May 29, 2009

Comment of the Week

This week the LTRS COW honors the three year anniversary of LANS, LLC having taken over the LANL contract. So I thought it would be fun to read through the blog to see what festivities LANL staff are planning to help celebrate this event. Here are two comments that I found on the Better Way To Spend $2 Billion The Albuquerque Jo...post, which split the COW honors this week.

Perhaps I'll throw my shoe at a senior manager to express my appreciation.

followed by

Just make sure that it's a shoe that GRIPS!

We would also like to award a "special mention" honor to a comment in this same theme from the From Pyongyang to Tehran, with nukes Tue, 05/26/2.. post:

Can anyone at LANL imagine our current Director, Mike Anastsio, ever having the same stature and prestige as Sig Hecker? Those were the days!

I miss having the likes of men like Sig running our lab. Things started to go rapidly downhill with the Nanos era and got much worse under LANS. Sig is forthright and bold in his words and told the Senate that LANL has become more like a prison than a world class research institute while under the direction of a for-profit LLC and a extremely risk adverse NNSA. As usual for Sig, his analysis of the condition of the NNSA labs was right on the mark.


On that note, happy 3rd anniversary, LANL!

--Doug

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nanos is starting to sound pretty good in hindsight!

Anonymous said...

If Mike Anastasio had an ounce of integrity left within his bones, he would look around at the decline in expertise at LANL and then refuse to sign the yearly readiness form that indicates the nation's nuclear stockpile is in good order.

However, he has no integrity. His big, for-profit paycheck is based on NNSA annual evaluations of the lab's management contract. The NNSA would not like it if the Director told the truth about what's happening to the scientific expertise that supports this nation's stockpile stewardship (as Sig Hecker has recently done).

When NNSA's Tom D'Agostino decided to let the lab management contract be directed away from non-profits toward the likes of Bechtel, he created an ugly situation where executive leadership at the weapon labs will be unlikely to ever say anything that NNSA does not want to hear.

There is no "honest broker" left within this system. Some outside reports have sounded the alarm, but they are largely ignore by Congress. The once powerful and honest Directors of this nation's weapon research labs have become little more than NNSA's sock puppets.

Anonymous said...

Those black loafers don't look GRIPPY enough. They'll never pass LANS upcoming weekly shoe wear inspections.

Anonymous said...

"Nanos is starting to sound pretty good in hindsight!"

No he's not.

Anonymous said...

Bottled water is gone. Toilet paper is next!

Anonymous said...

And, you will purchase your single piece of toilet paper as you enter the pay toilet.

Don't forget the coming parking meters.

Anonymous said...

Toilet? What toilet? We're down to one working toilet in the men's room. The others have been out of service for weeks now. At least the maintenance service had the courtesy to cordon them off with police tape. Unfortunately, the police tape doesn't keep the smell in.

Anonymous said...

Police tape? You have police tape? We had to cordon off our crapper with with bits of old string and woven pine needle strands!

Anonymous said...

Has anybody considered crapping in the GL's wastebasket when the toilets are out of order?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Russian newspaper Pravda. It calls all Americans "Sheeple". Are Russians reading this blog?

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-1/

Anonymous said...

how about upper deckers?

Anonymous said...

5:45 pm: "Has anybody considered crapping in the GL's wastebasket when the toilets are out of order?"

Yes! That will absolutely work! Not only will the toilets get immediately fixed, but the GL will be so appreciative of your initiative that he'll provide an immediate reward! Your career will flourish! Go for it!

Anonymous said...

You credit GL's with far more power over facility maintenance than they actually have.

Anonymous said...

OK! then if the GL cannot affect facility maintenance, then crap in the DLs waste basket.

Does anybody know how to get into Mikey's office after hours? I have a deposit to make.

Anonymous said...

The amount of BS coming out of LANS is so high these days that I doubt anyone would smell your "deposit", 8:20 AM. This is particularly true of the Director's Office.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/30/09 12:32 PM:

:The amount of BS coming out of LANS is so high these days that I doubt anyone would smell your "deposit", 8:20 AM. This is particularly true of the Director's Office.:

This person speaks the truth!

But, nobody at NNSA or the Congress
gives a damn!

Anonymous said...

The man who was just caught in a lie about W-76 delivers to the Navy is the same fellow who also lied when he selected LANS as the "best candidate" for the LANL RFP.

Perhaps D'Ag should spend some quality time hooked up to a lie detector. What other lies has he been telling?

Anonymous said...

NNSA has recently announced that they need to see at least 5% of the employees at LANL leave over this next year. This would equal slightly under 500 employees, putting it almost on par with the recent SSP voluntary RIF. LANS upper management is on board and seems very eager to help NNSA reach this new goal.

Given the state of lab morale and increasingly poor outlook for LANL's budget in outlying years, I think they'll make this goal with few problems. Maybe they should follow up by aiming for a more ambitious 10% attrition in FY2011. Aim higher, boys. Heckavajob!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading on Doug's blog about all the dire predictions how things would unfold once LAN LLC took control of LANL. Many of these comments came from people who had observed the same profit based management destroy other DOE/NNSA labs (i.e., Savannah Research Lab).

Tomorrow marks the 3rd anniversary of LANS management. It's not a time for celebration. Those dire prediction? Sadly, they were right.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of good jobs out there if you've got the right technical talents. It doesn't sound like they are implementing any 'Work Free Safety Zones' or 5% attrition rate policies at these places:


- Contractors vie for plum work, hacking for the U.S. -

May 30, 2009 4:11 PM PDT, NY Times

MELBOURNE, Fla.--The government's urgent push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts.

The exotic nature of the work, coupled with the deep recession, is enabling the companies to attract top young talent that once would have gone to Silicon Valley. And the race to develop weapons that defend against, or initiate, computer attacks has given rise to thousands of "hacker soldiers" within the Pentagon who can blend the new capabilities into the nation's war planning.

Nearly all of the largest military companies--including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon--have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.

The companies have been moving quickly to lock up the relatively small number of experts with the training and creativity to block the attacks and design countermeasures. They have been buying smaller firms, financing academic research, and running advertisements for "cyberninjas" at a time when other industries are shedding workers.

The changes are manifesting themselves in highly classified laboratories, where computer geeks in their 20s like to joke that they are hackers with security clearances.

At a Raytheon facility here south of the Kennedy Space Center, a hub of innovation in an earlier era, rock music blares and empty cans of Mountain Dew pile up as engineers create tools to protect the Pentagon's computers and crack into the networks of countries that could become adversaries. Prizes like cappuccino machines and stacks of cash spur them on, and a gong heralds each major breakthrough.

The young engineers represent the new face of a war that President Obama described Friday as "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation." The president said he would appoint a senior White House official to oversee the nation's cybersecurity strategies.

news.cnet.com/Contractors-vie-for-plum-work
%2C-hacking-for-the-U.S./
2100-1029_3-6249723.html?tag=
newsLatestHeadlinesArea.0

Anonymous said...

They will indeed reach the 5% reduction number this FY, and may reach 7-8%. But it will not be the ones that need to go. The over 55 bunch will hang in there, the ones who leave will be the "vital talent" that LANS needs so badly.

Anonymous said...

5:58 pm: "The over 55 bunch will hang in there, the ones who leave will be the "vital talent" that LANS needs so badly."

Over 55 = experienced, well paid, capable of getting the job done.

"Vital talent" = young, inexperienced, lower paid, no loyalty to the employer.

You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

ADTR whacked a poor schlob who was following orders. They hung him out to dry on a safety infraction and ruined his career.

Anonymous said...

Details please, 8:21.

Anonymous said...

Dear, 8:21pm:

I suspect that I speak for anyone else who reads your comment: What the hell are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who 8:21 PM is talking about in TR, but from the looks of the data given in Terry Wallace's last All-Hands briefing, it's clear that LANS is firing quite a few scientists in his directorate.

Not surprising, though, as Wallace said LANS will not be paying out severance ever again like they did for the SSP (it cost the LANL operating budget $55 M).

You may think you have severance coverage, but good luck ever seeing a penny of it. From this point onward, LANS wants people to either (a) leave LANL voluntarily -- this is were the low morale is helpful to them -- or, (b) be fired for cause.

They'll use only those two means to meet the newly mandated NNSA 5% attrition rate for next year. Your severance has effectively been terminated. There will be no involuntary layoffs in the future. It's too expensive and they've figured out cheaper ways to meet their goals.

Anonymous said...

ADTR whacked a poor schlob who was following orders. They hung him out to dry on a safety infraction and ruined his career.

5/31/09 8:21 PM

And how is this a new way of doing business at LANL? Remember Jaime Tournear?

Anonymous said...

"5:58 pm: "The over 55 bunch will hang in there, the ones who leave will be the "vital talent" that LANS needs so badly."

Over 55 = experienced, well paid, capable of getting the job done.

"Vital talent" = young, inexperienced, lower paid, no loyalty to the employer.

You get what you pay for.

5/31/09 8:15 PM"

You failed the math test.

The reality is that some people over 55 are hard working and very valuable as you say. Others not so much, is the best way to put it.
Of course the same is true for people under 55. How about we just drop the whole age thing.

Anonymous said...

"And how is this a new way of doing business at LANL? Remember Jaime Tournear?"

you mean the bulimic wonder that was so sick from aqua regia exposure but somehow managed to get on a flight back to the northeast and stay for 3 days without a problem? if you are as sick as she claimed, then you wouldn't get on that plane. that girl had a reputation even in grad school...

Anonymous said...

"The over 55 bunch will hang in there, the ones who leave will be the "vital talent" that LANS needs so badly."

true statement. by chasing off the young and talented, the LANS is killing the lab. scientists at LANL need to come to grips with the fact that their research ideas are (at least) 20 years old. But who will LANL hire? the PDs are just as poor as the remaining staff members.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6/1/09 12:23 PM writes:

"...the PDs are just as poor as the remaining staff members."

How true. The smarter PDs go to good places!

Anonymous said...

To 6/1/09 11:53 AM: I know Jaime and she is a decent young lady married to a brilliant young scientist. The Lab lost two of their best and brightest when she got canned and her husband left to go to DARPA. I would have rather seen Jaime Tournear's former boss Kiplinger be ousted, but my sources say that is going to happen soon so there is justice but we lost some great talent with the Tournear couple.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 2:42 PM, like The University of Pennsylvania!

Anonymous said...

11:53 AM, care to tell the official Cornell version of why Tournear left with her PhD after only 3 years? I'm just curious because I've read a lot of her old emails that were not sanitized off her LANL computer when she was fired, and I'm sure the real story isn't one that the chemistry department wants to make public.

Oh yeah, Tournear's hubby likes to call her "Peach." I throw that one in so she and Derek know I am not making this up.

Anonymous said...

5:31 PM, you might hold your enthusiasm a bit to try and hide your identity and the fact that your proposed research portfolio stems from LANL programs that you think you can just duplicate. Well, you have thanks to the ineptness of the academic community wrt national laboratory research. good luck, buddy ... and to your but buddy.

Anonymous said...

hey, there is blatant favoritism being played on this blog. important facts are not being allowed to be released.

Doug Roberts said...

Not at all, 7:27. We're just waiting for Frank to decide if some the the more recent low-life anonymous character assassination posts will be approved.

Or not.

Reading them, it makes me wonder how some of you sleep at night. In the mean time, please feel free to continue festering away in that stew of, well, "low-lifeness" you've chosen to muck about in.

Anonymous said...

Doug - I would hope that Frank would rule in favor of censoring personal attacks, and against censoring political statements. Civility and free speech are not incompatible.

Anonymous said...

LANS didn't bother to mention the 3rd year anniversary on today's LANL web pages. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

"Stems from"? I think the word you're looking for is "duplicates", 7:09.

Anonymous said...

7:04 pm. ironically, i never went to cornell but i interacted a lot with people who did. somehow she came up in conversation and they told me "stories". YES, YOUR REPUTATION EXTENDS THAT FAR JAIME! I would post them but jaime (and her husband) is too stupid to realize that when you google her name, this blog pops up with all of her garbage for all the world to read. Some advice: STOP posting your name on this blog. Paul and Jackie aren't ruining your career, YOU ARE!

Anonymous said...

8:56 AM, who is Paul?

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the infamous unsanitized Tournear emails where Peach and hubbie were scheming to make some $$ off the aqua regia incident---- so I heard from the rumormill.

LANL is indeed sad to lose the best and brightest.

Anonymous said...

You know, there is been something I've wondered about for a while regarding the "Doc Aq" incident:

Which gay guy was it that "stole" the 'non-gay' guy from whose wife? Or was it the other way around, and were the gay people involved of the female persuasion?

Unlike a soap opera, you can't watch the reruns to remind yourself why it is that this or the other person is pissed at whomever else...

It so so vexing to not know who the players really are.

Anonymous said...

To 8:33. The two "gay" guys and the "stole[n]" wife all left about 6-10 years ago. Fun soap opera while it lasted. Nothing especially to do with Doc Aq, although it was the same group.

Doc Aq did get into a pissing match with the guy whose wife was "stole[n]" but it was not related to the above fun.

I do know all of the players and their names and they were and are all friends of mine, but their names are not relevant to anything going on at LANL now.

Frank Young said...

That's enough, people. Someone's sex life is off topic here.

Frank Young said...

Unless it involves a senior manager and an inflatable sheep, that is.

Doug Roberts said...

Baaaad Frank. Baaaaaaad.

But curiously intriguing.

Anonymous said...

No sex? How about pics of "Miss Atom 2009"?

http://www.mosnews.com/gallery/288.phtml

SFW

Anonymous said...

Hotsky!

Anonymous said...

People get a fuckin' life!

Anonymous said...

Yet more evidence that this blog is stupid and irrelevent. Even the blog owner(s) are just goofing around. Nobody here cares either way about LANL. So be it. Shut it down while your reputations are still (sort of) intact. This blog is really insulting and embarrassing to people who really care about LANL. Those who don't, don't need this blog for any sane reason.

Doug Roberts said...

A bit of personal advice, 9:59.

Or at least as personal as one can get with an anonymous, er, coward.

Attempt the anatomically impossible: grow a sense of humor.

Failing that, grow a spine! Engage Frank and me as equal, named participants of the debate.

Failing that, maybe you could just go away.

Please.

Anonymous said...

Details please, 8:21.

5/31/09 9:31 PM
------------------
He was an IAT staffer. Got clobbered real good by IAT managers who are already being sued by other former employees. Whats up with that?

Did hear that ADTR's Burns bitched to them about being "a studly guy with a corvette", and that he "could drive the Bavarian autobahns in a snowstorm with the best of them". What has that got to do with anything, except he "didn't get his bonus".

Anonymous said...

Heard that Mike Burns and ADTR will be evaluated by hired consultants who will be checking into electrical safety in ADTR. This is in parallel with the Lab's electrical safety program. Following that will be a several rounds of electrical safety investigations by peer laboratories, by NNSA and finally by DOE. Hearkens back to the old Tiger Team days.

Compliance is the game with LANS these days. Never mind doing any useful work.

By the way, have you noticed all the potholes everywhere around Lab property; on the roads, in the parking lots and even on the sidewalks. Some are huge! Could probably distribute the debris from the old Ad Bldg around filling those holes with no net waste going to the landfill. OK now where's my Spot Award.

Anonymous said...

8:01PM.

What the hell are you talking about?