Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

The HNJJ crew's traditional New Year's song, New World Coming by Mama Cass Elliot...

This year we are including a picture of our usual New Year's celebration...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas From the ACLU Redux

Every year about his time many supposedly Christian Americans break their own Ninth Commandment by claiming that the ACLU is anti-Christmas. So the annual rerun from HNJJ 2011:

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

HNJJ CHEF: Pumpkin Cake Roll

While the HNJJ Chef has claimed in the past to focus on Cheaper Healthier Easier Food,  this is one of those recipes that just has to be done for the holidays.  In the past many pumpkin cake rolls have been rather blah, but finding a recipe sponsored by a spice company suggested that it might be more flavorful...and it was...
They even put some pumpkin pie spice in the cream cheese filling.

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

The Not-Everyone's-Mayor FB Page

Every year since our Township Committee has gone all Republican, the committee members chose one of their own to anoint as mayor for the following year.  They choose a member who will be up for election for the Township Committee in the following year.

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-na├»ve 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.
Karma: action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation
Oldie of the day...


In the book Glued to the Tube by Cheryl Pawlowski (p. 144)was this comment about compromise:

"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."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Negative Politics Goes Local

Dirty politics is often considered something that only happens in Washington, not in the more genteel local races where voters believe that the worst that can happen is some arguing involving creative math about local tax claims.  Well, that belief has been definitively flushed in Hillsborough.
Township Committee Republican candidates Tomson and McCauley should be embarrassed by the disgraceful negative political mailer that went out this past week with their names on it.  Showcasing the worst of dirty politics, it used cut-and-paste "quotes",  innuendo and serious personal false allegations to attack their opponents Ms. Le and Mr. Beggiato.   
Tomson and McCauley should personally and publically apologize to Ms. Le and particularly Mr.. Beggiato and their families.  Next they should apologize to any of their supporters who have the grace to be ashamed to be associated with this garbage.  They should have the courage to stand up to the members of their Republican election committee who did this and tell them that this is not right.

 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