After much prodding by other bloggers, I set this up for my own writings. The name is in honour of the two women that mentored me throughout my life on politics and intelligence issues, as well as being wonderful family members, now alas deceased. I hope to live up to their standards at this site.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The reason why I advocate religious toleration even while being without religion myself

Cerberus has a very detailed and well linked post here which I would commend to any and all that read this blog that have not already read this post of the three headed dog's. Personally I would have thought the basis behind religious tolerance within our secular society was fairly obvious, but then I actually enjoyed learning about history something I fear many these days can't seem to be bothered with. The reason for religious tolerance is very simple, throughout human history wars fought over religious differences have almost always been the most ugly, most intractable, and longest running. The reason for this should be fairly clear, religious faith is for those that believe a core element of their worldview and their lives, therefore if it is felt to be under threat will generate an equivalent level of response in defence. One of the main reasons for the success of the USA historically was because it allowed religious diversity as a core value and that the State had no business placing the interests of any one religion or even sect within that religion ahead of any other. Why was this so obvious to the American Founding Fathers? Simple, most of them had emigrated from a Europe that had spent the last century or so waging sectarian warfare and had seen just how dangerous it was to have an official State religion and wanted to set up a State where this evil could be prevented within it, and they managed to succeed brilliantly for a couple of centuries for the most part, although the last couple of decades or so have significantly undermined this alas.

We in this country have done the same. I have in my life been friends with Christians of varying sects, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto, and Wiccans, just to name a few Faiths within the great Canadian mosaic. While each had their own beliefs they were all equally Canadians and accepted that in this country the rights of all religions were to be equally respected/tolerated within our society in order to preserve the freedom of worship for all. They accepted that the way to increase their own Faith's acceptance in this society was through example and persuasion, not by forced conversion. This was fine by me, indeed I would argue this is how it should be done and not by using the tools of the State to advance the agenda of any one Faith or sect within that Faith.

Which is why when I see any religious bigotry/intolerance it raises my hackles. Which was the case with some of the bilge I saw at the Western Standard thread that triggered this post at Cerberus. Like Cerberus I recognize that it is unlikely the majority of Conservatives in this country would accept the POV demonstrated in that WS thread any more than I and those at the link at Cerberus would. What does bother me about seeing this at the Shotgun blog though is that the Western Standard is the most openly Conservative and CPC supporting national publication in this country. The publisher has strong ties to the top level of the CPC and this CPC government. Therefore seeing the degree of intolerance not only being written there but for the most part being agreed with I find more than a little disturbing. It would be one thing if this was some no namer's blog (like my own for example, I have no illusions about myself in this regard) this was from, this though is a blog with national prominence under the title of what is supposedly the voice of Canadian Conservatism. That I have a big problem with.

I also find the degree of open hatred for those that do not share their POV more than a little worrisome as well. While I oppose the CPC and even consider it real threat to the long term viability/stability of this nation I do not hate them, I do not hate Harper. What I do feel is strong concern, and a need to oppose them because I do not trust the ideology from which the CPC leadership has been clearly influenced by, the writings of a man by the name of Leo Strauss (article link thanks to POGGE). This man's beliefs among others is that only an elite is qualified to shape national policy and the acceptance of the "noble lie" in the pursuit and maintaining of power. I consider both of these principles to be inherently dangerous to the idea of democracy, and Canada operates under a representational democracy in the form of a Constitutional Parliamentary structure. The tendency towards increased polarization of seeing everything in two camps us (the "good" guys) and everyone else (the "bad" guys) worries me, as I am someone that believes in reality rarely ever being so simplistic in nature, especially where human interactions/behaviours are concerned. When I see this I worry regardless of the political/social affiliations involved.

We have seen in our American neighbour a tendency to try to turn everything into us vs them binary configurations. We have seen the rise of religious bigotry into public policy de facto if not yet de jure. We have seen those that push for religious supremacy of their sectarian beliefs align themselves with those that follow the teachings of Leo Strauss, also referred to as the neoconservative movement aka neocons. Now while I will be the first to admit that the term neocon has been abused by those that oppose the Conservative movement in this country there is still an element of accuracy in the charge where our current PM is concerned. We also have seen our own Conservative party combine religious politics and the Canadian equivalent of the neoconservative philosophy (The Calgary School) (see also this post at The Galloping Beaver on this group) in the current configuration of the CPC. So we see the potential of the ugly religious bigotry that has consumed the GOP doing the same in this party, which is one of the reasons there are those that fear a "hidden agenda" to the CPC, the "noble lie" of Straussian teachings being the other main reason for this fear.

However, what is most disturbing about what has been going on at the Shotgun and within many of the online Canadian Conservative movement is the increased willingness to portray their opposition as unpatriotic, terrorist sympathizers, and in general not just to be opposed but to be at best incarcerated ant worst taken out and shot. I see an increasing acceptance of dehumanization of their political foes, which quite honestly scares the hell out of me. Hatred of their enemies is seen as natural, whereas I see hatred of the enemy as becoming the enemy. I wish I knew how to fight this better than just trying to draw attention to it but I do not. I do know though that the last time I saw this kind of insanity prior to the current movements was back in the left political movement in the USA back during the late 60s into the 70s, and I no more found that acceptable then than I do now in the Conservative movement.

Any party regardless of affiliation that embraces the politics of division and hatred is an inherent danger to the multicultural nation that is Canada. While there has always been a certain amount of the politics of division it has been rooted in the difference regions of this rather large country. What I have been seeing develop though that really troubles me is that politics of division being employed not on the traditional region differences but within the differences of political affiliations and of social sub-groupings, and that worries me greatly. What was seen at the Shotgun may be the fringe of the Conservative movement currently. However, it's apparent acceptance by that publication worries me that this is becoming more and more acceptable within that political movement. I also find the willingness to equate opposition to Conservative policy and ideas with support for terrorism and radical/extremism more than a little worrisome. I find the acceptance of several in the online community of hate-mongers like Anne Coulter and to a lesser extent Michelle Malkin downright scary.

Hatred is one of if not the most destructive and dangerous of all human emotions. It allows for the dehumanization of those it is focused upon which in turn allows for atrocity to be done to that target focus. It destroys not only the focus of the hatred but the souls of those doing the hating. It is quite possibly the single most important underpinning to the various atrocities of human history which should be enough to have all humans of good will/nature regardless of political beliefs opposing it wherever the find it, even when it is in their own ranks/social/political affiliations. Indeed, I would argue especially when found in such.

In any event, while I do not believe that most Canadian Conservatives are like this I do fear than many within that movement are and are pushing that party in that direction. There is alas this belief in many Canadians that this sort of thing cannot happen here. Well that belief tends to be one of the best aids those that would spread hatred and intolerance rely upon when trying to move things in their direction, and too often it is too late when the majority recognize the threat. That is what I fear, and why I oppose those I find promulgating such hatred of the other. Xenophobia is one of humanity's most ugly and horrific traits and one that is alas all too easily manipulated, just ask the 1930's Germans about that as one example among many in human history, even modern history.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Which side of the border was that first attack again? Seems to be some question about that.

I have seen this said at some international news sites like the Asia Times and so on and now I see it from Harper's. The main justification I have seen to defend the excesses of the Israeli response to two of their soldiers being captured was that Hezbollah crossed the border to do it with. Well exactly what proof of this is there? We have all seen in times of war/conflict the truth be the first casualty of that war and revisionist behaviour from participating parties after the fact. I do not know whether this is true in this case, but I do know there is enough reason to question this and require hard evidence (and preferably from third party souce verification) before believing either side's version given the disparity. Which is important to determine seeing as it is a lynchpin behind the official stated reason Israel gave for the rather massive response of attacking throughout Lebanon starting with bombing the Beirut airport. Well, it is late and I need some sleep, I will probably add to this later on when I have the time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If this is the Afghanistan we are building then why bother deposing the Taliban?

Whenever anyone in Canada questions the continuation of the military mission in Afghanistan there is the defence that the Afghan women are far better off now and that if for no other reason shows this to be a good and noble act for this country. While I happen to have been and remain a supporter of the Afghan mission things like this make it harder and harder to maintain that support. One of the worst things the Taliban did was to effectively dehumanize women and deny them anything other then the right to have their lives controlled by men and to have as punishment for anyone that broke the rules torture and death with a male only morals police doing the enforcing and acting as enforcer, judge, jury and executioner in all too many cases. Well now the Karzai government is preparing to bring back the worst element of that control, ostensibly for combat things like alcohol abuse but the reality is this sort of morals police invariably becomes abused, and given the history of Afghanistan it would be all but a certainty.

What really gets me is that they are not even changing the name of this morals police department from that which the Taliban used. Read the article, this is something that cannot be allowed to slip under the radar.

(Thanks to Jesus's General for the link)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Small World Syndrome and Lebanon

I was reading this article and got a very nasty shock, I know one of the people mentioned in it who is still waiting to be evacuated from Lebanon who is in Beirut. While not a close friend she is an aquaintance and a good person, kindhearted and of good character. For her to be as upset and condemning of the situation speaks volumes to me about just how bad things are there for our citizens, and she is as Canadian as I am. One of the things that has most disturbed me in all of this is the amount of reading of comments from fellow Canadians claiming that only a certain type of Canadian should be evacuated from this war zone. As far as I have been concerned if someone holds a Canadian passport as a Canadian citizen then they deserve and are entitled to being treated as a Canadian, whether they are born elsewhere or are like myself decended from those that immigrated to this country before Canada was birthed in 1867.

I hope that Lena Diab (Amazing isn't it how the G&M managed to mispell both her first and last name, especially since neither are terribly difficult names to begin with.) and all like her are able to get safely home. I hope that she is not subjected to the racist undertones I have heard and seen from far too many of my fellow Canadians. I hope that her family are able to be reunited with her soon, and that the next time the Embassy calls her to come to be taken out she is not left out in the sun again. She is not kidding about being allergic to the sun, and given the conditions in Lebanon in that regard this is no small matter. Next time some of you that say there should be categorization of Canadian citizens based on some arbitrary idea of what is a "real" Canadian may you find out that one of those so called less than "real" Canadians turns out to be someone either you know or someone close to you knows. Perhaps then it might start sinking in just how ugly, mean spirited and arguably racist you are being. Incidentally, on that note I would commend people to this post by Meaghan Walker Williams at Somena Media, I happen to be in full agreement with her on it.

Oh yes, one other thing, this in regards to the letter MacKay sent to the Globe and Mail regarding one of it's articles, the one that showed who was really responsible for the intitial clusterfuck that was the first week of this mess. This comment in the comments section of the aforementioned article raises a very good point, given the media control the PMO has placed upon the Cabinet and the MPs of this government this letter was either written by Harper's people, desired by Harper and his people, or at the very minimum was endorsed by Harper and company. Otherwise it would never have been permitted to be released. So here we have our PM yet again trying to have it both ways where the media is concerned. When they have a message they want out they bring the media in for a carefully structured presser or spread it through media venues they consider they will get a favourable coverage from. When they are offended by a media article calling into question their words/deeds then they insist that it is unfair, that they are being unfairly attacked/hit unlike prior governments (despite the clear nonsense of this when one actually looks into it instead of simply accepting the idea of the Liberal media conspiracy against the CPC/Harper) and now even insisting upon release of sources used by the media. Now, does anyone remember Harper et al demanding anonymous governmental sources being revealed to the government when the Liberals were in power when it was a story critical of their words/deeds? I sure don't. Also, this comment says there should be no problem with the Globe and Mail releasing their sources names, after all their lives would not be in risk. True, but their livelihoods and careers most certainly would be, especially with this vindictive a grudgeholder Harper and the CPC have proven themselves to be with those that have shown them in a less than favourable light. Given the ham handed media control above and beyond the norm for our governments this government has followed to date as I ( and many others) have blogged in the past about this is a real and serious threat that these sources have every reasonable basis to be concerned with.

When the whistleblowers of government ineptitude hurt the Liberal government the CPC saw them as heros and noble people. Funny how that changed once the CPC became the government. Yet one more example of the so called moral principles and code the CPC proclaimed it believed in and followed unlike the hated Liberals proving out to be so much hypocritical male bovine excrement. Not that I find this at all a surprise since this was exactly what I said it would prove out to be well before this government came to power


Lena Diab, her husband and the four of their six children that were with them visiting the children's paternal grandmother arrived back in Canada on Saturday in Montreal and back in Halifax on Saturday night safe and sound. May all our citizens trying to get out be as fortunate. For that matter may all the civilians left behind in Lebanon also be safe and sound, although that is clearly not the most probable likelihood alas. As I noted before I have a real problem with the idea of collective punishment against civilians. This is also extended to the civilians in Israel before anyone tries to claim I don't care about them, but they are not the ones dying in large numbers in this conflict the Lebanese ones are.

Canada wins yet again, but will Harper even care? I really doubt it.

Well well well, what do we have here? Why it looks like yet another legal victory for Canada in the American courts on the softwood lumber dispute. Yet what has been our government's response to this latest proof of our being in the right? Why to dismiss this as nothing of concern, at least according to Emerson's spokesperson. It would seem that the rule of law is of no interest to this government when it does not work to the game plan of this government, which in this deal is to gut the dispute resolution mechanism which all of NAFTA is governed by. It is because of that gutting and not the money being held back that this deal is a sell out of Canada's interests. I know this is hard for some Conservatives to understand but legal precedents actually do carry weight to them, and this one is one that will work against Canada's interests by showing all American sectors how to get their government to get around the minimal protection Canada has against the far more powerful trading partner America. This mechanism was the thing that finally convinced Canadians that Free Trade was a good deal for Canada.

Why is it on every significant foreign policy issue since Harper became PM he has chosen to side with the foreign government over his nation? It is his job to protect Canada's interests before all else, not America's not Israel's, Canada's. It was this sort of selling this country out that was a part of why I so strongly opposed his election, it is one of the reasons why I when I find what I believe to be a legitimate example of why this is such a bad government I blog about it. My interests are to protect and serve Canada's, something Harper, the CPC, and unfortunately far too many of the online CPC supporters don't seem willing to do. Stand up for Canada has yet again been shown to be an empty slogan, if anything this is more Canada being stood up by those charged with protecting her and worse, being bent over for others to take Canada from behind. I am reminded of something Mulroney said once he came to power, that being Canada was open for business, and we all saw where that left the country by the time he was driven from office, and yes he was driven, he knew he would be defeated if he fought a third election.

I want a PM that considers Canada's interests first, and to date this government has clearly shown itself incapable and for that matter unwilling to do exactly that.

Thanks to Accidental Deliberations for the Globe link on this story.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Moral Savagery indeed

James Wolcott has what I consider a very good article to read up here, and it is based in part on two other worth reading pieces by Robert Fisk here and at Counterpunch here. I never had a problem with the idea that Israel had to respond to the capture of it's soldiers by Hezbollah, my problem is that the response they mounted was way out of proportion to the initial offence and has ended up in the slaughter of many innocent civilians and the dispossession of what is said at this point to be another 500,000 civilians. This massive reaction serves the interests not of Israel in gaining peace but those like Hezbollah in further radicalizing their populations, increasing sympathy for their POV and increasing their recruiting. Creulty and collective punishment has a very ugly history and rarely ever accomplishes the goal it is supposedly trying to achive by those doing the punishing.

I am trying to find things to point out to from the Lebanese side not because that is where my sympathies lie but because that is the side which is not getting much air time. The Israeli government has shown just how effective it's ability is to control the message and dominate our public airwaves, me I am just trying to see that some slight attempt at balance is provided. Innocent civilians are innocent civilians and none of them deserve to be slaughtered needlessly, be they Israeli, Lebanese, Iraqi or Canadian. That is my POV.

I would also point to this post by Dr. Dawg regarding the lack of real attempts to minimize civilian casualties by Israel. I understand that collateral damage is inevitable in military actions, the question is whether all feasible attempts to minimize them have been taken, and that unfortunately I do not think has been happening. Dawg's post speaks to that.


While perusing other blogs I ran across this article from the Austrailian Broadcasting Corporation that speaks to the point of civilian indescriminate targeting by the Israelis. Thanks to BigCityLib Strikes Back for the link in his post on it here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Harper's Ferry is really Harper's photo folly

When I first ran across this article at Cathie from Canada's it left me enraged enough that I had to take a good eight hours to calm down enough to write this post. You see, yesterday lunchtime I heard about Harper flying to pick up evacuees and bring them from Cyprus back to Canada. He was leaving the media and his staff to maximize seating availability for those evacuees yet he kept three communications staffers and his staff photographer. At the time I posted a comment at the top of this thread at Cathie's where I admittedly was being quite cynical in believing this was more motivated by political needs than actual humanitarian concern for the evacuees. This was based on the combination of Harper's endorsement of the Israeli response to their two soldiers being taken last week along with eight others killed in the process by Hezbollah as a "measured" response and his unwillingness to back away from it after the seven Canadians were killed, including four children under the age of nine. Harper had altered the decades old policy of not taking sides in the Israeli/Palestinian dispute nor that or the disputes between Israel and her neighbours. Canada's policy was to follow whatever the international law said was appropriate for each circumstance, thereby leaving Canada as a neutral party and able to be an intermediary when possible during these conflicts. This change did not sit well with many, especially many in the Canadian Lebanese community in this country as well as Arab/Muslim groups as well. So there was a clear need for damage control.

If Harper had not taken his staff photographer and communications staff I would have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that humanitarian motives were foremost and political considerations second. Still, I was willing to admit that maybe I was being overly cynical. That ended when I found this article at Cathie from Canada's from the Globe and Mail. After reading it several things became brutally clear. First off, there was no real consideration last week that a major evacuation plan would be needed this despite the actions of Israel in the first 24 hours taking out the airport, bridges, ports, and roadways throughout the country by our PM. That it does not appear there was serious action started until right before or right after the deaths of those Canadians. That this was run out of Ottawa under a very tight command and control operation from the PMO. That instead of immediately going to a 24/7 operations pattern they stayed in standard working hours, which given the time zone difference of six hours complicated things enormously. That Sandra Buckler, Harper's press manager ordered information about the crisis and the evac need to be kept under wraps which is why there was the appearance of nothing happening for several days. That even once they finally started moving on this matter they were days behind other nations, indeed not until Saturday was even a working group put together at Foreign Affairs to start planning and executing the evacuation.

Indeed, it was not until Monday that there was any contact made to get the ships needed to bring our citizens out while other nations had been contracting ships since Saturday. By Tuesday night it became clear that the publicly stated promise of seven ships doing two trips daily was not going to be met, not even close. Then it suddenly is realized that Cypress cannot manage the influx due to vacationers tying up lodgings and airplane seats already so it is decided to shift to Turkey leaving things that much more confused. Now, up to this point I am merely disappointed with how slowly Harper and company recognized the need to get the ball rolling and resources deployed to deal with the coming evacuation madhouse. Still, it is their first major incident of this type and the largest one this country has faced in many decades now, so a certain amount of this is understandable and forgivable. This is after all a logistical nightmare to have to deal with even with everything moving/operating smoothly. Aside from being slow to recognize the need and micromanaging things adding more sand in the gears and not delegating the needed authority to those onsite as should have been done this wasn't something that I could really castigate and hold against Harper. Fair is fair after all, especially since there was no warning that this was going to blow up like it did in Lebanon let alone with such speed.

Now we come to the matter which infuriated me, even though I had already assumed the Harper plane trip/pickup was as much a photo-op and damage control what I have found in this article truly surprised me even given my cynicism. Harper decides to pick up Canadians stuck in Cyprus and give them a ride home, he bails out everyone except his wife and the aforementioned staffers to maximize the seats for the evacuees. The Canadian mission in Cyprus realizes they need to get Canadians there for that pickup and end up asking the Brits for help in getting some to them for the PM to be able to greet and take back with him. Then it turns out the Brits don't have anywhere near enough to fill up the plane with which causes Harper to sit waiting for close to three quarters of a full day for his passengers. His involvement, while certainly nice for the privileged few that ended up on his plane ended up complicating the logistics of this evac at a time when his micromanagement of this matter had already seriously complicated the logistics of this operations. So for the sake of a photo-op and looking like he was "doing something" Harper ended up throwing that much more sand into the logistics machinery of the evacuation.

Imagine, the PM asking for British help to get enough Canadians to fly home. If Harper really was thinking first and foremost of the need to get the maximum amount of evacuees out of the region he would have emptied his plane, sent it without anyone but the pilot, called for a Challenger to take him home instead and then greeted those returnees when they got back to Canada. Instead he puts himself and his inevitable security complications in the middle of an already messed up situation and for what exactly? To look like he is doing something to help the poor Lebanese Canadians that Israel's "measured" response was forcing out of the country in this manner. To look like he was on top of things, to look like he was "in charge". To make up for his less than well received actions to date in this matter. That this was clearly about political calculation and partisan purposes and not simply to "help". Nor was it "brave" of him to do so, after all Cyprus is not exactly being attacked by military assets unlike Lebanon and terrorist/militant rockets and missiles like Israel. This was about his image and to be more concerned with that in the face of a crisis as serious as this one is something NO PM should do and is something that seriously disrespects the office that he holds and indeed in the nation itself IMHO.

I have deliberately toned down my anger over this because otherwise I would be inclined to call him some fairly harsh and personally negative characterizations. It is enough that he has shown yet again he is more concerned with looking like he is doing something than actually doing that something well. This is a very dangerous trait in a head of government, and it showed yet again that Harper does nothing without considering the political advantages to himself and towards gaining his much desired majority by its appearance. Worse, he has shown himself yet again to be more concerned with the interests of other nations and nationalities than he is with his own country and countrymen as witnessed by his refusal to require apology from Israel's killing of those civilians. That he places his own political ambitions before considering the ramifications of making fundamental changes to long standing foreign policy. That once he realized he was in a bad spot because of that he rides into the rescue to look dashing and decisive despite the reality being a total lack of decisiveness when it would have actually done some good last week. This is a really disgusting thing Harper has done here, and something I would not have necessarily believed if someone had told me he would act like before having seen it for myself. I say may have, my expectations from him combined with my cynicism about him might have allowed me to buy into it, but I doubt I would have thought it probable before witnessing the last nine days.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sorry about the disappearing act

This is just a short post to apologize for my unexplained absence from this blog over the last 6 weeks. At first the problem was that I could not access it because Blogger was acting up a lot, then I couldn't even see it, which was around the time the "test post" was created, I was hoping I might be able to see it. Unfortunately I was not able to for several more days. Then some matters related to my wife came up along with a few other examples of Murphy's Law running amok in our lives. Finally this was topped off with one of my wife's grandmothers becoming seriously ill and finally dying at the beginning of this week. With the funeral finally past and hopefully everything else is finally settling down I should be able to resume my periodic missives/tomes for those of you that actually enjoy wading through my writings for more than just ways to try and misrepresent what I am saying. While I am spending the weekend out at my parents while they are away I may not have much time to post much but I will be trying.

While I have not been doing much commenting I have been doing my best to stay on top of current events both nationally and internationally. At the current moment the thing that has caught my attention the most is the excellent work being done by Meaghan Walker Williams at Somena Media regarding the serious questions of undeclared political contributions of 1.7 million dollars as a result of their last convention. Why do I see this as so important? If it is true among proving their hypocrisy on political donations and their holier than thou routine of the last few years being what many of us always believed it was nothing more than faux outrage for the purposes of scoring political damage against their opposition what it proves is that the last election campaign was fought by the CPC with undeclared resources. That is something very fundamental to our protocols/regulations/laws regarding how political parties fight election campaigns and is easily as scandalous as using sponsorships to try and influence the voters of a Province. Indeed, if true this is something that shows a serious corruption at the core of the CPC and a clear belief that the rules for them and the rules for their opponents are not the same and that they deserve/require special privileges. Which is the very definition of elitist IMHO, something I believe the CPC denounced as a bad attitude the Liberals were the representatives of, or did they forget that along with their other promises of standing up for Canada against those that would take advantage of it like in not getting all the money back in the Softwood lumber dispute and not selling out the NAFTA dispute resolution mechanism to do a deal. After all the next ruling would actually have been the last one, there is no appealing after that so either America would have complied or Canada would have been able to point to it as evidence that America does not honour her trade deals even when it is considered the law of the land and has been properly adjudicated in the courts when the ruling is against America.

In any event I intend to be discussing this in greater detail soon enough, along with a reference or two to things like the insanity currently unfolding in the Middle East (via liberal catnip), the civil suit the Wilsons have launched against the Bush White House for loss of earnings and other various things like placing them and their kids in harm's way, etc. I also intend to continue following the current dustup between Robert McClelland and Steve Janke, especially if as it appears to be doing widens to include other prominent Blogging Tories. Until then I hope my readership will be kind enough to accept my apologies for not just being gone for so long but also for not providing an explanation as to why until now. It was just too difficult to do much serious detailed analysis and writing due to events in my real life.