Thursday, March 27, 2014


















At the LLC murder-mystery convention: Nobody's mentioned Flight 370 so far...

     While driving to a murder-mystery writers' and readers' convention in Monterey, CA the other day, I stopped by Silicon Valley to have lunch with my old college sweetheart.  Good grief!  How come I have aged so much and he hasn't?  That's totally not fair.  http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2014/

     A friend of mine in Germany had emailed me that I absolutely, positively had to visit the Paris Bakery while I was in Monterey http://parisbakery.us/.  Which I did.  And got hooked.  So much for my gluten-free diet.  It's clear that I'm gonna pay a steep price for this discrepancy when I get home.  But not now!  Too many eclairs, croissants and napoleons to sample.  Greed triumphs over common sense.  Again.

    Once actually at the convention, I immediately scored my 40 pounds of free books.  First things first.  Greed again.  Who would have thought that I was such a hoarder.  But apparently I am.  Who can possibly read three murder mysteries per day for a year?  That's just plain greedy.  It's like how the U.S. military collects all those countries, weapons and bombs.  Hoarding.  Just plain greed.  Except that you can't blow up cities and kill babies with books.

    But how can I possibly begin to describe this convention?  All kinds of fabulous authors spoke.  And in between sessions, I ran off to the movies and saw "Omar" (you just gotta see it!), the Grand Budapest Hotel (laughed my socks off) and "Tim's Vermeer (very interesting of course but I dozed off for a few minutes half way through -- it was PBS on steroids).

     My favorite authors speaking here were Lisa Brackmann, Johnny Shaw, Louise Penny, Cara Black, Brad Parks, Laurie R. King, Terry Shames, Rhys Bowen, Lee Goldberg, Sue Grafton, Sophie Littlefield, Simon Wood, Doc Macomber, Robert Kroese, Kelli Stanley.... Oh hell, they were all my favorites.  http://www.lisabrackmann.com/books/rock-paper-tiger/

     Except that Janet Evanovich wasn't there. 

     And all of these fabulous authors gave talks and/or spoke on panels.  But not even one of them mentioned the strange mystery of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 370 -- or why it went down in the southern Indian Ocean instead of landing safely in Beijing -- closer to Diego Garcia than to Peking duck.  That's a hecka long way to be off course.

     Anyway, my main take-away from the first day of the conference did solve one big mystery for me -- why in the world do I like crime-fiction novels so much?  At a panel discussing murder mysteries and social justice, one author stated that, "I never write about anything that involves social justice.  My books are just straight crime novels."  Which caused a light bulb to turn on in my brain.

    "Every single murder mystery ever written is always solely about social justice -- or even just plain justice itself," I replied during the Q&A.  "They all have to do with bringing killers to justice.  And in every single one of these books, justice is always obtained."  No wonder I like murder mysteries.  I am such a big fan of Justice -- with a capital J.  If only we could track down all those evil killers on the national and international political scene as successfully as Sherlock Holmes or Aimee LeDuc or Kinsey Millhone or Ellie McEnroe tracked down their bad guys.

    But it's all a matter of transparency.  In crime-fiction novels, transparency is always achieved eventually.  But in the covert world of the CIA, the Pentagon, NSA, Washington and Wall Street, transparency sucks eggs.

    And the greatest murder-mysteries of our day -- deadly climate change, sleazy bankster fraud, Monsanto's silent-but-deadly GMOs, unconscionable War Street attacks on the Middle East and the creepy neo-Nazi corporatists' takeover of our government -- may never be solved.  Until it's too late, that is.  "Oh, now we know who-done-it!" we will all cry out -- cry out from our graves.

PS:  Meanwhile, back at the Paris Bakery, there are even more important mysteries to be solved.  Should I have almond croissants or eclairs for breakfast?  Or that round thingie over there with all that whipped cream?

*************************************
*************************************
Advertizements for myself: In these hard times of brutal (and illegal) corporatist ball-busting socialism-for-the-rich-only, I am doing whatever I can to make a spare dollar. Here are some of my current alternate-economy schemes that never seem to work -- but I keep hoping!
******

If anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"
  And I would really like to go back to Iraq to see how things are now.  Or to Timbuktu.  Never been there.  Or Ukraine or Syria -- or Oklahoma, Hawaii or Milwaukee.  Never been there either.  But can't afford to go on my own.

******
 
Need someone to help you throw out stuff? I'm really good at deciding what needs to be thrown out (starting with all those corporate-owned bums in Washington!)

****

Need an actor to play an older woman in your movie?
Then I'm your man! I can portray all kinds of older women -- from judges, business execs and other insane zombies to bag ladies, cancer patients, kindly grandmothers and dying patients in rest homes. I've played them all. So send me a script and let's do this. Hollywood, here we come! Here's my new 2014 reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uad0XDU_cXg&feature=youtube_gdata

****
Are you a plaintiffs' attorney who is tired of writing those pesky personal injury settlement briefs all the time? No problem! I can write them for you. Years of experience. And pay me only if you win the case.
****


I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****
Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=cm_rdp_product

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here:http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG
"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds."
You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

















Want to see real capitalism? Go to Haiti!

     You think that all those fat-cat corporatist billionaires on Wall Street are capitalists?  Not even close! 

     Those guys have systematically and carefully cocooned themselves inside of a risk-free, artificially-induced highly-rigged monopoly-style con-game bubble -- created at great cost to salt-of-the-earth types like you and me.  And inside of this fairy-tale ponzi-scheme bubble, the top dogs all cheat and steal, no one goes to jail and you and I are their shills.  Welfare for the rich?  Yes.  Capitalism?  No, no, no and no.  http://www.salon.com/2014/03/07/texas_miracle_turns_out_to_involve_taxing_the_poor_to_help_the_rich_get_richer/

 But just come to Haiti and you will immediately see true capitalism at work -- on every street corner.  Everyone here has something to sell.  It's amazing!  The competition is fierce.  There are no monopolies.  Nothing is risk-free.  There are no artificially-created safety nets.  And U.S. corporate fat-cats would only last about five minutes here.

    Everywhere you look in Haiti, there is someone setting up a booth or offering a handful of goods to sell or improvising a restaurant on wheels -- or in a wheel barrow. 

    Ariana Huffington just published a book called "Thrive," and in the opening chapter she talks about how trying to make it in the corporate world has led to very high levels of stress.  http://www.scribd.com/doc/208029742/Thrive-by-Arianna-Huffington-Excerpt?secret_password=12tzqe0gw7cic5epttqj  I would dearly love to see Wall Street CEOs and high-powered American executives who make 30 million-plus a year with the help of a lapdog government that they own lock stock and barrel -- would love to see these spoiled brats and primadonnas get their asses kicked by the competition of trying to sell yams or used T-shirts on the streets of Port au Prince.

    Within a half-hour at most, these fancy dudes would be begging to be taken back to their sweet little tax shelters and big-bank scams.  "Please!  I hate real-life capitalism!  Get me out of here!  Please!" 

     Haitians work their butts off making capitalism work for them! 

     Any fool can put together a housing-market scam if they have a trillion dollars to back them and a government to keep them out of jail.  But Haitians know that they have no silver spoons in their mouths, no old-boy networks, no soft defense-industry contracts and no fleeced American taxpayers to soften their fall.  If Haitians don't make it in their own capitalist world, they die.  Period.

     When was the last time those welfare-for-the-rich dudes risked more than a hangnail?  Libertarianism? Rugged individualism?  My foot!  http://billmoyers.com/episode/the-deep-state-hiding-in-plain-sight/

PS:  Haiti is also the place where used T-shirts from America go to die, after they have been tossed out of our closets.  There are all kinds of used T-shirts down here, that say almost anything on their fronts -- and always say it in English.

PPS:  Want an example of rigged "capitalism" in America?  Here it is.  Our judicial system happily supports deregulation on Wall Street and also supports War Street's right to attack other countries illegally at will.  Anyone with half a brain and wi-fi access knows that.  But might our judges possibly go out on a limb and support net neutrality -- just because American taxpayers paid for its creation?  Not on your life.  http://www.salon.com/2013/08/17/chomsky_the_u_s_behaves_nothing_like_a_democracy/

     "But, Jane, what's so important about net neutrality?" you might ask.  It's this:  If you can't afford to pay big bucks in order to get decent internet speed, then you are automatically being censored and controlled.  It's all about access.  While down here in Haiti, I have certainly found out about that. 

     Down here the internet is so slow that it takes me at least two hours to put together an article, plus another three hours to get it to post on my blog, while I wait around for everything to reload.  And that's on a good day.  So while all of my blog posts are being written by hand down here Haiti, I will have to wait until I get home to send them out.  What a bother.  Who has five hours of internet frustration to spare every day or the patience to wait and wait to reload?  Not me.

    The slow internet here has also slowed me down a whole lot.  I don't even want to blog anymore most of the time.  And when that happens in the USA too because I can't afford to buy fast internet speed?  Then, snap!  I will have been effectively shut up and shut down -- without the Deep State even having to lift a finger to stop me.  "Damn those pesky liberal bloggers.  We've certainly showed them."

    But there wouldn't be any problems with net neutrality at all back in the States if capitalism was really working there -- and artificial monopolies like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, etc. didn't have Congress and the courts in their pockets, creating yet another expensive hidden tax on you and me.  And some start-up kids with a garage-app in Mountain View would be supplying us with high speed internet for about five bucks a month.

    Want another example of welfare-for-the-rich?  That's easy.  American taxpayers have been forced to fork over trillions of dollars in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Nigeria, Indonesia, Kuwait, East Timor and even Saudi Arabia so far -- to pay for what are essentially the top five oil companies' private armies.  But do we ever get a tax break on the oil that these armies steal?  Hell, no.  Only oil companies get tax breaks.  Not us.  That's welfare-for-the-rich, not capitalism.  What else did you expect?  http://www.salon.com/2014/03/08/35_countries_the_u_s_has_backed_international_crime_partner/

  Let those slick dudes on Oil Street pay for their own freaking armies.

    It never ceases to amaze me how Americans keep electing anti-capitalism government officials who do not represent our own best interests or even the best interests of our country, but keep electing moochers, schemers and con-men from the welfare-for-the-rich class instead -- time and time again.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/maps-of-the-south-bad-place_n_4855191.html

PPPS:  Paul Ryan just proved my case!  The guy just made an impassioned speech to CPAC, stating that receiving welfare is humiliating and degrading.  "People don’t just want a life of comfort; they want a life of dignity -- of self-determinationhttp://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the-meaning-ryans-cpac-anecdote  So let's help him get America's "communism for the rich only" 1% off of welfare and give them some "dignity" for the first time in their lives instead.

PPPPS:  Like I just said, the internet limitations in Port au Prince have forced me to wait to send out this story on Haiti until I got home to Berkeley.  Good to be back.  But I still miss Haiti a lot!

     But on March 20th I'll be traveling again, off to Monterey, CA, to attend the annual Left Coast Crime festival, a convention of murder-mystery writers and readers -- and a chance to pick up 40 pounds of free books (without having to lug them back home on an airplane) and, hopefully, to have access to fast internet service so that I can blog about all that.  http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2014/

*************************************
*************************************
Advertizements for myself: In these hard times of brutal (and illegal) corporatist ball-busting socialism-for-the-rich-only, I am doing whatever I can to make a spare dollar. Here are some of my current alternate-economy schemes that never seem to work -- but I keep hoping!
******

If anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"



******
 
Need someone to help you throw out stuff? I'm really good at deciding what needs to be thrown out (starting with all those corporate-owned bums in Washington!)

****

Need an actor to play an older woman in your movie?
Then I'm your man! I can portray all kinds of older women -- from judges, business execs and other insane zombies to bag ladies, cancer patients, kindly grandmothers and dying patients in rest homes. I've played them all. So send me a script and let's do this. Hollywood, here we come! Here's my new 2014 reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uad0XDU_cXg&feature=youtube_gdata

****
Are you a plaintiffs' attorney who is tired of writing those pesky personal injury settlement briefs all the time? No problem! I can write them for you. Years of experience. And pay me only if you win the case.
****


I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****
Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=cm_rdp_product

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here:http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG
"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds."
You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

















Vodou Lounger: A tourist's eye-view of Haiti

     "Please don't go to Haiti -- it could be dangerous down there!" several worried friends begged me right before I left.  But boy were they wrong.  Haiti is totally fun!  I never had so much fun in my life as I did this past week in Haiti.  And this is my very own tourist guidebook to all the neat stuff that I've done down here.  Not exactly the Lonely Planet.  But boy am I having a good time.

     The most frequently asked question before I left was, "Are you going down there to do humanitarian work?"  No no no.  I'm going down there to be a tourist!

     To start with, I got a really great bargain deal on Expedia -- $800 to fly me from SFO to Port au Prince and five nights in a convenient, clean and quiet hotel called the Diquini Guest House.  This was absolutely the smartest thing that I did on this trip.  Why?  Because the manager of the guest house, a former member of the Haitian diaspora and long-time resident of Washington DC, took me under his wing and for a reasonable fee let me hire his driver, translated for me, kept me fed on nicely-flavored Haitian stew and rice -- and then took me off to explore Port au Prince.  www.diquinigh.com.

     First we went to the famous Hotel Oloffson where the ghosts of past American ex-pat writers such as Graham Greene and Lillian Hellman roam its gardens, terraces and gingerbread-style balconies; where Mick Jagger and even Jacqueline Kennedy have stayed -- and where the famous vudou-inspired RAM band was playing that night. http://hoteloloffson.com/

     The next day we explored what is left of the 2010 earthquake ruins, from what was left of the tragically beautiful stone-filigreed huge rose window of the old cathedral and the site of the historic National Palace to various small tent cities dotting Port au Prince that still house earthquake victims today, and the ruined buildings that still have market stalls precariously tucked into whichever concrete slabs are still left standing. 

     "So, Jane, how is Port au Prince actually doing now, four years after the quake?" you might ask, now that I'm an actual eye-witness to the scene of the crime.  It's not doing super-good, but not doing as badly as I had expected either.  Most of the tent cities are gone now -- as a lot of the homeless victims have by now squashed themselves in with relatives, left for the countryside or otherwise made do.

     "But what are Haitians really like?" you might ask next.  You can tell what Haitians are really like by the way that they drive.  There are only a handful of traffic signals in Port au Prince and even fewer rules of the road.  And Haitians drive very fast.  But they also drive in a way that is almost polite.  Everyone wants to get where they are going (and to get there fast) -- but no one wants to actually hurt anyone else.  I didn't see any road rage there.  Just people trying to get by.

     Basically, Haitians are just people trying to get by after having been dealt a very rough hand for a very long time, from the moment they were kidnapped from Africa and sold as slaves here -- starting in 1503, just eleven years after Columbus discovered the island.  And those slaves were expendable too, worked to death in a few years at most and then replaced by other new slaves. 

     Then after having fought for and achieved its freedom in 1804, Haiti was also constantly attacked, exploited and/or invaded for the next 200-plus years by America, Canada and various combinations of European nations.  And now Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, resembling the slums of Uganda or the slums of Zimbabwe.  And yet despite their poverty, which is dire and extreme, Haitians still remain stoically polite.

     Next we went off to the Iron Market bazaar to buy Haitian stuff to hang on my walls when I get home.  And then we drove all over Port au Prince -- the grand tour.  And that night we went off to Carnival in the Carrefour district.  Are you jealous yet?

     Carrefour's pre-Lenten carnival was like one gigantic block party and was actually as much fun as Berkeley in the 1960s, the benchmark against I always measure how much fun something is. 

     I also wanted to go see San Souci and the Citadel, UNESCO world heritage sites up  in Cap Haitien, but it was a seven-hour drive to get there, so we went to Fonds des Negres instead, which was only a three-hour drive, and I met a vodou master there.  "No one is cursing you," he told me.  Not even the NSA?  Good to know.  Then he performed a candlelight ritual to help my knees get better.  Then he pulled out a business card for his son who owns a botanica in SoCal who, for a price, could finish my knee treatment when I got back home http://www.felixbotanica.com/.  And then the vodou master pulled out his cell phone and started texting someone.  Guess the ritual was over.

      And there's also a cave in the mountains near Fonds des Negres where a "Suzan," a vodou spirit, resides.  But you have to get there by motorcycle and we didn't have time to do all that on this day trip.  So I just bought a sequin-covered vodou flag instead.

     "Have you seen any zombies in Haiti?" might be your next question.  Sorry, no.  But on my plane ride down here, we ran into a bunch of really scary turbulence over Chicago and I thought I was going to die.  So I had an epiphany.  "When you are in your mother's womb, the only way out is by going through a whole bunch of pain first -- and death is also like that.  First you pass through a whole bunch of pain and then, poof, you are out on the Other Side."  As a zombie?  Let's hope not.

    The next day we went out searching for Jean-Bertrand Aristide http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2014/02/haiti-me-in-search-of-jean-bertrand.html and then ended the day in that famous five-star hotel in Petionville -- just to see how the other 1% lives.  Trust me, they are living well.

     What else have I done down here?  I can't remember exactly.  But I will tell you this:  I have really had fun.  And if you ever want to go to Haiti too, I totally recommend it highly.  And, no, I'm not getting paid to say this.

PS:  While in Haiti, I also watched the winter Olympics on TV -- thus getting a chance to compare Port au Prince and Sochi.  One city has far too little city planning and one city had far too much!

     According to journalist Roi Tov, "With less than 350,000 denizens, [Sochi] has been occupied by at least 25,000 police officers, 30,000 soldiers, 8,000 special forces, and an undisclosed number of FSB agents."

    Port au Prince is nothing like that.  The streets go every which-way like a patchwork quilt.  But it does have one thing in common with Sochi -- abuse of its fragile labor force.  http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2014/02/07/3256191/migrant-abuse-wage-sochi-olympics/ 

     And let's also compare Port au Prince with Havana.  I'm currently reading Carlos Eire's autobiography, "Learning to Die in Miami".  Eire appears to believe with all his heart that the Castro experience was a nightmare -- and yet just compare Cuba and Haiti today.  Haiti has been under the thumb of American and European corporatists for ages and ages.  And now, despite all its amazingly fertile soil and impressive mineral riches, Haiti is currently one of the poorest countries in the world.  Seven out of ten Haitians live on less than $2 a day, according to the International Red Cross.  http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/poorest-countries-in-the-world/19/ 

     But in Havana under the Castro brothers, everyone has a good chance of getting a college education. 

     But, hell, most Haitians are lucky to have a chance to even get as far as fourth grade!

     If Fulgencio Batista and the American corporatists who owned him back in 1959 had remained in power and Castro had never taken over Cuba, Cuba today would more than likely look just like Haiti today.  And does anyone with a working brain really think that having American and European oil companies, bankers, war profiteers and neo-cons in control in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine are going to help those countries either?  Hell, just look at what those guys did to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya -- and to Detroit!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq-ZmatOlvs&feature=share

*************************************
*************************************
Advertizements for myself: In these hard times of brutal (and illegal) corporatist ball-busting socialism-for-the-rich-only, I am doing whatever I can to make a spare dollar. Here are some of my current alternate-economy schemes that never seem to work -- but I keep hoping!
******

If anyone ever wants to hire me on as a travel writer (or war correspondent), "Have laptop, will travel!"




******
 
Need someone to help you throw out stuff? I'm really good at deciding what needs to be thrown out (starting with all those corporate-owned bums in Washington!)

****

Need an actor to play an older woman in your movie?
Then I'm your man! I can portray all kinds of older women -- from judges, business execs and other insane zombies to bag ladies, cancer patients, kindly grandmothers and dying patients in rest homes. I've played them all. So send me a script and let's do this. Hollywood, here we come! Here's my new 2014 reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uad0XDU_cXg&feature=youtube_gdata

****
Are you a plaintiffs' attorney who is tired of writing those pesky personal injury settlement briefs all the time? No problem! I can write them for you. Years of experience. And pay me only if you win the case.
****


I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****
Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=cm_rdp_product

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here:http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG
"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds."
You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters