Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has about three weeks left in his term before Governor-elect Katie Hobbs is sworn in on January 5, but he's moving full speed ahead with a stupid plan he's been pursuing since August: He wants to fill in all the gaps in the Arizona sections of Donald Trump's big beautiful impervious border WALL with old shipping containers stacked two high, so nobody can possibly cross the border illegally unless they have a ladder, some rope, or the sharp minds to walk around it. (Which has been what migrants have been doing when they reach the first section of shipping-container WALL erected three months ago near Yuma, in the west of the state.) Ducey claims he just has to do this because he's a Republican governor and Joe Biden is bad.
previously suggested the containers be repurposed as affordable housing, an increasingly popular option for homeless and low-income people.
Environmental groups warn that the containers could block natural water flows and interfere with endangered species. For the last few weeks, protesters have managed to slow and even stop the construction, because they're badass that way. Russ McSpadden, of the Center for Biological Diversity, told the AP that "A lot of damage could be done here between now and early January."
Yesterday it snowed, which does happen even in the Sonoran Desert, I've seen it, and McSpadden posted some pictures that would be a lot prettier if it weren't for what looks like a train wreck with no wheels, stretching along the border.
\u201cAt Camp Ocelot the last three days where protesters have stopped all construction of Gov Ducey\u2019s shipping container wall across the Coronado National Forest day and night, rain, snow or sunshine. Protesters have held this illegal wall at bay for three weeks now.\u201d
is not typically used by migrants and was not contemplated in Trump’s wall construction plan. McSpadden said he has not seen migrants or Border Patrol agents there, just hikers and backpacking cyclists.
The construction there stretches from oak forests in the Huachuca foothills southeast of Tucson and across the valley’s grasslands. As of the middle of last week, cranes had transported more than 900 blue or rust-colored metal containers down a dirt road freshly scraped into the landscape, then double stacked them up to 17 feet (5.2 meters) high alongside waist-high vehicle barriers of crisscrossed steel. Workers bolted the containers together and welded sheet metal over gaps.
The new construction in the Coronado National Forest is disrupting at least 12 "ephemeral streams" along the border, and should have required permits for each blockage under the Clean Water Act, McSpaddden says. But environmental laws are only for liberals and communists, apparently. The AP notes that the US Forest Service is among several agencies, along with the US Bureau of Reclamation, that has told Arizona to stop the construction. Ducey's response was to file a federal lawsuit in October, which doesn't address the environmental concerns but insists the state has no choice but to toss up the improvised border barrier to "protect" its citizens from all the scary migrants. After all, we are a nation of laws, unless they're environmental laws or federal agency regulations.
In late November, the Forest Service issued an alert to visitors warning them of safety concerns resulting from the state's "unauthorized activities" in the area, noting the presence of "construction equipment and unauthorized armed security personnel on-site." Which is nice, but how about actually showing up with a warrant to actually stop the construction? Maybe the Department of Agriculture figures waiting three more weeks would be preferable to a confrontation that might attract a bunch of armed crazies determined to "protect" the border from all those immigrants who aren't there.
The area where they’re placing the containers is entirely on federal land, on national forest land. It’s not state land, it’s not private land, and the federal government has said this is illegal activity. So just the way if I saw somebody doing an assault or a homicide or a vehicle theft on public land within my county, I would charge that person with a crime.
It's not land that's our land to put things on. That's one problem. The containers aren't working. There's many pictures of people climbing over them. [...]
It's a political stunt. It's a visual barrier that is not actually providing an effective barrier to entry, and I think a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Actually removing the containers that have been put in place might require action by the state Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans. We bet maybe a federal court order might inspire them to take action. And then there's all the environmental damage, not just from Ducey's vanity trainwreck, but also from Trump's WALL before it. Grrr, they make me mean mad, Ma.
But let's close with a cat video: The protesters are calling their encampment "Camp Ocelot" because they're protecting the home of this gorgeous endangered lovey, caught on trail cam in the mountains above the site.
\u201cWhy \u201cCamp Ocelot\u201d? Because this endangered kitty lives just up the mountain from camp. \u201d
Yr Wonkette is funded entirely by reader donations. If you can, please give $5 or $10 a month so we can keep you up to date on all the crap the dipshits are up to, and the good work the anti-dipshits are doing to stop them.
Apple is planning on broadening its end-to-end data encryption services, closing a privacy loophole that previously allowed law enforcement to access a wide-reaching swath of data, including photos and messages, stored in user iCloud accounts.
But while proponents of the change are applauding the change as a win for user privacy, its detractors — which include a little organization known as the FBI — are none too thrilled.
The bureau is "deeply concerned" with the perceived "threat end-to-end and user-only-access encryption pose," as they wrote in an email to The Washington Post, basically arguing that the tech makes their jobs a lot harder.
"This hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism," the statement continued, according to WaPo. "In this age of cybersecurity and demands for 'security by design,' the FBI and law enforcement partners need 'lawful access by design.'"
In short, the FBI's argument rests on the notion that, just like they can search someone's physical stuff, they should be able — within reason — to search their digital stuff, too.
That being said, while the FBI's concerns make sense, end-to-end encryption isn't just an Apple plot to piss the agency off, nor is it intended to make doing crimes any easier. User privacy is important, and a lot of folks have spent the better part of a decade giving away a lot of data, often without much agency or understanding. Data breaches and hacking incidents, meanwhile, are common. The new end-to-end encryption — which, The New York Times points out points out, won't be expanded to include Apples' email, calendar, or contacts features — would certainly bolster user security.
All to say: when it comes to data encryption, tech companies, law enforcement agencies, and users themselves have yet to find a solution where everyone wins.
"It's great to see companies prioritizing security," Sasha O'Connell, executive in residence at American University and former FBI section chief, told the NYT, "but we have to keep in mind that there are trade-offs."
Speaking to the NYT, O'Connell made another interesting point, offering that, at the end of the day, the final choice appears to be Apple's, and Apple's alone.
"The big question is: Who decides that trade-off?" she continued. "It continues to sit in Apple's hands."
Just not enough is said about the fact that even IF you REALLY TRULY believed the government wouldn't abuse lawful access, the existence of lawful access mechanisms would be an incredibly valuable thing for criminals to steal. I'd love to see a cyber-thriller where terrorists gain access to a government crypto backdoor (And Liam Neesen needs to punch people to get it back)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery serves as a resting place for as many a star as there are in the sky, so you may not be amazed to come across the grave of a world-famous celebrity there. But some also come with amusing epitaphs or fascinating designs, and one of them says it all in just three words: "That's all, folks!"
Of course, this is the grave of Mel Blanc, the Man of a Thousand Voices, who gave his heart and soul to many beloved cartoon characters. During the Golden Age of American Animation, he voiced such icons as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Woody Woodpecker, and more, as well as several Hanna-Barbera characters in the later years of television. Today, he is considered one of the greatest and most influential voice actors in history.
Blanc's career first took off with a KGW radio program when he was only 19, showcasing his ability to use multiple different voices. Less than a decade later, he started working for Leon Schlesinger Productions, which would be later renamed Warner Brothers Cartoons. In 1937, he replaced Joe Dougherty as the voice of Porky Pig in the short Porky's Duck Hunt, also debuting as Daffy Duck.
Despite his stellar contributions to animation, Blanc's filmography includes few Disney projects with the exceptions of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (in which he reprised his Looney Tunes roles) and Pinocchio, in which his lines were cut in the final product.
Blanc passed away on July 10, 1989, at the age of 81 from complications of emphysema and coronary artery disease. According to his will, his gravestone was fittingly engraved with Porky Pig's famous catchphrase, "THAT'S ALL FOLKS." It also bears the Star of David and his title: "MAN OF 1,000 VOICES." It can be easily found in the cemetery's section 13, Pinewood, Plot #149.
For my money, the best "celebrity" epitaph came from Jack Horkheimer, the host of a PBS astronomy show (his sign-off was "Keep Looking Up"): "Keep looking up was my life's admonition. I can do little else from my present position."