I think the Homeland Security Alerty System is all about shades of gray. I mean, why is "elevated" only yellow, whereas "high" is orange? I personally think elevated is worse than high. Are we really supposed to think, "thank god we only have an elevated risk of terror attack." ? Shouldn't we be buying duct tape for yellow too?
There's a much easier way to remember the various threat levels. It's certainly can't be coincidence that they correspond to the "threat" levels of Tropical Fruit Skittles. The various levels are then (from highest to lowest risk): strawberry watermelon, mango peach, banana berry, passion punch, and kiwi lime. This makes about as much sense as the entire Alert System scheme in the first place, and it's much more kid-friendly. You only need to explain to Little Tommy that the swarthy foreigners are plotting Mango Peach plans, and that's why we really need to stock up on duct tape.
The CATO institute agrees.