The upcoming EAS test brings up a very good question

An old Libertarian bumper sticker says: “QUESTION AUTHORITY”.


What a good idea.


The Blaze reported recently that there's about to be an EAS Test on November 9th.




If you have ever wondered about the government’s ability to control the civilian airwaves, you will have your answer on November 9th.


On that day, federal authorities are going to shut off all television and radio communications simultaneously at 2:00PM EST to complete the first ever test of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS).”


Why should this concern us?


Well, in effect, the government will now be able to seize control of the air waves and either take them over, or completely shut them down.


That fact might not bother very many people very much, if it were not for another fact – that many of us no longer feel like we can trust our own government, which has become increasingly authoritarian since 9/11. Examples are the creation of the DHS - Department of Homeland Security, which sounds like something they might have created in 1939 Germany, and of course the “Patriot” Act, which makes cracking down on our freedom sound, oh so “patriotic”.


But in my mind, this goes back to an even more fundamental issue.


Who actually owns the air waves?


Huh”, you might be thinking? Why of course “the public” owns the air waves, we've all been taught that since grade school, right?


But in light of the fact that we've come to realize that the “public”, as in “public schools”, has really been a nice-nice politically correct term for “the government”, as in “public schools” really equal “government schools”, why “public” doesn't sound all that nice, or like such a good idea anymore, does it? Especially when people have been sending their kids for unwitting indoctrination in the government schools, and now we get to wonder about the implication of what might better be called the “government airwaves”.


As Glenn Beck, Judge Napolitano and others have been concerned about recently, if the government can shut down the airwaves for a “Homeland Security” test, could they not also shut them down if they were, for example, to seize dictatorial powers and suspend the Constitution?


And again, I take that line of thing back to the more essential question:

Who actually owns the air waves?


You see, I've had an amateur radio license since the late 60's, right around the time I graduated high school. The relatively new science of electronics had been my hobby as a teen, since about the age of 14, and I went and got an Associate in Science in Electronics Technology after graduating high school, because electronics and radio waves had always fascinated me.


The history of the use of the air ( radio ) waves goes back much further than that, of course, to an Italian scientist named Marconi ( 1874-1937 ) who co-developed the first wireless telegraph and shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for that.


But all along, people have been carefully taught that the air waves belong to “the public” ( the government? ) and we even have to get a government license ( permission ) to use them. And I must admit, I was originally sold on the reasoning for that. Without licensing, radio and TV stations would be trying to broadcast all over each other, and what a mess that might cause.


But as with all other government “licensing” ( permission ), for example a license to own and possibly carry a firearm, what the government gives, it can also take away at its whim.


If the government issued permits for free speech, would you get in line for one? If your local sheriff was willing to grant you permission to practice your religion – after you passed certain tests, gave your fingerprints and let yourself be photographed, would you apply? If your state allowed you to hold a political meeting, but only if you obtained the proper license and consented to having your name entered in a government database, would you lay your money down?


The proper answer is, “we don't need no stinking permits!” Right?


Then you don't need no stinking permit to exercise your right to own and carry firearms, either. If you ask the government for a permit, you are admitting you don't have a right.” – “101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution”, by Claire Wolfe


Quite a few years ago, as someone interested in the air waves, I became a bit miffed about a development that troubled me at the time, but didn't seem to be bothering many other people. Cell phones had been operating in the 800MHz region of the radio spectrum and some people had made a hobby of using scanners to have some fun listening in on them.


Then one day, the government came along and dictated that the manufacturers of radio receivers and scanners were no longer allowed to build equipment capable of listening in on these channels.


Most people were OK with that, but it bothered me on a constitutional level. Why?


I questioned authority and asked; If our Bill of Rights recognizes the human right to free speech, but the government can come along and tell you who you can't listen to, then does free speech really exist at that point?


Oh yeah, that woman standing on the street corner has free speech, but the government just said that no one is allowed to listen to her.


So it seemed to me that you can't truly have free speech, without also having the freedom to listen to anything you wanted to, at least in public. ( Obviously not in someone else's home, without their permission. )


Therefore, if the air waves belonged to “the public” ( The People - as the government originally wished us to take the meaning of that term. ) and not to “the government”, why should we not have the First Amendment recognized right to listen to any part of the air waves that we pleased?


I soon also realized that the people making those transmissions, if they really didn't want people listening to them ( like police transmissions for example ) could use scrambling technology to prevent it, so why would the government still be dictating that radio manufacturers were not allow to build equipment capable of listening? And isn't that just a hop skip and a jump from the government being able to tell you that you can't listen to me speaking on a street corner?


Think about that, because I think it makes this government seizure of the On/Off switch for radio and TV transmissions, even more troubling, especially in light of the fact that so many people feel that they can no longer trust this government.



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Comment by Jim Coles on October 31, 2011 at 5:09pm

Steve...who's Floyd Brown and what's the source for the report on 400-million meals? ...what kind of meals? For what purpose are the meals ordered?

Bill Ayers is insane...yes, the Eugenics agenda calls for massive depopulation, but if the Left is intent on killing us, why order meals?

Bev from North Carolina 'spilled the beans' about canceling the elections? Bev is in on the plan? Bev knows what they Left plans to do, how exactly?

Those are the kinds of questions I ask before buying-into any theory about the Left...We know the Left is vile and we know that Mr. Obama is the in-public leader of the Leftist cabal and that he might try almost anything...but some things are beyond the realm of the possible; like canceling elections...We had three sets of elections during WW II, including the national general election...there is no provision in law for postponing a Federal election for more than three days -- and then only when weather or natural disaster would preclude a majority of voters from voting; and absolutely no provision for canceling a Federal election.

The term you're looking for is 'martial law,' and the fact is that there is no legal authority for a declaration of national martial law...only state governors may declare martial law within the boundaries of their states...The President has certain emergency declaration authorities but they are limited...do not last indefinitely...and are conducted under supervision of Congress; the permission for continuing beyond two-week intervals must come from Congress by voice vote on each request for extension of declaration of emergency authority.

Comment by Roger Davies on October 31, 2011 at 12:25pm
Just watched this video from a memeber of the Republic; http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/page/5458.html
Take it for what it's worth.
Comment by Pat Chadwell on October 31, 2011 at 10:33am
Longtimer if you look at those driving the luxury cars and their bank accounts you will see that most of them are getting welfare... The more kids they have the more money the gov gives them.. Most of the middle class are driving cars that are over 3 years old and the welfare people are driving the new cars...
Comment by james stamulis on October 31, 2011 at 6:01am
they keep using the excuse " this is for your protection or i didn't want to do this but had to". bull! i am sure i heard that the fcc will be taking over the internet pretty soon without congressional approval again. obama keeps going around the constitution and there is not enough republicans in congress to stop him unless the progressives in congress all of a sudden grew a pair which is highly unlikely. by the time the election comes around it may be too late im afraid.
Comment by Edmund Goodwin on October 31, 2011 at 3:22am
For more than two years I have been putting info on Tea websites about Ham radio and how to get a license and get started and why.  I got mine and can reach around the world.  There is also an option to computer type to people, similar to email but w/o addresses.  It uses small power and works even with jamming noise and weak signals, I believe.  There is no longer any requirement for morse code, so stop being afraid.  CB only goes a few miles.  Ham radio goes to other countries.  Just search for ham radio license practice.
Comment by Robert L. Voelsing Sr. on October 31, 2011 at 2:51am

Glenn Beck has been warning us about this for years ,,,,did YOU listen??  I did,  I now have radios that the Feds cannot control,,,with a range of 10 miles & out to the other side of the globe. If BHO grabs control during an "Alledged " emergency,,I can call out when the Cell phones fail,,,and they will.     I have been telling ALL to read OBAMACARE,,, it's in there along with HIS civilian army.   He has appointed an Internet Czar,,,WHY?? Guess? He has all kinds of Czars to help BHO C O N T R O L  ALL  that he can get away with      Just Watch & Learn.

Remember what Jefferson said,,"Any Gov't that big enough to give you all that you want,,is also strong enough to TAKE it ALL away"  (paraphrasing)

Comment by Jim Coles on October 30, 2011 at 10:52pm

Mike...you're welcome...I had some other stuff in my comment about the interface between airwave content and civil tort; about how on-air press rights are not protected by the First Amendment freedom of press clause, but speech IS protected by the free speech clause; and how the SCOTUS has ruled that the government may not pull a license simply because speech is offensive (that's why the old airwave Fairness Doctrine went away in the late 1980s)...however, the speaker of that speech may be sued under certain circumstances in a private civil tort action...I mentioned the infamous Janet Jackson 'costume malfunction' and compared that to the Imus racial slur against that women's b-ball team...legalese which now that I think about it is not worth repeating...it's kind of droll & boring to most people... 

I finished the analogy to the highway numbering and driver's licensing to airwave licensing and made the clear distinction between airwave and cable/satellite/Internet control by the FCC...the FCC has no legal authority to regulate any communications medium content or operations that is not affected by the frequency scarcity theory; except in certain cases when a cable system can be considered a public utiility and then it's not the FCC that regulates -- it's the Interstate Commerce Commission...that's why the recent efforts by the FCC to establish an Internet 'fairness doctrine' is so offensive and why it will fail in court...

At any rate, I despise anything and everything Progressive -- and I especially loathe the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Soros-Richard Lewis and globalist Cabal...I try to keep myself focused on real issues...and God knows, there are plenty with this bunch to get upset about...

But the EAS plan is not one of them...The Internet fairness doctrine -- which the FCC tried to rename as 'Net Neutrality' IS something to worry and litigate about...

And just so everyone will know: I have taught communications law to journalisms students for about 25 years in my part-time employment...it is hard to raise a large family on a Federal employee's salary if one does not go to DC -- which I was almost able to avoid doing...only went once and hated it right away...begged for my old job back and ran away from that rotten place as fast my chubby little legs would carry me...I've taught college algebra, calculus, journalism, English composition, journalism, photo-journalism, comms law, even basic physics...anything that I was qualified to teach to make the extra money we needed to live a decent life on my Federal salary...those are my bona fides...hope y'all accept them.

Comment by joana briggs on October 30, 2011 at 10:41pm
And the postal service is being eliminated slowly. Carrier pigeons any one? Smoke signals? Secret whistles? We got to be creative but having been so spoiled so long it will be tough to get the rust off the old creative engines.
Comment by Michael I. Duke on October 30, 2011 at 10:26pm

Thanks, Jim  Cole.


Comment by Jim Coles on October 30, 2011 at 9:45pm

Dang lost the rest of my comment...long winded, I am!

The bottom line: this test coming at this time is more a testament of bureaucratic inefficiency and ineptitude than it is a threat of the vile Obama (mis)-administration's trying to assert control over the means of communication...

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