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Once again Congress is likely to do something stupid.  Really, really stupid.

Sometime next year Social Security’s $150 billion disability-insurance program will become insolvent. The program, which offers income supplements to those who cannot work full time due to physical or mental disabilities, has buckled as the number of beneficiaries has soared to more than 11 million in 2014, from 3.8 million in 1984. The bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board has urged reforms.

You can't explain this away as "demographics" (e.g. people getting older); that's not the answer at all.  Further, not only have the self-reported rates of work-limiting disability not changed materially in 30 years but the reported rate of on-the-job injuries has come down materially.  Whatever you may think of OSHA, the fact is that "the job is getting done" in that regard.

But Congressional loosening of benefit requirements, and more-importantly allowing people to remain on disability effectively for life once they gain it (less than 1% of the people on disability return to the workforce in any given year) make the problem one that is utterly intractable without major changes.

In addition we must consider those who become disabled through either intentional personal conduct or willful refusal to follow through on a rehabilitation program.  Today you can literally smoke meth or suck down bottles of booze for decades, utterly destroy your health, and then go on disability, receiving what amounts to a $24,000 a year income between your SSDI payments and eligibility for Medicare at zero cost.  That's not bad, and you can then turn around and make up to about $13,000 on the side without losing any of those benefits!

I will note that these gimmes are also non-taxable, meaning that we're talking about a middle-class living for which you need do exactly nothing.  There are a whole host of people making $30,000 a year that take home less than the person on "disability."

There are in fact people who, through just bad luck or otherwise no fault of their own, find themselves unable to work.  Then there are those who legitimately are hurt on the job.  Part of your Social Security taxes that are paid in by you every pay period is supposed to go toward the possibility that one of these things will happen to you.

But it is utterly outrageous for you to be able to buy fire insurance on your house and then intentionally burn it down to collect the money.  That is considered arson and a crime.

But that is, in effect, what we permit with this program when we allow disability claims for people who are unable to work due to self-inflicted and intentional injury, such as disability caused by the ingestion of drugs or alcohol.

Cutting that off alone would not resolve all the problems but it sure would go a long way toward helping.  So would requiring medical exams on an annual basis by physicians paid for by the government instead of "private physicians" who have every incentive to find someone "disabled."  Indeed, independent studies have found that a very material percentage of the people on disability have the ability to perform some sort of  remunerative work.

If we shift funds to the Social Security disability fund from the Social Security retirement fund it will simply will hasten the day on which the retirement fund goes broke and is unable to pay promised benefits.  Shifting money around from one bankrupt program to another is not only bad policy it's an act of fraud and one we must not tolerate as a society.

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This article is mis-titled.

TALLAHASSEE — The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time pot dealer of $130 worth of weed using BB guns. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team detected investigators’ use of a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device — a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay — to the attorneys.

Rather than show the equipment, the state offered McKenzie a plea bargain.

The article goes on to talk about a "confidentiality agreement" between the FBI and local authorities with relationship to this gear and how it works.  However, that article misses the point.

In the United States, along with most other nations, you must be licensed to emit RF (radio) energy in most cases.  There are specific exemptions for certain bands within certain requirements, which is why you can buy a WiFi "hotspot" over the counter and use it without a license, along with your computer that talks to it.

Your cellphone has to be tested and approved to comply with the limits of radio emissions, including personal safety limits.  Modifying that device, as it operates on a licensed band, is explicitly illegal.  Likewise, the cell tower transmitter must be and is licensed to the carrier, who has specific authorization to use the frequency bands they are using -- and in fact they paid for access to those bands.

A government agency is not immune from these requirements and as such operation of such a "StingRay" device by a federal, state or local law enforcement agency without said license or the explicit permission and involvement of the license-holder, including verification of its operation within legal limits regarding power level, splatter and interference with others is explicitly illegal.

We must not permit this sort of lawless behavior by so-called "law enforcement"; it makes a mockery of their oath to uphold the law and in fact renders them criminals on their own!  As such their remit to allegedly "enforce the law" evaporates the minute such an intentional act takes place.

