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Comments

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New Horizons: One Billion Miles From Pluto

southpolesammy Slow (135 comments)

I just don't see what the big deal is. My Imicus can clear this distance in about 20 seconds, including the time to startup and shutdown.

Apathetic planet, I've no sympathy at all.

more than 2 years ago
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Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase

southpolesammy Re:They don't get it (722 comments)

That's not at all true. If the URL's numbers are even somewhat close to accurate, Netflix stands to lose a huge amount of revenue.

If 20% move to the $16/month plan, that's a net revenue increase of 12% (20% users x 60% increase = 12% revenue increase). However, if 33% quit, that's a complete revenue loss of 33% as well. When you add in those that are modifying plans, what you get is that Netflix stands to lose about 25% of their revenue inflow due to this move.

Can they make it up in reduced bandwidth and shipping costs? Hard to say, but the sheer loss of revenue is hard to mask no matter how you look at it.

more than 3 years ago
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Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase

southpolesammy They don't get it (722 comments)

This isn't about the use of disposable income. It's about having a huge increase in cost with absolutely nothing in return. Now, if they'd said that they'd finally ripped their DVD collection to streaming, or even somewhere near it, I'd listen. Or perhaps they're finally going to get more recent titles in line with Blockbuster or Redbox. But they're not.

This is a pure, unadulterated money grab. So I'm grabbing mine back before they get the chance. Canceled my service yesterday. And per http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2011/07/new-pricing-poll-what-are-you-going-to-do.html, I'm not the only one. Over 1/3 say they are quitting. Explain that to the shareholders, NetFlix execs.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?

southpolesammy Re:Get a degree (444 comments)

And if you have candidates with both a college degree and the talent/background you're looking for? According to my college degree, which included courses in mathematical and philosophical logic, such candidates will fail to satisfy the condition above.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook To Be 'Biggest Bank' By 2015

southpolesammy 12 days late (301 comments)

Seems to be the only plausible explanation for this. But if not a very late April Fools joke, then the author is a total moron. His entire life's chance at 15 minutes of fame -- gone in one big whoosh of stupidity. Nice work, genius.

more than 3 years ago
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Gates' Future of Education Straight Out of '60s

southpolesammy Re:Why do people still consider this man a Genius? (203 comments)

Don't ever underestimate the power of being in the right place at the right time. Couple that with am opportunistic business sense and the persistence to keep pushing on in spite of seemingly insurmountable hurdles, and your chance of success is higher than most.

Of course, Gates and MSFT went quite a bit beyond that, with monopolistic practices, vendor intimidation, and outright plagiarism in some cases, but underneath that lies the fundamentals above. We may not like how MSFT got where it is, but you can't deny their basic principles.

more than 3 years ago
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How Many Solar Powered Devices Do You Own?

southpolesammy Re:Isn't it ironic, don't you think? (334 comments)

Not to mention that here in the Midwest, the Sun hasn't come out since November, and the roof has been snow covered anyway, so solar energy not such a good idea here.

more than 3 years ago
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Teachers Back Away From Evolution In Class

southpolesammy Re:God bless America (947 comments)

Parent is absolutely right about abiogenesis being ridiculous, as we all know from countless data that we are in fact evolved from pirates, and I'm pretty sure that pirates were living beings. QED.

Furthermore, why bother to explain the creation of flora and fauna with science, when we already know that without their existence, we would not be able to create the perfect bowl of pasta with marinara sauce and meatballs, and thereby express our appreciation of the reflection of His Noodly Goodness.

Ramen, my brothers and sisters.

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks

southpolesammy Prevention or Reaction? (212 comments)

I'm not certain how Amazon would be able to prevent such activity before it happened, aside from code snooping, which is probably in violation of the terms of their services agreement. Perhaps profiling would be in order before accepting someone as a customer, but how would you protect yourself against shell companies acting on behalf of a known abuser? Rather, I think the question should be "how quickly can Amazon react when this occurs".

ISP's and hosting providers have had to face similar situations for almost a couple decades now, and I would think that they'd be the logical entities for Amazon to consult with re: the mitigation of illegal activities using their cloud as an attack vector.

more than 3 years ago
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When Smart People Make Bad Employees

southpolesammy Re:a lot of articles like this one these days (491 comments)

Management hasn't changed -- the circumstances have.

The reason techies were tolerated better during the dot-com boom was because the computer revolution was the key to massive profit explosions and/or cost reductions on a scale never seen before. Thus, mgmt tolerated the quirkiness of techies because we were making their bottom line MUCH MUCH greater than anyone had ever seen. And as such, they paid highly for techies because our salary was a mere fraction of the economic improvement we were providing. We were an investment rather than a cost.

Now that most things have been computerized or automated in some fashion, the gains from continued investment in tech R&D have become marginalized. Thus, instead of being the golden goose, IT is now a cost center because management can no longer realize the gains that were once possible, but have to continue to pay for IT, now as a necessary evil. This is also why companies are outsourcing and offshoring everything, because something must give in order to keep the profit machines in motion.

It's why American IT is slowly dying.

more than 3 years ago
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When Smart People Make Bad Employees

southpolesammy Re:Brilliant Jerks (491 comments)

The above assumes that you have (a) a high amount of funds to spend on compensation, (b) access to better trained people, and (c) opportunities sufficient to attract such talent.

There are only a handful of entities in the entire world that can satisfy all three criteria. The Yankees, Manchester United, and Google come to mind.

more than 3 years ago
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Top 10 Things You CAN'T Have For Christmas

southpolesammy The List (230 comments)

  1. Seabreacher X -- submersible shaped like a great white shark, from Innespace, $93,500
  2. "Mercedes-Benz Style" helicopter -- cost not indicated
  3. The Kid's Walker exoskeleton -- made by Sakakibara-Kikai, 5.25 feet tall, for kids (???), $21,000
  4. The most exclusive motorcycle on the planet -- NCR M16 MotoGP streetfighter, based on Ducati's Desmosedici RR, $176,880
  5. LEICA M9 'Titanium' digital camera -- $29,000
  6. Top of the line television -- Panasonic PrestigeHD SUPREME Rose Edition, 152" 3D plasma w/ diamond encrusted bezel, $2,293,580
  7. Domespace rotating wooden house -- cost not indicated
  8. A balcony for your private jet -- Design Q, $16-18M (comes with a free plane!)
  9. See-thru speakers -- Greensound Serac and Floe series speakers, $8000
  10. A quiet getaway ... in a "flying" submarine -- Necker Nymph, rent for $88,000 per week

more than 3 years ago
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Mathematics As the Most Misunderstood Subject

southpolesammy Re:Poor Math Education Hits Close To Home (680 comments)

I wish I could reach out and shake both you and the GP's hands. You both are doing fantastic jobs as parents of gifted children. I'm blessed with one as well, and his reading and math skills are at a 4th/5th grade level or higher. But his problem is like your kids -- he gets so bored in class because he's always done with his 2nd grade tasks way before everyone else. So we do the same at home -- raise the difficulty higher and higher, and we marvel at the things he's able to grasp and understand almost intuitively.

However, I think we got lucky this year to have a teacher that understands his dilemma, and also tries to challenge him during class, but there's only so much time he can dedicate to each student. That's where we come in to continue the education at home. I think it also has a lot to do with the school district we're in, as ours is one of the best in our state because we fund our district well, and the better funding certainly means better teachers. That's where the rest of the US is falling down -- you get what you pay for.

more than 3 years ago
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iPad Newspaper From News Corp Rumored in January

southpolesammy Oh goody (220 comments)

Yet another monthly recurring charge that I'll never use, nor ever get around to cancelling. At least my idle gym membership won't feel so lonely now...

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Impasse With Magazines Over Subscriber Data

southpolesammy Magazines? (243 comments)

What is this term "magazine" that you speak of?

more than 3 years ago
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Minutes I spend on the phone, on a typical day:

southpolesammy Always 120+ per day (264 comments)

I manage a team of system administrators, so I'm constantly on the phone with customers, vendors, helpdesks, and IT manager peers, so that my SA's can avoid the phone and concentrate on putting humpty dumpty back together again. Otherwise, the SA's would never get anything done. Running interference for them is a big part of what makes our team work well.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Propose One-Way Trips To Mars

southpolesammy Douglas Adams had it right (839 comments)

Send the telephone sanitisers, middle managers, hairdressers, and advertising account executives. They'll probably need legal representation when they get there, so better send some lawyers and congress critters too.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Sun responds to NetApp lawsuit

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  about 7 years ago

southpolesammy writes "As previously covered here, NetApp has brought forth a lawsuit against Sun Microsystems for patent infringement on their WAFL filesystem. Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, responded saying that the NetApp lawsuit leaves them no choice but to countersue in order to protect their investment in the ZFS technologies.

From Jonathan's blog:

Their objectives were clear — number one, they'd like us to unfree ZFS, to retract it from the free software community. Which reflects a common misconception among proprietary companies — that you can unfree, free. You cannot.

...we are requesting a permanent injunction to remove all of their filer products from the marketplace, and are examining the original NFS license — on which Network Appliance was started.

...we will be going after sizable monetary damages. And I am committing that Sun will donate half of those proceeds to the leading institutions promoting free software and patent reform (in specific, The Software Freedom Law Center and the Peer to Patent initiative), and to the legal defense of free software innovators. We will continue to fund the aggressive reexamination of spurious patents used against the community (which we've been doing behind the scenes on behalf of several open source innovators). Whatever's left over will fuel a venture fund fostering innovation in the free software community.
Also interesting is that despite the two companies being headquartered a mere 6 miles from each other, NetApp has chosen to file their lawsuit in the patent lawsuit capital of the US, the US District Court for Eastern Texas."

Journals

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"CNN: Windows exploded"

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Unfortunately, this refers to the tornadoes that struck the U.S. South over the night of 2/6/08, but of course my techie side took one look at this headline on CNN.com today and said...

"Ummm...yeah....and this is surprising how? Windows has been exploding on us since day 1, and Windows Vista is no better...."

Then of course I glanced up and saw what it really referred to...

(Sad, sad panda...)

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Slashdot user knowledge is very exclusive

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Slashdotters need to realize just how few people actually understand technology. There is a great propensity of people here to assume that everyone knows what they're talking about and would share the same opinions of technology or related topics -- that assumption is completely faulty. In fact, I would venture that only 1 in 1000 people actually understand or care about technology to any significant degree.

For example, the requisite knowledge required to understand an Intel errata statement for a CPU buglist can likely only be gained either by taking a university-level course, such as Ohio State's CSE 675 Intro to Computer Architecture [ohio-state.edu] class, or by doing some very highly directed self-study. Given that the class is offered 4x/year with an average class size of 25 students, then roughly 100 students/year gain that knowledge. Let's also assume that 50% forget that knowledge within 5 years, so over the course of those 5 years, 250 people become capable of reading those errata.

OSU's Columbus campus enrollment is roughly 51,000/yr and yearly turnover is about 10,000/yr due to graduation and withdrawal. Therefore, over 5 years, approximately 100,000 students will have had the opportunity at taking that class and retaining the knowledge.

So, simple math tells us that only 0.25% of a college-level population will obtain and retain the requisite skills. Now extrapolate that figure across the the general population that doesn't attend college, which is roughly 60% in the US, and you get a final percentage of about 0.1% overall that can read and understand the Intel errata, and even that may be a stretch, IMHO.

Bottom line -- Slashdotters need to realize that very few people overall understand technology, and even fewer care. We need to keep this in mind when making broad, generalistic statements about topics such as Linux adoption, security concerns, and so forth. Average Joe doesn't care about computers and probably never will -- he simply wants it to work. Please don't fall subject to thinking that just because you want something to work correctly, that everyone else will follow suit.

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It's funny. Laugh. And get a sense of humor.

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Man, I tell ya. Some people need to lighten up around here. People are now modding down funny comments with the overrated tag. Of course I'm grousing because it happened to me (wasn't my best work, but eh...)

I know you're all raging with teenage hormones, and life isn't fair, and how come she gets a car while I get a computer, and so forth.... Geez....take a break and just enjoy some levity once in a while.

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Pervasion of the Internet

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It may just be the mood I'm in tonight, or perhaps that I've had one too many drinks, but I got lost in my thoughts while perusing through my kitchen cabinet, looking for a bite to eat. I found a can of cashews, and without moving the containers, found the hostname, planters.com. My eyes drifted to a box of granulated sugar -- dominosugar.com. I glanced upon an old bottle of wine I had stashed away after a long, good weekend with a great friend of mine, and found kj.com. I looked at a box of cereal -- kelloggs.com. They were even lost in some mid 90's time warp, saying something to the effect of "Look! We're on the Internet!"

It donned on me that we're not on the fringe anymore, in fact, we're not even just an alternate. In some cases, we're the primary communication mechanism. This is a major change in just 10-15 years. There has seldom been a change of this magnitude in brand recognition or customer awareness possibly in the history of marketing. In short, they're on to us.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Quite the opposite. After all, my previously superlative knowledge of the Internet and websites is something that allowed me to purchase my house and get financially established. It furthered my drive to learn more about the systems upon which I built these web applications for my employers and for myself and to understand at a low level what makes them tick and what people want and desire of them. It keeps me profitable today. But I'm also quite aware that I'm no longer a uniquity. There are countless kids coming out of high school even who have the skills and knowledge (if not the wisdom) that I have after 13 years of doing this for a living (if sometimes a quasi-living, but nonetheless). But it is simultaneously encouraging.

If this is the new world order, then my childhood passion and my adult decision to pursue this has definitely been the right choice. The concept of ubiquitous computing is something that endears itself to marketing schlock like this. Where ever there is a product, there is likely a need for the information behind that product -- where to find it, how it was made, who likes it. That kind of information greatly lends itself to information technologies, and although I may not be as up to date as the high school technorati, I'm at least aware that I'm on the right track.

But this is not about me. It's about the Internet -- a technology little known to the average person only 10 years ago is now found everywhere. You can't go anywhere, look at anything anymore, without finding a URL or at least a domain name on it. This of course exempts dated materials, like old books, or your dad's tools, or photo's your mom took of you in the 70's (assuming she hasn't scanned them all in and uploaded them to whatever picture-site-of-the-day is popular), but we're a throwaway society as it is, and it's, for lack of a better term, pervasive. I don't mean to say that as either positive or negative, but just that it is what it is. It's there. It's everywhere. It's unavoidable. It's sometimes annoying. It's sometimes disturbing (do I really need to know that Charmin has a website when I'm on the toilet? They seem to think so). The website has replaced the 1-800 number.

And way back, deep within some repressed part of me, it's sad. The answer isn't talking to someone, conversing my an actual person. It's reading a FAQ, or going to techsupport.emptybusiness.com. It's telling us "We can't be bothered with your request, please try to figure it out yourself". The exchange of ideas is there, but the face-to-face is gone. The picking up on facial expressions, and inflections in tone to understand more than words can express. We've evolved (devolved?) into a printed word society. And yet, I'm not immune that world. After all, you're reading this blog. You (and I) are part of the new world.

Mind you, it's not a problem, just....different. The rules aren't broken, but they're bending -- strongly. There's stress fractures on the old way of doing things, but we're coping. It is quite interesting to me when we, those so-called techno-geeks, get together to talk about things, and we are lost for words. But online, we are masters of an expression-rich environment. We express ourselves textually in a way that would make our 10th grade English teachers proud (my apologies to my English 10R prof -- I forget your name).

So what's next? We make do with what we've got, and we realize that we're only at the beginning of the Information Age. We've only begun to tap it's potential. It's both awesome and frightening in the same thought. The scene from "Minority Report" where Tom Cruise's character is being advertised to in the mall comes to mind. "We know who you are, where you are, and what you want. And gratification is but a step (click) away."

Welcome to now.

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Squelched by Slashdot

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Here's one I haven't seen before....

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "XXXXXXX" and "XXXXXXXX" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP number "a.b.c.d" and your username "southpolesammy".

This after my last 10 posts had a combined score of 28 points, including 3 Insightfuls and one each of Interesting, Informative, and Funny. So evidently, I must have pissed off some Slashdot editor with one of my posts.

Whatever guys -- it is your site, but this is bigger than the sum of its parts now, and you aren't the only fish in the sea.

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Inconsistencies

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

  • Contribute to Police Athletic League ==> charity, good citizen
  • Give Officer Johnson a $20 to get out of a speeding ticket ==> bribery, bad citizen
  • Big business contributes millions to Congressman ==> campaign contribution, concerned organization, get what they want
  • Foreign gov't "dontates" thousands to White House and get to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom ==> bad gov't, "don't bribe us, we're above such activities"

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SCO stock manipulation

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Submitted this story a moment ago, but expecting that Slashdot will reject it in spite of it's obvious appeal, plus I wanna save it for reference in case I'm right, so....

SCO's stock price skyrocketed today to $12.66, a gain of over 21% in one day, on very heavy trading. The interesting part of this occurrence is that it comes on the heels of absolutely no news whatsoever today. Consequently, some have suggested that
the stock price is being manipulated by a small amount of well-connected individual investors. Their evidence is that people have been predicting large surges like this and
predicting within $1 where the stock will be as much as a week prior to it actually happening.

This leads many to suspect that a combination of the well-known pump and dump scam and the lesser known "short-and-distort" scam are being done to illegally manipulate the stock. Furthermore, they predict that at some point, one of the pump-n-dump investors is
going to predict another peak, ride the wave up, then dump everything all at once, bringing the stock to a crashing halt, meaning major profits for both of the scamming parties, leaving the rest of the investors to suffer in the fallout. It sounds plausible, and scams like this have been run before in the past, but wouldn't it be anti-climactic to see SCO's finale come in the form of trading subterfuge and not in the form of some judgement in their dealings?

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Troll moderations

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Anyone else notice that there has been a noted increase in spurious Troll moderations lately? I've had two relevant posts moderated as trolls in the past couple weeks, even after having been originally moderated as insightful or interesting.

I have no need for karma whoring anymore, just trying to express my views, but this recent rash of troll moderations w/o any real clue as to why has got to end.

Please meta-moderate, find these bad troll moderations, and meta-moderate their privs off this site. That's the only way that it'll help.

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He's here!

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

He did it! Connor Edward Imes came into the world on Monday, 5/5/2003 at 12:53pm! Weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz, and measured 19 3/4", great color, all parts in the right places, and a perfect 10 on the APGAR scale! Hooray for Connor, and my wife, Gina. All are doing well, if somewhat exhausted due to lack of sleep....

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Waiting for the "son"...

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Roughly three weeks and counting until my little boy finally comes into this world. Here's to you, little Connor, may your life be filled with joy, curiosity, surprise, and wonders beyond your wildest dreams....

Love, Dad

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Six Feet Under

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I simply do not get this show. Far too morbid for my tastes. And I know it's supposed to be about a life totally unlike your own, but so is the Sopranos, and at least I get that show...

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Piss off, France

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

The French have got some balls. First, they block the UN from getting involved in the situation with Iraq, and force Bush to make the unpopular decision and go forward without the UN's "approval" and remove Saddam from power. Now that it seems likely that Saddam's reign will soon end, France wants a piece of the post-Saddam Iraq, without risking anything to earn that right.

France's pre-war issue? Iraq had shown no explicit signs of having weapons of mass destruction. The news from the frontline is that Iraqi soldiers died while wearing gas masks, possibly meaning that Iraq meant to use chemical weapons against coalition forces and then send in their protected military units to attack what they expected to be devastated forces, but those troops never got the chance. I fully expect that chemical and biological weapons depots will be discovered after all. Still no response from the French, but now that the conflict may be reaching it's end soon, we really don't need their help, not that we ever did in the first place.

The biggest problem that Bush had going into this war is that he almost certainly knew that Saddam holds chemical and biological warfare munitions and was just moving them around from site to site while UNMOVIC inspectors toured suspected WMD sites. But since he couldn't prove it, and almost certainly not without disclosing confidential intelligence and jeopardizing the lives of American operatives or foreign spies living in Iraq and elsewhere, he had to go this alone, knowing that the reason was just, if not public.

Now, the US and our real allies are almost certain to prevail. France realizes this and forsees the opportunity for massive amounts of rebuilding projects within Iraq that will provide a decent boost to the US and British economies, but knows that they won't be able to reap the rewards of this reconstruction because they balked. So instead of finally admitting their mistake and getting their hands dirty, they want to leverage their position within the UN to step in and control the post-Saddam Iraq. This is an obvious end-around maneuver aimed at not being shutout of the whole opportunity at economic and political gains.

Bullshit. You had the chance, you probably knew what we knew, and now you want a piece without risking your own neck? You knew that we were going to remove Saddam with or without you. We gave you the chance, but you turned your back on us. You have nothing to do with this war, and you'll have nothing to do with the rebuilding of Iraq. You will not gain from the efforts and blood that were spent by others.

Piss off, France.

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Saddam is either badly injured or dead

southpolesammy southpolesammy writes  |  more than 11 years ago

The more we hear from Saddam's stoolie, Iraqi Information Minister al-Sahaf, and less of Saddam himself, it reinforces the thoughts in all of our minds here in America that Saddam Hussein is either too badly injured to go on television and admit that we are literally beating his regime to pieces, or he is dead.

Either way, it will not cause us to cease our mission to remove his regime from power, and it forces his remaining comrades into a slow death rather than allow them to realize the futility of continuing this one-sided war.

Face it Saddam, or whomever is currently running the country -- it's over. You've lost, and now you will pay for the atrocities that you've inflicted upon your own people, as well as that of the innocentia whose lives you've destroyed around the world through your sponsorship of terrorism. Give up now, and spare the lives of your people, who are undoubtedly dying in mass numbers to maintain your tyrannical reign. Your life is already forfeit, don't continue to subject others to your fate.

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