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Category Archives: Jordan Peterson

The one ACC team Michael Jordan wanted to beat most while at North Carolina – Sporting News

Posted: May 24, 2020 at 3:32 pm

It doesn't take much to tick off Michael Jordan.

As we saw repeatedly in "The Last Dance," His Airness could hold a grudge against anyone he'd even create fictitious slights by opposing players and use that bitterness to fuel his competitive drive.

MORE: The greatest Michael Jordan game you definitely don't remember

It turns out that drive goes back to well before his days as a professional. As a senior in high school, Jordan had caught the attention of big schools all over the country, with the most interest coming from Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Everyone knows that Jordan chose to play for Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith at North Carolina, where he helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1982 national championship as a freshman by knocking down the go-aheadshot from the left wing with 18 seconds remaining in regulation. But what if he had chosen differently?

As it turns out, Jordan had interest in another ACC school: Maryland.

The Terrapins, also coached by a Hall of Famer in Lefty Driesell, were national contenders at the time as well. They'd finished first in the 1979-80ACC regular season and were runner-up to UNC in the 1981 ACC Tournament, losing a one-point thriller in the final.

'LAST DANCE': We wanted to see more aboutthese seven topics

Maryland was also interested in recruiting Jordan, though not as much as the young shooting guard might have liked. According to Buzz Peterson, Jordan's roommate at North Carolina, Driesell dangled his last scholarship spot in front of three recruits: Jordan, Petersonand Jeff Adkins.

"(Driesell) says, I've got one scholarship left, and the first one who takes it gets it,'"Peterson told Washington City Paper.

That apparentlydidn't sit right with Jordan (shocker, right?). To pile on, Peterson and Adkins were namedParade MagazineAll-Americans in 1981while Jordan was left off. Adkins ended up taking that scholarship offer from Driesell, and Jordan and Peterson went to UNC.

As if that wasn't enough motivation for Jordan, he got a little more incentive to hate the Terps at the 1981 McDonald's All-AmericanGame. Jordan put together a 30-point performance on 13-of-19 shooting from the field and4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line to go with six steals and four assists. He also made the game-winning free throws with 11 seconds remaining to help the East All-Stars beat the West96-95.

But the co-MVP honors went to Maryland commit Adrian Branch (24 points for the East) and Aubrey Sherrod (19 points for the West), who went on to play for Wichita State.

With all that in mind, it's pretty easy to figure out which team was on Jordan's mind when he looked at UNC's schedule and saw the Terrapins twice every year.

"He was interested in Maryland," Peterson said. "Maryland was the one that he would talk about."

Jordan used that anger as fuel, posting a 5-1 record against the Terrapins in his three years of college.

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Why Hungarys Viktor Orbn is the American rights favorite strongman – Vox.com

Posted: at 3:32 pm

At dawn last Tuesday morning, the police took a man named Andrs from his home in northeastern Hungary. His alleged crime? Writing a Facebook post that called the countrys prime minister, Viktor Orbn, a dictator.

Andrs has a point. After winning Hungarys 2010 election, the prime minister systematically dismantled the countrys democracy undermining the basic fairness of elections, packing the courts with cronies, and taking control of more than 90 percent of the countrys media outlets. He has openly described his form of government as illiberal democracy, half of which is accurate.

Since the coronavirus, Orbns authoritarian tendencies have only grown more pronounced. His allies in parliament passed a new law giving him the power to rule by decree and creating a new crime, spreading a falsehood, punishable by up to five years in prison. The Hungarian government recently seized public funding that opposing political parties depend on; through an ally, they took financial control of one of the few remaining anti-Orbn media outlets. This month, the pro-democracy group Freedom House officially announced that it no longer considered Hungary a democracy.

Andrs was detained for hours for daring to criticize this authoritarian drift. The 64-year-old was ultimately released, but the polices official statement on the arrest noted that a malicious or ill-considered share on the internet could constitute a crime. Andrs, for one, got the message.

I told [the cops] their task had achieved its result and would probably shut me up, he told the news site 444.

Andrss arrest is an unusually naked display of what Hungary has become a cautionary tale for what a certain kind of right-wing populist will do when given unchecked political power. Yet among a certain segment of American conservatives, Orbn is not viewed as a warning.

Hes viewed as a role model.

Orbns fans in the West include notable writers at major conservative and right-leaning publications like National Review, the American Conservative, and the New York Post. Christopher Caldwell, a journalist widely respected on the right, wrote a lengthy feature praising the strongman as a leader blessed with almost every political gift.

Patrick Deneen, perhaps the most prominent conservative political theorist in America, traveled to Budapest to meet Orbn in his office, describing the Hungarian government as a model for American conservatives. Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist and right-wing cultural icon, also made a pilgrimage to the prime ministers office.

Chris DeMuth, the former head of the American Enterprise Institute, interviewed Orbn onstage at a conference, praising the prime minister in opening remarks as not only a political but an intellectual leader. The event was organized by Yoram Hazony, an Israeli intellectual widely influential on the American right and another vocal Orbn fan.

The Hungarian government has actively cultivated support from such international conservatives. John OSullivan, an Anglo-American contributor to National Review, is currently based at the Danube Institute a think tank in Budapest that OSullivan admits receives funding from the Hungarian government.

Pro-Orbn Westerners tend to come from one of two overlapping camps in modern conservatism: religiously minded social conservatives (Deneen, for example) and conservative nationalists (Caldwell, Demuth).

Religious conservatives find Orbns social policies to be a breath of fresh air. Orbn has given significant state support to Hungarys churches, officially labeling his government a Christian democracy. He provided generous subsidies to families in an effort to get Hungarian women to stay at home and have more babies. He launched a legal assault on progressive social ideals, prohibiting the teaching of gender studies in Hungarian universities and banning transgender people from legally identifying as anything other than their biological sex at birth.

Conservative nationalists focus on the Hungarian approach to immigration and the European Union. During the 2015 migrant crisis, Orbn was the most prominent opponent of German Chancellor Angela Merkels open borders approach; he built a wall on Hungarys southern border with Serbia to keep refugees from entering. He has repeatedly denounced the influence the EU has on its member states, describing one of his governing aims as preserving Hungarys national character in the face of a globalist onslaught led by Brussels and philanthropist George Soros.

For Western conservatives of a religious and/or nationalist bent, Orbn is the leader they wish Donald Trump could be smart, politically savvy, and genuinely devoted to their ideals. Hungary is, for them, the equivalent of what Nordic countries are for the American left: proof of concept that their ideas could make the United States a better place.

Yet while the Nordic countries are among the worlds freest democracies, Hungary has fallen into a form of autocracy. This presents a problem for Hungarys Western apostles, as they do not see themselves as advocates of American authoritarianism. Their encomia to Orbn tend to either overlook his authoritarian tendencies or deny them altogether, claiming that biased Western reporters and NGOs are unfairly demonizing Budapest for its cultural and nationalist beliefs.

Hungarys leadership ... is more democratic than most of the countries that lecture Budapest about democracy, Catholic conservative Sohrab Ahmari writes in the New York Post. Hungarys leaders have had it with Western liberal condescension and tutelage.

In reality, its not the Orbn regime thats being persecuted: Its ordinary Hungarian citizens like Andrs. The Western defenders of Orbn are so preoccupied by the culture wars over gender and immigration that theyre overlooking who, exactly, theyve gotten in bed with.

Rod Dreher, a senior editor at the American Conservative, is one of a handful of influential Western writers courted by the Hungarian government. Hes met with Orbn and even had plans to take up a fellowship in Budapest before the coronavirus scrambled everyones lives.

While Dreher has a number of views that liberals find either kooky or reprehensible, hes a talented writer whos hugely influential on the religious and nationalist right. When I asked Dreher for the strongest possible version of the conservative case for Orbn, he sent me a series of lengthy and reflective notes on the subject.

I want to be clear that I dont want to be understood as approving of everything Orbn does, he told me. My approval of Orbn is general, not specific, in the same way that there are people who dont agree with everything Trump does, but who generally endorse him.

This general endorsement is rooted in a sense that the Hungarian leader challenges the liberal elite in a way few others do. In Drehers analysis, the dominant mode of thinking in the West is secular and liberal a political style that suffocates traditional religious observance and crushes specific national identities in favor of a homogenizing, cosmopolitan ideal.

He [Orbn] knew that in 2015, to allow all the Middle Eastern immigrants to settle in Hungary would have been surrendering a Hungarian future for the Hungarian people...and all the traditions and cultural memories they carry with them, Dreher told me. Broadly speaking, the ideology of globalism presumes that those traditions and those memories are obstacles to creating an ideal world. That they are problems to be solved rather than a heritage to be cherished.

This sense of persecution at the hands of secular globalist elites is at the center of the mindset held by Dreher and much of the modern intellectual right. The contemporary fusion of religious and nationalist ideas has created a unified field theory of global cultural politics, defined by a sense that cosmopolitan liberal forces are threatening the very survival of traditional Christian communities. This line of thinking animates many prominent Trump supporters and allies who are Christian conservatives, including Attorney General Bill Barr.

For people like Dreher, who has written that my politics are driven entirely by fear [of] the woke left, Orbn is Trumps more admirable twin. The American president is, as Dreher once argued, a small, ugly, godless and graceless man though one hed rather have in office than a progressive Democrat. The Hungarian leader, by contrast, is in his view both a true believer and a much more effective head of state.

What I see in Orbn is one of the few major politicians in the West who seems to understand the importance of Christianity, and the importance of culture, and who is willing to defend these things against a very rich and powerful international establishment, he tells me. I find myself saying of Orbn what I hear conservatives say when they explain why they instinctively love Trump: because he fights. The thing about Orbn is that unlike Trump, he fights, and he wins, and his victories are substantive.

What I find fascinating about Drehers take which largely typifies the pro-Orbn arguments among both religious conservatives and conservative nationalists is that the issue of democracy plays a secondary role in the conversation.

Dreher doesnt admire Orbns more authoritarian tendencies; indeed, he admits that the man has made mistakes, including in Andrss case. I have no doubt that Viktor Orban is not the philosopher-king of my Christian conservative dreams, he tells me.

But whatever his concerns about threats to basic democratic principles like freedom of the press and fair elections, they dont play a primary role in his thinking. His evaluation of Orbn centers culture war issues like immigration and religion in public life, an ideologically driven view that obscures the damning democratic deficit in Hungary.

In our exchange, Dreher compared his admiration for Orbn to the way Hungarian conservatives hes met admired Trump. When he told his Hungarian acquaintances that he liked what Trump stood for in theory, but had serious issues with the man himself and the way he governs, they were incredulous: Whats not to like about someone whos so willing to stick it to the globalist liberal elites?

They read Trump through Hungarian ideological categories, not American reality and it showed.

Maybe Im seeing Orbn in the same way my Hungarian interlocutors see Trump. ... If I lived in Hungary, perhaps I would find a lot to dislike in his everyday governance, Dreher told me. But he and other European politicians like him are speaking to needs, desires, and beliefs about religion, tradition, and national identity, that the center-right politicians have ignored.

Yet when it comes to modern Hungary, the authoritarian devil is truly in the everyday details.

Orbns effort to cultivate Western intellectuals funding their work, inviting them to meet with him as honored guests in Budapest, speaking at their glitzy conferences is part of a much more ambitious ideological campaign. He describes himself as the avatar of a new political model spreading across the West, which he terms illiberal democracy or Christian democracy.

Advocates of illiberal democracy, like Trump and European far-right parties, aim to protect and deepen the specificity of each European countrys religious and ethnic makeup Hungary for the Hungarians, France for the French, and Germany for the Germans. Orbn frames this goal in precisely the culture war terms people like Dreher find so appealing.

Liberal democracy is in favor of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture, he said in a 2018 speech. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration.

This language is at once incendiary and misleading. The rejection of liberalism infuriates mainstream European and Western intellectuals, thus further convincing the right that Orbn is the enemy of their primary enemy. But by framing his struggle as a conflict between two subspecies of democracy between liberal and Christian democracy Orbn obscures the fact that his regime is not any kind of democracy at all.

This insistence on falsely referring to his authoritarian regime as a democracy is vital to both its domestic and international project.

Orbn and much of his inner circle are lawyers by training; they have used this expertise to set up a political system that looks very much like a democracy, with elections and a theoretically free press, but isnt one. This gives intellectually sympathetic Westerners some room for self-delusion. They can examine Hungary, a country whose cultural politics they admire, and see a place that looks on the surface like a functioning democracy.

When such observers travel to Budapest and see what looks like a democracy in action, it becomes easier to dismiss concerns about authoritarian drift from journalists, pro-democracy NGOs, and academic experts as mere cultural prejudice: the liberal elite smearing a right-leaning elected leader as an authoritarian because they dont like his cultural politics. Orbn isnt an authoritarian, in this view, but the avatar of what the silent majority of Americans and Europeans really want.

A staple of these arguments is to make the point that Orbns Fidesz party has won three consecutive elections.

One of the strange things about modern political rhetoric is that Viktor Orbn should so often be described as a threat to democracy, although his power had been won in free elections, Caldwell, the eminent conservative Europe reporter, writes in the Claremont Review of Books.

But after coming to power in 2010, Orbn rewrote Hungarys constitution and electoral rules to make it nigh impossible for the opposition to win power through elections. Tactics including extreme gerrymandering, rewriting campaign finance rules to give Fidesz a major leg up, appointing cronies to the countrys constitutional court and election bureaucracy, and seizing control of nearly all media outlets have combined to render elections functionally non-competitive.

The mechanisms of control here are so subtle (who outside of Hungary cares about staffing choices at its electoral administration?) that its easy for an intellectually sympathetic observer to dismiss them as overblown. In Caldwells Claremont piece, for example, he challenges concerns about press freedom by pointing to Lajos Simicska a media magnate and former Orbn right-hand man who turned on him in 2015 and campaigned against him in the 2018 election.

When Orbns friend Simicska broke with him, he used his newspaper Magyar Nemzet to attack Orbn in the most vulgar terms, comparing him to an ejaculation, Caldwell writes. Orbns powerful mandate, his two-thirds majority, gave him power to amend the countrys constitution at will. This was not the same thing as authoritarianism there arent a lot of reporters in Beijing likening Xi Jinping to an ejaculation.

There arent that many left in Hungary, either. After 2015, Orbn used his unfettered powers to demolish Simicskas business empire, cutting off government contracts not only for his old friends media holdings but also for his construction and advertising firms. Simicskas businesses shrank and his personal fortune declined; the 2018 electioneering was a last-ditch effort to challenge a system that he himself described as a dictatorship.

After Orbns unfairly won 2018 victory, Simicska told allies that it is clear that they [Fidesz] cannot be defeated through democratic elections. He shut down Magyar Nemzet; a government mouthpiece currently publishes under its name. Simicska eventually sold his entire media empire to a Fidesz ally, including the popular television station Hr TV which, after the sale, openly proclaimed it would adopting a pro-government line.

Today, Simicska lives in an isolated village in western Hungary. His only remaining business interest is an agricultural firm owned by his wife.

This is obviously not a story about democratic resilience in Hungary: Its an instructive tale in the precise and subtle ways Orbn uses political patronage and the powers of the state to maintain political control. The Hungarian government is a species of authoritarianism just a less coercive and more elusive version of its Chinese cousin.

Clearly, Hungary is not a democracy. But understanding why requires a nuanced understanding of the line between democracy and autocracy, Lucan Ahmad Way and Steven Levitsky, two leading academic experts on democracy, write in the Washington Post.

This subtlety is what allows his conservative fan club in the West to operate with a clean conscience. Its also what makes it so disturbing.

There are examples throughout history of people on both left and right blinding themselves to the faults of their ideological allies. The great British playwright George Bernard Shaw saw Josef Stalin as a shining example of Shaws own egalitarian values. Friedrich von Hayek, arguably the defining libertarian economist, defended Augusto Pinochets murderous dictatorship in Chile on grounds that the dictator was friendly to the free market.

Orbns crimes, of course, pale in comparison to Stalins or Pinochets. If such great thinkers in history can trick themselves into forgiving much more egregious assaults on human rights and democracy, its understandable that modern conservatives might fall prey to the same tendency to see the best in ideologically simpatico authoritarians.

But the fact that this tendency is understandable doesnt mean its excusable or without its own set of dangers.

In the United States, the Republican Party has shown a disturbing willingness to engage in Fidesz-like tactics to undermine the fairness of the political process. The two parties evolved independently, for their own domestic reasons, but seem to have converged on a similar willingness to undermine the fairness of elections behind the scenes.

Extreme gerrymandering, voter ID laws, purging nonvoters from the voting rolls, seizing power from duly elected Democratic governors, packing courts with partisan judges, creating a media propaganda network that its partisans consume to the exclusion of other sources all Republican approaches that, with some nouns changed, could easily describe Fideszs techniques for hollowing out from democracy from within.

In this respect, Hungary really is a model for America. Its not a blueprint anyone is consciously aping, but proof that a ruthless party with less-than-majority support in the public can take durable control of political institutions while still successfully maintaining a democratic veneer.

Conservative intellectuals bear a special obligation to call attention to this dangerous process. Its always easier for writers and intellectuals to criticize the opposing side precisely because its less effectual: Your targets already dont pay attention to you, and your audience already agrees with your critique. When your team is crossing lines, criticizing it is much more likely to ruffle feathers but also more likely to change minds.

The Hungary situation has been a trial in this regard, a way of assessing conservative intellectuals ability to perform this vital form of self-policing.

I find Orbans attack on trans rights and treatment of migrants reprehensible, but I dont expect those on the broader right to agree with me. I do, however, believe they ought to have a baseline commitment to democratic norms: a sense that disagreement itself is not illegitimate, and that governments that use their powers to crush their opponents can never be fundamentally admirable.

Yet thats not what has happened. Much of the conservative leadership cannot break out of their sense of victimhood; the world is a struggle between righteous conservatives and oppressive secular progressives. It does not compute, to them, that a traditionalist regime might actually be the one mistreating its opponents and attacking democracy; they come up with excuses for whatever Orbn is doing, offering misleading half-truths that at times literally echo government propaganda.

If these thinkers continue to insist that Hungary is just another democracy despite copious evidence to the contrary how can we expect them to call out the same, more embryonic process of authoritarianization happening at home? If American conservatives wont turn on a foreign countrys leadership after it crosses the line, what reason would we have to believe that theyd be capable of doing the same thing when the stakes for them are higher and the enemies more deeply hated?

The admiration for Orbn has convinced me that, no matter how far down the Fidesz path the GOP goes, many conservative intellectuals will use the same culture war uber alles logic to justify its trampling over American democracy.

Hungary is a test for these American thinkers. And they flunked it.

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Quade Cooper’s Carnivore Diet Could Be Your Ticket To Becoming A Shredded Beast But At What Cost? – DMARGE

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Meat, salt, and water. A diet more associated with yellow-teethed pirates than athletes. But one that is allegedly putting modern men in the best shape they have ever been in. Behold, The Carnivore Diet.

While humans are widely regarded as omnivores, personalities like Joe Rogan have experimented with completely eliminating everything but meat to much (anecdotal) success.

On that note: since icons like Rogan and Canadian psychologist (and self-help guru) Jordan Peterson have spruiked the controversial regime, more and more people seem to be giving it a try.

Enter: another loyal meat-eating member, rugby union star and former Wallaby, Quade Cooper, who recently made headlines for speaking out about the benefits of radically changing what he puts on his plate.

Even though some nutritionists suggest The Carnivore Diet is micronutrient-suicide, athlete Quade Cooper has joined the extreme no-carbers, telling The Daily Telegraph that it has had a hugely positive effect.

Im no expert in this field, this is my science, its what works for me, Quade said.

Ive been on the carnivore diet for eight months, before that I wasnt a full vegan but I was trying to eat healthy like that, trying to stay low on my meat and eat more veggies, no dairy, he added.

Now Ive combined this diet with pre-hab, looking after my body before I get on the field, before I leave the house, that has been a game-changer.

While in the past regimes like the Keto diet were fringe, low carb dieting and its (arguably) illogical extension, The Carnivore Diet has reached the mainstream arena.

According to Healthline, The Carnivore Diet is claimed: to aid weight loss, mood issues, and blood sugar regulation, among other health issues. Judging by Quades physique, it also helps keep you shredded.

If you plan on following Quade Coopers strict daily menu, here it is:

Before you sink your teeth into a protein party, however, wed recommend you read the following breakdown of The Carnivore Diet, along with its pros and cons.

For some, the diet follows a strict guideline of beef, salt, and water, while others consume a variety of meats like chicken or lamb and may include fish as an alternative to the red meat recipe.

The Carnivore Diet completely excludes all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.

While some suggest the diet to be a fibreless, scurvy inducing regime whose only benefit comes via placebo, others reckon its an energy-boosting weight loss program that can cure arthritis, anxiety, and autoimmune diseases.

Healthline states that The Carnivore Diet stems from the controversial belief that human ancestral populations ate mostly meat and fish and that high-carb diets are to blame for todays high rates of chronic disease.

Shawn Baker, the author of The Carnivore Diet and former American orthopedic doctor, cites testimonials from those undertaking the diet as proof that it has the capacity to treat mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and physical conditions like obesity and diabetes.

In terms of verified science in the form of peer-reviewed studies and the like Healthline claims no research backs The Carnivore Diets professed benefits. Quade Cooper might have something to say about that?

Until more people try it and more broad-scale studies are conducted into different body types, lifestyles, etc, it will remain an area of dispute.

Saturated fat and cholesterol levels will likely increase if you are a recipient of the diet (for the knock-on effects of that, click here). Along with a noticeable energy slump, you may be prone to explosive diarrhea (see: here).

If you do choose to join this regime, it is worth noting that the quality of your meat will drastically change the results that come from The Carnivore Diet. So the better your meat, the better the results.

However, the diet is extremely restrictive and likely unhealthy in the long term. Plus, no research backs its purported benefits, Healthline said.

This is pretty straight forward: meat. This includes but is not limited to beef, lamb, chicken, and pork. Seafood: anything from salmon to oysters to crab will do the trick. Other animal products like eggs, bone marrow, and bone broth also fit into the diet.

In small amounts, butter, and cheese also satisfies the criteria. And yes, you can have water.

There is no question that meat is a big part of many peoples lives. Whether we eat it or not, we see it everywhere we go. To be fair, we are pieces of meat. But why should you join The Carnivore Diet?

Many other high (and low) profile individuals report positive findings (once they got over the hellacious diarrhea). However, as Healthlinepoints out, youre still going out on a limb trying this diet as no long term wide-scale scientific studies have been conducted into it yet.

Nutrition is very much individual dependant though, so experimenting, with the help and guidance of a qualified nutrition, could potentially help you.

Want to learn more? Check out the following.

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Patrick Peterson says 2020 Cardinals are, on paper, best team he has been on – Cards Wire

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson enters his 10th season in the NFL. He has been part of some terrible Cardinals teams and has been on some of the very best. He is very impressed with what the team has done in the offseason and goes as far to say he hasnt been on a more talented team in his career.

This is probably the best football teams I hav been a part of on paper, he said on the Hyperice Lab podcast. Weve got young guys in the secondary, pass rushers and speed.

He mentioned adding linebacker Isaiah Simmons, the season linebacker Jordan Hicks had, the addition of defensive lineman Jordan Phillips and defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence.

What weve been able to add to this team this year, what the front office has been able to accomplish this offseason due to not being able to see guys, not being able to be around, its been second to none, he said.

He believes the Cardinals have the talent to bring home a championship. It will take individual work and good player leadership.

Its not just going to happen by putting a bunch of pieces together, he explained. It going to happen by guys believing in the one goal, trusting in the guy that hes doing whatever he needs to do behind closed doors to make sure that hes prepared to put his best efforts forward and believe hes going to get the job done when his number is called.

He considers himself a leader on the team and mentioned other leaders like Chander Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and even Kyler Murray. The leaders will have to step up to keep the team on track.

Its going to come down to us to manage the locker room, manage the egos and make sure everybody is on the same page and understand that we have to commit to one another, believe in one another and trust one another, he said. If we do those three times, we can be in Tampa ready to face whoever and hopefully to bring the first Lombardi Trophy home to Arizona.

The recipe is there. There is continuity in the staff and much of the roster. Where they added new players who could start, they are clear upgrades. If they come together quickly and stay relatively healthy, the Cardinals very well could be a team to surprise many.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wires Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

Ep. 267

Ep. 266

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Jonathan Kay: It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience. Kent Monkman has done that – National Post

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Three years ago, an esteemed Canadian magazine published a fine essay entitled What Happens When Authors Are Afraid to Stand Alone?, in which author Jason Guriel noted that the idea of the writer as an individualistic outsider has acquired a layer of dust. We used to be OK with literary types asserting independent, fortified egos. Poets and novelists were almost expected to be aloof, even anti-social. But today, were too savvy to indulge such a romantic myth. The aloof rebel is nothing more than an affectation.

Anyone who has tried to produce art, or even write a half-decent essay, will recognize the almost tautological truth of Guriels argument. It is absolutely correct that there are plenty of people who write important tracts dedicated to the interests of this or that community. Those tracts are laws, press releases, pamphlets and tweets. If youre trying to write something fresh and original while also bending the knee to this or that community, on the other hand, youre certain to fail at the former, and likely the latter as well.

Long before it was co-opted by the likes of Ayn Rand, this truth was anchored within the foundations of the hell-raising Jacobin left. Jean-Jacques Rousseau himself famously announced his scandalous La Nouvelle Hlose by warning that this book is not made to circulate in society and is suitable for very few readers. As Nicole Fermon commented, Rousseau despised the society of Paris, which he judged to be almost completely vitiated by never-ending demands of self-interest or amour propre. And in adapted form, his bold individualistic spirit came to infuse every countercultural movement tilting at establishment conventions, from beat poetry to postmodern literary subcultures.

But now that the central fixation of salon society is an insistence on salon societys own irredeemable bigotry, Rousseaus countercultural postures have turned in on themselves like an ouroboros. And so the highest calling in literature and art now is imagined to be a retelling of the same stencil-set messages about privilege and victimhood, dogmas that have come to be enforced by a salon establishment that still masquerades as a Rousseauvian insurgency. Which is why What Happens When Authors Are Afraid to Stand Alone? attracted so much controversy, by suggesting that people should simply write what they want. In a rebuttal published in the same magazine, English professor Paul Barrett argued that Guriels putative lone genius is but the unknowing heir to an invisible community of privilege, since the history of Canadian literature is the forgery of a white Canadian definition of literary excellence. By contrast, non-white writers simply dont have the luxury of believing that there is a voice outside of community; community participation and esthetic excellence are not merely related they are politically and culturally inextricable.

Now the central fixation of salon society is an insistence on salon societys own irredeemable bigotry

Ive met Guriel, and can attest that hes almost as white as me. And based on his university webpage photo, Paul Barrett seems to have us both beat. And so I dont really expect many Indigenous and black writers and artists to be particularly interested in this lily-white forge-o-rama three-way. But for what its worth, Id say that Barrett might have things backwards: as the recent furor surrounding Cree artist Kent Monkman attests, the strictures imposed by community can, in some instances, be even more stifling when theyre applied to minority artists.

As some of my regular readers know, I often like having a bash at the government-subsidized amateurs who populate the field of Canadian arts and letters. (Its not their fault: When the government pays for something, you often get too much of it.) But Kent Monkman is very, very much not in that category. He produces big, colourful epics that dramatically mash up the visual idioms of Judeo-Christian historical tradition with Indigenous characters and narratives. He often inserts an alter ego he names Miss Chief Eagle Testickle to (as he puts it) reverse the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples. This all sounds rather pretentious, I realize, but art either works or it doesnt. And Monkmans works well enough that he can charge $175,000 a pop, which is approximately $175,000 more than your average art-school grad. Whats more, he is a living, breathing advertisement for the value of diversity in art by which I dont mean diversity of bloodline, which is meaningless, but diversity of perspective. No white person could have produced his masterpieces any more than Mordecai Richler could have written The Handmaids Tale.

No white person could have produced his masterpieces any more than Mordecai Richler could have written The Handmaid's Tale

Great art often is produced by outsiders as, either by choice or necessity, they are the ones who can stand back from a societys accepted conventions, and who assign themselves the most moral latitude in defining or satirizing them. This not only explains how My People took over Hollywood, but also why Rosedale hedge-fund managers are climbing over each other to plunk down the cost of an Audi R8 so that dinner-party guests can enjoy the image of if you will forgive my lapse into sophisticated gallerist parlance Justin Trudeau on all fours after taking it hard and bloody.

What I am describing here is Monkmans new painting Hanky Panky, an image of which, I am hoping, accompanies this column. (For reasons described below, certain other media outlets are treating it like those 2005-era Muhammad cartoons that were originally published in Jyllands-Posten. But I give my own National Post editors marginally more credit.) The thing is classic Monkman: violent, shocking, subversive and brutally original. It also fulfills that trite but true definition of art as that which makes you think. And much will be thunk by those who gaze upon dozens of Indigenous women laughing hysterically as sallow white patriarchs from out of Canadas past look on at the MeToo-ing of a none-too-pleased-looking Justin Trudeau.

Over time, we have become numb to the endless calls for solemnity and contrition over the legacy of Residential Schools, MMIWG, and the rest of the horrors that whites have visited upon Indigenous people. Its all become predictable and performatively morose, which is why every new commission or inquiry has to keep ramping up the genocide rhetoric to keep our attention. It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience, to elevate our focus from the tragedy of each brutalized life to the dark comedy of a confused Canadian nation that remains caught between proud old fables of Macdonald and Laurier and lacerating self-loathing. Like every country on Earth, Canada is a bolted-together gag-ball of hypocrisy and myth. And the women in the picture are absolutely right to laugh at us insofar as we are metaphorically represented by the humiliated PM and the passed-out victim in red serge. (Oh right, forgot to mention: An RCMP dude also gets the MeToo treatment.)

But of course, the first rule of social justice is Thats Not Funny. And on Canadian Twitter, fury predictably erupted. Not among progressive white Canadians alarmed at seeing their PM sexually humiliated on canvas. Rather, the hue and cry was raised in the rarified cancel-culture circles presided over by the likes of Indigenous author Alicia Elliott, the unofficial church lady of Canadian arts and letters. Before retiring in a state of claimed emotional exhaustion, Elliott declared on Twitter last weekend that Monkman took Indigenous womens laughter, which is one of the most healing sounds in the world, into a weapon he could utilize to titillate and shock white folks. I dont care if he claims the Trudeau lookalike was consenting.

She then went on, in all-caps, like some CanLit version of Donald Trump, HE USED A MMIWG2S SYMBOL THAT IS ABOUT GIVING WOMEN A VOICE AS A BUTT PLUG, THEN DISMISSED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND 2SQ FOLKS WHO COMPLAINED. AKA SILENCED THEM. AND DOESNT UNDERSTAND THE IRONY. (Yeah, this is definitely someone we want deciding what art gets produced.)

Like every country on Earth, Canada is a bolted-together gag-ball of hypocrisy and myth

In my ideal world, Monkman would have dashed off a new painting, indicating to Elliott exactly where she could stick her complaints. But Monkman is in a tough place, as he is not only a successful artist but also a much-admired member of the Indigenous community, a community that, as he is constantly told, he must listen to and support. And so he walks a fine line.

The Globe & Mail headlined its Thursday coverage, Provocateur artist Kent Monkman apologizes for painting depicting sex assault. But thats actually not true. In a statement posted to Facebook on May 18, he did say he deeply regret(s) any harm that was caused by the work, and acknowledge(s) that the elements I had included to indicate consent are not prominent enough. But he isnt destroying or renouncing the work. I know this for a fact because I inquired about buying it, figuring that the controversy surrounding the piece might lower its price and provide me with a singular opportunity to get a real Monkman at a big discount, this being the way of My People. But this hope proved to be very much misguided. So the Hang in There! poster with the cat on the tree branch wont be coming down anytime soon.

Perhaps the surest sign that Monkman sits at the absolute pinnacle of Canadian artistic excellence is that he is now being treated to the same tall-poppy-cutting treatment as the few non-Indigenous Canadians who have risen to his level of fame and influence. In its old-stock national soul, Canada embraces a cult of mediocrity when it comes to artists and writers. Having worked (as a fraud) in the boiler room of one particular CanLit institution, I can attest that the most venerated figures among the toiling acolytes often are righteous obscurities who subsist on grants and church-basement vernissages. Once someone shows true skill and gets feted in New York and London, Canadas great and good worry that hell overshadow everyone else (take up too much space, in the Twitter parlance), and, possessing the financial means necessary to shake off the constraints imposed by funding councils, go ideologically rogue.

And so it is no coincidence that almost every Canadian whose work is culturally influential outside Canadas borders Margaret Atwood, Steven Galloway, Jordan Peterson, Joseph Boyden has at one time or another attracted a mob of pious nobodies seeking to take them down. Until now, Monkmans Indigenous identity had protected him somewhat. But no longer. Indeed, his perceived obligations to community make things more complicated, as all it takes is one slip-up to get smeared as a two-spirited Judas. According to one Indigenous poet on Twitter: Its become disturbing clear that (Monkmans) work was never for us. It was never intended to keep us safe, nor empower us. In fact, it trivializes many of our experiences with sexual assault.

Canada embraces a cult of mediocrity when it comes to artists and writers

Such critiques, widely retweeted over social media in recent days, show how a fixation on community can be just one more burden on non-white artists and writers: Despite all the dumb things Ive written over my career, never once did a white guy ever respond by tweeting that Jonathan Kays work was never for us.

Three weeks ago, well before the controversy over Hanky Panky began, Canadian Art magazine ran a scathing attack on Monkman, bitterly denouncing the installation of two of his paintings in the central interior entrance area of New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art. When it comes to identity politics, Canadian Art is well known to exist in a land beyond parody. But this article particularly stood out because of the absurd Jaccuse question embedded in the headline: Who is the audience for these works?

After dispensing with the pro forma bafflegab about Monkmans failure to question art-historical inequalities between settlers and Indigenous peoples, the author proceeded on a tedious brushstroke-by-brushstroke hunt for neo-colonial esthetic heresies, like an old Papist inquisitor rifling through a Portuguese merchants ledger-book for a doodled penis or boob. Only at the end did we get to the main indictment that these paintings are made for a predominantly white audience, presented in an institution historically composed of white cultural workers and displayed in harmony with, rather than in contradiction of, a colonial institution. Oh, how much more pure the world would be if Monkman had instead burned these masterpieces and focused instead on putting on culturally authentic Cree-language puppet shows outside his home in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Hey, maybe hed even get a grant for it.

For those whove never been to the Met, I can attest that its full of white people. A lot of museums are even, horror of horrors, right here in Canada. If you tell an Indigenous artist that he shouldnt be pitching his work to this audience, youre basically telling him to go live off charity for the rest of his life, just like all those downwardly mobile white kids churning out triptychs about their pronouns from the rec-room space over their parents Woodbridge garage.

I, too, belong to a community. Its the community of white cultural workers that Canadian Art dislikes so much (even if most of the magazines own staff resemble the standing-room section at a David Sedaris book reading). And if I may presume to speak on behalf of this community, Id like to say that Hanky Panky suits our colonial white gaze just fine. By which I mean that it makes us think about our country in a different and more honest way, and that it challenges a lot of what we think we know. These are the things that a great artist does, notwithstanding the spirit of self-interest and amour propre that suffuse the hectoring of lesser talents.

Email: jonkay@gmail.com | Twitter:

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Jonathan Kay: It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience. Kent Monkman has done that - National Post

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Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School – The Westby Times

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, the graduation ceremony will be postponed to a date to be determined in July.

Valedictorian: Joseph Armbruster. Salutatorian: McKenna Manske.

The class motto is 2020: A class with a vision. The class flower is a white rose with red tips. The class colors are red, black and silver.

Class of 2020 officers: President Conor Vatland, Vice president Bree Hatlan, Secretary Claire Griffin, Treasurer Josi Bishop.

Candidates for graduation: Karly Anderson, Joseph Armbruster, Andrew Bechtel, Noah Benish, Melody Berg, Josi Bishop, Luke Bjorklund, Rebecca Buckles, Jackson Bunch, Manuel Chavez, Tyler Christianson, Jaden Cronn, Dominic DelMedico, Alexis Ellefson, Gabriel Engh, Kyle Falkers, Gabriella Felten, Estelle Fischer-Fortney, Cohner Fish, Robert Frydenlund, Faith Gardner, Carlos Gastelum, Jordan Gettelman, Brenden Griffin, Claire Griffin, Joshua Gunderson, Haley Hagen, Riley Hagen, Austin Hall, Zachary Harris, Bree Hatlan, Evan Hendrickson, Ashton Hill, Liza Jackson, Karalyn Jaeger, Kaydan Jothen, Hailey Kittle, Jake Krause, Abigail Larrington, Tyler Lasky, Eva Lee, Cooper Lipski, Mason Mageland, McKenna Manske, Amanda Marshall, Izaak McCauley, Mitchell McKittrick, Cody Meyer, Ty Milutinovich, Austin Mowery, Jullian Nagle, Devin Nelson, Haley Nelson, Noah Nelson, Payten Nelson, Anna Ofte, Gavin Olson, Cora Ostrem-Hanson, Logan Paduano, Cole Peterson, Evan Peterson, Robert Purvis, Savana Radke, Sedona Radke, Andy Role, Ezequiel Santiago, Benjamin Schmidt, Linda Schmitz, Kassandra Sherpe, Dylan Songer, Davontae Spears, Chloe Stellner, Molly Stenslien, Kaili Swanson, Adam Teadt, Finnegan Trautsch, Logan Turben, Conor Vatland, Lucas Wieczorek, Alayna Winterfield, Theresa Wintersdorf, Katherine Wollman

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The Indy Book Club: Convenience Store Woman is a gothic love story with a sickly capitalist kink – The Independent

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Keiko Furukura describes the Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart shes worked at for 18 years as though it were her boyfriend. She tells of how the whirring of the freezers and the beeping of the coffee machine ceaselessly caress my eardrums. And when alone at night in her small, pokey flat, she dreams so much of the brightly lit and bustling store that she begins to shape herself to please it: I silently stroke my right hand, its nails neatly trimmed in order to better work the buttons on the cash register.

Keiko is the emotionally detached star of Sayaka Muratas Convenience Store Woman, which in 2016 with the help of Ginny Tapley Takemori became the first of her 10 Japanese novels to be translated into English. Prior to getting hired at the Smile Mart aged 18, Keiko was a societal outcast who lived life in such utilitarian terms that she often horrified those around her. When as a kid she found a pretty bird dead in the school playground, her first instinct was to grill it for dinner. As a teacher struggled to break up a fight between two students, Keiko whacked one of them over the head with a spade, so hard there was blood. She gets older and fantasises about silencing her sisters wailing baby with the small knife they just used for slicing birthday cake. If it was just a matter of making him quiet, it would be easy enough.

It is only in the transparent glass box of the convenience store that she finds acceptance and purpose. On her first day, Keiko receives a uniform and a manual that prescribes her behaviour right down to the scripted interactions she must have with customers. Certainly. Right away, sir! she chimes. Thank you for your custom! She finds fulfilment in the easy rhythmic chugging of daily tasks. Stacking fizzy drink cans high. Pushing the sale of mango-chocolate buns because they are on offer. Making more croquettes than usual because people prefer them when theyve gone cold. The whoosh and thump of the fridge doors slamming under her fingertips. The glint of the light on the floor shes shined. She believes she can hear the stores voice telling me what it wanted, how it wanted to be. I understood it perfectly.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Through her work, Keiko is able to ape the actions of a normal person and thus assimilate into a society she had hitherto been pushed out of. I felt reassured by the expression on Mrs Izumi and Sugawaras faces, she says after mirroring their anger at another employees failure to restock shelves properly. Good, I pulled off being a person. Id felt similarly reassured any number of times here in the convenience store.

She is so good at her job, devoting herself so wholly to its demands, that any self that exists outside of work begins to slip away into nothing. Keiko becomes like an electronic arm on a machine, picking up and putting down when its buttons are pressed. I automatically read the customers minutest movements and gaze, and my body acts reflexively in response, Keiko thinks, as she predicts from the motion of a shoppers hand that he will pay on card.

While initially Keiko goes to the Smile Mart in order to fit in, as she reaches 36, her family worry about her lack of prospects. Staying there starts to seem like an act of defiance. Worried about the fate of her work, Keiko takes useless shop worker Shiraha home with her, hoping that having a fake boyfriend might get everyone to leave her alone. Hes a greasy, lazy slob who says things that wouldnt sound out of place on an incel Reddit thread. The youngest, prettiest girls in the village go to the strongest hunters, he says, reeling off another Jordan Peterson For Dummies-style theory. They leave strong genes, while the rest of us just have to console ourselves with whats left. Feeding off her finances like a tapeworm, Shiraha eventually convinces Keiko to quit her job for a better paid one and its a breakup which leaves her devastated.

Convenience Store Woman is a gothic love story for our times, not with a vampire, a ghost or a zombie, but with those temples of consumption that glow on the edges of street corners, promising short queues and reliable products. Its capitalism kink and it makes readers anxious. How easily we are charmed by the allure of efficiency. The smooth running of the machine. Productivity distilled to its most concrete essence. But its not a manifesto, so Furukura withholds judgement and gives us permission to enjoy the love story from the bottom of its Plasticine pink heart. At least thats something you cant buy.

Heres what some of our readers thought...

May, 34, Leeds

So much of the time, in life, we are taught to want more, but in seeking it often you only get less. I work in marketing, which is supposed to be a good job, but often I miss the calm regularity of my days working in the supermarket. The coronavirus has highlighted our reliance on key workers such as shop staff. When I worked there, I didnt have any anxiety that what I was doing was useless. I feel useless often in my office job. Keiko knows the importance of what she does.

Emily, 22, London

Keiko is meant to be the weird one but as the novel progresses, you realise it is more everyone around her who is odd. Why are they so obsessed that she get a better job when she is happy? Why does she need a boyfriend or a baby? The only thing I think is a bit disappointing is that this critique of society is channelled through a character whose inability to relate to others ordinarily would be read as autistic. You dont have to have a developmental disorder to think that our fixation on career, marriage, childbirth is strange. I do too!

Matt, 45, Newcastle

Often when we work, we become not human. People dont see you when youre in a uniform. You speak in a way thats more like a robot than a person. Sometimes its relaxing it takes you out of the anxieties of wanting more, that you should make a podcast, get a new outfit. But another kind of work is possible, one where Keiko could gain pleasure not because shes erased but because shes allowed to become more herself.

Our next Indy Book Club pick will be voted for by you. Send your thoughts to annie.lord@independent.co.uk

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Cardinals reportedly have interest in Everson Griffen – NBCSports.com

Posted: at 3:31 pm

Getty Images

Free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen remains in a holding pattern. The 32-year-old has been linked to Seattle but not many other teams has he looks for a new NFL home.

The Cardinals reportedly have interest in Griffen, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

Arizona is trying to boost a defense that needs plenty of help. Given all the attention devoted to Chandler Jones, Griffen would likely see some favorable matchups and, at a minimum, one-on-one opportunities.

Chad Graff of TheAthletic.com recently explained that Griffens status has been influenced in part by the inability to make visits to teams. As Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman told #PFTPM in the aftermath of the draft, the door isnt closed on a return to Minnesota; however, the Vikings lack the cap space to give Griffen the kind of deal he may expect.

Griffen has 74.5 sacks in 147 career games. He had a career-high 13.0 sacks in 2017.

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Wisconsin Bars Flooded With Traffic, Or Are They? – TheStreet

Posted: May 17, 2020 at 4:44 am

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state shutdowns were illegal. Bar traffic results vary widely.

Nicks Bar

Brown County

Fox News - Bars Flooded

Fox News reports Wisconsin Bars Flooded with Patrons hours after state Supreme Court strikes down stay-at-home order.

Nicks Bar in Platteville, Wis., shared a photo on Twitter with the caption: 45 minutes after the bars open in Wisconsin showing the establishment packed with mostly young people, none of whom were wearing masks or observing social distancing.

A photo taken by the Green Bay Press-Gazette showed that the State Street Pub in Green Bay had briefly reopened with about a dozen customers inside after the state Supreme Court ruling. Decorations for St. Patricks Day, the March 17 holiday, remained on display the first day of the reopening. Neither the bartender nor the customers had masks.

But that bars reopening was also short-lived. By Wednesday night, Brown County Health Officer Anna Destree issued a local safer-at-home order to replace the now resolute state rules, requiring all county residents to remain home until at least May 20.

Star Tribune - Rolling the Dice

The Star Tribune reports Bars and other businesses quickly reopen in Wisconsin for now.

Ted Mosby couldnt help but feel conflicted Thursday as he finished his drink at Jonesys Local Bar and Grill a day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court quashed Gov. Tony Evers stay-at-home order.

The virus is real. We supposedly havent reached our peak yet. Thats the scary part, said Mosby, a carpenter and retired EMT worker. Well reach it sooner now that were open.

But its also good, he admitted, to once again sit at a bar and quench his thirst after work. Im rolling the dice. People are getting antsy. Theyre stir-crazy.

At Hop and Barrel Brewing, half the tables had been removed and as well as half the seating at those tables that remained. No one will be allowed to sit at the bar when it reopens Friday. Workers will wear masks and gloves.

At Abigail Page Antique Mall, owner Linda Weiser is allowing only five customers in at a time. Everyone must wear a mask. She offers them a pump of hand sanitizer for free, a mask for a $1 and gloves for 50 cents.

CNN - New Rules

CNN Reports Wisconsin bars reopen after court throws out stay-at-home order -- some with new rules

Seven customers showed up at BK's Bar in Shullsburg, Abby Gilbertson-Cottington, who owns the bar with her husband, told CNN. Most patrons stayed at least 6 feet apart, except for one couple who she believed may have been married.

The owner of Limanski's Pub, Kathy Goedde, was watching the news when she saw the order was overturned. "I was pretty happy about that," she told WTMJ. She's limiting capacity to a third of what the bar could hold and reminding patrons to keep social distance, WTMJ reported.

This is It!, an LGBTQ+ bar in Milwaukee, posted a note on its Facebook page telling customers it wasn't ready to reopen just yet."We, like you, want life to return to normal, but we will not force any actions or decisions that compromise health and safety," the post said.

Flood?

Perhaps there was a flood of traffic, if a dozen or so people at several bars constitutes a flood.

My concern is the complete lack of any attempts at social distancing at two of the bars. Those people are begging for another wave of infections and another crackdown.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Lockdowns Are Illegal

Yesterday I noted Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Lockdowns Are Illegal

Conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers monthslong stay-at-home order in a ruling released Wednesday.

The 4-3 decision marked the first time a states highest court has overturned a stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic and sided with Republican leaders who argued the governors administration had overstepped its legal authority.

Bizarre Ruling

In a bizarre ruling the Supreme Court ruled that the State could not order closings because it constituted Tyranny, yet the court allowed local politicians to do the same.

As a result, Madison and Milwaukee immediately reimposed the lockdowns,

The result is 72 counties doing their own thing,

Partisan Judges

We can debate the case all day, without changings anyone's mind on what should be done.

But this seems like a half-assed decision that will please no one, or perhaps half the people, half the time, depending on the county.

One question lingers: Why are there elected partisan judges in the first place?

Mish

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Mohamed and the Mountain | Annette Poizner | The Blogs – The Times of Israel

Posted: at 4:44 am

Mohamed, (not his real name), was a Muslim in his 30s, an migr from Iran who had built a life for himself in Canada. Sadly, a blanket of personal problems marred his efforts to thrive. He sought out psychotherapy. For the sake of rapport, I made a mental note to avoid mention of Jewish insights into human nature, normally a staple in my work.

As the therapy progressed, my apprehension dissolved. So relevant were the ideas of Rabbi Akiva Tatz and other Jewish thinkers that I began to introduce Mohamed to concepts that spoke directly to the challenges with which he grappled. He was intrigued and one day reflected, Ive read a lot about Buddhism and new age psychology but I know nothing about the Jewish approach. Can you recommend a book? I suggested Rabbi Tatzs Living Inspired and when our session ended he went to a local Judaica shop and picked up that book and three others.

Mohamed made nice progress in the work. He implemented important changes and I commended him; these changes were quite dramatic. To demonstrate just how so, he described an incident that had occurred 10 years earlier when he stood in army fatigues with 250 other Iranian soldiers, all heavily equipped with weapons. The men participated in a familiar ritual: the burning of the American and Israeli flags as the men shouted, Death to Israel! Death to America! He looked me dead in the eye and said, Ten years later, Im buying books at the Judaica store!

I was shocked, but shouldnt have been. As we approach Shavous, the commemoration of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, we can remember that Jewish thought is part of the arsenal we are given to change the world. This body of knowledge contains timeless wisdom that can help individuals change, both Jew and non-Jew.

Case in point: I would argue that, right now, the most widely recognized mouthpiece for any number of important Jewish concepts is a Gentile, Dr. Jordan Peterson. When I stumbled upon his work, I was amazed at the resonance between his ideas and those of Rabbi Akiva Tatz, author of both Living Inspired and Worldmask. Indeed, my excitement about this resonance and the way the Rabbis ideas inform those of Peterson compelled my writing of two books: This Way up: A Faith-Based Introduction to Jordan Petersons Maps of Meaning and In Good Standing: Using Jordan Petersons Insights on the Structure of Self to Sort Yourself Out.

Its ironic that so many Jewish psychotherapists seeking to anchor their work in a wisdom tradition pursue Buddhist studies. These practitioners dont realize the wealth of resources that are rightly theirs, if only they would look in their own backyards!

But dont take my word for it. Take Mohameds. His ancestors werent included in the Sinai experience. But maybe his experience shows theres a basis for the old proverb: if Mohamed cant come to the mountain, bring the mountain to Mohamed. And every year at Shavous, the mountain comes to you.

Interested?

Annette Poizner is a Columbia-trained clinical social worker who graduated with a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology. As an Israeli-trained graphologist, she specializes in projective personality assessment, as well as strategic psychotherapy. Her work has been featured extensively in the media and in academic venues. She founded Lobster University Press, an imprint which explores the work of Jordan Peterson. Her books, the most recent being, "From Chaos to Order: A Guide to Jordan Peterson's Worldview," summarize Peterson's ideas and explore the intersection between his insights and Jewish wisdom. She also produces animations which relay some of Peterson's insights in short soundbites.

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