Sunspot Solar Observatory: W.T.F? Kiddie porn?

Sunspot Solar Observatory: W.T.F? Kiddie porn?

All is explained. It was a kiddie porn investigation. Wait.

What?

Child pornography reason behind Sunspot Observatory closure, according to court documents
“A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

That struck me as odd, so I wanted to see the warrant. It isn’t in that story. I did a lot of searches, and finally found the first page of it in the UK’s Daily Mail. Sort of.

To my old eyes, that is nearly completely illegible. Maybe yours are better. I think it was applied for and granted on September 10, 2018. And that would be a problem.

Let’s look at the time line.

  • July: A federal search warrant revealed that in July, agents began searching a child protection database and found child pornography linked to an IP address at the Sunspot observatory, KRQE reports.
  • Unspecified date: Chief observer finds laptop.
  • Unspecified date: Janitor realizes his laptop is missing.
  • Unspecified date: Janitor started making comments about “lax security at the facility,” said it was “only a matter of time before the facility got hit, and he “believed there was a serial killer in the area” and that killer might enter the facility and execute someone.
  • Unspecified date: Director decides to shutdown and evacuate observatory.
  • September 6, 2018: SSO is shutdown without public explanation. Sheriff observes, “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything.”
  • September 6, 2018: The Sunspot post office is closed.
  • September 10, 2018(?): Warrant is obtained.
  • September 14, 2018: FBI agents removed three cell phones, five laptops, one iPad, an external hard drive, and other electronic devices, from the suspect’s home, FBI records showed.
  • September 17, 2018: SSO reopened.

First, let’s rule out exigent circumstances which would have a judge issuing an emergency telephonic warrant: they claim the investigation had already led to the SSO in July, maybe two months prior to the shutdown. So the first (and only, so far) warrant we’ve seen was apparently issued four days after the sheriff reportedly saw people searching the facility- tower and antennas.

Towers and antennas? For a forensic computer search? Without a warrant?

With a Blackhawk? Those are fairly distinctive; if the sheriff thinks he saw one, I’m inclined to believe him. And other people who saw it.

And why the post office? And a dozen homes?

Again: All before they apparently got a warrant. For anything.

And weirdly — as best as I can tell from that illegible warrant image — no specific location is authorized to be searched. I’ll generously assume that’s in the affidavit, but it’s supposed to be in the warrant proper. I hope a clear copy will… clarify this.

Exactly what kind of forensic computer kiddie porn investigation requires a Blackhawk helicopter, no-warrant searches of antennas, the evacuation of an observatory, post office, and multiple homes; and the deliberate exclusion of local law enforcement?

This reeks of “Shit, people noticed. Somebody go get a warrant to explain all this. Um… call it child porn; people always go all mushy when we ‘do it for the children.’ “

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We have always been at war with Eastasia

The cops are retroactively editing reality in the shooting of Botham Jean by Amber Guyger. Again.

Dallas police tell me the just off shift officer who shot and killed a man in his own apartment, was on the WRONG FLOOR. HER apartment was on another floor. Her key didn’t work in the door. Shooting happened shortly after resident opened his own door.
— Steve Eagar (@steveeagar) September 7, 2018

And here

But that didn’t last long.

She took the elevator drove to the wrong floor where her key wouldn’t open the closed door. She set her things down outside, to fiddle with the lock. Jean opened the door, The door was ajar, so she pushed it open when she tried to insert her key.. She saw someone and shot him from the doorway. She actually set her things down where they were found inside.

Right.

Of course, cynics want to know why the door was ajar when it had an automatic closer, or — even if the closer hadn’t shut it all the way — how she was able to casually force the door open against the closer merely by trying to insert her key.

Cynics also want to know why witnesses (yes, plural) heard her knocking on the supposedly open door, with one witness even hearing a demand to “let me in!”. And you have to wonder why the arrest affidavit doesn’t mention witnesses.

Or how empty cases from shots fired from the doorway ended up inside the apartment instead of outside in the hallway.

And then there’s the disappearing motive. For more than a week, we’ve heard about the noises complaints made by the neighbor directly below Jean (Guyger, that is). I’ve speculated — and I’ve seen others do so as well — that a tired and grumpy Guyger decided to fix the noise problem herself.

Aannd…

Suddenly the noise complaints disappear, too.

After Botham Jean was shot and killed in his Dallas home by an off-duty police officer, attorneys and law enforcement officials said there was a noise complaint targeting his apartment earlier that day.

But it turns out it wasn’t loud music that brought leasing office employees to Jean’s apartment hours before he was shot at the South Side Flats, an attorney for Jean’s family said Wednesday.

Right. So what was it?

Rather, it was the smell of marijuana, and they ultimately determined it wasn’t coming from Jean’s home
[…]
The day of the shooting, employees from the South Side Flats leasing office knocked on Jean’s door saying there had been a noise complaint, Merritt said.

Jean told his girlfriend what happened and that he was offended by the women’s visit because he’d just gotten home from work at PricewaterhouseCoopers and wasn’t playing music
[…]
Asked about noise complaints, a spokeswoman for the South Side Flats corporate ownership said she couldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation.

We never complained about Eurasia noise. We have always complained about Eastasia pot. Which conveniently backs up the 10.4 grams of pot allegedly found in the super-straitlaced, murdered choirboy’s apartment. And eliminates a reason for a grumpy, noise-induced murder.

I wish I could see Botham Jean’s floor plan, to see how he could be “at the door” and fall dead beside the sofa where he was “eating cereal, texting a friend and using his laptop.”

But maybe they’ve already edit that, too.

ETA: Forgot another revision. Early on, some reports said that the police were investigating Guyger location and activities between the time she left work and the time she went “home”. The Ranger affidavit deleted a missing 3 hour gap, by claiming she worked a fifteen hour (including overtime) shift instead of a 12 hour shift (including overtime).

That one might bite them on the ass when the toxicology screen comes back. If she had alcohol or drugs in her system, they’ll have to say she was under the influence on duty, or reintroduce the 3 hour gap.

[UPDATE] Cody Wilson got set up. MAYBE.

See update below.


BREAKING: Austin man at center of 3D-printed gun debate faces sex assault charge
The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said.

The pair messaged online, then began exchanging text messages.

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.

I decided to check. To sign up you must give your age. If you give an age lower than 18, it immediately returns an error: “Age” must be between 18 and 99.

Even assuming the allegations are true, he had every reason to believe he was meeting someone of legal age.

UPDATE: I had been toying with the idea that this was a catfishing variant targeting Wilson, but I’ve got to admit that this doesn’t look good.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Austin Police Department told the public Wilson still wasn’t in custody. The Defense Distributed founder’s last known whereabouts are Taipei, Taiwan, and he skipped his flight back to the states. Authorities believe he received a tip about the new allegations.

The warrant affidavit is a bad sign. Vehicle description matches one registered to Defense Distributed, valet record of the vehicle (that generally includes the tag number), a lot of video (making an impersonator less likely), hotel registration.

“My detectives have interviewed and spoke with this victim, and in their opinion if someone mistakes their age, it’d be because she’s younger not older.”

That’s pretty subjective, and without a picture, I can’t say how old I’d take her for; but again, not good.

Add that in with Wilson leaving the country… It’s looking a lot less like a setup. I sure would like to hear Wilson’s side of all this.

Fur ban?

LA strikes again.

Los Angeles takes step toward banning sale of fur products
Los Angeles, one of the world’s major fashion centers and long a symbol of glitz and glamour, is taking steps to ban the sale of new fur products, a move that would make it the largest city in the U.S. to do so.
[…]
The ban would cover apparel made in whole or in part of fur, including clothing, handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, jewelry and keychains. Only used fur products could be sold.

Your first thought might be that the glitterati won’t be pleased. but consider a couple of points.

How are they defining fur?

Wool. Angora sweaters.

Kittens and puppies.

Oh, hell: un-shaved hookers. But I guess that’s already illegal anywaay.

And then… Unless someone out there is growing fur in vitro, all fur is used.

[UPDATE] I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that Katz is a fucking idiot.

Or a leftist operative.

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Lawyer: It’s Not Her Job To Corroborate Her Story
Camerota asked if Ford has tried to talk to any of the other partygoers to see if they will corroborate her story, but Katz declined to place the burden of proof on her client.

“That’s not her job to do that. If this is going to be investigated, it should be done by investigators,” Katz asserted.

As a matter of legal fact, it is her job to present sufficient evidence of the crime she has accused Kavanaugh of committing to even start an investigation.

Shall I claim that Debra Katz molested my puppy decades ago? And not present any evidence? Not even any thing to indicate that I had a puppy?

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Christine Blasey Ford started with an anonymous accusation. Kavanaugh couldn’t even face his accuser.

Christine Blasey Ford has presented no evidence that her claim is anything more than the ravings of a schizophrenic.

And now Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer says she shouldn’t present evidence.

Not in a country with due process.

Show me some credible evidence and I’ll back her appropriately. Refuse to present evidence, and I’ll continue to see this as a smear job that damages real sexual assault victims, as well as Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford is a Stanford psychology professor who is a socialist-supporting, “brain” pussy hat-wearing, registered Democrat, in California. Pardon me if I’m a little dubious of a — currently — completely unsubstantiated claim of a serious felony which allegedly occurred decades ago, but which she never, ever even mentioned to a best friend for 29 years.

But we should simply believe her — lack of evidence, dissenting “witness,” and all — accusation against a Trump-nominated, originalist judge who terrifies the Left?

Not without evidence.

Update” Which clearly won’t be coming (emphasis added-cb):

Then there’s the fact that Ford says she never mentioned this to anyone — not even her husband — until 2012, when she told a marriage counselor. And the counselor’s notes say Ford told her four boys were involved, not two. There’s also no mention of Kavanaugh’s name in those notes. Ford says the therapist’s contemporaneous notes were wrong. That’s not particularly helpful to Ford’s credibility.

Ford herself admitted to the Washington Post that she “does <b<not remember some key details of the incident,” including where it took place, or even the year it supposedly occurred.

In addition, Ford’s letter claims she sought “medical attention” after the alleged attack. So far, there’s been no evidence to back this up.

She doesn’t remember when or who, and her story has changed anyway.

Right.

Fire Guyger

A lot of folks are calling for Dallas officer Amber Guyger to be fired because she killed an innocent man.

I think she should be fired, too. But my reasoning differs somewhat. Even if she hadn’t murdered anyone, she needs to go. She’s incompetent.

By Guyger’s own admission — just taking her story at face value — she’s too incompetent and too unobservant to find her own home.

Are you going to send her out on a search warrant? What county is she going to end up in? Is she going to shoot an innocent resident of the wrong house? Again.

Are you going to put her on the stand to testify against an alleged perp? What happens when she picks out the wrong person as the perp? A real Perry Mason moment there. Every defense attorney will attack her credibility with ease.

Are you going to let her join the hot pursuit of a beige pickup? What happens when she does a PIT maneuver on a red Ranger? The city will be going through a lot of cars and cash for lawsuit settlements.

Traffic stops? Imagine her arresting people when registration checks come back showing active warrants because she misread tag numbers. I expect false arrests get expensive, too.

I’ll bet that Guyger’s new neighbors are nervous.

[UPDATE] Grass Roots North Carolina: For the record

Update: On Wednesday morning, 9/19/2018, I received a response from GRNC’s Paul Valone. A response from myself is warranted, but considering the hardship and stress of hurricane and flood recovery, to which Valone must be subjected, I will delay that for a couple of days.


Original post:

Consider this Part 2 of the “credit poacher tale: TL;DR (but do): Grass Roots North Carolina issued a press release criticizing… well, read the first paragraph.

As GRNC volunteers continue to diligently monitor the state for “State of Emergency (SOE) Gun Bans,” it seems that other organizations are taking credit for our successes. No one, not credit poachers like the Firearms Policy Foundation, nor any other organization that “sends a letter” can claim credit for the work GRNC has been doing for years—work that made SOE Gun Bans unlawful and forced government entities to repeal these bans. (bold emphasis added; you’ll why-cb)

I’ve been asked, “Where did they point at you?”. GRNC President F. Paul Valone said, “Since you seem to think it’s fun to print my response and still claim (absent any evidence) that we were referring to your blog…”

Note the use of plurals. FPC and other organizations. That is, FPC and more than one other.

I’m not FPC, but I was another activist, with another organization, who contacted the Town of Leland, NC; who sent a letter. If I am not one of those “other organizations,” perhaps Valone should identify the ones to whom he objects, for clarity’s sake.

(Oh, and my assumption of being one of those wasn’t based on believing you were referring to my blog, Mr. Valone. I rather thought it might have more to do with The Zelman Partisans report.)

With that out of the way, let’s move on to current business.


F. Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina, wants me to publish a statement from him, and the letter which GRNC emailed to the Town of Leland, North Carolina. He intends to distribute my email to him to “our 127,000 email alert subscribers.”

That should boost my blog traffic.

I told him that I’d be happy to publish his letter and statement, but that I’d hold off on that a bit, for him to digest that same response; that was at 9/15/2018, 3:29 PM EDT.

I gave him a full day, including a night to sleep on it.

Why Grass Roots North Carolina should object to RKBA activists assisting in getting towns to comply with the law and Constitution beats the heck out of me. If my little town tried the same thing as Leland, I’d be jumping with joy when people across the country stepped up to tell them it was unacceptable.

As best I can tell, Valone’s position is we had this covered; stay out of our business.

Freedom and rights are everyone’s business. Or so I thought.

Valone’s emailed statement, September 15, 2018, 2:28 PM EDT:

Since you seem to be unaware of the time frame in which our letter to the Town of Leland was sent to and received by town officials, perhaps you could recheck the top of the letter, which I forwarded to you the first time, where it says “SENT VIA EMAIL” and that the date on the letter was September 11, 2018. In fact, you might consider publishing the letter in its entirety.

As for Leland’s response, I confess that I am also perplexed by those who claim the change in language made by Leland isn’t enough and that their ordinance somehow still prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition. Here is what our lawyer has to say about that:

“Gun sales during an SOE? That is not illegal. NCGS § 166A-19.22 authorizes local officials to declare an SOE, and exercise the powers listed in 166A-19.31. Those include,

“’prohibitions and restrictions . . . Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use of gasoline, and dangerous weapons and substances, except that this subdivision does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.’

“The ‘prohibitions and restrictions’ in the second sentence refer to the same ‘prohibitions and restrictions’ in the first sentence. That is, ALL lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition are EXEMPT from any SOE ban on possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use.”

Here is a link to GRNC’s letter to Leland. Please read it, and note that it mentions 1) the original SOE with language not compliant with current law, 2) the revised SOE with the statute reference changed to Chapter 166 (not 166A, nor the more precise 166A-19.31)

But did GRNC have this covered when FPC and I entered the fray?

Timing

I began my own contact with Leland when I saw the original version of the SOE on September 11, 2018, at 1:26 PM EDT, and tweeted:

You’re a little vague on the Constitution and NC General Statutes Chapter 166A, eh?

At 3:24 PM EDT, I noted that the statute reference had been changed to Chapter 166, but that the language had not been corrected. I tweeted again:

True, but they still have “This restriction does not apply to…” without noting that it also doesn’t apply to lawfully possessed firearms. Misleading to those who don’t know the statute. Will the police be aware?

By 6:57 PM EDT, the SOE still referenced Chapter 166 and still had the offending language. I emailed Town Manager David Hollis.

Mr. Hollis,

I see you have revised your “State of Emergency” notice to reflect NCGS 166

But I note that your text has disclaimers for whom this does not apply (“This restriction does not apply to…”) without noting that it also doesn’t apply to lawfully possessed firearms. Misleading to those who don’t know the statute. Will the police be aware?

====

§ 166A-19.31.Power of municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to
deal with states of emergency.

(b) Type of Prohibitions and Restrictions Authorized. – The ordinances
authorized by this section may permit prohibitions and restrictions:

(4) Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and
use of gasoline, and dangerous weapons and substances, except that this
subdivision does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully
possessed firearms or ammunition. As used in this subdivision, the term
“dangerous weapons and substances” has the same meaning as it does under
G.S. 14-288.1. As used in this subdivision, the term “firearm” has the
same meaning as it does under G.S. 14-409.39(2).

https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_166A.html

===

Perhaps an explicit statement in the Emergency notice, and a word to law enforcement, is in order.

At 7:21 PM EDT, Mr. Hollis wrote and claimed, “We have revised the statement earlier today to clearly state that it does not apply to lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition.”

I checked, and found that the flawed SOE was still up, despite that claim. I emailed Hollis again at 7:29 PM EDT. At 8:01 PM EDT, he replied, “Thanks for letting me know the website is in error. I will have it corrected asap.”

Let that sink in.

The Town of Leland had two State of Emergency Notices on their official web site. One which unlawfully said firearms were banned except on one’s own property, and one which complied with the state law. Which might the police use, and which might the town use to deflect lawsuits?

I published a column about this on The Zelman Partisans at 8:13 PM EDT. At that time the flawed SOE was still up, but my column noted that the town was beginning to correct it. Sometime later, the flawed SOE was deleted.

So you know what times I was seeing the fatally flawed SOE, and attempting to get the town to correct it.

I do not not know what time FPC sent their letter, but I had read their press release and tweeted about it at 1:27 PM EDT at FPC and Leland.

Get em! Between the Constitution and NC General Statutes Chapter 166A, they’re screwed in court.

I considered my minor contribution to be in support of FPC’s. I would have considered it in support of GRNC as well, if I’d known they were doing anything. I saw stories and blog posts about Leland’s action. I saw FPC’s response. I didn’t see anything from GRNC, but what with a hurricane bearing down, that doesn’t seem surprising; all the more reason to help. The first indicator I saw that GRNC had been actively involved in this, rather than wisely engaging in hurricane preparation, was their after the fact GRNC-PVF Alert.

GRNC’s Valone insists they got the town to comply on “September 11, 2018” and that FPC’s action — and by extension my own (that ‘nor any other organization that “sends a letter”‘ part) — was unnecessary. Unless Mr. Valone will tell me what time their attorney sent their letter, and what time the town claimed to have complied, we may never know. I’ve asked.

But the language of their letter implies that it was sent only after the statute reference change to Ch. 166, which came after I had already reached out to the town (else it couldn’t have mentioned that change). In short, it appears that FPC and I contacted the town before GRNC. It must have been a shock to Leland leadership to get called out on their unlawful SOE by FPC, then myself, and then GRNC, too. Yes, the whole world is watching, Leland. Maybe this time, they’ll

“Fundraising”

Why Valone believes anyone but GRNC reaching out to the town is a bad thing beats me. This might be a clue, if I give in to cynicism:

(from the same 9/15/2018, 2:28 PM EDT email)
“Clearly, you are free to depict yourself among credit poachers who seek to raise money on the efforts of the organizations which actually effect change (despite being now twice informed it didn’t refer to you), and you are equally free to not relay to your readers the important gun rights alerts sent by GRNC (although that might suggest you consider your apparently easily bruised ego more important than the gun rights movement itself).” (emphasis added-cb)

“seek to raise money”. I invite you to read the Firearms Policy Coalition press release again. There is no solicitation for donations there. No fundraising in that release. No mention of money at all.

Admittedly, my TZP column does include this:

Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could really use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. And the rabbits need feed. Truck insurance, lest I be forced to sell it.

That’s a standard blurb — the language has varied somewhat — which I’ve been putting on my TZP columns since November 2017. You might note that the message mirrors the “Tip Jar” pitch here on this blog. I receive no wage, salary, or reimbursement for my RKBA work unless someone does happen to find it useful and has something spare. I will not apologize (except to TZP’s leadership, if they object to it) for that personal “fundraising” which has been so lucrative that I do need to sell the truck. (Anyone looking for a ’96 Ranger with just @80K miles? Runs, but nNeeds some work. Looks decent, especially for its age.)

But do you know who is fundraising on this

For those who are out of harm’s way, and are confident things will stay that way, please consider a donation to GRNC-PVF, our political victory fund, to combat the anti-gun crowd attempting to take over in November. To contribute Click here or go to https://www.grnc.org/grnc-pvf/donate-to-grnc-pvf .

And that’s fine. The anti-rights crowd is putting a lot of money into the elections. We need to counter them.

As for “you are equally free to not relay to your readers the important gun rights alerts sent by GRNC (although that might suggest you consider your apparently easily bruised ego more important than the gun rights movement.”

Incorrect. My decision to end that assistance is not based on my ego; it based on Valone’s rather clear objection to others helping them. I am complying with his wish that others stay out of GRNC’s business. Or is it his position that I should stay out of his business except to give him free publicity?

My “easily bruised ego”? Not so much, Mr. Valone. GRNC appears to be concerned about “credit poachers,” not I. I’m just shocked that they object to support from other RKBA activists. I thought we needed to work together.


Comments are open. If someone can offer a rational explanation of why RKBA activists across the country should not have tried to help NC, and why I should not be shocked that GRNC objected to help, I’ll listen. I’ll not debate, unless someone has new facts.