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I’m spitting mad. Usually my rage will be reserved for a moronic act by a GOP legislature, or upon learning about a judge who lets rich people get away with murder.

Not today.

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A recommended diary "Who Is to Blame for the Lack of Storm Shelters" raises some interesting questions about tornado sheltering, building codes, tornado alley and public policy. Rather than try and go back and forth in the comments, I'll try and explain why the idea of building tornado shelters for all, even all schools, let alone in every home or in communities such that they are accessible is not a good idea.

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Last I checked this site was for politics. It was for supporting team blue, to elect more and better democrats. And it’s also a wonderful community that has done much for many here, from providing support to financial assistance to some of our neediest in their most difficult times.

Which brings me to today’s rec list. Among the stories is the diary “Lovey the feral kitten needs help. Desperately,” in which a deeply caring diarist outlines the struggles of a nearby feral cat. And I, a cat owner and lover am sympathetic to the animals’ plight and the diarists’ emotions. Were that all it were, I would have let it pass uncommented, there are all kinds of communities here that don’t relate to politics, we’ve discovered it’s fun to talk about what we love with people who share our values.

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So common is this that it no longer registers surprise or shock. Seemingly every day now there is a shooting, be it in a mall or a college or even just at a home. Every day, Americans are killing each other, often randomly. And nobody cares.

Nobody wants to talk about the ease with which guns are bought, sold and used.

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Sun Nov 18, 2007 at 08:35 PM PST

On shame and hope

by OffTheHill

I am ashamed of my country

Last night, standing on the balcony I noticed a neighbor flying the American flag. I have a flagpole and have not once considered flying the American flag. For I am ashamed.

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Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 11:28 PM PDT

five years ago

by OffTheHill

Five years ago I was sitting in a computer lab at the Humphrey Institute, waiting for a stats lab to begin. Students trickling into the class mentioned something about a plane crash on MPR. A few minutes of frantic searching on the internet and the rumors became reality, first that a plane had crashed, then that it carried Paul and Sheila, and finally that they were dead.

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Last week, furious with the Senate's decision to waste time "condemning" the Moveon ad, I e-mailed one of my Senators, Amy Klobuchar expressing my disappointment that she was suckered into the trap and voted for the Cornyn Amendment. Today, I received her response:

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Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 08:03 AM PDT

Republican Debate Open Thread

by OffTheHill

I didn't see one in the diary list.

Anyone watching this?

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Sat Aug 04, 2007 at 09:59 AM PDT

To Governor Pawlenty:

by OffTheHill

Now you want to raise taxes? Now, with after scores of people hurt and several killed, now it's ok to acknowledge that government isn't the devil, that taxes aren't evil?

Now it's time to raise taxes? Now that your political future is in trouble. Now that your tax-hating buddies are coming to town in a year and they will be a gaping gap illustrating the failure of your ideology, now it's time to work together?

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Thu May 31, 2007 at 05:33 PM PDT

I registered for YearlyKos today

by OffTheHill

Today I registered for YearlyKos. Why today? Because the rate goes up in a few hours.
But more important, why YearlyKos?

Poll

Are you going to YK '07

64%38 votes
23%14 votes
11%7 votes

| 59 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon May 14, 2007 at 09:39 AM PDT

Leadership vs. compromise and Obama

by OffTheHill

Prompted in part by Kos' post this morning about Sen. Obama’s consensus strategy, I’ve been thinking about leadership in the context of the war and all the other issues facing the 44th President.

Having oppsed the war from the outset, Obama is well-positioned to call for compromise as part of a pragmatic effort to ramp down the war, without calling for withdrawal, having opposed the war from the outset. But, as seems to be the larger theme he endeavors to create, Obama is seeking to demonstrate an ability to work in a bipartisan, "common sense" way to find solutions to our nation’s ills.

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I oppose hate crime legislation. And while the recently passed bill does have a useful provision (increasing funds to help investigate these crimes, particularly for rural communities lacking resources), differentiating the punishment for physically identical crimes is both a bad idea and wrong.

Poll

Hate crime legislation:

53%57 votes
46%50 votes

| 107 votes | Vote | Results

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