For Dad

I miss you.

Strength of John Wayne
Humor of Dean Martin
Eyebrows of Don Rumsfeld
Voice of Al Jolson

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The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry and the Bush Haters

by Bill Sammon

George W. Bush stared out the window of his limousine at the largest protest of his presidency. A thousand angry demonstrators - maybe more - were rampaging through the streets of Portland, Oregon, utterly overwhelming the meager contingent of police trying to restore order. The motorcade was headed directly into a melee so chaotic that the Secret Service could no longer guarantee the president's safety. Indeed, three minutes before Bush's limousine was supposed to make its final approach to the hotel, police lost control of Taylor Street altogether. They radioed the Secret Service, frantically directing the motorcade to a secondary route. Furious, the agents swung the president south and tried another approach. But the sophisticated protestors, using scouts with cell phones, got wind of Plan B. They rushed to head off Bush before he could penetrate the barricades surrounding the Hilton. Street cops joined in the footrace, hoping to prevent a calamity at Sixth Avenue. The president suddenly understood why his father had nicknamed this city "Little Beirut."


Tongan Warriors

Raincross reminds us of the global participation in the War on Terror, with the announcement of troops from Tonga.

I know a little about Tongans. Back in the day, 1985 to be specific, I was the tour/travel guide for a high school team from San Mateo county going to the National High School Rugby Championships in Washington DC, representing the west coast. That team was about 75% Tongan nationals, kids whose Dads worked at the San Francisco airport as baggage handlers. If memory serves, they were all about 15 years old, 6'4" 230 pounds (or more).

They had a pidgin accent, my name being Chewey. We went to all the DC tourist sites, most of which meant little to them (think 15 year old boys, compounded by english as a second language and no academic superstars among them) but they were well mannered and good sports. On our last stop we went to the National Cathedral. Pausing in front of the altar, they sang with beautiful clear voices the Tongan National Anthem. It is one of my favorite memories of DC.