Monday, April 05, 2010

Petty, and a Heartbreaker

I don't know what it is with those Southerners and their proms, but this story is about a kind of superficiality and pettiness that can only be described as profound. These are people who are deeply committed to shallowness.

You remember Constance McMillen, who wanted to take her girlfriend to the senior prom at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Itawamba, Mississippi. The school said no. The ACLU got involved and somewhere along the way the school said all right, you can come to the prom, you can even wear your tuxedo.

This is sickening. Huffington Post has it:
A lesbian teen who successfully sued her Mississippi school for the right to bring her girlfriend to prom was left out and was instead directed to a "fake prom" on Friday, according to The Advocate.

Constance McMillen, her date and just a handful of others, including two classmates with learning disabilities, attended the dance in Fulton, Mississippi while most of her other classmates from Itawamba Agricultural High School reportedly partied at a separate prom that McMillen was not invited to. Constance McMillen, Fake Prom? Itawamba Dance Was Kept Secret From Lesbian Teen

I guess the fine citizens of Itawamba will be laughing about this for the rest of their lives. The school held an official prom, but then the other kids got together and put on a secret one, making sure the lesbians and the LD kids didn't know about it.

It is possible that some of the young people of Itawamba, Mississippi will someday have a flash of conscience, that they will come to see their behavior as cruelty and ignorance, the way the rest of the world sees it. I am not saying I expect that to happen, but it is possible. A lot of progress has been made, it just hasn't reached everywhere yet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So in other words, a prom was planned, but someone else planned a party that night, invited who they wanted to invite, and most kids went to that party instead of the prom.

Most people can recall parties they weren't invited to as a kid. Painful memories all. High school is all about the popular/unpopular thing. Always has been.

April 06, 2010 9:46 AM  
Anonymous No time for snobs said...

There can be hundreds of parties that kids don't get invited to during high school, but there is only one senior prom. Every public school senior who buys a ticket gets to go to the prom.

Now some rich sugar daddy or momma bought and paid for a private prom so his or her baby didn't have to attend the real prom with the gay and LD students.

Those parents missed a golden opportunity to teach their kids how to get along with others. They prefer to keep their kids separate and unequal.

April 06, 2010 5:56 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Sounds like some people violated a federal court order. Criminal contempt? It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Speaking not as a lawyer, this kind of cruelty is just awful.

April 06, 2010 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Level Headed said...

Cruelty is pushing kids to accept the gay lifestyle as if it were normal and harmless. If some want to stray, let them stray, but don't change the rules for the rest.

April 06, 2010 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

don't change the rules for the rest.

Rules? You mean like the US Constitution and that pesky 14th Amendment:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

What happened to Constance MacMillan's equal protection of the laws?

Ethics Alarms reports:

"...rather than obey the Constitution, they decided to not only victimize every high-school senior, but to do it in a way that made that innocent young woman a target of resentment and anger, probably for a long time to come.

They apparently do not teach the Golden Rule in Itawamba County.

Even gets it:

In this day and time the school board in Itawamba County Mississippi had to realize they weren’t going to get away with a draconian policy stating what type of date a person could bring to the prom. Whatever your morals and standards you must be realistic. Had the school system simply allowed Constance McMillan’s Lesbian date to attend with her they would have avoided a mountain of legal trouble that they are now embroiled in; not to mention the bad press.

The school board indicated that they chose to cancel the prom because of the “distraction” that the Constance McMillan situation was becoming. They stated that they were taking into account the education, safety, and well being of all the students. Constance McMillan disagrees:

“All I want is the same chance to enjoy my prom night like any other student. But my school would rather hurt all the students than treat everyone fairly,” “This isn’t just about me and my rights anymore — now I’m fighting for the opportunity of all the students at my school to have our prom.”

You just know that the Constance McMillan Lesbian High School prom problem has school boards all over the country searching their policies with a fine tooth comb, probably making changes where necessary. Nobody, especially a school board wants to find themselves in the crosshairs of the ACLU over an issue like this. This is a fight the school board will not win.

There is one senior prom at each high school and all the students, popular and unpopular, are allowed to attend it -- except for the deep South where there are often two proms, one black and one white and maybe more if some southerners get their way -- another for gays and yet another for the learning disabled. Here in MCPS, couples attend the prom together as do groups of friends, any seniors who buy tickets may attend. Itawamba County Agricultural High School was wrong to deny Constance McMillen the right to bring her date to her senior prom.

The folks who changed the rules in this case are the parents who set up the separate but unequal prom to be cruel to the gay and learning disabled students.

April 07, 2010 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cruelty is pushing kids to accept the [gay] heterosexual lifestyle as if it were normal and harmless."

April 07, 2010 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comrade Bea,

The ACLU did win. All students were invited to a prom.

Not all students decided to attend that prom, but it was given.

When I was in high school, I don't recall being forced to go to a prom. Is that what you liberals want -- to make proms mandatory? Or to make private parties on prom night illegal?

April 07, 2010 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief. This is the only group of people I know who can win a legal case and still bellyache about it.

The ACLU won. McMillan won. A prom was held and everyone was invited to it, regardless of who was brought as a date. Yea. Yea. Three cheers.

Is it now to be mandatory that no one can throw a private party? Is it now mandatory to attend prom on prom night?

April 07, 2010 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Constance Mcmillan and her date will be able to remember with pride all their lives that they stood up for what was right when the forces of repression in their local government, their community and their families were stacked against them.

The other students in Itawamba will be able to remember with pride that they, what, stood up for their right to exclude people who aren't like themselves.

Which prom would Jesus have gone to?

April 07, 2010 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Constance Mcmillan and her date will be able to remember with pride all their lives that they stood up for what was right"

I thought she was standing up for herself

Is selfishness a virtue now?

April 07, 2010 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Jesus attend proms?

April 07, 2010 4:37 PM  
Anonymous that's very very nice said...

Two of the Republican Party's most potent superstars hit the stage in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon and basked in the adulation of thousands of supporters.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is headlining the rally to lend a hand to Sixth District Rep. Michele Bachmann at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

""Let's do the rest of the nation a favor and keep her in Congress," Palin said.

"Let me ask you, Minnesota, do you love your freedom?" Palin boomed to a rapturous response.

She got an equally loud response when she asked, "are there any Tea Party Americans here today?" She called the Tea Party movement "a beautiful grassroots movement sweeping across the country ... The Tea Party is growing and steaming" having enlisted "people who are deeply concerned about the path our country is on."

Referring to campaign appearances during the 2008 campaign, including her debut at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Palin said, "I love being here because you all sound like me."

Referring to one of President Obama's biggest gaffes on the campaign trail, Palin said she imagined that "some of you are probably proud to cling to your guns and religion."

Palin and Bachmann hit the stage about 2:45 p.m to an explosive roar of approval and stood before a massive American flag, facing a sea of waving blue Bachmann campaign signs.

GOP officials said more than 11,000 began streaming into the hall two hours before the 2 p.m. event began.

Noting the turnout, Bachmann shouted, "take that liberals!" Speaking of the upcoming midterm election, "there is hope, there is change -- real change coming to this country this November. This is our country. We own this country!"

Of Palin, Bachmann said, "she is one of us."

April 07, 2010 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I thought she was standing up for herself

What made you think that? Is that how FAUX NEWS spun it?

These are Constance's words:

“All I want is the same chance to enjoy my prom night like any other student. But my school would rather hurt all the students than treat everyone fairly,” “This isn’t just about me and my rights anymore — now I’m fighting for the opportunity of all the students at my school to have our prom.”

The only people using words like "forced" and "mandatory" are the folks who think it's fine to be cruel to gays and the learning disabled.

Enjoy your smugness.

Robert, I volunteer to chaperone an inclusive senior prom with you.

April 07, 2010 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constance exercised her right to go to court, and she won.

Some other students exercised their First Amendment right to gather peacefully.

Everyone got what they wanted.

What's the problem?

April 07, 2010 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

other than her, were any other students asked not to come?

what other students' rights was she fighting for?

April 07, 2010 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

We're sponsoring 2 proms this spring, Bea. Send me an email at We have procedures for background checks etc of course, but it's not too arduous.


Jesus, of course, would have gone to the prom with the Samaritans, tax collectors and centurions, not the pharisees.

April 08, 2010 3:09 AM  
Anonymous wisconsin fights assault said...

that's interesting, Robert

could you tell me what the differences were between tax collectors, centurions and Pharisees?

"(April 7) -- A Wisconsin district attorney is urging schools to drop their sex-education programs, warning that the teachers involved could be arrested if they follow a new state law requiring them to instruct students on how to use condoms and other contraceptives.

In light of a letter from Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth, leaders at the five school districts in the county are evaluating what to do now, New Lisbon School District Superintendent Tom Andres said today.

"I don't intend to put our teachers in harm's way," he said. "We were just about to meet to discuss how to comply with the new law. Then this letter came, and this is another piece of the puzzle that we'll have to consider as we figure out how to move forward."

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth sent a letter to leaders at the county's five school districts, warning them to stop their sex-education programs or risk the arrest of teachers if they follow a new state law requiring them to instruct students how to use condoms and other contraceptives.
The state law, called the Healthy Youth Act, took effect in March. Starting this fall, it requires schools with sex-education courses to teach students how to use birth control.

Schools are permitted to not offer the classes, if they choose to, but must notify parents about the decision.

In his letter, Southworth told school district leaders the new law promotes sexual assault of children, and warns that teachers who follow the law could be charged with misdemeanor or felony delinquency of a minor, with maximum punishments ranging from nine months in jail to six years in prison.

"For example, if a teacher instructs any student aged 16 or younger how to utilize contraceptives under circumstances where the teacher knows the child is engaging in sexual activity with another child -- or even where the 'natural and probable consequences' of the teacher's instruction is to cause that child to engage in sexual intercourse with a child -- that teacher can be charged under this statue," Southworth wrote.

"Moreover, the teacher could be charged with this crime even if the child does not actually engage in the criminal behavior," he wrote.

Southworth's letter also said the new law requires schools to condone controversial sexual behavior because they must teach students about gender stereotypes. He said that would likely mean teaching about homosexuality and transgender and transsexual people.

"In effect, the new law injects an intense amount of unnecessary politics into our human growth and development classrooms, and places our teachers and children into a position of discussing extremely controversial issues that will likely conflict with the religious beliefs and values of most Juneau County families," he wrote.

He urged school district leaders to simply drop their sex-education courses until the state Legislature "amends or repeals these new mandates.""

April 08, 2010 9:30 AM  
Anonymous way to go, barry said...

remember how Obama said in the campaign that Afghanistan should be our priority?

he has sure screwed that up, royally:

"KABUL, Afghanistan - When Afghan President Hamid Karzai was meeting with provincial governors recently, he looked at his dinner and remarked, "Maybe the foreigners put some poison in my food."

This story was told to me by someone who attended the event and said he thought Karzai was joking. But the Afghan leader's remark shows how low U.S.-Afghan diplomatic relations have sunk in a week when Karzai has repeatedly railed against foreigners and declared he won't be anyone's puppet.

In recent weeks, Karzai has rushed to Iran and China to prove he doesn't depend solely on Washington and rebuffed U.S. demands that he curb corruption.

Yet before calls mount in Congress for us to quit Kabul, we should examine the dysfunctional way the Obama administration has dealt with the Karzai problem. It has made a bad situation worse.

Despite U.S. frustration with Karzai, he's the elected president, and there's no alternative out there. We have to deal with the Afghan leader we've got.

A large part of the problem lies with the unwieldy structure Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set up when she named a special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.

Holbrooke, renowned for his abrasive personality, alienated Karzai from the get-go. He's chastised Karzai in public and left the Afghan leader convinced the administration wants to oust him.

In a culture that prizes respect, such public rebukes, even if deserved, ensure Karzai will lash back.

Holbrooke's relationship with Karzai is so strained there is hardly any communication between them. What use is a special representative to Afghanistan who can't talk with the leader in Kabul?

Karzai's hostility toward Holbrooke - who flies in only for brief, occasional visits - has colored his relationship with the U.S. embassy. Afghans are uncertain who speaks for President Obama - Holbrooke or U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry. To add to the confusion, the CIA seems to have its own separate policy on Karzai.

Nor has Obama helped. Unlike President Bush, who held monthly videoconferences with Karzai, Obama has distanced himself from the Afghan leader. He made his first visit to Kabul as president only last week, for a few hours in the middle of the night, to lecture Karzai on corruption. In a relationship in which trust has totally eroded, this fly-by-night meeting made matters worse.

In Iraq, the Bush administration recognized Maliki would become more outspoken as he positioned himself for ruling post-occupation Iraq. They shrugged off Maliki's slights, while encouraging him to stand up to radical Shiite militias. When he finally did so, they let him take credit, even though U.S. forces did most of the work.

The Obama administration would do well to follow that model in Kabul. The issue is not whether Karzai denounces foreigners, but whether - as Maliki did - he begins to take responsibility for ensuring stability in troubled areas such as Kandahar.

The administration should also designate one point person to deal with Karzai - preferably a strengthened U.S. ambassador to Kabul who has Obama's full backing. The Afghan leader needs to hear one clear message - in private.

The United States can't afford to engage in an open war of words with Karzai. It is a war we can't win, and one that could destroy the central foreign-policy undertaking of Obama's first term."

April 08, 2010 10:24 AM  
Anonymous tax the rich for the poor til there are no rich no more said...

next time you hear that the tax system favors the rich:

"WASHINGTON — Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions of Americans, but for nearly half of U.S. households, it's simply somebody else's problem.
About 47% will pay no federal income taxes for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

The vast majority of people who escape federal income taxes do pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes. Many also pay state or local sales, income and property taxes.

Most people still are required to file federal income tax returns by the April 15 deadline. The penalty for not filing is limited to the amount of taxes owed, but it's still almost always better to file: That's the only way to get a refund of income taxes withheld by employers.

In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.

Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generously given tax cuts to low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year.

The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the U.S. from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10% of earners — households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 — paid about 73% of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

The bottom 40%, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax system, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

In 2007, about 38% of households paid no federal income tax, a figure that jumped to 49% in 2008, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center."

April 08, 2010 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Is this Southworth character a friend or relative of Ken Cuccinell?

Samaritans, tax collectors and centurions were outcasts, hated by the majority, while the pharisees were the religious establishment. Do you not see the parallels to Fulton, Mississippi? To which prom would Jesus have gone?

April 08, 2010 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, my friend, you always over-simplify

the Pharisees, as a whole in Jesus' time, were a religious sect that believed in free will and a looser interpretation of the law than the stricter Saducees

they'd be similar to mainstream liberal churches today

they weren't all bad

Hillel the Elder, a pharisee, wrote many things which foreshadowed the teachings of Jesus

Nicodemus, another pharisee, was close to Jesus and, with a member of the Sanhedrin, took care of burying Jesus

in repressive 1st century Palestine, people had good reason to despise tax collectors and centurions

Samaritans were not well-liked by Jews but they had their own country not far away by modern standards

Jesus offered redemption to all

what would you do?

April 08, 2010 4:17 PM  
Anonymous ut-oh said...

less than a week after Barry O hit a new low with a 44% approval rating in a CBS News poll, he did again today

in a another new low, Fox News released a poll today giving him a 43% approval rating

that health care triumph sure helped, didn't it?

now, let's see here....what was George Dub's rating at this point in his presidency?

oh, I found it

he had a 79% approval rating in April 2002

put that in your pipe and extrapolate it

you know who you are

April 08, 2010 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Thanks for document dump again, Anone...not!

Robert, you've got email. I'll be glad to chaperone both proms with you because I'm sure everyone will be welcome, even the Pharisees.

April 08, 2010 6:13 PM  
Anonymous ut-oh said...

inane, the current polls are all available on

the historical polls are from

they list several polls but I used the Washington Post/ABC, which is listed first on that site

do let us know when the dance is, guys

April 08, 2010 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any adult can chaperone a prom at Robert's school? No security checks are needed -- just the offer to chaperone?

April 08, 2010 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry-- I just looked back and saw Robert's note that background checks are required.

April 08, 2010 7:15 PM  
Anonymous are we changing what"prom" is short for? said...

oh, don't worry, they're "not too arduous"


Robert, why are you having "two proms"?

are we to assume that one, or both, are not open to all?

also, this Constance McMillen said:

“This isn’t just about me and my rights anymore — now I’m fighting for the opportunity of all the students at my school to have our prom.”

why can't anyone, then, answer these questions?:

"other than her, were any other students asked not to come?

what other students' rights was she fighting for?"

