Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The U.S. Senate rejects the UN Convention on Disability Rights

"We have not affirmed our “sovereignty” by rejecting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have, in fact, lost yet another opportunity to affirm our basic humanity."

Janet C. Phelan
Activist Post

The U.S. Senate yesterday rejected the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Although a majority voted in favor of ratification of this treaty, the vote fell short of the two thirds necessary.

The vote -- 61 to 38 -- divided closely on party lines, with Republicans calling the vote a victory for national sovereignty and parental rights.

Many Dems, including John Kerry, disagreed, however.

"It really isn't controversial," Kerry said. "What this treaty says is very simple. It just says that you can't discriminate against the disabled. It says that other countries have to do what we did 22 years ago when we set the example for the world and passed the Americans with Disabilities Act."

While many were calling this a defeat for the internationalists and the NWO, I must question if this may be a knee-jerk response to a more complex situation.

The fact is that the U.S. has launched a covert war against its elderly and disabled. The battlefield is convening every weekday in guardianship courts across the country, where demographic targeting of some of our most vulnerable citizens is happening on a regular basis.

Guardianships are generally initiated through court proceedings when there are allegations that an individual lacks competency. Upon the initiation of a guardianship (some states call these conservatorships) a person loses most of his rights and all access to his property and resources, and may therefore not even be able to hire an attorney to defend against the guardianship. Guardianships are often launched on little more than allegations and often no medical capacity declaration is even filed.


The treaty which the Senate rejected yesterday is, in fact, modeled upon the Americans with Disabilities Act. What the treaty provides (which the U.S. law does not) is a mechanism to draw international attention to violations of the Act. By rejecting the treaty, the Senate has de facto mitigated the venues to petition for redress for those suffering the grave revocation of rights which is taking place every single day now in guardianship court.

Back in 2010, the United States submitted, for the first time, to international scrutiny of its human rights record. A number of organizations submitted papers critical of the U.S.'s dispensation of the rights of those with disabilities and the summary report stated concern that the disabled were not experiencing fully vested rights in America.

In response to these criticisms, the United States promised that we would ratify this treaty. While those fearful of surrendering our sovereignty to international oversight are toasting the results of the vote, I can not find anything to celebrate here. Having participated in one UN Convention and submitted a paper to a second, I am hardly naive about either the process or some of the impetus behind international convenings. My experiences have left me with the strong impression that there is a lot of posturing and often not enough substance in the big rooms in Geneva. I am also aware that voices of dissent are often smothered.

However, as a journalist who maintains a focus on elder and disability issues, I find the vote redolent of what is the worst about America today. We have become a country that honors the almighty buck; and those who are not engaged in the daily grind of the market state are being terribly hurt, not only through the specter of guardianship but also by the economic hardships imposed by those who only worship the dollar sign.`

We have not affirmed our “sovereignty” by rejecting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have, in fact, lost yet another opportunity to affirm our basic humanity and to show the world that America is not an imperial (and imperious) brute, lacking regard for its vulnerable elders and those afflicted with a disability.

The message we have sent out by this vote is clear:

We will not honor the rights of these people. We do not honor our own legislation through the ADA and we are not going to grant the international community a mechanism to do a damn thing about it.

Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Bernardino County Sentinel, The Santa Monica Daily Press, The Long Beach Press Telegram, Oui Magazine and other regional and national publications. Janet specializes in issues pertaining to legal corruption and addresses the heated subject of adult conservatorship, revealing shocking information about the relationships between courts and shady financial consultants. She also covers issues relating to international bioweapons treaties. Her poetry has been published in Gambit, Libera, Applezaba Review, Nausea One and other magazines. Her first book, The Hitler Poems, was published in 2005. She currently resides abroad.  You may browse through her articles (and poetry) at janetphelan.com


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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with you. The UNCRPD would have subjected US citizens to the will of the UN trumping state laws which already include most of the protections this treaty might have afforded.

The UNCRPD would have surrendered U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats, and threatened parental decision making for children with disabilities.

For example, Article 4(1)(e) remands that “every person, organization, or private enterprise” must eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. On its face, this means that every home owner would have to make their own home fully accessible to those with disabilities. If the UN wants to make exceptions, perhaps they could. But, on its face this is the meaning of the treaty.

Article 6(2) is a backdoor method of requiring the United States to comply with the general provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. This treaty enshrines abortion rights, homosexual rights, and demands the complete disarmament of all people.

Article 7(2) advances the identical standard for the control of children with disabilities as is contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that the government—acting under UN directives—gets to determine for all children with disabilities what the government thinks is best.

Additionally, under current American law, federal law requires public schools to offer special assistance to children with disabilities. However, no parent is required to accept such assistance. Under this section the government—and not the parent—would have the ultimate authority to determine if a child with special needs will be homeschooled, attend a private school, or be required to accept the program offered by the public school.

