Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sent to Kuckuck and Anastasio

I was told that this is what was sent to Kuckuck and Anastasio and
received in the Director's office positively. The list of signees
continues to grow.

I feel uncomfortable giving out the email addresses of all these folks
on the blog, however. If you post this, I would appreciate not
including the email addresses.

Dave Forslund


Director Mike Anastasio
Dear Director Anastasio,
The past few years at LANL have been traumatic and unsettling. We have seen many valuable and outstanding colleagues leave or retire. We have seen low morale and growing cynicism. Many scientists, engineers and support staff have pondered how to return LANL to its mission - a collection of excellent minds assembled to address the many challenges to National Security. The new contract provides an opportunity for a new and exciting start as well as a revalidation of the trust the Nation has placed in the Laboratory.
As the decision time approached, a few of us decided to put down on paper what we consider as guiding principles of an excellent scientific and technical institution and some key issues of implementation. What would it take to rekindle the curiosity and spark and return LANL to the kind of institution that attracts and keeps the best people?
We quickly found consensus on five core principles and four issues regarding implementation. The circulation of the memo has been organic in nature and has largely been distributed by personal contact. Nonetheless, the roughly 250 signatures as of today suggest that it does have considerable resonance. We were then faced with questions concerning the relevance of a document that contains no details much less a roadmap for how to implement them. Further, there is nothing intrinsically new in this memo as all the points have been made many times and by many different parties. Our hope, however, is that this time these points will actually be implemented and sustained through dialogue and constructive action.
As the memo began circulating, more and more scientists signed on. We then started to believe that the simplicity of the document was its strength. The scientific staff wanted a voice, but even more they wanted the ability to devote their time to solving the complex problems and challenges facing the nation. To be able to solve problems is what excites and motivates them. The memo, therefore, represents the voice of a subset of the laboratory's staff that wishes to work with you to make LANL an institution based on excellence, to build respect between the management and technical and support staff, and to reaffirm the commitment to address current and emerging national security challenges.

We are committed to keeping LANL a place of excellence that the Nation is proud of and turns to when faced with a challenge to its security. We look forward to your leadership in creating the enriching environment in which all members can make productive contributions to science in the interests of national security.
Robert Ecke, Rajan Gupta, Basil Swanson, Woody Woodruff


Five key guiding principles for maintaining scientific and technological excellence
As the LANL contract transition approaches, there is serious concern among many whether outstanding science and technology in the interest of national security can survive at this institution. Will there continue to be support for science, will outstanding scientists who challenge the conventional and seek the novel be able to thrive, and will there be enlightened leadership that values science? The answers to these questions will determine whether the best staff will stay at LANL. One way to ensure that LANL remains a center of scientific excellence is to spell out and adhere to the guiding principles required for excellence. We, the undersigned, have drafted five important principles that constitute time-proven attributes of the highest-quality scientific and technical enterprises. It is our hope that the new team acknowledges, upholds and promotes these principles as the foundation upon which to build the new LANL. In doing so science will thrive and, by working together, we will be able to maintain LANL as a center of excellence and continue to address the many complex challenges facing the nation. We believe that this is essential for recruiting and retaining the best individuals and for delivering on our mission.
1) Science has been the foundation of excellence at Los Alamos from the very beginning. To address the current and emerging national security needs, excellence must be maintained. This requires stable institutional investment in recruiting and retaining exceptional talent, a large post-doctoral and student program for science and recruiting, and world-class facilities.
2) Foreign nationals have, historically, been important to the vitality and excellence of science and programs at LANL, and remain so because the pool of scientific and engineering talent is increasingly global. Foreign nationals should be welcomed, treated with equal respect, nurtured, and recruited based on merit. Foreign nationals should be equal participants in science and technology consistent with classification, security and counterintelligence.
3) Scientific and technological isolation is a threat to the vitality of national security programs at LANL. To maintain excellence, the institution must encourage interaction and collaboration with the broad scientific community and value peer-reviewed publication. Requirements for accomplishing this objective include a streamlined visitor program and modern facilities for research and meetings.
4) Investigator initiated science and engineering is essential for innovation, long-term focus, and the creation of new programs. This research needs to be peer reviewed, broad based, and supported by stable institutional funding: LDRD at or above the 6% level, and additional weapons supporting research that bridges the gap between basic science and programs.
5) Open experimental and computational facilities that are world class must be supported and encouraged. These facilities will invite international collaboration and enhance the national security mission.
In addition to these five principles we list four issues that are very important for implementing these principles and for success of the programs.
a) Unnecessary bureaucracy must be eliminated. Safety and security requirements must be simple, clear, and stable over time. They must be vetted through a regular dialogue between the scientific/engineering and the safety/security communities before implementation.
b) Innovation, risk taking, and excellence must be protected and nurtured by enlightened management that builds consensus by an integrated top down and bottom up approach.
c) Operations should be integrated, with the support and technical sides working together.
d) Enlightened future leaders must be recruited, mentored and nurtured.
This articulation of principles is not meant to sidestep or question the enormous effort being carried out by the lab management to define roadmaps, skills and capabilities. These ideas summarize what we think are essential characteristics of any modern, first-rate scientific and engineering organization. Below is a growing list of names of people who have already signed this memo.

Mary Neu

Houston T. Hawkins

Thomas Terwilliger
Goutam Gupta
Srinivas Iyer
Rashi Iyer
Weon Bae
Charlie Strauss
Jin Moon
Jose Olivares
Sabine Lauer
Linda Meincke
Andrew Bradbury
Paul Scott White
Jian Song
Hong Cai
Larry Hersman
Christian Forst
Cheryl Kuske
Brian A. MacDonald
Anu Chaudhary
Clifford J. Unkefer
L.S. Cram
Ryszard Michalczyk
Robert Habbersett
Carolyn Bell
Sheng Gu
Rita Svensson
Min Sung Park
Shunsheng Han
Jean Challacombe
Judith Cohn
Andrew Thomas Kppisch
Laurie G. Dixon
Kwasi G. Mawuenyega
James Freyer
Rebecca McIntosh
James R. Brainard
Norman Doggett

Woody Woodruff
Basil Swanson
Thomas McCleskey
David Morris
Roderick A. Fry
Brian L. Scott
Tony Beugelsdijk
Hsing-Lin Wang
David C. Thompson
David Dogruel
Richard B. Dyer
Steven J. Buelow
David L. Thorn
Eugene J. Peterson
George Busch
Michael Janicke
James Bailey
Kevin Cott
Victor Klimov
Aaron Koskelo
Gregory Kubas
Michael Declue
Richard Keaton
Steven Doorn
David Vieira
Xinxin Zhao
Robert Donohoe

Mathew Hecht
Curtis Canada
Olaf Lubeck
Hristo Djidjev
Don Hush
Cliff Joslyn
David Forslund
John Middleditch
Allon Percus
Frank Alexander
David Daniel

D Division:
Edward Van Eeckhout

DX Division:
Nancy Sauer
David Moore

EES Division:
Paul Johnson
Mike Fehler
Hans Ziock
Steen Rasmussen
Robert P Swift
Peter C. Lichtner
Peter M. Roberts
James T. Rutledge
Monica Maceira
Donald Hickmott
James Tencate
Jasper Vrugt
Thomas Rahn
Jamie Gardner
Seth Olson
Manvedra Dubey
Donatella Pasqualini
Siobhan M. Corish
Pierre-Alain Monnard
Ren-Guan Duan
Bryan Travis
J. T. Fabryka-Martin
Gordon Keating
Lee Steck
Jody Benson
Cathy Wilson
Carl Walter Gable
Daniel Levitt
Al A. Eddebbarh
Bruce A. Robinson
Nathan G. McDowell
James W. Carey
George Guthrie
Robert M. Owczarek
David E. Broxton
Paul Rich

