Subject: Another promising career cut short: STOP CASSINI #171
Date: August 14th, 1999
Time Frame: Cassini is scheduled to do the flyby of Earth in a few days! NASA is nuts!
What's in today's paper?
Colombian political humorist Jaime Garzon was gunned down this week by an assassin who arrived on a motorcycle, got off the bike while his accomplice waited, and fired five shots into Garzon's head and chest as he waited at a red light in his Jeep Cherokee. Garzon was 39. The death has shocked Colombians because, according to the Associated Press article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, he was "loved [for] his iconoclastic humor and impressions of leading personalities". Garzon was a morning co-host on Radionet, the all-news network in Colombia, where he also juggled media appearances with "discreet efforts to free hostages held by leftist rebels". He was "Colombia's most popular political satirist" according to the report, "an irreverent peace activist esteemed as much by garbage collectors as by political heavyweights." He considered himself a intensely patriotic member of his country.
This tragedy follows by only a few months, the equally tragic shooting in London of Britain's most-watched star reporter. And here in the United States, Art Bell, the most listened-to man in America, was forced off the air for a few months recently because of threats (fortunately he's alive and well, and back on the air and broadcasting nightly). And we wonder why the press remains silent on so many important issues? It doesn't take a conspiracy at all! Which is not to say CNN (for example) isn't significantly infiltrated by n'er-do-wells. But that's only the icing on the cake. The real "conspiracy of silence" is more likely produced even more directly, by a few hundred murders each year around the world, and the terror it produces.
What else is in today's paper?
Employees of the United States Embassy in Colombia are being investigated for possibly using diplomatic postal services to ship drugs from Colombia to the United States, according to the Washington Post. (Recently also, the wife of a U.S. Army anti-drug team commanding officer in Colombia was arrested for illicit drug shipments through the Army Postal Service.)
It is time to realize that our Draconian drug war is causing too much pain, is supported by too few Americans, and has not solved anything. Yes, there are drug problems in America, but for 10 years, booze was considered an outlaw drug in America, and the nation STILL suffers from the crime syndicates that were formed around those prohibitions. We must help Colombia find peace, and that means no more war -- no more drug war.
What else is in today's paper?
John Dortch Lewis died Sunday of pancreatic cancer, in his home in Goldsboro North Carolina. Mr. Lewis was a P-39 Bell Aircobra pilot during World War Two, who was shot down over North Africa. He evaded capture for several weeks, but eventually was caught and sent to a German prison camp. His legendary attempts to escape were later the subject of a famous movie ("The Great Escape", with a star-studded cast). A fictionalized account of his key role was played by the late Steve McQueen.
According to the article: "After one of Mr. Lewis' escapes, he was brought back to face the German commandant, who asked him to give his word that he would not try to escape again. If he promised that, the commandant said, after the war he would make Mr. Lewis the police commissioner of New York.
"Mr. Lewis replied that he could not give such assurances and that, in any case, he was planning on becoming the mayor of Berlin. He was sent to the isolation cells and put on a diet of bread and water."
The famous escape which was made into a movie was tragically unsuccessful. Of the 76 airmen who initially got out, only three made it to England. Fifty were captured and executed, and the rest -- including Mr. Lewis -- were returned to prison camps. Lewis, however, did successfully escape shortly thereafter, across Europe to the Allied lines near the end of the war. Why did he keep trying to escape? "I just wanted to come home" he once told an audience.
Mr. Lewis had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force more than a year before America entered the war because, he said, "Hitler had to be stopped".
Pancreatic cancer occurs for unknown reasons, although smokers are significantly more likely to get it than nonsmokers, and men are about twice as likely to get it than women. Blacks have a slightly higher rate of pancreatic cancer than whites.
On July 24, 1999, The San Diego Union Tribune ran a report from the New York Times News Service on the death of Dr. Ludwik Gross.
Dr. Gross is of interest to readers of the Stop Cassini newsletter because of his work in cancer research and because his theories concerning the links between viruses and cancer were initially dismissed by the scientific establishment. This is similar to the attitude we see today towards researchers who are concerned about the dangers of low-level radiation. According to the article in the Union Tribune:
In 1951, Dr. Gross proved that "... a virus caused mouse leukemia and could be passed naturally from generation to generation, mother to baby."
The article quotes an article written by Dr. Gross more than 25 years later in which he states "there was considerable reluctance and often even frank hostility to accept [his findings]." Sound familiar?
