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How Unhinged Rhetoric From GOP Senators Sank a Disabilities Rights Treaty

John Birch Society-style craziness is now right wing mainstream
Wingnuts • Views: 21,896

You may have heard that Senate Republicans voted today to defeat a United Nations treaty to protect the rights of disabled people, but you may not have realized how completely insane some of the Republican arguments against this treaty were: How Unhinged Rhetoric Sank a Disabilities Rights Treaty in the Senate.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities failed to capture the 2/3 vote needed for ratification in the U.S. Senate today due to fierce Republican opposition. Many Republicans and their allies in the conservative movement claimed that the treaty codifies abortion into law, even though that preposterous claim was rejected by the National Right to Life Committee and Sen. John McCain. Along with the false charges about abortion, opponents of the treaty claimed it will undermine U.S. sovereignty and harm children. Critics like Rick Santorum warned that the treaty may kill his disabled daughter; Glenn Beck said it could create a “fascistic” government and Sen. Jim Inhofe alleged the treaty would help groups with “anti-American biases.”

One of the lesser-known but extremely active opponents of the bill was homeschooling activist Michael Farris.

During an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, he claimed that the treaty will prompt the United Nations to ‘get control’ of children with glasses or ADHD and remove them from their families.

Read the whole thing. It’s a sad snapshot of today’s deranged Republican Party.

Tuesday Night Jam: John Hiatt - We’re Alright Now

Music • Views: 19,928

This is the official lyric video for John Hiatt’s “We’re Alright Now,” from his great new album Mystic Pinball (now on sale at the Amazon MP3 Store for only $5.99).

This is one of John Hiatt’s best records in years, with a stellar band and some powerful stories, and I highly recommend it. Rock at its best.

More samples from the album:

Amazon Widget

Video: Jon Stewart’s Epic Rant on “The War on Christmas”

In two parts
Humor • Views: 21,809

Ted Nugent: If You’re on Welfare You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Vote

The Nuge likes to kill
Wingnuts • Views: 22,730

Today at the Washington Times, Ted Nugent has emerged again from his ammo bunker with one of his typically freakish rants. Years ago, Nugent’s wild man act used to be amusing, but now it’s devolved into pure right wing hateful ugliness as he advocates “slaughtering” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and prohibiting citizens on welfare from voting.

The three sacred entitlement cows in the room that no politician wants to poke are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A blinding statement of the obvious is that we are never going to get our financial house in order until these sacred entitlement cows are not only poked, but slaughtered. Until the slaughter is over, everything else is just taxation window dressing. …

Let’s also stop the insanity by suspending the right to vote of any American who is on welfare. Once they get off welfare and are self-sustaining, they get their right to vote restored. No American on welfare should have the right to vote for tax increases on those Americans who are working and paying taxes to support them. That’s insane.

Anti-Vaccination Insanity Goes Mainstream in Congress

Bi-partisan bad craziness
Politics • Views: 17,662

This time we can’t blame the craziness entirely on Republicans, although they’re the most enthusiastic promoters of this insanity: Congress Hearing on Vaccines Is a Farce of Dangerous Antivax Nonsense.

Also on the anti-science side in this ludicrous hearing: Dennis “UFOs are real” Kucinich (D-Ohio).

Virtually every claim made by antivaxxers is wrong. And this is a critically important issue; vaccines have literally saved hundreds of millions of lives. They save infants from potentially fatal but preventable diseases like pertussis and the flu.

So why did Congress hold hearings this week promoting crackpot antivax views?

I’m not exaggerating. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing trying to look into the cause and prevention of autism. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) launched into a several-minute diatribe (beginning at 12:58 in the video above) that starts off in an Orwellian statement: He claims he’s not antivax. Then he launches into a five-minute speech that promotes long-debunked and clearly incorrect antivax claims, targeting mercury for the most part. Burton has long been an advocate for quackery; for at least a decade he has used Congressional situations like this to promote antiscience.

In the latest hearing, Burton sounds like a crackpot conspiracy theorist, to be honest, saying he knows—better than thousands of scientists who have spent their careers investigating these topics—that thimerosal causes neurological disorders (including autism). He goes on for some time about mercury (as does Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) starting at 21:44 in the video), making it clear he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. For example, very few vaccines still use mercury, and the ones that do use it in tiny amounts and in a form that does not accumulate in the body.

Talking about the danger of mercury in vaccines is like talking about the danger of having hydrogen—an explosive element!—in water. It’s nonsense.

Republican Lunatics Vote Against Rights of Disabled People

Heartless bastards do it again
Politics • Views: 20,511

Following up on Rick Santorum’s new job at the conspiracy website World Net Daily, and his absolutely insane fear-mongering column about the UN treaty on the rights of the disabled, heartless Republican bastards in the Senate rejected the treaty today — even with Bob Dole making a special appearance in a wheelchair to support it: Republican Opposition Downs UN Disability Treaty.

WASHINGTON — Led by Republican opposition, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.

With 38 Republicans casting “no” votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty. The vote took place in an unusually solemn atmosphere, with senators sitting at their desks rather than milling around the podium. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, looking frail and in a wheelchair, was in the chamber to support the treaty.

The treaty, already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, states that nations should strive to assure that the disabled enjoy the same rights and fundamental freedoms as their fellow citizens. Republicans objected to taking up a treaty during the lame-duck session of the Congress and warned that the treaty could pose a threat to U.S. national sovereignty.

“I do not support the cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

Sen. Inhofe is absolutely wrong. No UN treaty can ever supersede the laws of the United States; the Supreme Court has ruled that the Supremacy Clause of the US Consitution specifically forbids it. This is pure right wing fear-mongering at its most evil, and it’s flat out disgusting.

UPDATE at 12/4/12 10:42:58 am
Also see

Amazon Deal of the Day

Synology NAS Enclosures
Technology • Views: 15,588

Synology: Electronics

Synology makes some of the best NAS enclosures on the market and Amazon has quite a selection of them. Here’s a description from the Synology website:

Synology DiskStations solve a variety of problems for everyone from the casual home user to a system administrator at a large company. Sharing files, backing up several computers at once, streaming media, and hosting websites are just a sample of what these powerful devices are capable of doing.

Synology DiskStations are designed to make your life easier. From automated backup and remote access, interacting with your data has never been this simple.

Synology has a wide range of storage solutions for every budget. Synology DiskStations vary by number of bays, or the number of hard drives the model accepts, and the performance capabilities.

Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS411slim

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 Frank says:

There were 45 men in the jail cell, the toilet and shower had never been cleaned, the temperature was 110 degrees so you couldn't sleep night or day, there were roaches in the oatmeal, sadistic guards, and everything that was nice. -- Zappa 1969 interview. This had happened during the days of Studio Z in Cucamonga (1963). Frank was released on bail (his father took out a bank loan to pay for it). Frank had been busted for "conspiracy to commit pornography," after making a silly recording of suggestive sexual sounds (giggling edited out) for someone who had asked him to provide a "special" tape recording for a stag night. That someone turned out to be Detective Willis of the San Bernadino Vice Squad. Their conversation was recorded by a hidden microphone and this was used as evidence at Zappa's trial.