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This Week in the New Normal #32

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1. Gun control back in the news

America has been a dangerous place this past month – even more so than usual.

A couple of weeks ago we had the Buffalo shooting, where a young man allegedly stormed into a supermarket and shot several patrons in the name of “protecting the white race”. Apparently, there was a manifesto.

This week, a “loner” teenager stormed an elementary school where he shot 19 pupils and 2 teachers. The story is that police let him run rampant inside the school for almost an hour for fear they might “get shot”.

Just yesterday, a man allegedly opened fire on a high school graduation with an AR15, only to be in-turn shot by a woman with a pistol.

We’re all familiar with the tropes. “Loner” suspects on psychotropic medications who are “known to the FBI”. Violent video games, improbable timelines, constantly shifting, mutually contradictory story points and inexplicable finances.

If history is any guide, we should be assuming any “terrorist” attack – foreign or domestic – is a psyop to some degree or another, until it is proven otherwise.

Past precedent tells us that any alleged “lone looney” was probably not the latter, and almost certainly not the former.

Maybe this case will be the exception to that rule, but as the inevitable “gun control” debate rolls out, scepticism about the “problem” and its “solution” is definitely the order of the day.

It will be very interesting to see how far they take their assault on the 2nd Amendment this time.

2. The Monkeypox of Damocles

Not showing the signs of having learned even a single lesson from Covid, Canada appears to be enthusiastically embracing the next trending disease.

Quebec has announced they are going to start vaccinating people against monkeypox, despite there being only 25 “cases” across the entire province (with another 30 “under investigation”).

Canada gonna Canada I guess.

This comes as the WHO asks countries to “increase surveillance” for the disease. This means increase testing, and since monkeypox is detected using a  – you guessed it – PCR, we can expect those “cases” (probably “asymptomatic”) to keep going up.

Don’t worry though, VOX says “experts believe it can be contained”, and only undermines that a tiny bit by mentioning all the things that could go wrong to make it another pandemic:

Containment is possible. But the window could soon start closing…

Windows closing…time running out…will the monkey escape its cage…oooh those shivers of dread.

Pretty clear what’s happening here.

They’re keeping a phony Monkeypox pandemic poised on the starting blocks.

There’s a sword of phony Monkeypox dangling over our heads.

They’ve got a phony Monkeypox bullet in the chamber, and their finger on the trigger.

Whether or not they make this dormant rollout go live  depends on how the public reacts to other narratives, how/when Ukraine fatigue kicks in, and whether or not the disastrous state of the economy causes people to protest in the streets.

You can bet the first food riot, wherever and however it happens, will become a monkeypox “super spreader event”.

BONUS: Really bad science of the week

A new study has found that vegan diets are better for dogs than meat-based diets. At least, that’s what you’d think if you read just the headline of this Independent article.

However, if you read the body of the text you’ll find that’s the complete and total reverse of what the study actually finds.

The warning signs are all there in the opening paragraph, emphasis very-much added:

Nutritious vegan diets for dogs MAY BE linked to better health, and COULD BE less hazardous, than traditional meat-based diets, a new study SUGGESTS.

Not exactly hard data we’re dealing with here. It gets better…

Andrew Knight, of the University of Winchester, and colleagues found that while the animals on raw meat diets APPEARED to be healthier than those on vegan diets, several factors prevented them from concluding raw meat diets ARE healthier.

For those of you who need this translated from academia-speak:

The “study” (it’s really just a survey) anticipated the vegan diet would be healthier, which, given that dogs are basically carnivores, says much for the triumph of ideology over common sense.  When, to their dismay, the raw meat diet actually proved the healthiest they then boldly weasel-worded their way around the inconvenient fact to fit their foregone (probably “incentivized”)  conclusion.

Very poor science, but very typical ScienceTM. The authors will get plenty of funding I’m sure.

It’s not all bad…

In California, despite vowing to pass the “toughest vaccine requirements in the country” back in January, Democratic lawmakers have pulled their vaccine mandate bills before they even faced a vote. A good sign, and one that hopefully will have the knock-on effect of ensuring the “vaccinate 12-year-olds without parental consent” bill doesn’t pass the upper house later this year.

Neil Oliver’s weekly monologue on the Davos Summit and the decaying social contract is well worth a listen…

And Bob Moran at his brilliant best…

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All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the brand new chemical they just found in the atmosphere that might be causing heart attacks or plans for an EU-wide “digital wallet”.

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.