Early retirement would make sense

if the idiot Congress would repeal the double-taxation they imposed on Social Security benefits back in 1984.  There’s a bill in the House with bipartisan support to do exactly that, but I doubt it has much traction in the Pelosi House.  Might do better after the Pubs win the House back in November.

Looking at this article, it appears the total payout converges at around 80, regardless of when you decide to take benefits after reaching 62. If you take them early, and live past 80, obviously the total drops off, but I haven’t any illusions that I’ll live to 100. I’ll probably be lucky to live to 80.  (Although my mother is nearly 92, so apparently she got a much better set of longevity genes than her parents or her sister, and maybe that will pass through to me.  Don’t know if I want to live that long or not.  On the other hand, never really thought about living past 40, which happened at the turn of the century; that I’ve now entered my seventh decade is somewhat of a shock whenever I think about it.)

If the double-taxation went away, it would probably pay to take benefits early, since one could still work without fear of having one’s benefits taxed away at some arbitrary income level. Social Security admits that it only replaces about 40% of your pre-retirement income, so given the choice between making it up out of your 401(k) or other pension instrument, or continuing to work (and probably still pay FICA) at a level that makes up the difference, I honestly think I’d prefer the latter.  I don’t think I’d have any trouble finding a job that paid 60% of what I make now, and if such a job had reasonable insurance benefits, it might make sense to pull the plug at 62 even though I don’t qualify for Medicare until 65.

Of course, I also have the thought that the sooner I take it, the more likely I will be to collect anything at all from our great national Ponzi scheme.

Statists gonna act statist

There’s been a lot of hooroar about Indiana’s SB203, the summary of which is:

Firearms. Prohibits the: (1) sale; (2) trade; or (3) transfer; of a regulated weapon to a person less than 21 years of age. Provides that a dealer or person who knowingly or intentionally: (1) sells; (2) trades; or (3) transfers; a regulated weapon to a person less than 21 years of age commits a Level 6 felony. Provides certain defenses. Prohibits a person from possessing, selling, or offering for sale a magazine or similar device for a firearm with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Provides that a person who: (1) knowingly; or (2) intentionally; openly carries a prohibited weapon in a public place commits carrying a prohibited firearm, a Class A misdemeanor. Creates the crime of “unlawful possession of a multiburst trigger activator”. Provides that the possession or sale of a multiburst trigger activator is a Class A misdemeanor. Provides that the crime of unlawful possession of a multiburst trigger activator is a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior, unrelated conviction for the offense.

Filed by a jackhole Democrap senator from Indianapolis, of course.  And he can kiss the rest of the legislators’ asses if he thinks this is going to go anywhere this session with a majority GOP in both houses.  Unless of course the GOP falls on their own asses and lets this get passed.  But the word is it’s DOA in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But this other bill, SB219, is insidious, was filed by a fuckwad GOP senator, and may end up passed if people don’t wake up:

School bus stop arm. Permits the civil forfeiture of a vehicle if the vehicle is used to recklessly pass a school bus with an extended stop arm.

Now, wait a minute.  Didn’t the Supreme Court (the federal one, not the state one) recently have some unkind words to say about civil forfeiture in a case from Indiana?

Well, sort of.  The Supreme Court said that the Excessive Fines clause of the 8th Amendment was binding on the states (the legal term is “incorporation”), but rather than vacating the forfeiture as an Excessive Fine, they sent Timbs v. Indiana back to the appellate level to determine whether or not Timbs’ forfeiture of his expensive SUV (because it was allegedly purchased with money Timbs made from selling illegal drugs) was, in fact, an Excessive Fine as defined by the Eighth Amendment.  (For what it’s worth, don’t think for a moment that Timbs is a good guy who got screwed by the state — he’s not.  But he makes a good case that seizure of the SUV was excessive.)

Given that the appellate courts have not yet ruled on whether or not civil forefeiture is an Excessive Fine, you’d think a state legislator — especially a GOP state legislator — would hold fire on attempting to add to the Indiana Code a really fucking stupid civil forfeiture penalty for what is effectively a reckless driving offense that is already punishable by a fine.  Because if the Timbs forfeiture ends up being vacated because it’s determined to be an Excessive Fine, this piece of legislation if passed will be null and void.

