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      12-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
xbook
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UN Disability Treaty Ratification Vote

Yesterday a vote was held in the Senate to ratify a treaty with the United Nations that closely resembles our American with Disabilities Act. The vote failed with a final outcome of 61 to 38. While former Senator Bob Dole sat in his wheelchair watching the debate and vote, 38 republican senators voted no to ratify a treaty that would help other parts of the world to bring themselves to our standards of treating individuals with disabilities.

I have read a number of the dissenting opinions. They range from "We are afraid this treaty will limit our abilities to home school our children" to "Anti-American biases will infringe upon American society".

Even though this treaty is based on our own ADA, we will not be joining the other 126 nations that have ratified this treaty. Poorly done republicans.

Senate Fails to Ratify UN Treaty
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      12-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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"“I and many of my constituents who home-school or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said, also speaking from the floor."

Okay, I might not be the smartest bloke you'll find, but am I missing something here? What the fudge does a UN disability treaty have to do with infringing on the rights of those who home-school their children?

Those sneaky Swiss, trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Shame on them. We're not as think as they dumb we are.

I live with MS and I have my good days and bad ones too, so affording me the same protections that an able-bodied person has is somehow an affront to home-schooled children? Seriously? I know I am generalizing with that last bit, but come on...
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      12-06-2012, 02:50 PM   #3
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Sorry in advance for my ignorance on this subject; does failing to ratify a UN treaty thus undo the Americans with Disabilities Act or something ?

If that is still in place, and the UN initiative was based on it, (with some major overlap I would guess?), then I dont understand how voting yes or no on this would actually change the lives of anyone who already lives within the jurisdiction of the ADA.

If you dont live within the jurisdiction of the ADA, then once again I would guess that the presence (or absence) of American ratification of this treaty probably wont affect how it would be implemented in your own country anyways?

There must be something more to this... ??
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      12-06-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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Al,

It in no way changes the jurisdiction of the ADA, it (the UN treaty) was roughly based on the ADA. It just boggles my mind as to why anyone would vote no.
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      12-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox128i View Post
Al,

It in no way changes the jurisdiction of the ADA, it (the UN treaty) was roughly based on the ADA. It just boggles my mind as to why anyone would vote no.
Well, I'd agree that it seems odd to vote against something that closely matches the existing ADA. Perhaps for me, the bigger question is why spend the time to conduct the vote at all (at least in the US senate; I can understand why other jurisdictions who have no ADA-equivalent should spend cycles on this as it may affect them).

If the US senate voting yes makes the same difference as voting no, which seems to be the case as far as I can tell (ie: no difference at all), why are they going thru the motions in the first place? It's not like they dont have bigger fish to fry, and it apparently doesnt affect how other countries choose to implement this initiative on their own soil anyways ?

That's why I'm confused.
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      12-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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Al,

This treaty is meant to bring our standards for the disabled to other countries. It isn't supposed to do anything to our own laws. It's about making the world an easier place to live for people with disabilities. The vote was for the US to agree to this treaty, basically put our stamp of approval on it. Shows us to be a bit ridiculous to not ratify a treaty that is largely based on our own laws.

President Bush supported this treaty, as did Senator John McCain. Why would senate republicans vote no on this? I really have no idea why they would choose not to ratify this, other than their need to go against anything the democrats do.
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      12-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xbook View Post
Al,

This treaty is meant to bring our standards for the disabled to other countries. It isn't supposed to do anything to our own laws. It's about making the world an easier place to live for people with disabilities. The vote was for the US to agree to this treaty, basically put our stamp of approval on it.
That's pretty much it in a nutshell, thanks.
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      12-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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A large amount of the ADA code is stupid. They probably don't want to push the bureaucracy on the rest of the world.
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      12-07-2012, 04:18 AM   #9
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C'mon, what possible good does any international agreement brokered by the UN do? It doesn't help us, it won't mandate change in the second and third world, there's no real sustaining money attached, nothing comes of it. There is no rational reason to tie ourselves to the UN. If you think our presence in and endorsement of an agreement makes any difference I believe you may want to think again. We only get our options limited by dalliance with the UN.
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      12-07-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldArmy View Post
C'mon, what possible good does any international agreement brokered by the UN do? It doesn't help us, it won't mandate change in the second and third world, there's no real sustaining money attached, nothing comes of it. There is no rational reason to tie ourselves to the UN. If you think our presence in and endorsement of an agreement makes any difference I believe you may want to think again. We only get our options limited by dalliance with the UN.
You do have a valid point. With that said though, it is a slap in the face to disabled individuals like myself when Republicans in the Senate vote against it. It makes it look as if they don't care about individuals with disabilities. Especially when folks like Senator Lee use such a stupid argument to vote against it. It's a perception issue, really.

Again, it will probably not change a thing, but it sure makes the Repubs in the Senate look like idiots. It also plays right into the hands of those on the left who already say they are a bunch of unsympathetic elitists. Way to go Repubs, you just helped the left prove their point.

They are free to vote against it, but they could have done themselves a huge favor by solidifying around a more logical and palatable reason for voting nay. Instead, dribble like what came from Senator Lee makes perfect ammunition for the opposition to use against them by way of media sound bites.
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Last edited by Fox128i; 12-07-2012 at 08:58 AM.
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      12-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Plutonium View Post
The GOP needs to hire a different PR firm.
Precisely, mate.
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      12-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #12
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The senator may (incorrectly?) beleive that we would be passing control from the US to the UN, based in Geneva.

Then if someone in the UN makes a determination (say, that home-school building have to have t-bars and ramps or the disabled kid can't be home-schooled, even if he is visually imparied and doesn't need a ramp) the senator has no recourse within the US senate to amend that ruling.

Basically, he's losing control and doesn't like it. . .

P.S. I vote non-partisan.
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      12-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
The senator may (incorrectly?) beleive that we would be passing control from the US to the UN, based in Geneva.

Then if someone in the UN makes a determination (say, that home-school building have to have t-bars and ramps or the disabled kid can't be home-schooled, even if he is visually imparied and doesn't need a ramp) the senator has no recourse within the US senate to amend that ruling.
Based on the admittedly odd comments made by the senators to explain why they voted no, this explanation above sounds the most likely to me. They thought that by signing it, they are superseding ADA legislation in favor of the UN control, and all the valid issues brought up above.

I know it refutes the tired old left-wing narrative that all Republicans are evil and mean-spirited, but it sounds to me like it's a case of ignorance, not hatred. Obviously still not good, but at least ignorance can be fixed more easily than a cruel streak can.

I still stand by my original idea that if it really makes no difference, why waste the time to vote on it at all. If the UN wants to copy the good bits of the ADA, then I'd hope politicans of all stripes who were involved with the creation of the ADA would make time to meet with them and help them build an even better, "ADA 2.0", to help the disabled elsewhere, but why go thru the motions of voting on it.
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      12-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Plutonium View Post
So basically the republicans that voted 'no' are just stupid. That I believe.
If you are going to insult someone, at least take the effort to do it properly.

Their response definitely means they are ignorant, but it may or may not mean they are stupid. That's a distinction with a difference. You can't fix stupid, but you can fix ignorance.

Someone like Stephen Hawking could hardly be called "stupid", but he is probably "ignorant" when it comes to a particular subject matter like, US college football rankings.
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      12-07-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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But since SH is so smart, nobody would really be expecting him to have a clue about football. I would still hope that those who were elected to these lofty positions should have half a freaking clue.

OK, I've said it before, I can still DREAM.
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      12-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
I would still hope that those who were elected to these lofty positions should have half a freaking clue.

OK, I've said it before, I can still DREAM.
I would humbly suggest that the very fact that SH is so damn smart, is what prevents him and others in his league from seeking public office in first place.

Still, keep the dream alive ! Someone has to....
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      12-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl View Post
I know it refutes the tired old left-wing narrative that all Republicans are evil and mean-spirited, but it sounds to me like it's a case of ignorance, not hatred.
I completely agree. Unfortunately for us, both parties are guilty of mass ignorance on a regular basis. It's an open mouth, insert foot epidemic.
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      12-07-2012, 08:35 PM   #18
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I'm assuming that everyone who has an opinion on weather or not the treaty should be signed has read and fully understands the treaty. Is that correct?
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      12-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MP0WER View Post
I'm assuming that everyone who has an opinion on weather or not the treaty should be signed has read and fully understands the treaty. Is that correct?
I have not read the entire text of the treaty, no. Have you?
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      12-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I have not read the entire text of the treaty, no. Have you?
No. That's why i don't have an opinion on the treaty and why i can't pass judgment on anyone who chose to or not to sign it.
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      12-07-2012, 09:00 PM   #21
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No. That's why i don't have an opinion on the treaty and why i can't pass judgment on anyone who chose to or not to sign it.
Do you feel that way about each piece of legislation brought before the senate or house?
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      12-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Do you feel that way about each piece of legislation brought before the senate or house?
To some degree, yes. It's unfortunate that the people who are most affected by these laws know the least about them. In theory the system should work by the people voting in representatives who will in turn vote to the interests of those they represent. But the reality is that big business, voting constituents, inner house or senate deals, etc... largely control the voting of those who represent the people. As time passes i'm finding it more difficult to trust that the federal government has my best interest at heart.

I try to stay optimistic though.
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