Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama topples his first government

Zelaya returned to power

This wanna-be-dictator attempted to hold on to power, violating the Honduran constitution (he was termed out, and wanted to hold a Chavez-style referendum to allow him to ignore it, and there is ample evidence showing he was preparing to forge the results of the referendum). So their supreme court ordered the military to toss him out of the country, and their parliament

The US response? We cut off humanitarian aid, winning the approval of thugs Castro and Chavez. Oh, and Senator Kerry tried to sweep a Library of Congress report under the rug showing that the ouster was legal.

The only good news out of this is that there appears to be a deal to have the normal election at the end of November, hopefully Zelaya will be tossed out, but between now and then, he's there because the US thugs pushed for it.

Congrats Mr. President! (Yes, that's sarcasm.)

The polls continue, conservatism is strong and growing

If you watch the major media, you'd think that conservatism doesn't exist anymore. According to them, everyone agrees on implementing socialized medicine, a.k.a.'s the "Public Option" and Government Health Care.

Gallup polls over the Summer showed otherwise. Poll results released June 15th showed Conservatives to be the largest ideological group in the U.S., outnumbering liberals 2 to 1. Poll results released July 6th showed that the country is moving more Conservative, not more liberal. Results released Monday of this week show Conservatives still outnumbering Liberals 2 to 1, with the number of liberals falling from the results released just 4 months ago.

Evidently the media can elect a President, but they can't change reality or alter the underlying, fundamental principles of America, or the thought processes of Americans.

In reality, President Obama owes less to the media than they might think. He burst onto the scene as a relative unknown. The unknown candidate always polls better than the candidate of the same ideology once he's named. Mr. Obama's popularity may well have been due to the fact that nobody really knew who he was, or what his policies might be. Only people willing to dig into his political past knew.

While hard core liberals who knew who this president was to begin with will always support him, and the ignorant will probably continue to support him blindly as he gives them things (ironic, given his recent statements), those paying attention to the issues and the man are recognizing that his policies are a massive departure from American principles, and the success of those policies would jeopardize any chance of a prosperous future for our nation.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Governments Don't Control THINGS

Rush Limbaugh has been playing portions of Ronald Reagan's "Rendezvous with Destiny" campaign speech for Goldwater and one of the phrases took my breath away. It's amazing what force the truth has when presented clearly and simply:

Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government."

Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me--the free man and woman of this country--as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"--this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.

(emphasis mine)

What a simple and true statement. Remember that when you want stuff from the government or a friend says that the government has given him something.

Andrew posted a link to the full speech on Youtube back in April, if you want to watch it. It's no slow, lumbering speech. In 28 minutes, Reagan presented a clear vision, easy to understand and crystal clear in its message. Watch it again, or read the transcript and see if you agree.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who's Tolerant?

Here's a fascinating article from the Washington Post about Matt Hiltzik, who handles PR for the currently controversial Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck had plenty to say about the article, of course.

What fascinates me enough to post about it is the underlying assumption of the article. Naturally it's a hit piece that's supposed to hurt Glenn Beck. However, the whole tone conveys a sense of shock and dismay that Matt Hiltzik, a liberal, would do any business with Glenn Beck, a conservative.

It seems like media is trying to make mainstream the idea that people of different viewpoints must vehemently hate one another. People may be surprised to realize that is a fairly recent idea in the U.S. It's also not healthy.

I have friends with whom I disagree so strongly on political matters that we don't discuss them. I've had an ongoing discussion with a liberal friend that has been enlightening, though neither of us has changed his mind at all.

I recently discussed the Balkanization of the U.S. through the perpetuation of insular language groups. Even more dangerous than that may be hatred based on ideological differences. That's something we have seen lead to war on our own soil, and something we shouldn't hasten to repeat.

It's okay for a PR firm headed by a liberal to represent a conservative. It's okay to discuss politics and disagree without hating one another. It's okay to disagree so vehemently that you don't discuss politics with your friends at all--and it's still okay to be friends. That's an idea that's kept America peaceful and prosperous for hundreds of years. We should all staunchly resist the media's assertion, unfortunately repeated by the president, that people who disagree with us are stupid, bad, or worthy of our hate and derision.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

60 Minutes Reports on Medicare Fraud

This really doesn't help the government's case for a public option. This is worth a watch whether you support a public option or not.

Part I:


Part II:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Somebody in Congress gets it

Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan gets it. This may be because he's seen what out of control government has done in Michigan.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The importance of language

A story caught my eye this morning about the Dallas police ticketing people for not speaking English. It's not against the law not to speak English, of course, so such tickets shouldn't be issued. I think a few officers probably let frustration get the best of them and acted unwisely. The following quotation sparked some thoughts on the subject, however:
"I was surprised and stunned that that would happen, particularly in the city of Dallas," Police Chief David Kunkle said. "In my world, you would never tell someone not to speak Spanish."
That's a silly statement, really. No one would tell anyone not to speak Spanish. In reading discussions on the article, I saw the inevitable charges of racism hurled about and was disgusted by the wholesale acceptance of the media's portrayal of the subject.

When lawful immigrants retain their language and culture, it only adds to the richness and resources of the United States. On top of that, they need to learn English and understand the customs that exist here, simply as a practical measure.

Stop for a moment to think of expectations in countries that don't accept the strange self-loathing liberals seem to think is appropriate in the United States. In France, if you want to do business, especially official business, you'll need to speak French. To expect them to speak your native language would be arrogant. In Mexico, while proximity to the United States means many do speak English, if you want to engage in any official business, it must be in Spanish. Government publications, voting materials and so forth, are all in Spanish.

Are other countries racist, or practical?

Worldwide, there are approximately 7,000 living, spoken human languages. It's a good bet that speakers of most of those languages have come or will come to the United States to resettle. We may not be perfect, but we're still one of the best places to live on Earth.

Is it more reasonable to expect police, firefighters and hospital staffs to be prepared to handle 6,909 human languages, or to expect those who settle here to learn the dominant language? In theory, anyone obtaining citizenship must be proficient in English. Our voting materials, signage and official business should all be printed and handled in English only.

There's another important aspect to having a unifying language. Most readers of this post will have some knowledge of the Balkans, and of the term Balkanization. When people do not have language and at least some culture in common, the result in time is usually civil strife, from minor clashes in the streets to ethnic cleansing and war. The strength of the United States has been the melting pot concept. Note that the materials within that pot don't have to be homogeneous; it's fine for them to retain unique characteristics. Ethnic and language groups can't be insular, though. That way leads to disaster.

Unity and practicality demand a common language in any nation. Even those that do relatively well with more than one language (Canada, Belgium) still suffer disunity and other forms of disunity because of that linguistic divide. If we permit, or worse perpetuate or promulgate insular language communities in the United States, we aren't being understanding or multicultural, we're setting explosive charges under the foundation of our nation.

Special note from the poster: I speak Spanish fluently (although I'm a bit rusty these days), and consider the time I spent in the Latin culture a valuable and enriching part of my personal past. I would never want anyone to give up their cultural or linguistic heritage, but rather encourage others to expand their own experience and enrich themselves by learning English in addition to their native language. English as a unifying language in the United States isn't just a practical necessity, learning it is a way to help lawful immigrants advance and take full advantage of the opportunities available in this great nation.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Could the Government be less responsive?

In a republic based on democratic principles, one expects the government will respond to the demands of its citizenry. In a government originally supposed to be a citizen government, not one comprised of professional politicians, we should expect even more.

This is inexplicable, then.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that nearly three-quarters of all Americans would like to see a decrease in the number of illegal immigrants in the country.

Seventy-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning called for a drop in the number of illegal immigrants, with 22 percent saying the number should remain the same and just 3 percent stating that there should be an increase in the number of illegal immigrants. That 73 percent figure is the highest number since CNN started asking this question four years ago.

According to the poll, 37 percent want to see all illegal immigrants deported, also the highest number since the questions was first asked in 2006, and another 23 percent say that the number of illegal immigrants in the country should be decreased significantly.
Note that this is a CNN poll, not something from a right wing think tank. Three quarters of Americans want to see illegal immigration decreased, and illegal immigrants deported, and our Congress is working on forcing upon us health care legislation and cap and trade legislation we've rejected, even marching in the streets to protest. It would be hard to imagine a better example of an out of control government filled with legislators completely confident that they'll never lose their seats because their districts are completely gerrymandered.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Could he be more insulting?