Article 15’s call for a ban on “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” is the exact same language used in the UN CRC which has been authoritatively interpreted to ban any spanking by parents. It should be noted that Article 15 is not limited to persons with disabilities. It says “no one shall be subjected to … inhuman or degrading treatment.” This means that spanking will be banned entirely in the United States.

Article 25 on Education does not repeat the parental rights rules of earlier human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. This is an important omission. Coupling this omission with the direct declaration of “the best interest of the child” standard in Article 7(2), this convention is nothing less than the complete eradication of parental rights for the education of children with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress to specifically protect disabled Americans. There wqs no need for the Senate to ratify the UNCRPD, as our nation’s state and federal laws already protect these precious citizens.

Anonymous said...

Most of what the UN does is crap.....but not all of it.

It is pretty simple really.

When the UN comes up with rules that hurt us people, the USA is 100% on board.

When the UN comes up with rules that help people, the American ruling cabal of Democrats and Republicans will reject it.

Americans rightly voted to legalize marijuana in several states. Que the UN, and American politicians roll over and use it as an excuse to reject the will of the people. But on a rare good UN rule, the American system fights back like a tiger, with cries of independence and not having our rights trampled.
Crazy disgusting lies like the one about "our nations state and federal laws protecting precious citizens".

The US government works together with the UN, the same way Dems and Repubs do, fake fights in public with quiet cooperation on backroom deals.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous 8:27am!

Janet Phelan said...

To Anonymous at 8:27 am. Our laws do not protect "these precious citizens." The situation is quite the opposite. I suggest you re read the article and then do some research. Look at the website of the National Asssociation to Stop Guardianship Abuse, look at Elderabuseexposed.com for starters. And kudos to Anonymous at 10:16. Looks like you´ve done your homework.

Anonymous said...

There are definitely issues to be overcome in US society. No one is saying there isn't. However, giving up our right of self-governance IS NOT the way to resolve these issues.

Local public awareness and involvement is the way to resolve these problems. What about the majority of parents/guardians who are not abusing their charges? This treaty would have hurt those families. Do you REALLY believe that the UN has the best interests of the disabled/children/elderly? I suggest you search this site for 'Agenda 21'....

Anonymous said...

Each home will be forced by UN troops to hand over all weapons, inluding kitchen knifes and baseball bats, and to install expensive electric stair climbers for the disabled. This is a plot to bankrupt the American family under the pretense of helping the disabled. Screw them! What did a disabled person ever do for me. If I want to help, I will, but this will put UN soldiers on every street stealing our guns, raping our women, and indoctrinating our children with the liberal lie that the disabled have rights. God bless America. We did't fall (ie the 1/3 who defeated the bill) for this NWO takeover of our nation. NOw, we are waiting for those NATO troops, under the small arms treaty, to come in, if the UN doesn't, door to door to take our guns. The goal is a world without weapons. Then only aliens will have weapons.

I plan to use my 2nd Amendment rights to fight back when the UN and NATO troops invade our neighborhoods. I would rather be dead than see those foreign soldiers marching down our streets with the blessings of Obama. Yeehaw!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:24 pm, applause. That was really funny, I snorted out of my nose. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"While those fearful of surrendering our sovereignty to international oversight are toasting the results of the vote, I can not find anything to celebrate here."

Really, Ms. Janet Phelan...? My gawd, dear! Are you ever missing the point! UN Law, in the US?

When, exactly, did we vote to abdicate our sovereignty to an uber-national power? I don't recall ever doing this, Ms. Phelan. And by the way, were I a crippled victim from...say, Haiti? The very last benefactor I'd ask for is the UN. (If you don't get the point, Google it: UN forces/Haiti, behavior thereof and therein. They're the most hated usurper/rapists those people have got.)

The UN has had its hands full conquering Haiti and other Third World nations. I wish them the best of luck enforcing their "international" will upon the United States of America, however. I don't mean our government, not the US...rather...I mean, us. The ones they'd face in the fields, farms, forests, hills and mountains of America. As well in the streets and alleys, rooftops and murky basements of the cities. Going house-to-house in the suburbs, facing bedroom drawer guns and grass-whips and golf clubs on unfamiliar ground when they least expect it, losing their weapons and ammo to Joe Sixpack and his irate wife.

Potentially "a rifle behind every blade of grass," I think a Japanese Admiral once warned his superiors (Google Yamamoto). And behind every chimney and gravestone, burnt-out vehicle and broken window or doorfront, every ditch and doorway. They wouldn't know where it was coming from next. Kids who grew up on violent movies and video games.

Along with nearly all Americans, Janet, I fully agree with Disability Rights (not that our supposed Leaders listen), but we don't get to vote on that sort of thing owing to OFUS (our fucked up system).

What's disturbing to me about your answer to the issue, Ms. Phelan, is any agreement with the notion that we need the United Nations to establish and enforce rational, ethical, and moral laws within our national borders. They (the UN) can't even fully suppress people whose families are thirsty and starving in the world's worst non-vacation locations. However much they are beaten down by the UN military.

All I can say is, Lord help the bastards if they're ever deployed here to so much as enforce littering laws. I hope they have their exit strategy pre-arranged and are ready to roll. We will not appreciate being turned suddenly into partisans within our own country but, trust me, the enemy will enjoy it far less.

Just guessing here: Enough people, not all, but enough US patriots, won't put up with an invasion by the same assholes who destroyed Haiti and any number of small African countries. There is a difference, of course...

We're not unarmed Third-Worlders. And the world's governments know, even if we are supposedly "officially disarmed," we're the last citizens you'd want to even dream of fucking with, even though the minds of so many of us have been turned to mush by drugs and TV, even though we've been infiltrated with so many non-citizens.

There are many of us left. How many, you'll have to guess. How many more we'll recruit, guess again. How many aren't on board but will snatch a kitchen-knife off a breadboard or an icepick from the freezer, guess yet again.

Bringing foreign troops into the United States is a losing proposition. George Washington demonstrated that when his army crossed the Potomac and our troops kicked the living crap out of the Hessians one fine holiday season.

Wasn't easy. But their descendents just might could do it again, they get pissed off.

Sharon Howarth said...

Wow-- Anonymous @ 6:24 pm-- while I recognize your 'patriotic' passion I must correct an error in your statement - "What did a disabled person ever do for me. If I want to help, I will..."

Ummmm- WHAT DID A DISABLED PERSON EVER DO FOR YOU? Well let's answer that question intelligently--

1. If you have had any dealings with any Social Security questions or issues with the SSA, you have been helped by a disabled employee,either in front of your face at your local office or behind-the-scenes, since the SSA is one of the highest percentage employers of individuals with various disabilities.

2. Have you ever mailed or received a package or product encased with bubble wrap? used zip-loc bags? worn Thinsulate gloves in winter? used styrofoam cups or plates at church or a fast food restaurant? used insulation products or velcro at your house? eaten or are currently hoarding freeze-dried foods? used a personal computer or laptop? surfed the internet?

The above innovative products I just outlined came out of the U.S. space program, namely NASA. You might be surprised to know that NASA is also a top employer of high-functioning autistic persons, also known as rocket-science engineers!

Because of brilliant, innovative, think-out-of-the-box development engineers, much of the space program's solutions for space flight have spun-off into consumer products, which have not only offered our western society many conveniences, they have also created a heck of a lot of jobs within our borders in the previous 50 years.

High-functioning autistics often have superior abilities to demonstrate super-logical brain function which leads them to careers in computers and IT-- you data-entered your somewhat ignorant and profoundly discriminatory and boorishly insensitive vitriole thanks to a number of disabled but highly-functional Asperger's/Autistic people.

By the way, anonymous: next time you use an automatic door at a store loaded down with packages, at the library loaded down with books (if you actually READ any), or the hospital Emergency Room as you wheel a sick or injured family member into the hospital for urgent or life-saving help, make sure to remember to breathe your 'thank-you' to the disabled people who contributed to that technology due to their needs and their innovations.

Sharon Howarth said...

Dear Ms. Phelan,

While I DO appreciate and respect your heavy-hitting investigative journalistic background, I am disappointed with your apparent refusal to even acknowledge the cogent points raised by constitutional and international public law expert, Dr. Michael Harris.

Harris' evidence, presented before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, clearly delineated his very REAL and CONCRETE concerns about certain legal *language* framed within the UN CRPD treaty that was put forth for a vote in the Senate.

I find it oddly revealing that to the last person (yourself now included in that growing list), not a single 'journalist' has given air-time or ink to the valid existence of Dr. Harris' studied concerns presented as evidence before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Repeatedly in the past 72 hours, instead of reporting the facts, I have witnessed journalists gravitating toward promoting emotional rhetoric relying solely on the echo-chamber of partisan sound bytes and video clips from Senator John Kerry, et al. Kerry incidentally, the chairman of that committee, was in absentia for much of the evidentiary proceedings on that July day!

I respect your passion for elder issues and disability rights and I affirm your valid concerns. I am a high-functioning autistic person in my mid-fifties and have already had some concerns referent to developing plans and legal representation for my upcoming future years.

However, I take exception to bad reporting, regardless of its lexical savvy. Just because you have an opinion and are a published writer, it should not allow you to eschew your journalistic balance and integrity solely to strengthen your premise.

Janet, I sincerely wish you well in your pursuit of justice for the disabled and disenfranchised elderly, but I also believe in fair play.

To get to home plate, one must touch ALL the bases to get the run, yes? I hope you will look at Dr. Harris' testimony and correct the inaccuracies or omissions in your piece here.

Best regards,
Sharon Howarth
sharonhowarthauthor.blogspot.com
sharonhowarthop-eds.blogspot.com

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