Thursday, March 24, 2022

News Roundup - 24 March 2022

If Ukraine rejects a deal, there could be much worse to come

by  Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley in TCW Defending Freedom,

IN my last article in TCW I suggested that Russia was positioning itself for peace negotiations and set out, given what they now held, what the terms might be. Putin’s pitch to President Erdogan of Turkey came soon after and it was very much as I had set out. Today there are signals from the negotiations that a deal is ‘close’. To recap, this would hinge on Russia gaining the Donbas, perhaps after a referendum and no guesses as to how that would go; Crimea and its water supply; a corridor to the Crimea, either by annexation of territory on the coasts of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea or else as a concession like that to Kaliningrad on the Baltic; and Ukraine giving up all ideas of membership of Nato, and also possibly the EU if the EU could afford them. Putin appears not to want to occupy the rest of Ukraine – apart from anything else, he does not have half a million troops to garrison it, even if he could pay them after the effects of western sanctions have bled him.

What would Ukraine get in return for such huge concessions?  No further (substantial) damage to Kiev and no encroachment on the port of Odessa on the Black Sea for sure; guarantees of security for what they would be worth; and presumably the safety of President Zelensky and his family. This would leave Ukraine free, but without most of its industrial infrastructure and its resources of minerals and gas, dependent on agricultural exports and lower living standards for Ukrainians. There might have to be some sort of Marshall Aid plan for Ukraine, with Russia making a contribution, or else a deal like this is unlikely to bring an end to Western sanctions on Russia and so even as Putin declares victory at home, the squeeze on ordinary Russians will get ever worse.

 The region has a distinct identity and doesn’t fit neatly into either Russia or Ukraine

Historic roots of the Donbass problem explained

Current events have brought a renewed focus on the Donbass, a historical region on the border of Ukraine and Russia. By the standards of history, this area has emerged quite recently, and has always stood a little apart. It’s important to understand its evolution when viewing this crisis, which began in 2014. 

Today, Donbass is an industrial and mining region, but for a long time it was largely uninhabited. The steppe zone that ran along the southern borders of medieval ‘Rus’ (not yet divided into Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus) was called the ‘Wild Fields.’ It was home to nomadic peoples and farmers only moved south with great difficulty. After the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, the Wild Fields  was a dangerous place to find yourself. 

Around four hundred years, a few peasants from Russia and Ukraine began to gradually settle in the future Donbass.

A great leap forward came in the 19th century when the coal deposits discovered there became necessary for industry. It was then that many of the cities without which it is impossible to imagine today’s Donbass were founded. In 1869, the British industrialist John Hughes built a factory around which the village of Yuzovka grew – it had a few more names, including Stalino,  before a local man renamed it Donetsk, in 1961

As Energy System Comes Apart, Germany Now Preparing Emergency Natural Gas Rationing Plans

from Watts Up With That, 24 March 2022

By P Gosselin on 22. March 2022 

Germany is saying “auf Wiedersehen” to plentiful and cheap energies and welcoming tight supplies and rationing. Unless they radically change course, German policymakers will soon be closing the remaining nuclear power plants by the end of the year and coal-fired power plants will be phased out over the coming 15 years.

 To make matters worse, European policymakers are moving to phase out fossil fuel powered cars and to replace them with e-vehicles, thus leading to skyrocketing electricity demand precisely when supply is being choked off. Experts warn of blackouts and hyperinflationary energy prices. Moreover, Europe is moving to profoundly restrict its supply of natural gas from Russia. 

All these measures taken together are certain to lead to unprecedented energy shortages over the coming years. Therefore, it’s little wonder the government is now scrambling to make plans to ration natural gas when the disastrous shortages arrive. “The government is having a contingency plan drawn up to determine which companies should first stop receiving gas when Russian natural gas fails to arrive,” reports Blackout here. “A corresponding emergency plan is being prepared under the auspices of the Federal Network Agency.” Continue reading >>>

[Daily Stirrer] ... [ Our Page on on Substack ]... [Boggart Aboad] ... [ Greenteeth Home ] ... [ Greenteeth on ] ... [ Here Come The Russians ] ... [ Latest Posts ]

‘A Loss of Humanity’: Dr. Scott Atlas Laments Societal Damage Caused by Psychotic COVID Authoritarians

from Big League Politcs 24 March 2022

On Wednesday night, Dr. Scott Atlas, former member of White House Coronavirus Task Force, appeared at Michigan State University where he addressed hundreds of students about the disastrous consequences of failed COVID-19 policy.

During the presentation, Dr. Atlas went through dozens of studies showing how COVID-19 lockdowns caused cascading problems that society may never recover from. These include excess deaths, severe mental health issues, economic damage to the poor and lower class, and a permanent divide among the brainwashed and those who have maintained the ability of independent, rational thought.

Before his presentation, Dr. Atlas met privately with patriotic leaders throughout the state – including journalists, gubernatorial candidates, state representatives, student activists, civil liberties attorneys, front-line doctors and others – where he talked candidly about the dire situation facing America.

Dr. Atlas addressed top activists in the state before speaking with students at Michigan State University.

Dr. Atlas, whose book A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America is now for sale, described how his naivety led him into the role of lead skeptic against megalomaniacal government scientists at war with free humanity.

“We are in a world where we can not trust people to be filters any more. We cannot trust people anymore because they have credentials,” Dr. Atlas explained.
Continue reading >>>


SYSTEM FAILURE: Commodities markets, banks, currencies and contracts begin breaking down… and the consequences will be catastrophic

by Mike Adams, News Target - 24 March 2022

When Nickel prices recently spiked at $100,000 / ton, the London Metal Exchange (LME) decided to halt all trading and reverse over 4,000 trades in order to protect the profits of a China-based mega-player who had been exposed to over $5 billion in margin calls. In effect, the LME declared that it will now pick winners and losers arbitrarily, the markets be damned.

In doing that, the LME committed credibility suicide. There is now no rational reason for any investor or trader to trust any transaction at the LME, not in copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel or other metals. Markets no longer work at the LME, and you are only allowed to “win” a trade if the LME gives you the nod. Wins can also be retroactively stolen from you by the exchange reversing trades. They will actually go back in time to screw you over for past winnings.

Just recently in Canada, the tyrannical Justin Castro Trudeau regime ordered banks to seize private account holdings of citizens who donated to the freedom trucker convoy. Overnight, the contract of banking was ripped to shreds. Banks can no longer be trusted to protect the assets you have deposited with them. Instead, they will steal your money any time the government orders them to do so, utterly without any due process or rule of law, even if you have broken no laws whatsoever.

On a larger scale, the central banks of the world just stole $300 billion in central bank “reserves” owned by Russia. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, western banks decided this gave them permission to steal $300 billion in Russian assets, thereby destroying the entire concept of “reserves” in one fell swoop. Now, no rational nation in the world will trust western central banks to hold their reserves in a safe manner. Central banks are now train robbers. They will loot whatever accounts are held by foreign nations they no longer like.

In courtrooms across America and western nations, facts, reason and law are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Prosecutorial decisions are now made entirely based on virtue signaling. If a Leftist murders a Trump supporter in broad daylight, the charges will be dropped against them — this is exactly what happened recently in Colorado. But if a conservative does nothing more than peacefully protest at the nation’s capitol building, they will be thrown into prison for years without trial, even if they violated no laws and did nothing wrong.
Continue reading >>>

[Daily Stirrer] ... [ Our Page on on Substack ]... [Boggart Aboad] ... [ Greenteeth Home ] ... [ Greenteeth on ] ... [ Here Come The Russians ] ... [ Latest Posts ]

China Quietly Buying Russian Oil As Kazakhstan Says CPC Terminal Halt To Last

from Zero Hedge, 24 March 2022

Days after we reported that India stubbornly refused to yield to western pressure and continued to buy cheap Russian crude oil at a discount of around $30 to dated brent...

... today Bloomberg reports what we have known all along, namely that China’s oil refiners are "discreetly" purchasing cheap Russian crude as the nation’s supply continues to seep into the market.

However, unlike India’s state-run oil refiners, which have issued a number of tenders seeking to buy Russia’s flagship Urals crude among other grades, traders say China’s state processors are negotiating privately under the radar with sellers so as not to make their support for the Putin regime too glaring in light of Western opposition.

At the same time, China’s worst virus outbreak since the start of the pandemic has led to some oil refiners cutting back operations and is forcing analysts to rethink their demand estimates.

So on one hand, the Covid-19 resurgence is posing a threat to global oil consumption and may accelerate demand destruction, helping to rein in bloated prices that soared on Russia’s war in Ukraine, but on the other it seems the world is about to be hit with another lengthy disruption.

Continue reading >>>
[Daily Stirrer] ... [ Our Page on on Substack ]... [Boggart Aboad] ... [ Greenteeth Home ] ... [ Greenteeth on ] ... [ Here Come The Russians ] ... [ Latest Posts ]

Sharron Davies threatened after criticising Lia Thomas competing in women's sport

James Micklethwaite, GB News, 24 March 2022

The former Olympic swimmer waded into the row on Lia Thomas, who was born a man, competing in women's swimming 

Sharron Davies MBE revealed she has been threatened over her views on transgender women competing in women's sport.

Swimmer Lia Thomas sparked huge debate around the subject when she became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming title.

Debate raged around whether Lia should be able to compete in the women's division after transitioning from a male.

Labour MP Charlotte Nichols congratulated Lia on her achievement, branding any criticism as "lazy transphobia".

But Olympic silver medallist Ms Davies argued that it was unfair for women for Lia to be competing against them.

Sharron Davies
Sharron Davies

Since airing her views, Ms Davies revealed on Twitter she had received "several threats".

She wrote: "I’ve received several threats to myself and my work because I present evidence based facts on the unfairness of male inclusion in women’s sport.

"Which is biological sex based decriminalisation. I will not stop bringing these actual facts into the light or be bullied into silence.

"I’m used to it now. But I feel we are turning the corner and open debate to find science based solutions are not far away that will protect the integrity and rights of females in sport as well as offering up ways to be inclusive but not as the cost of another groups rights."

Mar 19, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Penn Quakers swimmer Lia Thomas on the pool deck at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Georgia Tech. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Penn Quakers swimmer Lia Thomas on the pool deck at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Georgia Tech. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas' victory came after a civil rights complaint was submitted against the University of Pennsylvania for permitting her to compete on its swimming team.

Also brought up was Lia's ranking of 462nd when she competed in the male ranks.

Government of Canada data shows the Triple Vaccinated are over 5x more likely to die of Covid-19 than the Unvaccinated

The Daily Expose, 24 March 2022

The Government of Canada recently started to include the triple vaccinated in their weekly data on Covid-19 deaths by vaccination status. But unfortunately for those who have succumbed to three doses of a Covid-19 injection, that data shows they are over 5 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than the unvaccinated population.


The Canadian Covid-19 figures are produced by the Government of Canada (see here).

Their latest data is available as a downloadable pdf here.

Here are the tables from the January 30th, February 6th, February 13th, February 20th, and February 27th, Government of Canada Covid-19 Daily Epidemiology Update’ reports showing the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths by vaccination status from as far back as 14th December 2020, as well as the total population sizes of each vaccine group at the time of each report –

Google’s dominance of advertising is being exposed


An investigation by the competition regulator goes to the heart of how Google's parent company Alphabet makes its astonishing fortune

google logo
Google owes its dominance to the way it can control information Credit: Anadolu Agency

When the internet burst into the public consciousness in the mid 1990s after being the exclusive territory of computer professionals and nerds for a decade, foremost among the early adopters of the simplified internetworking technology known as theWorld Wide Web were libertarian idealists. These people believed the new electronic publisjing and communications medium would open a universe of information to anybody who had access to a computer, modem and phone line. All the information in the world would be at the fingertips of every human being. And for those who wanted to participate by publishing their thoughts, opinions and ideas which some of their friends might not understan and their bosses might take exception too, the internet offered the bonus of anonimity.

Form a business point of view a classic cartoon in The New Yorker magazine sumed up the equalising nature of this new medium in the caption: If nobody on the internet knows you’re a dog,  nobody would know you were a small business either, especially one that was punching above its weight. 

This promised to make the built - in advantages of the muli - national corporation, the globally recognised brand and the mega - factory redundant. A new business environment of dynamism and competition awaited us all – a world of free information, level playing fields and purer , less manipulated markets.


We’re a little wiser today, and so are competition regulators. Ten days ago, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority opened an investigation into an esoteric practice in digital advertising – “header bidding” – that only a few insiders ever really understood. But don’t let that fool you. The probe goes to the heart of how Google makes its astonishing fortune. 

The legal discovery work of mining millions of corporate emails and documents was undertaken by the state attorney general office in Texas, and culminated in a lawsuit filed by the state in December 2020. 

But the details only came out in dribs and drabs until the full unredacted document was disclosed this January. The subsequent outcry left the CMA little choice but to join in, and Brussels launched its own probe the same day as the CMA.

Digital advertising is intimidatingly complex, but conceptually it remains fairly straightforward. Publishers of a newspaper or an app or a game have a blank space to sell. For their part, businesses with products or services want to reach a potential audience, and to do so as cheaply and effectively as possible. 

The traditional method in the old physical world saw newspapers negotiating a price for the space directly with agencies representing big brands. But with electronic ads, there is an opportunity for an efficient electronic marketplace. An intermediary sits between buyer and seller, and this is where we find Google, which dominates the sector. By its own calculations, 84pc of publishers worldwide, and 99pc of large US publishers use Google ad services to fill their digital slots.

Google owes its dominance to the way it can control information – with a presence on both sides of the digital ad platform, buying and selling, as well as sitting pretty in the middle. In one of the most notorious emails unearthed by Texas investigators, one Google staffer explains: “the analogy would be if Goldman or Citibank owned the New York Stock Exchange”. 

But were the publishers getting good value? Were the ad buyers? It was a mystery, and they couldn’t accurately say, because the digital ad auction manipulations were so complex and obscure. As another senior Google employee explained in an internal communication: “charging non-transparently on both sides” gave Google “some flexibility to react and counteract market changes.” No wonder the casino always appeared to win.

That was until 2014, when publishers devised a clever wheeze that allowed them to compare the performance of Google’s ad exchange with other rival ad exchanges. This was via a technique called header bidding – because some code was inserted in the header of a web page – and for the first time the market could function as it should, and reveal the true value of the digital ad slots. Each side could now get more precious information too. 

The results were astonishing. Publishers saw ad revenues rise by between 30pc and 70pc, the Texas lawsuit alleges. Advertisers liked it too, since the smaller, scrappier rival ad exchanges charged lower fees than Google. Internally Google acknowledged how much all this hurt: rather than taking 20pc, a figure mentioned internally, one manager predicted “margins will stabilise at around 5pc”.

When Google’s rival Facebook, number two in the ad market, jumped on to the header bidding bandwagon, it really changed things. The lawsuit says that Google devised a secret agreement with Facebook, codenamed "Jedi Blue" that gave its biggest competitor huge perks. It also tried to lure publishers on to a mobile platform called AMP, where header bidding wasn’t possible. 

Google denies the claims, arguing that the deal was a "publicly documented, procompetitive agreement". The alleged collusion between Meta (Facebook) and Alphabet (Google) is what makes this lawsuit so explosive: the lawsuit claims that two leading participants in the market colluded, acting like a buying cartel. Incredibly, we are told that Google could guarantee how many bids Facebook would win, down to a tenth of a percentage point.

The 242-page Texas lawsuit reveals a cat and mouse game played out over several years, but consistent themes emerge. As the piggy in the middle, Google was making life more difficult for the buyer and seller, obscuring processes, and preserving their own margin. Google denies the Texas allegations were anti-competitive, and argues that header bidding continues to grow. 

But publishers now wonder aloud how much healthier the media landscape would look today if the ad business had been more competitive. Perhaps more might have gone to keep revenue-starved local media alive, for example. Last year Google’s owner Alphabet reported revenue of $257bn.

At the end of the day, while financial and commodities exchanges are regulated, the digital ad exchanges are not. They might have been, but a decade ago President Obama shut down an FTC probe which would have obliged exchange owners to be transparent with information. Regulating them wisely today, so a market can grow, is one of our regulators' biggest challenges.