1963 – Half a Century Ago



In 1963 the world had just survuved the Cuban Missle Crisis and was deep in the cold war with Russia and the US building bombs ever bigger. Spies where everywhere and the Profumo scandal rocked the inteligence community. The United States and the Soviet Union agreed to establish a “hot line” direct communication system between the two nations to prevent a possible Nuclear War.  In the US deep south battles against segregation were being fought long and hard by both sides. Churches were being burned by the KKK and Martin Luther King Junior was giving some of the most inspiring speeches ever written. The average man made $ 13,000, a Car cost $ 3,000 a house cost $ 13,000 , gas cost just over 25c and a loaf of bread just under 25c.

Here are a few other significant events:

Jan 11th – 1st discotheque opens, Whiskey-a-go-go in LA

Feb 6th Wilhelm Laurence Arends was born

Mar 21st – Alcatraz federal penitentiary in SF Bay closed

March 27th Quentin Tarantino, was born

May 1st – The Coca-Cola Company introduces its first diet drink, TaB cola.

May 2nd Thousands of African Americans, many of them children, are arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.

June 5th John Profumo resigns following his admission that he had lied to the House re: relationship with Christine Keeler

June 9th Johnny Depp was born

Jun 17th – Supreme Court rules against Bible reading/prayer in public schools

Jun 26th – Kennedy visits W Berlin “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner)

Aug 18th – James Meredith becomes 1st black graduate from U of Mississippi

Aug 28th – Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream speech” at Lincoln Memorial

September – Marvel Comics releases the first-ever X-Men comic book

Sep 15th – Church bombed in Birmingham AL, kills 4 African-American girls

Sep 15th – 4 children killed in bombing of a black Baptist church in Birmingham

Oct 13th – “Beatlemania” is coined after Beatles appear at Palladium

Nov 22nd – American President John F. Kennedy assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas
Nov 23rd – “Doctor Who,” the long-running British sci-fi series debuts in England


Karlheinz Schreiber is making Canadian history

Karlheinz Schreiber has made a name for himself in Canadian history in several calculated moves.  Here is just a snippet of history Schreiber has made:

1. Not since the 1910’s has a Speaker’s Warrant been issued by the House of Commons Speaker.   Schreiber was compelled to come to Ottawa in order to appear before the House of Commons’ Ethics Committee. 

2. Caused a possible political scandal to erupt over money.  The last Conservative government to have problems with money was probably Sir John A. Macdonald and the Pacific Scandal.   The Liberals, however, recently had a money scandal with known as the “Sponsorship Scandal” or “Adscam”.   But at least in Canada political money scandals involving Prime Ministers are few and far between.

3. A man facing charges of tax evasion, bribery and other charges in a foreign country (Germany) is at the centre of a Canadian public inquiry and scandal.   I have no recollection in Canadian, or for that matter world history, of a man so deep in financial law trouble holding hostage a major political institution like Schreiber currently has the Canadian Parliamentary and Judicial system. 

Schreiber is quite a manipulative gentleman who has managed to stave off extradition to Germany to face the German judicial system since 1999.   He has appealed his way all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada so far in the judicial system.   Realizing he is almost out of options, Schreiber has now turned to the political system.     Hence, he is now trying to work the Canadian political system by placing allegations on one of Canada’s former Prime Ministers.   This has caused the Canadian political system to come to a crawl as all eyes are on shifty felon’s next calculated moves. 

Schreiber knows he is in trouble over the charges in Germany and in Canada.   Schreiber also figures that since he will someday have to face the music in Germany over the allegations over shady financial dealings, he might as well have some fun in the meantime.  What more fun can a guy have than tie up the Canadian judicial system by using one of Canada’s top lawyers, Edward Greenspan (the same lawyer who defended Conrad Black in Chicago) and then compel a public inquiry to be called.  Even more fun is saying that you are willing to talk in order to bring forth the complete story then, when warranted by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken, to appear before the House of Commons Ethics Committee, to clam up and refuse to talk without his papers.    How convenient is Schreiber saying that he is more than willing to talk and then, when allowed to do so before a Parliamentary Committee, he refuses to do saying he has to review some of the over thirty thousand documents he has in his possession.   

So House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken arranges that Schreiber may retreive the documents from Schreiber’s townhouse in order to be read in custody at the Ottawa detention centre.   However, Schreiber’s lawyer Edward Greenspan says this is unacceptable as the documents could be stolen by other inmates while Schreiber is in the detention centre.   Greenspan wants Schreiber under house arrest in order to review the documents.  Mr. Greenspan should be asked how the documents could be stolen if Mr. Schreiber is escorted to and from the detention centre by now less than two police escorts (not to mention a media entourage that any Hollywood star would be proud of) and has his own private jail cell that normally holds two inmantes.

Karlheinz Schreiber will be called before the House of Commons Ethics Committee again this coming Tuesday.   More questions will be asked by MPs from all political parties.   Schreiber will take his sweet time in order to manipulate his way through the committee hearings.  Schreiber will continue to string along the committee by providing juicy details at times and refusing to elaborate at other times in order to keep the MPs hung on his every word.    This will probably frustrate many MPs on the Ethics Committee who wanted Schreiber to talk.   Schreiber, however, wants to string this out as long as possible because he wants to remain in Canada in order to avoid the stress of having to face the German court system.  Besides, what better way to have fun than to bring a major democratic country’s political institution to a halt as well as appear in major newspapers and on television stations accross the country.  Since November 30th to today (December 1st) there have been over two thousand articles and television pieces written on Schreiber according a Google News search.   Hows that for media exposure?

A felon has brought the Canadian political system to a halt and has successfully tied up the Canadian judicial system since 1999.  Who else in Canadian History has done that?   If mobster Al Capone were alive today he surely would be smiling at Karlheinz Schreiber’s judicial and political gamesmanships.  Capone would be impressed that Schreiber has avoided being deported for what will soon be almost ten years when it is all over, been as politically wiley as many great politicians like William Lyon Mackenzie King in dealing with the Canadian Parliament, and all the while making a name for oneself in both the media and the history books.   Schreiber is making history indeed, now the main question is how long will he be able to make history before being deported to Germany?  That is the most interesting question that only time, which will eventually become history, will tell.

Reflections on 9/11

Today I reflect about where I was five years ago and how I felt when the World Trade Centre was turned into the world’s largest crypt.

I was a student at the University of Ottawa and had just started my graduation year (my last year of my program). I had just had my regular morning shower when my roomate said something had happenned in New York. I didn’t believe it. I saw a hole in the side of the first tower and was hearing that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre. I thought nothing of it as I left for work.

By nine in the morning I was already at the top of Thompson Residence at the University of Ottawa. I was faithfully performing my duties as a fridge rental representative of Coldex. Basically, I was delivering bar refrigerators to the students who were staying in that residence. The students just had to pay their fees and sign the contract. I had set up five appointments and was merely delivering the refrigerators one at a time while collecting the money and contracts as I went.

I had finished my second delivery when, waiting for the elevator, I heard loud yelling coming from within the lounge of the eighteenth floor of Thompson Residence. I walked into the lounge to see, on the television, both World Trade Centre towers with plums of smoke rising far above it. I was initially in shock at what was going on.

Later on as I thought about it, I consider myself to be a little naive for continuing my delivery of three more refrigerators in Thompson Residence. I thought later, “what was I doing in the next tallest building next to the Peace Tower of Parliament Hill?” The Peace Tower, the clock tower of the Centre Block of Canada’s federal Parliament would be a major target in North America if the terrorist bastards had decided to attack both the United States and Canada. Of course nobody knew which country was a target back then.

I was a little worried that I might be a victim of a similar attack on Canada’s Capital. Footnote to American readers: Ottawa is the capital of Canada. What would happen if an airplane or some other type of attack hit downtown Ottawa? Considering I was a mere ten minute walk from the House of Commons in Ottawa, I was a worried.

Later on as I watched the continuing news coverage, I felt proud as a Canadian. Eastern Canadian towns and cities like Halifax, St. John’s, Cornerbrook, Gander and others were around two hundred and thirty planes that were either destined for the continental United States or further westward in Canada. The planes whose flights originated in Europe and were destined for the United States were orphaned. The United States had closed their airspace all together. These planes couldn’t return to Europe as these planes did not have enough fuel to return from whence the came.

There was a choice to be made. Canada could close its airspace and leave those on the North American bound planes parrish as well, or Canada could accept those orphaned planes into its airspace and let the passengars and crew survive. It was not a simple task as many of the eastern airports were not built to accept that many planes that they did that day. I was proud that the federal, provincial and municipal officials and public got together in a time of need. I’m still proud today as United States Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, again thanked Canada for its help on September 11, 2001.

That day will mark a major day in history of my life and the world no doubt. Both the people of Canada and the United States pulled together that day to try and help their neighbours. That is why, in terms of North America, Canada and the United States should work together so that both countrys’ people can live in peace and freedom both in terms of themselves and with each other. 9/11 tested each countrys’ resolve of living with peace and freedom. Even five years later, this peace and freedom of each countrys’ peoples continues to be tested.