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Category: Cultural Issues

NJ-03: Equal Pay in a Moral Vacuum

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

macarthur belgard debate

Photo credit: MacArthur for Congress

I’ve devoted a lot of digital ink to explaining why equal pay “mythology” has no place in the mainstream political discourse. Bad statistics, manipulated statistics, and culture mores exert a larger impact on gender pay inequities – to the extent they even still exist – than any species of discrimination.

But Democrats need to campaign on something, right? They sure as hell can’t run on their President’s record. So intellectual lightweights like Amiee Belgard resurrect bad arguments and try to beat their opponents over the head with them.

Here’s one exchange from Friday’s NJ-03 debate that’s particularly telling:


Rand Paul: Silent Star of Booker’s 1st TV Ad?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Screenshot from Cory Booker's first TV #njsen spot, "True"

Screenshot from Cory Booker’s first TV #njsen spot, “True”

He isn’t explicitly mentioned, Save Jerseyans, and you never see his curly hair or slight frame in the first campaign TV spot of 2014 released by Cory Booker (D-Twitter), but a rudimentary Google search sets the issue to rest:

Cory is talking about his buddy… Rand.

“I mean it, and I did it,” Booker brags in the 30-second spot.

Did what? There’s a few things in the fire (e.g. he teamed with Tim Scott of SC on the LEAP Act), but Booker and Senator Paul made headlines and raised eyebrows when the odd couple partnered to support criminal justice reforms in the realm of “non-violent” drug crime. Interestingly, the move put Paul squarely in opposition with Booker’s 2014 general election opponent, Jeff Bell, who advocates a more traditional conservative approach to social issues ranging from drugs to gay marriage.

Click here to watch it.


RNC Profiles Rodriguez-Gregg

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

In an effort to remind people that the GOP isn’t just a bunch of pissed off old white guys complaining about their taxes, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is seizing upon Hispanic Heritage Month to profile Republican Hispanic lawmakers around the country. One of this week’s honorees was our very own Asw. Maria Rodriquez-Gregg (R-8) of Burlington County: 

There’s more dimensions to our New Jersey Republican coalition than some would lead you to believe, Save Jerseyans, partly because “we” have rarely done a good job of showcasing it. Hopefully that’s starting to change; here’s a run-down of this year’s extremely diverse NJ GOP House candidates in case you missed it…


Belgard Attacks MacArthur… for Helping Young Pregnant Women?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Aimee Belgard (left) and Tom MacArthur (right)

Aimee Belgard (left) and Tom MacArthur (right)

Yup, you read that correctly.

Democrat Aimee Belgard is actually criticizing Republican Tom MacArthur for donating $24,000 to a non-profit, North Jersey-based charity that helps pregnant women contemplate alternatives to abortion… a donation made in his deceased child’s name!

Background: MacArthur’s own charitable foundation, In God’s Hands Charitable Foundation, contributed the funds to 1st Choice Women’s Health Center back in 2012. The organization operates crisis pregnancy centers in Morristown, Jersey City, Newark and Montclair, providing a variety of services ranging from counseling and emergency contraception information to ultrasounds and STD screenings. But since they’re not fans of abortion, Aimee Belgard is foaming at the mouth over it…


Roger Goodell is NOT the Problem

By Joe Schilp | Joe’s Blog

roger goodell

Roger Goodell speaks at the Super Bowl Handoff Ceremony (February 1, 2014)

Months ago, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for 2 games for knocking out his then-fiancee (now wife) in an elevator, I immediately felt that the penalty was not nearly enough.  Consider, former Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito got an 8-game suspension last season – and has not even been signed this season – for simply being one of a handful of teammates to exchange some taunting, private text messages with a teammate.  So, no, I did not think Goodell’s penalty was enough.

That said, the ridiculous grandstanding by attention-seeking legislators and marginalized groups like the National Organization of Women (they’re still around?!?!) calling for Goodell to lose his job are ridiculous.


NJ GOP Showcases Historically Diverse House Candidate Team

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

New Jersey's 2014 GOP House candidates.

New Jersey’s 2014 GOP House candidates.

We always hear about how the Republican Party generally “lacks diversity” and, in many ways, this is true. But you and I know that we’re still the Party of Lincoln, Save Jerseyans, and this year in New Jersey, the group of men and women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is very diverse in every sense of the word.

It was on full display at Wednesday evening’s birthday-themed NJ GOP fundraiser in East Brunswick (though it continues to go largely unreported by the mainstream media crowd).

You already know the incumbents, and we’ve written quite a bit about our friends Tom MacArthur, Garry Cobb and Alieta Eck here at Save Jersey.

Some others with whom you might be less familiar?


Rutgers Prof: Racism Makes Poor People Fat

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

CheeseburgerHigher education has hit another new low, Save Jerseyans. And naturally it had to happen here.

A new “study” (click here) by Rutgers University Luis Rivera claims that U.S. ethnic minority groups suffer from disproportionate levels of obesity because… brace yourselves… “racial microaggressions” result in unhealthy dietary habits.

“When you are exposed to negative stereotypes, you may gravitate more toward unhealthy foods as opposed to healthy foods,” Rivera recently opined in the Journal of Social Issues. “You may have a less positive attitude toward watching your carbs or cutting back on fast food, and toward working out and exercising.”


Youth and Guns in America

By James Pezzullo | The Save Jersey Blog

1946 Rifle ClubI’ve talked before about young people and their distrust for government and authority in general, Save Jerseyans. At length.

Raised on the Internet whereas our parents were reared on fixed-scheduled Saturday morning cartoons, we’ve come to place a high value on our freedom of choice – real freedom, not only from oppressive government action but from social taboo and cultural norms – above all other things, up to and including life.

On the flip side, we don’t know what a pre-9/11 world looks like. Red light cameras, metal detectors at every turn, heinous airport security – these things are completely normal to myself and my peers, because we’ve never seen a world without them.

You might think that the under-30 crowd may simply have buckled to these authoritarian practices, and it is now desperately grasping for whatever scraps of individual liberty are left. But as it turns out, there is hope – youth have been showing signs of life on turning back the clock on an important issue: gun control.


Give Me Pork Roll Or Give Me Death!

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

pork rollIn the Winooski, Vermont, Save Jerseyans, we have our latest example of political correctness run amok.

The restaurant “Sneakers Bistro” decided to remove an advertising sign, something they were permitted to display by the city for sponsoring a beautification project, which referenced bacon after a Muslim woman reportedly complained about it in a community forum.

Sneakers Bistro removed the sign out of ‘respect for diversity’ and ‘concerns for safety.’

What safety concerns? The safety of the woman who complained?


Are You A Witness? Or a Spectator?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Irish Catholic Union troops receive absolution at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863)

Irish Catholic Union troops receive absolution at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863)

ALSA isn’t trumpeting its support for embryonic stem cell research these days, Save Jerseyans, but more and more pro-life groups and institutions are speaking up to raise awareness of where donations made through’s “ice bucket challenge” might go. Hopefully next time we’ll all get on the ball a little sooner.

I found this portion of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark’s statement (released last Friday) to be particularly poignant:

As you begin any project involving an organization not affiliated with the Catholic Church, you have a very clear and wonderful opportunity to engage your parishioners, your staffs and students in a conversation about the Church’s position on stem cell research. The Church opposes embryonic stem cell research because the cells are taken from embryos that are about 5 days old, invariably destroying that early human life.

It also can be an opportunity for each of us to be present, as Christ wants us to be, to those who may approach us with the idea of participating in a particular fundraising event because someone in his or her family suffers from the disease. That person’s pain and anguish is very real, and as a Church, we should work to ease that burden.

I don’t think you need to be a Catholic, or even a Christian, to appreciate the truth contained in this statement.


UPDATE: ALSA Kills Pro-Embryonic Stem Cell Page?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Screenshot of ALSA's "stem cell primer" page

Screenshot of ALSA’s “stem cell primer” page

I never expected my explanation for declining the ALS “ice bucket challenge” to go viral, Save Jerseyans, truly and sincerely, but I am gratified that so many readers contacted me to express a new-found determination to view all social media activism with a skeptical eye. It’s important. Some even shared creative attempts to modify the ALS challenge by promoting more ethically-appropriate alternatives for their charitable donations. Congratulations! You’re making a difference rather than promote the cause of some human beings at the expense of others.

We’re also bringing attention to an issue that wasn’t getting nearly enough coverage prior to the last few days.

Less inspiring? The ALS Association’s apparent remedial attempt to obscure their support for embryonic stem cell research.


Which Came First: The Referendum Or the Egg?

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Fried egg sunny side upRecent political story lines covered right here at Save Jersey have me thinking to how we got where we are today, Save Jerseyans. 

Embryonic stem cell research played a huge role in the campaign when I ran against Congressman Rush Holt back in 2006.

My opponent had wanted government to finance research in this area. My response at the time was that adult stem cell research has shown more promise than embryonic and, moreover, that government should not be in the business of funding questionable research; why should our tax money fund a less-promising, ethically-questionable approach when there were better options? 

Rep. Holt responded that it isn’t our tax money that would be spent on the research as it would be…. federal money that would fund it. Huh? Where does that Federal money come from? 

A year later, in 2007, this question was placed on the ballot for New Jersey voters:


Why I Can’t Accept the ALS Challenge

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

dana redd

Mayor Dana Redd (D-Camden) participates in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge posed to her by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-Twitter).

I’ve received several ALS “ice bucket challenges” in recent days, Save Jerseyans, and I don’t fault a single one of my friends out there in the social media digital ether for it. Thank you for trying to include me. Sincerely.

Please don’t think I’m unappreciative of what my fellow humans are trying to accomplish out there. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is an insidious neurodegenerative disease affecting everything from speech and swallowing to basic mobility. Experts estimate that 30,000 Americans suffer from the disease. It’s as fine a focus of #hashtagactivism as any.

But I can’t accept the challenge. I hope you’ll understand why.


Michael Brown Was Statistically Doomed in Liberal America

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Mainstream reporting outlets and right-leaning media are engaged in their familiar tug-of-war battle this morning, Save Jerseyans, debating whether there was justification for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson. I waited to weigh in initially because it’s tough to cut through the rhetorical, hyper-emotional clutter in the immediate wake of a charged situation. Some people who are incapable of listening to reason in the first 72 hours might just open their ears, brains, hearts, etc., a week or so later.

Here goes nothing: frankly, while I’m touched by sadness every single time a young life ends needlessly, regardless of causation, the fact remains that the Michael Brown case is extremely rare.


Christians: Still the World’s Most Persecuted

By Alyssa Lafage | Convictions of Faith

Daniel's Answer to the King Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1615)

Daniel’s Answer to the King
Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1615)

I just finished interviewing Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. Check out the interview here. We discussed religious freedom and some of the recent attempts to neutralize Christianity in America, such as the Veterans Administration in Michigan removing all symbols of Christianity in their chapel. The discussion led me to consider the topic a little more broadly, especially in light of the Christian persecution going on in Iran at the hands of ISIS. I wondered how prevalent Christian persecution of any type was in the rest of the world?

After just a short time digging, I found some pretty startling information. For instance, did you know that Christians are currently the most persecuted religious group in the world?