Deathfest: Day 4

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You can count me among those who find the Week-Long Death Festival more appropriate for the expiration of a North Korean dictator than an American president. But as long as we're all still talking about Reagan, can I pipe up and say I never was one of those people who found his speeches "inspiring"? If the best thing Reagan ever did was to pardon Merle Haggard, the worst was to saddle us with Peggy Noonan.

Yes, I'm getting grumpy. At least I'm not as grumpy as Col. Qaddafy, who had this reaction to Reagan's death: "I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children." (Hey, if you lost an infant daughter to an American bomb, you might not like the fellow who ordered the raid either. Though when it comes to evading justice for your crimes against Libyans, Qaddafy's the expert.)

Update: Welcome, NRO readers. The comments section is open to your thoughts, as some of you have already discovered. Here's a few pointers:

1. When I said that all this overkill was not appropriate for the death of an American president, that applied to all American presidents. You might think it clever to suggest I'd feel better if this were Clinton's funeral, but you'll actually just look like an ass.

2. Nor is this a matter of being jealous or bitter. It's kind of silly to suggest, as one fellow did, that I'd feel otherwise if a "Libertarian known to exactly 2% of the population" were to die. When you write things like that, you reveal a lot about your own values, but you don't say much about mine.

3. Some of you seem intent on inferring my opinion of Reagan's presidency from this blog post. You'd do better to read the article on the topic I wrote earlier this week.

4. One reader wrote, "You would defend Janet Jackson in an ANSWER T-shirt dropping a turd into the mouths of the Dixie Chicks on national TV…but you can't change the channel for the Reagan ceremonies." If you insist on missing the point, try emulating this commenter and at least be funny about it.

NEXT: It's Kerry in a Blowout!

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  1. I would never cheer at the death of clinton.

    Well, then again maybe for hillary.

  2. Oh and one negative about a potential Kerry presidency. If the funeral stuff is half as boring as the man, I'll be slitting my wrists in day 2.

    Jesse, are you in SoCal? If so I can totally understand your POV, there's plenty extra Reagan stuff due to him being from here.

  3. I think the most amusing thing in the article is the tacked on "pointers" for NRO readers. They are exactly the kind of weak, "So there!" attempt at cleverness that indicate a writer is less than comfortable with the challenges being thrown at him. It's only slightly more clever than "I know you are but what am I?" How droll indeed.

    But the real value of an article like this is to remind us that, despite some occasional common values regarding the size of government, Libertarians and Conservatives are fundamentally different animals. When, of all people, Reagan, who was repeatedly bashed in the left-wing press for his approach to government size finds himself abused here for not going far enough, it gives you a huge clue on how far out the limb that this writer sits on really is.

  4. This is a totally, totally different media atmosphere than 1973, when we had our last state funeral for a dead president. This is what we get with 24-hour cable news and the Internet.

  5. Personally, I'm much more concerned about the pundits' overuse of the term "hagiography" than anything else.

    And by the way, what are people trying to prove when they say this is a horrible blog and everybody on Reason is stupid and they're never coming back? Should my response be, "Well, fellow anonymous poster, you've convinced me!"?

  6. I'm an occasional speechwriter. Peggy Noonan's speech -- as edited and delivered by President Reagan -- on the death of the Challenger astronauts was beautiful and consoled the nation.

    And, "These are the boys of Pont du Hoc," was a powerful testament to heroism.

    Really, and I know it's an aesthetic judgment, you're just wrong about her speeches. If you found them uninspiring, it says more about you than her.

    P.S. The biliousness is stupid and offensive.

  7. RC Dean-

    I think you're missing the point--the original poster was claiming that posthumous was an adjective modifying "girl", not "Qaddafy".

    Qaddafi, then, adopted the girl AFTER she had been killed by an American bomb, if that report is true.

    BTW, Jesse, I went to the procession of my own free will. Another key difference is that I, unlike the heroine of We, the Living wasn't faint from hunger and under pressure at work. In fact, I was under pressure at work NOT to go, as the place is a) quite liberal, and b) a private enterprise who wants me to produce as much as possible.

    Reagan was far from perfect, but he's done quite a bit better than those who surrounded him in my lifetime (I remember Johnson's funeral, but only barely). At the time of his death, I choose to honor that. I can wait five days to start in with the snark. I would even hold it for Clinton, because he also did better than his immediate predecessor and follower.

  8. The reason that the paegentry associated with all this rubs people wrong goes to the root of what our entire system is built on. Our elected officials are intended to be representative of the general public, and their powers have limits that address their very humanness.

    If it's possible to make it any more obvious there's not to be an inordinate amount of difference between politicians and Joe Average than our founders did, then I have no idea how. I'd suspect if they were here today they'd be scratching their heads as to the extent of state-worship we've taken to. Sometimes the little things tell a lot.

  9. Count me among those libertarians who find Reason increasingly as intolerable in tone and substance as The Nation. I've subscribed since 1980, and for a time was a member of the libertarian Republican Liberty Caucus. The GOP continues to be too socially conservative for me, and I do not believe it is genuinely committed to reducing govt. But I've never joined the LP, becasue it is a collection (predominatly) of kooks.

    As to Reagan, he brought us the end of the Soviet Union at a time when virtually all pundits and academics were pronouncing that the USSR was here to stay, strong and healthy, and we had to make peace with it. Reagan ignored all that, and spent the Evil Empire into extinction. As the price for removing all those missiles aimed at us, I would pay it again, and I thank him. I feel this gratitude even tho he greatly recharged the war on drugs, which I find abominable.

    Reagan was a sincere and decent man, and not as stoopid as many would have it. Whatever else is true, he reinvigorated America's belief in itself and put an end to the pervasive malaise of the post-Viet Nam and Watergate era. I mourn him in ambivalence, but I do mourn and honor him.

    Finaly, the foul-mouthed venom around here is repugnant -- an occasional "fuck you" may be the mot juste, but what is happening on this board is sheerly juvenile.

    --Mona--

  10. "And by the way, what are people trying to prove when they say this is a horrible blog and everybody on Reason is stupid and they're never coming back? Should my response be, "Well, fellow anonymous poster, you've convinced me!"?" I dunno maybe that the posting and the comments were outta line and that whilst "we" might be "right" we're gonna be awfully lonely in our righteous solitude unless we can be a little nicer? Or mayhap it's like the outside world looked in and saw not splendour but squalor and pointed it out... and that having it pointed out hurts?

  11. The pomp hasn't bothered me so far, but I was a big fan of Reagan. If it had been Clinton that died, I'd be enormously irritated by it all. So I have to conclude that Walker is on to something. I don't see why, in the age of instant media, we need blanket coverage for a whole week. Surely we can give a President a sufficiently glorious but dignified burial in less than a week. Ever heard of the idea that less is more? More time means more opportunities to miss the mark, and even as a big Reagan fan, I thought that some of the speeches made yesterday were entirely melodramatic.

    While we have the attention of all you NRO readers, did any of you notice that the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Donald Rumsfeld personally approved the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo? Apparently the list of approved techniques includes some that were used in Abu Gharib. With all the coverage going to the Reagan tribute, I should have expected a lot of dirty laundry to get some open air. What will we learn tomorrow? I don?t know how much worse it can get, but if there is some greater revelation, please don?t hurt yourselves springing from genuflection into a defense posture.

  12. Unbelievable. Where is the class? Where are the manners?

  13. Hear, hear, Ken Schultz. The pomp hasn't bothered me either because i'm not watching.

    You are a brave man, Jesse Walker. Quite apart from Reagan's greatness/wretchedness, the hero-worship here is really starting to grate.

  14. If you insist on missing the point

    You want cheese with that?

  15. "the hero-worship here is really starting to grate."

    Not like the fury of those missing one week of always intelligent network programming...

    Pathetic.

  16. Even a libertarian should be able to see the usefulness of common public "spectacle" to the maintanence of civil society. Just because the inate human need for such shared societal experience has been abused and warped by fascist regimes, doesn't negate the value in such experiences.

    So, to rephrase the point of Jonah's post/link:

    Lighten up.

  17. Reason Mag - where the soulless salute the selfish.

  18. A case could be made that the pomp and breadth of the public event is unseemly.

    This post didn't even come close to that, however.

    Instead, a prez who dared to mock totalitarianism is compared to those who have perfected the practice.

    Cheap. That's what it's called.

  19. "Death Festival"
    The coining of this phrase reveals that you are missing the spirit of the rituals completely. It's not celebrating death in itself, but life: the life of the man, the positive turn the nation took in 1980 (yes, I know many don't agree with this, but the folks who have driven to D.C. from Michigan and Missouri obviously do), the lives of the desperate dissidents in prisons in Siberia (like Natan Sharansky) whose hearts were filled with hope at hearing the leader of the free world describe the system that tortured them as an evil empire, something they knew in their marrow.

    Boomers tend to ignore death and be repulsed by it, and we try to pretend that we will live forever by ignoring it. This explains the posture of some anti-war pacifists. Death is not a negative thing in itself. Celebrating RR's death is really just celebrating his life, and that is precisely the objection many have, not that it's a deathfest.

  20. I am really enjoying this discussion thread! Thanks ya'll for making my day. I was thinking about praying for you: "God, please help these idiots." Should I call you idiots in a prayer? That's not right. But God knows what you are. Probably he'll forgive me. After I post this I guess I'll be another one. So I'll end up praying for myself. Is that right? I was also thinking I am ashamed of all of the bad things I have said about President Clinton down through the years. After all, he was President of the United States. The office deserves my respect no matter my opinion of the man. I have been touched by the outpouring of grief and affection for President Reagan. I'm grateful I can feel a part of this moment in our nation. I'm at work now so I won't be able to respond to any comments aimed at my post. But I'll check back to see what lovely names you're still calling each other. And me too?

  21. Jesse Walker doesn't like extended funeral proceedings, and says so employing metaphorical language. Who cares? Maybe he also dislikes artichokes. If Reason wants to pay him for his musings, it ain't any skin off my nose.

    More generally, if Clinton does a Full Rockefeller one night, and rockets off to the Great Intern Pool in the Sky, and the junior Senator from New York wants to do something similar, fine. If nothing else, such a prospect will be worth more yuks than that provided by the National Endowment for the Arts annually, and the rouge did win a couple of national elections, so a fair amount of people presumably would be moved by the sort of ceremonial ritual that all cultures engage in.

    As to this occasion, hey, when a guy checks out on a Saturday afternoon in Bel-Air, and there is a desire to have ceremonies in D.C., followed by a burial back in Simi Valley, getting it all done by the following Friday night ain't too bad. The media goes overboard, particularly cable T.V., but that's why God invented ESPN, HBO, and the Weather Channel.

  22. Dbett: "Even a libertarian should be able to see the usefulness of common public "spectacle" to the maintanence of civil society."

    First we'd like to know what the actual benefit is to this particular one that couldn't be obtained with anything less blown out.

    It's possible Reagan himself might've had a problem with it if he'd known ahead of time how this would play out. A large part of the reason he was elected by such considerable margins was that he didn't give off the type of air now associated with his passing.

  23. >>>>> You'd do better to read the article on the topic I wrote earlier this week.

    Or else what? Some Libertarian you are!

  24. I wonder how the ratings will add up. Like a lot of people, I had the teevee on Saturday afternoon, but it got old real quick. I mean, even if you were a big Reagan fan, there isn't exactly a payoff for staring at the flag-draped coffin for five days, is there?

    (Along with the even more boring footage of the G8 leaders standing around in ill-fitting sports coats, this is not exactly a thrilling week for teevee news. Then again, the only thing I wish I'd seen live -- Ashcroft's outrageous performance before the Senate -- didn't seem to be on any of the cable news shows. I saw it for the first and only time on the Daily Show. The Bush Administration sure gets lucky with the distracting events, eh? Thanks Ronnie! And Nick Berg!)

  25. I actually don't object to the state funeral. That seems entirely appropriate.

    Nor am I venting my disagreement with Reagan. There's no point in that right now. It's more productive to vent disagreement with the current policy-makers.

    But what has long bothered me (long before Reagan's demise) is the aura of worship around the man. Great President? Maybe. We can always debate that. And a little bit of posthumous rose-colored glasses? Nothing unusual.

    But some of the adulation for the man prior to his death, and now amplified with his death, has always seemed over the top to me. I live in Santa Barbara, near his ranch. I've never been there, but a while back I met one of the Young America Foundation employees restoring the shrine...um, I mean, ranch. I'm not joking when I predict that within a few weeks some Catholic Republican will pray at His gravesite and then claim that praying to Reagan cured a tumor or something. Don't believe me? Then you obviously haven't spent enough time around traditional Catholics and devout Republicans. When the two labels overlap, the results can be astounding.

    Anyway, give the deceased head of state a dignified state funeral. Give him some posthumous rose-colored glasses like we give to all deceased statesmen. But some of the adulation is still over the top. That's what I object to.

  26. i always get the new republic and the nation confused.

    all that blonde hair and pom-poms.

    "Even a libertarian should be able to see the usefulness of common public "spectacle" to the maintanence of civil society."

    eh. there's something gross about this statement that i can't put my finger on.

  27. Jesse:

    It might be more professional of you to simply admit you wrote your original post poorly, instead of patronizing people who got upset by it. (See Kimmel, Jimmy.)

  28. Hey Jesse, how did you know the NRO people got invited? Were you tipped off or did the sudden drop of IQ in this thread clue you in?

    As far as Reagan's funeral, I sure Osama is happy to watch his old benefactor get the respect he so richly deserves.

  29. Heh, I've never seen so much new blood in the comments before.

    Jesse

    "But some of the adulation for the man prior to his death, and now amplified with his death, has always seemed over the top to me."

    I think that the right needs their FDR. For decades, there has been imparity. The left deified the man who set the bill of rights aflame in the name of the Common Man (er, hooray?), but the right had no emblem of Not FDR. A deity demands a deity.

  30. Jesse,
    You are a damn jackass!

  31. "Celebrating RR's death is really just celebrating his life, and that is precisely the objection many have, not that it's a deathfest."

    You're fooling yourself. This is very much a celebration of his death. I mean, it could actually give Bush a chance to get back on his feet and look Presidential. It's a fantastic opportunity for him. With Reagan dead, he can start to try and co-opt his image (though, frankly, Bush is far more a Carter than a Reagan at this point). It's awesome!

