Who should apologize for burning Korans?

Iraqi Horseman in front of the Ziggurat of Ur - artist unknown

by Jeremy Griffith

When Korans were burned inside a jail at Baghram Airbase in Afghanistan on Feb. 21, the local populace was so enraged at the desecration that they rioted for days, according to the Huffington Post. In the violence that ensued, 25 have been killed and more than 100 injured, including four Americans murdered inside a well-guarded Interior Ministry says .

Local Muslims made the discovery after finding the burnt pieces of the Koran in the rubbish. According to a column in the Daily Caller, officials say soldiers at the base were ordered to discard the books after detainees wrote codes on the pages in order to transmit secret messages to one another, a practice that takes place in many corrections institutions around the world, including the United States.

The Army Commander of the Afghan theater Lt. Gen. Allen as well as the President of the United States have apologized for the destruction of the books, but that has done nothing to quell the unrest. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and leaders of the Taliban have demanded the apology from US leaders.

The Millennium doesn’t condone the willful desecration of holy books and artifacts, but we will ask the question, who needs to apologize? We  agree that someone should apologize, but it is not the Americans!

Muslims always show feigned outrage whenever someone insults the prophet or draws a controversial cartoon or criticizes the practices of Islam. Most of these reactions are way over the top and involve violence. Yet, the Muslims never apologize for their outright disrespect for religions of others. In fact, they are outright contemptuous, destroying holy sites and building mosques on top of them, burning Bibles and other holy writings, desecrating Jewish Shrines, and destroying Buddhist Statues. Sometimes their outrage includes murder, like when the body of a filmmaker critical to Islam was found outside his home with a Muslim manifesto stapled to his chest.

Muslims should get a grip on themselves and stop with the murder and violence every time someone does something, purposely or not, to insult their religion. There are ways past that don’t involve murder. A  life is more important than the pages of a book.

See related stories at the links below.









Share This:

Darkness Radio

Dave Schrader and Mallie Fox, co-hosts of Darkness Radio on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130

Fans of the Paranormal Tune in “Darkness Dave” Schrader on the Darkness Radio Show, Twin Cities News Talk 1130 AM

The microphone pops and fizzes ever so briefly as the circuit opens, then the creepy theme music starts, followed by the booming, confident baritone of Dave Schrader as he introduces the beginning of his radio show, “Darkness Radio” a show about the paranormal and unexplained.

“GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME! You’re tuned in to the best in paranormal talk radio, Darkness Radio is on the air!” exclaims Schrader over the airwaves. “I’m you’re host Dave Schrader along with your co-host Mallie Fox and producer Tim Dennis. Good evening kids.”

“Good evening,” Fox’s melodic voice cuts in.

“Howdy,” says Dennis, simply.

Schrader, 44, of Minneapolis,  is at home behind the microphone and plays the part of an 11 to midnight talk radio show host: congenial , professional and inquisitive. If you met him on the street at that hour you might be nervously impressed. Dressed in black leather racing jacket, jeans and skulls T-shirt,  his tall, broad-shouldered form is imposing, appearing  more like an outlaw biker than a talk show host. His shiny bald head and touch-of-gray goatee are distinctive.

But in the studio, nobody can see him but in-studio guests and co-workers, and on the air, only his voice can be heard which is professional and reassuring. That’s good because the topics discussed on the show can be disturbing: ghosts, alien abductions, hauntings, strange creatures, UFOs, etc.

Fox sits to Dave’s right at the round table there in the studio, her appearance and demeanor are in stark contrast to that of her co-host. She is sprite and bubbly, with her canary yellow windbreaker and her bleach blonde hair, she stands out in a crowd. She fiddles with a rhinestone encrusted smart phone and adds color commentary when needed through the microphone in front of her. Dennis sits in the glassed-off booth behind her in front of an enormous and complicated radio show producer’s control panel where he manages the show, including the phone lines for listeners and guests. His dress is simple: shorts and a Nietzche themed black T-shirt with the scrolling phrase, “What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger”.

Genesis of a Radio Program

The trio have been working together on the show for three and a half years at their present home, Twin Cities News Talk, a conservative news and commentary station in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before that, Schrader and Dennis have been together for over seven years, ever since Dennis, a radio producer at the time, asked his college friend to return to radio. The two men had been attending Winona State University and had done college radio together, Schrader said. Dennis remained in radio and Schrader went on to other things, he said.

“It was about seven and a half years ago when Tim was working for a station,” Schrader recalls. “They were looking for a new talent to fill in a time slot and he asked me what kind of show I wanted to do. I told him, ‘let’s do a paranormal show!  That’ll be different!'”

So the show was launched at local station KLBB AM in Minnesota and for the next few years bounced around from station to station until they found their current home three years ago. In the intervening years, the format and timing of the show has changed, but the theme has remained the same. Fox got involved three years ago through a mutual friend and joined the team. On this particular evening they are interviewing Rosemary Ellen Guiley, a paranormal researcher with 45 books on the paranormal to her credit. The current book, “The Vengeful Djinn” is tonight’s topic, as Dave and company delve into the mystery of the jinnis of Medieval Arabic lore and current philosophy on the subject with the guest.

Dave as story teller

Schrader’s experience with the unexplained didn’t begin with the show, it followed him all his life, even from his earliest days. As he puts it, “I didn’t get involved in the paranormal, it got involved with me.”

Schrader recalls stories from his parents on how as a child of three-years old, he would have conversations with his recently deceased grandmother in their old house. It seemed to be more than just a child’s fantasy, Schrader explained, since he was able to give a description of his grandmother’s burial outfit, down to the fact that they had removed her false teeth. The funeral had been closed casket and only a few people knew the details, impossible to know for a child of three, Schrader said.

“I don’t remember being creeped out by the experience,” Schrader said. “I loved my grandparents and had a good relationship with them. I just put this experience in the area of the strange.”

Schrader’s mom related the story to an aunt, who also had unexplained experience with the grandmother, and was disturbed and intrigued by Schrader’s accurate, detailed descriptions.

“My grandmother called my aunt on three occasions after she died,” Schrader said. He didn’t elaborate.

The scary experiences would come later. Schrader describes an event that happened to him when he was living in Illinois at the age of 12.

“I was walking past a house in the neighborhood,” Schrader explained. “Back then we didn’t have cable and people wouldn’t watch TV all day, they would stand in front of their picture windows and watch the neighborhood.”

That’s what seemed to be happening when Schrader was walking home one day and past a particular house. A man was seen there in front of the window watching Schrader as he passed by. That wasn’t so odd. What was odd is when Schrader looked back a moment later, the man was no longer in the window, he was outside on the lawn. A third look and the man was nearly to the sidewalk following Schrader.

“Nobody can move that fast,” Schrader said, his voice and mannerisms becoming more excited as he related the story. “In the blink of an eye this person had moved from behind the window, to the middle of a lawn, through a thick hedge and nearly to the sidewalk. I can’t explain what I saw.”

There was no sign or sound of the front door opening, no footsteps, only a man, who appeared never to move, appearing suddenly closer and closer as Schrader passed by.

“The third time I saw him I just turned and ran the rest of the way home, there was no turning back then,” Schrader said. “To this day when I go to my parents’ house, I take the long way so I can avoid that creepy house.”

Now at age 44, Schrader takes his experience in the paranormal to a whole new level as he leads investigations of the unexplained throughout Minnesota and beyond. He and his cohorts investigate hauntings, and host conferences on the paranormal called “Darkness Events” where he invites experts to speak to fans of the paranormal.

Author and TV Personality

Schrader is the co-author of a book for teens called, “The Other Side: A Teen’s Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal” with co-authors Marley Gibson and Patrick Burns. The trio hammered out the book in an afternoon coffee shop session, back in 2009, Schrader said.

Schrader has branched out into TV as well, appearing as a celebrity judge for the Travel Channel’s show “Paranormal Challenge” last year. Schrader filmed 12 episode where he and other paranormal experts judged competing amateur ghost hunting teams as they jointly investigated haunted settings. His friend Zak Bagans, host of “Ghost Adventures” TV program on the Travel Channel asked him to join the team and bring his healthy skepticism to the show, Schrader said.

“That’s what I’ve always tried to bring to the my listeners and viewers, a sense of the real,” said Schrader. “I’m a skeptic and a believer, a little bit of both.”

There are no plans now to do more episodes of “Paranormal Challenge” but if asked, Schrader is open to the opportunity he said. Right now though he is focused on making his radio show the best it can be and expanding it from one hour five nights a week to two or three hours a night. Now the show can be heard on Twin Cities New Talk 1130 AM  from 11 to midnight. “Darkness Dave” and company can be found on Twitter and Facebook as well as their regular website darknessradio.com.

Though the show isn’t syndicated, many make the mistake that it is, due to the fact that Internet podcasts and live streaming audio reaches a far greater audience than the “terrestrial” radio station does, Schrader said.

“We have listeners all over the country and in Europe as well,” Schrader explained. “The audience is huge and it is so large because of the benefits of the Internet. Many can’t believe it when we tell them we are not a syndicated show.”

Things were not always such smooth sailing for the show, Schrader admits. A short time ago management changed at the station, as well as a transition from FM back to AM that shook things up a bit.  A new executive called the paranormal host into the office for a meeting, Schrader recalled.

“The guy said basically, ‘what are you doing on my station? Justify your existence!'” recalled Schrader. To the executive, a show on the paranormal didn’t seem to be a good fit on a conservative talk radio station, apparently. “We went over the (Arbitron) ratings and I basically demonstrated that we were higher rated and kept listeners longer in our hour than many syndicated shows at that time!”

The executive understood and that was that, Schrader said.

The Darkness Radio team chalks up the success of the program to the commitment of the fans and the diversity of ways the audience can listen and participate. Schrader books most of the guests and tries to keep it fresh. Dennis manages the show through technology and Fox adds a fresh perspective to the listeners. Podcasts can be found at twincitiesnewstalk.com.





Share This:

Despite the POTUS’s claims, Obama is a War-Time President

Number of UAV Strikes soars under Obama

by Jeremy Griffith

The first casualty of American wars seems to be our 5-minute attention span. As we sleepily drift back to our regular lives and mass media entertainment consumption, President Obama ramps up the War on Terror while quietly reneging on his campaign promise to disentangle us from foreign wars. The President should own up and tell us the truth, that he really is a warrior Commander-in-Chief.

During the campaign, candidate Obama promised the American people he would not be engaging in wasteful wars and nation-building. That promise was so similar to the promises of George W. Bush during his first campaign that it is painful to watch.

Both presidents have ditched their campaign promises to pursue war overseas. With Bush in those early days after 9/11, Americans were caught up in patriotic fervor and needed both consolation and revenge. Bush obliged with two land campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq and a decade’s long occupation of both.

Obama promised to disengage from foreign wars as a candidate but stressed the need to provide civilian aid to failing countries. A campaign position paper put out by the Obama campaign illustrates his position, stating, “Barack Obama believes that strengthening weak states at risk of collapse, economic meltdown or public health crises strengthens America’s security. Obama will double U.S. spending on foreign aid to $50 billion a year by 2012.”

Obama the candidate de-emphasized the role of the military in nation building, choosing instead to concentrate on civilian aid and diplomacy. While he has increased aid to foreign countries, he has also engaged the military more. While he has come through on his promise to redeploy troops from Iraq, Obama has increased the field of battle by one theater, committing the Navy and Naval Air assets and intelligence in the conflict to oust Qaddafi in Lybia, without the approval of congress. He has also committed to a different but no less lethal strategy of increasing the number of Unmanned Ariel Vehicle strikes on high level Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has produced a number of telling graphics that illustrate the numbers of UAV strikes on civilian and military targets that contrasts the weapon’s usage of presidents Bush and Obama. Clearly the UAV numbers rise significantly under President Obama’s leadership. The key graphic in the series is included below.

Totals of UAV strike missions -Infographic from Bureau of Investigative Reporting

As seen in the numbers, Bush certainly began the campaign of striking with UAVs, but the campaign was vastly expanded after Obama became president.

Not only has the deaths and critical injury of top  terrorists increased, but the number of unwanted civilian non-combatant deaths have also increased, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Obama’s strategy seems to be to actively engage known terrorists and terror camps around the world while reducing the number of US military casualties that are so abhorrent to us at home. But the civilian casualties are just as abhorrent, but still the Obama administration and the CIA drone campaign, which the spy bureau won’t officially admit exist, plods on. While pursuing this new course of action, the President runs the risk of alienating allies like Pakistan and Afghanistan whose sovereignty is often violated by these strikes. The President should also acknowledge the risks that civilian non-combatants may be and are often caught in the cross fire. With the Taliban and Al Qaeda being what they are, it is difficult to tell in the aftermath what body part belonged to a terrorist and which belonged to an innocent civilian. But, the risk of civilian causalities exists and the POTUS should acknowledge it.

While it is laudable for the President to go after terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and others, it is beneath the dignity of the office of the President to continually blame others, i.e. George W. Bush for mistakes of the past and then double down on the same or similar tactics adopted by them. The President should own up to the consequences of his choices. He should tell the American People straight out what he is doing and give a little credit where credit is due. President Obama is a warrior head of state, no different the George W.

Share This:

Faithful Catholics mark the death of Christ with a Silent March

Father Gerald Mahon and Music Director Sebastian Modarelli - photo by Jeremy Griffith

by Jeremy Griffith

Faithful Christians all over the world marked the anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ this Good Friday, as they do every year, in their own way. This year Rochester area Catholics silently marched through the city’s main streets, led by a contingent of priests bearing a cross.

Margaret Kelsey, Parish Administrator of St. John the Evangelist Church in Rochester, spoke about the importance of the event.

“This is our thirteen year participating in this event. We first began in 2000,” said Kelsey. “We observe four of the 14 stations of the cross in a silent march through the city, remembering the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus.” The march is an annual event organized by local members of Communion and Liberation, a worldwide Catholic organization begun in Italy in 1954.

The march began in front of the Government Center in Rochester and from there traveled to the Peace Plaza, Statuary Park and then the church itself. Often parishioners, numbering in the hundreds, marched two by two down the center of Rochester’s main streets, escorted by city police. At four separate times, at the locations mentioned above, the parishioners gathered to sing songs and hear a litany read. Father Gerald Mahon, pastor of the church, made comments at each of these stops.

At the government center Mahon recognized the importance of good government in protecting the rights of citizens, including the right to practice one’s faith and one’s right to freedom of expression.

With the Government Center as a backdrop Mahon said, “Good government is necessary for the preservation of the freedom of the American people. I hope and pray that our government always continues to protect our religious liberties.”

Standing at the Peace Plaza in the triangle of the Kahler Hotel, and the Mayo Clinic’s Siebens and Gonda Buildings, Mahon praised the compassion and service of the Mayo Clinic, comparing it with the compassion of Christ in healing the sick. “We recognize the service of the many doctors and nurses and other health care professionals who serve this community,” said Mahon. “We recognize in them the compassion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the great physician.”

At the third location, Mahon spoke at Statuary park next to statues of William and Charles Mayo, the Founding Brothers of the Mayo Clinic where they sit opposite the Gonda Buiding across from the church. He again praised the Clinic, saying. “Our health care professionals do so much for us to keep us well. But sometimes things get confused, because as people they do not know us. Our Lord knows us and accepts us as we are, where we are.”

The people participating in the procession were a diverse but silent group. African American families joined Hispanic and white families. The group was as diverse as their clergy and leaders. Efforts to engage them in conversation during the march were in vain. When a reporter approached a senior citizen marching at the rear of the crowd, the woman commented only, “We’re not out for a walk, we are in procession and aren’t supposed to talk.”

There was an undercurrent to the event that reflected the national tone. Several of the parishioners marched in hoodies in remembrance of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. None would speak to reporters who approached them but only disappeared in the crowd when the procession began to march again.

Other church leaders joined in the somber event, including Father John Lashuba, Parochial Vicar of St. John’s from South Sudan, Deacon Adam McMillan, Music Director Sebastian Modarelli, Dr. Sidna Scheitel, and Margaret Kelsey.

Share This: