Friday, September 12, 2008


Much as I disagree with the political positions of John McCain, I admire him as a man who knows what he wants and gets it.

Coming back from five years of hard time at the Hanoi Hilton, McCain had all the bona fides for a great political career save one, a rich, attractive trophy wife. No problem. McCain hastily abandoned his 15-year marriage to a wife somewhat disfigured in a terrible car crash and several weeks later married a gorgeous, fabulously wealthy beer heiress who shared his drive to the political mountaintop.

Twenty-eight years later, the 72-year-old McCain has the top prize in sight. One would think that the aging, hard-living melanoma cancer survivor would pick an experienced politician-statesman as a running mate, just in case.

Not a chance.

Our intrepid candidate has plucked obscure former beauty queen, 44-year-old Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska for the past two years and prior to that mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska. The population of Alaska and Wasilla combined is under 700,000. Rumor has it that Palin's win of the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant and second-place finish in the Miss Alaska contest had absolutely nothing to do with her selection.

Regardless, if McCain - who now sports a trophy wife and a work trophy wife - wins the presidency, there is only one prospect that will keep me from complete despair: the unveiling of McCain's cabinet.

Originally published in Glen Ellyn Sun, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


September 3, 2008

Congressman Peter Roskam
150 S. Bloomingdale Road, Suite 200
Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Dear Congressman Roskam,

There oughta be a law, Congressman, against Congressmen who use gimmicks such as your “There Oughta Be A Law” to make their constituents feel their Congressman is being responsive to their needs.

When you announced this campaign back in April, I dutifully accessed your website link to this campaign and submitted my three part suggestion, for a law on an important subject to be selected for submission to Congress which, to refresh your memory was as follows:


1. That all funding for our immoral and criminal war in Iraq be cut off other than for an orderly and safe withdrawal of our soldiers.

2. That a bi-partisan Congressional investigation be held to determine how and why the administration was able to launch a war against a country posing no imminent threat to the United States in violation of all international and moral law.

3. That those responsible for this criminal enterprise be identified and held accountable for their actions which have so imperiled our nation’s financial and moral standing at home and around the world.

It took nearly five months before I received a form letter from you thanking me for my suggestion. That was all! There was no acknowledgement of my specific suggestion. There was no information, whatsoever, as to how the best ideas were to be selected. Was only one, several or many ideas going to be selected. Were you going to personally review them and select the winners? Was your staff going to be involved?

How about this novel approach? Put every suggestion that was not obscene, illegal or otherwise objectionable on your web site and let your 700,000 constituents select them. After all, Congressman isn’t that what democracy is all about?

I would wager that if you did so, my suggestion would make the top ten if not the top five, possibly even number one among Sixth District responders. The reason sir, is that we in the Sixth District are fed up with these war crimes which jeopardize our nation. We are disgusted that our tax dollars, or should I say the tax dollars of future generations, will be required to pay the three trillion dollar projected cost of this monstrous atrocity.

Maybe you find that my characterization of this war as being “immoral” and “criminal” prevents you from considering it. Sir, even with your outstanding legal mind and extensive training, I doubt you could defend the legality of this war in a court of law even while you vote to authorize 300 million dollars every day to sustain it. Again, to refresh your memory, here are the principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal which prosecuted Nazis for war crimes after World War II:

Principle VI

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:


Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (1.)



Principle VII

Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principles VI is a crime under international law.

Congressman, having studied history and politics since 1951, ten years before you were born, I am compelled to tell the truth as I see it, especially when my country has so catastrophically plummeted from the ideals of peace and freedom upon which it was founded. Unlike too many in Congress and
across the nation, I refuse to be one of this administration’s Silent Executioners.

But don’t take my word for it. Put my suggestion and every other reasonable suggestion submitted to your employers, the fine and sensible citizens of the Sixth District. They finally deserve a choice and a say on the most critical issue of our time.

After all, Congressman, the prohibiting of war crimes, is not something that Oughta Be A Law. It already is.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow

Originally published in Daily Herald, September 10, 2008