STOP CASSINI Newsletter #121 -- May 6th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials


Date: May 6th, 1999

Time Frame: There are 49 days left until the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.

Today's subjects:

Karl Grossman to show award-winning video at Le Hague Appeal for Peace Conference


The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and Peace Action are sponsoring two workshops at the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference to empower people and to provide information they can use to challenge the weaponization and nuclearization of space -- including seeking to stop this summer's planned Earth "flyby" of the Cassini space probe.

There will also be strategy sessions between the two workshops.

The U.S. military's aim to "control space" and the Earth below, to place weapons including lasers in space, are major issues for the peace movement.

The use of nuclear power in space is closely linked to the weaponization of space because the U.S. military sees nuclear power as an energy source for high-powered weapons in space.

We urge people to attend the workshops and strategy sessions.

The first workshop, titled "Banning Weapons In Space," will be held Wednesday, May 12, between 3:30 and 5 p.m. in Vermeer 1.

At this workshop arrangements will be made for the strategy sessions -- to be held that evening and during the day Thursday, May 13.

The second workshop will feature a screening of the TV documentary, "Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks," and will be held Friday morning, May 14, between 9:30 and 11 a.m. in Conference Room 8. There will be further strategy-making at this workshop including on the actions that will be held around the world on June 12 protesting the planned August Cassini Earth "flyby."

Those making presentations at the workshops include: investigative journalist and State University of New York journalism professor Karl Grossman; Bill Towe, co-chair of Peace Action and member of the Global Network board; Helen John of the Menwith Hill Women's Peace Camp; Dr. Joan Russow, national leader of the Green Party of Canada; and Dr. Rashmi Mayur, long involved with the United Nations in seeking to uphold the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and preserve space for peaceful uses.

Please come to the workshops and strategy sessions.


We hope the attendees will stress the importance of stopping the flyby of Earth BEFORE THE FLYBY OF VENUS, June 24th, 1999. Smashing Cassini into Venus that day is the safest and best way to guarantee the safety and health of 6 billion Earthlings who are Cassini's next target after the Venus flyby. (I am referring, of course, to the Earth flyby scheduled for August 18th, 1999 (occasionally also reported as August 17th, 1999.) -- rdh

NASA: A clear and present danger to society

Well, Woody Smith, NASA HQ, the proof is in the puddin', alright!

Tuesday night your (Boeing's) newest rocket, the Delta III finally lifted off after several delays including one in which the countdown clock went to zero... and nothing happened. This time, everything appeared to be going fine for the first 22 minutes, then the upper stage apparently malfunctioned, leaving the satellite in an elliptical orbit that is just 98 miles above the Earth at its low point (the perigee) and 860 miles above Earth at the high point (the apogee). At just 98 miles above the Earth it is licking the outer reaches of the atmosphere. That will slow it down a little with each pass, until it incinerates and/or reenters the Earth's atmosphere.

Imagine Cassini's Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) taking that sort of punishment, a couple of times a day, month after month until there was nothing left but a radioactive vaporized cloud, which would be distributed into the atmosphere to randomly attack our immune systems and our genetic code. And there would be no "pointers" to prove who released the poison that did the damage. Indeed it would be useless to contact NASA and tell them you would like them to pay for your daughter's or son's leukemia, or yours. They would assure you, as Planetary Society Executive Director Louis Friedman assured me prior to launch, that nothing THEY had done could possibly have caused the cancers that are killing our families.

But more level-headed government reports actually make it quite clear that even one single atom of plutonium can begin the process that leads to cancer or leukemia or genetic damage. And as reported in newsletter #116, alpha radiation may be even worse than had previously been believed, because it can damage the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) within our cells without even penetrating the nucleus of the cell structure -- hitting the fluid surrounding nuclei is sufficient to cause genetic changes. New news demands revised estimates -- NASA's Environmental Impact Statements should all be officially thrown out as useless wastes of time and paper -- they should be discarded along with the lies that fill them.

Needlessly risking the dispersal of trillions and trillions of such alpha-emitting atoms into a closed biosphere filled with 6 billion people is utter madness.

Despite all these accidents that have occurred since Cassini's launch, NOT ONCE has any official government spokesperson addressed the issue of the indisputable fact that the basis for assurance given the public prior to launch was hollow. There was nothing protecting America, Africa, Madagascar or Australia, or the biosphere, from Cassini besides Dumb Luck.

Dumb Luck can't hold out forever. Sooner or later it will give way to Statistical Reality. It was Dumb Luck that Cassini made it off the planet at all, rather than being on board one of these other rockets. But it was Calculated Evil that passed Cassini off as a "scientific" mission for the good of society.

The latest Delta III failure makes six botched U. S. launches in the past nine months, costing U. S. taxpayers about as much as Cassini cost. According to Dr. Michio Kaku (as reported to us today (May 6th, 1999) by Karl Grossman), had Cassini been on board any one of the botched birds there could have been a release of the nuclear fuel.

Were there any RHUs on board any of these rockets?

What more proof of a clear and present danger to society could there be? Does the unthinkable really have to actually happen before society will think about it?

