As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Quick Hits

'Scuse me while I whip this out:

• The survivor of the Sago Mine disaster is suing the companies who neglected his own safety and that of his colleagues. The families of the victims are following suit. The country needs accountability on this if it still cares about workplace safety.

• Shorter Conrad Burns: "Ha ha, the Guatemalan painter I hired to work on my house is an illegal! Isn't that funny?" Everything's OK as long as you're a Republican. I didn't know a series of politicians could be so tone deaf until I saw this crop of incumbents (Macaca, anyone?)

• Something I didn't get to last week: TBogg has the goods on Frank D. Wuterich, who's suing John Murtha for slandering him and his Marine unit over the Haditha massacre, when at the same time, he's one of the Marines alleged to have destroyed or withheld evidence in the case. Physician, heal thyself.

• Another week-oldie but goodie, and perhaps the tightrope-walking headline of the year: Bush says US safer, but not yet safe. In other words, we're doing a heckuva job, so vote for us, but were not doing SUCH a heckuva job that you can stop being afraid, so stay scared enough to vote for us.

The Carpetbagger Report takes a look at all the Republicans changing their party affiliation this year. There are examples from Kansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Idaho, and South Carolina. Whether it's out of conviction, out of a frustration with the radicalization of their former party, or just wanting to be on the right side of history, I'm happy to pull open the door of this big Democratic tent.

• Hey, anyone remember Darfur? Big part of Sudan, half a million natives dead, millions more turned into refugees by a forced evacuation and genocide? Well, it's worse than ever since a supposed peace plan between the government and rebel groups. The main government doesn't even want UN troops in the country. This is gravely serious and demands action. Signing John Edwards' petition is literally the least you can do.

• And finally, I thought I'd weigh in on the Hitler-themed restaurant in India. According to a friend of Matthew Yglesias, Hitler is kind of the Che of India:

There is an incredible amount of Hitler fascination in India, often tinged with Nazi-sympathy. I noticed this weeks ago, well before this whole restaurant thing blew up. I think there are two reasons for this. A) Hitler and the Indians were to some extent on the same side, and even though Indians know that they shouldn't like him, they tend to appreciate his role in breaking Britain's back, and B) they think that if anyone could have made the trains run on time in this country it would have been Hitler. (They're wrong in that respect, by the way. No one could organize this place.)

I had a surprising conversation with a friend who said that yes, the holocaust was bad, but he heard that the autobahn is the best highway system in the world, and you have to keep things in perspective. (Given that Bombay's big modern highway has a posted speed limit of 50 km/h, which it's hard to imagine anyone ever achieving, building an awesome highway system does probably overshadow 13 million or so murders.) [...] You can buy Mein Kampf at the Indian equivalent of Barnes and Noble, with a forward by some Indian guy talking about how everything must be read in it's context blah blah blah. Anyway, the holocaust is all quite far from here, as are most Jews and Gypsies and (at least uncloseted) Gays. My friends are very concerned about my feeling uncomfortable, but once they realized I wasn't particularly horrified, they all wanted to be the first to take me.

As a Jew, I've already come up with about 15 Nazi-related food items (Blintz-kreigs? The Third Rice?) because that's what we do. A little alarming about India's relative indifference, however.