April 09, 2010 3:43 AM  
Anonymous way to go, Barry said...

that health care reform passage was very helpful

to Republicans:

"PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' favorable rating of the Democratic Party dropped to 41% in a late March USA Today/Gallup poll, the lowest point in the 18-year history of this measure.

Americans' current 41% favorable rating of the Democratic Party is five points lower than the party's previous low."

April 09, 2010 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's strange

I thought this health care reform package was so great that once it was passed, everyone would love Democrats

April 09, 2010 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

other than her, were any other students asked not to come?

According to a report published by Candace Gingrich-Jones, yes, other students, faculty and even the principal were sent to the "fake" prom.

...A court decided her school was wrong to deny her attendance but stopped short of ordering them to hold the prom. So parents and private citizens offered to put on the prom, but details of that prom were mysterious and Constance wasn't invited. Then it was reported that the mystery prom had been canceled, but that another prom would be held at a country club in nearby Fulton, MS; Constance was invited and would be going to this prom. It took place this past Friday and was attended by exactly seven students -- Constance, her date and five others, plus some teachers and the principal as chaperons. How could this be? Quite simply and horribly, the event at the country club was a 'fake' prom and all the other students attended the 'real' prom at another location.

I am sure your jaw dropped to the floor as mine did when I read the news. According to Constance, two of the five other attendees had learning difficulties -- also apparently not worthy of the 'good' prom...

I hope the other high school parents in Alaska won't be so cruel to Trig Paxson Van Palin at prom time, don't you Anone?

April 09, 2010 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She wasn't sent to a fake prom. She went to the real prom and others simply didn't attend a prom.

Constance won the court case, remember? The law was followed. She wanted the law to be followed and it was. woo hoo.

Hey -- turns out Constance's mother is gay.

April 09, 2010 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I thought this health care reform package was so great that once it was passed, everyone would love Democrats

On April 7, 2010, Gallup poll reported Voters Issue Strong Rebuke of Incumbents in Congress

"...the percentage specifically saying their own member does not deserve re-election -- is well above the levels seen in recent midterm years. This is in part because fewer voters today than in the past say they have no opinion on the question.

Although Democrats -- whose own party now holds a solid majority of House seats -- are much more likely than Republicans to say most members of Congress deserve re-election, not even half (46%) believe they do. [For Republican members of Congress, AKA the party of "no," only 13% believe they deserve re-election.]..."

Since you like polls so much, be sure to keep track of poll numbers as the immediate, 3 month, and 6 month provisions of the health care law become reality for Americans.

Right now, seniors who hit the doughnut hole Bush built can receive a $250 rebate for medications. Starting in January 2011, they will receive a 50% discount on brand name drugs. Starting right now, college students in need of a student loan go to, a related website to file for their direct student loans, cutting out interest rate hiking middle men.

Beginning this year, small business companies will get a tax credits of up to 35 percent of health premiums to buy insurance for their workers. Tax credits would rise up to 50 percent by 2014. Those businesses with fewer than 10 workers would receive a full credit to cover costs.

Starting in June this year, people who have been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition will be eligible for subsidized coverage through a new high-risk insurance program.

By September this year, two months before the election, many plans will be prohibited from placing lifetime caps [AKA a private insurance death panel] on medical coverage, and they can not rescind the policies [another private insurance death panel] of people who fall ill. Children with pre-existing conditions can not be denied coverage [another private insurance death panel]. And dependent children up to age 26 will be eligible for coverage under their parents’ plans — instead of the current state-by-state rules that often cut off coverage for children at 18 or 19.

You might want to reevaluate the poll numbers once these changes brought by the Democrats without a single GOP vote begin to reach the millions of Americans who will benefit from them.

April 09, 2010 9:05 AM  
Anonymous the wages of supporting Obamacare said...

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (April 9) -- Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, targeted for defeat by tea party activists for his crucial role in securing House approval of the health care overhaul, said today he would retire from Congress this year.

April 09, 2010 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Barry put the bar in embarassin' said...

(April 9) -- President Barack Obama has waved away Sarah Palin's criticism of his administration's nuclear policy, calling the former Alaska governor "not much of an expert" on the issue.

"If the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them, and not from Sarah Palin," he said in an interview Thursday with ABC News.

Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are trading barbs about nuclear policy.
The Obama administration announced this week that the United States will not use nuclear weapons against any country that has signed and is abiding by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attack the United States with chemical or biological weapons.

