Friday, April 22, 2011


When it comes to bragging about being a war criminal, George W. Bush can't hold a candle to Donald Trump. The former President may have launched a criminal war against Iraq sending hundreds of thousands to an early grave and millions more to hospitals, safer neighborhoods, even other countries. But growing up in a three generation family of Senators and Presidents, young George learned how to mask his criminal ventures with rhetoric invoking concepts such as "get them before the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud", or "they're interested in re-starting their WMD programs". The war loving mass media and an ignorant, violence prone populous loves such sound bites, allowing President Bush to declare in his farewell address that his biggest accomplishment was keeping America safe...if you start counting after September 11, 2001, that is.

Unfortunately, political novice and celebrity superstar Donald Trump got no such oral guidance from his forebears. Yesterday, Trump boasted to a stunned George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America, that since we spent $1.5 trillion dollars conquering Iraq, the least we should do is get our investment back by stealing their oil, which, as the third largest reserve in the world, would solve America's rapid climb to $5 a gallon gas and beyond. Trump even trotted out the old cliche: "To the victor goes the spoils". Trump's 'let it all hang out' defense of criminal war is playing well among Republican voters who vaulted him to the No. 1 spot after only a handful of similar interviews.

We can't prosecute Trump for making such immoral and heartbreaking comments; but the least we can do is shun him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


April 21, 2011

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

Dear Congressman Roskam,

Your latest email blast “Did you hear about Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity?” begs the question: “Who’s Prosperity?”

It certainly isn’t that of the middle class or the needy. Rep. Ryan’s roadmap demands trillions of dollars in cuts to health services and medicare, environmental protection, infrastructure rebuilding and education, all to pay for trillions in tax cuts for the super rich.

Rep. Ryan and your vision of government, as one of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, is a radical one which will dismantle the enormous middle class I grew up in during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Working at good jobs for the past 43 years thanks to the benefits that middle class gave me, I contributed steadily to the social security and medicare programs I am now drawing on. Those were programs which alleviated economic suffering for both my parents who began their working life at the beginning of social security in 1935, and finished their working life half way through Medicare’s second decade in 1979.

Sadly, 1979 marked the zenith of that great American middle class, built by entrepreneurs paying a 92% tax rate in 1952, who didn’t let high tax rates keep them from creating tens of millions of GOOD middle class jobs. These programs remind us of the highest purpose of government – to uplift and care for the entire society based on a fair and equitable taxation system.

That middle class began to disintegrate in the early 1980’s when the super rich decided that even the 70% upper income tax rate at that time was too great to bear. Voila, utterly forgetting recent history, they created the myth that even that reasonable rate cost jobs. So they dropped the rate to 50% in 1982 under President Reagan and down to 35% under President Bush in 2003. The result? Millions of jobs disappeared overseas, virtually overnight, while the upper 10% of the rich increased their wealth enormously at the expense of everyone else.

Now your new superhero Rep. Ryan is proposing trillions more in unconscionable tax cuts, down to 25% for wealthy individuals and corporations to feed their insatiable thirst for unlimited wealth. Rep. Ryan’s plan may have passed the House with the help of your vote, but it’s Dead On Arrival in the Senate, not to mention a certain Presidential veto. Ryan may have more to worry about than failing to destroy the middle class. Rob Zerban, small business owner and Kenosha, WI county supervisor, will be challenging Ryan in 2012, in a state where the middle class is newly energized by Governor Scott Walker’s clumsy and heartless effort to abolish public workers’ collective bargaining rights.

Congressman, your Path to Prosperity is simply a Roadmap to Ruin. You should turn your eyes around, look deep into your heart and your soul, and contemplate taking a detour.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow
IL Sixth District Resident

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Newly minted Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump vaulted to the No. 1 spot among the many GOP hopefuls by explicitly endorsing the scurrilous and likely racist charge that Barak Obama's Presidency is illegitimate due to his alleged African birth.

The charge originated during the 2008 campaign out of the worst elements of the Republican party taping into the latent racism of the shrinking white US majority whose racist wing resides almost exclusively in the GOP. It is likely racist because it is simply inconceivable that such a charge would be hurled at a white candidate.

While Trump displays no shame whatsoever using the African birth canard to jump start his publicity fueled campaign, the other dozen or so contenders quietly fuel the Obama smear by refusing to call out The Donald or the many others in the GOP who trumpet the utterly idiotic allegations for personal and political gain. They might say they personally believe Obama was born here but they somehow "understand" why so many in the GOP don't. That's like saying one isn't racist but "understands" why other folks are. Bunk.

I've decided to start my own campaign to require proper documentation from the GOP contenders. Henceforth, every last one should produce a "Certificate of a Live Brain".

Also published in the Glen Ellyn News, April 20, 2011, and the Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2011