Archive for March 7, 2012
I. Am. Speechless.
Yesterday I posted a video produced by Invisible Children about Joseph Kony, the ruthless, soulless, ice-in-his-veins head of the “Lord’s Resistance Army,” a Ugandan militia group that kidnaps kids out of their beds.
Under threat of death, boys are made to be killers and/or mutilators (killing and/or mutilating their own parents included) and girls are forced into a life of sex slavery.
I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t heard of Joseph Kony before watching the video (see it here) but when I did, I got mad as hell. I will never forget the name or face of Joseph Kony.
As of yesterday early afternoon, the video, which was posted on March 5, had 1,845,000 views. As of today @7:42 p.m. ET, there have been 9,925,483 views.
Bravo to the world for that.
That said, check this out:
Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a militia group in Uganda responsible for mass killings and mutilations in that country (often forcing children to perform their atrocities), is the subject of a new film intended to promote efforts to bring him to justice for crimes against humanity.
In October 2011, Joseph Kony had an unusual backer in the U.S. media: Rush Limbaugh.
At that time, President Obama announced that he had “authorized a small number of combat equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield.”
While conservatives like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) supported the Obama administration’s effort, Limbaugh saw the announcement as an opportunity to bash the President.
Limbaugh told his audience that Obama was sending “a hundred troops to wipe out Christians” in Uganda, and that he was “help[ing] the Egyptians wipe out the Christians.”
On RushLimbaugh.com the headline was “Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians.”
Listen to the audio of Limbaugh ranting here.
Judging from this, and his 9-hour humiliation of Sandra Fluck, during which he proved he had no idea what Ms. Fluck said in her congressional testimony, I can only assume that a little bird plants a seed in Limbaugh’s ear and he goes off, without having any idea what he’s talking about.
Back in the day, when I blogged at the NewsHounds, conservatives would nitpick about a misplaced comma, yet they listen to Limbaugh who obviously doesn’t do his homework before he rips someone apart, as in the case of Ms. Fluck, or offers support, as in the case of the war criminal Joseph Kony.
It’s about doing ones homework and knowing what one is talking about, or it’s about not giving a flying f*ck.
OK folks, it’s break time. Take 47 seconds out of your day and watch a darling dog play with a battery-powered mouse and then look adorably bewildered when it stops working.
Holy cow, my eyes almost popped out when I read this just now:
By any estimate, advocates of reproductive rights have had a pretty successful week here in Washington. Dozens of companies have pulled ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show after the conservative radio host called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute.” Senate Republicans are backing off their push to repeal the health reform law’s contraceptives mandate. Their House colleagues don’t look keen to pick up the fight.
Outside the beltway, though, the landscape is quite different. Despite intense backlash to some of the provisions, states could be on track for another, record-breaking year of passing restrictions on reproductive health.
“We’re looking at about 430 abortion restrictions that have been introduced into state legislatures this year, which is pretty much in the same ballpark as 2011,” says Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy group that focuses on health and reproductive rights. This year, Nash says, “is shaping up to be quite busy.”
Keep in mind, 2011 was already a watershed year for abortion restrictions: States passed 83 such laws, more than triple the 23 laws passed in 2010. And much of that had to do with the 2010 election, when Republicans gained control of many state legislatures. With the political makeup of state capitols unchanged, lawmakers are continuing to put more limits abortion.
More details on how Republicans are trying to foist their evangelical religious beliefs on the rest of us, here.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that Apple unveiled a new iPad this morning. That said, here is my (sad) Tweet of the Day:
So much for that:
Afghanistan’s president on Tuesday endorsed a “code of conduct” issued by an influential council of clerics that activists say represents a giant step backward for women’s rights in the country.
President Hamid Karzai’s Tuesday remarks backing the Ulema Council’s document, which allows husbands to beat wives under certain circumstances and encourages segregation of the sexes, is seen as part of his outreach to insurgents like the Taliban.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan prior to the 2001 U.S. invasion, girls were banned from going to school and women had to wear burqas that covered them from head to toe. Women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male relative as an escort.
Among the rules: Women should not travel without a male guardian and women should not mingle with strange men in places like schools, markets or offices. Beating one’s wife is prohibited only if there is no “Shariah-compliant reason,” it said, referring to the principles of Islamic law.
It has suddenly become a lot harder to include the part about improving women’s lives when trying to justify why we’re still in Afghanistan.
Pat Robertson today:
You know there was a woman, the law student at Georgetown University who appeared before a congressional committee, and she said that students needed $3,000 a year for contraception and that they couldn’t afford it. As I understand, the Catholic school was supposed to pay for it. Now Catholics say that fornication, if you will, sex outside of marriage, is a sin. This woman is saying ‘I’m going to be committing sin but I want you to pay for my sin.’ Now am I overstating that? Rush Limbaugh got a little bit over the top on that thing but is that what it amounted to?
Do insurance companies ask men if they’re married before they agree to pay for Viagra Pat?
Geezus. It takes two to fornicate but men are entirely left out of all this.
Watch the video here.
Until I watched this now-viral (1,845,000 views in two days), devastating video about the world’s #1 war criminal, Joseph Kony, I didn’t know who Joseph Kony was. (Thanks American “news” media.)
Now I do and now I’m fighting mad. We’ve got to get him.
UPDATE (@6:29 p.m. ET March 8, 2012)
Over the last several days, much has been written about this video and about the video’s producer, Invisible Children. I get the controversy but I agree with the last paragraph of this “Viewpoint” post from Think Progress:
So, instead of continuing to debate the strengths and weakness of the Kony2012 video, or attack Invisible Children for their lack of financial transparency, let’s figure out how to turn this momentum into a constructive opportunity that can result in smart policies that will have a positive, real-time impact in the affected areas of central Africa. Let’s harness this energy and turn it into something productive that ensures we’re telling the right stories, inspiring well-informed advocacy, and working together across governments, academia, grassroots activists, and local populations to help bring this chapter of the LRA — and the impact in affected areas — to a close.
Aieee, this is alarming:
A new animal virus first detected in Germany and the Netherlands late last year is taking a heavy toll on livestock across Europe, causing the birth of dead or deformed animals. Scientists are scrambling to figure out where the virus has come from and exactly how it is transmitted. Named Schmallenberg after the German town where it was first detected, the virus has now also been found in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Italy and Luxembourg. Animal health experts are bracing for an uptick in cases in the next few weeks.
Joe the Plumber won the GOP nod for the House yesterday in a newly drawn district in Ohio as did Marcy Kaptur who beat Dennis Kucinich. Their campaign will be fun to watch.