Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Why Republicans Don't Need Science 

Via Zemblan patriot J.D.: If you were under the mistaken impression that it is altogether unprecedented for a lunatic to occupy the White House, then by all means read Messrs. Isikoff and Hosenball of Newsweek on the close working relationship between the late President Nixon and his confidential advisor on the issue of international terrorism -- tabloid psychic Jeane Dixon:
In what University of Virginia historian and 9/11 Commission researcher Timothy Naftali calls “one of the oddest moments in the history of U.S. counterterrorism,” [secretary Rose Mary] Woods alerted Nixon to some of Dixon’s most alarming warnings during an Oval Office meeting that took place on Sept. 19, 1972, between 3:27 p.m. and 3:42 p.m. This meeting (which has never previously been detailed) took place just two weeks after nine Israeli Olympic athletes kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists were killed during a botched rescue attempt by West German authorities.

“There are going to be killings here in America, bombing of Jews,” Woods told the president, explaining she had just been told this in a recent session she had with Dixon. The psychic (who at the time wrote a newspaper astrology column) warned that Jewish leaders were going “to commence attacks on you [Nixon] for not protecting them,” according to Woods’s briefing. But she said Dixon was concerned for the president—and advised him not to “say something” . . . .

Woods also reported that Dixon was very focused on Alan King, the TV comedian who had recently cohosted a telethon to raise money for the Democratic National Committee. “Her thoughts are breaking toward [King],” Woods said. King could be one of the targets of the terror attacks, Dixon thought—“or he could be backers of this thing” . . . .

“Rose talks to this soothsayer, Jeane Dixon, all the time,” Nixon told Kissinger, according to a tape of the Sept. 21, 1972, meeting. “They are desperate that [the terrorists] will kidnap somebody. They may shoot somebody. We have got to have a plan. Suppose they do, for example, Henry, suppose they kidnap Rabin? And they ask us to release all blacks who are prisoners around the United States. And we didn’t and they shoot him? Think of it! What the Christ do we do? We are not going to give into it. We have got to have contingency plans for hijacking, for kidnapping, for all sorts of things that can happen around here.”
Dixon came to prominence after her 1956 prediction, in Parade magazine, that a Democratic president elected in 1960 would die in office. (Of course, no less a prognosticator than Yr. Mst. Obdt. Mnrch's own sainted Maw offered the same forecast, based on the "twenty-year curse" that killed presidents elected in 1840, 1860, 1880, 1900, 1920, 1940 -- and 1960. Leave it to Reagan to break the string.) After that early success, however, Ms. Dixon went into an extended batting slump:
She predicted, for example, that World War III would erupt in 1958 over the offshore Chinese islands of Quemoy and Matsu. She predicted that the Soviets would beat the United States to the moon. She predicted that cancer would be cured by 1967. In perhaps her strangest prophecy, she predicted that a baby descended from the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti would be born in the Middle East in 1962 and grow up to usher in an era of world peace—until he turned out to be the Anti-Christ.

Her forecasts grew so unreliable that one of her most prominent clients, astrology buff Nancy Reagan, concluded that Dixon had lost her powers and shifted to a rival astrologer, Joan Quigley, who provided advice while she and her husband were in the White House.
That said, Ms. Dixon was plainly a shrewd judge of character, and her "people skills" would no doubt have served her well in the current administration. In a meeting that was (fortunately) taped for posterity, she told Mr. Nixon about a confrontation she'd had with some antiwar protesters:
[S]he had recounted to the protesters what happened during her first international interview in 1949. She was asked about “a young man that God was gonna make great.” Dixon explained that she had meditated on this for a while. Then 10 days later it started to come to her.

“And I got your channel,” Dixon told Nixon. “It is because it is God’s plan for you, for you to be president of the United States.” Dixon explained how she had told all this to the protesters, telling them “that the Lord intended Nixon to be great … He’s here now to lead us to Christ, the prince of the universe.”

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