A chilling thought.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Does it not strike some of you as odd that despite all of the information and warnings in the media the government still remains relatively silent on the issue of y2k? One has to assume that the administration has all of the information we have and much much more. I accuse the government of being silent for selfish and meglomaniacal reasons all the time. I accuse them of causing needless death and grief by being silent. I am not shy about it either. Then last night I started playing the, "What if" game. What if Clinton came out now and told the American public that it is reeeeely bad and many millions of us would die. That taxes would not be collected, prisons would spring open, there would be no power, no food, no water. How many of us would continue to pay their mortages or rent or car payments, or credit card payments? Who would buy stocks? Who would leave their money in the bank? How many would commit crimes? Who would be afraid of prison? If the entire country, or even half of the country stopped payments on their debt, The country would collapse. All of the ills of y2k would strike now. As much as I dislike Clinton and distrust the government, they may have absolutley no choice but to continue the charade. As long as the charade is played, there will be a portion of the country that will continue to do their duty as workers, tax payers and investors. As pointed out in other threads in this ng, the government has lied to us many many times before. Maybe this time it's for our own good. Any thoughts?

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), August 15, 1998


I think you're right that if the government made an announcement of they type you've described they would hasten the panic.

That might not be all bad. If, as an example, there were to be a run on food now, but if the system had time to adjust, many people would be able to stockpile. On the other hand, if either the government wiats until the last minute or the population just catches on, it probably will be too late to ramp the system up. If a national sales tax were enacted, it would be in place and providing income for the government.

The real problem will be the banking system. Have you seen the surveys of the percentage of IT professionals who intend to take their money out in 1999? I'm not certain of how to avoid a bank run. Probably limit withdrawals well before any run such gets started, so that people can only take out enough for daily cash expenses. Look for this to happen in mid-1999.

-- Rocky Knolls (rknolls@hotmail.com), August 15, 1998.

I am one of those IT professionals and I am already out. Been out for some time now. Mid-1999, do not wait for it. Do some initial preparation now.


-- j (yada@yada.com), August 15, 1998.


Take an afternoon or evening off. Go see the movie _Deep Impact_. Watch carefully the scene where the 'president' announces to the nation that bad stuff is coming from space. About the only other instructive scene in the movie is the traffic jam on the freeway when everybody heads out of town. But those two are worth a discount ticket, or a matinee.

Can you see this happening in real life? If indeed 1/1/00 is as bad as all that, and if the powers that be know it already, there's simply no way it would happen. The Beltway bunch knows exactly the fuse that would light. And they don't want to see that fireworks show, you can bet.

Besides, BC already declared y2k a national priority in his speech. Of course that speech wasn't televised, and the print media didn't plug it. But he was talking to a bunch of scientists, and how interesting would that be anyway? Not nearly as interesting as the latest on Monica. All we need is Johnnie Cochran saying, "If it's on the dress, you must confess!" Then the soap opera will be complete.

Face it- most of your fellow Americans won't worry about y2k, or any other wolf at the door for that matter, until it's eating the seat out of their pants. And then they'll yell for the government to come and fix it.

Welcome to the '90s. Don't worry, it won't last much longer and it'll sort itself out one way or the other. All we gotta do is duck.


-- Lee P. Lapin (lplapin@hotmail.com), August 16, 1998.

"Does it not strike some of you as odd that despite all of the information and warnings in the media the government still remains relatively silent on the issue of y2k?"

Warnings in the media? Where do you see these warnings? I'm in a position where I get the opportunity to scan dozens if not hundreds of publications every month, and all I see are disconnected "infotainment" type pieces about this problem. The "media" is NOT seriously addressing this! (and it won't) You and I are interested in this problem, so we seek out info about it. Most people are not and will not and haven't much more than a clue. (if that)

The government's vested interest is to protect the status quo for as long as possible, so as to prevent panic and social unrest. There is no way our "leaders" can make big statements and "prepare" the country at this point without causing a panic. Maybe if Bush had gotten the ball rolling on this in 1990, it could have gotten fixed without causing a major crash. (which it will, inevitably)

My advice to you, personally, Bill, would be to forget about the government and the media, and do what you can do to protect you and yours. Make sure you have a safe place for yourself and your family, that your community will be safe, and if not then MOVE to somewhere where you will be safe. Forget about taxes and charades and save your own ass in whatever way you feel appropriate!

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), August 16, 1998.

