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WTO Wants USA to Gamble Online 1287

revtom writes "The WTO has ruled that the U.S. must allow online gambling or face trade barriers. My favorite quote from the article (Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va), 'It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue.' Pot/Kettle black?"
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WTO Wants USA to Gamble Online

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  • Nothing New Here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by andyrut ( 300890 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:34PM (#8682654) Homepage Journal
    The United States is notorious for ignoring the actions of global organizations, even ones they fought to create. If they were to receive a third grade report card they'd receive low marks in the "plays well with others" category.

    Let's see, there's the invasion of Iraq (against the wishes of the U.N.) and withdrawl from the Kyoto Protocol [] to name a couple.
  • Pot/Kettle Black (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mishehu ( 712452 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:35PM (#8682670)
    Absolutely, the US does this all the time to other countries as well as other countries doing it to the US.
  • But they DO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzy12345 ( 745891 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:37PM (#8682700)
    Online gambling? No problem, just ask for a "brokerage account."

    I do wish the government would force the SEC to clamp down on dodgy reporting, accounting and corporate governance.

  • what ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terrymr ( 316118 ) <terrymr&gmail,com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:37PM (#8682703)
    To be fair this ruling is about the US trying to impose our values on the rest of the world, by trying to prevent US banks & other business from dealing with online casinos which are legal in the country they are based in.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:38PM (#8682714)
    And yet other countries are falling all over themselves to follow the US. You'd think other countries would have learned by now that the US should just be ignored while larger populations like China and India could provide more.
  • by Rura Penthe ( 154319 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:38PM (#8682722)
    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but don't you think any body of laws represents a moral code? Every law legislates morality in some form or another. Killing a man, stealing what he earned, etc are all wrong because we believe them to be morally reprehensible and thus created laws to punish those who do it. Does the belief that gambling is a vice have to be predicated on religion in everyone's mind? It clearly has roots there, but not everyone who opposes its legalization is religious.
  • imposing values (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:39PM (#8682741)

    as in like democracy and freedom under the guise of capitalism to the middle east ?

    USA is trying really hard to piss the world off, if you want to be ruined economically you keep going down the path you are going

  • "Imposing Views"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hi_2k ( 567317 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:40PM (#8682750) Journal
    This shouldn't be about wether or not gambling should be legal or not: It should be about wether or not online gambling is trustworthy. In casinos, the cards are laid out for checking after the game. You know that the casino didn't cheat. On the other hand, an online casino could set it so you win 50% of the time for bets under $5, but almost never with $100. Methods of verification/Proving legitimacy for online casinos don't exist, so they shouldn't. You could argue that they will police themselves: nobody will play if they keep losing, but building false confidence is all too easy: Look at Nigerian scams.
  • by FroMan ( 111520 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:40PM (#8682751) Homepage Journal
    What is the actual product in gambling? There is no trade going on here.
  • by Atzanteol ( 99067 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:41PM (#8682771) Homepage
    premature ending of pregnancy.

    You mean murder? Not everybody against murdering fetuses is against it for religious reasons. Not to mention a few other vices you mention in your little rant.

    Gambling is legal in some areas. But nobody wants the casinos near their house. Got any ideas why? (hint: crime rates sky-rocket around a casino). This is a big issue in Massachusetts lately. Some people want the casinos as a way to increase state revenue, but they can't find any town willing to allow a casino.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:42PM (#8682780)
    I can't wait for some Muslim country to be affected by this same ruling. Then the same hypocritical nitwits that bend over backwards to criticize the US will be besides themselves defending the 'poor third world countries losing their sovereign rights'.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:42PM (#8682781)
    Washington *SHOULD* have a group of people of varying backgrounds, religions, belief systems, and values... It should lead to a great deal of positive discussion about what should and should not be acceptable.

    Problem is... We have a two party majority and those two parties have chosen their "values". We no longer have this diverse group. We have this party and ITS belief system.

    Gambling, alcohol, and abortion are not inherently evil and should not be treated as if they are because of relgious backed beliefs. Especially when we claim that we are seperate from those values rooted in the Church.
  • by Fluidic Binary ( 554336 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:42PM (#8682782) Homepage
    'It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue.' Pot/Kettle black?"

    Setting the issue of morality aside this is an issue of hypocrisy incarnate.

    The United States is the big brother of the world and that is quite possibly the weakest argument I could possibly imagine. It seems to me that our governing body in the US needs massive replacement if the best persuasive arguments they can make sound like this.

    If the United States is really the leader of the free world it should really start leading by example and drop this 'do as I say not as I do' attitude. It is utter crap and my vote at the polls will reflect this.

    We use economics threats as a diplomatic tool and if we can dish it out we should be able to take it right back!

    Am I off base here?
  • by spellraiser ( 764337 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:44PM (#8682805) Journal

    Hear, hear

    This particular quote from the story is quite interesting in this context:

    "It's appalling," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. "It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue."

    OK, so when the U.S. imposes its values on other countries, they shouldn't complain, but when others try to do it to them, it's A Bad Thing? Talk about double standards...

    The U.S. politicians (I hate it when they are equated with the U.S. itself - there is a big difference) need to learn that in order for maintain good relations with other nations, everyone must follow the same set of rules.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:44PM (#8682810)
    No, laws about killing people and whatnot are laws to protect what are called "negative rights" (such as the right not to be murdered). These rights are basically rights of not being interfered with.

    Morals actually don't come into play for most laws. A good example of this is the business world, where immoral activity is rewarded with more shiny new money.

    Laws and morals are completely separate. Sometimes there may be a moral motivation for a law, but it's generally a case of rights.
  • by amigoro ( 761348 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:44PM (#8682816) Homepage Journal
    'It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue.'

    Good point Sir. But hasn't the US imposed its values on other countries?

    Iraq will soon be a democracy because you didn't like dictatorships. Chile became a dictatorship because you didn't like a left-wing president.

    It's not only that, Sir. You have even violated the Intellectual Property Act []. You tried to extradite an Australian under the similar regulations. And let's not forget the Byrd Ammendment []

    Sir, your government has shown over and over again that it is nothing but nasty playground bully, and shown great contempt and disregard towards the wishes of other sovereign nations.

    But fear not, sir. Empires rise. Empires fall. The taller they stand, the harder they fall.

    Moderate this comment
    Negative: Offtopic [] Flamebait [] Troll [] Redundant []
    Positive: Insightful [] Interesting [] Informative [] Funny []

  • by Anml4ixoye ( 264762 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:46PM (#8682831) Homepage
    I wasn't aware that I needed people in Washington telling me what is and is not good for me

    My wife and I have had discussions about this, especially in relation to Gay marriages and how the gov't wants to ban them. We don't agree with the gov't banning gay marriages (and we are "Christians" ), but I can clearly see why they would want to.

    Think about it from this perspective. You are a "good Christian" in a high position of power who sees the country "going to hell in a handbasket" because of all the "immoral things" going on. You feel it is your place to enact laws to stop these "evils" from "infecting" the county.

    So you do. And because there are lots of other lawmakers like you, they go along with it. And who would, when it is put in the context that *you* are going to the great lake of fire for going against a law that says it's bad to have gay marriages, etc, etc. In fact, if you are going against it, you must be ready to be destroyed like all of those other immoral sinners from Sodom & Gomorrah.

    As an adult you should be allowed to choose what happens to you.

    Which is the whole point behind free will. If you are gay, and you get married to your partner, then go for it. If my wife or daughter has to have an abortion to save her life, yes it would hurt us terribly, but that should be our choice to make.

    So basically, right on brother. If we are willing to impose our values on the rest of the world, we should be prepared to have their values imposed on us.

  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:46PM (#8682834) Journal
    Gambling brings a certain class of people into a town.

    This is an interesting argument, because if gambling were legal everywhere, this argument would be completely moot.
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:46PM (#8682841) Journal
    Gambling is basically a scam. People participate willingly in the scam, often under the mistaken notion that somehow they'll get ahead of the game and strike it rich, but it's a scam nonetheless, in my book.

    Gambling sites are popular with identity thieves, and I applaud credit card companies that refuse to authorize transactions originating with offshore gambling websites.

    I'm not some neo-conservative, either. My objections to gambling websites are mathematical and ethical, not moral.

    As far as keeping them off of US soil, I guess I'm in favor of keeping the ban in place. It's not like there are hordes of consumers clamoring to blow their money on rigged online gambling. Or are there?
  • Re:Non-issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:46PM (#8682843)
    Dear Slashdot Editors:

    This comment is the perfect example of why we need a "-1 Predictable" comment moderation.


    Everyone tired of reading the same 5 jokes in every fucking thread.
  • Not morals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:46PM (#8682846) Journal
    Those aren't codified in law for moral reasons. They're law to ensure we continue functioning as society, which *is* what government is supposed to do. You can't kill a man because if you could kill at a whim, society would tear itself apart. Likewise, if anything you have could be taken from you, things would fall apart. It's not "killing is evil," it's "we can't allow killing and continue to be a functioning, growing society."
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:47PM (#8682848)
    I'm an atheist and this story still troubles me. There are nonreligious reasons you don't want gambling going on. It causes all sorts of problems. Usually these are offset by the additional revenue that gambling brings into an area, so casinos are tolerated. But that isn't the case here since the casinos are based in remote Pacific islands, and presumably those economies will be the only ones to benefit.

