USS Sampson (DDG-102) to help New Zealand relief effort

The guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), operates in the Java Sea while supporting the Indonesian-led search effort for AirAsia flight QZ8501. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos/Released)
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JAVA SEA (Jan. 14, 2015) The guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), operates in the Java Sea while supporting the Indonesian-led search effort for AirAsia flight QZ8501. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos/Released)

US Navy release:

The U.S. Navy is supporting recovery efforts in response to the earthquake in New Zealand. In addition to a maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, USS Sampson (DDG 102) and its two embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopters is now, at the request of the New Zealand government, on its way to Kaikoura to support disaster relief efforts.

USS Sampson, a U.S. Navy destroyer whose crew just days ago conducted a passing exercise with Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Endeavour, a Royal New Zealand Navy fleet replenishment oiler, has altered course to join the New Zealand-led task force efforts.

Just Another Day in Iraq

91 people killed in 2 bombings in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 91 people were killed Sunday in two bombings in the Iraqi capital, including a large-scale attack claimed by the Islamic State group that killed 86 people — among them 15 children — in a central shopping district, officials said.

The bombings demonstrated the extremists’ ability to mount significant attacks despite major battlefield losses, including the city of Fallujah, which was declared “fully liberated” from IS just over a week ago.

Fallujah was “fully liberated” years ago. Then we let it fall back into the hands of the bad guys. Murdoc guesses that the city will see-saw back and forth for years to come.

Battlewagon Wednesday – 29 Jun 2016

A little international battlewagonry this Wednesday:

The main armament of Iron Duke-class battleship, HMS Emperor of India.
The main armament of Iron Duke-class battleship, HMS Emperor of India.

HMS Emperor of India was the fourth of four Iron Duke-class ships which were all launched in 1912 and 1913. Their main armament consisted of ten 13.5″ guns in five twin turrets. They were 622 feet long and displaced 25,000 tons.

The HMS Emperor of India missed Jutland because she was being refitted at the time. She was eventually scrapped as a result of the 1930 London Naval Treaty.

Layout of Iron Duke class battleships
Layout of Iron Duke class battleships

Fighting in Ukraine Picking Up

Ukraine Coat of ArmsMassive Escalation In Fighting Yesterday, With Focus Back On Shirokino

According to this morning’s ATO Press Center report, the heaviest fighting was seen around the village of Shirokino, on the Azov coast east of Mariupol.

Here, the report says, 15 attacks were recorded over the day, with Russian-backed fighters using mortars, self-propelled artillery and small arms.

During a skirmish near the village yesterday afternoon, troops from the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, supported by the regular army’s 54th reconnaissance battalion, defeated a group of Russian-backed fighters were were attempting to move across the front line.

Apache and Leopard

A U.S. Army AH-64 helicopter crew, assigned to 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, provides over watch for a Danish Leopard 2 battle tank moving into initial battle position on the live-fire range during Operation White Sword at the Oksbol Training Area, Denmark, Dec. 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of Rune Dyrholm, Danish Royal Army
A U.S. Army AH-64 helicopter crew, assigned to 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, provides over watch for a Danish Leopard 2 battle tank moving into initial battle position on the live-fire range during Operation White Sword at the Oksbol Training Area, Denmark, Dec. 10, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Rune Dyrholm, Danish Royal Army

I thought all online petitions were pranks

Brexit ‘2nd Referendum Petition’ A 4 Chan Prank: BBC Report It As Real

Murdoc thinks it’s safe to assume that any online petition for a controversial subject that garners more than 100 signatures suffers from at least some fraudulence, but it appears that the big petition to reconsider the result of the Brexit referendum is really getting hammered by bots. Yet the BBC and others were touting the numbers as meaningful yesterday as MO had noted.

By Sunday afternoon in the UK, the national broadcaster deigned to report that Parliament was investigating the petition for fraud.

Other liberal media scions also pounced on the petition.

But 4Chan’s posters had set up scripts and bots to add fake names to the petition at an impossible rate, spamming it with unlikely addresses in ‘Ghana’ and elsewhere.

Though this appears to show that hackers are responsible for many of the signatures, Murdoc has little doubt that many Britons who truly wish for a re-vote signed as well. But their honest wishes will be lost in the noise of a massive spamming. That’s too bad (honestly) but maybe it will help bring an end to the online petition silliness.

People act like petitions at WhiteHouse.gov and MoveOn.org and wherever matter. They don’t. Elections matter.

Murdoc would be more concerned about the Brexit result (especially short-term) if it weren’t for the cast of politicians speaking out so loudly against it. The fact that they are so strongly opposed tells Murdoc that it must be a fairly decent idea.

Over A Million Sign Petition for Brexit Do-Over

Britons split after seismic EU vote

In a sign of the fissures exposed by the June 23 vote, 1.2 million people signed a petition on the official government website by late morning calling for a repeat vote — more than 12 times the 100,000 signatures required for a proposal to be discussed in the lower house of parliament.

If Britons really had cared that much to remain, they would have voted to do so, wouldn’t they have?

Murdoc likes this bit:

European powers called for Britain to be shown the door quickly as they grappled with the impending loss of one of the world’s top economies, the first defection in the bloc’s 60-year history.

How do you spell “panic” in European? There are a lot of people who were supposed to make sure the referendum went the other way that were a little overconfident and probably didn’t do everything they should have. Now they’re working overtime to try to get a petition heard.

There will definitely be shockwaves for a while. And there will be winners and losers as a result of this, and we’re only going to hear about the losers in the media. But Murdoc believes this is the best unexpected good news we’ve had in a while.

Whoever the next US President is should put a lot of effort into rebuilding the US-UK alliance, militarily, socially, and economically. One of the candidates will. One won’t.

Russian Strike Plane Shot Down by Turk F-16s

A Russian Su-24 on mission over Syria was shot down by the Turkish Air Force.

A NATO member shooting down a Russian combat plane. Turks say airspace was violated. Russians say it wasn’t. Can’t see anything bad coming of this.

Murdoc does not like posts where he tags both “Cold War 2” and “World War 4.”

Say what you will, but lack of leadership in many places at many levels has brought everyone here.

We might not be on the brink, but we can see the brink from here.

EDIT: Typo. Su-24 not Su-25.