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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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Bezos sells another $1.8 billion in Amazon stock

Capitalism in space: This past week Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than $1.8 billion of his Amazon stock, apparently as part of his continuing effort to fund his space company Blue Origin in the development of its suborbital New Shepard spacecraft, its New Glenn orbital rocket, and its Blue Moon lunar lander.

In 2017 Bezos had said he would sell off about a billion dollars per year to fund Blue Origin. However, a survey of these stock sales suggests he has upped that figured considerably, with higher sales more frequently. His first big stock sale was in May 2017 for $1 billion. The second was in November 2017 for another billion. Then in August 2018 Bezos did two stock sell-offs within a week of each other, totaling $2.8 billion.

Now, in February 2020, he has raised another $1.8 billion by selling his Amazon stock. All told, he has raised $6.6 billion in cash in just three years. According to him, all of it is supposedly for Blue Origin, though there is no public information to confirm this.

With that much cash, Bezos’s Blue Origin is likely the best funded space company in the world, and should have enough capital to build almost anything it wants.

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.


  • V-Man

    “should have enough capital to build almost anything it wants.”

    Then why don’t they? Where’s new Glenn? Why are they still puttering around with an obsolete sub-orbital launcher and a lander that won’t be of any use for years?

  • wayne

    Is the divorce concluded?

  • Edward

    You asked: “Then why don’t they?

    What makes you think that they are not?

    Where’s new Glenn?

    Just throwing money at a project does not always make it happen faster.

    Why are they still puttering around with an obsolete sub-orbital launcher and a lander that won’t be of any use for years?

    First, these are things that they have said that they want.

    Second, It is clear that we are all being spoiled by SpaceX’s philosophy of getting things done quickly rather than allowing a project to expand to exceed the allotted schedule. If only more companies and NASA had a similar philosophy, motivation, and sense of urgency. Blue Origin has a lot of money to spend, so for them there is no real hurry to complete any project. They do not have to start revenue operations so long as they have a white knight to continue providing cash.

    SpaceX, on the other hand, was saved by Elon Musk’s smaller pool of assets. SpaceX had to start generating revenue operations within only a few years of its founding, otherwise it was going to run out of money and go broke, similar to what happened to the Kistler rocket company. Due to this, SpaceX has a philosophy to develop products rapidly — a sense of urgency — and this kind of corporate culture helps enormously in getting projects to happen faster, even more than repeated infusions of cash.

    Getting whatever is its next product up and running is mission critical to SpaceX, where the prime mission (or I should say “goal”) is to get a colony or settlement on Mars for Musk to become a permanent resident. A second mission is to create low cost access to space, and in the near future they probably will need to assure low cost operations in space, as well.

    Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and NASA do not have this same sense of urgency.

    SpaceX and ULA seem to have long-term visions of the future. SpaceX wants to colonize a million people on Mars, and ULA has its CisLunar 1000 video: (ULA CisLunar 1000, 7 minutes, clear vision for the future and why it should and could be this way)

    NASA’s vision is limited, mostly to just getting there and maybe setting up bases, but these visions do not have much in the way of specifics, such as how large these bases should be, by when, and what they would do. Other companies, such as Blue Origin, likewise have vague visions of the future.

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