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.
 

Nicaraguan socialists move to kill opposition

Soon to be like Venezuela: The socialist government of Nicaragua, led by liberal heart-throb Daniel Ortega, has now declared the Catholic Church its enemy, and is scaling up it assassinations and death squads against its opponents.

The government “has declared war on the church,” said Juan Sebastián Chamorro, a member of the opposition alliance.

While the church tried to strike the delicate balance between mediator and defender, it was Monsignor Báez who emerged as the face of the opposition, with a commanding presence over social media. The role gives him the freedom to denounce the government without reservations.

“What there is here is an armed state against an unarmed people,” he said in an interview at the seminary where he lives on the outskirts of Managua. “This is not a civil war.”…

Protesters die daily, and many more have been injured and arrested as the resistance hardens against the rule of Mr. Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. Most of the dead were civilians, some teenagers — but police officers have also been killed.

This is how every collectivist/socialist/communist government ends up, with murder and violence and the imposition of tyranny. Every. Single. Time.

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26 comments

  • Ron

    Maybe The Vatican should get involved, maybe NATO. I won’t hold my breath

  • Cotour

    I find this to be more than ironic and just a bit incestuous, and all of the best Socialist utopia’s get around to it or something akin to it eventually. Power must be acquired, controlled and retained, how better to accomplish that then to make your own wife the vice president. (Until the wife has to have the husband killed for the many reasons that may pop up?)

    “Mr. Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.”

    This young lady, who I support 200%, the new face of the Democrat Left should take note, this is the Game Of Thrones she is ultimately selling.

    https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.Gb41h36EVRLmyYvNu2HUPQHaE6&pid=15.1&P=0&w=251&h=167

    No thank you.

  • wayne

    Can’t cry over the Catholic church and Nicaragua, they were hand-and-glove 110% with Ortega in the 80’s, just look up “liberation theology.”
    “Me thinks they doth protest too loudly.”

    In the Alternate Universe, Ortega would have been disappeared, a long, long time ago.

  • Phill O

    Remember that Hitler did away with the Brown Shirts after he gained power.

    Should the liberals take notice?

  • “This is how every collectivist/socialist/communist government ends up, with murder and violence and the imposition of tyranny.”

    Well, that can’t be true. Socialism and Progressivism are ‘movements’ that ‘have never been fully implemented’.

  • wayne

    Blair- good stuff.

    Jordan B Peterson
    “But That Wasn’t Real Communism, Socialism, or Marxism!”
    https://youtu.be/HXBjVau1w7Y
    7:10

  • Phill O

    Just back from talking to a buddy who spends time in Nicaragua. His take is quite different: he indicates Ortega would get voted in big time. Seems he might be a bit like Trump where he has helped the citizens build a stronger economy and is fighting George Soros type and one world order battles. We know the pope was a big supporter of Obama on man made climate change.

    It comes down to who is telling the whole truth. I really have no way of knowing, but talking to locals seems the best source. Of course that requires discernment; and I do not trust myself.

    Are reports blown out of proportion? Is Venezuela behind the insurgency as my friend indicates?

  • Phill O: Had you asked locals in Venezuela fifteen years ago what they thought of Hugo Chavez, they would have described him as their hero. His policies, like Ortega’s, were still a disaster, and I think both countries are paying for it.

    Also, who cares if lots of locals love Ortega? He is using death squads to kill those who oppose him. Do you think popularity should allow for such behavior?

  • wayne

    Phill O.–
    have to disagree on the Ortega is like trump thought.

    The marxist Sandinista [“Sandinista National Liberation Front,” FSLN) rebel group seized power from Somoza, in July of 1979. Ortega was dictator until 1990.

    -The democrat party spent the entire decade of the ’80’s indirectly propping up Ortega and undermining Reagan’s efforts to support pro-American and anti-Marxist elements.

  • wayne

    Phill O.
    I hate to reference Wikipedia, but look up “The Contra’s.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contras
    (It’s a biased entry)
    [and we can’t forget the whole “Iran-Contra Affair,” that Reagan was sucked into. We have a very long (long) history with Nicaragua.]
    Somoza was your typical latin strong-man authoritarian, but pro-American. The FSLN waged a guerilla war against Somoza with the backing of the Cubans and the USSR and installed a communist regime. Somoza is toppled in ’79, and the counter-revolution ensues with a loose affiliation of anti-Sandinista forces, variously called Nicaraguan Freedom Fighter’s or “Contra’s.”

  • Cotour

    Acquiring and retaining power at any cost.

    I believe that the level of corruption is soooo rampant in these smaller Southern equatorial countries that it is difficult for any kind of balanced form of Democracy to exist. Lots of thug / mob factions, lots of corruption, lots of drug running etc., If you do not play more or less by their rules, no law or their version of law they kill you or kidnap a family member.

    Mexico the same thing. I think the likelihood of workable Democracy increases as you move further from the equator, there must be a correlation.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Latin America is a mixed bag. We tend to view them all as monolithic, but there is a lot of racism intra-latin-America, and not everyone is Mexico or Venezuela.
    Mexico had their revolution 100 years ago and then essentially one-party rule for 80 years. (PRI, Institutional Revolutionary Party, they ran Mexico like Chicago and it still operates like a failed mafia nation.)
    The smaller Nations, such as Nicaragua– we have a long history of intervention, for good & not so good. Depended on the situation.
    Somoza was an authoritarian, but he was however, our authoritarian and you can work on those people and turn them more center. Doesn’t work out that way for totalitarian communists.
    -Radical leftist catholic theology was rampant in central America in the 70’s and 80’s, and they sided with the Marxist’s in large measure.

    Ortega is no man-of-the-people, he’s a filthy rich dictator who doesn’t know when to retire.

  • Cotour

    Yes, its certainly a mixed bag of historical conquest, colonization and indigenous peoples.

    http://www.creativeforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/world-map-europe-centered-miller.jpg

    It does seem that the lac of workable Democracy in general does correlate with how close these countries tend to be to the equator. I think its the humid heat, makes you and everyone else crazy. Its easier to just shoot you and move on.

  • Phill O

    Hey folk, was just relaying comments from some one who goes down there. He seems a pretty conservative thinker.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Cotour,

    It doesn’t seem to be geography or climate so much as culture and religion that matter. With the quite recent exceptions of Japan and South Korea, the only nations with significant histories of freedom and democracy are those with majority Protestant Christian populations. Catholic and Orthodox Christian-majority countries exhibit a recurring tendency to slide back into dictatorship every time a new “Man on Horseback” shows up. The same is even more true of nations with non-Christian majority populations, especially Islamic-majority nations.

    It is probably worth noting that both Japan and Korea now have significant Protestant Christian populations owing to the efforts of Western – mostly U.S. – missionaries following WW2 and the Korean War, respectively. For what it’s worth, Latin America, once almost uniformly Catholic, now also has significant populations of Protestant Christian converts in all its nations and these populations are growing. I think the region is still short of whatever the minimum tipping point population is that would put political “caudillo-ism” in its grave, but the rest of the 21st century should be interesting to watch in this respect.

  • Cotour

    Those are some interesting correlations, what is it about the Protestant version of Christianity that singles it out as the protector and shield of freedom Verses Catholic / Orthodox Christian models? You would tend to think that Christianity based societies would overall be the hero of freedom and not just one particular interpretation of it.

    I of course was being a bit tongue in cheek. I base my equatorial proximity position on the fact that when the atmosphere becomes hot and humid during the summer, especially if it lasts for more than a couple of days, I become very tired, perpetually sweaty and feel like I need a shower and I have extreme limits on my patience. I could not imagine living in that kind of permanent weather as it exists at the equator for 10 or 12 months out of the year, including a rainy season. Four seasons seems to correlate best with freedom IMO.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    I would fully support your tongue-in-cheek theory that, when it gets ungodly hot, (some) people (tend to) start shooting each other (above the background rate). And I find a bit of validity as to your “four seasons” proposal— “Winter” tends to focus the mind on survival.
    Concurrently, I also find Dick’s proposal to carry a bit of weight.
    I would also put forth; the degree to which the military has been structurally institutionalized within any given Latin American country, plays a big role. The more the Military pledges allegiance to the (respective) Constitution rather than the current strong-man, the less likely to slip into totalitarianism.
    I’m firmly convinced, we can turn authoritarian governments with some work, totalitarian governments however, they need to be destroyed root & branch.
    (I would put forth; it’s easier, for example, to turn a Pinochet, than it is an Ortega or Castro.)

  • Localfluff

    Sweden supported Ortega when he ruled in the 1980s. I’m surprised to learn that the Democrats also did so during the cold war. Swedish media is very silent about Nicaragua and Venezuela nowadays, since there are no good news to report about them.

    I wonder why Latin Americans keep voting for the worst kind of politicians. Things were going very well for them in the mid-1900s. Soviet of course influenced the region during the cold war, for geographic reasons. Ortega still has close contacts with Russia. Spain and Portugal haven’t got similar problems.

