Author Archive for Jeff Quinton

Report: Imminent Attack Warning? ISIS operating across US-Mexico border?

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Judicial Watch via Andrew McCarthy:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

McCarthy’s take:

For those of us who’ve been raising alarms about both the jihadist threat and the national-security vulnerability created by the Obama administration’s non-enforcement of the immigration laws, this is not a surprise — particularly less than two weeks before September 11. But it is nonetheless jarring to read.

Bryan Preston fills in some more background:

There have been rumors and suggestions in the past that Islamic terrorist group Hizballah is operating in the border region over the past several years. Hizballah is confirmed to have operations in South America, in the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

A former deputy sheriff in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department told me in 2012 that captured Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan, where he served in the United States Army, had confessed that they were training operatives from drug cartels in Mexico.

Juveniles charged with burning down Tom Clancy’s home

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WBAL:

Two male juveniles in southern Maryland have been charged with arson for setting the fire that burned down the unoccupied estate of Tom Clancy in Calvert County.

The two boy, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with Arson 2nd Degree for their involvement with igniting the blaze that destroyed a two story unoccupied wood frame dwelling of the famed writer’s estate.

The fire marshal says the fire last [F]riday was brought under control withing 15 minutes but caused $149,000 in damages.

I’m not sure whether Clancy was still living in the Calvert County home much before his death last year or if he was living in his luxury penthouse in Baltimore primarily. I do remember there were reports when he was still married to his first wife that she purchased him a restored Sherman tank that was on the grounds of the mansion. There were even news reports discussing the house itself, which was the inspiration for the waterfront home that Clancy protagonist Jack Ryan owned in some of Clancy’s novels.

Pro-life leader Cookie Harris, wife of Rep. Andy Harris, passes away

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WBFF reports:

FOX45 has confirmed that Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, wife of MD Congressman Andy Harris, has died. Republican Andy Harris represents the 1st district of Maryland. This is a developing story; Stay with FOX45 for details.

WBAL-TV reported later that she died of a heart attack earlier today.

Cookie Harris was a native of Puerto Rico and attended Notre Dame of Maryland University. Andy and Cookie Harris had been married for over 30 years and have five children and two grandchildren. She has been active in Maryland Right to Life as their director of special events. I first met Mrs. Harris at a Students for Life event that the congressman was the speaker for in the DC area a few years ago. I know I had seen from her emails and online activity that she was again coordinating the volunteers for the MD RTL table at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium this week.

WBAL.com has several statements including some of the ones listed below. They also have the release from the Congressman’s office:

“Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, beloved wife of over 30 years to Congressman Andy Harris, devoted mother of five and grandmother to two, and devout Catholic, unexpectedly passed away on Thursday, August 28. The family is thankful for the thoughts and prayers that so many have offered already and appreciates privacy during this time.”

Archbishop William Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore made the following statement (via Catholic Review):

“Mrs. Harris was a tireless supporter of life and fully dedicated herself to the belief that all human life is sacred. Though her death is a tremendous loss, especially to those in the pro-life community, her legacy will continue to live on in the countless lives she not only touched, but possibly saved, through her efforts to build a culture of life in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.”

Jeffrey Meister, legislative director for MD RTL, posted the following on Facebook:

Cookie was a vivacious woman and friend dedicated to the pro-life movement. I often worked with her on numerous projects and events. She will certainly be missed.

Here’s what MD RTL posted on Facebook:

It is with heavy hearts we must say our dear friend and coworker Cookie Harris has passed away today. She served as the Director of Special Events, working intimately to put together a successful annual banquet, biannual convention, and the Maryland State Fair, which continues through Labor Day. She will be missed.

Diana Waterman of the Maryland GOP made the following statement:

“It is with deep sadness and regret that The Maryland Republican Party has been informed of the passing of Mrs. Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, wife of Congressman Andy Harris (Md-01). Mrs. Harris, a mother of five and grandmother of 2, was a devout catholic and strong advocate of the Maryland Right to Life organization. We are shocked and saddened by the news, Cookie was a truly wonderful person and the MDGOP’s thoughts, prayers and support go out to her family.”

