Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Trump Suit

Ever played Poker? Gin Rummy?  Ever played Bridge?  What is a Trump hand?

In Poker the best winning hand is the Royal Flush:
A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit. 
In bridge, the bidding often designates a suit as the trump suit. If the final contract has a suit associated with it — 4♠, 3♥, 2♦, or even 1♣, for example — that suit becomes the trump suit for the entire hand.
In Gin the card game not the drink:
Gin Rummy, the number of the upcard may further restrict your ability to knock. You can knock only if your total of deadwood is less than or equal to the initial upcard.

Maybe now we have some cards dealt from the deck that might turn the hand into our favor.  So what game are we playing?

Living in a red state where only 30% of the population are educated and vote it shows that the minority can rule the majority and take a look at our Government who we elected - Haslam, Alexander, Blackburn, Corker, Mae Baever (sadly retired), some other right wing crazy fuck, another right wing religious nut and some other sort of kind of liberal person who knows their place by not saying too much.  We have a great Government and the one progressive fucks her Bodyguard and flies to exotic locales on Government bidness" Bless her heart!

Today the news announced that there are concerns we may be like Denver and turn purple with the current upcoming election for Corker's spot may go to a Democrat!! OH MY!! I would say God but that is taking his blessed name in vain.  What does that really mean? Really?

I love that there are ample Republicans running for the Corker seat but they want him to reconsider and run cause we need a white man in Government and fuck you Marsha Blackburn you bitch and lover of Trump, step aside and let a real man run!   Ain't Tennessee grand!  I will let you form your own opinion on that one but I live here.

I have said repeatedly that what I see here is the true affects of what poverty and subtle racism can do to young people.  I have never seen anything quite like the violence and behaviors exhibited by these children that are largely children of color which has led me to question my own perceptions about race and in turn how I respond and react to these children.  And then I walk into the all white public school listen to the equally nasty and idiotic remarks, see the same lack of humor and intellect and think:  "Phew, I am not a racist, just a bitch!"  Oddly comforting as I just don't like the kids here they are mirrors of the adults and again 70% are poorly educated and over 50% are Evangelical so the odds of me liking any of them is slim to none.

So when I saw the Students/Children speak out so vehemently and eloquently about the shooting in Parkland I was amazed. The videos and interviews with the Media were much more succinct in explaining the horror that transpired in that school. The shooter was one of them - White and Male - and he lived in that community and knew those whom he shot at and ultimately killed.  I want to recall that this parallel to Columbine cannot be lost.  A white suburban community, a very large high school, a kid with a history of calls and encounters with Police and the ability to buy guns.  The difference is that the boy in Parkland had no family and that reality combined with lack of connection to anything - the inability to deal with grief, flags thrown down indicating anger issues shows that we have a problem with or without guns thrown into the mix.

But there is on thing for certain having articulate, emotional, angry and yes largely white students stand before cameras, post videos, thoughts and speak about the horrors that transpired that day are finally lending voices to gun control that perhaps we needed.   I want to point out that I am amused if not relieved that every single shooter in these schools are white angry boys.  The reality is that if this kid had a vowel at the end of his name, was a color less white the debate would be entirely different.

Anna Devere Smith's new play, Notes From the Field,  is being aired on HBO and it is in this production she discusses the school to prison pipeline, the reality what schools can and cannot do,  and the true issues surrounding poverty and how that contributes to the perceptions and more importantly the misconceptions that one has when you encounter children from said homes of poverty.  The illiteracy, the domestic violence, the gun violence, the use of guns and of course sexual exploitation all comes from this and enables, allows and permits those in positions of power to go: "See I told you, they are all like that."  The use of the vague pronoun and the sheer ability to validate a stereotype while simultaneously ensuring that said stereotype remains for it gives and enables them to retain power is all that matters.

 When playing cards we throw down the hand that is dealt and hence we use the cards to manipulate and confuse other players when we have nothing to play but we still want to win.  Play poker or just watch championship Poker and you will understand.  We all play games, wear armor/costumes, take on a posture to hide our fear or rage and then we can get a gun and resolve that one much easier.

