Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Apollo: When Americans last did some real exploring

The journey of Apollo 15 on the Moon
Click for full image.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the landing of Apollo 15 on the Moon. To commemorate that event the science team for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) today published some orbital images that capture the astronauts’ travels while on the Moon. The picture to the right, reduced to post here, outlines in oblique view their various excusions to the edge of Hadley Rille and the foot of a mountain dubbed Hadley Delta. As they note,

While Apollo 15 was the fourth mission to land a crew successfully on the lunar surface, it still pioneered many new technologies and had many firsts.

Some of the technologies developed for Apollo 15 included new suits, which were more flexible and had longer life support capabilities, as well as the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), a rover capable of speeds up to 15 km / hour. With these advancements, astronauts Commander David (Dave) Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James (Jim) Irwin were able to travel more than eight times the distance traveled during the previous mission, for a total of over 25 km.

All told, astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin spent more than 18 hours exploring the lunar surface on three scouting trips, covering 15.5 miles. During all those excursions their only protection from the harsh lunar environment was that thin spacesuit. In addition, if their rover broke down a walk back to the lunar module would become a race against suffocation.

And even then, they still had to get that lunar module off the ground, rendezvous and dock with the Apollo 15 command module, and then get that module back to Earth safely.

Apollo 15 seen from a distance during one excursion

The photo to the right will give you a sense of how “out there” these men were. It was taken I think during EVA 2, when the astronauts stood high at the base of Hadley Delta. It looks back across the plain to the lunar module in the distance, likely about three and a half miles away. That spacecraft sure looks tiny, doesn’t it?

Were these men pushing the limits of human exploration? You bet. In fact, they pushed those limits so far that following that last Apollo 17 mission in 1972 no one has dared do it again. A half century has passed, and no one has even left Earth orbit, despite having far more sophisticated and reliable technology.

These astronauts, and the people who sent them to the Moon, had one thing that is essential if you wish to explore the unknown and push the limits of human knowledge. They had unwavering courage. They did not allow their fear to stop them from doing great things, but instead pushed past that fear and stood like giants on another world, always standing proudly on the edge of death.

Do Americans have such courage today? I wonder. I know the people at SpaceX have that courage, as they are pushing hard to return quickly to the Moon and beyond, no matter the risk. They don’t want to fly missions carelessly, but they also do not want to allow caution to block them from flying at all.

And though I know that many people at NASA and at other companies — such as Blue Origin, ULA, Northrop Grumman — also have that courage, it sometimes appears these people are either not in charge, or are a minority who are dominated and controlled by the fearful. Years pass, and nothing bold appears to happen. All we get are promises, and the same old same old, going nowhere as slowly as possible.

Still, I strongly believe Americans have the can-do spirit that can make majestic things like this happen once again. If they do not, and I sometimes fear this may be true when I see someone wearing a mask while bicycling alone, I am certain that humanity still has it, even if it is becoming buried by regulation, tyranny, and fear. Someday that courage will rise up again and push past the fearful, achieving great things again even in the face of death.

I just pray it will happen sooner rather than later.

Readers!
 

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46 comments

  • Lee Stevenson

    Bob…. You should be full of hope rather than melancholy! Although I believe your comment “always standing proudly on the edge of death.” is a tad extreme.. ( I personally would rather not stand on the edge of death, proudly or not) , it’s coming, everything space related that you have wished for in the how many years you have been on the space show, and hosting this blog!
    Both the space tourism crafts have launched, with success, both with considerable resumable components, spacex is kicking out of the park on real space missions, NASA has capitulated and is outsourcing to private business, SLS is basically dead in the water. The rest of the world are going all in….. The “holding pattern” you complained about for so long is well and truly broken, the exploration of space by commercial, capitalist agencies has well and truly begun. ( And I’m all in!)
    If you want another “right stuff” era you are wanting the wrong thing, the days are long gone when lack of personal safety was to be admired. Now in the days of try and test before flying … Passengers rather than astronauts!… the only need for any “right stuff” is the willingness to invest in R&D, and follow thru with results. The US is doing it in spades.

    But I guess if you had nothing to grouch about, you wouldn’t be You….

    Much love!

  • Lee Stevenson: You wish to live in a fantasy world. I do not. I believe above all in intellectual honesty, and facing the truth at all times. It is the only way to really accomplish great things. Otherwise you are only fooling yourself.

  • Randy

    Well said Bob….Just wish the elephant in the room, stayed out of the room.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “They had unwavering courage. They did not allow their fear to stop them from doing great things, but instead pushed past that fear and stood like giants on another world, always standing proudly on the edge of death.

    Courage and the ability to stay calm under stressful conditions, when everything is going wrong, are why Eisenhower wanted jet pilots as astronauts. Jet pilots have those attributes. It wasn’t until Harrison Schmitt that they had someone who wasn’t a jet pilot, but they trained him to be one.

    Apollo 1 and Apollo 13 showed these astronauts up close that this was a risky and dangerous business, that when they had a failed training session it meant that a similar real condition would have killed them. They were “killed” a lot, and knew that they have limits that could be crossed.

    Most of us are not that brave, and we will wait until space tourism is more routine and proves to be safer, similar to airline travel in the 20th century. But for those who are brave enough, let them explore.

    Still, I strongly believe Americans have the can-do spirit that can make majestic things like this happen once again.

    It isn’t just Americans. Elon Musk came from South Africa, because he had a can-do spirit and needed a place where great things can happen. If we have freedom, then that can-do spirit can come alive. What we have is freedom. Or we used to have it.

  • Jeff Wright

    In the past, the ascent stage was the base the tiny rover had to get back to. If Starship pans out….I want one equipped AS a giant rover-base that carries an ascent stage with it…Direct Ascent…with Apollo type rover/drones. Smaller landers go to the big rover for crew swaps. Let’s turn Apollo on its head.

  • wayne

    a very nicely done piece of film:

    Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium Installation (updated & expanded)
    Grand rapids, Michigan (2015)
    https://youtu.be/4KCSgapb3is
    6:22

  • I am going to go ‘all in’ on Lee Stevenson’s comment.

  • john hare

    I’ll side with Blair K Ivey and Lee Stevenson on this issue. Looking only at the bad is no more intellectually honest than only looking for the good. That there are some seriously bad things going on does not mean that other good things are not happening. Looking narrowly at only one or the other detracts from finding solutions and alternatives.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Bob. Quote “Lee Stevenson: You wish to live in a fantasy world. “.

    A total ad hominem attack. A million miles away from refuting my point that there are more reasons to be cheerful than pessimistic regarding space exploration.

    We are living in the second space age, progressing in a much slower, but steadier pace than the 60’s , and hopefully much more sustainable. The 60’s were a time of massive advance, government funded, in a very short time frame. And look how that panned out.

    All the signs are positive! The free market, not just in the US but over the world are gearing up for space exploration. The very government you have, (which you, to your credit, criticize bipartisanly), has turned to public/private partnership, giving private business a carrot to develop services for NASA. Billionaires are pumping billions of their dollars and pounds into the space industry on their own initiative. It is fair to say the exploration of space has never been so exciting in all of human history. ( And mostly fueled from capitalism… A system which I have always postulated has huge flaws, but I have no argument here.)

    The very fact we don’t need “the right stuff” from astronauts today is wonderful. We can concentrate on the “stuff” we need for a permanent presence in space.. from engineers and medics to cooks and cleaners. If mankind is really going to spread out into the solar system, the need for your definition of “the right stuff” is a game stopper.

    Boots on the moon in my lifetime… Possibly boots on Mars, and my 15 year old Son wanting to be an astronaut choosing to go to a technical collage rather than a military college, that speaks wonders to the hope, belief and trust in the environment today. All fueled by all the things you have advocated for, for over a decade.

    It’s rare I disagree with you to the point I will say you are just plain wrong, but on this one…. What exactly do you wish for?

  • wayne

    “The 60’s were a time of massive advance, government funded, in a very short time frame.”
    –We were in a death-struggle against communist expansion. We didn’t go to the Moon for lofty idealism, we went to beat the russian communists. (now, were in a death-struggle with chinese communist expansion, and all 90 million CCP members must be destroyed, totally and completely.)
    “The very government you have, (which you, to your credit, criticize bipartisanly), has turned to public/private partnership, giving private business a carrot to develop services for NASA. ”
    —Oh god, ‘public-private partnerships,’ eh? That always seems to involve massive amounts of tax money, collected at the barrel of a gun, being [expletive] away. In case no one has noticed–we’re being dragged lock, stock and barrel into foreign and alien ideologies, of which the end result always involves death camps and barb-wire, always and forever.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @wayne…. Going to the moon might have been a bit of dong waving, but hardly finished the cold war, the US hardly needs any dragging to get involved in anything foreign, and I’m pretty sure I don’t recall any death camps anywhere… ( The US and UK have had a few dodgy ones, no doubt with barbed wire.)
    Do you actually have any point to make on my comments?

  • Lee Stevenson

    I might add , quote “were in a death-struggle with chinese communist expansion, and all 90 million CCP members must be destroyed, totally and completely” is very much the very definition of hate speech.
    While I am 100% in favour of freedom of speech, calling for the extermination of an entire population of people kinda reminds me of a certain central European leader that held the same ideology, but against Jews.

    I can only imagine you once had a really bad Chinese take away, and it has haunted you since, but wayne… Sometimes you just have to let things go, and perhaps get an Indian curry instead… ( India has anothe 1.3 billion people for you to hate!)
    Much love

  • Lee Stevenson

    Actually, I apologize for my flippent earlier comments… edward, can I take a second to explain something… I am bi-polar… My ego goes up and down much more than “normal” folks … This has probably been obvious on this site over the years… Fortunately I have found a good meds regime that keeps me pretty much level, most of the time.

    When you call for the genocide of quote, “all 90 million CCP members ” I feel you might be in a bad place mentally… This is not a “normal” opinion to hold,.never mind to express.

    I will say to you… Face to face should you wish, that therapy can help with the anger you hold inside. My email is loonyman99@gmail.com

    There is help available for a messed up mind, not turning you into a zombie, but letting out some of that pent up anger… Just mail me, you might just be surprised how much we have in common!

  • mkent

    First of all, Wayne is right. Apollo had nothing to do with space exploration. It was a major battle in the Cold War — a battle that was won for the good of mankind.

    Second, in regards to Lee’s comment:

    the US hardly needs any dragging to get involved in anything foreign, and I’m pretty sure I don’t recall any death camps anywhere… ( The US and UK have had a few dodgy ones, no doubt with barbed wire.)

    No death camps anywhere except the US and UK? Now I know you’re trolling us. We know you communists believe that you can’t have an omelet without breaking a few eggs, but to pretend to ignore the 12 million dead in the National Socialist death camps of Germany, the 30 million dead in the International Socialist death camps of the Soviet Union, and the 50 million dead in the Chinese Communist death camps in China is beyond the pale. Not to mention the 2 million dead in Cambodia, the 1 million dead in Vietnam, and the half million dead in Cuba. Or the countless starving in Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

    But the 100 million broken eggs all over the globe will be worth it for the glorious Chinese Communist omelet on the moon, won’t it Lee? Is that it?

    Wayne is right. Mankind will never be at peace until every last spark of communist thought is eradicated from the earth, including in the West. We thought we could live with them, but we were wrong. You can’t live with monsters.

  • Edward

    What’s up with the comments on this thread? John hare said, “I’ll side with Blair K Ivey and Lee Stevenson on this issue. Looking only at the bad is no more intellectually honest than only looking for the good” but upon rereading Robert’s essay, he has two sentences where he expresses concern that there may not be enough bravery in America to do all the exploration that we could or should.

    The problem with Lee Stevenson’s first comment was that he said, “If you want another “right stuff” era you are wanting the wrong thing, the days are long gone when lack of personal safety was to be admired” proving Robert’s point, and two more people who disagreed with Robert went all in on the comment that proves his point.

    Lee Stevenson wrote: “We are living in the second space age, progressing in a much slower, but steadier pace than the 60’s.

    Is he kidding? We currently have a space station that does far more experimentation in one year than all of the experimentation of the 1960s in all countries combined. Commercial space has been available for less than a year, and already just one company’s commercial orbital business has more bookings than all of government space for all countries combined. As Robert has pointed out before, commercial manned flights to the ISS are backed up so far into the future that new bookings can’t even be planned.

    the US hardly needs any dragging to get involved in anything foreign,

    Really? This coming from the guy who complained that we took so long to enter WWII. We were also reluctant to get into WWI, too. The UN asked for help in Korea, the French ask us to help them out of Viet Nam (and when they left they said, ‘thanks for the help; enjoy the war’), and others have requested help in other places at other times. We keep feeling like the UN’s police force, call after call for help.

    But then, he is the pessimist who thinks we need personal safety before we do any exploration in the dangerous arena of space yet complains that Robert says we may be too afraid to go there.

    Sheesh.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    completely hate communists, and not particularly concerned with how that makes them feel.
    As for the chinese communists– they engineered a virus (with the help of the democrat party) designed to kill old people.

  • wayne

    Timcast IRL July 30, 2021
    “Australia Deploys Military To Enforce COVID Lockdown, Biden Calls For National Vaccine Mandate…”
    https://youtu.be/-E_oS6uAKqM
    32:11

  • Lee Stevenson

    WOW! That escalated quickly!
    …. The death camp thing…. I mentioned the US and the UK,. I am a UK citizen, I still sometimes don’t get that you Americans don’t do ironic humour. My comment was intended to be a bit of ironic humour.
    My comment regarding the second space age progressing slower than the 60s but steadier I stand behind. The space RACE of the 60’s left very little of lasting value. The current situation is very different. A commercially viable, capitalist based expansion into space is the only viable model, and that is what we are seeing. It IS slower than that seen in the 60s, but it is organic, and not fuled only on government dollars.
    I don’t understand why I’m getting called out on mentioning this? ( Edward?)
    and edward…. Calling for genocide is generally considered unacceptable these days, unless it seems, here. I get called out for a flippent remark regarding the US’s foreign policy, but you don’t get called out for calling for the death of millions of men, women and children….. Well…. ( I hang my head in shame for a second ) , it’s plain to see where everyone’s supposed moral compass aligns.
    Go YouTube something that proves me wrong on everything I have ever posted here, and sit feeling smug that you are right.

  • Lee Stevenson

    I must ask…. Do any of the regular contributors here actually have any kind of sense of humour?
    If so, would they mind explaining how it works?
    I did quite a lot of stand up, back in the day, to a mostly favourable reception. This was only in Europe, to mostly English audiences, given the lack of humour here, I think I would die on my ass in the US.
    You guys don’t really get irony or self deprecating humour do you?

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    and edward…. Calling for genocide is generally considered unacceptable these days, unless it seems, here. I get called out for a flippent remark regarding the US’s foreign policy, but you don’t get called out for calling for the death of millions of men, women and children

    It is hard to tell. Are you being flippant again, or are you lying about me “calling for the death of millions of men, women and children?” I said no such thing, so it looks for all the world like mkent is right and you are just trolling.

    You guys don’t really get irony or self deprecating humour do you?

    Or are you saying that we should not take seriously anything you say, because it is flippant self deprecating ironic humor? Why should we bother reading your comments anymore? They used to be serious, or seemed to be, but now you tell us they are not.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Edward… I’m talking about edward with a small e….
    I will quote him…

    “were (sic) in a death-struggle with chinese communist expansion, and all 90 million CCP members must be destroyed, totally and completely”

    I find that you ( Edward with a capital E) and I actually agree on many issues. Not so much your less capital namesake.

    As for if you should take anything I say seriously… That is all up to you. I speak it as I see it, if it’s worth making a little fun of, I just might, but on the whole, I speak my mind. I am a little disappointed that you didn’t take the time to read the whole thread, then you would have realized I wasn’t targeting you with the whole “genocide” palaver.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @mkent, it seems I have to explain myself, even tho it breaks the rule of “if you have to explain the joke, it ain’t funny”
    I was pointing out in my comment that the US, the UK, and I dare say that with a little research any other nation has a history of one form of camp with barbed wire to be ashamed of…. (This is even true of Sweden. Their treatment of the indigenous peoples of Lapland ).

    Now let’s get down to the meat…. A huge percentage of this blog is now taken up by Bob (rightly!) Pointing out how your left are censoring free speech. We are all against that… Right?

    Quote “Mankind will never be at peace until every last spark of communist thought is eradicated from the earth, ”

    Do you see the flaw here?

    I am a socialist, not a communist, and I disagree VENOMOUSLY with most of the political standpoints of most of the posters here, but I would never, ever deny their right to hold their position. To advocate for any sort of thought to be (quote) “eradicated” speaks volumes on the position you hold….

  • Lee Stevenson

    It’s a funny old world….. My original comment was that we have great reasons to be optimistic about the coming new space age, and here we are advocating thought police and genocide.
    My first comment on this thread still stands…. Regarding the exploration and commercialisation of space…. I think all looks rosey….

    Given the rest of the thread…. I think mankind still has some work to do, just to get along with one another!

    Much love.

  • @ Lee Stevenson:

    “Don’t know how bright you are, top three percent, but you ain’t weak, and that’s not nothin’.”

    Mal
    Firefly ‘Serenity’ 2005

  • Lee Stevenson

    Hmmmmmm….. All of a sudden the silence is deafening.

  • wayne

    “When they call themselves the Good and the Just, do not forget that they would be Pharisees… if only they had – power!”

    Jordan Peterson & Akira The Don (2018)
    “Tarantulas” Friedrich Nietzsche
    https://youtu.be/7zIkUkRLJAM
    7:59

  • wayne

    Mark Levin: American Marxism
    Hannity (July 23, 2021)
    https://youtu.be/EJEc4nW45T8
    6:00

  • John hare

    Wayne,
    May I suggest that you read for content instead of emotional triggering?

  • Lee Stevenson

    @wayne, if you have an argument, or something to bring to the discussion, I suggest you use words instead of video clips that I, and many others will never click on
    Do you have any words of your own to defend the fact you advocate for genocide against the Chinese?
    Love and light.

  • pawn

    Lee: “You guys don’t really get irony or self deprecating humour do you?”

    What do you mean?

  • Lee Stevenson

    @pawn… Nicely done sir…. I award you a chocolate space biscuit!!

  • Lee Stevenson

    And although it’s got lost in a real crap-storm of, well, to be honest, bull crap…. I will reiterate my original rebuke against our hosts rebuke to my original comment.

    Quote…

    “@Bob. Quote “Lee Stevenson: You wish to live in a fantasy world. “.

    A total ad hominem attack. A million miles away from refuting my point that there are more reasons to be cheerful than pessimistic regarding space exploration.”

    I still don’t understand why you think I live in a fantasy world? I only pointed out that very many of the points you have said you were waiting for, over the last, what? 15 years? Have come to pass in the last, what? 5 years? And progress is accelerating… Nothing I said was false, it’s not even like I am taking a political viewpoint,.I just think that there is more to look forward to today, at least space wise, than there ever was 50 years ago. And the “right stuff” is in the private investors funding this second space age, and perhaps even in your government officials who see the sense in outsourcing.
    I’m not sure exactly what fantasy world you think I’m living in… But with my feet on the ground, and my head in the air… It sure feels kinda real!

  • Lee Stevenson:

    Let me outline why I consider your thinking intellectually dishonest:

    1. You take all criticisms as personal attacks. Rather than consider the possibility you simply could be wrong, you immediately accuse anyone who criticizes you of insult. You do this consistently. Recognize it.

    2. You never rethink what you write, only make excuses. The exchange with mkent this time is a wonderful example. You made a statement, likely written very sloppily, that suggested strongly that the only countries who have had death camps in their past were the U.S. and the U.K. MKent called you on it with actual historical facts that proves the imposition of both socialist and communist ideologies is almost always a horror, and your response was merely make the excuse that you were trying to be funny. You did not acknowledge the tens of millions killed by the ideologies you favor, which when compared with the misbehaviors by the U.K and U.S. show how trivial they were.

    I repeat, you never really recognize the faults of your ideology — which though you call yourself socialist and not communist — still like communism requires coercion. You have no problem using the force of government to make everyone support policies you think are good. Just like the communists. And when called on this very obvious fact (which I have in the past) you refuse to admit to it. And it makes all the difference.

    3. As to this specific essay and post, your intellectual dishonesty centers on your claim that future exploration will be more cautious than in the past, and thus better. To me, that statement — typical of the government space programs of the past half century — does not face the real dangers of space. You can be cautious or you can be daring, but no matter what you do, space will bite you. Rocket science is hard. Being cautious merely means you will make your mistakes more slowly (as the space shuttle program well illustrated).

    I say, better to be daring, and learn more quickly. You will figure out what to do right with great speed, and get done what you want to get done in your lifetime, rather than the eons required by government space programs.

    And daring does not be mean being sloppy or unsafe. It just means you have courage, recognize the risk, but push on, rather than have endless meetings and redesigns and conferences and discussions about how to avoid it.

    You however want to make believe that extra caution will eliminate the risk. That is fantasy.

    I could go on but my point remains. You want to advocate government control and supervision, but you never recognize the problems such supervision entails. And that is being intellectually dishonest.

  • I must add that I say this with good will and due respect. When I criticize I do so with the hope it will help make others better.

    Which is also why I do not censor criticisms of me. I learn from them.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Thank you Bob!!! Well reasoned arguments, presented politely and succinctly… I love it!!!
    It’s almost bedtime here… But I have a few comebacks… Nothing earth shattering, but at the end of the day we are arguing over something we both love!
    I will continue tomorrow.
    I wish everyone a peaceful evening!

  • wayne

    James Burke
    “The other side of the Moon”
    (BBC-2, 1979)
    https://youtu.be/puWbQ1b-ljU
    57:19

    “….it is now clear for instance, that the machines were at all times not perfectly built….the idea of going to the Moon in the first place was not JFK’s….and at all times the Apollo missions were in political jeopardy….”

  • Alton

    August 1, 1968 was the day when funding was cut by Congress for the production of Saturn 5s

    **”***
    NASA cancelled Saturn 5 production in August 1968, nearly a year before the first human walked on the moon. Thousands of Project Apollo workers had already lost their jobs by the time the moon landing took place. Thousands more were furloughed during the ensuing months. Stages for the final two Saturn 5s were completed, test fired, and stored by the end of 1970. NASA accepted the final piece of flight hardware, S-2-15, from North American Aviation in November 1970.

    Source
    https://www.spacelaunchreport.com/satstg5.html

  • Alton

    Speaking of Death Camps……

    During WW2 the USA imprisoned 140,000 Japanese Americans for the duration in their own special Internment Camps. Also 35,000 German Americans, 15,000 Italian Americans. Repeating President Wilson’s jailing of 30,000 German Americans during World War One.
    Wilson also jailed several thousand persons who opposed his actions before and after the war. Over 650 persons had their Citizenship revoked and were deported from America, including a handful of lawyers who defended them in US courts.
    About a dozen real spies for Japan and Germany were known to the FBI and followed before the Pearl Harbor attack. Interestingly they were allowed to leave the USA during the first months of the war.

    The USSC while taking up the cases from both wars, waited until the mid 20s and 50s to render decisions on the violation of civil rights to the involved individuals. The Supremes ruled that a President had close to unlimited powers when when a Declaration of War was issued by Congress…think of Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War.
    Thus today when people complain that war powers/Use of Force acts are used, they might not like what a President does with such a Declaration. Does anyone like what is being done today under special Health Emergency acts of the 50 states. Think of a setting President welding even more extensive powers from Today’s Oval Office.

    The Black Book of Communism places the death toll in action at over 140 million.

    Democide a book by Professor Rummel of the University of Hawaii places the death ☠️ of citizens by the hand of their own governments at 300 Million plus during the 20th century, complete with mountains of supporting data at his website.

    The Holocaust death toll, using five partial copies of the Nazi ‘Red Cross Card File’ captured during the War, which the German bean counters maintained on everyone they arrested, are at the National Archives Data records facility in Maryland just outside Washington DC. Scholars spent 50 years researching and tallied by name the death of 13,400,000 persons. In 2007, the only known complete copy of the file was found hiding in a Swiss bank vault. The USA sent several C5 Galaxy cargo birds to take the Card File back to Maryland.
    After years of digitalizing the horde we now have the names of 18,400,000 souls murdered in the Death Camps.

    What other nasty bits are still under seal? John Toland the noted historian of the Pearl Harbor attack, and with his wife one of the only American s ever allowed to read the Japanese Court records of WW2, he was one of only 6,000 persons who could read Emperorial Court Japanese dialect, his wife could also speak the language. Near his death he said that Fleet Admiral King and President Truman had many records on the lead up to WW2 sealed until at least 2045 in the National Archives. Edward R Murrow was a private guest of the Roosevelt’s the weekend of the Pearl Harbor attack. His girl friend of many years wrote in her book that Ed said that the things he was told that weekend would make anyone’s career in Journalism if they published it, and that he had sworn to keep the secrets.

    After the fall of the Berlin Wall, scholars both in Russia and the West worked together on the Soviet records.
    One result was that the total Russian death tolls from the Great Patriotic War rose from the Soviet number of 20,000,000 to 30,000,000.
    Stalin’s murder tally reached 62,000,000 with at least another 10,000,000 added for the remainder of the Marxists reign of terror.
    After Mao’s death historian Iris Chang and many Red Chinese scholars had a more open interchange for a decade or so. The result is that MAOs death toll now begins at 62,000,000 and maybe 20 million higher. The total new toll from Japans 1931 to 1945 invasion of China is now put at 60,000,000 or more.

    Current estimates of the WW2 carnage now run from 50,000,000 to 118,000,000.

    With the NEW order that many billionaire leftists are freely funding today, the so-called ‘Great Reset’…..
    What new tallies awaits the scholars of the future ?

  • Star Bird

    We beat Russia to the Moon back in 1969 just as JFK had hoped we just waited for the very last Minute

  • Edward

    Robert noted: “You however want to make believe that extra caution will eliminate the risk. That is fantasy.

    This is true. The airline industry tried the caution route for decades, only to discover that it does not prevent the unknown problems from occurring. Four decades ago, the American airline industry realized that they were not reducing the rate of accidents, and with the increase in airline travel, they feared that there would be weekly headlines of airliner crashes. They were determined to avoid this, so they changed strategies.

    Rather than fix the immediate cause of accidents and problems, they searched for root causes, so that many related problems could be avoided. They changed methods and procedures, and created teams rather than use top-down command. Error prevention became the major task for all workers, because they found that accidents often happened due to a series of errors, and blocking just one error prevents the looming accident. It was thinking smartly, not cautiously, that made airline safety so much better.

    This philosophy has been working its way into the space industry. It is why most of Rocket Lab’s and SpaceX’s accidents have been due to unknown unknowns rather than operational errors.

    We are working with bleeding edge technologies, and caution does not eliminate the unknowns or give us knowledge of the unknown unknowns. The best that we can do is train for generic problem solving abilities, plan for contingencies, and probe the regions of the unknown. Even today, astronauts and controllers work as teams, training for contingencies and problem solving. If we are too timid or cautious to do that probing, then we will not learn what we do not yet know, and the risks will remain with us. There is only so much that can be learned before putting a human in harm’s way.

    Every day, billions of people are willing to take the risk of driving (yet we have not solved the root cause of most auto accidents, operator error), but if we don’t have a few taking the risks of flying or of spaceflight, then they will always be risky.

  • pawn

    Lee,

    I, for one, am glad you are here. I tire of the echo chambers that some sites rapidly evolve into. Even though you have different opinions and perspectives this doesn’t make you a bad person in my eyes.

    I disagree with almost everyone I know about something or another, mostly stuff that I study in depth and they do not.

    Frankly, a world were everyone agreed with each other would be a scary place and pretty boring (and a lot of people would be dead).

  • Edward

    pawn,
    Being timid and too frightened to be bold is an OK position to have, but just as bravery and courage should not be imposed upon the scared, apprehension should not be imposed upon the intrepid.

    Lee advocated that we are not in an era of people with the right stuff, but he is incorrect on that issue. Exploration does not require that we all have the right stuff, only that we have enough people to do the exploration. The rest of us can wait until the most dangerous part is over, so that jet aircraft are safe for passenger flight or that spacecraft are safe enough for a larger number of explorers to go further than the first crews. Keep in mind that the Next Nine followed in the footsteps of the brave Original Seven.

    It is OK to have an alternate position, but not OK to insist that the rest of us must follow it. Otherwise we would have that pretty boring, scary place that you fear.

  • pawn observed ” a world were everyone agreed with each other would be a scary place and pretty boring (and a lot of people would be dead).”

    It’s the Democratic Party Mission Statement.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Ok, I have many points to address here… First, to make space ( pun intended ) for the discussion of the thread, I would like to address my “flippent” comment regarding camps… As I commented, every country has a history of camps that breach international law… The Nazis took it to an extent that it became a genuine holocaust,.and we should never forget… That everlasting shame should be a constant point on every nations moral compass for eternity. Unfortunately after leaks regarding the treatment of people in “camps,” since, by our “morally superior Western nations ” it seems to have been forgotten. I agree terrorists deserve little leaniency, but to take the moral high ground you have to adhere to that which you preach. We have failed a bit on this point.

  • Lee Stevenson

    My second rebuke of your arguments Bob… ( Well, lets get 1.5 out the way… I seriously take nothing said on the internet personally.. you can call me what you like, cuss me, insult me, or even come up with a great argument against me… I never take it personally! )
    Anyways, my original post was intended to make the point that for a genuine commercial space economy to work,it will not need the genuine “right stuff” of the Apollo astronauts, it will need the “right stuff” of today’s oil rig workers, high access workers, submarines,.etc.
    You have been advocating for decades for commercial space, you have even written a novel about it, for any of this to work, it will require reliable launch capabilities, and reliable technology… And all this is in the pipeline

    Yes courage is needed, yes it will be dangerous, yes the rewards will no doubt be mighty, and yes there will be casualty along the way, but we are living in an era where capitalism is leading that way… And it’s working, and I’m all in… Space exploration ( and I mean this very literally) is the one and only area that capitalism could work forever,.
    It does however need a method of transport to work that is relatively safe., And this is where your argument falls apart. Space travel needs to be as safe as the helicopter to the oil rig.. the courage and bravery you expect shouldn’t be in the commute to work, and that commute is what the astronauts that will mine the first astroid should worry about least..

    There will be no shortage of crazy dudes and dudettes that will be all in on whatever crazy mission is the first commercial mining project, and their courage will be natural human courage… But the difference is that they will have a better than a “50-50 chance” , and I think mankind is better for lowering that risk.

    All of us here love human space exploration… And the future that will be space exploitation…. Can’t we all gather around , have a hug, accept that we have all (as nations) done awful things , and try to recompense the victims and move on… We have space to explore!!!

  • Lee Stevenson

    Crickets…

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