BLOG purpose

This BLOG is for LLNL present and past employees, friends of LLNL and anyone impacted by the privatization of the Lab to express their opinions and expose the waste, wrongdoing and any kind of injustice against employees and taxpayers by LLNS/DOE/NNSA. The opinions stated are personal opinions. Therefore, The BLOG author may or may not agree with them before making the decision to post them. Comments not conforming to BLOG rules are deleted. Blog author serves as a moderator. For new topics or suggestions, email jlscoob5@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Benefits corner

Anonymous wanted to start a thread on benefits:
He/she said:

Got "Open Enrollment" info from LLNS today. Lots if whining about costs (poor Georgie and ULM, they must be crying all the way to the bank) and weak explanations about why coverage will cost more and benefits will be reduced. Real reason? Bechtel needs to save money for "profit" and inflated ULM salaries. And here's the catch: despite lots of info being provided (yes, it's up to you to decipher the plans and see if your current providers will take them), I couldn't find ANYTHING about what the new plans will cost the employee or retiree. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Already received a letter from Health Net saying my coverage is over come Jan.1, and now I have only a couple of weeks to choose a new plan. And I don't know how much it will cost me. Nice. Complete incompetence on the part of LLNS and their over-paid managers.........Anyone know where the cost of the plans is published (tried the LLNL web sites and Hewitt......couldn't find even a mention of this new health plan fiasco; called LLNL/LLNS Benefits office...they didn't know their asses from a hole in the ground either....) Best and the brightest, my a**. The "Best" will easily find employment elsewhere, and the "Brightest" are too smart to come to work here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Poll on politics in this BLOG

It is clear that the vast majority prefer not to see policical fights in thsi BLOG.
So, starting now, I will screen out anything election, candidate, party, right, left, related stuff

NNSA's decline

Anonymous said:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace today (10/28/2008) — Topic: The Future Of U.S. Nuclear Weapons. I caught most of it on C-SPAN and have tried to paraphrase it below. It also looks like you’ll be able to listen to it yourself in the future via this link:

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/events/


B-1 Bombers and four Trident Submarines no longer have a nuclear mission

In 1992 we unilaterally stopped nuclear testing and developed a Stockpile Stewardship Program

The U.S. has completed all reductions for START

The U.S. is planning to reach a 2/3 reduction of our 2000 nuclear deployed force numbers by 2010 as part of Moscow Treaty, nearly two years early

The U.S. will have 75% fewer nuclear weapons than at the end of the Cold War

A new defense triad developed:
Strike capability consisting of existing capabilities
Defense capability including a limited ballistic missile defense
New infrastructure to support

Rising and resurgent powers, rouge nations -- we need to keep a deterrence

Other countries lacking funding are putting more reliance on their nuclear force

Russia and China are not considered adversaries but we cannot ignore their developments

Proliferation: the fewer nuclear armed states, the better

We simply cannot predict the future, our track record has not been that great

The genie cannot be put back in the bottle

If we can accept that nuclear weapons are still relevant, must continue responsibility

Recent issues of Air Force handling of nuclear weapons and related material

1990’s streamlining folded some nuclear related components into regular supply chain

Another element to credibility: Safety, Security, and Reliability of the weapons

Our weapons are currently safe, secure, and reliable

Long term prognosis -- Bleak

No new design since the 1980’s, no new devices have been built since the 90’s

A serious brain drain of veteran nuclear scientists and technicians

NNSA has lost a quarter of work force since 90’s

Half of nuclear lab scientists are over fifty years old

By some estimates, three-quarters of experienced workforce will be at retirement age in several years

Weapons were designed on the assumption of a limited shelf life then replacement

Sensitive parts do not last forever and developed with narrow technical margins

No test to certify these weapons since 1992, test data becoming incomplete

Currently the U.S. is the only declared nuclear power that is neither modernizing its nuclear arsenal or has the capability to produce a new nuclear warhead

To be blunt, there is no way to maintain a credible deterrence while reducing the number of weapons in stockpile without testing or pursuing a modernization program

Funding for a Reliable Replacement Warhead program has only been supported at a conceptual phase and now the funding for that has been cut

The program did not deal with new capabilities; it dealt with the future credibility of our nuclear deterrent

The U.S. must transform from an aging cold war nuclear weapons complex to a smaller, less costly, modern enterprise that can meet our nations nuclear security needs

A new paradigm is required for the post cold-war world era

Need ability to deter a range of potential adversaries from taking a variety of actions

Also must face nation states passing weapons into the hands of terrorists

Need to design redundant systems to make attack appear pointless

As long as human nature is what it is…


- - - - - - -
I retired early when the management of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab transitioned from the University Of California to LLNS. I saw the funding issues, I saw the moral issues, and I endured the management issues. I smile though as I reminisce to when I contributed my limited pieces to the puzzle.

p.s., My thanks to those who maintain the "LLNL, The True Story" web site.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Recipient or Donor?

