Protesters allow research to resume, within limits, at other Mauna Kea telescopes

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.

How special of them! The protesters blocking construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) have now agreed to allow limited access to Mauna Kea for the researchers and technicians for the other telescopes there.

The Maunakea Access Road remains blockaded. However, activists agreed, after the Emergency Proclamation was withdrawn, to allow all existing observatory employees, including astronomers, to access Maunakea using the Old Saddle Road and a section of unpaved lava. This route is unimproved and lined with tents, cars and people. However, pursuant to this agreement, on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 the state laid cinder and cones in an attempt to address safety concerns. The people blocking the road also agreed to allow larger vehicles to access Maunakea by going around the tent blockade. This means the vehicles will travel on the road’s shoulder.

The current process of gaining access to Maunakea requires the observatories to provide pre-arranged notification of all vehicles seeking access. To accomplish this, the people blocking the road will be provided a list of which vehicles are going up and when. This requires the observatories to contact the Office of Maunakea Management, which then contacts law enforcement, who then provides the list to the activists. The observatories are also aware that activists have been keeping a log of who goes up and down. [emphasis mine]

Essentially the protesters now run Mauna Kea, and have the right to ban anyone they don’t like from going there. This is essentially mob rule, since the law does not give them that right, and in fact has always given access rights to everyone.

The highlighted words indicate the possibility of increased risk by this mob rule. I’ve been on that road. It is gravel but well-graded. Its shoulders are not gigantic, however, and often border steep slopes and cliffs.


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.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • wayne

    “The Intellectuals” ( So to Speak)

  • Milt

    Robert writes:

    “Essentially the protesters now run Mauna Kea, and have the right to ban anyone they don’t like from going there. This is essentially mob rule, since the law does not give them that right, and in fact has always given access rights to everyone.”

    Exactly. The State of Hawaii is setting a terrible judicial precedent in which mob rule obviates the rule of law and the rights of individuals, but this is the whole “point” of the progressives’ Gramscian march through our established institutions. And, once the inconvenient rule of law has been effectively set aside — and the sheeple demonstrate that they will happily go along with this — anything is possible. Tulsi Gabbard, in particular, ought to be asked about this at her next debate / speaking engagement, but no one in the presstitute media would dare ask her such a “loaded” question.

    Question: If the State of Hawaii continues to refuse to enforce the rule of law in such cases, and it fails to protect the legal rights of everyone who works at the observatories on Mauna Kea, can the federal Department of Justice intervene on their behalf in such a case? THAT would be an interesting confrontation.

  • Chris

    Dogs, fire hoses and tear gas.

  • Chris: The problem with what you propose, as legal as it might be, is that we have become a society that honors protesters, no matter what, especially if they are willing to endure such treatment. The ordinary civilized citizen, who goes about his or her business and lives peaceably, is ignored, even if they are big majority.

    Should the Hawaiian state government take the action you propose, the protesters will be touted then as martyrs by the press and other politicians, and will get even more power.

    The time to have prevented this was at the beginning. The Democratic governor, David Ige, knew when construction was scheduled to begin. He could have put a strong police presence on the mountain then, before the situation was out of control. Had he done so, construction would have proceeded and the protesters’ power games would have been blocked.

    But then, Ige is a Democrat. He has done exactly what I predicted. He mouths support for the law, but it is to this mob that his loyalties really lie.

  • Chris

    Hi Bob ,

    I completely agree earlier would have been much better.
    This is yet one more case where the rule of law is ignored and celebrated. We are watching the end. The end of our republic.
    Without rule of law we cannot continue and then the next step of “they’re coming for you next” is just a matter of course.

    Thanks Bob.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *