March 24, 2006

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The Simple Life Wouldn't you just love to live in a simple world, one that you could understand completely, could categorize with ease, one that you could master? Then you could spend your days using your system, your masterful knowledge, to beat out the stupid and foolish. You could beat them at their own foolish games, confident that the world is in your grasp. Everything would be clear. Everything would be explicable. Everyone could be, would be, put in their place. You could dismiss others' acknowledgement of the limitations that they have but that you lack with, if not brevity and grace, then multiple disparagements. You would be the adult, in control. They would be infantile, ignorant children. You could dismiss entire terrains of practices with a simple wave of the hand. After all, you know this world. It is simple. There is nothing unique to any observation or reflection on this world. It is simple, clear. Anything one notices is just as likely to be noticed as another--why not? it's all plain as day! There is no thinking, no perception, no interpretation, no analysis, no combination, no counting, no accounting, no explaining, no connection, no translation that is not immediately transparent to the simplest soul, as long, of course, as they turn off the television (tee vee) and escape the clutches of the academics (Padroni Intellecttuali), which, you know is really the same thing. There are no mysteries here. There is nothing not readily within your grasp. Ah, a simple world, a...
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Indymedia and Food Not Bombs: Terrorists? Link: AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Keeping Tabs on the Peaceniks. More evidence that the U.S. government is justifying surveillance of political dissidence under the guise of monitoring "terrorism" has recently come to light. Early this March an FBI agent's presentation at the University of Texas law school listed Indymedia, Food Not Bombs, the Communist Party of Texas and "Anarchists" as groups on the FBI's "Terrorist Watch List" for central Texas. On March 8, 2006, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent G. Charles Rasner, delivered a guest lecture before Professor Ronald Sievert's U.S. Law and National Security class of approximately 100 students. Accompanying his lecture was an "unclassified" Power Point presentation titled "Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Texas." According to UT law student Elizabeth Wagoner's account of Rasner's lecture on Austin Indymedia: "On a list of approximately ten groups, Food Not Bombs was listed seventh. Indymedia was listed tenth, with a reference specifically to IndyConference 2005. The Communist Party of Texas also made the list. Rasner explained that these groups could have links to terrorist activity. He noted that peaceful-sounding group names could cover more violent extremist tactics." Wagoner has made a Freedom of Information Act request for Rasner's Power Point presentation. Food Not Bombs (disclosure: the author used to participate in an Austin FNB group) is a moniker for volunteer-run groups that distribute unused vegetarian food from grocery stores and restaurants for free to the general population. Its name stems from a belief that excessive military spending could be redirected to provide food...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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