socialist vows to use voters’ mandate to inspire action and toss a spanner into the works

WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE! Just when I thought that the pa­rade of pre­dictably “elec­table” can­di­dates for what­ever of­fice was simply a never-ending pa­rade of blend-into-the-background politi­cians, Kismet tosses a gen­uine wrench into the work­ings of local pol­i­tics. In this case, an avowed so­cialist with a back­ground as an Oc­cupy Seattle protester!

ran on a of-the-people/by-the-people/for-the-people plat­form against a rea­son­ably pop­ular (undis­liked?) in­cum­bent and won. Plus, she’s both a woman and of Middle Eastern heritage.

Just so the pre­ceding para­graph does not make me look like a prej­u­diced this or that, reread it: a Middle Eastern fe­male so­cialist anti-corporate anti-authoritarian pop­ulist activist/protester won an open election!

Right! So, as far as the far right tea­party noodle­heads are con­cerned, this person, blessed with the name Kshama Sawant, could be the bloody antichrist. 

 

Functioning in the now

The word Kshama is San­skrit and “re­lates to the acts of pa­tience, re­leasing time and func­tioning in the now. The con­cept of Kshama forms one of the Ten Tra­di­tional Yamas, or re­straints, that are cod­i­fied in nu­merous scrip­tures in­cluding the Shandilya, Varaha Up­an­ishads and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorak­shanatha. It is some­times used as a fe­male given name.” (Wikipedia)

Well, Ms. Sawant is not es­tab­lishing pa­tience as a pri­ority in her new po­si­tion as speaker-for-the people. (Of course, a more sen­sible state­ment would in­clude the fact that King County res­i­dents, tax­payers, and Boeing union member have ex­hib­ited far too much pa­tience thus far.)

In a front-page ar­ticle ti­tled “Sawant ready to shake up council” (The Seattle times, No­vember 27, 2013), the lead-in fol­lows with “So­cialist vows to use voters’ man­date to in­spire ac­tion.” The opening para­graph de­clares, “A few days after her upset Seattle City Council vic­tory, Kshama Sawant made na­tional news when she said the gov­ern­ment should use em­i­nent do­main to take over Boe­ing’s factories.”

“We are doing the work. Boeing should be owned by the workers. If Boeing ex­ec­u­tives want to leave the state, they are wel­come to do that. The fact is, the workers are here. We are there­fore calling for the de­mo­c­ratic, public-ownership by workers and by the com­mu­nity of the work­places of the big corporations.” 

Such things are just not said to the Queen, said the Dor­mouse to the Hatter. (Or was it the Hatter to the Dormouse?)

Givebacks and golden parachutes

Be aware, no matter what that DLM (damned lib­eral media) has told you in your home­town, Boeing plays very lop­sided form of ball—bullyball, anyone?—when they know they hold all the cards. (Yeah yeah yeah, I’m mixing metaphors but you get the pic­ture you catch my meaning you get my drift, n’est-ce pas?) 

Great Grom­mett in Heaven only knows how many tax cuts the city the county the state THE TAXPAYERS have given Boeing, yet they still want more: give­backs from the unions with in­creased re­tire­ment ben­e­fits for the ex­ec­u­tives! I am not going into de­tail here; in­ter­ested par­ties can get a brief in­tro­duc­tion via my posting of six days ago (No­vember 21, 2013) ti­tled “boeing, the ma­chin­ists union, the con­tract, and the horror.”

 

This spanner in the works may just work 

I opted here for the British term for wrench—spanner—as the phrase “put a spanner in the works” is of Eng­lish origin. Ap­par­ently, it was first used by au­thor P. G. Wode­house in his 1934 novel Right Ho, Jeeves: “He should have had sense enough to see that he was throwing a spanner into the works.” Ac­cording to The Phrase Finder, “The phrase sounds rather Wode­hou­sian, and it’s quite pos­sible that he coined it for that story.”

The has passed into both British and Amer­ican id­ioms as a ref­er­ence to de­lib­er­ately causing mayhem, or mixing up the works for a dif­ferent ef­fect. It also served as the in­spi­ra­tion for John Lennon’s second book of non­sense, A Spaniard In The Works from 1965.

Most im­por­tant, the wrench is jam­ming the works and causing re-evaluations and re-alignment of forces and sources—including the at­ti­tude of the other mem­bers of the City Council and sup­porters of Ms. Sawant’s opponent: 

“I’m happy to be wrong about this one, that we en­dorsed the wrong person [council vet­eran Richard Conlin],” said Dave Frei­both of the Martin Luther King, Jr., County Labor Council of the AFL/CIO. “It rep­re­sents a new City Council that re­ally un­der­stands our prin­ci­ples, and that’s an ex­citing thing.” 

My o my, but this should cer­tainly put some roughage in the diets of local free-market (read “pi­rate” or “vul­ture”) cap­i­tal­ists and a few city fa­thers when an elected so­cialist vows to use voters’ man­date to in­spire action …

 

 

 

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