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"Forget the Rest" blog


November 7, 2015

Dear friends –

1. Now’s the time to RSVP for our November 22 fundraiser in Santa Fe!

This is a very important fundraising event for us and we hope many of you will come.  The event will be held from 4 to 7 pm in a lovely eastside Santa Fe home that can accommodate only 60 people, so please RSVPas soon as possible, while space remains!  Dinner will be provided by friends of the Study Group; wine is being donated by our host.  We have provided for valet parking.  There will be plenty of time to meet other donors and we will also be conferencing in with some of our senior nuclear policy friends from Washington and elsewhere.

If there are potential donors you know who might like to know more about us, or want ask questions of us or the other experts we will “bring” in electronically, now is the time to approach those friends.  We will let you know more about the program as the day approaches.

We also want to have a fundraiser here in Albuquerque, but have not set a date.  It will be after Thanksgiving, most likely in early December.  And we are open to other fundraising ideas you may have.  2016 will be a very crucial year on all our issues.  We are optimistic, but funds are very limited.

2. Will you join us in Los Alamos on Wednesday, November 11, at 10 am, at the ceremony inaugurating the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP)?

We fought this appalling travesty but eventually lost.  The principal arguments against the park can be found in this letter to selected senators.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10th, in Washington, DC, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Moniz will sign a memorandum of agreement between DOE and the National Park Service (NPS) establishing the Park.  Los Alamos County is sending a delegation to the festivities.

On Wednesday there will be a public celebration and luncheon in Los Alamos at the Park Visitor Center, 475 20th St. and at Fuller Lodge, respectively.

At least three of us are going up from Albuquerque to this event.  We will be preparing counter-Park leaflets for the public and media, at a minimum.  If you go we urge you to wear a somber and formal outfit, exactly as to a funeral.

If you want to go we would like to talk to you to plan our approach to the event, and perhaps have a meeting in Santa Fe or Pojoaque en route.  We will be meeting with international media on the 10th and there will be media present on the 11th as well.  This event is an important chance to help interpret the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to U.S. and international audiences.  The more interest there is in this event from our members and friends, the more we can do and the better it will be done.  So please think about it, and call or write us. 

We hope that this nascent Park (there is no money as yet, and no management plan) can become a locus of local protest.  We see the Park not as “history” but as pure propaganda for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and its enduring mission of creating weapons of global destruction, for LANL’s private, Bechtel-led contractor Los Alamos National Security (LANS), for the “greatness” of the Manhattan Project (the quote is from the enabling legislation) and therefore the legitimacy and “greatness” of nuclear weapons, and for heinous war crimes now celebrated in a new National Park.  This Park is not exactly about the past because the Manhattan Project never ended.  It’s also about who we are today, what we celebrate and glorify, and what we will become.

Perhaps it really should be called the “Bechtel National Park,” as it is one of the 40 or so different ways we have identified that the for-profit nuclear laboratories have subverted democratic oversight and created – for themselves, their defense industry sponsors, and for local comprador politicos – an almost-perfect, self-licking ice cream cone.  Almost perfect – even this they cannot manage.

3. Update and additional perspective on the UN First Committee

You will have received our press release on events this past week at the UN yesterday (Majority of Countries Slam Nuclear Deployments, Decry Lack of Disarmament, and Pledge to Support Negotiations toward a Treaty Banning Possession and Use of Nuclear Weapons, Nov 6, 2015).  As it turns out, our friends at wildfire had written, incisively as usual and well worth reading, on that same series of votes.

4. Report on Study Group meetings and the demonstration at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB)

Both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque meetings went well, with small but potent groups of us in attendance in each case.  We gave updates on weapons issues from our recent staff time in Washington and at the UN, discussed the progress of the LANL cleanup and the looming decisions in surplus U.S. plutonium disposition (which very much affect New Mexico), and conferred on a number of other matters of interest to those present.

The KAFB demonstration organized by Stop the War Machine in Albuquerque and supported by us and others was reasonably successful for a mid-day event during the work week.  Many thanks to those who came and to Astrid Webster, whose phone calls and flyering at UNM and elsewhere were crucial to the event.  We could certainly use more outreach and networking help, to help overcome “stove-piping” between issues and organizations (just for starters).  Without volunteers, that outreach won’t happen.

The Global Strike Command exercises this fall include, in addition to the “Global Thunder Vigilant Shield” exercise at KAFB and elsewhere, the largest NATO exercise in 20 years, dubbed “Trident Juncture,” involving 36,000 participants in “more than” 30 NATO and partner nations.  Why, you might ask?  Why does NATO exist at all?

Vigilant Shield locked down the students at all Pojoaque schools (elementary, junior high, and high school) this past Thursday, November 5 due to an “active shooter” message sent to a high school teacher who is also in the Air National Guard.  Two dozen Santa Fe County deputies, state police, and tribal police were scrambled to the site and searched the schools while the students sheltered in place, a frightening experience for all concerned – and one worth thinking about just a little.

Very best wishes,

Greg and Trish

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2901 Summit Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87106, Phone: 505-265-1200

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