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A View into the Butt's Head

Forum: Gary North is a Big Fat Idiot Forum Re: We need a thread dedicated to Paul Milne (BUTTHEAD - 'Cuase Paul Milne Said So) Date: Jan 21, 13:32 From: Butthead

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Sunday, November 1, 1998

Some survival outfitters fan the flames of panic


Seven years ago, Paul Milne was a successful commodities trader living in Somerset County. He had a Cadillac in the garage, three children in private school, and a Little League team he coached on weekends.

Today, he lives on a 10-acre farm in rural Virginia, where he raises cows, hogs, and rabbits. He grows vegetables, churns his own butter, and makes his own soap. He has enough food to feed 20 people for two years.

And he says he will kill anybody who tries to steal it.

Paul Milne is a survivalist. He believes that at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2000, a programming quirk known as the millennium bug will bring many of the world's computers to their knees. As a result, the power grid and telecommunications networks will fail, plunging the world into silence and darkness. The international monetary system will collapse, causing a worldwide economic depression. Food and water will be in such short supply that riots will turn cities into urban nightmares. Governments will be powerless to restore order. People will die.

His dark vision is shared by thousands in what may be the largest apocalyptic movement in U.S. history. Although they represent a minority among survivalists,their numbers are growing, and across the country they are buying farms, stockpiling food, and preparing for the day when, they believe, anarchy will be loosed upon the world.

Most people think the millennium bug, also known as Y2K, short for year 2000, will cause minor inconveniences, and they dismiss the dark predictions of survivalists as alarmist rhetoric. Nobody knows whether the survivalists are delusional, dangerous, or the smartest people on earth.

"The bottom line is this," Milne said. "If I'm dead wrong about this and I made all these preparations, then on Jan. 1, 2000, the birds are chirping and nothing's changed. I'm going to live. If you're wrong, you're dead. If you have no food, no power, no sewage, and no water . . . you're dead."

The time bomb that Milne and others believe will strip away the thin veneer of human civilization and expose the savagery beneath is ticking all around us.

This much is known: In home computers and in those that control everything from traffic lights to weapons systems, dates for the most part are designated with two digits -- "98" for 1998. When Jan. 1, 2000, arrives, some of those computers will interpret "00" as 1900 and start making mistakes.

What happens next is anybody's guess. Credit cards and ATM cards may be rejected. Social Security recipients may not get checks. Air traffic control systems may fail. And if embedded computer chips succumb to the problem, VCRs, elevators, even hospital life-support devices might not work.

Fixing the problem -- by rewriting billions of lines of computer code -- and the liability that will arise from computer failures are expected to cost more than $1 trillion. And most experts agree that with just 433 days remaining, there is no way to ensure that all the critical computer programs on which the modern world relies can possibly be fixed in time.

Because of their fear of the fallout from these computer failures, survivalists are going to extraordinary lengths to make sure they get through the first few years of the 21st century relatively unscathed.

Into the future with oil lamps

Five years ago, Milne moved his wife and children -- by then they had five -- to his farm in Virginia and expects about a dozen more relatives to join them next year.

He built a bunkhouse and put up a 550-gallon water tank, using a mechanical pump to fill it from a well on his property. He bought a propane-powered refrigerator, oil lamps, and a wood stove, eliminating the need for electrical power. And he started buying food. Lots of it.

Wheat and corn are packed in six-gallon buckets, to be ground into flour as needed. His secret cache of food includes a half ton of rice, a half ton of beans, along with sugar, coffee, and cocoa. Fruits and vegetables from his garden -- where he grows peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, onions, pumpkins, zucchini, and cantaloupe -- were canned. Beef and venison were preserved.

Milne and others believe the Y2K problem, another name for the millennium bug, could disrupt supplies of food, water, electricity, and other essentials as the computers that control manufacturing processes, transportation, and distribution networks break down. Food and water will become scarce, and inner cities will become increasingly violent, hampering deliveries of emergency supplies. In short order, they say, none of the things human beings depend on will be available.

Milne's goal is complete self-reliance, of the sort virtually unknown in the United States since the previous century. When his family needed butter, he learned how to churn it, using cream skimmed from the milk of his own cows. When his family needed soap, he learned how to make it, using fat rendered from a steer raised for food.

"We wanted to know everything we could possibly know," Milne said. "And that's what we did."

Part of being self-reliant means protecting family and supplies, and to that end Milne -- who never owned a gun before -- purchased several rifles and handguns. He said if someone needed food and asked, he'd gladly provide a meal; if someone tried to steal it, he'd stop him.

"If you can't protect yourself, [all the preparation] doesn't make any difference," he said. "We're perfectly willing to defend ourselves when we deem that necessary."

His relatives don't share pessimism

Milne realizes how this looks to those with a more optimistic view of the year 2000. In fact, neither his mother nor siblings, some of whom still live in New Jersey, plan to join him on the farm, believing their world will not end in 433 days.

"My own mother thinks I'm psychotic," he said. "I have seven brothers and sisters. Not one of them thinks anything's going to happen."

But Milne insists the problem is worse -- much worse -- than most people realize. He has done "thousands of hours" of research into the problem, and "what I found out made the hair on the back of my neck stand up."

"It's frightening how bad it's going to be," he said. "There's going to be millions of people unprepared, and they're not going to find that help just materializes. People aren't going to be walking around holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya.' "

And that, in so many words, is what separates the survivalists from the rest of the world. Where most people see a minor inconvenience, survivalists see "the end of the world as we know it," a phrase so ubiquitous in survivalist literature that it has been reduced to an acronym. Where most people see the basic goodness of human nature preventing a large-scale breakdown in the social order, survivalists see savages in sheep's clothing.

Michael Barkun, a political science professor at Syracuse University, has spent 30 years studying the rise of apocalyptic movements in the United States. He said survivalists are not psychotics -- the opinion of Milne's mother notwithstanding -- but are responding to a perceived threat in a logical way.

"If you believe in the kind of scenario of an unfolding future of chaos and violence and disorder, then the response is a logical response," he said. "I don't think there's any evidence that they're less rational than anybody else. It's a mistake to view this kind of behavior as pathological."

Barkun believes that the pres-ent apocalyptic mood is the most widespread in U.S. history. Jim Benson, editor of the American Survival Guide, a magazine based in Placentia, Calif., estimates that followers number in the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, with the vast majority simply laying in a few supplies against the possibility of a food shortage.

The only movement that compares was the Millerite movement of the 1840s, he said. William Miller, a sectarian leader from Massachusetts, convinced tens of thousands that the Bible prophesied the second coming of Christ in 1843, prompting many to prepare for the Day of Judgment in much the same way that survivalists of today are preparing for 2000. When that day -- and a second date -- passed without incident, the movement fizzled, and Miller's followers founded the Adventist Church.

One difference between then and now is the Internet. Jerrold Post, director of the political psychology program at George Washington University, said the Internet allows people who would otherwise never meet to form a virtual community, making it easier for extreme beliefs to take root.

"We're really in a whole new era of virtual group dynamics," Post said. "People who never met face to face are reinforcing some pretty extreme beliefs."

In fact, the culture and commerce of Y2K survivalism is alive and well on the World Wide Web, an irony that is not lost on survivalists themselves.

Hundreds of Web sites devoted in whole or in part to survivalist issues allow individuals to form survivalist groups and trade tips on long-term food storage and the best ways to convert assets into precious metals. Companies peddle freeze-dried food and diesel generators. Books, magazines, and newsletters on survival issues seek out their target audience. And at least one writer, James Rawles, has published an entire screenplay, "Triple Ought," depicting his apocalyptic vision of the post-Y2K world.

Food hidden in remote spots

Many people dismiss the doomsday predictions of survivalists, but that becomes much harder to do when when the apocalypse scenario is described by intelligent, lucid people such as Milne, or Bernard Sayers, a 57-year-old computer consultant in Cumberland County, at the southern end of New Jersey.

Sayers plans to welcome the new millennium from his 95-acre farm with at least 12 others -- eight relatives and four individuals who paid $25,000 to reserve berths at the compound.

Each family will bring its own mobile home, and the group will have access to a cache of survival food that Sayers says he has hidden in three locations off the property, as well as whatever food they are able to grow themselves. Wood stoves, a wood-powered steam generator, and agricultural byproducts will provide energy.

A former Navy SEAL with combat experience in Vietnam will provide security for the group, using a robotic vehicle that will patrol the perimeter to detect intruders, chain saws to cut down trees to block access roads if his property is threatened, and firearms for self-defense.

The heavily wooded compound includes a stand of trees that will be converted into cornfields, three miles of nature trails, an airstrip, and a small pond with access to Delaware Bay. Sayers said his land can support 50 to 75 people, and he expects that he will have no trouble finding that many to join him. By this time next year, he said, he will be fighting people off.

The problem, he said, will be an intractable one -- the crisis measured not in weeks or months, but years -- and tens of millions of people will die of starvation and disease in the first year alone.

"We're talking about the end of civilization as we know it," he said. "There's going to be roving hordes of hungry people. I don't see any way around it. There's nothing the government can do. We're going to be in anarchy."

Like Milne and other survivalists, Sayers does not think of himself as one, believing the term conjures up images of isolationist cranks in camouflage clothing and night-vision goggles.

On the contrary, Sayers said he is working with community groups and local residents to prepare them for the Y2K crisis, but with little luck. He fears that apathy will make the problem worse, with people who failed to prepare for the crisis preying on those who did.

Sayers said the technical aspects of the Y2K problem have been largely ignored by the government, businesses, and the media until very recently, and the question of survival has been almost entirely neglected. The idea that the world will be plunged almost overnight into abject misery is a difficult one for most people to accept, he said.

"The issue is so simple, and [people reason that] something so simple can't possibly cause all the problems people say it will," Sayers said. "If people buy into it being a problem, they have to buy into it completely."

Sayers expects the first rumblings of a global Y2K panic to begin as early as January, with families across the country buying large quantities of food for long-term storage, water storage systems, and generators.

As he sees it, people will begin moving assets out of the stock market and into hard currency, gold, and other precious metals. Land values in rural areas will begin to skyrocket, as families flee the cities in search of hideaways. Governments, corporations, utilities, and banks will work feverishly to fix "mission critical" systems.

Then, on the evening of Dec. 31, 1999, he said, holiday revelers on the East Coast will watch as civilization begins its collapse. This is how he expects it to happen:

As the earth turns on its axis, the new millennium arrives in the Pacific, traveling west from the international date line. In Auckland, New Zealand, the celebration comes to an abrupt end as the city is bathed in darkness. Television screens showing the festivities in Sydney, Australia, suddenly go blank. In Toyko, Beijing, Tehran, and Moscow, the stroke of midnight is accompanied by silence, darkness, and confusion. In Paris, the city of light disappears behind the dark veil enveloping the globe.

As the millennium races across the Atlantic, a rising tide of panic overtakes the United States. Alarm creeps into the voices of television anchormen. Civil defense sirens puncture the night sky. Parents grope for children, husbands for wives. In New York, parties disband early and revelers flee the city en masse. The bridges and tunnels congeal into a solid mass of vehicles, making escape impossible.

Then at midnight, what's left of the civilized world watches as Times Square partygoers -- unaware that the world around them had been plunged into chaos -- begin the countdown. The ball makes its descent.

And the lights go out.

Copyright © 1998 Bergen Record Corp.

to: "A View into the Butt's Head"

-- cpr (, June 21, 2000


Kumbaya My Lord.......Kumbaya.......

Ooooops, sorry........


-- Deano (, June 21, 2000.

Jerrold Post, director of the political psychology program at George Washington University, said the Internet allows people who would otherwise never meet to form a virtual community, making it easier for extreme beliefs to take root.

"We're really in a whole new era of virtual group dynamics," Post said. "People who never met face to face are reinforcing some pretty extreme beliefs."

LOL! How ironic. I wonder if this guy knows what Paula Gordon has been up to?

-- Buddy (, June 21, 2000.

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