When I worked at Current Publishing, a family of weekly community newspapers that merged with The Forecaster in 2015, one of our best annual newsroom traditions around Jan. 1 was seeking clarity and wisdom from a Magic 8-Ball for the new year.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

Staffers would come up with questions about news-related topics, and we’d run the answers provided by the Magic 8-Ball as an editorial in all eight editions.

In keeping with tradition, Here’s Something returns once again to this quirky but fun practice of seeking clues to the future from an inanimate, spherical, black-and-white, watery, soothsaying globe. (Instead of a real Magic 8-Ball with floating blue triangular answers inside, as we had in the newsroom, we’ll use the just-as-magical online Magic 8-Ball.)

And, as always, we only ask the 8-Ball a question once. In other words, this columnist doesn’t keep asking until he gets an answer with which he agrees.

OK, Magic 8-Ball, clue us in regarding 2022:

Q: Following the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics based on China’s unrelenting and despicable human rights abuses, will American TV spectators launch their own boycott and tune out?
A: Most likely.

Q: As a follow-up, will any brave athletes, American or not, take a stand against the Chinese Communist Party and engage in anti-Chinese protest at the Games?
A: Signs point to yes.

Q: After threatening the David-like democratic island nation for years now, will the Goliath China invade Taiwan, perhaps following the Olympics, similar to how Russia invaded Ukraine following the 2014 Sochi Olympics?A: Without a doubt.Q: Will Americans finally wake up and smell the threat that China poses to freedom-loving democracies around the world?A: Yes, definitely.

Q: Will there be another variant of COVID-19 after omicron?A: You may rely on it.

Q: As a follow-up, will the Democrats and mainstream media hype it so they can once again use randomly distributed mail-in ballots in the 2022 election, thereby spraying ballots all over the countryside and causing another election fiasco similar to 2020?A: Concentrate and ask again.(Later)A: Without a doubt.

Q: Will forced COVID-19 vaccinations continue for health care workers and for companies with more than 100 employees?A: Better not tell you now.(Later)A: Cannot predict now.(Later)A: Don’t count on it.

Q: Will inflation keep rising, despite projections by the Biden administration and its willing accomplices in the mainstream media that it would be “transitory”?A: Signs point to yes.

Q: Will former Gov. Paul LePage return to the Blaine House, defeating his arch-nemesis Janet Mills, Maine’s current governor?A: Yes definitely.

Q: Will the Yarmouth Clam Festival happen this year, after two years off?A: My sources say no.

Q: Will there be a public takeover of Central Maine Power, as proposed in an expected 2022 referendum?A: Without a doubt.

Q: If that happens, will government involvement do its usual work of increasing, not decreasing, costs?A: Better not tell you now.(Later)A: Yes.

Q: Will southern Maine finally run out of space for solar panel installations, which are popping up everywhere?A: It is decidedly so.

Q: With scientists recording Antarctica’s coldest-ever April through September in 2021, as reported by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, will climate change proponents finally admit their efforts are nothing but “blah, blah, blah,” in the words of their infamous child leader, Greta Thunberg?A: My reply is no.

Q: Will government regulations closing areas of the Gulf of Maine to supposedly protect the endangered right whale bring about the end of Maine’s fishing industry?A: Without a doubt.

Q: Will we see even more homeless move to Portland as a result of the city’s push to accommodate and house their growing ranks?A: It is certain.

Q: Will a permanent tent city pop up in Deering Oaks Park in downtown Portland, similar to so many other Democrat-dominated cities?A: You may rely on it.

Q: Will the surging New England Patriots continue their winning ways all the way to the Super Bowl?A: It is certain.

Q: If Coach Bill Belichick is able to lead the Patriots to a win in Super Bowl LVI, will he regain the edge in the debate over whether he or quarterback Tom Brady was the main reason for 20 years of Patriots success?A: It is decidedly so.

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