Color coded terror for your convenience

According to a new article in WIRED, the Department of Homeland Security is trying to change the Terror Alert color coded system. Soon there will no longer be five confusing colors to worry about.

The old reich

The old chart

Now there will only be three colors! Red! Orange! And…. yellow?

From the same WIRED article…

* Red = High Alert – “Maximum protective measures to protect against an imminent or ongoing terrorist attack.”
* Orange = Elevated  – “Increased protective measures based on specific threat information regarding a known or suspected terrorist plot.”
* Yellow = Guarded  – “A constant state of vigilance to protect against a terrorist attack.”

Waitaminute… no “green”? No “situation normal?” No “off” switch?

If someone is in the military or a member of law enforcement, they are always supposed to be in “condition yellow”. That’s fine. Because that’s the job that person signed up for and was expertly trained on over the course of several years to do. But how is making a florist live in a constant state of vigilance going to make their arrangements any prettier? How is pushing a musician into a constant state of vigilance going to help their music sound better?

I don’t want a government agency to tell every single person in the United States that the world is hostile and unfriendly because they say so. That there is no more “off” switch for anyone. That every single person must be ready for when the wolves arrive.

I refuse to believe it and I refuse to live my life in that way.

Should we be vigilant? Yes, but only to a point. Should we be prepared? Yes, but again, only to a point. There must come a time when this ends. There must be a mile marker that we can anticipate reaching. There must be a final chapter to this terribly long diversion in our nation’s history. We must not forget how to live our lives because of an apparition of fear. We must not allow our own government to dictate to us that this fear, or any fear, can not be overcome in time. To deny a promising hope for ourselves, to avoid taking the path to a good and peaceful future, is a step away from humanity itself.

I’m still waiting on the great change that was coming.

Quite frankly, I’m not seeing it here.