NHNE Y2K Report 23
Saturday, April 24, 1999
& Consumer Protection
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NHNE Y2K Report 23
Saturday, April 24, 1999
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White House Voices Y2K Fears Over Nuclear Plants
Y2K Hotline Logs 100,000 Calls In First Three Months
Science Publishes Bennett's Warnings
Mandela: "Prepare Yourself & Three of Your Friends"
Canadians Getting Tough In the Securities Sector
Canadian Banks Issue Y2K Guarantee
New York City Setting Up Emergency Command Center
Georgia Poised To Get Tough With Y2K Slackers
Minnesota Gov. Ventura: "Be Prepared"
Telecoms Ask State Department for Help In Preparation for Year 2000
U.S. Air Traffic Control Passes 2000 Test
FAA Internal Report: New Radar Not Up to Speed
U.S. Warns Airlines That Insurance Must Cover 2000 Bug
Atlee Going Into "Semi-Retreat"
Reflections on Ed Yourdon's Remarks
Where to Put the Cash
An Excuse to Use Non-Y2K-Compliant Bombs?
A Deeper Issue
THE NHNE Y2K ACTION NETWORK:
Preparedness Plus One
Koskinen Speaks Out
Bennett Softens His Y2K Pessimism
President's Council Hosts Y2K Summit
Latin America Scrambling To Avoid Y2K Disaster
Good News/Bad News From Walton Feed
An Interview with Carla Emery
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
Furbies Should Keep on Talking In Year 2000
Pessimist Vs. Optimist
THIS WEEK'S NEWS SOURCES
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HOW SEVERE WILL IT BE?
"In spite of the best efforts of many in government and industry, not
every computer will be ready for the Year 2000. There are simply too
many computers and many organizations, particularly internationally,
have only recently begun to address the problem. The question is how
many systems will experience difficulties, how severe will those difficulties
be, and what disruptions will they create."
--- The PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION, Second Summary
of Assessment Information
WHITE HOUSE VOICES Y2K FEARS OVER NUCLEAR PLANTS
(Sources: Ted Bridis, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 4/21/1999)
The White House has expressed its most serious concerns to date over
anticipated Year 2000 computer failures overseas, particularly among
Russian-designed nuclear plants in nine countries. In its latest report
on the technology glitch, President Clinton's top Y2K expert, John Koskinen,
said one of his greatest international concerns was ensuring safe operation
of 65 such nuclear plants, including one in eastern Russia, not far
from Alaska. The report reflects unprecedented pessimism about overseas
efforts by the administration, warning that failures in some foreign
countries are now all but certain in electric power, telecommunications
and transportation networks. Those problems will affect the global economy,
Americans living abroad, and are sure to be felt in the U.S. as well.
The government intends to begin issuing specific warnings to travelers
as early as this summer. (JG)
Y2K HOTLINE LOGS 100,000 CALLS IN FIRST THREE MONTHS
(Source: Jack Gribben, Press Release, THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR
2000 CONVERSION, 4/16/1999)
The Federal Government's free information line on the Year 2000 computer
problem, (888) USA-4-Y2K ((888) 872-4925), has received more than 100,000
calls in its first three months of operation. As of April 7, 1999, citizens
interested in learning more about the Y2K problem have been made over
107,000 calls to the Y2K hotline, which provides regularly updated Y2K
information about common areas such as power, telephones, banking, government
programs, and household products. Most start-up Federal information
lines take anywhere from six months to one year to log 100,000 calls.
Of the information line's pre-recorded messages, which answer the questions
of roughly 80 percent of those who call, the most frequently-selected
topics are personal preparedness (24 percent), Federal Government Y2K
efforts (17 percent), food supply (14 percent) and banking (14 percent).
The pre-recorded information is available seven days a week, 24 hours
a day. Information specialists supported by researchers are available
to provide additional information to callers from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT),
Monday to Friday. (JG)
SCIENCE PUBLISHES BENNETT'S WARNINGS
(Source: LEE SIEGEL, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/16/1999)
In a rare and unusual move, SCIENCE, the nation's largest general-science
journal with 145,000 weekly subscribers, has accepted a contribution
to the magazine's "Policy Forum" from a non-scientist: Chairman of the
Y2K SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE, Sen. Bob Bennett. His commentary is a
"Santa's list" of who's been good and bad in preparing for Jan. 1, 2000.
The scariest section says: "The fears of stockpilers and survivalists
in some countries are not totally unfounded: There exists the likelihood
of regional economic and civil unrest in regions already experiencing
political instability, runaway inflation and food and supply shortages."
When asked why he thought it was important to be published in Science,
he replied, "I want scientists to understand that they, along with the
general population, need to be concerned about this." (JG)
MANDELA: "PREPARE YOURSELF & THREE OF YOUR FRIENDS" (Source: February
7, 1999 SUNDAY SOUTH AFRICA TIMES, 2/7/1999, thanks to Tom Atlee)
On February 7, 1999, the SUNDAY SOUTH AFRICA TIMES ran a full-page ad
showing a picture of a very concerned-looking Nelson Mandela saying:
"Prepare yourself and three of your friends for what threatens to be
the scourge of our achievements, the millennium bug." Below his picture,
is a short letter from Mandela and four identical clip-out info sheets
about Y2K. The ad was placed by the South African Government's Y2K office,
and while it unfortunately says little about community preparedness
or the social change implications of Y2K, the image is undeniably compelling.
Tom Atlee has a limited number of copies of the ad, available for $12.
He asks that orders be placed only by those who intend to use it to
promote Y2K preparedness. (JG)
To order, write: THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, P.O. Box 21203, Oakland,
CANADIANS GETTING TOUGH IN THE SECURITIES SECTOR
(Source: THE GLOBE AND MAIL, 4/21/1999)
CANADIAN SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS (CSA), the council of provincial
bodies that regulate the securities sector, is prepared to start taking
disciplinary procedures against firms in Canada that aren't complying
with Year 2000 reporting requirements. The CSA said some regulators
are giving non-compliant firms ten days to file required documents from
the publication day of a list identifying those companies. Firms that
don't file within ten days could be:
1. Required to notify clients of their failure to file. 2. Restricted
from hiring new salespeople or opening new accounts. 3. Prohibited from
making payments other than commissions earned on the sale of securities.
4. Required to file monthly financial statements. (JG)
CANADIAN BANKS ISSUE Y2K GUARANTEE
(Source: Martin Stone, NEWSBYTES, 4/20/1999)
The CANADIAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION (CBA), representing all chartered Canadian
banks, says industry efforts to fix the Y2K problem have been so effective
that Canadian banks have issued a guarantee that funds and financial
records will be unaffected by the millennium bug. "The security of bank
accounts and records has never been in doubt," says CANADIAN BANKERS
ASSOCIATION (CBA) President and Chief Executive Officer Raymond Protti,
"but some Canadians have asked about whether the changeover to Year
2000 would affect bank record technology. This guarantee is the straight
answer to what is certainly a legitimate question, given the attention
the Y2K issue is getting." The association says Canadian banks are in
the final stages of Y2K preparations and are confirming the readiness
of their systems by checking their links with other financial institutions
and service providers. Each bank regularly reports to various regulatory
and government bodies including the OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL
INSTITUTIONS. "Getting ready for Y2K has been a priority for the banking
industry since 1995. The banks have been updating, testing and verifying
their systems to ensure that their customers experience a smooth transition
into the new century," Protti said. Since each of Canada's 54 major
domestic and foreign banks offers their own individual guarantees, depositors
are encouraged to check with their branch to learn exact details. (JG)
CBA's Y2K Program: http://www.cba.ca
NEW YORK CITY SETTING UP EMERGENCY COMMAND CENTER
(Source: James Langton, The Telegraph (London), 4/18/1999)
New York City has joined the ranks of American cities such as Columbus
and Los Angeles in setting up a command bunker to cope with a possible
breakdown of social order triggered by disasters. The 23rd-floor, 46,000
sq. ft. complex, near the World Trade Center in Manhattan, can house
up to 100 of the city's most senior employees and is protected behind
a wall of bullet-proof glass. It was built above ground because of the
risk of flooding from broken water mains. Mayor Rudi Giuliani ordered
the construction of the new control room only last year. While it is
designed to deal with any emergency from a terrorist attack to a hurricane,
the speed of its construction suggests that New York's planning for
possible Y2K chaos is at an advanced stage. The new $12 million emergency
command center is "ninety per cent complete but fully operational,"
and was put to use for the first time during the massive snow storm
in February that all but shut down the city. (JG)
GEORGIA POISED TO GET TOUGH WITH Y2K SLACKERS
(Source: ITAA YEAR 2000 OUTLOOK, 3/19/1999)
The Georgia Legislature is nearing passage of a bill which would put
a wide array of organizations on the hook to provide Y2K status information,
with $1,000-a-day fines for offenders. SB 230 has been passed by the
State Senate and a vote is expected shortly in the House. The measure
would apply to entities regulated by the GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION,
the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION and the DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES,
such as electric utilities and telephone companies, water and wastewater
treatment providers, hazardous waste recyclers, health maintenance organizations,
nursing homes and hospices. The measure would allow the state to survey
these service providers as to their readiness and to impose fines of
$1,000 per day for those late in responding; failure of an entity to
provide an essential service by not "reasonably and appropriately" planning
for the Year 2000 could result in an additional $10,000 fine. A member
of the Governor's Y2K CITIZENS TASK FORCE says it's conceivable that
Georgians could soon be able to plug zip codes into a web-based form
and learn the Y2K status of their local utilities and government services.
The task force member says that the state already has surveys and follow-up
call centers ready to go. (JG)
MINNESOTA GOV. VENTURA: "BE PREPARED"
(Source: James L. Dunn, Y2KTODAY, 4/20/1999)
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said he was borrowing the BOY SCOUTS OF
AMERICA motto in urging Minnesota families, businesses and agencies
to "Be Prepared" for possible century-end computer breakdowns. In addition,
Ventura announced an effort called "Y2 OK," in which scouts across the
state will be going door-to-door in the coming months to drop off Y2K
preparedness cards. The Minnesota governor has named 13 state leaders
from business, education and government to a Y2K "Superboard" to help
coordinate and provide expertise in Y2K readiness. (JG)
TELECOMS ASK STATE DEPARTMENT FOR HELP IN PREPARATION FOR YEAR 2000
(Source: Rebecca Blumenstein, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/19/1999)
The nation's telecommunications industry has asked the STATE DEPARTMENT
for help in preparing phone networks world-wide for potential Year-2000
disruptions, after a recent FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)
meeting looked into the readiness of the world's phone companies. While
most large U.S. phone companies are well prepared for Y2K, there is
growing evidence that many smaller phone companies and a number of regions
around the world run a "high risk" of problems. "Internationally, it
appears that the readiness has worsened," said A. John Pasqua, an AT&T
Vice President in charge of the company's Year 2000 program. "There
has been a shift of some of these countries from medium to high risk."
How other countries are prepared could directly affect the U.S. because
the global telecommunications system relies on the interconnection of
the networks of many countries. Calls are handed off from one company
to another, often without callers realizing it. Any disruption in any
of those links could cause problems. With updates from more than 190
countries, the FCC says that Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific
region are categorized as low to medium risk; the remaining regions
generally face medium to high risk of disruption. The council has asked
the State Department and other federal agencies for help in identifying
and working with those countries with the worst problems, especially
those that have a lot of traffic with the U.S. Most callers within the
U.S. likely won't experience disruptions, especially if they use one
of the larger phone companies. However, according to the FCC, nearly
half of the nation's smaller companies admit having no formal process
for preparing for the Year 2000. (JG)
U.S. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL PASSES 2000 TEST
(Source: Reuters, 4/11/1999)
According to the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA), the U.S. air
traffic control system has passed a crucial test to see if it can cope
with the Year 2000 computer problem. On April 10, clocks on backup computers
in several air traffic control facilities in Colorado were advanced
to just before midnight on Dec. 31 to check that radar, navigation and
communications systems would work normally at the end of the year. FAA
and airline industry officials taking part in the test said the computers
rolled over to 2000 with no obvious errors. "The FAA test should reassure
the public that the air traffic control system will be ready for the
next century," said Tom Browne, Year 2000 Manager for the AIR TRANSPORT
ASSOCIATION that represents airlines carrying over 90 percent of U.S.
air traffic. While the FAA was late in starting work on repairing the
aging patchwork of computers that run the air traffic control system,
the agency promises to have all its systems Y2K-ready by June 30. (JG)
FAA INTERNAL REPORT: NEW RADAR NOT UP TO SPEED
(Source: CNN/AP, 4/7/1999)
According to an internal FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA) report
on tests conducted in March, a new $1 billion FAA computer system called
"Stars," was two to three times slower than existing equipment in displaying
aircraft radar positions and responding to air traffic controllers'
commands. FAA officials are saying that, until fixed, the new system
is unsuitable for use at the nation's busiest airports, where it is
needed most. The first elements of the system were to be installed at
Washington's Reagan National Airport by March 31, but the FAA announced
in February it would not meet that deadline. No new date has been set.
Peter Challan, FAA's director of air traffic systems, told the newspaper
the agency is working with the manufacturer, RAYTHEON, air traffic controllers
and its own engineers to speed up the new computer system. The Stars
system is part of a massive technological upgrade underway with the
nation's air traffic system. FAA's $1 billion contract with Raytheon
calls for upgrading the controller work stations and supporting computers
in 173 FAA and 199 DEFENSE DEPARTMENT terminal control facilities, which
oversee planes shortly after takeoff or on their initial approach to
an airport. The FAA is also in the process of replacing the computers
used by controllers in en route centers, which control planes between
terminal control facilities. In addition, the agency is developing technology
that will allow pilots to use the satellite-based Global Positioning
System for pinpoint navigation and more precise landings at an increased
number of airports. Each process has been plagued by costly delays.
The FAA has vowed to slash the number of planes taking to the air at
the end of the year rather than risk mid-air collisions if its computers
U.S. WARNS AIRLINES THAT INSURANCE MUST COVER 2000 BUG
(Source: REUTERS, 4/20/1999)
The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) has warned domestic and
foreign airlines that they risked operating illegal flights in the new
year if their liability insurance did not cover the Year 2000 computer
problem. In a notice to airlines, DOT warned companies that some aviation
insurers wished to write into insurance policies a clause that would
exclude liability for all damages related to Y2K problems, and that
some carriers already may have had similar exclusions written into their
policies. "Airlines must carry liability insurance covering all claims
resulting from an accident except for exclusions from coverage that
DOT has permitted," said the department, which has not approved any
Y2K insurance exclusion to date. (JG)
ATLEE GOING INTO "SEMI-RETREAT"
(Source: Tom Atlee, THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, 4/17/1999)
Popular Y2K analyst Tom Atlee has announced that he is going into semi-retreat
for a couple of months to do some focused research and writing. For
the last year, he has been pouring his life into innumerable Y2K-related
activities -- often working 60-80 hours a week. He expects that by summer,
as public concerns about Y2K become more intense, people will increasingly
wonder where Y2K came from, what made it happen, and what changes are
needed. Out of this will arise the realization that we need to remediate
not only our computer code, but our culture as well. Lately, he has
found himself called to new Y2K work: "We are moving into what some
have called an enormous 'learning moment.' During my engagement with
Y2K, I've stumbled into some interesting insights that are compelling,
useful, and deeply transformative. I shared some of my thoughts at a
public forum in March in Eugene, OR, and was surprised at how interested
people were in ideas that only months ago got no response at all. I
expect there will be unprecedented opportunities for powerful conversations
that could significantly change our society for the better. I want to
empower those conversations to make a real difference." Atlee still
wants to stay "in the loop" as the Y2K era unfolds, so that what he
is thinking and writing remains relevant. He will continue to distribute
articles through email and on his website. He can be reached through
his assistant, Marcello Lanfranchi <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
REFLECTIONS ON ED YOURDON'S REMARKS
"Regarding Ed Yourdon's remarks quoted in 'FEMA Logic' (Y2K Report 21):
'The government actually does understand that things are likely to be
far worse than publicly admitted, but has decided that it's not a good
idea to say so,' is it not reasonable to speculate that long-standing
FEMA emergency store recommendations of two weeks fall within economically-viable
parameters only given a certain maximum level of compliance? Since Y2K
concerns increase expected popularly-based emergency store plans well
past this maximum, the choice of three days reflects:
1. An estimate of economic viability,
2. An estimate of social viability, and possibly,
3. An estimate of how long it might take for relief to arrive in an
"The confusion inherent in corporate/state statements is readily undone
when one recognizes that the twin objectives of informing the public
of impending danger and forestalling threats to existing social order
(euphemistically referred to as 'the need to prevent panic'), often
conflict. This multiple personality disorder is nowhere more apparent
than in the last two paragraphs of the Executive Summary of the Senate
Report released in March, wherein the authors stated both that 'Americans
should prepare for Y2K, based on facts and reasonable predictions,'
and also that even after the Committee's 'extensive research and...numerous
briefings...[it] still cannot conclusively determine how extensive
the Y2K disruptions will be.' Indignant sputtering concerning the propriety
of treating us, the citizenry, as reasoning adults, deserving of sound
and complete information, simply reflects an elementary stage of social
awareness. Moving through this quickly to a point of reasonable expectation
where officials and their pronouncements are concerned, may well have
high survival value in emergencies such as this one now upon us."
--- William Brice Wilson, Valley Year 2000 Center, Sirius Community,
Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA
WHERE TO PUT THE CASH
"Congratulations on an invaluable service -- I have learned a LOT. I've
got a question that that bothers a lot of folks: Given that many of
us will withdraw cash from bank accounts to cover, say, two months (January
- February 2000), my concern is where to put the cash? The relatively
large, and sure to grow, 'criminal element' will know that most folks
above poverty level will have cash in their house or apartment, and
I expect an explosion of serious robberies. After all, a poorly 'defended'
middle class residence is easy pickings, and cash is easy to launder,
unlike jewelry or electronics. Do you consider traveler's checks safe?
What about leaving most of the cash in a safety deposit box, which could
be inaccessible if there were a bank closure, or possibly subject to
confiscation by the government?"
--- Ken Kaufman, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
[Those of us who plan to take out some extra cash will probably
each need to figure out a way to store the cash that feels good to us.
Here is Jim Lord's suggestion:
"Don't use a bank safe deposit box for storage. Access might be difficult
during banking disruptions. Install a used safe at your home. They don't
wear out and cost half as much. Some security experts recommend two
safes. Put a cheap decoy in an easy to find location with some cash
and important looking papers inside. Put your 'real' safe in a secure
location that will take you 20 minutes to get into." -DS
Complete article: http://www.y2ktimebomb.com/Tip/Lord/lord9908.htm]
AN EXCUSE TO USE NON-Y2K-COMPLIANT BOMBS?
"On the lighter/darker side of Y2K, I wonder if the NATO bombing in
Kosovo is an excuse to use up non-Y2K-compliant bombs? I don't believe
it is true, but I have watched too many episodes of 'The X-files,' 'Millennium'
and '60 Minutes' to dismiss it out of hand."
--- name withheld, by request
A DEEPER ISSUE
"Excellent article in the latest Special Report (April 8, 1999). I've
gone through the same process you mentioned and share almost exactly
the same perceptions. Long before I knew about Y2K, I had a vision in
deep meditation of a wave of change coming for humanity. Then last December,
I went on a four-day visionquest at the winter solstice, fasting and
meditating. After three days, I felt I got a very clear vision that,
yes, Y2K was to be a big deal and that I should help whomever I could
to prepare on all levels. So I dropped everything that was not essential
in my life and have been doing lots of public speaking and organizing
around Y2K with anyone who is interested. Many groups and individuals
have spun off due to these efforts and are now preparing themselves.
Every time I speak about it, I feel more strongly that this is the right
thing to be doing and I keep having encounters with a growing group
of people around this country and other countries who share very similar
perceptions and biases. Either a large group of us is deluding ourselves
or there is some deeper issue here."
--- Bruce Davidson, Sirius Community, Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA
THE NHNE Y2K ACTION NETWORK:
PREPAREDNESS PLUS ONE
By Carole Munson
I've been reading the NHNE site for some time now, and have arrived
at some of the same conclusions David Sunfellow has. I too view Y2K
as the greatest opportunity in the world to dig down deep and become
a better, more loving and resourceful human being. I am associated with
Jim Lord, Ed Yourdon, Karen Anderson, Patrick Hogue and many other Y2K
and preparedness speakers, and am now speaking to groups around the
country with respect to preparing with a calm and deliberate style.
I particularly appreciated David's words regarding Y2K burnout (NHNE
Special Report, April 8). We are all feeling it, and it seems to come
from the amount of effort we've all given to a public largely waiting
for the government to take care of them. It saddens me to see how far
we have fallen from the independence, intelligence, discernment and
free will which God bestowed upon us.
I see Y2K as a terrific way for God to wake us up with our obvious over-dependence
on technology. What better way to take Western civilization down a notch
or three? Y2K may have little effect upon the half of the world never
having even made a phone call nor purchased a grocery store name brand,
but as for the rest of us...we'll see.
My view towards preparedness has changed over the months. We can only
help those who are listening, and then we begin praying. By preparing
more people in advance, we create more calm, and more prayer and generosity
to our fellow man who then reach out to help others. That is my fervent
prayer: that each of us takes the physical steps necessary to reach
a place of calm about the safety of our loved ones, and then we reach
out in a "preparedness plus one" attitude of service to others. In a
short time, all of us would be taken care of, and our thoughts could
turn to spiritual matters. My conclusion is that by preparing in advance,
we do not create panic and fear, but peace and calm and a spirit of
Founder & CEO
MILLENNIUM III FOODS
Bozeman, Montana, USA
KOSKINEN SPEAKS OUT
(Source: Scott Johnson, Y2K TODAY, 4/18/1999)
John Koskinen, Chair of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON YEAR 2000 CONVERSION,
recently assured a Senate panel: "I am confident that any problems with
the economy or the American public will not come from the failure of
Federal systems," (Y2K Report 22). Here are some edited excerpts from
an interview with Koskinen immediately after that hearing that expand
on his statement:
"Most of the emergency managers we talk to say, 'We've always been trying
to get people to worry about what to do when the power's out, when the
phones are out.' So they're delighted to have communities organize and
say, 'Okay, whether it's Y2K or whether we get hit by a tornado or an
earthquake, what is our plan?' What causes people to overreact is when
they don't have information. They figure, 'Nobody cares about this,
nobody's worried about it, therefore I have to take care of everything
myself.' We've got a website and hotline where we're putting out information.
This summer where we're going to try to get every major industry association
and their members to participate in real discussions where people can
ask their bank or their power company, 'What's your plan look like?
What problems did you have? How much money did you budget, and how much
have you spent?'"
"People are saying, 'The goods are going to fail, so it doesn't matter
what you do locally, because you've got to prepare for the fact that
there won't be power anyway.' Based on what we know now, the national
systems are going to be all right [and] it looks like there
will be power in January. My best advice to people right now is, they
ought to be very focused on what's going to happen in their local community."
"I hear people saying, 'Koskinen's overly optimistic.' I keep saying,
'No, I think there are going to be local problems, we have international
risks, and we have people who aren't paying attention who are going
to create problems.' As we get the good news out about the government
and big issues, my concern is that we don't go immediately into complacency.
Just because we think we've solved a lot of problems doesn't mean we
don't have a lot more work to do. The problem is more subtle than: either
the world is ending or everything must be okay."
"My view is not to criticize people who are saying, 'Be prepared.' I
disagree with people who say the whole country ought to buy two weeks
[of food], but if in a community they say, 'We listened to our
guys and they didn't sound smart, so we're recommending two weeks in
our community,' I would say, 'Exactly right.' There is no one size fits
all. The people who are closest to the problem in a locality are the
ones who are going to have the best indication of what the issues are.
They're going to know what their supply chain issues are; they'll know
what their history is in terms of how the system responds. I think if
California decided a week is the right number because they've looked
at their circumstances, that's terrific. I would object to people saying,
'Don't have any preparations,' because I think that's stupid."
"At the end of summer, I'm going to advise people that, in your community,
if no one's bothered to talk to you, then you may have a reason to say,
'I'm going to make more precautions.' My concern is if you say, 'I don't
care what they tell me, I'm going to buy a two-week supply of food and
I'm going to take all my money out of the bank.' Unless you have some
basis for that, there's a problem. If we get 75 percent of the population
doing that, then we'll have our own self-fulfilling prophecy. We'll
run out of stuff, we'll have long lines, we'll have people nervous and
panicked unnecessarily." (JG)
Koskinen's Good News Links Page: http://www.y2k.gov/text/y2kprog.html
BENNETT SOFTENS HIS Y2K PESSIMISM
(Source: Matt Thomas, Y2KNET, 4/16/1999)
In a Y2K public forum held in Phoenix, Arizona on April 9, 1999, Senator
Robert Bennett, the Y2K Paul Revere of the federal government, stated
that his predictions for Y2K had changed dramatically in the last year.
Bennett, who chairs the Y2K SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE, currently does
not foresee a major national disruption in the U.S. Initially, he had
predicted that there was a 40 percent chance of a national power outage.
Now that prediction has lowered to less than 10 percent. "That doesn't
mean that local companies won't fail," he went on to say, "Somewhere,
some power companies will have a problem."
Bennett realized that he could receive criticism for changing his position
so drastically, but explained that his initial fear regarding the Y2K
problem was caused by the "specter of embedded chips." Early predictions
for the failure of embedded chips were 2 to 3 percent, however, he stated
that more recent studies show that, "The actual impact on embedded chips
will [more in the order of] 0.02 percent."
Despite most utility companies being well on their way to compliance,
Bennett emphasized that citizens should still be wary of problems at
the local level. "Take charge of your own Y2K future," he repeated five
times, referring to the need for the public to investigate the readiness
of their individual communities. Bennett also called for the public
to not abandon their personal emergency preparation. "Emergency supplies
are prudent, regardless of Y2K." (JG)
(Source: David O'Daniel Eddy, WESTERGAARD YEAR 2000, 4/14/1999)
Y2K analyst David O'Daniel Eddy is getting increasingly distressed to
see more and more reports from companies and governments stating that
their Y2K efforts are making good progress, based on such claims as,
"65 percent of their mission-critical systems are done and 90 percent
or more will be done by July 1999." The following are some edited excerpts
from a recent essay:
"Claims of progress by 'percentage completed' is the classic game of
learning how to lie publicly. When you need to tell a lie, tell a BIG
one. By doing so you then trap your audience into participating. The
cold, hard fact about measuring Y2K progress by percentages is that
you can't add systems up like boxes of candy in the local 7-11 store.
One system may be 10 million lines of code (LoC), while another system
may be 50,000 LoC, or worse -- a series of spreadsheets, which simply
cannot be counted in LoC at all. Although it's somewhat logical to conclude
that the 10 million LoC will be more expensive to repair than the 50,000
LoC, this is not necessarily so -- perhaps the 10 million LoC can be
replaced with a standard package, [while] the 50,000 LoC system
is in a particularly opaque language like APL, which is virtually impossible
for anyone, other than the original author, to decipher."
"What happens with tracking Y2K progress by percentages is that the
various functional lines of business in the organization claim they
have 'X 'number of systems. These systems -- regardless of size, complexity,
cost to repair, or true significance to the viability of the organization
as a whole -- are then simply summed up. Marketing has 10 systems; R&D
has 5 systems; Manufacturing has 15 systems, and so on. These numbers
are then kept in spreadsheets and the all-important percentages are
reported and monitored. It enables managers to delude themselves that
they're monitoring the situation to three decimal points. That may work
fine for tracking market-share numbers on potato chips, but it doesn't
work at all for software systems. The ultimate example of such lunacy
is when the Air Force blandly tallied the B-2 bomber as one system and
the F-16 fighter as 82 systems."
"I cannot determine if these reports are conscious lies, intentional
positive propaganda to hide reality, or just plain bureaucratic stupidity.
Nowhere is there provided ANY background or supporting evidence as to
what they really mean. What is the meaning of 'done'? Done with remediation?
Completely tested and successfully back in production? Nowhere is there
any discussion of 'mission critical. Personally, I vote for bureaucratic
PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL HOSTS Y2K SUMMIT
(Source: FDIC Y2K News, 4/22/1999)
Bankers, bank regulators, trade associations and other financial services
representatives gathered in Washington, D.C. on April 15 to share information
on the progress the banking industry is making in meeting the Year 2000
challenge. The summit, the second in a series of three sponsored by
the Financial Sector Group of the PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON THE YEAR 2000,
centered on contingency planning and bank/customer awareness. Jim Devlin,
CITIBANK Vice President and Director of THE YEAR 2000 ENTERPRISE PROJECT
OFFICE advised banks to take a practical approach in their planning.
"Don't invent new systems to deal with this," he said. "Use the systems
that are in place for your business purposes, because this is not so
much a technology problem as it is a business problem, with market,
liquidity, credit and other issues with which you are already familiar."
"Be proactive," added Louis L. Barton, Vice President of Information
Systems Planning at FROST NATIONAL BANK in San Antonio. "Don't just
wait for customers to ask questions -- reach out and tell them what
you're doing and why it's important." The panel agreed that perhaps
one of the most important steps is for banks to educate their employees
first, since customers often get their information from tellers and
other customer service representatives. The next Y2K summit is tentatively
set for September 17, 1999.
In related news, FDIC Chairman Donna Tanoue recently told Congress the
banking industry continues to make headway in preparing for the Year
2000, "although some financial institutions have experienced delays
in meeting...milestone dates [and] it is unrealistic to expect
that there will not be any problems." Of 10,379 FDIC-insured institutions,
10,042 (96.8 percent) were rated "satisfactory" as of March 31, Tanoue
told the Committee. By June 30, 1999, financial institutions' testing
of mission-critical systems and implementation of mission-critical systems
should be substantially complete. Tanoue closed by reiterating that
"the Year 2000 date change is the highest safety and soundness priority
for the FDIC. No insured depositor need worry," she concluded. "The
FDIC will protect insured deposits." (JG)
FDIC Website: http://www.fdic.gov/about/y2k
LATIN AMERICA SCRAMBLING TO AVOID Y2K DISASTER
(Source: AP, 4/17/1999)
Latin American governments, with a few exceptions such as Mexico and
Chile, are coming realize they lack the time, money and programmers
to forestall potentially crippling public sector failures when the Year
2000 arrives. Last year, at precisely the moment when Latin governments
should have been investing heavily in Y2K fixes, the Asian financial
crisis hit their economies hard. Now there is an almost universal shortness
of cash. World Bank experts and independent analysts say Latin and Caribbean
governments are left with no alternative other than focus on preventing
Colombia: Mired in perhaps worst recession since 1930s, this country
of 40 million is seriously short of funds to address Y2K bug, and the
government's Year 2000 Office only just kicked into gear in December.
Managers of the state-run health care system are struggling to determine
how to keep Y2K failures from scrambling the records of its more than
eight million patients. Public hospitals are just beginning to inventory
medical devices for bug-related defects. Federal bookkeepers are preparing
to switch to paper ledgers until their computers are fixed. Colombian
civil aviation officials say their radar systems will fail without repairs
worth more than $11 million, money the federal government says it cannot
provide. Air traffic controllers are being trained in guiding planes
the old-fashioned way -- with radioed position reports and paper charts.
Venezuela: With its oil-based economy suffering from decline in petroleum
prices, this country of 23 million expects serious Y2K-related failures.
Government planners have given up on trying to fix many computer systems
and intend to have 15,000 engineers at the ready on Jan. 1, 2000 --
along with the National Guard and army -- to resolve problems as they
arise and keep order, says Alejandro Bermudez, deputy national Y2K coordinator.
Most private companies are also way behind schedule, having completed
about only 10-20 percent of work on Year 2000 problems. "We're going
to have a food-supply shortage," predicts Bermudez. He estimates 40
percent of Venezuela's food-processing plants will be paralyzed when
unfixed computer chips in automated factories shut down production lines.
Only about 10 percent of Venezuela's electricity distribution system
has so far undergone computer fixes, and the government says the country
desperately needs $1.5 billion for Y2K fixes, adding that even with
that money, repairs will take two to four years.
Guatemala: Scott Robberson, Executive Director of the AMERICAN CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE said his electric company hasn't even started Y2K work,
only two of Guatemala's 30 banks are ready, and few buildings in Guatemala
City are fixing elevators and time-sensitive computerized building security
locks that are vulnerable to failure.
Brazil: Latin America's most populous nation, with 166 million people,
is among world's 10 most computerized countries, yet the government
expects to spend just $300 million on Y2K projects, one-third of that
this year. Marcos Osorio, the national Y2K coordinator, says fixes on
the pension and health system are lagging, as are repairs on his country's
energy and telecommunications sectors. Brazil's electrical utilities
are already "taxed to the limit" and highly susceptible to brownouts.
Brazil's chief public data-processing agency, SERPRO, which handles
60 percent of the Brazilian government's data processing, has worked
diligently on Y2K but is still short $35 million to finish fixes. SERPRO
is struggling to meet the conditions for a $41.5 billion bailout package
from the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.
Information technology analysts at GARTNERGROUP predict half of all
Latin American companies and state agencies in Argentina, Colombia,
the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico and
Venezuela will see at least one critical failure -- from power outages
to air transport interruptions. Even worse off are Costa Rica, Ecuador,
El Salvador and Uruguay. Social unrest and paralyzed commerce are tangible
fears. In this part of the world, "the public doesn't protest with phone
calls and letters -- it riots and destabilizes the government," said
Ian Hugo, Deputy Director of Britain's TASK FORCE 2000. (JG)
GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS FROM WALTON FEED
(Source: Stephen Portela, WALTON FEED, 4/15/1999)
WALTON FEED of Montpelier, Idaho is one of the nation's largest and
oldest suppliers of emergency food and products. Here are some edited
excerpts from their Website:
"Walton Feed started taking orders for Y2K in March 1997. Each new month
has brought a new increase in orders. In the last 18 months, we have
more than tripled our personnel, more than quadrupled our floor space,
added new packing lines, and are running 24 hours a day, six days a
week. Our output has increased several times, and we have doubled production
in March 1999 yet again. We are presently driving our facility as fast
as it can go. We are going to survive Y2K and are being as wise as we
can with our long-term planning."
"It is difficult to estimate accurately how long it will take for deliveries
on orders that are placed now. We only know one thing for sure: we are
nine months behind at the present time with bucket/bag orders placed
to be shipped by UPS. For those wishing to place bucket orders now,
your order won't come until NEXT YEAR! However, the new development
in our greatly increased production in cans gives real hope that this
point is still four to five months in the future for can-only orders.
We are presently putting out 2,000 cases of #10 cans a day. If you want
to cancel your buckets with us, you can try LEHI MILLS in Lehi, Utah.
They don't have the variety we have, but [they DO] have flours
and mixes in buckets, decent prices, and are still delivering in 2-3
"There is a surplus of food right now because the fall harvest was so
good, making it possible for those who have the desire to put a few
things away to do so at a good price. For the near term, there just
isn't going to be a food shortage here in the U.S. because of underproduction
or increased demand. I do not see this forecast of general food availability
changing until at least this year's fall harvest. It is true, however,
that the availability of some items has been reduced because of Y2K.
Hand-operated grinders are a great example, and now the Aladdin lamp
can also be included.
"Right now, there seems to be a bit of a slow-down in the food storage
industry boom. I expect some of this is because of the successful information/disinformation
work being done in the country presently that Y2K isn't going to be
as bad as many people forcasted. I also think the war in Eastern Europe
has also pulled much of the emphasis away from Y2K."
"From what we can see of the trends developing, as we get closer to
Y2K, things are only going to get worse as more people learn about this
and decide to do something. The bottom line: we are working as quickly
as we can to meet your needs, but at present this just isn't enough."
"Please know that we will continue to do the best we can to get your
orders to you within the constraints placed on us by the size of our
company. We care about what we are doing and feel we are providing an
extremely valuable service. We wish the Lord's blessings to attend you
in your preparation efforts during these challenging yet exciting times."
Walton Feed Home Page: http://waltonfeed.com/
AN INTERVIEW WITH CARLA EMERY
By Sherry J. Stultz (SJS), NHNE SwiftWing Reporter
Carla Emery (CE) is the author of "The Encyclopedia of Country Living"
-- a veritable off-the-grid manual which details everything from how
to kill a chicken to homebirthing babies. She is also a Y2K activist
who travels the U.S. in a beat-up van urging people to begin Y2K preparations.
Our local Y2K group in Ocean Springs, Mississippi was lucky enough to
be squeezed into her busy schedule.
Last summer, Carla went to visit her daughter, Sarah, in Seattle. At
the time, she had just begun learning about the potential chaos of Y2K-related
disruptions and wanted to prepare a "refuge," as she called it, for
her children. She urged her daughter to come to stay with her before
the next millennium, since a big city wouldn't be the safest place to
weather Y2K. But Sarah completely rejected the idea of Y2K preparation
as nonsense and told Carla that she never wanted to see her again. Carla
received her daughter's decision with a heavy heart and decided the
only way to help her was to begin helping everyone else learn about
how to prepare for Y2K. She prays that one day someone will tell someone
else about Y2K, who will tell another person, who will, in turn speak
with friend, and that person will tell Sarah...and maybe then she will
Carla's story intrigued me personally because it paralleled the reasons
why I had decided not to move to Sedona, AZ, but to stay in Mississippi:
because my family refuses to take Y2K seriously, and the only way I
can help them is by helping everyone else in the local area prepare.
Here are some edited excerpts from a conversation I had with Carla after
SJS: You mentioned in your talk that Kansas is one of the most organized
places you've visited.
CE: Wichita has a number of Y2K activists who have been doing this for
a couple of years, and you can really see the difference they have made.
The more rural the area, the more people are preparing; the more urban
the area, the less people are paying attention. That makes sense, because
when urban folk really catch on to Y2K, they soon become rural people.
I don't think anybody wants to go through this in the big city.
SJS: As far as preparations go, are we talking in terms of food and
water or community gardens?
CE: It probably works best to prepare family by family. I think the
community is strongest when you have the strong sense of individual
and family responsibility and preparation. If we lose agribusiness,
we are going to instantly plunge back into an economy of the 1800s,
when it took 85 percent of the people growing food full time to feed
a population that was a lot smaller than it is now. Those were people
who lived in homes surrounded by tillable lands. They had orchards and
domestic animals and they knew what they were doing. Now most people
have none of those things. It's going to be really tough, and we are
coming into a time when everybody from the governor on down will need
to be growing a garden and taking responsibility to contribute to the
total food supply.
SJS: What about heat?
CE: The people who are most vulnerable are those who live in the northern
plain states. They have very cold winters and no trees. I am suggesting
to those people that, going into Y2K, they store fuel for at least two
winters and one summer. It does not hurt to have extra fuel, but it
could be life-threatening if they don't. I tell them fuel for two winters
and a summer, because I want them to take seriously the possibility
of a nuclear winter. Back in the 1830s, there was a year when it never
stopped snowing in the U.S. They didn't bring in a garden or a hay crop.
Eventually people found out that a volcano in Southeast Asia had blown
up and tossed so much ash into the atmosphere that it caused a year
with no summer. There is significant evidence that, come Y2K, there
will be ground-level explosions all over the world. In the U.S. alone,
there are approximately 233,000 chemical facilities that have varying
degrees of risk for explosions.
SJS: What is your general impression of the level of preparedness in
the various groups you meet?
CE: At every talk I give, there is someone in the room who has been
preparing for years and someone who hasn't thought about it at all.
But it's not too late for them to begin -- they just have to double-time
it a little to catch up.
SJS: Best wishes to you, Carla. Everyone here in Ocean Springs hopes
we will tell someone who will tell Sarah.
If you would like to have Carla Emery come and speak to your group,
contact her at "CarlaEmery@aol.com". Since she doesn't charge for her
services, it's always nice to arrange a warm bed and some good food
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
FURBIES SHOULD KEEP ON TALKING IN YEAR 2000
(Source: Leslie Moriarty, THE DAILY HERALD (Everett, Wash.), 4/5/1999)
Just in case you've been wondering, the Furby you got for Christmas
last year is safe from any Y2K problems. "Furbys don't operate on a
real-time clock," explained Lana Simon, Director of Public Relations
for TIGER ELECTRONICS, maker of the Furby. "We're certain they'll remember
their vocabulary and keep on talking." (JG)
PESSIMIST VS. OPTIMIST
(Source: U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona, Y2KNET, 4/16/1999)
What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist?
A pessimist says, "The world is in an awful state and it can't get any
An optimist says, "Yes, it can." (JG)
THIS WEEK'S NEWS SOURCES:
The stories in this week's NHNE Y2K Report were drawn, in part, from
the following news sources:
SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS:
YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER:
GARY NORTH'S LINKS AND FORUMS:
Sheri Nakken (Y2K NETWORK):
Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth
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