Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Udall has had nothing to say about closing down Los Alamos Lab

Jeffry Gardner: The sound of silence

Udall has had nothing to say about closing down Los Alamos Lab

By Jeffry Gardner / Tribune Columnist
May 11, 2005

Democrats in the United States House of Representatives are lining up to shut down Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Now, listen. Do you hear the congressman from New Mexico's 3rd District rising to the lab's defense? Me neither. The Democrat who represents that chunk of the Land of Enchantment, Tom Udall, who's never at a loss for words, is strangely quiet.

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GO FIGURE !!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you've ever been present at the scene of a news event, and then later seen it reported in the media, you know how things can come out distorted. But, when it's about something that really counts, like when Jeffry Gardner says:

"Working to change the arrogant nature of the scientific community that thumbs its nose at its employers (us, that is) when we ask for tighter security and better management? Absolutely."

...then it gets rather worrisome.

Nobody wants "tighter security and better management" more than the scientific community at Los Alamos. It's our work that gets impaired directly by lax security and poor management. But what we've had for the past year is anything but security and management.

When the Fourth Crusade turned aside from its mission and instead sacked Constantinople, it illustrated what damage a lot of energy, poorly directed, can do. When Pete Nanos cut loose the support and security staffs to perform vigilante justice on their co-workers, telling them bad actors were all around them, it marshalled every petty rivalry to a showdown of full-contact organizational politics.

Co-workers told me tales of being harangued by support workers for interrupting their solitaire games with security forms during the shutdown. Getting a straight answer to a policy question became nearly impossible, as support workers became afraid to commit their security policies to writing or unwilling to give someone proof of compliance. Accusing someone else of a violation (real or imagined, mostly imagined) became an accepted way of gaining points with the management. Trying to defend oneself against a spurious accusation only brought more accusations.

Los Alamos does not need another inquisition. The data do not support the claim that Los Alamos is "troubled." The scientific staff at LANL is exceptionally conscientious, professional, honest, and patriotic.

The nation does not need to hear more from an ungrateful and arrogant media culture that thumbs its nose at those people who work to defend it from harm. Journalists fool themselves into thinking they perform some national service when all they do is stir up trouble so they can profit from selling the accounts of it.
6:45, very well said. Thanks
No one is going to shut down LANL, which Udall surely knows. It's called political posturing. This piece is incredibly naive, even by journalistic standards.
Let me give you all some political education. I have been around politicians my whole life and I know all of them personally, but I will not give away names or what anyone has said. What I will give you all is some word of caution and especially to those with no common sense. This country is about money both in private and public organizations. Los Alamos is no different and is not treated any differently than any other organization in America. So, here is the advice or warning. Congressional members of congress want to shut Los Alamos down for one reason only and that is to bring the monies and jobs to their states. Why? It is a lot of money and a lot of jobs and with a lot of money and a lot of jobs you increase your population. This increases your states power in the union and creates more political positions in Washington D.C.

Congressional members in congress see the state of New Mexico as the second poorest state in the union and this leaves New Mexico with no leverage or union contribution and after all we are a union of states. The United States was founded on individual states contributing to each others welfare, economy and over all protection. More is better than one and this is what created the United States of America. Basically congress sees us as a none contributing state to the union and we have become a headache for the union. Believe me you do not want to be a headache in the union. On last thing and that is all of congress is waiting for Los Alamos to make another mistake and when Los Alamos makes another mistake. Los Alamos will pay dearly and it will be torn apart and dismantled. You the employees will be the excuse and New Mexico will lose its heritage and history along with it. Best advice to all of you is to be smart, diligent, patriotic, security consciences and take action personally to anyone you see fouling up. The American people trust you with their lives and when it comes to America’s protection. There is no forgiveness.
To 5/13/2005 09:34:00 AM: "Let me give you all some political education." What a condescending legend in your own mind you must be! If you truly knew as much about the money factor as you infer, then you would know (as the politicians do) that we pour more money into Iraq in 1 month than LANL's entire budget for a year. If the politicians want to redirect money there are many other sources that would have a greater ROI for their effort. "Basically congress sees us as a none contributing state to the union..."; what are you implying? Are they going to kick New Mexico out of the union? Is contribution based solely upon wealth? "You the employees will be the excuse and New Mexico will lose its heritage and history along with it." What an utterly amazing statement. New Mexico will lose it heritage and history because of LANL's employees??? What drugs are you on? "...take action personally to anyone you see fouling up." And what, exactly, are your proposed rules of engagement? Should we attack them? Do you even grace ANY work environment with your presence? I doubt it. Furthermore, get a clue, the employees at LANL are human. There WILL be mistakes. The more that DOE/NNSA demands in the form of asinine and useless paperwork, the more people's attention is diverted away from real issues of safety, security, and creative productivity.
To 5/13/2005 06:09:55

Couldn't have said it better myself!!

Now to respond to the reporter's main point, why hasn't Udall responded? Could it be we embarrass him? Could it be he would like to see us shut down permanently, and all of Northern new Mexico dry up and blow away? I have many views in common with Udall, and I respected his father greatly, but come on Tom, where do you stand?? Can't you bring yourself to defend us?
New Mexico will lose it heritage and history, how absurd. New Mexico's heritage and history are not LANL. LANL sits in northern New Mexico that is all, but it is not part of the north in any other way. Most employees look down on nortenos and our part of the state. And furthermore, northern New Mexico was here before LANL and will not dry up and blow away without LANL. These are the arrogant attitudes that you cannot and will not try to hide that has made so much trouble for LANL.
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