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.
 

UK parliament moves forward on Brexit

The parliament of the United Kingdom today voted to finally leave the European Union no later than January 31, as per the withdrawal agreement that prime minister Boris Johnson negotiated in October.

Both Northern Ireland and Scotland had voted strongly against leaving the EU. Those parts of the United Kingdom now face a choice. They can choose to leave the United Kingdom to join the EU, or stay with the UK.

I suspect they will pick the former. I believe the latter is the smarter choice, as they have far more in common with England than they do with Europe.

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

9 comments

  • Ian C.

    I read in the continental EU newspapers already the “opinion pieces” that call for Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the UK and rejoin the EU for historical, moral, economic, or whatever reasons. Same papers that hit on BoJo for being immoral, incompetent etc. and Brexit being old, uneducated White racist people who steal the younger generations their future. The usual propaganda, it doesn’t and won’t stop.

    The EU will make the ongoing Brexit process painful and will tease Scotland/Northern Ireleand to “break free” and “come home.”

    Hopefully the UK won’t make the mistake to associate itself too much with the EU trade regime in exchange for market access. UK’s industries invested a lot to comply with EU regulations and their supply chains are still integrated with the EU; understandably that they won’t cut ties with the EU too much. But the regime will change in the future w/o the UK having a say and they’re forced to either accept unfavorable regulations or to cut ties then. The EU knows that and will play the UK in that regard. The EU aims to prevent the UK becoming a potential competitor, binding the industries to its regime and market access. And they’ll aim to divide the UK and play the nationalist (tribal?) card and appeal to separatist sentiments within the UK.

    This will entertain us for years.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Ian C.,

    Agreed the EU propaganda won’t stop no matter its absurdity. The bit about stealing the futures of the young is especially rich given that the flow of youth looking for opportunity within the EU has been overwhelmingly from the rest of the EU – especially France – to the UK for years.

    But it’s hardly obvious the EU will have much leverage with the U.K. over time. UK supply chains can be quickly reconfigured, especially given that, once out from under EU restrictions, UK enterprises will have unfettered access to supplies from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, So. Korea and even places like Turkey. Bilateral arrangements with the U.S., which the Trump administration would welcome, can keep UK trade humming along.

    Anent space, the UK is an ESA member and can continue to be so on, at a minimum, the same associate member basis as Canada. The ESA is not an organ of the EU.

    If the EU wants to get into a pissing contest with the UK, the EU is going to emerge the seriously wetter party.

    Finally, Brexit did not occur in a vacuum. There is considerable chafing elsewhere within the EU membership at the increasingly arbitrary and unhinged rule emanating from Brussels. The UK is the first nation to leave the EU, but it will almost certainly not be the last.

  • Ian C.

    I agree. For the near future it’ll be a bumpy ride for the UK, but long-term they’ll be in a better position. My bet is on the UK as well. The EU w/o the UK will be dominated by the southern member states with their rather wasteful and corrupt economic mentality, while the northern states are more fiscally conservative and rule-based. (The north is in danger to be sucked dry and once squeezed out, the whole EU show collapses.)

    The UK still needs to watch out for the EU implementing color revolutions in Scotland, Northern Ireland, London, and perhaps industrial hubs that are (short-term) negatively affected by Brexit.

  • Dick Eagleson: Have not seen ‘anent’ used in a long time. Thanks!

  • LJ

    Go with the USA. In ten years, if the UK can fix the immigration issues they face, we could make them the 51st state. That would be funny, no?

  • pzatchok

    I can see Ireland leaving just because of old hatreds. But that would be a small portion of their population leading that influence. The younger generation needs to understand that by staying in the EU they will always be politically fighting the rest of the EU over everything from trade to immigration.

    Exactly how much influence does Ireland and Scotland have over the rest of the EU? Right now they can stand with Britain, but without Britain they will have even less influence.

    They will in essence be the little Irish and Scottish terriers in a pack of wolves.

  • Ian C.

    LJ, while that sounds nice, US and EU should better aim to reinforce and enhance transatlantic relations for mutual benefit and together contain China. The Europoors should understand (and accept) that they’re no longer that relevant, that China isn’t their friend, and that they better position themselves as a useful and strong contributor to Western Civilization under American leadership. Europe’s future is at America’s side. Make Europe more American (I’m talking obviously about things like the idea and spirit of liberty, can-do and think-big mentality, the Constitution etc). Europe can be fantastic (again), but its passive-aggressive antics are just silly and nobody takes it serious any longer. That are just the facts and the longer they fight it the more painful and costly it becomes. Has nothing to do with being a submissive dog and rolling over, just with accepting the actual power relations and making realistic decisions and focus on the things that count. (But Europeans have issues with confronting their phantom pains… glorious past and such)

    Just thinking loud. But y’all know that I’m right.

  • Questioner

    Ian:

    Thank you for your frank, honest comment and the proposed measures for further Americanization ( = further and ongoing destruction of European cultures and peoples), which can be interpreted as a threat to the European peoples. For me it is as clear as a mountain lake:

    Today’s imperial America, whose imperial “glory” you like to cheerfully and arrogantly cheer on in your comment above, is the real threat to the continued existence of Western Civilization, which originated in Europe. To save at least part of its culture and indigenous European peoples, Europe must free itself therefore from American supremacy and dominance and, if it cannot protect itself, seek for a new protection partner.

  • Edward

    Questioner,
    You missed Ian’s point. He believes Europe to be free to choose whether to oppose China, not that America is forcing it through imperialism to oppose China. You may believe that America has an imperial “glory” but that is not what Ian is saying.

    If Europe cannot protect itself (and with both a GDP and population greater than America, it can), then to whom do you suggest Europe turn for protection? Argentina? China? India? Russia? The (now independent) U.K.?

    But wouldn’t that just make that country imperialist, in your mind?

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 *