de Jager, 'getting soft', and TEOTWAWKI : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

At the risk of seeming a worse 'heretic' than I already must be perceived to be, I have to pretty much agree with 'Woe Is Me', in the "What's up with de Jager?" thread. What I opined last week about the dangers of 'negative groupthink', I still fully believe. As in, 100%.

(Mr. Yourdon, was sure surprised to see you respond to that in person! But if good thought was stimulated; and it was; then cool beans)

Much has been said about Mr. P. de Jager's supposed 'softening' on the Y2K issue. Peter de Jager has been at this business of Y2K trumpeting longer than anyone else (please correct me if wrong). Just because he has seen some light at the end of the tunnel does not mean that he has become 'soft'; unless the perceiver is one who does not want to see light at the end of the tunnel.

As Sir Winston Churchill once said, "There are men in the world who derive as stern an exaltation from the proximity of disaster and ruin, as others from success."

Do some people desire disaster from Y2K? I sometimes wonder about that. I've read Gary North quotes in which he stated as much; but I still respect his efforts in getting the word out, whatever his opinions may be on what may happen in the end. I've sent him e-mail alerts on news stories, and admire what he does in archiving pertinent Y2K up-to-the-date stuff. But I do not agree with his end-of-the-world views, and have told him so, flat-out. We still correspond, though; he's not PO'ed that I don't share his views. I'm not PO'ed that he doesn't share mine. By the same token, those who hold with the worst-case scenario on this or any other forum should respect those who don't share that view. And vice versa.

That's what I was trying to get at in my ill-fated post last week ("Flame Target"), which was much misunderstood and much misamplified, largely due to my failure to express points adequately (even got a free psychoanalysis from one well-meaning fellow...thank you for the thoughts! My self-esteem is just fine, BTW). Many people posted many good answers, some not so good, but still the feeling I came away with was that the worst-case scenario is still the one that makes sense for too many people participating in this forum. And that is sad. Defeatist, even, in my estimation. And, evidently, in the estimation of Mr. de Jager as well.

But Mr. De Jager is not alone. Dr. Edward Yardeni, who is universally acknowledged as a Y2K alarmist, came out as optimistic as he ever has, in his September 21st Y2K Reporter. Read it for yourself. (Is in PDF format -- need Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Also, Lou Marcoccio of the Gartner Group testified before Sen. Bob Bennett's Senate Y2K Committee this past Wednesday, Oct. 7th. While he talked dismally about Y2K preparedness in many countries outside our (U.S.) borders, one graphic was quite revealing about what the Gartner Group now thinks of our chances in the U.S. That testimony is at

Some highlights from the Gartner testimony:

In the U.S. --

The categories of 'power loss/brownouts'....'telephone operation interrupted'....'natural gas interruptions'....'certain foods - shortage'....'water shortage or interruptions'....'bank interruptions or panics'....and 'unrest'...

are all forecasted to be 'isolated and minor'. Doesn't sound like TEOTWAWKI to me. This also holds true for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden, and the U.K.

Check it out for yourself.

Previous pessimistic Gartner Group findings have been widely quoted by those who see Y2K as TEOTWAWKI, or those who promote the worst-case. Will these more optimistic findings now be as widely quoted by the same people? Huh?

Gartner Group says other countries will not fare so well. Granted. Point is, is that there is some good news in the Y2K arena. To ignore this good news in the blind pursuit of one's TEOTWAWKI agenda is at best ignorant, and at worst, criminal. When there are people coming to this forum in search of answers who might be new to the problem; for these folks to see nothing but gloom and doom when there are other better indicators -- that, to me, is criminal negligence. Period. Paragraph.

While we're on the subject of Sen. Bob Bennett, here's a quote from his speech at the National Press Club on July 15th:

"I believe we're going to win; that is I think that civilization as we know it is not going to come to an end. It's a possibility. Possibility, if Y2K were this weekend instead of 76 weekends from now, it would. But we have 76 weeks in which to try to get this under control."

Now we have 63 weeks. But people are hard at work on it. Sen. Bennett thinks we'll win. Is he an idiot? Ed Yardeni is more optimistic than he was formerly. So is the Gartner Group. So is Peter de Jager. Have all of these experts just all of a sudden simultaneously gone bonkers? Huh? I just don't think so. All of us armchair admirals have a better feel for this stuff than they do? Yeah right.

We have a responsibility here to be open to ALL news, not just the bad gloom-and-doom variety. Truth will win out, of course; it always does in the end. I'm certainly not advocating putting on a happy-face where none is warranted by the facts. We all face serious problems with Y2K, by any measure. I'm planning on short-term food/water storage, alternative heating, etc. Already have it in place. Yep. And am telling my family and friends to do the same, as they'll listen. BUT I don't want to get so caught up in the gloom-and-doom that I don a death mask that will shut out rays of light. Do you?

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, October 12, 1998



I read your recent post questioning the integrity of those of use who believe that y2k will lead to economic disaster. If fact, you went even farther when you considered our position bordering on criminal negligence. Those are mighty strong words from someone who offered no actual evidence that things are indeed getting better other than your strident insistence that because (in your opinion) a few big name y2k "experts" have begun to soften their position, we should now repent and "keep the faith". Your post is an excellent example of the kind of naive "thinking" that has lead this, once great, country astray. Mindless acceptance of what our leadship is saying without doing ones homework is a recipe for disaster, and you don't have to look very far to be inundated with examples. We all have an agenda, whether we realize it or not. Don't you think the people you named have theirs? When crunch time gets close, don't you think they would rather be associated with an optimistic "search for a solution" rather than pessimism and defeat? When things start to get rough blaming the messenger will become the next olympic sport, particularly from a population that get its facts from 20 second sound bites.

John, there is NO substitute for hard work and clear thinking. So instead of lashing out with another barage of vindictive fluff, let's get off the dime and start using our collective brain cells. Please help us all understand your optimism by responding to the following:

*a list of compliant institutions which have been verified by a third party. * An explanation as to how corporations will be able to TEST their data exchange methods when the VAST majority have not (and approx. 50% do not plan to) begun testing their own internal systems. * How the embedded systems problem will be overcome when (with about 14 months to go) about 10% of business and government agencies have only BEGUN to look at this extremely time (and personnel) consuming problem. * How electric and telecom operations can adequately test equipment that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Roger Altman

-- Dr. Roger Altman (, October 12, 1998.

John, please stop shooting yourself in the foot. You use nebulous terms "worst case scenario, TEOTWAWKI," and then wonder why people don't agree with you.

You're miffed because "......but still the feeling I came away with was that the worst-case scenario is still the one that makes sense for too many people participating in this forum. And that is sad."

You then apply the words 'ignorant, criminal, criminal negligence' to anyone who chooses not to jump up and down, cheering, at every hint that a line of code got fixed, e.g., to anyone who disagrees with you. Those who choose not to agree with you are said to have a "TEOTWAWKI agenda." Get serious, John, we're not ignorant, criminal, conspiracy freaks in this forum.

In another post you agree with de Jager's use of the term 'coward' to define people who take actions that don't meet with your approval -- withdrawing money from the bank or leaving population centers.

OK, this comes from (by your definition) an ignorant, criminal, negligent, coward. I'll try to be a little more civil than you, and not get personal, but you are making it very difficult with your intemperate and ill considered remarks.

First, John, our preparations are not sad if the end result is anything less than severe. Yes, if the end result is a bump in the road, some of us will have prepared too much, and spent too much time and effort on those preparations, food donations will rise dramatically. That isn't sad.

Second, de Jager hasn't softened on Y2K. He still believes we're in deep trouble. What he has done is try to suggest that everything can fail but we'll still be in great shape, so don't panic (as in taking your money out of the bank.) He's defined our new civilization as not being highly dependent on computers, so that they can fail without much impact. Do everything manually, you know.

Third, read Bennett's quote carefully: "I believe we're going to win; that is I think that civilization as we know it is not going to come to an end." Let's look at that last part, the one on which he bases, ".....we're going to win." The Senator also mentions having extra stores on hand, although he states he isn't ready yet to tell Americans to head for the hills.

You don't define the terms you throw around so casually. What is worst case, John? Until you've defined it, please don't use it. The same with TEOTWAWKI.

Worst case, (and TEOTWAWKI) to me, is the death of millions of people, with entire continents blacked out for several weeks, the loss of major parts of the infrastructure for years, and a society that reverts to a 1930s (or before) level of sophistication. It would include the collapse of our banking system.

Now, I don't expect worst case. [May happen, but don't expect it.] But, I do expect to have to draw on stored food and water supplies, I do expect to need auxilliary power generation. And, I don't expect the banking system to survive without spite of the wave of propaganda that will be released by the banking industry to try to convince the public otherwise. I also realize that we -- in my community -- have a local 911 system that is vulnerable to failure, that police electronics may be deficient, and that a neighbor might just need emergency attention after January 1, 2000, so I am concerned about emergency communications.

OK, I guess I'm just an ignorant, criminal, coward. Rather be that than a cold, starving hero.

rocky, who continues to object to people who resort to name calling, whether their names be Howard or de Jager, and who continues to urge his church and neighbors to be always ready.

-- rocky (, October 12, 1998.


-- rocky (, October 12, 1998.

what's with this underline control?

-- rocky (, October 12, 1998.

Oh, for the good ol' days, when you could tell who was a Y2K optimist (or in denial), and who was a doom-and-gloomer. de Jager is just no longer credible, quite frankly -- at a bare minimum he should now explain how his earlier forecasts (1993 and onward) no longer apply. Sen Bennet is no longer credible either -- I mean, come on, that 17 hour "alert" stuff is just plain wacky! As we get ever closer to when TEOTWAWKI, and even Y2K optimists start realizing that, gee, there is still today not a single Y2K compliant elec utility, not a single Y2K compliant telecomm, not a single Y2K compliant ... then this kind of silliness will get even more insulting to our intelligence.

-- Jack (, October 12, 1998.

Please read John Kenneth Galbraith's OP-ED piece in today's NYTimes:

Overlay Y2K, Euro conversion, GPS, etc. You will see that the coming crash is economic and monetary policy in nature, not technical. The technical aspects will simply exacerbate the problem (to crisis proportions). We need to look at the big picture...

-- pshannon (, October 12, 1998.

Don't be so hard on John, there are some of us who can't think about this without feeling like our heads are going to explode, especially when everyone around us is in denial. Let John cling to his hope, sometimes it's the only thing a person has.

-- Amy Leone (, October 12, 1998.


I agree with Rocky, I feel roughly the same way about the coming events. I don't think it's "the end" simply because we won't lose any (well, not very much anyway), of our physical infrastructure. This is, for the most part, an information event. It is timed to coincide with other events, world economy troubles, meteor showers, syn cycles etc. which will greatly exacerbate the effects of each event. I also expect to see quite a lot of panic from a people,in most countries including ours, who don't have a clue but will be very upset by no food at the stores etc. We in the states are used to having everything instantly available and for some folks anyway always there at little or no cost. This will probaly change. To what extent neither I nor you know, but it will change. I wish that this would all just go away - but it won't and I can't bet my family's future, literaly their lives, on a possible non event scenario when everything tells me otherwise, even the old "cold feeling in the gut".

We are in a war with an uncaring, unfeeling, unthinking device of our creation. To the extent that we cannot fix all of the systems everywhere in the time remaining, while trying to shore up every economy in the world at the same time, we will have troubles.

I cannot do anything but prepare for TEOTWAWKIN. I, like everyone else, am damn glad to hear of every new forecast which shows that we are making progress. But so is the calendar. If I am wrong I will have spent some additional money over and above what I would have to spend anyway. O.K. so be it. If I, and the others that you paint with your brush, are correct, you and your family are dead. You are willing to make the bet - I'm not.

Just be sure that you understand that you are indeed in a war. It is real and all of the marbles are in the pot on this one and you have to pay whatever the price is going to be. I try to lessen the costs to me. You do as you wish.

But I still don't feel like I am A doom and gloom fanatic, I just feel that there is not enough of a reason to change from what I see as a probability to what you see as a possibility.

I hope you are right. I'm afraid that I am.


-- sweetolebob(La) (, October 12, 1998.

Even though I think deJager is a cheerleader and laughed at his call to man the rail switches with lanterns, maybe he is doing it for a reason other than book peddling, which I have accused him of. Maybe he does not want to yell TEOTWAWKI because he fears people would give up hope and not do a damn thing about fixing Y2K problems. I can give him credit for that.

-- Dave (, October 12, 1998.


Again you begin a post with an open ended invitation for posts contrary to your point of view;

"At the risk of seeming a worse 'heretic' than I already must be perceived to be" and "the dangers of 'negative groupthink', I still fully believe. As in, 100%"

YOU call yourself a "heretic".

Why are you visiting Y2K websites?

Why do you post on Y2K websites?

Why do you write such an inflamatory post?

Why do YOU feel the need to try to EDUCATE the rest of us?

Don't worry about us and our "negative groupthink". We are not your concern and we don't need to be educated by you. Except for the person who has just begun to become aware, most of us have been studying y2k and the cause and effects that *could* occur.

Why do you feel the need to preach to us? YOU are the person focusing ONLY on the doom and gloom mentioned in posts that often reflect very, very positive information and often enlightened spiritual feelings. YOU focus in on the negative posts.

I have a suggestion for you, visit the "what about you" thread and you'll find that everyone, EVERYONE hopes that y2k will be nothing more than a bump in the road. NO parent, including myself, wants to see their children suffer. Parents want their children to have BETTER lives than they did.

I can answer ALL those why questions above with one simple answer.

YOU are in DENIAL. But, that's just part of the process. We've all been there and went through the depression and the realization.

Do want the experts opionion? Go here;

Here's a quote I'll share with you,

"Joe Boivin. Ranking of problem: June 1998- 9.5. August 1998- 9.6. October 1998- 9.7. Canadian, Year 2000 banking and management expert. Former Director of Year 2000 program for Canada's second largest bank (CIBC). President of the Global Millennium Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, organization committed to developing national and global level solutions to the Year 2000 technological crisis."

visit the link and get his assessment and why he has increased his ranking...

Point of fact. It is already the position of the government of CANADA (where de Jegar calls home) that y2k has the capacity to be a catasrophe so severe it could create chaos. Canada has already stated they will pull their military from deployment abroad and have them back home at the turn of the century. Canada has already had high level, military excercises called "project abacus" to test military contingencies. Canada has already said they will have their navy deployed and ready for the turn of the centruy. Canada has said ALL of this publicly.

The ONLY difference between Canada and the U.S. is that Canada is doing their preparations in PUBLIC. It is already known that the U.S. military is preparing for deployment *within* the U.S. The U.S. Government is currently holding hearings within both the House and the Senate to inquire as to the severity of the problems associated with Y2K disruptions. The CIA has said it is extremely concerned about the disruptions associated with Y2k.

You need to do some homework before you post this kind of fodder. The chances are that people in this forum search those sites you mentioned, just like you. Don't preach to US. Let US form our own conclusions.

YOU have used this term 'negative groupthink'. I completely disagree with your logic and the notion of you applying this term 'negative groupthink' to a group of people who share a connection via the internet is really interesting.

Do you think that, as a collective, WE have the numbers to truly impact the majority of the population of the U.S., North America, the WORLD? Is that your argument here? That is an interesting assumption. Especially considering that poll after Y2K poll shows that WE are in the minority.

Maybe you should read. We are posting divergent thoughts about many, many issues directly related to *our* views of what the impact of y2k *might* be. We are engaging in positive debate, thoughts on preparedness, and building insurance for ourselves and our families. Do YOU think this is "negative"? How could this be negative?

John, if you believe this is "negative" then why are YOU here? Because you're either not educated about the problem, you're in denial or you want to disrupt the forums with YOUR 'negative onethink'.

You end your post in a very strange way.

"We all face serious problems with Y2K, by any measure. I'm planning on short-term food/water storage, alternative heating, etc. Already have it in place. Yep. And am telling my family and friends to do the same, as they'll listen."

What are you after John? A pat on the back? Some happy face sticker? Buying time for your friends and family to get stocked up before the panic starts?

Your actions in preparing are in themselves contrary to your ENTIRE post. You're speaking out of BOTH sides of your mouth, much like de Jager is now.

The bottom line IS that there is much useful information regarding y2k found on the internet in Government websites and forums like this. You don't need to read Gary North to appreciate the links to articles he provides.

"Now we have 63 weeks. But people are hard at work on it."

If that makes YOU feel comfortable than please, keep your positive outlook and don't feel the need to preach to us about your perceptions. We're all intelligent adults capable of educating ourselves and drawing our own conclusions.

For many, "Now we have 63 weeks. But people are hard at work on it" provides little comfort.

Feeling comfortable about the

-- Michael Taylor (, October 12, 1998.

Feeling comfortable about the y2k problem is what got us into this mess in the first place.

(I hate it when that provided by Microsoft!!!)


-- Michael Taylor (, October 12, 1998.

Michael's words ring harsh, but ring true. Well said.

-- Jack (, October 12, 1998.


I dont know what the exact outcome of all of this will be, and the same can be said for anyone with an opinion on this issue. What is the chance of total meltdown? NOBODY KNOWS! 1%-99% pick a number. So I am preparing for the worst, as best I can. It makes this coward feel better.

If I was to be caught with my pants down, because I chose to put my head in the sand, THAT would be criminal. Telling others Oh dont worry about it, which might leave them terribly exposed in the worst case, THAT would be criminal. Being skeptical about good news is a trait to be admired, considering the way that the American public is LIED to on a daily basis by those in positions of authority.

Now I will leave you with this final thought: Opinions are like a$$holes, everybody has one!

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 12, 1998.

Super! Now that we've all reach a consensus, can we get back to work?


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 12, 1998.

John, I am a recent newbie to this forum, but not of Y2K issues. I've done my research and keep on researching everyday. Dr. Altman and Michael Tyalor expressed my feelings very well.

What deJager, Yardeni and Bennett have been saying to the public recently just does NOT jive at all with the facts anymore. Heck, it doesn't even jive with what they're telling each other, and Y2K officials/leaders as recently as last month. Now, if you tell me that one month made a huge difference in the state of Y2K affairs from a total empending disaster to such optimistic outcomes, then I'll tell you that you're gullible and unrealistic when it comes to numbers and simply what is humanly possible to accomplish within defined periods of time. For deJager and Yardeni to be toning down their stances publicly is not hard to understand; our very national security is at stake, the government could very well be on their case to tone it down, because the DOD is not and will not be anywhere near ready in 2000, and as they've said themselves in Draft DoD Year 2000 Management Plan, ver. 2.0, September 15, 1998 " It is imperative that we incorporate into our pronouncements on the Y2K problem the utmost confidence in our ability to detect and react forcefully to such hostile actions, regardless of the reality of the situation."

The fact of the matter is, this forum does a great public service if it only saves a couple lives or even just makes life a little easier in the 2000 turn-over for those who've read it and took some precautions as with a contengency plan, which is what EVERY officials everywhere stress everyone should do. Contengency plans are not just for "corporations and businesses". A household IS a business, the business of raising children and managing one's life.

It is extremely irresponsible at this point in time, and to use your own words right back at you, criminal, to attempt to disuade people from preparing themselves to infrastructure failures when the whole government and experts know for sure there will be such failures to some extent, but uncertain to which extent.

I am an optimistic by nature. I am optimistic that considering all the sets of circumstances that brought us to this mess, we'll pull through with the best we could do, and we'll be ahead of the world. But I just can't predict, like all the experts, how good we've done and if it's good enough to keep my family safe, or our financial future safe. So with the knowledge I have of the situation, up to 2000, I'll keep adjusting my contengency plans accordingly.


-- Chris (, October 12, 1998.

John, first you posted this comment on another thread:

"If my bank fails due to Y2k bank runs, I will blame folks such as those on this forum who have told people they need to pull all of their money out of the banks. Not Y2K itself"

And now this thread. I don't understand you. According to your reasoning, if we have a shortage of food, it will be YOUR fault, John, because you have put aside extra food and are encouraging others to do so. We will all blame YOU, John, when the shelves are empty. Give me a break! The people who are preparing now are NOT the ones who are going to cause the problems.

Mr. de Jager got a reality check from lawyers who told him he would spend the rest of his life in court if he continued on with some of his former practices. That alone is enough to make a person back off from some of their "exuberance" and be really careful what they say.

I pray everytime I hear a good report that it is true and that things won't be as bad as what they look like now. Does that change my preparations? NO! I heard someone use the analogy that if 1,000,000 Pit Bulldogs were chasing you and 100 fell over dead, would you celebrate? Would you quit running?

Everyone on this forum has their own opinion of how bad things could be and will prepare to that extent. Your statement: "To ignore this good news in the blind pursuit of one's TEOTWAWKI agenda is at best ignorant, and at worst, criminal." really offends me! In my opinion there are very FEW, if ANY, on this forum who have a TEOTWAWKI agenda. What is YOUR agenda John?

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 12, 1998.


You said:

"Mr. de Jager got a reality check from lawyers who told him he would spend the rest of his life in court if he continued on with some of his former practices. That alone is enough to make a person back off from some of their "exuberance" and be really careful what they say."

Is this speculation, or was it published? I'd like to read about it if I can.

-- Mike (, October 12, 1998.

Whew! Smoke was curling out of my modem as I read all the above today! Lots of good input, however. I wonder how many of you are aware we do not need to wait til midnight, Dec. 31,'99 to discover if the dominoes fall over. Next April 1 Canada, Japan, and New York State will (hopefully) advance to their fiscal 2000 computerized records. April 6 is Great Britain's turn. That's just about 5 1/2 months away! And...many large businesses book their air travel a year in advance. Beginning next January, will airline and travel agency computers accept such? We shall see, won't we! In the meantime, we can keep building our larders, informing others, praying....and, I hope, cool those jets! This great granny gets concerned about so many, on this forum, getting so hot under the collar!

-- Holly Allen (, October 12, 1998.

What is his email address?

Seems to me it'd be more direct to just ask him. If there are legal issues/restrictions involved, trust him to tell us.

The price of being a profit is both dollars and responsibilities - you got to change the predictions as circumstances change. This isn't a psychic game, nor is it played out in the "frozen" past. Nobody "wins" for being proven right, the world may win for an expert being wrong (if by being "right" one gets enough people and governments to fix things ahead of time).

If so, then the best thing would be to be "proven" wrong in the initial predictions.

He has the right and responsibility to change predictions as they must be changed - and if changing prophecies changes profits, so be it.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 12, 1998.

Hi Mike! Here is a good place to start:

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 12, 1998.

How'd you like them apples...Welp now John, and Woe, you know. That settles it about deJager for me. Thanks Gayla.

-- Chris (, October 12, 1998.

To me, the most dissapointing thing about both this and the other deJager thread is the automatic and savage attacks on positive news. Some posters here have done a good job in trying to offer counter arguments and opinions. I respect and salute that. Others have adopted the Paul Milne "You're a butthead" approach. That is reprehensible and counterproductive. It's a shame that there are still a few folks out there who simply can't take the good along with the bad.

I was so encouraged by another thread that presented some good news (even had those dreaded two words in the title) and contained no savage attacks. Oh well.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 13, 1998.

Paul N.,

Read the post and the responses again. No one is attacking "good news"; they are responding to attacks on "negativism" and "doom and gloom" which imply that anyone self-reliant and prepared for the worst is wearing "a death mask that shuts out any ray of light." It's incredibly patronizing. For that, plus hypocrisy, John Howard IS (in this instance) being a butthead, and those he's insulted have every right to bring that fact to his attention.


-- E. Coli (, October 13, 1998.

"Time flys by when ..." you are trying to make sense of Y2K, and what you should be doing about it. Yes, people, there is much uneasiness, and will undoubtedly be more more to come! Y2K is not a static issue, it is a very dynamic and urgent one. The "heat" of this thread reflects this. I personally cannot look at Y2K today in the same way that I did a month ago, nor the way that I look at it today be the same way as a month from now -- I very much feel the "heat" of this being 445 days to go to 1/1/2000. When many who we have trusted, such as de Jager, start taking positions SEEMINGLY at odds with previous statements, this is all the more worrisome and confusing. If there is some wonderful good news that these recent statements are based on, or if there is some explanation as to why the previous statements were in error, we sure are not hearing it. TODAY, OCT 13, 1998: NOT ONE Y2K COMPLIANT BANK, NOT ONE Y2K COMPLIANT ELECTRIC UTILITY, NOT ONE COMPLIANT TELECOMM, ETC. Yes, people are indeed feeling the "heat"....

-- Jack (, October 13, 1998.

Just an observation here. It seems to me that maybe John Howard's use of "heretic" and "negative groupthink" stems from the religion debates that have occurred here. In addition, the "Born Again Christian" community seems to be ahead of the curve on Y2K awareness and that has shown up here and on TV in much the same way. I only say "Born Again Christian" here because I know of no other way to describe the group and in no way mean anything derogatory either by the term or the use of the quotation marks to describe it.

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 13, 1998.

John, I guess I don't see any of this as negative group think. I also see strides being made, although I do not think they will come in time to prevent a series of seemingly-insignificant-at-the-time disruptions that domino their way into a real mess, because of the interrelatedness of our whole economic, industrial and social structures AND because the public's perceptions of these disruptions can accelerate any discomfort into a real poop storm. Perhaps it is just that people process things differently, and are going thru different stages. Perhaps, early in awareness, the whole picture looks overwhelming and done for, and then as we process that information, some people express themselves by moving toward the "OK but THIS much is right..." camps, and others try to ferret out every possible scenario, including worse case, in order to feel more secure and prepared. If you talk to anyone in insurance, they can have you believeing, in "normal" times, that the sky is falling, and you're in for it.

Maybe that's it. I choose to believe the name calling was a mark of frustration on your part, and I wanted you to know that we all go through that, and support you through it.

-- Melissa (, October 13, 1998.

y2k isn't a religion. it isn't a problem created by God. It's a problem with deep roots in the failings of mankind.

I am not a "born again Christian". I am highly spiritual but I tend to resist organized religious thought or groups. I don't discount those beliefs or those that are the true believers. It is a personal issue. I do, however, believe in a higher power. That being said...

The thought that you would lump people into a group based upon an assumption that they all think the same and share some hidden, religious agenda is absolutely rediculous. Man... doesn't anyone read anymore? Is there no comprehension?

I would never blame God for y2k.

I don't really blame anyone for y2k. The bottom line is there is not enough time to fix the problems and there will be disruptions everywhere at the same time to some extent or another and the government, the corporations and others fully know this to be true... worldwide.

Those are the facts as we know them, October 13, 1998.

Get beyond denial.

That is where the frustration you read comes from. People who understand and who have done their research are frustrated by those that constantly lump them into groups with stupid, inane labels as a way to relieve their own fear and denial. ________________________________________________________

-- Michael Taylor (, October 13, 1998.

Hey, you believe in the Bible? If so, It says that you MUST be "Born Again". Just thought that I would step in and mention that, in response to your remark that you are not a Born Again Christian. Lou Louis

-- Lou Louis (, October 14, 1998.


Here are some examples from this thread that lead me to believe that several people are, in fact, attacking and not simply responding.

From Dr. Roger Altman as the first response to the original post:

<< Your post is an excellent example of the kind of naive "thinking" that has lead this, once great, country astray. >>

<< So instead of lashing out with another barage of vindictive fluff, let's get off the dime and start using our collective brain cells. >>

Neither are exactly phrases of calm, even discourse. They are direceted, either directly or indirectly, at the messenger and not at the message.

The first words out of Rocky Knolls' keyboard in the next response were:

<< John, please stop shooting yourself in the foot. >>

Again, slaying the messenger, which is a bit unusual for Rocky. Fortunatly, he recovers as his messages continues.

Michael Taylor posted a rather long rant aimed not nearly so much at ideas but at the holder of the ideas. I don't think I've ever seen the word "you" capitalized (the 'net version of yelling) so many times in a single message. Michael's basic premise appears to be "How dare you preach to us a point of view we do not share? We aren't stupid, so take your lousy opinion and begone!" One quote, out of many, that appears to show this is:

<< We are not your concern and we don't need to be educated by you. >>

Another, rather concerning one is:

<< Because you're either not educated about the problem, you're in denial or you want to disrupt the forums with YOUR 'negative onethink'.>>

Divergent opinions are disruptive? I find that a scary concept.

Now, I agree that John could have phrased himself better. He is, in fact guilty of dishing out what is being given to him here. Heck, I've been guilty of the same thing, though I'm trying to cut back. Still, some of the responses he got were excessive.

Now, having said that, I must say that as excessive responses go the ones on this thread are better than many others in the past. Furthermore, having used Michael as a bad example I will now use him as a good one. I must say that I agree 90% with him when he says "People who understand and who have done their research are frustrated by those that constantly lump them into groups with stupid, inane labels as a way to relieve their own fear and denial. " (It would have been 100% if he hadn't used the word denial, indicating in the context of his message that high levels of optimism are automatically a sign of self-delusion and not simply a differing interpretation of events.) Why, I haven't seen the word "Polyanna" applied once in this thread, and that is cause for optimism in and of itself! Now, if we could similarly eradicate "gloom-and-doomer" we could really be proud of ourselves.

Lastly, a bit of self-psychoanalysis. I'm am particularly touchy about the subject of attacks on positive opinions posted here, having been the target of many such attacks. There was a time, not so very long ago, when anyone posting any message consisting of either fact or opinion that was not extremely negative was hooted down pretty hard both in the forum and in private email. My personal high water mark for emails from readers of this forum in a single day is 74, with responses running the gamut from "Way to go!" to "I hope you and your family die slowly when things fall apart." (Yes, I have indeed received messages wishing for a suffering end to the lives of myself, my wife and our two young children. Fortunately, no one has yet offered to help speed the process.) Lately, the volume of messages has dropped way off, and the pure hate mail has dried up completely. The messages that are still coming in are offers to discuss points of interest and not simply "attaboy" or "go to hell" messages. I was actually feeling pretty good about this, but when I saw what I perceived to be everyone hopping on John for expressing any optimism it brought back some unpleasant memories that I didn't want to see repeated.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 14, 1998.


You are the second one here to mention getting hate mail. Arcy gets it too. I find that disturbing, some people are really goofy when it comes to this subject. As for the 'attacks' on John, he kinda asked for it with the tone of his post.

As for my feelings, "I love you man!"

Feel a little better now?

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 14, 1998.


You're not getting my Bud Light! ;-)

Okay, enough fun.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing that John seemed to be deliberately soliciting heated responses. Heck, I've done it myself. Remember the "asteroids hitting Earth" thread a couple of months back? I will wait for less inflamitory posts of "good news" and see what the reactions are before I get truly worried that the "bad old days" have returned to the forum.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 14, 1998.

Hello Gang, Thanks John for stimulating some interesting conversation. Roger, your statistics are not based in any recently reported facts so they are useless. Where have you seen information "certified" by independent outside sources supporting your statistics. Answering the questions I can recall without wasting time to scroll back: 1. Why do folks think there should be some sort of independent verification? There is no such verification that our systems work now - so based on the premise that all systems must be "certified" to assure they are fixed we can only conclude that everything is already broken - heck I must be dead. "How can ... test things when they are 24 hours a day?" We have to do this now Roger and it is done incrementily and facilitated by the redundancy in our systems. I believe you know that, so I wonder what agenda you have in promoting such a specious argument.

-- Woe Is Me (, October 14, 1998.

Hello Gang, Just taking a moment to debunk one of the more specious proposals floated about from time to time on this forum. The suggestion that we cannot trust any companies Y2k claims that have not been "verified by a third party" is really a clever bit of pontification but it has no merit in the real world Y2k remediation efforts. Our systems are not now verified by third parties to assure that they perform all their functions correctly and date processing is just a small part of the current functionality. If we accept the premise that no system will work properly if its owners aren't willing or able to provide third party verification then we must conclude that everything is already broken - heck, I must be dead! I don't mean to offend anyone by this observation but the verification thing is not workable because only the people who know the code can make a reliable assessment and they are obviously not from a "third party." The annual "EDP audits" to which I have been subjected have been pretty thorough on security issues but only take an abstract view of applications' internal functionality. Rather, than argue on those grounds how about this? Where would all these third party verifiers come from? Who would train them to go into various shops and closely scrutinize the systems to assure that all is fixed? I would sincerely like to know if someone knows how this verification could realistically be accomplished.

-- Woe Is Me (, October 14, 1998.

"Woe Is Me", before we delve into yet another tangent -- this one being 3rd Party Verification -- how about providing us with some basic answers regarding the simple stuff. Like, why you don't think that Y2K compliance is even necesary in Year 2000 (other "de Jager" thread). Why, then, are people spending so much time and money (and worrying so much about) trying to achieve Y2K compliance? And why, for that matter, are Wisconsin and Iowa publicly admitting that their National Guards are preparing for potential disruptions from Y2K? I think you owe people in this forum some answers to these questions, before we head off in yet another direction.

-- Jack (, October 14, 1998.

Woe: As I posted in another thread, if "Joe's Widgit Corp" wants to make "don't worry, we'll be there" statements and they turn out to be wrong and poor old Joe is forced out of the widgit business, this is a matter between Joe, his investors, his employees, his suppliers and the community where Joe employs his workforce.

I never did care much for the widgits Joe made anyway and couldn't care less whether he succeeds in his Y2K efforts or not.

On the other hand, our public utilities literally hold our lives in their hands. Independent verification of their public relations statements, their ongoing progress and status are most certainly in our direct interest. To base my family's well being, possibly even their lives on such statements without demanding proof would be extreme negligence on my part. Due diligence requires independent verification for such businesses.

Far from being a ridiculous request, it is a most prudent thing to do. Indeed, any business that buys another business requires independent auditing of the finacials of the business being purchased. Why? Because good risk assessment needs to be based on verifiable data rather than on public relations statements. Caveat emptor.

If the utilities are truly as far along as they claim and if the potential for litagation is removed, then these utilities have nothing to fear from independent auditing and verification. In fact, it would go a long way towards calming some of the frayed nerves which exist today.

However, if they are not doing as well as they claim, we need to know that now -- not a year from now.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, October 14, 1998.

At a certain level, such as financial audits or year-end stock reports, I value an independent audit to tell me (as an outsider) that a company has not played games or intends to defraud me or has itself been the target of financial theft by "insiders".

These use the "conventional practices" or "normal accounting practices" clause to cover the auditor's responsiblity: all parties now what to expect and what is covered, and all parties know what "conventional auditing" does for the bookkeeping world.

So before you can go off requiring (which companies? which utilites? which level of suppliers?) to be audftied (by whom? to what standards?) so they (who again?) can report to (who again?) that "they" are 2000 compliant, there are significant technical questions to be addressed.

If there is no "standard" that everyone agrees on, if there are no "governing agencies" to enforce it, if there is no agreement on what is to be tested, what level of errors are "acceptable" and if there is no accountablitilty for those doing the inspecting, there can be no certification.

All above applies internationally too. If Malaysia Lighting and Power says "we are fully compliant", do you believe them? Or belittle them? Or check them yourself? How? When? Why should they let you inspect them? What do you look for?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 14, 1998.

First, allow me to apologize for looking past the debate and characterizing to debater. Bad form. Next time I'll count to 10 before replying.

1. If my stats are not supported by recently reported facts, then, by all means, please give us the latest facts and/or statistics.

2. The whole question of obtaining independent verification that a company or government agency is y2k compliant was raised to bring out the following:

* There is no agreed upon definition of what compliant really means. * The possibility of data incompatibility between entities makes the whole question of individual compliance moot. In other words, because of the systemic nature of y2k repairs, no one can certify anything. As far as certifying that the 'network' is presently working at an acceptable level of accuracy, well it could be argued that it is checked millions of times each month when we eye-ball our bank statements, utility bills, credit card statements, etc. for obvious errors. How many of us will be scrutinizing the Jan 31, 2000 statements (if they arrive) with the same confidence?

I've studied the congressional testimony of the representatives of the telecom industry, and it appeared to me that this industry is greatly hampered in their y2k remediation and testing due to the continuous nature of their operations. You make it sound that y2k does not introduce any new challanges to the telecom industry. That was definitely not my impression. Perhaps you can provide us with some supporting evidence that y2k repairs will be "routine".

Finally, let me add that I've been programming for about 30 years. The most complex programs were written piece by piece, with thorough checking at each stage before moving ahead. Despite the fact that I followed this methodical approach and was the only one in control, I ran into countless unanticipated problems that required a much greater amount of my time and energy than I ever anticipated. But this y2k mess is like trying to replace all of the Titanic's faulty rivets above and below the waterline as it steams full speed on a collision course with the iceberg. Oh yeah, one more thing: There's no one on the bridge; seems they needed every able seaman to stick their fingers in the rivet holes while they're waiting for their "just-in-time" rivet order to arrive. Sure hope those computers handling the rivet order are y2k compliant, or is it y2k ready, or is it y2k fixed, or is it ...

Roger Altman

-- Roger Altman (, October 15, 1998.

Yeah, the culprit has returned, and has been told in a private e-mail that he should perhaps work harder at practicing his diplomacy, so here's a go!

Have to say that the original post was not even trying to be an attempt at diplomacy (could you tell Unca D?) But it just burns me up that people get the Paul Milne treatment just because they honestly (I think) see reason to believe that this problem is not as bad as formerly perceived. More about that later.

Want to address some specific responses in particular.

Gayla: My food preps and the subject of bank runs are two very different things. We live in the #2 hurricane hit spot in the U.S. here in eastern NC; south Florida is #1 (know ya'll get some hits in Tejas too). So keeping some food on hand is not unusual as a matter of daily life. Seeing as how I'm operating on, and taking to heart, more optimistic Y2K news, am planning on a 1-month supply of food, as opposed to 6 months or a year. My effect, and that of the friends referenced, most of whom also keep a 'stormy food stash', will not affect the grocery stores much at all. Already have much of that prep food in house, and have had for some time. Rotate, rotate, here comes a hurricane. Used to that drill. Pulling a bunch of cash out of the banks is a different thing altogether, however. That's not part of the usual drill. So the two can't be equated, not in my case, at least. Hope that explains the point you raised to your satisfaction.

Buddy: While it's true that the word 'heretic' has religious connotations many (or most) times, it does not have to be an exclusively religious term. One of Mr. Webster's definitions is, "one who holds to a doctrine or opinion contrary to that which is generally accepted or established." It was that secular meaning I was referencing in the original post, not the religious one. That's not to downplay the religious meaning of the word; it's just that I had the secular meaning in mind at that particular time.

Michael T.: No, I don't have a need to preach to you sir! What I do have is the same need that evidently everyone who posts to this forum has, which is to voice their opinion. Sometimes our opinions genuinely bother others. When that is the case, we may be moved to respond strongly. (Hence the existence of this thread in the first place.) And, obviously, strong sentiments result in strong reactions.

To several: Contrary to what has been suggested, the original post on this thread at NO time engaged in name-calling in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Strong statements, yes. Characterizations, yes. Name-calling, no. There is a distinction. If you want to see true name-calling in action, you need look no further than at some of the replies in this thread. But it flat just does not occur in the original post. I've had several acquaintances look at the original post and the replies, and they don't see any name-calling in the original post, at all. Strong statements, yes. Characterizations, yes. Name-calling, no.

Mr. Coli: Whether I be a butthead, or a beavis, or a bart simpson, I feel constrained to make some comments about the use of the word 'hypocrite'. Seems to me that's a two-edged sword that you have used inadvisedly.

It's obvious that there are (at least) two divergent informed points of view as regards Y2K. (1) Those who expect really really serious troubles, who have expected that for a long time, and who don't want to budge from that point of view. Six months to a year of no food, no water, no power, collapse of the economic system and national government(s), etc. etc. and worse (worse being TEOTWAWKI perhaps). (2) Those who have moved to a more optimistic view due to recent reports and opinions delivered by the like of Peter de Jager, Ed Yardeni, and Lou Marcoccio. Senator Bob Bennett has pretty much always thought that we would "win".

It has been my observation that these more optimistic views have been the object of much derision both in the newsgroups and in this forum. Those who have proposed brighter outlooks in revision of their former gloomier outlooks have been derided, insulted, and disrespected. That is a verifiable fact; not a matter of opinion.

This has been a source of distress to me. To summarily dismiss any sunnier updates as unworthy of serious consideration seems very unfair and close-minded to me. I opened this thread after having read very insulting things about Mr. de Jager's revised stance.

Now. It is very obvious that those who do not share Mr. de Jager's or Mr. Yardeni's updated more positive views of the situation have no compunction about questioning, even slamming, their integrity and credibility. 'Dissing' them in general. That seems to be quite okay. Bear in mind, these are men who originally clued a lot of us in to this problem to begin with, and who have very high qualifications.

How is it, then, that when a person, such as myself, questions the integrity and credibility of those who question Mr. de Jager and Dr. Yardeni, that I am accused of being a 'name-caller', an 'insulter', and a 'hypocrite'? As if it's perfectly okay for those who slam de Jager and Yardeni to question the integrity and credibility of these men, but when I do the same thing to their critics, I'm all of a sudden guilty of character crimes, and hypocrisy? Think about that. It's a total contradiction in terms, and 'highly illogical', as Mr. Spock would say. The hypocrite is the one who accuses people of doing the same things he(she) him(her)self does. The people with the more pessimistic view question Peter de Jager's integrity and credibility. I question de Jager's critics' integrity and credibility. We're doing the same thing, from different viewpoints. Those who would call me the hypocrite have it quite backwards. What I've done is to say, 'Hey! you question de Jager? Well I question you.' Straight up, no waffling, no apologies. No hypocrisy.

I just hope we can all figure out a way to get along on this thing. But slamming people we formerly admired, just because they have updated their views, ain't the way to get to that point.



(OFF TOPIC: My old roommate once asked, "You know what really burns my butt?" I say, "What?" He says, "A campfire about 3 foot high")

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, October 15, 1998.

Paul, Paul, Paul,

In your rush to defend someone else who doesn't believe Y2K will be a big problem, don't also defend his attacks on those who disagee with him. That's no better than me defending Gary North's theology [which I mistrust.]

John started this thread by attacking individuals who disagree with him. He used terms such as "ignorant," "criminal," "negligent." If someone were to label you as ignorant, criminal, and negligent, you would feel that you had been attacked, right? So do others.

You say,

"The first words out of Rocky Knolls' keyboard in the next response were:

<< John, please stop shooting yourself in the foot. >> "


What John has done is post one thread. It elicited discussion. John didn't agree with the conclusions, so he posted again, calling those who disagree with him names. In between, he managed to assert that we would be to blame for Y2K problems, because, of course --- in his view --- the code won't fail.

Now, if that isn't shooting oneself in the foot, please tell me what is? The term "shooting yourself in the foot" means inflicting injury on oneself. Posting attacks on others is asking to have them attack you. It's a form of shooting yourself in the foot.

I believe that it's to the credit of the participants on this forum that the responses were very controlled. None of us went postal.


-- rocky (, October 15, 1998.


-- rocky (, October 15, 1998.

Speaking as a meltdowner, let me say that I would LOVE to budge from this position and take a more optimistic view of Y2K. But I do not see one iota of evidence to base a more optimistic view. If anything, with the recent publicity on Iowa and Wisconsin having their National Guards prepare for expected serious disruptions due to Y2K, I feel that this verifies our potential worst-case scenarios. If Peter de Jager, or anyone else, wants to claim that in fact Y2K is not going to be the "doomsday" (de Jager's original title of the article that he wrote) that was previously forecast, thats great -- but we want credible evidence. I did not come to my current "meltdown" position on anyone's say-so, I demanded evidence to back it up -- and I will apply the same standard on any new "optimistic" claims, no matter who is making them. (Let me add, for that matter, that if the notorious Gary North suddenly claimed that Y2K was going to be just a bump in the road, I would still demand credible evidence, and not just believe on faith.)

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.eld), October 15, 1998.

John, well said - you had the last word even if some don't know it. Jack read the most recent Gartner report. Gotta go, having completed all our Y2k repairs we are into some really exciting new development. "If two men in business always agree one of them is not necessary!" Henry Ford.

-- Woe Is Me (, October 15, 1998.

John Howard:

It seems to me that your position is one where you are trying to maintain an objective viewpoint. I am trying to do the same. Of course, nobody's perfect so it doesn't always come across that way.

To all:

As for John's use of the words like "criminal," "ignorant," and "negligent." I agree with what John says his friends said. This is not name-calling. He used these to refer to ideas and actions, not people. He did not call any individual a criminal, he simply said that an action was. For example, there is a vast difference between the phrase "that's a stupid idea" and the phrase "you are stupid."

As for name-calling itself, a la Paul Milne. I don't like it in general. It doesn't make for a good debate on any topic. But, hey, people do it. Probably the best response is to not lower oneself to that level, but I'm sure we're all tempted to do it. It sure is a lot easier to do on the internet than it is in person.

From now on I think I'm going to take name-calling with a grain of salt. After all, isn't everyone a "butthead" at one time or another?

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 15, 1998.


John Howard writes: "My food preps and the subject of bank runs are two very different things...Pulling a bunch of cash out of the banks is a very different thing altogether, however"

One question for you, John. Since you put your money in the bank, why don't they still have it to give back to you? Answer: Because they spent it.

The heart of this bank run issue is missed by Mr. Howard and by 99.9% of the American population. The only thing that makes bank runs possible is fractional banking. Fractional banking is a form of sophisticated theft.

The American people should have revolted (peacefully, if possible, of course) when their gold was confiscated in the 1930s. The only reason gold was confiscated is because it had been spent (i.e. stolen) by the government and if people had come to get what was rightfully theirs they would have found F.D.R. and the rest with their hands still in the cookie jar and their mouths and stomachs full of cookies. We should have learned the lesson then; we didn't because people had come to think of the paper, not the metal it represented, as the "real" money.

John, I hope all this talk of bank runs can get the American people asking some very basic questions about why the money is not there for them. It's their money. Please do not speak of people as "criminals" when they go into a bank to get what belongs to them and is rightfully theirs to obtain without any restrictions. That is dangerous thinking; totally subversive to our individual liberties. F.D.R. called the people who desired to get their money, THEIR MONEY, out of the banks "hoarders". The American people fell for that once and lost in a big way. Please do not contribute to that kind of totalitarian move again.

-- Franklin Journier (, October 15, 1998.


You said:

<< In between, he managed to assert that we would be to blame for Y2K problems, because, of course --- in his view --- the code won't fail. >>

John Howard said, in his original message:

<< I'm certainly not advocating putting on a happy-face where none is warranted by the facts. We all face serious problems with Y2K, by any measure. >>

The two are incompatible. He is not saying "the code won't fail." He is saying that he believes that the technical infrastructure that modern society relies on will not fail so badly as to cause a breakdown in that society. This would appear to me to be a case of exactly what I feared: A rush to discount opinions differing from your own by making them seem either trivial or ignorant. He never said anything even remotely like "the code won't fail" and yet you make it a cornerstone of your rebuttal.

And I agree that some "Y2K" problems could be induced by panicky attempts at self-preservation, although I doubt it will be as bad as John suggests. Personally, I would invote anyone wanting to pull their money out of the banks to do so now so you won't run the institutions that the rest of us will be leaving money in, especially if you bank at a smaller institution. One poster commented that the money in the bank is his and he can do with it whatever he wants, and he is absolutely correct in that. Just have a bit of a heart for the rest of us and don't wait until the last minute, huh?

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 15, 1998.

Mkay boys, now Bevis, you and Butthead have to work together on this, mkay?

Imagine if you will a ball of concrete 17 stories tall, perched on top of a hill. Around this ball are a large group of people who are all pushing inward toward the center, thus keeping it balanced precariously at the peak. The mass of the ball is balanced in such a way as to preclude a guess on which way it will roll. Each person knows that he and others will die if the ball rolls in his direction, and understands that many will die if the ball rolls. Each person also knows that he has time to escape death by running first, and leaving the balancing struggle to the others. Everyone is getting tired. Very tired.

Now imagine the fractional reserve banking system.

Is it the smart man who runs first? Or is he just Not a team player?

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 16, 1998.

Well, I finally found a way that I can buy tying discussions about the fractional reserve banking system into Y2K discussions. I won't carry it very far, but I will make this observation.

The concept of fractional reserve banking depends heavily on one thing, namely that the vast majority of people (98% or more) will not react with panic in a negative situation and withdraw their money in a single day. (Personally, I think that this is an amaizingly poor premise that will almost certainly be proven inaccurate. The herd mentality still runs rampant in our species.) That is why I would ask those who are going to withdraw money to start early. If the withdrawals are spread out over time, banks will survive. If the withdrawals happen all at once, they fail. That way, you can have things the way you want and still be a good neighbor to those of us who are going to stick with the system.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 16, 1998.

Never fear, Mr. Neuhardt, I am pulling out cash as we speak (well, later today, anyway) and have just about put away as much as I need. I agree with you that it would be better for preparations to be spread out to avoid damaging a lot of innocent people. But the fractional banking system as a system deserves no consideration. It is unconstitutional (i.e. illegal) and must be dismantled.

It is my fondest dream that the fall out from Y2K could wake this nation up to the massive departures from the Constitution that have taken place, especially in this century. I'm not actually optimistic that that will be the case; people do not think very clearly anymore. Take Mr. Howard, for example. Back in the 30s the people were duped and bullied into giving up their gold (remember, it belonged to them, it was theirs) and the gov't got away with it because people had come to see the paper and not the metal as the "real money". Now Mr. Howard tells us that we are criminals if we go and get our money because he seems to believe that it's not even the paper but the electronic promise to pay that is the "real money." That is exceedingly dangerous and subversive to everything that the Founding Fathers prescribed for this nation with respect to money.

-- Franklin Journier (, October 16, 1998.

Buddy said: "As for John's use of the words like "criminal," "ignorant," and "negligent." I agree with what John says his friends said. This is not name-calling. He used these to refer to ideas and actions, not people. He did not call any individual a criminal, he simply said that an action was. For example, there is a vast difference between the phrase "that's a stupid idea" and the phrase "you are stupid."

Buddy, that's a stupid idea!

That is hair splitting at it's finest.


[By your own words, I DID NOT say that YOU were stupid! So, don't take umbrage over it. OK? Of course it isn't. Get the picture?]

-- rocky (, October 16, 1998.

" splitting at its finest." Thanks for the compliment, Rocky.

That's exactly the point. Challenge people's ideas and you may persuade them, attack them personally and they stop listening.

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 16, 1998.


<< It is unconstitutional (i.e. illegal) and must be dismantled. >>

(I can't believe I'm doing this, but the curiosity is killing me.) Okay, I'll bite. I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but I just reread the constitution from one end to the other, and damned if I can find anything that even remotely leads to that conclusion. Care to enlighten me?

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 16, 1998.

More on deJager and his current position. Read the following for information regarding a speech he gave today in Virginia.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 16, 1998.

The Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to have a fiat monetary system, especially one that is delegated to an entirely private organization like the Federal Reserve. Background documents I think back up well that the Founding Fathers explicitly saught to exclude anything but a "hard money" system. So my reasoning says that since a fractional reserve banking system is impossible without fiat money, and since the Constitution disallows a fiat money system, the current system is unconstitutional (doubly so since it's delegated to the Fed). Yes?

-- Franklin Journier (, October 16, 1998.

Paul, I read that new deJager story. Sure does not sound like he is getting soft on Y2K to me. He sounds the same as he always has. I also read that KLM will not be flying any airplanes in 2000. Lots of new information out today. Not much of it is good. We can always hope though.

-- Dave (, October 16, 1998.

The Constitution doesn't say much about the issue of money in terms of how our monetary system should work. The key to a debate over the monetary system is the last clause of this section, "To make all laws...". Here is the relevant section:


Article I

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

-- Buddy Y. (DC) (, October 16, 1998.

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

--- to coin money - does not say to print money ----

Section 10 - States prohibited from exercise of certain powers.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

--- hmmm states are absolutely forbidden to accept paper money as legal tender ---

Seems like they meant to prevent the states from accepting anything but gold and silver as proper tender. Reading some other parts of the Constiution leads you to think the founders did not want to accept anything from the states as tax payments but gold or silver. While the printing of fiat money is not specifically prohibited - nothing gives the Congress the obligation to print paper money either. Look, the Continental money was paper money that hyperinflated out of existence and that was the proximate reason for the Constiutional Convention. It really isn't irrational that the founders would have regarded paper money with distrust.

For that matter, I have never managed to find the clause that allows the Congress to give law-making authority to another part of the government - such as the FAA. I know, I know - the FAA makes regulations not laws. Look if it quacks like a duck and it swims like a duck, I'll stuff it and call it a duck dinner. If I can be arrested for violation of an agencies regs - then they are laws. Interesting side note on that BTW - about 15 or so years ago the Italian Supreme Court found the Parliment had exceeded its authority in giving control of the Italian part of the EM spectrum to their version of the FCC. This led to some interesting things going on - just imagine radio and television operating with no rules whatsoever! Funny thing was it actually worked pretty well - dozens of mom and pop low power TV stations sprang up - variety in TV became common - as of course did female nudity. But the Italians took all this pretty calmly, and when the Parliment finally got everything straightened out (took 10 years or so) they left a lot more freedom in the new laws than was available under the old rules.

-- Paul Davis (, October 18, 1998.


<< Paul, I read that new deJager story. Sure does not sound like he is getting soft on Y2K to me. He sounds the same as he always has.>>

Yeah, that's what I thought too. He is currently worried about different things than he was before (notice the section on embedded systems), but he still has the same basic message.

<< I also read that KLM will not be flying any airplanes in 2000. >>

For the whole year? As I recall, they were just suggesting that they might ground for a few hours or days surrounding the date rollover. Mighty hard to protect shareholder equity when you decide to take a year off from revenue.

-- Paul Neuhardt (, October 19, 1998.

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