    The only thing that really bothers me about all this is that its giving the media time to repeat the same nonsense over and over. Most popular port-war President? By what measure? Likability? Sixth out of the last ten Presidents! Approval ratings? Lower than Nixon in his first term! Highest approval watermark? Sorry, Clinton 71% beats Reagan's 68%. Reagan won two elections in a landslide because the Dems fielded incredibly bad candidates. But in terms of approval in office, he was just average. Now, the media doesn't have to say that. They can just say that he was a beloved figure, and he was. But this "greatest ever" nonsense is just because they are regurgitating the line pushed on them by the parade of conservative commentators grasping onto their one last chance to try and sell Reagan's Presidency without any hint or a wart or blemish, and try to sell Bush's term at the same time.

  32. "Hey Jesse, how did you know the NRO people got invited? Were you tipped off or did the sudden drop of IQ in this thread clue you in?"-That's teh funnay Shady! Excellent argumentation skills there, belittle your opponents. If you read this thread before NRO you'd see that the tone changed, but the IQ level increased.

    Now, which is it, or is it all of them, you think Reagan was a Fascist, Jefferson a Fascist, or that this equals Mao's or Stalin's funeral. And then give me a 250 word or less essay about how these sentiments prove wither you or their posters are "Wile E Coyote Super Genius"?

    "As far as Reagan's funeral, I sure Osama is happy to watch his old benefactor get the respect he so richly deserves."- ANOTHER witticism there! That would be because as an obscure Saudi youth OBL went to Afghanistan and fought the USSR, there correct? Though, he was radicalized later and the Taliban emerged from a generation that DID NOT fight the Russians? Might as well say Gorbachev's protege as well. But of course, Gorby's not dead and not well loved.

  33. "I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children."

    Putting the blame on Reagan rather than the U.S. allows Qaddafy to bury the matter without losing face.

  34. A leader reverses the worst economic conditions short of the Great Depression with policies that are endlessly ridiculed by the "intelligentsia". He simultaneously confronts one of the most murderous evils in history (again, a posture that was widely reviled in the media of the day) and ends up freeing millions as well as saving countless lives.
    Nope, no accomplishments to celebrate here, move on.

    Those of you bored or inconvenienced by the time devoted to respecting this man might talk to some of the people who remember what it was REALLY like in 1979. You might learn something useful.

  35. Jesse:

    It might be more professional of you to simply admit you wrote your original post poorly, instead of patronizing people who got upset by it.

    That's pretty much par for the course for the Hit and Run crowd: Write a puerile, ill thought-out post, then condescendingly chastise any responders for not reading your mind to find the real hidden meaning you intended. Also, chastise them for not holding themselves to some incredible level of class and restraint which you didn't exhibit in the first place.

    It's scarcely worth mentioning the sympathy extend to poor-old Col. Qadaffy (with lame qualifier of course.) I wonder how the families of the victims of the Berlin disco bombing feel about Reagan's death. Apparently not as relevant.

    Anyway, whatevs (as the kids say). I'm sure I'm about to find out that I'm an Ann Coulter wannabe who fantasizes about eating out Peggy Noonan while I jack off to National Review, or something. But it's the Hit and Run crowd which has the monopoly on taste and erudition, right?

  36. The best way I can think of to thank President Reagan is to say that; I would never want to risk rerunning history without him.

    Were I from one of the occupied nations of the former Soviet Union, the thought of risking a history sans Reagan would seem terrifying.

  37. Fuck Ronald Reagan.
    Ray Charles just died.
    As far as I'm concerned, shit will be shut down tomorrow for him.
    (And Robert Quine too)

  38. "Even a libertarian should be able to see the usefulness of common public "spectacle" to the maintanence of civil society."

    I see this more abstractly than hero worship specific to Reagan. We're in a time of severe partisanship, characterized by mutual demonization, and a perception by the Right that the Left wants our country to sail away with the elves and give up Middle Earth to Chirac while crying "sorry!".

    I think this is all more a reaction to that - it's a way that people (of the Right) can celebrate the American pride that Reagan gave people permission to once again feel and that we're supposed to feel guilty about again today, a way to glorify a leader who commands respect through personality (a presence, if you will, and one that we don't see in ANY candidate right now), and, less importantly, a way to reaffirm that we simply like decent, friendly people.

    Besides, daytime TV sux anyway.

  39. Well Jesse you've managed to piss off the NRO crowd, so you've got to be doing something right. Keep it up.

  40. You are a crimugean or whatever it is you are.

  41. People keep on mentioning Lincoln, which of course makes me think of Walt Whitman:

    O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather?d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up?for you the flag is flung?for you the bugle trills;
    For you bouquets and ribbon?d wreaths?for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    Here Captain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You?ve fallen cold and dead.

    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
    The ship is anchor?d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with mournful tread,
    Walk the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

  42. In a much different way, I'm also grateful for Nixon's Presidency. He was dishonest and an advocate of bigger government. Thus, Watergate engendered a profound and appropriate distrust of government.

  43. Rick Barton,

    Oh but you forget! In the post-9/11 era we are supposed to trust and love the government!

  44. You said: "3. Some of you seem intent on inferring my opinion of Reagan's presidency from this blog post. You'd do better to read the article on the topic I wrote earlier this week."

    This is silly. You can't expect people to go back and read an article you wrote last week in order to infer what you mean. I did, but I expect I am in the minority. As it happens, I agree with your article, mostly, but this blog post makes you appear petty and vindictive. You sound just like a spoiled child at a birthday party, angry that the birthday boy is receiving all the attention. It isn't a pretty picture.

  45. Ray Charles, RIP

    CNBC just reported that Reagan loved Ray Charles' rendition of "America the Beautiful" and that Ray Charles sang it for him in person a number of times over the years.

  46. I wish Eric Dreamer and his fascist NRO buddies would leave us Reasonites alone in our echo chamber.

  47. Jesse,
    Thanks for the guidelines on how we're supposed to think about on your blatherings.

    The free minds on Reason.com seem to become thought police at the drop of a hat.

  48. "It's scarcely worth mentioning the sympathy extend to poor-old Col. Qadaffy "

    um, you mean the line that reads: "Though when it comes to evading justice for your crimes against Libyans, Qaddafy's the expert." that's right after the part you object to?

    having been born only a few short years before He Who Hath Brought Forth The Light, i do find it amusing that posters who are generally skeptical of politicians in all their lovely forms would be able to draw personal lines of attachment to someone who was not only a politician, but also an actor.

    if you're looking for a cheap shot, here's one: at the very least i can say mr. reagan and i were probably reading at the same level in 1987. 🙂

  49. Eric Dreamer,
    "I'm sure I'm about to find out that I'm an Ann Coulter wannabe who fantasizes about eating out Peggy Noonan while I jack off to National Review, or something."

    Wow ! So, are you that kind of guy ?

  50. Eric Dreamer,
    "I'm sure I'm about to find out that I'm an Ann Coulter wannabe who fantasizes about eating out Peggy Noonan while I jack off to National Review, or something."

    Wow ! So, are you that kind of guy ?

  51. How'd you guys find out that I fantasize about sex with Peggy Noonan?

  52. Gary Gunnels,

    I know. They're milking it for all it's worth.

  53. "You sound just like a spoiled child at a birthday party, angry that the birthday boy is receiving all the attention. It isn't a pretty picture."

    and in reverse, there are many who appear to be fellating a dead man, which is decidedly less pretty.

  54. Ray Charles just died, and he was worth a helluva lot more than that dumb actor Reagan. I say let's just chuck Reagan in a hole somewhere and give the State Funeral to Ray!

  55. " . . .there are many who appear to be fellating a dead man, which is decidedly less pretty."

    I think you've misinterpreted the concept of the "full-blown state funeral" that people are discussing.

  56. Wait I?m confused? does Ray Charles get to be on the currency now?

    Seriously, though, if you?re a republican what do you do with your 18X25? full color portrait of Ronnie? Do you take it down or drape a sheet over it or what?

    Does anyone know where I can get tickets to the funeral? I just checked eBay, but the guys selling them don't take Paypal... Do you think Regan?s casket will be on stage at Lollapalooza in August? Maybe I'll just wait and see it then.

  57. Is a crimugean someone from the Crimea? Is that like "Glaswegian"?

  58. Between some the "weeklong festival of death"(expressed by a poster above with that brilliant and original Wonkette-inspired metaphor of "fellating" Reagan) and the petty, classless spitting on the grave exhibited by a good portion of the commenters here, I'll take the "festival of death."

  59. Well you will for sure do the same to Clinton (I can see the future), so you are just a hypocrite "Eric."

  60. "and in reverse, there are many who appear to be fellating a dead man, which is decidedly less pretty."

    I think you must be the only one who sees that. Strange that you would pick that metaphor. It says a lot about you.

  61. You can argue about Reagan cutting the size of government ? he certainly stopped the rate of increase.

    But he would be troubled that the US government would be taking a day off for his funeral.

    And of course you can make the broad generalization that government workers are all democrats and are planning a big keg party for Friday.

  62. "And of course you can make the broad generalization that government workers are all democrats...."

    Hey, we've already got Walter Wallis here to make such generalizations. You'll have to get your own overly broad brush to paint with.

  63. and of course anyone from Massachusetts is a democrat.

  64. Years ago I worked for a state government that gave a holiday for state employees on election day. Unfortunately, they also closed all the bars that day till the polls closed but the local brewery tours were exempt because their samples were free. Resourcefully, we took the tour over and over and over.

  65. This is hilarious. If you think the National Review readers are pouring bile on poor Jesse now, just imagine what they'd do if he came out in favor of gay marriage! Or, as the National Review puts it, Gay "Marriage." If they REALLY want to insult M'sieur Walker, perhaps they could refer to him as a "writer" rather than a writer.

    (See, by putting quotation marks around a label, you cleverly show that that which is labelled is not worthy of it. Go, go, NRO!)

  66. VILE SWINE SHOO SHOO!

    NRO folks are worse than child molesters. I hate every post that links to them. I am always enraged by the pure evil that oozes from their every word. Now they're here defecating in my playground.

    Jesse,
    I can't believe you addressed them directly as if they were capable of learning a new thought.

  67. I must confess to occasionally reading NR, although I don?t know how healthy that is, I now periodically have nightmares of John Derbyshire in a Dr Fu Manchu get up, lecturing me on the reasons why one citizen one vote democracy is not really workable. After the past weeks coverage over there, and the media OD in general, the following irreverence?s were a welcome antidote

    ?Movement to Canonize Reagan Stalled by Fact that He Wasn't Catholic?

    http://watleyreview.com/2004/060804-3.html

    and In Memoriam

    http://www.whitehouse.org/reagan/index.html

  68. Actually there is a guy in Ma that isn't a dem, his name is Roberto and he's, gasp, pretty much a libertarian.

    And in answer to my own question masquerading as a really awful joke (50 or so posts back):

    Nixon's family really did "just say no" to a state funeral.

    I guess I should have known that.

  69. Thanks to whoever brought up Qaddafi.

    I can't be the only person who is glad that RR was not paying attention when our allies declared Qaddafi a friend. Tony Blair is enough to make one grateful for both Clinton and GWB.

    But now we have:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/10/international/africa/10LIBY.html

    Jesse - Yeah. I hate funerals too. They shouldn't last a week.
    Jonah - Very good.

  70. I should have explained the NR/Derbyshire crack...

    http://www.nationalreview.com/derbyshire/derbyshire052803.asp

  71. Being born under communist oppression myself, I remember the aura surrounding a state funeral.

    The comparison to Reagan *is* funny, because it's ironic and true.

    However, I must grant one difference. In a month, this will all be over. In the communist bloc it was never over. It was on infinite repeat. A never ending pageant--like a boot--stamping on a human face, forever.

  72. There's not much here worth responding to, except perhaps from a clinical perspective. But this bit really took the cake:

    This is silly. You can't expect people to go back and read an article you wrote last week in order to infer what you mean.

    I didn't say that you should read it in order to infer what I meant. I said you should read it in order to infer my views of Ronald Reagan. Since my post said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about my views of Ronald Reagan, aside from the facts that I'm not a fan of his speeches and I share his appreciation for Merle Haggard, this isn't really related to figuring out the meaning of the blog post.

    And Eric: I'm sorry if I sound "condescending," but someone who assumes from my comment that I'm a Democrat, that I'm jealous of the attention Reagan is getting, or that I'm defending Qaddafy clearly lacks some basic reading comprehension skills. He isn't failing to "read my mind to find the real hidden meaning I intended"; he's ignoring the very plain meaning of what I wrote and projecting in new meanings grounded in nothing but his fantasies. Some people deserve condescension. I'm sure you'll agree, since you're pretty damn condescending yourself.

  73. Jesse,

    The people who infer you're a Democrat remind me of the pinheads who write in to Antiwar.Com Backtalk, and challenge Raimondo and Garris with rapier witticisms like "Why didn't you librulls oppose Clinton's Kossovo war?"

  74. Nice board you folks got here at Reason.com Now I know that I wasn't missing anything by not coming here.

  75. BTW, shouldn't that be "dropping *turds* into the mouths of the Dixie Chicks"? Dropping the same turd into three successive mouths sounds awfully messy. Still, that's definitely something I'd tune in to see.

  76. Why read Reason when you can read High Times instead?

  77. Well Boys and Girls what can we say about todays visit from the neighbors?
    Of course some of the comments HAD to have been submitted NRO trolls, they are so over the top that surely no one in his right mind would have posted them, Smark, and to an extent Dylan. Sadly enough, Warren I believe is a regular.

    "VILE SWINE SHOO SHOO!

    NRO folks are worse than child molesters. I hate every post that links to them. I am always enraged by the pure evil that oozes from their every word. Now they're here defecating in my playground.

    Jesse,
    I can't believe you addressed them directly as if they were capable of learning a new thought."
    Is sadly, from YOUR guys poiint of view a problem, from MY point of view great. What does a minority need? It needs NUMBERS! How to get numbers? By being rational, polite, strong without being too offensive? Or by insulting the visitors?

    This board is far too in-bred. It preaches to itself far too much. And when the neighbors drop by, they don't get a welcome.

    But you guys are right and you guys have the Holy Grail of the Body Politic. And seeminly, when we all agree with you, we'll be welcome. You remind me of a former officer I once knew. His troops weren't very good, or good as HE was. he always complained about that, and felt that when they were as qualified as he, great things would happen. Of course, that never happened because he wasn't going to expend the effort to bring them up to his level.

    Also, you remind me of Conservatives I met. When we Republican Conservatives have 60 votes in the Senate, control the House, and have the Presidency give them a call.

    Well politics don't work that way. You build one person at a time, if need be. And that ain't happening here. Now that's good from my viewpoint, to see STUPID competitors, but it ought to sadden you guys.

    You need NRO readers, or someone's readers, to grow as a magazine or a movement. Something for you to think on.... or not.

  78. Joe, this is by far the most intellectually diverse blog-comment community I know of. Besides the considerable differences within the libertarian movement that are represented here, there are plenty of conservatives, liberals, and unclassifiables mixed in the fray. Lord knows the place has got its dysfunctions, as this thread demonstrates. But I can't see how anyone could call this an echo chamber.

    Also: I really wish people would stop confusing these comment threads with Reason magazine. They're more like an ancillary sandbox. Sometimes the play here is fun, sometimes it's downright enlightening, and sometimes it's a bunch of homeless bums hurling HiV-infected needles at pedestrians. But it's not the magazine. We're a different beast.

  79. I can't believe the snarky commentary on this thread. Some guy even said Jefferson "stole" the Louisiana Purchase!

    Libertarians seem to suffer from the smarty-pants syndrome, which results, counterintuitively enough, in a real misunderstanding of the world we actually live in. It causes them to practice an extreme form of revisionism that ends up getting everything wrong. There are smarty-pants all over the political spectrum, of course, but Objectivists and Libertarians seem to have especially high concentrations.

  80. Some guy even said Jefferson "stole" the Louisiana Purchase!

    The guy was joking. It wasn't a very funny joke, but it obviously wasn't supposed to be serious.

  81. Jesse Walker,

    Yes, Noonan makes me wretch as well.

  82. The guy was joking. It wasn't a very funny joke, but it obviously wasn't supposed to be serious.

    Joking? Not at all. The element of hyperbole in Sam Smith's remarks was not added in jocularity, but in all seriousness. No doubt Smith believes he has arguments to back up his charges.

    Smith's comments are typical of the kooky, smartypants libertarian, which is why I singled him out.

  83. Indeed, I can't decide who would make me throw-up with the greatest celerity - Peggy Noonan or Eleanor Clift.

  84. One is Queen Whiner and the other is Queen of over-the-top hero worship. Where they rank on my vomit scale all depends on mood. They are both perfect 10's on the annoying scale.

  85. was anyone else hoping they would drop it and his ugly corpse would spill out? that would drive the dittoheads nuts.

    once last fascist (good riddence!)

  86. Qaddafi did NOT lose a daughter in those raids.
    He postumously adopted a girl, no relation of his, who was accidentally killed.

    Check your facts.

  87. Jesse is right. We are more Commie than ever. We celebrate a leader for what he said (government is not the solution) and ignore what he did (grow government). We give him a Stalinesque Death Festival week. No one (mainstream media, anyway) dares mention that The Great Leader sold weapons to the #1 state sponsor of terrorism. And isn't the horseless rider with backward boots supposed to be for fallen Colonels/Generals only? All praise to The Great Leader.

  88. I second what yo mamma said.

    I wonder if any Republicans were disappointed when he did not "rise again, in fulfillment of the scriptures." And the open casket is proof that he didn't ascend into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the father.

  89. Not only the extended "mourning", but also the extended bitching attest to the power and impact of RWR.

  90. You would defend Janet Jackson in an ANSWER T-shirt dropping a turd into the mouths of the Dixie Chicks on national TV...

    ...but you can't change the channel for the Reagan ceremonies (which is what the market is demanding).

  91. Qaddafi did NOT lose a daughter in those raids.
    He postumously adopted a girl, no relation of his, who was accidentally killed.

    Check your facts.

    Qaddafi is dead? Dictionaries are a wonderful place to search for facts, including the meaning of words.

  92. I guess being losers in the political game makes you bitter...

    Today's articles seem to focus on the fact that "Reason" is in the unenviable position of having absolutely no chance of seeing any of its agenda introduced anytime soon and so seems to have declared war on the body politic.

    Virginia Postrel had a great article in Reason, I think in 1996 about why Republicans deserved to lose. It focussed on their anger and negativity. Many here would be well advised to peruse it and learn from it.

  93. Was it "commie" of the US to make a big deal about Thomas Jefferson dying?

  94. Interestingly enough, nobody but my parents bitched, pissed, and moaned at how long Kennedy's funeral festival was taking and that it pre-empted ALL television programming for just about a week. Nobody was too concerned about the cost either. When I say nobody, I include government officials, the media and John Q (no cost should be spared for the finest president in the history of the nation and all that blather).

    Now I happen to agree that the pomp and circumstance for RR is a little over the top and I also recognize that we libertarians are a little less patient with this sort of royal send off. But, the annoyance is more widespread than just you guys and if you doubt it just plug 'reagan funeral procession' into google and you'll see just what I mean.

    Now maybe, Kennedy gets a 'bye' because he got shot. Or maybe it's a matter of the four intervening decades. But it seems that, in general, a lot of the complaining is coming from people who had or would have had no problem with the unending death celebration for JFK.

    I don't remember a thing about the Johnson funeral back in the early seventies..........

    Shrug

  95. Joe L. -- Fuck you. How's that?

  96. "Check your facts"

    Check your grammar. The second comma makes the death that of the girl, not Qaddafi.

    Idiot.

  97. "You can count me among those who find the Week-Long Death Festival more appropriate for the expiration of a North Korean dictator than an American president."

    Gee Jesse did you feel that way about JFK? or will you when the do the same for Clinton?

    There is no moral equivilence. The difference is that people choose to mourn reagan, whereas in NK, they will undoubtedly be forced to. But, I suppose, given your particular brand of politics, you would rather have it that way.

  98. No, if this were North Korea, the caisson wouldn't be parked after week 1, but would troddle on into week 1000.

    And of course, it would be pulled by political prisoners, with The People's Glorious Steeds having all been eaten by the army.

    BTW, who is Gaddafi running against in the next election? If he loses, we'll hold the party in a Berlin disco.

  99. Jonah Goldberg just declared Reason to be illegal:
    "REASON WE HARDLY KNEW YE [Jonah Goldberg ]
    There was a time when NR was the magazine for curmudgeons. Looks like Reason wants the title.
    Posted at 11:07 AM"
    NRO starts bombing in five minutes.

  100. hagfan - yes it was. Jefferson was in many ways like Reagan, a hypocritical near-dictator "Great Leader," who intervened and stole half the contienent while spouting off about liberty. A hyperinterventinist whose policies made the Europeans hate us and whose hateful rhetoric was a disaster for international relations (sound familer?). If anything, Jefferson was the first neocon.

    Jefferson should be erased from history, as he is very much like Reagan.

  101. How the hell did I end up at DemocraticUnderground.com? I could have sworn I clicked on Reason. First a snarky put-down of Reagans Funeral then a bunch of sophmoric comments not even worthy of Junior High. I used to think that libertarianism was hopeful and positive. I don't anymore.

    You people would make me want to puke, but you're not worth the effort.

  102. You'll have to excuse me if I don't read all 127+ posts here but I was just going to comment on the initial gist of the thread.

    That Reagan's funeral is akin to some kind of Communist state funeral is of course absurd but I won't fault his detractors for being sick of the media coverage.

    The reason this thing seems so grand is because of the public response. In a dictatorship of couse the thousands turning out for last respects would be there at gun point.

    But here, whether anyone at Reason agrees with them or not, the outpouring of affection for the guy is too much for the media to ignore. And surely no one thinks that Brokaw and Rather want to spend this much time on Reagan. I'm sure there's an Abu Ghraib picture that still needs released but they simply can't go there right now.

    I suppose I can relate to Reagan's detractors though; everytime a supposedly intelligent conservative compares Reagan's greatness to FDR's I want to puke.