Moreover, the specific code to which this penalty is intended to be added, IC 34-24-1-1, doesn’t actually say a word about school buses and whether or not disregarding an extended school bus stop arm is any sort of a crime.  (It is, it’s just not covered in this statute, and I don’t have time to go look it up.)  IC 34-24-1-1 discusses the specific criminal acts such as dealing in or transporting illegal narcotics, transporting bombs, driving recklessly while drunk, and suchlike, for which a vehicle is fair game to be seized.

Note that all of the offenses listed in IC 34-24-1-1 are criminal offenses, rather than civil.  I would argue that since reckless driving is already covered, there is no need to add the specific instance of disregarding an extended stop arm, other than to say, “Look, I DID SOMETHING ABOUT SOMETHING, so RE-ELECT ME.”  What this is normally called is “larding the bill of indictment with stuff that ought to be fucking obvious.”

So for the exceedingly subjective offense of passing a school bus while its stop arm is extended, any offender could be slapped with a reckless driving charge and potentially forfeit their vehicle.  The reason I call this “exceedingly subjective” is that school bus drivers often extend the stop arm before they come to a full stop.  If I am already in the act of passing the bus when the stop arm comes out, an innocent act at this time in history, I could be charged with an offense that actually makes zero sense to prosecute.  It’s “subjective” because it’s entirely up to how the cop sees the incident, which could be dependent on his viewing angle, but could also be dependent on how much coffee and how many doughnuts he’s had to eat today, or whether or not he was really paying attention or checking out the cute mom waiting for her kid at the bus stop.

Now, if I’m drunk, and the cop is chasing me, and I happen to whiz past a parked school bus with the stop arm extended, hell’s fire, he’s already got me for DUI and reckless driving, and possibly reckless endangerment of the kids getting on or off the bus.  IC 34-24-1-1 already says my vehicle is subject to seizure for those offenses (which is questionable pending the outcome of Tibbs v. Indiana).  Why do we need to lard on ANOTHER forfeiture clause that by the way is PROBABLY an Eighth Amendment Excessive Fine?

Because it’s really all about the plea bargain.  The prosecutor doesn’t want to waste his time on this, so he’s going to walk in and say, “Hmm, first offense, DUI, reckless driving, passing a bus with stop arm extended, so you’re going to lose your car to civil foreiture.  We’ve got you on camera.  Do you want to plead out now, or fight us on this?  Our deal is, you lose your car but we get you probation as a first-time offender, and you lose your license for 90 days and have to attend a diversion program.”

For which the prosecutor ought to be hanged, but that’s another story.

The point is, when you already have half a dozen ways from Sunday to prosecute the sort of offense that is envisioned by Sen. Ronnie Alting (R-Lafayette), a state senator of 22 years’ tenure who probably should have been primaried or term-limited years ago, you have to wonder when this cake of laws we’re baking is going to be done.  We are thus left wondering, as P.J. O’Rourke so trenchantly did:

Otherwise, only one important question is raised by the Constitution, a question implicit in its Preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . .

The question being, “Are we done yet?”

— Parliament of Whores, p. 14

As P.J. noted in answer to his own question, “The mystery of government is not how Washington works, but how to make it stop.”  I’d suggest you could say the same about the Indiana General Assembly.

Of course it’s Trump’s fault…in the minds of Democrats.

Saw this tweet posted on Facebook:

My response:

  • War started under Carter
  • War escalated under Obama
  • Trump makes it clear we’re not screwing around anymore
  • QED (quod erat democratum), the whole thing is Trump’s fault.

It’s not fair, but nobody ever said the Democrats were fair.  Except Democrats, and they lie about everything.

Time for the real Persians to step up

The Iranian-American War started on 4 November 1979.

This is a reminder for the benefit of Congressional Democrats, whose memories apparently don’t go back that far. I know Ilhan Omar’s don’t; she hasn’t been an American that long (and still isn’t, regardless of being given citizenship that ought to be revoked).

The IA war has never ended, and continues 40 years later, mostly because the Iranian leadership can’t back down from their “US == Satan” rhetoric. Well, that plus the mullahs are a bunch of fascist dictators. I keep wondering when the real Persians are going to step up, the Transfenestration of Qom will happen, and the Radical Islamics who’ve ruined Persia will be tossed out on their asses in favor of the Zoroastrians.

