Category : Iceland

(Telegraph) Tim Stanley–Acts of faith – such as circumcision –are no business of those with none

Mr [Stephen] Evans is chief executive of the National Secular Society, the church militant of atheism. Like all extremist organisations, it’s a coalition of the ignorant and the spiteful. Let me address the ignorant first. I get it: male circumcision sounds weird, even offensive. In the Jewish case, a Mohel removes the foreskin of a baby on the eighth day after his birth, a decision taken by adults that the boy has to carry for the rest of his life whether he believes in the Almighty or not.

It sounds like it contradicts some of the basic tenets of a liberal society: children’s rights, bodily autonomy and choice.

But choice is a complicated thing. As Claire Fox argued on the Maze, parents do stuff to their kids all the time – pierce their ears, feed them McDonald’s –that we don’t ban because we don’t want the state to take on the role of parent. Why?

Because that would subvert another very important kind of choice: the right of mums and dads to raise their children how they wish. Across the world, they make the free choice of male circumcision without controversy. The World Health Organisation estimates that about a third of men aged 15 or over have gone under the knife; it’s probably the vast majority of that demographic in the United States, where it became popular post-war.

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Posted in Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Iceland, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Iceland Stuns England in the Euro2016 round of 16

They were the better team–congratulations to them.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Iceland, Men, Sports

Icelandic Artist Hugleikur Dagsson on Brexit

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Art, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Humor / Trivia, Iceland, Politics in General

(CT) Harry Lee Poe–C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent

However Lewis came to the attention of MI6, it needed Lewis in the wake of the German invasion of Norway and Denmark on April 9, 1940. Though the British sent troops to Norway to counter the German invasion, it was too late to intervene in Denmark, whose subjugation was accomplished in only one day. One month later on May 10, 1940, German forces invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, and by June 22 the French government had capitulated, leaving Britain to fight on alone.

On that same morning in May, however, the British did the next best thing they could do to help Denmark and the rest of Europe: They launched a surprise invasion of Iceland, which was part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Iceland’s strategic significance in the North Atlantic had been known since the Viking voyages a thousand years earlier. Iceland sits along the arc of islands that include Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. Each island became a staging ground for pushing farther westward. In the Battle of the Atlantic, Iceland could have provided Germany with a strategic naval and air base. Instead, thanks to the British invasion, Iceland provided the ideal base for seaplanes to search for the German naval vessels that prowled the Atlantic sinking the merchant fleet with its crucial supplies.

Though British control of Iceland was critical, Britain could not afford to deploy its troops to hold the island when greater battles loomed elsewhere, beginning with the struggle for North Africa. Holding Iceland depended upon the goodwill of the people of Iceland who never had asked to be invaded by the British. If Britain retained Icelandic goodwill, then Churchill could occupy the island with reserve troops rather than his best fighting forces.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Iceland, Theology

(Guardian) Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods since Viking age

Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.

Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.

“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods.

We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, History, Iceland, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Wicca / paganism

ESPN's Outside the Lines–One Sports Team's Unusual Celebrations

Simply wonderful.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Iceland, Sports

Winston Churchill Liveblogs World War II: May 10, 1940

Then for the first time I spoke. I said I would have no communication with either of the Opposition parties until I had the King’s Commission to form a Government. On this the momentous conversation came to an end, and we reverted to our ordinary easy and familiar manners of men who had worked for years together and whose lives in and out of office had been spent in the friendliness of British politics. I then went back to the Admiralty, where, as may well he imagined, much awaited me.

The Dutch Ministers were in my room. Haggard and worn, with horror in their eyes, they had just flown over from Amsterdam. Their country had been attacked without the slightest pretext or warning. The avalanche of fire and steel had rolled across the frontiers, and when resistance broke out and the Dutch frontier guards fired an overwhelming onslaught was made from the air. The whole country was in a state of wild confusion.

Read it all from Brad DeLong’s blog.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Germany, History, Iceland, Military / Armed Forces

“Iceland is no longer a country. It is a hedge fund.”

An entire nation without immediate experience or even distant memory of high finance had gazed upon the example of Wall Street and said, “We can do that.” For a brief moment it appeared that they could. In 2003, Iceland’s three biggest banks had assets of only a few billion dollars, about 100 percent of its gross domestic product. Over the next three and a half years they grew to over $140 billion and were so much greater than Iceland’s G.D.P. that it made no sense to calculate the percentage of it they accounted for. It was, as one economist put it to me, “the most rapid expansion of a banking system in the history of mankind.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Economy, Europe, Housing/Real Estate Market, Iceland, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

In England, ruing the decision to put money in Iceland banks

In Worcestershire, the Wyre Forest District Council, another of the three local bodies identified as most at risk, has nearly $14.5 million of public funds socked away in Icelandic banks, or about $145 for every resident. The council’s chief executive predicted a “devastating impact” on local services if the situation was not resolved quickly.

“The time that our community most needs us is the time we’ve got one hand tied behind our back,” said John-Paul Campion, the council leader.

London has dispatched an expert to assist the council in examining its finances and exploring its options, but that, Campion said, is not the issue.

“We don’t need someone to come help us manage our budget. We need someone to help us get our money back.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Europe, Iceland, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--