Of all the things that happened on the world stage this weekend, one of the most interesting was reading about the clash over social policy taking place in Turkey between Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan and some of the Turkish people, which led to riots over the weekend, spurred by a protest against the government's plan to replace a park in central Istanbul with a housing complex and shopping mall.
Another issue turning off portions of the electorate is a new law that would limit the sales and advertising of alcohol (including prohibiting liquor from being sold between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in tourist areas).
Turkish media apparently gave little coverage of the protests, leading many people to turn to social media to find out what was happening. That prompted Erdogan to say "There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.”
Such social media certainly led ultimately to the demise of Mubarek in Egypt, an uprising that has left Egypt unsettled two years later. What will happen in Turkey?
Meanwhile, Congress returns to Washington this week, and some gun control activists are trying to revive legislation in the House that calls for universal background checks. It's virtually the same bill that went down in the Senate, and about three dozen activists took to Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park on Friday afternoon to raise consciousness on the issue.
Speaking of guns, the Progressive Caucus part of the Democratic Party of Florida is bashing Charlie Crist's for his stance on gun regulations, though of course Crist is a just a civilian right now, still playing coy when pressed the possibility if he will for governor next year.
The group Connect Tampa Bay is responsible in part for the powers in be to finally hold a series of meetings on Hillsborough County's (lack of) transportation needs. On Saturday they held a workshop in Pinellas County, where PSTA's Brad Miller discussed that area's possible 2014 ballot measure on light-rail.
And speaking of transportation, it's sort of easy to get discouraged about the lack of options going forward in this area. On Thursday night a handful of local politicos gathered to hear from young professionals in Tampa, who weren't very satisfied with some of the responses they got from their elected officials.