Friday, August 31, 2018

Cardinal Cupich Serves Left Air Cover for Pope

Chicago Cardinal Cupich states that it is more important for Pope Francis to protect the environment and migrants than it is to heal the church of its current scandal.

I'm not kidding:

We have credible claims of a coverup at the level of the Pope, we have scandal after scandal breaking, we have a Pope that won't comment, and we have underlings like Cupich offering up air cover by dog whistling leftist talking points like immigration and climate change.

What is happening?

I cry for Christ's church, and I mean that in the most literal of senses.

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins
Lead all souls to heaven
Especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy

Thursday, August 30, 2018

White House Press Briefing - Bad Lip Reading

Just when I think these guys can't get any better, along comes this:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Gillette and the Power of Great Advertising

Consider Gillette and their razors. About as boring of a product as there is. Their business has been suffering from the Dollar Shave Clubs and other similar competitors that are out there. Likewise, CPG is about as cutthroat as competition gets, and they’re in the middle of it. Their top and bottom lines are being challenged at the same time, and significantly so.

Then they go and do this:

The market on this new, fringe product is tiny (albeit growing). In the grand scheme of Gillette's business, it's a rounding error. Yet someone in product development cared enough to propose this product, someone in Marketing was able to justify its existence, and someone in Advertising was able to give it life. It was an uphill battle the entire way, but they ultimately green lit it, brought it forward, and took it to market.

Not because it was the right thing to do financially. But because it was the right thing to do. And that enabled them to take credit for it.

Good marketing and advertising can do that. It can take a tiny concept of a product, with a rounding error for potential incremental sales, and develop something with a massive halo effect that has the potential to buttress its entire brand against Dollar Shave and all the other direct-to-consumer providers that have been taking chunks out of their market share.

That’s the power of great advertising.

Kudos, Gillette.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bishop of Crookston Doesn't Get It

In our Sunday bulletin this week we were treated to a letter to the faithful from our Bishop regarding the current state of our Catholic Church.  We were subjected to the usual about the evil of it all and the pain it has caused.  We even got some mention of investigations involving "qualified laypersons," which is more than usually gets said.

Then we get this, "I ask you to sacrifice by fasting and abstaining from eating meat on Fridays as a prayer to Almighty God for the forgiveness of sins and as a prayer for guidance of the Holy Spirit that all might do better."


I need to fast so that "All might do better?"  

You have my prayers, Bishop.  However, until I start seeing some real tangible actions that seek to root this evil out, your words are just that.  They're words we've been treated to over, and over, and over again.  

It's not my job to fast.  It's your job to purge our Church of the evil that is hidden, and worse, protected in it.

Talk about tone deaf.

Monday, August 27, 2018

We Need Answers, Pope Francis

In news almost too shocking to fathom, Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ² claims Pope Francis withdrew sanctions against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  McCarrick is an evil man with multiple crimes of sexual abuse, and ViganĂ²'s story about the Pope knowing and covering is credible.

More striking is Francis' failure to reply.

Not answering is not an answer.  If the Pope knew about McCarrick and did nothing, or worse covered for him, the Pope absolutely must resign.  

Our church is gravely sick.  The disease runs deep and must be purged, regardless of the cost.  Nobody should be above scrutiny.  

Including Pope Francis. 

Left Cries Crocodile Tears in McCain's Death

This weekend the United States lost a true hero.  John McCain conducted himself with honor and dignity, damn near his entire life, while those around him crawled through the sewer.  His actions in the Hanoi Hilton alone are renown, and his political service as truly been that - service.  He has been deservedly honored by those on the left and the right for his honorable service and for his legacy.

Except the left doesn't mean it.

In the campaign against Obama, McCain might as well have been Satan.  He was called out of touch and old at best, and warmonger, Nazi, and insane at worst.  He was hated, and everything about him was disparaged and dragged through the mud.

Remember stuff like this, from his Atlantic Monthly photo shoot?

THAT is just one small example what the left truly felt about John McCain, and what we were treated to during the election on a daily basis.  Not hero.  Not man of dignity.  Not a finder of common ground.  Nope, he was Satan.

He was treated just like every Republican presidential candidate from Bush on has been treated.  Nazi.  Warmonger.  Evil.

Save your tears, lefties.  You hated this man in a cruel and unfair way, and your unfair hatred ultimately paved a path for a rise of a guy like Trump.

Own it.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Kenny Chesny - Get Along

Paint a wall
Learn to dance
Call your mom 
Buy a boat
Drink a beer 
Sing a song
Make a friend 
Can't we all 
get along?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Blast from My Past

A couple of weeks ago I got an out of the blue communication from a buddy from my days at SJU.  It read as follows:


Hope this email finds you doing well.  I found this photo when I was looking for something for my daughter this morning.   It made me smile as I look at each of those faces and the great memories, reminds me to be thankful for those incredible friendships found at SJU.

I have been thinking about “The Boys” a lot this week as my daughter Brittney, who will be a senior at the U of M, called me in tears recently as she found out a very close friend had been killed while travelling overseas.  We experienced that too many times while in our 20’s, the loss of someone close and all the questions of why, why, why? 

Your smile in this photo is what prompted me to share this today; it made me smile and then laugh and then think about TP.

I have enjoyed reading your posts on Linkedin over the years so today is my turn to share something with you.

Have a great day,


TP is the guy on the far right, next to me.  After college, he joined the Marines, and near the end of a 9-mile speed march he collapsed and died.  He was one of the toughest guys I ever met in my life on the football field, and as an absolute teddy bear off it.  

I replied to my buddy:

Thanks for the generosity of your note - it totally made my day.  

The photo is from my ill-fated trip to Powder Ridge for tubing.  Given I'm still smiling in the photo, this is before me later blowing out my shoulder.  When we got back later I called my mom, from Sal's, as my shoulder hurt more than a bastard and I needed to figure out what I should do about it.  I literally passed out talking to her due to the pain, and some chick grabbed the phone and just starting making conversation with my mom while I lay unconscious on the floor.  Mom still talks about it...

That picture sure takes me back to a great day.  It was nice to see Tony again via the photo, as well as Cossie and Strike both looking like the kids we were.

Thanks again for taking the time to share.  Indeed. we've had our losses, but we also have far more incredible memories to offset them.  Thanks again for taking the time to share one with me.


We can't know God's plan for any of us, and while there have been some that He's taken from us far, far too soon, we have to be thankful what those people meant to us, and how our lives are richer because of our times with them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bryce Carlson Rows Across the Atlantic

Here's the background:

What happened?  Not only did he row the 2,000 miles unaided across the Atlantic, he beat the previous record by two weeks.  Two weeks!

It took him 38 and a quarter days, but he did it.  It's not surprising that he also does ultramarathons, as the mental toughness required for such a feat is something normal people can't begin to fathom.

Fatigue.  Fear.  Loneliness.  Pain.  And oh, about a dozen capsizes.  

The human heart, body, and spirit are truly remarkable.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Jack in the Box - We Love Jack's Bowls

We don't have this burger chain up here in Minnesota, hence, the social media outrage of this campaign isn't on our radar screen.

What's the outrage?  This:

As of this writing, JITB has not apologized for this campaign.  For that, I give them credit.  It takes a lot of bowls to stand up to the social justice warriors...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

It's Hard to be Catholic

The latest scandal to hit the church is especially egregious.  The latest count has 300 Pennsylvania priests raping and abusing kids that number into the thousands.  The individual stories of abuse are so sick and depraved that they can only be defined as evil personified.  

That's personally why I'm struggling so much with this.  Lord knows this is hardly the only priest abuse scandal.  There have now been too many to count.  But while other cases and stories, numerous as they were, continued to pile up, we were saved details.  Not this time.  This time we were informed not only of the abuse but also of the nearly satanic efforts employed around it.  Incredibly evil and sacrilegious behavior and rituals.  

But that's just the start - which is a remarkable thing to type.  The cover-up and lack of any kind of action are where the evil really establishes its deepest roots.  It moves up the chain of the church to some of the highest levels.    

As a practicing Catholic, we cannot state that these are one-off behaviors.  They're not. Priest sexual misconduct (pedophilia, heterosexual, and homosexual) and its subsequent cover-up has been and continues to be an issue everywhere.


It has been that way for decades, and still exists today, and even at the highest levels of the church.  Just a little over a year ago Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay-sex party at an apartment belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers.

As a Catholic - one that truly believes that this is Christ's church here on Earth, one that truly believes in the sacraments and what they mean, one who believes that the Holy Spirit has worked to guide it, one who believes that it is the outcome of Jesus' call to Peter to be the rock - I truly don't know what to do.

I'm angry.  I'm convinced more than ever that evil has permeated our church, and not just via behavior.  This is evil of a super-natural and satanic variety.  How could you not read the report out of PA and not come to the exact same conclusion?

This is Christ's church.  This is my church.  It is under attack from the inside.  I can either walk away, as millions and millions of Catholics have already done, or I can stay and fight.  

Is there a chance, or is the battle already lost?  Is the fight a righteous one, or an ignorant one?  

I have been shaken by this and I really, truly don't know what to do.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Wrabel - Sideways

We're not goin' up 
We're not goin' down
We're sideways, we're sideways, we're sideways

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sgt. John Chapman, Medal of Honor

A couple of things on this:

  • Has a MOH recipient ever been filmed during his heroics?  I think not.
  • The charge into the bunker was one of the bravest things I've ever seen filmed.
  • Sgt. Chapman continuous fighting, despite injuries and being vastly outgunned and outnumbered, were astonishing.
Think about whatever petty gripe you have going for you today.  Now watch this:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ben Shapiro Breaks Down Trump's "Like a Dog"

Everybody is looking for Trump the racist.  Turns out, the guy just doesn't like dogs:

Yet another reason why my man-crush on Ben Shapiro continues...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Willie Dillie Chooses Suicide to Save Her Family

This is what Islam has wrought in the Netherlands.

How is this not front page news everywhere?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Anniversary to Me

24 years ago today Mrs. YDP and I were wedded in a simple, but large and incredibly fun ceremony.  

It's interesting to look back at all that has transpired since that time.  We've been through a lot, no doubt, but along those lines, there's no doubt as well as to who I would have wanted at my side all of that time. 

I stand with her a year away from our silver anniversary and wonder where all the time went.  I also stand in dumbfounded appreciation for our life together.  I am stupidly happy.  And even when the inevitable pains of life come upon us, having her there makes everything more tolerable.

I'd like the say that I'm lucky, but that is hardly the word.  I'm blessed.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart.  

Happy.  That's exactly what you've provided me all these past 24 years. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Chris Stapleton - Broken Halos

Just about the time you think that what passes for country music nowadays is what the genre is doomed to wallow in, along comes a guy like this.

This is old school country.  This is how country should ALWAYS sound.  This guy kicks serious ass.

And he's the headliner for We Fest next year.  I think I'm going...

Thursday, August 9, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part 3

I made the call my Councilman had provided and was immediately put through to the Lieutenant in charge of the State Patrol contingency in Detroit Lakes.  I put my hat in my hands and began.  

"Lieutenant, I don't want to waste your time, but I'd like to tell you about an encounter I had with one of your officers.  I don't know if this conversation is even appropriate, so if it's going nowhere from your perspective, please let me know as your time is valuable," I stated.  "You're just fine," came the friendly reply.

I told my story and laid out my concerns.  I informed my contact about the bikers and the fact that they couldn't be missed as they had to dismount and walk around our vehicles.  I also conveyed that I was never provided with a chance to give my side of the story.  I stated, "I feel like this could have been avoided if I had just been given a chance to explain myself.  I'm not one of those guys that's going to say 'Let me explain...' during a traffic stop unless asked."  "Yeah, speaking from experience, that never works very well," replied the Lieutenant candidly.  He continued, "Just so I'm sure, are you concerned about the citation, the behavior of the officer, or both?"  I answered that it was definitely both.

I concluded with my line about state troopers and how they literally live and die by how traffic passes them while they're on the shoulder.  As such, I was surprised that so little discretion was afforded to me in my case.

As I was talking the Lieutenant was pulling up the citation and notes.  He conveyed that the trooper was from Moorhead, damn near a local, so my hopes for him not showing up in court were dashed.  He also explained that this was a good officer.  That being said, he'd call the officer in, review the dashcam video, and see what it showed and if it did or did not match the citation.

I extended my appreciation, letting the senior officer know that it felt good to just be listened to.  I also stated what I had learned about the new law.  The Lieutenant claimed to not know it but promised to research it.  I provided him with the number as a start.  He admitted, "We get a lot poured on our heads in this job, and sometimes the sponge doesn't pick up on all of it.  Regardless, I'll research it and get back to you on it."  I appreciated his candor.

While it felt good to finally explain myself, I was worried.  What did the dashcam capture?  Would the rumored "solid blue wall" apply?  Was there a chance that this could be rectified, or was a court date in my future?

At the end of the day, the Lieutenant finally called me back.  "Mr. YDP, I had a chance to talk to my officer on your case, and I'd like to tell you about it," he stated.  "Do you have a minute?"  Boy, did I ever.

The Lieutenant explained that he brought the officer in and asked to explain the stop and all he remembered about it.  The officer stated that as he was rounding the corner he saw me in the final stages of a pass in a no passing zone.  He pulled me over and ticketed me in a simple stop.  The Lieutenant then explained my side of the story, to which the officer replied, "Impossible.  There were no bikers."

With that, they began the dashcam tape.  It clearly showed what appeared to be me in a final stage of a pass, just as the officer claimed.  

It did not show the bikers.   

The video continued, with the officer having me pulled over to the side of the road and giving me a ticket.  Then, like angels sent from heaven, the two bikers appeared on the video, walking their bikes around our stopped vehicles.  "Oh my word..." the officer stated.

With that, the Lieutenant explained that sometimes they make mistakes, and clearly, a mistake had been made in my case.  He apologized profusely and stated that the citation would be dropped immediately.  He also stated that they both reviewed the new law, and he appreciated bringing it to their attention. 

With that, it was over.

Again, I stated I felt like it could have been prevented had I just been given a chance to explain, and the Lieutenant stated that he did indeed cover that with the trooper as well.  

We closed by me receiving another apology and an assurance that the citation was absolutely dropped.

While none of this was much fun, in the end, justice did prevail, which is all any of us can ask for.  I also compliment the Lieutenant on his professionalism and service.  I can't imagine what crosses his desk on a daily basis, but through our entire engagement, I felt listened to, respected, and served.  

Ultimately, that's all any of us are looking for from our police.

In the meantime, if you're driving in DL during We Fest, consider yourself warned...     

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part 2

I sat in my office is a stew of anger over my ticket.  It just seemed so egregious.  There was absolutely no reason for the way that I was treated, and I steeled myself for the upcoming court battle that I was going to have.

I looked up tactics for winning in court online.  Most of the articles were penned by lawyers, and of course, their suggested course of action was to hire them.  However, there were some nuggets: document the event while it was fresh in your mind (even insignificant things like the weather and what you were wearing), dress up, and be prepared to cut a deal.  I was down for all the advice, except the cutting the deal part.  I was either going to be receiving a dropped charge, or they were going to throw the book at me.

I also studied the Minnesota law to see if there was something that would provide leniency for passing a bike, even in a no passing zone.  Lo and behold, I hit the jackpot!  It seems that the state had passed a law just a year before that dealt exactly with my situation.  Specifically, it read:

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 169.18, subdivision 5, is amended to read: a motor vehicle may be driven to the left side of the roadway (in a no passing zone) to safely overtake a bicycle under the following circumstances:

(1) the bicycle is proceeding in the same direction as the motor vehicle;

(2) the driver of the motor vehicle either (i) provides a safe clearance distance, in no case less than the greater of three feet or one-half the width of the motor vehicle, or (ii) completely enters the left lane of the highway;

(3) the operator of the bicycle is not (i) making a left turn, or (ii) signaling that the bicycle operator intends to make a left turn; and

(4) the driver of the motor vehicle complies with all other applicable requirements under this section.

Not only did I do the right thing from a safety standpoint, but I also did the right thing from a legal standpoint!  Bring on the judge!

I was also holding out hope for my case to be thrown out because the officer didn't show up for the court date.  In my research, that happened more often than one expected.  I felt like my odds of this might even be better as the State Patrol officer was borrowed from another area to bolster the ranks of the We Fest crew.  If he was from the Cities or points south, it'd be unlikely that his supervising officer would allow a whole day to be wasted to battle a yellow line crossing in Detroit Lakes.  My hope would be my buddy just wouldn't show, and the case would be tossed forthwith.  

In the meantime, a buddy from work stopped by my office and was shaking his head.  He moonlights as a City Counselman, had heard what happened, and couldn't believe my story.  It made him so angry that he called in a favor with the local police, stating "here's a productive member of OUR community and this is how we're treating him with our extra police activity?  We need to do something!"

The local officer must have agreed as he forwarded a contact for the head of the State Patrol's contingency in Detroit Lakes, and suggested I call and tell my story.  I felt it was a moot point as I always heard that once a ticket was issued there was no way to make it go away other than to pay for it or go to court, but at a minimum, I'd at least be able to tell my story - hopefully, away - as that was more than the first officer allowed me to do.  

Armed with my contact, the phone number, my notes of the event, and the new Minnesota statute, I picked up the phone and made a call...    

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part One

Last week was We Fest; a huge country music event that descends on our little hamlet of Detroit Lakes every year.  It brings about 100,000 people to town, and with them come an army of police to help keep the peace that could be disrupted by such an influx of fun-seeking country fans.

Police are borrowed to augment the local ranks, and their show of force in their numbers is a formidable one.  Likewise, they're extremely aggressive and quick to ticket the smallest of transgressions.  The message they send through their actions is a simple one: do not jack around or you'll get busted.

It was in this environment in which I was driving last week.  It was 1:15 PM and I was returning from We Fest where I had gone to pick up my credentials, as my employer requires that all of their leaders take a stint at working our booth out at the event.  I was returning in a line of cars and driving on the road that ran on the west side of Big Detroit.  This is the most popular stretch of road in the town - it holds a number of popular bars and butts up to the famous mile-long beach.

Because of its notoriety, it is a favored stretch of road in which to ride a bike, walk, or run.  Indeed, I had just ridden the stretch that morning as part of an early bike ride around the lake.  I had run it and biked it dozens and dozens of times.  Unfortunately, while being a scenic stretch, it is also a dangerous stretch, as the shoulder of the road is scant.  Despite a slow posted speed of 30 MPH, shoulder traffic and vehicle traffic come into close contact on a regular basis.  That being said, there are some conscientious drivers that generously move over and afford room, which I've personally appreciated a ton.  Hence, when I drive that stretch and encounter a biker or runner, I always move over and give them a large buffer, as that's how I like to be treated.

Thus, upon my return, I happened to come upon two female bikers on my shoulder, and I immediately went into caution mode.  The situation was greatly exacerbated by the bikers riding abreast - a stupid thing to do in that section of road.  Indeed, the biker on the left was mostly on the fog line.