Mario Perez
Karen Grace
Michael Tuszewski
Steven P. Love
William Priedhorsky
Herb Funsten
Katrin Heitmann
Michelle Thomsen
Reiner Friedel
David Lawrence
Bruce Barraclough
William Feldman
Anthony Davis
Nancy David
Lakshman Prasad
Petr Chylek
Roger C. Wiens
Neal Harvey
Patrick Colestock
John Steinberg
Elizabeth MacDonald

LANSCE Division:
Rene Reifarth
Robert C. Haight
Monica Hartl
James Sturrock
Rex Hjelm
Ronald Nelson
Tony S. Hill
Sergey Kurennoy
Tsuyoshi Tajima
Peregrine M. McGehee
Ming Xiong Liu

Joe D. Thompson
Greg Swift
Ning Li
Michael Nastasi
Nicholas Curro
Nathan Beck
S. G. Srivilliputhur
Robert D. Field
Michael John Twardos
Michael Hundley
Kenneth J. McClellan
Samuel Thomas Picraux
Jennifer Martinez
Marcelo Jaime
Yuntian Theodore Zhu
Kennard V. Wilson Jr.
Amit Misra
Scott. N. Backhaus
Scott A. Crooker
Quanxi Jia
Richard Averitt
Roman Movshovich
George T. Gray III
Andrew P. Shreve
John Swadener
Peter M. Goodwin
Wei Bao
Greg Kaduckak
Terry Holesinger
Boris Maiorov
Tomasz Durakiewicz

Nerses H. Krikorian
Craig McCluskey

David L. Clark
Gordon Jarvinen
Kirk Veirs

Glen Wurden

Andrew Hime
William Louis
Ivan Vitev
William Wood
Garrett Kenyon
David Montgomery
David M. Lee
James Harrington
Mark Makela
Martin Cooper
Geoffrey Mills
Anuj K. Purwar
Dean Preston
Norman A. Kurnit
Todd Haines
W. Scott Wilburn
Richard Renneke
Scott Hsu
Christopher Tomkins
Mark Kostora

Alexander Balatski
Rajan Gupta
Bette Korber
Salman Habib
Tanmoy Bhattacharya
Alex Friedland
Yuri Shirman
Michael Nieto
Emil Mottola
Eli Ben Naim
Matt Hastings
Charles Reichhardt
Eddy Timmermans
Joseph Carlson
Sanjay Reddy
Terry Goldman
Joseph Ginocchio
James Friar
Benjamin Gibson
Pawel Weronski
Cristian Batista
Byron B. Goldstein
Artem G. Abanov
David Smith
Hans Frauenfelder
N. Gulbahce Johnson
Ivar Martin
Joel Miller
Luis Bettencourt
Stuart A. Trugm
William Fischer
Wojciech H. Zurek
Christopher Jarzynski
J. Tinka Gammel
Thomas Leitner
Mattias Graf
Irene Beyerlein
Jack Hills
John Pearson
Yi Jiang
Geoffrey West
Duan Z. Zhang
Manjit Sahota
Qisu Zou
Xia Ma

TT Division:
Robert E. Hermes

Galen Gisler
Hui Li
Mark Mineev
J. R. Ristorcelli Jr.

Robert Ecke
Alan Hurd
Gerald Geernaert

...sounds right to me.
Every point is right on, but where's the money going to come from? Between the grossly elevated management fee, the gross receipts tax, and Anastasio's outrageous salary there is going to be a lot less money for science.
The letter is spiffy, and most of the things mentioned should cost negative dollars.
The following says alot:

"We were then faced with questions concerning the relevance of a document that contains no details much less a roadmap for how to implement them."

If you are going to ask the Director of the lab to do something, you need to be putting concrete proposals on the table, including how to fund them. Otherwise, this is just feel-good commentary.
And, putting your name on this is probably career-limiting behavior!
"And, putting your name on this is probably career-limiting behavior!"

And working at an institution that doesn't understand and agree with the recommendations in this document isn't?
Not putting your name on this is probably a greater risk for limiting your career. Unless the scientists and engineers speak up for what should be done, the risk to being able to accomplish anything goes up dramatically. Most of the items don't require funding, just require a change in priorities. Probably the greatest risk is not from UC/Bechtel but from DOE/NNSA, since a quality scientific research environment isn't necessarily one of their goals for the Lab.
You all are behaving as if this is a democracy. It is not: DOE/NNSA, and the political powers that make their decisions for them are what will determine the future course for LANL. A "God, Mother, and Apple Pie" letter signed by a bunch of self-righteous LANL scientists will have no impact on the future of your laboratory. One would have to be pretty naive to believe differently, but then I suppose you LANL scientists came by your reputation for obliviousness and naivete honestly.

Go ahead, sign your silly letter. Observe what effect that has. I'll give you a hint: the one observable result of your letter is that "it will be received favorably by your director's office". You will be given a collective pat on the head. Who knows, that might even be sufficient to keep some of you happy for another few years. However, since you all seem so concerned about LANL's mission focus, I'll give you another hint about what that mission will be from this point on: can you say "RFP replacement pit production facility"? I knew you could!

By the time the realization of the new "true" LANL mission becomes predominantly obvious amongst the remaining scientists at LANL a couple of years from now, most of the signatories of that wonderful letter will have moved on, thus effectively lowering the overhead charges for those working on the real mission: pits.
Oh, and I forgot to mention in my previous comment:

Happy New Year.
If the Lab consisted of folks like you, doe_guy, I would have left decades ago. Fortunately, there is a role for research at the Laboratory, albeit made more difficult by the machinations of the DOE and NNSA. Are you acquainted with the scientists at LANL? Are you aware of the breadth of capabilities of the Laboratory. Do you care at all about the defense of this nation? Apparently not from your myopic view of the universe.
And if we scientists had just sat there meekly, saying nothing, hoping that Someone Up There would do the right thing and save us and our scientific careers, then what could we have said when They went ahead and turned us from being mostly a scientific research laboratory into an assembly line for weapons that would never be used? Should we just whimper, suck it up, and just get over it?

This letter should have been composed and publicly issued three years ago, when They, The All-Powerful They, decided to privatize the Laboratory. If not three years ago, then it should have come out one and a half years ago, when the Laboratory was capriciously (some might say maliciously) shut down. If not a year and a half ago, then it should have come out a half a year ago, when the final candidates for privatizing the Laboratory were officially announced. But in any event, it is still not too late for a significant number of distinguished scientists at Los Alamos to stand up and say what they think.

There is still hope that Someone Up There will hear our voices and make some enlightened decisions about the future of our national laboratories.

Sign me up:
-Brad Lee Holian, X-7
I can't resist anymore. The only thing that this letter to the director tells me is that here are 250 annelids out there who are trying to get the director to recognize their existence in hopes that they will become "pets" and keep their jobs. Secondly it tells me that these 250 people are the ones that you cannot count on when it comes time for a mass exodus in June of 06. So where are the voices of the other 12,750 people?

We need 50% of the population of LANL and LLNL to tell DOE, NNSA and the UC to "stick it where the sun doesn't shine" and leave by June of 2006 and Sept of 2007. Nothing else is going to get the point across. Maybe you guys just like getting the royal whiner. Well, you got that, so what do you want next? Isn't having your retirement jerked out from under you enough? Isn't having you medical, dental and optical insurance being dictated by the new contractor enough? Do you not understand that they have just told you indirectly, "you are not needed"? If you want more abuse I will assure you that management will give you what you like.

I think the word I am looking for that would describe the mass majority at both labs at this time is, "pitiful". I would put this in more meaningful and understanding words but I don't think Doug would allow the post, so we'll leave it at this.
Signing this is "career limiting behavior?" People wanting to be "pets?"
Suggestion: Get a list of Lab Fellows, and compare it to the signatures on this letter. You might notice quite a few names in common.
Hopefully the new director and his staff will listen to these folks, who certainly know a thing or 2 about getting quality research done.
b-ohica, you are beyond hope. You seem to be intent on destroying the Lab(s) and the important role it/they play in the defense of the nation. I guess you are one of those that wants the Lab to be shut down. You migt be far more dangerous than any UC or DOE folk although fortunately you don't have any real voice, other than your silly ranting on this blog.
If you read carefully, all five recommendations require resources. Even the foreign national reference (most are afraid of the question of what foreign nationals cost to host). Our world-class computing was pretty expensive. The buildings to put it in was also pretty expensive. I forget what the new Admin (or Defense Program) building is costing at LANL. Any new, contemporary laboratory, experimental, or meeting facility is costly (new LANL EOC costs anyone?). I think the conference report earmarks will substantially reduce when Domenici retires. Just compare the SNL and LANL earmarks to LLNL. Red networks, classified computing, MESA, etc.... The Director and senior management are always doing triage on competing requests; one needs to put forward cogent arguments for your position, not pabulum.
I have a wish and one wish only and that is that between LLNL and LANL we have a minimum of 15,000 qualified people walk off the job the day before the new contractor takes over and that on their way out the gate with their retirement in hand they give DOE, NNSA and the UC a big international piece sign and wish them luck. These organizations need to understand that what they did to you and me will not be tolerated "for any reason" .
Yeah, b-ohica, it'll really be great if 15,000 qualified employees walk out of LANL and LLNL. Think of what our children and grandchildren will say about us, if they are still speaking English or are still alive.

How about an idea of why you are so bitter and angry? I can think of only one legitimate reason - your career suffered at the hands of Admiral Butthead. But that's no excuse for your attitude. All you do is reinforce the idea that LANL and LLNL employees are a bunch of crybabies.

Plenty of other employees throughout the country in all sorts of jobs suffer at the hands of poor management, including those who work directly or indirectly for the DOE/NNSA buffoons. You can chose to walk away and whine, or you can try to fix problems from within. You get no respect if you do the former, and most of the time you have very little effect if you do the latter unless you coordinate with others. That's what this blog should be about now - a coordinated effort to provide constructive solutions, not just to whine about problems.
To TravisMcGee I say "Amen". I couldn't have said it better.
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
Your opinion is your opinion and nothing more, just is mind.

To me the idea of this blog beginning Dec 21st, 2005 is to coordinate a mass exodus from both labs to assure that the next generation will not be screwed as we did.

Now who did you say the buffoons were?

It not DOE, NNSA or the UC at all. They are banking on people like you and your thoughts. I just hope the mass majority 32,000 others are smarter then this and do what is right. I'd much rather have my children and grand children say that I took a stand; then for them say that I was a spineless swine and because of it we're getting screwed too.

As far as I am concerned I would say that anyone who stays from either LANL or LLNL, that could have in fact retired would be nothing more then a fool.
So…. B-hoica is suggesting that 15000 of us walk out on DOE/NNSA and UC to make some sort of statement. If we do so, our children (and grandchildren) will applaud us and wear our photographs on their lapels, UC will weep bitter tears at how wrong it has been, DOE will wear flowers in its collective hair, and the world will magically heal itself.

Oh holy heck no. I haven’t heard an idea so fundamentally foolish since my undergraduate political science seminars.

If we flip UC the bird and walk off into the sunset, three things will happen:

-UC will hire more people
-We who walk off into the sunset (those of us who are not yet able to cash in on retirement, as b-hoica assumes) either scramble for new jobs the next day or sheepishly return to the labs
-Our children will either a) never actually care about our pathetically ineffectual gesture, or b) look at us as pathetically ineffectual people.

There is no mechanism by which we can change LANL from the outside. There is no way that we’re going to change things by whining about how bad they are either. Travis is right – we may have little impact from working within the LANL system to make things better, but we have no chance to change things if we leave.

The problems that LANL faces are: unclear goals, poor management, and inefficient systems. I don’t know what to do about the goals part of this – that’s well above my pay grade, and is dictated by a dysfunctional DOE and a self-absorbed Congress. I was hoping that LM would be able to deal with the systems side of the problem, but perhaps we’ll get lucky with Bechtel. Management, however, is entirely up to us.

