Readers!
 

My annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black is now over. It was the best February campaign ever, and the second best of all of my month-long fund-raising campaigns.

 

There were too many people who contributed to thank you all personally. If I did so I would not have time for the next day or so to actually do any further posts, and I suspect my supporters would prefer me posting on space and culture over getting individual thank you notes.

 

Let this public thank suffice. I say this often, but I must tell you all that you cannot imagine how much your support means to me. I’ve spent my life fighting a culture hostile to my perspective, a hostility that has often served to squelch my success. Your donations have now allowed me to bypass that hostility to reach a large audience.

 

Even though the February campaign is over, if you still wish to donate or subscribe you still can do so. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

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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
 
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Laid off workers supported by Hamas, take over UN refugee headquarters

Chaos in Gaza: Union workers for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have seized control of its headquarters in protest of lay-offs caused by the withdrawal of financial support by the United States.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced last month more than 250 staff in Gaza and Judea and Samaria would lose their jobs, after a $300 million cut in annual funding from the United States. The redundancies have prompted daily protests by the agency’s labour union in the enclave, which UNRWA’s Gaza head said have led to security concerns. “They have taken over the compound where my office and other offices are,” said Matthias Schmale.

The agency’s Gaza chief admitted UNRWA does not have full control over the site, in Gaza City, explaining he has not been able to access his own office for more than two weeks. “I am the captain of the ship which has 13,000 sailors on it and they have basically thrown me off the bridge and consigned me to my captain’s quarters,” he told AFP, referring to the number of employees in Gaza.

Schmale accused the labor union of multiple incidents of “threatening and intimidating other fellow Palestinian staff. For me that crosses a red line. … I am very concerned about the safety and security of my Palestinian colleagues,” he added.

It appears the take over is backed by Hamas.

What we are seeing here is the possible collapse of the entire UN/Arab structure that has for decades used the Arab refugees from Israel — and their descendants — as political pawns. Rather than repatriate these people into Egypt or Jordan, both countries as well as the entire Arab world, with the help of the UN and sadly a lot of U.S. money, forced them into refugee camps and thus used them as a hammer against Israel

Without U.S. financial support, however, this ploy cannot work. The protests and violence coming from Gaza in the past year has been a response to this collapse. Hamas has depended on that funding to keep itself in power. Without it, it cannot pay off its supporters.

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.
 

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

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Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

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