Do NASA's lies have to come to fruition, in the form of destruction to the planet, before people see the lack of continuity between what NASA thinks they are capable of doing, and what they can in fact accomplish safely?

Are we going to keep buying NASA's BS until they have succeeded in laying waste to a major portion of the planet? Until they have added hundreds of trillions of particles of plutonium to the "background radiation level" as if each mrad increase were totally inconsequential? NASA says they use RTGs and now, the new and improved Radioactive Power Sources (RPSs) and so on for some sort of scientific gain, but at what price does that knowledge come?

For 50 years society has been lied to about the nuclear demon. The maximum possible scientific gain from Cassini is inconsequential when compared to the damage NASA's authoritarian policies have caused and can cause if those policies are not changed. We want first of all, an end to the lies. And second, an end to the nuclear-based missions.

Dr. Louis Friedman wrote: "To protect against an accident, the plutonium is encased in special containers that can withstand high impact and temperatures."

But we know that is a nothing statement, which proves nothing and assures nothing. "High impact and temperatures"? How high? How fast? The answers are clearly indicated in NASA's own documentation, that the tests were NOT fast enough or hot enough to simulate reentry conditions. Making Dr. Friedman's comments nothing more than placating lies.

And why did we do this? What is the driving reason for going to Saturn so quickly, this decade instead of next, with risky nuclear options instead of solar solutions? Why?

We are assured again and again that it ISN'T some useless "search for life". As a letter supporting Cassini from Allen Snowdon, Winfield, Canada, published in the Okanagan Saturday, March 27th, 1999 (republished in STOP CASSINI newsletter #109) states: "Cassini has nothing to do with trying to find life or its origins."

But Dr. Friedman had this to say prior to Cassini's launch, regarding the Huygens probe's investigation of Titan: "Titan, the largest body, boasts organic chemistry that may hold clues to how life formed on Earth."

Well either it is or it isn't, and either we care so much about this clueless search for clues or we care more about existing (and wonderful, and unique) human life here on earth. Either we are doing this for the good of society, or we are doing it for another purpose. It is clear now that it is not for the good of society.

So, Dr. Friedman, how do you support your position now? As a scientist, all you can say is you were lucky. What kind of science is that? You owe the world an apology, Dr. Friedman. My newsletter will be waiting to publish it.

-- rdh

Note: Friedman's comments were archived at the following URL, but when last checked (a few minutes ago) they seem to have moved them:

Those interested in seeing the original document should contact The Planetary Society ( Most (if not all) of Dr. Friedman's statement is presented (and all of it is discussed) in newsletter #17, June 17th, 1997.

Email sent to The Planetary Society May 6th, 1999:

To: Cynthia Kumagawa, The Planetary Society

From: Russell Hoffman, Editor STOP CASSINI newsletter


Date: May 6th,1999

Dear Ms Kumagawa,

We are trying to locate this web page:

It previously existed and we have several links to it which we had hoped/assumed were permanent links. We know we have directed hundreds if not thousands (or even tens of thousands) of people to The Planetary Society and specifically to the relevant public documents/web pages to our areas of mutual interest. So what has happened to the link? After all, if TPS does not archive their press releases at permanent locations, who will? And in [the] Heaven's name, why not? How can we find this particular document's new location so that we can update these links?

We hope The Planetary Society will recognize the mutual benefit to themselves and to society at large of permanent web addressing of archival documents and will place this particular document back at its original location so that all the previously established links to it continue to work. If Dr. Friedman want's to correct some of the statements made in that document (which I'm sure would be wise thing on his part) then that could be appended to the document or linked to from the document, but to simply remove it is very much akin to censorship, as viewed in the electronic age.

Thank you very much,

Russell Hoffman
Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter

NATO and the threat of nuclear war:

(This was originally written by the editor of this newsletter in 1997 as part of a letter to Philipp Louis of the Non-violent Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, URL: Address: Roland Blach, Lenzhalde 53, Dľ70 806 Kornwestheim Germany and thus may have been previously published elsewhere (but we don't think so). It has been slightly edited for literary effect. ;) )

We in America do not get much real news. Only those of us who seek it out ever find it at all!

NATO actually thinks about using atomic weapons in a preemptive manner. Crazy Fools! Who do they think they are protecting, anyway? And who are they fighting? And what will that accomplish in the long run? If even once NATO is stupid enough to explode one atomic bomb, the payback will surely be worse. Any fool knows this. The only way we got away with such stupidity once was that the whole world had gone crazy and we were damned desperate -- and at least a little bit unaware of what the long-term health effects of what we were playing with would be for noncombatants.

This world cannot possibly survive the explosion of even one hundredth of the world's nuclear arsenal-- what would that be? 700 nuclear explosions, each 10 or 100 times the size of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki era bomb -- that would be like 7,000 or even 70,000 Hiroshima/Nagasakis.

We can't do that. Nuclear winter would set in. Nuclear ice. Nuclear water, nuclear food, nuclear death.

So why, in heaven's name, do the world's warriors have so many nukes? Because we, the world's populace, let them.

Because the world population does not tell NATO and the United States and Russian and all the other nuclear fools that nuclear war -- even a limited one, even one nuclear attack -- is unthinkable and not allowed. We must force the politicians in control to acknowledge that we will fight on the ground, in the air, and in every way thinkable, if we have to, but we will not attack, nor respond, with nuclear weapons. NATO should state that NATO will not use nuclear weapons first. NATO should state that NATO will not use them second. Or third. Or ever.

This world, with some 70,000 nuclear weapons, cannot keep setting itself up for the unthinkable and then keep thinking it's never going to happen. Nuclear war -- will happen if we don't put away all the nukes and rethink what it means to get along. Maybe, somehow, some way, it will be a "limited" exchange of "just a few" nukes. "Boom goes London, Boom 'Parie'". With a stated policy of a possible first strike or second strike, a nuclear war is virtually inevitable sooner or later, simply if a mistake happens. And mistakes DO happen.

If nuclear weapons are used at some point in the world's future, used on purpose and "successfully" (never has a word been less appropriate, but such are the failures of language) then a whole slew of consequences, all bad, might occur. The attacked nation, if they have nuclear capabilities or friends that have nuclear capabilities, might attack back. The original attacking nation would then accelerate the number of weapons it uses to retaliate -- global thermonuclear war not only does no good and is unwinnable, but it can take all of twenty minutes to run its course, explode hundreds or thousands of nukes, and then the survivors can start to pick up the pieces -- a dreadful sight -- the lucky ones will be at ground zero, we all know that.

The lucky ones will be at ground zero.

And who might those be? Why, the boys with the bombs, of course! They fight their war, get killed a glorious death, and civilians, once again and for ever more, must face the horrors for the coming ages.

This is thinkable to NATO? NATO must be nuts.

The worst genie has not been out of the bottle in 50 years. If it comes out, will the world ever have the right to feel safe again? The longer we wait, the more devastating the psychological consequences of an actual nuclear attack will be, so it should become MORE unthinkable as time goes on. Yet now, after the so-called Cold War so-called ended, we still think about it. New nations join the nuclear "club". How can that be?

Exploding a nuclear bomb is a global assault on all living things. It is unthinkable that anyone could consider a war "won" when nukes were used to win it. In 1945 -- maybe -- we had little idea of just how bad low level radiation can be. Now we know. The very idea of using them first, or of using them second, or third, or ever, is totally, unspeakably nuts, if only because of the environmental assault, let alone the terror, the immediate "collateral damage" and the possibility of repercussions.

What if Japan had, in the days before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, developed a nuclear capability? With just one or two bombs, like us? They'd have used them. Right away. Boom goes DC. Boom New York. Boom goes Tokyo, and boom goes Japan's 2nd most important city. Who in America would hesitate to drop that second bomb, when a typical American (me, for instance) doesn't even know the name of the second largest city in Japan? In an instant, instead of the 200,000 or so dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we would have had 10's of millions dead. Thank God that didn't happen!

Thank God also, that we didn't all suddenly figure out how to make lots of them, instead of just two or three. What if Japan and America had independently managed to develop not one, but hundreds -- what if they could be manufactured quickly?

When would it have stopped? What if Germany had figured it out a year before we did?

I ask these what-if's because right now, that's basically the situation. Lots of countries have lots of nukes. The countries are a little different, but there are a lot of countries aiming lots of nukes at each other. People are planning for a war which cannot be won, and which cannot, in fact, even be fought. If these people knew what it meant to lose, half as well as they know what it means to fight, perhaps they would calm down and try reasoning with each other. But with all these weapons, there is just no telling what they will do.

-- rdh

Related current event:

Last Sunday (May 2nd, 1999) Michael Moore, American Hero on the People's Republic of Television (as seen Sunday nights on BRAVO, in England and America) visited the Embassies of Pakistan and Indian. Both new nuclear nations proclaimed to Mr. Moore that they would not use nuclear weapons FIRST. How comforting!

Both new nuclear nations have illiteracy rates above 50% of the population. Michael Moore attempted to educate the people of India and Pakistan about nuclear war, but so far neither country has renounced their mistake. (Note: The STOP CASSINI newsletter will be devoting an upcoming issue on the effects of a nuclear bomb blast -- be watching for it!)

All that glitters is not gold:

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled a new "gold colored" one dollar coin yesterday to replace the Susan B. Anthony dollar which everyone knows was simply way too big. This coin is too big too, at 1.043 inches, a little bigger than a quarter. It should have been smaller than a penny (which they should eliminate, along with dollar bills). It bears the beautiful image of the Shoshone Indian Sacagawea and her papoose Jean Baptiste on the obverse, and a gorgeous soaring Eagle on the reverse side. (Eagles are an endangered species in many parts of America where they once soared. And everyone knows what America did to the Indians!)


A U. S. Mint coin, worth merely one sawbuck -- [eight bits] -- must be "gold-colored"?

1000 years from now, or 10,000 years from now, when some historian uncovers the coin of our realm, they will marvel at the stupidity of the people who would put their faith in gold-colored coins.




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

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:

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.


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! Welcome new subscribers!

Russell D. Hoffman

Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI Newsletter -- over 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 May 10th, 1999.
Last modified April 27th, 2000.
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