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Friday Open Thread

by Nomad Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:34:29 AM EST

Make it a memorable thread

Memories, recollections and reminiscing allowed.
by Nomad on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:37:27 AM EST
The FAIRTRADE Chocolate Rip-off « FAIR

In a six-month transnational project led by the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), journalists hailing from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and the Netherlands investigated the alleged benefits received by cocoa farmers in West Africa via the FAIRTRADE label. 

Their conclusions are shocking: whilst the chocolate consumer in the West pays a significant mark-up for `honest' chocolate, these benefits amount to little or no improvement in the lives of cocoa farmers. In some case, because of FAIRTRADE cooperatives' increasing dominance, farmers were even worse off than before. 

The full dossier is titled `The FAIRTRADE chocolate rip-off', and was partly funded by the Programme for African Investigative Reporters (PAIR).  The story, parts of which have already been published in Dutch, has caused a stir in the Netherlands.

Download a copy of the  complete Transnational Investigation (pdf).

Full disclosure: I was one of the researchers in this investigation.

by Nomad on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:47:27 AM EST
You sure know how to ruin a guy's weekend

I'm going to have to read that. And I'm not going to like it.

S'all the IMF's fault anyway.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 11:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(After climbing down the ceiling ...)

This is eff'ed up.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FAIRTRADE isn't a brand name I've seen in France, but Max Havelaar sure is. I don't quite get the relation between them.

This should shorely be a diary? No?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 02:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 will free up some time in the weekend. Writing it should be easy, all the research is done.

Fairtrade is never a brand, they are the ones making the rules. Max Havelaar is used in different countries for national branches, all belonging to the same root - Fairtrade International or FLO, with headquarters in Germany.

It's really no wonder why it took over six months to get this published, it's  rather complex.

by Nomad on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 05:37:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unsurprisingly Labour won the Corby by-election, called after Louise Mensch resigned. But more amusingly, the LibDems lost their deposit.

Turnout was down 30%, which shows a certain disinterest among the locals, so that Labour's winning total was actually substantially less than their total 2 years ago when they came second

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:15:06 PM EST
Expect the hard right of the Tory party to push for a shift to the right in the next day or two.

However, the combined UKIP & Tory vote wasn't enough to overcome labour

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 01:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, good luck to them. I think the republicans showed where that one goes and the idea of the Tory party driving off in search of a similar witless oblivion even worries strident tories like Osborne.

But there are people in and around the cabinet (cough Gove cough cough Fox) who you'd imagine might be willing to give it a spin

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 02:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Watch: Tory MP flip-flops on birds being hurt by wind farms | Liberal Conspiracy

Part of the Greenpeace sting involved having some interesting conversations with Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris on the RSBP and whether birds are negatively affected by wind turbines.

First, Heaton-Harris is caught admitting he has no evidence that birds are affected by wind turbines.

Then later in an official interview he claims the opposite. Not in the least bit surprising.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 01:53:49 PM EST

They really are doing a lying propaganda job on behalf of old incumbent industries.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 02:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You expect it of tories, it's when Labour pols do it that you despair

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 03:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, the good ... no, wait ... GREAT NEWS!

Bera defeats Rep. Lungren in hard-fought Sacramento congressional race | Sac Bee


Longtime GOP Rep. Dan Lungren has lost his seat in Congress to Democratic challenger Ami Bera in a close race to represent the eastern Sacramento County suburbs.

California ... where the Repubs are seeing a slow death.

And now ... the hor --ror!

Hostess moves to liquidate after crippling strike |Sac Bee


Hostess Brands Inc. says it's going out of business after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to make its Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other snacks.

In my entire life I've never eaten a Twinkie, a Ho Ho, or even came close to a Ding Dong.  All that processed sugar and preservatives I've missed out on. The Horror!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:42:18 PM EST
I had a Hostess cupcake just the other day. But it was too late to save the company! {from its vulture capitalists}

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 05:54:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Health care premiums up a whopping 3% due to Obamacare, sez BB&T bank to its employees.

That's less than a third of what typical increases were when I was with the feds -- and the federal government has a lot more buying power than some shitty little second-tier bank, so all the more good.

If this is what we're in store for, I'll call it a win.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 04:56:00 PM EST

amurkans will understand this.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:24:08 PM EST
We bring you the most important mashup of the last 30 seconds.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 at 07:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My favorite cellist is giving concerts in Holland and England this week.  Worth catching if you are close.



November 17 -  Chamber Music Recital-  Rotterdam, Netherlands
November 18-  Chamber Music Recital-  Rotterdam, Netherlands
November 20-  Masterclass- Guildhall School of Music- London, England
November 23-  Chamber Music- Wimbledon, England
November 24 -  Chamber Music- Wimbledon, England

by ElaineinNM on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 10:30:14 AM EST
wow, that was great.
so beautiful to see the music in front of the altar instead of some priest.

the acoustics in there are gorgeous.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 11:20:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These guys are not bad either:

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 03:05:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's my friend Robin. He likes Bach too.

In 1996 he recorded J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations which is really nice, but the only thing I could find online was 55 seconds of Brahms.

by sgr2 on Sat Nov 17th, 2012 at 05:22:22 PM EST

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