President Obama today invoked executive privilege in order to withhold documents demanded by a House committee investigating the “Fast and Furious” gun scandal.

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.

Cover up: President Obama today invoked executive privilege in order to withhold documents demanded by a House committee investigating the “Fast and Furious” gun scandal.

In related news, the union that represents Border Patrol agents called today for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder.


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.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


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One comment

  • Patrick

    When Bush invoked this to protect Karl Rove it was on the assertion that his contact with the Justice Department was as a member of the Whitehouse executive staff. And thus his conversations could be protected.

    Who in the Whitehouse was Holder or the Justice department contacting and thus needs protection?

    So far Holder keeps saying that the Whitehouse had nothing other than a cursory knowledge of the program and had no real knowledge of anything more than just its name and purpose.

    With the Whitehouse exerting this protection its obvious they knew FAR FAR more than just the name and reason for the program. They would have no need to protect anyone if they didn’t know exactly what was going on and gave their FULL presidential backed consent.

    I have to ask one extra thing.
    Why would Mexican immigrants ever re-elect a president and by extension their justice department that would purposefully sell weapons and ammo into Mexico knowing full well that they were destined for criminals who have previously shown they were willing to kill anyone to gain what they wanted?
    Why elect those willing to let your own family be murdered? In fact working towards it for political reasons. What would that group be willing to do inside the boarders of the US just for political gain?

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