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

Illinois facing budget collapse

Leftist governance: Having now gone three years without an official budget and having expenses exceeding revenues by large amounts on a monthly basis, Illinois now faces a budget collapse.

A mix of state law, court orders and pressure from credit rating agencies requires some items be paid first. Those include debt and pension payments, state worker paychecks and some school funding. Mendoza says a recent court order regarding money owed for Medicaid bills means mandated payments will eat up 100 percent of Illinois’ monthly revenue.

There would be no money left for so-called “discretionary” spending – a category that in Illinois includes school buses, domestic violence shelters and some ambulance services

More here. Essentially, this state, run for decades by Democrats (and Republican helpers) and their union buddies, has unfunded pension liabilities that make it impossible to pay its real bills. I saw this happen in New York City in the 1970s, after almost a century of one-party Democratic rule. Watch it happen again here, as well as in California and several other radicalized blue states. They have decided to go full socialist, and as such are guaranteed societal failure.

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.
 

9 comments

  • wayne

    This should be a worrying prospect for the (normal) people of Illinois.

    Municipalities’ can go bankrupt under Federal Law, but State’s can not. (Not in the sense of “filing a Chapter 11.”)
    State’s are Sovereign; they can tax, and their leader’s can be gotten-at via the Ballot box.
    –This is purely a Political Question. (And we can’t allow the Feds to bail them out financially.)
    State’s can become insolvent and their ability to borrow massively curtailed, and then these Mastermind’s would have to PRIORITIZE their spending and live within their means.
    (I fear however, they would readily abrogate their responsibilities & power, in favor of allowing some un-elected Federal Judge (and Priebus, Ryan, Mitch) to dictate to the rest of us, how much we are required to pay Illinois, for being so dumb.)

    I’m in Michigan, and we are outa-control as well, but not to the extent of Illinois. And we do have some experience with large City’s going-under.

    What is keeping Chicago, afloat?

  • wodun

    I am guessing they participated in the medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

  • wayne

    Wodun–
    Yes, they did participate in the expansion, starting in 2013.

    They took all the federal money they could get their hands on at the time, but the Federal subsidy for State Medicaid expansion was designed to expire after Obama was out of office, leaving Illinois and all the other States similarly situated, holding the Bag.
    (And we know the left never takes responsibility, and that means the rest of us will be forced to bail them out.)

    It looks to me, like they purposefully intend to completely abrogate their political responsibilities and let un-elected Federal Judges order them to spend money, they do not have.

    I haven’t however, read the Illinois State Constitution.
    When Detroit went under, numerous challenges arose as to the ability of the City to abrogate pension-payments, under our State Constitution.

  • Steve Earle

    I’m sure they’ll do the usual scare tactics to get tax increases: “We’ll have to lay off Police, Fire, Teachers. etc etc…!!” But not a word about cutting pay for themselves, their crony contracts, or “special programs” …..

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • ken anthony

    This could be a huge winning moment for Trump. All he has to do is make an actual press statement (not a tweet) announcing a list of state that will NOT get a government bailout for there fiscal irresponsibility. Then brace for the media storm as he actually follows through. That would be the time for true conservatives to unitedly give the people a civics lesson on states vs. fed.

    At some point the battle lines must be drawn and this is the perfect issue.

    After the battle is engaged he can tweet all he likes regarding those that are fiscally derelict.

  • pzatchok

    I could see this coming with the Baby Boomer trend.

    For years the Boomers were the workers contributing to the economy.
    They were also the government union members loyal to the old Democrats. They asked for and got raises, retirements and benefits far in excess of anything their parents could even think of.
    Now that they are retiring in HUGE numbers the payments have to be made and the population numbers just cannot keep up.

    This is one reason they want to import more people as fast as possible. The Boomers didn’t have enough children and grand children to pay for their own bloated retirements.

    They know what they did but can NEVER admit it. Thats why they are willing to let unions die off or let union pay scales start at minimum wage with no benefits.

  • wayne

    pzatchok–
    excellent points–
    Baby-boomer retirement’s, are on the order of roughly 10,000 per day.

  • Dave W.

    A massive flood of companies will leave Illinois as soon as draconian taxes are mandated by a Federal judge. The people will head south in a reverse migration.

  • pzatchok

    The Boomers never looked into the future to see just who would or could pay for their retirements including social security.

    As population numbers drop payouts need to drop.
    This can be offset by savings and investments but Social Security does not by law allow for this.
    It must be offset by personal savings and investments.

    I am a gen X’er and do not expect to receive SS. My retirement is totaly in my hands.

    The millenials could be the first Generation that does not expect to get SS and then will be so taxed to pay for the BB,ers SS and medical that they may never have a chance to save for their own retirements.
    Sadly most do not even realize this yet.

    The social security pyramid scheme is about to collapse. Are we ready?
    How many millions of illegals do we need to import to make up for the population drop, after the Boomers, just to keep SS solvent?

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