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  • Bulletin #172: Fundraising drive; upcoming meetings & film screenings; more, 10 Jun 2013
    a big difference 2 Please join us at these upcoming New Mexico meetings and events and one radio show June 13 and July 11 regular Santa Fe LASG meetings 6 00 pm at Second Street Brewery 1814 2nd St Santa Fe map Open to all June 15 interview with LASG Fellow Mia Gandenberger on Women s Focus hosted by Carol Boss on KUNM 89 9 FM The show runs from 12 00 to 2 00 pm June 20 and July 18 regular Albuquerque LASG meetings 6 00 pm at 2901 Summit Place NE map Open to all June 27 Public discussion The New Disarmament Movement featuring Ray Acheson Director of the acclaimed NYC and Geneva based Reaching Critical Will RCW nuclear disarmament project of the Women s International League for Peace and Freedom with Greg Mello and Mia Gandenberger of LASG 6 00 pm Santa Fe Woman s Club 1616 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe map For background on RCW and on the upsurge in activity on nuclear disarmament worldwide see this excellent Pressenza interview with Ray Apr 23 2013 July 6 13 International Nuclear Abolition Week discussions including screenings of the award winning In My Lifetime documentary by Robert Frye July 12 6 00 pm at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History 601 Eubank Blvd SE Albuquerque map July 13 6 00 pm at the Santa Fe Woman s Club 1616 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe map At this event we will have with us special guest Kathy Christison writer former CIA analyst and long time Study Group member coauthor of Palestine in Pieces and other writings on the Middle East We are still working on Los Alamos and Taos venues and dates this week We will send out an updated schedule but in the meantime please feel free to call us at 505 265 1200 for updates 3 The National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA and the U S nuclear weapons enterprise overall is in trouble In Bulletin 171 we said NNSA was deteriorating and predicted that we would soon see more evidence that NNSA s nuclear modernization programs were spiraling out of control We said the Obama administration had almost gone on vacation as far as nuclear weapons management goes with increasing hell to pay The very next day NNSA Administrator Neile Miller resigned As Problems Mount U S Nuke Warhead Chief Steps Down LASG press release of May 17 2013 As we have said in recent meetings there is absolutely no way NNSA can complete its ambitious work plan whether or not it gets its proposed ever larger budgets Likewise there is absolutely no way DoD can or will buy all the nuclear weapons delivery systems now promised The administration s baseline nuclear weapons plan is simply inexecutable We are now expanding on this theme in some detail and will be briefing our results on Capitol Hill soon 4 The latest plan for Los Alamos plutonium facilities underground factory modules The details or we know

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin172.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #171: Invitations, 16 May 2013
    you want to help with refreshments During the evening Mia will give us a very fresh first hand report on how the nuclear weapons modernization plans of the Obama Administration are being received by NPT member states The following evening Thursday May 23 at 6 30 pm at the Santa Fe Woman s Club 1616 Old Pecos Trail map please join Mia and the Study Group for further discussion of nuclear weapons modernization plans as they are perceived internationally and in Congress We hope you will invite your friends to this event which will be a much needed fundraiser for us We ll have plenty of time to talk about these issues and most of all what interested citizens can do even and especially in New Mexico behind the nuclear curtain Most days we are ready to take a break from our work at 4 pm to meet with volunteers or just to talk over things with our members if anyone shows up These are our office hours Give us a call and drop by if you want Mid May is the 21st anniversary of the Study Group as a full time staffed organization Yay Please join us at the above events as we quietly celebrate together what you and we done over these two decades and together take the measure of what lies ahead with an equal temper of heroic hearts Also we ll be having a panel discussion on June 29 with international guests place and time TBD Save the date NNSA deteriorating not to put too fine a point on it Those of you who have attended our recent discussions have heard that the nuclear modernization programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration NNSA are not just unnecessary except to increase spending but also are in the

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin171.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 170: REMINDER: Quash the Obama nuclear surge, 7 May 2013
    roll out in NM THIS WEEK please come or otherwise help Briefings and public discussions Santa Fe TOMORROW Wednesday May 8 6 30pm at the Santa Fe Woman s Club 1616 Old Pecos Trail Albuquerque Thursday May 9 6 30pm Study Group office 2901 Summit Place NE Dear friends Please come to one of the two meetings listed above and written about in our last Bulletin 169 to learn more about LANL s proposed Modular Pit Facility MPF and the Obama nuclear surge and the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities RCLC a lobbying group the goals of which are to promote environmental remediation regional economic development and site employment and adequate funding for LANL and especially as one of the sadder but wiser initiators later observed promoting CMRR NF Please consider helping this effort financially you can donate here or become a sustaining donor send a check or write Trish to donate stock make a bequest or make other arrangements Please write us if you have even a little time to help no matter where you live We are developing new ways to help whether you live nearby in other U S states or in other countries See you tomorrow

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin170.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 169: Quash the Obama nuclear surge: campaign roll-out in NM next week, 3 May 2013
    warhead too might require pit production President Obama might not know it but NNSA now claims to need a higher pit production rate of 50 80 new pits per year after 2030 when the MPF would be open for business as would be the Uranium Processing Facility UPF in Tennessee That means NNSA foresees other new warheads beyond these two In 1996 LANL was chosen for the pit production mission on the basis of a total estimated capital cost of 310 M in 1995 dollars that s 473 M today This included refurbishment of PF 4 and all other capital investments necessary to achieve a 50 pit year capacity At the same time internal DOE documents recognized that no pit production was actually needed for the foreseeable future see history and discussion here Since then billions of dollars have been spent on the pit production mission and billions more have been requested Now we have a new plan which would build a Rube Goldberg scheme of underground foundries bunkers labs and factories in an active seismic zone atop a poorly anchored stratum of loose volcanic ash linked to each other and with existing facilities which would be rebuilt by tunnels in unknown ways to serve unknown missions at an unknown ultimate cost to make pits that are not needed except for warheads which have not been requested designed tested or certified which nobody can use under a nonproliferation regime the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that requires complete nuclear disarmament We have seen many bad plans at DOE but this one really takes the cake Not just this plan but the entire corpus of NNSA planning is very shaky Many false premises are suddenly under greater scrutiny because Congress has little faith that NNSA can actually complete all the warhead and construction projects it has laid out Internationally nuclear weapons modernization plans and failure to proceed with disarmament are coming under greater scrutiny as are nuclear weapons generally Increasing numbers of people and states understand that the collateral damage from nuclear weapons begins long prior to any actual use of them and it takes many forms Please help us defeat these plans as we have defeated prior ones These LANL developments which like CMRR NF are closely linked to an aggressive nuclear weapons agenda are outrageous Managerially they are unwarranted under any logical nuclear weapons policy at all They perfectly express the fundamental insanity that lies at the deepest heart of NNSA s management problems why all the reforms attempted have failed and will fail NNSA and any successor agency could be improved and we have lots of practical ideas how to do that but in the final analysis U S nuclear warhead programs will never be well run These plans indicate a runaway nuclear weapons policy that runs counter to President Obama s rhetoric his Nobel Prize U S nonproliferation objectives and binding treaty law For these reasons we are launching on Wednesday a local national and international campaign to defeat these proposals and to hold our local politicians accountable for promoting nuclear corporate interests instead of developing our communities We will use any and all nonviolent means to defeat these proposals as necessary and appropriate We demand life affirming security policies that can address our truly grave human environmental and economic needs We will be working closely with international organizations beginning this summer look for more in the next Bulletin We will identify Santa Fe Los Alamos and northern New Mexico as a highly nuclearized socially blighted region devoted to the furtherance of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear corporate interests under the oppressive leadership of our senators and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan all of whom fully support these plans New Mexico as a whole so far from God so close to Los Alamos will be tarred Please come to one of the two meetings above to learn more Please consider helping this effort financially you can donate here or become a sustaining donor send a check or write Trish to donate stock make a bequest or make other arrangements Please write us if you have even a little time to help no matter where you live We are developing new ways to help whether you live nearby in other U S states or in other countries The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi That s the name but as we all know the reality is increasingly different I said slouching toward Santa Fe not Los Alamos for a reason Santa Fe is now increasingly inside the fence Until 2006 the University of California UC and since then Los Alamos National Security LANS and at all times DOE and NNSA have assiduously sought to quell protest undermine environmental regulation and prevent bad publicity for LANL They have become quite successful at community and public relations in addition to the lobbying campaign contributions lending staff to help members of Congress and the hundred other tricks of the influence trade that LANS free access to tens of millions of taxpayer dollars makes possible This money is free because it is quite plentiful and entirely unregulated How can this be For starters every LANL program project and salary is taxed internally to pay for categories of overhead which include or for some programs just are lobbying and propaganda In addition corporate profit fee is freely available to the trustees and their managers as are the resources of the LANS parent companies an effectively bottomless pool Employees and managers own funds can be used e g as campaign contributions In addition many LANS jobs are themselves primarily lobbying or propaganda and LANS can grant leave to assist governments In addition DOE especially the green sounding office of the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management has many ways to grant money to its friends or hire contractors for services rendered Very lucrative jobs can be offered for example to former congressional staff and federal or state regulators For large political donors

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin169.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 168: Obama administration to request major increase in NNSA Nuclear weapons spending, 9 Apr 2013
    Mr Rodney Frelinghuysen Mr David Hobson great members of this subcommittee and we re abject failures Nothing s changed People have been working on this for 20 years three administrations both political parties and we re still talking about we re going to get started I mean I ve got a whole list of projects major construction projects billions of dollars burned up in a hole in the ground and I m having the same hearing I ve had for 15 20 years I m just beside myself 8 Given what we have seen for the past four and half years we have concluded that truly accountable management of the nuclear weapons enterprise in the public interest is neither the primary nor the secondary goal of this Administration and of Democratic Party leaders in Congress Oh the Administration and the people in it do want good management of course and they try sort of to succeed but successive Obama administrations have been so far unwilling or unable to do what it takes to succeed Success has been to all intents and purposes very narrowly redefined downward to mean something like no more major scandals or bad headlines 9 This means that whatever waste and management failures that have not come to light independently are not brought to light and are unlikely to be fixed Politics trumps management cronyism is rampant and greed runs to extremes in the contracting and scientific communities which have in many cases become comfortable sinecures pursuing knowledge few want and no one really needs Managing to the headlines is endemic in this administration not just at NNSA To their credit we will be speaking with senior NNSA management this week about some of our concerns We believe we have some answers if only a dialogue can be established Nonprofit cronyism forms a Democratic echo chamber enabling budget increases The proposed warhead spending increases were explicitly and or implicitly supported in their formative period by the entire liberal nonprofit arms control community which is closely allied with the Democratic Party and the current White House This community sought New START ratification based on a Deal that included the spending increases we will see this week and then some 10 The support of these nominally independent voices was an important part of the political consensus that the Administration and many nuclear hawks thought had been achieved in the New START process The arms control community and its controlling funders marginalized what could have been significant opposition from the political left as well as from some libertarian and centrist budget hawk organizations and members of Congress Independence in this community is not tolerated Obviously powerful budget hawks reside on the political right It is from the ranks of Republicans whence came the greatest recent scourge of fiscal waste at NNSA David Hobson of Ohio now retired Hobson led the House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee in close cooperation with Peter Visclosky D IN Only a handful of organizations none of which were in Washington DC and only one of which was in New Mexico namely ours decried the New START Deal and the massive new factories and warhead programs that were part of it This is not the place to tell that whole story but it is a very important one because that deal is the political foundation for the budget increases you are about to see I am sure we will see a lot of complaints this week about the proposed nuclear weapons budget from the very same organizations that fully and actively endorsed this budget plan including the now defunct CMRR NF when it was devised presented agreed and set in motion via plans budgets and to some extent contracts 11 Those organizations which supported the New START ratification package deserve considerable blame for today s state of affairs i e for dramatically increasing U S fiscal and programmatic commitments to nuclear weapons This week s proposed budget increase for warheads reflects these problems We believe Wednesday s 4 10 13 budget request for the NNSA s budget request will look something like this A small increase in spending for NNSA overall of about 1 5 which will be offset within national security accounts by corresponding DoD reductions A large increase for WA on the general order of 8 if the same programs were compared year to year But some WA programs will move to Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation DNN which will make the increase in WA appear smaller perhaps 4 5 and the planned decrease in DNN will then appear smaller as well and There still will be a large decrease for DNN probably about 8 after the above adjustment led by a 2 25 billion B cut over 5 years to the plutonium disposition and the Mixed Oxide MOX program i e an average cut of 450 million M yr or about half the program Essentially the MOX program and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility MFFF within it is being savaged and presumably reorganized to pay for anticipated cost overruns in the weapons program The MOX program its flagship MFFF and its canceled but only after circa 800 M was spent Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility PDCF have already been subject to billions of dollars of cost overruns and years of delays This budget cut should it materialize on this scale tomorrow will probably eventually kill the MFFF and the MOX program over which no tears should be shed I have no idea what spin will be dreamed up to put on this Will there be another Civil War over MOX Probably not We think the Nuclear Weapons Council NWC has been going hog wild promulgating new warhead requirements We hear the Nuclear Weapons Council NWC has been busy promulgating new requirements quite possibly for warheads We do not know what these are although we have some ideas Out of control and going for broke are phrases we ve heard The nuclear bureaucrats Obama never replaced

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin168.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #167: Whither New Mexico, world capital of weapons of mass destruction? 27 Mar 2013
    days and especially warmer nights drought fire and associated ecological changes much less surface water and the economic sequellae of all of this Of course any given ensemble of weather events cannot be distinguished most of the time from what used to be ordinary weather and the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation ENSO in the Pacific That s the point There is at present no limit to how severe these changes could become if we remain passive if we let the massive business opportunities in renewable energy and conservation pass us by and if our fossil fuel intensive way of life continues The first two are uncertain but we certainly will not be continuing a fossil fuel intensive way of life much longer for reasons we will explain Thursday and on later occasions as they affect all government and private policies What then is the future toward which we are trending in New Mexico Under all variations of business as usual we can look forward to Substantially increasing temperatures less precipitation and much less runoff and periods of extreme drought which would lead to failures of livelihoods in rural areas loss of wildlife individuals and whole populations irreversible degradation in grasslands and forests loss of tourism and related income and amenity based development and self reinforcing decline in real estate values Federal budget cuts the Albuquerque Journal erroneously emphasizes the threat of defense budget cuts over non defense cuts in this leading to potentially severe economic and social impacts in New Mexico Failure of many private sector economic engines both current and hoped for many of the future ones being fanciful e g the spaceport always laughable and others depend on federal largesse others are vulnerable to national downturns nearly all require safe communities with good schools a skilled workforce a good state university system and an attractive set of environmental and community public goods all of which are eroding Increased net emigration notably of skilled workers especially those with skills not associated with the military the nuclear labs and the resource extraction industry In the absence of effective compensatory policies and investments there will be a considerable and self reinforcing decline in real estate values which could be fairly sudden Targeting of New Mexico by pollution shopping private and federal entities e g nuclear waste disposal the proposed ghost city for testing unspecified technologies prisons which seek to take advantage of our low value land and labor and to leverage our death oriented industries our desperation for jobs and our tolerance for pollution Continued oil and gas development including in tight formations locally burst by fracking the pace and scale of this development and decline depending on many factors but in every case involving major pollution Failure of the lab university model espoused by our new UNM president to ever produce independent local economic development and its devolution instead toward a simpler feeder school for the labs failure of state s institutions to produce any independent thought

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin167.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin #166: Public Discussion on March 28th in Santa Fe