    The U.S. knew what it was getting into when it signed GATT. We figured the screwing was going to be one-way, as if people in the Third World are too stupid to take advantage of us in return. It hasn't exactly turned out that way.

  • by Mattintosh ( 758112 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8682866)
    On the other hand, if the government says, "Go ahead and become a drinking, gambling, pot smoking, hippie bum," they can also stipulate something like, "but if you do, we won't save you from yourself. Good luck."

    Basically, they need to back off and let people ruin themselves. Once they stop protecting the stupid and all the Darwin awards have been handed out, we'll be left with a better overall society.

    In this light, we can see that this is the only logical course of action (since the War on Drugs and the rest of the idiotic moral enforcement laws aren't working), and it's about eventually lowering taxes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8682867)
    They just have to hold out until election time. Let the Democrats take the heat after they take office.
  • Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8682871) Journal
    Don't want the WTO to impose laws on us? Guess we probably shouldn't have been a founding member and signed treaties saying we'd abide by their rules, which allow them to do this. Good work, U.S. government!
  • by ceswiedler ( 165311 ) * <> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8682872)
    Why do you think these two parties have these particular values? Could it be that these two parties have 'chosen' values which actually do manage to accurately represent the values of a majority of the people in this country?

    Do you think that a political party would survive long if it DIDN'T match what people thought?
  • by The Queen ( 56621 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8682873) Homepage
    Bottom line, we can do it because we have the power and the might. We don't need to play well with others, others need to play well with us.

    Just curious, where do you propose that will leave us as a citizen of the planet? Everyone will fear us and do what we say? Do we want to bully everyone just because we believe we're right, and everyone else is 3rd world? Personally I'd rather have people "play nice" with us out of respect and admiration, rather than fear.
  • by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:50PM (#8682895)
    I know you're joking and / or being sarcastic.

    But the US hasn't been the 1000 gorilla since the 1990's (if not the 1980's).

    We're not the economic powerhouse we used to be. Our tech is no longer superior. Nuclear nations are sprouting all over the place. And our image is VERY tainted right now, with more countries and peoples hating us since I can remember.

    Meanwhile, we keep acting like we're the big guy on campus, and pissing people off that can easily take us out.

    We're not all that. Bush, and the rest, need to start playing nice with everyone.
  • by Ruprecht the Monkeyb ( 680597 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:51PM (#8682919)
    Time to burn some karma.

    Global organizations, especially those dominated by third-countries (or soon to be third-world countries like France), are notorious for using the fascade of internationalism as a mask for the pursuit of their own selfish interests.

    This particular case has nothing more to do with free trade than Germany banning internet sales of Nazi memorabilia. This is a law enforcement issue. Or would you claim that any nation's drug policy prohibiting the import of cocaine is an unfair trade practice targeted at Columbia?

    And do a little homework before you start blathering about the US withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol. The US Senate never ratified it, since liberal poster-boy Bill Clinton never submitted it. Can't withdraw from a treaty you were never agreed to.
  • by cheezit ( 133765 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:51PM (#8682921) Homepage
    I'm not religious and I don't see that more gambling is a good thing. It may be an individual choice to gamble, but if 100% of people chose to gamble heavily we would have massive social disruption. As it is every idiot who blows their nest egg due to a gambling habit is another idiot that you and I get to finance the retirement of via Social Security and Medicare (aka welfare for old folks).

    There *is* such a thing as the common good, seperate and distinct from what is good for each individual. Deny this and you can have lots of confident-sounding black and white opinions that would destroy any society you applied them to.
  • by Rura Penthe ( 154319 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:51PM (#8682922)
    I very much agree with the stagnation of party values and the resulting lack of choices. However, while I am personally pro-choice on abortion, I can see where people can have moral objections to what they view as the murder of babies. If you posit that our opposition to murder is not solely based on religion, then viewing a fetus at conception as a human* would make abortion wrong (to them) on grounds that are not religious.

    I just noticed I have deviated largely off our original topic. I guess I just wanted to disagree with the "abortion views are based entirely on religious arguments" part of your post, not the rest of it. :)

    * While this is IMO largely a construction of the church, I know people who believe it and have no religious leanings of any kind.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:52PM (#8682926)
    If the U.S. government were so terribly concerned by gambling, it would ban the stupidity tax (aka state-run lotteries). While I personally don't understand why people gamble, it seems hypocritical for the government to both give citizens the right to gamble on a large scale (at atrocious pay-off odds) and yet prohibit online gambling.
  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:52PM (#8682928) Homepage Journal
    The U.S. did not withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol... it never agreed to abide by it.

    okay, how about the withdrawal from the anti ballistic missile treaty. the u.s. withdrew from that. yes, i have a source []

    and then of course there's the whole softwood lumber dispute. even with the wto ruling in canada's favour, the eventual resolution included quotas set by the us... and even that lame settlement didn't last more than a year. the ustr pressured the wto on the issue until wto caved and reversed the ruling! yes, i have a source for this too [].

    so. bottom line: the us likes to act unilaterally and wto doesn't have the gumption or strength to stop them. if the wto will cave to the ustr against canada, what chance does antigua have?

    oh yeah. i work in the online lottery industry. we're an american company... but our site [] runs in europe.

  • by jhunsake ( 81920 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:52PM (#8682929) Journal
    They won't be, because the Muslims are smart enough to not join the WTO in the first place.
  • by EpsCylonB ( 307640 ) <.eps. .at.> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:52PM (#8682936) Homepage
    Bottom line, we can do it because we have the power and the might. We don't need to play well with others, others need to play well with us.

    I wonder if in 50 years when China is the dominant superpower you will take the view that it is alright for them to bitchslap the US because "they have the power and the might, they don't need to play well with us".
  • by mrdlinux ( 132182 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:53PM (#8682948)
    > You mean murder? Not everybody against murdering fetuses is against it for religious reasons.

    Yes, there are a few people who genuinely care about the life of the infant, as opposed to caring about their need to spread the religion. My counter-argument to this is that the life of people who already exist and have worked hard to establish themselves takes priority over the unknown. (And if they haven't worked hard, then how are they going to support the child?) Think pragmatically, not at moral extremes.

    As for gambling, while there are several examples of crime-ridden gambling areas, there's a few problems with establishing laws based on this observation: (a) statistical correlation and causation: did gambling actually directly cause it? (b) can the crime be eliminated while keeping the casinos? (c) people want the casinos anyway, check out the debate going on between PA, MD, WV, and DE residents about losing gambling dollars to each other. There was a recent article you can probably find it online. More and more areas are allowing casinos and I think you will find that not all of them become crime-ridden like Atlantic City (which has plenty of other reasons to be crime-ridden). And anyway, what does this have to do with online casinos? Online casinos solve the location problem pretty easily, don't you think?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:54PM (#8682954)
    It is better to be feared than loved, more prudent to be cruel than compassionate.
    -Niccolo Machievelli

    Those only are despicable who fear to be despised.
    -La Rochefoucauld
  • by cagle_.25 ( 715952 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:54PM (#8682961) Journal
    The question of whether the U.S. is hypocritical is uninteresting because the answer is obviously Yes.

    The interesting trend here is for individual laws of nations to be "leveled" or "normalized" to reflect the laws of other nations only because it simplifies the economic situation to do so.

    In other words, the W.T.O. turns out to be a tool to not only resolve trade disputes but also to (attempt to) force nations to change their laws. This should make us nervous. It should also make us reflect that "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" -- II Timothy.
  • You mean murder?

    Appeal to Emotion. Fallacy. You lose the argument after one sentence.

    Murder and abortion are different things as each has a clear cut meaning. You cannot reinvent the defintion of common words in the language of your choice as "evidence". The commonly understood definition of murder, unless you're using it out of context, in which case you're just not very bright, requires a connection to the legality of the killing being done. Abortion is legal. The commonly understood definition of murder requires for the killing to be unlawful. Therefore, abortion is not murder, so no, that's not what the poster meant. Please try not putting words in other people's mouths just because you don't have a basis for your argument.

  • by El Cabri ( 13930 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:54PM (#8682963) Journal
    the US *IS* International Trade Law. The worlds most important economy protected by the worlds biggest guns.

    It is debatable wether today the US is bigger an economy than the EU, and it certainly is not bigger enough to fix the rules, as you can see with the steel tariffs, the export tax breaks disputes in the WTO, the GE and Microsoft anti-trust rulings, etc.

    In any case, be sure to enjoy your own arrogance, because within two decades the US will be at most the third economy in the world, after China (internal growth) and the EU (external growth).

    A country that failed to economically strong-arm Nigeria and Mexico into a supporting war they didn't give a damn about should notbe too delusionnal about its economic influence.

  • by mabu ( 178417 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:55PM (#8682974)
    When I used to go to Comdex in Vegas every year, I had a bunch of local friends who used to really despise this convention, the largest ever in Vegas, because apparently the "tech people" didn't gamble. Why? Because they were smart and they knew the odds.

    Gambling is basically a tax on poor, dumb people that benefits rich entities. It promotes a something-for-nothing, perverse work ethic.

    Now you might say, what about all these dot-com millionaires that are now showing up on the World Poker tour? They're not playing against the house; they're playing against the other players - there's definitely more skill and talent there than pulling the arm of a slot machine.

    Personally, I don't really care one way or another. Gambling is just another diversion. I would prefer it not in my community, nor online, but if people want to blow their money, it's their choice. I do worry sometimes about the bad message this says to society that they can "strike it rich" without really having to work hard.
  • by Jim Starx ( 752545 ) <JStarx@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:56PM (#8682995)
    Muslims don't claim free trade.
  • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:56PM (#8682997)
    Contrary to what the anti-gambling mafia may excrete, the vast, vast majority of people who gamble do not lose everything.

    Yes, I know it's hard to grasp, but most people gamble for a little entertainment. Go to a casino, see a show, eat a good meal and play a few games.

    There are a few (very few) who will gamble away every dime they have, then sell their house and throw that away too. Addictive types will honor their addictions. Why penalize the vast majority because of a few losers?

    It's like soft drugs and prostitution. Most who dabble in either do it for entertainment. Other than a few addictive types, little or no harm is done to them or society. Alcohol and tobacco do more harm, and they're legal.

    The harm comes from the law. Being illegal, these activities make huge profits, the criminals get involved, then the cops, judges and lawyers. Since all these types have vested interests in the illegality involved, the laws pretty much never change.
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:57PM (#8683005)
    The odds are bad enough against you in a casino. But to "gamble" on-line in a simulated casino game is insane. Does anyone here really believe that the deck, dice or wheel will be fair on a big bet in an on-line game?

    People who call this gambling are much like the people who confuse the shell game or the three card monty with "games of chance" or "games of skill" (they are really very expensive performances of close up magic).

  • Oh I don't know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MooseByte ( 751829 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:57PM (#8683018)

    It's not like our government is trying to prevent the EU from taking action against Microsoft.

    Oh wait.

    OK. Well it's not like our government would ever force a country to accept narcotics [] or anything.

    Oh wait.

    Damn. If we were another country we'd hate our guts too.

  • by theLOUDroom ( 556455 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:59PM (#8683050)
    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but don't you think any body of laws represents a moral code? Every law legislates morality in some form or another.

    Not necessarily. There are other ways look at it. One other way to view the situation is one of your rights vs. my rights.

    One could decide the murder is wrong because you're interfering with my "right" to life.

    You could try and say that our "rights" are really just a moral code, but I don't really believe that. I think moral codes have certainly played a role in deciding what rights a person should have, but so has basic human nature. We seek to protect many of these "rights" naturally the same way an animal might. (Property, life, etc.)

    Laws should be justified in terms of whether or not they are good for society, not whether or not they agree with someone's morality.

    The difference is one of rational justification WRT actual impact on other vs. possibly being upset about something that really doesn't affect you at all (like gay people having sex).
  • by roninmagus ( 721889 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:59PM (#8683053)
    From Ronald Sanders:
    "The U.S. says it wants open competition," he said. "But it only wants free trade when it suits the U.S."

    Well I ask, what does one expect?

    Internationalization is good to a point, as most things are... but watching out for one's own wellbeing is #1 on the priority list.
  • Re:Not morals (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:59PM (#8683057)
    > Those aren't codified in law for moral reasons. They're law to ensure we continue functioning as society, which *is* what government is supposed to do. You can't kill a man because if you could kill at a whim, society would tear itself apart. Likewise, if anything you have could be taken from you, things would fall apart.

    If "things would fall apart" in a society in which "anything you have can be taken from you", please explain why everything from asset forfeiture to eminent domain and the IRS haven't resulted in complete social collapse?

    Meantime, because we aren't allowed to kill at a whim, I still get 50+ spams a day.

    I'm beginning to think these law things are overrated :)

  • by homm2 ( 729109 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:00PM (#8683069)
    The US is famous for not playing fair with trade. Take the story [] of Vietnamese catfish, for example.

    Vietnam, a relatively poor country compared with other WTO members, is hoping to join next year. PovertyThe Catfish Farmers of America decided they weren't getting the profits they used to; Vietnam was supposedly dumping catfish on the market. Since they knew that they had no proof for any of this, they decided to claim that only American catfish could be called "catfish". Tariffs ranging from 37 to 64 percent have been slapped on Vietnamese catfish with nothing more than allegations.

    The US really claims the WTO can help poorer countries. Well, the Vietnamese are well on their way to climbing out of poverty, but this catfish story has been a huge blow to the country. The US wants it both ways; I wonder how long it will take before the US starts paying a price for crimes like this.
  • by That's Unpossible! ( 722232 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:01PM (#8683085)
    Every law legislates morality in some form or another. Killing a man, stealing what he earned, etc are all wrong because we believe them to be morally reprehensible and thus created laws to punish those who do it.

    Morals do not enter into it. It is all about FREEDOM. You can't kill a man or steal his possessions because your right to swing your fist ends at another man's nose. It is about ensuring that everyone has this freedom, not on moral grounds, but on basic, common sense. If you are allowed to kill someone, they are allowed to kill you. Same goes for stealing.

    The government's role is to secure your person and your property, not to legislate morality.
  • by TwistedGreen ( 80055 ) <twistedgreen@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:01PM (#8683086)
    Wow, your arrogance is amazing.

    Ladies and gentlement, this is what happens in America: people can't see two feet beyond their borders, and conclude that there's nothing else out there.

    America is not the world. It is, in fact, just a small part of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:01PM (#8683094)
    sadly, you are confused and looking at this backwards. The party dictates what the rest of us do. The majority of the American public (by the glaring statement of how many people refuse to vote) don't give a flying rats ass which of the two idiot parties are running.

    We are giving two choices and you pick the lesser of two evils.
  • by Damek ( 515688 ) <adam&damek,org> on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:02PM (#8683098) Homepage
    Machiavelli was not writing for a world filled with Democracies. If we want the world to be predominately democratic, we need to alter our behaviors. Granted, what he wrote is still relevant, taken to interpersonal power dynamics, but in context of the discussion, is it really necessary or desirable that our entire nation is despised by the rest of the world? That when American citizens travel abroad they are hated by people who haven't even met them?

    As for the Rochefoucauld quote, fear of being despised is one thing. Actively encouraging others to despise you is quite another.
  • by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbot AT revmatt DOT com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:02PM (#8683112) Homepage
    I think the point, however, is that participation in things like NAFTA, GATT, WTO, etc subject ALL of the laws of the US to claims of "barrier to free trade". Any country that doesn't like one of our environmental laws can have it overridden (which has already happened with local laws passed by a popular majority in places like Oregon).

    The US has never protested these actions (usually because the third world countries originating these claims are doing so at the behest of US based multi-nationals that can't come out against these laws publicly in this country for fear of public backlash). Suddenly some of the third world countries realized they could do more than be cut-outs in the war against the environment and could actually use the process to promote their own best interests. That is a clear violation of US policies.

  • WTO (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:05PM (#8683157)
    I personally don't care whether online gambling is allowed or not (though I would think it's much easier to rip someone off online). I just don't like the idea of the WTO and some small nation trying to rewrite our laws for there own finacial gain. Aren't these nations also popular tax havens and hide outs for con artists. No telling what the money from this islands online gambling is being used for. What next is someone going to tell Britian they have to relax their obsenity laws so people can sell porn?
    I think there is a place for the WTO (right along side the U.N and the other useless global organizations), and telling a country what laws it can have isn't one of them.
  • by maximilln ( 654768 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:06PM (#8683171) Homepage Journal
    It may be arrogant but it's also true. What's the rest of the world going to do if the US tells them to shove off? Unless England really is running a shadow government the US holds all the cards in industry, politics, and military.

    Politicians can debate and debate and debate all day long but, when it comes right down to it at the end of the day, if the US wants to do something it's going to get done.
  • by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:06PM (#8683179) Homepage Journal
    If we are talking about banning paying for your gambling via the net w/credit cards that's one thing

    There was a piece on this on NPR yesterday during the Marketplace show. One of the people quoted mentioned that no major credit card system (VISA for instance) will let you make a transaction with an off-shore casino. This is private business decision, as there is no uniform law making such transactions per se illegal, although the federal law vs. betting over phone lines has been used occasionally against internet gambling.

    FWIW, as early as 1995 when I worked for an official state legislative law-drafting body, there was interest in preventing on-line gambling. The solution I thought that made the most sense was to legislate that prospective contracts requiring payment of funds sent to gambling entities would be invalid. Note that I did not necessarily agree with the need for the law, but I was asked to find an effective, constitutional way to address the problem through legislation -- it was my job (I was just following orders...really).
    The angle of attack was obviously to prevent using credit cards to send money to on-line casinos.

    According to the person interviewed by Marketplace yesterday, a similar type of bill has been introduced in the last 8 years to the US Congress, but it has never passed. The follow-up comment was the one that stated that businesses (such as VISA) decided on their own to self-regulate these payments and to refuse them, partly because they were probably scared of losing money and partly to pre-emptively act before the imposition of regulatory oversight. My gut reaction was that there are still casinos that (I think) take VISA payments successfully, but I don't gamble on-line, so I can't speak conclusively to the effectiveness of VISA's self-regulation in this respect. Perhaps it's like "Whack-a-Mole" and they slap down processing agreements when they become aware of violations of their policies.

