Answers In Action

Y2K: Debunking the Myths

Bob and Gretchen Passantino

I’m having a terrible problem in my life. Lately I’ve been researching the whole Y2K issue and its possible effects on us and now I’m scared to death and my life is a mess . . . What also scares me is that most Christians seem to feel we are doomed. I’m at a point where I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so depressed and scared I can’t eat, sleep, or function like a normal person. I don’t even find any comfort in God anymore. . . . Am I alone in feeling this terrified or are there others out there that feel like me? I feel like I can’t go on if things get as bad as they predict.

Over-reaction? Paranoid personality? “Loser”? Or is this real letter a result of false stories and alarmism promoted by well-meaning Christians?

Over the past year we have methodically and exhaustively researched every aspect of the Y2K problem.

Why did it take so long? Not because it was so difficult to understand, so complicated, the information was censored, or the experts inaccessible. It took that long to track down and evaluate the hundreds of rumors, stories, false statistics, and misleading arguments propagated by major Christian personalities like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Jack Van Impe, R. C. Sproul, Chuck Missler, Michael Hyatt, Donald McAlvany, Grant Jeffrey, and Gary North. It is always much more time consuming to establish that something doesn’t exist than that something does. Now, however, we can say with confidence that it is very difficult to find even one event promoted by Y2K alarmists that is told accurately or implies what they tell people.[1]

What Y2K Means

Most of us are already familiar with the basic Y2K (Year 2000) problem. Anyone who signifies a year with only two digits cannot discriminate among centuries except by context. If we refer to a battle in ’63 in the context of the Civil War, we know the date referenced is 1863. The same ’63 designation for a battle during the Vietnam War would stand for 1963. In the absence of century markers (18, 19, 20, . . . ), confusion could arise in documents and records such as mortgage tables, graduating classes, age-based benefits, warranties, expiration dates, etc. The problem is exacerbated with the approach of the end of one century and the beginning of the next. When the two-digit year confusion is multiplied billions of times in billions of electronic applications and electronic devices worldwide, the confusion has the potential of becoming economically and personally devastating.

The “simple” answer of replacing two-digit year markers with four-digit ones is not always simple to implement in hardware and software. Most early hardware and software used two-digit year markers. To convert computer programs, data files, invoice and serial numbers, time-stamped event codes, computer BIOSes, and other time-sensitive devices to Y2K compliance can be an expensive, time-consuming process. Yet, failing to correct the problem could cause phenomenal computer chaos and resultant economic and social disruption. These are the facts about Y2K.

In dispute is whether or not most American businesses, utilities, governmental and private corporations will address the problem in a timely fashion so that chaos and disruption are minimal.

How Bad Could It Get?

Y2K alarmists give various predictions about the crisis to come January 1, 2000. Many follow the lead of Michael Hyatt, author of The Millennium Bug, who gives three possible scenarios. The “Brownout Scenario” lasts from two weeks to three months and foresees problems with the power grid, waste and drinking water systems, transportation, telecommunications, banking, government, military, police, healthcare, and social stability, including isolated riots and economic recession. His “Blackout Scenario” expects four months to three years of “multiple system failures and social upheaval,” including the loss of all electrical power for an extended period, disease from untreated sewage, all planes grounded, “basic food” not delivered, empty supermarkets, no phones, government shutdown of banks, martial law, accidents with weapons systems, healthcare set back 100 years, “widespread riots, looting, and social unrest.” Hyatt’s “Meltdown Scenario” would last four to ten years or more, include a complete breakdown of society, nuclear meltdowns, no utilities, starvation, no banks, worthless currency, no military or law enforcement, riots, gangs, rampant disease, civil war, and the total collapse of the economy.[2] Michael Hyatt says he believes the highest probability is “somewhere between the Brownout and the Blackout scenarios.”[3]

What the Evidence Shows About . . .

Computers and embedded chips. Despite the very real problem of two-digit and four-digit date fields and cross-century calculations, the computer industry is dealing with Y2K in an efficient, timely manner. Most personal computers, networks, and commercial software programs do not have Y2K problems.[4] Those that do are almost entirely repairable with little inconvenience or direct cost to the individual consumer. Every major hardware and software vendor has a web site with Y2K information and downloads specific to their products, where problems can be fixed immediately and almost always free of charge. Most computer applications for personal consumers are not dependent on date-sensitive calculations and would pose little problem even if they did have Y2K bugs that were not remedied.

Embedded chips, often thought to be the infectious vector for social collapse in telephone poles, undersea oil pipelines, automobile engines, VCRs, home coffee makers, and other devices of Western industry, are not going to compromise most applications in which they are found.

Most uses of embedded chips in long-term or hard-to-access sites are either not year-date sensitive (no date or numerical cycle) or are already Y2K ready. Don and Joy Venoit interviewed the Project Director of the Piper Bravo Project of Occidental Oil in the North Sea, who said,

The safety systems mandated by the oil industry was [sic] for triple redundancy. In 1990 we installed Y2K compliant systems which monitored each other as well as the processes. In addition, there is nothing put on any petro-chemical establishment worldwide which cannot be manually overridden.[5]

Michael Hyatt claims that “approximately 10,000 embedded systems buried in the North Sea” would need to be checked individually at a cost of $75,000 each.[6] This has been repeated and embellished by other Y2K alarmists. The Venoits interviewed Christopher McHarg, a progammer for Lucent Technologies, who said,

Why would we go to the seabed to check each chip? A visual inspection wouldn’t tell us anything. An intelligent programmer would go to the chip that is not installed yet and look at the actual programming to assess compliance. Also, for the most part, the chips have no need to know the time, day, week, month, year, decade, or millennium.[7]

Moreover, it is important to distinguish between devices that are truly year-date dependent and those that merely show the date. Even one with a date function (like a timer) might still not use the year in calculations. An older VCR that shows the year may show an inaccurate date beginning January 1, 2000. It will still record and play videos as it always has. Even a VCR that does timed recordings isn’t necessarily vulnerable. Out of about 4,000 products sold by Toshiba in America since the early 1980s, only three VCRs from the early 1980s had a limited problem. If they were programmed in 1999 to tape a program in 2000, they incorrectly calculated that the program had already been taped. However, “after 2000, the recorders will work fine again.”[8]

Careful research has shown that few consumer electronic devices are susceptible to Y2K problems. The Los Angeles Times reported that “out of the 7,000 products Sony Electronics Inc. has made since 1972, only one sold in the United States, a video camera made in the late 1980s, has any 2,000-related problems.”[9] In general, the Times recounted, “the testing of tens of thousands of products by consumer electronics companies, from digital thermostats to automatic coffee makers, have turned up a surprisingly small number that will be affected by the year 2000 problems.”

The electrical power grids. An important principle to remember about all power services, public or private, is that the providers can never guarantee service at a particular future time. This does not mean that vendors are not reliable. What it means is that no one knows the future absolutely. For example, if the public high school behind our home had asked our local electrical power company (the Edison Company in Orange County, California) to guarantee ahead of time our power for a weekday a few months ago, the company would have responded that they knew of no reason that there would be no power, but that they couldn’t guarantee anything—and they would have been prudent to respond that way. In fact, on the day in question a large raven perched on the power pole next to our back yard, inadvertently touched two wires at the same time, and the resulting transformer blowout fried the bird and plunged the high school into darkness. It took a couple of hours to restore power, the teenagers got a short school day, but no one blamed the power company for not predicting this unforeseen accident.

In fact, we have less reason to worry about Y2K interrupting our power than a raven in our back yard. Y2K is foreseen, identified, and corrected for. While we may by some chance lose our power to a raven on January 1, 2000, we’re confident it won’t be because of Y2K.

Waste water management. Many Y2K alarmists seized on a relatively minor sewage spill in Southern California as an example of what would become epidemic during Y2K. Michael Hyatt included it in an article about “Y2K Failures” in July 1999, saying,

June 17, 1999: Y2K test causes massive sewage spill. Over 4 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the streets of Van Nuys, California on June 17 during a Y2K test of computer equipment at the Tillman Water Reclamation plant.[10]

The truth is far different. The problem was not caused by a Y2K computer factor. The problem occurred during a Y2K test by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Bureau, but the computer malfunction was caused by a programming error from 1985 that had nothing to do with Y2K.[11]

Nuclear power plants. One of the scariest Y2K scenarios concerns nuclear power plants. With memories of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Hollywood disaster movies on our minds, it doesn’t take much for some people to believe that Y2K could mean catastrophic nuclear meltdown. Unfortunately for the doomsayers, the evidence all confirms that nuclear power plants (and American power sources in general) will not fail from Y2K.

As of September 13, all of the nation’s 103 nuclear power plants “are prepared to operate safely during the Jan. 1 date rollover,” with only minor administrative and support system corrections (none mission-critical) still to be made.[12]

The nuclear power plant at San Onofre in Southern California illustrates not only the success of Y2K troubleshooting at America’s plants, but also the misnomers about embedded chips so often promoted by alarmists. The Los Angeles Times reported:

Robert Haverkamp’s first take on the year 2000 problem at San Onofre nuclear power plant was that it would be a daunting task, akin to finding technological needles buried in a huge haystack of steel, silicon and wire.

There were 190,000 separate devices at the sprawling facility south of San Clemente—any one of which might fail because of the computer glitch.

But as he and his team began to dig in, they quickly realized that it was not quite the haystack they had imagined. Out of 190,000 devices, just 32,000 were electronic. Of those, only 2,900 used computer chips, made up of just 356 types of items, such as circuit boards.

After four months of work by 45 people, they discovered that only about one-third of the 356 types were date-sensitive, and just 38 types, amounting to a few hundred devices, needed replacing.

“It’s easy for me to feel comfortable now,” Haverkamp said. “But I spent many long hours wondering if we had found everything. You always worry you’re going to find something big. We didn’t.” . . .

Haverkamp at San Onofre found that about 40% of the time-based digital devices he found were defective, though none could have forced a shutdown of the plant.[13]

Despite evidence to the contrary, Y2K alarmists continue to misrepresent the facts. In the July 1999 issue of Chuck Missler’s Personal Update news journal, staff Y2K expert Gordon McDonald writes, “In the event it is necessary to take emergency action, it becomes quickly apparent that ‘turning off’ a nuclear power plant is not a simple operation. Once the fuel rods have been removed from the core, it takes a full five months to cool them down to a temperature in which cooling systems are no longer required . . . In these five months, the plant is dependent on off-site electrical power. If that power becomes unavailable, maintaining a stable shutdown mode falls to the reliability of generators” (p. 14).

Sounds scary, right? Check the facts.[14] Nuclear reactors can be shut down in a few minutes; it takes only a few days of powered cooling; all reactors have multiple power grid connections to protect them from one or even more than one power grid failure; all reactors have multiple backup generators with a minimum of seven days of fuel to provide power to the grid, which are tested regularly.[15]

Government support services. Most county, state, and federal agencies should continue to provide services without interruption after Y2K, but alarmists seize on any irregularity as evidence that government agencies are unprepared.

March 24, 1999: Y2K glitch makes premature welfare payments. Almost 200,000 welfare recipients in New Jersey received a windfall March 21 when computer tests at the state Department of Human Services accidentally paid out an estimated $58 million in food assistance funds . . . Officials said the mistake occured when Y2K computer repairs were being tested. . . .[16]

This rumor illustrates an important principle: fears about Y2K have caused almost any disruptive event to be labeled Y2K even if Y2K had nothing to do with the problem.

This story still appears on many Y2K web sites. However, follow-up news stories beginning the next day documented that it was not Y2K related. Jacqueline Tencza, a New Jersey DHS spokesperson explained, “Two and a half weeks before this, we had taken the system down to do a whole bunch of changes, including program enhancements and a year 2000 overhaul. . . . We just assumed it was all linked. I think everyone just jumped on that assumption.”[17]

The Social Security Administration began its Y2K remediation efforts in 1989 and has spent $40 million on the project. It is confident that it will provide uninterrupted service and payments come January 1, 2000. In fact, the SSA will deliver January benefit checks to post offices on December 29 to avoid any outside Y2K problems their clients might encounter.[18]

The military. The Department of Defense has conducted extensive remediation and testing throughout the armed forces, including trial runs of all weapons, strategic, and mission-critical systems for Y2K anomalies. On July 13, 1999, the Pentagon wrapped up “a test of the military’s logistical systems in what was billed as the largest Year 2000 test ever conducted.” The extensive test of “DoD’s 44 most critical logistics systems” in 22 locations, handling $80 billion in annual transactions, which also covered the leap-year rollover, is encouraging. One of the project analysts stated, “We feel very confident, based on what we’ve seen here and what we’ve demonstrated, that we’ve got a system that works and works well.”[19]

The United States, Russia, and several other key nuclear armed countries have agreed to work together to forestall any misunderstandings or misuse of weapons because of Y2K. The United States and Russia agreed on a “shared early-warning center” in Colorado that will open in December and close (barring unforeseen Y2K problems) in January.[20]

The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) successfully completed testing of its mission systems, rolling the calendar forward to 2000 on their systems’ internal clocks. Army Lt. Col. Warren Patterson reported, “There was no degradation of [NORAD] systems. They operated as they should, [generating] accurate, unambiguous, clear data.”[21]

Financial institutions. The greatest danger Y2K poses to consumer finances is not the failure of our financial institutions or inability to successfully transact business, since nearly all financial institutions in America, other developed countries, international financiers, and federal finance agencies are fully Y2K compliant. The greatest dangers come from (1) people making bad financial decisions (such as paying stiff penalties and losing interest from trading tax-deferred savings for emergency supplies and precious metals); (2) people removing their funds from safe institutions and keeping them at home; and (3) people falling for Y2K financial scams, which could run the gamut from unnecessary expenditures and unwise investments to outright theft through bunco schemes.

The Y2K alarmists don’t even make sense. As economist Martin Armstrong explains, “Even if the banking system completely failed, no one would be able to collect debts as well as pay them. The courts would be backlogged for decades if banks tried to foreclose and if they did, who would they sell the assets to in a society that did not function? . . . If you can’t get money out of the banks, no one would be able to pay them either.”[22]

The Federal Reserve Board has printed an additional $50 billion in currency, anticipating fears that worried citizens will withdraw large sums of cash from their financial institutions. This may placate those who are worried about our banks, but left unchecked this actually devalues the dollar in the long run.[23]

Edward Yardeni, a top U.S. economic forecaster, is virtually the only major economics expert who still thinks Y2K will cause serious economic problems. He believes there is a 70 percent chance that Y2K will cause a global recession, acknowledging “that he was alone among noted economists and Wall Street investment strategists to forecast a Y2K-related recession.”[24]

Transportation. Among the wilder speculations that even most Y2K alarmists have abandoned was that automobiles will stop running because of date-sensitive embedded chips in the engine system. This could certainly be catastrophic, except these chips are not date-sensitive.[25] The Los Angeles Times noted that major manufacturers of automobiles sold in the United States “have done extensive testing on their vehicles and have so far reported no year 2000 problems.”[26]

One pervasive rumor is that the CEO of Qantas Airlines (in Australia) “has stated that neither he nor any of his important executives would be flying on January 1, 2000.” (This leads some to suspect the safety of most airlines.) However, Steve Hewitt carefully documents that this is not the case. The CEO was actually informing Qantas customers that his staff would be working on January 1 so any problems could be dealt with immediately. He concludes, “this is obviously not because they are afraid of the skies, but because they want to be at their post to insure that everything runs smoothly.”[27]

Even countries with older fleets are coping. Mexican air officials tested all of their mission-critical systems and most non-vital systems on July 31, 1999 “and it was a total success,” said Agustin Arellano, director of Navigation Services in Mexican Air Space.[28]

Local municipalities. Mother Jones magazine evaluated Y2K preparedness for one typical American community, Silver City, New Mexico (population 12,500). Their investigation covered natural gas, petroleum, propane, telephone, water, wastewater, emergency services, and electrical power; plus the non-local tie-ins for those services. This comprehensive study concluded:

Bottom line? We think the good money’s on the [power] grid [and other services continuing]. But if your lights do go out, it’s hardly the end of the world—and it’s hardly anything new. After all, who hasn’t lived through a blackout? Don’t panic, but do prepare . . . And above all remember, if the power goes down—it will come back up. In the Y2K world of hedged bets, we’ll go out on a limb to guarantee that one.[29]

Despite similar evidence from various municipalities nationwide, Y2K alarmists insist that our communities will be unable to provide citizens with basic services. One of the most recent misinterpretations concerns a Navy report that allegedly claims many major metropolitan areas will suffer at least one serious infrastructure failure on January 1, 2000.[30] The truth is that the report was an internal working document based purely on anecdotal information devised only as a format for practicing Navy base contingency responses for possible Y2K occurrences.[31]

The Federal Government. One of the most helpful Internet web sites for dispelling Y2K rumors about the federal government is the Year 2000 Conversion site, “Y2K Rumors” (www.y2k.gov/java/whatsnew1.html). There one can find arguments against the probability that the President will declare martial law; that federal prison facilities will accidentally release prisoners through misread parole dates or unlocked cells; that nuclear missiles will launch uncontrollably; that the federal government has no idea what other countries’ nuclear misfirings might be; that the FAA will suspend commercial air traffic because of Y2K safety fears; that medical equipment and devices will fail with life-threatening results; etc.

Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

Critical thinking is essential for correctly evaluating the Y2K problem. When you hear certain kinds of statements, you should be asking probing questions to give you a contextual picture of the problem.[32] Here are some sample questions:

“What would the situation be without Y2K as a factor?”  For example, if someone tells you that utilities won’t guarantee power on January 1, 2000, ask, “Do utilities ever guarantee power?”  The answer: No. To guarantee service is to establish a liability threshold that few vendors, public or private, are willing to assume.

“Is there any hypothetical evidence that could disprove your position?”  For example, if someone says the government and businesses are hiding the truth from us because they don’t want us to panic, ask “How can you tell the difference between a coverup and what really is good news?”  Any time a theory cannot be hypothetically falsified, it is useless and tells you nothing about the reality of the situation.

“What is your source or authority?”  Much of the Y2K alarmist information comes from anonymous sources, anecdotal information, and unsubstantiated Internet postings.

We have heard dozens of stories from people who say they have firsthand experience with Y2K problems. When we try to track the story down, it disappears. These are nothing more than variations of the Y2K “urban legend.”[33] The truck that wouldn’t start because of a Y2K faulty embedded chip turned out to have a much more prosaic mechanical problem; the nuclear power plant official who was so worried turned out to be strongly confident; the university student who believed his university had sent out alumni announcements to its freshmen turned out never to have seen one; etc.

A politician’s statement should be approached much more skeptically than that of a major industry CEO. Many of those who are heralded as “Y2K experts” are only experts because they have spent hours surfing the Internet or because they have a rudimentary knowledge of programming. Michael Hyatt has no formal computer or economic expertise. The jacket of The Millennium Bug describes him as having “worked in the book publishing industry for almost twenty years, and has worked with personal computers since 1982. A part-time programming enthusiast, he is fluent in Pascal and three dialects of BASIC and has written numerous custom applications for companies around the world.” That’s it. Finding several people who are actively employed in Y2K remediation is probably a better way to get a handle on the problem.

“What is the context of your information?”  If someone says, “The National Guard is going to be on duty December 1 through January 1, so they must be anticipating civil disaster of some kind with Y2K, ”ask, “How do you know that’s why they’re on duty? All National Guard units must train one weekend each month, and public perception that the government is prepared for any eventuality might have prompted them to schedule their drill for the weekend people are most concerned about—even if the worry is unfounded.”  Only by checking the facts and the authorities can you know the significance of the National Guard presence.

“When was this true?”  Reports or opinions that might have been valid when they were first broached may no longer be relevant. If someone tells you, “Senator Bennett thinks Y2K could be the end of Western civilization,” ask, “When did he say this?” You will find out that his initial concerns were aired in 1997 and early 1998; now he is far more confident that we will weather Y2K with minimal disruption.[34]

“Does this even make any sense?”  If a Y2K alarmist says that embedded chips in the concrete of bank vaults could cause vault doors to open on Saturday, January 1, 2000, and close on Monday, January 3, ask, “Why would any vault manufacturer, any bank architect, or any financial institution accept a design for a vault that would render it completely useless—if not unsecurable—because of unreachable, unrepairable electronic components that are notorious for all kinds of malfunctions?”

Six questions should be asked together about any particular Y2K assessment: who, what, why, where, when, and how—the standard journalist’s questions whose answers provide us with enough evidence, context, and reason to make intelligent evaluations regarding Y2K.

Conclusion

When Christians obsess over something that is not credible, we not only promote falsehood, but we also rob worthy causes. Steve Hewitt says it well:

With more Christians dying this past year for their faith than possibly ever in our history, we do not get excited. With persecution increasing around the world, we do nothing. With the percent of the lost growing each year in our nation, and millions starving around the world, nothing got us more excited than Y2K. Why? Because it threatened our comfort, our pocket books.

As we continue to see more and more just how overblown the entire event was, and evaluate the sensational, exaggerated reaction we had, the issue must not end there. We need to seriously ask ourselves: what does Y2K tell us about the spiritual state of Christianity in America? Moreover, what does it say about our personal walk with Christ?[35]




NOTES:

1. Some of the best sources of documented evaluation of the Y2K problem are Hank Hanegraaff, Christian Research Institute [www.equip.org or 30162 Tomas, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688-2124, (949) 858-6100]; Steve Hewitt, editor, Christian Computing Magazine [www.gospelcom.net/ccmag or 309 S. Washington, Raymore, MO 64083, (816) 331-3881]; Don and Joy Venoit, Midwest Christian Outreach [www.midwestoutreach.org or P.O. Box 455, Lombard, IL 60148-0455, (630) 627-9028]. [return]

2. Summarized from Michael Hyatt, The Millennium Bug (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998), 159-181; also on Hyatt’s web site (http://www.michaelhyatt.com/askmichael/053.htm on 9/26/1999). [return]

3. Ibid., 180. See also http://www.michaelhyatt.com/askmichael/055.htm. [return]

4. For help, see University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Office of Information Technologies, "Preparing Your PC," April 2, 1999 (http://sisfs1.acso.umass.edu/y2kweb/checking_your_pc.htm). [return]

5. Don and Joy Venoit, “Y2K: Genuine Crisis or Over-hyped Circus?” Midwest Christian Outreach Journal 5, no. 2 (Spring 1999), 4. [return]

6. Hyatt, The Millennium Bug, 28. [return]

7. Venoit, “Over-hyped Circus,” 4. [return]

8. Ashley Dunn, “Home Largely Immune to Millennium Bug,” Los Angeles Times, February 18, 1999, A-17. [return]

9 Ibid. [return]

10. Michael Hyatt, “The Reality of Y2K Failures” (www.michaelhyatt.com/editorials/failures.htm). [return]

11. Miguel Bustillo, Karima A. Hayes, and Patrick McGreevy, “Big L.A. Sewage Spill Raises Concern over Y2K Readiness,” Los Angeles Times, June 18, 1999. [return]

12. David McGuire, “Nuke Plants Need Y2K Fixes,” Computer Currents, September 13, 1999 (http://currents.net/newtoday/99/09/13/news1.html). [return]

13. Ashley Dunn, “Fears of Y2K Power Failures Dim,” Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1999, C-1. [return]

14. Such as on the Y2K page of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (www.nrc.gov/NRC/Y2K/Y2KFAQ.html). [return]

15. When Missler and McDonald were questioned about their dubious nuclear power plant knowledge, McDonald responded on his August 30, 1999, program that he tried to check out the “five month” time by calling a noted anti-nuclear activist, Dr. Helen Caldecott, who told him five months was inaccurate—it was actually five years! McDonald said he was still checking. [return]

16. Hyatt, “Reality of Y2K Failures.” [return]

17. Ashley Dunn, “Computer Problem? Why Not Blame Y2K?” Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1999, C-1. See also Kathleen Ohlson and Thomas Hoffman, “Get Ready for Y2K False Alarms, Panic,” Computer World, August 11, 1999 (http://cgi.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9908/11/panic.y2k.idg) [return]

18. L. A. Lorek, “Social Security Checks to be Mailed Early to Avoid Y2K Problems,” Sun-Sentinel (Miami, Fla.), August 11, 1999. [return]

19. Paul Stone, American Forces Press Service, “DoD Conducts Largest Y2K Test Ever,” American Forces Information Service News Article, U. S. Dept. of Defense (www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul1999/n07141999_9907142.html). U.S. Navy, Naval Wire Service Report, July 12, 1999 (www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/navywire/nws99/nws0712.txt) [return]

20. Bob Brewin, “Y2K Pushes U.S., Russia to Work on Warning Center for Nukes,” January 15, 1999 (http://cnn.com/TECH/computing/9901/15/nukes.y2k.idg/). Associated Press, “Russians Agree to Place Officers at Missile Warning Center in Colorado During Y2K,” September 10, 1999. [return]

21. Brewin, “Warning Center.” [return]

22. Martin A. Armstrong, “Y2K May Prove Very Bullish for US Dollar, Bear for Gold Near-Term While Creating Inflation Instead of Recession in 2000!” (Princeton Economic Institute Research Department, February 8, 1999). [return]

23. Associated Press, “Fed Will Have Extra Cash for Y2K,” MSNBC Technology (www.msnbc.com/news/243956.asp); Thomas Mulligan, “Will Risk-Takers Take a Hike?” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 19, 1999 (www.latimes.com/CNS_DAYS/990919/t000083878.html). [return]

24. Jim Wolf, “Y2K Still Likely to Spark Recession: Forecaster,” Reuters News Agency, August 11, 1999 (http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/19990811/tc/yk_global_2.html). [return]

25. Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune, December 10, 1998. [return]

26. Ashley Dunn, “Home Largely Immune to Millennium Bug,” Los Angeles Times, February 18, 1999, A-17. [return]

27. Steve Hewitt, “Y2K: The Challenge Ahead, Part 10,” Christian Computing Magazine, 11, nos. 7-8 (July 1999), at (www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/articles/07(8)99/msty7899.html). [return]

28. “Mexico Says Airports, Airlines Pass Y2K Test,” Reuters News Agency, August 3, 1999 (http://www.y2ktoday.com/modules/news/newsdetail.asp?id=1873). [return]

29. Marguerite Lamb, “Who’s Afraid of Y2K?” Mother Jones, August/September 1999, 34. [return]

30. Listen, for example, to Chuck Missler’s “The Missler Report” radio show, September 13-17, 1999 with guests Jim Lord, Michael Hyatt, Judy Carey, Rodger Scarlett, and Matt Hodgkiss (www.audiocentral.com/rshows/missler/archives.html). [return]

31. Navy Office of Information, “Misrepresentation of Y2K Data Prompts Navy to Temporarily Remove Internet Posting,” August 23, 1999. [return]

32. These questions are adapted from Bob Passantino, Fantasies, Legends, and Heroes: How What You Know May Not Be So and How to Tell the Difference (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Answers In Action, 1989), also available at www.answers.org. [return]

33. For more information on urban legends, see Fantasies, Legends, and Heroes (above). [return]

34. Compare his remarks in the Washington Post, July 15, 1998, with January 1, 1999. [return]

35. Hewitt, “Challenge Ahead, Part 10.” [return]

First published in Cornerstone (ISSN 0275-2743), Vol. 28, Issue 117 (1999), pp. 37-39, 44, 46
© 1999 by Cornerstone Communications, Inc.


The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26


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