Friday, October 31, 2008

The Hideous Horrors of the "Hero"

(-: Happy Halloween :-)

Isn't he scary?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pope Pushes Psychoanalysis for Priests

After almost 2,000 years, the Roman Catholic Church has learned little about why it is a magnet for homosexual priests; and the fact that heterosexual members engage in intercourse, even rape of young women, to satisfy a sexual appetite that has long been suppressed until it explodes in illicit ecstasy. The sudden transformation of a well respected and highly regarded priest into a sexual beast is noted as a result of a mentally deranged mind. But it is never attributed to celibacy. The church believes the mental condition of the mind to control sexual urges can be found in those worthy to serve God.

The Pope has approved the new guideline for the screening of future priests by providing psychological tests to weed out those that have "psychological defects, deep-seated homosexual tendencies, uncertain sexual identity, excessive rigidity of character, and strong affective tendencies". It bars seminarians who see celibacy as a heavy burden that it "compromises their affective and relational equilibrium". Priests selected must have a "positive and stable sense of their masculine identity".

Catholics are made to understand that celibacy is a reflection of life in heaven, but it makes them go through hell first. It is actually based on guilt originating from false religious beliefs developed to control people. There is clearly no biblical basis for this practice and it may be used for concealing deeper fears of intimacy. The qualifications for future priests sought by the Church are those that are detached from any sexuality. How they can have a stable and positive sense of masculine identity without expressing their manhood, or at least their human masculine emotions, is a tall order. There may be no priests qualified over the long term for such demands. Applicants may pass and be celibate for some time, but it cannot hold for the long haul, and the same problems will emerge.

Priests have been allowed to have wives and concubines before the middle ages, until Pope Pelagius I made new priests agree offspring could not inherit church property; Pope Gregory followed by declaring all sons of priests illegitimate; Pope Benedict VIII banned marriages and concubines for priests; and Pope Innocent II voided all marriages, and for all new priests to divorce their wives. It had nothing to do with morality, it was all about money and the protection of Church property. Even Peter the Apostle was married. Celibacy is physically unnatural and can result in several physical and mental problems. When even masturbation is denied under this vow, the body cannot be used for what it was intended. Prostate blockage and painful wet dreams are the most common reactions of the body to this unnatural imposition.

Jesus was a practitioner of natural law, and He wouldn't impose an act so unnatural among his followeres and members of His Church. The entire celibacy issue was the result of middle age Gnostic influence that preached falsely that the body and its needs are dirty and unspiritual. To be serving God in a spiritual sense, natural sexuality must be avoided. This is the basis for the "derangement" of priests. If a priest is stable upon ordination, the years of sexual avoidance will certainly result in intense mental imbalance - borne of need and guilt - until he can no longer ignore the explosive release of this natural hunger. Having an illicit heterosexual relationship is the least of his sins. Pedophilia and rape are the most grevious; but resorting to homosexual relationships for a straight priest is an option. This starvation for sex of male priests is the very reason why the Church is a magnet for homosexuals.

So, rather than providing all these tests which will not remove the problem at some future date, the Church has two options: to require all priests to be castrated; or allow them to marry. Otherwise, the problem of priests with their sexual drives will be a recurring one. Should priests be allowed to marry, the Church should also follow the Anglican example of ordaining women priests. Then, having a couple who are both priests would produce a holier generation. While they're at it, why not make the seminaries co-educational, so they can start early on the Heavenly experience here on earth? By the time of their ordination - when they are launched to serve God - they would have gotten used to the mantra they recite at the coed seminary: "Oh God, I'm coming"!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gigabyte Gamble of Global Giants

A challenge has been mounted by the technology giants against the economic giants on the global digital battlefield, in the name of online free speech protection, privacy of communication, and against governmental intrusion. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have joined forces to enforce a Code of Conduct that would govern the Global Network. How this will be received by countries alluded to in the enactment of the code; or how it will resist powerful political pressure at the local level by partners of the business behemoths, has not been detailed. Enacting a code is one thing, enforcing it is another.

The signing of the Global Code of Conduct attempts to end internet censorship and other forms of government witch hunts and interference. It seeks to limit what data should be shared with authorities where the integrity of free speech may be threatened. Human rights groups have hailed this as a recognition of the need for a collective response and more aggressive stand versus unwarranted demands on user privacy and restrictions on free speech. Google had been accused of agreeing to filter searches for such topics as democracy or Tiananmen; Microsoft had been pilloried for blocking the blog of a media practitioner who posted on the management purge at the Beijing News Daily; while Yahoo's disclosure of personal information led to the 10 year jail sentence of reporter Shi Tao.

Their alliance under the Code provides a certain clout for the implementation of its provisions. It seems that, as Jerry Yang of Yahoo puts it, their actions match their values. The tech giants are gambling on the fact that internet users in China are the youth , students, and young professionals - the generation that will sustain the country's powerful growth. The massive number of users is being staked against China's political will to interfere and protect what they feel is their secret. China's non-acceptance will create discord and distance between the government and people, putting their future in jeopardy. But China's acceptance will not be a victory for the alliance either, they will simply enforce their willful interference clandestinely, by pressuring or threatening the local partner quietly into submission. Having declared their acceptance of the Code to the world, coercion would then be rampant. Any disclosure of these threats can be claimed as an "isolated case".

The millions of users in China may also be used by the authorities against the alliance. Can these three giants afford to lose such a massive market? Also, what if China puts up a similar operation as they have that will serve their country's needs - reaching out beyond the urban areas where these giants operate? After sometime, they could terminate the operations of 2 of these tech companies with the one remaining becoming vulnerable to pressure. The Code's absence of an implementation mechanism weakens its resolve to accomplish what it claims it will. Perhaps they have realized it is unenforceable, and merely went through the motions to assuage human rights groups. There are strong indications that this alliance is merely a gesture that will cast these tech companies in a good light, after the bad image generated by past actions. Nothing more.

The fact that China seems to be singled out is also disturbing. Other countries are equally guilty of interference such as Russia, Serbia, Nigeria, and most of all the United States. It was the USA that removed privacy of communication as part of its intelligence gathering efforts for the War on Terror. That whole package of lies to spy on its own people has more cases that warrants investigation than China. On the other hand this whole alliance on the Code of Conduct is also being used to preempt whatever regulatory oversight may be initiated by a likely Obama government, because of how they assisted the trampling of America's civil rights in support of the War on Terror.

It's just so uncharacteristic for these companies to initiate actions that will damage their relationships with their major markets. Secondly, it does not make sense for them to dive into ideological issues that would virtually be imposing a political philosophy on a sovereign country, regardless of how universally righteous that philosophy is. Their business in service, not politics. This Code is a dangerous gamble if they are truly serious.

In the political battlefield, the tech companies are mice by comparison. Three mice that roar, even in blended three part harmony, cannot be that powerful in the real world. Against an army of more than a hundred million, all they can do is squeak!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tragedy of the Toilet Trapped Train Rider

There are people whose misfortunes lead them to the conclusion that "life sucks", or that "life stinks". There are those who suffer the unbearable shame of being in situations that find them in crappy circumstances, in an environment that's full of excrement. But for one 26 year old Frenchman who took a train ride from La Rochelle to Paris, it is all of these. Getting inside the on-board toilet and having his hand sucked and trapped inside the toilet bowl is not a daily occurrence of bad luck, but a rare incident of hilarity.

The Frenchman was not identified, to prevent further embarrassment to him. His hand was trapped when he reached for his mobile phone which fell into the toilet bowl, and was subsequently scooped up by the toilet's suction system. The high speed TGV train had to stop for two hours to allow responding firemen to rescue the filthy Frenchman from the seemingly monster toilet, by cutting through the train's pipework. The man was carried away by the Emergency services with his hand still jammed in the toilet seat. It is a tragedy to see such a promising young man get stuck in a shit hole.

The instinctive reaction of picking up a dropped mobile phone, and/or an inadequate knowledge about how powerful the suction systems of on-board trains are, led to this humiliating result. On the other hand, a phone dropped in water with the power on will be short circuited, and therefore ruined. He probably hoped he could pick it up fast enough to prevent its ruin. The question remains as to why he had his mobile phone in his hand as he entered the on-board toilet, knowing that he will need both hands, one more than the other, to get his task done. The answer may be very simple, he failed to pocket his phone immediately after "answering the call of nature".


Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin's Pricey Persona

The finished product that is the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, was manufactured under a most lavish image building plan that would make paupers of many of the women she hopes to identify with, or those she hopes would want to identify with her. The knowledge that money donated by Republican supporters was used to glamorize and clothe the "Hockey Mom" did not sit well with many of them; and the whopping $150,000 spent for her image was the last thread for some to abandon the party and switch to the democrats.

But it wasn't just the clothes. It included the attitude, the delivery, and the scripts she was made to memorize that went well with the frozen fresh look from the snows of Alaska. The crash course she took at the John McCain Institute of instant political candidates included a "cutesy" wink meant to go with her expensive spectacles. Palin was given a persona that was intended to win women and youth votes for the battle scarred POW. She was therefore encased in stylish and expensive Neiman Marcus apparel which would put her target audience in abject poverty and turn them into bag ladies wearing pricey clothing if they went along with it.

The idea that hard earned money was spent to transform a pitt bull into a poodle with lipstick raised a howl from the party base. McCain and Palin were compelled to say that the snazzy outfits would be donated to charity. But knowing the Republicans, they wouldn't want to see such fortunes go to waste to be used and abused by the poor, whom they so gleefulully impoverish. It wouldn't be surprising to see these garments auctioned on E-Bay with the added value of having been worn by the darling of the GOP. If she wins, it will go up in value; if she loses it will drop like the sub-prime mortgage. And what pervert could resist wearing her used undergarments or fantasizing about what was once on it? That alone could fetch a high price. It should be auctioned soon to add to their campaign funds. These could sell higher than $150,000.

Amidst all these makeovers, Palin is still being used as an attack dog, stopping short of calling Obama a communist. She kept repeating the word "socialist", and described situations where Obama's governance would make all decisions for individual Americans, including personal ones, which was not socialist by any stretch but actually a picture of communist practice. Yet it was McCain who made all the decisions for her, including what to say, how to deliver, what to wear, how to smile...all personal ones; making McCain the communist rather than the Democratic candidate by her own standards.

The fashion does not fit the statements. There are only two occassions left for Palin to express her fashion statement: One is election day itself where her attire may be eagerly awaited. To show that they put "America First", she could wear a white gown made of cashmere and silk, cut like the statue of Liberty, topped by a crown and a torch to light the way for the voters to go with the GOP candidates. It will be the second time she will wear this gown as she would have worn it four days earlier. But in lieu of a torch she would bear a wooden cross; and in place of a crown, she would have the same material as her gown cut into a pointed hood that will cover her entire head - with holes for the eyes and nose. An apt fashion statement for Halloween.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Screened, Scanned and Stripped for Security

The European Commission is moving to get to know all visitors and travelers in and out of the continent in a very intimate manner - beyond what travelers would consider a transient acquaintance - by viewing every inch of their visitors' anatomy in all their naked glory. What used to be the exclusive province of some perverted minds of the human race, those who figuratively undress people by their lecherous looks at curves and bulges of other individuals, will soon become the official greeting method at airports in the continent.

The plan put forward by the European Commission involves scanners that will virtually strip search each passenger regardless of the layers of clothes they are wearing, and flash their entire body on a screen only in their birthday suit. The proponents argue that the images produced could be modified to eliminate positive identification, but the images produced nonetheless leaves very little to the imagination. The airport security and staff would therefore know every curve of a passenger's body way beyond what these passengers would want. Issues on human rights, data protection and personal dignity are being thrown out the window.

A number of countries have cautioned against the plan, calling it ill-conceived and without a thorough assessment of its impact on fundamental rights nor human health - regardless if it is cost efficient. Even the plan to draw up a rule book for how these devices will be used is a mere justification for an unjustified and invasive procedure. What's worse is that some of these devices are already being used in a number of airports. What if hackers mount an attack on these systems and then post all those naked bodies on the internet? Even if the images were altered, hackers would know how to enhance the image to elicit the true identity of the individual, and soon these photos will be used like paper dolls being plastered with different types of clothing perhaps for commercial value, or worse for prurient purposes. A new class of paparrazzi will emerge from these band of hackers who can single out celebrities and politicians.

This plan, if not modified or carefully studied, would put George Orwell to shame for being less invasive and less security conscious. And unless travelers to and from Europe have a predilection for nudist colonies and would like to mingle with more of their cohabitants in a more formal or "dressed manner", traffic to the continent would be greatly reduced. Perhaps the plan should be used for government functionaries, officials and their wives first, to set an example - Carla Bruni Sarkozy is certainly no stranger to nudity. Perhaps the world will be witness to what makes Gordon Brown resolute, or what makes George Bush ramble incoherently.

The other point is that it may be applied to the elderly only as a test, since no enhancement of the images could possibly be used commercially nor for prurient intentions. It wouldn't be very enticing. As the famed comedienne Phillis Diller once said "the best contraceptive for the elderly is nudity".


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Social Skills of Surgeons

There has to be a respite from politics. What used to be referred to as the art of the possible has become the art of the incredible; and the mountain of half truths, embellishments and overstated claims have become exhausting and downright disgusting. The revelation that Joe the Plumber was a Resident of Arizona in 2001, is a delinquent taxpayer, whose former address is at Keating Street and in the same building where a terrorist resided at the time he was there, and who isn't really a plumber; is troubling enough to consider this man a Republican plant precisely placed to discredit the Democratic candidate. What lengths would politics go to just to win? There seems to be no limit.

There's a story being spread via e-mail which concerns 5 surgeons who attended a Medical Conference, and who found themselves sharing a table during one of the breaks. They started discussing who the best patients to operate on were.

The first surgeon from New York City said: "I'd like to see Accountants on my operating table. When you open them up, everything inside is numbered".

The second from Chicago responds: "Yes, but you should try electricians, everything inside them is color coded".

The third surgeon from Houston remarked: No, I really think librarians are the best, everything inside them is in alphabetical order".

The fourth surgeon from Los Angeles chimes in: "You know, I really like construction workers. Those guys understand when you have a few parts left over".

But the fifth surgeon from Washington DC shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong! Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no brain, no balls, and no spine; and the head and the butt are interchangeable!


Happy Weekend Everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Argument Against the Almighty

The extent to which politicians will go to pursue their mindless machinations of madness is beyond any limits imaginable, in a world where lunacy seems to be the rule and sanity is a victim of roadkill. In what is seen as a frivolous lawsuit to prove a point that anybody can file a case against anyone, including God; a case was filed against the Almighty by Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers (Ind.), seeking a permanent injunction to cease certain harmful activities and making terroristic threats.

The lawsuit adds that God goes by several aliases and recognizes the fact that He is omnipresent. Chambers also argues that he has attempted to contact God to reveal himself several times, to no avail. The lawsuit asks the Douglas County Court to recognize the peculiar nature of the case and waive personal service, because being also omniscient, God is already aware of the case and further argues that his omnipresence makes Him present everywhere, even in the courtroom.

Ernie Chambers has been a State Senator for 38 years, and would have won reelection had he not been barred by a constitutional prohibition enacted in the Nebraska Legislature in 2000, providing two 4 year term limits for public office. He believes that the Legislature had to change the state constitution to get rid of him. Chambers is considered one of the Legislature's most passionate, controversial, and colorful members, frequently using rules and filibusters to block proposals, inviting friction with colleagues. He opposed the death penalty and introduced a bill to repeal it, but it failed to override the Governor's veto. He remains well respected by past and present politicians in Nebraska, who recognize his intimate knowledge of legislative rules, persuasive skills as an orator, and his attire of t-shirts and denim pants even during sessions in the state senate.

The lawsuit he brought up against God is full of assertions that would not be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Besides, even God cannot testify against Himself, nor aid and guide the testimony of those who witness against Him even if they swear unto His book "so help me God". And as the court itself, as well as other institutions and instruments used in the US, have signs that proclaim "In God We Trust", wouldn't this be enough to force an acquittal? For if trust in God is denied, the social impact of not having faith in a Supreme Being will definitely be catastrophic for all the relationships, (personal, professional or political) of mankind. And who will be called upon to serve as the Jury of His peers? The biggest problem is, if God is guilty, what sort of punishment could be meted and how will it be enforced? Withdrawal of belief is possible, but who should mankind have faith in, Satan?

After 38 years as a State Senator, Ernie Chambers must have allowed success to go over his head, has become messianic, or has delusions of being equal with God. Being a law graduate although not a member of the bar, he is argumentative and forceful, but even a frivolous case filed for its own sake would have limits, yet this seems to have escaped him. Judge Marion Polk rightfully threw the case out since notice to the defendant could not be served - no known address. However, Ernie Chambers is preparing to file an appeal. Apparently, he is still basking in the glory of being known as "The Maverick of Omaha".

Does this somehow remind voters of another politician who prides himself as a "Maverick"? Heaven help the world..... that is, if God has not been convicted and sentenced yet.


Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain's Manic Manifestations of Malevolence

Last Wednesday's Final Debate showed Barack Obama as Presidential, while John McCain projected himself like a candidate. McCain was making faces, rolling his eyes and smirking; compared to Obama who would grin widely and maintain his composure. John McCain's antics were self-destructive, since coming from an aging prisoner of war in an infamous war lost decades ago, he was acting like a senile old man suffering from attacks of second childhood - or is it his fourth?

The image below is not photo shopped nor altered in any manner whatsoever. It shows John McCain failing to contain himself and seemingly out to grab Barack Obama's butt to lick it. Or, it is a reflection of McCain's frustration at the failure of his campaign and an admission that his is a lost cause.

This picture says a lot of things. He was trying to be funny and comical in a forum which was not appropriate for such modes of behavior. What was his mindset at this moment? Did he believe he could win votes with this actuation? Or has he just lost it? If this was a joke, the joke's on John McCain. He really blew what little chance he had. Or perhaps John McCain is finally coming out of the closet, like so many of his fellow God fearing righteous conservatives who seduce pages or solicit in men's rooms.

McCain beats them all, his was on worldwide television. America's future president the ass licker. This is what he would probably do to deal with foreign leaders. This ass licking foreign policy, coming from a veteran of an unjust war, where he perhaps had a lot of practice to stay alive - is the bedrock of his foreign relations experience. How heroic. It's has become scary to hear him say "I'm behind you all the way".


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Souvenir Signing Shutdown by Starr

There must be a reason for the bitter change of heart that has spurred Ringo Starr to spurn his fans. At the height of the Beatles popularity, there was hardly an indication that Ringo Starr would turn into a grumpy old scrooge. He was the most sentimental member of the legendary Beatles band, selecting to record mushy songs like "Act Naturally" and "Octopus Garden". Perhaps it's all that wealth, the immense riches he obtained and enjoyed because of the fans who loved and cared for them like gods, and who bought everything he recorded after the breakup even if it was rubbish to begin with. His arrogant display of ingratitude will return to haunt him.

In an unprecedented announcement on his website, Starr declared that he will no longer sign memorabilia for fans and will throw all fan mail after October 20. He said he had too much to do. At 68 years old and with enough money to last him several lifetimes, he can't even hire a couple of forgers to sign in his behalf? Aside from constructing a pyramid for his entombment when he departs, perhaps with a golden set of drums and diamond studded drumsticks, what could he be busy with? His recorded solo albums sound like they were done while he was using the toilet after a week of constipation, where the melodies resembled the the shrieks of the screaming banshees. It didn't appear like it was a lot of work. It was not even worth mentioning that it was made by an ex-Beatle because it seemed blasphemous for being so deadbeat.

This is not the first time Ringo has invited the fan's ire. Some months ago, the world famous band was immortalized in greenery at their hometown in Liverpool, taking center stage at the town's South Parkway. Plants were cultivated for 18 months and then cut and shaped into John, Paul, George and Ringo using artists commissioned from Tuscany. Ringo outraged Liverpoolians during a visit wherein he opened the European Capital of Culture event, by saying that he missed nothing about the city. A few days later, the topiary of Ringo Starr was beheaded. A sure sign that the citizens felt disrespected by the thoughtless and ungrateful remark.

This time, it may not just be his head that the fans would seek to chop off, and it wouldn't be a plant or topiary either. Being the least creative of the group, if at all, Ringo is perhaps trying to build his musical legacy at this late stage, and feels he may be running out of time. This could explain why he has too much to do; as he reaches into the depths of his soul to unleash his true creative talent. He may just as well be reaching into the bowels of his anatomy as there is no creative talent to be found there except the final product of a very large intestine.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Preeminent Painter Presents Portrait as Prize

At a time when the world is worried about its wealth and the impending difficulties it will produce, an artist of immense talent compels us to look at our loved ones and offers a precious gift that will last longer than any crisis, and provide joy that will be savored for several lifetimes. Consistent with her generous nature and unconquerable spirit, Kim Barker of laketrees refuses to yield to the tragedies that may befall our fortunes, and unwittingly leads us to the very foundation of why these fortunes were made in the first place - those we love.

Here is an artist of impeccable integrity whose artistic talent has been shared so unselfishly, and whose continuing efforts to support new artists is diligently pursued with undiminished passion. She offers a portrait as gift this Christmas to whoever is judged as the most worthy recipient, based on a short message in her post on this offer. The message will most likely assist her in sensing the emotions of the winner for the (winner's) selected subject, which she can portray onto the canvass.

The subject selected by the winner could be himself/herself, or any one of their relatives, friends, partner, children, or pet. The portrait is valued at $6,000 plus free postage (international included). It will be in Acrylic or oil on gallery wrapped canvass, 90 cm x 1 m. To join, three (3) things are required: a) Post about the competition with a link back to laketrees; b) Subscribe to laketrees by e-mail; c) Comment on her post in her blog to let her know you've accomplished a) and b) and write a short paragraph of who you would choose for your portrait and why.
Additional conditions for entries have been laid out for this contest on the laketrees post on the subject. Competition ends on October 31st, at 12:00PM.

The winner will be chosen according to the best message or comment posted, as judged by Jan Dean, an accomplished writer who has published widely in journals, anthologies and literary pages of newspapers. She has won prizes in local and national competitions, and her poems have been selected for inclusion in the Best Australian Poetry (UQP) and the Best Australian Poems (Black Inc). Her book, "With One Brush" includes a selection of her previously published and award winning Poems.

There isn't anything yet that comes close to a sterling and original Christmas gift offer given openly, sincerely and wholeheartedly. Kim Barker is an exceptional artist, and an exceedingly pleasing human being. She is giving not just of her talent and time, but of herself; not just from her heart but from her soul.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Financial Feud Follows the Fish of Fury

For almost forty years, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Iceland have had a peaceful co-existence along the North Atlantic. The infamous Cod Wars - a parody of the term Cold War possibly emanating from the British press - that began in the 1950's, may rekindle their vicious feud because of the current financial crisis. There is a history of animosity between these two countries that could transform the latest exchange of insults between their Prime Ministers into another round of conflict similar to the Fish of Fury they engaged in almost 4 decades ago.

Iceland has declared bankruptcy, and its internet Bank Icesave had been closed. The UK sought assurances that equal treatment of British investors would be honored via a legal agreement. But Iceland was not prepared to compensate these investors; seeking to protect its domestic savers first. In retaliation the British Government iced all the assets of Icesave's parent company Landsbanki in the UK. Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared Iceland's actions to be "effectively illegal and unacceptable", while Icelandic Prime Minister Gier Haarde expressed annoyance at the UK's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the Icelandic Bank's assets. He feels perhaps insulted being in the same category as Osama Bin Laden.

The Cod Wars were a lot of fury over fish. It began when the new Icelandic law was implemented on the midnight of September 1, 1958, expanding the Icelandic fishery zone from 7.4 to 22.2 kilometers around the country. The rationale' was that with the diminishing fish stocks around the world, the scope for confrontation had increased, where incursions of a country's fishing fleet in the territorial jurisdiction of another - some of which being considered "protected" - would deplete the resources relied upon by the affected state. At the time, Iceland relied only on its fishing industry to support its 250,000 population. The British government did not recognize this claim on the grounds that it would set a precedent that could be followed by other nations in the North Atlantic, which would destroy the British fishing industry.

What followed was a series of confrontations at sea between British frigates and Icelandic gunboats, including tearing up of fish nets, ramming of boats, seizing of catch and countless intrusions in what became a battle of wits and endurance. The Icelanders however emerged slightly ahead. The 1958 clash was repeated in 1973, 1975, and 1976. Despite the protectionist efforts, fish stocks diminished nonetheless, and Iceland transformed its economy into manufacturing, finance and tourism. Presently, it has one of the world's highest levels of economic and civil freedoms; ranked one of the most developed country with a per capita income of over $58,000 for its 320,000 population. Fishing however, still accounts for roughly 40 % of its economy.

But just like the 50's, Iceland's response to the economic crisis is to protect its interests and its population. It does not intend to take over any of the nationalized banks' foreign debts or assets; and the domestic operation of these banks will be separated from its foreign transactions. It comes as a complete surprise to learn that the UK had invested so much money, through public and private investors, in Iceland. Should this feud escalate, we may see these two countries resurrect their old grudges and tit-for-tat petty political mischief. This is no longer just about about fish, but something "fishier". And the British government is making sure it does not slip away this time. The only thing they should avoid is formaline laced fish or melamine laced tea. Otherwise, they can bash each other to their heart's content.