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Bruce Dowbiggin

Insubordination: Why Black NBA Stars Don’t Buy The Vax

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Canadian NBA star Andrew Wiggins was supposed to be known as a superstar when he was drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland in the 2014 draft. Now, after seven seasons of mixed playing results, he may instead be best known as the guy who said no to the NBA on their mandatory vaccination rules.

In a delicious irony, he exposed the patronizing double standard of hyper-liberal white NBA media— which fanatically protects black players through every hypocrisy. Until now. And Wiggins, inadvertently, exposed the dirty secret about vaccine resistance: it’s not Ted Nugent, bow-hunting whites leading the idealogical resistance.

It’s people in the black community who, by a large margin, are telling Joe Biden and his liberal pals (gasp) that, while everyone else submits, dissent is their  God-given right in America. In New York City, devastated in 2020 by Covid-19 and governor Andrew Cuomo’s ineptitude, roughly 72 percent of black New York City residents aged 18-44 are now banned banned from entering dining establishments, because they remain stubbornly unvaccinated.

In Florida, Black people have received 9 percent of vaccinations, while they make up 15 percent of cases, 17 percent of deaths, and 15 percent of the total population. (White people received a higher share of vaccinations compared to their share of cases in most states reporting data. )

The percentage of white people who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose (53 percent) was 1.2 times higher than the rate for Black people (45 percent) as of September 20, 2021. This despite the pleading from race hustlers like CNN’s Don Lemon (‘It’s Not About Freedom, It Is About Public Health’) to force blacks to submit to the pressure for a jab.

Wiggins, now with the Golden State Warriors, refused to take the vaccine since his request for a religious exemption was denied. League rules say Warriors players must follow the guidelines of California, the home state of the Warriors. No needle, no playing at the Chase Center for Wiggins. That led the media in squishy NoCal to ask Wiggins’ teammate Draymond Green if he’ll pressure Wiggins to take the jab.

They didn’t get what they expected— or wanted. “It’s not my place or my business on whether he gets vaccinated or not — it’s your own personal choice at the end of the day what you do with your body. It’s not my place to tell him what he should or shouldn’t do with his. Because he’s not going to come tell me what I should do with my body.”  [UPDATE: Golden State coach Steve Kerr now says Wiggins has had the vax. Wiggins insists he was forced. ]

Vax nothwithstanding, Green says, “We’re dealing with something that, to me, feels like (it) has turned into a political war, when you’re talking about vaccinated [people] and non-vaccinated [people],” “I think there is something to be said for people’s concern about something that’s being pressed so hard. Like, why are you pressing this so hard? You’re pressing and pressing and pressing.”

Green continued, “You say we live in the land of the free. Well, you’re not giving anyone freedom, because you’re making people do something essentially… That goes against everything America stands for.”

In Washington, Wizards star Bradley Beal echoed Green’s comments. “I would like an explanation to people with vaccines – why are they still getting COVID if that’s something that we are supposed to highly be protected from?… It’s funny that it only reduces your chances of going to the hospital. It doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID. Right?”

“Some people have bad reactions to the vaccine,” Beal said. “Nobody likes to talk about that. And what happens if one of our players gets the vaccine and they can’t play after that or they have complications after that? Because there are cases like that. But I feel we don’t talk about those as heavily, because they’re so minute maybe. But they are existent.”

Fellow NBA stars Kyrie Irving and Jonathan Isaac echoed Beal and Green on their right to decide. (Here’s Isaac dunking on Rolling Stone . Worse for vax boosters, the league’s bell cow, LeBron James, echoed the feminist diktat that it wasn’t his place to tell anyone what they can take in their body.

That brought out the hate from the press box, a hive of liberal/ progressive white thought if there ever was one.

Draymond Green joins All-Hypocrisy team for vaccine stance” bugled there New York Daily News.

Stop letting NBA anti-vaxxers spout COVID-19 misinformation” announced Yahoo.

Bradley Beal Smugly Parades Ignorance On Covid Vaccines” pronounced Mediaite.

“On vaccines, NBA players are being told to shut up and dribble” noted  the Washington Examiner.

The supposed kill shot in all these jeremiads is the new dagger of promoting “misinformation” (as if the Media Party didn’t do exactly that on Jussie Smollett, the Covington Kids, RussiaGate, Hunter Biden’s laptop and 150 more. ) “Misinformation” now being the all-purpose cleanser for thought disapproved by Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other tech oligarchs.

For the righteous knowledge industry, hearing both sides is now a quaint artifact of the past, like John Phillip Souza band music. As we wrote Nov. 23, 2020. “The sale has been made by those in authority. They call the shots. No one is allowed to dissent. That was the end game.  And there’s no going back when the Woke media warns you that resistance will invite the cancel culture to ruin your life. This is the new reality. Get used to it. And if you value your freedoms, tough luck.”

Almost a year later black NBA stars, of all people, are the ones making this point to the civil libertarians or free-speech liberals that freedom is for everyone, not just for those with whom you agree. Who’d have thunk’ that?

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author of Cap In Hand is also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, his new book with his son Evan is called InExact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Get Back: Imagining The Real John Lennon

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Get Back, Peter Jackson’s new documentary on The Beatles taping their Let It Be album in 1969 has revelations for all generations of Beatles fans. Using video shot at the time for an earlier Michael Lindsay-Hogg film Jackson captures the creative process of the band in all its tortured glory.

Watching the four men create, procrastinate, argue, harmonize, feud and eventually part ways puts meat on the bones of their legend— particularly for those who came to their music since the band split up in1969-70. Seeing them in the context of the time reinforces their astounding productivity and creativity.

While there are have been endless tribute bands since, The Beatles themselves almost came out of thin air. They didn’t discover rock and roll fire but they harnessed it to establish a template often imitated but never quite duplicated. The anticipation of a new album like Revolver (their best) was a cultural event for which there’s no modern equivalent. After they split up members of the group never achieved quite the success they enjoyed as a foursome (George Harrison fans might contest this.).
Jackson’s documentary does establish one salient fact. Yoko Ono did not break up The Beatles. Nor did Linda Eastman nor George Harrison nor Paul McCartney. The Brutus in this plot was John Lennon, the quixotic blunt edge of the group. Distracted and disillusioned in the film, Lennon creates the fissures that finally result in dissolution.

Nursing a nasty heroin addiction as the band starts recording, Lennon is starting the slow-motion breakdown that leads to his later incarnations as Ghandi, Gene Vincent, Randall McMurphy and finally martyred Jesus figure. He can’t concentrate on anything for more that a few minutes. He wants Phil Spector, the Rasputin of rock, to produce the album. He wants Allen Klein to mange Apple, their creative company. He wants to play a public concert.

Eventually it all gets to be too much for the other Beatles. Harrison chafes to record his own music, Ringo feels bored, while McCartney wearies of trying to hold the whole business operqtion together. Lennon, meanwhile, wants to hang with the New York crowd that Yoko has introduced to him.

At its heart the band dramas were about Lennon and loyalty to The Beatles brand. His current beatific image is nothing like the man we see in Get Back. In 1969 he was the scruffy guy who’d written songs like Run For Your Life (“I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man”) and dumped his wife Cynthia for Yoko. (John singing “I’m in love for the first time” about Yoko must have been comforting for his ex-wife Cynthia and son Julian.)

His pacifist politics are summed up in Revolution (“If you talk about destruction, don’t you know you can count me out”) He liked getting in the face of authority. “Once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour.”

And he famously debated his popularity versus that of Jesus. There were seams and creases to the man in the studioi who later became the sloppy drunk pal of Harry Nilsson, boozing themselves to oblivion. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say he was the least loveable of The Beatles in his day— an image he was okay with, apparently.

So Lennon would probably hate the people who define him now by Imagine, the song he wrote that has been sanitized by the establishment. Imagine is what you’d get if Karl Marx met Sesame Street

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharin’ all the world?

No possessions? Kids who can’t go ten feet without checking for their iPhone sing this tripe without irony. Remember that Apple’s name and its iconic startup tone are Beatle tributes. There’s more.

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Livin’ life in peace?

This is how we got Facebook censoring the posts of people who might actually prefer borders and religion. (Frankly this is the part I blame on Yoko.) And this verse prefiguring post-1980s marketing.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Because Lennon was shot to death by one of his lunatic fans— precluding any second act to his llfe— we now see him as corporatized John, smoothed out to be marketable like Big Macs and Apple tablets. As Jackson shows he was anything but a bite-sized commodity.

Watching Lennon still fascinate the public 40-plus years after his murder suggests one lyric that might serve as epitaph: “It’s not like me to pretend. But I’ll get you, I’ll get you in the end. Yes I will, I’ll get you in the end. Oh yeah.” Get Bak to that.

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Embracing Tradeoffs To Finally Create Humane Covid Policy

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The flaw in the treatment of Covid-19 and its variants is the policy of perfection. “We’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life,” Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, declared after he imposed a statewide COVID-19 lockdown last year.  The goal was to “save lives, period, whatever it costs.” 

An outbreak of COVID-19 on the New York Islanders has caused the hockey team to postpone its games through at least Tuesday. As many as eight team members will be unavailable to play because of NHL Covid-19 protocols. Earlier in November, the Ottawa Senators  postponed three games after players entered COVID-19 protocol.

Reports of the outbreak leave out just how sick the players are. If the press releases were more forthcoming they might show that almost all the affected players have mild or no symptoms— like a flu bug— but have ticked the unreliable PCR test for a minuscule trace of the virus. Or they have been in contact with a person who has caught the attention of the PCR auditors.

In previous pandemics these leagues employed no extraordinary measures and play went on normally as players who fell sick were quarantined. There were zero fatalities or long- term sicknesses from SARS, AIDS, H1N1, Hong Kong flu and other previous pandemic viruses. Leaving aside the unreliability of PCR tests the real question is why pro sports leagues continue the whack-a-mole policy of excessive testing.

Surely we have learned that early treatment and helping groups targeted by the virus and its variants is the best means of getting through the current crisis. Depending on which research you read, people in the demographic of the Sens and Islanders players are at as much risk from the vaccines as they are from the virus. Which is, negligible in both cases.

Making this worse has been the very spotty record from health authorities such as the WHO, CDC, Health Canada who took positions, reversed them, and, when challenged, got governments and Big Tech to censor their critics.  Even though other previous pandemic viruses still exist in the population the people in charge pretended that Covid-19 could be wiped away if the public would just adopt their stringent advice. (A position they’re now slowly withdrawing.)

For all the importance placed on the lockdowns/ masks/ distancing, no one in officialdom has yet been able to clearly articulate how they’ve stopped any of the worst aspects of Covid. Infections have followed traditional patterns and peaks. There’s no correlation between lockdowns and the lifespan of a virus. Yet the leagues remain in lockstep with corporations and government by using a test-and-trace standard developed in April 2020 that neither halts the virus nor protects athletes.

Driving government’s initial approach in Canada and the Western world has been Governor Cuomo’s  “every life is sacred” response— predicting that health officials and government technocrats could ultimately eliminate the virus entirely. This assumption— embraced by legacy media— justified the succession of draconian mandates on lockdowns, masks, distancing etc.

In doing so the zealots trampled the most sacred tenets of liberty and freedom in western culture. Locking up people in hotels, requiring small businesses to close while larger ones remain open, forcing people of all ages to take experimental drugs at the risk of their jobs, mandating masks and vaccines on 5-12 year olds… these were wartime measures.

Health® experts forgot the principle economist Thomas Sowell famously observed. “There are no solutions; there are only tradeoffs.” Using an absolutist approach politicians and their embedded media concentrated all their costly efforts on a vaccine. The collateral damage from their single-minded pursuit of vaccines doomed untold millions to addiction, suicide, delayed surgery and neglect.

Sowell’s principle on tradeoffs is the bedrock of a liberal democracy. We balance the options and choose the path that honours both freedom and collective action. One instance of how this works is in the manner in which we travel. Individuals are given the right to own whatever brand of car they like, drive any speed under the law, whenever they like, take whichever route they choose. They buy their choice of insurance to protect them against collisions with the inevitable reckless drivers in our midst.

We also understand that, under this compact, we accept tradeoffs. In 2020, 38,680 people died in motor-vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S. (In 2018 in Canada, there were 1,922 motor vehicle fatalities.) The state could reduce these statistics by reducing speeds, presumably to virtually nothing. But as citizens we see this government overreach as impractical.

Using the absolutist Covid standard on major highways, speeds would be reduced to 10 kilometres/ hour, cars would have governors to enforce speeds and government would tell you when and where you can drive. Absurd. With Covid, however, we have been told that smothering governance is justified, because every life is sacred. There will be no tradeoffs.

As we see the usual suspects gearing up for more overreach caused by a new variant, we may finally reach the breaking point for many citizens. They now see that, in the race for an ending to the virus, the balance between freedom and collective action must not be ignored again . They must say no to unreasonable measures. Whether they can resist the threats of the ruling class and its media partners will be telling.

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

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