I am a firm believer in forwarned is forarmed. I think if the administration came out now in a responsible way and held a fireside chat that was done correctly it would be accepted by the population at large and everyone would, in a controlled way, begin to prepare correctly for the comming situation. This would be responsible because it limit the deaths that are going to be caused by this, like when medical and pharmicuetical supplies that are needed cannot be obtained. It is irresponsible and negligant not to get people moving in the right direction. It is true there is still a lot of time however, so I'll concede that Clinton may be playing a wait and see game to give the private sector a chance to use thier resources. If they get enough done so the prognosis is good at, say, the six month mark out from the event horizon he will not have to do anything and a panic will have been avoided. If on the otherhand he senses panic starting and the prognosis looks bad then in order to prevent damage he will have the fireside chat. Being a politician I would think he will play his cards close to the vest, hedge his bets and wait until more is known (the outcome and level of damage is still in question). Then as more information is known at some time that still allows enough opportunity for preparation (I'm betting on the six month mark) he will move. So in retrospect I guess I'm thinking its still to early in the game and that he'll work behind the scenes until more is known.

-- Slammer (Noidea@Nodda.com), August 18, 1998.

I'm not sure about the US, but here in the UK apart from maybe a few people connected with IT no-one but no-one believes y2k will be apocalypse now, including politicians. No-one has an inkling of what would happen in the event of wholescale failure of computer systems. They believe that any problems will be fixed, they don't really believe there are any problems in the first place! Most people don't even think about it. No-one believes there could be a break down of the infrastructure. British Politicians don't believe this, I reckon Clinton doesn't really believe it either. If you explain the y2k to many people outside IT it doesn't sound life-threatening just silly. The thought of Americans quite rightly taking y2k precautions is widely regarded by the Brits as a joke. But after all what do you have to lose if it doesn't happen (after stocking up etc) a few dollars, a small amount of egg on the face. A few "I told you so's".

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), August 18, 1998.

I have just finished looking at the Y2K site for NY state gov. Among other interesting things, there was the High Priority system list and status. On one pretty "slide", they show a chart about person years (pc all the way!) of work completed, and remaining. Then that they are 38% complete; 69 out of 325 systems are compliant.

Look at it: http://www.irm.state.ny.us/yr2000/status.htm

Maybe I'm just confused by the chart.. but my hand calculator says 69 out of 325 = 21%. Not a good sign. Typical, from my extensive experience with fed & state info disemination, but not comforting.

I found it through this site: http://www.state.or.us/IRMD/y2k/other.htm

Check it out. It has the links to most other states. I presume the states that aren't included don't have sites?

-- Losing Sleep (LS) (lavoierd@gisco.net), August 18, 1998.


I enjoy your posts. Fun fun fun cracked me up. Outstanding.

Could you tell me why I keep having this vision of Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper over his head proclaiming "Peace in our time"? Whats with the Brits, anyway?

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), August 18, 1998.

"I'm from the government, I'm here to help."

Many people from previous generations not only scorned these words, they waited outside with shotguns loaded. I believe Mr. Yourdon has said that waiting for the government to fix Y2K is like waiting for pigs to fly. Also I've said, it's not prudent to try to teach pigs to sing...we are insulting pigs in our comparison. Bureaucracies are not for solving problems...they are for making paper and more problems....I agree with one of the previous posts...look after you and yours, and whatever community you want to help and forget any aid from the bureaucrats. As was said in the movie Airplane, "They bought their ticket, I say, Let 'em crash."

-- Donna Barthuley (moment@pacbell.net), August 18, 1998.

There is a lot of good y2k remediation work being done in the UK, and has been for a number of years. Much of it will be completed before the deadline, how much we will never know. As usual all organisations are saying that they will be finished code fixing by 31/12/1998 leaving 1999 for testing/implementation, heard that one before. EVERY company/organisation I am a customer of with have said exactly the same thing. They have told their non-IT employees the same. There is no real opportunity for Brits to become self-sufficient as there is little available property, except for a few crofts in the Shetland Islands or perhaps some small farms. There is no real tradition of self-sufficiency at all over here, people will expect the Govt to solve the problem. They are the furthest behind! The current government lost much momentum with their y2k initiatives (if you can call them that) as they sat on the problem for about 10 months after the election, disbanded the work of the previous Govt (since 1996) then Blair started trumpeting y2k from about March 1998. If you look at the UK Govt reports on their website you see that for example the Dept Social Secuirty has spent #12M so far out of #45M budget. No indication of how many man years work they've done, how much to do, how many progs working on it. Dept of Defence has not spent anything yet according to the Report (but have #200M budget). Defence is not a priority for a socialist govt.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), August 20, 1998.


I disagree with you. No one can panic for 16 months. The truth of the level of risk we all face should be told, NOW.

Would it take great conviction that y2k is a problem?


Would it take great faith that we as a people can deal with hard truths?


Are these critical factors present in today's leadership?


Which is why nothing will be said. Sixteen months is a better lead time than sixteen weeks. Time for industries that provide necessary goods and services to respond to the increased demand. That means more would live.

What you advocate will be the way it is done. But that plan is STILL wrong. Many more people will die because your opinion is held at the hightest levels.

Preach preparedness! More importantly, practice what you preach. We will all be faced with either shooting or feeding.

Which will you do?


-- Will Huett (willhuett@usa.net), August 21, 1998.


What you say is of course the logical path to follow. I simply do not think that is the way the government will play it out. I have received messages from Australia where their govt. is making nightly TV spots warning the people about y2k. The gentleman who wrote me says that no body cares. All they want is more beer and good television. A gentleman from the UK also wrote me and said pretty much about the English public. If no one is going to believe it or worry about it enough to prepare, then perhaps the best thing to do is keep the people ignorant and peaceful for as long as possible. (Look how many Americans think that Clinton is still doing a good job) As far as shooting or feeding goes, I have more bullets than food. I wish there were some posters here from Australia and Western Europe who could tell us how their citizens are handling this issue.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), August 21, 1998.

OK, Let's play "what if":

What if the US embassy attacks in Africa were staged by the US?

What if the US then "retaliates" for these attacks?

What if the US manages to then start a real, escalated (though contained) conflict with assorted Third World terrorists states?

What if the US government then places the US on a "hyper-terrorist state of alert" or perhaps even a "war footing"?

What if putting the US on a "war footing" is the only logical -- though very indirect -- method of gaining voluntary control and the coordinated efforts of the US population during the Y2k transition, plus having the added benefit of keeping terrorist states on a short leash during this period?

For entertainment purposes only -- just playing "what if"...

-- Nathan Hale (nospam@all.org), August 22, 1998.

I was watching Ed Yardeni, a gentleman from the GAO and a few others discussing Y2K with some businessmen last night on C-Span2. There were a few questions about the media, and when the president will tell the American people about Y2K. They said we will probably be informed "when we have more information." I ask you Mr. Yardeni...How much more information do we need???

-- Dave (dave22@concentric.net), August 22, 1998.


Could you elaborate on your "what if" scenario? The "war footing" part... You think big. I had only gotten as far as the US staging the attacks so that Clinton could save face with regards to the Lewinsky media frenzy.

Laura Lee

-- Laura Lee (LauraELee@compuserve.com), August 25, 1998.

Laura Lee,

Sorry, nothing to expand, really -- simply brain-storming along the thread's topic using current events.

It just seems truly odd that the USA would bomb two countries with apparently no prior discussion with any other nation in response to a "suspicion" of dual embassy attacks for which there is no proof, or at least no proof that the can be "made public". Something's amiss here.

It "could" be Monica related, but I don't think the joint-chiefs would buy into this, unless they're that gung-ho to blow things up! The whole situation is very mysterious, the response to the embassies was awkwardly conducted, and the response far-too offensive and crude.

It is as if the USA is begging for a much wider, much deeper conflict -- an escalation that I feel very few Americans would approve of. On top of that, numerous times since my original post I've heard several members of the State Dept. indicating that we should "prepare for a long term war on terrorism". This is extremely odd, in that we've had ongoing threats and periodic incidents on the terrorist front for years -- no, make that forever. You know and I know, there's no "winning" a war with terrorists, and challenging them will only provoke them further. Such a public stance is unbelievable.

IMO, something else is going on under the covers, hence my tenuous linkage to Y2k issues.

-- Nathan Hale (nospam@all.org), August 25, 1998.

Nathan: You are right. something doesn't ring true with all of the recent events. All of a suddern the threat is so great that we had to act immediatley. Clinton had to make his dramatic news statement to waiting reporters (who I heard were watching "wag the dog" while they were waiting) Announcements about this being a long drawn out action against terrorism. Americans have never abandoned a president in wartime. Maybe he knew that he was going to be facing the "Cuban Cigar Crisis" sooner than we did? All I know is that I am getting that feeling that someone, the govt, is peeing in my boot and smiling at me while he does it.

-- Bill Solorzano (notaclue@webtv.net), August 25, 1998.


I believe the "war on terrorism" is only marginally Clinton-related, at best.

The reason I say this is that the Republicans, from one end of the party to the other, "support" President Clinton and his "decisive response" -- and this at one of his weaker moments! This alone raises my eyebrows several feet.

When have the Reps ever supported Clinton on anything military? They've been all over him for Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, and Bosnia -- whether bombing or not.

Congress and Executive branch all appear to be reading off the same page -- interesting...

-- Nathan Hale (nospam@all.org), August 25, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