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.

Training WWII gunners to hit moving planes from a moving plane

An evening pause: While figuring out why this works is really complicated, the simplicity of the technique and engineering is superb, and illustrates again why the U.S. did so well against Germany.

And yes, that is the voice of Mel Blanc.

Hat tip Jim Mallamace.


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.

Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don'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


  • wayne

    “Stop That Tank” (1942)
    Walt Disney / Canadian Film Board

  • Jeff Wright

    What with the Barrett .5O cal. and its long range, I have heard it said that even the rotation of the Earth has to be taken into account by snipers due to Coriolis effects or something. If true…that means you may have to lead your target even if it is standing still.

  • Col Beausabre

    Commanding Officer of the USAAF’s First Motion Picture Unit was a former corporal in the California National Guard Cavalry by the name of Ronald Reagan

    And, yes, in tank gunnery and artillery fire, the rotation of the Earth must be accounted for (along with temperature, pressure, wind direction and speed, amount of wear on the gun, type of projectile, etc, etc)

  • Jeff Wright

    Bull was thinking about gun launching small-sats.
    The Excalibur shell looks to have tough circuitry that withstands the high g forces. This would even beat Musk’s low rates.

    But cost-cutters who don’t understand testing cut this ballistics von Braun off at the knees, and…well, you know the rest. Where the US abandoned the big guns…China may not be as foolish. They fund a wide variety of tech.

  • Max

    Speaking of technology testing… I wonder if the Russians tested their missile yet.

  • wayne

    Great factoid!


  • John C

    Couldn’t stop thinking about Sean Connery shooting up the tail of his own airplane in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade..

  • Rick

    Jeff Wright, even shooting @ 1000 yards at your local range, the Coriolis effect has to be accounted for.

  • John

    That was neat.

    I’ve always read/heard that one of the principles of massed bomber formations was that the combined defensive firepower added up for mutual protection. That video implies that unless the fighter is attacking your bomber, the shots would be high deflection and ineffective. I wonder if gunners would fire on fighters attacking other bombers, and if they had lead guidance, and if hits were ever achieved.

    I immediately thought of the B29’s gunnery system- Looks like the gunners there aimed at the fighter and let the computer calculate the lead. Amazing for the 1944’s.

  • wayne


    Hitting a Moving Target for World War 2 Bomber Gunners

  • wayne

    (with inspiration from Col Beausabre)

    “The Rear Gunner” (1943)
    Burgess Meredith & Ronald Reagan
    (->degraded print & sound)

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 *