At Least Six Dead, Several Injured in Mexico Hotel Explosion
In this photo released by 570 News via The Canadian Press, debris is seen scattered on the lawn of a resort hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico,
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Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, charged with the death of a U.S. Army private and the wounding of another in an attack on a Little Rock recruiting station claims to be waging jihad against the United States. He has sent seven handwritten letters to the Memphis Commercial Appeal professing regret over his failture to do more harm.
By his own account, he was preparing for jihad.
From a black Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Memphis native, watched two soldiers in fatigues smoking outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock. He aimed an assault rifle out the window and fired.
Several years ago, mostly for entertainment value, we covered a series of nude protests, most of which were in support of causes with which we had little sympathy. On Thursday, however, there was a demonstration in Kiev that had more merit. A group of feminists called Femen went topless at an event at the Iranian embassy to protest the sentence of death by stoning that Iran meted out to Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani. Few things attract attention like a group of topless women; you can see what happened in this brief, somewhat-explicit video:
This photo shows one of the protesters being apprehended:
We take our hats off to the ladies of Femen. If any government deserves topless protests, it is the barbaric Iranian regime.
Why do tall people burn less energy per kilogram when walking than shorter ones do, and how much energy does walking require?
ScienceDaily (Nov. 14, 2010) — Any parent that takes their kid out for a walk knows that children tire more quickly than adults, but why is that? Do kids and small adults walk differently from taller people or do they tire faster for some other reason? Peter Weyand from Southern Methodist University, USA, is fascinated by the effect that body size has on physiological function.
Weyand and his colleagues have now published their discovery that walkers of all heights use the same amount of energy per stride, making short people less economical because they take more steps. They also have derived a fundamental equation to calculate exactly how much energy walkers use with direct applications in all walks of life. The team published its discovery on Nov. 12 in The Journal of Experimental Biology.
Analysing the walkers' styles, the team found that all of them moved in exactly the same way regardless of their height. Next the team calculated the metabolic cost of a stride as each walker moved at their most economical pace and they discovered that walkers use the same amount of energy per stride regardless of their height.
George Orwell, please call the red courtesy phone.
Early October, the Obama administration announced it had granted waivers not only to McDonald’s, but also to several other firms and labor unions.
Now comes word that Torquemada HHS Secretay Kathleen Sebelius has approved a whopping 111 waivers for businesses of all sizes, along with more unions and other providers of health insurance. The escapees include employers of many low-wage and part-time workers whose health insurance plans would otherwise be dropped, including Darden Restaurants — the parent company of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster and other chains, which employ some 34,000 people.
Via Michelle you can read the full list of those not having to participate here. There are large numbers of small to medium businesses on there, many with less than 25 employees. Weren’t these precisely the types of businesses that Obamacare was supposed to rescue from the evil health insurance system?
But in one of the truly delicious bits of irony I discovered the name of New England Health Care. No, it’s not an insurance company. It’s a policy institute. Let’s dig into their mission statement a bit and see what they’re all about, shall we?
Founded in 2002, the New England Healthcare Institute – known as NEHI – is a nonprofit, independent health policy institute dedicated to transforming health care for the benefit of patients and their families.
So an institute dedicated to finding ways to reform the health care system had to apply for an exemption from the administration’s reforms to the health care system?
ABC News’ The Note runs with a story claiming that Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul is citing bad numbers on federal employee pay. But could it be ABC that has its numbers wrong?
“The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year,” Paul of Kentucky said. “The average private employee makes $60,000 a year. Let’s get them more in line, and let’s find savings. Let’s hire no new federal workers.”
But the average government employee earns nowhere near $120,000 per year. “The median salary is $65,000,” said Jennifer Dorsey of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The Note closes with a quote that well-represents where the story is coming from: “Maybe he didn’t know what he was talking about.”
But it’s actually The Note that seems not to know what it was talking about. ABC forgets that a worker’s salary isn’t the total of what he “makes.” In addition, there are benefits such as pensions, health insurance, vacation time, and so forth.
To count them, we go to the National Income and Product Accounts, which show the number of workers for the federal government and the private sector and the total compensation paid to each. Divide total compensation by the number of workers and you get compensation per worker. What does that look like?
