Category Archives: Jordan Peterson

Jordan B. Peterson Health Update: Author Is Recovering …

YouTubeJordan B. Peterson's daughter gives a health update.

Jordan B. Peterson is now expected to recover after a dangerous and very arduous journey back from benzodiazepine addiction, which occurred because of an averse reaction to the medication, his daughter told fans in a YouTube video updating the authors health.

Peterson is a well-known author and clinical psychologist who wrote the bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

The YouTube video from February 2020 on Petersons YouTube channel is called Peterson Family Update. It was posted on February 7, 2020 and has more than 700,000 views already. Jordan Petersons daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, speaks in the video.

Heres what you need to know:

Peterson Family Update February 2020Jordan Update February 2020 Hi everyone, its been months since weve given an update on Jordan and my familys health and its time for one so here goes. The last year has been extremely difficult for our family. Dad was put on a low dose of a benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety following an extremely severe autoimmune reaction to food. He took the medication as prescribed. Last April when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the dose of the medication was increased. It became apparent that he was suffering from both a physical dependency and a paradoxical reaction to the medication. A paradoxical reaction means the drugs do the opposite of what theyre supposed to. These reactions are rare but are not unheard of. For the last 8 months hes been in unbearable discomfort from this drug, made worse when trying to remove it, because of the addition of withdrawal symptoms, stemming from physical dependence. He experienced terrible akathisia, which is a condition where the person feels an incredible, endless, irresistible restlessness, bordering on panic, and an inability to sit still. The reaction made him suicidal. After several failed treatment attempts in North American hospitals, including attempts at tapering and micro-tapering, we had to seek an emergency medical benzodiazepine detox, which we were only able to find in Russia. It was incredibly gruelling, and was further complicated by severe pneumonia which weve been told he developed in one of the previous hospitals. Hes had to spend 4 weeks in the ICU in terrible shape, but, with the help of some extremely competent and courageous doctors, he survived. The decision to bring him to Russia was made in extreme desperation, when we couldnt find any better option. The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences weve ever had. So: Finally Dad is on the mend, even though theres a lot of physiological damage that he needs to recover from. Hes improving, and is off the horrible medication. His sense of humour is back. Hes smiling again for the first time in months, but he still has a long way to go to recover fully. It appears that we are going to get through this by the skin of our teeth. So let me make a couple of things clear: 1. Neither our family nor the doctors here believe that this is a case of psychological addiction. 2. Benzodiazepine physical dependence due to brain changes can occur in a matter of weeks. It can be made even worse by paradoxical reactions that are difficult to diagnose, and can be extremely dangerous. 3. Weve been told and hope that Dad will recover fully but it will take time and he still has a ways to go. 4. We are extremely lucky and grateful that hes alive. The next update will come from him directly. Thanks again for all the support. Previous update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPwaixIuTrU2020-02-07T21:34:36.000Z

Hi Everyone. Its been months since weve given an update on Jordan or my familys health and its time for one, so here it is, Jordans daughter says in the video.

The last year has been extremely difficult for our family. Dad was put on a low dose of benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety following an extremely severe auto immune reaction to food.

When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he took a higher dosage, his daughter says, and thats when the problems began.

He took the medication as prescribed, she says in the video. Last April, when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the dose of the medication was increased. It became apparent that he was suffering from both a physical dependency and a paradoxical reaction to the medication. A paradoxical reaction means the drugs do the opposite of what theyre supposed to. These reactions are rare but not unheard of.

She added: For the last 8 months, hes been in unbearable discomfort from this drug, made worse when trying to remove it because of the additional withdrawal symptoms.

A physical dependence let to a terrible condition where the person feels an endless irresistible restlessness bordering on panic and inability to sit still. The reaction made him suicidal. After several failed treatment attempts in north American hospitals, including attempts at tapering and micro tapering, we had to seek an emergency medical benzodiazepine detox, which we were only able to find in Russia, his daughter says.

It was incredible grueling and it was further complicated by severe pneumonia, which weve been told he developed in one of the previous hospitals.

He spent four weeks in the ICU in terrible shape. With the help of some extremely confident and courageous doctors he survived. The decision to bring him to Russia was made in extreme desperation when we couldnt find any better option. The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences weve ever had.