This clip comes from a fundraiser in New York on October 20th. He was discussing the health care debate.


It's amazing how easily and quickly this man can insult the entire nation. If you're not a Democrat, you're a mindless zombie following the commands of Rush Limbaugh. If you are a Democrat, you're a free-thinker, but he's had it with that and it's time for you fall in line and do what he tells you to. Your disobedience is disrupting his reign.

It makes sense that he's trying to belittle anyone who disagrees with him. Conservatives outnumber liberals about 2 to 1 and are the fastest growing ideological group in the United States.

2012 can't come fast enough.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We're just trying to clean up the mess we inherited

An image really is worth a thousand words.

Photobucket


It really doesn't work to pretend you're a helpless victim inheriting a mess when you helped create the mess as a U.S. Senator who voted for many of the things you're complaining about and you sought (quite vigorously) the office you've been elected to knowing full well the problems you'd face.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oath Keepers Will Hold the Country Together

The Drudge headline (READY TO REVOLT: Oath Keepers pledges to prevent dictatorship in USA...) was the first I'd heard about them. But here's what their goals are (according to Drudge's linked article):

More specifically, the group's members, which number in the thousands, pledge to disobey orders they deem unlawful, including directives to disarm the American people and to blockade American cities. By refusing the latter order, the Oath Keepers hope to prevent cities from becoming "giant concentration camps," a scenario the 44-year-old Rhodes says he can envision happening in the coming years.

It's a Cold War-era nightmare vision with a major twist: The occupying forces in this imagined future are American, not Soviet.

"The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here," Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer, said in an interview with the Review-Journal. "My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can't do it without them.

"We say if the American people decide it's time for a revolution, we'll fight with you."

The slant of the article (and the last sentence of the quote) is that these people are preparing for revolution. I believe that's exactly backwards -- that they'll prevent revolution.

If you're wondering why they suggest that the government might try to disarm Americans, it's because it happened after Katrina in New Orleans. Not many people know about it, because the news ignored it, but here's the proof:


But if law enforcement officials agree to disobey such an order, the average citizen doesn't have to worry about it, and is thus less likely to join a militia or revolutionary movement.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Free Money!

As I heard it recently put, our tax code is a horrible mixture of class warfare and loopholes. Our current taxation system came about as a mistake, and there are better solutions to increase tax income while decreasing the burden on the public. These don't increase government power, however, and so our politicians won't implement them.

Here's the really scary part. Nearly half of all Americans are not paying significant taxes, so they're willing to vote themselves more money at the expense of others. Worse yet, many of them have no idea where the money government gives them comes from. They don't realize it's taken from the hard-earned labor of their fellow Americans.

Here's some very scary audio from WJR, Detroit interviews with people applying for stimulus cash. The Republic can not survive this kind of ignorance.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How's That Inflation/Deflation Going?

Back in January, I recommended buying some gold, when the price of gold was $855/oz. The price today is about $1050/oz. If you bought gold when I recommended it, you'd have a return of nearly 23% in 9 months. How are your other investments going?

MonthMonthly
Inflation
Rate
Annual
Inflation
Rate
May 2008 0.84% 0.34%
June 2008 1.01% 0.41%
July 2008 0.53% 0.46%
August 2008 -0.40% 0.44%
September2008 -0.14% 0.40%
October 2008 -1.01% 0.30%
November 2008 -1.92% 0.09%
December 2008 -1.03% 0.01%
January 2009 0.44% 0.01%
February 2009 0.50% 0.02%
March 2009 0.24% -0.03%
April 2009 0.25% -0.06%
May 2009 0.29% -0.10%
June 2009 0.86% -0.12%
July 2009 -0.16% -0.17%
August 2009 0.22% -0.12%
September2009 0.06% -0.10%


(Note: When I posted this in May, the April numbers were still preliminary.)

The CPI is showing annual deflation. Gold is going nuts. What does that mean? The FED is trying to fight deflation by pumping out as many dollars as possible, but they're not stopping it. The dollar is on its way to being worthless. Yay!

Another note about this is over at zero hedge, where they've looked at the Dow Jones in constant dollars and vs. gold. The first time the Dow hit 10,000 was in 1999, and the cost of that 10,000 in gold was about 30 oz. Today's Dow at 10,000 costs less than 10 oz. of gold.