Dr. Gross' experiences also parallel those of radiation researchers in that the underlying principles of his research were well-known in the scientific community - they were simply ignored until Dr. Gross provided unequivocal proof. Again according to the Union Tribune article:
"...beginning in 1908, researchers had suggested a viral cause [for some cancers] ..."
"...scientists...transmitted breast cancer in mice through milk from mothers to their offspring."
"Scientists called the mysterious factor responsible for transmitting the mouse breast cancer 'milk influence' ... "
The scientific community, like the political community, is capable of denying facts even when they are undeniable to those with what is called "common sense" or to those few scientists who have dug deeply enough to grasp all the details. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the ridicule as Dr. Gross did in the 1950s and as those scientists who speak out against the dangers of low-level radiation do today.
Dr. Gross' later work showed "that radiation or a chemical could induce leukemia in an animal by activating a dormant virus."
We think the NASA scientists (and their supporters) who are unconcerned about adding "a little more plutonium" (400,000 Curies!) to the environment, should consider the implications of Dr. Gross' discoveries.
Dr. Gross didn't limit his crusading to cancer research. The Union Tribune article tells us that "He urged prohibition of smoking on airline flights in a letter published [in the New York Times] in 1958, more than three decades before the idea was adopted."
Dr. Gross was a man ahead of his time and he was clearly a caring citizen of the planet. He lived long enough to see his theories about cancer-causing viruses vindicated. But in the end, he too was killed by the disease he spent his life fighting - cancer. Dr. Gross was 94, which some might call a ripe old age, but nobody should die from cancer at ANY age.
This next item was prepared by Russell Hoffman in conversation with Pamela Blockey-O'Brien:
Chernoby Accident: The Crisis of the International Radiation Community
Mikhail V. Malko of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Radiation Problems of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Sosny, 220109 Republic of Belarus, Fax: 375 -  246-7317
"It had occurred on the 26th of April, 1986, when the personnel of the fourth unit of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant attempted to test the capability of a turbo-generator to supply electrical energy for a short period of time in case of a station blackout."
The article states that the Soviets downplayed the consequences at every turn. Also, it states that from 1977 to 1985 there were 7 (seven) cases of thyroid cancer in children in Belarus. From 1986 through 1994, that is, after Chernobyl, there were 333 cases of thyroid cancer in children in Belarus.
If readers want to know what the "secret protocols" of the Soviet government were which covered up important facts about Chernobyl, including the unreported 15,000 deaths related to Chernobyl within the first couple of months, they should contact:
Alla Yaroshinskaya Charity Fund
20/2 Beresnevskaya Naberezhnaya,
Moscow 103790 Russia
Alla Yaroshinskaya is the author of Chernobyl: The Forbidden Truth (foreword by John Gofman).
If readers want to know what the long-term genetic effects on animal populations chronically irradiated around Chernobyl are, they should contact:
Rose Goncharova & Nadezhda Riabokon
Institute of Genetics and Cytology
National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
27, F. Skorina Street
Republic of Belarus
Tel: 375  268 4901
According to Dr. Rosalie Bertelle in No Immediate Danger, "R. M. Severt, the famous radiologist who had supervised radiation therapy since 1926 at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, pointed out at an international meeting in 1950 that 'There is no known tolerance level for radiation'. A tolerance level is a level below which there is no damage (sometimes called a threshold). A safety level is ordinarily a fraction (one tenth) of the tolerance level." --- Dr. Bertelle.
Adds Pamela: If there is no known tolerance level, then you can't set a safety level!
Here is some background on Pamela, and locations (URLs) of other items where she has helped us to prepare specific material for these newsletters:
"Environmentalist/Human Rights Advocate, Member: Int'l Fellowship of Reconciliation. Global Environmental Issues / Toxic Dumps / Radioactive Waste / Water and Wetlands / Health Effects /Nuclear Disarmament / Human Rights"
An open letter to India and Pakistan by Pamela Blockey-O'Brien (June, 1998):
Pamela help the STOP CASSINI editor tremendously on the document The Effects of Nuclear War:
She also helped me with newsletter #118 regarding Depleted Uranium (D.U.):
And she helped with newsletter #140, providing some great historic quotes and perspectives on what radioactivity REALLY is -- namely, it's a small (tiny!) UNSTOPPABLE nuclear explosion!:
Recently, we corroborated on an introduction to a Hiroshima Day article for newsletter #164:
And item #5 in newsletter #166 discusses the "moral and ethical vacuum" that permits nuclear weapons, with a GREAT statement by Pamela about "overkill":
Most recently, in newsletter #167 ("The Doomsday Rocket"), she makes some suggestions for the kind of person we would like to see head the Department of Energy (aka, the "Death of the Earth Squad"):
Instead, if we are not careful, they might give us someone like Dr. J.A.G.! If they do, we are in for a lot of hurt! (See next item in this newsletter.)