LANL has a huge number of competent, intelligent, and decent people who can be trained to be effective managers, and chances are that most LANL employees on this blog fall into that category. Look for chances to develop your leadership abilities. Work on your organizational, time management, and other skills. Volunteer to lead where possible, work to support your managers when not. Provide useful feedback for managers who are trying but don’t seem to quite ‘get it’. Call out the incompetent, abusive or criminal management and staff who survive through institutional inertia. In short, we are not going to see any changes if we ourselves do not try to make things work.

I know that some of you have already been doing this to little effect, and that some good managers give in to lousy systems, procedures, and line management – the efforts I mention here won’t necessarily change everything.

Walking out, on the other hand, won’t get us anything.
Here's one LLNL employee that agrees with the letter and would sign it in a heartbeat.

However, we all must remember that LANL's enemy is not UC/Bechtel - they have nothing to gain and more to lose if LANL fails... LANL's real enemy has and always will be DOE and its incompetent bureaucratic overseers with their thousands of requirements contained in the proscriptive and useless DOE Orders, technical specifications, and "non-mandatory" guides.

DOE continues to destroy real science in this country's national labs - labs that were doing just fine before DOE came into being.

DOE forced the creation of the UC/Bechtel LLC for LANL - which raised the cost of running the lab ten fold... and I expect that there will be little real change, at least not overnight. You can't throw out the LANL Safety Manual and replace it Bechtel's any more than I could take the 100 page owner's manual for my Ford car and replace it with one for a Cadillac. You can't void all LANL HR/Personal policies and procedures without causing mass confusion... DOE controls 99% of "what" LANL does and 98% of "how" it gets it done.

I think Mike Anastasio will look at your letter - which has similarities to the initiates he recently approved for the vision of LLNL in 2025 - and see it as a sign of hope that his new Lab is not a lost cause.
Only those who think that stockpile stewardship is key and stay are foolish. As far as nuclear weapons are concerned, well that boondoggle I hope will be coming to an end. There is absolutely no need to make better ones or smaller ones. All that really needs to be done, is maintain them and I don't mean spending the next 50 years trying to find out why they work, how they work or even the so called science of which no one in the real world cares about. These agenda's are a waste of the tax payers money. As I have said before, leave them alone and put them on a maintenance program. We have enough in stock to do the job a thousand times over, so lets do something productive for a change.

The two labs have been milking this NAI program for way to long. Both labs need a real mission, not a bottom feeding frenzy to see who is right and who is wrong.

If you want to work on a better and more accurate deliver system or how to keep them out of the "bad" peoples hands then so be it. But that would mean that NIF should come to a halt immeditely if not sooner.

Just my opinion of which I hope someone in washington DC is viewing.
Good luck with it. Getting rid of bueracracy is usually the hardest thing to do.. not just because you are talking about people's jobs. It is usually having to come up with a completely new way to do business that is

A) Transparent
B) Cross-checking
C) Auditable

that is less work than what was there before. The human tendency seems to be instead to keep doing what you are doing and add an extra layer of "watchmen" to watch the ones before. [It is a tendency from ancient history.. eg where the word Byzantine comes from :)].

I think that if LANL could focus its brainpower on coming up with such a method it would be more useful than a lot of publications that it does do every year. However, showing how LANS can better profit from it would be a hard sell.

NNSA Labs primary mission is to design, maintain, search for, secure, and destroy WMD.
Not to worry harvey h, apparently no net loss yet as far as pure UC Regular headcount goes.

There were 8225 UC Regulars at the start of FY05. Count was 8413 UC Regulars on 7/31/05. It stands at 8563 UC Regulars as of 11/30/05.
Actually, Larry, the 'UC' part of the UC/Bechtel LLC *is* the enemy.

