Jesus Speaks to Mayor McGee

Jesus told Ridgeland, Mississippi Mayor Gene McGee to kick all the queer books out of the town’s library.

Like his political mentor, Kim Jong-Un (plus this guy), Mayor Gene McGee thinks “governance” means everyone acts in strict conformity with Gene McGee’s personal whims. He is withholding taxpayer funds marked for the library until every book Jesus tells Mayor McGee to burn is burned.

While the city’s aldermen … approved the funds, … the mayor alone … is withholding [them]. “I asked the mayor specifically on the phone call if this had been decided by the board of aldermen. And he told me no, but (that) he could have them make that decision,” [the director of the county’s library system] said.

I CAN HAVE THEM MAKE THAT DECISION.

ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS.

Jesus told Mayor Gene McGee to Run away! Run away! when the library board held a meeting to discuss the issue; and, with growing national attention directed to McGee and his town, McGee has also received a Jesus-directive not to respond to press inquiries.

One grateful townsperson does speak to the press.

As we remember Sheldon Silver, a crook who has died in a prison hospital…

… AND one of the highest-profile, most powerful, orthodox Jews New York has ever produced, we do well to revisit Jeffrey Goldberg’s ruminations on consistently high rates of various forms of criminality among this extremely pious group (Silver’s son-in-law, a Ponzi schemer, not long ago was released from prison). Some of his thoughts also appear in this Google book excerpt. (Here are my Sheldon Silver posts.)

He theorizes that “insularity plus a hyper-legalistic approach to life” creates illegal conduct.

Can observing the ritual so fastidiously blind someone to the fact that there are a whole other set of laws governing the way we’re supposed to act toward our fellow man? … [Why do significant numbers of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox seem] to have contempt for non-Jews? … [They seem to have] transferred their attitudes from Europe to here, never contemplating for a moment that government here is fundamentally different.

ULTRA child rape

As we settle in for the trial of Malka Leifer, ultraorthodox school principal/child rapist – an event distinguished from SCADS of orthodox and ultraorthodox child/teen sex abuse cases all over the place only in that Leifer is a woman – we need to prepare ourselves for the articles in the American, European, and Israeli press about Okay! Now we’ve REALLY turned a corner with these people! With the eyes of the world following so many lurid high-profile orth. and ultraorth. cases things are REALLY going to change in these notoriously child-sex-abusive sects!

Vey, mes petites. Do a little reading on cults. Abuse rates are obscenely high among the super-strict, closed, sexually hyper-repressed because… I mean, hasn’t this sentence already, even before it finishes itself, answered the question it’s posing? Do I need to specify the precise menu ingredients here?

Okay.

  1. Take a completely masculine cult, a cult where men are most of the time alone among themselves and hold total power (via the local rabbi overlord who holds power over the men) over women and children.
  2. Blend in a reproductive rather than loving/pleasurable sexual relationship with these men’s wives, causing serious sexual repression problems among the men, whose daily lives, often involving no real work, allow them plenty of time to sit around fantasizing about sex with girls and boys who aren’t brood mares.
  3. Check to make sure that both the husbands and wives in this group have been raised sexually repressed and sexually ignorant, and married off insanely early, so that their sexual/emotional maturity level is … elementary school?
  4. Put them in a twisted patriarchal world that regards male sexual access to children as unscandalous, or, if scandalous, OUR scandal, which we will hush up rather than stop or report to the authorities. Men will be men. The ways of the lord are strange. It’s probably good for the kids.
  5. Make the child victims utterly, unbelievably, innocent and ignorant. They don’t know what’s going on, much less know to report it. If, after years of being raped, they figure out something illegal is going on, they have probably also figured out that if they tell anyone, they and their family will be socially tortured and then thrown out of the cult.
  6. Make everyone afraid – their parents, who might have noticed this or that bleeding vagina or anus; their friends, their teachers – make them and everyone in their world afraid. Does this all sound a touch Gothic to you? Are we being melodramatic? ….. Hello? Are you listening? This. Is. A. Cult. It’s no different from any other cult. Virtually all powerful men in all cults have access to/control the bodies of the most vulnerable cultists. Nature of the beast.
  7. Make sure that the ideology of hatred/indifference toward, and exploitation of, local, state, and federal authority runs deep. Only the rabbi overlord has any moral/legal legitimacy. Whatever else is out there can fuck itself. (Hot off the press example: Although the authorities seem finally to have caught up with their notoriously criminal leader for his latest offenses – he has already spent two years in jail for his earlier ones – Israel’s ultraorthodox will certainly keep Aryeh Deri as their leader. I mean, who gives a shit that he breaks laws left and right. What laws? Who cares??) Only with this attitude do you guarantee that the rape of children will proceed normally.

