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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.


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Blue Origin distributes $19 million of the $28 million earned for its July 20th suborbital flight

Blue Origin today announced the nineteen non-profits that will receive $1 million each, taken from the $28 million that a single as-yet unnamed person is paying to fly with Jeff Bezos on the first commercial suborbital manned flight of New Shepard on July 20, 2021.

All of the organizations are advocates for space exploration. A majority foster education for the young. Two are pro-women, pushing gender politics in space.

The remaining $9 million will be used by Blue Origin’s non-profit to encourage space-focused curriculum and its project to encourage people to send postcards into suborbital space on its New Shepard spacecraft.

All in all the list of recipients surprised me. I had expected this money to go to many of the very leftist environmental groups that Jeff Bezos loves. Instead, the list is entirely space-focused, though it does tend to favor organizations that mostly aim to maintain the status quo of a big government space program or push for gender or racial politics. That there is a large variety of organizations that push many different approaches to encouraging space exploration however is refreshing.

Nonetheless, except for a few that actually educate children, most are advocacy groups. Compare that to the charity being produced by SpaceX’s first manned commercial flight in September, dubbed Inspiration4. That flight is pumping big bucks directly into St. Jude’s Research Hospital to help it cure children from cancer.

Which do you think is doing more for the world?

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.


  • Chris Lopes

    I was one of those who contributed to St. Jude’s, so I’m biased. I couldn’t resist the idea of being able to participate in a contest where the prize was an actual flight in space. I knew I had little chance of winning, and no chance of passing the physical if I had. It’s just the chance to do something I’d read about as a kid was too cool to ignore. The Inspiration4 flight allowed me to live a small part of my dream and made a lot of money for a very worthwhile cause.

  • Paul G Heit

    It was nice to see that the Challenger Center for Space Science Education was one of the 19.

  • Cloudy

    Hate to be cynical here….but how much does it cost to buy a dragon flight outright and how much in total is St Jude’s getting from the effort? My guess is that if the intent was pure charity, the money would be best spent just giving to St. Jude’s directly. There is nothing wrong with space tourism or public relations. Heck, even a good tax write off is fair play. These people are most likely spending their own money for a ride to space, with a few favored companions. They should not be blamed for this, but neither should they be lauded for it.

  • Chris Lopes

    I’m not praising the Inspiration4 guy for his generosity, I’m praising him for his ingenuity. He wanted a trip into space and that’s what he’s paying for. Along the way, he figured out how to make it work for others, and not just the folks he’s bringing with him. St. Jude’s got a lot of very favorable press out of this, along with lots of donations from people who didn’t even know they existed before that Super Bowl ad. So the dude gets his space ride and some kids who need help get it. A win/win.

  • Gary

    “Advocacy groups” are part slush fund and part transfer payment for otherwise unemployable “studies” majors.

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