STOP CASSINI Newsletter #102 -- March 2nd, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: A clear and indisputible compliment to our work -- STOP CASSINI #102

Date: March 1st, 1999

Time Frame: There are only 115 days left until the last appropriate moment of redirection of the Cassini probe - the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.


A great scientific mystery is solved here today! And then we get back to work about Cassini. The spooks and kooks have responded to our petition. That means it's powerful and can be effective! This is GOOD news!

Russell D. Hoffman, Founder and Editor

Today's Subjects:


This item may appear off-topic to THE STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER, but it is not, because it is a fascinating and complicated statistical analysis of our ability to see. Here, we answer a question that scientists have wondered about for no less than FIFTY YEARS.

A recent article in the prestigious journal NATURE, republished in part in NEW SCIENTIST, discussed the curious nature of RODS and CONES which occurs inside of the eye. As probably every reader of this newsletter knows, the back of the eye is filled with two very specialized living cells called RODS and CONES. There are about 125 million rods, which distinquish black and white, different rods triggering a signal at different levels of light. There are about 7 million cones, which see color. They do this by specializing further -- there are three types of cones, and each is sensitive to a different portion of the spectrum (RGB).

The question that has not been answered, which I will now answer for the first time anywhere (not including a recent conversation with my dad, Dr. Howard S. Hoffman, a Professor Emeritus of Bryn Mawr University, who has studied both statistics and vision extensively, and who concurred completely with my idea).

The question is, WHY are the three types of cones not more evenly spaced on the back side of the eyeball? It has been known for fifty years that they are not. Here's why.

Because otherwise, the eye would have no self-test of its color decisions! There would be no clue to the brain, the "GREAT MATHEMATICAL INTEGRATOR", about how to determine what its eyes are telling it. By having some areas of the eye that have less of one type of cone, and other areas with more of that type, then when objects pass from one area of the eye to another area with a different mix of cones, the brain -- the greatest computer every made -- can determine the meaning of the signals it receives from the eyes. That such-and-such a signal from one portion of the eye represents a particular (since it knows the vast majority of things it sees are NOT changing color all the time!) color, and from another part of the eye, a different mix of signals represents the same color!

This is much easier for the brain to work with, than a uniform distribution.

A mechanical analogy would be, let's say you photographed something with one camera and one type of film, but with many different colors of filters. If you analyzed a number of photos of the same object, taken with different combinations of filters, you would be able to tell, without ever seeing the object without a filtered lens, the "true" color of the object ("true" merely meaning, you could match the color correctly to some reference image).

So that is why the cones are dispersed unevenly in the back of your eye. Because otherwise, your brain would have no reference point, but by being so designed by the Great Designer, it has a powerful built-in self-correcting color sensing system. My dad's color-blind, by the way, though that's actually a side issue.

Coordinated efforts? A little protest to grab the headlines

See this URL: and (picture).


Feb. 28, 1999
Small group gathers to protest Cassini flyby
By R. Norman Moody


CAPE CANAVERAL AIR STATION, Fla. - Opponents of NASA's plutonium-powered Cassini spacecraft gathered Saturday outside the gates of the Air Station as they gained momentum for other protests against the use of nuclear power in space.

About 20 protesters carrying signs rallied for about a half-hour under the watchful eyes of security officers with the Air Station, where Cassini was launched in 1997.

"We know for a fact that they are planning other launches like this," said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, the Gainesville-based group leading the protest. "Sooner or later there could be an accident."

The protesters are concerned an accident could cause the release of cancer-causing plutonium into the atmosphere. They said Cassini was just the precursor to other nuclear powered launches. "As a Brevard County resident I know that my family is sitting on ground zero in case of a launch failure," said Marie Telesca-Whipple. "We must stand globally and say that this must stop."

Protesters also are concerned about Cassini's Earth flyby in August.

NASA engineers say the spacecraft's maneuver near Earth this August poses no danger. They say there is less than a 1-in-1-million chance the spacecraft will veer off course and crash back through Earth's atmosphere. And even if it did, the plutonium is packed in super-hard containers that could withstand re- entry and impact with the ground or ocean.

"If it's one chance in 4 billion, that's one too many," said Jim Ream of Mims, who recently retired after 33 years with NASA.

Protesters said that as Cassini's Earth flyby approaches, they will stage more protests, including one on June 12 they hope will draw a large number of protesters.

"This is a place we've come to again and again," Gagnon said. "Now what's different is that people all over the world are saying these things."

Launched in October 1997, Cassini is flying a roundabout course that will take it to Saturn in July 2004. To produce power, Cassini carries 72 pounds of plutonium, which generates electricity through natural decay. Before it can get to Saturn, Cassini must fly near several planets and use their gravity to increase its speed. The spacecraft made a pass by Venus last year. A second Venus approach is set for June. The Earth flyby will follow Aug. 18. A final maneuver near Jupiter is set for December 2000.


From the mailbag: The above item contradicts the next item:

After the editor of this newsletter published statements in this newsletter reminding readers that Bruce Gagnon, head of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (aka, GN) is without question a destabalizing force in the STOP CASSINI movement, I was sent (and published) a small number of letters from the movement leaders (and in one case, a pro-Cassini leader(!)), telling me how wrong I am. Such disinterested observers! So, I submitted a long list -- a litany as it were -- of grievous offences committed against THIS MOVEMENT by The Gag Man, aka The Spook Who Acts Like A Kook -- aka Bruce Gagnon.

Jonathan Mark Haber, aka Jonathan Mark, sent the following note. Haber is of course, webmaster of the NOFLYBY web site, which was developed a few months prior to the launch of Cassini and which is apparently a temporary web site, to be removed after August when Mr. Haber stops calling himself Mr. Mark (a habit he picked up last month, but as far as I know (inquiries have not been responded to) he hasn't actually changed his name legally or anything; it's just for the upcoming Cassini "political campaign" that he has changed his name!) Actually, what is coming is supposed to be a scientific debate, but I guess Mr. Haber prefers to see it as a political campaign. I guess that's his business. But, his birth name and legal name remain Jonathan Mark Haber, so that's what we'll call him on these pages.

It is now extraodinarily appropriate to publish what he wrote, because it portends greatly to the news item shown above and to his additional comments shown below.

INCOMING EMAIL (from February 4th, 1999)

At 4:35 PM 2/4/99 -0500, Jonathan Mark Haber wrote:

Russell, I value your intelligence and cooperative efforts, but in this situation with Bruce you are going back and not forwards. From my perspective, Bruce is hardly involved in the campaign since the launch. You are hanging on to your image and experiences with him since 1997! Let it go! When you get upset with Bruce for his release of a Conference at the last minute, it is really about stuff from 1997, not today, not his intent to be the "leader" whatever you want to make the word into. Can you trust each of us as a leader by a decision we make. I am sorry Russell, but I really see your push to dethrone Bruce as something going on inside you. On the outside, Bruce is not in that picture. I have only spoken once to him to get Joe McIntire's number, and I appreciate whatever Globenet sends me, but that is it. I speak with Karl, set up a UN Press Conference, Bruce is involved in other things and does minimal work on uniting on this issue from my experiences. Try to find your balance to forgive and trust what is present and what we each can contribute together. Otherwise, we should give up any chance to transform the nuclear weapon defense industries when we ourselves are holding to the same petty separation blame game. Think of only win/win situations, rather than get caught up in the patterns of win/lose.



Fast forward to this past weekend. Jonathan Mark Haber can think what he wants, and say what he wants. I prefer dwelling in reality and truth.

From the mailbag: Haber is glad to have Gagnon's help:

I sent the above news item to Jonathan Mark Haber with the "subject" line "Didn't you say this guy was out of the business?" In Haber's response, he talks about coordinated efforts, yet if he thinks Gagnon is beneficial in some way to the STOP CASSINI movement, then why isn't Haber trying to get Gagnon et al to cooperate with the petition efforts? If he has done so, of course, I shall need to apologize for that accusation, but I don't think there is much risk of that apology ever being owed.


Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 07:34:40 -0500 (EST)
To: "Russell D. Hoffman"
From: Jonathan Mark
Subject: Re: Didn't you say this guy was out of the business?

russell, fortunately not, we need everybody. i only said he wasn't the leader of the movement to stop cassini, (or being low key since my involvement. [none of us] are the leader of the movement, but i guess we would all give karl the credit for seniority on this issue and giving valuable resources for public education. let's keep working together in our own ways, complementary? jonathan



It's coming out your ears now, Jonathan


Rosin, Hagen, and Gagnon -- the golden triangle -- in the movement long before I came along; they'll be there long after I'm gone (or people just like them to take their places). Haber is special. He's just there for me, building a web site to make mine less effective. Wonderful, sweet Haber. The lying, sycophantic Internet specialist spook.

Note: The line about "karl" refers to Karl Grossman, who indeed does have "seniority" on this issue, as do I over Haber (but who's counting)? I had pointed out to Haber, in an earlier email, Grossman's senior status to us all.

Reflections: Why all this is happening now (part 1)

Why all this is happening -- protests in Florida, that is -- is because that is the best way they can find to undermine the petition we recently completed and presented in this newsletter. Instead of supporting it in Darmstalt, Germany this week, and at upcoming WILPF meetings in Europe later this month, and at their web sites, the so-called leaders of this movement -- frauds every one of them (Gagnon, Hagen, Haber and Rosin acting as if in the background) -- choose to ignore the petition, and pretend instead to be concentrating hard on other efforts. Some movement! And it's not personal -- it's not even my petition! It's just something that might be effective, which is exactly what they fear!

People, you just can't imagine how important YOUR OWN EFFORTS are! This newsletter only touches the surface of the crimes that are being committed to keep the space-nuclear industry in place! There is NO ONE at the top of this movement who is not there by design, by the graces of the pro-nuclear space industry, and by the will of the United States Government. No one.

I am not a leader, as my readers know. I write a newsletter which talks about the movement and what it is doing, talks about the physics of the problems, and talks about solutions people can try. We see a problem with these clowns that call themselves leaders (or claim none of us are "leaders", see above) and so we MUST talk about it. To leave this part of the problem out of this newsletter would make the whole newsletter a lie. People reading it would think that there are concerned individuals who are coordinating international efforts against Cassini and similar atrocities. But there is NO movement. Every effort by others to properly organize ONE VOICE, including efforts not only by the editor of this newsletter, but also by MANY OTHER PEOPLE, including now, the petition authors, and before, organizations like LOVEARTH, and many other individuals besides -- always, these efforts have been ignored and misused by the so-called leaders -- the frauds at the top.


OUTGOING EMAIL (slightly edited)

Thanks for sending me [the FLATODAY article]. Our petition is being attacked.

The Spook -- The Gag Man -- is attempting to destroy the effectiveness of our petition by dancing and waving a few signs and pretending that they are THE opposition to Cassini and other space nuclear nightmares. What a fraud. "Sooner or later there could be an accident." Such strong words. He almost makes me shiver in fear.

Oh, no, it's not fear. It's stomach cramps. He makes me want to puke. We have a chance at something really effective, and this is his response -- to compete, after literally years (more than a year) in the woodwork.

These guys are so lame! Rosin, Gagnon, Haber and Hagen -- losers, every one of them! Let them prove they are not, by fully supporting the petition and the many other efforts they have ignored by true concerned citizens. Let them help organize. Let them prove to me that I should take back every unkind word I have had for them these past few months (years, in Gagnon's case) -- nothing would please me more than to be proven wrong on this issue. NOTHING.


How can I help the other people who want to get something done, without alienating them to me, while making them aware (warning them) about these creeps? I dunno, but I must try.

Reflections: Why all this is happening now (part 2)

OUTGOING EMAIL (slightly edited)

I think what happened was, I realized that I had been lying in bed with the enemy (so to speak) (I had received -- and read -- probably over 200 pages of emails from Carol Rosin, prior to cutting her off), and I am so ashamed, it is as if I had drank from the cup of da fuhrer or something, before knowing whose cup it was. To have followed all this stuff silently for two years was too much! So now, I have about 150 to 200 subscribers, and many of them are important people (as I would count you, of course). So, it seems to me, the newsletter can only survive if I take my pot-shots, just quick jabs now and then.

Maybe I should start another newsletter. Spooks Special. Volume 1.

We should see it as an honor, that Gagnon et al would care so much, what we do. We should know that every time they jump these days, it is because we have become more effective. It is our petition that raised this man up to gather press for himself, lest we take away his power in a coup-de-logic -- there is no doubt about that. Every time he does something, if I point it out, another set of eyes realizes it. And another newsletter is wasted! But if I don't point it out...

Rosin and others will climb into our lives, like tentacles from an evil vine, they will invade us and distract us, and if we say anything, if we see it and scream -- we are then seen, perhaps rightly so? -- as the bad guys. But people must know the truth, that the movement is full of scum. Mustn't they? How else can the truth ever get out if we stop at that last step? But to say the truth, opens me up for being considered uncooperative, as if I have ever been cooperated with in the first place by these four criminals!

Strange world.

Thanks for helping me, again (and again...)



Reflections: Why all this is happening now (part 3)


To know the truth is to have power over the lies. There is no other way, that I know of, to have any power, but with truth. It is the ultimate power and the ultimate weapon for justice. One by one, people awaken. Gagnon is a nightmare, and if he and the others were not there, there would be another crowd to take their place. There must be a realization, by the movement and the media, that this is so. Otherwise we will be fighting ghosts. Images in sheets that are not the real enemy.

Yes, we should ignore Gagnon directly. But to say "do not speak of it in your newsletter" is perhaps just a little -- just a very little -- too much. I think, a sentence here and there, to keep both Gagnon et al and the world at large alert to the problem, and to properly document it for the "historic record", is the only fair and reasonable way to handle it. "They" expect it. "They" want to be noticed. In fact, they want the front page. Let's not give them that, though. (They probably want to be loved, too, and if they wake up and stop acting like automatons, they will be!)

I would expect zero cooperation from Jonathan Haber from this point onward. Mark my words. I've been down this route with these types before now, I'm no longer a rookie, you know. Two years of this is a long time. They will make moves, and we must counter them (sometimes, often even, with stoney silence, but that silence should be a decision, not an oversight). Do not think they are merely a distraction. They are perhaps, a minor issue, but they are an issue. Gagnon et al are fodder for well-deserved ridicule, if nothing else. And to keep in the spirit of the newsletter, which is to present as much of the truth as I possibly can, I think they remain a fair topic.

In fact, you might look at the bright side, that is, the really BIG picture -- namely this:

Everyone on the petition committee should all give each other a very big round of applause!

If Gagnon had to do all that -- if he had to gather twenty (not too many! It might look EFFECTIVE!) of his misguided minions and a newsreporter or two or three (you can bet it will be on CNN, ask your friends to watch for it. 20 people to prove how feeble we are!) -- well, congratulate yourself -- it means you are being effective! Our petition is frightening them. This is the thing that you should "take home" from this little event -- this rally. This distraction.

You've done great -- the tail has wagged the dog! You will not get many better signs of success, so you might as well enjoy this clear and indisputable compliment to your work!

Sincerely, though I wish I wasn't,

Russell Hoffman





CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!!!!

To Cancel Cassini start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents (on paper, please!). Tell them you need it IMMEDIATELY (members of the world press should do this too). All citizens of the world are ENTITLED to these documents because of the global threat Cassini poses. Here's where to get information:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011

Tell them Russell Hoffman, founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, sent you. I bet they love to hear that!

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. At least, ask them one specific question: How many letters did they get opposing Cassini today? (And tell them you oppose it too!) If each reader asks them that...

Here's NASA's 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:

(Note that it looks like possibly a temporary URL assignment, but you can always start at

They imply at the web site that written comments are more likely to get answered -- quicker than emailed comments! Someone should welcome them to the 1990's before it's too late.

Long time readers know lots of questions to ask them! Ask them why they don't link to our web site. Ask them why they haven't got rid of Daniel Goldin, the glassy-eyed fool. Ask them why they haven't sent you YOUR copy of the 1995 EIS for the Cassini mission! Ask them anything, but demand an answer! 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.


Please send any news directly to the editor at the email address given below.

Please post these newsletters EVERYWHERE! You can -- and should -- send them to news media too! Please tell your friends and neighbors and Internet buddies to subscribe! These words can have power, but only if they are passed on to many others!

Thanks for reading,

Russell D. Hoffman

Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI Newsletter -- nearly 100 issues of mirth, merriment, and mind-numbingly depressing facts about NASA and other horrors


I don't know how it is in your country, but in our country, at least we have this:

Amendment One... "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

Written in U.S.A.

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First placed online March 3rd, 1999.
Last modified March 3rd, 1999.
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