Da Magnificent Seven Minus One or What the #AB5 ever Happened to Baldilocks?

Over the 12 years of this blogs life there have been few constants but since the introduction of DaMagnificent Seven Bloggers seeing Juliette “Baldilocks” Ochieng every Saturday night became a regular feature of the site.

And when Fausta Wertz ended up leaving due to illness Juliette started posting twice a week picking up Tuesday nights. She has brought plenty of traffice to the site and her pieces have been worth every penny I’ve paid her over the years.

However if you have been reading the blog this year you might have noticed that you’ve seen less and less than her. First her twice a week posts became once a week, then it became every other week it became once a week, then they were gone.

The good news it that it’s not due to illness, Juliette is feeling fine, nor is it a matter of a drop in quality. I’ve been delighted with her work and her opinions and insights for years and she is just as sharp as she has been since day one.

Alas the culprit here is the State of California or to be specific the AB5 law.

Under this law if a contractor produces beyond a particular amount of contract work said contractor must be hired as a full time employee subject to all the laws of a normal full time workers rather than as a contributor to a magazine or site.

And while I love her work I simply can’t justify such an expense which would be beyond what we bring in, furthermore if I ignore this law being in Massachusetts I might face a suit from California that would be even more expensive.

So until AB5 is repealed or January rolls around I’m afraid you won’t be seeing new posts authored by Baldilocks. But even more importantly this means Juliette will not be able to earn the money I would have paid her for those posts and the bonus I would give her every time she brought an Instalance to the site.

So while I’m always delighted when anyone hits DaTipJar I’d like to ask an odd favor.

If you have the time, the cash and the inclination consider heading over to her own site here and hit her tip jar to help make up for the dollars that she will not make from the 75 posts that she will not write on the site this year.

I would appreciate it and so would she.

Why your Navy can’t telework (even if you wanted it to)

From Breitbart Media

It seems plenty of people want the entire United States to telework and stay at home until a COVID-19 vaccine is created. To be fair to those people, many jobs that we once thought weren’t telework capable are suddenly finding a way to overcome those barriers. But for government workers, especially those in the Navy, telework doesn’t remain a viable option, and we need to stop lying about its viability.

Let’s start with what should be an obvious point: many military members work with classified information. Information gets classified for a variety of reasons: it keeps ship movements safe, protects how sensitive intelligence is made, or where we’ve made breakthroughs in military technology. We spend a lot of taxpayer money to build systems with advantages over our enemies, and protecting the information from our enemies so we can maintain that advantage is important. Or put another way, we throw away taxpayer dollars when we give up classified information.

To protect this information, we make people work in secure facilities. More sensitive information merits more secure facilities. These facilities don’t include your living room couch. Or your home office. Or the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop. Worse still, we have some mobile technology, but its normally reserved for higher ranking members in the military.

So we’re put in a quandary. Navy leadership at the high level can work from home to some degree. The Sailors doing the work cannot. This inevitably leads to the desire to “talk around” information, or find ways of getting work done that put our information at risk. Remember to keep in mind this information costs money, so putting it at unnecessary risk is the equivalent of throwing money away to our enemies.

A second less obvious point is that the Navy has a lot of equipment that we don’t just lock up and store. Ships require maintenance. Submarine nuclear reactors always have someone at a panel. Without Sailors onboard, these vessels cease to be useful. We can’t drive them into a warehouse, turn on the dehumidifier, shut and lock the door and wait for a vaccine.

So your government, especially your Navy, can’t telework forever. We put information and systems, which are expensive, at risk. Just like the rest of America, we need to get back to work.

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.