Little Ricky: The U.N. wants to kill my daughter

Talk about a marriage made in heaven! Rick Santorum has been hired as a weekly columnist by…. World Net/Nut Daily. You remember WND, owned by far-fringe wingnut Joseph Farah and home to birtherism, a conspiracy theory that Andrew Breitbart was assassinated… why, so many wonderful stories, I can’t begin to list them all. And Little Ricky leads off his first column with the suggestion that the UN wants to kill his disabled child:

In keeping with the WND tradition of promoting various fringe conspiracies, Santorum’s debut column claimed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has an objective of “ceding our sovereignty to the United Nations.”


Santorum warned that a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty adopted in 2006 “has much darker and more troubling implications” than to simply improve the treatment of disabled people in other countries.


The staunchly anti-abortion Republican worried that the treaty would “put the government, acting under U.N. authority, in the position to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them.”


And taking that thought to its absurd conclusion, Santorum suggested that the U.N. treaty would have meant the death of his daughter, who has a rare genetic disorder.


“In the case of our 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18, a condition that the medical literature says is ‘incompatible with life,’ would her ‘best interest’ be that she be allowed to die?” he asked.


“Some would undoubtedly say so.”

And of course, the Republicans all voted against the bill yesterday and ignored the lobbying of former Sen. Bob Dole for the bill — although some did have enough conscience left to be embarrassed and whispered their vote.

The disinformation campaign

Well see, someone gave them information about the Iran nuclear program, but they don’t want to be quoted because well, and the AP says, okay, buddy, good enough for me!

Claiming to have obtained proof that “Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon,” Jahn admitted that the diagram “was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon,” on the “condition that they and their country not be named.” You’d almost think someone wanted to trump up reasons for another war.


Devoid of any official markings or even a date, the crude diagram is supposedly one of several used as evidence for a controversial November 2011 IAEA report that raised multiple questions, but fell short of direct accusations, about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program. The diagram, as well as the bulk of the other intelligence referenced in that report, were not obtained directly by the IAEA itself but admittedly received via other agency “member states.”


According to AP, the graph displays “a bell curve — with variables of time in micro-seconds, and power and energy both in kilotons — the traditional measurement of the energy output, and hence the destructive power of nuclear weapons.” As Nima Shirazi of Columbia University’s Gulf/2000 Project points out however, “[it] shows nothing more than a probability density function, that is, an abstract visual aid depicting the theoretical behavior of a random variable to take on any given value.” Such normal distribution curves can be plotted with nearly any data set and are not specific to nuclear physics at all.


The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists—the premier non-technical trade journal of nuclear policy discussion—concurs, adding that “even if authentic, it would not qualify as proofof a nuclear weapons program. Besides the issue of authenticity, the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level.” It details the error, remarking upon the graph’s two curves:

[O]ne that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device. But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower — around 300 million (3×108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second. As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error.


The Bulletin goes on to conclude, “This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax.”

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