Evangelicals vs. Persons With Disabilities: The real dangers of fighting against imaginary monsters

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990, and he remains deservedly proud of having done so.

That American law came to be seen internationally as a model for other countries, and Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, helped to negotiate a treaty formally encouraging other nations to adopt for themselves the standards and reforms that Americans enshrined in the ADA.

Jesus isn’t fooled by this crafty ruse. He knows this is just a ploy to promote legal abortion and the Antichrist’s one-world government.

President Barack Obama signed the treaty — the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities — in 2009. The treaty has already been ratified by 126 countries. And, finally this week, the U.S. Senate voted on its ratification.

The treaty had the support of organizations that represent the disabled, veterans and business. It had the support of every living president from either party, and was endorsed by former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who sat in a wheelchair in the Capitol this week to rally his party and his former colleagues in support of the treaty.

And then the Senate voted against the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.

Treaties must be ratified with a two-thirds majority in the Senate, but 38 Republican senators voted against ratifying this convention.

Because of abortion and because of the Antichrist.

Did this treaty have anything at all to do with abortion or the Antichrist? No. Nothing at all to do with either of those, but American evangelicals aren’t going to let a little thing like reality get in the way of some oh-so-enjoyable self-righteous masturbation.

So evangelical Christians led the fight against this treaty. They lobbied against it, helped prevent its ratification, and then celebrated their triumph against abortion and the Antichrist even though in reality it was actually a “triumph” against the rights of persons with disabilities all over the world.

Tim Fernholz tries to explain the inexplicable in a report titled, “Why the US just rejected a treaty based on its own laws“:

Here’s a lesson in America’s weird political institutions: How Christian conservatives led the Republican party to reject a treaty that endorsed existing American law.

The US Senate voted today on ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People 61-38, but the majority fell short of the 66 votes needed for ratification. The 38 votes against came from Republican senators, most of whom signed a letter promising not to support the bill. The letter was organized by Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who said the treaty threatened US sovereignty and could force the parents of disabled children to send them to public schools. It drew the support of home-schoolers who also fretted that the treaty was, among other things, a sly way to force America to adopt laws enshrining “abortion rights, homosexual rights, and demands the complete disarmament of all people.”

… The UN treaty is based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted 22 years ago, and if it were ratified, no US laws would have to change. It was negotiated by the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, and is supported by prominent conservatives like Senator John McCain and former Senate majority leader Bob Dole (both of whom, thanks to war wounds, are Americans with disabilities). The US Chamber of Commerce supported the treaty, since it would help level the international playing field for American companies who already comply with the act, and potentially open foreign markets to US disabilities technology.

That’s a symbolic slap in the face to the 19 million Americans with disabilities, and an insult to all who love them.

The Republican senators’ weird rejection of this treaty won’t have much tangible effect on anyone here in the U.S., since the ADA is already the law of the land here. But this refusal to support the rights of the disabled internationally will tangibly harm people in other countries where such reforms and legal protections remain a distant dream.

This vote also harms America’s leadership, influence and reputation in the world. It makes America look ignorant, petty and spiteful. It makes us look that way because 38 Republican senators caused America to be ignorant, petty and spiteful.

And this ugly, harmful stupidity is all based on fantasy — based on nothing more than evangelicals’ preoccupation with pretending that they’re waging a heroic battle against Satanic baby-killer abortionists and against the one-world government of the Antichrist.

These monsters do not exist. But evangelicals’ fantasy role-playing battles against their favorite imaginary monsters has, once again, led them to behave monstrously.

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Postcards from the culture war (12.1.16)
Concordance-ism backfires for anti-gay preacher
And many times confused
White evangelicals cannot allow themselves to understand miscarriage
  • histrogeek

    One particularly nasty piece of irony was the denunciations of clauses relating to “reproductive freedom.” Naturally the tinfoil hat crowd saw mandatory abortion and euthanasia (Ricky Box Turtle made some weird weeping fear mongering on that). Yet those clauses were clearer meant to do the opposite of what they were alleged to be. They were meant to protect disabled people from mandatory sterilizations and other macabre practices, which were  practiced in some western countries even into the 1970s.
    So in stopping imaginary monsters of mandatory abortions in the United States conducted by the minions of Ban Ki Moon, they are potentially allowing men and women with disabilities in other countries to be sterilized or otherwise have their reproductive rights suppressed. Nice job assholes. 

  • Magic_Cracker

    These are some evil ass motherfuckers. This is some serious Bond villain/comic-book villain evil-for-evil’s-sake bullshit.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Okay, now that I have that out of my system:

    I would like the news media to start using the phrase “…was blocked by members who believe that [the treaty, the legislation, the policy, etc.] is the first step toward a U.N. takeover of the United States…” every time some perfectly good treaty or piece of legislation or policy is defeated for these bullshit reasons. It would be both fair and accurate (then wingnuts themselves cite this as their reason) and with time and repetition*, it would show the madness to their method.

    *Not everybody supports all treaties all the time, but everybody supports some treaties some of the time.

  • Tricksterson

    I don’t know, with the possible exception of the guy in Moonraker I can’t come up with a Bond villain operating at this level of crazy.  Evil yes, but more connected with reality.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I see your point, but I have to wonder about Blofeld. While individually, his various plots and capers were connected to reality (give me money or I blow you up), one can argue that his overall strategy of repeatedly and intentionally fucking with the two most powerful countries in the world for fun and marginal profit isn’t quite logically sound.

  • Emcee, cubed

    I wondered if it was a sign of progress that I didn’t hear anything about Glenn Beck’s newest anti-UN “thriller” being published until I saw it on the New Releases shelf at Barnes & Noble last week. Really, one would think that after his last attempt got universally panned, he wouldn’t have tried again, but I guess there’s just no teaching some people…

    But apparently not, as this vote proves pretty clearly.

  • Carstonio

    Jon Stewart points out that the folks warning of the treaty threatening freedom are the same ones who dismiss it as having no enforcement power. What color is the sky in their world?

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

     “Blue! No, gre….AHHHHHH!”

  • Tricksterson

    Plaid.

  • The_L1985

     Everyone knows the sky is clear.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Every who really knows knows there is no sky.

  • vsm

    This vote also harms America’s leadership, influence and reputation in
    the world. It makes America look ignorant, petty and spiteful.

    Actually, we mostly just shrug  and think it’s business as usual.

  • Carstonio

    That’s actually worse, that the GOP’s new heights (or depths) of naked cruelty fail to shock people overseas. Someone like Paul Ryan could openly call for turning seniors into Soylent Green and folks in Buenos Aires or Kinshasha might just roll their eyes.

  • DCFem

    Let’s see, republicans have managed to alienate African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, gay people, young women, Muslims (and all other non-evangelicals), and the poor. So they must have realized that people with disabilities were the only group left who they hadn’t harmed with their scorched earth policies. This gang of idiots is going to knock the bottom out of hell when they get there.

  • Lliira

    So they must have realized that people with disabilities were the only
    group left who they hadn’t harmed with their scorched earth policies.

    No. Teapublicans (that started as a typo and I’m leaving it) have been hurting people with disabilities for many, many decades. They’re the ones who have been making sure we can’t get the medical care that would improve our lives (and even allow many of us to be not-disabled); they’re the ones who make us jump through ridiculous bureaucratic hoops that would be well-nigh impossible to navigate even if we weren’t disabled; they’re the ones who say if we can work one hour a week from home, we’re not “really” disabled, so we get nothing.

    Rich, ignorant, entitled assholes always hate disabled people. They hated us millennia before Jesus was born, and they’ll hate us until the human race dies out. As Jane Austen wrote in Sense and Sensibility, that type of person always hates those they’ve wronged in the past, and continue to wrong them as much as they possibly can. Stomping on the head of someone who’s tripped, and then claiming the person who tripped deserved it, comes naturally to a lot of people The only hope is to wrest power away from rich, ignorant, entitled assholes.

    People with disabilities are the bottom rung of society — usually poor and unable to be anything else. Told, repeatedly, that we deserve it. Spending all our money on health care, unable to either make or save anything. The media likes those stories of people triumphing over disability and succeeding in spite of it and blah blah feel-good don’t worry turn away. Those stories have become the common narrative about disabled people, and are used to club those of us who can’t do it over the head. They’re also a convenient ruse for the bullies, and a convenient excuse for everyone else to turn away.     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Don’t forget that they’re the people who say if a person with a disability can do half as much work in an hour as a TAB person, they should get paid half as much per hour, and to hell with the minimum wage.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Don’t forget that they’re the people who say if a person with a
    disability can do half as much work in an hour as a TAB person, they
    should get paid half as much per hour, and to hell with the minimum
    wage.

    What’s weird is how anti-capitalist that is. I mean, any good capitalist should know that the answer to “If they can only do half as much work, how much should they get paid?” is “exactly the intersection of how much the person is willing to take and how muchthe employer is willing to pay.”

    I mean, if you really believed that, how in the universe would you justify CEO pay?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    BUT BUT BUT

    CEOS ARE  LIKE VALUABLE, LIKE RARE CHINA YOU KNOW.

    (That said, the way some of these assholes drive their companies into the ground it seems the only real skills a CEO ever needs are: first, the right set of friends, and second, an ass to warm a chair with.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, but we’ve got so much cultural bullshit to the effect of someone with a disability is less [insert any of a fuckton of words] than someone without, and also so much cultural bullshit to the effect of ‘take what you can get, poor person, you’re easily replaced by someone who’s as good or better for as much compensation or less’, that that probably is exactly where that intersection falls.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Let’s see, republicans have managed to alienate African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, gay people, young women, Muslims (and all other non-evangelicals), and the poor. So they must have realized that people with disabilities were the only group left who they hadn’t harmed with their scorched earth policies.

    Except that people with disabilities are disproportionately poor and female, aside from belonging to all the other groups named in equal measure. But it’s important to recognise that if you do something to hurt poor people, you are ipso facto hurting people with disabilities.

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Jesus wept.

  • David Peterson

    Not really sure why you think it is monstrous to not sign a treaty that says that we will continue to do what we already do. There can be consequences for even good deeds. 

    I’m interested in architecture, particularly in buildings designed to last and building styles that lend themselves well to having walk-able neighborhoods (having walk-able neighborhoods can greatly affect affordability considering the high cost of car ownership). I’m my reading, I’ve seen multiple times architects hindered in being able to build affordable buildings by the requirements of the American’s with Disabilities Act. Buildings over a certain size, height, number of occupants, number of adjacent walls (shared walls between apartments/houses) have requirements and restrictions placed on them. They can require expensive elevators in cases of a two or three story downtown style building or require other modifications which make a project which was designed to be affordable illegal to actually build because it would not be accessible. Building styles that have been built for centuries are now illegal to build without redesigns that make them unaffordable. …so some laws meant to help the disabled in turn hurt the poor. Its a choice that one day we may want to change our minds about, but if we tie our hands with international treaties then it will be a harder change to make if at some point we do decide to make these changes. Also, our wealth currently affords us with the option to accommodate the disabled, but as with the tale of the prodigal son we as a nation have been spending our inheritance freely and with little regard to our long term future. 

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     …so some laws meant to help the disabled in turn hurt the poor.

    You speak as if these are mutually exclusive groups of people.

  • David Peterson

     …so some laws meant to help the disabled in turn hurt the poor who are not disabled.  Does this satisfy your need for precision? 

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     It’s not a need for precision.  You were trying to paint a situation which inherently pits the needs of two disenfranchised groups of people as competing in a zero sum game.  I’m simply pointing out that painting the situation as such ignores the fact that the groups are not necessarily two distinct groups.  I would expand on the point by noting that I find the whole idea of pitting disenfranchised people and their needs against each other rather reprehensible and a common tactic used by those with relative privilege compared to those groups in order to maintain the status quo.

    So no, I think the solution here is to find a way to keep housing affordable for all people while still accommodating those people with disabilities.  Not decided which disenfranchised groups of people we’re willing to toss by the wayside.

  • hidden_urchin

    Yes, but won’t someone please think of the poor architects?  I mean, with additional design parameters, they might actually have to resort to creative problem solving.  Oh, the horrors!
    .
    ..

    Design constraints drive innovation and the great architects and engineers are the ones who take advantage of this fertile ground instead of crying over the difficulty of the task they’ve been set. 

    ETA: I’m not really replying directly to what you wrote here, JarredH. (I agreed with everything in your post.) I was just springboarding off your comment.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Mr. Peterson also doesn’t seem to understand the difference between law (ADA) and regulations used to implement the law. Specific requirements are generally in the regulations, not the law. Regulations can change if they “don’t make sense” given the law’s intent. Laws can be changed as well.

    I have also heard architects bellyache when their designs won’t work IRL. That is not the same as having a requirement that doesn’t “make sense”.

  • David Peterson

    True what makes sense is not necessarily what works. For some reason, people all over the world build towns that don’t make sense by current standards and that wouldn’t work or be legal to build today (see attach image for example, definitely not ADA compliant). 

  • Madhabmatics

    Yo in some places people also poop in an outhouse but that doesn’t mean that getting rid of indoor plumbing is a grand idea

  • David Peterson

    I wasn’t suggesting either. 

  • Darkrose

    I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’re arguing in good faith, but I really don’t understand why you keep referencing beautiful but non-ADA compliant towns. The treaty doesn’t say that Venice has to be completely redesigned to meet modern ADA standards, any more than they’ve razed Boston or San Francisco and rebuilt it because of the ADA. It says, essentially, “Hey guys, the US is really good about working things so that disabled people have the same access to public life as the non-disabled. Everyone should try to do that.” It’s recognizing that the way people think about the disabled has changed, and suggesting that we should keep that in mind. I just don’t get the idea that this is somehow a bad thing.

  • Persia

    Yeah, it speaks to the bit above about Americans being able to export technology if more of the world adopts the treaty’s guidelines.

  • Darkrose

    The push to “accomodate the disabled”, as you put it, is going to be increasing as the population ages. You can argue that most humans are only temporarily abled, and that if you live long enough, odds are that you’ll be the one needing “accomodation”. It’s not “oh, we’re doing you poor crippled people a favor as you seem to be implying.”

  • David Peterson

    It more of, we are so astonishingly wealthy that we can finally take care of this problem, but that wealth won’t last forever. As one of my favorite authors says 5% of the worlds population (the U.S.A. in case you were wondering) uses 1/4th of the worlds energy and 1/3rd of the worlds industrial products, its not that the rest of the world wouldn’t like to use the these as well it has more to do with that we have military bases in 140 counties around the world that enforces trade that favors the US. One day the US empire will end, just as the other world empires have ended (Spain, France, British Empire) and we will have to once again learn to live within our means. We will get through some way or another but some things will have to go (not necessarily ADA but possibly ADA along with hundreds of other things we would rather like to have) and we will make those choices or reality will make those choices for us. 

  • Madhabmatics

     Yessss, it is people in wheelchairs holding us back.

  • David Peterson

    Well historic buildings can be difficult to renovate because the second you do any renovations you are required to bring them up to code (making renovations more expensive if one of the things you need to add is a elevator to accommodate the disabled). Not necessarily the people in the wheelchairs holding us back so much as lack of provisions for not following the rules when the rules don’t make sense. 

  • Daughter

     That’s not entirely true. There are grandfather clauses that apply. I worked in a 100-year old building that was undergoing renovations. When it was determined that adding an elevator was beyond the budget, we were told that we didn’t have to do so per said clause. However, the areas we worked on had to be brought up to code – for example, since the bathrooms were one area undergoing renovation, we had to install handicapped stalls.

  • Darkrose

    That straw man you’re building is lovely.

    The ADA comprises a huge number of specific provisions. To imply, as you do, that any renovation to any historic building is automatically more expensive because of the ADA is ridiculous. The ADA only applies to public accomodations, for one thing, and renovating older buildings can be expensive for reasons having nothing to do with the ADA (for example, retrofitting 100-year-old buildings so they don’t fall down in an earthquake). 

    And of course, you seem to be lumping all of “the disabled” into one tidy box. The ADA includes things like making websites for public institutions useable with screen readers for the visually impaired, and treating mental illness the same as physical illnesses for the purposes of insurance coverage. 

    Ensuring that disabled people will be able to participate as fully as possible in our society is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, if for no other reason than self-interest: the collapse you predict is going to come a lot faster if people who are disabled can’t work and can’t get into places to spend money.

  • David Peterson

    Well my comment only spoke to buildings, I can’t say much to anything else about. I don’t believe that I said that everything about ADA was bad, and I could be wrong about the Empire thing just stating my limited perspective (as are you). A necessity in the Southern part of the USA is air conditioning in the summer, especially for the elderly but that doesn’t mean that everyone can afford it or that it will be available indefinitely, just as heating is required in the North. Just because we really want something bad enough doesn’t mean that we will have it. 

  • Darkrose

    I’m…a little lost here.
    How is air conditioning comparable to making it possible for disabled people to use public services?

  • Daughter

     Excessive heat can be tough for people with breathing or heart problems.

  • Darkrose

    Well, sure. I’m an asthmatic living in Sacramento. I get that; I don’t get what that has to do with whether we can “afford” the ADA.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    Oh cool, another Sacramento-an

  • David Peterson

    Sorry for the confusion. See Daughter’s response. The elderly often die in heat waves when a blackout occurs air conditioners stop working. It is tragic but life can some times be tragic. 

    Also, I’m not necessarily opposed to “making it possible for disabled people to use public services”. My comment was to another comment that it was a necessity and I described another necessity which can sometimes go away no matter how much you desire it to stay.I’ll try to restate what I said earlier with a bit more eloquence, one day we may need to change our laws (for reasons that may not be apparent to us at the moment) and having a treaty limit our options may not be the best idea, especially if we are already doing what the treaty says. 
    I’ll just get out ahead of the crowd and say that someday I may end up disabled and then everything I say will come right back around to haunt me, such is life…

  • Darkrose

    I guess what I’m hearing you say is, “Yeah, well, sometimes people in wheelchairs won’t be able to get where they need to go, and that’s tragic, but maybe one day we won’t be able to afford to provide access so we’ll….?” What? Get rid of the ADA and make it legal to have public buildings with stairs and no elevators, and it’s tragic but so it goes?” Is that really what you’re saying?

  • David Peterson

    Well pretty much. Look at Venice, one of the single most in-accessible cities but that was the way they chose to build the place and one day your decedents (or the decedents of someone you know) might just make the same choice. 

  • Magic_Cracker

    I’m looking reaaaaalllly haaaaarrrrd at Venice (squints) and still don’t see it — “it” being your point. If your point is that some day our descendants might have to do differently because of  material constraints yet undetermined, then I don’t see the point of your point.

  • Darkrose

    “Our descendants may regress to the level of technology of medieval Venice”? I don’t know; I got nothing.

  • Ross Thompson

    “The US may sink into the sea, forcing us to replace roads (yes, all of them) with canals”?

  • LL

    What I got is that if we pass laws that make people do stuff to help other people, it will bankrupt the country. 

    Maybe I’m not seeing the nuances. 

  • David Peterson

    Life may be a bit more nuanced than you seem to admit. 

  • David Peterson

    Venice is extremely hard for people with disabilities to get around. You can either travel by boat or by foot. If you travel by foot there are foot bridges connecting all the islands. It wasn’t a matter of material constraints but of where the people chose to live (in a swamp on lots of little islands). …and it wasn’t a matter of cost (because they had a trade empire which brought them quite a bit of wealth). They built in a place and in a way that would if placed under US law would be illegal. It was a vague point…

  • Jenny Islander

    And this has what, exactly, to do with people with mobility issues being unable to conduct daily life in the U.S.?

  • Darkrose

    What is your deal with Venice, dude? How does the way a specific city was built over a millenium ago have to do with the ADA or the UN treaty under discussion? “They built in a place and in a way that would if placed under US law would be illegal.” Yes, and they built in a TIME and a place and a way that wouldn’t be advisable now for a number of reasons, including a modern understanding of sanitation, sustainability, and general advances in the field of civil engineering.

  • christopher_y

    I understand that the United States will not always be as rich as it is now, but if it’s ever reduced to the necessity of moving its surviving population to a group of small islands in the middle of a swamp to defend them against barbarian incursions, call me.

    You don’t think the Venetians originally built their settlement where they did for shits and giggles do you?

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

     Venice is rather wonderful, and also completely inaccessible to anyone who can’t cope with lots and lots of stairs. But how this is relevant I cannot see.

    When I was in the States, I visited some relatives (my granny’s brother and his wife). They had Fox News on the entire time. And they talked politics. And over dinner, when their disabled son was visiting, the ADA was discussed. The parents disliked the ADA on principle. The son approved of it, but agreed with them on everything else. I just wished they’d shut up, because screaming at your hosts is generally considered impolite.

    TRiG.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Me Hercule! Beneath all your verbiage there is nothing but platitudinous crap we already know… Yes, tragedies happen. Yes, tough choices are tough. Yes, what works today may not work tomorrow. Yes, actions have unintended consequences.
    An uncertain future (and the future is always uncertain) is no reason to not do today what we think is best, and to let such uncertainty hinder you is a recipe of apathy and inaction.

    On this specific topic: If the U.S. were subject to this treaty and in the future found itself no longer able to comply, we could withdraw from it, as countries do when a treaty no longer serves their interests. More likely, the U.S. would just ignore it. Before we find ourselves in that situation, I’d like to think we’d have a national discussion over whether it’s worth not accommodating the disabled in public places in order to keep open 700+ military bases worldwide.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     “…one day we may need to change our laws (for reasons that may not be
    apparent to us at the moment) and having a treaty limit our options may
    not be the best idea.”

    So the idea: This treaty is a bad idea because someday we might want to decide not to treat the disabled as people with the same human rights as everyone else — and thus people who should be able to use public buildings, libraries, grocery stores, schools, etc. like everyone else.  Signing the treaty could in theory limit that (which it can’t since as noted, there’s no enforcement provision, but breaking the treaty might make us look bad). 

    Seems to me that’s a feature, not a bug. 

  • guest

    I do this kind of work for a living, and no one has a problem making sure buildings can be used for the people who pay for them (i.e. taxpayers and customers).  It’s often the case that with historic or vernacular buildings we need to be creative, but no one actually objects to the concept in principle.  One could make the same argument about any building code–it’s so expensive to make sure wiring is inspected and meets minimum standards; forcing us to pay the expense of meeting electrical codes keeps us from building buildings more cheaply so poor people can afford to buy them.

  • Magic_Cracker

    …forcing us to pay the expense of meeting electrical codes keeps us from building buildings more cheaply so poor people can afford to buy them.

    And in any case, tragedies happen. Such is life. And our ancestors may not even use electricity.

  • guest

    …or something like that.  :)

  • Magic_Cracker

    Shit, I meant “descendants might not use electricity.”

  • David Peterson

    Quite right. 

  • P J Evans

    And our ancestors may not even use electricity.

    our ancestors mostly didn’t; electricity is pretty recent. Whether our descendants will have electricity is another problem. if we start now, we might be able to really do something about it.

  • P J Evans

    Historic buildings are a special case.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    One day the US empire will end, just as the other world empires have ended (Spain, France, British Empire) and we will have to once again learn to live within our means.

    Interestingly, despite their empires ending the people of Spain, France and Britain have managed to survive without leaving people with disabilities chained up in the basement. They did stop invading other countries every five minutes, so maybe’s there’s a tip there.

  • Makabit

    You know, some day the sun will supernova, and the Earth will be swallowed in its fiery death throes, but I still think I should buy fire insurance.

    I’m really not comfortable deciding that we can’t afford to provide for the disabled because some day our empire will crumble. The Brits already had that happen, and they seem to be coping and putting in ramps and shit like that.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I can’t imagine someone in post-empire america looking back and saying “Yep… Stopping manufacturing stuff and converting our entire economy over to finance might not have been the *best* move, but what really did it in for us was when we started building wheelchair ramps everywhere.”

    Heck, not even that incredibly racist yellow peril Chinese Professor PSA would claim that “Then they turned their backs on their values and insisted on accomodations for people with disabilities. So now… they work for us…”

    (Seriously, that commercial is so racist I expected Christopher Lee to be playing the chinese professor)

  • Carstonio

    Whatever the merits or flaws of your argument, you’re mischaracterizing Fred’s point. He’s not necessarily saying that opposing the treaty is monstrous. He’s condemning the self-righteous fantasies of his fellow evangelicals.

  • David Peterson

    Good point, many do like to have fantasies of self-righteousness which is one of the reasons I like this blog since he points them out. I guess it seemed that I sensed a bit too much wafting off of him this time for my own liking. Agreed on his point that they are opposing it for possibly silly reasons. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    ‘ve seen multiple times architects hindered in being able to build
    affordable buildings by the requirements of the American’s with
    Disabilities Act.

    http://www.ankurb.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/The-Butthurt-Report-form.jpg

  • Robyrt

    I’m confused. How is that image even relevant? Peterson is hardly whining or trolling, he has a specific relevant point with a detailed explanation. Way to shut down the discussion while contributing nothing.

  • Apocalypse Review

    Because I don’t feel any need to engage “constructively” with someone who uses high-flown rhetoric about the beauty and grandeur and walkability and other paeans to architecture as an excuse to stop building anything that can still look nice AND accommodate those who cannot as easily move about as those of us with two working legs.

  • WalterC

    Oh, and the connection between the architectural concerns and this treaty isn’t exactly well-established either. 

  • David Peterson

    A very limited fragile connection in fact. Just what my limited interests have lead me to look into. 

  • David Peterson

    I’m not sure that walk-ability is more of a high-flown concept then accessibility, but your point is taken. Only time will tell how the dice will fall. 

  • David Peterson

    Here are the answers to your survey:

    *Blog Post
    *Someone made a blog post that I didn’t agree with.
    *(possibly) I lost an argument in a chat room
    *All of the above
    *I wrote a six thousand word response

  • Magic_Cracker

    “All I wanted to do is build an affordable building that excludes the disabled! O WOE!”

    In other news, concern troll trolls for concerns.

  • David Peterson

    Wow, I feel such love from my fellow Christians that are ‘rightly’ hating only those other Christians that ‘incorrectly’ hate other people. …so the trick appears to be to hate, just hate the ‘right’ people. …or perhaps we should both stick with the classic: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

  • Madhabmatics

    unless you are in a wheelchair and then I hope you like not being able to go in buildings i guess

  • Magic_Cracker

    I’m not Christian.

  • David Peterson

    My mistake…

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

     Who, exactly is being hated?

  • Nate

    I appreciate that you are reading about the affect of the ADA on building types and affordability/cost of construction.  

    Most of us will, at some point in our lives, be disabled (1 in 4 of current 20 year olds is the current statistic).   Don’t think about providing accessibility as an ‘us vs. them’ or ‘poor vs. them’ issue.  Its about providing access for US, you and me. 

    The benefits of the ADA are broad.  When I am coming home with groceries, in my highly walk-able neighborhood, what do I leave at the foot of the stairs, my 2 year old in her stroller or my sacks of food?  Elevators cost about 60 to 80k.  Its really not that big of a cost, nor is it required as broadly as you might think.  I’ve designed (and ‘built’) 2 story office buildings and apartments without an elevator.  In that case its a matter of providing equal facilitation on the ground floor. 

    full disclosure, I’m an architect. 

  • P J Evans

     I lived on place where the library had space for an elevator built in as part of its design. The problem they had was a politician who didn’t think the library should exist; he’d put money into the budget for the elevator just so he could cut it out again. The ADA meant that it actually had to be put in, finally, and everyone who couldn’t use the stairs (or had too big a load to use the stairs) was really happy.

  • Jared Bascomb

    I lived on place where the library had space for an elevator built in as part of its design. The problem they had was a politician who didn’t think the library should exist; he’d put money into the budget for the elevator just so he could cut it out again. The ADA meant that it actually had to be put in, finally, and everyone who couldn’t use the stairs (or had too big a load to use the stairs) was really happy.
    As someone who once worked in a three-story library with two basement levels, I have to ask: WTF? How did your staff move cartloads of books between floors without an elevator?

  • Lori

     

    As someone who once worked in a three-story library with two basement
    levels, I have to ask: WTF? How did your staff move cartloads of books
    between floors without an elevator?  

    The old library in the town where I used to live had what amounted to a large dumbwaiter.

  • Lindenharp

     So did the library where I work, until it was expanded and remodelled and an elevator was installed.  The dumbwaiter was very annoying to use, and the wide gap between it and the floor sometimes caused an overloaded cart to topple over.

  • P J Evans

     An armload at a time. Really.

  • David Peterson

    Good response. My comment was from my limited perspective and it seems that some have taken my comment as a personal attack on their beliefs (and on the ADA which it was not). I do question the 1/4 disabled statistic, seems rather high for 20 year olds but I guess its possible if the figure includes obesity. 

  • JustoneK

    Oh well then, clearly we should check our data again and make sure it comes from the right sources.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I do question the 1/4 disabled statistic, seems rather high for 20 year olds but I guess its possible if the figure includes obesity.

    Lifetime, jackass. That statistic is not how many twenty-year-olds are people with disabilities, it’s how many of today’s twenty-year-olds will at some point be people with disabilities.

    And I may be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure obesity? Not a disability.

  • P J Evans

    I’m pretty sure obesity? Not a disability.

    In its extreme form it is. Can’t use cars, can’t do stairs, most chairs are too small…. (Think 300 pounds and up.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Sometimes, yeah. Not always.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     @google-86ec3b7a97978ca918c2e7ca816ae330:disqus Vision, hearing and mobility all deteriorate with age. The only thing that stops everyone from eventually becoming disabled is that a lot of them die first.

  • veejayem

    Exactly! I hope I’ll be around for a while yet but in such case my left knee is very unlikely to last as long as the rest of me. For that matter, I could fall off the horse I’ll be riding tomorrow and find myself developing a very keen interest in building access. Or, forget the horse ~ all I’d have to do is slip on the stairs and land awkwardly.

  • P J Evans

     He;’s ignoring that people can be abled one day and disabled the next. (Think of strokes.)
    My father was actually disabled by one and (a) had my brother get the pieces and build grab bars in the bathroom for him, and (b) ordered and himself installed a chair lift for the stairs to the basement (which he actually used, sometimes – and it was great forgetting the bags of water softener salt downstairs).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I’m my reading, I’ve seen multiple times architects hindered in being
    able to build affordable buildings by the requirements of the American’s
    with Disabilities Act.

    The thought occurs that if you find it onerous to be required that your building actually be usable by the human beings who are going to be inside of it, perhaps the field you want to go into is not actually architecture. Perhaps you actually want to enter one of the many other fine fields that involve building large things, like sculpture, civil engineering, or making parade balloons.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    The thought occurs that if you find it onerous to be required that your building actually be usable by the human beings who are going to be inside of it, perhaps the field you want to go into is not actually architecture.

    Aha! It’s the Fountainhead all over again. Or Paradise Towers.

    I’m convinced the only reason Ayn Rand’s obvious self-insert Roark was an architect was because you can’t flounce and destroy your novel. At least you couldn’t then; I’ve had this fanfic idea floating around where Roark is a famous writer who does an epic flounce where he releases a virus to destroy every electronic copy of his (pick one: sadly adulterated/rescued from crappitude by judicial editing) magnum opus.

  • Dan Audy

    rescued from crappitude by judicial editing

    I now have a vision of Justice Kagan returning a supreme court brief covered with red ink crossing things out and notes with a comment to “Submit again with adequate legal reasoning”.

  • Dan Audy

    rescued from crappitude by judicial editing

    I now have a vision of Justice Kagan returning a Supreme Court brief covered with red ink crossing things out and notes with a comment to “Submit again with adequate legal reasoning”.

  • guest

    I used to teach architecture; at one end of term party I arranged to show the Fountainhead movie on the wall of the pub for MST3King.  A lot of stuff got thrown at that wall that night….  I’d like to have made watching that movie a regular part of the class, but for some reason never did make it a permanent institution.

  • David Peterson

    It’s a hobby not a job, therefore you need not worry that I will become an architect.

    Parade balloons does on the other hand seem far more pleasing of a job than trying to discuss political matters. Almost certainly why politics attracts the type of hard skinned people that can tune out this sort of conversation and do whatever it is they please (such as voting no on treaties that you seem to have an inordinate attachment to). 

  • EllieMurasaki

    voting no on treaties that you seem to have an inordinate attachment to

    When and if you become a person with a disability, as is quite likely and grows increasingly likelier as you age, I hope you remember this conversation. I hope we’ve figured out time travel by then, too, so the you who has experienced access limitations can come smack the you of now upside the head.

  • David Peterson

    Read my earlier comments. I already wrote this so you wouldn’t have to :) 

    Seriously, I already wrote this in one of my earlier comments.

  • Albanaeon

     So we must sacrifice the disabled to the imaginary deficit monster?  Charming…

  • Ima Pseudonym

    The Debt Monster really likes sacrifices.  And chocolate.

    But especially sacrifices.  

  • David Peterson

    Did I mention the deficit?

    Does not signing the treaty mean that the US will get rid of ADA? 
    That would be no to both of your questions. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Jesus Christ, your petty monomania over the Fall of the Glorious Empire of the USA meaning that zomg we can no longer put in wheelchair ramps is fucking annoying.

  • Madhabmatics

    dude but don’t you see in the DARK FUTURE only people like me will be able to survive, I know this because I am a survivalist and spend most of my day carefully dusting my “bugout bag”

  • http://hummingwolf.livejournal.com/ Hummingwolf

    As someone who is currently both disabled and poor, I must admit that when I read your words “Also, our wealth currently affords us with the option to accommodate the disabled, but…”, I was tempted to reply to you in a rather rude and unpleasant way.  After reading your later comments, I’m glad I didn’t react that way.  I still do feel the need to point out two things, hopefully without being too unpleasant.

    First:  A large percentage of the poor are also disabled or about to become so.  In a country where the ability to get proper health care depends on the money to pay for it, poverty naturally leads to disability.  Disability is also a leading cause of poverty.  So, here in the real world, if you try to help people living in poverty without helping people living with disabilities, you end up not helping poor people after all.  You can’t treat the poor and the disabled as separate groups and get good results.  Real life just doesn’t work that way.

    Second:  You seem to be someone who has thought a great deal about apocalyptic scenarios.  Many of us commenting here at Slacktivist were attracted to the blog by Fred Clark’s famous dissection of the Left Behind books, and many people here grew up believing that the End Times were coming any minute now and we had to be prepared, so we can understand the sense of urgency.  Being prepared for disaster is a good thing, of course.  You never know when earthquake, fire, flood, war, plague, and all manner of other disasters might hit, so you should probably keep at least a week’s worth of food and water around if you can.  Even the US Centers for Disease Control encourages people to prepare for zombies, just in case!

    But there is such a thing as trying too hard to be prepared for coming tribulation.  If you’re a Christian, remember that Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread for this day, not for enough resources to keep the zombie hordes at bay for the next seven generations.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Do good today, rather than putting your goods in a storehouse where moth and rust destroy.  And if you feel yourself start to panic as you think about the future, remember that if we get to the point where our civilization is collapsing, plague is spreading, and famine is leaving us all begging for a crust of bread, nobody is going to care that our country once signed a treaty saying we needed to install a few more wheelchair ramps.

  • David Peterson

    I apologize for offending. I wasn’t even speaking about public buildings like libraries, court houses, etc as many others have tried to imply. It probably does make sense for most buildings to be accessible, it certainly makes life more comfortable for all (disable and non-disabled). 

    First, good point.

    Second, I used to think about the End Time as well, not so much any more. It seems to mean that a few preachers got a little overzealous with a several verses that mentioned olive trees and then followed that up by disregarding the verses that said that no one knows when the end will come. It does look like we will be in for hard times in the coming decades/centuries. I personally I’m a brainiac with few useful real world skills so I’m personally trying to learn handy crafts and how to grow a proper vegetable garden. Perhaps i’ll never need the skills but one day my neighbors or children may need to know the skills that I’ve learned. 

  • Lori

     

    Also, our wealth currently affords us with the option
    to accommodate the disabled, but as with the tale of the prodigal son we
    as a nation have been spending our inheritance freely and with little
    regard to our long term future. 

    Did you seriously reference the Bible in an attempt to justify saying that it’s just too expensive to “accommodate the disabled”? While apparently posting under your own name? Really?

    You may want to rethink that because I’m pretty sure “Oh well, sucks to be you” is not the message of the New Testament.

  • David Peterson

    I suppose that I should be a hide my thoughts behind a fake internet username. No, my reference about the bible and the wasting of money was not meant to infer that we are wasting money on the disabled.

    We are wasting resources on:
    Driving fast cars (I must that it is fun!)
    Building four lane roads through the countryside in the hope that it will encourage ‘growth’
    and a generally wasteful society when it comes to resources and energy

    I lived on a college campus and at the end of the year people would throw furniture right into the dumpster when a phone call would have brought someone from Goodwill to pick up the furniture.

    If we were wise we would be using what has been given to us (by God, gods, or nature, whatever you prefer) more cautiously. One day we will probably have blown through our inheritance and the first people that will be on the chopping block will be the people that always are, the poor, the weak, the ones that need to be protected the most. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    One day we will probably have blown through our inheritance and the first people that will be on the chopping block will be the people that always are, the poor, the weak, the ones that need to be protected the most.

    So…why are you arguing against protecting those people now by making it so they can actually engage in life without difficulty the way we able-bodied folks can?

  • AnonymousSam

    Republican talking point number seven: “If we do anything to help people now, society will crumble from the strain and we’ll all be doomed! Now give me the rest of your money, you ungrateful peasant.”

    Because these arguments always go hand-in-hand with arguments about how the rich just aren’t rich enough and how we’ll all go to pieces unless they become even richer.

  • EllieMurasaki

    First against the wall when the revolution comes.

  • David Peterson

    Nope.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’m gonna need a little bit more. Are you saying that you are not arguing against making it possible for people with disabilities to engage with the world the way able-bodied people can, are you saying that people with disabilities are not in any way prevented from engaging with the world the way able-bodied people can, or what? ‘Cause if it’s the first, reread your previous remarks, and if it’s the second, have a look through accessibility-fail.dreamwidth.org.

  • Tapetum

     And sometimes – indeed frequently, given the unemployment rates among the disabled, and the expenses involved – the disabled are the poor.

    Try acting as an aide for someone in a wheelchair for a while. When you can’t belong to a student group because it meets upstairs in a building with no elevator, can’t ride a bus because there’s no lift or kneeler, can’t use a restaurant because they stuck the “accessible” restroom behind a table full of people, can’t hold a job because the accessible public transit is so unreliable you end up getting fired every time you manage to get one, can’t complain about this at a town meeting, because the snow plows don’t clear the curb cuts and you can’t even get onto the block the right building is on- when all of these things and often worse or more are true, then what cost not allowing for accessibility.

    I’ve had a dear friend for more than twenty years who uses an electric wheelchair. In the time I’ve known her, she’s been stranded alone at night by unreliable public transit for an hour or more at least two or three times a year. She’s been forced to drive her chair on busy roads for lack of accessible sidewalks. And all of the things listed in the previous paragraph have happened – nearly routinely. She is financially well off and in a fairly liberal state that rates well in access. Yet I fully expect that one of these days, she is going to be killed directly by a lack of access.

    Try changing your thinking. You are sitting disabled. So am I. At great expense, the government, restaurants, public schools, buses, airplanes, and practically everything and every place else in life provides chairs for us to sit in. Think how much money we could save if we just didn’t have to accommodate this weird and unreasonable need we have to sit places. A movie theatre would save thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars if they didn’t have to provide all those seats. How many millions and billions would we save as a nation if we stopped paying for all that expensive, unnecessary furniture? Can we really afford to keep putting chairs everywhere?

    Sound silly? That’s because you’re used to access. To having everything, pretty much everywhere set up to be convenient for you. You and I can walk up a ramp, or use an elevator. She cannot use stairs. At all.

    An accessible building can be used by the able bodied. The reverse is not true.

  • AnonymousSam

    The bit about accessible sidewalks and having to go on the side of a road is a health hazard for those of us who walk just fine, too. If I had a complaint about Washington, it’s that the sidewalks have a nasty tendency to end long before reaching the end of a commercial district, and there are few things more harrowing than straddling a ravine with cars zooming by at 60 MPH less than five feet to one’s side.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Wow. Well, as one of those uppity people with a life-long disability since childhood, God knows my only concern is how a building looks. Here’s a thought: try harder to integrate accessibility into design. There are plenty of poor people with disabilities, who need affordable and accessible housing. One of my best friends is an architect, and as such, I know that any building style can be made accessible – it may take some creativity and extra planning; the style might not be an exact mimicry of a historical building – but so what? Human equality and understanding is more important than how a building looks! Well, at least it is for some people.

  • smrnda

    Yes, building styles that were just fine for a long time are no longer okay because of ADA, just the same way that separate drinking fountains for non-whites was ‘okay’ for a long time. Once you decide categories of human beings have rights, you’re going to have to make some changes.

    I also don’t buy the cost issue. People who rent property want massive profits, and are going to argue that anything is an imposition on their bottom line. The other issue is that you already pointed out that the US has the money, it’s all just in rich people’s offshore accounts. The issue with lack of funding isn’t that we lack thrift, but that many people are dodging taxes.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Also, our wealth currently affords us with the option to accommodate the disabled, but as with the tale of the prodigal son we as a nation have been spending our inheritance freely and with little regard to our long term future.

    What the hell does that mean?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I think it means that rather than spend our wealth to accommodate disabled people who live today, who are unimportant, we should hold onto it and give it to more important presumably-able-bodied people who will live in the future instead.

    I also think it means that disabled people are not as capable of creating wealth as the more important presumably-able-bodied people, so accommodating them is a net loss of wealth rather than an investment in future wealth.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Uh, right, because I shouldn’t have the exact same right to the sidewalks and to shopping and to, well, EVERYTHING, just because I’m on wheels. Here’s a hint: it’s cheaper to build accessibility into the building in the first place, rather than trying to retrofit it later. Oh, and lawsuits are fucking expensive… save up.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Bryan Fischer says, “Disabled newborn babies in the UK are being put, oftentimes overriding the wishes of parents, on this death pathway where no matter what the parents want the doctors say this kid cannot live, severely disabled, too many congenital deformities, we think the best thing for this kid is just to be starved and dehydrated to death.”

    Does anyone have any idea what he’s referring to?

  • Ross Thompson

    Does anyone have any idea what he’s referring to?

    I thought we’d learned by now: Everything that comes out of Bryan Fischer’s mouth is the most destructive type of lie. He makes shit up, comfortable in the knowledge that the only people he cares about will just believe him, because he’s a Nice Christian Man, and Nice Christians don’t lie.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    What Fischer and Santorum are doing is beyond lying. It’s slander, and a particularly vile form of slander at that. Santorum is claiming that the phrase “best interest of the child” means that the UN is going to start murdering children. I do not believe that any person in his right mind could believe that, and as much as we joke about these guys being crazy, Santorum is clearly compos mentis.

    To put it another way: These good, Christian men are not only violating the Ten Commandments by bearing false witness, but they have the gall to do so in the name of God. Why aren’t more people offended by this? (Rhetorical question; I obviously know the answer)

  • The_L1985

     It’s also sort of implying that parents don’t want what is in the best interests of the child….which is just downright creepy.

  • Sorbus

    Possibly this could refer to conditions like trisomy 13 or trisomy 18 which have really low survival rates. But all the evidence I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot of papers on this) suggests that (a) ethicists work WITH not against the parents, and (b) if the children are going to die, it’s because of the congenital malformations (e.g. incredibly complex and difficult/expensive to fix heart defects) not because someone is literally deciding to starve them to death. Also (c) survival rates even with aggressive treatments are really low. I don’t know what Fischer thinks is going on here; does he think that there’s actually some kind of a conspiracy going on where doctors claim to have aggressively treated the children but are actually doing nothing? Or is he, more likely, just talking out of his ass based on maybe one case he heard about from a friend of a friend who read a news article about someone they’d never met?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I don’t know specifics, but my offhand impression is that it’s probably much like what Santorum said about Dutch euthanasia of the elderly, and their “don’t euthanize me” bracelets.  Very much the same cloth from which it’s cut, it seems to me.

  • DCFem

    Santorum is making the same point people involved in witch hunts always make — that he (and his fellow evangelicals) are fighting a war against evil baby killers. That is at the bottom of every stupid thing that they do. And he (like Sarah Palin before him) would not give a rats ass about people with disabilities if he didn’t have a child with a disability.

  • AnonymousSam

    Who says he gives a rat’s ass now? Those other people, well, they’re Those Other People. And some of them are probably black!

  • The_L1985

     …Infants survive trisomy 13 long enough to be born?  I was under the impression that the deformities caused by an extra 13th chromosome tended to be so severe that miscarriage was practically guaranteed.

    And yes, Fischer either believes, or wants other people to believe, that doctors are trying to “save money” by refusing to treat people with severe disabilities.  This is a very common topic of discussion in so-called “pro-life” circles: the belief that people who don’t want abortion banned, also don’t want babies with Down Syndrome and other severe birth defects to live.  I’ve seen it too many times to count, from the “inside.”

  • AnonymousSam

    Doctors wanting to save money by condemning people to death? Does Fischer work for a health insurance company? This would make so much more sense if he were projecting.

  • Fusina

     I had a niece born with trisomy 18. She lived for two days, her heart and lungs could not move enough blood/oxygen for her to survive. Her muscles were not developed enough, and even a heart/lung transplant would not have aided her. She was born sentenced to an early death–if you think about it, we are all sentenced to die at some point. Dunno what Fischer was trying for, but for anyone who has had this tragedy happen–well, the parents are RTCs as defined by this blog, and maybe they will have their eyes opened as a result of this nonsense. I can believe in miracles, can’t I?

  • ohiolibrarian

     Maybe it relates to this Texas law signed by GW Bush when he was governor: Note this summary comes from Texas Right to Life. It reads (in part):

    Prior to passage of the Texas Advanced Directives Act in 1999, an
    article appeared in the August 1996 edition of the authoritative Journal
    of the American Medical Association that outlined legal procedures for
    hospitals and medical personnel to follow in order to withdraw patient
    treatment and to unplug the machines that were preserving patients’
    lives, thereby causing their deaths.  These actions included the denial
    of food and water.  Such procedures could be done for a variety of
    reasons, including patients’ continued existence constituted a financial
    burden to the institution.

    my bold

    This law was used for a baby named Sunny (I think) shortly after the Terri Schiavo insanity. The hospital pulled the plug over her mother’s objections. The mother was poor and the baby was terminal, so I don’t think the hospital was necessarily wrong, but the contrast was striking. Nary a peep from the pro-life crowd.

  • Matri

    Nary a peep from the pro-life crowd.

    That’s cause the baby has already popped out of her ladyparts but is still too young to vote for them.

    As far as the pro-life crowd is concerned, neither of them exist anymore.

  • Ross Thompson

    The hospital pulled the plug over her mother’s objections. The mother was poor and the baby was terminal, so I don’t think the hospital was necessarily wrong

    You would object to rich parents having their non-viable children treated in the same way?

  • Lori

     

    You would object to rich parents having their non-viable children treated in the same way?   

    Personally, not really.

    On one hand the parents of a child have to have broad liberty to decide what’s best for the child. That’s parenthood. On the other hand, sometimes parents are going to be totally unrealistic about their child’s situation. I think there will be times when medical professionals have to say that they will provide palliative care, but they will not provide hugely expensive, possibly painful treatment in cases where it will not benefit the patient.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Misplaced “and”. The mother was poor and a person of color. FULL STOP. The baby was terminal, so I don’t think the hospital was necessarily wrong in not wanting to use resources on a lost cause. A caveat on the hospital’s actions only.

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    Possibly this could refer to conditions like trisomy 13 or trisomy 18 which have really low survival rates.

    I’ve worked with children with extraordinary severe chronic conditions, where they spend their entire lives in pain, unable to move on their own, and unable to communicate.  I only did it for four months, but it was by far the hardest job I ever did, including substitute teaching for kindergarten and junior high. I highly question anyone speaking on authority about the ethics of those types of diseases who hasn’t worked with children with them directly.

  • Joykins
  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    I suspect it’s The Daily Heil’s latest utterly bullshit screed against the NHS, claiming they’re killing babies against parents’ wishes. They’re citing a British Medical Journal article that says literally the exact opposite, so anyone with even half an ounce of common sense can easily see what bollocks they’re talking, but that’s not the point. They’re now essentially professional trolls, printing anything that will get clicks (and thus ad revenue), but Fischer and the rest of the anti-Reality brigade are using it as evidence of the evil of TEH SOSHULISM!

    Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240075/Now-sick-babies-death-pathway-Doctors-haunting-testimony-reveals-children-end-life-plan.html

    The actual BMJ article is behind a paywall, but here are some quotes (via CharlesRB on the CBR Message Board):

    The voice on the other end of the phone describes a newborn baby and a
    lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies. I have a growing sense
    of dread as I listen.

    The parents want ‘nothing done’ because they feel that these
    anomalies are not consistent with a basic human experience. I know that
    once decisions are made, life support will be withdrawn.

    Assuming this baby survives, we will be unable to give feed, and the parents will not want us to use artificial means to do so.

    Regrettably, my predictions are correct. I realise as I go to meet the
    parents that this will be the tenth child for whom I have cared after a
    decision has been made to forgo medically provided feeding.

    ….

    They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped.

    They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby.

    Their wishes, however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival
    is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my
    previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death
    was ten days.

    Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes
    that they will witness in the child’s physical appearance as severe
    dehydration ensues.

    I try to make these matters clear from the outset so that these
    parents do not make a decision that they will come to regret. I try to
    prepare them for the coming collective agony that we will undoubtedly
    share, regardless of their certainty about their decision.

    It is draining to be the most responsible physician. Everyone is looking to me to preside over and support this process.

    I am honest with the nurse when I say it is getting more and more
    difficult to make my legs walk me on to this unit as the days elapse,
    that examining the baby is an indescribable mixture of compassion,
    revulsion, and pain.

    Some say withdrawing medically provided hydration and nutrition is akin
    to withdrawing any other form of life support. Maybe, but that is not
    how it feels. The one thing that helps me a little is the realisation
    that this process is necessarily difficult. It needs to be.

    Not exactly rejoicing in death there, eh?

  • Daughter

     Is there another way? Because the story described – whichever side of the national health care debate you fall on (and I’m pro-universal health care) is horrifying.

    If a parent chooses not to have life-saving surgeries or treatments, why does that have to mean that feeding is withdrawn? Why can’t they continue to feed, but let nature take its course, which may mean a few more months of life rather than 10 days? Or is it that if feeding continues, it will become a Terry Schiavo-like situation, where the child stays alive for years as essentially a vegetable?

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     Or is it that if feeding continues, it will become a Terry Schiavo-like
    situation, where the child stays alive for years as essentially a
    vegetable?

    No, they’d stay alive for a few more days at most. That’s written into the procedures the doctors have to follow – they can only remove feeding where the child is going to die regardless. The terrible choice these parents are faced with is, basically, how long would you like your child to live in unimaginable pain for. I’m sure the doctors do their absolute best to manage it, but that’s balanced, as Tricksterston notes, by anti-euthanasia laws. It’s one of the worst situations imaginable, and I cannot bring myself to judge anyone caught up in such terrible circumstances.

    But Bryan Fischer and the Daily Mail have no such compunctions. Something tells me they might not be so damn sure of themselves if they were the ones in a hospital bed, knowing that no matter what happened all they could look forward to was painful death.

  • Tricksterson

    Something that neither the Daily Mail nor Fischer  bring up:  This was done at the parents request, the babies were not taken away from them.  Plus it’s anti euthanasia laws that force these kids to die slowly from dehydration and starvation instead of being given a quick, painless shot.

  • Tricksterson

    No.  And I mean, not that i don’t understand what incident, real or (and I’m betting on this) imagined he’s refffering to.  I mean that I look at that statement and it has not coherency.  Oh, individually all the words are perfectly functional but put together, they make no fucking sense.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The world inside his head, where everyone not Real True Christian is a baby killer out to push homogay sex and destroy Christianity. 

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    He’s talking about The Liverpool Care Pathway http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/11November/Pages/What-is-the-Liverpool-Care-Pathway.aspx  which causing a bit of a kerfuffle here in the UK at the moment.

    More specifically he’s referring to this Daily Fail piece http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240075/Now-sick-babies-death-pathway-Doctors-haunting-testimony-reveals-children-end-life-plan.html

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Bryan Fischer says, “Disabled newborn babies in the UK are being put, oftentimes overriding the wishes of parents, on this death pathway where no matter what the parents want the doctors say this kid cannot live, severely disabled, too many congenital deformities, we think the best thing for this kid is just to be starved and dehydrated to death.”Does anyone have any idea what he’s referring to?

    Sometimes when a baby is extremely premature and/or suffering from profound insurmountable disabilities, many people think that maintaining a heartbeat at all costs is not necessarily the most humane, loving thing to do. So in such cases families may be counselled about their options, which include removing radical interventions and letting their child die, if it comes to that. I can’t speak with 100% confidence about UK laws and practice, but I’d be surprised if they departed much from local practice I know of:* medical staff CAN NOT override the parents’ wishes* babies in such circumstances are NOT left to die by starvation or dehydration. They are given perinatal palliative care, which is a discipline that few people are aware exists.My father died a few days after having radical interventions withdrawn when he suffered severe hypoxic brain injury, at the family’s request. He was in a coma and almost certainly had no ability to perceive sensations, let alone sentience. Even then the medical staff advised that they would continue giving him morphine and intravenous feeding until he died, because they do not let people starve.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Probably to the idiots who do everything to extend their child’s suffering, just so they, themselves, can have “more time”. If your baby has a condition that is incompatible with life, the kindest thing to do is to let them go. Fischer is painting this extended suffering as “noble”, and the doctors’ recommendations and diagnoses as “a pathway of death”.

  • The_L1985

    Seconding and thirding this.

    Suffering can ONLY be noble if the person suffering consciously chooses and accepts that suffering for some higher purpose, or perhaps as a genuine sacrifice on the behalf of another person (for example, when a woman chooses to give birth, she’s going through 9 months of pain and hardship so that a new life can enter the world). Involuntary suffering is never noble. It’s just suffering.

    Babies can’t understand morality or higher purpose yet. They don’t understand that things don’t cease to exist when you close your eyes, much less the ramifications of a life-or-death decision. A baby cannot choose to suffer, and it is monstrous for an adult, who knows about pain and isn’t suffering at all one way or the other, to choose for a baby to suffer.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Um. Emotional suffering is a thing. I admit to being at a loss for how watching one’s baby struggle for life through two weeks of agonizing pain is an improvement over starting the post-death mourning process two weeks sooner, and you’re absolutely right that the baby isn’t capable of choosing life over end-to-pain, but that doesn’t mean the adult parties here aren’t in pain themselves.

  • The_L1985

    Ouch. Hurts to realize I’m the one displaying the lack of empathy for once. :( And you’re right. But on the other hand…there’s something very off-putting about the idea that keeping your child alive in misery is somehow less selfish than ending the misery of the suffering child–even if the only way to end that suffering is death.

    Yes, the parents are understandably upset, as anyone ought to be. But there is quite a bit more selfishness than mercy in a desire for a baby with anencephaly or harlequin ichthyosis to live for a while longer, just so you don’t have to mourn it yet.

  • Wmdkitty

    That doesn’t give the parents the right to force more pain and suffering on the baby, though.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I never said it did.

  • LL

    Yeah, I think by now the rest of the world is familiar with our work. I doubt this will shock any of them. 

  • Jessica_R

    I’m looking forward to the religious right shitfit that’s about to get thrown over openly gay Neil Patrick Harris hosting this year’s national Christmas tree lighting ceremony. 

  • Carstonio

    Remember the flunky at the New Frontiersman reading the letter about the effects of fluoride on sexual orientation? I’m waiting for someone to claim the same effect from LED lights on Christmas trees. “Thanks GE for making my son gay.”

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    I read Santorums “thought’s on this matter over at WND.  As much as I was able to glean he seems to think that some language about the ‘best interest of the child’ is some kind of threat to the good Christian father’s absolute lordship over the home.  To this I suppose you could add the old Nativist impulse that presumes simply being non-American to be in itself proof of hostility.  I don’t know.

  • flat

    the stupidity it hurts.

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    “No, John, YOU are the monster.”

    And then John was a zombie.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and convince John Birch to start a bowling team instead.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Actually, John Birch had nothing to do with the society that bears his name.

  • Michael Pullmann

     Geez, that’s terrible. Hey, when I die, no one start a hate group named after me, okay?

  • Daughter

     Although from Wiki’s description, it certainly sounds like John Birch would have approved of the group. His parents certainly did.

  • The_L1985

     Too late.  Those people over there have decided to start an anti-green-eyes club.  It’s called the Pullmann Society. :P

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    But…I have the “Michael Pullmann Kitten-Punching Society” T-Shirts all ready to go!

  • reynard61

    “Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and convince John Birch to start a bowling team instead.”

    First of all, John Birch had nothing to do with starting the John Birch Society. Second; even if he *had* started it as a bowling team, they’d probably *still* be the bat-shit, raving paranoids that they are today — just with better bowling scores.

  • PurpleGirl

     Actually John Birch did not start the eponymously named society. John Birch was a missionary in China who was killed by the Communists.  The Joohn Birch Society was started by Robert Welch and Fred Koch (the Brothers’ father) among other people. Something else we can blame on the Koch Brothers.

  • Random_Lurker

    I found Nikky C.!

    “It drew the support of home-schoolers who also fretted that the treaty
    was, among other things, a sly way to force America to adopt laws
    enshrining [etc]… and demands the complete
    disarmament of all people.'”

  • Madhabmatics

    Once we have the moral bravery to dump the disabled into an ocean, only then will the budget be balanced.

  • Paul Durant

    Jesus Herbert Walker Christ could you stop with the self-righteous straw manning for two fucking seconds? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    There is a subtle but relevant difference between ‘straw man’ and ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

  • http://twitter.com/miss_michaele Miss Michaele

    Jesus Herbert Walker Christ

    This is my new swear for political debates.  I am forever in your debt.

  • Jim Roberts

    And let’s make this clear as well – it’s possible that the American empire will end, but that by no means requires that we assume that the American empire will be left poor and decrepit.

  • David Peterson

    That’s true but it probably won’t be left with the wealth that we are used to. Hopefully we can keep the good bits…

  • Jim Roberts

    Presuming that “wealth” as a concept will be a thing by that point.

  • Daughter

     Great Britain hasn’t done that badly. I imagine that some of what is lost in giving up the wealth your empire provides is made up for what is gained by not having to have military outposts all over the globe.

  • David Peterson

    Extremely good point.

    Great Britain gave up it’s empire (after a bit of hesitation, WWI and WWII) while the USA currently seems determined to have it’s empire pried from it’s cold dead hands. If we were to do as Great Britain we would probably handle the transition better. 

  • smrnda

     True, if anything, the standard of living in the UK is probably better than it was during their age of empire. Also, our empire is mostly just a huge drain on resources and benefits nobody but defense contractors.

  • Madhabmatics

    Much like the Spanish and English empires did after they fell, we will have to go about making sure that there is no care for the disabled

    what do you mean that the Spanish and English haven’t cut support for the disabled

    nooooooo my post-apocalyptic fantasies

  • Magic_Cracker

    But I’ve been practicing my big “We can’t afford to be merciful!” speech and I’ve already rented the Humungus costume!

  • David Peterson

    Just that we won’t be quite so rich and that we’ll have to pick and chose. Some locations will undoubtedly chose to keep providing amenities for the disabled but when faced with the costs others won’t. Some may adopt building styles that would be very expensive to make accessible so they will chose not to. 

  • stly92

    And once again the relevance of Fred’s Left Behind series is proven. Even at this late date, this treaty was voted down in the name of “Take THAT, Nicolae Carpathia!” Seriously, that’s pretty much the official line.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRDTPMBW7IBKWIU3763AI6FYOM Steve

    But surely, one day we will become a poor nation!  If we don’t drown the disabled, how will we afford another hundred attack submarines? Priorities, people!

  • WalterC

    Do we really need an “empire” to take care of the poor and disabled? The British Empire faded away quite some time ago, and I’m not sure but I think their welfare state is probably stronger now than it as during, for example, the Victorian Era. I think it’s true that America will likely not be the wealthiest nation in the world for all of eternity, and it probably won’t be able to afford to maintain direct military interventions in half a dozen countries forever either, but you need to add some more steps between that and the possible need to dispense with some of the protections we have for the poor and/or the disabled. 

  • http://johnm55.wordpress.com/ johnm55

    Bryan
    Fischer says, “Disabled newborn babies in the UK are being put,
    oftentimes overriding the wishes of parents, on this death pathway where
    no matter what the parents want the doctors say this kid cannot live,
    severely disabled, too many congenital deformities, we think the best
    thing for this kid is just to be starved and dehydrated to death.”

    Does anyone have any idea what he’s referring to?

    Here in the UK there is a protocol that is often used to ensure that the last few hours of a terminally ill persons life is are as easy and comfortable as possible. It is known as the Liverpool Care Pathway. I has been used since the early 1990’s and part of its purpose is to ensure that futile medical interventions are avoided.
    Recently it became controversial due to the Daily Mail getting hold of someone who thought that a relative could have lived a bit longer if they hadn’t been placed on the pathway. The Mail renamed it the “Liverpool death pathway”.  To my mind much of the controversy is artificial, with the Mail taking people who are having difficulty accepting a relative or friends death and playing on those emotions. 
    Part of the protocol does involve the withdrawal of food and water, mainly because people can no longer eat or drink, and inserting a cannula to supply this intravenously is often impossible and this is what Fischer has picked up on.
    All I know is that when it comes to my last few days or hours my hope is that I will be placed on the Liverpool pathway.

  • wraithnix

    Having grown up with someone stuck in a wheelchair, it would amaze you how many places are simply unavailable to disabled people, especially back in the days before the ADA.  I remember when my dad went back to college, he had to be very careful to use the restroom at home before he went to classes, and not eat or drink anything at school, because his wheelchair couldn’t fit in the door of any of the restrooms on campus.  Even the doors in the so-called “handicapped” restrooms were too small.  And this wasn’t a small, backwater school;  this was the Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan.  When the ADA became law, UoM finally fixed their restrooms;  even though it had been a known problem for years and years, and even some protests, the school ignored the problem and refused to do anything about it until forced by the law.

    The ADA, though expensive, is simply necessary.  A sizable part of our population is physically disabled;  refusing to meet their needs amounts to ignoring that population.  Beside, like another poster said, everybody gets old;  why shouldn’t we spend our money to invest in our own future?

  • Kirala

     *googles* Okay. Four more years till I can try to vote one of the obfuscating senators out of office. Richard Burr, I shall not forget.

  • Blaine

    This is just monstrous. How could one oppose such a treaty? Especially when it’s already based on our *own* domestic law? As if I needed any more evidence that Evangelicals had gone off the deep end into a territory far removed from Christ’ message…

    And about this architecture thing. I’ve seen no study putting ADA compliance in new construction at over 1% of the overall cost of the project. ADA compliance for public facilities has a “readily achievable” doctrine if they need to do renovations. If a renovation costs too much or cannot be achieved in any realistic sense, then the business does not have to undergo said renovation. But most of the time, these little tweaks to ensure ADA compliance are of minimal to no cost. One study by the Dept. of Labor showed the average cost of an accommodation was around 500$. That’s it. And small businesses who have to remove barriers and such can claim up to $5,000 via the Disabled Access Credit to defray the costs of those renovations. As well, businesses of any size can go to Section 190 of the IRS tax code to claim up to $15,000 to offset renovations such as removing barriers. So renovation costs can be easily recouped. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also? Seriously, folks, the USA is not going to go broke any time soon. The wealthiest country in the world can afford a few wheelchair ramps and even make them esthetically pleasing without going into fits of abject horror at the thought that a wheelchair ramp will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • David Peterson

    Question… Were wheelchair ramps mentioned in any of the previous posts?  If you would like to make a comment like a previous poster did about the relatively small cost of elevators in comparison to the total building cost then please do so…

    If on the other hand, you would like the try to put words in other peoples mouths then please understand that I was trying to make a very limited statement about unintended consequences which did not mention wheelchair ramps. I think I may have to exit this conversation shortly since Fred Clark’s comments are probably not an appropriate place to have argument about a subject not mentioned in his blog post (I may try to respond to a few more comments if they need responding to). 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Fred Clark’s comments are probably not an appropriate place to have argument about a subject not mentioned in his blog post

    I won’t speak to whether this is appropriate or not, since of course that depends on what standards you’re using. And you’re of course certainly free to exit the conversation for whatever reasons you wish.

    But I will observe that discussions in the comment threads here typically diverge from the topics raised in the posts they ostensibly are in reference to, and I’ve never known Fred to object. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Of course, it helps that the number of times I’ve seen Fred respond directly to anything posted in the comments section is a number so ADA-compliant that it doesn’t discriminate against people missing several fingers.

  • Chris

    If you want to see whether your Senator is one of the ones who should be ashamed, look here:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00219

    One of my two (who, thankfully, is retiring next month) voted Nay.  I’ve sent him a message with my opinion (in printable terms) of his vote.

  • Andrea

    Thanks for the link, will bear this in mind.

    Oh Dick Lugar, I kind of love you some days, and I am so sorry you got booted in the primary by Mourdock. Sometimes you were rational and non-obstructive and it was awesome. Best of luck in future endeavors.

  • Andrea

    (To be fair, Coats hasn’t *always* made bad decisions and even did some good bipartisan work back in the ’90s. Alas, this is the best I can say.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    What’s just stunning to me is how the Senators that voted against this treaty buy into the kind of notions people like Tim LaHaye have about the United Nations to the point that they wrongly attribute erosion of national sovereignty to the UN rather than to things like TRIPS, the WTO amd what-have-you.

  • Veylon

    Argh! What is this crazy debate?

    Look, Mr. Peterson, if we ever get to the point where we absolutely NEED, for whatever reason, to do something and there’s an international treaty in the way, we’ll just ignore it. Some politician will say, “an international treaty isn’t a suicide pact” or something and it’ll be done. Other countries have done it before, I’m sure we’ve done it before, it’s not the end of the world. If the U.N. comes to arrest us, we’ll just call that guy in Arizona or New Mexico or wherever to send his extra police to scare them off.

  • David Peterson

    I agree this debate is crazy. If nobody had responded to my comment or just gave a polite response (rather then dozens of responses that practically ask for a responses) then you could have all just gone back to your day after maybe reading two posts.

    Quite right on the fact that no politician will think twice about ignoring the treaty, it’s not as if the US doesn’t already do that in many cases. It may be better if we were a country of laws that actually followed the laws rather then a country of laws which were impossible to follow insuring that no one is in compliance of the laws. …as we swerve even further off topic…

  • Madhabmatics

    the ADA is not “impossible to follow”

  • EllieMurasaki

    What I love about all conversations like these? It’s always so abundantly clear who thinks people are always ends in themselves and money is always a means to those ends, and who thinks the reverse.

  • Madhabmatics

     “We have to get rid of the ADA because including handrails in bathrooms in public buildings will be too expensive” is basically kissing cousins with “We can’t legalize gay marriage because it would be too expensive to update the paperwork”

  • EllieMurasaki

    To be fair, banging holes in walls to install hardware and then cleaning it up so it looks like the hardware’s always been there is a tad more difficult than replacing text in a computer document. Which in no way distracts from your point.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Detracts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.jamison.9212 Scott Jamison

    I remember one fellow telling me that he and the other people who worked for a place that sold ovens, refrigerators and the like called the ADA “The Appliance Deliverymen’s Act” because of how much easier it made their jobs.  Among other thing, it apparently cut down on work-related injuries in their field.  (Do not have actual statistics on that.)

    So unplanned benefit to able-bodied people as well!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Not surprised! Those gently slanted paths for people who have limited mobility are an absolute boon for moving things around. :D

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s such an awesome point. For that matter, I’m pretty sure a slope is easier on your knees than stairs, so such measures could also reduce the amount of leg-related debilitating conditions over time for everyone.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    As spake by Paul Durant:

    Jesus Herbert Walker Christ could you stop with the self-righteous straw manning for two fucking seconds?

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    Black.

  • Paul Durant

    Just because you didn’t read something doesn’t mean it’s a safe assumption that every bad thing must be true about it.

    Every single thing I said there was supported, logical, and I stand by all of it. It’s a disgrace that your group frenzy of self-righteous public masturbation has led you to believe that I must have been a bad terrible stupid person because I disagreed with you about things you never actually read or investigated. Congratulations, you’re every single thing you hate.

  • Lori

    Every single thing I said there was supported, logical, and I stand by all of it.

    I have no doubt that the last one is true. The 2nd one is sort of true for some extremely wrong-headed values of the word “logical”. The first is not true in any reasonable sense. You do realize that people can see what you wrote, don’t you?

    And if we’re such self-righteous public masturbators why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish?

  • Paul Durant

    I realize people can see what I wrote. I also realize most of them, like you, don’t actually read it. The instant they recognize that it disagrees with something they profess belief in and thus they can get a self-righteous high from condemning it, they skim it for a few key phrases and fill in their own mental construct of what a Bad Wrong Stupid Person would say. This is how I can be accused of making a “fact-free” rant and told that the things I said were unsupported when I was the person citing facts and studies and was doing so copiously. 

    Here’s what’s going to happen next. I’m going to say “Point out something that is actually illogical and unfounded, in a way that shows you actually read the words.” You will either A: punt, and refuse to answer by sneering the question off as beneath you or something that I, as a Bad Wrong Stupid Person, am obviously unworthy of seeing a response for. Or B: You’ll make a response to something I didn’t say, that has maybe a phrase i common with something I did say, because you didn’t actually read it. If you choose B, I will point out (in an incredibly condescending manner) how you just showed that, once again, you didn’t read what you are claiming you understand well enough to dismiss out of hand, what the actual thing I said was, and how it was supported. At which point, you will punt, and refuse to respond by sneering off the rebuttal as either beneath you or something that I, as a Bad Wrong Stupid Person, am obviously unworthy of seeing a response for.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     No, Paul. Believe it or not, it is, and I realize you will be shocked, shocked to hear this, entirely possible to disagree with you because we have read the stupid things you wrote. It is possible for an honest, thoughtful person to honestly think about the things you say and come up with “No, that’s absolute rubbish.”

    However, the fact that you make these passive-aggrssive digs, and ignore the many times that people have indeed “pointed out something that is actualy ilogical and unfounded in a way that shows you actually read the words”, you simply ignore it and go back to your pitty party about how everyone would see that you were right if only we weren’t so full of ourselves and unwilling to listen does indeed demonstrtate that you are a Bad Wrong Stupid Person.

  • Paul Durant

     ignore the many times that people have indeed “pointed out something that is actualy ilogical and unfounded in a way that shows you actually read the words”

    You didn’t actually do this. You just asserted that it had happened. The attempted counterargument to the “false wage gap”, for example,  was to cite more articles using the exact same statistics in the exact same way that I had shown was false and misleading. When I provide a source that says “Commonly-Cited Premise A Is False And Misleading And Here Is Why”, citing Commonly Cited Premise A again is not a counterargument. You thought it was a counterargument because you didn’t read the thing you were responding to.

    Provide an example of you actually doing what you claim. Provide an example of proving an argument wrong, that does not itself rely on either A: baseless conjecture or B: citation of the specific thing the argument already disproved. (You won’t do this. Will you merely sneer off the very idea of proving your assertions, or will you make the leap to “demanding people other than you prove the things they say is a silencing tactic”? How thrillingly uncertain!)

  • EllieMurasaki

    The way I recall that conversation going, you asserted that the wage gap doesn’t exist because it goes away when controlling for hours worked and education and job and so forth, and then you ignored everything we said to the effect of the wage gap does exist and continues to exist even after controlling for those factors and would be worth addressing even if it did go away with those factors controlled for precisely because of the gendered distribution of part- vs full-time jobs and the gendering of entire career fields and so forth.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I really like the part where people say you should include a fudge factor for the fact that women get pregnant, so that ~6-9 month period where they’re not at work somehow miraculously disappears from the calculations for reasons for wage loss and hey presto, all of a sudden women make the same as men.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What is this six to nine months shit. Coworker of mine has a five-month-old. She was at work two days before he was born, and she’s been back at work three months, and a bunch of us gave her our sick and annual leave so she’d get paid in the interim because she didn’t have any two months saved sick and annual leave.

    Which is an entirely separate issue.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hey, don’t get all over me for it, okay? That’s what I was reading in a point-counterpoint about a decade back over this wage gap thing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Not mad at you, don’t worry. Sorry for giving that impression.

  • hagsrus

    “… a bunch of us gave her our sick and annual leave…”

    Awesome – I’d no idea such transfers were possible!

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think that might be a state employee thing.

  • Carstonio

    I know of some companies where the HR folks regularly solicit leave donations whenever employees with catastrophic illnesses use up their own sick leave.

  • Lori

     

    I’d no idea such transfers were possible!   

    It depends entirely on the job. Some employers will allow it and have a mechanism in place for it. Others do not.

    I think it’s good that people have the desire to help, but overall the whole business just makes me angry because it highlights how terrible most people’s benefit plans are. Getting enough leave time for one person should not require other people to give up theirs. Leave should be adequate for all but extremely rare cases without needing to take up a time donation from other workers. The fact that a coworker has a baby or an illness lasting more than a week A) is not some wild, unforeseeable situation and B) does not mean that said person’s coworkers don’t need their vacation time.

  • Carstonio

    In the situations I’m familiar with, the donations are primarily of sick leave, and many of the illnesses require far more than a week. Often the folks who need the donations have been working there only a couple of years and haven’t accumulated sufficient sick leave.

  • EllieMurasaki

    We have to donate sick and annual leave in equal measure. I haven’t asked what happens with people who want to donate but have run out of one or the other.

  • P J Evans

     I donated vacation time once to a co-worker who had used all their own time due to illness, and then their spouse died. It wasn’t a problem for me.

  • Lori

    The issue isn’t whether or not the donations are a problem for any particular donor coworker. The issue is that you shouldn’t have had to do it because the system should be set up to deal with the fact that sometimes shit happens.

  • Lori

    Yes, many illnesses require far more than a week. Illnesses requiring more than a week are not freakish occurrences and coping with them should be built into the system. The onus for accommodating them should not be on the person’s coworkers, requiring them to give up leave time that they may need at some point in the future or their (already inadequate) vacation time.

  • Darkrose

    Last year I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I was out of work for six weeks. I had enough time accumulated to cover about 10 days of that, and my short-term-disability insurance didn’t kick in for 30 days. I asked about leave donations because I’d donated in the past, but by the time I would have gotten all of the paperwork done, I’d have been back at work,

    Fortunately, I had money in savings, and when the ST disability did kick in, I got paid retroactively for the 30 day waiting period. What I did get a crash course in, though, was how screwed up the system is, because the onus is on the sick person to deal with insurance companies, hospitals, and HR. Navigating Kinkos to make copies of stuff when I was on crutches didn’t help what was already a less than pleasant experience.

  • Carstonio

    While I’ve never heard of anyone being required to donate sick leave, you have a valid point. What alternatives would you suggest? Perhaps a common pool of longer-term sick leave provided directly by the employer, to supplement the sick leave that the employees earn regularly, with the pool replenished yearly. My understanding is that most donors choose sick leave rather than vacation leave.

  • Maniraptor

    Reasonable amounts of sick leave for everybody so that nobody has to sacrifice their own so that other people can be treated like human beings?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > What alternatives would you suggest?

    Short-term disability insurance that kicks in when an illness or other medical procedure consumes all of my sick leave worked pretty well for me.

  • Darkrose

    Short term disability insurance is great, but there’s one catch: the waiting period. The shorter the waiting period you choose, the more expensive it gets, and in most cases, the waiting period can’t be decreased without having a physical. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Yup, absolutely.

    To be a viable alternative to the kind of sick-day-pooling under discussion, short-term disability insurance needs to kick in when an illness or other medical procedure consumes all of my sick leave, as I proposed. Having it kick in days or weeks later is better than nothing, but not quite good enough.

    I was fortunate enough when I had my stroke to have it more or less work out the way it ought to… I consumed my outstanding sick leave, switched to short-term disability when that ran out, and to long-term disability after three months. Everyone involved was actually very helpful, including the insurance agencies.

    I wish everyone were so fortunate. Illness and recovery are difficult enough to deal with even with support.

  • Paul Durant

    The way I recall that conversation going, you asserted that the wage gap doesn’t exist because it goes away when controlling for hours worked and education and job and so forth, and then you ignored everything we said to the effect of the wage gap does exist and continues to exist even after controlling for those factors and would be worth addressing even if it did go away with those factors controlled for precisely because of the gendered distribution of part- vs full-time jobs and the gendering of entire career fields and so forth.

    I said that, and then provided a link, which had a large number of citations as well as a more in-depth analysis. You didn’t see that because you didn’t read it. (it was http://permutationofninjas.tumblr.com/post/21542975783/the-wage-gap-that-isnt ). Then, you asserted, WITHOUT providing evidence, that I was wrong because you knew I was wrong. You claimed “every such study” you had seen controlled for seniority, training, hours worked, etc, without providing any. (Meanwhile Invisible Neutrino was saying I was a terrible person for claiming that seniority, training, hours worked, etc are things that should be controlled for).  As evidence you provided: it happened to someone you know. You said that you had seen that the numbers for black and latino women were lower, without providing them, and without addressing any of the reasons why the original statistic is a lie. Within a few posts, you had completely forgotten the substance of everything I said and and mentally substituted it with “this person disagreed with me, so he must have been wrong and illogical and had no backing.” The substance of the complaint was never addressed — it was merely asserted that the complaint had been addressed, and I was personally attacked for bringing it up.
    The fact that you bring up “the gendered distribution of part- vs full-time jobs and the gendering of entire career fields” is the single most convincing argument I can make for the fact that you do not read the things you respond to and you do not remember what happens beyond a hazy self-serving sense that you were right and whoever disagreed was wrong and stupid and factless. You just brought up, as a counterargument to me, the exact argument I made. That is precisely what I said. You forgot it, or never read it, you assumed I must have said something dumb and wrong because I disagreed, and assumed that because this thing makes sense it must have been used as a counterargument to defeat me. 

    And the worst part is, within two posts, you are going to forget that you ever did this, and file it away in the same indistinct haze of being always right and those who disagree being wrong and stupid.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Let me get this straight.

    You said the gender wage gap does not exist at all.

    You said the gender wage gap exists when not controlling for certain factors, such as jobs dominated by women are paid less than comparable jobs dominated by men, such as mothers in the workforce work fewer hours than fathers in the workforce.

    You ignored everything we said about the gender gap persisting even when those factors are controlled for.

    You think the gender wage gap, neither the relatively narrow gap for people with the same job, experience, education, and work hours but different genders nor the much wider gap when one considers only gender and annual pay, is not something worth addressing.

    Because of all this, I’m the one who’s in opposition to the good of all humanity especially women.

  • Paul Durant

    You ignored everything we said about the gender gap persisting even when those factors are controlled for. Every single thing you said in this category was either something I already agreed with or something completely unsubstantiated. 

    Remember. I know how hard it is for you, being as you employ forgetting as an offensive tactic, but I need you to REMEMBER all the way back to a few hours ago, when you claimed I had no citations, and that you and your heroic allies had all the facts. Now here I lay out “here’s all the facts I provided, again, and your baseless assertions,” you have once again leapt directly to “Why didn’t you believe our baseless assertions?”

    Go back into the distant fog of memory. Go back to when you claimed I had no citations and my opponents were the ones providing facts. Was this thing you said in the long-long-ago time of a few hours ago true, or not?

    You think the gender wage gap, neither the relatively narrow gap for people with the same job, experience, education, and work hours but different genders nor the much wider gap when one considers only gender and annual pay, is not something worth addressing. I… I don’t know what that “neither” clause is supposed to mean.

    I didn’t say that differences in gender employment should not be addressed. You  imagined that. I said that the wage gap as it is presented by feminism, as “77 cents on the dollar for the same work,” is a lie, and it is. It’s a lie. I said specifically that the gap SHOULD be addressed, but that approaching it from the angle feminism promotes cannot possibly lead to solving it because feminism cannot comprehend the actual problem, which is far more complex than given credit for and can’t be understood without examining how society places expectations on both genders. You leapt to accusing me of sexism because I disagreed with feminism. Within a few posts, you had forgotten what this part of the argument was, and accused me of saying the wage gap didn’t need addressing.

    You’re going to find some new (old) way to claim I am bad and wrong and stupid now, having completely forgotten how this is a response to your previous claims, and that your previous claims were wrong. Every time I respond to you, you will leap to something else and forget every previous stage, and assume that because I haven’t addressed this thing which you clearly remember as the thing you have been saying the whole time, I am wrong. Eventually, you will go back to claiming that I had no facts or citations and everyone else was showing me up with fact and citation. 

    ps: even if I am wrong and stupid and terrible and my argument is faulty, if I say “commonly cited premise A is wrong and here is why,” you repeating commonly cited premise A is not a counterargument.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Those are definitely English words but in this arrangement they’re impossible to make sense of. Does anyone else have any idea what he’s on about?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • EllieMurasaki

    That’s what I thought. Nice comic.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Asterix and Tintin were my favorite when I was younger :P (I still enjoy Captain Haddock’s many variegated curses :P )

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Leaving all the snideness aside, I get the following:

    – There isn’t a “77 cents on the dollar” wage gap between men and women in the U.S.
    – There are other differences in gender employment which ought to be addressed.
    – Feminism can’t address those differences because of its flawed philosophical grounding.
    – He has presented evidence for these claims, but nobody here acknowledges that evidence.

    This takes Paul hundreds of words to say because it’s buried under a mountain of snideness, which makes for inefficient communication.

    In particular, I can’t tell what the other differences in gender employment are that ought to be addressed on Paul’s account.

    As far as I can tell, the only evidence he’s provided is the link to http://permutationofninjas.tumblr.com/post/21542975783/the-wage-gap-that-isnt, though I may have missed something.

    That site also suffers from a huge words-to-content ratio, but seems to essentially be saying that if we compare women and men who work the same hours doing the same jobs with the same education etc. etc. etc. we find they make the same money; differences in male and female earnings are entirely a function of differences in number of hours worked, jobs being done, education level, etc. etc. etc.

    It doesn’t directly back up those assertions either, but it in turn includes links to a dozen or two other web pages which it asserts are citations. I looked at the first couple, which are basically more of the same. I gave up at that point.

    Hope that helps.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So he’s saying a contradictory mush, like I thought he was, and the only right bits in it are that among the multiple factors affecting the wage gap are hours worked by gender and jobs taken by gender and a few similar ones.
    Still not clear on how he thinks whatever his philosophy is is going to be any improvement on the gender-equality front over the philosophy where the core belief is that the genders are and should be equal.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    If I had to guess, I’d guess that when he talks about “feminism” he isn’t referring to the belief that genders are/should be equal, but rather to something else.

    I’m not clear on what exactly that something-else is, though, or what philosophy he’s proposing instead, or how that philosophy reduces the discrepancies in gender employment, or what discrepancies in gender employment he thinks ought to be reduced, or on what basis he selects those.

  • EllieMurasaki
  • Lori

    What Ross said.

    You keep insisting that we obviously didn’t read what you posted even though we responded to it at the time. You apparently simply can’t wrap your head around the clear proof that people can read and understand what you write and then disagree with it and you. We can and we did. You’re “facts” weren’t actual facts and finding a study that backs up your position doesn’t mean that you win the argument. The study must at a minimum have been well designed and conducted, its results must be replicated by other studies, the conclusions drawn must be logical and not go beyond what the study is able to support and must actually say what you’re claiming they say. Pretty much everything you posted failed on at least one of those parameters. No, I’m not going to go back and reread them to point out again what’s wrong with them  just because you refuse to grasp this.

    If you make a point and/or link to a study in the future and it’s on a topic that interests me and I have time I’ll take a look and respond to it and so will other people. Based on your behavior so far I predict that it will be crap and people will point out what’s wrong with it. You’ll then say that we obviously didn’t read it, even when we quote from it. And on and on and on.

    Let’s set all that aside for the moment and assume that your point, which is simultaneously self-pitying and self-aggrandizing, is actually true and we are simply unwilling to give a fair hearing to any ideas with which we don’t already agree. If we’re so closed why are you here, talking at us? Does it give you a self-righteous high? 

  • Paul Durant

    Let’s set all that aside for the moment and assume that your point, which is simultaneously self-pitying and self-aggrandizing, is actually true and we are simply unwilling to give a fair hearing to any ideas with which we don’t already agree. If we’re so closed why are you here, talking at us? Does it give you a self-righteous high?
    Because I hate myself and I hate being alive but I’m too chickenshit to actually self-mutilate with an actual knife so I do it emotionally by exposing myself to the abuse of horrible, toxic, self-righteous, compulsively dishonest people like you.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it’s more that you appear oddly reasonable, and then under some circumstances you avail yourself of the most astonishing spectacles of self-righteous douchebaggery.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    awww

  • EllieMurasaki

    Trigger warning that shit next time you feel the need to splash your suicidal ideation and self-injury ideation on our forum.

  • Lori

    Oh for pete’s sake.

  • Jenny Islander

    It’s horrible when people dig into the actual facts behind your assertions, isn’t it?

    A blog that allows just anybody to come along and post, including members of the groups you have identified as a blight upon the empire, is such a toxic environment.  We are just existing so loudly in your universe, obstinately imposing our desire to go on living on your neatly ordered life!

    How dare we self-righteously dispute your assertion that in order for this country to survive some people including some of us must be thrown under the bus.

    And we compulsively dishonestly insist on logic, fact checking, and clarity of debate!  An honest bunch of posters would just tell you how right you are!  The nerve of us!

    Also, wailing that you hate yourself and you want to die because you can’t win a debate is a tactic for nine-year-olds.  If you are seriously in mental pain, please find help.  If you’re posturing, quit being tacky.

  • Carstonio

     The talk about the US empire doesn’t take into account how rightists interpret that word.

    Empires in recent centuries were about colonizing distant lands and exploiting the inhabitants and resources. The changes in those empires have generally been about the colonies regaining their independence and the international power imbalance shifting somewhat.

    Because rightists tend to be authoritarian and absolutist, they seem to assume that countries can either colonize or be colonized. Their narrative is largely a straw-man version of Roman history, where that empire fell to barbarians because it reveled in decadence instead of accepting Christianity. Never mind that Roman persecution of Christians wasn’t as great or long-lasting as later Christians would claim, and never mind that Christianity was the empire’s official religion for some time before Rome fell.

    These folks want to believe that abortion and homosexuality being legal and mandatory school prayer being illegal are either symptoms or causes of US moral decline, with the nation doomed to becoming a vassal state of China and/or Mexico. The irony is that their Just World Fallacy promotion of oligarchy, essentially sacrificing the middle class, would probably do far more to shrink US power over time.

  • Danivon

    Serious question, for Mr Peterson, or someone else who can answer it:

    did any of the Senators voting against ratification actually also put forward the argument that tha ADA should be repealed, or could be in the future? Or is this just rationalisation.

  • David Peterson

    Nope, just throwing out one possibility of many. I was trying to make an argument for why we might not want to sign a treaty to would lock the US into a certain set of laws. I could have used another analogy. Perhaps the disabled need even greater protections and accommodations than is required in the current ADA. US politicians of the future could point at the treaty and say “See were doing just what we said we would do. The international community has decided that this is enough and I agree!”  The treaty could interfere unnecessarily with internal US policy and does nothing to help the disabled in the US. It might help the disabled overseas, but the US has already lead by passing the ADA. 

    Perhaps I should have used the word modified, or perhaps I should not have thrown gasoline into a burning room which appears to be what happened. 

  • Lliira

     Poor widdle you, being held to account for your hurtful, ignorant, jingoistic, willfully stupid opinions.

    Yes, perhaps you ought to shut up.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Perhaps the disabled need even greater protections and accommodations than is required in the current ADA. US politicians of the future could point at the treaty and say “See were doing just what we said we would do. The international community has decided that this is enough and I agree!”

    US politicians of the future could also point at the current ADA and say “see, we’re doing just what we said we would do. The US community has decided that this is enough and I agree!”

    Take your concern trolling somewhere the fuck else.

  • Darkrose

    You do realize that the treaty has no enforcement mechanism, right? That it in no way interferes with internal US policy? And that the blue-helmeted stormtroopers will not be patrolling the streets of the cities forcing architects to install wheelchair ramps and elevators at gunpoint?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The way people like that talk they actually believe ridiculous crap like the idea of “UN overseers” like in Edge of Apocalypse.

  • JustoneK

    Why am I always amazed at people who think they understand logic and clearly don’t?

  • hagsrus

    A note from one of my directory’s clients, a small retreat for gay men:

    “We have had to make a few changes because of the new rules of the agency in
    charge of the Americans With Disabilities Act. All facilities open to the public
    must install a crane beside each pool or hot tub so that wheelchair bound guests
    can lift themselves into and out of the pool or hot tub without the indignity of
    having to request assistance. These cranes cost $7000 and up each, not including
    installation costs. Private clubs are exempt. A law firm in New York is already
    offering $500 bounties  to wheelchair bound individuals to ferret out mom &
    pop camps  and inns who have not installed these cranes so that they can shake
    them down. So we have become a private membership campground with a small
    lifetime membership fee.”

    Lest anyone suppose otherwise, I (an aging woman with recent hip replacement) am absolutely in favor of and grateful for accessibility!

     

  • Darkrose

    Unless there are actual cites of the codes involved, I call shenanigans. The idea that law firms are hiring people to “ferret out mom & pop camps and inns who have not installed these cranes so that they can shake them down” sounds like a libertarian fantasy of what the ADA is, being used as cover for a policy change that was being implemented anyway. I’ve certainly never seen such a crane anywhere on the campus of the state university where I work, and I’ve got to believe that CA law is as strict if not more so than NY.  

  • hagsrus

     I think this would be it:

    http://www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm

  • EllieMurasaki

    …so if they object that thoroughly to pool lifts, why can’t they just redo their hot tubs to have a sloped entry?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     

    …so if they object that thoroughly to pool lifts, why can’t they just redo their hot tubs to have a sloped entry?

    As a kid? I would have so totally gone for that XD

    *slide* WHEE! *SPLASH*

    (For the record: I am not mobility impaired, but I think it’s a truism that a lot of kids like slidey things)

  • hagsrus

     I think it’s just a matter of the cost involved for a small outfit.

  • Darkrose

    Interesting. That says:

    “Title III of the ADA requires that places of public accommodation (e.g., hotels, resorts, swim clubs, and sites of events open to the public) remove physical barriers in existing pools to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so (i.e., easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense).

    So, yeah. Shenanigans.

  • hagsrus

     I suppose expense is relative.

  • Darkrose

    It is, however, if you read the document at the link you provided, it’s pretty clear that there’s nothing in it that requires every resort that has a hot tub to install a $7000 “crane”. 

    We’ve gone pretty far afield I guess. I should add that I’m not calling you or anyone else a liar; it’s just that the quote from the resort that you posted sounds like the effects of the ADA are being exaggerated for effect.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Of course the effects are being exaggerated. People who oppose the ADA want everyone to think its actual effects are absurd and should not or cannot be enforced, so they tell everyone its effects are absurd, even when we can prove they’re not.

  • AnonymousSam

    Hmm. Can pretty much just cross out “people” and “ADA” and put “today’s Republican party” and “anything which benefits the poor” and call it a general rule of debate.

    It is tiresome how often it appears that the only debate technique Republicans can use is hyperbole — especially when they take it seriously. “The ACA will make abortion mandatory! Even for women who aren’t pregnant!”

  • hagsrus

     Perhaps they had expert advice? I didn’t enter into any interrogation.

  • Jared Bascomb

    There was a (disabled) attorney in San Diego who consistently sued small mom&pop businesses in the historic mining town of Julian because of lack of accommodation, even though in many cases making the accommodations would be either prohibitively expensive or destroy the historic nature of the building. (And yes, pretty much the whole town has historic designation.) It was how he made his living, so yes, it does happen.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     How he made his living. The attorney in question was disbarred for being, based on my readings, about as crooked as a tower in Pisa.

    “Oh, but a crooked attorney who breaks the law can get away with causing a lot of harm before he gets caught because of this law” is a roughly equally compelling argument against the ADA as it is against ANY LAW WHATEVER.

  • Jared Bascomb

     >>How he made his living. The attorney in question was disbarred for being, based on my readings, about as crooked as a tower in Pisa.
    “Oh, but a crooked attorney who breaks the law can get away with causing a lot of harm before he gets caught because of this law” is a roughly equally compelling argument against the ADA as it is against ANY LAW WHATEVER.<<
    Thanks for the update. I couldn't remember what finally happened to him but I knew that the courts weren't real happy with his extortionate and frivolous lawsuits.
    Oh, and I wasn't supporting him or opposing the ADA in any way – just pointing out an example of someone who did abuse the law to his own personal advantage.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Sounds like one of the things I saw on Penn & Teller’s non-magic show, about the time I realized that the show ought to be called “Hey, look at the strawmen we’ve built!”

  • P J Evans

    “ferret out mom & pop camps and inns who have not installed these cranes so that they can shake them down”

    There are actually people who do that kind of thing: someone in a wheelchair visits small businesses and threatens to sue for every ‘violation’  they can find (or invent), and does file complaints by the dozen. It’s bad enough in some areas that it’s being treated as a form of harassment.

  • Darkrose

    I stand corrected then.

    However, I’m still not sure that a few instances of that justify pointing to the ADA as a whole as “bad for business”.

  • Madhabmatics

    Speaking of how GLORIOUS VENICE doesn’t even try to help out the handicapped, did you know that Venice has actually been trying and implementing solutions to make the city more accessible to the handicapped?

    http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/EN/IDPagina/24139

    while you are checking that out you can also see the map of how much of venice has been made handicap accessible (i.e. a whole lot)

    too bad the fall of the ITALIAN EMPIRE made opening islands up for the handicapped impossible.

  • Madhabmatics

    The map on there is from 2008, they’ve actually made even more progress in expanding the green (handicap accessible) zones since then.

  • Madhabmatics

    “In the collective imagination, the historical city of Venice is seen as
    one great “architectural barrier”. Almost 70% of the historic city
    centre is, in fact, accessible to people with impaired mobility.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    How’s that seventy percent compare to other metropolises of varying age, do you know?

  • Madhabmatics

    IIRC Istanbul is about 55-60%

  • EllieMurasaki

    So Venice is doing well, rather than being behind the curve. Gotcha.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    You know who else was concerned that caring for the disabled was going to put a serious strain on his country’s long term prosperity…

  • Anonymus

    I’m confused. I know fundamentalist evangelicals are opposed to one world government, but wouldn’t supporting it make more sense if their goal is to get the rapture over with? I mean, that’s their excuse for Israel, and isn’t a one world government another thing that has to come to pass so that their prophecies will come true and Jesus will come back?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Welcoming the O.W.G. would deprive them of a bogeyman they can waggle around to get fame, as well as donations from gullible people.

  • hagsrus

    Curb cutouts are one of my favorite things. I remember when there weren’t any in NYC.  Makes hauling my  shopping cart so much easier.

    Now if only they’d do a little redesign so that they didn’t turn into ponds when it rains or snows…

  • guest

    The chair of the architecture department where I used to teach was often known to say ‘of course [x place] is accessible–I can ride my bike all over it!’

  • EllieMurasaki

    Bikes are narrower than wheelchairs, letting them into spaces wheelchairs are too big to get into, and can move faster, giving them the momentum necessary to jump curbs.

  • guest

    I wasn’t going to bother to explain the joke, but then remembered a few people have told me they’ve found it a small but occasionally handy tool in their universal design toolboxes, so I’ll share it in case anyone here might want to add it to theirs.

    Thoughtful Person considering level access requirements:  ‘Although level access requirements were originally devised to help ensure that wheelchair users can get access to the built infrastructure, they have turned out to be beneficial to many people who aren’t wheelchair users; in fact, it’s made the lives of anyone operating or accompanied by a wheeled object (trolley, pushchair, wheeled luggage, walker) much easier.’  

    Humorous Old Man:  ‘Yes, level access is extremely useful!  It means I can ride my bicycle all over [accessible place]!’

    TP:  laughs at physical impossibility and social inappropriateness of HOM riding his bicycle all over a hospital/train station/crowded city street, and later recalls the amusing image when assessing level access either in a new design or in existing infrastructure.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Public service announcement: old threads containing drawn out fights remain open indefinitely, so everyone involved may feel free to continue them in place instead of dragging them around like a rusty bike whose chain is tangled in the leg of your pants.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The notion of people even having to donate leave they may need themselves one day is a rather particularly nasty bit of artificial zero-sum constraint coupled to the perverse feel-goodism it generates when someone from HR does a whip-around drumming up support for a co-worker. (-_-)

  • EllieMurasaki

    It’s better than the only currently extant alternative, which is people who’ve run out of leave not getting paid at all for any further time off due to baby/illness/injury.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Or having sensible and flexible leave policies. At  my uni, people routinely take a year off when they get pregnant and can come back to their old jobs if they want.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I said ‘currently extant alternative’, not ‘ideal-world situation’.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    My school district offers full time certified staff* 11 leave days per contract year. These days can be used at any time, no questions asked (not the case in most districts) and roll over from year to year into a person sick leave bank that can only be used for illness, and only after normal annual leave is used up. At the beginning of their first year, new hires are asked (we can opt out) to donate 1 leave day to the district wide sick leave bank. If an employee has expended all leave time during an extended illness, they can draw from that bank. They can continue to do so until they qualify for state disability. The bank currently sits at some 2000 days, and has never gone below 1000 days. Continuing employees have never been asked to donate further to the bank, though the CBA does provide for the district to ask for voluntary donations, should the bank drop below 300 days. 

    I suppose this system is either a cynical piece of accounting hand-waving,or an example of humane fiscal responsibility, or yet another example of lazy, greedy teachers’ unions, depending on where you sit.
    *I believe classified staff get leave based on average hours worked. Administration, being a 12-month position, get 15.

  • Jenny Islander

    Is it just a U.S. thing, that the amount of sick leave people get even from “good” jobs is always less than the amount a doctor recommends that they take?  One case of the flu will eat all of the sick leave from the average “good” job.  If your employer will even permit you to take unpaid leave after that so that you can stay away until you are no longer infectious, that’s–unpaid leave.  As in, no money coming in.  In not-so-good jobs, staying off work while sick if you are out of sick leave time can get you written up or fired.  So you drag yourself to work, hacking and spraying germs, and everybody else catches it.  If you didn’t catch it from them first.  And somehow this is supposed to increase workplace performance or save money or something.

  • Darkrose

    Sick leave–in jobs that even have it–is generally inadequate. I get one day per month, which seems generous until you realize that I can count on 1-2 days out per month due to migraines (fun with perimenopause!). At least working for the state means that I was able to have it count under the Family and Medical Leave Act, so they can’t fire me for being sick. In a lot of jobs if you take what they consider to be “too many” sick days, you’re subject to disciplinary action, I guess because they assume you’re not really sick.

    And even if you have sick time and don’t get officially penalized for using it, there’s a strong sense that taking a couple of sick days makes you “not a team player”. Sitting at your desk hacking and coughing and infecting the rest of the office is shows that you care about your job. Staying home and doing the things you need to do to get better means you’re malingering.

  • Ima Pseudonym

     Sure it saves money.  They can just fire most of them and then rehire new employees at a fraction of their pay, especially when the economy’s in the shitter and there’s boatloads of people desperate for any work they can find.  They can also do what some of our local douchebag businesses do–hire people, then find a reason to fire them just before their benefits kick in. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also? The concept of having to give up vacation days to a sick leave bank is incomprehensible. In all Canadian provinces the minimum weeks of vacation is fixed by law at two weeks (three in Saskatchewan) and may not be “eaten into” for sick days.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I’ve worked at places that lumped sick and vacation time together as “paid leave”. 

    I personally don’t care for that practice.  I get that they want to avoid the whole problem of people calling in sick when they’re not, and at the time it worked to my benefit: The new “paid leave” was less than the combined vacation and sick leave we had gotten previously, but it was more than the vacation leave had been.  Back in those days I was almost never sick, and thus almost never used my sick leave, so the net effect was to increase my overall vacation time.

    But it also gives people an incentive to come into work sick so as not to use up a day that could otherwise be used for vacation, and coming into work sick is a practice that I don’t think should be incentivized.  Seriously, where did we get this cultural notion that coming in to work sick is virtuous behavior that should be encouraged?  When people are sick they should STAY HOME so they don’t spread their illness to everyone in the freaking office.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Same place we got most of our ideas. A paid day off is money out of the boss’s pocket; a paid work day, while the same amount of money out of the boss’s pocket, brings money into the boss’s pocket too. And who cares if the peons all die of diphtheria, as long as they die on the clock and don’t infect the boss; peons are easily replaced.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     They put signs on all the doors during flu season telling people to stay home if they’re sick, and please for the love of god, don’t be a hero and infect the office.

    And then you get in and they say ‘Yeah. you should absolutely go home if you’re sick… But we do really really need this done today…”

  • Makabit

     “Not necessarily the people in the wheelchairs holding us back so much as lack of provisions for not following the rules when the rules don’t make sense. ”
    Something being more expensive does not make it ‘not make sense’.

    It’s cheaper not to have retrofitting to make buildings earthquake-safe. Much cheaper, and much easier. However, having retrofitting is the difference between San Francisco in 1989, and Haiti in 2010.

    Rebar saves lives. Safe building practice saves lives. Saving lives ‘makes sense’, no matter how much moolah people could make if we didn’t require such things.

    In fact, even if the whole of Western civilization crumbled tomorrow, those well-made buildings would go on saving lives for a long time anyway. 

    So we do it, and we don’t make ‘exceptions’ for when the ‘rules don’t make sense’, ie, would cost someone some money.

  • Makabit

    Someday the world will be different.

    That’s not actually a reason not to install ramps.

  • Makabit

    “If you’re a Christian, remember that Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread for this day, not for enough resources to keep the zombie hordes at bay for the next seven generations.”
    I’m not a Christian, and this is still completely fabulous.