The Random Yak

Another Reason to Homeschool

Filed under: PoliYaks — Random Yak @ 10:02 am on October 6, 2009

I told myself, when I got back into this, that I wouldn’t bother with politics.  That plenty of conservative – and liberal – bloggers already had that field covered, and that at least some of them had a calling to blow the whistles and call the plays, which made them at least more directly involved in the subject matter than I.   When combined with my general philosophy that there’s no point doing what someone else is already doing properly, or at least well, leaving the politics off the mountain seemed like the right thing to do.

But some things  even I cannot ignore.

Apparently a public elementary school in Maryland has decided to make all its students learn – and sing – a song lionizing President Obama.  An excerpt, you say?

“Barack Obama – Oh yes he rates,

The first Black President in the United States

He’s smart and he’s – so so good!

He’ll lead this country as he should!

He wants us all to work together,

To make this country even better!”

(Red Maryland has the full lyrics.)

Scary enough in itself.  And even that, without more, gives me one more reason to appreciate the fact that we homeschool.  But add in a few historical facts, and things get scarier still below the fold: (more…)

Always Remember. Never Forget.*

Filed under: History Yaks,Holyday Yaks,Lessons Learned,PoliYaks — Random Yak @ 3:04 pm on September 11, 2009

[Reposted from September 11, 2007.  September 11, 2006 post is here.]

Six years*  ago this morning, a telephone call from The Random Sibling woke me from a sound and peaceful sleep.

“Is your TV on?” His voice demanded into my sleeping ear.  “Are you watching this?”

“Watching what?”  I looked at the clock.  My alarm wouldn’t go off for another half hour.  “What’s going on?”

“We’re under attack.  They’re flying planes into buildings.  Turn your TV on NOW.”

September 11, 2001. (more…)

A Hundred-Acre Administration? Oh, Bother.

Filed under: News Yaks,PoliYaks — Random Yak @ 3:23 pm on June 17, 2008

I’m sure this no longer qualifies as “news” – but Richard Danzig, a frontrunner in the race for National Security Advisor to a (hopefully mythological) Obama cabinet, has apparently cited Winnie the Pooh as “a fundamental text on foreign policy.”

When I first heard this, I hoped (desperately and without reservation) that this proved either a hoax or a bad idea, soon recognized and withdrawn.

On second thought, I realized Danzig’s choice of Winnie the Pooh probably provides a startlingly accurate picture of an Obama presidency. 

The Hundred-Acre Administration would be led by a Bear of Very Little Brain (and even less experience), for whom the sweet honey of his admirers’ affection and the approval of his army of Christopher Robins would provide not only a primary objective but the only one.

His choice advisors, from whom he could take valuable foreign policy advice, would include:

  • A constantly terrified, xenophobic second-in-command whose own shadow creates cause for alarm – though not for action (at least, not beyond hiding beneath the nearest solid object).
  • The hypercaffeinated jack-of-all-trades who, though gifted with the attention span of a gnat, nonetheless believes himself capable of solving any problem – despite the fact that all his other proposed solutions ended in unmitigated ruin.  (To the positive, the most wonderful thing about him is that he’s the only one with any real ideas at all.)
  • A broken-tailed donkey who has to put up with the thumbtack provided by the universal health care system rather than the real, tail-securing operation available only under an administration that lets each individual opt for real medical attention rather than forcing acceptance of the lowest common denominator.
  • An education advisor – universally considered the smartest of the bunch – who spells his own name “W-O-L”

For those who might have forgotten, highlights of Pooh’s brand of foreign policy include:

  • Attempting to obtain honey from bees by painting himself black, grasping a balloon and attempting to masquerade as a cloud. (Read: if we stand still enough, maybe the terrorists won’t see us.)
  • Getting himself stuck in Rabbit’s front door after eating too much at a dinner party.  (Translation: If you block the enemy’s front door, he won’t be able to get out and attack you!)
  • Taking Eeyore a pot of honey and a balloon for his birthday, but after semi-accidentally eating the honey and popping the balloon on the way, attempting to convince the already-depressed donkey that the presents are better this way.  (Translation: banning gas for our cars, and global-warming-inducing red meat for our tables, then telling us we’re actually happier eating lettuce on foot…)

I could offer more, but I think I’ve proven my point.  Obama’s not running a dog-and-pony show, he’s offering a Hundred-Acre Administration.

And that’s truly scary – even to a yak of very little brain. 

Tip of the horns, Pirate’s Cove

Trackposted to Stuck On Stupid, The Virtuous Republic, third world county, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, and The World According to Carl, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Facing Up to Hillary’s Hollywood Support

Filed under: Just Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 3:44 pm on February 1, 2008

On its face, excuse me, on her face, Hillary’s Hollywood connections paid off big time in yesterday’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles.  Whoever did her facial makeup deserves an Emmy.  She looked almost indistinguishable from a real person.

Just what is her Hollywood base of support?  paste?  cream?  oils?  (Dare we ask what other forms of support she may have gotten?  No, let’s not go there.)

Bet Nancy Pelosi is screamingly jealous.  But she lives in San Francisco.

Oprah vs. Bill in Iowa (and the Winner Is …)

Filed under: Just Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 4:14 pm on January 3, 2008

Oprah, by a landslide. 

Bill campaigned for Hillary in Iowa and she fell in the polls when people saw that “She’s no Bill Clinton.”

Oprah stumped for Barack and he soared in the polls.  I may be the only person in America who has never actually seen an Oprah Winfrey Show, but whatever she does she has my respect as the wealthiest woman in America (and probably the world) who has earned it on her own.

What about the roaring crowd at Obama’s victory speech?  It sounded like the high-flying Democratic victory celebration four years ago for, uh, Howard Dean.  Uh-oh.

An Inconvenient Truth

Filed under: Frivol,News Yaks,PoliYaks — Random Yak @ 11:55 am on October 12, 2007

It appears Al Gore has won the nobel prize. (not the Ig Nobel Prize, mind you, which would have made more sense).

I’m not going to waste your time with a (valid, timely and appropriate) discussion of what this means for the (already trashed) reputation of the Nobel Prize.  I won’t comment on the humorous fact that the prize comes the day after news reports of a British court calling An Inconvenient Truth a propaganda piece containing substantial misrepresentations.  I won’t bother to mention that this places the Goracle in the fine company of upstanding humanitarians like Jimmy-the-Dhimmi Carter and Yasser Arafat.  Above all, I won’t bother to suggest that Mr. Gore might be better honored among the ranks of those rewarded for such important research as the discovery that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backward and a person speaking Dutch backward. (No, that’s not a joke.)

I won’t do this because understanding the communicative capacity of rats probably does more to advance the human condition than claiming melting snow (in summer) is a sign of impending global catastrophe.

The rats said so.


In Japanese.  (Or maybe Dutch.)

Better (read: actual) commentary on the Goracle’s (cough) award can be found at:

… and doubtless many others who share my opinion that this more or less puts the cap on the fact that the Nobel Prize has become one more opportunity for liberals to pat one another on the back for a job … done. 

Feel free to link and trackback if you’re discussing the Goracle, Nobel prizes, Ig Nobel prizes, the importance of being able to distinguish between persons speaking Japanese and persons speaking Dutch - backward.

Justifiable Hummercide

Filed under: Just Yaks,News Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 9:53 am on July 20, 2007

Eco-saints who smugly smashed the windows, slashed the tires and scratched “FOR THE ENVIRON” on the side of their neighbor’s new Hummer demonstrated again that there is no militancy greater than the wrath of an angry open-minded liberal whose dogma has been transgressed.

Hell hath no fury like a moral relativist scorned.

Guns don’t kill babies and Hummers, environmentalists do.

We love the earth. It’s the people we hate.

Disclaimer: No SUV of Al Gore was damaged in the making of this political statement.

Monday Morning Imponderable: Harry (“the Hoarse”) Reid

Filed under: Just Yaks,News Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 7:00 am on June 18, 2007

The imponderable question of the day, and the question every day for the residents of that gambling-desert state onNorthern California’s eastern border, is:

What possessed the people of Nevada to elect Harry Reid to the Senate?

We can gawk and exclaim and complain and remonstrate about Senator Reid ad nauseum (a state of stomach upset easily achieved when listening to Harry the Hoarse) but there will never be a solution to the problem until we can discover what possessed the people of Nevada to vote for him.

Does everyone in Nevada always try to beat the odds, to vote for a loser hoping he will turn into a winner? It makes you wonder whether Nevada was one time a wet and green oasis and it only became a desert due to bad choices by its residents, because that’s what’s going to happen to America if Harry the Horseless Head-man gets his way in the Senate.

Washington Post and NPR Media-celeb Breaches Ethics and Etiquette, Insults Queen Elizabeth

Filed under: Just Yaks,News Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 12:01 am on May 14, 2007

As TRY reported Saturday, Washington Post staff writer and NPR media-celebrity Roxanne Roberts insulted Queen Elizabeth at a reception in the British embassy last week and repeated her insult on National Public Radio’s news quiz program “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” Standing in front of the elderly and revered Queen of England, the classless Ms. Roberts turned to the male embassy official standing next to her and remarked that “The Queen is stacked.” Ms. Roberts reportedly gestured to the NPR panelists and studio audience to make her crass anatomical meaning perfectly clear to all. The theme of the NPR program was lambasting President Bush for purported breaches of etiquette and for mangling the Queen’s English, but nothing was said about Ms. Roberts’ appallingly impolite insult about a matronly and highly repected woman on a state visit, an insult made at a reception in her honor at the British embassy no less.

But there’s more. When the British embassy official to whom Ms. Roberts’ inane observation was addressed discovered that she is a Washington Post reporter, he was aghast and begged her not to repeat her tasteless comment (or the official’s polite refusal to take this impolite guest and usher her immediately out the back door into the alley, as her behavior deserved) as a news story. So what did she do? She immediately broadcast her insult and his horrified reaction on National Public Radio. Add ethical lapses to lack of etiquette on Ms. Roberts’ resume.

That cacaphony of media outrage you should be hearing would be the calls for Ms. Roberts’ to apologize and then to be fired from the Post and NPR.

Two queries from TRY: First, I did not hear all Ms. Roberts’ may have said on NPR. Could someone else who listened to the program or who has access to the transcript confirm whether or not Ms. Roberts also called the Queen “nappy-headed”?

Second, could someone at the Post or NPR please provide TRY with an appropriately accurate and equivalently insulting description of the upper torso anatomy of Roxanne Roberts?

Sex Education in the Parking Lot

Filed under: Faith Yak,Just Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 4:05 pm on May 5, 2007

Walking across the shopping center parking lot to my car this afternoon, I glanced at a small sign posted on the back of a car (driven, I later observed, by a not-altogether-unattractive 20-something young woman) and started to laugh. The sign, I thought, showed that when people on the opposite sides of controversial social issues repeat and clarify and repeat their positions long enough, eventually people on the other side sometimes actually get the message.

The sign said, “Just Say No To Sex With Pro-Lifers!”

Now that’s a sign that I, as a pro-lifer, can agree with. In fact, that’s a sentiment everyone on all sides should be able to agree with. That young woman knows what pro-lifers stand for. She apparently doesn’t agree with it — although I suppose she could be a pro-lifer herself with a very ironic sense of humor. Unlikely. As I say, she doesn’t agree with pro-lifers, but she is willing to leave them alone. A moral truce, of sorts.

On the other hand, she may just be conceited enough to think that pro-lifer males find her irresistably attractive and that she is punishing them for their backward lifestyle by declaring herself unavailable. Who knows.

She saw me laughing at the trunk of her car and smiled to herself without looking my way. I doubt she correctly read my thoughts.

Proof-of-Citizenship Law Upheld by Federal Court of Appeals

Filed under: Just Yaks,News Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 12:10 pm on April 23, 2007

Opponents of the 2004 Arizona initiative law requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration and proof of identification to vote (in person) failed to show a likelihood of winning their case against the initiative the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.Gonzalez v. State of Arizona (April 20, 2007). Opponents argued that the law constituted a poll tax and unlawfully burdened the right to vote. The Court disagreed, holding that proof of citizenship and identity are not taxes and that the plaintiffs had not shown any significant burden on the right to vote.

Opponents argued that voter registration in Arizona began falling in 2005, but that could be attributable not to a burden on voter registration by requiring proof of citizenship or identitybut rather to dissuading non-citizens from attempting to register or to vote due to lack of proof of citizenship or identity.

On the other hand, voting by mail still circumvents most voter identification safeguards. Graveyards still have postal addresses, it seems, even outside Chicago.

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Coffee Shop Theology: Imagine, God Is Watching Us

Filed under: Faith Yak,Just Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 12:28 pm on March 11, 2007

Music governs my choice of coffee shops, for hanging out, reading, meditating, talking with friends and strangers. The closest and most pleasant coffee shop, the one within walking distance of my house with the open patio area covered by a ceiling of glassed panes that let in light and stop the rain, does not have the best coffee, but I prefer to go there anyway because of its other amenities — so long as the music is right. I used to go there nearly every Saturday morning to read the Bible or study, but it became too much of a hassle always to ask the staff to change over the music from the late-night rock-blues-jazz that livens the late Friday night open-band, open-mike festivities to a more appropriate early Saturday listening fare. So, I stopped going there for about a year, until recently I dropped in again on a Saturday to meet someone and discovered that the music had turned to classical. Nice. Very conducive to thought, introspection and thinking things through (or thinking them out, whichever idiom is better; I am not sure of the difference). So, I’ll probably go back again to test the melodic standards of the background noise again and give the place another test listen. Coffee’s still the same it seems.

Meanwhile, however, I have two other local coffee shops that get my patronage (how’s “patronage” for a culturally outdated holdover word?) — which brings me to the topic of “Coffee Shop Theology.” The last coffee shop I went to, a few days ago, was playing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” When I sat down in the coffee shop I am in right now writing this the musical offering was Bette Midler’s “God Is Watching Us (From a Distance).”

Which of these pop-culture icons’ expressions of coffee shop theology has the wiser offering for those whose meditations on God and the meaning of life are more likely to be inspired by random broadcasts than, say, sermons or main-lining the Bible itself?

Personally, as regular readers of my articles know, my preference turns toward the songs of David (aka the “psalms,” but in the original lyrics rather than their modern rewritten re-arrangements. That’s another topic, but I tell you so that you can get some insight into my analysis of the Lennon and Midler offerings (below). Here goes.

Lennon first. After all, he’s dead and therefore now knows how right or wrong his theology was, only he’s not writing any more songs to tell us the real story. What we are left with is what he “imagined” the real, hidden world to be when he was alive here.

“Imagine.” John Lennon.

“Imagine there’s no heaven/ It’s easy if you try.

No hell below us/ Above us only sky
Imagine all the people/ Living for today…”

Yes, it is easy to imagine that this life is all there is or ever will be and that death ends it all for each of us. Few people, however, do in fact imagine this as their final end. Most seem to imagine that there is indeed a heaven and that it is a heaven tailored to their fondest desires, in which they are honored residents, indulging themselves eternally in something-or-other they find pleasant. How could God do anything less for me and still be an acceptable god to me? Which explains why people also willingly imagine along with Lennon that there is no hell. Their idea seems to be to let everyone into heaven and to believe that heaven will be a better place than earth, despite the fact that everyone is there and unchanged from their earthly behavior. Sounds like hell to me.

Lennon’s initial flaw here, however, and the very dangerous premise his lyrics try to sell us, is the implication that his (or our) imagination somehow expresses something about reality, rather than his (or our) own wishes or fantasies. Perhaps it’s a danger that pop icons encounter, that people act as though everything they say is wise and true, so that they begin to believe that they actually do have special insights about life and ultimate values.

So the first evil and deception in Lennon’s world is religion, specifically belief in life after death, and reward or punishment in that life based upon our lives here and now. Lennon once said that he was greater than Jesus Christ, who explained both heaven and hell in no uncertain terms, so our choice here for reliable authorities is (a) John Lennon, (b) Jesus Christ, (c)ourselves, (d) none of the above, or (e) “It doesn’t matter because God, if there is a God, grades on a curve (as everyone knows) and I’m a better person than a lot of other people who think they’re getting into heaven.”
“Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill or die for/ And no religion too/ Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace…”
The second evil in the world is politics, political systems. If there were “no countries” and “no religion” there would be no wars. Lennon is espousing the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau, the belief in the “noble savage,” the innate goodness of man until corrupted by religion and political organizations. You know the theory: If there were no police there would be no criminals. Brilliant!


Freer Thinkers

Filed under: Just Yaks,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 2:32 pm on January 29, 2007

Noting the Random Yak’s reference to Free Thinkers Day (today), I have attended Free Thinkers organization meetings but I found them stuffy and stultifying. There were just too many ideas that that we were not allowed to talk about objectively and too many opinions that it was unacceptable for members to believe.

Achieving Self-Fulfillment, One Final Question …

Filed under: Barking and Flapping,Frivol,Just Yaks,Lessons Learned,PoliYaks — Maniyak @ 8:17 am on January 27, 2007

Now that I’ve achieved self-fulfillment, what’s next?

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Rally poster seenrecently at Liberate U.:

“Join the Campus-wide Strike Tuesday to Protest Mindless Political Activism!”

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