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Review of this year, predictions for 2018

Detroit Lakes Newspapers columnist Lynn Hummel recently published his fourth book, "The Last Word," a collection of some of his favorite columns from the past 40 years.

Another year almost gone. The ink just dried on my 2016-2017 review and predictions and here we are — another year older. Deep thought has gone into this report (the older I get, the deeper my thoughts) so pay careful attention.

First, to review and comment on some of the events of 2017.

HEROES OF THE YEAR: For the 15th consecutive year, the heroes of the year are the brave young men and women serving our country in the Armed Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, South Korea and other dangerous spots around the globe. The casualties are getting to be fewer and fewer, but there is still great tension in the middle east, Africa and Korea, so we're not out of the woods yet and service people are still dying to keep us free. We want all our people home and HEALED.

HOMETOWN HERO: We watched Adam Thielen make unbelievable catches playing for our hometown Detroit Lakes Lakers football team and set scoring records in basketball. Now he's one of the leading receivers in the NFL (heading for the Pro Bowl) playing for the Minnesota Vikings. We couldn't be prouder.

REGIONAL HERO: Carson Wentz, the big kid from Bismarck, N.D., led NDSU to a national championship two years ago. Now he has been quarterbacking (until a recent knee injury) the NFL Philadelphia Eagles at the superstar level. We're proud of Carson, too.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: 2017 was the year for exposing sexual harassment of women. The cases involving Bill Cosby, Bill O'Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Charley Rose and Matt Lauer are the highest profile cases. More on harassment in my predictions below.

WORST-SELLING BOOK: The book The Last Word by yours truly was the worst-selling book of 2017. The only people buying were sending the book as a gift to their enemies. A few others read bits of it in order to get to sleep.

SCARY CREEP: Kim Jong Un, the little North Korean dictator is a scary creep. As a boy if he had had a big sandbox, a few friends to play with and some toy rockets, he could be acting like an adult now.

JERK OF THE YEAR: The jerk of the year is also a local from my home county, Becker County, Minnesota, but not exactly a home county hero. He and his wife were staying temporarily with another couple. When they left, he (his wife didn't know about this) concealed and carried four guns and a chainsaw belonging to his hosts. I'll bet he snitched some towels, too, while he was at it. He is serving jail time now for his lack of gratitude.

COURAGE: Colin Kaepernick is (was) an NFL quarterback. He happens to be black. About a year ago he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. The practice has cost him his job and his career in sports. But the gesture has caught on with many other NFL and high school players. Kaepernick is considered a free speech patriot by many and cursed as a traitor by others. He is now fulfilling a pledge to donate $1 million to community organizations and charities.

BAD NEWS IN 2017: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria; Fires in California; 58 shot in Las Vegas, 25 shot in a little Texas church and eight killed in a truck attack in New York City; Terrorism, civil wars, refugees and starvation around the world; U.S.A. withdraws from Paris Climate Agreement.

GOOD NEWS IN 2017: Minnesota Twins and Vikings are no longer losers — both made the playoffs; British Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle are engaged; America is defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria; 3,000 Americans who would otherwise die will get heart transplants. They will live an average of 13 more years.

A year ago in my predictions for 2017 I told you to "wait until next year" for the Twins and Vikings. I was right. I predicted President Trump would send a team of sculptors to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills to begin chiseling his bigger-than-Lincoln likeness into the granite there — not yet. I predicted Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, would be nominated for the Supreme Court — wrong. I predicted Trump University and the Electoral College would be abolished. We still have the Electoral College. There were several other predictions I would prefer to forget about.

But the crystal ball isn't foggy this year and here are my visions of what will happen in 2018.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Will fall off his horse. I'll leave it to you to decide what that means.

MIKE PENCE: Will be president of the United States before the end of the year.

THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN WALL: Will not be built.

2018 ELECTIONS: We will see just a few new-breed politicians elected who are willing to work with the other party. They will begin a slow, gradual movement toward common sense and cooperation in our government. Eventually we will have some statesmen and stateswomen again.

ROBERT MUELLER: Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be named Person of the Year at the end of 2018.

SEXUAL HARASSERS: More sexual harassers will be revealed. Just like now, they will lose their jobs, but none will be prosecuted.

FAKE NEWS: There will be more claims of fake news. SAD.

ACTS OF KINDNESS: As in 2017, acts of kindness and compassion will happen every day but not get reported in the news. Good people are all around us and we should remain optimistic and not get discouraged by reports of gun violence, murder, terror and sexual misconduct.

And finally, to you faithful readers, I thank you for your encouraging comments, calls and letters and I can't resist one last observations: Jesus walked on water, but he never tried to drive an ATV over thin ice. Happy New Year!

Order Lynn Hummel's new book, The Last Word (171 articles, 310 pages) by sending $15 plus $3 postage ($10 plus postage for additional books) to Pony Express Books, 1948 Long Bridge Road, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501, or order at: bevlyn@arvig.net.

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