Thursday, April 30, 2020

Reasons I carry, #2,332

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Detective Jessica Galler of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit arrested 28-year-old Efthimios Michael Zachary Mikedis of Ocklawaha for Sexual Battery.
On January 10, 2020 the Orlando Police Department responded to Waterford Lakes Emergency Department and made contact with the victim who reported that a man known as “Zak,” later identified as Mikedis, offered to give her a ride from Orange County to her aunt’s home in Marion County on January 5, 2020. When Mikedis arrived at the victim’s home, the victim observed what appeared to be a gun in Mikedis waistband. The victim described Mikedis as someone you would “instantly be scared of.” Mikedis arrived in a van driven by his mother, Shannon James. A second male, Robert McDaniel, was also in the vehicle as well. The victim told Mikedis she did not want to go, but Mikedis told her she had to. Once the victim was in the vehicle, Mikedis forced an unknown substance into her mouth and forced her to slide between the seats, forcing her to remain down when she attempted to sit up. The victim was transported to a residence, where she was led into a camper on the back of the property. When the victim asked if Mikedis was going to take her to her aunt’s home, Mikedis said “Why don’t you just stay here?” The victim began blacking out, and believed she was on the verge of unconsciousness. The victim recalls being sexually battered by Mikedis, as well as a secondary object being used to sexually batter her. During the sexual battery, Mikedis said “Go, go,” and a second person began sexually battering her.
When the victim woke up she attempted to call an Uber, but before she was able to Mikedis woke up and forced another unknown substance into her mouth. Mikedis then began burning her hair with a cigarette, and held a pair of scissors to her throat. The victim began hallucinating due to the unknown substance. Mikedis grabbed the victim by her hair, dragging her across the property. Mikedis punched her in the back of the head, grabbed her by her hair again, and forced her into a vehicle driven by his mother, Shannon James. The victim was driven to a Winn Dixie parking lot and forced out of the car.
Detective Galler arrested Mikedis on one count of Sexual Battery and he is being held in the Marion County Jail. Anyone with information about the second male, Robert McDaniel, is asked to contact Detective Galler at (352)-368-3535.
More arrests and charges may be forthcoming as the investigation continues.

This douchebag has Felony convictions for: Forgery, Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property (six convictions), Domestic Violence by Strangulation, Vehicular Burglary, Grand Theft (five convictions), Possession of Methamphetamine (two convictions), Burglary of a dwelling, Burglary of a structure,  Giving false name and ID to pawnbroker.

Misdemeanors include:  Domestic Battery, Petty Theft, Driving while license suspended (two convictions), DUI, possession of cannabis.

In all, 22 criminal convictions and many, many traffic violations from 2009 to 2016, just in Marion County. He was arrested in January for uttering a forged instrument, and was out on bail awaiting trial when the rape occurred. How is this guy not prison for life with a record like that? The justice system has obviously failed the victim here. 

Harlem Report

I spoke with my son again today. He tells me that the hospital hasn't been admitting any new COVID cases. They are currently moving patients back and forth between regular rooms and the ICU as the patients get better, relapse, and then get better again. They are back to 'regular' ED patients now.

They had an incident where a housekeeper working for the hospital was going to patients' rooms and telling them that they weren't really sick, that they were only in the hospital so the hospital could make money off of them. She was telling them that COVID was a fake disease, and advising them to leave. Being that she was wearing scrubs and an employee ID, some of them believed her and actually left the hospital.

She was fired, and security escorted her from the building. No word on whether or not she will face criminal charges.

My son apparently made the correct choice to stay in NYC. He was informed that he has been furloughed from his regular job here in Florida. The good news there is that he just got his first paycheck from FEMA this week. This two week paycheck was what a starting teacher makes in a year, and what my son normally makes in two months. By the time his contract ends, they will have paid him four more of those.

He walked out of the hospital one day to get lunch. There is a store directly across the street. He was approached by a man who asked if he was a doctor. He said no, so then the man announced that he was a drug dealer and said, "Imma drug dealer. I got Percocet, cocaine, weed, anything you need. Come see me." My son thanked him and hurried back to work.

He was telling me that, from what he has seen, living in NYC would be the closest thing to hell that he could picture living in. Keep in mind that he was once a flight nurse, and has traveled all over the world: China, the Caribbean, South America. He says that the place is corrupt and pretty much everyone there is crazy. He even saw a man arguing with a walk/don't walk sign last week: "Don't tell me what to do!"

He did, however say that the violent crime isn't what he pictured it would be. I pointed out to him that NYC is still on lockdown and the streets are largely empty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Harlem report

My son remains in Harlem, where he says that the patient load there has fallen greatly. NYC authorities are reluctant to send the surge workers home because it will be difficult to get them to come back in the event of a second spike. My son tells me today that his job in Florida has furloughed nearly everyone, even about half of the ED force. They claim that they (the Florida hospitals) don't see normal patient volumes returning for the next three to six months.

For that reason, he is hoping that he can stay in NYC until mid June. Whenever they DO send him back, he will be without a job. If medical providers who are certified in emergency medicine and have experience treating COVID patients can't fund a job during a COVID pandemic, the rest of us don't stand a chance.

If this lockdown continues for much longer, we will have to build a raft and see if we can make it either to Cuba or Haiti.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Losing money out the back door

One of the businesses that I own is a travel agency. Even in the best of times, the amount of money that we make is not very large. We don't charge the customer a dime. how we make money is through commissions. The commission on a five day cruise to the Caribbean is usually about $14 per passenger. A one week cruise to Alaska usually gets me a $110 commission on a $2200 cruise fare.  We are not a big agency and mostly just book for family and friends. We usually have about $100,000 in sales, earning about $2,500 a year in commissions. The required licenses and insurance bond cost around $1,200 a year. Small margins. We typically book cruises 3 to 12 months before sail date.

This requires hours of work, making the hourly earnings rate close to zero. For example, we had a group last year that wanted us to book them a cruise to Alaska. It was a group of 20 people, and they wanted it all: airfare from Florida to Vancouver, a one week cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage,  followed by a 14 day train and bus tour from there to Fairbanks, then airfare from Fairbanks back to Florida. They wanted suites, good hotels, and a tour guide to accompany them. We spent days putting the trip together and agreed to go to the home of one of the cruisers to present what we had put together. When we got there, we did an entire presentation of what was included. Then they asked for the cost. A total of three weeks' vacation including airfare came to $5,000 per person. As soon as they heard the price, they all balked. I asked them what their budget was, and they only wanted to spend $1,000 per person. That amount would cover the airfare and the deposit on the cruise. That was typical. We would get dozens of calls and only close the deal about a ten percent of the time.

Summer is the busy season for cruises. Not this year. Since the beginning of the COVID cruise line cancellations, we have had two thirds of the cruise bookings for the year be cancelled by the cruise lines. The remainder have been cancelled by the passengers. When they are cancelled, the cruise line refunds the money to use, and then we have to refund to the passenger. The cruise line is not asking for a refund of our commissions. It would seem that this is good for us, but the problem is that our credit card processor is not refunding the servicing charges that were charged to us when we accepted payment.

We are bleeding money. So we have made the decision to completely stop any and all sales of cruises from this point forward. We will continue to service the refunds to our current bookings, but there will be no more new sales. The profits were never really there, and this makes it worse.

Most of the refunds processed correctly. All but one. One of them refunded the cruise to the wrong credit card. The guest contacted me, and I spend over three hours on the phone getting it fixed. I called, waited on the phone for 45 minutes and was disconnected without ever talking to anyone. I called a second time, was on hold for thirty minutes, was told that I needed to talk to a different department, was placed on hold for another thirty minutes, the person that I spoke to next said they would fixed it, and placed me on hold. An hour later, they came back to tell me they were almost done fixing it. Another twenty minutes, and they were finally done and came back on telling me that they were going to have to do a "billing workaround," then it took another 15 minutes to get the final resolution. The entire cruise and its refund earned me $184 in commissions, but cost me $82 in credit card processing fees, a $4 payment processing fee, and three hours to process the refund. That was in addition to the two hours I had already spent booking the trip and collecting the fare.

This particular fare was a nightmare. They booked last June for a cruise to Alaska during June 2020. Then in February, they added their daughter to the cruise and with only 4 months to sail date expected to get the same fare that they had gotten a year from sailing. After a lengthy back and forth, we were able to get them a steep discount. Final payment for all three of them was due in March, and they hadn't paid yet. We had to pursue them for payment, and they finally paid on the last possible day. Then, just a week later demanded a refund. Thirty days later, today, they wanted to know why they didn't get their refund yet.

This business is more trouble than it is worth, and that is why we are done with it. However, that was our last booking. We have no more active bookings to service, so with that, we are officially, completely out of the travel business.

Panic buying tacticool

I was sent this video of a guy who obviously just bought this shotgun and has no idea how to use it. He is probably one of the people who panic bought his guns sometime in the past month. I was told that this happened on Thursday in Hialeah. The language from the people filming is a bit NSFW, but who are we kidding, none of us are going to work anyhow.

Note that he is wearing a plate carrier without the plate, a drop leg holster, and is proudly displaying his Puerto Rican flag on his chest. He is ready for action. Too bad he doesn't know what he is doing.

Proof that COVID is saving lives

For the first time since 1957, Miami has gone seven weeks without a homicide. On a related note, residents of Miami are 3 to 1 in support of leaving the state stay at home order in place.

The disease is real, and it is killing people. The economy can't be shut down forever, and we can't print money to get out of the damage being done to the economy. We can't all spend the next year, hiding in our homes and hoping for a vaccine.

No matter when the economy reopens, people are going to get sick and die. The lockdown was never meant to save everyone. The whole thing was about "flatten the curve to prevent an Italy style collapse of the health care system."
Mission accomplished. Let's get back to work.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Commerce clause

In my post about gun laws that are ignored by criminals, the comments included a discussion of Federal law, specifically 18 USC 922(n), which reads:

It shall be unlawful for any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm or ammunition or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
Reader Differ asks what the law means when they say "has been shipped or transported in interstate commerce." As with most things involving the government, the phrase has been folded, spindled, and mutilated beyond its common meaning so that power that the government shouldn't have can be usurped by the powers that be. Let's see how that works:

The Constitution grants the Federal government the power to regulate commerce through the "commerce clause." The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.

As with many things, they use this particular clause to get their hands on powers they otherwise wouldn't have. In this case, they use the Supreme Court case Wickard v. Filburn. That case concerned a farmer that was growing wheat for use on his own farm. He contended that he was not subject to the limits that the Federal Government had placed on wheat production, because his wheat was not sold, so it could not be regulated as commerce, let alone "interstate" commerce (described in the Constitution as "Commerce... among the several states"). The Supreme Court disagreed. They held that because he was growing his own wheat, this meant that he did not buy wheat from someone else. Since he did not buy someone else's wheat, this affected interstate commerce, and made his wheat subject to the regulations.

This court case basically says that the Feds can rule over anyone they please, without worrying about enumerated powers. All they have to do is play "six degrees of separation" to show that the behavior they wish to dictate affected interstate commerce in some way, no matter how tenuous.

THAT is yet another way that the Constitution has been turned into toilet paper by the court system.

No rights in an emergency

Last week, I posted that there was a moratorium on all residential evictions because of the COVID pandemic (really because of the state's stay at home orders) and how it violates the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Now they are taking things a step further. There are tenant and anti capitalist groups nationwide who are pushing for a complete moratorium on the collection of rents for the next 90 days. They are claiming that this is not unconstitutional because it's an emergency. 

Well, that's entirely different. After all, if it's an emergency, then our rights apparently don't matter. Heck, since it is an emergency, let's take some other actions. To avoid large groups congregating, let's go ahead and cancel all elections. Trump can simply remain the President until the emergency has passed.

No right to jury trial- it's an emergency.
No right to call witnesses- it's an emergency.
No right to free speech- it's an emergency.

Or could it be that the government has now inserted itself into a private contract between me and my tenants and is depriving my business of income for a quarter of the year without so much as a dime in compensation. I am a small business owner, and small businesses are getting royally fucked in this whole COVID thing. Instead, they will use hundreds of millions of dollars to "bail out" Ivy league universities who have a combined endowment of over $100 billion and don't need the money.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

One more

It's illegal for a person on pretrial release to have a gun.
It's illegal for a convicted felon to possess a gun.
It's illegal for a convicted felon to possess ammunition.
It's illegal to possess drugs
It's illegal to use drugs
It's illegal to possess drug parafernalia
It's illegal to burglarize homes
It's illegal to do any of the dozen or so crimes this guy committed.
But let's pass a law banning guns, because a criminal that ignores all of those laws will somehow have a change of character and obey this one.

Tin Foil Hats

When this came across my social media feed, I thought it was a joke. Sadly, it isn't. They are selling hats that they claim ward off RF radiation, the proverbial tin foil hat. They are also selling "silver lined protective masks to fight off COVID19"

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

I can't even

I just got in an online argument with a group of people over this proposal:

There are about 40 million people in the workforce who are susceptible to COVID 19 by either being over 50 years old or having a preexisting medical condition. We should give each of them 1 million dollars to retire, subject to the following restrictions:
1 They can no longer work.
2 They must buy an American car
3 They must buy a house cash or pay the mortgage off for whatever house they already own.
This would fix everything by allowing people to return to work and simultaneously fix the labor force by eliminating debt and unemployment. 
My reply was that this was stupid, and anyone who endorsed it obviously didn't understand basic mathematics or economics. First, it would cost 40 TRILLION dollars to pay those 40 million people a million each. Second, there are only 15 trillion dollars in existence, so this payment would be more money than actually exists.

I was laughed at and called ridiculous. The people who called me ridiculous fell into two camps:

1 Paying 40 million people a million dollars each would only cost 40 billion dollars, less than the cost of an aircraft carrier.

2 There is no limit to the number of dollars that exist. You just add it to bank accounts on the computer, it isn't like they actually have to PRINT the money in today's day and age.

Sigh. I left the discussion. I just don't have time to explain the ways that they are wrong. 


Sunday, April 19, 2020


New York City Mayor Deblasio asked people today to take pictures of people not following social distancing guidelines and then snitch on them. Not one to shirk my civic duty, here are the pictures I got:

Deblasio outside of his gym:

Cuomo and Deblasio:

Pelosi and Schumer:

Start there.

Harlem VI

Tonight, I spoke with my son while he was on the way to the first of his 3 night shifts. He is currently working 3 day shifts, then 3 night shifts, then one day off. They would like him to work seven days a week, but he has told them that is simply too much. As it is, he is working 72 hours a week.

The hospital continues to get fewer COVID patients, and the patients who are coming in seem to be more of what the ED is used to from before all of this madness. They are waiting for the next spike that will happen as the economy reopens, and are hoping that round two will not be as bad.

Tonight we discussed some of the things that are happening around the country, and the subject came around to the possible treatment option of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. He said that the hospital where he was had begun trying that treatment about two weeks ago, but it didn't appear to be working very well. After a week they had to stop trying it because they were out of azithromycin.

Right now all they can do is support the patient as best they can while waiting for their immune system to either win or lose the fight.

I asked him what he thought about all of the rumors from the left and right about this being some sort of profit driven conspiracy, and that the disease was no worse than the flu. His reply was: "If you can point me to a strain of the flu that causes renal failure, coagulopathies, hepatic failure, and oxygen saturations of 75% in otherwise healthy 28 year olds, I would like to see it." He went on to say how many friends he is willing to write off for thinking that he would ever kill someone because a hospital wanted to make some extra money. He has already stopped speaking to six or seven people for accusing him of that.

The rest of the conversation was personal stuff, how he was handling his first time in NYC, that sort of thing, then he was off to work. He still hasn't decided whether or not he will be taking that 3 week extension to his contract. He expects to know by Wednesday.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Harlem quieting down

The latest report from my son Harlem is that the COVID related cases are dropping. Yesterday, there were more "normal" ED cases than there were COVID for the first time since he arrived. The powers that be are concerned that there will be a second spike once businesses reopen, so they are contracting him for another three weeks.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Self defense against cops

John Derossett was just exonerated from the charges of shooting at three deputies and hitting one. He spent five years in jail waiting for trial. The facts are:

Deputies were investigating a case of prostitution against Derosset's live in niece. The three arrived at the home in unmarked vehicles that they parked away from the home, and were in plain clothes. The deputies did not have a warrant. They knocked on the door and, when the niece opened it, they grabbed her and dragged her out the door, which caused her to scream for help. Derosset heard her screams and went to her aid with his firearm.

When deputies saw Derosset approaching with a firearm, they released the niece and scattered. Derosset saw the men in his yard and fired a warning shot. The deputies responded by shooting at him, striking both Derosset and his niece. Derosset returned fire, shooting one of the deputies in the abdomen.

When the shooting began, Derosett's neighbor, who was a senior officer with the Sheriff's office, arrived and took Derosett into custody. The neighbor would later testify that Derosett was confused as to why he was being arrested. At no point during the entire incident did any of the three deputies identify themselves as law enforcement officers.

That last sentence is the one that set Dorsett free. The only sad part is that an innocent man had to spend five years in jail because some deputies didn't do their jobs. Here is the source material.

Over the hump, or less testing?

Florida has been reporting fewer new cases of COVID for the past few days. Politicians are claiming that this means the state is over the peak. Are they really over the peak, or is it just that they are testing fewer people?

The answer is found in the daily COVID report from the Florida Department of Health. (pdf alert) Here is page 2 of the report for April 15, 2020.

The rate for positive test results has been around 10.7%. The last four days has seen positive results between 11 and 13 percent. This means that the rate of positives remains unchanged. So why are there fewer cases being reported each day?

Look at the number of tests. For the past two weeks, an average of 10,906 people have been tested per day. For the past three days, the state has tested an average of 9,010 per day. This reduction in the number of total tests is still resulting in the same rate of positives, even though the number of new cases appears lower.

So it appears as though this is an illusion.

Report from Harlem #4

The medical personnel are working six 12 hour days per week. Yesterday was his day off. He told me that he walked around lower Manhattan and took the ferry past the Statue of Liberty. He got pictures of the Bull in front of the Stock Exchange, and walked by Ground Zero and the Trinity Church. Of course, they are all closed and fenced off, but at least he got to see them.

This morning he sent me a video of what the hospital does every time a COVID patient is taken off the ventilator and has their breathing tube removed. The view is blurry because the staff has to carry their phones inside of sealed specimen bags so that the phone doesn't become contaminated.

Even though they are dealing with untold tragedy dozens of times each day, they take joy and comfort where they can find it. It will not surprise me to find out that we have a large number of medical professionals experiencing PTSD over the coming months. Even though they are used to death and tragedy, there are hospitals that are dealing with a career's worth of death in just a few weeks. I once had a stretch of death that saw me lose 26 patients in less than six months, a

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Fifth Amendment, takings, and COVID

The Florida governor issued a 2 page executive order (pdf warning) that reads (in pertinent part):

Section 2. I hereby suspend and toll any statute providing for an eviction cause of action under Florida law solely as it relates to non-payment of rent by residential tenants due to the COVID-19 emergency for 45 days from the date of this Executive Order, including any extensions.
Section 3. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving an individual from their obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments. 

The counties are interpreting this order to mean that NO evictions are permitted and are refusing to even serve process on any eviction cases whatsoever.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings explained that the county is following that order.
“Evictions can’t be processed further by the clerk or served by the sheriff. What I’m saying to you is, there is no mechanism to evict people in the state of Florida. That won’t last forever, those property owners will be able to get their money,” Demings said.
So if I have a tenant that is destroying my property, I can't even have them evicted, even though the governor's order only prohibits evictions for nonpayment. So let's say that this order gets extended for another 30 days, which is likely. Now landlords are going to potentially miss out on months of income. Once they evict their tenant, the landlord will likely never see the money that they are owed.

While it seems like a kind gesture, remember that landlords have expenses, too. As soon as the government requires that one person provide something to someone else without recompense, you have established slavery. This is, IMO, a violation of the 5th Amendment's takings clause. You have deprived that land owner of the use of his own property for public use (controlling the pandemic) without reimbursement.

Demings, a Democrat, is married to US Representative Val Demings. She is most famous around these parts for losing her duty firearm in 2009 by leaving it in her unlocked patrol vehicle while serving as the Sheriff of Orange County. As the Sheriff, she punished herself by sending herself a strongly worded letter.

Democrats love three things:
1 Socialism
2 Gun Control
3 Exempting themselves from 1 and 2

What disappoints me is that the Governor is issuing these orders. I am fully upset with those who downplay  the threat posed by the Wuhan virus, but the threat of tyranny is far greater.

Employers not providing PPE

During the first week of March, my son told me that his hospital was requiring workers to show up to work, even though there was no PPE available. They were each issued one disposable N95 mask and told to make it last. My son was then sent to NYC, where he has all the PPE he needs. Some of it, the staff bought themselves, but at least they have it.

Without proper PPE, this is what happens to nurses in Florida:

“She always puts people first before her,” he said. “She showed up for work one day and they didn’t have a mask for her.” He explained that her symptoms slowly got worse, including coughing and fevers, but she put off going to the hospital. She began self-isolating in her family’s living room, where her husband found her lifeless body Thursday morning.

COVID treatment procedure

My son was too tired to talk this morning, but he did send me a copy of the treatment procedure that is being used for COVID patients. I present it here:

Monday, April 13, 2020

and now from Central Florida

We have all heard the stories about nurses claiming that their hospital is not filled to capacity, or how their particular area is not so hard hit, and so they want to play like the Wuhan virus doesn't exist. I just spoke with a good friend of mine who is an ICU nurse, and passed on the conditions at her hospital:

The ICU filled up about two weeks ago, so they began converting other areas of the hospital to be overflow ICU. Nurses typically work a 12 hour shift, three days a week. The ICU nurses are now working six of those 12 hour shifts per week. Becoming an ICU nurse requires years of training and experience, especially with the current challenging conditions. They can't simply take a nurse from a random section of the hospital and stick them in the ICU.

The ED isn't as busy as normal because most people are sitting at home doing nothing, and the remainder are not going to the ED for minor, stupid shit because people perceive the ED as a place filled with COVID patients and they don't want to be exposed. For the first time in my memory, the ED is being used for actual emergencies.

What this means is that the nurses who worked in the (now shut down) areas of the hospital that have been converted to ICUs are being sent home, the ED seems slow (unless you are in a high COVID region), and the ICU and respiratory units are all working overtime.

more from Harlem

This morning's report from Harlem has a few more interesting facts. It seems that it is still taking 5-7 days for COVID test results to come back. My son reports that test results don't matter at this point, because they have gotten quite good at spotting COVID patients by looking that the patient's lab results, chest xray, and vital signs. He reports that nearly every patient who comes in has COVID.

Last night saw 5 patients die in the ED of COVID.

One patient who came in had been stabbed in the arm, but had an O2 sat of 76% and a fever of over 100F. He refused a COVID test and left after being stitched up. He likely has it, but we will likely never know for sure.

A couple of other factoids:
People with COVID are having coagualtion issues- they either have too many clots in the blood (called DIC) or they have to few, and whenever the hospital staff tries to secure an IV, the patient turns into a bloody mess. This is one of the reasons why the presence of elevated D Dimer is predictive of patient mortality.

The other thing that COVID is doing is triggering high blood sugar (HHS and DKA) in diabetics. For some reason, this disease really targets people with blood sugar issues.

With all of that, my son reports that they can see a definite reduction in patient volume and death. The worst of it appears to be over, and it looks like NYC is over the hump. Hopefully we will see a drastic reduction within a couple of weeks.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Report from Harlem, part II

I had another conversation with my son about the situation in New York. As you all know, he is currently working in the Emergency Room in Harlem as a medical surge worker. They have assigned him to be a part of the Red Team, meaning that he sees the most serious 25% of the patients that come into the ED. Please keep in mind that this is not data- this is the story of medical people who are in the trenches. For this reason, the information can't be verified, but he IS my son, so I trust what he has to say.

Here was what I got out of his report:

Nearly every patient who comes into the hospital has COVID. They remain in PPE for the entire shift. It takes 20 minutes to decontaminate, remove PPE, and then put it back on. That makes it difficult to take a quick bathroom break and even discussed wearing catheters with urine bags taped to their legs, but since no one is drinking fluids at work because of the risk of infection from the water bottle, they don't have to go too often and the idea was shelved. Yesterday, he took one break where he chugged a bottle of water, ate 5 slices of pizza, and went back to work.

They are out of everything- almost no medicine left that can be used. This isn't just because of COVID- apparently every bit of medical supplies that come in are being confiscated by the Feds. He complained about the lack of supplies, and a hospital administrator told my son that a large shipment was taken right from the docks in the port. (I am getting reports from medical people all over who are telling me similar stories. The Feds are taking a lot of supplies and not handing ANY of them out. I can't understand that one.)

The hospital is out of rooms. They have beds in the hallways to handle the overflow. Those are full. So now they hold the patients in the emergency room. When those are full, they will be putting the patients outside in tents.

The USNS Comfort, the hospital ship that is in New York to help with the crisis isn't really doing anything. The ship has room for 1,000 patients, but only 64 are actually being treated onboard. The reason for this is that the ship has set strict criteria and documentation requirements, and the bar is so high that the hospitals have stopped trying. The criteria? Each patient:
- must be an adult
- cannot have any mental health history. At all. (1 in 8 Americans is on antidepressants)
- can not be a user of street drugs (1.1 million New Yorkers are regular users of marijuana)
- must test negative for COVID (remember the part where I said everyone is positive?)
- must arrive with a 5 day supply of all medications (remember that the hospital doesn't HAVE any)
So this is why the ship is not really making a difference.

It isn't just COVID patients, the regular patients keep coming in, only now they have COVID on top of their other problems.
- One patient had been having an affair with a married woman. The husband found out, he and his friends held down the amorous man and sliced his face from the edge of his mouth to the earlobes on both sides. When asked if he knew who did it, the man replied that he did, but also stated that he wasn't going to tell because the cops aren't throwing anyone in jail, and the guy would then know who snitched and would beat him even worse. He did say that they see very few shootings (even before COVID) because of New York's draconian drug laws, but there are A LOT of stabbings, beatings, and other physical attacks. Criminals are going to commit crimes.

- One woman came in complaining of shortness of breath. Her numbers looked fine sitting in the triage area, but then asked to get some water. She walked from her bed 30 feet to the water fountain, turned pale, and was then found to have an Oxygen saturation of 56% on 4 liters of O2. They can't give meds, CPAP doesn't work, so they go to high flow O2 60 (sixty) liters per minute by high flow cannula. Within 2 hours, this is what her numbers looked like:

Breathing 51 times a minute on 60 liters of oxygen, and still only having an oxygen saturation of 76 percent means that she is not doing well at all. They had tried everything. This woman was dying, so the decision was made to intubate her and place her on a ventilator. Ventilators are a last ditch attempt and a virtual death sentence. Due to isolation protocol, no visitors are allowed in patient areas, so they have a set of iPads for patients to use that are connected by Facetime to iPads in the visiting areas. They let the woman and the family say their goodbyes, and then they placed the woman in a medically induced coma and put her on the ventilator. She will likely die within the next few days.

At the end of his shift, he was standing on the corner waiting on a ride back to his hotel, and people who walked by were thanking him for coming to NYC to help them. A group of young men actually stood with him until his ride got there, saying that they were making sure he was safe, because it isn't a neighborhood where white dudes should be waiting alone after dark. (Their words as relayed by my son.)

That was about it. He is doing well and is feeling like he is being challenged. He also says that he feels like he is earning "street cred" by being a part of this, and it will look good on his resume. He is definitely smarter than his old paramedic dad. I can't express how proud I am of what he has accomplished, and what he is doing now. I just worry for his safety. I have friends and former coworkers who work for NY EMS and for FDNY. They will look out for him as well.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Stay in your lane

I am tired of hearing from Internet experts telling the world that COVID is a fake disease or that the death numbers are inflated yadda, yadda. Frankly, it is pissing me off: "crisis actor" this or "muh rights" that. If you want to debate whether or not shutting down the economy is a wise method of preventing the spread of the virus, that's one thing, but denying the existence or deadly nature of it is pure bullshit.

There are staffing companies out there BEGGING for health care workers. They are paying from $3800 a week to work as a tech in New Orleans and Miami, all the way up to $25,000 a week for doctors and other practitioners in New York city.

If you are not medically trained, then STFU. Gun owners rightly told doctors to stay in their lane and for them to stay out of the gun control debate. Now gun owners (and others) who have no medical training need to remember to stay in THEIR lane.

If you are medically trained and you believe that COVID is a big hoax, then head on out there and make the big bucks. If it is a hoax, and COVID is such a non-threat, then you won't even need to wear PPE.  My son is smarter than that, he dresses like this for 12 hours a day- from the time he enters the hospital to the time he leaves. He has to keep his phone in a specimen bag so it won't get contaminated. Imagine working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, surrounded by a deadly plague- where the smallest misstep has the potential to either kill you, or kill someone else when you walk out with it on your shoe or in your hair, and then tell me that it is overblown.

Report from Harlem

As you all know, my son is in NYC working in the ED at Harlem hospital as part of a medical surge team that is trying to get the situation under control. I had a conversation with him last night, and I wanted to share a few things from that conversation.

They have organized the ED into teams that are based upon the severity of the patient. In ascending order, the teams are: Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. My son is on the red team. (AKA Team 1)

He said that every single patient that comes into the ED is positive for COVID. At this point, it appears like most of the population of NYC has the virus. He believes that they have turned the corner, and we should begin seeing a drop in patients in NYC, simply because there is no one left to infect.

They are not placing COVID patients on ventilators or intubating them, because placing patients on a ventilator is an almost certain death sentence. They are only intubating patients as an absolute last resort, and even then are advising their families that their loved one is about to die and then speaking with them about end of life decisions. Instead, they are finding that the most effective treatment is having the patient lie prone while giving them supplemental oxygen at 6 liters per minute.

They are almost out of all antibiotics, so unless the patient's pneumonia is confirmed to be bacterial by culture, no one is getting antibiotics.

I have recently seen people complaining that the US is padding stats by classifying anyone who dies while positive for COVID as being a COVID related death. This is actually valid, and I will explain using a couple of anecdotes from my son's patients:

His very first patient was complaining about shortness of breath, but was sitting up in a chair, texting.  The doctor he is working with took one look at the patient from across the room and said "COVID." My son said he laughed, thinking the doctor was joking. His oxygen saturation was measured at 68 percent.

Another patient came in with diabetic related symptoms. His blood glucose was 1,000. His blood chemistry was completely abnormal. He also tested positive for COVID.

Many people with aggravating conditions like diabetes, kidney or liver problems, or heart disease are walking around all the time with their body maintaining itself through compensation. What COVID is doing is pushing these patients over the edge.

One takeaway from my conversation with him:
The staff at the hospital wears a head to toe Tyvek suit with mask, goggles, shoe covers, gloves, and faceshield for their entire 12 hour shift. When they enter a patient's room, the put more gloves and a disposable gown over the top of that. He said that eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom is a 20 minute ordeal of decontaminating, dressing down, and then redressing. My son said he dressed down twice during his 12 hour shift- he went to the bathroom, chugged a bottle of water, and grabbed a bite to eat. (First time was a giant cookie delivered by a local bakery, and the second was two slices of pizza)

They had to begin doing this because too many of the hospital staff were getting infected.

What this tells me is that the Wuhan virus is far more contagious than we are being led to believe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

I am legend

As things usually are in a disaster, it is disorganized. MY son arrived in NYC yesterday morning, got settled in his hotel and was supposed to start working in a hospital ED this morning. That didn't happen. When he showed up to the hospital to be trained in using the hospital's electronic charting system, it turns out that the hospital had requested the wrong specialty. My son specializes in emergency medicine, and they wanted a hospitalist. Either way, he is under contract and they have to pay him for at least 4 weeks.

So while they are looking for another hospital to send him to, he has nothing to do and is getting paid $2500 a day to walk around Manhattan. Apparently, his credentials mean that the cops don't mind that he is walking around. If you have ever been to New York, the pictures are stunning. My son says that he is waiting to see Will Smith and his dog walk by, as if he were in the movie "I am legend"

From Larry Correia

I am reposting this because it is so accurate that I want to be able to refer to it later. From Larry Correia, best selling author:

I keep seeing this idiotic thing where "socialism" is used as a synonym for "government". So if you like fire departments or roads, you're a socialist...
BULLSHIT. These people drive me insane.
Government and its many programs all existed before Karl Marx. Socialism has an actual definition, and it isn't this mealy mouthed, wishy-washy, nebulous, feel good, gibberish people use today. It actually means something.
Going back to the men who created the philosophy, socialism means that regular "value" isn't what drives economics, instead production is coordinated through central government planning. That's the key element. Duh.
In other words, you take decisions away from the people/the market who would normally make them based upon what they value, and instead put those decisions in the hands of government. This is why Bernie is offended by there being too many brands of deodorant.
It isn't social programs. It isn't roads. It isn't fire departments. Or any other project governments have spent tax money on for thousands of years. If it was just that stuff they'd call themselves democrats/republicans in the US and this wouldn't be an issue.
But Bernie calls himself a socialist for a reason, and words mean things. Socialism isn't a blank slate for you to scribe your dreams on.
Which is why almost everybody who has actually studied history at all thinks actual socialism (as opposed to your fluffy magic unicorn version) is evil, while those who have studied history and still want it are wannabe totalitarians and statists who think it sounds awesome, because they assume they're going to be the ones in charge. Then they sell the fluffy unicorn version of socialism to the useful idiots. They tell you it's social programs and fairness, when actual reality is bread lines, inefficiency, and eventually gulags and firing squads.
Chris Matthews and James Carville are flaming liberals, but they've studied enough history to know that socialism is a terrifying evil. That should be a clue to all of you who normally identify as liberal, but who've been snookered into thinking socialism is innocuous.
And no, Denmark isn't socialist, when even the PM of Denmark has to come out and say, Hey Bernie Bros, quit using us as an example of socialism, because we're actually a traditionally capitalist nation with a lot of social programs.
Because again, socialism isn't a synonym for government. Whenever you treat it as such, you're being a useful idiot. When you say you prefer socialism, it's actually you saying you want the government to be in charge of everyone's business, because you think freedom is icky. (which is also why that declaration gets such a strong reaction from everyone who actually knows what socialism is)
This ignorance is partly the right's fault for knee jerk reaction calling every government program socialist. However, they are right to do so if the program is designed to take freedom/decisions away from people/business, and instead have the government make those decisions for them. That would be socialist.
This is also why polls show young people prefer "socialism", because they're thinking of the fluffy unicorn version they've been sold. When you narrow it down and ask about specific policies, it turns out they don't want the government telling them where/how/what they can do with their lives, while some unaccountable faceless bureaucrat decides what their time/labor/effort is worth.
If you're just in favor of social programs and safety nets, the democrat party is thataway (and don't blame me that they suck! That's on them!). But don't let the DNC's suckiness confuse you into supporting a system which has been one of the greatest, actual evils in human history.

Broken beyond repair

Week 2 of online school.
Students took a quiz. One student copied and pasted an answer directly from Wikipedia. I reported this to administration, and this is the answer I got:

Can you reach the student by phone or chat to figure out if she's hopelessly lost?
Many of our students read independently at a level far below our textbooks. They are used to having teachers "translate" the book and have few strategies if that is not present.
We currently have only about half of our students participating in online learning...and she's one who is doing something. Is there a way to reach out and praise the student for trying? 
 A second administrator had this to say:
Is there any proof that the student cheated on all of the questions, or just the one? Give them no points for the one question, and explain to them that this is not how we do things. Use it as a teachable moment. 

This is why our students aren't learning very well. Too many people want to coddle them and reward bad behavior. Administration doesn't make the students own their decisions or behavior. As a teacher, the message is loud and clear: we are not being paid to teach, we are being paid to appear as though we are teaching.

I have said this before, and I will say it again: education in this country is broken beyond repair.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Close the gun stores

I agree with CNN. We should immediately close all gun stores for the good of the public. To prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus, we should allow gun distributors to ship guns directly to paying customers.


I am from New Orleans. This year, because my wife had never seen it before, we went to Mardi Gras. We didn't go for the final weekend- instead we went to the weekend before. It turns out that the Wuhan virus was spread in New Orleans during that time frame. My brother, his wife and daughter, my uncle, his wife and daughter, my wife, and I were all there celebrating the holiday. Not one of us has gotten sick.

TSA ridiculousness

My son left this morning for Manhattan. He approached the security checkpoint where there were no passengers there. He even streamed it live, he was the only person there who was not a TSA agent. He approached the first line, the agent waved him forward and scanned his ticket.

She promptly told him that her line was only for TSA precheck, and made him move over to the next line. He laughed, thinking he was being messed with. Nope, she made him leave and go through the other (empty) queue. When he got to the front, the same agent scanned his ticket again and sent him on to the searches.

This is what government employees do- they follow procedure without applying a single coherent thought.

Monday, April 6, 2020


My wife was being required to physically go in to work on certain days, even though she is capable of working from home. Even after the stay at home order, some employees were being forced to come in. That all came to a halt this morning. The administrator who was forcing everyone to come in tested positive for COVID-19.

It's hard to feel sorry for someone who brought it on themselves, especially while they were forcing others into harm's way.

Supply status

Way back on March 1, I had been hearing about this virus and it sounded like something we should be aware of, so we headed to Sam's club to fill the supply closets.

So what I decided to do is prepare my household for the possibility of widespread travel bans and quarantines. We went to the big box store today and upped our semi-perishable stores. I added 40 pounds of meat to the freezer, along with other supplies: toilet paper, canned vegetables, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products, and more. I now have on hand enough food for three weeks before I have to dip into the freeze dried foods. Other than that, I cannot think of anything I am missing or in need of. 
Since March 13, I have not gone to the store for anything. We have only left the house five times in the past three weeks, with the exception of my wife being required to work (that has come to a halt).

I thought we had three weeks' food. Turns out I was WAY off. One of my freezers is still 90% full, the other 75% full. We are out of fresh produce and have switched to canned and frozen, but other than that are in good shape. We are eating a varied diet, but since neither of us likes canned vegetables, I am finding ways to disguise it. For example, last night's dinner looked like this:

Shrimp creole
One chopped onion (fresh), one chopped green pepper (frozen), one 32 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1/2 pound frozen jumbo shrimp, 4 tablespoons butter, spices, one cup of rice.

We can probably do this for at least another month. I still have steak, hamburger, a turkey, chicken, sausage, a ham, fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, bacon, pork chops, and more in my freezer. Over 100 pounds of meat. We may run out of vegetables, but we won't starve. After that, I have freeze drieds.

I may go out for vegetables. There is a farmer's market nearby. I may use a mask and chance it, but that decision is a couple of weeks away.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

More worry, but with pride

My son began his career as a paramedic firefighter. When he was 20 years old, he had a cathartic experience: He had a patient die due to a rare condition that he had never heard of. He swore that day that he would never lose another patient because of something he didn't know.  He became taking as many classes as he could.

Within 6 months, he became certified in Critical Care. Another year, and he was an RN as well as a medic. He quit firefighting and began doing flight nursing, transporting patients all over the world. Two years later, he earned his BSN. By his 25th birthday he began working in the ED and within a year was the charge nurse for his shift in the ED.

Then he got serious.

He got board certified in trauma nursing AND critical care. The first in the county to do both. He was the nurse in charge of trauma nursing for a level 2 trauma center, while at the same time being put in charge of training for his hospital. All before he was 30, supervising and training people who were decades older.

Now 32, he is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Emergency Medicine. The medics and nurses love him because he remembers where he came from- he isn't some kid right out of college, he knows what it is like to do their jobs.

The doctors respect him because emergency medicine is what he knows best. There are procedures that he has taught that many of them have only read about in text books.

The shift he is on has a doctor and a PA who specialize in family medicine, and they defer true emergencies like intubations or cardiac arrest to him.

That is where the worry comes in. Because of this, he is highly sought after for viral pneumonia, meaning that he will soon be headed to New York City to help with the crisis. I worry for him, even while he looks forward to making a difference.


I have been getting emails for the past two weeks, looking for more people with medical qualifications. Right now, they are trying to get people to volunteer by offering cash. I called and asked, and the reason why there is so much money is that people with critical care and ventilator experience are needed to work all of these new ventilators the government is buying. Now they are discovering that the have more patients than ventilators, and more ventilators than people who know how to use them.
My sources tell me that it will soon be involuntary- either "volunteer" or lose your medical license.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


My wife and I have been cut off from the outside world and isolated from outsiders for over two weeks now, so I feel like we are safe from infection.

My inlaws finally heeded our advice and have begun to stay home, even though they had been refusing to do so. They called here to demand that we give them some of our supplies because they didn't listen to our advice a month ago when we told them to buy things like sanitizer and N-95 masks. When my wife told them that we had no masks to spare for them, we got the line: "You would think at a time like this, you would worry about your parents and take care of them." We were- we told you a month ago to buy that stuff and stop going out to social clubs. You wouldn't listen. All I could spare for them was half a dozen surgical masks. I tried explaining to her that the masks I have won't fit her anyway.

My son called this morning to tell me that the medical group he works for is heeding the nationwide call for medical personnel, and he is being sent to NYC to support the hospitals that are losing people due to infection. He is getting hazard pay that is about triple what he usually makes, but that seems like small potatoes for the risk being taken.

He also told me that medical people are being attacked if seen in public wearing any sort of clothing that identifies them as medical workers. Apparently people are afraid that the doctors and nurses are infected.

About the Navy

When I was in the Navy, I was the supervisor of a work center that was tasked with keeping a large amount of equipment working- including the ship's fire pumps. The motor on one had gone bad and needed to be sent off for repair. This motor weighed over 800 pounds and needed to be pulled out for repair. The problem was that it needed to be lifted from the machinery room to the second deck- a vertical distance of about 80 feet. We set up a chain hoist. During the lift, the hoist rig separated and sent the entire load crashing 20 feet to the bottom. In the process, it removed 3 fingers from the left hand of one of my subordinates. The safety review that followed faulted the supervisor (me) for not using a certified rigger to do supervising the lift.

A month later, a second fire pump motor failed. When we were told to get it repaired, I pointed out that I still didn't have a rigger. They told me to do the lift anyway. When we went to do it as ordered. the padeye available had a tag on it, stating that it was rated for a working load of 800 pounds. The motor, chain hoist, and associated equipment weighed in at 1100 pounds. I told the engineer that we could not get the lift done until we had better equipment and a stronger padeye installed. An hour later, a Chief showed up and put a new label on the padeye that read "Working load 1200 pounds" and then told us to do the lift anyhow.

This is why I tend to support Captain Crozier. The military is full of career ticket punchers who care more about their own careers than they do the lives of their subordinates. That is also why I don't believe the people who say that cops or military will refuse orders to seize guns from citizens. They care more about their careers than they do your rights.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Amazing coincidence

China begins drilling for oil in the South China sea, has the highest day's production of natural gas ever, and begins large scale military movement, right when the Wuhan virus removes the US Navy's chess pieces from the board. Amazing coincidence, almost like it was planned or something.

Slay the messenger

Instead of fixing the issue, fire the whistleblowers as an example of what happens to them. That way, no one will be tempted to do so again. It worked for the Chinese.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Biden, desperate to get back into the news after being pushed out by the Wuhan virus, is advocating for funding Iran's nuclear program. 

Statistics are useless

In the past, I have pointed out that other countries do not count deaths the same as the US. For example, Australia only counts a death as being a homicide if someone is arrested and charged for the killing. If the killer dies before he can be charged, it doesn't count as a homicide. In the UK, a death only counts as a homicide if someone is CONVICTED of the crime.

There are many areas where we see a discrepancy in statistical methods. For example, in the UK if an infant dies within 30 days of being born, that death counts as a miscarriage and does not add to their infant mortality rates. This is one of the reasons, perhaps the largest reason, that the UK has an infant mortality rate that is so much lower than the US.

In the case of the Wuhan virus, this issue rears its head again as we find out that France only counted a death as being caused by COVID-19 if the decedent died while hospitalized. Patients who died in a nursing home or at home don't count. Until today, that is. Today, the French decided to add in the 884 people who had died in nursing homes. Those who have died at home presumably still do not count.

The point of all of this is that statistics are trash. Garbage in, garbage out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

New Yorkers

Everyone I know that is from New York views rules as something to dodge, or something that doesn't apply to them. The guy that I posted about here fled New York yesterday because two of his friends died of COVID. He is staying in Tampa and has plans to go deep sea fishing. My in laws are hanging out at a bar that is only open to a small, select group of regulars. They refuse to abide by any sort of social distancing.
Honestly, if any of them catch COVID I will not feel sorry for them.

3 million new gun owners

I would assume that this is bad news for those who wish to ban guns.

Florida Stay at Home Order

As unconstitutional as I feel this order is, at least it doesn't include gun stores. Considered essential are:
Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.

Does the Constitution not apply when people are sick?

Judge Napolitano:

Of what value is a constitutional guarantee if it can be violated when people get sick? If it can, it is not a guarantee; it is a fraud. Stated differently, a constitutional guarantee is only as valuable and reliable as is the fidelity to the Constitution of those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping. 

Read the entire thing