Food industry, Koskinen withholding information - Long Post : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From the Community Conversations - e-mail listserv

From: Terry Cottam Subject: Food industry, Koskinen withholding information ---- I have permission from Fred Millar to distribute this attachment to anyone interested. It's a bit long to put all in text but I can do so for those who have trouble opening it.

Foodpacket1 DRAFT 5 LETTER TO SECOND HARVEST by fax 7/7/1999

Fred Millar, Center for Y2k and Society

Doug OBrien Second Harvest Chicago, IL

Dear Doug and friends in the food bank community:

Enjoyed our chat recently on y2k issues. An official version of this letter will be coming to you with a cover note from our Board member Charles Halpern to Deborah Neff.

Im glad you are open to considering a role for Second Harvest on y2k. We at the Center have become increasingly concerned about the potentially serious threats to the security of food supply posed by the y2k problem, especially in light of the real risks to major infrastructures upon which we all and the food supply system depend. We have had discussions with some major regional food distributors and the large DC area food bank. We also participated in a very troubling recent meeting of the national Food Supply Working Group (FSWG), consisting of representatives of major U.S. food industry associations, USDA, and the Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion (see attached memo).

The bottom line: we fear that your community and many other agencies and communities dependent on a secure food supply are at much more risk than the national happy talk of reassuring messages from the Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion would have everyone believe. Despite their own substantial concerns about y2k risks to the infrastructure that we all depend on, the food industry explicitly requested such a reassuring national media message from the Presidents Council, and they got it. (attached) We feel that, to the contrary, the crucial need is for straight talk, hard information from independent and credible sources, transparency, and serious contingency planning with widespread public participation by organizations and communities at all levels. (see our Senate statement, attached)

1. Our discussion on June 14, 1999 with the wonderful staff at the local, utterly crucial DC Food Bank serving 200,000 people, was seemingly the first serious one they had had on y2k. They asked us for concrete advice on what they should be doing to assure continued service to their vulnerable populations. It was clear that they had thought of y2k, as many tend to do initially, mainly in terms of the possibility of doing new food drives and of the vulnerabilities of their own internal systems for computerized tracking, etc. They had not thought in terms of larger infrastructure failures that could impact their lighting, refrigeration, transportation, etc. to the point of making food bank operations impossible. We hope that Second Harvest can become a resource to provide the needed y2k guidance for food banks everywhere. We can help to some extent with that

2. Secondly, the food bank community, nationally and in localities, could lead a very important public discussion on the availability of food for vulnerable populations and the overall community in case of serious y2k disruptions. The food bank community has the moral standing and the concrete knowledge of food needs that would be unassailable in a community discussion of this subject.

Large corporations and cities are spending serious amounts of money on serious contingency planning (including stockpiling of essential raw materials and finished goods), in case of serious disruptions lasting many months. Washington, D.C., for example, recently announced plans for warming centers throughout the city where needy persons could go for heat, light, food and water.

Currently it is not too strong to say that the national food industry is in a dangerous position of arrogant denial about y2k. Even the Presidents Council on Y2k Conversion has been unsuccessful in getting crucial information on where the food is in the supply system, despite very high-level requests. In the meantime, I have had discussions with two major food industry associations and with USDA that made it clear that providing any more real data might be seen as implying real risks from serious potential y2k problems, and the food establishment is united in downplaying these.

The national food industry, unhappily, is united in its determination to prevent any level of stockpiling of food by families beyond what it calls the long holiday weekend or winter storm level of 3-5 days. Anything more is labeled hoarding, and the real specter haunting the industry is panic buying that might adversely impact their just-in-time overall systems. The industry is actively working to craft a message for a national PR campaign in the coming months, including bag stuffers, etc. and, as we mentioned above, has gotten from the White House another in its series of reassuring messages to the effect that the national food supply chain is hunky-dory.

We see this whole keep the lid on it strategy of the industry as extremely short-sighted and very likely to be dangerously counter-productive. A steady flow to the public of reliable information on the availability of essential goods and services  Visible Assurance -- seems to us the main hope for preventing irrational anxiety and behavior.

