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.


Ryan’s speech

If you depend on the conservative commentary about Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech yesterday at the Republican convention to find out how he did, you would have no doubt that this was the greatest and most effective speech since Genesis. To quote just one report:

Paul Ryan’s speech, in two words? Nailed it. Everything that I like (and surmise that others will like as he becomes more and more familiar to them) about Paul Ryan was on perfect display during his half hour-ish on stage. He was intelligent without being intimidating; he was stern and serious but still optimistic and even funny; and he hinted at his wonkiness without getting into jargon and maintained his approachability. But the most beautiful thing about Paul Ryan as the potential vice president of the United States is his uncanny knack for breaking through populist myths and shrill leftist attacks and instead communicating the merits of free-market economics and small government, all without being shrill or polarizing.

Because I’m not spending a lot of time watching these conventions, mostly because they really are nothing more than public relations events staged by both parties, I didn’t see the speech live. After reading reports like the one above, however, I decided late last night to go to youtube and dig up Ryan’s speech and see this amazing performance for myself.

I wish I hadn’t. Sadly, I found it to be the most boring and tedious speech I’ve heard in a long time. The words were good and definitely worth reading, but Ryan’s delivery was so slow, pausing after almost every single line for applause, that it made it impossible for him to tell his story with any effect.

No speaker can hit the right notes all the times. I have heard Ryan speak in other circumstances, and found him to be a good speaker. He just flubbed it this time, letting his audience dictate his pace, a mistake I hope he recognizes and does not repeat.

However, there was one section of his speech that was particularly telling, in that it honestly described our fundamental problem and Barack Obama’s inability to address that problem.

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic”- serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer. Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing. Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing- nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue. So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

The point is simple. The only thing Barack Obama has done in connection with the federal debt has been to increase it wildly. And in this sense Barack Obama has been the man of his times. The American people have not wanted to face this problem, and have wanted to spend money wildly for their own benefit. Obama, as well as almost all the Presidents and Congresses before him — from both parties — fulfilled that desire quite ably.

Unfortunately, the day of reckoning looms, and Ryan happens to be one of the few politicians in elected office willing to bluntly face the reality that we are going bankrupt. In fact, on this subject the contrast between the two men could not be more evident.

The real question, however, remains: Are the American people ready to face this reality, as it appears Ryan is? I hope and pray they are. For if they aren’t, reality will still come back to haunt us, and it will do so in a very painful way. As Ryan added next:

My dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. [emphasis mine]

Ryan’s speech might have been a dud, but the ideas behind it remain valid. Attention should be paid.

Readers!
 

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

One comment

  • Kelly Starks

    Ryans good. More important, hes got real solid understanding of the problems and the solutions.
    …now if he could get the cloute to get listened to.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *