Patterico's Pontifications

12/1/2012

Kimberlin News: Lee Stranahan’s Site Attacked; Kimberlin/Walker Court Hearing Tuesday

Filed under: Brad Friedman,Brett Kimberlin,General,Neal Rauhauser — Patterico @ 11:34 pm

Lee Stranahan got this message from his web host:

Hello,

While monitoring the servers, it was brought to our attention that your domain, leestranahan.com, was undergoing a brute force attack. The purpose of the attack was meant to gain access to your wp-admin area, allowing an authorized person to have complete control of your site.

The email lists URLs of specific posts that have been attacked.

Many of them are related to Brett Kimberlin.

P.S. There will be a major hearing in Aaron Walker’s case against Brett Kimberlin on Tuesday. It is worth noting that Kimberlin has pled the Fifth with respect to Walker’s discovery requests. One of those requests relates to Kimberlin’s knowledge about SWATting. Ted Frank notes on Twitter that, in the civil context, the court is entitled to draw an adverse inference from a litigant’s invocation of the Fifth (something a prosecutor could never do in a criminal trial, of course).

All of this makes for a potentially very interesting day on Tuesday. And raises the question: why does Brett Kimberlin think it might incriminate him to answer a question about what he knows about SWATting?

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Steyn: If You Want European-Sized Government, the Middle Class Must Pay European Style Taxes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

No, not just the rich. The middle class too:

Obama now wishes “the rich” to pay their “fair share” — presumably 80 or 90 percent. After all, as Warren Buffett pointed out in the New York Times this week, the Forbes 400 richest Americans have a combined wealth of $1.7 trillion. That sounds a lot, and once upon a time it was. But today, if you confiscated every penny the Forbes 400 have, it would be enough to cover just over one year’s federal deficit. And after that you’re back to square one. It’s not that “the rich” aren’t paying their “fair share,” it’s that America isn’t. A majority of the electorate has voted itself a size of government it’s not willing to pay for.

A couple of years back, Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute calculated that, if Washington were to increase every single tax by 30 percent, it would be enough to balance the books — in 25 years. If you were to raise taxes by 50 percent, it would be enough to fund our entitlement liabilities — just our current ones, not our future liabilities, which would require further increases. This is the scale of course correction needed.

If you don’t want that, you need to cut spending — like Harry Reid’s been doing. “Now remember, we’ve already done more than a billion dollars’ worth of cuts,” he bragged the other day. “So we need to get some credit for that.”

Wow! A billion dollars’ worth of cuts! Washington borrows $188 million every hour. So, if Reid took over five hours to negotiate those “cuts,” it was a complete waste of time. So are most of the “plans.” Any “debt-reduction plan” that doesn’t address at least $1.3 trillion a year is, in fact, a debt-increase plan.

As is so often the case with Steyn, the column is brilliant from start to finish.

Someone Tell Kathleen Parker . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:26 pm

. . . she doesn’t do humor well.

P.S. Or incisive analysis, for that matter.

Re ObamaCare: When Did Government *Ever* Regulate Us Into Efficiency???

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

Those who enjoy reading well-written, approachable papers about economic issues may enjoy this paper by John Cochrane (.pdf). Those who are not going to click the link should read this passage about ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) and the prospects for solving the health care problem by regulating the daylights out of it:

The ACA and the health‐policy industry are betting that new regulation, price controls, effectiveness panels, “accountable care” organizations, and so on will force efficiency from the top down. And the plan is to do this while maintaining the current regulatory structure and its protection for incumbent businesses and employees.

Well, let’s look at the historical record of this approach, the great examples in which industries, especially ones combining mass‐market personal service and technology, have been led to dramatic cost reductions, painful reorganizations towards efficiency, improvements in quality, and quick dissemination of technical innovation, by regulatory pressure.

I.e., let’s have a moment of silence.

No, we did not get cheap and amazing cell phones by government ramping up the pressure on the 1960s AT&T. Southwest Airlines did not come about from effectiveness panels or an advisory board telling United and American (or TWA and Pan AM) how to reorganize operations. The mass of auto regulation did nothing to lower costs or induce efficient production by the big three.

When has this ever worked? The post office? Amtrak? The department of motor vehicles? Road construction? Military procurement? The TSA? Regulated utilities? European state‐run industries? The last 20 or so medical “cost control” ideas? The best example and worst performer of all…wait for it… public schools?

It simply has not happened. Government‐imposed efficiency is, to put it charitably, a hope without historical precedent.

Also, government control of health care is antithetical to capitalism, and thus, to freedom. Because there is no such thing as freedom without capitalism.

You do understand that, right?

We really lost something fundamental when this country re-elected Barack Obama. We lost the chance to save 1/5 of our economy from oppressive government regulation that is doomed to failure.

I plan to have much more to say about the failures of ObamaCare. I have a cache of links sent by a reader that should furnish the basis for a good series of posts. For now, read the Cochrane paper.


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