Neil Young vs. Sask Premier Wall’s Frankentruck

As much as I dislike the word blaawwg……there are a few things that I need to say.

Many, actually.

About what a beautiful day it is.  It is sunny, it is a temperate 5C (yes +5C) outside, and even the wind is a mere 10-15 km/ dear dog Gina – still beautiful and a bit of a puppy at 13.4 – heads out the driveway… (please click the tab above to see a few more pics and much more about photography!)



with Kathleen as she takes a break from practicing for the Mozart/Brahms Elixir concert on February 2nd:



But a “blaaawwg  is also a place to fulminate…

About the obscene spectacle the  premier Saskatchewan oil industry mouthpiece, Brad Wall, counterpoised to the Regina concert of Neil Young and Diana Krall’s  benefit tour to raise money for the First Nations legal challenge to Tar Sands expansion.  Saskparty Premier Wall’s vision for Saskatchewan’s future?  The gala auctioning off of the bestial mating of a vintage Ford pickup with a Shelby muscle car – for over $400,000.oo  To raise money for the most sacred of sacred cows, a “children’s hospital”.  I can well remember studies a decade ago that indicated little need for such a hospital, especially as rural hospitals are being shut down and emergency services in urban ones are being curtailed.

Of course the construction of such a hospital – like the many other capital projects we see – is an enormously lucrative undertaking for all involved in financing and running the project. Then, too, its administration will create more lucrative upper management positions to reward friends of the powerful in our bloated health bureaucracy.  Better still, it may well create yet another strategic way of pauperizing and privatizing public services and slash decently-paid unionized jobs by providing yet another financial “emergency” to justify cutting costs as the unctuous Brad offloads debts from his provincial budget. As he has in the case of the 42 million cost of the University of Saskatchewan’s Health Sciences Building.  But I must admit that it is indeed a nice building that provides some eye relief after leaving the squalid classrooms and filthy washrooms through the malfunctioning doors of the surrounding buildings. (It is, of course, always janitors and maintenance and support staff, never bloated upper administration that is cut.)

But perhaps the new hospital is needed after all.  The environmental degradation and climate change and increasing pollution of air and water, to the very bottoms of our oceans, may indeed make this hospital increasingly necessary for our children…and for their children.

The kicker is the fact that the Saskatchewan part of “our” national radio network, the CBC, cravenly devoted of more time and attention to the cynical and idiotic party around the auctioning of this mega-consuming  mega-polluting Frankentruck than they did to the generous donation of time, energy of two of Canada’s most renowned musical artists and many other talented people, in all of our fight for a future that will need fewer, not ever more hospitals for our children and grandchildren

But it is a lovely day. A great relief, after weeks of record breaking extreme cold, ice storms. Could they be harbingers of The Storms of our Grandchildren that then NASA Director Dr. James Hansen warned of  in that decade-old book?

erich (Bert) keser


I was born in Germany, grew up and have lived most of my life in Canada, but was back there from 1986 to 1990 to marry, help to have a daughter and see the wall fall. Attended elementary schools and St. Michael's College High School, Northern Secondary & Jarvis Collegiate in Toronto. Started U at Carleton in Ottawa, but completed my degrees in Anthropology and English at York U in Toronto, where I was also a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant to Prof. Norman Penner and studied in the Graduate program in Social and Political Thought. Much more recently I completed MA courses in English Literature and worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant at University of Saskatchewan, but became a Program creator and Facilitator and Employment Counsellor at the Saskatoon Open Door Society. I have long been politically active,, have a strong interest in photography, literature and the arts, and am lucky enough to be married to a world-class pianist and to have a beautiful and talented daughter and a brilliant son-in-law,

5 Responses to “Neil Young vs. Sask Premier Wall’s Frankentruck”

  1. MIron
    January 20, 2014 at 03:15 #

    Hello!..nice pic off Gina!

  2. Sultan Ali
    January 20, 2014 at 13:08 #

    Good job Erich good piece of read I am looking forward for more 🙂

    • erichkeser
      January 20, 2014 at 18:46 #

      Thank you Sultan,
      Your kind words are much appreciated and a strong motivation for writing and creating more and better content.


  3. Brian Waite
    February 17, 2014 at 22:34 #

    The bit below was written in response to a CBC report on corruption in Russia, but I think it fits this thread in discussing BC’s “Liberals” ongoing destruction of the common weal, that is formerly public institutions and infrastructure by selling anything sellable to their corporate friends:

    Public-Private-Partnerships and privatization here in Canada often obtain the same results – shifting taxpayers’ money into the hands of corporations, their major shareholders and top executives. Here in B.C., if there are any revenue shortfalls or cost overruns in the complex schemes to “save the public sector money” which is the supposed rationale for the PPPs, these are plucked from the public purse. See “Sea-to-Sky Highway”, various hospital construction projects, a couple of our new bridges, etc., etc. Law firms also make a potful of money drawing up the contracts and carrying out the due diligence required. Also of note is that SNC-Lavalin had its fingers in many of these pies as well.

    Everyone can see how much money has been saved by BC Hydro and the Ferry Corporation’s highly paid executives when we pay their ever increasing energy bills and/or must travel regularly on BC Ferries’ ever-diminishing service and routes.

    See here for the propaganda arm of the PPP juggernaut run by an incestuous cabal of corporate CEOs, government officials and law firms. Further research of a number of international PPP fiascos will conjure up an image, not of neatly scrubbed and dressed white men (and Christy Clark) around a boardroom table, but a writhing ball of garter snakes in heat during mating season.

    • February 18, 2014 at 17:22 #

      We recently had a sad situation in which a mass petition forced the developer-loving mayor and city council of Regina was forced to conduct a public plebiscite to review their “P3” for a new sewage plant. Sad because a majority of the public then voted FOR the “private-public” partnership.

      In an era in which corporate upper management – especially CEO – salaries have reached obscene levels,it difficult to understand why any thinking person would assume that using private for-profit organizations rather than public ones could possibly be of any net benefits to the community or the general public.

      Study after study has shown, the net result is simply that lower paid, less secure workers who are left with much less to spend even on rent and basic necessities – and have almost no money for restaurants, entertainment or cultural events, let alone their own housing) and are much more likely to be injured, incapacitated or killed on the job end up doing the work. And that this can mean shoddy work that reflects both their frustration and private industry’s obsession with the “bottom line”.

      Meanwhile, millions are siphoned out of the community, in no small part to pay exorbitant salaries, stock-options, etcetera, that often end up sequestered in offshore account or being spent for luxury goods.

      In this regard, Canada is indeed an Olympic-level competitor. The negligence of the Canadian tax system in its failure to collect a significant – not even to mention a FAIR- share of taxes from the corporate elite is appalling. Not only do we have the lowest corporate income tax rate of any OECD country, but CBC’s series of special programs on the tens of billions of dollars shunted to offshore tax havens ended by revealing that a grand total of half a dozen or so such cases had ever been followed up and collected on in the last two decades(!) My job helping people get their EI sometimes involves trying to help people who are being hounded by the same Canada Revenue Agency for “overpayments” of EI. In one case a disabled single mother was being hounded for $42 paid six years ago!

      There is no money to maintain services for veterans, no money to maintain an effective civil service, no money for desperately needed programs throughout Canada, no money to even maintain vital search and rescue centres. There is plenty of money to send huge delegations to Israel, airlift a whole motorcade to India and always to promote the interests of the corporate elite, be it in expanding their tar-sands cesspool or in endangering yet more of our ecosystem to pipe and ship the foul product to the world’s worst polluters.

      Yes, you’re right Brian, no need to look to Russia for corruption!

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