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

By Alan W. Cohen

Watch out Mark Levin. It has all happened before. The author and conservative radio host has begun a movement under Article V of the Constitution to create a convention of states to amend the constitution to strip the federal government of much of its ill-gotten gains, gains that have diluted freedom from the individual and authority from the states. On his radio show of October 10, 2017, a caller warned him that the federal courts are lurking in the shadows, waiting to override any sweeping changes the convention might pass. In response, Levin was confident that the states would prevail.

Yet, that is exactly what happened with the Fourteenth Amendment, and we still have not recovered almost 150 years later. As I explain in much greater detail in my latest book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce, the Civil War ended with a great Republican majority passing a series of Amendments, each with their own purpose. The Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery. The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote. But the Fourteenth Amendment had another, more profound, purpose.

As Mr. Levin explains in great detail in his most recent book, Rediscovering Americanism (please see the link to my review at the end of this blog), the Founders of our nation believed, and declared it in 1776, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. And, with all due respect to those morons on MSNBC and CNN, those rights predated, and are the basis for, the Constitution. That is because we are all individuals, individuals that banded together to protect the rights of other individuals. Yet, somewhere along the line, our nation changed from being a republic to being a democracy. Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett explains that when the Founders created the Constitution, it was based on the Declaration of Independence, and that the preamble said it all. We the People means we the people as a collection of individuals, not of the majority. Unfortunately, a movement began, less than 25 years later, to justify slavery, a movement that became the Jacksonian Democracy. Levin calls it mobocracy. Barnett calls it the Democratic Constitution. A key illustration is this phenomenon is the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, an act that empowered the citizens of those states to vote on whether to enslave a minority of their peers.

The Supreme Court signed onto the Jacksonian Democracy in 1833, the year after Jackson’s landslide victory over Henry Clay for his second term. Here I will invoke the name of a person that Mr. Levin detests as a bigot, a racist and an anti-Semite: Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. Despite his serious flaws, Justice Black proposed in a dissenting opinion in 1948 that we lost our republic in 1833 with the case of Baron ex rel. Tierman v. Mayor of Baltimore, where the Supreme Court declared that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states, but only to actions of the federal government. Black suggests that Chief Justice John Marshall was just a bit dishonest in his four-page opinion, a sparse writing of what was one the most important decisions of the century. In fact, as I explain in Private Vows, Marshall was scared, and had good reason to be. President Jackson was a scoundrel, and had recently refused to abide by a Supreme Court opinion protecting the Cherokee leading to the infamous Trail of Tears. Until Jackson came onto the scene, Marshall had carefully fostered the Supreme Court’s authority to override legislation and executive actions through the power of judicial review. Marshall anxiously wanted to preserve his gains, and knew to tread carefully to avoid Jackson’s wrath.

The real question in Baron was whether the federal courts had the authority to enforce the inalienable rights recognized in the Declaration, the rights of the individual against the authority of the state or local government that was violating those rights. That same question is with us today. In a dissenting opinion in 2000, Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with fellow Justice Clarence Thomas that the Constitution preserves those inalienable rights within the Ninth Amendment, but refused to enforce them because the Constitution did not specifically provide for a remedy. The question for Justice Scalia then, as with Chief Justice Marshall in 1833, is this: What good are rights if there is no place to enforce them? According to Justice Black, Marshall adeptly sidestepped the issue, and for good reason. As I explain in Private Vows, if the federal courts had the authority to enforce inalienable rights against state or local governments in 1833, slaves would have been coming in droves to seek redress and there would have been a civil war. Since Marshall sidestepped the issue, the Court could not enforce Dred Scott’s claims for freedom only a few years later, an event that ironically led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans that Marshall had so greatly sought to avoid. After the Civil War, according to Justice Black, it fell on Congress to right the wrong of Baron and restore the Republic, and individual liberty, with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, making it clear that individuals did indeed have a right to redress of state and local violations of their individual rights in the federal courts (as well as in the state courts).

There was one big problem. The Supreme Court was filled with Jacksonians who refused to comply with Congress’ mandate even if it was the will of the required number of states. In the infamous Slaughter-House Cases in 1873, the Court all but nullified the Fourteenth Amendment by calling it just an anti-slavery amendment:

The constitutional provision there alluded to did not create those rights, which it called privileges and immunities of citizens of the States. It threw around them in that clause no security for the citizen of the State in which they were claimed or exercised. Nor did it profess to control the power of the State governments over the rights of its own citizens

Thus began more than a century of state control over the individual so vast that individual freedom was all but lost, freedom that the Founders intended, freedom that we still don’t have today. Soon after The Slaughter-House Cases, the Supreme Court affirmed state policies based on eugenics, justifying discriminatory laws and, as a means of enforcing them, created out of thin air, as I explain in Private Vows, a justification for state regulation of marriage and divorce. As Levin explains in Rediscovering Americanism, this statist thinking became the fodder for the socialists, the so called Progressives as a means for controlling the masses. It inspired the ever Progressive Woodrow Wilson to re-segregate the entire federal government during his first term of office. It empowered the KKK to rule with a violence, ending black lives on the spot just for the crime of not being white.

Thus, the lesson for Mark Levin and his followers is that that an Amendment to the Constitution is not enough. We have to fill the Supreme Court with those willing to enforce it. While, as with the Trump travel ban, we cry over the illegal nature of the Ninth Circuit and other federal courts, those actions pale in comparison to the 19th Century and a Supreme Court that was hell bent to undo the Union victory, to preserve and restore the Jacksonian Democracy. and to preserve racial and religious discrimination.

Alan W. Cohen practiced law for more than 25 years before retiring. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and the Washington University School of Law.  Besides Private Vows, he is also the author of America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century, as well as several other books on family law.

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Celebrate America’s Birthday With A True Civics Lesson From Mark Levin

By Alan W. Cohen

I begin with an admission. I went to fine schools, including our nation’s first and best journalism school and a top 20 law school. I learned history in high school when high schools actually taught history. I practiced law for more than 25 years, and considered my self fluent in Constitutional Law. Yet, the sheer volume of what I did not know about our nation’s founding is frightening.

Last week, radio host Mark Levin spoke about his time in law school, and how they taught him nothing of the Declaration of Independence, nothing about the true nature of liberty. That was me two years ago, before I began to write for a living, and forced myself to read and study and truly understand the brilliance of our Founding Fathers. A few weeks ago, I heard my former Mizzou fraternity brother, Glenn Klein, on his internet/Wisconsin area radio program query as to the nature of the Right to Privacy. I dutifully called into explain that those rights a vast majority come from the Constitution, are actually Natural Rights, described in the Declaration as unalienable, meaning they cannot be transferred or surrendered. The silence on the other end of the phone was deafening. It was like I was speaking Japanese.

I would think that less than 1 percent of the population of this nation know that fact. We speak of Constitutional rights. We argue over what is and what is not in the Bill of Rights. What does it matter? The Bill of Rights is a negative document, something Levin calls negative rights, meaning it is an insurance policy against the federal government intruding on what the Founders knew to be Natural Law, part of what John Locke called The Social Compact. In essence, those rights are there when we are born. No document grants them. The Declaration adopts them, but they preexist both it and the Constitution.

This weekend I have trudged through Levin’s new book, Rediscovering Americanism,  and, trust me, it is no easy read. But Levin confirms for me the one think I discovered about the birth of the United States of America. They rejected any type of state control in favor of individual liberty. While it is true that, especially for those of African descent, that they never reached their ideals, most of what they believed in proved successful, as opposed to Autocracy, Theocracy and Socialism, all that has failed miserably. I shudder at the ignorance of anti-Trump protesters who call Conservatives Nazis, short for National Socialists, for it is these socialists and communists like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro that preached state control over the individual, and annihilated any person, and there were tens of millions of them, that refused to adhere, or were simply considered inferior by their birth.

Levin writes about Woodrow Wilson and other early American Socialists that openly rejected the rights of the individual, who openly trounced the Declaration of Independence as a mere historical document valuable only for how things were in 1776. Socialists like Herbert Croly executed their planned takeover of America without hesitation, and just as Hitler laid out his plan for world domination in a book, so did they. They call themselves Progressives, but are anything but because they want to take us back to a time before liberty, before the Magna Carta, when people were forced to bow to those with Divine Right. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin called his tiny wing of the Socialist Party the Bolsheviks, meaning the majority, claiming, as his fellow socialists did, and as Bernie Sanders still does, pretend they speak for a majority, when they spoke only for a tiny fraction. That trick has worked for Lenin and it has been working for Sanders. But that is the way Socialists work. They lie.

That is because Socialism is a lie. It is an impossibility because it is Utopian, and directly against human nature. Humans are perfectly imperfect, but Socialism predisposes perfection in its elitists who would dictate what is just and what is virtuous. It is said that Vladimir Lenin and his revolutionary brother Leon Trotsky waited by their radios after the October Revolution of 1917, expecting to hear of a worldwide worker’s revolt against those governments that had sacrificed millions of their young men in a useless and stupid war that only proved the ineptitude of their leaders. That revolution never came. The Soviet Union, once considered the darling of the far left, fell thirty years ago. Many of its leaders were still waiting, as Lenin and Trotsky did, for a socialist revolution in America. Little did they know how much they succeeded.

Thanks to Croly and his compatriots, socialist teachings took over our nation’s universities and high schools, even our elementary schools, and Civics, the true understanding of our Founding, has long disappeared from educational requirements as an anachronism, just as Wilson had preached. Bernie Sanders is among those that demand that every American have free college, not because he wants Americans to understand their history, but because he wants to continue what Wilson and Croly started, the creation of generations of Hitler Youth, those that would reject personal liberty in favor of the all mighty State. The past three generations have been so indoctrinated, and seem to have little argument with the idea of state control, that is as long as the state leaves them alone. They have little consideration for the rights of others, especially those that are not in complete agreement with their agenda.

Levin is right when he says that most Republicans are no better. That is why they have refused to eliminate the biggest and most treacherous socialist takeover, Obamacare, and return to an era that preceded the 1960s, when health care was a purely private matter.

Education is the key to counteracting the evils of socialism. The Tea Party movement was just the beginning of that counterrevolution. Levin is an excellent teacher, and I urge all of those reading this blog to listen to his radio program, to read his books, and to educate yourselves of the war that lays ahead. We are at a crossroads, and there are but two paths for which there can be no compromise. There is capitalism, and there is socialism. There is freedom and there is tyranny.

As we celebrate our 241st birthday this week, we must educate our children of the miracle of our founding, rejoice in our Natural Law and unalienable rights, for, if we do not, we are soon to lose them forever.

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, a rejection of socialist takeover of the family, is available on Amazon, as is his 2015 book, America Solved: A New Family for the 21st Century.

Recent blogs:

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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:

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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

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

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

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

 

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.

Read Past Blogs:

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

New Copy of the Declaration of Independence Brings Out the Crazies

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Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

With Gorsuch vote McCaskill Confirms She is Not Running for Re-election

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

Is Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal?

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Shocker: Sanctuary Cities Now Claiming Federal Funding is an Entitlement

Hear Me Bernie Sanders: There is No Constitutional Right to Health Care

Tomi Lahren Touches The Soul of the Libertarian on Abortion Question

Does Neil Gorsuch have Libertarian tendencies? One Question Tells Us.

March Madness and the Trump Travel Ban: A Two-minute primer

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

By Alan W. Cohen

I don’t know about you, but I have friends on all sides of all issues, and I am both frightened and amused at the extremity of their emotions. They throw insults at each other’s views on social media that they would never do in person. Some are them are quite colorful. One social media friend called me a Climate Change Denier.  I guess that’s akin to being called an atheist in Iran.

Then I got to thinking. What exactly does that mean? Well, apparently for many of the undeveloped brains on college campuses, it means the Earth is in imminent danger of destruction. Wow. In the phrasing of my generation, that’s heavy. Really? Well, we must save the planet from this coming disaster! But how do we do that?

Which brings me to my next favorite phrase in this new ideology: The Carbon Footprint. Well, I consider myself an environmentalist, but I never thought of myself as a polluter. Apparently, that is what I am doing 24/7 for the past 58 years. Every time I take in oxygen and breathe out carbon-dioxide I am polluting the world  So, I am going to throw out everything I know about the climate for a second, everything I know about sun spots, volcanoes, meteors, ocean currents, and the 26,000-year cycle that places us squarely between two ice ages, and consider that problem. How do we reduce our carbon footprint? Let’s go back to 7th grade biology. Hmm. What converts carbon dioxide into oxygen? Oh. I remember. Plants. So, following this problem logically, what we need is more plants and less people. But, unless all of those climate change non-deniers want to commit collective suicide, or wish to become mass murderers, we need a more humane solution.

So let’s get deeper into our scientific brains. What plants are best at eating carbon? Algae.  Well, certainly I am not the first person to realize this phenomenon. It turns out that Americans are a pretty industrious bunch. True. It took Israeli technology to create a cost-effective system that converts seawater to drinking water, but Americans have always been on top of the solving the world’s problems. Technology is providing the answer, as stated in Power:

The bioreactor patented by California-based algal firm PHYCO2 is undergoing a multi-year trial at Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) T.B. Simon Power Plant, a co-generation plant that provides steam, heat, and power to the university and can fire biomass, natural gas, and coal.

The bioreactor absorbs the CO2 from a slipstream of the plant’s boiler exhaust. PHYCO2 says its technology is set apart from other open and closed photobioreactor systems because it eliminates all possible contamination from outside sources, allowing microalgae to grow indoors 24 hours a day, without sunlight.

But let’s get to the root of the problem. Whenever you have billionaires and politicians promoting an idea and demanding that government take charge, you can bet there is profit in it. And, when certain off-shore billionaires promote anti-American ideals in favor of globalism, you can also bet that their profits are the end goal. Pretty ironic, huh? Convince an entire generation that American capitalism is evil just to make a profit. Have to give Tom Stires and George Soros credit for their ingenuity.

But these billionaires do not want young people to process facts, just to react emotionally to fear. Their collective amygdala is firing. It’s fight or flight. It’s a mob mentality. So, here is some free advice for the climate non-deniers. Use the logical part of your collective brains. Go about solving a perceived problem using the scientific method you learned in junior high school. It is not about good and evil. Stare into your smart phone and remember that technology is good. We do not need to return to the Stone Age. That was my generation, when communes and free love was the spirit of the day, and John Lennon sang Imagine. We were wrong.  Communes died out faster than the Mayflower Compact, not because of good and evil, but because human nature would not allow it. Heck, as a teen I had a copy of The Communist Manifesto on my bookshelf. It took me years to understand that their premise was wrong. Each according to his needs. Who decides those needs? Government? Isn’t government made up of people in power? And, wouldn’t the people in power care for their needs ahead of all others? And wouldn’t continuation of their power be their primary need? We only need to look to Washington to see that premise proved. Or, better yet, open up your smart phone and Google Venezuela. Yet, the remnants of that 60s culture chose to go into academia and become your college professors, still convinced that Hippies were right after all.

But I digress. So when you catch yourself being captured by the mass hysteria that is Climate Change, turn on the logic portion of your brain and look at that smart phone in your hand. It has more computing power than the IBM monster that launched Apollo 11. That smart phone did not come from government. It came from an enterprising genius. So, until you develop that filter to discern reality to what billionaires like Tom Stires or George Soros are putting into your empty heads, repeat after me. Capitalism is good. Socialism is bad. America is good. Communism is bad.  Repeat that mantra fifty times every morning. Then, when you grow up, you might have a chance. Maybe.

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.

Read Past Blogs:

New Copy of the Declaration of Independence Brings Out the Crazies

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

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Easter Message: Why Religion is Vital to Maintaining Our Liberty

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

With Gorsuch vote McCaskill Confirms She is Not Running for Re-election

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

Is Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal?

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

Shocker: Sanctuary Cities Now Claiming Federal Funding is an Entitlement

Hear Me Bernie Sanders: There is No Constitutional Right to Health Care

Tomi Lahren Touches The Soul of the Libertarian on Abortion Question

Does Neil Gorsuch have Libertarian tendencies? One Question Tells Us.

March Madness and the Trump Travel Ban: A Two-minute primer

Why Libertorian?

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.

Read Past Blogs:

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

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

Easter Message: Why Religion is Vital to Maintaining Our Liberty

Can Millennials Save Marriage in America? Studies Say Yes.

Syria Bombing: Why History Trumps Libertarian Beliefs

With Gorsuch vote McCaskill Confirms She is Not Running for Re-election

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

Is Hillary the Evil Genius Behind the Trump/Russia Scandal?

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

Shocker: Sanctuary Cities Now Claiming Federal Funding is an Entitlement

Hear Me Bernie Sanders: There is No Constitutional Right to Health Care

Tomi Lahren Touches The Soul of the Libertarian on Abortion Question

Does Neil Gorsuch have Libertarian tendencies? One Question Tells Us.

March Madness and the Trump Travel Ban: A Two-minute primer

Why Libertorian?

 

 

 

Three Important Lessons I Learned from Georgetown Professor Randy Barnett

By Alan W. Cohen

The one thing I learned while I was in college was that scholars are pretty much set in their ways, and are rarely open to new ideas, especially if those new ideas challenge their entire way of thinking. At 57, I was pretty set in my ways. I had attended a top journalism and law school, had practiced in my field for more than 25 years, writing and teaching seminars. I thought I knew it all, or at least had a firm grasp. I had just published my book, America Solved, my attempt to reverse the destructive federal  child support policies of the past fifty years.

That was almost a year ago. I had been a converted Democrat, and time had transformed me into a Libertarian, with Reason Magazine as my bible. That is where I learned about Randy Barnett and his new book, Our Republican Constitution, and it was in that book that I learned the three important lessons that would lead me to my book, Private Vows: The Case for Ending State Regulation of Marriage and Divorce.

Lesson One: When in law school, I was taught that the source of fundamental rights was the Constitution. It made sense. We have First Amendment rights to free speech, etc. Yet, as are most Americans, I didn’t quite understand the source of those rights not specifically mentioned, especially the Right to Privacy. Practicing in family law, I relied on two of those rights not enumerated, the Right to Parent and the Right to Marry. I accepted those rights because the Supreme Court recognized them as fundamental, although I held on to the view of Mr. Justice Goldberg that those rights exist in the Ninth Amendment. Randy Barnett taught me, however, that the source of these rights lay not in the Constitution, but what was written in the Declaration of Independence. The People have inalienable rights. They transfer some authority to state government, where their elected servants administer their appointed duties for the public good. The People also transfer some to the federal government, i.e., the Constitution, to protect them from foreign intrusion. But since those rights are inalienable, the People lack the ability to transfer, or give up those rights, and thus any act of state or federal legislatures that violate those fundamental rights is void at is inception. Suddenly, it all made sense. The Bill of Rights does not confer rights. It defends them. Congress shall make no law …

Lesson Two:  Elections are based on majority rule, and it has been drilled into us that the view of that majority that should prevail.  We are constantly bombarded from the left and the right, each claiming that their view is correct because they represent the majority. What I learned from Randy Barnett, however, is it that the Constitution is not We the People as the majority, but We the People as a collection of  individuals. As an amateur historian, I recall the folly of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, based on a theory that one group of people could vote to enslave another.  The same question applies to those majority who would restrict the Right to Marry. In 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court made a finding that marriage in America began as a purely private affair, and then evolved. My book,  Private Vows, answers the question of how that happened. But I could not have accomplished that goal without this lesson that I learned from Randy Barnett. Since We the People is a collection of individuals endowed with inalienable rights, and since one of those rights is the Right to Marry, the People could not transfer to their elected representatives the authority to restrict that right. Therefore, state regulation of marriage and divorce is unconstitutional, as are federal laws that impact the Right to Parent.

Lesson Three: Whether it be the current state action to void the Trump Travel Ban or during the Civil Rights Era, where George Wallace and his fellow segregationists so argued, the idea of State’s Rights always intrigued me. Yet, Randy Barnett taught me that State’s Rights is a fiction. States don’t have rights. The Tenth Amendment recognizes that the people did not give complete authority to the federal government. Elected state officials have authority, and that authority is limited to what is specifically conferred. For Private Vows,  Barnett made me fully appreciate that the Tenth Amendment is not a source of authority for what the Supreme Court as recently as 2013 declared, that domestic relations was traditionally left to the states to regulate. Barnett taught me that tradition is not a Constitutional argument. We have to look to our Founding Documents.  Rather, the Declaration of Independence instructs us that the People have the inalienable right to marry, to parent, and to the Pursuit of Happiness. States do not have the authority to regulate marriage and divorce because the Constitution gives the the People’s elected servants no such authority, and any act to interfere in purely private acts is void at its inception.

Thank you Randy Barnett for teaching this old dog a new trick, and I will be forever grateful. You have given me a greater appreciation of the wisdom of our Founders than I thought possible. My personal goal is to share what I learned from you, and to broadcast it for the better of the people of the United States of America.

Alan W. Cohen is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and the Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law. Now a full-time author and blogger, he practiced Family Law in the St. Louis area for more than 25 years. His books are available on Amazon.

Easter Message: Why Religion is Vital to Maintaining Our Liberty

By Alan W. Cohen

As American Christians near the Easter holiday, it is important to recognize the vital role of religion preserving our liberty. No, I am not talking about our Judeo-Christian heritage. I am talking about all religions.

Our sixth president, and last founding father, John Quincy Adams, once said that religion is nothing more than ethics, and ethics is how we choose to live our lives. Belief in a higher being means recognizing that there is something greater than ourselves, that we are not the center of the universe, a concept that seems lost in many in the younger generation. Religion provides us with the mirror that we truly require to look beyond our own immediate needs, to see our own behaviors, and how it might affect others. I for one am not a religious person, but I live my life by a a credo born of my Jewish faith. I believe that I live righteously, and do what is best for my family, my community and my country. I live everyday thinking how I might accomplish that goal, and my writings, especially my books America Solved, and my February 2017 publication of Private Vows, are my personal evidence of that enterprise. And it is the goal of this blog to better America by seeing it return to the liberty that we lost in the battle over slavery in America as I explained in my introductory post.

Religion teaches us that we must join together for the common good, but it is our personal behavior, our minute by minute interactions with others that is penultimate for freedom to operate. We must have empathy for the rights of others, rights guaranteed to us in the Declaration of Independence. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be nice if those leftist bots that protest the free speech of others on college campuses would grasp that concept? Perhaps, they need to go to church to learn about respect because they certainly hadn’t yet learned it, especially respect for those elders who choose to share their life experiences to better the younger generation.

And so, for my Christian brothers and sisters, enjoy your Easter holiday, and consider how you are working to preserve and protect the rights of others to do practice their faith in the freest nation in the history of the world.

Alan W. Cohen graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School and the Washington University (St. Louis) School of Law. He has retired after practicing family law in the St. Louis area for more than 25 years.