Monday, September 28, 2009

Effective and Efficient: Two Words Our Government Has Demonstrated It Doesn't Understand

by: bburrell 9/27/2009 3:51 PM

We face impending legislative actions by our elected representatives that would potentially nationalize our health care systems, and a new taxation policy on energy being called euphemistically a “Cap and Trade” program, intended to have the US to try and unilaterally control Greenhouse Gases, while the rest of the World changes nothing. This comes on the heels of moves to effectively nationalize our banking system under the control of an entity which has never been audited or examined except “In Camera”, and a move to negate more than a century of property rights of bondholders as expressed in our bankruptcy laws by the national unionization of our automotive industry.

Gates, Buffett, and Turner are major funders of global population reduction programs

by F. William Engdahl, September 28, 2009

David Rockefeller and his brothers created the global movement to reduce population growth back in 1953 with the founding of the Population Council, one of the least known and most influential organizations in the world.Gates and Buffett are major funders of global population reduction programs, as is Turner. The programs in Africa and elsewhere are masked as philanthropy and providing health services for poor Africans. In reality they involve population sterilization via vaccination and other medicines that make women of child-bearing age infertile. The Gates Foundation, where Buffett deposited the bulk of his wealth two years ago, is also backing introduction of GMO seeds into Africa under the cloak of the ‘Second Green Revolution’ in Africa. The introduction of GMO patented seeds in Africa to date has met with enormous indigenous resistance.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nuclear Disarmament: A Modern Fairy Tale

by J. R. Nyquist (article link)

We have supposedly done away with ignorance and superstition, and because of this conceit some middle-aged children today imagine that they are smarter than their parents; smarter than the generation that built the bomb, that built many bombs. Without realizing it, however, we have created new superstitions like democracy and monetarism. We no longer believe in witches. We believe in economists and arms reduction treaties. Our fairy tales have grown into adult narratives, as children become adults without entirely growing up. For us, the disturbing edge of the traditional fairy tale has been dulled. We no longer want hard truth and tough talk. Instead, we cling to childishness.

Middle-aged children imagine that nuclear weapons are the problem. In reality, nuclear weapons are an unavoidable consequence of human nature. Can we eliminate crime, bad manners or lying? Can we establish permanent peace? The child sees no obstacle because the child does not know himself, and does not know human nature. A mature mind, however, knows that peace is precarious and temporary. It is not a question of eliminating nuclear weapons. Peace is only possible if we can  mitigate the wickedness of human beings (e.g., like you and I).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Terrible Lies Promising Transparency And Their Reality Today

Written by: Bud Burrell (article link)

9/23/2009 8:46 PM

Today, this Administration, supported by the Democratic Party’s regulars excepting one holdout voted 12 to 11 to negate any attempt at giving the American public a 72 hour look at the proposed Obamacare Health Reform legislation. This motion was made to allow the entire American public and all of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to read this bill in its entirety.

Democratic Congressmen and Senators made every attempt to kill this initiative, saying that presenting this entire 1000 page (estimated) bill was a waste of time and that any readers would simply get lost in the complex verbiage. I think they were saying something entirely different from their intent.

Time after time, we have heard President Obama say one thing in the election cycle, but contradict promises made in the head of such battle as being trivial and unimportant. The first major promise he made was to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He broke that promise, then made another promise he intends to break regarding supporting our troops in Afghanistan. He promised to put the harassment of CIA officials behind him, only to have his Attorney General reopen cases put to bed in 2004. CIA morale is reported at an all time low, worse than it was under Admiral Turner and President Carter after the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, when over 800 top covert operators were terminated on a Saturday night so that they could not appeal their termination to the Federal Employment Commission.

Then there is the disgraceful scandal surrounding the infamous ACORN, an illegal RICO organization bagged by a couple of twenty something kids outing the worst scandal since Nixon’s impeachment. It is what surrounds ACORN that is even more terrifying, those units being the Tides Foundation backed by George Soros, the Apollo Alliance run by John Podesta hand-picked by Soros for the job, and SEIU, the thuggish Union, and some 260+ other organizations backed by this coterie of criminals, ultra-leftists, and outright Communist revolutionaries. Seems someone in the Democratic Party really blew the background affiliation research into then Candidate Obama.

