Archive for the ‘vaccine mandates’ Category

By John Ruberry

When one looks back the great artists–and I dislike this term–of the classic rock era of the mid-1960s thru the early 1970s, the usual big names to come to mind, the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Bob Dylan. 

One name–and he just released his 43rd studio album last week–is generally overlooked. And that artist is Van Morrison, also known as Van the Man and the Belfast Cowboy. Oh sure, he’s recorded some memorable hits, such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” along with “Moondance” and “Have I Told You Lately.” Before Morrison’s first album, Blowin’ Your Mind, was released in 1967, he was the frontman for Them. That band’s anthemic “Gloria” deservedly appears on many best-ever song lists. 

But Morrison isn’t a much of a self-promoter–he doesn’t do many interviews and he’s not the best media conversationalist–even though Van the Man’s lyrics are generally eloquent and articulate. 

Two years ago Morrison began attracting media attention for his impassioned opposition to COVID-19 lockdowns, which, during the height of them, prevented Van, who turns 77 this summer, from performing live.

Morrison just concluded a short USA tour, a British tour begins Monday. 

In 2020, Morrison released three anti-lockdown songs, “Born to Be Free” and “As I Walked Out,” as well as “No More Lockdown.” That same year Eric Clapton recorded a Morrison-penned anti-lockdown song, “Stand and Deliver.” Clapton, who celebrated his 77th birthday in March, was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. Hey, no reasonable person believes COVID is un-catchable. 

Those anti-lockdown songs led Northern Ireland’s health minister, Robin Swann, to write a Rolling Stone op-ed attacking Morrison, where Swann declared, “Some of what is he saying is actually dangerous.”

Last year in Belfast, after four of his concerts were cancelled, Morrison led a “Robin Swann is very dangerous” chant at a banquet. Because of the chant, Swann sued Morrison.

Which brings us to “Dangerous,” the opening track of Morrison’s brand-new album, What’s It Gonna Take?

Somebody said I was dangerous
I said something bad, but it must’ve been good
Somebody said I was dangerous
I must be getting close to the truth, alright, alright

But Morrison isn’t done with lockdowns, as the first ten songs of this 15-song effort attack COVID-19 restrictions on varying levels.

On the title track, Morrison opines,

Politicians don’t represent the people
Government doesn’t represent us at all
Government takes and ruins all our business
Big tax about to take it all.

In life, I’ve learned that sometimes life is just blah blah blah. Really, because that’s another great tune here, entitled of course, “Sometimes It’s Just Blah Blah Blah.”

How do you like the new normal?
Tell me, how is that going for you?
How did you overcome the restrictions?
How do you handle the news?
Do you still think the government’s not lying to you?
Oh, has the penny dropped yet?
Seems there’s no way out of this impasse
Is it something we’ll live to regret?

What’s It Gonna Take? is absolutely an essential musical release but I suspect it will be savaged by the critics, most of whom are liberals. Morrison’s prior collection, a double album, Latest Record Project, Volume 1, also blew the whistle on lockdown restrictions, as well as social media–quite obviously so on the song “Why Are You On Facebook?” It’s a good album, albeit a bit long, but still far better than the swill that passes as 21st century music. And the critics for the most part hated that Latest Record Project, Volume 1.

As recently as 2017 Morrison described himself as apolitical. Clearly, at least in regards to COVID lockdowns and government overreach, he is now a strident libertarian. 

Rock music, with few exceptions, hasn’t been the soundtrack of rebellion for decades. It’s ironic that the most rebellious rocker today–or perhaps he’s a bluesman?–is a man in his late 70s, the Belfast Cowboy, Van Morrison.

Here’s one final brilliant lyrical excerpt from Van’s latest album, this time from “Damage and Recovery.”

Snowflakes hiding in their houses
Most of us need to get right back to work
Money doesn’t grow on trees
Jobs don’t thrive on barren ground
Narrow-minded politics
So-called social scientist tricks
Telling lies, they’re meant to be
Watching morons on TV.

There are a couple of references to “Gates,” as in Bill Gates, a COVID-alarmist. A couple of weeks ago, the Microsoft founder and self-appointed virus expert said about COVID-19, “We didn’t understand that it’s a fairly low fatality rate and that it’s a disease mainly in the elderly, kind of like flu is, although a bit different than that.”

Wow. Two years ago, if someone posted that sentence on Facebook or Twitter, they’d probably have their accounts suspended.

Morrison was right in 2020 about lockdowns and Gates was wrong.

There’s a little bit of Van Morrison in all of us. There’s a lot of Van Morrison in all thinking people.

What’s It Gonna Take? is available for download on iTunes and for purchase in the CD format on Amazon, where, as of this writing, the reviews are fairly good. And you can buy it or stream it from the Van Morrison official website.

UPDATE May 31, 2022:

Yesterday multiple United Kingdom news outlets reported that Morrison has turned the tables on Robin Swann. He’s suing the Northern Ireland health minister.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit, he’s married to Mrs. Marathon Pundit. Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” plays on their wedding video.

Kyrie gets the last Laugh

Posted: December 18, 2021 by datechguy in covid, nba, Sports, vaccine mandates
Tags: , , , ,

I really cracked up when I read this story:

It’s kind of hard to argue that the unvaccinated Kyrie is a danger to the team when all over the NBA, NHL & NFL games are being delayed and postponed by COVID breakouts among fully vaccinated players but I give yahoo sports credit they give it their best shot:

Players of all levels are testing positive, so what’s the harm in bringing in a healthy body for road games, to help out the overworked Kevin Durant even in a pinch?

The harm, aside from common sense, science and everything believed to be true about teams with championship aspirations, consistent standards and chemistry concerns, seems to open a sliding door that may never be closed again, as Irving will be allowed to play in road games — except for Toronto.

Alas both common sense and science suggests that it’s Kyrie and not those who banned him that were right.

Now this doesn’t change the fact that Kyrie brings the same non-covid baggage that he always carried before there was such a thing as a pandemic and the fact that he almost immediately ended up in the COVID protocols means a delay in the Nets getting him on the floor.

But the bottom line is that Kyrie’s return is a blow to the narrative that has been pushed by the various sports teams in solidarity with the Biden Administration on the vaccine but reality doesn’t care about the narrative and the reality of the cost of cancelled games in cash is starting to have an effect to the point where leagues are reconsidering rewriting the rules concerning COVID protocols.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to discuss changes to their COVID-19 protocols that could ease the burden on vaccinated individuals, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The two sides are working to test vaccinated players less frequently and address player concerns about the number of vaccinated, asymptomatic players who are being forced to miss games because of positive tests.

The real losers in all of this are the players who took the jab and feel like chumps who’ve been played:

The NFLPA has been under pressure in recent weeks from players who are upset because they feel they were effectively forced to get vaccinated (because of the far stricter rules that apply this year to unvaccinated individuals) and as a result of the proliferation of COVID-19 variants are now testing positive and missing games anyway. This has led to player dissatisfaction with other of the league’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, such as mask wearing and physical distancing in team facilities. 

Now as I’ve said repeatedly I have no problem with people getting the vaccine if they feel the cost benefit analysis works for them and I’m sure there are plenty of players in the all the major sports who took the vaccine and thought it was the right move for them.

Kyrie didn’t think so and in the long run it’s worked out for him, and if nothing else he will always be one up on those who took the vaccine unwillingly to play and now feel like chumps.