Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Objects to Criticism

I am employed by LANL but am writing to this blog as a private citizen.

The comments about Susan Seestrom are really over the top and have violated the ground rules of this blog:

1. no sexism,
2. no personal attacks

Again, a few buttheads and cowboys, blogging anonymously, have made reckless comments without any basic knowledge of this individual.

I worked with Susan a number of years and she is a fine scientists and recognizes good work. I supported her promotion to Physics Division leader, and insofar as anyone cared about my opinion, also her promotion to ADWP.

If she ever steps down from her position, I would be happy to have her contribute to any project on which I am working.

I will probably be accused of being a sycophant for writing a letter in support of a big bad LANL manager, but in this instance the comments, in particular the anonymous, are way off base.

There was a good message in her basketball allegory: The employess of LANL need to move on with their lives. I've seen adult men on the verge of tears over being called a butthead/cowboy. Get over it. Grow up. Pick yourself up off the court. Chin up and all that rot. You will feel better.

Some months ago I had an audience with the Director. I was going to complain, but instead simply stated that I am staying at Los Alamos until I am told to leave (e.g., when the Lab gets shut down), and asked what to do to retain a new recruit who attended the meeting with me. At that moment, the standown etc. was behind me. It was refreshing.

Unfortunately, LANL is a big burden on the taxpayers of this nation; the product the Lab produces is of limited usefulness and really only made sense in the context of the cold war.

You will feel better if you
1. Concentrate on your work
2. Forget about your retirement-- I have an impression that anyone who is overly concerned has crawled up their own asshole and died.
3. Understand that you are not irreplacable in the organization
4. If you don't like the situation, seek employment elsewhere

I call for the immediate shutting down of the Blog. It just is keeping whiners whining. Why not come up with something to help people move on with their lives?

Please give up on the petition to dismiss Nanos as the director. It is embarassing and it is not your decision. Nobody care what you think about anything. The fact that you think the shutdown was unwarranted means you are clueless.

Steve K. Lamoreaux
Private Citizen

Could you please give us any clue about the shutdown?
As one commenter pointed out already in the "Susan Seestrom" post, the attacks against her are professional, not personal.

You may have worked with Seestrom for many years; she may be a fine human being, but that does not obviate the fact that she recently made a serious professional mistake in sending that insulting bit of email to the people who work for her. If you disagree with that, you should consider the possibility that it is you, and not all the rest of us who are "clueless".

Regarding the need for the shutdown, and your apparent belief in its having been warranted, well, I believe you might have just convinced me that you are, in fact, clueless. Hopefully, though, you feel better now that you have your little rant out of your system.
Nobody's forcing you to read this site. Move along. Here's a site without any complaining.
Mr Private Citizen Employed by LANL:

Please refer to your own declaration of the rules: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. Take your ad hominem verbage away from your posting and what do you have left, naught more than a nano-byte.

BTW, I'm having a difficult time envisoning exactly where you were bowing in the presence of the director if the stand down was refreshingly behind you. Moreover, I have no idea what you are working on at LANL if you believe that the products of the laboratory have limited usefulness but I hope you are paid accordingly. Finally, I ascertain that you must have attended the same base language class as our director.
I'm actually glad to see a post like this. If this is the best the pro-Nanos camp can cough up, then they are in even more trouble then I thought.

It did get me to wondering, though. Just what does one wear to an audience with the Nanos? And exactly what is the protocol for kissing his...

Never mind.
Didn't you get the LANL-ALL memo with that protocol?
Sue Seestrom may very well have been an excellent scientist. I didn't work with her, so I don't know.
On the other hand, she has been a very poor manager, always supporting the management above her and treating many of the people below her like so much carpeting.
This is not a personal comment. It is a comment on how she has performed her job.
Nor is this hearsay. I have seen it first hand.
Whoa, Steve is wrong on a couple of counts. The lab staff and the lab as a whole is under an insidious political attack and sticking our heads in the sand will not make it go away in fact, our tender butts will be kicked even more.
You should very conscientiously worry about your retirement account and make sure it's managed properly. No matter how excellent your scientific work is, and Steve's is very, very good, you will be promptly forgotten (by LANL) when you retire. In Steve’s case it might take a little longer. We all need to move on, and the retirement account provides that vehicle.
Doug tried to give people an open forum here. However, I agree that it has become embarrassing. Please try to post responsible, constructive comments in this blog and avoid the unnecessary trash talk. I'm sure I speak for many. And if you sign anonymous- please write with respect as if you had signed your name.

I received Sue's sensible email and was not in the least insulted. LANL employees have a choice here- get on with the core science mission and prove we are as valuable as we claim. Or pout and whine until we are shut down.

A long time P-div. employee

clueless?? Steve L. is easily one of the most intelligent people that I know ... In fact, he is an example of what Los Alamos is supposed to be capable of doing - bright science.
If nobody cares about opinions
on the BLOG why are you worried?
BTW, just who do you think
should shut down the BLOG? Do you
think it should be done by force?
I must admire your courage in
signing your post but you should
have run the spell checker.
David F. Simmons
Soon-to-be-Ex TSM

Everything you said is wrong. Look
Susan Seemstrom is not a good scientist. This is just a fact, you
can look up her record. She is not
going anywhere. No university is going
to take her. You best get your facts right. The
email about the ball player was
an outright insult. Make no mistake
the best people can and will be leaving Los Alamos. If we do nothing
it will get worse.
Telling the Laboratory staff they should just "move on" is akin to telling a woman who was just brutally raped, "Stop whining, move on!" In both cases, justice needs to be done first.
I've been reading this site for a while now, mostly for amusement. But now I have to say something. It is absolutely appalling that anyone on this site would compare treatment at LANL to an actual, physical rape. It is the worst kind of hyperbole and the kind that betrays your utter childishness and lack of reasoning. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Don't you dare compare what you've gone through to a rape because you just don't know! How dare you ...
Some us of know the folks in DX. What happened to a few of them was professional rape. What happened to Tom Meyer was also a violation. Perhaps the analogy of rape was too strong for some tastes, but it is not inexact.
Shut down the blog because opinions there disagree with your own? I do believe Steve should apply for a job at the NewsBulletin. They think like he does there.
If someone calls you a "Butthead" and you think that this is equivalent to a brutal rape then

1. You have no idea what a rape is, and by using this highly inappropriate analogy,

2. You ARE a butthead!

3. Maybe get some help to understand that your self esteem is not a function of what someone calls you.

People's carreers were trashed, for what turns out to be completely false reasons. Sorry, that meets my definition of professional rape.

Sounds like someone needs to take a deep breath and two Zoloft.

Oh, and knock it off with the name-calling. You only make yourself look like a fool.
"you can't enlighten the unconscious."

A little motto taught to me by my wife, a teacher.

With regard to all the invective I've been seeing on this blog, both sides need to do a better job of convincing me which side's position needs resuscitation.

It's like seeing a word war between over-the-top hate-mongers versus the goody two shoes.
All of you need to get a clue and remember, no one has a monopoly on creativity.
Steve may be intelligent science wise but it seems that he is clueless in the common sense arena. There are those of us here that do not make his huge salary. Working conditions,
retirement and benefits are very important to us as well as having management here that support the employees.
Steve L: your words>> ....
2. Forget about your retirement-- I have an impression that anyone who is overly concerned has crawled up their own asshole and died.
3. Understand that you are not irreplacable in the organization
4. If you don't like the situation, seek employment elsewhere<<
With all due respect, Sir ... I'm 59+ years old with 25+ years service. I have health issues and and done many calculations towards pension payments in order to verify that I can continue to live in the style that I am used to ... that is eating! If the benefits are reduced, and I'm not kept on board with the new contractor, just what do you suggest I do to feed myself?
I AM concerned with retirement, are you, Sir independently wealthy that you DON'T have concern???
I FULLY understand that there are 10 people waiting on the street to take my job ... they can have it, I just want the benefits I've worked for and PAID for ...
And I DO plan to seek employment elsewhere.
As someone with massive health issues being addressed under my current insurance (not for myself but for family members), it is impossible to not contemplate what may happen in the event of change. However, I've learned that there are some things I can control and other things I cannot and hopefully gained enough wisdom to put my effort where it serves [me, my family, my community, my concerns] best since it is my investment into the scenario.

That said, just like everyone else I am in the dilemma of determining my options as well as my tolerance of risk and the unknown.

My options are determined by my past decisions, my future decisions and decisions of those 'in charge' - LANL mgmt, DOE, Congress, etc. I can't change theirs and since my history hasn't set me up with a fabulous nest egg or independent wealth, I must contend with a future of working, here or elsewhere.

I think we're all trying to find the balance between bailing too quickly or too late or staying. I project that those who bail and can find stability and compensation which suits them will find a sense of closure more quickly, perhaps even being able to move on and be happy sooner.

That's not to say that staying is bad - but we just don't know what the Lab will look like in 5 years or 10.

Tension mounts when there's so much uncertainty and both sides, Nanos & management, et al, as well as the population need to chill a bit and understand that the upheaval will eventually settle into something more easily-assessed or defined (to state the obvious).

The mind-churning process isn't better when there's added stress so better behavior on everyone's part would be welcome but being called down on bad behavior isn't unreasonable. Many, Ms. Seestrom included apparently, feel compelled to try to encourage people to chill and invariably there is going to be flack from the wounded, rightfully so or not.
120381 Lamoreaux Steve K. P-23 H803 505-665-1768 lamore@lanl.gov

Might be a smart guy, but he's a newcomer to LANL, and I really don't believe that he fully comprehends what he's said in his posting. To wit:

Lamoreaux, a firm supporter of Vice Admiral Nanos, says, "If you don't like the situation, seek employment elsewhere."

In the 1950's, Joe McCarthy had his firm supporters, too. One of their favorite lines was, "If you don't like it here, why don't you go back to Russia where you came from?"

-Anonymous Butthead Cowboy, low Z-number

P.S. Doug, keep The Blog up with its engines running. The hits it's been taking from sycophants shows it's striking some tender nerve tissue!
I am writing in response to the "get over it" comment. Those words, along with others such as, "everything changes" "be positive" "accept the changes and move on" were the swan song of the weapons complex. Many of you are here after losing your jobs as the DOE shut down the weapons complex. You know what's ahead and it's not good.
Having read the account of Todd Kauppila and John Horne, I have to agree: what happened to these two folks is nothing short of professional rape. Anybody still thinks that Todd and John are just "whining" over being called "cowboys"??

The criminal MUST be held accountable!
I am agreeing with the post that stated what is coming is probably not good. I think it has a reasonable chance of ending on a sour note.

To be blunt, I really couldn't care less about either of these two people discussed here, since I am positive they don't care about me. Plenty of smart people at LANL, BFD. Who cares?

If you don't think the members of the SET and managers on down aren't positioning themselves for how they fit into the next reorganization, or figuring out what they will do when the contract switches over, then you are clueless. Take your cue from them and figure out what you are going to do if things end badly - or even if they don't.

It's survival time, and it will get worse before it gets better. Been there, done that. Some decent advice in the "What Would Feynman Do?" and the "Time to Start Facing Some Reality" posts and their comments. They just weren't blunt enough about it.

I don't think either of them are saying to move on and forget about it. I do think they are saying, no matter what, the day of reckoning is coming and it's time to start thinking about what you can and can't do about it to be prepared.

If you think managers at the Lab care about you, especially at the Division Leader level and above, then you are on some serious hallucinogenic substance.

Think about how long it takes to forget someone who worked in your Group for 20+ years after they retire. In our Group it's less than a week for a close coworker, and about a weekend for an immediate manager, and for someone we didn't know well and saw randomly, we never even knew they left.

Now think about how long it will take a manager to forget about you.
To those disussing scientific credentials, ADWP Seestrom's scientific record pales in comparison to Acting ADSR Devaurs'.
"Low-Z Cowboy",

Please check more than a Z number to determine qualifications. Steve is a Laboratory Fellow, well paid, well published, and personifies what LANL stands for, opinions aside.
"Low-Z Cowboy",

Please check more than a Z number to determine qualifications. Steve is a Laboratory Fellow, well paid, well published, and personifies what LANL stands for, opinions aside.
As for management caring for us...a division leader has clearly positioned himself for the future of his career at LANL...he recently dumped his house in Los Alamos County and moved to Santa Fe. Even the rats are abandoning our nano-navy vessel.
So, I should respect a "Laboratory Fellow" who says:

"I have an impression that anyone who is overly concerned has crawled up their own asshole and died."


"If you don't like the situation, seek employment elsewhere."


"Please give up on the petition to dismiss Nanos as the director. It is embarassing and it is not your decision. Nobody care what you think about anything. The fact that you think the shutdown was unwarranted means you are clueless."

So, if you ain't a "Fellow," nobody gives a sh*t what you think? And the shutdown was GOOD for us? That's like the shills who say we are "stronger because we went through the shutdown." Hell, with that kind of "logic," we'd be even stronger if we did it for three months once every quarter.

Sorry, this guy's "Fellow" epaulettes oughta be snipped.

-Cowboy (low Z, high Z: take your pick)
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