Muzzled: Senator Bob Bennett? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Read this if you haven't already

and explain to me what it means? Where'd he get this power grid figure from?

-- Lisa (goodmorning@y'all.hey), December 21, 1998


Hi Lisa: I read this also this morning (on worldnetdaily I think) and had the same question. There doesn't seem to be anything specific to back up going from 40% to single digits ( 3% - 5% ).

-- Rob Michaels (, December 21, 1998.

It all depends on what you mean by the word "does".

-- curtis schalek (, December 21, 1998.

The best thing Senator Bennett said in the interview is this:

"You have every right to contact your institution, whether it's a bank or a credit union, and ask, "Are you going to be Y2K compliant?" If you don't have the answer that you deserve, then take your money out."

Otherwise, the interview was the walking-a-fine-line approach that de Jager and Koskinen have been giving us lately. I was surprised by the power grid percentages mentioned, too. He may have just been putting his gut feeling into percentages--that, or he's relieved that most utilities finally started working on Y2K this year.

The problem is, the utilities needed to have started by 1997 at the latest, and most did not.

You can read Bennett's interview without Gary North's spin at: shtml

-- Kevin (, December 21, 1998.

Someone made the point that at one of the Senate Y2K Hearings, information was requested ahead of time by the Committee, and Bennett didn't get much info, which surprised a lot of folks. After all, this wasn't Lisa or Kevin or Rob asking, it was the US Senate. The point made was that if the Senate can't get a straight answer, how can we? While I agree we should ask, I think we need to consider this also.

-- Rob Michaels (, December 21, 1998.

Let's don't forget that Senator Bennett said that his daughter is storing food in her garage and his nephew is storing propane gas. So, what does THAT tell you?

-- Alive in 2001 (, December 21, 1998.

I have read several articles in which Sen. Bennett has made statements . I do not want to quote and will look up the url if anyone wishs to read the complete report. The essence is this, his family is preparing. His daughter is storing food in the garage and his nephew is digging a hold in the back yard for tanks. He has made several other strong words concerning Y2k and then he began to mellow. I wonder why? Nothing has changed.

Yesturday, I emailed Sen. Bennett and urged him to continue telling the public the truth. We need leaders of this kind right now. The government is no longer a credible sorce of information. I beleived in Sen. Bennett and I think he realizes the seriousness of Y2k. The last couple of articles I have read has shown that someone or something is causing the senator to revisie what he is saying in public.

Everyone should email Sen. Bennett and request that he continues to tell the truth and not be swayed by other forces.

-- Linda A. (, December 21, 1998.

In the referenced article Bennett:

"..advises talking to city, county, and state officials to determine if local government is prepared to continue to provide services in the year 2000. Bennett also advises that everyone should contact businesses they depend on for goods and services, and evaluate to what extent they will be impacted by Y2K".

I would STRONGLY advise that the city, county, state, FEDERAL officials and the business community TALK TO ME and the rest of the public if THEY have determined whether or not THEY are prepared to provide the services. 230 million people trying to pry this information out of public servants and corporate america over the next few months seems to me logistically impossible at best. But, I suppose Bennett already knows that.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, December 21, 1998.

"After all, this wasn't Lisa or Kevin or Rob asking, it was the US Senate. The point made was that if the Senate can't get a straight answer, how can we?"

That is what Benett has been saying all along, there is no answer. And I have no doubt that Clinton and his advisors, and the Pentagon and the government in general are pressuring Benett to mellow his numbers.

-- Chris (, December 21, 1998.

Does this mean you are not going to get the truth from your bank?

"A number of insured financial institutions have asked whether they may disclose to the public the rating assigned to their institution. FDIC regulations strictly prohibit such a disclosure. Information from Year 2000 assessments are governed by the same rules of confidentiality that apply to FDIC examinations for safety and soundness, compliance, information systems, and trust activities. Under Part 309 of the FDIC's rules and regulations, disclosure of reports of examination, or any information contained in them, is strictly prohibited. Accordingly, institutions may not disclose results from Year 2000 assessments just as they may not disclose other types of examination information."

-- S.Rathers (, December 21, 1998.

It is entirely possible that Sen. Bennett may be correct in his assessment. I know this irks some people. My initial reaction was anger as well. However, I am open to the possibility that, although I expect lots of problems, the power grid may survive with only minor problems.

Of course, that won't keep me from preparing for the worst. Although I don't relish the thought of no heat in January (it's currently -45 with the wind chill here in Badgerland...BRRRRRR).

What bothers me is the angry reaction from those who seem to WANT the grid to go down...

-- Steve Hartsman (, December 21, 1998.

Steve - Total agreement with you. While I am still preparing, because I am a worry-wart by nature, Why can't Sen Bennett and Gartner Group change their minds. We talk around here constantly how a month in Y2K time can be like a year. Well folks, a lot changes in a "year".

Anytime someone starts to soften their numbers though, folks begin to shout "Someone got to them!". Did ya ever think that if you thought their numbers were right 3 months ago based on the data from then, that maybe...*GASP*, their numbers now, based on data from now, may also be correct?

Or are we now only qouting people when their comments fit our view?


-- Rick Tansun (, December 22, 1998.

I certainly don't want the grid to go down. What upsets me with Benett's new stance is that not long ago he was saying it was too late to fix it all, and good data to support that was available. People haven't changed in a couple of months, there's not a "war effort" mobilized against this problem. It all reeks of suspicion that Benett has been muzzled. What angers me the most is that one statement like this can undo months of hard work bringing my DWGI husband to prepare, to say: "see? I told you we had nothing to worry about!"

-- Chris (, December 22, 1998.

Way to go Rick. There are plenty of people on this forum who have given this thing as much thought as anyone else. Since nobody knows, EVERYONE'S OPINION IS VALID. The doomsayers are louder and meaner than anyone else so this forum has turned into a cult for doom.

The most important thing is to prevent panic. Let's prepare for a couple of weeks of loss of services, let's not take our money out of the bank and let's not panic.

My posts are only for new people to this forum. I know what's going on here and am declaring war on the nuts, windbags and religious zealots.

"Short fat Indians behind the rocks, tall skinny Indians behind the trees" George Carlin

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

Oh yeah. I'm also at war with condescending pompuos asses.


-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

No, I don't want the grid to go down, either. Like Chris, I back up a lot of my arguments for preparation using Bennett's prognostications and recommendations. If his research indicates that there is truly only a 3-7% chance of a grid failure, then shouldn't we 9s and 10s be jumping for joy? The question is, what caused him to go from 40% to 3-7%? A lightning-speed, successful, valid assessment of the national generation and distribution capacity, or a request that he tone down his numbers?

-- Lisa (, December 22, 1998.

Show me where Bennett was ever at 40% for the grid going down. What he said was there would be isolated outages and in July, speaking on CSpan to the Washington Press Club he said if 1/1/00 were today(July) there was a chance the grid would go down. Let's stop the dis- information please.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

Yes but have I any experience of y2k on which to base my opinion, I think not.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

Any change, for the good or bad, needs to have some level of reasons as to why. At the conclusion of the Senate hearings last summer with the power industry, Sen Bennett made what could certainly be characterized as doomy/gloomy comments. Now, it seems that his comments are quite optimisitic. All anyone is really asking for is: "What has changed so that the outlook is more optimistic?"

I would think that even Y2K Optimists would have to agree that we need some "meat" here, especially considering how important power is.

-- Jack (, December 22, 1998.

Jack I know you want the meat and I'll make it as lean as possible

Meat: Citibank is spending $800 million, the rest of the Fortune 500 is spending comparably. The FAA will be ready. Government has responded in a big way from what I'm reading. We're going to triage our way out of this thing if everyone stays cool and the religious zealots don't take the podium.

Here are some Bennett quotes from the above mentiond article:

"There's no question but that some of the hysteria is being whipped up by people who have products to sell,"

"I think fear is too strong a word, but I think all of us should have some concern," he explained. "Concern enough to inform ourselves. You need to find out as much as you possibly can about what's really going to happen to you, and then make intelligent contingency plans."

"Or you may say, 'Where I live there is a 20 percent, 30 percent chance that the trucks might not be able to get to the supermarket where I buy food. I probably ought to have a little extra food. In my city the water purification plant is proving to be far more troublesome than it would be someplace else, and in my city I better have a supply of fresh water that can take me through while they're trying to get this taken care of.'

"That's not fear," explained Bennett, "that's intelligent planning based on sound information. Everyone of us has to take the responsibility for gathering his or her own information and then making personal decisions.

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

Semi-articulation, is it really me, or an imposter

-- Jimmy Bagga Doughnuts (, December 22, 1998.

The thing that I am trying to especially focus on (putting all the money that is being spent by banks, and religious wackos, aside for the moment) is the power issue (since its so important):

When Bennett first began spreading the alarm about Y2K, he stated
that there was a 40 percent chance the nation's power grid would not
function because of Y2K.

"Now I think that 40 percent has shrunk down to single digits -- 5 percent, 3 percent -- pick your number, it doesn't really matter, it's a relatively small chance that the power grid will fail," said Bennett confidently.

I just don't know of any actual reasons that Sen Bennett has (yet) presented to explain this drastic change. And I think changes like this -- whether it be from pessimism to optimism or vice versa -- deserve a lot more explanation than we are getting.

-- Jack (, December 22, 1998.

The power grid being the most important factor, even as part of the "iron triangle" would certainly be cause for joy and excitement if indeed Benett is right. I want to research the data backing up his statements, but I won't be able to do so until Jan. 3 when I return from a holiday trip. I'm leaving tomorrow morning and have to get prepared.
My question is, would this optimist 3-5% failure probability be enough to prevent a nationwide panic and food suply disruptions?
Here is article from Roleigh Martin released yesterday, Part II: The threat to the food chain, "While institutions plan for contengency plans, they ignore Y2K definite events: The threat to the food chain."
In Part I he discussed the "indefinite events".

-- Chris (, December 22, 1998.

My 20 years of experience with software systems tells me that you cannot make a 3 minute omlet in 48 seconds, no matter what the mandate. Programmers and systems analysts are quite bad at estimating the effort and costs required to implement a large project. Seriously bad. Horrendously bad. In fact, the only people worse than the programmers at estimating software costs are project managers and boards of directors.

This is a bit of an over-simplification but the typical software project costing begins with the designers estimating that it will take 'x' hours/days/months of programming effort. Management then usually scoffs and says "You'll need to do that in 'x/2' hours". Final costs, if the project is ever completed, are typically '2x' or more.

Watch very closely the next 4 months as that $600 billion dollar figure becomes a mere drop in the bucket. That figure was taken from management estimates produced by managers who did not fully comprehend the task at hand. It was further manipulated by directors who were under pressure to demonstrate that "Y2K remediation costs will not be material".

So I'm forced to wonder whether Sen Bennett is getting real information or if those testifying before his committee are simply getting better at weasel-word optimism and d*mned lies (statistics). I do not accuse Sen. Bennett of deliberately lying. I don't believe he is. He is trying to 'walk that fine line' and I understand and commend him for that. Panic will not solve much at this point. The time to panic was 3 years ago. Only action will make a difference.

I see De Jager's 'Promises Kept' section is now up to a whopping 3 entries. Sad. And about to get worse as the vast majority of organizations who said they would have remediation complete by Dec 31, 1998 now have to find new weasel-words ("Well, we are 99.9% done, just a little clean-up to do. Nothing major really...").

As an aside, I'd thought about posting my own "Promises Broken" website to clearly and starkly contrast the difference, but have decided that De Jager's Promises Kept is as good an arguement for personal preparation as a 5,000 entry list of "promises broken'. And he does it with a lot less effort. It really speaks for itself.

At any rate, my take is that we should prepare as if those figures are lies, whether in fact they are or not. If they turn out to be the truth, then I won't need to go to the grocery store for awhile. But if they turn out to be lies (or just hopelessly optimistic PR flak by people who should have known better), you'll have no excuse to be angry or upset. You were warned after all, and should you choose to ignore those warnings, you should be prepared to accept the consequences without complaint.

I am prepared to accept that my take might be wrong and, should it turn out that personal preparation was not needed, I am prepared to accept the consequences of my own actions (pretty minimal consequences in the grand scheme of things it seems to me). I will not blame Gary North or Cory Hamaski or Paul Milne or Infomagic or Ed Yourdon or Jim Lord or Paula Gordon or PNG or anyone on this forum (with the possible exception of Uncle Deedah of course!). My decisions were my own. Period. They were based on my experience, my research of the issues involved and my knowledge of human nature. Should I turn out to wrong, I will accept the consequences without blaming others.

If those of you who choose to believe the numbers being provided to Sen. Bennett find out they were wrong, please don't look anywhere but in the mirror for the person to blame.

I agree that we are seeing some good news, and electricity should not go out immediately in some areas. There has been a trickle of other good news as well but this trickle pales in comparison to the emmense wall of silence that most companies are providing.

No, I do not want a disaster and that's precisely why I am my family and I won't have one.

-- Arnie_Rimmer (, December 22, 1998.

Chris, "there's not a "war effort" mobilized against this problem."

Actually, I think there is major Y2K mobilization behind-the-scenes. Like Jack and Arnie and most of us, I want factual data, to back up "no problem" assertions. FEMA and other government and State organizations ARE preparing for a big Y2K problem. That's an indicator for me, that all is not what it appears to be.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 22, 1998.

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