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Surprise at the snowfall, I know,
Is common, wherever I go.
What surprises me most
Are Canadians who boast
That they never expected the snow.
— By Rosaleen Dickson, Ottawa

Editor’s Notes

Brian’s apology is an hysterical attempt
to distract us from the truth of his scam

Brian Mulroney was in his best form this past week when told the House of Commons Ethics Committee that his biggest mistake was allowing himself to be introduced to Karlheinz Schreiber. — 273 words.

George Carlin on three religious truths
in the Court of Judge Harold Wright

George Carlin testified: — 44 words.

Health Watch

Study reveals why pregnant women don't fall over

Women evolved more flexible and supportive spines than men to keep them from toppling over under the weight of pregnancy, according to a new study published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. — 237 words.

From the Desk of Rosaleen Dickon, Contributing Editor

Peace Keeping: Canadians consider
original idea in contemporary context

OTTAWA — Fifty years after Lester B. Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize for helping create the world's first peacekeeping force, The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) brought together military, civilian and police perspectives to Canada’s capital Monday December 10, at a National Press Club of Canada Newsmaker Luncheon entitled From Peacekeeping to PRTs. (PRT is the acronym for Provincial Rehabilitation Team.)
— 287 words.

OIW sets philosophical premise
to protect Ottawa public libraries

‘Thank you Harry Potter … and Mayor O’Brien’

OTTAWA — During November, city council was wrestling with its 2008 budget. It was a tough call. Despite Mayor Larry O’Brien’s election promise not to raise taxes, council was faced with an economic reality that called for more money to meet rising costs. On the table was a proposal to shut down 10 of the city’s public libraries. — 573 words.

Ottawa Independent Writers time out for
Christmas Dinner/Annual General Meeting

Roy Acres says: Fifty attended the OIW Christmas dinner and Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Malone's Lakeside Grill at the Dow's Lake Pavilion on December 5. Membership Director Bill Horne did a great job hosting the event, which was a success in no small part thanks to the efforts of Pandora Ballard, Writers’ Retreats Director.  — 428 words

Writers and those who would like to become writers
are welcome to join the Ottawa Independent Writers

By Bill Horne
OIW Membership Director and Past President

The Ottawa Independent Writers was given birth in 1984 by writers as an organization to serve writers. It now has 190 members and continues to grow. — 200 words.

OIW president exchanges notes with other writers
at the annual Governor General’s Literary Awards

OTTAWA — George Laidlaw, President of the Ottawa Independent Writers, found common ground with other authors at the annual Governor General’s Literary Awards Thursday, December 13. — 168 words.

Not enough has changed in Ottawa

Don’t accept responsibility for
anything, find someone to blame

James Travers of The Toronto Star says No matter what he says, Martin Brian Mulroney, Canada's 18th prime minister, can't change two realities. One is that the careful reconstruction of his reputation is in ruins, knocked flat by the wrecking ball of Karlheinz Schreiber's cash-stuffed envelopes. The other is that his government and its Liberal successor both failed the critical sniff test. — 529 words.

Teen caller tricks White House

We wonder what they might have talked about

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) — A teenager says he convinced the White House that he was Iceland's president and managed to schedule a call with George W. Bush but was found out before he got to talk to the U.S. president. — 308 words.

Cool it Cat, that warm and friendly you’re flirting with may be nothing more than a cold Russian computer program trying to steal your identity.

— 548 words.

Food power expert says toxic junk food
may cause Britney’s bizarre behaviour

HOLLYWOOD, California — A food expert says the sweet stuff Britney Spears puts in her mouth may be the cause of her sour behavior. — 250 words.

Shirley MacLaine says Lindsay Lohan
is diseased by an addiction to fame

Lindsay Lohan arrives for the premiere of the film "Georgia Rule" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York in this May 8, 2007. A week after leaving a 45-day rehab program, Lohan turned herself in to police on July 20 to face charges of drunken driving in connection with a May car crash.

Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine says Lindsay Lohan is addicted to fame. — 204 words.

‘It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.’

Maureen Dowd, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, says The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet. — 818 words.


Democracy is alive and well in Venezuela

The fate of Venezuela's experiment will be felt beyond its borders, but the dictatorship canard has now been put to rest. — 1,039 words.

South America launches own bank
to counter U.S.-influenced  lenders

Story Highlights – Associated Press
•    South American nations launch a regional development bank
•    Chavez sees bank as counter to U.S.-influenced international lenders
•    Banco del Sur, or Bank of the South, will have $7 billion in start up funds
•    Plans to offer Latin American countries loans with fewer strings attached — 621 words.

Jason Leopold Reviews ‘Pete Seeger: The Power of Song’
Folk singer awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 1994

One of the sad truths about the Bush administration's historic foreign policy failure, resulting in the occupation of Iraq and the numerous constitutional abuses that followed, is that it has not led to the type of artistry reminiscent of the Vietnam War era. — 890 words.

Late-night hosts calculate losses from writers' strike

Stewart and Colbert not out of pocket because Comedy Central is picking up the writers’ tab

NEW YORK Few of the hosts of television's late-night entertainment in the United States are turning up in their offices these days because there's nothing for them to do. The strike by the Writers Guild has shut down television's favorite late-night shows, leaving the hosts to spend their days calling around to their agents and friends to check out the latest rumors - and their financial advisers to determine how much the strike is costing them. — 1,305 words.

Writers don’t have the advantage
of directors and on-screen actors

John Gapper of The Financial Times  says Given that the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of union membership in the industrialised world, it is not the obvious place to find the future of organised labour. — 938 words.

Harold Wright, Doctor of Punology, and his colleague George Carlin succinctly deal with profound questions of life and living: Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?

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Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Yvette Pigeon, Assistant Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Rosaleen Dickson
Randy Ray
Harold Wright,