Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and 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.

Republicans prepare legislation to defund UN

While both houses of Congress are moving forward on meaningless condemnations of the UN’s vote declaring the Oslo Accords null and Israel’s presence in parts of Jerusalem illegal, Republicans in both houses are also preparing legislation that will actually cut funding to the UN.

The right-wing House Freedom Caucus will meet next Monday to decide between two proposals to bring to the House. One would be to reduce American funding to the UN. The other, more aggressive proposal is to make funding voluntary, thus leaving it to Congress every two years to decide whether to continue contributing to the organization. “One is an incremental step, the other is really a herculean leap,” said Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows.

These ideas also have strong support by a number of Senators. I am hopeful that Congress will go beyond a mere condemnation and pass something that will actually cause the UN some pain.


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  • Sara Gregory

    I have long hoped to see the UN kicked out of the US with every penny denied. They continually stand for everything I oppose and they prefer any member other than the US or Israel.

  • Sara Gregory

    Un-related to the UN problem…
    Last night on Coast to Coast you mentioned belief that we will some day undertake “Terraforming” of Mars. That idea always makes me wonder how we will overcome the problem of lack of sufficient mass allowing Martian atmosphere to evaporate. I cannot imagine that terraformation would be viable if the atmosphere won’t stay put.

  • LocalFluff

    The US is so very much stronger negotiating bilaterally than trying to use the mess of the UN as a middleman. What has the UN ever accomplished? What was its part in ending the cold war, for example? What has its part been in the development of the Middle East during the existence of the UN? Did it help spark the industrialization of East and Southern Asia? Did the UN solve the Korean conflict? No, it didn’t! The UN is a generational total failure. The UNgood.

    And btw, I saw online a rally this autumn where Trump said that he didn’t like those cheap marble tiles at the fond of the UN plenum. He said he’d prefered a solid marble slab instead. And when the builder talks about buildings, he talks from his heart. The UN will have to pay rent to the US, not vice versa.

  • Max

    Sara, I agree. I’ve read books and heard theories of increasing Mars mass, but you literally have to destroy the planet to make it Permanently viable. Like mining the astroid belt and redirecting the astroid carcass into the Mars atmosphere. The effort would cost more then sending a Ark ship to a neighboring star.
    Terraforming Venus, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune will be easier, but will take thousands if not millions of years for bio engineered organisms to reduce the atmospheres to water. The gravity on these gas giants is comparable to earth.
    The low gravity on the moon, mars, Mercury and astroids make them without a doubt the future of manufacturing and construction in space. The Moon collided in the distant past with an Earth sized object and lost 2 miles of its surface exposing its core. This makes it ideal for mining.
    Reflecting sunlight on a crucible can melt the regolith into glass “housing” that is not only meteor impact resistant but radiation protective. The raw sunlight and heat of 250° can also be used to boil water to supply power in methods we are familiar with. (cooling the melted metal will produce steam enough to power the mining machinery and greenhouse underground)
    The process that grinds the regolith will separate out the metal ores for construction of the mining equipment, and a transportation rail/power supply which will extend most of the way around the moon for a continuous, reliable power supply/material distribution. Oxygen and other gases released from the process will be captured and placed into large glass bottles (like the living structures) to store for later use or to make water. Nothing will be wasted. Even the leftover regolith not used for housing can be poured in thick pads for a spaceport and to shore up underground workings. (can you just imagine the size of the radio/optical telescopes that can be constructed on the far side of the moon? A Science elite, supported by Luna miners and orbital manufacturing, not by political powers)
    An elaborate “Electric Rail Gun” type system will be used to launch “mining waste” formed glass bottles full of food and equipment/sectional living quarters to Space stations in earth orbit, Mars, the astroid belt, Vega, Jupiter moons, Saturn ice mining, and parachute rare ore, specialized medical products to Earth. Launching to Mercury will be trickier. They will need fuel to land unless they come up with a net system on rails to capture fast moving objects the way in aircraft carrier captures a fighter jet. An electric launch system would need hundreds of miles to overcome Mercurys and the Suns gravity to make it back to earth orbit. Without an atmosphere, it is possible.
    With redundant back up systems, mercury will be able to support the largest population with plenty of room, solar power, raw materials. If they can figure out how to use helium three, they will be able to export energy to the entire solar system and fuel for interplanetary space travel for a 1000 years.
    Once reliable food and water manufacturing is complete, the moon base will be self supportive and independent from earth.
    A mars base would take much longer due to its limited energy supply. Gravity also makes it difficult to trade with moon/earth.
    In the near future, those with the funding will be unlikely to invest in a project with small returns unless they find something there that they can exploit.
    There is no earth like earth out there. Doesn’t matter where we go, we will have to make our own living space as comfortable as possible, no matter how artificial it will always be…

