Monday, April 30, 2007

Open Debate on RRW - SciAm Style

John Pedicini. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joe Martz

Scientific American Blog: The Present and Future Role of Nuclear Weapons in the U.S. and the World

We commented on Joe Martz's statements regarding the RRW project before it was "awarded" to LLNL. Joe stood up and made a strong (and in our opinion) well motivated statement about the possibility of using the RRW project as a means to achieve disarmament.

This would be a really good time to debate this. With the privatization of LANL (and soon LLNL), it is really a good time to make sure that the existing risks of the abuse of nuclear weapons do not get escalated.

Does this nation, this world, need a private corporation like Bechtel (not that far removed from Halliburton, from Blackwater, from ...) controlling the nuclear weapons complex?

This discussion that Scientific American wants to have is overdue. Let them start with reviewing what Joe Martz and John Pedicini have already had to say.

Pathological Forensics????

Forensic Pathology is now heaped on top of the steaming pile...

This memo was forwarded to us by numerous interested parties:
The problem of false-positives has never been addressed...

Careers are at stake. So is national security.

To/MS: LANL Employees
From/MS: Roger L. Hagengruber, MS A105
Phone/Fax: 606-2263/606-2264
Symbol: DIR-CCSO: 07-010
Date: April 30, 2007

Subject: DOE Polygraph Program

For some years, DOE has been planning to implement a polygraph
policy as part of its counter-intelligence (CI) program.
Recently, LANL was notified of the official commencement of
random counter-intelligence scope polygraph examinations for
personnel in certain “high risk” categories. These exams will
cover employees across the NNSA facilities including LANL. In the
past week, we have received a list of names of individuals at the
lab that will be contacted soon to set up the schedule for their
polygraph. This memorandum is intended to announce the new
program and to provide you with some explanation of the

The letter of notification that we received is reproduced in part

“Effective October 30, 2006, the Department of Energy issued
10CFR 709 Counterintelligence Evaluation Regulations.
Subparagraph 709.3 explains the provisions covering Random CI
Evaluations, including the requirement to complete a counter
intelligence scope polygraph examination. The Counter
Intelligence Evaluations Division (CIED) is responsible for
administering this program.

This regulation may be accessed on the DOE Homepage under the
National Security, Intelligence and Counterterrorism tab. ……..”

In our discussions with DOE, it became apparent that LANL had
essentially no choice in shaping the policy implementation for
the lab. Per direction from DOE/CI, LANL provided names and other
data for all people in the categories that they specified. Some
of this information was conveyed to DOE/CI via NNSA or IN. This
included all personnel at the laboratory with the following
accesses or clearances:
1. NNSA Special Access Programs (an access requiring a Q)
2. SCI (a clearance)
3. Classified computer system administrators (a position
within LANL)
4. Sigma 14 and 15 (an access within RD)
5. All LANL Counter Intelligence personnel (a position
within LANL)
6. All personnel within the Human Reliability Program at
LANL (HRP) (an additional personnel vetting process at LANL)

(Some of these categories have already required that a security
agreement be signed that included an acknowledgement that the
signer could be subject to a polygraph examination.)

All people in the above categories will be subject to random as
well as investigatory polygraph examination. If informed to
present themselves for a polygraph, they are to understand that
participation is mandatory. Should they fail to pass the test,
they will be removed from the pertinent category list and will
not be allowed to participate in any of the other categories. If
they choose to object now to the implied participation in the
polygraph program, they will immediately become ineligible for
any of the accesses or programs listed. They will be informed
that failure to participate in the polygraph program by itself
will not affect their basic security clearance.

The total number of names submitted by LANL numbers over 5000
(for Sandia some 3800). We expect the random sampling rate to be
a few percent at most per year since the capacity for exams is
limited, which means that the likelihood of being called in any
year is very small. The LANL/CI organization will notify
individuals when we are given a list of people that will be
contacted directly by DOE/CI. The Chief Security Office and CI
will schedule sessions to explain the polygraph program and to
help people prepare.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mistaken Identity in DC?

Richard Marquez testifying for LANL in 2004.

Pinky and The Brain in LANL-THE-REST-OF-THE-STORY
asks who this man (clearly not Anastasio is)...

AP - Fri Apr 20, 11:27 AM ET
Michael Anastasio appears before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in Washington Friday, April 20, 2007, on mismanagement at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

commentary on LANL-THE-REST-OF-THE-STORY suggests (strongly) that Marquez left LANL under questionable circumstances that he has been (repeatedly?) accused of sexual misconduct and perhaps even of something involving a minor.

The Doctor does not respect false accusations but if there is evidence of this kind of misconduct, it should come out (in public). Speak up folks if you *really* know anything.

- Doc Strange

Dr. Strangelove never gives up!

The Good Doctor has been getting a little attention lately

Pinky & The Brain sent us this quote from SCI.PHYSICS:

"Dr. Strangelove never gives up"

Wethinks that "The Brain" is the one who "who never gives up" in his/her pursuit of taking over the world (through the use of wierd science):

The mutual admiration continues! Go PATB

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Looks like the Blogs are popping up faster than Steven Bechtel, Pete Nanos, and maybe even Michael Anastasio can whack them down!

The Good Doctor(?!!#$%@)
just discovered a new Blog by a young chap calling himself Calvin, apparently inspired by Our own recent use of the Calvin Peeing image.

And another called What Would Oppy Do? by the Ghost of Oppenheimer hisself!

Sure enough, Calvin just contacted Us (and Pinky and the Brain) for a cross-posting! It's only a matter of time before Oppy checks in!

I am a PostDoc at LANL who has stuck it out through the shutdown (as a GRA) and changeover and want to see things turn around so I have a place to stay. Your blogs are good but you don't seem to get much input from younger people like me... it is mostly old-schoolers. I want to give a forum to my own peers... I hope you will link to my blog. Doc's image of Calvin pissing inspired my identity.

Check it out at:

And another!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On?

Hopping mad?

Bechtel behind the thin beard of LANS, has instituted a piss-in-the-cup random drug-testing policy. Most of these folks have DOE Q clearances which require extensive background checks and a vow that they have not, do not and will not (Sam I Am) use illegal drugs. Some have higher, more rarified clearances or certificates already requiring them to submit to random drug testing and in some cases polygraphs. But those are pre-employment choices.

What many are angry about is that this new policy does not address any real issue but instead aggravates several real issues.

Real Issues:
  1. People handling highly sensitive and classified information and materials must be reliable.
  2. The same people must not be overly subject to blackmail.
  3. LANL has a bad reputation (not record) for safety and security.
  4. Morale at LANL has been dropping steadily through numerous attacks.
  5. One recent security incident has been loosely linked to illegal drugs.
  6. Drug tests have a measurable error-rate.
  7. The Bechtel/LANS policy only addresses:
    1. Their right to testing. (They declare it, employees are at-will, so be it)
    2. Consequences of failure to report for testing. (Treated as failing the test)
    3. Consequences of a positive result. (Immediate dismissal)
  8. It does not address:
    1. False Positives
    2. Verification
    3. Due Process
False Positives
The incidence of illegal drug use at LANL (especially among those with or aspiring to a clearance) is a tiny fraction of the use within the general population. A reasonable number of "random tests" cannot be high enough to keep the false-positive rate from going through the roof. Many known prescription and over-the-counter medications can generate a false-positive.

Meanwhile a bill to legalize Marijuana for Medical purposes has passed the Senate in NM with encouragement from Governer Bill Richardson (former Secretary of Energy no less). Director Anastasio pulled alcohol from the test suite (it is rumored that he even stated... "I like to have a martini or two at lunch") maybe they will have to pull Marijuana off the list too? THC is one of the few (along with Phenobarbital and PCP) substances the random urinalysis approach is likely to pick up over more than a few days after use...

And the LANS (Bechtel) Policy reads pretty clearly (LANS policies appear not to be public information, by the way) that "failure to appear for a drug test will be treated as a positive result from the test" and "an employee with a positive result will be immediately terminated". Now it *appears* their actual practice is slightly less draconian than this, but the stated policy would appear to allow them to terminate an (at-will anyway) employee simply for failing to report for a urine test within 30 minutes (what about failure to produce urine in a timely fashion?) or for failing the screening test (false-positives abound). There is nothing in the stated policy about any kind of due process or appeals or redress. There will probably be a few lawsuits... but surely Bechtel is fully lawyered up for that!

Random Drug Testing
It is widely agreed that "random" drug testing has one purpose only: To Intimidate. It may intimidate chronic drug users from applying for a job at WalMart or McDonalds. It may even intimidate well educated, intelligent, highly functional professionals from using illegal drugs that they have already promised (under threat of loss of clearance and likely employment and possibly a career) not to use! But do LANL employees need to be intimidated? Why wasn't the (now becoming) infamous Jessica Q. intimidated? She *was* subject to random testing.


Bechtel Bashing ???!!!

New Report Exposes Contractor Bechtel as Threat to Iraqi Environment, Human Rights and Basic Services

Blood for Water

The Big Dig

CROATIA: Croatia pulls out of a highway construction deal with Bechtel

You're on your own from here, guys . . . .

Just Google 'Bechtel' and 'corruption' and watch it flow.

Gary Eschman

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And Boy are they Pithed!

Thousands of scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory are hopping mad! Or they should be.

Stay tuned for more on this topic...


PS. There is no love lost between the Good Doctor and pharmacueticals, illegal (aka controlled, recreational, etc) or legal (aka prescribed or over-the-counter). We are an overmedicated population.

On top of that, We have "signed the papers" and "taken the vow" and despite Our love of satire and irony have a fairly strong sense of honor and right and wrong, as most of our colleagues do.

So what WE are pithed about is not that we can't use illegal drugs... no indeedy, that is not the issue!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pinky & the Brain

Pinky and the Brain
and the Doc are going to start our own mutual admiration society here. (apologies to PATB for the bad link these past few days! arg!!!)

We are very grateful to Pinky (and the Brain) and Pat the Dog and Brad and Doug for carrying on this blogging thing so faithfully.

The Doc has been busy of late so We haven't had time or focus to keep up our daily or more-often posts... We thank Pinky for the great introduction and hope to get back to some interesting new posts soon.

Meanwhile, please check out the dozen entertaining posts already offered and let's generate some good discussion about some of these topics! And feel free to send us your own good satirical material, we are happy to use it with/without attribution, anonymously/psuedonymously.

- Doc

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Super Ed

Edward Teller was often considered the inspiration for Kubrick's movie "Dr. Strangelove".

Ed was most well known for his relentless pursuit of the H bomb (the Super) and for running over the top of Robert Oppenheimer every chance he got.

A recently declassified (originally intended to be unclassified but then abruptly classified, then edited, then declassified?) talk by former director Harold Agnew reminds us that Agnew didn't have as much love for Oppy as some of us do.

In this photo for his LANL badge, he looks like a white collar criminal being booked, or maybe a John in one of those stings where they instead of the prostitutes get rounded up, photographed and their pictures placed on billboards or in the paper.

Here is Super Ed at his desk during his tenure as laboratory director for LLNL in the late 50's.

Comments On!

Mea Culpa! With his eagerness to lampoon Bechtel/LANS
Nanos/NNSA the Good Doctor failed to allow Anonymous Commenting to this blog.

We have anticipated with equal lust and terror the comments that would likely come flooding in (if LTRS, LTCS, and LTRS were any indication).

The Doctor likes validation of his ideas and opinions... as well as wanting the public, especially LANL staff, retired, community and LLNL, to have yet another forum. And better yet, We look forward to having some fun with the "Wing Nuts" and the "Whiners"...

Doc Strange

Friday, April 13, 2007

Walkin, Walkin, Walkin Away!

The Good Doctor knows at least a dozen highly qualified, effective LANL employees who have left the laboratory during Nanos' reign of terror, at the Bechtel selloff and then Bechtel's redoubled reign of terror. We know a similar number who could/would/should have left but have no plan to leave until they are fired.

How many do YOU know?


Mike & Doc go Blogging!

See Also: Pat and Mike Go Blogging .

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Bechtel" - rhymes with "Rectal"?

When the Doc suggested "Bech-tell" rhymes with "Hell", Brad offered that "Bechtel rhymes with Rectal" instead.

And if the following submission via Brad is accurate, then they really are bloody arseholes!

If this one isn't enough, check out how they handled their big-fat no-bid contract in Iraq (pass a bunch right through to Halliburton, the highest no-bid contractee and then pull out after spending up most of the money and not producing).

Or check out the "Big Dig" in Boston.

We can't believe these bastards own us now...

Check this out:

> Here's an e-mail from a friend of mine (not a current or former LANL
> employee, but just a plain US citizen); the Bechtel cancer is deeply
> embedded in Los Alamos now, and the oncological surgery will have to
> be invasive to have any effect. Maybe radiation will be required?
> -Brad Lee Holian
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: XXXX
>> Date: April 11, 2007 1:19:36 PM MDT
>> To: Brad
>> Subject: Bechtel
>> 15 minute segment on 'The News Hour w/ Jim Lerner' Monday news show
>> (PBS)
>> Bechtel, via FEMA, received a $3.4 billion no bid cost plus contract
>> for all the trailers that were constructed and moved into the Katrina
>> Hurricane area.
>> Many of the trailers are now vacant, unlivable, etc. but Bechtel
>> won't let them be unhooked or moved as Bechtel STILL receives a
>> monthly maintenance fee.
>> . . . even though nothing is being done to maintain what are
>> essentially worthless trailers.
>> These guys REALLY ARE crooks . . . .! ! ! ! !

Monday, April 9, 2007

Eduardo de Los Alamos

Ed Grothus worked at LANL from 1949 to 1969 when he quit in protest against the development of Nuclear Weapons, an activity which he had been intimately engaged in for 20 years.

Today, Ed is an eccentric activist who runs a cross between a junkyard, a surplus shop and a museum.

The Doctor has a lot of respect for Ed, even though he cuts an odd figure and can be very difficult to have a conversation with at times. He has been on a prophetic rant for decades now... some of us might have listened more carefully to his dire warnings...

Ed has received a lot of attention over the years, not all of it positive... There is a rumour that he is on his last legs, we wish him well...

more to come ..... send in your Ed Grothus stories...

We Love you Ed, Strange as We all are,
- Doc

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Life after LANL - Employee of the year 2004-2005

Lose a few pounds, grow a mustache, adopt a psuedonym and do what you love most and voila... a new career!
You even look ten years younger... congratulations Pete!

- the Love Doctor

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Big Stupid is Watching

Big Stupid is Watching!

Dateline - 7 April 2007 11:00 PM MST
Just a quick snapshot from the weblogging system the Good Doctor linked into this page, to give us all a reminder of how much can be determined easily on the Internet. For what it is worth, at least 2 distinctly different subnets at LANL accessed GONE NUCLEAR in the last few hours and someone apparently from Sweden dropped by as well. We have security set to medium so anyone (including you!) can check the general statistics of who's blogging whom. The Good Doctor hisself (and plenty of other folks cleverer than Us) has access to all of the juicy details! We may try to track this map for a while... just to see when our good friends in various places wake up and smell the Urine in our (drug testing) cups.

8 April 2007 11:00 AM

Easter Sunday shows a bit more activity, naturally centered around LLNL/LBL LANL/SNL but a wide variety of other locations. Retired LANL? Vacationing (spring break) LANL? ORNL? PNNL? NNSA? Congressmen? Bechtel? Blackwater?


Stop Worrying and Learn to Love ...

The Blog!

The Bomb?
Pete Nanos?
Random Drug Testing?
Buttheads and Cowboys?
Media Hacks?
Senate Hacks?

. . .
You have heard what happens when Postal Employees eventually get tired of being jerked around by *everyone* - they "Go Postal". What do you suppose happens when extremely well educated, extremely intelligent, and sometimes volatile Nuclear Weapons Scientists and Engineers get pissed off from *everyone* jerking them around? Fortunately for the world, most of these folks are also incredibly loyal, dedicated and humanitarian... so instead of "Going Nuclear", they sublimate those impulses by blogging!

Can Dr. Strangelove take over where:
Doug (lanl-the-real-story) Roberts and
Pat (lanl-the-corporate-story) the Dog left off?

Too Late!
Pinky and the Brain
have taken over where Pat and Doug left off
Paul Harvey style with:
lanl-the-rest-of-the-story !

I don't need to compete, so I hope I can complement their good work.
Whether you are:
  • gruntled or disgruntled
  • POGO/LASG/CCNS/EarthFirst!/Greenpeace
  • Uncle Pete (Domenici), Admiral Pete (the butthead-cowboy) Nanos
  • Uncle Jeff (Bingaman) or Governor-I-wanna-be-President Bill (Richardson)
  • A concerned citizen of:
    • Northern New Mexico
    • The scientific community
    • The United States
    • North America
    • the Western Hemisphere
    • The Northern Hemisphere
    • The Earth
    • The Solar System
Send in your own contributions
to fill in the blank :

Stop Worrying and and learn to love . . .

Stay tuned, we are going to have some fun here, even if it kills us.
- The Good Doctor

Born on the 16th of July!

Joe Martz -

You Rock! You go guy!
The good Doctor was getting on a Southwest Airlines flight in Albuquerque when We recognized the face of this man. We had seen his picture on LANL news stories and We had met him "socially" once, so it took Us two looks to realize who We'd just seen. We were flying to the Bay Area for personal reasons (no, We weren't interviewing with Google Labs but maybe We should have been!) so We didn't think much of it.

The next day, Our hostess handed me the SF Chronicle and by golly, larger than life, there was Smiling Joe leaning up against a bomb case, looking all serious and competent and hopeful and dire at the same time! And what did he have to say?

RRW is the route to nuclear disarmament!

Unfortunately, the Doctor was taking a nap under a tree, at least so far as the LTCS blog goes... We entirely missed the piece contributed by (now) old-time Weapons Design Physicist John Pedicini... and the link and discussion of Joe Martz's interviews.

Martz was called a "used car salesman" by at least one anonymous commentor. Oddly, Our "social contact" with Joe was a test drive in his Dodge Diesel Truck We were considering buying. He was a good salesman up to a point. His Truck was immaculate, he knew every detail about it, and he politely but firmly gave me hints about precisely how to drive this 4x4, manual transmission diesel. We would have bought it except for one little thing... it was too well taken care of, it was too nice, and We didn't have the heart to offer him less than he was asking, only so We could take it out and ding it up, overheat the turbo, let the oil go an extra thousand between changes, pick up a dozen cracks in the windshield, haul rocks, manure, trash, firewood in it, etc. *as we are wont to do!*

The good Doctor came to LANL as a veritable youth... a vegetarian, a pacifist in most ways, but We believed in MAD (mutually assured destruction)... the logic was just too hard to avoid... *somebody* was going to have the biggest stick, it might as well be us.


We didn't come to develop or maintain or test or even play with nuclear weapons. We did come to play with high-energy systems, with ultra-scale, mega-giga-hyper accelerators. We came to play with these new things called computers.

But We also thought that Nukes were a necessary evil, at worst. We also thought that real pacifists (those who would risk being subject to violence in the cause of peace) were ignorant goofballs. We also thought that Science would outpace the horrid uses that mere Plebes (non-scientists) found for it... that We, the Anointed, could come up with a an anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-missile for every anti-anti-anti-anti-missile crafted to beat the anti-anti-anti-missile crafted to beat the anti-anti.... you get the picture. We learned our Science-ethics from Comic Book and Science Fiction heroes (and total losers like Ayn Rand and Robert Heinlein ... sorry Libertarian friends... La-oosers! Get over it, We did).

We believed in the innate good of Science and when confronted with all of the Bad Uses of Science on the planet, over history, We retreated meekly behind "science is nuetral". But deep in our twisted, dark little heart was the belief that "Science is Good!" I fear that our young Doctor Martz (he was 41 at the time of his interview last month) is still in the thrall of this concept, but I completely understand it... and it might very well be the "lesser of evils" here. To hear a serious player in the development of nuclear weapons stand up publicly for a long-term plan of disarmament is unprecedented.

You go Joe! (oh... and you too John... )

- the Doctor of Love and Strangeness

Pat & Mike go Blogging

This just in from Pinky and the Brain ...

Pinky and the Brain just forwarded this to Us from an anonymous artist who apparently enjoys making the same kind of fun of Anastasio vs Pat as Gleeson did of Dr. Nanos vs DougBlog. We are guessing that Pat was not the originator of this, after all wouldn't he/she have used it on LANL-THE-CORPORATE-STORY?"

Dr. Nano went up against "The Blog" and subsequently fell down the well (did Lassie come to pull him out, or was that UC and DTRA?).

What will happen to Director Anastasio? If he falls down the well he is digging for himself, will Pat come to the rescue? Or will Pat and the rest of "the Blog" just push him back in as he tries to climb out?

gotta Love it!
- Doc Strange

Friday, April 6, 2007

Doug Roberts - the Father of all LANL Blogs checks in!


Thanks for starting another blog where we can read un-LANS-ified facts about LANL. It will be good to have a place to continue to read about the goings-on at LANL that haven't been passed through the LANS PR filters.

Another source for The Real Story, in other words.

As a complete, shameless aside, I wanted to include a link to the latest album that a musician friend of mine just released. The title of the album is Lucky 13, and the artist is Mike Montiel. You can get a sneak preview of the album here,

Thanks, and good luck.

--Doug Roberts
LANL, Retired

Thanks Doug!
Be warned, however, that while I do try to stick to the facts and I definitely don't let the LANS filters stop me, I am in this to put some levity in the game and I hope everyone reading will be able to recognize satire when it happens and not take this too seriously.

I do welcome folks correcting my facts and expressing their own opinions, but most of all I hope to attract some good material for satire from the audience as well.

- Doc Strange

Bechtel - Rhymes with Hell?

Is this an ugly logo or what?
Sherwin-Williams-esque "We can Paint the World in Blood"?

When the big sell-off of one of this nation's scientific jewels finally made it to the auction block and the only two bidders left standing were Bechtel and Lockheed (with UC and UT as trophy wives on their elbows), the good Doctor thought it was six of one, half-dozen of the other.

We thought it really didn't matter what huge corporation we got sold off to, it was gonna suck either way. Except maybe We didn't trust UT's motives and circumstances, them being from the same state as our clearly questionable (Was he really elected? Is he competent? Is his staff and cabinet honorable?) President.
And maybe We'd seen too much of what Lockheed-Martin has done at Sandia National Laboratory. And maybe the Doctor still felt a little loyalty to UC who had treated us pretty well (at least in retrospect and excepting the year of NanosManagement).

So maybe the Doctor was actually rooting for UC-Bechtel as the lesser of evils. Maybe We didn't really know who Bechtel was... that they were the ones who have botching Boston's "Big Dig" project for around a decade... or that the received the second largest no-bid contract at the start of the Iraq war, only to subcontract a big chunk of it to Halliburton (the first-largest no-bid contract winner, now offshoring themselves to Dubai!). Maybe We didn't know that Bechtel was entirely privately held and thus most of their business dealings was entirely opaque to anyone. Maybe We didn't realize all of the under-the-the table connections to the House of Bush and the House of Saud.

So no, Bechtel, under the thin beard of LANS owns us. Somewhere there is a branding iron with the creepy Bechtel Logo being heated white-hot to lay down their brand on the milky-white(mostly-white) flesh of the many thousand scientists, engineers, technicians and other support staff. While their series of succinct policies being published are refreshing in their relative clarity and directness, there is an ominous undertone. They all seem contrived to establish their dominance over their now at-will workers. They are all contrived to establish just-cause for firing anyone they don't like or trust, or perhaps even understand.

And what's to understand? Bechtel is a huge successful government contractor. What do LANL staff know that Bechtel management needs? They know everything they need to to do their job. If one scientist or engineer cannot do their job, they will find another. Replaceable parts, we are. If they need to fire one of us because we aren't at our desk at 0730 one day, or because the Ibuprofen, Vicks 44, poppy-seed muffin, or diet pills we have been consuming generate a false positive on our surprise piss-test, or because one of our guests from out of state snaps a picture of the NSSB
while we are driving them up SR 4 to the valle grande, or because their records show that we took a peek at LANL-THE-REST-OF-THE-STORY from a LANL computer or during work time... well they know exactly what the need to know...

Bechtel is good at obtaining and cashing in on government contracts. They might be good at hiring and firing people (from the perspective of swift and efficient processes, not human value). They might be good at writing reports that show that they have completed all tasks on time and on budget, even if they've requested (and been granted) numerous extensions and plus-ups. But are they good at science? Are they good at managing creative, educated, intelligent people?

Bechtel has no technical agenda. At least Lockheed-Martin seems to like to fly things into space, under the radar, over the horizon, down the hole. But Bechtel seems to have only one agenda... acquiring more money and power... yes, We said one, they are duals.

