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.
 

New Trump executive order suggests major house-cleaning should he win

The Trump administration has just released a new executive order that would shift many federal managers from civil service positions, where they cannot easily be removed, into a new category that will allow the President to remove them “at-will.”

The order would create a new Schedule F within the excepted service of the federal government, to be composed of “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions,” and instructs agency heads to determine which current employees fit this definition and move them—whether they are members of the competitive service or other schedules within the excepted service—into this new classification.

…Positions in the new Schedule F would effectively constitute at-will employment, without any of the protections against adverse personnel actions that most federal workers currently enjoy, although individual agencies are tasked with establishing “rules to prohibit the same personnel practices prohibited” by Title 5 of the U.S. Code. The order also instructs the Federal Labor Relations Authority to examine whether Schedule F employees should be removed from their bargaining units, a move that would bar them from being represented by federal employee unions.

The timing of this order is most revealing. If approved it will go into effect on January 19, 2021, the day before the presidential inauguration. This suggests that if Trump wins, he does not want a repeat of his first term, when many civil service employees worked to sabotage his administration and its goals. He wants the power to fire people in large numbers, especially those who are in a position of setting policy, sometimes policy that Trump, legally elected by the American people, opposed strongly.

Be sure that this change will be fought hard by the administrative state in Washington, as well as by their backers in the Democratic and Republican parties. And though it would also give increased power to Biden should he win, it would still be an appropriate change, as the elected president should be the person in charge, not some unelected bureaucrats buried in the DC civil service.

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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!


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13 comments

  • Steve Richter

    Trump has been totally rolled by the civil servants. Here we have Steven Hahn, head of the FDA, telling Trump and his chief of staff that there is no way the American public get access to a covid vaccine before election day. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/20/health/covid-vaccines-fda-trump.html

    2021 is going to be huge politically. Democrats will control Congress and Executive. WSJ editorial page says the house recently passed a bill that negates state right to work laws. They will have Biden sign that into law. Then a ban on fracking. Car companies will slash investment in gas powered cars and trucks. Probably get a $2.5 trillion stimulus, a lot of the money passed out to government workers in blue states. Will China invade Taiwan, knowing the US can do nothing to stop it? Iran will make trouble, knowing it can get money from the US. Putin knows he personally has an existential enemy in the newly empowered and emboldened American ruling elite. Poland must be aware the good white nations are going to force it to take in Muslim and African migrants.

  • Cotour

    Steve Richter, your watching too much MSM.

    Biden will not be filling that position.

  • Steve

    The President is the head of the executive branch. They all should work at his pleasure.

  • Mike

    Part of the reason “career” government positions exist, isn’t so they can be replaced by sycophants.
    It’s so, we the people, have the person in place that can do the best job possible.
    If they aren’t the best person for that job, they should be removed regardless of political leaning, connections to power, race, etc.
    Love your show Bob!

  • Andrew M Winter

    Well.

    Nice move and all. But if there is ever going to be a draining of The Swamp this,
    https://www.flra.gov/50th_Anniversary_EO10988, will have to be done away with first. The good news is, “What the Executive Order Giveth. The Executive Order may Taketh Away. It isn’t “law” after all.

    This executive order, in my opinion, was critical in creating the untouchable Federal Bureaucracy.

  • pzatchok

    “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions,”

    I hope this includes the AFT members who make firearm policy.

    And the members of the EPA who make their policy.

  • Steve Richter

    in the debate last night neither candidate addressed the impossibly large budget deficit. On top of all the debt, Trump wants another, what, $1.5T to handout to numerous hands? Biden likely wants more. But I do not know, because the moderator did not ask. China, in the meantime, has eradicated the virus and its people got thru the economic disruption without government handouts.

  • Tom Billings

    All human agents, of any organization, exhibit agency costs, … the costs that each human agent allows when they do something that affects expenditure of resources on what *they* want instead of what the organization wants.

    Mike said:

    “Part of the reason “career” government positions exist, isn’t so they can be replaced by sycophants.”

    Which ignores these career professional government clerks are agents whose own agency costs just disappear inside a hierarchy that forbids agency costs. It assumes that this makes those costs disappear, and thus allows agency costs to be hidden, and then grow in baroque profusion, out of sight. Syncophants are a problem that is *not* cured by keeping down political appointments. The “Civil Service Ideal” has simply changed who the agents are syncophants to!

    “It’s so, we the people, have the person in place that can do the best job possible.”

    Which is possible only when each individual knows that all agency costs they allow will come back to bite them, because someone else can walk away from their decisions. In a government hierarchy that will not happen, because of the government’s use of *enforcement* against those who walk away!

    “If they aren’t the best person for that job, they should be removed regardless of political leaning, connections to power, race, etc.”

    Should be, but seldom are. The agency costs of their superiors are almost always far too high for that to happen. Their superiors are not only embarrassed when one of their own is discovered and fired, but risk their own agency costs being exposed. Oaths, and laws, and degrees from Universities, *don’t* change fundamentals about human behavior over the long term. *All* humans exhibit agency costs in organizations.

    What civil service ideals do is to obfuscate this about the degree-certified graduates of Universities. This leads to more of them being hired, with government being the largest single employer of University graduates in society. It also leads to intense loyalty among this growing section of the population toward any political group that talks about expanding the number of civil service workers, a standard progressive trope.

  • pzatchok

    Steve Richter

    You have obviously not considered the actual cost to China of this whole thing.

    First they have the imperial power to order their people to do anything. So when they said your area is on lockdown it was on total lockdown. You didn’t leave your gone undewr any circumstance. If you did you went to jail were fined a huge amount and possibly lost your job.
    You did not get an unemployment check. You got free housing for the lockdown (rent abatement ordered by the government) and the only food you got was what you had in the house and what the government delivered to you.

    Add in all the extra covid case people they needed and the costs are in the billions. Most passed on to the people and their employers. Just like every place else.

    In the short term they did slow the spread vut they did NOT eliminate it. They still have smugglers and other people secretly crossing their huge boarders. Those people are carriers or the illness. Ad in the fact they did stop the spead for now but at the cost of not having any herd immunity. none at all.

    Does the left really think the western nations need dictatorial power over their people like China has?

  • pzatchok

    I do not think government employees should be able to join unions.

    I do think they should be given very good job protections and be paid well but the absolute protections of the unions they have now.

    ‘they should be employed at the will of the boss. Just like everyone else is.

  • pzatchok

    but not the absolute protections

  • Turkey Bacon

    I have been saying for three years, after the Russian collusion hoax debacle, that Trump will take the gloves off in his 2nd term. He gave the opposition the chance to play their entire hand, and they couldn’t even come up with a pair of twos. Now Trump is going to clean house, get people in place who support our country and get things done that should have happened in his first term. Hopefully we can keep the Senate and win back the House. That would be bonkers considering the hate on the Left. Now that Trump has put in place judges he chose he can start prosecuting the guilty, traitorous individuals who have sold us over to China. It will all come out. The people, at least enough of a majority, know the truth. And if Barr doesn’t get on board he, along with Wray and Haspal will be gone. We need to clean house at the ATF, FBI, CIA and EPA. The four worst departments that are working against the people of this country.

    Godspeed, Mr. President.

  • Jack

    From the moment he took Office, the Democrats (with the aid of their media arm, Hollywood and many foreign left-leaning nations) took it upon them to ruin Trump in whatever way possible. All of these, however, failed as we have seen. The bureaucracy is ripe for corruption in DC as it is in municipal, county and state levels. The Administration will have to create the means to limit terms for the most part. And those that are found to have collusion or knowledge of any corruption will have to be systematically and legally brought to court, this includes many of the departments especially the FBI which has proven time and time again to hide and prevent the course of justice from rising to the surface. Bipartisanship seems to have gone the way of the dodo. There should be no head of any department state or federal that shows any ounce of favortism.

    47 years in DC is a gravy train. Limits must be adhered to.

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