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.


Ducey extends Arizona shut down two weeks

Fascist: Republican Arizona governor Doug Ducey today announced a two week extension of his so-called “shelter-in-place” order, what is really a house arrest for the general population and a shut down of business that is putting one quarter of the population out of work.

Ducey’s new edicts call for some businesses to begin opening sooner, but with many restrictions. Restaurants however will be locked down until May 12. The edict also said that “no county, city, or town may issue orders, rules, or regulations that conflict with the executive order.”

I wonder if there might be some pushback from local authorities in some areas, as has been seen in other states, especially because of this minor detail:

One in four small businesses in Phoenix could be gone for good, according to the city’s economic director. It could take six years to recover all the jobs that have been lost. “Seeing that 20% to 25% of our small businesses won’t be here when this is over is terrifying for me,” said Christine Mackay, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix.

What does Ducey care if one in four people are out of work? He made himself look good, and now can preen himself as a hero.

To me, he looks like a jackbooted thug. May he roast in hell.

And I dare him to send some police storm troopers to my house to arrest me for saying so.

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27 comments

  • wayne

    Brian Eno & David Byrne
    “America is Waiting”
    1981 {My Life in the Bush of Ghosts LP}
    https://youtu.be/TZ3w3TIYo7I
    3:38

    “….Takin’ it again, again, again, takin’ it again,
    I mean, yeah, well, wha, what’re ya gonna do?…”

  • Ian C.

    Elon Musk agrees: “To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic, this is not freedom, give people back their god damn freedom.”

  • Ian C.

    Anyone has an opinion on the situation in Michigan?

    Impressive pictures. But practical question, who would they shoot? And how would they escalate it from there to get what they want?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8275171/Hundreds-demonstrators-protest-Michigans-stay-home-orders.html

  • Ian C: The carrying of the guns is a statement to reaffirm what is their legal right. They break no laws by doing so.

    However they do make a second statement by doing so to these lawmakers. The citizens are sovereign here, not the lawmakers. You are the people’s servant, not the other way around. Begin behaving that way, or you things will go very badly for you.

  • By the way, this is exactly the same circumstances as occurred in Virginia at the start of the American Revolution. The appointed British governor tried to take the guns from the citizens. They responded in a similar manner as those in Michigan.

  • Ian C.

    Bob,

    I’m aware that it’s legal to open carry inside the Michigan Capitol. And that this is a warning and demonstration of presence.

    But still, to make the warning/threat believable in case it would escalate, who would be the targets? How would that escalate? I ask that really as a practical question. I wouldn’t want to shoot innocent officers (and others) who — by a huge probability — would be on my side anyway.

    (Just to make it clear, if I were forced to decide between yes or no, no gray in between, I’m on the protestors’ side.)

  • Ian C. No one wants to shoot anyone. You are essentially asking the fake strawman question that the leftist media always poses: “These demonstrators are dangerous! We must stop them!”

    The legislators get the point. The presence of the armed and legal demonstrators put some fear in them. And thus, they have been moving to try to nullify that their governor’s overreach and power grab with her irrational shut down orders.

  • Ian C.

    No one wants to shoot anyone.

    It’s not about want, it’s about must. Otherwise it’s an empty threat.

    You are essentially asking the fake strawman question that the leftist media always poses: “These demonstrators are dangerous! We must stop them!”

    But I’m not a leftist and I don’t want to stop them. I trust them. But if not carried for practical use (if needed), displaying the weapons is just role playing and pretending, no? Then they could replace their guns with dolls, if they have no plan upfront how to use them if necessary. Or am I missing something?

    The legislators get the point.

    So at this point it’s (still) more like a ritual?

  • Cotour

    “So at this point it’s (still) more like a ritual?”

    Yes, its like a ritual.

    Better a ritual where everyone does their dance and understands each other and gets to come to a resolution, than to have to do what no one would want to have to do. It is a form of communication.

    Fear is a good thing, it garners respect, the Founders knew what they were doing because they understood what they were up against, the nature of man as it relates to the abuse of power.

    The people will be armed.

  • Edward

    Ian C.,
    You asked: “But still, to make the warning/threat believable in case it would escalate, who would be the targets?

    When you first asked me that question a few days ago, I thought you were being sarcastic, especially with the accompanying silly questions. However, it is now clear that you aren’t thinking this through, and you do not consider the historical context that comes with such conversations.

    If you had asked the same question in 1774, what would the answer be? Extrapolate into the future, up to the present day.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour,

    come to a resolution, (…) It is a form of communication. (…) The people will be armed.

    Didn’t stop her from extending the lockdown until late May.

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/05/01/gov-whitmer-extends-michigan-state-of-emergency-through-may-28-after-legislature-refused-extension/

    Now what?

    Edward,

    I thought you were being sarcastic

    I’m practically minded. Who do you need to “address” to achieve your objectives and how do you get there?

    especially with the accompanying silly questions.

    They weren’t silly. Do you expect the media to report objectively, esp. once things turn dirty? Having your own media channels and raw footage might help. Having an audience you can share with what you experience can create support.

    If you had asked the same question in 1774

    Guess the protestors (from their appearance I’d say they’re small business owners and working class members) don’t have the luxury to sit this conflict out over several years. They’ve experienced what more than one month of economic shutdown did to their finances and lives and they can extrapolate what it might do if the shutdown is (repeatedly) extended. They need results soon.
    You have a situation, you have urgency, you have guns, now what’s the plan? I just try to understand.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour, Edward,

    Guess I was looking at that from the wrong perspective.

    This event on Thursday was rather a demonstration of determination and availability of militia personnel. They’d wait for the explicit call (by whom?) that militias shall be formed. Those would operate under a command structure, not engage in individual actions. And if the oppressive government continues its ways, we might see explicit calls to the military and LEO to be neutral or join the rebellion. And then the magic happens, one way or another.

    Am I getting it right now?

  • Edward

    Ian C. asked: “Am I getting it right now?

    How should I know? I’m not the one talking of armed revolution against these tyrants. Did they say these things during the various demonstrations?

    I recommended that you consider the American revolution, and you came back with some other analysis.

  • Ian C.

    Cotour says it’s a communication, I try to understand its message. You point me to the American revolution, I try to interpret it in that context. You seem to know something, but you’re not telling me what it is.

  • wayne

    Ian C.
    Question please– are you an American?

    Referencing Michigan-
    We currently have a State Legislature nominally controlled by “Republicans,” while the Governor is a democrat. (in 1992 we amended our Constitution to impose term-limits on the Governor; two 4 year terms, is the lifetime max. Whitmer is in her 1st term.)

    The Detroit metroplex (comprising Wayne, Oakland, & Macomb Counties) pretty much dominates the whole State politically. {Roughly 3-4 million people, the whole State has roughly 10 million population total.}. [with lefty progressive enclaves in Ann Arbor [University], Lansing [University] and Grand Rapids (w/ the peculiar distinction of being the 1st City to put fluoride in their water supply.)]
    Everyone who could leave Detroit, has already left Detroit.
    In contrast, the rest of the State leans right.
    About 30% of the population owns a firearm.

    Donald Trump’s Final Rally: Grand Rapids, MI
    1:00 am, November 8, 2020
    https://youtu.be/pLERzuzgOaY?t=9579

  • Ian C.

    wayne,

    are you an American?

    No. (But I grew up in the “American sector,” if that counts for anything. Ha!)

    I think of myself as being not completely clueless, but my lack of (implicit) cultural context shows occasionally.

  • Edward

    Ian C.,
    You wrote: “You point me to the American revolution, I try to interpret it in that context. You seem to know something, but you’re not telling me what it is.

    I have yet to see your interpretation in the context of the American Revolution. You asked who a revolution would shoot at, and the American revolution and the years prior explain not just the shooting but the efforts to avoid shooting.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

    The American Revolution was a colonial revolt which occurred between 1765 and 1783.

    I still don’t think that your comment about putting video of a revolution on social media is serious. If shooting were to start, it would not be for entertainment value but to overturn the tyranny that has been growing in the United States for this past half of the country’s existence. Up to a dozen years ago, tyranny has grown in the U.S. in the Fabian method, but then it turned up the heat, until we are now under virtual house arrest for something that wasn’t criminal.

    We thought that we were doing something for the greater good. (Oh, my! A left wing concept. Who would have known that it would blow up in our faces?) But it turned out to be an exercise in futility, because those in charge, the tyrants, had other ends for this means.

    Although the situation is different than the American revolution, it is very similar to the conditions that the Founding Fathers thought would occur after a couple of decades of the country’s existence. Self rule worked better than the Founding Fathers thought, but it has flaws that still need to be rectified through liberty, not tyranny.

  • Edward

    Ian C.,
    Upon further reflection, it may be that the situation in the U.S. is more like the revolution that ended the Soviet Union. Robert writes a little about this in his book “Leaving Earth” (Robert, do I have the right book?), pointing out that the Soviet citizens had a taste of some amount of liberty in the 1980s, and they liked it. This was known as glasnost. Perestroika may have also had something to do with the Soviet revolution.

    The Soviet revolution was triggered when the leadership failed to get food from the farms to the grocery stores.* I don’t remember who said that every nation is three meals away from revolution. So, when the revolution came, who did the revolutionaries shoot at? More important, who shot at the revolutionaries? It is a revolution that should be celebrated for coming oh-so-close to being bloodless.

    Lockdown is threatening America’s (and the world’s) farming and food distribution system. This is why Trump is so eager to get various meat packing plants back online. I was shopping this evening, and there are still empty shelves in the grocery store.

    I suspect that the U.S., if it comes to that, will have similar results as the Soviet revolutionaries, at least where the lines are drawn. I suspect that many of those that the government relies upon to enforce the Constitution will realize that the revolutionaries are the ones most eager to uphold the Constitution. I suspect that a revolution in the U.S. would result not in a new government (although it may result in different people doing the governing) but in an Article 5 convention, in which a new Bill of Rights is generated, guaranteeing less power for the federal government and more power for the people and the states, respectively.

    Absolute power corrupts, and various governments’s power has absolutely corrupted.

    * The U.S. and the Soviet Union had a treaty in which most military equipment would be removed from eastern Europe. NATO moved their equipment over a period of time, but the Soviets waited until the last month, September or October. Thus, locomotives that were needed to move the harvest were instead moving military equipment. Food rotted in freight cars in rail yards as they awaited locomotives to take it to the cities and processing plants.

  • Edward: Yes, you are referring to Leaving Earth, but I don’t think the situation now is the same as the Soviet Union in the 1980s. There, the public was getting its first taste of freedom, which led to the fall of a dictatorship. Now, Americans are getting their first taste of oppression. They don’t seem to mind.

  • Edward

    Robert,
    I’m not so sure that Americans don’t mind the tyranny that we are experiencing.

    Too many people are going outside to enjoy the sunshine, so many that Governor Newsom reacted by closing the beaches, angering those who want to go to the beach. In various state capitals and other cities, thousands of people have protested the lockdowns and shutdowns. Didn’t some protestors in Lansing display firearms in order to suggest a possible escalation if the protest didn’t produce desired results? Michigan’s population complained so loud that their governor relented and eased up on restrictions, so now people are allowed to go to their own vacation homes. Somewhere, one angry person killed the security officer who enforced a requirement to wear a mask (it feels like 300 million Americans are sharing 30 million masks). Business owners risk arrest by opening their soon-to-fail businesses, because if their businesses fail they will need a place to keep them warm, dry, and fed anyway.

    I do not think that Americans like the panic that they are in, right now. The experience they are having is that tyranny is frightening. The experience is that tyranny is something that requires us to do things we do not want to do, such as stay inside instead of travel to our own second homes or go to the public beaches that we are entitled to enjoy. Tyranny has robbed us of our right to travel, right to go outside, and our right to enjoy our own property, personal or communal.

    I see pushback on the tyranny that government has imposed on us.

    How many people did it take to revolt in the Soviet Union? Not very many. How many would it take in the U.S.? Probably fewer, because in the U.S., those who protect the Constitution do not swear to follow the leader or the government but swear to protect the Constitution that our government leaders now threaten.

  • Ian C.

    Edward,

    (Apologies for my late reply. Life got in the way.)

    I have yet to see your interpretation in the context of the American Revolution.

    I was thinking of the First Continental Congress that called to form militias. My interpretation was that showing up was a signal of availability.

    I still don’t think that your comment about putting video of a revolution on social media is serious.

    Media can be a supportive and even decisive factor in a modern conflict/war.

    it would not be for entertainment value

    It would also be for entertainment value. Trust me on that. And many iconic moments captured on film have memetic potential, often discovered and produced by those who (passively) watch it, share it, discuss it.

    greater good

    I can be in favor of the “greater good” for selfish reasons though. Just need to be aware that this can be gamed and abused against me. Especially when something is voluntary/optional first and when enough people do it is magically transformed into something obligatory.

    Self rule worked better than the Founding Fathers thought, but it has flaws that still need to be rectified through liberty, not tyranny.

    Great statement. One that I believe in actually. My honest, curious question is how could we design a response to a threat (pandemic or otherwise) that relies on the individual’s liberty. I asked that question a couple of weeks before here, I didn’t come up with a workable answer so far myself that didn’t rely on a couple of (idealized) assumptions and preconditions. I can imagine quite some approaches, but I don’t know about their performance, resilience, and scalability in the real world. It’s not easy.

    So, when the revolution came, who did the revolutionaries shoot at? More important, who shot at the revolutionaries?

    Yeah, that’s always worth studying. If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, the book “Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook” by Edward N. Luttwak might be a nice read during lockdown.

    This summary might give us a hint of what we should look for. It may or may not apply to our case, but it’s worth knowing:

    “The world has changed dramatically in the past half century, but not the essence of the coup d’état. It still requires the secret recruitment of military officers who command the loyalty of units well placed to seize important headquarters and key hubs in the capital city. The support of the armed forces as a whole is needed only in the aftermath, to avoid countercoups. And mass support is largely irrelevant, although passive acceptance is essential. To ensure it, violence must be kept to a minimum. The ideal coup is swift and bloodless. Very violent coups rarely succeed, and if they trigger a bloody civil war they fail utterly.”

    https://www.amazon.com/Coup-d%C3%89tat-Practical-Handbook-Revised/dp/0674737261

    (PDF available on the Internet.)

    I suspect that many of those that the government relies upon to enforce the Constitution will realize that the revolutionaries are the ones most eager to uphold the Constitution.

    That’s what I hear from several acquaintances, of which some consider themselves part of the militia. So I’m willing to believe it.

    Probably fewer, because in the U.S., those who protect the Constitution do not swear to follow the leader or the government but swear to protect the Constitution that our government leaders now threaten.

    You Americans have it good. This focus and insistence on the Constitution sometimes appears like a funny quirk, but it’s a useful and serious one. One that keeps you alive.

  • Edward

    Ian C.,
    You asked: “My honest, curious question is how could we design a response to a threat (pandemic or otherwise) that relies on the individual’s liberty.

    The same way we have been doing so for the past quarter millennium. Indeed, plenty of places around the globe responded to this pandemic without violating individual liberty. Those real world countries easily did very well.

    Yeah, that’s always worth studying. If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, the book “Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook” by Edward N. Luttwak might be a nice read during lockdown.

    I already know the answer to the question I asked — actually, it was your own question that I am trying to get you to answer for yourself. I am attempting (in vain) to get you to think. Instead, you read a book to see what someone else thought.

    This focus and insistence on the Constitution sometimes appears like a funny quirk, but it’s a useful and serious one.

    It is serious because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No other law is allowed to contradict it. The Preamble is what we would now call a mission statement. The Constitution is written to limit federal power, retain state power, and assure that We the People hold the majority of the power. Other nations have attempted to emulate it, but have failed to understand and incorporate the basic philosophy.

    What has been called American Exceptionalism is in reality the freedom and liberty that belongs to us, naturally, and not bestowed onto us by a government. The American people are no more exceptional than the people of the rest of the world — we are made up of people from the rest of the world. It is the attitude that we are free to try new things, such as launch, land, and reuse a rocket first stage, that makes America exceptional. We don’t ask whether we can try something new, we just do it, like that shoemaker’s aphorism.

    This attitude is due to that quirky focus and insistence on the Constitution, and it is why we continue to be quirky.

  • Ian C.

    Edward,

    Indeed, plenty of places around the globe responded to this pandemic without violating individual liberty. Those real world countries easily did very well.

    Provide examples please. And why those countries’ responses could be implemented in the US of 2020.

    I am attempting (in vain) to get you to think. Instead, you read a book to see what someone else thought.

    Since you accuse me of being unable to think for myself (and when I do, you accuse me of making unstated assumptions and claim that all my analyses are worthless), please spoon-feed me the answer to the still open question: who would those revolutionaries shoot at in 2020?

    The American people are no more exceptional than the people of the rest of the world

    Many of you are the descendants of people who dared to settle a new continent. While the more risk-averse and complacent stayed home in old Europe (and invented socialism instead). Surely there must be differences. Specific personality traits concentrate at specific places.

    we are made up of people from the rest of the world.

    Increasingly so. And it shows.

  • Edward

    Since you accuse me of being unable to think for myself (and when I do, you accuse me of making unstated assumptions and claim that all my analyses are worthless),

    Well, since I have to trust you that a revolution would be entertaining, I’m not quite sure how to consider that analysis to be worth something.

    Surely there must be differences.

    Yes. Those who came to America were those who were the least successful in their native lands. The most successful, especially the wealthy and the nobility, remained behind to enjoy their success. By the way, to be successful, one generally has to take risks, so risk takers also remained at home, too. Those who left generally had nothing left to lose. How did you miss that?

    please spoon-feed me the answer to the still open question

    Oh. That’s why you missed it.

    Rather than me spoon feeding you answers, why don’t you think about who would shoot at the revolutionaries, and who the revolutionaries would shoot. I will spoon feed you answers in small doses, as you report your thinking. Start with who did the shooting during the American Revolution. We will build on that example. If you are especially bold, include who did the shooting during the revolution that ended the Soviet Union. These aren’t trick questions, they are in the history books and on the internet.

    Also, a little homework for you: provide an example of a country that did not violate individual liberty as it responded to this pandemic.

  • Ian C.

    Edward,

    since I have to trust you that a revolution would be entertaining

    E.g., livestreams of shooters/terrorists or Euromaidan or Arab Spring or Hong Kong protests. All have their audiences who’re glued to it and then make propaganda with it. The comments, insider jokes, collages and edits that come from that can strengthen communities and make (fake) news.

    Having footage beats not having footage.

    Kiev: Maidan, Grushevskogo [14:07]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jul7DtYWk-A

    Those who came to America were those who were the least successful in their native lands.

    There are two kinds of “losers,” those who move and those who stay. One is more risk-accepting, the other more risk-averse.

    Re the wealthy and nobility, they already accumulated their riches and social positions in the past, mostly defended them in the present, and were a (tiny) minority anyway.

    a little homework for you

    Much appreciated, but I need to postpone that. There’s so much workload in other areas that I need to focus on. We’ll return to shooting sooner or later, so the issue remains fresh.

  • Edward

    Ian C.,
    You wrote: “E.g., livestreams of shooters/terrorists or Euromaidan or Arab Spring or Hong Kong protests. All have their audiences who’re glued to it and then make propaganda with it.

    What you described is not entertainment but watching for propaganda value.

    There are two kinds of “losers,” those who move and those who stay.

    It is interesting that you believe that freedom allows those who would otherwise be losers to turn into winners. It is not the person that determines this status but the liberty, or lack thereof.

  • Edward

    “We’ll return to shooting sooner or later, so the issue remains fresh.”

    I doubt it. You weren’t serious about the issue this time, so you are unlikely to be serious about it later, either.

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