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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

China names its 2020 Mars mission

China’s official state-run press today announced that their 2020 Mars mission will be called Tianwen-1, noting that this name will be applied to all further planetary missions.

The link goes to that government state-run press, which provides no further information on Tianwen-1, such as where on Mars its lander/rover will land, its exact launch date, the instruments on board, etc. So far very very few details have been released.

What this propaganda press announcement does do is spout a lot of blather about how wonderful China is, and how we should all be thankful the communists have been in charge there. Here are some snippets to lighten your day:

  • …signifying the Chinese nation’s perseverance in pursuing truth and science
  • …a window for the Chinese public and the world to get a better understanding of China’s aerospace progress.
  • Chinese space engineers and scientists have overcome various difficulties and achieved aerospace development through self-reliance and independent innovation.
  • …promoting human welfare on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, peaceful utilization and inclusive development.

While China’s achievements in space are real (though much of the engineering was stolen or borrowed from others), these propaganda claims are junk and lies. Chinese space engineers are “self-reliant” and have “independence”? Don’t make me laugh. Everything done in their space program is dictated and controlled from the top, by the Chinese government and the Communist Party. No one is free to do anything, without their permission.

As for China’s pursuit of “truth and science”, their behavior during the Wuhan flu epidemic, originating from their country and very possibly caused deliberately or incompetently by them, makes this claim ludicrous on its face. They have lied, arrested scientists, blocked research, and distorted the scope and magnitude of the epidemic from day one.

Even a tiny bit of truth from them, from the beginning, might have prevented the panic that has overtaken the world which in turn appears to have triggered the next great economic depression, what I like to now call the Great Wuhan Depression.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

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