Statement from Maryland Senate Republican Caucus:

“‘Cookie’ had a visible presence in Annapolis advocating on the issues she was so passionate about. All of the Senators had a wonderful relationship with her because of her political views and her never-tiring activism. Our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Harris and the family.”

A statement from GOP candidate for Governor Larry Hogan:

“Words cannot adequately express how heartbroken Yumi and I are to learn of Cookie Harris’s sudden and tragic death. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with Andy and his children Joe, Becky, Irene, Jessica and Danny.”

Governor Martin O’Malley’s statement:

“We extend our deepest condolences to Congressman Andy Harris on the tragic loss of his wife, Sylvia ‘Cookie’ Harris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harris family.”

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown:

“I want to offer my deep and heartfelt condolences to Congressman Harris and his entire family on the tragic passing of Sylvia ‘Cookie’ Harris. The thoughts and prayers of my family, and of all Marylanders, are with the Harris family at this difficult time,” Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said in a statement issued by his office.

A Baltimore Sun story has the below reactions:

“She was vivacious, and so outgoing and giving — she would help anyone with anything,” said Ellen R. Sauerbrey, a former state lawmaker and two-time Republican nominee for governor. “Being the wife of a person running for office is not easy, but Cookie was always very supportive.”

[...]

State Sen. Joseph M. Getty, a Carroll County Republican, called her “a true partner of Andy in his political endeavors.”

“But she was also frequently seen in Annapolis as an advocate for the issues she was passionate about.”

[...]

“She was a very fine woman,” said former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley. She said she would remember Mrs. Harris on the campaign trail with kids in tow and a broad smile.

“She was extremely supportive of all of Andy’s efforts to take on the responsibilities that he did in Congress. She was a great mother, and I know they were a happy couple.”

Delegate Kelly Schulz’s comments:

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Sylvia “Cookie” Harris, the wife of Congressman Andy Harris. She was a great champion of justice for unborn children, a dear friend to many, and a great Marylander. We offer our prayers to the Harris family in this difficult time.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger:

“It is with great sadness that I offer my sincere condolences to the Harris family on the sudden loss of their devoted mother and wife. Cookie was an active leader in the Cockeysville community and her involvement will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Harris, his children and his family.”

I’m really just floored a bit by this news, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Harris family. I will be praying for the repose of the soul of Cookie Harris and I will also be praying for the whole Harris family now during their time of grief. I  would encourage everyone else to pray for them as well.

Satellite phone call attempt data has officials optimistic about #MH370 search

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The New York Times reports on the continuing searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight:

Mr. Truss said teams continued to refine the search area almost six months after the plane vanished, noting that data from a failed attempt to contact the plane with a satellite phone had provided some new information.

“After MH370 disappeared from the radar, Malaysia Airlines ground staff sought to make contact with the aircraft using a satellite phone,” Mr. Truss said. “That was unsuccessful. But the detailed research that is being done now has been able to identify or trace that phone call and help to position the aircraft and the direction it was traveling. That has suggested to us that the aircraft may have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected.”

The flight left Kuala Lumpur on March 8 bound for Beijing.

Body of missing American student found in Israel

aaron-sofer
CBS News

A spokesperson for Israeli police confirmed to CBS News that they have found the body of an American seminary student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the body was found in the same area where Aharon Sofer disappeared.

The 23-year-old Sofer, of Lakewood, N.J., an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva,disappeared during a hike with a friend last Friday.

Rosenfeld said the police were pursuing all avenues in their investigation, including the possibility that Sofer may have fallen victim to an attack by Palestinian militants.

Kidnapping and murder have been a tool used by the Palestinian militants in recent months.

Chick-Fil-A also testing chicken & waffles in Philly, Memphis, and Inland Empire

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I noted last week that Chick-Fil-A has been testing a new breakfast menu that includes chicken and waffles. The initial reports were the new menu items were available in Middle Georgia.

