“I’m sorry – We’re Broke.”

1 Nov

I have been accused of being a “treehugger”around here, recently. Again…

I’m not sure why…  Sure, I write posts about saving energy. Because I have to pay for the energy I use! Well, duh!

I like CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent light bulbs). Why? Well,  because I don’t have to change them as often, and they save me money.


Sure, I write posts about being kind to the trees that give us WOOD, and oxygen, and shade… Why? Wood gives me an excuse to use POWER TOOLS!  Plus, if you water those trees, they give you SHADE! Shade saves energy, and gives me a place to hang the hammock!

I’m not a militant “tree-spiker”, and I don’t agree with a lot of the “treehugger agenda”. Or maybe it’s just the methods I don’t’ agree with. Saving a tree is never worth killing a human being over. And that’s what “tree-spikers” do. I know from first-hand experience.  If you kill a person over a tree, you’re NOT an “environmentalist…” You’re a MURDERER.

Terrorism is terrorism, no matter what “flag” you wrap it up in.

Nothing good can come of it.

But… people see shipping containers being cut up and reassembled into houses, and they immediately think “Eco-Whackjob.”

Look, I love trees. Truly! But my primary goal isn’t to clean up the earth, or save the environment, or even make sure that my kids breathe clean air right now.


As my wife slowly dies, as my two year old son starts venturing out into that great big world… my family is living in a hovel. It’s a horrid little box, that hasn’t had anything resembling “real maintenance” done to it, since about the Kennedy Administration.

It wasn’t always like this. We had a nice home, and it was almost paid for. We had a decent car, and we had money to pay the bills. Until…

A hurricane wiped it all out. Sure, we had insurance. But, you know what? The insurance company is pleading “bankruptcy” if they are forced to pay off all their claims. So, we’re part of 2,000 families in a class action lawsuit against them now, trying to get the “protection that we paid for.”

The facts are that they HAD the money.

But, the stockholders would’ve taken a huge hit (okay, an even bigger hit), and the fat-cats in charge would have seen their bonuses (and possibly even their jobs) diminish. So guess who gets screwed? Guess.

I’ve written extensive posts about all this before, you I’m not going to rehash it now. It just raises my blood pressure.

While all those environmental goals are noteworthy, and even applaudable, I just don’t have the means to change any of  circumstances that contribute to them. I have to leave that to you guys and gals.

What I am out to accomplish is getting my family back into a safe, secure, weather-resistant house, that we can afford to live in. One where we have the same basic needs covered that most of you have. And, we’d like to do it without a huge mortgage, huh? Is that too much to ask?

And if I manage to slay any environmental dragons along the way, well, that’s just a wonderful bonus.

From the feedback I’m getting, you’d certainly think that I might be asking too much…

I’ve groveled,  I’ve crawled, I’ve lobbied politicians, I’ve made speeches before “Capital cronies,” I’ve written “blood-covered” posts, and I’ve even begged, because my family is FAILING, but help is just not happening…

Some of you already know that we just got a shipment of damaged shipping containers, that we’re cannibalizing for fun and “experimentation.” Okay, three. We got three. It’s not like we got a container ship fulla boxes. Don’t I wish. I’d build houses  for families that needed them… until I dropped dead from exhaustion.

While I was out behind a warehouse recently, using a plasma cutter to dissect a Corten Cubicle, I had a guy walk over and get on my case about my “ambition.”

It seems that if you cut up a steel box and then live in it, you’re “putting carpenters out of work” in an already failing economy. Why, what you’re doing is downright “un-American!”

Exact words.

I had to laugh. Right in his face.

That just made him madder. For a minute I thought that he was looking for something to hit me with, but everything laying around was steel, and way too heavy for him to lift. So, he just rattled off a string of obscenities, shook his fists at me repeatedly, and then waddled off.

I guess he forgot that you have to put interiors into these boxes in order to make them livable, and then… you’ll probably put insulation and siding on the outside of them, to confuse the neighbors even further… I think carpenters do that, unless I’m mistaken. I’ve never seen any “Container Gnomes”, or anything like that… 🙂

If wanting a safe, affordable, sustainable house to live in is considered “Un-American”… then sign me up and send me a lifetime membership card.

Having had just about enough of his nonsense (and his threats), I calmly put down the plasma cutter (Remember, campers… always treat your tools with respect. Your neighbors? Well… um… er… it depends on what day it is…), and took off my goggles, and my wristwatch.

This was going to be just the “attitude adjustment “I needed. I hate taking “anti-stress and blood pressure medication.” But, I’m all pent up with frustration. What better outlet, than an idiot cursing my family ancestry? Hmmm?

But he didn’t possess enough “conviction” to actually put his butt behind his mouth. He literally ran away.

Now, I realize that I seem a little bit “up-patriotic” at times. I’m disenchanted with government. I’m tired of give-away programs that only benefit the elite, or fund projects that seem unlikely to succeed, while the rest of us suffer.

Bailing out Wall Street?

I’ve heard all the arguments. And now, I’ve seen everything go right back to the way it was… except the bonuses are even bigger. Why?

Bailing out the Car Companies?

Again, why? Not ALL companies started withering like grapes in a heatwave! Only the ones that refused to change with the times.

Cash for Clunkers?

Okay, some of us got new cars. (I didn’t.)

But, I’ll remind those of you who did that the REST of us are paying for them. Billions of dollars. So, when you go out into the driveway, to start up that new car you bought with your $4500 free bucks, remember that the rest of the taxpaying citizens of America helped put it in your driveway, and now we’re helping you pay for it.

Like it or not. I don’t remember voting for that one. Oy.

The Stimulus Package?

Sure, now hundreds of large US-based corporations can afford to outsource jobs to Malaysia, to build solar panels and other cool environmental stuff. And, it’s exactly what’s happening. I just read a report that several large companies here in the US are on a hiring binge in other countries, to build these products, now that they have government money to do it with. In fact, they may offer to move you to that country, if you want to keep your job. I hear India is nice this time of year. And, the  curry is good…

We just picked our own pockets until there was nothing left but lint. Am I really the only one who sees this?

Recently, I ran a post that talked about grants, and loans, and “money lost.”

I got a list of grants and banks, and “other” organizations helping American families to build homes. And, it wasn’t worth the paper that they printed it on. Should I be surprised? After all, I got it from a Government official.

And, I got pissed off, and wrote a post about it.

People emailed me like mad, telling me that I was crazy. After all, the Government is just giving money away, to anyone who wants it!

Yeah? Bull.

Apparently, they’re only giving it away to people OUTSIDE this country, who supported Presidential Campaigns.

Want yet another an example?

The Wall Street Journal (Yes… Ronin reads… I don’t just look at the pictures…) The Department of Energy just awarded $529 million to Finland…


… for an $89,000 all-electric sports car, while US projects die, jobs languish, and American companies go bust.

The U.S. Government has offered a $529 million loan to FISKER,  an Al Gore-backed company making $89,000 all-electric sports cars in Finland, while US projects, and the resulting US jobs go unfunded.

Why are US projects unfunded? The Government says they don’t have the money to fund them… Whaaaa?

It might interest you to know that Fisker‘s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a “significant” partner.

Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million recently to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

A representative from the CRP added; “And that’s just the money that we can actually track.”

You wonder why I hate (okay… I don’t “hate” him, I just dislike him…a lot…) Al Gore?

Here’s yet ANOTHER reason. This backstabbing b@st@rd continues to rake in the cash, by using his “global warming platform” as an ATM.

There is a distinct difference between “Global Warming” and Climate Change. I totally, totally, totally…  believe in Climate Change… but “Global Warming?” Bah-Hooey! 😉

But, back to Al Gore… First, it was “Bad Science“. Hey, if nothing else, Al Gore IS the Paris Hilton of the Scientific Community… He’s stinking rich for no apparent good reason, he’s a “charismatic idiot,” he turns up every time he sees a press camera light go on… and he looks good on camera… sometimes.

Thousands of notable, credentialed scientists (including many who specialize in Climate Change Science) are now going on record to state that Gore pulled a fast one on EVERYBODY…

Then, it was “carbon credits.” Again, Gore‘s “Carbon Credit Trading Company” made millions of dollars.

Now FISKER is using Gore‘s contacts and political prowess as a “Hollywood backed media darling“, to bilk American taxpayers again, and again, and again.

Other car companies have gotten money recently. Hello? You know, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, for example. Even one of my favorites, TESLA,  got some cash, in the form of a loan.

Now, I’m okay with Tesla getting some cash. Tesla builds electric cars. Cool electric cars, I might add. Those idiots in Congress gave Tesla $465 million bucks, in the form of a loan. Okay, so Tesla has to pay it back… I’m okay with that. They actually build their cars here. So Americans get jobs and Americans want, and will get the cars they build.

But Fisker? Wait a minute!

The Silicon Valley-based Fisker said that the bulk of loan proceeds will go towards the development of a $40,000 family sedan.

That they haven’t even designed yet!

And if that’s true, why are they diverting a large portion of the funds to fuel yet another car, an “alleged” $90,000 electric car that nobody can afford except status seeking… um… er… Hollyweirdo’s and fatcats…. Oh… I get it… never mind! 😉

Wait a minute! you say… It’s a Silicon Valley corporation! That’s not  “alien.”

