And omg some people have the most reactionary ideas. About 2/3 students think it’s a good idea to eliminate (or greatly cut) the postal service, public education and unemployment benefits. A few want to eliminate social security while a little more want it cut. A majority of them want complete elimination of spending in Afghanistan and Iraq, though there are some that don’t.
Their explanations are even more disgusting. So many seem to be under the impression that the USPS is taking a massive strain on our budget (I pointed out that it makes up only 0.07% of spending). A few also had the audacity to say that public education needs to be cut because apparently too many kids in public schools are using iPads for textbooks and the teachers are overpaid. Have they never been to an inner-city school???? (Btw, I’m taking online public school courses.)
Also, how the fuck are you going to cut unemployment benefits when you’re going to be putting millions and millions of teachers and USPS workers out of work?
One idiot said that there’s “too much fraud” in social security, thus we should eliminate it. Well there’s far far more fraud done through credit cards, I guess we should eliminate credit cards too, no?
Plus even then some of them couldn’t even get rid of the deficit. That’s because most of them didn’t even bother with eliminating the Bush Tax Cuts. I on the other hand (excuse the narcissism) got rid of the Bush Tax Cuts, all corporate tax cuts, halved military spending, eliminated Iraq/Afghan spending and cut a lot of the foreign aid that goes to states like Israel and Columbia. With that I was able to increase spending two-fold on education and community development and I was able to increase spending on almost everything (except Medicare and Social Security, which stayed the same). With all of that, I eliminated the deficit and left a $1.94 billion surplus.
Fuck austerity and fuck sheeple who buy into right-wing myths. I truly was shocked at how widespread the misconceptions were. The media has truly done an amazing job at demonizing the USPS and making public education seem overspent.
My favorite thing in the whole wide world is people on facebook who 99% of the time dont give a shit about any of the worlds problems, never care beyond occasionally signing a petition or something, and believe every problem is a black and white case of good and evil without historical context, suddenly think they are so clued up on world issues and call other people “ignorant” for not agreeing with a campaign which they only heard about yesterday. Fuck me.
In light of Tumblr threatening to take down DTWPS for not responding nicely enough to the harassment they receive, I thought I’d post some screencaps of just a little bit of the hate and harassment DTWPS and their followers regularly receive.
Hi, now I rarely call on my followers for anything. But I’d really like for you all to use this photoset, as well as the photos I’m going to provide below, and send an email to the Tumblr support staff about their obvious bias in enforcing their terms of service.
I also have a few links that’ll send them directly to the “alleged” hate.
Let’s see if they’re really about insuring a safe environment for their users.
Guys, if we ever needed everyone’s help, this is that time. This isn’t just about DTWPS. This happens REGULARLY. We have to let it be known that it is not okay.
For those asking what you can do to help, please link to visiblechildren.tumblr.com wherever you see KONY 2012 posts. And tweet a link to this page to famous people on Twitter who are talking about KONY 2012!
I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.
KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’m notalone.
Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.
The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them,arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.
Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on supporting African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.
As Chris Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”
Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children supports military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.
Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.
Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.
If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.
~ Grant Oyston, email@example.com
Grant Oyston is a sociology and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can help spread the word about this by linking to his blog at visiblechildren.tumblr.com anywhere you see posts about KONY 2012.
And this is what I hated about the video so much.
Yes, please, let’s take the complex socioeconomic history of central Africa and explain it to the viewers as if they’re five-year-olds. Ignore the history of Britian’s colonization, Uganda’s independence, its current dictatorship, the army of Uganda itself, the army of Sudan People’s Liberation army, the involvement of Libya and Egypt, the history of the Acholi people, and UN involvement. Then let’s also ignore the deplorable rating that the Invisible Children organization has received from international institutions.
The video pandered to emotions. You were bombarded with a simplistic “good guys vs. bad guys” message when it’s anything but that. It makes you want to cry with emotional songs and little video clips. Reality is much different. War is not peace and it never has been and never will be; ignoring the realities of the consequences of military intervention will help no one.
Speaking today at Northwestern University, Attorney General Eric Holder insisted that the president has an absolute right under the context of the “war on terror” to order the assassination of American citizens overseas saying that the nature of a war against a “stateless enemy” meant that assassinations could happen anywhere.
Insisting that such killings are “legal and constitutional,” Holder also said that President Obama’s decision to assassinate an American citizen in and of itself amounted to “due process,” and that courts are entirely unnecessary.
Holder went on to spurn human rights groups for suggesting that assassinations were only acceptable in the case of “imminent threat,” saying that there is no requirement in the Constitution to wait until “some theoretical end-stage of planning” and that killings could happen before the “time, place and manner of an attack become clear.”
Though officials had presented Holder’s speech ahead of time as a final word on killings, he left much of the debate entirely unaddressed, not even touching on the standard for which a citizen could be assassinated and simply insisting that when the president decides to do so we should assume it was for a really good reason.
Just so you Obama fans know when you go vote in November.