Commemorating the victims in Colorado.

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.

Commemorating the victims in Colorado.

I don’t normally report on these violent events. However, I think Malkin’s point here is valid. Too much press has been given the mass murderer in this crime, and not enough for his innocent victims. And in order to understand the truly evil nature of this crime, it is important to know the kind of people this horrible man calmly killed. For example, “6-year-old Veronica Moser identified as Aurora shooting victim; mom in critical condition.”


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


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  • JGL

    This is an email I sent to friends this morning related to this situation, its titled: When will Hollywood be held accountable?

    I pulled the story segment below from a story on James Holmes, the brilliant PHD student who went way off the deep end, it appears to

    suggest that he knew he had mental problems and was studying the condition, possibly to either better understand and control it or cure it.

    This in conjunction with the alleged quotes from his mother that “they have the right guy” and “I have to get to Colorado” suggest that his

    condition was a known situation within his family, Just like the long time mentally ill Jarred L. that shot Gabby Giffords and killed several


    So IMO this horrific event is more of an issue of mental health and what family members, educational institutions and the general public can

    or might do related to an individual who displays disturbing pathology.

    Holmes could have just as easily made a couple of devices and tossed them into the crowded theater if he just wanted to do damage and

    cause death.

    But he didn’t, it appears that he was fulfilling some kind of sick model he created in his head.

    Where did he get the model he was fulfilling?

    When will Hollywood be confronted on the violent movies they produce, when will Rappers be confronted on the violent culture and

    disrespect for women that they promote?

    These seem to be the images that are the models mentally ill people feel they must fulfill, issues with the second amendment seem

    secondary to me.

    Can we agree that in many of these incidents its Hollywood and the people involved with creating our cultural imagery who appears to

    support all of the liberal and now socialist agendas related to gun control that look more “guilty” by producing and promoting the imagery?

    I hear no one demanding that Hollywood and Rappers end their assault on America with their imagery and lyrics and end their promoting of

    the missuse of fire arms and the assault on the second amendment.

    It looks like they do it as a part of the fulfilling of an agenda to me, if not consciously then subconsciously, and we know that subconsciously

    is unlikely .

    Why do they get a pass?

    Now we are talking about the First Amendment, but where is the outrage in the country and the communities who suffer from these apparent


    The conclusion?

    Personal responsibility, something that is discouraged by the liberal media and the liberal politicians who benefit from the lack of it.

    “Holmes enrolled last year in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver but was in the process of withdrawing, said school officials, who didn’t provide a reason. The school later said in a statement that he left the program in June 2012.
    As part of the advanced program in Denver, a James Holmes had been listed as making a presentation in May about Micro DNA Biomarkers in a class named “Biological Basis of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders.”

  • Kelly Starks

    I wouldn’t jump on this as a conspiracy to promote a agenda – more just not questioning their agenda driven assumptions.
    I noticed that bulk of news reports quoted that the shooter in the Aurora theater had full body armor, but that didn’t make sense attacking unarmed movie goers in “gun free zone” theater (always dangerous places to go), so I did some quick searches. Only one new source (Fox News’ Jana Winter) actually followed up and talked to the manufacturer.

    Winter interviewed Chad Weinman, CEO of, who admitted the shooter’s vest came from their mail order company. But it wasn’t body armor – it was a nylon vest with the velcro pockets and such. Now I can understand why panicked folks in a theater would confuse those – but why didn’t any reporter check on that while trying to fill all the airtime they have on the shootings? Or wonder about a theater chain that braged about being a “gun free zone” but a shooter got a rifle and two pistols into?

  • Kelly Starks

    I don’t think Hollywood images drove this guy. He could have as easily been inspired by comic books or the bible.

    I really wonder about our medical or legal situations if this guy could get this far around the bend without someone seeing he needed to be committed?

  • JGL

    What imagery do you think he was fulfilling?

    What was he dressed as and where did he perpetrate his acts and during what movie?

    He called himself the Joker.

    What do you need his written plan, a schematic and a video?

    The thrust of my point is that Hollywood, the Rapp community, TV, etc, etc. all promote story lines that promote the missuse of fire arms

    and a disrespect for human life.

    Anything goes, there is no restraint, no self editing. ( I am a solid defender of the First Amendment as I am of the Second)

    An example, in New York there is a police program call Stop And Frisk, it goes on in neighborhoods with high incidence of young people

    shooting other young people with ILLEGALLY procured and carried weapons. They casually shoot each other and sometimes innocent


    The communities where this goes on, and keep in mind since this program has been enacted there has been significant reduction in these

    types of incidents. They come to understand that if you carry there is a high likelyhood of being stopped, I would assume.

    What do you think some people and politicians in these communities are screaming about?

    They are concerned with the rights of the people who have been stopped and frisked, as they should be, but I have not heard anyone call out

    the Rappers who promote this particular culture of violence in their videos or lyrics where guns are part of the gear that “men” must carry in

    the street or anyone from Hollywood who produce and profit from such story lines. Total silence.

    They promote Ciroc vodka and Hennessey congnac and movies like Savages very successfully with their imagery, do you think it may also

    apply to violent acts regarding fire arms ?

    And secondly, where is and what can be done when family memebers have an understanding of the mental instability of a family memeber?

    It may be a fine line but it has to be at least discussed.

  • JGL

    Keep on mind I am not saying that Cirroc or Hennessey promote violence in any way, they do not.

  • Kelly Starks

    > What imagery do you think he was fulfilling?..

    Whatever he had at hand that worked for him. Theres lots of choices in the world. Its not like he would have stayed home and read a good book otherwise.

  • JGL

    You have an interesting way of interpreting reality given the, what may be considered evidence regarding this particular event.

    I guess you will have to wait for the movie so its all layed out for you, Im sure Hollywood is working on it as we write.

    Do you see the irony in that?

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