How the Peoria mayor used the power of his position to try to destroy someone who was making fun of him.

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.

How the Peoria mayor used the power of his position to try to destroy someone who was making fun of him on Twitter.

Could your town’s mayor spark a police investigation into your activities that ends with town cops rifling through your mobile phone, your laptop, and the full contents of your Gmail account—all over an alleged misdemeanor based on something you wrote on social media? Not in America, you say? But you’d be wrong.

The interesting thing about this story is not so much the abuse of power by the mayor and the police in Peoria but the reaction to their actions. Watch especially the Peoria Council meeting on April 22, 2014. The response is uniformly horrified and disgusted and in opposition to this abuse.

That the public and most politicians get it and realize how inappropriate these actions were gives me hope for our country.


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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  • Orion314

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase traditionally attributed to the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), which is literally translated as “Who will guard the guards themselves?” Also sometimes rendered as “Who watches the watchmen?”, the phrase has other idiomatic translations and adaptations such as “Who will watch the watch-guards?” In modern usage, it is frequently associated with the political philosophy of Plato and the problem of POLITICAL CORRUPTION….

    This is what I POSTED on youtube after watching, in it’s entirety, this long winded disaster, over an hour long, …the symbolism, the epitome, of the problems we sheeple/subjects face in our used-to-be-great-republic. I’ll cut to the chase for those that won’t watch this video….this mayor followed the example that has been set by our vacation-in-chief. What is that , you may ask? NEVER admit you were wrong, Never Apologize…Broke the law? Don’t worry about it, the tax payers will pick up the tab.. after all, you wouldn’t be PRESIDENT/MAYOR/POLICE CHIEF, what-ever, unless you were God’s/Allah’s, whatever deity you like, chosen. If you are in public office of ANY RANK, then your shit cannot possibly stink…You can’t break the law, because the laws don’t apply to you , They only apply to the sheep. That is EXACTLY how those who are payed by the taxpayers of this country view themselves now. Make no mistake about it. The same thing the leaders of Rome believed while Nero was tuning up his fiddle.Sorry to go off with such a long winded diatribe, but I am so desperate for some glimmer of hope that this country has some kind of positive future in store, and I’ve been searching for years now. All I can come up with is that the only reason we are not in another war is because we are flat out broke.I post this rant here, because its one of the very few sites left I visit that has the intellectual firepower to convince me that our government can yet be salvaged from the ashes of hubris and corruption. Someone out there, reading this, tell me how I’m wrong, I just hope your not from the IRS… sigh…
    My Guess? This post will get ZERO response…

  • As I said, the response of the speakers and other politicians at that council meeting was almost entirely disgusted and appalled at the actions of the mayor and his underlings. Moreover, so was the response of the public as illustrated by the number of new twitter accounts making fun of the mayor, along with the almost viral reporting by many internet news outlets, all of which were quite critical.

    It is this response that gives me hope. Like you, however, I have been disappointed many times. In a sane world, this mayor would easily lose the next election. In the world we live in today, I have no idea if that will happen. If it does, than my hope will not be a fantasy but based on a reality that can grow and help change our corrupt political culture.

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