Apr 262017
 

Have you ever wondered just how far your money is going?

Whether it’s in your hometown, while you are traveling or during your vacation, money goes fast.

A recent report by Business Insider explains.

A gallon of gas varies from state to state. So does a cup of coffee and other consumer goods. This variation has to do with the real purchasing power of a dollar.

 

Apr 212017
 

This is a graphical lifespan timeline of Presidents of the United States. Forty-four people have served as President of the United States since the office came into existence in 1789. They are listed in order of office (Grover Cleveland is listed in the order of his first presidency).

Lifespan timeline of Presidents of the United States

Click to enlarge

 

Apr 192017
 
This map shows how all 50 States rank on gun ownership compared to nations around the world.

State To Country Gun Ownership Comparison

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

While it’s under constant debate whether having a passel of pistol-packing people is a help or hindrance to the security of our free State in 2015, there’s still a desire to make sure we’re protected should any need arise.

So, where do we stand in the “right to bear arms” discussion? Well, truth be told, we here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog would rather play with numbers and offer everyone an interesting perspective of the issue.

That said, what, we asked, would it look like if we compared gun ownership in our 50 states with gun ownership in other countries? You can see our answer above, and read about how we arrived at it below.

Methodology: What Triggered Our Conclusions

We started with a research group in Switzerland called Small Arms Survey and its report “Small Arms Survey 2007: Guns and the City.” Among other things, it estimated gun-ownership numbers for 178 countries, including the United States (which it estimates has about 270 million guns).

We then took the estimate of 88.8 guns per 100 people for the U.S.—which, seven years later, is likely higher—and used it to calculate each state’s estimated gun ownership, based on state populations from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 survey. (Of course, gun-ownership density varies throughout the country, but this number gave us a easy way to come up with comparable figures for all 50 states, since actual state-to-state numbers were not available.)

Once we had the list of state numbers, we compared each one to Small Arms Survey’s list of countries and respective gun-ownership estimates, logging the nearest match.

Under The Gun: A Quick Peek At The Results

As you’d expect, the United States’ “superpowers” match up with some of the world’s superpowers:

  • California’s total of 33.08 million guns is closest to China’s 40 million
  • Texas’ total of 22.33 million guns is closest to Germany’s 25 million
  • New York’s total of 17.2 million guns is closest to Pakistan’s 18 million

Interestingly enough, the next biggest state, Florida, is closest to Mexico (16.7 million vs. 15.5 million). Given their proximity, let’s hope they don’t meet in a shootout, because it probably won’t end like a proverbial Mexican Standoff.

The number of different countries on our comparison map is 32. (That number could have ended up higher, but we didn’t list multiple countries in the event of they were tied on the Small Arms Survey list.)

The countries with the most appearances on the list:

  • South Africa: 6
  • Spain: 5
  • Uzbekistan: 3
  • Turkey: 3

Source…

State To Country Gun Ownership Comparison

 

Apr 142017
 

The True Scale of Nuclear Bombs Is Totally Frightening

The True Scale Of Nuclear Bombs

Nuclear bombs are already scary enough, but when you dig deeper and find out how powerful the weapons truly are, they get even more terrifying. The weapons we’ve built after the first atomic bombs are so strong that you can basically use Hiroshima as a unit of measurement. The largest nuclear explosion in human history, the Tsar Bomba, detonated with a force of 50 megatons or the power of 3,333 Hiroshimas.

The Russians had another bomb planned that would have been double the force of the Tsar Bomba at 100 megatons (and 6,666 times the force of Hiroshima) but luckily they never tested it. I mean, the Tsar Bomba was already as scarily powerful as it can get, since it almost destroyed the plane that dropped it and shattered windows as far as Norway and Finland. (The bomb was tested at Novaya Zemlya in Northern Russia).

Even something like the B83 bomb (which is the largest nuke in the US arsenal) explodes with a mushroom cloud taller than where commercial airlines fly. The true scale of nuclear weapons is really something, man. Learn more about it with this video by Real Life Lore, which also shows what kind of damage these nukes would do if they were dropped on New York City.

Nuclear weapons have come a long way and come in all types of different sizes. Some are relatively small while others are enormous, so big they boggle the mind at what they can be capable of. This video analyzes the sizes and impacts of various different nuclear devices, the history of nuclear weapons and what countries in the world are in possession of such devices.

Tsar Bomba, 1961 Tsar Bomba, 1961

 
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Apr 022017
 

The United States’ Secret Plan to Invade Canada

War Plan Red - A 1935 US Plan For The Invasion Of Canada

A time-honored tradition in the U.S. military, contingency plans have been drawn up for the defense against, and invasion of, most major military powers. In fact, in response to recent events on the Korean peninsula, the U.S. and South Korea recently signed on to such a plan. One of the most interesting episodes in this rich history of preparing for things that will probably never happen came when Uncle Sam planned to invade Johnny Canuck.

Early Planning

In the years leading up to World War II, beginning in fact in the 1920s, the army began planning for wars with a variety of countries, designating each plan by a different color: Germany (black), Japan (orange), Mexico (green) and England (red); as a dominion of Great Britain, Canada (crimson) was presumed to be loyal to England, and thus was included in the plan against a supposed British invasion (not to be confused with that of the 1960s).

The paranoid U.S. military strategists who devised War Plan Red believed that if the Britain and America were to battle again, it would begin from a trade dispute. Whatever the cause, army planners anticipated that any war with England would be prolonged, not only because of British and Canadian tenacity, but also from the fact that Britain could draw manpower and resources from its empire, including at that time Australia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, South Africa and Sudan.

Canadian Invasion Plan

Different versions of the plan were proposed, and one was first approved in 1930 by the War Department. It was updated in 1934-1935, and, of course, never implemented. Although it was far reaching and addressed some of Britain’s greatest strengths, such as the Royal Navy, one of the chief areas of concern was the U.S.’s long border with Canada. As a result, the plan addressed our northern neighbors with great detail, to wit:

British Columbia

With its vital naval base, military strategists planned a naval attack on Victoria, launched from Port Angeles, Washington, as well as a combined assault on Vancouver and its island. Successful occupation of this area would effectively cut off Canada from the Pacific.

Manitoba

The central hub for the Canadian railway system was located in Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg; army strategists felt that a land assault could easily be launched from Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Canada’s rail lines neutralized.

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Military planners apparently hoped to stun the Maritime Provinces with a poison gas attack on Nova Scotia’s capital city, Halifax, then also home to a major naval base. The chemical battle would then be followed by a sea invasion at St. Margaret’s Bay. It that didn’t work, an overland invasion and occupation of New Brunswick would, hopefully, isolate the valuable seaports of Nova Scotia from the remainder of Canada, effectively stopping British resupply of its forces.

Ontario

A three-pronged attack, arising from Buffalo, Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie would gain control of the Great Lakes for the U.S. In addition to causing a crushing blow to British supply lines, it would allow the United States to control most of Canada’s industrial production.

Quebec

An overland attack launching from adjacent New York and Vermont was planned. Control of this French-speaking province would, when combined with control of the Maritime Provinces, stop Britain from having any entry point to the remainder of the country from the Eastern seaboard.

Revelation of the Plan

Although it was declassified in 1974, portions of the plan were inadvertently leaked long before. During what was supposed to be classified testimony by military brass to the House Military Affairs Committee, two generals revealed some of the details of War Plan Red. That testimony was mistakenly published in official reports, which were picked up and printed by the New York Times.

Also revealed in the New York Times was the fact that the United States Congress had assigned $57 million in 1935 (nearly $1 billion today) in order to build three air bases near the U.S./Canadian border in line with War Plan Red’s recommendations, in case the U.S. needed to defend against or attack Canada.  These air bases were supposed to be disguised as civilian airports, but the Government Printing Office accidentally reported the existence of the air bases on May 1 of 1935, blowing their cover.

Interestingly, War Plan Red’s recommendations also proposed that the U.S. not just invade in such a war with Britain and Canada, but take over, adding any conquered regions as states to the United States.

The Sad History of Americans Invading Canada Badly

Americans have a history of underestimating the Canadians:

Revolutionary War

In September 1775, Benedict Arnold (when he was still on our side) led an unsuccessful assault on Quebec City overland through difficult Maine wilderness; over 40% of Arnold’s men were lost making the attempt, and yet, inexplicably, he was promoted to Brigadier General.

War of 1812

During the second war with Britain, Thomas Jefferson opined that to occupy Canada was a “mere matter of marching” for U.S. troops. Yet attacks in the Old Northwest, across the Niagara River, and north from Lake Champlain, all failed.

Proxy “War” for Ireland

Over a period of five years from 1866 to 1872, Irish Catholics from the U.S. engaged in a series of raids on Canadian targets, including forts and customs houses. Known as the Fenian raids, the Fenian Brotherhood had hoped that their actions would force the British to withdraw from Ireland. They were unsuccessful.

Post Cold War

In 1995, Michael Moore created a fictional war between the United States and Canada in the comedy, Canadian Bacon. Like the real-life Americans who went before them, the fictional invasion in this farcical political commentary failed.

What Comes Around Goes Around

Before you get the idea that only Americans are aggressive bastards, you should know that the Canadians had developed a plan to invade the United States before the U.S. ever started on its scheme.

Characterized as a counterattack, the 1921 plan more accurately resembles a preemptive war. The brainchild of Lieutenant Colonel Buster Sutherland Brown of the Canadian Army, the plan called for a surprise attack on the U.S. as soon as the Canadians had “evidence” that America was planning an invasion; it was felt that a preemptive strike was required, as it would be the only way Canada could prevail in a battle with its larger, southern neighbor, which benefited from a far greater arsenal and much more manpower.

Other advantages of the quick strike included the fact that the war would be fought on American territory, so losses in civilian life and infrastructure would be borne by the Americans. Finally, the colonel thought this plan would best buy the Canadians time for their allies, the British, to come to their rescue before the Americans could launch an effective counter strike.

It’s always the quiet ones.

War Plan Red: The United States’ Secret Plan to Invade Canada and Canada’s Secret Plan to Invade the United States

 
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50 Flags Of The United States

 Infographics, Political  Comments Off on 50 Flags Of The United States
Mar 162017
 

Put your U.S. trivia hat on! Do you know all 50 state mottos by heart? Can you conjure a mental image of what your state’s flag looks like?

From state seals to animal imagery, the 50 flags of the United States are works of art. Check out our infographic below to brush up on some of your state facts.

50 Flags Of The United States

 

Flag Etiquette

 Information, Political, Wallpaper  Comments Off on Flag Etiquette
Feb 042017
 

Flag Etiquette

STANDARDS of RESPECT
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning
To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

 

Jan 262017
 
Declassified CIA Manual Shows How US Uses Bureaucracy to Destabilize Governments

Declassified CIA Manual Shows How The United States Destabilized Governments

When most people think of CIA sabotage, they think of coups, assassinations, proxy wars, armed rebel groups, and even false flags — not strategic stupidity and purposeful bureaucratic ineptitude. However, according to a declassified document from 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which later became the CIA, used and trained a curious breed of “citizen-saboteurs” in occupied nations like Norway and France.

The World War II-era document, called Simple Sabotage Field Manual, outlines ways in which operatives can disrupt and demoralize enemy administrators and police forces. The first section of the document, which can be read in its entirety here, addresses “Organizations and Conferences” — and how to turn them into a “dysfunctional mess”:

  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  • Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.
  • When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  • Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
  • Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
  • Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

On its official webpage, the CIA boasts about finding innovative ways to bring about sabotage, calling their tactics for destabilization “surprisingly relevant.” While they admit that some of the ideas may seem a bit outdated, they claim that “Together they are a reminder of how easily productivity and order can be undermined.”

  • In a second section targeted at manager-saboteurs, the guide lists the following tactical moves:
  • In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers.
  • Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.
  • To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.
  • Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.
  • Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

Finally, the guide presents protocol for how saboteur-employees can disrupt enemy operations, too:

  • Work slowly.
  • Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.
  • Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.
  • Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

The CIA is proud of its Kafkaesque field manual and evidently still views it as an unorthodox but effective form of destabilizing enemy operations around the world. Of course, so too might an anarchist or revolutionary look at such tactics and view them in the context of disrupting certain domestic power structures, many of which are already built like a bureaucratic house of cards.

It seems if any country should refrain from showcasing how easy it is to disrupt inefficient federal agencies, however, it would be the United States.

 

Source…