    I also heard him last night, it gives me hope that Robert has an open mind when it comes to Science and climatetology. Even here I think I’m considered an extremist because my information/viewpoint is so unusual. Thank you for your open forum. With all your help, I think I can conform to think like everyone else… Ha ha

  • LocalFluff

    Instead of terraforming Mars, as into a Garden of Eden where we can walk around naked, we could paraform it, turn it into a productive agrochemical industry land. We could grow and harvest genetically engineered stuff there which we couldn’t grow on Earth.

  • Diane Wilson

    The real question on terraforming Mars’s atmosphere is how fast it will dissipate, compared to how fast we can (theoretically) generate more. It’s not permanent. But then, Earth isn’t permanently habitable, either, based on the time frame you use as your measure.

    MAVEN’s primary mission is gathering data on how fast Mars’s atmosphere is leaking away. We’re learning a lot from this mission, so we’ll know much more by the time this becomes a practical decision.

  • Joe

    Maybe we can sent the U N to Mars, along with all of the crooked politicians that make it run! See if they can terra farm it.

  • LocalFluff

    Diane Wilson, If the atmosphere outgasses in a million or even just a thousand years it would still be a very long time of human civilization. 60% of the Moon’s mass is oxygen, bound in solid minerals. Maybe Solar power could liberate it into oxygen gas that sticks around the Moon for long enough to make it breathable for a while? Until 60% of the Moon has been blown away by the Solar wind. I do think one needs much more power than insolation to succeed with that.

  • Edward

    Max wrote: “Gravity also makes it difficult to trade with moon/earth.”

    Not necessarily. We have left the agricultural age, where the majority of economic activity was in agricultural products. We have even left the industrial age, where the majority of economic activity was in manufactured products. We are now entering into the information age, where the majority of economic activity is in informational products.

    You still spend money on food, clothing, and other goods that come from agriculture. You still spend money on manufactured goods. But you also spend a lot of money on information, such as your cell phone, cable TV, and internet.

    In the information age, we do not have to physically transport things, we can transmit news, ideas, and information in the (increasingly crowded) “ether” of radio waves. No problem with gravity.

    For goodness sake, let’s not destroy Mars the same way we destroyed Earth! Keep those politicians here and let Mars alone.

    On the other hand, maybe we could “forget” to pack space suits with them, then they won’t be a problem on either planet.

  • Joe

    Edward, lol! I guess you are right, but they would be two years away from us, it would take much longer for them to do the damage that thet do.

  • pzatchok


    If people will not tolerate or even eat GMO food now how do you think they would accept GMO food from another planet?

  • Max

    Edward wrote: “In the information age, we do not have to physically transport things, we can transmit news, ideas, and information in the (increasingly crowded) “ether” of radio waves. No problem with gravity.”

    Good point, with plenty of resources for manufacturing in orbit why would there be a need to export from Mars? It’s greatest contribution to the solar system will be research and development/low gravity recreation. In the information age robots and automated systems will do most of the labor in the airless conditions.
    Biotech firms, Monsanto, and defense super warrior research will probably stake a claim in the sterile environment without public knowledge or oversight.

    “Trade would be difficult”, but not impossible. The movement of personnel “actual humans” will be the main focus in import/export of Mars…

    Making fuel out of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere would be a long tedious process, and it would probably be more cost-effective to mine the disappearing ice cap for those resources.
    If there is enough power available, making rocket fuel would no longer be a concern. A electro magnetic launching system could be established in the caldera of the volcano of mount Olympus which is outside of the Martian atmosphere.
    If a high velocity rocket catch net can be established on mercury, the same technology could be used here to slow a craft down during reentry so that rocket fuel will not be necessary. (The same magnetic field that is used to launch craft can also work as a braking system for reentry if the guidance system is precise). This is fun!