Um… where do Finnish cars get built?

So far… FINLAND.

So, how many American jobs will that money fund?

I’m Betting ZERO!

Fisker‘s Silicon Valley operation is just a glorified design center. It’s a place for the top 1% of their employees to hang their hats. So either Fisker plans on giving them HUGE pay raises, or that money is going overseas.

I read the data. The plant in America (Wilmington) that they’re talking about is hopelessly locked in turmoil. Moses couldn’t bring that plant on-line any time soon. The Union isn’t budging, and there are big troubles ahead…

But… employees of Fisker’s top investor, KPC&B, donated more than $2 million to the Obama presidential campaign, and customers who have pre-ordered the Fisker include… who else… Al Gore.

Wanna bet that his doesn’t come with an invoice?

The DOE denied that politics played a role in the decision.


Yeah, right. And yesterday I was abducted by aliens…

I’m thinking that if you spend about $4 million dollars on the right politician, you can get a hell of a loan… no matter where you live. But, I bet that the DOE will deny that, too…

But zero is still zero. Unless you count the millions of bucks that Finland (and Al Gore) just raked in.

For 1/10th of 1 percent of that money, I could have built homes for 15 small families. Okay, sure… it’s only 15 families, but it’s a START! It’s 15 families safe, dry, and warm in their 600+ square foot houses made of steel. And one of those kids could grow up to be President. But probably not… because growing up to be energy efficient, self-reliant, and socially  responsible… would probably disqualify them.

Somebody pass the Tylenol…

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin Look, if you like this blog, if it helps you plan your ISBU project, or even if you just enjoy watching me make an @$$ out of myself … hit the Paypal button up there (if you can afford to), and donate a few bucks to help us out. Look, if I didn’t REALLY need it, I wouldn’t ask. It’s humiliating, and it’s embarrassing. I just ran out of options. If we don’t help “ourselves,” no one will. Government isn’t going to do it. If something doesn’t happen REAL soon, my family will fail, and we don’t have a safety net. I write this blog, to help as many families as we possibly can, while we try to heal, ourselves. Thanks for reading!

10 Responses to ““I’m sorry – We’re Broke.””

  1. Chris November 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Ronin 🙂

    Just to clarify a bit – most of the money from the federal loan is going to build the NINA in a Delaware based plant. It’s also said to ‘save or create’ up to 5000 jobs. Here’s a bit from Wikipedia:

    Fisker has received a $528M federal loan. Until now, these funds (from the Federal $25 billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program[12]) have gone mostly to the large automobile manufacturers and Tesla. The loan will principally fund “Project NINA” to design, engineer and assemble Fisker’s second-generation, $39,000 sedan, for sale starting in 2012 in volumes over 100,000/year.

    Of the total Fisker loan, $359 million is going to revive manufacturing at the Boxwood Plant in Delaware in support of Fisker NINA.

    Fisker Automotive plans to use the remaining $169.3 million in ATVM loans for engineering work in Michigan and California to complete the company’s first vehicle, the Fisker Karma; to develop manufacturing processes for the Boxwood Plant; and to design the tools and equipment for manufacturing its plug-in hybrids

    • renaissanceronin November 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      Just to clarify a bit, as well… if you don’t want to leave an email addy, you don’t have to make up such a lengthy “bogus” one. 🙂

      And the plant that you’re talking about, the “Wilmington Plant,” is hopelessly tied up in litigation. There are questions about whether or not it will EVER open it’s door again, and the lawyers will be chewing on it for years. VP Biden, who did the “bandwagon” for the foray, has now gone on record as saying it probably won’t happen. Union Officials are virtually guaranteeing that it won’t happen.

      Fisker CLAIMS that if they “work the plant,” it’ll recreate 2,000 jobs, that were lost when the plant originally closed down. And we’re talking about 5 years from now, maybe. In the meantime, those 2000 families are just gonna coast along, waiting?

      The funding to support Fisker’s Karma program? People aren’t buying electric cars now… I think it’s a battery storage tech gap, and power infrastructure issue, last time I checked. Not to mention the fact that when they finally get to market, you can count on that Karma being priced way over the $89,000 that they are publicly using now.

      And who among us can even afford an $89,000 electric car in the driveway? Not ME, and none of my friends can, either!

      Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the concept of electric cars. There’s just a long way to go, and some of this spending seems to put carts before horses, in my view.

