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.

Can we trust any deal with North Korea?

Link here. The article, from the science journal Nature, is an interview with a South Korean nuclear expert who is very skeptical of any claims by North Korea that it has dismantled its nuclear program.

This skepticism seems reasonable to me. Consider the history. The Clinton administration signed a deal with North Korea (very similar in many ways with Obama’s Iran nuclear deal) that was supposed to prevent North Korea from getting the bomb. Instead, all it did was allow us to make believe it wasn’t happening, even as North Korea developed the technology and eventually completed several underground tests of nuclear bombs.

We shall see if Trump allows himself to get fooled, like Clinton. Right now, the indications are no. At the same time, it pays to be as skeptical of any politician as this South Korean nuclear expert is of North Korea. None of these power-hungry politicians can be trusted, even Trump. When the general public makes the mistake of trusting them it always gets screwed.

Update: Trump has canceled the summit with North Korea.

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  • Laurie

    Apologies in advance for the tone.

    Can you trust them? No, no more than you can trust Washington. If all else fails, Just use the ‘Libya model’ again … unless you have a conscience.

  • Cotour

    Laurie, respectfully but direct:

    Your lead in apology for how you might sound to some and indication that your standards trend towards “Conscience” transmits your inability to properly understand what you are commenting on.

    None of this is about conscience or morality, it is about strategy and desired results. Conscience and morality can come later, first there must be true and verifiable progress towards the goal predominantly set by the United States.

    First we eat, then civilization.

  • Cotour

    I wonder, would the brilliant Obamaite strategists, that would include Obama and Kerry, argue that Trumps next power move should be where he offers K.J.Un 1 or 2 or maybe 5 or 10 (?) billion dollars in pallets of cash loaded on a C-130’s and delivered to his front door?

    Many, many months ago I began to promote the idea that the Democrat party was in an existential nose dive caused by their own Leftist leadership and counter intuitive and un American and even anti American actions. The contrast between the Iran deal and Trumps efforts with North Korea will only solidify these observations in the minds of the American public.


    The reconciliation is unstoppable and inevitable now.

  • Edward

    History shows that North Korea is untrustworthy. They have only used similar agreements as a means to fool politicians about their progress with nuclear weapons and the rockets to carry them. With North Korea’s recent talk of reluctance to de-nuclearize, it looks for all the world like North Korea is going to try another fool-you, this time on President Trump.

  • Laurie

    “Conscience and morality can come later”

    It never does, and we’ll never agree.

  • Cotour

    Conscience and Morality can only emerge and exist after the dirty work of survival is done. Think of Conscience and Morality in the larger Capitalized context of how tribes and / or country’s fundamentally secure their safety, food and water supply, treasure and culture etc. as a luxury.

    First we eat, then civilization.

    I am not asserting that we as individuals in a relatively civilized first world country not be based in Conscience and morality, not at all. The only reason that K.J. Un is talking to the U.S. is because we have the ability to deny them their basic civilization and they existentially need that, and no other reason. And that fundamental and very simple concept is what in the end being truly enforced with commitment will garner real results. And nothing else.

    So when we personally speak of Conscience and Morality it is from the perspective of secure and very well fed humans living in our beautifully appointed and well manicured houses driving around in our nice autos and driving to the super market for what ever it is that pleases us. We exist many, many levels up from the reality of a third world country who is monkeying around with nukes to ensure that they are not invaded, let alone the individual people who inhabit that third world country. You obviously are an extremely highly educated woman with high Morals and Conscience, I salute you. But the subject of this panel is really about potential brutality to ensure “Our” interpretation of civilization and security, I.E. Conscience and Morality.

    And N. Koreas leadership knows that that invasion which would eventually be sanctioned by many in the world and be seen as “Legal” because it makes the world “safer” would result in its leader being hanged or having a sword run their supreme leaders rear end like happened with S. Hussein and Kadafy. These incentives we are discussing are strong and are the kind of thing that make men, (and women) sweat in the middle of the night and lose sleep.

    The luxury of Conscience and Morality in the context of country’s and power are a function of civilization, but what comes before civilization? Reality of survival. Something to think about on this weekend that Americans honor their war dead, THEIR freedom fighters, THEIR ensurers of THEIR interpretation of civilization and Conscience and Morality. (I am not yelling I am emphasizing to make my point)

  • Dracon

    Can we trust any deal with USA?

  • Cotour

    Trust? Maybe, or maybe not, the point is that N. Korea needs to be put in a position that they believe or understand that they have no choice in the matter other than cooperation. That is the goal.

    I believe that in the end if Un can be made to feel comfortable in his future safety and uncomfortable enough with real sanctions that actually hurt he will in the end to some great degree comply.

    America is not lead by angels nor is any other government. On our side it is trust but verify, on their side it is decide to agree because you are being existentially threatened and are being given a way out of even harsher sanctions and possible military action that will certainly destroy all of your infrastructure and probably result in your removal from office and possible death or not.

    Trust in this case means getting as many guarantees as you can and make the best out of it. That is what you can trust. Hot sweaty sleepless nights or some level of hope and a future. Choose one.

  • Cotour

    One more thought on trust.

    As long as Trump is the president he needs to be perceived as more than rather than less than trustworthy and any country that makes a deal with him and keeps to their promises IMO they can have trust that America will live up to Americas guarantees.

    After Trump? Who knows what would happen if the now Leftist lead, MS13 supporting Democrat party ever becomes empowered again where a deal like this might go? I suppose that they would wish for a change in leadership so that they could rewrite the agreement at will. But I do not see a change in leadership at the top in America happening for at least 10 to 14 years? We are on a very strong American trajectory at the moment.

    Trump himself is the guarantee because he understands that his word is his bond for the most part. And even then Trump will certainly feel free to enhance the agreement in certain ways at will. Its good to be King.

  • Edward

    Dracon asked: “Can we trust any deal with USA?

    Is there a deal that makes the USA untrustwothy? The Iranian deal that Trump just cancelled does not count, because that deal was with Obama and not the USA; Congress never got to have a say in that deal, it was all lame-duck Obama-gone-rogue rather than USA.

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