TESTING THE EMERGENCY BROADCASTING SYSTEM
Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
When I was much younger, radio stations rather frequently announced: “This is a test of the emergency broadcasting system. This is only a test...” Then a test signal would be heard. Apparently, the same sort of testing goes on today. What always intrigued me was how the originators of that test supposed that it was actually working, or even capable of working. Oh, yes, they knew that their signal was going out. But who at the other end was listening and paying attention? And what would the listeners actually do, in response to instructions from some nameless, faceless voice emanating from their radios, if the situation passed from just a “test” to the real thing? As the test tested only half of the apparatus, it could not have been a source of much confidence, even to the testers.
Today, the true “emergency broadcasting system” all across America is not on the radio, but on the Internet. It consists of NewsWithViews, and other sites that tell Americans what is really going on, what to expect, and (in some instances) what to do about it. As with the original “emergency broadcasting system,” however, the same practical problem plagues such sites. A site’s operator knows that its signal is going out. He can even determine how many individual receivers have accessed the site over some period of time. But he has no way of knowing, from that data, how many people did something useful in response to what they read. Or even how many considered what they read to be useful.
So I should like to conduct a small—admittedly unscientific, but nonetheless probably informative—test of NWV’s “emergency broadcasting system,” with respect to my own commentaries. Over the past several years, I have emphasized the necessity for Americans (i) to reform this country’s monetary and banking systems, and (ii) to revitalize “the Militia of the several States.” I would not have bothered, had I not believed that on these two matters the future of this country as a free self-governing republic depends. But what did my readers believe? And, more to the point, what were they motivated to do as a result of what they read?
So here is the test. Below, I have set out the two issues on which I request your responses:
Please print this page. For each issue, circle answer “A” or “B,” as the spirit moves you. Then MAIL your responses to:
I ask that you mail your responses to me, because part of this test aims at determining how many people will do something that requires a bit more effort than sending an e-mail. (By the way, I am not trying to develop a mailing-list through this process; so please send your responses with no names or return addresses, if that suits your fancy.)
Every response postmarked within fourteen (14) days of the date on which NWV posts this commentary will be tabulated. Inasmuch as this is a test of an “EMERGENCY broadcasting system,” that should provide more than sufficient time. When the results are in, I shall inform a breathless world of the results.
you for your cooperation. This is only a test...
© 2007 Edwin Vieira, Jr.
- All Rights Reserved
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Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).
For more than thirty years he has practiced law, with emphasis on constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States he successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark decisions Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, and Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which established constitutional and statutory limitations on the uses to which labor unions, in both the private and the public sectors, may apply fees extracted from nonunion workers as a condition of their employment.
He has written numerous monographs and articles in scholarly journals, and lectured throughout the county. His most recent work on money and banking is the two-volume Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution (2002), the most comprehensive study in existence of American monetary law and history viewed from a constitutional perspective. www.piecesofeight.us
He is also the co-author (under a nom de plume) of the political novel CRA$HMAKER: A Federal Affaire (2000), a not-so-fictional story of an engineered crash of the Federal Reserve System, and the political upheaval it causes. www.crashmaker.com
He can be reached at:
Today, the true “emergency broadcasting system” all across America is not on the radio, but on the Internet. It consists of NewsWithViews, and other sites...