For Sale: a Like-New gripped Sony a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body, and Whatever Happened to Freedom of Speech? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

For Sale: a Like-New gripped Sony a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body, and Whatever Happened to Freedom of Speech?

What’s Up?

I had the perfect plan in place for Thursday morning and the forecast was right on the button. My execution of the plan, however, was imperfect: I was late getting down to the lake and futzed around too much before getting into position. With clear skies and an east/northeast breeze forecast for this morning — Friday 8 MAY 2020, I am hoping that the plan will work. And I am heading down to Walk-in-Water before 7:00am.

I’d love to hear your opinion on the Snowy Egret images in the DeSoto Snowy Egret V-log: The Importance of Staying Ahead of the Birds When You Have Wind and Sun Together blog post here.

Sony a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Used Gear page regular Charlie Curry is offering a Sony a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera body in like-new condition (971 shutter releases) and the Sony (VG-C3EM) Vertical Grip a BAA record-low $2598.00. The sale includes the original battery and charger, the USB cable, the instructional manual, the front lens cover, the a9 camera strap, a rear LCD glass protector, the latest firmware update, and insured ground shipping via major courier (to lower-48 US addresses only). Your item will not ship until your check has cleared the bank unless other arrangements are made. Photos are available upon request.

Please contact Charlie via e-mail (preferred) or by phone at 1-407-448-7797 Eastern time zone.

The SONY a9, the original AF king, offers superb autofocus that absolutely kills for flight photography. Virtually every image is sharp on the eye. Many feel that the AF system on the a9 ii is no better. And the vertical grip gives this body a pro-body type feel. As the a9 II sells new for $4498.00 and the VG-C3EM goes for an additional $348.00 for a total of $4,846, you can save an incredible $2248.00 by grabbing Charlie’s a9 right now! (Note: the a9 sells for $3498.00.)artie

Whatever Happened to Freedom of Speech?

The first time that I tried to view the Plandemic video, there was a notice stating that it was removed by YouTube. My understanding is that it was taken down four separate times. Right now, you can see it here on YouTube and elsewhere. Here is the short story: Judy Mikovits is a controversial former chronic fatigue researcher and critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci and mass vaccination who is featured in a viral video vignette promoting a new movie called Plandemic. Whether you believe that Mikovits is a nut-case and that Fauci is a brilliant advisor to multiple presidents, or that Mikovits is a long-persecuted brilliant researcher and Fauci is a vaccine-mongering criminal is beside the point. What matters is that big-tech including YouTube and Facebook, has been censoring free speech. Wikipedia paints Mikovits in a totally negative light. For a more balanced view of this controversy, click here.

You can learn more about the ongoing Facebook censorship in the clips here and here. My point is that we should have free access to information so that we can make up our own minds. And right now, we do not.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been a lifelong democrat and never liked Fox News at all, but pretty much every night Tucker Carlson asks a ton of interesting questions, questions that nobody else is asking.

It will be interesting to see how the mask/no mask debate turns out. In much of California, it is now OK to surf or paddleboard or run on the beaches, but if you sit on a blanket getting sun (and vitamin D) and fresh air, you might be arrested.

50 comments to For Sale: a Like-New gripped Sony a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body, and Whatever Happened to Freedom of Speech?

  • avatar Stanley L Sizeler

    The “drug/vaccine folks” required that they be indemnified from liability, except intentional malfeasance, or they would not make the vaccines because they might be subject to numerous lawsuits for improper vaccine effects upon those who got them. This problem arose from the polio immunizations in the 1960’s. Liability lawsuits against the vaccine makers abounded at that time.
    As to anyone being able to say whatever they wanted on the various social outlets: If the general public was as knowledgeable as you and most ( if not all) of the BAA participants, people could publicly espouse any idea they wanted, as you suggest, but much of the USA population is NOT knowledgeable or as educated as BAA people. Hence, they accept much of the misinformation as fact and act accordingly.

    Much of the rationale for the creation of the FDA, and its subsequent regulations, was to protect the public from ineffective and/or harmful medications. The FDA policy has been largely effective and its purpose generally achieved.

    The same idea “First of all, do no harm” should be applied-if possible- to the misinformation
    promulgated by many regarding vaccines, masks, etc. The underlying problem regarding this standard is that it is next to impossible to regulate ‘free speech’ since if it is regulated, it is by definition is not ‘free’. You obviously feel that ‘caveat emptor’ applies to this kind of speech or comment, even it causes harm to those to take misleading advice. The FDA creation removed that risk from ‘quack’ or harmful drug sales, and since much of the public is unable to separate fact from opinion, I think that the social networks can do the same, even if some political bias creeps in, for the greater good.

    Idealistic theory must be abandoned when its action causes significant harm.

  • I am very much against censorship but YouTube and Facebook are private businesses and not news outlets. The person has every right to publish and say whatever they want on their own platforms but no one can tell you to post something on your site. If I posted reviews of other cameras that you do not use or post my pictures on your website would you not take them down. I am sorry but I also am a lifelong Democrat. And again I have even written letters to the White House during the Clinton admin when Tipper Gore wanted to censor music lyrics. But I just dont see this as a censorship issue.
    And thanks for all you do as a bird photographer and educator. Love the site.

  • avatar Joel Eade

    I think many times the issue is more “why?” people in powerful positions make the statements they make….do they have a hidden motive?

    It would be nice if people in the position to affect policy and legislation were forced to disclose any and all interests they (or their family) hold that may result in financial gain related to what they are working on. This would include things like any type of shares or ownership in a related company or patents.

    Full and completely honest transparency would go a long toward fostering credibility.

    Fat chance of that ever happening!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Agree. You can follow the links to many of Fauci’s vaccine patents in Sunday’s blog post.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Anthony Sakal

    The Framers were so concerned about having the ability to freely express their political, and other beliefs, that they waited but a short year and doubled down on the Constitution that they had just ratified. They did not trust it. They drafted many additional Amendments and ratified ten of them. They feared the very times we are dealing with today. Americans have been safeguarded very well by such original documents but all of this is to no avail if they don’t enforce them. You could better understand some of the attitudes in a Country whose governing documents were not so thoughtfully designed. Americans seem to love to express themselves. Social media makes that quite clear. However, you have to wonder why so many of them are agreeable to shutting the other feller up and don’t consider that the same may happen to them someday via the same disregard for our Founding Principles and our well constructed Founding Documents.

  • avatar Adam

    At one level seeing the debate in this comment section is refreshing, however some of the responses are truly frightening. Maybe Artie and I are old school Democrats, but free speech, even if it is “hateful” or “misinformed” is sacrosanct. Yes, there are limitations as outlined by the SCOTUS and elsewhere, but the ability to present ideas in a civil fashion, even those ideas you may disagree with are essential to maintaining a robust and vital democracy. If you don’t like something, then don’t watch it, listen to it, or alternatively refute it but creating restrictions on speech and expression is Orwellian. Patrick is correct in his assertions that as private companies, FB, Twitter, Youtube, etc. are not subject to Constitutional laws governing free speech (just as Artie reserves that right) and these companies can censor what they want.

    Breaking in here, Patrick is not at all 100% correct. Please see Sunday’s blog post. with love, artie

    People or entities have the right to set up alternative platforms of expression and if the government should involve themselves in these issues, it should be to ensure that the Googles, FB, and other “masters of the universe” don’t have exclusive rights to expression.

    • avatar Anthony Ardito

      Yes! Big tech can do whatever they want. I don’t care if YT censors a video, as long as all speech is readily available to all in the main stream.

      In response to your last sentence….the problem is, government influences big tech, and as such, big tech censorship’s content in the main stream.

      There are alternative platforms, but no one knows how to reach them. Big tech controls the main stream.

    • avatar Steve

      >> FB, Twitter, Youtube, etc. are not subject to Constitutional laws governing free speech (just as Artie reserves that right) and these companies can censor what they want. <<

      That is true, and it brings up a problem. These companies claim they are merely platforms for speech and therefore not liable for what is said on them, just as a telephone company is not liable for a crime being planned by people talking on its lines. So far, so good — as long as they act like neutral platforms, I agree with them. But when they start censoring content and promoting particular viewpoints (as they now do), they are no longer neutral platforms, but have now assumed the role of publisher.

      If they want to be platforms, and therefore enjoy protection from liability, they should stop censoring content. If they want to be publishers, that's fine, as they are privately owned and can set any rules they like — but as publishers, they should not be shielded from liability for what they do. They shouldn't be able to have it both ways.

  • avatar Ryan Sanderson

    My understanding is that this video is being pulled due to copyright violation and not perceived deep state fear of uncovering a vast conspiracy theory.

  • avatar Anthony Sakal

    Let me put it this way. About 90% of all media today is filtered based on a political bias which is why Mark Twain wrote over a century ago… ‘If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.’

  • avatar Charles Thompson

    What responsible corporation would allow mad scientist pushing a discredited treatment to promote his bizarre and untested theories?

    Doesn’t Social Media have a Moral DUTY to Ban him?

    And if a Ban is too much, at least have a panel of Experts and Algorithms to post a WARNING Label to stop viewers from clicking?

    If people are terrified into unconstitutional compliance now – imagine a world of technology who today could smother the research and vaccine of Jonas Salk?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Who are you referring to when you say “him?”

      with love, artie

    • avatar Charles Thompson

      My omission: ‘him’ should have been “him or her.”

      I wonder if people realize the opposition and criticism Dr Salk faced – and overcame – to develop the lifesaving Salk Vaccine ?

      Could Dr. Salk do it today? Search his early efforts to research answers to AIDs …

      Corporations “Constitutional First Amendment Right to Free Speech” is controversial but their power to conceal truth and smother free speech is a threat to everyone.

      You are totally on point

    • avatar Anthony Ardito

      Yeah, let’s have algorithms decide which speech is free…that’s real nice 😉 Yeah, let’s put warning labels on everything…worked well for Tipper Gore! Album sales went through the roof!

      Charles, I think you are being sarcastic in your OP?

    • avatar Steve

      >> And if a Ban is too much, at least have a panel of Experts and Algorithms to post a WARNING Label to stop viewers from clicking? <<

      NO!!! PLEASE!!! Enough with the "experts." People can be experts in a particular field (say, epidemiology) and still not have a clue about public policy. And look how often (and how completely!) wrong many of these "experts" have been regarding the current virus pandemic just in the past few months.

      Expertise can inform public policy but should not be able to suppress speech or opinion.

  • avatar Terry

    Mr. Morris, thank you so much for the link to Dr. Judy Mikovits!!!!

  • avatar Barry

    Very interesting stuff and a thorny problem.
    Free speech is one thing, but does that free speech include the freedom to misinform, distort facts or promulgate dangerous pseudoscientific theories all of which crumble under proper scrutiny?
    The right to free speech is sacred but there is no right to have every crackpot theory being given equal weight to well founded fact and outright lies being given equal air time to well researched journalism.
    Yes, we can say what we like, but we have to be able to prove the truth of what we say.

    • avatar Patrick Sparkman

      Extremely well said Barry! Thank you!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART



      “but does that free speech include the freedom to misinform, distort facts or promulgate dangerous pseudoscientific theories?”

      The answer to that is obviously yes, that it why it is called free speech. But it not longer applies on Facebook and YouTube.

      with love, artie

    • avatar Anthony Ardito

      The answer to your question is YES. Your idea of free speech is only free if you agree with it.

      • avatar Anthony Sakal

        You go to the top of the class! Free speech, as the First Amendment, was essentially all about political speech. The very purpose intended was to allow free and open platforms where people could disagree without government censorship. If we all agreed why would we even need a First Amendment? Now that Amendment was intended to prevent the government from acting adversely, to limit expression, so the social media Goliaths will tell you that they are private and you are subject to their rules. However, consider that they engage in political contentious expression all the time but complain that the Russians, using their private platforms, turned an election on its head. How did that happen? Or did it happen? The bottom line is that they are very, very big and before they get to regulate us any further, they may get a quick and needed dose of FCC oversight since they act more like media outlets which are already heavily regulated. It is always better to have more speech and opinions available than to have less because the best way to control a population is to indoctrinate them. And the best way to do that is to control the media and the educational system so that a population voluntarily gives you what you want without firing one bullet. Eastern Europe was conquered by force. In Latin America they suffer under similar governments. How did that happen? They voted for what they now can’t vote away.

    • avatar Steve

      …there is no right to have every crackpot theory being given equal weight to well founded fact and outright lies being given equal air time to well researched journalism.

      Sorry, you are absolutely wrong about this. People have a right to expound their "crackpot theories" and you have the right to refute them.

      • avatar Barry

        You misunderstand me. Yes, everyone should be able to say whatever they like – but not without any corroboration. Lies, distortions and deliberate misinformation are just plain wrong. So say what you like, but back it up with evidence, research and fact. Otherwise we will return to the world of Josef Goebbels – and all that followed.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Hi Barry, It would be nice if you were correct, but who is to be the judge of right and wrong? Lies, distortions, and misinformation are the realities. Ever hear of propaganda? It is up to the readers to take care of themselves …

          with love, artie

  • avatar Richard Currie

    Artie, I suggest you stick to bird photography, at which you are an expert, and stay away from constitutional law and junk science.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Richard, All that I did was ask a question. Furthermore, I am proud of the civil discussion that has taken place here and will likely continue in Sunday’s blog post.

      with love, artie

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Mark,

      It’s funny how they keep removing the Plandemic video but allow the rebuttals to stand and even promote them. You might ask yourself what is it that they do not want us to know?

      with love, artie

  • avatar Patrick Sparkman

    Facebook and YouTube are private companies and have their own first amendment rights. The First Amendment applies to the government restriction of speech. Facebook and YouTube have the same rights as you do to censor content that they feel is not appropriate. How many times have you blocked a user here on your blog for content that you deemed not appropriate. Facebook and YouTube have the same rights as you.

    • avatar Andrew

      Right, yet that doesn’t stop those companies from pushing Russia conspiracy theory for months and I don’t know, maybe influencing elections ?
      Youtube demonetize policy on certain “unacceptable” videos is also questionable.
      They don’t see a problem posting pro Syria war point of views but anything opposed to that view get demonetized.

      They should be treated like public utilities and have similar kind of laws applicable to them.
      They’re way past private companies. In case of Facebook this is public opinion influencer and honestly that ass M Zuckerberg shouldn’t be allowed to decide what’s good for us and what is not.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Thanks, Andrew. Patrick is a dear friend, but in this case, I need to agree with you. I have always (even here) let comments that criticize me or my work stand as long as folks are civil. In the same vein, again, as here, I am fine letting differing opinions stand.

        with love, artie

      • avatar Steve

        >> They should be treated like public utilities and have similar kind of laws applicable to them. <<

        Correct — if they are public utilities, they cannot interfere with free speech, and therefore should not be allowed to censor or editorialize. If they want to be able to push their viewpoints, they should not have protections from liability for what they do.

  • Wow!! Thanks for all this info!!

  • avatar Paul Sher

    What your suggestion about free speech would allow someone to yell fire in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire. Free speech stops when public health is involved and people die from dangerous advice. This is an extension of the anti-vaccination cronies.

    • avatar Anthony Ardito

      Sorry Paul, but the constitution just doesn’t stop because of “public health” concerns. You are just plain wrong. Artie made it clear anti-vacc, etc, is “is beside the point”.

    • avatar Bill Webb

      Well, said, Paul. I agree.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Paul,

      Did you know that Fauci helped push a bill into law that indemnifies the drug/vaccine folks from being sued when their vaccines kill folks?

      with love, artie

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