Orange you scared yet?

By the time you read this, according to USAToday (yeah, I know…), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security should have announced it is ditching the color-coded “terrorism alert system” with which we’ve been plagued since 2001. Good riddance: Its elimination is long overdue.

The system was vague at best, and really did little more than scare the snot out of soccer moms and anybody else who failed to consider the odds of dying as a result of a terrorism act was somewhere up there with my chance of dating Angelina Jolie. Which is to say “high.” Astronomical. Supplemental oxygen high. Not. Gonna. Happen. High.

The only fly in the ointment?

The government will not abandon alerts completely. According to the Homeland Security briefing paper, the department may decide to issue specific warnings to local law enforcement agencies, airlines or businesses if it fears there is heightened risk of an attack. Or it could issue broader alerts through public announcements, it says.

Two questions: Should we just presume every Ryder truck is a terrorist threat and act accordingly? Will there be a warning for when the public should be wary of useless government warnings?