January 16, 2018

We now know that the terrifying but mistaken emergency message sent to Hawaiians who were told an incoming ICBM was headed their way was the result of a state emergency worker pressing the wrong button during a shift change. That doesn’t explain why nearly 40 minutes passed before it was corrected, leaving people to believe that they were about to die. The worker who made the mistake will not be fired, but reassigned to some job that isn’t in the vicinity of the emergency alert buttons. Let that stand as testimony to how difficult it is to fire a government worker.

As horrible as this story was, it can at least serve a purpose as a “teachable moment.” We can learn a lot from observing the reactions to it. First, we learned that we are woefully unprepared for an attack. Most Hawaiians had no idea where to go or what to do to take cover. That’s something you can bet that our enemies observed as well. We need to do something to correct it, both for our own defense and to discourage attackers who might be emboldened by this story.

Another thing this drove home is that we need to stop taking the nuclear threat from rogue states lightly. Over the past 20 years, bad foreign policy has allowed North Korea to become a nuclear state and cleared the way for Iran to be the next one. Wishful thinking and self-satisfaction over your “smart diplomacy” are not a substitute for strong leadership, an intimidating military and a good missile shield.

Finally, we learned that some people will react to any bad news by blaming Donald Trump. At the time, Trump was 5,000 miles away in Florida, but some liberal politicians, pundits and celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis immediately blamed him. Funny that they’d just mocked the idea of him having a nuclear button on his Oval Office desk, but they apparently think he carries the Hawaiian State Emergency Alert button in his golf bag.

For the record, this was a mistake by a state worker in a state with a Democratic governor, a 90% Democratic legislature, and a 100% Democratic Senate. It’s Barack Obama’s home state, and it hasn’t elected a Republican to the US Senate since 1970. In other words, Hawaii is so Democratic that it’s to the left of California, and not just on the map. Yet somehow, it was Trump’s fault.

Well, here’s a truth bomb, and it’s not a false alarm: If you were terrified by the thought that North Korea might have fired a nuclear weapon at you, realize that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for bad US and UN policy that allowed them to build and test weapons and missiles for approximately 20 years before Trump even considered running for President.

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  • Carolyn Ayres

    01/16/2018 12:09 PM

    Government employees should not have this kind of protection. They get paid whether they do a good or lousy job.