Fresh, processed foods eyed for exemption from tax hike


The Japanese government and ruling parties are considering designating fresh and processed foods as subject to a lower tax rate when the government raises the consumption tax to 10 percent in fiscal 2017, party sources said Wednesday.

As tax revenue is expected to drop by around 800 billion yen to 1 trillion yen, the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner the Komeito party will work to determine specific items to be exempted from the tax hike and ways to make up for the loss in revenue.

The two parties have been holding talks on ways to ease the negative impact on consumer spending when the tax rate is raised by 2 percentage points to a uniform 10 percent in April 2017.

But the talks became tangled, with the LDP calling for limiting the items subject to a lower tax rate only to fresh foods, while Komeito demanded the inclusion of processed foods.

The LDP has apparently made a concession to its junior coalition partner at the final stage, placing emphasis on forging cooperation for the House of Councillors election next summer.

The ruling parties aim to have their plan included in a taxation reform plan for fiscal 2016 expected to be finalized Thursday.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met his special adviser and LDP member Hakubun Shimomura at the premier’s office and urged the party to reach an accord swiftly, telling Shimomura, “I would like the LDP and Komeito to reach a conclusion” by Thursday, according to Shimomura.

If fresh and processed foods become subject to a lower tax rate, a wide range of items including bread, noodles and side dishes would be exempt from the tax hike.

But leaving the tax rate of many items, excluding alcoholic beverages and food served at restaurants, at 8 percent would require around 1 trillion yen in financial resources.

Some in the ruling parties are calling for the exclusion of snacks and beverages from the tax hike exemption so that the expected loss in revenue is kept at around 800 billion yen, but the parties are more inclined to including all food items to avoid confusion among business operators and consumers.

The LDP had sought to initially apply a lower rate only to fresh food due to concerns about the clerical burden on businesses, planning to later extend it to processed food in stages.


The Weeknd sued for copyright infringement

LOS ANGELES  – A British music publishing company claims that the Weeknd’s hit song “The Hills” infringes on the copyright to composer Tom Raybould’s track “Revolution” from the soundtrack to the movie “The Machine.”

The movie was released in 2014.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, publisher Cutting Edge Music Services contends that producer Million Dollar Mano sent Raybould a direct message on March 9, 2015, stating, “I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!” Mano, aka Emmanuel Nickerson, is also a defendant in the lawsuit, along with another producer, Illangelo, aka Carlo Montagnese.



Questioning Feminist Authority: Cult Ideology and Mind Control Tactics

“Mind control (also known as ‘brainwashing,’ ‘coercive persuasion,’ and ‘thought reform’) refers to a process in which a group or individual systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s).”
Michael D. Langone, “Cults and Mind Control”

She is a 19-year-old “dysphoric female” who is a “gender-critical . . . sex-critical, anti-natalist” feminist and identifies as a “transman.” If you met someone in real life who described herself that way, you might wonder if she was out on an overnight pass from the psychiatric ward.

Feminist Tumblr bears little resemblance to real life, however. On her blog, the dysphoric teenage feminist presumes the expertise to deliver her diagnosis of everything that is wrong with society and the normal people who live in it:

Female critique of men and masculinity and male violence and misogyny is about liberation and safety.
Male critique of feminism is about control and domination and validation and entitlement.
See the difference?

Ideological justification of a self-serving double standard, whereby feminists relentlessly criticize men while exempting themselves from any criticism at all, is nowadays so widely accepted that it is seldom even noticed, much less subjected to skeptical scrutiny. Are the problems of “male violence and misogyny” so pervasive as to justify a “critique of men and masculinity,” per se? If a man is non-violent and pleads not guilty to the accusation of “misogyny” (i.e., woman-hating), can he be permitted to object to this categorical condemnation of masculinity?

Well, no, says our dysphoric teenage expert, because any male who criticizes feminism is exercising “control and domination and validation and entitlement.” Feminism accuses all men of oppressing women and, if a man endeavors to defend himself against this accusation, his defense is cited as proof of his guilt. The definition of “misogynist” is a male who criticizes feminism, and any man who defends himself is condemned as an opponent of women’s “liberation and safety.”

This is a rhetorical tactic called “kafkatrapping”:

[Kafkatrapping] is a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of {sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression…} confirms that you are guilty of {sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression…}.” . . .
Real crimes — actual transgressions against flesh-and-blood individuals — are generally not specified. The aim of the kafkatrap is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt in the subject, a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator’s personal, political, or religious goals. Ideally, the subject will then internalize these demands, and then become complicit in the kafkatrapping of others.

The success of kafkatrapping relies on our natural instinct to respond to accusations of bad faith (male fides) by denying the accusation, rather than questioning the authority of the accuser.