Is any of this helping you understand why rates of child sexual abuse in orthodox and ultraorthodox communities are outrageously high? … To the extent that we can begin to measure them, that is, given the absolutely locked shut status of these cults… I mean, they’re not exactly going to cooperate, or disclose, or anything. It’s just child rape, for goodness sake.

And listen. If non-cultic communities cared at all about generations of raped children, they’d solve this.

And the solution isn’t that difficult. They need to take the Voting Blocs Detox Pledge:

I, important politician, pledge to overlook the fact that hundreds of thousands of these people vote as one for me/my party, and I pledge to move against them legally anyway. I pledge to put the interests of raped children above my partisan advantage.

It’s rare that you find fully realized FICTIONAL characters in the world…

…. By which UD means that almost every actual, non-fictional human being presents with nuance, a sense of unreachable depth, ambiguity, contradiction. Norman Maclean gets at this when thinking about his tragic younger brother: “[I]t is those we live with and should know who elude us.”

Even those to whom we’re closest, that is, ultimately present as mysteries, exhibit the human traits of unreachable depth and contradiction. Everyone, really – or almost everyone – is recognizably human by virtue of their possession of a complex, enigmatic, and vulnerable private self.

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And then there’s Alan Dershowitz. For as long as he’s been in the public eye, Harvard’s finest seems nothing — nothing — but a strutting monomaniac, a staggeringly unidimensional embodiment of the medieval humor “choleric.” Tip him forward in time and find him, post-medieval, on Moliere’s stage, firing up the floor boards with rage, hypocrisy, sense of entitlement, and faux moral indignation. A person who regards himself as a supremely righteous exemplar in a world of villains, his speech consists of rifle-blasts of accusations against his enemies: LIAR LIAR NAZI WHORE LIAR WHORE NAZI.

Moliere’s Dershowitz has gotten rich defending, in courts of law, female genital mutilators, murderers, and many other bad people, but this, he roars, proves his ethical superiority: GIVE ME YOUR TIRED YOUR POOR NO ONE ELSE WILL DEFEND THESE HUDDLED MASSES. And despite evidence of his using that wealth to lead a rather decadent personal life among rather decadent friends (sometimes they are the same people he is defending in courts of law, or in the newspapers, or, reportedly, to President Trump, in search of a pardon for them), he boasts that he belongs to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR synagogues. So there!

Like all flat characters, Dershowitz is as hilarious as he is heinous; it’s always funny in a startling way to find puppetry rather than profundity – Ubu rather than Macbeth – and as he gets close to death and we realize the long-expected moment of self-recognition or shame or at the very least reflection, the moment he becomes a recognizable human being instead of a machine, will never come, our laughter at him becomes more unsettling. It is guilty laughter, laughter at a person trapped in a failure to become a person.

His latest rifle-blast, in the pages of scummy Newsmax, begins with a boyish, wide-eyed, gentle, baffled photograph of his friend Prince Andrew. In this picture, Andrew asks Why is this happening to me? And in the fevered defense that follows, Dershowitz explains that it’s all because of greedy whore Virginia Giuffre, who also plucked Dershowitz himself out of thin air to sue for millions of dollars. It’s a travesty. A TRAVESTY.

Adrian Vermeulen: “So, nu?”

Italy’s Church of Saint Ducea: The wave of the integralist future.

Life is so much better when you understand/believe in science!

Just look at what happens when you don’t.

A family of four [ultra-orthodox Israelis] may have caused [Israel’s] largest Omicron outbreak to date because they chose not to quarantine after returning from a trip to South Africa… [W]hen they were supposed to be isolating at home, they were not. Instead, the parents went to work and the children to school and preschool…

The family went on to lie about another close, infected, relative having been in South Africa; they also refused to answer their phone and participate in epidemiological tracking.

Countries that allow large numbers of their citizens to remain ignorant and anti-social pay a very large price indeed.

Nu? We’re all good here, right?

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, a New York nonprofit, criticized the announcement [of forthcoming stricter oversight of private school education standards for New York students]: …”Yeshivas are in good standing with education law so why create a problem?”

We’re good! As recently as 2019

a New York City investigation of 28 yeshivas found that only two of them provided “substantially equivalent” education to secular public schools.

Two out of 28! That’s good, right? That’s around 93%.

Burqas and Brownings:

The latest look in Karachi.

More on the Hijab Dust-up.

See the post directly below this one for background.

One needs to parse the pro-hijab Council of Europe message to understand the problem here.

BEAUTY IS IN DIVERSITY.

AS FREEDOM IS IN HIJAB.

Let’s start with the first statement. Variety is the spice of life, I grant you. But surely not everything that meets the eye in a highly diverse environment will strike everyone as beautiful; and indeed given the notorious subjectivity of the concept “beauty,” mixed in this case with the feel-good vacuity of the sentence’s sentiment, it’s not terribly surprising that a lot of people were turned off. Karabash has a richly diverse urban setting, with unusual bright red water features, but I don’t find it beautiful. Los Angeles is highly diverse, with gated communities for billionaires down the road from rancid encampments, but I don’t find this diversity beautiful. The hijab campaign means to educate me, to make me more tolerant of people who wear hijabs; but it starts with an insult to my intelligence.

Plus, I’m not sure defending hijabs as diversity really… works anyway. I mean, they’re diverse from what non-hijab wearers wear, to be sure; but within the hijab community the whole modesty point is to make children and adults all pretty much look alike, right? Not a very diversity-positive community.

With the second statement, real trouble ensues. Beauty is to diversity as freedom is to the hijab. So… beauty inheres in diversity, just as freedom inheres in the hijab. The hijab is as obviously about freedom as diversity is about beauty. To wear a hijab is to say I am free. I am a free person, a free woman.

Now, if the campaign stated

FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS AN IMPORTANT FREEDOM.

I AM FREE TO WEAR A HIJAB.

no one would have complained. But if you are trying to say to me that you are free because you wear a hijab, that when I see a woman (or, horribly, a child) in a hijab I’m supposed to say There goes a free person. The hijab proves it. I’m going to refer you to Orwell’s 1984. You are not going to be able to make me believe that the very opposite of the truth is true.

I’m perfectly okay with all sorts of religious people marking their submission to God in any number of ways, but the whole point of this gesture, you understand, is to publicly reject “freedom” as the French, and ol’ UD, understand it. So the campaign lies, and since most people don’t find lies very persuasive, the campaign fails.

Nothing wrong with belonging to big international organizations, but you do want to keep an eye on what their subcommittees come up with.

“Freedom is in hijab” crows the new Council of Europe anti-discrimination campaign — in which we are to applaud a mark of religious submission as a mark of personal freedom.

It’s not sitting well with the French.

“Reminding that women are free to wear the hijab is one thing,” Socialist Senator Laurence Rossignol said, “but saying freedom is in hijab is another. It’s promoting it. Is this the role of the Council of Europe?”

************

Gabriel Attal, [French] government spokesman, said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the campaign defied common sense “because one shouldn’t confuse religious freedom with the de facto promotion of a religious symbol”. Such an “identitarian” approach was “contrary to the freedom of conscience that France supports in all European and international forums”, Attal said.

*************

Taking note of the universal fury, and perhaps reflecting upon an anti-hate campaign that has given the French right one hell of a shot in the arm, the Council has, er, issued a statement. “These tweets have been deleted and we’re going to think about a better presentation for the project. [The wording reflects] individual statements from people who took part in one of the project’s workshops, and doesn’t reflect the position of the Council of Europe or its secretary-general [Marija Pejčinović Burić].”

Oh, so the sec gen didn’t see the thing before it went out to the whole world, either! In fact, nobody knows who the hell…

***************

Next up in the Council’s anti-discrimination campaign: A young Brooke Shields smolders at the camera and purrs: Nothing gets between me and my Calvin Klein hairshirt…

***************

Another case in point.

LOL

Though some scholars argue it should not be interpreted as a slight, a prayer in which men thank God for not making them a woman is recited each morning.

******************

It’s like…

Though some scholars argue it should not be interpreted as a slight, a prayer in which white men thank God for not making them black is recited each morning…

Why don’t we have any head shots of…

Jennifer Wenisch? A German-born ISIS fanatic, she was just sentenced to ten years in jail for allowing her five year old Yazidi slave girl to die of thirst while chained up in the desert heat. Can there be no photo at all of this woman? She will be out of jail in ten years – actually, she’ll probably be released in fewer than ten years … and humanity needs to be able to recognize her — to see her coming.

UD has looked in vain for a photo; all we’ve got is some person in court, hiding her face behind a large notebook.

[Wenisch] looked shocked when the verdict was announced, staring first at her hands and then at the ceiling as the judge read out the ruling.

“On the face of it, religious schools should teach mathematics,” said Mr UD this morning…

… as I summarized this writer’s argument about the refusal of ultraorthodox schools all over the world to comply with required state education standards – that is, to teach basic computer, verbal, and mathematical literacy, much less, for instance, empirical method, or the institutions, practices, and history of the country in which their students live.

The writer offers a welcome acknowledgement, from within the haredi world (he heads a hasidic boys’ school), of the bullshit nature of the arguments haredim make about the high quality, by any standard, of their children’s education. He notes that in reality

many hours are spent singing songs, listening to stories, and repeating material that has already been learned. In high school, meanwhile, most of the day is devoted to unstructured learning. This, for many students, consists primarily of socializing while absorbing a tiny amount of material...

[M]ost ḥasidic schools offer something like 90 minutes a day of secular studies to students ages six to twelve, the quality of which varies widely, but is mostly well below average; and these pupils then go on to high schools that provide no secular studies at all. I can tell you, as someone who attended mainstream ḥasidic schools, that by the age of fifteen I had forgotten almost entirely the smatterings of English and mathematics I had learned in elementary school and had to start again from scratch.

As I say, such honesty about – well, about what we already know, but about which haredim lie – is welcome. Yet instead of proceeding to offer suggestions about how the closed, hostile world of the haredim might be induced – more sensitively and successfully – by state education representatives to open up enough to educate their children in even minimally non-haredi ways, the writer suddenly goes on a tear about evil liberal conspiracies to “dismantle” haredi life entirely.

[The question is] whether the liberal state is willing to let a countercultural social movement that bends the rules of the liberal order grow up in its midst. From the perspective of the state, and those loyal to it, there are reasonable grounds to prevent that. What is not reasonable, however, is the sort of liberal triumphalism that imagines that, under the pretext of implementing minor or neutral reforms, Ḥasidim will simply be intimidated into dismantling their own social order...

Liberal order here means everything – everything – that is totally “antithetical,” the writer rightly points out, to the haredi way of life. Totally. Personal choice, autonomy, the use of reason to make decisions which are right for oneself and not necessarily the group (haredim, for instance, notoriously vote as an almost solid bloc; in the last election, almost 83 percent of them, as instructed by their rabbis, voted for Trump, the highest percentage of any voting group). The haredim represent a totally solid rejection of everything modern liberal democracies stand for. Full stop.

**********************

Eli Spitzer even goes on to acknowledge that for haredi parents “preventing college is the point,” so bravo to their schools for doing a bang-up job of making successful entry to college impossible… ? Aren’t we getting a little… weird here? Has Spitzer heard of Yeshiva University? Of quite a number of other seriously religious universities in America? But even those schools won’t take you if you don’t know what a computer is and get 250 on your verbal and nonverbal SATs… tests you can’t even take, come to think of it, without basic computer skills…

*************************

So what do we conclude from what is clearly a radical, all-encompassing, isolation and stupidization of a growing number of young people in the United States?

A country by the way which is itself quite religious?

America is the most religious wealthy country in the world, according to a recent survey. A Pew survey found that Americans said they prayed more than any other wealthy nation surveyed. Fifty-five percent of Americans report praying at least once daily, 6 percentage points higher than the international average.

Again, in line with it being a religious outlier in the advanced world, the US has an extensive network of religious – and often very culturally conservative – universities. As its current political battles suggest, America’s conservative religious culture and legal institutions arguably dominate – they certainly hold their own – in the institutions (had a look at the Supreme Court lately?) and practices of this country. Anyone looking for a liberal triumphalism set on dismantling religious, conservative life will find herself seriously challenged in this god-fearing, abortion under virtually all circumstances outlawing, country.

Because of course the point here is that ultraorthodoxy does not represent merely (in Spitzer’s words) “a countercultural social movement that bends the rules of the liberal order.” I mean, whoa, Nellie! Ultraorthodoxy is itself an outlier in the religious life of this religious country, where massive numbers of seriously committed religious communities educate their children to a more than acceptable standard for a productive, contributing life in the modern world. We are talking here not about counterculture, but cult – a withdrawn, broadly non-compliant cult whose members often display a positive contempt for the laws of a country many of whose claims upon them they simply reject (this contempt for the civic realm is in all respects far worse in Israel). Far from the triumphant dismantler Spitzer perceives, the reality of the extremely liberal city of New York, for instance, is that the very voting bloc ultraorthodoxy represents stays the hand of one politician after another who might for a moment think of changing that sect’s appalling status quo.

Does it not seem strange to Spitzer that a city so obnoxiously liberal as to remove Jefferson’s statue from its city council building trembles before the power of its ultraorthodox community?

*******************************

In countries like Spitzer’s – England – the ultraorthodox help make possible the just as appalling educational wreckage many Muslim schools represent. Shouldn’t Muslim schools enjoy the same freedom from an evil liberal state that, for instance, wants to stop them from treating girls like dirt, assigning anti-semitic textbooks, and refusing to teach science?

‘The Rev. Angelo Alfio Mangano, of the Saint Maria in Ognina church in Catania, welcomed the ban [on godfathers], especially because it gave him a rest from spiritually questionable characters using “threats against the parish priest” to pressure him and others into naming them godfather.’

“What difference does [the ban] make,” said … proud father Nicola Sparti, 24, who described his occupation as “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” (“Flees from Carabinieri on a motorbike,” read a recent newspaper article about him.) “One day the godfather’s there and the next he’s gone. But a father is forever.”

*****************

When it comes to Catholicism, Sicily does a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

A troubled Middle Eastern country’s persistent anti-semitic minority…

… has struck again, defacing a public photograph of a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor. The routine defacement of Jewish faces all over the country’s cities accompanies a refusal to honor a nationwide moment of silence on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Authorities attribute their inability to stop the defacement to the country’s primitive security apparatus.

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