STOP CASSINI Newsletter #226 -- November 12th, 1999
Copyright (c) 1999
STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index
To: Subscribers, government officials, members of the press
From: Russell David Hoffman (still bemused after all these years)
Re: Is NASA shooting its own messenger? STOP CASSINI #226
Date: November 12th 1999
This issue's subjects:
- (1) NASA's Cassini web site to be redesigned
- (2) Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass's "Tooth Fairy Project"
- (3) "The soldiers began to rebel, which is always the most heroic thing soldiers can do"
- (4) Dancing With the Devil's Stuff (a poem by Russell Hoffman)
- (5) Tell Clinton how you feel -- Official government contact points
- (6) Newsletter subscription information
- (7) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs
(1) NASA's Cassini web site to be redesigned:
Bad publicity for government organizations is almost always followed by cosmetic changes. NASA scientists look like fools right now (thanks in part to MCO) and I think they know it. The following report states, "senior Cassini staff members have been identified to oversee revisions to all of the text in the Cassini public website". Let's hope Woody Smith is no longer involved in the project! -- rdh
----- NASA/JPL CASSINI STATUS REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 12TH, 1999: -----
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 11:41:08 -0800
To: "Cassini Spacecraft Updates" <Cassini@jpl.nasa.gov>
Subject: Cassini Weekly Significant Events Report - Nov. 12, 1999
Cassini Significant Events
for Friday, 11/05/99 through Thursday, 11/11/99
Based on the most recent spacecraft telemetry data acquired from the
Canberra tracking station on Tuesday, 11/09, the Cassini spacecraft is in
an excellent state of health and is operating normally. The speed of the
spacecraft can be viewed on the "Where is Cassini Now?" web page
The Cruise 17 background sequence activated this week. The first two
on-board events were the setting of the off-sun time constraint (an
activity that occurs at the beginning of every sequence) and successful
execution of a roll to place CDA (Cosmic Dust Analyzer) into the ecliptic
plane. It is felt that this will dramatically increase the number of hits
for CDA, and, therefore, increase the amount and quality of science that
they are able to obtain. The Spacecraft will stay in this orientation
until the end of C17.
The Cassini Program had its Quarterly Review with NASA Headquarters
personnel this week. Presented were significant accomplishments since the
last review, planned accomplishments for the upcoming quarter, an overview
of FY'99 - FY'00 budgets and workforce, and overall Program status,
issues, and concerns.
A summary of Outreach activity for Fiscal Year 1999 has been prepared,
senior Cassini staff members have been identified to oversee revisions to
all of the text in the Cassini public website, and a Saturn-related
activity for children will be revised and added to the JPL Spaceplace
Jupiter planning moved forward with the presentation of a Draft Jupiter
Science Planning and Sequence Operations Concept, and a preliminary
Jupiter Subphase Science Planning schedule. The operations concept
describes both the Science planning and the sequencing process to be used
for the Jupiter mission phase. The schedule addresses the decision to
develop the Jupiter Subphase in a more Tour-like environment as opposed to
the current cruise operations.
The Titan Orbiter Science Team (TOST) Group held a two day meeting to move
forward on the allocation process for the Titan flybys. Very good
progress was made at this meeting toward the allocation of the flybys
centered around +/-30 minutes from closest approach. Subsequent meetings
have been scheduled to converge on an allocation recommendation for
Project Science Group (PSG) approval in January of 2000.
Cassini Mission to Saturn and Titan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
To unsubscribe from Cassini Spacecraft Updates, send a message to leave-cassini-112992K@list.jpl.nasa.gov
Visit the JPL Cassini home page for more information about the Cassini Project: <http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/>
----- END OF NASA/JPL CASSINI STATUS REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 12TH, 1999 -----
(2) Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass's "Tooth Fairy Project":
----- PAIR OF EMAILS POSTED ON A NEWSGROUP REGARDING DR. STERNGLASS'S "TOOTH FAIRY PROJECT": -----
From: Charlie Hendricksen <veritas@U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
Organization: Department of Geography, University of Washington
Subject: Re: Bad Science - Tooth Fairy Project (nuclear power)
Rather than counting allies and opponents, it might be best to
examine the protocol of the Tooth Fairy Project. Apparently it is using
the protocol of another activist group's study: Ten Years After
Chernobyl: The Rise of Strontium-90 In Baby Teeth by Dr. Roland Scholz
of The Otto Hug Radiation Institute, Munich, Introduction by Jay M.
Gould, RPHP Series 1, Number 5, $4.00.
The Tooth Fairy Project can be explored (to a very limited extent)
at: http://www.radiation.org/teethstudy.html . It is likely be quite
easy to poke holes in that study. Gathering one's primary data by
public solicitation with delivery by mail seems to offer many
opportunities to invalidate the study. On the other hand, it may be
well-designed. There is opportunity for a scientist/journalist to
debunk the study. Sorry I don't have the time.
Stephen Miles Sacks PhD wrote:
> Bad Science and the Tooth Fairy Project (nuclear power)
> Yesterday (11/9/99) the super star movie actor Alec Baldwin (married to
> actress Kim Bassinger) appeared in colloquium at Stockton State College NJ
> (Outside of Atlantic City). The topic was the Tooth Fairy Project (I do not
> know the sponsoring group) that collects children's teeth in locales near
> nuclear power plants to prove there is strontium 90 in them - that came from
> the nuclear plants.
> According to Baldwin (as best I remember his quote on TV news): "My research
> points to the nuclear plants spewing harmful clouds that cause horrible
> illnesses in children."
> There are several issues here that lead to question Baldwin's motives in
> hyping the issue in the news media and playing to the fears of the public and
> mistrust of government and the nuclear power industry:
> 1. Baldwin lacks scientific credential and competency to be the spokesperson
> for the issue. While I do not know his college degrees, if any, I do know
> that his extensive number of films and public appearances in recent years
> gives cause to question whether could possibly have had the time, indeed
> enormous time and study, needed for competencies about nuclear science and
> plant design, nuclear medicine, and pediatric medicine, dental medicine, and
> ecological science - to name just a few of the many disciplines that
> intersect the issue.
> 2. Neither the NRC nor the Electric Power Institute support the issue; in
> fact they disclaim its validity. And even if there were minute amounts of
> strontium 90 found in children's teeth - which has not been proven - it is
> still a gigantic leap to say that it exclusively came from the nuclear plants
> and that all dread diseases in children in the areas are caused by it. The
> issue is false logic, flawed methodology, and bad science.
> 3. In fact, the issue of infant mortality and juvenile diseases from nuclear
> plants is scientifically and technically spurious. Categorically, there is no
> proof whatsoever linking them as cause and effect. In the 1970's University
> of Pittsburgh Professor Ernest Sternglass (radiology) made the same charge
> and gave statistical correlation galore showing that in each and every
> instance where a plant was built, the incidence of infant mortality and
> disease rose. I was a health policy consultant in the Governor's Office and
> actively involved in investigating the issue. Eventually the state convened
> a blue ribbon scientific panel to study the issue. It turns out that
> correlation is not causality (as every graduate student should well know) and
> that in each and every case, the sociological and economic groupings of the
> communities began to drastically change when 10's of thousands of migrant
> workers relocated in the areas to gain employment - and the infant mortality
> rates of the emigrating groups corresponded with the changes that Sternglass
> pointed to. Additionally, most plants are built near natural watersheds and
> sources that are areas of greatest natural radiation - that accounts for
> clusters of increases in dread diseases of all kinds in the areas.
> So now we have a movie star intent on quashing nuclear power and he is
> playing the agitator role on environmental issues and exploiting the issue
> for personal motives. And personal motives are a perfect fit with Harold
> Laswell's classic political type in Psychopathology and Politics and the
> description of one who furthers personal motives and displaces them on a
> public issues and rationalizes it as for the public's good. From the TV
> coverage that I saw of Baldwin at Stockton, he seemed to characterize
> Laswell's political type par excellence.
> In summary, Baldwin and the Tooth Fairy project are another example of the
> ills of over zealous citizen activism in scientific and technology affairs as
> well as the gullibility of the news media who lack competence to know the
> difference. Such does not bode well for citizen participation in
> decision-making and the democratization of science.
> Best wishes,
> Stephen Miles Sacks, Ph.D.,
> Science and Health Policy Research
Charlie Hendricksen firstname.lastname@example.org
"Information technology structures human relationships."
----- END OF PAIR OF EMAILS POSTED ON A NEWSGROUP REGARDING DR. STERNGLASS'S "TOOTH FAIRY PROJECT" -----
----- MY RESPONSE: -----
It is of note that the tooth fairy project's purpose is to attempt, using statistical methodologies, to determine if an extremely difficult-to-measure effect is occurring which, it is postulated, kills millions around the world. It is difficult to measure simply because (if it is occurring at all) it is occurring at a very low rate.
It is in the best interests of those who wish low level radiation (LLR) to be harmless so they can keep on leaking it into the environment, that this study and all the others which might point in the same direction be "debunked", stopped, unfunded, censored, or in some other way removed from public view.
The writer [above] gleefully claims he hasn't got the time to debunk Dr. Sternglass's efforts. (It should be noted that Sternglass personally told me that the statistical analysis is very simple, standard math, and he described the effect shown by the data as relevant by "more than two standard deviations"). Clearly, the writer likewise hasn't got the time to look into the data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, if only to learn all the dozens of things the U.S. Government did to hide the medical effects that were showing up there (gross errors in scientific principal, like not counting infant deaths, not counting those who died in the first five years after the bombs at all, not tracking those who moved away, etc. etc.). Likewise, the writer clearly hasn't got the time to look into the data from Chernobyl, where well over 100,000 have died, according to the Ukranian Health Ministry. (Most people in the nuclear industry debunk the Chernoby studies by claiming the numbers were exagg
erated to increase funding for hospitals, to give the writer a head start if he wants to make the effort to debunk the Chernobyl studies.)
However, all the debunking in the world would not provide one iota of proof that there is no danger from LLR, and there are, in fact, many studies besides those mentioned here which indicate there is a significant threat to human health from the nuclear fuel cycle. Even if it was a dead heat, the precautionary principal should be followed.
----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----
(3) "The soldiers began to rebel, which is always the most heroic thing soldiers can do":
----- ARTICLE FORWARDED TO THE STOP CASSINI EDITOR BY RICHARD WILCOX: -----
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 14:33:22 +0900
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
From: Richard Wilcox <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: news: Zinn/[...]
A veteran remembers
By Howard Zinn, 11/11/99
[Image]et's go back to the beginning of Veterans Day. It used to be
Armistice Day, because at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the
11th month of 1918, World War I came to an end.
We must not forget that conflict. It revealed the essence of war, of all
wars, because however ''just'' or ''humanitarian'' may be the claims, at
the irreducible core of all war is the slaughter of the innocent,
organized by national leaders, accompanied by lies. World War I was its
epitome, as generals and politicians sent young men forward from their
trenches, bayonets fixed, to gain a few miles, even a few yards, at
In July 1916 the British General Douglas Haig ordered 11 divisions of
English soldiers to climb out of their trenches and move toward the German
lines. The six German divisions opened up with their machine guns. Of the
110,000 who attacked, more than half were killed or wounded - all those
bodies strewn on no man's land, the ghostly territory between the
contending trenches. That scenario went on for years. In the first battle
of the Marne there were a million casualties, 500,000 on each side.
The soldiers began to rebel, which is always the most heroic thing
soldiers can do, for which they should be given medals. In the French
Army, out of 112 divisions, 68 would have mutinies. Fifty men would be
shot by firing squads.
Three of those executions became the basis for the late filmmaker Stanley
Kubrick's antiwar masterpiece, ''Paths of Glory.'' In that film a pompous
general castigates his soldiers for retreating and talks of
''patriotism.'' Kirk Douglas, the lieutenant colonel who defends his men,
enrages the general by quoting the famous lines of Samuel Johnson:
''Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.''
The supposed moral justification of that war (the evil Kaiser, the Belgian
babies) disintegrated quickly after it ended with sudden recognition of
the 10 million dead in the mud of France and the gassed, shellshocked, and
limbless veterans confronting the world.
The ugliness of that war was uncomplicated by the moral righteousness that
made later wars, from World War II on, unsullied in our memory, or at
least acceptable. Vietnam was the stark exception. But even there our
national leaders have worked hard to smother what they call ''the Vietnam
syndrome.'' They want us to forget what we learned at the Vietnam War's
end: that our leaders cannot be trusted, that modern war is inevitably a
war against civilians and particularly children, that only a determined
citizenry can stop the government when it embarks on mass murder.
Our decent impulse, to recognize the ordeal of our veterans, has been used
to obscure the fact that they died, they were crippled, for no good cause
other than the power and profit of a few. Veterans Day, instead of an
occasion for denouncing war, has become an occasion for bringing out the
flags, the uniforms, the martial music, the patriotic speeches reeking
with hypocrisy. Those who name holidays, playing on our genuine feeling
for veterans, have turned a day that celebrated the end of a horror into a
day to honor militarism.
As a combat veteran myself, of a ''good war,'' against fascism, I do not
want the recognition of my service to be used as a glorification of war.
At the end of that war, in which 50 million died, the people of the world
should have shouted ''Enough!'' We should have decided that from that
moment on, we would renounce war - and there would be no Korean War,
Vietnam War, Panama War, Grenada War, Gulf War, Balkan War.
The reason for such a decision is that war in our time - whatever
''humanitarian'' motives are claimed by our political leaders - is always
a war against children: the child amputees created by our bombing of
Yugoslavia, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead as a result
of our postwar sanctions. Veterans Day should be an occasion for a
national vow: No more war victims on the other side; no more war veterans
on our side.
Howard Zinn is professor emeritus at Boston University and author of ''A
People's History of the United States.''
This story ran on page A27 of the Boston Globe on 11/11/99.
© Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.
----- END OF ARTICLE FORWARDED TO THE STOP CASSINI EDITOR BY RICHARD WILCOX -----
(4) Dancing With the Devil's Stuff (a poem by Russell Hoffman):
Dancing With the Devil's Stuff
(A 50-days-to-Y2K poem by Russell D. Hoffman)
It's time to pay the piper
Call the tune of the viper
Turn on the windshield wiper
Change the baby's diaper.
We see the dangers ahead
Our heads aren't full of lead.
When all is done and said
We may be better off dead.
Who pretends to know
What makes "hot" atoms glow
And whither, we will go --
Our cancers, sure to grow.
Is but one blade of grass
In a universe so vast
Our time has nearly past.
Some deny the truth
And then they stay aloof
As we grow long of tooth,
Not believing the sayers with their sooth.
Facts abound which say
Beware of Y2K
For it comes in 50 days
And the future has many ways.
The soothsayers may be right
There may be no need of fright
But we must wait until that night
To find out who's alright.
Let's say there is no danger
After all, isn't this God's manger?
But on THIS earth, he's a stranger!
The devil rules the range, here.
"These bombs don't simply go off!"
Say people who don't know of
The way these things could blow off --
It could just be for show-off!
I said the devil rules here
But I should be (even to fools) clear
I only mean we let him steer
Really WE'RE in charge (is that what we fear?)
We seek guidance from above
By praying that we have God's love
But when we think we've prayed enough
We go back to dancing with the devil's stuff.
-- by Russell Hoffman
© Copyright 1999 by Russell D. Hoffman, Carlsbad, CA
May be freely distributed but please don't alter it, and keep the copyright information intact. Thank you.
Thanks for reading!
(5) 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 -- email@example.com
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 -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary William Cohen
Washington D.C. 20301
Phone -- (703) 695-6352
Fax -- (703) 695-1149
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
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:
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.
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.
(6) Newsletter subscription information:
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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."
(7) 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:
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