Norway votes to ban ritual circumcision.

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Norway votes to ban ritual circumcision.

A political party in Norway has voted to ban the ritual circumcision of boys under the age of 16 and several other measures which have been blasted as an attack on minorities.

In its national annual conference over the weekend, the anti-immigrant and libertarian Progress Party (FrP) voted to also ban hijabs in public schools, as well as forbidding the religious ritual of circumcision for young men.

Advocates claimed that circumcision resulted in mental and physical harm to children and was a serious violation of human rights.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg heads a coalition between the Conservatives and the Progress Party, which is the third largest party in the country with 29 of the 169 seats in parliament.

The party leader, Siv Jensen, told the Aftenposten newspaper that she was against forbidding circumcision.

The reportedly last-minute and chaotic voting schedule meant that the proposed compromise – banning state funding for circumcision – failed.

Ms Jensen insisted the move was not designed to target minorities and that her party had consistently defended Israel.

The vote in Norway comes a day after Belgium’s Parliament of Wallonia voted in favour of banning ritual slaughter, which would affect Jewish kosher and Muslim halal rituals. It comes into effect in September 2019.

“This is very sad,” Ervin Kohn, a Jewish community leader in Norway, told Aftenposten. 

“They [the Progress Party] must know they won’t get a majority for this in Parliament. It seems like they want to send a signal that we are unwelcome in the country.”

He tweeted encouragement for Norwegian voters to support “any other party” in the election this autumn.

Another opposing voice came from Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association. He wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for collaboration between European Jewish organisations and government to prevent the proliferation of anti-Jewish legislation.

“I have no doubt that the State of Israel – the state of the Jewish people – cannot remain indifferent to it, and I call on you to exert all your political influence in order to prevent the exclusion of Jews from life in various European countries,” the letter read.

At its national conference, the Progress Party also voted against the wearing of hijabs in public schools. The move follows the party’s third deputy, Aina Stenersen, calling last September for the ban of full-body swimsuits worn by some Muslim woman.

FrP’s former leader, Carl Hagen, wants to ban municipal employees in Oslo from wearing the hijab and other religious symbols.

The party also voted in favour of dual citizenship, and is assured of a majority vote in favour of the measure in Parliament. If someone holds dual citizenship and is found to have violated asylum or immigration regulations, the party argued it would be easier to strip that person of Norwegian citizenship and deport them.


Scientology facilities close after police find patients held as prisoners inside.

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Scientology facilities close after police find patients held as prisoners inside.

A series of psychiatric facilities operated by the Church of Scientology in Cannon County, Tennessee were raided this week by police after they were alerted about patients being held against their will.

The Cannon Courier reported that tiny cabins and a double-wide trailer were searched and shut down after police received a call from a patient inside one of the facilities, who Cannon County police later found imprisoned in a locked cabin.

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They were allowed entry into the site by one of the facility’s caretakers. There, the officers say they spotted the caller through a Plexiglas window.

“He [was] locked inside the cabin with no way to remove himself from the building,” the report went on.

The man told officers he had been held captive at the facility for 9 months, where he says he’s been treated with unknown medications to be “cleansed” through Scientology.

“He [stated] that he has been there for nine months and is being mistreated and falsely imprisoned and all he wants is to go home.” the officers said.

Officers said the man lived in “a small room with a single bed in it.” They described his bed as “bare except for one sheet that he covers up with” and said that “his bathroom is the only room with a light.”

The man and a woman, whom police later found while searching the remaining facilities, were rushed to a local hospital.

Marc Vallieres, the operator of the facility, was arrested and charged with two felonious counts of facilitation of kidnapping. The two other men employed at the facility pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.

The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department later announced that all of the facilities ran by the Church of Scientology were closed and would no longer operate in the county.


Science has a New Explanation for Homosexuality

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 Science has a New Explanation for Homosexuality

When James O’Keefe’s 18-year-old son Jimmy came out as gay, James felt like he had failed him and regretted that Jimmy wouldn’t have kids of his own. Though he now realizes that Jimmy might one day have kids, as a medical doctor O’Keefe still wondered about the genetic and evolutionary factors that made his son gay.

“Viewed in the light of evolution,” O’Keefe said in a recent TED Talk (video below), “homosexuality seems to be a real self-defeating non-productive strategy. Gays have 80 percent fewer kids than heterosexuals. This is a trait that ought to go extinct in a few generations, yet down through recorded history in every culture and many animal species as well, homosexuality has been a small but distinct subgroup. If this were a genetic error, natural selection should have long ago culled this from the gene pool.”

So what gives?

Most people use the “guncle theory” to explain the evolutionary benefit of homosexuality, the idea that, lacking kids of their own, gay uncles (guncles) contribute to their family’s overall well-being by helping care for their siblings’ offspring. O’Keefe more or less agrees with this, but takes it two steps further.

He points to two studies that suggest that if a mother gives birth to a high number of male offspring or experiences severe prenatal stress, the likelihood of her giving birth to a gay son increases. The underlying reason has something to do with an emerging science known as epigenetics.

Epigenetics basically states that similar genes can express themselves in different ways based on external circumstances. For example, epigenetic studies of ants have shown that if the colony is hungry, the queen will give birth to more worker ants, but if the colony is under attack, she’ll give birth to more warrior ants. In both cases, ants’ genetic makeup are exactly the same, the only difference is how they get expressed. Warrior ants will be bigger and more aggressive whereas worker ants will be smaller and better at finding food.

Thus, O’Keefe says, “If the [human]family is flush with plenty of kids and/or it’s a stressful place in time, nature occasionally flips these epigenetic switches to turn on the gay genes. This alters brain development that changes sexual orientation.”

“You probably have gay genes in your DNA,” he told the audience, “but unless they were activated in your mother’s womb, they remained coiled up and silent.”

To him, homosexuality is nature’s way of ensuring that the family won’t have an unmanageable number of mouths to feed or a son who might fight with his brothers over female mates, two problems that can reduce a family’s overall health and cohesion. Put another way, gay kids help reduce resource competition among family members.

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O’Keefe goes even further by saying that gay members positively contribute to a family’s emotional health as well. As proof, he points to other studies that show lower levels of hostility and higher levels of emotional intelligence, compassion, and cooperation in gay men. He says that these ‘specialized talents and usual qualities of personality’ help increase a family’s ability to relate to one another.

“An ability to love our family and bond with our group determines in many cases whether we survive or perish,” O’Keefe says. “So it’s survival of the fittest family, not the fittest individual.”

And yet, O’Keefe ended his talk by pointing out the many countries around the world that punish homosexuality with death or imprisonment.

“In India,” O’Keefe says, “the law states 14 years to life because homosexuality is ‘against the order of nature’… except that it’s not. Nature prescribes homosexuality at specific times and places. It endows these people with special traits to help the people around them flourish. What is against the order of nature is the ongoing persecution of the sexual minority. These are not confused or defective people that need to be cured or punished or ostracized. They need to be accepted for who they are and embraced. They make us better.”


Creators of the Fake Planned Parenthood Videos Charged With Felony.

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Creators of the Fake Planned Parenthood Videos Charged With Felony.

Two of the individuals responsible for the anti-abortion and anti-planned parenthood recordings of Planned Parenthood employees have been charged with 15 felonies, according to The Associated Press. The two were heavily involved in the recordings that attempted to expose what they believed to be damning evidence against the very popular healthcare organization, although many view their efforts as a bid to mislead and smear the company.

The names of these two are Daniel Daleidan and Sandra Merrit. The two set up a fake biomedical research company which they called the “Center for Medical Process.” The two have been charged with 15 counts of recordings of individuals without first receiving their consent, and one of criminal conspiracy. If Daniel and Sandra are convicted, they will face several thousands of dollars worth of fines or even several years in prison.

Their fake company, the Center for Medical Process, had released several videos showing Planned Parenthood in the act of selling fetal tissue as medical waste to the fake firm.
Planned Parenthood has since defended their statements, saying they were not selling baby parts, but instead negotiating for transport reimbursement of the tissues, which they say are used for medical research into solutions for HIV/AIDS. However, many Republicans including the former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas continue to express that they disagree, and that baby parts were being sold.

Fiorina even continually referenced a supposed portion of a video where the abortionist had stated that the child, born alive, must be kept alive to harvest its viable parts. However, nothing in the released footage showed this graphic scene. Republicans continued to use this “evidence” to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood using taxpayer dollars. A million dollars later, none of these investigations revealed any wrongdoing. Regardless of a lack of proof, the Republicans continue to pursue any avenue possible to defund Planned Parenthood.

Although it will certainly take time for the claims and accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood to heal, and the public’s opinion to reconcile the different claims they heard over the last year, supporters of the organization can at least find some comfort in knowing some of the perpetrators are facing justice for their wrongdoings.