Conservative Blogger Kira Davis Ejected from MSNBC Pavilion at DNC

Kira Davis holds a sign at the MSNBC Pavilion. She was ejected from MSNBC at the DNC Thursday.

by Jeremy Griffith

Tingle Time Chris Matthews and the MSNBC Crowd must be wetting themselves today because their security guards escorted a black conservative woman and her friends out of their pavilion when she showed a hand-made sign showing her support for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Breitbart TV was first with the story and video as Breibart contributing writer Lee Stranahan was there. Kudos to them. The woman with the sign was none other than our own Kira Davis of and Kira’s sign said simply, “Black, Conservative, and Voting for Romney! Romney/Ryan 2012”. See some of the additional video of the event here.

(Breitbart TV footage of conservative blogger Kira Davis getting ejected from their pavilion at the DNC.)

(Additional footage from Breitbart TV.)

So why was the MSNBC crew so fearful of this woman, Kira Davis and her blogger friends Lee Stranahan, Tabitha Hale and Brandon Darby that they ejected them from the area, banning them and their cameras even though other people had cameras? Because according to the mainstream narrative, black Americans aren’t supposed to be conservative and can’t support Romney. In fact, previously MSNBC has reported that Zero Percent of Black Americans support Romney, even though this is provably false. Look at this report about black conservative delegates at the RNC on The Blaze.

MSNBC and the mainstream media are so stodgy and out of touch that these lefty leftovers can’t understand in their blinding arrogance that they no longer own the narrative. They can’t show this conservative mom from suburban California, can’t interview her. That would destroy their control of that narrative, even though everyone and anyone with a smart phone with a camera, social media and Internet access can be a journalist and fact check the lies that they are bringing forward, even before they finish making their fallacious arguments.

That’s what the Breitbart people did today when they got ejected from the pavilion, they filmed the event and now there is a Twitter and Facebook firestorm that follows. I  think this event won’t discourage conservative bloggers like Kira and her friends, it will continue to empower them. The MSM is the media of the past. We own the narrative and they are losing. Kudos to Kira. I can’t wait to hear her on Blogtalk Radio, and see her coverage of the news of the day on and I’m not worried that Chris Matthews won’t interview her. I’m sure someone like Larry O’Connor will. I like him much better, and I trust him. Matthews I can’t stand.

I actually feel kind of bad for MSNBC. You gotta know that the conservative bloggers are going to hammer them over this. I mean, what are they afraid of anyway? Are they racist? Do they hate women? They’re so used to putting those claims out in describing conservatives, fully expecting not to be challenged. But they will be challenged and already have been. I can’t wait until Alfonso Rachel or Stephen Cruiser get a hold of this story. Oh wow, I can see the sparks fly now!

We are winning this fight and Kira Davis is living proof. People don’t believe the lies of the left anymore, except the mind-numbed minority that watch the MSM these days. More and more people get their news from alternative sources, right on their mobile phones and devices. A false claim from one of these talking heads comes out and a news consumer on a smart phone can instantly fact check those claims. It’s no wonder the left wants to regulate the Internet. They are losing control and if measures aren’t taken soon, they will never get it back. Good. The power in this Republic belongs to an informed citizenry. With an open and free Internet, we are freer than we ever have been before.

Thank you Kira, for your courage. You inspire us!

And to the Breitbart people I say this: Andrew inspired us to fight this war, and you are carrying the torch of his legacy very well. I’m sure he would be very proud of all of you. We in the conservative blogosphere aspire to be like you, and him.

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Experiment: Irish Fest Unleashed

(Experiment: Irish Fest Unleashed. – video by Jeremy Griffith)

The Second Annual Irish Fest was as record setting as the first according to its organizers. The Festival took place over the three-day Labor Day weekend and featured live music, dance performances, crafts and games for kids, Irish Food, and a Whisky Tasting on Friday night.

Headlining the musical performances was the Irish Music Award’s 2009 top traditional group Bua, which performed all three nights. Other musical groups included The Mairtin de Cogain Project, Andreas Transo, the Twin Cities Ceili Band and performances by the Mooncoin Ceili Dancers.

Eamonn de Cogain came back for a second year in a row from Ireland to MC the event.

More information about the Festival is available at 

Performer plays bagpipes at Rochester Peace Plaza. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Performers play live music at Rochester’s Peace Plaza. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Musicians perform classic Irish tunes. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Irish Wolf Hound is good with kids – photo by Jeremy Griffith

Irish Fest Placard – photo by Jeremy Griffith

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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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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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Thoughts on the Aurora Tragedy

Aurora shootings from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo. creator Jeremy Griffith at Jefferson’s house. Thomas wasn’t home.

Jeremy Griffith, contributor to and creator of, comments on the horrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.

Hey gang, Jeremy Griffith here. I contribute to the and am the creator of the American Millennium You can follow me on facebook and twitter.

I want to talk to you for a minute about something very important. A couple of weeks ago a psychopath entered a crowed theater carrying one of these, a variant of the AR-15. He shot a bunch of people, killing a few and injuring many others. He wasn’t a soldier, or a cop, he had no training whatsoever. He was just a lonely insignificant man who was unable to circumvent his own problems and took his anger out on the world. The guns he used didn’t leap off the shelf and kill people, he did it. Knowingly, willingly, and he will eventually pay for his crimes, in this life and the next.

I feel nothing but compassion for the victims of this horrible event in Aurora Colorado. We should embrace them with our love and never forget what happened here. But we should also remember who is responsible and why. Murder is illegal, it always has been, yet our laws have never prevented a sociopath from committing a crime. Some may say, OK Jeremy, I get it. The second amendment, I get it. You can own a gun, but why does anybody need an AR-15 or a tactical shotgun.

Good question. I saw a good cartoon this week on the Internet. It says basically that pistols and revolvers meant to prevent robbery or assault, shotguns are for burglars, and automatic rifles are for those in government who want to take our rights to bear arms away.

Case in point: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, my three favorite things. The BATF has murdered more people than James Holmes, the Aurora Theater gunman, and they did it in sight of the press cameras, and nobody has ever held them to account. About 80 people died at the Branch Dravidian communal church in Waco Texas, and several were killed at Ruby Ridge, including a young boy and a dog.

The people at Ruby Ridge and Waco might be different than us, and have different beliefs, but it’s never been proven in a court room that they were ever guilty of a crime that justified their deaths. In Ruby Ridge, the family of the deceased successfully sued the government for damages. Don’t say it can’t happen here, where our government loses control and starts causing suffering amongst the citizenry, it already has, many times.
In many cases the presence of a well trained legal gun owner has thwarted a crime, but the anti-gun left never brings that up. They want to take away all guns, no matter what, and put in place their gun free utopia.

But that won’t work, because creating anti gun zones doesn’t get rid of guns and killers, it makes innocent people more vulnerable to people who don’t care about the laws. These defenseless zones as they are called have been the sites of the most horrendous killings, like Columbine High School and Virginia Tech. Gun bans on those campuses didn’t slow a gunmen, it encouraged them.

American Vision head Gary DeMar says that worldviews have consequences in the real world. When we teach children that they evolved from single celled organisms from the primordial soup, that they’re just animals like every other animal in the animal kingdom, and there is no meaning or purpose to life, when we banish God from the public square, then we deserve the world we live in that we ourselves created.

DeMar had this conversation with an atheist. The atheist said, “Gary, just because I’m an atheist doesn’t make me a monster.” To which DeMar replied, “But being an atheist doesn’t preclude you from being a monster.”

Life is precious and has meaning, and we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, and ultimately accountable to our creator for our own actions. That should be taught to our kids in our schools, but don’t hold your breath. Instead, teach that to your children at home. Teach them the proper use of these dangerous tools, teach them to hold life as sacred, and teach them to defend their own lives only as a last resort.

We have rights, endowed to us by our creator, rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot protect those rights from those who would take them away, if not for the right to keep and bear arms. We cannot have the First Amendment, without the teeth of the second.

So hold the victims of Aurora in your heart, and pray. And then, take hold of your belief, your God and your guns and do the right thing. God bless you, and God Bless America.

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Pipestone Pow Wow 28-29 July 2012

Pipestone Pow Wow from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

The Pipestone National Monument in 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. This weekend it was also the site of the Annual Pipestone 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 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,” explained Johnston. “We just know from their stories that they share who they are and where they come from. We’ve had people from the First Nations, Lakota, Dakota, Ojibwa, Cheyenne,  Cherokee, just about everyone from everywhere.”

Bud Johnston, Rona’s husband, explained that story telling is one of the ways the culture is kept alive and the Pow Wow is a way to bring people together to tell those stories.

“Pipestone is a crossroads,” he said. “Many people come here for the pipestone for their pipes and they barter and trade, and they tell their stories. They’ve found pipestone from here in every corner of the continent and they’ve found other valuable trade items here, like North Carolina flint. This place is a major trade hub.”

Native Americans of all ages danced in bright costumes and people of the audience 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.

“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.”

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.




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Fair Week 2012

Fair Week from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

The Griffith clan, Thorin, Alaina, Isaac and Valerie have fun at the fair. Sort of. There was lots of drama, but we got through it. Way to go guys!

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Tea Party Patriots Get Education on Voter ID Ballot Amendment

Voter ID Amendment Information Meeting from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Earlier we wrote about the constitutional amendment ballot initiative that will require all Minnesotans to carry valid photo ID at the polls. On Thursday, two knowledgeable advocates of the ballot initiative spoke to a group of Tea Party Patriots at Rochester’s Godfather’s Pizza to educate them on the latest news about the amendment and to dispel rumors.

John Rouleau of St. Paul is a political activist and field director of His message is to not believe the hype that the law will disenfranchise voters who can’t afford an ID, the elderly, shut ins, the military serving overseas, college students and the like.

“I got my ID in college” said Rouleau. “I’m kind of insulted that they think that I’m not smart enough to do that! “

Rouleau points out that the military voting laws cover absentee balloting for servicemen and women overseas and that the law when enected by the legislature will include provisional balloting and free photo ID for those who cannot get it any other way.

State Senator Mike Parry-R was on hand at the meeting and spoke to voters on issues currently facing the ballot initiative. He intends to call key government officials into committee hearings Friday to hear why they oppose the ballot initiative properly voted on in the legislature and why they won’t let it go to the people for a vote, campaigning against it with tax-payer dollars. One of the members Parry intends to call before committee is State Secretary of State Mark Ritchie-DFL who has opposed the measure from the beginning and has recently changed the name of the ballot question, which Parry believes is outside his authority.

“Our whole purpose in my committee meeting tomorrow is to show a pattern of (Ritchie) using taxpayer dollars to actually campaign against not only the Voter ID Law but the marriage amendment,” said Parry.

It is likely the Secretary of State will not show, but send a representative, Parry said, in which case, his committee has subpoena power, he said.

Ritchie has said from the beginning that there is no voter fraud in Minnesota, while Rouleau cites statistics saying that Minnesota leads the nation in the number of voter fraud convictions. Information and a history of the ballot initiative is available at the Minnesota Majority website and at

A recent poll conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows that the majority of Minnesota residents across the spectrum are in favor of some sort of photo ID requirement at the polls. Below you can see an infographic showing the numbers in that poll.

The Star Tribune’s Scott Newman writes Wednesday that the rewording of the ballot initiative by Ritchie is “out of bounds”.

The ballot question comes up for a vote in the November election. An abstention from voting equals a no vote according to constitutional amendment rules in Minnesota.




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Allen Quist Outlines Quest for Congress

Quist4Congress from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

Allen Quist, 67, has once again thrown his hat into the political ring, this time in competition with DFL Congressional Incumbent Tim Walz. First however, he will have defeat another political rival, Mike Parry-R, in an upcoming primary election coming up August 14.

Quist and his wife and campaign manager Julie Quist outlined his vision for debt reduction and the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, in a town hall meeting Friday in front of voters at the Ramada Inn in Rochester, Minnesota .

Quist, armed with a graphic with data from, explained the ballooning of the national debt in his lifetime to almost $16 Trillion in 2012.

“We have to cut this debt down in the next five years or less,” explained Quist, addressing constituents. “I believe in deadlines and if you don’t set a deadline for this, it’s my experience that it will never get done.”

Quist distanced himself from his Republican opponent, Mike Parry, explaining their various stances on the debt and the deficit.

“Mike Parry doesn’t have the same position on the deficit that I do, and I think this is critical,” said Quist. “My position is we have to balance the budget in five years or less. And I believe you have to have a timeline; you have to have a deadline.”

Incumbent Tim Walz’s position on debt and deficit are even further removed from that of his challenger, Quist said.

“Mr. Walz says that the way to deal with the debt is for the government to spend even more! And so he’s following the ‘stimulate the economy’ nonsense,” Quist said. “The fact of the matter is that for 2011, 36 cents out of every federal dollar spent was borrowed. That is mega-stimulus by definition.”

“And so if stimulating the economy is the way to get out of the debt,” Quist continued. “Then we should have a huge surplus. And so what he (Walz) is saying is nonsense.”

The Star Tribune notes that Quist is able to raise $178,230 for his campaign in the second quarter, with $165,000 in the bank. He’s donated over $100,000 of his own money to the campaign as well.

According to The Star Tribune, National Democrats are backing Walz as a part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Frontline” program, which supports potentially vulnerable incumbents. In 2010, they committed over a quarter million dollars to help retain Walz’s seat in Congress.

Quist served four terms as a representative in the Minnesota House since 1982 and has made two unsuccessful runs for governor.

Mike Parry, a marketing company manager and business owner, currently represents Minnesota as a member of the State Senate for district 26.

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Fort Snelling Celebrates Independence Day

Fort Snelling Independence Day Celebration 2012 from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

by Jeremy Griffith

Fireworks? Parade? Child’s play! What about real cannons, revolutionary war soldiers in full gear, fifers, drummers and actors in historical period clothing? All of the above were to be found at historic Fort Snelling, near St. Paul Minnesota, July 4th for their annual Independence Day Festival.

The annual event took place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. amidst blistering Minnesota summer heat. But that didn’t deter the hundreds who turned out to see the re-enactors and volunteers from interpreting holiday celebrations old school.

The highlight of the day was a mock battle of the War of 1812, re-enacted by platoons of British and American interpreters in full uniform, complete with cannon, muskets with bayonets, and their colorful blue and red woolen uniforms with shiny brass buttons.

Six pounder cannons shot salutes to the Army of the United States, the President, and the Republic, their roar and smoke awing the crowd. Female volunteers showed how camp followers, wives and girlfriends, kept the camp going by doing the important work of laundry, cooking and other day to day activities that made camp life bearable.

Visitors got a chance to see the historic fort as it would have looked back when it was built in the early 1820s. Although all but one of the historic buildings is gone, the exception being Colonel Snelling’s own home, the buildings and tower that stand on the site today are built over the original foundations to the specifications of the original fort.

Located on the apex of a high cliff overlooking the intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, the Fort occupied an important strategic landmark where the garrison could maintain control of the important water way, the only major transportation hub in a sea of deserted prairie land.

From this position, soldiers garrisoned at the fort played important roles in history: the Civil War, the U.S. – Dakota War, the all important Fur Trade and the shameful and painful history of American Slavery, World War I and II.

Interpreters at the fort help visitors learn about this vibrant past, both good and bad and give perspective to rural life in the young territory. Young and old come to learn and appreciate their history.

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Curse My Name, by Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian song “Curse My Name” with clips from a movie about Oliver Cromwell and the disposition of King Charles I of England. Movie is called “To Kill a King” starring Tim Roth and Dougray Scott. On this day of all days, I feel it is appropriate. Originally posted on You Tube by brainmelter999.

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Conversation with a Trainer, Prepare for the Horse Show.

20120620_Horsetrainer from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

A photo story by Jeremy Griffith. A conversation with a horse trainer, Terri Lauth, on how to prepare horse and rider for a show.

Summer is here and that means the horse show crowd will be headed to fairs and shows. There are five or six things that every showman needs to be successful at a show. Eyota horse trainer Terri Lauth laid them out for us.

The rider’s outfit: Every cowboy and girl riding in a show has to have the right costume, including hat or helmet, cowboy shirt with buttons not snaps, long pants or nice jeans, boots and spurs. That is, if you are riding western. If you are riding English you need a jacket, helmet, slacks and English riding boots.

The equipment for the horse: saddle, bridle, horse blanket and any specialty equipment like boots or shoes.

Training is very important for the horse and rider. That’s why the local clubs have clinics at the Olmsted Fair Grounds. For information on these clinics, contact your local 4-H Club or riding club.

When you are riding, always remember, safety first.

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Minnesotans Will Decide Voter ID Question in November Election

Minnesota Rep. Mike Benson and Sen. Carla Nelson talk to voters in Rochester following 2012 Legislative session. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Minnesotans will soon have to choose whether or not to require photo ID at the polls. The state legislature placed a constitutional ballot amendment question on November’s ballot after Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a voter ID bill last year.

The amendment question is a yes or no question asking voters whether or not they want the constitution of Minnesota to require voters to present valid state photo ID when they vote. Proponents say the bill will cut down on willful voter fraud in the future, while opponents say it will disenfranchise certain voters who are unable to get photo ID, such as shut ins, nursing home residents, and overseas residents.

Recent polls indicate most Minnesotans favor a voter ID law.

Rep. Mike Benson, a primary architect of the bill, says it will empower voters because so much of what we do on a day to day basis requires an ID and points out that those seeking government services require a photo ID in any case.

“Voter fraud is so difficult to detect and it is cost prohibitive to prosecute,” said Benson. “It’s not a priority for local county attorneys with the other crimes they have to deal with. This measure will help to detect potential voter fraud before it happens.”

Rep. Mike Benson comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith

Sen. Carla Nelson explained that voters who show up to the polls can still vote through a provisional ballot system. The bill will do away with vouching, but will not eliminate same day registration, she said.

“This bill, let’s be clear, will do away with the practice of vouching,” said Nelson. “It will not eliminate election day registration. And those who cannot afford photo ID, the government will provide one for them.”

Sen. Carla Nelson Comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith

Dan McGraff, executive director of Minnesota Majority, had a lot of input into how the bill was presented to the legislature. His organization found irregularities after the heavily contested election of 2008. According to statistics he found from the State Secretary of State’s office, over 23,000 postal verification cards sent to verify the new same day voter registrations came back because they were unable to find a valid address or a person at the address that met with the description of the person registered. Since the 2008 election over 400 people have been identified as having voted illegally and 113 have been convicted, he said.

The 2008 election was the year when Al Franken-DFL narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman for the US Senate seat. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, with statistics from the Minnesota Canvassing Board, shows how close the election was before and after legal challenges and a six week recount process.

Opponents of the ballot question say that voter fraud is actually well below one percent of the 2.9 million who voted in the 2008 election, and that the amendment would further disenfranchise voters who would otherwise not be able to get a valid photo ID.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently over 30 states that have some kind of voter ID law on the books today.

You can hear debate for and against the proposed amendment at the Minnesota State Legislature’s website here.

The language of the final amendment questions can be seen here.

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Race and Gun Violence in the Media; Are We Getting the Whole Picture?

by Jeremy Griffith

Does political correctness in the media taint our perception of race, crime and incidents of self defense with guns? In view of the recent Trayvon Martin story, columnist Michael Filozof of the American Thinker explores these issues in his article, “What if Trayvon Martin had been white, and the shooter black?”

The Christopher Cervini murder investigation presents such a scenario. It shares many details similar to that of Trayvon Martin, only in reverse. Cervini, a 17-year old white teen and his friends were meandering through a Greece N.Y. neighborhood on a cold day in 2009. They had been drinking gin and rifling through cars looking for loose change and cigarettes when they were confronted by Roderick Scott, a black man, who shot Cervini twice, killing him.

In both the Martin and Cervini cases, there was a 911 call before the shooting. In the Cervini case an argument can be made that the boys were committing a crime, albeit a minor one. No such assertion can be made for Martin.

Scott was originally charged with murder, but the charge was downgraded to manslaughter and at the end of the trial he was acquitted by the jury. The jury apparently decided that Scott was justified in his self defense claim.

In a discussion on Internet radio, host Kira Davis and blogger Talitha McEachin interview the Cervini family, (see discussion beginning around 17:30 of the program). While they admit the boys were going through cars in the neighborhood, the family asserts that Christopher was never in any trouble with the law before his death and didn’t deserve to die. The family claims that Scott had no right of self defense,  that he was never in any danger, and their son would still be alive if Scott had remained in his home. The family further asserts that their son’s case was grossly mishandled and largely ignored by the media.

Update: Cervini family interview with Kira Davis and Talitha McEachin. Video adaptation by Jeremy Griffith

The role of the media in covering these two stories is a subject of debate. Davis and Filozof agree that media chooses to ignore the Cervini story because it doesn’t fit with the narrative of a black youth as a victim. African American columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson  believes the media hasn’t done enough to expose the victimization and racial profiling of a young black male at the hands of a white vigilante and says there is a concerted effort to trash the victim and protect a murderer.

It will be interesting to see how the discussion is shaped in the future in regards to race, self defense and the media’s role in coverage of interracial violence.



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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

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





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