December 5, 2013 |

Dentists, Government Snooping and Around the World

Commentary

Haven't been to a dentist lately? You may be at an increased risk for heart attack or stroke. A few studies have shown poor oral health to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, complications in diabetes, and more. Additional studies need to be done to ratify these preliminary findings.

Have you heard about the great program in Ventura County? The Moorpark Unified School District and Moorpark Community College have started the college experience for high school juniors and seniors. And my friends, the classes are tuition-free.

Please remember, if the only words you ever say in your entire life are "thank you," they will be enough.

I cannot believe Edward Snowden swiped all those classified documents when he worked at the National Security Agency. That agency obtained the monthly phone records of 70 million Frenchmen. Mark my words, we know the government has access to your bank records, your telephone/cell phone conversations, your location using your own electronic devices, etc. So when are we going to learn the post office can read our mail without opening the envelope?

It's hard to believe it's been 72 years since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. To ensure it would never happen again, our government insisted their post-war constitution contain Article 9, which restricted that nation from building a military any larger than it needs for its self defense.

Soon our countries will discuss giving Japan first-strike capabilities against potential threats such as North Korea. Japan publicly declared the U.S. should ensure security in Asia. However, they offered $3.1 billion to move the 9,000 troops out of Okinawa.

So you think there's nothing left to find here on planet Earth? Well, you are mistaken. Scientists guess the number of insects to be five million but only one million have been identified. This year in Ecuador they found a glow-in-the-dark cockroach (Lucihormetica Luckae) and in 2012 in Madagascar the leaf chameleon (Brookesia Micra), perhaps the world's smallest reptile, the size of a safety match, was discovered.

Citizens in France earlier this year demonstrated in Paris against a court ruling upholding a centuries-old law forcing Sunday closures for many businesses. As I recall my history, it was in the first century when the church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and in January 2014 the members of the European Union will meet to discuss if Sunday will be the official continent-wide day of rest.

From the Washington file, Republicans are looking for a candidate to replace retiring House member Rodney Alexander (R-La.). Supposedly after a long, careful search, the GOP feels they have a sure winner in Willie Robertson, an actor with the mega hit TV show, "Duck Dynasty."

A report by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California recommends giving state lawmakers time to negotiate changes to initiatives after they have qualified for the ballot but before the election. The institute also suggested following Oregon's lead and form an independent commission to make recommendations in the official voters guide.

And from my file labeled "Missing," what's happening with the Keystone pipeline? Perhaps I should ask the 411 operator for the Canadian Mounties' telephone number.

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