STOP CASSINI Newsletter #235 -- December 4th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, government officials, members of the press
From: Russell David Hoffman, smugly observing NASA
Re: An open letter to NASA: STOP CASSINI  #235
Date: December 4th, 1999

This issue's subjects:

(1) Scott Portzline to appear on Art Bell show THIS SUNDAY:


From: "Scott Portzline" <>
To: "nukenet" <>
Subject: radio show Y2K nuclear plant problems
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 11:12:35 -0500

An interview with Linda Howe and me will air on Sunday evening on the Art
Bell radio show. The discussion is Y2K nuclear plant problems.

Scott Portzline


(2) New Y2K-nuclear video available:


Subject: [y2k-nuclear] Y2K Nuclear Video Available

From: Wendy Tanowitz <>
Subject: [y2k-nuclear] video/audiotapes on nuclear y2k

        Dear friends,

        The new, improved 20-minute video outlining the dangers of
        nuclear power/weapons in the Y2K context is now available!!
        The emphasis is on nuclear power plants and the video
        promotes the WASH platform for nuclear safety.

        Featured are: Dr. Helen Caldicott; David Lochbaum (Nuclear
        Safety Engineer, now with the Union of Concerned Scientists);
        Mary Olson (Nuclear Information and Resource Service);
        Yumi Kikuchi, co-founder of Y2K WASH; and Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

        Also features a fantastic interview with the Chair of the
        Board of the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, with
        the closed-down nuclear plant in the background. He compares
        the advantages of solar-generated electricity with the
        tremendous complexity and danger of a nuclear plant.

        Excellent organizing/informational tool!
        The video is short -- 20 minutes -- and costs $20 (includes S&H).
                  Order from:
                        Options 2000 International
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        We also have two one-hour audiotapes available for sale.
        Produced by Maria Gilardin of TUC Radio at the Nuclear
        Y2K Symposium, sponsored by STAR, BASIC and NIRS in March 1999.

        Tape 1: NUCLEAR POWER & Y2K. Features:
         Paul Gunter (Reactor Watchdog Project,Nuclear Information &
Resource Service -- NIRS)

                Dr. Helen Caldicott (reads a statement from Dr. Michio Kaku)
                Cong. Ed Markey
                David Lochbaum, Nuclear Engineer, Union of Concerned Scientists

        Tape 2: NUCLEAR WEAPONS & Y2K. Features:
                Bruce Blair, Brookings Institution
                Michael Kraig and Stephen Young,
                        British American Security Information Council

        Each tape.................................. $10
        A transcript
        (plus lots of important additional material) $8
        Tape & transcript...............            $15

                To order:
                        TUC Radio
                        Box 410009
                        S.F. CA 94141
                To place a credit card order, call TUC Radio toll-free:
      These are incredible resources produced by dedicated and
        creative activists/journalists.


(3) An open letter to NASA regarding Cassini, MCO and MPL:


To: All NASA employees
From: Russell Hoffman, bemused observer
Date: December 4th, 1999
Re: It looks like you goofed again

Dear NASA,

Well, sure -- maybe you'll find it -- but it looks like you've lost another probe.  Yes, yes, if you cross out the "better" part of "faster, better, cheaper" you've got a great idea -- all you lose is a couple hundred million and some false pride every so often.  We can afford that.  We're a great country.

But isn't it time you rethought the whole Cassini issue now that lots of facts have come in since its launch in October, 1997 (for example, the loss of three Titans) and since the flyby last August?  That is, from the point of view of what you actually are capable of, instead of from the dreamy numbers you live by and present to the public as reliable?  The numbers that made you feel like things were "a-okay" when you sent more than 400,000 Curies (72.3 pounds) of Plutonium 238 in a highly vaporizable form buzzing by our planet at about 43,000 miles per hour -- don't you feel foolish yet?  How about showing some contrition?  Even Ryan Leaf is better at that than you are, and his completion rate is at least as bad.

NASA, you have been dishonest to the public.  That's been proven time and time again.  Your risk assessments are among the most inaccurate anywhere.  Sure, accidents can happen, and mistakes are to be expected.  That only means we take the necessary precautions beforehand, it is not a reason to stop funding NASA missions.

However, NASA stubbornness IS a reason to de-fund that agency, dump the corrupt and incorrigible leaders, and rebuild a new agency.  One dedicated to promoting science and technology for the benefit of all mankind.  One dedicated to developing technology for solving today's most pressing problems, for the benefit of all humanity.  One that doesn't just pay lip service to solar power alternative solutions, but actually relies on them.  One that doesn't lie to the public about its purpose, its potential, and its risks.

One that openly embraces the newest technology instead of hiding it away for decades and pretending your old nuclear crap is something "advanced".  It isn't.  In 1981 your own scientists (JPL's D. E. Rockey, et al) knew that solar power would have worked for the Galileo mission (which is still making news now and then), and it would have worked for Cassini as well.  But what have you done with that technology in the two decades since?  You continue to risk hundreds of billions of "potentially lethal doses" of plutonium 238 with Cassini and other planned launches!  Why?  Have you no heart?  Have you no brains?  Can't you see that you fail sometimes?  Where's your understanding of the statistics of human failure -- your own?

Don't the numerous scientific studies and reports explaining how dangerous plutonium really is make any difference to you?  Why can't you help the world determine reasonable limits for nuclear launches?  Why can't you help the public craft honest International Treaties, to prevent other countries from making the same mistakes you're making?

Haven't you got any shame at all, or are you going to keep pretending you know what you're doing?  Are you going to keep pretending you've figured this all out so perfectly and so safely, even after so many failures?  I really don't care if a probe crashes into Mars now and then -- fine.  Mistakes are a part of progress.  But I don't want you risking human lives unnecessarily -- especially without even admitting you're doing it!  That's the real story coming out of NASA:  Callousness, arrogance, foolishness.  (Also, downright unscientific behavior such as eating peanuts for luck at JPL during landings, or eating beans and franks for the same reason at Cape Canaveral during shuttle launches.)

Are you going to keep pretending your stacks of bogus documents called Environmental Impact Statements mean something, when they aren't worth the paper they're printed on?  They are just made-up numbers that prove nothing, and aren't accurate.

When are you going to feel the pain of the cancers and leukemias you've caused on Earth, and stop sending up hundreds of billions of "potentially lethal doses" of plutonium on "Deep Space" missions (which aren't really all that deep anyway; the Pu stays in our vicinity).  Hundreds of billions!  When are you going to admit that Apollo 13 had unknowable health consequences, with its plutonium powerpack for the Lunar Rover which crashed somewhere in the Pacific?  When are you going to admit that SNAP-9A may have killed millions already, AND IT KEEPS ON KILLING because it's in our environment -- indeed, its plutonium is in each of us?

Your promises about Cassini -- all those public prognostications about "perfect" trajectories and other such impossibilities (see notes, below) -- it's all been proven false, unequivocally by Mars Climate Orbiter's failure (MCO), and quite probably again by yesterday's failure of the Mars Polar Lander (MPL).  Sure, accidents happen.  We admit that.  When you admit it too, in ALL your work, and take the necessary precautions, and are honest about your work, we'll want to support you again (you work at the pleasure of the American public, you know).

But right now, you're the laughing stock of the nation.

An arrogant embarrassment that should be taught a lesson, namely, that in America, democracy demands honesty in our science and technology, and you're not delivering the goods.


Russell Hoffman
Anti-Cassini expert
Carlsbad, CA


``There is no chance it will cross Earth's trajectory,'' said Ralph Miles, an engineer and hazardous-materials expert at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which controls Cassini. ``None.''

``We've been doing flybys of planets for 40 years, and we haven't missed yet,'' said Mitchell, the program director. ``We designed this spacecraft very carefully to make sure there are things that just can't happen.''

Said Miles: ``This is a perfect spacecraft.''

--- NASA spokespersons quoted in the Miami Herald, Sunday, June 27, 1999.  These are representative of numerous statements made by NASA/JPL employees regarding Cassini's flyby in August, 1999.  A few weeks later, MCO (Mars Climate Orbiter) failed during a Mars orbital insertion due to numerous errors, omissions, and ignored warning signs on the part of JPL, NASA, and Lockheed Martin (the prime contractor), and this week, it looks like Mars Polar Lander failed as well.  There's no excuse for NASA's arrogance anymore.


The letter was sent to the author of the Miami Herald article (  and to the following NASA and related government email addresses:

"Daniel Goldin" <>
"Roger Launius" <>
"Steve Garber" <>
"Fred Gregory" <>
"Brian Welch, NASA HQ PAO" <>
"Douglas Isbell" <>
"Sandra M. Dawson" <>
"Charles S. Morris" <>
"David F. Doody" <>
"Leslie J. Deutsch" <>
"Office of Public Affairs/NRC" <>
"Europa Orbiter comments" <>
"Pluto-Kuiper Express comments" <>
"NASA comments" <>

(4) Correspondence with NASA employee David F. Doody:


At 07:24 AM 12/2/99 -0800, David F. Doody wrote:
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 07:24:37 -0800
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
From: David F Doody <>
Subject: Re: Fit to be tie-clipped (I wish I was there): STOP CASSINI #234
 December 1st, 1999




Subject: I doubt that you are a god, Mr. Doody

To: David F. Doody, NASA
From: Russell D. Hoffman
Date: December 2nd, 1999
Re: Your email to me this morning (shown below)

Dear Mr. Doody,

If you really don't want to face the truth about what you've done, why don't you simply resign your post at NASA?  In all other instances, the truth eventually must come out.

You write publicly for NASA (that's where I found your name and email address), but you don't tell the whole truth.  Worse still, you actually were/are paid to steer Cassini through the heavens -- you think you're some kind of god, incapable of failure.  I doubt that you are a god, Mr. Doody, because to think so would be unscientific -- not to mention unGodly.  So I send you the whole truth, and you ignore it or ask to "unsubscribe", instead of debating the issues, or answering some of the many fair questions citizens want to know about the whole Cassini affair (such as why Cassini was first targeted towards Africa, then over the South Pacific, when really it could have been targeted anywhere near the equator).

Or to put it more bluntly -- since we are talking about more than 400,000 Curies of a substance which is about 280 times worse than the stuff commonly known as "the deadliest stuff on Earth" (Pu 239) -- defending your crimes against humanity.  And your insolence towards me, a citizen who deserves honest answers just as much as anyone else you've ever dealt with -- any member of the public, or any General, or any elected official.

What makes you so sure you're better than the folks who programmed MCO?

How closely do you work with Woody Smith?

"...people who were paid by NASA to control Cassini's trajectory ... should note that Cassini could have come down anywhere on Earth, and would have caused a much bigger disruption than this 150 tons of scrap.  Cassini's 400,000 Curies of Pu 238 was a horrendous potential radiological burden which should have been prohibited..." (from newsletter #234, item #4)


Russell Hoffman
Anti-Cassini expert (as proven by MCO and other events, such as the loss of three Titan IVs since Cassini was launched)

P.S. I hope you noticed that there were a couple of issues of my newsletter that did not contain any significant references to Cassini, and I did not send those to the NASA list.  But "unsubscribe" you?  Ha!  You're not a subscriber, Mr. Doody!  You're a criminal.  You can't claim no one told you that what you were doing was dangerous, yet you continue to actively support it anyway.  If you have technical answers that can make me sleep better at night, not having to worry about what you've done, then tell me them.   Because I and many others fret that you have too much power, and you threatened too many lives with your 72.3 pounds of deadly, vaporizable nuclear poison, and with future nuclear missions as well.  We fret that you do it because you don't understand the risks involved.  You minimize the dangers at each step -- thousands of separate equations -- and then find the lump sum (which is a gross miscalculation) to be an acceptable risk level, a s if you have the right to even make that choice for all of humanity.  And on top of this, you are well-paid by NASA to make all these mistakes.  So that is why you are sent the newsletter.  I have always been willing to hear you out if you have an explanation which makes sense and fits all the known facts and historical data regarding NASA failures, alternative options, etc. etc., but nearly all you ever write instead is "unsubscribe".   You have had every opportunity to know better, and to let truth and democracy take their course.  Instead you hide the answers you have which I seek, and you continue on with your dangerous nuclear agenda.  That makes you fully culpable for your crimes against humanity, democracy, truth, justice, and The American Way.


(5) From the mailbag:  Comments on our Seattle riots report:

Comments on our report on the anti-WTO riots in Seattle this week:

From F. R. Sarker, Bangladesh:

"Many thanks for your excellent Report on WTO at Seattle.  I support your views when you say  "monetary laws are secondary to environmental laws which protect the planet ". The Showdown of the protesters at Seattle might convince those world leaders apathetic towards environmental laws to understand that their days of discriminations are over."

Many thanks to Mr. Sarker for his comments.  Mr. Sarker is the Secretary General of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society, who were opposed to Cassini on scientific principals.

And from another reader:
"... a great commentary you wrote on the police riot in Seattle...."

And another:
"thanks for your good comments on the WTO Seattle horror. A sad day! We also see how they are prepared!"

My thanks to all who wrote. 

Here are some excerpts from a report available from:

Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance


Collateral Damage in Seattle

Report from Portland student Jim Desyllas (posted 12-2-99)

Called-in from a pay phone outside Seattle. Wed., 7:30 pm Pacific time.

I just spent 4 days in Seattle. The "information" people are getting from the mass media is false. This was not, as Pres. Clinton claims, a peaceful protest marred by the actions of violent protesters. This was a massive, strong but peaceful demonstration which was attacked repeatedly by the police with the express purpose of provoking a violent response to provide photo opportunities for the Western media. I know because I watched it happening. I'll tell you how they did it.

As Michel Chossudovsky says in his "Disarming the New World Order" (See Note # 1 at end for link to that article) - the government put a lot of effort into making sure the protesters in Seattle were a "loyal opposition" who wanted to reform the WTO, not get rid of it. But the people in Seattle - American steel workers, Canadian postal workers, college kids from all over, environmentalists from Australia - you name it - were not for reforming the WTO. They were for getting rid of it.

And this wasn't just true of the protesters. I interviewed delegates. None of them had anything favorable to say about the WTO.
I couldn't find any delegates who were in favor.

So the government instigated a "riot" to discredit the movement against the WTO because they couldn't dilute it. I am not guessing about this. I was there. I saw it happening.
At this point, a new group of police - tactical police - moved in and started gassing people and shooting rubber bullets. Is it any surprise that people got mad? Of course, the young kids hit back by breaking some windows in retaliation for being gassed, sprayed with very painful pepper gas, and shot with dangerous "rubber" bullets. The police instigated these kids, plain and simple.
At 6pm they issued a State of Emergency. At that point they had pushed the 100 people outside the city limits, so the police went outside the limits too, and they started gassing that area too, gassing the neighborhoods where the regular people live. I am not exaggerating. The police were relentless.

This was in an area from the city limits for about 10 blocks to the Seattle Central Community College. If you were alive, the police gassed you. People coming back from work, kids, women, everyone.
At one point the Seattle Mayor said his boys were not using rubber bullets. Miraculously, by then I had ten in my pocket.
They shot rubber bullets from four feet away into the face of a guy next to me, broke all his front teeth.


It is highly recommended that people read the entire report.  The Mayor of Seattle banned GAS MASKS!  It was made illegal to own, carry, or wear a gas mask in Seattle!  As if tear gas is the only threat to your air!  The Chief of Police lied about police use of rubber bullets!  The media mistook a few hooligans (and probably a lot of government infiltrators) and police provocations for a "violent protest" which hampered the protestors messages!

The media should be ashamed of themselves.  The riot police should be ashamed of themselves.  The Chief of Police of Seattle was a former infiltrator of "hippy" groups in San Diego, California.

(6) From the mailbag: Comments on those "fools" at NASA:


From: "Dr. Gerd-Joseph Weisensee" <>
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: Hey Kids!  Don't worry while we kill you  -- STOP CASSINI #233 -- Nov. 29th, 1999
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 21:26:09 +0200
X-UIDL: 72859d74ff509224612475ee26dd6e59

Dear Russell D. Hoffman
I must congratulate you once more for your work. But this pleasure mixes
with a feeling of pityness or so, when I realize that a single person, a
one-man-show like yours is necessary to tell this full-paid "fools at NASA"
what the dangers are really alike. Today you mentioned those "fools at
NASA". I guess, you are 100% correct with that. Fools are sometimes a
pleasure to have them around but not in a place where they can start a fire
or worse. The NASA fools can really kill a couple of billion people and then
they probably say, it was a technical error. Or: We did our utmost to avoid
that. Just check the wording after that trouble with this Mars Observer. But
don't forget the fools in the big media in your country and anywhere else.
The press used to be the watch dog, but now it looks like they are taking
bribes or they hope for government jobs.
Best regards   Dr. G.J. Weisensee, president of assn. of catholic
journalists, Bern Switzerland


We deeply appreciate Dr. Weisensee's comments, as always. -- rdh

(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 (same address)
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  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

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.

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).

(8) Newsletter subscription information:

Thanks for reading!  Welcome new subscribers!

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

(9) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs:

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 December 5th, 1999.
Last modified December 8th, 1999.
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