North Korea fires another ballistic missile

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.

North Korea today conducted its ninth ballistic missile test this year, all of which have been in violation of UN sanctions.

The missile, presumed to be a Scud type, was launched eastward from the vicinity of Wonsan, Gangwon Province, at around 5:39 a.m., according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). “The flight distance is around 450 kilometers,” it said.

As a Scud, the missile would likely not have the capability of carrying a heavy payload, like a nuclear bomb. Nonetheless, with each test North Korea gains knowledge on how to do exactly that.

For a detailed look at the people building North Korea’s missile program see this article from yesterday: Kim’s rocket stars – The trio behind North Korea’s missile program


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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  • Richard Day

    Memorial day poem from 2012

    The Last Uniform

    our sons face appeared peaceful and serene
    his hand holding the sword across his chest
    his pressed marine uniform was spotlessly clean
    but without strain or effort, he was at rest

    I remember another time, not long ago
    how proudly he wore his first small suit
    not yet a scout, he was just a young man aglow
    with brass belt buckle and shiny new boots

    and then a few more years passed the rest
    and our boy soon traded his scarf for a hat
    with badges for bravery, and saving a birds nest
    he kissed his Mom goodbye and said, ‘I’ll be back’

    in a land far away, covered with dust and fear
    our boy did his duty, for the weak and the poor
    he wrote letters daily, to keep up his cheer
    then one day, those letters came no more

    two men walked up dressed like our son
    we’re sorry they said, with honor he served
    heaven has a place for the glory he won
    it’s a sacrifice we don’t deserve

    but let us tell you his mother we pray
    why he’s not coming home
    how he gave his life for others that day
    so that the battle could be won

    and now we say one last goodbye to our son
    surrounded by family and friends
    peacefully resting in God’s garden
    forever our son, who we will meet again

    Copyrighted by Richard Allen Day

  • Garry

    Richard Day,

    Thank you for that bittersweet poem, and for raising a son who answered the call.

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Semper Fidelis

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