Y2k and social justice: the 12-17-99 view from a desperately poor neighborhood in Oklahoma City

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From the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City:

Y2K & Social Justice: the view from a desperately poor neighborhood

"Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor will themselves also call and not be heard." (Proverbs 21:13)

Today I delivered some Christmas gifts to a family we are helping, and the mother asked me about Y2k. She is a single mom, 5 kids at home ages 8 to 15, all the kids at home are in school, 4 older kids are no longer living at home, she works at a minimum wage job and is in a training program, she receives food stamps and section 8 housing assistance. She said she had just received a letter from the Department of Human Services stating that food stamps for January would be credited on December 31st. The letter included a checklist about Y2k preparations. We had talked about Y2k before, but she hadn't brought it up the last couple of times I visited with her.

She asked if I thought it was a real problem, and I told her yes. We then spent about an hour talking about the different possibilities and what people could do to protect themselves. We inventoried the assets she already had on hand: candles, battery powered radio, 2 barbecue grills, blankets and comforters, car battery, the isolated location of her very poor neighborhood (it doesn't have anything that anybody would want, plus a lot of housing has been torn down so they have plenty of room for gardens), they are within walking distance of the Canadian River (water and fish), and they have a connection with our Catholic Worker House. I assured her we would not abandon her and that neighborhood -- if Y2k did turn out badly, all churches and civil society organizations would mobilize to respond.

She's worried about violence. And I remembered the gang member I talked with in Kansas City who a year ago knew about Y2k, and called it "T2L", -- Time To Loot. Not much to loot on her block, which will probably be to their advantage if things go badly, there are no stores close by, and the Canadian river is the southern boundary of the neighborhood.

"Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened, Be strong, fear not!" (Isaiah 35, 3-40)

We talked about what she should stock up on and things she could do to protect her family. I have collected lots of empty 2 liter bottles, and I am taking her some tomorrow. I will also take her some empty 6 gallon buckets. She's going to buy charcoal, and instead of fresh meat for her freezer, when she does get her food stamps December 31st, she will stock up on canned goods. I'm also taking her some of the beans and rice I've got stored, and copies of my "printable flyers," for her and the neighborhood. She didn't ask me to bring food, she did ask me for information.

I could tell that she was becoming increasingly concerned by our conversation so I reminded her that nobody knew exactly what was happening, but the risks were real, and she could do things even at this late date to protect her family. I told her if there was violence in her neighborhood, she could come to our house. She kept repeating throughout our conversation, "They would never give us our food stamps early unless they were really worried, because they never cut nobody no slack." Before I left, we held hands and prayed.

This woman's dilemma is being repeated everywhere in Oklahoma that letter was received this week, and such letters may be going out in other states.

What the government is doing to the poor is tawdry and cruel.

On one hand, people of wealth, position, and authority have been going on and on for months and months about how everything is going to be fine, there will be no problems, the feds are 99.9% prepared, and then at the very last minute, two weeks before the century date change, 18 high impact federal means tested social programs remain non y2k-compliant, and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services sends out a mealy-mouthed letter, "You'll get your January food stamps on December 31st, and by the way, here's a list of stuff you should have on hand."

This letter is too little and waaaaay to late. "Better late than never" just barely begins to balance that karma. (And why don't they credit them on the 28th or the 29th?) It should have been sent last July, poor people don't have big bank accounts so they can't just rush out and you know buy all kinds of expensive camping equipment and the other stuff that is on the preparation lists that circulate around. But it wasn't sent, because our government is run by moral cowards who have been much more interested in protecting the globalized big business economy and its financial systems and stock markets than in caring for the common good and remembering the special risks of the poor.

"Your nobles are like wolves that tear prey, shedding blood and destroying lives to get unjust gain. Your prophets cover them with whitewash, pretending to visions that are false and performing lying divinations, saying 'Thus says the LORD God,' although the LORD has not spoken. The people of that land practice extortion and commit robbery, they afflict the poor and the needy, and oppress the foreigners among them without justice." (Ezekial 22, 27-29). This ancient prophet may have been speaking to the corrupt religious and political leaders of the Israelites just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (6th century BCE), but his words speak strongly to the current situation.