    I think that the latter part of your statement is interesting however, given the overall theme of your post here:

    If we are talking about banning paying for your gambling via the net w/credit cards that's one thing (protecting people and companies from the fortunes lost via this method of payment)

    and later:

    As an adult you should be allowed to choose what happens to you. I wasn't aware that I needed people in Washington telling me what is and is not good for me... Especially when it comes to gambling, the purchase of adult beverages, and the premature ending of pregnancy. These are NOT issues that should be regulated by the State, Federal, or local governments.

    Your first statement seems to suggest less reluctance to legislate in order to protect people (businesses and individuals) from losing money. I don't think that credit card companies need to be protected from losing fortunes -- they are big boys and can decide who they want to do business with. In response to individual people losing fortunes, I am still reluctant to see government intervention. Gambling is a "stupid" tax and I see no need to protect people from their own stupidity. The side effects (on families, for instance) can be unfortunate, but not to the extent that I want to, at the point of a gun, tell all people that they can't do something that almost all people can do in moderation with no problems.

    The second statement of yours I think is probably a more accurate reflection of your sentiment. I generally agree with it, although I diverge on the "premature ending of pregnancy".

    long OT digression on abortion follows

    In a nutshell, I think that there is a legitimate right of states to regulate abortion. There simply is no (federal) constitutional basis for Roe v. Wade, IMHO. If there is no prohibition at the federal constitutional level, the states have the right to regulate it (subject to state constitutional provisions). Blackmun (and the Court in the Planned Parenthood case out of Connecticut in the 60
  • by Texas Rose on Lava L ( 712928 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:07PM (#8683187) Homepage Journal
    This is why the only gambling you should ever do online is sports betting. It's unlikely that some offshore casino is going to be able to fix a major sporting event.

    Most of all, don't play online poker or anything else where you're playing against other gamblers that might cheat. Cheating is bad enough in online games where you're not playing for money; you can imagine how bad the cheating problem must be if $5 or $10 or $100 a hand is at stake.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:08PM (#8683205)
    > Think about it from this perspective. You are a "good Christian" in a high position of power who sees the country "going to hell in a handbasket" because of all the "immoral things" going on. You feel it is your place to enact laws to stop these "evils" from "infecting" the country.

    I'd understand that point of view a lot more if a legislator - just one - would stand in front of a podium and say "I believe homosexuality is wrong. Just like J. Edgar Hoover, however, I also happen to be a flaming cock-sucker. I believe we need a law to prevent gay marriage because without such a law, I might divorce my wife and get married to my gay lover."

    Or Tipper Gore standing in front of a podium saying "I heard some rap music on the radio last weekend, and it made me want to go out, get stoned, fuck around, and kill the pigs! I'm asking Congress for a law against violent/sexual/drug lyrics because I'm afraid of what I might do without a law to protect me from the music I hear on the radio."

    Or John Ashcroft standing in front of the statue of blind Justice, saying "I like the b00bies on that statue back there, and I also like Janet's b00bie. B00bies make my dick hard! I believe we need a law that mandates standards of decency because I can't fight the terrorists when I'm walking around with a hardon 24/7 because of all the b00bies."

    Just give me one example where a do-gooder has ever proposed a law to protect themselves. It's always someone else they're trying to protect, isn't it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:08PM (#8683209)
    Just curious, where do you propose that will leave us as a citizen of the planet?

    In charge!

    Everyone will fear us and do what we say?

    And the problem with that is ...?

    Do we want to bully everyone just because we believe we're right, and everyone else is 3rd world?

    We sure do! (you must be new here, this is a long standing US tradition)

    Personally I'd rather have people "play nice" with us out of respect and admiration, rather than fear.

    Well, that'd be great, if it worked. But I guess 9/11 proved it doesn't, so there is a new plan now. You aren't expected to like it, or even understand it, but that's the way it is. Even the Democrats are now saying we didn't act militarily soon enough. You can bet it will be a while before any administration makes that mistake again.

  • by gnu-generation-one ( 717590 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:09PM (#8683224) Homepage
    "Could it be that these two parties have 'chosen' values which actually do manage to accurately represent the values of a majority of the people in this country?"

    290 million people with only two opinions?

    Are there no Irishmen there? ;-)
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:11PM (#8683252) Homepage Journal
    "But I do have a problem with the arrogant attitude of the US government that thinks it doesn't matter how it looks to foreigners as long as it makes US citizens happy."

    I know I'm feeding a troll here...but, can't help it. By definition, isn't a government supposed to do just that for its people? Protect them, and make them happy? Isn't this what every government around the world does, or is supposed to do for its people?

    I really don't know of any countries who are so altruistic that they put the interest of another country above their own....

  • by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <> on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:11PM (#8683253) Homepage
    > Bottom line, we can do it because we have the power and the might. We don't need to play well with others, others need to play well with us.

    Not that I support terrorism in any way, but let me show you how stupid that reasoning is.

    What is the USA going to do when all other countries in the world decide to ignore the USA and support anti-american terrorism? You are really sure you don't need to play nice with them to ensure they also play nice with you?

    Remember that no army is going to stop people from hiding in the crowd and blowing things up. The few things that can help are ensuring such peopel will nto find support anywhere, and preventing the conditions that cause such ideas to get a foodhold to begin with.

    Thinking that 5% of the world population can ignore the other 95% is a big part of what makes peopel see the USA as an enemy.
  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:14PM (#8683291) Journal
    I didn't have mod points to give you, so I placed a bet that you might have something smart to say in the future and just put you in my list.

    All sorts of drugs are legal in all sorts of countries. That doesn't mean that the WTO can make the US legalize drugs imported from those countries.

    Now...if the US allowed gambling across the board...that would be a different matter. But we don't. There are select areas (NV, indian reservations) that can do it. Other than that, gambling is an illegal activity. We're not keeping free trade from occuring in the gambling industry, we're keeping gambling from happening *at all*. There's a huge difference.

    For all who are making the pot/kettle claim - don't be absurd. France and Russia wanted Iraq the way it was because they had shady ties. Anything the US did or didn't do in the 60's is irrelevant today, 40 years later. I wasn't alive, and none of the policy makers of today had power then. And Saddam was the lesser of 2 evils back then anyway. Its easy to fault people when you have 20/20 hindsight - its harder to predict the future.

  • by alext ( 29323 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:18PM (#8683329)
    No, the US is not like [] other countries.

    As an outsider it's rather touching to see claims like this being made. What might simply be seen as devil-may-care arrogance is arguably not that at all - it looks more like a genuine delusion concerning the extent to which US values are shared by others.
  • Re:Not morals (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:18PM (#8683333)
    "You can't kill a man because if you could kill at a whim, society would tear itself apart."

    Sure you could. There are lots of societies, including Europe's until the past two centuries, where murder wasn't a crime-- except insomuch as killing someone with property or armed relatives is risky. What about slavery? Or women's rights? Or the separation of church and state itself, now that I think of it. Why bother with welfare? Or public education?

    If we killed people with terminal diseases, we would save billions in healthcare.

    We have to accept that these are cultural preferences by our society, that are grounded in moral principles. That doesn't make it wrong to advance them; I honestly feel that we as a nation have the best moral outlook in the world. But we might as well recognize it.

    While we're at it, let's remember that the separation of church and state is a strong protection for Religion-- EVEN THE MAJORITY. The worldly requirements of running a country, with all the practical compromises and political maneuvers inevitably corrupt religious establishments. Religion is at its best when it is a voice for moral behavior but has no hand whatsoever in the actual political process. Tamper with it, and religious movements gradually degenerate into political factions filled with power-hungry climbers.

    That's a moral decision. Iran, for example, has a system much like ours, except that instead of a Supreme Court, they have a panel of islamic clerics. The Catholic Church, in the days of its greatest power, was riddled with corruption.

    Our decision as a society to separate church and state is a moral one-- one that has, so far, worked very well. But we need to remember that pure logic leads nowhere without some moral premise to establish how logic should be applied.
  • by snkline ( 542610 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:18PM (#8683344)

    You know, the churches really should be taxed too. Not as a matter of principle, but because about 99.99% of the churches I've been too are breaking the IRS rules that let them be tax exempt.

    Since my father is a minister, I've been to alot of churches, and its sorta become a habit of mine to really go out in force during election season just to hear what the churches are saying

    During the Clinton/Dole election, the ministers would rip apart Clinton and extol the virtues of Dole, from the pulpit! The same thing happened with Bush Jr./Gore, only moreso because Bush Jr. was BORN AGAIN, so they went on twice as long about how great he was. The thing is I KNOW these ministers are aware of the ban on politics in houses of worship. They just assume that their congregation wouldn't turn them in, and since nothing is recorded in print or audio/video its just a he said/church said debate if these things are brought before the IRS.

  • by BiggsTheCat ( 460227 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:20PM (#8683363)
    Global organizations, especially those dominated by third-countries (or soon to be third-world countries like France), are notorious for using the fascade of internationalism as a mask for the pursuit of their own selfish interests.

