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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  June 1998

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE June 1998

Subject:

Beyond CASSIDI 6/98

From:

Maurice Bazin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 4 Jun 1998 16:29:13 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

Dear all,
our hearts are clearly still beating very strongly in the right place, or,
as the argument seems to be going, in all the right places at once!
But I find the comments of D. on "Cassidi vs Nuclear Dangers" very useful
in forcing us to face "What is to be done?"  We, as fathers or grandfathers
of the "do something, damn it" attitude among scientists need to look at
the big picture and look for actions, interventions, whatever, which will
"change the world". It is not just a question of hierarchies of importance
and D. was not objecting to signing the letter as such. I heard her/him
saying "we need levers to lift up the big fundamental mess; don't just hit
the passing flies!"  I do think that the SftP group should take as a task
finding ways to raise the issue of nuclear instability, craziness, etc and
also decide on what to do about it. When we were younger (in the famous
60's) we confronted the minnions of the Nuclear Establhishment at APS and
AAAS meetings. We prevented Teller from speaking at our Universities. Some
of us did like Charlie and demanded a Pledge from our students in favor of
humanity and not against it. All this had a multiplying effect through the
press, the university debates, etc. Some of us went further and blew up
what they could and I admire them on all counts.

The question that D puts to us is "and today, sisters and brothers" what do
we do and how do we do it?

I for one never was the prime mover on nuclear and ballistic missile
issues. I was more forceful on personal confrontations with war criminals
(the ones who helped design laser guided bombs and some electronic details
of battlefield techniques in Vietnam) who also were my colleagues cloaked
in apparent respectability. I also wore a Third World hat and tried to act
in its interest, there and here. I remember learning all the facts about
ABM from a presentation of Martin Pearl (he had done that homework for us.
I just was not interested enough to do that homework by myself). My own
reaction to the 1998 India-Pakistan explosions is: the technical guys who
prepared for this were probably trained in the US and England; so WE failed
in bringing them to our side, we, ScftP and ScfP. Of course, Gandhi failed
also in this sense.........We are in good company.

So, do we picket the houses of big companies' executives? Do we harrass
them? Can we locate such individuals today as we located Princeton's
Goldberger or revealed that Harvard President Conant was the "expert" who
chose Hiroshima as a "suitable target".

I just reread the five first Newsletters of SESPA. We had ONE issue we
started with: ABM deployment. We informed, we lobbied, we petitioned, we
went to supermarkets plazas, manufactured and sold buttons,.... We lost in
the Senate. But SESPA continued, maybe because The War continued.  What do
we start with today? The all-out economic domination war of globalization
is on, but harder to take dramatic pictures of than kids' burning napalmed
flesh.

Again, I ask all of you: how do we handle the issue of nuclear danger (find
the best way to call it)? I just do not see what to do from the place where
I sit. Maybe others do not either. If our group exists I would expect SOME
modest proposals to come forward. Is there a specific issue to pick up on,
like ABM was? Cassidi is not it, it seems.

Or are there other issues to start from today?
Yours,   Maurice

Maurice Bazin
Rua Marques de Abrantes  136 / 901A
Flamengo
22230-061  Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
Telefone: 55  21 553 0759      or   55 21 553 2361
FAX     : 55  21 205 1754

e-mail:    [log in to unmask]

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