A. J., I prefer the term, "ham", since the term "amateur" denotes someone doesn't know what he or she is doing....
Ham radio has been "dumbed down" in my opinion, as of late, but it still takes a lot of skill, knowledge and study to achieve licensure. Not only that, but hams all over this world drill themselves through emergency "nets" or networks every week, testing their equipment and their readiness, in case disaster strikes. In fact, when Hurricane Katrina hit ground zero at Waveland, MS (the media says New Orleans, but ask folks at the National Weather Service and who live here on the Gulf Coast!), there was NOTHING left...and the Georgia Baptist Society came to the rescue, bringing ham radio with them. Many operators put their lives and jobs on hold for as long as six months, until communications were restored along the coast...for FREE. These people, and people like them, are professionals in every sense of the word, nothing amateurish about them at all, and hams work during ALL sorts of disasters, not to speak of many non-disaster-related events.
This is NOT Citizen's Band radio, like some people think- we are federally-licensed and tested for the hobby we love and we love to give back, freely.
The slogan is, "When all else fails, ham radio!" Bud Stacey, KC4HGH, Extra Class ham, near Mobile, AL
Thanks Bud for a great comment, but what did you think of the video?