    I've heard FDR mentioned more in the last few days than I have in the last few years combined and it has all been positive. Now if anyone has ever been a vacuous symbol of what should've been but never was, there's FDR.

  103. Martin: I remember the complaints that the infant was "only" adopted. They didn't impress me then and they don't impress me now.

    TWC: I suspect the Kennedy funeral would have annoyed me too. Though there is a significant difference between a president who is assassinated and a president who dies after a decade-long illness -- in 1963 people were getting over their shock, whereas no one was surprised by Reagan's death and I suspect that many who knew him were actually relieved, considering the suffering the man was going through.

  104. And people wonder why I didn't resubscribe to "Reason." I can get this kind of bitter crap at "The Nation." Still better than "Liberty" though.

  105. Hold on a moment:
    Peggy Noonan is much better looking than Eleanor Clift.
    For that reason alone, I prefer her TV appearances.

  106. RR a fascist? How charmingly absurd.

    One more victim of public school speaks out and removes all doubt.

  107. posthumously,

    While a posthumous birth occurs after the death of the father or mother, a posthumous adoption is one that occurs after the death of the adoptee, not after the death of the adopter.

    I believe you are confusing posthumous adoption with testamentary adoption, which occurs after death of the adopter, usually by provision in his will (hence the term "testamentary"). While it is possible for a child to be born to a dead person, it is not possible for a dead person to adopt a child except via their will or testament.

    Dictionaries are indeed a wonderful place to search for the meaning of words.

    Pedantically yours,

    R C

  108. Waahhh!! They're spending too much time covering Reagan's death! Why, when [insert Libertarian known to exactly 2% of the population] died, it didn't go on for 4 days. In fact, nobody even noticed!

    And classy posts draw classy readers I see...

    "I think I just saw Noonan giving head to the Gipper corpse on FoxNews!

    Posted by Jack A."

    Nice, very nice...

  109. Monkey Boy,

    The "people" didn't choose anything; the "people" didn't have a hand in how the ceremonies, etc. would unfold.

    Joe L.,

    If I am a "loser" in comparison to Noonan or Clift, I'll wear the term with pride! With pride! Now why am I thinking of Tim Robbins? 🙂

    Monkeyboy,

    Was Jesse even alive when JFK died?

    TWC,

    I was not born when JFK was buried; and I was five when LBJ got his last rites - so I really have no real way to judge all the crap they did for those guys. Indeed, my only experience with this is Nixon's death, and that wasn't remotely as bad and boring as these events.

    Mark Fox,

    I expect the same crap when Clinton dies; it will just be a role reversal.

  110. The initial comments your grumpy screed elicited are lamentably on a par with those of Usenet bottom feeders.

    No, the riderless horse is not just for generals.
    There was one in JFK's state funeral procession, for example.

    A state funeral is Stalinesque? Was it Stalinesque when JFK and Lyndon Johnson received one? Or Lincoln?

    And to the sneering anti-Christian bigot thoreau: no, Christians don't believe that they rise bodily from their own caskets.

    The factual mistakes and misspellings found in so few postings, not to mention their infantile tone, make me, a long-time Reason subscriber, cringe.

    I thought it was a mag written by and for grown-ups. Now I am not so sure.

    Wretch Gary Gunnels' poor spelling makes me retch. As for thoreau's ridiculous claim that Reagan was a fascist: good riddAnce to YOU, sir.

  111. And people wonder why I didn't resubscribe to "Reason." I can get this kind of bitter crap at "The Nation." Still better than "Liberty" though.

    Funny. This is a good reverse description of why I feel the opposite way.

    When I read a periodical that focuses on optimistic government solutions, I know I'm not reading serious material.

    It's a testament to how times have changed that I can find more of that at National Review than a leftist rag.

  112. first of all "Reasondumb" you idiot - this isn't the market, this is just propaganda by the corporate media. I don't know anybody watching this or who wants to see it. This isn't what people want, but only what the right-wing corporate PR media wants and their GOP handlers.

    So quit pretending to be libertarian about it. Every libertarian knows that Regean was the worst president ever and should be thrown into a dungheap.

  113. Interesting to see how many folks are quick with the "fuck you's" and other name calling when they can hide behind the computer screen where there is absolutely no danger that the target can belt them upside the head.

    Something to remember: there is a real person behind every comment and every keyboard.

    The fact that this is a nearly anonymous forum is no excuse for behavior that would never be tolerated at a social gathering (least not at my house anyway).

  114. Ok, I admit that I found some of his speeches inspiring - parts of them, at least:

    Acceptance of the Republican Nomination for President
    July 17, 1980

    Our problems are both acute and chronic, yet all we hear from those in positions of leadership are the same tired proposals for more Government tinkering, more meddling and more control - all of which led us to this sorry state in the first place

    The American people are carrying the heaviest peacetime tax burden in our nation's history - and it will grow even heavier, under present law, next January. We are taxing ourselves into economic exhaustion and stagnation, crushing our ability and incentive to save, invest and produce.

    I believe it is clear our Federal Government is overgrown and overweight. Indeed, it is time our Government should go on a diet. Therefore, my first act as chief executive will be to impose an immediate and thorough freeze on Federal hiring.

    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2004/reagan/stories/speech.archive/nomination.html

    I voted for Ed Clark, the Libertarian candidate that year.

  115. This site has been taken over by a bunch of intellectually and spiritually barren haters.

  116. "As for thoreau's ridiculous claim that Reagan was a fascist: good riddAnce to YOU, sir."

    That would be 8ball's ridiculous claim:

    Posted by 8ball at June 10, 2004 11:18 AM

    was anyone else hoping they would drop it and his ugly corpse would spill out? that would drive the dittoheads nuts.

    once last fascist (good riddence!)

    Ahhh, hubris. 🙂

  117. "A Time For Choosing" well predates his presidency - it was a stump speech for the Goldwater campaign - but I find it to be quite inspiring.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/reaganatimeforchoosing.htm

    Count me among those who wish for more civility on these threads.

  118. I for one welcomed the "F&*^ You"- I think of it as a variant of Goodwin's Law. When I get a "F*()" You I figure and little else I figure I must have hit a nerve there...

    I believe the word to describe this lovefest is "Envy".

    REAL Libertarian, what does a REAL Libertarian belive,BTW and have there been any of them in power?

  119. I used to be a member of the Libertarian party and a subscriber to Reason.
    This thread is solid proof that dropping both was the right thing to do.
    I expect this arrogant, know-it-all, classless bullshit from lefties. Ever since 9/11 I've been embarassed to have ever been associated with the kooks that comprise the Libertarian party.
    Enjoy your .5% (if you're lucky) of the vote for the foreseeable future.

  120. Wow, I?ve been reading this blog for about two years and have never seen so much cursing and vindictiveness for any other topic.

    Just as an FYI ? Kennedy?s funereal scripting was taken directly from Lincoln?s. Much of the symbolism for a fallen general was appropriate for Lincoln as a commander in chief during a war, was reasonably appropriate for Kennedy during the cold war (from what I?ve read, I wasn?t alive at the time), and not as appropriate for Johnson (which I remember quite clearly, being about 5 and it was the only thing on TV).

    I would think that a president dying of old age 16 years after being out of office makes it a little excessive, but heck, man, that?s politics for you! It probably cost less than the Pentagon scandal with the airline tickets, which no one seems to want to talk about!

    And I don?t think Clinton will get the same pomp. You see, when Kerry allows all stem cell research, Clinton will just be cloned again and again, with his brain transplanted from one clone to another when the first host body dies (Mwa-ha-ha!)