3. When we visited the DC food bank we could see with our own eyes a huge warehouse stockpiled with tons of food for the daily pickups by scores of agencies serving the needy. Similarly, what we need in communities -- what we should be strongly insisting on from government at all levels -- might be termed Visible Assurance. We need to see the visible evidence that basic needs (food, medicine, etc.) will be met in high-risk times of y2k disturbances. (The Federal Emergency Management Agency in their recent guidance for emergency planning for y2k describes y2k risks as unique because they could involve multiple and simultaneous disruptions of essential services.)

Many corporations and a few government agencies are responsibly looking for such Visible Assurance. When corporations stockpile, it is not called hoarding, but is seen as simply rational. Some 60 % of British firms admit as of June 1999 that they are stockpiling essential raw materials. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is printing $50 Billion more cash for the public, who will they know will want some emergency cash for y2k high-risk times. . U.S. banks are reportedly ordering a stockpile of new Sport Utility Vehicles to deliver the cash, since they anticipate a shortage of armored cars.

In Maine, a bill in the State Legislature would mandate the state to purchase $50 million of food for y2k risky times, and the healthy statewide discussion that ensued on the beans and rice bill has been focused on finding the storage spaces --- abandoned Air Force bases was one suggestion. The U.S. Department of Energy, fearing the well-documented y2k vulnerabilities of the oil and gas industry, is pumping more crude oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Louisiana salt domes, so the U.S. can be assured at least of some 3/8 of our normal oil imports for an estimated 3-6 months. More to our point here, the U.S. DOD recently reported that they are stockpiling five months of food for American personnel and dependents in Europe in case of disruptions (not only for y2k reasons).

How does one get Visible Assurance on y2k? Private companies have been widely using the unarguably normal corporate due diligence tool of independent auditing: Trust but verify is the watchword in corporate managements efforts to demonstrate that their efforts towards y2k compliance, and that of their key suppliers, are being done responsibly and effectively. Unfortunately, we know of almost no use of such mainstream management tools by the public sector to get Visible Assurance on the secure provision of necessities such as food, natural gas, medicines, and utilities. Its all trust, no verify, as far as the public interest is concerned.

A few U.S. federal agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Security and Exchange Commission, have been somewhat vigorous in doing independent oversight on nuclear plants and major businesses of concern to investors. In Great Britain and Canada there is also somewhat more active government oversight ongoing over basic infrastructure such as utilities, etc., and the State of Connecticut has done independent auditing of all its state-regulated utilities. The U.S. Coast Guard did earlier this week a highly-publicized emergency drill on an oil tanker at sea to see first-hand if it could operate manually if y2k failures took out the computerized controls. It could  and the Coast Guard therefore got some badly-needed Visible Assurance  on that one tanker ship. In general, elected political leaders at all levels have declined to utilize vigorous tools for independent auditing or even publicly take responsibility for the provision of basic goods and services to their citizens. In the end, they stand to lose politically if there is much y2k-related hardship and little preventive planning to avoid it.

4. In our recent (attached) correspondence with a major Texas food distributor working hard on y2k we at the Center have raised some of the major questions that are central in food supply. The most basic questions we feel non-profits must be raising are:

A. Where exactly is the food in the supply system (for Chicago, Washington DC, or Florence SC), and how and when can we move it closer to the end-users as an insurance policy in case of serious disruptions? What is a Y2k pack of essential foods that can be calculated and stockpiled for a community of 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 for various periods of potential y2k disruptions?

B. Whose job is it, exactly, to assure a reliable supply of food in a potential long-lasting y2k-related disruption of essential utilities?

5. We would be delighted to begin a strategy discussion on y2k with you and your allies. calls. One way of beginning this would be to host a national (or some regional) conference calls with interested groups in your network to assess y2k risks and ways forward. We can fund a limited number of such calls.

Please contact us as your earliest convenience.


Fred Millar, Ph.D. Director, Environment and Public Safety Policy

_________________________________ Attachments:

1. Our letter to HE Butt Inc.  major food suppliers in Texas, with questions to ask on y2k and the food supply chain.

2. Our memo with analysis of national Food Supply Working Group meeting, 5/20/1999

3. Release by Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion on viability of national food supply

4. Similar release by Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion on viability of national pharmaceutical supply

5. Center for Y2k and Societys press release challenging the Koskinen message on pharmaceuticals

6. Norm Deans statement for the record to the U.S. Senate, May 25, 1999

7. Fact sheets on the Center

A couple of related websites of possible interest: Center for Y2k and Society: Food Supply Working Group: Food Distributors International:

April 30, 1999

Gavin Nichols H.E. Butt, Inc. San Antonio, Texas

Dear Gavin:

Enjoyed our chat yesterday on your extensive y2k efforts -- the dialogue was very valuable. I thought I would take you up on the suggestion of my outlining the kinds of questions we hear in communities from citizens and local officials concerned about y2k, so you can share these with your colleagues at the impending Food Marketing Institute conference.

We will be including questions like these for national distribution in our forthcoming educational materials from the Center for Y2k and Society. As I explained to you, we are a foundation-funded group whose main goals are to stimulate more activity from the non-profit sector in areas of environment and public safety, health care, and the poor and vulnerable populations. And I am also working currently as a consultant for Public Technology Incorporated, a consortium of the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, and the International City Managers Association, doing research on what state and local officials are doing to combat y2k. PTI distributed its previous Toolkit on Y2k to thousands of state and local officials.

We have seen the February and March 1999 testimony by food industry representatives to Congress, recent FAO statements, etc., including candid statements on food industry y2k vulnerabilities, which we feel underline the need for much more gathering and sharing of accurate information on y2k progress and problems. Some of us have experienced, even from the major food distributors in major metropolitan areas, a distinctly arrogant refusal to share y2k information with citizens or even with the Senate Y2K committee.

This whole discussion will be largely moot, of course, if some silver bullet is found that solves the y2k problem. But thats unlikely, so  if we presuppose that:

1. The y2k issue is not going to go away, i.e.:

 We will not get some decisive new batches of information that will erase the current situation of considerable uncertainty. As you know, John Koskinen, director of The Presidents Council on Year 2000 Conversion, says there may be as many as 20 to 30 disruptions in a given state during y2k-risky times. Gartner Group estimates that only 8-10% of y2k disruptions will occur during the January 1, 2000 turnover, with most occurring later in 2000 and 2001.

 The medias coverage and the publics interest and concern will continue to grow, and both groups will learn to ask more sophisticated questions.

 Political leaders at various levels will increasingly find it necessary to step forward and exert leadership in the public interest, beyond fixing the government's own computer systems, especially on life-and-death infrastructure and commodity issues.

2. The only way to prevent an unreasonable level of public concern (some say panic, John Koskinen prefers to call it overreaction) is a steady, regular supply of reliable information.

 As opposed to feel-good, happy talk reassurances which have been the norm so far from political and industry leaders.

 Such reliable information is also necessary for contingency planning, whether by companies, localities or individuals. So far elected officials have failed nearly totally in ensuring that companies or communities have reasonably adequate information about the y2k readiness of absolutely crucial infrastructures such as electric power, transportation and telecommunications.

3. Emergency planners are aware that the normal kinds of emergency planning do not necessarily hold in preparing for y2k-risky times. They are told to make new kinds of plans specifically for y2k that involve:

 Disruption periods longer than the traditional three days. Our local emergency managers have told us that the traditional assumptions are that outside help will be available after three days, and that the public has food for this period, but after three days they will run out of food and seek it wherever it may be found.

 Assumptions of no help from outside the locality, since many jurisdictions will have their own problems to deal with.

4. There is a middle ground to be sought between community planning for

 the winter storm (3-7 day level) as currently endorsed by national level organizations, which many citizen activists feel is so minimal that it does nothing to foster any real level of preparedness, and

 panic  in which people buy all the food they can and head for the hills.

There is a middle level of prudent contingency planning which H.E. Butt and many other responsible organizations are doing. This is not put forward as a real alternative for the general public, however, either in the media or by most public officials, who are primarily engaged in issuing calming messages to stave off potentially counterproductive behavior. We suspect that the approach used by citizens and officials in Portland OR that suggests a range of preparation periods to consider (72 hours, two weeks, two months) will spread to other localities and states.

Most citizens resent being told that any real concerns they have for y2k disruptions are to be characterized as panic, and in fact both John Koskinen and Senator Bennett are now urging individual and community preparations at the local level. We believe their exhortations are likely to grow in seriousness as the year goes on, and that responsible press coverage will not be limited to suggesting that no serious contingency planning needs to be done.

Here are some food supply and distribution questions which need to be raised:

1. The American Red Cross in its y2k brochure has identified some core of essential items which families should think of stockpiling. Currently it is fair to say that the only two commodities that have been ramped up in production by national officials are: crude oil (in Louisiana) and cash (by the Federal Reserve). The food manufacturers have not done so for foodstuffs, as far as we know. If any is doing so that you learn of, please let us know.

We have learned that in some food companies are used to preparing a hurricane pack, namely a shipping configuration of items that they know from historical experience are in high demand before and after a hurricane.

a. From the demand side: What is the equivalent of the hurricane pack for a y2k emergency? e.g., what are the minimal essentials for a period of one week, two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks?

b. From the supply side: given the constraints of the current just-in-time food supply system, what incentives would be necessary for ramping up production of (only) the most essential foodstuffs, including the possible redirection of some manufacturing capacity from non-essential (Twinkies?) to essential stocks (canned soups)? Would this take government action?

2. a. Who is responsible for ensuring that adequate food stocks are available in American communities?

b. What public expenditures might be necessary to stockpile such amounts?

3. Have food companies shared their y2k contingency plans with local and state officials? With their employees?

4. How can we encourage the gradual buildup in local communities of stockpiled food for y2k emergencies (see the bill now in the Maine Legislature to spend $50 million of the states budget surplus on food stockpiles for y2k)? Will this take some action by public officials?

5. What extra food is available already in :

a. Government surplus? b. Supply pipelines? c. The pipelines in the food industrys suply chains? d. And what would it take to move it to where it might be needed? e. Where might it be stored at the community level?

6. a. What special problems are posed by poor and vulnerable populations (sick, elderly, etc.) re food supply in y2k-risky times?

b. Has the food industry worked with food banks, churches, schools, etc. on coordinating on sheltering plans?

c. How much of a typical communitys medications is supplied through food stores, and how can the continuation of this be ensured?

7. What special measures should we take to account for the significant potential of the disruption of international trade supply of food?

8. a. What information is widely available on the y2k-readiness of the overall supply chains for the food industry?

b. Is anyone in the public sector doing independent verification and validation (IVV) of y2k assertions of food companies?

c. Has any food company shared with public sector officials the IVV protocols used or the actual results from IVV studies of supply chain or infrastructure entities?

Pardon us if some of these questions seem too obvious. If some issues have already been worked through in food industry and/or federal contingency plans, we think these have not been shared widely with the public or public officials. If such company plans have been shared with local officials under promise of confidentiality, moreover, this is not likely to increase the publics confidence that serious y2k concerns are being addressed.

Again, thank you for the beginnings of what we hope can be an ongoing dialogue. We look forward to hearing from you about your colleagues responses to our concerns.


Fred Millar, Ph.D. Director of Environmental and Public Safety Policy

FoodSupplyWorkingGroupMeetingwithJK771999MemoDraft3 Fred Millar 7/7/1999


I have more of the attachments - if you are interested, please e-mail me and I will send them to you.

-- ExCop (, October 06, 1999


"The only way to prevent an unreasonable level of public concern (some say panic, John Koskinen prefers to call it overreaction) is a steady, regular supply of reliable information."

No comment...

-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Y2KOK.ORG), October 06, 1999.

For the last two years I've been speaking on this food pipeline issue - the need to move food from warehouses to pantries. It's way too late to do anything beyond the neighborhood level.

FWIW, people might consider a "virtual foodbank", where individual homes are repositories for some food that they do not own. Use a receipt system to track the food and account for it when turned over. This removes the need for a dedicated building, and reduces the risk of loss through pilferage. You will have to consider how to handle the loss through misappropriation by the homeowner.

On another thread is my template for a neighborhood foodbank, along with some discussion. Be interested if anyone finds it useful.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 06, 1999.

"Our local emergency managers have told us that the traditional assumptions are that outside help will be available after three days, and that the public has food for this period, but after three days they will run out of food and seek it wherever it may be found .

Well there you have it, folks! Local contingency plan, indeed.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.

C'mon, Ashton and Leska, lighten up. That was Fred Millar's restatement of a conversation he had with a local emergency manager. To him, "wherever it may be found" is probably the choice between ordering more from Topeka or ordering more from St Louis. It's a little short of an EO, isn't it?

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 06, 1999.

No. It bears repeating in neon. We've heard this at our local Emergency Management meetings too. It goes beyond the arrangements with Safeway and grocery stores and warehouses. Remember "reallocation of resources?" Remember the Eugene Emergency Ordinance before the townspeople demanded 'private seizure' changes? Many cities learned from that and have not made *their* EOs public. But their reasoning is "the greatest good for the most people." And yes,


means exactly what it says.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.

Good point. I forgot Eugene.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 06, 1999.

bw, this is a nightmare and we pray we're wrong. If people and neighborhoods and city governments had just done what you advocated this would not be necessary or even under the table. Fortunately the Willamette Valley is primo farmland, but even in Cascadia the Winters are cold and wet and too soggy to grow much.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.

A local Red Cross Official told our local Y2k preparedness group that the Red Cross is NOT IN THE FOOD SUPPLY BUSINESS. He said their primary interest is to provide cash and volunteers to people in trouble. The Red Cross kit is a joke. a plastic cover, plastic water storage container, candy etc. ZERO SUBSTANTIAL FOOD SUCH AS CANS OF BEANS, RICE ETC. He had never heard of a L E D light and felt that Red Cross would never be interested in promoting or providing such items. This resource will not be dependable if it gets bad based on what he told us. Curly said with this attitude they are going to need lots of crosses. Think about it.

-- Moe (Moe@3stooges.gom), October 06, 1999.

Moe, the many threads about hurricanes and disasters past and present indicate the Red Cross is primarily interested in financial donations and superficial organization. The SALVATION ARMY is the org that really does the feeding & helping, and humbly.

bw, we tried with the Food Issue. But it was scoffed out. And why? "Because we can priority commandeer food anywhere we want" said with threatening satisfied smug laughs by the local smirking PTB.

See this thread re Food Cause we championed:


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 06, 1999.


-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 07, 1999.

Ex-Cop, thanks so much for this very valuable information. It confirms once again that we are, indeed, on our own. At least the State of Maine is considering doing something to store for its citizens! Ashton & Leska, I think you are right on the money too. It is pretty scarey.

An aside: And has anyone noticed the prices of even simple things like veggies in cans rising appreciably lately? Canned potatoes from $.34 to $.38 and canned carrots from $.38 to $.43 in just a week, for example. The profit-makers will do well, at least...but the people?

-- Elaine Seavey (, October 07, 1999.

Elaine, we have a unit in a low-income complex, and our dear apt manager told us about a great store, Grocery Outlet, that sells cheap cheap cheap! WOW! We're talking very inexpensive, pennies. Apparently when a big manufacturer doesn't like their new product or packaging or whatever, they dump the stuff into this tiny chain. We've gotten incredible deals there, including many main-name-brand goodies. They have much more than food. We got non-toxic EcoFlame gel tins for 1/2 price :=) Also nice Rubbermaid plastic containers, stackable with lids, spices for pennies, lots of soups, stews, etc. They do have lots of vegetarian stuff, like Yves.

We've noticed in the last month that their prices *have* increased by leaps and bounds. Fortunately it's still much less than regular grocery stores, about 50% less now. Glad we found out earlier and were able to feather our bunker, thanks to continuing motivation reading this Forum.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 07, 1999.

Ashton & Leska,

Be careful about those 'surplus' food outlets. There was recently a story on the news about how they buy *expired* food products and resell cheap, cheap, cheap to the poor who are less likely to sue if they get sick from a bad meal. The reporters peeled back an expiration sticker on some chicken and found that the *original* sticker was dated 6 weeks prior to the date of the new one!! As with most things...buyer beware!


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), October 07, 1999.

TECH32, thanks for the warning, that's disgusting! :~P
We're vegetarians and don't buy meat, and *have* looked at the expiration dates on the cans ... don't buy expired or dented. Will look even more closely! Whew.

Have gotten spoiled by the prices and now dislike shopping at "normal" stores. The selection changes frequently. We'll get 1 can of something, go home & try it. If it's really good, we'll go back and stock up. Once we went and Haggen-Dasz had decided to stop selling their delicious ice cream sandwiches, $1.50 each, so dumped them ALL, 3 for $1. WheeeeeHeeeeeeeee! We crammed our freezer, all our relatives crammed theirs, and we kept going back ;^)

That's part of the fun, seeing what one can scoop up. At the mo they've got scrumptious key lime frozen pies real cheap, and spices at clearance for dimes, big containers.

We shop for our elderly patients there too, and they really appreciate that :-) Makes cooking more fun, many more choices, don't feel extravagant. We've been presenting gourmet feasts to our patients and they love it! Gotta stay employed ;^D

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 07, 1999.

Ashton and Leska - I went back and read your Portland link. Got a bitter chuckle out of a comment Declan made, about ignoring consititutional niceties in order to feed the children.

It's odd, you know. We'll censor the Internet to protect the children, we'll put Vchips in TVs to protect the children, we'll ban books to protect the children, we'll scan kids' bookbags to protect the children, we'll report kids' threats to protect the children.

But we don't want people to stockpile food to protect the children. We don't want parents to know the risks we face, because they might take steps that protect their children. Steps that might cause excess spoilage in 2000, or hurt grocer profits, for pete's sake. We'll protect the children as long as it doesn't cost too much.

It's apparently more virtuous for your children to die by starvation than to be shot. And we certainly don't want them thinking about sex in the meantime. Gonna have to ponder that.

Folks, get ready to grow your own. 1999 was your practice year, hope you used it. We're eating container crops from our patio - broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, dill and other herbs. We know lots more about growing food now than we did nine months ago. We've mapped out which of our condo lawns to dig up next year, got a couple hundred bucks worth of non-hybrid seeds. Our neighbors GI now, in an objective kinda way, but by spring I think they will *really* GI.

Buckle up.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

Let's run some numbers on "commandeering" food, just for fun.

Say the average prepped household has a month's food, and has four people. So the average prepped household contains 360 meals. Say the average shelter has 1000 people in it, and 20 staff, so it needs 3060 meals per day. Assume that they start with 3 days' food stored. Finally, let's assume that 5 percent of households are prepped, and TPTB have plenty of food.

On the 4th day, TPTB have to confiscate the entire stocks from 8.5 homes, increasing the number to shelter by 34. To do that, they will have to search 170 homes. On the 5th day, TPTB have to confiscate the entire stocks from 8.8 households, increasing the number to shelter by 35, having searched 176 homes. On the 6th day, TPTB will have to confiscate the entire stocks from 9.1 homes, increasing the number to shelter by 36, having searched 182 homes. REmember, they have to do all this FOR EACH SHELTER.

Anybody having trouble following this? Now, what if TPTB have NO stocks (pretty likely, if they're planning on "commandeering" as needed)? What is the life expectancy of a foraging team, when the food contributors (suggestions for a better term?) realize that they aren't gaining a whole lot from this transaction (suggestions for a better term?)? How polite is the foraging team likely to be?

Question 1: Is pantry strip-mining really a viable option?

Question 2: Why is this hard for some people to see?

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

Correct, but
viability didn't stop them in Bosnia or Kosovo or E Timor.
Recent 'break 'n burn' trends all start with looting and forced entry for foraging.

It can happen here. Think HUNGER.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 07, 1999.

Hmm, maybe my wording was unclear. I didn't mean to equate "viable" to "possible".

Yes, it can happen, and given sufficient hunger it will. No argument. What I don't understand is that TPTB, in their planning, think that this is somehow a valid answer to their problem. By the time they get to commandeering, they will have kissed off those shelters as a lost cause. And the foraging teams, having seen the light, won't be handing the food over to those worthless elected officials who once thought they were TPTB.

"Commandeering", like "three day storm", is a non-solution.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

'Scuse me. It's not a non-solution, it's non-PLANNING.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

bw, you are absolutely right. TPTB don't have your practical sense.

This threatening, idiotic UNplan seems to us just a lazy off-the-cuff moronic slap-it-on paper Contingency plan by arrogant dumb Polly Powers. The official "Then I'll just come on over to your place" guffaw, cackle, hoot. Except they have legislative and emergency powers and guns, and are used to herding the weeples.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 07, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