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.

Oregon threatens to take home of Christian bakers

Fascists: Oregon is now threatening to place a lien on the home of the Christian bakers who refused to participate in a same-sex wedding for religious reasons.

The BOLI ruling ordered the mom-and-pop bakers to pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple. They were also slapped with a gag order that prohibits them from speaking publicly about their refusal to participate in or bake wedding cakes for same-sex unions.

And now – they have until July 13 to pay the damages or else face additional fines and a possible lien on their home. “This is intimidation and bullying – that’s exactly what it is,” Klein told me in a telephone interview.“ They are trying to strong-arm me into handing over $135,000 to the two girls and if I win on appeal – they will never pay me back.”

A BOLI spokesman confirmed they sent a standard payment letter to the Kleins’ attorney. “The letter informs them that if we do not hear from them, we may turn the matter over to the Department of Revenue, which can place a lien on real property,” the spokesman told me. BOLI said they would also be willing to accept either a full payment or payment arrangements. “Of course, they can also ask for a stay of enforcement while they pursue their appeal,” the spokesman said.

But there’s a catch. The person who will determine whether or not to stay the order — is BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian — a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA movement.

Avakian is the same man who ruled against the bakers and imposed the fines and gag order. Anyone think he will issue a stay of his own order?

I must repeat the obvious: No one is preventing any homosexuals from living their lives as they wish. All these Christians want is the same liberty of conscience.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over

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  • Tom Billings

    Bob, I believe that instead of saying “liberty of conscious”, you wanted to say “liberty of conscience”, yes?

    I never thought I’d feel relieved to have just moved across the Columbia river, but Avakian has made that happen.

  • David M. Cook

    I hear you, Tom! Portland is my home town, but the left has so ruined it I have no desire to ever return. Friends who are still there tell me the once-nice downtown area is now home to aggressive panhandlers due to the “sanctuary city” status. We really need to make fundamental changes to the Oregon legislature so the 10 urban counties do not override the rights of the other 26.

  • So~ Is anyone up there rallying around these 2 people?
    If you are going to make comments~ please make them
    intelligent and serious. This is an outrage and is there
    no one to stand up to this Brad Avakian??????? sounds like
    a really bully and dead in the brain type….

  • You are right. I got a few emails that noted the error, and upon returning just now from a hike I immediately corrected the post. Thank you for mentioning however. I appreciate it.

  • Don

    Time for those counties to secede from Oregon. Seriously. It is the only choice.

  • pzatchok

    I know a few people around here are not going to like me for this but.

    I have come to the mind that if you own a store open to the public then you pretty much have to serve everyone equally.

    Selling shoes to a gay man for his wedding does not mean I support his lifestyle.
    In some Muslim countries stores are allowed to sell alcohol to non Muslims. Even though Alcohol is absolutely prohibited in Islam.

    In this case I also believe that the baker couple was set up by the LGBT community. More than likely because they were identified as being anti gay marriage because of their religion. They probably entered into a discussion about it with an ‘undercover’ LGBT customer.
    After that they were identified as a soft target(not much money) and it was just time until they were taken to court.

    They should have just agreed to make the cake and left their name off of anything connected to it.
    If they want to they can post all their beliefs on their wall so all the customers can see. That way only the right people keep coming back all the others will be uncomfortable and not come back. Its your first amendment right to do that.

    I also do not agree with all these “religious protection laws” being proposed by legislators.
    They are only doing it to look good to the people who are against gay marriage.
    Not one of those laws actually states something to the effect “no person,group or government entity can force a religious institution to perform a service against its precepts or beliefs.’ They all just pretty much state “no gay marriage”.
    Sorry but that argument was lost as soon as one religion agreed to perform gay ceremonies. It might be against your religion but its not against everyone’s religion and we are a nation that tries to accommodate all religions as best as possible.

    When all this started the religious right should, or really anyone against gay marriage, should have pushed for the government to get the hell out of marriage altogether. They should have pushed to have the “marriage license/certificate” changed to a civil union contract. Something totally legal and in no way or connotation connected to religion.
    The gay community would have been forced to either agree to it or admit they are trying to interfere with religion.

    But no the anti gay marriage community didn’t think like that and now they have to face the fact that the SC has permanently connected the word marriage to a gay union by ruling that gay marriages are legal.
    Religious institutions are now going to be running away from the word marriage whenever the gay community brings it up. They can no longer argue that marriage is a religious institution only and should only be related to religion and civil unions are what everyone gets in order to be legally materially united in the states eyes.

    They are now fighting from behind the 8 ball just because they couldn’t stand guy people getting married or even just a having civil union.

    By the way I personally and religiously do not agree with the LGBT lifestyle. To me its wrong in many ways. But basically its just against natural law.

    Sorry, let me get down off my soap box.

  • Edward

    To require someone to participate in an activity that violates his religion (even if the larger religious community has agreed to participate) is just as tyrannical as telling someone who they can love.

    Each of these is a powerful violation of the basic human condition of the individual. If it is acceptable to violate freedom to practice their religion (perhaps by forcing such participation in gay marriage), then it can be just as acceptable to deny people their freedom to love.

    What is so disturbing here is that the winners in Oregon (and several other states) are such sore losers that they vindictively punish anyone who refuses to participate in their ceremonies. It is also disturbing that a biased bureaucrat is allowed to play jurist in this case and impose extreme punishments — punishments that do not fit the supposed (and retroactively declared) crime.

  • pzatchok

    Your ‘participation’ argument might hold better water if the company also offered a delivery service and was being forced to deliver the cake and stay for the service and reception.

    Lets say you operate a lawn service and for 10 years you knowingly cut a gay mans lawn.
    One day when you arrived to cut the lawn he tells you he is getting married to his partner”Bill” and he needs the lawn done really really nice because they are having the ceremony in the back yard.

    Are you telling me all of a sudden your just not going to cut his lawn because they are having the ceremony on it? Your just going to pack up and leave?

    Were in your religious text does it say you cannot deal with those who hold different ideals or religions than yours?
    Even radical Islam allows their members to deal with those not of the faith. Are you stating your religion is even more stringent than radical Islam?

  • Edward


    Participation is participation, whether it is done in person or remotely.

    I like the way in which you set up a straw man argument that has nothing to do with participation in order to use it as an example of participation. However, what if the gardener *does* believe that it is participation against his religion? Is he to be unwillingly conscripted against his freedom to practice his religion? Would not his freedom of association be violated?

    You wrote: “Were in your religious text does it say you cannot deal with those who hold different ideals or religions than yours?”

    I am agnostic. I do not have a religious text. Why does anyone’s religious text have any bearing on this? If a religion insists that its followers not even *associate* “with those who hold different ideals or religions” (such as slave owners), does that negate the religion?

    You wrote: “Even radical Islam allows their members to deal with those not of the faith.”

    Yes, but none of those ways is moral, at least not outside of their faith, and not legal in most countries. Murder, forced conscription into the religion, and extortion are not acceptable in most cultures.

    “My” religion (if you will allow me to speak for whichever non-Muslim religion you think I am rather than speak for the American way — which seems to have died, perhaps when Superman called it “all that stuff”) allows interaction but not participation. I get to love the sinner, but I do *not* get to participate in the sin.

    Thus, I can take your passport photo, bake you a birthday cake, deliver a pizza for the Superbowl, mow your lawn for a crochet game, and sell you flowers for your same-sex partner, but I can’t do these things in participation of a wedding that violates my religion. And I should not be forced to.

    I now return to agnosticism (the only true non-religion; even atheists have a belief about God — or deities).

    As an agnostic baker / photographer / florist / pizza maker (quite the business that I have, huh?), should I also be forced to associate with activities that I find distasteful? If slavery were reintroduced, would I have to participate in the celebration of the purchase of a slave? At the moment, yes, I would, if the buyer (or even the seller) wanted to throw such a celebration.

    If I refused, would I be fined $135,000? Of course not. What a ridiculous fine. What sane government would tolerate a jurist (or bureaucrat) for setting such a fine that does not fit the supposed crime?

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