Leaving Earth cover

In 2019 I obtained from my former publisher the last 30 copies of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. I sold about half of these, and with only a handful left in stock I have raised the price. To get your own autographed copy of this rare collector's item please send a $75 check (includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to
 

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652
 

I will likely raise the price again when only ten books are left, so buy them now at this price while you still can!

 
Also available as an inexpensive ebook!
 

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

 

Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.


"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

El Paso mayor blames spike in COVID-19 cases on Big Box retailers

Throw the mask away: Citing the contact tracing his government has done, the mayor of the Texas city of El Paso now thinks the source of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in his city is because of shoppers at the big box retailers like Walmart and Costco.

“We did a deep dive in our contact tracing for the week of November the 10th through the 16th and found that 55% of the positives were coming from shopping at large retailers, what we’d term as the big box stores,” Margo said. “And those are considered essential under CISA guidelines under homeland security. And we don’t really have- I don’t have any control over any limitations there.”

He said the city asked retailers like Walmart for “voluntary limitations” regarding occupancy.

No, what he should be doing is telling these retailers to stop requiring masks. These companies were the first to fall in line with the mask mandates, and have been aggressive in requiring them from customers. Smaller retail shops have not imposed such strict mandates, while restaurants don’t require masks at all while you are at the table.

That he has found a link between new cases and shoppers in these mask-filled venues only confirms what common sense tells us: That the improper use of masks by everyone in these stores has acted to speed the spread of the virus, not slow it.

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.
 

11 comments

  • janyuary

    This fundamental reverse of moral accountability makes a mockery of liberty.

    Whenever I’ve had the flu, I’ve taken full responsibility for catching it, getting rid of it, and lying low so others avoid it. Living and working in close daily contact with folks from all over in the midst of 12 million souls strong, over two-plus decades I got the flu plenty, but I have an aggressive protocol that has worked every time. It limits it to three days as opposed to two weeks as is the legit norm, these flus can kick some serious butt even in young folks. Combatting viruses is the body’s job alone and each person is responsible for his/her own health, and fear.

    Am I the only one to see the mad irony at the sight of an overweight family in line at a junk food vendor, purveyor of pure garbage that weakens every aspect of a body’s health though it tastes good, earnestly wearing masks and feeling better because the guy handing them body-weakening food is also wearing a mask?

    I am leery to have anyone on my property who, if they get the flu, will morally hold me responsible if they get the flu after spending time here. It is a mockery of liberty, this idiotic flip of morality and duty.

  • Marcus

    Robert, I live in Texas and the mask mandate comes from the state level and applies to both large and small businesses, and I have found similar usage in both large and small places. I did see one exception, and you’re right, it was a small local store where many were unmasked. It was also a very crowded store for what that’s worth. But that’s just context. Rather than convincing me that masks are causing the spread, I would first look at the average time spent by patrons in big box stores vs other stores. I suspect many do their only shopping in the large stores, or at least spend more time in them. It may also be important how many people are in the store at the same time, even if they aren’t as crowded.

    It sounds like your theory is that masks are more strictly enforced in big box stores and most spread is coming from those stores, so make most be causing the spread. That sounds like a confusion of correlation with causality. But maybe I didn’t understand your argument. I also think the premise is flawed since I mostly dont see a significant difference in masks usage between the places. But Texas is a big place, and I’m just observing a small corner of it (not in El Paso)

    And really I’d love to see the data, that could be fun.

  • Marcus

    Sorry, “masks must” rather than “make most” in second paragraph. I’m not great at typing on my phone

  • Marcus

    Janyuary,
    I think many people find wearing a mask to be easy and losing weight to be hard. I don’t think they’d disagree with you that they _should_ eat better and lose weight. Overweight people still wear seatbelts and look both ways when crossing the street. Why not do the simple things that could extend your life even if you struggle with the hard ones? You may disagree that masks help, I’m just explaining that their decisions have a logic to them. Also, since wearing masks is largely for the people around you, I consider it a courtesy and a show of respect for others more than something to make one feel safe.

  • janyuary

    Marcus: one doesn’t stop eating junk food to lose weight. One stops eating junk food to attain better health and better immunity to viruses. What they choose to eat is up to them with zero reference to me or anyone so unrelated to their state of overweight; it is only fair that they take responsibility for the consequences, and that means vulnerability to viruses much more than thin healthy folks. That’s the point here, being responsible for oneself. Weight watching is vanity, nutrition is life.

    “… since wearing masks is largely for the people around you, I consider it a courtesy and a show of respect for others more than something to make one feel safe.”

    At this point, seeing the [predictable] financial destruction, closed businesses, stalled incomes, the [predictable] uptick in alcoholism and domestic abuse, the [predictable] despair in teens and parents, the [predicable] dramatic decline in general health because of closed gymnasiums …

    … I consider going along being an accessory to economic and societal homicide.

    Placate evil if you think it’s smart, but leave me out out of it.

  • Marcus

    Janyuary,
    When you said “overweight family in line at a junk food vendor”, I mistakenly thought you were implying some connection between the family being overweight and them eating junk food.

    I understand the distress you describe. Are you attributing it to masks? I was under the impression that mask usage was a way of keeping people safer (not safe) while opening back up and ending the lockdowns.

    Here in Texas we have a mask mandate, but everything is back open (actually not sure about movie theaters, I haven’t bothered to look, but they’re probably open). I don’t want to risk shutting things down again, and if masks help prevent that, I’m all for them.

