Jun 21, 2009

Comment of the Week

I shouldn't be, but I am frequently astonished by certain, how shall we put this ... narrow-minded perspectives to which some people choose to limit themselves. Accordingly, this week's prize is awarded to a triplet of contributions that came in to the Committee Strengthens the Stockpile Stewardship Program post. The first one demonstrates the narrow perspective, in the sense that I classify conservative, Christian, right-wing flag-wavers as possessed of a certain narrow-mindedness. This is a good thing, however, because without it we would not have had the pleasure of reading the second two points of view.

Here we go. I hope most of you enjoy the contrast in perspectives as much as I did.


Long live the military-industrial complex!

6/20/09 10:00 AM

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex that you so happily berate, you wouldn't be posting on this blog as there would be no internet. The internet evolved from a DOD sponsored DARPA project back in the 70s to have a highly redundant communication system that could route its way around nuclear attacks.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, you probably wouldn't even be typing on a home computer. Computers evolved back in the 1940s and 50s from the US military's needs to have fast "calculating machines" that could compute artillery trajectories.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, the mutually assured destruction (MAD) standoff would never have occurred and the US would likely have been treated to a devastating WWIII sometime during the last 60 years.

If it wasn't for the military industrial complex, there would be little protecting your freedoms as a American citizen to vote and to have freedom of speech.

You owe the US military and its military industrial complex far more than you'll ever know. God bless the military industrial complex. It has done many good things for America and the world.


Rubbish, 12:51. Al Gore invented the internet; everybody knows that. It's just a bunch of tubes, anyhow -- even George Bush knows that.

Now, go count your guns or listen to Rush Limbaugh or something and quit bothering us with your right-wing blather.


12:51 does present a broad target, as a

Flag-waving, God-fearing Right-winger.

After you've unwrapped yourself from the flag, 12:51, be sure to go to church tomorrow and ask that all-knowing, all-powerful righteous Christian God of yours to bless America. Or at least the American military industrial complex. Maybe he'll accommodate you since he's probably got nothing better to do. I mean after all he's just been sitting around twiddling his thumbs since he finished creating the world & everything 6,000 years ago.




Anonymous said...

Stripped of its fundementalist sounding wrapper, COW-1 is correct.

Science funding went way up after WWII, and this led to many inventions in many fields. It also led to the modern federally-funded research university. The universities existed, but they were turbocharged with federal cash.

This probably could have been done with direct, non-military federal funding. However, such funding would not have been approved by Congress without using national defense as a cover story. The federal highway system would be another example of military-cover for civilian investment.

Also, the world-wide death rate from warfare dropped precipitously in the nuclear era. Cause and effect can be debated, but the correlation of lower death rates from war and nuclear weapons is unambiguous.

COW-1 sound like a dick. Doug and COW-2 come across a bit sanctimonious, as well.

Anonymous said...

You're in good company then, 12:00, because you sound like a bit of a judgmental dick yourself.

Anonymous said...

You caught me 12:27, I am a dick. In fact, I literally typed this blog comment with my penis.

However, I did at least lay out an argument in a manner that is capable of being verified or disputed in a dialog.

Anonymous said...

It didn't sound to me like anyone was arguing that war, and the resultant military industrial complex had not produced new technology.

It did sound like the God-fearing flag-wrapped presentation was being ridiculed, as (IMO) is only appropriate.

Hey, but in a country were 47 percent of the voting population voted for Creationist Christian Sarah Palin, is there any real hope that things will get better any time soon?

Let the Bible Thumping proceed!

John said...

I'm way left of the democratic party on just about every single issue. I only vote democrat bec the greens, the socialists, and the communists aren't politically viable and we don't have instant run-off.

However, I would like to say that this thread doesn't reflect well on liberals. To me, neither COW-1 nor 12:00 PM, sound like dicks. They sound rational and reasonable. However, there do exist nutjob right wingers who can't be reasoned with (there are some on the left too). These two are not them; treating them as such makes them so much less likely to ever change their minds.

Let's work to make this blog a place where thoughtful discussion actually has the potential to change each other's minds instead of a place where nastiness merely entrenches partisan prejudices. That is its history; it should be its future as well. Trolls can be ignored; good discussion shouldn't be.

Anonymous said...

Mentioning "God" (only once in COW-1), "flag" (never even mentioned in COW-1) and love of country and our US military are considered "bad things"? From the looks of it, this country really has really fallen apart if this be the case.

COW-1 states mostly facts, while COW-2 and COW-3 state nothing but vindictive opinions and hasty judgements about some anonymous blogger who they don't know.

I'll go with COW-1, even though the "God bless" phrase may be over the top and obviously irritates the heathens who would have the phrase banned from the English language. Come to think of it, exactly which God was COW-1 talking about? It was never clearly stated, was it?

Anonymous said...

Both COW-2 and COW-3 sound like one and the same person. I suspect he's the poster who hangs out frequently at this blog blasting any person who has the least bit of criticism of Obama and he also seems to hate LANL and anything to do with the military.

Don't feed him. He's a troll. Probably hangs out with the LASG anti-nuke crowd.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry- everything and anything that happens is surely God's will- "I just know it in my gut." To question is unpatriotic! God will take care of everything including the awful liberals who are responsible for the mess that the US is in at present. I can hardly wait for the Rapture!

Anonymous said...

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex

Anonymous said...


Excellent suggestion. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that holders of fundamentalist-based ideology cannot be engaged on a thoughtful basis, as you so reasonably suggest.


BTW, since were on the subject of fundamentalist, faith-based orientations, there was a brief period in LANL's history when a Mormon cabal made a power grab here. They were pretty damn successful there for a while, too, when one of their own became Deputy Director.

The rest of us woke up one morning and suddenly realized that a large fraction of the management structure at LANL were Mormons. It only lasted for about 5 - 8 years though.

Eventually (about a million years from now) people will realize that religious ideology and the workplace don't mix.

And speaking of which, I cannot express how glad I am that we no longer have an idiot Christian Ideologue leading White House prayer sessions on the taxpayer's dime.

Eric said...

In support of John et al.

The quote that seems appropriate, from Jeff Foxworthy,

"We've got to stop letting the dumbest among us get on TV."

At the moment, I seem to be in the middle of the conservative/progressive set of world views.

I started counting. I know as many conservative ideologues as I know liberal ideologues. It appears that the liberal ideologues are more set in their world view that the conservative ones are but my sample size is small and my methods of evaluation are informal.

On the other hand, the large majority of the people that I know, whether in Los Alamos or elsewhere, are thoughtful caring people open to discussion and change of their beliefs if you just treat them with respect and explain your viewpoint well.

Intolerant ideologues, on the left or right are a tiny minority, but may appear to be more numerous if your opening remark to them is perceived as an attack.

Just a thought for today.

Anonymous said...

"Life is complicated. The reason we have democracy is that no one side is right all the time. The only people who are dangerous are those who can’t admit, even to themselves, that obvious fact."

David Brooks (journalist)

Anonymous said...

"We've got to stop letting the dumbest among us get on TV."

Agreed, but first we need to stop re-electing them.

Anonymous said...

The Christian Right is nothing less than the new Fascism, wrapped in a flag just as the Nazis were.

Anonymous said...

12:00 here. Don't jump to conclusions. For example, I am a non-religious democrat, not a republican or a christian.

Anonymous said...

9:51, the same could be said about the socialist extreme left.

Anonymous said...

This COW post is nothing but a distraction and time is running out. Distractions are a luxury the employees at LANL can ill afford.

Let's get back on track to the main subject of this blog, namely, the future of LANL:

Report: U.S. Losing Leadership In 21st Century Science And Technology

Posted by Staff on May 28, 2009

By Michael Combier-Talk Radio News Service

The United States is facing the risk of losing ground on the science and technology field if no adequate funding are given to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and to the laboratories, according to a report by the Stimson Center’s Task Force. Entitled “Leveraging the Nuclear Weapons Laboratories for 21st Century Security”, the report shows that a more successful cooperation needs to be sought between bureaucratic entities and the laboratories dealing with nuclear technology.

“If the entities that are intended to make strategic investments have to stand in line, you are not going to get where you need to go,” said Dr.Elizabeth Turpen, co-Director of the Cooperative Nonproliferation Program at the Stimson Center.

But, Turpen said, this collaboration can not occur while significant declines in the Defense Department funding limit growth.

“The relationship between the Department of Energy (DoE), NNSA and the labs is pretty fractured, if not completely broken… Laboratories definitely feel like they are not part of the decision making progress” and that will “impact their future,” said Turpen.

The lack of funding will ultimately result in the “potential for cascading unintended consequences to the detriment of U.S. national security,” Turpen said.

The report proposed the establishment of a “new and fully autonomous agency with multiple financial sponsors to provide broad national security, science and technology mechanisms and oversight to achieve the envisioned transformation,” which will make the agency less a victim of bureaucratic authority and having a more direct link with the laboratories.


Anonymous said...

"The Christian Right is nothing less than the new Fascism, wrapped in a flag just as the Nazis were.

6/21/09 9:51 PM"

Don't worry the Christian right and
other religious beliefs are not the wave of the future. I think you will see this mode of thought gradually decline over time as humanity advances.

Anonymous said...

President Eisenhower was wrong when he said the greatest threat to our democracy was the power and influence of a growing military-industrial complex. The real threat is the stupidity of an electorate that can't perceive it.

Anonymous said...

“The relationship between the Department of Energy (DoE), NNSA and the labs is pretty fractured, if not completely broken… Laboratories definitely feel like they are not part of the decision making progress” and that will “impact their future,” said Turpen.

-- How very true. Still, nothing much seems to be done about it.


The lack of funding will ultimately result in the “potential for cascading unintended consequences to the detriment of U.S. national security,” Turpen said.

-- From what I can see, the downhill "cascade" has already begun. We're past the tipping point at LANL. I'm not sure that the decline at the NNSA labs can be turned back at this point. The problems caused by a risk adverse management, extremely high costs and poor morale are only growing at the NNSA labs under LANS. With each passing year, the problems sited by the Stimson Center report only seem to worsen.

Anonymous said...

To give a little different perspective on the origin of the Internet than the one presented here, my recollection is that ARPAnet largely grew out of an incident that happened on the University of Wisconsin campus in the early 70s. During the Vietnam war protests, a group of radicals in Madison blew up an Army mathematics research center and the physics building with a very powerful truck bomb. At the same time, the DOD was planning on building the world's first vector machine (Illiac 4) on the University of Illinois campus. After the Madison incident (which killed a grad student) the DOD decided that a facility of this size was too tempting a target to put on a University campus. They decided to build it on a military base instead and link it to the University of Illinois through what became ARPAnet. In a rather perverse way the political turmoil of the 60s/70s had as much to do with the internet as the DOD or Al Gore did.

Anonymous said...

You know, now that Doug points it out, "God bless the military industrial complex" sure does sound awfully American Christian churchy conservative. At best it illustrates a mind set that is parochial; at worst it reflects a biggoted, narrow-minded world view.

Since we're on the topic, we might as well just credit religion for all our technological advances. Because religion causes war, and war gave birth to the military industrial complex, which produced more efficient war technologies, which sometimes created civilian spinoffs.

Anonymous said...

"The real threat is the stupidity of [the] electorate..."

...as the result of our last presidential elections has amply demonstrated.

Anonymous said...

"This COW post is nothing but a distraction and time is running out. Distractions are a luxury the employees at LANL can ill afford.

Let's get back on track to the main subject of this blog, namely, the future of LANL:"

By all means. Lets get back to the whining 15-25 post that are suppose to represent the thousands of LANL employees.

Just what is so damn great about these whining post that we need to return to them?

Anonymous said...

Frank, can you post, "Obama´s Arms Control Ideas Unrealistic," by Robert Maginnis, 06/22/2009, http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32389, and "Energy Department targets Cold War-era nuclear weapons production sites for cleanup projects," By Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 06/20/09 7:00 PM EDT, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/economy/ap/48687307.html.

Anonymous said...

Damn right, 5:46!

Religious bigotry in the workplace is a much better use of our time!


The sheeple at LANL have pissed away every chance they had to oppose NNSA's plans. Early on, organized opposition might have made a difference.

[Sotto Voce: "Ooohhhh. Maybe if we write a Fellow's White Paper everything will be all ok again."]

But now, it is just a few whiners and complainers. The religious bigotry thread has actually been a refreshing diversion.

So, God bless the NNSA! God bless Mikey and his snazzy leased sports car! And God bless the sheeple of Los Alamos!

How's that for some right wing rhetoric?

Ok, 'nuff fun. You all may resume your whining and whimpering now. Mickey and his Bechtel buddies are laughing at you. Not *with* you. *At* you.

Anonymous said...


Maybe you should quit picking on the poor people of Los Alamos. I mean, sure, they were/are/will always be cowards, but the reality is that LANL has outlived its usefulness.

When NNSA took over (by proxy, via their hand-picked contractor) LANL was old and decrepit, kind of like the staff who worked there. Its mission had faded into insignificance as well.

NNSA was hoping for a few more years of wet-dream plutonium operations, but Bush lost. There is a lot of inertia in the system, but you should realize that it has now turned towards shutting LANL completely down, rather than growing its weapons budget.

There will be years more for LANL to exist, but has been repeated observed here, the work will shift increasingly towards environmental remediation. Did nobody at Los Alamos learn anything from watching how Rocky Flats eventually got totally shut down? It's going to happen here too.

While it would have been more noble if the rank and file at Los Alamos had stood up to Nanos, and D'Agostino, Foley, and that other fat fuck Navy Admiral from NNSA, Lynton Brooks, it did not happen that way.

Let it go. LANL is history.

Anonymous said...

"Let it go. LANL is history."

Bu..bu..but we're not 'C students'!

Anonymous said...

Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Taliban/AQ will continue to be a nuclear threat towards US, therefore the continuation of US nuclear deterrence, the nuclear triad, and its nuclear umbrella, as well as the need for moving forward on missile defense, the continuation of the nuclear weapons complex, e.g. LANL et al.

PS: 6/22/09 7:17 PM, America is not your enemy, no, the known adversaries of US are: Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Taliban/AQ.

PPS: Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff, USAF, defends US nuclear deterrence and the nuclear triad at Heritage Foundation, June 11, 2009, http://www.heritage.org/press/events/ev061109a.cfm, as well as in Congress, and as Chief of Staff, USAF, the directors of LANL, LLNL, SNL, and Tom D´Agostino (NNSA) could also seek collaboration with the Heritage Foundation, especially with Baker Spring, James Carafano, and Mackenzie Eaglen as catalysts for the future of the nuclear weapons complex.

Anonymous said...

"Bu..bu..but we're not 'C students'!

6/22/09 7:28 PM"

Bu..bu..but you are an idiot!

Sorry but try thinking about what you keep saying over and over. Once you realize that it makes no sense than come back and post. Think, come on you can do it. Think!

Anonymous said...

"Let it go. LANL is history." - 7:17 PM

You can see this attitude gaining a strong foot hold with many of the employees at LANL. They are totally burned out at this point and just don't care any longer. They've decided to give up and ride this mess out to the bitter end.

Can you blame them when LANS plasters stupid "in your face" slogans like "Wear shoes the GRIP" all over LANL? Sheeze, LANS, the summer solstice is here. Winter is long gone. I've come to the conclusion that LANS must be leaving up these stupid slogans just to piss off employees in the hope that they'll get a nice boost in the attrition rate.

Anonymous said...

It never fails to amaze me how the party of the tolerant, open minded, free thinking, logical left wing tends to be the most intolerant and vitriolic group of people around.

I am not associated with either the right or the left as a political philosophy. I am an independent, leaning right on some issues and left on others. It depends on the issue. It is just an observation, and quite astounding given the stated philosophical nature of the left.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6/22/09 10:35 PM writes:

"It never fails to amaze me how the party of the tolerant, open minded, free thinking, logical left wing tends to be the most intolerant and vitriolic group of people around."

Truer words have not been spoken.

Anonymous said...

Well, then: GOD BLESS all of the left wingers, as well as the military industrial complex. GOD BLESS them, one and all!

Shoot, as long as we're at it, GOD BLESS the bloggers too! I'm sure God cares about us as well. Except maybe not the Catholic God. But I'm pretty sure the Protestant God cares about bloggers and the military industrial complex. And America, of course.

Anonymous said...

6:55 here again. I almost forgot: GOD BLESS the NNSA too. I know they're part of the US military industrial complex, but I didn't want God to inadvertently leave them out. That's BOTH the Catholic God and the Protestant one who should be blessing the NNSA.

But not that funny Arab God. No sir. Not him. He's not like us.

Anonymous said...


You have it all wrong. It should be "GOD BLESS the *right* wingers and the American military industrial complex!" The left wingers are all going to HELL, because God doesn't bless them, just the right wingers.

Get it straight, please.

Anonymous said...

God hates no one. It's humans who do all the hating these days, as can clearly be seen in this blog. If God does much of anything these days, it's mostly weeping. That is, if there really even is a God.

Anonymous said...

On the Links section of this blog is a link to "The Former LTRS" (a former LANL blog).

The last article posted on this old blog is a news article titled: "At Los Alamos, Blogging their Dissent" from the New York Times dated May 1, 2005.


This old news article is worth re-reading from time to time. Many of the characters quoted in this news article are still working at LANL. And many of the problems still remain.

Anonymous said...

The same story, with pictures.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Roark added that Dr. Nanos was extraordinarily proud of what he had accomplished at Los Alamos, which employs 14,000 people on an annual budget of $2.2 billion." - NY Times, 2005

Well, the budget at LANL is still around $2.2 billion per year in 2009 but the lab no longer employ 14,000 people! It's more like about 8500 people.

Do employees fully realize just how much LANL has shrunk? And to think, next year LANL will be at least 5% smaller if NNSA has their way with their desired attrition.

I guess the extra money freed up by the big reduction in employee head count goes to help feed the profit-based management team and all the high salaried executives they have loaded up at LANL! There sure are a lot of fancy BMWs and Mercedes sitting in the LANL parking lots these days. Somebody must be feeling rich.

And, of course, some things never change:

"Mr. Roark called the vitriolic blogging unrepresentative of the majority of employees and said it often had the tone of a sophomoric Halloween prank. ''Everybody, I think, was a little surprised at how mean it got,'' he said." - NY Times, 2005

Anonymous said...

"Chris Harrington, a university spokesman, denied that Dr. Nanos was about to resign and defended him as ''clearly understanding the mission of the lab.''" - NY Times, 2005

In hindsight, it is clear that UC told a huge whopper of a lie with this particular statement.

Anonymous said...

July of 2009 will mark 5 years since the infamous Nanos shut-down began with the announcement of the missing SRD disks that never existed. It's been a real swell time at LANL since then, hasn't it?

I think some type of celebration is in order to mark this historic event. Maybe LANS should plan a festival with free hotdogs and sodas. Better yet, let's have LANS honor this historic moment in special fashion by instituting more work stopping policies and bigger doses of mandatory on-line training. This would make Pete Nanos very proud of the heritage he has left behind.

Anonymous said...

"Better yet, let's have LANS honor this historic moment in special fashion by instituting more work stopping policies and bigger doses of mandatory on-line training." - 9:53 PM

You got it! We'll start off with new mandatory online training for sex discrimination and then branch out from there with some great new work stifling policies that are sure to impress. Stay tuned for more to come.


Anonymous said...

"Dr. Thomas J. Meyer, a distinguished chemist and a member of the National Academy of Sciences who oversaw 2,000 employees as associate director of the laboratory's strategic research, resigned in October during the shutdown and afterward filed a long critique of the episode and the director's acts.

"He chose to transfer blame and intimidate individuals even with a staff that was often attempting to implement difficult and complex safety processes," Dr. Meyer said in his critique, which was posted on the blog. He called the director's treatment of laboratory employees "vindictive and abusive.""

That says everything there is to say about Nanos. May he burn in hell.

In Dante's inferno the lowest level of hell was for people who betrayed their Lords: Judus who betrayed Jesus, Brutus and Cassius who betrayed Julius Cesear and of course Lucifer who betrayed God. One thing that Dante did no mention was the even more vile individuales who would betray their own people, those who would sell out their entire species, even Lucifer was not guilty of such a crime. Nanos is the type who would betray the crew of his own ship. Make no mistake, Nanos was an evil man. Although his own vanity blinded him I think the orginal blog and brave individuals (some we know of some we do not) where instrumental at bringing Nanos down. And thank God for that, imagine if he had been given the opportunity to move up. Imagine if he would have become president? He would have sold everyone one of us out! Do you really have any doubts about that? Rejoice bloggers, for we have done good!!

"They'll hallow your name for your sacrifice. The sins of deliverance.
"So let the wicked perish in the presence of God.""

Lamb of God

Anonymous said...

I am starting the think that Nanos looks pretty good when compared to Mikey et al.

Anonymous said...

The rumor was that Tom Meyer had sued UC over being forced to resign.

Is that true?
If so, what was the outcome?

Anonymous said...

Cows are full of it. So are bulls.

Anonymous said...

We “owe the US military and its military industrial complex far more than you'll ever know?” Oh come now, where does the military-industrial complex get its money if not from the taxpayer? We could have invested trillions of dollars in the corner drug store and gotten about as good a return. With a few trillion to work with, any fool can procure the talent to accomplish the stuff this post credits the military-industrial complex for, and then some. The military-industrial complex has been fleecing the taxpayer from day one, and President Eisenhower tried to warn us. This is a fact. So if we’re going to be thankful to anyone for our internet service, cell phone and microwave pizza thank yourself--the taxpayer, and for your willingness to keep feeding this war machine that has brought us to the verge of bankruptcy and world annihilation.

Anonymous said...

"Well, the budget at LANL is still around $2.2 billion per year in 2009 but the lab no longer employ 14,000 people! It's more like about 8500 people." (9:09 PM)

The LANL budget has remained about the same since 2005, yet the work force has declined dramatically by several thousand employees! This brings up an interesting question:

With a greatly reduced workforce, where has all this $2.2 B in annual funding now gone?

We know that around $200 million is being paid out due to the for-profit contractorization of the lab. But what about the rest of the money? How do you account for the fact that LANL has lost thousands of workers and yet the budget has remained remarkable constant?

I think most of this money as been "burned up" by the following factors:

(A) SUPPORT: The support-to-science ratio at LANL has grown dramatically. This has resulted in lots of funding dollars being eating up by the support side of the house.

(B) EXECUTIVES: The size and salaries of the executive positions at LANL has grown tremendously since LANS took over. The recent creation of a PAD for Global Security is just the most recent example. PAD-GS will create lots of highly paid positions for executives and a large increase in Directorate staffing. Expect overhead rates to go up even higher next year due to PAD-GS with little to show in return.

(C) POLICIES: Work destroying policies and procedures have been created that have made it so that a dollar of incoming funds produces little in the way of real work (aka, Work Free Safety Zones).

That's NNSA and LANS legacy, one they are surely proud of and will continue to pursue. The problems listed above have also been documented, time and again, in many recent reports dealing with the subject of the NNSA labs' decline. It's clear that the status quo will remain, meaning that LANL's days as a productive scientific lab are over.

Anonymous said...

10:03 am: "...this war machine that has brought us to the verge of bankruptcy and world annihilation."

What a load of crap. You sound seriously stuck in the 60's. Let's hear your scenario for "world annihilation," and your argument for why we are at the "brink" and why the US "war machine" is responsible. Likewise, explain why "bankruptcy" is imminent, and why the "war machine" is responsible. You know, actual facts, not hysterical hyperbole, chicken little. Compare and contrast the situations in previous eras of US history, just for grins.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the salary is of this new Anderson guy at NHHO is. He is an associate director or whatever has a BACHELOR'S degree in mechanical drawing!!! WHOO HOO. Must be in the 200K area....

Anonymous said...

You sound jealous. Prick.

Anonymous said...

"Must be in the 200K area...." (9:27 PM)

Anderson comes from URS/Washington Group, one of the LLC partners in the Bechtel/BWXT/URS troika that owns LANL.

No surprise, that one. A large percentage of the top positions at LANL are now being handed out like candy to people coming from the motherships. No competition is even done for these top positions any longer. Qualifications? A BA will usually do it for these guys.

As far as salary goes, you can figure it will be in the $350k range for an AD position. It could even be higher, but LANS keeps salaries proprietary so that no one will ever know what the top people are making these days.

Anonymous said...

10:38, the deputy AD's don't seem to share in the LANS gravy train.

Anonymous said...

The members of the LANS troika (Bechtel/BWXT/URS) that are being given all these top lab positions without competition are not here to engender science. They are here to destroy it.

They are here to make money managing the plant facilities and doing various environmental cleanup operations. They are taking these top positions because of their loyalty to their mother companies, not because of any loyalty to LANL or the local community.

Director Anastasio is allowing this to happen. He may claim to be from UC but his real loyalty appears to be toward the companies who make up the "profit" parts of the LANL for-profit troika.

Anonymous said...

I have a simple profit plan.

Award AD's and above $1,000 each in bonus every time commenters on this blog whine or attack each other instead of doing something real.

This plan should work out fine for the managers.

Anonymous said...

How do you get rid of the crooked LANS management at LANL? It was placed here by NNSA and Congress. I have no idea where to even start the expulsion process. The problems at LANL and LLNL have been documented over and over in many official reports, but no action is ever taken to fix this bleak situation.

The best advice I can think of would be to work on your resume and look for another research lab. Outside of LANL and LLNL, the research community is healthy with big increases in scientific funding coming from Congress and the Administration. LANL and LLNL may be terminally ill, but the rest of the national lab scientific establishment is actually growing for the first time in many decades.

Anonymous said...

More on the recent LANS banning of "NM Medical Marijuana" for cancer patients suffering in pain at the lab.

PART 1 - LANL Reader's Forum...


June 2, 2009 *Response to medical marijuana*

This is in response to John Bent's letter to the Readers' Forum. In accordance with the Laboratory's policy on Substance Abuse (P732), the Laboratory is committed to providing all workers with a work environment that is drug-free, safe, and in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. The Laboratory typically terminates employees who test positive for illegal drugs, unless they have self-disclosed the issue to Occupational Medicine or the Employee Assistance Program in an effort to obtain assistance and thereafter rigorously abstain. Employees who are struggling with drug or alcohol problems are urged to seek treatment and to use the assistance available at the Laboratory. As many of you are aware, in 2007 New Mexico enacted the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. This law provides that in very limited circumstances, individuals suffering from particular medical conditions may obtain permission from the state of New Mexico for medical use of marijuana. However, marijuana use and possession remains illegal under federal law. Some employees have asked whether the Laboratory will continue to treat marijuana use as a termination-level offense if an individual is permitted to use marijuana for medical purposes under New Mexico law. As a national laboratory, under federal contract with the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration, we believe it remains appropriate for the Lab to prohibit the use of marijuana by those holding a Lab badge, regardless of whether the marijuana use is permitted under New Mexico law. Consequently, the Laboratory's policy on this issue has not changed.

( Ben Glover - Human Resources Division leader )

Anonymous said...

Part 2 - LANL Reader's Forum; employee response to Ben Glover...


