My Vox Problem

So much for freedom of the press in CA

by baldilocks

The urge is to laugh. But I’m not laughing.

Hundreds of freelance writers at Vox Media, primarily those covering sports for the SB Nation site, will lose their jobs in the coming months as the company prepares for a California law to go into effect that will force companies to reclassify contractors [freelancers] in the state as employees.

“This is a bittersweet note of thanks to our California independent contractors,” John Ness, executive director of SB Nation, wrote in a post on Monday. “In 2020, we will move California’s team blogs from our established system with hundreds of contractors to a new one run by a team of new SB Nation employees.”

The law in question is California Assembly Bill 5.

Back in September, Vox thought AB5 was a good thing.

Pushing AB 5 through the legislature is perhaps one of the most significant labor wins in decades, if only because the labor movement has had very few victories in the past 40 years. But it’s particularly significant because of California’s position as one of the world’s largest economies and its outsized influence in national politics. If any state can start to reverse the trend of shrinking labor unions, it’s California. (…)

However, hundreds of thousands of workers — possibly millions — will see an immediate impact on their working conditions after the switch.

Emphasis mine and that last statement is certainly correct.

On January 1, 2020, it will severely limit all of my gigs. In short, AB5 limits me to 35 pieces of freelance work per year for an individual recipient.

This includes my blogging here at DaTechGuy Blog.

Most of you know that I live in Los Angeles. Back in 2013, Peter invited to me to be one of his Da Magnificent Seven. Initially, each of us contributed one blog post per week, but, a few years back, we upped the number to two  a week which, of course, means that I post here 104 times per year.

You can figure out the impact. By the way, Peter — who lives in Massachusetts — is an awesome boss and a great guy.

I told you about California’s new law – and its purpose – weeks ago.

I’ve been saying to any who will listen that the goal of California’s Organized Left (OL) is to drive out the middle class. The OL’s dream population will consist of the rich and the servant class, with the latter being composed mostly of illegal aliens. (…)

Freelance writers – even itinerant “street artists” like me – are considered part of the middle class by the OL because we all have the potential of upward mobility and, most importantly, we cannot be controlled by an employer.

Problem laid out.

In my next DMS blog post — this Saturday — I will tell you what my options are.

HERE ARE THE OPTIONS:  Why I Stayed in California.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Update DTG: Thanks Juliette for your kind words and thanks Glenn for the Instalanche. Hi folks, the template might be the same but the host is different so I hope you’re loading faster and without issue. While you’re here don’t forget to check out Juliette’s other pieces and

Hope to see you again soon

Shut down the FISA court

By Christopher Harper

It’s time to get rid of the secret court created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, better known as FISA.

The approval of warrants to investigate the Trump campaign is the latest abuse of the court, which was created in 1978 to limit spying.

A FISA warrant is one of the most aggressive searches, authorizing the FBI “to conduct, simultaneous telephone, microphone, cell phone, email, and computer surveillance of the U.S. person target’s home, workplace, and vehicles,” as well as “physical searches of the target’s residence, office, vehicles, computer, safe deposit box, and U.S. mails,” as a FISA court decision noted. 

Even more important, the FISA court is extremely deferential, allowing about 99 percent of all warrant requests.

But there’s more. The FISA court has a long history of abuse. 

James Bovard, the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, provided some of the details:

–In 2002, the FISA court revealed that FBI agents made false or misleading claims in 75 cases.

–In 2005, FISA Chief Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly proposed requiring FBI agents to swear to the accuracy of the information they presented. That never happened because it could have “slowed such investigations drastically,” the Washington Post reported. FBI agents continued to exploit FISA secrecy to lie to the judges.

–In 2017, a FISA court decision included a 10-page litany of FBI violations, which “ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight.”

–Earlier this year, a secret FISA court ruling was released documenting the FBI’s illegal searches of vast numbers of Americans’ emails.

Keep in mind, the FISA court is closed to the public and the press, unlike almost every other court in the country. Therefore, there is virtually no oversight of the FISA court. 

