STOP CASSINI Newsletter #116 -- April 29th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: Cut class size = save the world -- STOP CASSINI #116

Date: April 29th, 1999 -- there are just 56 days left before the Cassini flyby of Venus.

Today's subjects:

Alpha Radiation: It's probably worse than NASA thought:

One of the main problems with all of NASA's Environmental Impact Statements for their nuclear missions is that they pretend to know things of which they are not certain. The following AP wire service article indicates that once again we should throw out the Environmental Impact Statements from NASA and demand new and honest ones which properly describe the awesome amount of uncertainty in their calculations regarding the safety of their mad-scientist schemes. Dr. Otto Raabe also should consider this new study when making his own prognostications in USA Today and elsewhere, about the relative safety of Cassini and other nuclear space missions. For he too, knows not what he talks of so assuredly. (Both radon and plutonium release similarly-charged, high-energy alpha particles.)

----- News Article from San Diego Union Tribune, April 28th, 1999 -----


Cells may be more sensitive to genetic damage caused by radiation from radon gas than previously believed, according to research that found high energy particles do not need to hit the nucleus of a cell to cause DNA changes.

In a laboratory study to be published today, researchers aimed alpha particles -- a decay product from radon gas -- at the fluid surrounding nuclei in cells taken from a hamster, and they found that radiation could cause genetic changes.

"The prevailing view has been that in order to cause genetic damage you have to irradiate the DNA directly in the cell nucleus," said Gerhard Randers-Pehrson of Columbia University, a co-author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

----- End of AP Wire Service News Article -----

A longer version of the article seen in RADBULL from 4/27/99 contains the isolated phrase, "It is unclear as yet whether the results imply greater or lesser risk." However, when one is considering not a naturally occurring substance like radon, but rather an option on adding new Plutonium 238 alpha-emitters to the biosphere (as with Cassini) there is no question which way this data points -- it points to NASA having pulled their EIS numbers out of their hats!

The researchers found that alpha particles hitting the cytoplasm were more capable of causing cancer than alpha particles hitting directly on the DNA, which were more likely to kill the cell outright. As few as 3 to 8 alpha "hits" was all it took to damage the cell.

-- rdh

Smash Cassini into Venus!

In all likelihood, at this point in time it is no longer possible for Cassini to be redirected in such a way as to do anything useful near any planet, in any orbit which does NOT involve an Earth flyby. If this is true, we advocate more strongly what we have advocated as the best alternative all along since the launch -- namely, smashing it directly into Venus while we still can!

Better a known hazard in a known position on a planet that hasn't got a soul on board and won't for decades or centuries or perhaps ever, than to risk the lives of 6 billion of us who are quite definitely already here, alive and as healthy as possible in this already-polluted world.

NASA had plenty of time to redirect Cassini to a useful orbit not involving a flyby of Earth, but instead chose to continue to go for "the whole enchilada" -- which includes the upcoming flyby of Venus and then the frightening flyby of Earth. Cassini is a horror-in-waiting, it is a vicious threat to each of us and to our fragile good health (if indeed, we are fortunate enough to have it), for no body is an island unto itself; we all breath and eat and drink the world around us (our lungs alone are nearly 90 square meters of filtration system!). Society does not need to allow this type of madness and callous behavior.


NASA let itself do this awful thing, because those who knew were too afraid of "the nuclear bogeyman". But which one? The spooks, spies, coverup artists, apologists and other government toadies who assured NASA's scientists that RTGs are perfectly safe, and that in the event of an accident a slight rise in background radiation levels around the world would be inconsequential -- that is who! Not the REAL nuclear bogeyman, which causes a rational fear of low level radiation, a rational fear of a society which is founded on lies and terror, and a rational fear of what will happen to our children tomorrow if we don't stop poisoning our Earth today. -- rdh

Commercial Spy Sat goes haywire:

It may just be coincidence that an attempt this week --- right in the middle of the start of World War III -- or didn't you notice how close we are getting? -- to launch a Commercial "spy satellite" (a new piece of space junk formerly/formally known as "Ikonos 1"), which would have given anyone (with enough money to buy the pictures) one meter resolution images of the world from a 400 mile high viewing post... failed. Then again, maybe someone has a way to shoot these things down that we don't know about. Then again, it could have been just another one of those things, wherein despite the best efforts of dedicated human beings, major malfunctions occur. Fortunately the Athena II booster rocket wasn't carrying 72.3 pounds of plutonium 238 dioxide (mostly, and some Pu 239 and other isotopes), like there is with Cassini and like there may be on many "secret" military launches (and failed military launches, such as possibly the Titan IVA which exploded last August). --rdh

Efforts against the use of D. U. in the Balkans (forwarded message):

------ Forwarded Message Follows ------

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 13:20:58 +0100 (BST)
From: "Euler, Catherine [CES]"
To: Multiple recipients of list:
Subject: FW: Radioactivity in the Balkans; US confirmation of DU use; effe

Apologies for inadvertent duplication
US confirmation of DU use; radioactivity in the Balkans;effects on women and children; a letter from Belgrade

The following information reveals the grossest form of criminal activity taking place in the Balkans: the United States (NATO) is using weapons there which will make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to have healthy, whole children in that region for several million years to come. If the Albanian refugees are returned, they will be subjected to long-term levels of radioactive contamination from the use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons. Why does NATO want to make war to make sure that Albanian women can return to a dangerous, contaminated environment? No people on earth deserves the kind of DU effects which have been documented in Iraq. DU particles can continue to contaminate the environment for approximately 4.5 billion years. What can we do to stop this horrific result of this war? This is such an appalling thing to do it is almost beyond our ability to conceptualize it. It must be stopped. Join the march on NATO headquarters immediately following the Hague Appeal. The UN must move quickly to make an emergency declaration against the use of these weapons. Please. This is an emergency of the gravest nature possible.

- Women Against Militarism (UK)


The contact information for NATO Office of Information and Press is 1110 Brussels, Belgium; fax +32 2 707 4579; email NATODOC@HQ.NATO.INT; Website

----- End of Forwarded Message -----

British Anti-Cassini efforts continue (forwarded message):

----- Forwarded Message Follows ------

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 16:38:12 +0100 (BST)
From: "Euler, Catherine [CES]"
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Women's Picket Outside American Embassy

Helen John, of the Menwith Hill Women's Peace Camp, in North Yorkshire, England, and a member of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, will be starting a 'Stop Cassini' women's picket outside the American Embassy in London on 3 May. The vigil will go on every day during the month of May from 10 am to 7 pm, and will include a walking picket, banners, and handing out information. If anyone wants more information, or they want to join the picket and need to know about accommodation in London, please ring: (UK) 01943-468593.

----- End of Forwarded Message -----

A Letter from Belgrade (forwarded message):

----- Forwarded Message -----

Subject: FW: Letter from Belgrade
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 15:28:42 -0300
From: Marija Marjanovic marija@sezampro.yu
Subject: my side of the story

Hello everyone! I am student from Architectural Faculty, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. I spent great time in Porto Alegre by the end of the year 1997.

Some terrible things are happening to me and my people (Serbs) and I wanted to tell you my side of the story........

Did you know that they are bombing us with radioactive materials which are secondary products of their nuclear industry? Did you know, that during the war in Bosnia (country next to Yugoslavia), USA bombarded this territory and that women from this areas have defected babies born today? Do you still believe that they are fighting for human rights?...........

We only want to live our lives normally. To work, have fun, have families, have healthy children. We are normal people that is very tired of everything that is going on here in the last ten years.

Please, help us, by spreading our side of the story all over the world. Tell this to your friends.... in the other countries.

Anything that you do can be helpful.

Help us only by thinking. Remember, this can happen to any poor nation. World should not be a jungle.

Thank You for Your time. Truly,

Marija Marjanovic

----- End of Forwarded Message -----

How to solve all of America's problems:

So often, we are told that whatever problem society faces is really just a problem of society not understanding what is happening. An uneducated society, we are told, is the root of the problem. And often, we agree.

What happened in Littleton, Colorado is a symptom of something dreadfully wrong in society. But what? Here is a web page that discusses what it's like being on outcast in school these days:

Highly recommended, frightening reading. What it says is that kids all around America are frightened of their classmates just for being "different", and while few of them will ever lash out, our treatment of all of them is society's shame. It does not precisely explain why the two young gunmen choose to do what they did, but it is simply a tragic fact that has been brought out in the open by this incident. Society needs to learn how to get along with its own outcasts, and make them not feel so cast out.

Already just 50 miles north of America in Alberta, Canada, there has been more deadly violence in a school, and all across America schools are being evacuated and closed on a sporadic basis because of what appear to be mostly -- but not entirely -- pranks and unfounded fears. What is wrong?

Every time something terrible happens in a free society, wherein a member of that society takes their "right to be free" and -- utilizing the power that "right" gives them -- abuses the rights of others -- every time this happens, society must think long and hard before doing the "obvious" thing, which is to rein in the rights of all because of the abuse of those rights by a few.

That is a slippery slope indeed, which can only lead to tyranny, because a society which is made up of millions or even billions of people is bound to have its kooks, its nut cases, its disrupters, its dissenters. If we tighten the iron grip of government intrusion at every abuse of the freedoms this country was founded on, what does that inevitably lead to? TYRANNY!

The existence of these strange people among us -- the "geeks" as they are often called these days, the punk rockers of the 80's, the hippies of the 60's and 70's (and now) -- should not be taken as a reason to change our basic tenants: freedom of speech, freedom to be different, freedom to think differently and to invent new things, freedom to change your opinion. The freedom to disagree openly with society's norms. The vast majority of those who are different are absolutely harmless.

If we dismiss our odd kids, our misfits, our outcasts, our ugly ones, our stupid ones, our smart ones, our creative ones, our geeks, our freaks, our cheeky, bleak, weak and meek -- then we dismiss society's future leaders, her most profound thinkers, her greatest artists, and sooner or later, we dismiss even ourselves. Because we all get ostracized now and then.

I'm 42. I am a computer programmer and an Internet entity -- a geek? When I was a kid, my mom worked hard to put my brothers and I into the best schools she could find (Easton, CT, Westport, CT, etc.), determined as she was to find for us a "perfect" education. She also took us to live in the inner city for 6 weeks at the end of one school year, just so we could experience that horror -- this was in the late 60's, the school was Columbus School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mob rule, but few guns. The place was out of control, the teachers could not teach.

The cancer that was breeding there a quarter century ago now embraces nearly the whole educational system in America.

But here is a solution!

We must recognize that more than 22 or 25 students in a class simply does not work, ever! They might as well be on recess. America's schools need money for equipment, but they also need teachers. Lots and lots of teachers. Put America's finest members of society at the head of each class, by the hundreds of thousands, and we will solve the problems in the schools. Hire 1000 new teachers for every new security guard that Clinton wants to hire in response to the tragedy in Littleton. Cut class size down to merely a dozen students per teacher, add two hours to the class day, and I believe we would go a long way towards solving -- in one generation -- several major problems facing society:

Alienation of our youth.
Failure to effectively educate society.

If I could give any advice to the geeks and freaks, whom I have been when I was a kid too, as are we all sometimes, it's this: Hang in there. Do your best work, all your life. Never for a minute think the wonder and value of your own uniqueness will not some day be recognized (even though in truth, it probably won't be), and never for a minute, let those who dislike you make you feel like the whole world feels that way. Because the truth is, freaks and geeks rule! They outpopulate the so-called "normal" people by 10 to one. If we each look within ourselves carefully enough, we will see an outcast. Indeed, it's the geeks and freaks and outcasts who are out thinking, and who, more than anyone else determine the ultimate directions society will take. They write the books, the movies, the songs -- they do the things the rest of us sit back and watch. They write the newsletters.

Don't punish the many for the crimes of the few.

-- rdh

Nuclear Poetry

The History of the Development of Nuclear Energy in America (in poem form):

I never wonder why, when I go to bed --
I get a funny feeling in my head
I just wonder why I go to bed
When I get that feeling in my head.

I think about it and I can't sleep
I think about it and I start to weep
I think about how it could be
If I thought my government thought about me...

...Many years ago across the land,
Government said, "I need a hand"
And so it went to business and said, "Do what you could" --
"Convince Americans Nukes are Good!"

So business got together far and wide
and they bought a lot of scientists and then they lied.
They did a report and this is what it said:
"The chances are very small we'll all be dead"

But Insurance Agents called their bluff
And they said, "This report doesn't say enough."
So Utilities and Government then acted like one
And together, they passed Price-Anderson!

And it's been 40 years, but we're still too blind to see
That our Government is a lousy insurance company!

They take on risks that are far too high
and they tell us they'll pay even if we all die!
Even the Wall Street bankers say we're wasting our time --
And they're just looking at the bottom line!

We keep throwing good money after bad
And for every buck we get another Rad! [another Ad!]
The Government says Nukes Are The Answer
But the question is, What causes cancer?

And it's been 40 years, but we're still too blind to see
The nuclear power is killing you and me!

Look into the future, what's down the road?
You and I have a heavy load
Teaching everybody what's really true
'cause stopping nukes is up to you!

Stopping nukes
is up

-- By Russell D. Hoffman



Send him this newsletter and tell him (in your own words) how you feel! (You must include additional comments, and your real name and physical address, for your emails to be of any effect. Tell him about yourself, or include your resume or something, so that he understands both how typical we all are, and how unique we each are.)

Whatever you do, use email ASAP to tell the president you are fed up with this war TODAY and you want a clean fight, a fair fight, a publicly debated fight, and not this criminal offense that would violate any reasonable "GENEVA CONVENTION" rules, if those things even work for the atrocities being committed with D. U. and the bombing of chemical fertilizer plants and the like, and the clear and undeniable assault on the civilians that we are committing (whilst claiming, each and every day, to be avoiding collateral damage as much as possible!)

Let the president know, TODAY, that Milosevic's wrongs will not make Clinton's wrongs become rights.





CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!

To Cancel Cassini start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents (on paper, please!). Tell them you need it IMMEDIATELY (members of the world press should do this too). All citizens of the world are ENTITLED to these documents because of the global threat Cassini poses. Here's where to get information:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011

NASA states that they do not have the resources anymore to answer most emails they receive. Liars! They have $13 billion dollars to play with. They can answer the public's questions. At least, ask them one specific question: How many letters did they get opposing Cassini today? (And tell them you oppose it too!) If each reader asks them that...

Here's NASA's "comments" email address:

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. Here's his email address:

Here's the NASA URL to find additional addresses to submit written questions to:


Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country.

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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in U.S.A.
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First placed online May 4th, 1999.
Last modified May 4th, 1999.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman