Sunday, June 2, 2013

Morning Twitter Messages -- June 2

Cole Withrow, a high school senior from North Carolina, brought guns onto school property two weeks ago.
It was an accident, he told school authorities. They were unloaded and in his car after a weekend skeet shooting trip. He only noticed when he went to his car during the school day to grab his bookbag and a drink.

In response, Liberty University and Harding University (both ultra-Christian schools) offered Cole a scholarship. (Because Jesus loved his guns.)

This week, Withrow admitted (PDF) he knew the guns were in his car. He never went back to his car. He lied to administrators about that. He apologized for letting misinformation spread. He pled guilty to misdemeanor in court.

In response, Liberty University’s Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he will still offer Withrow the scholarship...

[Cue Twilight Zone theme]

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) accused Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday of complicity in the attacks in Benghazi, Libya last year which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, while on right wing radio host Frank Gaffney’s show.

When asked what Gohmert thought of McCain’s recent trip to Syria, Gaffney also described the Senator’s trip as “hobnobbing with Jihadists.” He then pondered whether “we’re going to get a proper investigation of the Benghazi-Gate scandal,” a “scandal” Gaffney said he believes “Sen. McCain’s bad advice got us into.”

Gohmert promptly agreed that McCain is to blame for Benghazi because McCain supported and advocated for the U.S. led war in Libya that ultimately helped Libyan rebels oust Muammar Qaddafi”, Think Progress reports.

Gohmert said, “Yeah and then we know if it had not been for Sen. McCain and President Obama being for what we knew at the time included al-Qaeda in the rebel forces then we would still have a U.S. ambassador and three others alive today because Benghazi would not have happened. But by giving power to the rebel forces that included al Qaeda that brought that whole mess about and helped create problems in Tunisia and Algeria. So I’m not sure what to think about his going to Syria. If history is any lesson the people he met with he wants us to help should be very careful about what Sen. McCain’s support could mean for them.”

Police with water cannon facing a multitude of protesters. 

"In the short-term, Hizbollah won't have a decisive impact on the Syrian conflict," said Frank Wisner, a former US ambassador to Egypt. "But in the medium- to long-term, it's really lousy news for Hizbollah. They are inflaming tensions between Sunni and Shia. Public opinion of them in Lebanon is shifting. It could lead to a major weakening for them."

The party at the central Taksim monument in Istanbul

Protestors celebrate in front of a Taksim Square flower stall

The beer stand

Party time on Istiklal St – many people carried Turkish flags

Amid plenty of superficial damage and cracked display windows,
the only shop on Istiklal I saw that was truly pillaged was
the pastry shop owned by Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş

This prortestor wore her horse riding cap to the
demonstration– for all the left-wing party flags,
most of the protestors seemed to be middle class folk.

The door of the French Consulate-General near Taksim.
Here a slogan in French declares “Poetry in the Street – 1 June 2013″

Many left-wing slogans appeared on the Istiklal St. shops’ blinds
 – here ‘Death to Fascism, the only way
 is Revolution. (Signed:) The Bolshevik Party”

And to end with – the statue of Ataturk on Taksim square,
holding a lemon to help him deal with the tear gas
These great photos by journalist Hugh Pope are appended to his excellent written report (blogged) which raises questions and says in part...

What the long-term implications are of having the heart of Turkey’s touristic, commercial and cultural capital captured by young people walking up and down most of the night shouting to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Tayyip, Resign!”? How impressive is it that these demonstrations spread to half of Turkey’s 81 provinces? Is this the beginning of a new democratic era of brave youth confronting an inflexible authority, or should we focus on an early taste of some frightening anarchy and pillaging? How much real political water is there behind this dam burst of secular sentiment in Istanbul, a flood which swept the flags of innumerable marginal and not-so-marginal left-wing groups to the heart of Taksim square? How did a polls-obsessed government misjudge the mood so much? Does an ideology that consists in part of turning Turkey into a country in shopping malls linked by dual-carriageway highways not satisfy the people?

I’m not yet sure about all these big questions, except to note once again that the government still won power in 2011 with 50 per cent of the vote, that it did not order its own probably far more numerous supporters out onto the streets of this city of more than 10 million people, that its cementing over of green spaces is nothing new in Turkish urban planning, and that under this administration, the parks and roadside flowers have looked better than anything previously. And for once in the demonstrations themselves, the security forces and police, however excessive their use of tear gas and despite more than 100 people injured, miraculously killed nobody.


Stopping for the time being. 
Over a hundred new Twitter messages came into my feed as I curated these.  
Reading these new ones are my next project. If I come across anything interesting I'll retweet & blog it. 

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