Why the Historical Perspective Gives Some Credence to Defense of Judge Roy Moore

By Alan W. Cohen

November 15, 2017

As commentators like Sean Hannity demand explanations for so called inconsistencies in the statements of Judge Roy Moore in defense of recent allegations, it would serve them best to understand that they are making the same mistake as those that wish to destroy Civil War monuments or to disregard George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as slave holders. I am an amatuer historian, author and former attorney who, in my research and writings, had to force myself to look back at the past, especially in my area of family law, with the proper perspective, and see the world from their point of view.

It’s called Zeitgeist. It is the common mistake in looking at a situation in today’s perspective rather than in the context of the times it occurred. Let me begin by saying that I am no fan of Judge Roy Moore. I would have preferred Mo Brooks, but I live in Missouri, and not Alabama, and I have no say. The first time I heard Judge Moore speak was on the Mark Levin program before the primary. Like many of his listeners, and I think Mark himself, Judge Moore came off as an inarticulate boob, married to a past that I cannot relate. The first time I ever heard of Judge Roy Moore was when he challenged the federal authority to demand he remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. At the time, I accepted the meme that he was just a crazy old man. Looking back now, in his challenge of federal authority over local rule, we could almost say that he was a man ahead of his time as federal overreach has, shall we say, reached epidemic levels.

Zeitgeist has also reached epidemic levels in America today. So let’s look at what appears to be inconsistent statements and put them into the appropriate context. This was the 1970s in a rural state. It was a time not far removed from Elvis Presley picking out his bride at the tender age of 14 or even Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 14-year-old cousin.  But that is hardly the point. This was a time when parents could not wait to marry off their daughters to the most eligible bachelor, for their marriage meant wealth and comfort, not just for her, but for the entire family. Roy Moore was the Beatles in Alabama. He was a veteran. He was a Christian. He was smart, successful and had a bright future. Parents of young girls were probably throwing them at him and begging him to choose them as their wives. Think Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. In most of America, up until and perhaps through the 1960s, it was common for girls to marry straight out of high school. Their entire future was bent on their choice of husband. And they had only one shot, as divorce was social suicide and widowhood might have been even worse. For those want to bes, wealth and power was, and, has always been, quite alluring, and Mrs. Roy Moore would have all of those trappings.

Roy Moore graduated from high school in the tiny town of Attalia, Alabama, in 1965, apparently unencumbered and unattached. He attended West Point and, upon graduation, was a company commander to a military police unit in Vietnam. After his service, in 1974, he be began law school at the University of Alabama. Still apparently without a steady girlfriend, he started his career as an assistant prosecutor in 1977. If he were then looking for a wife, the commodities would have been picked over and his best chance for a quality spouse would have come from those that were of soon to be marrying age, or just turned marrying age. Remember Bye Bye Birdie for a moment. In an era when most girls married out of high school, it was their goal to, in the word of the song, pick out a boy and train him. That picking out would be done before the age of 16 and the training would have been in full force. Roy Moore escaped this fate, but also missed his best chance of finding a life mate.

Thus, after graduating from law school, Roy Moore would have had a hard time finding a suitable mate, especially if was looking for a woman who could match his intellect. When he completed law school, less than 20 percent of women graduated from college nationwide, probably fewer that came from Alabama. Seven years after his graduation from law school, in 1985, Roy Moore married then 24-year-old old Kayla Kisor. He was 38. Although the length of their courtship is unknown, Kayla was a former model and runner up to both Miss Alabama and Miss Alabama World. A college graduate herself, she come from a politically powerful Alabama family. This match illustrates his star status, as well as his value as a mate. All of proper Alabama would have approved. And, if history is any guide, Kayla would have been the driving force in his political career, and would remain so today. Seven years after their marriage, Roy Moore became Judge Roy Moore of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court. The rest is, they say, is history.

So let’s look at this from in the context of Roy Moore’s explanation. From today’s perspective, especially given his inarticulate nature, it seems inconsistent and even confusing. But when he said it was not common practice of him to date a girl of 17, it would have depended on the situation with her parents. Three of the women that came out early last week told the Washington Post reporter that Roy Moore was perfect gentleman, and he said that he would not date them without the permission of their parents. This statement is consistent with the times, as opposed to some commentators who describe the behavior as disgusting. For those, it is important to remember the times. This is not Bill Clinton exposing himself to Paula Jones. This is a man who is the most eligible bachelor around, a man who didn’t need to find girls. He was inundated with them.

This brings me to the two accusers of assault. If a vulture like Gloria Allred is involved, we immediately doubt its veracity. But let’s also look at the circumstances of then assistant prosecuting attorney Roy Moore. If he was indeed the most eligible bachelor, why would he have any interest in a 14-year-old when so many adult women were more than willing to attach themselves to him? Despite his pretentious nature, he was in the service and was certainly no virgin. This was a time when it was acceptable for public officials to engage with those in the oldest profession. And it’s not like Moore was a rock star and was so stoned he couldn’t tell the difference in the age of his groupie. But the strange thing is that this first accuser found herself with Roy Moore not once, but twice. Was there more context to that story? Seeing your life 40 years back is hardly a clear event, and easily subject to suggestion.  Was she really 14? Did her parents hold her out as older than she was just to make him interested? It’s altogether possible. This would not excuse the context of the sexual touching, but that, in itself, makes little self. If he were a pervert, would it really have stopped with clothes on? If he was a pervert, wouldn’t there be scores of women coming out ala Harvey Weinstein?

The second accuser appears to be high school student, and her allegations just don’t seem credible given the timing and her choice of counsel. She makes these claims at a time that people are more than willing to believe the statements of any accuser, especially when the target is so hot for the taking. Yet, as Mark Levin had said, if any man had touched my daughter in that way, given the age differences, and even if I had lived in that era, he would either suffer my personal wrath or that of the law. In rural Alabama, perhaps a shotgun might have been that tool. Either way, it would not have been silent, even if were just the quiet whispers of polite society. Roy Moore was not Ted Kennedy, or even Bill Clinton. Everyone in Democrat politics knew of their antics and measured them against what they could gain for the party. Judge Roy Moore has been public life almost 40 years and has been one of America’s most controversial figures. Yet, up until last week, there was never a small town rumor of these claims. I agree with Mark Levin that the timing of the story is suspicious and certainly came from opposition research, and not good investigative reporting. It certainly is not as clear as Mitch McConnell and the Swamp want it to be, especially when you eliminate the Zeitgeist and give it historical perspective.

It is up to the people of Alabama to measure his past and forthrightness against these recent accusations and to judge for themselves. That was Sean Hannity’s opinion up until yesterday. The people of Alabama know him best. Again, he would not be my choice, but it is high time that we just stopped regurgitating and started listening to the only opinions that count. They will make their decision on election day.

Alan W. Cohen is a blogger, retired family law attorney, and author. His most recent books, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce (2017) and America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century (2015) are available on Amazon.

Some Previous blogs:

Memo to Mark Levin: Article V Convention of States Has One Big Caveat

Simple Health Care Solution Pits Capitalism Against Socialism

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Why Libertorian?

Comments:

alan@privatevows.com

 

Three Important Lessons I Learned From Mark Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism

By Alan W. Cohen

You are never too old to learn some  new tricks about understanding the Constitution, and Mark Levin just gave me a few pointers on how I can do just that with his new book, Rediscovering Americanism. I am not a longtime fan of Mr. Levin, but I am now. In fact, it was just about four months ago that I turned on my radio and listened to him make an argument that I made in my latest book,  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce. As you might expect from the title, my conclusion is that government interference in the family is not only unconstitutional, but it has been, especially for the past 50 years, completely destructive to the institution of marriage. Until I read his book, I could not understand why.  Now I know, thanks to Mark Levin.

As Mr. Levin has maintained, the Founders of our great nation believed in Natural Rights, and they considered those rights unalienable (or inalienable), meaning that they cannot be transferred or surrendered.  In the words of the Declaration of Independence, those rights are God-given. We are born with them and they remain with us until our demise. The Founders so believed in what John Locke and Aristotle called right-reason and Natural Law that they did not even consider the possibility that any government in America would interfere in the individual families of its inhabitants. After all, as Locke tells us, religious liberty was and is at the heart of the freedom the Founder fought, and died, to achieve, and the family was and is the heart of religious liberty. After the Revolution, the newborn Republic tossed out the Anglican Church, and with it state control of marriage and the family.  And, at least for the first 50 years of our nation, that was the rule, as the Supreme Court so admitted in 2015, that marriage in America began as a purely private affair. The Founders, with the Contracts Clause, made it part of the Constitution. Marriage is a private contract, and government interference would be prohibited. Yet, a little more than 100 years after the Declaration, couples could not get married or divorced without the permission of the state. And, if they were interracial, they might as well forget it. If they wanted to practice some other religion other than Protestantism, like Mormonism, and marry within its tenants, forget it. Catholic vows were irrelevant. The government was in charge.  Yet, for the vast majority of people, government interference in the family was minimal, if not infinitesimal. That all changed in the 1960s, when socialism began to overtake the religious right and wrestled control of government.

Now here are the three important lessons I learned from Mark Levin and his new book, Rediscovering Americanism:

  1. We are already a socialist nation. Political parties are useless descriptions.  In fact, with the exception of three in the Senate, and a few more in the House, there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats. That’s because, as Levin tells us, the Mainstream Media has taken charge of the Socialist (Progressive) Agenda. Politicians only care about their reelection, and they are too frightened of bad press to cross it. That fact became all the more clear with the election of Donald Trump. The media is hell bent on his destruction, even more so than that of his Republican predecessors.  As I stated in a prior blog, journalism is not dead. It was never alive. Fair and balanced is nothing more than a tagline to convince the viewer (or reader) of its truthfulness. Even Thomas Jefferson complained about the dark side of the free press, that newspapers were the voice of the wealthy, not of the People. Film buffs will recall Citizen Kane, where the protagonist declares that his newspaper would not report the news, but rather make the news. We see that now with RussiaGate. Many of the Main Stream Media (CNN, Washington Post, New York Times) have thrown off their false bravado to achieve their ultimate goal: what Levin calls a Silent Coup Timid Republicans in Washington acquiesce, cowering in a quiet corner. They know who the boss is and it’s not the People. I join in most of mid-America that have taken Levin’s advice, and have turned off the noise that is the media because we know that they are not looking out for our interests, only their own.
  2.  Socialism is evil  Therefore, we cannot compromise, for every compromise with the Progressives gives up territory that cannot be easily regained.  Just like their compatriots, the Bolsheviks, Progressives chose their name to convince the masses that they speak for the majority, knowing that the opposite is true. And just like the Bolsheviks, Progressives have largely succeeded in taking power. But, as Levin tells us, this is not a new plan, or even, as I had believed, a plan that came to pass in the 1960s. Rather, the counterrevolution in America has been mounting for more than 125 years. In fact, it has been there from the beginning, waiting in the darkness, seeking the right time to strike. When Benjamin Franklin emerged and told his public that we have a Republic if we can keep it, he knew of this darkness. All the Founders did. It was the same tyranny they had fought to overcome. It was not limited to a monarchy. Mob rule was just, if not more, dangerous. As Levin explains, the Founders rejected Rousseau in favor of Locke, unlike the French, whose revolt ended in mass murder and the emergence of a savior who promised order from the madness, Napoleon Bonaparte,  who would, in turn, lead his people to utter destruction. We saw the same with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, and a slew of dictators of would be socialist countries, most recently Venezuela. For socialists, America’s exceptionalism has proved a more difficult quarry. The ride from freedom to tyranny has been gradual. Socialists understand that, given our stubborn individualism,  it is necessary, to steal our freedom little by little, generation by generation, relying on a left skewed educational system as Levin tells us is their Mein Kampf. For example, historians celebrate Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Yet, as Levin teaches us, those leaders disavowed the Founders as historical creatures, that their time has passed, as had their beliefs in Natural Law and unalienable rights. The Bible teaches us about recognizing evil, and our character is built on how we overcome it. Mark Levin is our filter. He points out for his millions of listeners the sheer folly of compromising with socialists (or Statists) because any breach in the wall of freedom is a pathway to tyranny. Unfortunately, we are well on our way to that end. More than ever we must teach the virtues of capitalism and purge socialism from our midst.
  3. Property rights are just as important as liberty because it is our ability to acquire property and to control it that ensures our liberty. In a recent broadcast, Levin cited a laundry list of Socialist (a/k/a Democrat) politicians that have become super rich as a result of what our Founders described as public service. Bill Clinton was dirt poor as a governor. Now he is worth hundreds of millions, as is Al Gore, Bernie Sanders, and most recently Barrack Obama. Even liberal icon Maxine Waters, who claims to act for the poor, lives in a four million dollar estate in a 95 percent white and affluent neighborhood outside of her poverty-stricken district. She entered into politics, as many of her counterparts, not to serve, but to earn. These so called leaders demonstrate the folly of socialism. Marx and Engels said in their manifesto, each according to their needs, but who would decide those needs? A ruling elite of experts that, by the nature of the system, would be exempt from the scrutiny of the rest of the masses (see e.g., Bernie Sanders wife, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Levin tells us that our Founders  devised a system that divided economic power from political power because they knew that property rights kept tyranny outside that wall. That is why our Founders rejected government interference in the family, because historically, wealth is built on the stability of its shoulders. That is how Great Britain got to be great, by focusing on property rights and the right to inherit. Wealth is the ultimate incentive of capitalism, to not only provide for yourself in the here and now, but to provide for your offspring and their families as well. Socialism disdains wealth, and the destruction of family has been its long term goal, a goal that is within their grasp. As I explain in  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce,  as well as my 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, federal policy has been, for the past half century, to punish virtuous behavior and to reward bad behavior. Levin explains why. It’s all about control of the all powerful State that we must worship as a deity. Even billionaires, who built their fortunes on capitalism, now disavow it, because they fear the wrath of the so called Progressives, just as Republicans are terrified of the Main Stream Media. Destruction is just a step away, and the Progressives are watching, waiting, and ready to pounce on any indiscretion.

There is much more to learn from Mark Levin and Rediscovering Americanism. But these three lessons stand out for me personally. Every right minded, or as Aristotle said, right-reason minded, American needs to not only read this book, but to study it, and to preach its gospel to anyone who will listen. It is our duty as Americans to save our nation from the tyranny that is already inside our gates.

