Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The National Emergency Alert System Will Not Work


The National Emergency Alert System Will Not Work
The Intrusive Voice of Government
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Remember the EBS? It was the national Emergency Broadcast System. It was supposed to do what the national EAS (Emergency Alert System) is supposed to do today. The EBS didn’t work -- and the EAS is growing more useless by the day.

Before you take me to task for saying this, allow me to tell you that I was in the broadcasting business for nearly thirty years. During that time I had to contend with the EBS, a system that broadcasters KNEW would not work, but the government insisted we use.

Until Ronald Reagan ascended to the Presidency, the broadcasting business was one of the most highly regulated businesses in America. Now, under the socialist leadership of the Obama Regime, it is, once again, becoming extremely regulated -- and if the trend continues, it will become nothing more that a propaganda machine for the liberal-socialist agenda of the political left in America.

Actually, I hesitate to explain why the EAS will work no better than the EBS did, because I despise giving aid and comfort to those who would spread the propaganda of the left. But it is our tax dollars that are being poured down a rat hole, and, indeed, at some point American lives may be at risk and desperately need information the EAS COULD provide – IF it actually worked.

It is a simply thing, really. Allow me to explain:

Ever have someone nag the living daylights out of you … all the cotton-picking time? Most of us have had the experience at some time in our lives. Men, I think, are better at handling incessant nagging than women. (Pardon me ladies. It is only my opinion.)

See, all people have the capacity to simply “tune-out” an aggravating or repetitive noise or sound, or phrase, or even an entire dull speech, or uninspiring sermon, or -- well, you get the picture.

And THAT, in brief, is why the EAS is ineffective -- and getting worse. It is the reason the EBS was never effective and was a waste of good American tax money.

I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but I expect that a goodly portion of you do what I do when an EAS alert crashes into our consciousness like a clag horn, or the claxon of a crash-diving submarine. I hit the “mute” button on the TV remote, or the volume control on the radio -- and go take a bathroom break, refill my libation, make a sandwich, or do something, anything, other than pay attention to that obnoxious, aggravating, bleating of the uninvited voice of the government imposing itself on what little is left of my sanity. By doing so, we cancel out the effectiveness of the EAS.

The more of the tests the government runs, the less people pay attention, and the more they come to despise those cussed
announcements! After a while, the listeners and viewers simply don’t see them -- and don’t hear them -- anymore. They have effectively tuned them out of their consciousness.

Even the Amber Alerts are tuned out. We had a much more effective way of issuing notice of a lost child back in my day. It worked simply and was a heck of a lot more effective than smashing the eardrums of the listener. It worked like this: The Sheriff’s Department, or the Police Department, would simply call the radio or TV station with the information on the missing child. To ascertain if it was, in fact, a valid call from the originating law enforcement agency, we had a “call-back” number, which we called immediately after hanging up the original call. We would ask if they had, in fact, called us with that information. If they said yes, we went on the air immediately and alerted the public -- and instantly had thousands of people looking for that child. The cost to taxpayers? ZERO! Nada! Oh, and there was no chance of political propaganda, either.

We have learned this week that the government is planning to add even MORE announcements to the existing EAS schedule. These will be “Presidential Announcements.” The Presidential Announcements are supposed to provide the President a way to speak to Americans during a national emergency. (SOURCE)

Oh, this just begs the question: What is wrong with the way Presidents have been communicating with Americans for, what, eighty or ninety years? Hey, the EAS is dependent upon the commercial broadcast system and now the cable and satellite systems, anyway.

Well, you have to understand that when the President decides to address the nation by radio and TV, the radio stations and TV stations are not obliged to carry his speech. Many do not. Most, I suspect, do not. However, if the President uses the EAS the stations will have no say in the matter, other than to go off the air -- and they are not going to do that.

OK. Maybe it is just my natural distrust of governments. But I must tell you I smell a rat.

I live in “Hurricane Alley.” When a hurricane is bearing down on us, which is often, our local broadcast stations are way ahead of the national EAS system. My area stations do a far more effective job of alerting the listening and viewing public as to what to do, where to go, what’s coming, when it is expected to strike -- the whole nine yards.

Look. The EBS system was a joke. A bad joke that broadcasters the country over KNEW was never going to work. The EAS is no better and if the government continues to make it even worse, by adding more intrusions into the American living room, it, too, will be nothing more than a “make work program” for federal employees sucking up taxpayer dollars by the basketsful.

The mission of the EAS should not be broadened. It should be shut down, period.
J. D. Longstreet

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