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.

Leftist San Fran shuts down Airbnb business

They’re coming for you next: The leftist government of San Francisco has forced the shut down of a chain of Airbnb rentals owned by a couple for violating the city’s many laws.

A San Francisco couple has been fined $2.25 million and ordered to not engage in listing their real estate properties on sites like Airbnb until 2025 for repeated violations of the city’s short term rental laws, the city attorney announced Monday.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera said landlords Darren and Valerie Lee have been running “an illicit hotel chain” during San Francisco’s housing crisis rather than lawfully renting the units to residential tenants.

Though it clearly appears the couple had violated San Francisco laws, the real question is the immoral nature of the laws.

[W]hat should really be on trial here are not the Herreras but the laws that San Francisco has put in place to stifle the gig economy. The Herrera family owns those apartment buildings and they pay the taxes, are responsible for all the maintenance and took the risk of investing in the properties. Clearly, there is a market for short-term rentals because if there weren’t they wouldn’t be able to remain profitable. Why is the city telling them how they must rent out their property?

The public doesn’t benefit from these laws, providing the owners keep the properties up to code and safe to inhabit. The only beneficiaries are the major hotel chains who charge outrageous prices for rooms and lobby politicians heavily (as well as donating generously to their campaigns) to try to squeeze out the gig economy. If the Herrera family has any hope of prevailing here it should come by way of a challenge to these short-term rental laws and the chance to expose the influence of the hotel lobby that drives them.

This is what you get when you allow government too much power: Corruption, favoritism, and oppression. I have in recent years made it my business to avoid California at all costs. This story reinforces that position.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.

Thank you again!

Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, 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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  • Cotour

    The powers in any municipality that be will have their pound of flesh and those who are seen as usurping, threatening or disruption the accepted convention and their power and their “rights” to any taxation and cash flow will suffer.

    UBER, ABTB, etc all create new technologically based business models that the powers that be have not yet been able to figure out how to tap and control. But they are working on it.

    Just another example, just like the Left and the high tech communications and organization capability being leveraged by todays community organizers be more effective.

    Technology is a monkey wrench to many existing conventions, paradigm shifts often are.

  • I lived in San Francisco in the mid 80’s, worked in Victorville in the late 90’s, and haven’t been back to California since. Customer’s have asked if I’d consider doing business in California. I will not. The state has many interesting and wonderful areas, and I’ve never toured LA, but I refuse to support the State.

  • hondo

    Size of the fines should be the give away – SF is looking for new tax revenue sources.
    Airbnb is competing with big hotel corporations in a tourist heavy venue – corporations win easily in a socialist orientated environment.
    Who knows – Bed & Breakfast next on the heavy reg/hit list?

  • Edward_2

    Businesses should move OUT of Sodom and Gemora-cisco so the Tax Base shrinks and the city goes BANKRUPT due to lack of money and the city is overrun by street people who already turn the city into a literal Third World [deleted] with the streets becoming open sewers.

    It’s the only way to effect change and throw the Regressive Socialists out.

  • Edward_2: I have deleted the obscenity from your post. You are a new poster, so you might not be aware that I do not permit such language here. See this post: No obscenities on Behind the Black.

    Because you are new I will not suspend you, but be warned.

  • wayne

    Overview of Airbnb Law in San Francisco
    “What landlords, tenants, and homeowners need to know about short-term rentals such as Airbnb”

  • Phill O

    California is not on my list of places to visit. There are good people there, One cousin being one.
    We get to keep our sheriff in Hidalgo county NM. Was over to his mother’s last night. One can easily see why he grew up to be an outstanding citizen.

    The election results showed quite clearly the rift between main street America and the west coast. The NE is not as far away as the west coasters. This direction main street is taking and the antics of the far left may be the vehicle for Trump to get his second term. If the house is such an obstruction that the economy fall, main street may have something to say.

    How is Ruth doing after her fall and broken bones?

  • wayne

    “New York City Raids Condo Building in Crackdown on Airbnb Rentals”
    November 11, 2018 WSJ

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