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Rachel's Diary, 2014

(The newest diary entries are at the top.)

Rachel, Joey and baby Emma, Thanksgiving 2013

February 16, 2014


Due to Joey's insanely busy school schedule we haven't had time for photo shoots lately...but, finally, here are some pictures of our big four month old!

Emma is getting so big and is currently 15 pounds and 25 inches. She doesn't know a stranger and gifts everybody she sees with huge smiles (sadly she finds the camera boring and refuses to smile for it). She loves to play and is figuring out how to laugh!


February 1, 2014

Marius the Giraffe and Kermit Gosnell

What a Giraffe and an Abortionist Teach Us about Our Culture’s View of the Sanctity of Human Life

In Denmark, a zoo was recently faced with a problem: due to a thriving breeding program, it had a surplus two-year-old male giraffe. Housing and feeding such a large animal is very expensive, and the zoo was concerned that keeping the giraffe, named Marius, in their giraffe enclosure would lead to inbreeding.

Eventually the zoo made the decision to put Marius down. He was humanely and instantly killed by a bolt gun, and then his carcass was butchered and used as lion feed. [1]

This was not considered a big deal, until the media got wind of the story.

The headlines read: “Horrifying Trend: Zoos Feeding Baby Giraffes to Lions”, “Giraffe Killed By Zoo and Publicly Fed to Lions”, “Jack Hanna Condemns ‘Grotesque’ Giraffe Killing”.

The public reaction was instant, international and outraged.

The zoo was the target of “death threats and worldwide disgust”. [2] Animal rights activists called the killing “cruel and inhumane”. [3]

Animal Rights Sweden released a statement calling for a boycott of all zoos as a result: "It is no secret that animals are killed when there is no longer space, or if the animals don't have genes that are interesting enough. The only way to stop this is to not visit zoos." [4]

The zoo's Facebook page was flooded with furious posts from around the world calling the zookeepers “disgusting psychopaths”. [5] Just a small sampling:

“There is absolutely NO excuse for the murder of an innocent animal in your supposed care!”

“That beautiful youngster trusted you all, and you betrayed that trust and destroyed him.”

“You are suppose to nurture and treat animals with respect not kill whoever you want for you selfish needs.”

“Shut this place down until there's a organizational change and a attitude correction.”

“Disgusting murderers! Your staff need hurting!”

“This zoo should be immediately shut down for severe animal cruelty. Absolutely inhumane.”

Another called the killing a “sickening decision.” [6]

In 2011, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, abortion practitioner, was on trial for over 251 counts. Among them, 24 illegal abortions after the legal limit of 24 weeks gestation, and the murders of seven viable babies born alive after attempted abortions. [7]

Gosnell apparently routinely “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord.” [8]

Amazingly, media coverage of the trial was sparse, and besides a few Facebook pages created by pro-life Conservatives, it is difficult to find any expression of public outrage over the Gosnell case. Comments on the case consist primarily of partisan squabbling and name-calling.

Kirsten Powers wrote for USA Today: “Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months”. [9]

Megan McArdle, pro-choice columnist, explains that she didn't cover it because it made her ill, but admitted, “The truth is that most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories—if the sick-making was done by “our side”.” [10]

The Washington Post’s executive editor says he was not aware of the story until his readers emailed him about it, adding: “I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can’t be. […] In retrospect, we regret not having staffed the trial sooner. But, as you know, we don’t have unlimited resources, and […] there is a lot of competition for our staff’s attention". [11]

Writing for The Washington Post, Melinda Henneberger said: "One colleague viewed Gosnell’s alleged atrocities as a local crime story, though I can’t think of another mass murder […] that we ever saw that way.” [12]

Together, these stories are a startling commentary on the state of our culture. It is sickening to think that the legal humane killing of a giraffe is labeled as more grotesque and cruel than the illegal brutal murder of babies.

My Mom and my baby girl, Emma. Christmas 2013

Works Cited

[1] [Online]. Available:
[2] [Online]. Available:
[3] [Online]. Available:
[4] [Online]. Available:
[5] [Online]. Available:
[6] [Online]. Available:!/pages/Copenhagen-Zoo/111765702172725.
[7] [Online]. Available:
[8] [Online]. Available:
[9] K. Powers, "Philadelphia abortion clinic horror," USA Today, 11 April 2013.
[10] [Online]. Available:
[11] [Online]. Available: Farhi, Paul (Apr 15, 2013). "Is media bias to blame for lack of Gosnell coverage? Or something far more banal?". The Washington Post..
[12] [Online]. Available:

January 18, 2014


Just a few pictures of 14 pounds of pure cuteness. :)


January 18, 2014

Here is a bonus picture of our newly mobile child.

This evening I put Emma down on her activity mat while Joey and I were working on a school project. She was happily babbling away so we weren't paying any attention to her. When we went to check on her some time later, we discovered she had gotten bored of her mat and had struck out on her own to find some excitement. :

She just learned how to scoot backwards by pushing off with her feet today. We had no idea she would get so good at it so quickly!

Also note the sock trail she thoughtfully left in case we had any trouble finding her. :)

January 11, 2014


Enjoy some pictures of our big 3 month old!

Emma is growing and developing like crazy. Her latest accomplishments include figuring out how to suck on two fingers instead of her whole fist, discovering that her activity mat is actually interesting, rolling onto her side, spinning around in circles while on her back, a wobbly supported sit, talking our ears off, and eager, plentiful smiles. I don't think it will be too long before she is rolling onto her tummy.

Emma is a good sleeper (with a few notable exceptions) and night wakings are down to one or none most nights, although that doesn't help me get much more sleep as I am now completely programmed to wake up every few hours. She has become a very efficient nurser and tanks up within a few minutes, but loves to hang out on my lap afterwards smiling and talking. We predict she will be an early talker as her chatter is loud, constant, and expressive, and observe that while Emma may look just like her daddy, her personality is pure Filliol. :)

We love our little girl and watching her grow up is so much fun already.



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