Today was a banner day in music. Two of the most influential albums were released on 5/16; Pet Sounds and Blonde On  Blonde. Pet Sounds was the first blooming of Brian Wilson’s genius. It probably didn’t appeal to the Beach Boys fans who wanted sand, sun and surf. It was a step away from a formula and into the ether. Blonde on Blonde was a place marker in Bob Dylan’s life work. It made fans sit up and take notice and introduced people to his music.

Today would have been Billy Martin’s birthday. We all miss Number One, even Sox fans.

A modest proposal: I’ve been thinking about the military. Since the time I was in things have changed. We can’t expend our resources putting out every percieved threat in the world. We have to address problems at home. Here’s a solution. We should adopt a modified Israeli model for our military and help take a large load off the unemployed rolls. Two years military training should be made mandatory, for the able-bodied. No letters from the family doctor with sketchy diagnoses. You go for a physical and if you pass. you’re in. You go into training and pick up a trade. When the two years are up you get a tuition break on college or any education you decide on. Here’s the catch, when we run into a problem like Afghanistan, you get a tour in-country. Eighteen months minimum or as long as you want. The program creates a pool of able bodied soldiers who can allow the standing military pare down to a lean fighting force. We need a standing army. What we don’t need is a machine that devours money when it’s not doing its job. There’s one other thing, the American people need to change their mind-set. We’re no longer the protector of the Free World. It’s time that everyone else should stop dialing us up every time something goes haywire. The plan helps solve one problem that’s going to be with us for a while, unemployment. There isn’t a market for American goods. We helped many countries develop a trade base and they undersold us. We let our own industrial base deteriorate because we failed to allow companies to fail. There were companies who should have been put out of their misery because they were dying under the bloated weight acquired weight that came with flush times. Companies that streamline should be rewarded. The reward determined by how much they took care of the human element. Just slashing payrolls won’t do. What happens to the people? The company had promised employment and should be held to it. A important point; government shouldn’t be allowed to start a war to absorb a large idle work force trained to fight. The government is a partner in this. They should understand corporate welfare is not the answer. More often than not monies recieved as incentives to keep producing are lost at the top of the pyramid and doesn’t trickle down. This is a gordian problem and need cooperation from everyone concerned. Industry has to be held responsible for the welfare of employees. Government should be able to protect the country. The military should be able to move when needed. The citizen should understand that they’re a part of a greater whole. All these parts should be able to create input to help protect the economy and the country. Another thing we need is leaders who are pragmatic enough to know that there are problems and intellegent enough to know the citizen will follow a leader who has his best interests at heart and doesn’t lie. That last item is the hardest. Once a politician is elected he becomes addicted to the job. A potential candidate wants to try the drug and will do anything to get it.

Any comments?

See you on Friday.