Dear readers, that sound you hear is not your cat coughing up a hairball. It's me trying to suppress my gag reflex.

bag of gag 2 copyThis first item in today's bag ... well, I never. Bag in hand, I quote from a Richard Cohen op-ed published in today's Washington Post:

"Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children."

And here I thought my views were conventional! Seriously, for a major newspaper -- a "respectable" one at that -- to publish 1950s Deep South anti-miscegenationist throw-back shit like this is beyond shocking. What were they thinking?

I guess I'll have to consider the Washington Post a "conventionally respectable" newspaper from now on. And they wonder why I get my news from Wonkette and Daily Kos.

Seriously, if they don't fire Richard Cohen after this, they might as well ask for Obama's birth certificate and endorse the Tea Party.

It has now been revealed that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, American doctors working for the CIA and the military helped torture detainees. "Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra 'first do no harm' did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill."

I guess my thinking really is out of step, because I thought that whole Hippocratic Oath thing was sacred, that doctors had a duty to say no when asked to hurt people. Silly me. It's not an oath, it's an "ethical mantra." Aren't professionals cute when they parrot their little ethical mantras?

I wonder how much of this is still going on, and to what degree medical personnel at, say, Guantanamo, are involved? As if I really needed to ask.

If the government can convince doctors to violate the bedrock principle of medicine and participate in torture, who's to say hospital CEOs can't convince emergency room doctors and nurses to turn away uninsured patients who can't come up with cash in advance?

Any why don't we follow the logical steps here? Why, who's to say city and state bean counters can't order firefighters to stand by while the homes of delinquent taxpayers burn to the ground? Oh wait.

NRA gun thugs
NRA gun thugs gather outside a Moms Demand Action for Gun
Sense in America meeting last Saturday in Arlington, Texas

I've got two words for these guys, and they ain't "let's dance."

Speaking of NRA gun thugs, three days after the mass shooting at LAX, a father and son showed up at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport to pick up an arriving passenger. They brought along a rifle and a semi-automatic pistol. Naturally, this being Arizona, open carry at airports is perfectly legal.

The Phoenix Police Department confirmed that the man and his son were at the airport waiting for a passenger on one of the flights. The man reportedly told police that he brought the weapons because he feared for his family’s safety while at the airport.

“The vibe that I received from them was that they were rather smug about what they were doing that they knew the law. They knew what they could and could not do,” the woman who witnessed the incident explained. “I think there are circumstances where people should be able to carry guns and have guns, but I don’t think this is one of the good ones.”

Police escorted the two out of the building after their passenger arrived. Authorities said that no laws were broken because Americans have the right to carry guns in unsecured areas of the airport.

Just let that LAX shooter try that shit here in God's country!

Speaking of God's country ...

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.08.37 AM

A Facebook friend shared this "Flip the Senate 2014" post with me last night. I don't mind the conventional (there's that damn word again!) pieties about Jesus, but I always react poorly to attacks on the constitutional wall between church and state, and I got downright testy over this group's assertion that the US Senate -- which contains eighty-seven Christians, ten Jews, three unaffiliated* members, and not a single Muslim) -- needs to be even more Christian, let alone religious, than it already is.

I'm afraid I posted comments to that effect and am now no longer part of my friend's social media experience. How is it that American Christians of the religious right think they have the right to bully everyone else around while at the same time insisting on being seen as a downtrodden minority?

* None of the three unaffiliated senators describe themselves as atheist. AFAIK the only open atheist in Congress is Arizona Representative Kyrsten Sinema, whom I like better with every passing day.

Kyrsten Sinema did the trick ... the refreshing mint-like quality of her name is better than Dramamine. I'm feeling better now, gag reflex totally under control. Whew.

So I'll end with my own Jack Handy impersonation (or Andy Rooney, take your pick):

"If I had a penny for every time I picked up a penny, I'd have twice as many pennies."

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