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You’ll Never Guess Who’s Trying to Hack Your iPhone

assetContent (6)The FBI wants to search through your electronic life. You may think it’s a given that the government is in the business of collecting everyone’s personal data—Big Brother run amok in defiance of the Constitution. But under the limits of the Fourth Amendment, nothing it finds can be used to prosecute its targets. Now the FBI… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Justice Department, Law Enforcement | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on You’ll Never Guess Who’s Trying to Hack Your iPhone

Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage expires Jan. 6 � or not

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MIAMI — Facing an apparent Jan. 6 deadline to start marrying same-sex couples in Florida, county clerks throughout the state have gotten mixed messages about whether they need to obey a federal judge’s ruling that the state gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional. Come Jan. 6, Florida may become the 36th state in which same-sex couples can get… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Gay Marriage, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage expires Jan. 6 � or not

Essex County authorities’ mistake puts innocent man in jail for 27 days

Essex County authorities’ mistake puts innocent man in jail for 27 days (via NJ.com)

Our story begins one evening six years ago, when Omar Sullivan opened an envelope from Essex County authorities and slowly read the document inside with rising terror. He’d had his share of parking tickets and moving violations, but this notice was…

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Posted: March 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Crime, Crime and Punishment | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Petition For Impeachment Filed Against Judge Paul Escandon

 

Five women whose divorce cases were heard by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon are petitioning the New Jersey General Assembly to impeach the Judge they say violated their rights of due process and equal protection.

WABC-NY first reported the story of the impeachment petition.

Under the New Jersey Constitution, the General Assembly has the sole power to impeach judges by majority vote of the members.  Should a judge be impeached by the Assembly, a trial is held in the Senate.  A conviction and removal from office requires the vote of two-thirds of the Senate members.

Patricia Madison aka Patricia Pisciotti, Rachel Alintoff, Tameka Hunt, Paula Diaz Antonopoulos Wolfe, and Kristen Williams are represented by Robert A. Tandy, Esq., a Woodcliff Lake civil rights and employment attorney.

The women argue that they have no recourse against Escandon, other than impeachment and removal from office, for violating their civil rights due to the broad immunities granted Judges.  They make the following allegations in their petition:

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Posted: September 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Equal Protection Clause, Judicial Reform, Justice, Legislature, Monmouth County Court | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Gay married couple sues Catholic institution over medical benefits

The religious exemptions clause of New York’s same sex marriage law was supposed to be the great compromise that broke down the barriers to gay couples marrying.  Without the protections the clause provided to institutions that objected to same sex marriage on religious grounds, the law would not have passed New York’s legislature or been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year.

New Jersey’s Gay Rights community, which has a history of litigating against religious institutions that refused to allow their properties to be used for civil union ceremonies, embraced the religious exemptions clause and convinced the Democratic leadership of the New Jersey legislature to make same sex marriage the number one priority of the current legislative session.  New Jersey’s legislature passed the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act in February.  Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill and called for the issue to be decided by Constitutional Amendment via referendum.  Despite polls indicating that New Jersey voters favor same sex marriage and that the favor Christie’s proposal to decide the issue via referendum, Garden State Equality and their allies in the legislature opposed a referendum, declaring that same sex marriage is a civil right that should not be decided by the majority at the ballot box.   Privately, same sex marriage advocates have acknowledged that they expect to lose a referendum, despite the polls that indicate they would win.

New York is leading the way again.

The New York Post reports that a lesbian couple from Westchester is seeking to overturn the religious exemptions provision of New York’s same sex marriage law in federal court.  “Jane Roe” and “Jane Doe,” a couple married on October 15, 2011, filed a class action suit in Manhattan because “Roe’s” employer, St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, refused to add “Doe” to the Catholic hospital’s medical benefits.

The class-action suit seeks an order declaring that both women are entitled to insurance coverage under federal law. It also says “thousands of legally married, same-sex couples” have been, or will be, denied benefits under similar policies administered by Empire, which is also named as a defendant.

The women are seeking an injunction ordering Blue Cross Blue Shield not to acquiesce to a company that wants to deny same-sex benefits because of religious beliefs, said Jeffrey Norton, their lawyer.

Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Garden State Equality Claims They’re Close To Marriage Equality Overide

Could Gay Marriage Be An Issue In The U.S. Senate Race?

In an email to his membership this afternoon, Garden State Equality President Steven Goldstein claimed that the New Jersey State Legislature is close to overriding Governor Chris Christie’s veto of the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act:

This has already been the most productive year in our organization’s history.  We passed marriage equality through both houses of the legislature, and quickly followed that up with the passage and signing into law of a new school bullying bill.  In recent weeks, we’ve been laying the groundwork to achieve marriage equality through an override of Governor Christie’s veto.  Since the legislature voted to pass marriage equality in February, we’ve won over another couple of legislators to our side.   If you signed up to form an Override Club of your friends and neighbors in your legislative district to help us strategize and organize for marriage equality locally, we’ll be calling you soon.

Friends, we are closer to seeing marriage equality become law in New Jersey than we ever thought would be possible under a Governor opposed to marriage equality.  I swear to God, if someone would have told me a couple of years ago – when we all assumed we’d have to wait until another Governor to win – that we could be this unbelievably close this soon, frankly I’d have told them they were crazy.  Our momentum is stunning.  Our dream is in our grasp.  And we have you to thank.  You never stopped believing.  Together, we have never let up.

“It’s not happening,” said a GSE sympathiser who asked not to be identified, “Steve must be trying to gin up his troops or raise money.  An override is less likely now than it was in February.”

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Posted: May 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Bob Menendez, Civil Rights, Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Garden State Equality Claims They’re Close To Marriage Equality Overide

Black Kids In Asbury Park Shooting Each Other, Part One: Why It’s Happening

By Tommy DeSeno, also published in the April 12, 2012 edition of the triCityNews

We were warned in 1965 but failed to listen.  In that year Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the most respected Democrats to ever live, issued a report to the Department of Labor that has become known as “The Moynihan Report.”  It was entitled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”

Brevity requires me to get right to the paper’s thesis, simply stated therein:

The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence – not final, but powerfully persuasive – is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated.

Deteriorating “family structure” is the problem.  What specifically is Moynihan referring to?   The absence of a father in the Black household:

In essence, the Negro community has been forced into a matriarchal structure which, because it is out of line with the rest the American society, seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole, and imposes a crushing burden on the Negro male and, in consequence, on a great many Negro women as well.

It has to be acknowledged that the ideal situation to live in, giving the most likely chance for success of a family, is the traditional nuclear family with a father and mother supporting one another in the household.  As Moynihan points out, that isn’t a knock on other matriarchal societies.  However, when a majority in a nation is not matriarchal, and the minority is, that is devastating, even emasculating, to the male minority.

It is recognized that human situations won’t allow all to grow up in a nuclear family.  Also, since we are talking about a sample of 300 million people in America, you will be able to find some examples of children from single mother households who have done better than children from nuclear families.  That, however, is highlighting the exception while hiding the rule.

Statistics, as pointed out in The Moynihan report, reveal that the nuclear Black family with both parents in the household see their children grow up on average with higher IQs, less crime and more financial success than their single mother counterparts.

The report notes:

The role of the family in shaping character and ability is so pervasive as to be easily overlooked. The family is the basic social unit of American life; it is the basic socializing unit. By and large, adult conduct in society is learned as a child.

What role should young boys learn from their fathers?  The Moynihan Report quotes cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead:

“In every known human society, everywhere in the world, the young male learns that when he grows up one of the things which he must do in order to be a full member of society is to provide food for some female and her young.”

Moynihan adds to that:  This pattern is not immutable, however: it can be broken, even though it has always eventually reasserted itself Replicas Inflatable Cemento.

It couldn’t be clearer that the pattern among poor blacks has been toward households empty of fathers.  Unfortunately, despite the devastation it can bring to the children, fatherless Black households are growing.  Black children are learning more often than not that leaving families behind is an acceptable choice (I acknowledge the growing trend among white fathers today too).

Back in 1965 when the Moynihan Report was written, on average 36% of Black children were living in broken homes at any given moment.  That number has risen since then for both whites and non-whites, but today’s numbers for Blacks are alarming:  Nationwide 70% of Black children are born into single parent households, while in Asbury Park estimates have been as high as 90%.  The poor Black family has continued to disintegrate.

Understand, so there is no mistake, that Moynihan finds no shortcoming of the Black male or female: Genetically, the intelligence potential is distributed for Black infants in the same proportions as Icelanders, Chinese and every other group.

However, when testing Blacks alone, the pattern is clear that Black children from stable families fare far better than those from fatherless homes. 

Included in the areas where Blacks from broken homes fall short is crime.  Moynihan quotes several sources, including a study that showed 3/4ths – or twice the expected ratio – of Philadelphia’s Black juvenile delinquents came from one parent households. 

Moynihan was careful to note the outside pressures on the Black male, including segregation, alienation and prejudice in obtaining employment.  His point, however, is that the Black child from a stable family is given the emotional support to deal with it, while the child of the single parent family is often left with a hopelessness and quitting attitude based upon the actions of his absent father.

The shooting of young people in Asbury Park is not occurring to middle class children with stable homes.   This behavior was presciently predicted by Moynihan.  

So who is to blame for Asbury Park’s fatherless homes and children shooting each other?  I have narrowed it down to 35 people here in the City.   In the next issue of triCityNews, I will name names and tell you who is at fault.

Posted: April 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Civil Rights, Economy, Education, Race, Tommy DeSeno, triCityNews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I Have a Dream

By Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, as delivered at the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963

1000509261001_2098673023001_Martin-Luther-King-The-King-YearsI am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

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Posted: January 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, JR, Martin Luther King | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »