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.

Anti-spam filter for comments fixed!

Readers: After a intense and much appreciated effort, my new anti-spam filter, Anti-Spam by CleanTalk, has solved the commenting problem that has plagued the website for the past two months. It seems the re-Captcha plugin was interfering with every anti-spam filter I tried, thus throwing all comments into the spam folder.

As they have advised, I have deactived re-Captcha (something I think my readers will like anyway), and comments now appear to be properly screened, with legitimate comments posting immediately and spam getting blocked.

Thank you CleanTalk! I must further add that in my effort to fix this problem, I tried five different anti-spam filters. Only CleanTalk was willing to work with me. All the other filters were typical software operations, treating the customer as an annoyance that they wished would go away.

CleanTalk’s personal support was refreshing and very much appreciated. If only more software operations would do the same.


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


  • Kirk

    Here is a normal post to see if it goes through.

  • D. Parker

    Ok, here’s another test.

    Let me know if you don’t get this :)

  • Localfluff

    I’ve never experienced any spam on this site. Is an upgrade really warranted, or a waste of effort?

  • Localfluff: The reason you have never seen any spam here is because I have a spam filter that blocks spam comments. If I didn’t, you would see hundreds per day, all gobbly-gook and a waste of bandwidth.

    My problem recently has been that the filter has been blocking everything, including legitimate comments. I have been manually approving these comments, but I am now testing other filters to see if I can get something that can once again tell the difference between spam and real comments.

  • Commodude

    Bob, if it helps at all, the captcha hasn’t been giving me any images to captcha, it’s just been going immediately to a green checkbox.

  • The new spam filter does not require captcha. However, it is supposed to give people an option to use it if their comment is called spam. This is not working.

  • I see captcha before trying to comment.

    I bet blogs that comply with newspeak don’t have spam filtering problems ;0

  • A test from a browser that has no ad-blocking, no ghostery, allows cookies, and generally lower security & privacy settings.

    Prior sarcastic post did not show up.

  • Commodude

    Just testing after last night’s issues.

    I understadn the issues with spam and comment sections, just hope this is a temporary glitch.

  • Andrew_W

    This comment is a test, it isn’t spam, honest.

  • Commodude

    Not spam, but I need to either get a different keyboard for this computer or finally start editing what I type before I hit send….

  • Max

    This is spam… With eggs and a side of hashbrowns.

  • Jeff

    My Evening Pause comment from yesterday is there this morning.

    Firefox w/Ghostery running.

  • Mike Borden

    Comment made. I did get a recaptcha and an option to save info for future comments. ( using the devils browser, Chrome. It just works so well. i may end up trying something else but have found myself struggling with others UI) the save name email website in browser seems not to have worked.

  • MarcusZ1967

    This is a test of the spam filter.?.

    Any more news that anyone can find on the following would be great!!!

    Full length article for the science heads.. ?

    Ummm I waved my tablet around when the clicked on the re CAPTCHA, no pics did I get…?.

  • Robert Pratt

    Test from Pratt on Texas.

  • Chris Cresa

    Test from northern New Jersey.

  • mpthompson

    Test using a Chrome browser.

  • Jim Davis

    This comment really is spam and if your new filter doesn’t flag it it is a failure.

  • Sandra Warren

    Anything that I have ever commented about in the past did appear eventually in the comments.

  • This is a test of a new anti-spam program for comments.

  • Even though I own a Rolex and have used Viagra from time to time, I’m sure the spam filter will let me through. ;)

  • Funny! I tried to post a comment in which I indicated that I wear a certain watch brand and occasionally use a certain medication for performance in bed. After clicking on the Captcha button I found that my comment didn’t show up. I guess that means that it works. Now let’s see if I’m banned for life. If you see this comment, I guess it means that I’m not.

  • DougSpace: I have been experimenting with a variety of different spam blockers. Unfortunately, I am finding that all of them so far are treating all comments, even legitimate ones, as spam. Thus I am forced to manually monitor the spam folder and approve comments, which means comments do not appear instantly.

  • DougSpace: I should add that I really do want people to email me, but only if their comments do not appear for several hours. Generally I am getting comments approved quickly, but I can’t do it when I am asleep, or am out and about doing other things.

    If you comment and it does not appear in a reasonable time, letting me know will tell me if the spam filter I am testing is blocking comments without letting me even see them to moderate. That will tell me this is a spam filter I do not wish to use.

  • I’ve had numerous comments disappear in the past. I just assumed you hate me.

  • expat: If you post a comment and your comment does not appear, please email me. I only ban commenters who use obscenities or insults to make their point. Other than that, anyone can comment here, even if they strongly disagree with me.

    A side note: Your comment here is the first legitimate comment in weeks that was automatically approved by a spam filter. It makes no sense why, but maybe this newest filter will finally begin to work. We shall see.

  • Andrew_W

    Expat, heh, when this problem arose, when you’ve always seen your comments appear quickly and then suddenly they don’t and you’ve been ardently taking a position at odds with the host, it’s easy to get paranoid.

  • Andrew_W

    Which is why my first two words were “Expat, heh”. Maybe it doesn’t translate to American English but in British English Heh is “an indication of sly amusement, used esp in electronic communication”.

  • Gene

    Testing testing one two three
    Do you read me

  • eddie willers

    I just left a comment on “Why you got Trump, part 2,398,105” and it went up instantly.

    Knock on wood.

  • cjones1

    I really appreciate your site.

  • Testing! You are appreciated. Your intellectual curiosity makes your sight a constant source of enjoyment.

  • EddieB

    Testing for your comments test!

  • m d mill

    I have also had much trouble with delayed posts or no posting…hope the problem is solved

  • Kris in Kalifornia

    Ok…Here’s a test comment.

    Have enjoyed your posts for quite some time now.

  • m d mill: If you have had a comment that never appeared, when did this happen? The anti-spam company is working hard right now with testing to figure out the problem, and any information you can provide will be helpful.

    Right now I approve comments as soon as I see them, which might be very quickly if it is during a workday, or delayed until the morning if the comment is posted during the night.

  • m d mill

    The no posts were in the past. I have not seen this recently. i do post late often, so this may be the reason for “unexpected” delays. All posts have appeared within 12 hours recently.

  • Thomas Donlon


  • Aario

    My next comment will look like a spam. Let’s see if the filter will catch it ;-)

  • Aario

    Test comment

  • Gene

    My post went through effectively. Which is what I aim for. Effectiveness and paychecks.

    It lacked any reference to conservative viewpoints born out of a Christian worldview. It was simply a test. Which is what this comment is.

  • Gene

    Third comment.
    My Second comment about a Christian worldview has not shown up yet.
    Here we Go!

  • Gene

    Mr. Z
    After I hit submit on my second comment on your Testing new spam filter post that I emailed you about.

    I made a comment on your post named: SpaceX successfully launches commercial satellite

    I typed only the word “conservative” and it came up after I refreshed the page.
    Gene Shipp

  • Gene: Thank you for your testing effort. The situation with the comment anti-spam filter is I think presently baffling my anti-spam provider. For example, in your case only one comment got posted automatically, the one where you typed just one word, “conservative.” All your other comments today went instead into the spam folder and required me to manually approve them.

    I don’t understand what is happening, but there are signs the anti-spam company is beginning to. Stay tuned.

  • Ed

    Mars lander no spam here

  • Col Beausabre

    When I posted this morning (June 5) there was no capcha

  • My new anti-spam company has discovered that reCaptcha was the problem. There will be no more reCaptcha.

  • I’m glad to hear about the end of reCaptcha. The “blacklisted” response I reported earlier followed it. Now we’ll make sure…

  • First comment attempt resulted in a page timeout.

  • Get your Brawndo. The thirst mutilator, It’s got what plants crave.

    Just testing.

  • wayne

    Might you be thinking of Falstaff?
    It’s the thirst slaker.

    Cream: Falstaff Radio advertisement

    “the beer that can slake any thirst…”

  • Yet another test comment, as requested.

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.

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