What If

The following may be off-topic, but there’s no more relevant topic that any of us must be concerned with right now than the rapid evaporation of liberty amidst the doublespeak coming from our “leaders.”

What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others?

What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel?

What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan – and bombing Pakistan – is directly related to the hatred directed toward us and has nothing to do with being free and prosperous?

What if someday it dawns on us that losing over 5,000 American military personnel in the Middle East since 9/11 is not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani, and Afghan people are killed or displaced?

What if we finally decide that torture, even if called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” is self-destructive and produces no useful information – and that contracting it out to a third world nation is just as evil?

What if it is finally realized that war and military spending is always destructive to the economy?

What if all wartime spending is paid for through the deceitful and evil process of inflating and borrowing?

What if we finally see that wartime conditions always undermine personal liberty?

What if conservatives, who preach small government, wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government?

What if conservatives understood once again that their only logical position is to reject military intervention and managing an empire throughout the world?

What if the American people woke up and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?

What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empire eventually destroys all great nations?

What if Obama has no intention of leaving Iraq?

What if a military draft is being planned for the wars that will spread if our foreign policy is not changed?

What if the American people learn the truth: that our foreign policy has nothing to do with national security and that it never changes from one administration to the next?

What if war and preparation for war is a racket serving the special interests?

What if President Obama is completely wrong about Afghanistan and it turns out worse than Iraq and Vietnam put together?

What if Christianity actually teaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression?

What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes in protecting America?

What happens if my concerns are completely unfounded – nothing!

What happens if my concerns are justified and ignored – nothing good!

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives
February 12, 2009

Expand A Virtual Hard Disk

I recently created a new virtual server for development purposes, and made the newbie mistake of leaving the maximum hard drive size set to 16GB. Even though I set it up to be a dynamically expanding hard disk, it was only after I installed Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, CRM, SharePoint, Office, Visual Studio and 25 other tools, that I realized I was about to run out of space on my system drive. As a Microsoft fan, I use Virtual PC 2007, which in this case meant that my toolset was a little limited in managing my VPC images.

After doing a bit of searching, I came across numerous posts that had a lot of cumbersome ways to expand the system partition on a virtual machine. Laziness being the mother of invention, I was determined to find a simpler way. And I am glad to report that not only did I find an easy way, but it was also totally free. Here’s what I did:

1) Download and install VMWare’s VCenter Converter.

2) Convert my VHD to a VMWare hard drive. VMWare Converter lets you specify a new size for the new hard drive. I set it to 40GB. The conversion took about 15 minutes, and the result was a 14GB vmdk hard drive file. (No need to boot it up in VMWare).

3) Downloaded and install the VMDK2VHD utility – also free – from http://vmtoolkit.com/files/folders/converters/entry8.aspx.

4) Launched the VMDK2VHD and pointed it at the file I had just created with VM’s Converter.

About 40 minutes later I had a new VHD file. I pointed my original VMC file to use this new VHD file, started it up, kept my fingers crossed, and…voila! I now have a bunch of free space on my image!