Jonathan Richie BW.tif

George Carlin is my favorite comedian of all time. If I could transcribe a George Carlin joke in this space 52 times a year, I would. In his famous joke “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” he recites the words in a splendid cadence.

He also at one point says if those words are ever repeated we’ll lose the war. He doesn’t say which war. It’s just something said in America – a country that has existed for over 200 years and only 20 of them have been free of war.

The war in Afghanistan will turn 18 years old in October. It’s like a little brother to me from a parent’s second marriage.

By November that war will be able to vote. Will it choose Trump or the democratic nominee? Or will it surprise us all and waste a vote on a third-party candidate?

The war will also be able to buy tobacco. Is that the route it will choose? If so, will the war smoke Marlboro or menthol or maybe the war will embrace it’s Gen Z roots and start vaping?

When I was 18, I had a professor in college. He was a brilliant man on several topics and had spent 30-some years in the military.

He taught our class on comparative politics. I cannot remember anything about the class besides what the room looked like, my final term paper on the French and Chinese revolutions and most of all the off-topic stories the professor would tell.

He was a high-ranking military man who told us about top-secret missile tests.

“That thing could go up, down, across and then stop for a cup of coffee and then hit the target the size of Lincoln’s face on the penny,” he would tell us about the testing of the cruise missile.

One day we were talking about China and their faux-democracy. Our professor explained that our grandkids (this is in the spring of 2010) will need to know how to read, speak and translate Chinese.

Why? Because we owe China over a trillion dollars. He also explained that the green wave or going green or thinking about everything in terms of the environment – China is winning there too.

He told us that China owns something like 90 percent of the mines that have the raw materials for making green or eco-friendly products.

“Not only are we going to owe them money forever, it’ll reach the trillions, the United States is also falling behind on the new wave of production,” he told us in a very depressing speech.

I say all this to make one point. The reason the United States owes China so much money and the reason we are in the hole so much (currently sitting over 22 trillion) is because of how much money the United States invests in defense and war.

I respect the troops that have much more courage than me to fight in these wars. However, I believe the Pentagon needs a penny pincher and not someone who thinks money grows on trees in charge of the checkbook.