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This Honkey

Was later bludgeoned to death in the early hours of Wednesday morning at an Obama rally by an angry mob of [x]-studies professors.


Throwing a Single Sandbag at a Tsunami

The Football Association and the English Premier League have caught on to Justin.tv's free online streaming of matches and have filed a lawsuit. It's yet another pointless attempt to slow the sharing of IP online. When are businesses going to get wise?

Major League Baseball has no such problems, as they offer all 2,400-plus games a season online, in 1,200 k/sec for about $130. And their advanced media division is proving to be a cash cow for the sport. The Premier league doesn't even give away it's own highlights for free (whereas you can go directly to MLB.com minutes after every game and watch all the highlights there at no charge). Other sports leagues need to follow MLB's lead. If you provide better quality and stable access, a large majority of people will still pay for your superior product even where free alternatives exist. This is basically what the software industry has learned, making cracked software incompatable with each updated version that comes out. You don't waste your time filing lawsuits, just make it difficult for pirates to match the quality of your product and you'll do just fine.

One thing that made me chuckle, in the aforelinked CNET article, is that it's written by a Chris Matyszczyk, who is described as, "a multi award-winning creative director who now advises major global corporations on content creation and marketing." He also says the following about Justin.tv:

It also means that you can watch any number of channels launched by people who are watching live televised soccer in many parts of the world.

These people, in the interests of world fan harmony, helpfully point their webcams at their TV screens. They do this so that those in, say, the UK, who happen not to be able to enjoy the game live (either because they don't pay for the appropriate channel or because the appropriate channel is not screening it in the UK that day), can hiss every miss and cheer with every beer.

They're called TV cards, Chris.


These Folks Rode the Short Bus as Kids

I live above the Fitzgerald Theater where the last Senate debate is being held. There are two crowds outside my windows chanting, "Franken!" and, "Coleman!" ad nauseum. Two large groups of folks with nothing better to do on a Sunday night than shout at each other. I had to pass a large group of Franken folks to get into my building (the Coleman folks were on the opposite side of the street). They asked me who I was voting for, and I told them that I wasn't voting, and they got indignant/evangelical on me. I then told them I'd prove to them how pointless voting was, and told them that I'd vote for their candidate for a mere $20. No takers. I'm trying to think of another, "most important thing you can do," that isn't worth $20.


It's North London Derby Day

'We're...
Off to Wembley 'cause we beat the Arsenal.
We're off to Wembley 'cause we beat the Arsenal.
In the North London Cup,
They were only runners up.
Now they can't get the double up the Arsenal!
'

I encourage all of you to thwart the state's attempts to control intellectual property, slack off from work today, and watch one of the oldest rivalries in sport, specifically the grudge match between the pride of North London, Tottenham Hotspur, and the gypsies from Kent, Arsenal. The rivalry got its start when an Arsenal chairman, around the turn of the century when English football divided up into the tiered system, bribed his club's way into the top division ahead of Tottenham, who had a better record the previous season. Then, in 1913, in order to build their stadium near a new train station so as to be able to fill more seats, the Wanderers from Woolwich moved to Highbury, also in North London. The two club's stadiums sit less than five miles apart.

You'll be able to watch number of different streams carring the match at Justin.tv. Kickoff is at 1500 CDT and there should be a delayed rebroadcast at 1700 CDT.

'Come On You Spurs!'

Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention that Fidel Castro, John Gotti, Michael Moore and Osama Bin Laden are all Arsenal fans. No lie.


Where Do I Join the Women Approach Men At Bars Feminist Coalition?

I was reading Roissy (the man Tyler Cowen has described as evil)'s blog entry about his vision of a feminist utopia, in which he takes the following dig at a feminist blog named Feministing:

I will now present to you a vision of hell as dreamed up in the minds of the man-hating women who litter internet toilets like Feministing and who live in countries like Sweden...

I thought I'd check the site out and see what all the fuss was about. The first post I encountered was a blogger named Samhita's list of dislikes about heteronormative dating (I was going to suggest our own Micha Ghertner give Samhita a ring, but since that's on the shit list, Sam, please contact Micha).

My thoughts were, heteronormative dating is a double-edged sword. The listed complaints and my thoughts follow:

1. You are expected to dress nice and act a certain way "waiting" to get asked out.

It also helps to dress well and act a certain way when doing the asking. If a noticable pattern on returns equates to an expectation, this is pretty universal. It's going to change with your setting and crowd, obviously. If I'm looking to meet women in black framed non-perscription glasses, tapered jeans and Weezer sweaters, I won't even bother showering before I leave the house in the direction of Grumpy's. If I decide I want to meet women in cocktail dresses and heels while I'm at Grumpy's (because while they have awesome hot dago sandwiches, I really hate when otherwise attractive women put spacers in their ears, as the lobes will only continue to stretch out over time and I can't imagine kissing the dangly part), I'm going to have to talk to the bouncer at Seven about how much I love the place as they're one of the few restaurants in town that will cook a steak blue before he'll let me enter the rooftop bar because I'd forgotten to switch shoes and still had my old pair of Chucks on that I'd worn to Grumpy's earlier. It's going to be harder to sustain a conversation with strangers wearing a blazer at Grumpys, just like it's going to be harder without at Seven.

2. You have to play by the rules which generally give men most of the power. (wait till he calls you, don't be too forward, be mysterious-you don't want to scare him off, etc)

I know a great number of men who would love to reliquish that power. You know what waiting for women to approach you at bars, and giving women your number instead of asking for theirs equates to for men? Celibacy.

There are positives and negatives for both sides in this type of power relationship. If I see an attractive woman across the bar, I've got to approach her, start the conversation, entertain her and her friends, and if I can't successfully do it, I'm labeled boring and will never get the chance to get to know her better to see if she is someone I'd like to be involved with romantically. The postitive is I've got more control over who I meet.

Women who passively wait around to be approached do suffer in that they give up control in who they meet. On the other hand, doing nothing but sitting back and waiting makes them the gatekeepers. If a man comes across the bar to talk to a woman, he's already tipped his hand. She then gets to be judge, as he's already conveyed his interest. This is the reason so many women, including our own mothers, tell men to, "Just go up and introduce yourself." That's pretty selfish to say if you're the one that gets to wait to reval your level of interest.

By all means, women, go approach men. If he's intimidated because you came over to him, it's no loss because that's a good way to screen callow, timid men.

3. If you show emotion too early on or too much of it, you are needy.

We're in complete agreement. It applies to both geneders. But where we differ as I read that as a neutral fact, instead of a complaint. Coming on too strong can scare romantic interests away and speaks to insecurity in anyone, regardless of gender.

4. If you don't show enough emotion, you are making the other party insecure forcing them to wield social privilege to silence your daring attempt at independence from self obliteration via coupling.

Same as my response to the previous numbered item. These are both just problems with two people wanting the other to share (and show) the same amount of interest in each other. When either a man or a woman feel their affection isn't being returned in kind, they get hurt, often angry and lash out at the other. This cuts both ways.

I have a friend who got dumped by his girlfriend. He then started to see other women. His ex-girlfriend then decided she wanted to get back together. He was immediately upfront with her, and let her know that he wasn't going to stop seeing the other women he had met since she broke the relationship off. She said she was okay with that. He later took a phone call from one of the other women in her car. She kicked him out on the spot and he walked a few miles back to his place, no biggie. He then found the next week that she'd e-mailed all the professors that work in the same lab he does (she's a recent graduate who used to work in the same lab, which is where they met) and had told them that while his work was good, he had character issues. That didn't do much, and all the professors thought it was strange, so she later sent the same professors an e-mail letting them all know he and she had consentual sex in the lab.

People do lots of terrible stuff when scorned.

And I'm going on nothing more than assumption, but I highly doubt numbers three and four are confinded to heteronormative dating. I'm sure it's just as easy to come on too strong or not return someone's affection in same-sex romance, or any romance. The thing is, my friend thinks his ex is now coming on way too strong, and she thinks he isn't returning her affection.

5. It fetishizes unequal power relations between women. He'll get the tab, he'll get the door as long as he gets the vagina, and that is considered "romance."

There seem to be two groups of people in this respect, and I think they deserve each other. There are the people who believe in the aformentioned power relation, namely men who think they're entitled to sex because they paid for dinner and drinks and women who go out to dinner with or ask to have drinks purchased for them by men they aren't interested in. Then there are the folks that split checks and tabs, pay their own way, or assume that whomever proposed the outing should pay regardless of gender (although given the double standards this translates into men almost always paying, at least during the start of any relationship).

I've learned a great line that works wonders at bars. Whenever a woman asks me to buy her a drink, I pause, survey the room, pickout the least attractive man in the bar, and suggest she go talk to him, as he seems like the kind of person who buys strangers drinks. I think the inverse could work just as well for women. When a man offers you a drink, pause, look around the room, find the most unattractive woman in the bar, and suggest he go talk to her, as she looks like the kind of person who accepts drinks from strangers. As always, most of communication is non-verbal. Do this lightly, and while wearing a smile, throw in a soft, playful elbow and you can establish the let's-pay-our-own way vibe even with people you find attractive.

6. It makes same sex couples feel "less than."

Never been in one. But if this heteronormative stuff is so bad, why does it bother folks who are lucky enough to date outside the confines of such horrid social conventions?

7. It dictates your interaction in most social settings and social circles, whether you are single or coupled. It is either/or, there is no 3rd identity or in-between.

A lot of couples in these social circles have already invested a lot in heteronormative dating. Cut them some slack.

8. If you have sex too early you ruined it.

9. If you don't have sex early on you are a prude.

This seems like one of those digs aimed specifically at men that are worded gender neutral to deflect opposition. Kind of like how men are legally responsible for their actions when intoxicated and women are not (I'm not talking about forcable rape, but that regret after the fact can translate into grey rape).

The slut-versus-stud double standard is stupid, and men should come down hard on any of their own kind they catch calling a woman a slut because he's only making it harder on everyone, in both genders, to get laid, and what's worse, just to momentarily prop up his own ego (but to be honest, I see woman-on-woman crime more frequently when it comes to branding women as sluts). But in the end, isn't this all personal preference between two people? Early and late are relative terms. Neither party is wrong with regards to their preferred timing, and both parties deserve a sexual relationship they find rewarding. Neither side should be forced to wait, or forced to hurry up. They should go off and find new partners that share their views on how soon to have sex.

10. It is expected to lead to marriage (and if you don't have a ring on your finger you are "on the market.")

Enjoy your cats?

It's hundreds of millions of sprem versus 1.5 million eggs. Supply and demand says that forcable rape is the only time women don't control sex. Women have the power to change whatever dating norms they wish. Next time a woman sees an attractive man at a bar she should just, "just go up, introduce herself, and say hello."


DOJ Approves XM-Sirius Merger (Sports Fans 1, Liberals 0)

I couldn't be happier. My baseball nerd-dom compels me to subscribe to XM, as they carry every MLB game. Now that the merger has gone through, I get access to the NFL and English Premier League. In the words of the internet hate machine, epic get.

I know several other sports fans that have either XM or Sirius, and not a one were opposed to the merger. They, like me, were very frustrated with the likes of John Kerry and the rest of the left that were looking for antitrust to strike down the proposed merger for causing a year-long delay. I could have been listening to my beloved Roflham Lolspur fall flat on their face since August (with the worst start to a season in club history, and the club has been around since 1882).

I'd be willing to bet that most opposed to the merger, claiming to act on behalf of consumers, weren't actually consuming the services offered by either XM or Sirius (maybe, at best, via the limited XM channels Direct TV subscribers have access to). Once again the old stakeholder nonsense rears its ugly head, allowing liberals to speak for people they don't actually represent.

The legitimate counterargument was made that XM and Sirius are competing across technologies, with broadcast, internet, and wireless radio (via cell phone companies), and that a merger of the only two satellite companies to ever exist, neither of whom are very old, wasn't a big deal since people had so many other delivery methods for similar content. On top of that, satellite radio is proprietary. It's not like broadcast radio where there are only so many frequencies. The barrier to entry is lower, if another company wants to come along and give the satellite game a shot. This prompted members of the antitrust cult to warn that if the XM-Sirius merger went through, the cross-technology competition argument would lead to huge mergers across all types of media, established and emerging. While I doubt that happens under the coming Democrat controlled executive and legislative branches, I once again had to stop and say, "So what?"

This is one of those occasions when the Democrats really deserve to be branded conservative. Television isn't going to be phased out in the near future, but it is going to be phased out. As bandwidth and speed continue to improve, the internet is going to hack apart the big television networks just like it did the newspapers. At least television has seen the fate of those papers who were slow to embrace the inevitable. NBC streams Sunday night football on its website. You can watch some of the FX Network's original series on Hulu free of charge (I like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sons of Anarchy). The networks can run adverts just the same. It's not going to be long until they all wise up and move online. Let CBS and NBC merge. A huge part of the barrier to entry is the FCC, which probably won't attempt to extend its jurisdiction over the internet and satellite radio until Obama's second term. On the internet, the networks already have to compete on equal footing for viewers with the likes of YouTube and College Humor.

It's another reminder that the faster technology moves, the better. Government is slow, cumbersome, and reactionary. Freedom tends to flourish as technology accelerates. Let the Democracy Now, independent media gang of Herbs cry in their granola and soy milk this morning. I'll be busy listening to Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan on World Soccer Daily come noon with a big, shiteating grin stretching from ear to ear by then.

Goooal! You statist wankers!

(At least until the FCC does get to censor satellite radio, despite the fact that it's a private and not public service that you can't get without proprietary hardware.)


IP Freely

For those of you on the intellectual-property-is-an-artificial-construct-of-the-state side of things, Scribd has a whole ton of stuff available in PDF format.

It seems that a lot of these IP-sharing sites/programs/networks have a golden moment, just before the crackdown, when they grow big enough to attract lots of users that in turn provide a ton of content, but haven't just yet added the extra straw to the camel's back that draws the attention of the legal system.

You can, of course, make things more complex, so that your popularity never reaches the layperson. Needing a torrent client is enough to keep away most of the boomers. Scribd I'd wager, with its convenient web interface, will be short lived, at least in its current format. I wouldn't anticipate my late-50s father having any problem searching for and downloading copywrited works on Scribd.


Whackjobery

Since we're all in the political minority here, perhaps some of you have felt the same way: I find it interesting how often politicians and PACs will run smear ads that have the exact opposite of the desired impact on me because of my libertarian views. I know they're targeting the undecided voter and don't care how I vote, but it still makes me chuckle from time to time.

Every time I've checked my fantasy football team or my spam Yahoo e-mail account tonight, there has been an ad that asks, "Why didn't Norm Coleman help stop meth in Minnesota?" If you click on the ad, you wind up here, and you'll see the following:

In January 2003, Coleman joined fellow Republicans in voting to kill an amendment proposed by Senator Tom Harkin. The Harkin amendment would have provided $634.7 million in Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations to rural law enforcement agencies for antidrug programs. According to floor statements from the Senate record, the funding helped law enforcement pursue meth producers. The motion to kill the amendment was agreed to in a vote of 52-46. [Congressional Quarterly, 1/17/03; HJ Res 2, Vote #6, 1/17/03]

Coleman's vote denied $8.5 million in anti-drug law enforcement funding for rural Minnesota. Coleman voted to table the amendment, which proposed restoring funding levels to FY02 levels, or $8,456,474 for Minnesota. [HJ Res 2, Vote #6, 1/17/03]

My thoughts were, wow, a Republican not blowing money on the useless, dangerous, ineffective and pointless war on drugs? And this from the party of Just Say No? I don't care for either Coleman or Franken, but this attack on Coleman actually scores him some minor points in my eyes.

Changing to an unrelated topic, one issue I've been disappointed with the American Left on this election season is their support for the The Employee Free Choice Act. We're the folks that favor the free market over democracy. They're supposed to be the folks that stand up for democracy as an end in itself. And now they're backing a bill that removes anonymous voting? These folks were pissed about the disenfranchising nature of butterfly ballots a few years ago. For as much as the American Left likes to sneer self righteously, it's clearly pragmatism over principle now that they want to do away with secret balloting in the instances it hurts their agenda.


What's the Plan?!?

No, not for the economy. For Halloween. If you're a woman my age, I'm already assuming you'll use the night as an excuse to run around public in lingerie, which is great (and if not, feel free to correct me in the comments, and more power to you, not that I object to lots of women my age running around public in lingerie). But what about us dudes?

The worst advice I've seen comes from a Yahoo! food blog:

Yul Brynner From The Magnificent Seven
Yul was Cool. And never more so than as Chris Adams in this classic western. Get yourself some cowboy gear from a local vintage store or try Goodwill for great deals. Go all black, from hat to boots. And don a dose of fierce attitude.

At first I thought, that's not a bad idea. A western remake of a Kurosawa classic that held its own and came from a time when Charles Bronson wasn't so much a punchline (althought the last 20 minutes of Death Wish III are the pinacle of sensless action movies) sounds like a great source for a costume.

If I was going to do it right, I'd have to get a bald head covering (I'm not going to shave my head just for a Halloween costume). Then, I realized, that if I was decked out with a smooth dome, in boots and matching hat, and sporting a fierce attitude, I'd probably send the wrong message to all those girls in lingerie, err... costumes.

