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Seismic Code Protests

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The last two weeks have been interesting: First, the unprecedentedly testy
e-mail exchanges on this listservice (and privately) over long-festering
seismic code and codewriting issues, and second, the astounding WTO-related
events in Seattle, which I have caught up on via internet news.

Besides the factor in common that both rumbles were only made practicable by
internet and e-mail usage, there are a number of uncanny parallels that are
well worth pointing out.

Understanding one's own controversies while immersed "among the trees" might
be helped by viewing someone else's "forest" from a distance. Therefore I am
going to excerpt some commentary by others on the WTO protests and leave it
up to our reader's keenly interested imagination and fragmentary knowledge
of the facts to infer parallel factors in seismic code formulation.          

**President Clinton: "[WTO decisions] are generally made by people who
generally have not been very accountable... They have very secret
proceedings, that kind of thing." 

**AP: "Opponents of the WTO claim the Geneva-based body that sets global
trade rules is a menace that puts the interests of multinational
corporations over concerns about ordinary people and the environment."

**Reuters (after characterizing the WTO meeting itself with the words
"acrimony" and "recrimination"): "Some developing countries ... blamed the
United States for the fiasco,and said their ministers were insulted at the
way they were brushed aside by the big powers." 

**AP: "Previous trade deals have basically been dictated to little economies
by bigger economies."

**U.S.Trade Rep. Barshefsky, on internal WTO discord: "Trading partners had
deadlocked on a number of issues."

        It's hard to keep a lid on things at times
        Charles O. Greenlaw, SE   Sacramento CA