The attack we see now is an undisguised attack on the very fabric of individual rights, republican government, and capitalism. Anyone not seeing that needs a brain transplant. This same group is supporting an attempt to indoctrinate children as young as elementary school with anti-capitalist propaganda, without any approval of the parents of the children. 

Obama in now parsing his words, saying that if you benefit from something the Government gives you, then it isn’t a tax. What kind of Lewis and Carroll logic did this claptrap come from? First he gives us Cap and Tax (the naïve called it “Trade”) and now he tell us that since we benefit from it, it isn’t a tax. He is trying to apply the same logic to his ill-conceived and duplicitous Health Care program, saying that these increased costs will keep this deficit neutral with no loss of benefits. Lying at this level transcends manipulation into the terrain of narcissism and sociopathic amorality.

What has to be clear to EVERY American is that this man and his minions don’t give a tinker’s damn about either the systems our forefathers died for, nor for the rights of any individual to question his Government when they spout poison fruit juice that might taste all right, but that poisons the body politic.

Today, the clown SEN Harry Reid said that the Democrats were ready to go to the so-called “Nuclear Option” to pass Obamacare, by calling the Health Care Reform Bill a budget item and thereby making it possible for a “reconciliation” vote of just 51 Senators to pass the bill. If this happens, this Government will lock up like it was hit in the head with a figurative sledge hammer. I would expect immediate impeachment proceedings at the State level to recall their Democratic Congressmen and women and their Senators, along with any Republicans joining in this arrogant effort.

Causing such a terrible upheaval in our political systems will wreak havoc as yet to be defined or imagined. I say that this borders on treason. I have studied these laws, and I can find nothing that excuses such legislative behavior, no law nor rationale of any kind. Please contact your respective legislators’ offices, no matter what the Party, and tell them that if they pass either bill, Cap and Trade/Tax or Health Care Reform, they will be ripped from their offices before 2010, irrespective of the price or party affiliation.

There are times for compromise and a spirit of bi-partisanship, and this is NOT one of them. Don’t allow anyone to sell this fertilizer to you. The poisoned political gas it will emit will be disastrous to this nation, yes, even deadly to its corpus. Tell your representatives to listen to you or suffer the consequences of a motivated electorate. No one alive today has been alive to see such disruption as this will cause here. This will turn the entire country into a powder keg. If your conscience prevents you from opposing this maneuver, don’t expect to have any standing with those whose personal courage won’t permit this destruction of our Constitution’s principles. We shipped the Tories back to England at the end of the Revolution, and ships are a lot bigger today.

Comment: Start planning to survive the Obama dark ages. Pack your bags.

Stadiums, Hotels Warned of Terrorists (from emailed newsletter)

In the wake of the continuing story about the New York and Denver terrorist cells, federal authorities are issuing heightened security alerts (see story below) in what a USA Today front page article yesterday called “an unusual flurry of bulletins.”

Meanwhile, it is illuminating that this year, in the midst of repeated White House olive branches and apologies extended to the Muslim world, we are witnessing an apparent increase in homegrown potential terror.

In the eight years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 113 homegrown jihadists have been arrested in America — with 40 arrested this year alone! In other words, prior to this year, an average of 10 homegrown jihadists were arrested each year. We’re barely ¾ of the way through 2009 and we’ve already seen four times that many homegrown jihadists arrested.

Is this just a case of better enforcement? Or is it an increase in terrorist cells and potential terrorists? We believe it’s the latter.

We’ve seen this phenomenon before. In Britain, after years of “outreach” and accommodations to Muslim demands (including the official sanction of shariah courts), terrorist threats have increased, not decreased.

In other words, attempting to fight a “war on terror,” while capitulating to the ideology behind the terror, is a losing strategy. We can help fight the war against Islamic terrorism by pushing back against this failed strategy — which is precisely what we are doing in ACT! for America.

Comment: Coming to an America city near you care of the Islamic Jihad, Inc.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Clinton’s Big Lie: “Srebrenica Massacre”

Sep 1st, 2009 | By

Željko Vujadinović, member of the former Srebrenica Commission, recently confirmed there is “absolutely no evidence a massacre of 7,000-8,000 Bosnian Muslims was committed” in Srebrenica.

“The number of 7,000-8,000 missing Bosnian Muslims, presented to the public as the victims of a war crime, is one of the biggest lies and manipulations continually present in this part of the world”, he said.

“The list of 7,000-8,000 Bosnian Muslims contains the names of the individuals who have been reported missing — it is not the list of the victims of a crime, those who have allegedly lost their lives during Srebrenica takeover”, Vujadinović explained in an interview with the news agency Srna, adding that the crucial issue that has not been taken into account when it comes to the evaluation of Srebrenica events, is a distinction between the victims of the crime and the victims of war.

There is a world of difference, he said — victims of the war crime are men who have been captured and executed without trial, while the victims of war are individuals who were killed during the battles, like Bosnian Muslim troops from Srebrenica column, which suffered heavy casualties after being engaged in battle with the Bosnian Serb Army.

Vujadinović pointed to another often overlooked detail, that even the ICTY, NATO tribunal in Hague, declared Bosnian Muslim Srebrenica column, comprised of fully armed combatants belonging to Naser Oric’s notorious 28th division (stationed in Srebrenica throughout the Bosnian civil war), a “legitimate military target”.

“Thus far, there is absolutely no evidence which would prove 7,000 or 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were killed in Srebrenica”, Vujadinović said.

[…] The information that has surfaced during the Hague’s recent pre-trial briefs gave further reason to question the “Srebrenica massacre” allegations, when it was revealed that the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), which handles the exhumations and the DNA analysis, is not sharing the evidence even with the NATO’s own court in Hague.

Comment: How disinformation can survive in the face of incontrovertible facts known since the 1990’s is a testimony to the worship of ignorance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama appoints a radical Muslim to top position in the Department of Home Security

Vincent Gioia, BrookesNews.Com (article link)

Purported non Muslim Barack Hussein Obama made a presidential appointment of Muslim Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Arif Alikhan for a top job at the federal Department of Homeland Security. In his new job Arif Alikhan will be Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Alikhan has been Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles — in charge of public safety for the city. Why Muslim Alikhan at the Department of Homeland Security you might ask? DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said Alikhan's "broad and impressive array of experience in national security, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism will make him an asset —yes, but on behalf of the US or Muslims? I am not sure what she is talking about and she probably doesn't know either.

Comment: No surprise here. What else is to be expected from the stealth Muslim President? I would not bet a nickel on the survival of New York in the next several years.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions

Nature Geoscience 2, 566 - 570 (2009) (article link)

Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions

Anton Kolesnikov1,2, Vladimir G. Kutcherov2,3 & Alexander F. Goncharov1

There is widespread evidence that petroleum originates from biological processes1, 2, 3. Whether hydrocarbons can also be produced from abiogenic precursor molecules under the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions characteristic of the upper mantle remains an open question. It has been proposed that hydrocarbons generated in the upper mantle could be transported through deep faults to shallower regions in the Earth's crust, and contribute to petroleum reserves4, 5. Here we use in situ Raman spectroscopy in laser-heated diamond anvil cells to monitor the chemical reactivity of methane and ethane under upper-mantle conditions. We show that when methane is exposed to pressures higher than 2 GPa, and to temperatures in the range of 1,000–1,500 K, it partially reacts to form saturated hydrocarbons containing 2–4 carbons (ethane, propane and butane) and molecular hydrogen and graphite. Conversely, exposure of ethane to similar conditions results in the production of methane, suggesting that the synthesis of saturated hydrocarbons is reversible. Our results support the suggestion that hydrocarbons heavier than methane can be produced by abiogenic processes in the upper mantle.

Comment: The Russians since WW2 have not accepted the idea that oil comes from fossils. They drilled to much deeper levels than anyone else did in the world and discovered oil that is continuously produced in the earth.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The September 12th Failure of Cognition

By Claudia Rosett (article link)

We have a president who imagines he can keep this country safe by reaching out to Syria, haggling with North Korea and Iran, winking at Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi and smiling at Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Washington is rife with politicians and pundits willing to entertain the idea that if America withdraws in defeat from Afghanistan, there will be no hell to pay.

Imagination now tells us that with the help of the United Nations, the politicians of the world can fine-tune the climate and the tides. Imagination says there can be state-planned healthcare for all, but rationing and deficits for none. Imagination says America can be centrally planned, but free; nanny-state, but strong; apologetically appeasement-driven, but secure. Imagination has reduced “war” to “overseas contingency operations,” and imagination posits that – Afghanistan apart — what remains of those overseas contingency operations can mostly be fought and won through the U.S. courts.

Meanwhile, the alarms are clanging. Signs are that Iran will soon be rolling out nuclear bombs. North Korea has already run its second nuclear test. New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau goes to Washington to warn an unheeding administration that a fast-rising “axis of unity” between Venezuela and Iran is on a path leading toward nuclear-tipped missiles in America’s “backyard.” Pirates, and freighters stuffed with North Korean weapons, ply the seas. Al Qaeda digs into Africa. Russia and China blaze the way toward a world order in which ruthless autocracy outranks democracy, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sees a certain charm in the idea.

Comment: I will not bet a nickel that New York will survive past the next several years.


Barack Hussein Obama’s Happy Muslim Rainbow Tour

by Srdja Trifkovic on June 08, 2009 (article link)

“As the Holy [sic!] Koran tells us, Be conscious of God and speak always the truth,” President Obama told his audience at the beginning of his much heralded speech in Cairo last week.

It was a remarkable performance: not a single significant statement he made on the nature of Islam, or on America’s relationship with the Muslim world, or on the terrorist threat, complied with the quoted command of the prophet of Islam.

U.S Government Jumps Voluntarily into Iran's Trap; Pulls in Europeans, Too

Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/13/2009 (article link)

The great French diplomatist Talleyrand put it best: "That's worse than a crime, it's a mistake."
By accepting the Iranian proposal for negotiations, the Obama Administration has just made the most important foreign policy decision of its term so far. And it is a very bad mistake, a very bad one indeed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Look At Social Security

by Daniel Aaronson and Lee Markowitz (article link)

[…] all of the surplus money collected since Social Security's inception, which should have been saved for future payments, instead has been lent to the Government in exchange for privately issued Government debt. In fact, the US Treasury does not hold assets against the privately issued Government debt, making social security taxes no different from other federal taxes in that the Treasury uses the money for "general Government purposes".

The Government ran out of money long ago. As a result of its insolvency, the Government is tapping any source of cash it can access, such as Social Security's surplus funds. This is not a healthy or sustainable situation. People recognize that Government spending has the US on a crash course, but markets still behave as though the day of reckoning lies so far ahead that there is no need to address it now. However, the Government's attempt at solving the current financial crisis through the assumption of trillions of dollars in additional debt has only moved the day of reckoning closer.

When Fantasy is Fatal

by J. R. Nyquist (article link)

The human mind craves fantasy. But fantasy itself isn't stable. Myths and legends are constantly shifting. What was believed yesterday, is laughed at today. Every age thinks itself wise and looks back with disdain on the folly of earlier ages. But the lesson we should draw is this: If people in earlier times were foolish and gullible, then we are fatally foolish and gullible ourselves. We ought to have learned something, especially regarding our own nature, by studying the past.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thirteen Dutch citizens suspected for murder (and torture!) of Serbian civilians

Author: V. Z. Cvijić | 11.03.2009 - 09:13 (article link)

