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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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FCC votes to create its own space bureaucracy, despite lacking statutory authority

On January 9, 2023 the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission FCC voted [pdf] to create its own space bureaucracy designed to regulate the lifespan of new satellites, despite lacking legal authority to do so.

As noted almost as an aside by this news article,

In order for the planned changes to go into effect, the FCC will first have to obtain congressional approval for the reorganization and place a notice in the Federal Register.

This vote pushed forward the plan announced in November that attempts to expand the regulatory power of the FCC beyond its legal authority. Expect Congress to push back somewhat, but right now most power in Washington is held by unelected bureaucracies like the FCC, not the elected legislators as defined by the Constitution. The FCC will continue to push hard, and mostly win in this power game. Congress right now is too divided and weak to fight back.

The result will be new regulations on satellite construction made by non-engineers and paper-pushers in the FCC, not engineers and managers in the companies actually building the satellites.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Chris

    I think i have an assignment for the newly elected Republican House.

  • Sippin_bourbon

    Power grab. All this will do is add to the administrative bureaucratic process that is already required to launch.

    The swamp is starting to sense that this sector is going to grow, and wants to make sure it has as many reigns of control are in place that it can muster. Taxes will soon follow, so they can start picking winners and losers.

  • Eric

    Great reporting as always Bob. I saw a video today from the Center for Strategic and International Studies that included the Commissioner of the FCC and I found it quite encouraging. He seemed to acknowledge that the FCC is approving licenses too slowly and they need to find a way to speed the process up.

    Here is a link in case you are interested:

    The link starts during the commissioner’s final words but the whole video is pretty fascinating.

    At one point he mentions the term “Shot Clock”. I’m not too sure what he means but I would imagine that he means for established companies like SpaceX the FCC should have a limited amount of time to deny a license otherwise it is automatically approved.

    I always look forward to hearing your sessions on the John Bachelor Show and I appreciate the work that you do!

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