WHAT DELICATE BALANCE?
Part 1 of a 3-Part Series
by John Loeffler
"For what?" asked England's Lord High Chancellor, Sir Thomas More. "He's dangerous!" said More's wife. William Roper, Thomas More's son-in-law chimed in, "For all we know he's a spy!" to which his daughter added, "Father, that man's bad!"
Sir Thomas replied, "There's no law against that!"
"There is God's law!" countered the impetuous Roper.
"Then let God arrest him!"More's wife saw the critical opportunity fading, "While you talk he's gone!"
More looked at his distraught wife. "And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law! This was too much for the son-in-law, who mounted a second challenge: "So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!"
"Yes!" asserted Sir Thomas. "What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?"
"Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!"
"Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!"
With an eloquence befitting the Lord High Chancellor, in the play, "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More  argues that you cannot begin chopping down laws even for a good cause, because once the cutting begins, it cannot be stopped. His wisdom is being ignored by the nations of the West today.
Freedom's Real Foe
"Freedom is under attack" has been the battle cry since 9/11. Freedom is indeed under attack, but our intelligence sources indicate Osama bin Laden is not the chief culprit. The attacks on 9/11 were on America, not freedom. In reality freedom has long been under attack by institutions in the West, who have sought to destroy the foundations upon which western thought, culture and law rest. In its place a new global, pantheistic, and socialist paradigm is seeking hegemony, while its proponents must still give lip service (at least publicly for a while) to the old one. This stealth attack, mounted steadily for almost a century, represents a far greater threat than any airplane or biologic attack because it is more insidious and many victims do not even recognize they are under assault.
The attack on western culture began in the halls of academia and has now metastasized to politics, the media and even the church. Western society has been shoved off a fact-based mode of thought (didactic) rooted in logic, reason and a belief in absolute truth, to a relative (dialectic), constantly-changing system, where there is no knowable truth, where feelings reign supreme and where the outcome justifies the means. Nowhere does this appear more blatantly than in the arena of politics.
The Delicate Balance
Since 9/11 politicians have been speaking of the need to preserve the "delicate balance" between civil rights and the need to respond to terrorism in a time of war. They say this without blinking an eye, oblivious of the fact that the founding fathers didn't foresee any kind of "delicate balance" when they wrote the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. They envisioned an impenetrable wall, beyond which government could not go under any circumstances, except as allowed in the Constitution itself.
They have been justified in their viewpoint since history shows that a delicate balance rapidly becomes a slippery slope, which always tips in favor of ever-increasing government control and away from citizens' rights. Indeed, as several books published in the last decade clearly document, the greatest potential source of terror in the 20th came from unrestrained, unaccountable governments. More than 100 million people were starved, gassed, shot, tortured, buried alive, strangled, and poisoned not by terrorists, not in war but by their own governments.
Rights not Privileges
A privilege is something that is granted by the state to its citizens and can be revoked by the state at any time the state sees fit. A perfect example is the U.N.'s own Declaration of Human Rights, where any of the "rights" enumerated therein can be revoked at the whim of the U.N. Rights on the other hand are irrevocable conditions possessed by the citizenry, which the state may not revoke for whatever reason.
The difference between the two, thanks to the leftist indoctrination prevalent in public schools, is now thoroughly blurred in the western mind. Even the original purpose of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights has been altered thanks to historical revisionism and those attempting to restore the original meanings are publicly ridiculed as kooks. What part of "...shall not be infringed" don't they understand?
The Great Paradigm Shift
Currently the West is in an epic power struggle -- away from traditional thought and a free society towards a totally socialized, planned society where government controls everything from womb to tomb, including how we believe and worship. Incumbent in this struggle is a move away from national sovereignty and into this "new order" everyone from Henry Kissinger to Vladmir Putin keeps talking about but never define publicly what it really means.
In order for the new womb-to-tomb paradigm to be implemented, the old collection of "rights" has to go. But proponents of the new vision face a dilemma in that they must give lip service to the existing legal structure at the same time they gut the same institutions of their power. So a new process of end-running law has been instituted, which give the appearance of leaving existing laws in place, while making it impossible to have the usufruct of such laws.
The Great International Blur
How do you abolish laws and rights without directly doing so?
1 Make so many laws regulating a guaranteed right that it is impossible to exercise the right. The second amendment to the US Constitution, for example, says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. However, there are so many gun laws in some places, it is impossible to carry a weapon without incurring the risk of being charged with a felony. If you're willing to risk years in jail or staggering legal costs, go ahead and exercise your right.
2 Turn over a large amount of "lawmaking" to unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies that generate "regulations" which have the force of law but are never voted upon by any accountable lawmaking body. Most of our lawmakers today never read the bills they are passing and there is much mischief in the details.
3 Have the courts continually reinterpret laws to "find" new things in them that were not intended by the original framers of the law or to interpret things away that were intended. (Remember that under the new paradigm there are no absolutes, so law can be tortured to say whatever we want it to mean.)
4 Expand a law far beyond what the lawmakers ever intended and what citizens were promised. Drug property forfeiture laws are a prime example, which allow property to be confiscated on the mere accusation (not conviction) that a crime has been committed. Originally, Americans were told that the law would only be used against drug-dealers. But within a decade forfeiture laws had exploded to over a hundred and most did not involve drugs at all. Another example is the use of RICO racketeering laws to prosecute abortion clinic protestors.
5 Stretch or blur jurisdiction or claim jurisdiction where the area is unclear. Courts in Belgium are claiming jurisdiction over what Ariel Sharon did in Lebanon. Spain wanted to try Agosto Pinochet for things he did in Chile. A kangaroo court in the Hague is trying accused war criminal Solobodan Miloscevic even though the court and the laws did not exist when the crimes were committed and the court has dubious jurisdiction granted by who knows whom? The U.S. seems very anxious to deny persons on the international scene those rights we deem to be precious here.
6 Enforce laws selectively, especially for achieving particular political purposes. While much coverage has been made of the process against Slobodan Milosevic, so far no effort has been made to round up Fidel Castro or Idi Amin (alive and well in Saudi Arabia) for their "crimes against humanity."
7 Turn jurisdiction over to international bodies by means of treaties or other agreements. This process is being used to transfer sovereignty and wealth. Most Americans would be hard pressed to name even one member on the NAFTA or GATT commissions and yet these people make binding decisions affecting commerce and jobs for thousands of people. All by means of agreements, which were really treaties, but weren't called such to keep it from having to be ratified by the Senate.
8 Use executive orders (US) or ministerial decrees (UK) to do end runs around lawmaking bodies. This can be seen both in actions by Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair in shoving the UK deeper into the new "United States of Europe" (aka the European Union), where it will shortly lose all of its sovereignty.
President Clinton was prolific in his use of executive orders to end-run Congress, especially in the area of non-ratified environmental treaties. As a matter of fact, unknown to most Americas, presidential executive orders have kept a healthy number of official "emergencies" going for years to enable end-runs around Congress in various areas.
This list of end-runs is anything but exhaustive. Frequently the end-runs are executed in the name of some good or handling a crisis and there is invariably much debate among "experts" about each one. However, one pattern is becoming clear: we are systematically gutting the legal structure upon which western civilization has stood for centuries and the new proposed order would be unpalatable to most westerners if they really understood what it meant.
A few years back, a bridge collapsed on a major US highway while traffic was crossing. The structural rot that caused the collapse had been progressing for many years if not decades. Right down to the last second it looked like a bridge and it served a bridge's function. However, when the break finally came, it happened in just moments and swept away all that were relying on it. Caveat lector! The same rot is occurring to the western legal system. We'll show you where this is going in our next article, entitled "Antichrist Doesn't Wear Tights."
Sir Thomas More was right, "...when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide...the laws all being flat?" The answer is nowhere.
 Actually playwright Robert Bolt, author of the play "A Man for All Seasons." Sir Thomas More had just declined to employ the ambitious Richard Rich, the man who ultimately played the principle role in having More beheaded for his opposition to the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. We added narrative not in the play itself to the dialogue.
"A Man for All Seasons" (the same screenplay) has been produced on video in two versions, one of which features Charlton Heston as Sir Thomas More.
© John Loeffler, All Rights Reserved
John Loeffler is host of the nationally-syndicated news program Steel on Steel, which can be heard at www.steelonsteel.com Subscriptions to program tapes as well as a catalog of programs can be obtained at (800) 829-5646.