Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Things are getting real ugly in Amy's Kitchen

Yesterday, CNBC reported:

Walmart cut its quarterly and full-year profit estimates because of rising food inflation. This alarmed investors who deliberated the implications for other retail stocks. The big-box retailer said higher prices are spurring consumers to pull back on general merchandise spending, particularly in apparel.

Walmart plunged 7.6% Tuesday and dragged other retailers with it. Kohl’s and Target dropped 9.1% and 3.6%, respectively. Among apparel companies, Macy’s was among the hardest hit, down 7.2%. Nordstrom and Ross each lost more than 5%, and TJX Companies shed about 4.2%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF fell nearly 4.2%.

Inflation's destroying everything.  We don't need war with Russia.  We never did.  And we've never needed to throw all of our money away by giving it to Ukraine.  But that's what Joe Biden's done and he's destroyed our economy.

DNYUZ reports:

A day after Walmart warned investors that its profit would shrink as rising prices forced shoppers to make fewer purchases at its stores, UnileverCoca-Cola and McDonald’s, three other consumer-facing giants, reinforced the message, to different degrees, providing a window into how companies are navigating this fragile economic moment.

On Tuesday, Unilever, the maker of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, said it raised prices until they were 11 percent higher than in the same quarter last year, offsetting a 2 percent decline in the volume of things that consumers bought. It was the fourth consecutive quarter in which prices outpaced volume growth at the company.

It's nothing but bad news these days.  Angela Bunay (Labor Notes) reports:

The spirit of unionizing is in the air, from Amazon to Starbucks. Now the workers in two frozen food factories in California are getting in on the action. But they're facing serious union-busting from their employer, Amy's Kitchen, despite its progressive branding.

Amy’s Kitchen is the sixth-largest maker of organic frozen meals in the United States and the top U.S. producer of organic vegetarian food, according to the North Bay Business Journal. The company employs more than 2,000 workers, a majority of them Central American immigrants who do not speak English.

On June 1, UNITE HERE Local 19, representing the workers of Amy’s Kitchen in San Jose, filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against the food company. The union alleges that the company subjected workers to mandatory anti-union meetings, surveillance, threats, and interrogations, and terminated two employees for their organizing.

Workers at another Amy’s Kitchen location in Santa Rosa, California, are also trying to unionize. Teamsters Local 665 filed a complaint to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging that the company’s hazardous understaffing forces a breakneck pace and that it fails to provide access to water and regular bathroom breaks.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:

Tuesday, July 26, 2022.  Two bigots and bullies in Congress attack a Canadian online, there is no medical plan to address COVID in the US, Iraq announces a nominee for prime minister-designate (we're not even to the point of them having a prime minister-designate yet) and Turkey continues to deny attacking Iraq.

Starting with Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Ugos Against (and jealous of) Drag Queens" which went up last night.

 US House Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are an international embarrassment.  The two hags decided to attack a man because he's gay.  The man's Canadian, doesn't live in the US but they wanted to spew hatred.   What they're doing is hate speech and in the US that's embarrassing.  However, our northern neighbor that we share a border with?  Well Canada has criminalized hate speech.  So the two hags aren't just being bitches, they're being potential criminals in the eyes of Canada.  There was no reason for the hags to pick on the man.  Now they should have the curse they deserve which is they should reap what they sow, they should have the life they truly deserve -- never ending misery.  May karma get them both.  

I don't understand why Congress has an ethics review board if nonsense like this takes place.  The two hags engaged in online bullying.  Supposedly, that's something that's not supposed to happen.  The man did nothing to them and they are encouraging attacks on him.  

The hags are members of Congress.  

How is this considered appropriate behavior?

From sick minds to sickness, US President Joe Biden has COVID 19.  Benjamin Mateus (WSWS) reports:

At yesterday’s White House COVID-19 press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared, “As we have said, almost everyone is going to get COVID and because of the hard work we have done since day one turning around the disjointed COVID response we had inherited, we have the tools to ensure that people can go about their daily life and work.”

Biden’s spokewoman then added, “The president is fully vaccinated, twice boosted, and taking Paxlovid. His current health speaks to how Americans should avail themselves to boosters and treatments.”

This is a remarkable admission in that it explicitly states that the Biden administration has washed its hands of any attempt to stem a pandemic that has already killed a million people in America and 20 million around the world. “Everyone is going to get COVID” should be read as a statement of intent. It confirms that a policy of mass infection, mass death and mass murder is the agenda of the US president and the ruling class for which he speaks.

Hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb as BA.5’s dominance grows. Nearly 450 people are dying every day from COVID-19. This translates to 164,000 a year, five times the average killed by influenza and a toll that would have been considered inconceivable before the beginning of the pandemic. And this does not take into account the predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of another massive surge of infections this fall and winter.

Beyond the immediate death toll, one in five of those who are infected and survive will experience Long COVID, and a third of these can suffer from debilitating disease. Yet, with $1.3 billion given to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to study the Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (the formal title of Long COVID), there is not a single therapeutic trial up and running. The press secretary was not asked about this and would have had nothing to say.

Meanwhile, study after study has documented that even mild COVID-19 infections can accelerate the aging process in adults and children. Allowing everyone to get infected means a generation of children and teenagers who will be deliberately crippled even before they have ventured into the world on their own.  

Hospitals across the country are facing drastic and unprecedented staffing shortages, which are further compounding worker burnout. Infections and reinfections are causing health care workers to fall sick and forcing them to choose between staying home to care for themselves or coming in to work and infecting their patients. Many hospitals are considering eliminating routine COVID-19 testing to cut wait times in overcrowded emergency rooms. 

