Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Why Did We Receive a "Presidential" Alert Text Today?

I try hard to avoid political issues on the Elder Law Prof Blog, even as I sometimes recognize that certain law and aging issues have political implications, such as funding for Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

But today, when I received a national "test" message via text on my cell phone, I was not happy that it was labeled a "Presidential Alert."  I think I would feel the same way no matter who is the current president, but certainly right now, I can see no good reason for this message to have any such label.  I then realized that I had only one option on receiving the message -- to hit "okay" or something similar to make it disappear.  Of course, that means that someone, somewhere, has a record of that response.  Plus, there was no way to "bar" such a message in the future.  

I'm not inclined to conspiratorial theories of any kind.  But, there isn't any way to easily register my disapproval of a system which appears calculated to tie the U.S. president into a system of nationwide notifications at a time of fraught political implications.  Forgive me for using this Blog to register my disapproval, but this is my only way to do so at this moment.   

For the record, I don't want any "Presidential" messages of any kind coming to my cell phone.  If there needs to be local, state, or even national emergency messages of some kind, identified with an appropriate emergency agency, that would, perhaps, be different.  But calling any such message a "Presidential Alert" is a step too far for me. 

I object.

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