Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

$1 trillion COVID-19 aid bill includes significant funds for foreign aid

According to this close look at the new $1 trillion COVID-19 aid bill that Congress is now considering, a significant amount of the money being allocated will go to foreign aid.

Note that the conservative narrative this past weekend was that the Democrats blocked passage of the aid bill because they wanted to stuff it with their own pet political projects. Meanwhile, the Republicans only wanted to get it passed in order to rush aid to Americans because of the government’s panic that has caused an economic crash.

While the Democratic portion of this narrative is true, the Republican part is a lie. The Republicans have their own pet political projects, and they are stuffing the bill with them also. Moreover, that stuffing includes, according to the article, lots of cash to “the salaries and expenses” of many DC government agencies.

The article also notes this:

To put that into perspective, the first COVID-19 legislation exceeds the $1.1 billion appropriated for Zika in 2016, the $5.4 billion for Ebola in 2014, and the $7 billion for swine flu in 2009.

All of those epidemics were actually much larger and more dangerous than the Wuhan flu. None resulted in panic and the establishment of martial law.

I promise you, the only real stimulus in this bill will be aimed at Washington. While the bill might give a free handout exceeding a thousand dollars to poorer Americans (in order to buy votes), most of the money will likely end up raising salaries, increasing staff, and improving the lifestyles of the bureaucracies in DC. Like the Obama stimulus, it will do little to stimulate the economy.

Meanwhile, the imposition of martial law continues, shutting down the American economy while making the pursuit of happiness impossible. I just got back from Costco with my wife. The store was opening two hours early in order to reserve those extra hours for those over sixty years old. We went because the panic has made it impossible to get some goods we need. We got there just before 8 am, when the store was supposed to open, and found a line so long already that would probably take two hours to get into the store. By that time most of what we need would likely be gone. We came home.

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  • Phill O

    The foreign aid is very important. It is the only way the politicians can get kickbacks into foreign banks which the American public can not see.

  • Lee S

    With the UK in pretty much total lock down, we have escaped many restrictions here in Sweden, so far….. Tomorrow we are implementing a “no mingling at the bar” policy… Get your drinks and sit down. ( I don’t see how that will help… )
    There has also been no significant panic buying so far .. but almost everyone here gets paid on the 25th of the month , so tomorrow might be a different matter!
    I’m sorry for not keeping up with the discussion, back to work with 10 days of work to catch up on! So tell me if this has been discussed…. The way I see it also is that on its own, Corona is probably not much worse than the regular flu… But running alongside the regular flu, will potentially double the deaths at a time when hospitals are already pushed almost to maximum, and could well overwhelm them, causing the deaths of people who could have otherwise been kept alive… That’s the problem.

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    So you recovered and are back at work, well done.

    And did you indeed have the Corona virus?

  • Lee S

    @Cotour, thank you! And I still have no idea… Me, the ex, and our kids got tested for strep throat …. That came back negative, so it was not bacterial… But no test for Corona available…. My take on this is it’s that they genuinely have no tests available, or they are scared of testing too many of the public because of the figures so many tests would produce..
    Either way, it’s not worth taking time off work for ANY reason… 10 days sick, and 10 extra days work to cram into an already busy week! The social benefits are great here, but it still don’t mean anyone else is gonna do my job while I’m away!!! ( A bit of a joke… But just a bit of one!) ;-)

  • wodun

    Last week there was a lot of talk about the lack of testing but with a total 53,000 confirmed cases, we have to have tested well over 100,000 people and the volume will continue to increase while also diversifying the types of tests available. By the end of the year, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in the country is tested at least once and again next year.

    Our stores have been busy for the past month. Luckily, I keep a well stocked pantry but I’ve been buying a little extra of things I use normally and haven’t had to leave the house much. With everyone rushing to the store, whoever is sick but not showing symptoms, will be in the store.

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