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 . . .