Featured Story:

Credico For Governor

Saturday, September 06, 2014

<strong>Credico For Governor</strong>

Randy Credico

On the first day of the meetings held by Barack Obama to instigate so-called health care reform, the president assured us that "single--payer is off the table."

This meant there'd be no true reform. It meant that the insurance, pharmaceutical and medical cartels had eliminated any immediate possibility that the United States would adopt the civilized and sane approach that delivers health care all over the world in a  fairer  and more effective fashion than in our country. It meant that life and death decisions about care would still too often be made in corporate skyscrapers devoid of even one person wearing a stethoscope. And what it really meant to me was that once again my views would not be given any sort of hearing. They were wiped from the table like greasy residue much more reminiscent of the fingerprints of politicians and their corporate masters than the reasonable aspirations of an informed citizen.

So I'm  done with the either/or choices provided by the two-party system because really, it offers no choice at all. The only thing this system offers someone like me is an occasional chance to stand behind a Quixotic candidate who enters a race to seize a few rays of the spotlight to illuminate crucial issues that have been wiped off the table by politicians because of what they received under the table.

Over more than four decades as a political activist, I have learned one unyielding truth: never trust anyone who wants to be in charge.

On Tuesday, September 9, there is a Democratic Primary in New York State. I am not a registered Democrat  because I hold anything dear about a party that has produced the likes of Bill Clinton, the father of modern day D acquiescence to the corporate agenda or the disappointment that has been Barack Obama or a weasel like Chuck Schumer. I'm a registered donkey because my affiliation threatens the entrenched tangle of upstate Republican reactionaries who have done NOTHING for this overlooked and crumbling part of New York. Nothing that is, unless you think an economy should be built on Walmart superstores and dozens of "correctional facilities."

The choice in the Dem primary for governor offers us incumbent Andrew Cuomo, a man who is in charge and will do anything to stay in charge, newcomer (carpetbagger) Zephyr Teachout who desperately wants to be in charge, and Randy Credico, who doesn't want to be in charge. He just wants justice and he wants the advocates of justice to have a place at the table.

Cuomo has refused to debate anyone. Teachout connived to keep Credico out of a debate in which she basically was unchallenged except for a Cuomo proxy who spouted a few platitudes and then got back to his busy business receiving and delivering bags.

Teachout is opposed to fracking, as is Credico. Cuomo straddles the fence on an issue that threatens upstate's greatest resource: water.

But Teachout says little or nothing about the only viable mass transit that's been developed between upstate and downstate over the past 40 years-- the railroad that employs heinously unjust drug laws to move (mostly) people of color from New York City to upstate penitentiaries.

Credico has fought the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws and spearheaded the movement that has at least mitigated their lethally unjust enforcement. He has fought the racist stop and frisk policies of the NYPD. He has stood up again and again to the point where he has provoked the militarized NYPD to martial his voice off the street and into the squalid jails of our nation's largest city.

While Teachout, a recent emigre from Vermont,  vaguely condemns the corporate agenda, only Credico addresses economic reality by detailing how corporations, and particularly Wall Street, must stop robbing our society  by sneaking purloined bounty through tax loopholes provided by the exact same kind of government that brought us 300 million-payer healthcare reform. Credico knows genuine reform doesn't involve rearranging boondoggles.

Each time Teachout meets Credico, she corners him, not to assure him that she has been inspired by his 30 years of work to make New York a more just state, not to seek his advice on anything, but to implore him to get out of the race because Credico stands between her and her pipe dream that she will somehow win on Tuesday. And then win in November and end up in charge. So I don't trust her.

Randy knows neither of them has a chance to beat the incumbent. He doesn't stay in the race because he wants to stay in charge. Randy stays in the race because he wants justice and he wants all of us to have a voice in this society. For keeping my voice at the table, I will vote for Randy Credico on Tuesday. I hope a surprising number of New Yorkers do the same.


Featured Story:

Act Naturally

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

<strong>Act Naturally</strong>

Noted auteur Bobcat Goldthwait's ong-awaited spring project will be a documentary about his longtime pal, me!  

In just three days Goldthwait will bring a team of big-time Hollywood pros to the Northeast to begin grilling my friends and/or associates about my conduct and whereabouts over the past several decades.

I'm truly flattered and humbled to have such a talented artist focus his great skills on me and my life. I'm also anticipating having a million laughs doing this thing.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go shop for berets and ascots.


Featured Story:

Forestalled Farewell

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

<strong>Forestalled Farewell</strong>

For over two years I've resisted reading Imaginary Runner, Bill Morrissey's second and final novel. I'd received a copy at his memorial show in late 2011 and wanted to read it the second I got it but knew when I finished it, I'd be done with the last grand project of his life. I wasn't ready to get to the back cover of the book because its end seemed to me a natural boundary, the final time Bill would speak to me in words that he ingeniously sequenced and with which I was still unfamiliar.

The other day I could wait no longer, picked it up and read until his last tale was told. It was pure Bill: compelling, delightful, sly, witty and warm.

Relatively early in the novel he stopped me cold with a passage describing the thoughts of the protagonist, Bruno Bates, as he lay stricken with food poisoning in a mediocre Nebraska motel room. Listen:

Lying on his side he imagined dying in that room and being discovered by a chambermaid, angry she'd been kept at work too long. Names of famous people who'd died in hotel rooms came to him and he reasoned the more time you spent on the road, the greater your chances of dying in a motel."

By the time the limited edition of his lovely last effort was published, Bill's name was added to that lonely famous person list. I hope the chambermaid was not angry. I'd like to think Bill's presence even, and especially, in death was more than enough to bring respect from any honest, hard-working person who came upon his earthly remains.

I hope so but if not, it was just one last bump in a road he ran with great imagination, boundless humanity and, at times, too much prescient insight for his own good.

Now I really miss you, pal.

-- Barry Crimmins


Featured Story:

Until our prayers are answered

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Until our prayers are answered

... this remains required rereading