The LANL of today is the result of 62 years of UC stewardship. Never forget that. Mike Anastasio has that UC stigma associated with him. Bechtel has their own 'Bechtel Nevada' stigma. Couple that with NNSA's Linton Brooks' continued lauding of Pete Nanos' shutdown decision, and I think you begin to get a feel for the new atmosphere up on "The Hill". UC has been rewarded for how they have managed Los Alamos. There will be no incentive to change anything.

Things will be pretty grim at LANL for the foreseeable future, "feel good" scientist-signed letters notwithstanding.
Not to worry harvey h, apparently no net loss yet as far as pure UC Regular headcount goes.

There were 8225 UC Regulars at the start of FY05. Count was 8413 UC Regulars on 7/31/05. It stands at 8563 UC Regulars as of 11/30/05.
# posted by educatedbeyondmyability : 1/02/2006 07:52:59 PM
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Lets hope for 50% of these people to walk out the door in June. Now that would be sweet. If they don't then I hope they get what they deserve.
b-ohica, I don't believe you have any idea what the Lab does. Perhaps that is just as well, since you have some many other fantasies.
b-ohica, I don't believe you have any idea what the Lab does. Perhaps that is just as well, since you have some many other fantasies.
# posted by David : 1/02/2006 11:03:30 PM

I know exactly what they do. I've been there for two decades and to date I have not been impressed. It's only a job that "had good benefits". Not that they are gone, I will be gone. I can't say I will miss it or the BS politics. I will however miss some of the people with a brain.

What working in the government for over 30 years has tough me is that the American tax payer is being taken to the cleaners on a daily basis.

America's best bet is to put their money into the CIA, FBI and NSA and above all get their moneies worth from the private sector where peple actaully produce.
Your description of the what the Lab does is extremely narrow. I'm retired from the Lab (after 35 years) but still try to help out because the mission is critical to the nation. The breadth of the R&D at the Lab even in the nuclear area has almost nothing to do with your descriptions. You are clearly a disgruntled employee bent on trying to destroy the Lab and the defense of this nation.
b-ohica is Jesus Christ "Chris" Mechels (yes, that's his legal, full name), perenial lab critic who would like to see LANL and all of its employees suffer because he got the shaft back during the RIFF and has had a hard-on for LANL ever since. Good luck JC Mechels. Though, you're really not living up to your name!
Your description of the what the Lab does is extremely narrow. I'm retired from the Lab (after 35 years) but still try to help out because the mission is critical to the nation. The breadth of the R&D at the Lab even in the nuclear area has almost nothing to do with your descriptions. You are clearly a disgruntled employee bent on trying to destroy the Lab and the defense of this nation.
# posted by David : 1/03/2006 09:18:07 AM

Ah so now I find out who I am really dealing with. A retired old politically correct lab rat crony who has his retirement in hands and is laughing all the way to the bank, while he tells others people that they should be happy coming to work for the cause, God and country where they will receive no pension, no benefits and a swift kick in the butt for their troubles.

Talk about a self serving righteous individual. You take the cake.

I'll tell you what. Lets take your retirement and benefits from you right now and put your butt back in the work force to where you are just shy of being able retire. Then I'll tell you " thanks a lot but I am going to take you retirement and you benefits" , and as of June 2006 you will become and employee of the new corporation, "if funding is available".

Having read most of your post and a few other peoples out here, you'd probably be foolish enough to stay and say, "give me some more" that didn't hurt at all. "I'll work for LANL" for nothing but pride. Bah Humbug, Nodda and BS.

You're damn right I am disgruntle employee as should 32,000 other people at both labs.

I am convince that you have been educated beyond your capability and numb to say the least as to just how these 32,000 people just got screwed by the UC. But for you I know you really don't care because you'be got yours.

Now days you spend your retirement years trying to convince these 32,000 people "that it's all good" and everything will be just fine; if they'd just stay and keep working hard. Well I'll tell you what. My 30 years experience at the lab and in the ranking system proves that you are as full of it as Christmas Turkey. All that really counts at either one of the labs is how big are your knee pads and if you can pull vacuum to 1 X 10-6 s/cc , who you know and if you are a yes man or not. As long as you are a conformist and go with the flow you'll be fine. But don't you dare question authority or use logic to enforce you case. You'll be sucking lemons.

