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 and trial skills teacher aroud the world, 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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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.


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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 on The Jack Rice Show - Open Phones

KARE 11 will change its mid-morning talk show into an "advertainment" program. Whoever pays gets to push their products. Does this weaken the credibility of KARE 11 and further blur the lines between journalism and entertainment? Or do you even care? Or, in the end, do you think the media is always pushing something anyway and this just puts it out in the open?

Britain is preparing to allow more pubs to be open across the country 24 hours a day. In Minnesota, there are many places where we can't buy a drink and even then , the hours are curtailed. If we aren't doing anything wrong like causing a disturbance or driving drunk, should it be the government's business telling us when and where we can drink? Should we allow bars to stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Your calls and comments!
651-989-9226 or 1-800-327-8255 or leave comments below!

The Face of a Fantasy, or of a Sexual Predator? Or Both

Debra LaFave. Florida resident. Middle school teacher. Child Molestor.Today, Debra Lafave sat in Circuit Court Judge Wayne Timmerman's courtroom at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa, Fla. and . . . pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her 14-year-old middle school students in her classroom, in her home and in her car while the 14 year old's 15 year old's cousin drove. And yet, with all of this, LaFave will avoid going to prison.I've been involved in both the prosecution and defense of sexual offenders in the past. I've stood next to people in court who have been charged and/or convicted of such offenses and have seen how people view men, yes men, like this. These men are almost universally seen as monsters, as Satan incarnate. But not Debra!Debra reminds me of the French teacher in my Junior high school. All of the boys lusted after her. We all walked by her class room just to see her. To smell her perfume. Debra is like that. Boys seem to see her as a goal, as a fantasy. Apparently, not just boys.
Certainly, not as the Satan that I recall while standing next to those convicted of such crimes in courtrooms.
Did this play a part in her avoiding prison?
Life is fascinating. It is amazing what lovely blond hair and piercing blue eyes provides you.
I'm not suggesting that she does not have her mental issues nor a story that is probably much deeper than has been heard in the media. All sexual offenders have such stories. It is just interesting that people seem interested in hearing hers!
Lafave, 25, will serve three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Wayne Timmerman said LaFave also will forever lose her teaching certificate, must register with the state as a sexual predator, may not have any contact with children including the victim, and will not be allowed to profit from the sale of her story or personal appearances.
If convicted at trial in Hillsborough County, LaFave could have faced up to 15 years in prison for each count.
What part, if any, did gender or beauty, have in the outcome of this case? And if it did, why?


Frontline - Katrina: A Closer Look at What Worked and What Didn't

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, FRONTLINE investigates the chain of decisions that slowed federal response to the devastation in New Orleans. The film exposes how and why federal and local officials failed to protect thousands of Americans from a broadly predicted natural disaster and examines the state of America's disaster-response system, restructured in the wake of 9/11, on The Storm.
Producers of The Storm will join The Jack Rice Show on November 22 to discuss what worked and what didn't and the surprizes they found while investigating in the rubble that was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.