Jan 12, 2010

Time to Declare Victory

Yes, I do believe it's time to declare victory.



LANS has won; nearly everybody else lost. I agree with the consensus opinion that a new Deputy Administrator at NNSA will not make a bit of difference with regards to how the "new, improved" LANL is being run. Given that, there really is not much reason for my continued participation in moderating this blog.

One reflection of the new work environment at LANL is that while we still occasionally receive a clever or humorous contribution from a reader, the vast majority of comments we see here depict an increasingly bitter, back-stabbing, cowardly, and (dare I say) stupid element from the "new, improved" LANL community. Kudus, however, to Anonymous poster of 11:46 AM from the Will it make any difference? post. LANS is leading LANL to greatness. Funny stuff.

From my perspective the time has come to leave you all in the capable hands of that crack team of upper-level LANS managers, their Performance Blog, and not least of all, that fine cadre of spin-masters (Hi, Kevin!) who work in the LANL Communications Office.

I'll still hang around here, but probably won't contribute much; we'll leave that to Frank. In the mean time, I'll share some of the more appropriate contributions from the good folks at Despair.com which seem to have been written specifically with LANL in mind.

Later,

--Doug


41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that one of the senior staff put up some of these exact same "Despair" posters at DARHT to lighten the increasingly dark mood. Brett made him take them down. Thanks, Brett! You are a shining light for all of us!

Anonymous said...

I think the despair and bitterness are a bit overdone here, and I think that this blog has about run its course. The ratio of thoughtful and insightful posts to ... shall we graciously say not thoughtful or insightful posts has become too small to count.

Having said that, I'm not a fan of LANS or much of the current management team at LANL, and I don't think that they are serving the institution well. Based upon my personally knowing most of them, I'm certain that most are dedicated to their work at LANL, and not just to their bonuses. But being dedicated and knowing how to turn around a troubled lab like LANL, knowing how to "lead" a lab out of the thicket that LANL continues to find itself in, are two very different things. It requires much more than dedication. Leading a lab is not the same as leading a (command and control) "plant." Knowing how to attract funding, and creating the dynamics where great science can take place with that funding, is not something that the commercial firms like Bechtel or BWXT know how to do. So much more than "dedication" is required. (okay, it also takes more than shoes that grip)

Alas, continual pounding by bloggers is not going to infuse LANS with the skills needed at this time at LANL. And, if I read it correctly, Doug has concluded that the bloggers aren't going to dislodge current LANS leadership, or NNSA leadership. I agree. And that's the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you have done, Doug. Enjoy the music, riding and birds. Like others here, I took the SSP but maintain a morbid curiosity of watching what becomes of the place that captured my imagination but now is adrift on a sea of corporate corruption and greed. First as a high school student visitor and then through just about every technical position over the past 25 years, I got to work on a lot of neat, and yes actually fun (until the days of Nanos and then LANS) projects and have had the honor to work with some of the best people and equipment anywhere. It is so sad to watch what LANS and NNSA are doing to science and the people that are so good at it when we are a time in this country that really bright people need to be engaged and given the resources they need to solve our pressing problems.
It is also ironic that the word for word verification for this comment is "doepti"; it kind of captures the dysfunction of the DOE, dope and dopes.
Vaya con Doritos, Doug!

Anonymous said...

These posters should be appearing here in the PADGS organizations soon. Given the current program re-organization and the just starting line re-organization, there is much stress over here. Our new PADGS Rees is not very forth coming and he is allowing hench-men (Burns, Bynum, Dogliani, Mullen, Rao, ... to name a few) to run uncontrolled (perhaps just as he wants). Anyone have knowledge on how the program and line are going to be organized?

Anonymous said...

The most dangerous substance at LANL is LANS upper management. Coming in contact with this substance can be very bad to your health. It is particularly detrimental to the functioning of your brain and your heart. If you can avoid it, then please do. Your life will be much better.

Anonymous said...

LANS will have truly won if this blog comes to an end.

For example, next week we will se a retroactive 1% increase in G&A to pay for the cost transfer from NNSA to the complex for clearance badges and activities. For LANL this will cost about $10M annually. However, a 1% increase will net the director $13M...So he will now have an additional $3M to waste on whatever pet projects he desires. This is something that you will never hear on the LANS monitored comment page...much like the Chinese and Google I fare say!

Anonymous said...

This blog has NOT run its course.
It is still the only place where we can get info the LANS management keeps from us. We did not need this blog or anything like it during the times of Hecker and Browne.

Anonymous said...

8:40 PM has it all wrong. LANS isn't "leading a troubled lab out of the thicket", LANS is raping and pillaging a public institution for all they can. Focus here, LANS costs LANL $200 million dollars per year. The UC, say what you want, only cost $8 million per year.

Nothing has improved at LANL during LANS' tenure. Nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Lanl:
Where leaders used to win the Nobel Prize and where today they win bonuses.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that one of the senior staff put up some of these exact same "Despair" posters at DARHT to lighten the increasingly dark mood. Brett made him take them down. Thanks, Brett! You are a shining light for all of us!

1/13/10 6:33 PM

Oh you haven't seen nothing yet buddy. There are very interesting parallels between Nanos and Knapp and pictures in the DAHRT control room. It won't be long before Knapp trips over his oversized head (the one on his shoulders) and meets the same fate as the Admiral. You would think with that large head he would have some gray matter in it, not a bunch of jelly. I assume Knapp directed that his picture replace the pictures he asked to take down?

Anonymous said...

Doug, I heard the Director's Office is having a celebration on your behalf today for your service. Naught!

Really, I appreciate the time and effort you have invested in the Blog. Good job. Long live the Blog!

Anonymous said...

I second 1/13/10 8:40 PM. I cannot look back a quarter of a century but I spent about a decade of my life on The Hill before taking the SSP and moving on to a significantly less dysfunctional place. As 8:40 PM I worked on some great projects and met awesome people with whom I still collaborate occasionally. Although the noise and bickering is ever-increasing, I found and I am still finding this blog and its predecessors immensely useful to disseminate information which cannot not be found on the official channels. In this sense, thank you Doug for initiating this effort and for chiming in as aid for your fellow blog-meisters Pat and now Frank.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, Knappy, SuzieQ, Fatty Pants, Sir Richard, The Bishop and NeuNothing...

...traitors all to the once famous name of Los Alamos, but victorious (and wealthy) in the end, thanks to their deep devotion to LANS/Bechtel.

Anonymous said...

You are 150% right, Doug. Nothing is going to change for the better at the Lab. All great institutions follow the same path of deterioration; not unlike great societies of the past that are no longer. It starts with lack of accountability, morphs into arrogance and greed, acceptance and complacency, despair and, finally, collapse. The once great Los Alamos National Laboratory is now a distant memory. The University of California too is but a shadow of its former self. Once UC allowed itself to become a political instrument of the Washington beltway it lost its soul—a soul once rooted in enlightenment. UC is now little more than a pathetic stooge for the military industrial complex. People like Richard Marquez (now chief of staff to the Lab Director) and Joe Salgado (the Lab's infamous former Deputy Director, fired in 2004) were instrumental in what has come to pass. They came into prominence when UC began to believe the contract for management of the Laboratory would be competed for the first time in history. These were people UC wanted have in place in the event it needed to form an “industrial partnership” to compete for the contract. UC wanted people who possessed a wealth of experience in the screening and awarding of major DOE contracts, who had strong DOE relationships and contacts, and who knew the industrial partners UC might have to approach in event of competition. It didn't hurt that both these individuals were also highly regarded by the powerful then-Chair of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee…our very Pete Domenici. The rest as they say is history as the Lab now titters on verge of becoming what we all had been told would never happen—the next generation Rocky Flats. So yes Doug, I suppose the military-industrial complex HAS won. And so with that victory the possibilities once associated with a great research institution are now dead and buried for all practical purposes.

Thank you Doug. Thank you for staying the course for so long. You allowed light to shine on issues many would have preferred by kept hidden from view. Now as you move on with your life, the curtain will be drawn more tightly. Those that say behind will try to adjust their vision to function as well as they can in darkness. Others may follow your lead and escape; as I did not so long ago. Either way, you've had a great impact. Now enjoy the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

May I second the comments in the last paragraph of 1/14/10 11:51 AM. Thank you Doug.

Anonymous said...

May I second as well everything 11:51AM said. I wasn't quite sure how all the puzzle pieces fit, but now it's pretty clear. Who you know is much more important than what you know these days. Thanks Doug, for teaching us a thing or two along the way. Wasn't a wasted effort. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

...traitors all to the once famous name of Los Alamos, but victorious (and wealthy) in the end, thanks to their deep devotion to LANS/Bechtel.

1/14/10 11:15 AM

Hey, victorious and wealthy sounds good to me. (I think the opposite would be "poor loser".)

Anonymous said...

Hang on to your seats, folks. MPA just had an explosion at TA-48 this week and after the TA-15 incident Senior Management and NNSA are going berzerk.

Anonymous said...

To the victor go the spoils! All's fair in love and war! To hell with the Buffalo and the Indians! To hell with the taxpayer! To hell with the planet! To hell with anyone that disagrees with these sick bastards! So the assholes of the world won again. Well I'm with you Doug; time for Atlas to Shrug. Time to leave the insane asylum behind.

Anonymous said...

Hang on to your seats, folks. MPA just had an explosion at TA-48 this week and after the TA-15 incident Senior Management and NNSA are going berzerk.

1/14/10 4:09 PM

I hope no one was killed. We were very lucky (that's all it was!) when Mikey's and Knappy's loose canon at TA-15 exploded or detonated. The only way we will find out what happened here is through the DNFSB weekly reports. NNSA/LANS never tells the whole or real story on these "incidents".

Anonymous said...

Time to leave the insane asylum behind.

1/14/10 4:22 PM

Wow, it takes a REALLY long time for some folks to get the message. Anyone still left at LANL is a masochist. Me, I left right after Nanos. When I saw John Browne in the stands congratulating Mikey at the NSSB opening, it was the end of it for me.

Anonymous said...

1/14/10 4:09 PM wrote "MPA just had an explosion at TA-48 this week and after the TA-15 incident Senior Management and NNSA are going berzerk."

Get's better. Susie Q is not even in town to protect her beloved MPA division. Turns out Sue is in a hospital in DC. You see, seh did not have the right safety mind-set when she traveled to DC for work and fell (slips, trips and falls!!) and broke her knee-cap. So much for that safe Senior Management. Can't wait to see her explanation in next ADEPS note.

Anonymous said...

She must have forgotten to pack her little shoes that GRIP!

Anonymous said...

And to think, the WSST teams handed the yak-traks out for free. Sue has no excuse. I think she not only needs to have her AD mangerial operations shut down for 6 months, but also should take a shitload of useless training and write a few f-in IWDs so that she understands the hell she helped to put in place. Hell, Mikey should ream her unsafe and careless ass and fire the ADEPS "leader" like she helped to fire Todd and John.

Anonymous said...

an encouraging email on the strong vision from NNSA and its keen leadership:

Subject: Message from the Administrator - Leadership Vision

One of the most important keys to our success is our ability to recruit and retain the next generation of nuclear security experts and ensure that our programs are managed by the most talented and capable people we can find. This is the first in a series of messages from me in which I’ll outline my vision and some new programs we’re implementing this year to promote leadership and excellence across the enterprise.

For me, having the opportunity to serve in a senior management position in the NNSA is an honor and a privilege. The qualities I look for in leadership are character, responsibility, dedication, competency, and commitment. Leadership opportunities are earned over time by gaining relevant experience and taking on challenging assignments that must be successfully carried out to protect our great country and to fulfill our promise of service to the American people.

While the NNSA will soon celebrate its 10th Anniversary, many of our programs have a rich heritage, going back more than 60 years, of helping keep the peace and ensuring our Nation’s security. Together, we have kept the American people safe by maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing; reducing the global danger from the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials; providing the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and, providing the Nation with an effective nuclear counterterrorism and incident response capability.

Our mission today is just as challenging. As we work to turn a Cold War nuclear weapons complex into a 21st century Nuclear Security Enterprise, we are playing a vital role in implementing President Obama’s unprecedented nuclear security agenda.

To accomplish that mission, we need strong, capable leaders. My vision for NNSA is straightforward -- we have to seek excellence and ensure that we have skilled leaders in positions where they can make major contributions to achieving NNSA’s goals and objectives. To ensure that we will continue to be successful, our leaders must maintain and update their skills to be in the best position possible to effectively focus the expertise of their staffs and the entire NNSA team in accomplishing our mission.

In order to be a dynamic organization, we need to embrace cultural change -- change in the way we prepare for and meet the demands of executive leadership. We have now reached a time in our organization where we must do a more effective job of eliminating stovepipes and increasing wide collaboration among all offices within the NNSA. We cannot have individual offices functioning as independent units. We must demonstrate that we are one organization committed to managerial excellence.

Over the next few weeks, we will issue information on a variety of programs and initiatives that we have planned to strengthen our leadership base and help us achieve the excellence our mission demands and the American people deserve. I ask that you become heavily engaged in this effort and commit yourself to supporting our leadership vision.

With your help, I am confident that the NNSA will become a more integrated, effective, and efficient organization.

Tom D’Agostino

Anonymous said...

This just in from NNSA's Twitter site:

"NNSA has won! Contract scientist work force finally beaten down into a disheartened, disheveled lump! Mission accomplished, Captain Tom D'Agostino rumored to be leaving Agency for lucrative VP position at Bechtel HQ"

Anonymous said...

My vision for NNSA is straightforward -- we have to seek excellence

Mr. D'Agostino,

Please consider that people who are good at what they do usually do not tolerate mistreatment and abuse. If you require them to pee in a cup on queue, take clean drinking water from them, and impose myriads of pointless, self-contradictory rules that make work nearly damn impossible, you will never get "excellence". Anyone capable of excellence will leave. They have choices.

You can either continue abusing LANL staff, or try to build excellence. One or the other, not both. My vision, as you can see, is also straightforward.

Anonymous said...

The Pantex Plant has activated its Emergency Response Organization to respond to a potential security situation. The event occurred at approximately 8:00am.
· The Plant is in a lockdown status and the situation is being evaluated in order to facilitate security actions. Pantex employees are sheltered-in-place.


False alarm….Apparently just some hunters in the fields adjacent to the plant site.

Anonymous said...

Has Tom D'ag taken a piss test lately? He's obviously smoking something. This nonsense about leadership being earned runs counter to everything he has ever done and everyone he has put into power. Face it, Tom, in 10 years under your "leadership", NNSA has run the finest scientific institutions the world has ever known right into the ground. You should be ashamed of your performance and if you had an ounce of real integrity, you'd resign immediately instead of preaching about leadership to those of us who know what it really is.

Anonymous said...

"...to promote leadership and *excellence* "

"...we have to seek *excellence* "

"...committed to managerial *excellence* "

"...help us achieve the *excellence* our mission demands "

(Captain Tom D'Agostino)

---

Wow! Sounds like NNSA must be creating lots of new Centers of Excellence!!!

However, these Centers of Excellence are unfortuantely dedicated to extreme forms of risk adversion, CYA managerial sloth, and bowing down to "for-profit" greed and cronyism in support of big, sleazy construction companies.

Heckavajob, D'Ag. I don't know how you do it.

Anonymous said...

4:09 P ..."MPA-MC just had an explosion at TA-48 this week and after the TA-15 incident Senior Management and NNSA are going berzerk."

Yes, this would be Kevin Ott's group. He approved ALL the IWDs for this work. Chemistry OK under Ott regardless of the hazards. Remember Doc Aq (Kiplinger) worked under Ott during the imfamous aqua regia scadle.

As per a management this week, Toni Taylor wants to keep the MPA aspect of the EXPLOSION a secret. Go Toni, go Toni. Kepp Ott in power, Girl.

Anonymous said...

"Time To Delcare Victory" I agree. TIME FOR A NEW TOP POST!!! Where the hell is Frank?? Can we please get rid of this despair.com crap that just feeds on the disaffected, demoralized, unproductive, whiney, self-centered, cynical employees still left at LANL? Where is the can-do attitude in the nation's service that LANL was founded and maintained on for over 60 years? Do a few years of crappy management under really odious managers just wipe out that legacy? For shame!

Anonymous said...

9:43,

Oh you poor little baby you. Do you need to have someone create a new top level post for you, do you? It must be so hard being a LANL employee these days. Because if nobody creates a new top level post for you, you have to go to all the trouble of complaining that nobody created a new top level post quickly enough to please you.

You poor little baby, you..

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, after reading the pathetic bullshit of useless whiners like 9:45 it's no wonder Doug finally left us on our own. We don't deserve having somebody do our dirty work for us. I'm just surprised it took him this long to realize it. Good for you, Doug, you're better off not wasting your time trying to look out after us. We don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Top 10 Recipients of Federal Contract Awards for FY 2010

FY 2010 Rank Parent Company Name Dollars % of total

1 Lockheed Martin Corporation $1,717,259,591 8.324%

2 Los Alamos National Security LLC $1,552,664,849 7.526%

3 Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC $1,036,264,902 5.023%
4 Ut-Battelle, LLC $736,105,314 3.568%

5 Battelle Memorial Institute Inc $670,678,244 3.251%

6 Honeywell International Inc $477,616,671 2.315%

7 Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, L.L.C. $469,238,894 2.274%

8 Merck & Co., Inc. $400,360,817 1.941%

9 Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Lls $400,226,463 1.940%

10 Bechtel Group, Inc. $362,732,024 1.758%

Source: http://www.usaspending.gov/fpds/tables.php?tabtype=t2&subtype=t&year=2010

Just one big fat happy NWC

Anonymous said...

The new LANS Performance Blog is far more effective than this blog. You get to use your real name, suck-up vigorously to LANS upper management and thereby get a nice promotion. You can't beat it!

I suggest some of the posters who complain about the despair on this blog try it out.

Anonymous said...

The new LANS Performance Blog is far more effective than this blog.....I suggest some of the posters who complain about the despair on this blog try it out.

1/16/10 11:55 AM

I think it is hilarious that the posters who complain about the despair here are accused of "whining"! The irony is just too delicious.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Boy D'Ago wouldn't have lasted a week here at LANL as a staff. Knappy would thrown him out of weapons program for no good reason other than he's bald. That's about all the good reason you need for Knappy to toss you out of "his" AD. This get's me sick. D'Ago is trying to recruit them and Knappy throwing them out the back door, what a mockery!

Anonymous said...

With Doug gone, I don't think it will be long now till Frank packs up his bags and goes home. You'll be able to get all the news you really need by reading the internal LANL web and the Performance Blog... heavily filtered by LANS for your protection, of course. Oh, and let's not forget about those swell NNSA Twitter, MySpace and Facebook sites and the massive PR releases they are sending out to all the press crowing about their wonderful performance.

Yes, LANS (aka Bechtel) and NNSA have won and the "whiners" have lost. No official reports about NNSA or the labs, no matter how scathing these reports are of these two entities, will cause a single iota of change.

LANS has the plan for making LANL grand... it's LANS-tastic! Learn to force on a big, happy smile on your face and drink lots of the LANS Kool-Aid. You'll soon need it if your going to survive at the lab.

Anonymous said...

You know, you LANL crybabies have had Frank and Doug around for a long time to hold your little hands. Maybe it's a good thing that Doug has decided to no longer contribute posts here. Maybe Frank should consider doing the same. And then maybe you crybabies should consider either shutting the fuck up, or show some balls and start your own blog.

I think we all know which direction this is headed...

Doug Roberts said...

On that note, I believe we will close out comments on this post.