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Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 00:46

ok, i've seen this on the news, and i'd like to have an opinion, but i dunno what it is. so, what is it? what does it do? and why do people not like it???

ettie
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 00:54

I try not to think about these things. It taxes my brain way too much *L*.

ettie

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 01:03

lol well, it is saturday...let your brain rest

ettie
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 01:06

actually it's friday night and i'm trying to kill my brain *grins*


NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 11-16-2002 07:10

Basic...VERY basic thumbnail would have the WTO being an international body that settles (sometimes) trade disputes between countries that cannot themselves settle matters.

Canada for example has an on-going trade dispute with the US over softwood lumber. The Americans maintain that Canadian softwood lumber producers are unfairly subsidized by our various levels of gov't. As a result American lawmakers have slapped a tariff on Canadian softwood products. A tariff so punative many Canadian producers have folded..which in turn devastates single industry towns.

Canada and the US then go before the WTO and state their respective positions. Based on the rules the WTO goes by.... Canada has so far won all cases... the US is ordered to remove the tariffs...and to return the hundreds of millions of dollars collected.
Canada will continue to win...based on the current rules... but it takes at least a couple of years for the WTO to hear and make decisions... and in the meantime thousands of Canadian mill and forestry workers loose their jobs...whole communities can virtually vanish...and on the US side of the border.... the cost of building new homes increases. Nobody wins. Well let me rephrase that... nobody on the front line, workers/consumers wins.
The US lobby is powerful and unrelenting the ivorytower is the only winner.

Much more complicated... but in a nutshell... that's what the wto is all about.... settling disputes.

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 07:36

If you want the low down on the skinny with none of that nitty-gritty, look for the NoJive label.

It's a part of your complete breakfast.

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 11-16-2002 09:45

lol at genis

thanks nojive...very helpful. as i said before, i'd heard of it..mostly from tv (people protesting in seattle a few years ago, then here last week in sydney) and i just didn't know what the heck it was. thanks again

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 11-16-2002 12:32

hmmm...protests in Sydney....did anyone outside Aussie-land hear how the police reacted? They came in, in force, on their horses and charaged thorugh the middle of the protesters, trampling many of them. They went out of control, and one of the poele they trampled and seriously injured wasn't even a protester, it was a journalist there reporting on the protests. Thye crushed her pelvis. Say goodbye to children. Protests are all well and good, but I think that what happened in Seattle gave many of them entirley the wrong image. The sydney ones a few days ago started out peaceful, then the cops came in and began the violence.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 11-16-2002 16:25

Lacuna: The WTO (along with other organisations like the IMF and the World Bank) are tools of multinational captalism used for breaking open local markets so that economies of scale can force out smaller local businesses (sidelining environmental concerns, etc. into the bargain) - or something like that

More info:
www.wto.org
www.guardian.co.uk/wto/
www.tradeobservatory.org
www.greenpeace.org/campaigns/intro?campaign_id=4003
www.choike.org/cgi-bin/choike/links/page.cgi?p=ver_indepth&id=385
www.oneworld.net/guides/WTO/front.shtml

Anyway there is another important aspect to this - Skaarrjj has mentioned the vioent put down of the protesters but the police have also tried to force the Asutralian Broadcasting Authroity (ABA) to block any sites they deem to be organising 'violent protest' (however, they define that). They have tried to close down respectable sites like:
www.melbourne.indymedia.org

which should provide you with plenty of extra information on things.

The ABA has so far refused to do this (as our Australian members will be able to confirm as they can still see the above). However, the Australian government is drawing up laws which will allow it to crack down on 'internet assisted crime' which could cover cases like this. The ABA do have a broad remit to block sites (they can shut down sites showing things as tame as body piercing, spanking, bondage, etc.) but Electronic Frontiers Asutralia can't get them to release a list of the sites you can't see:
www.efa.org.au
www.efa.org.au/FOI/faq_foi_aba.html

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 11-17-2002 09:12

wow, Australia is more screwed up than I thought... and that's saying something.

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