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!! “Bullies never win unless you let them” !!

The sign I wore at the Yale demonstration had that message written on it. It’s a quote from a Yale History Professor. Pretty funny.
Anyway, I think it says something about the latest round of WTO talks, which just came crashing to a halt yesterday when the US and Europe tried to monopolize the conversation and strong-arm the group into discussing rules for foreign investment. Apparently a bunch of developing countries, who were more interested in discussing agriculture (which happened to be the main agenda item for the meeting), said “no way” and that was that. The thousands of people protesting outside couldn’t have helped the cohesion of the group much, either. People are starting to wonder if the WTO is capable of meaningful negotiation. As long as the US and the EU continue to put their national interests above those of the rest of the world, the answer is no.
For now the failed trade talks haven’t phased resourceful American trade ministers, who are looking forward to the FTAA meeting coming up November 20-21 in Miami, where they will have the opportunity once again to deregulate trade to benefit the most prosperous nations and send mutant GE American corn all over the world (or at least this hemisphere). November is a cold month. An impromptu sunny vacation might be a good idea!
In other bully news, several music sharing groups and a Rochester, NY DJ have offered to reimburse the mother of 12-year-old Brianna Lahara, who settled with the RIAA for $2000 as a penalty for her daughter’s downloading of music files online. There are some good guys in the world, I guess.

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