I hear a lot of sass from Persian protesters talking about how they don’t want any help from the US, but I sure don’t see any mullahs being cut down in the street like the dogs they are. So that’s something they might want to either get on with, or ask for help with. Their call, but I’m thinking it won’t be long until we take care of that for them, whether they like it or not.

Bottom line, you want this shit to end? Kill the got-damn mullahs who own you in fee simple. You have nothing to lose but your chains, your chadors, and your hijabs.

Celebrities have no special insight and should be laughed at

“Shut up and sing.” Ah, if only our “celebrities” would follow that simple dictum and stick to what they know…which isn’t much.

So, just to set the record straight, Bette Midler thinks our servicemen and diplomatic personnel are expendable, and they should have been left to die like her goddess Hillary did the Benghazi crew, just to splash mud on the current president’s face. Good to know.

Hey, Bette, exit question: Should your hero Hillary and her ex-boss Barry face an inquiry and jail time for leaving US officials and Marines to die at the hands of barbarians? Same thing, amirite?

Also good to know that most of the early commenters on this twit, er tweet of hers were slapping her around exactly as she deserved.

Sad for Ms. Bette that we have a real President who dropped a rapid reaction force into Baghdad and took care of the problem.

Stupid cow bitch commie traitor.

 

A modest proposal

Why term limits?  Just don’t let them start serving so early, and kick them out at a mandatory retirement age.

Resolved:  To Amend The Constitution Of The United States, as follows:

Sec. 1: The legal age of Majority for Citizens of the United States as well as all non-Citizens either resident or transient on the national territory of the United States shall be twenty-one (21) years of age.  Congress shall make no law restricting the minimum age for use of tobacco, tobacco-related, or alcoholic products.

Sec. 2: The minimum legal voting age shall be forty (40) years of age.

Sec. 3: The minimum age for election to serve in the House of Representatives shall be forty (40) years of age; in the Senate, forty-five (45) years of age; and to serve as President or Vice-President of the United States, fifty (50) years of age; notwithstanding that any person so serving as of the date of ratification of this Amendment, who does not meet this requirement and will not meet this requirement by the end of his or her current term of office, may continue to serve until the end of his or her current term of office.

Sec. 4: The mandatory retirement age for all elected officials under the United States, including Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, and the President and Vice-President of the United States, shall be seventy-five (75) years of age; notwithstanding that any person so serving as of the date of ratification of this Amendment, who has served more than one-half of his or her current term of office when reaching the mandatory retirement age, may continue to serve until the end of his or her current term of office.

Sec. 5: Unless otherwise prescribed by statute, this Amendment shall not be construed to apply to appointed officers of the United States, nor shall it be construed under any circumstances to apply to Judges serving Article III courts.

Sec. 6:  This is the Way. I have spoken.

You’re welcome.

Mr. McConnell, tear down this impeachment.

SCOTUS: No Articles of Impeachment or a Trial Are Required For The Senate to Acquit President Trump

[T]he Supreme Court has ruled – in the Nixon case [Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224 (1993)] – that how the Senate goes about acquitting or convicting any impeached person is non-justiciable, in that the Senate’s power is plenary and the Supreme Court may not even review it.

This means that if the Senate acquits Trump immediately – without a trial – the Supreme Court has no authority, whatsoever, to review the Senate’s acquittal, and there isn’t a damn thing the House can do about it.

Which means that the Dems arguing that Trump hasn’t been impeached yet and the Senate must wait for the articles to be “transmitted” are a bunch of lying sacks of shite.

That SCOTUS ruling, by the way, was 9-0. Even the liberal Democrats then on the court concurred.

It’s time to end this farce, Mr. McConnell. The Senate must take action. Bring it to the floor and proceed to a vote.

This is not political and it’s not personal

The Democrats’ bogeyman.  Photo Credit: AP

Unless you make it personal.

The reason I’m waiting to see what John Durham has to say about the Trump/FBI imbroglio (as I don’t put much weight on either of the IG reports so far) is that I want to see both the process and the rule of law respected.  It’s not about political bias, as a NeverTrumper friend I just blocked on Facebook* claims it is. It’s about wrongful and illegal use of legal processes designed to ferret out and punish wrongdoers. It’s about lying about a phony secondhand report from a sketchy source to get a FISA warrant to spy on a candidate for elected office. It’s about the FBI’s off and on again investigation of the Clinton email scandal. It’s about a bunch of evil, lying sacks of shit going around with FBI badges and pretending to uphold the law. You know — the law they swore to uphold.

So far as I can see, the only wrongdoing in this entire mess was done by government officials who should have known better, but were so convinced that history would absolve them and fête them as heroes (because after all, Hillary! was going to be elected, so this would all get swept under the rug and there would be medals and promotions for all in her administration), they went ahead with their lying and misrepresentation anyway. And then, miracle of miracles, DJT got elected and THEY GOT CAUGHT RED HANDED.

As for the third report, my blocked friend implied that it’s going to be “a third IG report.” It’s not. It’s the Attorney General’s report, and as I had pointed out in the original FB post, John Durham is a US Attorney who has a lot more power than any Inspector General. IGs don’t have subpoena power, they can’t convene grand juries, and they can’t get warrants for arrests.  The fact that Durham is involved means it’s a criminal investigation at this point. And Durham is not known for letting things slide. There will be hell to pay for the FBI interfering in a national election and then trying to coup the lawfully-elected president, and all of the guilty know it.  Thus the mad scramble by the press and everyone else involved to claim Horowitz’s IG report vindicated all of them.  Not so fast, boys and girls.  AG Barr and US Attorney Durham don’t agree with Horowitz’s conclusions.  Act III is coming soon.  Make sure you’ve got popcorn.

Look, I don’t like Donald Trump, either. I was a NeverTrumper until Cruz pulled out (I have said this many times on this blog), and then I was damned if I was going to vote for a Green, or a Libertarian who had an anti-2A VP candidate, or Hillary!. But I can live with DJT being president.

You can hate Donald Trump all you want, but you MUST stand for upholding fairness and the rule of law. And right now, nobody on the left or in the NeverTrump camps seem to be doing that. And I can tell you that if this goes on, the next Democrat president (not to mention the next RINO Republican president) is going to have a really, really, REALLY rough ride.

All y’all done made the flyover folks mad. And we’re not taking it anymore.

_________________

* Because frankly I was sick and tired of the NeverTrump bullshit that I’ve been listening to him spew since 2016.  And he’s a meatspace friend, too, unfortunately.  NeverTrumpers just need to fuck off and die.  It’s too late for that shit — he’s been the duly elected and inaugurated president for nearly three years.  Stop beating that dead horse, for the love of all that’s holy.

Absolutely disgusting.

’They murdered him:’ Family of UPS driver killed in shootout lashes out at police

Every officer involved should be locked up awaiting arraignment on murder or manslaughter charges. If heads don’t (figuratively) roll in Broward County for this, something dirty and evil is at work.

The officers:

  • Never tried to negotiate, just started shooting
  • Shot into the UPS van without any clue as to where the hostage or hostages might be (violations of Rules 2 and 4)
  • Shot through the UPS van into their own people who had encircled the van (absolute violation of Rule 4)
  • Effectively used innocent bystanders as human shields, which apparently got at least one innocent bystander shot (further violations of Rules 2 and 4)

Officers of the law are not military, they are civilians just like the civilians they claim to protect and serve. They have no right to simply start shooting at law-breakers indiscriminately, particularly when all of the points I just made are ignored. And even the military operates on more stringent rules of engagement than this. Soldiers have been court-martialed in Iraq for killing innocent civilians. How is this different?

Incidents like this are happening all over the country and are not being well-reported (no-knock raids that get cops and citizens alike killed, the phenomenon of “SWATting” where innocent people get 911 called on them as a prank or because someone doesn’t agree with them politically).

Look. I want to support the police, because I think they serve an important purpose in our society. But either they are no longer being trained properly, or these incidents are happening because the police really do think they are some sort of elite military cadre that can’t be touched for anything they do. If it’s the former, we can fix that. If it’s the latter, the officers who can’t stand down from that lofty but false perch need to be removed from the police force and never allowed to return. These are not feudal times and they are not the knights of the lord of the manor with a mandate to operate against the serfs with impunity.

Perhaps a good start to regaining public confidence in the police would be to stop providing them surplus military weapons and military vehicles and get them grounded back into the communities they serve.

As someone else said in another context, these guys make the FBI agents in Die Hard look good. And that raises another trenchant point:

Real life isn’t a got-damn movie. So stop acting like it is.

It’s true

You really can outgrow your oldest friends.

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