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Guest post: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)

Guest post: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
Click here to see photos of the evolution of the LRA. Thanks to an incredibly effective social media effort, #StopKony is trending on Twitter today. The campaign coincides with a new awareness-raising documentary by the group Invisible Children. Former FP intern Michael Wilkerson, now a freelance journalist and grad student at Oxford -- who has lived and reported from Uganda -- contributed this guest post on the campaign. -JK By Michael Wilkerson: "Joseph Kony is basically Adolf Hitler. Have you seen something like that fly across your Twitter or Facebook feed today? "#TweetToSave the Invisible Children of Uganda! "Kony 2012," a video posted by advocacy group Invisible Children to raise awareness about the pernicious evil of Lord's Risistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, has already been viewed over 8 million times on Vimeo and more than 9 million times on YouTube (and surely more by the time you read this) since its release this week. It would be great to get rid of Kony. Related:  Info (Age)

KONY 2012 – Invisible Children Awareness Campaign – Read this before sharing their video Facebook has been inundated with a deluge of KONY 2012 messages, links and status updates – so, what is this all about? From the KONY 2012 website: Web visitors are met with the statement shown above and are asked to sign the pledge to bring Joseph Kony to justice in 2012. The site also has a 30 minute video that users are asked to watch and share. Watch and Share they have! You can watch the video here to learn more about Invisible Children and their campaign to bring Kony to justice: There is no question that Joesph Kony is ruthless, brutal and quite possibly the embodiment of pure evil. According to Wikipedia – “Joseph Rao Kony (born 1961 in Odek, Uganda[1]) is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments throughout Uganda.[1] The LRA say that God has sent spirits to communicate this mission directly to Kony.[4] **Further Reading** Recommended Resources

Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France View full graphic There is a simple reason health care in the United States costs more than it does anywhere else: The prices are higher. That may sound obvious. But it is, in fact, key to understanding one of the most pressing problems facing our economy. In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. There are many possible explanations for why Americans pay so much more. As it’s difficult to get good data on prices, that paper blamed prices largely by eliminating the other possible culprits. “The United States spends more on health care than any of the other OECD countries spend, without providing more services than the other countries do,” they concluded. On Friday, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — released more direct evidence. Prices don’t explain all of the difference between America and other countries. More in Post Business:

The Road to Hell Is Paved with Viral Videos - By David Rieff Click here to see photos of the evolution of the LRA. When and how so many Americans, young people in particular, were convinced, or convinced themselves, that awareness offers the key to righting wrongs wherever in the world they may be is hard to pinpoint. But whatever else it does and fails to do, Kony 2012, the 30-minute video produced by a previously obscure California- and Uganda-based charity called Invisible Children that seeks to "make Joseph Kony famous in 2012" so that this homicidal bandit leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in central Africa will be hunted down and turned over to the International Criminal Court, illustrates just how deeply engrained in American culture this assumption has now become. As a film, as history, and as policy analysis, there is little to be said for Kony 2012 except that its star and narrator, Jason Russell, the head of Invisible Children, and his colleagues seem to have their hearts in the right place. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Unpacking Kony 2012 Posted by Ethan on Mar 8th, 2012 in Africa | 91 comments Traduzido para o Português por Natália Mazotte e Bruno Serman This Monday, March 5th, the advocacy organization Invisible Children released a 30 minute video titled “Kony 2012“. The goal of the video is to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group, a wanted war criminal, in the hopes of bringing him to justice. By Thursday morning, March 8th, the video had been viewed more than 26 million times, and almost 12 million more times on Vimeo. My goal, in this (long) blogpost is to get a better understanding of how Invisible Children has harnessed social media to promote their cause, what the strengths and limits of that approach are, and what some unintended consequences of this campaign might be. Who’s Joseph Kony, and who are Invisible Children? Kony and the LRA distinguished themselves from other rebel groups by their bizarre ideology and their violent and brutal tactics. Sound familiar?

Uganda's Plight Pressed on Capitol Hill Donning yellow and orange T-shirts, 700 activists from across the country pressed legislators and Capitol Hill staffers yesterday on the need for high-level American involvement to bring peace to northern Uganda, a region that has experienced wartime atrocities, abductions of children and widespread displacement for more than 20 years. Among the participants was Grace Akallo, 25, a former Ugandan child soldier, kidnapped from her dormitory by rebels along with 139 other girls 10 years ago. Yesterday, she recalled her ordeal. "They crashed the dorm windows with rifle butts and threatened to hurl a bomb at us," she said. Akallo said she was held for seven months by the followers of Joseph Kony, the messianic and charismatic founder of the Lord's Resistance Army. Akallo escaped when Ugandan troops attacked, and she returned home the following April. A number of nonprofit civic groups participated in the two-day gathering in Washington, which included a symposium Monday. Rep.