Goodbye, dollar -- it was nice knowing you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A VAT is a VAT and Makes Government Fat

One of the proposals being thrown around by politicos is the idea of a VAT (Value-Added Tax). The CATO institute has a great video about what a VAT is, etc.

By the way, while watching this, keep in mind GDP means "Gross Domestic Product" or how much economic activity goes on in the US. Once we use that as a measuring stick, we can talk about percent of GDP as a measure of government's impact on the economy generally, regardless of the highs and lows of economic cycles.


The Liverpool Care Pathway: Making sure any serious illness is your last

I've linked the amazing story, Sentenced to death on the NHS a few times. It's an important story because it really is the method to kill off the elderly or extremely sick. Quite a few people are responding to it. The Liverpool "Care" Pathway is the denial of food and liquids, anything but pain medication, which hastens a patient's death even if proper care would help them survive. Anecdotes are only anecdotes, but many people in the UK report that there's some pressure to give permission to use the Liverpool Care Pathway instead of treating elderly patients properly.

That's right. The NHS is making sure any serious illness is an elderly person's last illness by sentencing them to death.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The UK's NHS hits just keep coming

The UK's National Health Service is often touted as a model for Government, or Socialized Medicine. NY Times columnist Paul Krugman has told us horror stories from the NHS are just made up lies.

Unfortunately for Mr. Krugman, the hits just keep coming from the NHS.

Here are a couple for your review. 31 year old Matthew Millington, a British Iraq War veteran, required a lung transplant due to a respiratory condition. He received it, but the NHS gave him the cancerous lungs of a man who evidently smoked 30-50 cigarettes a day. Matthew Milligan couldn't be given a second set of lungs, due to hospital rules, so he died of cancer. Story here.

Remember the story about being sentenced to death by the NHS? Here's a family living with the results:

A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial 'death pathway'.

Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.

He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.

To his family's horror, they were told he could have recovered if he'd been given the correct treatment. Full story here.

I appreciate the NHS in the UK continuing to prove the point that government run health care is the real "die quickly" plan, and hope people in the U.S. will increase their pressure on Congress not to implement it here.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mainstream admission the debate is not over

For years, those skeptical of the claims of global warming alarmists have been insisting we need to do more research before making sudden, drastic (and economy-killing) changes to our activities. So, it's nice to see the BBC, which has been reporting for years as though global warming were simply a fact, publish an article confirming there's credible evidence supporting skeptics of the theory of anthropogenic global warming, and definite room for debate. That article is here.

I'm convinced that though many of our friends in the "green" movement are true believers in doing their small bit in helping the environment, others have ulterior motives, and during the height of the great global warming swindle, they weren't shy about sharing them, as shared in this post:

Gore and other global warming activists seem very committed to global socialism, and the global warming scare is a perfect vehicle for the institution of socialist policies. How bold is that claim? Not very, if you listen to Christine Stewart, Canada's former environment minister: "Climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world." On another occasion, she said, "No matter if the science is all phony, there is still collateral environmental benefits to global warming policies."

The BBC column is worth a read. Here's a part of it:
What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.

The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.

Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

But those scientists who are equally passionate about man's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid.

The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible for future climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation and ocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new.

In fact, the centre says they are just two of the whole host of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of which are accounted for by its models.

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

It wasn't long ago the same scientists working so hard to explain why global warming isn't happening the way they predicted were telling us human influences were the overwhelming factor in warming, and no cycles of nature could stop it. Their models and the predictions based on them were simply wrong, based on lies, assumptions and faulty data.

It is wise to find new, cleaner ways to generate power. Nobody wants to pollute the environment. However, we have time to do it. There is no need for "cap and trade" (cap and tax) legislation to drive up energy prices in the U.S. and further destroy our economy. We don't have to live in mud huts and stop raising any food animals. We can take a more sane approach to energy policy and environmental responsibility.

Most importantly, in science the debate is never over.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thoughts from a Conservative Professor

I recently heard about a fantastic article, and thought I'd share it. It's published at American Thinker, specifically here.

Here's a bit of it:
Swimming Upstream: The Life of a Conservative Professor in Academia
By Ron Lipsman

I have been a faculty member at a major State University for 40 years. Several years after my arrival, I voted for George McGovern. Eight years later, I voted for Ronald Reagan. In those eight years, my family and I experienced several traumas that caused me to reevaluate -- and ultimately, drastically alter -- the political, cultural and economic axioms that had governed my life.

Within months of buying my first home in an excellent neighborhood, within walking distance to the University and, most importantly, located in a district with an outstanding local public elementary school, my five year old son was forcibly bussed to an inferior school, many miles away, in a horrible neighborhood in order to satisfy the utopian vision of a myopic federal judge. This betrayal of my fundamental rights was undoubtedly the greatest shock to my political psyche.

Another was a Sabbatical year spent living and working in Jerusalem, during which time the UN issued time the infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution. I was able to observe firsthand that the standard propaganda about Israel and Zionism that was promulgated in America and elsewhere -- almost exclusively by those on the Left that I had formerly supported -- was nothing more than bald-faced, hateful lies. This and other events in the 1970s caused me to rethink everything that I had taken for granted since adolescence about how the world worked.

I emerged from the exercise as an enthusiastic conservative. Thus I was no longer your average faculty member who adhered to the liberal party line, but instead one of a tiny cadre who completely disagreed with the leftist mentality that dominated the thought of campus faculty and administrators.

The overwhelmingly liberal atmosphere on campus is well known. In the one place in society at which there should be diversity of thought, exploration of conflicting ideas and a propensity to challenge conventional wisdom, we have instead a mind-numbing conformity of opinion and a complete unwillingness to entertain any thought or idea that deviates from the accepted truth.
I'd encourage anyone with interest to read the full article.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Advice from George Washington

In reading "The Real George Washington" I've become more convinced than ever that the Constitution is more relevant today even than it was in the time it was written. This is because, as I'm fond of saying, the Founders based the Constitution not on contemporary political theory of the 1700's, but on the immutable principles of human nature. They understood humanity very well.

George Washington proved that in his often quoted farewell address. One part of it struck me as I read because it is particularly relevant today:
"Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."

That is not to say he didn't feel the Constitution should be amended. He counseled with regard to change, "let it be by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." (The Real George Washington, pages 586-587)
In other words, if anyone tells you we must change the way the system works fundamentally to resolve a present crisis, it should be rejected. Basic changes should be approached carefully and deliberately, never in a rush or panic, and considered fully before implemented. This is why the Amendment process is such a difficult one. It forces full consideration of any proposal. This is vital, because hasty changes can foul a great system of governance even when those making them have the purest of intentions.

When those proposing change have less than pure intentions, an unsuspecting populace may have freedom snatched away in the surprised blink of a complacent eye.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Michael Moore's new film

Here's a very entertaining and telling piece at Sweetness and Light. Michael Moore clearly believes what he has to say. Just as long as you have to live it and he doesn't. How very Soviet of him.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Global Warming Lies exposed

You know I've been following the issue of global warming. Another excellent article has come out based on the recent opening of some of the data that served as the basis for the current movement.

Turns out, the data was manipulated, some of it outright false.

Ross McKitrick wrote about it in the article Defects in key climate data are uncovered. In essence, rather than taking hundreds of tree ring samples, 10 were used to produce a desired result, with heavy emphasis on one tree that best supported the theory the researcher wished to prove true.

In other words, the basis of the global warming movement is junk science, supported by more junk science.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Alan Grayson's comments and the real "Die Quickly" Plan

Recently, Alan Grayson (D-FL) said on the floor of the House of Representatives that the Republican health care plan is to not get sick, and if you do, to die quickly. He also apologized "to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America." Story here.

What's deeply ironic is that if one judges by our allies' care, he's exactly described government health care's plan, not that of any Republicans. From a report in the Daily Telgraph, "Sentenced to death on the NHS":
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."

The warning comes just a week after a report by the Patients Association estimated that up to one million patients had received poor or cruel care on the NHS.
We need a real health care solution, not a copy of failing systems, and not alarmist rhetoric that is precisely the opposite of the truth.

Whether or not it's your issue, liberal policies help abort about 100,000 babies a month in the US. Now that's a holocaust.