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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


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Mister Rogers – Garden of Your Mind

An evening pause: As a kid, I could never stomach Mister Rogers. The most I could ever watch him was about ten seconds before becoming totally bored. Thus, I was initially very doubtful about scheduling this video — until I watched it. It takes the things Rogers said and did and turns it into a really good rap video!

Hat tip Tom Wilson, aka t-dub.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • wayne

    Yeah–never could tolerate Mister Rogers myself. His character presents as creepy. (That’s about as precise as I want to get.)

    Who remembers any iteration of this?

    “Romper Room” with Miss Mary Lynn
    (Circa 1967-ish)

  • MJMJ

    I think that Mr. Rogers wasn’t intended for 20 year olds, Bob. :-)

  • t-dub

    Well, personally, when I was growing up I really liked Mr. Rogers. He was a gentle, calming, wholesome experience for me. Fred never struck me as creepy, in fact, if you learn more about what he did to create the show and how he stood up to government to get it funded, plus the respect from everyone that worked with him, you will find he is anything but.

    wayne – I definitely remember Romper Room as I was actually on that program many times. Our family had a friend who was an ad exec and had ties to the local TV station so I was put on the show. Funny story: I was actually the safety lesson of the week on Romper Room. What happened was I was playing outside and got hit in the eye with a baseball and bat giving me a nice shiner. When I went on tv with the black eye, they made me the safety lesson. If that had happened in this day and age, I am sure CPS would have been called to investigate my parents.

    I also did a few commercials for a local grocery store chain as well. Anyways, great memories from my childhood.

  • Robert Pratt

    Fred Rogers was my favorite on morning TV as a child. He didn’t speak down to children.

  • “Romper Room” with Miss Mary Lynn


  • t-dub

    “You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind . . .”

  • Garry

    I grew up not liking Mr Rogers, but one day we watched him at my neighbor’s house. My neighbor had a alcoholic father who beat him and his brothers, a grouchy mother that we all called “Old Yeller” when out of her earshot, and an older brother who y physically bullied him constantly. Understandably, my friend was a pretty nervous kid.

    The day I came over and we watched Mr Rogers was the first time I ever saw my friend calm and relaxed; he was about 10, but I remember looking at him and thinking that he was acting like a 4 year old who was feeling safe and protected. I didn’t grow up in the most peaceful household myself, but I didn’t have it as bad as my friend. I wonder how many other kids around the country found some needed calm with Fred.

    Years later I read an interview with Mr. Rogers, in which he described listening to a pastor and being completely uninspired. He was shocked when a woman commented to the pastor that his sermon was just what she needed that day, and she was inspired. Fred said that this was one of the main things he learned about being a pastor (one of his other roles): you’re not necessarily trying to inspire or interest your whole audience, and if you bring comfort to just a few members, you’re doing something right. Having seen his show’s effect on my childhood friend, that message really resonated with me.

  • wayne

    Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood: Summer
    SNL Season 8

  • wayne

    What’s My Line – Bob Keeshan

  • Jeff Wright

    He helped folks make it past 9/11.

    Things are so ugly today…it would break his heart.

  • Max

    I personally don’t remember Mr. Rogers neighborhood but my wife was raised on him and he was still on TV when my daughters were young.

    I remember watching Brady Bunch, Gilligans island, Star Trek before my older siblings came home and would change the channel on our black-and-white TV that had only three stations available to it.

    I do remember romper room… Or one similar that had a magic mirror?

    The rumors of Fred being a sniper in the military are not true. He was a puppeteer after college before public broadcasting and never served in the military.

  • wayne


    Gilligan’s Island Original Theme Song
    (unaired pilot 1964)

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