CRPD : Article Devoted to Open Discourse with Julia Silvestri

My apologies for yet another very long article.  I hope after reading it, you’ll understand the need for clarity and detail.


On Twitter a few days ago, I became aware that the Senate was to vote on the ratification of the treaty from the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).  On the surface, without reading, the treaty title would lead you to believe it is an act of goodness bringing the ‘rights’ of people with disabilities to the forefront, and making special conveniences and accommodations for them mandatory to the nations that sign on. The truth, as is the case in many UN treaties, is anything BUT that.

One of my first posts on the topic in the Twittersphere was in response to Sen Pat Toomey:

The overwhelming response on Twitter seems to be from those that supported the treaty.  I cannot possibly list all of the comments here, so please go look at Twitter yourself and search for the term CRPD.  You could try this link, but I’m not sure how well it will work if you don’t have a Twitter account.

Seeing that several of the responses were somewhat vile, calling the Republicans that voted against ratification just about every cruel name in the book, I decided to begin looking for supportive information.  I found a website dedicated to helping defeat CRPD at the Home School Legal Defense Association website, here.

Then, I started Tweeting again…

and…

and…

This topic had really gotten me upset.  I can’t honestly believe that the UN would not see how that impacts the sovereignty of countries. But worse, I can’t fathom the US Congress would allow the UN to come in and demand the things they would be able to had we been signatories. The Senate only voted it down by 5 votes. Seriously??

I reached out to several people who had made comments both in support and against the treaty.  I started getting Tweets from others, but a particular person was very adamant about pushing back… Here is a conversation I had with Julia Silvestri:

This did not end well for either of us, I think.  I wish some people could be a little more open-minded and not devolve themselves in name-calling at the first sign of not getting their point across. Notice, she invited me to blog about it.  I’m hoping she will read this blog entry and come back to a reasonable conversation here.  I want to talk about it, debate it, not fall into a fist-fight of name-calling and backstabbing.

So, just for Julia (and anyone else that has stayed with the conversation this far), in this blog I have plenty more than 140 characters to describe my complaints about CRPD.

1st, let me say that 2 of my 5 children are described clinically (not my label) as having profound special needs. One has Aspergers and the other has Neurofibromatosis with Pervasive Developmental Disorder.  So, Julia, I apologize if you don’t like the term, but it is a clinical term for those profoundly impacted by their disability (disability being another term that I know many people are sensitive about).

Now, back to the treaty with the above as basis for discussion.  Looking at the HSLDA site concerning CRPD, you might be well to assume it is a very biased opinion.  So, rather than use their site as reference, I’d like to point out some very bothersome things from the treaty document itself online.  Also of interest, you may want to take a look at the UN Map that shows the status of countries in the convention here.

I need not venture far into the document before I find my first contention.  In the Preamble, pg 3:

“(h) Recognizing also that discrimination against any person on the basis of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person,”

and

“(j) Recognizing the need to promote and protect the human rights of
all persons with disabilities, including those who require more intensive
support,”

Really?  No discrimination based on the disability (lack of ability)?  So, to what ends must an airline company go to provide facilities to an aircraft electrical technician who happens to fall blind at some point in his/her life?  In any common-sensical world, that person should probably no longer want the job… But there will be the ONE that will want to keep the job, even though they are blind. In that case, this preamble statement has already decided that if the airline company says NO WAY, then they are guilty of violating “the inherent dignity and worth of the” blind worker.

Some people will guffaw at that statement saying that I am not supposed to take some of these statements so literally. But, in the last few years here in America, we’ve seen the US Military go far above any previous attempts to find ways for wounded soldiers with permanent disabilities to get back into the war.  I don’t mind it if it can be done, not at all… But, in the case of a soldier that was permanently blinded on the battlefield, I’m not sure I’d want to be back on a battlefield with them later… And in my mind it has less to do with his dignity than it does with MY SAFETY.