So, raise cards came out last week. A co-worker asked me an interesting question. They asked if I was a recipient or a donor. After they explained it. it went something like this.

A few people received a raise percentage greater than “bring in”. Those are the Recipients. Then there are those who received less than the “bring in” percentage. Example of this is from http://llnlthetruestory.blogspot.com/2008/09/salaries-in-short.html The 300 series allocation was 1.54%. If you are a 300 series and got more than 1.54% then you are a recipient. If you got less, then you are a donor. Someone has to get less so all the supervisors and good ol boys can get a big fat raise on this lean year.

So, I pose the question. Were you a recipient or a donor?

BLOG value questionned.

Anonymous said:

Scooby,

Thanks for the work you do. I appreciate it. However, I do not truly believe that opinions expressed in this blog are representative of people who are still working at the Lab. I'm still very proud to be a lab employee. I feel valued and fortunate to be working at LLNL. Everything I read here is so negative. There are a bunch of "chicken littles" here. Yeah, things are tough all over the country, not just at LLNL. I honestly cannot see our country going forward and staying strong without a healthy science program at our national labs. Anyone in congress or in the senate or in the executive branch of our government would be totally ignorant to think otherwise.

Reading this blog has no value for me. It just provides the chicken littles with a podium for expressing their negativity. Yes, the lab has changed. Yes, we are no longer UC employees. That is very unfortunate. Get over it!

Let's discuss how we can promote research and science. Let's talk about how new technologies can save ten times as much energy through conservation than oil drilling could ever contribute toward US oil independence. Aren't we a department of ENERGY national lab? On the day, year, decade when we can thumb our noses at the Saudis and say your oil is worthless is when we will, through our technology truly be the superpower of the world.

Just my rant and two cents here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

About Obama

Anonymous said...


The mystery of Barack Obama’s missing thesis



"After a few days of getting nowhere, I asked my readers for help. It was not long before one of my brilliant readers informed me that the topic of his thesis was “Soviet nuclear disarmament,” and Columbia refuses to release it."

[...]

Obama's Resume



"Columbia University
B.A. Political Science with specialization in international relations
Thesis topic: Soviet nuclear disarmament"


Does anyone else wonder what is in that thesis? Is there really a thesis or is this an internet rumor?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Media stacks the cards in the left wings favor

Anonymously contributed:

Presidential debates take on role as big as office
Analysts say the stakes are raised this election year

By SCOTT SHEPARD
Cox News Service
Sept. 20, 2008, 4:55PM


WASHINGTON ­ There's no underestimating the importance of the upcoming presidential debates. They are the main event in the 2008 White House contest in an America tiring of its lengthy war in the Middle East and battered by economic chaos.

"They always seem to be bigger than all outdoors, but this time there's great potential to be even bigger," said Allen Louden, a political communications expert at Wake Forest University who maintains a Web site, www.debatescoop.org, that analyzes political debates.

In a campaign already historic because of the first African-American candidate, events in Iraq and on Wall Street "have raised the stakes" for the debates, added Louden in a telephone interview Thursday.

In the contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, "they are the main event," agreed Paul Stekler, a documentary filmmaker and professor of radio, TV and film at the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

And "if there's any one event the whole country is going to be watching, it's the first debate," Stekler said in a telephone interview.

The first of three debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates takes place Friday at the University of Mississippi at Oxford.

The candidates will be seated at a table, and discussion will be moderated by Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS's The NewsHour.

The subject: domestic policy, with the 90-minute debate divided into 10-minute segments for various issues and closing statements.

The second will be on Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., with moderator Tom Brokaw of NBC News. The candidates will field questions on foreign and domestic issues in a 90-minute town hall format.

The final debate will be Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in New York, moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Again, the candidates will be seated at a table for a 90-minute discussion, but the topic will be foreign affairs only.

A vice-presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin will take place Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, with moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS.

It, too, will be 90 minutes with both candidates seated at a table with Ifill, and it will cover domestic and foreign policy.

The timing of the topics ­ domestic first ­ reflects the priorities of voters in public opinion polls.

Even before the meltdown in Wall Street this week, Americans were telling pollsters that their major concern this election is the economy, largely as a result of high gasoline prices, a rising unemployment rate and the spreading credit crisis.

At this moment of high economic anxiety, Americans do not appear to be in the mood to hear the two candidates merely regurgitating political talking points manufactured by advisers, in order to minimize any potential damage.

"Voters want to see the two presidential candidates engaged," said Louden. "Talking points and glib one-liners just won't do" this time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The beginning of outsourcing at LANL...

Anonymously contributed:


albuquerque.bizjournals.com

What is the lab headcount?

Anonymous asked:

What is the current lab head count? (How much) has it dropped since the layoff (through
normal attrition and terminations)

(words in parenthesis added by BLOG master for clarity).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How bad will it be?

Anonymously contributed:

AP article

Joe the plumber = Joe the liar

Anonymous would like to talk about " Joe the plumber" a.k.a. "Joe the liar".
McCain hitched his wagon to this knuckle-dragger without checking his background (see Palin). McCain is toast. Honestly, if he can't get this one right then what would ever convince anyone to vote for the guy? Well, I suppose "Joe the liar" might vote for him.

LLNS! do you really want WFO?

Contributed anonymously:

Sure doesn't look like it.

WFO has multiple extra taxes taken out(Safety and Security, Facility Administrative Charge, etc).
Also, the chain of command to approve and accept the money takes at least a month, often more. There are approximately 9 levels of "oversight" that need to approve the money. Let's ask the question- is incoming money ever rejected? My guess is no- so what is the delay and multiple approvers for? One time I did not hound each of the nine "approvers" incessantly, and it took 4 months to get my money in- this is 4 MONTHS after a "check" was cut by the sponsor. This whole system needs to be streamlined. Why are there so many barriers?

LLNS this is a cry for help- bring us into a modern age of WFO! We need "support" services who actually "serve" the scientific mission. We are in competition with other labs and companies. When we delay accepting money and demand excessive overhead rates, we are slowly, sponsor by sponsor, putting ourselves out of the WFO business. LLNS wake up and take this seriously before it is too late.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A shot in the Fannie Mae!

Contributed anonymously:
Same old crooks calling the shots no matter who gets in office. Who ever is running this country and, by the way it's not the president, has their head buried up their a** so deep they'll never see day light or they have an agenda that appalling to me.

The history of a financial disaster

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Morale, safety and security

Are safety and security at risk?
Here the question posed by anonymous:

LLNS/DOE has broken so many promises made to employees hired long ago under UC management.

So how long before one, two, or a lot of employees decide that given management broke one side of the contract they should start breaking theirs?

Safety, security, all kinds of things are at risk when people get this disgruntled.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FY09 salaries Q & As

Contributed by anonymous:
How useful are these Q&As? Pay attention to the answer to the second question...
and laugh!

Q&As

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Why is your boss white, middle-class and a show-off

Anonymously contributed:

Saw this article:
It was so right on somany points I had to chuckle at the image of ULM being a bunch of GEICO representative rejects. FYI - GEICO = Government Employees Insurance Company.

Read it

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bailout is law!

Anonymously contributed:

Well, it looks like the dumb *** democratic congress and senate passed the $700B bail-out. How stupid are these people? I don't know if the scale goes that low.

CNN Money


***Warning: please refrain from using expletives. Next time, your post/comment will be deleted.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Well, it was 1-year effective October 1st. I think the new account numbering systems sucks and every one of my account numbers transferred over. I know several people who have zero hours since the first of the year due to the new accounting system. Yet another savings method for our new "owners". Go figure! What do you think of our status after one year?

Motivation and Morale - ya, right!

Well, the topic is simple enough, but is the reality? How is your morale and what motivates you?

Medical Insurance Rumors

Well, rumor on the street is that there are only two medical insurance choices. Blue Cross and Kaiser . . . Can anyone confirm this??

The common sense fix.

Anonymously contributed:

How to fix the $700B debt

The Common Sense Fix

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following threestep Common Sense Plan.

I. INSURANCE

a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.

b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:

1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.

b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.

2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.

c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.

II. MARK TO MARKET
a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.

b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.

III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down.

This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

http://www.daveramsey.com:80/etc/fed_ba ... tid=mlfrnd

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