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Skateboarding Is Not A Crime, But Blogging Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

More bad news than good today. Let’s start with the little there is of the latter. The St. Paul City Council has had the good sense to propose making it legal to use skateboards, in-line skates and roller skates on streets and sidewalks. “Right now there are more limits on skating than on carrying guns,” said Council Member Jay Benanav, who is sponsoring the ordinance change. So that’s a recognition of the ridiculous, and taking action to correct the situation…as long as citizens behave responsibly. Bravo. The bad news is that we seem to be stepping in the wrong direction on a number of other issues…too numerous to go into. A few of them have caught my attention. First off, Minnesota’s new conceal and carry law went into effect yesterday, which makes me, and many other Minnesotans, very uneasy. Also in the news, “Three States Aim to Outlaw Eco-Protests“. This legislation is supposed to cover so-called eco-terrorism, but I fear that non-violent actions and organizing will be prosecuted as well. As a long-time animal rights advocate, I find this very troubling. And lastly, a little too close to home…a friend of a friend has just been the victim of an absurdly Orwellian abuse of power. Yesterday he was out and about during his lunch hour, with a buddy who needed to stop by the bank. While waiting for his friend he took out his camera, as we bloggers are wont to do, to see if there was anything interesting to photograph. Next thing he knows he’s being manhandled, detained and screamed at by a belligerent bully of a cop, who’s going on about the Terrorist Alert Orange. I’ve long been aware of the erosion of our civil liberties, so I shouldn’t be so surprised. And I’m not the only one wondering what America stands for these days. But the backlash hasn’t been big enough. Hopefully it won’t be too little too late.