Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Claire Berlinski is our prescient eyes-and-ears in Istanbul, front-and-center on the battle between the past and the future -and what comes next- in a very important place: Turkey. With a smart and knowing Twitter feed that's exploding -and golden for journalists- she's now wrapped up the past few months in one great piece in The Tower magazine: "The Gezi Diaries: Can We Still Call Turkey Civilized?"; @ClaireBerlinski


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For months I've been closely following American writer Claire Berlinski's incisive writing from Istanbul, via her various online pieces and her very intensive and very popular Twitter feed, @ClaireBerlinski

Berlinki's like a one-woman wire service the way the timely and useful information just flows in and out of her feed every few seconds for what often seems like hours at a time.
It's quite impressive in its scope in ways that Florida media websites and Twitter feeds aren't and never have been, but ought to be, given their greater resources.
Yet she's the one who pulls it off.

Berlinski reminds us again thru her hard work and diligence that the wonders of technology are useless unless the people using it are both savvy and energetic, not one-note town criers.

That Berlinski lives four blocks from Taksim Square and knows the ins-and-outs of everything, plus speaks the language and is NOT one of the many foreign correspondents there who are forever having to get everything second-hand even while they're eyewitnesses, gives her the effect of knowing things before they happen.
In my opinion, she's lapping the field, which is why I've sent multiple emails out over the past two months with links to particular tweets of hers that were prophetic and spot-on.

Now that she's been front-and-center for months on what's really going down in Taksim Square, and with Prime Minister Erdogan's imperious march to the past, just as Turkey finally has the well-educated and dynamic population it's long needed to take its full place on the stage, the West's fear of Turkey finally going a bridge-too-far -and a subsequent brain drain- is more than just an idle threat as she tells below in a great essay that captures what's really animating the push against Erdogan.

Here's a taste:
According to legend, when the great historian Robert Conquest was asked if he wanted to rename the updated edition of The Great Terror, his history of the Stalinist purges, he replied, “How about, I Told You So, You F***ing Fools.”
And that’s what I’m saying now to every single lazy journalist and policy wonk, professional sycophant, diplomat and idiot pundit who’s never so much as visited this place, the duly-funded social scientists and craven Western politicians and everyone else who for years swallowed Erdoğan’s nonsense and helped to manufacture the fantasy that Turkey was getting more and more democratic by the day.

That's what I'm talking about!

The Tower magazine
The Gezi Diaries: Can We Still Call Turkey Civilized?
By Claire Berlinski
Some see it as a modern democracy with an Islamic tint, an improving, reforming country. But if you were in Istanbul during the last month and a half, you’d have seen something completely different: a violent, authoritarian, increasingly suppressive and brutal regime. Tales from the Dark Side, Turkish style.
I’ve always been a critic of armchair reporting. But when your armchair is four blocks away from Taksim Square, it has one of the best views of the uproar in Istanbul any diligent reporter could ask for. I’m now able to calculate with great precision the time between the beginning of the screaming, the sound of the shot, and the entry of the gas through my window. It’s two and twelve seconds respectively.
Read the rest of her great essay at 
http://www.thetower.org/article/the-gezi-diaries-erdogans-turkey-goes-medieval/
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The Towerhttp://www.thetower.org/ You can see the whole Middle East from here

Claire Berlinski, @ClaireBerlinskihttps://twitter.com/ClaireBerlinski

http://www.berlinski.com/

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For Sale

Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.