By Stephen Tuttle | Dec. 30, 2017
As always, so many questions to start the year.
* "Absolutely free” shouldn't involve a “separate handling fee,” should it?
* Did you know the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, is now more than 13 billion miles from earth and still functioning?
* Are you shocked that Factcheck.org has cataloged more than 1600 Donald Trump lies during his campaign and presidency?
* Did you know the federal government has already paid for the relocation inland of 7 coastal villages due to rising sea levels?
* Now will Californians get serious about removing combustible brush from around their homes?
* Are you pleased that state and federal governments spent nearly $38 billion last year on the war on drugs?
* Did you forget the last president to openly attack the FBI was Richard Nixon?
* Is there a real village government in Kalkaska?
* Would you be surprised to learn the average smart-phone user checks that phone about every six minutes or about 150 times a day? What do they think they're going to miss?
* Are there any foods left someone doesn't claim are bad for us?
* Why do we get to tell North Korea what kinds of weapons they can have?
* On the other hand, are there any world leaders out there making loonier statements than Kim Jong-un?
* Did you know inflation in Venezuela ripped along at about 1000 percent last year?
* Or that there is an ongoing famine in Somalia and the risk of famines in Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen?
* How can it be that every car insurance company promises lower rates than every other car insurance company?
* Has an extra three stories on some downtown buildings been worth the hassle for the Traverse City City Commission? Why didn't they just change downtown zoning to reflect Proposition 3 and avoid the headaches?
* Are you ready for both the remaking of 8th Street and the repairing of a chunk of South Airport this summer?
* Did you know there is a little jelly fish that might be immortal? (Google “immortal jelly fish”)
* Are you surprised the United States consumes nearly 90 percent of the prescription opioids in the world?
* And why do prescription drugs here cost more than any in any other country? Shouldn't we be getting a volume discount?
* Doesn't it feel like the evidence is piling up that full-contact football is simply too dangerous for children?
* Did you know that in some countries Santa Claus is tall, skinny and wears green?
* Have you noticed the astonishing engineering and programming skills on display at high school robotics competitions?
* Shouldn't the president be at least a little concerned the Russians meddled in our election, regardless of who they helped?
* Aren't we lucky to have honest judges and cops in the region?
* Isn't it sort of dumbfounding that nearly half of lottery winners are broke or bankrupt just five years after winning? What are they thinking?
* Wouldn't it be nice if the folks leading county government tried to get along?
* Do you think the Lions will ever win another play-off game? Or even make the play-offs again?
* Do you really think all 16 women now accusing Donald Trump of inappropriate behavior are lying? All of them?
* Have you been following the ever expanding Wolverine World Wide toxic waste dumping disaster — now more than 75 sites are being investigated — north of Rockford, Michigan?
* Did you know there is a company that can now create every component needed to build a house using a 3-D printer?
* Did you read that scientists captured a Greenland shark they believe is 512 years old?
* Do you think higher parking rates will discourage people from driving downtown or just make those who do angrier?
* How many members of Congress do you think actually read the hundreds of pages of the tax reform bill? Or the dozens of amendments added by lobbyists?
* Will men finally get the message you can't say that and you absolutely can't do that?
* Remember when there was a music genre called rock and roll?
* Isn't it time for a breakthrough in the war on cancer?
* Does starving the people of North Korea actually further any of our strategic goals?
* What the hell was the weird shaped asteroid (400 meters long, only 10 meters wide) thing that zoomed past us a few weeks ago?
* Doesn't almost any baby mammal make you smile?
* Were you one of the tens of millions who watched a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie this year?
* Remember when we had a president who served meals to the homeless at a shelter on Christmas Day?
* Are you hoping for a kinder, gentler 2018?