Archive for Friday, December 7, 2012

Letter: No principle

December 7, 2012


To the editor:

With former Sen. Bob Dole looking on from his wheelchair on Tuesday, Kansas Sens. Moran and Roberts joined 36 other Republicans and voted against the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which would have added the United States to a treaty of over 120 other nations around the world calling for equal rights for those with disabilities. It would not have moved us to align with the world, but instead asks the world to catch up with us and the rights former Sen. Dole fought so hard to secure.

Eight GOP senators joined all of the Democrats supporting the convention. But the fact that 38 GOP senators including two from Kansas could look down on Bob Dole as they entered the chamber and vote to tarnish his legacy shows that the party of Lincoln and Eisenhower no longer exists. There is no principle left in the Grand Old Party, only hysteria and ignorance.  Shame on you.


Bob Forer 5 years, 6 months ago

No argument here. Sensible and decent Republican politicians are quickly become dinosaurs.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 6 months ago

I have never thought that Moran and Roberts had any kind of empathy for anyone. Look at their voting records and you will see cold hearted and aloof Senators who only serve to gain lobbyist funds for their own pocket. Let's vote for someone who cares about our country.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

Scared of the UN, are we. Silly. This was shameful.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

Alex (or whoever is on the desk today), please correct the headline. It's a "Letter", not a "Leter". Thanks, hon!

08Champs 5 years, 6 months ago

from what I read last night, Sen Moran actually co-authored and publicly supported this previously?

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Another holllow victory for the GOP as they continue to establish themselves as the "I'll vote against anything party and say we are saving money and defying the President" party.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

We already have the Americans With Disabilities Act, a Federal law which applies to all people in the United States. What is the benefit for the US of signing this treaty?

Brock Masters 5 years, 6 months ago

By signing it we would demonstrate our commitment to a one-world government with the UN the head of it. It is time for the US to set aside its independent mind and join with the rest of the world.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

And by rejecting it, Republicans confirm their clueless paranoia. Why can't they take their meds?

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

More accurately, Republicans voted against a redundant, unenforceable international agreement which does not benefit the United States in any way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

Whether it's enforceable or not is purely conjecture on your part. And it's most certainly not redundant in countries where the rights of the disabled are non-existent.

No, this was a vote against the idea of international cooperation of any sort. Republicans are much more in favor of dictating to the rest of the world how they should behave-- at the barrel of a gun telling them to turn over their resources.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

You make it so easy. Really, you do.

"Whether it's enforceable or not is purely conjecture on your part." No, actually it's not conjecture. I read the treaty, and it has no enforcement mechanism.

Given that the tools for enforcing a breach of multilateral treaty are basically limited to strongly worded letters, economic sanctions, or military action, it's probably best that the US didn't sign on. It would be a bad thing to have to invade Zimbabwe because of a lack of wheelchair ramps.

"And it's most certainly not redundant in countries where the rights of the disabled are non-existent." Which does not benefit the United States at all, and therefore does not justify spending American taxpayer dollars or obligating us to yet another foreign entanglement.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

D'oh! You are correct. How could I have overlooked that?

I'm watching for the International Treaty To Control My Neighbor's Dog, So She Won't Poop On My Lawn.

Edit: Replying to fred mertz.

Bob Forer 5 years, 6 months ago

Are you a Bircher? The "one-world government" phrase is direxctly from their paranoid playbook.

Help, help. The Russians are coming. the Russians are coming.

rtwngr 5 years, 6 months ago

Here is the crux of the argument for the left. Why is it time for the U.S. to give up its independence? I think it's time the rest of the world treated us a little better for the exchange of the billions of dollars that we fork over in international aid.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

Define "left" as you use it in your first sentence.

Second, your question "Why is it time for the U.S. to give up its independence?" is a non sequitur, in that the idea of the U.S. giving up its independence exists nowhere in the treaty or in the real world.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 6 months ago

To set an example for the world? Like most UN documents, it has no enforcement clause.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

We already set an example for the world. The US has the American With Disabilities Act, Schedule A and disabled Veterans' hiring preference, and state and local laws and regulations supporting access for people with disabilities. A blind person in Kansas can renew a concealed carry license- how about that for access?

You made my point about enforcement. If a signatory nation fails to meet the terms of the treaty, what happens? Nothing. What benefit does the treaty serve a particular nation? Aside from foreign aid payments from the US, nothing.

Think about that last paragraph.

meggers 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, for starters, people with disabilities should be able to enjoy the same rights when they travel outside of the US.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

It's kinda interesting how Republicans can rail against the one-world-government Armageddon of the UN, but have no problem with multinational corporations that have no allegiance to any notion of independent nationhood.

Bob Forer 5 years, 6 months ago

You get a shiny foiled star and a smiley face. In fact, I am tempted to write on your report card, "plays well with others."

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

By the way, "under God" wasn't inserted into the pledge until the 1950's as a nose thumbing to those godless commies. The pledge, itself, didn't even exist until 1892 and wasn't adopted by Congress until the 1940's.

Alyosha 5 years, 6 months ago

No one's asking you to. It seems you have no clear idea of what the United Nations is, nor how it operates.

Also, why do you not use the traditional and orginal pledge?

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

Just for the record, I have resented your icon since the first time I saw it. If you want your opinions to be credible, I would advise that you discard it. Show some respect for the United States of America.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 6 months ago

I want to thank our two senators for not signing another UN treaty. There is absolutely no reason to sign a treaty that is meaningless to Americans. I feel very good about the efforts made in our country for the disabled. I would argue that we have stretched the definition of disability to the point that those who we entended the laws to protect are being short changed by adding new disabilities that in reality is becoming just another form of welfare and dependence on others. Things like being fat, fibromyalgia, and endless numbers of psychological problems are landing more and more people on disability in the United States. This UN treaty is just another attempted to categorize more and more and more people into groups dependent on government. The most amazing thing is the number of people, including the letter writers in the paper today who somehow believe that the ever growing disability population can be paid for here in the United States not to mention nations around the world. I guess you may be right that this treaty might make you feel better but if you're so concerned that the United States isn't doing enough for the world community get on their website and donate some cash to their causes. Spare me the pity for Senator Dole and his disability. Did he just get discharged from Walter Reed Medical center in Washington DC. Don't worry he is just another politician with limitless healthcare coverage, and government pensions putting him well above the $250,000 water mark where we are told to show no pity. We need no more Bob Dole Legacy or buildings in our state named after him. Nor do we need his pity as he rolls into the senate gallery in his government purchased wheelchair showing solidarity with those who share is level of welfare that you and I can only imagine.

08Champs 5 years, 6 months ago

Answer just one question: Did Rep Jerry Moran publicly support this treaty, then vote against it? In case you don't answer, or respond without actually checking the facts, here's the info: May 25, 2012 Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced their support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senate consent to U.S. ratification of CRPD will recognize the fundamental values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life and help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled veterans.

And here:

“Each person has the inherent right to life and should have the opportunity to pursue happiness, participate in society, and be treated equally before the law,” Senator Jerry Moran said. “The CRPD advances these fundamental values by standing up for the rights of those with disabilities, including our nation’s veterans and servicemembers, and respecting the dignity of all.”

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

His position evolved, kinda like Preezy O'Choom on the subject of same-sex marriage.

It's natural his position evolved between May and December of this year. Back in May, there was a possibility that the US economy would not be stampeded over the precipice by a big spender in the Oval Office. But after November 5, it is plain to all who have eyes that there's no money in the cash register for symbolic gestures.

08Champs 5 years, 6 months ago

So sigining the treaty costs money? I think you're just making stuff up now.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

It already cost money. Direct costs to date (incomplete list): Salaries for Senators and staff members to research, schedule, debate, and vote; printing costs.

Additional cost to the American taxpayer if Senate had approved:

Article 31: Statistics and data collection- Personnel, equipment, operating costs, data systems, printing costs specific to compliance with this section.

Article 32: International cooperation- paragraph 1(d)- "Providing, as appropriate, technical and economic assistance". Translation: foreign aid payments.

Article 33: National Implementation and monitoring- Personnel, equipment, operating costs, data systems, printing costs specific to compliance with this section.


Benefit to the United States for this additional expenditure: none.

08Champs 5 years, 6 months ago "costs" the same whether they voted yes or no. You aren't able to make your point. Either someone's opinion evolved, or they voted no because it cost money. Which lame ass excuse do you want to go with?

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

Look again.

Voting "no" cost some money.

Voting "yes" would have cost more money.

A decision which looked good last spring looks less so in December given the different fiscal climate.

Bob Forer 5 years, 6 months ago

Funny how the repugs have no loyalty to one of their revered elder statesmen. I guess being in lock step goose step with the current leadership is more important than showing a little respect for fellow Kansan and former presidential candidate Bob Dole.

The repugs are becoming infamous for eating their own. A bunch of dirty scoundrels, if you ask me.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

They are also slapping Bush in the face as he was the one that negotiated the treaty in 2006.

Centerville 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, it doesn't ask the world to catch up with us. In fact, the ADA and US efforts aren't even acknowledged.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 6 months ago

Nowhere in the language of the treaty does it make compulsory any kind of military action against any nation for non-compliance with the treaty. Rather, it makes clear to all nations and their people that the United States of America stand committed to the promulgation of the rights people with disabilities.

You who are against the signing of the treaty are stuck in a rut of "I want to make all the rules for all the world but I don't want to have to agree with anything I didn't start." What in the world are you thinking? Is making a statement of support for these people so repugnant that you must make yourselves a laughing stock around the world?

Senator Dole must be completely embarassed by the recent hijacking of his party by you people. I certainly am. The current situation with the Republican Party is one of anger, anger at the people who disagree with its obstructionist, semi-religious, knee-jerk need to halt in its tracks any forward movement.

I hate to resort to such language that paints a picture of a Grand Old Party reduced to childish, petulant silliness. However, what it is is what it is. There is little, if any, thought by the "new" Republican party of the better good for all the country, but loads and loads of "me, me, me".

The Democrats are, as a result of this obstructionism, probably swinging too far to the left in response to the Republican policy of "NO", and I also regret that. However, there can be little doubt in a thinking person's mind that the lines have been drawn by the Republicans. It remains to be seen what will result. I can only hope that more of the kind of petulance shown by the Republicans in denying this treaty will result in the further erodng of the new power base with in the party.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

"Nowhere in the language of the treaty does it make compulsory any kind of military action against any nation for non-compliance with the treaty." Or any kind of action, for that matter. A country which signs the treaty, then fails to abide by it, does so with impunity. So, what good is the treaty?

"Rather, it makes clear to all nations and their people that the United States of America stand committed to the promulgation of the rights people with disabilities." No, it doesn't. The treaty is an agreement between some countries, not "all nations and their people". Nations which are not parties to the treaty (like the US) are not affected by it in any way. Since the treaty has no mechanism of enforcement, any "commitment" by signatories is purely symbolic, and ultimately worthless.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

The treaty has been signed by 155 countries (out of 196) and ratified by 126. This isn't a case of "some" countries but a case of most countries.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

155/196 (or 126/196) =/= "all nations", which is what caughtinthemiddle stated.

The difference between "some do, and some do not" and "most" is one of semantics, not substance. "All" and "none" are fixed points; the rest are open to interpretation.

The valid points are that the treaty is not binding on non-signatory nations; that signatories can ignore or violate the treaty with impunity; and that the US is already the world's leader in accommodation and protection of the rights of people with disabilities, which will not change because we did not sign the treaty.

Spending taxpayer money on a symbolic gesture would be wasteful, and the Senate was right to vote it down.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 6 months ago

Reading comprehension alert: signing, or not signing, the treaty is a public display of the intent of the United States to uphold the rights sof the disabled. I did not say it was an agreement among all nations, but that it signifies to the world, in a public way, the intent of the US to uphold the rights of the disabled.

Too, the "worthlessness" of the treaty, not signed by any nation, is largely in your mind. There may be noi enforcement policy included, but the humanity of the agreement is incumbent on alol nations. We have receded from that humanity by not signing.

Those things are all I said. Try reading for comprehension rather than Republican "ideology" for a change.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

"Humanity of the agreement is incumbent on "aloi" (what language is this?) nations."

Why don't you try again. I'm sure you're trying to say something, but your misspelling, poor word choices, and false assumptions* doomed your message.

*false assumption: Republican ideology.

Centerville 5 years, 6 months ago

It is an excercise in wasting money. And a perfect example of making something so vague that people will read into it anything they want: like thinking that the UN is telling the world how great the US is. Welcome to Wonderland.

avarom 5 years, 6 months ago

If wishes were horses...... Beggars would ride: If turnips were bayonets.......I would wear one by my side.

voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

Compare with the UN treaty against genocide. Although an American citizen was the primary author and proponent, the US was one of the last countries to sign it, under Ronald Reagan. The reasoning was exactly the same as the opponents of treaty on disabled persons have enunciated here. And that a prohibition on genocide might keep the KKK from lynching African-Americans any more. By refusing to sign the treaty on disabilities, the US is sending the message that it wants to be free to discriminate against disabled persons. What's next--rescinding the Americans with Disabilities Act itself?

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

You really should check your facts on this one.


voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

I did. Now, KSWingman, you really should check your facts on this one. Really.

KSWingman 5 years, 6 months ago

The "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" establishes an international crime (Article 1), defines that crime (Article 2 and 3); states that the crime shall be "punishable" (Article 4); orders trial in the country of offense (making the offense punishable under the law in the country of occurrence) or before an international tribunal (and subject to punishment under the terms of that tribunal); and obligates the signatories to honor extradition between each other.


I don't see any of that in the disability treaty. Are you sure you were looking at the right document?

voevoda 5 years, 6 months ago

You're not looking at the right document, KSWingman. In my posting, I was quite plainly comparing the arguments some Republican Senators used to justify not signing the convention. In order to disprove what I have to say, you'll need to consult the Congressional Record, not the UN Treaties.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 6 months ago

The enforcement of this treaty would be no different from many other treaties that have no "built in" sanctions. Retorsions [unfriendly, but nonetheless lawful acts that would be permitted even absent a treaty breach] are probably the most common form of sanction. Any such act would [should] be proportional to any perceived breach.

One of the features of the treaty under discussion is that there are clear reporting requirements regarding signatory nations progress toward compliance. This sort of information in and of itself is valuable as the state department would be able to include in traveler alerts the status of the signatory nation as it relates to disabled travelers. Disabled travelers can use this information in making travel plans.

I remain convinced that this treaty is far more than symbolic. If we in the US want to be the leader of the free world, we need to set the standard and commit to the world community what we think is right.

US citizens do travel and conduct business in other countries. This includes disabled US citizens, a group that is and will be increasing in portion of our population as our war wounded continue to enter the workforce. We can anticipate that we will need a world in which our disabled citizens, including disabled veterans, can travel and have access to places and services on a similar basis as in the US. In short, encouraging other countries to assure reasonable access is not only in their best interests, but in the best interests of US citizens who travel and do business abroad.

The notion that we are somehow surrendering our sovereignty in ratifying this treaty is right up there with a litany of other tin foil hatted conspiracy theories. The notion that we should or would use force to enforce such a treaty is absurd. That does not mean that the treaty is symbolic, or that ratifying it is not in our best interests.

Trumbull 5 years, 6 months ago

Many of the Republicans in office are villains who vote no to things that they would normally support if there was a Republican president. Many of them are willing to sacrifice the United States credit rating by stalling the debt ceiling talks. I suspect many of them privately wish for a 2nd recession and will practice obstructionisim to achieve this and to improve there election chances next time around.

It will take a miracle for me to ever consider voting for a Republican again. I used to vote a mixed ballot.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

Disabled folks who have been working and lose their job find it much more difficult to get a new job because of perceptions about their disability. Add to that the perception that the sole reason people lose jobs is that they must have been poor workers and it makes it even more difficult.

Add even on top of that, most of these folks filing for disability tend to be older which also makes it more difficult to find a job.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Centerville 5 years, 6 months ago

What does it say about the Obama administration that the numbers of people with disabilities have climbed so quickly?

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