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People T.J. can do without

Breaking News out of Hollywood

The Channel 5 news, anchored by furniture peddler and Mayor Daley suckup Alison Rosati (more on that later), informed me tonight there was “breaking news out of California” after the commercial break. Curiosity kept me there.

What was this breaking news? An earthquake? A fiscal crisis spurred by some action or inaction by the state general assembly? Unrest in Los Angeles or San Francisco or Oakland?

No, it was more important than that. Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are separating.

Who says hard-hitting TV news is dead?

Thought of the Day

Courtesy of David Bowie:

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

A lot’s been on my mind lately. To me, one who does not keep trusted friends’ counsel, who does not outwardly show any interest in learning from any outside force, who asserts his or her leadership prowess simply by pointing out the shortcomings he or she perceives in others, and who chooses no solution over acknowledging that there’s a problem is no leader, and really is just one step from dead.

I’ve witnessed someone, who in 15 short years went from being a young man who carried a bit of an aura about him to becoming a bitter old man with no original ideas. He has become a man who measures achievement and accomplishment by “activity.”

Anyway, the time’s come to bury the remnants of an old friend who passed 11-plus years ago. Now that was a leader.

Another $10 million arm, $.10 head

Mike Leake was supposed to be one of the Cincinnati Reds’ top young pitchers, an ace in the making. Strangely, he was shut down in the last month of last year to preserve his fragile rookie arm. Whatever, Leake was expected to come back and take a prominent spot in the rotation.

Leake is 2-0 so far this year for the Reds, but the news out of Cincy makes me wonder what his future will be.

Leake stole six shirts from Macy’s. The value of the shirts was less than $60.00. Leake makes $425,000, which makes him a relative pauper in the Major Leagues, but quite comfortable in this country.

Since the first bonus baby was signed, we’ve heard of pitchers with “Million Dollar Arms and Ten Cent Heads.” They get the tag for different reasons.

Take a look at another pitcher, a right-hander who as far I know is not a felon. Jake Peavy has been on the comeback trail since last year’s gruesome injury. He pitched lights out in spring training and then admitted he felt some shoulder discomfort all along. The White Sox put him on the disabled list and had him continue to rehab in Arizona before sending him on a few rehab stints in the minors.

His first two starts went swimmingly. He pitched well, and he reported no disomfort.

His third start was tonight. Peavy didn’t last 15 pitches. Shoulder discomfort. While I know that Peavy desperately wants to return to the Major League mound, he hasn’t done himself any favors by being less than honest with the Sox trainers. For his sake, I hope his $0.10 head doesn’t devalue his $10 million arm.

The Wrong Reaction

The Florida pastor who’s burning Korans in a show of … something is getting the attention he so desires, I suppose. In Afghansitan, men who are exponentially worse than a blowhard minister in Florida are attacking UN aid workers and Americans in a show of protest.

That’s a frightening reaction to trite symbolism.

Want something more frightening? The reaction by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham seems ready to give into the demands of a mob halfway around the world, ignoring Constitutional law, and most important, an even temperament.

Look, Terry Jones isn’t particularly respectful of Muslims. However, free speech needs to be protected when it is at its most vile. That said, his demonstrations do not need to be dignified with a response from government officials.

Second, should Congress act to implement a policy advocated by a bunch of violent thugs that are not citizens, nor residents?

Finally, where does the issue of Koran burning rank with the spectre of another budget standoff and a government shutdown here this week?

Where is wealth created?

Hint: It’s not created in Washington, DC, where federal policy making has become the country’s only real growth industry.

Government work isn’t only in Washington, DC. It’s in every state. According to Stephen Moore’s column in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, there are more government workers than there are working in manufacturing, farming, fishing, logging, construction, mining and utilities combined.

The food you eat, the clothes you wear, the homes you live in, the goods your purchase, the energy you need to heat or cool your home, power your vehicles, those are made by someone other than the government (and made pretty damn well).

As Moore notes:

We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees.

Inflation is coming, too, whether or not Ben Bernanke unleashes QE3 on us (God, no). In simple terms, inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. A cure could be found in demand-side economics. Suppress demand! Yes, you! Stop eating! Don’t leave your house! Better yet, get out of your house, sell everything you own, and live off the land!

Another cure could be found in supply-side economics. Stoke supply. Become the land of plenty again. As true wealth isn’t found in a dollar figure, but in the goods and services available to the populace.

It will only happpen if we prune the government payroll and increase the number of productive workers.