We can all agree that the Holocaust happened, right? Wrong. Millions of people disagree.

How do you prove the Holocaust happened? And should you have to?

In 1996, Deborah Lipstadt was tasked with proving the Holocaust happened in a trial that's the focus of the new film, "Denial."

Yep, you read that right. Holocaust denial is actually a thing.

Many of us know that from 1933 to 1945 up to 6 million Jewish people lost their lives during the Holocaust, and more than 11 million people were killed altogether. We have photographs of the concentration camps, the ruins of which are still around today and can be visited. We have testimony from Nazi officials. There are survivors with arm tattoos and eyewitness accounts of the tragedy.


‌Image via Dale Cruse/Flickr. ‌

But for some people, that evidence doesn't seem to be enough. In fact, apparently only 54% of the world’s population has heard about the Holocaust, and of those who have heard about it, about one-third believes that the genocide has not been accurately described. Shocking, right?

In 1993, Lipstadt wrote a book about the phenomenon of Holocaust denial called "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory" because she felt she had to draw attention to the absurdity of deniers' claims.

In the book, Lipstadt dedicated just a few paragraphs — 500 words — to a man named David Irving, a Holocaust denier.

Irving not only distorts the historic records of the Holocaust, but also discounts the stories of people who witnessed and experienced the horrors or who have loved ones who did. Since the late 1980s, Irving has vehemently stated that the Holocaust was a hoax.

‌Dachau Concentration Camp prisoners. Image via Dale Cruse/Flickr.‌

"More women died in the backseat of Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz," Lipstadt quoted Irving as saying in her book.

Three years later, Irving sued Lipstadt for libel for calling him a Holocaust denier in her book. That trial is what "Denial" focuses on.

The film follows Lipstadt, who found herself center stage in a lawsuit, tasked with proving that Irving was lying when he said the Holocaust didn't happen.

"You can lie. You can say whatever you want, but you can be held accountable for it. And you can't then say 'well my opinion is equal to fact,'" Lipstadt said, explaining why it was so important to hold Irving accountable for his words.

‌Deborah Lipstadt. Image via Participant Media.‌

Irving brought his suit against Lipstadt in the U.K., where the law puts the burden of proof on the accused — meaning that instead of Irving being required to prove Lipstadt guilty, Lipstadt and her team of lawyers had to prove that Irving was actually a Holocaust denier. To do this, they'd have to prove that the Holocaust did in fact happen, and that Irving explicitly misrepresented that fact.

If Lipstadt lost the case, it would basically mean no one in the U.K. could ever call Irving a Holocaust denier, and it would allow for the continued denial of one of history's most significant and tragic events.

Fortunately, Lipstadt won — a victory that had repercussions beyond the case and beyond Irving.

It was a decisive win for truth.

‌Image via Dale Cruse/Flickr.‌

Fast forward to the current political climate, where elevating the truth is as crucial as ever.

We have a presidential candidate who regularly makes inaccurate and harmful statements regarding Muslims. Donald Trump claimed to have seen "thousands and thousands" of Muslims cheering as the buildings fell on 9/11 and used that story to justify his desire to create a Muslim database that's been compared to the Jewish database that was implemented in Nazi Germany.  

Since 9/11, hate crimes against Muslims have been up, and researchers are seeing a renewed spike lately. While a direct connection can't be assumed, analysts can't help but note the timing and wonder if the hateful rhetoric of the 2016 campaign is a contributing factor. Now, promoting intolerance is not the same thing as mass genocide. But when people in positions of power use patriotism and false statements to justify hate and gain a following in doing so, people get hurt.

There are also people in places of power claiming the climate change isn't real — ignoring scientists as well as the pleas and warnings of people in regions that are already feeling climate change's devastating effects.

And we have leaders brushing off systemic racism that directly effects the way black lives are viewed and valued and denouncing the activists who call attention to the injustices.

"There aren't always two sides to every story," said Lipstadt. "Certain things are true. Certain things happened. You can debate why they happened, you can debate why there was a Holocaust. You can debate who made the decision. But you can’t debate whether it happened."

Movies like "Denial" are a reminder that there will always be people out there who ignore the truth in an attempt to deny people their history.

For every person who denies history, there are even more people out there standing up for truth. Lipstadt's story is one of fact triumphing over opinion, of truth winning out over lies.

We could use more of that.

There will always be people like Irving in the world, but what we can do is work to ensure that the truth is told, no matter how ugly, because it’s important. Because it’s our duty to seek the truth.

Check out more of Lipstadt's story, which is featured in the upcoming movie "Denial," now playing in select theaters/everywhere Oct. 21:‌‌

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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