Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

The Millennium Bug and “Mainstreaming” the News

by Dr. William L. Pierce

TODAY I WANT to talk with you first about the so-called “millennium bug.” It’s also sometimes called the “Y2K phenomenon,” which is sort of a shorthand way of saying the “year 2000 phenomenon.” Ordinarily I wouldn’t waste time on such a topic, when we have so many truly urgent problems to discuss — but I’ve received a number of inquiries about the “millennium bug” from listeners, and this indicates to me that there is some real concern, some real worry about it. So I’ll begin by saying, don’t worry — or at least, don’t worry very much about it.

The “millennium bug” is a bug of the computer sort: that is, it’s a software problem — and to a lesser extent a hardware problem. Back in the distant past when the computer revolution began, computer memory — what we call RAM — was scarce and expensive. So was program and data storage space. In 1980, when I decided to take the National Alliance out of the typewriter and index-card age and into the computer age, I bought a TRS-80, Model II, computer with the maximum amount of memory its Z80A processor could handle: all of 64 kilobytes. That’s kilobytes, not megabytes. It had no hard drive, of course. All data and programs, including the operating system, resided on an eight-inch floppy diskette — except for the startup program, which was hardwired on a computer chip known as a ROM, or read-only memory chip. And this was all top-of-the-line equipment, the best you could buy in those days. I paid about $8,000 for the computer, an extra eight-inch floppy drive to give me more data storage space, and a painfully slow dot-matrix printer which I had to wire to the computer myself, since there were no ready-made cables available and the pins on the printer didn’t match the pins on the back of the computer.

Under these primitive conditions every byte of memory and every byte of program code was precious. I wrote my own programs back then in BASIC, and I was careful to put no unnecessary bytes into my program code. I used every shortcut and abbreviation I could. The professionals who wrote operating systems and the big applications programs for the so-called “mainframe” computers used by the government and big corporations also had to be careful not to waste memory or storage space. One of the shortcuts I used which they also used in writing dates was to write only the last two digits of the year. The programs were written so that they understood that the first two — unwritten — digits were “19.” Thus 1981 was written as “81.”

Of course, everyone understood that when the year 2000 arrived this shortcut would cause problems. We didn’t worry much about that back in 1980, because 2000 was still a long way off and saving memory was more important. Meanwhile, our whole society was undergoing a profound transformation as everything became computerized. Cash registers at checkout counters and elevators and traffic signals and the billing systems and keeping of medical records at doctors’ offices — everything was controlled by computers, and many of the programs in these computers used the old shortcuts. So did the ROM chips, which stored date and time information for the computers and which regulated many electrical devices other than computers.

Well, a few years ago the computer professionals began worrying about what would happen when the year 2000 dawned, and all of the computers and ROM chips in the world thought the date was January 1, 1900. Of course, by then computer memory and storage space were much larger, and so were the programs which controlled computers. It was quite easy to begin using four digits for the year in all of the new programs — and in the new ROM chips. The problem was that there were literally millions of older computers and older programs in use around the world, and the task of upgrading all of them . . . well, that was a problem!

Then the journalists heard about this problem, and they sensationalized it. Then the right-wing cranks — and maybe a few left-wing cranks also — got into the act, and the first thing we knew, everyone was predicting that the sky will fall on New Year’s Day 2000. According to the crank scenario, at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, the world of government, finance, and commerce will come to an end, for all practical purposes. Computers all over the world will either shut down or begin giving spurious results, and then gradually the lights everywhere will go off because electrical power stations are all controlled by computers these days. Airliners will begin falling from the sky, as their onboard computers and the ground-based air traffic control computers cease functioning simultaneously. Vehicular traffic on the ground won’t fare much better. Trains will stop running, and city streets will be blocked by wrecks at major intersections, because the computer-controlled traffic lights will have gone haywire. Telephones won’t work, and the food in refrigerators will begin spoiling.

The government, of course, won’t be able to function, because without its computers the IRS won’t know who owes the government money or how much. Welfare and Social Security checks no longer will go out, and without their welfare checks the Blacks in the cities will begin to riot, kill, burn, and loot almost immediately. Within a few days roving bands of hungry people will be stripping the countryside bare.

The government will respond by calling in United Nations “peacekeeping” troops, declaring martial law, confiscating all privately owned firearms, and packing all White males — except registered Democrats and homosexuals — into concentration camps for eventual liquidation. Remember, Bill Clinton still will be in the White House, and this will be his chance to get even with all those people who humiliated him.

Even folks who haven’t swallowed this entire crank scenario are worried that something drastic will happen, and the more cautious ones are stocking up on bottled water, canned food, candles, and ammunition. I guess that there always has been a pretty strong streak of superstition and credulity in our people. There’s always been a substantial element of the population ready to be deceived by improbable rumors, taken in by popular delusions, or swept away altogether by a general panic. People who believe that in this scientific age we’re less superstitious than were our ancestors a thousand years ago are just plain wrong. The White public today may not be quite as ready to believe that the appearance of a comet indicates that the end of the world is at hand or that touching a piece of the True Cross will cure warts or constipation, but that’s not because they’re less superstitious. Today the superstitions are different, but they’re just as irrational and have a grip on at least as many people as did the old ones. Today the credulous believe in equality or in the miraculous powers of democracy — or in the end of the world as we know it on New Year’s Day 2000.

Part of the fascination the “millennium bug” has for many people, I’m sure, is that it does involve the end of a millennium, and much of the old superstition about miraculous happenings at that time lies just beneath the surface for them. Some of these millennialists, of course, believe explicitly in the Second Coming of Jesus. Others may not have such explicit beliefs, but they still have forebodings of some sort of supernatural events connected with the beginning of the next millennium, and these forebodings make them readier to believe the crank predictions of a global disaster when all the computers get the date wrong.

So I’ll make my own prediction. The main thing to watch out for on New Year’s Day 2000 is crazed millennialists going berserk when the Second Coming fails to occur. Also a few right-wing nuts may launch a premature attack on the government, figuring that without its computers the government won’t be able to fight back. But the lights will stay on, and airliners will not fall from the sky. And unfortunately the welfare checks will continue going out.

I’m able to make this prediction with some degree of confidence because, contrary to what some journalists and cranks would have you believe, the computer professionals and the government have been working hard on the “Y2K” phenomenon for some time. The IRS and the Social Security Administration have brought out of retirement a lot of programmers who are familiar with the older programs the government is still using and have been paying them premium wages to check these programs and repair any problems associated with the way they handle dates. The big banks and other corporations who handle their own computer programming have been doing the same thing. And because they understand that their survival depends on it, they will have the problems essentially fixed in time.

Most smaller businesses depend on computer service companies for all of their hardware and software, and most of these service companies also will have the problem fixed for their customers. The people who will have difficulties when the year 2000 dawns are the proprietors of small businesses who switched over to computers themselves more than five or six years ago, much in the way I computerized the National Alliance, and who have been too busy recently to change to newer software. And if they have trouble with their accounting or billing programs in the year 2000, a few of them may go bankrupt, but that won’t cause the traffic lights to stop working or the food in your refrigerator to spoil.

All of the newer operating systems and ROM chips which have come out recently are free of the Y2K problem. Windows 95 or any later operating system will be OK, as will just about any hardware or software produced since 1997 — and much which was produced earlier. So go ahead and stock up on bottled water and ammunition if you want. Being prepared for social disorder is a good idea these days. But there are much more serious things than the “millennium bug” for you to worry about during the next 14 months.

In general those things are the things I’ve been talking about fairly regularly on these programs: things like the Jewish domination of our mass media of news and entertainment, the corruption of our political system, the decline of the quality of education in America, the breakdown of our judicial system, the problem of non-White immigration, the likelihood of getting America into another war in the Middle East for the benefit of Israel, the continued globalization of America’s economy, the efforts of the “hate speech” crowd to stamp out free speech. Those are all real problems.

Let’s use the remaining time today to talk about the media. I mentioned in my broadcast last week that the fact that the Jews make up a dominant group in the media is not the only problem we have with the mass media in America. One problem is the lemming-like behavior of most journalists, their inability to take an independent position on anything. And another problem is that there are some real nut-case liberals in positions of authority in the media, some people who are absolutely crazed by their obsession with using the media under their control to promote truly lunatic ideas of equality, for example.

I’ve known for a long time that there are certain rules and taboos that all journalists are expected to obey strictly, even though in the past the media bosses usually have been careful not to have these rules actually written down so that they can be scrutinized and perhaps criticized by an outsider. It is forbidden, for example, to portray Blacks in a bad light. If one is casting for a drama which has a villain, one must not choose a Black for the role of villain. Blacks must not be portrayed as stupid or vicious or immoral. The only exception is for productions which are all-Black or nearly so: the sort of films that Spike Lee makes, for example, where the hero and the heroine and everyone else are Black. The same protection from being portrayed negatively also applies to Jews, but even more so. If you need a villain in your production, the safest thing to do is make him blonde, preferably with a German accent.

And in any film or television drama which is set in the 1930s or 1940s and touches in any way on the Second World War or on National Socialist Germany, the Germans have to be the bad guys. It is absolutely forbidden to portray Hitler or any of his followers or his policies positively. One can portray Stalin positively. One certainly can portray Trotsky or Kaganovich or any of the other Jewish-communist mass murderers positively. But not the Germans who were fighting against those Jewish-communist mass murderers. One can’t make a pro-German film and then leave it up to viewers to decide whether or not they like it. It will never get to the viewers. They will never have the option of expressing their approval or disapproval. One of the rules is, you must not portray Hitler positively. Period.

