Thursday, December 18, 2014
Christmas, the time of the year when anonymous forum posters around the United States mistakenly rant about the American Civil Liberties Union being anti-Christmas. These posters apparently pass around anti-ACLU emails filled with deliberately erroneous information and, without checking the facts, cut-and-paste them all over the Internet.
This year the HNJJ is going to be proactive, presenting only a handful of the many past ACLU cases that have supported the celebration of Christmas:
In 2003, the ACLU successfully defended the right of the members of a Massachusetts’ high school student Christian Bible Club to hand out candy canes with religious messages attached.
Five days before Christmas, 2006, Maui County, Hawaii, put up a Christmas tree after receiving a letter from the ACLU advising them they should get one.
The Rhode Island ACLU “…successfully interceded on behalf of an interdenominational group of carolers who were told they could not sing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve to inmates at the women’s prison in Cranston.”
While preempting the annual anti-ACLU Christmas posts, its also time to address the annual years-old “send a Christmas card to the ACLU” message which has been debunked by many fact checkers including Snopes and Urban Legend.
As Hillsborough is located in Central Jersey, we couldn’t sign off without mentioning 2005's Turton, et al. v. Frenchtown Elementary School, et al. In this case, a second-grader was denied permission to perform the hymn Awesome God at an after-school talent show due to the religious content of the song. The ACLU participated amicus curiae, defending the child’s right to sing her chosen song.
As a brief update, here are links to the ACLU article Celebrating Chistmas in America and further information on ACLU Defending Christmas.
For those Christians who don't want to admit that they don't know what the ninth commandment is, it's the one about bearing false witness.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
There are a lot of dishes to wash, but putting it together wasn't as daunting as expected and it came out looking as good as the photographs in the fancy magazines.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Why do they do this? Well, there are several reasons.
Their election advertising for the next year will read "Vote For Mayor Smith" and there are many politically-naïve residents who think that they are actually chosing their mayor. This also allows next year's candidate to get a lot of Mayoral photo-ops and other free advertising without running afoul of the NJ Election Law - so far.
And now with the advent of social media like Facebook, the "Mayor" can open a Facebook page, use his honorific title, and claim that it is a personal page even though he self-identifies as a politician. He loads up this "mayors" page with vote-for-me advertising, only lets his worshippers (otherwise known as fans) and sycophants post on there, and blocks and deletes the comments of residents who don't agree with him.
Of course, this is the same mayor who works as a lobbyist and sent out a disgraceful negative political mailer last week.
"Effective social systems depend heavily on compromise. It is impossible to gather a large number of people without some disagreements, so dissension must often be subverted for the common good. Without a willingness by the majority to compromise, the social structure of the group quickly erodes."
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Hillsborough’s voters can hope that Mr. Tomson and Ms. McCauley understand that this was wrong. If they consider this moral and right, if they consider this politics as usual, if they don’t do whatever they can to correct it, then we are all in trouble.
One can hope that this mailer backfires. That the residents of Hillsborough prove they possess a higher moral character and more intelligence than Tomson and McCauley think they do. That voters realize that this was character assassination that has gone beyond the pale.
It has occurred to the HNJJ crew that members of Hillsborough’s Republican Organization may be afraid to stand up for what they know to be wrong . Maybe they fear that they will be the next target. Maybe this has to do with monetary support or hoped-for political appointments. Maybe there is an old-fashioned shunning that takes place. All of the members of the HNJJ crew are so glad they are unaffiliated. - SG
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The ordinance addresses "Vacant and Abandoned Residential Properties", establishing minimum standards for the maintenance, appearance, and condition of these houses.
The exterior should not be in disrepair, have out-of-service pools, have dead/rotting/diseased trees or loose or overhanging tree limbs, accumulated junk, litter or debris, accumulated hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials, and not have landscaping in major disrepair.
There is a list of 15 conditions used to ascertain that a property falls under this ordinance. These include overgrowth, accumulated papers/circulars/flyers, disconnected utilities, junk/litter/trash, absence of window treatments, broken windows, deterioration of the property, and boarded up entries. Three of them existing on an individual property may fulfill the ordinance's definition of an abandoned and vacant property.
The ordinance also list maintenance standards for vacant and abandoned properties including uncut grass, exterior repair, loose parts that may fall, water entering the building, and broken gutters.
For more complete information, the entire ordinance may be read at the Township website under Introduced Ordinances 2014-11
If it appears that an empty house exists in Hillsborough that may meet these criteria, they may be reported to Health Officer Dr. Glen Belnay at the Hillsborough Municipal Building.