Alan W. Cohen retired after practicing family law for more than 25 years in St. Louis, Missouri.

Previous Blogs:

Another Teacher Rape of a Young Boy, Another Future Child Support Claim

RIP: Herma Hill Kay, Creator of No-Fault Divorce, Destroyer of Traditional Marriage

Simple Health Care Solution Pits Capitalism Against Socialism

Islamist Victory in Antisemitic Public Relations Battle Spells Doom for Freedom, Completes Conquest of Europe

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

 

 

Another Teacher Rape of a Young Boy, Another Future Child Support Claim

By Alan W. Cohen

It seems like it happens every year. Some loco female teacher go gaga over a young boy, and is found out only when a child results. It happened again this week, when it was reported:

“Marissa A. Mowry, 25, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office and taken to the county’s jail, Fox 13 reported.

Mowry reportedly started a sexual relationship with an 11-year-old boy in 2014 when she was 22, police said, adding that the relationship went on until the boy was 14.

In October 2014, Mowry gave birth to a child who is now 3, deputies said.

Mowry is facing sexual battery and sexual assault charges. The Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office Child Protective Division is also investigating the incident, WFLA added.”

Here’s the bad news for that boy. In just four years, he will be a legal adult, and that same rapist will likely go after him for child support and win. Yes, being the victim of a rape is no defense to child support. That was something that was decided in the family courts more than 25 years ago when a Wisconsin Court of Appeals found that a being raped as a minor was no defense to paternity, that the resulting child was the innocent one, and all children deserve to be supported. Period. All 50 states have adopted this principle, as has our federal government. All that matters is that the sperm hits the egg.

A more immoral statement has never been spoken. And that is what our nation has turned into, a land where right is wrong and wrong is right, where the Natural Law that Aristotle spoke of, is turned completely on its head. The Roman senator Cicero distinguished between the laws of nature and the law of man. The law of nature was moral and incorruptible, while the law of man changes with the wind, the will of the mob against the rights of the individual.

What we have in America, and have had for more than 150 years, is man made law trumping natural law. As I explain in my new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, the Founders of our great nation believed in the Natural Law, that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, “we were endowed by Our Creator with certain unalienable rights” including the Right to Parent and the Right to Marry, rights that are forever entwined in Religious Liberty. When our Supreme Court, beginning in 1833, turned away from individual liberty in favor of majority rule, it turned against Natural Law. As Locke once said, Natural Law is right reason, that is purely ethical. Our Founders agreed, finding that government had no authority under the Constitution to compel anyone to do anything when it came to how to raise their children.

In 1888, the Supreme Court rejected the Founders and adopted a bastardized version of English marriage law that was based on the canons of the Anglican Church, forcing all Americans to adhere to what was, in England, a voluntary choice. The government was thus free to compel individuals to adhere to its rules, one being that a husband must support his children or be subject to state determined punishment. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that children had no right to financial support from their fathers, but if a state required fathers to support their children, it could not discriminate based on marital status. The federal government pounced, and issued laws requiring all fathers to support their children until age 18, creating an immense bureaucracy that puts the IRS to shame, to enforce that edict.

So, for this now 14-year-old boy, who will be forever traumatized, the rape is not over. It will continue for the next 15 years thanks to the federal government and the Supreme Court.

Alan W. Cohen is retired after more than 25 years as an attorney practicing Family Law. He is also the author of America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, a scathing review of what he calls The Child Support System.

Recent Past Blogs:

RIP: Herma Hill Kay, Creator of No-Fault Divorce, Destroyer of Traditional Marriage

Simple Health Care Solution Pits Capitalism Against Socialism

America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

 

RIP: Herma Hill Kay, Creator of No-Fault Divorce, Destroyer of Traditional Marriage

By Alan W. Cohen

There is one law that neither state legislatures, nor the United States Congress, can destroy. That is the Law of Unintended Consequences, the law that suggests that drastic changes in the status quo might sound good on paper, but in reality lead to disastrous results. So it was with no-fault divorce, and its matriarch, the late University of California-Berkeley law professor Herma Hill Kay, who died last week at the age of 82. Kay, who was three times married, felt that the patriarchal society had imprisoned in her marriage, and wished that all women could be freed to make their own choices. Kay’s problem was not that she was wrong, but that her solution was completely one-sided, creating an full scale war on men that would be the focal point of second wave feminism.

Sharon Presley explains that in a 2015 essay that all Kay and the second wave feminists did was exchange one patriarchy for another. “Libertarians fail to see how women—or men—can be free of domination when they are dominated by a coercive government. If one of the goals of feminism to achieve a society in which women are free to make their own decisions about their own lives independent of the coercive domination of men, we fail to see how a government currently dominated by men is an improvement, let alone feminist.” Presley cites a discussion paper of the Association of Libertarian Feminists that stated in 1975: “…turning to the government just changes the sort of oppression women face, not the fact. Instead of being overburdened as mothers or wives, we become overburdened as taxpayers since child-care workers, doctors, etc., have to be paid by someone unless they are to be enslaved also! Turning to the government to solve our problems just replaces oppression by patriarchs we know—father, husband, boss—with oppression by patriarchs we don’t know—the hordes of legislators and bureaucrats who are increasingly prying into every nook and cranny of our lives!”

As I explain in my new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, state and federal coercion has no constitutional validity, but rather is based on the patriarchy of the Anglican Church, where a woman was property of her husband, and confined as the United States Supreme Court said in Bradwell v. State in 1873 to the role of wife and mother.  Religious freedom is forever intertwined in marriage and parenthood, and the state and federal adoption of the canons of a particular religion are directly counter to our Founding documents. Yet, for a century after, the price of confining women to their predetermined role bore squarely on men who, as modern day writers such as Camille Paglia have pointed out, were pushed to take on professions that could daily end their lives And, thanks to Kay, men continued to pay the price as all fifty states adopted her solution, one that permitted women freedom, but continued to place the financial burden of marriage and eventual divorce on both their husbands and their children. Further, as psychologist Barbara Whitehead pointed out in her iconic study, enshrined in her book, The Divorce Culture, women were the instigators of divorce 85 percent of the time, and their reasons had little to do with the actions of their husbands. Rather, women sought some form of nirvana that they called happiness, a place that Aristotle tells us exists only after a lifetime of achievement.

Instead of freedom, all that Kay achieved for women was weakening of both men and women. Permitting the easy escape from a contractual commitment without dire consequences greatly diminished the nature of the bond. Marriages morphed from a lifetime choice to a temporary one. Marriage is hard work. As a result of the no fault divorce, first women, and later men, decided that it is not really worth the effort, and pale in comparison to the emotional strength of their ancestors. Can you picture the spoiled snowflakes of today living in the harsh realities of the 19th Century?
They wouldn’t make it through a single day without folding. Life is not a fantasy. Chick flicks remain stalwart in their romantic belief that the wedding is the beginning rather than the end of the story of life happily ever after. Reality is far from it.

Camille Paglia puts it best when she writes, “women have lost the daylong companionship and solidarity they once enjoyed with other women when they ruled the private sphere. … An enlightened feminism, animated by a courageous code of personal responsibility, can only be built upon a wary alliance of strong women and strong men.”

From her pen to God’s ears.

Alan W. Cohen is retired after more than 25 years as a family law attorney. He is a  blogger and author. He is also the author of the 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century.

Some of his recent blog posts:

America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Climate Change Non-Deniers Need to Open Up Collective Brains to Capitalism

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Journalistic Ethics is a Myth, Just Like in Any Other Business; Long Live Journalism

Tomi Lahren Touches The Soul of the Libertarian on Abortion Question

 

Why Anti-Sharia Protests Are Misguided

By Alan W. Cohen

History dictates that anti-Sharia protests are both wrongheaded and unconstitutional.

In 1862, Congress passed its first attempt to destroy a religion that competed with the Christian majority. The Anti-Bigamy laws pushed the followers of the Mormon faith outside the boundaries of the states and into a God forsaken land surrounding an undrinkable lake. A decade later, federal prosecutors were hot on the trail of those individuals that continued to live in Mormonism despite federal edicts. In 1879, the case came before the Supreme Court as an unfortunate man by the name of Reynolds was found guilty for the act of practicing his faith as guaranteed under the First Amendment. Unfortunately for Mr.Reynolds, however, the White Christian majority of the Supreme Court did not agree, finding that polygamy was immoral and had no place in Western Civilization. Almost two decades later, Utah was permitted to enter into the Union only on the condition that it ban polygamy.

Fast forward to 2013. Thanks to the work of George Washington University law school professor Jonathan Turley, the State of Utah files with the federal court an affidavit promising to end prosecution of polygamy. That’s right. Despite the furious, but fruitless, prosecutions, polygamy survived, and at the turn of the 21st century became a popular fare in television shows Big Love and Sister Wives. And, what would happen if polygamists demanded the right to license polygamous marriages? Given the Supreme Court’s latest decision on same-sex marriage, as I explain in my new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, the federal courts would have no choice but to find that the state has no authority under the Constitution to license marriage, much less dictate the private conduct of those engaged in purely private behavior when it comes to the family. In fact, as I argue in Private Vows, the federal court would have to find that the legal basis for regulating marriage and divorce is a violation of religious liberty because the Supreme Court in 1888 adopted a bastardized interpretation of the Anglican Church’s canons regarding marriage and divorce and made it part of American law, and it did so to promote the same racist and bigoted agenda as the Ku Klux Klan.

But I digress. Why did polygamy survive? As the Supreme Court noted in a late 19th Century decision, prosecuting it required cooperating witnesses, and that would require that those actively practicing polygamy would have to testify. It proved to be an impossible burden. As long as they do no harm to others, or commit no other crime, people who wish to be free to practice their faith will do so even in the face of an intrusive and powerful federal government. The same can be said for those that want to live under Sharia Law. True believers are not going to come forward to testify against violators.

So, what’s the answer to those that fear the voices of those that would oppose the religious liberty of others, and wish to, as the Supreme Court did in the late 19th Century, impose a specific set of beliefs on the rest of the nation? Should we exclude Muslims from entering the country the way that President Trump is supposed to have done with his travel ban? Clearly, we could not even if we wanted to do so. Rather, we must turn to the reason our forefathers came to America in the first place: Freedom. Only by promoting the liberties of others can we truly be free. Only by respecting the beliefs of others can we truly be the nation that our Founders espoused. For those that say that Sharia Law professes hate speech, the answer is more speech, not prohibition. Will those that advocate for Sharia Law ever understand? Of course not. But the same freedom that permits them to worship will be their greatest obstacle to the world domination they desire.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. 

Recent past blogs:

Islamist Victory in Antisemitic Public Relations Battle Spells Doom for Freedom, Completes Conquest of Europe

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Easter Message: Why Religion is Vital to Maintaining Our Liberty

Susan Rice and Unmasking: Where is the Democrats’ Moral Compass?

Shocker: Sanctuary Cities Now Claiming Federal Funding is an Entitlement

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

 

75 Notre Dame Students Embarrass Themselves, The University, Their Parents, and Especially America

By Alan W. Cohen

About 18 months ago I was truly embarrassed to be a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia. I was not embarrassed because of the stated reasons for the protests, as they turned out to be completely fraudulent, but because professors and students alike, particularly Melissa Klick (who soon after would be fired), participated in such a complete disrespect for the University.

I thought that couldn’t be topped. But, alas, thank you to 75 boorish students of the University of Notre Dame.  You did it. I can’t imagine what their parents thought. Here is the Vice President of the United States, given the honor of speaking, to impart the wisdom of his years, of his success, to the eager minds of youthful exuberance. After all, this is one of our nation’s finest institutions, the pinnacle of Catholic colleges, the molder of morality.

How the mighty have fallen. This is the place where Rudy became an icon, where working your butt off just to be accepted, to graduate from such a prestigious college, was an honor in itself. It was where you learned humility. It was where you learned respect, not only your teachers, but your elders, particularly the ones that have succeeded. Mike Pence, whether you agree with his politics or not, has achieved great things, culminating in his election as Vice President of the United States.

To the 75 that walked out on your graduation, what have you proved? That Notre Dame, like so many other colleges in America, is not graduating adults, but boorish brats. If my child participated in that I would do what I had never done; I would spank her, not physically, but emotionally. I would scream at her until she saw what she had done, the embarrassment she caused me, but also how she just diminished the value of the education that we spent tens of thousands of dollars to achieve. Moreover, if I was a graduate of Notre Dame, I would be ashamed. I would be demanding that the students that participated in disrespecting the Vice President immediately apologize or else surrender their diplomas.

To those protesting, there will come a day when you regret your decision to ruin the reputation of yourselves and your university. But you should have thought about that before you acted like idiots because the damage you have done is irreparable.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, is available at Amazon.

Prior Blog Posts:

Memo to Elite Media from Mid-America: We Don’t Care! So, Shut Up Already!

Integrity of Rod Rosenstein Shining Beacon in Washington, D.C. Swamp

Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

Climate Change Non-Deniers Need to Open Up Collective Brains to Capitalism

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Trump Travel Ban Highlights Political Conflicts Inside American Judicial System

By Alan W. Cohen

During oral argument today, May 8, 2017, before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, one judge asked the ACLU attorney a basic question that pretty much goes like this: If Hillary Clinton had won and issued the identical order, would that order be constitutional. His answer was telling. Yes, of course it would. But this one is not because of comments made by Donald Trump during the election.

Huh? In my 25 years of law practice, and the multitude of oral arguments at the appellate level, this was a first. Judges are to interpret statutes as written, and, only if there is an ambiguity, do they go further to seek the intention of the legislature. Here was a law in place in the 1950s, used many times by many Presidents, including the second most liberal in history, Jimmy Carter, to ban certain foreigners from entering the country. That is the plain language of the statute. It gives the President not discretion, but absolute authority, to exclude entry from the United States he deems is a threat to national security. Period. There is nothing new here.

Yet, it’s not surprising that the judiciary does what it wants to do on an almost daily basis, each knowing that the legislature is pretty much powerless to stop them from interpreting laws however they wish because a higher court, not the elected officials who drafted the law, had the final say. That is our history. In our Mother Country, law was judge created, and opinions of judges were used as precedent, and ironically, permitted a final appeal in the House of Lords. In France, law was always statutory, and the judges were to follow that strict construction of the written language. America began as a judge driven law and gradually morphed into a statute driven law, all while giving to the judiciary the final say on how that law was to be interpreted.

While there are countless examples, nothing better explains it then the treatment of the Fourteenth Amendment. As Mr. Justice Hugo Black once wrote, Congress explicitly passed the Amendment to nullify an 1833 Supreme Court decision excluding state and local government from constitutional scrutiny as it pertained to fundamental rights. Under that ruling, states were free to establish religions, and violate the fundamental freedoms that had agreed to in their compact, those God-given rights to pursue happiness stated in the Declaration of Independence. But when the matter came before that same Supreme Court just a few years after the passage of the post-Civil War Amendments, the Court decided that no, it didn’t, that, despite its clear language stating otherwise, it was just and anti-slavery amendment. As a result of this judicial overreach, our nation endured almost a century of court authorized religious intolerance and racial bigotry, not to mention gender bias.

So when we complain about activist judges seeing everything through a prism of political party, why should we be surprised? That is how the ACLU could argue that if a Democrat issued the same order it would be valid, but since it’s a Republican, it’s not. That is why the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will almost assuredly strike down the ban, not for any legal reason, but because it was issued by a Republican. Based on today’s oral argument, despite that glaring admission from the ACLU attorney, this case can go either way. We just have to determine the political leanings of its court members. The law be damned.

Alan W. Cohen is a retired attorney, blogger and author. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available at Amazon.

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America at a Crossroads: Embrace Freedom, or Accept Totalitarianism

By Alan W. Cohen

Americans are in an abusive relationship with their federal government. Note that I don’t use the term victim, because we are in fact conspiring with the federal government to abuse our freedom.

What happens in a personal abusive relationship? One party asserts control, and the other party acquiesces. Soon those actions become comfortable and expected. The more the weaker party acquiesces, the more power the dominant party attains. But, whenever the acquiescing party feels a powerful moment and tries to reestablish some control, there is a violent reaction. It might be physical at the beginning, but sooner or later physical violence becomes necessary to assert control and to reestablish authority. As the relationship steadily becomes more volatile, the acquiescing party has a choice. Give in or leave.

Americans now face a similar choice.

As a Libertarian, I am appalled at the lack of outrage of the news media and the population in general about how the Obama administration was spying on tens of thousands of Americans, just as I was outraged how Hillary Clinton got away with a crime that would have landed almost anyone in federal prison for life. For my old party faithful, this is exactly what is wrong with you. You have no moral authority.

Yet, with the new health care bill, Republicans appear no better as they struggle to deal with this dependency on the abuses of government, and an electorate suddenly uneducated in the freedoms that we declared when we broke away from the Mother Country. It was in that Declaration of Independence that we asserted our God-given rights that were so fundamental that we could would not give our elected officials the authority to violate them. But that is exactly what we did. In my book,  Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce , I document the history of Americans surrendering their freedoms to what had become a Christian theocracy. Remember when you were not allowed to open you business on Sundays without special permission from the state? Remember how you were not allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays because that was the Christian Sabbath?

Yet, while Americans believed they were ridding themselves of state control in the 1960s, all we were doing was exchanging their Christian government for a national socialist one, the beginnings of cradle-to-grave control over our daily lives. Day by day, little by little, a growing segment of the population began to realize that there was no point in trying to succeed. And, as I explain my 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, government began to punish men for success, while at the same time, with the Child Support System, punishing poor men, especially African Americans, for the crime of being poor, creating a new form of slavery.

Now in 2017, Nazis have reemerged on college campuses, rioting and refusing to hear speakers with which they disagree, and the national media celebrates it, just as they looked the other way with Hillary Clinton’s felonious activities and Barrack Obama’s KGB- type spy program.  With the election of Donald Trump, America has temporarily reasserted itself, and patriotism is getting one last gasp. But, as with any abusive relationship, that gasp of freedom is met with a violent response from those in control, regardless of party affiliation. This is the swamp that is Washington, D.C.

It is put up or shut up time, America. You have to leave that abuser and make it on your own. You must reassert those freedoms guaranteed to you in the Declaration of Independence. You must educate your children to appreciate and embrace those liberties that exist only in the United States, liberties that had never existed in any nation at any other time in history. Most important, however, we must teach our children to embrace the freedom of others so that they, too, can recognize and embrace ours. Together, we must rid ourselves of our government masters and take control over our lives, because, if we don’t, totalitarianism is right around the corner.

Alan W. Cohen is an author and blogger, retired from the practice of law after 25 years. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

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New Copy of the Declaration of Independence Brings Out the Crazies

By Alan W. Cohen

There is no doubt that certain people in high places want to cast doubt on anything that is America, particularly our founding. But this latest pronouncement coming from two Harvard professors is over the top nuts.

You may have heard on the news that someone in Great Britain discovered a parchment document purported to be an original copy, meaning a true hand written copy of the Declaration of Independence. Assuming that it is a true document, and no one has explained how it could be a true document, what is different from the original? Are there passages different? No. Does the document contain different words? No. Did different people sign the document? No.

So what is the big deal? It turns out that the order of signatures are different. So what? We all know how the Declaration came to be. Continental Congress met and each colony voted. The Declaration went through the mill until all thirteen colonies voted to consent. So, now two Harvard professors are claiming that there is some special meaning to the order of the signatures. In the original, the signers were organized by their newly founded states. In this new copy, they are randomly signed. Before getting into the weeds of what that difference might signify, lets imagine that this document is authentic. How would it have come about? After signing the original, the Continental Congress needed to spread the word, and that required copies. Since no copy machines were then available, scribes copied the document by hand, and then asked the signers to redo their respective John Hancocks. Therefore, there was no purpose behind the order of signatures for the copies. The scribes probably had to chase down the signors, who just signed somewhere on the page.

But two Harvard professors have declared some hidden meaning behind this difference, that it must mean that federalism is a fiction. Alas, the Founders signed as one nation, not as a collection of states. And,  your point is? Doesn’t the Constitution begin We the People of the United States? Of course, it is from the people. The Declaration itself is about alienable rights and the pursuit of happiness, not of the states, but of the people who live in those states. Those same people divvied up authority between the federal and state governments, reserving those inalienable rights for themselves.  That is what we call federalism.

I am beginning to wonder what they are smoking at Harvard.

Alan W. Cohen is an author and blogger, retired from the practice of law after 25 years. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

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I Have Come to Praise Bill O’Reilly, Not to Bury Him

By Alan W. Cohen

I am now in rehab. Yes, I was a Bill O’Reilly addict. And now I must go cold turkey. But as with all twelve-step programs, I must start with that admission. I have a problem. Almost every day at 7 p.m. my time, or when it repeated at 10, I watched. Bill O’Reilly kept me going. No, I was not a Bill O’Reilly dot com member. No, I was not a reader of his books, although his historical TV series Legends and Lies was amusing and interesting. I did not attend his frequent tours with Dennis Miller.

I often wondered how he did it all. But, as John Stossel wrote yesterday in his blog, Bill O’Reilly got too big for his britches. He was a cottage industry unto itself. Twenty years as the most watched TV show on cable might do that to anybody. True, his shows were becoming more and more about Bill O’Reilly and less and less about anything else. Still, I watched faithfully. And if I missed it because I had something else to do, I searched for his Talking Points on social media. I had to have my fix.

But in my moment of loss yesterday when I heard he was gone from Fox News, I began to consider all of the good things that Bill O’Reilly had done for me. Contrast The Factor with what Megan Kelly’s program had become before she mercifully left to join her fellow liberals at NBC. Megan Kelly would have nothing but for Bill O’Reilly, and rumor has it … Well, I won’t go there, because I have come to praise Bill O’Reilly, not to bury him. Anyway, Megan Kelly’s show was hideous in comparison. She would put on two Republican and Democrat mouthpieces who would spew their daily talking points without challenge. It just gave me a headache to listen to it. Bill O’Reilly refused to as well. He invented the No Spin Zone, the one place on TV (other now on Tucker Carlson’s show) where real reporters ask real questions, hard questions. In this way, Bill O’Reilly exposed the other networks for what they are, left wing hacks. And for that, he was hated.

Bill O’Reilly’s biggest contribution to our nation, however, was his war on political correctness. With the mainstream media in tow, leftists had adopted the view that everyone was a victim of free speech, something that has devolved into safe spaces and campus protests against conservative speakers. Bill O’Reilly recognized it for what it was. A Leftist Power Play. He called it out almost on a daily basis, and we addicts could not wait to get his take on whatever nonsense was spewing out of the crazies that were featured so prominently on the three big networks and CNN. Bill O’Reilly made it OK for his fellow journalists to challenge those that would threaten or ironically call others Nazis that disagreed with the Leftist viewpoint.

Like Julius Caesar, Bill O’Reilly loved his power too much. I often wondered what his life was like, so immersed in work. I know that he was divorced and he never talked about his family. What else did he have to live for? He was all about his job. He thought highly of himself, and perhaps that was a requirement for his success. Those of us who are willing to challenge the existing narrative appreciate him all the more, because he was willing to take on his detractors, and make himself the television icon that he became. Bill O’Reilly, you were and remain and inspiration to hard work and dedication to a core belief. It would have been so easy to get along with your peers, and live your life out as another TV reporter. You chose to be different. But, like Julius Caesar, the knives were ever present, waiting for the opportunity to strike, in search of the tragic flaw that would end you. Early on, I noticed how you chose your peons. They had to be blonde and pretty. I thought it was a contrast, but apparently it was about something more, a casting couch.

But I have come to praise Bill O’Reilly, not to bury him.

Alan W. Cohen is an author and blogger, retired from the practice of law after 25 years. His new book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce is available on Amazon.

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