Jack Roeser Blog

Thoughts, views, and observations forged during a long, active life, 83 years, by Jack Roeser- inventor, engineer, manufacturer, soldier, racing sailor, pilot, entrepreneur, classical liberal (conservative) activist, father and husband, and proud American.

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Jack Roeser is Chairman and founder of Otto Engineering Inc. a manufacturer of electronic control and communication switches for aerospace, medical and industrial uses. Otto’s success is marked by the high precision and quality of its products. Jack has received over 50 patents in Electrical, Mechanical, Machinery and Marine products. In 1994, he ran for Governor in the Republican primary, receiving 26% of the primary vote. For over 25 years, Jack has been an advocate of education reform through the application of free market principles and of school choice. Jack's sport is sailing; he has won the Chicago - Mackinac race among many others.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why Do They Do It?

The tragic shooting at NIU last week is the latest in a modern phenomenon of an individual who, for no apparent reason, resorts to mass execution of those around him. In the aftermath, there are many attempts to examine “why.” Theories abound; none convincing. The forces driving a person to commit such destructive acts surely vary.

Perhaps the cause can be found in our modern society’s multiple influences that focus on a person’s rights and liberties yet ignore a person’s social obligations and responsibilities. Applied to a large population, such a one-sided emphasis produces the possibility of resentment in an individual causing built-up frustrations, feelings of victimhood, and rage at a society for perceived injustices.

Consider these viewpoints that have become more common in recent years:

“Don’t be judgmental.” The politically correct view is that to be discriminating regarding the behavior of another is to be “phobic” or somehow threatened by them. One is led to conclude that the deficiency lies in the discerning individual, rather than in the person engaging in destructive or aberrant behavior.

“You can be anything you want to be.” Arising out of the old axiom that “anyone can grow up to be president,” this viewpoint ignores inherent abilities and inabilities, as well as aptitudes, encouraging a person to unrealistic aspirations.

“Don’t let others infringe on your rights.” In recent days, there is a growing list of unrealistic “rights” that kids are led to believe they deserve without working for them. There’s the right to a good public education, the right to affordable health insurance, and the newest one- the right to an abortion! The resulting mentality of entitlement leads the immature to believe that they are being wronged if they don’t get theirs. Fulfillment from earned accomplishments is lost.

“The system isn’t fair.” Blame for failures is shifted away from the individual, who sees himself as a victim of societal prejudices against race or gender, capitalistic domination, “corporate greed,” or a flawed legal system. Lost amid all these excuses is a sense of obligation to exert one’s best efforts toward a goal worth achieving.

Mature individuals commonly survive such impractical distortions as those noted above. But today’s public schools regularly teach such modern social philosophies while failing to teach the necessary basics that would give students the tools to achieve self-fulfillment, thereby lessening their chances of becoming rational contestants in the game of life.

What are the dangers to the young and inexperienced who come to believe these flawed views? How many of them will reach the conclusion that they are a victim? How many will resent that they didn’t achieve the position promised? How many will be consumed with rage against perceived unfairness? And how many will allow their resentment and frustration to explode into violent acts in an attempt to achieve notoriety as martyrs against an unfair system?

Talk of “hope” is the latest trend these days, but is usually short on the time-tested outlooks that keep hope alive. Such talk is worthless without a balanced view regarding a person’s responsibilities and a sense of what each member of a free society owes to his fellow citizen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oprah Is Nuts... About Obama

As I was listening to Oprah Winfrey extol the supposed virtues of Presidential candidate Barak Obama, it struck me that even in the weird world of politics, she made less sense than George Clooney!

First, note where Oprah’s queen-bee hive is located. Harpo Studios (Oprah spelled backwards) dominates the neighborhood on West Washington Street. It adjoins the downtown area of Chicago. So geographically, she is right next to that warren of corruption with a worldwide reputation for political and criminal corruption. Is Oprah totally oblivious to what’s going on nearby?

The Daley-Democrat political machine (and the Kelly machine before, etc.) is so dominant that every alderman or senator, etc. from Chicago is a Democrat. From the garbage men of ‘Streets & San’ to the Mayors office, the rule is, “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent.”

That political machine sent Obama to the State Senate where he served for 8 years without any noticeable accomplishment. Certainly, Obama never expressed indignation about the corruption that has brought Chicago the largest FBI office in the nation and U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald who has sent legions of crooks to the “Grey Bar Hotel.”

This same machine later sent Obama to the U.S. Senate when the Republicans slated an unelectable-for-anything Alan Keyes.

Now Obama is running for President of the USA.

Oprah runs on about Obama’s fine character and his promise of ideas for the future. Oprah is in a dream world if she doesn’t get that Obama came out of the dung heap of the most corrupt city in the most corrupt State of all. Not that he’s a crook, but those insiders lifted up an empty suit.

Among the unsavory characters that helped Obama is the indicted Tony Rezko, who bought the empty lot next to the mansion Obama wanted at an elevated price that allowed Obama to buy that mansion at a bargain price.

Also, Obama’s legal firm helped client Rezko put 14 projects of homes for the poor in Obama’s district with government subsides, which resulted in unlivable dumps. Obama says nothing about them.

Rezko has a radioactive reputation that Obama either didn’t care about or he had such naïve judgment that we should all wonder what else he could fall for.

Oprah lives next to all this, but somehow it apparently hasn’t sunk in.

It would be better if Oprah were as silent as the other Harpo who learned it was better to keep his mouth shut.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Karl Rove Quits!

Whenever a politician says he is leaving “to spend more time with his family,” it isn’t the family.

The lead editorial in the August 14th New York Times blazes, “Mr. Rove gets out of Town.” The editorial is blunt and leaves no doubt that the reason for Rove’s departure on August 31st is that the Congressional subpoenas start coming on September 1st.

Some choice summaries from that lead editorial:

“Mr. Rove has spent the last six and a half years improperly and dangerously politicizing the Federal government.”

“Mr. Rove appears to have been deeply involved in the decision to fire nine top Federal prosecutors.”

“…there is also mounting evidence that he turned nonpartisan agencies into campaign boosters, quite possibly violating Federal law.”

“Mr. Rove failed his own party, as well as the American people, when he counseled President Bush to turn every serious policy debate into one more political dog fight.”

“… he used his office to put politics above the interests of the American People.”

Rove has gotten an inflated idea of his own importance, going from a talented political mechanic to usurping the power of the White House. Rove has inappropriately posed as the leader in presenting the issues.

Think about it. President Bush has achieved great success in producing a vigorous economy; he’s reduced taxes while lowering the Federal deficit; he has handled 9-11 great, but is getting no credit for his leadership in the Iraq War.

That Iraq War becomes more obviously necessary week by week. Consider what happens if the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East- a vacuum that would not last long as Iran resumes the 1988 war on Iraq. Iran would take Iraq, Saudi Arabia and that vast pool of oil. Iran is getting nuclear, is acting violent, and has the money and troops to take over the region. That combination of insane, religious violence and unlimited access to money would mean big trouble for the U.S. Bush should long ago have been presenting the overwhelming importance of the Iraq engagement.

Republicans will not be elected without strongly presenting Republican values. Instead, Rove has led an insider’s political organization, welding the White House to the RNC and in Illinois, to the GOP State Central Committee.

Look at Illinois. Rove and his old college chum Bob “Individual K” Kjellander, presently Illinois’ GOP National Committeeman, have lost the Senate, the House, and all constitutional offices, including governor. These guys are losers!

Rove lost control of the U.S. Senate partly by opposing the re-election of U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald. He was abetted in this by Kjellander and by Congressman Hastert. The Illinois GOP hierarchy didn’t want the honest and rich Fitzgerald because Fitz was the loudest voice against the corruption in Illinois.

Rove’s present problem has a lot to do with using the National Party and the White House to seek the removal of Pat Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney in Illinois. That particular vendetta was supposed to be covered by seeking a number of other U.S. Attorney removals. But that plan has blown for Rove. Make no mistake- the core of Rove’s political chicanery is right here in Illinois with Kjellander and their insider enablers.

They got to play with the big bucks in the pension troves- $809,000 in one case, $4.5 million in another to Kjellander. They had an inside connection to the Carlyle Fund, that big consortium of international deal makers. That tangled network has attracted the attention of U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald.

It’s a big political mess with Rove at the core. That’s why his exit is so necessary. Perhaps in his absence the GOP can have a resurgence of Republican values, giving the voters a reason to cast their ballots for real Republicans.

The same goes for Illinois. Without Rove, Kjellander has lost the support that has kept him in place despite votes for his removal by the IL GOP State Central Committee and the IL GOP County Chairmen, and a number of top GOP leaders in Illinois.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Iran invades Iraq?

If the U.S. were to pull out of Iraq, many military experts believe that Iran may very well renew the war they quit in 1988. That eight year war was fought over geographic objectives as well as religious motivations that were not settled in that war and still currently exist. After eight years and almost a million deaths, Iran was winning until the U.S. gave aid to Iraq, resulting in a stalemate.

