The day we forgot

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

On this anniversary of 9/11, one reporter notes how much we have forgotten about that day, and what it demanded we do afterward.

Fourteen years later, it is astonishing the degree to which these and other lessons of that day have been forgotten, rendered moot, or cast aside.

Shocking as it seems, America didn’t learn much at all from 9/11. It was not a particular moment of cultural or political change in American society. No generally held assumptions were overturned. No historical watershed was reached. It yielded no great art or literature. The monuments to the dead are for the most part defeatist, not expressions of resolve. What was baked into America’s future on the 10th of September, 2001 was still there on the 12th of September, 2001. The nation did not change.

I disagree with him strongly on one point. The nation did change, but for the worse. Instead of aggressively committing ourselves, all of us, to an effort to eliminate the evil in the Middle East that allowed 9/11 and many other horrible violent attacks to occur, we instead attacked ourselves, limiting our freedom by allowing the government to pry into our private communications, perform offensive strip-searches of us at airports, and impose restrictive security measures on our lives.

The result is that 14 years later, our political leadership now bows down and surrenders to Iran, agreeing to give them billions while allowing them the ability to develop nuclear weapons. This leadership is so terrified that any opposition to Islam might cause offense, they are thus willing to crap on the dead bodies of Americans who were killed by these vile fanatics.



  • Edward

    Four decades ago, a Canadian, Gordon Sinclair, praised America for its generosity and achievements. (5 minutes) He was speaking of the many generations that created our country, especially the Greatest Generation.

    Today, we have leadership from the hippy generation, a generation that has little, if any, appreciation of the capabilities that Americans’ freedoms and our free market system make possible. It is a generation that was largely fooled into believing that socialism and communism work, not free market capitalism. Despite the dismal failures around the world, over the past century, they believe that these will work in the United States, because somehow we are better people. It is their own belief that Americans are better than everyone else in the rest of the world that drives them to try to harm America until we are not better people (ironically, this contradicts the idea that socialism can work in America).

    We are not better than the rest of the world. We *come from* the rest of the world. We ARE the rest of the world.

    Socialism was one of the first economic systems tried, in the colonies. William Bradford and his Plymouth Colony quickly discovered that socialism leads directly to reduced productivity (from each according to his ability, but suddenly nobody has the ability anymore) and increased dependency (to each according to his need, but suddenly everybody is needier) — something we are experiencing with all the millions of people of people receiving various forms of welfare instead of earning their living.

    Our hippy-generation leadership fails to recognize that an economy is its productivity, not the nation’s largess.

    If a dollar given to someone on the government dole produces a dollar and a half of economic activity due to that dollar propagating through the economy, then a dollar paid to a working person produces two and a half. This happens because in order to earn that dollar, the worker had to produce a dollar of economic activity in the first place. A working person *always* produces more economic activity than an idle person.

    It is the creation of too many idle people that has created a sense that we must capitulate to any enemy. This sense is not in We the People but in They the Professional Rulers. They pander to the idle, because the idle, having become dependent upon the government dole, capitulate their power to the Professional Rulers in return for free stuff. The Professional Rulers see that much of the country has changed from the able-bodied into the needy-bodied and assume that America no longer can-do the impossible and even cannot-do the usual.

    Robert, the change that you speak of was on its way for a decade or so before The Day We Forgot. It was when our schools started making self esteem more important than achievement (schools promoted students whether or not they earned it, creating a generation that expects everything without expending effort) that our children stopped learning that failure is something to be learned from, overcome, and turned into future success. Failure, sloth, and neediness became a new normal.

    Political correctness imposed upon us by the hippy generation has made us appear timid and afraid to offend enemies and terrorists. These people are offensive (the hippies, as well as the enemies and terrorists) and deserve to be offended. Flower power has turned out to be no power at all.

    If we teach our children right, the next leadership — and leaderships forever after — will have the bravery and willpower of those great generations that built this nation from a literal backwoods, socialist village that couldn’t even feed itself to the greatest — and free market capitalist — nation on Earth.

  • pzatchok

    Until its agreed by the non Muslims that this is a religious war and terrorist attacks are nothing but their way of fighting an asymmetrical war then the terrorists will still claim victory and in essence have at that point.

    Its a failure of the timid. Those who do not want to upset the peaceful Muslims.

    You do not end a war by not fighting it. Your only putting it off.

  • Edward

    Not only does not fighting a war only put it off, but it allows an enemy to gain strength.

    Hitler would have captured the British Isles if he hadn’t given Churchill enough time to build the fighter planes he needed to win the Battle of Britain (Churchill, not Chamberlain, was pushing that effort). As it was, it was a very close win for Britain.

    While we didn’t fight Al Qaeda’s war on us, in the 1990s, they grew strong enough to attack embassies, ships, and eventually New York and Washington.

    That we are again not fighting the terrorist’s wars on us is shameful. The 9/11 Report concluded that it happened because they were at war with us, but we were not at war with them. Meanwhile, they are gaining strength.

    Even Iran has won a huge victory with this recent “deal.” The day after it became final — the main benefit being that limits on uranium imports will slow their development of the bomb — they suddenly discovered plenty of uranium deposits within their own borders, making imports unnecessary and the bomb only a short time away.

    Iran is at war with us, but we are not (yet) at war with them, and they, too, are gaining strength.

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