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Reasons I carry, #2,332

OCKLAWAHA MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY AFTER BURNING VICTIM’S HAIR AND LEAVING HER IN A PARKING LOT
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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

EDITED TO ADD:
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”