Friday, December 19, 2008

Defending NJ Against All Odds

New Jersey often is the butt of jokes and the target of harsh criticism. Sometimes the comments that come our way are unfair. But at other times, it is not too difficult to understand why the rest of the country takes a dim view of the Garden State. Consider these recent news items:

A New Jersey couple who named their son Adolph Hitler made international headlines when a local ShopRite refused to put the boy’s name on a birthday cake. READ

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who claimed that President-elect Barack Obama is not qualified for the presidency because he was not born in the United States. READ

After the Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading of National Lampoon stock and accused chief executive officer Daniel Laikin of stock manipulation, the media reported that National Lampoon's largest outside stockholder, besides Laikin and his fellow insiders, is the New Jersey Division of Investments. READ
Not that any of this is new. Recently, while reading Lawrence and Cornelia Levine’s book on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, I could not help but notice that the authors noted that although Roosevelt received thousands of letters commending his fireside chats, there also was some negative feedback, including this comment from a New Jersey resident: “I wouldn’t urinate on you if you were burning at the stake.”

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