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Irma Pummels Florida, And It’s Been 16 Years Since 9/11

Irma hammered Florida yesterday, and the full impact won’t be known for days or weeks. The storm pummeled the coast with 130+ mph winds, and ripped the roof clean off a building in Miami. The storm surge has done as much or more damage. As the waters recede from this latest natural catastrophe, we also remember another tragedy. It’s hard to believe the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City are now 16 years old. Children who weren’t even born then are now old enough to drive. As we clean up from the storms, we should also remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

Here’s an excellent, short retrospective produced by the History Channel for last year’s anniversary.

As horrific as the damages were, adversity has a way of bringing people together. We’ve seen countless stories of Good Samaritans in Houston in the wake of Harvey, from two men with a hovercraft who got permission from Coca-Cola to raid all the water in their Beaumont distribution center for those in need, to the grandparents who called Chick-Fil-A for help and rode out of their living room on jet skis. I’m sure we’ll see more of the same in Florida, even if the media would rather hyperventilate about the need for a conversation on climate change.

Batten Down the Hatches, NFL

As the winds battered Flordia, the Washington Post turned its battering ram on the National Football League. It’s only week one–Go Panthers!–but WaPo Columnist Jerry Brewer says the “NFL season is making me queasy” because of the league’s “blackballing of Colin Kaepernick.” “How could this man, who took a knee during the national anthem last season and wore a Castro T-shirt in Miami, possibly remain unemployed?” Hint: it’s because he decided to load up more baggage than his talents could carry.

The Second Amendment Advances in Maryland

With everything else that’s happening, you could be forgiven for not knowing a major gun rights case is moving forward in Maryland. Stephen Gutowski writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

The case stems from Maryland’s law requiring those who want to purchase a handgun to obtain a license before doing so. In order to obtain the license, a Maryland resident is required to obtain training, submit an application to the state police, submit electronic fingerprint records to the state police, pay associated fees, and pass a background check. The same background check is also required when purchasing any firearm in the state, whether from a licensed dealer or in a sale between private individuals.

Personally, I’d like to see someone from Maryland Shall Issue make the argument that gun licensing isn’t fundamentally different from a poll tax. It can easily cost more than $200 just to apply for a Maryland Handgun Qualification license. We would never allow poll workers to charge a $200 fee for the privilege of possibly being issued a ballot if the state decides you’re qualified to vote.

McCain Prepares His Legacy

And finally, I’m no fan of John McCain’s politics, but this moment from his latest CNN interview with Jake Tapper stuck out. Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain responded that he hoped people would say, “he served his country, and not always right, made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of errors, but served his country, and I hope you could add honorably.”

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Will the Media Stop Relying on Terrorist Enablers?

Nearly fifty individuals representing dozens of organizations penned an open letter to the media imploring them to stop relying on dangerous propaganda produced by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a ‘hate group’ label … that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.”

According to the letter, the SPLC “evolved from laudable origins battling the Klan in the 1970’s,” but became corrupted after realizing the “profitability of defamation.” The group has amassed a massive $319,283,961 endowment which includes more than $69 million in offshore investments.

The same media that blamed Sarah Palin for the shooting of former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, has been oddly reluctant to condemn the SPLC. Unlike map put out by SarahPAC, which even the New York Times had to admit–six years too late–had noting to do with Giffords’ shooting, the SPLC’s “hate map” was used by a domestic terrorist to plan a deadly shooting spree. Floyd Lee Corkins told investigators he targeted the Family Research Center because the SPLC said they were “anti-gay.” He had planned to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces” had his assault not been cut short by a heroic security guard.

I’m not saying the SPLC should be censored, but the media should stop pretending its a credible source of information. The FBI dumped the organization as a “trusted resource” back in 2014; it’s time the media followed their lead. Or do reporters really believe Ben Carson is a dangerous extremist?

You can read the full letter at the Alabama Political Reporter.