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. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Obama goes after gunsmiths

The constitution is such an inconvenient thing: A new Obama executive order has redefined the work of gunsmiths to define them as manufacturers so that they can be much more heavily regulated, and likely put out of business.

The president’s executive order, which Obama signed on July 22 — around the beginning of the Democratic National Convention — conveys to the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is primarily in charge of managing the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and establishing its rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

DDTC now names commercial gunsmiths as “manufacturers” for relatively simple tasks as threading a barrel or duplicating a small custom part for an older firearm.

The law would require gunsmiths to spend thousands to meet the regulations, and would likely put most out of business, or force them underground into a black market.

The worst part of this, beyond the fact that it is a naked attack on law-abiding citizens because they do work Obama and liberals hate, is that if this executive order stands, it will grant the federal government unlimited power to destroy almost anyone in blue collar work that they don’t like Repair a car, install a carpet, fix a home’s air conditioning system, replace some plumbing, and you suddenly can be declared a manufacturer that no longer can afford to be in business.

Posted from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.


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  • ken anthony

    This, on wikipedia, is hilarious…

    According to most scholars of fascism, there are both left and right influences on fascism as a social movement, and fascism, especially once in power, has historically attacked communism, conservatism and liberalism, attracting support primarily from what in a classical sense is called the “far right” or “extreme right”. Fascists are generally strongly anti-capitalist subordinating individual rights, profit and property rights to the State

    Emphasis mine. How do they write this with a straight face?

    Obviously there is are degrees of fascism, but can anybody deny that America has been transformed into a fascist state?

  • ken anthony

    The emphasis (bold tags) on the last sentence didn’t happen.

  • wayne

    Good point on Wikipedia, it is hilarious & sad at the same time.
    (I prefer the term Statist– it covers both nationalistic-socialism & internationalistic-communism.)
    The only upside to this new executive-order, is that it can be undone with an executive-order.

    The insidiousness of this order is lost on most people– “gun manufacturing” is heavily controlled and regulated.
    Every single part of a firearm must be accounted for in the manufacturing process. (It’s worse than running a industrial still to make alcohol, where every millimeter of alcohol must be accounted for.)
    Two key parts make up a firearm (and anyone please correct me if I’m wrong)– the “upper & lower receiver.” Those two components define a “gun” for Federal law enforcement purposes– make or bring together those 2 parts, without a license, and you go to jail.
    By classifying gun-smiths as “manufacturers,” they are then required to keep track of any machining they do to a gun or any of it’s parts, for any reason.
    It’s many steps beyond any “vocational licensing” scheme, it strikes at the heart of the 2nd Amendment through an ingenious (diabolical) back-door.

  • Cotour

    All of these executive orders beyond their temporary effects is symbolic so that this president can say that “he is doing something” about gun violence. Pure, empty symbolic political BS.

    He could make all of the executive orders that he wants, and still this is the real world effect.

    Pure BS. What a useless and posing, Leftist individual he is. He (and Hillary) disgust me endlessly.

  • ken anthony

    From Cotour’s link…

    the focus needs to be on stopping repeat offenders

    They correctly understand this, yet their focus does nothing to actually eliminate the repeated offenses.

    It’s been shown, again and again, that actually removing repeat offenders significantly drops the overall rates. Some people just can’t be allowed to mix with civilized society.

    It’s also the most cost effective solution, since repeat offenders are a minority of all offenders.

  • ken anthony

    I think ‘diabolical’ is no coincidence. Perhaps it’s just observational bias but from a biblical perspective I believe Satan (not some cartoon character, but a real being) has been pulling strings with political leaders since forever including most if not all of our presidents. I just find it curious that some spiritism stories can be found regarding modern first ladies and various historical world leaders. I’m not suggestion that humans alone aren’t evil enough to come up with things by themselves but I see a pattern over time that is bigger than any individuals.

    I agree with atheists that many ‘christians’ are scientifically illiterate and gullible, but believe the bible is more in line with science (Hebrews 11) than they are. The bible admonishes against being gullible. While some things may be unseen, evidence one way or the other always exists.

    Forgive me for the ‘sermon.’

  • Cotour

    “the focus needs to be on stopping repeat offenders”

    In this bizzaro political / American reality what you propose is racist.

