Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And in other, non-Bernier related news...

Believe it or not, other things are going on in the universe. Like this:

Signs point to PMO in NAFTA leak

OTTAWA–Fingers are pointing at Conservatives close to Stephen Harper for leaking a diplomatic memo that badly embarrassed Barack Obama and put Canada's vital cross-border interests at risk. Multiple sources say the Canadian note questioning the Democrat frontrunner's public promise to reopen NAFTA was leaked from the Prime Minister's Office to a Republican contact before it made American headline news.

Their claims come days after an internal probe threw up its hands at finding the source. Contradicting Friday's inconclusive report, they claim the controversial memo was slipped to the son of Wisconsin Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner. Frank Sensenbrenner is well connected to Harper's inner circle and, at Ottawa's insistence, was briefly on contract with Canada's Washington embassy to work on congressional relations.

Contacted yesterday morning, Frank Sensenbrenner did not seem surprised and agreed to an afternoon interview. But he did not call at the agreed time and did not respond to repeated emails.

Imagine that.

Coincidentally, I've been reading a book about another conservative administration with major control issues, a hate-on for the media, and a penchant for sabotaging other people's presidential primaries. Hmm...

UPDATE: The Star has a follow-up today on the PMO link to NAFTA-gate and how Sensenbrenner came to be Harper's inside guy in the Canadian embassy in Washington. This one has the potential to become huge.

Yesterday, Liberal critic MP Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Brampton South) called for Lynch to appear before Parliament's foreign affairs committee, to explain why the investigation turned up so little, reports the Star's Richard Brennan.

"He needs to come before the committee and explain why he limited the scope of the investigation, why it still cost so much money ... why it was so easy for a reporter over the weekend to verify some of the concerns that were raised in the report," Bains said.


UPDATE UPDATE: As further evidence that this story is about to become large, I just got a visit from someone at Foreign Affairs who is apparently spending their afternoon doing a Google search for "nafta-gate sensenbrenner". I'm guessing someone is... concerned.


And back in Bernier-land:

The last word and prize for the Best Bernier PhotoChop and runner up for Best Bernier Headline of the day goes to... A Creative Revolution for 'Weekend at Bernier's'.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Bhahaha ha ha ha ha!!!

This has been your daily dose of schadenfreude. Please take a moment to answer the poll in the sidebar.

I just took a boo over at Blogging Tories, and out of 40 some-odd articles on their front page there are two - count 'em, TWO - articles on this story. Seriously. If you log in you can actually hear crickets...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

She Did Not 'Mis-speak'

I almost believed it.

Despite my initial disgust at Hillary Clinton's comments about the RFK assassination and the subsequent piling-on from all quarters, I was almost ready to believe that it was all just an unfortunate choice of words. That she only meant to illustrate that the nomination process going undecided into June was nothing unusual, and that she only mentioned Bobby because she had the Kennedys 'much on her mind' because of Ted Kennedy's recent diagnosis.

Upon further reflection, I can think of at least two significant reasons why this explanation is utter bullshit.

The first is that while she may have had Sen. Kennedy's brain tumour in her thoughts when she referenced the assassination this time, what exactly was she thinking the first time she did it two and a half months ago?

The second has to do with her equation of the current contest with the '92 and '68 campaigns. In 1992, hubby Bill did face a little more of a fight than he had bargained for in Jerry Brown, and yes, things were officially undecided until June because there was one big prize left to the end - California.

In reality, Bill had it all pretty much sewn up by early April, but still, you can understand why she would make that particular comparison.

The equation of the current primaries with 1968, on the other hand, is so ludicrous that one can only assume that it was a conscious attempt to raise the spectre of political assassination.

Yes, the California primary was held in early June of 1968. What she neglects to mention is that primary season didn't even start until March back then, which means that RFK had been campaigning for less than three months when he was killed. Besides which, party primaries back then were an entirely different affair. They weren't at all binding, and only thirteen states even participated that year.

It's not even comparing apples and oranges - it's more like comparing apples with Hillary's left shoe.

Hillary Clinton is not a stupid woman, and she is of an age that I can guarantee she has some very clear memories of that year and that campaign. So while I cannot believe that she is actually staying in the race in case "something bad" happens to Obama, I also don't believe that it never occurred to her to plant that seed in the minds of the voters.

Olbermann, as always, gets it right.

Friday, May 23, 2008

You've Almost Got to Feel Sorry For the Guy

NAFTA-leak report clears PM's chief of staff

OTTAWA — An investigation into the so-called NAFTA-gate scandal has exonerated the prime minister's chief of staff and the Canadian ambassador in Washington.

But the 21-page document lays blame at the Foreign Affairs Department for incorrectly classifying a diplomatic document and distributing it to too many people.

Foreign Affairs... wait a minute, isn't that...?

Oh. Right.

[snicker] Man, his life is just a whole world of suck lately, ain't it? Not only does he have to deal with his own scandals, but now he's got somebody else's cock-up being added to the pile.

Poor Max. I guess it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


After David Akin and Warren Kinsella let the cat out of the bag on Monday about the Conservative Party accrediting bloggers for their upcoming convention, the call has gone out among liberal and progressive bloggers to send in their applications.

As it happens, I sent in my application over a month ago thanks to a heads-up from a certain constituency office manager. I wasn't really expecting to be accepted - after all, they do list "the readership and influence of a blog" among their criteria, and I'm still pretty small potatoes.

Sure enough, I received my rejection letter today.

To: js****
From: "Paul Stickney"
Subject: RE: Blog - Convention

Thank you for your interest in obtaining blogging credentials at the 2008 Conservative Party Convention in Winnipeg.

I regret to inform you that the Party will not be granting you blogger accreditation.

We have received numerous submissions from bloggers for accreditation at the convention in November.

In order for the Party to have a variety of political bloggers, we have unfortunately been unable to accept everyone who submits an application.

Thank you.


[snif] Too bad. Oh, well - the U.S. Democratic Convention looks way more interesting anyway (anyone want to pay me to fly down to Denver?)

I made a comment elsewhere that the odds of any liberal or progressive bloggers getting approved were probably pretty slim given how the party likes to control the message. However, after reading that Mr. BT himself is encouraging Scott Tribe to apply, it may well be that at least a few dissenting voices will be allowed to attend.

Maybe I'm wrong - this could be interesting after all.


OMG I've just been blogged by David Akin!!!



UPDATE THURSDAY NIGHT: Ok, this is getting crazy. Not only did my traffic just quadruple over the past 24 hours, but I`m getting some very strange visits out of this David Akin thing (yes, I`m one of those sad people with an unhealthy interest in their own blogging stats) (shut up).

Out of the 150 or so visitors who have wandered over here from there, 17 have been from the Government of Canada, including 2 from the PCO. Several media people have been by as well - the Star, the Globe & Mail, CBC, CityTV - even one from Al Jazeera, although that turned out to be unrelated. Then there was the visit from the RCMP, the one from what I assume was a military person in Kabul, Afghanistan, and one from Focus on the Family which I cannot begin to fathom.

What the HELL kind of outfit are you running over there, Akin?!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Chat with Peter Haight

I know, I'm sorry. I've been negligent in my political postings. I've just been having way too much fun playing with my video camera and editing software and doing video posts over at my new blog, Sprawlville.

See? This is why I only have one kid.

Just to give you an idea of the fun I've been having (and to shamelessly troll for readership for my new blog), here's my latest entry:

There are few people in Milton more knowledgeable or passionate on the subject of Milton's sprawl problem than gallery owner and ex-council candidate Peter Haight. What he knows hasn't made him any happier, but it does make him fascinating to talk to. If a bit... discouraging.

For those of you who don't live here, Sargent Farms is a chicken processing plant located right beside Sixteen Mile Creek in the middle of downtown Milton. Next door to a pub. Every day, large trucks full of live chickens drive into town and truck loads of dead chickens drive out - all through the heart of our historic downtown.

By all accounts they are good corporate citizens and a fairly major employer, even though most of their employees are from out of town. And I'm sure it was perfectly reasonable for them to be where they are when they first set up shop - back in the 1940s! Today, I'm sure even they would agree that it's ridiculous.

Trouble is, solving the problem would require two things that are in pitifully short supply with our town council:

1) money, and
2) the willingness to admit that there is a problem

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chalk River: AECL Giving Up on Maple Reactors

Well, isn't THIS interesting...

AECL scraps development of isotope reactors

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. is scrapping development of its two new MAPLE medical-isotope reactors at its Chalk River, Ont., laboratories.

The decision "is based on a series of reviews that considered, among other things, the costs of further development, as well as the time frame and risks involved with continuing the project," the federal Crown corporation said Friday.

The MAPLE reactors, described as the first in the world dedicated entirely to medical isotope production, were intended to be capable of supplying the entire global demand for molybdenum-99, iodine-131, iodine-125 and xenon-133.

AECL said the decision to abort them "will not impact the current supply of medical isotopes."

It said contracts with MDS Nordion (TSX:MDS) provide for production to continue at AECL's existing National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River.

Wow. It's the right decision, of course. Aside from these reactors being years overdue and millions over budget, the fact is that they simply don't work and never will. Still, AECL had dug in its heels so deeply over the Maples that their admission of defeat now is pretty surprising. Conventional wisdom is that they want to focus all their efforts on getting the contract for the new Ontario power reactors.

Now we're back to square one, because the NRU still needs hundreds of millions of dollars worth of upgrades if it is to continue to function and produce medical isotopes.

12:10 - Gary Lunn is talking. A couple of reporters are asking him whether the government would be willing to cough up the 600 million the AG says the NRU needs, but he's dodging. Ah, there we go - he just brought up possible 'private sector funding options'. Sigh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bush Succumbs to Godwin's Law

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along... We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Apparently the spectacle of a sitting U.S. President pulling a reductio ad Hitlerum against a political foe while in Israel was too much for Joe Biden, who completely lost it when contacted by phone about the remark:

“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement... He is the guy who has weakened us,” he said. “He has increased the number of terrorists in the world. It is his policies that have produced this vulnerability that the U.S. has. It’s his [own] intelligence community [that] has pointed this out, not me.”

Other prominent Democrats (ok, pretty much all of them) were only slightly less colourful in their language as they piled on to defend Obama against the President's smear.

(BTW, yeah, I know - I'm posting a lot about U.S. politics. Sorry, but I'm finding the sight of America slowly returning to sanity after almost three decades of institutional neo-conservatism to be far more fascinating than watching our own sad excuse of a parliament as they fidget in their seats anxiously waiting for summer break to start.)

(Oh look - California's getting same-sex marriage!)

Keith Olbermann's Murrow Moment

Extraordinary. It's a fairly long video, but well worth watching in its entirety. In fact, I would suggest that George Bush needs to be locked in a room, strapped to a chair with his eyelids propped open, and be forced to watch it over and over 24/7 every day from now until he leaves office.

Let this be the final word on Bush's legacy. January cannot come soon enough.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh, and by the way... Holy Shit! Edwards!!

Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy!!!
(sorry, I had to do my happy dance)

That was very classy. The man gets up in front of hundreds (thousands?) of screaming Obama fans, and the first thing he does is spend a good five minutes praising ...Hillary Clinton.

The crowd actually booed the first time he mentioned her name, but he stuck with it and was so obviously sincere that by the end he had them on side. He talked about their friendship, and the beliefs and values he and Clinton shared. He talked about her determination and her commitment to healthcare, to workers, and to a whole raft of other issues near and dear to his heart. Hell, by the time he got to Obama I was half convinced that he'd changed his mind and was actually endorsing Clinton.

I've always been impressed with John Edwards, and after seeing him tonight I'm convinced that he would make the best possible running mate for Obama. This may, in fact, be what's going on here - which would have all sorts of implications as o motives, timing, etc., but in general I think it would be a huge positive.

Edwards has all of Clinton's strengths, none of her weaknesses, and I suspect he would be far more willing to work with Obama instead of trying to horn in on his limelight. Plus he said something tonight that set him apart from Obama, Clinton, and everyone else in this race:

He said that Americans need to end their dependence on oil.

Not "foreign oil". ALL oil.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have our dream team. Now if we could only generate that kind of passion and enthusiasm and political engagement on THIS side of the border.

(Edit: video added 11:20 p.m.)

Jason Kenney: Conservative Debating Team President

Romeo Dallaire was testifying before the Subcommittee on International Human Rights yesterday on the matter of Omar Khadr. In addition to the obvious argument that Khadr was a child soldier and you just don't prosecute child soldiers, he made the equally obvious point (well, obvious to most of us) that if you trample on human rights and flout the rule of law, the difference between you and your enemies might start getting a little blurry.

"The minute you start playing with human rights, with conventions, with civil liberties, in order to say that you're doing it to protect yourself and you are going against those rights and conventions, you are no better than the guy who doesn't believe in them at all," he said.

"We are slipping down the slope of going down that same route."

Now, you wouldn't think that it would even be possible to argue against a position recognized as unarguable by international law and every civilized nation on earth, as defended by one of the most respected individuals in the country.


Well, leave it to Jason Kenney to pull this extraordinary feat of faulty logic out of his ass:

"Is it your testimony that al-Qaida strapping up a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome and sending her into a pet market to be remotely detonated is the moral equivalent to Canada's not making extraordinary political efforts for a transfer of Omar Khadr to this country?"

Lovely. Not only is he a) completely misrepresenting what Dallaire said, and b) pulling out random hysterical "you support the terrorists!!!" crap - he's actually using the example of an atrocity that turned out to be utter bullshit.

Note to Jason: this is what happens when you get all your current affairs briefings from Fox News, ya fricking moron!

Inexplicably, instead of ridiculing Kenney and standing next to Dallaire on the high ground, Dion is actually buying into the spin and trying to distance himself from Dallaire's remarks.

Sad. Very sad. Pathetic, actually.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sobering Thoughts from Appalachia

In the heat of the ObamaMania over at DailyKos comes this singularly beautiful post from a native Appalachian pleading with her fellow Democrats for understanding and inclusion for West Virginia and Kentucky. Some samples:

Is West Virginia Welcome in Your Democratic Party?

Over the last week or so, I've heard a lot of kossacks writing off West Virginia, making fun of West Virginia, and even saying West Virginia doesn't matter. Some have painted all of Appalachia as racist homophobes who will never change. Some even said that Obama is in mortal danger there. Some have suggested that we revert to Clinton-style "states that matter" campaigning, leaving West Virginia and Kentucky behind altogether.

Well, progress hasn't left us behind, and I hope that progressives won't either.


I've seen a lot of frustration expressed lately about what many kossacks consider to be willfully ignorant people. Some of you believe that information is as readily available to everyone as it is to you. Some of you believe that the cost of accessing available information is the same for everyone as it is for you. I've even seen comments from people exclaiming, "But golly gee, everyone has access to the Intertoobs!" I guess some of you have never heard of the digital divide.

Not everyone has access to the Internet. There is a huge gap between the have and have-nots when it comes to Internet access, and the divide is down economic lines. I hate to point out the obvious, but Appalachia ain't exactly well-to-do.

Among those who have access to the Internet, there is also a skills divide. In order to use the Internet effectively, you must have not just a minimum level of technical competency but also a minimum level of information competency.

A person can learn to use a web browser and an email client and still not have the information competencies needed to obtain and process information from reliable sources on the Internet. This is why substantial numbers of people get most of their online political information from the chain emails that the rest of us filter into the Trash folder.


These are not willfully ignorant people. These are hardworking Americans who are doing the best they can with the hand they were dealt. These are people who are proud to put a union bumper sticker on their car. They hear the word solidarity, and they think brotherhood, not commie bastard. These people bled for progress. If they are ignorant now, it's because we left them behind. If we believe in the 50 state strategy, then it's time for us to stop leaving these people behind.

Progress happens in the most unexpected places.

My best friend's little sister was the first person to "come out" at my hometown high school. Before her bravery, gay and lesbian kids were afraid to come out for fear of violence against them. I am so proud of her. She opened the door for so many other kids in that little Christian town. The same town that only started having proms in the 80s because dancing is a sin now has gay and lesbian students attending prom as same-sex couples. She and her high school sweetheart were the first. Against all odds, against everyone's best advice, she prevailed in our small-minded little town.

There`s more.

I can`t help thinking about my own attitudes towards Americans in general, and that the one quality I value the most is tolerance. As in not just `putting up with`, but as in `making an effort to understand their point of view even if I disagree, and try to inform and influence from a position of mutual respect`.

Point taken. Thank you.

And I can`t help thinking about Bobby Kennedy, and how he brought this region into the conscience of America. And about his son and how he is continuing the fight against King Coal and mountaintop coal removal.

So while the ObamaManiacs are talking respectfully to the residents of Appalachia, they might want to point out that mountaintop coal removal is a largely automated process that is responsible for a sharp decline in coal mining jobs - not to mention the TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION involved - and that Obama is the only one on record even coming close to opposing it.

Ok, so it`s too late for West Virginia. There`s still Kentucky.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today in the "Not Helping" Department...

In case you were wondering why the ruling junta in Burma might be so resistant to letting large numbers of Americans into their country with ships, planes, helicopters and equipment, this TIME headline might shed some light on their thinking:

Is it Time to Invade Burma?


Ok, so the article starts off by going through some slightly less horrific options, like bringing aid workers in without government consent - somehow, or bringing the influence of China to bear, or freezing Burma's assets. But yeah, they're serious:

And if that fails? "It's important for the rulers to know the world has other options," Egeland says. "If there were, say, the threat of a cholera epidemic that could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and the government was incapable of preventing it, then maybe yes — you would intervene unilaterally." But by then, it could be too late. The cold truth is that states rarely undertake military action unless their national interests are at stake; and the world has yet to reach a consensus about when, and under what circumstances, coercive interventions in the name of averting humanitarian disasters are permissible. As the response to the 2004 tsunami proved, the world's capacity for mercy is limitless. But we still haven't figured out when to give war a chance.

Great. Just great. Aside from the utter insanity of such a scheme given Burma's relationship with China, just the fact that someone is saying this out loud is appalling, and can only give credence to the junta's paranoia about the U.S. and western aid.

Let's just hope they don't read TIME in Burma.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The ads for this movie claim that it is "from the guys who brought you 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' and 'Knocked Up'". If only that were true. Unfortunately, the only connections appear to be that the writer had a small acting role in ‘Knocked Up’, and the director wrote a few episodes of an early Judd Apatow TV series. Meanwhile Apatow - the writer, director and creative force behind those two earlier films - is only the producer here.

All three of these gentlemen should stick with what they know.

‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ has none of the charm or wit of a Judd Apatow comedy. The characters range from the unlikable to the despicable, the story is banal, and what passes for humour amounts to "Hey, look at the funny naked man!"

The only ray of sunshine though the whole unbearable experience was Mila Kunis from ‘That 70s Show’. For her, I’ll give it half a star. The rest I’d just as soon forget.

(And... Murray loved it. I swear he's getting a sneak peek at my reviews just so he can be contrary.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

TIME Gets the Last Word on the Democratic Primaries

My husband doesn`t believe this cover is real. I guess we`ll see. I know I`ll be buying a copy or two.

(BTW, the fine print under the asterisk says, "Really, we`re pretty sure this time".)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Halton's Fresh Food Box Program

I ran across a little local magazine called 'Escarpment Views' when I was at Lee Valley Tools yesterday, and there was an article about something wonderful that I hadn't been aware of: the Halton Fresh Food Box program.

Based on the principles of Toronto's FoodShare network, the Halton program supplies over 500 boxes a month to low income families, seniors, and people who just want to buy local produce. It is not a food bank or a charity - rather, the program is designed to address issues of food access, food insecurity and healthy eating, while at the same time supporting local farmers.

The boxes cost between $12 and $15 depending on size, and contain an assortment of fruits and vegetables purchased in bulk and sorted by a dedicated group of volunteers. Local and/or organic produce is used whenever possible, although they will go further afield when not enough is in season here. The boxes even contain a newsletter with updates, storage tips and recipes.

To learn more about the program, to order a box or to volunteer your time, visit the website or call program coordinator Brenda Moher at 905-634-8645.

(Crossposted from Sprawlville)

Happy Primary Night!

Just because I've been sick and haven't posted in a while...

As of 1:00 am:

OBAMA      56%   888,979   60
CLINTON   42%   655,482   47

CLINTON   51%   606,497   38
OBAMA      49%   589,888   29

So NC is a rout, and the split in Indiana amounts to about four square blocks in Decatur. Eeeexcellent.

Dear Hillary,

Please, PLEASE, for all that you hold sacred, put an end to this! I can't take it any more. The pandering, the slurs, the phony good ol' gal accent... it's beneath you. You're a classy lady, so show a little class. You fought the good fight, but it's time to face facts.

Your Party has spoken. YOU CANNOT WIN.

Sure, we'd all like to see a woman in the Whitehouse someday, but the longer this goes on, the greater the chance that McSame will pull off another four years of Republican rule - and seriously, having to face even one more year of creepy corporatist neo-cons on BOTH sides of the border just might drive me to apply for citizenship in fucking Iceland.

Your Neighbour to the North.



I did some quick math, and if the six remaining precincts in Indiana fall out the way their counties have, the final totals will be (drumroll please)... 642,390 for Clinton, 624,363 for Obama.

That's a difference of just over 18,000 votes out of over a million. That's 50.71% vs. 49.29%, and THAT is what I'd call a statistical tie.

Put a fork in her. She's done.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Baghdad Still a Hellhole and...Oh Look, a Bunny!

Just when you start thinking that Naomi Klein might be just some wigged out doomsayer, the corporatocracy goes and pulls something like this:

Disneyland goes to war-torn Iraq, with a multi-million dollar entertainment complex, to be built on a 50 acre lot adjacent to the Green Zone. ("Fun park rises from ruins of Baghdad zoo", The Times, London, 24 April 2008)

The American-style amusement park will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum.

The occupation forces are of the opinion that Baghdad is "lacking in entertainment". General David Petraeus, is said to be a “big supporter” of bringing Disneyland to Baghdad.

...Supported by the Pentagon, an unknown Los Angeles based holding company C3 of unnamed private equity investors, will be developing the "Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience". The park will be designed by Ride and Show Engineering (RSE)

In other words, they are going to be turning this:

...into this:

They're trying to make it sound like they're just rehabilitating an area that was destroyed in the invasion, but that isn't quite correct:

The 50-acre (20 hectare) swath of land sits adjacent to the Green Zone and encompasses Baghdad’s existing zoo, which was looted, left without power and abandoned after the American-led invasion in 2003. Only 35 of 700 animals survived – some starved, some were stolen and some were killed by Iraqis fearing food shortages.

In the years that followed, the zoo and the surrounding al-Zawra park became an occasional target for insurgent attacks. But in recent months, families have begun to return cautiously for weekend picnics. Renovations have already begun on the zoo, with cages being repainted and new animals arriving, including ostriches, bears and a lion.

That's not good enough, apparently. So instead of continuing to rehabilitate an existing public space that is part of the fabric of Iraqi society, let's just raze the whole thing, hand it over to an American corporation and start over with a shiny new American-style FOR PROFIT theme park.

Call me crazy, but I'm going to make two predictions here. One: that a significant percentage of the park's patrons are going to be residents of the Green Zone. And two: that the rolling blackouts and brownouts that still plague Baghdad are somehow not going to be a problem there.

Because we wouldn't want our Iraqi friends to get trapped in the 'Carousel of Progress' or anything.

(H/T to Dana at The Beav)

Ed Stelmach Loves Ducks

Sure he does. Of course he does. Everybody loves a duck, right? I'm sure Ed's real broken up over the news that about 500 migrating ducks landed in one of the massive toxic oil sands tailing ponds, and, well, died horrible lingering oily deaths.

But c'mon people, let's put things into perspective...

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is down playing the deaths, saying that wind turbines kill 30,000 birds annually.

No. Really. Don't stop there, Ed. Tell them the other major causes of avian deaths, like:

Utility transmission and distribution lines:
130 to 174 million
Collisions with automobiles and trucks: 60 to 80 million
Lighted Communication Towers: 40 to 50 million
Tall building and residential house windows: 100 million to 1 billion

And those numbers are just for the United States! Then there's cats, jet engines, bridges, etc.

So really, what's another few hundred dead birds? That would be, like, comparing the puny number of cancer deaths and birth defects at Love Canal to the thousands of cancer deaths and birth defects that happen every single day all over the world!