April 18, 2012
By Nick Carbone
“Apparently, nobody really cares about KONY 2012 anymore. This is what happens when your main spokesperson decides to publicly masturbate.” –KTRN
Sorry Invisible Children, but you’ve found out the hard way: the Internet has the attention span of a 2-year-old child watching paint dry in a library. Simply put, we’re always looking for something new to draw our interest. And while Kony 2012 became the most successful viral video ever created, Kony 2012: Part II has not found the voracious audience of the first film, garnering just 1% of the views of its predecessor so far. In its first week, Part II was watched 1.6 million times.
The total pales in comparison to the original Kony 2012, which earned 112 million views in its first week online, and over its five-week run it has notched up more than 180 million views. That’s a staggering tally for a half-hour-long, documentary-style video about a part of the world many have never even heard of before. Sure, the view count has tapered off significantly in the past few weeks, but it’s still far more successful than the sequel ever will be.
April 3, 2012
By Tuan C. Nguyen
“If we are still discovering pyramids, just imagine what is still buried under the sand. We still don’t know anything.” –KTRN
In a recent satellite survey of Egypt, archaeologists have reported the unexpected discovery of as many as 17 lost pyramids.
Also among the findings were more than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements. Ground level excavations have already confirmed the existence of two of the pyramids. These details were released in advance of “Egypt’s Lost Cities,” a documentary produced by the BBC that chronicles the research and is scheduled to air on Monday.
The research team, led by University of Alabama’s Sarah Parcak, made the discovery after analyzing NASA satellite images taken from 435 miles above the earth. Ancient Egyptian buildings were comprised of mud brick that are denser than the soil surrounding them, allowing scientists to make out the shapes of houses, temples and tombs. While the cameras used were powerful enough to scan the earth’s surface and locate objects less than a meter in diameter, many of these structures — buried thousands of years ago — were also uncovered using infrared imaging technology.
Many of us have become familiarized with infrared from medical scans that show various levels of heat emanating from human bodies. But some people may be surprised to learn that the same principle can also be used to reveal objects hidden beneath the earth’s surface. This is because the sun and the earth’s hot core generates geothermal radiation that moves outward, causing objects beneath the sand to give off their own signature level of infrared light. These signatures can be measured by special instruments and used to identify ancient relics.
Parcak, an Egyptologist, suspects that there are even more structures left to be discovered — including artifacts that belong to entire a lost city — and that sophisticated space technology will likely be the way forward in the field of archaeology.
March 27, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
Wouldn’t it be nice if the US approved $1.3 billion to fix the roads or build high speed rail instead? Nope – let’s give it to a dictator. –KTRN
So much for revolution, and so much for the United States being absolutely and completely broke. Since I wrote the article “Egypt: what revolution?” in July of last year, very little progress has been made.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will be giving military aid to Egypt even though there are “concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition,” according to Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency.
I believe that this is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the democratic transition has yet to occur and, like Libya, the people of Egypt are in many ways worse off than they were before.
Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is being ruled by a military dictatorship, Clinton waived all of the conditions placed by Congress on the $1.3 billion in aid.
According to Haaretz, Clinton simply claimed that giving the aid was in the national interest of the United States. As per usual, she didn’t bother to justify it beyond that or actually explain why this was at all in our interests.
As Americans, we are simply expected to believe whatever the government tells us without question. After all, our so-called government thinks they do not even need to tell us why they think it is legal to murder us.
If they don’t feel the need to explain that, I seriously doubt they will actually justify $1.3 billion of our non-existent taxpayer dollars.
“These decisions reflect America’s over-arching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Once again, this explains very little about why exactly the American people should be put up as collateral against spending to support a military dictatorship.
March 21, 2012
By ENJOLI FRANCIS AND FELICIA PATINKIN
“If you’re going to donate to a charity, Invisible Children is not one you should consider.” –KTRN
Russell said the charity’s programs in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan included the building of a rehabilitation center, an expanded and early-warning radio network connecting communities and an LRA crisis tracker, which is a mapping platform and data-collection system.
But Visible Children pointed out that although Invisible Children had spent more than $8.6 million last year, “only 32 percent went to direct services with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.”
March 19, 2012
By Bruce A. Dixon
“Everyone should know by now that KONY 2012 is pure propaganda.” –KTRN
Thanks to relentless promotion by corporate media, government, celebrities and politicians of both corporate parties, along with right wing church groups and foundations, the Kony 2012 video has “gone viral.” Viewed on YouTube more than a hundred million times by now, it paints a vivid and simple picture, clear enough, its narrator says, for a five year old. But is it real, or is it propaganda, and for what purpose?
Social Media Scam Alert: Top Ten Ways to Tell Kony is Phony
Joseph Kony, the Invisible Children YouTube video tells us, is a bad guy in Uganda. He’s a lawless warlord leading something called the Lord’s Resistance Army, which kidnaps, enslaves and murders innocent children by the tens of thousands. We’re never told exactly why, as corporate media simply paint Africa as a hellish and inexplicable place where things like that just happen. The Ugandan government, the video tells us, would gladly shut Joseph Kony down and bring him to justice if only the US would provide the advanced weapons, sophisticated tracking gear, military training and the boots on the ground to help get it done. To make this happen, all that Kony 2012′s promoters ask of us is to help spread “awareness” of Uganda’s “invisible” child soldiers by facebooking, tweeting and repeating the Kony 2012 video, and by emailing influential politicians and the one-name celebrities like Oprah, Bono, Rhianna, Cosby and Lady Gaga (OK, Lady Gaga is two names) to whom they listen. The Kony 2012 video aims to bring this criminal child-enslaving Ugandan warlord to justice by enlisting tens of millions of us little people in making Kony’s name an odious household word around the planet, after which Washington DC will stretch forth its military arm to bring Joseph Kony, alive if possible, before the International Criminal Court for trial and punishment.
Almost everything is wrong with this simple picture, from the missing histories and the hidden motives of storytellers and players to false statements of processes and problems real and unreal on both sides of the Atlantic. In fact, Kony 2012 is not a search for justice. Kony 2012 is a corporate-style PR and psy-ops campaign, a cynical hoax engineered to justify US and Western military intervention to control the incredibly lucrative oil, mineral, water and strategic resources of the heart of Africa. The kind of social media activism the video promotes is calculated to make Americans feel good about themselves for “spreading awareness” of child soldiering when they’re really spreading racist ignorance and disinformation, building a disinformed public consent for ongoing, open and direct, as opposed to covert and indirect US military intervention in Africa. “Don’t study history” the video’s makers tell us – “make history!” But the history that a lied to and disinformed public makes is bound to not be pretty.
Black Agenda Report is far from the first or the only news source to point that Kony 2012 is a warmongering hoax, and we certainly won’t be the last. As our contribution, we here offer our top ten reasons why Kony is phony.
Reason #10: Invisible Children is funded by a core of notorious right wing donors including the Discovery Institute, which Bruce Wilson fingered in a March 11 Talk 2 Action piece as the leading funder of efforts to promote the replacement of biological sciences in schools with “intelligent design,”along with the Caster Foundation and the National Christian Foundation, all prominent backers of anti-gay referenda, politicians and initiatives in the United States and around the world. The Ugandan regime of Yoweri Museveni is a favorite of theirs for having passed legislation making it a criminal offense to be gay, punishable by a life sentence. Credible African journalists like Keith Harmon Snow have also alleged that Invisible Children’s white and male leaders have direct personal connections to US intelligence agencies.
March 16, 2012
By Alex Jones & Aaron Dykes
Kony 2012, hyped on the backs of celebrities and do-gooders, is revealed for what it is– a propaganda salvo for a continent wide invasion of Africa. Yes, the mantra War is Peace is once again drumming U.S. soldiers into further conflict.
Research makes clear that KONY is a sophisticated psy-op to muster popular support for what is, in reality, nothing more than a geostrategic positioning vis-a-vis China for oil and mineral resources, as well as an effort to legitimize the U.S. military’s AFRICOM unit in the region through newly-branded “humanitarian” interventions.
It is not only War in the name of “Peace,” but an attempt to empower the International Criminal Court under the influence of NGOs and other related globalist corporate interests.
Nobel Peace Prize “winner” Barack Obama has already deployed 100 special forces troops to the central African region back in October 2011, and a resolution in Congress– on the heels of KONY 2012′s viral views of at lest 80 million– seeks to send more forces there for an all out invasion on the pretext of hunting down a shadowy warlord with less blood on his hands than an average African despot.
March 15, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“People in Uganda know the Kony 2012 film is propaganda, yet so many in the US bought it hook, line, and sinker.” –KTRN
The viral Kony 2012 propaganda film has stoked anger amongst those it was ostensibly designed to help – Ugandan citizens – who see through the movie as a transparent ploy to legitimize a US military invasion of Africa.
During a screening of the documentary in northern Uganda, the area that was worst affected by Joseph Kony’s LRA, crowds reacted with confusion, anger and eventually violence, throwing rocks at the screen in protest against the underhanded motive behind the film.
“There are some kinds of people, some kind of NGO who are trying to mobilize funds using the atrocities committed in northern Uganda,” said one Ugandan.
Another expressed the opinion that Kony 2012 was a bunch of white Americans exploiting the suffering of black people on a different continent for their own ends.
As the rocks begin to be pelted at the screen, the Al Jazeera reporter notes that the film “clearly doesn’t resonate with many of the people it claims it’s meant to help.”
Ugandans also expressed disgust at the notion that the face of Kony was being used to adorn t-shirts, a display that they feel belittles their suffering. Of course, the fact that the Invisible Children organization behind the Kony 2012 film is a business empire posing as a charity that spends the majority of its expenses on lining the pockets of its owners explains why the merchandise is just as important as the message.
Americans of Ugandan origin have took to You Tube to express their suspicion and confusion about why a shadowy western organization is whipping up support around using US military forces to hunt down a man who has not even been in Uganda for six years, no longer holds any influence in the region, and is even presumed dead by some observers.
There has also been a massive backlash against the fact that the Invisible Children organization openly supports the 30-year dictator of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, a man who resorted to election fraud last year to hold on to power and has been implicated in murders and acts of genocide against his own people.
March 14, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson
“It looks like the US is going to invade yet another country over a thirty minute propaganda film.” –KTRN
Two House lawmakers have introduced a resolution that seeks to deepen US Military involvement in Africa on the back of the Kony 2012 hoax, despite the fact that Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army have been virtually inactive for six years.
“The resolution, introduced by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. and Ed Royce, R-Calif., calls for, among other things, expanding the number of regional forces in Africa to protect civilians and placing restrictions on individuals or governments found to be supporting Kony,” reports CBS News.
As we have seen from US involvement in Libya and its attempts to destabilize Syria, the “humanitarian” justification is merely an excuse for expanding US hegemony into Africa where China has aggressively staked its claim.
As we highlighted on Monday, the establishment-manufactured hype surrounding Kony 2012 is nothing more than a cynical ruse designed to manipulate naive do-gooders into legitimizing another US-backed “humanitarian” assault aimed at swallowing up Africa’s resources and land under Africom.
While Joseph Kony and his army disappeared six years ago, Ugandans are being killed and evicted in their thousands by western entities right now – but nobody is making ‘viral’ films about the crisis and no celebrities are tweeting their displeasure.
Invisible Children, the group behind Kony 2012 has created a groundswell of support for Uganda’s dictator Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, a man who has been in control of the country for 30 years and was returned to power in an election last year that was rife with fraud according to European Union observers.
Museveni has been implicated in genocide after ordering his guards to shoot and kill civilians. He is also notorious for bumping off his political enemies.
March 12, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“Before you blindly believe everything you see on-line in regards to Kony 2012, read this article. It’s propaganda at it’s finest.” –KTRN
NGO Invisible Children’s Kony 2012, a documentary about the sketchy African warlord Joseph Kony, went viral on YouTube last week.
“With its slick Hollywood production values, the film has been an almost instant viral success, dominating Twitter worldwide and having one of the fastest ever take-offs on You Tube,” Polly Curtis and Tom McCarthy wrote for the Guardian on Thursday. “The hashtag #stopkony has had hundreds of thousands of tweets, and millions of people now know something about Uganda and what is happening to children there. Support for the campaign to end the conflict in the country this year is spreading.”
A constellation of celebrities and politicians have lined up behind the film and support its call to track down Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRC) and put him in the docket at the United Nation’s International Criminal Court for exploiting children in his war in Uganda. Lady GaGa, Bill Gates, George Clooney, Bill Clinton, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Harry Reid, Angeline Jolie and other supposedly “liberal” notables are behind the Invisible Children plan to snag Kony before the end of 2012. The film was tweeted by the likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, and Ryan Seacrest.
Film star and CFR “ambassador” Angelina Jolie voiced her support last week during the Third Annual Women In The World Summit in New York. Jolie’s image appears near the end of Kony 2012 (a virtual blessing of the effort by the CFR, although the globalist confab has publicly complained about the cynical manipulation of facts by Invisible Children).
March 9, 2012
By Richard Stupart
“How much foreign aid should the US really be involved with? Shouldn’t the citizens of the US should be getting aid before anyone else?” –KTRN
1. One million t-shirts for Africa
Aid circles employ the cynical acronym SWEDOW (stuff we don’t want) to describe initiatives like Jason Sadler’s 1 Million T-Shirts project. Sadler had admittedly never been to Africa, and had never worked in an aid or development environment before. But he cared a great deal, and came up with the idea to send a million free shirts to Africa in order to help the people there.
Like some sort of lightning rod for the combined venom of the humanitarian aid world, Jason found himself pilloried across the web in a matter of weeks. Everyone from armchair bloggers to senior economists spat fire on his dream until it eventually ground to a halt. In July 2010, Jason threw in the towel and abandoned his scheme. And somewhere in Africa, an economy sighed in relief.
Why was the idea so bad?
Firstly, it’s debatable whether there is actually a need for T-shirts in Africa. There is practically nowhere that people who want shirts are unable to afford them. Wanting to donate them is a classic case of having something you want to donate and assuming it is needed. Just because you have a really large hammer does not mean that everything in the world is a nail.
Secondly, dumping a million free shirts is inefficient. What it would cost to pack them, ship them, and transport them overland to wherever it is that they are meant to go would cost close to the manufacturing cost of the shirts in the first place. That’s just incredibly wasteful. If you wanted to get people shirts, it would be far more cost effective to simply commission their manufacture locally, creating a stimulus to the local textile economy in the process.
Which brings us to the third critique of free stuff. When people in the target community already have an economy functioning in part on the sale and repair of the stuff you want to donate (shirts in this instance), then dumping a million of them free is the economic equivalent of an atom bomb. Why buy a shirt anymore when you can get a five-year supply for free? Why get yours repaired when you can simply toss it and get another? And in the process everyone who once sold shirts or practiced tailoring finds themselves unemployed and unable to provide money for themselves or their families to buy anything.
Except shirts. Because those are now free.
And before you think dumping free shirts is the sin of an uneducated maverick, Jason’s poor logic was subsequently repeated by World Vision, in accepting 100,000 NFL shirts to dump on some poor, shirtless village in Africa.
2. TOMS Buy-One-Give-One
Bearing in mind all of the criticisms above, TOMS shoe brand has built a brand on the premise that buying one pair of their shoes automatically includes the provision of another pair of shoes to an underprivileged child in a developing nation somewhere. Three months after Jason abandoned sending a million shirts to Africa, TOMS celebrated sending a million pairs of shoes to the underprivileged. It continues to do so.
While there are possibly more people in the world who need shoes than might need shirts (though this is debatable), TOMS can be (and has been) broadly criticised for the same kinds of unintended consequences of dumping shoes in places where people might otherwise be employed to make them.
Further, though, the TOMS campaign — like the million shirts — misses the fundamental point that not having a pair of shoes (or a shirt, christmas toy, etc.) is not a problem about not having shoes. It’s a problem of poverty. Shoelessness, such as it is, is a symptom of a much bigger and more complex problem. And while donating a pair of shoes helps shoelessness, it does not help poverty.
Things like jobs help poverty. Jobs making things like shoes, for example. But TOMS doesn’t make its shoes in Africa, it makes them in China where it’s presumably cheaper to make two pairs of shoes and give one away than it is to get people in a needier community to make one pair of shoes.
The result of this setup, as Zizek explains most succinctly, is that on a big-picture level, TOMS (and other buy-my-product-and-donate companies) are busy building the exploitative global structure that produces economic inequality, while on the other hand pretending that supporting them actually does something to fix it.
It doesn’t. It just gives people shoes.