Radio Hosts Davis and Emmer Talk ‘Inside Baseball’ with The Blaze at the RNC

Davis and Emmer of Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130

by Jeremy Griffith

Twin Cities News Talk radio hosts Bob Davis and Tom Emmer visited the RNC in Tampa Florida Tuesday and spoke with The Blaze Editor-In-Chief Scott Baker. The primary topic of discussion was the battle of grassroots activists vs. the establishment party over the rights of the states to choose their own delegates in the rules committee.

Former Minnesota Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer explained to Baker what was going on inside the rules committee where it seemed the establishment Republican Party attempted to strip the states of the right to choose their own delegates to be seated, solidifying the power of the party bosses and freezing out the grassroots members like the Tea Party and Ron Paul independents.

It was all “inside baseball” and probably wouldn’t make a difference either way in the nomination of the candidate this year, although it did show a nasty rift within the party where the Tea Party and Ron Paul supporters don’t trust the establishment party and where the establishment appeared to want to strip the states of their power.

Emmer also talked about the decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court determining that the constitutional amendment to require photo ID at the polls will be on the ballot in November for a vote. View an article on Twin Cities News Talk website on the Voter ID decision here.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson opposed the ballot initiative and Ritchie changed the name of the ballot initiative contrary of the will of the legislature. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a previous bill passed by the legislature. A constitutional amendment passed through ballot would have the power to bypass any veto. The Supreme Court of Minnesota’s decision basically established that the decision to require Voter ID ultimately will be decided by the voters, not the Secretary of State, Attorney General or any special interest group.

Watch the video of the interview here below.

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Greek Orthodox Church Celebrates 49th Annual Greek Fest

(Video by Jeremy Griffith, Greek Fest 2012, Rochester Minnesota)

The local Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester, Minnesota held a Greek Festival on the church grounds as part of their annual fundraiser this weekend, Aug. 24-26. The church, now in its 60th year has been holding these festivals annually for the past 49 consecutive years.

Tim Kelly, the Parish Council President, helped organize and run the festival.

“We’re in the 49th year,” Kelly said. “Next year will be the fiftieth. We do this as an annual fundraiser and to raise awareness about the church and in fact most Greek churches do some kind of a festival.”

Entertainment at the festival included the Levendes Band and dancers from the Greek Dancers of Minnesota dancing troupe. There was an enormous inflatible slide and a bouncer for kids as well as other games. A book booth was set up outside the church where gawkers could pick up items with information about the church and its 2,000-year history.

Father Mark Munoz, the parish priest, gave tours of the church and talked about church beliefs and practices.

Plenty of Greek food was served and turn-out was good despite a brief intermittent shower on Saturday afternoon.

Greek Orthodox congregants share information about their faith at Greek Fest in Rochester Aug. 24-26. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

A musician plays at Greek Fest in Rochester, Minnesota. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Dancers give it their all at Greek Fest in Rochester, Minnesota. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Rochester woman brings her rescued greyhounds to Greek Fest. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Dancing girl with the Greek Dancers of Minnesota performs in Rochester Saturday, Aug. 25. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

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Operation Blessing – Video

Operation Blessing from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Gordon Griffith, R.N. the brother of the creator of this website, talks about his mission to Haiti to provide health care relief to earthquake victims. -Video by Jeremy Griffith

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Vietnam Veteran Heals Self and Others Through Service

Robert Havner, 65, of Charles City Iowa, with his Marine Corps Uniform. He wore this uniform upon returning home, where an angry woman at the airport doused him with hot coffee. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Bob Havner, 65, of Charles City Iowa, doesn’t like to talk to people about Vietnam, but will open up to a select few. He doesn’t reminisce about those days, doesn’t go to the Veterans’ Halls to tell or hear war stories. Instead, he chooses to serve others.

Havner joined the Navy in 1965 as the war in Vietnam was getting more intense. A friend of his from high school had returned from serving in Vietnam and invited Havner over to his home for a game of ping pong, Havner recalls.

“He asked me, ‘Bob, what are you going to do?'” said Havner, to which he replied. “I have absolutely no idea!”

Havner’s friend suggested he join the Navy and become a Navy Corpsman, the rough equivalent of an Army Medic and serve in Vietnam.

“He said, ‘why don’t you become a hospital Corpsman?'” recalls Havner. “‘I know you want to be a nurse. If you don’t get killed in Vietnam you can use the GI Bill.’ And you know that’s what I did.”

Many of the stories Havner tells are too horrific to relate here. A short example of two of Havner’s least graphic tales can be found below as he relates what happened at his base in Da Nang during two separate attacks.

Life of a Navy Hospital Corpsman from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Havner suffers from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder, for which he takes medication. Without the medication, he’s a different person he says.

“You absolutely don’t want to be around me when I don’t take my medication,” Havner warns.

He doesn’t dwell on the negative, the depression or the end of two marriages. Instead he focuses on service. After leaving Vietnam he did become a nurse and worked in different hospitals his whole career, including work in a neonatal unit working with young mothers and their premature children.

In retirement, Havner hasn’t slowed down. He belongs to a number of organizations and is active in grassroots politics. He says one of the greatest joys he has is greeting home veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, and escorting the older veterans on “Freedom Honor Flights” to the World War II memorial in Washington D.C.

As a member of the Marine Corps League in Charles City, he and fellow veterans have sponsored veterans to fly to Washington to see their memorial.

“It’s therapeutic for me!” says Havner. “It’s important that veterans of that generation get to see their memorial before they are all gone.”

Issues of mental and physical health of veterans of Vietnam and the negative reception many of the veterans of that war received upon returning home has been an impetus for many veterans to never allow what happened to them to happen to another, Havner says. That’s why many Vietnam Veterans are advocates for education in Veterans Affairs, insuring that new veterans get better health care and better treatment  as they return home.

Havner recalls how he missed his own grandmother’s funeral because he had orders to escort the remains of a fellow Marine home to his loved ones. Upon completion of his duty, he returned home, arriving at the airport in his Marine Corps Dress Uniform. An angry protestor greeted him with a snarl and a hot cup of coffee, which she poured all over Havner’s uniform.

“It wasn’t a popular war,” said Havner. “We were called all sorts of names, it wasn’t pleasant, that’s why we as veterans who had to go through this don’t allow it to happen to our men and women in uniform now.”

The Freedom Honor Flights are all done now, but the memory and the joy they brought rejuvenates the retired Havner. He recalls two incidents where he was able to help a veteran on those trips.

“An older veteran was told he had only a few months to live,” Havner said. “I asked him if he wanted to see the memorial. He said yes, but he said there wasn’t enough time. I said, ‘you think you can hang on a little while longer if I promise to take you?’ He said, ‘absolutely!’ and we went.”

“His family approached me after the old man had died, to thank me,” Havner said. “They said, ‘thank you for returning my father to me.'”

The old man had been bitter and angry since the close of World War II and hand been hard to deal with. Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, birthdays weren’t celebrated, and nobody wanted to deal with the aging father. Following that trip to Washington, the old man invited his family over for Christmas. Havner recalls there was a reconciliation in that family, because the old veteran was finally able to hang up his grief.

On the last Freedom Flight, Havner had a chance to fly out to Washington with the good friend who convinced him to join the Navy in the first place. Havner’s friend had had a hard time ever since and had suffered health and social problems. Havner invited him as a gesture. On their return home, Havner played a little trick on his friend. The man’s family was there, waiting to give him the welcome home that he never received upon returning from Vietnam.

“You should have seen his face. It was priceless,” Havner said.

For information on Navy Hospital Corpsman in Vietnam and Navy Surgical Hospitals, click here. (Warning! Graphic content.)

For information on Freedom Honor Flights, visit

Robert Havner, former Navy Corpsman, with a medic bag he carried in Vietnam. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

A plaque Havner received from his service with the Marines in Vietnam. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Havner’s class of graduating Navy Corpsman, San Diego California.

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Mayo Clinic Employee Remembers Service to Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti

(Gordon Griffith, R.N. of Mayo Clinic Team 2 talks about his trip to provide medical support to the devastated community of Haiti following the earthquake there. A longer, more detailed version of his comments can be found here.)

Holly Hanson, R.N. with Haitian orphans.

In January of 2010, the island nation of Haiti suffered a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands and displaced many others. A year after the tragic event, the nation’s citizens were still reeling from the aftermath where disease, homelessness and poverty were rampant.

Leaders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, after an extensive safety evaluation, decided that it was safe enough for teams from the clinic to travel to Haiti and provide medical support. Gordon Griffith, R.N., and emergency department nurse, was one of those selected for the mission and served on the second of ten teams that traveled to Haiti to provide medical support.

Griffith arrived in Port Au Prince where Mayo Clinic Team 2, under the leadership of Dr. Chris Farmer, a pulmonologist, embedded itself with a charitable organization already on the ground, Operation Blessing. The mission of Team 2 was to provide medical services to a hospital and clinic run by Dr. Rick Frechette, a Catholic Priest, medical doctor and missionary.

Mayo Clinic Team 2 with Father Rick Frechette, Center, of Operation Blessing. – Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.











You can see Fr. Frechette’s early commentary about the earthquake’s effects on You Tube here.

Griffith and other members of the team were impressed by Frechette even though they worked with him only a short time, Griffith says.

“He’s a catholic priest, who is also a doctor, who givers sermons in combat boots,” said Griffith, describing Frechette. “He was an amazing man and quite inspirational to hear.”

Team 2 stayed and provided assistance for just one week, providing education and medical care to patients in poverty. Cholera was one of the major diseases common amongst the patients seen by the team, a result of the deplorable sanitary conditions of the shanty towns in which many of the population lives, Griffith said.

About midway through Team 2’s week of service, the team was allowed to visit an orphanage for young children displaced by the earthquake. Many of the children are without parents because of the earthquake or were abandoned because of severe injury or illness. According to Griffith, the purpose of the visit was just to provide comfort to the children who have little affection or human contact.

“We were allowed to see one of the orphanages that Operation Blessing had organized,” Griffith said. “It was developing into an oasis. We got to interact with all these kids, and because they no longer had their parents, many just had an innate need to be held and so we as care givers just gave.”

“They (the children) indicated what they needed,” continued Griffith. “And for a while we were able to provide some time for that.” The clinic was clean, well organized and had a competent, caring staff which provided many healthy activities, food and clothing for the children under their care, Griffith said.

One of the major goals of the teams sent by the Mayo Clinic was to provide care at a level that was sustainable by the Haitians themselves after the teams of healthcare workers were gone, Griffith said.

Holly Hanson, R.N. of the Mayo Clinic Team 2 documented the trip with her photography, some of which we include here. Hanson also produced a You Tube video describing the teams mission here.

Frechette’s charitable work earned him recognition in the United States and he was awarded the Hollywood Humanitarian Award in October of 2009.

Hollywood Actress Maria Bello, of the hit TV series ER, made the award presentation to Frechette.

“We were there (in Haiti) to visit Father Rick Frechette and his life-changing programs for the poor,” says Bello. “(He) is a priest and doctor who has lived and worked in the slums of Port Au Prince for decades. He saw the conditions of the poor and disenfranchised, and works tirelessly everyday to bring dignity and hope to the people there.”

Accepting the award, Frechette said,

“It is a sign of your interest to help the poor children of Haiti to move to a world of more Justice, more peace and more opportunity.”

Describing the charisma of the humble priest, Griffith said.

“He is a man equally comfortable addressing the rich and famous, politicians and movie stars, as he is talking and working with humanitarians and the poor disenfranchised children of his parish.”

Mayo Clinic Team 2 consisted of the following members: Dr. Chris Farmer, Dr. Mark Enzler, Dr. John Meuller, Gordon Griffith R.N., Shannon Hackbart R.N., Shannon Rodriguez R.N., Amy Brabec R.N., Holly Hanson R.N., Kathy Asp R.N. C.N.P., Laurie Vlasak R.N. C.N.P.

*Disclusure: Gordon B. Griffith is the older brother of the author of this column. He has served previously as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Guatemala, Central America; has served as a Navy Corpsman providing medical relief as part of a Navy Fleet Hospital in Togo West Africa; and provided medical support as a Corpsman to a detachment of U.S Marines in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He works as an emergency department nurse at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic.

Members of Mayo Clinic Team 2, in Haiti.

A child’s Feet. -photo by Holly Hanson, R.N.

Gordon Griffith R.N. of Mayo Clinic Team 2 with an orphan child in Haiti -photo by Holly Hanson, R.N.

An orphan child in Haiti. -Photo by Holly Hanson, R.N.

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Omnipotent God Controls Everything!

King Jesus Returning

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Darkness Dave Schrader Video Interview (Update)

(Interview with Darkness Dave Schrader, Chapter I)

Darkness Dave Chapter 2 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Part III of Jeremy’s Interview with Darkness Dave Schrader.)

Darkness Dave Chapter 4 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(Part V)

Since we first published our interview with Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio, we failed to upload the rest of the interview. So here you go gang, we’ve included parts of the rest of the interview and included the original video as well. You can find the original article published on our website here.

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The Pipestone Pow Wow brings Visitors of All ages

Pow Wow 2 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

(A photo slideshow with audio interviews with organizers of the Pow Wow, from Jeremy Griffith of American Millennium Online.)

Pipestone Minnesota is sacred ground for all Native American Peoples because it is one of the few places in North America where malleable pipestone is found. The weekend of July 28-29, it was also the site of an annual Pow Wow, organized by the Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers.

Pow Wow organizer Rona Johnston says the Pow Wow has been going on at this site for 14 years, but the tradition itself goes on for centuries. She’s not sure how many different tribes participate every year, but says they come from all over the North American, including Canada.

“We don’t really ask people what their tribal affiliation is when they come to the Pow,” explained Johnston. “I’m sure we’ve had tribes from many, many nations; Cherokee, Ojibwe, Chalktaw, Sakenfox, Patawaname, First Nations, Lakota, Dakota. . . ”

“The Pow is a great way to get people together to expose them to the culture,” Rona said. “People come here to see what the art is like, the dance, the different types of beadwork, things like that. Traditions that have been carried on probably for thousands of years.”

Bud Johnston, Rona’s husband, is knowledgeable about the history of Native American Peoples. He explained how pipestone quarried here was valuable as a trade item.

“This was one of the biggest trade items in North America,” he said. “We’ve found pipestone from here all over these two continents, North America and South America. All of our stuff that was a prized item was traded. They found South Carolina flint on my reservation. So these two items traveled all over this continent. That’s how important this stone was.”

Native Americans of all ages danced at the Pow Wow in brightly colored traditional costumes. Spectators who came to watch the Pow were invited to dance along and participate. Veterans were asked to place flags from every military service of the United States and ringed the circle where the dances took place. An elder blessed the field before the dance to purify it.

It wasn’t all seriousness and tradition. The atmosphere was celebratory and fun. Audience members took time to dance with the dancers, including a traditional “potato dance” where partners balanced a potato between their foreheads. The last couple to retain their potato  without dropping it won a prize.

Pow Wow’s and native dances are not the only ways to preserve tradition. At the Pipestone National Monument, Park Rangers and cultural interpreters work to share Native American history and Culture. The monument’s 75th Anniversary is coming up August 25th.

Pam Tellinghuisen is a pipestone carver and cultural demonstrator at the monument. She teaches pipestone carving and gives demonstrations to curious tourists who visit the site.

“I teach the art of pipestone carving,” she said. “I learned it from my mom, my mom learned it from her mom, so I’m actually a fourth generation pipestone carver. For me it’s a family tradition.”

Pipestone is used in sacred items used in ceremonies, especially the traditional pipestone pipe with it’s distinctive reddish brown stone. Only certified Native Americans can quarry the stone after they’ve submitted the proper permits, Tellinghuisen said. Right now there is a five-year waiting list to get a quarry, and those who are successful in getting a quarry are required to quarry at least twice a year.

While no non-native can quarry the rock, items made from the stone are available for sale at the bookstore, as well as books, music and other items. The Monument’s Interpretive Center has a bookshop, a museum and a theater, and visitors can walk around the grounds on designated paths to see the pipestone quarries for themselves.

Sadly, not all of the traditions begun here have continued. In 2007, the committee that puts on the beloved Song of Hiawatha Pageant, shut its doors for the last time. The popular outdoor play  based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem began showing at that location in 1948. Longfellow wrote the poem in 1855. Committee members said they shuttered the play finally due to diminishing crowds.




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