Bruce Springsteen, Will You Support Asbury Park Gays Against Bigotry and Refuse to Play There, Too?


By Tommy DeSeno

Tommy DeSeno1Greetings, Bruce!

I hail from the City of your choosing, Asbury Park New Jersey.  A fan since you named your first album after our fair city; I’m one of your loyal “kids huddled on the beach in the mist.”  We’ve met on those nights you thrill the locals with impromptu performances at the Stone Pony, which made that venue famous.

I’ve noticed your occasional forays into politics, including your concert cancellation in North Carolina to protest laws about who gets to use what bathroom, and who gets to sue for discrimination.

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Posted: April 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Monmouth County News, Opinion, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce to Honor Company Connected to Homophobic, Racist Sheikh

By Tommy DeSeno

carousel_awards_2016The Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce by all accounts is handled well. It was once as out of sorts as the City itself, run by the gas company with mostly out of City gatherings.

Lifetime resident Don Stine gave it a boost in 2002.  He formed the competing “Asbury Park Merchants Guild,” which gobbled up all the new businesses that were opening at the time as members.  It was vibrant, fresh and gave Asbury Park some great events. Little did anyone know Stine purposely designed it not to last.  He wanted to jump start the Chamber through competition, then eventually merge with it.  That happened.  The Merchants Guild became a special events committee of the Chamber, which has been running well ever since.

Yet there is something ominous coming this May 13, when the Chamber honors the Stone Pony with a Carousel Award, despite it being revealed that the parent company who owns the Pony is rooted in the Middle East and has a brutal Sharia Law advisor named Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

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Posted: March 30th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Monmouth County News, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bonnie Prince Donnie Wants to Thwart the Will of the Voters

By Tommy DeSeno

Tommy DeSeno1Call him Bonnie Prince Donnie.

In the 18th century, Bonnie Prince Charlie, aka Charles Edward Stuart, was the last Jacobite Pretender to the throne of England. The Bonnie Prince thought the English throne was his birthright, so he traveled the countryside picking fights with anyone who disagreed.

Donald Trump, our current Bonnie Prince, acts very much the same. His intemperance and penchant for vengeance is manifest in response to any challenge to him, with no crack too lowbrow, be it McCain’s heroics, Carly’s face or Megyn’s menstrual cycle. Only a Jacobean sense of entitlement could bring a Wharton grad into the gutter. Even Jeb knew the Presidency had to be earned, not inherited or claimed.

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Posted: March 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Opinion, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Anatomy of a Media Fabricated News Story – Gannett Style

Tommy DeSeno1By Tom DeSeno

This morning (March 2nd 2016) people in the shore area in the central part of New Jersey woke up to an editorial in the Asbury Park Press, the only daily newspaper that serves two large counties, viciously attacking Governor Christie and demanding his resignation.

“Wow” the people of Monmouth and Ocean counties must have thought.   “This editorial staff must have really put a great deal of independent thought into this, to be this hard on the Governor,” they must have thought.

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Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Chris Christie, Media, NJ Media, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

A Pussy Riot in Asbury Park

By Tom DeSeno

Pussy Riot PosterA friend once told me that he snot-chuckles like a 14 year old boy whenever he hears the name of the Russian female protest collective Pussy Riot.   That’s culturally understandable.

Don’t mistake though the seriousness of these women and the issues that surround them.  They are making a fascinating imprint on modern politics, power and protest.

On February 24 the House of Independents, Asbury Park’s new venue that is giving that City the artistic aesthetic it always pretended to have, is presenting “A Conversation with Pussy Riot:  Hosted by John Cameron Mitchell.”

To get a proper perspective of Pussy Riot, you have to realign your point of view from American to Russian when dealing with political terms.  It also helps to look at what they aren’t as much as what they are.

They aren’t a band, at least not in the traditional sense.   There’s music, but it’s not their focus.  It’s not even good music, probably by their own intention.  The music is beside the point of their varied socio-political messages.

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Posted: February 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Monmouth County News, Opinion, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on A Pussy Riot in Asbury Park

Islamic Company Selling “Sharia-Compliant Mortgages” Controls Asbury Park, NJ’s Boardwalk

By Tommy DeSeno

Sheikh Usmani

Sheikh Usmani

With ISIS committing terrorism on 4 continents, and President Obama importing refugees from their home territory, now is a bad time to offer interest-free Sharia Law mortgages in America, but that’s exactly what one company is doing.

The beach town of Asbury Park, New Jersey has undergone a slow-grinding redevelopment for the better part of 30 years.   Bereft of money in 2007, the City sold millions of dollars worth of storied boardwalk buildings including Convention Hall to a private company – Madison Marquette.  Madison Marquette also owns concert venues near the boardwalk like the famed Stone Pony.  They are positioned in expensive retail properties across America in California, Ohio, Washington DC, Florida and more.

What few know is that Madison Marquette is owned by an Islamic company rooted in the Middle East; a company whose other subsidiary specializes in “Sharia Law Compliance” and lures Sharia-following Muslims to 23 states with interest-free home mortgages.

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Posted: January 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, ISIS, Monmouth County News, Opinion, Tommy DeSeno, War on terror | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

What Happens When The President Uses The “N” Word?

By Tom DeSeno


“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Juliet of the House of Capulet

Tommy DeSeno1I’ve written columns for many outlets over the past 15 years, and one practice I’ve always maintained is to spell out the whole “N” word when it is being used in an historical context, as in, “Slave owners referred to blacks as “N.” I do the same when quoting another person, as in, “He called him a “N.” I’ve also reserved the right to spell it out in condemnation of the word itself, as in, “It’s wrong to call anyone a “N.”

My thinking was that the “N” word is an insult when intended that way. I owe my American brothers and sisters with superior protective pigment the courtesy of not using that word as an insult, because it is worse than other words on the insult scale.

However, I don’t owe anyone a distortion of history. I don’t owe anyone less than exactitude when it comes to a quote, lest I be distorting history myself.

Yet every single editor I’ve had changes the spelled out word to the abbreviated “N word” before my column is published (I’m using the abbreviated “N” word now instead of spelling out the word, in recognition of Ricochet’s past practice).

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t use the word casually. I don’t use it in my own conversations and have not done so in decades. I think the only time I ever really used it was during a fistfight on the playground. There are different rules when throwing down — I would get called a cracker, a honky, etc. and I would yell out as many reciprocal remarks as I could. None of the white or black kids watching considered it racist. Afterwards, even the combatants did not. When you are in a fight, the rules of decorum are suspended. You’retrying to insult the guy you’re punching in the face.

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Posted: June 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Opinion, Race, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments »

50 Shades of Useless Sociology

By Tom DeSeno

“It is always of interest to know what strikes another human being as remarkable.”Graham Greene

Party in aisle 1550 Shades of Grey: never has a book caused so many random acts of sociology, with people exclaiming what the book “says about women” or “means for society.” A Google search will turn up varied exclamations that the book is the apocalyptic forbearer of all things pro-feminist, anti-feminist, or pro and anti-capitalist. It also apparently has implications for class warfare, abuse, romance and the death of chivalry. Good grief. Despite my promise not to join this collection of chaos by opinion, I suspect I will.

My intent is only to state that the desire and act of sex itself is fraught with simplicity. There is no great mystery to it, only a juvenile fascination with the subject by artists. That cloak of mystification is buttoned tighter by the faux-Freudian analysis of people who will find “deeper meaning” in any thing, or any act, when, in reality, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

When I mention the simplicity of sex, I carve out first “romance” and all the emotional baggage that comes from coupling (or, since it’s the 21st century, tripling and quadrupling). I leave for another day the religious determination that sex is for procreation, as even Catholics will admit (since the Vatican promotes the rhythm method), that sometimes sex serves other purposes, like stress relief. I write here only of people who are secure in their partnering.

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Posted: February 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Opinion, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 50 Shades of Useless Sociology

Tell Me Why I Should Bother Voting In A Gerrymandered District

By Tommy DeSeno

Tommy DeSenoI think I need a political intervention.   I’m apathetic. I can’t find a reason to vote next year in the midterm congressional races.  Upon self-reflection I can’t decide if I’m enlightened or jaded.  Or both.   I just know I no longer care to cast a ballot.

I grew up schooled with the same civic lessons as the rest of America.  Served to me in full measure was that good government is  the result of the patriotic duty of voting and I swallowed it all.

I have been voting for more than 30 years and don’t recall having ever missed an opportunity to vote for a congressman.

Yet I’ve come to realize that I’ve been denied the opportunity to ever vote for a congressman.

Like elsewhere, the year after the census New Jersey gets redistricted.   Some connected political sorts from both parties negotiate in a hotel and as best I can tell, decide how the parties will split the state’s congressional delegation for the next 10 years.   Following that, the rest of us dutifully vote and pretend like it matters, doing nothing more than adding a façade of legitimacy to the literal backroom deal of the redistricting committee.

I lived for many years in what is now New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District (the number of the district has changed but the same suspect remains at-large).

The Congressman in NJ 6 is Democrat Frank Pallone, Jr.   Pallone serves many Monmouth County residents.  On the County level, Monmouth has been overwhelmingly a Republican county for decades.  Pallone represents  28 Monmouth County towns and 9 from Middlesex County.  However, Frank’s district has in it tentacles that grab certain neighborhoods (not even whole towns) from two other counties that are Democrat strongholds (and you can guess why).

In doing so the 6th district lumps together sleepy little shore towns in one county with industrial settings in another, creating a varied constituency where the people have little in common.

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Posted: July 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Congress, Congressional Redistricting, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Open Letter to Monmouth Freeholders: You don’t need a park in Asbury

By Tommy De Seno, Asbury Park Historian, proud Blue Bishop and contributor to More Monmouth Musings




Bradley CoveAsbury Park is everyone’s business.  Why?  The rest of the taxpayers in the State of New Jersey spend $60 million annually on the schools.   Even though the High School graduates only about 95 students, they just installed an $800,000.00 turf football field.  Go Blue Bishops.


The City turns to the State of New Jersey annually for $10-12 million to close their budget gap.


So yes –  the business of Asbury Park is everyone’s business.  We should all closely monitor their elections, but since they hold non-partisan elections in May they get ignored.  


Now I’m not here to beat up the City by the Sea, the Urban Sand, my beloved childhood home of Asbury Park.   If anyone cares to know I’ll gladly regale you with lectures on how Asbury Park got to be where it is (it isn’t just their fault) and how they should get to where they need to go.


But blog space compels me to limit my words to one issue at a time, and that issue right now has to do with the Monmouth County Parks Commission possibly purchasing a piece of land on Asbury Park’s beachfront.


Whatever you do, my dear Freeholders, don’t buy it.

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Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Asbury Park Sun, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Park System, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »