Hawaii SNAFU — missile alert error
Missile attack? Over the weekend, an erroneous message was sent to cell phones in Hawaii by the state's Office of Emergency Management saying that a ballistic missile attack was underway. Can you imagine getting that text?
People were reported to take shelter, getting underground and speeding away from population areas. How is the guy that made the mistake (pushing the wrong button, according to officials) not fired? What's the level of accountability for employees in sensitive jobs like OEM? Beyond the fact that someone should be fired for the mistake is the question, why even have the alert? Seems to me that although you have a right to know and a right to protect yourself, the text alert could really do a lot more harm than good. You would think that if an attack were imminent, the government would be taking steps to protect the population as best as possible. Spinning people into a scrambling panic doesn't seem to be the best use of resources. How far are you gonna get in 10 minutes?
I joked this morning that if this happened in NJ, we'd all likely ignore it and go about our day. Assuming it was a prank or at the very least, who's gonna attack Jersey? But then I got serious calls from people who have loved ones in Hawaii and thought they were possibly having their last conversation with a missile headed to destroy the state.
So a couple things. Good to have an alert if you choose to voluntarily sign up for it as a way of indicating that you may need to make peace with your maker and say your goodbyes. But then the second thing became perfectly clear. If we are only a missile launch away from a rogue dictator from a sh*thole country destroying a population center and killing thousands if not millions of Americans, then Trump is right. That's right, the guy the media and Hollywood love to hate, is right. Past Presidents have let the problem grow worse over time to the point that we have a reasonable fear that something horrific could happen. As the President said, we've got a bigger button and ours works. I'm not suggesting that we wipe out North Korea today, but maybe it's time to really consider some kind of preemptive action to ensure once and for all that the next message in Hawaii isn't the real thing.
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