Stupid Security Alert color scheme

So can anyone explain why our wonderful Homeland Security Advisory System inexplicably, and in violation of the laws of physics, has made blue symbolic of a higher state of alert than green?

My only guesses are that some moron in the government thought that the red-green dichotomy (epitomized by the ordinary traffic light) was the only possible way to express the extremes of utter calm and total war, or that the goverment geniuses had so low an opinion of the American public that they thought we couldn’t cope with anything other than the red-green range.

This would have been okay if they had just left blue out. But isn’t it painfully obvious that blue belongs below green? Can’t everyone see that green is hotter, and closer to yellow, than blue? Hasn’t everyone seen a rainbow? Didn’t we all memorize Roy G Biv in grade school? It’s not Roy B Giv!

Oooohhh, it makes me so maaaaaddd!!!

There are more steps than are needed, too. A man named Jeff Cooper invented a four-color system many years ago (I’ve changed his “white” to “green”):

Level green: Oblivious to danger
Level yellow: Alert to the possibility of danger
Level orange: Alert to specific dangers
Level red: Panic, looting, last-minute repentance, etc.

    (Cooper didn't actually say "panic" etc., but you know that's what would happen.)

For a country this big, having all parts allegedly in the same level is unrealistic. Some places are simply more at risk (NY, DC, LA for example) and some are at almost zero risk (Monroeville, Alabama, for example).

In places where alleged terrorist threats have allegedly been recieved, the level should go to orange.

When stuff starts blowing up, that’s level red. While the residents of Monroeville, AL remain comfortably in level green. :slight_smile:

Well, here are some of my problems with this system:
#1: New York City is on orange alert (I bet DC is too), and has been since the system was created. I bet it’ll never change, either. So the system is sort of irrelevant to the most likely targets.
#2: Each time they’ve gone to orange, they’ve said there’s been a lack of specific info/threats. This makes me think that either they can’t GET the specific info, or they don’t want to share it. Either way, it makes the warning ENTIRELY FUCKING USELESS!! Why even tell me I’m in danger if you know nothing about the danger and can’t help me avoid it?? It does nothing but scare people - leading some to speculate that this is the intention.
#3: I bet they will NEVER use the red alert. It would lead to large-scale panic and hoarding - and not the (apparently) useful kind, but real terror. That would arguably help the terrorists, and also not make anyone safer.

In other words, the system in no way helps anybody, and is purely for show. In other words, it’s just the response you’d expect from politicians in an emergency.

As you say, it’s really just a propaganda device. Also handy as a way to distract attention from the latest revelations about financial shenanigans or other “real” issues.

"Mr. Cheney, isn't that the new chairman of Halliburton Corp., slipping bribe money into your pocket as we speak?"

"Uh.... er.... Oh my God!   Terrorists!   Go to Orange Alert!"

Ahhh, I love the smell of Red Dwarf quotes in the morning…

Are they ever going to use blue? What would have to happen for the level to be lowered?

What if a Democrat gets elected in 2004? Will his people put us at blue to make Bush look bad? :slight_smile: