From: Russell David Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
Re: Jeff Nyquist keeps on attacking me -- I wonder why? (STOP CASSINI #196)
Date: September 25th, 1999
Dear Mr. President, others:
World Net Daily publishes some of the most bogus documents I've ever seen. Apparently, the ones Jeff Nyquist writes which are too bogus even for them to publish, he sends to me. Then I publish them so I can expose the trash he writes to the world.
I hope you are not paying attention to their ramblings, Mr. President. They either make stuff up, leave important stuff out, mislead intentionally, or simply don't know their elbows from a hole in the ground. But Nyquist says he knows all sorts of generals. I hope our generals are smarter than to waste their time with him, and he's making that up too.
Founder and Editor
STOP CASSINI newsletter
"There can be no democracy without truth, no justice without mercy, and no nuclear dispersals without ill consequences."
This issue's subjects:
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 18:09:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [y2k-nuclear] Fwd: U.S. Nukes Can Easily Be Shut For Y2K[Senate Report]
------Begin forward message-------------------------
Subject: Senate 100 day report
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 18:25:11 -0400
Nuclear supplies 20% of the nation's electricity according to the Senate Y2K Committee
US Senate 100 day report
"....but also because peak demand during the winter months will only be about 55% of the electric generation capability. Simply stated, this means that even if 45% of the generation capability is lost-a highly unlikely scenario-there would still be enough electric power available to meet the demand."
Seems like shutting down nuclear plants is not too much to ask.
http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
We have not heard from Mr. Nyquist for many weeks but somehow, we stirred him to respond to something, apparently my letter to Woody Smith (STOP CASSINI #188). Note the "nuclear mafia" type of behavior inherent in Nyquist's action -- both by refusing to write about me and answer my challenges in his columns at WND where HIS audience could see that there is another side to the issues, and by making this contact (shown below) with Woody Smith. Both of these people are public figures. Woody Smith (who apparently works for Boeing) is Historian for the Internet for NASA and as such wrote several letters in support of Cassini. The other, Jeff R. Nyquist, is a twice-weekly, leading columnist for World Net Daily, which if you believe their hype (which I don't) is just about the most popular web site on the Internet. These are not "small" and unimportant people. They are not "mere" citizens (like me) connecting up with each other for the joy of friendship. That's not this at all. This is "ganging up" against me. Both of these people should be perfectly capable of defending their absurd positions themselves, without any help from the other. But instead Nyquist contacts Smith and pretends I once had his good will but have lost it. My guess is that Nyquist and Smith have nothing else in common (Nyquist even professes to disagree with Smith on nuclear power) and have never communicated with each other before Nyquist sent the letter shown below. Mr. Nyquist feels united with Mr. Smith in one cause -- to denounce me!
That is an example of how the "nuclear mafia" works. These guys don't even have to know each other, and probably neither one knows much of anything about the medical hazards of plutonium or uranium or any of those things, or about the other one's area's of expertise, but because they both wish to denounce me, Nyquist, famous writer for World Net Daily, feels inspired to contact Woody Smith and -- just in case Flatworm is somehow someone else -- him as well. (I agree with Nyquist that that's still a possibility, but I doubt it since headers seldom lie and nor do I, and besides, Woody Smith could have ended that matter a week ago at least, and if Flatworm isn't him, I think he would have said so by now, if he has any decency at all.)
But what neither realizes, as they strut and fret their hour before me, is that it doesn't make any difference how hard they denounce me. It will do them no good, and nor will it serve James Oberg, or David Grinspoon, or Bud Aaron, or any of the dozens of others who have come and attacked me in one way or another, and then whimpered away pretending to have won the battle, when in fact, they seldom won even a sentence of any debate. Oberg now seems to be resting on the absurdity that Cassini's navigation system is somehow AT LEAST a million times better than the Mars Climate Orbiter's system. Grinspoon remains the ghost of one of Carl Sagan's darkest hours. Bud Aaron has flown the coop and not returned. Woody, and not to mention "flatworm", have both remained silent, probably on the advice of his/their lawyer (he should get a new lawyer, for there can be little mercy without truth, and he has yet to speak much truth). But Nyquist keeps coming up with his little wind-bags of mischief, and this is his latest (and dullest).
These insults they fling at me, and not to mention the threats of legal action some have made, in order to try to silence my voice, will do them no good, because what they don't realize is that I may be ALL the awful things every one of them has said I am. I doubt it, but even if I was, it wouldn't matter. Indeed, I may be those nasty, school-yard words these guys remember from their childhood and drag out just for me. I may be, and it makes no difference, because even so, my facts would be just as unassailable. And those facts will be just as unassailable after I am gone. And if there is not a single nuclear meltdown anywhere in the world, and no chemical disaster, and the lights never dim, that will not prove me wrong to have suggested we should be far better prepared than we are. If there is no nuclear war, that will not prove that we should continue to build the tools with which we can have one the next day, and the next and the next. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) has never been proven to work. Didn't it work for 50 years, I hear someone ask? No: It failed miserably. Over 100,000,000 land mines have been planted and remain in the earth around the world since the dawn of the atomic age. 10s of millions of people have died in countless wars. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have been killed in combat. And millions more Americans have died from being "down wind" from nuclear testing, which released gargantuan quantities of radioactive substances into the fragile and relatively small (and very crowded) biosphere. MAD is killing us all, just as it said it would. But it's doing it slowly and painfully, through leukemias, cancers, and birth defects. This maximizes its ability to kill, because it keeps our species going despite the deaths, the pain and the suffering. Mutually Assured INSTANT Destruction was the Nirvana we were sold, but what we were given instead was slow and torturous death, chemotherapy, breast cancers, skin cancer and all those other things a destroyed environment gives us.
