Monday, April 27, 2009

The Rule of Law and The Suggestion Of Force

About Those “Special Relationships”

Ever since World War II, American diplomacy has taken on an informal tone, simply ignoring technicalities like the Constitution. At Yalta, FDR secretly gave away Eastern Europe and its fifty million Christians to our ally, Josef Stalin. In similar fashion, with the “Kennedy- Khrushchev Accords” JFK secretly agreed with the Soviets to allow Castro to remain in power in Cuba.

The courts have determined that all of these agreements, legally termed “executive compacts,” have the same status as treaties, and are thus recognized as part of the “Supreme Law of the Land” -- even if their content is never revealed to the public. Thus my consternation when I read the London Telegraph headline: “Obama reaffirms belief in the special relationship with Britain.” The “relationship” referred to is one so special that it has never been articulated, much less incorporated into a treaty that is publicized and debated in the senate, where it must be consented to by two-thirds of the senators present and voting.

On the third of March, British Prime Minister Gordon visited the Obama White House. Brown, the successor to Tony Blair, is a failing politician in charge of an even more quickly failing state once known as the British Empire (which has retreated from most of her imperial colonies, save those stolen from Argentina, Ireland, and Spain -- all three of which, by sheer coincidence, are Catholic). Mr. Brown brought to America a lofty new goal to share with his “special” friends: as the London Times reports, “The prime minister will borrow from the rhetoric of Franklin Roosevelt, who introduced the government-financed New Deal to tackle the US Depression of the 1930s. He will argue that his 21st century ‘global new deal’ will also require public spending on a huge world-wide scale.” Mr. Brown himself described the goal of this undertaking as “a more stable world where we defeat not only global terrorism but global poverty, hunger and disease.”

A noble cause indeed – why, it might take two terms! But, as our favorite congressman used to shout from the back benches, “Where are we going to get the money?” That’s a good question, and you will not be pleased to hear the answer, because, since Britain is broke, the money is going to come from us. Mr. Brown faces dismal electoral prospects at home, and is obviously looking to stay in office by every possible means. Why not do it with our money? So he promises to lead “a genuinely new era of international partnership” -- which we will pay for.

Now of course all this is preposterous leftish blather, even for a Brit. But while Mr. Brown tries to pick our pocket, we hear nary a word from our elected representatives. After all, we have that “special relationship.” Consider: according to the World Bank, there are two billion people in the world who live on less than two dollars a day. With a mere two billion from the U.S. taxpayer, Mr. Brown can double their living standard -- only for a day, of course, assuming that the bureaucrats passing out the money will work for free. But lifting them out of poverty for an entire year will only cost us an additional seven trillion! And that’s only ten percent of all the liabilities, funded and unfunded, of the U.S. Government. So, Mr. Brown, why not go for ten years? It will only double our debt, and think of all the good it will do!

Because these “special relationships” have the power of treaties, they are not only very secret, but also very dangerous. And they can cost much more than money: we have a similar unwritten “special relationship” with Israel, whose government Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to support “forever.” Perhaps she overlooked the fact that the U.S. Senate has never debated a security treaty with Israel, much less consented to one. Yet our security responsibilities to that country, as well as to Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico, and countless other governments with whom we have no valid security treaties, are as immense as they are hidden.

“Get In Their Face”

That’s what Obama told his supporters to do, and he’s off to a flying start. The latest provocation arrived with the selection of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. Briefly described, she will be in charge of advancing domestically the Culture of Death in America for Obama.

Mrs. Sebelius is one of those Catholics who has a real bishop – in this case, Archbishop John Naumann of Kansas City. The Kansas City Star, irate that it does not dictate Church policy, insists that the archbishop is interfering with “good government” because he has publicly advised Sebelius not to receive the Eucharist. But the good archbishop is the shepherd of souls, not pols, and calmly explains his action this way: “ if an individual persistently acts publicly in a manner that is inconsistent with fundamental moral teachings of the church and continues to receive Holy Communion, a bishop may feel obliged to intervene for the good of the individual and to protect others from being misled.”

The archbishop goes on to say that Sebelius’s actions are scandalous, and explains why: “"To give scandal means more than to cause other people to be shocked or upset by what one does. Rather, one's action leads someone else to sin. Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter.” In that regard, the archbishop explains that his action was based on Sebelius’s “30-year history of advocating and acting in support of legalized abortion.”

As advertised, Obama’s shock troops have gone into action. One front group called “Catholics United” (Hmmmm … I must remind the Pope to trademark that word “Catholic”) accuses Archbishop Naumann of “being more interested in trying to score political points against the governor than in crafting effective abortion policy within the reality of politics.” This outburst follows the pattern of pro-abortion politician who want to be identified as “Catholics.” They accuse the Church of “using the Eucharist as a weapon” a revealing charge, because to this crowd all life is political. Hence, those responsible for our salvation should cool it.

Obama’s supporters insist that Sebelius’s cabinet appointment represents the triumph of “good government,” Do we need more proof that Obama’s government is bad? Isn’t it unwise for our bishops to continue accepting billions of taxpayer dollars a year from such a government?

Travelers Advisory

A U.S. customs officer at the Canadian border recently pepper-sprayed a driver who had offended the officer by asking him politely to say “please.” The Customs spokesman explained to me that officers are trained to do so when a driver is “noncompliant to an order (in this case, ‘turn off your car’) in a dangerous situation.”
The message here is straightforward: you should treat every encounter you have with the government as a “dangerous situation.” Is the Child Protection Services coming to take your kids because your homeschool curriculum does not include "diversity-based sex education"? Is the ATF coming to take your guns because Obama says only the government (and criminals, of course) should have guns? Does "Social Services" want to inspect your house before you are allowed to care for your ailing spouse at home?
Well, now. Here's what not to tell them as they break down your door: “Say 'please'!”

Write Christopher Manion and discuss (or criticize) his Wanderer articles at the Catholic Guys Internet blog (

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