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Here we are just days away from the rollover to the year 2000, and
it’s still anybody’s guess as to the effects of the computer bug.

Most government officials and establishment media outlets have been
dismissing the seriousness of the Y2K date change on technology.

But, yet, if you look hard enough for the reports, you’ll find local,
state and federal government officials and bureaucrats will, in many
parts of the country, be hunkered down in Y2K bunkers powered by
generators, with emergency food and water supplies and backup
telecommunications systems that would be the envy of Bill Gates.

In Washington, Massachusetts, New York and Los Angeles, armed guards
will ensure that the ordinary civilians who paid for such structures are
denied entry to them. These facilities are for the elite — many of whom
are still telling us there’s nothing to worry about.

If, indeed, there’s nothing to worry about, why would these skeptics
be locking themselves in underground vaults on the biggest party night
of the year? It makes you wonder.

The fact of the matter is that there are serious concerns — not only
among government officials, but for bankers, insurance executives, power
suppliers and lots of others who have come to rely on technology for
simplification, accuracy and efficiency.

Though government and most of corporate America have declared
virtually all critical systems will function normally when Jan. 1
arrives, only a tiny portion of most computer code is actually tested to
make sure the year “00″ will be correctly interpreted. And the truth is,
even the most confident computer managers anticipate at least minor
flaws.

But, ultimately, nobody really knows what’s going to happen Jan. 1
and beyond.

A day doesn’t go by lately that I’m not asked what I think will
happen. Of course, I don’t know any more than any of the experts. And,
as I’ve said many times, my biggest concern about Y2K is the potential
for overreaction and manipulation by those in government who would like
to end our freedoms, deny us our basic individual liberties and put an
end to our most fundamental personal rights.

That’s still the true worst case scenario for Y2K — yet an entirely
plausible one, given the government’s preoccupation with hunting down
terrorists, religious subversives and anti-government conspirators under
virtually every bed.

It won’t be long now before we will all see for ourselves whether Y2K
was just a lot of hype or whether it was the underplayed story of the
century.

My guess is that neither the doomsayers nor the skeptics have it
quite right.

Personally, I don’t expect the sky to fall on New Year’s Eve, nor the
next day. I do expect some major failures. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised
if we saw some power outages and other technology problems immediately.

But, I believe the real ramifications of Y2K are not short-term, they
are long-term. I believe it may be months, even years, before we can
actually evaluate the damage it triggers in our economy through a ripple
effect that will largely begin in foreign countries on which Americans
have allowed themselves to become far too reliant — even dependent.

I’m no prophet, but based on my readings and analysis, I predict the
Y2K bug will trigger a major worldwide recession beginning in 2000 and
possibly worsening thereafter.

Recessions are nasty cycles. Governments often resort to some
heavy-handed tactics during economic downturns — things like wage-price
freezes, stiffer regulations, centralized controls, etc. As always, that
kind of intervention makes bad situations worse.

It’s pure guesswork, of course. But I think my analysis is educated.
My conjecture is as valid as the next guy’s. Take it for what it’s
worth. After all, it’s free advice.

I’ve been accused of overplaying Y2K and underplaying it. I’m sure
that no matter what happens Jan. 1, there will be people writing to tell
me I got it wrong — that I overplayed it and underplayed it
simultaneously.

In any case, you will have ample opportunity to sound off — even as
events are transpiring on New Year’s Eve. I refer to the live,
wall-to-wall coverage of Y2K weekend provided in a joint effort of
WorldNetDaily and Talk Radio Network.

It’s going to be a 48-hour marathon radio-Internet special beginning
Friday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. In addition to
live, up-to-the-second, 24-hour-a-day updates on all the news in
WorldNetDaily, during that period, you can listen to WorldNetDaily
editors, reporters and columnists breaking the news and discussing live
on Talk Radio Network’s national broadcasting outlets and on the
Internet.

Elizabeth and I will share broadcast hosting duties with
reporter-columnist Jon Dougherty, David Limbaugh and others. Special
guests will include Michael Hyatt, Larry Klayman and all your favorite
WorldNetDaily commentators. The WorldNetDaily newsroom has
established a special, toll-free news hotline for Y2K weekend so readers
and listeners can call in tips on developments in their communities. The
special number is 1-877-318-1776. You can also call in to the radio and
Internet broadcasts live at 1-800-449-8255.

Here’s one prediction about the year 2000 I know will come true:
WorldNetDaily will kick off seven-day-a-week coverage on that first
weekend. As of Jan. 1, WorldNetDaily readers can depend on one source
for their news and commentary all week long.

Happy New Year!

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