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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 06, 2020

Liberal Billionaire John Arnold Joins Ny City To Free Violent Suspects With Arrest & Release

by Richard McCarty: Billionaire John Arnold, who calls himself a “special interest pot stirrer,” has decided to join New York City — which is suffering through a crime wave with its new arrest and release program — to meddle in the issue of bail reform.

As part of Arnold’s scheme to remake the criminal justice system by releasing criminals before they are tried, he created a “Public Safety Assessment” (PSA) tool, which is basically a formula that is supposed to assess whether suspects are safe to be released before their trials. According to Arnold’s website, it is “a risk assessment tool that helps judges make accurate, efficient, and evidence-based decisions about which defendants should be detained prior to trial and which can be safely released.”

New York City’s program differs insofar as the state has simply barred police from detaining criminals for most offenses. But the results are the same as criminals go free.

Unsurprisingly, Arnold’s efforts at releasing criminals have encountered a lot of resistance from law enforcement professionals from across the country who are alarmed at what they are seeing in municipalities that participate, and they just don’t want to take the risk.

One law enforcement professional who opposes the use of the hedge fund manager’s formula is Eric Siddall, the vice president of the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys. “We’re trying to use a method that hedge funds use to make money to make a determination of whether someone should be in custody or not… The problem is if a hedge fund makes a mistake, they lose money. If we make a mistake, someone dies,” said Siddell.

For those unfamiliar with Arnold, he is the former trader who collected the largest bonus in Enron’s history and went on to found his own hedge fund before retiring at the age of 38. Maybe that’s why he thinks it’s safe to gamble with public safety.

Incredibly, the assessment tool assigned two armed robbery suspects the lowest risk score – a 1 out of 6. The two Indiana residents are alleged to have entered a New Orleans pharmacy early in the morning wearing gloves and hoodies, robbed the pharmacy at gunpoint, bound two employees with zip ties, and engaged in a shootout with police as they attempted to flee injuring an officer.

Fortunately, the PSA scores were completely disregarded and bail for each of the suspects was set at more than one million dollars. The assistant district attorney at the bail hearings asserted that the assessments were “unconscionable.” The district attorney followed up by calling the PSA’s score for one of the suspects “absurd” and stated that it “shows exactly why the skepticism” of the PSA “is both warranted and deserved.”

Two former sheriffs – David Clark, the former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and Bob White, the former sheriff of Pasco County, Florida – wrote an op-ed opposing the use of the PSA tool: “John Arnold claims to have cooked up a mathematical formula that can somehow predict whether a given criminal suspect will abscond or commit another crime — in other words, Mr. Arnold wants to play of game of Russian roulette but the gun is always pointed at your head, not his… Pre-trial release determinations are complicated and fraught with danger to the public. They are difficult decisions best made on a case-by-case evaluation of all the evidence and circumstances by an experienced judge who has heard arguments on all sides. You can’t leave those decisions to a mathematical formula.”

In addition, Gov. Susana Martinez (R-N.M.), a former prosecutor with more than twenty years of experience, issued the following warning about the PSA tool: “Here in New Mexico, we’ve been working hard to crack down on a catch and release revolving door criminal justice system – a problem that irresponsible interpretations and rules implemented by courts and the Arnold pretrial risk assessment tool have only aggravated. New Mexico implemented this pretrial risk assessment tool to devastating results.

Even a supporter of the PSA tool admits there are significant problems. Alex Bastian, a San Francisco assistant district attorney who is also a spokesman for the district attorney’s office stated, “We feel as though the calculations have not been done accurately on many occasions.”

Throughout Arnold’s career of gambling on natural gas prices, formulas may have been helpful to him in amassing his fortune, but neither human nature, nor justice, nor public safety can be reduced down to a simple formula utilizing only basic information about a suspect. That is why the decision of whether or not to release a suspect from custody should be made by an experienced professional – one who is not relying on a magic formula.
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Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

Tags: Richard McCarty, Limited Government Foundation, Liberal Billionaire, John Arnold, Joins NY City, To Free Violent Suspects, With Arrest & Release To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The World’s Reaction to the Wuhan Coronavirus

. . . Plagues and panics, ancient and modern
by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: Most preindustrial mass plagues were bacterial, caused by urban overcrowding and poor-to-nonexistent garbage and sewage disposal. In the disruptive aftermath of pandemics, fundamental social and political change sometimes followed—wars lost, governments ended, wealth and power reversed.

Of course, cheap antibiotics, modern medical care, and sophisticated sewage treatment and refuse collection have mostly ended the epidemic threat of typhus, typhoid, and bubonic plague.

Apparently, our trust in modern drugs is such that we arrogantly do not even consider the chance of pandemic danger posed by 500,000 or so homeless Americans, who live outside in harsh weather, amid vermin, excrement, and rodents on our major urban-center sidewalks.

Instead, in the modern age, viruses have mostly replaced bacteria in posing theoretical threats of mass infection, illness, and death. While modern Western medicine, given enough time, can sometimes prevent many pandemic viral infections through mass vaccinations, they are, unlike many bacterial illnesses, often impossible, or at least difficult, to treat.

If bacterial plagues are far more unlikely in our postmodern society, globalization has still made the specter of an epidemic of a viral disease—Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and, most recently, COVID-19—not impossible. The A and B influenzas, despite mass inoculations, infect about 20–30 million Americans per year. Depending on the particular annual mutating strain, anywhere between 10,000 and 80,000 die from seasonal influenzas, mostly the elderly or chronically sick. In addition, given the easy ability to weaponize diseases in labs, and especially given the recent spread abroad of the sophisticated Western sciences of bacteriology and virology to first-generation high-technological and authoritarian societies—China in particular—the idea of a historic pandemic is not always fanciful.

The great plague at Athens (430–29 b.c.) that broke out in the second year of the Peloponnesian War, according to the historian Thucydides, wiped out as many as 80,000 people (a fourth of the population of Athens), including rural refugees from the Attic countryside. Nothing, the historian claimed, did more damage to Athens.

Some 2,500 years later, it remains a parlor game among classicists to identify the precise infectious culprit. Some form of either typhus or typhoid seems most likely. Most historians agree that the epidemic that killed Pericles was likely a result of his policy of forced evacuation of the Attic rural population from the country to inside the walls of Athens during the Spartan invasion in late May 430 b.c. The busy port at Piraeus was an incubator and force multiplier of the disease.

Thucydides’ contemporary description of the pestilence inaugurated a tradition in Western historiography of envisioning plagues as reflections on the pathologies of contemporary society. He focuses not just on the deaths and the demographic swath of the disease but even more so on the psychological and sociological damage the disease wrought. In his view, such natural and manmade calamities, like war and revolution, by the nature of their illogical violence and unpredictable mayhem, eventually rip off the thin veneer of civilization. They reduce people to their animal essences. In their instinctual and deadly competitive efforts to survive one more day, the mob in extremis will do almost anything—and blame almost anyone and anything.

In the ancient world, then, plagues usually arrived in early summer from the non-west (Egypt or Asia). They entered European ports, usually in the south and east, and accelerated through filthy and densely populated cities. Pandemics triggered debates on the value of the minority scientific method—which focused on symptomology, diagnoses, therapies, and prognoses—versus the majority popular embrace of religion and superstition, which equated plagues with divine wrath or hubris and therefore fixated on particular villains and customs that had provoked such godly wrath.

After the Athenian plague, Athens could still ward off a Spartan victory, but it lacked the resources to vanquish the Spartan empire and its growing number of allies. In some sense, the grandiose visions of imperial Athens ended with the plague—even as a wider Greek interest in both medical science and popular religion increased.

Sophocles’ greatest play, Oedipus Rex, was staged a year after the plague began to wane. Its chief protagonist, Oedipus, a good and wise man whose sin is to believe that his haughty reason can defeat cosmic fate, resembles in his arrogance the recently deceased Pericles, the renaissance man with a worldly consort of philosophers, libertines, and artists.

Again, it was the statesman’s strategy of withdrawing tens of thousands of rural Athenians into the city to ride out the invasion of Spartan hoplites that ensured that the city became the petri dish for the plague. Of course, Pericles’ strategy, in theory, might have worked, had his celebrated reliance on reason included knowledge of the relationship between sanitation and infection. In the end, even the rationalist Pericles was reduced to clutching amulets to ward off the plague.

The lifelong quest of the Byzantine emperor Justinian (c. 482–565) focused on reestablishing the lost Roman Empire in the West under new Byzantine Greek auspices. Over some 30 years of constant campaigning, his brilliant marshals Belisarius and Narses reconquered much of southern Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, and Asia Minor, while Justinian dedicated the monumental church of Hagia Sophia and codified Roman law.

But the bubonic plague of 541–42 soon spread from the port capital at Constantinople throughout the empire. The pandemic would go on to kill 500,000 Byzantines and render the military agendas of Justinian—who also got the disease but recovered—inert.

The chatty contemporary historian Procopius, in Thucydidean fashion, blamed the Egyptians for the pandemic’s origins. He went on to describe the disease as the catalyst for the same uncivilized behavior so chillingly described nearly a millennium earlier by Thucydides: the crass treatment of the unburied, the avoidance of the infected, the desperation to live wildly in the expectation of impending death, and an equally pernicious outbreak of nihilism, superstition, and self-pity.

The medieval outbreak in Europe of the Black Plague (1347–51) likely killed more than the Athenian and Justinian plagues combined, perhaps eventually half of the European population, or somewhere around 50–80 million people. Like prior bacterial plagues, it too was believed to have spread from the east and entered Mediterranean ports. It went ballistic in the heavily populated, fetid, and numerous cities of Europe.

In The Decameron, his brilliant collection of novellas, Boccaccio follows the same Western tradition of describing the symptoms, collating the various religious and superstitious exegeses for the sudden arrival of mass death, and for the general breakdown in popular mores. He too notes that the stricken public believed they were shortly to perish and should therefore satisfy their appetites in the time they had left.

As I write, there have been only a few deaths from COVID-19 in the United States and fewer than 100 known cases. No child anywhere in the world under ten is known to have died from the disease. No matter. We are in the midst of a frenzy greater even than the 1976 “pandemic” threat of a new “swine flu” that had supposedly returned in the manner of the lethal 1918 pandemic.

The panicked U.S. stock market in recent weeks suffered its worst days since the 9/11 attacks—before rebounding when profiteers saw the economy stronger than the virus. The entire economy of China, ground zero of the pandemic, has become calcified, despite suffering fewer than 70,000 reported cases and fewer than 3,000 deaths in a population of 1.4 billion. Hundreds of millions of Chinese remain in both voluntary and forced quarantines, amid fuel and food shortages. As a result, China’s trillion-dollar supply chains to foreign importers stagnate. The modern world may be technologically savvy and medically sophisticated, but it has not escaped the rumor, panic, and hysteria that break out when unknown diseases strike, as Thucydides and Procopius so chillingly once detailed.

Global population is nearing 8 billion, and little more than 3,000 worldwide are known to have died from COVID-19. Still, in my rural hometown of Selma, in isolated central California, I conducted an experiment today to see whether disposable medical gloves, face masks, and hand cleansers were still in full supply at the three national chain drug and food stores. All were sold out.

For all our millennia of scientific advancements, we know approximately as much about COVID-19 as Sophocles and Thucydides knew about the effects of the Athenian plague. How exactly does it spread differently from the flu? Are there unknown millions of infected who are not sure when, or even if, they became sick? How did COVID-19 originate—from Chinese bats, snakes, and pangolins in the open-air food markets of Wuhan? Or did the coronavirus strain escape from the oddly proximate Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the only level-four Chinese center that conducts biological-weapons research? The Internet remains fervid with such theories and rumors. It would take a gossipy Procopius to hunt them all down.

Was COVID-19 a mutated virus that jumped to humans from the many known animal viruses in China? Did profit-minded technicians and doctors sell sick lab animals to the open markets? Were Chinese military researchers on the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine or an offensive super-weaponized strain—or both? The variety of these conspiracy theories seem no different from Thucydides’ own speculations in book 2 of his history.

The known unknowns of our pandemic remain endless. Why were there epidemic foci in Iran and Italy, of all places? And why for such a supposedly virulent coronavirus were the ratios of dead to infected still below 2 percent, and like the flu, why was it mostly lethal to the elderly and chronically sick?

Globalization may have lifted billions out of poverty, but open borders and same-day transoceanic jet travel had helped to spread the disease.

Meanwhile, the electronic ability to shut down social media and curtail free use of the Internet, cell phones, and dish and cable TV enabled the Chinese government to downplay the nature of COVID-19 for the first critical weeks of its outbreak.

Certainly, so far China is the world’s great loser in the “pandemic” that is not yet really a pandemic. Beijing’s initial suppression of news of the coronavirus confirmed a continually deteriorating global portrait of Communist China, especially when collated with its losing trade war with the U.S., the Hong Kong democracy protests, the million-person Uighur reeducation camps, and the Orwellian point-system surveillance of Chinese citizens.

In the end, we are left with the irony that the hysterias of a multibillion-person postmodern world in reaction to a rather puny virus are about the same as those of premodern societies that sometimes lost nearly half their populations from horrific plagues.
But moderns—unlike ancients, who were without effective medicines and vaccinations—apparently believe that the good life means that pandemics of any sort belong to another era and have no business daring to pop up in their own.

In terms of hysterias, the more the world changes, the more its people certainly remain the same.
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Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T McIntosh Enterprises.

Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, The World’s Reaction, to Wuhan Coronavirus To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Coronavirus, Economics & Elections

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer: Coronavirus, Economics & Elections
Given the mass hysteria that we're getting from the media, I want to provide some thoughts and analysis on the coronavirus, the economy and how both may impact the elections.

But, first, I want to offer my condolences to those who have lost family members and loved ones to this new virus. More people will be infected and additional lives will be lost. Those impacted are in our prayers.

The Economy
This morning, the government reported that 273,000 new jobs were created in February. That smashed predictions of 175,000 new jobs. And there was more good news. The jobs figures from December and January were revised upwards by 85,000 more jobs.

Within minutes, the stock market rallied 2,000 points – not. The pre-market was down 780 points and it remained down 780 points. What in the world could explain that?

The answer is not that complex. There were several new coronavirus cases reported in the United States in the last 24 hours, and to frightened investors that cancelled out the fact that 273,000 more Americans were working last month than before.

Yet when it comes to the virus itself, there are reasons to feel cautiously optimistic.
  • The spread of the coronavirus in China is slowing.
  • Key economic activity is returning to normal.
  • In countries with better healthcare systems, like South Korea, the death rate is much, much lower than the 3% figure that has been widely reported.
  • Children are not at great risk.
  • Thousands of people are recovering every day, but those numbers are not being reported by the media.
  • People over 65 are at greater risk, particularly if you have heart disease, lung disorders, diabetes or other physical ailments.
But along with that good news is the reality that as tens of thousands of people in the United States get tested in the next few weeks, the number of reported cases is going to go up. (And I believe, as a result, the death rate will go down.) We will see the proof that for most people this is the equivalent of the normal seasonal flu or severe cold.

Thank God that Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their team of free market experts have been running the U.S. economy for the past three years. The result is that we are going into this health crisis in an incredibly strong position as today's report of 273,000 new jobs shows.

If this had happened during the Obama/Biden years, I shudder to think of the economic pain that would have ensued.

The Elections
In a democratic society, what people tend to ask is, "What did you do for me today?" And the coronavirus could have profound effects on the standing of the administration and, whether we care to acknowledge it or not, on the November elections.

In spite of the obscene efforts of Pelosi, Schumer and their media allies to blame the Trump/Pence Administration for the spread of this virus, the fact is they have done virtually everything correctly to date.

In fact, the head of the World Health Organization yesterday praised President Trump's leadership and handling of the crisis.

The one area where there was a lag was in testing kits. That was due to an Obama/Biden era regulation that permitted only the Food and Drug Administration to develop tests for new viral agents. The president quickly repealed this regulation to speed up the development of new test kits.

Sadly, even in a best-case scenario, it is going to take at least another 30 to 45 days to fully know with greater certainty the degree of damage done to the economy and to those infected by this virus.

Like many viruses, it should die out when temperatures get above 75 degrees for a prolonged period of time. By May and June, the worst should be over.

In the meantime, virtually every economic report is likely to show a slowing economy, and the election will be only five months away.

My hope is that the administration can make the case that because of its policies America entered this crisis in a strong position and that the suffering was significantly limited compared to what happened in China.

I hope the American people would realize that because the economy is fragile, they should want the Trump/Pence team growing us out of this, not Biden and his socialist gang. They are demanding big tax hikes (twice as much as Hillary proposed!), the worst possible thing you could do to a nation recovering from a shock.

What Else?
Under this administration's direction, work on a vaccine is quickly advancing. But what else can be done?

There is a lot of talk about the need for an economic stimulus program. The president has hinted at tax cuts. But before the virus, the thinking was that they would introduce that idea during the campaign. I think they need to move forward now.

One possibility would be a payroll tax cut so that millions of Americans would immediately have larger paychecks. Under George W. Bush, taxpayers and families received stimulus checks in 2008. It's not clear whether that actually worked.

This idea may annoy fiscal conservatives, but you can make a case for setting up a $1 trillion emergency fund right now and getting that passed through Congress to deploy in whatever area makes the most sense.

The 10-year Treasury bond is at 0.77%. The inflation rate is 2.5%. In other words, the federal government today can borrow billions of dollars at an interest rate lower than inflation.

There is no better time to borrow the money to help the economy recover more quickly so that revenues come in more quickly so we can manage the debt.

Trump's Town Hall
Did you catch President Trump's town hall event in Pennsylvania last night? It was terrific!

One question posed to the president last night is something I am frequently asked about – his aggressive style. Asked whether he could take it down a notch or two, the president replied, "When they hit us, we have to hit back. I really feel that. . . I wouldn't be here if I had turned the other cheek."

He's absolutely right!

As I have written before, it does us no good to lose gracefully. In 2008, John McCain refused to make an issue of Jeremiah Wright. Mitt Romney is a decent man, but the left mercilessly smeared him.

And something else I often hear about is the "lack of fight" in the GOP. Well Trump is changing that too. The best example is Sen. Lindsey Graham.

I have big differences with Sen. Graham over certain issues. But just imagine how the Kavanaugh hearings would have turned out if Lindsey Graham hadn't fought back so effectively!

My friends, there's simply too much at stake for us not to fight for the values we cherish and the country we love!
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Bye Bye Warren

. . . The step after you fail to carry your own state.
by Lloyd Billingsley: “I’m suspending our campaign for president,” Elizabeth Warren told staffers Thursday. “What we have done – and the ideas we have launched into the world, the way we have fought this fight, the relationships we have built – will carry through, carry through for the rest of this election, and the one after that, and the one after that.”

The Massachusetts Democrat got a boost after attacking Michal Bloomberg for his comments on “fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” but on Super Tuesday Warren failed even to carry her own state. As some voters doubtless noted, there is not enough money in the known universe for the ideas Warren “launched into the world.” On the other hand, Warren was consistently shrill, and voters had a strong case that she should not have been in the race at all.

Elizabeth Warren built her professional life on the claim that she was of Cherokee ancestry, a genuine Native American. Back in 2012, The Atlantic and Washington Post, among others, disproved Warren’s claim, but that prompted no departure from public life.

In Warren’s 2014 A Fighting Chance, the Democrat still maintained that she was of Native American background. Reporters found older examples of her Cherokee fakery, but Warren never considered demonstrable fraud a barrier to public office, including the presidency of the United States. The wealthy attorney also billed herself an economic expert but her narrative raises doubts.

Nobody in this country “got rich on his own,” she explained in A Fighting Chance. Rather, “you moved goods on the roads the rest of us paid for” and used workers “the rest of us paid to educate.” You were safe in your factory “because of police and fire forces the rest of us paid for.” And so on, the same Big Brother view as POTUS 44.

He deployed forces in the DOJ and FBI to clear his chosen successor Hillary Clinton, and attack candidate and President Donald Trump. In similar style, Sen. Warren was laying groundwork for Democrats, particularly herself, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As Judicial Fortitude author Peter J. Wallison notes, the CFPB is “the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” and that makes a case for closer examination.

As Wallison notes, the CFPB was given plenary authority to enforce all federal laws that apply to financial transactions with consumers, and more. CFPB power was “broadened beyond existing laws” to take enforcement action on any action it finds “unfair, deceptive, or abusive.” Since “abusive” is not defined, this served up “a vast field for the agency to define and pursue.” Wallison finds this a “dangerous step in support of an even more powerful and uncontrolled administrative state.”

The CFPB director gets a five-year term fully protected from removal by the president other than for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.” This places the director outside the control of the president, “whose ability to pursue the policies he was elected to implement depends crucially on the ability to remove and replace the senior officials of executive agencies.” And it gets worse.

The CFPB gets funding from the Federal Reserve, and the money comes at the request of CFPB director. And under the enabling Dodd-Frank legislation, the Fed has “no ability to affect the agency’s actions.” So Warren’s CFPB is beyond the control of Congress, and if the Supreme Court upholds the status quo, “it would be possible for Congress to create other agencies that are beyond the control of any elected body.”

CFPB power is being contested in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and on March 3, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case. Elizabeth Warren has dropped out, but her CFPB could serve any Democrat, particularly the surging Bernie Sanders, as a tool to gain government control over the economy.

As Milton Friedman observed, government agencies are easy to start but practically impossible to abolish. President Trump should aim to abolish the CFPB, and that would shore up his support among those who advocate smaller and more accountable government.

Meanwhile for Amy Klobuchar, Warren was a friend who “knows how to dream big and fight hard.” Julian Castro endorsed her as “the best person for the job and a “relentless fighter,” with a “hopeful and courageous vision.” Though out of the race, Warren stands as testament to the dictatorship of the subjunctive mood.

Under this regime of unreality, a politician can make up any outlandish story and people are supposed to ignore all contrary evidence and simply “believe.” For example, people are supposed to believe that Elizabeth Warren, paler than Frosty the Snowman, was the first “woman of color” on the Harvard faculty. When outright fraud is exposed, the dictatorship of the subjunctive mood imposes no penalty.

Asked Thursday if she would endorse Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, Warren told reporters, “Not today, I want to take a little time to think a little more.”

Recent dropouts Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Michael Bloomberg have all endorsed Joe Biden.
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Lloyd Billingsley is an author with numerous book credits & writes for FrontPage Mag.

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Mark Levin: Schumer Should Be Disbarred, Admonished by Senate, Investigated by Ethics and DOJ

by Craig Bannister: Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) should pay the price for threatening Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, Constitutional scholar and conservative commentator Mark Levin says.

Reacting to the public threats Schumer made Wednesday, in which the senator singled out for retribution the two justices by name, Levin tweeted that Schumer’s “loathsome conduct” has endangered the justices and attempted to coerce them.

Schumer’s comments are especially egregious, given that he is both a lawyer and a Senate Democrat leader, Levin wrote, calling for the American Bar Association, the Senate and the Justice Department to take action:"1. Chuck Schumer’s direct threats today against two Supreme Court justices absolutely does endanger them. The Chief Justice said as much. Schumer also insisted that the justices rule on an active case as he demands."

"2. Schumer should be sanctioned by the Bar, admonished by the Senate, investigated by the Senate ethics committee, and even reviewed by the DOJ. No individual, let alone the Senate Democrat leader, who is also a lawyer, should escape accountability for his loathsome conduct."
On his nationally-syndicated radio program Wednesday night, Levin said that if common citizens or common lawyers had made Schumer’s remarks, they would be held accountable – so, so Schumer should, at least, be disbarred:“He’s intimidating, or attempting to threaten and intimidate, two Supreme Court justices. And, if they dare to apply their independent thinking and the facts to the constitution, and they do not come out the way that he insists, he’s threatening them, in advance of the decision.

“If a common citizen had threatened a court or a particular judge or justice the way that Chuck Schumer did, they would be arrested, in my view.

“If a common lawyer had threatened the court or justices, or any judge, the way Schumer did, they would be disbarred. They would be disbarred.

“And I think Chuck Schumer could still be disbarred. Because, while the speech and debate clause protects him - he’s free to say what he wishes - and the courts have ruled that it protects him from litigation for defamation and so forth, I’m unaware of any decision that says a lawyer who is a politician who gets elected to Congress, is still not subject to the rules of professional conduct in their jurisdiction, in their state, in this case, in New York. So, potentially, he could be disbarred, and that effort should be made in my humble opinion.

“You don’t get to threaten - I mean threaten – officials, let alone federal judges, let alone Supreme Court justices, the way Schumer did.”
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Craig Bannister is responsible for all CNSNews.com media relations, public relations, and marketing programs.

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The Biden-Sanders Dilemma

by Newt Gingrich: One week ago, no one expected the current race for the Democratic nomination.

Remember this the next time you see or hear one of us so-called experts on television or radio confidently predicting a future we don’t understand.

With the backdrop of the emerging coronavirus threat, the wild swings in the stock market, the signing of an Afghanistan peace plan, the Chuck Schumer attack on Supreme Court justices, here is what happened in seven short days.

Vice President Joe Biden went from being almost out of the race to being the front runner and probable nominee.

Sen. Bernie Sanders went from being the strong front runner and probable nominee – who was going to sweep Super Tuesday – to being a battered and isolated challenger underdog who may not have a path to the nomination.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg went from being a media darling, to having an incredibly weak showing in South Carolina, to withdrawing and endorsing Biden.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar got remarkably few votes in South Carolina and faced a devastating series of defeats on Tuesday. So, she withdrew, endorsed Biden, and flew to Texas to join him on stage at a rally on the evening before the state’s primary.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, after spending more than $550 million, figured out his debate disasters had wiped out the positive effect of his advertising and withdrew, also throwing his support to Biden.

Beto O’Rourke emerged from obscurity to endorse Biden before the Texas primary and locked Biden into an anti-gun (potentially gun confiscation) position.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren stayed in a few extra days, but after coming in third in her home state to Biden and Sanders decided she, too, was withdrawing. As of now, she has not endorsed anyone (although remember in 2016 she endorsed Hillary Clinton over Sanders).

Now, the race is down to Biden and Sanders, with the Democratic National Committee preparing to change its debate eligibility rules to keep Rep. Tulsi Gabbard off the debate stage. Standing with two old white guys, she could maybe make an appealing contrast and represent a last stand for persity – but not with the Democratic establishment that hates her firmly in control.

Biden and Sanders find themselves with real dilemmas, but the dilemmas are different for each candidate.

In Biden’s case, he is already looking ahead to the general election against President Trump. A major selling point in the flood of endorsements is the belief among establishment Democrats that Sanders is simply too far to the left. So, one challenge for Biden will be to communicate that he is more reasonable. (His campaign and the media will use the word “moderate,” but the fact is Biden is well to the left of Obama, and without Sanders in the race it would be obvious how many of Biden’s positions are opposed by most of the American people.)

However, if Biden over-emphasizes his differences with Sanders, he may make the convention in Milwaukee unmanageable. The left-wing activists might see the party establishment once again supposedly stealing the nomination from the left-wing challenger.

Biden must be asking himself if his major goal should be, like Bill Clinton in 1992, to find a “Sister Souljah” moment to take on the hard left and repudiate one of its more unpopular positions. Or, should Biden adopt the principle of “no enemies to the left” and keep absorbing the ideas and proposals of Sanders and his supporters? This could lead to a more unified Democratic National Convention – but unity might come at the expense of independent voters and moderate Democrats who conclude that Biden is so close to the Sanders’ positions that he is simply too big a risk to become president.

Meanwhile, Sanders has his own dilemma.

If he wants to become the Democratic nominee, he has to take Biden down. This means speeches, advertising, and debate performances that are harshly critical of Biden and expose his many weaknesses. Biden is potentially susceptible to attacks on his family making money overseas, or his past positions to a whole series of issues which now run afoul of left-wing canon.

Still, a truly effective, harsh assault on Biden may alienate those Democrats whose primary focus is on how to beat President Trump. There may be a real penalty among party loyalists for either candidate if they are seen as weakening the Democratic Party’s chance to beat the president.

All of this will begin to be obvious in the next few days.

Sanders cannot get back into the nomination race without forcing major differences with Biden and pushing the former vice president in the hope that Biden will make a major mistake.

Biden cannot become passive and look toward the general election until Sanders has been defeated. Mayor Bloomberg’s passive debate performance was a vivid reminder that remaining passive while being attacked looks like a combination of weakness and guilt.

The race is very different than we thought it would be a week ago, but it remains incredibly interesting – and in many ways still capable of great surprises.
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Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Biden-Sanders Dilemma To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Super Tuesday Finally Serves Its Intended Purpose -- After 32 Years

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Super Tuesday has finally served its intended purpose for the first time since it was invented for the 1988 presidential cycle, 32 years ago.

Those were the days when Democrats controlled practically every Southern legislature and when most Southern whites were, in homage to their Civil War heritage, registered Democrats. Moderate Democratic politicians hit on the idea of setting up a multistate early set of Southern primaries to increase the chances of moderate candidates being better in November than the nominees who lost to former President Richard Nixon and then-President Ronald Reagan.

Super Tuesday has finally served its intended purpose for the first time since it was invented for the 1988 presidential cycle, 32 years ago.

Those were the days when Democrats controlled practically every Southern legislature and when most Southern whites were, in homage to their Civil War heritage, registered Democrats. Moderate Democratic politicians hit on the idea of setting up a multistate early set of Southern primaries to increase the chances of moderate candidates being better in November than the nominees who lost to former President Richard Nixon and then-President Ronald Reagan.

The strategy worked in 1988, but for the Republicans. Democrats Al Gore and Jesse Jackson each won five Southern states, but Florida and Texas and four non-Southern primaries were won by the eventual nominee, then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis.

Meanwhile, Republican then-Vice President George Bush's campaign manager Lee Atwater set up a South Carolina primary on the Saturday before Super Tuesday. Bush's win there was followed by a Super Tuesday near sweep that ensured his nomination -- a feat duplicated by Bob Dole in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000 and John McCain in 2008.

This year, the intentions of Super Tuesday's Democratic inventors were finally, after almost a third of a century, fulfilled -- with a little help from the late Lee Atwater and 28-year South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, who endorsed Biden three days before the primary.

Previous polling showed black voters abandoning former Vice President Joe Biden for Sen. Bernie Sanders, but Clyburn's credibility with black voters and whites produced Biden's smashing 49% to 20% victory over Sanders.

In a trice -- three days -- hundreds of thousands of Super Tuesday voters seem to have changed their minds in a process that once lasted the whole campaign season. Biden won impressive victories in 10 of the 14 Super Tuesday states. But there are caveats.

One is that, just as Republicans were divided between college and non-college voters in 2016, Democrats are divided between old and young voters this year. Exit polls conducted in seven Super Tuesday states showed Biden carrying those over age 45 by an average of 26 points and Sanders carrying those under 45 by an average of 29. Will young voters -- especially young Hispanics and blacks, many of whom preferred Sanders -- vote in November? Or vote for President Donald Trump?

Biden is emerging from Super Tuesday with more delegates than Sanders, though California, as usual, may take weeks to count votes and allocate delegates. That leaves Biden just short of being a certain bet for the nomination.

He looks likely to rack up a big delegate edge in elderly Florida, but only three more Southern states with large black percentages (Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi) have yet to vote. The industrial states crucial in November 2016 (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin) have yet to weigh in, and they remain something of a mystery.

That said, with Michael Bloomberg having left the race, the possibility that no candidate will enter the convention with a majority of delegates looks to be just about zero.

As for the general election, it's not clear that Biden can win Barack Obama-type majorities among blacks, and the Super Tuesday results show him weaker among Hispanics than Bernie Sanders. Nor is it clear that Democrats can replicate their 2018 surge among affluent suburbanites. Biden did carry high-income suburbs in Virginia, North Carolina and Texas but lost those around Denver and Austin. Also, initial House race results in California suggest Democrats risk losing some suburban congressional seats they gained in 2018.

Even while winning, Biden has shown obvious flaws as a candidate. His lifelong prolixity seems increasingly in danger of morphing into incoherence. But of course, Sanders has his own flaws -- why keep defending Fidel Castro? -- and so, obviously, does Trump.

These flaws are evidence for my oft-voiced thesis that the presidential nominating process is the weakest part of our political system. Super Tuesday played its intended role, and James Clyburn's Biden endorsement was timed with the brilliance of Lee Atwater. But as FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver points out, happenstance also played a role: the inability of Iowa Democrats to determine a caucus winner and the release of a single poll that qualified Michael Bloomberg for what proved to be his disastrous South Carolina debate performance.

A final word about California. It joined Super Tuesday this year, supposedly in order to be noticed by candidates and the press. Instead it got saturated with Bloomberg ads (no one else could afford many), quietly hosted multiple candidate fundraisers and is now taking weeks to count its votes. Go back to June!

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Super Tuesday, Finally Serves Its Intended Purpose, After 32 Years To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Will Joe Kick It Away Again?

by Patrick Buchanan: All in all, a triumphal week for Biden, who racked up 11 state primary victories. Before last Saturday, he had not won a single primary in three presidential campaigns. But if earlier reports of the demise of Joe Biden were premature, so, too, are today’s confident predictions of a Biden sweep this November…

A week ago, the candidacy of Joe Biden was at death’s door.

On a taping of “The McLaughlin Group,” this writer suggested it might be time to “call the rectory” and have the monsignor come render last rites.

Today, Biden’s candidacy is not only alive. He is first in votes, victories and delegates, and is favored to win the nomination and, by most polls, to defeat Donald Trump in November.

“The World Turned Upside Down” was a song the British army band is said to have played at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. That title applies to what happened in the U.S. political world in the five days from Feb. 29 to March 4.

Going into South Carolina on Feb. 29, Joe Biden had run a miserable and losing campaign.

Starting as the odds-on favorite for the nomination, he finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, fifth in New Hampshire and then was routed by Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses. His fundraising was anemic. His debate performances ranged from tolerable to terrible.

On the eve of South Carolina, his proclaimed “firewall,” the media conceded he might win but wrote him off as a probable fatality on Super Tuesday when 14 states went to the polls.

Then came South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden, which solidified and energized the African American vote in the Palmetto State and led to a Biden blowout in Saturday’s primary.

The nonstop free and favorable publicity Biden gained from the victory created a momentum that Mike Bloomberg’s billions could not buy. Over that weekend came the withdrawal of Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar and endorsements by both of Biden as the party’s best hope against Donald Trump.

Came then Biden’s sweep of 10 of the 14 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday. Wednesday saw the withdrawal of Bloomberg, who endorsed Biden and pledged his vast fortune to help Joe and the party defeat Trump in November.

Moreover, for Trump, as Claudius observed in “Hamlet,” “When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions.”

For 10 days, the Dow Jones average has gyrated wildly, wiping out trillions of dollars in wealth, while the coronavirus slowly claimed victims and dominated the world’s media. Predictions of a pandemic, a global economic downturn and a national recession were everywhere.

All in all, a triumphal week for Biden, who racked up 11 state primary victories. Before last Saturday, he had not won a single primary in three presidential campaigns.

But if earlier reports of the demise of Joe Biden were premature, so, too, are today’s confident predictions of a Biden sweep this November, marching over the political corpse of Trump and bringing in a Democratic Senate and Democratic House.

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Bernie Sanders’ “Revolution” remains unreconciled to a Beltway-Biden restoration, against which many of the Democratic candidates railed before dropping out, including Elizabeth Warren.

Sanders, for whom this is the last hurrah, must decide whether he wants to go down fighting for his cause or stack arms and march into Biden’s camp.

If Sanders chooses to fight, he can, even in near-certain defeat, be victorious in history if his “movement” one day captures the national party as it has captured a plurality of the party’s young.

If Sanders goes into the coming debates and forces Biden to defend his votes — for George Bush’s war in Iraq and for NAFTA and WTO trade concessions to Communist China — he may still be crushed.

But Sanders is a true believer. And, for such as these, it is better to die on the hill you have lived and fought on than to march into camp to be patted on the head by an establishment that secretly detests you.

Then there is Biden’s vulnerability.

He may be hailed by a fickle media as a conquering hero today. But after the cheering stops, Biden is going to be, for the next eight months, the same candidate he has been for the last eight months. Here is a description of that candidate by The New York Times the day after his Super Tuesday triumph:

“Any suggestion that Mr. Biden is now a risk-free option would appear to contradict the available evidence. He is no safer with a microphone, no likelier to complete a thought without exaggeration or bewildering detour.

“He has not, as a 77-year-old man proudly set in his ways, acquired new powers of persuasion or management in the 72 hours since the first primary state victory of his three presidential campaigns.

“Mr. Biden has blundered this chance before — the establishment front-runner; the last, best hope for moderates — fumbling his initial 2020 advantages in a hail of disappointing fund-raising, feeble campaign organization and staggering underperformance.”

It ain’t over till it’s over.
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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Natural Causes . . .

. . . How does Greta Thunberg plan to shame all of the volcanic activity ravaging the planet these days?
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Natural Causes, How does Greta Thunberg, plan to shame, all of the volcanic activity, ravaging the planet, these days To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Threat Is a Threat, Sen. Schumer

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Arrogant Sen. Chuck Schumer crossed the line in threatening United States Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. His words were shocking, even for him.

I don’t usually get too exercised about political rhetoric, realizing that impassioned politicians regularly engage in hyperbole. But Schumer’s remarks were inexcusable by any standard.

At an abortion rights rally hosted by the deceptively named Center for Reproductive Rights, Schumer said: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

It’s one thing for members of the political branches to criticize judges after they’ve made decisions they disagree with, but to threaten them with consequences in advance of a decision is shocking. If I had hair-trigger sensitivity for impeachable offenses like congressional Democrats, I’d call this a “high crime or misdemeanor.” But I don’t, so I won’t.

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked Schumer for his intemperate remarks, Schumer sort of apologized — but not really. Not even close, actually. He first counterpunched McConnell, claiming that McConnell made a “glaring omission” in not specifying that Schumer was referring to a case before the court that could impact a woman’s ability to get an abortion.

