STOP CASSINI Newsletter #223 -- November 10th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, government officials, members of the press
From: Russell David Hoffman (determined to keep trying to alert people)
Re:  All the President's Men are lying to him: STOP CASSINI #223
Date: November 10th 1999

This issue's subjects:

(1) John Koskinen fails to fulfill the full duties of his position:


November 4, 1999

Good afternoon, Chairwoman Morella, Chairman Horn and members of the
subcommittees. I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the Year
2000 (Y2K) issue.


Finally, I'd like to address some of the myths that take the form of Y2K
"doomsday" scenarios such as the claims that the Y2K issue will cause
nuclear weapons to launch themselves, the Federal Government is planning to
use the Y2K issue as an excuse to "take control" of key institutions in the
United States, and problems related to the date change will cause all
foreign trade to grind to a halt. None of the available information suggests
that any of these stories are true. Nuclear weapons require human
intervention to launch, no computer malfunction -- Y2K or otherwise -- will
cause weapons to fire themselves. However, we are concerned about the
ability of the Russian early warning systems to function effectively during
the rollover period. We are pleased that Russia has agreed to participate
with us in a joint stability center in Colorado, where we will share
information from our early warning system to ensure that there are no



When I appeared before you in January of this year, I closed by saying that
overreaction by the public to real or perceived Y2K risks was in some ways
our greatest challenge. I still believe that. On the other hand, our goal is
not public complacency. All of us need to encourage the public to take the
appropriate steps to be ready for date change. As I said in January, the way
to achieve this delicate balance is to provide people with as much
information as possible about Y2K readiness efforts -- the good and the bad.


Perhaps more than anyone, John Koskinen is responsible for America's failure to come to grips with the real Y2K issues.  His excuses for why we don't need to worry about a nuclear war are weak.  His failure to specifically address the dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle is criminally negligent. -- rdh


To: President Bill Clinton
From: Russell Hoffman
Re: John A. Koskinen's remarks before House Subcommittee
Date: November 5th, 1999

Dear Mr. President:

John A Koskinen describes the only possible Y2K-nuclear war problem as something "causing nuclear weapons to launch themselves" which he says is a myth (as if he could know for sure).  It may well be, but regardless, that is NOT the most feared or the only possible scenario.

Most feared is that systems will not function properly to prevent an escalation to full-blown thermonuclear war from what starts out as:

1) A single launch by a lone Y2K nut on any side of any battle.

2) Invalid information coming to a command center, causing those at the center to think a war has already commenced when it hasn't (we have had such close calls before, and there have even been reports of some space-faring countries wanting to set off explosive rockets for fun on that day).

3) Loss of communications between the superpowers due to Y2K-related failures, which causes increased tensions and prevents, for example, the Russian team in Colorado from communicating with their own superior officers in Russia.

4) Y2K doomsdayers starting something we can't stop, because the military nuclear war system is designed for immediate and overwhelming response, and on Y2K, the immediate response is more likely to be responding to incomplete or incorrect data than ever before.

Also, it should be noted (and should have been noted by Koskinen) that a single nuclear blast high above the United States would, through the effect known as the EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) knock this country back to the 17th Century by destroying most of the electromechanical devices we use every day, especially computerized hospital equipment, nuclear power plant equipment, emergency equipment, home computers, telecommunications equipment and so on.

Furthermore, Koskinen has said nothing about the other grave threat to society besides accident or purposeful nuclear war:  The possibility of meltdowns at the nuclear power plants and at fuel reprocessing facilities and other steps in the nuclear fuel chain.   As far as I know he has never even suggested that nuclear loads should not be in transit anywhere during the rollover period, but they should definitely not be!

Also, he has not urged the government pass out Potassium Iodine, which is only a band-aid measure anyway, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

I accuse Koskinen of ignoring the real dangers of Y2K.


Russell Hoffman
Peace Activist
Carlsbad, CA


To contact John Koskinen and tell him how you feel:
Senate-Year 2000-Committee <>

Here are the email addresses for three other members of the Y2K committee:


(2) The Dangerous Idiot (A poem by Russell Hoffman):

The Dangerous Idiot
By Russell Hoffman
November 6th, 1999

It was just another day in Paradise
Not unlike all the rest.
55 days before Y2K's sunrise
I could still party with the best.

My mind was drawn to Koskinen
Who assured the public their worst enemy
was themselves.
It wasn't.  It was Koskinen.

Quietly we all waited.
With false assurances and blind faith we waited.
Victims of the Masters of Deception --
The Death of the Earth Squad.

Quietly we waited.
Our fate
in the hands of our worst enemy --
ourselves and our technology.

"They have a mutual command center in Colorado!" we are told
All is well.
But all is not well
55 days before Y2K.

Phone lines down.
"Incoming! Incoming!"
Incoming what?
Training program, no real threat.
Call back the missiles, we can't, we can't.

Oh no.
Dr. Strangelove lives
in the Terminator's ghost
Sowing the seeds of nuclear death
and revulsion
and revolution

Of the sane against the insane
and the truth against the lie.
For everyone will come the morrow.

But today, there are just 55 days until Y2K
and the moment when
John Koskinen
is proven a dangerous idiot.

by Russell Hoffman, Carlsbad, California

Copyright (c) 1999 by Russell Hoffman.  May be freely distributed, but please do not change, add, or delete anything and keep the authorship information and copyright notice attached to the poem.

(3) Muzzle velocities:

The STOP CASSINI newsletter has pointed out the dangers of D.U. many times (and will do more issues on the subject, and on other radiological war "trophies", soon). -- rdh


At the MEDACT seminar I went to a couple of weeks ago  detractor suggested
that DU was used in Vietnam with none of the spectrum of symptoms now
associated with its use in Iraq. It was in the form of flechettes which I
think are also known as beehive bombs. Anti personnel weapons  - a
sophisticated kind of nail bomb. From what I see on the Web, the name
beehive comes from the noise the little arrows (flechettes) make as they fly
through the air.

Now it occurs to me that it's extremely unlikely that flechettes travel with
nearly as much velocity as armour piercing rounds, and that the low velocity
would decrease the chance of impact creating enough heat to ignite the
uranium. The pulverisation required to help the Uranium burn would also be
less likely at low velocity, and another relevant factor would be the fact
that flechettes would be used against soft targets, not armour. One of the
websites I have seen says that they are useless against armour, though they
do damage unarmoured vehicles.

If the Uranium in flechettes does not burn, then we do not have a parallel
case. This, if true, needs to be said, and as a result of the MEDACT seminar
we now have a forum in which to discuss these things - i.e. MEDACT is taking
the debate further and we have been asked to provide evidence. Do you have
any information or useful contacts?

I hope you are well


Richard Bramhall


----- MY RESPONSE: -----


Thank you for the letter.  I'm sorry, but I don't have any additional information, but the simple and straight-forward logic you have applied sounds very reasonable.  Flechettes were used during WWI, I know that.  They would drop them by the hundreds out the side of the airplane.  I seem to recall the French invented the idea (and the name certainly sounds French).  The velocities the flechettes would reach when dropped this way could drive the flechette all the way through a standing person, from their head to their feet.  But it still wouldn't be enough to pulverize the flechette -- only the poor doughboy who got hit!

As far as I can tell they have been developing D.U. weapons since about the 60's, so it certainly seems possible to me that they would have used them in Vietnam.  They hate to leave new weapons on the shelves!  Of course, there should be D.U. flechettes recoverable in Vietnam if that's the case.

I keep hearing that the first use was in the Gulf War, but I've been wondering about that since I am aware that they've been working with the idea for decades.

Please keep me informed of anything you learn!

Thank you,


Russell Hoffman
Peace Activist
Carlsbad, CA
(see below for more contact info and URLs)

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----

(4) The Leonids are coming (again)!  This could be "exciting":

Each year in late November, there is a meteor shower known as "Leonid".  Some years it is much stronger than others, with many more visible impacts with Earth's atmosphere.  Currently most experts predict this year's Leonid might not even reach "storm" range (1500 meteors visible to the unaided eye per hour).  However, it is possible it will be worse, although few are expecting anything like the 150,000 per hour that Leonid provided 33 years ago.  It's peaks generally are on approximately a 33 year cycle.

The editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter learned that there is a Leonid-related conference coming up in Jordan, so I sent this letter to the organizers:


To: Jordanian Astronomical Society <>
From: Russell Hoffman
Re: Leonids and primary coolant balls
Date: Nov. 8th, 1999

To Whom It May Concern:

I am surprised that I could not find references at your web site to the possible effects of the Leonids upon the operational satellites currently in orbit, as well as (more importantly, actually) on the leaked, frozen balls of primary coolant from Russian Cold War nuclear reactors left in space, nor on the reactors themselves.

I would think that those of you who recognize the excitement of millions of particles of debris crossing our path at roughly 50,000 to 100,000 mph would find some cause for concern in these related issues.  The leaked primary coolant needs to be retrieved before it falls back to Earth; the effect of the Leonids smashing the frozen balls into far smaller pieces will undoubtedly make any cleanup possibilities that much harder.  It is because of the natural and manmade debris problems that the remaining Russian reactors need to be retrieved and brought back to Earth for proper disposal, or possibly, sent out of orbit around the Earth on a one-way trip to the sun.

In any event, the Leonids are both a cause for concern, and a chance to remind the world what horrors the Cold War has left us.

Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


(5) Why are aliens so darned hard to find?:

Admittedly this next letter (to Benny J. Peiser, who runs a space-related electronic newsletter), which responds to the item clipped immediately below, doesn't completely answer the question of why we haven't found any aliens.  But it does explain why THIS species is unlikely to last long enough to be discovered:



Dr Michael Martin-Smith, BSc,MRCGP,FBIS
President of Space Age Associates

Copyright @1999 Michael Martin-Smith. Published by the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc with permission. Released
to IAF/IAA/AIAA to publish in all forms.



Fermi's Paradox is set out, and related to Drake's Equation for the
probability of communicating Extraterrestrial civilizations. The terms
are described, leaving the lifespan of a technological civilization as
the most important. Factors affecting this term (V) are outlined, with
reference to asteroid impacts. The asteroid impact threat is discussed
in terms of its nature, and implications for Space development.
Survival strategies for particular cultures here on Earth are
described. Two extreme cases - one of isolation  - the aboriginals of
Australia, and the other, one of dispersal, dynamism, and belief in 
future Destiny - Judaism - are contrasted. It is shown that, for
advanced liberal human civilization, Diaspora works and is most likely
to ensure development. A proposed solution to the threat from Fermi's
Paradox for our emerging civilization is dispersal backed by belief in
a Cosmic Destiny for Humankind. If we are alone in the Galaxy, this is
necessary for further Evolution; if not, Humanity's contribution to an overall future Galactic
civilization requires expansion into Space. This rationale for  space
development should be adopted by the Space community. Outreach efforts
by the author and associates are described.
the lessons of Diaspora and Destiny, it seems clear that our own
survival as a Mindful technological civilization depends upon our
turning the Search for Extra-Terrestrial civilizations and speculation
on the causes of Fermi's Paradox on their heads; the true goal for
Humankind, in the wake of our recent discoveries in neo-Catastrophism,
is not to find civilizations in Space but to build them there.


The article is quite long.   Those interested in seeing the full article can email the STOP CASSINI editor for a copy, or they can contact Mr. Peiser or the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics directly. -- rdh


To: Benny J Peiser <>
From: Russell D. Hoffman <>

Dear Mr. Peiser;

I would say this essay [shown above] is shortsighted, at best.  I'm all for colonization of space, but this essay has ignored the most important thing civilization must learn in order to survive.  That is to seriously and strongly love one's fellow human beings.  Space travel must be reasonably safe for everyone, especially including those left on Earth, if it is to be endorsed by the public at large.  Right now it is the greatest threat to civilization ever (in the form of ICBMs, which is "space technology" in just about everyone's mind, including mine).

Since right now the space industry ignores numerous environmental issues, I don't see it becoming responsible enough to build sustainable colonies off-world.

Irresponsible behavior includes such things as using 72.3# of Pu 238 & Pu 239 in Cassini -- Cassini, for God's sakes!  That didn't colonize a thing and was just a tiny step even if some day it gives us its full expected science return.  Yet we risked millions of deaths for it.

At this rate, humanity is doomed.  Also, the militarization of space portends nothing but more wars up there, which is a strange situation, considering how fragile life and its creations are up there without Mother Earth to protect them.

Russell Hoffman
space enthusiast


If we wish to survive OFF this planet, we need to learn how to survive ON it first.  The author of the above article talks about "170,000 professionals" and a "creed" and a "destiny", "hopes and enterprises" "chosen people" etc. etc..

All such talk generally blinds the author and his readers to reality. 

Maybe this author (Dr Michael Martin-Smith) is different, but typically, such a person delights in calling those who oppose them "Luddites" and "anti-technology" or at the very least, dismisses 98% of the world as not being among the "chosen".  Such talk is certainly unAmerican (he's British, judging by his email address, so I guess that's okay), and uninspiring as well (that's never okay). -- rdh

(6) STOP CASSINI author's web site wins another award!:

In addition to being the founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter (an unpaid position), the author is also the creator of a web site called the Internet Glossary of Pumps, which is a static version of the glossary portion of the editor's All About Pumps interactive animated learning program.  Like the STOP CASSINI newsletter, the Internet Glossary of Pumps is researched, designed, written, produced, etc. (including doing 95% of the drawings) by YH&OS by getting good help from smart people.  Like the STOP CASSINI web site, the online version of the pump glossary gets thousands of "hits" each week, as does the Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms, which was written by my father (who taught statistics for nearly 50 years) and turned into an Internet glossary by YH&OS. 

All three areas have received awards over the years (though we understand that the award the STOP CASSINI area received was statistically derived.  We were told we were one of the top 50 Saturn-related web sites based on how many other sites linked to our site.)

We are proud to be able to add this latest citation:


Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999 22:05:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Congratulations


Your website,, has been selected as a featured site in StudyWeb as one
of the best educational resources on the Web by our researchers. 
You will be able to view it in our Science:Engineering:Mechanical Engineering section very soon.

StudyWeb is one of the Internet's premier sites for educational resources for
students and teachers.  Since 1996, our expert reviewers have scoured the
Internet to select only the finest sites to be included in StudyWeb's listing
of educational links.  Each site in StudyWeb includes a detailed review
describing its editorial and visual merits.

If you are unfamiliar with StudyWeb, please check us out at:

Inclusion in StudyWeb will increase your exposure and attract new visitors to
your site: our reviews have been featured on Webcrawler Select, The Lycos Top
5%, Education World and many others, and StudyWeb updates are provided to
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Thanks -- and again, congratulations!


The StudyWeb Editing Team


(7) Tell Clinton how you feel -- Official government contact points

To contact the top government officials: President Bill Clinton
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone -- (202) 456-1111
Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail --

Vice President Albert Gore
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,
N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone -- (202) 456-1414
Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail --

Secretary William Cohen
1000 Defense
The Pentagon
Washington D.C. 20301
Phone -- (703) 695-6352

Secretary Bill Richardson
Department of Energy (DoE)
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20585
Phone -- (202) 586-6210
fax -- (202) 586-4403

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country, because otherwise they will throw it out unread, or hand it directly to their police force to try to identify the author. (Thus, nothing good will come of it.) Also, ALWAYS include a personal message of some sort, indicating YOUR OWN VIEWS, even if you include a lot of material written by other people (me, for instance).

NASA needs to be told in no uncertain terms they have lied too often to the public and we want a SEA CHANGE away from their nuclear policies!

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
(818) 354-6478

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:


NASA should never have been allowed to launch monstrosities like Cassini and Galileo, but the next breed -- such as Europa Orbiter and Pluto-Kuiper Express are not much better and the policy is being set for greatly increased rates of missions! The danger continues! To complain to NASA about their future nuclear space probes, here are two addresses you can use:

For Europa Orbiter:
Europa Orbiter comments"

For Pluto-Kuiper Express:
"Pluto-Kuiper Express comments"

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

(8) Newsletter subscription information:

Thanks for reading! Welcome new subscribers!

Home page of our STOP CASSINI movement: (Beware of imitations!)

To subscribe, simply email the editor at and state:
Please include a personal message of any
length and subject matter. Thank you!

To unsubscribe email me and say

Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in the United States of America.
This newsletter is free and is not distributed for profit.
The opinions expressed are those of the individual authors.
Please distribute these newsletters EVERYWHERE!

"There can be no democracy without truth, no justice without mercy, and no nuclear dispersals without ill consequences."

(9) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs:


Many of the issues presented by Russell Hoffman in this letter are based on conversations with Dr. John W. Gofman (who isolated the first working quantities of plutonium), the late Dr. Karl Z. Morgan (who was known as the "father of health physics"), Dr. Ernest Sternglass (a noted epidemiologist who has done statistical studies about LLR), Dr. Jay Gould (ditto), Dr. Horst Poehler, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Dr. Ross Wilcock and dozens of activists, as well as many others on both sides of the nuclear debates, including ex military nuke expert Jack Shannon (responsible for the design of the D2G Navy reactor, the most widely used reactor in the U. S. navy), award-winning investigative reporter Karl Grossman, ecologist and human rights advocate Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, etc. Also, I've read a few dozen books on the various subjects. And scads of government documents purporting to explain how something so dangerous can be safe. Professionally, my pump training software is used throughout the pump industry and even in some nuclear power plants around the world to train their staff about mechanical pumps. Any errors herein are regrettably my own, but I believe it would take an extremely unlikely preponderance of errors to invalidate my basic position on these issues.

Russell D. Hoffman, Carlsbad, California, Peace Activist, Environmentalist, High Tech Guru:

Hoffman's Y2K Preparedness Information:

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:

** Russell D. Hoffman, Owner and Chief Programmer
** Carlsbad CA
** Visit the world's most eclectic web site:

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First placed online November 10th, 1999.
Last modified November 11th, 1999.
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Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman