Thursday, October 27, 2005

History of U.S. Warfare by Congress Member

Taken from The Nation

In a remarkable October 7 speech delivered on the House floor, Representative Ron Paul, a maverick Republican from Texas who has long been critical of Bush's misguided approach to fighting terrorism, invoked Reagan's legacy as part of a call for withdrawal.

Supporters of the war in Iraq, as well as some non-supporters, warn of the dangers if we leave. But isn't it quite possible that these dangers are simply a consequence of having gone into Iraq in the first place, rather than a consequence of leaving? Isn't it possible that staying only makes the situation worse? If chaos results after our departure, it's because we occupied Iraq, not because we left.

The original reasons for our pre-emptive strike are long forgotten, having been based on false assumptions. The justification given now is that we must persist in this war or else dishonor those who already have died or been wounded. We're also told civil strife likely will engulf all of Iraq.

But what is the logic of perpetuating a flawed policy where more Americans die just because others have suffered? More Americans deaths cannot possibly help those who already have been injured or killed.

Civil strife, if not civil war, already exists in Iraq-- and despite the infighting, all factions oppose our occupation. The insistence on using our militarily to occupy and run Iraq provides convincing evidence to our detractors inside and outside Iraq that we have no intention of leaving. Building permanent military bases and a huge embassy confirms these fears. We deny the importance of oil and Israel's influence on our policy, yet we fail to convince the Arab/Muslim world that our intentions are purely humanitarian.

In truth, our determined presence in Iraq actually increases the odds of regional chaos, inciting Iran and Syria while aiding Osama bin Laden in his recruiting efforts. Leaving Iraq would do the opposite-- though not without some dangers that rightfully should be blamed on our unwise invasion rather than our exit. Many experts believe bin Laden welcomed our invasion and occupation of two Muslim countries. It bolsters his claim that the U.S. intended to occupy and control the Middle East all along. This has galvanized radical Muslim fundamentalists against us. Osama bin Laden's campaign surely would suffer if we left.

We should remember that losing a war to China over control of North Korea ultimately did not enhance communism in China, as she now has accepted many capitalist principles. In fact, China today outproduces us in many ways-- as reflected by our negative trade balance with her.

We lost a war in Vietnam, and the domino theory that communism would spread throughout southeast Asia was proven wrong. Today, Vietnam accepts American investment dollars and technology. We maintain a trade relationship with Vietnam that the war never achieved.

We contained the USSR and her thousands of nuclear warheads without military confrontation, leading to the collapse and disintegration of a powerful Soviet empire. Today we trade with Russia and her neighbors, as the market economy spreads throughout the world without the use of arms.

We should heed the words of Ronald Reagan about his experience with a needless and mistaken military occupation of Lebanon. Sending troops into Lebanon seemed like a good idea in 1983, but in 1990 President Reagan said this in his memoirs: "…we did not appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle… In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing we should do was turn tail and leave… yet, the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there."

During the occupation of Lebanon by American, French, and Israeli troops between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in that country. One horrific attack killed 241 U.S. Marines. Yet once these foreign troops were removed, the suicide attacks literally stopped. Today we should once again rethink our policy in this region.

It's amazing what ending military intervention in the affairs of others can achieve. Setting an example of how a free market economy works does wonders.

We should have confidence in how well freedom works, rather than relying on blind faith in the use of military force to spread our message. Setting an example and using persuasion is always superior to military force in showing how others might live. Force and war are tools of authoritarians; they are never tools of champions of liberty and justice. Force and war inevitably lead to dangerous unintended consequences.

--Representative Ron Paul, R, Texas

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

If you make more laws, you make more criminals.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Violent Video Games

Violent Video Games

Video game violence is in the news again recently because of a douchebag lawyer in Florida is attacking the industry in a way that doesn't make sense. He offers $10,000 to anyone who can make a video game where the lead character attacks people in the video game industry, killing them, chopping their head off, any torturous fashion the programmer sees fit. Someone took him up on his offer, created the game where the lawyer was the main character doing the killing. They wanted to cash in on their creation but the lawyer said, 'I was being satirical. You don't get your money.'

I know why he had this response. He'd have to go after himself if he backed this creation.

What he and others don't understand is that violent video games do not make violent people. Violent people might be attracted to violent video games.

If I chop a tree down with an axe (which I've done), I won't start going Paul Bunyan on people because of my foresting practices at home. You could put a face, arms, legs and a voice box on the tree to simulate a person, and it's just not going to give me those homicidal tendencies the real sickos get.

The truth is, the need to regulate the video game industry is an idea from old farts of another generation that are blown away with the graphic capabilities of these video games and it's as real to them as looking out the window. So they are appalled and if they're appalled, they have an emotional reaction and if they have an emotional reaction, they start restricting rights. Video game violence does not desensitize people to violence. Video game violence desensitizes people to video game violence, so the old farts that see it don't realize it's harmless and so they feel they need to take action.

Serial killers are usually the product of a poor home and a poor home is usually created by some sort of government intervention in raising kids, welfare programs or high taxes to keep families poor. So in actuality, the government makes violent people. Let's put an AO rating on it and shelve it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A friend of mine said this to me today. Did I mention that I think my friend is certifiable?

"I wouldn't give up playing basketball to have sex again."

He's proud of this. No it's not A.C. Green.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Best Blonde Joke

Best Blonde Joke

Got this from Mrs. Lock so I don't want any hate mail saying I'm a misogynist. I just appreciate a good joke.


A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started."

Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger."

Her boyfriend heads over to help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger."

He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then... *sigh* ...let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Firty Free.

Mrs. Lock got me an iPod shuffle.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Growing Network

Growing Network

Work just bought me a new laptop even though I have little use for one. It's a move to standardize the machines accessing their networks. I'll take it home and play around with it but between my peripherals and Mrs. Lock's, our network is becoming quite the hub. Running on it are:

Four laptops (FOUR!)
One desktop
One Networked printer
One TiVo
One Xbox
One VoIP phone
Plus the occasional guest laptop when visitors stop by (It happens!)

And soon to be, when their WiFi is released later this year:
One Nintendo DS

This may be the standard in 5-10 years, but today, it's borderline insane.

Oh yeah I bought 1.5 Gb of RAM last week for my desktop ($120!). I don't know anyone who commercially has that much in their home PC. I can tell the difference since it's been running only 380 Mb of RAM for years.

Again, the standard in a few years will shame my setup now, but today, it's a big upgrade. Although you can never have enough memory for your machine.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Yin Yang

Yin Yang

If math is the universal language and 1 = 1 is a balanced equation, isn't that proof that the universe is balanced and works to remain so?

Happy birthday Mrs. Lock (yesterday).

DJI 10477, NASDAQ 2147, SP5 1219

#1 Movie at the box office:
Flightplan (Serenity at #2)

Last movie I saw at the theater:

Last movie(s) I saw not at the theater:
Stewie Griffith: The Untold Story (DVD)
Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy (DVD)

Books I'm currently reading:
Good Omen by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Albums (cd/mp3) I'm listening to:
Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists
Green Day - American Idiot

Video games I'm playing:
Empire Earth
Halflife 2
World of Warcraft
Lego Star Wars

Price I'm paying for gas:
$2.79/gallon. ($45 to fillup)