As I approached them, I noted no traffic in the left lane, and despite being in a no passing zone, I moved my vehicle 2/3 of the way into the left lane and passed the bikers.  Once safely past them, I moved back into my lane.  As I was doing so, I encountered a Minnesota State Patrol officer approaching in the opposite lane, and he immediately hit his lights.  As I passed by him, he conducted a U-turn and proceeded to pull me over.

"That's OK," I said to myself.  "I know what I did was the safe thing.  I'm sure he would tell me to stick closer to my lane and send me on my way."  

I have a buddy that's a cop, and I am very deliberate in my interactions with police.  My hands are always kept on the steering wheel where the cop can see them at all times.  I always refer to them as "officer" or "sir."  I never complain or ask to explain myself unless I'm asked first.  

I figured the cop would ask me what I was doing, I'd explain about the bicyclists, and I'd be on my way.  Instead, he approached me.  "I pulled you over for crossing the double yellow line.  Do you have proof of insurance?"  I did and handed it over to him.  "Is the address on your license correct?"  I answered in the affirmative.  "Wait here."  And with that, he departed and returned to his cruiser.

In the meantime, the cyclists had caught up to us and had to dismount their bikes and walk around us as there was so little room.

"OK," I thought to myself, "he'll pull my driving record, see that I haven't had a ticket in nearly twenty years, and will send me on my way.  No worries!"  

As he was in his car doing God knew what, I watched as car after car crossed the double yellow line to our left, giving the officer and me ample room.  Because that's the safe thing to do in that situation.  I felt that gave me even more opportunity to walk out of this with a warning.  

Instead, I noticed the trooper walking back to my car with a piece of paper in his hand.    Minnesota Highway Patrol are notorious for being hard asses, and if they're going to pull you over, odds are they're going to ticket you as well.  Given the paper in his hand, it looked like things looked like they might fall on the hardass side of things.

"Mr. YDP, I'm citing you for illegal passing.  You have 30 days to resolve this matter.  This is an active road.  Please drive more carefully."  And with that, he turned and left.

That was it.  No "do you know why I pulled you over?" or "could you explain what you were doing?"  No chance whatsoever for me to plead my case or explain my actions.  Just a bleeping ticket.

I was shaking I was so furious.  Maybe I had crossed those lines, but I did so because it was the safe thing to do.  This guy was making an example of me because that's what the cops did when We Fest came to town.  This guy clearly wanted to arm me with a story to tell my friends about how you just don't jack around this weekend.

What a dick.

I returned to work, dropped my credentials off with HR as instructed, and also slapped my new citation on the counter.  I regaled the story to the entire HR staff that stood there dumbfounded.  Nobody could believe that the encounter went down the way I explained it.  

With that, I headed up to my office to look up my ticket and determine my fine.  It was $125, plus whatever would happen to my insurance.

I seethed.  I was going to fight this one.  I did indeed cross those yellow lines, but I wasn't drunk, wasn't a scofflaw, had my insurance and tabs in order, and did so to protect those two riders.  Cops literally live and die by the way they're treated by those that pass them while they're standing on the side of the road.  How could this jerk not appreciate that?  I planned on telling him so in court.

But damn, what a hassle.  It was just all so unfair.

All the more reason to raise a stink in court.  I was gonna fight the law...

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Interpol - Roland

From 2002.  These guys look just like little kids.  Hard to believe it was that long ago...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hero Gets to Hear Bagpipes Before He Dies

I wish there was a story like this I could share every day:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Walker, MN American Legion Not Messing Around

Last week, while on vacation in Walker I happened to pass by the local American Legion.  It's not uncommon for Legions to have some equipment outside of their establishment - cannons are common, and even tanks are employed at times.

Not in Walker.  Nope, they've upped the game, settling not for a battlefield difference-maker, but for a war difference maker:

Yep, that's the Enola Gay.  The Ender.  

The veterans in Walker know how to go big.