Jan. 24, 4:45 p.m.: I’m back. Let’s talk about Hillary and the ISCJ plan

The junior senator from New York steps way over the line.

By: Hank Kalet
   Once again, I have to begin a post by apologizing for my negligence in not posting. I’d like to promise that it won’t happen again, but I can’t make that kind of a promise. So here goes the blogging for today:

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   I have been wondering if anyone on the left was going react to the nonsensical comments made by the junior senator from New York during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony at a New York church last week. (Read this response by the Rev. Byron Williams.)
   In case you’d forgotten, here is what she said:
   "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I’m talking about."
   Ugh. Granted, this is not the same as pining for the days of segregation, a la Sen. Trent Lott, but it is offensive, nonetheless. It smacks of a kind of racial elitism and pandering that we should be beyond. And it’s the kind of comment that the senator’s critics rightly point to as example of her willingness to say and do almost anything to gain a political edge.

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   I received a letter this week from someone saying he was a member of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey. The letter, which will run in Thursday’s paper, accused us of running a one-sided story on the society’s plans to expand the mosque and school, build senior housing and offices. The story, the letter writer said, took a sensationalistic approach to the issue and appeared designed to drive a wedge between the Muslim community and rest of the township.
   Aside from criticism of the paper — which I believe was unwarranted — the letter took the larger community to task, accusing many of the mosque’s neighbors of basing their opposition on the religion of the applicants.
   These is an issue that needed to be raised. Among the questions that we need to ask is this: Would this application be meeting the same kind of criticism if it had been proposed by one of the two Catholic parishes in town or by one of the Presbyterian churches? My sense is yes.
   The issue, I think, is scope. We are talking about two dozen townhouses, office space and a parking garage in addition to the mosque expansion and school, all on 16 acres. That’s a lot to squeeze onto a relatively small parcel.
   The flip side of the question being raised by the letter writer is this: Would neighbors object just as strongly to a an application from some random developer to build 24 townhouses and offices on 16 acres?
   Anyone who knows South Brunswick knows what the answer to this question is.