Article admits effort to control panic. Comments? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I saw an article today that admits what we've sensed the past month: there's an effort afoot to control panic. But, this article SEEMS to be balanced, and does make some good points. That's why I'd like to hear your comments. Is there something I'm missing between the lines?

The article is called "About that Y2K Warning, Chill out". Here's the link:

A few comments of my own. What Senator Bennett said may be true--that non-compliance in foreign countries will cause us more problems than our own non-compliance. But to my mind that also means that after initial disruptions here, there'll be shortages and at least a severe recession here because of what happens overseas.

I found out something in the article I hadn't known. That recent GartnerGroup report saying things won't be all that bad was something new for Gartner--a report specifically written for the public as opposed to business and government. My question, why? Is panic really that close and someone knows it?

Koskinen does admit in the article that major infrastructure problems are possible, but unlikely in his opinion. He admits a limited number of areas will have problems because their city, county or maybe even state won't have Y2K taken care of. The article ends with Koskinen saying, "It's the people who say you have nothing to worry about that you have to worry about."

The most dishonest thing in this article is the claim that problems with power plants and critical services can be fixed in days or even hours. It implies that almost everything will be OK on Monday morning, January 3, 2000.

Do you think the person who wrote this article actually believes the point he was trying to make? The writer seems informed on Y2K. Is this an honest attempt to keep the economy together long enough to get most remediation done? Or is this article part of some orchestrated campaign by the powers that be to keep a lid on panic at all costs?

I've said on here before that the I.R.S's claim of finished remediation but unfinished testing by January 1999 is a scam. The I.R.S. will blame their first Y2K problems this January on unfinished testing instead of the fact that they're WAY behind in remediation.

What's your take on "About that Y2K Warning, Chill out"?

-- Kevin (, November 17, 1998


One problem not really addressed is this--

In the event that a considerable region of the country experiences loss of electricity, we can expect a crew of repairmen to start working on the problem(s). In some Y2K scenarios, the only repairmen available will be those in the immediate are, because other areas will be having problems too. OK, we've got the local crew at work.

But if the grid is down they won't be able to fix anything. In that case -- so the story runs -- the food suppplies in the area will be gone in a few days. What are the repair crews going to eat from that point on? And will they hang around when their families may be needing them?

-- Tom Carey (, November 17, 1998.

Power grid first -- all else hangs on that.

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 17, 1998.


If you read that link very carefully, and with a critical eye, you will see that they are saying two very different things, in almost each sentence change. On the one hand (the left hand?!? ;-)) they are saying that the "'extreme'" self sufficiency gurus are terribly misleading and the self protective attitude is ludicrous.

On the other hand (the right?!?;-)) they say, in one point a few days worth of everything (including cash!), another a week, and if you are on the Fed dole a MONTH of cash plus a week of everything would be a prudent stockpile.

They offer the opinion that companies will all be able to finish the remediation over the weekend of 1/1-1/3/2000. How does this square with the recent 10Q filings where the companies have NO CHANCE to finish by the end of 1999. We are going to miraculously do all the un-done work in the last weekend. Another Christmas Miracle!!!!

Chuck, who needs another trip to Sam's

(or another xanax!)

-- Chuck a Night Driver (, November 17, 1998.

About that Y2K warning, chill out Experts are afraid Americans are starting to panic like it's 1999. By David Hayes Knight Ridder News Service [NOTE: These are the folks who own the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley, CA]

Bennett said he still believed that there would be a "fairly major disruption that will come of this. But I'm now beginning to think the overseas problem will affect us more than I thought and that the U.S. is in better shape than I thought."

Define "fairly major disruption.

"The people who say buy a cabin in the woods and take your money out of the banks and the markets, they're not only silly, these are self- fulfilling prophesies," de Jager said. "If everyone takes their money out of the banks, the banks will fail."


"The year 2000 problem is analogous to a major storm," researchers at GartnerGroup said in its report. "In this case it will be, at worst, similar to a hurricane, cyclone or bad snowstorm. For individuals, the year 2000 will not be a catastrophe such as a severe earthquake, a huge asteroid crashing into the earth, or a nuclear war."

Define impact of Hurricane Mitch. That nuclear war thing has some mighty powerful Y2K repercussions, though.

The GartnerGroup report is an unusual departure for the firm, which aims most of its work toward large businesses or industry groups. This report, a compilation of comments from 18 GartnerGroup analysts, is aimed at consumers.

Anybody know where there are copies of the non-consumer versions?

"People suggesting that everyone take money out of banks and convert it into gold or liquidate stocks. We've heard people say, 'You'd better get a gun, because if you don't people are going to break into your house and steal your food.' ... "It's not good for people to be even thinking about that kind of hype," Cassell said. "So, for the first time, we decided to write something for the general public rather than our clients."

Thoughts do create reality. Maybe if they reported the Absolute Truth of what is really happening, the country can calmly prepare. How bout it Gartner?

De Jager, a year 2000 author and publisher of the Internet's most popular Web site on the issue, said fear of the unknown was driving a year 2000 paranoia.

We live within the unknown daily. Fear is what will get us -- maybe. Truth often causes people to rise to the challenge. An opportunity to face their fears and do something positive to change them, is a wiser strategy.

Koskinen took that caution further. The president's point man on year 2000 said he was concerned about "some communities, some cities, some counties, even a couple of states that are not paying enough attention, or maybe no attention" to the year 2000 problem.

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How Much? Investigative reporters have a good opportunity here.

"It's the people who say you don't have to worry about it that you have to worry about,"Koskinen said.

Well, were worried about our governments spin-doctors, our militarys silence (i.e. see Canada), and our corporations non- compliance and lack of SEC reporting. And also the banking system, the stock market parade, the hidden agendas, etc., etc. ...

We understand they are walking a Yin-Yang tightrope here. Right now its without a safety net. The little people can create that.

Truth works.

Diane (Good post, Kevin).

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 17, 1998.

What these "chill outers" want to prevent is LOSS OF THEIR CONTROL, not panic. They're quite smart enough to realize that panic prevention is best accomplished by preparation. The Emperor doesn't have any pants on!

-- Hardliner (, November 17, 1998.

I personally am starting to get sick of "reporting" like this:

" Some experts who have been warning about a technological Armageddon caused by year 2000 computer problems now are telling Americans to chill out.

It's just not necessary to stockpile months' worth of food and water, convert bank accounts into cash, squirrel away guns and ammunition or buy generators to weather power outages. "

There are just so many articles that begin like this (or with planes falling from the sky) that it's funny (ironic, not Ha Ha).

The thinly veiled agenda of these articles is "Frighten them and confuse them into non-action." Most people, I suspect, take this trash at face value.

" "Our perspective right now is that the basic infrastructure of the country will hold," John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said in an interview Thursday. "The banking system is in very good shape."

Still, experts are not suggesting that Americans forget about the year 2000 computer problem. As a precaution, they're advising people to put aside enough food, water, fuel, medical supplies and cash to last a few days. And they're suggesting they make sure the companies they work for are prepared for 2000. "

I mean, really, what the hell does this mean to most people? We on the forum know who John Koskinen is, and what the basic infrastructure but does the average Witchita lineman? And when Joe Normal reads that "The banking system is in very good shape" What does that mean? "Oh, I didn't know there was a problem"...And then, there's that idea again of having extra food, water, fuel etc. Hmmm...

" But at the same time they saw a growing Y2K paranoia in the country, four experts interviewed last week softened statements they made earlier in the year. Some had predicted that year 2000 problems would shut down banks and bring the American infrastructure tumbling down.

"I'm more positive than I was six months ago." said Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican who is chairman of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. "

There's that phrase "growing paranoia" in opposition to the "experts" with their "softened statements." What's an expert?

Yuck, I can't even continue. This kind of crap is utterly foolish and dangerous. "Keep the herd confused." Sorry for my negativity. This is not reporting. David Hayes, you're a corporate lackey. Journalism in this country is dead...

-- pshannon (, November 17, 1998.

Kevin: Do you know if the author, David Hayes, is a Wichita Eagle reporter or did the paper pick this up off the Knight-Ridder wire? I read it as a wire story, if only because it quotes some pretty big names and it lacks the usual local angle. ("Here in Kansas . . ." ) Normally, an Eagle reporter calling Koskinen in D.C. wouldnt get past the second deputy p.r. assistant. If one did, that would be important.

That assumed, then, you ask: "Or is this article part of some orchestrated campaign by the powers that be to keep a lid on panic at all costs?" Noooo, if only because that presumes some sort of industry-wide conspiracy by news editors and reporters. I do see it as an exercise in self-interest (an oft-overlooked aspect of any issue), a cover our a** move by GartnerGroup and De Jager, who want to be able to avoid the post-y2k fingerpointing  You started a panic that led to the collapse of my bank; I'm gonna sue you for everything you have." Or, if 1/1/2000 turns out to be a blip, they can say: See, told ya so. I think they are getting nervous, and their lawyers are getting nervous, so they're trying to hedge their bets in both directions. Other than the sense of caution, neither of them is saying much new, nor are Bennett or Koskinen. Bennett's a politician, it's his job to sound reasonable. Koskinen is a bureaucrat; it's his job to sound competent. I put more weight on Bennett's recent comments to the LDS leaders in private than to his public comments anyway.

-- JDC (, November 17, 1998.

Thanks Kevin, Excellent post!

This is a very good article, full of PR and disinformation. It only furthers my belief that there is now a "panic about panic".

I am constantly amazed at how "logical" individuals can try to make an argument about a "self-fulfilling prophecy". If there is panic there WILL be a run on banks. The individuals who had no clue about any of this WILL suffer but they had no idea about the "prophecy" so how could this be true for them? The banks will fail yet the people who didn't know about the so called "prophecy" will be directly affected.

This is a ploy. It's a scare tactic. It puts the responsibility for the failure on our shoulders and the blame on us. It shifts the guilt.

In one breath we're being told we need to put aside cash, food, fuel, medicine... but hey... NOT TOO MUCH! Why? Hoarding. Things will start to disappear. The flow of cash and liquidity will dry up.

Then they say we should put aside supplies but only enough for a "few days". Just enough so that when the military shows up to save us we'll still be comfortable and much less likely to be angry. Then, we get to rely on their ability to control the situation. Well, what if they can't control the situation? (or, what if the control was what they wanted?)

We all know that the government itself is the furthest behind in assessment, remediation and testing. It is a given that they are they most reliant on older technologies, older programs, older legacy codes, even older pcs. Yet, the expect to have everything fixed in the next that have been built upon for 40 years. Do we really expect that 'they' will be here for us?

Oh, and then there is the old storm analogy. Well, this storm is hitting all over the world, all over our country, all at about the same time. But, they equate it to a hurricane. An isolated event that may or may not hit your area. Y2k may not hit your area right away, but you will, in some way, feel the impact.

Honduras has been destroyed by Mitch. 10,000+ people are dead. Their industry and infrastructure is gone. They have no economy. WE will feel the impact of their misfortune directly in ways we cannot comprehend. We all reside on the same planet where borders of trade and commerce are mostly transparent.

If the world suffers because of y2k then THAT concerns me more than whether or not my local grocery store has enough Pepsi. Think about how much we import. How much of the clothing we buy is made overseas? How much of the components inside our technicological infrastructure is imported from overseas? And, how much do we, as a nation, export? How can we do business in a world economy that is nonexistant? We are being affected now by the worlds economic troubles. What will it be like when the world is in distress?

There IS an absolute panic about panic right now and these people are worried. 'They' say that the rest of the world is far behind us. Well, to paraphrase Mr. Greenspan, we cannot expect to be an oasis.

I see serious failure in this logic that the U.S. is far ahead of the world. The U.S. is THE most technologically driven country in the world. WE are much more likely to suffer problems than the rest of the world and we can't expect to do business as usual when and if the rest of the world is crumbling around us.

"Chill out?" What is that? An attempt at mainstream speak? Utilizing old, outdated linguistic babel to try and calm the masses? Try a little harder to get down to the level of the people? Try to get down there and communicate in terms "they" can understand?

This article is hype. This is PR. Take it from someone in advertising, they're selling something here and they aren't doing a very good job. But, most of America will buy the message until it's too late.

Kevin, you asked, "Is this an honest attempt to keep the economy together long enough to get most remediation done? Or is this article part of some orchestrated campaign by the powers that be to keep a lid on panic at all costs?"

Yes, with one exception. Take out the word "honest". Truth in advertising is not prerequisite.

This article only makes me want to become more motivated in my preparations.



-- Michael Taylor (, November 17, 1998.

Yes Hardliner,

Being pantless does make things drafty. It also allows for fresh air.

What these "chill outers" want to prevent is LOSS OF THEIR CONTROL, not panic. They're quite smart enough to realize that panic prevention is best accomplished by preparation. The Emperor doesn't have any pants on!

Theyve already lost their control if they could but see it. Being in control again is a matter of trying NOT to control it. Just prepare it, and trust that things are never what they appear to be. Let go and embrace change -- that is real control. Most of us can probably agree that the status quo needs to change. Its not working. True?


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 17, 1998.

Chuck, <<<< Do all of "us" in "this area" depend on xancex or what? I still havent heard of ANY plans for our area guy. BTW did you know (i'm sure you do) we ARE on the 120 List? Did u see the article that we received grant for "the training"? Oh my.

-- consumer alert (, November 17, 1998.

Con alert (what the H is short for consumer?);

I've known for several years that we were on the list. Has something to do with being active in some of my hobbies and who my drinkin buddies (well--we don't drink but you get the idea) are.

We were the ONLY city in the NDMS system during Desert Storm that put up the whole enchilada for the NDMS drill (Plane, victims, etc.) I was VERY disappointed when the military ran this past year's drill on their own.

I was also VERY interested when the Tier 1 training was held in Columbus. It looks like either the PTB were looking at a centralized location based on threats to Columbus, Cincinnatti, Cleveland, etc or the Cow Town won another small battle for perks. Me? I'd put the stockpile somewhere just west of Marion, or Wooster, under some farmer's field. The one thing we learn in disaster prep. is that the locals will be NO help. Not because they don't WANT to, but because they are either victims or are taking care of their own, as is proper.

Drop me something direct and we'll e-exchange, out of Ed's bandwidth.


-- Chuck a Night Driver (, November 17, 1998.


Anyone who doesn't see the attempt to keep us calm is not thinking critically. I am NOT a "conspiracy head", but I DO look at things a bit more critically than some. I have the same knee jerk reaction to "Don't worry, be happy!" as I do to "TEOTWAKI!! TEOTWAWKI!! RUN! RUN!".

Until someone in the "Don't worry, be happy!" team can refute the liklyhood of concomittant interconnected failures and the resulting stumble and fall, I will come down nearer the 6 month prep, be mentally ready to go forever croud than the other. If this makes me subversive, so be it, I've worn that label before (albeit in a very minor, footnote in the FBI files type of way). I DO NOT CARE!!! ME AND MINE, WE WILL BE READY! with all that implies! C

(always assuming I can cinvince my bride that the grain and the mill are needed. Somedays I wish my word was NOT my bond. Oh well. I gave it, and she has traveled as much as I have, and in the same directions!!)

chuck (who gets to attend the West again this year)

-- Chuck a Night Driver (, November 17, 1998.

Just a side note here - it has been reported several times that family PC sales have not grown as had been expected - probably fewer hard-core gamers out there than were thought. Yet total sales keep on rising like a rocket. Corporations don't seem to be buying all that many - in fact some claim corporate sales have dropped - guess who that leaves buying a whack of a lot of computers. The govt. Dump your PC stocks well before 1/1/00 - sales will drop and prices go up afterwards - and we get a lot of ancillary and support chips from some pretty unlikely sounding spots around the globe.

-- Paul Davis (, November 17, 1998.


Have you ever known or heard of a political figure or entity, not blurting out good news? When there is any? I have not heard anyone say, "It's not gonna happen" At the most all we have gotten is guarded statements and now this disgraceful article which rides the fence and intimates that we who are preparing are going to be to blame. If we are wrong, I have spent a few hundred bucks on food which might become monotonous after a few meals. I have lost a lot more than that in one night in Vegas.

-- Bill Solorzano (, November 17, 1998.



However, the control I meant, and that which they've not yet lost, is control of public money.

As to the pants, if I take mine off, I enjoy the breeze. When the Emporer has none on, the air is hot and evil smelling.

-- Hardliner (, November 17, 1998.

I think Koshiken(whatever)hit it right on the head- it's the people who say there is nothing to worry about that I worry about.

-- madeline (, November 17, 1998.


Did you know that if most every one in California bought batteries and candles that an earthquake would follow...or is it if they don't buy the supplies the earthquakes happen? I get soooo confused. I think I'll make another trip to the bank.

Texas Terri

-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.COM), November 17, 1998.

Madeline, you hit on the point I wanted to come back to.

For once, Koskinen is the person saying in essence, hey! let's not dismiss y2k as a non-event, preparations are in order.

It reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park when the old guy Hammond looks around and says something like "I bring you experts out to help me get my park and the only one who agrees with me is the blood sucking lawyer."

Makes me wonder what it is that has the "experts" so scared.

Mike ==================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, November 17, 1998.


You and I agree 100% on this one bud. The first thing I thought of was that they are afraid of losing control! Or better yet it is damage control.

I always question motives and this case is no different. This semi-happy face custom made report for the public ultimately benefits whom? Certainly not the poor or just-barely-making-it average citizen.

On another thread someone posted an e-mail about The National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative ... a Strategic Planning. I've pulled out some points that hit me in the gut. They know it won't hold together. They are just trying to put a finger in the dam to stop the leak.

************************************************************** There was a recent White House Summit on November 5th

The immediate concern of the White House is computer date problem disruption starting Jan 1, 1999 (1.5 months away) that have the potential of disrupting efforts to prepare for Y2K.

The National Y2K Civic Leadership Initiative ... a Strategic Planning, states:

*We must focus on maintaining a robust infrastructure and intact supply chains for as long as possible.

*The likelihood that there will be "citizen critical" infrastructure disruptions due to Y2K computer system failures is growing every day.

*Next step... please clarify target audiences and seek funding for mass production and dissemination as part of a toolkit.

*To develop individualized, self-paced, competency based multimedia toolkits, we are seeking sponsors to cover the cost of audiotaping and videotaping

*Such multimedia tools will generate a shared vision of success and help channel energies productively.

Oh Waiter! I'll have another cup of double-speak please. And I'd like one of those individualized, self-paced, so I can share in that vision of success and channel my energies productively mutlimedia toolkits to go. . . .

-- Anna McKay Ginn (, November 17, 1998.


You caught those "prep's" too.

But who is this message addressed to? What is the general group they are trying to get to DC? Why isn't this gov't funding, rather than "donated" tapes and recordings? There's billions of tax dollars up there being wasted on other stuff...who is this group, and at what level are they looking for funding?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 17, 1998.

Okay, Hardliner.

Maybe its just a wait and see game, while nipping at the media heels, hoping for chinks in the armour.

Diane *Sigh* (I still vote for Oprah, Martha Stewart, John Glenn, Rosie ODonnel, Brad Pitt, Jane Seymour, etc., etc. ...)

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 17, 1998.

"Koskinen took that caution further. The president's point man on year 2000 said he was concerned about "some communities, some cities, some counties, even a couple of states that are not paying enough attention, or maybe no attention" to the year 2000 problem.

"There is a risk for people where public officials say this isn't their problem, or say it's being handled someplace," Koskinen said.

In many cases those government agencies operate or regulate small airports, power plants and water-treatment plants, he said.

"It's the people who say you don't have to worry about it that you have to worry about," Koskinen said."

Good call Michael Taylor: >It reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park when the old guy Hammond looks around and says something like "I bring you experts out to help me get my park and the only one who agrees with me is the blood sucking lawyer." <


This is a very powerful sound-bite from Koskinen. Why can't we see that one on the evening news?

-- Buddy (DC) (, November 17, 1998.

I'll have a cuppa the double-speak too, fact make mine a double (double-speak)! Greak phrase! May I quote you, Anna?

Remember...the little lies get questioned constantly... the big lies slide by like water off a greased goose's back.

Credo quia absurdum est.(I believe it because it is absurd.)

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 17, 1998.

I meant "great" phrase...the Latin-Greak comes later...and I had to close my bold tag...mea maxima culpa!

Gulpa the cuppa double speak...oh my gosh...I'm clanging...where's the thorazine?

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 17, 1998.

Don't fret Donna, it's just a touch of Hardliner's bug, you're still sane. Here's what I prescribe:

Go to "Limericks" thread, type 2 of them and call me in the morning.

-- Chris (, November 17, 1998.

"Experts are afraid Americans are starting to panic like it's 1999." I just keep thinking about this "sub-title." Does this mean they DO expect Americans to panic in 1999? It's OK to panic in 1999, just not in 1998? Interesting choice of words.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 17, 1998.

I thought it was interesting that Koskinen's statement, "The banking system is in very good shape," was reported at the same time as the poll reporting that 60% of IT professionals plan to take cash out of their banks. (

If you're interested in seeing a much more realistic assessment of the financial system, read "Fed Fears Millennium Freeze at Top Banks". It's listed under "New stores added Nove. 14 on

-- Faith Weaver (, November 17, 1998.

I find it most interesting that our leaders would like the inevitable panic to occur in January 2000 with the public relativly unprepared and most all of their cash in now defunct banks. Now why would they think, If panic is inevitable (as it certainly is) is it better schedule public panic when stores cannot be restocked and banks cannot function and power and water are not to be had? Better for whom? Even this lowly high school graduate can see this "emergency" is not being managed for the greater good of the average citizen but for the power, profit and control of those who now weild the reins of power and privelege. Sorry, if a great many of the "great unwashed masses" say "count me out of YOUR plans for my "welfare", I have my own plans thank you!

-- Ann Fisher (, November 18, 1998.

I found an article this evening that answers the one in the Wichita Eagle's point by point. And rips it to shreds. Read and relish...

-- Kevin (, November 19, 1998.

Hmm. Let's try that again. The rebuttal to the Wichita Eagle article is supposed to be at:

Or access it by way of Gary North at:

-- Kevin (, November 19, 1998.

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