The July 4th weekend is a great time for gallery hopping. Many new exhibitions opened their doors last weekend, and I’m going to give you a run down on some of the most interesting—and provocative. The wide variety of artwork may surprise you, and some of it may even shock you.
A good place to start is at AJ Dillon gallery in Atlantic Highlands. The gallery has an exhibition that has been running all month called “Stars and Stripes Forever.” It ends on July 4th, but is well worth squeezing into your schedule.
Gallery owner Frank Leahy asked local artists to come up with their own interpretation of the American flag, or what they think of when they ponder the American flag. One interpretation that grabbed my attention was a large America flag hung sideways with Jimi Hendrix face painted on it. It’s called Don’t Tread on Red by Jana Moriarty. You’ll find it hanging in a place of distinction—a pillar-like wall to the right as you walk in the gallery.
ASBURY PARK — For weeks, I’ve been blasting the A-Team slate for taking custody and control of hundreds of vote-by-mail/absentee ballots, with their supporters and paid operatives delivering them to voters. The voter then completes the ballot and mails it back for counting — or the A-Team delivery person can even take them back. It’s absurd.
The A-Team led by Mayoral candidate Remond Palmer is on track to deliver 500 of these ballots, known as vote-by-mail [VBM] ballots. That’s the election right there. Of course, this law was originally for invalids or shut-ins who had trouble getting their mail and wanted an absentee ballot. The A-Team is trying to drive hundreds of votes through that loophole.
I’ve consistently said they’re doing it wrong. In fact, we went down this road last year, with the Board of Elections disqualifying 250 ballots the A-Team organization delivered to voters in the 2013 election. A Judge agreed and said the applications for the ballots were flawed and the ballots can’t be counted.
By Ernesto Cullari (originally published in triCityNews)
There have been seventeen victims of shootings this year in Asbury Park and five murders. According to some reports we are on track to match violence levels not seen in 20 years. People on both sides of the train tracks are scared.
I’ve read many opinions about how to stop the violence among our youth in Asbury Park and in other cities, where poverty is an issue and most of the solutions focus on more government and more police intervention.
It isn’t government intervention or the threat of jail time that makes a person stop in the moment of anger and refrain from pulling a trigger. Laws don’t prevent kids from joining gangs. Government programs won’t stop a 14-year-old boy from engaging in unprotected premarital sex with a young girl his age and the government certainly won’t raise their child; The government doesn’t teach our youth about the value of human life; but parents do, good role models do too and the Bible does, as well.
Did Martin Luther King, Jr. quote from some government handbook handed down from Valerie Jarrett and Kathleen Sebelius when he faced down both the rising influence of the Black Panthers and social oppressors or did he quote from scripture? If we’re going to rely simply on more government programs, more police and new political initiatives to fix the rising tide of violence in our communities then we’ve failed before we’ve begun. If Christianity, shared in the public square, changed the world then its message certainly can help change the course of our societal problems now. To think otherwise is to ignore the last 2013 years of Western history.
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.
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.
triCityNews publishers Dan Jacobson has launched a hyper-local news site, The Asbury Park Sun, which will cover local events in Asbury Park, Allenhurst, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Ocean Grove and Wanamassa.
Molly Mulshine, the very talented Stimulus Girl, has signed on as the site’s editor.
MMM welcomes our friends to Al Gore’s greatest invention and is pleased to be the first to get them listed on google.
By Ernesto Cullari, also published in the March 15, 2012 edition of the triCityNews
I was 4 years old when my grandfather bought me my first bike. It was fire engine red. During the summer of ‘76 he taught me how to ride that bike and it was with joy and fear that I sought to balance myself on two wheels for the very first time. With one hand on the handlebars and one hand on the back of the seat he would push me, until finally one day he just let me go. I remember feeling thrilled and terrified at the sensation of freedom, it was like sleeping in the dark for the first time with the night-light out. Facing the unknown emboldened me. There are certain joys that we can only know as children: the bonds built with grandparents, triumphs over first fears and the feeling that you come from a uniquely special place, like America.
My grandfather was from the Philippines and during that summer of BBQ’s and fireworks and drive in movie theaters, he often shared with me his joy, his genuine gratitude and happiness with being an American. He didn’t proselytize to me in words. He simply told me what the American Bicentennial was about and the rest of his love for America he shared with me through his actions. He took me everywhere with him.
He often helped Filipino families that had just arrived in America to find work and to network with others that had been here longer and I tagged along with him as he made his rounds in the Filipino communities of East Orange, Union and Piscataway.
My grandfather was not a rich man, by any means, but he owned a home, he owned a car that he bought in cash and he bought and sold various businesses and modest rental properties. He was living the American dream out loud and he allowed me to share the joys of that dream with him.
With that said, I do not recognize the country that we live in today. It bares a striking resemblance to the America that I grew up in, but it is not the same. We live in a time where patriotism must be muted, where faith in God is subject to the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services and where starting a business, no matter how small, requires reams of compliance paperwork, an attorney and several hundred dollars.
John Stossel recently reported that if a child wanted to open up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk that they would have to comply with the following: register with the county clerk as the sole proprietor, apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number, Complete 15 hour Food Protection Course, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate, Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit, buy a portable fire extinguisher, receive a Health Inspection and the list goes on. Government is no longer for the people it is against the people, because it is no longer by the people.
Today government is run by career politicians that make their living not just off a government paycheck, but rather off the inside knowledge that they possess as legislators. The myth exists that because legislators live in the communities that they were elected in that they will legislate in the best interest of their community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s member of Congress makes market decisions that outpace the best market analysts. As a result, the rest of us are struggling to keep our heads over water, we have fallen victim to the greed of a collusive relationship that exists between select corporations and legislators that bend the law to fatten their pocket books. The most corrupt do so behind our backs, while the portfolios of their spouses grow and grow they remain overtly modest.
I desire to live out the freedom that I inherited from my grandfather, I yearn for the days when the shadow of government does not eclipse my dreams, I will worship my God in the way that my soul alone is persuaded and I will fight to make sure that when I am a father that my children inherit these same blessings. It is for these reasons that I announce my intention to represent the Republican Party and the citizens of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties in the race for Congress for the Sixth Congressional District. I am running for Congress and the unknown emboldens me. God-willing we will triumph over our oppressors.
Ernesto Cullari is a candidate for the Republican nomination to Congress from New Jersey’s 6th district
Governor Christie’s flirtation with the national media and GOP fundraisers over running for president started to build momentum during March. He told reporters in Washington that he wouldn’t be governor in 2014. He told the National Review’s Rick Lowry “I already know I could win” the presidency.
The Monmouth County Freeholders suspended three SCAT drivers who had called out sick on February 25 but were caught on camera protesting labor reforms in Trenton. State Senator Joe Kyrillos praised the Freeholders for their action and stepped up his call for civil service reform.
Anna Little told The Auditor that she was thinking of running for U.S. Senate instead of Congress.
Peter Burnham was suspended as Brookdale College President on March 3. On March 9 Burnham resigned.
Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray accurately predicted that Dr. Alan Rosenthal, the tie breaking member of the legislative reapportionment, would choose the Democrats new legislative map. Murray based his prediction on Rosenthal’s scholarlly work espousing “continuity of representation,” i.e., that there is a value to voters being continuously represented by the same legislator after redistricting.
Even though MMM debunked the value of “continuity of representation” and the Bayshore Tea Party Group submitted a constitutional map, Rosenthal did indeed side with the Democrats, thereby assuring Democratic control of the legislature at least until the 2021 election.
By Ernesto Cullari, also published in the December 15, 2011 edition of the triCityNews
I don’t know anything about football, except that I like cheerleaders and half-time shows. As for the game, it just gets in the way of my ability to appreciate those gracious and hardworking women on the field. With that said, I’m not even sure who this guy Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos is. What I am sure of is that he’s quickly becoming a legendary quarterback and, according to Tebow himself, he owes every one of his glorious game performances to Christ Jesus and to his teammates, facts that he is consistently quick to point out.
God is a funny topic, because for too many people in this nation God and His Son Jesus are offensive. Take former Broncos’ QB Jake Plummer for example. During a radio interview in November, with XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix, when asked about Tim Tebow, Plummer stated:
“Tebow, regardless of whether I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates, I think he’s a winner and I respect that about him,” remarked Plummer. “I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff….Like you know, I understand dude where you’re coming from…”
In a nation where people are quick to either pat themselves on the back for the smallest of achievements or deprecate (and likely medicate) themselves over their personal shortcomings and where celebrities and athletes wallow in vainglory, Tebow’s expression of faith in Jesus is humbling. When a person with such great accomplishments refuses to take the credit for himself first, but instead thanks God and his amazing teammates, it is a clear indication of where true glory, long-suffering and meaningful victory comes from. It all comes from the providence of God.
But we are a nation at war with God. Nothing is sacred. We have lost our greatness along with our reverence of God. Look at the evidence. We hate and abuse our greatest of His blessings, our children, by killing them in the womb. And those that survive, we degrade them by sexualizing them in our popular culture. In defiance man’s institutions vainly protect child abusers so as not to sully their reputations. Tim Tebow is a man who knows his place in the world and the value of his life’s blessings. By placing God first in his sights his victory on the field has proper perspective. He is careful to point out that God probably isn’t concerned about the outcome of Broncos’ football games, he acknowledges that God’s work through the faithful can accomplish many great things, least of which is a win on the field. Tebow knows that God is concerned with humility and character.
All across America this Christmas season public schools, city halls and other public settings, once adorned with heartwarming reminders of the Lord’s birth are carefully obscuring any indication of it. Schools no longer celebrate Christmas they celebrate the winter festival. We once were a nation that revered God for blessing us with Liberty. However, groups like the ACLU and others have turned us into a nation that fears litigation over outward expressions of the very traditions and practices that made us a great. A nation without its culture is no more. The indivisible has become divisible.
One of the forefathers of Conservatism, Christopher Dawson once wrote, “It is the religious force which supplies the cohesive force which unifies a society and a culture…a society which has lost its religion becomes sooner or later a society which has lost its culture.”
Take this from a guy who hasn’t been to church on time in a decade. I sit in the last row, in the seat closest to the door and most of the time I forget my Bible in the trunk of my car. We are a nation of ungrateful, profligate spenders with our hands out looking for a piece of someone else’s glory. From the self-righteous Occupy Wall Streeters to the Wall Streeters themselves who willingly received taxpayer bailout money all the way down to little ol’ me, it’s time we kept our hands to ourselves and thanked God as one nation for what we do have.
By putting God back into our culture, back into our daily conversations and back into our moral fabric all things (a great many wonderful things) will once again be possible.
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande
Last week I was treated to a column that the TriCities’ very own publisher (and Independent District 11 Assembly candidate) Dan Jacobson said he’d been ‘itching to write’. I’m not surprised that Dan was feeling a little itchy and uncomfortable prior to writing a column dramatically misrepresenting that I might endorse Dan in his latest political foray. I guess we can take some solace that at least Dan felt a little uncomfortable while knowingly misrepresenting my position! And I know it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek – just like the headline of this column and the made-up Dan quotes below. He did get some things right….Dan and I have indeed been friends for many years, and he is certainly correct that he was a supporter of mine from way-back when I was running for my first term on the Red Bank Borough Council. But I’m friends with a lot of folks that, despite our being friends, don’t receive my endorsement for political office.
I do appreciate Dan’s permitting me to use this space this week to set the record straight and offer my official endorsement for this year’s elections. I’m proud to run with, and support, my two outstanding running-mates: Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini from Ocean Township and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande from Colts Neck, a new demographic for Dan to reach.
Endorsing candidates is something I do not take lightly, and I make sure to hear from all sides before issuing any declaration. On that note, I did not just blindly support my running-mates. I made sure to also reach out to Dan and hear from him on what he’d like to do in his upcoming term if he is elected to return to the Assembly from his 18 year exile.
“Number one, I look forward to raising taxes again on everyday items, just as I did in my first term. Additional taxes on toilet paper, light bulbs, and eggs were such a resounding hit my first time around, I plan on doubling-down in my upcoming term!” Dan told me earlier this week.
Now, of course that’s not a real quote from Dan, just like his “quotes” of me endorsing him weren’t accurate in his column last week. But at least I got the facts straight – Dan did indeed vote in favor of all those taxes back when he originally served in the legislature. The residents of New Jersey couldn’t vote Dan and his legislative mates out of office fast enough then, so sorry Dan, as much as I value our friendship, it would be foolish of us to risk going down that path again. Actually, I should make clear that the “killing puppies” headline was a total fabrication. At least as far as I know.
But back to the choices you have in this election. If you agree that we need less taxation, limited government, leaders in property tax reform, and true accountability in the state legislature, the choice is clear. Both Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande have been vocal leaders in the Assembly, standing up for taxpayers throughout Monmouth County, and the State. My running mates and I have proven track records, having led the way on the historic reforms enacted over the past two years. While Dan may be a good friend, he can’t claim to have been a very effective legislator during his first term. Not honestly anyway.
We are proud to run as Republicans, but both myself and my running mates are extraordinarily deliberative and don’t always just vote the party line. And unlike Dan Jacobson, when we decide to take a stand that some in our party may be opposed to, we don’t resort to physical altercations with our fellow legislators! It’s bad enough the cast of the TV show Jersey Shore make it appear as if we New Jerseyians regularly settle our disputes that way – we don’t need the legislature lending credibility to the portrayal!
Dan is right that our friendship will not be affected by his independent run for the Assembly, and even when Mary Pat and Caroline are re-elected in November, I will still let him pick out the drapes for our legislative offices.
So I guess you heard it here first, Senator Jennifer Beck supports her running mates, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande for the Assembly – emphatically and enthusiastically!
I’m glad I could clear things up. After all, I’m your Senator, I’m here to help!
Prolific Reporter Is Joining The Asbury Park Press
Dustin Racioppi is taking his considerable talent to The Asbury Park Press. Hopefully the creative and entrepreneurial scribe will not be stifled by the suits at Gannett.
“Hopefully I won’t become a “Nudnik'”, said Dustin when confirming his move.
In his two years at RedBankGreen Dustin demonstrated an enviable ability to report local events from car accidents to council meetings with a compelling flair that kept readers coming back for more. He contributed mightly to the impressive growth of RBG and to the emergence of the “hyber-local” news business that the corporate media giants are now unwittingly attempting to homogenize.
Focus is a key to Dustin’s success. He lived and breathed his beat of Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson and Middletown. Last year while preparing to cover Congressman Frank Pallone’s office hours in Long Branch, I reached out to Dustin to see if he was going to cover it. “Long Branch is Jupiter to us,” was his response.
I was surprised when I first heard that Dustin was leaving RBG. While preparing to move MMM to this domain from the old blogspot site I sent a feeler out to Dustin about joining me. “I love working for John Ward,” was his immediate response. That was obvious from the quality of his work.
And Ward, owner/publisher of RBG, obviously loved having Dustin work for him. In an “Help Wanted” ad for reporters on RBG, Ward says:
We’re interested in teaming up with people who can quickly gather information and shape it into brief stories that are factually solid and fair, yet more than mere stenography. A distinctive and confident writer’s voice, or a desire to develop one, is a must. So is a broad range of interests, from the arts to public policy to business. The ability to take a decent photograph is a big plus. Wannabes, whiners and prima donnas: please don’t waste our time. We’re interested in working only with those who demonstrate entrepreneurial energy and focus on what needs to be done. Yeah, they sound boring, but they’re the most fun to be around. And we do have fun here.
In other words, John is looking to clone Dustin. Not an easy person to find, as I have learned over the last year. If you’re out there and love politics more than sprinkling fire hydrants or fireworks shows, call me first, or last.
Dustin’s move comes at a difficult time for RBG as it faces competition for advertising dollars from the patch.com sites and perhaps The Two River Times. Two weeks ago, Dan Jacobson reported in the triCityNews that TRT’s new publisher Ellen McCarthy was planning to convert the weekly paper’s website to an active news site with daily updates. If McCarthy has started doing so, I haven’t noticed. It’s probably still in the planning stages. Diane Gooch is still listed as publisher on the TRT site, an indication that they haven’t gotten to working on the website yet.
MMM wishes the best for Dustin at APP, and for Ward and RBG. While we’re at it, we wish the best for McCarthy and TRT and we pray the Neptune Nudniks learn from Dustin rather than trying to train him into a dead tree scribe. The more quality sources of local information available the better for all of us in this Internet age. I’m pretty sure Ward knows that. Maybe the Nudni’s are beginning to figure that out, but probably not. Jacobson doesn’t care. Only Dan knows how to make dead trees sing.
We don’t wish Patch well so much. We’d love them if they put out a consistently quality product, but that’s difficult if not impossible to do with part-time writers working for an extra $50-$100 per week. In the mean time they’re only mucking up the revenue side of the business. Patch’s only hope long term is for AOL/Ariann Huffington to pay Ward, Jacobson or me hundreds of millions of dollars and then leave us alone to do what we want to do.