Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two Letters to the editor in Sunday's Los Alamos Monitor

Posted: Sunday, 26 December 2010; Updated: Saturday, 15 January 2011

In today's Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Monitor there are two letters germane to the LADDOF project.

One is from LAGGRI member John Diennes, who takes to task the county council for having its priorities "backwards". He addresses the issue of marginalizing local citizens in the process making its decisions. His point is clear and well made. It addresses the issue of PCE (potential creative energy) that LADDOF is focusing on in the upcoming open forum, scheduled for next fall.

The second letter is from film maker Paul Ratner of Los Angeles about a film he has made about a man called The Caveman of Atomic City, who was found living in a cave on LANL property some years ago. The film can be viewed by clicking on Yes, Micromike's story is strange, but he talks about reconciling science and spirituality in terms he calls "gravionics", which belongs in our open forum project as one of the extreme views invited by the deep democracy process. I have written to the film maker and hope to hear from him. Who knows where Micromike is living these days?

On Monday, 27 December, referring to the previous blog

          Saijin said...
          I read from their [Tikkun Magazine] website header:
I read from this blog header: 
The Legacy of Los Alamos, atomic city ITS EFFECT ON OUR COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD
The thought comes to me in the form of a guiding principle I hold dear: 
Love begins at Home. 
JND posted, “I am thinking that an evaluation of those historical examples that have succeeded and those that have not will identify key factors that both support and undercut rebranding efforts.” The thoughts followed the idea about re-branding Los Alamos. 
Unity divides into polarity. Identifying this polarity is the beginning point—the understanding of the duality that requires the healing, repairing and transforming which will lead into the re-branding—the desired outcome. And the two shall become one. Rebirth. Transformation. Never by force—only through love. 
John Diennes “…who takes to task the county council for having its priorities ‘backwards’. He addresses the issue of marginalizing local citizens in the process making its decisions. His point is clear and well made.” 
MicroMike explains or clarifies Einstein’s E=MC2 –which he claims was Einstein’s true desire to understand energy, i.e. that it is not the atomic bomb but rather it is LIFE. “Love is the actions of a sentient being whereby they give more energy than they take, and they make more connections of gravity than they break.” He then speaks of gravionics--“the first model of science that’s big enough for love.” 
This is the re-branding that needs to take place—the bringing together of the two so that they are greater than they ever could be separately. A synergistic effect—a transformation. For now, these two aspects lie in duality.
As president & CEO of newly formed LADDOF, Inc. (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum), Eugene Kovalenko has extended an invitation to one of the self-identified opposition to come into discourse and begin healing: “I have invited Greg Mello to join our board of advisors in the spirit of deep democracy and its overarching spiritual purpose.”
To love we must respect the shadow aspect which is present. It pleads for understanding. It will sit obstinately until understanding is achieved. Not superficial. No fix-it gimmicks. True understanding. When the shadow is known for what it is, it will give forth the gift that is now hidden. This hidden light—this gift which comes from such ‘shadow-work’ or healing—is the key to the transformation which is desired by both the light and the dark. Together, again, in Unity.
I will add this to the discussion already underway. I believe that the two coming together begins with a willingness to be vulnerable. Vulnerability includes authenticity—an idea for which Eugene has invested his life force. I might suggest a TED video to begin such a consideration for Los Alamos: [Click here.]
Saijin Jack

Saturday, December 25, 2010

LASG's Greg Mello in Tikkun Magazine about "New START" treaty w/r to Los Alamos

Posted: Christmas 2010; Updated: 27 December 2010

No sooner had the last papers for incorporating LADDOF been submitted to the NMPRC (New Mexico Public Regulation Commission) and the IRS, than I received an email from Tikkun Magazine containing Greg Mello's article about the US Senate's ratification of the New START treaty. (See the article here.) Realizing how important Mello's remarks were, I forwarded the email to selected friends and colleagues, since it seemed a perfect topic, albeit a larger issue than originally envisioned, for setting the stage for next fall's Deep Democracy open forum.

Following my introductory remarks to the forwarded email are several responsible replies, which I will continue to add as they come in. I will not identify senders except for initials unless they give me specific permission.

On December 24, 2010, Eugene forwarded the Tikkun article to selected friends and colleagues with this introduction:
Dear Los Alamos friends and colleagues,
When I saw the name of the author of the Tikkun Magazine article [in the link above], I knew it needed to be posted on the LADDOF (Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum) and possibly the LAGRI (Los Alamos Government Review Initiative) websites.  I have known author Greg Mello since 1993, when I was hired as a mediation consultant to the nuclear waste [management] group at LANL and Mello was the chief antagonist of LANL as founder of the Los Alamos Study Group (LASG). His voice surely needs to be heard at any public LADDOF event. I know no one more knowledgeable of the hazards of the nuclear question than Greg. I also believe that his personal motives need to be challenged. If he were present at our currently scheduled open forum next fall, he would add immeasurably to the discourse.
Note especially the paragraph below beginning with "The implications for the New Mexico laboratories are complex" and ending with "…The best days of Los Alamos are in the past."
In my new role as president & CEO of LADDOF, Inc., I have invited Greg Mello to join our board of advisors in the spirit of deep democracy and its overarching spiritual purpose. [He refused our initial invitation late last spring to join a proposed LAOF steering committee at the beginning stages of this project saying, "...we are not on the same wavelength.  Three of us looked at the proposal over breakfast on Saturday and followed some of the links, and I must say frankly it is just not my, and our, cup of tea at all.  Couldn't be farther afield from our interests."  I hope to persuade Greg to change his mind, since I can't believe his personal spiritual aspirations are so far afield from ours]. 
If you have comments, suggestions or concerns about this decision, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Eugene Kovalenko
PS. I have bcc'd others who may be interested and/or affected by this decision.

Preliminary comments as of Christmas Day.

On 12/24/10 the following comments came in:

1. From CHJ, an international PR man:
"A compelling analysis. To have worked so hard to have accomplished so little: the substance of political compromise, and evidence of the lack of political will. To say this victory was pyrrhic dishonors the losses of Pyrrhus, who at least was willing to sacrifice to win."

2. From GJJr, LANL technician (ret):
"Thanks for Greg Mello's interesting article from Tikkun Magazine.  Is Greg Jewish?... Anyway, while not interested in actively participating in LADDOF, please feel free to send me this kind of perspective, which looks beneath the surface of the news media's superficial and often biased presentations - as long as not too long / too much."

3. From BB, LANL physicist (ret):
 "Thank you for keeping me informed. I refused to work on weapons research when I was a beginning scientist,  even when Edward Teller attempted to con me into its web of deceit and moral degradation. It was the right decision for me then, and I have never regretted it even though many opportunities at the Labs were closed to me."

4. From NEK, a close relative: 
"...You know, these days nothing seems quite like it is supposed to be. Now I'm wondering if it ever was what I thought it was supposed to be... I feel like a caveman in a complex world of dangerous technology run by other cavemen. 

Can't we just be grateful for running water, indoor plumbing and sanitary septic systems without having to threaten the planet with nuclear disaster? Isn't this just another shell game & tricky way of redistributing significant wealth to another racket of special interests?

Aren't there better ways to defend and protect ones community and country? Think of what all of this money could do for alternative, sustainable energy technology which to me seems to be the key to a successful global economic future.

If we're not fighting and/or posturing over oil & gas supplies, what then would a significant portion of our military & bases be needed & good for?

And what does this do to the shift of wealth that has been occurring all this time from oil consuming nations to oil producing nations and those in the industry? Do we really need these kinds of jobs?

I often think of what the world would be like if we all didn't have to throw so much of our hard earned pay down the petroleum rat hole.

It seems little different than being a heroin addict... but what do I know, I'm just a caveman..."

5. From JND, an internationally known psychotherapist. [ENK Note: this, for me, is the most insightful and useful response so far]
"...Regarding the central issue here, whether START is progressive or regressive, I cannot speak, because I have no special knowledge in this area. That the military signed off on this should mean more restraints on Russian nuclear weapons, more support for the development of US weapons, or both. What we do know is that both the Russian government and the US government/military were strongly in favor of its ratification, as were most of the other governments of the world, to the best of my knowledge. It is widely viewed as lowering the risk of nuclear proliferation. I also know that it put a lower cap on the total number of warheads allowed on both sides, and that sounds like a move in the right direction. I also know that START puts verification procedures in place on both sides that increase national and global security. That START is a Christmas tree for the nuclear arms industry, full of promises for the development of future weapons systems, is probably also true. 

Regarding the impact on Los Alamos, which Mello views as negative, I tend to think about this issue in terms of Wilber's four quadrants, particularly the internal collective quadrant of culture, values, interpretations, meanings, and world-views. This is because I see a gigantic disconnect between largely secret and unaccountable military/industrial culture and that of the broader culture.  This is a sub-category of the broader disconnect between those who have money and power and those who do not. While this disconnect seems to be an ongoing part of social reality, it can become smaller and those with money and power can be held more accountable, as it is obvious that they need to be.

My point is a very cynical one, and I hope I'm wrong.  It is that changing the culture of Los Alamos (or any other community relying on huge government projects) is in many ways a Quixotic pursuit.  That is because the financial security, and therefore the lifestyles, of too many people in the community are derived from a continuing pact with the Devil. Pointing this out to people isn't going to do any good. Anything that is going to upset the steady stream of jobs due to tax dollars and government welfare programs to corporations will be viewed as a threat. The question that is the elephant in the room that no one asks when they are in such a position, is "How do I maintain my sense of self-esteem under such conditions?" This is not only a question for individuals, but a question entire communities end up asking, as some in Los Alamos, spearheaded by you, are currently doing. It is not a comfortable or easy question.  It is a threatening question, because most of the audience doesn't believe it's legitimate.  These people deny they or their community have problems with self-esteem. They point to new jobs, patriotism, higher standards of living, and better local services because they are demanded by the type of highly educated employees that the arms industries attract. 

If Los Alamos had made its money and no longer was dependent on government largess, it would be in a better position to question its heritage and its culture. But it's not over.  Maybe that's Mello's point. It's like talking to an addict who is still actively using.

It is one thing to get together to share perspectives on the evolving identity of Los Alamos and its citizens. It's another issue entirely to change one's own self-image or to succeed in re-branding ones' community. History is litered with examples of notorious places that have not succeed in rebranding themselves: Sodom and Ghemorrah, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Bronx, Detroit, Israel. 

What to do? If you are interested in pursuing such issues, you might look around and see if any other historically notorious places have had any success at rebranding themselves and then see how they did it. Rome was historically notorious but it was also glorious, which most places, including Los Alamos are not. But Berlin has succeeded in rebranding itself, with enormous effort and many national and international factors working to help it do so. Both Rome and Berlin had the good fortune to remain centers of evolving cultures, allowing them to develop a narrative that transcended brutality.  Most of the other places I mentioned did not continue to evolve, or did not evolve beyond their brutality. 

I am thinking that an evaluation of those historical examples that have succeeded and those that have not will identify key factors that both support and undercut rebranding efforts. I do, however, come back to the culture of a place, both locally, in the eyes of community members and in the eyes of the larger world community. However, as long as any place continues to clearly be willing to prostitute itself for government money for weapons of mass destruction it is going to be difficult for any honest relabeling in the eyes of others to occur. The best that can be hoped for in that situation is that locals find ways to define themselves differently that are good and genuine. An example that comes to mind that may be unintentionally offensive as a comparison, but I will use nonetheless because of its clarity, would be a stripper or a prostitute who prides herself on being a good mother or working at a homeless shelter one day a week. She is doing important stuff for her community and for herself, that legitimitizes her self-worth, in the face of the glaring fact that in major areas of her life she is selling out. 

This is, of course, the human predicament. We are all prostitutes in one way or another, but most don't have the courage to admit it. In fact, most have the audacity to label themselves as glorious, as politicians and narcissistic personality disordered lovers do, and have the charisma to get others to buy the presentation and ignore the dog shit inside. This works for a while, but generally not for the long run. But then, most people are interested in the short run, not the long run.  People have to resolve short run worries to have the luxury to worry about long-run issues, like how the legacy of their community is going to appear in world history. 

How to successfully re-brand Los Alamos? Perhaps make it a beacon for a counter-cultural inspirational theme? Like what? Sony Bono made Palm Springs into a yearly film festival mecca. It's called "changing the subject." Maybe that's what the Democracy forums can explore - what can we agree to change the subject to? It needs to be something that attracts well-heeled afficianados of something. Maybe a regional yearly green technology exposition? Get all those scientists at the plants to volunteer green projects for Los Alamos? 

Please pardon the somewhat cynical and critical nature of some of my remarks! I have always been a believer that realism at the risk of offense is necessary to rebuild anybody or anything."

On Sunday, 26 December, the following response(s) came in:

6. From BSK in Sweden:
"I have read through this article. Oyh, what gloomy stuff! And this article aught to be circulated in regular papers and written for everyone to take part of. What is the circulation of Tikkun and who reads it? Do the people who should read this kind of stuff really get an opportunity to read it? Is the magazine Tikkun only for super-intellectuals? And I also read the comments to Mello's article on the LADDOF blog. Clifton really doesn't seem to care enough to be involved. I like what Nick writes. But Joe's! Wow! I love it. What a mind and what insight and for me who're not used to thinking deeply about such things, what a stimulating response. If I, who is just an average individual, am stimulated by Joe's thinking, why shouldn't this information, if published in appropriate media and in appropriate portions, appeal to a broad public? Don't you think Charlie Rose would find this stuff very intersting? How about Kosmos Mag and Yes! [magazine]? Wouldn't they be interested in this?"

7. From Greg Mello in Albuquerque:
"I appreciate your kind reading of that rushed essay -- really a press release, kind of, that got converted into an essay by the press of time and lack of need to address the basic facts of the situation, since presumably everyone already had them.  

"With regrets, I can't accept your kind offer.  I am up to my eyeballs in critical work here.  Perhaps we can say it is work of a spiritual nature, if you will, or at least a not-yet-fully-sincere approximation to it. 

We usually must wash our mouths with soap if we use that kind of language -- "spiritual" --  or anything like it, and watch our wallets when we hear it. 

We need not connect with the Mind of God as we cannot leave it.  I suppose that is Bankei Zen, and he had no major successors.  Still, we use it and cannot put another head on top of the one we have. 

If your friends can halt CMRR-NF -- show me your commitment, let me read of it and see it -- or if you can dramatically decrease coal burning in this state, by more than 5% per year and are willing to sacrifice heavily to get there, I will be with you, with gratitude.  Four or five people are enough, at first.  You and your friends have the resources, the connections, and the worldly knowledge.  That will be deep democracy; it is incompatible with nuclearism and of course it is incompatible with global warming."

On Monday, December 27, the following came in:

8. From Saijin (see here for her comments to this and the following post)

9. From David B of Santa Fe:
"So good to see your e-mail and feel all the excitement of the project!!
lots of love, David"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Directors, Officers and Advisors of the Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum, Inc.

Posted: 23 Dec 2010; Updated: 

Today (Dec 23, 2010) was the deadline for submitting the first report of LADDOF, Inc. to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. In a weird synchronism I am pleased to say that this was accomplished two days ago on the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, December 21, when there was also an historic total eclipse, the legendary "blood moon".

As of Dec 23, 2010, here are the current directors, officers and advisors for the corporation:

Board of Directors:
1. James N. Bradbury, Ph.D. (Santa Fe)
2. Eugene N. Kovalenko, Ph.D. (Los Alamos)
3. Birgitta S. Kovalenko, MFA (Los Alamos)
4. Laura Ellen Walton, MFA (Los Alamos)
5. Joseph N. Dillard, Ph.D. (Berlin)

1. Eugene N. Kovalenko, President and CEO
2. Laura Ellen Walton, Secretary (Founder, Los Alamos Government Review Initiative)
3. Matthew Schmidt, Treasurer  (President & CEO, Los Alamos Schools Credit Union)

Board of Advisors:
1. Edmund Storms, Ph.D., LANL Chemist (Ret.) (Santa Fe)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My recent dreams about LADDOF, Inc.

Posted: Sunday, 19 December 2010: Updated:  24 December 2010

On Friday night (17 Dec), in response to LADDOF director Joseph Dillard's question on how I would envision the "reverse divorce of science and religion" proposal for the Los Alamos community  (see previous post), I had the following dream:
  I'm alone driving a car in a tight cul-de-sac with other cars parked in it, so that that I can't make the turn and the squeeze is so tight that the car's front end rises up and is about to fall on one or more of those obstructing parked cars. I don't know what is going to happen next and find myself weeping as I awaken.
                        CREEI score: +?+++-//--?/++?  (Anticipatory traumatic)
I sent the dream to my wife Birgitta, now visiting her family in Sweden, and to friend Joseph in Berlin for comment. 

Birgitta responded:
 "....What a clear dream about your feelings!"
"Nothing much comes up for me, but what does is purely projective and says more about me than about you. First, I feel from the car dream that you may be holding this LADDOF project too tightly. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself to do more and be more than 'works.'  Sometimes such pressures constipate the process.  I would suggest laughing at the absurdity of the situation, of the absurdity of rational scientists letting themselves get pushed around by their fears, the absurdity of being the birthplace of nuclear holocaust, of the absurdity of thinking that science and religion ever got divorced in the first place, of worrying about not being relevant or significant. Don't worry about that - you aren't! None of us are! And of course in other ways, we are - just not in the ways we want to be or think that we should be..."
I love Joseph's suggestion to laugh at the absurdities!! But then we need to learn to work together in ways that are NOT absurd.

On Tuesday, 21 December, I had a follow-up dream, called "Obama and the Old Ones", which clearly reflects Dr. Dillard's observations above. See his Integral Deep Listening interview here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First Open Forum postponed

Posted: 18 December 2010; Updated: 20 December 2010.

Since receiving a message from Deep Democracy Institute director Max Schupbach on Thanksgiving from Africa proposing a first open forum on April 10, he has asked for a postponement until the fall. Here are our most recent exchanges:

On December 16, Max wrote:
Dear Eugene
hi and love from Portland. We are settling in after the jetlag, and enjoy recuperating. Thanks for the great film advice, we look forward to checking that out. We have news about the open forum also. We unfortunately have to postpone it, because of a change in our travel plans, that is out of our control. We had hoped to come to Albuquerque on our way to Denver to Worldwork,, but instead now will have to go to Europe before, sorry about that. we hope we can come up with an alternative date in the fall of next year and will let you know as soon as possible.
much love and till soon

On December 17, Eugene responded:
Hi Max,
Disappointed to postpone our first LADDOF event, but let's look at it as a blessing in disguise. It will give us more time to solidify our newly formed corporate base and introduce ourselves locally. I took a look at the Denver WorldWork link that you sent ( I think my wife Birgitta and I will attend perhaps with one or two other LADDOF, Inc. board members. That would be a good place to meet!
After my first reading of Arny's [Arnold Mindell] new book ProcessMind and your Amazon review of it, I wrote Arny thus:
In your book you speculate on reversing the divorce between science and religion that occurred 400 years ago with the advent of classical physics. I say what better time than now and in this place of Los Alamos to propose such a remarriage? I realized that this is the overarching objective for the LADDOF project. Don't you agree?
Arny replied:

… yes yes yes, bringing science and religion together is the BIG, perhaps biggest project for this century! Big hug, love arny

That could be the overarching theme for the first open forum next fall and would allow us to invite representatives from all the many religious and philosophical institutions that exist in this heroic/notorious town [that Garry Wills writes about in his book] Bomb Power.
What do you think?
With love, Eugene

Later that same day (17 Dec) Max responded:
Hi everyone,
thanks for understanding, we were disappointed as well. Love the topic, and the location for it. Really, made my day. Worldwork will be spectacular, and it will be great to have you there.
much love for now

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Call from London Documentary film maker

Posted:  15 December 2010; Updated: 17 December

This morning (Wednesday, 15 Dec) I returned a call from Sam, a London based documentary film maker, who called to determine my availability in February for an interview regarding a film documentary based on British historian David Stafford's book Spies Beneath Berlin. He was interested to know why I was calling so early (~0500) to which I explained I wanted to return the call well before preparing for a workshop for seniors later in the morning. He pressed to know more about the workshop and became even more interested when I mentioned its connection to an upcoming open forum regarding the legacy of Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project. Perhaps these three projects will evolve into something synergistic?