Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Outrage Now Delivered by Emoji

With the massacre in Brussels last week, we were besieged by another round of Facebook forwards offering unity and support.

I am tired as hell of this.  Hence, when I saw Michelle Malkin's article from last week, it totally hit the nail on the head for me.  Here's an extract:

To borrow a useful phrase coined by British journalist James Bartholomew last year, we have reached the oversaturation point of post-terrorism "virtue signaling:" Hashtags, avatars and animated GIFs ad nauseam. These are the easy advertisements and maudlin displays of one's resolute opposition to an unidentified something that must be stopped somehow by unspoken means.

Virtue signals are "camouflage," Bartholomew explained. They are sincere-seeming shows of collective unity that disguise the millennial-age indulgence of publicly patting one's own back for supposed moral courage. "No one actually has to do anything," he opined. Virtue now "comes from mere words or even from silently held beliefs."

I encourage you read the entire article here

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Just Another Sconnie Blizzard

During last week's blizzard here in Green Bay, I was witness to scene that would have to be completely foreign to most folks in this world.

Unfortunately for us that live in the Frozen Tundra, it's all too common.

After getting my coffee at the Starbucks drive-thru, I was making my way back to the main road.  I was stopped in my tracks by a line up of four cars, with the one in the lead being stuck in a snow drift.  I immediately piled out of my truck, in my business clothes, and went to join in with the drivers of the other three cars that were already pushing the stricken vehicle.

We did the usual rocking back and forth, complete with calls of "1,2,3..." but despite all of the help, did little to get the little car moving.  

As we were catching our breath and wonder what we'd do next, a random guy on a Bobcat just happened to show up.  A couple of strategically placed scoops later, and we were all on our way to the office.

In the wild West of Wisconsin, the cavalry comes riding in on a Bobcat.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Isn't Pakistan Murder of Christians Bigger News?

On Easter Sunday, Islamist militants went to a park in Pakistan where some Christian people had gathered in celebration of Easter.  The militants set off a bomb, and some 65 were killed instantly, and another 300 injured.

What's notable about this story is how little of a story it is.  In most national news feeds, it's buried.

Why is that?

Consider the Brussels attack.  There some 28 souls were killed, with 340 injured.  That has been a raging story for most of last week, and justifiably so.  But the Pakistan attack should at least garner the same amount of coverage, should it not?

Some theories as to why it did not:

  • It was Easter and there were limited news gathering sources
  • The murder didn't occur on Western soil
  • The murder of Christians in a Muslim country really isn't news, is it?
If I'm a betting man, I'm betting the latter. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Greetings

From Matthew 28:

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 

6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. 

Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, the is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Happy Easter, everyone

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Dire Straits - Telegraph Road

Another great guitar player, in Mark Knopfler, brings the goods is this more obscure Dire Straits tune:

Friday, March 25, 2016

GOOD Friday?

It's called Good Friday.  However, when one considers what happened this day, it's hard to call it good.

This is the day we killed the Christ.  We lost our Emanuel.  What would have happened had Jesus lived some more years?  What would He have been able to impart to us?  How might we be different here in 2016 by God being human for just a little more time?  What a shame.  
That's good?

Then the day itself.  The torture, beatings, betrayal, denial, ridicule.  Then the nails...


But then we get to the other side.  

Now, all of the sudden, Good seems like an incredible understatement.

Here's wishing you and yours a Good Friday.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Obama Tangos While Brussels Recovers

The internet is gushing over the President's tango performance in Argentina yesterday.  All done while, simultaneously in Belgium, they were still mopping up the blood. 

I'm tired of all of the late night TV talk show appearances.  I'm tired of the fawning every time he lays out his NCAA bracket or "slow jams" the news.  Frankly, I'm tired of our President as entertainer and celebrity.  Yeah, I know he's connected 24/7, and he can't work the whole time.  I also know a lack of decorum when I see it.  And if you think about it, this whole "president as entertainer" environment that has been created is probably the primary reason why someone like Trump could rise to the level he currently enjoys.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Obama's Limp Wrist

Between bowing to the Saudis and the Chinese, now to this, have we ever seen a world leader, let alone any public figure, give off such awkward body language?:


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Brussels Burns

At this early hour, we don't know the exact toll of what terrorists have claimed in Belgium.  We do know, however, that Europe's open door policy with regard to Islamic "refugees" has again backfired in their faces.

The Brussels airport is completely shut down.  People in Belgium are encouraged to stay home.  Life is changed - completely.

All so that European leftists could bathe themselves in the rich waters of "multiculturalism."


Monday, March 21, 2016

What a Sweet 16

For the first year since 1988, I did not do an NCAA bracket.  This has mostly to do with work, and the fact that I just don't follow college hoops like I used to (which also has to do with work).

Despite that, this is been a hell of a tournament.  Given some of who is left standing in the Sweet 16, it bodes well for the future as well:

Kansas - They would have been my pick to win it all, and still look like the team to beat.

Maryland - Since the Gophers beat them a couple of weeks back, technically the Gophers are a Sweet 16 team, right?  Right?

Oklahoma - Buddy Heild is a joy to watch

Indiana - It's the NCAAs - how do you not root for the Hoosiers?

Notre Dame - Because Notre Dame

Wisconsin - Don't care about the team but they're great for our business

Iowa State - Last team standing out of three strong ones from Iowa

Gonzaga - Just because they're an 11 seed and still alive

Enjoy.  This is what college hoops is all about.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

I attended mass last night, as my wife was out of town and I was flying solo.  I kind of like Saturday evening mass - it is a nice way to transition into the night, and it's nice to have a leisurely Sunday with no specific place to go and no specific time to be there.  However, Mrs. YDP is just the opposite, so we just go at our usual 10:00 on Sunday mornings.

While we're active in our parish, folks do tend to congregate in their favored mass times.  Hence, one will typically see the same folks at our 10:00 service that we see every week.  However, with me going last night, I was in the mix with a bunch of different folks.  And that was fine.  I ran into a some folks I'd not seen in a while, and shook some hands.

Now the weird part.  During the sign of peace, one of the three guys in the choir (someone I recognized as a parishioner, but not someone I knew) worked his way over to me - two sections over - gave me a big smile, and shaking my hand and calling me by name offered me the peace of Christ.  

How did this guy know who I was, and why did he come all the way over?

Then as church let out, I walked up the center aisle, and a woman grabbed my arm.  She asked about my job at my former employer and where I was now working.  She was completely unfamiliar to me, but sure knew a lot about me.

I'm the first to admit that I'm terrible at remembering people.  I'm horrible at names, and equally as bad in remembering faces.  I don't know how many times I've introduced myself to people saying "It's nice to meet you," only to have them correct me that we met before at some event.  It has been that way pretty much my whole life.

That's why last night was so astonishing to me.  I viewed these folks as strangers, and they obviously viewed me as something entirely different.  

I've got a long way to go to show others the same kindness. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Song Share: The Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven

If Man is five, if Man is five, if Man is five
Then the Devil is six, then the Devil is six
The Devil is six, the Devil is six and if the Devil is six

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shining a Light on Child Brides

This is pretty graphic, and you know what?  It needs to be.

It is 2016.  We have cars that drive themselves.  How can we as a species have evolved so far in some areas, but not at all in others?

Sick, sick, sick...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Left Just Elected Trump

Actions by the organized Left (and make no mistake, they're completely organized and funded) have attempted to stifle Donald Trump from speaking at rallies in Chicago and elsewhere.  Claiming to want to shut down fascist ideology, the leftists actually adapt the exact fascist tactics that they claim to deplore.  

The irony would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

The net result is what it has been throughout the election cycle - the more Trump is attacked, the more powerful he has become.  The so-called "silent majority" that support Trump are tired of feeling marginalized, ignored, and being cowed to a mindset to which they do not subscribe.  Thus, when the Left demands that Trump shut up, it only cements the support that he has already won.

Beyond that, the field is being winnowed.  There aren't many options left anymore, and it is basically coming down to Clinton and Trump.  For those that may still be trying to discern where they will throw their support, the acts of those that seek to stifle any kind of dissenting speech will likely push support to Trump.

In essence, the organized actions to "stop" Trump, both past and future, will only go to strengthen him.  

People are tired of the constant protests.  They're weary of being told what and how to think by the elites, academics, and the media.  Mostly, they're tired of constantly having their opinions and beliefs marginalized.  

That's why Trump is enjoying his support, and why his support is growing.  Via their tactics, the Left is dutifully dumping gasoline on his electoral fire.

And when he gets elected, they'll have only themselves to blame.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Missing Tim

My wife lost her cousin last week.  Despite keeping himself in great shape his whole life, Tim suffered a brain aneurysm and died.  He was married, in his 50's, and touched a lot of folks.

While I didn't know him well at all, I certainly knew of him.  He was a gifted artist, and a teacher.  But more than that, he was one of the kindest and gentlest souls one could meet.  Upon seeing you, he'd always have a smile, and would ask sincere questions about your life and how you were getting along.  While the word "gentlemen" is entirely overused today, that label is exactly what applied to Tim.

Now we're left with the big question of why.  Why Tim?  Of all the people that take in the world, he was one of the ones that gave back.  He made things better, not worse.  Couldn't God have used Tim and his talents for a lot more here on Earth?  Where's the sense?

Alas, we know jack about any of that.  We can only take solace that what seems wildly unfair to us now will be better explained to us at some future time.

In the meantime, we miss Tim.  The world is darker because of his loss.  It's up to us to either leave it dark, or pick up the slack.  

I bet I know what Tim would want us to do. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Of all of Jesus' parables, perhaps the most famous is the parable of the prodigal son, which was featured in last Sunday's reading.  Here it is in Luke 15:

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

The lessons here are obvious, but there are definitely layers.  Theologians have diced and sliced, and you can get a lot of better analysis just about anywhere else on the web.  Hence, forgive my simplicity of the following.

For me, the best part is at the end of verse 20: But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

A couple of points here:

  • Despite the son being gone, the Father still kept watch, and kept hope.  He believed in the son, even when the son could no longer believe in himself
  • When the son was viewed, the Father just didn't stand there or wait for the son to prostrate himself in forgiveness.  No, the Father runs to his son.  Runs to him.
That's all it takes for all of us sinners.  Just point in the right direction.  Your history and your baggage doesn't matter.  Just get moving, and the Father will run to meet you.

That's how much God loves us and wants us to be with him.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Obama Begat Trump

There is no denying anymore the phenomenon that is the Trump campaign.  Despite a multitude of predictions of its eventual implosion, The Donald continues to roll on a steady march to the White House.  His many transgressions and foibles are routinely ignored by the electorate, and his wins continue to pile up.

He's not going away.

A lot has been put into his rise.  How could it have happened?  Why are voters rejecting traditional candidates?  Is the state of the Republican party in that much disarray?

Personally, I think it is Obama.  Obama created Trump, and did so by the following:

  • Obama was sold with the promise that things were going to get better.  The economy, our world standing, the environment, race relations - you name it, Obama was going to fix it.  In actuality, he fixed nothing.  In fact, he made it worse.  And despite this terrible performance, a sycophantic media continued to prop him on a pedestal, and continued to tell our citizens how great he was.  People knew differently, and they're desperate for someone that has some semblance of doing what he says he's going to do.
  • Political correctness under Obama has run amok.  Under any measure, how we've changed as a county in the past eight years is remarkable.  For some, it is too much, too fast.
  • Obama cheapened the presidency.  From injecting himself into small issues (which ultimately required things like "beer summits"), to constantly appearing on TV shows, and even to failing to dress the part, Obama is more TV celebrity and less president.  He's a clown, for our entertainment.  And Trump is just a continuation of that model.
  • Obama has run roughshod administratively.  Executive orders, trading hardened terrorists for a deserter, "pen and a phone," immigration, a punitive IRS, and "I won," are just a few examples which reflect someone that doesn't respect the order of government provided under the Constitution.  If the president is now someone that bullies his way to deliver what he wants, Constitution be damned, then getting your own bully seems the prudent thing to do.  Nobody would be a better bully that Donald Trump
Democrats can continue to scoff and laugh at the rise of Donald Trump, but they better understand that the reason his is so popular has everything to do with the man they've been propping up in the White House these past seven years.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fond du Lac on SNL

This ain't that far from the truth...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 Minnesota High School Hockey All Hair Team

This year's awards are in, and the results continue to be stunning.

Keep the flow going, Minnesota pucksters...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Lindsey Buckingham - Big Love & Go Insane

Perhaps the most underrated guitar player of our times.  I was able to catch Lindsey live a couple of years ago, and to be able to see such virtuoso playing live and in person was a thrill.

Enjoy a master at his craft:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stillwater Spin-O-Rama

The Spin-O-Rama is a deadly hockey move.  So deadly, in fact, that the NHL has banned it from penalty shots.  But if a player can pull in off in regular play, bully for him.  

That takes us to Minnesota's 4AA section final, where rivals Hill Murray and Stillwater were mired in an overtime time.  Next goal wins.

As it turns out, what a goal it was:

Somewhere I hope Dennis Savard is smiling broadly.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Women in the Back

A recent article in the StarTribune covered college's expanding need to broaden services for an exploding growth in Muslim students.  The article was accompanied by the following:

Notice any differences between the front and back rows?  The StarTribune certainly doesn't.

What if the picture depicted heterosexuals in the front and homosexuals covered up and in the back?  What if it depicted white people in the front and blacks in the back (like in a bus?) and needing to be covered up?

I'll answer that for you: People would be outraged.  At a minimum, there'd be media coverage galore, calls for boycotting, and it'd be an ingrained subject of every campaign speech.  At the most, there'd be riots and bloodshed.

However, because it's Islam, and because it's women being subjugated, we get crickets.


We're all about women's rights here in the US.  That is, unless you're a Muslim woman.  Then it's screw you, get in the back and cover yourself up.  

Or else.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Trump Tweet Nails It

In a pithy tweet, the following encapsulates everything that I fear about the surging Donald Trump campaign:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Where Exactly is Heaven?

Two nights ago I was suffering from a horrible fever related to the flu.  I had a high temp, horrible body aches, and massive chills.  I spent a ton of time in bed, trying to find some kind of what to just get better.  As such, I found myself in and out of consciousness, and many times faced with those weird dreams that come along with a fever.

One such dream was about my Dad.  As stated here earlier, I have only dreamed of my Dad a couple of times since he died, thus I was thrilled with the opportunity (both in my dream and in waking).

In my dream, I was travelling for work with a coworker and the Yellow Dog, and we found ourselves in Iowa with some time on our hands.  Since I had a dog and a shotgun with me, it seemed like a good way to kill some time would be to try our hand at quail hunting.  We asked around for good places to go, and found ourselves in a local cafe.  There sat Dad, and I asked him about quail hunting places.

He was a font of information, and gave us some great leads.  There was only one problem - as he talked to me, he did it with a distinctly Southern drawl.

Dad always maintained a Midwest accent, even during a couple-year stint living in Mississippi's gulf coast.  His voice was always a cigar-soaked Minnesota baritone.

Thus, the only thing I can surmise is that Heaven must be in the South somewhere.