So maybe just maybe the kids may force that hand.  It is better than nothing.  Life is a gamble and I am ready to play.   Let's just hope they keep our attention on the issue, but then you know kids they have a short attention span.

The students at Florida’s Douglas High are amazing communicators. That could save lives.
By Margaret Sullivan Media Columnist The Washington Post February 17 2018

Parkland student David Hogg: 'Blood is being spilled on the floors of American classrooms.'

Telegenic and media-savvy is one way to describe David Hogg, a lean and dark-haired senior at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But maybe a better way is this: Change agent.

And what could be more sorely needed than a change agent right now? Because the mass shootings in America have become a horror of repetition in which meaningful change has come to seem impossible.

Enter Hogg. The 17-year-old is the school’s student news director, who not only interviewed his fellow students during the horrific massacre at his school on Wednesday, but then spoke with passion to national media figures, providing footage that has now circled the globe.

In a level gaze directly into CNN’s camera, Hogg called out politicians for their hapless dithering.

“We’re children. You guys are the adults. . . . Work together, come over your politics and get something done,” Hogg said.

Hogg wasn’t the only teenage survivor who demonstrated thoughtfulness and poise this week.

When CBS’s Jeff Glor interviewed four Douglas High students on his evening news show Thursday night, their quiet strength was remarkable.

They didn’t, of course, all have the same message. Two of the students Glor interviewed made the too-familiar case that it is too soon to be entering into political conversations. Another argued for greater gun control. One simply wanted to remind viewers to express love to their tell family and friends while they can.

But what ties them together is their command of the visual medium and their powerful composure amid the worst kind of tragedy.

This seems all the more notable because they are teenagers.

But, in fact, it’s probably their very youth, and the all-digital world of social media — the water they’ve always swum in — that makes it possible

This is the YouTube, the Instagram, the Snapchat generation.

Communicating immediately and effectively is second nature. Even in their pain and fear — no, especially in their pain and fear — they knew what to do.

“They showed not only a familiarity with social media but a remarkable ability to ‘cover’ the events happening in their own lives,” David Clinch, global news editor at Storyful, told me.

That, Clinch said, “gives me some encouragement that this generation is not just able to understand and communicate about what is happening around them but is also putting themselves in a position to control the narrative and make a difference in their own futures.” (Storyful vetted and verified the videos students were producing, many of which then went out into the larger media world.)

In some cases, you could even see or hear Douglas students grappling with their own changing views in real time.

“I don’t even want to be behind a gun,” one girl told a student journalist during the attack, according to The Washington Post.

She said that, despite having rallied for gun rights in the past and having planned to go to a shooting range for her 18th birthday, she had changed her mind: “It’s definitely eye-opening to the fact that we need more gun control in our country.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), an outspoken critic of congressional inaction on gun control, seemed to think the students could make a difference.

“It’s really tragic that one of the ways our movement grows stronger is by having more victims,” he said, “but that is the reality.”

Of course, the status quo is so corrupted and intransigent that perhaps nothing that is said — including by the transcendent voices of these young survivors — will make a difference. As so many others have observed, even the 2012 massacre of tiny children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., didn’t create change.

This week, though, feels just a little different.

In the wake of the massacre, students are demanding a more meaningful conversation on gun regulation, Robert Runcie, superintendent of the Broward County schools acknowledged at a news conference Thursday. “I hope we can get it done in this generation,” he said. “But if we don’t, they will.”

The passion, intelligence and credibility of the Douglas High survivors is not going to go away.

“I will not feel hopeful until a majority of Americans are out on the streets demanding change,” David Hogg told me by phone Friday afternoon.

His message to politicians is simple: “Instead of condolences, give us action. There is something seriously wrong here.”

Hogg noted in our conversation that he and his contemporaries make up the first post-9/11 generation. They also are the first to be immersed in digital culture from early childhood, and to understand at a gut level its full potential.

“Using these tools,” he said, “is what our generation should be known for.

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