“Je suis Charlie Hebdo.”


            JANUARY 2015

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There was a time in the United Kingdom when the Prime Minister of the day (regardless of political party) would occasionally have to make the sole decision on the deployment of armed forces: in response to an act of war, genocide, terrorism or for that matter – act immediately on anything that might be seen as a direct threat to the country.


Britain had a name for standing up against overseas tyranny – fascism, evil, abuse of human rights: protecting the innocent regardless of location, nationality, gender, religion or creed. The ‘Brits’ were not slow to respond to injustice; support allies and take appropriate measures.


Having made a clear decision – parliament would then (within hours) be informed of actions taken. After all, Prime Ministers are elected by the people and the public presume he or she will always have the nation’s best interests & values at heart. Sometimes those choices are very difficult: often unavoidable and usually time is of the essence.


Today, that’s all changed!














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Looking around our violent world, I know where I’d rather be - I’m booking my ticket today!
’s Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitors more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system - scanning our universe for planets that are judged to be similar to our earth: small habitable zone planets that might support human life in the future. The latest ‘find’ to join NASA Kepler’s Hall of Fame is Kepler-438b and this discovery seems to be the most suitable candidate so far.



Not a day too soon, because for me, our own fragile blue planet with all of her problems of conflicts & terrorism, violence, disease, economic meltdown, starvation, global warming, pollution and inequality could - in this new 2015 year of ours - already be termed ‘Alien Earth’.



 Life on Mother Earth has certainly changed and not for the better! Kepler-438b might just be the new home we will all have to run to one day to avoid a man-made apocalypse.



Click chart right for further data on NASA & Kepler:







Beam Me Up, Scotty – Please!




There are various advantages that Kepler-438b has over Mother Earth:




First, as far as NASA’s powerful Kepler space telescope can establish, this area of space has not – as yet – been overrun by the so called ‘Islamic State’. There are no beheadings, crucifixions or innocent women being sold as sex slaves. Schoolgirls will be far safer than they are currently in Nigeria and as no religions have established a base on Kepler-438b, there is no discrimination between Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or other faiths. This new planet does not suffer from suicide bombers, attacks by murderous rebel groups, jihads or the threat of cyber terrorism from tin pot dictators such as Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme Leader (one more idiot that should be consigned to the Dark Ages). Let’s face it, there are now few places left on our globe where you can say that you are 100% safe from terrorists, conflict, drug runners, human traffickers or other criminal elements. At least, Kepler-438b will not have a landscape strewn with landmines, bullets or used hypodermic needles.

We are not afraid

Counter terrorism & security forces spent every hour of nearly three days tracking down and killing the two brothers (photo above left) who murdered 12 in their attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine and shooting dead the third gunman who carried out the supermarket attack in Paris. In all, 17 people were killed in this Islamic fundamentalist trail of mayhem & murder.
 this report went to press, the two evil jihadist assailants – brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi hell bent on murder & mayhem who entered the building of Paris satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ shouting "Allahu Akbar", killing 10 journalists, 2 policemen plus injuring many others have been cornered & killed by French special forces after a 72 hour manhunt involving many miles of car chases & shootouts. Another shooting with all the hallmarks of a fanatical Islamist attack, saw a third gunman Amedy Coulibaly enter a kosher supermarket in a different area of Paris and immediately kill 4 innocent customers – taking many hostages. That second siege was also ended by counter terrorism units: the remaining hostages freed – although some were wounded, including two members of the counter terrorism squad. The fanatical Islamic gunman was the same person who killed an unarmed trainee policewoman and shot a street cleaner the day before. All three gunmen have now been linked together: authorities finding that over 500 phone calls were made between these murderous scum. 

Twin sieges: one in the center of Paris – the other in a small town near to the capital







Loose Ends



A girlfriend - Hayat Boumeddiene - of Amedy Coulibaly - the supermarket siege gunman is on the run - suspected of being an accomplice.  







Profile: the most wanted woman in France

Left: police mugshot of Hayat Boumeddiene. Right: photo of Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene. to reports, Boumeddiene is the only suspected terrorist involved in this week's shootings yet to be accounted for. Her current whereabouts are unknown, but police say she is “armed and dangerous”. Media including TV station Europe1, quoting sources close to the investigation, say she was not among the dead or injured. A police union spokesman told CNN that she may have escaped from the kosher supermarket in the confusion following the end of the siege.

The girlfriend of dead gunman Amedy Coulibaly, she was brought up in Villiers-sur-Marne in the eastern suburbs of Paris, one of seven children. Her mother died when she was six. Her father Mohamed, a delivery man, was unable to cope and she was taken into care when she was 8 or 9, according to le Parisien. She married Amedy Coulibaly in religious ceremony in 2009, but they were never legally wed. In May 2009, she started wearing a full veil, something which forced her to give up her job as a check-out assistant, according to several sources.


Parisians were quick to protest the attacks on their city.






In 2010 the couple were spotted by intelligence services visiting al-Qaida terrorist Djamel Beghal in Cantal, southern France, a disciple of radical London-based cleric Abu Hamza. She later told police that she was there for “crossbow practice”







The twin attacks in Paris according to reports issued by al-Qaida in Yemen being their work. The terrorist group now threaten further attacks in France over future months. Regardless of country – USA, Canada, Australia, France or UK – intelligence services can’t guarantee 100% safety for their people. Although many terrorist attacks are thwarted by security personnel, it only takes one or two evil individuals to get through the net to cause maximum carnage.






Threats to come police in the UK are now being seen more frequently.


Britain’s top domestic security agency chief, Andrew Parker (MI5), warned that the nation faces a significant threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

“We face a very serious level of threat that is complex to combat and unlikely to abate significantly for some time,” Mr. Parker, the director general of MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5) said in a rare public speech.


Mr. Parker’s comments, made at MI5’s London headquarters Thursday night, followed the deadly terrorist attack Wednesday in Paris that left 12 people dead. He said about 600 Britons have traveled to Syria or Iraq, and some are joining the Islamic State militant organization. He stressed that threats were posed by other extremist groups as well.


“We know, for example, that a group of core al-Qaida terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West,” he said.


Mr. Parker said security services have thwarted three terrorist plots in recent months that would have resulted in casualties, and that gathering intelligence about plots driven from Syria is challenging. “There are no in-country partner agencies we can work with in Syria. Collecting intelligence about a war zone is difficult, gathering evidence even more so,” he said.

Mr. Parker also said that “outside Iraq and Syria, we believe that since October 2013, there have been more than 20 terrorist plots either directed or provoked by extremist groups in Syria,” and he listed examples in Canada, Australia, Belgium and France.


In August, Britain raised its threat level from “substantial” to “severe” following the rising threat from Syria, he said. Britain has five threat levels — low, moderate, substantial, severe and critical.

Mr. Parker also addressed the ongoing tensions between British authorities and U.S. Internet companies, saying British agents need greater support from Internet companies if they are to prevent attacks. “If we are to do our job, MI5 will continue to need to be able to penetrate their communications, as we have always done,” he said. “That means having the right tools, legal powers and the assistance of companies which hold relevant data. Currently, this picture is patchy.”


What is worrying about the recent twin Paris attacks is that each terrorist was already well known to intelligence services – yet they were still able to mount a major terrorist attack in broad daylight.



The terrorist group Boko Harem (linked to I.S) in Nigeria slaughtered over 12,000 in 2014. They continue to burn towns and villages, murdering men, women & children, using rape as a weapon of war, kidnapping and conducting sex slave markets. The current Nigerian government are having little success in combating this group – even with assistance from the U.S., I believe Western statesmen have been somewhat slow in stamping down on extremists. Assad was allowed to get away with using chemical warfare on his own people. The Islamic State was given a free hand to run amok in Syria & Iraq. In fact, the idea of tackling terrorists head on with appropriate force seems to have fallen by the wayside. Limited air support by the U.S., UK, France and other allies is given to the Kurds on occasion: a bombing here – a missile there. Without effective mass ground forces (and the brave Kurds can’t handle everything on their own), there seems little chance of the Islamic fundamentalist going away anytime soon. Syria & Iraq – plus Yemen and various other countries continue to be the breeding ground of jihadists: all encouraging home grown terrorists to cause terror in the West.


Boko Harem has slaughtered thousands.



Thousands of nationals from the U.S, Australia, France, Belgium, UK and many other countries continue to travel to Iraq & Syria to assist the Islamic State. Many return to their own countries totally radicalized and ready to commit acts of terrorism back home. Nobody likes wars: most Western countries are war weary. However, unless civilized countries get their act together fast – the world will become overrun with AK47’s, black & white flags and bloodshed. All the talk at present is about education, de-radicalization and religious unity. All well & good, commendable & necessary. However, maybe it’s time for all peace loving nations to get together and get over their ‘boots on the ground’ syndrome. Maybe it’s time, for armies, navies, air forces, NATO & the UN to clear the plague of Islamic jihadists from our world once and for all – before further, regular monthly terrorist attacks in our cities & towns become the norm. 



For the Good of Your Health

Of course, Kepler-438b is unfortunately 475 light-years away and so you will not be able to call on your local health services if you fall ill or unfortunately have an accident. Mind you, when you think about it, you’d probably have a better chance on that alien world. Currently, medical expenses in the USA = megabucks: such charges can financially break you. Then there are many countries here on our home planet where unless you have cash in your pocket – you will be left in the corridor to quietly die (unless a friendly insurance company steps forward). Currently in the United Kingdom, if you dial the emergency number 999 for an ambulance – you can no longer rely on arrival times being in minutes. Today, your life-saving ambulance could take anywhere between 2 and 12 hours to arrive. When you eventually get to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department, you still might have to continue to be treated by a paramedic in the ambulance parked outside of the hospital for a few more hours whilst hopefully a bed can be found for you in the main building.

’s National Health Service (NHS) is now in severe crisis. The UK’s current Conservative/ Liberal Coalition Government  has made so many management & system changes – together with budget cuts over the past five years that quite simply, there are not enough medical staff to man wards: hospital A&E departments face closure and other perfectly adequate high tech wards are mothballed due to lack of both finance & staff to operate them. Too many people can’t access a doctor (GP) in their local area without a lengthy wait for an appointment and those who can’t be seen naturally head to a hospital’s A&E where the lights burn bright 24/7: so overloading the system. Nurses are underpaid and overworked.




The old NHS – the envy of the world – is now close to collapse. The next general election in the UK is in May 2015 and naturally the main opposition party ‘Labour’ – is making the plight of the NHS a manifesto priority. Hopefully, the next British Government (whoever that may be) will make saving the NHS, recruiting additional staff and properly funding the health service the first order of the day. As with many countries, the older population increases in leaps & bounds month by month and with this – further demands on an already strained system will surely continue for some time to come. Whilst the latter failings become political footballs, over 20,000 have contracted Ebola in African countries – close on 9,000 die from the disease and regardless of the sterling effort by US, British and other medical volunteers, large swathes of West Africa remain infected.



Meanwhile, in Britain, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is gathering unprecedented support in their aims of seeing the UK leave Europe (EU) so that uncontrolled immigration to the UK can be halted and Britain can regain control of its own borders. UKIP might just change the balance of power between the old established 3-way political party system. UKIP want conditions placed on those who wish to enter the country: certain levels of qualification regardless of the country of origin (within or outside of the EU): a sensible approach to the influx – similar to the Australian system. Uncontrolled freedom of movement to the UK from the EU remains one of the main worries British people now speak of: of greater concern than even the economy or plight of the NHS. Italy continues to bare the brunt of boat loads of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East or simply families or individuals seeking a more secure life. Over 3,000 drowned in 2014 in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean – most refugees having been exploited by greedy human traffickers and/ or boat captains. The influx of illegal immigrants into Italy has doubled in recent months and the Italians are receiving little or no help from other EU countries with this problem. In Calais, France – illegal immigrants queue up to try and smuggle their way into Britain: living in squalid tented camps in nearby forests – when they are not risking their lives by hiding under/ in or on top of trucks bound for the UK. over the world, populations are on the move, more and more refugee camps have to be opened and tensions remain high. On the Mexico / United States border, desperate people continue to attempt to reach Uncle Sam’s backyard and establish a more secure future. Most Western countries now have a high percentage of ‘illegal’s’ within their populations: all at risk of exploitation by unscrupulous elements. At least, in the USA, many of these unfortunate people have been given amnesty and the opportunity of proving their worth, paying their taxes and eventually gaining U.S citizenship. In the UK & Europe, these men, women & children remain in the shadows, often abused and having little hope for the future. With Kepler-438b, the planet is 12 percent bigger than Earth, orbiting its star once every 35.2 days – so there’s going to be more room to accommodate those looking for a better life.




With Kepler-438b, new arrivals will probably be able to grow their own vegetables, process their own food and if NASA has got it right, water will not be a problem.






To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before


Kepler-438b of course has only just been discovered – however for those thinking of a future new home or simply a vacation from our own Alien Earth, NASA has already developed a list of alternative planets that might just offer you your own private & secure space.


In fact, NASA recently made travel posters for these real exoplanets, and they're superb.



Browse at your leisure.

NASA's Kepler telescope is still discovering new, distant exoplanets in our corner of the Milky Way, but oftentimes they're hard to visualize and easily forgotten about by some of us normal folk. Now, to get everyone dreaming about these potentially habitable worlds, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has drawn up a trio of beautiful posters by the "Exoplanet Travel Bureau." All three echo the WPA's iconic travel prints from the mid-1930s, with classic typefaces and swathes of flat, contrasting color. Given we don't know exactly what each planet looks like, the designers have taken some creative liberties here -- but they should still be more than enough to spark your own imagination and curiosity in the stars.

Prior to the discovery of Kepler-438b, NASA confirmed the existence of Kepler-186f: one of the most Earth-like planets that NASA's space-venturing telescope has ever identified. First uncovered last April, it sits roughly 500 light years from Earth and is thought to be a rocky planet slightly larger than our own. Here, the artist is playing with the idea that photosynthesis on the surface could be affected by its nearby red dwarf star.


As the poster's design implies, HD 40307g  has a strong gravitational pull that far outstrips the one found on Earth. Uncovered by a team of astronomers using the HARPS spectograph at the European Southern Observatory, it's considered a super-Earth and sits 55.8 million miles from its parent star.

Two suns, you say? That's right, just like Luke Skywalker's home world of Tatooine, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of giant stars. NASA suspects the planet is a gas giant, so were you to make the trip we wouldn't recommend walking outside and taking in a huge gulp of fresh air.



So there you have it: a few ideas on how to escape this ‘Alien Earth’ of ours and find a new home. I’ll be sorry to say ‘Au Revoir’ to my home planet but unless our elected statesmen start taking some hard decisions to rid Mother Earth of her many problems – I guess I’ll just have to plan to boldly go where no man has gone before.


Take me back to the days of ‘Life on Mars’.















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Millions of mines are scattered throughout our fragile blue planet. One British company is attracting worldwide interest from governments, the military, law enforcement & NGO’s with their small but powerful and cost effective solutions…









Blue Angels Begin 2015 Winter Training

01/09/2015 01:23 PM EST


By Lt.j.g. Amber Lynn Daniel Blue Angels Public Affairs Officer It is a new year, and your U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, are already hard at work […]

This Week in YOUR Navy: Jan. 3 – Jan. 9

01/09/2015 11:09 AM EST


On any given day, in your U.S. Navy, our team of more than 600,000 professional Sailors and civilians are working together around the globe to perform our mission: deter aggression […]


MoD forced to ask US for help in tracking 'Russian submarine'

Mystery foreign submarine thought to be lurking near UK’s Faslane naval base

Nimrod spy planes had been mainstays of the RAF's reconnaissance fleet since the late 1960s and had a central role in anti-submarine warfare, when they were scrapped with an upgrade programme running nine years late and £800 million over budget

Nimrod spy planes had been mainstays of the RAF's reconnaissance fleet since the late 1960s and had a central role in anti-submarine warfare, when they were scrapped with an upgrade program running nine years late and £800 million over budget. Photo: Alamy

The Ministry of Defence has again been forced to call for US military assistance to help track a suspected Russian submarine spotted off the Scottish coast.

Two US Navy aircraft were drafted in to conduct anti-submarine patrols along with a Royal Navy Frigate near the home of the UK’s Trident fleet at Faslane, Argyll.

Critics claimed the US deployment raised questions about the UK's ability to protect its nuclear submarines following the scrapping of the RAF's £4bn fleet of Nimrod surveillance aircraft in 2010.

Peter Roberts, a senior fellow of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, told The Independent: “It has left a gaping chasm in the UK's capabilities and left us highly dependent on cooperation from our allies.”

It is thought the Russian presence could be linked to the reported departure of one of the Royal Navy's Vanguard-class nuclear submarines from Faslane naval base at Gare Loch on the River Clyde. The Vanguards carry Trident ballistic missiles.

Such "visits" from Russian subs have reportedly been "happening quite often" off the north and west coasts of Scotland.

The operation follows a deployment in November of two US Navy Orions, a Royal Canadian Air Force Aurora and a French Dassault Atlantique.

It was suggested at the time that a suspected Russian submarine may have been trying to track one of Britain's four Vanguard-class boats after a fishing trawler spotted an "unknown submarine periscope" close to Faslane.

The search came a month after another suspected Russian submarine was spotted off Sweden’s Stockholm archipelago and as relations with the Kremlin are at their worst since the Cold War.

This week, US crews coordinated with the anti-submarine frigate HMS Somerset, which has been operating off Scotland for a month.

A source at RAF Lossiemouth is reported to have disclosed that the US aircraft, known as Skinny Dragons and usually based in Hawaii, have been flying up to two missions a day since New Year's Eve.

Mr Roberts, added: "HMS Somerset is a capable platform and I have no doubt that her deployment alongside these US Navy aircraft is related to the reported departure of a Royal Navy Vanguard ballistic missile submarine from Faslane, and the countering of any Russian deployment from over the horizon."

Angus Robertson MP, SNP defence spokesman, whose constituency contains RAF Lossiemouth, said the deployment showed that Britain had resorted to going to its allies with a "begging bowl".

An MoD spokesman said: "We can confirm that the UK recently requested assistance from allied forces for basing of maritime patrol aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth for a limited period. The aircraft have been conducting maritime patrol activity with the Royal Navy; we do not discuss the detail of maritime operations."

The search for the unidentified foreign vessel was likened to the script from Sean Connery’s 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, in which the actor played a Soviet commander who defects to the US in a submarine equipped with ballistic missiles.


Gen. Carlisle ‘Extremely Concerned’ About Drone Force

on January 06, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Lethal Presence

WASHINGTON: The Air Force has worried for almost a decade about the strains on its workforce as it fields more and more Predators, because drones need more people to fly them than do manned aircraft. Now, the head of Air Combat Command has told his boss, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, that he is “extremely concerned” about a “perfect storm” of increased missions and fewer pilots.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby was asked about the issue at today’s press briefing and he left it to the Air Force to discuss. My colleague Dave Majumdar at the Daily Beast got the memo.

“ACC believes we are about to see a perfect storm of increased COCOM [Combatant Commander] demand, accession reductions, and outflow increases that will damage the readiness and combat capability of the MQ-1/9 enterprise for years to come,” Dave quotes Carlisle saying in the memo. “ACC will continue to non-concur to increased tasking beyond our FY15 [fiscal year 2015] force offering and respectfully requests your support in ensuring the combat viability of the MQ-1/9 platform.”

Predator operaters see whole picture

As an Air Force officer reminded me yesterday, this is not a new issue for the service. The Government Accountability Office issued a report in April criticizing the Air Force’s management of the drone force, saying that unless the service changed how it manages its drone pilot forces “the Air Force risks perpetuating personnel shortages and may need to continue relying on manned-aircraft pilots to fill its personnel requirements.”

Here’s the nub of the report:

“Air Force guidance states that low crew ratios diminish combat capability and cause flight safety to suffer, but the Air Force has operated below its optimum crew ratio and it has not established a minimum crew ratio. Further, high work demands on RPA pilots limit the time they have available for training and development and negatively affects their work-life balance. In addition, the Air Force faces challenges recruiting officers into the RPA pilot career and may face challenges retaining them in the future. High-performing organizations tailor their recruiting and retention strategies to meet their specific mission needs, but the Air Force has not tailored its approach to recruiting and retaining RPA pilots nor considered the viability of using alternative personnel such as enlisted personnel or civilians.”

I checked the report to see if the recommendations GAO made to the Air Force had been adopted, rejected or acted on. All are marked as Open, meaning that GAO has not verified any changes made by the Air Force.

So it may be that Hawk Carlisle, who only took over as head of Air Combat Command in October, doesn’t know about this part of the puzzle yet. The normal action of a service faced with a problem like this is to throw money at it. And I understand there is a good chance that the Carlisle will get more money for more pilots in the upcoming budget.

It takes more than 80 people to fly a full complement of four Predators for 24 hours. And there are a lot of Predators flying. They are operating over Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and probably a whole lot of places we don’t know about on any given day.  But more pilots may not solve the longer term problem. As the drawdown presumably proceeds over the next few years, the Air Force may shrink a bit more. If military pay does not increase at the same rate as in the civilian world you may see more people leave.

This is exactly the kind of problem that increasingly will afflict the US military as money shrinks but its global missions persist.


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