Four hundred thousand deaths every year—and growing. From smoking, I mean. Deaths from smoking. Nearly half a million people are dying from smoking-related things every year. Americans, that is. I’m talking about half a million Americans. I don’t have the numbers of smoking-related deaths in other countries. But 400,000 Americans dying from smoking every year: that’s bad. And I am not exactly sure what we should do about it.

Global warming is the biggest threat facing the globe today. Second-biggest threat. Terrorism, then global warming. Or maybe the reverse. At any rate, I will mention that teen pregnancy is also on the rise. Some people consider that a threat. Me, I’m not so sure that’s a threat. My mother had me when she was 19, and on purpose. So that was not such a bad thing. Make love, not war, right? To an extent.

The point is: The globe is heating up, terrorists are trying to rule the world, and babies keep popping out of teenage girls. All of these things should be addressed. At some point, we will also need to figure out what to do about DVD pirating.

Christina Williams is a typical high-school freshman on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. She is captain of the cheerleading squad, an active member of the French Club, and just beginning to learn tae kwon do. Christina has a steady boyfriend who loves her, for the most part, and a weekend job serving ice cream at the local Scoops. She hopes to go into law or real estate when she grows up, and recently organized a highly successful bake sale to raise awareness of France.

Christina Williams doesn’t have health insurance.

As for Iraq: I must say I’m a little torn on this issue. I can sort of see all sides of the argument. Do we increase troops or begin to withdraw? Do we set a deadline or play it by ear? I don’t really have an answer. If we increase troops, then that equals more Americans fighting what some might consider a hopeless war. If we withdraw now, then we will leave an extraordinary mess behind us. Setting a deadline seems pretty pointless. But if we play it by ear, then we might not feel any sense of urgency.

The whole thing is nothing short of a complete disaster. Yikes!!

When exactly did the Catholic Church become such an enormous institution? Don’t get me wrong. I admire religion, but this particular one seems a tad too organized—and large. That being said, I will admit that I sort of like this current pope. Having said that, I should mention that I don’t like him very much. He tends to say some pretty outrageous things. Though I do admire his chutzpah.

Dolphins keep getting snared in nets meant for tuna, but I wouldn’t exactly advise a ban on tuna. There is no point in throwing out the baby with the bathwater—although maybe there is. However, a tuna ban seems pretty implausible. A lot of people really enjoy tuna fish.

What is the deal with these immigrants?

I would love to hear my readers’ feedback. Most of what I write depends on what inspires me. And you, the readership, inspire me. So please send any comments, thoughts, questions, or concerns my way. I look forward to reading them.

Please send only positive feedback. I get anxious.