I last changed the theme two years ago, and it was looking stale. So I figured, as I was moving the site over to LiNode so I wouldn’t have to deal with shared hosting nonsense, I would also swap templates. After a fair bit of customization, here we are.

The parent theme I’m using is GoodInc from ThemeForest.

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Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria

Look what we’ve gotten ourselves into this time.

The proverb, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results,” applies to American foreign policy. When will we learn not to take sides in other countries’ wars? When will we return to the credo for America articulated by John Quincy Adams:

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

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Why “I Have Nothing to Hide” Is the Wrong Way to Think about Surveillance

Police already abuse the immense power they have, but if everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective. Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose, as if there were no rules at all.

Via Aaron Ross Powell.

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

By V in V for Vendetta | June 9, 2013

Captain Picard and NSA surveillance

As someone who grew up watching Star Trek, I have always admired the intellectual integrity and moral courage of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. In an episode from season four of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Drumhead,” Picard demonstrates why when he shields a crewman from the witch hunt of a paranoid admiral. The NSA’s PRISM program made me think of the stirring speech Picard gave against compromising civil liberty for any reason.

“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” … The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.

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Is The Supreme Court Too Small? A Proposal For The Expansion Of The United States Supreme Court

Law professor Jonathan Turley makes good arguments for expanding the size of the Supreme Court. I agree with him, although I’d expand his proposal to include splitting the Supreme Court into two courts of 19-members each. One court would serve as an appellate court, and the other as a constitutional court (like Germany’s) that would review government legislation and activity without needing the impetus of a case that has percolated up through other courts.