Feb 22, 2009

Comment of the Week

197 comments since last week's Comment of the Week, and I couldn't help but notice that there was a certain sameness to them all. Most of them went something like, LANS sucks, or, Management sucks, or, NNSA sucks, or LANL can't even attract C Students, or Mikey sucks, or Mary sucks. And so on.

There was one refreshing comment that did not read like its author had spent three of the best years of his life in the 6th grade. Somebody went back four years and reposted the open letter that former AD Tom Meyer wrote after having left LANL during the Nanos debacle. I won't repost it again, but here is the link for those who wish to read a well-written condemnation of how DOE/NNSA handled LANL and its Nanos-induced screw ups in 2004. It was nice to read a piece written by somebody who could tell the difference between "your", "you're", and "yor".

So, out of those 197 comments posted during the last week, I found two that stood out from the rest. I couldn't decide which one I liked the best, so we have a tie for Comment of the Week. The first was from the Does it Come with a Sports Car? post

"Responsibilities include: Conduct focus groups to understand employee concerns, issues, desires, and values. Shape and implement employee communication strategies and tactics to respond to focus group findings."

Very telling. LANS doesn't intend to actually fix the problems behind employee concerns, they just want to shape the spin.

The second one was from the Time for a Change? post.

The best route for many LANL scientists who want to get out would be to find a job with one of the DOE energy labs. Almost all of these labs are still run by non-profits and they are about to see a huge ramp up in funding.

It is important to remember that this nation doesn't really care where good science is done. If the NNSA labs die off, then the DOE national labs and academia will pick up the slack.

In addition to this, work can be performed at the DOE energy labs at lower cost because they have none of the expensive overhead required to run a "zero-defect" nuclear weapons infrastructure.

Going forward, I would not be at all surprised to see the DOE energy labs pull away lots of the non-weapons work still done at LANL, such as climate modeling, NISAC and some of the material research.

There is no compelling reason this work has to be done at LANL and the DOE energy labs will probably be willing to offer LANL staff some lucrative incentives to come aboard, particularly since they will be flush with new funds. The current housing situation is likely the main thing keeping a mass exodus of LANL talent at bay.



Anonymous said...

well, from the comments this past week, it appears that sattelberger is willing to take anyone from lanl and run argonne into the ground like he did c-div. i'd hit him up first.

Anonymous said...

"Comment of the Century"

'Double dippers' defend state jobs

The dozens of retired government employees who have returned to work for six-figure incomes have become a symbol of resentment around the capital.

They are accused of gaming the system, keeping younger workers from rising through the ranks and for hurting morale.

"After Huge Losses, a Move to Reclaim Executives’ Pay"

SHOULD executives get to keep lavish pay packages when the profits that generated their compensation go up in smoke?

The Obama Administration, DOD/DOE, the media, etc. need to take a look at LANL/LANS. The state's completely disconnected with what's happening at LANL. Some call it, the Wall Street of Northern New Mexico. The double-dippers are in thousands. Their is a revolving door here.

Anonymous said...

It is fascinating to read Tom Meyer's letter and to have seen him in meetings. In the letter and in person, he appears to be two different people. In person he seemed more like the comments about Mary Neu.
On the other hand, he writes very well.

Anonymous said...

Your mileage may vary, 1:59. I worked with Tom for about a year before he left LANL. I always found him to be helpful, professional, and likable. I traveled with him to Washington a couple of times and noticed that he was well-respected by the DOE folks we met with there.

It sounds to me like you might have some kind of personal problem with Tom.

Anonymous said...

meyer just thinks a lot of himself. most people of his stature generally do.

Anonymous said...

My impression of Tom Meyers was positive. He is an accomplised scientist and had good sense. We would benefit by his return.

Doug Roberts said...

As you say, 4:05pm.

But strongly suspect this same good sense virtually eliminates any possibility of Tom Meyer returning to work at LANL.


Anonymous said...

Tom has a cushy named-professorship back at UNC and made certain that LANL paid him dearly when he left (he had a lawsuit pending).

Then after Tom Meyer left, Wallace took over the ADST position and promptly f*cked over MyHang Huynh - Meyer's former postdoc and LANL TSM - and forced her to leave after making her go crazy.

I aks, why on God's green earth would that man even want to return to this hell hole?

Anonymous said...

"I aks (sic), why on God's green earth would that man even want to return to this hell hole?" - 4:38 PM


(A) We're the Best & Brightest!

(B) LANS is fixing all the "bad" stuff at LANL!

(C) NNSA oversight is better than ever!

(D) Weapons funding looks bright!

(E) Thanks to POGO, we're frequently mentioned in the national news media!

(F) Our Director is the BEST!

(G) We delete all our Emails over the holidays, so there is no post-holiday Email crush!

(H) Piss tests make sure everyone is healthy!

(I) In the words of our Director "Morale is good"!

(J) Working at Sig Hecker's scientific "prison" has it's perks -- the prison guards are extra nice!

(K) Bechtel is watching our back!

(L) MARIE!!!!!!

How's that for reasons?

Doug Roberts said...

I'm sure you realize, 5:35, that you are presently the odds-on favorite to win "Comment of the Week" next week!



Anonymous said...

Yes, that is correct: Myers is NOT coming back.
AND, lots of other top-level
people are NOT coming to LANL!

But, then LANS and NNSA do not give shit!

Anonymous said...


I do not have a personal problem with Tom but I know a lot of LANL folks who did and who told me about it at the time. The folks who talked to me were not known for whining or lying. I myself had very few interactions with him. My area of scientific interest is outside of his area.

Anonymous said...

you people talk about meyer like he's st. pete. i still think part of that letter was to save face. while you all love that letter, the classy thing to do would have been just to leave gracefully, saying i had a good run here but it's time to move on. perhaps then wallace wouldn't have taken revenge out on myhang huynh.

Anonymous said...

I think we should do a Top Ten List as to WHY Tom Meyer should not return to LANL.

Anonymous said...

You know, 6:43 reminds me that there are a bunch of sick fucks that occupy office space at LANL.

Nobody is going to miss you when you're gone.

[Note the use of "you're".]

The classy thing to have done was exactly what Meyer's did: tell Nanos to shove it and then leave.

PS: Fuck you, 6:43. I hope you lose your job soon.

Doug Roberts said...



We have competition for next week's Comment of the Week.

FWIW, 6:43 reminds me of why I left LANL. Who needs to work with creeps like that?


Anonymous said...

I believe 6:43 is our "little" Terry ... why else would ANYONE justify seeking revenge in his position of power with any sort of legitimacy? Just wacked.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, 6:43 typifies the caliber of employee who remains at LANL, now that most of the more accomplished staff have left.

They can't stand on their own merit, because they have very little of merit to offer. Instead, they attempt to tear down those who truly do have something of value to contribute.

It's sad. It's sick. It's LANL.

Anonymous said...

Regarding 6:43 pm, by Doug and others: "FWIW, 6:43 reminds me of why I left LANL. Who needs to work with creeps like that?

Geez, exactly what is it about 6:43pm that makes him a creep? Maybe that he just disagrees a little with you? That's grounds to call him a creep? There was nothing disrespectful about his post. You guys have become entirely too self-referential and unable to listen to even a little criticism. Sorta like LANS? Oh, but wait - you guys are good and they are evil, right?

Doug Roberts said...

Point taken, 8:16.

The first this I did after reading your comment was to go back and re-read 6:43's contribution, to make sure I hadn't read anything into his comments that weren't actually there.

I'm sorry to report that upon a second reading, 6:43 still comes across as one of those sad little creeps who derives his pleasures from tearing down people who have actually achieved stature and success.

Why? Who knows. My guess is that it is done in a lame attempt to build his own stature up by comparison. In which case, he's not fooling too many people.

One additional note: if you weren't there during the Nanos period, if you weren't engaged with folks like Meyer, and Lynton Brooks, and Bob Dynes, and Bob Foley, and Tom D'Agostino, then you really have no basis for critiquing their actions.

Not that this ever stopped the anonymous geniuses from spewing their opinions here.

I'm just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

6:43 here

do you people know exactly what happened to myhang? she was having her ldrd proposals rejected from her gl, to have them then turned around and submitted by another tsm (without her name, obviously). she was one of the hardest working women and she was constantly told that if she didn't "shape up", she was going to be fired. she had two ERs and DR for her environmentally friendly explosives! this then caused the severe panic attacks b/c she was in constant fear for her job. when the panic attacks got worse, they forced her on disability and told her to not come back (which caused more issues b/c she had a $500,000 house to pay for). when she won the lawrence award, she was told that she had to give the $50,000 prize back to the lab b/c it was lanl's money, not hers! she didn't even want to go the ceremony but the committee told her she had to go. I never saw her again to know if she was fired or not. in the end, i know she was taking medication for her panic attacks; one of the side effects was depression so severe that 30% of the people on it commit suicide.

I met her in 2000 and her life was chemistry. she worked about 12-15 hrs a day in the lab making compounds for meyer. when i saw her again in 2007, she was so sick and tired, she barely resembled her former self. she was one of the best chemists to come through this place and lanl (literally) destroyed her.

if hindsight is 20/20, then i tell you this: while you all love that letter, the classy thing would have been to say i had a good run here but it's time to move on. he could said whatever he wanted to amongst his friends and colleagues. hell, 10 years after the fact, he could have made a public statement. i think the fact that he left was quite a statement in itself. but, he didn't think how that letter might affect the postdocs he converted along the way and unfortunately, myhang was the casualty.

and as a personal note, i care a lot about this place and i wish it would change! but, standards are so low that it's almost impossible to turn this place into its former glory.

Anonymous said...

8:31 PM, I believe myhang is lucky to still be alive. others are not so lucky. makes you wonder how many people have committed or are contemplating suicide because LANL has destroyed their lives.

Anonymous said...

"2/22/09 8:31 PM"

That was a bit bizarre.

" i think the fact that he left was quite a statement in itself. but, he didn't think how that letter might affect the postdocs he converted along the way "

I see your point, however I do not think Meyer had any say about leaving seeing as Nanos had fired him.

What Meyer did was classy and he was one of the few along with Doug and Brad that spoke up. For all you know if they had not said anything than alot more people would have been hurt.

Anonymous said...

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"

Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry but when did the tyranny end? when did good people stop getting hurt by management? i missed the memo on that one, please let me know when it happened.

Anonymous said...

Yes Tom Meyer does write well. However, he is also very arrogant and feels that rules do not apply to people like him. Meyer and Nanos are very much alike in this aspect. This classy letter was a way to "get" the "Nanos SOB" back. Meyer should have been fired but not for the reasons that resulted in his leaving LANL. I have sat in meetings where Meyer was very rude, condescending, and mean-spirited to his peers. I have seen him treat his staff much worst- yelling and cursing while informing them how stupid they are. I did not work for the man directly but saw him in action many times. No ax to grind- just stating the facts.

Anonymous said...

Doug - 8:16 pm here.

I WAS there during the Nanos period, I saw everything unfold and hated it as much as you or anyone else. I retird after a year under LANS because I couldn't stand it anymore.

6:43 didn't "tear down" anyone, he just objected to your deification of Meyer, which obviously sticks in your craw. Be that as it may, if you didn't observe Meyer in daily interactions, you can't possibly have enough information to canonize him. He had many personal, and interpersonal, failings, and the fact that he wrote a thoughtful and insightful letter after the fact doesn't absolve him of those failings.

Anonymous said...

9:57 bleats,

"i'm sorry but when did the tyranny end? when did good people stop getting hurt by management? i missed the memo on that one, please let me know when it happened."

At LANL? My guess is when they stopped acting like gutless sheep.

In other words, it never did; forecast calls for more of the same.

Doug Roberts said...

Fair enough, 10:22.

I worked with Meyer on and off for the last couple of years I was at LANL. Traveled with him some too. I never saw the side of him you describe, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist.


Anonymous said...

I spent a bit of time around Meyers.
I never saw him throw a Nano-type
tantrum or abuse people.

Of course, I don't think that he wa a saint. But, he sure was a cut above what we have in positions at AD level these days.

Anonymous said...

I don't know this Myhang lady.
BUT, if even one half of what is reported here is true, then I would think that she has the basis of a successful lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

OK, but aren't all of these things true:

LANS sucks, or, Management sucks, or, NNSA sucks, or LANL can't even attract C Students, or Mikey sucks, or Mary sucks.

Anonymous said...

"It's sad. It's sick. It's LANL.

2/22/09 7:44 PM"

Instead of those lame rah rah things like "don't slip get the shoes that grip" signs as you drive in, they should have this.

Anonymous said...

How many more scientists like Myhang Huynh are there at LANL?

What a sad story. What a sad place.

Anonymous said...

"How many more scientists like Myhang Huynh are there at LANL?"
As far as I know, plenty.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is, 10:06. A very sad place.

On the other hand, though, when it comes to publications and grant applications it really isn't all that much different from your (note the correct usage of 'your') normal backstabbing academic environment of your typical, run of the mill academic institution .

Anonymous said...

anyone tried to open a PDF through a journal website? ACCESS DENIED. also, you can't see who may have emailed you with PDFs attachments. another quarantine!

Anonymous said...


Another stunning success by the Best and the Brightest!

Yo, LANS, you rock!

Keeping the world safe from rogue pdfs!

Bonus time!

Anonymous said...

10:15 AM, shut up b/c you don't know what you're talking about. NOTHING about this place follows the status quo at academic institutions. you don't submit your proposal to the dean of science who then comes back and says "this is great, but could you add so-and-so to the grant b/c they need funding?" you don't give your colleague a paper to read, who in turn goes around and publishes your work without you knowing about it. in fact, senior colleagues WANT their junior colleagues to succeed and will do anything they can to help them. the only instance that i know of a prof not getting tenure what when he couldn't reproduce his own work published in the lit. there are a few people who will reject NSF proposals and turn around and use the idea as their own research - but those people are caught. not immediately, but there are several high profile cases of people losing funding/losing job for stealing others ideas.

think about it!

Anonymous said...


I don't know what planet you come from, 12:22pm, but here on Earth there is no single group of "professionals" that is more jealous, backstabbing, and downright dishonest about claiming IP as their own than members of the collective US university system.

The most petty, paranoid, idea-stealing bunch of people I have ever met were your (note the proper use of 'your') noble members of the academic community.

Think about it yourself.

Anonymous said...

ha! if you actually would have read the comment rather than worrying about your grammar, i never said that there weren't power struggles and petty arguments. but lanl tsms have turned this into an art form and if they can't get you now, they are going to hold a grudge against you and 10 years down the line, they are going to get you then. but, unlike here, most academic institutions WANT their junior faculty members to succeed. here, newly converted tsms have their money taken away to help fund pathetic tsms who can't secure funding. most places i know, if you can't secure funding, you're either fired or you teach for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

It's true, I tried it: you can't access a pdf article through the library link. Because the LANL library has gone to online subscriptions for most journals this means you're screwed if you need to get work done by reading a reference article. Science at LANL? Forget about it ... a work free safety zone has finally been achieved.

Anonymous said...

'Academic politics are the most vicious because the stakes are so small.'

Henry Kissinger

Anonymous said...

2:35 PM. Nanos would be so proud and FINALLY think something positive about Terry Wallace. (Well known fact at certain levels is that Nanos HATED Terry and did NOT want him to get Meyer's post, but Momma made it happen ...)

Anonymous said...

another glorified hat trick is in progress at c-div with another failed assistant professor looking for a job. at least this time the guy didn't get tenure at princeton, rather than not getting tenure at nevada reno.

Anonymous said...

'Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.'

Homer Simpson

Anonymous said...

Please stop talking about us "C" students at DOE.

Anonymous said...

Probably better off, in general, being a "B" student from a non-Tier 1 school who winds up controlling money and being involved in making decisions, rather than being an "A" student from a Tier 1 school who winds being one of the easily replaced Level 1, 2, 3 R&D Engineers(~80%) or Scientists(~70%).

Anonymous said...

With all of the tenure-failure interviews in C-division, maybe C-students should refer to Chemistry Students?

Anonymous said...

"..when it comes to publications and grant applications it really isn't all that much different from your (note the correct usage of 'your') normal backstabbing academic environment of your typical, run of the mill academic institution." (10:15 AM)

Except that your research labor rate will be close to $500 K per year and policies at LANL will slow you down every step of the way and your employer, LANS, could really care less about whether you're (note the proper use of "your're") bringing in outside funding and you'll constantly be subjected to piss tests and maybe even a lie detector test and if you lose or mishandle a single piece of classified material you had better go hire an expensive lawyer to keep you out of jail and forget receiving any Emails over the holidays or using ZIP files or PDFs through Email or over the web.

Other than than, LANL is just like any run of the mill academic institution.

Anonymous said...

Oh, 4:58 PM, it is worse than that. Let's hire someone who couldn't get tenure as a scientist 4 in C-IIAC, and then let's fill the group leader position with someone who couldn't hack it as the ADCLES deputy. Nice. Let's set some standards. Go Team!

Anonymous said...

8:07 pm: "your employer, LANS, could really care less about whether you're (note the proper use of "your're") bringing in outside funding..."

If we're going to continue to gig each other on grammar, let's at least get the saying right: It's "couldn't care less" not "could care less." Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2/23/09 6:15 PM said...

"Please stop talking about us "C" students at DOE."

Actually, the DOE people are D students.

Anonymous said...

Yor awl reel stoopid fer focussing on the passed like this. Im afrayed yewll awl have heart attacks.

Anonymous said...

when are we just going to dump c-div at the lab? with a few minor exceptions, the whole team needs to be replaced.

why isn't c-div trying to attract tenured profs and people successful in industry? i guess they did that with baker, but other than that...

Anonymous said...

A look at the current job postings at LANL shows openings for 68 positions. Only 3 of these are for the job category of 'Scientist'.

And to think, this place is still called a 'National Lab'. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

The naive anti-nuke policy of President Obama is moving forward, with the future risk of nuclear proliferation, and the destruction of the US nuclear umbrella!!!

From Global Security Newswire:

Obama Nuclear Plans Trigger Conservative Warnings

Monday, Feb. 23, 2009

Conservative analysts warn that the Obama administration´s nuclear arms control goals could adversely affect U.S. national security, the Boston Globe reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb.17).

(Feb.23) - Former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney has criticized President Barack Obama´s nuclear arms control goals (Alex Wong/Getty Images).

President Barack Obama has listed the global elimination of nuclear weapons as a policy goal and has directed officials to begin nuclear reduction talks with Russia, to prepare for the U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and to work for a treaty to ban the production of fissile materials for weapons.

These efforts are "a principal priority for the president," deputy national security adviser Dennis McDonough told the Globe.

Critics, however, have cautioned that major U.S. nuclear reductions could embolden smaller nuclear powers, which would move toward nuclear parity if U.S. and Russian arsenals are decreased bilaterally. They have also warned that some non-nuclear nations could be tempted to pursue such weapons if the United States loses its global dominance. In particular, nations under the U.S. nuclear "umbrella" could pursue their own strategic deterrents if they perceive that U.S. protection has become less credible, the critics have argued.

"The problem is that [the Obama administration is] betting the physical survival of the U.S. on nothing more than the hope that other nuclear-armed states and any states or nonstate actors that join the nuclear club will follow suit by disarming," said Baker Spring, of the Heritage Foundation. "This gamble involves the highest possible stakes and has an exceedingly low likelihood of success."

