“Free Speech” means that you can say whatever you wish without fear of government reprisal. It doesn’t free you from all consequences. Twitter is well within their rights to lock you out of their service.
However, people are responsible for the things that they say. A great example of this is slander, libel, and defamation of character. If I make a statement as if it were a fact, yet I know to be false, and I made that statement with the intent of harming the person who is the subject of that statement, I am liable for that. Even if I made that statement with a careless disregard for any harm it would cause or a disregard for the truth of that statement, I am still liable.
For example, let’s say that I make the statement that someone is a pedophile. At the time I made the statement, I didn’t know or care whether or not it was true. If the community heard that statement and his business, career, or reputation is harmed, I am now open to being sued by him.
The reason why the press can publish stories about people is they make every effort to ensure its veracity. The truth is an absolute defense. This is why news organizations retract false statements publicly as soon as they realize it was false. Or at least why they used to.
The reason why sites like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites don’t get sued is that they have claimed to be a virtual town square where the site doesn’t have anything to do with the content, and are merely serving as a vehicle for free speech.
As soon as Social Media sites began controlling and eliminating speech that they disagreed with, they became editors who ensured that anything posted on their site was something with which they agreed. At this point, the statement is essentially their statement and not simply a posting of someone else’s statement. They are trying to avoid this by calling it “fact checking” and dodging their responsibilities. I think this is a fig leaf that should be eliminated, but we know how the courts are going to go.
I just don’t believe in our legal system or its courts. Heck, I no longer believe in our entire government. Sadly, it has been completely subverted.
In the case of Musk blocking people, he isn’t eliminating their ability to speak. He is simply refusing to listen to them, and that doesn’t violate anything.
Now this judge, nominated by Democrat Sex Addict Bill Clinton in 1998 made his ruling by strictly following the law, facts, and Constitution, and not because he is a partisan hack who is located in one of the most liberal circuits in the most liberal district of the US court system.
This is also the same judge that dismissed the lawsuits against Obama’s presidential campaign when voters demanded that he provide proof that he was eligible to run for office, claiming that voters do not have standing to demand proof of eligibility for office.
Nope. The judiciary is completely above things like politics, even though this judge has carried Democrat water for decades.
A restaurant owner filed a complaint about a Federal cop with that cop’s supervisor. The cop responded by getting other Federal agencies (including the IRS) to place the owner under a microscope. The restaurant owner sued, and now that case is headed to SCOTUS.
If SCOTUS holds that this cop is immune from lawsuits, even while he is willingly and knowingly violating someone’s Constitutional rights, expect police behavior to get worse. We all know that SCOTUS is likely to support the cop’s behavior.
It’s almost like we live in a police state where the only way you can get justice is to mete it out yourself.
Justice Breyer just announced his retirement. He claims that the SCOTUS isn’t a political entity:
“It is wrong to think of the court as another political institution,” he said in an April speech at Harvard Law School. “And it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians.”
He added, justices “are loyal to the rule of law, not to the political party that helped to secure their appointment.”
OK. Pull the other leg, it has bells on it. The Supreme Court is, and always has been, a political entity. Breyer is retiring at this particular point in time because there is a Democrat in the White House, and the Democrats hold a razor thin edge in the Senate. They rolled the dice in 2016 and lost that bet, so they aren’t likely to do it again.
The left is still salty because the Senate wouldn’t allow Obama to replace Scalia with a leftist, thus cementing a hard left SCOTUS for decades.
The Democrats could have selected Scalia’s replacement in 2016, and the accusation is that the Republicans wouldn’t allow his selectee to be voted upon. That is pure BS. The Obama administration could have had Scalia’s replacement in 2016. All they had to do was offer a replacement that was not a hard core leftist. Had the Democrats offered a more centrist candidate, the Republicans would have likely approved. The Republican Senate would have approved a left leaning centrist, rather than wait to see the hard core leftist that HRC was going to nominate.
But Obama didn’t do that. Why not?
Because everyone who mattered was absolutely convinced that Hillary was going to be the next President. Her victory was a guarantee. The Democrats believed it so much, they decided to stick to the extremist pick on the theory that HRC was going to ram through a leftist candidate to replace Scalia and swing the court to the left.
Instead, the Republicans got to install Gorsuch. That was bad enough from their point of view, but still didn’t swing the court to the left.
The real damage came because Ginsberg decided to hold out for the HRC presidency that never materialized. RBG could have retired in 2016 and been replaced by an Obama selectee, but chose not to. Why did she do that?
Ginsberg wanted to be in the history books after retiring during a Hillary Clinton Presidency, so she could become the first female Justice to be replaced by the first female President.
That big mistake became the decision that threw SCOTUS firmly to the right by giving President Trump a recently unheard of three SCOTUS picks. The last President who got to do that was Ronald Reagan.
Everyone who mattered thought that Hillary was going to be the next President. The Democrats believed it so much, they decided to stick to the extremist pick on the theory that HRC was going to ram through a leftist candidate to replace Scalia and swing the court to the left. They didn’t need to pick a moderate SCOTUS candidate. If the Senate didn’t confirm Obama’s pick, HRC would get the pick. RBG didn’t need to retire while Obama was in the Oval office, HRC would pick her replacement.
They bet on an HRC victory. Trump’s victory destroyed all of that, and this set up to make the SCOTUS a conservative court for the next 20 years.
The retirement of Breyer won’t change that.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got eight of his nominees on the Supreme Court in six years while in office. There was also Dwight Eisenhower, William Taft and Ulysses Grant, each of whom got five nominees on the court.
Nixon, Truman, Harding, Harrison, and Cleveland each got four picks.
Reagan, Hoover, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Trump each got three.
Obama, both Bushes, Clinton, Johnson, Kennedy, and Hayes each picked two for the high court.
Ford, Coolidge, McKinley, and Garfield each only picked one justice.
This morning’s article in Slate illustrates just how pissed off the left is over the SCOTUS decision to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandate. Here is why they are pissed:
COVID is undoubtedly a “grave danger” and a “new hazard” to workers, this broad language is not enough, because it does not “plainly authorize” the mandate. Why not?
A grave danger? For people under 60 years old, there is less than a 0.1% fatality rate. It certainly isn’t a “new hazard.” COVID first came about in February 2020, but the vaccine mandate wasn’t enacted until November 2021, nearly two years later.
Congress is the country’s legislative body. Had congress wanted there to be a vaccine mandate, they would have passed one by now. In fact, the majority of the Senate voted AGAINST mandating a vaccine. When the legislature specifically rejects passing a law, it isn’t the prerogative of the executive to simply ignore the will of that legislature and issue edicts. That isn’t how the “democracy” that Biden claims to be defending works.
The Biden administration even admitted that his edict was a “workaround” of the will of congress.
Don’t even get me started on the mental gymnastics that SCOTUS will go through to approve a leftist wishlist. Remember the Obamacare fine that wasn’t a fine? That partisan moron Sotomayor denied that the vaccine mandate was actually a mandate, because workers had the option of weekly testing instead.
How is it that when the left got a Federal judge in a liberal area like California to rule that a Trump executive order couldn’t be enforced, the injunction was effective nationwide, but when a judge rules against a Biden vaccine mandate, that injunction is only effective for the circuit where the judge is located?
I have watched nearly every minute of the Rittenhouse trial. With my understanding of the law, I think that this was a legitimate case of self defense. With that being said, I don’t think that the law today (especially in politically charged cases like this one) is being practiced in anything close to the manner in which it is intended.
If Rittenhouse is convicted of those killings, we can be sure that self defense in particular, and the justice system in general, are no longer operating in this nation. The best thing to do from that point forward is to run if you are ever involved in a use of force incident. The Ritttenhouse defense fund is in the millions of dollars. If that isn’t sufficient to win a case that is this clear cut, there is no hope for those of us who only have concealed carry insurance.
There was a huge battle that was waged in the courtroom for the Rittenhouse trial over the admission of an “enhanced” screen shot from a drone video. The prosecution used a still frame of Rittenhouse that the police spent 20 hours “enhancing” to get a grainy image that they claim shows Rittenhouse pointing his weapon at a party that was not involved in the shootings that took place a short time later.
The disagreement centers around what is meant by enhancement. Those on one side claim that this is no different than zooming in on a picture from your cell phone. The other side (the defense) claims that the software adds information to the picture. They are both correct, but the prosecution is being misleading about it.
The expert that the prosecutors seated to testify on this matter was a clueless moron that doesn’t know anything beyond “I push the button and this is the result I get.”
Let’s start with a discussion of what a pixel is. I’m going to do this in simple terms, so forgive me if I oversimplify. Light is actually made up of different wavelengths, each one symbolizing a color. The colors that we see are made up of a combination of those colors. There are three “primary colors” which, when combined, make up every color that we see. Those three primary colors are: Red, green, and blue. (RGB)
When a digital picture is taken, the light that passes through the lens and strikes a computer chip. That chip is made up of a number of tiny light sensors, each one converting the light into a digital signal. Each of those tiny sensors is known as a “pixel.” (Not, as the judge called them, “pickles”) That signal is represented by a number from 0 to 255 for each color. For example, a red pixel would be symbolized by 255,0,0.
Since there are 256 values for each of the three colors, that gives us 256^3 possible combinations, or 16.7 million possible color combinations. This results in each pixel taking up 24 bits of storage. This is important later.
When shooting a video, all the camera does is capture a series of pictures. The number of pictures that it takes per second is called the frame rate. Like the old flip cartoons, a display shows them back to you and your brain interprets that series of pictures as if it were smooth motion, filling in what it thinks is the missing information.
Here is a great example of video:
Resolution is simply the number of pixels in a given image. The more the number of pixels, the higher the sharpness of the display and the more that it can be “zoomed” or expanded without losing definition or detail. Different cameras and displays have different numbers of pixels, depending on the model of the device and the format that it is using.
For example, an HD display that has a resolution of 720p contains 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels high. This adds up to 921,600 pixels, or what is rounded up to 1 Megapixel. Similarly, 1080p contains 1920 by 1080 pixels, which works out to 2,073,600 pixels, or 2 Megapixels. This means that we have fit more than twice the number of pixels into the same image size, all other things being equal, so the picture would be sharper. This also would allow us to double the size of the display without increasing the size of the pixel, which would cause us to have a loss of sharpness.
You can’t have more information than you started with, so whatever the camera doesn’t capture just isn’t there. So the resolution of the image is limited by the resolution of the camera. That isn’t the only thing that limits your picture. Another is the particular protocol that is being used to encode the picture. A picture that is stored as raw data takes up a large amount of memory space. As discussed before, a 1080p picture in its raw form has 2 million pixels, with each one using up 24 bits of space. This means that each picture takes up 5.4 Megabytes (there are 8 bits to a byte). This is very large, and raw pictures would quickly eat up your memory. The answer to this is compression.
Many of the pixels in an image are identical, or very much alike. Electronic devices take advantage of this by compressing the data. They remove the identical parts with a notation that basically says “this large area here is all one color.” How this is done is particular to each compression method, for example: jpeg, gif, etc.
Video is compressed in much the same way, using something called a codec. When frames are close to each other, the codec essentially will say “this frame is very similar to the previous frame, with the following exceptions” then proceeds to describe the differences. Each codec handles this in a different way. Some are more accurate in describing differences than others, and each codec has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are used because they require less processing power, others may be chosen because they are more memory intensive, and still others are chosen because they tend to look the best. The point is that each codec handles the frames in a different way.
The Display Device
The last and final thing that affects an image is the device being used to display the image. The device, which can be a monitor, a printer, or even a projector, will have its own resolution, its own capabilities for frame rate, and its pixels will be of a certain size. A 4K television has 4096 by 2160 pixels. If that TV is 48 inches wide, then each pixel will be 48 inches divided by 4096, or slightly less than 0.0117 inches in diameter. If you get very close to your television, you can probably see the individual pixels on your screen.
So what happens when we want to zoom in on one particular area of a picture? Remember that the limiting factor to resolution is the lowest resolution in the entire process: the camera, the compression method, and the display device. This is why they don’t film studio quality movies on low price point and shoot cameras.
Unfortunately, people watch too much television. On TV cop shows, some cop says “enhance” and the computer technician pushes a button, then the computer picks out a reflection on an eyeball in a photograph and is able to get a license plate number from a car that was passing by. That just isn’t how this works. Here is a woman from a frame of a video:
We want to see a what that person looks like. So we take a look and see that there is an area of interest, and we want to zoom in on that. Let’s say that the area of interest was one tenth of the height of the original, making that area we are interested in 512 by 288 pixels. So lets make that larger.
Now I am trying to make a picture that is 512 pixels wide by 288 high fit onto my 4k television, which is a display that is 4096 by 2160 pixels. There are only two ways to do that: You can make the pixels themselves larger, to get an image that looks like this:
That doesn’t help. We have a larger picture, but we have lost a lot of detail. The other way is to leave the pixels the same size, but have more of them. That means adding pixels. This process is referred to as upsampling. Many photo software packages will do this automatically, and each one has its own method for deciding what the added pixels will look like.
Some software packages will do averaging. Averaging is where you want to add a pixel between two existing ones. Lets say that one pixel is a bright red (200,0,0) and the adjacent one is a duller red (100,0,0). The added pixel will wind up being in between the two(150,0,0).
So what does this mean to the Rittenhouse case?
Even though I paid attention, no one mentioned the drone or the camera, so I don’t know the resolution of the camera that was on the drone that provided the so called “unicorn” video in the Rittenhouse case. Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that the drone was a DJI Mavic 3, a popular consumer drone that costs in the neighborhood of $2,000. That drone has a camera that shoots in 5k resolution, which is 5120 by 2880 pixels, or 14.7 Megapixels.
When that software expands the selected part of the picture to show what Rittenhouse was doing, there will be pixels that are added. What was added? What remained the same? Normally, the person seeking to admit that photo into evidence has the burden of proving that the enhanced picture is an accurate depiction of what actually happened. They do this by having an expert present who can attest to how and to what extent that photo was changed.
In this case, the cop who did the photo enhancement was using software, but had no idea how that software worked, nor did he have any idea how the enhanced picture differed from the original. All he knew was that he pushed a button, and *poof* the picture was enhanced to show something.
That is why this is an issue. The judge, and apparently every leftist who is a CSI fan doesn’t understand that.
For decades, we have heard that the states should be able to ignore Federal law with regards to Supremacy when it came to marijuana and sanctuary cities. Now the left is ready to acknowledge Federal supremacy again with this lawsuit over vaccine mandates.
I wonder how the courts are going to resolve this minefield with marijuana and sanctuary cities on one side, and vaccine mandates and gun laws on the other side.