Moving on to Iraq, The attack by the Turkish government last week remains in the news.  Of course, the government of Turkey denies the attack.   The same way the government of Turkey denies the historic Armenian genocide.  Iraq lodged a complaint with the United Nations Security Council and they want the council to hold a session addressing the attack.  That session is supposed to take place today.  In the meantime,  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:

The United Nations Security Council condemned in the strongest terms on Monday the attack on a tourist resort in Iraq’s northern Dohuk province on July 20.

The attack resulted in at least nine civilian deaths, including children.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured, and expressed their support for the Iraqi authorities in their investigations, read a statement. 

PRESS TV notes:

The statement comes as Baghdad has filed a complaint against Turkey at the UNSC, requesting an urgent session to discuss the deadly artillery attack that Baghdad blames on Turkey, the Iraqi foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry spokesman Ahmad al-Sahaf said Iraq's chargé d'affaires had been recalled from Ankara in the wake of the attack. Iraq's parliament also held a special session Saturday, with lawmakers deciding to form a committee to investigate the matter further.

Authorities in Iraq insist that the attack was carried out by Turkish forces, holding them directly responsible for the deaths and injuries of Iraqi civilians. Ankara has attributed the attack to members of the PKK terrorist group.

THE NATIONAL spoke to some of the survivors of the attack:

The National spoke to two families who lost two members, one an 11-month-old baby and the other a 24-year-old woman.

Some of the victims were from the city of Hilla, located in central Babylon province.

Durgham lost his first and only baby daughter, Zahraa.

“You can see me alive, but I am like a dead body,” he told The National.

“My daughter was less than a year old, the family and I were waiting and preparing for her birthday party, so, what kind of life would we live after this big loss?” he asked.

“I cannot forget her image, her voice while playing at home, or even the last phone call with her when she can only say: ‘Baba’”, he said.

“I had not seen my daughter since she went with my family to Kurdistan, she was killed with the same clothes she wore at home”.

Alex MacDonald Tweets:

"Turkey’s operations in Iraq have continued for years and claimed civilian lives before. The casualties were largely met with silence since they were mostly local villagers, while the latest victims were tourists from other parts of Iraq."

Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes, "In 2016, Turkey established a permanent military presence in Bashiqa, about 75 kilometres from Dohuk."  Turkey now has at least five military bases in Iraq, they have ground troops in the country and they attack with War Planes and drones.  All of this takes place in violation of Iraq's national sovereignty and all of these actions amount to acts of war carried out by the government of Turkey against Iraq.

Fehim Tastekin (AL-MONITOR) offers:

A 1984 protocol that allowed Turkish troops to pursue militants to a depth of five kilometers (three miles) inside Iraq and required them to pull out within 72 hours ended in 1988, when the two sides failed to renew it. Such an arrangement would have become irrelevant anyway, given the extensive web of Turkish military bases, outposts and checkpoints inside Iraq today as well as repeated air raids as far as in Sinjar and Mahkmour, lying respectively 160 kilometers (99 miles) and 218 kilometers (135 miles) from the border. Ankara has cited the UN Charter’s Article 51 on self-defense to justify its cross-border operations since 2017.

There is growing apprehension that Turkey’s actions amount to an expanding occupation. Statements coming from Ankara have not helped allay such fears. Presidential adviser Ayhan Ogan, for instance, warned July 21 that “if Turkey’s security concerns are ignored and, moreover, provoked, Turkey would create a new security belt all the way from Aleppo to Mosul.” Such a perspective points to an integrated approach on Ankara’s plan for a 30-kilometer-deep safe zone in northern Syria and its actions in northern Iraq.


Najah  Mohammed Ali (INTERNATIONAL POLICY DIGEST) observes:

Erdogan has taken advantage of the escalating tensions between Moscow and Western capitals over the conflict in Ukraine, to ensure the West remains silent over its escalating military operations in northern Iraq as it prepares to send its forces into neighboring Syria to target the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group that Ankara considers an offshoot of the PKK, while the United States considers it a strong ally.

It is speculated that Turkey, which is a member of NATO, agreed to the accession of Finland and Sweden on the condition that NATO looks the other way as Turkey launches renewed attacks against PKK militants.

Since the parliamentary elections in October last year, Iraqi political parties have entered into a fierce competition to form a new government. With continued political dysfunction, sectarian conflict and institutional corruption, the attempt to push back against renewed Turkish operations against PKK militants could be in vain before the formation of a strong central government. Until a permanent government is formed, Iraqi sovereignty will be viewed as malleable.

A permanent government?  Back in October, Iraq held elections.  The country still doesn't have a new prime minister or president.  However, there is some movement on the political front.  THE NEW ARAB reports:

The Coordination Framework, an umbrella parliamentary bloc including all Iran-backed Shia factions, formally nominated Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to be the new Iraqi prime minister, Iraqi state media reported Monday. 

"Today, the leaders of the Shia framework met in positive conditions and they unanimously agreed to nominate Mr Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani for the [Iraqi] premiership," read a statement released by the Coordination Framework. 

Al-Sudani, 52, is a Shia Iraqi lawmaker from the south-eastern Maysan Governorate. He has a Bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences. He has held several posts and ministerial portfolios in the Iraqi government, including the governor of Maysan, the minister of human rights in 2010, and the minister of labour and social affairs in 2014.  

The following sites updated: