Detailing a puzzling derangement

Paul Mirengoff wonders Guardrails or roadblocks? – It’s about the puzzling case of Charles Krauthammer’s Trump Derangement Syndrome. You’d think Dr. Krauthammer should know better as he was specially trained to observe and analyze human behavior as a psychiatrist. There is a lot of deviant behavior to observe and it isn’t from Trump. Krauthammer should perhaps consider himself. For instance, what is it the drives him to insert “unfit” opinions into a discussion with Tucker? Mirengoff details other puzzling behavioral expressions from Krauthammer. “Careening recklessness” is as indicative as “unfit” as these are judgments, not opinions or observations. Phrases like these tell the discerning observer about the talker and his guardrails.

The estimable Charles Krauthammer celebrates five instances in which, he says, the “guardrails” of our democracy “held against the careening recklessness of” President Trump.

far from being a guardrail to democracy, when generals say no to the president they threaten it. After all, generals are not elected by the American people.

Two of the three rejecting Senators — Murkowski and McCain — campaigned on the promise of supporting repeal of Obamacare. I fail to see how they struck a blow for democracy when they violated their promise to voters.

Of the other three examples Krauthammer cites, only one has anything to do with democracy.

One more point on guardrails. They exist on only one side of the road. If the Democrats regain power, they will not be in evidence.

Just because President Obama was smooth doesn’t mean he didn’t careen recklessly. He did, which is a major reason why we have President Trump.

The big hurdle that the never Trumpers have to mount in their allegations of “unfit” or “idiot” or similar is the record of events. The behaviors used to ignore, hide, or obfuscate this hurdle to satisfy innate feelings and prejudice is what should be of interest to a psychiatrist.

John Hinderaker exposes more of the mud in the swamp: Comey’s FBI Lied About Lynch-Clinton Meeting – “The Department of Justice has finally responded to ACLJ’s FOIA request with a small number of documents.” This foot dragging is another area where the new AG might put some attention.

There are only two possibilities here: either someone at the FBI destroyed documents relating to the Bureau’s communications about the Lynch/Clinton meeting, or someone at the FBI lied in response to ACLJ’s FOIA request. Federal agencies have personnel dedicated to responding to FOIA requests, and presumably the people who carry out this relatively mundane task would not lie or destroy documents without instructions from the top.

Lynch’s DOJ created talking points about the meeting, but they apparently are secret, as they were redacted from all of the emails that contained them. How a FOIA exception could apply to those talking points, which were designed to be shared with reporters, is a mystery. But that is how the Obama administration responded to all FOIA requests on controversial matters: with evasion and obfuscation if not with outright lies. And President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not yet, and may not ever, control the Department of Justice.

Luboš Motl: Gary North, Mojmír Hampl on fatal volatility of cryptocurrencies – “Don’t be afraid of bitcoin.” This is making sense of a current fad.

By the “fear”, Hampl means that the cryptocurrencies don’t really represent any “competitor” to the fiat currencies.

The key reason why the cryptocurrencies aren’t really competitive with the fiat currencies is that they lack what is perhaps the most important defining virtue of any currency: its predictable value relatively to the things that people will need to buy for them, the reason why they accept and hold the currencies in the first place. I wrote these things many times.

Hampl says that the price stability is also the main task of the central banks like his. In particular, when he asks the people what’s the “money supply” in Czechia, people usually don’t have a clue but they more or less know what the latest inflation rate is. That’s because the latter is much more important for the usability of the currency than the former!

The fact that the number of Bitcoins in circulation is known – and will go towards 21 million – implies that the amount of “real things” in the inflation basket you may buy for one Bitcoin is not predictable. And that’s bad. The kids who spread the Bitcoin and blockchain ideas as a gospel may understand some technical algorithms but they don’t understand something that is much more important for an economic proposal – basics of economics. The central banks are effectively adjusting the money supply (through the interest rates or extraordinarily measures) in order to keep the money’s value predictable – because the predictable value of the money is what makes them so useful and optimizes the performance of the economic players who use them in their activities and planning. So the variable money supply of a fiat currency is a good thing, not a bad thing – because it’s a necessary condition for the stability of quantities whose stability or predictability is important! This stabilization of the money’s value is what Hampl calls the “elastic money”.

There is ignorance and some is driven by fantasies. It becomes a problem when it drives behavior.

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