More Dictator Behavior

For a country that founded itself on tossing out a tyrannical jackass of a king we sure are in a hurry lately to establish the President as a new dictator. Not only can the man in the Oval Office declare war willy nilly on any nation we no longer aprove of but now he has the power to overtake all media:

It’s the first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which hopes to provide key information immediately to all Americans in the event of a truly national emergency. This national system will look and sound much like the current (and local) emergency warnings often seen on TV or heard on radio, but the scope is larger and it can be put under the direct control of the President. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Weather Service (NWS) will all coordinate the test, but it’s FEMA that actually transmits the alert code.

Emphasis mine. So are there any other systems that we can just toss under the control of the President? Perhaps the President should be allowed to kill the Internet whenever he pleases… oh wait, they’re already working on that. Why not give the President exclusive deciding power on launching our nuclear arsenal while we’re at it?

Currently the government is slated to run a test of this system on Wednesday at 13:00 but they’re trying to figure out how to ensure the test doesn’t panic people:

Concerned that such a test might alarm people, the agencies are going to extraordinary lengths to provide a heads-up. I first heard about the test in an e-mail newsletter from my city government, which told residents last week, “Do not be alarmed when an emergency message will take over the airways… this is only a test.” The test will display a warning message on TV screens, though as my city helpfully noted, “Due to some technical limitations, a visual message indicating that ‘this is a test’ may not pop up on every TV channel, especially where people use cable to receive their television stations.”

Instead of spending buckets of money trying to alert everybody of the test I have a very cheap means of preventing panic; perform the test early in the morning, let’s say around 3:00. As a much smaller percentage of the populace is awake watching television and listening to the radio at that hour there will be a far smaller chance of creating widespread panic. I did it again, I came up with an effective way to save the government a ton of money so why haven’t I been hired as a financial consultant yet? Oh yeah, I refuse to work for the government.

Regardless of how this goes down those of us who are creeped out by the government’s constant grabs for power are going to be freaked out by this test no matter what propaganda we’re fed.