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.


Bernie Sanders throws a wrench into Senate bill forcing NASA to award two lunar lander contracts

Capitalism in space? Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist/Democrat-Vermont) has submitted a new amendment to the new NASA authorization bill, now being debated in the Senate, that eliminates the earlier changes added by senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) that required NASA to award a contract to a second company for building its manned lunar lander.

This earlier amendment, submitted by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), modified NASA’s Artemis Program. Cantwell’s amendment, in part, called for $10.03 billion in additional funding for NASA to carry out the Human Landing System program. This legislation was filed as Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos were urging Congress to add $10 billion to NASA’s budget—enough money to fully fund the development of a second Human Landing System. It was passed 11 days ago without any debate by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Sanders’ terse amendment seeks to excise the Cantwell language that provides additional funding for a Human Landing System.

While Sanders’ amendment probably makes more sense based on the money that Congress has actually appropriated for this task, he didn’t do it for that reason. More likely he did it as a petty attack on Jeff Bezos, whose company Blue Origin was likely expected to win that second contract.

Nothing is settled yet of course. The bill still has to pass the Senate and also be approved by the House, then signed by the president. Much will change before then.

Regardless, isn’t nice how NASA’s modern space effort is so well designed by our senators and congressmen? What would we do without them?

Readers!
 

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14 comments

  • Anonymous

    Whose, Bob. Whose.

  • Anonymous: Yup, you are right. Fixed. Thank you.

  • Lee Stevenson

    A socialist politician does a good and right thing, and our right wing commentator here has to somehow take it away from him by placing his motives elsewhere… It’s almost funny! Not everything someone with left politics advocates is wrong, just as I feel about the right… There are good and bad ideas from both sides. It’s not a zero sum game! I believe the right wing of US politics could learn a lot from socialist views… A more caring and compassionate society raises all ships… And for sure YOUR left specifically, could do with a shot of reality and real life in the arm along with the Covid vaccine… It’s a bit childish to try and twist something you actually agree with, if offered by someone whose ideals you disagree with, into an alternative motive.

  • Gary

    Lee, you seem like a well-intentioned guy, but my view of socialism is the pre-power stage of communism. What socialist society has advanced human achievement? Rather, it seems to me, that socialism rides on the coat tails of capitalism until it can weaken it so much as to seize power.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Gary, you are wrong. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. A good socialist society looks after the weakest under their umbrella of care, and encourages the weak to learn, improve, and contribute to society. Check out all the tech companies that have emerged from Sweden, check out the country that has the most ecological mining practices in the world… Check out which 1st world country has the 2nd highest poverty… ( I know this doesn’t effect the posters, or even our host here .. but it’s true .. it’s the US of A.

    I am sooooo sick and tired of being told, emphatically, and with no room for doubt, that I am wrong. The system I live in is wrong, that I am too blind to see the folly of my beliefs. That the US has the only system which can possibly save the world. Yet then I read about widows who have to sell their house to pay for medication, incredibly intelligent black children that cannot get a decent education because of their color.. mass shootings because you have “the god given right to carry arms”…. And I weep because you guys over the pond honestly believe you have all the answers and “we”… “The rest of the world” have got it wrong.
    I understand the US… I have been there, off the beaten path, and into the heartland. I never met anyone I didn’t like. Good, honest hard-working folk. But to a man or woman, with no concept about how a different system of living was possible.
    And it is possible, it’s just most of the population of your country has absolutely no idea.
    I know I’m gonna get all sorts of crap about the above…. But for those who can calm down the rage caused by me criticizing your country, have a good long think about my monologue, think about the points I have raised, and have a think about a system where a percentage of your tax dollars goes to helping the poorest better themselves, feed themselves, and find work, so they can start paying tax into the system…. To give the next generation a leg up.

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Gary… Sorry… I forgot to explain, socialism and communism are not related and do not lead to each other…. The fact you feel that way proves my point… You have been misled and lied to your whole life, it is simply a lie. When the Corona panic calms down, come and take a visit to Europe, come visit Sweden, a very socialist country, even by European standards, and I will show you around, introduce you to my friends that have their own business, and are doing nicely, introduce you to my neighbor, who is a single mom of 3 kids, and gets to go to work and pay taxes because of social daycare and government funded schooling. The BS spouted on here by the radical right wing deflates me sometimes, but then I get to spend a bit of time actually in my neighborhood, around friends, and I realize, Nahhh… It’s not me that has it wrong.

  • Jollster

    I support everything you say Lee. As an Aussie, our system is probably a little less Socialistic than Sweden, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. You get beaten up on here all the time, but I look out for your comments as a counter point to the rest of the readership. I come for the space views, and stay for the debate. You have people on this site who mostly agree with you, I just don’t want to get into the “ball kicking machine” with you.

    Keep it up.

    Hey Bob, when are you back on the Space Show?

  • Jollster: The next Space Show appearance is listed in the right column of the webpage.

  • Mike Borgelt

    As an Aussie I can tell you Australia has stifling, nanny state, Socialist governments, State and Federal. A huge drag on the economy and anyone who wants to actually do things.
    Nice to see some Euroweenie serfs enjoy being owned. Not many people want freedom, just a tolerable master.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Of course, American conservatives are not “caring and compassionate.” Keep fooling yourself, Lee.

  • Ray

    To think of the mediocre minds inhabiting the Federal government trying to do the central planning necessary for “socialism” is terrifying. The fact that the most “socialist” element of our country, the public school system, has utterly failed to produce self sufficient citizens should be indication enough that we should not burden even more of our country with this failed idealism. I don’t believe in laissez-faire capitalism, there needs to be government regulations concerning safety and environmental concerns. But looking to a the small homogeneous north European countries as a model for this country is absurd.

  • Jeff Wright

    Hey! Bernie could have done a Proxmire and tried to kill everything. I want as many people employed by space as possible-to serve as a counter-constituency against anti-space voters. I resent paying people not to work, however. Now to prevent another Covid/Ebola-Reston outbreak–I move that all Level Four disease research be done on the Moon-to force the Fauci quacks into being space advocates against THEIR will for a change. Perfect revenge for the shutdowns!

  • Edward

    Lee Stevenson,
    You wrote: “I believe the right wing of US politics could learn a lot from socialist views… A more caring and compassionate society raises all ships…

    Oh, we learn a lot. Among the lessons is that if we are too caring and compassionate, then those for whom we set a safety net will treat it as a relaxing hammock, taking advantage of our generosity and largess, even to the point of trying to guilt us into giving even more. In the last century, socialism killed a hundred million, or more. Not all ships are raised. The U.S. learned early in its colonial days that socialism is deadly, once it runs out of other people’s money. The Plymouth Bay Colony lost half its population due to its experiment into socialism — mainly because it didn’t have any money from any other people. Once it returned to free market capitalism, it had such a bountiful harvest that they invited their neighboring Indian tribes for a three-day feast. Eventually, this became a tradition that we call Thanksgiving, a day in which we celebrate the bounty that free market capitalism has brought to the U.S.

    A good socialist society looks after the weakest under their umbrella of care, and encourages the weak to learn, improve, and contribute to society.

    This is the mechanism that socialism uses in order to drain the capitalist society of its bounty. As socialism takes root, more and more people pretend to be too weak to care for themselves, as William Bradford, the colony governor, learned the hard way. The socialists expect the capitalist society to collapse under the weight of those who pretend weakness, then the socialists will swoop in and take over. The socialists have described exactly this as their strategy. Gary is right, and you are wrong, and I am not sorry to be blunt. I want you to eventually realize that socialism is a deadly disaster.

    Check out which 1st world country has the 2nd highest poverty

    That is the country that is being taken over by the socialists. No wonder poverty is so high. The socialists are employing Cloward and Piven. The strategy calls for the overwhelming of the system from poverty so that a socialist solution can be put in place. What you complain about in the U.S., it turns out, is the implementation of socialism. You actually don’t like socialism, but all you see is the benefit that you gain personally at the expense of so many others. You ignore the parts that fail. I don’t want to call you greedy, but … no, wait, I do.

    I am sooooo sick and tired of being told, emphatically, and with no room for doubt, that I am wrong.

    Then I recommend that you drop the socialism and look toward free market capitalism, which in the past three decades has brought a billion people out of poverty. And with your comment in mind, why do you tell us, emphatically, that we are wrong?

    That the US has the only system which can possibly save the world.

    It isn’t the only system that can save the world, it is just the best system that we have, so far.

    As for those who have to sell their houses for healthcare, that is the result of socialized healthcare in America, such as Obamacare; before medicine was taken over by the socialists, almost a century ago, no one had to sell their house in order to pay for their healthcare. Children not getting a decent education comes from the socialist party, the Democrats. You confuse the right to carry a gun with the right to commit mass murder, as though the right to drive a car is the same as the right to run over anyone in the crosswalk.

    And I weep because you guys over the pond honestly believe you have all the answers and “we”… “The rest of the world” have got it wrong.” [ellipsis in original]

    You weep because you want to be right. That is why you complained about always being called wrong. You call us wrong all the time, but our skins are thicker than yours. We are able to use data, history, and logic show you how you are wrong, but you only have emotion on your side: aw, isn’t it terrible that only socialism makes sure that no one has to sell their house in order to get healthcare.

    Hmm. It seems that you are the one who thinks only his own system can save the world. As an emotional person, you refuse to believe that the system that gives you so much more than you contribute could possibly be wrong, otherwise you would have to work harder or smarter in order to contribute your fair share (whatever you consider to be fair).

    I understand the US… I have been there, off the beaten path, and into the heartland. I never met anyone I didn’t like. Good, honest hard-working folk.

    Of the beaten path is exactly why you don’t understand the U.S. You assume that the U.S. is homogenous. It is not.

    We, on the other hand, have lived in both systems. We like our former system much, much better. We had far, far less poverty under free market capitalism than we do under socialism.

    I know I’m gonna get all sorts of crap about the above….

    Does this mean that the next time someone calls you a troll then I should agree with him? The points you have raised are all emotional, none of them are based upon reality. You see the U.S. under socialism and assume that this is what it was like before, under free market capitalism. The truth is that as the U.S. descends into socialism, everything gets worse — even our healthcare system. But that is what happened in all the other socialist countries, too. It’s just that under socialism everyone gets equally poor healthcare, unless they are part of the ruling class, in which case they get better care. Sometimes they get flown over an ocean for treatment for a stroke.

    I forgot to explain, socialism and communism are not related and do not lead to each other….

    You need to explain that to the socialists who believe that they are related, and institute socialism as the step between capitalism and communism.

    come visit Sweden, a very socialist country, even by European standards, and I will show you around, introduce you to my friends that have their own business, and are doing nicely, introduce you to my neighbor, who is a single mom of 3 kids, and gets to go to work and pay taxes because of social daycare and government funded schooling.

    Are you aware that you just described Germany under the Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party?

    A final question for everyone, especially Jollster: why is it that when we correct Lee Stevenson on his misunderstandings he is considered to have been beaten up, but when he thinks he is correcting us we are not considered to have been beaten up? Is this yet another double standard of socialists? Another way to put emotion into the discussion? Only the socialist can be wronged but the free market capitalist can only do wrong? Is that what socialists consider to be fair?

    Well, that turned into a series of related questions. Oh, well, what do you expect of a free market capitalist who can’t “ calm down the rage caused by [Lee] criticizing [my] country.” It’s all just one double standard perpetrated by socialists. Only one side can be set into rage, and it is never the socialist. In reality, it isn’t rage; it is merely disagreement. Hmm. One side can handle disagreement, and the other side thinks it must be rage. One side is reasonable, the other emotional, and projects that emotion onto the rest of us. Of course, my side projects reasonableness and a capacity for logic onto the other side.

  • Edward

    It is quite a surprise how often people are willing to give up so much in order to get free stuff. Lee Stevenson does it, but he has made it known that he has no idea what he has sacrificed. This is because his leaders have successfully distracted him from his sacrifices.

    The same thing has happened in the United States, done by racist socialists, and accelerated in the 1960s. “Free” stuff comes at a terrible price. It is not always that the poor in the U.S. are lazy; sometimes the poor have been told that they are owed something. However, in order to receive that something they must remain poor. This same thing happens under socialism, but the poverty is taught to be a point of pride. Lee has fallen for this, thinking that he is helping his fellow man, but he helps less than those in the U.S. do. He cannot afford to help as much, but more important, if it is tax money doing the work, then was it really Lee providing the help? Prosperity is one of the sacrifices that he has made.

    Lee’s healthcare system is not as good as he thinks. Healthcare is a scarce resource, and every society has a way to ration its scarce resources. Lee thinks that he gets all the healthcare that he will ever need, but it is not necessarily true. There are limits. He merely has not yet run into them. Should he ever run into them then he will have a choice between not getting the care he needs or selling his house in order to get that care.

    Canada’s solution to the scarcity of healthcare is to not prosecute private healthcare, even though it is explicitly against Canadian law. Desperate Canadians have a choice: private Canadian care or private U.S. care. Michael Moore once told us how superior Cuba’s socialized healthcare was, but when Fidel Castro got a stroke, he had to go across an ocean in order to find adequate healthcare. Obamacare uses a death equation to determine whether a patient gets needed expensive healthcare, based upon actuarial life expectancy. No matter the system, healthcare is expensive. All scarce resources must be rationed in some way, whether it be by government mandate or by price.

    Socialists believe that they are owed everything they need just for breathing. “To each according to his need.” For them, being a ward of the state is a natural and acceptable condition, taught from birth. How can life be any other way? In a meritocracy, each of us is our own person, grown into adulthood; no one is owed anything but earns it. This can be through hard work, talent, innovation, skill, etc., but earning one’s way through life happens by providing goods or services that others value. Under socialism, the philosophy is: “from each according to his ability, and to each according to his need.” Society steals away what is earned and redistributes it.

    Under a free market capitalist meritocracy, the philosophy is: to each according to his ability. No one steals anything, but we earn our livings by selling to those who appreciate our work, and it is in our own self interest to improve on our work because it is in society’s interest to purchase improved work.

    No wonder America was once a failed socialist experiment that couldn’t even feed itself, but once it became a free market capitalist meritocracy it was able to grow, in a mere three hundred years, into a powerhouse that saved the world. Twice.

    The failure of socialism in Sweden is why the country is now moving away from it. Failure of socialism is why India moved toward free market capitalism, and failure of communism is why China moved in that direction, too. Between those two countries, a billion people came out of poverty in the past three decades.

    Lee Stevenson,
    You wrote: “Check out all the tech companies that have emerged from Sweden

    How much of those companies’s technology has been stolen by the Chinese? You brag about quantity, but what is their quality? And how many Swedish tech companies are there? What is the quantity per million Swedes vs. the quantity of U.S. tech companies per million Americans? I’m not yet convinced that Sweden’s technology companies are anything to write home about. How many per-capita patents are there in Sweden relative to the U.S.?

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