We have the "nuclear mafia" to thank for this situation. Last week, realizing that public opinion is swaying, a Chemical Industry multi-billionaire announced he was giving a billion dollars to fund "cancer research". That amount would barely clean up one chemical superfund site (let alone a nuclear one, or a nuclear/chemical one!) yet he was given front page news in countless papers.
And I? I have to make do with debating the likes of Jeff R. Nyquist. Some guys have all the luck (and most of the money).
But it has to stop somewhere, some time. People have to awaken to the pro-active role each of them must take to make this a better world. I pray that Y2K will be that thing which unites humanity in a search for a clean and livable environment. I pray that it does that beforehand, when changes can save lives, rather than after, when possibly, the reasons we should have done something will be painfully obvious, but it will be too late.
Nyquist, your bed is made. Now lie in it:
Founder and Editor
STOP CASSINI newsletter (soon to be renamed)
At 04:01 AM 9/21/99 -0700, you wrote:
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 04:01:38 -0700
From: Jeffrey Nyquist email@example.com
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: Woody Smith email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Russell Hoffman Strikes Again
I am against nuclear power, but Hoffman is so incredibly obnoxious, so windy and huge -- I cannot resist a sigh and a little jab at him. He manages to be rude, arrogant, and he loses the good will of everyone after a while.
I wonder if by "ccing" his email to Mr. Smith, Jeff is indicating he was for Cassini -- because there are many ways the "demon hot atom" is being used and most pro-nuclear people love them all: Weapons (which Nyquist supports wholeheartedly (but says he's not a warmonger)) space probes, undersea listening devices, warship power plants, research reactors, food irradiation stations, and not to mention electrical power plants (which Nyquist says he opposes). These are but a few of the many awful uses of the little unstoppable nuclear explosions. Which is not to say there really are NO useful purposes for the deadly atom, but its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. All those uses just mentioned have EACH been proven to be replaceable with safer technologies or, in the case of solar system exploration, alternative missions (there is no question that there is a limited budget for any missions at all, so NASA must pick and choose, and should consider safety as paramount (which they say they do, but they don't)). One of these uses of the "demon hot atom" Nyquist claims to be against, but in this, our gravest hour of need to get the plants shut down by Y2K, what has he to say? Nothing! (At least not to me; as far as I know he has not been shouting that all the nukes need to be shut down for Y2K.) -- rdh
Note: Besides the "22 operational nuclear power plants" Nyquist said were in Yugoslavia, there are many other points of disagreement which readers can review in newsletter #128 and others. -- rdh
To: Jeff R. Nyquist email@example.com
From: Russell D. Hoffman
Date September 25th, 1999
Re: Your letter to me (shown above)
Dear Mr. Nyquist,
If you want to take a jab at me, I'm ready any time -- when will you start? I've been waiting for you to comment on many things -- such as the effect on the nation's hospitals of a nuclear EMP high above the U.S., which would probably be part of the very first (or second) wave of incoming ICBMs -- no matter what YOUR General-friends have told you they learned in General-school. And please tell me about those 22 operational nuclear power plants in Yugoslavia you said existed. I asked you for their names and locations. Such simple details, yet you've provided nothing to back up that and many other silly statements you made (such as denying the effects of a nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). I hate to hammer on a seemingly trivial detail, but 22 operational nuclear power plants in a country we just bombed back a couple of centuries terrifies me. In fact bombing a place with even one or two nuclear reactors, even if they're closed (which is what we actually did) scares me too. Come to think of it, yeah, you're right -- war just plain frightens me. That's because war kills and maims people, and I don't want anyone to be killed or maimed. All the documentation I could find said there was at most two closed reactors in Yugoslavia and we hadn't attacked them, even by accident. So who's telling the truth, here? You, or everyone else I can find? There are many other statements I have asked you to justify, but I wish to start with that one because you said those 22 operational nuclear power plants had been hit with small (non-nuclear) Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons, and that was the basis of you not being afraid nuclear power plants would melt down if an EMP struck above the United States. So you built a whole castle of absurdities to support your opinion, starting with those 22 operational nuclear power plants you said existed.
But instead of correcting your countless misstatements, you call me arrogant, and quite a few other things as well. This from a man who has not been able to correct ONE SINGLE STATEMENT I HAVE MADE! Maybe I am arrogant. If so that is just one of my many failings. And indeed, if I am, I apologize for that, and if I'm not, I apologize for making you feel that I am. But my supposed arrogance has nothing to do with your many factual mistakes, which I have pointed out in previous letters to you, and which have yet to be acknowledged and corrected. That is true arrogance. At least I can admit to my faults, and if arrogance is one of them (something I'm not convinced of, by the way), I'll own up to it. But you have called me many names, including "highly emotional, unconcerned with sober discussion, and frankly, I don't need the childish rhetorical exchanges". You even said my slogan is "Better Red than dead". That wasn't very nice and you had (and have) nothing to base that kind of crap on. Do you have some rule whereby you can slug me, but if I slug you back, you cry "foul" and go home? I know you are unfair, but you could at least get off your high horse, supply me with the documentation you claim proves my positions wrong, and fight this out on the facts. But no: You won't clear up a single factual error you've made yet. In fact, the closest I've gotten out of you is you denied calling me a "commie", when instead you should have taken it back, which is different from denying you said anything like it in the first place. You present a moving target. That is because there is only one truth, but there are an infinite number of lies available. You have your pick. I don't.
And let me ask you this: where is YOUR "good will"? Is it that part of you which supports the building and storing and possibly even the using of nuclear weapons, even while proclaiming to be a man with peaceful intentions ("not a warmonger")? Is it that part of you who is advocating for Mutually Assured Destruction for the good of the country, and yet proudly proclaims to be against nuclear power? Where are your Y2K-nuclear protests, if you're so against nuclear power, where are you now, and for the next 96 days? Attacking me! Are you really solidly in favor of shutting down the nukes? Then why would you waste your time denouncing me, when we have work to do awakening the world to the real dangers that are way, way worse than Cassini? (How do you feel about Cassini, come to think of it?)
Are you going to tell me you trust governments all around the world to be ensuring that all the businesses and all the nuclear agencies, with all their awful safety records, are doing all they can about the Y2K-nuclear issue all around the world (for if a nuclear power plant melts down anywhere, it poisons the earth everywhere)? Anyone paying the least bit of attention can see that EVERYONE is way, way, way behind on Y2K preparations. That fact portends the biggest problem if there is an accidental nuclear war. The second biggest problem? Nuclear meltdowns, which might well be caused by the first. But where is Jeff Nyquist? We need your voice NOW, Jeff Nyquist, if ever you've wanted to actually do something about something you say you're against, NOW -- the next three months -- is the time. Wake up, man! And when you do, all I can say is, Welcome to the nightmare your former beliefs have left us with. The reality of the nuclear wasteland which the "Cold War" has created and which we all now live in.
I suggest you read my debate with Peter de Jager for starters, which is posted at my Y2K-preparedness web site ("the things Government isn't telling the people"):
He left in a huff too, just like you! He pretended I had offended him (whilst claiming to be thick-skinned enough for it not to bother him), but only did so after unloading his own load of insults. Gee, Jeff -- just like you. And he did it for the same reasons -- because I asked the hard questions. Exacting questions that required factual answers, not unprovable philosophical rhetoric.
Mr. Nyquist, you come flying in from WND every so often and feed me your completely irresponsible statements -- stuff I bet even Joseph Farah wouldn't publish. You denounce me mercilessly -- which would be okay, if you could at least once in a while manage to actually correct some of your many factual misrepresentations. But you have yet to be able to back up -- with facts, scientific literature -- even government reports -- even one point I have challenged of yours (while in the meantime, I have presented well-referenced data repeatedly, and made it all available on the Internet for anyone to see).
For a man who denies facts, you have already derided me uselessly, unfairly, and additionally, you have done so with much undeserved scorn. And worst of all, you have censored my comments that should have been published long ago in World Net Daily. I bet there is still not one link to my web site from your filthy rag. (There are dozens from the STOP CASSINI web site to www.worldnetdaily.com .)
Oberg says Cassini has better navigation equipment than MCO had. It had to have been at least a million times better, or NASA got very lucky with Cassini. I suspect that indeed, NASA got lucky with Cassini, but I got lucky with MCO, because James Oberg, talking head for ABC, Jim Spellman (who, like you, says he doesn't like nuclear power), F. R. Sarker (General Secretary for the Bangladesh Astronomical Society) and Jeff Nyquist (famous writer for WorldNetDaily) and others have all written opinion pieces for my newsletter -- and I don't have to pay any of them! Life is grand! Was Mars Climate Orbiter's loss, coming so soon after I had suggested that the only thing left that would work was a "sign from God", actually a sign from God? You better hope not, Jeff, because if it was -- if everything that has happened since Cassini -- the lost orbiter, the earthquakes, the hurricanes -- if these are not signs from God that we are unprepared for what's coming, then maybe they are just plain "signs".
My theory, which I don't think you can find flaws in, is that you don't need to believe in any God (or Gods, let's not leave anybody out) to think these so-called "signs" are worth paying attention to. They could be signs from nowhere. Signs from the universe, telling us we are not as good at what we think we know as we think we are. Signs reminding us that "Mother Nature" is yet one more thing we should prepare for -- have you heard of the ecological disaster hurricane Floyd left? It's nothing like what a nuclear meltdown would do, but it's pretty bad.
Maybe these are just plain old signs saying, "prepare to meet thy doom". I know some people believe that -- I do not. I believe life will be going on, and on, and on after Y2K. But it's the QUALITY of that life I seek to protect. You would damn it all to a nuclear wasteland just because somebody -- Moscow, for instance, or maybe who-knows-who, dropped a bomb on YOU. And after declaring your life so important, you have the nerve to call me arrogant. Well, say what you want, it makes no difference anyway. I matter not, the facts won't change regardless of what happens to me. You and Woody Smith, joined together with all the others I have denounced on these pages, might well succeed in destroying my reputation, even though I believe it would be utterly unfair for you to do so. But that won't matter, Jeff R. Nyquist, famous writer for WorldNetDaily!
And maybe all these things that happened since Cassini and a few months before Y2K aren't "signs" at all -- maybe the world can just be thankful they all happened anyway, because the world can wait no longer to face the problems it has been creating for itself.
I'm for preparing for the worst, and praying for the best. Not because God's signs are clear to me -- nothing is unequivocal. But because science demands a look at the evidence. Oberg's theory that Cassini had a nearly infinitely better (okay, a million times better) navigation system than the "Faster BETTER (my emphasis) Cheaper" (and about 10 years newer) navigation system MCO had, is flawed. Your theory that nuclear war is winnable is totally flawed.
Anyone should be able to realize the pointlessness of 30,000 nuclear weapons by now. The dangers of our imperfect technologies. The true risks (including the EMP) of accidental nuclear war. The fact that nuclear power plants can be hit by earthquakes, asteroids, terrorists, and accidental nuclear wars, anywhere, any time.
Your turn to debate me came and went, Jeff, and you LOST that debate terribly. Now, sulking, you call me rude, arrogant, and worse -- windy. In fact, you ran away, leaving unchallenged things a gentleman in an honest debate would have surely defended himself against or corrected (like your statement about there being 22 operational nuclear power plants in Yugoslavia, or your absurd idea that nukes are impervious to a nuclear EMP (not to mention the cooling ponds for the spent fuel rods, which generally need electricity for motors for the circulating pumps). Yet still you dare to call ME arrogant? Hah! You can't admit when you're wrong -- THAT'S arrogant! And you have presented no facts to back up your assertions which I have challenged. THAT'S arrogant. You quote unnamed Russian Generals, and American ones too. That's VERY arrogant. And then you have the nerve to call ME arrogant? Actually, now that I think about it, coming from you, I guess I might be. After all, who would be better able to recognize the affliction than one so afflicted? Or as we said in grade school, "It takes one to know one." But I'll try to leave the grade-school barbs to you. You obviously enjoy it more than I do.
If on the other hand, you want to come out of your ivory tower and debate the philosophy, the psychology, the economics, the biology, the physiology, the statistics, the technology, the science or any fact about the case against nuclear weapons and for immediately (before Y2K) shutting down the nuclear power plants you say you are against, let's have a go at it -- any time. But you have turned away from serious debate. Instead, you have left many questions unanswered, and that's where our debate rests at this moment (see newsletters #128, #129, #133, #132, #134, #135, #141, #146, #152, #153 (last big issue about you (so far)), #155, #166, #174, #181)
Also, I resent being called "huge". I'm only about 5% overweight for my height.
And when, pray tell, did I *ever* have YOUR "good will" to lose? You've refused to answer anything I've said with solid facts, and instead have worked to make people think things are better than they are and that our military has figured it all out and is protecting us properly, with their 30,000 nuclear weapons and hundreds of nuclear warships (and nuclear dumps). You tell the people they should build billions of dollars worth of worthless fallout shelters to protect themselves from a nuclear war -- ridiculous! They can dismantle the nukes if they want to protect themselves! Nothing less will do.
And as for being windy, aren't you still writing two long columns a week with the same sort of drivel I've just described for whoever reads World Net Daily? I picked apart ONE of those articles, hoping you'd change your tune to one with more logic and compassion, but you didn't change at all. You would not supply the facts you said you have which prove your points. You just denounce me from on-high, claiming you are well-connected, with inside information from important generals on both sides. But from what I've seen, I'd say you write mostly fiction.
I happened to read another item from WND which someone sent me recently, and it's equally useless -- reminds me of your stuff, actually. As I said, there are an infinite number of ways to lie, but only one truth.
But the fact is, the geopolitical, humanitarian, medical, etc. considerations which interconnect to explain the horrors of nuclear weapons and their uselessness as defensive tools (or offensive ones) is not simple or easy to write about -- look at yourself -- you still don't understand them!
So in addition to denying that I am huge, rude or arrogant, and questioning even that I am obnoxious -- let alone excessively so (my wife of 22 years say's I'm lovable) -- I think I'm pretty concise under the circumstances and thus, even the last of your insults, that I'm windy, is simply not true. I humbly suggest that the real problem is that you have a short attention span for the truth, having made up your mind incorrectly about a great many things, long ago.
Russell D. Hoffman
Founder and Editor
STOP CASSINI newsletter (soon to be renamed)
"There is no democracy without truth"
At 12:08 PM 9/23/99 -0400, a new STOP CASSINI subscriber wrote:
One of the better summary articles . . . This is also a well written piece on the US Government's preparations for the possible imposition of Martial Law (see section 5).
The Y2K 100-day countdown
© 1999 Michael S. Hyatt
Editor's note: Starting today, best-selling author Michael S. Hyatt begins a daily Y2K commentary in WorldNetDaily. With only 100 days left before the new millennium, we thought it timely to add this insightful feature. Hyatt's first book, "The Millennium Bug," stayed on the New York Times' "Business Best Sellers List" for seven months. But he considers his new book on personal survival even more important. 'The Y2K Personal Survival Guide'; is available from our on-line store.
If you think that Y2K has been all but solved, think again. Even the officials spouting the good news don't really believe it. Forget what they are saying. If you want to know what they believe, take a look at what they are doing.
I am constantly reminded by the Y2K naysayers that government officials, corporate spokespersons, and the traditional media are all saying that Y2K no longer poses a significant threat. According to them, organizations -- at least in the United States -- have the problem well under control and expect to have their mission critical systems remediated before Jan. 1. They are on track, making good progress and confident that the problem is all but solved. There may be some minor disruptions, but nothing catastrophic -- certainly nothing like what I have suggested could happen if we don't get a substantial percentage of our automated systems repaired in time.
The effect of this propaganda -- and that's precisely what it is -- is apathy on the part of the general public and confusion on the part of the Y2K aware. A recent survey for the CBS news program "Sunday Morning" found that less than one-fifth of U.S. households plan to stock up on food or water in preparation for possible Y2K disruptions. Although most are doing nothing at the current time, 18 percent of respondents said they were thinking about storing some supplies later this year. The majority of those surveyed, 56 percent, said that no one in their home was even thinking about doing anything to prepare for Y2K problems.
Even those who a few short months ago were convinced that Y2K would adversely affect their lives have begun to second-guess their concerns. I've heard from hundreds of them. Many are wondering if their preparations were misguided. A few have even said they feel that they were misled. Some have asked if they should stop preparing, now that the threat is past. The amazing thing about this perception is that it is wholly misguided and based on nothing other than the vague assurances of government and corporate spokespersons.
Yes, there has been progress -- in a few cases, dramatic progress. But, overall, the available facts do not support the conclusion that the Y2K problem is well in tow, let alone substantially solved. In fact, I would go so far as to say that those who are telling us it is, do not really believe their own public rhetoric. Why? Because their actions betray their true perceptions. Let me give you a few examples.
1. They continue to raise budgets. While companies are publicly saying that the problem is nearly solved, many are continuing to raise their budgets. Why? Because Y2K projects are turning out to be more complex and more expensive than they anticipated. The federal government initially projected spending $2.3 billion to repair its computers. Its most recent estimate (June 15, 1999) is a whopping $8.03 billion -- an increase of 287 percent. The amazing thing about that is that this is $1.3 billion more than the government projected just four months ago!
Corporate Y2K budgets have followed suit. According to a recent CAP Gemini survey (May 17, 1999), 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies said that their spending would have to rise above current estimates. To cite but one example, in its annual shareholder's report filed in April, retail giant Wal-Mart reported that it will spend more than twice as much as it previously expected to solve Y2K-related problems. Other companies such as Aetna, AT&T, General Motors, McDonald's, Merrill Lynch, Sears, and Xerox have experienced a similar, dramatic rise in Y2K repair costs.
If Y2K is no big deal, why aren't the budgets going down or at least leveling off?
2. They are still pushing the deadlines out. Although virtually every corporation in the United States and Canada promised the public that they would be finished with their Y2K projects by the end of 1998, as of June 21, 1999, 92 percent of large companies have not actually completed the work and one in ten will not finish until well into next year. Worse, 33 percent admitted to being behind schedule; 35 percent are still waiting for mission-critical software to be delivered by suppliers. According to the CAP Gemini survey cited earlier, 22 percent of the Fortune 500 say they do not expect to have all their mission critical systems tested and ready for the new millennium by Jan. 1! If this is true of the largest companies -- presumably the ones with the most resources to throw at the problem -- what can we expect from smaller companies? Every indication is that they are running even further behind.
The federal government has now missed three Y2K deadlines imposed by the Clinton administration. The Sept. 30, 1998 deadline came and went without a single agency able to claim victory. The deadline was then extended to Dec. 31, 1998. This time two agencies -- the Social Security Administration and the Small Business Administration -- met the deadline. (The U.S. Customs Service and the Health Care and Financing Corporation [HCFA] also claimed compliance, but these claims were later proven to be bogus.)
The deadline was again extended, this time to March 31, 1999. On this date, the administration claimed that 92 percent of the government's mission critical systems were Y2K-ready. However, most of this progress was made by simply reducing the scope of the project -- from some 9,100 mission critical systems in September 1998 to 6,123 systems in March 1999. In addition, the simple fact is that 11 out of 24 key agencies missed the deadline again, including some of the most critical: Energy, Treasury, Health and Human Services, Defense, and Transportation. Worse, of the 43 systems identified as "high impact" (e.g., Social Security, Air Traffic Control, and Medicare) by the Office of Management and Budget, only two -- Social Security and the National Weather Service -- were compliant as of March 31. (The complete list can be found here.) What was the administration's response? You guessed it -- extend the deadline to Sept. 30. This, despite the fact that several agencies are not scheduled to be ready until December at the earliest.
If Y2K is no big deal, why are so many organizations having chronic difficulty meeting their deadlines? Why do they keep quietly pushing them back, and why isn't the press calling them to task?
3. They are making contingency plans. According to another survey conducted by CAP Gemini (May 31, 1999), the vast majority of major corporations have begun to build crisis management centers from which they will control damage and coordinate the recovery of Y2K-stricken technology systems. The survey found that 85 percent of Fortune 1000 companies now plan to build Y2K command centers, up from 40 percent in November 1998. In addition, organizations across the country are canceling vacations from November through February to make sure their employees are available to address Y2K-related disruptions.
According to a report issued by the Cranfield School of Management (The Sunday Times, June 13, 1999) 60 percent of British corporations are already stockpiling raw materials and finished goods out of fear of Y2K-related supply interruptions. My guess is that a similar percentage of U.S. companies are doing the same. Even the Federal Reserve is stockpiling $50 - 70 billion in additional cash reserves.
Whatever else a contingency plan is, it is an admission that things may go wrong. But if Y2K is all but solved, if it will be no worse than your typical three-day winter snowstorm, why are so many organizations going to such lengths to prepare for failure? (By the way, would someone please explain to me why it is that when individuals and families make contingency plans it is seen as a form of panic, but when governments and corporations do so, it is seen as simple common sense?)
4. They are passing legislation to limit Y2K litigation. When I first began doing research on Y2K, the GartnerGroup, Giga Information Group, and others were estimating that litigation stemming from unresolved Y2K problems could approach $1 trillion. (Just to put that amount in perspective, that is one-seventh of the annual U.S. economic output. It is equivalent to the entire U.S. healthcare industry.) According to USA Today, "Litigation resulting from Year 2000 meltdowns will be more costly than asbestos, breast implant and Superfund cleanup lawsuits combined."
The first Y2K lawsuit was filed in August 1997. By the end of 1998, ten more lawsuits had been filed. Soon, the trickle was threatening to turn into a flood. As of March 1999, a total of 80 lawsuits had been filed along with 790 "demand letters" (the step in the litigation process that comes prior to filing a lawsuit). Almost immediately, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-7 to limit lawsuits against high-tech companies stemming from Y2K malfunctions. By June, the Senate had passed the Y2K liability bill. On July 1, the House passed the same bill, and on July 20, President Clinton signed the bill into law. The new legislation is aimed at limiting frivolous lawsuits by setting a ceiling on punitive damages, narrowing the guidelines for class-action suits, and ensuring that defendants will be held liable only for the share of any damages that they cause.
But here's the question: why are they so concerned about mounting litigation? If Y2K is all but solved, there will be few failures, right? If there are few failures, there won't be many lawsuits, right? You would think so, but obviously the president and Congress are expecting something different -- something contrary to what they are stating publicly.
5. They are even preparing for martial law. Even though I get asked about this subject wherever I go, I have studiously tried to avoid discussing it. It's always sounded to me like something that only conspiracy theorists take seriously.
Initially, it was hard for me to admit that the government might be saying one thing and doing another. But, as I've watched Y2K unfold, I've gradually become more and more convinced that they are doing exactly that. As I testified before Congress in September 1998:
I have detected a disturbing attitude in Washington and elsewhere as I have traveled the country. There are those who, if not saying it directly, are acting as if the people cannot be trusted with "dangerous information." This attitude betrays a fundamental presupposition about our citizens that I do not share: that is, if people know the truth they will act irrationally and without concern for their neighbors. While this may be true in isolated incidents, it is not true of our people as a whole, as any cursory reading of our history will show.
Now the handwriting is clearly on the wall:
The London Sunday Times reported that the British government has drawn up secret plans to use elite special forces to deal with Y2K disruptions when Jan. 1 arrives. Code-named "Operation Surety," the plans call for members of the SAS -- comparable to the U.S. military's Army Rangers or Navy Seals -- to protect not only key government sites, but also civilian installations such as banks, airports, and power stations if civil unrest becomes widespread. You can bet that if they are doing this in Great Britain, they are doing it in the other NATO nations as well.
The Washington Post reported that a contingent of Marines based in Washington D.C. recently trained in Quantico, Va., to hone its skills in dealing with civil unrest. In the mock scenario, an angry mob of disgruntled federal workers had not received their paychecks because of Y2K computer problems and were storming government buildings. Equipped with riot shields and concertina wire, the Marines practiced various techniques for controlling the crowds.
According to Federal Computer Week, "the Defense Department has instructed all military commanders to maintain their units' ability to go to war in the event of widespread Year 2000-related critical infrastructure failures, relegating local community assistance to the bottom of the department's priority list. Local commanders at military installations across the United States and abroad will be authorized to 'undertake immediate, unilateral, emergency response actions that involve measures to save lives, prevent human suffering or mitigate great property damage' in the event of catastrophic infrastructure failures, according to a recent memorandum signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre."
These examples do not even include the myriad reports I am getting from private citizens and military personnel about urban assault training, low-flying military helicopters at all hours of the day and night (I have witnessed this myself on two separate occasions, one of them last night), the erection of convoy signs on Interstates, special Y2K operating procedures, and the re-opening of military bases that have been closed since World War II. Some of these reports may, in fact, be bogus, but I can tell you the volume has increased substantially and some of them are coming from sources I trust.
Think about this: If there aren't going to be significant problems, why would the military be anticipating civil unrest and "critical infrastructure failures"? Why would they be engaged in such comprehensive mobilization exercises? Why would the deputy secretary of defense be instructing all military commanders to be prepared for a situation that can only be described as something akin to war?
The bottom line is this: Forget what you are hearing in the mainstream media. Forget the happy-face notices you are receiving in the mail from your suppliers and from government officials. If these spin doctors really believed that Y2K has been substantially solved, they would not be doing what they are doing. Specifically, they would not continue to raise budgets, push the deadlines out, make contingency plans, pass legislation to limit Y2K litigation, and prepare for martial law. But they are, and in doing so, they betray their true colors.
Again, forget what they are saying, and watch what they are doing. Like your Momma used to say, "actions speak louder than words."
I'm all for preparedness and contingency plans (and have never seen these "black helicopters" everyone talks about, but how would I recognize them? I've lived under American war helicopters all my life!).
But anyone reading these words has a greater duty than merely to try to protect themselves from the possible ravages of Y2K (which we have written about, in case you want to know what to do that Michael Hyatt and the government won't tell you), and that is to try to alert the world to the REAL dangers of accidental nuclear war and/or nuclear meltdowns. See my rebuttal, shown below. -- rdh
To: (The subscriber who sent me the article)
From: Russell Hoffman, founder and editor
Re: Michael Hyatt's Y2K comments -- and a discussion of what REALLY needs to be done!
Date: September 26th, 1999 (mostly written September 23rd, 1999)
Thank you for sending me the article shown above, however, I'm sorry to say that as with everything else I've ever seen from World Net Daily (about a dozen items or so, including some I've picked apart in great detail, a few months ago) I do not find it particularly helpful.
It is true that this article makes some valid points, but World Net Daily has consistently turned the battle away from the real arguments and here again that is what happens -- plus the author (Michael Hyatt) wants to sell you a book on how to survive. So clearly he doesn't feel this is stuff people need to know so badly he's willing to simply tell them.
Regardless, here's how to survive Y2K: Pressure the government to attack the problems that we REALLY face. If there are NO PROBLEMS, there will be NO RIOTS. But if lights dim, there WILL be hell to pay. How can we make the lights not dim?
1) The first thing we need to do, beginning immediately, is we must reduce electricity usage in America by 15%-20% before approximately December 1st, 1999. (In fact, this may not even be necessary (see item #1, above) but it would certainly be a wise precaution.) In America we have old, unstable reactors of poor design. Many are on the verge of being shut down anyway. Now is the time to remove this threat by starting the cooling process, or at least building additional backup generators, which are needed to keep the reactor from melting down. In fact, every nuclear power plant, all around the world, is, in some way, America's responsibility. Why? If only to protect our own children's children from the damages a meltdown anywhere in the world would cause. It is simple self-defense for our children to worry about all the nuclear power plants all around the world today.
Experts know that nuclear power plants need external energy sources to operate. The spent fuel pools likewise require external power -- and they don't even generate any power themselves, of course. They just demand it (as has been discussed numerous times in my newsletters and as I have told the folks at World Net Daily). Shutting down the nuclear power plants is the MOST IMPORTANT pro-active thing anyone can do to prepare for Y2K.
But that begs the question, "How do we cut electricity usage by 15% - 20%"?
2) Eliminate the most unnecessary of our excesses. This is AMERICA, by golly! We have an excess of EVERYTHING! EXAMPLE: Fast Food Restaurants. Americans are right now on average so critically overweight that doctors who concern themselves with the problem of obesity are calling it an "epidemic". If we close down fast-food restaurants most people will eat at home instead, which uses FAR LESS ENERGY (and is usually far more nourishing, besides). EXAMPLE: Close the Airlines. Virtual travel on the Internet is sufficient. If not, take the train or a boat. It's time to shut Boeing down for a variety of reasons and begin building a magnetic levitation city-center-to-city-center public transportation system instead of more airports. EXAMPLE: Ban videos and CDs. Make all such home entertainment available through the Internet only, so that the entire distribution system for the "hardware" is eliminated. Sure, PC sales will go up, but VCR and other equipment sales will be eliminated entirely. The current technologies are wasteful and inefficient. EXAMPLE: Stand down NASA and all long-term military projects. EXAMPLE: Require adoption of more efficient lighting. Eliminate outdoor lighting during late hours. Make work hours match daylight hours more closely all year long.
While each of these alone might not cover the whole 15 - 20%, every little bit helps. You could call them wartime economics to prepare for the war that mustn't happen. In a nuclear war, everybody loses.
In summary, if carefully orchestrated, such a cut in electricity usage would barely be noticed by most Americans, especially if a crash-effort is made at the same time to build a faster, better, ground-based (NOT satellite-based) Internet.
But won't a cut in electricity put people out of work? NOT AT ALL!
3) Right now, there are different tasks that need to be done, INCLUDING training civilians to handle massive displacements. We don't know who will need to be displaced, but it is unlikely that everyone everywhere will be able to sit this one out. Obviously I'm worried most about nuclear meltdowns -- a single one could result in the need to evacuate 10s of millions of people. And unlike after a hurricane, they will NEVER be able to go back even just to get their belongings, which will all be radioactive and thus not worth having anyway. There are towns around Chernobyl which are ghost towns now, and will be for hundreds if not thousands of years, where meals were served and left sitting while still warm, and whatever "science experiment" it has become still sits, more than 10 years later. A chemical disaster likewise can cause a displacement which could last for many generations.
People need to know evacuation routes, they need to know the likely epicenters of possible disasters, they need to know what to buy, how to prepare (have a grab-bag stored near the door, for example), and everything about what an individual needs to do in an emergency. But they can do very little compared to what Government can do to help us all prepare -- virtually none of which government is actually doing.
People talk about the fact that the government should be distributing potassium iodide tablets in case of nuclear reactor accidents. But they should likewise be passing out morphine (still the best pain reliever and shock-preventer for severe trauma) and a zillion other medical supplies, in great supply not just to hospitals, but to police and fire personnel, EMT technicians, etc., everywhere. They should be doing emergency spending to do this. The so-called drug war should be halted as many of these drugs are the exact sort of self-administered pain medication people should be allowed to stock up on to get them through these hard times which are inevitably coming -- even the next three months will be very, very stressful. So we should stop forcing people to be on edge and let them have the tools of relaxation they are using anyway, just eliminate the penalty if caught. (I'm referring not just to cannabis, but to cocaine as well, just as liquor and cigarettes are legally available and should be.) It's time to fix a lot of problems, these might as well be some of them.
Referring again to the piece shown above, where is Michael Hyatt's sense of balance? He rambles on and on about the possibility of losing our rights in civil unrest (which is actually what our Constitution warns us will happen, so live with it -- and it ignores all the rights we've already lost) but he doesn't even mention the word "nuclear" anywhere. There are things the government must do to ensure that peace and tranquility are maintained. These are things I *hope* my government will do. I hope it will respond in proper measure to the things it was put in place to handle -- defending our borders, protecting us from domestic disturbances.
But I hope they will go beyond that and, in the next few months, I hope they will shut down all the nuclear power plants -- starting with those that have inadequate safety records, weak links in their backup systems, poorly trained staff, or that are located in areas that are either hard to evacuate or are along evacuation routes, or that are in earthquake zones, or are susceptible to tsunamis, terrorism, etc. etc.. (Gee, I guess that's probably all of them.)
We should have all learned from Hurricane Floyd that evacuation will be IMPOSSIBLE during Y2K or any time. The flooding caused the death of over 3 million farm animals, including perhaps as many as 500,000 pigs (a noble, intelligent and friendly animal, which is grossly mistreated regularly), and the spread of infectious substances from the animals' rotting carcasses and from the animal waste ponds which have leached into their surroundings, should be a clear signal to all what it means to lose a city, or a countryside, to an ecological disaster. Be thankful those were JUST animals and it was JUST hog and chicken waste and dead hogs and chickens (and rats, pets, squirrels, and so forth). Nuclear particles are a whole lot more difficult to deal with, and you can't go back after your local nuke melts down. Escape, if you make it, is a one-way trip.
Four-wheel-drive vehicles might help a little, but they can't go everywhere either, and what is everyone saying -- I'm going to run over you, your property, and the nation's endangered species to avoid sitting in traffic on Y2K? So unless you PLAN to break the law, go buy a bike and a trailer hitch for it. And get some exercise NOW!
The world is an ever-changing place, and thirty years ago -- people had begun to realize that the pace of change had accelerated greatly. Then along came the Internet and speeds were bumped up a few more notches.
Now, in the next three months, there may be even greater upheavals than ever experienced in a three-month period in history. That is virtually assured by the things Mr. Hyatt talks about above.
But if in the next three months huge changes are not implemented, the result might be that AFTER Y2K, the world will be not only vastly different, but vastly poorer in every way. Health, wealth, freedom -- everything might be gone.
One should prepare for the worst and if it makes one happy, one can also pray for the best. To properly prepare requires admitting what is bad and what is worse, and acting accordingly to make the worst things that could happen impossible. Right now they are not only possible, they are inevitable. If not by Y2K, then certainly by Y3K, there will have been meltdowns, earthquakes, terrorism, perhaps even an accidental nuclear war (or two). Or a purposeful one.
If we wish to make it to Y3K, I think we better fix these problems BEFORE Y2K.
Carlsbad, California, USA
For the real low-down on Y2K including all sorts of things the Government (and World Net Daily) won't tell you, please visit my Y2K-preparedness web site:
NASA needs to be told in no uncertain terms NEVER to launch nuclear rockets of any type ever again!
To learn about the absurd excuses NASA used to launch Cassini and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium in 1997, ask them for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini mission, and all subsequent documentation. At the same time, be sure to ask them for ANY and ALL documentation available on future uses of plutonium in space, including MILITARY, CIVILIAN, or "OTHER" (just in case they make a new category somehow!). To get this information, contact:
Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011 or
Here's NASA's "comments" email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. Here's his email address:
Here's the NASA URL to find additional addresses to submit written questions to:
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.
Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.
President Bill Clinton
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20500; Ph. (202) 456-1111, Fax (202) 456-2461;
e-mail -- email@example.com
Vice President Albert Gore
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,
N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20500;Ph. (202) 456-1414, Fax (202)
456-2461; e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary William Cohen
Washington D.C. 20301
Secretary Bill Richardson
Department of Energy (DoE)
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20585
Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country.
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