I know these are terribly inflammatory statements to make, but that's what the view looks like from a desperately poor neighborhood in Oklahoma City. The poor have been dealt out of this hand, the gates to the stairs up from 3rd class are locked, the lifeboats have departed, there is no room at the inn, even if it is Christmas.

Everybody isn't going to make it through Y2k, that was decided months ago when the conversation shifted from "repairing everything " to "triaging mission critical systems." The poor aren't "mission critical" for the Globalized American Empire, so predictably, as we go down to the wire, it's not the corporate welfare programs or the federal reserve or the banking systems that are listed as being non y2k-ready, but rather, the means-tested poverty programs and third and fourth world nations.

Many people in the Y2k preparedness community have expressed concern, even consternation, about the low level of knowledge about Y2k-readiness in the "small and medium" sized chemical industry. Here in Oklahoma, even though the governor received a letter from the US Chemical Safety board (like all other governors), his Y2k task force did nothing about checking pipelines or hazardous materials handlers. The task force responded to my question about this with, "it's the responsibility of the county." The county responded with, "It's the responsibility of the industry. We haven't checked them and don't know anything about them."

Now, I ask you, where are small and medium sized chemical factories located here in Oklahoma City? In the high income zip codes? Or in the low income zip codes? Well, I don't have a detailed map, but I would bet the farm they are mostly in the low income neighborhoods. In fact, environmental activists have noted for some time that people who live in poor neighborhoods are disproportionately exposed to pollution due to the large numbers of chemical plants in their neighborhoods.

So if some of these plants blow up, release clouds of toxic gas and etc, who is most likely to get killed? the poor. If those plants were located in the rich zip codes in this state, they would have been checked out in triplicate. The powerful always take care of themselves -- thus, the financial industry has had tons of outside review, the small and medium sized chemical industry has had basically nothing (outside I guess of California which has a state program). It wasn't the upper class of Bhopal, India who died because of Union Carbide, it was the desperately poor, and they died by the thousands.

I predict that Y2k could turn out to be a holocaust for the poor, and Clinton and Greenspan and the rest of the A list establishment would report a "successful Century Date Change transition with minimum collateral damage. See, we told you, a piece of cake, a bump in the road, slam dunk!" The poor don't count, casualties will be depersonalized as collateral damage, the president might weep a bit for the cameras at a memorial service but that's about it. I've been poor and lived in poor neighborhoods for too long to expect anything better the way this has played out these past few months. If somebody had wanted me to have a better attitude on December 17, 1999, they should have invested in more transparency, more visible and verifiable assurance, and not sent the poor to the back of the bus.

I know I shouldn't be surprised about this, because this is what **always** happens to the poor. That's kind of my own personal cross to bear, I am always thinking that the day is coming when the rich, the arrogant, and the powerful will act with justice, peace, and mercy towards the poor and each day I go to bed and it hasn't happened.

When pigs fly and hell freezes over I guess. Or maybe it's "next year in Jerusalem!" Or perhaps when structures of sin go down for the count due to Y2k or some other catastrophe brought on by our own insane arrogance and greed and violence. Systems that are not sustainable do not go on forever. We can hope for a soft landing, but that's not the way it is looking today from the viewpoint of the poor and marginalized.

"What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding down the poor when they look to you? says the LORD, the God of Hosts." Isaiah 3:15

See also:

"How have you turned promiscuous, the faithful city, so upright. Justice used to lodge within you, but now, murderers. Your silver is turned to dross, your wine is mixed with water. Your princes are rebels and comrades of thieves, each one of them loves a bribe and looks for gifts. The fatherless they defend not, and the widow's plea does not reach them." Isaiah 1, 21-23


"Sow not in furrows of injustice, lest you reap a sevenfold harvest." Sirach 7, 3

Robert Waldrop

December 17, 1999, the second day of the Advent Novena

"O Wisdom, Holy Word of God!"


Archbishop Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City -- 1524 NW 21st, OKC, OK 73106

Justice and peace meditations on the daily lectionary readings

Permission is given to forward this message to others or post elsewhere, and this is encouraged.

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), December 17, 1999


It is the fault of the Catholic Church, among others, that we have these poor in such a plight.


As long as people scream, "Abortion is murder, birth control is a sin, fencing the border is racist", we will have these problems.

We have tripled the Earths population in 100 years, doubled it in less than 40.

I hope/think Y2K will be a much needed purge of the over populated Earth. Based on information (in open sources if you dig for it) I expect a 2% death rate in the USA and 10% world wide.

Even with the level of technology we had in 1970, 10 people could do all the work necessary to keep 100 people alive. So why keep cranking out extras? We don't need peasants, cannon fodder, laborers. If at the end of WW II the Catholic Church had had a revalation on birth control, we would not be in this mess. Thanks to modern medicine people are living longer. Thanks to modern medicine a Third world woman does not have to have 10 kids and watch 6 of them die before maturity. Thanks to modern technology we need less people. One guy with a forklift or a container handling crane can do more work in a shift than 100 laborers.

In spite of the need for LESS people, the Catholic Church, some rightwing Christians and others scream "Keep the babies comming."

Robert Waldrop quotes scripture. How about the one that says we are to be good stewards of the earth. How has our overpopulation behaved towards the "beasts of the field, birds of the air, and fishes of the sea"? Industrial farming (necessary to feed the masses) has destroyed miles of habitat and blotted whole species out of existance. Over fishing is ruining the seas and the air is so foul and wet lands destroyed that the birds are having a hard time.

Back in the "old" days, I used to get something for my tax dollars, a new highway, a battleship, a moon rocket. Today over 70% of all tax dollars goes to either interest on the national debt or "transfer payments" (they take my money and give it to someone I have never heard of and could care less about)

So if a chemical plant lets go and fumes kill her and all her kids, I will not shed a tear.

If a Muslim group lobs a small Nuke into St. Peters Square on Christmas eve, I will turn cartwheels.

-- Darwin (drop like flies@extras.pop), December 17, 1999.

Whether we have a second coming or not, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are saddling up and getting ready to ride.

War, Famine, Pestlence, and Disease all will be galloping around the world.

The starting gun will be fired at midnight and the race won't end for some time.

Remember it is YEAR 2000, not DAY 2000.

-- Horseman (Saddle up@ride.com), December 17, 1999.

"So if a chemical plant lets go and fumes kill her and all her kids, I will not shed a tear.

If a Muslim group lobs a small Nuke into St. Peters Square on Christmas eve, I will turn cartwheels."

Err, Darwain, maybe it would just be best if you simply volunteered to help with the overpopulation problem by going first.

Don't like that idea? Didn't think you would. But, you're willing to dictate to others -- how many children they can have, for example -- and you show all signs of absolute arrogance and none of true humility. Those are genes we don't need in the human pool.

-- (4@5.6), December 17, 1999.

Oh PLEASE delete this thread, please please please.

-- Servant (public_service@yahoo.com), December 17, 1999.

please don't delete this thread. Sometimes we need to be shocked by attitudes like this to remind us of what we may be facing. And yes, I was shocked, I forget sometimes how cruel people are and that some really do feel this way. Come quickly.

-- b (nah@rathernot.com), December 17, 1999.

Personally, I go by this standard...My children get hungry and need to eat, therefore it stands to reason your children get hungry and need to be fed. I don't want anyone attacking my mother so I won't attack your mother.

It doesn't matter what your position in society, the fact is everyone needs the basics, food, water, clothing and shelter. Y2K or not.

Darwin was a nimcompoop! Apparently he did his good dead for mankind when he...left. Unfortunatly he left his BS teachings/theory behind for other nimcompoops to follow.

(Mat 5:43 KJV) "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy."

(Mat 5:44 KJV) "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

(Mat 5:45 KJV) "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

(Mat 5:46 KJV) "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), December 17, 1999.

Does your prankser god delight in planting fossils to test your faith then? Yukka yukka.

Remind me, when are the seven headed beasts with ten horns and ten crowns and six wings due to turn up?

-- Servant (public_service@yahoo.com), December 17, 1999.

Thank you, Robert. You've quite nicely summed up many of my similar feelings about the poor. I know you are needed and busy in Oklahoma, but a very selfish part of me is sorry you left the Kansas City area where my family lives; it's hard to find anyone who is as proactive and compassionate as you are here.

-- Wilferd (WilferdW@aol.com), December 17, 1999.

This Sunday Catholic is no fan of unrestrained procreation. If you can't feed 'em, don't have 'em.

Catholics (and Christians opposed to birth-control and killing babies) aren't the only problem, though. You also open up the racial issues with those races that still have a racial identity (unlike whites). Except clueless whites, no race wants to be a minority.