Federal employees: $123,049
Private sector employees: $61,051
Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., refused to commit to a challenge against Nancy Pelosi for Democratic House leader in the next Congress.
He was repeatedly pressed on CNN'S State of the Union about his plans and he refused to make an announcement. Shuler continued to blast the current speaker saying it's "unacceptable" for Pelosi to remain leader of the Democrats and "not get us where we need to go as a party."
I just want to remind people of what Robert Samuelson said about the stimulus way back when it was passed:
Judged by his own standards, President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing. For weeks, Obama has described the economy in grim terms. “This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill recession,” he said at his Feb. 9 news conference. It’s “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” Given these dire warnings, you’d expect the stimulus package to focus almost exclusively on reviving the economy. It doesn’t, and for that, Obama bears much of the blame. . . . His politics compromise the program’s economics.
San Francisco Chronicle: Obama can’t get G-20 nations to follow his lead. “U.S. leadership, once taken for granted, has all but vanished, and no one’s in charge.”
The Golden State's general dilemma in a nutshell.
Once again, the conventional wisdom of the elites proves itself wrong.
Like most conventional wisdom among the elites, it turns out not to be true. I grabbed the data from the FBI Crime in the United States, Table 1, which shows rates per 100,000 people from 1990 through 2009 for a variety of serious crimes. Then I grabbed the annual unemployment rate, civilian, non-institutional, for the same years. Here are the plots. (On all these plots, the unemployment rate is in orange, plotted against the numbers on the left.)
Detail of "McSorley's Bar," John Sloan, 1912 (Source: Detroit Institute of Arts)
The above is the title of Boortz' post this week. It is indeed plunder. He quotes Bastiat:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."
People are finally waking up to this issue. Lasky at American Thinker: The GOP's First Target Should Be Government Worker Salary and Benefits:
There has been a long-running vicious cycle playing out over the years. Politicians (mostly, but not exclusively, Democrats) have been signing generous agreements with government workers and their unions. In return, the government workers provide a solid voting block, and the public employee unions can use their enlarged dues to funnel money to Democratic campaigns. There was a reason -- beyond their leftist ideological beliefs and animus towards businesses -- that both Barack and Michelle Obama counseled people to go to work for the government. Those government workers become a special interest group in the pockets of Pelosi and company.
And here, a promo video for Malanga's book, Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer.
Who is greedier: the government unions who want stuff extracted from the taxpayers by their political allies, or the struggling taxpayers who produce the money in the first place?
AMERICAN NARCISSUS: “Politicians as a class are particularly susceptible to mirror-gazing. But Obama’s vanity is overwhelming. It defines him, his politics, and his presidency.”
UPDATE: South Park unimpressed.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More prescience.
RAND PAUL ON THE DEFICIT COMMISSION REPORT: “Those in Washington think a 30-year plan to balance the budget is bold, and I think that’s still anemic.”
INDEED: Tea Partiers to GOP: Fall in line or face challengers. “Prominent leaders within the Tea Party movement have a warning for presumptive House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. – keep their campaign promises to cut spending and repeal the health care law or face defeat in their next primaries.”
UPDATE: Reader Neil Sorens writes:
This is exactly why the Tea Party nominating Senate candidates was such a big win. The weakness of the candidates, far from being a Tea Party failure, makes it an even bigger win in terms of leverage within the party. The GOP establishment exists primarily to further the interests of the GOP: namely, winning elections and raking in funds. Everything else, including issues, voters’ desires, the well-being of the country, etc., is secondary. With weak Tea Party candidates losing important, winnable races, the GOP establishment either has to give in and start backing principled, electable fiscal conservatives rather than good ol’ boys or face the punishment they fear most: letting power and influence slip through their fingers because the establishment candidate got taken down in the primary by another O’Donnell.
Hopefully, the end result is something that both groups want: strong fiscal conservatives for the Tea Party, and a Republican majority for the GOP.
Only later did police realize that the van was actually backfiring and the man inside was not armed. He was not injured by the shots fired by police.
Windows of the police car were apparently shot out by the officers as they exited the patrol car.