The [Friday] Papers
"Hershey customers, conscientious consumers, and students will gather in front of the Hershey Store on Saturday, October 22nd, to collect petition signatures to Hershey's CEO John Bilbrey demanding that the company make a commitment to buy ethically-produced cocoa this Halloween free of forced labor, child labor, or human trafficking," the Raise the Bar Hershey Coalition and Chicago Fair Trade Coalition have announced.
Well, it's too late I'm sure for this Halloween - that cocoa is in stores now. Nonetheless, is it unreasonable to ask as consumers for products free of forced labor, child labor or human trafficking?
Who out there really feels comfortable consuming goods produced by human misery?
If the price of a Hershey bar has to go up as a result, so be it.
Or maybe there's another way . . .
Hershey CEO John Bilbrey's compensation last year was $4.2 million. Is it ethical to earn that much when, and this sounds polite to me, "Hershey currently lags behind its competitors in committing to source cocoa that has been independently certified to comply with international labor rights standards?"
What kind of people are we?
"A decade ago, Hershey signed an agreement to help fight child labor and other abuses in the cocoa industry," said Elizabeth O'Connell, a member of the Raise the Bar, Hershey! coalition. "Yet it has done far less than other chocolate companies to address these abuses. This Halloween, thousands of consumers are telling Hershey they're fed up with cocoa tainted by the abuse of children."
The protest is scheduled to run from noon to 3 p.m. at the Hershey's store at 822 N. Michigan Avenue.
See also: Child Slaves Made Your Halloween Candy
Let that sink in. Fifty percent of U.S. workers earned less than $26,364 last year. I wonder how many have families.
"There were fewer jobs, and overall pay was trending down - except for the nation's wealthiest."
Well, now, how can that be? Doesn't a rising tide lift all boats?
"Despite population growth, the number of Americans with jobs fell again last year, with total employment of just under 150.4 million - down from 150.9 million in 2009 and 155.4 million in 2008. In all, there were 5.2 million fewer jobs than in 2007, when the deep recession began, according to the IRS data."
5.2 million. I doubt all those folks were suddenly struck with laziness at the same time.
"The figures are just one more indication of the toll that the worst downturn since the Great Depression has taken on the U.S. economy. They were published as demonstrations rage on Wall Street and in cities across the nation protesting a widening income gulf between average wage earners and the nation's wealthiest."
Yeah, but I still can't figure out their message!
"The unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.1 percent, with more than 14 million out of work and 11 million other discouraged people who have stopped looking for work or are stuck in part-time jobs. Since 1980, roughly 5 percent of annual national income has shifted from the middle class to the nation's richest households, according to the Census Bureau."
The Week in Occupy Chicago
The Money Never Occurred To Us
"That's the message the city was trying to sell at a press conference on Thursday where Chicago Public School CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy got behind an effort to swing public support behind utilizing the city's red light cameras to issue tickets for speeding. With very minor adjustments, Chicago's current RLC's could be used to enforce speeding violations in addition to issuing red light camera tickets.
"'One-third of Chicago children walk to school each day, and we must do everything we can to ensure they get there safely,' said Brizard at UIC College Prep High School. 'This new legislation will help us take additional steps to reduce reckless driving and enhance school environments so that they are safe for students and staff, which is vital for teaching and learning."
"Mayor Emanuel is pushing for changes to the state's red light camera legislation that would allow Chicago to begin using red light cameras to now enforce speeding violations.
"'We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children,' said McCarthy. 'Using Automated Speed Enforcement near schools will not only help crack down on dangerous traffic violators who put our children in harm's way as they travel to and from school, but it can also be a useful tool to utilize in violent crime investigations. This technology is about more than just cameras - it's about saving lives and preventing injuries.'"
Revenue? What revenue?
"The roof is plainly visible from planes as they land at one of the world's busiest airports. The only airport that has a bigger one is in Frankfort, Germany."
Maybe It's For The Children
See also: LGBT Council Faces Uncertain Future
On the other hand, the kids who made your Halloween candy aren't allowed to go to the bathroom at all . . .
Kelsey Grammer Is . . .
I dunno, I just like Milwaukee. And I wanted to say "Spooktacular!"
The Week in Chicago Rock
The Beachwood Tip Line: Spooked.
Posted on October 21, 2011
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