A Y2K Essay - Another Interesting Perspective - Meg Davisgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Thanks To Ron Wortham for sending this on... ====================================== Dear Ron:
I have sent to you an essay I wrote about Y2K. As one who studied the subject fairly intensely, I was surprised and suspicious of the unexpected near-perfect rollover the world experienced. The essay sums up the conclusions I have come to about Y2K. It was all about getting great quantities of restrictive legislation passed...done so on a deadline so frightfully tight that Congress didn't have time to consider what they were doing carefully enough.
I know this is a rather long essay; but I'd love to hear some feedback from people as to whether they also "see this link". Your' re welcome to include it in your news letter if you think it's worthy.
Thanks, Meg THE WHY IN Y2K By Meg Davis
There is no doubt that many of the people who dedicated untold hours to studying Y2K, were shocked and confused by the uneventful turnover and the subsequent lack of major breakdowns. I suggest that perhaps the answer to this conundrum, lies less in what did not happen during Y2K and more in what did happen.
Let's start by dispensing with the currently popular claim that .... "every single one of the potentially devastating Y2k problems were eliminated by the hard work of people in the field". Granted, through the dedicated labor of thousands of programmers, managers, consultants and engineers, Y2K's negative impact was severely curtailed. But, there is no logical explanation to account for the dozens of countries that essentially did no Y2K remediation work, yet still made it through the rollover virtually unscathed. The bottom line is, deep down we all know, that if the dozens of reports that predicted major problems in emerging nations' infrastructure were true, then the current "we fixed it" theory is absurd. In fact, it is the very absurdity behind this theory that has left many of the Y2K investigators, shell-shocked and wandering, still in search of the "why" in Y2K. The way I see it, there are only two plausible possibilities to explain what really happened: 1) All of the reports written by the world's most informed agencies were dead wrong or
2) All of the reports written by the world's most informed agencies were part of a massive "disinformation" campaign.
Let's set that thought aside for just a moment and refocus on the theme of this essay, what DID change from Y2K.
Government and big business (really one in the same) has often been likened to a magician, not because of their ability to perform magic, but because of their employment of the same tactics a magician uses when he needs to fool the crowd.... "slight of hand". The best magicians are masters of focusing the attention of their audience exactly where they want it. Their movements are designed to steer the crowds' senses in one direction, then, as all eyes are averted, they... swiftly, quietly, accomplish their goal... the trick.
This analogy can quite accurately be applied to the experience we have all encountered with regard to Y2K. Using the "magician" and his expert ability to divert attention, illustrates, through a connective concept, that a critical piece of the Y2K puzzle sits hidden, in plain site. The importance of this much overlooked evidence cannot be overemphasized, for it leads us directly to the "why" in Y2K. For purpose of illustration, the symbolic "magician" of Y2K is represented by a powerful policy group that includes a conglomerate of controlling members from the government, the media, and the international corporate world.
In order to achieve the magic, of accomplishing clandestine goals, the Y2K magician needed to deal effectively with two, very distinct factions in his audience. As we all know, the psychology of the masses is a well-studied subject. Corporations and governments pay experts in this field to track the masses reaction to events and to formulate models for creating desired reactions in the masses. Certainly, advertising campaigns utilize similar techniques on each and every one of us, every day. In this case, the magician's onlookers were made up of one group, which we will call the "Skeptical Intellectuals" or, ("S.I.'s" for short) and a distinctly different group, known as "The Rest". I am not implying that, "The Rest" did not include intellectuals, or, that as a group they didn't show some skepticism within their ranks; however, the members of this group were (basically) not so suspicious that they were willing to study for hours in order to find out whether the magician's magic was "real". "The Rest" went about their business hearing, absorbing and believing the overt message they were being sent. The "S.I.'s" on the other hand, were constantly searching for proof.
To successfully execute "the illusion of a lifetime", the magician needed to divert the attention of both the "S.I.'s" and "The Rest" away from his ulterior motives. The first group "the intellectual skeptics" were much too proactive and suspicious to accept the magician's explanations at face value. The second group, "The Rest" needed to be reassured that "all was well" so they could spend their time comfortably absorbed in the illusion. Now, the magician knew that he had to come up with something big, something believable and even dangerous to capture the "S.I.'s" attention. In fact, that "something" needed to be so threatening that the "Skeptical Intellectuals" would spend all of their free time studying it, discussing it and trying to understand the inconsistencies that surrounded it.
The magician gave them a glimpse of Y2K's destructive potential. He knew their quest for information would eventually lead them to the dozens of Y2K documents available on the Internet, documents, which revealed a sense of deep government and corporate concern regarding the unprecedented threat that Y2K posed to technology-based systems. But the scenario described in the documents was not the one the magician publicly proclaimed; and quietly, (in inner circles) he admitted that this was because he didn't want "The Rest" to panic. After all, he surmised, wasn't it better if they sat back and enjoyed the show without the agitation of unnecessary and fearful concerns?
This information was purposefully leaked out to the "S.I's" who wondered why the public statements on Y2K differed so radically from the information found in reports. The explanation did make some sense to them, yet ... still, there were many incongruities they were busy trying to grapple with. The magician did not deny the existence of Y2K to "The Rest". In fact, it was necessary that they believed that there was a big, scary problem; but, at the same time, it was also equally necessary that they believed that the problem was fully under control. "The Rest" were lead to believe that Y2K could be fixed and would be fixed... simply by spending enormous amounts of money and by passing new legislation, which implemented protection based plans to fight terrorism, money-laundering, computer-hacking, and drug-dealing. It was also necessary, they said, to relax immigration laws so that hundreds of thousands of new technologically savvy programmers could come to the rescue. "The Rest" were greatly reassured and they happily went back to mindlessly watching the magicians hands. Some of the less trusting in their group did keep an eye out for news of danger, but none ever arrived. In one fell swoop, the magician had aroused fear and dependence from "The Rest" and he had acquired for himself an enormous increase in powers. In the final stages of his trick, he would actually arouse appreciation and relief from them, for "The (oblivious) Rest" were totally unaware that they had been robbed. He was a VERY good magician.
There are those that will balk at the very idea of suggesting an orchestrated collusion to exaggerate Y2K potential problems for the purpose of obtaining, otherwise unattainable, highly-restrictive legislation. I am not suggesting that Y2K was an imaginary problem, which never posed potential, technological problems for the computer dependent spheres of government and industry. Many minor (and some, not so minor) glitches have been attributed to Y2K code related errors. The question is, were the problems ever as potentially disastrous as many governments and organizations quietly indicated?
Hoodwinking the American population is no small feat. It required that every major industry participate in "secret corporate and government sponsored planning meetings". It required that laws be enacted to prevent committee members from divulging meeting information to the public. It required more legislation be added to make it a crime against "national security" for employees working in infrastructure related industries to disclose information about Y2K status (whether positive or negative). Furthermore, the legal departments in most, if not all large businesses, convinced management that the prudent way to handle Y2K was to put a "no talk" policy in effect. This they counseled, was the best way to avoid becoming a victim of litigation. Furthermore, the very existence of these "secretive industry and government infrastructure committees" (which were necessary to promote the underlying motive of Y2K) contributed to reinforcing the belief held by the "Intellectual Skeptics" that Y2K was (secretly) going to be a much bigger disaster than the public was being told.
Billions of dollars were spent (at least, that's what we're told, although companies do not seem to have felt the impact on their bottom line, as one might expect). Every major organization wrote reports, some of them quite alarming. The CIA, FBI, UN, IMF, FED, Navy, National Guard .... all mentioned that major infrastructure problems were expected in emerging nations, and that infrastructure problems were possible even in the U.S. . The reports were available on the Internet where the "Skeptical Intellectuals" would spend their days scanning for any shred of news that would make sense of this incongruity. One report that the Navy issued, disclosed a long list of U.S. utility companies that were expected to experience disruptions in service. The fact that this report appeared to be "leaked" to the public gave it an added air of credibility in the eyes of many "S.I.'s". The report, although confirmed authentic, was publicly dismissed as being outdated. The mainstream news media never questioned the inconsistencies that Y2K presented. Instead, they helped to portray to "The Rest" that all was well, while discrediting even the most respectable, fact-driven "Skeptical Intellectual". The "S.I.'s" encountered conflicting information from every direction; they were kept constantly busy trying to sift out the facts from the fiction. "The Rest" were successfully convinced to buy the standard, government-issued line ... "Y2K was a real threat and it could have caused serious ... even catastrophic, problems. But, that threat is behind us now. Major disruptions are no longer likely. The government and big business saved the day; and they did it by spending billions of dollars and by passing new laws that set into motion ... many interesting and alarming changes.