  121. The word for the day is 'apotheosis'.

    I can't say I feel reverence for JFK and I can't say I feel reverence for Reagan. I don't see why I should. I thought that sort of thing was blasphemous and/or anti-republican (lower case 'r' there) and/or anti-democratic (maybe).

    Nice words don't do it for me, man. And I don't think he gets the bulk of the credit for the destruction of communism. (An event I was overjoyed to see.) A lesser (?) man than Gorbachev, faced with 'defeat', would have gambled on a preemptive strike.

    Now, if Reagan had gotten us onto a gold standard (or ANY standard, really), I'd be feeling reverent, at least a little bit. (Note well: I didn't say I disliked him. I mean, c'mon, I didn't know him, and most of ya'll didn't either. Should I feel reverence (as opposed to aesthetic awe) for Monica Belluci's bod, temple that it is?)

    One pants leg at a time and all that.

    ash
    ['Noonan: fine, except for the incessant smarmy treacle.']

  122. GG,

    Yeah Nixon's funeral was much more sedate.

    I was speculating that maybe Nixon didn't get the royal send off at taxpayer's expense because he resigned. Or maybe his family "just said no" (LOL at my own really stupid and obscure joke).

  123. Who's really missing the point here?

    The reaction to Reagan's death is largely spontaneous. I think it's safe to say that ceremonies for the Dear Leader would involve just a tad of coercion. Excessive or not, it's not comparable to totalitarian pomp, and if this douchebag can't grasp that distinction, then he should put on a beret and walk around coffee shops with Sartre in his hand.

    p.s. Isn't Jesse Walker the same guy who attempted some tasteless "humor" in a posting about Nick Berg? I guess he's trying to be the Ted Rall of the libertarians.

  124. This is the first time I've been to "Reason's" site. Based on the erudition and insight of many of the posts, it will also be the last.

    SAS

  125. and if clinton were dead...most of you would be cheering. fuck, i'd probably cheer too.

    the faux outrage is so...so...LIBERAL!!!!!!!!!!

  126. Regular Posters: Why has this thread inspired more irregulars to chime in? Is there really nothing to discuss here, so fatuous opinion and name calling carry more weight than usual? By starting a new thread, Walker has saved us the trouble of scrolling down to repeat the same sentiments.

  127. Isn't Jesse Walker the same guy who attempted some tasteless "humor" in a posting about Nick Berg?

    No.

  128. Re: Janet Jackson defecating on the Dixie Chicks

    As long as we don't see boobs, it's OK.

  129. My mother's reaction when I spoke to her shortly after Reagan's death (she's in Egypt now):

    "Oh, he was a good president. How old was he?"
    (me) ""93"
    (her)"That's ok, he lived a long rich life and he was suffering. It's better he passed like this, no reason to be sad."

    Maybe that's why I never feel sad when people die over the age of 80. By then, they lived a long rich life.

    BTW, anyone who thinks this was a spontaneous outpouring of affection needs to go to the newstand grab the WSJ and read about Operation Serenade. I have nothing against a state funeral, but this is over the top (and I woul feel the same way about Clinton). RR is one of my all time favorite presidents, but don't you think this is a tad much.

    [Snarky joke warning]
    Are we trying to bankrupt North Korea and Cuba by setting a high bar for state funerals?

  130. Actually dictators can get quite a great deal of public adulation without forcing them.

    Case in point: http://stalin.narod.nl/index.htm - Stalin's funeral. (Change the nl to ru; the spam filter blocks this account of the funeral chaos.)

    I'm too lazy to do research tonight but I'm sure you could easily find other examples of sincere public mourning over many rather reprehensible dictators.

  131. Jefferson didn't "steal" the Louisiana territory. Some might say he received stolen property, but that assumes that the tribes the previous "owners" snagged it from believed in owning real estate.

    Big crowds at Stalin's funeral could have been operating on the theory Sam Goldwyn had about the mourners of Louis B. Mayer. "The reason so many people turned up at his funeral is that they wanted to make sure he was dead."

    Kevin

  132. I actually DO remember LBJ's coverage in 1973.

    I was 4 years old and my Saturday morning cartoons were interrupted by coverage of the festivities.

    I don't remember anything from being 4, but for some reason I remember that. It must have been traumatic for me.

    But it makes sense that I remember. In those days there were probably 3 channels on TV. We didn't have a half-dozen 24x7 kids/cartoon channels. Cartoons were confined to a few hours one day each week. There was no way to avoid LBJ coverage.

    Today the RR ceremony is a bit much. When I grow tired of all the pomp, I have oodles of channels from my Dish to choose from not to mention all of the time-wasting fun I can have on the net reading this junk.

    Indeed, Julian Simon was right. Things are getting better all the time.

    BTW, you NRO guys are kind of sick in your worship of the state. It is eerie to think that I once attended a few College Republican meetings.

  133. All I gotta say... I was visiting my mom last night for dinner (and she was a Californian from birth to 1974, so RR was once also her governor). She said the Reagan hoopla on every channel was *SO BORING* she changed the channel to watching the *LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION* on the local government cable access channel instead. Granted, my and my bro's all went to the school, but we're out now. And she watched the bloviating assistant principal speak for an hour instead.

    That tells me everything I need to know about the Reagan funeral.

  134. I'll say this for Reagan: He was the only person who could deliver a Peggy Noonan speech. When she reads her own stuff, that sing-song voice of hers brings the treacle to the fore.

  135. To all of those who bitch about the costs of the Reagan state funeral:

    1> We only have one this elaborate about every thirty years.
    2> It's considerably less costly than building a Pyramid the size of a small mountain.
    3> No virgins need be sacrificed.
    4> Reagan helped win the Cold War, how many lives and billions of tax dollars has that saved us?

  136. This has been a bizarre thread. Jesse blogs that the pomp and circumstance surrounding RR's funeral seems a bit too much, and that there is irony in having a week long government funeral for a guy who insisted that government is the problem. Jesse goes on to snark that Reagan's speeches weren't very inspiring to him.

    Enter NRO folks. Reading the charming comments as those of 8ball, all sorts of accusations about the nature of this forum and the magazine start flying about.

    I have to say guys, the regulars here represent a fairly wide swath of the spectrum, and I daresay that any casual reader of the magazine would not assume that Jesse really wanted more air time for some libertarian candidate. That is a highly uninformed prejudgement that many Republicans, and I am at least nominally one myself, make about libertarians. To understand this place, you have to get that people here are small government types in a way that is divorced from party affiliation. Some are LPers, some (like me) are Elephants in the hopes that the actions of the Republicans will one day match their rhetoric, and some like Gary are Democrats because they view the LP as a clown college and the elephants are wrong on some civil rights issue. We don't really have a normal political home, and we spend a good deal of our time trying to figure out how to best influence public debate in the direction of less regulation.

    Yes, there are people who really believe that RR was a statist. There are also those who rant about Neocon this and that. There are many who don't support the war. Then again, there are people who view self defence more aggressively. Everyone wants lower taxes AND lower spending. Everyone wants less government power delegated to regulatory bodies like EPA.

    So, before all the talk about this being some area where as JoeL (who should know better) puts it "... you guys are right and you guys have the Holy Grail of the Body Politic. And seeminly, when we all agree with you, we'll be welcome," understand that the regulars don't agree on anything approaching every issue. There is a lot of good discussion about why small 'l' libertarians don't identify more with various political parties. Stick around for a while. See a few different threads.