Today, Iran is far more powerful than Iraq in usual military forces and is on the verge of having atomic abilities. Imagine how easily Iran could fill the power vacuum created by U.S. withdrawal in Iraq and take over Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with all those oil resources and the money that flows out of that region.

Religious hatred and the mad pursuit of power motivate Iran’s ruling class. When you combine power, money and mad ambition, the result is a force that is not going to yield to diplomacy. Democrat “peaceniks” in the U.S. have long pretended that discussions could have done the job with Saddam Hussein and that military intervention was not necessary. That type of vapid dream leads to nightmares.

If those cowardly dreamers cause the U.S. to pull out of Iraq, they would precipitate a confrontation with terrible consequences for the Middle East, and re-stabilization would require a huge commitment of military resources from both the U.S. and Europe. Are we talking WW III here?

So we are reduced to ineffective diplomacy as Iran and its friends take over the world’s oil reserves and all that flow of money. Islamic mosques in the U.S. and elsewhere would have funds beyond imagination to energize suicide squads without limit. Trying to cope with that highly motivated newly rich hatred would bend the freedoms we now enjoy in a free America.

Furthermore, the productive economy we now enjoy would be a distant memory. Imagine the effect on the price of gasoline for your car if you were required to get it from a supplier driven by hatred toward the Western world.

Reason and discussion do not always solve conflicts, either in one’s personal life or certainly between nations. Many such conflicts require one to either submit or fight back. This is especially true of the enemy we currently face in the Middle East.

In historical terms, our present military commitment in Iraq is quite small, nowhere near the losses in many a single battle in WWII. This is no Okinawa, no Iwo Jima, no D-Day, no Bastogne. We have more deaths from drug overdoses each year in Chicago than soldiers killed in Iraq.

Each individual American soldier killed in Iraq is a personal tragedy, but it’s also a life given for a worthy endeavor. Political weaklings in America have apparently never learned or have forgotten Nathan Hale’s famous statement, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” Perhaps that is too strong a commitment for some, but we should be making a collective commitment that we each will take our chances to preserve the American way, the way so many soldiers and their mothers proudly defended it in wars past.

We are being challenged by a determined evil enemy, have no doubt about that. Cowards suffer all their lives. Be an American, be proud of it, and send enough soldiers, equipment, and determination that the enemy will have no doubt of his certain defeat.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Al Gore is rushing around proclaiming his religion of “global warming.” This is not the first time he has rushed off with some “inconvenient truth.”

The following letter was written about his “invention of the internet:”

August 2, 2000

To Rush Limbaugh

Dear Rush,

Senator Gore, who claims to have invented the internet, wrote an article for Scientific American in Sept. 1991. In it he lays out the need for the government to provide the fiber-optic network and also to train people how to make it work.

Let’s flash back to Nov. 1987 when my company, OTTO Engineering Inc., hooked up its engineering computers on Ethernet to our business and manufacturing inventory systems operating on a server using an entirely different language (Basic) and operating system. We did it using the TCP/IP Bridge, Transmission Controls Protocal/Inernet Protocol. Our small company, 250 employees at the time, certainly wasn’t the first to use the TCP/IP Bridge, which today hooks up all the World Wide Web.

Isn’t it strange that Gore was unaware that the problems of transmission and reception of diverse languages had been solved to such and extent 4 years previous to his article that a small company with a two person information department could do it?

How about the many companies that installed the fiber optic network many times over without a by your leave or government financing?

The worldwide web was actually built by a bunch of faceless unpaid nerds who found it a great adventure.

Gore is a big government guy. The dangerous side of this man is that he is sure he is right when he isn’t. Will Rogers said, “It ain’t the things we don’t’ know that hurt us so much but the things we think we know that ain’t so.”

Revealing quotes from Gore’s 1991 article:

1. “A high capacity network will not be built without government investment.”

2. “Federal Research Funding is also needed to train people in computational science.”

3. “The private sector cannot afford to build the high speed network we need and may not even be convinced of its value.”

4. “Federal leadership is needed to provide direction and coordination.”

5. “Without federal funding for the national network, we would end up with a Balkanized system, consisting of dozens of incompatible parts.”

6. “The alternative is to wait until other nations show us how to take advantage of this technology, and they will.”

Al Gore has more faith in the Federal Government than he does in American and its free people. We people have the reverse impression of Gore and his Federal government.

Jack Roeser, Founder and Chairman- Otto Engineering, Inc.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Auto Unions + Teacher Unions = Disaster

But for a heroic stand by Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, you wouldn’t be able to buy a car made in America. That major industry would have gone the way of American TV manufacturers like Zenith, who built an industry and then saw it go overseas.

The year was 1948 and the battlefield was the Taft–Hartley Amendment. The old Labor Relations bill, called the Wagner Act, allowed union contracts that required a worker to join the union if he wanted to keep his job. Imagine that. You had to pay dues and abide by the contract whether you wanted to or not, or whether it was racket dominated, Communist influenced, or just plain stood for issues you did not embrace. The Taft-Hartley Amendment changed that law with right-to-work protection that freed an employee from forced unionization.

Senator Dirksen, then a Congressman, understood that no American worker should have to kiss the ring (put other personal part of choice here) of either his employer or his union agent. Dirksen argued on behalf of T-H, particularly Paragraph 14B which contained a provision whereby any State legislature could pass a law returning that economic right to the American worker- a man did not have to belong to the union to hold his job.

Dirksen was the greatest orator of his day, possessing the kind of wisdom and judgment which, as now, are all too rare. He spoke against forced unionization at home and in Congress; he filibustered; he refused to cave to the powerful unions and their toadies in Congress. Dirksen made them accept 14B, and it’s still there.

Twenty-one states have since enacted the exception honoring the freedom from unfair force. But in legislatures in states like Illinois and Michigan, the battle for 14B exception was pitted against such powerful unions as Walter Reuther’s United Auto Workers that wielded massive political budgets and bludgeoned legislatures and manufacturers into line.

Time passed. As the automobile union lords dumped expensive, low-quality, gas-eating rust buckets on us, the public clamored for quality and efficiency. The unholy combine of big business and big labor began to lose out.

Today, the remaining domestic auto companies are saddled with unreasonably high costs in wages, health care, and pensions. They are all headed for bankruptcy. You can still buy an auto made in America, but not by the oligarchs of the past. These days, the industry is led by foreign manufacturers who have set up operations in the 21 states that passed 14B. They pay good wages to American workers who perform a quality job under reasonable work rules.

In Illinois, we are losing the last of the domestic auto manufacturers due to the failure of our legislature to enact 14B. That short-sightedness is extending its ruin to the K-12 education industry under domination of a government monopoly ruled by the biggest, richest, greediest union of them all- the Illinois Education Association, a chapter of the National Education Association.

Their price in taxes is high and getting higher. Their education is the “rust bucket” of low quality service.

The similarity to the auto union is clear. The pension plan foisted off on us by this 800 pound gorilla, the IEA, is $23 Billion in the hole. As things stand, Illinois taxpayers are obligated to pay that out of the state’s General Revenue Fund, probably $2 Billion next year alone.

A public school bureaucracy operating as a government-coferred monopoly and an entrenched union that regularly funnels campaign money to state legislators and local school board members are giving us the most expensive, lousy education in the industrial world. Russia, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, and Korea do far better at less cost. They operate under principles of educational freedom which follow the American ideal better by far than our own schools.

So how do we break this stranglehold? We can start by enacting 14B legislation in Illinois to get free of bad unions, and by enacting vouchers for kids to restore purchasing power to us customers.

Senator Everett Dirksen was as great as he sounded. Where is his equal today? The answer is “Nowhere.” It’s up to you to fight for your free American rights.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Obama and the Inconvenient Truth

According to Monday's Chicago Tribune editorial , Democrat Senator Barack Obama recently got tangled up by the truth:
Invoking the sorry role of "Bloody Sunday" in America's history of race (in a speech at Brown Chapel A.M.E Church on March 4th), Obama told a Southern congregation how that event led to his birth: "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So [my parents] got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Alabama."
That was one rollicking good sound bite--but for the inconvenience that the senator was born in 1961, and Bloody Sunday occurred in 1965.
Obama has been presented to public view through a string of media stunts filled with hollow rhetoric that freely distorts the truth. From obscurity, he has been proclaimed as the magnificent New Democrat. But this puff-up has no real record of accomplishments to justify his ego trip of aspiring to the office of President of the USA.

Responsible citizens need to consider Obama's suitability for that role not by his rhetoric, but by his record. Of course, he often refused to cast an up or down vote on many controversial issues during his tenure of about a decade in the Illinois legislature- hardly a sign of the kind of leader our country requires. But when he DID get up the nerve to weigh in, his votes would make Hillary look like a part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy."

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