Heart of Darkness: The Deepest Secret of the CIA by Chris Floyd

Heart of Darkness: The Deepest Secret of the CIA

Written by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 03 July 2007

As the CIA pours a few old skeletons out of its closet – their dust helping obscure current malefactions – wise man James Carroll points us to the “darkest secret of all.” His chilling conclusion echoes the grim wisdom of another republic that once sold its noble birthright for a mess of authoritarian porridge: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves.”

You should read Carroll’s whole Boston Globe column – and his whole book as well, House of War, the history of the slow, inexorable, corrosive militarization of American society – but here are a few excerpts:

The nefarious activities of the national security apparatus have long been justified by their “realist” defenders as necessary to protect America from her enemies, but what if, instead of protecting the nation, this structure of criminality exists mostly to protect itself? What if this cryptic system’s true enemies are not hostile forces from abroad, but America’s own fancied traditions of decency and honor? What if the CIA, that is, has not been protecting us, but has been protecting itself from us?

Return to the beginning, which was not 1947, when the CIA was established, but 1953, when it was set loose. Its then-director, Allen Dulles, was the brother of President Eisenhower’s secretary of state, John Foster Dulles. Their peculiar ethos — a combination of personal moralism and public amorality — stamped the agency…

[President Eisenhower] appointed a secret commission to define the role of intelligence. Its chair, Jimmy Doolittle, the hero who had bombed Tokyo, issued his report in 1954:

“It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, longstanding concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage, and counter espionage services, and must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may be necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand, and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.”

This vision was immediately embodied in covert initiatives…that haunt the United States to this day. A vast, hidden apparatus was put in place, and a most effective alliance was quickly established with its exact equivalent behind the Iron Curtain…. But that last Doolittle recommendation was never implemented — getting the American people to understand and support “this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.” Instead, the CIA’s culture of secrecy was programmed to hide as much from the US public as from any foreign entity, on the theory that the public would not tolerate unethical and illegal activity.

… The irony, of course, is that the CIA, which has almost always been wrong about America’s enemies, has been proven wrong, in the end, about the American public. When the national security establishment’s most heinous acts are laid bare — whether through the Church Committee Hearings in the 1970s or in the release of the “family jewels” last week — the revelations are greeted with a national yawn. The monstrous military establishment, which intelligence crimes protect, is not questioned.

Why are the congressional switchboards not jammed with angry phone calls of dishonored Americans? Except for an ineffectual, if passionate, minority of objectors, the people of the United States handle the knowledge of past and present crimes committed in their name quite nicely, thank you. Ah, but there’s the darkest secret of all.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

see also by Chris Floyd:

Stubborn Independence: Hanging on at the End of the Internet Holocene by Chris Floyd (site hacked again)

News Flash: Chemical Weapon Terrorist Plot Thwarted in the UK! by Chris Floyd

Nuclear Exchange: Scooter Goes Free, World Gets Screwed by Chris Floyd

Liberate With Extreme Prejudice: Another Civilian Slaughter in Afghanistan by Chris Floyd (updated)

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Bush Screws Up Clemency Like Everything Else He Touches By Indigent A-hole

Dandelion Salad

By Indigent A-hole
The Largest Minority
Published Wednesday, July 4th, 2007, 2:22 pm

President Bush’s explanations for the commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence, in which he was found guilty of lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury, included the following reasoning for how his seldom-used clemency was applied in this case:

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

The judge that presided over the case, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, told lawyers Tuesday that the Bush’s reasoning may not hold up.

Strictly interpreted, the statute authorizing probation indicates that supervised release “should occur only after the defendant has already served a term of imprisonment,” U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton wrote.

Walton ordered lawyers to weigh in with their arguments on the matter by Monday.

It’s bad enough that Bush felt compelled to champion this conservative cause to pander to his base, but you’d think if the White House knew how much of a shitstorm this would create they’d be a tad more thorough during the research phase.

This just shows clearly that Bush’s incompetence knows no bounds. For the leader of the free-world to screw up such a small detail on such a very important matter to the American people really gets me worried about how lightly his finger rests on the red button!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Free Music from Mississippi Alligators (links)

Thanks to

MISSISSIPPI ALLIGATORS

Jul 4, 2007 7:46 AM

I DON’T KNOW WHY
BUT THE DOWNLOAD BUTTON FROM OUR PLAYER HAS VANISHED
ANYWAY, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FULL CD (11 Mp3s & Artwork)
WITH THE LINKS PROVIDED IN THIS BLOG. Continue reading

News Flash: Chemical Weapon Terrorist Plot Thwarted in the UK! by Chris Floyd

News Flash: Chemical Weapon Terrorist Plot Thwarted in the UK!

