Readers!
 

The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.

 

The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.

 

Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.

 

To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
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Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO

Capitalism in space: Jeff Bezos announced today that he is stepping down as Amazon CEO to focus his efforts more on his other political and space-related activities.

From the email he sent to Amazon employees:

As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions,” Bezos wrote. “I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have

I think this quote from the story above however explains a great deal about Blue Origin in the past three years:

Bezos is said to devote one day a week to Blue Origin (reportedly, Wednesdays), plus at least $1 billion worth of the annual proceeds from his sales of Amazon shares. He’s presided over high-profile publicity events including the unveiling of the Blue Moon lunar lander. But when it comes to the day-to-day business, he handed that responsibility over to veteran aerospace executive Bob Smith, who became Blue Origin’s CEO in 2017.

It was around 2017 that the pace of Blue Origin’s effort seemed to slow to a crawl. It was also about that time that the company became dedicated to becoming a government contractor, doing whatever the government required even if it meant that development of their New Glenn rocket would slow (which it did).

Whether this action will increase Bezos’ participation with Blue Origin however is unclear. In the last year he has seemed more interested in leftist environmental causes and leftist politics. We shall have to wait and see.

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.
 

15 comments

  • Jeff Wright

    How Bezos Can Beat Musk. Step one. Fire the talking heads. Step two. Give Gary Hudson your checkbook. Step three. Walk away.

  • Phill O

    Jeff Wright Step Four Get the current admin in Washington to put Space-X in chains!

  • Cotour

    RELATED: VIRTUE SIGNALING, AND HOW CAPITALISM DIES

    This is how capitalism dies, when virtue signaling Democrat (And uni party RINO Republicans), Left leaning / Leftist and race pandering “Politically Correct” governments attempt to dictate and mandate what a business must pay an employee. And that is without any counter balancing social engineering government input compensation for their Social meddling in an attempt to faux solve the alleged disparities between workers based primarily in the color of their skin under the cover of a pandemic. And the alleged racial disparities are in fact caused by Government and their policies of dependency. Government in this instances has essentially taken over these businesses.

    (Government is rarely if ever the actual solution to most all and every problem.)

    Kroger grocery stores close after city officials pass ‘hazard pay’ increase for employees | The Post Millennial

    This my fellow Americans if allowed by you, leads to one place, the government essentially in their judgement necessarily taking over all private business. And that is without doubt terrifying and counter to everything that America was founded on is Un American and is exactly what the Left and the Democrats and uni party RINO Republicans that you have empowered both locally and nationally are in the process of executing. Make no mistake about it.

    “CEO Ron Fong said in a statement. “A $4/hour increase represents about a 28 percent increase in labor costs for grocers. There’s no way grocers can absorb that big of a cost increase without an offset somewhere else, considering grocers operate with razor thin margins and many stores already operate in the red.”

    The Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan, said in a statement, “A disproportionate number of people of color are essential workers, and Seattle must continue to lead the way to provide relief and respect to those that have served our community throughout this pandemic.”

    You think this sounds like a good and righteous idea? Then you are now officially operating under a “Profound intellectual disability” (look it up) certainly a victim of your indoctrination education and your mind being taken over and poisoned by the Left leaning Main Stream Media and Social Media that you have been absorbing.

    Comment? Disagree? Make your argument. Please feel free to share with a friend.

  • Steve H.

    According to the Babylon Bee, Mr. Bezos will now concentrate on becoming a Bond supervillian!

  • Lee Stevenson

    @Cotour, any discrimination regarding skin colour, either positive or negative is morally wrong, and should be illegal… I’m for once in agreement with you!
    I however consider a minimum wage a necessity, ( I’m going to argue from a USAcentric point, or at least try ;-) Firstly, it is only morally correct to give a fair days pay for a fair days work, and those that work in a hazardous environment deserve to be paid at a better rate than those working in safety, ( if doing comparable work )… Without some amount of government oversight, this will not happen. The desperate will be taken advantage of. Secondly, a minimum wage has been shown to actually be good for the economy. Give more money to the poorest in the system, and they WILL spend it, in the grocery store, clothes stores, etc, keeping the wheels of the working class economy turning.
    Thirdly, if doing a full time job doesn’t pay the bills, then there are only 2 options left for someone trying to feed their family… Government hand outs, which costs the tax payers money, or resort to crime, which costs both the victim and the tax payer money.
    The rich will always keep their money tied up in the financial markets to make themselves richer. Reagan’s “trickle down economics” has been tried and proven not to work. Making sure the working man or woman has enough to live upon does work. Non of this is possible without some government intervention.
    I understand it is scary, but it is needed.
    You need only to look beyond the shores of the US to see that the vast majority of wealthy and productive countries in the world have more government regulations in place than the US, yet we all go about our day without “, the government essentially in their judgement necessarily taking over all private business.”
    Perhaps the businesses you talk about going out of business could get a little help from the government over there, to help during these difficult times to make it through, and pay fellow humans a reasonable wage. Perhaps those on a very high income could pay a fraction of a percent more tax towards this help, to keep the economy rolling, and which they will reap back at the other end of the chain.
    I am tired, and perhaps not arguing the point as well as I could do, but receiving a decent wage for working hard in a harsh environment seems like a no-brainer to me. And if the business owners can’t support that… We’ll bring in the government to help, or if that’s a step too far, let them go out of business in the good ol’ American way, and let everyone go hungry.

  • pzatchok

    A government ordered raise in the minimum wage just causes inflation on those things the poor most need.

    It doesn’t effect car and housing prices so much but it does effect the prices of everything you buy in a small convenience store or fast food establishment.

    Oh not right away but the ordered increase is essentially a leading indicator of inflation. Or in other words inflation is a lagging indicator of rising wages.

    Business owners of all stripes WILL increase prices to take advantage of the guarantied rise in wages. Rents will go up.

    There will always be poor and richer people. Through all of history this has been true. It was told to me long ago there are different types of people. Savers, spenders and investors.
    The poor are typically the spenders, the middle class are typically the savers and the “rich” are typically the investors.

    If i give 10 people 10 bucks each, in a week one person will have 40 bucks or more, 3 will have nothing, 3 will have a buck or two and 3 will have 10 dollars each.
    No matter what, 1 in 10 will find a way to use their time and effort to get more money. 3 or 4 out of ten will just spend it all. Some will save a little and some a lot.

    Go ahead and raise the minimum wage but all your doing is taking away the previous raise of the people who worked hard for it and earned it.

  • Cotour

    Only two options, Lee S?

    Why not three options? We have your go to knee slap, government hand out. Or what appears to be a viable second option, your becoming a criminal (That is how you really think, Lee S? Your really just a criminal one step from ) Would that include murder? Of is there a line that you might draw?

    The third option is…….and hold on to your Red Barret and Che Guevara tee shirt,…………..GET YOURSELF A BETTER JOB!

    You are confusing a some what rational “Minimum wage” as a function of government inserting itself in the affairs of private individuals, which is based in a minimum wage that sets a minimum wage that allows a young person or someone without experience to gain employment and by gaining experience doing that job becomes a value added employee. At which point you tend to earn more money if you CHOOSE to stay where you are.

    With what the Left and the Democrats in America see as their virtue signaling Social engineering, “Politically Correctness” and what they actually mean is a “Living Wage”. Which in fact is like everything else that the Left and the Democrats are involved in is a lie. A straight out in your face lie and a fraud.

    Why dosn’t government just require that every business, no matter your degree of success or experience, every employer pay their employees, no matter their degree of experience say $50.00 per hour? That is a much more sustainable number from the perspective of a disadvantaged person to live on. And Nancy Pelosi would argue, like you, that the individual would spend those monies in the economy. Its a perfect economic model, its a win win.

    Lee S, did you look up that term I listed in my little piece? I suggest you do that and take from it the necessary adjustment to your view of the world and how in fact things work in truth and not in fraud and in lies.

    The Left must be able to craft truth and therefore reality. That is not how the universe operates.

  • Cotour wondered ” Or what appears to be a viable second option, your becoming a criminal . . . ”

    About two weeks ago I heard a radio news break with a story about food banks in Elizabeth City, NJ, helping the unemployed.

    Cue interview with ‘Man on the Street”: “Yeah, if it wasn’t for the food bank, I might have to, you know, commit some crime, or something.”

    Jaw, meet floor. I can’t speak to the employment situation in Elizabeth City, but if it’s like where I live, there are employment opportunities aplenty. And committing crime is your go-to option?

    “. . . and hold on to your Red Barret and Che Guevara tee shirt . . .”

    That’s funny.

  • Jeff Wright

    Let’s save wage arguements for another day. Bezos!
    Build New Armstrong as a a 50 meter wide stage -and-a-half-to-orbit with M-1s and the core as a wet workshop.

  • john hare

    It is frustrating the number of people that don’t understand that a minimum wage is not a floor to hold people up. It is another hurdle for the less skilled to jump before they can learn to earn a living. Just one more tool in keeping the disadvantaged down, disguised as assistance.

  • Col Beausabre

    Guest on John Batchelor pointed out that an increased minimum wage is really a subsidy to automation. It’s an incentive to replace expensive people with cheap machines. So the minimum wage won’t matter as those sorts of jobs will disappear.

  • Cotour

    Yes, get yourself a better job, OR better yet, start your own business! And that is becoming harder and harder for the everyday American now because of all of these insane and controlling and destructive policies and attempts to “Help”. All fraudulent and lies.

    Murder? Robbery? Not the go to solution for me or any other rational human.

    Blair: I have had the same exact thing said directly to me by a man about 50 / 60 years old? About 1 month or so into the pandemic when everyone was extremely fearful and many were able to go anywhere or work. “I may have to do crime”, was what was stated to me. I kept my eye on him.

  • Cotour

    PS: It is clearly understood that the Left in America, the Democrats intend to be the only work / job resource for the vast majority of the general public to depend on for their cash flow / work, just like in modern Socialist country’s like Venezuela. Its the strongest way to control most of the unwashed masses, the people.

    You do not have a job from the government? You and your family do not eat. Talk about the incentive to “Do crime”.

    Then everyone is equal, everyone or most everyone, except the elites

  • Edward

    Hopefully, Bezos’s increased scrutiny will give Blue Origin a better sense of urgency. Although I believe that suborbital rides still have a market of those who cannot afford orbital flights, Starship could bring orbital tourism into the same price range as will be offered by New Shepard and SpaceShipTwo.

    Lee Stevenson wrote: “I however consider a minimum wage a necessity, ( I’m going to argue from a USAcentric point, or at least try ;-) Firstly, it is only morally correct to give a fair days pay for a fair days work,

    Ah, yes. The question as to what is “fair.” Shouldn’t a minimum wage be a starter wage for the person that is completely unskilled and inexperienced? Why should someone other than the worker and the employer be involved in determining what that fair wage is? Why do so many people think that a minimum wage should be a living wage rather than a starter wage for the first-time worker who still lives at home?

    If $15 per hour is better than $7.50, then why isn’t $30 even better? Why wouldn’t $50 or $100 be even better still? Wouldn’t $1,000,000 be the best? If not, why not? It would certainly make for a much larger economy.

    The desperate will be taken advantage of.

    Surely that is the problem for the desperate employer, isn’t it? Not so long ago, employers (in my area at least) were desperate to find workers. If they were willing to pay more, what is wrong with that? Are they being taken advantage of? If an employee is willing to work for less, what is wrong with that? Isn’t the freedom to choose how much you pay or want to be paid for work part of being free? If someone else is making that decision for you, then you are not as free as you think you are.

    Give more money to the poorest in the system, and they WILL spend it, in the grocery store, clothes stores, etc, keeping the wheels of the working class economy turning.

    An economy is based upon the goods and services produced. If they are spending money that other people earned, then they are not adding anything to the economy. Those other earners would have spent that money themselves, and they earned the right to make the choice as to how to spend their own money. To give the money to those who are not productive only gives incentive to not be productive. You tend to get more of the things that you are willing to pay for; your payment is the incentive to supply more of it. If you pay for people to be unproductive then you will tend to get more unproductive people, resulting in less economic activity, not more.

    How do people not understand third grade economics?

    Thirdly, if doing a full time job doesn’t pay the bills, then there are only 2 options left for someone trying to feed their family…

    If you didn’t have the skills and experience to earn enough to support a family, then what were you doing starting a family? Watch some old movies or read some 19th century books. Back then they were smart enough to know not to get married until they could afford a family. How did we get so stupid in the 21st century?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr3nsHRKZJA#t=120 (Watch the next 23 seconds, “The Shop Around the Corner Trailer”)

    Reagan’s ‘trickle down economics’ has been tried and proven not to work.

    It took two presidents a dozen years to break it, but eventually they were able to dismantle it enough to “prove” that it doesn’t work.

    Making sure the working man or woman has enough to live upon does work. Non of this is possible without some government intervention.

    Come to think of it, before government imposed a minimum wage, no one could afford to live or have children. Thank God the government came along and saved us all. The human race might have perished. More government, is the call. After all, when you let government run things, all you get is what government wants. When We the People run things, we get what we want, and getting what we want is not really what we want; it is always bad.

    Perhaps the businesses you talk about going out of business could get a little help from the government over there, to help during these difficult times to make it through, and pay fellow humans a reasonable wage.

    That comment was not about a business going out of business, but of a business not free to set its own policies and run itself. This is how the fascists ran things and is part of the definition of fascism.

    Perhaps those on a very high income could pay a fraction of a percent more tax towards this help, to keep the economy rolling, and which they will reap back at the other end of the chain.

    Or perhaps those on a very low income could increase their skills to become more valuable to employers so that they are even more productive and get paid more, and as an unintended consequence add even more to the economy, rather than being a drag on the economy. Or we could go Lee’s way and have more people drag down the economy rather than contribute to it.

    but receiving a decent wage for working hard in a harsh environment seems like a no-brainer to me. And if the business owners can’t support that… We’ll bring in the government to help, or if that’s a step too far, let them go out of business in the good ol’ American way, and let everyone go hungry.” [ellipsis in original]

    If the business owners can’t support higher wages, then it means that the customers are unwilling to support the higher wages. Bringing in government to help won’t help at all. It just means more taxes and harder times for those who are doing all the work.

    But maybe making work and productivity less rewarding and relaxation and non-productivity more rewarding is what is “fair.”

  • Edward

    pzatchok noted: “There will always be poor and richer people. Through all of history this has been true. It was told to me long ago there are different types of people. Savers, spenders and investors. The poor are typically the spenders, the middle class are typically the savers and the “rich” are typically the investors.

    Another, perhaps more useful, way to look at it is that there are people who plan for the short term, such as today, people who plan for the medium term, such as a year, and people who plan for the long term, such as retirement. Bezos is one who plans for the long term. Those who plan for the short term tend to not save or invest.

    John hare wrote: “It is frustrating the number of people that don’t understand that a minimum wage is not a floor to hold people up. It is another hurdle for the less skilled to jump before they can learn to earn a living. Just one more tool in keeping the disadvantaged down, disguised as assistance.

    Amen. (For the Democrats here: a-women.).

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