The Iraqi Book Market

This will be a shorter post, but the topic interests me. I was reading random articles late last night and came across a story about a street in Baghdad lined with books, day and night. The street has been subject to bombings and war and has come back from the dead every time.

The hunger for literature in Iraq has always been strong whether the literature was influenced by political readers or not. Thousands of books line Mutanabbi Street in the old quarter of Baghdad. These books remain stacked in the streets all hours of the day and night.

People visit the site daily and sort through the piles to find their next adventure. The best part of this that no one ever takes a book without paying. Say or believe what you will about that part of the world. There is a philosophy that “the reader does not steal and the thief does not read.”

I’m impressed by this book market and have every intention of visiting it as soon as I can. Please read up on the Iraqi book market. There are a ton of articles about it and they make for a good read.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Controversy

When I first started writing this blog, I told myself I wouldn’t discuss religion or politics too heavily, if at all. So far I’ve done a great job of staying true to that. I’ve now written 20 posts, with this being the 21st. Most of you seem to be on my side with most things that I’ve written about, so let’s see if we can change that. Some of you will agree with this post and some of you may hate it. I’m actually looking forward to any emails (michaelhowell0188@gmail.com) or comments in either case. Angry or not, stay with me until the end of this post.

With all the driving I do, especially in some of the states I do it in (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama), I see a lot of things that make me think. One thing that I see almost every single day is a vehicle flying the Confederate flag, or a house with the Confederate flag flying outside their door or driveway. This is where I may lose some of you.

I’m all for remembering history and what it meant and how it shaped our nation. The United States of America, emphasis on the “United” part, for all it’s flaws, is a wonderful place to be, regardless of your political or religious affiliation, which is kind of the point. The Civil War and it’s two opposing sides, the Union and the Confederacy, were obviously a huge part of that and turned this country into what it is today. We should Always remember our nation’s history.

That being said, flying the Confederate flag and other flags next to it that say the South should secede or that it will rise again is disrespectful and a form of treason. If you want to have the flag as a historical commemoration then, by all means, please do so. Maybe you have ancestors that fought for the South, maybe you’re fascinated by that era of our history, maybe you think it’s pretty. But to fly it as a statement against The UNITED Stated of America goes against everything that The UNITED States of America stand for. Obviously the issue of the First Amendment comes into play here. So do what you want, and I’ll write about what I want.

The Civil War was just that: a war. A war with a winner and a loser. The South lost, and its general SURRENDERED. For those of you who aren’t aware, to surrender means you lost to an opponent and you submit to their authority. The Confederacy is no more. There are also some folks that believe the South can secede and successfully fight a war against the rest of the country. That thought is so far from being true I can’t even begin to explain why without sitting here for the next several hours.

This is a topic that I know I’ll be revisiting in the future, and I need to get to work. So, I’m going to leave it at that for now and see how many people I’ve pissed off.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Blizzard: Part 2

The Midnight Writer strikes again. For those of you who didn’t read my last post, I ended it by berating flat-earthers, because they are idiots. Yesterday, I was enjoying a tasty Blizzard from Dairy Queen and trying to suffer through the conversations I could hear from the high school kids near me when, out of nowhere, one of them brings up the theory of a flat Earth.

Let me begin by saying that these kids don’t actually believe the Earth is flat. They only discussed it. Asking questions, even dumb ones, is how you learn and develop opinions and ideas. So, hats off to them. Could’ve been a bit quieter, though.

Anyway, there is a growing number of people that believe the Earth is flat. Not round, but flat. Contrary to any and all scientific and visual proof that has been presented, these morons have even created an organization called The Flat Earth Society. It’s real and they have recently held a large conference.

These people have many theories as to how and why the Earth is flat instead of round and spherical. Most have come to the conclusion that the Earth is a flat disk surrounded by an ice wall floating through space. In case that doesn’t sound stupid enough to you, some flat-earthers believe that space isn’t real. Some don’t even believe in gravity. That should really tell you all you need to know.

One guy in particular actually spent twenty grand building a homemade rocket to launch himself high enough in the air to try to see if there is a curvature of the Earth. This rocket of his blasted him about 1,900 feet into the air before parachutes were released and he came back to earth, though his head was still in the clouds. Funny thing about being propelled 1,900 into the air is that the curvature of the Earth can’t be seen until at least 35,000 feet. So, that was pointless.

I’m sure Darius Marley, the writer and audiobook narrator (check out his page if you get a chance, he’s great to read and listen to), would agree with me when I say that anyone can come up with an asinine opinion about something, especially with little to no research, and call it law. Everyone wants to be a part of something and jump on the bandwagon.

If there are any flat-earthers reading this, you are entitled to believe whatever you want to believe. And feel free to fight me on this, if you think the Earth is flat, then I bet you’re made of spare parts, aren’t you, bud? The Earth is round, I can’t sail off the edge of the Earth and fall into space, which apparently isn’t there, and gravity keeps my Blizzard in it’s container while I eat it.

I’m tired of seeing these morons on TV, in magazines, and on the internet. The theory of a flat Earth is idiotic. What’s that? The world needs to know about the massive worldwide conspiracy that the Earth is round and you want to spread the truth of what we’re too blind to see? Get off the cross, we need the wood. Dumbasses.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Alamo

As I’m driving across San Antonio today, a few times, I passed Texas’ most historic and famous landmark: the Alamo. Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Alamo is a site that gave many lives to secure the independence of Texas from Mexico. So as I drove past the landmark for the third time I couldn’t help but live by Texas’ most famous saying: “Remember the Alamo.”

It was February, 1836, Santa Anna was laying siege to the fort known as the Alamo with his massive Mexican army. All the big names were there: James Bowie, William Travis, Davy Crockett. Thousands of members of the Mexican army attacked the Alamo for 13 days. The impressive part of this story is that it was defended by only 200 people (and a super big knife that Jim Bowie had with him)! Only a very small handful of these defenders were spared, the rest were killed by Santa Anna and his forces. The remainder were sent to Sam Houston’s camp to warn him that he and his army would meet the same fate.

Well seeing as how Texans are super proud and love to fight for what we believe in, the Battle of the Alamo only served to rouse the spirits of Sam Houston’s forces. Long story short, we kicked Santa Anna’s ass so hard that the French blew off his leg a couple of years later. I can see how that probably doesn’t add up. Basically, he lost to Texas so badly that he was forced into retirement. Mexico owed some pretty big debts to France, and when the French came around to collect, Mexico tried to fight back. Santa Anna comes out of retirement and the French blow off his leg. The dude even had a very large and very public funeral for said leg. Pathetic, right?

So every time I go by the Alamo, which is in close proximity to the extremely Emily Morgan and Menger hotels, I remember the lives that were lost to fight for the independence of Texas and the history of the Alamo. If you ever go to San Antonio, Tx, be sure to visit this historic site and see all that it has to offer. It still houses several artifacts and weapons from the famous battle and is a beautiful building. Plus you can always stay at a couple of haunted hotels and see what that’s all about. just make sure that whatever you decided to do, Remember the Alamo!

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.