Today is Intl. Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here are resources that might be helpful for you and your family.

Photo from the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

Photo from the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

UPDATED: Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. All over the world, Jews and Christians and many others are remembering the most catastrophic event in the history of modern Judaism — the systematic murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime during World War II. 

Today is also the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by the Soviet Red Army on January 27th, 1944.

Sadly, too many people — especially young people — don’t really know what happened. They’ve never been taught. Or they’ve not paid attention. But we must never forget. If you’re a Christian — and especially if you’re a pastor or Christian leader – may I especially appeal to you to use this year to learn more and teach more about the Holocaust, and to find ways to bless survivors, as well as to bless Israel and the Jewish people with the love of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

As readers of this blog know, I am personally making 2014 a year of both of remembering the Holocaust and sharing its history and lessons with others. This will involve releasing The Auschwitz Escape; doing radio and TV interviews about the novel and the true stories that inspired it; speaking at various schools, conferences and churches; meeting with Holocaust survivors to hear their experiences; finding ways to do more to care for survivors in Israel who are poor and needy; visiting the U.S. Holocaust Museum; visiting Yad Vashem in Israel; encouraging Christian leaders to do more to teach the lessons of the Holocaust; encouraging joint events with Jewish and Christian leaders; and using plays and books and films and other resources to teach my own four sons about what happened and why.

There are many ways you can remember what happened and to help others to remember and learn vital lessons. Here are a few possibilities:

* Watch Schindler’s List with family and friends – Use discretion with younger children, but it’s a film every person must see. “Experience one of the most historically significant films of all time like never before with the 20th Anniversary Limited Edition of Steven Spielberg’s cinematic masterpiece, Schindler’s List. Winner of seven Academy Awardsr including Best Picture and Best Director, this incredible true story follows the enigmatic Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. It is the triumph of one man who made a difference and the drama of those who survived one of the darkest chapters in human history because of what he did. Meticulously restored from the original film negative in pristine high definition and supervised by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List is a powerful story whose lessons of courage and faith continue to inspire generations.” (Amazon description)

* Read The Hiding Place or watch The Hiding Place film with family and friends – “Corrie ten Boom was a woman admired the world over for her courage, her forgiveness, and her memorable faith. In World War II, she and her family risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis, and their reward was a trip to Hitler’s concentration camps. But she survived and was released-as a result of a clerical error-and now shares the story of how faith triumphs over evil. For thirty-five years Corrie’s dramatic life story, full of timeless virtues, has prepared readers to face their own futures with faith, relying on God’s love to overcome, heal, and restore. Now releasing in a thirty-fifth anniversary edition for a new generation of readers, The Hiding Place tells the riveting story of how a middle-aged Dutch watchmaker became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s death camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century.” (Amazon description)

* Read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl with your children, or watch the 1959 film, The Diary of Anne Frank — “Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.” (Amazon description)

* Read Night by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel on your own, or with your family – “Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.” (Amazon description)



>> New novel, “The Auschwitz Escape,” will release March 18th. Inspired by true story of the greatest escape of all-timelearn more, or pre-order here.

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

SO VERY HELPFUL: Illinois Educates Convicts About All of the Benefits They’re Due Under Obamacare

Guest post by Ben Yount

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — When you exit prison in Illinois you’ll get your street clothes, a notice of when to check-in with your parole officer and a pamphlet about Obamacare.

The state’s prisons and county jails are taking a proactive approach to enrolling people, mostly into Medicaid, through the Affordable Care Act. They’re starting the process while prisoners are locked up.

“When the person is in custody, they’re not eligible for enrollment,” McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery told Illinois Watchdog. “The stance we’re taking here in McLean County…is that we’re starting the process with inmates to get them enrolled for health care.”

Emery said his staff will fill out almost all of the paperwork for Obamacare so that once someone is released they can sign a few pages and be enrolled in Medicaid, or apply for private insurance. Most will go into Medicaid.

In Illinois’ prisons, inmates who are set to be released are told they could be covered by Medicaid well before their last day.

