Saturday, January 21, 2017

SECDHS Kelly!

There's no doubt in my mind that the 45th President was watching "A Few Good Men" when he formulated the idea to put Colonel Jessop on HIS border wall. After finding out Jessop wasn't real he settled for General John F. Kelly the former commander of SOUTHCOM who retired from the Marine Corps last year.

Gen. John Kelly, USMC in 2014


I have great admiration for Kelly, his battlefield leadership during the invasion of Iraq was iconic as his opinions. During the initial assault on Baghdad for example, Kelly [who not long before had received the first promotion to Brigadier General in a combat zone since the Korean war] was asked if considering the size of Saddam's forces and their vast supplies weapons if he would ever consider defeat. Kelly's archetypal response was, "Hell these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain't shit!"

As much as I admire Kelly, it would be fair to say that there are concerns that someone with a 40 year military career is the best choice for DHS which has been led primarily by legal and security experts. Security was indeed part of General Kelly's mission in SOUTHCOM, which is responsible for the security of the Panama Canal and military operations in South America, but I feel there are nuanced differences here that would be cause for concern. 

The border between North and South Korea for example is presided over in part by the U.S. military for obvious reasons - but it would be worrying if the intention is to establish something in any way similar between the U.S. and Mexico. The military deals with security in vastly different ways to the way the legal profession and law enforcement deal with civilian security and the fact that Kelly was a 4-star military commander up to a year ago would be my concern, but my only concern.

Thankfully Kelly does not appear convinced that such a measure as a wall will be successful “a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job’’ he said during his hearing and indicated that  technology such as drones and sensors would also be needed to secure the border.

All said, I wish every success to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly on his new appointment.

SecDef Mattis!

Amongst all the dubious appointments made by the 45th POTUS there was a single nominee that bizarrely made absolutely perfect sense - retired United States Marine Corps General James Norman Mattis to be the 26th Secretary of Defense.


Mattis is both a Marine's Marine and a general's general. Some in our community were worried that he didn't even own civilian clothes and still wore the uniform after retirement but when he showed up to meet the president elect, those ideas were assuaged to the degree that it's likely he only wears uniform items under his mufti.

Mattis has an almost cult following in the USMC and the military in general. His name is spoken alongside Marine leaders John A. Lejeune, Smedley Butler and "Chesty" Puller not so much for raw heroism or transformation but for being a keen motivator as well as demonstrating that intellect is just as formidable a weapon as a rifle when used by someone with the wisdom to know when to use which weapon. "Engage your brain before you engage your weapon," he is quoted as saying.

But Mattis is quoted for many many other things. The media dubbed him "Mad Dog" due to the perceived controversial opinions, stories and comment attributed to him over the years including an admission that he loved killing - "It’s fun to shoot some people.", but often the essence of the quote is truncated leaving out: "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them," which obviously makes him a feminist standing up for women's rights, albeit by shooting people but the ends justify the means making it OK.

Rather the "Warrior Monk" than a "Mad Dog", Mattis' knowledge of military doctrine and history is formidable with a personal library once holding some 7000 volumes. He will think on an issue before acting and isn't afraid to stand up to his superiors - already in fact there were reports that the new SecDef and the new POTUS have different views on NATO and it will be interesting to see the resulting action from that. Additionally Mattis regards the intelligence services on equal footing with the military, even indicating so in his very first message to his department earlier following being sworn in:


Change is certainly upon us, but as least this is proof that it won't all be bad.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bye Obama!

I'll be the first to say I wasn't in this guy's corner at the beginning. But by the time 2012 rolled around and the best that was stacked against him was Mitt Romney, I was.


Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, USMC and Senator Barack Obama in 2008.

Good luck for the future Mr. President and thank you for being Commander in Chief. I may not have always agreed with you but I always respected you.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fuck You 2016!

With the single exception of the death of dictator Fidel Castro, we say good riddance to a truly awful year. Brexit, that Gorilla that got shot in the zoo, the Shawshank tree fell down, toddler killed by Disney World Alligator, Jo Cox and Andrei Karlov's murders, football child sex abuse, war continues in Syria, the Zika virus, terrorist attacks in Brussels, Nice, Berlin, Normandy, Istanbul, Florida, the U.S. election and worst of all: Brangelina is no more.

But more than anything, this will remembered as a year of death and sorrow for all:

Colonel Abrams, 67, American musician ("Trapped")
Sir Ken Adam, 95, German-born British Oscar wining production designer (Dr. Strangelove, James Bond)
Joe Alaskey, 63, American voice actor (Looney Tunes)
Jean Alexander, 90, English actress (Hilda Ogden on Coronation Street)
Muhammad Ali, 74, American boxer, Olympic gold medallist, three-time world heavyweight champion [left]
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Beckwith Ashmore, GCB, DSC, 96, British Royal Navy officer, First Sea Lord (1974–1977)

Kenny Baker, 81, British actor (R2D2 in the Star Wars franchise)
Erik Bauersfeld, 93, American voice actor (Admiral Ackbar in the Star Wars franchise) [right]
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93, Egyptian politician and diplomat, Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992–1996)
David Bowie, 69, English singer-songwriter, musician ("Space Oddity", "Starman"), and actor (Labyrinth, The Prestige)
Pete Burns, 57, English singer-songwriter ("You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)")
 
PFC Hector A. Cafferata, Jr., USMC, 86, American marine, Medal of Honor recipient
Robert Carrickford, 88, Irish actor (The Irish R.M., Glenroe)
Leonard Cohen, 82, Canadian singer-songwriter ("Hallelujah")
Ronnie Corbett, 85, British comedian and actor (The Two Ronnies, Sorry!)
 
Paul Daniels, 77, British magician (The Paul Daniels Magic Show)
Steve Dillon, 54, English comic book artist (Preacher, The Punisher, Judge Dredd), 
Jerry Doyle, 60, American talk show host and actor (Babylon 5), founder of EpicTimes [left]
Larry Drake, 67, American Emmy winning actor (L.A. Law, Darkman, Star Trek: Voyager "Critical Care") 

Ronnie Claire Edwards, 83, American actress (Corabeth Godsey on The Waltons, Talur in Star Trek: The Next Generation "Thine Own Self")
Wayne England, English artist (Magic: The Gathering)
SGT Santiago J. Erevia, US Army, 69, American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient
 
Carrie Fisher, 60, American actress and icon (Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise), novelist and screenwriter (Postcards from the Edge) [right]
Rob Ford, 46, foul-mouthed and controversial Canadian politician, Mayor of Toronto (2010–2014)
Glenn Frey, 67, American songwriter, musician (Eagles) and actor (Jerry Maguire)
Brad Fuller, 62, American video game composer (Tetris), Director of Engineering for Atari 

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, Hungarian-born American actress and socialite
George Gaynes, 98, Finnish-born American actor (Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy franchise)
RADM Paul T. Gillcrist, 87, American Naval officer (Consultant on JAG)
Gary Glasberg, 50, American television producer and writer (NCIS)
Ron Glass, 71, American actor (Firefly)
Col John Glenn, USMC, 95, American marine and astronaut (Mercury-Atlas 6) and politician, U.S. Senator from Ohio [left]
 
Dan Haggerty, 74, American actor (The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams)
Guy Hamilton, 93, French-born British film director (James Bond, Battle of Britain)
Florence Henderson, 82, American actress (The Brady Bunch)
Drewe Henley, 75, British actor (Red Leader in Star Wars)
Gil Hill, 84, American police officer, actor (Inspector Todd in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise)
John Hostetter, 69, American actor (Bazooka in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Heartbreak Ridge)
Ken Howard, 71, American actor (Rambo, Clear and Present Danger, 30 Rock)
David Huddleston, 85, American actor (The Big Lebowski, Blazing Saddles)
Gary Hutzel, 60, American visual effects supervisor (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica)
 
Barry Jenner, 75, American actor (Admiral Ross in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) [right]

Saki Kaskas, 45, Greek video game music composer (Need for Speed, Sleeping Dogs, Mass Effect 2)
Frank Kelly, 77, Irish actor (Fr. Jack in Father Ted)
George Kennedy, 91, American Oscar winning actor (The Naked Gun, Airport)
Burt Kwouk, 85, British actor (Cato in The Pink Panther franchise)
 
Melvin Laird, 94, American politician and writer, Secretary of Defense (1969–1973)
Flt Lt Keith Lawrence, DFC, 96, New Zealand-born British RAF officer during World War II, surviving member of "The Few"
Yevgeni Lazarev, 79, Russian-American actor (Iron Man 2, The Sum of All Fears, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
Michael Leader, 78, British actor (believed to be the Stormtrooper who walked into a door in Star Wars)
Richard Libertini, 82, American Actor, (Akorem Laan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Accession", Rabbi in Lethal Weapon 4)
GEN William J. Livsey, US Army, 85, American army officer. Commander in Chief of United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, United States Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth United States Army
 
P. J. Mara, 73, Irish public affairs consultant, Senator (1977–1981, 1982–1983) [left]
Don Marshall, 80, American actor (Lt. Boma in Star Trek "The Galileo Seven")
Michael Massee, 64, American actor (The Crow, 24, The Amazing Spider-Man)
George Michael, 53, British singer (Wham!
Edgar Mitchell, 85, American astronaut (Apollo 14)
Alethea McGrath, 95, Australian actress (Jocasta Nu in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones)
Michu Meszaros, 76, Hungarian-born American actor (ALF)
Ivan Mikoyan, 89, Russian aircraft designer (Mikoyan MiG-29)
Rick Parfitt, 68, British singer, songwriter and guitarist (Status Quo)
MSgt Richard A. Pittman, USMC,  71, American Marine, recipient of the Medal of Honor
Jon Polito, 65, American actor (Modern Family, The Rocketeer, DC Comics IPs voice actor)
Prince, 57, American musician, songwriter ("Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette") 

Nancy Reagan, 94, American First Lady (1981–1989) [right]
Debbie Reynolds, 84, American actress (Singin' in the Rain)
Alan Rickman, 69, English actor (Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
Doris Roberts, 90, American actress (Remington Steele)
Major Erich Rudorffer, 98, German Luftwaffe fighter ace during World War II. 222 aerial victories. Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords
Christopher Rush, 50, American illustrator (Magic: The Gathering)
Paul Ryan, 66, American comic artist (Fantastic Four, Iron Man: The Dragon Seed Saga)
 
Andrew Sachs, 86, German-born British actor (Fawlty Towers)
Joe Santos, 84, Actor (The Rockford Files)
Antonin Scalia, 79, American judge, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
William Schallert, 93, American actor (Star Trek "The Trouble with Tribbles")
Garry Shandling, 66, American comedian, actor and writer (The Larry Sanders Show, Iron Man 2) [left]
Gen William Y. Smith, USAF, 90, American air force general. Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE) from 1979 to 1981
David Spielberg, 77, American actor (Cmdr. Calvin "Hutch" Hutchinson in Star Trek: The Next Generation "Starship Mine)
Trevor Steedman, 62, British actor and stuntman (Private Wierzbowski in Aliens)
Peter Sumner, 74, Australian actor (Lt. Pol Treidum in Star Wars)
 
Alan Thicke, 69, Canadian actor and talk show host
Gareth Thomas, 71, Welsh actor (Blake's 7)
Ron Thornton, 59, Visual Effects Artist (Star Trek franchise, Babylon 5)
Ray Tomlinson, 74, American computer programmer, invented email and assigned use of @ sign
 
Peter Vaughan, 93, British actor (Game of Thrones)
Robert Vaughn, 83, American actor (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Magnificent Seven, The A-Team) [right]
GEN John William Vessey Jr., USA, 94, American military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1982–1985)
Abe Vigoda, 94, American actor (The Godfather, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm)
 
Maj. John Keith Wells, 94, Navy Cross, American Marine platoon commander (2nd Battalion 28th Marines).
Kit West, 79, British Oscar winning special effects artist (Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark)
General Sir Peter John Frederick Whiteley, GCB, OBE, DL, 95, was a British Royal Marines officer. Commandant General Royal Marines, Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Northern Europe
Gene Wilder, 83, American actor (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles)
Sir Terry Wogan, 77, Irish-British broadcaster
 
Anton Yelchin, 27, Soviet-born American actor (Star Trek, Green Room) [left]

and let us hope 2017 will be better.

Monday, November 28, 2016

RIP Colonel Abrams



It's with great regret that I must report the death of a fellow '80's veteran who answered the call to wear a uniform. Colonel Abrams, a true pioneer of house and dance music in the 1980s, has died at the age of 67.

The Colonel scored his biggest hit in 1985 with the club single "Trapped," which reached number three in the UK. Although Abrams had no American pop hits through his career, he had a number of entries on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart in the 1980s and 1990s, including four entries that hit number one.

It was reported last year that the Colonel had been homeless and suffered from diabetes.

May he rest in peace.

Friday, September 23, 2016

SPEARHEAD shuts down NASA's reveal

NASA published a somewhat cryptic message, Tuesday, stating that there is “surprising activity” on Europa – the most well known of Jupiter’s 67 moons and it will be holding a teleconference at 14:00 EDT, 19:00 BST Monday, Sept. 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of the icy moon.

NASA has been analysing data from its Hubble Space Telescope which is currently prowling the universe and astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity there and it was widely reported that the existence of extra-terrestrial life would be revealed next Monday.


However after a meeting Wednesday morning between the NASA Director Charles Bolden [MajGen USMC Ret.] and Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon of SPEARHEAD, NASA were quick to tweet: "Monday, we'll announce new findings from Jupiter's moon Europa. Spoiler alert: NOT aliens.

So it appears SPEARHEAD has silenced NASA's true reasoning for the teleconference and will reduce them instead to discussing subsurface ocean microbes. Europa's ocean is believed to be salty, and warmed by powerful tidal forces generated by Jupiter's gravity so that it remains unfrozen. Most scientists agree that where there is water, it massively increases the chances of finding life.

Source: NASA

Friday, September 02, 2016

The election of the 45th U.S. President

The citizens of the United States will go to the polls in November to vote for a new leader of the free world and commander in chief of the worlds strongest military. This election guarantees a new face in the role as Barack Obama will conclude his terms in office in January 2017.

From only a handful of potential Democratic candidates and an almost comical amount of Republican candidates, the race finally narrowed earlier in the summer to a single candidate in each camp.


For the Democrats, Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a person who seems to struggle with the issue of multiple E-mail accounts.

And for the Republicans; Chairman and President of the Trump Organisation Donald Trump, a man who once declared that attending the New York Military Academy [an expensive prep school where his parents had sent him to finish the 8th Grade and correct poor behaviour] gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

If elected, Clinton would be the first female U.S. President or Trump would become is the oldest person elected to the office of the presidency.

At this point I would voice 'apprehension' at having to be the person responsible for explaining SPEARHEAD's work and the truth about our existence to either of them once they're sworn in in January.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

"Alien" signal is terrestrial

The impetuous scientists at SETI panicked the world earlier in the week with tall tales of a mysterious signal that they all but 100% confirmed was coming from a highly advanced extra terrestrial civilisation.

Apparently a group of Russian astronomers using the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, at the northern foot of the Caucasus Mountains, discovered the mysterious signal in 2015 from HD 164595, a star system 94 light-years away but only recently sent it to SETI for analysis and confirmation.

SETI blew it's load and swung the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) a system of radio dishes in Northern California, in the direction of HD 164595 on August 28 and has found nothing, nada, zip etc.

Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon of SPEARHEAD speaking during a curiously timed 'inspection' of the SPEARHEAD facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome said: "... it's bad enough that SETI recklessly send signals deliberately into space, without causing mass panic by erroneously informing us that we got some sort of reply."

A statement from the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences said last night: "...an interesting radio signal at a wavelength of 2.7 cm was detected in the direction of one of the objects (star system HD164595 in Hercules) in 2015. Subsequent processing and analysis of the signal revealed its most probable terrestrial origin... It can be said with confidence that no sought-for signal has been detected yet."

Sources: SETI, Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences