These local festivities are characterized by a prominent humor site as insane, but I think several of the are of distinct historical or anthropological interest and the ones where you throw fiery things around sound like fun.
Once you’ve finished attending all of the above list of seven events, you’ll want to get right to work on Figaro’s list of 100 things you need to do in Paris during your life.
Demographic map of New Jersey. (I have been pretty successful in avoiding that state myself.)
CBS local news in New York reports that police and high school authorities in Woodbridge, New Jersey recently lost all sense of proportion.
It was supposed to be a senior prank, but now three students in Woodbridge said they’re facing criminal charges — and may not be able to walk through graduation ceremony and take part in other senior activities.
Does the punishment go too far?
It wasn’t the T-shirts that got two 17-year-olds in trouble, but the actual chickens they said they released into their high school as part of a senior prank back in February.
“So we confessed. We told the truth. Now we’re getting charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, not allowed to go to prom, not allowed to go to graduation, and all that,” Anthony Cesareo told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
Cesareo and Tyler Bruno said they bought live chickens from a store in Newark and pushed the chickens through a window at Woodbridge High School in the middle of the night. A janitor found them in the morning before school started. ...
It may have been a joke to them, but police said it wouldn’t have been so funny if a student got hurt.
I think myself that the principal and police chief of Woodbridge, NJ badly need the trees in front of their houses TP’d.
Well I was born down south on a chicken farm near Nashville, Tennessee
T’weren’t nobody there, but a sky full of air, 17 billion chickens, and me
And then one day I said “Hey, hey, hey, think I’ll drop a little LSD.”
Well, it blew my mind,
I got real kind,
And I set my chickens free.
And there was
Chickens in the pasture,
Chickens in the barn,
Chickens in the cauliflower,
Chickens in the corn,
Chickens driving Cadillacs to Washington DC,
When I set my chickens free.—Gilbert Shelton
Daniel Foster commented on the Obama Administration punishing New Jersey for insufficient compliance to the demands of the teachers’ union by disqualifying the state for hundreds of millions of dollars of federal education funds based on a trivial error in more that 1000 pages of paperwork.
This 5:29 video of Governor Chris Christie’s response is making him a national star and producing a wave of “Christie in 2012” enthusiasm.
Seaside Heights, New Jersey “Hit the villains with a baseball” game
President Obama’s performance has been so memorable that already, after less than two years in office, he has won a special place in the hearts of ordinary Americans: a place resembling Osama bin Laden’s as one of a series of carnival targets you throw baseballs at and win prizes for knocking down.
Gawker positively squeaked in protest at the political incorrectness of it all, headlining the story as “Horrible Obama-Smashing Game.” (chuckle)
That didn’t keep them from uploading a video of a young man hurling baseballs at the target of the president prefaced by “F**k you, Obama.”
Hit the alien invader with the health care bill & presidential seal game
The Jersey Shore boardwalk game, however, was not the great man’s first recognition by amusement park popular culture. Even earlier, a church fair outside Allentown, Pennsylvania attracted the attention of the Secret Service when a rented shooting game featuring You-Know-Who holding the health care bill appeared as the target.
The Morning Call reports that the feds were not amused and the games company was quickly strong-armed into removing this threat to his Imperial Obamaness.
The game’s target is a painting of a black man in a suit who is holding a scroll labeled “Health Bill.” He sports a belt buckle fashioned after the presidential seal, antennae and a troll doll on his shoulder.
Players paid $1 per shot, or $5 for six shots, to fire foam darts at targets on his head and heart. Those who hit their mark won a stuffed animal.
Cindy Wofford, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office of the Secret Service, said her agents are looking into the game and will determine if there were any direct or indirect threats to the president. They will share their findings with the U.S. attorney’s office.
“We take these kinds of things very seriously,” Wofford said.
The White House issued a statement Wednesday through spokeswoman Moira Mack saying it disapproves of using the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes. The longstanding policy precedes Obama.
There was no Secret Service intervention that I can recall when representatives of the liberal urban intelligentsia produced a fantasy documentary and a play featuring the assassination of George W. Bush. (link)
Eugene Volokh quotes a New Jersey case in which a Judge Payne of the Superior Court, in the course of rejecting a restraining order against a Moroccan husband, adopted the interesting viewpoint that the husband’s cultural opinions immunized him from the laws of the state of New Jersey, allowing him to inflict non-consensual sex upon his wife.
While recognizing that defendant had engaged in sexual relations with plaintiff against her expressed wishes in November 2008 and on the night of January 15 to 16, 2009, the judge did not find sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct to have been proven. He stated:
This court does not feel that, under the circumstances, that this defendant had a criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault or to sexually contact the plaintiff when he did. The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.
After acknowledging that this was a case in which religious custom clashed with the law, and that under the law, plaintiff had a right to refuse defendant’s advances, the judge found that defendant did not act with a criminal intent when he repeatedly insisted upon intercourse, despite plaintiff’s contrary wishes.
Happily, the Appellate Court reversed, but this judicial incident is undoubtedly only the first of what will become a trend of multicultural rulings from American benches.