On Wednesday, Palin compared Obama to a kid in a playground who is asking for a punch in the face.

"It's kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, 'Go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me,'" she said.

Obama shot back Thursday: "I really have no response," he told ABC. "Because last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues."

April 09, 2010 12:24 PM  
Anonymous barry, you're on your own here said...

WASHINGTON -- Nuclear doctrine consists of thinking the unthinkable. It involves making threats and promising retaliation that is cruel and destructive beyond imagining. But it has its purpose: to prevent war in the first place.

During the Cold War, we let the Russians know that if they dared use their huge conventional military advantage and invaded Western Europe, they risked massive U.S. nuclear retaliation. Goodbye Moscow.

Was this credible? Would we have done it? Who knows? No one's ever been there. A nuclear posture is just that -- a declaratory policy designed to make the other guy think twice.

Our policies did. The result was called deterrence. For half a century, it held. The Soviets never invaded. We never used nukes. That's why nuclear doctrine is important.

The Obama administration has just issued a new one that "includes significant changes to the U.S. nuclear posture," said Defense Secretary Bob Gates. First among these involves the U.S. response to being attacked with biological or chemical weapons.

Under the old doctrine, supported by every president of both parties for decades, any aggressor ran the risk of a cataclysmic U.S. nuclear response that would leave the attacking nation a cinder and a memory.

Again: Credible? Doable? No one knows. But the threat was very effective.

Under President Obama's new policy, however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is "in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," explained Gates, then "the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against it."

Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is in compliance with the NPT. If it turns out that the attacker is up-to-date with its latest IAEA inspections, well, it gets immunity from nuclear retaliation. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.)

However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT noncompliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come.

This is quite insane. It's like saying that if a terrorist deliberately uses his car to mow down a hundred people waiting at a bus stop, the decision as to whether he gets (a) hanged or (b) 100 hours of community service hinges entirely on whether his car had passed emissions inspections.

April 09, 2010 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from being morally bizarre, the Obama policy is strategically loopy. Does anyone believe that North Korea or Iran will be more persuaded to abjure nuclear weapons because they could then carry out a biological or chemical attack on the U.S. without fear of nuclear retaliation?

The naivete is stunning. Similarly the Obama pledge to forswear development of any new nuclear warheads, indeed, to permit no replacement of aging nuclear components without the authorization of the president himself. This under the theory that our moral example will move other countries to eschew nukes.

On the contrary. The last quarter-century -- the time of greatest superpower nuclear arms reduction -- is precisely when Iran and North Korea went hellbent into the development of nuclear weapons.

It gets worse. The administration's Nuclear Posture Review declares U.S. determination to "continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks." The ultimate aim is to get to a blanket doctrine of no first use.

This is deeply worrying to many small nations who for half a century relied on the extended U.S. nuclear umbrella to keep them from being attacked or overrun by far more powerful neighbors. When smaller allies see the United States determined to move inexorably away from that posture -- and for them it's not posture, but existential protection -- what are they to think?

Fend for yourself. Get yourself your own WMDs. Go nuclear if you have to. Do you imagine they are not thinking that in the Persian Gulf?

This administration seems to believe that by restricting retaliatory threats and by downplaying our reliance on nuclear weapons, it is discouraging proliferation.

But the opposite is true. Since World War II, smaller countries have agreed to forgo the acquisition of deterrent forces -- nuclear, biological and chemical -- precisely because they placed their trust in the firmness, power and reliability of the American deterrent.

Seeing America retreat, they will rethink. And some will arm. There is no greater spur to hyper-proliferation than the furling of the American nuclear umbrella.

April 09, 2010 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Barry to world: get your own nukes said...

is Obama insane?

he is basically telling the world, get your own nukes if you want a deterrent because we won't provide it anymore


and he has the nerve to say this?!?:

"Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues"

can someone invent a time machine and get us to November 2012 now?

April 09, 2010 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Those parents enabled and encouraged their children to play a cruel joke on outcast and excluded students.


Anonymous, you shouldn't defend them, it makes you look poor.

April 09, 2010 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

As for background checks, my school allows parents and relatives to supervise students without background checks.

The non-profit for which I volunteer does not.

April 09, 2010 5:23 PM  

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