This Is Not Saudi Arabia: In One New York Town, Women Aren’t Allowed to Drive

Have you heard of Kiryas Joel? The overwhelmingly Haredi town of 22,000 people, located about halfway between New York City and Poughkeepsie,

… has by far the youngest median age population of any municipality in the United States, and the youngest, at 13.2 years old, of any population center of over 5,000 residents in the United States. Residents of Kiryas Joel, like those of other Haredi Jewish communities, typically have large families.

According to 2008 census figures, the village has the highest poverty rate in the nation. More than two-thirds of residents live below the federal poverty line and 40% receive food stamps.

The rapidly-growing municipality has been in the news on and off not just because of that dubious distinction, but also because of the way it set up its school district (violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause). In addition, Kiryas Joel has been dogged for 25 years by repeated allegations of vote-rigging and other electoral fraud perpetrated by the Haredi.

It is in this uber-pious, ultra-conservative municipality that women are strongly discouraged from driving cars, writes Frimet Goldberger, who grew up there.

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Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern Files Three of Most Bigoted Anti-Gay Bills You’ll Ever See

Several years ago, Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (below) made headlines when she said that homosexuality was a bigger threat to our nation than terrorism.

And wouldn’t you know it: She’s just filed three separate bills to make life harder for LGBT individuals… and anyone with a sense of human decency.

House Bill 1597 would make it legal for businesses to flat-out refuse service to LGBT people:

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Pagan, Despite Not Being Asked to Give Invocation, Recites Prayer to Satan During School Board Meeting

Last September, David Suhor (who calls himself an Agnostic Pagan Pantheist) delivered an invocation for the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners (in Florida) and it was Satan-tastic.

His main goal, though, has always been to deliver an invocation to the Escambia County School Board in Florida. They have a policy that allows for invocations, and Suhor wanted to give one. He was invited at one point but there was a conflict on the date, so it didn’t happen… so he persisted. But another invite never came. One board member, Jeff Bergosh, even said he wouldn’t let it happen because it would offend the audience, leading Suhor to say on this site:

… the longer I am delayed, the more obscure I’ll make my prayer when they finally allow it. Right now they are Pagan-level cooperation. More rejection and delays and I’ll go to FSM. If they keep obstructing, I go Satanic.

Well, guess what happened?

On Tuesday night, at a school board meeting, Suhor was not invited to deliver the invocation. That honor went to a local Jewish rabbi — invited by Bergosh for the sake of “diversity” (which, we can admit, is hardly the case).

According to one account, Suhor didn’t take the invocation very well:



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Senate Votes 98-1 That Climate Change is Real, but Can’t Agree That It’s Influenced by Human Activity

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted, 98-1, that climate change was real and not a hoax. The vote came after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) added the amendment to a bill seeking to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Emily Atkin, writing for Think Progress, explains that the amendment…

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The Flogging of Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi May Be Over

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is only 50 lashes into his 1,000-lashes punishment for the “crime” of “insulting Islam.” But there’s reason to believe he won’t receive any more and that his prison sentence will be drastically reduced.

According to German news sources, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Germany Ossama bin Abdul Majed Shobokshi says that the punishment may be over.

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