STOP CASSINI Newsletter #90, February 2nd, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

Subject: STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER #90, February 2nd, 1999

Sent to: Subscribers, Press, Public officials.

Subject: Galileo goes into "safe mode" -- STOP CASSINI #90, February 2nd, 1999


It is the court jester's job to face the facts for those who cannot do so, because of their position, or their contacts, or their egos, or whatever it is that prevents them from being "on top" of reality.

There is still a way to tilt at windmills. It must be done with enthusiasm. Let's NOT go quietly into the night.

Sincerely, Russell D. Hoffman, Editor, Stop Cassini newsletter

Today's subjects:

****** VOLUME #90, February 2nd, 1999 ******

By Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman

*** Galileo goes into Safe Mode near Europa

The following email responds to a new subscription request and discusses Galileo's recent newsworthy event, which was reported in the San Diego Union Tribune this morning. It was a small report, but it is interesting that even in three sentences, the SD U-T showed that it completely missed the main item that should be reported, which was, what CAUSED the craft to go into "safe mode"? That is the news. The rest is mere embellishment, such as one might find in an in-depth report. Here is the full report, dateline Pasadena, CA:


"The Galileo spacecraft went into a "safe mode" shortly after close approaches to the moon Europa and Jupiter, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said yesterday.

JPL said the spacecraft was stable. In safe mode, the craft automatically tries to maintain contact with Earth while halting non-essential activities."


OUTGOING EMAIL (to a new subscriber)


Thank you for subscribing to the (free, electronic) STOP CASSINI newsletter. Your name has been added to the "blind carbon copy" distribution list.

The next issue, #90, will be out later today, and will cover a recent news event, that the Galileo spacecraft has gone into "Safe Mode". Cassini just came out of "Safe Mode". Safe Mode is in reality (as far as I can tell from what I've read that NASA publishes about it) the LEAST safe mode the spacecraft has, insofar as, it indicates the probe has suffered any of thousands or even millions of different kinds of malfunctions, and had to do the space probe equivalent of rebooting with minimal functionality to isolate the problem and establish some (possibly permanent) work-arounds. It is likely that otherwise-unused procedures will need to be executed within the millions of lines of software code written to control the spacecraft. Has all that code been properly tested? Will the Galileo probe go dead on us, cutting the science return, after having been flung past us in a flyby maneuver just like Cassini is about to do, a decade ago? Last November Galileo also had a similar anomaly, which severely crippled one of its primary objectives (a study of Europa).

A continued policy of risking so much can only, eventually, end in failure. Perhaps Cassini will NOT impact Earth, but will also fail to reach ANY of its objectives. Will it have been worth it then? Of course not!

So thanks for subscribing. I'm about 4 issues back on posting the newsletters, so I must push on. Please send any Cassini news or questions to me at any time.


Russell Hoffman

*** From the Mailbag: Susan Lee Solar responds to #89

INCOMING EMAIL At 09:18 AM 2/2/99 -0800, Susan Lee Solar ( wrote:

Hi Russell - I didnt see any email address or way to contact Carol Rosin to ask more questions -- what does she mean by military uses of space that would benefit all nations? I can understand the cooperative environmental uses, possibly even commercial, but the world military -- is the idea to be able to spot internecine conflicts in a nation or region before they materialize and with the UN's or some UN replacement's OK, do something about it?

This is the first time I've come across this literature, being too fully involved the last 2 years in fighting nukewaste dumps in Texas and the subcrits and highlevel waste in Nevada to take on space nukes - I do agree completely with her analysis that our groups should be fighting all weapons in space --(not to mention all weapons) - not just nukes, and with her point that if we don't raise the positive alternatives, our efforts are just struggling with the tentacles of the octopus, leaving the brain to generate more tentacles.

I have been working in Texas and Mexico with the notion of a movement which opposes toxic economic projects with positive economic development -- green building, mass transit, renewable energy production and installation, water conservation and waterless septic systems instead of resource-wasting constrution, more polluting vehicles on the road, increase in polluting energy use, perpetuation of water-and other-resource-wasting septic systems, etc.

The grassroots expression of this came last spring when I created a group with some Mexican-American women and others along the border called Grandmothers Alliance for the Future. I would like a way to dialogue more with Carol, as her ideas and her passion strike a chord.

Susan Lee Solar
Austin, Texas
(512) 707-0405



As I hope you have received, I forwarded your comments (before having read them all) directly to Carol at

Having now read what you have written, I just want to let you know YOUR comments have "struck a chord" with me. I will want to publish them in my newsletter, especially if Carol writes a good response. But I have practically given up fighting for mass transit, "green" buildings, and so on, not because I disagree with any of those battles, but because I can't fight them all. It's so important for all of us to lend our voices to as many causes as we can. We need to all be aware that what we are doing and saying is not unusual, or different, or weird. It is the feeling of the whole nation.

I think once we trust ourselves to all have at least some common goals, perhaps we can begin to accomplish something. Your causes are all good and we have very similar ones here in California which you have instilled in me a will to pursue more than I had been. California wants mass transit, yet the proposed line borders on the brink of not being funded or of being done half-right with insufficient funding -- a band-aid version.

Thanks for writing.


Russell D. Hoffman
Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter now in its 89th issue (until later today, when #90 will appear...)

*** From the Mailbag: What was Carol Rosin talking about in #89?

This arrived hours after sending out Newsletter #89, the "Carol Rosin" issue.


At 09:02 PM 2/1/99 -0800, "B" wrote:

I read this twice and I don't understand it at all, all I can gather is that some funding was put in place today to support star wars but the article truly didn't mean much to me. Any chance of you paraphrasing or summarizing and removing the sarcasm so that some of us totally uninformed could benefit from her article?



Thanks for the email -- it wasn't today, it was recently, that Clinton funded the first steps of the Olde Star Wars Defense Initiative.

I'll try to, as you request, put it into a more coherent form as soon as possible!

Thanks for writing,


*** From the Mailbag: Loring Wirble responds to #87 and #88

Re: Responses to newsletter #87 -- STOP CASSINI newsletter #88 February 1st, ...


At 01:24 AM 2/2/99 EST, Loring Wirble wrote:

The Global Network has gone through several tumultuous months, but to accuse Bruce Gagnon of willful failure to notify you on this is just petty, paranoid, strange and unwarranted. Like a lot of space activists, Bruce is overworked. Similarly, Bill Sulzman here in Colorado Springs, sometimes fails to notify others of us about specific things, not because he means anything bad by it, but because the man is trying to do so much! You owe everyone in GN an apology for such rot.

Loring Wirbel
Citizens for Peace in Space


Thank you for your email [shown above].

I would like to suggest you contact Mark Elsis, of LOVEARTH (, whom I spoke to after sending out those two offending newsletters, and who told me he would second everything I had said regarding Mr. Gagnon. Gagnon has been beyond unresponsive, overworked, or whatever. Deliberate? Perhaps on a personal scale, yes. I certainly believe it has been deliberate. But perhaps it was a more general thing, and not personal at all. And Mark's experience, being so similar to mine, and the experiences of others I have spoken to, less significant perhaps, but indicative just the same of the same trend, is enough to make me believe that it is, in fact, not personal at all. He does not single me out for any particular abuse. And certainly, (as far as I know) nobody else at GN singles me out for any particular abuse.

Mark's email address is ( Mr. Elsis organized several rallies in 1997 against Cassini, including in NEW YORK CITY and WASHINGTON D.C.. He appeared on numerous radio shows and received absolutely terrible "cooperation" all along the way from Gagnon. So what? So it wasn't just me.

But I did not mean to malign GN in general, and if such appeared to be the direction of my comments, for that I will certainly apologize. I have no idea about the internal turmoil and am sorry to hear of it. If there's anything I can do...


Russell D. Hoffman

*** From the Mailbag: Leo Weiss responds to both #88 and #89

At 09:26 AM 2/3/99 -0800, leo weiss ( wrote:


You are a typical paranoid and conspiratorial personality.

Russell D. Hoffman wrote:

Sent to: Subscribers, Press, Public officials.
Subject: Responses to newsletter #87 -- STOP CASSINI newsletter #88 February
1st, 1999

Thank you for your email. However, I must note that I resent being called "typical".


Russell Hoffman

At 09:29 AM 2/3/99 -0800, you wrote:

See my prior transmission.

Russell D. Hoffman wrote:

Sent to: Subscribers, Press, Public officials.
Subject: A cause worthy of Y2K -- STOP CASSINI #89, February 1st, 1999

I assume your comments are meant for nonanonymous publication, else it would be an example of the pot calling the kettle black.


Russell Hoffman
Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter

*** Hanging together versus hanging separately

Today, Randall Melvin Hoffman would have been 44. He was a musician, who composed symphonies and such. My older brother died of complications following leukemia at age 39. Today, in his memory, my wife will make a butterscotch pie, his favorite flavor when we were kids. Today, I am happy to be alive, because leukemia, which is often caused by manmade environmental pollutants, can strike anyone. Randy's lifestyle was not altogether healthy. He might of died of all sorts of things. But he didn't. He died of leukemia. He might have lived, he might have beaten the demons that everyone who knew him knew plagued him nearly all his life. But instead, he's gone now. His battle's are all over.

If there is a better reason to fight this Cassini battle than preventing other people's brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters from dying of leukemia, lung cancer, and other "health effects", I'd like to know it. But frankly, that is all the incentive I need. I did not join this battle to fight Bruce Gagnon, and if I owe Global Network an apology, (as Loring Wirbel indicates I do), it is given without hesitation. But I joined this battle because people are dying today from millions of tons of military toxins that have been released into the environment. I joined it because people will die tomorrow from these millions of tons. Dioxins burned in "environmental cleanup". Napalm shipped all over the U.S. to be burned wherever the groundswell of public opposition doesn't overwhelm the perpetrators. New nuclear power plants for where? NORTH KOREA! What a free and democratic decision THAT must have been, eh?

If I have offended some, for discussing the dirt under the carpet, the skeletons in the closet, the rickety confusion we call a movement, I am sorry. But I believe the record has finally been set straight, and history should record the fact that this movement was designed for failure, and fail it did, and fail it will, unless it gains a million supporters for every ONE it has now.

And all it needs to do that, is present it's case logically, OPENLY and honestly (warts and all), as best it knows how. I do not believe we are wrong to oppose the weaponization in space, or the nuclearization of space, but I believe the public is totally confused, as Carol Rosin indicated, by the message the movement presents. And I think that is deliberate. Perhaps we are all being played like a fiddle by the military propagandists who poison our environment in the name of peace, freedom, and a decisive victory. But perhaps some of it is because we don't even try to realize how important the common goal is over the individual, and most of all, we don't realize that there WILL be friction, in this movement, in any movement, yet we still must all learn to unite. Unite? THIS mob? There is little choice.

-- Russell D. Hoffman

*** A story about the birds and the bees, and group behavior

The magazine New Scientist is reporting (in their January 1999 issue) some very interesting things about "flocking". Namely, that computer simulations consistently show that it simply happens. Given a great number of nearly randomly aimed actions, even the least little influence of one object upon the other can somehow become a great flood of unified activity and coordinated movement. This happens in flocks of birds, herds of mammals, and schools of fish, and there is little reason to think it does not also happen to schools of thought amongst the world's "higher" creatures (that's us, for those who aren't paying attention).

New Scientist ALSO reported, in a separate article, that a study of bee behavior indicated that when bees migrate to a new home and send out scouts to find a good location, the way the group decides which scout to follow, is that the various scouts come back and wriggle and dance, as bees do, and gradually, all but one of the scouts gives up and does not attempt to influence the hive's decision. When only one scout bee is left dancing the jig, soon all the bees are dancing that jig, and then soon after that, they go off in whatever direction was indicated by the last scout dancing, and start a new hive.

It is quite likely that that is what happens in many forms of human interactions as well. When one person or group continues, year after year, even decade after decade, to influence opinion and change the world, it might seem, for a long time, like they are getting nowhere. But in reality, they ARE vibrating the hive. And sooner or later, perhaps -- if they don't give up -- they will find themselves without anti-unification vibrations, and suddenly, their message will get through.

I hope that Carol Rosin's weaponization-in-space message gets through. I hope our Stop Cassini message gets through. But most importantly, I hope that everyone looks at life and says to themselves, "I've got to get along. We've all just got to get along. Can't we all just get along?"

Rodney King thought we could. I think we can. But we're all going to have to be very, very tolerant. Am I tolerant enough? Am I cooperative enough? I hope so, and I try to be, but that's all I can do. Maybe the most any of us can do, is to slow down the inevitable slide to universal anarchy and global self-destruction. But I shall not believe it. We are all humans. We are capable of change. We can alter the future. It is up to us to do so.

-- Russell D. Hoffman


Please feel free to post these newsletters anywhere you feel it's appropriate! THANKS!!!

Welcome new subscribers!

Thanks for reading,
Russell D. Hoffman
STOP CASSINI webmaster.


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