Leaders clash at debate on eve of upper house election campaign



The leaders of Japan’s major political parties faced off Tuesday, one day before the start of campaigning for the July 10 upper house election, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushing his economic record and opposition parties warning voters not to get distracted from the issue of constitutional reform.

Much of the debate at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo focused on whether Japan’s economy under the “Abenomics” policy mix is “still halfway along the road,” as claimed by Abe, or “stuck at a fork in the road,” as Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada alleged.

Abe, Okada and the heads of seven other parties fought over the impact of the premier’s further deferral of an already delayed hike of the country’s consumption tax, a decision that has removed an anticipated source of tax revenue in the coming years.

“The economy has stalled and must be turned around,” Okada said.

The Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party and others have united behind single candidates in all 32 contested single-member electoral districts in the upper house race against the ruling bloc composed of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner Komeito.

Half of the house’s 242 seats are up for grabs every three years, resulting in staggered six-year terms.

Having broken his previous promise not to again postpone the tax hike, Abe has said the ruling bloc is aiming to win at least half the contested seats—a higher hurdle than merely retaining its majority in the house—to serve as a public mandate for the continuation of Abenomics.

Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi pledged to keep a steady hand on economic policy and tweak promised social security reforms to achieve as much as possible even with the delay in the sales tax increase.

“We want to spread a sense of hope to those people the benefits of Abenomics haven’t reached yet,” Yamaguchi said.

But some in the opposition maintain Abe is seeking to fill the chamber with lawmakers amenable to amending Japan’s Constitution. A two-thirds majority across both Diet houses is required in order to call a national referendum on altering the war-renouncing document.

While acknowledging reform of the Constitution has always been an LDP goal, Abe continued to double down on economic and fiscal policy issues.

A moderator became increasingly exasperated as the premier kept pushing the economy, at one point interrupting him to ask, “What else have you got?”

The opposition also refused to let go of national security issues, with the JCP’s Kazuo Shii saying Abe’s envisioned defense reforms will turn the Japan-U.S. security alliance into “an alliance of blood.”

Okada and Shii called for the scrapping of controversial security legislation expanding the overseas role of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and for a ground-up review of the security alliance.

Asked to explain the Abe Cabinet’s robust recent approval ratings, Okada claimed the media are neglecting to fully inform the Japanese people of the government’s failings.

Even though each candidate was given one minute to respond to a question, Abe was “allowed to talk on and on—it’s self-promotion,” Okada said.

The leaders of Initiatives from Osaka, the Social Democratic Party, People’s Life Party, New Renaissance Party and the Party for Japanese Kokoro also took part in the debate, largely focusing on securing revenue sources for social security and maintaining pacifism under the Constitution.


Mentally Ill lesbian couple forcing their son to be queer



A recent Buzzfeed video features a lesbian “gender non-conforming” couple speaking about how they force their son into “queer” relationships with his own gender.


The couple, Dashiell and Michelle, have no problem pushing a certain sexuality onto their son despite his young age.

“It’s really funny, because he’s, like, super into sports,” Michelle said. “Maybe he was, like, an Olympic athlete in his past life. He, like, came with all of these sporting talents that are, like, visible at 17 months. That’s what Dashiell liked growing up. She easily relates to him on that level.”

“I’m constantly, like, trying to queer my relationship with him and get him to wear tutus. He hates it. He’s just, like, ‘No,’” she continued. “When I catch myself trying to do these things, it ends up making me feel really retro and dumb about gender,” Michelle continued. “It just takes me away from the reality of, like, him, Atticus. Like, who is he? What does he want? And the sort of purity of the things that he’s interested in or delighted by. Obviously, I want to support whatever he wants to be.”

Michelle later concluded she doesn’t care what her son Atticus grows up to be; she just wants to give him the variety of options.