“Parole school in prisons serves as a primer on what to do upon release,” said Tom Shaer, Illinois’ prison spokesman for Illinois Department of Corrections. “IDOC informs inmates of their rights and opportunities under ACA, just as we inform them of all resources available to them in health care.”

Shaer said Illinois hopes to enroll its 28,000 parolees in Obamacare. Most of them would be covered under Medicaid expansion.

“There are certain portions of IDOC’s inmate population who are currently Medicaid eligible — the over 65 population and our pregnant female population,” Shaer said.

Medicaid will not pay for care for other inmates who currently serving sentences, he added.

Greg Sullivan, executive director of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, said the key is where the inmate is sleeping.

“Federal rules say you cannot be on Medicaid and in jail or prison, but once you get out you are covered,” Sullivan said.

That even applies to short releases. “If we take you and put you in a hospital, you’re are still covered,” he said.

Sullivan said inmate health care is often the second largest cost for a county jail.

Counties are seeing Obamacare as a way to shift some of those health care costs from their budgets to the federal government.

“There will be some savings,” Emery said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be an immediate savings for county taxpayers.”

Illinois has added 114,000 people to its Medicaid rolls under Obamacare, while no one knows how many people have signed up for private insurance. Republican lawmakers expect to add as many as 500,000 people to Medicaid in the next year.

Obamacare is set to pay for all of the costs for three years (and 90 percent after that) for newly eligible Medicaid clients, mostly the young single men who are the same young men coming out of prison or jail.

Illinois spent nearly $ 12 billion on Medicaid last year. Republicans at the Capitol say Illinois can expect to spend $ 1 billion more on Medicaid next year, regardless of the extra federal cash. If the federal government pays less than 90 percent of the cost for the young men it is adding to Medicaid, Illinois’ Medicaid spending could skyrocket by more than $ 6 billion a year.

Contact Benjamin Yount at or find him on Twitter @BenYount. Hat tip: BadBlue 24×7 News Service

Doug Ross @ Journal

Helpful ABC News Report Depicts Simulation of LAX Shooting, Complete With Non-Existent Grenade Launcher

Well, it was “Good Morning America” we’re talking about, which explains this particular story that seems aimed at folks with an IQ somewhere south of a ball-peen hammer:

ABC’s Good Morning America took a great deal of liberty with reality this morning, creating a computer animation that equipped Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) shooting suspect Paul Ciancia not with the Smith & Wesson M&P15 modern sporting rifle that he actually used, but instead with a military M16 selective-fire assault rifle and m-203 40mm grenade laucher.

It’s nice to know that a major network still retains such great creative license as part of their news programming.

I suppose we should be thankful they didn’t copy the shoulder-launched Stinger Anti-Aircraft missile from Call of Duty.

Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News.

Doug Ross @ Journal

HELPFUL CHART: Here’s How Much You’ll Be Paying For Health Care in the Obamacare State Exchanges

I can summarize this chart in a single sentence: Obamacare is working just as well its website.

…Individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges. It is true that in some states, the experience could be the opposite. This is because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection, as is the case of New York. Many states, however, double or nearly triple premiums for young adults. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont see some of the largest increases in premiums.

Click to Explodify

…The Obama Administration is desperate for younger people to enroll to prevent an adverse selection death spiral.

…Our findings confirm that younger populations see larger percentage increases in premiums. A state that exhibits this clearly is Vermont, where the increase for 27-year-olds is 144 percent and the increase for 50-year-olds is still 60 percent, but far less. All states exhibit this relationship.

Charles C. W. Cooke helpfully summarized the litany of (quite obvious) lies the President and his sycophants told Americans in order to jam Obamacare through Congress.

• “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

• “For people with insurance, the only impact of the health-care law is that their insurance is stronger, better, and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”

• “If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less.”

• “I want to be very clear: I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade.”

• “Health care reform will cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $ 2,500 a year.”

Every major promise regarding Obamacare was a lie.

As Scott Johnson astutely observes, “If only we had a free press, Obamacare would be a bloody, unrelenting scandal, like Abu Ghraib, or Watergate. As it is, it is only business as usual for liberals and liberalism..”

Hat tips: Maggie’s Notebook and BadBlue News.

Doug Ross @ Journal