whogeek: The WhoGeek w/ blue/white/red target (Default)
I'm sure that by now, most people have seen the Kony 2012 video that went viral over the past...24 hours or so and displaying the crimes of Joseph Kony and his LRA.  I know I did, and I tweeted and posted it on facebook, and shared it around.

And then I started doing some digging.

At first, I saw a lot of people parroting things they'd seen and was pretty scathing about it.  For one, not one of them listed where they got these numbers from.  I brushed it off as a sort of 'haters gonna hate' thing.  But I kept seeing 31% (32% in some cases) of funds to on-the-ground efforts and started getting to the serious business of research, which I pride myself on being fairly good at.  It took a while, because most of the results I found at first were on blog sites, or were responses on forums, and were therefore, not very reputable.

Then someone posted Invisible Children's 2010/2011 audited financials and at first I wasn't sure what I was looking at.  I'm not an accountant, nor am I very finance-savvy.  I kept the page up and kept looking.

I found The rating for Invisible Children on Charity Navigator which is a known charity watchdog group.  I started getting nervous, because while the pie chart that shows where spending is looks good, the bar graph beside it that shows revenue vs. expenses for the group didn't look so good for 2011, and compared to similar groups (you can see them at the bottom of the page) they've actually got a pretty low score.

I was skeptical of the write-up on Guyism because I didn't know if they were reliable or not, but their article (which has had 2 updates since I saw it the first time) linked me to The Daily What which had links to multiple reputable sources.  At this point, I went back to the audited financials and took another look.  The group raised $13,765,180 in 2011, and spent $8,676,614.  Of that, $2,810,681 went to what is listed as "Direct Services."  The next largest chunk at $1,724,993 is listed as "Compensation Costs."  The third largest chunk at $1,074,273 is "Travel Expenses."  The sections "Film Costs" and "Production Cost" reach a total of $1,209,132 for the year.  Now I'm getting seriously leery.

I figure at this point, it's time to look for actual news groups covering the whole thing and one of the first results is the filmmaker responding to criticism on an Australia morning show.  I suggest you watch, because at one point he addresses the 32% accusations and actually agrees that this is true, and that the rest goes to raising awareness in the Western World.  The 32% accusation comes from a Tumblr Blog focused solely on creating more accurate awareness of the problems in Uganda and the problems with the Invisible Children organization.  At one point in the interview, the filmmaker claims that the person running the blog is a "High school student in Canada."  While the blog writer is a student in Canada, he is actually a second year sociology and political science student at a university.

At this point I read an article about How Kony is no longer in Uganda and the situation is more complex than the Kony 2012 video portrays it.

My feelings on the Invisible Children organization and the Kony 2012 campaign are complex at this point.  Should Joseph Kony be brought to justice for his crimes?  Yes, definitely.  But while the idea of making Kony famous for his crimes to ensure he will be captured and brought to justice is a noble one, there are more pressing problems for Uganda right now.  Kony has left the country, his forces are severely diminished from the height of his reign of terror, and children don't have to fear for their lives.  But the government is corrupt, and children are poverty-stricken, and those who escaped from the LRA are mostly young adults or adolescents now, and still have very little in the way of a future because there are few options available to them.  Disease and child prostitution are rampant, and the country needs more than people knowing about a war that was at it's worst in the past.  The call to action, to ensure that the US maintains it's presence in Uganda seems redundant.  There has been no mention of withdrawing the forces that were sent to assist the Ugandans, and simply finding and eliminating Kony as a major player is not necessarily a solution to the problems that Uganda faces.  Kony's reign of terror was a product of the political scene already in place, and his removal will not change that.
whogeek: The WhoGeek w/ blue/white/red target (Default)
Well, first off, Happy New Year!! :D  I believe [livejournal.com profile] emocezi  did this first, but I wanted to do one too.  So I did.  XD
In 2011, whogeek resolves to...
Drink four glasses of torchwood every day.
Get back in contact with some old bones.
Ask my boss for an alice.
Pay for my ncis on time.
Take emocezi snowboarding.
Overcome my secret fear of criminal minds.
Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

Kinda silly, but that's what makes it so amusing.

Second off, I have kinda dug myself a hole in regards to school.  I failed two classes, one of which was tennis, and really not all that important in the long run, but the other was a gen ed(the 'basic' classes that all students have to take) that I was retaking, and so now I have more 'F's on my transcript.  So I'm basically backed into a corner now.  I have to get A's and B's this semester, and decide whether or not I can keep going, or if I'm just going to get my GPA up so if I do leave, I can go back at some later point and try again.  I'm really rather conflicted, because part of me really wants to stay, and get my degree, but another part of me doesn't care all that much.

Third off, my dog is a speshul snowflake!  She's got a blocked salivary gland, started basically on Christmas morning, and her throat area started swelling up.  She looked like she had a goiter.  It was really funny looking, but then, it spread, and her lower face, up to her eyes, was swollen.  She started looking like a pit bull, or like she had mumps.  So we took her to the vet, and they tried to aspirate some of it, but it was all diffuse, and so it didn't really work.  But then she started 'raining' as the fluid started leaking out through the needle-holes in her skin.  So she had an ascot to collect the drips for the next 24 hours or so.  But that only solved the problem for a little while.  She started swelling up again, and it started draining down into her chest, but we didn't really notice that much.  Then, a couple days ago, one leg started swelling up, and then the next day, both legs were swollen.  She had cankles!  So we took her back to the vet, who put her on a whole bunch of meds, to try and reduce the swelling and pull some of the liquid out.  But the vets/vet techs were all "poor baby!" and had never seen a dog with a blocked salivary gland with this much swelling.  XD  my dog is a speshul snowflake.

AUGH!!!

Apr. 27th, 2010 02:23 pm
whogeek: The WhoGeek w/ blue/white/red target (Default)
One more week and I am done with my first year of college.  I'm rather daunted by this fact, as it means I have to go home for the summer.  I'm not really sure I want to.  I've rather gotten used to being on my own and doing things my way.  I'm a little spoiled for it.  I dunno how I'm gonna deal with the parentals now.  I predict some rather strange interactions from now on.  Geez, I don't want to leave, oddly enough.  OK, yeah, I'm happy to be done with classes, but I'm really gonna miss this place.  And being able to wander around the dorm whenever I want without the dog getting up to follow me/barking when I close her in my room.  But anyways.  I have to go do some shopping, with a rather strange shopping list that includes more root beer, pop tarts, chef boyardee raviolli, vinegar, and possibly a cheep fleece jacket.  Lovely.
whogeek: The WhoGeek w/ blue/white/red target (Call me confused)
Now, I don't think it's just me, but electronics generally aren't supposed to miraculously heal themselves.  But my TV seems to have done just that.  I mean,  the thing works better than it did before!  All the channels that would simply dissolve into static are perfectly clear.  Maybe it just needed rest?  Well, I'm not complaining.  If it means I don't have to shell out $10 dollars for another used TV at one of the thrift shops, I'm fine with that.  Confused, but fine with it.

Or maybe I'll just have to scroll through channels rather than just using the number buttons to jump to the channel I want.
whogeek: The WhoGeek w/ blue/white/red target (Default)
A solution in multiple parts. I'm going back, now that I have gotten my head screwed on right again. Depressed Whogeek is going away, hopefully forever, and I'm gonna try again.

This is what I've figured out: )
So that's the big solution. It all seems to stem from my isolation issues, so hopefully, fixing the one major problem will help bring the rest of me back to who I am normally.

Thanks for all the advice. It was all appreciated, and considered carefully, but just talking things through with my family helped me so much as well, and I'm pretty sure I'm doing the right thing. If I change my mind, I can still withdraw, and follow the alternate path my mind has laid out for me now.

Edit: Just hit me, that through all of this, I've had my own personal depression support group. Thanks muchly!
whogeek: greg in the hall post-explosion (Greggo Oww)

So.... I did it. I told my mom about wanting to drop out, and she and my dad are coming up to get me, so we can discuss things, and get everything settled. And it was surprisingly easy to come clean to her about everything. She didn't yell or anything, but she still wants me to try and stay in college, and after last night, I feel better. I still feel lost and confused, but now, I know what I have to do.... I have to find myself. And if that means I have to leave college, I'll do it. Because depression is not a place I like being. Oh, yeah. I went to the school counselor, and I'm definitely showing all the signs and symptoms of depression. Whoop-de-frikkin-doo. So now, I don't have just ADD, I've got depression too. If I feel ready to go back to college after, I will, but if I don't, I'll just head off into the world for myself. The thought hurts, but it's what I've got to do for myself.

Edit: I'm about this close to going and finding the fucking idiots somewhere in my dorm building who are blasting the bass, because it's giving me a headache, and making my TEETH ache.

whogeek: greg in the hall post-explosion (Greggo Oww)
I'm starting to get a little... I dunno. I feel off. I don't feel like myself anymore. I feel like I've lost track of who I am at college, rather than "finding myself" when that's what so many people say college is about. I already knew myself in High School. And I feel like college is making me lose track of who I am. I don't fit. When my sister went off to college, she just slipped right in and just fit into that life. I had trouble to start with. It didn't take too long before that spark I have for learning, for jumping into a class and getting into the materieal and really working at it, it didn't take long for it to dim, and now I'm afraid that it's going to be too hard to bring back. All through HS, I would come home bursting with excitement over the things I'd done in classes that day, and now, classes just seem to drag on by, and I just can't get into the materieal. I don't know if maybe I'm just trying to go for the wrong major in going for the chemistry, but I love science. But I'm so ADD that I need to be constantly DOING stuff, and the courses I'm taking are so much just sitting around taking notes and writing papers that I'm suffocating. I'm honestly afraid what'll happen if I tell my parents that I'm considering changing my major, when I've been looking at the chemistry for a couple of years now, or just dropping out and going out into the workforce. Possible going into like, police academy or something. I don't know. Because I just don't fit into academia, and I'm starting to feel like it's slowly killing me. And I don't want to tell my mom that I want to drop out of college, because it doesn't fit me like it fits my sister, or like it fit my mom when she was in college. I'm more like my dad, and he only graduated from college because he took a semester off and graduated a full year after he was supposed to. But I knew who I was, and I 've lost myself, and I need to either come clean about it now or face my mom's disappointment when she realizes I'm actually failing. And I hate deceiving her. But I don't know anymore. It's been almost 7 months since I wrote a poem, and I'm normally a fairly prolific poet.... when I'm feeling myself. It's actually a fairly reliable barometer on how much I feel like myself: how many poems I'm putting out. And they aren't all stuff I'll let other people read, because a lot of them are just me getting emotions out, but when I stop writing, that's usually a bad sign.

But I feel like a puzzle piece trying to fit into the wrong puzzle, because either the colors match up, but the shape is all wrong. Or the shape fits, but the colors are all wrong.

I'm just..... so confused again. Because I thought I had my life figured out, or at least mostly, and now...... I don't know anymore.

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