Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Please! Stop the Stalin comparisons!

From today's Guardian:

The Bush myth was given a powerful boost yesterday when a modest west Texas house, once home to two US presidents, was formally declared open to the public. 1412 West Ohio Avenue in Midland was George W Bush's childhood home and the scene of many of the happy scenes recalled in the biography A Charge to Keep, published at the time of his 2000 election campaign...

"To get to a friend's house, you would walk down a couple doors, climb someone's fence, cut through a yard, only crossing the street when you absolutely had to," Mr Bush recalled, in words reproduced on a sign outside the building, restored at a cost of $1.9m (£1m).

"Midland was a small town, with small-town values. We learned to respect our elders, to do what they said, and to be good neighbours. We went to church," Mr Bush wrote. "No one locked their doors, because you could trust your friends and neighbours. It was a happy childhood."...

However, it was a relatively brief snapshot in a young life that told another story. After attending Midland schools, the young "Dubya" Bush was dispatched to an expensive boarding school back east, and then attended Yale and Harvard.

He was born, not in Texas, but in Connecticut into a wealthy dynasty of financiers and politicians. His grandfather was a senator, and his father, the first President Bush, went to west Texas in 1948 with the aim of using family business connections to profit from the oil boom.

And, if you ever make it to the Republic of Georgia
(not the state in the US, that is):

The town of Gori is Stalin's birthplace. The museum exhibits re-create surreal and revealing scenes from the life of the dictator and include unique photos, gifts and furniture. The house where Stalin was born is preserved under a stone canopy nearby. A large statue of the "Leader of the People" stands in the central square.

BTW, check out the photo from the article:

He had a croquet set as a kid...near his bed.

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