Friday, May 10, 2013

Time for a Kit-Kat (Nestle send contra here), a break, and time out with Prince Chuck and Niall ...

(Above: a Tandberg oldie, but a goodie).

In other news yesterday, Prince Chuck took a mighty, direct and extremely personal swipe at Andrew "the Bolter" Bolt, Tim "Bleagh" Blair, Piers "Akker Dakker" Akerman, Chris "the Machete" Mitchell, and all the other reptiles in the climate denialist lizard Oz world of Murdoch la lah land.

Take it away Chuckie baby, as reported in Charles: "Climate change sceptics are turning Earth into dying patient':

Hosting a two-day conference for forest scientists at St James's Palace in London, the Prince of Wales satirised those who stand in the way of climate action, characterising them as "the confirmed sceptics" and "the international association of corporate lobbyists". Faced with these forces of opposition, "science finds itself up the proverbial double blind gum tree", he added. 

Up a double blind gum tree with the Bolter!

Now m'lud, your highness or whatever malarkey is required, the pond was once a devout Republican, especially when Tim "Bleagh" Blair explained how hard he'd worked at the Daily Terror to maintain the monarchy, but do go on:

At the debate on environmental issues, hours after the prince attended the Queen's speech, Charles attacked businesses which failed to care for the environment and compared them with a doctor taking care of a critically ill patient. "If you think about the impact of climate change, [it should be how] a doctor would deal with the problem," he told an audience of government ministers and diplomats from the UK and abroad, as well as businesspeople and scientists. 
"A scientific hypothesis is tested to absolute destruction, but medicine can't wait. If a doctor sees a child with a fever, he can't wait for [endless] tests. He has to act on what is there."

Indeed, your royalness, but it has come to the attention of the pond that one of your allegedly most loyal subjects is in fact a treacherous, traitorous heretic. Might we draw your attention, m'ludship, to one David Flint, who regularly scribbles lines like:

Whenever I see the climate change minister on television, I feel like a kulak (ETS - Energy Tax Swindle).

Now your royal Chuckiness, this is some sort of code for revolutionary defiance, since we all know what the kulaks got up to ...

And Chuck, he's a repeat offender. Why you may find David Flint scribbling furiously in Rudd's dangerous obsession:

Why do so many of our leaders ignore the obvious? Is it not a fact that the climate has always changed? If the theory of anthropogenic global warming is correct, it cannot explain the massive climate changes which have occurred since the creation of the world. It can only explain a tiny sliver of that time.

Yes, it's a really funny way to open a debate, but that's Flinty for you. After all, he's a crazed monarchist, and he regularly writes effusive twaddle for the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

You see Chuck sweetie there's something about your mum that really gets Flinty going ...but remember it's only so he can shove up up a double blind gum tree.

There seems to be only one solution, Chuck mate, if we may be so bold, which is to say when a doctor sees monarchist children with a dangerous gangrene infection, he has to act on what is there, and chop off the arm or the leg. Yes, it's been a long time since a royal was able to order an execution, but surely now is the time ...

And the pond has a list, a very long list, for your immediate monarchist attention ... perhaps we could start with Tony "climate science is crap" Abbott? Followed by all those lizards? Why none of them will be missed, none at all ...

Have you thought about the pleasures of being an activist monarch, right up there with the pleasure of being an activist judge?

Meanwhile, since the pond mentioned it a few days ago, please allow us to turn to round two of Niall Ferguson's folly, which is when trying to dig yourself out of a hole to go on digging the hole deeper.

So it is in his An Open Letter to the Harvard Community, which concludes with a rousing bout of self-pity:

What the self-appointed speech police of the blogosphere forget is that to err occasionally is an integral part of the learning process. And one of the things I learnt from my stupidity last week is that those who seek to demonize error, rather than forgive it, are among the most insidious enemies of academic freedom.

The piece also provided conclusive evidence that dumb trolls lurk on the Harvard website - some clearly infatuated with Ferguson - but more to the point, Ferguson drew attention to one of his earlier follies:

My very first book dealt with the German hyperinflation of 1923, a historical calamity in which Keynes played a minor but important role. In that particular context, Keynes’ sexual orientation did have historical significance. The strong attraction he felt for the German banker Carl Melchior undoubtedly played a part in shaping Keynes’ views on the Treaty of Versailles and its aftermath.

Which is of course to suggest that because Keynes was gay he couldn't come to any rational views regarding the punitive "Carthiginian" nature of the Versailles treaty, but could only come to an understanding of it by way of a pulsating piece of heart throbbery. This is roughly equivalent to proposing that Ferguson thinks with his dick too ...

Naturally this got a few people going, as they reverted to a piece that Ferguson wrote for The Spectator back in 1995, in which inter alia, he scribbled:

Keynes's critique of the ... 1919 Versailles Treaty was based on anything but dispassionate economic analysis. Few, if any of its readers can have appreciated how far the ideas contained in The Economic Consequences of the Peace… were actually inspired by members of the German peace delegation…. Still fewer knew that their appeal to him owed as much to his homosexuality as to his Germanophilia….

Which makes an ironic juxtaposition to Ferguson's more recent perspective:

My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. (Keynsian Economics: The Gay Science?)

Except when Carl Melchior flashed a gay smile at him apparently ...

Now it should go without saying that many people at the time of the Versailles peace treaty thought it was too punitive, and that by punishing Germany too severely, Europe would continue to suffer ... and so it came to pass ... and thankfully, lesson learned, the treatment of Germany, Italy and Japan after the second world war was much less punitive.

Naturally human sexuality colours all our activities and perspectives, but you have to be very careful when attempting to sort the wheat from the chaff, and arriving at any firm conclusions.

Is it in any way acceptable to think that Keynes was incapable of a rational analysis of the situation - and as it happened a correct one - without recourse to an alleged love affair which Ferguson himself says was likely unconsummated?

Must we attribute all Ferguson's works of history to his sexuality? Whatever that might be?

Well it's out and about now, the hare is truly on the hoof, as you can also read in Niall Ferguson: Keynes Was Gay for  Germany (Updated), which seized on the affair to make a measured assessment of Ferguson's contribution to the world of belles-lettres:

Ferguson, you may note, wrote a splashy Newsweek cover making the case against Barack Obama that was filled from beginning to end with falsehoods and intellectual sleights of hand. The Newsweek episode was interesting in that it highlighted Ferguson’s place in the political culture — a debonair, erudite, witty buffoon expounding a moral worldview with deep attraction to business elites. Ferguson views debt as a moral issue, and thus despises Keynes, and Obama, for treating it as a macroeconomic tool rather than a symbol of virtue. There is always a place for superstition-riddled fulminations against immoral debt. But there isn’t much of a place anymore for such fulminations served with a side of gay-bashing. (Or, at least, that place is grubbier and less renumerative than the cushy gigs Ferguson has grown accustomed to enjoying.) The task for Ferguson going forward will be to suture off the latter while clinging to the former.

A witty buffoon? Ouch, though buffoons and wits might both feel hard done by ...

Even worse, Forbes' contributor John Wasik took an interest and a view in Niall Ferguson, Keynes and the Long Run, proposing that Ferguson had taken a step closer to the Rush Limbaugh hall of shame, suggesting that Ferguson deploys Keynes' sexuality in relation to Versailles as a red herring, and contrasting Ferguson's gadfly capacity to puncture his own reputation with Keynes' genuine achievements.

Long may the roasting continue, long may Mr. Ferguson keep sticking his foot in his mouth, and if you want to read Keynes himself, handily Project Gutenberg has The Economic Consequences of the Peace here.

You might find the reading more instructional and informative than that of people grubbing through the life of a bisexual man in the search for Freudian clues ...

(Below: one of the better Ferguson works)

1 comment:

  1. Ferguson - Hitchens without the erudition, eloquence or class....


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