The High Cost of Lofty Values

I’ve written frequently on values and the vast reservoir of foolishness and sophistry that accumulates within the term. In many ways I think values represent the reinforcement a man uses to train his dog. It may not be in the dog’s interests to be castrated and spend life fetching rubber balls for another’s amusement, but the animal quickly learns its owner’s values aren’t open for negotiation. The proper embrace of which results in pleased pats on the head rather than the less agreeable repercussions from obstinance. When the dog follows our values it is rewarded. When it pursues its own interests it is punished. Behavior follows accordingly.

If only human conditioning were so benign. For unlike our cosseted canine counterparts, people who ignore their interests in pursuit of conflicting values end up beneath the doghouse rather than in it. Those who remain above ground share one fundamental trait: their interests and values point in the same direction. Where this is not the case results are pitiable.

Those following the Republican primary will recall Ted Cruz’s recent drubbing of Trump in Utah. The tally was four million votes to 13, if I recall. And while Trump’s brand of nascent national populism isn’t going to be for everyone, Utah’s Mormon rejection of it was unique in its intensity. These are, you will be unsurprised to learn, people who take their values very seriously.

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race, Laurie Towers liked how he was able to channel many Americans’ anger and frustration. But as the primary season ramped up, Towers, who is Mormon, increasingly found herself turned off by Trump.

“We have values and standards that he doesn’t hold dear,” Towers said of herself and other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Like rolling over on command.

Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States has particularly troubled many Mormons, whose founders fled west to practice their faith and who value religious liberty.

Muslims also value religious liberty–for Muslims. It’s a felicitous alignment of value and interests that should flourish well in the Wasatch.

Though there’s also a fallacy in this sentiment that flourishes with equal vigor. This being the one that Mormons should feel compelled to aid a hostile alien people simply by virtue of both having moved. The concept is so ludicrous that its proliferation was inevitable. I suppose the same would be expressed if cacodemons were bursting out of the Utah slot canyons. Like Mormons, they’ve traveled so far up to get here!

“The thing that really does concern LDS people is the religious tolerance thing. The outright Muslim ban strikes home in a state that has a population that’s been persecuted over the years,” said Chuck Warren, a Republican strategist here. “That’s real.”

Let’s just abandon all hope on interests, and simply contemplate the advancement of Mormons’ stated terms. What is the effect of their opposition to Trump’s proposed ban? As Donald might tweet: Low energy values. Sad!!

For being swarmed by Muslims will not improve “the religious tolerance thing” in Utah, but obliterate it. Muslims have no inclination to tolerate others. Thus cherished value is diminished by its own indiscriminate application. The point being that a self-negating value isn’t even a value, it’s a gesture. And an assuredly unrequited one at that. Chuck Warren, Republican strategist, is at third-level imbecility now.

And obviously Mormons can claim no monopoly.

Belgians have clung tightly to values as well after watching their countrymen’s limbs scattered over the BRU terminal. I read a commenter on another site opine that this sort of behavior was relatively rare in heavily Muslim India because the Hindus would immediately exact a heavy toll in vengeance. Whether accurate or not is immaterial to the observation that, by comparison, Muslims in Europe know they will suffer no collective costs whatsoever–unless the sound of whites mewling hymns to reconciliation injure their ears.

And besides the loss of life and habitat, maladaptive values have economic costs as well. And where these can’t be sustained…well, you just pick your arm up off the tarmac and walk like a man into a heavy rain.

U.S. frustration simmers over Belgium’s struggle with militant threat

Would U.S. frustration be assuaged if Belgium promptly deported its militant threat? Let’s find out.

Concern that the small European nation’s security and intelligence officials are overwhelmed — and that its coordination with allies falls short — have again come to the fore following the Islamic State-claimed attacks on Tuesday that killed at least 31 people.
Belgium has ordered a sharp increase in security budgets following the Paris attacks, despite being under steady pressure to limit its debt levels under euro zone rules. The government has promised to recruit around 2,500 more federal police, who pursue major crimes, to make up for a shortfall of close to a fifth of the full-strength force of 12,500.
U.S. officials acknowledge the recent Belgian efforts to step up funding and recruitment.

Yet they say Belgian security services are outmatched by the threat in a country that, per capita, has supplied the highest number of foreign fighters to Syria of any European nation.

“They’re way behind the ball and they’re paying a terrible price,” Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Reuters.

What a remarkable display. Washington would launch an expeditionary force and war-crimes tribunal against any Belgian leader who sought to relieve his country of America’s global migration mandate. And yet we bristle at their failure to fund a sufficient surveillance state to monitor the intake.

You have to import them, feed them, breed them, and then watch them. What part of our values don’t you comprehend, Belgium?

And so our reasonable request is for a small country of modest means to gouge its public fisc turning its previously peaceful and prosperous habitat into a seething Islamic panopticon.

I don’t think that’s in the Belgian hound’s best interests. Though once your nuts are on the table, no one’s much asking.


10 thoughts on “The High Cost of Lofty Values

  1. Those taking note of Rep. Adam Schiff, who is gravely concerned about the terrible price to Belgium, might wonder two things: is he a) an open borders advocate for America, and b) eligible for Aliyah.


  2. No relation, of course, to the American Jacob Schiff, who financed the Bolshevik revolution to the tune of $17 million, real money in 1917.

  3. I was raised Mormon, and I can confirm that they are scared to death of the spectre of religious persecution. With some justification; the Missouri governor’s Executive Order # 44, the Extermination Order, was only rescinded in 1976, although, to be fair, actual murders of Mormons in terms of the order were rare for some time before that. But this is their tradition, and it also serves to illuminate the attitude of Jews to their traditions. If you’ve been raised from infancy on Holocaust mythology, it takes on a personal significance if you’re a Jew.

    I recently spoke to an American expat Mormon, and he expressed the same attitude to Trump, so I was not surprised at the Utah result. I was pretty sure that would be the typical attitude.

    Mormons, if left to themselves, build pretty good communities, but they are like sheep. They follow authority, admire the Lord’s Chosen People, and don’t worry much about dispossession, because the world will end soon, anyway. So it’s not really surprising that the church is only slightly behind every other Christian church in its slide to the left.

    • So it’s not really surprising that the church is only slightly behind every other Christian church in its slide to the left.

      Can you expand on this claim?

    • I was raised Mormon, and I can confirm that they are scared to death of the spectre of religious persecution.

      If Mitt Romney goes along with a GOPe plan to gank the nomination from Trump and nominate Romney, or if Romney runs as a 3rd party candidate backed by the GOPe; Mitt Romney will single-handedly be responsible for the largest outpouring of ill-will towards the Mormon community in many decades.

      Not coincidentally, his status as a Mormon makes him the perfect nominee for the GOPe powers to scapegoat as they try to slither their way into the next iteration of conservative politics.

  4. I fear for Glenn Beck’s head. A story broke today that Cruz has cheated on his wife with five women. A Real Christian wouldn’t do that.
    Latter days, Ted.
    Trump’s proposal to bar [polygamists] from entering the United States has particularly troubled many Mormons, whose founders fled west to practice their faith and who value [marital plurality].
    On second thought, maybe Beck won’t have a problem with Ted’s beds.
    Anyway, if the muslims don’t make Utah intolerable, the mexicans will.

  5. Pingback: The High Cost of Lofty Values | Reaction Times

  6. From Who Was Who, 5000 BC to Date:

    YOUNG, Brigham, the man who introduced Mohammedanism into the United States and placed Utah on the flag. When a young man he became a strong anti-monogamist. Moved west with his wives. Utah increased in population and was admitted as a state. After building a great temple, dedicated to Hymen, he died, leaving a considerable family and a few widows. Heirs: See Utah census.

  7. I got as far as: “I read a commenter on another site opine that this sort of behavior was relatively rare… ” before reflexively searching for the Monty Python cannibalism sketch segue:

    “Dear Sir,

    I am glad to hear that your studio audience disapproves of the last skit as strongly as I. As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the R.A.F. who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the Argylls ate in Aden? Arabs?

    Yours etc.

    Captain B.J. Smethwick
    – in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic

  8. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2016/03/27) - Social Matter

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