Hes now recovering, but theres a lot of physiological damage he needs to recover from, she said. Hes improving and hes off the horrible medication. His sense of humor is back, hes smiling again for the first time in months, but he still has a long way to go to recover fully. It appears were going to get through this by the skin of our teeth.

She concluded by saying she wanted to make a couple of things clear. Neither our family nor the doctors here believe this is a case of psychological addiction. Benzodiazepine physical dependence due to brain changes can occur in a matter of weeks. It can be made even worse by paradoxical reactions that are difficult to diagnose and can be extremely dangerous.

In conclusion, she said, Weve been told and hope that dad will recover fully, but it will take time, and he has a ways to go. Were extremely lucky and grateful that hes alive. The next update will come from him directly. Thanks again for all the support.

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Jordan B. Peterson Health Update: Author Is Recovering ...

Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book

In February it came as quite a shock to many that Jordan Peterson was going through detox at a clinic in Russia after developing a dependency on benzodiazepine. At the time, Petersons daughter Mikhaila said he had nearly died several times but she suggested he was finally on the road to recovery.Theres some indication that he is indeed back at work now. Last week his website put out a call for new illustrations for the sequel to his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life.

I am currently in the process of writing my next book, and am searching for an illustrator to produce 12 images. Each chapter of my previous book, 12 Rules for Life: The Antidote to Chaos, was preceded by one line drawing, which was placed on its own page

I am planning something similar with the book I am working on now. The new illustrations must be line drawings, in black and white (because the book will not be printed in color). They will occupy a page at the beginning of each chapterjust as indicated, above. They also do not have to precisely duplicate the style of the previous illustrations, although they should bear some relationship to them, as the two books are companion volumes.

Peterson writes that he is specifically looking for an illustration for a chapter titled Do Not Carelessly Denigrate Social Institutions or Creative Achievement which should be based on this tarot image of the fool:

In addition to this blog post there have been several recent updates to Petersons Instagram account. This one links to the call for an illustrator and includes a photo of Peterson working on the book, which will apparently be titled Beyond Order.

I also noticed this one from last week which includes a video of Peterson playing with a remote controlled car, apparently at home. His daughter wrote, Spotted@jordan.b.peterson actually enjoying himself. Hope you guys are finding time to do the same.

My initial reaction when I learned of Petersons drug dependency and near-death experience was that his career in public was over. After all, many in the media have been eager to see him fail for the past couple of years and it seemed like he had in fact failed in some sense. I was expecting most of the media to take a see, we told you so approach.

That may still turn out to be true, but I have to say Petersons timing may also turn out to be excellent. The next book is reportedly about chaos in the way the former book was about order. Its not hard to imagine that Petersons own experience of chaos in his personal life might become part of telling that story. If nothing else, he suddenly has a very new story to tell and one that is relevant to millions of people in the U.S. alone where deaths from drug addiction in recent years have far outpaced deaths from the coronavirus thus far.

The chaotic state of the world right now might also provide a perfect moment to say something about chaos more broadly. After all, there are no shortage of progressives suggesting now is the moment to capitalize on this crisis to build a new world. Even if you dont like their socialist solutions, its a timely idea.

I hope Peterson is able to recapture his footing and once again go toe to toe with his critics. He was a helpful corrective to a lot of progressive nonsense on the world state. It would be nice to have him back.

Link:
Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book

Jordan Peterson on the Resurrection | Adrian Warnock – Patheos

As a Christian who believes in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and even wrote two books about it, I often feel like I should be full of hope, peace and joy at all times. Yet as I tried to explain in my three year anniversary reflections the truth is the last years have been a struggle to not let go of all three of those things. It is a battle we all face. But it is a battle that can sometimes be especially hard for a Christian because of this expectation we put on ourselves that we should be able to rise above all our problems gliding on some kind of celestial magic carpet!

If we believe in the resurrection of Jesus it does give us an eternal hope that at the very least takes the edge of our pain. But it sure doesnt eliminate it for me. Years ago I wrote a post on the subject of grieving and explained that hope doesnt take away grief it just changes it. I have, like many others with blood cancer, been grieving the loss of my old life. But there has been much to be thankful for and so I have been sorrowful yet always rejoicing.

The resurrection does make a difference though. And our belief as Christians in both our own resurrection and that of Jesus Christ is what marks all of us, no matter what denomination or wing of the Church, out as different from every body else.

In my first book I offered the following definition of a Christian:

A Christian is someone who believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and lives in light of the implications of that event.

Adrian Warnock, Raised With Christ How the Resurrection Changes Everything

But when asked whether he actually believed the tomb was empty Jordans answer was fascinating and encouraging. He admitted this was something he struggled with and that actually the Bible seems to be full of people who struggle with God. In fact the very name of the people of God in the Old Testament was Israel and it means one who struggles with God. He argued the in reality nobody can be 100% sure of anything and that is what faith is all about . . . READ THE REST

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Jordan Peterson on the Resurrection | Adrian Warnock - Patheos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School – The Westby Times

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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Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School - The Westby Times

The Irrelevance of the Intelligence Debate – Merion West

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, STR)

By contrast, those on the Left tend to prefer more transparently social determinants, such as ethnic or economic background and push against anything which seems to naturalize inequality by explaining it biologically.

Introduction

One of the features of contemporary discourse that has never made a great deal of sense to me is the hoopla over the significance of genetically heritable intelligence. Figures on the political right, from Charles Murray through to Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux, tend to ascribe great unicausal significance to Intelligence quotient (IQ) as a determinant of inequality. At its best, some of this research is empirically interesting. At its worst, it can lead to nasty arguments about racial inequities. By contrast, those on the Left tend to prefer more transparently social determinants, such as ethnic or economic background and push against anything which seems to naturalize inequality by explaining it biologically. A strong example would be the controversy over elite post-secondary schools accepting students largelyor almost exclusivelyfrom the most affluent classes. The general tendency is for each side to trumpet its preferred empirical findings and dismiss any criticisms presented by the other as politically motivated or shallow.

My feeling is that much of this discourse is actually politically irrelevant. There is no doubt that people differ in their natural talents, such as intelligence, though even on this point we must be careful. While human potential may have an innate quality, the capacity to meaningfully develop such potential into talent owes a great deal to fortunate circumstances. Empirical approaches to intelligence make for interesting research questions, and there are conclusions about which intelligent people may disagree. More pressing to me, however, is whether these findings should have normative significance as they pertain to debates about inequality and socio-economic status. And here is where things get well out of whack.

Fairness and the Distribution of Natural Talents

Thus it is incorrect that individuals with greater natural endowments and the superior character that has made their development possible have a right to a cooperative scheme that enables them to obtain even further benefits in ways that do not contribute to the advantages of others. We do not deserve our place in the distribution of native endowments, any more than we deserve our initial starting place in society. That we deserve the superior character that enables us to make the effort to cultivate our abilities is also problematic; for such character depends in good part upon fortunate family and social circumstances in early life for which we can claim no credit. The notion of desert does not apply here. John Rawls in A Theory of Justice

The argument about intelligence and inequality is often presented in a rather coarse manner. Proponents of the argument that IQitself often assumed to be an uncontroversial indicator of intelligenceis a natural determinant of ones socio-economic station smuggle a sizable moral assumption into their claim. This smuggled assumption is that if something is natural, then it should not be cause for political controversy. They assume that if smart people get ahead and the rest fall behind, this is inevitableand there is little we should do to correct for it. But this is by no means obvious. And, as I shall show, this line of argument is actually quite unpersuasive. Even if it did turn out that IQ determined socio-economic status, we would have no reason to accept that as a just outcome.

Debates about inequality resonate with us because they are intimately related to questions of fairness. The mythical story told in many capitalist societies is that if one gets ahead it should be on the basis of an ambiguous quality called merit. Individuals who are rewarded more than others must deserve it in some sense; otherwise, there would be a serious moral controversy about inequality. Max Weber showed as early as in his 1905 work The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that this meritocratic mythology has deep roots in Christian thinking about Gods tendency to reward the good and punish the sinful. However, this thinking is now secularized and applied to the decidedly non-theological entity of the capitalist market. The problem is that decades of empirical research has shown that many people do not get ahead purely or even largely on the basis of meritwhatever that even means. A vast and growing amount of wealth is inherited by elite families, such as the Walton family and the Koch family; wealthy people do plenty to hedge the political system to their benefit, and huge advantagesincluding genetic advantagesare passed onto the children of affluent parents. Faced with this tendency, many increasingly accuse the system of being unfair since it privileges the advantaged over the disadvantaged. This is, obviously, a serious problem in countries committed to the liberal principle that all are created equal and that all must be shown equal respect by the law and government. In such a context, appealing to IQ or some other metric of intelligence can seem like a handy retort. The anger over glaring inequities can be explained away by gesturing to a factor that feels meritocratic; in this view, those who got ahead were simply smarter than their competitors.

The problem is that it is hard to think of something that owes less to personal merit than intelligence. It is a paradigmatic trophy awarded by the genetic lottery. That it may owe something to having intelligent parents, who are likely already well off, in fact, makes the problem worse. This is because it suggests the lottery is not randomized but skewed to concentrate rewards and globalize disadvantages. For these reasons, the liberal political theorist John Rawls rightly described intelligence and other natural talents as morally arbitrary. They had nothing to do with a persons merit as ascertained from a moral point of view. They were simply natural factsmuch in the same way that some people were born tall and others shot. What was morally significant were not these natural facts but how institutions chose to deal with said facts. As Rawls wrote:

We may reject the contention that the ordering of institutions is always defective because the distribution of natural talents and the contingencies of social circumstance are unjust, and this injustice must inevitably carry over to human arrangements. Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if the refusal to acquiesce in injustice is on a par with being unable to accept death. The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts. Aristocratic and caste societies are unjust because they make these contingencies the ascriptive basis for belonging to more or less enclosed and privileged social classes. The basic structure of these societies incorporates the arbitrariness found in nature. But there is no necessity for men to resign themselves to these contingencies. The social system is not an unchangeable order beyond human control but a pattern of human action.

This last point is key. It highlights the assumption built into the argument of those fixated on IQ: that natural facts correspond to a just hierarchical order that we must accept, rather than question. But that is clearly not so; human sickness and premature death are also natural facts, and we would have little trust in a society that encouraged us simply to resign ourselves to them. A just society is not one that simply accepts or valorizes nature; it is one that improves upon it to the benefit of all.

Conclusion

It is difficult to think of a more unfair and unjust society than one where mere genetic lottery is permitted readily to determine who gets what. Such a society would have decided that the actual choices a person makesnot to mention what degree of respect everyone should be entitled to (as a matter of securing political legitimacy)are inconsequential. Some might retort that this is still meritocratic in the sense of allowing the best to rise to the top. But what is meant by best is not good or virtuous or even useful. What is, thus, meant by best is most gifted by nature, which many commentators seem to think mystically warrants reverence analogous to Achilles being blessed by the gods. A just society genuinely committed to liberal principles of moral equality and fairness should have little to do with such sentiments. It should not ask What gifts has nature shown fit to bestow you? but instead What arrangement of goods and honors would best reflect a commitment to our deepest principles?

Here, I think we should follow Rawls again and recognize that liberal socialism is the way to go. A just society would permit inequalities to generate wealthbut only to the extent that these inequalities work to the benefit of the least well-off. People would be rewarded and praised for developing their natural talents, such as intelligence. This is both because taking the time to do so demonstrates good characterand because it is socially useful to do so. However, it should also be acknowledged that the gifts granted to the particularly intelligent are granted to them by fate. As such, these gifts ought not be viewed as some indicator of anointed superiority.

Matt McManus is Professor of Politics and International Relations at Tec de Monterrey, and the author of Making Human Dignity Central to International Human Rights Law and The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism. His new projects include co-authoring a critical monograph on Jordan Peterson and a book on liberal rights for Palgrave MacMillan. Matt can be reached atmattmcmanus300@gmail.comor added on twitter vie@mattpolprof

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The Irrelevance of the Intelligence Debate - Merion West

There are great stories about U.S. Open qualifiers; too bad we won’t have any in 2020 – GolfDigest.com

In this never-ending nightmare of the coronavirus, weve become increasingly numb to disappointments. The first few cancellationssports events, music festivals, in-person classeshit society quite hard. But when youre continuously crossing things off the calendar, it becomes the norm, and human beings have a way of adapting to the norm, however bleak it may be.

Still, a particularly depressing bit of newsat least by golf standardscan still pull at our collective heartstrings and remind us what a huge bummer this continues to be. Mondays announcement that the USGA would be cancelling qualifiers for Septembers U.S. Open wasnt much of a surprise, when you really think about it. Running 108 local qualifiers and 12 sectional qualifiers simply isnt feasible in these times, so the U.S. Open will feature a fully exempt field for the first time in a very long time.

No ones happy about it. Not the players who were going to get in anyway, not the USGA folks, and, of course, not the countless mini-tour guys who relish the opportunity to beat the big boys. This is the U.S. Open after all, a tournament that derives much of its charm from its meritocracy. All you need is a 1.4 index or below, a couple hundred bucks and the ability to take a few Mondays off work, and you could find yourself teeing it up against Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at iconic course such as Shinnecock Hills or Pebble Beach.

In a normal year, roughly half of the field comes from qualifying, though the vast majority of the guys who make it were exempt from the local stage and went straight to sectionals. The most recent winner to come from a sectional was Lucas Glover in 2009 at Bethpage Black, with Michael Campbell also pulling it off in 2005 at Pinehurst.

Its much rarer to make it through both local and sectional. Rare, but not unheard of. A number of guystouring professionals, teaching pros, college players, teenagers, insurance salesmanhave made it through both rounds and then left their mark on the Open itself. In light of todays news, here are a few of the best.

The World Golf Hall of Famers career got off to a solid start in the late 50s, when he broke out on Tour and nearly won a couple Masters. But he experienced such a dramatic loss in form that he had to play in a local qualifier for the 1969 U.S. Open. Good thing he didafter nearly collapsing from opprsive heat during a 36-hole final day, Venturi ended up winning at Congressional, a comeback significant enough to earn him Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year. Orville Moody, 1969 Moody won exactly one of the 266 tournaments he played in during his career: the U.S. Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston, And like Venturi, he did so after playing his way through both local and sectional qualifying. He is the last player to win the championship after such a journey.

John Peterson, 2012 Peterson had a fantastic career at LSU, where he was a three-time All-American and won the NCAA individual title in 2011. But in the spring of 2012, he was just a fledgling pro teeing it up in a local qualifier for the U.S. Open. He played his way through local and then sectional to book his place at the Olympic Club. It turned out to be the best week of his professional careerhe made a hole-in-one on Saturday, finished T-4 and made $276,841. Petersons had a strange run since then, playing his way to a PGA Tour, then struggling with injuries, then retiring at age 29, and then seemingly un-retiring shortly thereafter. No matter where his roller coaster golf journey takes him, hell always have that week at Olympic.

Jason Gore, 2005 Gore, who actually works for the USGA now as a player relations director, was on the precipice of the impossible 15 years ago. Hed played his way through local qualifying, through sectional qualifying, made the cut at Pinehurst No. 2, and found himself in the final group of the U.S. Open alongside world No. 5 Retief Goosen. Sunday itself was a disaster for the big guy, Gores 14-over 84 seeing him plummet all the way to a tie for 49th. He held it together for so very long, but he couldnt hold it together long enough.

Andy Zhang, 2012 A cool thing about the U.S. Open qualification process is theres no age limit. If your handicap is low enough, have at it. Fourteen-year-old Andy Zhang did so back in 2012, when he made it through local qualifying only to lose in a playoff at Sectionals. Dream over, right? Nah. He got into the field as an alternate when some of his older competitors pulled out with injuries, opening a spot for the youngest player in U.S. Open history. He shot 79-78 to miss the cut by a million, but thats not really the point.

Beau Hossler, 2012 The 2012 U.S. Open was quite the party for local qualifiers. In addition to Zhang and Peterson, 17-year-old Beau Hossler joined in on the fun. It was actually his second straight year qualifying for the Opennot sure why playing in the U.S. Open doesnt get you into at least Sectionals for the next yearand he made it count at Olympic Club. Hossler briefly held the solo lead at two under on Friday before a late collapse saw him tumble down the board and lose low amateur honors to some guy named Jordan Spieth.

