Monday, June 12, 2006

The bottom line is blindingly simple

Submitted by Anonymous:
________________________________

Doug,

I've been trying for some time now to put what has happened over the past couple of years at Los Alamos into some kind of perspective. This latest episode with NNSA has actually helped me to do it. The bottom line is blindingly simple: our "leaders" are incompetent. As "Spode" noted in a recent post on this blog:

Brooks was fully aware that the purported 2004 missing LANL CREM never even existed. He knew that the media in question had never existed just one day after Nanos shut the place down. He was told so via a conference call made from Nanos' office on the morning of July 17. Regardless, throughout its entire 7 month duration he "fully backed" Nanos' decision to have shut the laboratory down. A shutdown triggered over a security infraction that did not occur.

Now we discover that Brooks is complicit in covering up an actual security incident involving sensitive electronic media at DOE.

That, folks, is irony.

Another poster, "justastaffmember", adds a suggestion for how to handle the current NNSA fubar:

There's only one possible solution: hang the son of a bitch out to dry, just like he did to us. While we're at it, hang out those incompetent CIOs as well.

We may have a new contractor running LANL now, but in spite of Joe Barton's threats to do away with it, we still have NNSA with us. We still have DOE. We are still being run by incompetents.

It will not get better at LANL, that's my new perspective. And to head off any huffy responses of "Well, if you don't like it here, leave!" --- I already have. To those who have chosen to stay, best wishes and good luck, because you can expect to see more of the same at LANL, only worse.

Comments:
aah come on "blindingly simple"... you darn well know DOE/NNSA could not disclose this incident...it involved such super secret stuff that sources would have been revealed and lives(or jobs) lost!... :) :)...call me paranoid if you wish...but if you think there's no other security incidents committed by the Feds that have not yet seen the light of day you'd have to be brain-dead, not just blind.
 
I see the future of LANL (and LLNL) through a different lens.

I see two possible futures. In one future, national security is enhanced by having a combination of excellent operations and excellent science. This future would attract the "best and the brightest" while it protected the nation.

In the second future, actions like the ones described in the post "Blindingly simple" occur.

What would tip the balance one way or the other? Us.

As far as I can tell, if we work toward the first future, this future has a decent chance to occur. If we don't work, then the second future will occur.

So the question is: "Who at LANL (or LLNL) is willing to work hard enough to ensure that the desired future is the actual future?"

Any takers?

Eric
 
I think there are many takers, just not many who contribute to this blog or bother to read it. It is why the fellows have put together a whitepaper to help bring metrics to scientific excellence at the Lab under the new contract (it is available on the fellows web page at LANL). I believe the staff and management want to make this a place of excellence. The DOE/NNSA don't always have the same goals, however, or at least don't act that way. Would it be otherwise, but it never has been.
 
Oooohhhh!

A Fellow's whitepaper!

I'm all moist.
 
Finknottle, you NASTY boy! You deserve a HIDIN'!

Those moist white papers the Fellows laid down may well have been part of my trainin'.
 
Brilliant, Dave. A whitepaper. That will fix everything. Good work by you and the rest of the fellows. You guys take the rest of the day off. I'll sleep well tonight.

BTW, an off-the-wall question: have you ever done anything real? You know: like in the real world?

A whitepaper. Christ on a cracker. No wonder LANL is in the dumper.
 
Well you might want to check out the paper and what is happening before you open your mouth.
 
Dave,

Later this week LANS, LLC is going to put out a Master Memo which will be the prelude to announcements of a large budget shortfall for FY07. Your response is to collect a bunch of laboratory fellows and WRITE A WHITEPAPER?

I hope you and your fellows did it on your own time, because I, for one, would certainly be pissed to learn that you are wasting even more of the LANL budget on your group mental masturbation project.

Here are some of the real issues that LANL faces:

1. Prior to the shutdown of 2004, more than 22% of LANL's $2.2 billion budget was supplied by WFO sponsors. What is is now? What will it be next year? Does LANS even want WFO sponsors?
2. How is LANS prepared to handle the estimated $290 million budget shortfall for FY07?
3. How is LANS planning to retain expertise, in view of LANL's shrinking customer base?
4. What, other than turning LANL into the nation's largest plutonium pit production facility, is in the planning for LANL to insure it's future as a respectable scientific laboratory?

You don't seem to have realized that the time for LANL to pay expensive staff to engage in pointless academic paper-writing exercises has come, and gone.
 
This response of a few just reinforces my opinion of the contributions to the blog these days. There are continuous attacks on the new administration of the Lab bemoaning the loss of science, and then when an effort to ensure the quality of science at the Lab is mentioned (not in detail), it is ridiculed. What other logical conclusion is there then that these folks have no interest in Los Alamos being a great place to do science. As I said in response to Eric's note, there are few contributors to the blog currently that would like to see the lab combine excellent operations and excellent science. This is specifically what the fellows are trying to do and it doesn't just involve the whitepaper, if those interested would care to check into it instead of simply insulting people.
 
Dave.

Send me the paper, and I will post it here so that people can read it.

--Doug
 
As a postscript, Dave, I thought "justastaffmember" raised some valid questions that deserve careful, well thought-out answers.

--Doug
 
There is much more than a whitepaper and I don't have time to post the paper here when it is available on the Lab fellows site. It appears to only be of interest to Lab people and not to those on this web site based on the ridicule that goes on here. The paper specifically address some of the issues (but far from all) of "justastaffmemmber" and proposes a path forward. I see no interest here in its contents or what is being done with it.
 
Like a dog that returns to his vomit, Dave just can't seem to leave
this blog alone, now can he? Come on, Dave. You enjoy ranting and
raving at all the infidels that post here. Admit it. It's fun
telling the heathen they are unsaved and going to Hell (in a nice
handbasket, I might add). If you really spent some time studying
this Fellow's whitepaper, how about using your intellect and sense
of brevity to summarize it in 500 words or less. Spoon feed us
some of the Fellow's great wisdom. I'm all ears, and I suspect
you'll get a much wider audience on this blog site than from the
Fellows' hidden web page.
 
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
BTW, that first sentence is a lead-in just for you, "Pat, the dog".
Go fetch and bring me back something wet and witty.
 
IMHO most of the vomit here emanates from the potty mouths calling the kettle black.
 
That was a disappointing response Dave. First you flaunt this purported fellow's whitepaper at us, and then you decline to share it.

One might start to suspect that there is not much worth seeing there.

Some fine people have shared their thoughts about LANL in this forum: Tom Meyer, Brad Holian, and others. Perhaps your role here is better suited to criticism of the contributors than of actually being a contributor.

As for the rest of you: you might want to calm down a bit. There are only two weeks left before I shut this blog down. Pace yourselves...
 
The white paper is only three clicks away and is not bad.

I just read it.
 
Eric, thanks for posting the link.

Moron.

I'm getting quite tired of this secretive "I know something you don't" attitude.
 
Could somebody please post the link to the fellow's whitepaper?

Thanks,

--Doug
 


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