The critics of the FISA court come from both sides of the political spectrum. Maybe there’s hope that this egregious example of injustice can be shut down.

Although many conservatives think the FISA court is useful in fighting terrorism, I think its abuses far outweigh its benefits.

Biden has one Trump Like Advantage

This weekend old friend Kurt Schlichter wrote a piece about Joe Biden that is absolutely accurate:

The establishment narrative on Joe Biden is, to put it mildly, malarkey. Gropey J actually is everything the liberals accuse Donald Trump of being – bizarre, vulgar, dumb, corrupt, incompetent, and utterly unfit to be president. But yet the Creepy Veepy is so much more. In the last month, this totally not-senile, not-at-all-weird guy has assembled a track record of freaky behavior that would put mid-eighties Crispin Glover to shame. 

Like all of Kurt’s pieces it’s a lot of fun but there is something that this piece and others like it are completely missing concerning Joe Biden, something that given the last presidential election most conservatives shouldn’t be missing.

Biden’s weirdness is baked into Democrat considerations.

Consider this paragraph from my re-endorsement of Donald Trump when everyone from Paul Ryan to Stacy McCain were cutting and running:

To those who have endorsed Donald Trump, the idea that he is both boastful and vulgar has been a given, it has been factored into the equation concerning him.  Furthermore his public persona has been out there for decades and he has never pretended to be anything other than what he is.  I further suspect the voting public has already factored this into their image of Trump and it is unlikely that this revelation is going to move those who haven’t made up their minds one way or the other despite the shocked faces at CNN.

While it’s true that thanks to media efforts and the ignorance of many liberal voters there may be a few exceptions to this rule, on the whole people know who and what Joe Biden is. If you might recall during the Obama years when I was watching Morning Joe and Mr. Scarbrough was still on the side of conservatives he used to declare the the show was a zone that would be free of critiques of Joe Biden, although the put it better than I did.

Democrats know that Biden’s habits are contrary to current culture, they were even iffy twenty or thirty years ago, but when it comes to what he does he’s the political version of Sheldon Cooper. Kurt again:

Understand that Biden sees nothing wrong with this. Nothing. And that means there will be exponentially more of it. Hell, the useless DoJ under Trump won’t prosecute obvious graft. Do you think a DoJ that’s thrilled to have a fellow traveler back in the White House is going to root out Biden’s business badness? You do? Well, then meet my unicorn Chet.

You must remember that Joe Biden was 1st sent to the Senate when I was 9 years old. He is operating out of political rules that were written before the parents of most of the voters were burn, an area when if you were a liberal like Ted Kennedy you could even leave young girls to die and the media would be there to cover for you.

Moreover the actual corruption of Biden vs imagined corruption of Trump means nothing to the left. Just as in Boston they saw Nazi’s where there where none they will see nothing and/or justify everything when it comes to Biden because as far as they are concerned he is the best chance to beat Trump. And seriously do you REALLY expect the cultural left to forget that it was the supposedly devout Catholic Biden and NOT Barack Obama who forced the Democrats into a full throttled push for Gay Marriage realizing when both Obama and I did not, that when the chips were down the Black Church, like the Church of England was a cultural organization rather than a religious one and when the chips were down would choose Obama over Christ seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

Make no mistake the odds are long for Joe Biden against Trump. You have a strong economy, a president who has reached out to the black community, a record that can be directly compared to the Obama’s and a pattern of both violence and excesses that swing voters are recognizing. Biden will have a tough time and I’d not be surprised if Trump didn’t expand his Electoral victory against him

But anyone who thinks that Biden’s corruption, his creepy behavior or his seeming indifference to realty or competence is going to cost him a single vote from a left that has managed to push Nancy Pelosi into impeachment against her better judgement. Every man jack that is currently cheering for Bernie and Warren et/al will run RUN to vote for Joe Biden when the chips are down.

Trump may hit and ridicule old Joe as a person but the rest of us would be better served to be pushing his record. That is the real star of the show.