Personally I love Poland. Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pontiff, came from Poland, and he was a wonderful Christian leader. Poland stands with the United States against terrorists and in support of democracy worldwide, including providing troops in Iraq. The Solidarity movement in Poland began the collapse of the communist Soviet Union and led to the democratization of Eastern Europe. Copernicus, the great astronomer, was Polish. So was Madame Curie (Sklodowska-Curie), the discoverer of radium. Casimir Pulaski volunteered, fought and died for my ancestors’freedom in the American Revolution. The Poles have given me persuasive reasons to admire them and their country, and I haven’t even mentioned Polish sausages.
But, nevertheless, I want to vote for myself. Election Day is tomorrow, and the television networks have been telling me for weeks now that my Republican vote won’t mean anything because the election has already been decided by the Poles.
I mean, that’s really not fair. It used to be that everyone got to vote, but now its only the Poles.
I wonder, if I emigrate to Poland would I get to vote in the American elections?
Some people who say that they are morally opposed to the war in Iraq argue that the U.S. should pull out because Iraq has become “another Viet Nam.”
If Iraq is indeed another Viet Nam, the moral position must be to remain and to protect the people and the political process until withdrawal is safe from deadly retribution. After the Treaty of Paris that ended the American involvement in the Viet Nam war, internecine wars among the Communists and the Khmer Rouge, drastic repression, forced relocations and similar economic and social oppression by the Vietnamese Communist government caused the deaths of millions of people in Cambodia and Viet Nam.
Abandoning Iraq would be immoral, the proclamation of likely death sentences on countless innocent Iraqis.
Despite the contorted anti-war activist mentality in the U.S., revived from the 1960’s, that praises revolution and generations of oppression in communist countries like Cuba but judges humanitarian wars of liberation offering freedom and self-government as immoral, because they are led by the United States, leaving Iraq to the tyranny of murderous Islamic fascists cannot be justified by vague allusions to Viet Nam and the self-anointed moral superiority of those leftist nihilists-turned-moralists who would have stoned Patrick Henry for the moral absolutism of his famous declaration of war, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
The Yak Atlas – offering all the random facts you never wanted to know about countries you may-or-may-not know existed.
Today’s offering: Random facts about Afghanistan!
Kabul is both the naiton’s capital and its largest city.
The official languages of Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari.
The per capita Gross Domestic Product of Afghanistan is approximately $1300/year (compared with $41,399 per capita in the United States and $69,800 in Luxembourg). This places Afghanistan in 162nd place on the world per capita GDP chart (the lowest per capita GDP figure belongs to Malawi, which sits in 179th place at $596).
Oh yes, there’s more….
Zoroastrianism may have originated in Afghanistan.
Alexander the Great invaded Afghanistan, but was displaced by Hellenic states descended from the Bactrians and Seleucids.
Arabic peoples annexed Afghanistan some time between 650 and 710 AD. The region was conquered (and sacked) by Genghis Khan in 1219 and later controlled by Tamerlane.
The modern history of Afghanistan has been much-discussed in the news, including the institution of a Constitution and the election of a parliament which boasts 28% female members (though the Constitution apparently requires that at least 25% of the parliament must be female).
The flag of Afghanistan looks like this:
The center emblem shows a mosque with its mirab (a niche in the wall indicating which directions Muslims should face to pray) facing Mecca. The pre-Taliban era flag had green, white and black horizontal stripes, which were changed to the current black, red and green in 2004.
In honor of the return of the Nepalese parliament, we are pleased to present the following Random Facts About Nepal:
1. Yaks live in Nepal. Lots of Yaks.
2. Located between India and China, Nepal’s lowest point has an elevation of 70 meters above sea level while its highest point rises to 8,850 meters – at the peak of Mt. Everest.
3. Mt. Everest is located on the northern border of Nepal. The most popular (and most easily climbed – though not necessarily for physical reasons) routes up Everest are located on the Nepalese side.
4. Did we mention they have Yaks?
5. Nepal is the only official Hindu state in the world.
6. The flag of Nepal looks like this:
7. The government of Nepal has a website. Find it here.
8. And…they have yaks.
Texas Democrats have revealed their strategy to take over Texas politics despite its now solid conservative Republican majority. It seems to involve new mail-in voters from the New Far, Far South section of south Texas, Tejas del sur. Map below. (For the alternative take on this strategy, see Randomyak, Texas Takes Back Mexico – Film at 11.)
Yak World News Service brings you this Abkhazia update:
To hear the voices of the people of Abkhazia and their real-life concerns about their self-determination, freedom and national-cultural identity, you can read the dialogue posted at Abkhazia.org in the Guestbook section. Very passionate, fascinating arguments and information about Abkhazia, especially its relationships to Georgia and Russia, past and future.
Here at the Yak, we get a lot of traffic from people Googling all kinds of things. Among the most popular searches bringing visitors to the Yak (rooftop booglers, naked luge and stoned owls in christmas trees aside…) involve geography.
And so we inaugurate a new feature here at The Random Yak: The Yak Atlas – bringing you all the random facts you never thought you wanted to know about all the places you never knew existed (and a few you probably did)!
Today’s offering: Abkhazia!
An autonomous republic located within the republic of Georgia, Abkhazia considers itself independent but has not (yet) obtained international recognition. As such, it doesn’t technically qualify as a "country."
Abkhazia has permanent glaciers. (No, Scrat doesn’t live there anymore)
Originally part of the ancient kingdom of Colchis, Abkhazia has also been ruled by the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.
The republic proclaimed its sovereignty with the adoption of a Constitution in 1994.
The native tongue, Abkhaz, is a Caucasian language spoken by approximately 100,000 Abkhazians and 500,000 more people living in Turkey.
So now you know.