On pg 4, under the heading Definitiions, we see:

“Discrimination on the basis of disability” means any distinction,
exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or
effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an
equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It includes all
forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation;

“Reasonable accommodation” means necessary and appropriate
modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue
burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities
the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms;

“Universal design” means the design of products, environments,
programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent
possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. “Universal
design” shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons
with disabilities where this is needed.

It is possible that under the term “Reasonable accommodation”, the example I gave of the blind electrician may be far fetched.  Or is it?  Who determines what is “reasonable” in a law like this?  At first it will be up to the individual companies, and then the local government, and then the Federal government (since it is a Federal treaty with the world)… But in all final estimations, by signing the treaty we give up our SOVEREIGNTY by allowing the UN to judge internal judgement of “reasonable accommodation”.  But wait, there’s more…

Please notice on the UN map that some Muslim countries have not signed the treaty at all, most likely based on Article 3, pg 6, which says:

The principles of the present Convention shall be:

(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the
freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;

(b) Non-discrimination;

(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities
as part of human diversity and humanity;

(e) Equality of opportunity;

(f) Accessibility;

(g) Equality between men and women;

(h) Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities
and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their
identities.

Do you really think Iraq and Afghanistan would sign a document that calls for “equality between men and women”?  I’m surprised that other countries like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria have fully signed into the treaty and the protocols. I personally believe women and men are equal in most respects… But even with my qualification using the term “most respects”, I would lose the right to judge based on this principle alone.

Now, in very bold letters this is now where we discuss erosion of sovereignty, boys and girls. Take a really hard look at Article 4, pg 6 (or 5), General Obligations. Rather than me copying the text here, please go to the document here and read this part for yourself. It’s not so much that I’m lazy (I am) but it’s also a bit of a strain on the scrolling of this article.

The first thing you should notice about this article is in the title, General OBLIGATIONS. These are not things you can simply waive off and think we can just apply the parts that matter.  Obligation implies that we WILL under every possible constraint, do this thing…

We will adopt ALL measures to implement the rules of this convention. We must “modify or abolish existing laws”… “Refrain from any act… inconsistent with” the treaty.

Is there any room in that for our sovereignty, our independence and self determination as a nation?  Words like “must” and “will” don’t seem to leave any wiggle room at all.  The Encyclopedia Britannica Online defines sovereignty as:

sovereignty, in political theory, the ultimate overseer, or authority, in the decision-making process of the state and in the maintenance of order. The concept of sovereignty—one of the most controversial ideas in political science and international law—is closely related to the difficult concepts of state and government and of independence and democracy. Derived from the Latin term superanus through the French term souveraineté, sovereignty was originally meant to be the equivalent of supreme power. However, in practice it often has departed from this traditional meaning.”

Under this Art 4 statement, would we still have ultimate authority in the decision making process, or has that already been taken away by the UN?  I could almost rest my case there, but there is just so much to talk about… Are you still with me?  Still awake?

I really don’t mind the concept of assisting people with disabilities in any way we can, as a nation, to mainstream their lives as much as possible.  But, even within the term “people with disabilities” (or as Julia says “PWD”) there must be special groups set aside and taken care of with even MORE restrictions.  Don’t believe me?  Take a gander at Article 6 and Article 7.  No special mention in this entire document about MEN with disabilities, per se.  But instead, we have a separate section for WOMEN and CHILDREN with disabilities…

What happened to that whole “equality” thing mentioned way back in the Preamble??? Art 6, “women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination.” Why not have an Article especially designed to mention racial discrimination in combination with discrimination of the disabled?

Parental rights?  I mentioned in my moments of twittering, that there is also an erosion of parental rights.  Article 7, paragraph 3 seems to align fairly well with maintaining parental rights while also weighing in the balance the wishes of the disabled child:

3. States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, on an equal basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.

But wait, I am wrong… There was no mention of parent in that statement. “States Parties shall ensure…” I see the state and the child mentioned, but no mention of the parents interest in the matters concerning the child.  Anyone see something I missed?

