’t make money, they take money.  The only money that the government has is mine and that of every other tax paying US citizen.  The government accumulates our money via taxation then presto ‘government money’.  People are overlooking this most basic of principles if they believe that the government has the funds to provide them with health insurance when they cannot afford it themselves.  The only thing the government can really give you is your money back.

Greener Cemeteries?

cemeteryMore ‘stimulating’ spending in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, The National Cemetery Administration will be receiving $50,000,000 for ‘monument and memorial repairs, including energy projects’.  Energy projects?  How does one make a ‘greener’ cemetery with all those pesky corpses releasing methane gas as they decompose?

I’m Changing My Name to Science

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Under Title II of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, subheading Department of Justice, I found this amazing expenditure of money that is bound to stimulate; $400,000,000 for ‘Science’.  What the hell does that mean, ‘science’ and what kind of ‘science’ is the Department of Justice pursuing?  I have half a mind to haul my cookies down to Washington, walk onto the floor of the Senate,  introduce myself as ‘Science’ and demand they hand over a check for $400,000,000.  On a scale of ingenious to insane, I give this an inane.