California Assembly Set to Outlaw Choice

No, not that one

by baldilocks

Assembly Bill 5 (CA AB5) wasn’t the California Political Left’s first tactic in tightening the noose on the state’s citizens and it isn’t the last one.

This tactic won’t be the last one either: meet Assembly Bill 2070.

Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a bill that would require every registered voter in California to cast a ballot in elections beginning in 2022.

“We’re not compelling anyone to vote,” Levine, a Democrat who lives in Marin, said Thursday. “We’re asking them to return the ballots that have been sent to them or come in and cast a ballot. If they don’t want to mark a vote on that ballot, if they’re not informed about a particular issue or campaign, then that’s fine. This only applies to registered voters, people who have expressed an interest in voting. (…)

As drafted in its preliminary form, AB 2070 leaves it up to the California Secretary of State how to enforce the proposed mandate. Levine said he has been contemplating ways to address low voter turnout for five years.

“In 2014, we had ridiculously low voter turnout across the state, including the North Bay, which usually votes in very high levels,” he said. “I’ve been working on this issue since then.” (…)

I’m sure that all Californians are so looking forward to finding out what the enforcement methods are. It is for certain that money will be involved. Those public troughs aren’t going to fill themselves.

“This is extreme government overreach,” [Vice chairman of the Marin Republican Party Tom] Montgomery said. “I’m not worried about more people voting. I’m worried about the government taking our choices away from us. The Democrats place such an emphasis on a woman’s right to kill her unborn child, but they want to take away my choice of whether or not I cast a ballot.”

A few months back, I pointed out that Jungle Primaries have been the law of the land in California since 2010, which has given us all Democrats, all the time. But, considering the voter turnout, few are willing to bother showing up at the polls. In 2022, that will change because …

You, my fellow Californians, will be made to vote for the leftist of your “choice.” In this manner, the California Political Left will be able to claim a mandate for anything it does. Anything.

Here is AB 2070.

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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What does a 355 ship Navy mean?

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, from NavyTimes.com

The US Navy is locking horns with Congress and the other services, trying to build to 355 ships, which it needs to fight China and Russia in any sort of future conflict. Despite the recent claim about rebuilding our military at the State of the Union, the current Navy is in a bit of disrepair, mainly from being run ragged around the world without enough shipyard time to make repairs. 355 ships would make a huge difference, but its not achievable with the current budget structure.

But when we say 355 ships, what does that mean? Currently, the US Navy has 10 aircraft carriers, 34 amphibious ships, 22 cruisers, 12 littoral combat ships, 68 destroyers (including Zumwalt class), 52 fast attack submarines and 4 SSGNs, plus 14 SSBNs. That brings us to 102 surface warships and 70 submarines. On the support ship side, we have 78 ships. Navy official website says 294 “Battle Force Ships” and 338,114 personnel.

If we look at the last time we had 355 ships, it would be 1997. Back then, we had 20 more surface ships, 21 more submarines, 2 more carriers and 7 more amphibious vessels. Back in 1997, we had 398,847 personnel. Doing my napkin math based on the current way we man ships, that isn’t far off from what we would need.

Image captured from Navy History Website

I put battle force ships in quotes because the Navy came under fire for counting ships differently. When ship count dropped a lot, Congress got (rightfully) concerned that we didn’t have enough vessels to do our tasking. Navy came back with some new counting that made Common Core math look good. So, if you think 355 ships means 355 warships, then we need to flash back to 1992.

I count 343, including amphibious ships but excluding mine warfare, patrol and auxiliary ships. Back in 1992, the Navy had 576,047 personnel.

We’ve gained some efficiencies in how we man ships, but not orders of magnitude more. The crew size on a current DDG is 329 personnel. A Spruance Class destroyer from the 90’s had a complement of 335 personnel. Other ships are similar, and in many cases need more personnel to run the advanced equipment onboard.

If we think war with China is a coming reality, we need to start expanding our Navy now, or there is little hope to stop China from walking all over countries in their first and second island chains. Representative Carl Vinson saw that in 1934, we had lost too much ground to the Japanese Navy, and pushed through a number of bills to authorize what would eventually become a two ocean Navy. Japan’s Navy went from one of the largest in the world to utter destruction in only 4 short years, thanks to Congress’ foresight in building new warships quickly. We need that same foresight today.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The Octave of Romano’s Market begins today

Yesterday I had a day with DaWife. We saw a movie (Last Full Measure, not bad at all) and ate at a two table hole in the wall Chinese place (Kiki’s Kitchen a mom pop and kid place in Fitchburg very good) and ended up at Market Basket to pick up some cheese to go with the ground beef I had bought at Romano’s to make a Mexican chips and cheese mix.

That one bag of cheese turned into $70+ in groceries but more importantly we ran into her sister who gave us the news that Roman’s Market would be closing permanently on Feb 15th after 100 years and 8 generations of Romano’s working there.

All the grandchild in the world and No Amount of his sons working weekends could replace Mike’s 80 hours a week and even if you hired two experienced meat cutters at a minimum of $25 an hour each, that $100K a year and that certainly beyond the owners draw.

Moreover thanks to the minimum wage hikes in Massachusetts and the onerous regulations both state and city the cost to bring the place up to code for a new owner who would not be grandfathered in as every regulation woke regulation was applied would be prohibitive.

Thing came to a head this week since the 4000 pounds of brisket that would have to be cut and corned in the barrels in the cooler would have to be ordered at once to have it ready for St. Patrick’s day. Their supplier offered to corn the beef themselves but the extra cost which would have to be passed down to the customers again would have been prohibitive and frankly might not taste the same as if they did it themselves.

So this week the orders will be big and the hours put in heavy as they inform customers that this is the last chance to order meat bundles that would go in freezers. I suspect from Tuesday through Saturday the place will look like the day before Christmas, with no more Christmas roasts being ordered, or the day before Thanksgiving with no more Fresh Turkeys coming in, or the week of St. Patrick’s with nary a bit of corned beef to be found or July 3rd as everyone gets their freshly made sausage, marinated tips and fresh ground hamburg for the very last time.

I’m a heavy guy and I love a piece of meat, or stuffed pork chops or stuffed chicken breasts but for 28 years since I moved into the neighborhood I’ve not cooked more than a few pounds of meat in my body that hasn’t come from Romano’s.

I’m going to miss Mike, but I’m going to miss Romano’s more. I guess that’s a tad greedy.

Here’s a glimpse of what Fitchburg will be missing.