Invisible Children - Financials Invisible Children’s financial documents from Fiscal Year 2012 are now available for download. These include our Form 990, the full audited financial statements, and the 2012 Annual Report. If you have questions, we’d love to answer them. Contact us. The highlights of the highlights: 1) 81.48% of our expenses went to programs 2) We defined and articulated our untraditional four-part model 3) We will use the additional funds from 2012 to invest in new projects and expand existing ones in FY2013.

The "Pink Slime" in Your Kid's School Lunch USDA photo of a beef grinding operationUSDA/Wikimedia Like a horror-film villain, "pink slime"—the cheeky nickname for scraps of slaughtered cow that have been pulverized, defatted, subjected to ammonia steam to kill pathogens, and congealed into a filler for ground beef—takes a pounding but keeps coming back. Last month, McDonald's announced it would stop using the stuff. But just this week, pink slime got a de facto endorsement from none other than the USDA, which—the online journal The Daily reported—plans to keep buying millions of pounds of it for use in the National School Lunch Program. These developments are just the latest installments of a long-playing drama. The product first entered my consciousness in the 2008 documentary Food, Inc., when the product's maker, Beef Products International, was proud enough of its now-infamous burger extender to do what no other meat company would: invite filmmaker Robert Kenner into its factory to film its shop floor in action.

Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and _why: The disappearance of one of the world’s most beloved computer programmers Illustration by Charlie Powell. In March 2009, Golan Levin, the director of Carnegie Mellon University’s interdisciplinary STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, invited an enigmatic and famed computer programmer known to the virtual world only as “Why the Lucky Stiff” or “_why”—no, not a typo—to speak at a CMU conference called Art && Code—also not a typo—an event where artsy nerds and nerdy artists gather to talk shop. _why came to Pittsburgh and presented his latest project to a room full of a student programmers and artists. He was scruffily handsome, seemingly in his early- to mid-30s, with shaggy brown hair falling in his eyes and a constant half-smile. At this symposium, he wore a pair of oversize sunglasses and a tidy sports coat with a red pocket square, a silly riff on a stuffy professor’s outfit. He riffed on his nom d’Internet, Why the Lucky Stiff: “Some people want to call me Mr. Back in the old days, you could hack your Commodore 64 without too much trouble. Why? That’s it.

African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign (Updated with additions, March 10, 2012. Here's a Twitter list, so you can follow all of the African writers mentioned in this post who are on Twitter.) The internets are all a-flutter with reactions to Kony 2012, a high-velocity viral fundraising campaign created by the "rebel soul dream evangelists" at Invisible Children to "raise awareness" about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and child soldiers. As noted in my previous post here on Boing Boing, the project has many critics. There is a drinking game, there are epic lolpictorials, and a chorus of idiots on Facebook. There are indications the project may be about stealth-evangelizing Christianity. But in that flood of attention, one set of voices has gone largely ignored: Africans themselves. Above, a video by Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan multimedia journalist who works on "media, women, peace and conflict issues." TMS Ruge, the Ugandan-born co-founder of Project Diaspora is pissed. Bonus Round: Link to full, multi-panel LOLpic.

Mystery 'nodding' disease devastates northern Uganda PADER DISTRICT, Uganda (Reuters) - Most mornings, Michael Odongkara takes his daughter Nancy Lamwaka outside and ties her ankle to a mango tree. It's not something he likes to do. But the disease that gives the 12-year-old violent seizures has so diminished her mental capacity that she no longer talks and often wanders off. Once, she was lost in the bush for three days. "It hurts me so much to tie my own daughter to a tree ... but because I want to save her life, I am forced to. Lamwaka suffers from nodding syndrome, a disease of unknown origins and no known cure, which Ugandan authorities estimate affects more than 3,000 children in the country. Named after its seizure-like episodes of head nodding, the disease, which mostly affects children between five and 15, has killed more than 200 children in Uganda in the past three years. As the seizures are often triggered by food, children who have nodding syndrome become undernourished and mentally and physically stunted.

Related:  CriticismThe "Kony 2012" AffairNews