Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

St. Louis couple charged for defending their home from trespassers

They’re coming for you next: The Democrat prosecutor in St. Louis, circuit attorney Kim Gardner, who would eagerly ban you from owning guns and would also gladly defund the police, has issued criminal charges against the St. Louis couple for using their guns to protect their home from trespassing and threatening Antifa/BLM protesters.

The charge relates to them “flourishing” the guns while standing on their own property in order to ward off trespassers who were verbally and physically threatening them.

This is the Democratic Party today. Not only should you be denied the right to own guns, if you do own them you will not be allowed to defend your life with them. Moreover, there must not be any police available to enforce the law. These Democrats will also give carte blanche to any protesters they agree with, allowing them to trespass on your property and do what they will with you, in the name of free speech.


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  • wayne

    Don’t know about St. Louis— in Michigan it’s illegal to ‘brandish’ a weapon, for no apparent cause.
    In this case, it’s obvious they brandished (or flourished – what-the-heck?) to protect themselves. Case, closed. (But, as Edward notes, we’re living in Obama’s America, so all bets are off…)
    They might want to switch lawyers— the report I read has the defense attorney talking plea deal with the prosecutor, “if they are convicted.” This is right after he says “no crime was committed.”

  • Phill O

    Time for the NRA to step up. Hope they were members. I am!

  • commodude

    When the NRA steps up to the plate let me know, it would be their first actual positive action in years. They’re no different from the rest of the beltway money grubbers.

  • Cotour

    These two were poorly trained, or not trained at all, and you can see that in how they handled their weapons. And they had no plan in place for this scenario. I assume they were just taken by surprise and it was all just there and they acted.

    There is a line between being threatened by “protesters” walking by your home, and justifiably feeling that your life is in danger and having a reason to brandish two weapons and pointing them at people as they did. The politicos and district attorneys in big cities do not like this form.

    They might have been better advised if they just stayed inside their home and showed they were armed.

    Even if the “Protestors” started breaking stuff on their property, is that a bridge too far and you begin stopping them with deadly force? I think not. But if you remain in your home and they enter that would be a different story.

    And these are two lawyers to boot?

  • Cotour: Spoken like a true New Yorker.

    I seem to remember you demanding greater spine from that NY Times editor. Here however you want these homeowners to cower in their homes in the face of actual violent threats and trespass. Most puzzling.

  • wayne

    yeah– I’ve increasingly come to the conclusion myself that all these “think-tanks,” including the NRA, are all just part of the ‘Conservative, Inc.” monolith.

    What?, huh?

  • commodude

    Cotour, the “protestors” weren’t merely walking by . They had broken the gate to the property and had come in. Once they destroyed the gate, the posed a clear and present danger to the property owners. Poorly trained or not, they brandished (flourished, pick your term of art) their firearms and the “protestors” departed the area.

    They were well within their rights.

    They’ll likely never achieve the level of training I have, as I’ve handled weapons since I was 12 or so, and was trained first by my father, who was a Sergeant in the Army, and then further trained by the Army.

    The level of training and proficiency are red herrings.

    They were law abiding firearms owners defending their property. The prosecution is scurrilous, and the District Attorney has no shame. She should be voted out then disbarred for abuse of her power.

  • commodude


    I lost any respect for the NRA when they lifted not…one…finger when Massachusetts was discussing banning assault weapons. When I vocally asked for support, I was informed that they only handle issues at the Federal level, and Massachusetts’s impending ban was a state problem.

    I ended my relationship with them then.

  • David Birchler

    As much as I agree that they likely had reason to feel threatened, I do think it’s assault to either “sweep” or point weapons at people except for extenuating circumstances. It’s not clear cut that they were being directly threatened, I think, or that people were making like they were going to break in or further violate the property. Not saying that isn’t so, but to me it wasn’t clear.

  • Cotour

    I am talking about a proper defense strategy not about spine. What exactly are you talking about?

    I pointed out right here on BTB the day that it happened that they were going to find themselves in legal trouble, and here they are. And it is for the exact reasons that I gave, Poor preparation and poor training and pointing a deadly weapon at people who may have been menacing but were not as I could see armed. I was correct.

    I went through the exact same situation just a couple of weeks ago if you remember with the threat of the same kinds of “protestors” possibly visiting me and I was ready for full blown warfare. (And I was very thankful that nothing at all came of it) And I had time to think it out. I was wearing a bullet proof vest for a good part of the day and I called my sister so she knew where things were if things got out of hand. I took it very seriously.

    But I had a plan and there were degrees of escalation that adhered to certain legal rules of engagement given the environment I found myself in. I planned on protecting my self and my property and not spending time in jail for doing so. These are lawyers, they should have known better.

    You do not point a weapon at people like that, not when they are videoing you and while you are within certain city limits anyway. In the end its best to retreat into your home and defend from there where you have a much better legal argument.

    So I think the Zman is being a bit idealistic and gung ho here given where these people lived and the situation they found themselves in.

    You are also a New Yorker Zman, do you just light people up now who trespass on your property?

  • To all: According to this story, the woman’s gun might not have been a real gun but a prop used as evidence in a court case, and the rifle was unloaded with no ammo. If so, that might explain a lot about how sloppily they were holding their weapons.

    The link also notes that the state’s attorney general has now moved to drop the charges.

  • commodude

    Cotour, the only reason they’re in legal trouble is an overly zealous DA.

    They answered a clear threat. They didn’t fire, they just answered with appropriate action.

    City limits or no, people have the right and frankly, the duty, to protect their property.

  • Andrew_W

    Commodude, weren’t the gates to a “gated community”, so breaking through those gates wasn’t breaking onto their property.

    My only criticism of them was their pointing firearms directly at people, gun in hand not a problem, but unless you’ve grounds for believing that a mortal danger is imminent – potentially a second or two away, the firearm should be pointed away from people.

  • commodude

    The gates were to their property, Missouri has castle doctrine in law. As to grounds” They had plenty, they broke through gates onto the property, that isn’t a peaceful act.

  • Andrew_W

    The version I heard was that the protesters remained on the sidewalks while going through the gated community. Are you claiming differently?

  • Cotour

    I am not arguing that they have no right to protect themselves. Not for one second.

    And no, the reason that they are in trouble is because they were menacing and pointing what appeared to be a loaded high powered weapon and a semi auto hand gun at people who were menacing them.

    Poor training, poor planning and bad form, and they are lawyers.

    Q: And what if one of the protestors threw a rock and broke a car window? Do any of you Rambo’s take them out at that point? Really? Deadly defense in the cause of ones property and life is best done within the envelope of your home and not in the front yard, especially within the city limits of major American cities.

    Its not a question of defending yourself, its the proper deterrence given a given threat.

    I think your all being a bit too idealistic and gung ho here.

  • commodude

    Cotour, an AR-15 isn’t a high powered weapon, however, that’s a red herring.

    They could have been pointing a pellet gun, They were defending their property, nothing more. No shots were fired.There was a clear threat, they answered it. The level of training, type of weapon, and other details are just detractors, nothing more.

  • Andrew_W

    According to this story, the woman’s gun might not have been a real gun but a prop used as evidence in a court case, and the rifle was unloaded with no ammo.

    Stranger and stranger, if I genuinely think I or my family is in real danger the firearm is going to be loaded.

  • commodude

    Andrew_W, poor training, poor handling, poor response overall, but all well within their rights.

  • Andrew_W

    Commodude, what’s your take on this one?:

    My thoughts are that she’s more justified in her grounds for believing a real threat to her and her husband existed, and so more justified in brandishing the weapon than the lawyers were.
    As far as I know they’re still facing prosecution.

  • commodude

    Where’s the threat?

    The pedestrian was unarmed, they should have just stayed in their car and called police. They escalated the situation. One lone pedestrian vs. 2 people in a car?

    No threat, and no excuse for brandishing a weapon.

  • Andrew_W

    “they should have just stayed in their car and called police. ”
    So you agree with Cotour, the lawyers should have just stayed in their house and called the police? Or is it OK to defend you lawn from damage but not your car?

    The lady with the gun was pregnant and they had been verbally threatened and their car had been attacked when they tried to leave.

  • commodude

    They were in their car, there’s no comparison.

    She exited the car in a public place and escalated the confrontation. What was yelling became use of force. No excuse.

    The homeowners were on their property defending it from a mob who had already broken down a cast iron gate, and “protests” nationwide had already turned violent.

    You’re comparing apples to kumquats.

  • Andrew_W

    “She exited the car in a public place and escalated the confrontation.”
    By blocking them from leaving they were being illegally detained, this after they’d been threatened with violence.

    “She exited the car in a public place and escalated the confrontation.”
    She exited her car after her property had been attacked, the St Louis couple’s property had not been attacked (they didn’t own the gates).

    ” “protests” nationwide had already turned violent.”
    So? Are the protesters in St Louis responsible for violent protests in LA?

  • Andrew_W

    Which would I find more threatening, a noisy crowd on the sidewalk outside the house or someone in my face threatening me with violence?

    The latter, if the St Louis couple had stayed in their house the confrontation would never have happened, the Detroit people were trapped.

  • commodude

    They weren’t being illegally detained, that’s an extreme stretch. They could have easily departed in the vehicle. They weren’t in their home, they were in a public space.

    You continue to make absurd arguments to attempt to “prove” your points, utilizing strawmen and questionable facts, whether the discussion is US Law (which you obviously don’t know), the various discussions around COVID, or the religion of climatology.

    I’ve given your pap far more consideration than it deserves.

  • Andrew_W

    They could have easily departed in the vehicle.

    You what?? Did you even watch the video? They tried to leave and were blocked from doing so by the mad woman.

  • I just don’t understand this. Why is it when I post stories about Americans being abused and oppressed by the left, the comment thread focuses on attacking the abused and the oppressed?

    In every case mentioned here in this thread, the cause of the problem was the aggressive, uncivilized and abusive behavior of the bigoted left, whether it was on the street in front of a strip mall, in a private gated community, or in the editorial offices of the New York Times. In every case there would have been no problem at all if the left had simply not acted like insane barbarians, causing fear and terror in whom they were attacking.

    Can we please shift our minds to the real problem?

  • commodude


    The couple in St, Louis was clearly within their rights, and the mob was acting as a mob, not protesters. I answered Andrew’s link as I did simply as an escalation of force viewpoint.

    The woman instigating the confrontation was wrong, point blank, and is proof positive of Heinlein’s axiom that an armed society is a polite society.

    We have lost all semblance of a polite society, in that we’re agreed.

    The enforcement of laws and needs to be a non-partisan act, and we need to return to being a country of laws, not men. Only when law enforcement (and not the police, but every aspect of law enforcement) returns to being apolitical can normalcy resume. Those who would use law as a partisan tool should be universally condemned.

  • Beverly

    Robert, you need a better class of commenters.

    As far as the McCloskeys are concerned, the mob threatened to murder them and occupy their house, and kill their dog.

    Too bad we can’t send this charming bunch of thugs to have an encounter with some of these commenters: let’s see their sang-froid then.

  • commodude

    “Robert, you need a better class of commenters”

    entschuldigung sie bitte?

  • commodude: We won WWII and so I don’t speak German. Could you translate please?

  • commodude


    Trans: Excuse me, please?

    We won WW2, but they do have excellent beer.

  • Andrew_W

    You are correct Mr. Zimmerman. My disagreement with Commodude did degenerate into a battle of egos for which I apologize.

    I don’t have a huge issue over the McCloskey’s having guns at hand, other than them pointing them at people when the threat was a fair distance away.

  • Andrew_W: Yes, I (as I am sure all who have ever had even slightest training in proper gun handling) cringed when I watched them hold their guns so poorly in the video.

    That hardly makes them the villains here. Not by a long shot. We should stay focused on the real criminality, the violence of the rioters and the abuse of power by this Democratic prosecutor.

  • R7 Rocket

    Andrew_W wants the McCloskeys and every other homeowner to be murdered by his fellow communist thugs. That’s all. Everything else he says about this issue is just window-dressing and gaslighting.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I do hope the couple gets a favorable Judge.
    I am also interested to know if their very expensive home also has cameras/recordings of the event that they are sitting on, in anticipation of a trial.

    I actually agree with Cotour about training and a plan.
    It is not meant as a detractor from the home owners. But if you own a firearm, you have the immediate responsibility to know how to handle it properly. With all Rights come Responsibilities.

    A firearm is a tool. It is a tool for protection, by means of deadly force. Failure to handle firearms properly has a demonstrated history of killing and maiming. If you think training is a red herring you are promoting irresponsible behavior.

    Have a plan. Always. Failure to do so results in panic. Panic results in doing things unintentionally. However, when a firearm is involved, no one will care about it when someone says “I did not mean to”, or, “I did not think”.

    One article posted here says that the mob was armed. But it does not say with what. If that is the case, then they should have a good argument in court.

    If they were, the idea of going outside the home to protect themselves (leaving solid cover and protection) to greet the mob was a bad move. They were open and exposed, and if the poop hit the fan they have left themselves with only one option, pulling the trigger.

    Mr Z, please don’t look at this as stomping on the Homeowners. Try to see it more as constructive criticism, or even lessons for other folks if they find themselves in a similar situation.

    It is infuriating that that the Rule of Law is being perverted here to protect vandalism and trespass (and probably much more) in an effort to convince Americans that they must not protect themselves. That is the real lesson the left is pushing here. Do not protect yourself. Do not retaliate. Submit. Failure to submit is violence.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Someone said that woman lawyer was carrying a prop gun (???).

    Do not ever do this.

    This is so bad is all situations. If you are ever is a situation where you must threaten deadly force, you have already raised the situation to high level of tension (not to mention some blood pressure). Threatening, but not actually having the means or the intent, of backing it up, is a recipe for disaster.

  • wayne

    I can always count on you to take the ‘opposing view’ on anything!

    commodude/ sippin’ bourbon–
    Good stuff all around.

    [ref- “gated community,” that’s a red herring– by definition, the streets & sidewalks inside a ‘gated’ subdivision, are all private property. (the whole thing is private property, anyone inside such a subdivision is trespassing at a minimum.) Just wanted to dispense with that… ]

    I’ve only been following this situation superficially, but I have been trying to play catch up.
    (I did watch an interview with Mr. McCloskey, he comes across as intelligent and capable.)

    Video below is interesting.
    Wherein, in part, the defense attorney states that in Missouri one has the right to “flourish or discharge a firearm on private property, for the purposes of self defense.”

    McCloskey’s Lawyer– Albert Watkins
    Sean Spicer show
    –unfortunately, not a lot of factoids in this conversation, mostly political in nature–

    Can someone track down the actual charging-document for what they are alleged to have done?

  • Cotour

    What I realized long ago as I came to understand politics was that the Left or the enemy, is using law and the Constitution as a weapon against its self.

    And that is what is getting lost in the conversation of patriotic outrage right here on BTB.

    These Leftist operators are smart, Saul Alynski smart, and they want people like these home owners to get jammed up, and or arrested, and jailed for reacting emotionally to their carefully crafted pressure of chaos and Leftist radicalism. They want to use their Rights to push others over the edge or damn close to it in order to cause chaos and legal conflict. Its a diminishing strategy focused on THEIR enemies, which is YOU.

    THIS IS STRATEGY PEOPLE, and if you fail to recognize it then you will react emotionally and they get another win. Pile up enough wins over time, and you win.

    Get smart people, everyone is being psychologically and emotionally manipulated and if you allow it and can not see and understand it you can not develop any strategy to counter it and prevail.

    So anyone can argue the general Constitutional ideal here (The Zman) related to someone being able to defend themselves on their property, but if you get into the details and how one properly accomplishes that defense from the real world legal perspective in the context of the reality that we find ourselves in America today and you want to win in the end this must be understood.

  • wayne

    Apparently, Missouri has a comprehensive “castle doctrine” law in place– allows you to not only protect your life, but your property as well.
    Apparently, the mayor of St. Louis also lives in this subdivision, and it is a gated community.

    This is going to be purely a political prosecution, and it will drag on.

  • Cotour

    To my point and my strategy: I demand that all the ‘woke’ NYT’s employees quit their jobs!

    Why? Because the family that owns the NYT’s today OWNED SLAVES!

  • R7 Rocket: Your comment is unfair and verging on breaking my rules about insulting others on this website. Andrew_W made it quite clear that he allowed his ego to overtake him in a pissing war, and regretted it because he does not support the violence of the rioters.

    Control yourself. We might agree on most things, but I want this website to be a place of civil conversation. You have been warned.

  • wayne


    It’s the Ochs-Salsburger (spelling?) family. All sorts of Confederate sympathies during and after the Civil War.
    (There was a lengthy book on all this 5-10 years ago, Mark Levin recently hammered on this on his radio show, again, last week.)
    –They ran the Chattanooga Times, post Civil War, which financed their entre into NY and the NYT’s turn-of-the-century-ish. (They Owned the Chattanooga Times up until around 1999.) Needless to say, the paper was all-in on segregation, Jim Crow, and lynching’s.
    They covered up Stalin’s murder of the Ukrainian’s in the 1920’s, and then they completely downplayed the Holocaust during & after WW2.

  • Cotour

    To whom ever it may concern:

    M. Webster: Ideologue: “1. An often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
    2: An impractical idealist : THEORIST”

    “as long as there are ideologues controlling both sides of the aisle, legislative compromise is out of the question”

    ” the revolutionaries proved to be impractical ideologues who had no idea how to run a country”

    “Each represents, for the ideologues who adopt it, a comfortably absolute view of the world that either validates or invalidates whatever policymakers might attempt.”

    Sound familiar?

  • Cotour

    This is a well laid out strategy my friends that has been going on for some time right under all our noses while we all thought otherwise. Many just put it all off to “Crazy Conservative conspiracies”. Pay for and install in the administrative components of government and law enforcement those Leftist aligned players that will “Do what must be done, and by any means necessary”.

    See: Kim Gardner, Bill DeBlasio, AOC etc, its a long and growing list.

    Learn to properly and strategically act and to not react based on what your enemy pushes you to do in order to diminish you and your cause, in this case the American Constitution. This is for all the marbles, but then again it always has been about exactly that.

    Soros has his Globalist hands involved in all of this and there may well come a moment in time in the future when he and those who he funds are served up some cold American reality. If not that then what?

    And remember, America in its insanity remains an open society that invites in the likes of Russia and China, and it allows for counter Constitutional players like those listed above and financed by Mr. Soros who without doubt is using his ample funds not in the best interests of our country or our Constitution.

    There was only one time in American history when there were actual Progressives that did any good in the world, and those white slave owning Founders of the American socio / governmental experiment is them.

    And there in real terms is only one human being that stands in their way in this election cycle, guess who?

  • Two quotes from Cotour: “under all our noses while we all thought otherwise.”

    “Learn to properly and strategically act and to not react based on what your enemy pushes you to do”

    Cotour: You are always the least persuasive when you are the most condescending. You don’t know what others have thought. And to preach to everyone here about how you know how to “properly and strategically act” and we don’t and you are here to teach us is certainly a turn-off.

  • Cotour

    I do not post here to “Turn you off” or on.

    You in your strict ideological interpretation are missing the pertinent lesson here, yes you.

    And I do not plan on modifying how and what I post.

  • Cotour: I am not suggesting you change your opinions or conclusions. I am trying to help you present them better so you will be more persuasive. All in good faith and with good will.

  • wayne

    Interview with Mark McCloskey
    June 30, 2020

  • wayne

    Glenn Beck is hammering on this today– Wednesday radio show, 3rd hour.
    He’s talking with the Missouri Attorney General, who is characterizing this as a political persecution, and he intends to get involved….

  • Cotour


    R.I.P., NFL, MLB and NBA and any other professional sports team that looks to supplant the American National Anthem for the “Black National Anthem” and / or the taking of the knee. Good luck with that. These corporate actors have already accepted the Globalist world model.

    And if you know me personally you know that I am not a big sports fan, although I do admire the athletic abilities of those who play.

    But the direction that these multi *Billion* dollar sports companies / “owners” who have made their players, “Slaves”, multi millionaires are going is IMO based solely in pandering to “Politically Correct” and “Social Justice Warrior” corporate race extortionists like Colin Kappernick, BLM and Al Sharpton. And they are primarily pandering to the “Politically Correct ” among us and ultimately to the Communist Chinese who represent these sports franchises their next audience expansion opportunities. Plain and $imple.

    Ask ANY of these sports players or their franchise executives what their opinion is about the Chinese Communists and their activities, in funny enough, their slave trade within their own country, their oppression of their own people, and their systematic extermination and genocide of people who they do not like. You will hear crickets. Ask the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, his opinion on the Chinese and their abuses. SILENCE, he and the rest of them will have nothing at all to say, lest they anger their expansion market and those Communists that control it. And that tells the tale. A moral duality smoothed over with lots and lots of current and future $$$$.

    So as long as they can appear to take some moral high ground within the U.S. market and be outraged by the “rampant racism” that exists within America, and that is mostly a total fraud, and their cash flow is not threatened in their expansion markets everything is OK. The Chinese can abuse their people in ways that these frauds are in fact allegedly protesting. Does not really add up for me. What about you?

    In the end all of this “black outrage” is being revealed to just all be about manipulation and the $$$ and in this process they are all selling out their own morality and their country to boot!

  • wayne

    Missouri Statutes

    “A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person.”

    ” 2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:
      (1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony;
      (2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or
      (3) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.”

    “If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.”

    563.031. Use of force in defense of persons.

    And in a wonderful twist— the State of Missouri also has the burden to prove the “firearm(s) in question were capable of firing.”
    –apparently, Mrs. McCloskey’s pistol had the firing pin & spring installed backwards.

  • Edward

    wane reported: “–apparently, Mrs. McCloskey’s pistol had the firing pin & spring installed backwards.

    This is no problem. All the prosecutor needs to do is tamper with the evidence, and voila, an operable firearm, capable of firing.

    According to the St. Louis police crime lab, when the gun arrived at the lab it was deemed “inoperable.” However, crime lab experts reassembled the gun and wrote that it was “readily capable of lethal use”.

    When the truth is inconvenient, change the truth. Al Gore did this quite a bit in his movie, too. This kind of thing also happened with the Duke LaCrosse team persecution, General Micheal Flynn (the judge even decided that a plea of innocence should be persecuted!), and a few others.

    Who needs a fair trial when a biased one will do better for the prosecution?

  • wayne

    saw that article as well— it’s just icing on the cake.

    As for Mr. McCloskey– he’s apparently sued gun-manufacturers in the past. (And I seriously wonder who he voted for the past 3 election cycles.)
    But– he has the right to defend himself. Just hope he’s learned a Lesson.

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