Hello world!

June 11th, 2008

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Intro to Tennessee Blogs

June 10th, 2008

Michael Silence has a great roundup of Tennessee blogs. I am honored to be among them.

Pushing the Limits of Free Speech

June 9th, 2008

A 22 year old Charlotte, NC man has a rather unique hobby: maintaining an openly pro-Al Qaeda blog:

Samir Khan is the man behind Revolution.Muslimpad.com — a radical Islamic site that praises Usama bin Laden and asks for Allah to “curse more American soldiers.”

The site posts videos of U.S. Humvees being blown up by roadside bombs in Iraq. It aims to inspire young Muslims to wage war against the West.

A New York Times article from last year also gives us more of Sahim Khan’s background:

Born in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khan was 7 when his family moved to New York City and settled into the Queens neighborhood of Maspeth.

He mirrored his teenage peers, from their slang to their baggy pants, until August 2001 when, at age 15, he said, he attended a weeklong summer camp at a mosque in Queens, which was sponsored by a fundamentalist but nonviolent group now known as the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA).

“They were teaching things about religion and brotherhood that captivated me,” Mr. Khan said. He said he went back to school knowing “what I wanted to do with my life: be a firm Muslim, a strong Muslim, a practicing Muslim.”

He prayed more regularly. He dressed more modestly. He stopped listening to music except for Soldiers of Allah, a Los Angeles hip-hop group, now defunct, whose tunes like “Bring Islam Back” continue to have worldwide appeal among militant youths.

He also befriended members of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a tiny group that promotes radical, nonviolent Islam by leafleting in Times Square and Jackson Heights, Queens.

After moving with his family to North Carolina in 2004, Mr. Khan said, he attended a community college for three years and earned money selling various products, including kitchen knives.

But he began spending chunks of his days on the blog he created in late 2005, “Inshallahshaheed,” which translates as “a martyr soon if God wills.” The Internet traffic counter Alexa.com, which rarely is able to measure the popularity of blogs because they do not have enough readers, ranked his among the top one percent of one hundred million Internet sites in the world.

If Mr. Khan’s extreme rhetoric has won him a wider audience, it has caused him problems at home. Last year, his father tried to pull him back to the family’s more moderate views by asking an imam to intervene.

“I tried to bring arguments from the Koran and scholars, and said, ‘Whatever you are thinking it is not true,’” said Mustapha Elturk, a family friend and the leader of IONA, the Islamic organization that first inspired Mr. Khan. But Mr. Khan did not budge, he said.

Mr. Khan said he separated from IONA over one matter: the organization would not support violent jihad without the endorsement of a Muslim nation’s leader, which Mr. Khan argues is unnecessary.

Mr. Elturk said, “His father and family are really scared that he might do something.”

It’s amazing that a young man, who was raised in the United States since he was seven years old, would so wholeheartedly embrace an ideology that is committed to the destruction of his country and the murder of his countrymen. This is not just some naive kid making excuses for atrocities; this is a man openly betraying his own country.

Such activities are legal under the First Amendment, but hopefully every law enforcement agency in the country has this traitor under surveillance, ready to take him down the second he crosses the line between words and deeds.

Mokpo Harbor

June 6th, 2008

Mokpo Harbor, Mokpo, Korea. Photos taken May 31, 2008.

Kudzu’s Saving Grace?

June 5th, 2008

Finally, a potential use for kudzu:

“Everybody knows that you can make ethanol from corn and soy bean,” says Mizell. “What most people don’t know is that you can make ethanol from anything green.

“So, instead of fuel and feed, Agro*Gas is putting their energy into converting what is readily available and cheap! Kudzu is an obvious resource.

Mizell goes on to predict, “It may not get back to a dollar fifty, but I bet you if we do this right, we can be buying fuel at 2 dollars a gallon.” If it can be done without getting bureaucrats involved, I’m all for it.

Game Over

June 4th, 2008

The primaries are over. Obama is the nominee. The only question that remains is, when will Hillary accept reality? Her best hope now is the VP slot, although I don’t think that’s very likely, and will become even less so the longer she remains in denial.

What America Should Do

June 2nd, 2008

South Korea is taking reasonable action to address high fuel prices:

South Korea may build more than nine new nuclear power reactors by 2030, raising the ratio of nuclear power use to 55 percent from the current 37 percent, the Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday.

If only the United States would follow their lead. (Via ROK Drop)

FL, MI Get Half Votes

June 1st, 2008

The Democratic National Committee has decided to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida–although giving each of them only half a vote. This will probably be the final nail in the coffin of the Hillary Clinton campaign:

With no Michigan or Florida delegates included, Obama led Clinton by 202 delegates.

The committee’s ruling gave Clinton 105 pledged delegates from Florida and 69 from Michigan, with a total of 87 votes.

Obama received 67 pledged delegates from Florida and 59 from Michigan, casting a total of 63 votes.

That tally leaves Obama ahead by the equivalent of 178 delegates.

This decision is probably the most reasonable compromise the DNC could come up with at this point. It won’t satisfy Hillary, but even if all the delegates had gotten full votes she would have still trailed Obama, so it’s past time she saw the writing on the wall.

Podcast Appalachia: “Appalachian Abolitionism”

May 31st, 2008

The latest episode of Podcast Appalachia is now available! It’s a little known fact that Appalachians, both in the North and the South, played a major role in the early movement to abolish slavery. In this episode I look at this history and examine the role Appalachians played in expanding human liberty. You can listen here or view a transcript here.

Sounds Like Another McClellan

May 29th, 2008

The big news of the past few days seems to be former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book in which he is harshly critical of the Bush administration, particularly over the Iraq war. I don’t have very much to add to what has already been said, other than to wonder why, if McClellan’s current account his accurate, he didn’t do more to stop the war while he was part of the administration. And if he failed to stop the war, why didn’t he resign? Certainly if he is telling the truth about the evils of the administration, his conscience should have demanded it.