Anyone have any good ideas? I live in Minnesota, so I doubt I'm going to run into any of you and ruin your great costume idea by being your duplicate.


Broken Eastern Promises

Putin set to reject Wilde doctrine:

Russia appears to begin final Georgia pullout


Midday Stream of Consciousness

I was flipping channels today, looking for some white noise to help cover the traffic during an afternoon nap, and came across a Louis Farrakhan speech on local public access television, which is actually quite common here in St. Paul (separation of church and state in liberal states is understood only to apply to Christianity). Surrounding Farrakhan, as always, were several well dressed, stern looking bodyguards. My thoughts immediately jumped back to this:

I would pay a considerable sum to see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence drop in on a Nation of Islam mosque. I'm sure some kind of online, streaming pay-per-view could be worked out. It's not like Farrakhan's views on homosexuality as sin differ much from the Catholic Church's. Anyone can go after the low hanging fruit, doing something "subversive" if the target is nice and safe like a mass in San Francisco. It takes a bit more courage to go hit on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, not that Charles Firth did anything truly brazen like interrupting one of their services:

Another offering on a different public access station airing at the same time was a vegan documentary that laid the blame for most kinds of cancer and osteoporosis on the consumption of meat and pasteurized milk. When the left advocates more funding for state sponsored "independent" media, they're doing a good job marketing this stuff, as if the actual practice contains a real diversity of political views.

And now to play us out... to play us out? What does that mean? I don't know that means, to play us out? To end the show? We'll do it live! Fuck it! I'll write it, and we'll do it live!

That is it for us today, and we'll leave you with the honorable Louis Farrahkan playing Violin Concerto, Op.64, by the Jewish composer Felix Mendelssohn:


Oprah Got Trolled

Fresh off embarrassing Sarah Palin, the shock seeking assholes at 4chan have struck again:

The origin of that meme comes from the Japanese anime Dragonball Z:

There is no 9,000 penis conspiracy, and it doesn't seem like Oprah understands what our children are up against. It also doesn't seem like she knows what she's up against (which would be our children).


Secret Anti-Family Values Microsoft Agenda

The spellcheck in Outlook changes blonde to blond. After consulting a dictionary, I've learned that even in English the extra e can convey gender information. This means an e-mail I recently sent about a past night out on the town may read much differently than I had intended. I wonder if the version of Outlook I used has some sort of Google Chrome mindmeld technology. If Scott Scheule is, infact, fair haired, I would appreciate it if Microsoft would stay out of my subconscious.


Mean Streets

I'm getting more chuckles watching the local news coverage of the RNC protests with more reporters broadcasting from my block (to see my block, click here and then the link for 1:40 PM). I'm glad I didn't have to try to sleep through the flashbangs used by the cops on said block yesterday.

The highlight of last night's local coverage was a clip of a couple totally radical anarchist banditos trying to rip up a few dividers used to corral folks waiting in line before shows at Minnesota Public Radio's Fitzgerald Theater. These are permanent fixtures, sunk into the concrete and not part of any police dividing line (picture of said dividers and the Fitz here). The Fitz is home to A Prairie Home Companion, and also, humorously enough, held a protest concert earlier this week.

The big surprise is that many of the organizers of the peaceful protests have been giving interviews to the local news here refusing to denounce or disassociate themselves from the violent element, saying that they welcome any expression of frustration caused by the Bush administration. I think that must be because the aforementioned dividers were firmly sunk into the concrete, and it's hard to build a lot of muscle mass on a vegan, locovore diet. Had the Fitz sustained any real damage, there might well have finally been some progressive backlash.

"Ms. Jensen-Olsen, did you hear the Wilco show has been postponed due to theater repairs!?!"

"Oh no! Well gosh darn these anarchists!"

Trying to explain to my boomer parents what the critical mass folks want to get out of their direct action! is difficult, given that, like every other leftist direct action free from oppressive hierarchy, it's drawn in so many different movements and sects there isn't a coherent voice anymore, even if the thing started as a means of highlighting how cities were unfriendly to massive cyclist gangs. I first started by saying that bike-lifting is when a participant raises his or her bicycle in the air, and that this occurs when an intersection is corked, when a cyclone is occurring, or at any point a participant desires to hold a bicycle in the air. But that drew an even blanker stare. So I told my old man that these are the same type of folks that don't find wearing a keffiyeh to a gay pride parade out of place, and he seemed to get the gist.

Only one more day, and I can move back home.


Take That, Bus Stop Bench!

The first day of the RNC has come and gone. The Macy's a block over from my pad has had it's display windows smashed. A near by bench at a bus stop was also destroyed by radical leftists (we all know how many puppet masters of hierarchy take public transit, so score one for the proletariat). Working third shift and needing to sleep during the day, I'm crashing at my folks' place in the burbs until the dust settles in St. Paul and any and all excitement returns to Minneapolis. I was also a little worried about my car, as the garage I've got contract parking in is open on two sides. I've got an unimpressive domestic, though. The guy in my building with the entry level beamer is probably my only neighbor with a real concern, lest anyone is rocking a Bush or McCain sticker.

In the run up to the convention, the community access stations in St. Paul had a steady stream of radical leftist programing. One show was a compilation of short clips put out by the Independent Media Center. In one of the clips, a totally radical anarchist bandito said that anarchists (at least the bandanna, Doc Martins, cuffed black jeans sect he rolled with) are peaceful and aren't out looking for violence, but that they will defend their own if police instigate violence.

It took me a moment to remember where I had heard that before. It's the same thing every member of an English soccer firm (hooligan gang) has said in all the interviews I've read. Obviously, if every soccer firm was just a group of fans with an interest in self defense, there wouldn't be any violence around soccer matches in Europe (ha). In Bill Buford's Among the Thugs, the American writer was fed the same line before traveling around Europe with a Manchester United firm and gaining their trust. He'd then see the same folks who had previously split open an innocent bystander's face with a piece of rebar as the bystander tried to rush his wife and children inside the relative safety of the family's car feed that same line about not looking for violence to other reporters that approached the hooligans for interview. You don't even have to go looking for this stuff in media about hooligans. The same, "we're not out looking for trouble," finds its way into print in collections of fans' voices like We Are Tottenham.

It's the same thing the cops say, too. To serve and protect is all well and good but you know there are several members of the force who got into the business in order to tune up trouble makers.

Watching the local news at my parent's house with reporters broadcasting in front of the building that houses my condo is weird. During one of last night's local news broadcasts, one of the peaceful protesters complained that the huge police presence downtown was intimidating. At that point, I realized I'd lost any and all sympathy for the protesters.

Partisan divides run deep, and no one really cares about civil rights unless they can be used as a cudgel against their political opponents. There were several attempts made to block the buses full of delegates from reaching the Excel Energy Center on the first day. I'm sure lots of folks would describe this as nonviolent resistance, and I'd agree, but doesn't restricting the movement of the delegates and trying to disrupt the convention sort of get in the way of that whole right to assembly nonsense the protesters were crying about when the government sanctioned protest route didn't run close enough to the Excel to allow them to stop Republicans from gaining access?

Then, when police step in to clear the road so the buses can pass, as long as protesters don't lash out, it's alright for them to continue to restrict the movement of the delegates? And the police are terrible people for dragging them to the sidewalk and using pepper spray?

There is no doubt a lot of abuse has been dished out by the police, and that more will still take place, and it is especially unfortunate that some of it will fall on the heads of the vast majority of protesters that aren't blocking traffic, aren't throwing urine and feces at cops and delegates (can any of you Democracy Now! viewers let me know if this qualifies as nonviolent, too?), aren't attempting to lay down spike strips to disrupt traffic, aren't busting shop and car windows, and aren't restricting anyone else's freedom of movement. But it doesn't seem avoidable to me.

The delegates have a right to attend the RNC, and the local business owners have a right to their property (and not to have it destroyed by folks who traveled here with that very thing in mind). The violent minority element involved with the protests, the anarchist banditos with their bullshit, "we're not looking for trouble" put ons look just like a lot of the peaceful protesters and use them for cover. The banditos and the cops are both looking for trouble, both saying they aren't, and both thrilled to find each other. The cops will get to crack a few skulls, the violent element will get to wear their "I've been arrested" badge of pride, and the only folks that'll suffer are the other 99% of the protesters who get in the way.

The big problem is that there are two sets of victims and the police can't protect them both. The violent minority element is going to make the police choose between the those who live, work and own property in St. Paul and the nonviolent protesters descending upon the downtown area. I wonder if the fact that the nonviolent protesters look just like the folks that are throwing piss and shit on the police will weigh into the cops' decision making process? (Or if Amy Goodman is really upset about being arrested?)