Was Y2K some big mistake? Did the governments and corporations of the world really spend 600 billion dollars on a lark? Were the CIA, FBI, UN, Navy, National Guard, IMF, World Bank and a host of others really "dead wrong" when then warned of major infrastructure breakdowns and possible rioting?
Was Y2K a scare tactic that induced our Congress to spend billions of dollars on militarizing our civilian infrastructure? Did the Y2K scare bamboozle Congress into passing laws, based on the false assumption that a concrete deadline required immediate action? Who convinced Congress that a threat to the United States was imminent?
WHAT WERE THE EFFECTS OF Y2K?
HASTILY APPROVED LEGISLATION!
1. So the police forces would be heavily armed and trained to prevent major riots during power outages.
IMPACT: A much more militant Police Force which, now uses black, riot uniforms, more potent tear gas, rubber bullets, and in some locations, armored vehicles
2. So the military could come to the aid of the police forces (bypasses Posse Comitatus Act)
IMPACT: Military can be called in for use against the civilian population when major rioting occurs, or terrorism or drug dealing is suspected.
3. So money could be allocated to refurbish nuclear bunkers in case riots or terrorist attacks required government leaders need someplace to hide. And, to allocate over 50 million dollars for "the main" communications bunker in Washington, DC. (Note: Although it was reported that every major city built or refurbished a bunker, not one cent was spent on protective structures for the public)
IMPACT: Members of government will be protected, in case of major rioting, terrorist attack or war
4. So money could be allocated at the State and local level to train emergency personnel from the police departments, fire departments, hospitals, National Guard, Red Cross and other agencies in how to respond to chemical and biological attack. These multi-agency mock attacks were practiced in secret all over the country. Participants were told they could not reveal information about the practices for "national security reasons". (Note: no information was disseminated to the general public informing them of what to do in these emergencies)
IMPACT: Federal and local agencies are trained for chemical and/or biological attack
5. To form a "Secret Infrastructure Protection Committee", which includes top officials from the government and major US corporations.
IMPACT: A secret liaison between government and industry exists which controls the lifeblood industries in our country: banking, media, telecommunications, electricity, gas, water, raw materials, and chemicals
6. To protect banks, power, gas and water companies, telecommunications companies and chemical companies from having to disclose the truth. Terrorists or hackers might take advantage of the vulnerable situation Y2K (was supposed to) put us in.
IMPACT: Many industries are now shrouded in secrecy and protected from disclosing the truth about dangers they may pose to our economy, health and environment.
7. To legally discourage an employee in an Infrastructure related Industry and/or the chemical industry to disclose damaging information about that industry. And, to do the same with the media. Everyone was expected to remain silent for "national security" reasons since Y2K would make us so very vulnerable.
IMPACT: Employees in infrastructure related industries and the media are legally discouraged from telling the truth.
8. To allocate huge amounts of money for military expenditures such as a state-of-the-art, military telecommunications system that would bypass current systems should they be taken off line by outages, or terrorists, or war. To provide for a plan where the military, via this system, is directly linked to industries that uphold our infrastructure.
IMPACT: The US military could communicate with all units of the National Guard and keep control of infrastructure related industries if the US was under siege either from riots, terrorists attacks or war.
9. To create International teams of specialists that would be ready to descend upon an infrastructure-compromised country...."to help them out".
IMPACT: Teams of "international" specialist are ready for deployment to countries under siege either from riots, terrorist attack or war. If the problems arise in the U.S.; foreign teams could come here.
10. To allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the United States to help solve the computer code problems. (Note that this initiative was rushed through so fast that it was later disclosed that many immigrants allowed into the US did NOT have background checks)
IMPACT: Possible terrorist-connected entries into US. The US becomes more "internationalized". More voters for Democrats?
11. To empower FEMA with legislative backing, money and materials enough to oversee the control of the United States in case of black out induced catastrophe. (Note: many people are critical of the secrecy that is prevalent in the FEMA organization)
IMPACT: FEMA now has the power to take total control of the United States public infrastructure under "emergency conditions" including: massive riots, terrorists attack, war or natural disaster)
12. To justify the issuance of an extra $50 billion dollars into the United States monetary system.
IMPACT: The stock market was bolstered making the economy appear farmore stable then economic fundamentals portray. This added liquidity has, in turn, increased the instability of the markets to a point where a severe crash and recession are more likely than ever.
13. To Justify many more potentially restrictive Executive Orders that would put all of the above in motion.
IMPACT: The person holding the position of "United States President" now has the power to suspend the Constitution, nationalize all industry, confiscate all property, and direct the military WITHOUT input from Congress, simply by declaring a "national emergency".
During the Y2K preparation scare, Congress was lobbied by concerned citizen groups, to "top off" the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and to make sure that fuel companies were prepared for the uncertain outcome of the rollover. It is interesting to note that four weeks after the rollover, the United States has the lowest level of petroleum and natural gas reserves in 10 years. Furthermore, petroleum imports were reduced by 26% between 1/01/2000 and 1/31/2000. This reduction is far greater than any cutbacks that may have affected us through OPEC's reduced production policy. Some States are calling for President Clinton to declare a "State of Emergency." If government and big business REALLY believed Y2K was a threat, why did they "reduce" rather than "incr ease" our oil and gas supplies?
Perhaps it's time the American people asked, "What is going on?"
This essay may be printed freely, in it's entirety MD
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-- Sheri (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 07, 2000
Sheri, your essay was fascinating to me. You are correct in saying that we've been fooled. This, however, is nothing new. Disinformation, honed to a fine art during the Cold War, is used in concerted campaigns on the American people for various purposes, usually in the name of "National Security," which trumps the truth time and time again. In fact, laws written to promote and protect National Security usurp Contstitutional rights. This has been going on for decades. Read: "The Puzzle Palace" and "Deep Black," and perhaps some Tom Clancy. Only after living overseas did I realize that the American people are the last to know. We've been spoonfed information according to governmental and corporate interests for at least thirty years, perhaps forty. The practice actually came about because of secrecy needs during World War II and was extended because of the Cold War. At the moment, some of us are peeking under the curtain, so to speak, because of the Internet, which affords free and uncensored information from many sources. Unfortunately, TPTB are now going after the Internet as well, in an attempt to make certain it conforms to their purposes. (Also disturbing is the AOL-Time Warner merger of late).
I agree, as well, that because of legislation last year and a number of Executive Orders written over the past few years, we find ourselves in an extremely precarious position. If this legislation is activated fully, our rights under the Constitution would be eliminated-- probably forever. And, to what end? You're also right that those of us studying the implications of Y2K last year should have been more alert to the other activities of government, as you described. I recall some ranting about these new laws, but what could we do?
Finally, as far as the predictions concerning rollover: perhaps, an additional trick was used to distract us by keeping our eyes locked on New Year's Eve. It seems to me that a good deal of the predictions are being realized-- as described by the alarmists. The difference in their views and the reality now is a matter of timing and degree. From what I have gathered, it seems that we're in the midst of a "slow burn," rather than having experienced an all out explosion on the first of January. Only time will tell the ultimate outcome.
Meantime, enjoyed your essay and your thoughts.
-- George (George10@webtv.net), February 07, 2000.
Thankyou Sherri, this essay verbalizes a lot of the thoughts I have been having----the government hyped this situation: $40 million dollar bunker to be ready for NYE, FEMA on high alert in 50 states, Natl G. called up, police out in force....and NOTHING!!!!
I think our goose is cooked...one way or the other!
-- N H (email@example.com), February 07, 2000.
Nice conspiracy post....and I agree mostly. But, all the conspirators are only human. HUMAN!...When the lights go out their conspiracy will expire......The disaster lies within us....
Jew Hater check?
Everyone thinks the USA is GOD....the arrogance stinks! Never mind the Indians, Blacks, Japanese and who knows in the future? Personally, I think the good ole US of A will stick it to the Jews next.
-- Kyle (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 07, 2000.
I didn't write it - Meg Davis did - but thanks!
-- Sheri (email@example.com), February 07, 2000.
-- Mikey (mikey@haricot_vert.com), February 07, 2000.
Whether you believe in the specific answers that Meg supplies the questions are fascinating. Pass on my sincere thanks on an interesting essay.
There are two extremes, one camp thinking the .gov is so incompetent that they couldn't find the winner in a one person race and the other that finds conspiracy in metric system. But between the two extremes, one can frequently find both history and the truth.
I would suggest anyone read (help with link) the c4 question series for a possible glimpse of what TPTB might have thought were the risks and scenario's all along.
Whether you can draw a line to y2k or not the risks and tensions in the world seem to be rising. Maybe they will recede, then again, maybe not.
-- Squid (ItsDark@down.here), February 07, 2000.
Useful points. The bottom line is, .gov .corp is better prepared for Disasters, and that is a Good Thing. They should seize the day and build on their Y2K momentum.
-- prepper (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 08, 2000.