May 8, 2009

Comment of the Week, Early Weekend Edition

I had been dutifully noting the comments that have been dribbling in this week, and I even marked a couple as candidates for COW. But then this one just came in and took the honors.

From the Anastasio gives upbeat update By Jennifer Garcia,... post:


Has this man been drug tested lately?


Have a great weekend, everybody.

--Doug


Click the image to enlarge

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

"He (ie Mikey) also said that attrition has been used to control the work force so far."

There we have it folks - verbal confirmation that LANS is forcing attrition to control the work force. Like making everyone sick to their stomach to work for these jerks. I know of one procurement team leader who held a weekly team meeting in which the new Bechtel employee announced he was the new team leader - well, that was news to the LANL team leader, yeah, one of the good guys left over from the UC days. LANS didn't even have the decency (yeah, right) to inform him of his demotion, yep, he was demoted. One month later the former team leader resigned, taking with him over 40 years of contracting experience - trust me, he was the most versatile procurement employee. His name is Frank Targhetta, a joy to work with and work for. Now we are stuck with humpty dumpty. And Frank is working for a Fortune 500 company. At least Kevin Chalmers aka Howdy Doody will soon be gone.

Anonymous said...

Procurement sucks shit. They should all be fired, and I don't give a damn if their replacements come from Rectel. Could not possibly be worse that the idiots that work there now.

Anonymous said...

You can't drug test me. I have a prescription for medical marijuana!

MIKEY

Anonymous said...

How about the Badge Office, if your not careful they may give you back an un-cleared badege and then claim it was YOUR fault!!! Sometimes I long for the good old days, BB: Before Bechtel. Thats how bad it has gotten at LANL.

Anonymous said...

What a place! No one seems to be content, a nice area to live, nice schools, nice community...If it wasn't for LANL this place would be a wonderland.

Anonymous said...

Dude, where's my company leased sports car?

Anonymous said...

Where do we find these people?

Anonymous said...

Actually drug use would explain a lot...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. COW? Why the rush? Perhaps you should make it Comment of the Day. Comment of the Month might be no less interesting.

Anonymous said...

What does security have to say about medical marijuana?

Doug Roberts said...

I have plans for the weekend that don't involve pouring through a couple of hundred blog posts.

Frank Young said...

Who authorized this WFO? Will it affect my bonus?
-Franky!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Mike Anastasio has been drug tested lately, but the current fear, anxiety and despair that is present at LANL must be causing the prescriptions for Prozac and Valium to be going through the roof.

Anonymous said...

I knew and worked with Frank Targhetta.

He was one of the very best procurement people that I have ever worked with in over 40 years at two government labs.

Anonymous said...

NNSA has exceeded all expections: In Fridays LA Monitor, page 3, NNSA comments on the budget they submitted to Congress showing 1300 fewer LANL employees. NNSA says 'oops' its a math error and LANL will only have 5% attrition.
Who are these clowns?
Did any of the thousands of LANS, DOE, or NNSA managers read their budget?
May I suggest starting with firing all of them?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5/8/09 7:22 PM is very wrong about Procurement. There are some very good and competent people in Procurement. I have worked with some excellent Buyers over the last 30 years.

BUT, their management is damned near the worst in the lab. The management of Procurement has put all kinds of speed bumps into the Procurement process. The latest is that no "major" procurements will be processed between the end of June and the start of the next Fiscal Year.

Anonymous said...

Procurement? Isn't that supposed to be what Bechtel is good at? If Bechtel can't do procurement, what can they do?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/9/09 8:16 AM said...

"Procurement? Isn't that supposed to be what Bechtel is good at? If Bechtel can't do procurement, what can they do?"

What Bechtel can do is earn their incentive fee. BUT, not much else!

Anonymous said...

You do understand that the 7% cuts are just the "starting Process" with the budget, there is going to be a lot of give and take before this is over. The Press makes it sound like the 7% reduction is the bottom line, wait until the Congress makes it's final cut to save the 140 million (extra) that the Obama administration has requested, then you may began to shit you drawers.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest that the 5% attrition that LANL is to experience next year might want to start at the very top?

Anonymous said...

Ponder this story as you think about the Nanos shut down and subsequent NNSA 'trips to the woodshed' back in 2005. Eight pieces of media were recently found to have not been properly marked as ACREM at ORNL:
_______________
Problems with ORNL's handling of classified media (Knoxville News, May 7th, 2009 - Frank Munger)

A federal inspection identified a number of problems and vulnerabilities in ORNL's management and protection of "accountable classified removable electronic media," such as computer hard drives and disks that can be used to store classified info.

The report was released today by the Dept. of Energy's Office of Inspector General, which noted that ORNL responded quickly to correct issues and that DOE generally concurred with the findings and recommendations.

Among other things, federal inspectors found that ORNL personnel had not properly identified eight pieces of secret/restricted data as ACREM and had not placed them into "a system of accountability." Therefore, the material was not properly controlled, even though the items were in a safe that was approved for classified material.

Anonymous said...

Heard that Burns is NOT getting the AD job and that Mike A. hates him and is making him the scape goat for all the electrical safety incidents and high visits to Occ Med over the past month ... and well the impact to Anatasio's lower bonus ...

Word?

Anonymous said...

Burns is one of the only legitimate ADs. Given that, it shouldn't surprise anyone if Anastasio picks another Bechtel dipwad or Livermore cronie for the position. I had such high hopes...

Anonymous said...

Listen Mike Burns, don't mess with my bonus!

MIKEY!

Anonymous said...

What's the real budget story? NNSA says the budget they submitted to Congress is a mistake. Will Congress give them a do-over? say too bad, we're using it as your baseline? Usually the House cuts the proposed budget and then St.Pete saves us. Pete's gone and Obama wants more overall cuts. Where does all this leave LANL?

Anonymous said...

I've been reading comments and most, lately, have been derogatory about the lab. All the managers of the last twenty years have been the targets of derogatory, insulting comments. It occurs to me that the lab may have justified its expensive, overpaid post-Manhattan project years with its spin-offs. Have there been any valuable spin-offs or has the lab been releasing lies and misrepresentations for the last twenty years (my years in New Mexico)?

Eric said...

There have been a number of spin-offs. Some supported by the Lab, some suppressed by the Lab, some ignored, some lucky, some inadvertent.

What would you like to see and how to you want to score the spin offs.

1. Starting from zero.
2. With respect to institutions of similar yearly income.
3. With respect to institutions with similar numbers of Ph.D.s
4. With respect to Powerpoint presentations in D.C.
5. With respect to gross income or gross numbers of stable jobs created.
6. With respect to New Mexico jobs created.
7. With respect to other nuclear weapons labs.
8. As a percent of expected value of the idea or technology.

Each of these metrics gives a different answer. In some LANL does decently, in others not so much.

Anonymous said...

An observation on the original NNSA budget that they now deny.
LANL budget 08 to 10 down 150 million
LANS fte cost $100,000
this computes to 1500 fte's which exactly matches the now denied 1500 fewer LANL employees by the end of fy10

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/10/09 1:59 PM writes:

"All the managers of the last twenty years have been the targets of derogatory, insulting comments."

That is BULLSHIT!

While there have been a few criticisms of Sig Hecker and John Browne, I believe that more than 95% of the LANL workforce had (still has) high respect for them as well as for their predicessors.

They worked unselfishly for the betterment of the laboratory and to assure that it served the needs of the country. They had respect of for the LANL personnel.

They were not greedy. They were paid decent, but not excessive, salaries and didn't have to have housing subsidies, sports cars, or bonuses. They did not abuse the staff or call us buttheads.

Yes, indeed we have no respect at all for those who followed Browne as director and also for most of the ADs that LANS has brought in or promoted. Our Division Leaders have been castrated. We are in a climate of fear.

Anonymous said...

I'll second that, 4:22.

While many UC-era lab managers were nothing to write home about, Brown & Hecker were as you described them: hard working and conscientious.

Our real problems started with Nanos, and, inarguably, it has been a downhill slide since then.

Anonymous said...

Pete's gone and Obama wants more overall cuts. Where does all this leave LANL? (12:38 PM)

Up a fast running, treacherous creek that starts with the name of "Sh*t". You may be able to make it to safety if you're wearing a life preserver and decide to bail out and swim to the shore line. If not, please be advised that you can now hear the rushing water of the falls that are quickly approaching. Above all, I hope you're all wearing shoes that GRIP!

Anonymous said...

Up until LANS, all the Directors and most of the PADs and ADs were proud to be part of the Los Alamos community.

The current set of carpetbaggers don't even make minor attempts to be a real part of this community. They're here for a few years to make a killing and then leave. Left behind in their wake is a shit load of problems they've helped to create.

Most of them will be heading back to the Bechtel mother ship after their two year stint at LANL is over. They have no integrity or much of a conscience. They are Bechtel's yes-men. Soul-less corporate clones; part of a sleazy, politically connected money machine.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 4:22 and 4:28. Nuclear weapons should not be a for profit business. Nor should the enterprise have LLNL managers running the show. With LANS, we got the worst of both - greedy, rotten assholes without a shred of decency among their ranks. It isn't just LANL employees who will suffer for the mismanagement. The American taxpayer will as well.

Anonymous said...

Attrition will work without coertion from LANS- Look at the numbers:
50% of the lab is fifty + years old. If you assume an even distribution between age 50 and 60, approximately 5% per year should retire over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Browne? Are you kidding? He's the one, along with Terry Hawkins, who tried (unsucessfully) to cover up Bussolini's thefts, and therefore started the whole move towards privatization. If these people had simply gotten rid of the people that they knew for years were stealing stuff, LANS would never have existed. But no, they had to try to cover it up. Why do you think the FBI had to get involved? It was because Browne and Hawkins wanted to bury the thefts.

Anonymous said...

When the next high tech job boom comes (and it will come sooner than most people expect given this government's massive stimulus policy), you're going to see a mass exodus of what's left of the best scientists at LANL. There's been lots of bad blood brewing between the research staff and the current for-profit management.

Recent Congressional reports have sounded the alarm over the damage to the intellectual integrity of the weapon labs caused by NNSA and the lack of a strong mission and secure funding, but just wait. Minor issues like the recent one with "Fogbank" are going to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

7:07 ... shut up (sn)ott.

Anonymous said...

i love it. everyone on here bitches and moans about, well, everything yet there aren't a lot of people DOING anything about it. if you truly think that you (or your group) are being treated unfairly, there are other outlets to pursue besides this blog. for example, i haven't seen anyone on this blog talk about unionizing the workers. instead, people use this as an anonymous soundboard to bark their complaints (i know, i'm one to talk). companies are now starting to hire and a mass exodus (such as 7:16 mentioned) will come. I just sometimes think it's easier for most of the posters to continue to bitch and put up with the status quo than bring about change. good luck with that strategy, let me know how it turns out.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mike Burns and his venting on ADTR staff...he is even less endeared than before after he reamed his folks new ones in a thoughtlessly mass-produced series of all-hands meetings. He described himself as "a studly guy who proudly owns corvettes". He told that he had been in Germany driving the Autobahns in a snowstorm when he got the news to come home early because his lowly employees were misbehaving unsafely. He was angry that he had to leave his work-vacation too soon so the venting upon the ADTR peons commenced. Somebody didn't get his bonus!

Anonymous said...

7:16 commented "Recent Congressional reports have sounded the alarm over the damage to the intellectual integrity of the weapon labs caused by NNSA and the lack of a strong mission and secure funding ..."


And yet they are not going to do a damn thing about NNSA, instead Mara is going to head up NNSA. Nice. Now there is a solution.

I ask, if NNSA is such a fucking disaster, why doesn't the great Obama administration just get rid of it and put the labs under just DOE again?

Anonymous said...

5/10/09 9:21 PM That is probably what will happen actually. You (who ever you are) can then by homage at the feet of the great Obama (a sight I wouldn't miss for the world). Face it, Spanky, the Democrats are well on the way to straightening out the mess Bush and the republican Congress left behind and will continue to do so until the country is bamboozled again by the repubs.

Anonymous said...

"And yet they are not going to do a damn thing about NNSA, instead Mara is going to head up NNSA. Nice. Now there is a solution." (9:21 PM)

So this is why Mara is leaving the LANS executive team on June 1st? Where did you hear this info, 9:21 PM?

Anonymous said...

5/10/09 8:10 PM

I can understand your point and
I don't think you are Mr Psycho,
the guy who went on about the "those lab workers" at the back of the church,
in the town, in his head, ... etc, who said all LANL people do is complain. Of course this is simply not true. A lot of people left, a lot of people are looking. I would also add that alot of people also tell management what the problems are. A Union would be great, I am not sure if we can do it. Can someone who knows about how to start a Union give a post on it?

Anonymous said...

"I ask, if NNSA is such a fucking disaster, why doesn't the great Obama administration just get rid of it and put the labs under just DOE again?"

For of the same reasons why NNSA was created in the first place...DOE is done trying to manage LANL.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/11/09 7:27 AM said

"A Union would be great..."

That person is a fool. Look what the unions have done to the auto industry.

Adding a union to the incompetent management would only worsen things. To some extent, we have a performance-based compensation system, at least in the scientific areas. Seniority-based systems would just protect the incompetents.

The problem is management. We need to get rid of LANS. BUT, I don't know how to do that.

Anonymous said...

i don't know, it just seems to me like the most powerful group at the lab, the lab fellows, is the least vocal. if something was initiated at that level, it might catch the eye of people who care...and i'm not just talking about management.

it seems to me like no one understands how powerful we are as a collective group. without the workers, management will not be paid. the lab will see this once a large group of people quit.

but, how many of you will just continue to put up with it and bitch on a blog? i've said this before, your homes are your bear traps. once you realize that your 60 year old denver steel isn't worth $100,000, then you will be set free.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, 12:51:

The lab fellows, a powerful group?

How is it possible to be so deluded? The fellows are a completely ineffectual self admiration society.

What planet have you been living on? The reason that the fellows are silent is because they don't have anything intelligent to say.

Ask them for a white paper, though, and 6 months later you'll have a volume of drivel that can be used (when properly crumbled up) to start a nice fire in your fireplace next winter.

Anonymous said...

The Lab Fellows were listened to by Hecker and Browne. They got castrated by Nanos and have not been the same since. I think that they are every bit as scared right now as the rest of us. In fact, being older, their outside job prospects are not too great.

Anonymous said...

The problem is management. We need to get rid of LANS. BUT, I don't know how to do that.
...by a law suit against fraud, corruption, abuse of power, mishandling of classified information against management. Such a law suit, of course, requires evidence and witnesses. None of these requirements are easy to be found at LANL.

Anonymous said...

1:06 PM is just upset b/c he's been passed over for Lab Fellow several times.

Speaking of home prices, did someone see that Aspen Apts (i.e. Gold Street) are for sale for $1.8M? talk about a shitty deal! And since someone brought it up, your mobile home isn't worth $100,000 either.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Lab Fellow, in general, Lab Fellow is more selective than many of the professional societies, APS in particular.

Anonymous said...

1:06 PM sounds like the LANL loser Kiplinger who can't even support her postdocs or get proposals out of the shoots. Latest word from my LDRD contact is that she is whining because two of the three submitted proposals she was leading this year won't even be considered. Maybe she should just come up with better ideas or simply leave LANL?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of unionizing. Think of the power of the threat of a LANL strike! I remember how much the nation suffered during the Nanos half-year shutdown.
Be realistic, if anyone gets to see the LANL salaries and compares them to the lab output the place will be laughed out of existence. Think of Bell Labs, a real and productive lab, without a history of embarrassing incompetence. Where is it now?

Anonymous said...

Bell Labs? It's a mere shadow of its former glory... Kind of like LANL.

Next stupid analogy?

Anonymous said...

"it seems to me like no one understands how powerful we are as a collective group. without the workers, management will not be paid. the lab will see this once a large group of people quit."

Ha! under the LANS contract they get paid the same if there are 7000 workers or 7. Productivity isn't important, only compliance which is easier with nobody doing anything.

Anonymous said...

The Bell labs analogy was not stupid. The point that 727 made was that if a great institution like Bell labs couldn't make it, then an analogous institution with more problems would probably not make it.

Anonymous said...

7:20 - bingo! couldn't have said it better myself. when is someone - aside from C-Div - just going to pull the string on this LANL disaster? Wallace? Seestrum? Mikey?

Anonymous said...

Your just mad cuz she's smarter than you, 10:02.

Anonymous said...

"Think of Bell Labs, a real and productive lab, without a history of embarrassing incompetence."

Nope

Bell Labs had the greatest fraud in the history of physics.

"Jan Henrick Schon"
Jan Henrik Schön (pictured on the left), a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, had five papers published in Nature and seven in the journal Science between 1998 and 2001, dealing with advanced aspects of electronics. The discoveries were abstruse, but he was seen by many of his peers as a rising star.

In 2002, a committee found that he had made up his results on at least 16 occasions, resulting in the public embarrassment of his colleagues, his employer, and the editorial staffs of both the journals that accepted his results.

Anonymous said...

