From : firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent : Friday, January 7, 2005 7:31 PM
To : arabtimes <email@example.com
Subject : This is where king of Jordan likes to eat....
This is where king of Jordan likes to eat....
Machine Guns Aimed at Children (in San Francisco)
By John C. Dvorak
While the state of the media is pretty bad itís hard to imagine how bad
until the King Abdullah of Jordan rolls by in his limo in downtown San
Francisco surrounded by the local Police and various black SUVís including
one with some character pointing a machine gun out the window at Christmas
shoppers, my children included. You just might think this was a little odd Ė
This was the exact situation last Thursday. Iíve been meaning to write about
it but Iíve been waiting for some reporting on this visit. The only thing I
initially managed to find was a short one paragraph mention in a San Jose
Mercury gossip column which merely cited the fact that the King would be
speaking at the Commonwealth Club on Saturday night. It was a sold out
event. I thought this was peculiar since hejust spoke last April here.
So what happened? My family and I happened to be walking across the street
from Union square after
visiting the St. Francis Hotel to look at the new Michael Mina restaurant.
One look down Post Street and suddenly a slew of police lights went up as if
all hell broke loose. We walked across the street to see what was going on
and saw various limos, armored SUVís and bodyguards everywhere and machine
guns! One fellowís head was out his window with a machine gun pointed at the
public. Holiday shoppers. Seasons greetings folks.
It took no effort to find out who this was as I simply solicited the various
valet guys on the street. It was the King of Jordan after his dinner at
Mortonís on Post. Iím thinking ďMortons?Ē He comes to San Francisco to eat
at a chain restaurant? He must really like Mortons.
We were on our way to pick up my car to head acrossthe Bay Bridge.
Ten minutes later, upon entering the bridge, right in front of me was a
diplomatís car with consul plates Ė a black Jaguar with the oval country
symbol ďAĒ meaning Austria. The guy almost hit a barrier and was swerving
excessively. I know that Yassar Arafat did a lot of business with Jordan and
according to reports had lots of money squirreled away in Austria. The
coincidence did not go by me unnoticed. Exactly why he was headed towards
Oakland or Berkeley was somewhat mysterious. At first I figured that they
were headed to Reno to party. Maybe it was to meet the King and perhaps the
Kingís jet was at the Oakland Airport or even Hayward, where the smart money
lands. There is probably a story here somewhere but since itís not about an
actress or TV show there is no newsman to report on it. I sure donít get
paid to follow up on this. I wait and wait for coverage and on Sunday there
is an article about the Abdullah speech that runs in the Chronicle Ė a
rehash of it. Nothing more. Itís online here.
Does anyone interview him? No. Is he on TV? Not that I could tell. There are
canned PR-directed celebrity andentertainment news stories to do instead.
I do decide to search some of the local papers to see what kind of news we
get instead of foreign affairs
news in an age of globalization and offshoring. If Britney Spears is around
that gets covered, thatís for