About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian 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 and its people as much as he himself is captivated. 

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DWI Convict Charged Again - What Next!

Erwin Cook, 41, just released from prison for driving drunk and killing a young woman back in 2000, was just arrested again. This time, for felony DWI and felony fleeing. However, luckily, at least, nobody was killed.

According to the police reports, the man was driving a stolen car and was chased for miles before he was stopped and was allegedly drunk. He was allegedly driving the wrong way down highway 35W and refused to stop even after the cops rammed his car three different times. He also failed to turn on his headlights at 2:45 in the morning. When officers tried to stop him, he reached speeds of 95 miles per hour.

Cook had previous DWI convictions from 1987, 1990, 1996 and 1997.

At this point, the most Cook can receive is 7 years for this DWI plus two years left on this parole.

We talk about putting rapists and child molestors in prison or in mental facilities for life because we are afraid that they will re-offend. Well, isn't this more true for drunks behind the wheel of cars? Even more true, don't drunks cause more harm to society and don't we need to do even more to protect ourselves than we do agasint the rapists and child molestors? Or are we more afriad of the rapist? Is it reasonable?

We take your calls and comments on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Air Marshals Shoot to Kill. Is This Appropriate?

On Tuesday, December 7th, Federal Air Marshals shot and killed a passenger at the Miami International Airport. According to passengers, the man jumped from his seat and ran down the aisle and "uttered threatening words that included a sentence to the effect that he had a bomb." The man was followed by his screaming wife .
The man was ordered to the ground on the jetway. Again, according to witnesses, the man refused and reached into his backpack. He was shot multiple times by at least one air marshal.
The man has been identified as Rigoberto Alpizar, an American citizen. According to his wife, he was mentally ill and was apparently off of his medication.
According to the White House, U.S. air marshals who shot and killed an American Airlines passenger acted "consistent with their training" and an investigation will determine if any changes are needed in operating procedures.
The exact number of air marshals is classified but estimates put the number at between 3 and 4,000. While they are often deployed in pairs, it is not required. Their location is always kept secret but they are positioned based upon the threat. Hence, more are located in New York and London than other places. While marshals have been involved in other incidents since 9/11, this is the first in which an air marshal fired his weapon.
Did the air marshals act approriately? What responsibility did the wife have to notify the airline about he husband's condition before boarding the aircraft?
We take your call on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Will Israel Attack Iran?

The entire world is watching as the Iranians move toward developing nuclear power, or nuclear weapons, depending upon how one sees it. One of the countries most concerned, and rightfully so, is Israel. However, while some countries take a wait and see approach, the Israelis may consider something more drastic.

In 1981, the Israelis watched as Iraq developed nuclear weapons with the help of the French. Rather than accept this reality, they conducted an air strike on Iraq's Osirak reactor, which was on the verge of producing plutonium for a nuclear weapon. Of course, this may not have been the Israelis only operation to stop the Iraqis.

In 1979, a warehouse in France that housed some of the equipment destined for Iraq mysteriously exploded. Soon thereafter, an Iraqi scientist went to Paris and was found dead in his room. The only person who saw him was a prostitute who herself ended up dead several weeks later. Within months, other Iraqi scientists died. Coincidence? The Israelis have denied any involvement.

Terrence Henry, of The Atlantic, will join the program to discuss possible Isreali covert actions regarding this latest threat from Iran.

Ramsey Clark: American Patriot or American Traitor.

Saddam Hussein took center stage in his trial in Baghdad today. Defiant as ever, he demanded to be heard. At one point, his attorneys left the courtroom because the Judge refused to allow them to speak.

Saddam and his seven co-defendants could be hanged if convicted on charges stemming from the deaths of more than 140 Shiites in the town of Dujail after an assassination attempt in 1982.

One of Saddam's lawyers is no stranger to high profile cases. Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson has represented the likes of Yugoslavias's Slobodan Milosevik, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, Liberia's Charles Taylor and even David Koresh.

As Ramsey Clark himself put it, "Suppose Hitler had survived," he said. "It seems to me that it would have been absolutely critical to give him a fair trial, to let him call witnesses and cross-examine the hell out of them." He added, "If you don't do that, historical truth will be distorted."

Well, some have called Clark an American patriot. Other have called him a traitor. Which is he? You decide on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments blow.

Thank You Military Families: A Live Broadcast from The Mall of America

More than 2600 Minnesota National Guard troops are down in Camp Shelby, Mississippi preparing to be deployed to Iraq. In addition, the Guard currently has troops serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

On December 1st and 2nd, we broadcast The Jack Rice Show from the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN in order to say thank you to the military families who sacrifice for us all. I had a chance to talk with many involved with this effort.

I was joined by Lt. Col. Eric Waage, Bill Popp, Founder of the Minnesota Military Family Foundation and Col. Denny Shields to discuss the efforts of the organization and the need to support the troops and their families.
Lt. Col. Waage, with the Guard is also part of the Homeland defense and Civil Support Team. He talked about the role of the Guard in State defense and response to state and national disasters

We were also joined by Craig Duering, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs about our men and women and Col. Elicerio, 1st Brigade Combat Team Commander down at Camp Shelby about the training the Guard is receiving prior to being deployed.
Wayne Soojin, CEO from Ryland Homes, Ullie Seal, Fire Chief of the Bloomington Fire Department and Tom Donnelly, President of Donnelly Stucco, joined the program to discuss what employers have been able to do to help those being deployed and their families being left behind.

