(Video) Is Global Warming really our most serious problem?

January 31, 2016

Climate alarmists like to paint apocalyptic scenarios to scare us into agreeing to their preferred “solutions”: a world warming so much that the ice caps vanish, the seas rise and flood cities, snow no longer falls, monster storms ravage our lands, crops fail, and Donald Trump becomes President of the United States.

Okay, that last probably isn’t due to global warming. Maybe.

But is the problem, if it exists, really the most serious challenge we face? With an economy in the doldrums, large swathes of the population disgusted with the political class, and foreign threats from Islamic terrorism, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China, is global warming the worst thing out there?

Per economist Bjorn Lomborg in  video from Prager University, the answer is “no.”

I’ll point out that Lomborg is what one might call a “moderate warmist.” That is, he believes there is an anthropogenic influence on global climate, that it could be harmful, but that it’s neither strong enough nor increasing at such a rate that we have to take the drastic, economically and politically devastating action the Climate Cult demands. In Lomborg’s view, mankind has plenty of time to adapt.

I may not agree with Lomborg on whether there is a climate change problem at all, but he’s at least someone with whom one could have an intelligent discussion on the topic.

Unlike, say, Al Gore or James Hansen.


Trump fans can be *so* sensitive…

January 25, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Just say no.

It’s no secret that I oppose Donald Trump’s candidacy for the presidency. In fact, it’s my belief that, if nominated, he would be a disaster for the Republican Party and the conservative movement and, if elected, an almost certain disaster for the nation. On Twitter, where one is limited to 140 characters, I’ve been rather blunt. For example:

Flippant of me, to be sure, and even uncharitable. But quite mild compared to what often passes for “opinion” there.

Still, one Trump voter took a wee bit of exception to my remark:

Then he proceeded to take his own advice and block me. A shame, really, since he seemed quite the wit. Oh, well.

In all seriousness, folks, and all joking about having my own Twitter Loony aside, I do think Trump would be a god-awful president. I’ve already been through nearly eight years of one incompetent who’s treated the Constitution and the principles behind it as afterthoughts; I cannot bear the though of 4-8 years under a successor who might outdo him.

Trump is a statist, cronyist, self-dealing egomaniac who should come nowhere near the White House, except maybe as a dinner guest. Yuval Levin was right when he wrote that Trump correctly diagnosed the rot in our political class and the public anger at it, but would prescribe solutions that are even worse. Don’t take my word for it: read National Review’s “Against Trump” symposium. Twenty-two strong conservatives representing three generations and the full range of conservative ideology –from libertarian to neocon, from religious to secular– have come out strongly opposing Trump’s candidacy.

I’ve said before that, with Governor Perry out of the race, it’s up to the other candidates to sell me on why they should be president. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I could happily vote for Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or (less happily, but still easily) Chris Christie. But vote for Donald Trump? No. He is unfit to hold the office.

If Trump is the nominee, I will, for the first time in my voting life, leave that line of my ballot blank. (1)

PS: If “Micky” ever deletes that tweet, you can find  screen capture of it here.

Footnote:
(1) No, that does not mean I must want a Hillary presidency. (My opinion of Hillary Clinton is quite clear.) It means that, in a Trump v. Clinton (or Sanders) race, I would find both candidates so egregiously unacceptable that I could not vote for either in good conscience.

 


Hillary’s Email: can she be inaugurated from inside a jail cell?

January 20, 2016
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

The latest bombshell, which begs the question, “Do we have any secrets left?”

Intelligence officials have discovered sensitive national security information on Hillary Clinton’s server that goes beyond the “top secret” level, the intelligence community inspector general told lawmakers in a letter last week.

In a copy of the Jan. 14 correspondence obtained by POLITICO, Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III told both the Senate Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations committees that intelligence agencies found messages relating to what are known as “special access programs,” or SAP. That’s an even more restricted subcategory of sensitive compartmented information, or SCI, top secret national security information derived from sensitive intelligence sources.

Emphasis added.

If this selfish, imbecilic, entitled exemplar of our governing elites (God help us) doesn’t face prosecution for this, then equality before the law for all is dead in America.

Charles Krauthammer:

A new report that Hillary Clinton’s personal server contained information about “special access programs” makes her handling of sensitive material “worse than what Snowden did,” Charles Krauthammer said tonight.

“What people have to understand is that there is nothing higher, more secret than an SAP,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “From some people I have talked to, this is worse than what Snowden did because he didn’t have access to SAP.”

“The reason it’s [so sensitive] is if it’s compromised, people die,” he said. “It also means that operations that have been embedded for years and years get destroyed and cannot be reconstituted. This is very serious.”

Emphasis added.

It’s hard for me to describe just how much that woman and her family –including her daughter, who seems to be a chip off the old money-grubbing block– disgust me. She was privy to the deepest, most sensitive secrets held by the government in trust for the American people, for our safety and prosperity in a dangerous world.

And yet she treated them like afterthoughts, with no regard to the consequences. The nation’s interests —our interests— were subordinated to her desire to avoid FOIA requests, to her Nixonian need for secrecy and control.

The closest Hillary Clinton should ever come to the Oval Office is on a bus passing nearby on its way to deliver her to federal prison.

 


Dr. Robert Carter, scientist, climate skeptic, pioneer, friend – R.I.P

January 19, 2016

This is indeed sad news. Carter wrote a marvelous book poking holes in the global warming “thesis” —Climate: the counter consensus— and was a stalwart on the side of climate realism and genuine science. May he rest in peace.

Watts Up With That?

I was shocked and saddened to read this, I’m passing it on without comment because I can’t write about this at this moment. See update below.

Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016) Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016)

Joe Bast writes:

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.

Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.

This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings…

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French President Approaches Cliff, Steps on Accelerator

January 19, 2016

France has been dirigiste since Louis XIV centralized all power under him, and the French leadership has been trapped in that intellectual straitjacket ever since. The idea of lowering the burden of government and letting market forces work is probably inconceivable to President Hollande — and most of his people.

International Liberty

When I wrote back in 2012 that France was committing fiscal suicide, I should have guessed that President Hollande would get impatient and push for even more statism.

Sure enough, the BBC reports that France’s President has a new plan. The ostensible goal is to reduce unemployment, but the practical effect is to expand the size and scope of government.

President Francois Hollande has set out a €2bn (£1.5bn) job creation plan in an attempt to lift France out of what he called a state of “economic emergency”. Under a two-year scheme, firms with fewer than 250 staff will get subsidies if they take on a young or unemployed person for six months or more. In addition, about 500,000 vocational training schemes will be created.

Needless to say, if subsidies and handouts were the key to job creation, France already would have full employment.

In reality, real jobs are created

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(Video) Is America racist?

January 18, 2016

For Prager University, radio talk show host Larry Elder explores a question that’s quite fitting for Martin Luther King Day: Is the United States a racist country? The Democrats, their candidates, and the Left (1) tell us it is over and over (and over and over). If you take what they say at face value, then America is a racist hellhole in which Blacks are regularly oppressed by Whites and in grave danger of being killed by police at any moment. Racism is so ingrained in us as a nation, they say, that even the president says it’s “in our DNA.” And, of course, this idea gets carried across the nation and the world by a largely left-leaning media.

But what’s the truth? Do the facts comport with reality? In this brief video, Elder puts reality up against the Leftist fantasy, and reality wins:

This isn’t of course to say that there aren’t any problems, some of them personal, others structural.

But, I am so sick and tired of the “America is ‘AmeriKKKa'” garbage the Left spews to make its arguments, I just wish that some major figure on their side –even just one– would acknowledge that we’ve made tremendous progress since the days of slavery and Jim Crow. (2)

But they can’t, because they rely on ethnic resentment and the lie of a hateful America to gin up votes and win elections. If it weren’t for their “America is awful” sales pitch, they’d have nothing to offer at all.

Footnotes:
(1) But, of course, I repeat myself.
(2) The former of which Democrats fought a civil war to defend, while their children and grandchildren spent decades building and preserving the latter. Just to be clear.


The Value-Added Tax Should Be Political Poison for Advocates of Limited Government

January 15, 2016

Tweeted this last night, but it’s worth its own post. There’s a lot to like about Ted Cruz, but his insistence that his new tax plan doesn’t contain a VAT, thus giving advocates of big government another revenue stream, is an annoying dodge. I wish he’d drop it, and the VAT.

International Liberty

It’s not my role to pick sides in political fights, but I am very interested in trying to make bad ideas radioactive so that politicians won’t be tempted to do the wrong thing.

This is why I’m a big fan of the no-tax-hike pledge. The folks in Washington salivate at the prospect of getting more of our money, but they are less likely to act on their desires if they’re scared that breaking their promises means they’ll lose the next election.

It’s also why I want the value-added tax (VAT) to become a third-rail issue. Simply stated, it would be a catastrophic mistake to give Washington an additional source of tax revenue. Especially since the European evidence shows that it’s a money machine to expand the welfare state.

Given my concerns, I was understandably distressed that two lawmakers (and presidential candidates) who normally support smaller government, Rand Paul

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The abject failure of official global-warming predictions

January 13, 2016

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can’t get a single prediction about global warming right, and yet we’re supposed to take drastic, economically harmful action on their say so? Yeah, right.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Monckton of Brenchley

The IPCC published its First Assessment Report a quarter of a century ago, in 1990. The Second Assessment Report came out 20 years ago, the Third 15 years ago. Even 15 years is enough to test whether the models’ predictions have proven prophetic. In 2008, NOAA’s report on the State of the Global Climate, published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, said: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

To the continuing embarrassment of the profiteers of doom, the least-squares linear-regression trends on Dr Roy Spencer’s UAH satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 18 years 6 months, despite a continuing (and gently accelerating) increase…

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Pour encourager les autres! ISIS burning its own troops alive

January 12, 2016
"Still the JV?"

“Wait. Just who’s getting burned today??”

Well, this will certainly buck-up morale:

ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group’s Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources told FoxNews.com, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending the northern city from government forces.

Several residents of Mosul recounted the grisly story for stateside relatives, describing the deadly reception black clad jihadists got when they made it to Mosul, some 250 miles north of the city retaken by Iraqi forces operating with cover from U.S. air power.

“They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle,” a former resident of northern Iraq now living in the U.S. but in touch with family back home told FoxNews.com. “And set on fire to die.”

Sources quoted in the article go on to argue that ISIS is increasingly paranoid, fractured, and even desperate. I don’t know if I’d go that far, and a lot of that may be wishful thinking (something we’ve engaged in a lot vis-a-vis ISIS), but it can’t be a good sign for their internal cohesion and esprit de corps.

On the other hand, the Red Army won on the Eastern Front with commissars following behind the troops, shooting deserters, so…

Regardless, I encourage ISIS to continue the jihadi barbecue to the last brave knight of Allah.

PS: Regarding the French in the title? It’s from a true-life incident satirized in Candide. One of the great moments in literature.


Did Hillary Clinton consider fomenting unrest against Israel in 2011?

January 11, 2016
Above the rules.

You can trust me.

That is, did our then-Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner for the presidency contemplate inciting Palestinian unrest as a club against our closest ally in the region?

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the answer is yes:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.

In a Dec, 18, 2011, email, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.

Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.

“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.

“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”

Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.

“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”

Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.

Gee. Oh, gosh. I do so wonder why the might think the Israelis might object, just because we had a hand in inciting demonstrations against them with utterly unpredictable consequences and with a huge potential to blow up in everyone’s face?

This is one of those revelations that shows how dangerously incompetent Clinton and her team of clowns is, and why she should come nowhere near the presidency.

Just what in Heaven’s name were they thinking? This was near the start of the so-called “Arab Spring,” with demonstrations against secular dictatorships launched in the name (ostensibly) of liberal reform. Instead, what we got was a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, the most important Arab state and a key US ally, which had to be removed in a military coup. Other countries fell into turmoil and even civil war. It has, so far, been an almost-unmitigated disaster for the region, with consequences spreading globally.

And yet Clinton and her advisers thought they could safely harness this to “shame’ the Israelis into making peace? (Newsflash: It’s not Israel that’s been the big obstacle to peace, here.) Did they seriously think for one moment that such demonstrations wouldn’t be hijacked by radical organizations? Did it not occur to them that an “honor and shame” culture such as the Arabs’ could never let their women take the lead for long? That violence would be almost inevitable and that implementing this cockamamie plan risked a new intifada — or worse? Did they think they could control all the forces they would be stirring up?

Against an ally??

How well did the Clinton-Obama war in Libya go, again?

Who’d they get this plan from? The Underpants Gnomes?

PS: Homework question for the House and Senate foreign relations committees — Was any part of this plan ever implemented?


Britain Bracing for Extreme Winter, as Torrential Rain turns to Snow

January 11, 2016

Should this come to pass, it will of course be the fault of anthropogenic global warming, climate change, and the Dread Demon CO2, which can do anything. ANY-THING. (Say it after me, kiddies: “natural cycles.”)

Watts Up With That?

snow Could this be about to happen again? In January 2010, Britain was Covered in Snow

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to forecasters, Britain is bracing for extreme winter conditions which might last for months, as falling temperatures turn torrential rain into severe blizzards.

Arctic SNOWBOMB to smash into Britain: Coldest winter in 58 YEARS now just days away

BRITAIN faces WEEKS of freezing blizzards, crippling snowfall and brutal winter storms as a savage turn in the weather plunges the ENTIRE COUNTRY into winter lockdown.

Blistering Polar gales, several feet of snow and near-record low temperatures will grind the country to a standstill until MARCH, forecasters warn.

The first taste of what could be a historic whiteout arrived this weekend blanketing parts of Scotland and Yorkshire in thick snow.

A dramatic change in atmospheric conditions will drag a plume of freezing air from the North Pole across Britain through…

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Goodbye Bowie

January 11, 2016

Sad news about the passing of David Bowie, one of the greats of rock.


Indian Energy Experts Baffled by Green Hostility to Nuclear Power

January 7, 2016

Someone should explain to the Indians that “Green opposition” is a matter of faith, not reason, and so doesn’t have to make sense.

Watts Up With That?

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Hindu reports on a fascinating top level debate occurring at a conference in India, between politicians and energy experts. The energy experts are struggling to understand why nuclear power is not the favoured Western option for reducing CO2 emissions.

… Pointing out that countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria were either committed to closing down nuclear plants or opposing nuclear renaissance, he [Governor P. Sathasivam] stressed the need to formulate a new approach between nuclear enthusiasts and opponents. A former Ambassador and governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Mr. Sreenivasan said India, China, and Russia were the only countries enthusiastic about nuclear power today.

Striking a different stand, Ashok Chauhan, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India, said the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions posed a greater threat to the world…

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Drought buster? Up to 10 feet of snow this week for California’s Sierra Nevada

January 5, 2016

Let’s just say “fingers crossed.”

Watts Up With That?

Here is some good news for drought-stricken California; the latest forecast model output from WeatherBell suggests that the Sierra Nevada snow-pack will get a fresh dump of up to 10 feet of snow. The Sierra snow-pack has already been reported as above normal (at 136 percent of normal) in the most recent snow survey conducted by the California Department of Water Resources.

DWR Director Mark Cowin said the heavy snowfall so far during Water Year 2016 “has been a reasonable start, but another three or four months of surveys will indicate whether the snowpack’s runoff will be sufficient to replenish California’s reservoirs by this summer.”

Each water year begins on October 1 and ends on the following September 30. DWR conducts five media-oriented snow surveys in the Sierra Nevada each winter – near the first of January, February, March, April and May – at the Phillips Station plot (elevation 6,800 feet)…

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North Korea: more sudden deaths, totally coincidental

January 5, 2016
"You are too short! banished!"

“Likes long walks on the beach and unusual executions.”

I mean, look. Two ex-pat North Korean doctors working in the same clinic die of simultaneous heart attacks after a night of drinking. What’s suspicious about that?

The doctors, An Hyong-chan, 56, and Chol Ri-mun, 50, died in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, late on Friday or early on Saturday after suffering heart attacks. That they died at around the same time from the same cause and in the same location is just the beginning of the tale.

The men, who worked at a clinic that also served as their home in the city’s Tuol Kork district, reportedly died after their wives – also doctors – injected them with an unnamed drug to counteract the effects of an evening of heavy drinking.

The women grew concerned after their husbands developed fevers, abnormal heartbeats and weak pulses after the couples returned home from a night out with 10 other North Koreans, during which the two men had drunk “numerous cocktails”, according to the Phnom Penh Post.

The women told local police they had injected their husbands with “a medicine and a serum” to counteract the effects of the alcohol, and that the men died of heart attacks about an hour later, the newspaper said.

Note that the wives informed the embassy first, then –“hours later”– finally told the locals. Time enough for a clean-up crew and to get stories straight?

As The Guardian notes, this is far from the only mysterious death in which North Korea is part of the picture. One of Kim’s close advisers died in a car wreck just a few days ago. And the regime does have a habit of creatively executing those who somehow offend it. (1)

So, it’s possible it happened as described, but I see other, more likely scenarios:

The wives murdered their husbands on their own. Perhaps the men were abusive, or maybe they were cheating on their marriages, or the women wanted their men gone for other personal reasons. The wives call the embassy because that’s what’s expected of Norks overseas. North Korean officials show up, figure out the plot, and cover things up to prevent embarrassment to the regime and will administer “justice” on their own.

The wives were agents of the regime, willing or unwilling, and executed their husbands on State orders. “Why” is anyone’s guess, but Pyongyang has never been shy about having people killed. In this case, the embassy was called once the mission was completed, and they showed up to get all the details straight before the Cambodians can ask awkward questions. The women will be whisked away and never seen again. Case closed, too bad for the honored dead.

Either one is possible, though I think the last is most plausible.

But the truth? I doubt we’ll ever know.

Footnote:
(1) I was so sorry to learn that the story of Kim feeding his uncle alive to starving dogs was a hoax. Dude, I was counting on you!


C.S. Lewis understood the Left very well, indeed

January 3, 2016

It’s hard to find a better description of  one of the key characteristics of the Left –from mild progressive to hard-core communist– than this:

Lewis on the Left

In other words, the Left believes it has figured out History, is certain that it flows in just one direction and where it ends, and that they themselves are the ones best able to facilitate this. Whether you want it or not.

Or, as I like to say, “God save me from those who want to save me.”

Via someone on Twitter, can’t recall who. smiley I dont know


Man, I wish I had bought firearms stocks in 2007

January 3, 2016
"It's all good. No worries!"

“America’s Number One Gun Salesman”

Because Obama would have made me a millionaire by now. Check this headline at PJMedia:

“Obama Urges Citizens to Stand Up Against the National Rifle Association”

It seems the Gun Salesman-in-Chief has come back from his vacation bound and determined to do by “executive action” (read: constitutionally questionable orders) what he cannot get through Congress: further restrictions on the natural right of Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As usual with him and his allies, he set the NRA up as a straw-man:

In the address, Obama went on to urge citizens to stand up against the groups like the National Rifle Association, with which he has had a contentious relationship since entering office.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” he said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in defense of our kids.”

Of course, Obama has had that “contentious relationship” because he continues to attack the very rights the NRA was established to protect. It would be noteworthy if the relationship were amicable.

Naturally, Obama left many things unsaid in his address. First, absolutely none of the terrible massacres that have taken place in recent years would have been prevented by anything Obama and the gun-control lobby are proposing. Not Sandy Hook, not Virginia Tech, not Charleston, and not San Bernardino. In the case of San Bernardino, the killers were Muslims waging jihad, one of whom was utterly missed by the Obama administration’s vaunted screening system as she entered the country. California’s notoriously strict gun laws did nothing to stop her and her husband from acquiring their weapons. More laws won’t stop the next mass murders, either.

But that really isn’t the point of what Obama and the gun-control lobby are trying to do, or, at least, “for the children” is more a political club with which to pound Second Amendment advocates than it is an actual goal. If it were a real goal, he’d mention the horrific homicide rate in Democrat-controlled Chicago, again with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

That, however, would be politically inconvenient.

What Obama and his allies really want is control and a monopoly on deadly force for the State. Push hard enough, and they’ll say that what they have in mind for “reasonable regulations” is “something like Australia.” And there’s your clue: Australia’s response to the massacre in Tasmania was confiscation of most firearms via a mandatory buyback program. That is what Obama wants.

To do so, he uses the tried and true tactic of his community-organizing training as developed by Saul Alinsky:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The target to “personalize” is the NRA — “The NRA keeps our kids in danger!” And though he hasn’t attacked individuals (yet), he has by extension smeared the membership of the NRA, American citizens one and all.

That’s what a community organizer does: organize one faction and set them against others to achieve his goals.

And that is apparently what the president of the United States plans to do over the next year.

To us.

 


Happy New Year from Public Secrets

January 1, 2016

It was a heckuva party last night, wasn’t it?

Happy New Year, folks. May 2016 bring you all you could desire. smiley dance