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There are great stories about U.S. Open qualifiers; too bad we won't have any in 2020 - GolfDigest.com

Bob Holliday talks about the fun day when MJ and Buzz Peterson went golfing – WRALSportsFan.com

Former WRAL Sports Director Bob Holliday brings back a memory from the WRAL vault, a moment when Michael Jordan and Buzz Peterson had some fun on the golf course.

DISCRIMINATORY WORK CONDITIONS TO MOVE FORWARD. IF THE DISTRICT JUDGE SIGNS THE ORDER, THE TRIAL WOULD LIKELY BE DELAYED UNTIL 2021. THE MICHAEL JORDAN DOCUMENTARY THAT HAS THE WORLD BUZZING, THIS CONTINUES TOMORROW NIGHT. THIS WEEK'S STORYTELLER SEGMENT BRINGS US SOME MOMENTS THAT HAPPENED OFF THE COURT. >> IN THE COUNTLESS TIMES THAT YOU COVERED THE CAREER OF MICHAEL JORDAN IS YOUR FAVORITE THE INTIMATE SETTING ON THE GOLF COURSE? >> ABSOLUTELY. THIS WAS JUST SO MUCH FUN. IT WAS ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE STORIES. ONE DAY JAY JENNINGS AND I GOT WORD THAT THEY WERE PLAYING GOLF AT FINLEY. WE WENT OVER THERE. WE GOT OUR GOLF CART AND FOUND THEM ON THE COURSE WITHOUT MUCH DIFFICULTY. IT WAS LIKE THE OLD TIMES. AS SOON AS WE PULL UP THEY SAID HOW ARE YOU DOING? HOW'S TOM AND CHARLIE? MICHAEL KEPT UP WITH US, HE REALLY DID. >> THE GOLFER YOU BASKETBALL FANS KNOW IS DOUG PETERSON BUT YOU RECOGNIZE THE VOICE OF THE PLAY-BY-PLAY? >> HE GRABBED THE MICROPHONE FROM ME. >> 15 PETE FEET FROM THE PIN. >> THAT'S RIGHT, MICHAEL JORDAN. HE IS DOING A BIT OF EVERYTHING THESE DAYS. >> THE MATCH IS TIED. THERE WAS GREAT TRASH TALKING DURING IT. MICHAEL STANDS OVER THE SHOT. BUZZ IS GIVING HIM THE BUSINESS AND MICHAEL SAYS, HEY BUZZ, 17 SECONDS. HE TOOK HIS DRIVER BACK AND SMACKED THE BALL 250 YARDS DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAIRWAY. IT WAS A GOOD SHOT. IN MANY WAYS, WE THINK OF MICHAEL JORDAN AS THIS LARGER THAN LIFE PERSONALITY WHO MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN WHERE HE CAME FROM BUT TO YOU GUYS HE WAS STILL VERY MUCH THAT MIKE THAT YOU MET. >> ABSOLUTELY AND THIS REALLY HAPPENED, IT REALLY HAPPENED. MICHAEL SAYS, HOW IS TOM SOUTER DOING, IS HE MARRIED? THIS WAS BEFORE TOM AND JULIE STARTED DATING. HE GRABS THE MICROPHONE AGAIN AND SAYS, TOM, THIS IS MICHAEL, I HEAR YOU AREN'T MARRIED. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT, TOM. COME TO CHICAGO. WE WILL FIX YOU RIGHT UP. THIS WAS LONG BEFORE THE DAYS OF TENDER. THE MICHAEL JORDAN MATCHUP. >> EXACTLY. >> YEARS LATER, JEFF BRANTLEY CAUGHT UP WITH MICHAEL JORDAN AND ASKED AGAIN, AT THAT POINT TOM WAS ALREADY MARRIED TO JULIE. A CRAZY STORY THOUGH. [

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Bob Holliday talks about the fun day when MJ and Buzz Peterson went golfing - WRALSportsFan.com