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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller and explorer and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does.  As a trial lawyer, its his most important tool.  As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally.  As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world as much as he himself is captivated. 

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Wednesday
Dec072016

[AM 950 Minneapolis] December 6th: Jack Talks China and Trump's Call with Taiwan Pres.

I appear on AM950 in Mpls at 3:30 pm ct to discuss China & why breaking diplomatic protocols with Taiwan is so massive & why State Dept is apoplectic.  No US President has spoken with a Taiwanese President since 1979.  The was extremely purposeful.  The Chinese have called Taiwan a rogue state and would be willing to take it back by force.  With so many issues on the table like the South China Sea and trade, to simply make this blunder is ridiculous when it beings no political or diplomatic benefit.  So much for art of the deal.

Hope you can listen.

Thursday
Dec012016

[WCCO Radio Minneapolis] December 1st: Jack Talks Militarization of Trump Cabinet

I appear on WCCO Radio, my old stomping grounds, tonight at 9:00 p.m. c.t.  The President elect was highly critical of the generals runnings the wars over the last few years.  And yet, he has already brought in General Flynn as National Security Advisor and Gen "Mad Dog Mattis" as Secretary of Defense.  He is also considering bringing in Gen Petraeus to the State Department helm.  What are the implications of brining men who fight wars to run the government?  Some would argue that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Do you think that that is the case?

This should be an interesting conversation. 

Wednesday
Nov302016

[Russian TV] November 30th: Jack Talks Ohio State Attack and Racial Backlash

I appear on Russian TV every so often to talk the recent attack that killed 11 and injured more allegedly committed by a young Somali refugee who may have been inspired by IS.  Being based in the Twin Cities here in Minnesota, this is the largest groups of Somali Americans outside of Somalia.  Also, IS and Al Shabaab have both been extremely successful at targeting young men in this community to work on their behalf.  There have been multiple young men who were recently convicted of trying to go to Syria to fight on behalf of IS.  This is quite troubling.

The blowback to these attacks in the Somali community here is equally troubling.  Because of simplistic and sometimes racist views, the entire community is being targeted. Sadly, this actually exacerbates the problem and makes it even easier for IS to recruit. As a result, Americans, Western Europeans and Russians need to make the distinction between those recruited and those in the community.  They are simply not one in the same.  This is critical to fighting ISIS and supporting these communities.  

This promises to be an interesting conversation.

Wednesday
Nov302016

[AM950 Radio] November 30th: Jack talks Trump's New Cabinet

I appear on AM 950 in Minneapolis today at 4:35 p.m. c.t. to discuss President-elect Trump's possible cabinet picks.  While there are still multiple cabinet positions that still need to be filled, I am going to focus on the position of Secretary of State.  At this point, the two leading candidates seem to be Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.  As I contemplate these two choices, both of whom I have interviewed over the years, my perception is that Romney, who was not a Trump ally, may be the front runner.  I believe this to be the case because of temperament and personality.  Sen. Bob Corker and former CIA Director David Petraeus are also possible options and may take the position based upon experience and connections.

This will be an interesting conversation.  

Friday
Nov182016

Adventure Only Begins Just outside of Your Comfort Zone

Friday
Nov182016

[KOA Denver] November 17th: Jack Talks Trump Foreign Policy

I appear on KOA in Denver with Steffan Tubbs on Thursday, November 17th at 8:10 a.m. President elect Trump certainly has a full plate to deal with at the moment. While domestic issues are front and center, they may be crowded out by international concerns. What's he going to do in Syria?  What about ISIS?  How about his relationship with Vladimir Putin?  We haven't even mentioned the Iran deal, North Korea and on and on and on.

The President-elect says America first. So, what exactly does that mean. Preemptive strikes?  More aggressive? Bring the troops home? Can't exactly go both ways.  

This is going to be fun. Steffan and I have been friends for years, first meeting on our way to Iraq.  Further, we learned and have laughed about both being born in the same small hospital in a little town in California called Escondido.

I'm really looking forward to this.

Monday
Nov142016

[WCCO Radio] November 14th: Jack Talks Police Power, Law and Politics

I appear on WCCO Radio with Jordana Green to discuss the one year anniversary of the death of Jamar Clark and its aftermath. This is a difficult case because some see the case in isolation while others see it in a much broader context.  Lets be clear, the police in past years and maybe even currently have targeted and even murdered African Americans on the streets of this country with almost impunity.  Worse, even if this was done by a few "bad apples", the standard approach is the thin blue line stood behind these "bad apples."  As result, many simply doubt what the government says, even if its true.  This is simply a fact.

Considering the police shooting of an unarmed black man, Philando Castille, some months back, this raising similar problems.  Of course, this time around, the entire shooting was caught on tape.  Extraordinary what the self phone has done with cases of this type.  Couple all of this with the recent election of Donald Trump and his approach to the police and "law and order" and I have a bad feeling that this country may go a very interesting and potentially scary direction.  Of course, one never knows but we will see.

This promises to be an extremely lively discussion.  

Saturday
Nov122016

[Editorial] Misogyny, Racism, and Homophobia are not Getting Worse.

I'm sitting here in the upper midwest looking at the sun stream down over Lake Nokomis and an old song, Tears for Fears' Woman in Chains came on and it made me think back over the last few decades of my life. I am remarkably sad for my children and the world that the sexism and racism and homophobia that we all saw in this election cycle is still so systemic and pervasive. The thing is, its not that its worst. Rather, we just cleaned it up for public consumption. There's something to be said for seeing it in all of its horrific and ugly glory. 

I'm an optimist and I have always been hoping for more, better, but its clear that fear, anger, resentment, and maybe even a little resignation are reigning right now for many, myself included. These are societal issues, not simply left v right ones. A very smart person once taught me that we learn nothing when we succeed, just the faux comfort in knowing that were right. When we fail, when we fall down or are knocked down, when we find the strength to get up, that is how the steel in our spines is created. 

So, to put it bluntly, stand the fuck up and organize for what you believe in, whatever it is.

Friday
Nov112016

[Iranian Press TV Intl.] November 11th: Jack Talks Post Election Street Protests

I appear on Iranian Press International TV to discuss the street protests that have arisen throughout the United States after the election of Donald Trump. Many seem to be protesting the outcome of the election as well as some of the objectively horrific statements made in the past by President-elect Trump. 

The world continues to watch, both fascinated, thrilled and possibly horrified, by this election.  The Iranian people and press, like so many others, are equally fascinated.  Of course, the Iranians have a very real interest in what it is that Trump does in the region.  They are also curious about whether these protests could actually change President-elect Trump's campaign promises.

This promises to be a very interesting conversation.

Friday
Nov112016

[WVLY Radio Appearance] November 11th: Jack Talks Trump's New Cabinet

I appear on WVLY Radio with Howard Monroe at 9 a.m. eastern standard time to discuss President-elect Trump's new cabinet.  His Vice President, Mike Pence will be taking over the transition but the real question is the direction in which the President intends to go.  He has made many promises during the campaign but seems to be backing away from some of them.  Only time will tell. As we turn to possible cabinet appointments, many names including Gingrich, Sessions, Giuliani, Palin, Flynn and others are being bandied about.  The ramifications for the country are very real.

Hoard Monroe is quite a political wonk so this promises to be a very interesting conversation.