Former Reagan-era defense official Frank Gaffney also criticized the disarmament goals.

"Every other declared nuclear-weapon state is modernizing its stockpile and the most dangerous wannabes -- North Korea and Iran -- are building up their offensive missile capabilities and acquiring as quickly as possible the arms to go atop them," he wrote in a recent paper. Obama´s plans risk transforming the United States "into a nuclear impotent, with possibly catastrophic consequences."

Obama is not without supporters, however.

His plans "are all achievable goals," said U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.). "The debate is at a point where it is a question about when we achieve these goals, not if."

"It is going to require a herculean effort," added Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione. "It is completely doable, but it will require the sustained attention of the president himself" (Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, Feb. 22).


President Obama´s anti-nuke policy should be rejected, due to his core understanding of the world, e.g. lack of understanding of the world:

Credo quia absurdum est.

(I believe it because it is absurd.)

PS. Pres. Obama and his supporters lack a common sense understanding of the world, it is all: IDEALISM - unfortunately the adversaries of US doesn´t share this view.

Anonymous said...

so, have any of you gotten the new "guidance" handed down from terry wallace yesterday regarding the off-site computer use rules? apparently, he says he is personally going to review, in a "pseudo-random" (actual quote!) fashion, all the justifications that people put down on their forms for taking laptops home, and rejections will come at his discretion.

it appears that his large salary is paid to him for the sole purpose of protecting LANS's bonus, and part of that purpose entails making sure that work only gets done while the employee is "at his work station" (in the immortal words of ex-admiral Nanos).

wouldn't you think any employer would be glad to get extra work done for free by its dedicated, loyal, hard-working employees? i would! even when i don't have my work computer at home, i am designing experiments, thinking about their logistics, making notes (all nonclassified of course), etc., like most scientists do. but now we are going to be punished for this?

prithee, ponder this: to what charge code does terry wallace charge that "pseudo-random" work when he enters his T&E? oh wait, i forgot, it is "time and labor" now. so instead of effort, it is LABOR. that's a big semiotic difference to my mind.

Anonymous said...

From 2/23/09 10:13 AM ..."How many more scientists like Myhang Huynh are there at LANL?"
As far as I know, plenty...

Yes, and Wallace or his AD-wenches have gone after them. In fact, MyHang was under serious observation and finally had to leave the lab to save herself from the likes of Wallace. I also know one person was so miserable that they offed themselves.

I guess this is why NNSA/DOE gave LANS the big bonuses and an extra year on their contract. I don't know why Congress will not do something about this. They care more about someone falling on the ice than they do about this abuse of people.

Anonymous said...

PS They don't care about people falling on the ice either. That is a show to keep LANS out of court.

Anonymous said...

Fatty pants knows how to do pseudo-random sampling? Wow, I'm mighty impressed!

Anonymous said...

After listening to Obama's speech last night, I guess I should put in my retirement papers since I'm part of the post-cold war weapons program.

Anonymous said...

Under the mis-management of both NNSA and LANS LLC (aka Bechtel), Los Alamos National Lab has become a big, stink'in pile of poo.

Terry and Mikey should smell it and quit trying to sell us a pony!

Anonymous said...

not every assistant professor who does not get tenure is a C-rated guy. Many are very good but failed to bring in the amount of money their department wanted. At least they competed succesfully for their job at some time in their career, unlike most of LANL TSMs who were converted because their PI had the money.

Anonymous said...

fair enough 8:33 pm. but should they be hired for a scientist 4 position?

Anonymous said...

Guess the question is: Are they worth more than the 70% of the scientists who are Scientists 1/2/3?

Anonymous said...

Any word on what Glenn Mara told the Weapons Directorate employees about the weapons budget at this morning's All-Hands meeting?

Anonymous said...

A new story just came out this morning. It's not completely clear from this story what items are missing from TA-55 (the Pit Factory):

Los Alamos lab reports inventory problem

By The Associated Press

Posted: 02/26/2009 11:05:56 AM MST

LOS ALAMOS — Los Alamos National Laboratory has reported "unreconciled inventory" and accounting for sensitive materials within a secure technical area, but officials said nothing is missing.

The lab reported the internal problem at Technical Area 55 last month to the National Nuclear Secretary Administration. The area is the weapons lab's plutonium research, development and processing facility.

The lab said there is no risk to the public, lab employees or the environment.

A Los Alamos spokesman, Kevin Roark, said Thursday officials were certain nothing was missing because of layers of security at the technical area and the lab, including armed guards on site 24 hours a day.

"We have multiple security controls, we call it defense in-depth, that give us this absolute assurance," he said.

Roark likened the technical area to a warehouse in which packages come in and out but also are moved around within the building. "We want to make it absolutely clear that nothing went out the door," he said.

The lab said tech area managers are reviewing materials controls for a small segment of the area's operations, and that normal operations are continuing except for that segment.

The lab also is working with NNSA and experts from the corporate partners within the lab's management contractor, Los Alamos National Security LLC, to improve internal bookkeeping and inventory procedures.

Anonymous said...

Sure, according to Roark, "nothing is missing."
The just can't find the stuff!

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between "unreconciled inventory" and stuff that is lost?

This sounds like flim-flam to me.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between "unreconciled inventory" and stuff that is lost?

Stuff that has been misplaced in vault B instead stored in vault A. Stuff that has been destroyed or that has never existed but that has been inventoried - all happened before.

Anonymous said...

The beatings will continue until morale at LANL improves.

Once morale improves, the beatings will then be applied with double the force.

This will continue until the whole workforce collapses to the floor in unison from complete exhaustion and stress.

After that point in time, the mass layoffs will commence.

Anonymous said...

Mike Lansing and Chris Cantwell named new associate directors (LANL Newsbulletin)

By Tatjana K. Rosev

February 26, 2009

Two new Laboratory associate directors were announced this week. Mike Lansing was named associate director for Safeguards and Security and James “Chris” Cantwell is associate director for Environment, Safety, Health & Quality. Lansing and Cantwell take over from Paul Sowa and Dick Watkins, respectively, who both retired this month.

Prior to joining the Laboratory, Lansing managed security operations at Babcock and Wilcox (BWXT) Nuclear Operations Group in Lynchburg, Virginia. Lansing led a 200-employee security force at this site, which is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He oversaw protective force operations and training, managed the Emergency Operations Center, and ensured that staff met NRC security requirements.

From 2004 to 2007, Lansing worked at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, first as division training manager and later as deputy division manager of Safeguards and Security. Lansing holds a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Previously, Cantwell served at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as Quality Services Division director, and later as Safety Leadership Program director and Health and Safety Field Services group leader. From 1989 to 2000, Cantwell worked at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo as Environment, Safety, and Health Support Services manager. Cantwell started his career as an industrial hygienist and bioenvironmental engineer with American Airlines.

Cantwell holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Colorado State University and is currently completing his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Walden University. He is a board-certified industrial hygienist and safety professional.


So here is how it stands with the latest AD hires:

Mike Lansing looks to be a C-level student formerly with BWXT who has made it into the exaulted AD ranks at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

And Chris Cantwell? My Gawd! He looks to be a D-level student, and that is being generous. He has a BS from CO State and is "working on his masters" from one of those pay-for-your-title degree mills (Walden U.)!!!

Both of these guys will be be making around $350K, plus they'll recieve the standard LANS perks and bonuses. Of course, we'll never know exactly how much they make because that is considered LANS LLC proprietary information.

It has been said that LANL is currently being run by a bunch of C-grade students. From the looks of recent AD hires, particularly in the case of Cantwell, it now appears LANS has lowered their standards and are reaching for the D-grade students.

Considering that Tom D'Agostino only has a BS in Physical Science and never made higher rank that Captain after over 20 years of service in the Navy, I guess LANL should tell these new ADs "Welcome aboard, you're in good company!"

With each executive new hire, LANS LLC appears to be moving the lab a little bit lower down the rungs of the ladder.

Anonymous said...

One positive stimulus news is the tax rate will be almost 40% for earners above $250K, their mortgage deduction will be reduced, and companies such as Rechtel will be analyzed to see how much of their $ are being invested in other countries to avoid tax. Gee, that means that Mikey, Terry and their cronies will not be able to keep as much of his moolah via tax avoidance. Oops, I forgot, they are allowed to "gross up" their extra money. Another issue for POGO?

Anonymous said...

I guess we can receive pdf files now, but Excel documents are now being quarantined. Next week we will move on to banning all ASCII text.

Anonymous said...

11:05, and to think they could have had a meaningful career as a Scientist 3/4 with a PhD from a top school instead.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 11:05 PM, think about it, Mr. Big Brain. LANL currently has 68 job positions open and yet only 3 of these are for the position of Scientist.

You should realize that LANS doesn't want highly educated scientists working at LANL. They have high labor rates which cause problems in bringing in funding to pay these rates.

The future at LANL is clear to anyone who bothers to look and see what is going on in front of their noses. Production work, plant engineering and cleanup.... it's easy to manage and very profitable.

Anonymous said...

11:00 AM is right, there's a shift in workforce that has been taking place for some time. first it was a hiring freeze, and now it seems like they don't want new blood in science. when was the last time your group (or division for that matter) had a new hire? when was the last time a postdoc was converted in your group?

time to abandon ship boys, we're goin' down!

Anonymous said...

this cantwell guy has the makings to become the next management lab fellow if he plays his cards right...i wonder if he's the guy who came up with those new stupid signs we see everywhere.

"it's cool to carpool"

Anonymous said...

Walden University

School of Psychology

"...and is currently completing his master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Walden University."

Don't see that area listed under the current MS specializations in Psychology:

* Crisis Management and Response new
* General Program
* Health Psychology new
* Leadership Development and Coaching new
* Media Psychology new
* Organizational Psychology and Development
* Organizational Psychology and Nonprofit Management new
* Program Evaluation and Research new
* Psychology of Culture new
* Psychology, Public Administration, and Social Change new
* Social Psychology new
* Terrorism and Security new


AD Cantwell did not indicate if he'll follow this up with an online PhD available from Walden as well.


Anonymous said...

"when was the last time your group (or division for that matter) had a new hire? when was the last time a postdoc was converted in your group?" - 3:45 pm

There have been almost no new hires of scientists. LANS only wants to hire plant engineers (CESs) and environmental cleanup technicians. In fact, you'll receive a nice $2K bonus if you refer a plant engineer to HR and the plant engineer will receive a sweet $30K bonus for taking the job.

No rewards for hiring scientists at LANL, though. Science at LANL is dead. At best, it will become a Potemkin Village affair to show off to the occasional politician who stops by for a brief visit.

It's become clear that this is way Bechtel and BWXT intend to run this place and they apparently get to call most of the shots. The name "LANL" is quickly becoming a misnomer.

Anonymous said...

LANL has become a Potemkin village of American science. An excellent insight, 7:36. Like General Potemkin, LANS clearly expects to profit from the ongoing charade.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat of a change of subject, I ran across the podcast interview of Author Thomas Barnett... he has interesting take on our role in the world.


"In this podcast, strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett talks about his new book, "Great Powers: America and the World After Bush" (Putnam), in which he argues that the United States' role now is to shepherd the inevitable process of globalization, using economic, diplomatic and military power to shape the emerging global network in its own historical image.

For Barnett, the power shaping the world is globalization, the spreading connectivity of peoples and places through trade, travel and communication. In his first book, "The Pentagon's New Map," Barnett outlines how this force has restructured the world into an interconnected "core" of nations and a disconnected "gap" housing much of the world's violence.

At its heart, "Great Powers" is a fresh look at the world at the dawn of the Obama administration, and the challenges the new president must tackle if he is to succeed."

Anonymous said...

For a new name for LANL, how about

Los Alamos
Environmental Cleanup

Since the C and F are silent, the short version would be