Monday, September 05, 2005

The Bursting Point

[You don't have to look too hard to see how this opinion applies to LANL also. --Doug]

The New York Times

September 4, 2005

The Bursting Point

As Ross Douthat observed on his blog, The American Scene, Katrina was the anti-9/11.

On Sept. 11, Rudy Giuliani took control. The government response was quick and decisive. The rich and poor suffered alike. Americans had been hit, but felt united and strong. Public confidence in institutions surged.

Last week in New Orleans, by contrast, nobody took control. Authority was diffuse and action was ineffective. The rich escaped while the poor were abandoned. Leaders spun while looters rampaged. Partisans squabbled while the nation was ashamed.

[...]

Full Story

Comments:
"You don't have to look too hard ..."

..or very far. The analogy is clear in the second block of text.
 
Usually, David Brooks is a neocon cheerleader for the New American Century, with pink button-down shirt and a cheery smile. When the Election of 2000 was over, he chirped on the Lehrer News Hour, "Well, now the people who own the country run it again."

He's not so sanguine these days, though he thinks "The economy and the moral culture are strong." The first is in serious danger and the second is belied by the anecdotes from the Big Easy, where life ain't so "easy" anymore.

"The loss of confidence in institutions," as Brooks editorializes, has never been more keenly felt--at least in my lifetime, including in the 1970's. And Doug's point about the feeling of betrayal at LANL by UC is right in there with the current mood. We're in deep, bad water. Time for a rescue boat to cruise by.
 
I just watched a special on WAL MART and it seems that maybe science someday may also be contracted by them too. They have the ability to get great results for a much cheaper price. Want to bet that someday all of our science will be conducted in China too. It's all about saving money and big business. What's going to happen to America in general one can imagine if you would envision the loss of our industrial base where there is no more skilled labor inside the United States.
 
Sadly, Brad, there will be no rescue boats on the LANL horizon. Even if UC/Bechtel does not win the bid, all that LANL will gain from LM will be a more efficient management infrastructure. Perhaps that will have to be good enough. Perhaps, on the other hand, people need to continue to evacuate the LANL disaster area. I'm guessing (since LANL HR refuses to release the numbers on the total terminations and retirements to date for this year) that at least 1,800 people have abandoned LANL because of Nanos, the shutdown, and the rebid.

I would like to see the total numbers for staff who have left LANL this year, broken down by classification. I would also like to see the numbers for new hires, with data on their degrees, hiring classification (TEC, ASM, SSM, TSM, whatever) and whether or not they had a clearance at the time of hire. My sense is that LANL is badly in the hole with respect to being staffed to do programmatic work.
 
Let's see here? "On Sept. 11, Rudy Giuliani took control."

Doesn't New Orleans have a mayor?
 
Yeah, if there were a disaster in Los Alamos, would people expect FEMA to send in people to protect the supermarket from being vandalized, or to have stocked the staging area with bottled water? I think most people would feel that the local mayor and police have some role there. (Of course, if it happened at Los Alamos, looting would be the last thing on people's minds, but that is another story.)
 
What day of what month will LANL know who won the contract and who they are going to be managed by? Will they be giving you guys a handout that will disclose all of the changes? Will someone then disclose the total retirees?
 
==I would like to see the total numbers for staff who have left LANL this year, broken down==

You can see that at:

http://www.hr.lanl.gov/WorkforcePlanning/CrystalReports/snap_shots/terminations.pdf
 
The URL got truncated

http://www.hr.lanl.gov
/WorkforcePlanning
/CrystalReports
/snap_shots
/terminations.pdf
 
Apropos nothing, really... Just a bit of a squib from Wodehouse (P.G. for you LANL know-nothings, and pronounced "Woodhouse")...

"As for Gussie Finknottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming on sight."
 
07:48:06 PM:

Thanks, those look like realistic numbers for terminations. Do you have the retirement numbers as well?
 
Yes, 08:29:43 PM: perhaps we should move on to Roderick Spode, 8th Earl of Sidcup.
 
=Do you have the retirement numbers as well?=

They are in that same document - from 10/1/2004 - 7/31/2005 454 Retirements (page 4) and broken down in categories on following pages.
 
For more HR statistics see

http://www-robot.lanl.k12.nm.us/search?access=p&client=outside_lanl&proxystylesheet=outside_lanl&output=xml_no_dtd&site=outside_lanl&btnG=Search&q=snap_shots&ip=4.240.162.45&filter=p
 
Thanks, 10:58:36 PM.

Summary: 1,150 total people have left LANL between 10/1/2004 and 7/31/2005. Of those 454 were retirements, 12 were terminated for cause, and 2 were involuntary terminations. 337 of those who left were TSMs.

In the same period, there were 1,582 new hires of which 703 were "regular" new hires, and of those only 135 were TSMs. 378 of the new hires had no degree, 196 had a BA/BS, 91 had an MA/MS, and 32 had a Phd. The 1,582 new hire number includes 693 students (undergrad, grad, co-op) 103 post-docs, and 256 limited term.

No surprises revealed by the numbers: LANL has lost a lot of expertise this past year.
 
693 employee terminations (students and post-docs do not count in this) in 9 months is an annual rate of about 12% on 8000 UC employees!

And, as the previous comment states, we are losing a lot of TSMs and NOT replacing them with TSMs. We will soon be a "work-free safe and secure" place!
 
To the 9/05/2005 05:04:33 PM poster, "Yeah, if there were a disaster in Los Alamos, would people expect FEMA to send in people to protect the supermarket from being vandalized, or to have stocked the staging area with bottled water?"

Just exactly where were you on the DOE/LANL side of business say, oh, about 5 years ago?!

LANL did indeed suffer a disaster. People did indeed expect guards to "protect the supermarket" and "have the staging areas stocked". It was called the National Guard and Red Cross. They invaded all of Los Alamos and White Rock. It was a mandatory evacuation. And NO ONE was left behind that needed assistance.

The Red Cross and National Guard shelters were fully stocked (anyone else remember the White Rock Baptist church, elementary school and how the Pojoaque High School were set up?) Anyone else remember the 5 hours waiting to pull out of White Rock after the midnight mandatory evacuation was announced? And all the National Guardsmen Humvees, etc. that surrounded the eerily quiet, yet crowded town in normally vacant dark, pre-dawn streets? And how reassuring it was to know that our community wasn't abandoned, even though we were forced to leave?

This kind of comment just illustrates for me that it is not Los Alamosans blogging here, but those who would rather tear us down than build us up.

Los Alamos does not forget the gifts and lessons learned from the Cerro Grande fire and has opened their homes to those in need, just like so many in Northern NM opened their homes to us. We have a responsibility to those less fortunate than ourselves and we will not forget it, regardless of what is said of us.
 
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