Written by Chris Floyd
Wednesday, 04 July 2007

British authorities thwarted a plot by UK-born extremists – including a medical professional – to manufacture chemical bombs to be used in fomenting a “civil war” between Muslims and Christians in the UK, the Guardian reports, and the alleged perpetrators are now on trial.

But why are we telling you this? Surely, it’s been splashed 24-7 across CNN and Fox News. You have doubtless seen every detail of the conspiracy and its nefarious plotters ricocheting around ABC, NBC and CBS. You have probably already devoured mountains of newsprint about the story served up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, AP and Reuters. And you have certainly been pixelated with thunderous on-line commentary from PowerLine, Drudge, Instapundit, Malkin, etc., about this sinister attempt to destroy our Western way of life and impose an alien ideology on a free people by force.

I mean, it’s not every day that you have a dramatic court session about a WMD plot by white neo-Nazis – what? You mean you haven’t heard about it? It wasn’t on CNN? Glenn Beck wasn’t raging about it? Michelle hasn’t jumped all over it like a duck on a june bug? George Bush hasn’t cited it as yet another reason to keep waging the “War on Terror” in Iraq?

But how can that be? I mean, look what we’ve got here: Chemical weapons. Violent extremists. Healers unmasked as haters. Devotees of Hitler, for God’s sake! (The real Hitler, not all the “new Hitlers” that pop up every time the Pentagon wants to go for an outing). Why isn’t news of this plot saturating the media, which is normally so ravenous for scaremongering terrorist copy?

Could it be because the alleged plotters are good and godly Anglo-Saxons, just like mother used to make?

Robert Cottage, 49, a member of the British National Party, is standing trial in Manchester for amassing material for chemical bombs – and instructions for making them — in his home. The prosecution said Cottage was acting on the instructions of a fellow BNP cadre, David Jackson, a respectable 62-year-old dentist from Lancashire. Cottage’s 29-year-old wife testified against him, having originally reported his alleged plans to test chemical bombs to a social worker – the tip that led to the men’s arrest.

Cottage had been an unsuccessful BNP candidate for his local town council – although many of his culture-war comrades have won seats in local governments throughout England. His failures didn’t damage his stature in the party, however; indeed, his wife said Cottage had risen through the ranks to become friends with the party’s leader, the Cambridge-educated Nick Griffin. (Griffin of Cambridge; Bush of Yale and Harvard: poster boys for the virtues of elitist education.)

Cottage and Jackson found common cause in their enthusiasm for the carefully muffled racism of the BNP, which has repackaged itself as the voice of the neglected working class – an opening given to them by the Labour Party’s cynical abandonment of working people in favor of corporate tycoons and private equity barons (the UK version of the DLC strategy, in other words). The BNP thus preys on genuine grievances in England’s equivalent of the “rust belt,” and has gained small footholds across the country, even in London. But while the media-savvy Griffin soft-pedals the party’s core racism for public consumption, the insiders know the real score. As Mrs. Cottage testified, her husband and Jackson were “‘solid friends who met regularly to chat about politics, the BNP and Hitler,” the Guardian reports.

The two allegedly planned the chemical bomb attacks as part of a “war between the Asian culture and the White culture,” Mrs. Cottage testified. In the UK, “Asian” is used to denote those of Pakistani origin – overwhelmingly Muslim – and by extension most other Muslims of less-than-alabaster hue.

In private talks to party members, Griffin tells his followers that the BNP is “just one crisis away from power.” (Obviously, a few chemical bombs aimed at fomenting race war might constitute provoke a useful crisis.) And in fact, for all its pretensions at electorally representing the plight of neglected workers, the BNP is not really interested in politics or governance at all. Like some other rightwing parties we could mention, their only concern is grabbing power and imposing the views of their tiny, radical base on the nation as a whole.

