October 12th, 2022
‘[A NY] Times analysis of state test score data available for three grades at the [hasidic] school showed that while 122 students took reading and math exams in 2019, just one of them passed.’

And I trust he has been severely punished. Ultraorthodox schools can’t let this sort of thing – a student surreptitiously learning enough to pass a basic competency exam – go on: It will only encourage other students to learn things.


The details are good.

[L]etters written by the rabbi in charge of [one] school’s English department … displayed an apparent lack of fluency in English.

“Bus changes can only be made in the office of Transpiration,” the rabbi wrote in a 2019 letter. Elsewhere, he added: “Any misbehavior will be dealt with in a firm manor.”

That should be Perspiration, and manure.

October 9th, 2022
‘Support for the hijab [in Iran] has been waning for years, with a report in 2018 showing nearly 70% of women either did not believe in the hijab or were among “the improperly veiled.”‘

See, here’s how I figure it: Most people are not fanatics. Most people are just people, with this or that personal enthusiasm, this or that religious faith, even this or that fanaticism, but they tend to keep it (because most people consider fanaticism creepy and even threatening) to themselves, or to a few other fanatics with whom they meet by night and howl at the moon or whatever. Extreme extremism just isn’t a good look for most people, doesn’t at all jibe with normal ordinary reasonably contented rather complicated human life, and indeed often manifests to the broad non-fanatic world as abnormal monomaniacal stupidity with a side order of willingness to die and to kill. One thinks of the sad insurrectionists in the US Capitol with their magical MAGA letters smeared on motorcycle jackets and Viking helmets. When these people speak to judges and January 6 committee members, their pitiable condition is broadcast to us all. Watching them, one wonders what new violent insipid Thing will capture them once they’ve served their sentence.

Now in my day (UD‘s an old hippie) the prevailing image was Charlie’s Girls, Manson’s fanatics, who marched off to courtrooms en masse, sporting each day it seemed a new magical MAGA sort of thing: identical chopped off hair, messages scrawled on their foreheads … All fanatics seem to make of the body nothing more than a vehicle for their pathetic passion; all fanatics seem to move always en masse — the larger idea behind all of this being the evisceration of any self for the sake of the God or the Cause.

A theocracy run by religious fanatics will of course try to turn a large, largely normal populace into fanatics – their particular category of fanatics – and they will always fail.

Having failed, and being rigid fanatics, they will then double down:

‘Raisi decided to confront the erosion of support by implementing a plan called “strategies to spread the culture of chastity” – in essence a repeat of a policy first adopted in 2005.

The essence of the 115-page plan, as published by Iranwire, was as follows:

Peeing myself laughing here. I’m sorry, but we really are dealing with heavy-duty idiocy; and I’d be laughing even harder at all the wonderful language — culture of chastity, counselling, vulgar dresses, appropriate garments (picture women wheeled into brain surgery in full hijab/robe, with surgeons drilling through all the modesty cloth) if the regime weren’t as I write this killing protesters.

Even a former speaker of the Iranian parliament just warned in an interview that “extremism in enforcing social mores leads to extremist reactions.” The regime will probably jail him.

So NOW you’ve got – what? 110% non-support for the hijab? Even many women who wear the hijab – and hijabs aren’t marks of fanaticism until, under the vicious imperatives of violent theocracies, they are – now protest with the no-hijab people.

The cretinous clerics are well on their way to revealing the heart of fanaticism – not piety, or any other form of moral seriousness, but death-cultishness which is always busy drilling down to its deepest truth: It is a sacred privilege to kill anyone who is not exactly like me.


[Protesters may ultimately] be tried and charged with hirabh, or enmity towards God, which is punishable by death. This may yet get very dark.

The protesters are guilty of enmity towards the regime, not God; but then, being religious fanatics, the regime sees no difference between the two. And in any case (see above) death is what they had in mind from the outset.


 [T]he daring women of Iran … risk their lives daily for an end to their decades-long imprisonment by medieval fanatics, in this unconscionable, real-world telling of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Bernard-Henri Levy

October 8th, 2022
Cuntry Gentlemen…

Sniffing Your Privates! VOTE BOLDUC, LADIES!

September 30th, 2022
They DON’T revolve around the earth? Wow! Tell more more.

Recently, her son’s teacher told the class that all the planets revolve around the Earth, and drew a picture to illustrate.

“My son, who’s a little bit of a space geek, raised his hand and was like, ‘No, that’s not how it works,’” [Beatrice] Weber says. “And the teacher was actually surprised and actually paid a lot of attention when my son explained it to him. And I was like, ‘Wasn’t he angry that you disrespected him?’ He’s like, ‘No, no, no. The teacher was very curious. He said he had never learned that before.’” …


NY’s yeshivas: We do it our way!

September 28th, 2022


September 25th, 2022
‘[E]ven with specialized hours, using the Barnes Center’s facilities may not be possible for some [Syracuse University] students. [Two Muslim students] said the glass windows and doors looking into the pool are another obstacle in their efforts to make the area accessible to Muslim women. [One student] suggested installing curtains to block the windows, and prevent men from seeing women swimming.’

Separate women-only hours, sheeting on the pool windows… And here’s another reason these are great ideas!

“I’m sure it’s not only Muslims, I think there’ll be a lot of female students that would benefit from it because not everyone is comfortable with all genders swimming (together),” [another student] said.

Hey now that you mention it a lot — a TON!! — of American women are uncomfortable swimming – hell, being in the same room – with men! Now we see what hijabs and long black coats are about. I think we’ll wear them too!


UD thanks Stephen.

September 25th, 2022
Wanna know the special magic that goes into making Louisiana the unhappiest state in America?

Well, except for West Virginia, which beat Louisiana by a whisker in their race to the very very bottom

It’s stupid degrading shit like this.

Reminds you of those poor Huntington WV students similarly force-marched into the presence of Jesus freaks.

Our saddest and next to saddest states. They ain’t heard of the separation of church and state round them parts – their teachers and superintendents ain’t heard of it – and ifn you tried to explain it to them, wouldn’t get through one bit. Hell I’d be sad too ifn I had to send my kids to them schools.

September 22nd, 2022
America’s Theocrats Might Want to Take a Look at What’s Happening in Iran.

Our Christian Nationalists, Cathophate-Planners, and assorted hierocrats need to start thinking about how hard they’re willing to crack down – once they take over the country – on what’s emerging as a more and more secular American population.

Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule and his Xian Morality Brigade fully expect that, when we spiritually parched people taste the blessings of the strict – but loving – Xian state, we will be blissed out, flooded with gratitude, and utterly obedient:

Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.

I’m thinking their Mullah-Doubles over in Iran must have felt just as confident when they decreed deadly divine dicta for everyone (but specially for breasty hairy femmes); yet a glance at the current situation in that glorious theocracy tells you you got trouble right here in Isfahan City.

See, when a small group of woman-reviling fanatics who think they have a pipeline to God take over a government and start imposing their twisted morality on everybody, things might not turn out all that well. Iran’s on fire, sparked by the Morality Police’s inevitable murder of a young woman whose body swaddling was insufficiently tight to excite the squad. Bad girl and now we will beat you and kill you wow did that feel good.

Not sure how much longer the fun can last. The orgasmic release of harlot-homicide may be less and less available to the pious men of Iran as the country’s population torches the cities.

September 21st, 2022
‘A general retardation that extends not just to women but to every aspect of personal freedom and civic rights.’

Nesrine Malik’s description of many Middle Eastern countries applies as well to America’s haredi enclaves, where a fiercely cultivated mental and civic retardation has reduced ultraorthodoxy to an increasingly peculiar, increasingly belligerent, cult.

Because, by definition, many ultraorthodox people don’t know how to argue, UD will charitably refrain from linking to their efforts to defend themselves against the now-notorious New York Times article; she will say, however, that the origins of this group’s virtually one hundred percent full-throated support of that noted polemicist Donald Trump now become clearer to her. As do the origins of their outsize presence at the January 6 rally and even at the insurrection. No one should be surprised that violence is the last refuge of the illiterate. It’s the only voice they have, I guess.

September 18th, 2022
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

… when Antwerp’s haredi community, faced with the same educational mandate New York’s haredim are facing, did something altogether amazing — something NY’s haredim might want to take a look at.

[The Belgian haredi community] asked the court to fine the government $6,780 per child for every day the [mandates] are in place.


The suit was ” strongly denied … by the court,” for some reason… But maybe the strategy could work here! Maybe demand more of a per child per diem? 10,000’s a nice round number. Something to start bargaining with.

September 18th, 2022
‘Parents, former students and teachers have outlined a systematic denial of education, which they say is intended to prevent them from succeeding outside the Hasidic community.’

Systematic. Intended. Wowza.

‘Hasidic girls’ schools sometimes refuse to release transcripts to their graduates who need them for secular colleges.’


To find a precedent for this grotesque behavior, you have to go back to ancient China, where women’s feet were deformed through binding, so that they would be more easily exploitable in work settings, or competitive in marriage.

In general, though, the phenomenon of a community intentionally disabling its own young people in order to force them to stay within the tight bounds – if you will – of the community is so perverted that it’s very hard to find any precedent at all.

September 17th, 2022
Why in the world would anyone send their kids to these schools?

 “It’s important to understand how young these parents are when they enroll their first child in school,” [a member of the ultraorthodox community] said.

Typically, hassidic couples have an arranged marriage around age 18, [Rayne] Lunger explained. “Then the expectation is to have kids right away. So at age 21, the expectation is that they’ll send the kids to the school that’s part of the hassidic group they belong to. … You have no connections outside of your own community, and no support,” Lunger continuedLunger was born and raised in New Square, an all-hassidic, or ultra-Orthodox, village in Rockland County, New York, ranked as the state’s poorest municipality.

September 17th, 2022
America’s Most Famous Yiddish Song is a Haredi Anthem.

The Nothing Song first captures, in Yiddish, the Nothing Modern/Nothing Permitted character of ultraorthodox life:

Montik, gornisht
Dinstik, gornisht
Midvokh un Donershtik gornisht
Fraytik, far a noveneh
Gornisht pikveleh
Shabes nach a mool gornisht

It then, in English, moves on to the yeshiva curriculum:

Reading, nothing
Writing, nothing
Even arithmetic, nothing
Geography, philosophy, history, nothing
Social anthropology, a lot of nothing

September 16th, 2022
‘As for those who want those walls to fall so that poor, oppressed ḥasidic children can taste the pleasure of liberal autonomy—well, as we say in Yiddish, zol zayn mit mazel.’

On one level it’s more hysterical overreach in the face of people who merely argue that American children should learn basic literacy; but the sentence has a value-added something. “The pleasure of illiberal dependency” sounds not quite right as the opposite principle to “the pleasure of liberal autonomy.” What more easily rolls off the tongue is something like the rigors of illiberal dependency; for an ignorant, isolated, impoverished life of lockstep obedience to rabbis cannot – the writer would I guess say should not – be easy. (Hatam Sofer declared, “Every­thing new is forbidden by the Torah.”)  You’re after a life which – with its strict rituals and rules and repressions – represents a daily rebuke of modernity’s shapeless hedonism.

Of course, the writer also intends sardonic irony, for we all know that the seeming pleasure of free — read deracinated — societies quickly turns to ashes as secular modernity’s inescapable meaninglessness and loneliness drives all of us outside of yeshivas to suicide. Indeed we are incessantly assured of the rich communal meaningful happy lives within fortress u-o; and yet Shaul Magid notes that these assurances, like a recent one by Liel Leibowitz in Tablet, are “purely speculative. [Leibowitz] has never lived in [an ultraorthodox community] (I have) and his judgment is a purely romantic, or more likely opportunistic, view of one gazing in from the outside.” Sounds as though Magid didn’t think his community was very happy.

Would you be happy if you were kept from learning anything about the world you share with all of us outside fortress u-o? To read the writer’s account of modern university education, for instance, is to try to wrap your head around a world where schools like Yeshiva, Touro, Brandeis, Baylor, Liberty, Ave Maria, Hillsdale College, and many other religiously serious institutions do not exist. ALL colleges corrupt, which is why your high schools need to aim for total illiteracy – the inability to sign your name on your SAT test:

[P]reventing college is the point. Ḥasidic parents are absolutely opposed to their eighteen-year-old sons or daughters attending college for the entirely rational reason that college consists of a complete immersion in a culture antithetical to Ḥasidism…

Come, come. The other reason – you fail to note it – is that the community makes sure eighteen year old girls are already arranged-married and knocked up, with no future to look forward to but more kids. How entirely rational.

September 15th, 2022
‘In Hasidic boys’ schools, some teachers regularly smack, slap and kick their students… During religious study, we found that rabbis hit students with rulers, belts and sticks wrapped in electrical tape, sometimes for minor misbehavior. For example, many recent graduates described being hit for not pointing their finger at the word being read aloud by the rabbi. In the past, Hasidic classrooms were more brutal environments. Recently, some schools have asked teachers to be less violent in disciplining students. But we found that more “mild” corporal punishment remains very common. Virtually all of the dozens of parents we interviewed said their sons had been hit at least once. Several said they had sought to protect their children by “tipping” their teachers, usually about $100 a year.’

Aint dat nice. A spiritual protection racket. We fallen-away Jews have so much to learn from the real Jews.

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