Members of the Minnesota Air National Guard, recently back from Iraq joined The Jack Rice Show. Lt. Col Ostern, an F-16 Pilot of the 179th Fighter Squanron, , Lt. Col. Penny Dieryck, Maintenance Squadron Commander and Master Sgt. Wasserbauer, responsible for morale and welfare of the enlisted personnel all discussed their experiences and the sacrifices made by them and their families.

Finally, recently back from Afghanistan, both Capt. Shaefer and Lt. Col. Fritz joined the program to discuss the difficulties in not just being deployed but the continuing difficulties once they returned home.

Capitol Holiday Tree or Capitol Christmas Tree? You Decide!

It was Christmas time. And it was late at night as I stood on the Mall in Washington DC looking up at the Capitol building with its white marble in contrast to the black night sky. And I looked at the decorations of the tree on the grass near the reflecting pool. And I thought, "this is America's city. This is America's tree."

In an effort to be inclusive, or politically correct, depending upon how one views it, the Capitol Christmas Tree was renamed the Capitol Holiday Tree sometime in the 1990's. But apparently, that is not the end of the story.

"If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called," says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

"I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree," Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

Well, what do you think? In a multicultural society where many people have different beliefs and different customs, is a "Christmas Tree" appropriate? Or would it exclude those we are trying to welcome?

We'll take your calls and comments on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Prohibido. A Sign I Remember as a Child

When I was young, I remember sitting in the backseat of a car with my brother as our parents drove up the California coast toward Disneyland. As we were on the freeway, I saw a sign similar to the one posted here. It was a picture of a family in silhouette on a yellow background with a man, woman and a child being pulled behind. Below the picture, written in Spanish was the phrase, Prohibido.

I remember seeing the picture and wondering who these people were. And, to be honest, I remember thinking how sad it was that some sneaking into this country as their only means of bettering their lives.

More than 10 million people have moved to the United States without proper documentation. We don't know who they are. We don't know if they are here to work or to hurt us. I think some aren't sure whether or not they provide a service or they make things worse.

President Bush is in Tucson today to kick off his effort to reunite his party and take another look at our immigration laws. The President is talking about beefing up border security with a combination of new hires with the border patrol as well as using more high tech security inclding a new fence of over 2000 miles. At the same time, he is trying to address conservatives' concerns about his plan to grant temporary legal status to millions of illegal workers already in the United States.

However, tension exists on several fronts. Business uses the cheap labor and we all benefit from that when we buy produce, buy some manufacturing goods, and in other ways. At the same time, people here illegally use our social services and may take jobs away from American citizens.

So, what do we do? Remove them all? Grant amnesty? Temporary visas? We tried amnesty years ago and all that it did was convince more people to come here. Are there any answers or do we just continue to throw up our hands?

We are taking your calls on The Jack Rice Show. 1-800-327-8255 or 651-989-9226 or leave your comments below.

EU Warns European Countries about Secret CIA Jails

Any European Union state that hosted a CIA prison faces loss of its voting rights, according to an EU Commissioner today.

Last month, the Washington Post reported the existence of secret CIA facilities in Eastern Europe including Poland and Romania. Other allegations suggest the Agency has used at least 8 other countries as transport locations. Further, both the Italians and the Swedes have claims the Agency may have violated the laws when the Agency conducted operations in their countries, respectively.

These revelations have caused an uproar in Europe. And the EU has responded.

According to Franco Frattini, European Union commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, said that under EU law, if reports of secret CIA jails were true, states would face "serious consequences, including the suspension of the right to vote in the Council. "The United States has told the European Union it needs more time to respond to media reports that the CIA set up secret jails in some European nations and transported terror suspects by covert flights, the top EU justice official said Monday.

Frattini also warned that that any of the 25 bloc nations found to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their EU voting rights suspended.

We will discuss events today on The Jack Rice Show. 651-989-9226 or 1-800327-8255 or leave comments below.

Snow Hits Minnesota

Snow has finally come to Minnesota - and the winter begins. Sadly, so do the traffic accidents, the snarled roadways, and the frustration. We take your calls today on The Jack Rice Show.
Of course, the next obvious question. Why do Minnesotas seem to forget how to drive in the snow each and every year? It is as if we are reborn every November! Second question. Are drivers getting worse each year?

651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave your comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving

They are light brown, suede. As I look closely, I can see the matching stitching along the seams and a piece of braided rope across the middle to make them look good. Turn them over to find what we used to call when I was a kid waffle stomper treads. On the inside, white fleece feels soft to the touch. I'm not sure if it is real or not but I lie to myself and say that it is. I look at the inside label and am sad to see, though not shocked, that they are made in China.

Oh well, not sure if we make anything here anymore. I guess we better get used to that. A matching zipper alongside makes them a little more functional to put on too. Especially if you forget and put your gloves on first. But these boots work for us - or at least for my four children.

Our oldest, the 14 year old, hates the fact that her three younger sisters have the same winter boots that she herself wears. Of course, our 14 year old, like most, hates just about everything everybody does, regardless. But that's still not true. I've seen her smiling when they all put them on at that same time - when no one is looking, of course.
For my part, in some small way, because of her vocal outrage at matching her sisters, and her inner smile, I love the boots even more.
Strange at the things that make you thankful. I must admit that I never would have expected to look in my front room and see four matching pairs of small boots. But here they are.

Far more than I expected. Far more than I deserve.

For this, I am truly thankful.