portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

government

Have They Finally Buried Reagan's Corpse

All right, have they finally buried Reagan? I can't even count how many bottles of rye I've had watching all these memorials and tributes to the Gipper. The next thing they'll do is build a masoleum for him in DC and put his stuffed corpse on permanent display, like they did with that Lenin guy in the Soviet Union.
Nation Bids Final Farewell to Reagan

By NANCY BENAC, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Mustering its most magnificent tributes for America's 40th president, the nation bid a final farewell to Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) on Friday in a funeral praising the former president for his lifelong optimism and certainty about America and its place in the world. With his sunset burial, said President Bush (news - web sites), "a great American story will close."

Bush, whose father served as Reagan's vice president for eight years, celebrated the former president's steadiness, gentlemanly manner and firm convictions.

"We lost Ronald Reagan only days ago but we have missed him for a long time," Bush said, alluding to the former president's long battle with Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites). "It has been 10 years since he said his own farewell, yet it is still very sad and hard to let him go.

"Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now, but we preferred it when he belonged to us."

In a moment of tenderness, Nancy Reagan visited her husband's casket in the Capitol Rotunda before the funeral cortege departed for Washington National Cathedral. She caressed the flag-draped coffin, gave it a kiss and several gentle pats and appeared to have one last talk with her husband of 52 years.

At the funeral service, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a close friend and ideological soulmate of Reagan, paid tribute to "Ronnie," as his friends knew him, for facing the world's greatest challenges with "almost a lightness of spirit."

"His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation ? and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire," she said in taped remarks presented at the funeral. Thatcher, who has given up public speaking after a series of small strokes, recorded her remarks months ago.

America's four living ex-presidents ? Ford, Carter, Clinton, Bush ? and dozens of current and former world leaders were among those who assembled for the funeral. The cathedral's great bells pealed as Reagan's casket arrived in the rain and when it left. A rousing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" followed the eulogies.

Titans of power, past and present, sat shoulder-to-shoulder to pay their respects. There was former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, next to Thatcher, Britain's Prince Charles not far away, and the first President Bush and his wife, Barbara, one row behind the current President Bush and wife, Laura.

The elder Bush said Reagan was beloved because he was "strong and gentle."

"I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone I encountered in all my years of public life," Bush said, his voice choked with emotion.

Reagan's ability to see humor in serious times was a recurring theme throughout the funeral, drawing an occasional smile from Mrs. Reagan and the family.

The senior Bush recalled a time when Reagan was asked about his meeting with South African Bishop Desmond Tutu and Reagan replied, "So-so."

"It was typical," Bush said. "It was wonderful."

Reagan's three surviving children, Patti Davis, Ron and Michael, sat alongside Mrs. Reagan at the cathedral. A daughter, Maureen, died from cancer in 2001.

American guns around the world were firing in Reagan's honor ? at noontime, 21-gun salutes at every U.S. military base with the artillery and manpower to do it; at dusk, another worldwide round of 50-gun salutes.

Reagan was being buried at sunset at a hilltopsite that he and Mrs. Reagan had selected at his presidential library in California.



It was all a fitting stage exit for the Hollywood-smooth former actor who died last Saturday at age 93. Reagan had been thinking about his last rites since he became president in 1981 and personally invited several speakers to take part.

Proud to have put the first woman on the Supreme Court, Reagan years ago asked Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (news - web sites) to read at his funeral. At his request, she read from John Winthrop's 1630 sermon that inspired Reagan's description of America as a shining "city upon a hill."

Thatcher and the first President Bush, too, got their speaking invitations long ago.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, a good friend of the Reagans, remembered the former president as possessing "a rare and prized gift called leadership ? that ineffable and magical quality that sets some men and women apart."

Mrs. Reagan invited Irish tenor Ronan Tynan to sing Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria." The Reagans specified an interfaith service, inviting participants from Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and other religions.

Reagan's honorary pallbearers were friends from throughout his life: former Reagan aides Michael Deaver and Frederick Ryan; entertainer Merv Griffin; his White House physician John Hutton, and Charles Wick, former Hollywood producer and former head of the U.S. Information Agency.

The casket was actually carried by "body bearers" drawn from each of the military services.

The cathedral's invitation-only crowd of 2,100 included Democratic presidential contender John Kerry (news - web sites), who canceled political events during the week of mourning.

Americans around the nation found ways to publicly mourn the president's passing. Church bells far and wide were ringing 40 times in honor of the nation's 40th president; Las Vegas casinos planned to dim their lights briefly Friday night. Several governors called for a moment of silence in their states during the funeral. In Illinois, where Reagan was born, Gov. Rod Blagojevich named a stretch of road for him.

Not since Lyndon Johnson died in 1973 has America gone through the high pomp and ritual associated with a presidential state funeral. Former President Nixon's family, acting on his wishes, bypassed the Washington traditions when he died in 1994.

The funeral was the final public commemoration of Reagan after a week of remembrance and pageantry. More than 100,000 Americans filed past Reagan's casket as it lay in repose at the presidential library in California before it was flown to Washington on Wednesday and borne on a caisson drawn by six horses to the Capitol Rotunda, where his body lay in state for 34 hours.

Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said more than 84,000 people had visited the Rotunda as of 5 a.m. EDT on Friday.

A steady crowd continued to file into the Capitol Rotunda throughout the night and into early Friday to pay tribute. Parents toted sleepy toddlers and a guide dog led its blind owner past the flag-draped casket. Several people wore T-shirts and buttons bearing Reagan's image, others clutched small American flags.

Police briefly extended the viewing past the planned 7 a.m. cutoff to accommodate people still waiting to get in.

The final family in the line came from Conyers, Ga., and drove all night with little expectation that they would be able to view Reagan's casket lying in state.

"I think we came on adrenaline," said Stephanie Guerry, 43.

Her husband Ted Guerry, 46, said that as he walked down the steps from the Capitol he felt, "numb and struck and awed."

homepage: homepage: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&e=1&u=/ap/20040611/ap_on_re_us/ronald_reagan

The Endless Funeral of Ronald Reagan 11.Jun.2004 11:19

Cheney Watch

Already in the works! See:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/06/290504.shtml

Seriously, they had to haul him out once more so that Bush could slobber over him with a eulogy that I didn't even bother to watch this morning. He must be getting fairly rank by now, what with the hot weather in DC.

Then he'll be shipped back to California to be buried in the Reagan Library. I don't know if there will be more viewing there, since it's already happened once. But there will undoubtedly be an actual family funeral before he is put poured into the ground.

Granted, a number of the gawkers were probably tourists, dressed in warm weather togs because of the heat, but I find it surreal that people who supposedly respect the Gipper are parading past his coffin in jogging shorts and tank tops.

Meanwhile the commercialization goes on and on. There are now hundreds of huckster sites on the web set up to sell all sorts of Reagan memorabilia - from photos to ashtrays with his picture. It's worse than the piles of Pope stuff you encounter outside Vatican City.

Reagan has become, to the huddled masses of America, the equivalent of Mexico's Virgin of Guadalupe.

Our top story tonight 11.Jun.2004 11:44

kzoo

Ronald Raygun 40th president of the United States of America is still dead after six days. Known for such great economic thinking as once dividing a whole into three halfs, a nation of killers still morns the lost of this greed leader.

Raygun dead after six days like to see the curent administration match that.

Raygun once again proving the only good Republican is a dead republican.

Raygun his greatest offering to the country was to die.

Ronald "Love it or Leave it" Raygun has a new view of America.

Ronald now burns with his buddies.

all you have to do is die and all past sins are forgiven 11.Jun.2004 12:44

not so good catholic girl

i heard that on the third day he arose again from the dead!

going insane 11.Jun.2004 12:45

strongbad

ok, seriously, can we just burn his fuckin body already? i am SOOO tired of hearing about it and seeing pictures in the paper, and all over tv. fucking throw his body overboard or something, just get rid of it already!!!
and what's with his body going on tour? is he in a zombie band?

Cult of Personality 11.Jun.2004 13:09

contrincante de la junta

The cadaver is probably on ice back at the Reagan library of twenty or so books, in "Seamy" Valley.

It's his final role--even as remains. It's the appearances that count, not substance, not consequences--that is the centerpiece of the Conservative's Creed. And Juan Peron Reagan perfected that.

Has anyone heard mutterings about getting Nancy appointed to office?

finally 11.Jun.2004 13:42

mom

Former President Nixon's family, acting on his wishes, bypassed the Washington traditions when he died in 1994.

I have never had anything positive to say about Nixon, until now.
Too bad so many people have fallen for the royal funeral concept.
People are crying and they don't know why. Maybe they've been feeling the negative emotions running rampant in the nation these days and with the media and government's help are now projecting those emotions onto the death of someone who started the current disaster. I kept wondering why so many were crying and carrying on and how come we are even thinking about ronnie dollars and such and then I remembered that the current regime is there due to his policies. They are remembering their own --- how much do yo think it is costing the public?

How dare you 11.Jun.2004 17:42

Asst. Librarian

To suggest that the Reagan Library has only 20 books is not only insulting, but WRONG. The former President was very well-read; every month without fail he read the Readers Digest from cover to cover! That's why he had such a steady, sure grasp of America's role in the world. All right, those aren't books, but you know how many of those three-in-one condensed novels you get gratis with a subscription.

I only wish Ahmed Chalabi could have been at his place behind Laura Bush, along with Manucher Ghorbanifar seated behind Nancy. The sense of continuity would have been so reassuring...

The Teflon Celebration 11.Jun.2004 19:39

Cheney Watch

Yep, he's finally going into the ground. And it only cost us $423,000,000 or thereabouts and countless federal employee's working time for one day, for which they were paid.

Oh yeah, it also cost some of us our sanity and digestion while the seemingly endless surreal love-fest made its way to an insufferable conclusion this evening in California.

Reader's Digest is so dumb--MAJOR CIA Cold War agitprop organ 13.Jun.2004 15:35

ha

Librarian?! How can you call that well read? Sheesh. What library (or planet) are you from? So that's where Reagan got his warped ideas, librarian? Are you kidding us? If so, Reagan's mind was a total closed loop without any window on the world: he was feeding on CIA propoganda, like the snake eating its own tail.

Want some proof?

1.

excerpt by Alex Constantine:

Laurance Rockefeller may have been less visible than his brothers, but he was equally steeped in the sordid world of covert intelligence and disinformation. In the 1950s, he served on a panel that released a report penned by Henry Kissinger, International Security - The Military Aspect, calling for successive escalations in defense spending of $3 billion per year to 1965. In 1973 he was named a director of Reader's Digest, a fount of CIA cold war black propaganda. (To indulge in a bit of necessary guilt by association, Melvin Laird, a Digest officer, is also a director of SAIC, the "remote viewing" sponsor.)

 http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/hambone/rock.html (from Alex Constantine's EXCELLENT book Virtual Government)


2.

more on Readers Digest. Librarian! Love your propaganda. Recommended to stunt minds. It seems to be working.


AMERICAN DREAMERS:
The Wallaces and Reader's Digest: An Insider's Story

By Peter Canning, Simon & Schuster, 379 pages




There are so many things to dislike about Reader's Digest, the world's most widely read magazine ("Over 27 million copies in 19 languages bought monthly"), that one feels lazy and churlish even to begin to point them out. But picking this magazine up continues to feel so much like spiraling into an alternative universe -- a condescending never-never land of defensive optimism, soggy "wit," scary euphemism and bedrock conservatism (in the new issue, Terry Eastland warbles about "Ending Affirmative Action") -- that it makes you want to string garlic around your neck. Yet it's hard to deny the creepy fascination that Reader's Digest exerts -- or the happy fact that it's an ideal size to fling across the doctor's waiting room at pesky kids.

Readers who have instinctively disliked Reader's Digest will have their worst suspicions confirmed in "American Dreamers," a new book from former Digest managing editor Peter Canning. Among other things, Canning details how, in the 1940s and 50s, the State Department and CIA fed content to the Digest and helped its international editions thrive. He also notes the magazine's numerous pro-Vietnam War editorials, and the way Nixon speeches found their way into the magazine under the byline "The Editors."

Further, Canning dishes a good deal of dirt about founders Dewitt and Lila Wallace's odd sex lives, and he digs into the story behind the sex discrimination suit filed against the Digest in 1976, among the largest ever, in which 2,600 female employees were awarded more than $1.5 million.

Having said all that, "American Dreamers" is no hatchet job. Canning expertly details the Wallace's early lives, their struggles to found the magazine in Greenwich Village in the 1930s, and how generously they treated their employees -- paying huge salaries (often more than $100,000 even in the 1940s) and giving extraordinary sums to charity.

The Wallace's goal for the magazine was a noble one, to provide articles of "lasting interest" to people who often didn't read much else. And it's hard to disagree with Canning's assertion that, while sophisticates often mocked the Digest's simplicity, "clarity is not an unsophisticated goal."

As balanced as his book is, Canning isn't an especially compelling writer, and the book's second half gets bogged down in a far too detailed account of how greedy managers, in the wake of the Wallace's deaths, slashed budgets and damaged the magazine's quality. No matter. As the Wall Street Journal once put it, the Digest remains "the top publishing success since the Bible."

óDwight Garner

Dwight Garner is Salon's book review editor.

 http://archive.salon.com/sneaks/sneakpeeks961113.html

3.

Someone should write a book about The Reagan Years along the lines of this book: the classic on totally self-absorbed autocrats divored from reality.
The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679722033/qid=1087165458/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-4515187-1343133?v=glance&s=books

at least read the reviews if you have yet to hear about this book. And in the reagan version, if that Reader's Digest bit is true about Reagan, the magazine should be in there how he was cannabalizing his own right-wing propoganda.