  • Chris

    Marcus. – If masks keep things open you’re all for it. I must disagree. If the mask is not a true solution to stopping the spread of a virus then the Gods of the Copybook Heading who control us have make us kowtow to another of their arbitrary rules. This is the path to serfdom or worse. To curtail my individual sovereignty a government of any level must have overwhelming proof of the need.

    Janyuary – (Boy spellcheck doesn’t like that) I think you’re on to something from a diet standpoint; but I would also point to supplements as well. We hear that one of the issues of the Common Chinese Corona virus CCC (from the CCP) is higher mortality in darker skinned persons. Yet we hear little if any call to supplement vitamin D there if not the rest of the population. Here in Western PA much lower sun exposure is the norm as winter comes.

    To the contact traced “link” to big box stores – this is only an indication or possibly a correlation. At this point in the spread of this virus (the virus is very widely distributed throughout society and citizens are still involved in many many “contacts” per day.) the idea of contact tracing is not feasible.

  • janyuary

    Marcus, the law of living is: eat smart, be healthy. Eat stupid, get fat/weak and/or be a pain to others.
    That is a material truth that many people spend a lifetime denying and complaining about how unfair it is. Thin fit people are almost never approached by fat people wanting to know “the secret” to get and stay thin. There’s a reason for it — bad eaters would rather blame it on genetics as they can’t handle the truth. They want to enjoy their sweets and carbs. That’s fine as long as they accept accountability. I know and adore a number of fat people who are happy with themselves and I am happy with them, too. I have a problem with fat people who want much sympathy, even … especially … when they get sick as a result of being too … well, lazy …. to pursue proper nutrition and fitness.

    Proper, careful, thoughtful, common sense nutrition is the single best preventative medicine there is. Supplements are limited in their usefulness, but they rake in a lot of dough for the folks who sell them. There is danger in over-supplementing, though the good Docs on kook to kook don’t say it. I know that is controversial, but you are better off, for example, getting your vitamin D from rendered lard (a demonized food that is extremely healthy), the sun, mushrooms that you’ve put in the sun, eggs … there are dietary and environmental sources for vitamins and nutrients aplenty. Kids who get sick constantly have moms who feed them vitamin pills; healthy kids’ moms feed them homemade meals from whole fresh foods.

    Corona preys on the unhealthy. So Americans should be focusing pretty much exclusively on nutrition and their personal responsibility to either eat right/smart and reap the benefits, or IF they eat stupid and therefore become fat, sick, a problem, a liability — they they accept responsibility for it instead of asking others to sacrifice their own comfort and/or freedom, accommodate them because they have eaten stupidly for the past 20 years.

  • Edward

    janyuary,
    You wrote: “That’s the point here, being responsible for oneself.

    If government wanted us to be responsible for ourselves, then they wouldn’t put the onus on bars and other sellers of alcohol for the drunken state of their customers or for their drunken driving. Also, we wouldn’t be required to wear masks, be locked down, or have our businesses shut down during this Great Oppression.

    Instead, we are all far too irresponsible for our own health, healthcare, or any other activities, so government now may tell us what we must spend our own money on, for what reasons we may leave our own houses, and what we must wear — sometimes even as we are inside our own houses or cars.

    Just wait until they discover the tuberculosis is contagious. These ersatz parental governments may even decide that we are not responsible with our own money and take it from us, giving us meager allowances, just like regular parents (unless they decide parenting is too difficult for us and take away our children, too).

    They want to enjoy their sweets and carbs.

    Mmm. Donuts.

    Now, everyone else: wear your masks, stay away from me, or better yet, remain in your own homes until further notice while I get some exercise at the gym to work off those donuts. You all are responsible for my health, not me. Oh, wait. That means I don’t have to do all that tiresome exercise. Oh, and wash your hands while you stay at home and I go to the large retail store, otherwise I will hold you all responsible for my getting any sickness at all, including heart disease from all these delicious donuts that I just can’t stop eating for dinner.

    Chris wrote: “This is the path to serfdom or worse.

    We have reached the end of that path. Now we need special permission just to go to work at our jobs — last spring, some people were even issued papers to show the police, if they were stopped, allowing them to travel to and from work. It is nice to know which jobs are essential and which are frivolous. There was a time when free markets made that decision, but these days it is our central-control governments that perform that service in America.

    Welcome to Obama’s communist America, land of the formerly free.

  • commodude

    The fascisti need to get on the same page.

    COVID-19 is such a smart virus that it knows not to GO to bog box stores. It only assaults people in mom and pop stores, bars after 10PM if they’re not eating food, and other very select places.

    Maybe Tejas has a different version of the Peking flu?

  • janyuary

    Edward, total agreement and love the sarcasm, but I wish you were also being sarcastic laying all at Obama’s feet. Obama’s Republican opponents, John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012) were Democrats in all but name and they rightly were sent to hell on a shutter by American liberty lovers. A Republican party that tolerated and enabled such leftist big government nanny staters as McCain and “Father of ObamaMandatoryInsurance (its not “care”) to get the nomination, are every bit as much to blame as Obama. Obama was a SYMPTOM. And as long as Americans encourage lazy ignorant people to vote as if it was a high school election of Class President and mascot, and refuse to require actual personal sacrifice and demonstrated knowledge to vote, then this will continue happening.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *