Orange Alert

I’ve been hearing the same recording about how the “terror status” has been elevated to orange for about 12 hours now as I make O’Hare my semi-permanent residence. Here’s the question, what are citizens expected to do differently between yellow, orange and red alert? “Heightened vigilance?” Too vague to implement. If there is no action that separates the levels, then they are operationally the same and they should quit fucking around with us raising them, lowering them, raising them. If I ran this country, setting up a warning system for anything where you don’t do anything different when the warnings go up and down would get someone fired. Maybe a lot of them.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

4 thoughts on “Orange Alert”

  1. I’ve always thought the prime objective of the alert system was to keep you (the average citizen) scared and worried. I agree with you on firing the implementers. But you might not be able to fire him so much as impeach him.

    As a Canadian it is easy for me to criticize, but I see it in your newscasts (you could sense the absolute delight of the CNN morning crew during that recent tsunami warning) and in your government. There is a prevalent sense of impending doom. Watch out for this, beware of that. People profit from maintaining that fear both in a business sense and in a political sense.

    Penn & Teller did a good ‘Bullshit’ episode on unfounded fears. It always mystifies me that people are worried about terror attacks but routinely drive past 3500 lb. vehicles coming the other direction only a few feet away at 60mph and think nothing of it.

  2. These alert levels are to advise you of the likelihood that your civil liberties will violated while you attempt to go about your normal lawful activities. Red is “Ihre papiren, bitte.

  3. I think you are both on top of it as are most Americans nowadays. The whole system is obviously not built for the public purpose because the minimums to fulfill that public purpose don’t exist. Now the next step is to get the American body politic to reject this misbegotten graft. I believe I might begin pushing back on all public systems that use that “terror status”, such as airports. “If you can’t explain how this changes what you expect of me, then why are you telling me this at all? How about we all drop this as obviously valueless.”

  4. I think Hugh expressed it as succinctly and accurately as I’ve seen anyone do it.

    I also like Andy Borowitz’ column from several months ago, where he said “Orange is the new yellow”.

    Hopefully, you had your gels, shampoo, and toothpaste in the regulation 1 qt clear bags, in quantities of less than 3 oz of each.


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