10:02 PM and 7:20 PM, would you two please go masturbate somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

It is sad that after many years of decline at LANL, the same tired, old ideas are trotted out once again: "Let's start a union", "Maybe the Fellows can help save us out", "Let's expose illegal stuff to get rid of LANS",etc.

Congress no longer values the product that LANL produces. That's the bottom line. The lab's lot became clear once Bechtel (a construction company, for God's sakes!) was allowed to take over the lab for a healthy and mostly risk-free annual profit. Here's the lab's future if you still haven't figured it out: Cleanup, Construction, and CSEs (i.e., facilities management).

Science will take a back seat because it is too expensive to have TSM researchers at LANL who cost almost $500K due to the extreme overhead. The science at LANL will slowly rot away as LANL researchers are put under the stress of trying to fund their work at these costly levels. Only a hand-full of scientists will make it through this mess and these will be the ones largely supported and hand-picked by the LDRD process. Most of the other science will fall by the wayside. LANS PR machine will hype any of the remaining science that gets done to make it look the lab's output of research is still relevant and productive. The recent budget wipe-out of LANSCE-R funding is a sign post. It is telling you something important about how Congress feels in regards to the NNSA labs. No one is paying attention to any of the recent reports on the severe decline of the NNSA research labs.

For next year, LANS and NNSA will want to get rid of 5% of the staff, hopefully by attrition. The year after that they may need to aim for 10% staffing reductions due to upcoming declines in the weapons budget which everyone knows will be heading LANL's way.

There will be no revival of science at LANL. There will be no effective diversification process to cover for the weapon budget reductions. Empty rhetoric from both LANS and NNSA is all that you will get. The glory days are clearly over. Any other take on this situation smells of denial.

On the bright side, houses are finally selling again and the DOE energy labs are all due for big funding windfalls and healthy growth over the next decade. There is hope outside of the declining NNSA weapon labs. Consider your options carefully if you have good scientific skills.

Anonymous said...

"It is sad that after many years of decline at LANL, the same tired, old ideas are trotted out once again: "Let's start a union", "Maybe the Fellows can help save us out", "Let's expose illegal stuff to get rid of LANS",etc."

Well, it's better than acting like a pimple-faced 26 year old blogging in mom's basement. As I see it, this "blogging community" is faced with one of two options: either stfu and gbtw, or get off your whiny ass and bring about change. Whining and complaining is getting you nowhere and it's getting old, very, very old. How long has this bitchfest been going on? 5 years? Give it up, it's not working.

If the scientists on this blog honestly care as much as they say they do, then they would do something. Instead, everyone just sits with their thumb up their ass while all of these draconian policies are being implemented, management has a revolving door with administrators who could give two shits about LANL, and the "best and brightest" are fleeing as fast as they can.

Anonymous said...

12:52 pm, and whining about the whining never goes out of style, either.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/12/09 12:52 PM writes: ..
"...If the scientists on this blog honestly care as much as they say they do, then they would do something..."

We are open to reasonable suggestions. Believe me if the solution was obvious, we would be working on it.

It's easy to say "get rid of LANS," but it's not so easy to do so.

Anonymous said...

5/12/09 5:13 PM ... It's easy to say "get rid of LANS," but it's not so easy to do so.

tell me about it. i have two words: Doc Aq.

Anonymous said...

Re: getting rid of LANS.

Every annual Performance Evaluation Plan has some performance threshold, below which NNSA automatically has the right to re-compete the contract.

So...

Now we just need to know which are the critical PBI's.

Anonymous said...

5/12/09 12:52 PM

Mentioned numerous times on this blog:
.) a small fraction of LANL employees read this blog
.) an even smaller fraction of LANL employees comment on this blog
.) not all LANL employees are scientists
.) many non-LANL related folks whine on this blog
.) many LANL scientists have left LANL and neither read nor comment on this blog

Anonymous said...

Your just mad cuz she's smarter than you, 10:02.

5/11/09 10:22 PM

Not exactly, but she has been taken care of this week.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, learn the words buh-bye!

Anonymous said...

Please elaborate, 7:50.

Anonymous said...

Your just mad cuz she's smarter than you, 10:02.

5/11/09 10:22 PM

Not exactly, but she has been taken care of this week.

5/14/09 7:50 PM

BS

Anonymous said...

9:50 PM, you know nothing ...

Anonymous said...

"9:50 PM, you know nothing ...

5/17/09 12:13 AM"

More than you on this.