    never seems to be enough But these problems have deeper causes which affect all of us The big changes coming to the nuclear weapons industry whatever they turn out to be in detail are a small but important part of a huge historical tipping point that is already affecting each of us and everything we do and hope to do Whether we can make the trends our friends and put all our weight on the right side of history will determine a great deal about what happens to us and our children for good or ill We are at the end of an age without guarantee of another Next Thursday I will briefly provide an outline of why peak everything is upon us peak oil climate water capital prosperity biodiversity and people Have two centuries of economic growth ended and industrial devolution begun Aren t there major business and economic opportunities in that transition regardless Yes of course What the business and political community does not yet grasp is that in the big scheme of things on the scale of a U S state or a developed country like the U S there are really no other major macroeconomic opportunities There is nothing else big enough to offset the losses we are incurring that is also compatible with survival Also on Thursday I will suggest that New Mexico has begun a process of inexorable environmental economic and social and political decline which cannot be avoided under any of the business as usual strategies being discussed by our leaders today Many are beginning to glimpse this e g What s the matter with New Mexico High Country News Lagging economy tests N M leaders New Mexican There is no coherent vision let alone plan or program being articulated by any of our political leaders or nonprofits even those concerned with social justice How might we respond to these trends personally Will existing activist structures and progressive roles be adequate No Are some promising roles being overlooked I will also claim that to win we are going to have to adopt a much more critical and engaged stance toward faux protest fau x test and faux democratic engagement in their various forms which are now extremely common and which occupy the place in our civic life of real reform without actually generating or being that reform These faux reforms and actions do so under many familiar names and slogans from Forward on Climate the logo of which is a near copy of the Obama campaign logo to the groups which carry the White House approved banner of a nuclear weapons free world We need to think hard about the arts being used to contain and distract resistance and harness it to serve instead the political status quo and the careers within it especially in the two main political parties Is the progressive movement in effect being paid to lose as many not just John Stauber have suggested Citizens who want to do

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin166.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • LASG Bulletin #165: Reflections on the Deterrence Summit, 27 Feb 2013
    often don t make much sense They are highly incentivized science promoters to be sure Invariably the labs are the drama queens of the complex Perennially they protest too much Blame and there is plenty of it to go around is for them something that must always be shifted to the federal hand that so bounteously feeds them This is an endlessly creative process after all science which at these laboratories is mostly an amalgam of propaganda careerism institutional advancement personal bank account building and lobbying must march on Former NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks remarked that he had never heard any nuclear weapons plant manager complain about federal micromanagement He left it at that Despite its internal contradictions this system is remarkably resilient as long as its ideology remains unchallenged which is to say as long as the dollars continue to flow in very large amounts and the salaries are to die for Right now the nuclear bureaucrats are furiously writing nuclear work requirements to make sure there is no lack of that in the coming years The White House will soon ask for more money than ever for the plants and labs but it is far from clear that they will get it all I would like to tell you in general terms about those plans but that must wait for the next Bulletin Greg Mello for the Los Alamos Study Group 1 One of the speakers made the interesting private suggestion that these actors could be called a faction in the sense of Federalist No 10 2 I think the real challenge to the nuclear enterprise posed by the break in of the Y 12 three Michael Walli 63 Sr Megan Rice 82 and Greg Boertje Obed 57 was not exposure of security and operational lapses or even exposure of failed management and federal oversight overall but rather the intrusion of the suppressed moral values which these three embodied and represented Fences cameras and guards are no barriers to truth especially truths about human security and how it should be fostered which is very inconvenient and threatening to the nuclear weapons enterprise Denial is not just a physical security measure but also a way to minimize cognitive dissonance manage personnel and maintain ideological coherence 3 This has management implications The failure to acknowledge and to the extent possible attempt to reconcile the moral legal and strategic imperative to disarm along with NNSA s mandate to maintain the stockpile is the biggest root cause of NNSA s management difficulties How does one reconcile such opposites One of these mandates is supported as polls repeatedly show by citizens the other by the militarized state In place of acknowledging this difficult but potentially fruitful contradiction NNSA s mission as it is portrayed by its leaders at conferences such as this is entirely one sided so much so that it is strongly at odds with universal human morality and standing U S treaty law And that is how the agency is managed

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin165.htm (2016-02-16)
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