    When you actually propose that you “lead from behind” that tells you everything you need to know about our national leadership (the president) and local leadership (Rahm Emanuel Chicago’s mayor) that supports the national leadership. The overwhelming offences / murders being committed by minorities, dealing with the issue in a strong and focused way today, IS RACIST. Not in my book but in the PC book of today’s politician’s, Black Lives Matter and the media it is. And that is who is driving the bizzaro, self destructive agenda.

    Its much like this new “controversy” when Trump says that “Obama and Hillary have created ISIS”.

    If you by your policies and actions empower and enrich your enemy’s and you refuse to engage your enemy then aren’t you by default your enemy’s best friend? Instead of Trump dialing that logic back he needs to explain and re-support it.

  • wayne

    Fully agree it’s BS.

    We can’t forget however, until & unless these type of orders are rescinded, they have real-life effects on real-people. They are “symbolic,” but as well, they are actual ‘orders’ which have the force of Law. ( They don’t need to physically “round-up and shut down” Gunsmiths for the effect of these orders to be felt, it happens immediately at the margins & then slowly undermines general access to Gunsmithing services.)
    At a minimum, this effectively transforms all gunsmiths into “manufacturers,” which are then covered under the AECA & everything that flows from that Act. (And ‘manufacture’ includes assembly or possession of individual parts, including literal nuts-n-bolts that make up the individual components.)
    The Registration Fee alone is $2,250 per “manufacturer, designated entity or individual as defined…” (If you don’t register, that alone is a felony. And even if you are “properly-registered,” you need to get their permission to “manufacture” parts.)

    This will undoubtedly be challenged under a number of different Statutes, but that alone does not delay or rescind the real-life effect’s it has on real-people.

  • jburn

    I believe Hugo Chavez (surprise) took nearly the same action in Venezuela in shutting down the small gun shops. His intention was to limit gun ownership.

    Now the Venezuelan military has imposed forced labor upon the populace. They are made to work on farms as there is a severe food shortage. Hungry citizens are beginning to riot. The elite remain well fed.

    2nd amendment folks need to pull together on this one issue alone, as declared by Trump.

  • wayne

    Similar sort of back-door control-by-regulation thing is going on with hand rolled cigars.

    -New FDA regulations go into effect next week– essentially; any new brand not already in commerce, will be subject to FDA “certification,” which specifics have not yet been written, & at a cost estimated be to be “$1-4K per “certification” & paid by the manufacturer.
    -Larger producers have been scrambling to get “brands into commerce,” but going forward any new entrant will have to jump through yet another hurdle.

    This as well will be challenged on a number of grounds, but it’s deep into the Administrative Law realm already and “tobacco” has learned to go-along to get-along.
    (just more & more stuff, that has to be unwound at some point. Cigars aren’t my thing but I certainly don’t want the FDA in charge of them.)

  • Cotour

    Interesting information:—trump-win-election/88640044/

    An app based “survey ” system indicates that Trump wins by a large margin.

    The media IMO is lying or they just do not have the actual information from the actual real people.

  • ken anthony

    Instead of Trump dialing that logic back

    I believe this is all part of debate prep.

    The media lying? How can you possibly suggest such a thing? They’re such an important part of our democracy that they brag they can swing more than 8% of the vote. They’d never be so low as to do that. Never. They even hire right wingers occasionally (assuming they can make them look foolish anytime they need to.)

  • Cotour

    To my earlier point about Trump and his credible assertion that Obama and Hillary in fact by their policies has created ISIS:

    The bizzaro world of the asinine Leftist turns to bite it it in its ass. Another indicator that this election is far, far from over as the media would like you to believe.

  • pzatchok

    In the US the only part of a firearm that technically/legally qualifies as a firearm is the part with the serial number on it.
    Normally the main receiver or frame.

    This new ruling hits me directly. I fix firearms as a hobby, for myself mainly.
    The fact that the ruling states that anyone who fabricates or manufactures any part for a firearm is now classified as a firearms manufacturer and falls under federal controls will be a BIG surprise to many companies out there.
    Firearms manufacturers must now include,,
    All 3d printers.
    All spring, screw, bolt, nut, pin and rivet manufacturers. I have acquired many replacement parts from well stocked hardware stores.

    I guess since I have made a few parts for a few guns then I must be a new manufacturer and will have to pay up if I want to keep puttering about in my basement.

  • ken anthony

    Instead of firearm call it objet d’art. Then it’s 1st amendment!

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