Come on, Senator. Who would need additional context, given that Schumer was speaking to a pro-abortion mob? Besides, how would adding that fact have mitigated Schumer’s comments? He has no more right to threaten judges over a prospective decision involving the Democrats’ holy sacrament of abortion than he does, say, over a pending immigration case.

Schumer said he shouldn’t have used those words and they didn’t come out as he intended. He wasn’t issuing a threat; he was referring to the political consequences the case could have.

Though Schumer’s spokesman Justin Goodman said Schumer was addressing Republican congressmen when he said a price would be paid, his language was in the second person, a direct warning to two of the justices by name: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward …”

I count six “yous” in addition to the naming of the justices. Is Schumer saying he meant for the justices to convey his comments to the congressmen? That’s laughable.
“(Y)ou will pay the price” and “you won’t know what hit you” are unambiguous threats, even if metaphorical. But how could these justices pay metaphorically? Was Schumer threatening to impeach them? What for — following the Constitution? At the very least, Schumer was fanning the flames of the abortion throng, and that itself is dangerous, given the left’s penchant for violence these days. There’s no excuse for his comments or doubling down while pretending to apologize.

Schumer’s non-apology makes his original statement worse, not better. It confirms that he thinks it is appropriate to put political pressure on judges in advance of their rulings. It shows that he believes the court should make a political decision in this case, rather than interpret statutes and the Constitution.

Schumer’s lack of repentance appears in his defiant response to the normally mild-mannered Chief Justice Roberts calling his remarks “dangerous.” Schumer shot back, accusing Roberts of bias for not calling out President Donald Trump for criticizing Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg last week. But Trump didn’t threaten the justices. He simply pointed out they were biased against him and that Sotomayor had accused Republican-appointed justices of being biased in favor of Trump.

One fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives is that conservatives, like the framers, believe the judiciary is a nonpolitical branch of government and that courts should interpret laws, not make them. For progressives, everything is political, including the judiciary, and the court should decide cases based on political considerations.

This is all the more reason we should appreciate Trump’s stellar track record in appointing two originalist Supreme Court justices and a host of other originalist appellate and district court judges. Schumer’s misbehavior is a glaring reminder of the importance of defeating the lawless party in November.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

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Democrats and Anti-Democrats

by Caroline Glick: The day after Israel’s latest Knesset elections, Democrats in fourteen states in the US voted in Super Tuesday.

This year’s Democratic presidential primaries pit the party establishment, represented by former Vice President Joe Biden against the party’s activist base comprising revolutionary socialists led by Senator Bernie Sanders. Their fight casts in stark relief the dismal state of both the Israeli Left and Israeli democracy.

The establishment claims that if Sanders is the nominee, President Donald Trump will be reelected because Sanders is too exposed as a radical socialist. Moreover, they say, if Sanders is the nominee, he will endanger Democratic control of the House and vaporize all hope of a Democratic takeover of the Senate.

Sanders and his supporters reject these claims with two counterarguments. First, they note, all the energy in the party is in their camp. Thousands turn out to participate in Sanders events while Biden speaks to empty halls. Sanders is charismatic and compelling; Biden can’t remember what state he’s in.

Second, Sanders and his supporters warn that they aren’t in the game to get just any Democrat elected. They are there to get Sanders elected. If the party establishment successfully torpedoes his candidacy, as it did when he ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016, then more likely than not, his supporters will pick up their marbles and go home and take their energy and crowds with them. It is a serious game and both sides treat it accordingly.

This then brings us to Israel. On Monday night, as the public waited for the polls to close and the exit polls to be released, Eretz Nehederet, Israel’s biggest prime-time satire show broadcast a sketch that perfectly captured the state of the Democrats’ Israeli counterparts. The sketch portrayed Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz on election day on one side of a split screen and Likud leader Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Election Day on the other.

Gantz’s character spent the day lolling around his house, clueless and indifferent to the elections. It was only at the end of the day that he remembered he was supposed to vote – and campaign.

Netanyahu’s character, on the other hand, spent the day frenetically searching for votes, campaigning relentlessly, if comically for every constituency he could think of.

The gag perfectly characterized the basic distinction not only between Gantz and Netanyahu but between the political Right and the political Left in the lead-up to Monday’s elections. From the moment the last Knesset dissolved itself and third elections were called, Netanyahu canvassed the country from one end to the other, over and over again, talking to voters. The Likud put together a ground game the likes of which it hadn’t deployed in ages to get voters to the polls on Election Day and expanded its voter base by more than 200,000.

Blue and White’s campaign, in contrast, was barely noticeable. For over a month, Gantz refused to give media interviews and ordered his party members to say as little as possible. Blue and White’s campaign, such as it was, was hateful and contemptuous of voters. Yair Lapid, Gantz’s number two, outdid himself last week when he called right-wing voters “sh*ts.” His party colleague Yoaz Hendel gave an interview where he derided Likud voters along elitist lines. In a swipe at Sephardi Jews, Hendel insinuated that Likud voters come from the culture of darbukas drums, and Blue and White voters, come from the classical music culture of Vienna.

Blue and White made no attempt to win over voters. All they cared about, to the extent they cared at all, was uniting their camp under a tent of elitism, bigotry and hatred of Netanyahu whom they portrayed as Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his primitive, sh**ty voters.

Gantz inadvertently explained the lackadaisical campaign strategy in a radio interview last week. Gantz said that from his perspective, political leaders aren’t really that important. The real leaders of Israel are the legal fraternity.

In his words, “The Supreme Court is the top authority.”

Why bother campaigning when political leaders don’t decide anything anyway? And more to the point, why should Gantz and his colleagues fight for votes when the only votes that matter are those belonging to Supreme Court justices and the state prosecutors? The legal fraternity has made abundantly clear that it prefers Gantz to Netanyahu and will stop at nothing to get rid of Netanyahu. So why campaign at all? Might as well sleep in on Election Day.

Blue and White, with its official platform rejecting all legal reform, isn’t alone in its view that democracy is a thing of the past and that the people’s vote is no more binding than an op-ed. In the last two weeks of the campaign, there was a sudden rash of letters by veterans of elite IDF units, the Israeli Air Force and the diplomatic corps calling for the Supreme Court to bar Netanyahu from forming a government. These elitists didn’t even bother to wait to see how the public voted. It made no difference to them.

The contrast between the Democrats’ intensive campaigning and the Israeli Left’s shrug at voters doesn’t mean that Democrats are fervent democrats. They may have as much contempt for voters as their Israeli counterparts.

If Lapid and Hendel let the cat out of the bag in their sneering and hateful remarks about Likud voters, in 2016, Clinton called the tens of millions of Americans that supported Donald Trump “a basket of deplorables … the racists, the sexists, the homophobes, the xenophobes, the Islamophobes.”

Like Blue and White, Clinton showed that not only did she not seek the support of Trump’s supporters. She hated them and held them in contempt.

Then there was the spying operation that the heads of the Obama administration’s justice system and intelligence agencies carried out against the Trump campaign and maintained into his presidency. Then-FBI Director James Comey’s willingness to authorize legally dubious surveillance of American citizens involved in the Trump campaign for the purpose of pushing the claim that they had untoward relations with Russia and then leaking stories to that effect to the media, was an unprecedented assault on the foundations of American democracy.

Comey’s success with his associates in and out of government in reducing then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a rubber stamp and compelling him to authorize the hire of their crony Robert Mueller to lead a special counsel investigation against Trump was yet another unprecedented assault on democratic norms and practices.

Mueller’s decision to staff his operation with Democratic attorney-operatives and empower them to hound and humiliate Trump, his relatives, friends and advisers by accusing them of acting as Russian agents without a speck of evidence, was yet another low point for American democracy.

Then came the impeachment.

When, after a year and a half, Mueller was forced to admit that he had found nothing and close down his shop, Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Democrats sprang into action.

They might not have had Trump on Russia, but they would frame him with Ukraine. The impeachment process, like the spying and investigating operations, was based on no evidence of wrongdoing. But it didn’t matter. The Democrats were intent on impeaching Trump. They had the votes to impeach him. So crime or no crime, they impeached him.

Pelosi’s decision to impeach Trump owed in large part to her understanding of the centrality of democracy to power in America.

Pelosi waited a year and a half to impeach Trump because she knew her case was ridiculous. She had no cause to impeach him, and with Republicans in control of the Senate, no hope of removing him from office.

Pelosi chose to impeach Trump despite all that because in 2018, she and her fellow Democrats won control over Congress by promising to impeach Trump. Once Mueller walked away empty handed from his witch hunt, Pelosi had no excuse not to impeach him. So, she impeached him. For nothing.

Democrats may like democracy or they may despise democracy. But like it or hate it, in America, it is the only game in town. Voters are the source of power. If you win their votes, you can do anything. If you fail to convince them to come out and support you, you can’t do anything. This is why Democrats are fighting so hard for the nomination. They need voters.

In Israel, the checks and balances move in only one direction. The Knesset and the government – that is, the elected branches of government – are fully checked by the legal fraternity. The justices, attorney general and state prosecutors, for their part, have no checks on their power at all. The reason they keep seizing the powers of the Knesset and the government is because they can.

Whereas Likud and its coalition partners are committed to pursuing significant reform to check the power of the prosecutors and justices, Blue and White’s platform dismisses outright all possibility of reform. The Left knows what its source of power is. And it isn’t the people.

On Wednesday, Blue and White announced it will seek the passage of a law barring indicted officials from serving as prime minister. In so doing, Blue and White formalized its rejection of democracy. If passed into law, Blue and White’s bill will do two things which are both antithetical to democracy.

