David French

Opinion/Analysis: Grown Men Are the Solution, Not the Problem

Yesterday afternoon, immediately after the Dallas Cowboys’ hard-fought victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Fox’s Erin Andrews interviewed Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. She asked Elliott what he thought when he saw Prescott take off for a key run that set up the winning touchdown. “It’s simple,” Elliott responded, “He’s a grown-ass man. That’s what it is. That’s how he played today, and he led us to this win.” That’s a phrase you hear a lot in sports. “Grown man.” There’s grown-man football. There’s grown-man basketball. It speaks to a certain style of play. Tough. Physical. Courageous. Overpowering. It’s also fundamentally aspirational. It’s quite safe to say that millions of young boys desire to become a grown man — a person who is physically and mentally tough, a person who can rise to a physical challenge and show leadership under stress. In fact, that’s not just an intellectual goal, it’s a deeply felt need. It’s a response to their essential nature. But becoming a true “grown man” — while a felt need — isn’t an easy process. It involves shaping and molding. It requires mentoring. It requires fathers who are themselves grown men. Turning boys into grown men means taking many of their inherent characteristics — such as their aggression, their sense of adventure, and their default physical strength — and shaping them toward virtuous ends. A strong, aggressive risk-taker can be a criminal or a cop, for example. To borrow from the famous American Sniper speech, they can be a sheepdog or a wolf. And if you’re a father of a young boy or spend much time with young boys — especially if you coach boys in sports — you’ll note a very human paradox. Even as they want to become the grown man they see in their father or in their idols, they’ll often fiercely resist (especially at first) the process. They’ll find the discipline oppressive. Building toughness requires enduring pain. And who likes enduring pain? Effective leaders have to have a degree of stoicism, but it can be hard to suppress natural emotions to see reality clearly. Nothing about this process is easy. Some fathers default to cruelty as a teaching tool, with disastrous results. Others are deeply intolerant of differences, rejecting or even bullying those boys who don’t conform to masculine norms — thus driving them into deep despair. But while the process of raising that grown man isn’t easy, it is necessary. Evidence of its necessity is all around us. While a male elite thrives in the upper echelons of commerce, government, the military, and sports, men are falling behind in school, committing suicide, and dying of overdoses at a horrifying rate, and their wages have been erratic — but still lower (in adjusted dollars) than they were two generations ago. Men still make more money than women, but to see the differences in wage growth, click here to see these two charts from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis., and read the rest of the article.

Some outstanding research on this timely issue by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: An Open Letter to the NYT’s Anonymous Senior Trump Administration Official

Dear Anonymous, This isn’t normal Washington politics anymore. It’s not a game. Your instantly infamous New York Times op-ed has painted us a picture of your character, and it’s not pretty. Let’s put this as bluntly as possible: If you’re actively defying the president to pursue your own preferred policies, you’re subverting an American presidential election. If you’re withholding from the American people actual hard evidence of presidential unfitness, then you’re placing your own career before your country. If you’re lying or badly exaggerating the facts for the thrill of constant media contact or the approval of your peers, then you’re just despicable. In Bob Woodward’s new book and your Times piece, Americans now face claims that the president’s staff often decides his orders are so outlandish that they must be ignored. We face claims that members of his own administration have sought to thwart his will in part by literally taking documents off his desk and hoping he doesn’t notice. And now there’s even a claim that Trump’s behavior was so outlandish and unstable that “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment.” Allegations don’t get much more explosive than that. So here’s what you have to do: You have to identify yourself. You have to state the basis of your claims, name the cabinet members who “whispered” about removing the president, and state the reasons for their alarm. If what you say is true, the American people need to know. You need to tell them, and you need to do it not in a television interview or the pages of the Times, but in Congress, under oath, in front of the nation. Yes, this will be hard. But if you truly believe the president is unfit, basic patriotism demands nothing less. There is a lot of talk about the kind of behavior that’s “priced in” with Trump. Aside from the cultists, millions of voters cast their ballots knowing that he was a flawed man. They knew, and still know, that he’s cheated on his wife. They wished, and still wish, that he wouldn’t rage on Twitter, that he showed more self-discipline, and that he had more integrity. But they preferred him to Hillary Clinton, another corrupt candidate. But there’s something else that voters have “priced in,” too: They expect that Trump will face stiff resistance from the Republican establishment, and that the permanent class of civil servants — the “deep state” we hear so much about — will loathe and seek to undermine him. So when you run to the Times or to the Post and make anonymous claims, Trump’s supporters quite fairly question your motives. If the crisis is so bad, and your motives are so pure, why not go on the record? That said, I’ve been living alongside Trump supporters every day of my life since he came down that escalator. I know what they see in him. I know what they expect in him. And I’ll tell you what’s not “priced-in”: Actual instability. True stories of dangerous behavior. Some certain hardcore cohort of Twitter trolls and Trumpists will never leave their man. Some number of Republican congressmen would stand by his side no matter what, too. But constitutional correction in this case doesn’t require unanimity; it just requires testimony, verifiable claims. We have reached a miserable point in American democracy. Unelected public servants so distrust the political branches of government that they actually work to undermine elected officials or refuse to even attempt to utilize constitutional systems of checks and balances. If you’re telling the truth, there exist within the Trump administration people who believe that our nation is led by a man who’s too unstable to govern. Yet to these people, even that level of a national emergency doesn’t justify the risk to career and reputation inherent in resignation and public testimony? A nation once worth dying for is now only worth leaking for? The alternative explanation, of course, is even worse: Maybe you and your fellow anonymous leakers aren’t telling the truth. Maybe you’re exaggerating so much that you’re stoking a false sense of fear and urgency. Based on the gap between the president’s Twitter feed and the administration’s actions, it’s clear that something is happening to thwart his will or change his mind. But is there a real fire behind all this smoke? We just don’t know. I find it ironic that you saw fit to invoke the memory of Senator John McCain in your Times piece. Whatever you think of McCain’s ideology, no reasonable person can deny his courage. He flew into a storm of missiles. He was tortured. He refused early release. He was one of many heroes in our nation’s history who laid their lives on the line to defend its ideals. Yet even as you invoke the kind of patriots whose blood waters the Tree of Liberty, you infect it with the rot of your cowardice. Are you inspired by McCain? Then show one-tenth his courage. Name yourself. Let America test your claims.

Agreed!!  And well said, David.  Author David French is an attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major) who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  This goes along with what Dana Perino said.  See her comments, and mine, by scrolling down about 5 articles.  Excellent!!     🙂

French: Why Illegal-Immigrant Crime Can Be Particularly Painful

Let’s begin by stipulating two things. First, so long as there is an immigration debate, there will be racists and political opportunists who latch on to isolated events to make broad, sweeping judgments to score political points and to increase ethnic tensions in the United States. Second, any given family’s response to tragedy will be as varied and diverse as American families are varied and diverse. There is no playbook for grieving. At the same time, however, there are reasons why illegal-immigrant crime can carry a poignant punch among people of good will. The murder of Mollie Tibbetts or Kate Steinle can be particularly hard to take because of a simple, anguished declaration. The murderer wasn’t supposed to be here. I’m reminded of the pain that people feel when, for example, they find out (in different crimes) that the police didn’t follow up on a lead or a prisoner was wrongly released on parole. The feeling is palpable. This person wasn’t supposed to be on the streets. In the immigration context, that pain is magnified because Americans know that for years immigration enforcement has been lax. Sanctuary-city policies seem designed to draw unlawful immigrants. Even the very idea of stricter border enforcement is deemed racist by some. While no border can be perfectly guarded, we can do better. We simply choose not to. Do you want more immigration? Let’s have that debate. Let’s decide the number of people we want in the country, and let’s make sure — as much as we can — that this number does not include people with known criminal histories. Americans know that no population is perfect. We know that a certain number of legal immigrants will commit crimes, just as a certain number of native-born Americans will commit crimes. But there is a difference between doing due diligence and no diligence at all. In fact, while it’s difficult to get precise data on the extent or rate of illegal-immigrant crime in this country, information from even the most illegal-immigrant-friendly sources shows that legal immigrants commit homicide at lower rates than illegal immigrants. Screening makes a difference. To an extent, Americans have “priced in” the existence of crime in this country. We know some neighborhoods are more violent than others. We know some behaviors are more risky than others. But we also know that there’s no way to live an entirely risk-free life. Crime will happen. But there are things that blow our risk calculus. There are things that can focus anger not just at the criminal who committed the crime but at larger failures that needlessly amplified the danger. Americans are completely justified in their anger when, say, the background-check system fails and a known criminal or mentally unfit person purchases a gun. That amplifies the pain and injustice of the shooting. Americans are justified in their anger when officials ignore warning signs or when people in authority turn away from domestic violence and a troubled person kills. The official failure magnifies the personal injustice. So they are also justified in their anger when officials make the choice not to effectively enforce existing law. They are justified in their anger when officials make the affirmative decision to do all they can to frustrate or defy existing law. They are further justified in their anger when the very plea to just enforce the laws passed by Congress and signed by the president is deemed to be nothing more than the hateful, desperate cry of a fading white majority. Again, none of this means that any given family will agree with this sentiment. There are indications that members of Mollie Tibbetts’s family don’t want her name in the national political conversation. We’ve seen grieving families take opposite sides of virtually every contentious issue surrounding crime and punishment. But it’s a profound mistake to listen to the grieving voices that reinforce your worldview and ignore the others — or to believe that the elevation of opposing voices is necessarily driven by bad faith. Porous borders have consequences, and one of those consequences is that a certain number of criminals will enter this country and do terrible things to its citizens. It is not racist or oppressive simply to ask that our government faithfully execute the laws of the land. Otherwise, there is no good answer to the next anguished family that asks a simple, heart wrenching question about the man who killed their child. Why was he here?

Yeah..  Attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French is responsible for that sobering op/ed.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  Thanks David..

French: Corporate Gun Control Might Be the Worst Threat to Gun Rights

Let’s be honest. If you own guns or you’re a gun-rights supporter, and if you’re concerned about government restrictions on your Second Amendment rights, the future looks bright. The elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may well represent the death knell for draconian forms of gun control — including bans on so-called “assault weapons” and bans on standard-capacity magazines in semi-automatic pistols and rifles. Moreover, meaningful federal gun control has been blocked for a generation, and red-state legislatures are moving almost uniformly to liberalize state gun laws. Witness, for example, the steady spread of “constitutional carry” in red states across the land. But another threat looms, one that can stretch across the entire American landscape, is immune to the filibuster, and is largely sheltered from judicial review. It’s a threat that can choke off financing for the gun industry, stifle speech about guns, and lock the gun-rights community into offline (and small online) ghettos that restrict their ability to communicate. So, what’s happening? Titans of American banking and communication are taking steps to restrict the use of their funds or platforms by gun makers, gun-rights advocates, and others. The threat is just now emerging, but it may be as great a danger to gun rights as it is to the culture of free speech in this nation, and indeed the two are linked. A short, non-exclusive survey should help paint the picture. Citigroup struck one of the first blows, taking action in March: “Citigroup is setting restrictions on the sale of firearms by its business customers, making it the first Wall Street bank to take a stance in the divisive nationwide gun control debate. The new policy, announced Thursday, prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company.” Not to be outdone, Bank of America has acted against assault weapons. Here’s the beginning of a New York Times story from April: “Bank of America will stop lending money to gun manufacturers that make military-inspired firearms for civilian use, such as the AR-15-style rifles that have been used in multiple mass shootings, a company executive said Tuesday.” While the banks’ actions apply to the manufacture and sale of firearms, there are considerable unfolding online threats to speech about guns. Consider the actions of these titans of tech: Facebook has recently restricted any links to a website called codeisfreespeech.com, which contains downloadable plans for a number of entirely legal firearms, including the 3D-printable firearms at the heart of the lingering Obama-era case against Cody Wilson. The site includes plans for weapons such as the Colt 1911, a weapon so common and so basic that its plans date back to, well, 1911 (actually before). You can even buy the plans on a t-shirt. YouTube has its own restrictions on speech about firearms and prohibits any content that “intends to sell” firearms or provides instructions on “manufacturing a firearm.” The latter prohibition is broad enough to (if YouTube wishes) include information on assembling a firearm from its component parts — a necessary part of firearm cleaning and maintenance. Reddit has banned certain gun forums and updated its policies to forbid using Reddit to “solicit or facilitate” (extremely broad terms) transactions or gifts involving firearms. Its policy applies to gun sales, drug sales, prostitution, stolen goods, personal information, and counterfeit official documents. One of those things is not like the other. The keeping and bearing of firearms is an explicit, enumerated constitutional right. The rest of the list largely deals with criminal activity. The list just keeps going. Amazon Web Services has reportedly removed codeisfreespeech.com from its web servers, and Shopify just updated its free-speech policies to deny space for “the kind of products intended to harm.” It also placed on its “restricted items list” all semi-automatic weapons packaged with detachable magazines “capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.” It also reportedly deleted the accounts of a number of weapons retailers, including Spike’s Tactical and Franklin Armory. Let’s keep in mind that these actions represent not the culmination of a gun-control campaign but the front edge of a wave of corporate censorship and suppression.

Exactly!! Thanks to attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French for this excellent op/ed.  For more, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

French: Colorado Defies the Supreme Court, Renews Persecution of a Christian Baker

Even after a 7–2 Supreme Court decision protecting Colorado custom baker Jack Phillips from overt religious discrimination, the state is doubling down. It’s participating in and empowering a grotesque campaign of discrimination and harassment that should shock the conscience of sensible Americans. Phillips, you’ll recall, is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the bakery at the epicenter of one of the most contentious cases of the Supreme Court’s last term. Phillips had refused to design a custom cake to celebrate a gay wedding, and a clear majority of SCOTUS ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated his right to free exercise of religion by demonstrating overt religious animus against him. Commissioners not only denigrated the sincerity of his religious-liberty argument, they applied overt double standards (by allowing bakers to refuse to create anti-gay messages) that were clearly discriminatory. So Jack won. Colorado lost. But Jack’s ordeal, it turns out, was far from over. By standing up for his First Amendment freedoms, Phillips put a target on his back, and bad-faith, malicious actors aimed and fired. Here’s what happened. According to a verified complaint filed today by my old colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom, on June 26, 2017 — the very day the Supreme Court granted Jack’s request to review his wedding-cake case — a lawyer named Autumn Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop and “asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to create a custom cake with ‘a blue exterior and a pink interior’ — a cake ‘design’ that, according to the lawyer,” reflected “the fact that [the lawyer] transitioned from male-to-female and that [the lawyer] had come out as transgender.” Lest anyone wonder whether this request was made in good faith, consider that this same person apparently made a number of requests to Masterpiece Cakeshop. In September 2017, a caller asked Phillips to design a birthday cake for Satan that would feature an image of Satan smoking marijuana. The name “Scardina” appeared on the caller identification. A few days earlier, a person had emailed Jack asking for a cake with a similar theme — except featuring “an upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” This same emailer reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.” On the very day that Phillips won his case at the Supreme Court, a person emailed with yet another deliberately offensive design request.

To actually read this offensive request, and the rest of the article by attorney Army Reserve officer David French, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  Clearly the State of Colorado has it out for Mr. Phillips, and is brazenly assaulting his religious freedoms in defiance of the Supreme Court.  Unreal..

French: Falcon Heavy Is Making America Great Again

Not long ago I, toured the National Air and Space Museum’s immense Steven F. Udvar Center, located near Dulles airport. It’s an amazing complex, but about halfway through I found myself getting strangely depressed. Most museums are fascinating not just because of the historical information they convey, but because they plainly demonstrate how far we humans have come. Imagine, for example, a museum of the telephone where the exhibits progress slowly from the crudest possible voice-communication devices to smartphones that provide us with instant access to much of humanity’s accumulated knowledge. That’s how most museums work, but the Udvar Center in some ways does the opposite: It seems designed to argue that there was a time when we dreamed bigger and flew higher, faster, and farther. A time when Americans lifted their eyes to the heavens, said, “We must go there,” and unleashed an enormous amount of raw human energy to get it done, no matter that it had never even been dreamt of before. It’s all there, right in front of you: A Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (first flight, 1964), the Concorde (first flight, 1969), the Space Shuttle Discovery (first flight, 1981). There was a time when American pilots flew higher and faster than any men before. There was a time when travelers careened across the Atlantic at supersonic speed. There was a time when America operated actual spaceships. And that time has passed. Of course, our technology has progressed. If we chose to, we could do more. Our computing power is extraordinary. Our technical knowledge is unparalleled. An F-22 is a breathtaking aircraft. A Boeing Dreamliner is a technological marvel — but it still sends you across the Atlantic in the same coach seat at roughly the same speed as passengers of past generations. And space travel? We delegate our manned launches to the Russians, now. At a time when we could have done more, in many ways we chose to do less. When we could have expanded our reach, we chose to shrink it. Our eyes weren’t cast up to the heavens but down to our phones. And, quite frankly, we lost something in that moment. It would be too much to call it a shared purpose, because national purpose is too complex to be boiled down to a space program. It’s more accurate to say that when we lost that shared purpose — and part of our patriotic pride — the manned space program became all the more difficult to sustain. What is the thing that we’re proud of today? It should probably be American technology, which is more powerful and influential than it’s ever been. But Google, Facebook, and Twitter don’t exactly inspire patriotic thoughts. They’re more likely to incite partisan rage. So I am happy to report that something surprising happened earlier this week, something to be proud of: With an inimitable mix of new-school technology and old-school spunk, we launched the world’s most powerful rocket, and Americans cheered — by the tens of millions. Elon Musks’s Falcon Heavy had a moment. And it was a crazy, classic, modern American moment. Musk launched the world’s most powerful rocket, he put a car in it with a fake astronaut behind the wheel just because he could, and then beamed pictures live back from space. Just one of the Falcon Heavy launch videos has 15 million views on YouTube. Multiple news channels recorded millions of additional views. Some space enthusiasts were moved to tears. Even days after the launch, at any given moment thousands of Americans are tuning into the live “Starman” YouTube feed to watch Musk’s car fly toward an asteroid belt. I knew the launch was happening, tuned in to watch, and found myself thrilled in a way that I didn’t expect. Minutes later, old friends were sending messages with clips and memes from the launch. Why? Part of it is simple: Big rockets are really cool, and it had been a while since we’d launched one of that size and power from American soil. But there was something else to it, too, I think. Falcon Heavy, the private (subsidized) product of a man the Washington Post called a “puckish and eccentric billionaire,” sent a powerful message to the rest of the world: We’re back. We can still look up to the heavens. We can still fly farther, higher, and faster. We’re not all the way back, of course. Our grandfathers and fathers still put us to shame. But there’s hope. More rockets are in the works, including NASA’s Space Launch System, a rocket that could double Falcon Heavy’s thrust and payload. Perhaps we’re learning our lesson: Great nations need great accomplishments. It’s not enough to spend our resources making our lives easier and more convenient. We can still explore. The pioneer spirit still exists, and even if we won’t ever sit atop a rocket of that size and power, we can cheer those who do. So thanks, Falcon Heavy. In a moment that combined power, grace, and a dash of fun, you helped to make America great again.

Yeah!!  That inspiring piece was written by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  Go SpaceX!!    🙂

French: Cory Booker’s Rant Exposed the Left’s Gender Hypocrisy

This summer, I learned a new term. I’d heard of “mansplaining” and “manspreading.” But “manterrupting” was new to me. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that in two different hearings, male senators interrupted California Democrat Kamala Harris. Two. Different. Hearings. Don’t believe me? Click here to see the stunning video evidence. These were the interruptions that spawned think pieces at all the best journals. This was a gender issue, you see. Coming on the heels of Mitch McConnell’s dustup with Elizabeth Warren (“nevertheless, she persisted”), a problem had become a scandal. GOP men, it was said, can’t handle a strong progressive woman. Then, yesterday, Cory Booker detonated on Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. He didn’t just mansplain, he mansplained at maximum volume. He threw a deeply flawed security study in her face as if she didn’t understand the terror threats facing the United States, and unloaded on her for claiming that she couldn’t recall the president’s exact words in the now infamous “sh**hole” meeting: Booker’s face is twisted in fury. He pounds on the table. He insults her character. It’s nothing short of a temper tantrum. If he were a Republican, this exchange would be taken as proof-positive that he doesn’t respect women. It would be video evidence, shared far and wide, of his sexism. It would be compared to Donald Trump’s physical approaches to Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate and used as evidence that Republicans aren’t just misogynistic, they’re menacing. Instead, Booker proudly tweeted out his rant, quoting himself like he’d just had “a moment.” It’s incidents like this that convince so many Americans that identity politics are disingenuous and that lamentations about “norms,” “values,” and “civility” are grotesquely insincere. Talk to any conservative woman and she’ll tell you that all too often the Left’s “respect for women” stops the instant a female pundit, politician, or activist slides just to the right of moderate. The human capacity for rationalization and self-justification is nearly infinite, and it was on display yesterday. It was right for Booker to tear into Nielsen, his apologists said. After all, everyone who doesn’t condemn Trump’s infamous “sh**hole” comment is “complicit” in racism. Nielsen was lying to Congress. That wasn’t misogyny, you see, it was righteous anger. Are you, Mr. Conservative, telling me that Nielsen isn’t tough enough to handle a tongue-lashing? Are you telling me that she needs to be protected, to be coddled by Senator Booker? Oh, and don’t talk to me about “values,” Mr. Conservative. Not when that man is in the White House. We’re now entering the Iran–Iraq War phase of our conflicts over civility. The only norm left is hypocrisy. Many of the same Democrats who simply can’t believe the words that come out of Trump’s mouth once cheered Joe Biden’s claim to a Virginia crowd that Mitt Romney would “put y’all back in chains.” They spread far and wide claims that Romney had callously let people die just to make a buck. And now, even as they lament the decline in discourse under Trump, they claim that conventional conservative policies are going to kill Americans by the thousands. There is only one way to restore a measure of civility and dignity and a sense of proportion to public debate, and that’s to actually treat people with respect. Even when you’re angry. Especially when you’re angry. Years ago, a retired federal judge taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten — a lesson I’ve tried to apply ever since. “When you’re troubled,” he said, “even when you’re angry, endeavor to speak with regret, not outrage.” His contention was that a culture of outrage was cheapening our anger. Only thoughtful concern could truly cut through the noise and rebuild our body politic. Yesterday, Cory Booker went too far, and in so doing he exposed the disingenuousness of so much liberal outrage. Booker can do better. He has done better. It’s a shame that yesterday he and those progressives who cheered him on chose to disguise their hypocrisy as righteous indignation.

I saw that video clip of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) going off on Sec. Nielsen.  His phony, self-righteous, sanctimonious, hypocritical grandstanding was beyond over the top.  What a tool!!  And yet, he was proud of the way he went off on Ms. Nielsen, who is not responsible for what the President may or may not have said.  Nor did that topic have anything to do with why she was in front of that committee.  But, these self-righteous Dems couldn’t help themselves.  They had to take the opportunity to just feign indignation and grandstand.  Sen. Booker should apologize to Sec. Nielsen immediately, and should be condemned for his outrageous behavior.  Thanks to attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French for this spot-on analysis.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.