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.

Watching the New Shepard suborbital flight with William Shatner

I have embedded the live stream of the Blue Origin suborbital flight today of its New Shepard spacecraft, carrying four passengers including William Shatner.

The launch is presently scheduled for 7 am (Pacific). The live stream will start about 5:30 am (Pacific).

As I have noted previously, the announcers for Blue Origin tend to blather quite a bit, hyping the situation to a point of nausea. Hopefully during the flight they will shut up and allow the voices of the passengers to take center stage.

I meanwhile will be on the road during the flight. I will try to post updates as well as my normal news stories, but both might have to wait until I return home in the early afternoon. Regardless, the live stream is below for you to enjoy.


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  • wayne

    not a huge fan of the announcer girl on the left (Ariana?) although I’m sure she’s a nice person.

    Tribute to Jack King (1921-2015

  • Edward_2

    I hope none of the crew wears a red shirt.

  • Gary

    Shatners uniform should have been gold.

  • Gvt

    They need to check to ground crew for anyone named “Zefram Cochrane” and any last minute modifications he might have made.

  • Skunk Bucket

    Welcome back, Captain. That was fun to watch.

  • Carl

    The announcer, bless her heart, is meh…

  • Gary

    I think Shatner is making the case for taking a longer flight.

  • John

    Shatner had some emotional words.

    I was amazed at how quick the whole trip is.

    The whole astronaut thing is tiresome. Seems like an astronaut participation trophy to me.

  • sippin_bourbon

    He definitely seems emotional after his flight. I wish the audio was better.
    I have no doubt that he will give interviews about it later. After all, that is one of the reasons Bezos wanted him to fly.

    I know the announcers are BO employees, and as such, are pushing the “astronaut” thing.
    They are stretching the popular definition.

    They are passengers. Space Passengers, but passengers none the less.

  • mivenho

    I’m glad Mr. Shatner enjoyed the ride. I wondered if it was difficult for him to climb the stairway up to the capsule.

  • Questioner

    I was a little disappointed that there was no live recording from the capsule. Was there a fear that someone would throw up in front of the camera?

  • Ray Van Dune

    As much as zero-gee cavorting would be a big selling point, barfing would sort of negate it! They surely must have found a way to capture the crews’ reactions selectively.

    Ps. Yeah it sure was a short ride! I think “space-coaster” rides are going to enjoy a rather brief period of fashion, as the price of orbital flight comes down, and the expectations of the near-rich go up! From the seller’s point of view, the risk/benefit is not going to get any better, is it?

  • Tom

    I had to urn the sound way down as one lady was totally annoying. The other one knew when less was more….

  • Ray Van Dune

    The BO announcers repeatedly referred to the New Shepard rocket as “beautiful”. Words fail me… clean ones that is!

  • Mark

    Quote of the Day – “I am just watching the postflight interview with William Shatner. The first thought that came to mind is the mental acuity of the 90-year-old Shatner as compared with the mental fumblings of 78-year-old Biden.”

  • Col Beausabre

    Talk about a nothing burger

  • devan95

    Shortly after separation there was a spray of frozen liquid zip up past the capsule and I thought Shatner just pissed himself……

  • Don DeVan

    Shortly after separation there was a spray of frozen liquid zip up past the capsule and I thought Shatner just pissed himself……

  • wayne

    SpaceX –
    “The Norminal Mission Control Audio Cut”

  • Questioner

    ‘The most profound experience I can imagine’: Emotional William Shatner recounts space trip

    Henner Post: “It was heart breaking to see and hear those screaming partypeople while Mr. Shatner wanted to just have a moment to realize what just happened. They all should be ashamed.”

    Irene Haralabatos: “Captain Kirk, traveler of galaxies, is happier with the blue earth than with the darkness of space. Who knew?
    Just kidding, he is realizing emotionally that life is fragile. The earth is our life support system in dead cold space.”

    Omar Francis: “Shatner being deep and philosophical and the rest of them popping champagne just shows you the absolute best and worst of humanity all at once.”

    Komekomesportfishing: “the only one in the group that had a profound sense of self. what a humble man.”

  • Jeff Wright

    I am with Henner on this one…the kids showing out…but Bezos walking away? Some people don’t have souls

  • “Nice to see you in action for one last time, Captain Kirk.”

    Captain Hikaru Sulu

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Meyer 1991

  • Questioner

    New Shepard Mission NS-18: Apogee

    Harabeck: “Shatner was almost in tears trying to explain the experience back on the ground.”

  • Questioner

    William Shatner Reacts To Seeing Earth From Space: ‘It’s So Fragile’

  • Doubting Thomas

    Gvt – Great Star Trek reference on Zefram Cochrane

    mivenho – I too was worried about all those stairs and the 90 year old guy. I noticed a few things: 1) Shatner led the parade, so he set the group stair climb pace. 2) Camera discretely shifted back to babbling ladies for a few minutes, perhaps to let the good Captain Kirk catch his breather? I was impressed with Shatner climbing all those stairs at 90 – good for him!

    Questioner – Great set of comments by others. Two rich young guys and their girlfriends whooping it up. An older guy, who must be thinking about his mortality and combined with seeing an amazing sight, wishes to was more philosophic. Shatner’s observations were moving to me.

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