Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Rat Patrol

Submitted by "The Rat Patrol"

Looks to me that the little chicks who are running from LANL and soon to be LLNL are the smart ones. I hope these chicks symbolizes those who are eligible to retire, or those who just choose to get out and go elsewhere. The one that is left behind standing there looking up, I see as the unfortunate ones that have no choice buy to stay. And of course there is bald headed dude who must be Mikey baby with his $1.3M wondering what did he do wrong. You're right, nothing is going to change. Management is management and that's all there is to it. You are either with them or against them.That's been common knowledge for decades.

Now how about designing the new Walmart Greeter button.

Something along the lines of

"Hi, Welcome to Walmart from a friendly UC-LANL retiree"
Believe it or not that is exactly what most of us are going to be doing in order to have medical coverage of which I will bet will be gone in about five years. The good news is that Starbucks gives their employee full medical coverage and stock options, with only 20 hours a week. Now isn't that saying something for the UC/ LANS / DOE complexes?
I think it's time for all of us to come out of the closet. Rather than spewing on the blog behind the cover of a moniker it's time for all interested parties to sit down eye to eye and have discussions about all this. B-ohica, et al, talk about getting hold of lawyers to pursue something further. There is nothing united.
I think we really need to all sit and discuss and hopefully there are some knowledgeable people out there that can put the emotional aspect aside who are smarter than most of us that can interpret this stuff logically. Everyone has a different spin on all this.
I've given an entire career to LASL/LANL and don't want to lose anything and I'm not ready to go out the door yet. I also don't want to run around saying the sky is falling yet either. Being an engineer I like to see data and then analyze data to make a decision. Joe Ladish was good with getting the Coalition for LANL Excellence going. What we need is a meeting place and someone who can lead a discussion. And then everyone to come out from behind their monikers and discuss.
Right now we all see doom and gloom out of all this. Is it all doom and gloom or is there a silver lining we are just not seeing yet? I do know that retirees are being informed about what is going on. Any better ideas guys and gals?
George Chandler - you out there and are you reading this stuff from a legal standpoint? Coalition for LANL Excellence - you out there in blogland and have any thoughts?
Retirees - any organizers?
Manny Trujillo - you out there?
Who can we get to expain it all that we can trust? Or are we beyond trust? If that's the case then we are all doomed.
I just want to hear some discussion with logic, etc.
Just some thoughts....
Dear "Butthead":

(Hey, I was called that once--and Cowboy, too.)

You are right about the growing level of action on behalf of LANL retirees and staff; it is happening as we speak, though I can't give out any details yet, but we are not sitting back, whining, and 'just getting over it' or 'putting it behind us', like the Powers That Be would like.

The details will be forthcoming this next week, I have been assured, by people who are working this issue (other than our Congressional delegation--they are following, not leading, the public opinion in New Mexico).

Just keep talking to each other, and keep your eyes peeled on this here Blog. Nothing will slip by its ever-vigilant eyes.

Why are the details secret?

I also don't understand the bitterness of posters toward LANS at this point. I don't find the cartoon at the head of this post particularly amusing.
If people care about LANL at all, they should at least hope that LANS is successful, even if they don't want to participate in it. The later posts saying we should do something constructive is the right approach. There are quite a few constructive posts on the coaltion for LANL excellence list. That is what we should be striving for.
Yeah Dave,

That was until you found out that the UC was giving your retirement away. You were not impressed then, were you. Now you are back trying to play goody-goody-two shoes for LANS. Well I wouldn't get all puffy cheeked for to long because your retirement is still at risk. That little issue isn't over until you see it in writing. I believe Brad is actually doing something constructive about it and it's my hopes that he will succeed without seeking legal counsel, but if that's were we have to go with this; then so be it.

I think the UC/ DOE /LANS have decades to go before they regain the employees trust. What they have done in the past is going to take a lot of forgiving, and I doubt that any one will even turn their backs on them again in fear of getting stabbed. The one that took the cake for me was their sly little move to dump us off the primary UCRP. From what I read there are of course many other legitimate complaints.
David, are you saying that you don't understand the bitterness that has been directed towards LANS, or are you saying that you don't feel people should not be allowed to feel that bitterness?

Understanding the bitterness is really quite easy: it is overflow from that has previously been directed towards UC. Natural enough for LANS to be the recipient of this continued bitterness, since

1. there has been no closure regarding the damage that UC has done to LANL in recent years, and
2. UC is a component of LANS.

There is therefore the natural expectation that UC/LANS will not change it's demonstrated disregard for LANL employees.

It is so easy to understand this, in fact, that I am having problems understanding your difficulty grasping it.

Why should we care about LANS? UC, which is part of LANS, has:

1. given us Admiral Butthead.
2. given us Admiral Foley.
3. tried to avoid financial reaponsibility for our pensions (of course, Anastasio will remain a UC employee so his pension is protected.

From my point of view, UC and LANS can go to hell.
b-ohica, LANS had nothing to do with the proposed changed in the UCRP retirement plan for LANL. If you know otherwise show me the proof. The mailing list coalition for LANL excellence has had some very clear and rational discussions on the issues going on here. They are also clear from the UC documents.

You are making some assumptions which aren't necessarily justified. You start with the the presupposition that LANS won the contract unfairly. This has not been established, only claimed. If it was unfair, then the LM folks should have filed a protest.

I believe that we have to work with the cards dealt us. The work that LANL must do needs to happen with the new management. That is not going to change. To continually claim them to be corrupt without proof results in your claims being discounted by others. LANS needs to be pushed to do what needs to be done, for sure, but continually beating on them based on presumptions is not helpful. I believe Anastasio understands the problems well and has the tools to deal with them. How successful he can be is yet to be determined, of course. I understand you don't what to even let him have the opportunity to try. The only motivation for doing so that I can see is the desire to see the Lab shutdown, not succeed. This benefits no one and results in statements on the blog being ignored by people who might actually be able to make a difference.

People certainly can be bitter about what has happened (I'm certainly not happy with how the Lab was managed under Nanos), but in my opinion the only way to handle this is to work toward a solution with the tools one has.
Not quite, David. I start with the observation that past performance could not possibly have been properly weighted in the evaluation, because had it been, there is no way UC would have a continued role in running LANL. UC's past performance in running a national laboratory has been miserable, especially when compared to LM's.

Further, your statement that LM would have contested the findings if they were judged to be improper is naive. The reality is that if the contract was unfairly awarded, then contesting the decision would not accomplish anything other than completely alienating LM from DOE.

There was a period after the announcement of the award that managers inside Lockheed were so furious that they considered prematurely terminating their contract for running Sandia. Give it back to DOE, as it were. Cooler heads prevailed, and pragmatism won out over anger.


I favor the course of pragmatism winning out over anger. (If that is LockMart's modus vivendi, then so be it; it's a good modus.) I am waiting to see how LANS operates; we can't really see that yet, since June 1, 2006 is four months away. UC is a known entity, now that they have tipped their hand about the retirement system. I expect that the opening legal salvo will be happening sometime this week; stay tuned to The Blog.

Watching both ways with both eyes open (and keeping a watch on the back trail, too),

Your views are your personal ones and you certainly are entitled to them. Others have different views. I don't know if you saw the LM proposal or were at the presentations made. I'm not a fan of the DOE/NNSA as you know, but I don't have any first hand information to comment on. My view is that for LANS to be picked, they had to make a very strong case, because I believe DOE would be inclined to give the contract to someone else.
I think being watchful about how things proceed is prudent. Drawing premature conclusions is not.
Can't argue with any of that, David.

Everyone seems to think that only U.C. has a problem delivering, and this past poor performance should have swung things in the LM direction.

Well, guess what? LM isn't doing so well in the "past performance" category either.

Aerial Common Sensor [ACS]

The United States Army announced on January 12, 2006, that it was terminating the $879 million Lockheed Martin, System Design and Development (SDD) contract for the Aerial Common Sensor.

Yeah, but the F-22 Raptor (built by Lockheed/Boeing) is one hell of a
plane. You've got to give LM credit for that one. It will be many
years before anyone else even comes close to the F-22's capabilities.
Lockheed is capable of doing some pretty incredible stuff. They are
definitely a cut above a lot of the other defense contractors who sell
their goods inside the Beltway.
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