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.

The Tiny Dot

A daytime pause: Apropos of last night’s Republican debate, this very funny short video I think explains the absurd situation in which the American people find themselves, and asks the right questions that might actually force people to do something about it.

The video ends with a plug of a book by the videographer, which might be great. I think the solution is for more Americans to actually read some history, including the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and even Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. To call these documents rightwing extremism is not an exaggeration, but by following them for 200 years the U.S. became the wealthest nation ever in the history of the human race, all because it put its faith in ordinary people instead of the elite powers that want to dictate terms to everyone else.


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.

Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


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


If Patreon or Paypal don'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


  • Cotour

    How does the dot get to control the masses? Keep them separated and keep them confused.

    And use an executive order to further ensure it.

  • Edward

    The video missed the part where the other half of the throng (not shown in the video) get handouts from the dot — are on the government dole, rather than paying taxes — in order to get them on the side of the dot. Only half of the masses complain that they pay too much in taxes; the other half complain that the taxpayers do not pay enough.

    Those who are wards of the state (wards of the dot) defend the dot. They may even “occupy” cities in order to emphasize and enforce their defense of the dot, and the dot will cheer on the occupation.

    The whole thing reminds me of the Robin Hood and Zorro tales, in which the evil government raises taxes merely for the benefit of the dot — er — ruling class.

  • pzatchok

    The saddest thing is that the half of America that doesn’t pay taxes doesn’t realize that business’s and the super rich don’t pay taxes either.
    The rich run their finances like or even as a business and thus pay as little as possible if anything.
    Business’s never actually pay taxes. They may write the check but its their customers who actually pay the taxes. Business expenses are tax free and all other taxes are eventually passed on to the customer.

    The only people who pay taxes are those who are the eventual end purchasers of a product or service. Those who can not pass the tax on to the next customer.
    The middle class who do not structure their lives like business’s and thus pay income taxes on 100% of their income and the poor who don’t pay income taxes but pay at the check out counter.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok wrote: “business’s and the super rich don’t pay taxes”

    That is a fun myth to talk about, but it does not hold up to a quick fact check:

    As we can see, the super rich — top 1% — traditionally pays as much as the next 9%, which pays as much as the next 40%, and the bottom 50% pays almost nothing. Also, notice that the upper 50% pays more than their fair share; doing 89% of the nation’s productivity and paying 97% of the taxes, a ratio of 1.1 to 1 (taxes to productivity). The bottom 50% does 11% of the productivity and pays a mere 3% of the taxes, a ratio of 0.27 to 1. How fair is that? It looks like the bottom 50% of taxpayers are getting an almost-free ride, not to mention all those who pay no taxes at all.

    The rich may *try* to pay no taxes, but clearly they have failed. Even if they are only paying capital gains taxes, rather than earned-income taxes, the top 5% group pays over twice as much as everyone else. Combined. Maybe rather than ragging on them, we all should thank them for paying the lion’s share for the operation of this nation. And for being so productive. And for providing so many jobs.

    Here, we see that the big corporations, who provide us with our goods, services, and jobs, actually *do* pay taxes.

    The rates may not seem fair — compared to the super rich, not the bottom 50% of individuals — but then it is not fair that We the People are directly taxed, as this form of taxation has directly led to the tyranny that we live in today. The national government uses taxes to coerce us into purchasing health insurance, whether we want it or not; no other tyranny has ever been that bold or authoritarian.

    We also see that Elizabeth Warren lied when she said that General Electric pays no taxes — possibly the source of the myth that businesses pay no taxes. She may have been relying upon a poorly fact-checked news report, but she could have checked her facts with a quick internet search, just as I did.

    As for the poor paying at the checkout counter: they pay for non-rent, non-food items. This is hardly close to the 100% of their income that pzatchok suggested by placing that point in the same sentence as for the middle class taxes. In addition, sales tax rates range from none at all to 12.6% (rates higher than 7.5% are due to local, not state-level, sales taxes), not the higher 39.5% or even the 25% rates of the middle and upper earners. ( )

    BTW: those who consider businesses to be on corporate welfare for having business-related deductions must also consider the middle class to be on a form of welfare for having mortgage interest deductions. And personal exemptions, standard deductions, and dependent deductions. This is how the middle class — like the rich that are so often belittled — pay as little as possible, if anything (I am living on savings, so far this year, so I may pay the $0 minimum — thank you, all, for supporting my fair share of the national government, this year).

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 *