Thursday, May 7, 2009

What are you fighting for?

I drove by a revolutionary this morning.

I call him this because he was standing alone, unashamedly protesting in peace. He was standing on the corner of 22nd and O Street outside of Planned Parenthood.

Just before this, my eye caught a billboard that said "Think About Adoption" and that Planned Parenthood had performed almost 800 abortions in Lincoln, NE last year. Because this topic is something I'm really passionate about, it tugged at my heart.

And then I saw him. He was facing away from the street toward the building with a sign around his neck that could be read on his back. It read,

I'm praying that
if you become pregnant
you may welcome
your baby with love

He was wearing a round hat to protect himself from the sun, holding a rosary in his left hand.
I slowed down slightly to read what his sign said and as I passed him I looked at him in my rear view mirror.

He was by himself.
Content to stand and silently protest.
There was no bullhorn in his hand.
There was nothing offensive on his sign.

I wanted to go back and tell him he's not alone.

It only took me 5 blocks to turn my car around at 17th.

As I pulled up to the corner he was standing at, he was unassuming of what I was doing. I put my car in park and got out. I approached him with a smile and stuck out my hand and said, "I saw you standing on the corner and I wanted to tell you that you're not alone." He thanked me and I got back in my car. That was it. That was all I wanted to do.

It struck me that the reason so many people remain silent is because they think they are alone. I was in a horrible relationship for over 3 years and I kept silent because I thought I was alone. It wasn't until I started sharing my story with people that I realized I wasn't alone at all.

There are so many things in this world, like the issue of abortion, that people don't speak out on because they are afraid they're the only one who feels that way, or they don't want to rub someone the wrong way, or even because they just don't have the courage to do so. I think, however, if more people would step forward in faith, they would realize they are surrounded by people who stand beside them.

A lot of people know where I stand on many political and social issues, and honestly, I'm not that popular among most of my own friends. Thankfully most of those that disagree with me love me no matter what, but some have chosen they can't tolerate it. But so be it. I won't water down what I stand for to appease the masses. It wouldn't work even if I did that. There will ALWAYS be someone who is offended. But one of my friends told me a couple months ago, "Make your arguments and stick to do have support."

And that is the whole point of this post.
Stand up.
Speak from your heart.
And fight with everything you've got to stick to what you say.

As I drove away from the man, I re-read what his sign said and tears started to stream down my face. I couldn't help it. Abortion breaks God's heart and this whole year I have been praying that God would break my heart over what breaks His. I don't know what the next step is, but I do know one thing from today:

I drove by a revolutionary, and he reminded me that I'm not alone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Beauty of Authenticity

I have to get up and go back to school tomorrow.

It's late. I'm tired. I miss home already.

This past week, I've done a lot of doing. Soaking up every ray of sunshine, every color that paints the Colorado sky, and every shadow that passes across the mountains. Oh, those mountains. I don't know if I will ever stop dropping my jaw when I turn my head to look in their direction. Ever.

Well, certainly this past week has been full of also soaking up things regarding politics...and it has been interesting, entertaining, and frustrating all at the same time. Late night reading and researching, Conservative "happy hours," and a few [somewhat] healthy debates with many who hold different viewpoints. I have this idea that somehow I will be part of a revolution, something that is much bigger than myself, but getting there seems to be the part I am having trouble with. Like any normal college senior, I see the finish line and on one hand I cannot wait, while on the other I have no idea really what is going to happen next. Sure, I want to take prerequisite classes for grad school, but my passions are shifting in a very violent way and it makes me question whether or not athletic training is the direction I will actually end up going. But, as with every other direction my life has taken so far, I go until God tells me to stop. His guidance has never lead me astray. But that is a whole other story in itself, one that I have shared with some of you already, while some have yet to hear. It seems I have some unfinished business in Lincoln before I leave in December.

I continue to be exposed to issues regarding government, public policy, and even social values...and I can't seem to compartmentalize them enough to layout what to do about it all. Although I understand that many people seem to lean more liberal, often for reasons they do not even know themselves, I still can't believe some of the things I'm hearing...and some of the things people are doing. And it seems that even if I shake them, in one ear and out the other it goes. Maybe it is the shaking that is the problem. I don't well discern when and when not to pick the battle. I've always been a talker. Since pre-school I have gotten in trouble for talking out of turn in class. My silly Market Research professor has deducted one point from my participation score this semester for talking out of turn. Now, I could defend myself and say that he is pretty ridiculous, but the point is, I always seem to be talking. Which is why I've been working on doing a little more listening, and a lot more reading while I'm on my own.

But don't forget, I am not one to back down. My convictions are not things that I say because I think they sound good, or because they are popular. They are held deep within me, unshaken by anything on the exterior.

As I learn to pick my battles, I am choosing to educate myself on every aspect of this never-ending whirlwind of controversy. If I had known this was going to happen, I would've without a doubt had my major be Political Science, and then pursued a Law degree (which I proclaimed to my parents that I would when I was 9 years old). At that age, I told them I wanted to be in the United States Supreme Court. No joke. Maybe its not too late....

But for now, I hope you will educate yourself too. I think it is time for people to figure out why they say things and why they believe them. At the end of the day, all we really have is our integrity.

As Glenn Beck has been saying on a very regular basis,
"Say what you mean, and mean what you say."

And I would add to that:

Know why.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Habbakuk 1:5

On a day when the markets said Americans have lost more money.

In a month where 651,000 jobs were lost.

In the past year where over 12.5 million people are now unemployed.

My mom was offered a job.

After waiting since October 2006.

You see, my family has been through a lot. We've been holding tightly to the promise that God would not let us fall so far we would not be able to get out. And in a time when it seems no one is hiring, with a final push to find a resolution, my mom was given a gift.

It's not about money or possessions or savings or retirement or any of that. It's about my family who has stuck together through some of the hardest times imaginable. A lot has happened in every single member of my family's lives since October 2006. A LOT. Some of you will know most of what I'm talking about, some of you might not know a whole lot. But it is nothing short of miraculous.

It was 4:14 in the afternoon and my phone was ringing. I was watching Glenn Beck on Fox News, so I was reluctant to answer the phone. But, it was a call from my dad. Now honestly, my dad usually only calls me at that time of day if he has a question about something related to my credit cards, or sorting out something involving insurance, because at that time of day he is at work. So I picked up. I sounded a little morose because after all, the News is depressing. More about job losses, more about stock market sell offs, and more about watching my future tax dollars go to things that do nothing to help not only me, but also my country. My dad asked if I was ok, and I said I was fine, sparing him the details of my frustration about what I'm watching on TV. He said ok. And in his even-keeled tone, he simply said these words,

"Shannon. I wanted to let you know that when your mom got off the plane from Salt Lake, she had a voicemail saying she got the job."

Now this, this was anything but depressing. I felt my heart drop into my stomach and my dad said,

"Shannon, we're going to start to get this thing turned around. Your mom and I are going to work very hard to build back up what we've lost while waiting for this opportunity to come our way."

He said he had to go and that he said to call my grandparents and some other people but that he would talk to me soon. I told him i loved him, and after he hung up, I sat down on my floor. And for the first time since I left home in January to go back to school, I cried like a baby. Even though I've been away at school for most of this, I've known what has been happening, and in that moment, I looked up at the ceiling and whispered, "thank You."

My mom is the greatest example in my life of a godly woman. She and my dad have stuck by each other's side through sickness and in health (with my dad being sick since I was 9) and for richer and for poorer. I've told a lot of people that if my marriage is only half of what my parents' is, I'll have one hell of a marriage. I've seen periods of weariness in my mom as she waited patiently for her call, and also in watching me struggle through multiple knee injuries, heartbreak, and seemingly stolen opportunities. She told me after I tore my ACL in April 2007 that at least I would get my opportunity back to play but she would never get back what she had at her old job. Well, both turned out to be not completely true. I battled back-to-back-to-back knee injuries and didn't ever get my opportunity back. A lot of hopes and dreams left unrealized. And mom never got her old job back but she can look forward to a new journey that awaits her.

And so on this day, where everything is increasingly more uncertain, we hold tight to the realization that we have no stake in this world; our home is not here. Our money and things will not go with us to Heaven when we die. Our hearts and our souls will be with God, and knowing this fact, the relationships I build here must be centered on this. I have been given an abundance of zeal and joy, and my hope is that every person I meet would feel it. Following Christ doesn't mean everything will always be easy, in fact, sometimes it gets harder. But resting my hope on the only One who will remain after all this passes away reminds me that these periods of hardship are only bringing me closer to the day I will see the one who created me face to face. And that is good enough for me.

I love you momma.
I love you daddy.

"Look at the nations and watch,
and be utterly amazed.
For I am doing something in your days
That you would not believe,
even if you were told."
-Habbakuk 1:5

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Literally Speechless


I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but a wave of stress and lightheadedness has washed over me after seeing obama's new budget proposal...its $3.6 trillion...

All of this after he spoke to Congress on tuesday night about FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!!!

At this point, I'm not looking to make much sense about all of this in my blog entry. I don't care what people say about how I need to come up with a better argument or reach across the aisle. I'm literally left speechless, and quite angry. There is a $410 billion bill that is being passed that has millions in it for things that LITERALLY DO NOTHING TO HELP THE ECONOMY. I've had a crazy stressful week catching up with school work after a nasty stomach virus, so if I had the time right now I would list all of these ridiculous programs that will be funded by my future tax dollars.

If obama wants to spend all the money that I haven't even made yet, I've got a huge problem with that. Dreams of owning a home someday? Not so sure on that one in the current moment. The lease on my Jetta is up this July and after I buy it and pay it off, I don't foresee ever getting a different car before I'm 35....all this after I was going to save up to pay cash for an Audi at that age. I'm not going to be able to save, because in order to pay for all the crap that's being passed in washington, they are going to have to raise my taxes.

And please, don't tell me that isn't going to happen. Please tell me another way that we can pay for it. We're going to have to print most of it because, guess what? CHINA WON'T LET US BORROW ANYMORE!!!! HOORAY!!! And good for them....because we as a nation are pathetic. Sending Hillary Clinton over there and having her beg them to buy our treasury bonds. Its really pathetic...and I'm embarrassed.

Look, everything I'm saying is not repeating what I hear from my fellow GOP members...I cringed at Bobby Jindal's rebuttal on tuesday night to obama's state of the nation address. Stories about hurricane Katrina and grocery shopping with his dad? Talk about ammo for the liberal left! I'm embarrassed by someone in my own party. So what does that make me, an independent? I'm not sure anymore. I'm a fiscal and social conservative. These are my opinions, and I don't rely on anyone in the mainstream media to tell me what to think.

Because my blood is currently boiling, and I need to discuss something more comical, I would like to talk about the workout Nancy Pelosi got on tuesday night as she jumped up and down at obama's every word. ESPECIALLY at the SCHIP part about child healthcare. I thought she was going to rocket herself into outer space with how fast she shot up out of her chair. As Dennis Miller put it, she looked like a seal at Sea World coming out of the water. I found it disturbing that I had to look at obama, biden, and pelosi all at the same time on my television screen. With nancy's eyes bulging and biden's absent looks, i thought that what was happening on tv wasn't real! But alas, I wasn't dreaming. I'm sure Harry Reid was wishing he too could join the screen shot mafia.

And...that's all for right now. Everything I just wrote may make me wildly unpopular, and I didn't use any facts to present an argument. This entry is not an argument, it is pure opinion, and what most people would call a rant. If anything, it was simply so I could get out in words how I'm feeling. When I'm finished with all this school work, I'll come back with something better.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Let's spend our way out of debt!

Currently, the House and Senate are set to meet at 3pm to reconcile the "stimulus" bill on the table. Yesterday, the Senate passed the bill with a vote 61-37. Obama made it very clear from the beginning that this would be a bipartisan created and supported bill, but it is clear from the numbers that only 4 of the 41 Republican senators supported the Senate bill...I guess that is a little better than the House bill in which not a single Republican member voted for the bill, but did pass 244-188 via the Democrat majority. So here we are with a bill that totals $838 billion, and only 4 Republicans out of over 200 have been supportive. Now that is what I call bipartisanship!

Critics will say that the Republicans are playing the "usual games" on Washington, failing to support the president in his attempt to drive our country into a situation that is potentially more dire than our current one. It is true that in the past 8 years, Republicans did not stick to their fiscal conservative montra, but they too realize the magnitude of the bill on the table, and they're turning things around. No more wasteful spending.

Now, the bill. It is comforting to know that in the original plan, $21 million was going toward putting new sod outside of Capitol Hill. $21 million for new grass? New grass so that Washington can look pretty. Perfect. Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House; Radical liberal democrat from Californ-I-A) claimed "mistakenly" that if this bill was not passed immediately, that we would lose 500 million jobs. ERRRRRRRR. Hold on. People say she misspoke, and I would hope that she did because there aren't even 500 million jobs currently available or employed in the United States. In fact, there aren't even 500 million PEOPLE in America. Ok, so she misspoke. Let's say she meant 50 million, or even 5 million (which is very, very far off from 500 million). The fact is, the far left liberals on Capitol Hill are using scare tactics to get this bill passed ASAP. Scare tactics are very effective on people who are uneducated about the content in the bill.

President obama even said in his prime-time press conference on Monday night that Washington can't sit back and do nothing. This is very true. But that is the last point that he and I agree on. I believe we can't do absolutely nothing at all. But if we do something, shouldn't it be methodically thought out and planned before it is put into action? Isn't that what every logical human being does in his or her own life before making a life-altering decision? Having a baby, buying a home, choosing a college, considering treatment alternative for an illness....don't you consider your options before you make your choice? And it usually takes more than 3 weeks doesn't it? Our president has only been in office for 3 weeks and 1 day, and he wants to spend $838 billion of taxpayer dollars to spend our way out of a recession. Another important point to consider is that to get yourself out of debt, you do not spend more money. If I have $5,000 of credit card debt, I don't then go and spend more money to get rid of the original $5,000. It is completely illogical. Also, with interest, this bill will not cost $838 billion, it will cost over $1.3 trillion. And this, this is a very BIG deal. Once taxpayer money is spent, its gone. We can't get it back.

The bill currently sits at a 2:1 spending to tax relief ratio. Many of the programs listed in the bill are for things that do not stimulate the economy, and most of the spending programs do not create a single job. If we are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, according to obama himself, then we should be looking to create as many jobs and let Americans keep as much of the money they earn as possible. If he wants the people to spend more money back into the economy, the only way to do that is lower the amount they are required to give to the government. This can be translated as: tax cuts. It seems that for the democrats it's like going from Czech to Portugese. They just can't figure it out. And they're making it far more complicated than it needs to be. Please do not mistake this as a proposal for an elimination of taxes. That wouldn't work either.

So we have a bill that is going to cost us over $1 trillion. And how are we going to pay for this up front? The only way to pay it back is with taxpayer dollars, but what about now? We are not going to give 100% of our paycheck for the next 5 years.

[I guess with Bernie Madoff stealing $50 billion from investors, at least we could have had a down payment]

But no, the most likely scenario is that we are going to have to print the money. Oooh yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Wrong. It's called inflation. The value of the American dollar is going to plummet, and the price of every major good is going to go up. Way up. Because the dollar can't buy as much. The value of the American dollar affects every other major economy in the world.

Obama said on Monday night that if we don't act and pass this bill, America could become just like Japan in the 1990's, which they call Japan's Lost Decade. Currently, the exchange rate for Japan is .011 Yen for every dollar. Their currency is worth nothing. But do you know how they got there? Japan quadrupled their national debt by trying to spend their way out of a recession. Obama was the one who brought up Japan, and 10 years after their own "bailout" they are still in debt. I guess he wants to do the same thing.
For more background on the Lost Decade, check out this link:

That's all for tonight. And just think, I am only scratching the surface...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spending Package weasels its way through....

The "Stimulus" bill just passed in the Senate 61-37. I guess I would call getting 4 Republicans to vote for it "bipartisan." NOT. More on this later.....

Monday, February 9, 2009


Welcome to my new blog! Since mid-October, during the 2008 election, I realized that my passion for politics still burns strongly. I have been following politics on and off since the 2000 election...when I was 13 years old. Since then, I have been watching closely in 2004 and especially in 2008 as I have gotten older and gained a better understanding for the way America is structured socially, economically, and politically. I may just be a college undergrad who is close to getting her degree, but I have a lot of thoughts and opinions I want to share. This is the place I am planning on doing that. You may not agree with everything I say, but I can promise that I will passionately express my thoughts about what is going on with our economy and our government.

There are too many people I have encountered that are indifferent about these matters, and I propose that indifference and failure to educate one's self is a big reason we have found ourselves in this mess. We have elected a man who many claim to be the "savior" we've been waiting for, but the truth of the matter is, he will let us down. Not because he is a bad leader or politician, but because when we place our faith in a public figure (who is in fact, human), we will ALWAYS be let down. One man cannot be the one who saves us from catastrophe. Obama has been figuratively given the weight of America's problems, and in turn he is acting as though he must be the one to pull us through. Let us start by removing our collective expectation that Obama will have the answers to all of our country's problems, and then we can talk about what to do next.