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Fri Mar 9, 2012, 01:46 PM

I knew KONY 2012 was too good to be true.

They are more interested in evangelizing than actually promoting their cause.

"Invisible Children" Co-founder (KONY 2012) Hints It's About Jesus, and Evangelizing

Bruce Wilson

Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 02:10:50 PM EST

"We feel like God calls us to be joyful in the work that we're doing, no matter what we're doing.
A lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, they fear Invisible Children - because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, "You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God." And it freaks them out."

--- Jason Russell, speaking at Liberty University, November 7, 2011
Is Invisible Children a nonprofit devoted to human needs, or is it a ministry devoted to bringing souls to Jesus ? Judging by a talk co-founder Jason Russell gave last November at Liberty University, it would seem to be a bit of both.

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/3/8/141050/5090/Front_Page/_quot_Invisible_Children_quot_Co_founder_KONY_2012_Hints_It_s_About_Jesus_and_Evangelizing

43 replies, 4011 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply I knew KONY 2012 was too good to be true. (Original post)
Archae Mar 2012 OP
patrice Mar 2012 #1
Whiskeytide Mar 2012 #3
tkmorris Mar 2012 #31
Ian David Mar 2012 #2
Archae Mar 2012 #5
XemaSab Mar 2012 #15
msongs Mar 2012 #4
Initech Mar 2012 #27
AtomicKitten Mar 2012 #6
patrice Mar 2012 #18
AtomicKitten Mar 2012 #22
greyl Mar 2012 #32
KamaAina Mar 2012 #7
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #8
lacrew Mar 2012 #10
cbayer Mar 2012 #12
RebelOne Mar 2012 #21
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #17
GeorgeGist Mar 2012 #13
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #16
DearAbby Mar 2012 #9
postulater Mar 2012 #11
Bluerthanblue Mar 2012 #14
OneGrassRoot Mar 2012 #19
CJCRANE Mar 2012 #25
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #37
Pacafishmate Mar 2012 #20
OneGrassRoot Mar 2012 #23
Pacafishmate Mar 2012 #24
OneGrassRoot Mar 2012 #26
ellisonz Mar 2012 #35
Pacafishmate Mar 2012 #36
ellisonz Mar 2012 #39
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #38
ellisonz Mar 2012 #40
Goblinmonger Mar 2012 #41
ellisonz Mar 2012 #42
Proles Mar 2012 #28
Mosby Mar 2012 #29
calimary Mar 2012 #33
patrice Mar 2012 #34
devilgrrl Mar 2012 #30
bluestateguy Mar 2012 #43

Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 01:51 PM

1. Kids first! I don't care whose name the children are rescued in. I'm glad the International Court of

Justice is part of KONY 2012.

Let's rescue the Invisible Children first and then talk about how to prevent religious brainwashing and preserve their cultural freedom.

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Response to patrice (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 01:57 PM

3. I think I agree with you...

... based on what I know about it - and admittedly that's limited to headline scanning and the LO interview last night. But, I think this is kinda what organized religion is supposed to do. And if it keeps them busy and out of my government, I'm all for it.

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Response to patrice (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:38 PM

31. Trouble is this organization doesn't actually DO much of that

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 01:57 PM

2. I suppose he could do BOTH. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:02 PM

5. Why does he have to?

Don't forget he spoke at Falwell "university," founded by a guy who fought like hell to continue apartheid.

It may be a good cause, but using a good cause to bring people into the flock is the sort of thing Jim Jones did, "Reverend" Moon does, the Scientologists do.

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Response to Archae (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:50 PM

15. On the other hand, one of my oldest friends is a missionary in Cambodia

Working on clean water, sustainable agriculture, and women's rights.

Just because some Christians are bad doesn't mean that Christianity can't and doesn't motivate people to do selfless good works in the name of Jesus.

(I'm not saying that Invisible Children is necessarily in this latter category, but I am saying that my friend certainly is.)

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:00 PM

4. christianity is a fear-based religion, people are correct to be wary of its practitioners nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:05 PM

27. The one thing I've never been able to comprehend about Christianity:

They say their god is a loving and just god, but then they refer to themselves as "god fearing" - seems like a huge mixed message don't you think?

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:09 PM

6. Anybody else this aggressive on this particular issue?

No? Well then, the Christ-y folks have my support on this.

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Response to AtomicKitten (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:24 PM

18. Love! your pogo-Jesus!!

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Response to patrice (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:54 PM

22. cheers

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Response to AtomicKitten (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:41 PM

32. Honesty should be more important than aggressiveness, shouldn't it? nt

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:12 PM

7. Bear in mind that the Ugandan government is debating a "kill the gays" bill

at the behest of U.S.-based fundies like this. What better way to get people on their side than to point out that Kony is even worse?

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:13 PM

8. They also have not-so-great transparency

Last edited Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:05 PM - Edit history (1)

and too much of their funds likely go to the charity rather than the cause.

And what good does just getting rid of Kony do? Uganda will return to the utopia it was before he was there? How did our last intervention in Uganda go? Yeah, that's what I thought.

This is not as simple as "get rid of Kony." We need to do serious work to help bring this country out of third world status is we want to make a difference. But that's never going to happen.

Edited: to change "first world status" to "third world status" because I'm stupid and started the wording it in my head one way and typed it another.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:17 PM

10. Get Rid of Kony? Isn't he already gone?

 

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:52 PM

21. He is probably hiding out in one of Osama Bin-Laden's abandoned caves. n/t

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Response to lacrew (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:06 PM

17. That's the other problem with the campaign.

But certainly they want him out of control and not raising child armies. The campaign focuses on Uganda.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:23 PM

13. think again

help bring this country out of first world status

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:05 PM

16. Yeah, I changed it, thanks.

I was thinking something along the lines of "move them toward first world status" and realized that was dumb but didn't change first to third as I typed it.

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:15 PM

9. For once we can agree on one thing

CHILDREN FIRST

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:18 PM

11. I guess churches are people too. nt

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 02:32 PM

14. and what idology if fueling Kony?

I don't have a problem with people who are self professed christians doing positive things.

Kony uses religion, a twisted version of christianity to justify what he is doing. I don't hear Invisible Children saying they are on a mission from god, but rather on a mission to stop the madness that children are being dragged into and sacrificed on the altar of Kony's vision god.

Where is the 100% pure agnostic group who is putting the effort into this cause??? If they are out there, they haven't been very effective.



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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:38 PM

19. This is FASCINATING to me

Last edited Sat Mar 10, 2012, 11:26 AM - Edit history (2)

The firestorm and backlash to Kony 2012 is, to me, worthy of exploration and study in and of itself.

I understand much of the criticism, including the charge that they have oversimplified a complicated situation.

Well, to me, ALL situations are complicated. It's nearly impossible to get everyone on the same page as to how to resolve any of the heinous situations and injustices being perpetuated around the world, and in our own country. So, to me, raising the subject for discussion in a big way is the very first step. People can't debate the merits of a problem or solution until they're aware of it.

They've succeeded in that regard, because people sure are talking about it.

The other criticism is the immediate charge about them as a nonprofit (here is their response to many of the charges).

I'm the last one to follow an issue or organization blindly, and I am very hesitant to ever encourage others to donate anywhere, certainly not until they have researched an organization on their own.

Yet one of the things I find fascinating about this particular Kony 2012 firestorm is that I saw, pretty much immediately, people being focused on "beware - don't give this group money!"

The thing is, they weren't asking for money. The focus of this campaign is to share the video and raise awareness; it was never about asking people for money. Jason Russell was on Lawrence O'Donnell last night saying that all the materials are available for download for free, that this hasn't been at its core a fundraising effort, it's an awareness raising effort. Of course, they're not going to turn down donations, but when I saw the video I absolutely did NOT come away feeling I needed to donate nor did I feel bad about not being able to do so. I came away simply wanting to share the video and to allow others to decide their interest from there.

Granted, I realize how they are attempting to raise awareness (facts, figures, style of the approach, etc.) is something many seem to disagree with. But raise awareness is exactly what they're doing, even if it's in the form of debate and critique.

But the fact that so many were so quick to dismiss the entire campaign and, rather than focus on and discuss the complexities of the issue itself, they quickly turned away entirely and -- more importantly, encouraged OTHERS to turn away. THAT is what has been fascinating to me.

I realize this is a very judgmental statement but, based on what I've witnessed over my life, not only about Kony 2012 but any other campaign (not at DU necessarily but just in general), there are certain people who, for whatever reason, are more focused on tearing something down rather than focus on the issue itself and then work to find the positives in the effort, aspects that can be agreed upon in order to work together with others of like mind to approach the issue in a way they agree with.

When it comes to huge issues, humans simply can't agree. But rather than take the subject matter being raised, whether it's about child soldiers or homelessness here in the US, efforts are criticized to an extraordinary degree, questioning the integrity of nearly every organization trying to work to improve situations.

I'm skeptical, too, and I will always do my due diligence in researching organizations and companies and the issues themselves. Many have less than honorable intentions; many started off with good, honorable intentions, got big and got corrupt to varying degrees.

Yet what I see all too often is that those who are inclined to be apathetic use the extreme criticism that inevitably arises in this 24/7 media age as an excuse to continue to hide their heads in the sand.

"It's all too complicated, we can't do anything, we'll just make it worse."

That's what many people take away from it, so I can understand why IC felt that as simplified approach as possible will at least get people engaged. What is to be done once people are paying attention is another matter. But that is always the first step.

I saw people, many for the first time (of all ages), interested in what was going on as it concerned Uganda, yet as soon as the HUGE backlash took over, they quickly said, screw it; the organization and the mission itself must be a huge scam.

When I read this OP the first time, I cringed. I cringe any time I see Liberty University or Bob Jones University mentioned, for the same reasons many of you cringe. And I was also a bit sick to my stomach to consider that this was some sort of covert evangelical conversion mission.

But then I saw what Jason said. And even though some of the verbiage made me uncomfortable because I'm surrounded by thumpers, I stepped back from my own narrow-mindedness and looked at it again. Perhaps he is a Christian and the words came naturally to him; perhaps he used verbiage that resonated with his audience, as most speakers do.

As he said, IC has a two-pronged approach: to reduce human rights abuses abroad, and to empower young people here in the States to realize they can affect the world in a positive way.

Students are their audience here; they have Invisible Children student organizations in many high schools around the country.

And I realized THAT was what his message was about. About the knee-jerk perceptions we all make that prevent further discourse.

I didn't see him encouraging evangelizing, encouraging the Liberty students to (or others who go on mission trips, for example) convert others to their faith. What I saw him talk about was saying how they can live their faith (those who believe in the "teachings of Jesus"), and to do so without judgment and expectation.

We're always saying thumpers need to be less hypocritical and actually live the teachings of Christ when they interact with others, especially those who are suffering in some way. I heard this Jason guy deliver that same message in a very smooth way, actually.

We're all looking at one another, making judgments, assuming we know the agendas (which are always nefarious or at least against our principles), and the bottom line is that WE DON'T DO ANYTHING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

We don't tackle the root causes of the issues because they're so friggin complicate; apathy takes over for most people, and frustration and fatigue take over for activists.

We don't make tremendous strides to alleviate the suffering as we simultaneously tackle the root causes, because the efforts to reduce suffering are attacked as NOT FIXING THE CORE PROBLEM.

I'm weird in that I'm not as focused on the uber specifics of this campaign -- Kony -- but the implications of it for the myriad issues the world faces.

To me, the basic things being discussed now concerning this Kony campaign -- geopolitical issues, the root causes that lead to such crimes and injustices, who intervenes, how and for what motive/intention -- pertain to every major issue we face in this world.

How to address the root causes to prevent the horrors and injustices, while simultaneously working to alleviate the existing suffering now -- yet doing so in a just, not charitable/condescending manner -- are huge issues that lie at the heart of nearly ever well-intentioned campaign and the criticisms of it.

Well, that's my perception, at least. But to at least begin the discussion about issues is the very first step, imho.

The habit for the naysayers to take over and totally subvert discussion about the issue itself -- because they're so focused on dissecting and bringing down the messenger -- is very destructive, imho.

Again, I'm not advocating blindly following anyone or any organization, but it just seems to me that the extraordinary backlash to this unprecedented social media campaign is starting to cause discussion to now veer away from the issue at hand and instead be focused on Invisible Children, resulting in more apathy and immobilization.

It seems the issue can be discussed more intelligently and with more voices while some continue to express why they're concerned with Invisible Children and/or their approach with Kony 2012.

It doesn't have to be one or the other. Just as it doesn't have to be one or the other -- a focus on the root cause of an issue or a focus on alleviating the current suffering -- as it concerns any problem.

We have the capacity to do both, but we inevitably shoot our collective selves in the foot with the EXTREME skepticism and criticism.

Hope this makes sense. No time to proof.

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 04:44 PM

25. Great post, very thought-provoking, you should consider posting it as an OP. nt

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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:16 PM

37. A good read.

My daughter is an international studies major with a concentration in African studies. She hates the campaign because it oversimplifies and leads people to believe and become aware of all the wrong problems. She sees Kony as a symptom of much bigger problems there. I tend to agree with her but know she has a much deeper knowledge than I.

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:41 PM

20. What's the point of getting rid of Kony?

 

Someone else will just take his place. He has a second in command... and a third and a fourth and so on. Invisible children also uses their money to finance arms for groups opposed to the groups they dislike. They bought arms for the SPLA, a group that has been noted to commit the same crimes that Kony is accused of. Rape, looting, child soldiers. So if you want to support rape, and things of that nature, please donate to Invisible Children. Even then, 69% of your money is lining the pockets of the three founders.


They sure do look happy with those guns.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 04:21 PM

23. Forget Invisible Children and Kony...

In response to your subject line, "What's the point of getting rid of Kony, someone else will just take his place," are there any efforts regarding this issue -- within Uganda or otherwise -- you would support?

Do you have any thoughts or ideas, or are there people you are inclined to listen to who are offering thoughts or ideas toward a solution?



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 04:30 PM

24. The LRA is not just Joseph Kony. I'd support a strategy similar to what was done with the IRA.

 

Open up negotiations with the LRA and find a solution that both sides can agree on. Kony is not just rounding up kids because he thinks its fun to run around with guns in the jungle. His organization has goals, find a way to reasonable satisfy some of those goals and he'll stop.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 04:55 PM

26. Thanks for the reply.



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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 07:50 PM

35. Are you serious?

The LRA is nothing like the IRA. Moreover, there have been negotiations with the LRA in the past and it doesn't result in lasting peace. His organization has insane goals and can't be negotiated with. Squash Joseph Kony and his top deputies and it will disintegrate.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:12 PM

36. It looks like we can't agree on anything.

 

It's kind of funny in a way. You're the super anti-violence guy ( as evidenced by your extremist stance on guns) but in the instance where I'm against using guns, you're all for it.

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Response to Pacafishmate (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:21 PM

39. No, I don't support negotiating with a murderous milita...

...that has waged a brutal insurgency and repeatedly broken peace agreements. I'm not anti-violence, I'm anti-ignorance. I'm not a pacifist, I just believe in skillful use of means and in responsibility, and I believe violence should be avoided whenever possible. I see no glory in war, but I see no humanity in caving to monsters. Have you done any research at all into the LRA and the IRA? If you had, you would not make the comparison.

Don't project on me bro...Also, reasonable people can come to reasonable agreements - but negotiating with the LRA is not reasonable.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:18 PM

38. Just like squashing the top drug lords will stop the drug trade.

Oh, wait.....

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #38)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:21 PM

40. Spurious comparison. n/t

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #40)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:36 PM

41. Spurious? Do tell.

How are the organizations not similar?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #41)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:10 PM

42. The drug cartels are far more sophisticated...

...they survive despite an intense effort to destroy them. The LRA is a lightly armed ethnic rebel group that survives because of indifference. Your comparison is watermelons and kumquats.

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:09 PM

28. I find all this Kony stuff to be strange.

These sort of things have been going on for years, and just now people are starting to rally so strongly against this? And against only one guy at that (there's plenty more where Kony comes from). I just can't help but feel the video to be emotionally manipulative, and that there are some ulterior motives at work. I suppose it doesn't hurt to raise awareness, but it just seems like this is a way to fool people into wanting military intervention in Africa.

It just seems like something the UN should deal with in my opinion. It's not that I'm against a concerted effort against Kony, or others like him, but is he even in Uganda anymore? Uganda has been saying this is old news, and that he's not even in their country anymore, so I just don't really know.

I've been seeing and hearing lots of people say how the video is inspirational, and makes them think. That's a good thing I suppose, as it seems to make more people (younger ones especially) more politically involved. It also seems to have made people more sympathetic with left wing beliefs I guess... which is also good. President Obama could definitely score political points off this, and he seems to have already, at least on some capacity.

I just wish this energy could be focused towards the root of the problem, and other problems that plague the world and this country, without that energy being exploited for personal gain and other ulterior motives. That's just me though.

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:25 PM

29. "Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit"

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 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 . 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.

http://thedailywh.at/2012/03/07/on-kony-2012-2/

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Response to Mosby (Reply #29)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:44 PM

33. I saw this, too, on Daily Kos:

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Response to calimary (Reply #33)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 06:29 PM

34. Well, it already has some very rich people in it, including Subsidy-Sam Brownback who already

has a bunch of my money in the form of welfare to agri-biz, so I won't be donating. And I knocked several hundred doors for John Kerry, for pres., so perhaps his donation covers mine.

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Response to Archae (Original post)


Response to Archae (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:17 PM

43. We should all want Kony brought to justice

He is an evil man, and that point should not be obfuscated.

Are the tactics this group is promoting effective? Is it all just fadish slacktivism? I don't know. But I am certainly rooting for Kony to get what he deserves.

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