Rotterdam – The State prosecution of Rotterdam launched investigation against 13 Dutch citizens suspected to have committed crimes against Serbian civilians and prisoners in the action called ‘Medacki dzep’ in the villages near Gospic, Croatia in the year of 1993. These 13 people were members of Croatian army.
The investigation has been launched on the basis of testimonies given by Serbs that survived the crime and statements given by Canadian soldiers from the UN contingent that entered Medacki dzep after the attack.
The investigation revealed that the late Johan Tilder of the Town of Enkhauzen in Holland was commander of the 9th Croatian brigade stationed in Gospic that took part in operations in Medacki dzep. According to the witnesses, Tilder with several other men was torturing a man whose eyes were dug out. Some of the suspected Dutch citizens also spoke about his crimes. The suspected Raymond van der L said that Tilder told him about operations at Medacki dzep. Van der L was a member of Croatian army and is living in Zagreb today.
Serbia war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic says for ‘Blic’ to support efforts being made by colleagues in Holland.
‘That shall certainly help in the process of facing with the past and reconciliation in the countries of former Yugoslavia’, Vukcevic said.
Croatian forces began on September 9, 1993 a military operation in the villages around Gospic – Divoselo, Pocitelj and Licki Citluk that lasted until September 17. In that operation 88 Serbs were killed, 42 of them were civilians. Many of the bodies were massacred and it was obvious that the victims were tortured. The investigation showed that some women were raped and that some civilians were burnt in fire while closed in their houses. Prisoners were tied to vehicles and dragged around.
Each year Croatia celebrates ‘the anniversary of military operation Medaci dzep as defense of Gospic from aggression’!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jamie Glazov: United in Hate - the Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror (1 of 4)

Obama is Bipolar


I needed a good laugh…

A Fatal Flaw in the Western Psyche

My work is along the thread that there is a fatal flaw in the Western psyche caused by a terrible mistake in Christian theology on the problem of evil. It was obvious to the early Christians that there is evil in the world, but how is evil created if God is good? They could not accept the idea the God would create evil. After St. Augustine of Hippo evil was defined by Christian theology as the absence of good, the privatio boni. In the modern secular mind the religious form has been stripped away but the essence of the privatio boni survives in the unconscious. Go up to anyone in the West and ask if man is essentially good or evil. Everyone will say that man is essentially good. Modern man suffers under the unconscious inflation that he is a god (another very big topic that I will not expand on here) and has inherited the privatio boni solution that evil is not real and is only the absence of good.

Modern secular Western man thinks he is essentially good and pushes his evil potential into the unconscious. His consciousness is inflated by the illusion that it is essentially good which drives a righteous thinking morality that ‘my thinking cannot be wrong’. This thinking morality has driven his intellect into all kinds of excesses such as the many isms of the 20th century that massacred over one hundred million people (and modern man looks down his nose at the Inquisition?). His unconscious holds the evil potential that his consciousness will not acknowledge which can grab him by the back of his neck to be projected onto his neighbor (such as anti-Semitism, or most recently the Obama types calling opponents of government single payer health care “domestic terrorists”).

This is moderated in most of us by social conventions and religious belief but strongly manifests in those that have above average power over the rest of us such as in the Western elites. Modern secular Western man thinks he is a god. What is the first thing a god does when we awakes? He creates. The elites, in self identification with the good, with a righteous thought morality, and suffering from inflation that he is a god awakes to his god like power over others as he acquires his position of authority. Something must be destroyed in order to create so we should not be surprised that he tries to remake man. Even conservative politicians like George Bush fell into this trap (although to a lesser extent then Obama or Clinton).

If this analysis is even partially correct then the problems with our civilization that we are discussing is also in each of us. Fjordman is probably correct that Western civilization will suffer a massive discontinuity to set the stage for a possible renewal, but if the foundation of the renewal stands on the mistakes of the past then it will fail. A Christian based civilizational renewal must pick up the thread from the early Christians and face head on the problem and reality of evil. In modern parlance, we need to acknowledge the reality of both good and evil in the human psyche.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hitler gets a margin call

The Twin Myths of Eurabia

From the desk of Fjordman (article link)

When the Arab Muslims, a collection of backward, nomadic warrior tribes who did not even have a fully developed script, conquered Egypt, Syria and Iran, they took control over some of the world’s largest centres of accumulated knowledge. To say that “Muslims” or “Islamic culture” created the civilizations of the Middle East can be compared to an illiterate person storming into the planet’s largest library, killing all the librarians and then claiming to have written all the books there. The cultural superiority of the Middle East in relations to Europe did not begin with Islam’s entry into the area. In fact, it ended with it. One of the great riddles of history is how this once-dynamic region could become the world’s number one problem spot. It so happens that this decline coincides with the region’s Islamization, although some would claim that it had already started before this. Islam’s much-vaunted “Golden Age” was in reality just the twilight of the conquered pre-Islamic cultures, an echo of times passed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Strangers “marking” Christian buildings in Istanbul

by Baron Bodissey (article link)

Buildings inhabited by Christians have been marked with insignias in several districts of Istanbul. The labeling of the buildings are clearly done in concert with increasing harassment of the Christian inhabitants.

Some buildings in the traditionally Christian districts of Feriköy and Kurtulus have recently been labeled with green and red signs. Apparently they were affixed to point to buildings inhabited by Armenians and Greeks. The labels appear to be in conjunction with complaints from Christians about increasing harassment, according to Sehabat Tuncel, a member of parliament asked in a parliamentary questioning.

Besir Atalay, minister of interior, is now forced to answer these allegations. “Who affixed these markings?” is only one of the questions cited by the press. The ministry must also make clear whether the police received orders to take action and investigate.

Patriarch on a death list

Residing in the Phanar in Istanbul, ecumenical patriarch Bartholomaios I has apparently been added to a death list kept by the nationalist-laicist secret society “Ergenekon”, which is accused of trying to push Turkey into chaos with its assassination attempts.

The EU Commission has repeatedly requested Turkey’s cooperation on effective measures to improve the precarious situation of the non-Muslim population.

Remembering the 1955 pogrom on Christians

The marking on Christian buildings in Istanbul is a reminder of pogrom against Christian minorities in September 1955. Back then Christian buildings and shops had been marked by nationalist activists. The bloody riots with dozens of dead in Istanbul and Izmir were ostensibly triggered by the Cyprus conflict; however, the true reason was the search for scapegoats at a time of economic recession for Turkey.

A mob of fanatics burned down seventy-two Orthodox churches and more than thirty schools in Istanbul, defaced Christian cemeteries, and destroyed around 3,500 homes and more than 4,000 shops. The police watched the plundering and raping, not lifting a finger. Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk, who also writes about the Armenian genocide of 1915, describes the blind destruction in his memoirs.

Ahmadinejad's Imam: Islam Allows Raping, Torturing Prisoners

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz (article link)

Asked if a confession obtained "by applying psychological, emotional and physical pressure" was "valid and considered credible according to Islam," Mesbah-Yazdi replied: "Getting a confession from any person who is against the Velayat-e Faqih ("Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists", or the regime of Iran's mullahs) is permissible under any condition." The ayatollah gave the identical answer when asked about confessions obtained through drugging the prisoner with opiates or addictive substances.

"Can an interrogator rape the prisoner in order to obtain a confession?" was the follow-up question posed to the Islamic cleric.

Mesbah-Yazdi answered: "The necessary precaution is for the interrogator to perform a ritual washing first and say prayers while raping the prisoner. If the prisoner is female, it is permissible to rape through the vagina or anus. It is better not to have a witness present. If it is a male prisoner, then it's acceptable for someone else to watch while the rape is committed."

This reply, and reports of the rape of teen male prisoners in Iranian jails, may have prompted the following question: "Is the rape of men and young boys considered sodomy?"

Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi: "No, because it is not consensual. Of course, if the prisoner is aroused and enjoys the rape, then caution must be taken not to repeat the rape."

A related issue, in the eyes of the questioners, was the rape of virgin female prisoners. In this instance, Mesbah-Yazdi went beyond the permissibility issue and described the Allah-sanctioned rewards accorded the rapist-in-the-name-of-Islam:

"If the judgment for the [female] prisoner is execution, then rape before execution brings the interrogator a spiritual reward equivalent to making the mandated Haj pilgrimage [to Mecca], but if there is no execution decreed, then the reward would be equivalent to making a pilgrimage to [the Shi'ite holy city of] Karbala."

Comment: This is Islam. It is hell on earth.