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

Trump shuts down public communications at numerous federal agencies

As part of their effort to gain control of the executive branch, the new Trump administration has ordered a range of federal agencies to cease all press releases and other forms of public communications.

New restrictions on social media use and interaction with press and lawmakers at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and the Interior have sparked concerns of a President Trump-backed effort to silence dissenting views.

The Trump administration’s newly imposed communications rules vary at different agencies. At the EPA, staffers were ordered to stop issuing press releases, blog updates and social media posts, according to a memo to employees. The Agriculture Department’s research arm was reportedly told by its chief of staff to stop issuing news releases, photos and other “public-facing” documents — although the agency disavowed the order late Tuesday, saying that new guidance would replace it.

The new prohibitions come as Trump seeks to reverse many of former President Barack Obama’s policies, which requires the cooperation of a federal workforce that is broadly perceived to be hostile to him.

As is typical for an article written by a mainstream Washington news outlet, the story does whatever it can to take the side of these federal employees, all of whom work for us and for the President. They don’t have a say in this. If they don’t like Trump’s policies, then they can quit and find jobs in some leftwing Democratic political organization, not paid for by tax dollars.That is their right, just as it is Trump’s right to clamp down on their leftwing advocacy.

Or they can be fired, as will likely happen to many managers at the National Park Service, based on the following quotes from the article:

In an apparent act of defiance, the official Twitter account for Badlands National Park in South Dakota on Tuesday afternoon posted information about climate change.

And this:

The moves come after Trump was reportedly infuriated over reporting on the turnout at his inauguration, which included a viral photo comparison showing Friday’s crowd next to the one that attended Obama’s 2009 swearing-in. The tweet was retweeted by the National Park Service (NPS).

In the first case whoever runs the official Twitter National Park service account at Badlands acted in outright defiance of his employer, certain grounds for firing anywhere in the real world. In the second case the Park Service very clearly was pushing a political agenda, something that is none of their business, and also justifiable grounds for dismissal.

Then again, the management at the National Park Service has been working for the Democratic Party and its political goals for years. Firing the entire upper management there would probably be entirely appropriate, even if they didn’t do something defiant at this particular moment.

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. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Des

    If a Democratic president took a similar action, while pushing “alternate facts”, you would call them a fascist.

  • Laurie

    I don’t agree with the clamp-down. but somewhere along the line people need to actually think about what they are saying.

  • Des: No. I never have complained when Obama took control of the communications and press releases coming from the government. He is the boss. The bureaucrats work for him. He has that right.

    What I did complain about when Obama was president were his actions by the government that hurt the American people and also restricted their rights. We do not work for him, and he does not have that right.

    As for Trump, don’t worry, I remain unconvinced that he is going to be as great as some believe. Right now, I think he is going to do a great job cleaning out the corruption in the regulatory areas where the federal government has gotten out of control, and a very poor job in controlling spending. And I fully expect him to try to gather more power for the president, at the expense of the American people. When he does, I will point it out and criticize it harshly.

  • maurice

    i’ve been to that park, the sole memorable building in that pile of dirt is an open-air toilet that smells so bad my adopted son from india refused to P there. That entire area is just filled with national this, and state this, we collected so many hat tacks it’s a magnitude heavier now. The entire economy of that area is fueled by the govt, so why are we surprised? LOL

    Trump – we’re on week 1, and I already forgot about O’s last term. We got a turn around expert, and it’s going to be rough. The patient is in bad shape, and howls or anger and pain are to follow. This is NOT a consequence free environment people.

  • Insomnius

    As of now, I see it as Trump disempowering some bureaucracy. If he moves on to people, that is a totally different story.

  • wodun

    If a Democratic president took a similar action, while pushing “alternate facts”, you would call them a fascist.

    Obama ruled through outright lies and deceit and was abetted by a media that acted as a party organ. Obama viewed perception as reality and engaged the media in creating “narratives” that shaped perceptions but not actual reality. This is why the horrors caused by Obama’s foreign policy were not examined by the media.

    Also, government agencies were engaged in Democrat party activism under Obama. They didn’t even need to be ordered to be corrupted but corrupted themselves willingly. No one should be surprised that a President, who controls the executive branch, would not let them continue with their Democrat party activism.

    Government workers are not supposed to be an unaccountable priesthood with blasphemy laws about criticizing them or expecting them to be accountable to the people. We are not their serfs or their slaves. We are citizens. They need to learn the difference between their rights as individuals speaking out on their own time and their obligations as employees of the government.

    They exist through taxation. Any government worker that does not understand or respect the nature of the relationship that allows their profession to exist, should not have a government job. Government workers are not entitled to a job or a paycheck. They serve at our pleasure.

    It is frightening that some people don’t understand or respect the restraints on government and think that it is OK to use government agencies in the service of activism for the Democrat party.

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 *