To all the strange occurrences over the last decade, from social media addictiveness to trolling, incessant texting, to fake news and other inexplicable madnesses, a new one has been added this week.
Photo courtesy ABC News
On October 3rd, every smartphone in the United States of America received a text message from president Donald Trump that was not composed by him. Unlike the Amber and weather alerts, the presidential alert can’t be turned off.
While it likely won’t be the case for future alerts, Wednesday’s test text message had nothing to do with politics. Instead, it was a nationwide test of a new system called a ‘presidential alert’ which was created recently and was implemented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Reporters were told by a senior FEMA official that “The President will not originate this alert, say, from his mobile device. You would not have a situation where any sitting president would wake up one morning and attempt to send a particular message.” Note that.
The government claims the new FEMA system will only be used in case of a crisis which affects the entire nation – like an imminent nuclear attack. As the USA yet has to have a crisis affecting every single town in every single state simultaneously – didn’t even happen on 9/11 – the justification behind this measure seems scrimpy.
Also, the ‘Seattle Times’ reported that “cell phone networks across the Pacific Northwest were hit by a mysterious disruption this morning minutes after the inaugural ‘presidential alert’ – although at least one cellphone provider insists the two events were not related.
“For several hours Wednesday, subscribers with several networks, notably AT&T and T-Mobile, reported being unable to make or receive calls, download data, or use their apps soon after the text alert, which was sent at 11:18 am Pacific Time.”
Weary of yet another huge and seemingly odd government implementation, one naturally does wonder what else could be behind this… It has been reported that comedian Jimmy Kimmel envisioned a world where the alerts would include a series of the president’s most common catchphrases and slogans: WITCH HUNT, CROOKED HILLARY, NO COLLUSION, CONFIRM KAVANAUGH, #MAGA.
And then there’s the next probable step Kimmel came up with, a movie idea with the provisional title ‘The Textening’. We enjoy adding here one of those witless newfangled terms of late, ‘Viewer discretion is advised’:
Sources: various websites on the Internet
Bhagawati is a regular contributor
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