Hans Karow sent us some letters Dr. Jackie Alan Giuliano wrote him in the past week, and rather than present the whole boring thing, I'm just going to give the highlights. Readers who suspect I've unfairly edited Dr. J.A.G's high malarkey should of course, be sure to contact him since I'm sure Hans won't mind if Dr. J.A.G. shares the whole correspondence with anyone. Han's contribution is quite good, of course, but Dr. J.A.G.'s responses are atrocious.
It's funny that he says the following about his "job" but yet does not wish to correct any of the many errors he claims I have made -- the closest he has come to trying, is to insist that the DS1 failure to photograph the comet it flew by, is NOT indicative of one of the many ways Cassini can similarly be miss-aimed. But check out what he SAYS he wants to do:
"It is my job as I perceive it to help the confused public decide what things they need to be afraid of in this complicated world."
In reality, his job is to mislead the public. I am one member of the public. I have no title, no organization -- nothing. Just some questions which Dr. J.A.G. WILL NOT ANSWER. Because he is a false friend of the movement! He should not be trusted here, I doubt that he should be trusted anywhere, though I have not read his other environmental articles.
Dr. J.A.G.'s hand has indeed, as I suspected, been DEEP in the cookie jar for NUCLEAR MISSIONS:
"I worked on the Galileo mission for nearly 5 years."
He then claims that solar wouldn't have worked. We debunked that logic in response to Grinspoon and needn't repeat it here (see newsletter #148, "The reincarnation of Carl Sagan"). Dr. J.A.G. is confused, and does not know when to thrust the sword forward, nor when to rally the troops, nor when to fire for effect. He does, however, know when to evade the issues and when to retreat, claiming victory in his defeat.
Dr. J.A.G. excuses the crime of Cassini thusly:
"As to why missions have not waited until solar power sources have been developed further, the answer lies in basic human nature. People want their programs and projects done in their lifetime. No scientist or business person wants to wait years for their dreams to come true."
In other words, he is saying they behaved with reckless abandon, but he can't bear to put things in plain English.
Dr. J.A.G., on how little "many of the anti-Cassini forces" know, which he immediately followed by mentioning me (but notice how he doesn't actually accuse me of not understanding how NASA does things):
"I don't think that many of the anti-Cassini forces have been lobbying for the right things. They have not taken the time to really understand why NASA does things.
"I share your desire for a continuing dialog, but I will not participate any further in any forum involving Mr. Hofmann's (sic) disrespectful style of communication."
Despite his claims to be against nuclear missions, he's an apologist and he wrote the following:
"The success of the mission will show that anti flyby Cassini proponents have not done their homework and were focusing on the wrong issue."
That is utterly untrue, as any statistician or logically-thinking person can try to explain to him (but good luck). A successful flyby -- or 100 successful flybys -- would hardly be enough evidence to prove that "one in one million" really IS "one in one million" and not, say, "one in ten thousand" or even "one in one thousand".
Until he grasps that fact, he is NOT on the side of science, mathematics, logic, compassion, or reason. He is a false friend to the movement when he writes:
"NASA knows how to do flybys. What concerns me is the risk during launch and the whole idea of using the Solar System as a toxic waste dump. I don't believe in using nuclear material for anything."
He asks us to read his article "Polluting the Final Frontier" located at: http://www.ens.lycos.com/ens/jul99/1999L-07-26g.html.
I checked it out (see next item). It too ignores the radiological consequences on EARTH and focuses instead on the far less important issue of trashing distant icy lifeless moons. That is not, of course, entirely unreasonable to worry about -- but that's how useless people like him sneak into your heart and your mind, polluting it with their platitudes and niceties, their "we can all work this out if we just tell NASA we are upset" prognostications, their grand schemes for future wonderful things. They get in by being reasonable about irrelevant things, evasive about what they can be, and dishonest about whatever they have to be, for whatever reason. Dr. J.A.G. worked on Galileo for five years, yet this is not mentioned in his articles, as if it does not matter. Did he change his opinion -- have an "awakening" of some sort, or was he darned sorry back then as well, but hey, a paycheck's a paycheck? Ten years from now will today's Cassini scientists be speaking out as "experts" about the dangers of tomorrow's "RPS" (Radioactive Power Sources) as if they had cared all along?
I wonder now, if Dr. J.A.G. actually has military work in his background too? Hmmmm. Perhaps someone will ask him, since he's not speaking to me!
Here, he claims that Cassini cannot be redirected towards the sun:
"The best course of action environmentally is to get that spacecraft out of the inner solar system. I want the flyby to be a success so we can send the spacecraft as far away from the Earth as possible. I don't want Cassini littering the inner Solar System, making it a hazard for Earth in another span of years. Remember, if Cassini is redirected, it will become permanently in orbit around the Sun in the inner solar system and will be a hazard for millennia. Let's support the flyby to get it [out] of our Earthly neighborhood."
However, planets and large moons can be used to DECELERATE spacecraft just as well as they can be used to ACCELERATE spacecraft. It would be a simple matter to have Cassini do a different flyby, of a different planet, which would decelerate it so that it falls QUICKLY into the sun. Also, Cassini carries TONS of fuel which could be used also to DECELERATE Cassini so that it will QUICKLY fall towards the sun, and THEN it will really be out of our hair.
Lastly, if it cannot be redirected prior to the Earth flyby, it should perhaps, be SMASHED INTO JUPITER!
Because launching it was a crime? Because the people that launched it are criminals, and they do NOT deserve the reward of being given their happy science return in 2004? Those might well be good enough reasons, but the real reason is that it will NOT be in a harmless and safe orbit -- EVER! Not before the Jupiter flyby, not after. At ANY time it can go dead for no apparent reason, and if it does, there will be no telling where it might end up! Even NASA's own 1995 Environmental Impact Statement admits this, by the way, but since they have downplayed the dangers (as does Dr. J.A.G.) they have ignored it (as does Dr. J.A.G. -- but he SAYS he's against these things!)
Don't believe everyone who has a Ph.D. That's what we can all learn from Dr. J.A.G.
Date: August 13th, 1999 3:34 PM
Thank you for linking to my STOP CASSINI web site from this article:
I want you to know that I appreciate the link and will be linking to the article myself from the STOP CASSINI web site (in the next newsletter). All our links and web pages at www.animatedsoftware.com are designed and expected to be permanent (regardless of how embarrassing that might be, although we do try to post corrections where appropriate); we hope yours are too.
I agree with your concern for other planet's environments; I just wish you showed more concern for the radiological burden NASA threatens for the 6,000,000,000 people already here on Earth. You refer to Pu 239 as being worse than Pu 238. Sure, a case can be made for that, since it hangs around so much longer. But that case doesn't hold much water for vaporized (10 micron average) particles spread throughout an environment with 6,000,000,000 souls who each breath and filter the air (with their lungs) constantly throughout their lives -- and then there is the concern for the animals here on Earth -- trillions of living things. (On a related topic, although I didn't send it to you because your writing wasn't discussed this time (though in fact, I think you were mentioned somewhere), I nevertheless hope you read my comments in yesterday's [Thursday's] STOP CASSINI newsletter (#170) about "evolution".)
Sure, next week Cassini will probably complete its flyby of Earth successfully. But right now it's about 4 million miles away and aimed at a spot just 725 miles from Earth. Any reasonable person can deduce that a impact with a micrometeor -- or some frayed wiring causing a short -- can cause an explosion. (Like they [the officials] say happened with TWA Flight 800, although I don't personally believe it, but also like what has now grounded the Space Shuttle fleet for the next few months.)
Yes, I'm glad the TCM's went well. But you can't tell me this [the last few days before the Earth flyby] isn't the most dangerous time for Cassini, especially its run through the debris field of Earth itself -- sure, by then, an IMMEDIATE impact with Earth is physically virtually impossible (ESPECIALLY because they raised the flyby height in a series of political moves from just 312 miles above the surface of the Earth and just 250 miles (or less) above the atmosphere). But, if the probe is damaged, then it cannot be controlled for the flyby of Jupiter, it cannot be tracked, and the containment system can become old and brittle before impacting Earth in a decade or millennia -- in 87.75 years, only half the Pu 238 would have decayed but the containment system would probably be UTTERLY USELESS.
This is what is about to be risked by passing Cassini through the manmade debris field of Earth. Have you protested the haphazard (not to mention sometimes intentional) creation of SPACE DEBRIS lately? Or better yet, 20 years ago when you started your space work with JPL? If so, please show me the articles. That's a cause I feel much more alone on than the Cassini battle, but it is one that is probably more important in the long run.
Your disrespect of me is clearly as enormous as your ego, but time heals all and humbles even the mightiest pretenders amongst us.
When I got this subscription email, I thought of Dr. J.A.G.:
Subject: SUBSCRIBE STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER
I got caught up in this from a very tiny article in TIME magazine. You are a hell of a lot more informative. All my questions have been answered within ten minutes of reading the newsletters. All the other [Internet sites] really have nothing but what NASA tells them at face value. I am very impressed to see the truth about the danger, the possible impact area, and all the logistics used to calculate probable failures. Thank you sincerely.
The editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter hasn't seen the TIME magazine article. He was hoping to see Cassini on the cover of TIME this week, unless Clinton could think of another war to engage in instead.
Actually, he wanted to see a D. U. bullet, a nuke power plant, an nuke warhead, a nuke waste site, a nuke reprocessing plant, a nuke food irradiation facility, and Cassini all at once, like the kindred evil spirits that they all are. And maybe a few lines of computer code and the number 1/1/2000 emblazoned across the page, with a flower, a little girl, and a nuclear explosion (oh, yeah that's been done before).
Hope springs eternal! Will we learn before we make mistakes, or after? Can we afford to wait any longer?
I sent the person who told me about the TIME magazine article a note asking what issue it was in, and got this great reply:
The article about Cassini, although very small, was in Vol. 154 No. 7. The cover has the two devious guys on it that created the Blair Witch Project. The date was August 16, 1999. Page 54, bottom 2/5ths, called "It's Back! Cassini Flies By".
Believe me, someone of your intelligence and understanding of this situation already knows ten thousand times the amount of information contained in those five paragraphs.
Paragraph one: Cassini's journey in a nutshell.
Paragraph two: It's measurements and "gravity assist" explanation.
Paragraph three: Fly By. Activists say what if, NASA etc, says no RISK.
Paragraph four: Saturn, Fuel needed to reach it, & Earth's radiation belt.
Paragraph five: All systems working fine and operating well.
Hope this was helpful.
Even today Cassini should be redirected away from Earth's manmade orbital debris field and away from Earth. To stop Cassini and other future mad-scientist launches, please redistribute this newsletter to everyone you know! Chances are they have never heard of Cassini, never visited our STOP CASSINI web site, never heard of or considered the effects of the Electromagnetic Pulse that will undoubtedly start a nuclear war if one occurs at all. And chances are good they would not even be able to tell you who played Dr. Strangelove (and two other roles) in the movie of the same name! There is a crisis in education in America and around the world -- you can take it seriously or you can let it kill you. But if we all join together and oppose this impending global destruction, maybe, just maybe, we can convince the powers that be to put down their genocidal toys.
To stop Cassini from doing the flyby and other future mad-scientist launches, please redistribute this newsletter to everyone you know! Chances are they have never heard of Cassini, never visited our STOP CASSINI web site, never heard of or considered the effects of the Electromagnetic Pulse that will undoubtedly start a nuclear war if one occurs at all. And chances are good they would not even be able to tell you who played Dr. Strangelove (and two other roles) in the movie of the same name! There is a crisis in education in America and around the world -- you can take it seriously or you can let it kill you. But if we all join together and oppose this impending global destruction, maybe, just maybe, we can convince the powers that be to put down their genocidal toys.
To learn about the absurd excuses NASA used to launch Cassini and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium in 1997, ask them for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini mission, and all subsequent documentation. At the same time, be sure to ask them for ANY and ALL documentation available on future uses of plutonium in space, including MILITARY, CIVILIAN, or "OTHER" (just in case they make a new category somehow!). To get this information, contact:
Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011 or
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!
Here's NASA's "comments" email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.
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.
Thanks for reading! Welcome new subscribers!
Home page of our STOP CASSINI movement:
This newsletter is free and is not distributed for profit.
To subscribe, simply email the editor at
email@example.com and state:
SUBSCRIBE STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER
Please include a personal message of any
length and subject matter. Thank you!
To unsubscribe email me and say
UNSUBSCRIBE STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER
Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in U.S.A.
Please distribute these newsletters EVERYWHERE!
What you do NEXT matters MOST OF ALL!