January 31, 2013

Mr. President, Open Your Eyes {An Editorial}

Well, I've decided to spend a day or two (or three) (or four...) at Hillsdale with my chums once again, so I'm postponing my re-cap of the March until I get home, unpack, and have done laundry (sorry)...  I wrote this editorial for a class a few weeks ago, meaning to share it as part of my March for Life "coverage," so here you are!

I'm still getting the hang of this "freelance journalist" gig.  And I'm liking it... Liking it a whole awful lot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~  Barack Obama Needs to Open His Eyes ~~~~~~~~~~~~

President Barack Obama continues his promise to do everything possible to bring about the safety of children in American society, including promoting tougher rules on gun control.  “If even one child’s life can be saved, then we need to act,” he said in his plan.  “Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.”

“We won’t be able to stop every violent act,” he said after the schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, CN.  “But if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.”

While the President makes a valid point, he is completely overlooking the tragedy, which claims more lives of American children than any other method, abortion.  He voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which was meant to protect babies of failed abortion procedures, instead leaving them to die.  Among other pro-abortion actions, Obama raised funding for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S, by 17 percent, and pushed for the HHS Mandate, which forces companies and organizations to cover birth control and abortion in their insurance policies.

While approximately 11,493 people died from gun homicides in the U.S. last year, according to Centers for Disease Control, even more lives are taken by abortions.  Approximately 1.21 million abortions occur every year, according to studies conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization working to promote sexual and reproductive health.  Obama’s stance on the abortion issue is blatantly unconstitutional, in its disregard for each individual’s fundamental right to life.

No doubt the abortion controversy is a sensitive and emotional one, according to Roe v. Wade [410 U.S. 113, 93 S. CT. 703 (1973)], and therefore Obama and his administration must reconsider the perspective he takes on the issue, seeing it in light of the text  America’s Constitution.  Obama must work to support the Constitution instead of his own personal opinions or permitting the interpretation of it to be swayed by the trends of society by violating the Constitutional right to life for the sake of convenience.

Obama, with the women of the Pro Choice movement, have claimed the right to have an abortion (terminate the life of her unborn child)They believe this is encapsulated in the “right to privacy” present in the 9th Amendment of the Constitution, by way of saying that if a right is not in the constitution, it doesn’t mean it is nonexistent.  However, this completely overlooks the textual guarantee of “life” which precedes “liberty” in Article 13, and they are doing so in preference for a constitutional right not found in the text of the Constitution.  This infringes upon a right guaranteed by the Constitution, and such a ruling cannot stand.  Neither the Supreme Court, the President, nor the populace can perpetuate this non-textual exercise of judicial activism.

Science has established that the fetuses being aborted are, in fact, living, posessing the capacity to grow and reproduce.  Therefore, they too must be protected by the Constitution.  While Obama and his supporters may argue the question of viability, medical advancements have moved the time of viability closer to conception, and now children can be conceived outside of the womb through in vitro fertilization.  Viability at conception may be a possibility in the future, and Obama must recognize that human life has come into being at the time of conception whether or not the point of viability is met.  Thus, neglecting to protect these lives are tantamount to not protecting the most basic rights that have been guaranteed by the Constitution.

Obama needs to open his eyes and realize that gun control is not the only issue that deserves attention when it comes to defending the lives of American children.

January 29, 2013

back home blues

The worst part about visiting D.C. (or anywhere, really) is that eventually you have to leave.

Ever go on a truly fantabulous adventure and dread the return to normal life?  Yeah, me too.  These past few days, I've been meandering all over the east side of the country with my sister and dear friend/also sister.  We attended the 40th annual March for Life, walking with over 650,000 other pro-lifers from the jam-packed National Mall to the steps of the Supreme Court Building.

I love our nation's capital city.  It seems that there is always something to enjoy over there...  The towering buildings erected with such intricacy, and the youthfulness that somehow seems to reside in every corner of it is quite rejuvenating.

Aemelia and I stayed with some dear friends while we were there.

The experience is more magnificent every year...  God has blessed us time and again throughout these past few days, and has confirmed quite a few things for myself personally.  Let me just say that for now.

So yes, I'm a little depressed.

The March was just one of our many adventures, about which I'll be writing little by little (with lots of pictures).

For now, so I can catch up on some homework and much needed slumber time (I may or may not have pulled an all-nighter last night because of a project...), here's a video Aemelia and I made from the footage we collected during the March.  Please pass it along so folks can get a more accurate idea of what really happened in DC on Friday.  I've heard some ... frustrating ... things about the secular news coverage of this year's March.

March On ~ March for Life, 2013

January 25, 2013

So Much To Do . . .

As I'm sure you know, my sister and I are in D.C. for the 40th Annual March for Life and a few extra days of adventuring...  (Read about the March here!)

I originally thought we'd have time to blog as well as all the other things we have planned, but alas...  We don't!

I'll have to tell you about everything upon our return.

In the meantime, here's a video I made for a friend and her growing family.  Enjoy!  (And congratulations to the Nashifs!!

God bless!

& Aemelia

January 23, 2013

Aaaand They're Off! (Almost)

"Carpe, carpe diem!  Seize the day boys," said John Keating, brilliantly played by Robyn Williams in Dead Poets Society (one of the best movies to ever hit the cinema).  "Make your lives extraordinary," he said.

We are most certainly not boys, but to seize the day my sister and I fully intend.

In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, we will depart for our nation's beautiful capital city, in order to attend the March for Life, an annual pro-life rally which peacefully protests (and will someday overturn, God-willing) the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion in America.  Each year, the number of those in attendance rises, and most recently, just a little over 500,000 people walked with us from the National Mall to the United States Capitol.
yes, i made this
This is my 8th time at the March for Life, and Aemilia's second.  We are taking the opportunity to spend a few extra days in the D.C. area this year, to..... well, you'll read about that later!  Can't give anything away now, can we?  Hmm?  Hmmmm?  That wouldn't be any fun! ;)

Stay tuned, my dear, dear readers!

I shall be back again with tales of adventure.

God bless you all, and to borrow the words of Cardinal Dolan, may the Lord grant us the courage to defend life... Life without which no other rights are secure.  We ask His benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, 
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, 
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death 
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. 
Today I commit myself 
Never to be silent, 
Never to be passive, 
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, 
And never to stop defending life 
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, 
And our nation once again becomes 
A nation with liberty and justice 
Not just for some, but for all.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

♡  Have a great day.  Make it a great day.  ♡

& Aemilia

January 22, 2013

Making Someone Happy

♫  It's so important to make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy.
Make just one heart to heart you- you sing to.
One smile that cheers you,
One face that lights when it nears you.  

Sang one of my musical loves, Frank Sinatra...  Of course, he was talking/singing about love, but those words kept running through my head this afternoon as I dropped off my precious little ball of prickles (also known as a hedgehog) at a friend/honorary mother's house.  Her daughter gets to care for him while my sister and I are adventuring half way across our beautiful country (more on that later).

The joy in little Meghan's eyes as we brought in Enzo's things was truly heartwarming.

Take it as a personal challenge from The Amateur Adventurer to make someone happy today.  (And tomorrow.  Today is almost over.)

Have a great day.  Make it a great day.


January 20, 2013

Because Sometimes, Periods, Commas, Colons, Semi-colons, Dashes, Hyphens, Apostrophes, Question Marks, Exclamation Points, Quotation Marks, Brackets, Parentheses, Braces, and Ellipses Just Won't Do

Yes, I know...  Super-long title.  (My apologies to those who might care.)

I desperately want to use these when I write; I doubt my professors would appreciate it though...

1.  The Interrobang, thanks to its excellent moniker and increasing popularity, has probably been introduced to you.  Though the simple combination of an exclamation point and question mark can be replaced by using one of each (Ex: You did what!? or You don't follow The Amateur Adventurer?!), it's lovely to see the single glyph being put to use more often.

2.  Percontation Point or Rhetorical Question Mark was proposed in 1580 by a gentleman named Henry Denham to be used at the end of a rhetorical question, and was used until the early 1600s.

3.  Irony mark looks much like the previous mark, but this one is used in a different location.  Plus, it's smaller, elevated, and precedes a certain statement to indicate its intent before it is read.  Alcanter de Brahm (of the wicked-cool name) proposed the idea in the 19th century, and French author HervĂ© Bazin (of the almost equally-cool name) used a similar glyph in one of his books, published in 1966.

4.  Love Point was among Bazin's propositions in his 1966 book, Plumons l'Oiseau.  Two question marks were positioned next to each other, mirrored, and sharing one point.  It was intended to denote a statement of affection or love, as in "Happy Anniversary [love point]" or other such statements which usually bring up the warm fuzzies.  (I think this one might take off if there was a key for it...)

5.  Acclamation Point, not to be confused with the exclamation point, was also in Bazin's book.  In his own words, this mark is "the stylistic representation of those two little flags that float above the tour bus when a president comes to town," and acclamation is "a demonstration of good will or welcome," so we could use it to say, "I'm so happy to see you [acclamation point]"

6.  Certitude Point is used when one needs to say something with unwavering conviction.  This is yet another of Bazin's ideas.

7.  Doubt Point is the exact opposite of the certitude point, and is used to end a sentence with a note of skepticism.

8.  Authority Point "shades your sentence" with a note of expertise, "like a parasol over a sultan."  (What?  I was there and that's what happened.)  Likewise, it's also used to indicate an order or advice that should be taken seriously, as it comes from a voice of authority.

9.  Snark Mark is used to indicate that a sentence should be understood beyond its literal meaning.  Because half the fun of sarcasm is pointing it out [snark mark].

10.  Asterism is a neat-looking and underused glyph meant to be the divider between subchapters in books, or to indicate minor breaks in a long text.  It is almost obsolete, since books typically now use three asterisks in a row to break within chapters (***) or simply skip an extra line.  What a shame to waste such a lovely little mark though...  I'm going to work on bringing this one back.

12 & 13.  Exclamation Comma & Question Comma allows you to be either excited or inquisitive without having to end a sentence! (woohoooo...)

Have a great day.  Make it a great day!


Source: Mental Floss

January 19, 2013

rejoice in ALL things

Christ and His disciples are constantly telling us to rejoice in all things.  I know, I know - I've written about it before...  But really, rejoice in all things?  Even the unpleasant, disappointing, grody stuff that comes naturally with living in this world?

Honestly, I really have to force myself to be joyful sometimes, plastering on an artificial smile while bracing myself for the worst, telling myself that it's all for the best and attempting not to leave anyone mortally wounded or commit murder.  It doesn't feel genuine... because it isn't, and this isn't what the Lord has in mind when he asks us to rejoice.

Soooooo, whadooweedoo?

Remember divine providence.  Even when things have seemed to reach the peak of stressfulness, our ever-faithful Lord has not withdrawn His hand of providence.  Even though (many of) His reasons are incomprehensible to our minuscule human brains, He is still in control.  He is always in control, even when our little planet seems to have been turned upside-down.

Remember that I am always loved.  He allows things to happen to us for the very reason that He loves us.

Remember the funny stuff.  Not necessarily religious, but it works just as well.  Sometimes when the little stressful things turn into what seems like hand grenades being thrown into your life... you just have to give up and laugh at it.  Laughing is one of the best stress relievers... Breathe and laugh.

Remember that we're alive.  I've been through a lot in my short years and come close to death a few times, and yet I'm still around to suffer.  I still get to sprain my ankles and burn dinner and argue with a friend and get quill in my finger courtesy of my crabby hedgehog.  Being alive, to simply have time is such a blessing.

Finally, take naps.  It sounds trivial and maybe even a little funny, but take a peek at the other day's post...  Naps are stress-reducers and attitude-boosters, and they're just all around good for you.

And finally, remember God.  What He did for our salvation, and how He loves us.  So much to wrap our minds around... but how can't we rejoice in these things?

Have a great day!  Make it a great day!  And "rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)
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January 18, 2013

even in the dark

The Light of the World ever-faithfully dispels the darkness around us... I was reminded of that a few days ago as I listened to the worship music my Pandora channel was playing.  (Albeit reluctantly at first.)

All that is within me cries for You alone be glorified: Emmanuel, God with us. (Yes, I'm still in Christmas mode...)

I sang along after a while, and my heart began to fill with joy.

All He asks is that we trust Him wholeheartedly when our hearts are trapped in darkness.

All He asks is that we bless His name in both peace and adversity.

All He asks is that we trust He is with us in the darkness, and that He is piercing it, completely dissolving it with His Light.

Later this morning, I will attend the funeral of another young future saint who's memory will be cherished by all he knew.  One thing is certain about this man...  He loved his God and he loved his family, and everything else was secondary.

May the Family be under the healing protection of Christ and our Mother, and may Mr. D rest in eternal peace.

God bless.