When will you wake up, America, and demand that this crap stop?

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Oh boy....

One of the worst days of Douglas Dendinger’s life began with him handing an envelope to a police officer.

In order to help out his family and earn a quick $50, Dendinger agreed to act as a process server, giving a brutality lawsuit filed by his nephew to Chad Cassard as the former Bogalusa police officer exited the Washington Parish Courthouse.

The handoff went smoothly, but Dendinger said the reaction from Cassard, and a group of officers and attorneys clustered around him, turned his life upside down.

What happened next was an entirely-fabricated claim that he had assaulted the officer in question including several intentional acts of perjury by other persons there, many of them probably law enforcement officers as well.

The victim, fortunately, asked his wife and nephew to video the original act.  This video, it turns out, winds up being the only reason this guy is not facing decades in prison.

So here's the question raised in the Post, and by myself as well: Why aren't all the law enforcement officers who filed false reports still on the job and not facing felony charges?  Why aren't the witnesses facing felony charges?  Why aren't the attorneys who filed false reports, specifically the prosecuting attorneys, facing charges and disbarment?

These people all conspired together to try to railroad this man.  While I suspect he will win in his civil rights lawsuit the taxpayers will get that bill.

No folks, this is not good enough.  You or I would be staring down a racketeering prosecution if we tried this and facing decades in prison.

This crap must stop and everyone involved must do hard prison time.  If they don't then there is no reason for anyone to respect the so-called law because it is not in fact anything more than armed thuggery.

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Cry me a river, so-called "Conservatives".....

This spring will mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the landmark agreement by King John of England at Runnymede ceding certain rights to rebel barons. Liberty will have another chance to shine on Wednesday when the Supreme Court hears a case with momentous implications about another sort of executive power. In this instance, though, it is the rebels who have the royal name: King v. Burwell raises questions about how President Obama has enforced the ObamaCare law—or, more precisely, modified, delayed and suspended it.

This will be the third challenge to the Affordable Care Act to reach the court. But King is different. The law’s constitutionality was challenged in NFIB v. Sebelius, 2012, and the way certain regulations burden particular types of plaintiffs was addressed by Burwell v. Hobby Lobby last year. Now comes King, challenging the administration’s implementation of the law.

Yes, I know.

And yes, I also know the facts on this, since I'm one of the few who claims to be a journalist that actually read the damn bill before it was passed.  Yes, all of it.  Every page.

Here's the problem -- the Roberts court, despite the clear intent in the law and the Congressional Recordheld the mandate and penalty constitutional as a tax.  The problem of course is that the Congressional Record and law itself said it wasn't a tax, specifically because it wasn't legally able to be one as it was a direct tax and that's Unconstitutional unless apportioned.  In other words you can't lay a direct tax that varies by person and circumstance (you can predicated on count, e.g. "per head"); to do so you'd need to amend the Constitution first.

An excise (tax on an activity) can be laid, but there was no way to read that into the refusal to take an action.  So Congress didn't, but then Roberts rewrote the law to make it so.

In doing so he blatantly violated the Constitution -- the highest law in the land.  Not only that, the law he left us with is blatantly unconstitutional.

This isn't the first time the USSC has done such a thing, it's just the latest.  Previous incarnations of this sort of horsecrap are found all the way back to Wickard .v. Filburn, and probably before. The fact of the matter is that such a decision makes no law, it creates no office and it has no force.  The US Supreme Court may be entitled (so it claims) to interpret the Constitution but it cannot rewrite statute on its own initiative.

Yet it did, and we sat for it.  We permitted it.  Those same black-robed bastards sit in that building today, despite having committed an egregious, in-your-face violation of their oath of office and the law.

So now you wish to complain about a mere implementation detail?

Where the hell were you when the original decision came down?  And where have you been since?  You have no argument to make at this point; once you cede to an entity that blatantly, openly and notoriously ignores the law you lose the right to complain about further violations of same.

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