Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Midnight repost: No obscenities on Behind the Black

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: I first posted these rules pertaining to commenting on Behind the Black on December 31, 2017, but have always adhered to them.

Anyone, without registering, can come this website and comment about anything (though preferably in connection to something I have posted), as long as they act like an adult. If they want to point out an error in something I’ve written, great. If they want to disagree with me civilly, even better. All they have to do is keep their language clean and not resort to childish insults.

Over the years since I have been amazed how many people in today’s increasingly barbaric culture can’t seem to do this simple thing. Thus I think these rules bear repeating, if only to outline to my many new readers where I stand on this issue. (Note that since I posted this I have relaxed the rules slightly. First time offenders are now issued a warning instead of being suspended immediately.)
No obscenities on Behind the Black

I have stated this now bluntly more than a few times. I will not tolerate obscenities or curse words on this website. Despite this, today two different regular commenters thought it was perfectly fine to ignore these rules. One I have suspended for a week. The other might be.

The rest of the world might want to wallow in barbarism and ill behavior, but it will not happen here. This is my workplace. If you want to participate in the conversation on Behind the Black, I expect you to act like a civilized adult. If you can’t abide by these rules, then go somewhere else.

And don’t think it is okay to quote someone else verbatim and get away with this. As I noted just now in a reply to the suspended commenter, when Richard Nixon’s White House used the term [expletive deleted] everyone knew what it meant. It wasn’t a great solution, but it at least showed that they recognized that it was inappropriate to nonchalantly print obscenities, even ones spoken by the president. At the same time, they knew they couldn’t edit the transcripts, so they found a way to make it clear what was on the tapes without adding to the misbehavior.

Consider this a final warning. From now on I will not simply delete the obscenity and issue a warning. From now on, any violation of this rule will get an immediate suspension for a week. A second violation by the same person will get them banned.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

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.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


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


If Patreon or Paypal don'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
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • James Stephens

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    I know the commenters to whom you’re are referring and it’s a shame you’ve had to make this statement. It’s your website and as it would be in your home we are guests who should be courteous to you and one another. It’s not too much to ask. A competent writer should be able to get their point across with out resorting to insults or vulgarities. The world is full of strife today, I for one try not to add to the discord. I try to keep any writings free from vitriol and constructive even when disagreeing. Little steps like these might just make the world a little better place. I appreciate your reporting and opinions and those of your commenters. But in the end opinions are just that and nothing to get worked up about.

  • Chris Lopes

    Some of us forget things, but a week suspension is an effective reminder. :)

  • John Hare

    I got a warning on another blog for using a character mix to signify the bad language in a quote. Only lost comment privilege long enough to apologize and get an explanation.

  • Jeffrey L Breuer

    I appreciate Bob’s willingness to provide a comments forum for me and all who want to participate. Consider it an intellectual challenge to bypass the seven words you can never say on television (Hat tip George Carlin), or any other in that category. And the seventh word really is a “friendly” word. With respect Bob..Thanks

Readers: the rules for commenting!


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


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


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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