That’s one way to choke them to death

You win wars by killing large amounts of the enemy.

You also win by destroying their ability to wage war, destroying key infrastructure the enemy uses and wrecking their ability to pay for it all.

Up to $800m (£550m) in cash held by so-called Islamic State (IS) has been destroyed in air strikes, a US military official says.

Maj Gen Peter Gersten, who is based in Baghdad, said the US had repeatedly targeted stores of the group’s funds.

The blow to the group’s financing has contributed to a 90% jump in defections and a drop in new arrivals, he said.

In 2014, the US Treasury called IS “the best-funded terrorist organisation” it had encountered.

In a briefing to reporters, Maj Gen Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the US-led operation against IS, said under 20 air strikes targeting the group’s stores of money had been conducted.

He did not specify how the US knew how much money had been destroyed.   Read more »

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Co-founder of Vox media explains why old media are dying

Joshua Topolsky founded Vox Media to compete with existing mainstream media.

He writes about how media are always looking for the next “new thing” to save their moribund industry and, in the process, deliver ever worsening standards of media.

The media industry now largely thinks its only working business model is to reach as many people as possible, and sell — usually programmatically, but sometimes not — as many advertisements against that audience as it can. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying.

They are also wrong, I believe, in the long run.

And every few months — or let’s say annually — a technology, or idea, or person comes along and the very stupid and slow media industry thinks that New Thing will fix everything. Get them back to the good times. Make those pennies into actual dollars. One year it might be the iPad, the next it might be an “amateur journalist” network, maybe last year it’s You Won’t Believe What Happens Next, maybe next year it’s video (or live video?), maybe it’s bots. Maybe it’s Instant Articles. Maybe it’s your new app.

Certainly it could be a little bit of all of those things. But actually it’s not any of them. You can always get some runway out of the New Thing. You can always get a quick hit that looks like success from the New Thing. But rarely — almost never — is the New Thing what fixes your problem.

Read more »

So Little visits our troops in Iraq to see how the people he doesn’t want to be there are doing

You’ve got to love the hypocrisy and sanctimony of Andrew Little.

Invited on a ministerial tour to our troops in Iraq he somehow manages to get the Media party to call it his secret trip. Never mind that it was Gerry Brownlee’s trip or that Mark Mitchell went as well…no, for the Media party it was Andrew Little’s secret trip to Iraq.

Labour leader Andrew Little has made a top secret visit to Iraq to visit New Zealand troops based at Camp Taji and is now questioning whether the two-year term will be extended.

Mr Little has just left Iraq after Camp Taji with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating.

Labour opposed the 2015 deployment of troops to help train Iraqi soldiers fight against Islamic State (Isis), but Mr Little said he accepted the invitation from Mr Brownlee because he believed it was important to see first hand the work of the troops and the conditions in which they lived.

Mr Little praised the “skill and professionalism” of the troops he met.   Read more »

Cunliffe’s Panama smear fails to stick as OIO declares “no laws were broken”

Yesterday David Cunliffe tried to smear a property owner; today his smear is in tatters.

The Overseas Investment Office says it is satisfied with the decision to allow a foreign company linked to the Panama Papers scandal to buy New Zealand farmland.

The Government agency, which vets all large or sensitive foreign investments in New Zealand, said it had no evidence that Panama-based company Ceol & Muir had breached any laws through its connection to Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“The Overseas Investment Office [OIO] is satisfied that due process was followed in assessing a consent application by Ceol & Muir,” the agency said this afternoon.

Millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca earlier this month showed that the law firm played a key role in helping the world’s wealthy hide their money and assets in foreign trusts, some of which was linked to criminal activity.   Read more »

And the Greens and other left-wing parties want this to all stop?

The planet is greening, literally, and you’ll never guess what is causing it.

Yep, that awful killer trace gas called carbon dioxide…the very same element the left-wing warmists tell us is killing us all.

But before we get started with the blame game…it is NASA who has released the data.

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.   Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.

Face of the Day

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Former UK Official Who Invented Term ‘Islamophobia’: I Got Everything Wrong

He is now trying to make amends. Too little, too late.

Trevor Phillips is helping to present the study as a way of making up for having gotten “almost everything wrong” during his tenure in government. While heading the commission he led the formation of an official report that created and popularized the term “Islamophobia” as a way of stigmatizing any criticism of Islam or of mass Muslim immigration. Now, he admits he was wrong about everything. Read more »

Word of the day

The word for today is…

polycentric (adj) – 1. Having many centres, especially of authority or control.
2. Having several central parts, as a chromosome with multiple centromeres.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : 1826, from poly- + centric.

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 28

1The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

Thursday nightCap