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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Time to Take a Breath

Time to take a breath…

LGF pointed to a GREAT post by new blogger http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/ You should read the whole thing, but I’ll sum it up quickly:

1. There was a battle between welfare advocates and welfare reformers that began in the early 80’s.

2. Advocates said poverty caused a set of pathologies so welfare should raise incomes. Their policy had been in affect since the 70’s. Reformers said poverty wasn’t necessarily the problem- and that welfare increased the pathologies associated with poverty so that, whether poverty was a root cause or no- welfare was.

3. Reformers won in ’96.

4. They’ve been prove right.

5. All the above was a setup for hypothesis that we’ve created something analogous to welfare pathologies, in Europe, by providing their security and stability.

It makes sense, especially when you consider war. If Europeans believe war is a choice- they are right- because we’ll fight for them. If they believe peace without strength is possible-they are right- since we’ll provide the peace.

It isn’t a new idea, exactly, but it is a good one, and the entry lays it out very well. It actually lays out the history of welfare wonderfully. (Nice to have someone in the biz explain what really happened there.) But what struck me most was the tone. Newsisyphus wants to understand, to explain, and finally to help, rather than to castigate the Europeans or reaffirm that we are their superiors.

I used to be like that- when it came to liberals, and Europe- and Muslims (not Islamists but Muslims who don’t disavow or actively contend against Islamists). Then came election season, and I lost my way. It was a gradual process but I never noticed that I’d left my way for the Right way. I used to want to promote understanding- through the understanding that we are all good people who seek different ways to good ends- and then I became someone who wanted to promote conservatism.

Maybe I just needed some time to recover, and that post didn’t really bring me back to myself. But I think it was that post. So thank you Newsisyphus. You got one rock all the way to the peak. I’ll try not to roll down again.


  • At 1:12 PM, Blogger Crazy Diamond said…

    I started reading it and got distracted. (End o' lunch break). Now I'll have to read it for sure.

    I concur with your desire to understand people you have disagreements with.

    Don't forget, though, some people will do their utmost to keep you at the sysiphean labor of trying to understand them and their attempts to destroy everything you love, but they won't let up those attempts while you try to understand. While you strive for understanding, don't back off defending your values.

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…

    Excllent point! I guess it is the difference between hating the sin and the sinner. I was hating the sinner there...

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