What qualifies this person to stand in judgment of others as an arbiter of public morality? Why do they presume themselves authorized to act as a sort of prosecuting attorney, arraigning you on a charge of sexism, homophobia or whatever, because you said something they deemed “offensive”? If you know you are unjustly accused, then the real issue is the motive of your accuser. Who is this person? What motivates them to seek out “racism” and other species of Thought Crime? Are you dealing with an aspiring social justice warrior (SJW) who hopes to pursue a full-time career as an activist? Is it not true that the SJW gains publicity and enhanced status by pointing the accusatory finger at others?

‘The Agents of Our Oppression’

Questioning the authority of the accuser in such a situation usually throws them off-balance, because they take it for granted that you, as the accused, will be be overwhelmed by a sense of “free-floating guilt.” The finger-pointing SJW operates in an echo-chamber environment where no one questions the necessity of perpetual crusades against Thought Crime:“Rape culture”! “White privilege”! “Male entitlement”! Ridding society of such categorical evils is the raison d’être of social justice warriors, and it never occurs to them that these categories can be critically interrogated. Exactly what does the feminist mean, for example, when she denounces the “objectification” of women? Isn’t it fair to say that this is yet another bit of jargon by which feminism generally condemns the normal behaviors and attitudes of heterosexual males? Isn’t “objectification” merely a pejorative term for the normal man’s admiration of female beauty? Why is the feminist so offended by this? Perhaps she would be happy if we sought to better understand her complaints by engaging in a study of feminist theory.

“Women are an oppressed class. . . . We identify the agents of our oppression as men.”
Redstockings Manifesto, 1969

“Heterosexuality is the institution that creates, maintains, and supports men’s power. . . . And heterosexuality has its ramifications at all levels of society; it is the source of all other oppressions.
“Heterosexuality is the pivot on which men have based the norm and created the origin and measure by which all relationships are structured. . . . Men, through heterosexuality, have devised their own concept and thereby constructed a system that generates all oppressions.”
Ariane Brunet and Louise Turcotte, “Separatism and Radicalism,” in For Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology, edited by Sarah Lucia-Hoagland and Julie Penelope (1988)

“Heterosexism is maintained by the illusion that heterosexuality is the norm.”
Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee, Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions (fifth edition, 2012)

“Only when we recognize that ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ are made-up categories, invented to control human beings and violently imposed, can we truly understand the nature of sexism. . . .
“Questioning gender . . . is an essential part of the feminism that has sustained me through two decades of personal and political struggle.”
Laurie Penny, “How to Be a Genderqueer Feminist,”2015

It is possible to trace the “genderqueer” feminism of Laurie Penny directly back to its ideological origins in the radical Women’s Liberation Movement that emerged in the late 1960s. The movement’s first public protest, in September 1968, was against the Miss America pageant. Beauty pageant contestants “epitomize the roles we are all forced to play as women,” feminists declared, denouncing the way “women in our society [are] forced daily to compete for male approval, enslaved by ludicrous ‘beauty’ standards we ourselves are conditioned to take seriously.” The very idea that women should desire “male approval” is offensive to feminists, who consider themselves “enslaved” by “beauty standards” enforced by men. Such remarkable claims are as astonishing to sane people now as they were in 1968, but no one has ever accused feminists of being sane people, and the trajectory of their radical madness is now a matter of history. Within a year, Shulamith Firestone and her comrades had formed the Redstockings collective as a sort of revolutionary vanguard, only to see themselves eclipsed by an even more radical critique of women’s status as an “oppressed class.” In January 1970, a group calling itself “Radicalesbians” disrupted a feminist conference in New York (see “The Long Shadow of the Lavender Menace”) and within a year, Charlotte Bunch had formed the D.C.-basedlesbian collective known as The Furies. The radical view that women are oppressed by heterosexuality, per se, has become mainstream within the feminist movement primarily due to the influence of lesbian professors in the Feminist-Industrial Complex of academic Women’s Studies programs. The impressionable young student reading a textbook like Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions (edited by two professors at Oregon State University) probably doesn’t even blink at the editors’ claim that it is an “illusion” to believe heterosexuality is normal. When Ariane Brunet and Louise Turcotte — members of a tiny French-Canadian collective calledAmazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes d’Aujourd’hui (Amazons of Yesterday, Lesbians of Today) — issued their condemnation of heterosexuality as an “institution” of male supremacy, “a system that generates all oppressions,” they were considered part of an extremist fringe. Now this extremism is part of the university curriculum, and anyone who questions it is apt to be accused of “homophobia.”

Even the most basic distinctions between men and women are now considered oppressive. Laurie Penny urges us to “recognize that ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ are made-up categories,” an illegitimate and “violent” imposition of “control,” and where is the feminist who dares to dispute these assertions? Not every feminist is “genderqueer,” but no feminist in 2015 would defend the male/female distinction as a valid scientific understanding of biology for fear of being accused of giving aid and comfort to the sexists who “invented” and “imposed” these categories. The totalitarian nature of feminism is most apparent in its ability to silence criticism, so that ideology conformity is enforced by prohibiting dissent. In a 2001 book, Tammy Bruce dubbed the enforcers of this conformity The New Thought Police. A former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, Tammy Bruce was purged from her leadership position and denounced by NOW’s national office because she led a protest against O.J. Simpson. NOW leaders were allied with the NAACP in viewing Simpson as a victim of racism, and were evidently willing to ignore evidence (including 911 recordings) of his violent abuse of Nicole Brown Simpson. One might think that feminists would care about a woman being nearly decapitated by a knife-wielding murderer, but Patricia Ireland, the national president of NOW, made clear the organization’s position in December 1995:

“I deeply regret,” Ms. Ireland said at a Washington news conference, that Ms. Bruce “has made public statements that clearly violate NOW’s commitment to stopping racism.”

By such methods do The New Thought Police shield themselves from criticism. Ideological conformity within the feminist movement attracts a certain type of disgruntled fanatic that Eric Hoffer described as The True Believer, and technology has provided an easy means for these fanatics to promote their radical views. It costs nothing for a young feminist to create a Tumblr blog and reach many thousands of like-minded activists around the world. The jargon of feminist gender theory — the concept that male/female differences are socially constructed by the gender binarywithin the heterosexual matrix — was once known only to a comparative handful of Women’s Studies professors and their students. Now anyone with a laptop and wifi hookup can access page after page devoted to these bizarre ideas.

It is tempting to laugh at weirdos like Miriam Mogilevsky, who identifies herself as a “queer, gay, femme, homoflexible lesbian with exceptions,”and is a columnist for the Everyday Feminism site, where she offers heterosexual feminists pointers on how to “Be Better Allies to Queer Women.” However, many unhappy young people are vulnerable to the kind of ideology-as-therapy solution that feminism offers them.

‘Girls Who Suddenly Decide They Are Boys’

Where does the “dysphoric female” on Tumblr learn to speak her “gender-critical” jargon? The Internet, of course. As a result, many parents are being confronted by teenage children who “come out” as transgender. This has become such a fad among some young people that even feminists have begun criticizing it. One woman whose daughter got caught up in the transgender craze started a blog called 4th Wave Now, and makes an entirely common-sense surmise about how and why this is happening to so many teenagers now:

Are teens influenced by what they imbibe, what’s in fashion, what celebrities (like Jazz Jennings and “Caitlyn” Jenner and Laverne Cox) are doing, what their peers are saying and doing? Might socially isolated teens be even more swayed by what they see on social media, while they sit for hours, alone in their rooms? . . .
My daughter, like so many others I’ve now heard about, emerged from months of self-imposed social isolation and YouTube/Reddit binges, to announce, out of the blue, that she was transgender.

A few excerpts from the commenters on her blog’s “About” page:

My precious 17 year old daughter has been sinking into the FTM cult for the past 18 months. I know of 7 other girls locally too, all of similar age. Many of them are on Tumblr, enjoying Facebook notoriety, anime loving, asexual, and claiming BPD or aspergers traits. . . .

I have been fearful and alert to my daughters’ trending towards FTM. . . . I am a hetero mom who has balked at stereotypes, most often alone, and fear that my inability to cope with my own marital constraints has affected my daughter’s understanding of how to be a female. . . . I fear my daughter doesn’t have good role models and turns to friends for answers. . . .

And still more comments:

My daughter, who is 17, told me last year on Mother’s Day that she was now my son. Since I suspected that she might be a lesbian, it wasn’t too much of a shock. However, when I began researching this subject I was extremely concerned with the medical intervention that takes place with these children. Then when I went to a meeting for parents with transgender children, I was shocked about how all of these parents were jumping on the bandwagon of drugs and surgery without questioning. . . .

Tears stream down my face as I read the entries. Until now I have felt so alone and helpless. I was beginning to think I was a crazy, terrible parent, as the loud and clear (and virtually the only) advice available when confronted with this parenting nightmare is to immediately and absolutely — without question — accept what the child is saying and get them started transitioning.

Add myself and my daughter to the growing (exploding?) list of concerned parents with girls who suddenly decide they are boys after puberty. Some day I might take the time to add my story to your blog, but honestly, it reads so much like the others already here: quirky, socially awkward girl who had always identified as a girl (although never a pink sparkly princess) suddenly decides that because she loves science, pokemon and video games rather than makeup, hairstyles and clothes she MUST actually be a boy. She says she is a gay boy, as she is attracted to boys.
She is a beautiful girl with lovely figure — my gut feeling is that my daughter wanted the attention she was getting from boys to stop. In addition to her rejection of the princess culture, she hated being objectified, ogled, pawed at and cat-called to. She has made herself as covered up and unattractive as possible, lost a good deal of weight (the curves are mostly gone) and declared herself a boy. Of course, the Tumblr culture and current Caitlyn Jenner worshiping by the uber-PC entertainment media have urged her along in her pursuit to disappear and cease existing as a female. . . .
[M]y smart, feminist, skeptical, open-minded daughter has fallen hook, line and sinker for the trans-cult scam.

Has “gender theory” become feminism’s Frankenstein monster? The “quirky, socially awkward girl” hits puberty and is horrified by the result — her “lovely figure” attracts unwanted attention from boys who, it seems, are poorly parented and inadequately supervised in schools. A mother’s tale of her adolescent daughter “being objectified, ogled, pawed at and cat-called to” raises a rather obvious question: Where are the mothers of these boys? Or for that matter, where are their fathers?

The same laissez-faire parenting attitude that permits a teenage girl to engage in “self-imposed social isolation and YouTube/Reddit binges” is mirrored by the abdication of adult authority that permits teenage boys to behave crudely toward girls at school. Yet progressives have spent decades lecturing parents against the “authoritarian” family (an incubator of fascism, according to Adorno, et al.) and one might be accused of child abuse for giving unruly teenagers a bit of old-fashioned discipline. Grown-ups have ceased to require respect from young people and, having no fear of parental authority, the insolent brats now expect grown-ups to give them whatever their adolescent appetites demand. (Recommended reading: The Assault on Parenthood: How Our Culture Undermines the Family by Dana Mack.) Any adult who asserts the legitimacy of parental authority risks being branded an oppressive ogre, but what are the alternatives? If Mom and Dad are unwilling to set limits to their child’s behavior, it is entirely predictable that the child will be swayed by peers, and by whatever trends emerge from the popular culture, whether the trend is hip-hop, heroin or homosexuality.

Am I the only adult who objects to being lectured by teenage weirdos like the dysphoric gender-critical feminist who expects us to silently accept her “critique of men and masculinity and male violence and misogyny”? Who appointed her to lecture us? What is the basis of her authority?

We are not supposed to ask these questions, you see, and there is something strangely suspicious about the silent acceptance of feminist claims to moral authority. One suspects many men have fallen prey to the “free-floating guilt” produced by feminism’s kafkatrapping rhetoric and that many women are quite eager to exploit male guilt for their own benefit. The man who perceives the nature of this game recognizes that he cannot object too strongly to feminist rhetoric without being accused of “misogyny” and, as Tammy Bruce discovered, feminist leaders are viciously hateful toward any woman who openly criticizes them. Because so few people do speak out against feminism, it is easy for the few vocal critics to be demonized, marginalized and effectively silenced.

Once you understand feminism as a totalitarian ideology, the less likely you are to be surprised by the movement’s tactics, and the more you will recognize the importance of refusing to be silent about feminism’s lies.

Toronto bans Christian festival; allows to turn Dundas Square & Queens’ Park into a temporary mosque


The City of Toronto has refused to grant a Christian organisation Voices of the Nations (VON) a permit to use Yonge-Dandas Square for their annual music festival next year stating that praising Jesus in their song’s lyrics contravenes with the city policy against “proselytizing.”

Yonge-Dundas Square is a public square situated at the southeast corner of the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street East in Downtown Toronto and is the first public square in Canada that’s maintained through a public-private partnership. Being a prominent landmark in Toronto and one of the city’s prime tourist attractions, Yonge-Dundas Square is often referred to as “Toronto’s Times Square” and has hosted numerous public events, performances and art displays since its completion in 2002.

All manner of artists and community organizations apply to use the space at Yonge & Dundas Square every year. Voices of the Nations, an organization founded in 2006 to unite and promote diversity within the Christian Community by showcasing its mosaic of fine arts and music, has held a concert there for the last five years without issue.

However, when Voices of the Nations applied for a permit to perform at the square again next year, they were turned down flat. When VON’s Events Coordinator Leye Oyelani contacted the Square’s Manager of Events Natalie Belman by phone to apply for the next year’s permit, he was told that a permit would not be issued and to look for a venue elsewhere, because apparently singing the name of Jesus in the public square amounts to “proselytizing,” which is contrary to city policy.


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