The history of the US Military dates all the way back to the Continental Army of the revolutionary war. But despite this, the US Military did not officially start until 29th September 1789. This was when congress passed an act that legalised the small contingent already in uniform. Since then, the Military of the United States of America has become the world’s most powerful fighting force. Find out all the facts you need to know about the history of the elite forces here.
It was practically nonexistent in the beginning:
The republican government in the beginning of the US Military believed that “standing armies in times of peace are inconsistent with the principles of republican governments and dangerous to the liberties of a free people”. For this reason, the government passed legislation that disbanded the continental army, with the exception of a few dozen troops who guarded munitions at West Point, New York. And Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. The legislation also called on 700 men as part of state militias to deal with potential threats from native Americans and the British.
Throughout the first few decades of its existence, the US suffered relatively few combat casualties. This changed throughout the civil war however. The union and confederacy lost at least 618,000 men between them. The losses were due to bullets and disease. Since the civil war, only WWII has come close in terms of American deaths, totally approximately 405,000.
The use of camouflage dates back over a century:
George Washington in 1779 chose Blue as the primary uniform colour of the continental army. This decision stuck until as late the Spanish-American war of 1898. This changed when some US troops in Cuba smeared themselves with mud in order to avoid enemy fire. Soon after this, the army adopted a Khaki summer uniform and a green-brown winter uniform. The traditional blue uniform was kept, but only for special occasions. During World War 1, a team of artists and creatives were put together to design a low-visibility uniform.
How military displays the flag:
Here’s a piece of American flag trivia for you. The US Military paints the flag backwards on their aircraft, putting the stars on the upper right side instead of the left. This gives the impression that the flag is streaming as it would if it were real, flying with the wind instead of against it. This is the same on military uniforms. The flag should always look as though it is going forward with the soldier and never retreating.
The first women to enlist was during World War 1:
During the revolutionary war, women could only be found on battlefields as nurses or seamstresses or cooks. Not allowed to officially serve until the establishment of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps in 1901, women often dressed as men in order to see battle. The first non-nurse women to enlist was in 1917, when they freed up male servicemen by working overseas as clerics or Signal Corps operators. It wasn’t until 1948 when women were allowed to serve in the military during peacetime. Women make up about 16% of the US Army today and will reportedly no longer be excluded from ground-combat units.
Hopefully you’ll be able to impress all of your mates down at the bar with your newfound knowledge of the US military and how it was started.
At Attention! Is the National Anthem the New Test of Patriotism?
A fundamental question on patriotism has been plunged into the limelight during the course of the past few weeks: what role does the national anthem play for a country today? These few weeks have seen the populations of the larger countries of the world struggle with controversies surrounding their respective national anthems and the question has arisen in the midst of two unrelated incidents in the two largest democracies in the world. The result of these incidents has been an increasing divide between the masses in both the countries on what is acceptable in the name of your country’s anthem and where do we draw the line after which patriotism become an imposition. Let’s have a look at each one by one.
Kneeling for the American dream
During the previous season of the NFL, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick created a ripple across the United States when he knelt during the national anthem to protest against the racism and police brutality constantly faced by people of colour in the country. The act was adopted by a number of players to signal that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and spread through the season and into the ongoing one. More recently, while a number of teams and players have decided not to follow suit, the act has been propagated by yet more players, and the phenomenon has caught the scorn of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence who have, among a good section of Americans, condemned the kneeling to be disrespectful towards the anthem, the flag, the troops that sacrificed their lives so their citizens could live the American dream, and to the country itself.
The President has also tried, although unsuccessfully, to push the league to get the players to stand for the anthem and also to fire the ones who don’t comply. “We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag,” said Trump at a campaign event in September. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!'”
Earlier in October, Vice President Mike Pence left the game between Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers after players from the latter chose to kneel in protest yet again. “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence later tweeted of the game.
It doesn’t take a second read to notice that the issue has been blown out of proportion by Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, and they are not alone in this. A poll conducted by CBS shows that 65% of white respondents felt that kneeling during the national anthem is wrong, while 75% of black respondents approved of the act. The report also suggests that many Americans are not likely to be in support of the act unless they are told what its goals are. “No player is disrespecting our Country or our Flag. As thousands have shown in the past, it takes bravery and courage to speak and confront these issues as our players have, especially when it is unpopular with some”, executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith said, giving voice to the true motive of the movement. The issue was never about patriotism, about the anthem or about the flag, much less about disrespecting them. It was always about racism, and more people need to know that. Moreover, the NAACP has argued that if a player were to be dropped out of a game due to the act, it would be a violation of his constitutional right to free speech. However, in light of such arguments, one may wonder where one must draw the line on what is acceptable in the name of the national anthem.
Wear your nationalism on your sleeve
In November 2016, the Supreme Court of India made it mandatory for all cinema halls in the country to play the national anthem before the screening of films sighting that “it would instill the feeling within one, a sense (of) committed patriotism and nationalism.” The issue garnered a lot of attention back then, with the central government backing the decision made by the apex court. The population, however, was strongly split. The episode has come back into the fold as a little more than a week ago the Supreme Court again hinted at a modification in its order, passing the responsibility of making the final decision on the matter to the government. The court has now expressed that while every citizen has a duty to respect the national anthem and the flag, the judiciary need not step in to make it compulsory, effectively going back on its mandate from eleven months ago. The court also turned down a plea by the government to not make any changes to its previous order, and the government has found a huge number of its loyalists among the masses standing by its side on the matter, creating such a huge division among the masses. However, in addition to completely botching up an issue that could have been avoided, the Supreme Court has thrown the debate on whether the national anthem should be played in cinema halls and other events in the open once again.
