Guardianship

'They Just Took Me Away'

Adults declared "incapacitated" by the courts can lose everything—their homes, their savings, their freedom—to Florida's sprawling guardianship system.

|

It's been a year since Jan Garwood, a 72-year-old central Florida woman, won her freedom back and started trying to piece together what was left of her life.

In 2017, Garwood was placed in an assisted living facility against her will. A judge had declared her mentally incompetent and put her in the care of a professional guardian to protect her health and finances. The system was supposed to help her. Instead, Garwood felt like a prisoner.

She was stuck in a lockdown ward for three years, until a local activist and two attorneys managed to get her rights restored. By then, though, she'd lost more than three years. Her guardian had sold her house, leaving her temporarily homeless. All of her possessions were missing. Her savings and the proceeds from the sale of her house were in a trust that she didn't have direct access to.

Garwood's case is extreme, but it illustrates the complexities, uncertainties, and sometimes bizarre twists of guardianship cases, also known as conservatorships. Last year, the saga of Britney Spears' successful efforts to free herself from an onerous conservatorship shined a spotlight on the issue. It was the first time many Americans had heard of conservatorships, but this relatively obscure area of the law, in which the state essentially determines that an adult should be treated like a child, sometimes involuntarily, exerts enormous power over the people who find themselves in the system.

In the worst cases of guardianship abuse, functioning adults are completely stripped of their autonomy: where they live, where they can go, who they can talk to, how their financial assets are handled, even how and where they will die.

In Florida, a chilling scandal where a guardian filed "do not resuscitate" (DNR) orders against her elderly wards' wishes led to calls for state and national reform. With its large number of retirees, Florida is especially ripe for elder abuse and fraud. Some state officials have been working to strengthen the system over the past few years, but senior citizens like Garwood have continued to slip through the cracks. Even with comparatively strong oversight, the state shows how bad actors, conflicts of interest, and crushing caseloads can undermine those protections.

Over the phone, Garwood is clear and cogent, although she swings from relief and philosophical acceptance to despair over how her plans for her golden years were upended.

"I was just sitting in my office working when the doorbell rang," Garwood recalls. "There was a lady with a police officer, and she said, 'Give me the keys to the house and car, you're coming with me.' They just took me away."

'A Vulnerable At-Risk Senior'

Garwood was placed in a court-appointed guardianship in 2017. She had been in a car crash shortly after the death of one of her sons, and she was, by her own and her lawyers' accounts, in a downward spiral of grief. She was at one point held under Florida's Baker Act, which allows authorities to commit someone to a hospital temporarily for a psychiatric evaluation.

Guardians make personal, medical, and financial decisions for minors, people with developmental disabilities, and senior citizens who can't handle their own affairs. In Florida, the legal term of art for such a person is "incapacitated." Family members often fill this role, but when people with disabilities don't have family qualified to take care of them, courts appoint professional guardians.

In Florida, a professional guardian is someone who has received fees for providing services to three or more wards. The guardian must pass a background check, take a 40-hour course and final exam (along with continuing education requirements), and be registered and bonded with the state. There are also public guardians that courts can appoint in cases of indigency. The majority of the roughly 500 professional guardians across the state of Florida are scrupulous and compassionate in their duties. One elderly Florida woman, for example, was admitted to a hospital after a neighbor called 911 over concerns about her living conditions and health. The hospital discharged her to a rehab facility that wasn't equipped to handle her advancing dementia, and the rehab facility in turn discharged her and sent her back to her unsafe apartment. The woman's sister lived in Colorado and couldn't care for her, so she petitioned a court to appoint a professional guardian to make sure she received appropriate medical care, get her apartment cleaned, and sort out her finances.

The sad truth is that professional guardians are also sometimes the best option to protect vulnerable seniors from their own family, and to defuse messy family squabbles over their care and property. This is, professional guardians say, their purpose: to act in the best interest of someone who can't act for themselves.

But handing someone that much power over other people's lives, in some cases against their and their families' will, is an enormous act of trust. When guardians fail to act in their wards' interests, it can lead to neglect, theft, and worse.