A report from the Los Angeles Times indicates that the breakfast items are being tested in 12 stores in the Inland Empire in California:

Chick-fil-A has started testing a new breakfast menu at select locations around the country, including its 12 restaurants in the Inland Empire. Known for its fried chicken cutlet sandwiches, the Atlanta-based chain is looking to expand its morning offerings to include new “better for you” selections as well as a few new savory items, the company said in a release.

[...]

For a mix of sweet and savory, Chick-fil-A has introduced Chicken & Waffles for breakfast with a fried boneless breast of chicken alongside a warm Belgian-style waffle with a caramelized sugar crunch and the maple syrup baked on the inside (440 calories, 9 grams of fat). There’s also new Cinnamon Swirls, the chain’s version of mini cinnamon rolls, served warm with cream cheese icing (310 calories, 17 grams of fat).

Other locations:

The new breakfast items will be available for a limited time in the Inland Empire as well as Philadelphia, Middle Georgia and Memphis, Tenn.

 

Black police officers upset with FOP donations to Darren Wilson defense fund #ferguson

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I previously noted that the national Fraternal Order of Police was apparently steering donations to the legal defense fund for Darren Wilson, the police officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Officials at Lodge 70 of the FOP in Anne Arundel County told Pamela Wood of The Baltimore Sun that they had wanted to donate money to provide food to the officers working long hours as a result of unrest in Ferguson, but the national FOP suggested they donate to the Wilson defense fund instead.

Wood wrote a follow-up article this week discussing how African-American officers have responded with criticism of the move.

A group of African-American police officers in Anne Arundel County said Monday they were “shocked” by their union’s donation to a white Missouri police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen.
In a letter to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, which represents Anne Arundel’s rank-and-file police, the officers blasted the decision to donate to a fund for Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Mo., police department.
“While we appreciate the support that the union offers to officers in need, there comes a time where leaders must take a step back and look at the totality of their decisions,” wrote Cpl. Kam Cooke, a bike patrol officer and acting president of Anne Arundel’s Black Police Officers Association.

[...]

Cooke said members of the union were not notified before the donation was made.

“We don’t need to be discussing [the Ferguson incident] here in this jurisdiction. It’s an inflammatory incident elsewhere, let’s keep it elsewhere,” said Cooke, who said the letter represents the feelings of dozens of black officers, though it did not include a list of signatories.

Anne Arundel has 683 county police officers; 51 are African-American.

Wood previously reported that Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis said he would “agree to disagree” about the union’s donation.

Union President O’Brien Atkinson said the donation “was not intended to express an opinion on whether the Ferguson shooting was justified or not. Rather, he said, police officers often support other officers with legal representation following incidents where they use deadly force.”

More from Atkinson:

“This isn’t about guilt or innocence. This is about due process. Everyone was clear on that when the donation was made,” Atkinson said. He said after the union’s board made the donation, he posted a notice on the union’s members-only website.

Atkinson  also said the local FOP would meet about the donation next week.

Cooke, of the Black Police Officers Association, also asked in his letter if the local FOP had donated to the defense of Joseph Lamont Walker (they didn’t.)

 

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/anne-arundel/annapolis/bs-md-ar-ferguson-donation-20140825,0,7490339.story#ixzz3BW8dbhd6

Low-calorie Coca-Cola Life debuts in Fresh Market Stores

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AJC.com

Grocer The Fresh Market said on Monday that Coca-Cola’s new lower-calorie soda Coca-Cola Life has hit shelves in select locations of the chain’s stores in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Based in Greensboro, N.C., The Fresh Market is the exclusive retail partner for the launch of the beverage through mid-October, the company said Monday.

[...]

Coca-Cola Life, introduced in 2013 in Argentina and Chile, ditches high fructose corn syrup for sugar and the sweetener stevia. It’s Atlanta-based Coke’s way to attract consumers who want the full-bodied taste of regular Coke without all the calories. A 330-ml can of Coca-Cola Life, for instance, contains 89 calories. A similar size can of regular Coke has around 140 calories.

The product will go on sale nationally in October 2014. No word on whether Fresh Market will be expanding it to their other states before then. Pepsi’s answer to Coca-Cola Life is Pepsi Next.

2014 Nun Run will raise money for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Baltimore

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On September 13, the Little Sisters of the Poor will hold the inaugural Nun Run, a 5K run and a 1 mile run/walk, to raise money for St. Martin’s home in Baltimore. The event takes place at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. There will be refreshments, entertainment, and a gift bag for all participants. The mission of St. Martin’s is to serve the elderly poor with independent living apartments, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.

The Little Sisters live at St. Martin’s and are there 24/7. Their goal is that no one dies alone.

More on their philosophy:

  • We adhere to all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, especially those concerning the sanctity of human life.
  • We reject all forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide and protect our Residents from these practices, as well as from all forms of abuse and neglect.
  • The compassionate care and accompaniment of the dying is the summit of our ministry. At St. Martin’s it is our goal that no one die alone.

With the assistance of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Little Sisters of the Poor (the national congregation) filed suit against the federal government over the HHS Mandate. The Becket Fund has a good website on that suit as well as on the mission and values of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

I have friends running in the race as well as members of my Knights of Columbus council who are participating.

You should participate as well. If you aren’t running or walking, you can still make a donation.

More information:

The Libertarian Case for Being Pro-Life

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I first heard several months ago from a friend who is a registered Libertarian about Libertarians for Life.

Here’s the Libertarian Case Against Abortion from their website:

One popular misconception is that libertarianism as a political principle supports choice on abortion. And major elements within the libertarian movement (the Libertarian Party, for example) take abortion-choice stands. Nonetheless, libertarianism’s basic principle is that each of us has the obligation not to aggress against (violate the rights of) anyone else — for any reason (personal, social, or political), however worthy. That is a clearly pro-life principle. Recognizing that, and seeing the abortion-choice drift within the libertarian movement, Libertarians for Life was founded in 1976 to show why abortion is a wrong under justice, not a right.

We see our mission as presenting the pro-life case to libertarians and the libertarian case to pro-lifers. Among supporters of LFL, some of us are members of the Libertarian Party, some are not. Some are religious, some are not. (Doris Gordon, our Founder and Coordinator, is a Jewish atheist.) Our reasoning is expressly scientific and philosophical rather than either pragmatic or religious, or merely political or emotional.

Here are the points LFL uses to defend their case:

  1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
  2. Abortion is homicide — the killing of one person by another.
  3. One’s right to control one’s own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
  4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother’s body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
  5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally “de-person” any one of us, born or preborn.
  6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

Kristen Walker Hatten, a libertarian, wrote a piece entitled, “Why Libertarians should be Pro-Life on Abortion.”

She wrote:

The s0-called “social issue” which is the glaring exception to this rule is abortion. It is not a “victimless crime,” as many argue prostitution, sodomy, and gambling are. All libertarians of all stripes – and in this I include Objectivists, though they might, well, object – should oppose abortion. Anyone who advocates any kind of government, no matter how minimal, should support making abortion a criminal act.

How do I justify this? It’s actually pretty simple.

If you advocate a small government, you must assign it limited goals. What are the most basic reasons for a government to exist? To keep people safe, from outside aggressors and from each other. Objectivism, for example, argues for a “night watchman” government: basically, the military, police, and courts. The military defends the people from outside aggressors, the police arrest and incarcerate criminals, and the courts decide guilt or innocence and hand down sentences, as well as settling civil legal disputes.

I mention the Objectivist ideal to illustrate that even the most bare-bones government would have laws against citizens killing other citizens. Libertarianism, unlike Objectivism, is based largely on the Non-Aggression Principle, which says – to put it very simply - it is morally wrong to initiate aggression. Force is justified only when combating force.

Libertarianism is also firmly based on a belief in personal responsibility. If every man is and should be free to make his own decisions, it follows that every man must own the results of those decisions. Which is to say: if a man and woman have sex, they both accept the risk that a pregnancy might be the result, and accept the obligation to care for the resulting child.

Another group espousing a similar philosophy to LFL is Secular Pro Life (SPL.)