What do you think the govt will do if TSHTF?

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OK, lets just suppose: Its 11:58 in NYC on 12/31/99. The crowd in Times Square looks a little nervous, and the talking heads interviewing the crowd have been making jokes about Y2K nerves tonight. The countdown begins, the ball starts to drop, but halfway down it stops. The lights on the ball go out. The announcer starts to make a joke, but stops in dismay as the street lights and building lights go out across the Square. He says something about their backup generator kicking in, but then snow covers the picture. Then the network kicks in with an announcement that all coverage of Times Square has cut off due to technical difficulties, and then the announcements of disaster begin to roll off, rail stoppages, air crashes, riots and etc. Then the TV cuts to snow, and its only an hour till midnight where you live. What will the govt do if this happens?

Myself, I figure the prez will have 3 or 4 executive orders prepared and on his desk ready to be signed. If the White House emergency generators kick in at midnight, he'll sign them, otherwise you will never hear about them. The first one will declare a state of national emergency, and order FEMA to take control for the duration of the emergency. The second will activate the National Guard and military, and declare the US under martial law. The third will authorize and order FEMA to cooperate with the military in identifying and conscripting citizens with necessary skills and knowledge to fix matters for the duration of the emergency. The emergency powers act gave the prez and FEMA this authority, and it doesn't require any action by Congress to put into effect.

And since I am in the Federal database as a Y2K tech, I will get a knock on the door a day or two later and told 'come with us'.

Anyway, that is what I think will happen if it really hits the fan. What do you think the govt will do?

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), September 19, 1998


They won't wait till then. My guess is a National State of Emergency will be declared mid-1999 at the latest. President Gore declare y2k the nations top priority. Panic will have already griped the nation.(bank runs, food storage, etc..) Gore will give the impression that if we all work together, this problem can be solved in time. Gore is elected in November riding the "time of crisis" bandwagon. Martial law could come soon after that, once he is assured the presidency. By now banks have been able to limit the amounts of cash you withdraw. $100 bills (2/3 of currency in circulation and rising) will not be accepted by most merchants (they can't make change) Your visa cards are all suspended, due to the uncertian future. This could all happen before TSHTF. On a more positive note, we will survive this. There will most likly be emergency food and water sites, rationing of fuel, emegency shelters in areas of the country with deadly cold weather. Look for long term, massive unemployment with no benifits, bank failures (except those "too big to fail"), depression type living for a couple of years. Then a slow climb out of this mess and into a y2k compliant future.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), September 19, 1998.

They'll do what they do best, that which they are doing now - talk talk talk talk blame blame blame blame....

I do think Gore will be Prez, and he will probably have some EO's ready to go. Who knows what they'll be. It would make sense to implement them in advance, especially if there were no way to get the word out after midnight 1/1/00. Not that the Fed. Gov. always does "sensible" things...

-- Mike (gartner@execpc.com), September 19, 1998.

If TSHTF in a really big way, Uncle Sam (my evil twin, who still hates me for being moms favorite) will be just as discombobulated as everyone, and everything, else. I suspect that we would be wise to discount very much in the way of help or hurt from the Feds.

There are not enough troops to enforce martial law everywhere, so I expect that even if ML comes to pass it would be restricted to the largest cities. That does not mean that it would not be declared nationwide, only that ML would have very little teeth for most people. I believe that where you live, and the type of people in your community, will have a much larger effect on what happens to you and yours, than what the spin-miesters in DC want to see happen.

I agree with Mike and Bill that Que sera would be in place well before 1/1/2000. The Federales` will not wait until everything is down, before implementing their plans.

Depending on the situation with utilities, there might not even be a New Years Rocking Eve, and for once Dick Clark might need to find a new gig in a safer place. I dont believe that he, or Ed McMahon would jeopardize their safety if things looked to get really gloomy. Times Square might be under ML with a curfew by then, for all we know. I pity the people who have made big bucks party reservations in LA and NYC, methinks that the best-laid plans might somehow go awry.

If things should reach the point of ML and widespread chaos, a few years depression and slow climb to a compliant future is an optimistic statement. Things will not be the same for a very, very long time, if ever.

It will reflect the old saying, You cant go home again

-- Uncle Deedah (oncebitten@twiceshy.com), September 19, 1998.

Uh, just a point of clarification: Unless WJC resigns or is impeached, the earliest Gore could become president is January 20, 2001, assuming he runs and wins in the November 2000 presidential election. Several months ago the New York Post ran a satirical y2k article mentioning "president-elect" Gore addressing the nation in January 2000. Even the pros get it wrong every so often. One of the fears I've heard emntioned on this forum and others is that Clinton will cancel the November 2000 elections -- allegedly because y2k will make voting impossible -- and declare himself president for the duration. So there's another scenario of what might happen if TSHTF.

-- J.D. Clark (yankeejdc@aol.com), September 19, 1998.

I think that's why its very unlikely that Gore will be elected in Nov 2000 voting. The disruptions occurring in Jan-Apr (?) of 2000, if the Republicans tell the story right, and if the national media reports it right (neither very likely) will show the massive corruptions and lack of preparations by the government.

The AARP and Social Security and other government-paid types who depend on Uncle Sam will find their "fair haired" boys had 8 years to fix the problem and did nothing.

There isn't enough federal "anything" to support the number of people who might need help: 250 millions of mouths can't be fed that way. They can't get water that way, and they can't get power that way. It HAS to be done through the existing infrastructure and systems.

See, that is the essential "problem" with almost all government responses I've seen to date.

They (the leaders) have for so long been able to "write laws" or make demads on what to do and how to do it that they they think that this will also solve the Y2K problem. But all their experience has been with "compliant" things (people and easily modified behavior) that can be "dominated" into compliance. (And of course we know how well behavior actually changes when people don't want to comply.)

For example: I want to improve the stock market = I lower interest rates. I want to lower speed limits to 55 mph = I write laws + have police to enforce them = most people drive slower. I want more government spending = I promise more government benefits to some people = I raise taxes on other people = I get more government spending. I run out of time to build a new building = I change the schedule. I want a limo at my door at 8:03 am = I tell my hirelings to get it there = they scramble to find limo = I get my limo.

I want the Y2K problem to go away = I make speech = I tell my department heads to fix problem = they tell their managers to fix problem = they tell their programmers to fix problem = it goes away, right? After all "I" said we were going to solve the problem. Right?

Problem is: the Y2K issue is a terribly complicated series of systems-interface design and software engineering problems. in the infrastructure and economy affecting every part of our country. It can only be fixed by either aborting the systems affected (triage), or by fixing them, or by replacing them. There are no other choices. There are no politically-correct solutions. There are no schedule slips possible. They can't talk their way out of or around it. They can't legislate against it: it isn't "people" == they can't control it, and they can't prevent it.

There is nothing a politician can "do" except plan ahead. And, if they plan ahead (openly), they are admitting they failed to prevent it, and so they are admitting they are responsible for the coming failures in government services and "networks".


Programmers say it can't be fixed = managers tell department heads it can't be fixed = department heads tell me it can't be fixed = I tell nation "We are fixing the problem, don't worry, vote for me, because you need me to fix the Y2K problems that are so bad and were caused by the other guys because they did not let me fix the problem because I care, sio if you don't vote for me they will not fix the problem ....."

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), September 20, 1998.

I was under the impression that if Martial Law was declared, the Presidency could not change hands. Doesn't that mean that if TSHTF any time in last quarter 99 or first quarter 00, WJC is president until it's over?

-- margie mason (mar3mike@aol.com), September 20, 1998.

WJC is DOA. After this coming week the chances of him being in office past 01/01/99 are slim to none.

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), September 20, 1998.

All bets are off. Read Walter Russel Mead's article on the global economic collapse in October's Esquire. We're headed for rough waters without Y2k, people - it's going to hit us when we're down. Russia, Asia, Latin America, Japan - they are all willing to blame the economic collaps AND Y2k on the U.S.A.. There is a whole lot of nuke/bio/chem technology floating around, and a lot of pissed off, starving people who thought they were going to get rich and are now looking at the US island of -temporary- prosperity, all pumped-up with foreign capital (formerly "theirs") seeking a safe-haven in our markets. WE HAVE LOST OUR FOREIGN MARKETS. THE CLOCK HAS BEEN SET BACK A HALF-CENTURY. As Soros says, "the fabric of global capitalism is unravelling." It's a massive contraction, unprecedented, because this level of globalization of capital is unprecedented. We've never been this dependent on foreign markets - ever. The other shoe has yet to drop, and when it does, it will make 1930 look like a wee cash-flow problem. We'll have price controls, rationing, etc., well before Y2k, and afterward the US will be one armed encampment. To those who say "the army isn't big enough to enforce martial law" I say: "conscription," and "population reduction." Nothing simpler, and it's been planned for. So don't worry: the your government will "take care of you" - but perhaps not in the way you're expecting...


-- E. Coli (nunayo@beeswax.com), September 21, 1998.

There are many possibilites and how they are played out will depend on the present circumstances that we are in at that time, the resources that exist for the government to play out their plans and the state of the nation at the time it happens (as in civil rioting brought on by starving masses, threats of attack by our enemies abroad, etc.

The idea that much depends on where you live is considerably a heavy weight. If you live in a farming community there will probably be plenty of food to go around with people helping each other as a way of life. If you live in a community where the mayor wants to be the gestapo, I think you're in for some unwelcomed government leadership beyond what we consider democracy. I agree that the plans are already in place as well as the papers to be signed, but as in everything it will effectually be worked out as the circumstances unroll. Just my opinion.

-- M.Doe (M.Doe@usa.net), September 25, 1998.

E. Coli mentions conscription & population reduction as a means of making martial law stick. I can see it now.

January 4, 2000....

*ring* "Colonel Klink speaking!"

"Klink! This is General Confusion! We need to draft 100,000 recruits right away!"

"Yessir, General!"

(Col. Klink turns to the computer on his desk, punches a few keys. He scowls, turns back to the phone, dials a number."

"Sgt. Schultz! Why isn't the computer working?"

The power is off, sir!"

(Klink looks around his office.) "I knew *that*, Schultz! But the General wants 100,000 draftees yesterday! Get me a database printout!" (Hangs up.)

(Schultz turns to a private in the dimly-lit datacenter.)

"Klink needs a list of conscripts! How are we going to get it?"

(Private reaches under his desk, pulls out a stack of fanfold paper.) "I printed this out a week ago, sir. Just in case."

(Schultz rushes the printout to Klink, who skims the listing.) "Excellent work, Schultz! Now all we need are some working trucks and a few thousand gallons of fuel...."

-- Larry Kollar (lekollar@nyx.net), September 28, 1998.

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