    Well, yeah, and so is the U.S. The U.S. has done lots of stuff in their own self-interest under the guise of globalization through the WTO. For instance, Canada tried to ban a fuel additive that scientists believed to be a carcinogen. This ban meant that they could no longer buy gasoline from the U.S., where that chemical was added to all gas. Result: the U.S. dragged Canada into the WTO Trade Court, and won claiming that the ban was illegally favouring Canadian fuel suppliers. Canada had to pay massive fines, and would have to continue to pay fines if it banned the chemical.

    Then, a few years later, the U.S. bans Canadian beef saying that it's all "mad cow". Wake up! Canada actually has better industry controls than the U.S., and has already banned using animal-remnants (offal?) in feed. At least we actually FOUND our cases of mad cow. The U.S. is in for a little surprise if it thinks it's lilly-white on the mad cow epidemic. The evidence used to back the Canadian cattle blockade is just as good as that used to block the fuel additive.

    And that is why we have a kettle/black situation. All countries are out for their own gain, including and especially the U.S. Greed is not an acceptible defense for these actions.
  • by maximilln ( 654768 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:21PM (#8683367) Homepage Journal
    By definition, isn't a government supposed to do just that for its people? Protect them, and make them happy? Isn't this what every government around the world does, or is supposed to do for its people?
    That's what communism and socialism are for. A Republic, as a government, isn't supposed to do either of those things. A Republic is supposed to stay out of the way while the people live their lives and drive society. A Republic isn't meant to do much more than host lots of debate and keep the paperwork running through the courts which should be running on a very small and concise set of laws to prevent any one citizen from flagrantly abusing another citizen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:21PM (#8683378)
    For every $0.349 lotto brings to PUBLIC EDUCATION, the $0.349 supplied by the general fund is cut from PUBLIC EDUCATION.
  • Re:Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fooknut ( 73366 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:22PM (#8683382)
    U.S. hypocritical, I agree. Show me one nation who's not. The argument made by some here that since the U.S. is hypocritical, we should just shut up and roll over, is insane.

    The WTO shouldn't be able to force another country to change it's law against the will of it's citizens. That would remove the rule of the people. The only way to be "perfectly" fair is if all nations have exactly the same laws. Which would mean all nations would meet on the lowest level. Frankly, I'd rather not be able to gamble than to live in a country like China where they regularly kill and imprison anyone with any hint of religion... I'd rather live in the U.S. than in most of the lousy dictator run countries in the world.

    How about if we get some perspective here and stop trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Not all restriction is bad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:22PM (#8683393)
    Who do you think runs the casinos? 1)Natives of Antigua and Barbuda, or 2)sleazy American businessmen who want to evade taxes?

    This isn't about Antigua and Barbuda vs. the US. This is about US citizens on the mainland vs. US citizens riding the system for free. Score one for the guys in the polyester suits.
  • It's Amazing.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FooGoo ( 98336 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:23PM (#8683412)
    How the left wing freaks protest the WTO all over the world but they support it when it takes a stand against US interests.

    Another biased presentation of a story brought to you by Michael
  • by Larry David ( 738420 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:26PM (#8683456)
    (or soon to be third-world countries like France)

    Sir, I bow in your presence. You managed to get a totally stinking troll past the moderators and get modded up to +5! Perhaps trolling could get a revival on /. after all..
  • by divisionbyzero ( 300681 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:28PM (#8683492)
    Cocaine is a bad example. Importing Columbian cocaine would also violate the law in Columbia and several UN resolutions. Gambling obviously is not in violation of Columbian law, American law, or UN accords, but it is ostensibly a law enforcement issue. The issue at hand is placing bets across state or national border via the telecom infrastructure. That was the legal excuse for what is obviously, according to this representative, a moral objection.

    The law was originally put in place in order to give the federal government the ability to prosecute gangsters involved in gambling. It was also a way for the federal government to impose its will on the States without appearing to do so.

    Orgnaized crime may be an issue for off shore gambling, but most of these places have been vetted by one of the big accounting firms.

    The only reason for the objection seems to be a kind of reactionary moralism. It always surprises me that the party that is supposed to advocate freedom always wants to know and censure what other people are doing in the privacy of their own home. Unless of course it is killing someone with the handgun they keep in their closet. That's perfectly fine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:29PM (#8683512)
    And you wonder why people fly planes in to your buildings?
  • by jfruhlinger ( 470035 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:29PM (#8683516) Homepage
    The U.S. is not being "forced" or "imposed on" in any way here. Our democraticly elected government signed a treaty that said that we'd abide by the rules of the WTO (in fact, I think we were one of the founders). We did this because by and large we decided that we'd benefit economicly from WTO membership, and as near as I can tell, by and large we have.

    If we decide to refuse to abide by a WTO ruling, black helicopters full of WTO troops do not descend on major U.S. cities and impose curfews. Soldiers do not hold our grandmothers at riflepoint and foce them to gamble online.

    By refusing to follow the WTO's rulings, all that happens is that we get kicked out of the WTO. Presumably this will have any number of negative effects on our economy -- but I'm no expert. If you don't want to be bound by the rulings of the WTO, then go vote for someone who will pull us out of it. But don't go on about how other countries are "forcing" us to do things that we don't want to do. Sheesh.

  • by kwandar ( 733439 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:30PM (#8683528)

    "We don't need to play well with others, others need to play well with us."

    Bzzzt - wrong answer! I'd suggest you take a look at the Prisoner's Dilemma and Tit for Tat [] strategies which show that cooperative players outperform.

    The rest of the world would like to play nice, because in a cooperative venture all do better, but to suggest that the US doesn't need to play well with others, and that others need to play well with the US would be an invitation to disaster, if actually carried out.

    The US relies on others in large degree for its oil, minerals, and manufacturing. Don't think for a second that the US is self-reliant. While the US can win a conventional war hands down, the more likely scenario of a guerilla war, irrespective of US power and might, would be a losing cause if it had the popular suppport of the civilian base. Even Bush agrees that the US needs to play well with others. His administration went hat in hand to beg for support from Britain, Spain, Poland and Australia for the war in Iraq.

    The US you propose would be isolationist, which would mean being in the same league as ohhh .... North Korea?!

  • The US laws should still allow US citizens to gamble but you just can't pay for it in from a US bank account or with US based credit cards.

    Forget blocking web sites, just make it hard to fund. Existing money laundering rules will pick up on any US dollar payments.

    If someone wants to gamble in foreign currency on a foreign web site then thats nothing to do with the US goverment.

  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:34PM (#8683600) Journal
    Ladies and gentleman, witness now the other side of the coin. By the grandparent's author's own words [], he is Australian, not American.

    In a country of 300 million people or so, you can always find several million idiots and several million geniuses, not to mention hundreds of millions of people in between. With so many people jumping to conclusions about America based on samples as small as zero Americans, is it any surprise so many nasty things are said?

    Why is it OK to judge America based on your small, self-selected sample when it isn't OK to judge anything else that way? I can find a million people in any significant country of your choice that also "can't see two feet beyond their borders, and conclude that there's nothing else out there". What does that prove?

    Is believing any negative thing about the US and refusing to believe any positive thing ("But what about the negative things?!?!?!?!?!") rational thinking? Where is this sort of thing going to get us?
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:35PM (#8683608) Homepage Journal
    Trade means you get something for your money. If you gamble long enough you are going to loose.
    It is odd that this is considered a trade issue. Are countries where kiddie porn is legal going to claim the US kiddie porn laws are restraint of trade?
  • by gaijin99 ( 143693 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:36PM (#8683615) Journal
    For all who are making the pot/kettle claim - don't be absurd. France and Russia wanted Iraq the way it was because they had shady ties. Anything the US did or didn't do in the 60's is irrelevant today, 40 years later. I wasn't alive, and none of the policy makers of today had power then. And Saddam was the lesser of 2 evils back then anyway. Its easy to fault people when you have 20/20 hindsight - its harder to predict the future.
    See, I wanted to stay out of this thread, I really did. Then you said that and here I am.

    Taking your points in order here: Yup, France and Russia had financial interests in Iraq. So did the US. You might have heard of a little company called Halliburton? Some fella named Dick Cheney was in charge while Halliburton made money out of Iraq. In the '60s? Hardly, this was around 1998 or so.. Hmmm, isn't he the Vice President these days? Wanna tell me about the horrible shady deals of France and Russia again?

    Contrary to your odd belief that US support for Hussain ended 40 years ago, I would recommend that you look at recent history. During the Regan and Bush I governments the US gave quite a bit of foreign aid to Saddam's vile regime. The policy makers who did this are, in fact, the same crowd who are in power right now.

    As for historic hindsight and future prediction, I'll make a prediction: Supporting dictatorships leads to problems. We've seen this time and again. The US supports dictatorship X and then a few decades later we have to fight dictatorship X. Today the Bush government is busy proping up the evil government in Uzbekistan, they're about as bad as Saddam was. Who will we be fighting in 15 years or so? Hint: Its the evil torturing bastards that the Bush government is showering with money today!

    Am I glad that Saddam isn't the dictator of Iraq? Of course. Would I be gladder if the US government showed any signs of the simple intelligence required to notice that supporting dictatorships isn't a good policy? Yup. Wouldn't it be better if the US maybe supported democracies instead of dictatorships? You wanna explain to me why you are defending the Bush government when you know that in 15 years or so we're going to have to fight the war in Uzbekistan they're busy starting for us?

  • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:45PM (#8683748) Journal
    All of which works as long as you're #1 in perpetuity. Britain used to be #1. The USSR used to have some clout. The EU is now a very strong force to be reckoned with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:50PM (#8683822)
    It boils down to the fact that gambling is
    a controlled activity in the US. If the WTO
    said that we should legalize drugs like
    cocaine we will still give them the finger.

  • Re:Grow up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EllisDees ( 268037 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:52PM (#8683847)
    >The hidden fact missing is that addicts behaviour only effects themselves. I'd agree with you if we could tell the junkies to pack sand when they want medical treatment or put them to death for destroying other peoples lives or property. But we can't

    That's funny. I could swear that being high out of your mind was no excuse for causing mayhem. How about this as a rule: "If you hurt someone else, you will be punished". Being drunk/high/gambling is not necessarily harmful to anyone in itself, but if you do something stupid while in that state, you will rot in jail.
  • by dpuu ( 553144 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:53PM (#8683853) Homepage
    The WTO is a voluntary organization. No one forces a country to be a member. Indeed, China had to fight hard to become a member.

    In becoming a member, a country explicitly dilutes aspects of its sovereignty. The US senate, in ratifying membership, accepted this loss of sovereignty in exchange for the right to do the same thing to other countries.

    If the US government decides that it loses more than it gains from its membership, then it can always leave.

  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:54PM (#8683862) Journal
    3 things.

    1 - Did I say that the US hadn't done anything wrong? No, I said that they weren't alone in doing things wrong.

    2 - Do you know another company that had the resources to pull off the task Halliburton is doing? In sheer magnitude of the job, the list of posibilities was TINY. I think its a bit more coincidental who used to sit on what board when than your arguement suggests. Not completely coincidental, no, but more than you (and many others) suggest. BTW - I don't really know anyone who likes Cheney. Bush at least has his supporters...why he doesn't ditch Cheney and pick up someone who could win in 2008 I'll never know.

    3 - Iraq was under heavy sanctions in the 90's. France and Russia skirted those sanctions and sipped oil out..more France. And as I explained already in a recent post, Iraq did NOT need that nuclear plant france built them in the 70's. In the grand scheme of things, France has a far worse record with that area than us. Hell, the whole middle east is only a mess because of France, England, and Russia anyway. And the middle east mostly hates us because of propaganda from Russia/USSR during the cold war (and the Israel issue...which *should be* more Europe than us anyway, since it wasn't us that made Israel).

    Never said the US was perfect, or that we didn't have dirt on us. Just tired of everyone suggesting we're the only dirty place around, and that *france* of all places is a pure little virgin. We might be Britney, but they're Madonna :P

  • by chameleon_skin ( 672881 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:58PM (#8683916)
    How wonderfully defeatist of you. By the same logic, we should still engage in slavery. And why not? The ancient Roman would have said, "there has always been slavery, so I'm just excercising my natural right by being a slaveowner. I'm not saying that's the way it should be, but that's the way it is." Still totally relevant, right?

    This so-called "realist" attitude, especially applied to international relations, is repugnant. By the same token you can use it to justify sweatshops, deforestation, and famine in a world where we produce far more food than necessary for the number of individuals on the planet.

    Instead of conveniently shrugging your shoulders as a member of the priveledged class, why not get angry and speak out against this sort of behavior? Or, god forbid, even do something about it?

    And by the way, social Darwinism was tossed out as a valid theory almost a century ago.

  • Just plain stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:00PM (#8683956) Journal
    The moment the US allows online gambling, the island nations currently winning gambling website hosting contracts will lose those contracts to domestic competitors.

    The only thing keeping them alive is prohibition.
  • by rossz ( 67331 ) <ogre@geekbiker.nFORTRANet minus language> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:01PM (#8683964) Homepage Journal
    No, the critical country is China. They signed it, but only because they are included in the "developing country loophole". China is responsible for a huge percentage of the carbon monoxide pollution in the world. It seems they have a lot of coal mines that have been burning for years which they have abandoned as they have lots of untapped coal deposits. It's cheaper to start a new mine rather than clean a burning one.

    The Kyoto treaty was specifically designed to hamstring the American economy. Its stated purpose, to reduce world pollution, is nothing more than a cover story.

    Finally, European countries signed the agreement because they had no intention of abiding by it. The U.S. refused to sign it because we take our treaties serious.
  • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:03PM (#8683989)
    Personally, I think anybody who gambles online is dumb ass. At least in a casino you can touch the machine that's robbing you.

    The problem from the gubmits pov is that they aren't getting their cut.

  • by Chainsaw Messiah ( 223587 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:06PM (#8684021)
    You have a problem with the US government acting in the best interest of US citizens?? Do you feel the same way about France acting in the best interest of French citizens? How about Germany acting in the best interest of German citizens? I think you have a problem with the US government not acting in according to your beliefs.
    9/11 happened because of the attitude of Religious extremists. Do you blame Spain for 3/11 too?
  • by DaytonCIM ( 100144 ) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:07PM (#8684038) Homepage Journal
    And where are the Romans today? No matter how much "might" or influence or wealth an empire may have, it always fails.

    Every Empire in history has grown to fat to sustain itself. Every Empire has thought itself superior to all other races - countries, then found itself outnumbered and surrounded.

    Everytime an American takes the stance of
    If you play to win, peoplel will listen to what you have to say and do it becuase they are afraid of what will happen if they don't
    the barbarians get a little closer to the gates.
  • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:10PM (#8684073) Journal
    Maybe, maybe not -- it'll definitely be interesting to see what happens over the next two decades. I think the EU today is far stronger than one could have predicted in the 70s and even 80s, when the amount of infighting made it dubious that the EU would even survive. Now the Euro has overtaken the US Dollar and been widely adopted, and history, while supporting you, also indicates that any world superpower cannot maintain its status indefinitely.
  • by CaptainPinko ( 753849 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:10PM (#8684074)
    1st World- Industrializied Countries: Countries whose economies are highly motiviated and rely on manufacturing rather than raw resourcs. 2nd World- Industrializing Countries countries who are beginning or in the midst of industrializing but skill rely on a lot of unskilled labour and don't have a fully developed industrial sector. 3rd World- Unindustrializes Countries Countries without industrialization, most agriculturally based little manufacturing most relying on raw/natural resources. If the amish were a country they'd be third world.
  • Maybe WTO is right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by falltime ( 704671 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:11PM (#8684099)
    How can we legitimatley claim that there is a "morality/value" issue when virtually EVERY state has either lotteries, Horse Racing, Dog racing, Casinos, Riverboats, Jai Lai, etc... (and ore likely your State has more than one of the above) - So if we have no "moral/value" issue with these forms of Gambling what is the basis to preventing other countries from competing on the free market? What it comes down to is the States dont want to lose this "protected" form of taxation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:12PM (#8684106)
    Dear god, how many idiots will have to spout dumbass rhetoric like that? Are you guys trolling, or are you really brainwashed enough to believe that shit?

    a couple of 400 Megaton ICBMS...a crap load of level 4 labs loaded with nasties...see how many of those 1 billion muslims are left standing

    About as many as other human beings in your own country. Do you seriously think that launching piles of nukes or releasing viruses (anywhere in the world) would leave you unharmed? Look up radiation sickness [] someday, or anthrax [], or even a modified strain of smallpox [].

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:12PM (#8684107) Journal
    Which makes me think, maybe it's not the island nations' intention to win this battle; it's the online gamblers who rent websites there...

    (That's the problem with mixing law and politics; you never know who's using whom and why.)
  • by nfgaida ( 68606 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:16PM (#8684161)
    HA. Treaties Seriously?

    Must be why we pursued a pie-in-the-sky missle defense sheild, which violates treaties we've signed.

  • Re:Not morals (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The-Dalai-LLama ( 755919 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:17PM (#8684170) Homepage Journal

    For what it's worth, this is my yardstick for what is or isn't moral in a post-religious (pan-religious?) society:

    Does it infringe on the rights of someone else?

    Simple, but (at least for me) it works as far as legislation goes. Killing someone is wrong. Why? Because it infringes on his rights. Homosexuality between consenting adults (in so far as the law is concerned) is not wrong. Why? Nobody's rights are being violated.

    My own personal code of ethics is based on another principle: be nice to people. Equally simple and useful as a personal code, but not much good at instructing legislation, unfortunately.

    The Dalai Llama
    a watched sig never gets modded...

  • by CommieOverlord ( 234015 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:19PM (#8684194)
    In the annuls of history, who do you think is rememebred more: Rome or Switzerland?

    Which one is still around today? Is it still better to be feared?

    As long as Rome was powerful could do as it pleased without reprecussions. Once it started to weaken it's enemies were able to tear it down.

    Switzerland has been around in an independant form for over 500 years and is still healthy and will continue to be healthy. It's because they play well with others
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:21PM (#8684235)
    Do some fucking research.

    The missile defense shield does not violate any treaties to which the USA is currently party to.

    The ABM treaty did prohibit it. However, the USA withdrew from that treaty in a perfectly legal and legitimate way. There was a clause that allowed either side to back out given a six-month notice. The USA gave its six month notice and pulled out of the treaty.

    So stop running your mouth when you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
  • You persist. How amusing. You have still presented no evidence, but you HAVE made an assumption on my position regarding fetuses and, likely, my position on abortion even though I've given NO indication what I think of it, or that I even care one way or another.

    In addition, despite the fact you quoted a defintion for murder that clearly states "UNLAWFUL" in it, you continue to ignore the fact that unless you're misusing it to try and skew the discussion, the word has a legitimate legal meaning that DOES NOT allow it to be synonomous with abortion. Abortion is legal (unless you are specifying a specific type, in which case, I suggest you qualify it to avoid confusion). Murder is not. Framed in the context of this discussion so far, the two are not technically, logically, or intellibly interchangeable. Argue all you like, it's a fact. You don't have to deal in facts ALL the time, but if you plan on actually convincing anyone of positions you hold instead of making yourself look like a screeching moron, I suggest you stick to them in those cases at the very least.

  • by SnowZero ( 92219 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:26PM (#8684282)
    Some background info for the uninitiated: Note that Islam stipulates that gambling is illegal, rather like Jewish Kosher values stipulate things such as that pork cannot be eaten. So yes, they'd be pretty pissed to be told that they have to allow gambling.

    Here's an example: []
    The position of Islam on gambling is that it is prohibited, harmful and destructive to society. Gambling is addictive by nature, a practice that takes money from the poor with the perceived, yet illusive promise that they may "win" something without having to work for it. Gambling is mentioned in the Quran, Islam's revealed text, alongside drinking alcohol as an abomination, a sin, and a grave harm to mankind.

    I think this issue is an example of trade getting dangerously close to values; For example what if the WTO told us we need to lower the age for legal pornagraphy to 17, to bring it in line with some European nations? I hope the WTO forces France to allow religious symbols in school again, since their new law forbidding it will ruin the religeous headscarf, skullcap, and large cross market. No, that would be terrible, because mixing trade and values is silly.

    In the US, gambling has always been heavily regulated (my views aside, it seems to be the will of the people), and they want to keep it that way. Online gambling, just like the online pharmacies pimping everything nowadays, are extremely hard to regulate.

    So in short, this is not a good example of the US being arrogant, and they really do have a point regarding laws and tradition.
  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:30PM (#8684326) Homepage Journal
    Must be why we pursued a pie-in-the-sky missle defense sheild, which violates treaties we've signed.

    You mean that treaty between the US and the USSR (That country that doesn't exist any more)?

  • by eathan13 ( 765756 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:35PM (#8684368) Homepage
    "It's appalling," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. "It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue." Gee, Bob, isn't that the real reason the US gets involved in these "World" organizations in the first place - one more channel to try to impose our values on the rest of the world? When we agree to play nice together from a common ground established by working in cooperation with the other member nations, are we crossing our fingers behind our backs? Yes, Bob, I run a site with gaming information and tips. I have my own agenda, I like blackjack and poker. So is the Justice Department coming after me next? After all I do link to a few offshore gaming sites...
  • Re:Damn! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MooseByte ( 751829 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:36PM (#8684384)

    "I love sadaam. I liked him when he cut out my tongue , I loved the acid chamber and the meat grinder!"

    And so did the US government. Or did you miss the part where Rumsfeld was over there shaking his hand in 1983(?), right around the time he was gassing his own population?

    Exact same mudering torturing bastard. We supported him. Supplies. Intelligence. Even WMD-capable infrastructure. Our bud. We merely got tired of him not doing our bidding.

  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:43PM (#8684456)
    Precisely why you should only play blackjack (if you know how to count cards), or some games like Texas Hold'em poker...if you learn how to figure 'pot odds' correctly. With these two games and CAN have a positive expectation in the long run. Statistically, that is...

    Indeed. I've made a decent profit in the last few months off people who think A6 offsuit is a good hand.
  • by curtlewis ( 662976 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:45PM (#8684474)
    Gambling is illegal in most US states with a few exceptions (Atlantic City, Nevada, Indian reservations). I don't see an issue with the US not wanting to permit online gambling.

    Certain types of business are prone to infiltration and control by criminal elements. Gambling is notorioius for this, hence the restrictions we have in the US.

    I'm all for free trade, it makes for a stronger world economy all around, but if some organization demands we permit trade of a commodity or service which is illegal in our country, they're out of line.

  • by gaijin99 ( 143693 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:46PM (#8684484) Journal
    Case in point: Pakistan. If Pakistan were to become a democracy today, we would have an Islamist radical nuclear power on our hands.
    Right. Its so much better to have Pakistan as a dictatorship where atomic physicists try to get nukes to terrorist outfits. Also, I can't help but notice that the "let's support dictators" idea didn't work out very well in Iran, did it? Now they're a "radical Islamist government with nuclear power". It seems that the plan you support doesn't work. The sane thing to do would be to abandon it for a different plan. I would suggest that a plan of supporting democracies (as opposed to trying to squash democracies) would be a possible alternative. You argue that it might cause problems, but we already know that your plan doesn't work. There's a word for trying the same thing and expecting different results.

    In any event, you are trying to hide from the issue I mentioned: Uzbekistan. The government there is about where Saddam's regime was back when the Regan and Bush I governments were supporting Saddam. It is a historically demonstrable *fact* that giving money to dictators does not buy them off for long, and that eventually we wind up fighting the dictators the government supported. Uzbekistan is the next Iraq, and its quite apparent that the Bush II government is either a) composed to total morons, or b) has reasons for wanting an enemy or three around. War makes an excellent tail to wag the dog, doesn't it? Worse, history also prooves that regardless of how cozy the Bush government gets with its torturing dictatorial friends, there will always be people like you to try and pretend that its all ok. Donald Rumsfeld shook Saddam's hand at a time when we *knew* that he was a mass murderer, and somehow this doesn't seem to bother you?

  • by EvilBudMan ( 588716 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:50PM (#8684536) Journal
    --But if people like you have their way, it will be more like the way the Romans ended things: ever weaker, arrogant and paranoid and half-mad, harried by people who hate us, until we're a shattered wreck of remembered glory.--

    I think you mean forgotten glory.
  • by jrpascucci ( 550709 ) * <> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:50PM (#8684544)
    Isn't it possible that Online Gambling could be used for Money Laundering?

    Consider - you and I are playing blackjack (you're the dealer, I'm the player, and the house doesn't automatically win if it gets a blackjack), or backgammon, or heads-up poker. I with my 'horrible luck' always draw until I'm bused, or always leave several pips open, or only bet lots when I am dealt an 7-2. I bet 50-100k per hand. I can lose several million dollars to you rather quickly. And legally. And without oversight for tax purposes.

    Unrestricted online gambling is ridiculously prone to misuse.
  • by LionMage ( 318500 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:53PM (#8684578) Homepage
    With all the protesting against the WTO in the United States, you'd think lawmakers here would have gotten the clue that many U.S. citizens don't like the WTO and want no part of it. I've seen nothing else that can galvanize unions and environmentalists in a common cause! Unions hate the WTO because of its impact on workers; environmentalists hate the WTO because it undermines the environmental protection laws of member nations.

    Socialists hate the WTO because it promotes corporate greed and capitalism at the expense of everything else. Many conservatives hate the WTO because it undermines national sovereignty.

    And yet lawmakers in the United States do little or nothing until the WTO tries to force the U.S. to accept Internet gambling; once that happens, you have lawmakers screaming that the U.S. should withdraw from the WTO.

    In my humble opinion, this can be summed up thusly: "Right cause. Sickeningly wrong reason."
  • by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:53PM (#8684583) Journal
    The answer is control. Thet have regulated Nevada to the point that the Mafia (who built Las Vegas) has almost no influence there and the games are honest, which means that the law of averages says the house wins most of the time. Internet gambling has no controls and could be used to finance organized crime or terrorists.
  • by arkanes ( 521690 ) <arkanes@gma i l . c om> on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:55PM (#8684607) Homepage
    Man, you sound bitter. It's too bad rich yuppie brats don't have to have coin jars to steal your money.

    By the way, what you've also described is "no goverment". It's a scale, not an absolute classification. The UN is a good example of your type of government, and look how freely we (the US) dismisses them as "irrelevent". Your usage of the words communism and socialism is totally wrong, so I'm just going to ignore that sentence. Suffice it to say that the two things aren't related to each other and even less related to your previous sentence.

    Note that a socialist government (which, like all governments, will take away your money to give to someone else) is not neccesarily invasive or facist. In fact, the most common reason for liberalism in government is to protect personal freedoms. It's also perfectly possible for conservatives to be incredibly invasive, for which proof I give you the American republican party.

    As for the etymology of "republic", yes, it's from "publicus", of the people. It's the idea of government held in common, as public land might be.

  • I will (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:55PM (#8684608) Journal
    I am an American, and my opinion of world politics closely models the parent's. It's just the way it is, the alpha male dictates the pack's behaviour. If China ever becomes the dominant power, I'll expect them to behave as we are and have been for the past fourty years. Would you really expect any different? If a lax, weak country like France or even Spain had our might and economic size, do you think that they would really want to appease everyone else and seek balance with them? You would be rather naive if you did.

    Look at how England acted during its reign as a global empire. Everyone hated them and called them arrogant because they pursued their interests and captured them, devil may care, because they were on top. Rome is another perfect example. It seems like every couple centuries a civilization rises past all others, and collectively have the attitude to dominate the rest of the world. After a while the citizenry changes, becomes docile and more friendly, and another nations captures the glory. Just deal, because history isn't going to stop repeating itself any time soon.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JeanPaulBob ( 585149 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:12PM (#8684759)
    Just give me one example where a do-gooder has ever proposed a law to protect themselves. It's always someone else they're trying to protect, isn't it?

    I really don't get your point. I mean, your argument sounds really good and convincing...But what is it you're actually saying? They're called "representatives" for a reason--it's their job to propose laws entirely for the benefit of other people.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing for or against censorship, legislating morality, etc. It's just that your argument seems rather silly. Just try applying it to other issues. Take prison rape, for instance. Does a legislator actually have to be afraid s/he will end up in prison before you'll allow them to change the system to make it less likely? Do you have to be black to be concerned about civil rights? Do you have to be a parent to protect children from child pornographers? Do you have to be victim to do the right thing?

    If you disagree with them about the definition of the "right thing", fine, argue on those grounds. But it seems to me that you're criticizing them on a standard you wouldn't apply to anyone else.
  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:12PM (#8684763) Homepage
    So, how would you fix this? Everyone in the west convert to Islam?

    How about taking the Israeli population and moving them to Idaho?

    Maybe eliminating poverty in Saudi Arabia by giving everyone a million dollars?

    I don't think there is a solution that gets everyone to like us - or even a reasonable majority - without doing some pretty extreme things. And, even if the US did them, we'd be chided for doing it just for safety and without any real committment.

    About the only thing that would make everyone happy would be if the economy crashed worldwide and everyone was living like a peasant in Bangladesh. We'd all be way too worried about filling our bellies to be concerned about what was going on elsewhere.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:14PM (#8684786)
    It's apparently mostly the shitty tipping and not going out. My father works in the automotive industry and they also have their big tradeshow in Vegas. Often, it's a few weeks after Comdex. Cabbies and waiters and the like always comment on how much more they like the auto guys. They tend to be much older, on average, the classical bussiness exec type. Most are quite good tippers and tend to go out to dinner every night. The geeks apparently tip very little, if at all, on average and are quite content to spend the night holed up in their room with their laptops.

    I find none of this supprising, and can see why it annoys the service people.
  • Re:Non-issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TotallyUseless ( 157895 ) < minus physicist> on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:33PM (#8684938) Homepage Journal
    -1 Redundant works fine for jokes that are so overused that you expect to see them in particular threads.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:40PM (#8684995)
    They're called "representatives" for a reason--it's their job to propose laws entirely for the benefit of other people.
    So, what you're saying is that it's for the benefit of the people who voted for them, who aren't competent to decide whether to marry a man or woman, listen to (c)rap music, smoke/shoot/snort/inject whatever... but somehow these same people are competent to elect rulers with the power to make those decisions for them?

    This is the Fundamental Contradiction of the democratic Nanny State [not the Democrat party, but small-d democracy, both major parties are guilty]. If you are so incompetent as to need the government to make your decisions for you, then you aren't competent to elect that government in the first place. Laws that forbid consenting, mentally competent adults (who have never been convicted of violating anyone else's rights so as to deserve having their own curtailed - and losing the franchise!) from engaging in various kinds of behavior 'for their own good' simply do not compute.


  • by jazman_777 ( 44742 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:46PM (#8685065) Homepage
    9/11 would not be stopped by making the world liek us.

    A lesson all /.ers can understand: the US is to the world as Microsoft is to the computing industry. Both hated by the outsiders, loved fanatically by the insiders who wonder witlessly, "why do they hate us?"

  • Hypocrisy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by riceboy50 ( 631755 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:49PM (#8685103)
    The US tends to impose its values on other countries through any means available (including trade). So when it happens back it's an outrage? I cry hypocrisy.
  • by Frostalicious ( 657235 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:52PM (#8685133) Journal
    Not becuase ppl loved or respected Rome but becuase Rome's vengenance was so absolute and so extreme that no one would dare harm its citizens for fear of Rome's reprisals.

    Yes that's why Rome was such a peaceful place to live. Oh except for

    The social war
    the first civil war
    the revolt of spartacus
    the sertorius campaign
    the catalinarian revolt
    the civil war against anthony
    the triumviral proscriptions
    the sullan proscriptions
    the second civil war
    the anthony/octavian war
    the triumvirs/sextus pompey war
    the brutus+cassius war
    the war against the pirates
    the rebellion in Britain
    the rebellion in Parthia
    the rebellion in Judaea
    the rebellion in Armenia
    the civil war of the four emperors
    the rebellion in Syria
    the rebellion in Germany
    the 3 punic wars.

    but those were all wars of love so they don't count
  • by a whoabot ( 706122 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:02PM (#8685246)
    Yeah, sure, give everyone American values, but if people don't ask for it, they don't want it. And if you give people what they don't want, they're not going to say thanks. So don't expect it. You want a present and a cake for "doing all the heavy lifting"? Too bad. If you want to do all the world "policing", satisfaction of a job well done is all you get. Deal with it. No one gives a shit.

    You're like a father who has kids and then feeds these kids and takes care of them, and then expects the kids to say thanks because "you work so hard" for them. Kids are right to being telling their parents to "fuck off", the parents are the ones who wanted them, the kids didn't want to be born, no one wants to be born into this shit, meaningless world. And it's the exact same thing with your American values. No one wants your "freedom" and your "democracy" because they see what it means: wage labour and watching sitcoms which have to include canned laughter to tell people when to laugh because they're so unfunny, and football which has to include overexcited announcers and flashing lights and music because it's so boring.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:14PM (#8685344)
    You do realize it was your government who trained and armed Bin Laden and many of the other terrorist cells. Your government used them for their own purposes, then just cut all ties once they weren't of use to them anymore.

    Did you expect these well armed vigilanties to just settle down and raise a family once you left? Oh wait, they didn't, and some of them feel a bit betrayed and used.

    You can't just go around pissing off the rest of the world and sticking your nose into everyone else's conflicts and not expect some backlash eventually. The combination of pissing off the most people worldwide and being the largest seller of weapons in the world is coming back to haunt the US very badly. The fact that some people would dislike the US no matter what is no excuse to not even try to work with the rest of the world.

    Unfortunately I fear it is to late to do anything about it. Removing Bush from power, although it may help prevent further damage (although who knows, the next guy could be just as bad), will not get rid of the built up hatred. This is something that the US and anyone choosing to be their allies will have to deal with for the rest of our lives. And it will probably only get worse over time. Sad state the world is in right now...
  • by GunFodder ( 208805 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:21PM (#8685396)
    No, you described a libertarian government. "Conservatives" in the US just passed the biggest federal budget ever; that doesn't sound like a small government to me. Libertarians believe in the smallest possible government with the single purpose of protecting individual rights. Conservatives believe in interfering with those rights to promote religious beliefs (pro-life), security (Department of Homeland Security), and the American way of life (invasion of Iraq).

    You might have noticed that there aren't any actual libertarian governments. If poor people don't get any support or services from the goverment then they eventually revolt, and this results in either a socialist nation (if they win) or a military dictatorship (if they lose). Maybe if the difference between being rich and poor was purely based on one's skill and effort then libertarianism could work. But the reality is that life is not fair, so people expect their own government to help them out when they are down.
  • by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:25PM (#8685419) Journal
    I thought bin Ladin was all about getting infidels out of Saudi Arabia. I can certainly see why this is a sticky situation what with the entire western economic system dependant on a ruling house that is tottering about and hated by its people. You are correct that other Islamic terrorists would like to see us end our support of Israel. I think the percieved degeneracy (is that a word?) in the western world is a big factor in their hatred of us, too.
  • by MurphyZero ( 717692 ) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:35PM (#8685497)
    Com'on drop the "the rest of the world hates USA because you love freedom" routine...

    It's not because we love freedom, it's because the US has become dominant. It's the same urge that drives everyone to hate Microsoft. Regardless of whether the US in the right or Microsoft makes good products, just the fact they are on top makes most people want to knock them off their throne.

    Should another country, or even the EU, become the dominant force in the world, they are quite likely to be hated in turn by anyone not in their position. Call it envy or whatever, that feeling is there. Then, add on to that, perceived and real abuses, and a vast hatred is easy to develop.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @07:44AM (#8688332) Homepage Journal
    If the US had a regulatory framework and said "OK everyone who wants to run a casino follows these rules" that would be OK with the WTO. The US could also ban gambling altogether and that would be OK too. The point of the ruling is that the US can not favour a US supplier over a non-US supplier. That is the whole point of the WTO.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.