June 3, 2009 *More on medical marijuana*

Ben Glover's reply to John Bent's medical marijuana question was disappointing. It did not answer Mr. Bent's specific question about why the Lab continues to enforce a law that the federal government itself no longer enforces. We're supposed to be a lab of science. Accordingly, we should look at the peer-reviewed literature on this topic and at the language of the New Mexico statute. If we do, we'll all realize that an employee with a New Mexico marijuana prescription poses no threat to a safe workplace. Here's hoping that a lab of science will base its policies on science and not outdated, debunked drug war propaganda. I understand that the Lab is a federal entity and therefore Mr. Glover "believe[s] it remains appropriate for the Lab to prohibit the use of marijuana." While he may believe it is appropriate, it is clearly not required. If the Attorney General and the Drug Enforcement Administration can adjust their policy, then surely the Lab can as well. There is no federal law requiring the Lab to drug test. That was a policy decision. Additionally, the Lab has -chosen- the SAMHSA-5 drug test which only tests for five illegal drugs and has -chosen not to use- a 10-panel drug test which tests for twice as many. Therefore, the Lab clearly has the authority to create its own policy about whether to test and which illegal drugs to test for. Given the science surrounding medical marijuana, I believe this is bad policy that is neither federally required nor scientifically supported.

( Jason Hagan )


June 10, 2009 *Lab policy on medical marijuana*

I too was disappointed with Mr. Glover's response to the medical marijuana question and simmered about it for a little while as I thought about my late mother's struggle with chemotherapy and cancer. Not because he rejects changing the Laboratory policy, which may be beyond Los Alamos National Security's control and tied up in contractual obligations and applicable federal law (and none of us here is the U.S. Attorney General), but because the first paragraph of his letter is a boilerplate discussion of drug abuse, workplace safety, and references to employees "...struggling with drug or alcohol problems..." Such rhetoric muddies the water by conflating the medical marijuana discussion with illicit intent. A more compassionate letter that addressed the issue could have simply omitted the first paragraph. The present discussion is not about employees wishing to abuse illicit drugs or show up for work stoned (what is there to discuss???), but about human beings struggling with sickness, whether marijuana has legitimate medical benefits, and whether the applicable federal laws and regulations should be changed. While it may be well beyond Human Resource Division's ability to change LANS drug policy directly with regard to medical marijuana, it is within each of our abilities to call or write our congressional delegation and ask that the relevant laws be reformed. That is probably a better avenue for individual effort and would clear up the direct conflict between state and federal drug law, which has caused no shortage of consternation and conflict in many states.

( Khalil Spencer )

Anonymous said...

June 3, 2009 *More on medical marijuana*

There is no federal law requiring the Lab to drug test...

Sorry to inform you but 10 CFR 707 and 712 require drug testing...da law!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to inform you but 10 CFR 707 and 712 require drug testing...da law!

6/27/09 10:08 PM

DOE's Reg 10 CFR 707 talks about "testing designated position". It was Mikey who decided, on his very own, that these "designated positions" at LANL included *ALL* employees whether they had a clearance or not.

Get your facts straight, 10:08 PM. The drug testing program as implemented by LANS at LANL is not a federal or DOE requirement except for a very select number of high risk positions. If it was a general requirement, all employees at all DOE labs (such as ORNL, LBL and PNNL) would currently be given random drug tests. They are not.

Anonymous said...

Mikey made a decision? Wow, I missed that!

Anonymous said...

"Mikey made a decision? Wow, I missed that!" - 1:02 AM

The decision to implement random continuous piss testing of all employees, regardless of job risk, was Mikey's way of impressing the NNSA. They were very impressed.

They also like the way Mikey has been able to destroy the lab's morale as a means to get rid of employees using attrition. Severance is too expensive and NNSA won't pay for it any longer. It's more cost effective to get employees to voluntarily leave through lowering the morale or to find some means to fire them.

But the thing that NNSA is most proud of is the new lab motto that LANS has come up with, "Don't SLIP -- wear shoes that GRIP!" It's a fine and fitting motto for the future of Los Alamos.