State of Emergency : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Another interesting piece of this Y2k puzzle involves the fact that we are now and have been for some time in a presidential declared STATE OF EMERGENCY. This is a solid fact, not conjecture and can be verified with a little research. This is why we have executive orders by the president that are NEVER challenged by our limp-wristed Congress. This info may help the next time you're discussing Y2k with an arrogant/ignorant non-belever. I've stopped many in their tracks when I say "if times are so good, why are we in a national state of emergency!"

-- Wm. Crown (, March 19, 1999


I coauthored an article in this month's issue of Liberty magazine about Y2K and national emergencies/martial law:

htt p://

Here, for instance, is one thing I came across in my research:

In the 1970s, Congress learned to its dismay that emergencies including Presidents Roosevelt's 1933 banking emergency were still in effect. "The President has the power to seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, call reserve forces amounting to 2 1/2 million men to duty, institute martial law, seize and control all menas of transportation, regulate all private enterprise, restrict travel, and in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all Americans," senators Frank Church (D-ID) and Charles McMathias (R-MD) said in a joint statement on September 30, 1973. They listed the sheer number of lingering emergencies and noted that "recent history records Hitler seizing control through the use of the emergency powers provisions contained in the laws of the Weimar Republic."

-- Declan McCullagh (, March 19, 1999.

EO 12938 ... Continuation of Emergency Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.



-- Ray (, March 19, 1999.

Does anyone here recall the furor that resulted when Nixon instituted wage and price controls back in '73? I believe he was using the "state of emergency" dictum as a rationale.

-- sparks (, March 19, 1999.

Declan, I liked the article, and was reading it thinking I might send a few people the link, when I got to:

Most probably, Y2K will disrupt our lives only for a few days or weeks -- so is the temporary use of the military to help out worth agonizing over?

Personally, since nobody knows what's really the case and 3 months is probably just as much a probability as 3 days or three weeks, it really pisses me off that journalists always feel the need to pontificate their opinion on this, as if they know any better than anybody else in the world. A perfectly good article on the subject hence becomes useless to me unless I excerpt little pieces from it. This is just a personal opinion and not meant to be a flame. Just giving you feedback.


-- PJ Gaenir (, March 19, 1999.

Thanks for the honest feedback. We didn't write the article for it to be useful as a convince-the-unwashed agitprop tool. Heck, there's enough elsewhere for that.

Our focus was on martial law and national emergencies, not on how serious Y2K problems themselves will be (or won't be).

-- Declan McCullagh (, March 19, 1999.

What's not being said here but is most relevant is that we are still in several presidential "states of emergency".

Simply stating that we are in a "State of Emergency" invites the erroneous conclusion that there is a general state of emergency that activates all Presidential Executive Orders. If you will take the trouble to examine a declaration of such an emergency, you will find wording to the effect that, "this is a declaration of emergency for the purposes of or as defined by Executive Order #XXXXX".

Taking the common meaning of the word "emergency" and attempting to apply it to a legal document will often lead you to false conclusions.

-- Hardliner (, March 19, 1999.


Thank you for the superb article.

-- Watchful (, March 19, 1999.

Hardliner, thank you for your note about "states of emergency".

Let me add that Executive Orders are NOT necessarily related to national states of emergency. Contrary to the impression given by many sensationalist authors, the "E" in "EO" stands for "Executive", as in Executive Branch of the United States government, not for "emergency".

The vast majority of EOs do not concern any national emergency. Here are three recent ones:

EO 13109, Half-Day Closing of Executive Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government on Thursday, December 24, 1998 at 8/12/18/2.text.2

EO 13110, Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group at 9/1/12/1.text.2

EO 13111, Using Technology to Improve Training Opportunities for Federal Government Employees at 9/1/13/5.text.2

-- No Spam Please (, March 21, 1999.

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