First, it will give the unelected attorney general the power to decide who can run for office. If all that is needed to block a politician from running is a criminal indictment, then the only person who matters in Israeli politics will be the attorney general.

Second, the bill seeks to cancel Monday’s election. More than two million Israelis voted for Netanyahu, either directly by voting for Likud, or indirectly, by voting for its coalition partners. And the Blue and White bill intends to throw their ballots into the trash.

If the law passes, Israel’s parliamentary system will have more in common with Iran’s parliamentary system than with Britain’s. In Iran, the Guardian Council of the Islamic Revolution decides who can run for office. In Israel, the Guardian Council of the legal revolution will perform the same function, and to the same end.

It’s not at all clear how we can proceed from this point. But what is clear enough is that we have reached an inflection point. Either three members of the Blue and White coalition break ranks and join Netanyahu to form a government and save Israeli democracy, or Israel will cease to be a democracy.
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Caroline Glick writes for numerous publications including Israel Hayom.. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

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Hollywood in the Trump Era: Conservatives Not Welcome

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: Hollywood is one leg of the Axis of Indoctrination, with media and academia completing the trifecta.

There are some outspoken nonliberals in Hollywood. Self-described “libertarian” Clint Eastwood comes to mind. But the list is short. A month before the 2016 election, I met a young actress at a party. She just arrived in Los Angeles from Michigan and excitedly told me about a meeting scheduled the following morning with one of the major agencies in Hollywood, an agency she hoped would represent her. For an actor, getting an agent — especially with one of the major firms — is a huge accomplishment. Later at the party, I overhead the actress say something about voting for Donald Trump by absentee ballot. I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly, so I quietly asked her if she voted for Trump. She said yes. I advised her not to mention this, under any circumstances, at her meeting the next day. She was surprised, and I was just as surprised at her naivete. “This place hates Republicans,” I said, “and hates Donald Trump to a degree I’ve never seen.”

A few days later, the host of the party told me that actress called her and asked her to thank me for the warning about not sharing her politics with the agency. The actress said that for the first 10 minutes of the meeting, three agents completed one another’s sentences about Trump, calling him degenerate, racist, sexist, idiotic and other things not printable.

How hostile is Hollywood toward Republicans? Consider this recent letter I received from a well-known, prominent and successful Hollywood conservative:

“Hi, Larry.

“I hope you’re doing well. Something happened yesterday, and when it did, I immediately thought of you. It wasn’t about you, but it puts a spotlight on some of what you talk about all the time.

“I was attending an entertainment industry meeting yesterday, at a very high level, and when it was over, I ran into a friend of mine who just happened to be in the same building at that time. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while. He’s an industry veteran whose career has spanned at least 30 years.

“In the past, whenever we met, for lunch or just to talk, we always discussed politics. He’s a staunch conservative, and he is extremely well-versed on the issues facing this country and on the people who play significant roles in our government. He has always been very outspoken, proud of his affiliation and always willing to debate a Democrat or liberal on the facts and the lies. He’s very good at arguing, and, like you, he has instant-access statistics that are stored in his head.

“Yesterday, when I bumped into him in a common area in the offices, I gave him a hug and asked him what he thought of the Democratic debates. He kind of shrugged. No comment. Then I showed him a website on my phone that gives the betting odds of who will win the primary and who will win the general election. He looked at it, but again, no comment. I told him that I hoped Bernie would win the nomination, because I’d love to see American voters have to make a choice between prosperity and bankruptcy. He nodded, but that was pretty much it.

“I gave him a hug and said goodbye. By the time I reached my car outside, he had already texted me twice. He apologized for not taking an active role in the discussion and said that there were people present in the office cubicles nearby, and he didn’t want to have to argue with them after that, or be treated differently at the office because he said anything that could be interpreted as pro-Trump. He said he had to protect his job, and that he really couldn’t risk talking to me.

“That’s Hollywood.

“The tolerant people who love everybody will destroy you if you disagree with them. It’s ridiculous and scary, but it’s real, and I doubt most people outside of LA would believe to what extent. You could be a criminal or an illegal alien or a Palestinian terrorist, and they would leap to your defense and support your rights. But g-d forbid you’re a Republican or a Trump supporter. You’re the enemy, and they’re blatantly against you and proud of it.

“That’s all. This is the world I work in every day, and it’s disgusting. I grew up in a country where people, even total strangers, would say that they might disagree with my opinions, but they would fight to the death to defend my right to speak my mind. Those days are gone. Apparently, now they would fight to the death to keep me from talking.

“I just thought you’d want to hear this.”

Welcome to Hollywood in Trump’s America.
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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Her Husband Was Murdered in a Gun-Free Zone. Now Nikki Goeser Is Fighting Back.

Woman Practicing Self Defense
by Lauren Evans & Virginia Allen: Nikki Goeser watched the man who had stalked her murder her husband in a gun-free zone. Because she was a law-abiding concealed carry permit holder, Goeser’s firearm was safely locked away in her vehicle, leaving her defenseless.

Now a gun rights activist, Goeser is working hard to ensure every American has the means to protect themselves and their loved ones. Goeser, author of “Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me,” joins the “Problematic Women” podcast to share her story. Listen to the podcast or read the lightly edited transcript.

Virginia Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for being here today and for being willing to share your story with us.

Nikki Goeser:
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Allen: Your book “Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me” is about your husband Ben, really. And so we wanted to start and talk about him. What was Ben like and how did you meet him?

Goeser:
Ben was a sweetheart. He was just a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, lighthearted person. He was always smiling. He was the type of person that if a stranger came into the karaoke venue where I worked at, he would introduce the person around the room to all of the regulars to try and make them feel welcome.

Ben was also a big brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. He was a big brother to a child by the name of Trent. And Trent’s father was in prison and his mother really wanted Trent to have a positive male role model in his life. Someone that could spend time with him. And so Ben would take him go kart riding and to the bowling alley, movies. Trent would come over and ride the four wheeler at our house, or I’d cook dinner for him. And Ben was just a remarkable person. He was a really sweet person.

Allen: And when did you all get married?

Goeser:
We actually got married on New Year’s Eve.

Allen: That’s so romantic. What year was that?

Goeser:
It was 2007.

Allen: 2007, wow. Why New Year’s Eve?

Goeser:
You know, I like New Year’s Eve, and he liked New Year’s Eve. It’s a date you never forget.

Allen: I love that.

Lauren Evans: And it was not long after you were married that you had the worst day of your life. Can you walk us through what happened that night at the restaurant?

Goeser:
Yes. I need to kind of, I guess, give you a backstory a little bit.

Evans: OK.

Goeser:
So my husband Ben and I [had] a mobile karaoke business in the evenings. Now we both had regular corporate jobs during the day. So we did this just as a side job for a little extra gas and grocery money. And it was fun. We both enjoyed it.

I would run karaoke shows in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, for various karaoke jockeys, ladies that were calling in sick or they just didn’t feel like working or any number of reasons. And those venues downtown, they owned their own equipment. So I would just show up and run a karaoke show using their equipment.

And I did this quite often and there was a man that came in to the karaoke venue and Ben and I—Ben was always with me by the way, when I would run these shows, because all of our friends were there, the regulars were there and Ben would just enjoy the evening with them and sing and have fun and then we would drive home together after my shift.

A man showed up and we’d never seen him there. And at first we thought he was just a tourist because, you know, there’s tons of tourists that come through in Nashville. But then he started coming in more often and we figured, well, he must live here. And Ben introduced him around the venue to all of the regulars to try and make him feel welcome.

And this man, I remember there was one night where he gave me $100 tip. Now keep in mind, when you run karaoke shows, the way you make the majority of your money is through tips. So we take around a tip jar at various points throughout the night or you have one up there by the karaoke equipment.

And people will tip you—now, usually people give you a $5 bill. Maybe they’ll give you a $20 if they want to sing next and they want their name moved up the song list because they’re extremely impatient, and they’ve had a little, maybe too much to drink and are not thinking. Sometimes I would think, “Buddy, you need to save that $20 for a ride home.”

But this man gave me a $100 bill and I thought he had made a mistake. I thought he thought he pulled a $10 and he accidentally pulled a $100 so I took it back over to him and I was like, “Are you sure?” And he just gave me this look of accomplishment like he was sure. So I knew it wasn’t a mistake. I’m showing it to him.

And so I said, “Well, thank you.” And I just, it may sound silly now, but at the time I was thinking, “Obviously, he wants to sing a lot tonight.” And … I put him up to sing a lot throughout the evening.

I remember then he sent me a request on social media. At the time it was MySpace back in those days and I added him to my social media account just like I did the rest of my customers. It was a way for me to retain my customer base and let people know where I would be running shows …

He started sending me messages, the kind of private message section, that were normal. I mean, just customer interaction, “Great show. Really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to come to the next one,” or whatever. Normal conversation.

Well, then he started saying things, it started to progress in a different light. He would say things like I was attractive. And now keep in mind, when you work in a venue like that, men tell you that you are attractive and you say thank you and you go about your business. You hear it all the time, no biggie.

Then his messages started to progress even more and he started saying things like, maybe, “Ben is too old for you. It’s OK to admit that you may have made a mistake. Don’t you want to have children?” Just inappropriate. So I showed the messages to Ben and Ben’s like, “Obviously, this guy’s got a crush on you,” and he just kind of, he didn’t think that much of it.

And I was like, “Well, I’m going to have to set this guy straight because that’s not appropriate at all.” So I did. I just said, “Look, you’re fishing in the wrong lake. I’m happily married. What you’re saying is not appropriate.” … I didn’t delete him right away. I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had to tell men before no, and they just move on. There’s other fish in the sea.

But he sent a message back that was the exact opposite of what he had been saying. He was trying to break me down by my physical appearance. He was really just being mean and obnoxious. And so I showed that message to Ben and we both agreed he needed to be deleted and blocked. And so that’s what I did.

I remember he came back into one of the karaoke venues and now he’s not singing, he’s stopped singing, he’s just standing in the middle of the crowd. Everyone’s having fun around him and he’s just standing there staring at me the whole time while I’m on the stage trying to run the show. And seems like he had come in again and again just staring at me.

And Ben at one point, Ben had told me on our way home, he said, “You know that guy … ” I don’t ever say his name because I don’t want to give him notoriety. My stalker, I guess, walked up to Ben and said, “Hey, Ben, how’s it going?” Like nothing had ever happened. He hadn’t sent me these strange, inappropriate messages.

And Ben just said, “Look, I read the messages that you sent my wife and I read what you had to say about me and you’re scaring her. Please leave my wife alone.”

And he said, “What? Is she mad at me? I swear it wasn’t me. I’ve got a crazy ex-girlfriend who knows how to hack into my account. It was her. It wasn’t me.” And of course Ben did not believe this phony explanation. Ben’s just like, “OK dude, whatever. Just leave her alone.”

And Ben turned around and joined the rest of our friends and this man left. We didn’t see him again for at least a solid month and I’m thinking it’s taken care of and he shows up to this restaurant where Ben and I ran our own mobile karaoke using our equipment. This restaurant was a good 30-, 35-minute drive away from downtown Nashville where this man normally went for karaoke.

Ben’s already asked him to leave me alone. I’ve deleted him, I’ve blocked him. It’s pretty clear we want nothing to do with him. And now he’s here. What’s he doing here?

I see him and I’m like, “Oh my God, this man is stalking me.” At that point I realized this is stalking. He’s not just a dedicated karaoke customer. He doesn’t have just a simple crush on me. This guy is stalking me.

So I turned to Ben and I said, “Honey, that man is here. The one that sent me the strange messages.” And he said, “Yeah.” He looked up and saw him and I said, “I don’t feel comfortable at all. I’m going to ask management to remove him.” And Ben said, “OK babe, do whatever you need to do.”

So I went to get management and … He had walked around behind Ben at the point that they confronted him and he had gone to the restroom before and he came back out and he’s standing behind Ben. Ben’s now at the karaoke equipment because I’m not there anymore to run the show, so Ben’s running it. Ben’s busy on the computer typing in songs and this man is just loitering behind him. He’s acting anxious, he’s looking all around the restaurant. I assume he’s looking for me.

I had walked the manager through the back kitchen up against a side brick wall where I could see out into the dining room, but he wouldn’t be able to see me and something just told me, “Don’t get involved. You’ve got no way to protect yourself. You don’t know what he’s capable of.”

Obviously, I’m concerned. I tell the manager, “Please get him out of here. He’s stalking me. Here’s what he has on.” And when they went to confront him.

I later learned during the trial that the manager said, “We need to ask you to leave.” And he said, “Why?” And she said, “Because you’re making someone here feel uncomfortable.” And he said, “Who?” And she said, “I think you know who.” And he said, “Well, I have to go to the restroom.” She said, “No, you’ve already been to the restroom. I think you need to leave now.”

And that’s when he pulled a .45 caliber handgun out from under his jacket. He had it in a shoulder holster. And at this moment he’s pulling the gun and I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t have my gun.” And I can see the lights reflecting off of the metal slide.

He lowers the gun to Ben’s head and he fires one round and shoots Ben in the head and Ben falls to the ground and he stands over Ben and continues to fire six more rounds into him in front of myself and everyone in the middle of a busy restaurant. There was probably 50 people in there at the time.

And of course you can imagine the restaurant is complete pandemonium. People are running and screaming and trying to get out. And he had very calmly put the gun back inside of his jacket and started to walk around the corner into the pool table room to leave.

Allen: Oh my goodness.

Goeser:
Like nobody would know he was the shooter. And I’m running as hard as I can to get to Ben when he turns around that corner and there’s a barrier between us. I later learned that there was a United States Marine who was in the crowd that tackled that man and a handful of other men jumped on top of him as well. They disarmed him and held him until the police came.

But I will probably wonder for the rest of my life if I could have prevented that. Of course, I’ll never know because I was denied a chance. I was stalked and defenseless.

So I’ve taken all of this grief and trauma and loss and I’ve tried to put all of this into a book to describe to people how gu- free zones are extremely dangerous. They make good, law-abiding people helpless. They do nothing other than encourage criminals to attack because, let’s face it, they know everybody in that place is helpless. So I’ve just done what I can to try and educate people and help them understand.

Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for sharing that. So incredibly just tragic what has happened.

During that time when your stalker entered the restaurant and you said you had that moment where you saw the gun come out and you thought, “I don’t have my gun,” you were a concealed carry [permit holder]. You had your permit, you still have it. Where was your gun at that point and why couldn’t you have it in the restaurant?

Goeser:
My legal permitted gun that I normally carried for self-defense was locked in my vehicle in the parking lot there because the restaurant we were in, not only did they serve full meals, but they also served alcohol. And in the state of Tennessee at that time, you could not bring a gun, a legal handgun. You’ve got your hand gun carry permit. You could not bring it into those establishments. So I followed the law and left my gun locked in my vehicle.

Of course, my stalker did not have a handgun carry permit. He carried a gun illegally into a gun-free zone.

Evans: Had you been drinking that night? Is there any reason why besides just this law that you shouldn’t be?

Goeser:
I was working and in the state of Tennessee, you cannot carry a gun anywhere … It was already the law. You cannot carry a gun anywhere and have alcohol in your system, so.

Evans: So the only reason why you didn’t have your gun on you was because of this law?

Goeser:
The law.

Evans: Wow. One thing in your book that really touched me is how God’s fingerprints were on that day. That you never called out sick. You never called out of work sick ever. But that day you just felt like you wanted to spend the day with your husband and you had a conversation with him that most people don’t have on a normal day. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Goeser:
Sure. I had never fibbed to a bar to spend time with my husband. I felt really awkward about that. But you know, I woke up that morning and I just could not shake this feeling. I was just like, “I really don’t want to go to work today. I just want to be with Ben.” And I don’t know how to explain it really.

But I took the day off and Ben had been laid off from his job and he was doing various home improvement, fix-up projects for friends to try and make a little extra money. So I just went with Ben that day and worked on the house that he was working on, ripping up old flooring and he was installing a fan that day and several other things.

But I am so glad I fibbed that day and took the day off as a sick day because I got to spend those precious moments with my husband.

Evans: So this happened over 10 years ago. Why choose now to write this book?

Goeser:
It started out as a diary and it was a process. … It took three years to go to trial despite the overwhelming evidence and the entire crime was filmed on security cameras there at the restaurant. I mean, there was no question that he did it, who the murderer was. So it was very frustrating waiting that long.

So I would write my feelings just to deal with the grief and the trauma and the loss. And plus, I wanted to be able to remember things. I was concerned that because it was taking so long to go to trial, I knew that I would most likely be a witness in the trial and I wanted to be able to remember key details. And when time passes, sometimes your memory fades.

Then an acquaintance of mine, a friend said, “You should really consider turning this into a book. I think that a lot of people could learn from this.” So that’s what I did.

Allen: How have you been able to find some healing from your husband’s death? I mean, was writing the book an act that helped you to find that healing and in some ways recover?

Goeser:
Yes, it was definitely healing. It was tough and it was healing, if that makes any sense. I don’t really know how to explain that, but it’s tough reliving those things. But if I feel like it can benefit others and make them think about their own safety, then I think it’s worth it. But yeah, it was healing.

Evans: You haven’t just written this book. You’ve become a gun rights advocate, doing speeches, working on legislation. What have been some of your proudest moments?

Goeser:
Proudest moments? Oh, I guess one of my proudest moments was when the NRA gave me the Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award in 2012. It’s an award given to one woman in the entire nation every year, and I was the recipient of that award for my Second Amendment advocacy work and that was a real honor for me that they would recognize all that I had done. That’s probably one of the big ones.

I’ve had so many moments that are just incredible. Of course, my boss is Dr. John Lott Jr., author of “More Guns, Less Crime,” and I have met some really incredible people and there are famous people I’ve met. But it’s funny because once you get to know them, you realize that they’re just people. They’re just like us. I mean, they put their pants on the same way we do. When you really talk to them and get to know them, I mean, they’re just good people. They’re just regular people.

I got to meet Allen West. I’ve got to meet Ted Nugent, his wife Shemane. I’ve gotten to meet Gunny, he was great. R. Lee Ermey, of course, he’s passed away now. Gosh, who else? There’s so many. I’ve gotten to meet Glenn Beck. I just had an interview the other night with Tucker Carlson.

Evans: Very cool.

Goeser:
Just incredible people. Oh, Judge Andrew Napolitano. I’ve got to meet him. I’ve been honored to work for Congressman Thomas Massie. He’s just a great person. I loved working for him. True conservative, totally solid on the Second Amendment. He’s the chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus for Congress and I have a great deal of respect for him. …It’s hard to pick one. There’ve been so many great moments out of this horrible tragedy, but I just feel honored to have the opportunity to work with some really great people.

Evans: And have you had any legislative achievements?

Goeser:
Well, I don’t know that I can take full credit. I can tell you that I certainly tried to help.

In the state of Tennessee, I actually worked with a Democrat. Now keep in mind, I am very conservative. I worked with the sponsor of the restaurant carry bill in Tennessee, who was a Democrat in the Senate, Doug Jackson. And he and I talked on the phone. I told him, “You know what had happened,” and I think he had seen it on the news, but the news wasn’t reporting that the wife of the murder victim had her hand gun carry permit, but she had to leave [her gun in] the car because of the law.

