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.
 

Yes, Minister – Get some patients

A evening pause: “But there are no patients!”

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.

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

25 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    There once was a time we Americans thought this was parody

    Not any more

  • Col Beausabre

    Forgot to say, if Bernie {Medicare for all”) Sanders gets the nomination, the Republicans should broadcast this cost to coast

  • wayne

    Beatles
    Doctor Robert
    (1966)
    https://youtu.be/Tb9L3iAUhc0
    2:14

  • wayne

    on a less frivolous note–

    “The National Health Service Crisis, 1951”
    Professor Vernon Bogdanor
    Gresham College 2015
    https://youtu.be/DVwpzJw1vwo
    1:04:38

    “Professor Bogdanor explains how the NHS and The Korean War caused near civil war on the Labour Party that created it. The NHS had been established by the post-war Labour government in 1948. By 1951, there were already heavy pressures on health spending. In addition, after the Korean War broke out in 1950, Britain decided to rearm. In his budget, the Chancellor, Hugh Gaitskell, sought to balance his budget by imposing charges on false teeth and spectacles. Two cabinet ministers resigned in protest – Aneurin Bevan, architect of the health service, and Harold Wilson, the future Prime Minister. The crisis provoked a running battle between Left and Right in the Labour Party which lasted for over forty years.”

  • Lee S

    Just to balance this discussion… The series “yes minister” was written as a left wing program, as a statement against the Thatcher government… It was a political statement from our left, to our right wing opponents. It points out political pork, and the pointlessness of trying to turn the ship that is government. Times have not changed much. The whole series is a good watch, and a good education in how governments everywhere really work!

  • Lee S

    @wayne, the NHS has been controversial abroad since it’s conception, yet universally loved ( pretty much ) since in the UK… Many forward thinking countries have based their own health care systems upon it. It is based upon, ( I shouldn’t have to repeat this to you ) the idea that healthcare is a basic human right. We feel differently about human rights… You think it’s a human right to carry a gun, I think it’s a human right to get a perforated bowl operated on without relying on personal insurance that not every one can afford…. I don’t want to carry a gun…. I do want to have life saving surgery without worrying about how I’m going to pay for it.

  • Lee s

    And that’s why we over here don’t mind paying taxes, and you guys do mind paying taxes… And I’m sure you have a glib answer about “personal responsibility”, or “we have a choice”, but the reality is…. Millions of people do not have a choice.
    I prefer to live in a country where even tho folk may not have a choice, human life is worth as much if they are poor, as if they were wealthy…
    Go and Google “health results for the US” if you dare to…. Your country had a Terrible result … Unless you have money….
    I’m pleased that you and yours.are happy, safe, and covered…. But your answered prove you have no idea what sits below your shine of respectability….
    And for that….. ( And I’m sick of all the bull crap… ) Shame on you… Read something about your country… About the poor bits, about the underclass… About the poor buggers who live on nothing… And shame upon you!

  • Lee S

    And while I’m on a role…. Find me some kind of comparison between Swedish poor, and US poor…
    Outcomes in healthcare, outcomes in integration, outcomes in life…. Find me some statistics…. Outcome generally in life…. I’m guessing all the regulars here are comfortable and comfortably blind to the crap that goes down in your.country…. it’s not as good as.you think guys… It’s no where near as you think it is guys…. It’s rich in places… But you remember…. Those.places where you have the most poverty for any country in the western world… They are waiting for you….
    And I’m happy you all love your lives, and have good insurance…. But one day the underclass you ignore might just organise and suprise you.
    Much love from Sweden.

  • Lee S

    Drunk on my meds now…. But have to say….
    “But one day the underclass you ignore might just organise and suprise you.”….
    It wouldn’t be the first time in your perfect history…. ;-)

  • Lee S

    “yes minister” was/is funny… “Yes priminester” , just as much so, with a nod to Sippin…. What happens when Civil servants go bad! ???

  • wayne

    Britain in the 20th Century:
    “The Collapse of the Postwar Settlement, 1964-1979”
    Vernon Bogdanor
    Gresham College 2012
    https://youtu.be/qUipv0U97L8
    46:00

    “The 1960s saw a new course in British politics — the commitment of both major parties to entry into the European Community, as the European Union was then known, and a conversion to the doctrine of planning. This involved a greater degree of state intervention in the economy, together with the control of incomes and a recasting of the system of industrial relations.
    This caused problems which put the authority of government in question. In the February 1974 general election, voters were asked to resolve the issue of ‘Who Governs?’ Both Labour and Conservative administrations sought to assert themselves against the trade unions. When, in the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1979, it seemed that government had become too weak to do so, the postwar settlement collapsed.”

  • wayne

    Lee
    We fought an entire Civil War based on the idea that stealing peoples labor, is a bad thing.

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson / Akira Meaningwave
    “Stand Up Straight”
    2018
    https://youtu.be/dX0mcPfuCUQ
    4:32

  • eddie willers

    And Lee

    You once had an Empire.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “healthcare is a basic human right.

    Why is it that basic human rights always require that someone else pay for them?

    No one else pays for my food, housing, or clothing, but somehow someone else must pay for my healthcare? Our meals, housing, and clothes are limited by what we can afford, we don’t have a choice on these, so why must our healthcare be unlimited? For that matter, why aren’t you forced to pay for my guns? Maybe I should have a mansion with thousands of square miles of land and a staff to care for it all, without having to worry about paying for it.

    About the poor buggers who live on nothing…

    You mean the people who don’t earn their own way like the rest of us? The ones who are kept poor because they accept handouts from a government that wants them to remain poor so that its power increases? Shame on you for encouraging poverty.

    Find me some statistics…

    Some day you should read the book “How to Lie With Statistics.”

    Or maybe you have, because you certainly like to (ab)use them in your own arguments.

    But one day the underclass you ignore might just organise and suprise you.

    You mean the underclass that my charities assist back to work, or the underclass that the government keeps as an underclass for its own purposes?

  • wayne

    Fawlty Towers –
    “Don’t mention the War…”
    https://youtu.be/7xnNhzgcWTk
    4:23

    Lee–
    On a more serious note, filed under the ‘Thank God for Private Enterprise,’ heading;

    A large Regional grocery chain in the (our) Midwest (200 stores, 40K employees, roughly the 25th largest food retailer in the Country) announced yesterday afternoon:
    “all hourly employees will receive an “appreciation bonus” of $2 additional per hour, for the next 6 weeks, starting march 22.”
    –They will be temporarily closing at night to more effectively re-stock the shelves and sanitize all “touchpoints,” (Stores are normally open 24/7/364) ((closed Christmas)) and they are reserving some set early morning-hours for the exclusive use of “elderly & disabled, Medical & Police, first-responder’s, and Store employees, on an alternating day basis. They have also implemented purchasing limits on selected items, but that will be done in a low key manner and a case-by-case basis.

    Nobody told them, or ordered them, to do any of this.
    It’s just good business.

    Meanwhile, our beloved Federal Government, is getting ready to drop cash by helicopter, onto the population.

  • Lee S

    @Edward, We don’t mind paying a small percentage of our monthly wage to fund help for everyone. It’s called a social welfare system. Of course there will always be a small percentage that take advantage thru dishonest means, but we believe it is better to have a small amount of fraud, and the vast majority have access to a fantastic system of social care.
    As I’ve asked so many times before… I’m not taking your money, so why so mad? I’m not forcing you, or anyone to live here… So why so mad?
    I quote you “You mean the people who don’t earn their own way like the rest of us?”
    Do you not realize that there are upwards of a million poor people in the US who are caught in what is known as “the poverty trap”? I know I keep mentioning WV, but it applies just as much to all American states…. There is no work, there is no money to move, there is no hope, and there is no government assistance to help drag these poor people out of the situation. This does not apply here… If you are in the crap, you can get help, but it’s not for nothing…. You must agree to be seen to be applying for work, or go on a retraining course… The help you get comes with stipulations. Not so much the government funded health services, childcare allowance, “free” education up to under graduate level etc. But we are all willing to pay an extra few öre on our krona to pay for the social safety net which catches everyone, not just those with the money to pay their own way. It works, and we like it just fine. As I’ve also asked before… Isn’t part of that good ol’ American dream to let everyone live how they want to live? And if so, why criticize the system I like to live under?

  • Lee S

    @wayne, nothing like that has started here in Sweden yet, but we have no curfue yet, just advice to “shelter in place” so to speak… Not so much back in the UK where things are getting rough…
    Some boots on the ground here…. My father is in intensive care in the UK after an operation on his bowel… he is 82.. I can’t get back to see him, and if I could ( no flights) , the hospital is allowing no visitors. My mother has been going every day for the last 2 weeks, but got turned away today… No visits under any circumstances. All bars and restaurants have been told to close.. stuff suddenly got real.
    I did read tho, that my old local cab firm is running food parcels out to the elderly and infirm. The cab drivers have no customers, so are donating their time for the good of the community, and all food has been donated by locals who have enough to donate. There is still a charitable spirit here over the pond… We still don’t need it yet in Sweden, but I know when the time comes it will rise. 53 deaths in England yesterday, and almost 800 in Italy…. I’m not easily panicked, but this is turning out to be more serious than I ever thought!

  • Lee S

    And if I babble tonight, I can’t blame it on my meds…. Tonight I’m taking only Swedish beer…. Not as good as all surrounding countries, but it works… I raise a glass to our hosts, my few fellow thinkers, my critics, and all neutrals… Keep well my friends!

  • Lee S

    More boots on the ground… Headline from a UK news source…. Quote..”Three men have been arrested after police found a van full of stolen toilet roll and handwash.”….. Both deeply funny and deeply disturbing at the same time!!!!

  • pzatchok

    Lee S

    I personally appreciate your presence here.

    As for the poor that can not , as I say it, move to the jobs.
    A bus ticket in the states is 150 bucks and will get you a thousand miles or more. Be a man and sell all your junk including your blood and get a ticket.
    We even have a ‘return home’ program for drug addicts who want to go back to their family. The bus lines will give them a ticket to get back to the county their ID was issued in.

    I live in the northern end of Appalachia. Just an hour north of WV. I know the very people your talking about.

    If a South American who can not speak English will WALK a thousand miles to get an unskilled roofing job in the USA (and send some of their money back south) why can’t your poor Appalachians get on a bus and find a roofing job just 200 miles away.

    I have literally driven 4 hours into Appalachia to do manual labor. I have offered locals a job and they have turned me down. Its where their family is from and they don’t want to move.
    I have talked to 30 year old people who have NEVER been outside their county. They have never had a tax paying job.
    They want someone to bring the job to them, then hunt them down and hire them, train them and then pay them.

    And you want me to take care of this free loader? Someone who refuses honest work?
    T

  • pzatchok

    Keep dragging for the bottom of the barrel Lee S.
    You will always be able to find some story about how bad it is anyplace in the world.
    You seem to focus on finding the worst in America and blaming it one everyone but the people who are the center to the report.
    They have responsibility also. They live the way they want to.

    If I tried to live like that my mom would have slapped my face.

  • Lee S

    @pzatchok, you do make an excellent point, I have also moved for work, and never had more than a few days between jobs in my 33 years in the job market. My point was more that the European model is geared up to help the unemployed find work, as I said, with retraining help, and a close watch upon people to ensure they are actively looking for work as they receive benefits.
    This is a small part of the benefits we pay for over here. The tax we pay is our pension fund, our healthcare premium, our childcare costs and our children’s educational costs. I understand it is alien to you guys, and you consider it a constraint on our freedom, but we are just as free as you guys to do whatever the heck we like.. start a business, move between jobs, go hiking in the mountains or fish in the lakes… We just pay higher taxes, and believe we are all equal, and every citizen should have access to the same social care system.
    I am not critisizing the US in general… I just believe our social system is geared up to better help the least privileged in society. The US is the world leader in many, many respects, but I consider most European countries to have a better system than the US when it comes to social care.
    I guess it boils down to we trust the government a little more than you guys do, but remember we stay skeptical also, and just like you guys, we get to vote them out every 4 years.

  • pzatchok

    The US has had a social federal and state funded healthcare system for 50 years or more.
    Medicare/medicaid.
    Before Obama care came about we had about 20 million people not covered by that service. Guess what? After Obama care came out we still had about 20 million people not covered. And we were by law required by law to apply if we did not have any other insurance. Required.
    These people either did not at any point for a year hear the news they needed to get insurance, were to stupid to fill out a single page form at the library or post office and submit their social security number or they were crazy and hiding or wanted by the law for something else.
    That’s right we have 20 million insane or ignorant fools in this country. And we are NOT allowed to force medical care on them if they do not want it. And they were still covered by emergency care if they needed it. At no cost.
    That 20 million include most if not all of our street living homeless. Most are either insane or drug addicts. I have met a few are are just fine working under the table but do not want a permanent home because they are hiding from the law. Normally the child support enforcement agency. 3+ kids on government assistance and 15 years behind in child support. Instant jail of found.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “we believe it is better to have a small amount of fraud, and the vast majority have access to a fantastic system of social care.

    Interesting quote: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” — Alexander Fraser Tytler

    This is a reason why the U.S. was set up as a republic, not a democracy, in order to prevent the voters from messing up the country. It is also one of the reasons why the Founding Fathers believed that the federal government would not last as long as it did and that another form of revolution would be necessary — preferably a political one.

    Your system of social care is a far more direct form of this degradation and eventual collapse.

    By relegating your individual responsibility to your government, you leave individual irresponsibility to yourself.

    From much earlier: “And I’m sure you have a glib answer about ‘personal responsibility’

    What do you know? I do have and answer that includes “personal responsibility.” It just isn’t as glib as you think it is.

    It isn’t that we mind paying taxes, it is that we mind that the taxes are excessive and go to things that government was not invented to handle. It is that the taxes are used to remove our freedoms, and government was invented in order to protect its citizens’s freedoms and liberty. Your government usurps its responsibility, and you like that it cares for you. Until it runs out of other people’s money, then you will want other governments to care for you in its stead.

    I’m not taking your money, so why so mad? I’m not forcing you, or anyone to live here… So why so mad?

    Angry or insane? I don’t know what I might have said to make you think that I am mad, but I have explained to you on multiple occasions why I disagree with your socialist system, that when your collapse comes you will have your hand out to us, expecting us to make good on the promise of utopian social care that you avoid paying for by buying less expensive foreign goods, not taxed by your country, when you travel out of country.

    Do you not realize that there are upwards of a million poor people in the US who are caught in what is known as “the poverty trap”?

    I’[m the one who introduced and explained this trap to you. Really, you need to pay more attention. The actual number is far, far more than a million. Obama made sure that it rose even farther, under his regime.

    I did read tho, that my old local cab firm is running food parcels out to the elderly and infirm. The cab drivers have no customers, so are donating their time for the good of the community, and all food has been donated by locals who have enough to donate. There is still a charitable spirit here over the pond… We still don’t need it yet in Sweden, but I know when the time comes it will rise.

    Isn’t this the kind of random, unreliable charity that you said that you don’t want, that a reliance on government avoids and prevents? Why are you bragging about it now, when you said this American form of charity was not what you preferred?

    and there is no government assistance to help drag these poor people out of the situation.

    This is your problem with us. You assume that if the government does not do it then it cannot be done. It may work that way in your country, but we often do not wait around for the government to get its act together. The areas in the U.S. that do best after a disaster are the ones that help themselves out of the mess. Those that do the worst are the ones who wait for government, such as FEMA, to bail them out. West Virginia, your prime exampleof how bad it is in the U.S., is the latter variety.

    You even fall under that latter category, as you have previously noted you only have a meager savings, not enough to be able to take care of yourself, so you are dependent upon your government to care for you. Thus, you falsely believe that it is better to be dependent upon someone else for your well being and care. That is why you will have your hand you when your system fails.

    we are all willing to pay an extra few öre on our krona to pay for the social safety net which catches everyone, not just those with the money to pay their own way. It works, and we like it just fine

    Of course you like it. It is all part of that personal irresponsibility. Someone else cares for you so you don’t have to, nor do you have to know how.

    pzatchok,
    You wrote: “They want someone to bring the job to them, then hunt them down and hire them, train them and then pay them.

    Well, they sound like socialists, a similar attitude as Lee S has. It helps demonstrate that his example is a result of socialism, where people wait to be taken care of.

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 *