Imperial Ironies, FBI Infiltrators & Middle Class Blues‏: Apr. 30, 2015

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Irony of Ironies: Afghan Watchdog Who Identified Vast Waste Told to Slash Staff
by Klaus Marre
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recently found that half of all the money poured into reconstruction efforts has been wasted, misappropriated, or is missing. The embassy in Kabul responded with bold moves to recuperate the funds: ordering SIGAR to cut its staff by 40 percent.

RadioWhoWhatWhy Extra: When does an FBI infiltrator become the criminal?
by Chuck Morse and Russ Baker
WhoWhatWhy
Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker is interviewed by Boston-based syndicated radio host Chuck Morse about the Boston Marathon Bombing trial and the FBI.

WHO

Fewer Americans Identify as Middle Class in Recent Years
Years of stagnant wages, a sharp increase in income inequality and the growing wealth gap have finally shaken the core mythos of American life. Historically, Americans from a wide range of income groups identified as “Middle Class,” often in spite of their poverty or their wealth. However, the post-Crash era has seen a steady decline in those claiming the “Middle Class” label and a rise in those who believe they are “Working Class” or “Lower Class.”

Bernie Sanders vs. the Billionaires: Vermont’s Socialist Senator is Running for President
The ultra-Liberal Senator from Vermont has thrown his hat into the ring… and a Leftie gauntlet down in front of the Clinton juggernaut. Hillary has already moved Left to quiet the Warren Wing of the Democratic Party. But Bernie is even a better foil since he, unlike Sen. Warren (D–MA), is likely seen by the Democratic Establishment as wholly unelectable. And his fiery anti-Wall Street rhetoric will satisfy Democrats looking to make a statement in the primaries before they place a crown on Clinton. But he will give ’em hell along the way.

Media’s Baltimore ‘Teen Purge’ Narrative Falling Apart
Here something shocking (not!). The media, armed with a bunch of hearsay hoo-ha, exaggerated the widely-reported story that kids organized a “Purge” in the hours before riots rocked Baltimore. The “Purge” refers to a recent dystopian movie in which society allots a 12-hour window for lawlessness. Rumors of students circulating a “Purge” flier quickly became a “social media Purge campaign” in the news media. But there is scant evidence to back up the claim.

WHAT

Can America Win a War?
On the anniversary of the US evacuation from Saigon, Newsweek ponders America’s growing losing streak. It’s the perennial post-Vietnam navel-gazer’s question… one that was supposedly answered by The Gipper’s victory over the forces of Grenada in 1983 and Poppy Bush’s big “fish in a barrel” win in the 1991 Gulf War. But that was then, and this is now. And now the US is dealing with quagmires in the Middle East and around the world.

Is Russophobia a Thing?
In a word… yes. As this excellent essay in GOOD points out, Russophobia has a long history and a deep impact on American popular culture. It isn’t a stretch to see Ivan Drago in Rocky IV as the catch-all stereotype of both Soviet dehumanization and a long-standing willingness to dehumanize Russians as “the other.”

WHY

Don’t Freak Out, But The Universe May Be A Hologram
Ever feel like you are not really there? Or here? Well, researchers have found evidence—but not proof—that the three-dimensional universe is, in fact, a projection from a two-dimensional surface. If true, it would clear up a paradox created by black holes. If all information is “lost” when it gets sucked into a black hole, but the theory of relativity asserts that information can never fully be lost… then what happens to it? Well, maybe it is stored on the edge of the event horizon and, in essence, projected as a two-dimensional hologram freed from the limitations of gravity. Whoa.

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