As many supporters of the move and the government have been quick to play the ‘anti-national’ card on the opposition, asking them why they cannot spare 52 seconds of their time to stand proudly for their country, it becomes important to ask why one has to show their patriotism by standing for the national anthem when they are out to watch a movie and more importantly, why patriotism needs to be forced on citizens.
“Why do we have to wear patriotism on our sleeves? People go to the cinema for undiluted entertainment and to ease out”, said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, one of the judges on the bench who has been against the move since the beginning. “Why do you think that one who does not sing the national anthem is not patriotic? You do not have to sing the national anthem to prove your patriotism. Values are inculcated in a broad social and political culture and patriotism cannot be inculcated among people by the Supreme Court order making it mandatory for playing the national anthem in cinema halls,” he said.
When the president of the second largest democracy in the world, backed by millions of his supporters, calls a protest against racism by kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful towards the country, it doesn’t make us patriotic. Likewise, when a huge fraction of the population of the world’s largest democracy voices its support on the imposition of the national anthem (and by extension nationalism) on the people, it doesn’t make us patriotic either. In fact, it makes us seem quite the opposite: it makes us seem insecure of our patriotism.
The Fight Back Against Hate Crime
Following the events of Charlottesville, and the ongoing necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement, many people feel scared to so much as make eye contact with the wrong people. It might be even worse in public when, spurred by President Trump’s inaction over Charlottesville, promoters of hate speech feel more justified and protected. Fortunately, even with the alleged backing of the most powerful office, this hate speech is still far from legal.
According to Equalityhumanrights.com, “Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s: disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. Hate crimes and hate incidents can hurt people and leave them feeling confused and frightened.” Incidents of hate crime can include verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property. Since President Trump’s inauguration, the number of hate groups specifically targeting Muslims in the US has nearly tripled in the past year with Islamophobic hate crime soared, according to an article in The Independent earlier this year. The number of hate groups in general had started to rise back in 2016 during Trump’s election campaign, and this year it has risen from 892 to 917.
Despite the bleakness of the situation, the average citizen is not helpless to prevent hate crime. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 permits federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin”. In the US, 45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of “bias-motivated violence or intimidation”, better known as hate crimes. Whether they are victims, or witnesses of hate crime, citizens have a right and a duty to report the crime. The Southern Poverty Law Centre is one company that uses litigation, education and other forms of advocacy to fight against hate and bigotry in the United States. They monitor hate groups throughout the United States, and expose their activities to the public, the media, and law enforcement. Even individual citizens are fighting hate within the United States.
Within days of Trump winning the US election, a worldwide protest was organised for the day following his inauguration. Teresa Shook, from Hawaii, created a Facebook event and invited friends to march on Washington to protest some of the policies Trump had already promised to implement regarding women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The event gained so much popularity that it turned into a worldwide march on January 21 2017.
Although the headlines and new policies aren’t favorable to minorities or people in vulnerable positions, the population at large seems to be arming themselves with the real facts about immigration, religion, human rights, and current events. Overwhelmingly, people refuse to be lied to by those in office, and they have decided to unite with their fellow human beings.
Looking for the Best Bakeries in the United States
Either you prefer sweet or salty food, there’s always a place for you to satisfy your needings at the right time. They are called: bakeries. These places are the best way to get your daily carbs dosis, to enjoy fresh baked bread, wonderful croissants, cookies, cakes and a lot more.
If you live in the US, you know that some of the best bakeries in the world are here.
How can I find the best bakeries near me? Is there any bakery near me? We have the answer! We prepared a guide for you to discover the best bakeries throughout the United States.
The Best Bakeries in the US
Breads Bakery (Union Square, NY): It is well known for the chocolate babkas they prepare, their unique almond croissants -that we’re sure you’ll be back and repeat- and their rugelach created with a spiral full of scales. A delight for the senses! If you ever stop by don’t miss the bread. We think it could be one of the best breads of the world.
Tartine Bakery (San Francisco, CA): They have created a wide variety of breads. All of them are made with ingredients of the highest quality and exotic condiments such as the german rye they prepare in the Danish style. During the mornings you can order some zesty morning buns or a slice of any of the cakes they make. You have to try the exotic flavours, the passion fruit cake or the “tres leches” one are a must. The best way to start a new day is at Tartine Bakery!
Standard Baking Co. (Portland, ME): This bakery is hidden in the shore, along the beautiful seaside. Enjoy the german vollkornbrot bread they make -with its typical brown color- or the italian focaccia. Don’t leave without trying the chocolate rye cookies. They are one of their top products.
Proof Bakery (Los Angeles, CA): The croissants they make are considered to be one of the best croissants in Los Angeles. You can find them coated with high quality butter giving them a golden look and a tasty flavour. They make different types of croissants, some of them are filled with chocolate, cheese, ham or even almond cream. If you also like cakes, Proof Bakery is your place. You can choose from a great variety of flavours, such as “lemon-pistachio”, meringue, among others.
Ken’s Artisan Bakery (Portland, OR): Another bakery that shines by itself is this one located in Portland. They offer lots of different amazing products such as sweet macarons -they bake with the pure French style-, fruit tartlets, rustic bread and a lot more! The carrot cake and the hazelnut butter cookies are a must in this place. You will love the French touch in all their products.
Flour Bakery + Café (Boston, MA): We finish our list with a mandatory visit to this bakery. If you ever visit Boston don’t miss the rolls they make. Try the coffee cake and the lime meringues as well. Salty food here is also well known. We recommend you to try the smoked turkey sandwich and the curry tuna one. They are amazing!
The best bakeries in the US created for bread lovers summarised in a short list.
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