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Why I joined the NRA, and why you should too

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The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871

The gun debate has once again heated up in America in the aftermath of the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting.

As usual, a major target for the anti-gun crowd has been the National Rifle Association (NRA), who those liberals see as being at the vanguard of gun rights in the United States.

The fact remains that the killer in Florida was, once again, not an NRA member. In fact, none of the school shooters who have reigned terror down on American children over the last couple decades have belonged to the NRA.

What the NRA does, what makes it the major liberal target, is resolutely fight for 2nd Amendment gun rights with few restrictions.

The NRA was chartered in New York state back in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis, and even more specifically to improve marksmanship within the United States military. The organization really came to prominence in 1873 after its members won a marksmanship contest with the best riflemen of Europe.

Over the ensuing decades, the NRA spread to many other states and continued to expand in influence. The NRA gained further prestige when Civil War heroes Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan, the former also a United States President, served as the organization’s eighth and ninth presidents.

In 1907, the NRA moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C. in order to improve its opportunities to advocate on behalf of gun owners. Those headquarters relocated to the current home of Fairfax, Virginia in 1998. In addition to its administrative offices, the Fairfax NRA headquarters is also home to the National Firearms Museum.

The museum is home to some 2,500 guns covering seven centuries of firearms history and development. Included are weapons which belonged to such historic figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, Annie Oakley, and ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody.

A total of nine U.S. Presidents have been NRA members: the previously mentioned Kennedy, Reagan, and Roosevelt, as well as William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and current President Donald Trump.

From 1998-2003, famed American actor Charlton Heston served as president of the NRA. At the organization’s 2000 convention, Heston picked up a replica of a flintlock long rifle and stated:

“So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’

 

Heston repeated the phrase at the end of each NRA convention over which he presided. When he announced his retirement in 2003, he concluded by repeating “From my cold, dead hands.

The NRA sponsors programs on firearms safety, including hunting safety. It trains firearms instructors and issues credentials for same. It hosts and sponsors a number of shooting competitions. The organization publishes at least a half-dozen regular periodicals as well.

Their own “brief history” of the organization at the official NRA website reveals both the size of its membership and its primary modern activities:

“While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the NRA has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly five million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.”

I first fired a gun as a small boy of about 10-11 years old when my father gave my younger brother and I a brief lesson in the woods of the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. Dad was a Philadelphia Police supervisor at the time, and showed us how to safely use his service revolver.

I never fired a real gun again until I followed in Dad’s footsteps, joining the Philadelphia Police Department in 1990. My brother had done the same the previous year.

I purchased my first private firearm a couple of years later, a small five-shot Smith & Wesson air weight revolver that I still own today.

Over the years, I considered joining the NRA, but it was never enough of a priority that I actually took the time or effort to follow through. That finally changed due to the events of this past week.

I finally logged on and joined the NRA, which you can do at that just passed link, due to principle. Seeing the organization and its spokespersons come under a ferocious attack by political liberals was the last straw.

In the most public attack, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch appeared at a “town hall” sponsored by liberal cable news outlet CNN in the aftermath of the Florida murders. 

Madeline Osburn for The Federalist reported that as Loesch and her security detail walked toward the stage, audience members shouted at her phrases like, “murderer,” “child killer,” and “burn her.” For the record, Loesch has never killed anyone.

Per Matt Vespa with Townhall, in a subsequent interview Loesch stated that she and the organization were accused of being child murders for supporting Second Amendment rights.

In recent days, a number of companies withdrew support or cut relationships with the NRA in various ways. For instance, car rental companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz each eliminated discounts for NRA members.

Meanwhile, as I pointed out earlier, the killer in Florida was not an NRA member. But these American businesses withdrew their discounts and other support due simply to pressure from liberal organizations and individuals. 

The effect of the moves was to hurt individual NRA members more than the actual organization. Again, those individual NRA members had nothing to do with Parkland or any other school shooting.

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution was part of the original ‘Bill of Rights’, the first ten “amendments” or updates, changes, and additions to the original Constitution.

Passed by the U.S. Congress on September 25, 1789, that 2nd Amendment reads as follows: 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nelson Lund and Adam Winkler at the Constitution Center website explain that “the Amendment was easily accepted because of widespread agreement that the federal government should not have the power to infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms, any more than it should have the power to abridge the freedom of speech or prohibit the free exercise of religion.” 

In my own first response to the Parkland shooting, published one week ago today, I called on Americans who care about any particular facet of the gun debate to engage in what I believe to be necessary conversation.

“We need to talk. We must be able to find a way to make the Parkland’s, the Columbine’s, and the Sandy Hook’s more difficult, and even more rare than they are already. About that, there should be no debate.  Let’s talk. Not shout one another down. Let’s open our ears, minds, and hearts. Let’s not be afraid to start the conversation. As with most things, we may not end up with everything we want. But together for once, let’s come up with some answers.”

However, talking is not enough. We also must be willing to back up our beliefs and a verbal or written intellectual expression with action. That was why I chose to finally join the NRA this week.

Wayne LaPierre has been the NRA’s executive vice-president and chief executive officer since 1991. In his speech at CPAC 2018 this past week, LaPierre labeled the attacks on his organization correctly when he called them political attacks.

“They hate the NRA. They hate the 2nd Amendment. They hate individual freedom. In the rush of calls for more government, they’ve also revealed their true selves. The elites don’t care – not one wit – about the American school system and school children. If they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. For them, it’s not a safety issue, it’s a political issue. They care more about control, and more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the 2nd Amendment and our firearms freedoms, so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”


…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

Our Founding Fathers had it right, as they usually did. Healthy, responsible Americans need to be allowed to own firearms, whether for hunting, or personal protection, or to one day defend their communities, should that become necessary.

David French at the National Review wrote a piece on why it’s “Not cowardly to be conservative on gun rights” in the aftermath of Parkland. In his piece, French made the following statement regarding the usual liberal progressive attacks:

Angry voices take an extraordinarily complex social, cultural, and political phenomenon, boil it down to preferred progressive policy provisions, and then declare everyone who opposes their ideas a craven weakling in thrall to the NRA.”

The NRA not only fights on behalf of that 2nd Amendment Right, but also supports training and safety. It is a wholly responsible organization made up of strong, principled, Constitution-loving and respecting American citizens.

I would urge all American gun owners and those who otherwise support the 2nd Amendment and overall American freedom to follow my lead. Join the National Rifle Association today.

Sometimes the bear eats you

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The bulls have begun to run again on Wall Street

It’s one of the oldest sayings around, likely attributable to an idea first passed into public consciousness by 19th century American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Sometimes you eat the bear – sometimes the bear eats you.

For more than two centuries since even before the founding of the New York Stock Exchange, market up and downs have used the terms “bull” and “bear” to describe down and upturns and waves in markets.

A “bull market”comes about when the markets are rising, charging forward like a bull. A “bear market”comes about when they slow down and investors sell stocks off, almost as if they are hibernating.

That’s a simplistic explanation of the terms. There are a number of theories as to how they came about. But it serves well enough to describe how those terms are applied today.

Suffice it to say that since President Donald Trump was sworn in back in January of 2017, the markets had been charging forward. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 5,000 points during the President’s first year in office.

The “Dow” represents the stock performance of 30 major U.S. companies. These companies currently represent a wide swath of impact across the American landscape, from Microsoft to McDonald’s, DowDuPont to Disney, and dozens more.

As the bull market charged forward, the President took credit. He believes that the policies of his administration pushed those markets forward. From reducing and eliminating regulations on businesses to reducing taxes, the climate has certainly been favorable to business.

It has also been favorable to average Americans, as those companies have hired more employees and given out raises and bonuses. It was no wonder the President mentioned it during his first ‘State of the Union’ address just last week: 

The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

However, a number of financial analysts have warned that a market ‘correction’ was inevitable. At some point, investors were going to look to capitalize on their gains, taking profits and sitting back to find their next opportunity.

Such a market correction would come in the form of a downturn. That correction finally came on Monday, and it came in a big way. The Dow plunged down over 1,600 points at one time before finally closing with a 1,175 point loss. It was the largest single-day loss in market history.

The bear was hungry, and it was eating.

The Democratic Party’s media propaganda wing, led by CNN, quickly seized on the moment to try and make a political statement. Their headline blared “Trump’s embarrassing split-screen moment on stocks.”

In the piece, CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote the following:

As the President touted his economic agenda in Ohio on Monday, his face stared out of millions of television screens next to blaring red graphics and yellow numbers whirling like the reels on a slot machine, telling the story of a full-bore stock market plunge. For any president, the split screen moment showing an apparent disconnect between his message of a roaring economy and hemorrhaging equities would be a little embarrassing. But for Trump, who has constantly boasted about almost daily record highs on Wall Street since his election and told Americans that he alone is responsible for their healthy 401(k) balances, the mismatch was even more pronounced.”

However, the embarrassingly biased cable news giant forgot a simple, basic rule of the markets. Just as the bulls will run for awhile, the time will come for the bears to slow, eat, and hibernate. History shows that those bears only eat so long before the bulls inevitably come charging back.


Derek Thompson for The Atlantic wrote about the rise of the markets under Trump back in October 2017. He stated it succinctly:

“It’s important to remember that the stock market is not a referendum on the state of liberalism or conservatism. It is not a barometer of moral progress. And it is not a report card on the president of the United States (even if he wishes it were). The stock market is a collective daily wager on the future performance of the nation’s public companies. And they are, to employ a technical term, making a boatload of money right now.”

 



And now, just like that, here we go. I suppose that the bears may have had their fill on Monday. Because now on Tuesday, as I write this with five minutes to go before the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow is up nearly 500 points.

Oops, CNN. What will your headlines have to say about that?

The fact is that the history of the U.S. stock markets is that they go up, over time. Sure, there will be corrections down. Sometimes they will be big ones. The key is not to panic, and not to politicize such market movements. Remember, when you are betting on U.S. stocks, you are betting on the American economy to succeed.

Sometimes you will run with the bulls. During those times you will do a lot of bear-eating. And then sometimes the bear will eat you, taking a bite out of your 401k and retirement funds. 

Don’t worry. Don’t pull out of the market. The bulls will be back, charging harder than before. Just look at today’s Dow results if you need a little reassurance right now.

Continued propagation of ‘fake news’ may be our collective fault

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President Donald Trump may not have coined the phrase “fake news”, but it absolutely seems as though the practice has exploded since he took office.

 
Just last week during his speech in front of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the President delivered the statement “it wasn’t until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be.
 
The statement was greeted by a loud chorus of booing. At least it sounded that way to those watching on a popular German news program. 
 
However, the broadcaster ‘ARD’ later admitted that it had “boosted” the sound clip to make it appear louder than it actually was, per Chris Tomlinson at Breitbart. When originally heard on CNN, for instance, the booing was moderate, and obviously came from media in the back of the room.
 
The ARD editor-in-chief then made the following statement as part of his defense for the move:

By the way, newspapers also make comparisons when they enlarge image sections and may even mark them with a red circle – nobody would come up with the idea of calling this manipulation, but rather journalistic precision.”

Journalistic precision? Now there’s a new one.

But this statement perfectly sums up the tactics repeatedly used against the President by the former “mainstream” media here in America, which include cherry-picking from quotes and highlighting stories with unflattering photographs.

In a 2017 year-end article, Georgina Rennard with the BBC did a nice job defining “fake news” as follows:

  • Completely false information, photos or videos purposefully created and spread to confuse or misinform
  • Information, photos or videos manipulated to deceive – or old photographs shared as new
  • Satire or parody which means no harm but can fool people

Liberal news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, NPR, and more have consistently been violators. This is particularly so in their coverage of the President, his team, and his programs.

Dan Gainor at Fox News did a nice job breaking down the media’s 2017 anti-Trump efforts in a piece characterizing their “round-the-clock journalistic insanity”:

“…the media have been claiming Republican politicians are evil, racist, crazy or stupid (or all four) for years. Journalists and their lefty partners in slime are running that game on Trump more aggressively than they ever tried with President Ronald Reagan. None more than CNN. The network’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter was freaking out about his view of Trump’s mental health back in August. “Is the President of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? And if he’s unfit, then what?” He began 2018 with a claim the year was starting off with “madness.”

Outright fake news is also spread by the manipulation of statistics, mischaracterization of actions, and advertising disinformation campaigns.

As an example, attempts have been made to support an increase in homicides against the LGBT community. A recent and widely cited study reported that there were 28 murders of members of the LGBT community in America in 2016, which supposedly exploded to 52 such murders in 2017.

However, what the report fails to point out is that the 2016 figure leaves out the 49 murders of the LGBT community at the Pulse night club. The exact motive for the timing of the shooting may be in question. But that the LGBT community was specifically targeted because of who they are is presumed by many.

Add those 49 to the reported total of 28 in 2016, and you have 77 murders in the LGBT community that year. This means the 52 of 2017 is actually a decrease. However, are even those statistics revealing the truth of the problem?

Chad Felix Greene for The Federalist did a nice job of breaking down the statistics in detail just yesterday, and summarized the situation as follows:

“…4 of the 52 cases in 2017 were possibly anti-LGBT driven, and yet the headlines will continue to shout an 86 percent increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes. The more the LGBT media manipulates the narrative to perpetuate politically convenient fear, the less average Americans will appreciate true violence towards the gay and transgender community. This unethical behavior in journalism and advocacy organizations only harms the people it is attempting to protect.”

The “fake news” practices have now spread to social media platforms as well. Facebook in particular has come under recent scrutiny after one of their former executives revealed that the site frequently pushes political disinformation through their advertising practices and policies.

This past week in Vanity Fair’s ‘Hive’ section, not exactly a purveyor of conservative thought, Maya Kosoff quoted from a source in a recent Pew Research Center report on the issue:

“It comes down to motivation: There is no market for the truth,” an executive consultant told Pew. “The public isn’t motivated to seek out verified, vetted information. They are happy hearing what confirms their views. And people can gain more creating fake information (both monetary and in notoriety) than they can keeping it from occurring.”

Unfortunately that idea of publishing only “verified, vetted information” has even become tainted as such information is frequently massaged to fit whatever narrative the media source wishes to convey.

Fake news is now even spreading to – get this – pornography. Nicole Lee at Engadget wrote earlier this week on the emerging phenomenon of artificial intelligence aficionados swapping out porn stars faces for those of more mainstream celebrities in adult videos.

Reddit user “deepfakes” posted a video of Gal Gadot’s (Wonder Woman) face swapped onto a porn star’s body (he’s since created more fake porn with other celebrities). According to Motherboard, the video was created with machine-learning algorithms, easily accessible open-source libraries and images from Google, stock photos and YouTube videos.”

The problem reaches into almost every industry. Any issue for which it is important to influence public opinion is susceptible to “fake news” pushed by print and online sources, both old-school “reputable” and pop-up, fly-by-night types.

In a piece on “fake news” in the pharmaceutical industry this week, Paul D. Thacker at STAT wrote that he came across the practice used in the tobacco industry a decade ago. He then found it being utilized in pushing pharma products such as Avandia in more recent years.

“The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t need to design a new strategy to confuse the public or beat back the FDA, I explained, because tobacco created the playbook that most industries now follow.”

In response to what has been estimated by the GOP as 90% negative coverage from the media this past year, President Trump advertised for weeks that he was going to put together a “Fake News Awards” for 2017.

In mid-January, those were finally announced. Some of the Fake News Awards “winners” were Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Brian Ross of ABC News, Dave Weigel for the Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and Time magazine.

Defenders of these “winners” frequently claim that the stories were simple mistakes which were later retracted, or they say that correction articles or reports were later published. Also, in some cases reporters were fired for their actions.

However, what such defenders rarely point out is that the damage has already been done. The initial story was usually blasted across headlines and blared across as lead stories on broadcasts. Meanwhile, the retractions were usually low-key, especially in comparison to the original incorrect story.

“Fake news” has been around for millenia. It has gone on for as long as any man or group of men has sought to influence any other group with propaganda. The problem today is arguably bigger than ever.

When we can no longer depend upon what previous generations believed were reliably honest and unbiased news sources to be anything more than propaganda arms of a particular political party, how do we know what is truth?

Frankly, many Americans simply don’t seem to care. Most of us seem perfectly happy to read, listen to, and believe whatever sources support our own worldview. In the end, the continued propagation of “fake news” may be our collective fault.

Monica reminds us that it wasn’t her scandal

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HLN, which was formerly known as ‘Headline News’, is a cable TV network spun off CNN by Turner Broadcasting. Today the network broadcasts a mixture of traditional news and real crime stories.

In a recent announcement, HLN said that they would revisit what it called “The Monica Lewinsky Scandal” with a two-hour special program.

Many readers may be too young to know who she is, and those who do may have forgotten all but her name. Let’s do a quick review of exactly why Monica Lewinsky became such a public figure, along with a little background as to how she got into such a sensitive position.

In 1995, Lewinsky graduated with a degree in psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. That summer, family friend Walter Kaye, an insurance big wig who was also friends with Hillary Clinton, helped her land an unpaid internship in Washington, D.C. in the office of White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.

Per Jeff Leen of the Washington Post back in 2008, one of Lewinsky’s fellow interns that summer painted her as extroverted, hard-working and ambitious. In the coming months there would be rumors, some started by her own comments, that she had somehow developed an uncommonly close relationship with President Bill Clinton.

By December, Lewinsky had been moved to a paid intern position with the Office of Legislative Affairs. She would later confide in a friend, Linda Tripp, that she had begun an affair with the President a month earlier.

Per a USA Today article in 2008, Lewinsky had her first sexual encounter with Clinton in the private study of the Oval office on November 15, 1995. The two repeated this Oval office tryst under similar circumstances just two days later. 

This was the beginning of a physical relationship that lasted approximately a year and a half. There would be, according to Lewinsky, a total of nine sexual encounters between the two. There was never sexual intercourse, but fellatio and other sex acts were involved.

Described by some on staff as a bit forward, and by others as outright flirtatious, Lewinsky was moved in April 1996 into a position as assistant to the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Kenneth Bacon. The move came because some of her superiors felt that she had grown too close to the President.

Lewinsky also had a reputation as a hard worker who was willing to genuinely put in long hours. She seems to have been an enigma. While exhibiting drive and determination, she also came across as distracted at times, with a fairly obvious crush on the President.

During a February 1997 liaison, Clinton purportedly left stains on Lewinsky’s dress during one of their encounters. The revelation that the dark blue dress had been preserved with this “evidence” would later became a part of the public lore involving their relationship. A month later, the two had their final dalliance with one another.

It was in September of 1997 that Lewinsky began to confide in Tripp, who then began to secretly record their conversations. By January 1998, the affair broke through as a public news story. Clinton famously responded I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky” in a news conference on national television.

Over the next few months, Clinton faced increased scrutiny involving the affair and his involvement in the Whitewater real estate controversy. He finally admitted under pressure from Kenneth Starr, the Independent Counsel on Whitewater, that “I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate.”

In December 1998, two articles of impeachment were brought against Clinton by the U.S. House of Representatives. Charges of perjury and obstruction of justice were leveled against him involving a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by Paula Jones. This was in relation to an incident that occurred while he was the Governor of Arkansas in 1991.

Both Clinton and Lewinsky were called to testify at the Jones lawsuit proceedings. Clinton lied under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky, spurring the impeachment charges. He was acquitted on both charges in a Senate trial along party-line votes. He would settle out-of-court with Jones.



Over the next couple of years, Lewinsky would hit the cover of Time magazine, be interviewed on TV by Barbara Walters, appear twice on “Saturday Night Live”, and participate in the publishing of her biography.

The problem with the labeling and marketing of this upcoming HLN program is the same as has always been the case with this story. It is always presented as the “Lewinsky scandal”, when in fact the more appropriate truth is that it was the “Clinton” scandal.

Bill Clinton was the President of the United States. He was the most powerful man in the world. Monica Lewinsky was a 22-year old young woman ostensibly working as his employee. 

That’s not to take any responsibility away from her. She was certainly old enough to know that what she was doing was wrong. But the true scandal is certainly more appropriately laid at the feet of the then 49-year old leader of the free world.

Lewinsky, now 44 years old and one of the nation’s leading anti-bullying social activists, was quick to cleverly strike back on social media at what she felt was this inappropriate labeling and marketing by the HLN folks.

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Per the ‘Page Six’ section of the New York Post, supporters were quick to jump to her side. Comments included “Yep. When it’s a woman, it’s a ‘scandal’ when it’s a man, it’s an ‘investigation’and “Hey @CNN how about you stop victimizing Monica? Fix your headline. It’s post-Weinstein 2017 for f**k’s sake! Have we learned NOTHING this year?

 



There has been plenty of scandal involving Bill and Hillary Clinton over the last few decades. Monica Lewinsky’s involvement is just one chapter. But it is a chapter that lingers with those of us who lived through those years. It’s important that we keep Monica’s reminder front and center. 

While she was a young woman who made a mistake in judgment, he was the President of the United States. And he later compounded those errors in his judgment by lying about them under oath in a formal court proceeding. Those actions of Clinton’s are the true scandal in this story.

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