Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When Conservatives Smear Their Betters



Conservatives have no shame when it comes to smearing people better than they are.  It may be an unconscious attempt at overcoming their feelings of inferiority or inadequacy, but is more likely because Conservatives thrive on attacking others because they're vicious authoritarian personalities by nature - AND because their pitiful attacks hide their true agenda: to enable their wealthy leaders to rule the rest of us with impunity...in this case by smearing two people, both deceased, John Maynard Keynes and Rachel Carson.

The biographical information on both can be found here -->  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maynard_Keynes and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_carson.

Rachel Carson, "...May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964..., was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement...Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. AlthoughSilent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.

Rachel Carson, 1940
Fish & Wildlife Service employee photo

Already we can see why the Conservatives would want to sully Carson's memory, she was too hard on the wallets of the Conservatives' wealthy patrons.  From Scienceblogs.com, an article by Tim Lambert, "This Week in the Unending War on Rachel Carson":

"Glenn Reynolds approvingly quotes Rich Karlgaard’s ill-informed comments on Rachel Carson:


"FORBES’ RICH KARLGAARD ASKS how many people died because of Rachel Carson? 
"Buried in paragraph 27, and paraphrasing the Congressman, The Washington Post concedes that 'numerous' deaths might have been prevented by DDT. 
"Let’s stop here. Any curious reader would ask, Just how 'numerous' is numerous? Wouldn’t you ask that question? The Post never asks that question. Why? 
"Because the answer devastates Rachel Carson and her followers. According to these CDC figures, malaria kills more than 800,000 children under age five every year. 
"Every year, 800,000 small children die from malaria, a disease once nearly eradicated. Ponder that. 
"And all The Washington Post can say is 'numerous?' 
"That’s scandalous."
"The answer is that many lives have been saved because of Rachel Carson and it’s scandalous the way Reynolds and Karlgard mislead their readers.

"Because of Carson, the agricultural use of DDT was banned, but not the anti-malarial use of DDT and it has continued to be used to this day. You can buy it from Yorkool Chemical:

"In the past several years, we supplied DDT 75% WDP to Madagascar, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Africa, Namibia, Solomon Island, Papua New Guinea, Algeria, Thailand, Myanmar for Malaria Control project, and won a good reputation from WHO and relevant countries’ government.

"And banning the agricultural use of DDT saved lives by slowing the development of resistance. Furthermore this is exactly the case Carson made in Silent Spring, warning that overuse would destroy the effectiveness of insecticides:
"'No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored. The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story – the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts. Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting. …
"What is the measure of this setback? The list of resistant species now includes practically all of the insect groups of medical importance. … Malaria programmes are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes. … 
"Practical advice should be ‘Spray as little as you possibly can’ rather than ‘Spray to the limit of your capacity’ …, Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible.'
"Karlgaard is also wrong to claim that malaria was almost eradicated. It was almost eradicated in some places like Sri Lanka, but then returned with a vengeance, not because DDT was banned (again, it wasn’t) but because mosquitoes developed resistance to DDT.

"Update: Steven D tried to educate Reynolds on DDT and malaria, without much effect."




It's a shame that unctuous mites like Reynolds and Karlgaard are even allowed to speak out at all, but if they're trying to win a medal for Liar of The Year, they have plenty of company.  Again from Wikipedia, a short bio on Keynes, the economist Sheeplets love to hate without knowing just why until their propagandists can explain why in one-syllable words:  "...Keynes... (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946)...was a British economist whose ideas have fundamentally affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and the most influential economist of the 20th century...In the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, overturning the older ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes instead argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. He advocated the use of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions...during the 1950s and 1960s the success of Keynesian economics resulted in almost all capitalist governments adopting its policy recommendations.

Keynes on March 8, 1946

"Keynes's influence waned in the 1970s, partly as a result of problems that began to afflict the Anglo-American economies from the start of the decade, and partly because of critiques from Milton Friedman and other economists who were pessimistic about the ability of governments to regulate the business cycle with fiscal policy.[7] However, the advent of the global financial crisis in 2007 caused a resurgence in Keynesian thought. Keynesian economics provided the theoretical underpinning for economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by Presidents George W. Bushand Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and other heads of governments.[8]

"In 1999, Time magazine included Keynes in their list of the 100 most important and influential people of the 20th century, commenting that: "His radical idea that governments should spend money they don't have may have saved capitalism."[9] In addition to being an economist, Keynes was also a civil servant, a director of the British Eugenics Society, a director of the Bank of England, a patron of the arts and an art collector, a part of theBloomsbury Group of intellectuals,[10][11] an advisor to several charitable trusts, a writer, a philosopher, a private investor, and a farmer."

The key to Conservatives' hatred for the brilliant economist is based on the simple fact that he may "have saved capitalism" with an anti-capitalist tool, and now for the second article, "Harvard conservative tries to gay-bash deceased economist Keynes," by David Ferguson at Rawstory.com:

"Controversial British expatriate author and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson said on Friday that economist John Maynard Keynes’ ideas were fundamentally flawed and lacked concern for future generations because Keynes was gay and childless. According to Financial Advisormagazine, Ferguson (who is no relation to this reporter) made the offensive remarks at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, California before an audience of some 500-plus financial advisors and investors.

"The author was responding to a question from an audience member about Keynes’ philosophy as opposed to the economic theories of conservative economist Edmund Burke. Ferguson argued that Keynes, who was married to a ballerina, spent time talking 'poetry' with his wife as opposed to producing children, and was therefore incapable of considering the needs of future generations.
"Financial Advisor‘s Tom Kostigen wrote, 'Apparently, in Ferguson’s world, if you are gay or childless, you cannot care about future generations nor society.'

“'This takes gay-bashing to new heights,' Kostigen continued. 'It even perversely pins the full weight of the financial crisis on the gay community and the barren.'



"Ferguson is a Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and author ofThe Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die. In the summer of 2012, Newsweek magazine was forced to print an apology and retraction after Ferguson’s cover story on President Barack Obama was shown to contain numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations.

"The magazine explained away its failure to fact-check Ferguson to Dylan Byers of Politico, saying that the magazine 'rel[ies] on our writers to submit factually accurate material.'


"Newsweek lost its fact-checking department when the magazine was taken over by Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast.

"The Daily Beast came under fire this past week when media critic Howard Kurtz published a factually inaccurate, anti-gay column about NBA player Jason Collins, who recently came out of the closet. The Beast was forced to correct the column, then retract it altogether.
"Brown announced on Thursday that The Daily Beast and Kurtz have “parted company.”



"UPDATE: Ferguson has offered an 'unqualified apology' via his blog at NiallFerguson.com. It reads, in part, 'During a recent question-and-answer session at a conference in California, I made comments about John Maynard Keynes that were as stupid as they were insensitive.'

(A note from Joyce, Jnr.: one peek at his web site shows Ferguson for the Conservative fellow traveler that he is.)

"He went on to say that he should not have 'suggested – in an off-the-cuff response that was not part of my presentation – that Keynes was indifferent to the long run because he had no children, nor that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried.'

“'My colleagues, students, and friends – straight and gay – have every right to be disappointed in me, as I am in myself. To them, and to everyone who heard my remarks at the conference or has read them since, I deeply and unreservedly apologize,' he concluded.



"UPDATE 2: While Ferguson may be backing off the aspersions he cast at Keynes as a brief moment of public misspeech, economist Justin Wolfers pointed readers to this excerpt from Ferguson’s The Pity of War, in which takes a gratuitously homophobic swipe at Keynes, insinuating that the economist’s misgivings about World War I were traceable to the lack of anonymous gay sex in London.

“Though his work in the Treasury gratified his sense of self-importance,” Ferguson wrote, 'the war itself made Keynes deeply unhappy. Even his sex life went into a decline, perhaps because the boys he liked to pick up in London all joined up.'”



Mothers, don't let your kids grow up to be economic historians - especially at the Harvard history department where economic forecasts may be clouded by their instructors' homophobia...and while this writer has long since retired from bond market speculation, I would advise the following: If Ferguson says rates are going up, they're going down; if he says rates are going down, they're going up.  The homophobic Ferguson is no more qualified to talk about economics or history as he is about anything else except for his bigotry, as we hear from the gushing sound that portends his pitiful lying, as the lies pour through the sharpened teeth of his bigotry.



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"There is no sin except stupidity."

Oscar Wilde


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