And was that what they were given the contract to do?

We guess we will see.

- The Doctor, waiting with 'bated breath.

Brad Lee Holian Checks in!

Brad Lee Holian checked in today...

Brad stood up against Nanos (and others) allegations that LANL had a dismal safety and security record by publishing a well-formed arguement against those allegations in Physics Today.

Again he stood up against LANS/Bechtel's ridiculous random drug-testing policy in a signed letter to Director Anastasio.

At least twice now, he has called for a concerted stand against the attacks on LANL and we, the people, have failed to step forward.

Look forward to some posts revisiting these two issues in the near future. The Doctor has a lot of research to do first.

Strangely yours,
Doctor Love

Dear Dr.

As to the Shutdown, I think it was part of the
end-game drama begun in 2003, when the final decision to privatize was
announced. That really was the end, though we may have been in a state
of denial. I had hoped that an uprising of the staff would derail it,
but no Uprising ensued, even after Nanos and his benighted Shutdown.
When Pat, the Dog, started up his/her blog, I thought s/he would be
able to kick-start the staff into some kind of response. I sent him/her
a post of my view of random drug testing, and then a calmer, more
reasoned letter to Mike Anastasio, which also got published in the
conventional media. I knew that the staff would meekly pee, but I
really did have a few moments of hope that Anastasio would see reason
and cancel the random part, in order to salve the morale of the
beaten-down Labbies. Well, we know how THAT little scene played out.
Then, finally, when the RRW decision was announced, having been cooked
for months in advance of the "competition," I knew it was all over at
LANL for another two years, at least. And I got personal confirmation
of that from Senator Bingaman himself at the recent All-Hands-On-Deck
Meeting. Now, it looks like the two new blogs (yours and
PinkyandtheBrain's) will be the only source of succor to the abuse
victims trying to survive their bludgeoning. Best of luck to you.

As to the drug testing, I believe that Al Zelicoff has written
extensively on how those things work. If memory serves me (you can look
up Al's comments on Pat's blog), the only thing that CAN be reliably
discovered is marijuana, because it is absorbed into the fatty tissues
of the body and slowly released. Then there is methamphetamine, if it
is ingested only a few hours in advance of the test, since it is
water-soluble and eliminated from the body rather quickly (half a day
or so). (Beware allergy sufferers: the breakdown products of sudafed,
used as an ingredient for making meth, are probably identical to the
breakdown products of meth itself!) The Powers-that-Be, thanks to our
vigilant press and attention-starved Congressmen, only care about
nailing trailer-trash meth dealers and smashing subversive,
non-conformist pot smokers. For Lab management, the rest is gravy. And
deterrence. If they had REALLY cared about helping Lab people with
their self-destructive addictive behaviors, they would not have made
the whole business so adversarial. But "Adversarial 'R' Us" is the
Bechtel motto.

All the best, chin up, etc., ... AND ... patients!

-Brad Lee Holian

Dr. Nano vs The Blog!

It was the end of 2004, after a long and costly, but generally inappropriate and unnecessary shutdown and the decision to put the Laboratory on the Auction block to be sold to the highest bidder in the military industrial complex was set in concrete.

Doug Roberts got fed up with the lack of a forum to discuss the egregious conditions and events at his workplace, Los Alamos National Laboratory. So he did what any modern, self-respecting computer scientist would do:
  • He started a Blog.
  • He named it LANL-THE-REAL-STORY
  • He built it and many came
    • The downtrodden employees
    • The UC/Nanos apologists
    • The disgruntled ex-employees
    • The local anti-nuclear campaigners
    • The local press
    • The national press
    • The congressional oversight committees
    • The Lab administration
    • The corporate bidders
    • The blog cartoonist Sean Gleeson
Admiral Pete Nanos, sent by someone, nobody knows for sure, left ignominiously just before the lab was handed over to an unholy alliance (LANS) which was essentially a front for Bechtel (which rhymes with Hell).

Nobody really knows how much effect Doug's blog had on Nanos ungraceful but timely exit, but many of us had a good, long laugh when this Blog Comic came out. It was even immortalized as a coffee mug which you are likely to see discretely placed on any number of desks around LANL.

Gotta love it!
- Doctor Strange