Tag Archives: United States

The Cyber Discourse and Alliances

I have been busy lately promoting my recently released book (with Ryan Maness), Cyber War versus Cyber Realities. In it, we dissect and empirically evaluation the emergent cyber era finding more bluff and bluster than realistic analysis of cyber conflict. In fact, there is very little evidence of cyber conflict and what conflict we do observe is very low level operations or espionage.  cyber-spy

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Rape Culture this Week

With all the news this week about gender relations in Silicon Valley, an airplane crash, and various levels of unrest around the world, I almost missed the story of Teresa Fedor. Maybe you did too.

Teresa is a state representative in the state of Ohio. She stood in front of the Ohio legislature. She told them that she was raped while she was a member of the US military. She told them that she went through a pregnancy produced by that rape. She told them that she chose to have an abortion to end her nightmare.

Teresa”s audience did not hear that the military (among other places in the US and around the world) is saturated with rape culture. They did not hear the victim of a terrible violation of human rights and bodily integrity. They did not hear someone who went through unimaginable physical and emotional pain as a result of that violation. In fact, it does not appear that they heard anything.

Why?

The reaction was to laugh online casino at her. Audibly. On the floor of the Ohio legislature.

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The Kid in the Airplane and Pretensions to ‘National Security’

This week, a sixteen-year-old kid climbed the fence of San Jose airport, climbed into the wheel well of a plane, and stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii. Note: this is not a story The Onion made up. It actually happened.

A couple of weeks ago, the Transportation Security Agency relieved me of 4.3 ounces of toothpaste because it is a threat to ‘national security’. My toothpaste is the latest casualty in a long list of ‘dangers’, including white-out, a water bottle, contact lens solution, and the forbidden liquid deodorant. I have been subject to alternate screening several times for such offenses as wearing baggy clothes and having a surgically altered ankle. I’ve spent quality time in with TSA agents for tshirts like one that has Elmo on it and says ‘that tickles a little’ or one that says ‘FBI’. Others, of course, have dealt with more serious harassment.

This kid snuck over a fence, walked through the tarmac, evaded dozens of employees, climbed into an airplane, and rode it to Hawaii. Ever been on an airplane where they make someone move to the back to balance the weight? Yet they don’t know this … ? All joking aside, the kid apparently did it to run away from home. Good thing he didn’t have something more sinister in mind. Because news coverage suggests that eighty percent of American airports have similar vulnerabilities.

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Drugged to Kill?

A militant group is considering a move from drugging to electroshock therapy to promote awareness and functionality in its spies and its killers. For more than half of the organization’s history, it has been using stimulants to provide its militants with the alertness and motivation to fight. The stimulants are in the food, in chewing gum, in drinks, often without the knowledge of the militants consuming them. These stimulants have been a key part of motivating the militants to work, fight, and kill, but the leaders of the group are concerned that it is not enough – and other drugs aren’t working as well as they had hoped. They have been exploring more radical programs of DNA-based injection and now shocks to the brain.

The leaders describe the shock program as “non-invasive” but “complicated” especially in terms of knowing “what to turn on and what to turn off.”  A Harvard Medical School professor suggested that the shock process “seemed to work” to increase awareness and motivation among militants even though there is “almost no data” about long term effects. Concerned with “performance issues,” the militant organization continues to drug its militants, and is working on the sustainability of the shock program.

That militant organization is the US military.

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