    Concerning the equator, remember that India is the greatest democracy in the world. Black Africa has problems because they haven’t developed their own modern civilization and they don’t take foreign ideas like socialism, capitalism or islam seriously. They talk about it as “Oh, the whites and their funny ideas”. But the younger generation is online and quite different, I’m sure Africa will have several booming economies in the next decades. They have a huge young workforce and lots for them to do in building infrastructure and mining. Latin America’s political problems is of another kind. The corruption doesn’t explain why people vote for madmen.

  • Cotour

    I will modify you here a bit: Ortega, Castro and an Obama. All men of Marxist ideology and not necessarily men of business and money. Although they do love their money once they attain power and become rich there by.

    The money tends to either make you meaner and more desperate and deadly when you attempt to keep it, or it makes you lazy and complacent when you know you do not deserve it, like Obama. Its the difference between the A type Alfa male male Marxists and the ideological only pussified kind of marxists, like Obama.

  • Cotour

    Localfluff:

    ” The corruption doesn’t explain why people vote for madmen.”

    Define “Vote”.

    And tell me who counts the “vote”. And the people of India are always hacking each other up all the time as well as the people of Africa. I have a friend who was a cop in the South Bronx when it was called “Fort Apache” when the Bronx was burning, drugs, booze, hookers, guns and general insanity. He tells the story that when ever you rolled up on a situation on a hot, humid summer night and there were guys running around without shirts those were the most dangerous calls to go on.

  • The difference between the Protestant and Catholic versions of Christianity rests with their different focuses. Protestant sects tend to encourage a reading of the whole Bible, both Old and New Testaments, by each individual. Catholicism instead focuses having the practitioner follow the lead of the priest.

    The Old Testament is very much liberty based. It requires individual responsibility, and though it outlines in very great detail what should be done, it also demands that each person make their own individual choices about doing the right thing.

    Thus, Protestant influenced regions tend to be democratic, and Catholic influenced regions tend to be top-down dictatorships. There is no rule, but the pattern definitely exists.

  • Cotour

    An excellent and neat explanation of the differences between the two that I was not aware of, thank you.

    Interesting differences between interpretations of a religion that a person might assume would not exist. Jesus most certainly would be disappointed IMO.

  • Cotour

    An excellent and neat explanation of the differences between the two that I was not aware of, thank you.

    Interesting differences between interpretations of a religion that a person might assume would not exist. Jesus most certainly would be disappointed IMO…..

  • Localfluff

    Concerning Protestantism, I was very happy to hear that Trump is a Presbyterian! It is a very anti-authoritarian Protestantism and was strong during the English civil wars in the mid-1600s, when English parliamentarianism and liberties had their breakthrough and the catholic king was defeated. No surprise that the pope dislikes Trump. John Milton, who wrote the world’s third epos (after Homer and Virgil) “Paradise Lost” fought for religious freedom in the civil war “except for catholics, muslims, jews and atheists!” :-D

    It is necessary education to be familiar with Paradise Lost.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taZ9VaRc-N0&list=RDtaZ9VaRc-N0&t=1

    @Cotour. The news only give attention to violence in Africa. I’ve lived and worked in West Africa. People there are very peaceful, there are no tensions at all between different ethnic groups and violent crime is almost unheard of. Women enjoy the highest respect, they are all treated as one treats ones own mother. One is very much safer on the streets of Conakry than in Stockholm. And 1/6 of all people live in India, of course there are some crazy and violent people among them.

  • wodun

    Africa is huge and gets little attention in our media. There is a slow rolling genocide against Christians, Jews, and other religious groups in places like Nigeria and elsewhere. Never see anything about it in the media despite the horrific atrocities committed. There are also a lot of promising developments in Africa that don’t get any coverage either.

    From what I remember on Protestants Vs Catholics, one of the key differences was that the protestant denominations held the view people could confess their sins directly to God while the Catholics made you go through a priest and then pay the church money or do some sort of penance to be forgiven. There are a lot of other doctrinal differences, like the belief in Purgatory, and a bunch of other stuff.

  • Localfluff

    @wodun
    Anthropologists count thousands of ethnicities in Africa, some live only in a single village, with a unique language and distinct physical traits. All other people in the world are closely related to each other, Africa is very special. Geneticists see great potential in studying their diversity, which is still poorly understood. For example, the pygmies half of whom die before the age of 15, and the average life length of the rest is 25, naturally not because of poverty although such a society of course is utterly poor, might hold important clues to human aging.
    South Africa is going to Hell, hard, under the communist ANC’s lead (also strongly supported by Sweden, our socialists have strongly supported all mass murderers throughout modern history)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuNYOwKlDIE

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