Immanuel Velikovsky argued famously, based on his interpretation of ancient sources, that Venus had emerged from Jupiter as a comet, interacted with the Earth and Mars in the second and first millennia B.C., and then finally settled into a nearly circular orbit of the Sun.
Four new lines of reasoning support a revised and enhanced version of this theory.
First, instead of the various unpersuasive suggestions that Velikovsky and others have made for how a cometary Venus could have emerged from Jupiter, we should consider the possible consequences of the immense gravitational field of Jupiter, which pulls into the giant planet a stream of asteroids and comets such as Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994. Continue reading »
The apparent misdeeds and cover-ups of the administration of George W. Bush related to the terrorist attacks of 2001 remain in historical limbo. Neither presidents, nor the Congress, nor the media have gotten to the bottom of these tragic events. (The 9/11 Commission Report, while providing hundreds of useful details, did not ask fundamental questions and so must be considered in effect a cover-up.) As a result, the American public has not come to closure on the 9/11 attacks or on the anthrax mailings of 2001, nor is there a shared understanding of such a critical issue as the real reasons that the US attacked Iraq in 2003.
These failures have left the field open to wild speculations regarding these events, generally termed “conspiracy theories”, though this term obscures the crucial distinction between elaborate prospective plots involving many actors (silly in the context of an open society) and retrospective cover-ups that government officials who have made embarrassing mistakes are all too prone to engage in (very realistic and plausible). However, it is also true that simple prospective plots involving two or three individuals can occur.
Failure to reach a full, shared understanding of major events that led to unending wars and occupations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia as well as to the undermining of civil liberties has helped to alienate Americans from their government and media, a triumph for America’s enemies. So we must make every effort to establish a clear common interpretation of what actually happened.
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The famous Snake Goddess of ancient Crete has long attracted students of history and art. Elegant, risquée, enigmatic, she embodies the mystery and allure of Minoan civilization. Continue reading »
On October 12, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered on the canal towpath in Georgetown. A divorced artist from a prominent family, Meyer was known by insiders to have been President John F. Kennedy’s senior female consort during his White House years, though the story never leaked to the public.
Her murder and the ensuing trial of Raymond Crump, Jr., a black laborer found by the police in the vicinity of the murder, drew a good deal of attention at the time. Crump had been identified by a gas station attendant helping start a car on a road overlooking the canal. Hearing cries of “Somebody help me. Somebody help me” and two shots, the attendant ran to look. Continue reading »
Carroll Quigley (1910-1977) was a noted historian, polymath, and theorist of the evolution of civilizations.
Born and raised in Boston, Quigley planned to pursue a career in biochemistry. But he soon shifted to history, to which he brought an analytical, scientific approach and a questing spirit. After receiving a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D in history from Harvard University, he taught at Princeton and Harvard. In 1941 Quigley joined the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he came to teach a highly regarded course, “Development of Civilization”. Continue reading »