-- Anonymous999 (Anonymous999@Anonymous999.xxx), December 17, 1999.

Christians invented and mass produced the modern world.

Blame "God" for Y2K.

-- GoldReal (GoldReal@aol.com), December 17, 1999.


What happened to you? What damaged you to this degree?

Look at the facts: US population isn't growing. The feds are grabbing land left and right for preservation.

Plants in the US through the 90's have been closing left and right to grab up the peasant labor abroad, so clearly these "peasants" as you call them are valuable to Nike, to Ford, to NASA, etc., etc., etc. at infinitum.

And yet you proport infanticide and genicide like communist China. What happened to you? If you support such abominations, then I suggest you move THERE.

On my meager $7.02/hr take-home pay, I will scrimp and save to buy your ticket, or even carry you there on my back, just please do go.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 17, 1999.

Has any of us lived a *perfect life*? I only know of one who did. Remember that most popular Bible verse-John 3:16? People need God's love, not our opinionated droppings. John 3:16 applies to all, it is not a selective application. robert waldrop is illustrating that. Yes there are problems, but they are not solved by genocide.

-- Paul Dengler (denent3@aol.com), December 17, 1999.

"...And here is the mind which hath wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains upon which the woman (Babylon/Great whore) sitteth. There are seven Kings, five are fallen, one is and one is yet to be. And the ten horns thou sawest are ten Kings (ancient kingdoms) which hath no king, yet receive power as kings one hour with the "beast"..." Rev 17: 9-12 Servant, think in allegory and then remember that history repeats itself. Then: Seven Hills of Roman Empire. Now: Modern Day "Roman Empire" that has recreated itself. Ten Kingdoms? Think of the European Union. I'll leave you to guess who the Great Whore is that rides the "beast". Mr. Hilyard is absolutely right about Ephraim and Manasseh. Manasseh was "taught to forget". Tables will be turning in the temple real soon. And faith will be tested. The Darwin's will reap this foul harvest of genetically modified frankenfood and toxic chemical/industrial filth. Y2K separates the wheat from the chaff. Bless you brother Waldrop in your mission. Keep your heart, feet and mind on the path of righteousness. God sees all & good shall prevail! peace

-- Homecanner (tomatoes@mygarden.com), December 17, 1999.

Hokie - You simple idiot, "The U.S. population stopped growing". Pick up any almanac and inform yourself.

What the welfare woman needed after TWO children was a tubal ligation, then and only then is she eligible for sympathy and this protracted humanitarianism bullshit. Her career as an incubator is NOT something to be fostered.

-- Guy Daley (guydaley@bwn.net), December 17, 1999.

Mark H.,

Hello and thank you for that wonderful post! Without compassion for others, our society would degrade into barbarism. It's sad to see those who oppose compassion and understanding, yet still benefit from those some blessings.

I feel poorly for this woman, yet am concerned that she hasn't taken responsibility for limiting the number of children she bore (such as tubal litigation, I am not pro-abortion). Quality of life for each child is much MORE important than the number of children born. Unfortunately, there are more than a few people who do not see it that way. It's a shame that people see this a racially-based, instead of what it is for, quality of life for both the child and the rest of the human race, not trying to breed one race "out of existance" as some in my office complain of.

Little "sparks" of compassion, from unknown strangers, is what makes our daily lives more tolerable. A smile, a kind word can help to change a person's day - compassion creates small daily miracles. Certainly there is no harm in that.

God Bless and best wishes to you all.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), December 17, 1999.

My Goodness, can you people not view Robert's message without turning it into a spectical for religion, population control and a horde of other opinions you posses, that you are just so sure the rest of us want to hear. So you have a strong opinion and a submit key, good for you.

Robert, as an individual, has came to earn a great deal of respect in his community and as a long standing member on this forum. You all owe him an apology for your behavior, period.

Robert, I had some good comments, I thought, to add to what you have said, but scrolling down, I just don't feel much like adding them at this point. The poor of us are in for a hard time, even with a managable BITR. Compassion and reality seems to be in short supply around here this morning. Best too you Robert, and thank you.

-- Lilly (homesteader145@yahoo.com), December 17, 1999.

Darwin, you missed the point that the world is full of evil. Here where I live, my town is building a new sports arena with 25 million in state funds. Meanwhile, they are sitting on a 5 billion dollar trust. Apparently our tax money is a slush fund for billionaires.

Evil and greed is alive and well and living close to you and me. And in such high places that the lowly cannot fight it. Good luck to you.

-- Amy Leone (leoneamy@aol.com), December 17, 1999.


As a former health worker for an urban neighborhooed ministry I am sensitive to plight you face with some of your clients.

You wrote--

>>>She asked if I thought it was a real problem, and I told her yes. We then spent about an hour talking about the different possibilities and what people could do to protect themselves. We inventoried the assets she already had on hand: candles, battery powered radio, 2 barbecue grills, blankets and comforters, car battery, the isolated location of her very poor neighborhood (it doesn't have anything that anybody would want, plus a lot of housing has been torn down so they have plenty of room for gardens), they are within walking distance of the Canadian River (water and fish), and they have a connection with our Catholic Worker House. I assured her we would not abandon her and that neighborhood -- if Y2k did turn out badly, all churches and civil society organizations would mobilize to respond. <<<

I see several problems here: She will not be able to garden in the dead of winter or in the spring for that matter or fish or get water if the social fabric frays. It is a wholly bad idea to let this woman believe the river is a source of fish or water due to health concerns. She needs to store clean water now unless she has a high quality water filter.

You assured her that "we would not abandon her and that neighborhood -- if Y2k did turn out badly, all churches and civil society organizations would mobilize to respond." Don't make promises you can't keep and make assumptions with no basis in fact. This is not "helping" her. These neighborhood do/can/could turn into war zones. If the social fabirc frays you may not be able to negotiate the streets in some areas.

Perhaps you should discuss with her how to protect herslef and her children should civil disturbances confine her to her home (keep the children in, cover the windows so no light shows, don't answer the door) or where or who she could definitely go to for help (do YOU have a shelter available for client families? not the promise of a shelter, but a sure bet that YOU control? a y2k aware family that might take her and her children in?)

You are worried about hazardous chemical releases? Have you determined if she is at risk? http://www.scorecard.org What she could do if threatened? Don't lead her to believe that you won't abandon her and the neighborhood if she needs to abandon the neighborhood herself. Would your promise prevent her from leaving if the situation becomes risky? Sometimes people aren't so smart.

It sounds to me like you need to develop a well thought out consistent message to give your client families re: y2k. Given the alarm that DHS food stamp letter might produce you don't have a lot of time.

Stop your ranting re: social injustice and get to work.

Cover the basics (water, food, heat, light, safety and health concerns) in a handout. Don't lead these people to believe that any emergency assistance is available. That may not be the case. (If you've been reading the threads you might know that at least in once case the Red Cross in planning "shelter in place" for the population.)

Good Luck...

P.S.--Suggest they talk to their landlord about draining pipes if power outages and freezing weather threaten plumbing. It would be a shame to suffer through y2k with few resources and end up homeless because plumbing problems made your home uninhabitable.

-- formerhealtworker (formerhealthworker@nowhere.net), December 17, 1999.


Thanks for your good comments. Just a couple of points:

1. I think I can safely promise a mobilization of civil society and churches in response to Y2k, at least here in OKC. We've had two full scale mobilizations in the past four years, for the bombing of the federal building and our tornado disaster in May.

2. Regarding shelters, I specifically invited the family to our house. We have room to take in probably 2 or 3 families in a pinch.

3. We did talk about how to respond to violence in the neighborhood, I neglected to mention this in the original post.

4. About gardening, I was thinking more in terms of a long-term problem, but fishing would be available immediately. In OKC, the Canadian River is not a built-up urban area, but rather rural (OKC has a lot of people, but it's low density). Regarding health concerns for river water, my printable flyers discuss how to safely use river water (let it settle, and then boil or treat with iodine, and draw the water from a "river well" dug about 12 feet from the banks of the river.)

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), December 17, 1999.


It seems to me that you are filled with a lot of pain and sorrow; I am sorry you are so alienated that you view the potential deaths of e.g 600 million people (you're high estimate) with satisfaction.

Means tested poverty programs, combined with interest on the national debt, do not equal 70% of the federal budget. That is factually not true, go visit the Statistical Abstract of the Us, published by the Census Bureau. Transfer payments such as social security and Medicare, which are not primarily poverty programs, dwarf the means tested programs, as does corporate welfare.

It is obvious that we are not operating the earth in a sustainable manner, nor are we being good stewards of creation. Factory farming is not necessary to sustain modern population, that's a myth perpetrated by those who benefit from factory farming.

I will pray for you that God will bless you and give you some peace and comfort.


Hmmm, did I say anything about the second coming? That's not the what's happening, instead, we are reaping a bitter, seven fold harvest from sowing seeds of social injustice, unsustainable systems, arrogance, violence, exploitation and oppression.

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), December 17, 1999.

EVERYONE - forgive me, for I said I would not post again... but this is close to home.

Robert, Thank you for all that you do here in the city. I have written to you before. I shall try to contact you sometime during the beginning of the week. I am going to purchase some food over the weekend for you to give to this family. It may not be much, but it will come from my heart. I work not far from the area that you speak about, and I have seen. My heart has always hurt for them as I have thought of the possibilities of the new year. Thank you for giving me the "way" to help.

returning to lurk in the mists....


-- (cannot-say@this.time), December 17, 1999.

Arguing about how we got to this state, at this point in time, is a bit like fiddling, while Rome burns. I too have issues with how some organizations have fostered the population growth, but lets take it up again, later. What Robert has laid out presents problems that are both humanitarian and pragmatic, in nature. The humanitarian issues are self evident, but I think some people, such as the poster who goes by "Darwin", are missing the pragmatic ones. There's going to be a whole lot of people who rightly feel decieved, next year. The state led them to believe they would protect them, and has let them down. Warning people of limited means, a few weeks before rollover, is reprehensible, regardless of what your feelings are about the sizes of families on welfare. A commitment is a commitment.

It's not going to be pretty, and the state has to own up to their share of the blame.

-- Bokonon (bok0non@my-Deja.com), December 17, 1999.


You wrote:

>>>In OKC, the Canadian River is not a built-up urban area, but rather rural (OKC has a lot of people, but it's low density). Regarding health concerns for river water, my printable flyers discuss how to safely use river water (let it settle, and then boil or treat with iodine, and draw the water from a "river well" dug about 12 feet from the banks of the river.)<<<

I realize that you are well intentioned in your advice, but the fact of the matter is that rural rivers are filthy. They are the recipients of agricultural and industrial run-off. You should advise people TO STORE WATER and seek water from a sanitary source if they run out. Drinking treated river water should be a last resort and your families need to know this!

I also think you are assuming a lot here. It's been my experience that many low-income household lack basic tools let alone a shovel. I would venture to guess that most household (all income levels) medicine chests do not contain iodine as it is now considered an "old time" treatment for cuts and scrapes.

You also wrote:

>>>I think I can safely promise a mobilization of civil society and churches in response to Y2k, at least here in OKC. We've had two full scale mobilizations in the past four years, for the bombing of the federal building and our tornado disaster in May.<<<

robert, I don't need to tell you that THIS could be VERY different.

Read the thread below to get an idea of how the Red Cross plans to handle this situation (shelter in place) in a large urban area:


It's been my experience that even churches that run food pantries (like my old ministry) would be cleaned out in a matter of days (1-3) without the ability to receive incoming donations in a true emergency. Few if any have any specialized equipment (water tanks, portable heaters, first aid supplies, even blankets) of real use in a disaster/emergency situation.

Can you "safely promise a mobilization of civil society and churches in response to Y2k" because you are part of an emergency repsonse plan or network of responders for y2k specifically?

Please remember that your information may be the only information re: y2k your client families have. Be repsonsible in your health and safety advice.

(IMHO this river water thing is hardly responsible.)

-- former health worker (formerhealthworker@nowhere.net), December 17, 1999.

I do like some of the stuff that Robert and his group have done.

Go to his site "JustPeace" and print off all his handy "instant survivalist" sheets. Stick them on your neighbors doors between Xmas and New Years.

That said, I have no compassion for him, his church or his poor people.


I am laughing my a** off.

There are only three classes of people in the world, MAKERS, TAKERS, and FAKERS. Robert is a Faker.

When I mentioned "transfer payments", he conveniently tried to separate out Social Security and Medicare. It is a transfer payment if it is not a persons investment and he/she is getting more than they put in or got from return on investments. I am talking about old people who after living 60 years in another country, drop in and are elgible for all sorts of my money. Yes, I could put Madre/MamaSan back on the plane.

4@5.6 says I am trying to dictate to others. I am not. I just want to level the playing field and be left alone. As another poster said, "If you can't feed them, don't breed them". Everytime I get one of those begging letters, picture of a big-eyed little girl in rags, "Only $12.00 per month will greatly improve the life of a little Third World girl", I always send the letter back. Scrawled across the begging form is a note, "I want to help the world, can I give her a bullet to the head or Norplant in the arm?"

Hokie says we need peasants and talks about all the companies that have moved to the Third World. The companies are looking for cheap labor. They are using the kids as "biots" (biological robots). As soon as laws change or computersrobots get cheaper the plants in the third world will be abandoned just like a run down American car plant.


Talks about geneticaly modified Frankenfood and toxic chemical/industrial filth. Check out the population on Earth when we had 100% organic farming. I think the Bible said we should let each field lay fallow (un-farmed) 1 year out of 7. I know England had smart crop rotation planting root crops, grain crops, nitrogen-fixing crops and fallow in rotation. We can't do that now because we have so many mouths to feed. Factory farming, high-yield hybrids, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicids are the only way to feed the SIX BILLION PEOPLE we have now. We can not keep it up.

Mark says, "My children need to eat, so it stands to reason your kids need to eat, I don't want anyone to attack my Mom so I won't attack theirs." Mark must have led a very sheltered life. If there is only enough food for one set of kids, who gets it?, or will he starve himself to death so both sets of kids can eat?, then who feeds the kids next time they are hungry. If I have a choice of eating or feeding his kids, guess who eats? on the other hand if he can cut me into hunks and roast me on a slow fire he is welcome to me.

I could go on and ask Robert Waldrop, "Where in the hell are the men in this community?, the ones with the stiff d**ks who kept Ms. Broodsow breeding?

It is not that I like what I see, I don't, it is just that I am realistic.

Ever look at the instructions on a package of seeds? It usually says something like this; "plant 2 inchs apart, when crop is 5 inchs high, thin to 2 plants per foot of row."

But people breed and feed and never thin the crop. The think they are to important, different from the rest of nature, created in God's image,etc. Well it ain't so and the planet is about to get a thining and a weeding.

If every human on Earth dropped dead tonight the world would keep turning.

-- Darwin (drop like flies@extras.pop), December 17, 1999.

One of the most important things I've gotten out of the y2k-learning-experience is a profound distrust of the proclamations of gov and industry spokespersons. It came as a shock to my naive faith when it finally sunk in that "they" really didn't care about me, mine -- or yours. You can pick your own "they" out of the alphabet soup agencies, big biz, or other "authorities". I'm still waiting for some decent, honest human being to step up to the plate and say, "We tried, but we couldn't get remediated. Our business is dead in the water...." or some truthful variation of that theme -- instead, "We're y2k ready....able....prepared....(fill in the blank)".

It shouldn't come as a surprize, then, that "they" lie about a whole bunch of other stuff. One of these is "overpopulation". For those of you who have bought the "official" line, may I suggest you do more than parrot the balony you've been fed for years? Read Jacqueline Kason's THE WAR AGAINST POPULATION: THE ECONOMICS AND IDEOLOGY OF POPULATION CONTROL (Ignatius, 1988). After you've looked at the guiding principles behind the "overpopulation" lie, you'll think even less of our Mighty Leaders, if that's possible.

Population control isn't a new idea, anyway -- "overpopulation" was the lie that drove Roman women to expose their babies for the wolves in the olden days. And remember that even Scrooge talked about "decreasing the surplus population" -- what do you think that meant? Who do you think he was referring to?

People who espouse the "overpopulation solutions" -- death on a grand scale, forced sterilization, forced abortion -- never truly believe that it applies to them, either....that they are asking for their children, parents, spouses, loved ones to be dead, sterile, or aborted. It's always "somebody else" and "some other people's family" -- just as Scrooge wanted that "surplus population" decreased.

The woman Robert wrote about is in a circumstance that would try the best of us. We don't know how she got there -- but there's a lot of blame-casting and victim-blaming going on here. I'm sure she loves her kids as much as we love ours.

God forbid that we should ever find ourselves in dire straits, and receive the kind of thoughtless responses we've seen on this thread. And God bless Robert for the thankless work he is doing out in the Real World....

-- Anita Evangelista (ale@townsqr.com), December 17, 1999.

Robert, HELP! I need to get in touch with you. I have a TRUNK FULL OF FOOD.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), December 18, 1999.

Dear Robert,

It struck me that your posting serves as a wonderful pattern of example for others to follow who are called to help others in preparing at this late date. It is not enough to discuss the matter. They need us to provide help by leading them through their inventory, assessment and "to do" lists on a one on one personal basis.

Coming to a realization at this point in time that preparations are needed will draw many into the shock of imobility - be they poor or wealthy. They need to be physically and strongly guided past the urge to panic, or freeze in paralysis, get angry or mourn. How do we get them to a point of action with enough energy and motivation to discharge their preparation tasks with deliberateness and rapidity?

Robert, you have shown us how we can serve. It is up to us to get past the urge to hunker down and hide.

When I first learned about y2k a year ago, I called a survivalist friend. He gave me a list of things I needed, places to get them and helped me find solutions to problems I had like a deep well hand pump. I did exactly what I was told, because I knew it was necessary for my survival. I did not have time for other emotions until I had passed the crisis I felt in being unprepared. Hopefully, others will be like me and our tasks in helping them will be simplified. My suggestion is to help the willing first and not waste time on those who still need to be convinced.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive."

Be a teacher - it is greatest opportunity to learn.

-- anon (anon@anon.calm), December 18, 1999.


Give thanks and almighty praise that your own mother did not abort your soul when you lay helpless in her sacred womb. And that she bore the crushing pains of allowing her pelvic bones to spread to allow your enormously swollen head to burst forth. God help you. You sound ike Jacob Marley back when Dickens wrote at the start of the great industrial filth age. "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" Ye are a fool. We have traincars filled to capacity and grain spilled onto the ground in vast mountains. Every salad bar in this nation throws out enough food daily to feed a family for a week in the 3rd world. Your precious Monsanto has destroyed East St. Louis. Helped create Agent Orange. Co-developed vaccines which led to Gulf War Syndrome. Dominated the soft drink industry with sugarsubstitutes, which even the FAA admits causes seizures and urges their pilots not to drink. And now they give us genetically modified food. They would bastardize the very genetic code to sell mutant chimera's for profit as Spider said on another thread. Amen. May the Lord show mercy on you in the hour of your final judgement for your hatred of the poor. Robert needed to vent his pain and has done so. I applaud his courage and his Christian faith. Darwin, you need to look deeply into the mirror of your soul and consider that you called another fellow human being a "breedsow". You show as much contempt for animals as Monsanto does. After all, a cow is a mammary with four legs right? Their own webpage admits that Bovine Growth Hormone induces mastitis and calf abortion. Normal cows live to age 14. A BGH cow is worn out by 4-7 years of "mass production". Animals are not "factory pharmed profits" idiot. Mad Cow disease is a classic example of corporate farm mentality coming back to bite us in the a$$. "...and the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the kingdom of the beast and the kingdom was full of darkness, yea they gnawed their own tongues from the very pains...and blasphemed GOD in Heaven because of their painful (cancerous oozing) sores and repented NOT of their deeds..." Book Of Rev 16:10-11. Darwin, you eat the factory pharm filth, blithely take their embedded chip into your forearm and play the casino markets. As for me and my house (and Robert and "the Broodsow") WE SHALL SERVE THE LORD. May Y2K ruin Monstersanto and spare true humanity.

-- Homecanner (tomatoes@mygarden.com .), December 18, 1999.

Former health care worker:

Hmmm, I don't think I suggested that river water was anything but a last resort. The method for recovering river water for drinking I described (in very abbreviated form) came from a research source, and it was posted in a listserv for professional water engineers, and I also exchanged some private email with some of them.

Having said the above, I do appreciate your cautions.

As to getting to work, I've been to work. If you need flyers, go to Got printable flyers for distributiong during Y2k disruptions .

As to mobilizing civil society in OKC, well I can only speak from my experience, being a 4th generation Okie and going through our two previous disasters (and every disaster is different, I know that), plus my experience working for Catholic Charities and helping write their disaster plan. And so I think we will rise to the occasion.

-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), December 19, 1999.

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