WRMI, Radio Miami International, a shortwave radio station with studios in Miami, Florida, and studios and transmitters in Okeechobee, Florida, is broadcasting news and information on the status of the illegal and unprovoked Russian invasion and war of Ukraine to listeners in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
A mass psychosis is an epidemic of madness and it occurs when a large portion of a society loses touch with reality and descends into delusions. Such a phenomenon is not a thing of fiction. Two examples of mass psychoses are the American and European witch hunts 16th and 17th centuries and the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century.
What is it? How does is start? Are we experiencing one right now?
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
» Thomas Paine, The American Crisis
Video below ⤵️
“I don’t know what you want to call the conflict we’re in with China and Russia, but I’d say we’re at war.”
Michael Brown, director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) within the U.S. Department of Defense, declares war rather matter-of-factly. “It’s just not war in the way we typically think,” says the longtime Silicon Valley executive who transitioned into government service in 2016. But when adversaries get to the point of “shutting down pipelines and creating other damage,” he says, you’re seeing the “kinetic effects of cyber.”
When Brown and I chat in August—at a picnic table in a glade of cedar trees behind a tan brick building in Mountain View, California, that houses both the 341st Readiness Division of the U.S. Army and the DIU—news continues to dribble out about the extent of the 2020 SolarWinds hack. The event involved a group reportedly backed by the Russian government that compromised networks of a number of U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. A couple of weeks earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with a coalition of U.S. allies, accused China of engaging in cyber espionage, and the U.S. Department of Justice charged four Chinese nationals with being part of a global hacking campaign targeting companies, government agencies, and universities. Chinese officials vehemently denied the charges.
“For cyber, for electronic warfare, for misinformation,” Brown says, “we need to be shifting more dollars to those domains.”
It’s so frustrating to see this.
How long before some far-right nuts are arguing that it’s their constitutional right to possess armed robots.
These are not dogs. These are robot killing machines.
The image above shows a quadrupedal robot — a Vision 60 unit built by US firm Ghost Robotics — that’s been equipped with a custom gun by small-arms specialists Sword International. It seems the gun itself (dubbed the SPUR or “special purpose unmanned rifle”) is designed to be fitted onto a variety of robotic platforms. It has a 30x optical zoom, thermal camera for targeting in the dark, and an effective range of 1,200 meters.
DW’s TO THE POINT ask: Dangerous territory: Is Taiwan next on China’s list?
Deutsche Welle colleague Melissa Chan, who presents DW’s News Asia show. She says: “Xi Jinping has gone after China’s Uyghur minority, then Hong Kong, and even its tech billionaires. So, why wouldn’t he go after Taiwan?”
Gudrun Wacker, an Asia expert from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, who believes that: “China’s saber-rattling is a message to Taiwan that the balance of power between the two sides makes unification inevitable and resistance pointless.”
Felix Lee, from the Berlin-based daily the TAZ, or Tageszeitung, spent many years as a correspondent in Beijing. And Felix asks: “Will China go for the military option? That depends on the US and its allies. Certainly, Xi Jinping will not risk a full-blown conflict with the West.”
Water shortages could become a primary source of friction or conflict between U.S. military overseas and the countries where troops are based, the Department warned. It also expects that political efforts to mitigate food and water shortages will result in more frequent physical and cyber terrorist attacks from unknown third parties.
Extreme weather events made worse by climate change, including droughts, storms and floods, have already cost the Department billions of dollars, according to the plan. An increase in extreme weather events will create more demand for U.S. troops while damaging military bases, degrading mission capabilities and putting service members at risk.
If a U.S. president decides to launch a nuclear attack, the order is conveyed to a duty officer at the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon. The one-star commander executes the order in roughly a minute.
In the most urgent case, a land-based intercontinental ballistic missile will fire in two minutes. A submarine-launched missile will fire in 15 minutes.
That may be all it takes to end the world as we know it. The president has the sole authority to authorize the use of nuclear weapons, and once the order is given and acknowledged, there is no way to reverse it.