Griffin — whose published Holocaust denial far outstrips that of, say, the Iranian president — spelled out the party’s true goals during a fundraising tour in the United States, as the Guardian reported last year. (The BNP gets a good deal of money from fellow travellers in the States – secret slush funneled through a front organization, as there are strict limits on British parties raising money overseas.) The Guardian’s Ian Cobain, who went undercover as a BNP activist for several months, heard a revealing tape of Griffin speaking in New Orleans – homeground of his American doppelganger, David Duke:

Then I heard a recording of a speech Nick Griffin gave to a closed conference of white supremacists in New Orleans last year. In it he spelled out the party’s strategy – and made clear that winning votes is not an end in itself.

After his almost-casual denigration of British Muslims – “the most appalling, insufferable people to have to live with” – Griffin revealed his belief that a period of prolonged recession was certain to engulf the developed world as a result of fuel shortages and global warming. This, he said, would happen soon but it would not be a disaster, rather “a once-in-200-years opportunity”.

Far-right parties needed to prepare for this moment of crisis by ensuring that enough people were aware of their policies and had discovered that they were “not crazy-eyed lunatics”, he said. If people had considered voting for the BNP, he argued, they would be more likely to turn to the party during a time of immense crisis.

“It will be the beginning of an age of scarcity, an age in which a well-organised nationalist party could really make an impact. And that’s the key word – organised. In Britain, we are almost there: we have got this solid 5% block [of support]. Other radical movements in the past, far left or far right, whatever, a couple of years before a crisis have had far less than 5%, so as far as I am concerned, that is fairly satisfactory.”

So there it is: the BNP’s leaders believe that the time will soon come when power will fall into the street, and at that moment, with significant sections of Britain’s white population cheering them on, they will be able to scoop it up.

While 5% support is a good starting point, Griffin told his audience, the Front National [of Jean-Marie Le Pen] has an 18%-strong block of support, and almost half the white voters in France had voted for the party at some time. If the BNP was to enjoy that level of support, it would not be consigned to the political margins for much longer. It would, Griffin said, be just “one crisis away from power”.

Now here we have a duly accredited political party — its members sitting in local governments, its leader often appearing on national television to debate the issues – whose activists are on trial for allegedly conspiring to use chemical bombs as part of a “culture war” to plunge society into crisis and take power. As such plots go, this one is far more credible than the “liquid explosive” scare last year that threw the entire global air travel system into panic and disarray. You think it might rate at least a mention somewhere in the terror-haunted house of horrors that is the American media.

Of course, it’s only natural that the recent Glasgow-London car-bomb incidents have drawn more headlines than the BNP chemical bomb trial. After all, those car bombs actually got built – albeit in such a slapdash fashion that they were scarcely workable – while the alleged BNP bombs were still in the planning stages. But the disparity in coverage between “Muslim” terrorism and “Christian” terrorism is remarkable (as Dave Neiwert continually notes at Orcinus). Yet a bomb launched by a white Christian is every bit as deadly as one set off by a swarthy Muslim; just ask the tens of thousands of Iraqis buried under George Bush’s bombs – or indeed the people of Britain, where white Christians from Ireland have claimed far more victims, including a member of the royal family, than “Asian” Muslims ever have.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

See also by Chris Floyd:

Stubborn Independence: Hanging on at the End of the Internet Holocene by Chris Floyd (site hacked again)

Heart of Darkness: The Deepest Secret of the CIA by Chris Floyd

Nuclear Exchange: Scooter Goes Free, World Gets Screwed by Chris Floyd

Liberate With Extreme Prejudice: Another Civilian Slaughter in Afghanistan by Chris Floyd (updated)

George W. Bush is One Tough Hombre By Paul Begala

George W. Bush is One Tough Hombre

By Paul Begala

07/03/07 “Huffington Post”

Tough enough to execute Karla Fay Tucker — and then laugh about it. Tough enough to sign a death warrant for a man whose lawyer slept through the trial — and then snicker when asked about it in a debate. Even tough enough to execute a great-grandmother who murdered her husband — after he abused her. A friend of mine at the time asked Bush to commute her sentence, telling him, “Betty Lou ain’t a threat to no one she ain’t married to.” No dice.

Mr. Bush is tough enough to invade a country that was no risk to America, causing tens of thousands of civilian deaths and shedding precious American blood in the process. Tough enough to sanction torture. Tough enough to order an American citizen arrested and held without trial.

But if you’re rich and right-wing and Republican, George is a real softie. As George W. Bush demonstrated in giving Scooter Libby a Get Out of Jail Free Card, he is only compassionate to conservatives.

What does it say about America in the age of Bush when Judith Miller spends more time in jail over the Valerie Plame smear than Scooter Libby?

One thing it says is that Mr. Bush and his partner in crime, Dick Cheney, believe they are above the law. The commutation of Libby confirms the belief that Mr. Libby lied to the FBI, perjured himself to the grand jury, and obstructed a federal criminal investigation in order to cover up the role Bush and Cheney played in smearing Joe Wilson and ruining the career of his CIA operative wife.

The arrogance of the act is astounding. In commuting Libby’s sentence, Mr. Bush did not follow his own Justice Department’s guidelines, which do not recommend commutations unless the convict has begun serving his or her sentence, and has dropped or exhausted all appeals. Of course, Mr. Bush is free to disregard those guidelines, as President Clinton did when he pardoned Marc Rich. The Rich pardon was wrong, in my opinion. But Marc Rich was a fugitive financier; Clinton did not benefit at all from Rich’s crimes. Scooter Libby is a Bush-Cheney operative who may well have been doing Bush and Cheney’s bidding when he obstructed the investigation into how and Valerie and Joe Wilson were smeared. (By the way, like many Democrats I spoke out publicly against the Rich pardon — which Scooter Libby helped to arrange. Let’s see how many Republicans have the character to speak out against this injustice.)

It’s interesting that we still have the capacity to be shocked by the extra-legal acts of this crowd. They came to power by stealing an election, by staging a near-riot to stop the counting of ballots in Miami, and by virtue of a Supreme Court edict that has joined Dred Scott in the judicial hall of shame. From that day to this Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have held the rule of law in contempt.

And we still have 567 days to go.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

THE WAR – A preview of upcoming series (video; PBS)

THE WAR – Preview

THE WAR, a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns.

The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history – a worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America – and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.

Throughout the series, the indelible experience of combat is brought vividly to life as veterans describe what it was like to fight and kill and see men die at places like Monte Cassino and Anzio and Omaha Beach; the Hürtgen Forest and the Vosges Mountains and the Ardennes; and on the other side of the world at Guadalcanal and Tarawa and Saipan; Peleliu and the Philippine Sea and Okinawa.

In all of the battle scenes, dramatic historical footage and photographs are combined with extraordinarily realistic sound effects to give the film a terrifying, visceral immediacy.

THE WAR will air over two weeks, beginning Sunday, September 23, 2007 (four nights the first week and three nights the second week) from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on three nights).

For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/thewar

 

Commuting Sentence, Bush Spares Libby from 30-Month Jail Term (link)

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Commuting Sentence, Bush Spares Libby from 30-Month Jail Term

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President Bush has commuted the sentence of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, sparing him from a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case. Bush’s move came just five hours after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not put off serving his sentence while he appealed his conviction. That meant jail time for Libby was imminent — the US Bureau of Prisons had already assigned him a federal prisoner number. We get reaction from analyst and author Marcy Wheeler. [includes rush transcript]


President Bush has commuted the sentence of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, sparing him from a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case. Bush’s move came just five hours after a federal appeals panel ruled that Libby could not put off serving his sentence while he appealed his conviction. That meant jail time for Libbby was imminent — the US Bureau of Prisons had already assigned him a federal prisoner number. Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra scandal. He was found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements in the investigation into who blew the cover of CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had criticized the Iraq war.In a statement on Monday, Bush said: “I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive.” Bush didn’t give Libby a full pardon. The felony conviction will remain, and Libby will still have to pay a $250,000 fine and serve two years of probation, but he won’t see a day of jail time.

The President’s announcement came at the start of the Independence Day holiday week with Congress in recess. Democrats swiftly condemned Bush’s decision. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called it “disgraceful,” and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont said it was “emblematic of a White House that sees itself as being above the law.”

The Washington Post reports Bush has granted far fewer pardons and commutations than any of his predecessors, dating back to John F. Kennedy. He commuted three previous prison terms during his six-and-a-half years in office.

Marcy Wheeler has been closely following this story. She joins us from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Marcy Wheeler. Author of “Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy.” She writes on the political blog The Next Hurrah under the name “emptywheel.”

transcript

see:

They act like this is Rook to Queen-An update of matters concerning inmate number 28301016 by Michael

Olbermann: Bush, Cheney should resign (Special Comment; transcript + video)

Center Stage with Mark Gordon Featuring Howard Zinn (video)

Dandelion Salad

Mark Gordon on Jul 3, 2007

Howard Zinn came center stage with Mark Gordon to discuss his book “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.”

