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Live update: How big Irma really is



Hurricane Irma

The biggest news about Irma is really how big it is.

Thank God, Irma has quickly weakened, at its core, to a tropical storm. I have relatives in Florida: my step-brother lives in Fort Myers, less than an hour north of where the storm made its first terrifying landfall in Marco Island. He stayed home and rode it out, despite being just blocks east of the mandatory evacuation zone.

Another brother, who lives in north-central Florida bugged out days ago and is staying with our brother in New Hampshire. My niece was forced to evacuate on Sunday from the Tampa Bay area to Orlando. I also have a brother in Vero Beach, and my wife has relatives in the panhandle. You could say our family has Florida well covered.

I haven’t heard from my family in Fort Myers since just before 5pm yesterday. I assume they are without power.

Those are the people closest to the eye of the storm.

I live 450 miles north of Fort Myers, and about 300 miles north of Tampa, in central Georgia. We woke this morning to lashing rain and wind. From where I’m sitting in my home office, it looks like 30-40 mph steady, with gusts up to 50. That’s 300 miles from the center of the storm.

As Irma walks her way up into the panhandle and Alabama, I imagine those on the coast will suffer tropical storm conditions for hundreds of miles, with dangerous storm surges, torrential rain, and high wind. It won’t be catastrophic, and I pray it won’t linger like Harvey to cause enormous flooding. But this storm is huge.

We expect for these storm conditions to continue all day today and possibly into tomorrow. Schools are closed today and tomorrow, and many evacuees from Florida and Savannah are holed up here. Savannah residents I’m sure can go home, but who wants to drive in this?

Those of us in central Georgia who must work–public safety, medical, some military and contractors at Robins AFB, and even some retail–will do our best to cope with the storm and offer our best hospitality to those stuck here for another day or so.

Just to put this in some terms people not from here would understand. Irma is, right now, affecting the entire state of Florida, and a huge swath of Georgia, up to Atlanta, and also a slice of Alabama. Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, and every bit of it is consumed by this storm. Stretched out, that reaches from Fort Pierce, Florida to Boston, Mass.

This truly is a monster storm.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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The Money Pit: California’s not-so-high-speed rail



Have you heard this story, a couple finds a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000? Some upgrades are needed, but overall it’s a bargain. What ensues is comedic brilliance as the owners find out the house is barely standing. They pour more and more money into the house in the classic Tom Hank’s comedy “The Money Pit.”

Just like this movie, the California High-Speed Rail has become our Money Pit, but unlike the movie, this is no laughing matter.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion bond to partially fund an 800-mile high-speed electric train traveling up to 220 mph. The goal would be that the state would fund a third, one-third by the federal government, and the last third via private investment. Total cost was estimated at $35 billion.

What has transpired since 2008? No more federal funding and no private funding. From 800-miles we went to 520 miles, as a cost savings measure. From 220 mph we are at 110 mph in large sections of the rail, to save money of course, and a possible completion date of 2020, is now estimated to be completed by 2033.

With all these cost-saving measures you would assume the cost would come down. Unfortunately, for California taxpayers, this money pit keeps getting worse.

The price tag for all these cost-saving measures brought to you by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislature is currently estimated at $77.3 billion. But wait you want more savings and fiscal responsibility, too bad, because this $77.3 billion estimate may ultimately cost California taxpayers $98.1 billion. My prediction is it will be even higher.

At this point, it might be cheaper and faster to build a Death Star instead. Not to mention more useful.

This is not what the voters were promised. We did not approve a not-so-high-speed train with a price tag most likely ten times the initial projected cost to California taxpayers.

This boondoggle of a money pit must be stopped. Those billions can be used to help repair our roads, highways, bridges, dams, water reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.

If elected to be California’s next State Controller and Chief Financial Officer, I will look at all legal means to cut funding to this project. In my opinion, if we bought one thing and are getting something else, then the authorization to fund this project has not been authorized by the people, and thus the Controller may have the legal authority to stop payment until the project complies with Proposition 1A.

I hope, I won’t have to do this, and the Legislature does its job and kills this project. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We made a promise to taxpayers to be good stewards of their trust and money. Let’s restore that trust and do the right thing, and let’s put an end to this money pit.

Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Guns and Crime

When gun control failed, SRO saves Maryland school



2 students and a suspect were injured in a shooting that took place in southern Maryland. The shooter has since been announced dead. He used a handgun which are highly regulated due to Maryland’s strict gun control. Following the Parkland shooting, Governor Hogan proposed putting a lockbox on casino revenues to be used to fund security in school. This would be the first serious attempt to use the casino money, which was supposed to be for schools, for their intended purpose. In response to today’s incident, other counties, such as Carroll County, are placing deputies in schools as a direct response to the shooting in St. Mary’s County.

The Story

ABC: Student suspect dead, girl critical, boy stable after shooting at Great Mills HS in Md.

The suspect, a student, is dead after a shooting Tuesday morning at a high school in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, that has left a girl in critical condition and a boy in stable condition, according to authorities.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office says it happened at Great Mills High School and that police are on the scene. ABC7’s Brad Bell said sources first told him that the shooter was a student, as were the two victims. Police later confirmed that the shooter was a student. Police also confirmed that a school resource officer took action to end the threat and authorities confirmed the incident has been contained.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital identified the victims as a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. They say the two were taken to them at around 8:15 a.m. and that the girl was later taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center.

The Takeaway

Being uninformed, deliberately or ignorantly, many on the left will use this as a rallying point for gun control. But as a Marylander, I can attest to Maryland having some of the strictest laws in the country. These laws failed to prevent this incident, as they have failed to curb Baltimore’s crime. Too many on the right, as well are just as uninformed about current laws. We can’t begin to talk about gun control when the population is so desperately malnourished of facts. We can, however, contemplate the issuance of SROs in schools or other means of security such as allowing teachers to voluntarily undergo concealed carry training.

Alas, leftists are saying the SRO went in knowing that an AR-15 wasn’t being used. No, the SRO did his job unlike those cowards in the corrupt Broward Sheriff’s Office. They are trained to engage whatever the gun, because confrontation saves lives. This SRO is a hero. I look forward to knowing his name. Thankfully, only the perpetrator is dead, and together let us pray that the two students recover.


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Hypocrisy? Abortionist acknowledges an unborn as a moral person



One of the beauties about twitter is that when an abortionist as proud as Leah Torres, they are subject to a ongoing ratio-ing. It’s rare for the pro-abortion side to presents such an evil or semi-honest advocate. You may have already seen a number of vile tweets in which this serial killer (3 or more premeditated murders with resting period in-between) proudly acknowledges her work. This is a person who kills babies out of intrinsic motivation, which is perhaps worse than financial.

Okay, that’s enough. Now, I wanted to point out this tweet where she shows a very different attitude towards the unborn.

It’s sad that people would allow a baby killer to deliver a fetus into the world. It’s also sad and ironic that she ascribes moral worth to a baby about to be born that isn’t undergoing an abortion.

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