So when I told him, he’s like, “Oh my gosh, Nikki, we’re trying to get this bill passed and I may need to call on you to come to the Senate floor and tell your story.” And so that’s ultimately what happened. He had me come on the Senate floor. I don’t know if it flipped any votes or not, but it ended up passing. And then the governor, Phil Bredesen, Democrat, he vetoed it. And then they had to have an override vote and it passed.

Evans: Well, this is such a huge debate that we’ve really been seeing increasingly in America. There are two very passionate sides to the gun rights debate. But gun control advocates would likely argue that it’d only took cops three minutes to arrive on the scene of your husband’s murder.

Goeser:
And that’s incredibly fast.

Evans: That is very fast.

Goeser:
But I can tell you that when it’s happening to yourself or your loved one, it seems like an eternity.

Allen: Yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure.

Evans: And directly after the shooting as, as you mentioned, there were good Samaritans—

Goeser:
Yes.

Allen: … that hopped on top of the shooter and took his gun away, but how do you think, if you had had that gun in your hand—

Goeser:
Mm-hmm.

Allen: … how do you think the situation might’ve played out differently?

Goeser:
You know, it’s really hard to say. I’ve definitely thought about it, but I don’t know that going back mentally over and over again with the should have, coulda, woulda scenario is healthy for me mentally.

Evans: Yeah.

Goeser:
I’d like to think that with the training that I had—I was also a range volunteer so I would help with everything on the range when other people were trying to get their handgun carry permits—and doing armed security guard training and that sort of thing, I would like to think that those skills that I learned would’ve come in handy that night.

But here’s the thing, I think we all make decisions based on the options that we have. And when those options are not available to us, it changes the decisions that we make. So that’s hard to answer because those options were not available to me.

Evans: Andrew Pollack, gun rights advocate, and father of Meadow Pollack, we’ve interviewed him at The Daily Signal here before, wrote a very powerful intro to your book. He’s the father of a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim.

Goeser:
Meadow.

Lauren Evans: Meadow.

Goeser:
I love that name.

Evans: It’s beautiful. And he wrote, “If Nikki had gone to the press to denounce the Second Amendment, anti-gun activists would’ve flocked to her, propped her up and amplified her message. This book probably would have been published by Simon & Schuster, but when she stood in front of the press in tears and spoke out in support of the Second Amendment, the press edited her words out and she was left to fight alone.”

Allen: Wow. Yeah. So Nikki, this is a tragedy that so much of the media really has ignored and because it doesn’t fit into their talking points. But what is the message that you want the public to hear?


Goeser: I guess the message I want people to hear is I don’t want people to be paranoid. I just want them to be prepared. Because let’s face it, nobody really thinks that something this horrible can happen to them. People tend to think, “Oh, this is something that happens to other people. It happens to people I see on the news.” Well, now I’m sitting here with you and I am one of those people. And bad things happen to good people every day and evil can show up unexpectedly and you just have to be prepared. You just never know when evil is going to show up.

Evans: Yeah.

Allen: And in your mind what is really next in this gun rights debate? I mean, what are you working on now or are you still involved?


Goeser: I feel like the criminal justice system really failed Benjamin and I back in Nashville. Here’s what happened. It was an insanity defense. OK. And I think people just think that insanity means, “OK, they’re crazy. They’re nuts. They’re insane.” No, insanity means you don’t know right from wrong. That’s it. That’s what it means.

And this man knew right from wrong and that was proven in the trial. But it was a bench trial. The murderer insisted on having just a judge. He did not want a jury. And for whatever reason, the prosecutor, I guess, decided to go along with that.

And the judge, his name was Judge Seth Norman, Democrat, unfortunately, despite all of the overwhelming evidence that showed what I believe is absolute premeditation, Judge Seth Norman dropped it from first degree premeditated murder to second degree.

In the state of Tennessee that’s only 15 to 25 years. This man got 23 years at 100% with no parole. But here’s the problem: 100% … I’ve recently learned this. 100% is not really 100%, no. He gets to earn early release good behavior credits while he’s in prison and he can have 3.5 years knocked off his sentence for good behavior. Well, I’ve also recently found out that my stalker has been writing me love letters from prison for years.

Allen: Wow.

Goeser:
… I had hired an attorney to represent me and my civil lawsuit against him. I had a wrongful death suit, which I won, but the lawsuit paperwork obviously was sent to him in prison and so he knew my attorney’s address. He would send these letters to my attorney.

When you open them up, all these letters are to me, and there were a few envelopes where he actually put my name on the outside of the envelope and all the prison system does is stamp it and they just say, “This has not been inspected. We are not responsible for the contents of this letter.” And they come out now …

I can tell you this, at first, I was furious with the Tennessee prison system. I thought, “How in the hell can a convicted murderer write their victim while they’re incarcerated?” And I was really mad. I was like, “This is crazy.” But the more I thought about it, I thought, “You know what? If it were mandated that the prison system cannot let these letters out, then I would never know about this continued threat.”

And I think it’s important that women know, as disturbing as it is. I mean, believe me, I’ve had nightmares. This is very difficult to deal with mentally and emotionally on top of everything that I’ve been through. But I think it’s really important that women know.

So I would not want to see a mandate where these types of letters are prevented from leaving the prison. I think that women should know and women should be given the option to prosecute for stalking and harassment while this person’s incarcerated.

So I have hired attorneys and we’re in the process of working on this and hopefully I can do something about this man because I think he’s extremely dangerous. He’s extremely dangerous to myself, to my loved ones. And he should’ve gotten the death penalty, quite frankly. At the very least, he should have gotten first degree, but, unfortunately, he is going to walk free one day and I’m just going to try everything I can to keep him out of society because I believe he’s very dangerous.

He’s already proven what he’s capable of.

Allen: Wow. Twenty-three years. That’s nothing for shooting your husband in cold blood.

Goeser:
Yeah. His release date is 10/21/2028. He was supposed to stay in until 2032 but because of the early release credits—

Allen: Oh, he’s already earned it?

Goeser:
Yes. … He has an early release because of that.

Allen: So do you fear that date?

Goeser:
Absolutely. It’s terrifying.

Allen: Yeah.

Goeser:
I mean, it’s kind of strange. I’m terrified and I’m furious at the same time.

Allen: Yeah.

Evans:
Will you have your gun on you on that date?

Goeser: Oh, I usually have my gun on me … All the time. Obviously, not here. I’m in D.C. So—

Allen: Yeah, they’re pretty strict here.

Goeser:
Very, very strict here.

Allen: So what would you say to women who, obviously, they’re hearing your story and they want to be able to protect themselves, but they might not have grown up around guns, they might be fearful of the idea of carrying a gun? What would you say to them?

Goeser:
There are different training facilities in just about every town in the nation. There are a lot of women out there that train other women on firearm safety and shooting skills, justifiable self-defense. …

Not that males are not good at training. I’m not saying that at all, but there are some females that feel a little intimidated by guys training with guns and they might feel a little bit more comfortable learning from another female.

So I always encourage my friends to go get good training and see if you can find a female firearms trainer.

I tell ya, I think one thing I really want to talk about, if you don’t mind—I started doing my own research online as to the advice that women are given about stalking. And how to deal with it. Different women’s advocacy, advocacy groups and stalking resource groups, etc.

And one thing that bothers me—and look, I think some of this advice is helpful or could be helpful. They’ll say things like, “You might want to consider changing your name, moving, getting a new job, don’t follow a routine, get a restraining order,” which I think is just a piece of paper. Let’s face it, it’s not going to do anything for someone who has already murdered, who doesn’t care about the laws.

But one option that is generally not ever given is you might want to consider the basic human right of self-defense, your Second Amendment rights. You might want to go get training on justifiable use of force and take responsibility for your own safety, protect yourself and your loved ones. Why is this subject seen as so taboo? It’s ignored.

I personally think that if all the options were laid out on the table, women can decide for themselves what best course of action to take to protect themselves. But give them all the options.

Allen: Absolutely.

Evans: So being the devil’s advocate, there are a lot of well-intentioned people on the gun control side who just don’t want more guns to be around because they’re worried guns do shoot people and they do harm people. What would your argument to them be?

Goeser:
When the bad guys [are] the only one[s] with a gun, guess who wins? And you could ban, try to ban all the guns in the nation, OK? Let’s say that somehow we could wave a magic wand and ban all the guns. The war on drugs hasn’t worked so well, right? I’m pretty sure that criminals, people with evil intent can get illegal guns the same way they get illegal drugs.

I mean, if they banned all guns, how long do you think it would take before guns would start making their way back into the country? Twenty minutes at the border? I mean, what?

Evans: No, not long.

Allen: Not long at all.

Goeser:
All it’s going to do is disarm good law-abiding people and then only the outlaws will have guns. This is not smart.

Evans: If our listeners wanted to learn more about your story and read your book, where can they find it?

Goeser:
My book is available on Amazon and I believe it’s going to be up on Barnes & Noble soon. And I’ve got an audiobook coming out, so that should be available really soon as well.

Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for joining us and just for being willing to tell your really very powerful story, we so appreciate it.

Goeser:
Thank you so much for having me on.
--------------------
Lauren Evans (@laurenelizevans) is the multimedia manager for The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation. Virginia Allen (@Virginia_Allen5 is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women.

Tags: Lauren Evans, Virginia Allen, interview, Her Husband Was Murdered, in a Gun-Free Zone, Now Nikki Goeser, Is Fighting Back To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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