Blogger confronts newspaper editor who plagiarized his work.
Love that the editor of the newspaper is wearing a Mizzou hat. Not surprised at all.
The lagging economy has been especially hard on young Americans. Check out these scary numbers.
On Kony 2012: I honestly wanted to stay as far away as possible from KONY 2012, the latest fauxtivist fad sweeping the web (remember “change your Facebook profile pic to stop child abuse”?), but you clearly won’t stop sending me that damn video until I say something about it, so here goes:
Stop sending me that video.
The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.
Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.
By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.
And as far as what they do with that money:
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arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.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.
Let’s not get our lines crossed: The Lord’s Resistance Army is bad news. And Joseph Kony is a very bad man, and needs to be stopped. But propping up Uganda’s decades-old dictatorship and its military arm, which has been accused by the UN of committing unspeakable atrocities and itself facilitated the recruitment of child soldiers, is not the way to go about it.
The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”
Sending money to a nonprofit that wants to muck things up by dousing the flames with fuel is not helping. Want to help? Really want to help? Send your money to nonprofits that are putting more than 31% toward rebuilding the region’s medical and educational infrastructure, so that former child soldiers have something worth coming home to.
Here are just a few of those charities. They all have a sparkling four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and, more importantly, no interest in airdropping American troops armed to the teeth into the middle of a multi-nation tribal war to help one madman catch another.
The bottom line is, research your causes thoroughly. Don’t just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old “sad.” Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region’s ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention.
There is no black and white in the world. And going about solving important problems like there is just serves to make all those equally troubling shades of gray invisible.
This doggy clearly does not want to see the vet…
Time to blog about my two week vacation in Tunisia. This has the potential to be a long one so here’s how we’re going to do it: I’ll give you all a little overview of my trip and then add supplementary posts about different parts of my trip such as the food or tennis.
To start I’m going to warn you that I did not ride a camel or see any Libyan rebels even though I was only 100km from the border of Libya. Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for a picture of me on a camel. I was super disappointed too. Instead I stayed at a Club Med resort meaning I was in an all inclusive resort compound for two weeks. I never once left the resort except for the rides to/from the airport. Though I’m not complaining. I loved the resort.
Let me tell how the majority of the days went. I would wake up to Palma watching cartoons every morning, more often than not it was Scooby Doo but in French. And with different names. In France, Shaggy is named Sammy and Velma is Vera. Weird. After we got dressed we would head over to the restaurant for breakfast. I had crepes with Nutella every single day. And yogurt (Danon but with Arabic labels). And chocolate croissants. And vanilla flan. And most importantly, fresh squeezed Tunisian orange juice. When I say fresh squeezed, I mean there was a guy with a juicer and he juiced the oranges right in front of you. It doesn’t get any fresher than having to pick the seeds and pulp out of your glass. Right after breakfast I would take Palma and Vitto to their mini-clubs. They got to hang out with their friends all day and do fun kid things. And I was free all day! Every morning right after dropping the kids off, I went to a yoga/stretching class right on the beach. It’s really peaceful to hear the waves in the morning while doing yoga. Later in the mornings, I had tennis lessons with Laurence, a very nice lady tennis instructor. After tennis I would change into my bikini and head to the beach or pool depending on my mood. After an hour or so I would go to lunch with the parents. After lunch was sailing time with the parents. After sailing was a little more time in the sun. Then a quick little trip to the hammam. Then pick up the kids. Then shower/give the kids showers and get dressed up for dinner. Take Vitto to his dinner at the baby restaurant. After meet up with the parents at the bar for appetizers and cocktails. Go to dinner. Take the kids home and put them to bed. Then babysit for an hour while the parents go to the nightly show. Then when the parents got back, I would go out to the bar/nightclub. And finally go to sleep. Repeat the next day.
What a tough life.
My view at the pool for two weeks in Djerba. You can see the sea through the arches.
Sorry everyone. I have been in fail city this week when it comes to blogging. I feel like I have a schedule now with taking the kids to school and picking them up every day. Not quite blog worthy. But I’ll update you one some recent events. Wednesday, Palma and I made another cake. Yes… She fell at pony lessons again. At least this time it was while jumping. Every time she falls though my heart stops. How would you explain to the parents that while you were watching their kid, the kid got trampled by a horse and is now brain dead or really dead? Don’t want to have to translate that to French.
The really big news for now is that we leave on Sunday for Tunisia! Woo. So excited. There is tons of packing left to do. So unfortunately I have to work Saturday and Sunday when I normally have the weekend off. I can’t really complain though since the family is taking me with them on a two week all expenses paid vacation to club med. Sounds like good overtime to me. I still have no idea what to pack though. Definitely bringing a camera. Duh. And my sandbar tshirt. I hope they don’t already have a picture of someone wearing their tshirt while on a camel…
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