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Old 05-28-2003, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Some say blame the stetson...

What the literati are saying...

Texan values 'are new global menace'

Anti-American sentiment dominates discussions

Angelique Chrisafis
Monday May 26, 2003
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/" target="_blank">The Guardian</a>

As the Hay literary festival becomes embroiled in heated slanging matches about anti-Americanism, one former US political insider has offered an explanation of the menace across the water. The Bush administration is a threat to international security because the president comes from Texas. Put simply, the Stetson is the problem.
Michael Lind is an American polemicist and the author of a controversial new book, Made in Texas: George W Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics, which has been greeted with outrage in the US.

He is also a former member of the neo-conservatives, a small group of rightwingers currently shaping US foreign policy and sparking alarm on the international left. Lind walked out of the neo-conservatives in the 1990s over the issue of the religious right, and has since been described by one editor as a "Marxist of the centre".

In his first UK appearance, he said Mr Bush's Texan brand of conservatism had been labouring to take over the US administration for the past 30 years.

Lind, a fifth-generation Texan with a ranch near the president's Prairie Chapel holding, believes that Mr Bush's "hillbilly image" is unfair and popularly held views of Texas are wrong. The Lone Star state is not a western enclave dominated by cattle ranching, it is a southern state - the westernmost tip of the American Deep South. Texas is a society built on cotton plantations, a "toxic byproduct" of the rigid segregation of low-waged, low-skilled workers dominated by a deeply religious oligarchy of rich white families.

Lind claimed Mr Bush's values were those of southern conservatism - "extremely pro-military, suspicious of diplomatic and international organisations and deeply religious in the fundamental sense".

He argued that southern conservatism was "a menace to the prosperity and security of the world as much as to that of the US". He said: "Domestically the south has the most backward economy and regressive social system of any region in the US."

More worryingly, it had a disdain for international alliances and organisations.

Asked why debates at the festival were becoming more and more focused on anti-Americanism, Lind said: "The world supported the US immediately after September 11 and Bush squandered that repeatedly and unnecessarily by his belligerent approach."

Elsewhere, harsh critiques of the US continued to flow. The American literary legend Don DeLillo laboured for an hour to avoid being drawn on his politics, at one point asking an audience member to answer a question on Tony Blair and Iraq, rather than add his view to the bubbling cauldron.

But the Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood did not shrink from comment. She said of US politics: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely," she said. "Democracy is the hardest form of government to maintain."

She said US politicians had strayed from the ideal that religion and politics should be kept separate and individual freedoms were being encroached upon.
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Old 05-28-2003, 05:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting.

On another note: Sureshot, did you used to post under another name?
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yep, a long tim ago.

More recently though I removed the unecessary "_uk". It's usually needed due to someone else already having the screen name.
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was hoping you would enlighten me as to what it was...
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Old 05-30-2003, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wassit worth???

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