Is this entire forum OffTopic or OnTopic? Let's settle it .... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Sorry if I'm adding a redundant thread to some underway, but how about a thorough-going once-and-for-all debate on this question?

I don't regard the forum as having gone OT.

Yes, it is probably the case that once Y2K impacts start to heat up, we will see many more obvious Y2K threads. We are in the "no-fly zone" (twilight zone might be better) of the Y2K spin cycle and it is tricky to determine what is Y2K news, what isn't and what is just red-truck syndrome.

Ah, but that's the problem, neighbors, ie., how to distinguish? And THAT problem is likely to remain with us and perhaps get far worse over the next six months. If anyone thinks that folks are going to say (the FAA, IRS, DOD, General Motors, Shell et al), "uh, we just want to report a major Y2K breakdown we're having ...", you're Y2K-ready for the funny farm.

So, the first category of theoretically OT threads are those which try to establish whether there is a connection of 'x' to Y2K.

The second category, IMO, are those threads that analyze issues of honesty, integrity, political and media manipulation, etc., that go a long way to trying to deal with the problem I just mentioned (piercing the institutional spin cycle). CF Jon Williamson's pertinent posts on PR. Y2K IS PR from the institutional point of view, mind-numbingly so, including technical PR from the Gartner-gropes.

Consequently, issues having to do with the Clintons, WACO, the upcoming election cycle, perturbations in the financial markets, the second amendment, are thoroughly germane. Coming up with best-guesses as to how these institutions are going to play Y2K for the next six months may affect our lives critically.

The third category, which I view as OT in fact, comprises threads on the more bizarro conspiracy and alien stuff. Actually, while they sometimes cause uproar, I would guess less than 2% of threads fall into this category, though individuals may post this stuff within other threads at times. Some of our trolls delight in painting the forum as though 50% of the material falls here. Typical nonsense. If Chuck deletes these, fine. If he doesn't, fine. I'm not the moderator.

Y2K is a cultural as well as a technical phenomenon (something Koskinen understands to near perfection and techie pollies completely misunderstand). The perception that OT threads have increased is due to the way that Y2K has been spun over the past year. Few of us expected the remarkable scale of packaged information and disinformation that we have seen (one of the most saliently incorrect predictions of doomers was the foolish 1997 belief that the government-and-media would spearhead, to some authentic degree, nationwide preparation).

Finally, even if I'm wrong, no moderator should be asked to be the arbiter of what is on-topic or off-topic. Deletion of trolling, obscenity and abuse is one thing. Determining topcal-ness is another.

This forum will continue or not based on the participation (or not) of the people who come). If you don't like the forum, don't .... click .... to .... it. If you don't like a particular thread, don't click to it. Most thread titles are hilariously clear anyway.

Separating "prep" from "TB2K" was (patting himself and others on back) a brilliant move -- send newbies there if you think they'll get turned off here.

Heck, I still maintain the this forum unselfconsciously tracks Y2K as a cultural phenomenon quite closely. If you think THIS forum is wacky, think about Y2K itself ... at this stage of the game: the spin, the lies, the obfuscation, the game-playing. THAT'S wacky.

-- BigDog (, September 02, 1999


Big Dog,

I agree.

-- =^..^= woman (agreed@agreeable.calm?), September 02, 1999.

"... one of the most saliently incorrect predictions of doomers was the foolish 1997 belief that the government-and-media would spearhead, to some authentic degree, nationwide preparation"

Going through Bruce Webster's Y2K book published, I believe, sometime last year, he has a section which breaks down the range of scenarios. One of the clues he offers as to what life after the rollover would be like assumed a comparable level of concern among preppers during either the first half or second half of 1999. The scenarios I consider most likely (5-7+) have yielded none of those current attributes.

So either Bruce completely missed the mark or people will be *really, really* underprepared (and what might have been a BITR will be greatly exascerbated).

I don't believe I'm that far off on the plausibility (as opposed to the likelihood) of what could happen next year, so I have been straining to pay far more attention to the undercurrents this year, including items that might otherwise have appeared more OT.

Either way, this forum has been a h*ll of an education this year. Thanks, all!

-- Brooks (, September 02, 1999.

I agree, too.

This forum is as "On topic" as it can be. The real thinkers here have "never" been just concerned about Y2K, thats why they can see its possible ramifications --- they're not blind, paranoid "end of the world zealots" as some proclaim. So we realize there are other important happenings also.

*** I have never seen an important or even minor Y2K subject missed or ignored when it comes up. In the meantime, on "slow" days, why not keep up with the rest of reality? We keep saying Y2K is a problem because the systems are so integrated --- so are the OT items (for the most part - the few really weird ones can be ignored). Russia and the stock market bubble are just as real as Y2K.

-- Jon Johnson (, September 02, 1999.

Dittos Big Dog. I'm getting a college education here for free. History, economics, psychology, math, computer science, social science, home economics, geography, etc., and I have everyone here to thank.

-- bardou (, September 02, 1999.

Thank you, BigDog.

It's all interconnected, isn't it?

-- Wilferd (, September 02, 1999.

Woof! And it isn't Off Topic if space debris is actually coming thru now & causing power outages and being Covered Up. What's going to happen if ground control loses control in January because the embedded systems 'n software is not thoroughly remediated? More space junk crashes? Better to get acquainted with the possibilities now, mental preparation, less freak-out in January, February, March, etc.

The more we are made aware of now, the less shock we'll be in later. If we're all sitting in the cold dark with communications shut off, we'll think back to these days and be glad we had the opportunity to discuss the possibilities ahead of time.

Yes, what an education we've had! Thanks to all. This Forum ROCKS !!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 02, 1999.

This forum is the best place I've found for a wide ranging collection of articles gleaned from sources all over the globe. Added to the actual info provided is the perspective of such a diverse collection of individuals ,regulars as well as those who just come and go.

To the OT cry babies- most threads are clearly labeled and if you don't like the title then don't click the thread. Its simple.

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), September 02, 1999.

Although some of the OT appears really "off," Y2K does not take place in a vacuum. It's global... and interconnected to all aspects of our fragile... and not so fragile world.

My suggestion would be, if posters initiate an OT thread, then TRY at least to mention how it relates to Y2K. Even if there is only one sentence about it.

(Weighing in wearing one of TBY2K Sysop hats)

-- Diane J. Squire (, September 02, 1999.

My mouse is dead. It doesn't click on anything on it's own. Do you realize that I have to grab hold of it and physically DRAG it to what I want to read!?

But on the plus side, I skip over anything that I consider useless, such as posts whos titles indicate flames or pointless taunting.

So if some posts are bothering you, kill your mouse! Take back your freedom of choice and select only the posts that you what to read!

(BigDog: The above is sarcasteas for "I agree").

Keep your...

-- eyes_open (, September 02, 1999.

Glad to hear what I'm hearing. What I suspected is true, that the realy thinkers and doers are open to, and avidly interested in world events. We all have built in BS meters, so who cares what's posted, as long as its interesting.


-- Owl (, September 02, 1999.

WHO CARES!!! If the damn server is too full then take some of the stuff that is over a year old, back it up, and remove it! Big deal! Greenspun can keep a copy if they are ever needed.

The Owl is right that we should be able to talk about anything interesting. If you're not interested DON'T READ IT!!!

-- @ (@@@.@), September 02, 1999.

I just heard a news report that a physician was charged with assault, and sentenced to a 90 day jail term, for punching a 69 year-old woman in the face after she cut off his BMW in traffic. Off topic??

I might have thought so a year ago. But, today when I heard this, Y2K was the first thing that I thought of. The mainstream media is so full of stories about "millenia madness", and how the doomsday zealots are the real threat. Here's what I'm thinking today...if Y2K is a BITR, I'm more concerned about what the tightly wrapped, BMW-driving, Brie-snarfing, instant gratification JIT-ers are going to do if ATM's are down for a few days? If power is off for a week? If there are temporary shortages in grocery stores? For prepared doomers a BITR would not even be a minor inconvenience. For someone like the physician in this story, it would be a disaster of catastrophic proportions.

My point here is that my perception of what is OT has changed over time. I suspect that may be true for others, too. It would be interesting to know if one's definition of OT has a connection to how long one has been aware of and preparing for potential Y2K consequences.

-- RUOK (, September 02, 1999.

Many of the so-called "OT" threads -- such as Waco, police busting into private homes with guns blazing, etc. -- are AT LEAST as on-topic with Y2K as some nitty-gritty question as to whether a Y2K patch for an IBM mainframe in some specialized environment will have adverse effects. Waco, in particular, goes to the heart of the Governement's CREDIBILITY when making statements about an event. To question whether we are being told the truth about Y2K, but not take into consideration what is going on with the latest admissions with Waco, is ridiculous.

agreeable woman: You do like to mudwrestle, right?

-- King of Spain (, September 02, 1999.

Right-wing conspirators unite under the banner of Y2K to show the American public just how corrupt and dishonest the current party in power really is is at most a thin vail my book. Shall I start to post OT subjects on an alcoholic cocaine snorting SOB that may be the next president I am sure to be flamed all to hell. I would hole heartily agree the "GOVERNMENT" in general is the problem as well as "BIG BUSINESS" but when you try a point the finger at the a particlule party you lose your focus.

Both parties,in my eyes,are just as corrupt as the the other. I would place blame on both of them for ingoring y2k in a manner that may effect all of us. Thus OT subjects that attack instead of educate IMHO do not belong here.

-- y2k dave (, September 02, 1999.

Kind of a silly question. Of course the whole forum is not OT. It is not a binary issue. It is not all or nothing. Some threads are On Topic some are not and some fill that hazy ground in between.

Y2k is so far reaching that you can easily link any subject you want to it. Some folks see anything having to do with the government as On Topic. These folks display a shocking naivete when they express their outrage that the government (gasp) lied to them.

So what? Shall we go back through history and list every single f*cked up thing the govt ever did to its people? Shall we rehash Vietnam? The idea that Clinton is the first President to try to pull a fast one is hilarious and, again, displays a serious lack of historical education.

It seems fairly obvious that if the original post does not even once mention Y2k then it is probably OT. I would hate to see all the OT posts deleted. Over specialization is the death of any species. I would just like to see OT posts labeled OT. So that it is clear what the forum is, in fact, addressing.

-- R (, September 02, 1999.

Shall I start to post OT subjects on an alcoholic cocaine snorting SOB that may be the next president I am sure to be flamed all to hell.

Nah. If you want to post about Al Gore, go right ahead.

-- (, September 02, 1999.

Dave -- Previous surveys have indicated that this forum is demographically weighted towards conservatives and libertarians, both of whom tend towards anti-gov stuff. That's just the way things are around here. A forum with a different demographic would excoriate the "right-wing". Of course, "Gilda" does a pretty good job of that entirely on her own. The moderators have been tasked with deleting abusive posts and that's about as good as we can do.

I can only speak for myself: I view GW's election (God forbid it happen) as only slightly less alarming than Algores. OTOH, having an orderly election next year may prove to be a triumph in itself. I think you would find quite a lot of consensus around here on both those points, excepting the people who want everything to collapse.

Riversoma --- I haven't detected a whole lot of amazement that the government lies around here. I agree with you that labeling OT threads is a good idea but that brings us back to the same question: how do we determine what is truly OT? My argument is that it is far less than we might think.

-- BigDog (, September 02, 1999.

Love this forum and the education I have recieved here. The Y2K and the off topics.First place I look for late breaking news every day.Thanks a lot for the truth with the links where we know that it is true.A lot of people take there time to help every one.Know one knows how bad this is going to be,but we can look it up and try to make up our own minds to the best of our ability.World events and domestic have a lot to do with what happens.If you follow this forum for a while you know what is good and what is stupid.Would have liked to have a place like this a long time ago will be the best place to go if we are able hopfully after Dec.31 Not every one is a doomer we are hoping for the best outcome possible.I personnaly like this life i'm living now.

-- Hawk (, September 02, 1999.

Thanks Big D,

Where the heck am I gonna post an as it's happenin' UFO story except here on this forum???? NO, I did not start the thread, I was made aware immediately BECAUSE of the site, and followed intensely long into the nite. COULDN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?? UFO story is relevant to Y2K if those craft are here to screw with my/our preps!!!! Don't you know that Spam and Dinty Moore are the cosmos' space fuels of choice!!!!! Tinfoil ON. Antenna UP. Troll Meter SET. OT Gauge Adjusted. Hey K.O.S., maybe these guys on space ships like to mudwrestle!!! Anyone know the intergalactic symbol for mudwrestling??

-- nitesky voodoo (, September 02, 1999.


I like some of the OT stuff and don't like other stuff. At least I have the right to choose. As long as folks post a OT at the start of the title it's fine with me.

What is a real problem is the volume of posters on the forum. It is getting more common to have this "server busy" come up at anytime of the day. As the rollover comes closer one would expect this to become more of a problem.

We may have to split the forum up once again, just as the Prep Forum is such great resource it maybe time to figure out another board for the Y2K problem. Time will tell I guess, but it is the reality of the situation. This forum can only take so much volume. What is it going to be like in a month or two?

-- Brian (, September 02, 1999.

Big Dog,

For goodness sakes havn't you seen the threads about that "Lying b*tch Reno" ?

Haven't you seen the outrage expressed that Clinton is not completely on the up and up?

I have. Over and over again. That is chiefly what those Waco/Clinton threads delve into. The original poster puts up something about the duplicitous nature of the current regime and then all fall too about how this is a sure sign of Things To Come.

Guess what boys and girls. People in power do bad things. Get over it. If there was no Waco would you trust the govt.? If there was no Whitewater Gate would you love Hillary? If there was no Monica gate would you let your daughter be Clinton's intern?

Gimme a break.

It is all distaction and spin from the real issue. The real govt issue is the fact that Reagan should have done something about this. Bush should have done something. Clinton should have done something.

It does not matter who is president right now. Martial law will happen regardless of Waco and if you are completely dependent on the events of the last 8 years to tell you how the govt might react in this situation then you are in deep Van Nuys.

-- R (, September 02, 1999.

nitesky: Maybe that would be a great sequal for that "Earthgirls are Easy" movie -- "Mudwrestling Women from Mars"....

-- King of Spain (, September 02, 1999.

We-ell, as another Sysop Hat wearer, I have made a point or two in some of the respective threads over the past couple days and will try to gather my wit (only gots one left and IT likes to go out and play in traffic) and make them again. But first, all you who have posted here, ya need to be careful as my hat size is ALREADY a bit too large. Thank you for the comments and I wonder where the folks are who have problems with things here? Unless they are of the opinion that if BD starts the thread it'll only be a big M-A-S and they need their own. (errrr M-A-S = Mutual Admiration Society).

Anyway, back to the issue at hand:
1) Y2K will NOT happen in a vacuum. (learned how to spell THAT one this AM)

2) MANY folks are expecting to "use" the event for their own purposes. Some of these folks (or so I am reliably informed, and NO you can ask but you won't get an answer on who by) post here and are trying to set us up as beards, or as fronts for their activity. These folks are often answered fairly heavily.

3) If it's CLEARLY LABELED as "OT" (or "OY" for the typing challenged), then it can be bypassed. Before I got the keys to the kingdom (or at least the delete key in the kingdom) I used to read ONLY the on topic stuff, scan the OT stuff if I had an interest (Lilly Dale type spiritualism, UFO's, oh- about a half-weeks worth of Art Bell subjects, etc) and go on with my pathetic life. Now that I have the keys, I find that my sense of responsibility (the only ethic I have left) requires that I invert my reading time and read the OT stuff first, as that's where the civility breaks down first. I HAVE pretty much decided to let the guys play and not call quite so many fouls, but that can change in a heart-beat if things get a bit TOO rough. Some one sugested that it ought to be like a rugby game or a basketball game where you let the play continue but keep control so nobody actually gets hurt. I prefer to look at it as a friendly game of water polo ;-). (hi hi hi)

[For the sports challenged, water polo is the only sport that I know of where near drowning an opponent is part of the offense. Thus there really IS NO such thing as a "friendly game". Kind of like the canadians who give their kids sticks and say "Go beat him up!" at the age of 2 and call it hockey. (thanks Brian)]

I guess, to make a long post longer, I would simply ask people to read thaat which they have an interest in and leave the rest. To paraphrase an interesting little song:

"Take what you need, and leave the rest, but they should ever have taken the very best ..."

Whose new motto is,"A post for every prep and a prep for every post"
or something like that.

-- Chuck, a night driver (, September 02, 1999.

River --- Janet Reno a lying b*tch????!!!!!! Heavens!!!!!! Hmmm ... gotta go find that one.

We're not really in major disagreement, or I don't think so. But I'll plead guilty to just plain feeling outraged by a few things that have to do with our current government, including that nice Janet Reno lady, starting with Y2K, of course. I try to keep my posted outrage to a low boil but it is a relief to feel I can occasionally say what I think about it all. Keeping in mind that most of it is ending up in a very large and hopefully non-compliant database file .....

-- BigDog (, September 02, 1999.

Chuck, BD and company,

I might add that some of the OT stuff, is posted with a level of concern and sincerity about the wider world we live in. Y2K just happens to be the uncertain straw that may, or may not, break certain portions of the global camel's back. The interelatedness is under discussion... sometimes with heat.

Then to complicate the On/Off Y2K commentary, the trolls & polly/ trolls (for the most part NOT our favored pollys) start threads with the intention of making the Forum look even more "over the top" than it already is... of pointing aluminum fingers... and answering their own posts anonymously in order to "agree" with their take. There is QUITE a bit of that going on.

Fortunately, the hat-wearing Sysops (there are 3 of us currently) can "observe" their antics from a different vantage point, to make a determination... to delete or not to delete. Most of such posts are crafted to incite maximum "flame." And actually, most are NOT deleted, because they tend stay within the suggested posting guideline boundaries. A large roving Moderator team, many of whom prefer to remain anonymous, also participates by flagging the Sysops when someone goes overboard. The ever-increasing Forum volume means that just a few people cant possibly read everything posted. (We ARE an all-volunteer force, trying to live/prep our own lives, so the Forum is not monitored 24/7). Then there is also the assistance from the Forum regulars, which is greatly appreciated, in posting a Problem Alert thread or e-mailing us at the Forum mail-box: Youd be surprised how many posting goofs and unintentional HTML snafoos occur.

Beyond the trolls, there are... the others. Professional disruptors (I personally suspect in some cases) who visit Forum, from time to time. Especially when hot news breaks. They are in an entirely different posting class, IMHO. A simple delete isnt particularly relevant, because they rarely push the envelope.

In other words... theres something for everyone here... rather like life... or the American freedom-of-speech ideal. (Apologies to the international posters).

For the most part, Sysops, Moderators and regular posters (of all persuasions) are cut a lot of slack here. People who cant handle it, are welcome to LEAVE, or Y2K newcomers are encouraged to shift to gentler Y2K waters over at the TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum (Y2K Prep Only Discussions) ... Sysoping courtesy of BigDog and Chuck.

Newbies... GO HERE ===>

http:// TimeBomb%202000%20%28Y2000%29%20Preparation%20Forum

Aint it a grand world? (Both on and off Forum?)



(Mottos: Shift Happens. Expect the Unexpected.)

-- Diane J. Squire (, September 02, 1999.

Ya gotta love the general level of wackiness here, eez better dan reedink borink forum, eh Natasha?

As to the monitoring inference, that's a given, but I truly do not believe that those of us who keep our noses clean have anything to worry about. And if anyone posting here has genuine evil plans for the roll-over, I hope they get what's coming to them. I understand unhappines with many things that government does, but ya gotta change things legitimately or you will end up on the point of a very sharp stick. Change requires real work, not arm-chair quarterbacking.

-- Uncle Deedah (, September 02, 1999.

Thank you, Big Dog, for expressing this so well for all of us who come here to learn. And thank you, moderators, for your work in providing us with boundaries. These have seemed sufficient to me, especially since you began deleting some of the disgusting entries. I came to this forum as a newbie five months ago, and have now been enabled to assess the potentials for Y2K in a manner I never could have done without the input of the people here who are long-time GIs. I have told all those who I have tried to help GI that I have had a post-grad education here, and have never learned more outside a college course in such a short time. When one is preparing for survival while working full-time, there is very little evening and weekend time in which to follow the important news. And the liberal media does not give it to me fully and accurately anyway, which I've long known. It is refreshing and truly encouraging to visit here with those of like mind, who love our nation but hate venal politicians and politics, and who care enough to voice it and to try to do something to change things. These topics to me are not OT to Y2K, because as many have already expressed, they are all interconnected. If I wish to assess what I may expect next year, I need to know what my government is doing now, and what is being exposed about what they have done in the past, i.e., Waco. [Did anyone notice a few posts below how an OT about this very topic drew out FOUR of the people I suspect are "plants"...Chicken Little, R, Y2KPro, and For? Doesn't this tell you that we are here disturbing someone's ease?} So please do not change anything about this forum. I thank God for it.

-- Elaine Seavey (, September 02, 1999.

I side with "kill the mouse"!

-- Mumsie (, September 02, 1999.


I have always believed that we are in for major problems related to the Y2K issues. It is the extremists that make my blood boil so please consider removing me from your fab four list. Thanks

-- For (, September 02, 1999.

Sick of hearing about the men, women and children murdered by the government at Waco? Skip posts that have "Waco" in the title. Put your head in back in the sand. If "Waco" is in the title, that's quite enough for you to decide for yourself how "on- or off-topic" it is. Anything else is suppression of others' communication.

R, you speak of Waco as if it were just another minor indiscretion of government; we are "naive" to protest or call attention to it, to be aware of it, and to remember thatwe are being lied to. Accept the fact the we are being lied to, you say. I say that this is precisely why Y2k is all about what happened at Waco. You tie yourself in knots trying to minimize the deliberate shooting, gassing and burning of those 84 innocent people. You attack me, and others -repeatedly, on post after post- for calling the government on it's crimes and it's lies. I offer readily available evidence for my views, evidence that has been recognized as credible by CNN, The New York Times, and others: Michael McNulty's Academy Award-nominated, IDA-winning "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," and the sequel, "Waco: A New Revelation." You can rent the first in most video stores, or buy them on Both films were compiled with evidence held by the Texas Rangers. The evidence is interpreted by credible experts. But you don't address these fact-based allegations; like the mainstream press, you attack people who want truth and justice, calling them "right wing extremists." McNulty's work has actually fueled the current Waco discussion in Congress, and among members of the press - this source is unimpeachable. You can probably get a copy at your library, if you're too cheap to rent it - and yet you refuse to address the evidence, and you (and also the abusive, foulmouthed "For") are not content to ignore others' discussion of an obviously Y2k-relevant topic. No, you have to ATTACK THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DISCUSSING IT. Why? Why do you devote post after post to this?

Above, Y2kdave starts out his post attacking "Right-wing conspirators" for criticizing Clinton and Co., and then ends his post "...subjects that attack instead of educate IMHO do not belong here." On other posts, people have made it plain that any non-leftist views are not to be tolerated, and have resorted to the most vituperative scatalogical abuses imaginable to underscore their "point." Rather ironic, since I was bringing to their attention the huge Chinese Communist "donations" to the President and the DNC, and the favors that were given in turn. Sorry, I don't like losing 20 years and billions of dollars worth our most sophisticated military R&D to a Marxist dictatorship that jails people for meditating and publically shreds religious books. I don't like "my" President in the pay of a hostile foreign power that has openly and explicitly threatened us with nuclear attack several occaisions. I can substantiate this; in sourcing this (admittedly weighty) accusation, I give the address for "" (it has a very complete special section on China) - then catch all kinds of really nasty abuse for that - but not a single challenge to my statements of fact.

I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that you who attack people for their opinions so viciously, without actually constructing any kind of argument or rebuttal, have literally lost your minds. Anyone who believes in that the Constitution of the United States of America should be honored as law, is a "right wing extremist." You parrot what you're told, and become infuriated when someone demands that you back up your hysterical verbal abuse with reason.


-- Liberty (, September 02, 1999.

This forum is THE place I go to, in search of what's "really" happening out there. I work long hours, don't have tv, the local papers suck, etc- the info and breaking news is right here- and it's all valuble IMO. What we have here, is a network of people who put out info to others- not just what the media/gov wants us to know- but tell it as they see it. this is valuable- whether strictly y2k related or OT- much of what I've heard about of value has been here on this forum- not in the mainstream media- let the pollies and purists whine- if they don't like it- don't read it- period. Just like I don't read the sports section of the paper.......

-- farmer (, September 02, 1999.

Big Dog,

Very well put and I have had time to think about a response that I hope will not waste more bandwidth than is necessary. You stated: So, the first category of theoretically OT threads are those which try to establish whether there is a connection of 'x' to Y2K. I not disagree with this premise to the extent it is done outside a political agenda. I believe the main purpose of this forum was to educate and increase awareness to Y2k. Will the contect be lost if the connection between "x" to y2k is turned into a political agenda?

You further stated: The second category, IMO, are those threads that analyze issues of honesty, integrity, political and media manipulation, etc., that go a long way to trying to deal with the problem I just mentioned (piercing the institutional spin cycle). CF Jon Williamson's pertinent posts on PR. Y2K IS PR from the institutional point of view, mind-numbingly so, including technical PR from the Gartner-gropes.

Consequently, issues having to do with the Clintons, WACO, the upcoming election cycle, perturbations in the financial markets, the second amendment, are thoroughly germane. Coming up with best-guesses as to how these institutions are going to play Y2K for the next six months may affect our lives critically. Now this is where I have issues and our disagreement will probably stand. While it is prudent to establish a connection between integrity of reporting in government and corporate reports, you lose your focus when the issues are turned into a political agenda. There is a very thin line here and it is crossed many times. I have chosen not to make this a political issue as some have. Y2K knows no political affliation. It not an emotional issues which politics can become. I believe both major parties will hold responsibility for the events that may occur as a result of Y2K. Do you think for a minute is Y2K goes 10 that your political affliation will matter? Yes it true that the current party will be held utmost responsible for the lack of prepraredness and spin being put on y2k but so is corporate America. Our focus needs to remain on Y2K or you will lose the ability to educate newbies that come here IMHO. Time is very short, shorter than most know or care to worry about.

And yes I have noticed that this board tends to be a very conservative and libertarian but that does not bother me. If cpr couldn't shake me on the gary is a nice guy forum, a little conservative thought(though I prefer a mix of liberal and libertarion thought)education will not hurt me either.

I do not mind many OT subject that are presented on this forum and yes I can make the decision as to whether I read them or not. In fact, many are educational also I enjoy reading them. Now have cleared my mind this morning and feel alot better. More later.

-- y2k dave (, September 04, 1999.

So, it appears to depend on whether you consider y2k to be narrowly defined as an issue of computer software mishandling dates, or whether you consider it as yet another example of an imperfect world generally.

The "imperfect world" philosophy appears to be clearly preferred, probably because (1) Computer problems simply aren't significant enough yet to support a very active forum; and (2) bitching about anything that crosses your mind doesn't require any knowledge or experience to speak of.

If there is a general sense of subject matter here, it's not y2k, it's finding powers beyond one's control, on which to blame an unhappy life, whether that's admitted or denied. Those who are most adamant that y2k will bring Big Trouble also view (pick as many as you like:) banks, the government, the "system", managers, politicians, optimists, etc. as also being very bad.

So as a y2k forum, TB2000 has surely lost its focus. But as a place where the world and anything in it can be attacked as Bad, by extension being responsible for inadequate lives, it's endlessly entertaining.

To invert Mark Anthony, the problem lies not in ourselves but in our stars, that we are underlings. This forum is a place to curse those stars. And the trolls are those willing to stand up and say "Hey, things aren't so bad, and I'm pretty happy!" Boo, hiss. We know better, and we come here to commiserate.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

Zzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzz ...

-- Andy (, September 04, 1999.

"So, it appears to depend on whether you consider y2k to be narrowly defined as an issue of computer software mishandling dates, or whether you consider it as yet another example of an imperfect world generally." You're not reading or thinking again. There is a serious and legitimate need to analyze a wide range of facts (your favorite word) to determine which are related to that matter of "computer software mishandling dates."

You're the one who lost your focus when you decided that Y2K is an event that will have no significant impact. Apparently, the mocking joy you take in your assumed superiority to the rest of us is now your sole reason for visiting. Otherwise, Flint, why would you visit a forum that has "lost its focus" on Y2K? At least Hoffmeister keeps his posts to the narrow matter of "mishandling dates."

What in my post at the top of this thread do you disagree with, precisely? Because if you are trying to say that your characterization above is a characterization of me, you are as far- off as you love to claim Milne is.

-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Big Dog:

I said I visit because it's endlessly entertaining. Isn't that a good enough reason for you.

And no, I don't think that anyone who disagrees with you has stopped thinking or lost their focus, much as you seem to prefer to believe otherwise. It's quite possible (if YOU actually think about it) that the majority of threads here have nothing to do with y2k anymore because the posters here have lost focus.

So out of one side of your mouth, you continue to insist that "it's y2k, stupid", and out of the other side you snipe at those with the nerve to point out that the forum seems to have forgotton your own point. Is this because you have decided that y2k applies to everything anyone takes a dislike to or is afraid of? If so, your own slogan has become vague beyond definition. Yes, it's y2k, but yes, y2k is anything we decide it is, no matter what!

And *I* have stopped thinking and lost focus? Hehehe.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.


-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Flint --- As has grown usual with you since you became the world's most patronizing super-polly, you didn't respond to my post at the top of this thread, where I was quite specific. I'm not "sniping" at you for your "nerve", just trying to figure out why you aren't saying anything.

You're entitled to find your entertainment wherever you want. But considering how you mock "doomers", it is more than a little odd that someone who doesn't expect any Y2K impact still comes here. If I felt that way, I would find this forum an utter waste of time. Maybe YOU'RE the one who needs to get a life and move on past Y2K.

I've OFTEN spoken, with specifics, about posts from people, including you, that I have respected, though disagreeing with. Sorry, people who "know me" here know how lame that is.

It is true that I stopped paying attention to your posts about two months ago when you began your broad-based forum ridicule campaign. Still, if you have something germane to say about HOW I have discussed what is OT or not in this thread, great. I hardly possess the world's wisdom on the subject. Otherwise, sure, find your "entertainment" elsewhere on the forum.

And what is this "he-he-he" business with you? Is this your version of Decker's (laughter)?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.colm), September 04, 1999.

Flint was plonked some time ago.

-- h (h@h.h), September 04, 1999.

Big Dog:

I have to wonder. I keep saying that there will be problems, most of which will be manageable. You keep repeating that I have said there will be "no problems". You know better than this. I concluded long ago that you are playing to your audience here, and lying about other posters is OK if enough of them agree with your lies. But I feel no qualms about looking down on you for this behavior. It's not honest.

As for the entertaining notion that any and every subject is pertinent because it reflects the unconscious tracking of y2k as a cultural phenomenon, this is interesting. I also (if you'd read rather than just knee-jerk reacting) said that this forum is tracking a cultural phenomenon, and y2k is but a single symptom of that phenomenon. The cultural phenomenon isn't y2k, the phenomenon is that there are always nervous or unhappy people willing to blame forces beyond their control for their own problems. Your eagerness to join this club to get local applause here ought to distress you if you hadn't bought into it so iredeemably.

And the Orwellian extent you must stoop to is amusing, I concede this. You are now saying that off-topic is really on-topic, because facts are spin and lies are truth, all of which means irrelevant is relevant and we've gone through the looking glass, folks.

And I'm supposed to stay away or not be entertained by the contortions your congregation must go through when reality just refuses to cooperation with your fixations? True, I post less often because issues are no longer raised here for discussion, but rather as illustrations of dogma. Now we even have Ray posting articles Norm used to post. But Ray hasn't awakened by any means -- these articles are no longer considered counterbalancing opinions or information, they are now held up as illustrations of just how dishonest or stupid *everyone else* has become.

So I'll stay with the everyone else, thank you. And you can snipe, secure behind your barricade of sycophants here, calling legitimate disagreement "patronizing", and labeling those who disagree "super- pollies" and other names sure to garner applause from those ready and waiting to osculate your rectum should you choose to bend over.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

Wow, Flint, that is breath-takingly derisive, even for you at this current stage of your evolution! I'll assume this is your answer to my question about this thread?

"You are now saying that off-topic is really on-topic, because facts are spin and lies are truth, all of which means irrelevant is relevant and we've gone through the looking glass, folks."

No, I said that it is difficult to DISCERN which statements are facts- truth, thanks not to the posters on this forum, but the way that gov- biz has chosen to respond to Y2K. That is scarcely the world's most profound statement. Consequently, it is difficult to DETERMINE what is OT and what is not (since WACO, for instance, goes to issues of honesty and integrity on the part of the same government that is "managing" Y2K). Gee, that doesn't seem altogether profound to me, either.

You're the one who has said Y2K impacts will be trivial. Nit-picking my words doesn't help. And asserting that I am a liar is pathetic. Is this what you are reduced to?

"Orwellian. Sycophants. Lies. Contortions. Congregation. Dogma." This is legitimate disagreement and not patronizing? Yeah, I guess is "isn't" these days ....

The evident contempt in which you hold scores of regular posters here, AS IF they are sycophants to me or anyone else, is sad. And ridiculous.

Character DOES out, Flint. I've got a small but authentic track record of helping folks here prepare, folks on the prep forum prepare, helping folks in my own community and, if need be after rollover, elsewhere as well. Real people, not cartoon figures like you paint Andy, Ray, others and myself to be. The people I know from this forum are a pretty remarkable group. But that's another subject and definitely OT to this thread.

I'm still waiting and interested in having a meaningful discussion with you about what is on-topic and off-topic.

-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Big Dog:

Very well, fair enough. I sometimes reply in the same spirit in which I'm addressed, but I'm not vying for sainthood either.

I honestly cannot pinpoint the unbra and penumbra of relevance to y2k, but I know it exists and my feeling is that these phenomena are smaller than you feel they are.

As a first cut, the umbra clearly is where Hoff lives. These are discussions of computers directly -- hardware, software, firmware, idiosyncracies of languages (like tm_year) and devices (like the RTC). I'd also include issues surrounding new installations and implementations, major upgrades and minor patches, availability of remediators and tools, testing reports and test results. The umbra might also encompass issues of passing corrupt data, provided we deal with real interfaces and examples, rather than the woolly "everything is connected to everything so we're all toast" nonsense. The umbra is things directly computer-related, focusing on what happens when software misinterprets or mishandles dates.

Now, where the penumbra is bounded I doubt can be clearly defined. But using Waco as a case study in the honesty of "government", and therfore by extension using Waco to calibrate the validity of what "the government" tells us about y2k, seems to me to be WAAAAY outside the pale. We're talking about different times (1993 versus now), different agencies, different people, different policies, one thing already happened and the other hasn't happened yet, possible perceived ramifications of secrecy versus honesty totally different, on and on.

This argument is so non-proximate as to be clearly self-serving, because it's worked backwards. Really, what you're saying here is: Y2k will be very bad. This is so obvious the government must know it. Therefore they do know it. Since they aren't telling us, therefore they must be dishonest. Since those who distrust government see Waco as illustrating all that's bad about the government, therefore Waco somehow by extension explains why the government is lying to us about y2k. Oh, you don't think the government acted out of nothing but pure evil at Waco? Well, that just goes to show that they have successfully brainwashed you, but not me, oh no, I can see that these things are all tied together!

Big Dog, please, Waco is *off topic*, unless you execute the kind of absurd stretch that haunts Rose Mary Woods. As irritating as Y2k Pro unquestionably is, his "tinfoil list" is pretty good. Outsiders who haven't bought into this "cultural tracking pheniomenon" see a forum that rarely mentions y2k, which is buried in among discussions of astrology and astronomy, economics, banking, aliens, and a growing host of conspiracies.

And yes, I see that most of these threads are clearly labeled as being off topic. But there are so many of them. I'm reminded of the old joke of the psychiatrist telling the patient on the couch: "You suffer from nameless fears? No problem, we have a name for everything!"

And by now, TB2000 is using "y2k" as the generic term for those nameless fears. Doesn't matter WHAT you fear, we'll find some way to relate it to y2k, however distant or specious.

I seriously doubt y2k tracks any kind of cultural trend at all. There's always fringe elements fixated on single issues. This forum seems to draw these people in, but can't keep most of them focused on y2k -- they wander back to their own imaginary worlds, but continue to insist that y2k will be catastrophic. Well gee, we can't call these people irrelevant, since y2k *will* be catastrophic, that's fundamental to the very existence of this forum. Therefore, we must somehow subsume their fixations as relevant, to keep the "right" people in the fold. And that means defining *everything* as relevant.

Maybe the rule of thumb should be, if y2k didn't exist, would *this* particular issue (pick any one) still be important? If so, it's not relevant to y2k directly, but stands alone.

What do you suggest, beyond happily accepting anything at all as relevant provided those discussing the 'anything' share your opinions on y2k?

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

I am all for hard computer stuff on this forum and personally wish there were more of it, whether Hoff, Sysman, you, others. Obviously on-topic.

We'll just have to agree to disagree about Waco. The same people who strategized and covered Waco in 1993 are still in power today and, taken as a group, are managing Y2K. I fail to see how this is old news and, certainly, observing how they handle the current Waco situation with respect to issues of integrity is new news and, IMO, relevant. The Delta Force controversy, which is authentic and not conspiracy theory, is also INTENSELY relevant to issues of gun control and the way in which government forces intrude or not into possible Y2K domestic problems.

(I would add that while I have often stated on this forum I DON'T believe Y2K is a conspiracy, Waco is case in point of an event where the so-called conspiracy theorists have proven largely correct. The proposal that incendiaries, Delta Force, etc., etc., were involved was mocked for years.)

Your argument about "you" and the government labels me guilty by implication, as if your words represent my thoughts. Yes, I think things will be bad. I have no idea what the government knows. They're not dishonest because "you" (me) has decided Y2K will be bad, THEREFORE they are dishonest. What rot. They are dishonest because they have lied, provably lied, on a host of specific issues over the past eight years. Does that PROVE they are lying now. OF COURSE NOT. Does it increase my suspicions that they might be lying? You damn betcha, just as it would with an individual I knew that had the same track record.

Does it affect my view of what is OT or not on this forum? Yup. See original post.

Now, you're mixing economics and astrology, banking and aliens. I assume you think economics and banking are OT? Fine, your opinion. I disagree. Obviously, "aliens" and the more bizarre conspiracy stuff are OT and I said so.

"What do you suggest, beyond happily accepting anything at all as relevant provided those discussing the 'anything' share your opinions on y2k?"

Gee, THAT'S not loaded, is it? Have I stopped beating my wife? Again, I'll refer you to the post at the top. You haven't done a very good job, IMO, of making a counter-case, but let the readers judge. And the notion that everyone has to share my opinions remains utterly false.

-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Bid Dog:

Governments, all of them everywhere, have always been married to expediency. Always will be. Honesty is irrelevant to government, except insofar as telling the truth is considered one more arrow in the quiver of expediency, not necessarily any better nor worse than any other arrow. Circumstances select arrows, that's all. Without any doubt "the government" is trying their damndest to manage public opinion about y2k. This doesn't even begin to imply that they have any clue what y2k issues are really out there or how big they are. Hell, they could *know* the earth would be splattered by a comet, and it wouldn't matter, they'd still try to manage public opinion for their own purposes. And sometimes a few officials become scapegoats and get booted out in favor of more discrete (or hopefully luckier) manipulators, and the game continues. Always has, always will.

As for the banking issues, yes we must agree to disagree. As for what the potential bank runs (if they happen) might do in terms of policies or responses, I think that's penumbra OK. And certainly y2k bugs in banking software is y2k directly. But I draw the line when we get to harangues about the evils of the fractional reserve system. That's been around since 1914, and hasn't changed. Not relevant, to me. Nor is returning to the gold standard, nor discussions about potential global currencies, nor NWO illuminati manipulating markets for unknown but nefarious purposes. You just have to draw the line somewhere, and I think you (and Chuck) are drawing it so far out that the only thing that can be totally off topic is pure personal attacks (against doomers, not pollies, of course).

But no, I can try to argue my case but unlike you, I can't claim you're doing a bad job and throw myself on the mercy of your kangaroo court, like you can. Remember that scientest who responded to GW Bush about the Kansas evolution thing? He said, well, politicians compromise. If you have one group who says 2+2=4, and another which claims that 2+2=6, the politician is perfectly willing to settle on 5! But some matters aren't open to this kind of compromise.

In any case, I don't mind the forum wandering far afield. As I said, it's entertaining. Way off topic and largely irrelevant anymore, but still an anthropoligist's dream.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

Chuck can tell you I don't draw a SINGLE line here when it comes to what stays or what goes. In fact, he has not received a single email from me that even hints at what I think should be deleted or not. The few things I have said have been said publicly on the forum.

I find discussions about the fractional system (which I despise) marginally on-topic but I can understand why others might not. That's the problem -- where does one draw the line? Y2K is NOT just a date problem but a banking, defense, PR and cultural problem. That's why very little is OT.

-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Big Dog:

I think you've put your finger on it here. y2k is a date problem. No more and no less. It's a problem with computers incorrectly handling representations of the year.

Now I'll be glad to agree that y2k, like any problem you can name, is embedded in a culture, an economy, a political system, a legal system whatever. And like any other significant problem, it has the potential to influence, and be influenced by, its environment. But that doesn't mean that it IS the environment.

Your argument sounds a bit like saying the swimming pool might drown the swimmer, and the swimmer might piss in the pool. And because these potential interactions exist, the swimmer cannot be distinguished from the pool! I'm not persuaded.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

I would tend to disagree Flint that Y2K is a simplistic date problem. At its most basic level... yes. But what it spawns, like an out-of-control cancer cell, is clearly a global systemic problem that WILL (no doubts on that at this timing) impact world economies and supply chains, and even peoples lives and livelihoods. To what degree... is as yet unknown... and under discussion. And then there is the clear attempt for governments to spin the webs they weave, in their favor, at the expense (figuratively and literally) of their citizens. Sad.

But, go ahead and reset your blinders Flint. And disengage your strategic thinking. At least, at times... you are even entertaining.


~ There are not enough conspiracies in the world to account for all the dumb decisions made ~

-- Diane J. Squire (, September 04, 1999.


-- Uncle Deedah (, September 04, 1999.

Mr. (hee-hee) Cowden,

Either turn down the valve on your nitrous oxide or get a refill on your Nicoderm patches. I have often disagreed, and occasionally agreed, with your opinions regarding Y2K. But, until today, I considered you a serious poster whose opinions were at least worth reading and considering---unlike Y2K Probe, Chicken Little Balls, and the other trolls wearing clown shoes and silly hats. I'll give you 2 points for finally stating your true motives, but you have lost whatever credibility I had mistakenly given you. In fact, I would now seriously consider that you could be one of the mystery guests who plague this forum with the juvenile fart-lighting, locker room gas they mistake for humor.

Please feel free to dismiss this message to you, knowing that I will not be back to read your reply. Just as I will no longer be reading anything else you write on this forum. Your opinions, Sir, have been relegated to the pimple on a rat's ass *plonk* file reserved for those "special" people who find so much meaning and purpose in publicly ridiculing others that they spend precious time among those with whom they are certain to disagree just for the joy of that opportunity.


-- *Plonk* (, September 04, 1999.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with you after reading this from you Flint.

Bigdog said it best; "You're the one who lost your focus when you decided that Y2K is an event that will have no significant impact. Apparently, the mocking joy you take in your assumed superiority to the rest of us is now your sole reason for visiting."

I can only consider you a polly troll after this exchange now.

Andy should whack me over the head.

-- Chris (%$^&^, September 04, 1999.

Whoa. Hey, at the risk of having my sycophants become sycophantic, Flint is not a polly troll (oh, cruel words). It's a mystery to me why he is so unaware of the LEGITIMATELY nasty impression he is creating, but penetrating the crevasses of Flint's cranium has always been an X-Files mission, at best.

The main point is, Flint, LIGHTEN UP! We KNOW we're doomers. We HOPE we're wrong. We BELIEVE we're right. Just be part of the gang, would you (and I don't mean my gang, there isn't one, you bozo)? Disagree endlessly but stop being so nasty.

Yes, I know, you think there's a double standard. Fine. Here's a clue: nastiness doesn't sit well when it comes from YOUR pen. Why? I dunno. That's just that way it is. Wit, yes. Your endless debunking. We can take it. Nastiness? Leave that to the nasties.

-- BigDog (, September 04, 1999.

Big Dog:

OK, I'll try. I can see that this thread is wandering away from a discussion of its proper scope (and I didn't try real hard to get it back on track, though I didn't forget totally about the subject). It's clear that by now, the whole purpose of the thread is to attack me. You do it, Chris does it, plonk does it. But when I do it, somehow that's different. I wonder why?

In any case, to respond to Diane, I agree that y2k bugs will have impacts, and that these impacts have a very wide potential. I'd be very surprised if local domino strings didn't collapse, here and there. And I agreed already that government is dishonest by nature (apparently it was "nasty" of me to say this?) I certainly don't feel that the bug impacts will be both universal and profound, but I'll be glad to admit error if it turns out otherwise. Check that, I'll be perfectly willing to admit error. I think if I'm far wrong, nobody will be glad at all.

Oh yes, Diane ought to know that I've never posted under any name but my own. She seems willing to "out" some who use many aliases, but never seems willing to corroborate that some don't use any.

-- Flint (, September 04, 1999.

Interesting diversion Flint,

You are quite right... you have always been... "just you." (It's enough).


It does appear that the Waco threads push your "Off Topic" buttons over the edge Flint. Why is that?

At any rate, you have the choice to ignore Andy's OT threads, or to contemplate "how" our paid public servants... (i.e. FBI, et. al.)... are likely to react in "civic disturbance" or perceived threat situations.

I do notice... they have a tendency to lie about, and cover-up their actions.

It's a valid discussion... with Y2K implications.

Especially since most the net available DoD scenarios (i.e. Naval War College and USAF) are expecting major metropolitan "problems" that may require their intervention (in some locations) even though they have publicly stated that... "You're on your own."

And then we need to revisit the concept... What happens if the President declare a National Emergency? And what happens if/when martial law is declared in certain difficult areas?

I LOVE this little tidbit...

Community Conversations
The Y2K Problem:
Frequently Asked Questions

President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion community/faq.html


I've heard rumors about the President declaring a national state of "martial law" for Year 2000 transition. Is this true?

The President has no intention of declaring martial law for the Year 2000 transition. Under so-called "martial law," ordinary law and judicial processes are temporarily replaced by military rule, which is usually accompanied by curfews and other restrictions on individual rights (e.g., freedom of speech, freedom of assembly). No President has ever declared a condition of martial law that applied to the entire country. In fact, not since President Lincoln placed several areas of the country under martial law during the Civil War has any President directly proclaimed martial law on behalf of the Federal Government.

Presidents have often issued emergency or disaster declarations for weather-related disasters and civil unrest which have sometimes been accompanied by individual State National Guard units being called into Federal service along with Federal troops to provide support or restore order in communities. It is not expected that the Y2K transition will create a need for such action, but the Federal Government will be prepared to take such action if circumstances warrant.


Actions and reactions to contemplate, eh?

The past often provides insight into the future. In fact, *some* might call it transparent.


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 05, 1999.


I doubt very much that this thread will "settle" ANYTHING regarding whether some threads are off topic or related to Y2k. My personal preference is to discuss politics on fora that are designed for that purpose, discuss Wall Street and money on fora that are designed for THAT purpose, etc., and I DO just that. For this reason, it was my feeling that those who discussed these subjects here felt more comfortable discussing these subjects here [It IS home for many, afterall, and relationships have certainly developed through the years.]

Having said that I visit political fora as well as Wall Street and money fora, I will also state that there is little discussion on those fora that I've noticed which intertwine Y2k. Therefore, I must conclude that this forum is a haven for those that see those interconnections.

Regarding OTHER off-topic subjects, I suppose it could be that there's ALSO a shortage of fora in which these topics are interwoven into the unfolding of Y2k.

-- Anita (, September 06, 1999.

Y2K One-Stop Connective Shopping HERE ;^)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 06, 1999.

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