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.

French Guiana strikes continue

The strikes in French Guiana that canceled last week’s Ariane 5 launch have now escalated, practically paralyzing the country.

It also looks like this situation will not be settled quickly. Many of the local mayors have refused to meet with the representatives sent over by the French government.


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  • LocalFluff

    Maybe the people of Guiana is so impressed by socialism’s successes in neighboring Venezuela, that they want to join them? Wouldn’t that be a coup for Maduro, capturing French Guiana, selling the Ariane 5 to their friends Iran and the Soyuz to North Korea. Hollande is no Thatcher, so no reaction is to be expected. On Google Map, the border between the countries is already just dashed, like between provinces.,-60.137661,6.17z

  • LocalFluff

    Oh, FRENCH Guyana is a bit further away. I wonder if they often get their international paper mails mixed up.

  • wayne

    Are we talking Guyana or Guiana??

    Jonestown Mass Suicide Tape
    (Full Recording)
    November 18, 1978, Peoples Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana immediately preceding and during the mass suicide and murder of over 900 members of the cult.

  • Wayne: I think it is the same place. It appears they decided to change the spelling at some point.

  • Garry

    There’s Guyana to the west, and French Guinea to the east, with Suriname between them.

    French Guinea is considered part of France itself rather than a possession.

    Guyana is indeed the site of Jonestown, from which the expression “drink the kool-aid” is derived (meaning to have blind faith in, to a cult-like extent).

  • Garry

    Sorry, should be spelled “French Guiana.”

    Guyana was once called “British Guiana,” became independent in 1966, and a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970.

  • wayne

    We’re talking about the little country in South America, correct?
    (and…. being near the equator is ‘good for launching rockets.’)

    Garry– apparently, more Flavor-Aid than actual Kool-Aid.

  • Garry

    Wayne, yes, the easternmost of 3 small countries in South America, but technically it’s not a country, but a department of France.

    “apparently, more Flavor-Aid than actual Kool-Aid”

    I don’t care; when a true believer tells me something outrageous, I’m still going to say “Ohh Yeahh!” in my best kool-aid man voice.

  • Vladislaw

    Robert, off topic … I posted in the Space Review a link from NASA watch that had a link from

    from Ars Technica that had a link to your article.

    about capitalism in space

    I got a reply that stated:

    “The paper in question was written by a blogger that nobody would consider nonpartisan.”

    and then this:

    “Read Scott Pace’s discussion of the paper in Space News. He notes that the fundamental premises of the paper are flawed. Everything after that is like building a house on mashed potatoes–it doesn’t matter how sturdy the structure is if the foundation is mush.”

    Is that discussion about you or Berger? Do you have a link for the Scott Pace discussion?

  • Vladislaw: I do not know who wrote “The paper in question was written by a blogger that nobody would consider nonpartisan,” but Keith Cowing at NASAWatch does not like my point of view. He will condemn it, guaranteed, merely because he is a Democrat and dislikes conservatives.

    Moreover, it doesn’t matter that I am a blogger. Nor does it matter that I am partisan. The point is irrelevant. Notice that no one is questioning the facts in my paper. Their big complaint is routinely that they don’t like my comparison between SLS/Orion and commercial space. The fact that commercial space is getting things done for very little money in far less time seems irrelevant to them, despite the fact that this is the heart of the issue.

    I do not have the link to the Scott Pace discussion.

  • Vladislaw

    It wasn’t condemned by either Cowling or Berger .. D. Day at space review.

    “Moreover, it doesn’t matter that I am a blogger. Nor does it matter that I am partisan. The point is irrelevant.”

    I was going to hammer him on that fallacy of logic but wanted to come to you first. How anyone with even the most fundamental understanding of economics could support the SLS and Orion is simply beyond me. That the Republicans have turned into socialists above the Karman line just drives me nuts, they should be all over the government waste of the SLS.

  • Vladislaw: Note also that I am not merely a “blogger.” I have written some major award-winning books on the history of space exploration. I am not some guy merely sitting at home in his pajamas, spouting his opinions. What I write I write based on data. If you are going to debate these points, keep this in mind.

  • Vladislaw: Duane Day is criticizing it? I am not surprised.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Dwayne Day writes a lot about space history. Maybe he just resents what he sees as intrusions upon his turf?

  • Dick Eagleson: Dwayne Day is a very good academic historian. He digs in and gets the fine details. We differ however on the larger philosophical issues that move history.

  • diane wilson

    I remember Duane Day from the old days. Both knowledgeable and opinionated. It’s not so easy to know which is which without a lot of background knowledge and experience, but that’s true of most authorities, with or without air quotes.

    As far as SLS/Orion, yes, it’s a jobs program with possible potential to produce a rocket at some point. It’s good to have a fallback plan, I suppose, but NASA is funding SpaceX and Boeing, in addition to consuming their launches, and there are other players without NASA assistance who also want to play in this game (Blue Origin, Dream Chaser), with the odds that all will be superior to SLS/Orion. For SLS to be viable, all those others have to fail.

    What does frost my giblets is that it is federal law that the Europa mission must launch on SLS. That isn’t likely to happen, and it’s not likely that Congress will change that law. Which leaves only one other outcome.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Mr. Z,

    Based on what Dwayne publishes prolifically in Space Review, he certainly does know how to get down in the weeds. But he also definitely has a NASA-centric point of view.


    I think that, if push comes to shove, Rep. Culberson would countenance the porting of Europa Clipper to some other launch platform. He’s no longer a young man and he’s well into the period of his career when thoughts of “legacy” begin to outweigh those of purely pecuniary and/or constituent service interest.

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