  137. Noonan is not the dumbest conservative columnist (that would be Shelley Malkin) but she does take the art of "missing the point" to a new level. While we're on the subject, I refer you to the following comments from a recent Noonan column:

    "Is it better if the drafters bow to pressure and, like hypocrites, add a few soulful sentences in which they do not believe so as to fool the dumb people who do?"

    Noonan, for the record, is talking here about left-leaning European bureaucrats. No word on how she feels about similar sentiments among the Leo Strausseans in the Bush Administration. Oh well that's different, she might say...

  138. "I think you must be the only one who sees that. Strange that you would pick that metaphor. It says a lot about you."

    indeed it does. though i assure you i am not the only person to have made this comparison.

    i think it also says a lot about the way people have reacted to fairly benign criticism of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the "festival of death," as it were.

  139. you NRO guys are kind of sick in your worship of the state

    What color is the sky on the planet you live on, MB? There is no one - NO ONE - at NRO who worships the state. Give me an example of "state worship".

    A little reminder to you libertarians bitching about RR in particular. In the last 100 years, name the president which most closely embodies the limited government, pro freedom belief system that you supposedly espouse. And don't go prior to the last 100 years - Jackson's never going to happen again. (Hint - he was the guy after Carter, and before George Bush I.)

    I've come to the realization that libertarians are cynical idealists - they bitch about the way things are, but really believe that things can change. I means, why bitch if you can't change anything? Unless you just like to bitch, of course...

    TV (Harry)

  140. I am forcing myself to watch Reagan's "state funeral." Aside from the worst rendition of "Ave Maria" I have ever heard - the strings sounded like the middle school orchestra I used to conduct, overly staccato and mechanical - the lineup of former presidents waiting their turn and mentally planning their own posthumous ceremonies appears somehow ghoulish on t.v.

    Yet I just... can't.. seem... to.. turn... away.....

  141. This thread prooves abundantly that libertarians are merely liberals who were too nerdy to get the good thing after the YD meeting.

  142. such are the perils of not suckin' a dead man's dick.

  143. "I have found National Review to at have an epistemological backbone that Gillespie, et.al., have abandoned."

    Just to clear up matters for any martian invaders or Echelon spies who might be monitoring this excahnge - You realise that NRO's epistemology includes such wierdology as running arcticles sympathetic to creationism & denouncing stem cell research based on immaculate conception arguments etc, etc, etc, right ?
    Nothing to do with the topic under discussion, of course, but I bring it up only coz you fitted "epistemology" into your bullshit.

  144. People seem to be confusing the cost of the funeral with the public response.

    Had Reagan not been truly loved by so many Americans, all the pomp and pagentry would have been to no avail. No 5000 people an hour coming through to pay their respects and the TV news would have been back on Abu Ghraib.

    The actual ceremonies should be expected; the guy was the leader of the free world for goodness sake. Just because he didn't choose a pine box doesn't contradict his political views one bit.

    That so many would try so hard to find fault with such petty things only makes their distaste for the man all the more transparent. That these same people try to veil their sniping as objective is both weak and dishonest.

    Of course Jesse has a problem with Reagan and he shouldn't be crying because someone took him to task for his puerile behavior. At least wait until the body is in the ground.

  145. Keith,

    How does your mom's bizarre pattern of television viewing tell you anything about the Reagan funeral?

    Your mom was bored with it so the effusive response from so many other Americans is somehow negated?

    You're obviously taking a poke at Reagan but it doesn't make any rational sense.

  146. Actually Ray, its not Reagan the man or his legacy as a Commie-Smasher etc that's the problem here. It should be clear to anyone with any degree of nous that the cult of personality guys like you are genuflecting to is guaranteed to make libertarians (freaks, loopy induvidualists etc, etc) somewhat uneasy. Someday Highfather Odin will grant you the wisdom to understand. Peace. I mean, War.

  147. SM

    It is transparent enough that I am a pro-RR poster just as it is transparent enough that Jesse and yourself are decidedly against Reagan. So much for objectivity.

    But it is patently wrong to confuse the public support for Reagan with dictator style state funeral. Simple as that, for reasons I've already stated.

    Now, you're not able to actually refute this or make a rational defense for Jesse's initial premise so I have to assume you acquiesce inasmuch that this is much ado about nothing.

    As for your personality cult statement, you are of course confused again. I've not taken umbrage with any of the negative attacks on Reagan or his supporters, it doesn't really matter. I've only pointed out the erroneous labeling of overwhelming public response as some kind of dictator-esque type affair.

  148. Regarding SM's dismissal of NR's "weird" epistemology:

    National Review was founded by a Catholic explicitly loyal to an orthodox version of that religion. It has made common cause over the years with Protestants and Jews who are conservative, both theologically and religiously. It is not surprising that such folks have a principled objection to embryonic stem-cell research, in vitro fertilization that disposes of unimplanted embryos, and any such technologies that violate the rights of what they believe to be human persons. If I agreed with their premises, I'd agree with their conclusions. I don't agree that a seconds-old fertilized egg is morally equivalent to a fetus in the 20th week, but I can respect the opinion of those who do. Serious people can disagree about when the state should step in to protect human life, and how it should do so.

    BTW, Catholics have no problem with evolution being part of the natural law, if their god wanted it that way. Most of the "pro-creationist" articles I've seen in NR tend to run more to discussions of Intelligent Design, and away from "The Earth was created in 4004 B.C. - just count the generations in the Old Testament." Anti-evolutionism is not a requirement to be an NR-style conservative.

    I've been reading Reason for 25 years, and National Review ten years longer than that. Both magazines have gone through periods of peak quality and occasional dips. While the libertarian philosophy won me over a long time ago, Buckley's `zine still has some good points. Goldberg can be OK, even if he is dismissive towards us L-types. I always figure he thinks we are the dark side of the Force, and we hold a strange attraction. They still publish Doug Bandow. Sure, smack `em upside the head when they print something dumb, but their mag isn't fishwrap.

    Some of these visiting posters, though....
    If I wanted that sort of @#$%&* I'd hang out at Free Republic.

    Kevin

  149. Kevrob, excellent post, er, ah, comment.

    Ray, I didn't watch the funeral either. That fact is irrelevant with respect to my personal evaluation of RR.

    Jesse, I have noticed over time that some folks interpret the comments on this blog as if they represented Reason's explicit philosphy. That shouldn't happen, however, I can see how it could happen, particularly in a drive by.

  150. Thank you for proving my point.

    Your point was about the state of Reason magazine, yet the first quote that "proves" it came from a reader with no more connection to Reason than you have.

    Whose point are you trying to prove?

  151. It didn't take much perusal of this thread to understand why the 'Postrel' guided Reason of my prior subscription a number of years ago towers over the current incarnation.

    Because it didn't have an open comments thread?

  152. "Groan, here we go again ... i (sic) suppose things were better in the 1950's, too?"

    "Because it didn't have an open comments thread?"

    Thank you for proving my point.

  153. It didn't take much perusal of this thread to understand why the 'Postrel' guided Reason of my prior subscription a number of years ago towers over the current incarnation. After reading the magazine again for the last two years I've come to realize that Reason has exchanged 'thought' for 'attitude'. I have found National Review to at have an epistemological backbone that Gillespie, et.al., have abandoned.

  154. Groan, here we go again ... i suppose things were better in the 1950's, too ?

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