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62


L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 62, December 31, 1999
ITEOTWAWKI

And May You Live In Interesting Times

by Vin Suprynowicz
vin@lvrj.com

Special to TLE

           The U.S. is taking "extraordinary measures" to fend off New Year's guerrilla attacks, wire services report. President Clinton announced last week the government is on a "higher level of alert" after an Algerian national was arrested last week, supposedly attempting to smuggle an electronic watch (an "explosive timer") and a quantity of dried animal urine ("explosive materials") across the Canadian border into Washington state.
           Ahmed Ressam, 32, was indicted in Seattle on five charges including using false I.D. and smuggling explosive materials -- though curiously he was not accused of "terrorism."
           Now, if you were planning to blow up something in the United States, would you attempt to smuggle in a large quantity of powdered urea -- a high-volume, low-potency material custom designed to trigger the interest of border patrol sniffer dogs?
           Would that be because, as a dangerous international terrorist, you wouldn't be able to figure out how to acquire or formulate C-4 or Semtex? Or would that be because you believe there's a shortage of animal urine, phosphate fertilizer, and other such low-grade materials -- not to mention Cassio watches -- available to be acquired after you entered this country?
           Meantime, from Ottawa comes word Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government will be on full Y2K alert New Year's Eve and ready to invoke an updated War Measures Act, according to The Toronto Sun.
           Is anyone else picturing Slim Pickens in "Dr. Strangelove," shouting "Hoo-hah" as he straddled that descending warhead like a rodeo pony?
           It's all well and good to say "Better safe than sorry." But let's review: Those knowledgable about the Y2K problem started telling us a year ago there simply weren't enough programmers or enough time to de-bug every embedded chip and ancient piece of mainframe computer code. There were even early reports that commercial nuclear reactors might have to be shut down as of July 1 if they couldn't be certified "Y2K compliant," since it can take one of those things six months to safely cool down, should power become unavailable to the emergency pumps.
           Then, by summer, all such concerns had evaporated. One after another, branch banks and local government offices happily reported themselves "Y2K compliant."
           No one is saying we're going to be wandering the land dressed in goatskins by St. Patrick's Day, feeding our families with stone-tipped spears. But let's imagine for a moment that some economic, logistic, and other computer-related problems do crop up next month -- especially given the inflationary volume of new money the Fed has pumped into the economy to avoid any "runs on the bank" by customers seeking extra cash this week.
           Should we expect everyone from our local bank manager to President Bill Clinton to acknowledge: "We were fibbing. We knew we couldn't really fix everything in time, so we just decided to cross our fingers, tell you everything was fine, and hope for the best"?
           Would it be the president's strong moral scruples that would prevent him from instead claiming: "Whatever may have gone wrong, it's the fault of those darned terrorist Algerian computer hackers we warned you about. Everything would have been fine except for them. It's only due to the hate-inspired mischief of these right-wing terrorists -- egged on by people like Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy -- that we now need to reluctantly, temporarily suspend just a few of the more obscure and outdated provisions of the Bill of Rights, merely to guard against any recurrence during this time of National Healing ..."


Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His new book, Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998, is available at $24.95 postpaid from Mountain Media, P.O. Box 271122, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127; by dialing 1-800-244-2224; or via web site http://www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html.


IT (SOMETHING) CAN'T HAPPEN HERE (SOMEWHERE)?

"There is an awareness that there may be possibly something unfortunate happening somewhere."
-- Benseon Apple, a spokesman for the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, on concern about millennium terrorist attacks in Australia
---
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/9912/28/national/national1.html


MORE FROM THE "MEGANUT STATE"

Gun taken after reports of comments at shooting range By Associated Press, 12/29/1999 08:20

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) Police have confiscated a gun from a lawyer at the state Department of Public Utility Control after reports of some alarming comments at a shooting range.

The incident began about noon Tuesday in Wallingford at a public firing range with some reports about comments from a man firing a gun.

"They said there was a guy with a shotgun shooting it. They said he made some comments that were alarming. He made some comments that led people to believe that maybe he was going to do something," Wallingford police Lt. Robert Flis said.

[...]

Several New Britain police officers descended on the DPUC building where the man had returned to work.

Police took him aside and talked to him. They spoke with his co-workers. According to Flis, police confiscated his weapon.

New Britain police Lt. Richard Petano said the gun was confiscated as part of the investigation. The man, who has no prior record, was not arrested.

"We did not consider him to be a danger to himself," Petano said. "There was nothing illegal about him having the weapon." [...]


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