Donald Trump

Sioux Falls Women’s March 2018; In Their Own Words

The Sioux Falls Women’s March was held on January 20th, 2018, one year to the day after President Trump was sworn in and was also the first day of a federal government shutdown.  Pork Barrel Rhetoric was there, here are the protestors in their own words explaining why they were there.  The Argus Leader estimated the crowd size as 2,500.

Sioux Falls Women's March 2018 - Photo by Adam Dale Jorgensen

Sioux Falls Women’s March 2018 – Photo by Adam Dale Jorgensen

The Women of Sioux Falls were not alone that day either.  According to the New York Times:

More than 200,000 protesters attended the march in New York on Saturday, according to a senior adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cited the figure as the official count. A spokeswoman said it was determined by officers throughout the city who are trained in estimating crowd size. Thousands also turned out in Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rome and hundreds of other cities and towns.

Here are the protestors in Sioux Falls in their own words.

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South Dakota Voices for Peace and Justice call on Senator Tapio to Denounce Trump’s “Shithole” Countries Comment

January 12, 2018 Following yesterday’s comments from President Donald Trump referring to certain countries in Africa and the Caribbean as “shithole countries,” South Dakota Voices for Justice and South Dakota Voices for Peace call upon State Senator Neal Tapio, (R-Watertown, SD) and former South Dakota state director for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, to denounce President Trump’s statements as racist.

“On Tuesday, January 10, Senator Neal Tapio abruptly disrupted a group picture during Interfaith Day at the Capitol. After being asked to join the picture Senator Tapio shouted at those gathered that he ‘didn’t like being called a racist’, then proceeded to say that ‘interfaith dialogue and refugee resettlement is a war on Christianity…’ ” said Taneeza Islam, executive director for South Dakota Voices for Peace. “If Senator Tapio wants to change the public’s perception of his words and actions, denouncing President Trump’s comment denigrating immigration from African and Caribbean countries as less preferential than majority white countries, such as Norway, is an easy step to make that distinction clear.”

South Dakota Voices for Peace (501(c)(3)) and South Dakota Voices for Justice (501(c)(4)) mission is to empower South Dakotans with accurate information to fight Islamophobia and immigrant and refugee bigotry in order to nurture informed, inclusive, and civically engaged communities.

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Pork Barrel Rhetoric Episode 1: 2017 in Review

Show Notes:

  • Welcome to Pork Barrel Rhetoric 
  • I’m Paul Schipper and this is my guest co host Zach
  • It’s okay to feel daunted by political activism 
    • PBR aims to help inform and educate
    • Offer more in depth looks at local issues
    • Be a place to host interviews and debates
    • Help people get involved that may not know where to start
    • I’m not an expert, I read a lot and keep my finger on the refresh button, but I don’t want to sit here and pretend to be an authority. This show is an effort to help inform people but also inform myself.
  • What is rhetoric?
    • the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing
    • discourse, wherein a writer or speaker strives to inform, persuade or motivate particular audiences in specific situations
    • Works with Grammar and Logic to make effective arguments
    • Invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery
  • Read/answer questions 
  • Special thanks 
    • Ellen, my parents, my friends and teachers who support me through all my endeavors, Rob for truly supporting me by offering me this great space to launch from, Zach for being willing to come on the show at last minutes notice, Anne Weyer for being my political north star, Dana Ferguson for having more journalistic integrity than the rest of Sioux Falls combined and her excellent coverage, last but not least thank you to everyone who tuned in, I hope to continually improve the content we deliver and hope you keep watching.
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Perlocution Podcast Episode 001 Perlocution

Perlocution Noun –  an act of speaking or writing that has an action as its aim but that in itself does not affect or constitute the action, for example persuading or convincing.


Hosted by Jeni Mc and White Boi


Produced by Robert Mehling


Tags and Topics

Perlocution, Jeni Mc, White Boi, Robert Mehling, Midwest, South Dakota, Fox News, Wealth, Privilege, Women, White American, African American, Irish American, Caucasian, African, German, Tennessee, Muhammad Ali, Shit Talkers, Florida, Indiana, Foster Care, Kentucky, Mankato, STD’s, Slavery, Race, Culture, Stand-Up, Comedy, Native Americans, Halloween, Zach Dresch, Bob Ross, Art Garfunkel, South Park, Token, Klu Klux Klan, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Irish Heritage, Human Trafficking, Vegans, Black Panther, Marvel, Nazis, Donald Trump, Saddam Hussein, Confederacy, Confederate Memorials, Edward Snowden, Deep State, Google, Seinfeld, Tinder

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Sioux Empire Podcast 091 – 2017 Post Mortem

This podcast contains adult content, listener discretion advised.

In their last episode of 2017, the Sioux Empire Podcast crew looks back at the lessons we’ve learned about life, news, podcasting, and more from the previous year.  They also talk about the flagrant hypocrisy on both political sides when it comes to the recent scandals.  This week’s episode is brought to you by The Sioux Empire Podcast Network, featuring “The Art of Bombing” podcast with Dan Bublitz Jr.  “Chaos Reigns” podcast with Ari Show and Dominic Wieneke, “Queers after Beers” podcast with Emily Gheorghiu and Jeni Mc, and “The South DaCola” podcast with Scott L. Ehrisman.  Thank you so much for a fantastic 2017, and I can’t wait to see you all again in 2018!

To Stand or to Kneel Forum


KSFY Focus Group

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South DaCola Podcast Episode 009 – David Zokaites

South DaCola Podcast Episode 009 – David Zokaites

Host Scott L. Ehrisman and nameless co-host.

Special Guest David Zokaites 2018 Candidate for Sioux Falls Mayor

Produced by Robert Mehling

Theme Music “Rainy Day” by Brian Masek & Friends

Tags and Topics

Scott Ehrisman, Robert Mehling, Sioux Falls, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Greg Jamison, David Zokaites, Kenny Anderson Jr., Mike Huether, Sioux Falls, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Downtown Parking, Government Transparency, Diversity, Civil Rights, Open Government, Body Cams, Public Input, Compassion, Corruption, Apartheid, Just Following Orders, Milgram experiment, income inequality, Paul TenHaken, Blue Jeans, Hawaiian Shirts, War on Drugs, Sioux Falls Police Department, Overwhelming Force, Gardening, Mulch, The Sioux Empire, Jeni Mc, Stranger Things, Goonies, Scooby Doo, Augustana University, Mark Blackburn, Camera Man Bruce, Colin Kaepernick

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South DaCola Podcast Episode 007 – Transparency

Host Scott L. Ehrisman and nameless co-host.

Produced by Robert Mehling

Theme Music “Rainy Day” by Brian Masek & Friends

Tags and Topics

Scott Ehrisman, Dana Ferguson, Robert Mehling, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, Rex Rolfing, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Billie Sutton, Government Operations and Audit Committee, Public Records, Wayne Steinhauer, Jonathan Ellis, Joe Sneve, Theresa Stehly, Democrats, Republicans, Twitter, Dick Cheney, Tom Petty, Deb Soholt, Dakota Free Press, Open Primaries, Donald Trump, Runoff Election, Nonpartisan Election

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Sioux Empire Podcast 084- Lies, Scams, and Chris Biewer from Cosmic Rage

This podcast contains adult content, listener discretion advised.

This week the Sioux Empire Podcast crew (Robert Mehling and Seth Glover) is getting to the bottom of all the scandals and low down dirty lies in South Dakota with the help of Chris Biewer from Cosmic Rage.  After a ‘brief’ tangent detour (19 min) through North Korea and the War on Terror, we discuss possible vehicular homicide advocate Lynne DiSanto.  We also break down Mayor Huether’s tarnished legacy after he turned the Denny Sanford Premier Center into a house of lies with the siding lawsuit settlement.  Along the way, we also discuss broader themes of the economic and age divide and the death of optimism in America’s young adults.  This episode is also sponsored by Superstitions – A Psychological Spectacle.  From the mind games of Zac Tenneboe (@zstonish) comes his new show, “Superstitions.” It’s more than just a magic show, but a stunning one-man performance weaving mystery and theater. No rabbits. No top hats. No smoke and mirrors. Witness a different way to experience illusion.  The first 50 people to use promo code “siouxempire” will receive $1 off each ticket purchased online. Don’t miss out on this discount deal before it’s too late!  The Sioux Empire Podcast is firmly against vehicular homicide and feels sad we live in a country where that clarification is necessary.


Chris Biewer from Cosmic Rage

The Animated Adventures of Kim Jung-un

North Korean Photoshop Tutorial

Red Star OS (North Korea’s Operating System)

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Drone Pilots

All Lives Splatter

Lynne DiSanto

Lynne DiSanto’s idea of humor.

The Patrick Lalley Show

Greg Belfrage Show

Adam Ruins South Dakota

Gerald’s Game on Netflix

Misery (1990 Film)

Denny Sanford Premier Lies Center

Vikings Stadium Siding

Joe Sneve (Argus Leader Reporter)

Jonathan Ellis (Argus Leader Reporter)

Free Thinkers Billboard Guy

Jodi Schwan

Jubilee Year

Basic Income

Hugh Hefner

Washington Pavilion Kinky Boots

Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War

Sioux Falls Design Week

Tags and Topics:

Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Chris Biewer, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, Donald Trump, The Forever War, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, War On Terror, Drones, American Dad, Lynne DiSanto, All Lives Splatter, Patrick Lalley, Argus Leader, FCC, Greg Belfrage, Baby Boomers, FOX News, Puerto Rico, Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize, Black Lives Matter, Racist Memes, Millennials, Charlottesville, Triggered, Scream Into The Void, Tomi Lahren, Keystone, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Gerald’s Game, Stephen King, Mike Huether, Denny Sanford Premier Center, Joe Sneve, Adam Ruins Everything, Jonathan Ellis, Falls Park, Febreze, Sioux Empire Podcast Spire, Midterm Elections, Detroit, Flint, Sales Tax Revenue, Student Loan Debt, Jodi Schwan, Universal Minimum Income, Defense Spending, Hugh Hefner, Kinky Boots, Washington Pavilion, Billie Sutton, Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War, Sioux Falls Design Week

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Commander in Tweet: Transgender Ban

Remember the days of yore, when FDR would give his weekly radio address? Families would sit around their fireplace mantles and listen to the President discuss their plans for the nation. Today, the 45th President chooses to address the American people in a very different way.

This week, Trump announced the decision to roll back yet another progressive Obama-era policy via social media. With a series of tweets, he announced the following:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender to the military would entail. Thank you.”

As a reminder, President Barack Obama repealed the divisive “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011 (originated by 42nd President Bill Clinton in the Nineties) which should have prevented military commanders from prying into the personal lives of the men and women serving under them, but only left the issue of homosexuality and bisexuality even more clouded in shame. And then in July of 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the Pentagon would begin action to allow transgender people to serve openly in the U.S. military, a policy initially supported by his predecessor, Chuck Hagel.
At the time, Carter was quick to point out that “We have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.”

That October, Vice President Biden spoke before the Human Rights Campaign, defending the idea that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces and protect the nation that they love. He also called the LGBTQ movement “the civil rights movement of our time.” Soon, the President was also pledging his support.

In May 2016 the Pentagon (working with the RAND Corporation) commissioned a study which determined that a policy that allowed transgender people to serve openly would “cost little and have no significant impact on unit readiness.” The study highlighted that approximately 2500 active-duty military members were transgender and another 65 would likely transition each of the coming years. The health care costs to the Pentagon for those gender reassignment surgeries and procedures would cost between $2.9 and $4.2 million annually.

Well, citing those health care numbers, Obama’s successor has today announced that the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military would be reinstated.

Bans are great ideas, right? Let’s look at some of the most well-known bans in history:

1. “The Satanic Verses” by author Salman Rushdie. Books have long been at risk of bans (ideas are often the first to be suppressed in societies that wish to keep their citizens afraid and in the dark). This book (which was about the light and dark sides of Islam and considered blasphemous by some Islamic clerics) resulted in a ban across much of the Arab world and a fatwa, or call for death, against the author by the Ayatollah of Iran. This only resulted in the artistic community around the world and here in America rallying in support of freedom of speech issues. Ayatollah: 0. Rushdie: Millions of books sold.

2. Immigration Bans. At various times in history, the U.S. has banned the immigration of citizens from China (1882) and Iran (1980, signed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, following the Iran Hostage Crisis). Additionally, the U.S. turned many Jews away during World War II claiming their “quota” had been reached (some of those turned away, such as the 1939 passengers of the ocean liner the St. Louis, which was forced to turn back to Europe where approximately 25% of the passengers later died in concentration camps). We also turned away Communists, Anarchists, and people infected with HIV/AIDS at certain times. Today America has many Chinese, Iranian and Jewish citizens, along with those who are HIV-positive and who may hold Communist-supporting or Anarchist viewpoints. Today we have the so-called “Muslim Bans” which seeks to prevent travel into the U.S. from citizens of seven majority Muslim nations and which has turned into a virtual see-saw between the Trump Administration and the United States judiciary. Outcome? Who knows. Who the hell knows…

3. Absinthe. The mysterious drink of the Victorian era, loved by persons as varied as Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and Telegraph co-inventor Charles Cros, Absinthe (known as “The Green Fairy”) is an anise-flavored spirit distilled from various herbs and leaves. One of those, wormwood, is thought to cause hallucinatory property and those who drank absinthe were often ridiculed as being fanciful, deranged and able to brainwash others. Today, we know that the chemical thujone (found in wormwood) isn’t hallucinatory and absinthe was permitted in the U.S. again in the 1960s. Today people like Marilyn Manson drink absinthe, which only demonstrates its alarming potential of, at worst, creating bad music and ridiculous fashion statements. A ban on absinthe? As passé as an Edwardian puffy shirt.

I think that it’s safe to say that the ever-changing tides of American culture and the whiplashing between Democratic and Republican power structures in Washington will continue to mean that from administration to administration, decade to decade – we never know what is going to be put on the hot seat and regarded as suspect. But the decision to reverse a policy is one that caused a fair amount of blowback this week.

Thankfully, the week ended on a high note when Marine General Joe Dunford issued an internal communication that read, “I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the President. There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

This was followed a statement from the chief spokeswoman of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “The Department will continue to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes while ensuring all service members are treated with respect.”

Secretary Mattis was reported to be “appalled” by the President’s tweets, by the way. Mattis is well regarded on both the right and the left. Hopefully, he might be in a position to talk the Commander in Chief down. After all, the military not only provides gender reassignment treatments to its active duty members. It also provides Viagra, at the cost of up to $84 million annually – or nearly 20 times greater than the cost of gender reassignment surgeries.

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Why Charlie Gard Matters: Today’s Case K

It is a miracle that the sad case of Charlie Gard continues to gather so much attention from media outlets and people around the world. The lessons that we can learn and should learn from these injustices against the Gard family are important and prophetic. Unfortunately, too many of us are turning this into a partisan political issue and closing our minds off from what this story means for us and our future here in the United States.

Until two weeks ago, only those who regularly read British news or right-wing blogs knew anything at all about Charlie. And it would have continued that way until a particular President decided to dedicate his 3 AM bathroom tweet to Charlie. This tweet, while being useful in gathering attention also turned the account of the Gards into a partisan issue.

The quick of it goes like this: A sick baby is born to UK parents. This baby has a rare disease that will likely kill him soon; however, there is an experimental treatment in the U.S. which may provide a cure. The parents raise plenty more than the necessary funds for the treatment and request “permission” from the UK hospital to take to the US. The hospital says no, the parents then go through the UK courts system which also says no. Finally, the case makes it to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which once again denies the parent

It is then ordered that the medical machinery keeping the kid alive are to turn off. And to put salt in the wound, the parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, are not only stripped of their right to seek treatment for their only son; but are not even allowed to take the child to their home so he can at least die surrounded by his loved ones.

And this is where the case would have stayed if Pope Francis and President Trump hadn’t started putting the pressure down. Now Hospitals and doctors throughout the US and the Vatican are fighting for the chance to give free treatment and care for the child. And all that combined global pressure is making the UK courts just now starting to reconsider the case. Just this week, one US neurologist was “allowed” to visit Charlie. We can only pray that reason and sanity rule the day.

Here in the United States, the idea that anyone would get in the way of parents obtaining alternative medical treatment for their child is barbarism and rightly found insane. But in the UK and many other nations with government run “single payer” healthcare systems, this is a daily sad occurrence. According to the Great Ormand Street Hospital, UK courts, and the ECHR the parents right to seek alternative treatment, and even Charlie’s own right to life are superseded by his right to “die with dignity.”

While these ideas seem relatively new to us in the States (it isn’t) this concept of dying with dignity, euthanizing the sick, and the devaluation of human life isn’t new to Europe. Sickeningly, this case bears a sinister resemblance to a case our grandfathers witnessed just before World War 2. A case that, if they had paid careful attention to, potentially could have stopped the deaths of millions.

The year was 1939, and the nation was Germany. Just as now, there was a mortally sick child whose case made international news. Case K, as the German Doctors called him, suffered from blindness, physical deformation, and mental handicap. These parents, unlike the Gards, desired the exact opposite.

This poster (from around 1938) reads: "60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too. Read '[A] New People', the monthly magazine of the Bureau for Race Politics of the NSDAP."

This poster (from around 1938) reads: “60,000 Reichsmark is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People’s community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too. Read ‘[A] New People’, the monthly magazine of the Bureau for Race Politics of the NSDAP.”

Instead, they wanted the right to euthanize him so he could die with dignity and without suffering. Hitler took full advantage of this news frenzy of a story and pushed all the right media buttons. He paraded this issue and made a public spectacle of it. The Furor actively encouraged the death of the child, and so some doctors were “persuaded” to kill the child. Case K died after being given a pill of luminal in 3 or 5 days.

It’s imperative that you must also remember that this story was popular in the US too. This is the tail-end of the 1930s, back when Hitler was still cool, and Eugenics the red hot progressive way of the future. Leaders in industry, arts, and government were eagerly hoping for this exact outcome for Case K and others like him. Names like Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Wells, Shaw, Clark, and even Churchill favored such kinds of actions.

And what fools they were. In less than a month after the killing of Child K, 275,000 children across the Rhineland were forcibly taken and euthanized the same way K was. If your child were considered “unworthy of living’ due to physical, or mental handicap, he or she would be forcibly taken from you and put to death.

Hitler’s positive media story would turn into the opening salvo of the infamous Holocaust where millions would be assassinated because their life was considered less valuable than your typical German. If only our ancestors realized what this story meant for their future; if only they understood that once one live’s value can be measured, then all human life is only worth a small finite amount.


While we can blame Hitler, Eugenics, Progressivism, and the Nazis for the atrocities of the Holocaust; the unjust control over Charlie lies squarely with the National Health Service. This system, like many across the world, of rationed health care combined with a devaluating doctrine of life where everyone has the right to “die with dignity” is a powder keg waiting to explode.

Already if you attend a UK hospital your chance of surviving a visit is 45% less likely than if you went to a US hospital. 1,000 patients expire each month in UK hospitals due to dehydration and lack of attention from nurses and other medical staff. Back in 2013, Professor Patrick Pullicino revealed that according to him the NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year after being put on a “care pathway.” These deaths don’t even include all those poor people who never live long enough to receive care or get to visit the necessary specialist.

This is why the story of Charlie Gard is so important to all of the western world, and not just those in the UK. Because as the old saying goes: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Life, especially human life, is so incredibly precious. But in a health care system where limited resources must be rationed, there inevitably comes a time where the healthy and strong are put before the sick, old, and feeble. There is only so much medicine, so much money, and so many beds that can be filled. If you have to choose who lives and who dies; whom do you prioritize. The state gets to choose who lives and who dies.

This is why it is so important that we learn from the Charlie Gard story. The US is now deciding what kind of healthcare system we want. You are being told the positive benefits of “single payer” and other government based health care systems. Let this be a warning to you.

If the US chooses to follow the UK and implement anything like the National Health Service, stories like Charlie Gard will be a daily occurrence. Your rights as a parent will be diminished, and the ability to receive care for your sicker than an average child will be at least equally reduced. And also please remember, that the US is where the Gards are fleeing to for advanced medical help. Once we choose to take this path, there are no more alternatives.


List of sources:


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