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. 

Media, Legal, Intel & Terrorism Analysis

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Wishes for a New Year

When I think of the Statue of Liberty or the American flag, I think about the American ideal. I think about being the champion of freedom worldwide, a great beacon of light and of hope. Sadly, this is an ideal that seems to be slipping through our fingertips.

Our politicians scream from the rooftops about our championing democracy. About how important it is and about how we have gone into Iraq to promote it. And yet, while espousing that democracy, we continue to support the likes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. Is that supporting democracy? Is that at all consistent? Or does it send an entirely different message?
The House of Saud has and never will have any interest in democracy - and we know it. The House of Saud talks about being our closest friend but they're not - and we know it. Eighteen of the nineteen hi-jackers were Saudi citizens. The House of Saud says they have all of the oil that we need and yet continues to string us along like some pusher to his drug addicted client, like a parasite - and we know it.

In Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak has controlled the reigns of power for decades with a death grip. In the most recent elections, when opposition parties appeared to gain some popularity, he arrested its leaders, closed the polling sites and harrassed any who acted out. And they are our close friends?

And then, there is Pakistan. In some ways, they are our closest allies in this war on terror. We used their country as a launching pad to fight the Taliban. However, what we often forget, the Pakistani ISI, the Pakistani Intelligence Service, helped to establish that same Taliban. Let's take it a step further, General Pervez Musharraf. The leader of the country that our President holds up as some sort of democratic champion. Democratic? Hardly! Musharraf took the country by force. He was not elected. There was no popular mandate, unless the point of a gun brings popular support.

None of these countries, who are our closest allies in the region, have any semblemce of democracy. In fact, they are all known for the human rights abuses and for their willingness to crush opposition with an iron fist. For their willingness to deny representation to their own people.

Yeah! We are the champions of freedom. We are the champions of democracy.

To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected. This is a Biblical phrase that I have heard come from the mouths of many politicians. I understand that it is popular rhetoric and that it is often used as some sort of catch-phrase to justify a lot. Unfortunately, it doesn't wash when we look at the reality.

When I think of the Statue of Liberty or the American Flag, I think of the ideal. I simply would like to see the reality and the ideal match a little more closely.

That is my wish for a New Year!

Edward R. Murrow - The Broadcast Journalist to Whom All Others are Compared

Edward R. Murrow pioneered radio news during the Second World War, with his rooftop reporting from London during the Blitz to his recollections of Buchenwald. Before Murrow, newspapers held all of the crdibility and radio only provided concerts and the occasional speech. After Murrow, everything changed.
In 1951, Murrow moved television beyond comedy and variety and quiz show to something more. He brought serious investigation and critical analysis to a medium that, before him, had little. This included See it Now and Person to Person.
We will take a closer look at the legacy of Edward R. Murrow on The Jack Rice Show today.
Bob Edwards, hosted NPR's Morning Edition for decades and is a broadcast journalist of acclaim in his own right. He is also the author of Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. He is now the host of a successful satellite radio program.
Bob will join the program to discuss the impact of Murrow at the time as well as the continuing impact and maybe whether Murrow is an anachronism that is better forgotten.
Finally, highlighting the continuing impact of Murrow, a recent movie writen and directed by George Clooney, Good Night and Good Luck, takes an impressive glimpse of Murrow and Murrow's Boys during the McCarthy hearings. David Strathern, who plays Murrows, joins the program. to discuss how he prepared for the role. He also comments on the media and what may be lacking today.
Of course, throughout the program, we will take calls from listeners.
Call in at 651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below.

Is the Twins Stadium Dying a Slow and Painful Death?

And the saga continues. Gov. Tim Pawlenty is trying to prop up support for the proposed $478 million Twins stadium deal. Of course, because nobody was able to come up with an agreement, the costs have increased by almost $30 million.

Under the existing agreement, Hennepin County would pay $235 million toward the stadium while the Twins would come up with $125 million. Of course, the issue of the tax referendum plays into it.

If the Twins don't get a stadium, what will they do? Will they move? Where will they go? Regardless of how tis works out, can anybody blame the Twins. Others teams have received deals from their cities. Why not the Twins?

Even if the Twins don't move, isn't there a legitimate concern about contraction. Isn't that a legitimate concern?

Regardless of how this plays out, all sides can agree on one thing, watching the Twins play in the Metrodome is a disaster. I sit on the first base line and I am pointing toward the outfield.

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

Canadian Group Sex Patrons Can Now Party On. Is America Next?

The Canadian Supreme Court lifted a ban on "swingers" clubs, determining that group sex among consenting adults is neither a threat to society nor prositution. Therefore, consdenting adults are now free to frolic.

While some in Canada are outraged, others feel that this is an important victory. As some have put it, consenting adults having sex in private and that is or should be protected. If those same people meet in clubs and then have sex out of the public eye, why should anybody have the right to stop them?

In Minnesota and around the country, local and or state ordinances typically stop people from meeting is sex club. But should they? If the sex is between consenting adults, and it is in private, and nobody is getting paid, what is the problem? You decide.

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

Bob Baer, Former CIA Officer Joins the Program


Happy Holidays to You and Yours

When I was a child, I remember waiting for Santa to arrive. I was so excited as I listened for the sounds of the reindeer on the roof, for the sounds of his big boots, for the sleigh bells. Sadly, sometimes, that wonder subsides and we become cynical. We become too "knowing", too smart, too confident in what is and what isn't.

As this Christmas approaches, I see the wonder in my own childrens' eyes. I see them wanting to stay up and hear the reindeer, hear the boots, hear the sleigh bells. And you know what, to see it is the best gift any man can have and certainly more than I deserve!

You know what else, I sit right beside them and listen as carefully as I can because, I guess, sometimes being so "knowing", so smart, so confident, is not a good thing.

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season, be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or even just a good weekend.

The War on Christmas Continues

It used to decorate Memorial Park, on Main Street in lovely downtown Melrose. The colorful Nativity scene was a common sight, but not anymore. Now, out of fear of religious symbols on public property and the fear of lawsuits, these symbols are dissappearing.

I understand that tolerance requires us to consider and allow others to voice their opinions and to display their beliefs. If that is true, than isn't it equally true that those who want the Nativity scene should have the right to see one.

Have we lost our backbone when it comes to our beliefs, whatever those beliefs are? Doesn't inclusiveness mean allowing you to believe what you want to believe while at the same time allowing me to believe what I want to believe?

Of course, like many topics we discuss, it is never that simple. The Nativity scene in Melrose was simply moved down to the local church. So now if you want to see it, go to the religious site where it is.

Aren't we better off keeping God and religion off of the public square? Or is that the best place for it?

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

O' Where O' has My Little $400 Million Gone?

Governor Tim Pawlenty expected to raise almost $400 million for the state from a 75-cent-a-cirgarette pack fee. Well, a Ramsey County judge may have sent that plan up in smoke.

Ramsey County Judge Michael Fetsch tossed out the fee, saying it violated the 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry.

According to the Department of Revenue, $65 million has already been generated. On average, the fee was expected to bring in an average of $16 million to $18 million a month. And now, that month may have to be returned. But to whom?

As I recall, the big fight originally was over the word fee or tax. If this had been titled what it was, a tax on smokers, rather than a fee on the tobacco industry, then would we be in this mess?

Who is supposed to keep an eye on this stuff? Who is responsible? Do we blame the Governor? The judge? The legislature? Ourselves?

And ultimately, where do we find the $400 million that is now missing from the budget.

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

What Would Make You Go on Strike?

New York City Transit Workers went on strike today. As a result, the nation's largest mass transit system, with some 7 million riders, has come to a sreaming halt. According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the strike may cost the city as much as $400 million a day.

And yet, both sides, the city and the Transit Workers Union have refused to budge.

Looking at the nation's economy and the job market, what would make you go on strike? Would you willingly go on strike for better wages and better benefits? Would you go on strike to stay the same? How about if the only offer was for pay cuts and cuts in benefits?

Think about Northwest Airlines.

With these questions in mind, many of us feel powerless to act. We are at the mercy of our employers and just feel thankful to have jobs. How did we get to this point?

And yet, unions are on the decline and government has continued to support owners and management over the union worker. So, what do you do? If someone will always take your job at a lower rate, and they will, does that mean we are all destined to live in huts and eat the scraps that are given to us?

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

Is it for a Good Cause or a Backdoor into Heaven?

Money and religion, sadly, seem to go hand in hand. Or do they?

At Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul, they are doing a fundraiser and for about $1,000 per pew, the wealthy can buy the divine luxury of a reserved seat or pew at the standing room only Christmas Eve service.

Parishioners have debated the annual auction of front row pews being reserved for Christmas Eve themsevles. Now it is our turn.

All of the money raised goes to Nativity's elementary school. This is certainly a good and just cause. But is it good and just?

Is this fair? Is this right? Or is this just another example of buying your way into heaven? Or holding yourself up in front of your peers as being more godly?

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