Center Stage with Mark Gordon airs Tuesday nights at 7PM (PST) on KXLU Los Angeles and streaming at http://www.kxlu.com

Continue reading

There Was Enough Trouble Already by Mescalito (short story)

Another featured writer whose work I always enjoy reading. Sometimes he writes about news and politics, sometimes other things, always creative. ~ Lo

Visit him on Myspace:
Mescalito


There Was Enough Trouble Already

(an impromtu short story)

Current mood: Tapping into my Cat on the Inside
by Mescalito

Jack’s nerves zinged like a pile of dowsing rods dropped out of a car window at highway speeds. He’d regressed to a bottom shelf whiskey because his habit was becoming evermore serious. He couldn’t take his mind off the baggy of cocaine (cut with crushed No-Doze – for economy) in his cigarette case even though his heart felt weak from a lack of sleep and serious tobacco abuse. If he could just sit down and meditate maybe me could see his way safely through a few lines. But Kate had totally taken over the penthouse and he couldn’t possibly get relaxed enough to do any bio-feedback there. Not a single friendly chair in all of Manhattan. She hadn’t spoken to him for three days and a night because she’d been raped on a subway by a pack of sailors and couldn’t bring herself to tell him. There was enough trouble already. Jack took to serious consideration of selling his thinned 8ball and leaving town secretly like a pedophiliac clergyman.

By the time I learned of all this I was already right in the middle of it. Kate had smashed Jack aside the head with a plastic vase while he ate some order out eggs Benedict. Apparently she just couldn’t stand the sight of a man eating eggs and went wild. The door was ajar when I hit their floor and I kicked it in the way I like to do when I enter a room of old friends. Jack had his head in a sink full of iced water and Kate was reading aloud on the balcony from a pocket copy of the Constitution. So shocked was I that I dropped a bottle of Guinness on the marble entry floor spraying glass and beer all over my new black leather boots.

I managed to close the slider door on Kate with a queer smile, sat Jack down, fed him some beers. Then he laid it on me.

“She didn’t say anything until the moment she started swinging,” he said.

I struggled to remove my beer-soaked boot. It didn’t seem like a polite gesture at all given the situation. Kate was still screaming on the balcony.

“When did it happen?” I said.

“Too weeks ago,” he said. “Gimme a cigarette will you?”

I complied. “And she hasn’t reported it?”

“I don’t think so. She seems to think cops will search the place if she files a report. I offered to go to the station with her but she won’t even look at me except to mash me up.”

“Maybe you should report her!”

“No way. I’ll get over this,” he said. “But she…”

We both looked out at her. Kate had her hands pressed against the window like a caged lunatic. “What I want to do is get out of here, arrange to have her sister stay with her for a while. You want to get clear of her, too.”

“Yeah. I suppose I do.”

“I’m sorry. You came here expecting fun and get this.”
“Really, it’s okay. Let me call her sister.”

We went to the street, called Maggy from a public phone, and walked into Brookline like a couple of beaten kids. Jack gave me that horrible 8 ball for thirty dollars on account of the fact that he’d all but ruined it with that damned caffeine powder. We hugged for a long time at the bus station. I took a Greyhound to Miami, taking a fix or two in the bus toilet.

I’d settled into a Motel 6 after a night of rum and failed pick-up lines when Kate called my mobile crying uncontrollably. I could hear Maggy screaming incoherently in the background, wailing in a way really.

Jack had died of a heart attack. He’d somehow found two of Kate’s attackers, chased them with a knife through Queens and collapsed in an alley.

I convinced her to go to the police and try to have the guys found. Then I finished off that baggy and hit the town again. Because a man my age should avoid sadness like the plague.

Beyond Wal-Mart: The Big 3-Do you shop at Ralphs, Vons, or Albertsons? (video; food; labor)

Dandelion Salad

on Jul 2, 2007

Pledge: http://supermarketswindle.com/ From the creators of ‘Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price’ comes a new campaign for fair wages and benefits for Southern California’s grocery workers.

Send a message to the Gang of 3 grocery CEOs. Tell Jeff Noddle, David Dillon and Steven Burd you won’t shop at their stores if they force a lockout or strike.