Sunday, November 21, 2004

In the News...

Quite few items of interest today:
There's this account of a journalist's life with the troops in Iraq.
Before becoming a journalist, I served in the British armed forces. Last week, if the distinction between journalist and soldier was becoming blurred, it was part and parcel of being an "embed".
On one occasion, I spotted a copper wire that could have been the trigger for a booby trap. The sergeant thanked me and we all stepped over it.
Also in a military vein, it seems that the British are treating some of their Commonwealth soldiers quite shabbily.
This account of a doctor who organized an abortion at 31 weeks is particularly disturbing. Of course her main concern is the possibility of losing her licence.
Saroj Adlakha turned away from the desk in her surgery office and leaned back in her swivel chair, wrapping her arms around her body. Peering benignly through her-pince nez, the neatly dressed GP spoke with calming, measured tones: "It is just a matter of taking the courage and afterwards, I can assure you, you will think it was just a bad dream."
The man sitting opposite her nodded. He had just described to her at length how he was the parent of a university student who was 29 weeks' pregnant and wanted to abort her healthy foetus for "social" reasons.
Although this man was not her patient, Dr Adlakha, a successful career woman and a mother herself, was sympathetic and determined that his 18-year-old daughter's academic career should not be impeded by the inconvenience of an unwanted child.
This editorial explains:
One of the most frequent and yet mysterious justifications for illegal late abortions was expressed by Dr Adlakha: that the unborn child will somehow be grateful that it is spared the pain of being adopted by strangers.
One can only hope that this will open people's eyes to the evil nature of all abortion.
On a much lighter note, the Telegraph seems bemused by the emergence of "wholesome faith-based entertainment or "Christian chick-lit" in the States.
According to the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, sales of Christian fiction are worth $2 billion (£1.07 billion) annually. The market for romantic novels is growing by 25 per cent a year. The Whitney Chronicles was published last month by Steeple Hill Cafe, promising "hip, fun and smart fiction for modern and savvy women of faith".
One can appreciate the sentiments, but it sounds like awful stuff.
On slightly related note, I've been re-reading Pride and Prejudice (stop laughing) and had forgotten how far Jane could push the envelope on occasion...
Miss Bingley made no answer; and soon afterwards got up and walked about the room. Her figure was elegant, and she walked well; -- but Darcy, at whom it was all aimed, was still inflexibly studious. In the desperation of her feelings she resolved on one effort more; and turning to Elizabeth, said,
``Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. -- I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude.''
Elizabeth was surprised, but agreed to it immediately. Miss Bingley succeeded no less in the real object of her civility; Mr. Darcy looked up. He was as much awake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be, and unconsciously closed his book. He was directly invited to join their party, but he declined it, observing that he could imagine but two motives for their chusing to walk up and down the room together, with either of which motives his joining them would interfere. ``What could he mean? she was dying to know what could be his meaning'' -- and asked Elizabeth whether she could at all understand him?
``Not at all,'' was her answer; ``but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it.''
Miss Bingley, however, was incapable of disappointing Mr. Darcy in any thing, and persevered therefore in requiring an explanation of his two motives.
``I have not the smallest objection to explaining them,'' said he, as soon as she allowed him to speak. ``You either chuse this method of passing the evening because you are in each other's confidence, and have secret affairs to discuss, or because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage in walking; -- if the first, I should be completely in your way; -- and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire.''
Shocking! :)

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