The correct legal precedent, IMHO, is that expressed by General Charles Napier in connection with the custom of suttee in India. Napier told the Hindoos:
You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed the necessity of reining in spending in an address to his state’s mayors at the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
His “holding hands and jumping off a cliff” metaphor was a hit, but more important was his identification of the rigged arbitration system which awards government employee unions reliably the better part of everything they ask for, year in and year out, good times or bad.
The current economic crisis has established definitively that the current relationship between unions and government and current levels of expenditure are unsustainable in a number of states.
In the time we got here, of the approximately $29 billion budget there was only $14 billion left. Of the $14 billion, $8 billion could not be touched because of contracts with public worker unions, because of bond covenants, because of commitments we made accepting stimulus money. So we had to find a way to save $2.3 billion in a $6 billion pool of money.
When I went into the treasurer’s off in the first two weeks of my term, there was no happy meetings. They presented me with 378 possible freezes and lapses to be able to balance the budget. I accepted 375 of them.
There is a great deal of discussion about me doing that by executive action. Every day that went by was a day where money was going out the door such that the $6 billion pool was getting less and less. So something needed to be done. ...
Our citizens are already the most overtaxed in America. US mayors hear it all the time. You know that the public appetite for ever increasing taxes has reached an end.
So when we freeze $475 million in school aid, I am hearing the reverberations from school boards saying now you are just going to force us to raise taxes.
Well there is a 4% cap in place as you all know, yet school boards continue to give out raises which exceed that cap, just on salary. Not to mention the fact that most of them get no contribution towards the spiraling increase in health care benefits. ...
Do we need to change some of the rules of arbitration to level the playing field to allow municipalities and school boards to have a more level sense of collective bargaining?
I think the evidence of ever increasing raises being given to public sector workers as a result of the arbitration system tells us that we do. ...
I am tired of hearing school superintendents and school board members complain that there are no other options than raising property taxes. There are other options.
You know, Marlboro, after a two year negotiation, they give a five year contract giving 4.5% annual salary increases to the teachers, with no contribution, zero contribution to health care benefits.
But I am sure there are people in Marlboro who have lost their jobs, who have had their homes foreclosed on, and who cannot keep a roof over their family’s head there is something wrong.
You know, at some point there has to be parity. There has to be parity between what is happening in the real world, and what is happening in the public sector world. The money does not grow on trees outside this building or outside your municipal building. It comes from the hard working people of our communities who are suffering and are hurting right now.
I heard someone in the legislature say two days ago that they wanted no fare hike in New Jersey Transit, no cuts in service, and no cuts in subsidy. And I was thinking to myself, man I should have made this guy treasurer. [Laughter] Because if you can pull that one off, you’re obviously magic.
This is the type of awful political rhetoric that people sent me to this city to stop.
Liberal blue state soak-the-rich tax policies have real consequencs, as New Jersey is discovering the hard way. New Jersey Business News article.
Can you imagine what the wealth drain from California over the same period must look like?
More than $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008 as affluent residents moved elsewhere, according to a report released Wednesday that marks a swift reversal of fortune for a state once considered the nation’s wealthiest.
Conducted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, the report found wealthy households in New Jersey were leaving for other states — mainly Florida, Pennsylvania and New York — at a faster rate than they were being replaced.
“The wealth is not being replaced,” said John Havens, who directed the study. “It’s above and beyond the general trend that is affecting the rest of the northeast.”
This was not always the case. The study – the first on interstate wealth migration in the country — noted the state actually saw an influx of $98 billion in the five years preceding 2004. The exodus of wealth, then, local experts and economists concluded, was a reaction to a series of changes in the state’s tax structure — including increases in the income, sales, property and “millionaire” taxes.
“This study makes it crystal clear that New Jersey’s tax policies are resulting in a significant decline in the state’s wealth,” said Dennis Bone, chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and president of Verizon New Jersey.
McDonnell (Rep) 59, Deeds (Dem) 41
New Jersey Governor
Christie (Rep) 49, Corzine (Dem) 45
New York (23d District)
Owens (Dem) 48, Hoffman (Con) 46
We won the two big governor’s races and, despite the uphill difficulty in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, came close to pulling off a conservative win out of what started as a three-way race.
John Dickerson, at Slate, explains that the independent voters have come back to the Republican Party. Independents are, naturally enough, frightened by the economy and appalled at the deficit.
The Republican candidates killed among independents. In both New Jersey and Virginia, they won by two to one. Independent voters make up their largest share of the electorate since pollsters have been counting them. In 2006 and 2008, these voters backed Congressional Democrats, and in the 2008 presidential race, they went for Obama 51 percent to 47 percent over John McCain. They’ve been souring on his presidency, though, and now more disapprove of his performance than approve. In Virginia, Obama won 48 percent of independents. The Republican Bob McDonnell won 68 percent of those voters this time around. In New Jersey, Christie carried independents 58 percent to 31 percent, which helped him overcome the fact that there are 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in that state.
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said we must be clear today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
He said Red, Yellow, Black or White
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say “hooray!”
Hooray, Mr. President! You’re number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!
Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country’s economy number one again!
Hooray Mr. President, we’re really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!
So continue,Mr. President we know you’ll do the trick
So here’s a hearty hip-hooray
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Obama obviously did not write the songs or arrange for them to be composed, but it can hardly be denied that the teacher(s?) responsible in New Jersey were responding to a personality cult and a political style which has been recognizable since the appearance of Barach Hussein Obama (Mmm, mmm, mm!) on the national political stage. It is a style a lot more compatible with backward Third World Communist dictatorships than with the American Republic.
“Civil Rights,” n. fabricated and supposititious rights claims, purportedly entitling liberals to use state power to compel individuals and businesses to comply with liberal moral opinions within their own private spheres.
The moral status of homosexuality, homosexuality’s social and political status, to what degree participation in certain kinds of sexual activities constitutes a natural and legitimate identity and whether homosexual inclinations are a product of psychological pathology are all matters of opinion.
There is every reason to expect that large numbers of Americans, on natural and legitimate grounds, would hold 180 degree opposite opinions in this area.
Social and religious conservatives have long since abandoned claims that the state should enforce traditional Judeo-Christian sexual morality on consenting adults with regard to private acts. Today, “the enforcement of morals” (the title of a famous essay on the question of tolerance of homosexuality by Lord Devlin) is, on the contrary, actively, and frequently successfully, pursued by the left.
If right now, at the present time, in which Gay Marriage is only the law of the land in a couple of ultra-liberal states, this kind of claim can be successfully enforced on a business, just imagine what kind of Civil Rights claims will be enforceable in an environment where Gay Marriage is the rule, not the rare aberration. You’ll have lawsuits demanding that Catholic Churches, Mormon Temples, and Jewish Orthodox synagogues solemnize sexually perverted unions, and, I daresay, some of them will prove successful.
The Pasadena-based dating website, heavily promoted by Christian evangelical leaders when it was founded, has agreed in a civil rights settlement to give up its heterosexuals-only policy and offer same-sex matches.
EHarmony was started by psychologist Neil Clark Warren, who is known for his mild-mannered television and radio advertisements. It must not only implement the new policy by March 31 but also give the first 10,000 same-sex registrants a free six-month subscription.
“That was one of the things I asked for,” said Eric McKinley, 46, who complained to New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights after being turned down for a subscription in 2005.
The company said that Warren was not giving interviews on the settlement. But attorney Theodore Olson, who issued a statement on the company’s behalf, made clear that it did not agree to offer gay matches willingly.
“Even though we believed that the complaint resulted from an unfair characterization of our business,” Olson said, “we ultimately decided it was best to settle this case with the attorney general since litigation outcomes can be unpredictable.”
The settlement, which did not find that EHarmony broke any laws, calls for the company to either offer the gay matches …
... on its current venue or create a new site for them. EHarmony has opted to create a site called Compatiblepartners.net.
Warren had said in past interviews that he didn’t want to feature same-sex services on EHarmony—which matches people based on long questionnaires concerning personality traits, relationship history and interests—because he felt he didn’t know enough about gay relationships.
McKinley, who works at a nonprofit in New Jersey he declined to identify, said that he had originally heard of EHarmony through its radio ads. “You hear these wonderful people saying, ‘I met my soul mate on EHarmony.’ I thought, I could do that too,” he said.
But he couldn’t. When he tried to enter the site, the pull-down menus had categories only for a man seeking a woman or a woman seeking a man. “I felt the whole range of emotions,” McKinley said. “Anger, that I was a second-class citizen.”
But instead of just surfing over to a dating site that admits gay lonely hearts, he contacted the New Jersey civil rights division to file a complaint.
The settlement also calls for EHarmony to pay $50,000 to the state for administrative costs and $5,000 to McKinley.
Caught speeding in Highland Park in April in his father’s Acura RSX, Ryan Narciso found out the hard way about a recent change in a New Jersey gun law that could send him to prison for three years.
The 20-year-old sales clerk at a shop at Menlo Park Mall and former Middlesex County College student had a pellet handgun in the car, according to an indictment filed last week in Superior Court, New Brunswick. ...
Narciso’s father, an architect, bought the pellet gun at a garage sale a few years ago to fend off squirrels that made their way into the attic of the families home on Mount Pleasant Avenue in Edison, the father and Narciso’s lawyer, Amilcar Perez of Perth Amboy, said.
Under a new state law, Narciso’s possession of the weapon qualifies as a Graves Act offense. Narciso could face what prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys call a “hard three,” meaning three years with no prospect of parole.
But a state official Wednesday acknowledged that the draconian measure made its way into law by mistake.
The Graves Act, adopted in 1981 and named after Frank X. Graves Jr., the late state senator and law-and-order mayor of Paterson known for patroling the city, outlined mandatory-minimum prison sentences for anyone guilty of using a gun in the commission of a crime in New Jersey. A burglar caught with a handgun, for instance, faced a solid three years behind bars for the gun crime alone.
With little or no fanfare, lawmakers stiffened the Graves Act in the last session. They folded the amendment into anti-gang legislation that Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law in January.
Now, the simple unlawful possession of any firearm can bring mandatory penalties for anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of that crime alone.