It now appears confirmed that the man arrested for shooting a guard at the Family Research Council in DC apparently did so because he disagreed with the Council’s conservative positions.

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.

Leftwing debate: It now appears confirmed that the man arrested for shooting a guard at the Family Research Council in DC apparently did so at least in part because he disagreed with the Council’s conservative positions.

Since the Tucson shootings in January 2011, the left has gone out of its way to try to pin every madman’s violent terror spree on conservatives and their willingness to aggressively disagree with the left. “If only the right wasn’t so hateful in its rhetoric these acts of violence wouldn’t happen.” Or to put it more honestly, Shut up!

In every case the charges by the left have proven false. In every case, politics had little to do with the murders. In fact, the only political violence we have seen since the rise of the tea party movement in 2009 has come from leftwing protesters trying to shut that movement down.

Now we do have a case where political rhetoric can be directly tied to violence. And it has come from the left, which has been completely over the top in the anger and hate they have expressed for those who disagree with them on the subject of gay marriage.

Sadly, I do not expect Barack Obama to go on the public airwaves and call for civility. To do so would show us that he can rise above partisanship, something I do not think he is capable of doing.


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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