How about Article 8, paragraph 2(b):

(b) Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities;

Again, I personally don’t mind schools working with my children to help them understand an “attitude of respect for the rights” of other people.  But, this treaty takes that question away from local, state and federal authorities (erosion of sovereignty again) and even parents.  It also doesn’t define “from an early age”, so beware of daycare centers for very small children. They will be regulated by the UN treaty as well…

OMG… And then, as if there hasn’t already been several “rights” trampled in this treaty already, take a looksee at Article 8, paragraph 2(c):

(c) Encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the purpose of the present Convention;

Here we are getting directly in the face of Constitutionally guaranteed rights to Freedom of the Press.  “ALL organs of the media” means BLOGS will be included. Will anyone have the freedom to say the unthinkable?  Will a blogger have the right to say aloud that he/she feels all disabled people should be sent to gas chambers?  Today, in this country, he can express that opinion and not fear any reprisals beyond other bloggers yelling at him… But, if this treaty is ratified and laws of the country changed, YOU will not be able to say anything which is inconsistent with the treaty. How much more clear could I be…

Okay, I am going to stop here.  We’ve reached page 8 of 37 and my fingers are getting tired.  I’ve made the case already that the treaty has several statements that erode the rights of a sovereign nation and the rights of parents… Where I have NOT tread yet is the erosion of the rights of the individual, disabled or not disabled; this treaty impacts both.

I await commentary, especially from one Julia Silvestri. I am sure she is an excellent Special Ed teacher in her hometown in CT.  As a deaf person, she does have important insight into the topic.  I just hope she realizes I am not the typical “able” person, ignorant of the importance of a treaty like this, simply because of my “ableism”…

Julia, I am willing to continue in a civil discourse with you.  My understanding is that people involved in the Occupy Wallstreet groups were at one time interested in “free and open civil discourse.”  I hope you still are…  I hope that you still believe:

“Gandhi kicked the British out of India. He led with love and he set limits. I want to follow his example.”

Please read some of my About page so you can hear from my own thoughts how I feel I am open-minded enough to have a civil discourse. I love this quote from John Wayne,

“I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” ~~John Wayne


Comments

CRPD : Article Devoted to Open Discourse with Julia Silvestri — 26 Comments

    • The article you sent actually sorta supports the reason why I personally wish we’d walk away from the UN. I don’t like the way they continually tell countries what to as opposed to simply keeping the peace; their original charter.

      • Some people seem to freak any time the United Nations get mentioned. Where I live the wackos on the outskirts of town proudly display a lot of “GET US OUT OF THE UN!!!” signs. If an actual fact ever bit them in the ass they’d probably call it the devil and choose to remain safe in fictions of their own creation.

        The take away I got from the article is that even when the U.S. agrees to something at the U.N. they always reserve the right to define their own terms of involvement. They don’t meet the obligations they agreed to and there’s no enforcement. That hardly sounds like the sky is falling doom and gloom of the worst case scenario predictions that always seem to accompany everything that comes at us from the U.N.

    • By the way, I think you realize all of the thoughts in my articles are my own. I honestly wasn’t aware of Santorum’s involvement until after I wrote my first few tweets. I agree with a lot of people that he is way over-zealous. I am not steeped in the religious fervor he seems live in.

  1. Tim Strickland, get a grip on reality, please!! I am a “special needs individual”, and don’t see anything wrong with the ADA. Rick Santorum is one looney bin!!!1

    • I’m pretty sure I never once even mentioned Santorum in my article. Get a grip? I don’t have any problems with the ADA either, and none were mentioned. I’ve got to wonder if your disability results in you seeing things that aren’t there. That was two comments that pretty much weren’t anywhere in my article.

  2. Considering that the U.S. was the engine behind the genesis of the U.N., the fact that the U.N. is in the USA, and that the U.S. is on the UN Security Council (the most powerful branch of the UN) …I think they will keep an close eye on the CRPD.

    Now to the CRPD, it closely resembles the ADA, which IS needed here at home in the U.S., but the CRPD will be a more powerful foundation to back the ADA so that more people here in the USA (and the world) will take the rights of disabled more seriously.

    Parental rights are a sticky issues regardless and yes, I respectfully noted that you are a parent to 2 disabled children but can you speak for all parents of children who have the same disability as yours? That’s where the “ableism” comes from regardless it’s warranted or not. Being an deaf man being blessed with my own decision to either use hearing aids or opt for an C.I. (cochler implant) is an rarity. Many don’t even get to make that own decisions, which many parents do and not realizing the effect those costs has on their child (especially if they eventually immersed into the deaf community). This is only the tip of the iceberg on CRPD, but the hoopla over saying we will lose sovereignty is a scare tatic. The last few years in many of the various disabled groups and subgroups , we have seen the GOP tried more and more successfully and unsuccessfully take our rights away. All the more reason for the CRPD.

    PS — Let’s not forget even the honorable Robert Dole (R – KS), was in a wheelchair at the entrance to the Senate chambers to make a point to his fellow GOP peers the importance of passing CRPD, and what did they do? They shake his hand and made it seem like they will, and then did not passed it. And this was a guy who became disabled while defending the US from it’s enemies in WWII. So what that says about them making a law for their love ones who were disabled in the current wars of the 90s or future ones?

  3. “Really? No discrimination based on the disability (lack of ability)? So, to what ends must an airline company go to provide facilities to an aircraft electrical technician who happens to fall blind at some point in his/her life?”

    I stopped reading at this point, but yes, a tech who happens to be blind should not be judged on his or her blindness (lack of ability to see), but on ability to do the job.

    I also noticed you’re very concerned about parents rights. One of the issues is that many PWD feel their parents lacked the perspective to make appropriate choices for them. For instance only 10% of blind people in the US can read braille… can you imagine if only 10% of sighted people could read print?

    Most parents are trying to do their best, but I hope you understand why concern for the parents might fall on *ahem* deaf ears.

    • The school system fell under the ADA more than the number of years we homeschooled. Yet, even though we pushed hard for correct and detailed IEPs for all three of our youngest, school systems in three states had essentially given up on two of them.

      Within just a few weeks both of those two had remarkable improvements in reading and math. So this is one of two parents that cares and moves ahead with intent. Although I gotta admit, you have a good point in brining up the apathy of many American parents.

      So instead of having the UN determine these things for us, would you feel better if the US determined our own needs? Or do you think this is something that should be regulated by a body whose original charter was to simply promote world peace?

      • I’m not sure what to do about the quality of public education for PWD… its a significant pain point.

        Parental apathy is a problem for many children. What’s interesting is the parents who do care: it’s hard to make choices without experience.

        As for UN vs US, I do have a problem with signing treaties that require the US to enact laws that are against our interest. Sort of an end-run around democratic lawmaking. So far I haven’t seen anything in this treaty that appeared against our interest, though feel free to show me the error of my ways.

        • I honestly gotta’ say really two points. First, thank God that we were ABLE to homeschool. If it were not so, I can only imagine in what state of being our kids would be in today. Secondly, I am amazed that more people don’t take the economic hit in favor of homeschooling in order to satisfy the needs of their kids… I mean, the offspring of each person should carry a much higher value than the act of having a job… The ONLY exception I would promote to this would be in the case of a single parent. Obviously money for the household has to come from somewhere. Beth and I took a MAJOR hit on our lifestyle by her staying at home and me being the single bread winner. It is a value judgement, but anyone that complains to me that they “can’t” homeschool when there are two parents in the house are in essence lying. They CHOOSE to not homeschool… They choose their career over the life of the kids that need help. That is completely unacceptable to me. Nothing is more important in the life of any parent than the life of the child. That is the only answer for a public school system that cannot keep up…

  4. Considering that the U.S. was the engine behind the genesis of the U.N., the fact that the U.N. is in the USA, and that the U.S. is on the UN Security Council (the most powerful branch of the UN) …I think they will keep an close eye on the CRPD.
    Now to the CRPD, it closely resembles the ADA, which IS needed here at home in the U.S., but the CRPD will be a more powerful foundation to back the ADA so that more people here in the USA (and the world) will take the rights of disabled more seriously.
    Parental rights are a sticky issues regardless and yes, I respectfully noted that you are a parent to 2 disabled children but can you speak for all parents of children who have the same disability as yours? That’s where the “ableism” comes from regardless it’s warranted or not. Being an deaf man being blessed with my own decision to either use hearing aids or opt for an C.I. (cochler implant) is an rarity. Many don’t even get to make that own decisions, which many parents do and not realizing the effect those costs has on their child (especially if they eventually immersed into the deaf community). This is only the tip of the iceberg on CRPD, but the hoopla over saying we will lose sovereignty is a scare tatic. The last few years in many of the various disabled groups and subgroups , we have seen the GOP tried more and more successfully and unsuccessfully take our rights away. All the more reason for the CRPD.
    PS — Let’s not forget even the honorable Robert Dole (R – KS), was in a wheelchair at the entrance to the Senate chambers to make a point to his fellow GOP peers the importance of passing CRPD, and what did they do? They shake his hand and made it seem like they will, and then did not passed it. And this was a guy who became disabled while defending the US from it’s enemies in WWII. So what that says about them making a law for their love ones who were disabled in the current wars of the 90s or future ones?

    • I would never expect either of my two to make their own decisions on many topics. However, even at home we force them to work their way thru decisions thAt we know they can do well at.

      Once this treaty is ratified, if these two adults decide they want to live on their own, the treaty does not mention the parents at all in that decision. At that point in the treaty the State MUST provide for them everything they need including decision making support. All of that will be supported by the State. Talk about rising taxes and state control of families…

      Please read treaty. I’ve given lots of links to the original documents. Dont rely on anyone else’s opinion. Read it for yourself.

  5. Thank you for extending the invitation to participate in discourse. I’m not sure it was necessary or appropriate to seek and post my personal information, location and occupation though. That being said- I appreciate the recognition and willingness to listen to the voices and perspectives of Deaf people, PWD and others who navigate life in the margins of “normal ability”.

    I want to first address the sovereignty issue, and then parental rights, PWD perspective and ableism. Although I find it very problematic to value nationalism over global citizenship and human rights-

    US Sovereignty is explicitly protected in the treaty-

    Article 4.4: Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force for that State. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Convention pursuant to law, conventions, regulation or custom on the pretext that the present Convention does not recognize such rights or freedoms or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.

    There is no factual basis or credible political source that confirms this treaty does impede on US law. Rick Santorum is not a credible source, especially not considering the logic and political statements of fellow Republicans John McCain, Bob Dole and even George Bush.

    The treaty does recognizes the rights of children with disabilities to a child-first approach.

    Article 7.2: In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration US law already recognizes the right of parents to guard and make medical, educational and cultural decisions for their child.

    This is not erased by the treaty- but both the treaty and our words here: they challenge institutional ableism. As of now in America (and most of the world)- hearing, able-bodied and able-minded parents have the right to make choices that impose audist and ableist systems, viewpoints and identities onto their child- viewpoints that recognize the parents own perceptions of what ability should be, but may not recognize what the child needs to thrive. In Deaf education, only 11% of children are educated using ASL. More than half of all deaf children are educated using speech alone. (See GAO, Scott- 2011). Although this is also an effect of clinical and institutional biases in information and prescribed treatments- its not mutually exclusive from the desire of parents to “normalize” their children or approach habilitation from their own perspectives.

    Which brings me to the issue of ableism. Institutional ableism considers that certain abilities are “normal”, “superior” and ” more desirable” compared to others. In your hypothetical situation above, you concluded that “in any common-sensical world, that person should probably no longer want the job… But there will be the ONE that will want to keep the job, even though they are blind”.

    What you suggest is common-sense, it may be common- but it is also ableism. The systematic operations may be sight-centered and disabling as a social construction- but with accommodations or a re-framing of the construction- the Blind person would be able to do the job. Reframing our social systems to is the essence of the the ADA, this treaty, and the PWD movement.

    Thank you for reading. Be well.

    • My apologies but my actual answer will have to wait, possibly a couple days. I’m texting this with my phone, and I’ll be driving most of the weekend traveling up from GA to NH.

      You have given me a good challenge possibly without even knowing it. I’m an avionics engineer by trade (aircraft electronics). It is a good challenge for me to consider what changes would need to occur in the electricians’ community in order to accommodate a blind electrician. So much relies on identification of color codes that today even color blindness omits that person from the career field due to safety concerns. But I see a challenge here to consider those changes.

      By the way, I didn’t say anything about you that is not already very publicly available about you. I find it interesting that you have participated in the Occupy movement. I found some of your public comments enlightening. Never ever be afraid or self conscious about people seeing you for who you are. That attitude makes you appear more of a victim than you are.

      I’ll give you a deeper response later. Thank you for allowing civility back into the conversation.

  6. Thank you for extending the invitation to participate in discourse. I’m not sure it was necessary or appropriate to seek and post my personal information, location and occupation though. That being said- I appreciate the recognition and willingness to listen to the voices and perspectives of Deaf people, People With Disabilities, and others who navigate life in the margins of “normal ability”.

    I want to first address the sovereignty issue, and then parental rights, PWD perspective and ableism. Although I find it very problematic to value nationalism over global citizenship and human rights-

    US Sovereignty is explicitly protected in the treaty-

    Article 4.4: Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force for that State. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Convention pursuant to law, conventions, regulation or custom on the pretext that the present Convention does not recognize such rights or freedoms or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.

    Do you feel less capable than the ADA with this treaty? We will connect to discuss disability policy and broad, accessible infrastructures for mainstream access and individual safeties. There is no factual basis or credible political source that confirms this treaty does impede on US law. Rick Santorum is not a credible source, and I have seen that you endorse his message. Other fellow Republicans John McCain, Bob Dole and George W Bush do not.

    The treaty does recognizes the rights of children with disabilities to a child-first approach.

    Article 7.2: In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

    US law already recognizes the right of parents to guard and make medical, educational and cultural decisions for their child. This treaty explicitly states it will not impose on policies ALREADY established. We have the ADA- you have guardianship rights. But we need to hold corporate clinicians, eugenicists and dictators around the world accountable for a message we send!

    This is not erased by the treaty- but both the treaty and our words here: they challenge institutional ableism. As of now in America (and most of the world)- sighted, hearing, able-bodied and able-minded parents have the right to make choices that impose audist and ableist systems, viewpoints and identities onto their child- viewpoints that recognize the parents own perceptions of what ability should be, but may not recognize what the child needs to thrive. In Deaf education, only 11% of children are educated using ASL. More than half of all deaf children are educated using speech alone. These are deaf children. (See GAO, Scott- 2011).

    Although this is also an effect of clinical and institutional biases in information and prescribed treatments- its not mutually exclusive from the desire of parents to “normalize” their children or approach habilitation from an ableist perspective.

    Which brings me to the issue of ableism. Institutional ableism is composed of systems that standardize abilities as “normal”, “superior” and “more desirable” compared to abnormal, inferior and stigmatic. In your hypothetical situation above, you concluded that “in any common-sensical world, that person should probably no longer want the job… But there will be the ONE that will want to keep the job, even though they are blind”.

    What you suggest is common-sense, it may be common- but it is also ableism. In a common-sense world, the man would want to sit down and give up because he didn’t see. I don’t think that is sensible or productive. With accommodations- the Blind person would be able to do the job. If you want to focus on efficiency of services provided and direct, protected and holistic “treatment”- I’m down with that. Reframing our social systems to is the essence of the the ADA, this treaty, and the PWD movement.

    The United States is in firm independent/leadership stance within the United Nations. This treaty is largely symbolic, developed by the activism we have done HERE with media, technology and clinical services. It does include availability of Scandinavia sign language policy frameworks and important physical protection guidelines because many been hurt. Extremely hurt. I endorse the convention for discourse about ability. We have a lot to address in early intervention, education and social access. It is not entitlement to stand up for access and equality. We should be confident enough in our “sovereignty” to be the leaders we say we are.

    Thank you for reading. Be well. Bless the earth and our homes.

    • So, again, sorry for another short answer… I just got to my hotel, and after 20 hours of driving, I am too pooped for a long response. A question… If the UN has no “teeth” to enforce these treaties, and if you believe it, then why is this treaty important? They have teeth in many forms, including the same financial measures they’ve instituted against other countries not in compliance with treaties.

      Their main reason for existence is only to help provide a conduit to world peace, and nothing else. They are not a world governance body, and should not be allowed to make those strides. In this case, and many others, they’ve tried and continue to try… When they stopped being just an organization for world peace, that is when many Americans (and others) began thinking about the possibility of doing business without the UN in place… Not too many years ago, there were serious discussions in theUS about moving the UN facilities off American soil and removing all of our funding.

      Think for a second on how influential the UN would be without American support. Look at where the bulk of their financial support comes from… Some of that information is available online.

      Anyway, I need sleep… Interested in hearing any thoughts on what I just said.

    • I love the way at the beginning he says, “only reporting”, as if CNN and especially his own reporting is NOT biased… It is… The setup makes him as hypocritical as anyone he has pointed his finger at.

  7. I don’t think it’s helping anyone to make this treaty a platform for deconstructing and resisting the UN.

    That being said- let’s look at “peace”. Peace is not only the absence of war- it is the existence of a just society. Violence is not only physical, it is also emotional and structural. Constructions of racism, sexism, ableism and economic inequality are not peace.

    Deaf and disabled people around the world have been and continue to be victims of crippling forms of physical and structural violence. In the holocaust, they were systematically sterilized, experimented on and mass executed. Although millions were killed, and they were the first to be killed-there has been no global recognition of the rights of PWD since then. And several of these forms of violence continue worldwide- including sterilization and euthanasia. There are also legal sanctions on marriage, property and mobility rights.

    So again- the statement of the CRPD must be made and standards of human rights for PWD must be set. The point about US power is that we either put our support behind it or we don’t. There’s nothing the UN can do to us about it- even if we chose to ignore it and be oppressive toward PWD. The UN doesn’t have control over the US- even when the US should be held accountable for wrongdoings. The issue with this treaty isn’t UN relations- it’s human rights for PWD.

    • Here I think we are finally coming to a mutual understanding of our difference in opinion. You feel other nations, possibly by some form of majority, should be able to set a standard and see it enforced in other countries. This is where I disagree. I just re-read the UN Charter Preamble to make sure that you (and you are) are on track with what the UN believes. You are exactly right… http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/preamble.shtml

      Whether it is a majority of minority of citizens in the United States that also support this, I am not knowledgable enough to tell. But, I believe the majority probably do support that view…

      As for me, it sounds trite but, “give me liberty or give me death”. Our own constitution establishes human rights within our boundries. The ADA was not necessary, but it brought attention to the needs of folks with disabilities, and made a change in our society through awareness… Laws aleady existed establishing equality, but were not used properly. Same is true of gay rights, and the rights of other “special interest” groups. In my opinion, for instance, there is no such thing as a “hate crime”. All crimes, especially the ones involving violence, are crimes of hate. So that law was also unecessary.

      Returning to the UN… My country exists because of a group of people that want to establish a place of OUR beliefs. Belief in FREEDOM is our chief basis for law. However, realizing that some order is required for any society to survive, we have some small restrictions placed on that freedom from our constitution. That is the ONLY restriction there should be in THIS country. The UN should focus solely on international issues, as it states in preamble, but the preamble is “grey” enough (my ableism showing thru again?) that they believe they can meddle in internal affairs of countries.

      Are you old enough to remember the riots in CA after the Rodney King affair? I use this analogy often when discussing “sovereignty” and our own abuse of other countries in “police actions”. Imagine during the Rodney King riots of CA, which spread to other major cities in the United States, if the Russians and Chinese decided to become involved.

      First, they might petition the UN to say, “Look at the human rights abuses going on in the US” (parallel discussion with today’s Syrian holocaust.)… The next thing would be them arriving in huge numbers at our American runways, and possibly parachuting troops into the heart of Fresno and Sacramento… Or even Chicago and Dallas… HOW WOULD AMERICANS REACT? Would we simply thorw our troops along side theirs and march into LA, and other towns, to establish a military police presence?

      Certainly we would not… In fact, our forces would more likely be used against those “invaders”. Why? Because we have the inate natural sovereignty from being a nation state. We would not accept such an invasion… The same way Yugoslavia did not accept it… Iraq did not accept it… and others of recent note.

      If the outside forces are not requested by the national government, then none should be present. So, then, why should we accept an outside voice in our law making? Do these usurpers of power know our people better than we do? Would you be as accepting of their nonsensical involvement if they, with best of intentions, said that all PWD (I hate that term) should be neutered to eliminate specific genes from the human genome? No, of course they would never do that… Had they existed 200 years ago, with that level of scientific data, they might have… So why are they any better today?

      I do NOT accept the government of any governmental organization outside of our own constitutionally approved government. I WILL NOT ever accept them or their judgement on anything… I never have. I actually got into a bit of trouble during my time in the military because I would not follow the orders of NATO officers until I had their “appointment over me” written in the form of a lawful order. I was legally right and no one could do anything otherwise.

      I will agree to support any treaty that my government signs, as long as it does not violate any other law within our country. The powers of our government, contrary to the opinion of many, originate ONLY with the majority. If the majority does not support something, then there is no way for it to be law here. For the time being, the majority does not support CRPD. It is my most fervent wish that it never becomes law here…

      That being said, I have seen nothing yet from your side of the argument that shows this is not an impingement on sovereignty. You point about Article 4 (a few comments before) is invalidated by the Charter of the UN to begin with… So, sovereignty was only one point that I brought up as a negative. Have you thought about the others?

  8. Ok- before I choose to continue in this discourse about government or not- are you aware that its not cool for you to say that you hate a name that PWD chose for themselves? And there are problems with how you bring up race riots, muslim culture, hate crimes and eugenics?

    • Was there a vote of all PWDs that I missed somewhere? My children were not asked what they wanted to be labeled. There was a time not long ago when PWDs didn’t like being labeled at all. If I am wrong and there was some form of election that allowed PWDs to become known as PWDs, then please let me know. I don’t mind the phrase, “people with disabilities”, as much as I take exception to the acronyming of a group of people. Cool or not is also not a concern to me… I am not a PC oriented person. Truthful common dialog cannot be had if everyone is worried about being judged on every term. Instead, should I be concerned that you cannot conceive of my message because you cannot get thru a language barrier?

      What problems do you have with the “way” I brought up race riots? What “way” did I bother you on bringing up muslim culture? Hate crimes? Eugenics? If we all get offended at every little word, then no one will take the time to communicate. As you said, “before I choose to continue” implies that you are willing to shut down conversation because you are somehow offended without explaining the offense. That’s almost as offensive as saying, “I won’t talk to you because you are an idiot.” Oh sorry… That would imply that I am a PWD…

      That being said, something I have never told you (or anyone on this blog), I fall under the “protections” of the ADA within this country. I have more than a single “disability”… However, I do not let it define me. I do not let every little bad thought thrown at me offend me. I also qualify for significant compensation from the American government as a “disabled veteran”, and yet I have never applied for that compensation. I would rather allow someone that really needs that money to get it… I am able to work, able to socialize, and able to live my life on MY terms. If this is what you mean when you say I suffer from “ableism”, then so be it. However, I would venture to say you are more able than me…

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