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March 16, 2011
Bulletin #106: Obama toadies
up to NM labs in special NM TV interview; Dr. Helen Caldicott soon here;
Dear friends –
It’s been a
very busy three months since Bulletin
#105 for us. Our lawsuit to halt investment in the proposed
Los Alamos plutonium production complex has been all-consuming at
times (we have a hearing before Judge Herrera on our motion to enjoin
further project expenditures in late April); I (Greg) went to
Washington, DC for two weeks of meetings with various weapons complex
officials, activists, congressional staff, and others; and much
We would like to share what we have
been learning and doing with you, but emails are not the way to do
it. Knowledge that is too abstracted from any useful context is
not something we can spend much time providing. Our
organization's income is too limited and our other opportunities are
too great. However, if you provide
some of the social or political or educational context, we will come
and tell (almost) all!
We have work to do,
together. We are deeply interested in
working with many of you, and if you want to work with us, please write me.
Discusses Sandia Labs, LANL With KOAT; President Sits Down For
One-On-One With Action 7 News
Today I spoke
regarding the lack of transparency in the nuclear industry (very
briefly) on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews at MSNBC, in the
context of the Japanese nuclear crisis. When I returned from
the studio (KNME), I found the above shocking news item waiting.
Why, you might ask, would the President of the United States
sit down with Royale Dá to talk about how important it is for
Congress to increase funding for the New Mexico nuclear weapons
Anchor Shelly Ribando asked that
question, and here was the reply (at 3:20 into the clip): "KOAT
reaches a very specific Southwest audience and it appears, Shelly,
that that is an audience the President has an interest in speaking
What, do you suppose, is that "very
specific Southwest audience," and why does President Obama want
to speak to it?
Primarily because "it" has
huge coffers of cash, and because Obama fears its opposition -- and
that of the newspapers and other news media around here, which
largely act as propaganda outlets for the labs and related corporate
interests. For these reasons, the President fawns to our labs,
i.e. to Lockheed Martin and Los Alamos National Security (Bechtel,
URS, B&W, and the University of California).
entire conversation was a string of logical nonsequitors and nuclear
lab advocacy, as you can see and hear for yourself at the above
link. Obama and Dá were both just puppets on a string,
happily acting their parts for their respective audiences.
KOAT expressed specific concern about House Republicans
possibly cutting back on nuclear weapons spending (which was
conflated by all parties with "safety," nuclear power, the
Japanese crisis -- whatever was handy), even though the cuts on the
table are partial cuts to proposed huge increases, the
largest since the Manhattan Project -- 26% in one year in the Los
Alamos weapons program, and 20% in Sandia's.
The answer is not obvious. It used to be that
one could write or
call the station to complain, or make a suggestion. I doubt
that will make any difference, but if you feel like doing so, be my
guest. Fawning to power -- including and especially
authoritarian, nuclear-military power -- is a huge problem with
virtually the entire New Mexico news community. In our opinion
it is far now weaker, thinner, and less truthful than what is
necessary to minimally support a democracy. This raises a
complex of questions we cannot answer here.
For a more
effective response, please consider what I have written in red above.
Individual petitions to powerful corporations,
made without any political organization and power, are to politics
something less than what placebos are to medicine.
may instead contemplate what Frederick
Douglass said in Canandaigua in 1857.
"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform.
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all
concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest
struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing,
and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must
do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no
progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate
agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they
want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without
the awful roar of its many waters."
struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may
be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes
nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out
just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out
the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon
them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by
the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these
ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at
the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make
no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay
for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If
we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we
must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering,
by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others."
2. Dr. Helen Caldicott – physician, author,
lecturer, founder of prominent environmental, peace, and women’s
organizations – to speak in Albuquerque and Santa Fe
our press release)
The Los Alamos Study Group is pleased to
host two public talks by Dr. Helen Caldicott, in Albuquerque (March
20) and Santa Fe (March 21). Times and locations are below.
For the last four decades Dr. Caldicott has played a
uniquely important role in the politics of nuclear weapons and
nuclear power worldwide. Her seven books, thousands of public
talks, and countless interviews have been hugely influential in the
global movement for nuclear disarmament. In the 1980s the
movement she helped inspire was a significant international force,
specifically affecting the nuclear policies of Mikhail Gorbachev.
That movement, and Dr. Caldicott, helped lead the way to the nuclear
rapprochement that marked the end of the Cold War.
in Melbourne, Australia in 1938, Dr. Caldicott received her medical
degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1961. She
founded the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide
Children's Hospital in 1975 and subsequently was an
instructor in pediatrics at Harvard
Medical School and on the staff of the Children's Hospital
Medical Center, Boston, Mass., until 1980 when she resigned to work
full time on the prevention of nuclear war.
Dr. Caldicott has
received many prizes and awards for her work, including the Lannan
Foundation 2003 Cultural Freedom Prize and 21 honorary
doctorates. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus
Pauling. In April of this year she will receive the
Nuclear Free Future Award for Lifetime Achievement, in Berlin.
Dr. Caldicott is a co-founder of the Physicians for
Social Responsibility (PSR) and the umbrella group International
Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), composed of PSR
and similar organizations in other countries. She founded the
U.S.-based Nuclear Policy Research Institute (NPRI), which evolved
into Beyond Nuclear. She also founded Women’s Action for
Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), now Women’s Action for New
The Smithsonian Institute named Dr.
Caldicott one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. Further background on Dr. Caldicott can be found at http://www.helencaldicott.com/about.htm.
Tickets are a $10 and can be purchased at the door.
Attendance is limited to the first 150 persons Albuquerque) and 180
persons (Santa Fe). Helen's books will be on sale before and
after both events.
▪ Sunday, March 20th,
6-8 pm: "If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Save the
Earth," presentation at The Outpost Performance Space, 210
Yale SE, Albuquerque, 2 blocks south of Central Avenue.
▪ Monday, March 21st, 6:30-8:30 pm: "If
You Love This Planet: A Plan to Save the Earth," presentation at
Universalist Church in Santa Fe, 107 W. Barcelona Road,
Santa Fe, one block north of Cordova Rd between Galisteo Street and
“Helen’s message and
personal example of hope, warning, and compassionate engagement is
especially important and inspiring as we face the converging crises
before us. We are very pleased to have her here,” said
Study Group Director Greg Mello. “Helen has a unique
ability to help people get beyond barriers to personal engagement and
the fulfillment that can come from it.
nuclear weapons establishment believes it owns New Mexico. Its
leaders, many of whom I know, hope our complaisant population and
weak institutions will make it easy to build new factories and churn
out a new generation of nuclear warheads with which to threaten the
“A $7 billion plutonium complex to
design and build nuclear components for those warheads is now planned
for Los Alamos National Laboratory. If built, it would be by
far the most expensive infrastructure project ever conceived in New
Mexico, except our two interstate highways. It would turn Los
Alamos into a full-scale plutonium maquiladora and put a
dangerous and growing nuclear borderland in the State's very heart.
In constant dollars, this project greatly exceeds the original
Manhattan Project in New Mexico in cost. Once begun, you can
kiss the promise of significant "green jobs" goodbye.
“This proposed giant complex is a “small”
but pivotal part of a $200 to $300 billion policy developed by
President Obama to completely renew and expand the U.S. nuclear
warhead production complex and its laboratories and build a new
generation of bombers, submarines, ballistic missiles, cruise
missiles, and advanced reentry vehicles.
deepening economic decline will prevent the completion of most of
this, but this misguided and pathological effort will in the meantime
be a potent means for taking tax dollars from human and environmental
needs and putting into the pockets of a relatively few people.
It is also a highly-potent means for concentrating political power in
a few specialized corporations and their bought-and-paid-for
policies comprise an in-your-face class issue; they have severe
direct and indirect environmental impacts; they involve fraud,
deception of Congress, and other corruption; and they involve the
attempted re-colonization of an entire state – ours, where
almost half of all warhead spending occurs. The Obama nuclear
renaissance would be an essentially permanent dark age for New
Mexico. We can’t let that happen.”
A little more
If you want to work with us, we would
welcome that. The nuclear weapons industry is rightly scared
and is in many ways in disarray despite its dominant position
vis-a-vis the Obama Administration. It is stumbling and it will
fall. However it is not at all clear what shape this will take
or what its failures will cost.
So there are really
great opportunities now, a great deal of "ripe fruit" on
the tree. If you like your activism easy, now is the time --
but nothing interesting is very easy.
can find a few useful updates on our home
page, our page
for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear
Facility (CMRR-NF), and our CMRR
litigation. There are some new (since last writing) local
resolutions asking for a new environmental impact statement for
CMRR-NF. (All the voting in these important resolutions was
unanimous, by the way. Opposition is not an obstacle to
education and dialogue, it's passivity that's fatal).
hard-working legal team (Tom Hnasko, Lindsay Lovejoy, Dulcinea
Hanuschak, and Diane Albert) all deserve our thanks.
are hesitant to say more tonight. We have other nascent
programs we have not mentioned. We are not one-trick ponies.
4. Finally, and if you
are able, please take just a moment and make
a donation on-line or,
better, send a check to the office. Or you can write
Trish, or call her at
505-265-1200, to arrange a gift of stock or other donations.
wishes to all,
Greg, Trish, and gang