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.

The Middle East following Trump’s rejection of Iran deal

Many pundits had predicted that Donald Trump as president would lead to war with North Korea.

They were wrong. Completely, utterly, and foolishly. Instead, Trump’s hardline approach finally forced North Korea’s allies to force that nation to come to the negotiating table. For the first time in decades it appears we are going to see some substantive and positive changes in North Korea’s relations with the world.

This same pundit class, all operatives of the Democratic Party, have for the last few days been screaming that Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal would also lead to war. Will these predictions be right this time? At this moment it is hard to say. Almost immediately after Trump’s announcement Iran and Israel exchanged missile fire. Overall, however, that exchange has turned out badly for Iran, the world’s biggest financier of terrorism and the instigator of most of the problems that presently exist in the Middle East.

First, it appears that militarily Iran did badly in the missile exchange, with Israel doing their capabilities in Syria serious harm. Second, Iran apparently did not tell anyone in Syria it was going to do use that country as a military launch site, and this is already causing them problems with their allies. For example, Russia announced today that it will not deliver new missiles to Syria, despite an earlier promise to do so.

Finally, a host of Arab Middle East countries have not only celebrated Trump’s actions, it has prompted some to reveal support for Israel, something that would have seemed impossible only two years ago.

It remains unclear if Trump’s actions will have the same positive effect on Iran as his actions did on North Korea. The two situations are not identical. Iran’s leaders have more flexibility and options that North Korea’s. Still, what Trump has accomplished is to get some important Arab nations to move to our side against Iran, and in doing so to increasingly ally themselves with Israel as well. This cannot be a bad thing.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic leader of Hamas announced yesterday that the protests next week in Gaza will be “decisive” and that many will die. Whether this really happens, it is apparent that such protests are not garnering Hamas the same worldwide support they once did. The same Middle East countries that have celebrated Trump’s actions have also made it clear they no longer support the terrorist tactics of the leaders in both the West Bank and Gaza. These Arab nations have quietly made it clear that they actually back Israel now.

Trump’s actions in the Middle East appear to have shifted the balance of power, and that shift has been in favor of Israel, the only democratically-elected nation in the area. This cannot be a bad thing.

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


  • Edward

    From the first article: ““We’re actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been,” said Admiral Mike Mullen

    Well, that sets the bar pretty low. Just how close to nuclear war with North Korea had we ever been before?

    Robert wrote: “what Trump has accomplished is to get some important Arab nations to move to our side against Iran

    Not a high bar, either, but somehow Obama could not step over it. The other nations are afraid of Iran, so they should be easy to move to our side.

    Trump’s actions in the Middle East appear to have shifted the balance of power

    Also not a high bar. Reagan did the same thing when he bombed Libya over a terrorist bombing in a (then) West Berlin dance hall. It is a mystery why Obama’s reign ended with a more unsettled and messy Middle East than he found it, considering he was supposedly the smartest president ever and Trump the stupidest.

  • Once again demonstrating what kids through my generation learned on the playground: bullies fold when challenged. If someone won’t act like homo sapians, treat them like pan troglodyte.

  • Phill O

    The back door: North Korea shits its nuclear technology to Iran. Just a thought the I am sure the Trump admin has considered.

  • Max

    I wonder if it was just a coincidence that Netanyahu was with Syria and Iran’s greatest ally “Putin” when the Israeli attack began on europe’s “victory day”.
    From the last line of the article.
    “Putin accompanied Syrkashev to Alexander Garden, where the Russian leader laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier together with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.”

  • pzatchok

    I don’t think NK gave its nuclear tech to Iran and is trying to fake us out.

    First off the tech is pretty much already known by Iran. They have more than likely already been trading the last pieces between each other.

    Other than simple knowledge the only other tech is materials based. Having the correct materials and machines to work with nuclear material.
    Iran has everything they need.

    More than likely NK has finally realized that the cost of having nuclear weapons is more than they are willing to pay. Politically, militarily and economically.

  • Cotour


    Was Trumps Dec 21st Executive order related to the corruption and the Iran deal and all of those American 200 plus CEO’s resigning soon after the order? Its all about the money baby.

    Obama and Kerry and their co conspirators sell out the USA and the world for that matter for $$$ with the end result being the Iranians being guaranteed to have nuclear weapons at the end of the deal? Sounds about right.

    And if Hillary were to have won we would not be aware of any of this, then came Trump. Now we understand why the big push to set Trump up with these deep state FBI / DOJ operations who were all on board with ensuring Hillary being the next president. This will be getting much more serious real soon.


  • Orion314

    We need a scalp of significance , now….

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

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