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May 16, 2013

Bulletin #171: Invitations

Dear friends –

Please join us in welcoming Mia Gandenberger, Visiting Disarmament Fellow, to the Los Alamos Study Group.  Mia has been a Researcher at the Reaching Critical Will nuclear disarmament organization, a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and has been   has been working on nuclear disarmament and related issues in international fora and student peace movement circles since she was 15.  Mia just graduated from the University of Konstanz in politics and public administration, after which she dashed to Geneva to help report on the May 2013 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting.

Mia arrived just last night.  She will be our guest through early August.

Please join us in welcoming Mia at these public events:

  • On Wednesday, May 22 at 5:30 pm, please join Mia and your Study Group friends at a mostly-informal reception at the Study Group “World Headquarters,” 2901 Summit Place NE, Albuquerque.  We’ll have a little live music and we can visit with one another in the back yard – and, of course, we can conspire.  Let Trish know if you want to help with refreshments.

    During the evening, Mia will give us a very fresh, first-hand report on how the nuclear weapons “modernization” plans of the Obama Administration are being received by NPT member states.

  • The following evening, Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 pm, at the Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail (map), please join Mia and the Study Group for further discussion of nuclear weapons modernization plans as they are perceived internationally and in Congress.  We hope you will invite your friends to this event, which will be a much-needed fundraiser for us.  We’ll have plenty of time to talk about these issues – and most of all, what interested citizens can do, even (and especially) in New Mexico, behind “the nuclear curtain.”

  • Most days we are ready to take a break from our work at 4 pm to meet with volunteers, or just to talk over things with our members, if anyone shows up.  These are our “office hours.”  Give us a call and drop by if you want!

Mid-May is the 21st anniversary of the Study Group as a full-time, staffed organization.  Yay!
Please join us at the above events as we quietly celebrate together what you and we done over these two decades, and together take the measure of what lies ahead, with an “equal temper of heroic hearts.”

Also, we’ll be having a panel discussion on June 29 with international guests; place and time TBD.  Save the date!

NNSA deteriorating, not to put too fine a point on it

Those of you who have attended our recent discussions have heard that the nuclear modernization programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) are not just unnecessary (except to increase spending) but also are, in the most canonical tradition of crony capitalism and hyperprivatization, now spiraling out of control.  Recent conversations on the Hill confirm and deepen this view.  If you follow these issues in the press you will very soon see more evidence of this.  Stay tuned.

The Obama administration has almost gone on vacation as far as nuclear weapons management goes, and there is increasing hell to pay.

As we said in those recent meetings, we are approaching a time of consequences, to use Churchill’s famous phrase.  Certainly this is true for NNSA.  There is absolutely no way NNSA can complete its ambitious work plan for nuclear weapons, whether or not it gets its proposed ever-increasing budgets.  There is absolutely no way DoD can or will buy all the nuclear weapons delivery systems now being so blithely promised.  There is absolutely no way the nuclear factories and labs will continue to drift along as they are today, with ever-increasing compensation (already stratospheric), without fresh crises that will mold their future.  There is absolutely no way morale can be maintained in the weapons of mass destruction industry in the face of far more meaningful and productive opportunities elsewhere.  You just can’t pay people enough to forget what they are doing forever, especially when “it” hits the fan.

More soon,

Greg Mello, for the Study Group

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