Saturday, January 31, 2009

Iraq Elections Peaceful, How Depressing

We know how much the media loves carnage, that's why today's events in Iraq must be depressing for the overpaid network talking heads. Iraq held violence free national elections today for 440 seats. There were over 14,000 candidates, around 4,000 of them women.

Under Saddam's rule, the ballot had one name, and Iraqis checked yes or no to keep him in power. Anyone want to guess how many people voted no? Only the ones with a death wish. And if you were a good looking young woman out on the street, one of Saddam's sons may have had his thugs kidnap you for a little non-consensual sex. How the Iraqis must miss that family.

Violence free elections are a sign that Iraq is headed toward what passes for stabilization in many Arab nations, a welcome occurrence that may hasten the withdrawal of US troops before the planned 2011 reduction of forces in Iraq. Minus film clips of blood, gore, and grieving civilians, expect the network news to spend very little time reporting the good news out of Iraq. The bad news is that non-events in Iraq give the media more time to gush over Obama's man boobs, or his wife's clothes, or maybe his kid's dog, or what he ate for lunch today, get my point.

Obama Weakens America

Obama has started American down the path of appeasing the world's most brutal regimes, weakening America in the process. Obama's foreign policy stances will embolden our enemies and do nothing to protect American's. Obama's actions prove he hasn't any idea of how the world really works. Obama is young and naive and respected by no one outside our borders.

The initial response to Obama's grand plan to meet and negotiate without preconditions with Iran was met with demands. The first demand centered on Iranian nuclear capabilities. Iran will not give them up no matter what Obama negotiates away from America's arsenal. The next condition or demand from Iran was for the United States to apologize for some undefined transgression. Now Iran says Obama's willingness to appease them at any cost is simply a sign of American weakness and failure.

The Iranians no far more than Obama. The Iranians and other brutal regimes have been emboldened by the weakness the Obama embraces. Obama went as far as saying he wanted the diplomatic relations to return to were they were 30-40 years ago. So searching for what that might mean I looked back to 1979 and found that was where the Iranians starting down their belligerent path. It was 1979 the last time a weak president was in control of our government and allowed the Iranians take and hold 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. Obama policies are resembling those of the last failed American president. Carter implemented the weakest American Foreign policy of the past century and hardened the souls of our current enemies. I searched some more and found that directly related to the Iran crisis was Libya and Qaddafi. They too defied an American President. They too thought America was weak because of a failed former President. Again the French as is usual wanted America to sit on the sidelines and opposed any US retaliation for the bombing in a Berlin club that killed two Americans. The difference was that the United States stood its ground and retaliated. The diplomatic relations cooled for many years but eventually the Libyans came around as did most other brutal regimes. Now Obama wants to destroy what took decades to repair from the last failed Presidency. Carter destroyed the American image abroad. Since 4 American Presidents have worked tediously to repair the damage. Just forty short years ago America was coming home from a brutal war. Gasoline prices were going through the roof. Lines were 3 hours long waiting for much needed gasoline. OPEC had us by the shorts and we knew it. America wanted a change and elected the worst president of all time. Carter made the situation worse by weakening our position.

Now today we have very similar conditions. Rather than learn from the past Obama is taking right back to the failed policies of the past. Obama is weak and is opening America to be attacked. Obama may think its cute but there will be American lives lost due to his appeasement philosophy. The Iranians have already took the olive branch and slapped him up along side the head with it. Will America allow Obama continue undermining our strength or will it wake up and tell Obama to cool down on the appeasement policy. Allowing a weak president to weaken America will do nothing but ensure it takes another 30-40 years to recover.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bi-Partisan Era?

According to the pathetic pawns of the soon to be defunct main stream media, Barack Obama is ushering in a new era of bi-partisanship. Barack Obama talked a good game about bringing Americans together. Obama was to work across the aisle and govern from the center. It is beginning to look like that was nothing more than a gimmick. A soundbite to fool the masses. It is beginning to look like Obama is nothing but hot air and rhetoric when it comes to bi-partisanship because his actions tell the story of a far left liberal masquerading as a centrist.

Obama scolded and derided the republicans since his swearing in. First, Obama reversed a ban on funding international organizations that promote abortion. Obama's views and actions regarding abortion are not mainstream and they are not centrist. Obama is out of step with most Americans on this issue. Obama supported infanticide while in the Illinois legislature and now provides American taxpayer dollars to international organizations promoting abortion. America is a country undress extreme economical duress and yet one of his first actions as President is to ensure more of our hard earned tax dollars is provided to international organizations that support his liberal agenda.

As if it wasn't bad enough to force tax payers to promote abortion internationally, Obama also is developing a bailout package laden with nonsensical initiatives that will costs millions. In the name of stimulus Obama is initiating a contraceptive program that will end up costing the tax payers of this country millions of dollars. Please explain how having the government pay for contraceptives is going to stimulate an economy on the brink of collapse. This stimulus plan started a 700 billion with the Bush bailout. Next Obama suggested another stimulus of 500 billion. Then Senator Schumer one upped Obama and suggested another 700-750 billion. Now it is up to 825 billion dollars and which will cover giving away contraceptives at government express. This is an all together new approach to bringing health to the economy. I knew sex was powerful but now sex is supposed to heal the economy. I hope that concept goes well for the taxpayers. Complaints by the Republicans got them a stiff rebuke by Obama. Obama informed America it doesn't matter what the Republicans thought because well Obama won. I guess that is how bi-partisan is, it good to talk to Republicans to appear bi-partisan but in the end all that matters is that republicans accept Obama and all his policies. Going with the flow is Obama's definition of bi-partisanship.

Another fine example of Bi-partisanship was the warning Obama gave to Republicans not to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Again Obama scolded the Republicans and said "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,". Another way of saying this is "hey Republicans if you want to have bi-partisanship you have to abandon your principles and agree with everything the Democrats say. In order to get along and be allowed a role in government you must go along with the liberal agenda Obama is going to implement. No matter the cost, no matter the American public priorities it is all about Obama and damn the rest. It has only been four days and already Obama has abandoned his pledge for Bi-partisanship. Will the pathetic pawns notice or are their notices planted to far up the chosen one's derriere to care.

Obama has no intention of being anything other a liberal. Obama will redistribute the wealth of a nation. My hope is that Obama will become the centrist he claimed to be during the campaign. I do not believe there is much chance of Obama staking out a centrist agenda but I have to hope. I have to hope because thus far his liberal agenda is taking America down the path towards bankruptcy. He his bankrupting the economy and he is bankrupting America's moral fabric. Obama has fell for the religion of liberalism and fallen into the trap of deceit and deception. I can only hope he eventually realizes that his liberal demigods are false prophets intent on destroying a nation.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ayers Refused Entry into Canada

Bill Ayers, former fugitive and member of the terrorist group Weather Underground, now a college professor, was refused entry by Canadian authorities at Toronto airport. Ayers had traveled to Canada to speak to the Center for Urban Schooling at the University of Toronto.

"I don't know why I was turned back," Ayers said in an interview this morning from Chicago. "I got off the plane like everyone else and I was asked to come over to the other side. The border guards reviewed some stuff and said I wasn't going to be allowed into Canada. To me it seems quite bureaucratic and not at all interesting ... If it were me I would have let me in. I couldn't possibly be a threat to Canada."

Ayers is eager to present this incident as some kind of bureaucratic mistake, but it is obvious the Canadian government has banned Ayers entry because of his terrorist past. Ayers is a professor at the University of Illinois – Chicago, in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, Ayers and his wife were members of a group that bombed the Pentagon, police stations, and other symbols of governmental authority. He and his wife were fugitives for eleven years until turning themselves in to authorities in 1980.

The Ghost that was Global Warming

Where has Al Gore disappeared to now that the hoax that is global warming is being exposed? Through the manipulation and fabrication of data, Gore and his mindless enviro-zombies have for years told us that man made global warming will melt the ice packs, oceans will rise, temperatures will climb, and man will die. All the ice in the North Pole was supposed to melt during the summer of 2008. Now that saner minds have begun to examine environmental data, Al and his warming alarmists are looking pretty ridiculous. Climate change, the artist formerly known as global warming, just isn't cooperating with Al or his computer models:

- Sea ice extent and concentration for November 2008 is 4.4% greater than in 1979 (when satellite measurements began). In November 2008 ice extent was 16.6 million sq km, for November 1979 the ice extent was 15.9 million sq km. Ice concentration shows equal increases, from 11.2 million sq km in 1979, to 11.7 million sq km in 2008. So far this year there have been 10 out 11 months where sea ice concentration was greater in 2008 than it was 1979.

- Interior ice is increasing at an even greater rate. According to NOAA GISS data, winter temperatures in the antarctic have actually fallen by 1°F since 1957, with the coldest year being 2004.

- 2008 ranked 15th coldest of the thirty years of records for the University of Alabama MSU based lower tropospheric temperatures. It was the coldest year since 2000. It continues the downtrend of the last 7 years.

- A few ski areas in Vermont and northern Minnesota closed for the day because of the cold—38 below zero at International Falls, with the wind chill during the night estimated at 50 below. The temperature at Bolton, Vt., was 10 below zero and operators of the Bolton Valley ski resort feared that skiers could freeze if a lift malfunctioned, said spokesman Josh Arneson.

- Chicago is experiencing its coldest weather in 10 years and the most consecutive days of measurable snow fall since records began 125 years ago. Meanwhile, Flint Michigan shattered its 95 year old record low when the mercury hit -19.

Of course, if you're one of Gore's GW groupies no amount of ice or evidence is going to convince you that it's all a hoax. Most of Al's confused disciples probably don't realize that we've been through this before, but thirty years ago it was not global warming, it was global cooling that was the danger. The following paragraphs are from the June 12, 1974 edition of Time magazine. The wording is eerily close to what Gore and his GW alarmists have been saying:

"As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take
an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for
the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of
another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward
migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12%
in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round."  - Time magazine

Whatever happened to that ice age, did I miss it? That article goes on to provide some pretty convincing data that would certainly seem to prove that the earth was indeed cooling in the '70s, and the spread of arctic ice was going to be a serious danger. Not even thirty years later Al Gore and his GW coterie were presenting evidence that seemed to proves the earth "has a fever", and global warming was going to kill us all.

How did we go from an ice age to global warming so quickly? It has become apparent that Gore and his scientists only look at data that will support their GW agenda. Much like the Time article, which only represented data that suggested global cooling. Gore has turned the weather into a profit making venture, promoting, and enriching himself while he skews environmental data to fit into his GW medicine show. His data supporting his global warming theories, is as useless and as wrong as the data supporting an impending ice age in the '70s.

The US Should Stop Waterboarding Now

We have something much, much worse than waterboarding a terrorist for information, and it's on the television every weekday. The View. I was flipping through the channels, and saw Charlie Gibson and the cast of The View getting all weepy-eyed over Obama. It is truly disgusting.

If waterboarding is no longer allowed under Obama's "be nice to people trying to slaughter Americans" policy, maybe we should subject terror suspects to endless hours of watching The View. Any semi-intelligent person would go mad after being subjected to hours of the verbal garbage being spewed by Barbara, Whoopi, Liz, Joy, and the fat chick. Joy Behar alone could break down any self respecting terrorist within a few hours. I'm astonished that her brain is functional enough to keep her breathing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Excerpt from Obama's Inaugural Address

"Here in America you've got your Fred McDowell, your Irving Berlin, your Glenn Miller, and your Booker T & The MG's, people. Another example of the great contributions in music and culture that this country has made around the world. And as you look around the world today, you see this country spurned.
You see backs turned on this country. Well people, I'm gonna tell you something, this continent, North America, is the stronghold! This is where we're gonna make our stand in this decade! Yeah, people, I've got something to say to the State Department. I say Take that archaic Monroe Doctrine, and that Marshall Plan that says we're supposed to police force the world, and throw 'em out! Let's stay home for the next ten years people! Right here in North America and enjoy the music and culture that is ours. Yeah, I got one more thing to say.
I'm just talking about the music, people, and what it does to me. And that is, as you look around the world, you go to the Soviet Union or Great Britain or France, you name it, any country... Everybody is doing flips and twists just to get into a genuine pair of American blue jeans! And to hear this music and we got it all here in America, the land of the Chrysler 440 cubic inch engine!"

- Ellwood Blues of The Blues Brothers, from the “Made in America” album [1980]

Lets Just Give Up Now

Just heard Nancy Pelosi say that she is receptive to the possibility of prosecuting ceratin Bush administration officials.

What has happened to our country? Everything has turned bass-ackwards, Harry Reid declares the war is lost, John Murtha calls Marines murderers, the Speaker of the House wants to prosecute Bush and his staff. Has everyone lost their minds? I can't believe people vote for these freaks.

Here's what needs to be done to make liberals happy: quit. Quit everything, pull the troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Korea, Japan, everywhere. Dismantle the military to pre-WWII level, and be nice to everyone. Stop any attempt to defend our borders, open up the gates and let everyone in. Do away with that nasty immigration paperwork. Provide free health care, free college tuition, free housing and free food and gas to anyone who can prove they are not American citizens. And be nice to everyone.

Completely dismantle our dangerous intelligence apparatus, the CIA, NSA, NRO, even the FBI. If you are nice to everyone, you don't need it. Abandon the Israelis and stay out of affairs in the Middle East. Let Iran develop nuclear weapons and be nice to everyone. Embrace North Korea and leave South Korea immediately, those troops aren't necessary if everyone is nice to everyone else. Remember, we caused 9/11 because we were not being nice to Arab terrorists, no more of nice to the Taliban, HAMAS, Al Queada, and all those other poor, misunderstood terrorists who enjoy sawing off people's heads with pocket knives.

So much money could be saved just by being nice. While we're at it, let's go ahead and volunteer to pay more taxes so our corrupt politicains will have more money to piss away on pork barrel projects.

Liberal theology holds that the US is to blame for almost everything. We created terrorists, 9/11 was our fault, Bush caused Katrina, a well trained team of government agents and KKK members blew the dikes in New Orleans. The Asian tsunami death toll was our fault because we didn't warn people it was coming, the largest contributor to global warming [now called "climate change" because it's cold as hell] is the US, it's Bush's fault that the democrats forced banks to give mortgages to people who had no money, we are evil because we expect foreigners to go through a legal immigration process. You can't display our national flag in public anymore because it may offend a person who is probably here illegally. Christmas is a bad word, Christianity is evil and will not be tolerated in public schools, students can wear a T-shirt with a Hamas flag, but a T-shirt with the American flag draws resentment from faculty and other students alike. Our universities are full of liberal professers teaching people that America is evil.

Have we all gone Rosie O'Donnell insane? Maybe the liberals would be happy, if, in the name of diversity, we just gave up our national identity completely. Create a new national flag, abolish our history and traditions. Events like the 4th of July will be banned because it celebrates the birth of an oppressive nation.

I will never understand how or why so many Americans despise their own country. What motivates so many of our educators to teach our children that America is an evil, oppressive nation? We do not have to worry about destruction from foreign elements, America's demise, when it comes, will come from within.

Obama Will Enhance the Bush Legacy

Barack Obama has yet to be sworn in and I am already sick of him. The bowel churning media blitz of his train ride to Washington is proof that Americans elected a man more qualified to be a celebrity than a president. Does anyone really care what kind of dog his kids get, or what his wife chooses to wear to the inauguration? I am sick of the butt licking, drooling references to his "chiseled pecs" by a media comprised not of journalists, but of gushing, star struck adults acting like teeenage girls at a Mylie Cyrus concert.

I miss George Bush already. Hillary Clinton? Are you serious Obama? Her and Bill have received hundreds of millions of dollars from rich Arabs paying for influence, they must be very happy that they now have an employee in the cabinet. Leon Panetta? Is he supposed to reform the CIA, make them act nicer to people who are determined to kill us? Why not put George Stephanopolous in there? He also has abosolutely zero experience in the intelligence field, and he has better hair. Speaking of hair, I can't believe Obama hasn't found a place for John Edwards yet. Maybe he's waiting for a spot in the Supreme Court to open up.

Then we have little Timmy Geithner, Obama's choice for Treasury secretary. A man who "forgot" to pay his social security or Medicare taxes for the last four years. That's what we need during an economic crisis, someone who can't even figure out how to do his own tax returns running the Department of Treasury, with oversight of the IRS... give me a break. If I stop paying my taxes, can I get a cabinet position too?

Then we have the $150 million Obama inaugural celebration of himself. During these tough economic times, does the country really need such an excessive Obama love-fest to take place? I would venture to suggest that most Americans don't give a rat's ass that Obama is the nation's first half-Black president. They just want to be able to pay the bills, have some sort of job security and hold on to what's left of their retirement fund. If it was a Republican throwing away $150 million of taxpayer money on a party, the media would be throwing a fit. Hey Obama, why don't redistribute some of that wealth my way?

Don't get me started on taxes. Did you know that 25% of the population pays 85% of our taxes? Obama wants to decrease the tax paying base, and give people who pay no income tax, a welfare check disguised as a refund. Refund of what?

Our first celebrity President is in for a rude awakening. After the parties are over, and Beyonce, Springsteen, and all the other Hollwood dregs have gotten in their private jets and gone home, after the Mall has been cleaned and the congratulatory calls have ended, Obama must begin the very difficult job serving as this nation's President. Put away the shades, the BlackBerry, the basketball, no more beach time in Hawaii, and start dealing with the economy, the war, Israel, Palestine, Iran. He will learn one thing quickly, the right decisions are not always popular, but to remain a celebrity, you must remain popular. He must make the decision, do I want to be celebrity, or do I want to be President? The two do not go together. George Bush understood that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Patriotism: What it means

Patriotism means different things to different people. Patriotism in a strict sense means love for or devotion to one's country. This is not really a very descriptive dictionary meaning and there is a need for expounding on what patriotism really means. I wrote an earlier article asking for all Americans to remember those that are deployed busy protecting our freedoms. One reader to this request of remembrance inquired "Do you think it’s possible to love your country and disagree with its decision to go to war? and took my request out of context. The answer to this question is obvious, yes it is possible to love your country and disagree with its decision to go to war. However, the answer is much deeper than a simple yes or no. we have to add some context in order to present a clearer picture of what the real question is and then answer.

First, the answer is obvious in the sense that it is more than possible to love your country and disagree with it simultaneously. It happens in love everyday. I disagree with my spouse on many things. We come from two extremely different cultures. I'm from rural America, my spouse from one of the largest cities in the world. I grew up in a free America, my spouse understands totalitarianism. Yes we have very distinct disagreements on certain subjects. But we don't have to go to the extremes to understand that disagreement doesn't necessarily mean not loving or being devoted. The question can not be answered in the obvious. In order to truthfully answer the question we must take into account actions. It is the actions of the individual that will determine the love and devotion the individual has.

In the context of the Iraq war sure it is possible to disagree with the war and still love your country. However, fringe elements commit unpatriotic acts when they strike out in violent and unlawful demonstration. It's not patriotism when fringe elements plot violent protests. Its not patriotic to set explosives off with the intent of damaging property or maiming and killing fellow Americans. This is the case of Barack Obama's pal William Ayers. William Ayers will never be able to credibly claim he is an American patriot. He and his fellow underground weathermen are criminals that spit upon their country. Burning the American flag is not patriotism. It may be a right, and it may be an expression of free speech, but burning the symbol of America is not patriotism. This act may be legal and it may be a right but it is not patriotic. Fringe elements like "Code Pink" that steal press credentials to illegally enter for purposes to disrupt others rights to free speech is not patriotic. It is illegal, pathetic and stupid.

Now I don't agree with everything my country does. I'm not enamored with the idea of bailing out labor unions and corporations. Any bailout of the US automakers is a crime against America in my opinion. The industry did not move with the changing times. The industry is relic living in the past. The unions have priced themselves out of the competitive market. Now I as an American taxpayer am expected to bailout both the union and the corporations. Now you can bet that I will voice my displeasure. I will and have written letters to my representatives in the house and senate voicing this displeasure. I have written on this blog which is available to everyone on the net. But what I will not do is plot the overthrow of my government. I will not plot to destroy a part of American infrastructure. I will not set explosives, damage property, or maim or kill my fellow Americans. Therein lies the difference between an American exercising freedom with a philosophy of the ends justifies the means and the American Patriot that will make sacrifices and compromises to defend a nation.

To the person that asked the question (Mary), yes you may disagree with the war and still love and be devoted to your country. However, with that being said when you spit upon those that are carrying out lawful orders and sacrificing their families, livelihoods, and lives for America that is not patriotic. The soldiers of America did not start this war. The soldiers are carrying out the orders of the leadership in America. By snubbing and forgetting about them just because you disagree with America is the same as burning the flag in my opinion. You are destroying a symbol of our strength. You are destroying the fabric of America by creating divisions among the citizens of my great country. Try destroying, forgetting, or ignoring, a friend, lover, or spouse, and see if the love transcends the hatred. I can guarantee you that if you set out to diminish a partner in a relationship the relationship will not last. Patriotism is much more than claiming to be an American. It is much more than attempting to make America better. Patriotism is also about an undying faith in the principles that make my country great. Patriotism is being supportive even in disagreement. Patriotism means not always getting your way but always remaining faithful. We can change American but we should not destroy American symbols or ignore the people that make it great. Patriotism is love and devotion. Sometimes in America we have to do things we don't like or agree with. Always remember God, country, flag and you will be a patriot.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Giving Pirates A Bad Name

Sometimes it's the little things that get you. After holding a Saudi oil tanker and its' crew hostage for almost two months, Somali pirates finally got paid their $3 million ransom. Eight of them climbed aboard a small boat to make their getaway, and the damn thing capsized.

Five of the pirates drowned, the others eventually reached shore, but without the money. Damn the luck, now they're going to have to go out and hijack another vessel because it's doubtful that their more successful pirate buddies will be willing to share any of their loot.

I thought pirates knew how to swim. Guess they don't teach basic swimming techniques in Pirate School anymore. Although one would think that if a person chose to commit crimes on the high seas, the abilities to swim and pilot a boat might be important career skills to consider. It's like robbing a bank and picking a blind guy to drive the getaway car...amateurs.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Movin' On Up

Brian Williams on NBC reported tonight that "it is official" Barack Obama's mother-in-law will be moving in to the White House. He then stated that this is because the Obama family is "under intense pressure".

Personally, I don't really care that Obama is moving in his wife's mommy, I don't know where she's been living, and I really don't care, although he could have taken his aunt out of Boston public housing and given her a closet or something. It's just hilarious that the NBC anchor feels it is necessary to make excuses for Barack on such an insignificant issue.

Intense pressure is being unemployed, intense pressure is wondering how you are going to feed your kids, or pay the mortgage, or rent. Obama is a millionaire who volunteered for his job, so spare us the dramatics. He got what he wanted and now the world awaits. Let's hope, for the sake of those really under "intense pressure", that he can deliver on his promises.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. A new year is a new beginning. It represents a rebirth and new opportunities for all. It is a joyous time but also a time for reflection. We must look to the future but remain cognizant of the past.

Everyone should remember that our freedom is not free and many families are without loved ones. Many Americans are currently deployed. We all need to tip our glasses and toast those that are busy defending our rights and freedoms while we are busy bringing in the new year.

Everyone should look at themselves and choose a weakness that should be improved upon. Our New Year's resolution should be goals that are attainable and meaningful. We need to make every effort to make our resolutions lasting in order to move ourselves forward. This is a joyous time but we must improve ourselves in order to move forward.

Hear's to the New Year.