Tag Archives: Chuck Cassidy

2013 American of the Year: Ted Cruz

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The junior U.S. Senator from the great state of Texas, Ted Cruz, has been selected as this website’s 10th annual American of the Year, marking the first time that someone born outside of the country has been so honored.

Cruz was born in Canada, in the city of Calgary and province of Alberta in December of 1970 to a Cuban father and American mother from Delaware who were there to work the oil business.

Cruz’ parents moved to Houston, Texas in 1974, and he went to a Baptist high school, becoming Valedictorian of his 1988 graduating class. He then went to Princeton University, where he became a debate champion and noted speaker, graduating in 1992. He then attended Harvard Law School where he graduated magna cum laude, while also dealing with his parents divorce during this time.

In 1995, Cruz served in Virginia as law clerk to a true, great conservative jurist, J. Michael Luttig of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and in 1996 became the first Hispanic to clerk for the Chief Justice of the US when he worked for William Rehnquist.

After working a few years in private practice, Cruz joined the presidential campaign of George W. Bush in 1999 as a domestic policy advisor, and was influential in the court process during the contested Florida election results battle at both the state and Supreme Court levels. This led to a role in the victorious Bush administration for a few years before a return to Texas.

During the Bush campaign, Cruz met his wife, Heidi Nelson, a New York investment banker who would go on to work for Condoleezza Rice at the White House and who now works for Goldman Sachs. They now have two daughters together.

From 2003 to 2008, Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas, arguing numerous cases before the US Supreme Court including landmark victories in which he stood up for 2nd Amendment rights, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, and on behalf of a Ten Commandments monument at the Texas State Capitol.

Cruz returned to private practice from 2008 until his surprising Senatorial election battle of 2011. In what was described as a stunning grass-roots victory for fiscal conservatism, he defeated the sitting Lieutenant Governor and heir apparent. He then trounced his Democratic opponent in the November general election.

In the last few months, a poll by the respected Rasmussen organization found that Ted Cruz was the 3rd most influential world leader, following behind only President Barack Obama and Pope Francis. That position comes squarely from his emerging leadership as the most forceful, outspoken critic of what are proving to be disastrous liberal political programs, policies and ideas.

Particularly in 2013, Cruz emerged as a vocal opponent of Obamcare, the President’s attempt to socialize the American healthcare system. Cruz publicly and aggressively attacked the program at a time when many even within his own Republican Party were treading lightly.

What Ted Cruz has done is stand up and give voice to the massive base of the Republican Party that has felt left behind by the Party’s political leaders in recent years. As spending has exploded, war droned on, and deals been cut with Democrats that have allowed disastrous socialist programs to continue, that base has grown from restless to revolutionary.

While that Republican Party leadership cut those deals and smiled for the cameras, talking words like “compromise” and “collaboration”, the old “reaching across the aisle” stuff, Cruz not only recognized these continuing methods as disastrous for the Party politically, but for the nation intrinsically.

In 2013, Senator Cruz has invigorated the Republican Party base, which the Party will need if it is to have any chance at taking control of the full Senate in 2014 and then winning back the White House in 2016. Properly motivated, that base has the ability to make just those very things happen.

Republican control of both Houses of Congress, combined with control of the White House, in the next few years gives us the best, perhaps the only chance to reverse the disastrous liberal socialist spending programs instituted under Obama. That can only happen if more politicians become as publicly aggressive and fearless as Cruz was this year. Reaction to his style makes that possible now.

For his aggressive, principled, public stands on behalf of truly Conservative political values during a period when far too many Party leaders have been cow-towed into political cowardice, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is selected as the American of the Year.

NOTE:

In an original version of this article, I posited that Cruz was not eligible to become the President of the United States himself. This was based on an improper reading of materials which I believed stated that, with his having clearly been born outside of the U.S., both his parents needed to be U.S. citizens in order for him to be eligible for POTUS.

This is not so. On further research, the key information relating to Cruz comes from the ‘Citizenship Clause’ of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, as well as from the Nationality Act of 1940. Ted Cruz, with his mother clearly a U.S. citizen for more than 10 years, was considered a U.S. citizen himself at birth.

Basically, Cruz enjoyed ‘dual citizenship’ from the U.S and Canada. He has chosen to retain counsel in order to prepare the paperwork necessary in order to renounce his Canadian citizenship. This is clearly a precurssor to a projected run for the US Presidency in 2016 or sometime in the future. He does indeed enjoy such eligibility. My earlier comments were in error, and are well corrected here.


AMERICANS OF THE YEAR:
2004 – Pat Tillman
2005 – Bill O’Reilly
2006 – Rev. Billy Graham
2007 – P/O Chuck Cassidy (for the American police officer)
2008 – George W. Bush
2009 – Glenn Beck
2010 – Ron Paul
2011 – Seal Team 6
2012 – Michael Phelps

TO VIEW all articles relating to the previous ‘American of the Year‘ award honorees, simply click on that below ‘Tag’

2009 American of the Year: Glenn Beck

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This was a year of tremendous change for America, and the vast majority of it was not for the good. Our national debt, already out of control as the year began, has now soared to previously unimaginable levels.

Our government has taken over control of large portions of private industry, and is poised to take over even more in the coming years.

On the international front, we have become indecisive and noncommittal in fighting a war against a determined Islamofascist enemy that continues to look for ways to attack us, kill our citizens, and deal crippling blows to our economy and our way of life.

Thanks to recent election results, we face a future of increasing debt and taxation and decreasing personal freedom and liberty.

Not willing to stand by and simply whine and complain on the airwaves, radio talk show host Glenn Beck took his blossoming television program from CNN’s Headline News and moved to the Fox News network in early 2009.

This move allowed him to get out from under the umbrella of the liberal mandate of CNN and into the Fox world that allows fair and balanced reporting of all sides of the issues.

Beck then began a year-long education of the American people on civics, history, and current events that was quite simply not being discussed anywhere else in any clear and consistent manner.

For his efforts as a truthful voice crying out in the wilderness, and for his out-front leadership of traditional America, this website is proud to name Glenn Beck as it’s 2009 American of the Year.

Beck follows in the footsteps of previous honorees Pat Tillman (2004), Bill O’Reilly (2005), Rev. Billy Graham (2006), P/O Chuck Cassidy (2007), and President George W. Bush (2008).

While many years have seen a number of worthy individuals fall just short while being considered, no one really came close to challenging Beck for this year’s honor.

There is no doubt that websites, magazines, and news programs run by and catering to ultra-liberals, socialists, and Europeans will look to make their ‘Person of the Year’ selections soon.

Many of them will no doubt select Barack Obama for his, uh, for…hmmm. There is the whole being sworn in and becoming the first-ever minority, well, half-minority President in American history thing. But then that is really a ceremony.

Should we give someone an award for contributions during an entire year when all they really accomplished was ceremonial? Well, apparently they give out the Nobel prize for accomplishing nothing. But this website will not fall into that trap.

The more important thing would seem to be not winning an election, but what you do once you are in office. Other than driving up debt, decreasing freedom, and lessening national security, it’s hard to find any accomplishments of Obama this past year.

This year, Beck released another in a what is fast becoming a series of best-selling books. His latest is titled “Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government” and in it he takes on these targets with simple facts.

Gun control? Government-run health care? Illegal immigration? You might think that you have an opinion, but in this book, Glenn will help you to understand the facts.

The 45-year old Beck did more than lend a leading voice to the most worthy cause of protecting and preserving the U.S. Constitution and restoring American exceptionalism, though that enough would be worthy of the honor.

As a concrete measure, he organized the ‘9-12 Project’ to embody the spirit that the vast majority of Americans felt on the day after the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks.

Beck’s ‘9-12 Project’ is based on 9 principles and 12 values that embody this spirit. The principles include basic ideals such as “America is good”, “I believe in God”, “The family is sacred”, and “The government works for me.”

The 12 values are: honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, and gratitude.

Beck also gave a voice to the ‘Tea Party’ movement which grew at formal town hall gatherings all across the country during 2009. Based on the ‘Boston Tea Party’ concept of protest against excessive government actions and taxation, these localized events exploded into a massive taxpayer march on Washington on September 12th, 2009.

His style is one of intellectual inquisitiveness mixed with what he himself calls a ‘rodeo clown’ persona. Open about being a recovering alcoholic, Beck sprinkles his television program with the same humor that is a hallmark of his radio show, adding formal charts and graphics and video accompanied by simple presentations made by him alone standing at a chalkboard. He engages guests at both venues of all political persuasions in conversation rather than rancorous debate.

Critics of Beck’s programming presentations have often used terms such as ‘fear-monger’ and ‘conspiratorial’, and yet almost never do you here any substance behind such accusations and commentary.

As is a hallmark of the liberal community in general, name-calling is about all that the left has to offer up in rebuttal when challenged on-air by Beck’s biting tongue and sharp wit.

In September of 2009, Beck was highlighted by the usually left-leaning Time magazine in a cover piece titled “Is Glenn Beck Bad For America?” In this sweeping article that basically painted him as one would expect from a liberal tome, Time had this to say of his programming:

“As melodrama, it’s thumping good stuff. But as politics, it’s sort of a train wreck — at once powerful, spellbinding and uncontrolled.”

What the magazine did not say is perhaps the most telling thing. It did not say that he is a liar.

There are any number of radio talk hosts, television commentators, political pundits, comic satirists, and armchair politicians out there. But exactly because he is so “powerful, spellbinding and uncontrolled” as well as truthful, Glenn Beck taps into the raw nerves of the large numbers of Americans who are as rightfully frightened for the future of our once-great nation as he himself has become.

For his expressive courage, his moral conviction, his articulation of truth, his love of America, he is an example to us all. For what he has overcome in his personal life to become a wealthy, influential opinion shaper, as well as a devoted, loving family man, he is an example as well.

For all of this, and for his work with the ‘9-12 Project’ and the ‘Tea Party’ movement, Glenn Beck is this website’s 2009 American of the Year.

NOTE: To view the write-ups for all of the ‘American of the Year’ winners simply click on to that ‘Tag’ below this article at http://www.mattveasey.com

Grassroots support for Philly’s embattled cops

 

On Halloween morning in 2007, police officer Chuck Cassidy of the city’s 35th district pulled up to a local Dunkin’ Donuts to perform a routine security check and perhaps grab a fresh cup of joe to begin his work day.

Bright sunshine of the morning that day combined with the lesser light inside the business made it impossible for Cassidy to see inside the establishment.

Little did he know as he pulled open the door to that innocent coffee and donut shop, one that Cassidy had entered many times before, that it would be the last door he would ever open.

Inside was an armed robber who turned and fired a gunshot into Cassidy before the officer ever knew what hit him.

Thus began the most deadly string of murders of Philly’s Finest in decades. Just seven months after Cassidy’s murder, in May of 2008, Sergeant Steve Liczbinski responded to a robbery in progress taking place at a bank branch inside a supermarket of his 24th police district. It would be the final call of his career, as Liczbinski was also gunned down in cold blood by the robbers.

Philly cops and their supporters mourned the loss of these two popular officers throughout the summer of 2008. Little did they know it was not over yet. Not nearly.

In early September, the city’s police were again driven to shock when officer Isabel ‘Izzie’ Nazario was killed. She and her partner were involved in a vehicular pursuit of a stolen car, though not in direct pursuit, when the driver suddenly emerged from a blind intersection and slammed into their cruiser at full speed.

The loss of a third officer in less than a year seemed like dirt being rubbed into an already open wound. Then the unthinkable happened – again.

Just a couple of weeks later, still in September, officer Pat McDonald pulled over a vehicle for a simple traffic violation, something that many of the city’s police officers do every single day, something that I did hundreds of times. Only this would be Pat’s final car stop. This time the driver was a wanted man, and he decided to shoot and kill Pat McDonald rather than risk returning to jail.

It was official, Philly’s cops were under siege.
People were taking shots at us, running from us, physically challenging us like never before. The thug mentality had overcome the city, and race became a part of the issue as each of the cop-killers faces flashed across television screens.

Former Mayor John Street’s notorious statement that “the brothers and sisters are running this town now” seemed to be taking on a gangsta tone.

Something was seriously wrong here in Philly, and many of our citizens stepped forward with words of condolence and togetherness, some even with anger at what was happening.

But did they then go back to their communities, to their families, and begin to make real changes that would back up their words?

Less than two months later, Sergeant Tim Simpson, a fellow supervisor in the exact same squad of officers in which Steve Lisczbinski had worked at the time of his murder, responded to yet another robbery call. Like Lisczbinski, it would be Simpson’s final call.

As he responded to the robbery, Simpson entered the intersection of Aramingo and Allegheny Avenues. Here, a drunk driver in a speeding Camaro slammed into Simpson’s cruiser. The 24th district had lost their 2nd Sergeant in six months, and Philly’s cops had lost their fifth officer in under a year.

A long, cold winter of grieving got underway, and in the middle of it just about two weeks ago, young 25-year-old father-to-be John Pawlowski and his partner pulled up on a disturbance on the highway involving an argument between two men.

When Pawlowski confronted the aggressor, this male pulled the trigger on a gun which he had concealed in the pocket of his jacket. As officer Pawlowski’s partner drew his gun and killed the assailant, John fell to the ground, the sixth Philly cop killed in the line of duty in less than a year and a half.

There have been seven Philadelphia police officers killed in the line of duty stretching to the robbery-murder of officer Gary Skerski in May of 2006.

The violence against the police officers who are trying their best to protect the citizens of an increasingly hostile city was just too much for a young woman by the name of Courtney Agger.

Not the wife or family member of an officer, Courtney was just a young woman in her twenties who was among the many who were sick and tired of all of the attacks on cops. She wanted to do something, and in the spirit of the 21st century she took to the internet.

A member of the ‘Facebook’ community that is perhaps today’s most popular internet gathering place, Courtney started a grass-roots effort to organize a march in support of Philly cops. In remembrance of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, both in recent years and throughout the past.

Her little Facebook group advertised a march to take place on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 beginning near the Skate Zone facility in Northeast Philadelphia and proceeding around the Northeast Airport to the home of Philly’s 8th police district at Academy & Red Lion Roads.

Agger likely envisioned dozens, perhaps hundreds if it went well, of her friends and other sympathizers marching in support. Little did she know the power of both the internet and of her cause.

At yesterdays march, thousands turned out in an overwhelming outpouring of emotion and support for Philadelphia’s embattled police force. There were a number of police brass and union officials on hand, regular officers like myself, as well as numerous friends and family members. T-shirts, sweatshirts, wristbands, flags and other items were sold.

In the week leading up to the march, Philadelphia police detective Al Ford was attempting to serve a warrant when he was shot in the leg. Another officer returned fire and killed Ford’s assailant. Ford was taken to the hospital and is going to be okay, but his shooting highlights that this is far from over.

As a color guard led Sunday’s procession, Courtney Agger had to allow herself to feel just a little pride for what she had accomplished. It was completely justified. Grass-roots support from the community such as that showed by Agger is absolutely appreciated and even needed by the Philadelphia Police Department.

We have been seriously demoralized by what has happened in recent months, and outreach such as this sincerely touches us all and reminds us of why we do what we do, that it is important to continue, and that it actually affects peoples lives.

Numb…Again

Another Philadelphia police officer lies dead this morning. He was only 25 years old. His young wife is now a widow as she carries their first and only child in her womb, a child that won’t be born until the coming summer is almost over. A child that will never know it’s father, never even get to meet him.

He is John Pawlowski of the PPD’s 35th district, and he is the 7th Philly cop to be killed in the line of duty in the past 33 months. I remember a time when it seemed that we lost a brother or sister officer every few years. Now we don’t even get six months, and often it’s been much less.

There was a time when it made me sad and angry. But the wave of murders of our officers over the past couple years has simply left me numb. I can’t even watch the stories on TV anymore beyond the headlines to get the basic facts. I am well aware that the danger is part of the job for which we have all signed up, but I want it to just all stop, even if just for a couple years.

Part of the problem for cops is that we do a job that few others could ever possibly relate to, but we can all relate to one another. No matter what our current responsibilities in this career that we have chosen, we were all John Pawlowski at some point.

We all put on the uniform and the badge, strapped the gun to our hip, slid behind the wheel of a marked police car, and slipped out into the night to patrol the streets of Philadelphia. It is alternately thrilling and dangerous, exciting and deadly. It is sometimes slow, but rarely boring. And always, always, there is the next corner to turn, around which may lie one of the funniest things that you’ve ever seen, or the end of your life.

You work those streets as a cop in a squad of men and women who become your extended family. You are with them almost every day or night in those circumstances and situations. Especially as a young person in your early years on the job, you form a bond in that squad that will never leave you.

My squad was special to me, and always will be. It included my own brother, Mike Veasey, with whom I had the absolute pleasure to work with as a partner for a few years.

Our squad in the early years of the 1990’s also included others who I will also always carry in my heart: Dave Lee, Juan Perez, Lisa Collins, Tom McComesky, Bob Donahue, Joe Kramer, Tommy DiFlorio, Aaron Horn, Chris Faber, Kevin Bethel, Thom Hoban, Stevie Susson, Denise McDonough, Nick Campolongo, Herbie Felder, Kevin Wong, Charlie Kelly, Ray Plymouth, Anne Klineburger, Eddie Blunt, Patti Parks, Bobby Bonds, Dominic Tursi, Dennis Andraczak, Tommy Key, Gary Burrell, Louie & Stephanie Velazquez, and many others.

There are so many people that touch you on this job, that you lean on to get you through the tough times, that you laugh with during the good times. Not only those folks in your own squad, but also those in the other squads within your district, and other cops all over the city, and the many business and community people that become a part of our everyday lives.

Working the streets is addictive. It is an experience that is difficult to describe. Having that kind of respect from most people, experiencing that affection from folks you don’t even know, and carrying the burden of the power that the people have bestowed on you that includes taking away someones freedom and even their life. Only police officers who have worn that uniform and stepped out on those patrols will ever know that feeling.

This was the life that young John Pawlowski was living, the same one that I lived, that my brother lived, that our father lived. The same one that every street cop has lived. It is what makes losing John, and all the others in recent months and years, so very difficult.

It is always worth mentioning them all by name, because what has happened recently will forever link them: Gary Skerski, Chuck Cassidy, Steve Liczbinski, Isabel Nazario, Pat McDonald, Tim Simpson and now John Pawlowski.

We are them. They are us. It is Valentine’s Day, and a young woman carrying a baby should be waking up to her young husband and thinking about things like cards and flowers and candy and dinner. Instead she has to plan a funeral. I am numb…again.

2008 American of the Year: George W. Bush

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George W. Bush is winding down the final three weeks of an eventful pair of terms as the President of the United States.

For the past seven of those years, the President has been under as heavy a burden as any American leader before him. That burden of trying to protect and defend America following the attacks of 9/11 has defined his Presidency.

There have been many of his predecessors who have had to guide the nation in a time of war. Some notables include Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman during World War II, and Ronald Reagan in the ‘Cold War’.

Lincoln, Truman, and Reagan each had the faith, the strength, the moral courage, and the personal timing to bring these struggles to a successful close for the nation.

Roosevelt, alas, did not live to see the fruits of his difficult labor, but his vision and courage, his willingness to stand up to the evils of Nazism and totalitarianism were vital to our American future, indeed the entire free world’s future. Much the same can be said of President George W. Bush these past seven years.

As we all know, on September 11th, 2001, just over eight months into his first term, the United States suffered a major attack on our continental soil by the foreign power of Islamism. The forces of Islamofascist terror had been at war with America and the western world for at least a decade to that point.

They declared it against us, and they had previously taken action with attacks against our interests both abroad (Kenya, Tanzania, Lebanon) and here at home (the first WTC attack.) Still, while we knew they meant us harm, few understood the imminent danger in their ability to actually reach out and destroy serious targets on America’s shores.

That reality was slapped home on 9/11 when a pair of airliners flew into the Twin Towers and resulted in their destruction, and another flew into the Pentagon doing serious damage to our main national defense headquarters.

A third airliner had been thwarted from doing even further damage thanks to the bravery of the passengers, who had learned of the earlier attacks. In the end, approximately 3,000 Americans and foreigners lost their lives as a result of the attacks.

The Bush administration plans for the future, both in domestic policy and foreign affairs, were forever altered by the events of that September morning. The fact of the matter is that the primary responsibility of the President of the United States, of our national government in fact, is to preserve, protect, and defend the union.

In his seven years in office following those attacks, the President has taken us on the offensive against the Islamofascists, and has thus averted any further attacks on us by an enemy sworn to inflict even further damage.

In the aftermath of the attacks he established what has become known as the ‘Bush Doctrine’, which is basically the combination of ideas stating that there is no ‘moral relativism’. We are good, they are evil, and that is a fact beyond dispute.

Further that the United States will go on the offensive in wiping out these terror organizations, and will also deal with nations who support them in an aggressive manner. And in doing so we will not only be reactive, doing something only after we are attacked, but will also be preemptive in hitting those who clearly state their intention to harm us.

The President responded to 9/11 by sending our troops into Afghanistan to wipe out the Taliban regime that was both terrorizing its fellow Afghanis, and which also was harboring the terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda, who had attacked us on 9/11.

He followed that up by sending them into Iraq to rout Sadaam Hussein and his dangerous and murderous Baathist government, and to help Iraqis install a democratic government that would serve as both a launching pad and a beacon of hope for the entire region. All the while, our troops military actions in the Middle East would attract the attention of the Islamists, diverting them from America’s own shores.

Despite the ups and down of every major military struggle in history, the strategy has worked remarkably well. The seeds of freedom have been planted in a region of the world where they had not existed for centuries, and where it appeared just a few years ago that they would never take root.

Perhaps most importantly, the President has clearly done his job of protecting the United States, as we have not been successfully attacked on his watch again since 9/11. From Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, the President and his team have been proven out to be consistently correct in their efforts to keep us safe.

As President Bush leaves office, he can also hang his hat on a pair of tremendous achievements on the domestic front: keeping taxes low and appointing constitutional SCOTUS judges.

The current financial meltdown is a problem largely outside of the President’s scope to control, the mistakes that led to it largely having begun in the Clinton administration. But keeping taxes low has allowed the crisis from being even worse.

In his appointments of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, the President has hit a pair of judicial homeruns that will benefit our nation long after he leaves office next month.

It is true that he needed direction in the Alito appointment after initially wanting his friend, Harriet Myers, for the position. But he showed great leadership in his willingness to listen and in his ability to admit when he was wrong, and he ultimately made the correct decision and nomination.

There were outstanding candidates this past year aside from the President, most notably the Republican VP nominee and Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who was the runner-up.

It is very difficult to justify someone like President-elect Barack Obama, whose only real action this year was in running for an office. Perhaps one of these individuals will be honored here in the future based on their actions, rather than for a political campaign. But in this past year, no one in the country had a more difficult job than President Bush, and he came through with flying colors.

Despite an intensely negative media portrayal and the utter disrespect of the Democrats over almost the entirety of his terms in office that resulted in his low approval ratings, the President has kept his head high and his country safe.

The day that he leaves office next month, the nation will likely begin to become a far less safe place, and that will likely only deteriorate over the ensuing months and years. In the long term, it says here that Bush will be viewed in a positive light, and will be proven even more right in his principled positions.

For his leadership in continuing to fight for the nation’s safety and security despite the ravenous attacks of his political enemies, for the continuing example of his public faith in God, and for keeping America safe, this website is proud to honor President George W. Bush as the 5th annual ‘American of the Year’, following in the footsteps of previous honorees Pat Tillman (2004), Bill O’Reilly (2005), Rev. Billy Graham (2006), and P/O Chuck Cassidy (2007).

To view those previous honorees, please click on the below ‘Tag of “American of the Year”