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.

Pearl Harbor: The Last Word

A evening pause: On the anniversary of Japan’s unprovoked sneak attack on the United States, let’s hear what it was like to be a sailor on the U.S. battleships sunk during that attack, from interviews recorded four years ago for the 75th anniversary of the attack.

And did I mention it was an unprovoked sneak attack? The Japanese of that time brought the war upon themselves. Hiroshima and Nagasaki was their fault, not ours.

I wonder, would today’s Americans have the will to win, for freedom and the rule of law, as 1940s Americans did? Based on our response to 9/11, I think not. Based on our terror of a flu-like illness today, I know not. The tragedy of this is beyond words.


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  • Phill O

    The free world is now welcoming NAZI like governments!

    Iran and China have bought the Biden family.

    Your assessment seems logical: but I fear what the outcome will be.

    We have friends who became republicans after 9/11 because the dems were not willing to act.

    Too many of our extended family stayed in France and beyond.

  • wayne

    The Doolittle Raid – Time-Lapse
    [very well put together]

    “On the 18th April 1942, the United States Army Air Force launched a daring raid on the Empire of Japan. Modified B25 Mitchells took off from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in an attempt to inflict revenge for the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

  • Milt

    Robert asks, “would today’s Americans have the will to win, for freedom and the rule of law, as 1940s Americans did?” In today’s brainwashed, media-besotted society, the answer, of course, is *many of them would not,* nor would they recognize that any of these things were even worth defending. Indeed, the triumph of progressive ideology in this country is evidenced by the degree to which many of its adherents would probably CELEBRATE a December 7-style attack on the United States as just “retribution” for its many imagined sins, from institutional racism to facilitating climate change. Good riddance to this cesspool of hate, greed, and intolerance!

    Gone are the days in which even a 9/11-style response in the name of a common history and shared values might obtain, let alone the kind of collective resolve to defend American civilization that was galvanized by the Japanese sneak attack. In 1941, few if any Americans thought that their country was perfect — the collective experience of the Great Depression and (for people of color) Jim Crow segregation rendered that a daydream — but the nearly everyone recognized that there was a vital core of history and institutions (our unique cultural DNA, if you will) that *was* worth defending, no matter the cost in blood and treasure.

    Eighty years later, many young Americans have been so brainwashed by the purveyors of Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project, and Greta Thunberg that they see no reason (al least that they are allowed to be aware of) to defend what’s left of this country from *anything,* let alone a foreign adversary. For those of us of a certain age, it is almost impossible to believe that so many Americans (principally, its most “educated” and privileged) now despise their own country so much that they would welcome its demise at the hands of a foreign power — so that “justice” might be done — but such is the world that we are now living in. The ultimate tactical goal of the left, of course, is to instigate so much national self loathing that whether the American Republic falls to a foreign adversary or simply rots away from within is immaterial in their long march toward a Chinese-style global utopia. In either case, they will celebrate its demise and welcome their servitude.

    The exemplar of this approach might be seen in the incoming Biden-Harris Administration, in which the threat of Chinese hegemony, on the one hand is completely dismissed (as our elites have been well paid to do), and our remaining national institutions are further dismantled under the guise of “fairness” and “social justice.” Again, the greatest achievement of the radical left — and its new facilitator-in-chief in the White House — will be to promote precisely such such a cultural death wish in this society.

  • Questioner

    Mr. Zimmerman,

    you are on the side of the truth with the obvious election fraud to the detriment of Trump and the artificial made Corona-Crisis. You should stick also to the truth about the Pearl Harbor incident as well. It is clear that this attack did not come out of the blue, but had a history. As in most cases where the USA was involved in wars, the attack (in this case by Japan) was preceded by provocative and sanctioning measures on the part of America.

    I cite from article linked below: “Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, “on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.” Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt “froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan.”[2] The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia. …”

    How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor
    May 1, 2006 By ROBERT HIGGS

  • Noah Peal

    Let’s keep in mind, they attacked two buildings on 9/11 and, in response, we attacked and occupied two Muslim countries. I doubt the lesson was missed.

  • wayne

    Final Victory In The Pacific
    WW2 History Roundtable
    September 23, 2020

    “Authors D.M. Giangreco (Hell To Pay), and David Dean Barrett (140 Days To Hiroshima) discuss the ultimate defeat of The Japanese Empire at The Minnesota World War 2 Roundtable.”

  • LocalFluff

    I suppose one has to exhale in order to stay under water. That shortens the time to swim, and one better choose a good direction.

    I recommend (again) this YT-channel about naval warfare history, especially the time after the age of sail until 1950. Recent episodes deal with the salvage of the Pearl harbor wrecks. I don’t think he has made a Pearl Harbor special, yet. At his level of detail, there’s so much material to go through. (And he is British)

  • As in most cases where the USA was involved in wars, the attack (in this case by Japan) was preceded by provocative and sanctioning measures on the part of America.

    Which was a response to continued Japanese aggression in China and Korea.

    Consider the possibility that FDR was using economics to try to stop such totalitarian expansionism short of war, because he understood history … once they start expansion, totalitarians do not stop on their own; they must be confronted with either exhaustion of resources or the credible threat of force against them (and post-WWI isolationism eroded our credibility on the latter).

    That was how Reagan facilitated the fall of the USSR, in the post-WWII world of nuclear weapons when unlike Japan, the Russians perceived they had much to lose if things turned kinetic, and that they couldn’t compete with American economic strength.

    Treating constitutional republics and dictatorships as morally equivalent is the illogic that has perpetuated wars, not prevented them.

  • Room 237

    “ Based on our terror of a flu-like illness today” — more like the unwillingness of a substantial part of our population to take basic steps that would mitigate a pandemic.

  • A friend’s father was in the Navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Here’s what Marcus Klein, US Navy Retired, CWO-4 had to say about what he did on that fateful day.

  • Rollory


    FDR provoked it in every possible sense except direct military action. He provoked it economically, diplomatically, and strategically. He knew exactly what he was doing and what the results would be. He wanted a war and he got it.

    Kicking Japan’s ass back across the Pacific and nuking them was fine. Once you’re in a war, you fight it and you win it. But FDR, the duplicitous, traitorous, communist-loving scumbag, should have been in the dock with Tojo, and he should have been hanged for the war criminal he was.

    As for today: you realize what you’re asking for, right? If the spirit your’e talking about shows up again, anybody with a Biden sign on their lawn is at risk, and anyone with a Black Lives Matter sign on their lawn is going to have their house firebombed, and Cambodia-style skull pyramids made from university professors and journalists are going to become the new architectural fad. Not that I’m complaining about any of that. I just want to be sure everybody knows what we’re getting into.

  • janyuary

    Ritchie: worth repeating, required remembering, and very well said: “Treating constitutional republics and dictatorships as morally equivalent is the illogic that has perpetuated wars, not prevented them.”

  • Theo

    LocalFluff is probably referring to “Drach” — Drachfinel on Youtube. Astonishing stuff.

  • janyuary … thanks.

    Here is another area, where that illogic of moral equivalence can leave our “leaders” vulnerable to the “unexpected” … from an Instapundit thread on the recent demise of another one of Iran’s Top Men.

    There are two conditions that function as the safeties on nuclear weapons, working to prevent their indiscriminate use:

    1> The embrace, by government, of respect for individual life and liberty as its central operating principle.

    2> The perception that one’s nation has too much to lose if they initiate the use of nuclear weapons … a perception that includes both the value of their corporeal and physical assets, and the probability that their adversaries will respond in kind.

    Both (1) and (2) act as safeties in America, Israel, France, and the UK … (2) is the primary safety in Russia and China.

    Iran has no concept of (1), and its perception of (2) is distorted both by the radicalism of its leadership and the lukewarm diplomacy of the West.

    That makes them far more dangerous … and, especially in the light of their role as the leading state sponsor of terrorism on Earth, justifies the action taken against their “expert” here.

  • Dave Walden


    I am compelled to echo “QUESTIONER’S” comment.

    Our founders admonished us to talk and trade with the world, but refrain from alliances, as well as getting involved in their endless follies, which inevitably led them to continues war(s).

    At the conclusion of the nineteenth century, we “progressively” had begun to ignore such wise and beneficial advice. One immediate result – of unforgivable consequence, were the first two wars to be described as involving the “world,” necessitating that we are now to number them! What had been Europe’s and Asia’s endless tragedy, became promulgated and participated-in by America.

    My “self-education,” following my unsolicited one at the hands of the State, has led me to believe that much as was the case in WWI, we were led into WWII consciously – by the intent of our leadership.

    There are numerous books on the subject. Two of my favorites are by Richard Maybury. Heavily referenced, they are titled ‘World War I” and “World War II,” and are two installments in his eleven, “Uncle Eric” series. Another book of relevance is “Death by Government,” by professor, R.J. Rummel.


  • Andrew M. Winter

    I must open this reply with an apology. I am intensly interested in this bit of History. It is a part of my family history. My father’s involvement in The Pacific War is one reason why I cut my teeth on World War II history in High School. I am pretty sure I am about to ruffle feathers. Sorry about that. but,…

    ===== My Reply =====

    Unfortunately the “unprovoked” part is a bit off. Quite a bit. In fact it is a total myth.

    Japan had been granted possession of the German “colonial” Empire’s holdings in the Pacific as reparations from World War I. This included a big piece of China.

    By all the standards of international law, at that time, Japan was the rightwise government of their part of China. Whatever you may believe about “The Marco Polo Bridge Incident”, it led directly to Japan’s sovereign decision to wage war on Manchuria and conduct the invasion of Manchuria.

    This was Japan’s sovereign choice and in their eyes “duty”. The United States under the FDR administration decided to embargo all raw material imports, especially oil, to Japan from the Southern Pacific. This embargo was, and was very plainly, an existential threat to Japan, and as such intolerable.

    In the film Tora Tora Tora, that moment when Japan makes the perceptive leap on the matter happens when that one administrator points to the Hawaiian Islands, on news that the Pacific Fleet was redeployed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, and very emotionally declares that fleet to be a “… knife leveled at the throat of Japan ..” ( I may be paraphrasing this, … )

    Those are the facts. Japan was very heavily provoked to make an attack in response to an incredibly powerful assault on their sovereign authority in China.

    NOW if you want to get into conspiracy theories here is one of the best ones:

    FDR desperately wanted to get into WWII with Britain vs NAZI Germany. By redeploying the Pacific Fleet to Pearl in the summer of 1940. FDR knew he was pushing Japan towards allying itself with Germany. Indeed in Sept of that year Japan signed the Tripartite Act.

    The Conspiracy Theory states that FDR, totally incapable of getting American into the war in Europe deliberately spent the next year provoking Japan into a first strike, banking, indeed even HOPING that Japan would follow their own precedent and launch a first strike without a declaration of War.

    Here is the entire conspiracy theory laid out,

    Whether this thing was deliberate or not is irrelevant. Here is what is, from the same article branding the whole thing as a “conspiracy theory”.
    Read those quotes. Number 2 man under Sec Knox was pretty much certain that ” ..the conditions we imposed upon Japan—to get out of China, for example—were so severe that we knew that nation could not accept them….”

    And it was well known that Japan’s preferred method of demonstrating nonacceptance usually involved gunfire.

    Stinson Sec of War, “… had met with President Roosevelt to discuss the evidence of impending hostilities with Japan, and the question was ‘how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot …” (The article misdirects the reader into focusing on Stinson’s supposed attempt to “blame” the disaster at Pearl on the The Military on the scene, glossing the relevant fact that “… the question was, “…’how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot …”

    Then this account:
    “CBS correspondent Edward R. Murrow had a dinner appointment at the White House on 7 December. Because of the attack he and his wife only ate with Mrs. Roosevelt, but the president asked Murrow to stay afterwards. As he waited outside the Oval Office, Murrow observed government and military officials entering and leaving. He wrote after the war:[42]

    There was ample opportunity to observe at close range the bearing and expression of Mr. Stimson, Colonel Knox, and Secretary Hull. If they were not surprised by the news from Pearl Harbor, then that group of elderly men were putting on a performance which would have excited the admiration of any experienced actor. …”

    Family history. My father was in High School in New York prior to WWII. He had extensive time at sea during high school on board oil tankers in the summer. During that time he became aware of these Naval Exercises:

    Based on his knowledge of how those exercises went, and due to his anti FDR leanings he wrote a term paper in High School that detailed how Japan could and WOULD use those Fleet Problems as inspiration, if not the basis, for a plan to attack Pearl Harbor and draw America into World War II. He wrote that the FDR administration was deliberately pushing Japan into war. And that if Japan went to War with the US the US would enter the War in Europe on Britain’s side. Indeed, upon Germany declaring war on the US the US did make Europe the Primary Front, in spite of the Pearl Harbor attack.

    He wrote this in his term paper prior to any organized “conspiracy theory as outlined in the above Wikipedia Article.

    He was threatened with expulsion from school for his efforts.

    So, given the KNOWN information, we really need to get off the notion that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was “unprovoked”. That is just a poor excuse people use to distract from the real problem about Pearl. America’s display of a degree of incompetence bordered on a degree of criminal negligence built on bigotry and anti Asian racism.

    So please understand this: Japan was well and thoroughly provoked.
    Many claim deliberately so, and some were pointing it out as early as the 1930s

    In the end though, Japan did attack the United States Naval facilities at Pearl Harbor. It is a sad fact, revealed neatly in Tora Tora Tora,!_Tora!_Tora!, that the only reason Japan’s Declaration of War came after the attack was because Japan’s home office did not provide for enough “security cleared” TYPISTS to get the document done in time for proper delivery. But Japan did attack first. What happened at Hirishima and Nagasaki can not be blamed on the myth that Pearl Harbor was unprovoked. Heck it is even really really hard to figure out why, given Fleet Problems X, XI, and XII, (not to mention the events at Taranto,, the US Navy was so woefully unprepared at Pearl Harbor.

  • wayne

    you might find these enlightening;

    The Nature and Feasibility of War and Deterrence
    Herman Kahn
    RAND 1960

    Kahn’s Escalation Ladder

  • janyuary

    Ritchie — thanks for adding to Mr. Z’s feast of food for thought.

    Trouble also arises out of the same moral equivalency routine with religion: the conventional wisdom is that all religions are fundamentally the same with the same in the values (love, charity, patience, larger duty) they teach and worthy of equal respect. Once upon a time I was comforted by conventional wisdom. Now I am older and more experienced and perceive that in application, “conventional wisdom” is often an oxymoron.

    And for certain sure, some religions are a lot better than others for living in liberty and respecting rights of self-ownership under “the Creator.”

  • Andrew: I make it very clear in the rules above the reply box that if you have more than one link the comment will go into moderation, requiring me to approve it. You need to be patient. I have deleted your second post.

  • LocalFluff

    @Dave Walden
    I understand it as it was the Japanese occupation of French Indochina (today’s Vietnam et cetera) in June 1941 that provoked the US oil embargo. What is more provocative, to occupy foreign countries or to say:
    “- Nah, I prefer to sell my stuff to other customers than you right now.”
    Funny that you guys probably don’t think that the US Vietnam war was righteous, only that of the Japanese.

    (Is it really “provoKe” but “provoCative”? You guys need a language reform. Either you read out loud what you write, or you write how you speak. For Gods’ sake! You’re like the French.)

    John Batchelor Show, where Robert is frequent guest, posted an 8 part interview with historian Eri Hotta yesterday (perhaps a rerun). Author of “Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy”.

  • Questioner


    If I were to use your logic or reasoning for the general view of history or as a historic principle, I would have to say that Japan would have had the right to attack the US as early as 1898-1900 when the US conquered the Philippines and included the Philippines in its colonial empire. That event killed about 20,000 Philippines.

  • Edward

    Milt wrote: “For those of us of a certain age, it is almost impossible to believe that so many Americans (principally, its most “educated” and privileged) now despise their own country so much that they would welcome its demise at the hands of a foreign power — so that “justice” might be done — but such is the world that we are now living in.

    For those of us of a certain age, the Statue of Liberty’s torch was a light for the rest of the world to follow us into freedom and democracy. For others, it is. a beacon beckoning everyone else to come to America. The difference is the desire for the rest of the world to be free vs no one being free. We are now being led and taught by those of the latter desire.

    Questioner wrote (Rollory, Andrew M. Winter, and Dave Walden agreed): “It is clear that this attack did not come out of the blue, but had a history. As in most cases where the USA was involved in wars, the attack (in this case by Japan) was preceded by provocative and sanctioning measures on the part of America.

    I love it. Now sanctions are an act of war. It used to be active blockades, but now any kind of punishment for an attack on another country also becomes an act of aggression. Somehow, I recall that people demanded that we impose sanctions before going to war to defend our allies from attack. They made this demand when Kuwait was attacked by Iraq, but how would that have worked out? We can get an idea by comparing with the results of Obama’s sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. Sanctions were acceptable in 1940 and in 2014, but now in 2020 we have a new normal.

  • Micha Elyi

    I disagree. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was provoked by US actions. Blame FDR.

    History, it’s more than just a pile of dusty old unread books written by dead white men.™

  • janyuary

    Micha … if the pile of dusty old books written by dead men are unread …. how do you know how accurate their history is? Strictly because they were written by men who were white? As were (oddly) most of their compatriots? How accurate is history written by dead Asian men? Yeeeeesh.

    Reading contemporary writings of the time, novels, newspapers, short stories, speeches, is the real history. The color and life status of the person writing it is an afterthought for someone who likes to travel back in time through the written word.

  • Dan Hamilton

    But you MUST remember that the Japanese DID NOT plan the attack on Pearl Harbor.
    It was planned and carried out by Admiral Yarnell of the US Navy during the Pacific War Games of 1932.
    Using 2 aircraft carriers (first 2 and only 2) on Sunday Feb 7, 1932. It was a great success but became little known because the Battleship Admirals in charge of the Navy were miffed that he succeed so well or at all. So they made a lot of rulings that lowered the success and then put the results away and forgot them.
    There were foreign observers in Peral Harbor, including Japanese Naval Officers. The Japanese Navy followed Admiral Yarnell’s plan exactly but used more carriers. This was naturally buried at the time to protect the guilty.
    BTW: One of Admiral Yarnell’s Officers was a young man in charge of the ballistics computer on one of the carriers by the name of R. A. Heinlein.

  • Dave Walden


    Refer to my original response: Talk and trade, but no alliances or government involvement with their “affairs” – economic, religious, or cultural. To the extent such things inevitably occur, resulting from talk and trade, it is to be done by private citizens, not as “affairs of state.” When the inevitable appeals come from said private citizens, to defend our (THEIR!) interests, a firm but polite F. Y. should always be forthcoming.

    Unless or until, all American citizens – irrespective of whether they be a ragged and nondescript individual, or the head of a mega-corporation, are taught (particularly by example) that when you choose to leave our shores you no longer can avail yourself of protection and security by the rest of us, we and our progeny will repeatedly be subjected to the brutality, carnage, and injustice of wars conducted by Nation-States.

    When one-or-more of us venture from theses shores, they do so at their own risk. If they believe they might need protection, then responsibility for it rests with them – NOT me or “us.”

    While Jefferson shall always remain my hero, he was demonstrating hypocrisy when he sent the marines after the Barbary pirates. It took less than a century, but we subsequently “progressed” into the world’s timeless historical carnage with scarcely a hesitation.

  • LocalFluff

    The USA, the only anti-imperialistic nation in the world, responded to the sabotage on USS Maine in Havana. The corrupt inept imperialists in Madrid lost their aggressive colonial powers to the benefit of the freedom of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

    You might prefer to live as a slave under medieval Spanish catholic colonialism, or expansionist Japanese fascist despotism. But I don’t.

    I think that the malfunction of your mind is that you think about a country as a person. Many uneducated fools do so. It is the instinct of the baby child. You don’t understand that a dictatorial government consists of individual psychopaths who willingly slaughter anyone if they get a penny profit out of it.

  • LocalFluff

    @Dave Walden
    You wrote:
    Talk and trade, but no alliances or government involvement with their “affairs” – economic, religious, or cultural. To the extent such things inevitably occur, resulting from talk and trade, it is to be done by private citizens, not as “affairs of state.”

    But the Japanese did not trade as free individuals (nor do the Chinese today). So your entire argument is flawed already there. There was no free counterpart. There’s only geopolitical self interest of government leaders. The interest of the fascist Japanese generals was to import US oil so that they could enslave other peoples (like they did in French Indochina, which made the Americans not wanting to sell their oil to the Japanese so much anymore) . The interest of the US politicians was to get re-elected.

  • Dave Walden


    My argument is, what individuals or groups of them outside our borders choose to do, as long as they do not attempt it within our borders, they remain “free” to do. Whether or not the argument can be made that they represent a potential threat, for which we must prepare, is just another issue of State, to be determined by our political Reason.

    For example: Japan was just another despotic group of thugs attempting their usual “thuggery.” Had we simply ignored them, they would have had to “maintain” such thuggery against China, Indochina, Manchuria, etc. I would have properly condemned such evil, but under no circumstances would I have sent you or your sons/daughters to “remedy” such evil. Further back in the causal chain, I would have not, as a “national entity,” attempted to thwart their thuggery by national thuggery of my own! I do not pretend to know the specific outcome of such a strategy, except it is highly unlikely it would have become “our” war in the Pacific!

  • LocalFluff

    @Dave Walden
    I don’t see how your argument holds up.

    You write:
    “what individuals or groups of them outside our borders choose to do, as long as they do not attempt it within our borders, they remain “free” to do.”

    If they break the borders of France, what should make us think that they won’t also break the borders of the US? (Which they did) If you break the rules, you play another game. And that comes down to fist power. And gun caliber and other funny weapons developments.

  • janyuary

    Local Fluff — that’s our kinda stuff! Bravo.

  • Questioner

    Andrew M. Winter:

    Thank you for this great and insightful text. I just learned a lot. You seem to be – in stark contrast to “LocalFluff”, who presents himself here as a clown, if his comments are not meant as pure satire – a very sensible and serious man.

  • Dave Walden


    In the words of one of my heroes/heroine, I think you remain too “concrete bound” to grasp my points – with all do respect. If you believe governments are composed of “the good guys” vs “the bad guys,” then you and I begin with entirely different premises.

  • LocalFluff

    I cannot find a single sentence that you have posted here, that makes sense. You’re just a slave of imitating socialist media bullying. Your last comment here had nothing to do with the situation in 1941, did it? You are completely off topic and are randomly bullying, as the thoughtlessly regime programmed emotional zombie brain that you are.

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