Friday, March 11, 2005
Lets keep the discussion focused on the issues
It seems from some recent posts that issues are
getting muddled. There are several different ones,
some connected and some not.
1) The unethical behavior of Nanos - in direct
violation of the LANL code of ethics, personally
abusing people verbally, by threatening to use the
legal system (not citing truth and justice, but by
stating that his lawyers will "last longer"), and
firing people without (or despite) due process.
2) The bad judgment of Nanos - shutting down the Lab
for months. Even if DOE was threatening to
shut us down, Nanos could have negotiated a short
stand-down. Yesterday (3/10) an "Apprentice"
candidate was fired by Donald Trump because he didn't
negotiate the best deal he could have - did Pete
negotiate the best shut-down deal with DOE?
3) Pete used the shutdown to punish - project leaders
and group leader were told verbatim what to tell their
sponsors, resulting in several project cancellations
and subsequent departures (contrary to what Tom Bowles
wrote on the LANL bulletin board).
None of this has anything to do with contract renewals
and pensions, which we now come to:
1) A new or additional contractor (Bechtel?) could
change the way we work here for the worse. We did not
have "academic freedom" but the UC contract guaranteed
"intellectual freedom" - the ability to discuss all
points of view based on their scientific merits,
regardless of policy. This will seriously impact
hiring and morale of new and veteran staff.
2) Pension plan change - this is unlikely to effect
entry-level recruiting, but it will have a
major detrimental effect on the morale of veteran
employees, probably causing many of them to leave.
Lets keep the discussion focused on the issues without
Consider the possibility that LANL's problems will result in thousands of research employees moving elsewhere. Who stands to gain from this? A.) Los Alamos county's contributions to political parties are largely Democratic (see public records on campaign contributions - about 8 to 1 from people listing LANL as an employer). B.)Although New Mexico is a small state in terms of electoral votes, very few such votes are necessary to swing an evenly divided electorate in determining who will occupy the Executive branch C.) New Mexico is so evenly divided that a few thousand Democrats from LANL leaving the state would put New Mexico firmly among the red (Republican) states. So, by dismantling LANL, the current administration stands to convert a toss up electoral votes to firm Republican electoral votes. Could this be a motive behing DOE's letting the pot boil at LANL? Hmmm.
Los Alamos county has voted Republican for so long that even if more money from it goes to Democrats.. it is not a factor. The biggest suprise in DOE/Washington is how much kvetching a Republican stalwart county has done about a privatization plan. To some in the ranking party.. DOE labs are government welfare that should be done by the private sector or state universities...
My friend, it is being done by a state university...the University of California.... and being done pretty well if I may say so. Where hast thou been?
Check out the results of the last election. Yes, Los Alamos County has typically voted overwhelmingly Republican, but this last election was very close, only a couple hundred votes difference. Thought-provoking facts and theory. And not every Republican agrees with the privatization of a research facility nor the ill treatment of employees.Post a Comment