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"Forget the Rest" blog


Park Service meeting Monday requesting "input" on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park

February 2, 2016

Dear friends –

(It is very rare to send two emails on the same day to these lists. Write me if you want to be taken off this list.)

When you shop at the La Montanita Coop in February in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Gallup, and use your own bag, the Coop will donate a dime per bag to the Los Alamos Study Group. It really adds up! See the February Coop newsletter (p. 5) for a blurb about us. 

Dear friends --

Besides Friday's public nuclear weapons symposium at Kirtland Air Force Base, there are two other meetings of special interest to us (and perhaps to you) in the coming week. Here is one of them. (We will send information on the other one in a separate email tomorrow.)

The National Park Service (NPS) is requesting public input on the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP). NPS is conducting a meeting for this purpose, in Los Alamos at the Los Alamos County Council Chambers in the Los Alamos Municipal Building, 1000 Central Avenue, on Monday, February 8, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

We need to give them some input.

Los Alamos County's announcement of this event provides interesting and useful background on the local organizations and issues involved with the MPNHP.

Our web page, with articles and commentary on this travesty, is here. See especially this brochure (reprinted here on our blog which may be easier to read on a cell phone). As we wrote to you on November 7 of last year:

We hope that this nascent Park (there is no money as yet, and no management plan) can become a [permanent] locus of local [and international] 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.

Some Study Group members -- six of us -- silently protested in Los Alamos at the signing celebration creating the Park on November 11.
Every protest in Los Alamos has its memorable moments. Here is one: one woman in our group was approached by a military veteran, who took a look at the Hiroshima poster she was holding, walked up close and said, "Why don't you go somewhere and kill yourself, you stupid broad."

In our experience that side of Los Alamos always emerges when the myths are poked a little bit. Los Alamos is a "nice" town -- in a Stepford kind of way.  (Sorry for the judgment, it's just a fact and something a lot of people there -- especially the troubled kids -- know. It will be that way until it stops being the company town for doomsday.)

Here is another memorable bit: elementary school children singing a creepy little skit, the "high" point of which was this verse: 

He is Oppie on the Hill
He is Oppie on the Hill
We have a Gadget we must make
For the human race's sake.
'Cause he is Oppie on the Hill.

Count on LANL's influence to invert the moral universe.  Here's the video (mp4, posterized to protect the kids identities; their parents, the school, and the town were exploiting them; we won't.)

Best, and see some of you on Monday in Los Alamos,

Greg and Trish

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