Kshama Sawant's Socialist State of the Union


How shrill will she be? Voters don't like shrill you know.
7:30... 8:15... is part of this exercise understanding the long wait that we must endure before any real changes are accomplished by Sawant ?
speech writing by committee takes time...
Wonder if she'll use the occupy people's mic.
Angry birds! Is Sawant hiding in a commie bunker?

She seems to hate the man 80% of Seattle voted for.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgelmcOdS… Ok, so who knows Morse Code... and perhaps Morse Code in Hindi.
Thanks for considering your contributors "ordinary working people". A number of us are actually the people you're complaining about; I personally gave the maximum legal contribution to your campaign.

So, my question is, is there some kind of card I get? A mark I can leave above my door when the violent mob you're inciting descends upon my neighborhood?
No flag pin and not a single mention of universal preschool either. But I did like the 10 seconds of congratulations she got from off camera at the end.... someone must recognize that voice but my guess would be Locker.
Lost me two sentences in, and got worse from there. Broken website...symbolic of...broken something else about health care? The fuck? Angry Birds? The...the
Well that was pretty dour.
As an member of the 99%, I can tell her capitalism hasn't failed me.
#7: Somehow I just think you're making shit up about your contribution.
Sure. She's strident and humorless and completely un-engaging, but she's right.

It's a socialist tradition.
"but she's right. "

Says who? You?
@13 can you one successful country that has eliminated capitalism?
I'm amused Sawant is concerned about Angry Birds. I can't wait until her SCL committee reviews the Smart Meter plans.

Norway isn't really "capitalist". Its more "free-market". Its a lot easier to start a business and enter the marketplace, and a lot harder to buy your competitors.
@ #14 and 15: You guys aren't registered. Koch Brothers, right?
"Norway isn't really "capitalist""

It's main industry is oil and its oil fields are privately run. It's Dubai on the Arctic.
I don't know how you can confuse Statoil with a private company. Or compare Norway to a country that has a vast underclass with no rights. But they do both have oil sooooo yeah! And Norway still isn't really capitalist. Some sectors of their economy are more capitalist than others, but at its most basic, its free market socialism.
Statoil doesn't run the fields for Norway's carbon driven economy.
@22 How does it not? It owns them, and is majority owned by the government. Contracting out labor doesn't make the industry capitalist.
Carbon driven economy? Maybe. I think more like resource driven. Oil, electricity, fish along with shipping and engineering.
Oh, and it appears the Norwegians will continue privatizing Statoil:

"Norway will sell as much as 16 percent of state-owned oil producer Statoil ASA (STL), a stake currently valued at more than $11 billion, after the Conservative-led opposition won elections.

Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg said during the campaign a government under her leadership could cut its stake in Statoil".
@On topic
I thought the speach was meh. I like her and voted for her, and likely will again, but it was meh. To me it sounded done up at the last minute, and reminded me a just a ton of conversations I've had with super political people at parties, except on video. Specific criticism: next time use cards or a teleprompter. The looking down makes it look like a class presentation, and is never a part of a really good speech.
Yeah, the cons have some bad ideas across the pond too. The government/industry partnership has been extremely successful for the average citizen.
As a person who's been to both places a bit, I agree with you that their solutions wouldn't work here, but not for the reasons you list. My list
1) America has politicians, Norway has statesmen. In a tradition kinda like our SOTU, the Norwegian government releases a 20 year plan. 20 years. Long term planning is a must for them.
2) Culturally, they are much less tolerant of income inequality, and also shows of it. There are VERY few fancy cars in Oslo, and tons of Subarus, even though everyone has money. Having a Ferrarri is seen as a version of "classless".
3) The Gov is much more willing to explore how it can fill the holes in the private sector, to everyone's advantage. There isn't the principle that the two should somehow be completely separate. EX. Here, schools get their repairs done in the summer because of summer break. This is the most expensive time to do it, cause the private sector is also bidding for the contractors time. In Norway, they see that, and instead do the repairs during the winter, when the contractors are out of private sector work. The Gov gets a better deal, and the contractors get to work year round, and still get fat contracts in the summer. Win Win.
Too bad they didn't cut the mic. Even Obama knows he has to smile every once in a while.
I'm glad she's in office, bringing up important issues that no one else in office would even mention. I'm supporting her but she's a bit dour. A smile, a joke, maybe even a humorous reference, would go a long way, but I've never met a funny socialist.

Keep on fighting Ms. Sawant, I'm glad you are doing what you are doing but once in a while a smile or an attempt at humor might warm the cold hearts of your haters.
HAHA yeah thats true about Italy.
Yeah, honestly its so different its kinda weird. I was in a bar in Oslo, not a cheap place. The cheapest beers were like 12 dollars. The people there were pretty well to do, and this fancy sports car drove by, and everyone was like "oh jeez. who does this guy think he is?", not "wow check out that car!" The strangest part of being there is definitely the lack of homeless. That's just not a thing there. Its surreal. I asked people where the homeless people live, and they totally didn't understand what I was talking about at first.
Also, EVERYONE has a job. 4% unemployment is considered unacceptably high.
Sometimes I feel like she's trying to get me to join a cult, and at other times I wish there were more electeds speaking out like her. Too bad most of the Socialist Alternatives I've met are bat shit crazy. Her party has no future. As soon as she let's go of the newspaper slingers, she'll be more trustworthy to me.
This woman is insane. Just another politician who thinks she can run our lives better than we can run it. She's no better than George W. Obama. Good news is she's making socialism mainstream...and hence, its only a matter of time until the hipsters on Capitol Hill abandon socialism to not be mainstream anymore.
Wow, that was really hyperbolic and inflammatory. Way to be that guy.
I basically agree with everything she says - but I don't see how any real change can come to be. What are we going to do - raise taxes on the wealthy? Fully fund public education? Raise the minimum wage? Please. Enjoy your crazy dreams Kshama, because there is no realistic way to implement that sort of extremist communistic idealism in the real world. Grow up.

When you say "basically", what you mean is not one iota, right? That's been my understanding of the word basically.
@36 yeah, not like fully funding education is the Paramount Duty of the State of Washington and all subordinate governments ... I'll just use this Constutution to make a Tea Party hat, k?
hope with going to districts for the city council we can get a Republican elected to the city council:NOT THAT I LIKE REPUBLICANS! But rather, it would be fun to see the same people whining about us who criticize the statist-authoritarian whining twice as much as we do about the Republican. So it's wrong to be against someone who wants to put small businesses out of business with a $15 an hour unpayable wage, who wants to kick people out of their homes if they're too big and turn them into public housing...but its okay to be against a run-of-the-mill moderate republican, because they're subhuman evil Nazis. Man, the Stranger makes me think leaving Seattle for Houston, Denver or some other anti-statist city is pretty good idea.
You might need a new strawman, that one looks pretty beaten
Obama polished a turd and called it a diamond.

Kshama told the cold, hard truth.

Kshama is fighting the fight Obama should be. Thank you for showing us the way it should be done, Ms. Councilwoman.


I encourage you to seek medical attention for your hallucinations.
@39, reading the Stranger and living in Seattle are both optional. Feel free to not do either.
Yes, and living in "capitalist" usa is optional, and socialist Cuba is there when ever you or Sawant and her followers wants it.
with the knowledge that her #1 goal is a 60%+ increase in the minimum wage...

tomorrow, someone with a microphone or recording device should ask sawant to identify the number of seattle workers who would see their wages rise under her plan, a rough assessment of what types of business or economic segments would be most impacted by this change, and what parts of town those workers currently reside in (on the basis that these areas would be the most likely to experience change based on this influx of money), among other simple questions that you would expect to have answered by someone who is leading a city-wide push for a 60%+ increase in the minimum wage

you might also ask whether she is considering any of the nuances built into the seatac proposition as a means of ensuring viability in the council or referendum process

when she defers, you'll realize that the leader of this "movement" continues to not know any of the above basic facts about their problem space and has failed to think through the complexities of the economic disruption that she is proposing

i get that the 'doom and gloom' FUD of prior wage increases never came to pass, but we've never jumped the wage across the board at 60%+, and i don't trust sawant to take us there

count me as a regret-filled sawant voter. amateur hour!
@44 yes, I'm sure you're a Sawant voter who was totally blindsided by this $15/hour thing she pulled out of nowhere after she won the election. Nice concern trolling, moron.

Look up FDR's National Recovery Act and the establishment of the minimum wage. It sounds like some wages were about doubled when they did that.
So, with all her grandstanding she's been doing (and that seems to be all she does) I assume she's already written the legislation for the city council to vote on to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour?

I mean she has all this time to give a this little speech, I can only assume she's accomplished her real work. Right?

I voted for her hoping she would do more than "change the conversation" I wanted her to CHANGE THINGS. But she's starting to become another Obama: lots of nice things to say but coming short in the results department.

The next thing I want to see/hear from her is an announcement she's done something.
@47 You do realize she needs at least the appearance of community support to get the council to, in turn, support her legislation? This involves getting the community engaged on the subject. To that end, she has to hold rallies and make speeches. Probably, a lot of them. Without widespread support, she has no power to get anything done.

In the normal legislative wheeling and dealing that goes on, you need something to trade to get other legislators on board. It's not clear that she has much to trade just yet.
I am not sure what I enjoyed more, Sawnt's speech (Out of all the speeches tonight, she was the only one who spoke the truth about the corruption of modern day American politics) or the reaction of the unhinged trolls in this comment section,

I wonder if she'll take part in this years may day riots?
Yes, collectivism dear - you need to flee, and flee quickly. A person of your intellect is undoubtedly already being tracked by the Socialist Mafia (working in tandem with the Gay Mafia, of course)

Get out while you can! And though it breaks my heart to say it, say good bye to Slog as well. Although we will miss you, you just can't take the chance of being tracked. After all, Slog is run by known homosexuals - and they have branches in every city.

The Struggle Continues!
I agree with 26 & 48. The worst speech delivery. If she is to be taken seriously to get to the issues, she needs to polish presence and speech writing. I don't think she should say brothers and sisters either. I agree with 33 "Sometimes I feel like she's trying to get me to join a cult, and at other times I wish there were more electeds speaking out like her". 36, things do change, let focus on what might be done, not what can't.
@ 41, you continue to amaze me with your idiocy. A city councilperson fighting the fight a PRESIDENT should fight? Homer, they aren't even in the same political league. Wait til she's won some statewide office before saying she's fighting the fight of a national politician.

@ 47, you like to set up unrealistic expectations just so you can mope around, don't you?

She won't. Outside the Peoples Republic of Cap Hill the rest of the state sees her for the unfunny joke she is. And while the Puget Sound area forces the state to all sorts of lunacy, Sawant doesn't carry the whole region or anything like it. She's a footnote, or will be in a decade.

And on that note, quit calling me your brother, Sawant. My sisters are smart, funny capable women. You're ridiculous, deluded and generally the kind of incompetent who is hired to teach at a Seattle community college.
@24- "... ethnically homogenous population..."

And this is why you're a racist. You actually believe that racial/ethnic homogeneity is a good thing.
@ 54, belittle Sawant at your own peril. She may or may not be a joke, but what she stands for certainly is not. It's the end of right wing hegemony over politics, and the beginning of your permanent marginalization.
As a Norwegian American, I have to object to they way you characterized @24's comment. Norway IS homogenous. Incorporating other races and ethnicities into thier country is a very new thing, and is coming with a lot of growing pains. The thing about small and homogenous is that your family has largely had the same neighbors for generations. Like, lots of generations. My family has had the farm in Fusa for like almost 400 years.
In fact, Id say that Europe is more racist in general than America. I have an uncle over there who literally thinks that black men never work and only steal because thats their culture. He thinks they force the women to work and spend all thier time drinking. I disagree. But hes a lot more racist than @24
@57- I never said Scandinavia wasn't homogeneous, or that Europeans aren't racist. I have no idea what bearing your response has to my comment.

I pointed out that Ken thinks that it is impossible for multiple ethnic groups to exist in a nation with a functional social safety net. And that kind of reasoning is completely fucking racist and it gets trotted out by conservatives constantly.
Well, Ken's comment wasn't racist. It is a view on how willing people are share with others obviously different from themselves. Norwegians view themselves as all in the same boat. Some do not view the Poles and Somalians who have moved there to be in that same boat. This is a minor issue there, but is sometimes very pronounced here. If Ken is using that view as a reason not to have a safety net, that is lazy and/or defeatist, but not racist.
Im of the view (like Ken) that it will be harder to get working in America, a country where many people don't want ANYONE else in their boat. But I also work hard towards it and hope to live to see it come to pass.
One last thing, I think its pretty silly to ignore the effects on national politics, from race and ethnicity, and the voters views on other voters. Different situations require different strategies.
Wow, just wow! Someone is definitely off their Meds today. Usually if you become completely unhinged, then you've lost the argument.

Ok, now that I've poked the unstable person, I'll be way over here at a safe distance. Recommend everyone else does the same.


I can give you two reasons it'll be hard to get European style socialism in the US.

The first, and best, is that on the scale of this nation socialism never works. That's why throughout Europe recognition is dawning, in austerity programs, that they can't pay for the promises made a couple generations ago. It's why the Soviet Union failed, among other reasons. It's why China is recognizing the same thing and modifying their economy accordingly.

Second reason? Americans believe in person responsibility and personal reward in their lives. Outside the major cities Americans, rightly in my opinion, see socialist as derogatory. But rightly or wrongly, they do see socialist and socialism as a threat to their liberty.

So keep dreaming. Or save yourself time and effort and move to a nation whose people better reflect your values.
Pretty snoozy. I almost made it to the end, though.
1st reason~ Wrong. Austerity has not been successful, and is losing credibility all the time. Cases in point, Greece v Iceland. To my slightly racist Norwegian relatives, austerity is just the Germans trying to tell the rest of europe what to do, AGAIN, and failing, AGAIN, because they are too stubborn to see that they dont have good ideas, AGAIN.
2nd reason ~ I raised that point, and understand it. Part of the real appeal of a great safety net is the cost savings. Often you can make life easier for everyone, and trim costs at the same time. But it requires helping people that a lot of folks don't want to help. Im up for those conversations and campaigns.
3rd point~ I think that there are no "American" values other than pluralism, ambition, and patriotism. Why are you telling me to abandon those so that I can go somewhere where I wont have any work to do? Why are you telling me to be lazy, unpatriotic, and unable to deal with debate? WTF?
@ 66, in case you haven't had the pleasure, @ 64 is just a moron. Proceeding with that in mind is what I recommend.
@68 Sawant isn't a social democrat. She is a Trotskyist. Learn the difference.
@61- You taken Ken's words at face value is very kind. And unwarranted.
" It's the end of right wing hegemony over politics, and the beginning of your permanent marginalization"

From one of nine Seattle City council seats?

Better put your pipe down dude, next you'll find the meaning of life tucked between your couch cushions.
If the gay mafia exists, assuming what they look like, I want their numbers. Yes, I am a man that makes homophobic comments all the time. The only thing that stops me from making homophobic comments is having a nice big cock in my mouth (alas, that happens less and less often these days)
I'm bisexual, African-American, non-Christian and working class (father was a single parent and a trucker) and I'm 100% anti-socialist. Please find a better strawman.
Collectivism dear, I was being facetious. Look it up some time.

The main part of my message - because you obviously missed it - is that you should leave town. And Slog.