Now the rules finally are coming out of the closet — at least, where newspapers are concerned. Socially conscious editors and publishers are doing their bit for diversity and affirmative action and equality by spelling out the rules for those benighted journalists who aren’t bright enough to figure it out for themselves. The old rule that racial minorities, homosexuals, et cetera always must be portrayed positively is on paper now and is being elaborated on in detail. The Los Angeles Times has been a pioneer in this regard, but the rules are being enforced at many other newspapers as well.

Among other things, reporters are required to “mainstream” their stories, both in content and in their use of sources. To “mainstream” a story means to make it “fit” the ideological paradigm of the multiculturalists. If you’re doing a story on global warming, say, you don’t focus on the climatic changes in North America or Europe: instead you tell readers how global warming will affect the lives of people in Bangladesh or Zambia. And you don’t go to a White male meteorologist at an American university for your information: instead you get a quote from someone at the University of Kenya, preferably a Black lesbian meteorologist with AIDS. You score extra points if you can figure a way to let the readers understand that your source is not only Black and female but also is a lesbian with AIDS without being too obvious about it.

One trendy aspect of reporting the news these days, both in print and electronic media, is to poll people: a television crew stops people on the street and asks, “Do you believe Bill Clinton should go to jail for lying to the grand jury?” This is supposed to tell viewers what the average person is thinking. Now, if you want your career to go places, you don’t bother to ask White males what they’re thinking. You go for “diversity” in choosing the people whose opinions you ask.

The problem with that is that some people will give answers that make them look stupid. So reporters are asked to complete a checklist which includes the two questions: “Am I furthering stereotypes as I seek diversity?” and “Am I battling stereotypes?” And of course, what that means in plain English is that the reporter had better be sure that all of the Blacks he polls come across as brain surgeons or rocket scientists. They’d better not look like or sound like typical Blacks, because that would be “furthering stereotypes.” If you’re a television reporter, when you do your editing you weed out the Black interviewees who fit the stereotype and keep the ones who don’t. If you’re a newspaper reporter it’s easier: you just clean up the grammar of your Black interviewees. The rules also apply to the selection of illustrations for newspaper stories. You get the most points if you can use a photograph of a racially mixed couple.

And as I said, this is no longer just an unwritten rule that the media must make Blacks and other minorities look good. More and more it’s in print, and reporters and editors know they are being graded on the degree to which they distort reality to make it “fit” the crazed vision of the egalitarians, a vision of a just and peaceful society dominated by wise and benevolent Blacks, homosexuals, and feminists and in which White males are kept in their place. Media people actually are given questionnaires to fill out which remind them that their responsibility is not to report the world as it really is but rather as the nutcase egalitarians see it and as they want it to be.

So now we can understand the situation I have pointed out in several recent broadcasts: the refusal of the media to report news of racial crimes against Whites, except locally, and their frenzied enthusiasm in reporting racial crimes by Whites. It’s not inadvertent at all. It’s not even an unconscious bias. It is a deliberate effort to present the public with a distorted view of the world, a deliberate effort to make the public see the world the way the lunatic egalitarians see it, and that is a world in which Blacks and other non-Whites are the peaceful and inoffensive victims of vicious, oppressive, racist, heterosexual White males. That’s their view of the world. It’s completely unreal, but it’s the view they want the general public to accept.

These people used to be sneakier about their motives, but in the Clinton era they seem to believe that they can let it all hang out. One of them is Mark Willes, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Earlier this year — in May — Willes boasted to the Wall Street Journal about having written rules at the Los Angeles Times for “mainstreaming” all of the news printed by his paper. He insisted, he told the Wall Street Journal, that all of his reporters meet strict quotas for non-Whites and women in quoting people in news stories.

And Willes, so far as I have been able to determine, isn’t a Jew. He was, however, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania during the 1960s, when there was a great deal of turmoil on American university campuses. Jews were organizing pro-Viet Cong demonstrations, Blacks were occupying deans’ offices and making all sorts of demands, and most university administrators didn’t have the guts or the will to deal firmly with the disruptions. I was a professor too at the time, and I remember the reactions of my colleagues. Some, like William Shockley and Arthur Jensen, stuck to their guns and had their classes disrupted and their tires slashed. I left the university, so that I could begin writing about what was happening. But most, including Willes, just went with the flow. They were intimidated, and they adapted. They surrendered morally. And now our whole society is paying the price for this moral failure.

From my point of view, there are no more despicable criminals in our society than these people like Willes, who went with the flow. These people who suppress and distort the news today because of their own moral failure back in the 1960s are more deserving of punishment even than the Black criminals they cover for.

* * *

Source: American Dissident Voices broadcast, October 17th 1998

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