  • Edward

    Max wrote: “This is fun!

    Yes it is. Welcome to the world of aerospace, where the impossible becomes possible becomes commonplace.

    Of course, the actual making of the impossible to the possible is quite a task, but once you get to step back and admire what you made, the blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes literally) become worth it. Actually, the sweat is pretty common, as those lovely cleanroom suits get warm, and the cleanroom gloves do not have any talcum powder, as doctor’s gloves do (to prevent particle contamination of the flight hardware).

    Making fuel out of the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere would be a long tedious process, and it would probably be more cost-effective to mine the disappearing ice cap for those resources.

    I agree. The water ice at the caps would also provide hydrogen for the fuel. Right now, the thinking for early missions is to send hydrogen along with Mars Ascent Vehicles (as in the book and the movie “The Martian”) and use the CO2 atmosphere for the carbon and oxygen portions of the fuel and oxidizer. This process is described in Robert Zubrin’s book “The Case For Mars.” The early part of the book describes a cheap way to get some initial missions to Mars, but the last couple of chapters get into thoughts on colonizing and terraforming Mars. Once there are more routine missions to — and especially from — Mars, a polar fuel station may be as efficient as lunar polar fuel stations are thought to be.

    Yes, Sara, I think that there will be a long term problem of keeping the atmosphere, but future Martians may figure out a cost-effective way to redirect comets or asteroids to safely “recharge” the atmosphere. We are quite an innovative species, especially when our lives and livelihoods are at stake.

    Olympus Mons sounds like a reasonable place for a spaceport, especially for departing flights. A mass driver there would only have to fight 1/8 of the atmospheric density as one at the Earthling-defined equivalent of sea-level and less than 1/1000 of Earth’s actual sea-level.

    I do not think much of catching rockets in nets, as rockets are fragile in non-axial directions. They take vertical forces reasonably well, but horizontal forces can be destructive.* If you stand on an empty soda can, it may be able to support your weight, but if you tap it from the side it will collapse under you. Rockets are much the same, and their skins are about as thin as the sides of that soda can. Maybe something like the arresting gear on aircraft carriers could work, but a several-miles-per-second approach may make that tricky to catch and hard on the equipment and the spacecraft.

    Using a reverse mass driver to catch incoming flights sounds interesting. However, unlike an airplane’s missed approach, where the pilot merely has to go around again, a missed approach to a reverse mass driver is probably disastrous. I think I will wait for that system to be perfected before I arrive that way. It’s a Red Dragon landing for me, for now.

    * Here is a video of the first Ariane 5 launch. You can see the shroud and payload disintegrate immediately as the rocket goes horizontal. You can also see the automatic self destruction as the rocket detected that it was breaking up. (2 minutes)

    A friend of mine calls this accident the most expensive software error in history. It may still be true, as there were associated costs above and beyond the rocket and payload alone; I heard an estimate of the total cost to be around $7 billion, but I have never confirmed this figure. The software had an unhandled exception, so the guidance computer stopped getting input and sent the steering to “hard over.”

    As I recall the explanation, the Ariane 4 design would not ever see two out of five possible exceptions, so they didn’t write handling code for them. Then they transferred the Ariane 4 code to Ariane 5 but failed to test using Ariane 5’s different flight conditions, so the problem was not discovered until the accident investigation. Lesson for software developers: write error handling code for all possible exceptions and error codes.

    My recollection seems to be right. For those interested in the boring details, this guy has an explanation that is consistent with but more detailed than the one that I heard: (10 minutes)

    As an aside, I had worked at a company that built an instrument on the cluster spacecraft (four identical satellites, so we had made four identical instruments). I had worked on the proposal for our instrument, but by the time we got the contract I was already too deep in designing another space instrument to work on Cluster. I did get to see some of our instrument’s remains, however. After that disintegration, the instrument was dented and coated in dried swamp water, but was otherwise reasonably intact. Small stuff survives better than the big stuff, which is why airplane flight recorders more frequently survive airplane accidents than the airplanes do.

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