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. New York’s robot policemen
The NYPD is unleashing a robot police officer on wheels to patrol the Times Square subway, according to the NYT:
The K5, described as a “fully autonomous” security robot, is part of a push by the mayor for more law-enforcement technology…
As much as it’s called a “robot police officer”, in essence, it’s a mobile surveillance unit. A bunch of security cameras on wheels.
This roll-out (see what we did there?) follows New York Mayor Ernie Adams’ trip to Israel where he witnessed how the world’s most democratic police state uses drones to monitor its system of racial apartheid.
Adams has used drones himself in the past, most recently to monitor crowds during the West Indian American parade events.
Right now it’s just an autistic Dalek, blundering about a subway station waiting to crash on the tracks or knock passengers down, but the automation of any kind of surveillance or law enforcement is a bad sign.
2. Zero meat and Rationing air travel to save the world
This is actually over a week old, but noteworthy enough to break the rules.
The C40 – a coalition of 40 of the largest urban centres in the world – released a report last week, “The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World”, which makes several recommendations on how to save the planet.
They list “realistic” and “ambitious” targets for each category.
“Realistically” they want to limit meat and dairy to 16 and 90 kg per person per year, “ambitiously” they want to take that down to zero by 2030.
They also want to eliminate private vehicles completely and limit everyone to just three new clothes items per year (I don’t know if socks count as two, but for the sake of comedy I hope so.)
Their “ambitious target” for air travel is limiting everyone to one short return flight per person every three years.
This has been floating around the idea sphere for a long time, with very little coverage of what it really would mean.
For starters, of course, there would be exceptions: Private jets, diplomatic flights, military flights, sports teams, celebrities…you get the idea.
Secondly, they would make it so you can sell your “air coupons” (or whatever they call them), meaning poor people don’t fly at all and sell their flights to the wealthy. They’ll almost certainly include a “carbon neutral” clause too, meaning if you invest in solar power or plant trees you can “earn” more flights.
You can read the whole report here.
3. The missing F35
Sometime this week an American F-35 jet just disappeared.
Rumours have swirled, with some saying it was brought down by small arms fire from militia groups (unlikely) and others that it exploded in midair.
After days of speculation, the US authorities claimed the plane had crashed but the (as yet unnamed) pilot ejected and parachuted to safety, They even released audio of a 911 call the pilot made afterwards, using a local’s phone.
That’s a military pilot talking, apparently. You’d think there’d be protocol in place, that he’d have a dedicated DoD or Pentagon number to call. But no, he just called the local sheriff. Maybe they called a tow truck, too.
Whatever happened, it did generate some fun Babylon Bee headlines…
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) September 18, 2023
BONUS: Media lesson of the week
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy found out the Washington Post was writing an article about him, without talking to him at all. He called them and recorded the call on speakerphone…
I Caught Wind That The Washington Post Was Writing A Hit Piece About Me And My Pizzafest So I Did What I Do. I Went on the Offensive pic.twitter.com/5oK2zJqVAs
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) September 20, 2023
Now, whatever you think of Portnoy or his politics, this is a solid lesson in handling the media.
Don’t lose your temper, but be assertive (he is perhaps a little too belligerent). Record it yourself so they can’t lie about what you say. Ask to see the article before it’s published. Say you’ll cooperate if they will be fair (they won’t be, but recording that makes you look reasonable). It’s good stuff.
The squirming of the WaPo reporter is fun to see too. It’s also noteworthy the Twitter video has had almost 50 million views, which is far greater than WaPo’s current readership.
BONUS II: Sabotage of the week
The UK is rolling out its autumn Covid boosters, and somebody somewhere had the genius idea of advertising the campaign on the sides of garbage trucks…
Who had the bright idea of advertising covid vaccines on garbage trucks? pic.twitter.com/0ED2DikaoX
— Dr Clare Craig (@ClareCraigPath) September 22, 2023
…if that is deliberate sabotage from some insider, well played.
It’s not all bad…
The largest Freedom March in a while took place in London yesterday, in no small part due to London’s ULEZ program and the passing of the Online Safety Act. Of course, the media ignored it in favour of covering the rather redundant rejoin march.
There was a freedom march in Toronto too.
People aren’t broken yet.
You can also buy tickets to the “Official Story vs The Truth” event, hosted by Cognitive Resonance in London next Saturday, the 30th of September. It will feature Prof Piers Robinson, Matt Campbell and others discussing 911, JFK, Covid and the censorship industrial complex.
That’s the past and present covered, so here’s the (potential) future; not exactly “positive”, but this short film is fantastic…
…apparently the visuals are all AI generated using the script as a prompt. Interesting stuff.
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.
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