Re: Y2K: Am I paranoid?

Michael S. Lorrey (
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 17:13:56 -0500

Paul Hughes wrote:

> Ok,Here's the scenario:
> 1) Y2K problems in embedded chips cause a certain critical
> minimum of power stations around the US to shut down.
> Because it's the middle of the winter, the other stations
> along the grid are already taxed to the limit. These
> critical minimum failures start a cascade or domino effect
> by draining power from other stations, thereby shutting them
> down. This taxes the remaining operational infrastructure
> even further and finally shuts the entire grid down. A
> nationwide, if not global wide power outage occurs.

We don't share much power with other countries, only Canada and Mexico. Other countries may have their own problems along the same lines, but not due to any interconnectedness. Oddly enough, the least developed countries will probably have the least problems, cause they are used to their power grids going out on a fequent basis. Generator sales are moving along at a good clip.

> 2) What does the US government always do in these
> situations: Declares a State of Emergency.
> 3) Meanwhile the power outage hinders the entire economic
> infrastructure - with the most critical being food and
> water. Since most people do not have stashes of food for
> such occasions, they will grow *very* desperate and begin
> roaming and perhaps robbing other people for food and
> water. This in turn precipitates widespread rioting,
> looting and general mayhem.

I very much doubt this unless it goes on a for a good while. If you recall during the gas crunches in the 70's people were, outside of a few small incidents, very calm and organized about handling things. They patiently waited for hours in line for gasoline ( I remember sitting in my parents car waiting in line in Massachusetts), and what day of the week you could get gas depended on the numbers on your license plate... As those experiences gave rise to the efficiency and conservation movements of the 80's, I expect that anything that happens with y2k will instill in people a sense of self reliance. If the government gets heavy handed over this, I expect they'll be klutzy and ham handed enough to get more people exasperated with relying on government. As you may recall, government 'control' of the situation made the gas shortage worse, cause Carter decided the Navy needed to keep twice as much fuel in reserve, which put an additional demand on the market, pushing prices up even higher, and the retail controls they imposed panicked people into hoarding cans of gas at home as well.

> 4) What does the US government always do in these
> situations: Send in the troops! Or in this case declare
> Martial Law.
> 5) What exactly does this mean? According the ex-military
> people I know, they say the first most likely action on part
> of the military will be to conduct door-to-door searches to
> confiscate everyone's firearms. They all will use airborne
> ground penetrating radar to locate via GPS exactly where
> people have *hidden* their firearms. Obviously they will
> not confiscate everyone's firearms, but will probably be
> successful in getting most of them.

I also doubt that they will do this as part of y2k panics. They may do this as part of a general anti-gun sweep once they've killed off the gun manufacturers, but I doubt very much that much of the military will agree to go along with such a stupid idea. It will fall to the FBI, BATF, etc. who won't have the manpower, and will try to deputize local law enforcement. They probably will get cooperation in the cities, but none at all in the rural areas.

While there may be rioting and general mayhem in urban centers, and state Governors may declare states of emergency and bring in the Guard, the area Clinton should be worried about is D.C. I think that if anyplace is likely to go into anarchy first it will be the capital (followed by LA), and I think the gov't knows this and will have plenty of extra security there. Besides rioters, there will probably be a few right wing extremists and Kazynski types trying to do their part to usher in the new age...

> 6) Shortly following arms confiscation, they will set a
> curfew. Martial Law curfew is typically enforced strictly,
> with the use of deadly force if necessary. "Anyone found
> out after 9pm without proper 'paperwork' or work permits
> will be detained or even shot on sight".

Likely in cities, as a means of furthering the Democratic urban domestication pogrom. Not likely in rural areas.

> 7) Once this all sweeping Martial Law is instituted, why
> would they reverse it? Since they now have the control they
> have long sought, they will not give it up without a fight.
> Since the majority of the population will now be under their
> control, such an organized "revolution" will *not* likely
> materialize in any reasonable period of time - we may be
> stuck in a totalitarian hell for decades or longer.

Nah, I don't see this, unless something really bad happens like some Chinese or Russian nuke missiles get launched in the panic....

Now, many people on this list may think that I myself have some paranoid leanings, but I don't think that it will get too bad beyond a combination of a really bad nationwide blizzard and a government shutdown. I'm prepared and am preparing more for possibilities, and I plan on being out in the wilderness for several months this coming winter, remote and inaccessible. I plan on making it a fun expedition/survival test, as I've never been winter camping for anything more than a couple nights. I do have a few bunks available for anyone on the list interested in testing their mettle for a couple weeks or months... I've got some great cliffs up behind my place that ought to be real fun for ice climbing. I really couldn't give a rats a__ if the rest of society collapsed while I was gone, either. I wouldn't call that paranoia, more like utter disinterest...I know I'm gonna do fine.

Mike Lorrey