LANL and LLNL will not ever be the same and it is not going to be for the better. The cost of running the labs should go up ten fold in order to pay the lavish salaries of those new comers, while the budgets should go down by 10-20 % per year for the next few decades.

So now Dave since you are all and mighty and most likely x-management, you tell us what will happen to those who stay with the new corporation. Can you say, save managements butt once more because they are doing such a crap hot job; and get rid of those who"actually do the work". That's right a RIF at will and sooner then you think.

Again I will reiterate. Anyone who stays and takes this abuse from the UC/ DOE and NNSA is beyond being a FOOL and truly deserve what they get. NOTHING.

So you sit back Dave and enjoy your retirement while the you watch rest of the sheep being brought to slaughter. Apparently you did not have a life for your first 35 years and still don't. The politicians will do as they wish for what ever reason. The mission of the labs will change and become more privatized, therefore streamlines and budget oriented. That translates into basic economics where less man power is needed. Hint Hint !!!

As far as me partaking in the labs future my concerns are not about national security or the labs future at all, but all about what happens to the people,their pension and benefits. The rest of the BS means absolutely NOTHING to me at all. In my opinion if the company has no intention of taking care of me, then I have no interest intake care of it. Anyone who does not think this way is just plan naive and stupid.

It is all about pension and benefits and the carrot that is dangled in your face from day one.
I sniff up the leg of "b-ohica" and he is NOT Chris Mechels. He smells of Livermore to me. English not first language. Hairs on my neck stand up when either one of these guys saunter into the room. They may be right just over half the time, but they kick dogs, I think.
b-ohica, Chris Mechels or who ever you are: You certainly have revealed your colors as to not caring a lick about our country and our national defense. You accuse me of selfishness, but if that were the case, I would have no interest in working for the Lab. I do, not because I need it, but because I want to still make a difference. You can look me up and see that I'm not a x-management person. Your position indicates that you desire to drag people down to your depressed position. At least it is easy to disregard your views at this point, if it wasn't already. Especially since you aren't willing to reveal identity.

You know I'm no fan of the DOE or the NNSA and that this contract change may not make any difference, but the job the Lab and its technical staff is vital to the nation's national security. Letters like the one associated with this thread indicate the dedicated position of many researchers at the Lab of whom I'm proud to say I'm a colleague. It is the dedication of these people that will make a difference, not some bureaucrat in Washington.
I've never done this on the blog, but I thought I'd post a summary impression on the comments submitted to this thread so far.

Interestingly, I find a bit of something to agree with in just about all of the comments posted here to date. For instance, I share bohica's disgust with UC. I share David's not being a fan of DOE or NNSA.

I agree with the DOE Guy in that I also think the LANL scientists have an unhealthy "academic" connection with reality. Which nicely dovetails with my agreement to "arcs_n_sparcs"'s contention that without any substantive suggestions, the scientist-signed letter is just a cheap "feel-good" thing.

I did find a couple of things to disagree with, however. I don't agree, on principle, with "infallible". Anybody who considers himself to be, isn't.

I also don't agree with "larrylivermore..." in his claim that UC is not the enemy. I feel that UC is a large part of the problem, and not part of the solution.

As to "Pat, the Dog", well I'll just leave him to sniff up "bohica"'s leg all by by himself, thank you.

Thanks Doug. I won't be taking anyone up on sniffing up my legs, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I chose to focus on who is screwing who and why, then I try to bring it to light for people to "think about" Usually once the light bulb is turned on the word begins to spread and they finally get away from being day-dream-believers that have been bamboozled by upper level management. I have and will continue for the duration of my career talk to people and make them realize what is going on and why. Eventually they will do the right thing and you all know what that is. So again take care Doug and be good.

I will be standing by clip someone off at the knees for promoting a system that in fact just cut off your heads for their self preservation, i.e. UC

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