NHNE Y2K Report 11
Monday, January 25, 1999
& Consumer Protection
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NHNE Y2K Report 11
Monday, January 25, 1999
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WE HAD ONE MEMBER OF CONGRESS STAND UP
"We also must be ready for the 21st century, from its very first moment,
by solving the so-called 'Y2K' computer problem. Now, we had one member
of Congress stand up and applaud and we may have about that ratio out
there applauding at home in front of their television sets. But remember,
this is a big, big problem..."
---President Bill Clinton, State of the Union Address, January 19, 1999
(Complete text follows below)
Massive New Year's Deployment of Canadian Troops Planned
Reports of Y2K Failures on the Rise
U.S. Medicare May Not Make It
Republicans Fear Y2K Delays in Social Security
Move to Delay New Year's 2000 by Three Days
McCain, Gorton Consider New Y2K Legislation
British Banks Refuse to Pledge Y2K Compliance
British Police Prepare for Millennium Burglars
Large UK Firms Fall Behind in Y2K Preparations
Chinese Airline Bosses Must Fly on New Year's Day
Report of National Mobilization of National Guard Untrue
Resilient Communities Satellite Conference
Y2K: Last Headache of the 20th Century, or First Crisis of the 21st?
The Y2K Problem & the Food Supply Sector
American Insulin: "No Cause for Alarm"?
Unplug for a Day
The Glitch Watch
The Stephens Register of Y2K Compliant Companies
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
Re: Vacation Pay
MASSIVE NEW YEAR'S DEPLOYMENT OF CANADIAN TROOPS PLANNED
(Source: Jennifer Ditchburn, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/18/1999)
Canada's entire military machine of 60,000 troops, reservists and civilians
is now being put on alert for the fallout from Y2K. A force of 14,500
servicemen and women had already been earmarked for mobilization on
Jan. 1, 2000 and beyond as part of "Operation Abacus." The rest of the
Forces, from search and rescue personnel to reservists, will be standing
by, should the situation get serious. Abacus's headquarters in Kingston,
Ontario will coordinate activities of the five command centers across
Canada. Training exercises based on Year 2000 scenarios will be carried
out three times this year. The price tag for Abacus is estimated at
$386 million CDN. (JG)
REPORTS OF Y2K FAILURES ON THE RISE
(Source: JOURNAL OF COMMERCE INSURANCE NEWS, 1/19/1999 via YEAR 2000
A December survey by CAP GEMINI of 110 U.S. corporations, 12 federal,
state and local government agencies, and 12 industrial sectors has found
that over half the respondents have already experienced Year 2000-related
failures, and 98 percent expect more such failures in 1999. Most failures
caused processing disruptions of financial miscalculations. Given these
statistics, it is no wonder that the report also found that every company
is now developing contingency plans to prepare for expected failures.
In a similar study done in April, only 3 percent were putting together
such plans. In addition, 69 percent of Y2K-compliant companies are now
considering breaking off partnerships with those companies that are
not making headway on the technology glitch, up from 60 percent in the
third quarter. (JG)
U.S. MEDICARE MAY NOT MAKE IT
(Source: Christopher J. Dorobek, GOVERNMENT COMPUTER NEWS, 1/11/1999
via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND FORUMS)
After a poor start on Year 2000 work and with much still to be done,
the HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION (HCFA) is now acknowledging
that it is unlikely that all HCFA systems will be ready in time. HCFA's
job is complicated by the fact that it must not only fix its own systems
but ensure the readiness of systems run by 70 contractors and used by
more than 900,000 providers. For example, the MEDICARE system, which
processes nearly 17 million transactions a day and 1 billion claims
each year, depends on a range of external systems including those run
by state MEDICAID programs. To work on preparing its systems, HCFA will
postpone implementing some provisions of the BALANCED BUDGET ACT of
1997. The agency also is pressuring its contractors to make progress
on their systems fixes. Congress has helped by providing extra funding.
While health officials are trying to put a positive spin on the situation,
pointing out how much work has already been accomplished, John Callahan,
Chief Information Officer for HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) has a
different view: "This may be unlike anything we've ever dealt with before....People
know how to manage catastrophic events," but pointed out that Year 2000
problems could be the equivalent of ten hurricanes at once. (JG)
REPUBLICANS FEAR Y2K DELAYS IN SOCIAL SECURITY
(Source: Stephen Barr, WASHINGTON POST, 1/17/1999 via Y2KNEWS)
Four congressional Republicans have challenged President Clinton's December
assertion that Y2K will not delay payment of SOCIAL SECURITY checks
next January. "While we are encouraged that the Social Security Administration
has been deemed compliant, we understand that some financial institutions
that are essential to recipients receiving payment may not be," the
Republicans wrote in a letter to the President. "We will not consider
the Social Security program safe until we are certain that every senior
will get their Social Security payments on time." Monthly Social Security
checks are calculated at the SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, paid by
the TREASURY DEPARTMENT and transferred through the FEDERAL RESERVE
system to banks, where 75 percent of all social security checks are
electronically transferred to accounts. Clinton's special adviser for
Y2K issues, John A. Koskinen, claimed that the Social Security program
and the banks that distribute benefits "are in very good shape," and
quipped that the Republicans "seem to be disappointed that we're making
as much progress as we are." (JG)
MOVE TO DELAY NEW YEAR'S 2000 BY THREE DAYS
(Source: Stephen Barr, WASHINGTON POST, 1/17/1999 via Y2KNEWS)
Reps. John Linder (R-Ga.) and David Dreier (R-Calif.) have introduced
legislation to move the government's observance of the next New Year's
Day holiday from Dec. 31, 1999, to Jan. 3, 2000. Since New Year's Day
2000 falls on a Saturday, Linder figures the proposal will give companies
and computer experts "an additional 24 hours to respond to problems
that may arise." A White House task force is looking at the implications
of moving the federal holiday. Several federal agencies, including SOCIAL
SECURITY, have announced that their computer experts will work through
next year's holiday weekend, running last-minute tests on systems. (JG)
McCAIN, GORTON CONSIDER NEW Y2K LEGISLATION
(Source: NEWSBYTES, Robert MacMillan, 1/15/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW
OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Slade
Gorton (R-Wash.) are planning to introduce new legislation to reduce
the number of lawsuits that may develop from Year 2000-related computer
problems. Although the Year 2000 INFORMATION DISCLOSURE ACT recently
passed by Congress included potential safeguards against frivolous litigation
because of Year 2000 problems, the senators feel that this "Good Samaritan"
Act does not contain enough provisions against litigation that would
allow companies to share adequate amounts of information. "Without legislation,
innocent people may be hurt by aggressive trial lawyers who use the
Y2K situation...to enrich their own pockets." said McCain. Gorton added
that "considering the overwhelming number of products and services that
conceivably could be disrupted, we need legislation that allows businesses
to solve the problem rather than defend against frivolous lawsuits."
No definite legislation has been drafted yet, but more details should
be available soon. (JG)
BRITISH BANKS REFUSE TO PLEDGE Y2K COMPLIANCE
Source: Marc Ambasna-Jones, VU NEWS, 1/14/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K
LINKS AND FORUMS)
ACTION 2000, the British agency promoting a Y2K awareness program called
"Pledge 2000" to get companies to pledge Y2K readiness, is not having
much success with UK banks, which are refusing to sign up fearing legal
action if their computer systems then fail come the millennium. British
banks are very risk averse, with most publishing Year 2000-readiness
disclaimers on their websites, such as BARCLAYS BANK which states, "Although
Barclays is taking all the steps it considers necessary to identify
and manage Year 2000 risk, we make no express or implied warranties,
guarantees representations of any kind with regard to Barclays' Year
2000 readiness." Government-backed Action 2000 has no power to force
companies to take any action. (JG)
BRITISH POLICE PREPARE FOR MILLENNIUM BURGLARS
(Source: Stewart Tendler TIMES (UK), 1/18/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K
LINKS AND FORUMS)
A special national force of more than 1,400 detectives will be on alert
in Britain at the arrival of the millennium to deal with any criminals
attempting to take advantage of electronic security breakdowns. Senior
officers in the NATIONAL CRIME SQUAD (NCS), which tackles the top level
of crime across the UK, are concerned that the millennium bug could
result in failures in complex alarm systems protecting banks, security
companies and commercial centers. Roy Penrose, Director-General of NCS,
has canceled all leave for his officers throughout next Christmas and
the New Year, saying, "We have to recognize there are great opportunities
for organized crime if there are no alarms or lights working. We need
to take this quite seriously...and can't be found wanting." (JG)
LARGE UK FIRMS FALL BEHIND IN Y2K PREPARATIONS
(Source: COMPUTERWEEKLY, 1/15/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
In contrast with the conventional wisdom that big businesses are well
ahead in terms Y2K preparations, a recent survey by legal firm DIBB
LUPTON ALSOP has cast doubt over the readiness of large UK companies
to tackle the millennium bug. Half the firms surveyed had spent less
than 40 percent of their Y2K budgets; 69 percent had not even fixed
their central computer systems by the end of 1998, and many of the respondents
had yet to complete a systems inventory. (JG)
CHINESE AIRLINE BOSSES MUST FLY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
(Source: NANDO TIMES, 1/15/1999 via SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS)
China has given managers of its state-run airlines the ultimate incentive
to find solutions for the Year 2000 computer bug -- they must all personally
board flights next New Year's Day. "We have to make sure there are no
problems in aviation," explained Zhao Bohe, the MINISTRY OF INFORMATION
INDUSTRY official tasked with handling the massive Year 2000 problem.
CHINA'S STATE COUNCIL did not start to address the Year 2000 problem
until July 1997 and only published a circular ordering an evaluation
of the problem in government offices in July 1998. (JG)
REPORT OF NATIONAL MOBILIZATION OF NATIONAL GUARD UNTRUE
By James Gregory
Reports of a national mobilization of the National Guard as an exercise
to prepare for Y2K threats are "absolutely untrue," says Jack Hooper,
Public Affairs Officer with the NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU in Arlington,
VA. "The whole thing is a misunderstanding of a planned communication
exercise that has mushroomed into a brouhaha."
Hooper stated categorically that the so-called "COMEX/MOBEX" (COMmunication
EXercise/MOBilization EXercise) reported recently in a three-part series
by David M. Bresnahan in the WORLDNETDAILY "will not happen." What is
planned for late spring/early summer is a national communication command
post exercise (COMCPX) to check in with Guard leadership only, using
a high frequency communication system. No individual soldiers will be
mobilized or even contacted.
This calls into doubt the accuracy of the four long articles (a three-part
series and follow-up) written by David M. Bresnahan and the credibility
of any material published by WORLDNETDAILY. Bresnahan's articles include
a number of highly-suspicious claims by unnamed sources in the National
Guard Bureau, such as: that all 480,000 Guard members in the 50 states
and four territories will be contacted in the mock mobilization, even
it means officers going door to door; the National Guard plans to use
a high frequency system for communications, but that no system currently
exists; the Bureau is so concerned that Guard members will not show
up for duty in late December, 1999 that they are paying them in advance
and canceling all leaves; the Guard is preparing for fuel rationing
and intends to commandeer domestic fuel depots; the National Guard believes
the nation's power grid will collapse and is making plans accordingly;
and that a full investigation has been instituted by the National Guard
Bureau to track down the unnamed sources of the leaks.
These articles have received wide distribution on the Net, as well as
much speculation as to their accuracy. Before reporting on Bresnahan's
articles, NHNE decided to contact the National Guard directly. On Jan.
21, we conducted an exhaustive phone interview with Jack Hooper, Public
Affairs Officer and Lt.-Col. Tom Schultz, Planning and Policy Officer,
both at National Guard Bureau Headquarters in Arlington, VA.
Here are Hooper's and Schultz's comments (NG), as we went through Bresnahan's
four articles chronologically (DB), point by point:
DB: "Plans for exercise COMEX/MOBEX involve a recall of the entire National
Guard without the use of telephones to simulate communications failure
because of the Y2K computer bug. The two-day test is tentatively scheduled
for May 1."
NG: "There will be no mobilization exercise. This spring or early summer,
the National Guard Bureau DOES plan to conduct COMCPX (a COMmunication
Command Post eXercise) in all 54 states and territories, but it will
involve LEADERSHIP ONLY and not go down to the level of individual soldiers.
COMCPX will simply be a test of communications in a potentially-hostile
DB: "A full investigation was instituted by the National Guard Bureau
because of the leaks.
NG: "There is no investigation."
DB: "If communications and power are out at the start of the millennium,
planners in the National Guard Bureau believe there will be civil unrest
NG: "This scenario has been discussed at the Bureau, as it has, no doubt,
been discussed at all different levels of government; in fact, we would
be surprised if every telephone exchange and large corporation isn't
looking into the potential impact of Y2K. It is the National Guard's
responsibility at the state level to look at all options and contingencies,
take reality into account, and make plans accordingly.
DB: "The National Guard believes the nation's power grid will collapse
and is making plans accordingly."
NG: "The National Guard is not the nation's electricity supplier, it
is the nation's contingency force. This is a matter to take up with
the power companies."
DB: "The National Guard and the Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have
plans to protect and control oil depots and refineries. 'We're looking
at the strategic oil depots around the country, and we're going to make
plans to commandeer them.'
NG: "'Commandeer' is a sensational word. If a state governor needed
added security during a time of insecurity, he could request it of the
DB: "If you're in the military, particularly the National Guard, don't
plan to go anywhere next December. All leaves will be canceled in anticipation
of problems expected to be caused by the Y2K computer bug."
NG: "This is a non-issue. The National Guard Bureau doesn't approve
or disapprove of leaves, since traditional Guard members do not earn
leave. Each unit is required to drill one weekend per month, plus one
two-week training period per year. These are not conducted all at same
time. The time and location depend on the mission of each unit."
DB: "They're going to use HF (High Frequency) radios. The National Guard
does not have an HF radio system in place at this time. One will be
installed between now and May 1, the date of COMEX/MOBEX exercise."
NG: The National Guard already has a HF system. It was fielded in 1990."
DB: "Another officer fully expects travel restrictions to be placed
NG: The National Guard is made up of citizen soldiers. Travel restrictions
on civilians is not a Guard call."
DB: "The normal plans for a recall give troops 72 hours to report. COMEX/MOBEX
is only scheduled as a two-day exercise. That is because guard members
will not actually have to report to a military facility. They will simply
sign a form when they are personally contacted to show that contact
NG: "The MOBEX element is not true. Mobilization is a state option.
The planned COMCPX will involve Guard leadership only; no individual
soldiers will be contacted. The date has not been confirmed; the end
of April/May is being considered. It may not be just one; there may
be numerous exercises to test improvements and what was learned from
DB: "The National Guard is not planning COMEX/MOBEX on its own. The
exercise will involve FEMA and other civilian federal agencies as well."
NG: "Interagency coordination with organizations such as FEMA is ongoing;
for example, with weapons of mass destruction, the National Guard is
heavily involved with ray teams.
DB: "Payroll for January 2000 will be paid a month early. One of the
officers says that is to place guard members in a situation where they
cannot refuse duty in the Y2K crisis because they will have already
been paid in advance."
NG: "A Guard member does not have the option of refusing duty. Pay is
not the motivator, respect for the Oath of Service to obey the orders
of those in command, is. The Guard has a long history of service, and
the vast majority of members put many more hours into service than is
required. Tying commitment to duty to a paycheck creates a mercenary
image of the National Guard that is an insult to individuals in the
DB: "A letter from the National Guard Bureau will soon be in the hands
of every adjutant general. The letter will inform the guard leaders
of each state about COMEX/MOBEX and how it will be conducted."
NG: "The reference to MOBEX is incorrect, but this is generally how
information is passed on; however, 'letter' could just as easily be
a fax or email. The governor is charge of the National Guard in his
state, with the military side of each state commanded by an adjutant
general (AG). The AG is under the authority of governor." [At the
time of the interview, the two spokesmen for the National Guard Bureau
could not confirm or deny whether this particular letter had gone out.]
Hooper and Schultz objected to the way in which Bresnahan and WORLDNETDAILY
had gone about things: "The fact that the articles provide no verifiable
sources, and that the National Guard Bureau had no opportunity to go
on the record to refute the claims, are issues of concern." They went
on to point out that the Bureau has directed the AGs in all states to
ensure that their Guard units be fully Y2K compliant with respect to
equipment, communications capabilities and computers in order to be
capable of fulfilling their Y2K commission as directed by the state
This has already begun in a number of states. In Washington state, for
example, about 3,000 troops will be on duty at 39 armories across the
state on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 as a precaution. And in Wisconsin, the state
assembly earlier this month advanced legislation that would mobilize
that state's National Guard to respond to Y2K emergencies to provide
security, emergency shelter and medical services, transportation, water
distribution, clean up, search and rescue services and portable generators.
Each AG is under the authority of governor, unless the National Guard
is federalized, which then places it under an active component of military
service (Army/Air Force/Navy). Federalization of the Guard is by presidential
directive and is a rare occurrence, since the President already has
at his disposal the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and
the Reserve. Federalization of the entire Guard has not occurred since
W.W.II; however, the National Guard has been partially activated for
such events as Desert Storm, Bosnia, Haiti, and most recently, Desert
"Perhaps the one good thing that has come out of all this," concluded
Hooper, "is that it has raised the awareness of the National Guard and
the importance of Y2K planning."
(Sources: Steve Vogel, WASHINGTON POST, 1/21/1999 via YEAR 2000 INFORMATION
CENTER; David M. Bresnahan, WORLDNETDAILY, 1/18, 11, 7, 6/1999)
National Guard Bureau website: http://126.96.36.199/
RESILIENT COMMUNITIES SATELLITE CONFERENCE
By James Gregory
On Jan. 14, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY sponsored "Inviting Leadership,"
the first in a three-part series of international satellite videoconferences
on preparing for Y2K. Over 100 locations in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
tuned in to hear renowned futurist Robert Theobald (RT) and Y2K commentator
Meg Wheatley (MW) discuss the need for new ways of relating as individuals
and communities and the concept of a "resilient community," which embraces
Y2K preparedness, leadership and community.
Here are a few edited excerpts from the two-hour conference:
RT: "National leadership is largely missing on the real core issues
of our time. We need communities to be more effective."
MW: "Y2K is not primarily a technical problem; it is a reminder that
we are living in complex, interconnected systems which require us to
work in very different ways from those in which we are now organized.
Few of us recognize how vulnerable we are to disruptions. The level
of impact of Y2K will depend on how much we recognize this."
RT: "Y2K is a way to get people to recognize challenges which we should
have dealt with decades ago. But now we have a non-negotiable deadline."
MW: People are extraordinarily competent when they are enabled and challenged
to do their best, such as during the Oklahoma bombing. Our culture has
relied on laws, experts and professionals. We need to free people up
to use their imagination."
RT: "The ways in which communities organize in 1999 will be very different
to the norm we have seen in the past. We need the type of leader about
which Lao Tzu spoke when he said that, 'When the leader leads well,
the people will say, "We did it ourselves."' One of the primary goals
of today's broadcast is to encourage people to see what roles they can
play in creating a positive 'leaderful' community."
MW: "We need to go back to basic values of honesty, responsibility,
humility and love. We need to respect nature, the spiritual and the
The next videoconference will be held on April 8 with the theme "Preparing
for Y2K," and will feature Y2K analyst Cynthia Beale. The final video
conference will be held on May 27, and will present directions in which
communities around the world are heading.
For program content, contact "email@example.com". For more information
on upcoming video conferences call Amanda Butcher at (509) 494-6733
or visit the Resilient Communities website.
Resilient Communities website: http://www.resilientcommunities.org
Y2K: LAST HEADACHE OF THE 20TH CENTURY, OR FIRST CRISIS OF THE 21ST?
By James Gregory
President Clinton's unexpected reference to the Y2K problem late in
his State of the Union address on Jan. 19 left the House chamber unusually
quiet -- only one member of Congress applauded -- a stark contrast to
the 95 times he was interrupted by applause during other parts of his
Here is a transcript of his Y2K remarks:
"We...must be ready for the 21st century, from its very first moment,
by solving the so-called 'Y2K' computer problem. [One person stands
up and applauds.] Now...we may have about that ratio out there applauding
at home in front of their television sets, but remember, this is a big,
big problem. And we've been working hard on it. Already we've made sure
that the Social Security checks will come on time....I want all the
folks at home listening to this to know that we need every state and
local government, every business, large and small, to work with us to
make sure that this Y2K computer bug will be remembered as the last
headache of the 20th century, not the first crisis of the 21st."
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate's YEAR 2000 COMMITTEE,
called Clinton's remarks "appropriate," but chided the President for
not taking a more active role earlier and for waiting so long into his
speech before broaching the subject.
Contrast Clinton's vague and brief remarks with these edited excerpts
from South Dakota Governor William J. Janklow's State-of-the-State address
on Jan. 13:
"We face an absolute catastrophe in the world because of [Y2K];
on the other hand, it may not be much of anything. The problem is: we
don't know. I CAN tell you that if Year 2000 hit today, the electric
grid that serves South Dakota would go down."
"We must let the public know what is Y2K compliant and what isn't. [All]
our power companies have to function, because one of them going down
can suck the whole grid down. We've got to make sure that we have municipal
water and rural water. The sewer systems have to work -- municipal water
is meaningless if you can't flush it or let it go down the drain. Natural
gas has to work. We have 60-some phone companies in South Dakota. They
all have to be ready. Every hospital has to be ready, at least with
respect to feeding and caring for the people who are there. Law enforcement
and the fire department equipment have to function. The top eighteen
911s in South Dakota are not Y2K compliant, but they are working on
"I can tell you that I'm absolutely, positively, unequivocally assured
by our folks in state government [that] we will be ready. We're
dealing with all our systems -- not [just those deemed] 'critical'
-- they're ALL critical! And we don't count [one of] ours 'ready'
until we have taken it to the mountain in Colorado where our back-up
center is, and run the whole thing on their computers. If it doesn't
work, we don't count it as ready. But I'm assured we will be ready by
July 1 of this year. From that point on, we will be testing and retesting
until the end of the year."
"I'm going to use [all my] gubernatorial powers to get the information
and make it available -- we are going to put together a group of people
to make regular reports to the public [on] these specific areas.
This is terribly critical, and so, rather than being alarmist, we will
try and get the information [out] as fast as we can. And we
will be prepared, [for] those (hopefully) limited emergency
situations that we have to deal with December 31."
(Sources: Paul Kawika Martin, EARTHCULTURE, 1/20/1999; Ted Bridis, ASSOCIATED
PRESS/LA TIMES, 1/20/1999 via YEAR 2000 INFORMATION CENTER; South Dakota
Governor William J. Janklow's State-of-the-State Address, 1/13/1999;
with reporting assistance from Sherry Stultz, Patty Birch and Ellen
THE Y2K PROBLEM & THE FOOD SUPPLY SECTOR
(Source: USDA website, thanks to Larry Shook)
Y2K analyst Larry Shook advises, "The best insurance against [the
Y2K] threat is a historic national local food security mobilization.
Local community-supported agriculture should be expanded, farmers markets...should
be created and expanded, citizens should be taught to plant home gardens
and save seeds....There is not a moment to lose."
Shook also recommends that everyone concerned about Y2K's potential
food danger should read the food-risk statement posted on the U.S. DEPARTMENT
OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) website. Here are some excerpts:
"Food suppliers...are heavily dependent on computerized processing and
information exchange. For example, farmers and ranchers use electronic
equipment to water fields, feed animals, and transport what they produce.
Processors rely on automated systems that help prepare and package consumer-ready
products. Distributors, wholesalers, and retailers depend on computer-driven
equipment to transport, deliver, store, display, and sell food products.
Any interruption along this 'farm to fork' chain can result in a direct
loss to those who supply food. That can mean more expensive, less available,
"The Department of Agriculture is leading the government's outreach
effort to the food supply sector, working with the Departments of State,
Defense, Health and Human Services, and the Commodity Futures Trading
Commission. The FOOD SUPPLY WORKING GROUP has identified nearly 100
broad constituency categories that are involved in food production,
processing, distribution, and sales and related activities. It is working
closely with industry and other groups to raise awareness about the
Y2K problem, and possible solutions."
What can you do? The USDA recommends the following steps.
1. Assess your personal and business vulnerability.
2. Fix any problem you uncover NOW.
3. Stay Informed. (JG)
USDA web page: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OM/y2kfact2.htm
The Small Business Association's Y2K website: http://www.sba.gov
AMERICAN INSULIN: "NO CAUSE FOR ALARM"?
By James Gregory
In Y2K Report 8, we ran a story called "American Diabetics Not Dependent
on European Insulin." To clarify and doublecheck distribution issues
in the U.S., we contacted ELI LILLY ourselves. Here is what we found
out from Jeff Newton, Director of Media Relations with Lilly:
All Lilly's human insulin for the American market is made in their plant
in Indianapolis. While Newton was not able to release details about
the marketshare of his company, he was able to say that Eli Lilly is
the market leader in insulin in the U.S. and that NOVA NORDISK of South
Carolina is their competitor.
Since 1996, Lilly has been quite concerned about the impact of Y2K on
their operations and by the end of 1999 will have spent upwards of $190
million on compliancy issues. Newton promises "95 percent readiness"
When asked about the concern about Y2K disrupting the distribution of
insulin, Newton pointed out that Lilly has their own fleet of trucks
to distribute their products to wholesalers. He mentioned they also
have a back-up distribution plan in place, but did not give any details.
When pointedly asked if American diabetics have any cause for concern
about Y2K impacting the availability of insulin, Newton said, "There
is absolutely no cause for alarm. While no one can issue a guarantee,
Eli Lilly is confident of the manufacture [and distribution]
of their pharmaceuticals."
Eli Lilly Website: http://www.lilly.com/index.html
NHNE Y2K Report 8: http://dispatch.mail-list.com/archives/nhnelist/msg00032.html
UNPLUG FOR A DAY!
(Source: Judy Laddon, Y2K NEIGHBORHOOD, 1/8/99, thanks to Tom Atlee)
Here's an intriguing idea for any community. More and more people are
becoming aware that the Year 2000 computer could cause isolated or multiple
failures of infrastructure creating local disruptions similar to an
ice storm or hurricane. Taking their cue from a citizen group in Santa
Rosa, CA, Y2K NEIGHBORHOOD of Spokane, Washington is promoting a series
of "Y2K Practice Days" in order to highlight how to become more self-sufficient.
This is meant to be an interesting and fun exercise that tests your
wits, wisdom and ingenuity. Here are the rules of the game:
1. No phones.
2. Transportation: only human or animal-powered transport. Walk, bike,
use a horse, skis, dogsled.
3. Electricity: use electrical devices only if they are connected to
a generator actually operating during the practice. Tape your freezer
and refrigerator shut.
4. Heat: any safe source that does not use electricity -- woodstove,
fireplace, bearskin, buffalo robe or long underwear!
5. Light: any safe source that does not use electricity -- kerosene,
oil, camp lanterns, candles, flashlights.
6. Cooking: any safe source that does not use electricity or city natural
gas -- camp stoves, gas grills, Dutch ovens buried in a firepit, solar
7. Water: any safe source that does not use city water or an electrical
pump. Toilets must be flushed with stored or carried water -- rainwater,
cisterns, streams, hand pumps, bottled water.
8. Entertainment: books, handcrank radio, games, crafts, chocolate,
campfires, popcorn, storytelling.
Play safe, have fun and enjoy yourselves. The first game is slated for
January 29-30. Next regularly scheduled games: March 26-27, May 28-29,
July 30-31, September 24-25, November 26-27. Of course, the real game
begins January 1, 2000!
Y2K Neighborhood contact: Judy Laddon, Editor of AWAKENING: THE UPSIDE
OF Y2K, The Printed Word, 4327 S. Perry, Spokane, WA 99203, (509) 524-3177.
Email: "firstname.lastname@example.org". Phone: (509) 624-3177.
THE GLITCH WATCH
(Sources: Adam L. Penenberg & Joanne Gordon, FORBES, 1/11/1999 via
SANGER'S REVIEW OF Y2K NEWS REPORTS; "Inviting Leadership: Finding Our
Role in Resilient Communities" Teleconference, 1/22/1999)
Wonder what the movers and shakers are doing for New Year's a year from
now? Here are the results of a survey conducted by FORBES MAGAZINE,
with additional comments from Robert Theobald and Meg Wheatley which
were made during their January 22nd satellite conference:
Edward Yardeni, Chief economist for DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES, New York,
N.Y.: Says Y2K likely to cause recession. "I'll be home in the suburbs
with extra cash on hand, some boxes of spaghetti, bottled water and
flashlights. I won't be running out into the woods with a shotgun --
I'd be too afraid of running into other guys with shotguns."
Gary North, Y2K analyst, Fayetteville, Ark. whose website (garynorth.com)
prophesies Armageddon: Will watch the chaos on TV -- if it still works.
"I predict a stock market collapse; the breakdown of most postal services,
banks and credit card companies; and a mass exodus of programmers, leaving
no one to fix things."
Robert Theobald, futurist and socioeconomist: Struggled with where he
was going to spend the rollover -- his native land of Australia or his
adopted land of the U.S.A. Has decided on Spokane, WA, "where power
is not a critical issue." Has organized a local Y2K group, because the
best preparation is a prepared community. Is concerned about who is
going to take of the most vulnerable: the poor and the old.
James Schwitz, Executive Vice President, NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
ASSOCIATION, Washington, D.C.: "The only way the FAA will know if its
Y2K fixes work will be when the clock ticks past midnight on Jan. 1,
2000 during live traffic. I don't care to be one of their guinea pigs."
Scott Nason, Chief Information Officer, AMERICAN AIRLINES, Fort Worth,
Tex.: Early on Dec. 31, he'll call QANTAS AIRLINES in Australia -- the
millennium hits them 14 hours before the U.S. Then he'll throw an office
party for his staff: "We'll start drinking after midnight, and they'll
party until they fall asleep. If needed, I'll know where to find them."
Gregor Bailar, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer,
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES DEALERS, Rockville, Md.: When asked
if his account might get deleted, he retorts, "Ludicrous!" but adds,
"I'll have paper printouts of my personal finances, just in case."
Vito C. Peraino, Partner, HANCOCK ROTHERT & BUNSHOFT, Los Angeles,
Calif. "It will be the biggest litigation event in history, so I'll
be busy with clients...The nature of this problem makes large-scale
Margaret Wheatley, Y2K commentator and Professor of Management: Other
than buying a lot of supplies, like toilet paper, and a generator, admits,
"I don't know what to do. I am trusting my intuition and guidance to
alert me. I am humbled by how little I know, even though I read voluminously."
Is alerting her children to the potential dangers of Y2K.
Frank Ianna, President, AT&T Network Services, Basking Ridge, N.J.:
Spent $600 million on Y2K. Will be at work, preparing contingency plans.
"Since we are an international company, we'll greet the New Year 24
times in one day."
Peter de Jager, Y2K Consultant, Brampton, Ont.: First sounded the Y2K
alarm in 1993. "My biggest fear is the media will ramp up the Y2K threat
so high that people will panic and cause a run on the banks. Don't listen
to the lunatics who tell you to head to a cabin in the woods with a
year's worth of food."
John Panchery, Technology Vice President, SECURITIES INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION,
New York, N.Y.: Will oversee SWAT teams working to stave off Y2K disaster.
"Anything we can't control, like utilities, is a liability. Wall Street's
big computers are cooled by water and can't function without it. Some
broker-dealers keep securities in safes with embedded chips, but safes
may not open come the Year 2000."
Edward Yourdon, Y2K consultant; co-author of "Time Bomb 2000," New York,
N.Y.: Says 15 percent of systems won't be fixed in time. "We won't be
in any urban areas. Power outages could cause social unrest." Has recently
moved to New Mexico, where rooftop solar panels free him from relying
on power grid. (JG)
THE STEPHENS REGISTER OF Y2K COMPLIANT COMPANIES
(Source: Stevens Techmark, 1/22/1999 via GARY NORTH'S Y2K LINKS AND
The STEPHENS REGISTER tracks publicly-traded companies that are, or
soon to be, 100% Y2K compliant. At the moment, it is a distressingly
short list: AT&T, BLYTH INDUSTRIES, THE BUCKLE, CYPROS PHARMACEUTICAL,
DATARAM, FRENCH FRAGRANCES, LOWES COMPANIES, NEOMAGIC, FINANCIAL FEDERAL
CORP, and KMART CORPORATION. (JG)
Something of a sister-site to our own wild2k Website has emerged. Called
"Wise2k," this new website focuses on inner preparedness and social
awareness, and offers online dialogues with futurist Peter Russell,
Y2K author/activist Tom Atlee, and millennialism scholar Richard Landes.
The Wise2k Website seeks to provide "a balance of spiritual growth,
social transformation, historical awareness, healing, and humor in the
face of the Y2K conundrum examined within the context of the mounting
global crises of our time." Wise2k.com is a part of IntegralSpirit.com,
the popular online community and bookstore for integral spirituality
& culture. It's a place for public online dialogue, supported by
a screened selection of books available at the site plus essays and
links to sources of Y2K wisdom and sane social visions for the Y2K era.
The inaugural online conference features PETER RUSSELL, author of "Waking
Up in Time: Finding Inner Peace in Times of Accelerating Change" (Origin
Press, October 1998). Russell is a former student of Stephen Hawking
and author of the international bestseller "The Global Brain". A second
online conference is hosted by TOM ATLEE, co-editor of "Awakening: The
Upside of Y2K" (The Printed Word, October 1998). Atlee is director of
the Co-Intelligence Institute, a key national resource for understanding
Y2K's social dimensions. Soon to be launched is a dialogue with historian
RICHARD LANDES, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Millennium Studies
at BOSTON UNIVERSITY. (DS)
For more on Wise2k.com, contact Byron Belitsos:
Press contact is Eleanor Ryan:
Phone: (415) 898-4304
Wise2k Website: http://www.wise2k.com
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF Y2K:
RE: VACATION PAY
(Source: Anonymous, thanks to Diane Luboff)
January 1, 2000
Dear Valued Employee:
Our records indicate that you have not used any vacation time over the
past 100 year(s). As I'm sure you are aware, employees are granted three
weeks of paid leave per year or pay in lieu of time off. One additional
week is granted for every five years of service. Please either take
9,400 days off work or notify our office and your next paycheck will
reflect payment of $8,277,432.22 which will include all pay and interest
for the past 1,200 months.
Automated Payroll Processing
Copyright 1999 by NewHeavenNewEarth
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Editor-in-Chief: James Gregory (JG)
Secretary/Treasurer: Diane (Di) Ayers
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