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

Justice Department resumes program to steal property of citizens

Theft by government: The Obama Justice Department has resumed its partnership with state police departments to seize the property of citizens for profit.

Asset forfeiture is a contentious practice that lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted of wrongdoing — and in many cases, never charged. Studies have found that use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profit and less by justice.

The Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program allowed state and local authorities to pursue asset forfeiture under federal, rather than state law, particularly in instances where local law enforcement officers have a relationship with federal authorities as part of a joint task force. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize.

Participation by the Justice Department had been suspended in December, but not because the Obama administration didn’t like the program, it turns out. Instead, the suspension allowed them to keep the money themselves that local police had seized under federal law. This however discouraged local police from pursuing more confiscations, so they have resumed the program.

The graph at the link is incredible. Do you know that citizens now lose more property to the government under this program than they do from ordinary burglaries?

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.


  • Cotour

    I don’t care how guilty an individual MIGHT turn out to be, this, without any conviction as a result of due process is raw and naked theft by government and is an abuse of power. And law enforcement has been incentivized by their knowledge that their departments will be enriched by such confiscations.

    Why can they not allow the process to play out?

    This illustrates the importance of the next Supreme Court choices and how they will be influencing our entire system and freedom for years to come.

  • Wayne

    This has been going since the late 1980’s. If you want your stuff back, the onerous falls on you to prove to the Feds you did not acquire your stuff as the result of “drug related” activity.

    Welcome to Ameritopia– completely unmoored from the Constitution.

    This is partially what happens on the long road to serfdom & especially since the Commerce Clause was reinterpreted to become the “anything goes” clause.

  • Cotour


    Lies on top of lies on top of lies.


    To the point where reality is so shaped and invested in that it becomes a necessity to believe the lies in order to justify “reality”. Its like the big, continuing and on going lie, you won’t dare to question the reality that is presented to you because to not believe it is beyond your ability to recognize what truth actually is. You are unable to “see”.

  • Orion314

    The time to vote our way out of this mess has long since passed…when corrupt politicians are jailed by the carload, then , THEN , we might just see some improvement…for the time being , voting is just whistling past the graveyard…

  • Edward

    From the article: “Studies have found that use of the practice has exploded in recent years, prompting concern that, in some cases, police are motivated more by profit and less by justice.”

    When government becomes a profit center rather than a service to the people, then we can expect the profit motive to take over.

    Unfortunately for law enforcement, in a free market capitalist system, such as ours, profits are supposed to be the reward for improving efficient use of scarce resources (except for air and — in most locations — fresh water, all resources are scarce), not a reward for government corruption. Government is not in the business of improving efficiency, but it *is* in the business of protecting it’s citizen’s property and rights. The protection of property and rights are the three functions of government — and what are being violated by the practice of asset forfeiture.

    1) Protect its citizens and their rights from foreign and domestic threats.
    2) Peacefully resolve disputes.
    3) Keep out of the way of its citizens (allow them to enjoy their rights and the fruits of their labors).

    When governance was invented, these were the only functions that the citizens needed or wanted. Some in government have lost sight of the big picture:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTF2CxGNn-Y (3 minutes)

    That things like healthcare and education have become thought of as two of the three functions of government, and peaceful resolution of disputes and freedom of the people are forgotten, then we are in trouble. It becomes too easy for government to think that it must set mandates that require the citizenry to purchase products they may not want or need.

    Government starts to (mis)believe that it supplies the goods and services that in reality We the People should be supplying, and for government to do them means that government is getting in the way of the citizens — and it leads to corruption. Healthcare and education we already know how to do, and We the People do them much better than the governmental versions, but protection and dispute resolution are more tricky and still fall under the purview of government.

    This (mis)belief may be why our protection service, the police force, are now burgling us. They have lost sight of their purpose and mission and are falling prey to the same motivations that the “ordinary burglars” have: get free stuff. Ironically, protecting us from such burgling is why we hired the police in the first place.

    On a more facetious note, perhaps the drop in ordinary burglary losses is because there is less left over after the police have burgled the population.

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