Mom arrested for teaching her son independence and self-reliance

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.

Insanity: A mother has been arrested because she let her 7-year-old son walk alone about ten blocks to a neighborhood park.

The boy had a cell phone which he had just used to check in with his mother.

When I was seven I wandered all over my neighborhood in Brooklyn. In fact, when I was 4 to 6 my parents would rent a bungalow in a resort in the Catskills each summer. There, I would wander the countryside every day completely on my own. The resort, called a bungalow colony, was not fancy and did not really have any organized activities for the kids. We were free to explore, and would go miles in all directions into the nearby farm fields and woods. Interestingly, we knew our limits and always stayed within them.

But that was then, when this culture was free and believed in freedom and teaching independence and self-reliance to its young. Now, such ideas are considered evil and must be squelched.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

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  • joe

    Like you Robert, When I was 7, my younger brothers and I were out terrorizing the neighborhood, When I was twelve, I was cooking dinner and babysitting my 4 brothers and 2 sisters, both parents worked, I never had a curfew, but I did know my boundaries as well, at least one of my parents would be jailed for sure in these times.

  • DK Williams

    The country was different when we were little. No way we allowed our three to walk a mile alone at that age. With this said, I don’t agree with this arrest. She should have been let off with a warning.

  • JWing

    When I was 7, with our parents approval, my brother and I would bike to Alley Pond Park in Queens, NYC, It was about two miles from our home where we played and explored. I didn’t realize my parents were committing felony child abuse by allowing us to play in a city park. What else were our bicycles for? Riding aroud the block gets really boring.
    I understand another parent “turned in” the parent after questioning this boy. Welcome, comrade, to Amerika! I HOPE you like it now that it surely has CHANGED.

  • Edward

    When I was 6, my mother thought it was OK for me to walk alone to school through the forest (which looks pretty creepy in wintertime, when there are no leaves on the trees).

    Oh, wait. Hey, guys, do you suppose that our parents were secretly hoping to get rid of us and make it look like an accident? Think about it: how many times did you almost kill yourself by climbing tall trees, riding a bike next to traffic, playing with fireworks, etc.? Geez, how did we ever survive childhood and our parents’ neglect.

    And are we really grown-up enough to take care of ourselves now? Maybe we really *do* need Big Brother to look after us, after all.

    Nah. Big Brother would be just as negligent as our parents were. Maybe even hostile, if we become successful, rich, or famous.

  • Joe

    I never took my dads suggestion that I go play in the freeway seriously!

  • wodun

    “Oh, wait. Hey, guys, do you suppose that our parents were secretly hoping to get rid of us and make it look like an accident?”

    Now that you bring it up…

  • Robert Clark

    Yes. Those were great days then. A talk show host said his mother when she was young used to walk home alone from work after midnight in New York City.
    Too bad we don’t have those days anymore.

    Bob Clark

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