      So, Congress gives half a billion dollars (of taxpayers money that WE don’t even have) to a foreign car company, so they can build cars that they haven’t even designed yet… that there isn’t any market for, to create jobs, half a decade away… maybe… while American families are struggling, starving, and slipping farther into recession and despair, while homeless families in America struggle to find shelter and places to eat…. NOW.

      Families that Congress says it can’t help, because there is NO MONEY.

      Why should America families go without things they need to SURVIVE… while Congress gives a foreign start-up filled with celebrity investors $529 million to build something that they haven’t even designed yet, in a plant they don’t even have access to, yet?

      Can I have $529 million for a satellite to explore the planet that I haven’t even discovered yet? Please?

      It’s just not LOGICAL.

      I’m not mad at Fisker, honest. It’s just doing what car companies do. Trying to build cars. I’m mad at CONGRESS!

      It’s just politics. Is it any wonder the people who crafted this drew the Wilmington Plant into the fray? After all… where’s Joe Biden FROM? Oh wait… he was a Delaware SENATOR, before he became VP.


      To say this is about creating jobs is nonsense. The average “working class” American can’t get a loan to buy a home. And this half billion dollar “porkfest” could represent 13,000 homes. 13,000 of them! I think that’s more important than 2,000 factory jobs “half a decade away… maybe” if only measured by the bodycount…

  2. Shipping Conatiner Homes November 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    A great article, Shipping Container Home Design is just about being green, its should also be about saving money over conventional construction methods.

    • renaissanceronin November 1, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

      Hey, thanks for the comment.

      I’m thinking that you meant that “Shipping Containers aren’t just about being green…” right?

      The way I see it, the “greenness” of ISBUs is just a bonus. It’s a viable material, that already possesses much of the required potential, from the moment you pick it up. It’s affordable, recyclable, and extremely versatile. It’s like it was just … um… meant to be! 🙂

      I’m betting that there are containers on ships right now, that are sick and tired of being sandwiched into big piles, where they can’t see a thing! And they’re thinkin:

      “Man, I wish I was a warm home filled with love, kids, and laughter, and surrounded by wide open space! When I grow up, I wanna be live in Montana!!” 🙂

      And, I checked out your site! Wow! Very nice. I recommend that anyone wanting to learn more about shipping container homes have a look there!

      Great Job!

  3. Chris November 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    I don’t mind leaving my email, it’s just that I associated it with an avatar at one point, and now I can’t remember how to delete it, haha. So I just write some gibberish in the email form, since it says ‘required’. 🙂

    • renaissanceronin November 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

      Hey, you ain’t the only one who suffers “momentary lapses…” I’ve forgotten anything that happened before the 70’s… LOL!

      And, please understand that I wasn’t going after YOU.

      It’s just that turning down American families for “lack of funds” and then fueling these “forays into corporate profit that will never affect MOST Americans…” makes me MAD.

      Now, you wanna loan “taxpayer cash” to a company that will build an affordable electric car that ALL of us can afford to drive? Now you have my attention…

      But not while families are homeless. 😦


  4. clarkscottroger November 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    I am just a real estate broker, so I don’t know a whole lot about macro-economics or national budgets and money supplies, but in my business the talk is that they will extend the $8,000.00 First Time Home Buyer tax credit. (And being done in Washington DC where the motto is ‘more is more’, the latest is that the 8,000 will be augmented with some ‘additional’ monies for ‘not such First Time Buyers’.)
    Anyway, when I heard that I it occured to me that the politicians are just ‘renting’ a ‘functioning’ economy. (enough quotes there?)
    The plan seems to be ‘print money, give it to people only if they buy things they may or may not need, so they can use it to buy things and get deeper in debt.’
    Hey, given the numbers, between the ‘Stimulus’ and Bush’s War on Everyone Who Don’t Like US and we got to be talking trillions.
    So, why not just divide the trillions in 250 million (or whatever the population) is and pay us directly. I might get subversive and save the money or something commie like.


    • renaissanceronin November 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

      Ah crap…

      A Realtor! (gasp!) There goes the neighborhood! 🙂

      I’m seeing the same thing… the First-Timer credit will get extended, and include even more people, by changing the definition. Oy.

      “Renting a functioning economy…” Spot on, except the “functioning” part… 🙂

      And “divvy’ing up the booty” sounds like a good idea to me… I might just invest in enough mason jars to bury it all…

      ‘Course, when I dug it up, it’d probably be worthless… 😦

      I just wanna go hide in the woods… and be left alone.

      I wonder if there’s a grant for THAT? 🙂


  5. Patience November 3, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    Ronin…I am definitely a tree hugger have always been. But I agree with your point. It really boils down to saving money. Its kinda stupid to spend more money and be more wasteful at the same time, but that way has become apart of our culture.

    I want the best of both worlds!


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