“Everyone needs to be reconsidering the way that they’re presenting gender to their kids. It’s not even whether or not Atticus is personally going to be a genderqueer or genderfluid person. Atticus can grow up to be a completely traditional cisgendered male and he needs to understand the variety of genders that are out there so that he can be a respectful human being in the world,” Michelle concluded.

Good luck, Atticus.

Campaigning for Upper House election to begin


Hundreds of candidates are about to launch their official election campaigns for Japan’s Upper House of the Diet.
The ballot is scheduled for July 10th.

Half of the 242 Upper House seats are at stake every 3 years.

They are divided between electoral districts and a proportional representation system.

NHK has learned that as of Tuesday, 387 people planned to run.

Voters will have a chance to rate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies…called “Abenomics.”

National security laws that took effect in March are also expected to be one of the major issues. The legislation allows Japan to use force to exercise its right to collective self-defense.

Prime Minister Abe said that his ruling bloc aims to win a majority of seats contested this time. That’s 61 of the 121 seats up for grabs.

It will be the first nationwide election since Japan lowered the voting age from 20 to 18. That means some 2.4 million teenagers are eligible to take part.

And the electoral map looks a bit different this time.
Lawmakers have redrawn districts in an effort to correct voting disparities. In some places, they reduced the number of seats and reallocated them to Tokyo and other more populated areas.

The official campaign will continue for 18 days until Saturday, July 9th… a day before the vote.

Denmark defends circumcision as a human right – even though 75% are against it


Even though a large majority of Danes are against the circumcision of boys, and even though the circumcision of girls is strictly prohibited in Denmark, the government has now officially accepted that it’s a human right for parents to circumcise their sons.

The Local reports that a YouGov survey from 2014 showed that 74% of Danes were against the circumcision of boys, while only 10% supported the practise. Despite that, about 1000-2000 boys ar circumcised each year in Denmark,according to the CPH Post.

Since 2014, the matter has been reviewed but without much to show for it.

In 2015, Denmark decided to delete its registry of circumcised individuals,reports the Local. Now, in a report to the United Nations the Danish government officially accepts an Egyptian convention which recognizes circumcision as a human right, writes CPH Post.

The basis is that circumcision of boys is rarely associated with medical complications, when performed under medical supervision, and that it’s viewed as a religious expression and therefore falls under the freedom of religion right.

Circumcision of boys will therefore remain legal as it complies with Danish law and is carried out by a doctor.

Male circumcision can lead to a more problematic sex life. 

Contrary to claims that circumcision in males is unproblematic, however, a Danish study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 2011 finds that circumcision leads to frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men. The study also finds that women who are the sexual partners of circumcised men also have significantly higher orgasm difficulties, more problems with painful intrcourse (dyspareunia), and more often feel a sense a incomplete fulfillment of sexual needs.

Philadelphia Muslims assault restaurant patrons: “We belong to ISIS”


“Police seeking information in assault at Geno’s Steaks,” by Mari A. Schaefer, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 2016:

Philadelphia police are looking for five men in connection with an assault outside Geno’s Steaks on June 11.

The men, all caught on surveillance video, fled in two cars – a dark colored pickup truck and an SUV – both with New Jersey license plates.

Police are also looking for one woman described as a getaway driver.

Police did not provide information about the assault, but said the video of it was “too graphic” to release.

Patrick Kane, a victim of the attack, provided this account.

He said he and his wife, Brooke Kane, had spent the night at a friend’s wedding and then at an after hours club with another couple, when they all decided to grab a bite to eat at Geno’s.

They were just finishing up their cheese steaks when Brooke Kane’s girlfriend asked another group of patrons if she could bum a cigarette, Patrick Kane said.

“That is when the guys just lost their minds,” said Patrick Kane, 31 and a maintenance supervisor at an apartment building.

In seconds one man stood up, put his hand over the face of the woman and pushed her across the sidewalk, said Patrick Kane.

“‘Don’t mess with us, we belong to ISIS,’” Kane said the man shouted at them.

Brooke Kane, a daycare teacher, stepped in to help her friend. The ISIS comment was not a joke she told them before she too was struck, Patrick Kane said.

At that point he and the other man stepped in to try and help the girls with the intention of leaving.

“What went from putting hands on two girls became five guys attacking us,” said Kane.

Patrick Kane said one man punched him in the nose, which started bleeding. He was then punched in the back of the head by another man and hit twice in the eye. He remembers Brooke screaming at bystanders for help and to call police, the five men running off, someone from Geno’s giving him a bag of ice and police and EMTs arriving on the scene.

Patrick Kane said he declined further medical treatment for what he called a black eye and small cut. The couples spent until 5 a.m. at a police station giving their statements, he said….

Book sold in Canada: Gays should be stoned to death according to Sharia Law


Canada’s federal government makes a distinction between the Islamic State (a.k.a IS, ISIL, Daesh, Caliphate) which executes gays by throwing them head-first from rooftops and the “true Islam” which implicitly is innocent of this extremist ideology.

“Canadians are quick to point out that ISIS is wrong, that Islam is not incompatible with the Western secular democracy, a free place like Canada,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who also explainedthat “painting ISIS and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it is irresponsible.”

Stephane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, depicted ISIS as follows: “A millenarian, apocalyptic ideology has also emerged—an unacceptable distortion of the Qur’an, which condemns to death all who refuse to submit to it.”

“Homophobia cannot be fought with Islamophobia,” said Premier Kthleen Wynne at LGBTQ2S vigil for Orlando victims in Toronto on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Bookstores of the two major Islamic nation-wide organizations in Canada offer the book “Minhaj Al-Muslim” which explains in detail the Islamic Law in many issues including the punishment for homosexuality.

ISNA Canada’s Islamic Book Service Canada in Mississauga, Ontario described the book Minhaj-Al-Muslim by Abu Bakr Al-Jazairy as follows:

This book Minhaj – Al – Muslim, or “The way of a Muslim” is a very important bookcomposed by the great scholar Abu Bakr Jabir Al – Jaza’iri, presently lecturer in the Noble Prophetic Masjid and former teacher in Al-Madinah University who worked there till his retirement. This book comprises all that concerns the righteous Muslim regarding his creed, manners, providing direction for righteous character and acts of worship, and dealings with his colleagues. This book should be based in the Light of the Book of Allah the Almighty and the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (S.W.T.) $47.00”

The book is also available at ICNA Book Store in Scarborough, Ontario. ICNA Canada is headed by Dr.Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi who also serves as the Chairperson of Canadian Council of Imams.

CIJnews obtained a copy of the book. The following is the Islamic Law on homosexuality as appears in p. 511 of the book (Vol. 2):

The Hadd [fixed punishment] of homosexuality is stoning to death, with there being no difference between the married or unmarried person. This is due to the Prophet’s statement:

Whoever you find doing the deed of the people of Lut (i.e. sodomy), then kill the doer and the one

to whom it is being done.” (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmithi and others, and it is Sahih [reliable])

The methods of killing them (the two who committed the homosexual act) that have been related from the Companions have differed. From among them there were those who burned them with fire. Others among them killed them by stoning them with stones. Ibn ‘Abbas said about them. “The highest building in the village should be sought, then they should be thrown from it upside down (i.e. on their heads). Then they should stoned after that.”

Canadian Imams and Islamic literature sold/ distributed for free in Canada provide a context to understanding the position of Islam regarding homosexuality (to read “What Islam is saying on homosexuality? The Canadian Islamic perspective” click here, here, here, here and here).

Boy sues school district for $1.35 million alleging that multiple teachers conspired to enable his sexual abuse at the hands of a female teacher


KNOXVILLE — A former Northwest Middle School coach is accused in a lawsuit of serving up a 14-year-old boy to a fellow teacher for sex.

The mother of the boy, a student in 2015 at Northwest Middle, has filed a lawsuit in Knox County Circuit Court against Knox County Schools, ex-teacher Serena Rae Milan and former coach Sean Green.

The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages from Milan; $250,000 from Green; and $1.35 million from the school system.

Schools spokeswoman Melissa Tindell has declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing the system’s policy against talking about pending litigation.

Milan, 28, was charged in November with 29 sex-related crimes involving the boy, including statutory rape by an authority figure, solicitation of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor.

The presentment alleges Milan repeatedly engaged in various sexual acts with the boy from February to July, with some of those incidents occurring in her classroom at Northwest. The document charges her with six separate felony counts for specific sexual encounters.

She is accused in one count of repeatedly engaging the boy in the production of sexually explicit images during the five-month period cited in the presentment with some of those photographs taken at the school.

She is charged with five felony counts of soliciting the boy to send her images of himself engaged in sex acts in July.

Milan resigned July 19. She is scheduled to appear Thursday in Knox County Criminal Court for a status check on plea negotiations between the state and defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs.

The lawsuit alleges Milan and Green were friends and accuses Green of bringing the boy to Milan’s classroom at an unspecified time “in the spring of 2015” so Milan could have sex with the boy.

“Upon entering Milan’s classroom at Northwest Middle School, (the boy) was seated in front of a computer and (Milan) closed and locked the classroom door,” the lawsuit stated.

“(Milan) began touching his legs and groin area and thereafter performed sexual acts on him in her classroom.”

The lawsuit alleges Green knew Milan intended to have sex with the boy, whom he brought to her classroom under the ruse of having Milan provide him help with computer training.

The legal action also alleges Green helped cover for Milan and “harassed and intimidated” the boy’s mother when she learned her son was being victimized “in an attempt to keep her from notifying law enforcement.”

The legal action alleges employees of the school system, including principals, have a long history of failing to report student sexual abuse and accuses Knox County Schools administrators of failing to increase training or beef up policies to prevent victimization of students by teachers. It further states Green already had been deemed guilty of some unspecified “inappropriate conduct” while a teacher at Maynard Elementary School before he was transferred to Northwest Middle. No time frame or details is included.

Female Rape Culture: Man sexually assaulted during spa massage then blackmailed, police say


The owner and an employee of a Winnipeg beauty spa face extortion charges after a man says he was sexually assaulted, videotaped and threatened with the footage.

Police believe there are other victims as well and are urging them to come forward.

Simple Mehta, the owner of Simi Magic Spa on St. Anne’s Road, is charged with extortion, procuring and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

The employee, Pam Sandu, 22, is charged with extortion, voyeurism, sexual assault and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Mehta has also been accused of enlisting another woman to “offer or provide sexual services,” according to court documents.

Police say a 29-year-old man, who was in a business relationship with 39-year-old Mehta, went to the spa on a business matter and was offered a massage by an employee while he waited for Mehta.

Once he had prepared himself for the massage, the man was sexually assaulted and discovered he was being videotaped with a cellphone, police said.

“At this point the victim was extorted out of a sum of money with the threat that the video recording would be released,” police said.

The man handed over “thousands” of dollars before going to police to report the incident, police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver said at a news conference.


Asked if the assault was actually a sexual favour the man had agreed to, Carver said it doesn’t appear he was under the impression “he was getting anything other than a regular massage.”

Carver also said police believe the man is likely not alone in being blackmailed in that way.

“It is our understanding that there’s certainly a potential there are other victims, and if anyone feels they have any connection, we’d like them to come forward for sure,” he said.

Asked if the police believe the incident was a “systemic” issue at Simi Magic Spa, Carver said “we believe that’s the potential here, yes.”

“We had received information that had put this business on our radar, but we hadn’t been able to move forward prior to this,” he said.

That “information” isn’t restricted to sexual assault, he added, saying police are looking into the possibility “that other criminal activity may have been occurring at the business.”

Mehta and Sandhu remain in police custody and more information on further charges could be released on Tuesday, police said.

The investigation continues, and anyone with information is asked to call police at 204-986-3464 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).