Tuesday, December 13, 2011


With a name like Arpey, you've got to be good. And Gerald J. Arpey is just that...a good man... and my choice for Person of the year for 2011.

The 30 year employee of American Airlines, the last eight of which as CEO, Arpey did an extraordinary thing when the American Airlines Board declared bankruptcy to nullify its debts and retiree benefits. He quit. Not only that, he didn't hold the Board hostage by demanding a hundred million dollar Golden Parachute. Nope, he left without severance and with nearly worthless stock holdings.

Having earned nearly 15 million over the past 5 years, Arpey's action is purely symbolic. But what grand symbolism in a nation awash in corporate greed while tens of millions go without decent jobs, rely on food stamps, pray they don't get sick, fall into poverty and lose all hope.

Please don't go quietly into retirement, Mr. Arpey. Hook up with some struggling enterprise and apply your moral vision and decency to help reverse our long, slow slide into economic irrelevancy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


December 11, 2011

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

Dear Congressman Roskam,

As both a progressive listener and participant in your December 7th Telephone Town Hall, I was not surprised by anything you said against the Obama Administration to the pre-screened callers who fed you softball set up questions. That's just politics.

I was, however, dismayed at what you didn't say to a man whose remarks called for instant rebuke. I refer to the caller who started off his rant against the President by saying the Obama and his entire Administration are nothing but socialists who hate America. Instead of correcting his false statement about socialism and admonishing the slanderous remark that the Administration "hates America", you complimented the caller's concern and began your own riff on why the Obama Administration is wrong for America.

You know full well that the propaganda arm of the Republican Party can no longer call Obama a "terrorist" or an "Arab" or a "Muslim" or an "Kenyon" as they did endlessly during the 2008 campaign. However, that same arm now damns Obama as a "socialist" who "hates America". Is it any wonder that an Average Joe in your district magically comes up with those two descriptors to use as a springboard for your anti Obama political message?

You didn't earn your generous Congressional salary when you gave that gentleman a pass on remarks essentially put in his mouth by your party. You should check out a Republican who did earn that salary. I refer to Senator John McCain, who got right in the face of supporters making reprehensible remarks. If you don't have the time to watch on You Tube, here is a transcript:

Ist McCain supporter: "I can't trust Obama....he's an Arab"
McCain: "No madam..he is a decent, family man citizen"

2nd McCain supporter: "We are scared of an Obama Presidency...we are scared of bringing our child up in a country where he cohorts with terrorists"
McCain: "I know Senator Obama...he is a descent person and one you don't have to be scared of"

Congressman, the conservative audience booed McCain's display of decency and statesmanship for both remarks. We expect you and every single public servant who earns an extraordinarily good living representing us, to do nothing less than than follow his example. Remember please; silence is not always golden.

Respectfully yours,

Walt Zlotow
Sixth District resident