According to a guardianship petition filed in Garwood's case, Rebecca Fierle, the Florida woman who would become her guardian, told a judge that Garwood "suffers from a seizure disorder, [has] poor insight and judgment, and is a vulnerable at-risk senior who is a victim of potential financial exploitation, and as a result, she is unable to make healthcare and other decisions or manage her finances."

Florida has a unique system, more stringent than many states, where a three-person examining committee is required to recommend a guardianship. One person on the committee must be a doctor.

Garwood and her lawyers don't know who referred her to Fierle or how the woman found out about her; they suspect it was one of her cousins. At the time in Florida, a professional guardian could file a petition against anyone. The Florida legislature changed the law in 2020 to restrict guardians from filing such petitions unless they're related to the person in care.

There was no such law then, so the examining committee, followed by a judge, found Garwood incapacitated. She lost the right to vote, to have a driver's license, to choose her attorney, to apply for or hold a job, to travel, to marry, to consent to mental or physical health treatment, even to choose who she could talk with or visit.

Garwood was then placed in a local memory care facility—not because of a memory-related condition but because she was deemed a flight risk, according to one court document.

Garwood was held in the Palms of Longwood assisted living facility for three years. She says she wasn't allowed to use the phone, go outside and smell the fresh air, or even open her window.

One day, though, Garwood got a lifeline. She says a nurse smuggled in a cellphone for her, which she used to post a plea for help on Facebook.

Garwood laughs when she remembers the post and says it must have sounded like a joke—like, "Help, I'm trapped!" But Garwood's plea found someone who takes such messages very seriously.

A Digital SOS

It's not a surprise that Hillary Hogue saw Garwood's digital SOS. If you look into guardianship abuse in Florida, you quickly come across the outspoken activist's name.

Hogue's crusade started around 2017. It began, she says, when she had to stop her 90-year-old father from being placed in a permanent guardianship by her sister.

Hogue disputed the emergency petition her sister filed that claimed her father was incapacitated. She hired a lawyer, and the two reached a settlement that allowed her father to live with Hogue and stay out of a permanent guardianship in exchange for her father's accountant serving as his power of attorney. Since then, she has meticulously tracked allegations of guardianship abuse across the Sunshine State.

"This is all I do, from the minute I get up to the minute I go to sleep," Hogue says.

Hogue reached out to Garwood after she saw her message. She says she tried to visit Garwood in the assisted living facility and bring her a gift bag with some requested items—deodorant and Doritos—but an administrator confiscated the bag and kicked her out, threatening to call the police.

"The only way that Jan got anything different to wear, and Jan was used to having nice things, was when a female resident died and the other female residents would go through a garbage bag to see if anything fit them," Hogue says.

The Palms of Longwood did not respond to requests for comment.

One frequent accusation in alleged guardianship abuse cases is that guardians stop wards from seeing family and friends. A harrowing 2017 New Yorker investigation into Nevada's system described elderly people being put into court-appointed guardianships, placed in assisted living facilities, and totally cut off from their loved ones. The Tampa Bay Times reported on a contentious case where a guardian forbade a 92-year-old woman from talking to her friends and neighbors, and had her calls routed to the guardian. A lawyer for the guardian also told the newspaper that reporters were not allowed to talk to the woman without the guardian's consent.

Hogue was not easily deterred, though. She put Garwood in touch with two lawyers she knew that fought guardianship cases.

Meanwhile, there was another significant development. In September 2018, Garwood's guardian, Fierle, suddenly resigned from her case.

At the time, Fierle handled hundreds of guardianships around the state, but within a year her career would begin unraveling under scrutiny—not for defrauding her wards, but something much darker. Garwood didn't know it, but she had dodged a possible death sentence.

A Macabre Case Leads to Reforms

On May 9, 2019, Kim Stryker sent a complaint to the state's 9th Judicial Circuit and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. She said her 75-year-old father, Steven Stryker, had been placed into a guardianship without any notice to his family. What's more, she alleged that her father's court-appointed guardian, Fierle, had placed a do-not-resuscitate order on him against his explicit wishes.

Stryker had been Baker Act-ed, the same as Garwood. He was sent to AdventHealth, a Florida hospital network. AdventHealth then petitioned a court to place him in a guardianship. The hospital specifically requested Fierle as his guardian. After that, he was shuffled between hospitals and assisted living facilities that his daughter says were unable to properly care for him.

Four days after his daughter filed the complaint, Stryker choked to death in a Tampa hospital. Fierle had ordered his feeding tube to be capped, meaning he had to swallow food, despite having a chronic condition that made swallowing difficult. Staff, restricted by the DNR, did nothing to save him.

Several state agencies launched probes into Fierle's practices following the complaint. The Florida Clerk's Statewide Investigations Alliance, which investigates claims of guardianship abuse, found that AdventHealth lied in court about not being able to contact Kim Stryker.

"In the Florida Hospital petition for guardianship, they state the Ward's daughter's whereabouts were unknown," the report said. "However, her contact information was listed on the Advance Directive on file with the hospital, and our office found her contact information with a quick Google search."

When a judge handed Stryker into Fierle's care and stripped him of his rights in September 2018, the hearing lasted less than three minutes. The local outlet Spectrum News obtained a video of the brief meeting. Based on the reports of the examining committee, the judge quickly placed Stryker into a guardianship.

"OK, one, two, three…we've got three reports already in," the judge said.

"Yes, ma'am," a hospital attorney responded.

"So much for emergency," the judge joked, to laughter.

On July 3, 2019, the same state circuit court judge removed Fierle from numerous guardianship cases, finding that she had abused her power by placing DNR orders on her wards without family or court permission. A week later, a judge in a different circuit removed her from nearly 100 more cases and revoked all the DNRs she had filed, following an Orange County comptroller's investigation that found AdventHealth had paid Fierle nearly $4 million over a decade. Fierle was double-dipping, billing both the hospital and her ward's accounts for her services. She was also not disclosing her conflict of interest with hospitals to courts. By the end of the month, she had resigned from all of her cases and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) had launched a criminal investigation into Stryker's death.

As the Fierle scandal unspooled, heads started to roll. The director of Florida's Office of Public and Professional Guardians (OPPG) resigned, as did several other OPPG staffers. ABC Action News revealed that the office had a large backlog of misconduct allegations it was supposed to be investigating and had revoked only one guardian's license in the past three years. Another family had complained about Fierle in 2016, alleging that their mother wasted away from cancer without proper treatment. The agency ignored the complaint for years.

Doing some public relations cleanup, AdventHealth announced it would no longer pay private guardians and would support reforms of state laws. (AdventHealth declined to comment, citing pending litigation.) Meanwhile, ABC Action News found similar practices at hospitals across the state. (Hospitals have a financial incentive to discharge long-term patients, especially after insurance stops covering their treatment.)

Florida authorities arrested Fierle in February 2020, more than a year after Steven Stryker's death. The FDLE charged her with aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly person.

"Medical professionals who examined [Stryker] believed he was capable of making end-of-life medical decisions for himself and informed [Fierle] that her client had a strong desire to live and that he understood his condition," the FDLE said in a press release announcing Fierle's arrest. "Despite the wishes of the elderly man and those of his family and friends, [Fierle] ordered his doctors ​not perform any life prolonging medical procedures saying she preferred 'quality of life versus quantity of life.'"

When the FDLE raided Fierle's office, it found nine urns containing human remains. It's not unheard of for guardians to temporarily be in possession of cremated remains while they make funeral arrangements, since their wards sometimes don't have immediate or nearby family. However, the relatives of Marilyn Hammock, whose remains were found in Fierle's office, told the Orlando Sentinel that Fierle refused to send them Hammock's ashes until her husband, also Fierle's ward, died as well.

Reporting Gaps Persist

With macabre details about human ashes making headlines, state lawmakers moved to act. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed guardianship reforms into law in June 2020. The new law requires courts to grant permission for guardians to sign DNRs; it also mandates that guardians detail payments. As noted above, it also stopped professional guardians from filing petitions unless they were related to the proposed ward.

But watchdogs say more transparency and information sharing between courts is necessary. Although the majority of professional guardians may follow the rules, bad ones can escape detection due to poor record-keeping and lack of communication between county court systems, all of which have their own filing systems.

"The Rebecca Fierle case really highlighted the need for a statewide database and uniform reporting system for guardianship cases," says Brad Embry, inspector general for the Okaloosa County Clerk.

An audit by the Orange County Comptroller published last March found major deficiencies in the county's tracking and oversight of guardianship cases. Courts weren't notified when guardians failed to file required reports or lacked qualifications, weren't informed of unauthorized guardian and attorney fees, and couldn't track active guardianship cases. In one case, the court was unaware that a ward had been dead for 33 months. The report also found "several conflicts of interest between professional guardians assigned and other parties involved in cases; including, examining committee members, attorneys, a trust director, and service providers."

Before she was removed from her cases, Fierle had at least 450 wards under her care, such as it was, across 19 counties.

In Florida, guardians are required to file detailed annual reports on their wards' finances and assets, but the sheer number of guardianship cases presents a problem for court systems and watchdogs.

Anthony Palmieri, deputy inspector general for the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court, said last August that Palm Beach County alone has 3,000 to 3,200 open guardianship cases controlling more than $1 billion in assets. In 2020, Palmieri's office identified $1.2 million in unverifiable and questionable guardianship expenditures and misreported assets.

According to public records obtained by Reason, the OPPG fielded 153 complaints about guardians in 2021 and the Clerk's investigations alliance opened 51 investigations into alleged guardianship abuse.

BuzzFeed investigation last year estimated that as many as 200,000 adult guardianship cases are filed annually in the U.S. The most vociferous critics of guardianship, like Hogue and Rick Black, co-founder of the Center for Estate Administration Reform, say this system amounts to a huge exploitation scheme. Black often describes guardianship as estate fraud on a massive scale.

It's hard to overstate how thoroughly a malicious guardian can ruin someone's life. Last year, a Florida guardian was convicted on 15 charges of exploitation of an elderly person, grand theft, money laundering, and perjury. Prosecutors said he stole $420,000 from five of his wards. One of those wards was placed in an assisted living facility where the owners were later arrested for elder abuse.

Traci Hudson, a Pinellas County guardian, was arrested in 2019 on charges that she stole $500,000 from a ward and spent the money on things like Tampa Bay Buccaneers tickets, jewelry, and a 4,000-square-foot home. Fifteen months before Hudson was arrested, she won a libel lawsuit against the daughter of one of her wards, who had complained about her father's treatment. A judge awarded Hudson $160,000, leaving the woman destitute and homeless.

The executive director of the Florida State Guardianship Association did not return requests for comment for this story.

'I Thought I'd Live in That House Forever'

When Leslie Ann Ferderigos first talked to Jan Garwood, she thought, "How in the hell is this person in a guardianship?"

Ferderigos is one of the two attorneys Hogue contacted to take on Garwood's case, along with Vito Roppo, a Naples lawyer.

Attorneys for Garwood's new guardian—Denise Willis, appointed after Fierle resigned—filed a motion for sanctions against Roppo for trying to represent Garwood, since Garwood had no power to choose her own attorney. But Roppo and Ferderigos began fighting to lift Garwood's guardianship anyway, starting with a new medical evaluation. (One quirk of guardianship is that when a ward fights to have her rights restored, the guardian's attorney fees come out of the ward's account. So Garwood was paying for her own opposition.)

The complex legal wrangling that followed illustrates the tangled connections, incentives, and conflicts of interest that the Orange County comptroller identified among guardians, attorneys, and examining committees that recommend or reject petitions for guardianships.

In 2018, Willis had filed a "suggestion of capacity"—a request for the court to reconsider Garwood's mental capacity and restore some or all of her rightson Garwood's behalf, but a judge denied it based on the report of a physician who examined Garwood.

According to court records, that physician was Thomas Sawyer. As BuzzFeed reported last year, Sawyer is an oncologist who Florida probate courts regularly turn to for examinations in guardianship cases. He also founded a law firm that represents professional guardians.

In fact, Sawyer's son-in-law—Thomas Moss, a partner at the firm—was Rebecca Fierle's attorney before she resigned from Garwood's case.

Moss represented Fierle in hundreds of cases, including, BuzzFeed reported, the case of a "59-year-old woman who complained of being held in a lockdown facility while Rebecca Fierle paid out thousands of dollars from her accounts without court approval." That woman had also filed a suggestion of capacity, but it was denied based on the report of the examining physician, none other than Thomas Sawyer.

Roppo and Ferderigos got another doctor to evaluate Garwood. The doctor reported that she "is fully capable of handling and executing her own personal, medical and financial day-to-day affairs."

The conflicting opinions show the difficulty of determining exactly when someone is "incapacited"—that is, when it's necessary to protect her from her own choices. A 35-year-old is largely free to indulge in ruinous but legal behavior without the threat of being stripped of legal autonomy. Is a 70-year-old who does the same simply making bad choices or mentally infirm?

In another guardianship that Ferderigos successfully had terminated, a Florida man named Doug Keegan went through eight psychiatric evaluations over the course of his guardianship. Law360 reported last year that three doctors recommended no guardianship, two recommended limited guardianship, and two recommended plenary guardianship, the most stringent form. Keegan's family had moved to place him in a court-appointed guardianship because he had a severe alcohol problem and had married a Kenyan woman whom he had met online. Shortly after his rights were restored, Keegan was arrested and charged with making written threats against his former guardian's lawyer and the judge in his case.

Based on Garwood's new medical evaluation, Roppo and Ferderigos filed a suggestion of capacity in her case, and on August 24, 2020, a judge restored Garwood's rights.

Unlike Keegan, Garwood has maintained her freedom since then. The problem is, she has her autonomy back but not much else.

Garwood's guardian had previously received approval from the court to sell her house to pay the costs of her staying at the assisted living facility.

"My mother died in that house. I wanted to live there forever," Garwood says. "I thought I'd live there forever." Instead, she was homeless. She spent some time living at Ferderigos' house, in a friend's garage, and at a hotel.

Roppo says that Garwood's house was sold to the relative of an administrator of the Palms of Longwood assisted living facility for well under market value.

Property records show that Willis sold the home in 2019 to Danielle Wolfrum for $250,000. According to 2019 Seminole County tax records, the property had an assessed value of $310,095. State records from 2018 list the administrator of the Palms of Longwood as Kendra Wolfrum.

When the Seminole County Clerk's inspector general audited Garwood's guardianship last year, the investigation found that her house "may have also been sold below true market value."

"Though a real estate comprehensive was provided, the Court was NOT provided with a property appraisal conducted by a licensed property appraiser," the audit noted.

Kyle Fletcher, Willis' attorney, says that the sale of the house and the handling of Garwood's finances were all duly approved by the court. (It bears noting that there's considerable acrimony between Fletcher and Ferderigos. Fletcher, who also represented Doug Keegan's guardian, has accused Ferderigos of improperly jumping into guardianship cases, unethically misleading judges, and using hand-picked doctors to give her clients favorable evaluations. The Florida Supreme Court sustained a bar complaint against Ferderigos last year for unprofessional behavior in an unrelated case, and a federal judge dismissed a civil lawsuit filed by her on Garwood's behalf for being a "shotgun pleading," a term for a complaint that is too vague to give the defendants proper notice of the claims against them.)

Although Garwood's rights have been restored, her guardianship case is still open due to ongoing issues with and objections to Willis' final report on Garwood's assets. The inspector general has repeatedly dinged Willis for gaps in the report and for failing to provide requested documents.

"It's a year later, and we still don't have a complete accounting of what [Willis] did," Roppo says.

In the meantime, Fletcher has filed a petition to the court seeking to bill Garwood $1,800 for his time spent on her case after her rights had been restored. He was, after all, still the attorney for her court-appointed guardian, and the case was still open. This sort of billing is common. When the Tampa Bay Times reported on a contested guardianship case, the guardian's attorney noted that he would be billing the ward for time spent responding to the newspaper's email.

While Garwood's case drags on, things are moving faster elsewhere in the Seminole County court system. On January 10, a Seminole County judge removed Willis from 20 other guardianship cases, according to court filings.

"Judge [John] Galluzzo takes his responsibility to protect and preserve the interests of the ward very seriously," Michelle Kennedy, the public information officer for Florida's 18th Judicial Circuit, said when Reason asked about the reason for the removals. "When the previous guardian was unable to file timely reports, Judge Galluzzo had a duty to appoint new guardians."

How To Stop More Cases of Guardianship Abuse

Last year, the state of Florida convened a task force to draft recommendations for improving Florida's guardianship system. The task force included Hogue, as well as state legislators, judges, court clerks, professional guardians, and a former ward.

The task force released its final report in January. Its recommendations include a statewide data collection system for guardianship cases, a database of guardians, and notifying courts of discipline against guardians.

"I believe the biggest challenge in guardianship oversight is statewide uniformity," Embry says. "The required documentation for certain types of filings vary from circuit to circuit, county to county, and courtroom to courtroom."

Unfortunately, this isn't a new problem. A similar Florida guardianship committee recommended in 2003 that "uniform reporting forms should be adopted on a statewide basis."

The January task force report also recommended giving more opportunities for "supported decision-making," an alternative to guardianship that allows people with disabilities to choose supporters who will help them make decisions. The supporters do not have full legal power over the person.

"Studies show that people who have greater self-determination are more likely to identify abusive situations and less likely to experience abuse," says Olivia Babis, a senior public policy analyst at Disability Rights Florida. She adds that supported decision making "allows people with disabilities to have a team of supporters and stronger ties to the community. This makes it harder for any one person to take advantage of them. In contrast, a person under guardianship might be isolated. They may not even be allowed to speak to their loved ones."

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have laws encouraging supported decision making, but Florida is not among them. During Florida's 2021 legislative session, a bill was introduced that would authorize adults with disabilities to enter into supported decision-making arrangements; it would also require petitioners for guardianship to show they had made efforts to use less restrictive methods. The legislation died in committee.

Picking Up the Pieces

Garwood has an apartment now, at least. But all her possessions were supposedly put in storage after her house was sold, and no one knows where her stuff went. Reached by phone in January, she said she was parked outside a thrift store that a local church opens once a week on Thursdays. "I'm living in second-hand clothes," Garwood says. "I had food stamps for a while."

Roppo and Garwood say her family pictures, her jewelry, and the art she collected over the years are all missing. The proceeds of the sale of Garwood's house, roughly $171,000, were placed by Willis into a trust that Garwood has no control over. The Seminole County Clerk's inspector general noted that Willis did this without court approval or oversight, contrary to Florida statutes. Garwood says her hair dresser and real estate licenses lapsed while she was under guardianship.

It would be irresponsible to declare, based only on an interview, that Garwood is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Licensed doctors couldn't agree on that. But it's clear that she was deeply unhappy in her guardianship and, four years later, demonstrably worse off for being put through it.

"I had a lot of dreams that I'm not going to see happen," Garwood says, "and it hurts."

NEXT: He Didn't Use the 'Magic Words' To Get Access to a Lawyer. Were His Rights Violated?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sorry that this guardianship program we set up let a bunch of crooks fuck over people, but our intentions were good.

    1. Obviously this situation exists in many states, not just Florida.

      1. Yeah, Britney Spears lived in California. It seemed more like a way for her family to make her work for them and earn them millions, whether she wanted to or not. I guess a guardianship supersedes the 13th amendment.

        1. "My mother died in that house. I wanted to live there forever," Garwood says. "I thought I'd live there forever." Instead, she was homeless. She spent some time living at Ferderigos' house, in a friend's garage, and at a hotel.

          Roppo says that Garwood's house was sold to the relative of an administrator of the Palms of Longwood assisted living facility for well under market value.

          1. Thanks, Reason squirrels.

            "My mother died in that house. I wanted to live there forever," Garwood says. "I thought I'd live there forever." Instead, she was homeless. She spent some time living at Ferderigos' house, in a friend's garage, and at a hotel.

            Roppo says that Garwood's house was sold to the relative of an administrator of the Palms of Longwood assisted living facility for well under market value.

            This at least, is easy to fix. Seize the house and return it to her.

            1. Also apply some lashes to the administrator and the relative.

              1. Sure, they still get to get buried under the jail. At first I was going to say that someone owes her her house back, and if some family unwittingly bought it, they should be offered 1.5x what it would cost to buy a similar home as an inducement to move, though, obviously with the end result that moving isn't actually optional because the house was stolen.

                Since it just went to one of the thieves, they don't even have to compensate the person currently residing in the stolen property.

                I'm OK with adding lashes before burial, though.

              2. There is apparently no limit to the indignities and skullduggery some people will tolerate, or allow to be inflicted on their loved ones before they invoke a right private action.

      2. So Florida really was "Killing Gramma", it just wasn't with Covid... 😉

        Yeah, this is insanely fucked.

        The people who "resigned" and even that judge need to be buried under the prison.

      3. Very, the headline is a pretty obvious attempt to invoke the current stupid outrage about Florida and get people to read the article. The issue is present in every damned state.

        1. I think one of the reasons they might have picked Florida is because there are just so many old people there. Even if they've improved things, there's probably been a lot of opportunities in FL in particular.

  2. We could do FAR better than to enable court-appointed thieves to fleece supposedly-stupid older or crippled people of their money, against their will... We could fleece the REALLY stupid and gullible people with flim-flammery!

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/mypillow-guy-mike-lindell-punts-timeline-for-trump-retaking-power-as-august-conspiracy-theories-get-wackier
    MyPillow Guy Punts Timeline for Trump Retaking Power as Conspiracy Theories Get Wackier

    https://www.salon.com/2021/08/22/mike-lindell-still-in-trumps-good-graces-has-new-prediction-reinstatement-by-new-years/

    The Lord Trump didn’t return to us as scheduled, but the Second Coming is now re-scheduled. You can TRUST us THIS time, for sure!

    The Lord Trump DID return to us faithful ones, but He did it in an invisible way! Hold strong in your Faith in Him!

    The Lord Trump didn’t return to us yet, this is true! It only did NOT happen because YOU were not faithful enough, and didn’t send Him enough donations!

    The Lord Trump didn’t return to us yet, but He DID miraculously protect us all from the VERY worst forces of Evil, which is Der BidenFuhrer! Hold fast in your Faith… Lord Trump will come back VERY soon now! Especially if you send Him more money!

    The Lord Trump moves in Mysterious Ways! All will be revealed SOON! Especially if you have Enough Faith to DONATE till it HURTS!

    1. You read and trust Salon but post at Reason? Aren't they pretty much opposites? Salon hates libertarians.

      1. I'm libertarian, and opposed to knee-jerk tribalism. Whatever is true (or good or benevolent), is true (or good or benevolent), regardless of which tribe it comes from. I trust at the 100% level, NOTHING that isn't data-driven, regardless where it comes from.

        1. But Salon is the definition of establishment left tribalism. If they ever posted something that wasn't dishonest propaganda it was by accident.

          1. The shiteater isn’t really a libertarian though. He’s good with establishment left tribalism.

      2. Republicans hate libertarians too, but they post here because Salon flings them out onto their faces. So I guess they come here as a sort of nanny-nanny-boo-boo thing. Like communist anarchists, they have this burning desire to pester and interfere with libertarians.

        1. Libertarians make them look bad! Do NOT make me look bad, by being more data-driven and more live-and-let-live than I am! So that's why they hate us so much!

          “Do-gooder derogation” is a socio-biologically programmed instinct. SOME of us are ethically advanced enough to overcome it, using benevolence and free will! For details, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/ .

          1. It is impossible to make you look any worse that you do on your own.

    2. Yeah, Lindell is a turd just like Trump is a turd.

      When channel 12 is showing Star Trek, I just wanna chill out before bed.

      I HATE that fucking Humane Society ad. It's like 90 seconds long and is just the biggest buzzkill since Yar got booted for the Playboy gig.

      Then maybe 5 seconds into that horrid ad, Channel 12 interrupts it with Mike Lindell! Ginger-haired, former crack addict saved by religion and turned prosperous business man wearing a cross, posing in front of a religious picture of a lion and the crucified Christ to pitch his product. Absolutely hilarious.

      I bought one of his pillows and it's pretty good and I'm proud to support him. It's not that I fall for his shtick, or his cross or even his product.

      It's that the alternative is the single most fucking horrible thing EVER.

      Same with Trump.

      1. "It's that the alternative is the single most fucking horrible thing EVER."

        Voting for Boss Hogg and Cletus versus voting for Cthulhu.
        The Republicans are greedy, corrupt and stupid, but unfortunately when they are out of power the misanthropic forces of hell are in.

        1. Sounds about right.

      2. Trumpanzee Trilbys never tire of trying to cheer us up with their sobbing... I wonder if the communist magazines are followed around by wailing democrats.

      3. Why support any of them? Why support one bad guy just because he is less bad than some other guy? Why not reserve support only for those who have merit?

        1. Why not, indeed! Why not... Vote libertarian?

          1. Because I'm in CA, and there are literally 0 Libertarian candidates who filed for statewide office (or for any district offices I can vote for).
            Side note - that's why Angela McArdle should not be the next chair of LP National.

        2. What merit?

          I like Rand and Ron Paul and Jorgenson might be a good president under different circumstances but today, any of these folks are way too nice to be effective.

          Even Trump was way way too nice and got rolled by the FBI.

          I'm a libertarian and would love to vote for a peaceful, Constitutionalist, but until the US Federal government is forced to comply with the Constitution, there can be no peace.

          I didn't vote for Trump because I like him. I voted for him because I want to see DC neutered with a chainsaw and I believe he is the best catalyst to make that happen.

          1. So you let your anger override your logic.

            1. You don’t think there’s any logical reason for the DC establishment to be neutered? Makes sense if you’re a statist, oh wait.

            2. No. As I clearly stated, there is no political merit that counts. This has been made perfectly clear by the Antifa goons parading around in their Pro-Putin Bernie Bro wear.

              The socialists are post-political.

              It's time.

            3. No, he made the rational choice that he was voting for the best available tool.

          2. Trump is not “too nice”. He is a highly offensive person, who had trouble getting along with his own allies, let alone being able to negotiate with opposition.

            1. He was waaaay too nice and he knows it.

              He tried to work with the FBI and DOJ but they never were his allies. The Feds committed treason.

              When he gets re-elected, I hope he goes 'scorched earth' with the federal government. Leave no current employees employed.

              1. Trump doesn’t seem like a guy who has a lot of self awareness.

                1. Correct.

                  Trump isn't the guy I invite to the BBQ. I invite veterans who have killed the enemy to my BBQ.

                  I invite Trump to a political fight, a war of words. I'm not good at talking to politicians. I'm good at killing the enemy.

                  The purpose of Trump is to expose the enemy by talk and he has done a fine job of drawing their fire so we know who the traitors are.

                  1. You are nuts. Muting you.

                    1. You are stupid. muting you.

                2. Mike, Didn’t you vote for Biden……. For you to even bring up self-awareness, it’s a bit awkward.

  3. So if these guardians are bonded, why didn't this woman get their money back?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. The guardianship is still in litigation.

  4. The love of money is the root of all evil.
    Has anyone been punished for their part in the cases cited?

    In many ways this is worse than killing someone.

    1. RTFA next time.

      Florida authorities arrested Fierle in February 2020, more than a year after Steven Stryker's death. The FDLE charged her with aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly person.

      1. What about all the money and physical assets she effectively stole from her other wards?

        1. Judicial systems are a mystery to me in many ways. One puzzle is why criminal fines go to the State, not the victims; victims have to recover from a civil suit, or so it seems to me (IANAL!). And of course, with each side paying their own costs, the crook is in effect using the victim's money to defend themselves, so they have every incentive to hire the most expensive lawyers.

      2. I did and there is no mention of any fines, restitution or jail sentences.

  5. Do I hear the dulcet wails of "FloridaManBad" winding up for midterms?

    Since we're talking about the elderly in Florida, let's take a moment to thank Gov. ron DeSantis (R) for having the best response to Covid in the nation. Unlike NY and Michigan, FL didn't sent its sick elderly back into nursing homes to cause some of the greatest mortality events of the pandemic - no, he kept the nursing homes isolated and let the healthy go about business while the state searched for actual ways to treat the disease - at least until Brandon heard good things about monoclonal antibodies and cancelled them.

    I hope blue states can gain inspiration from this and use DeSantis' model governance to actually do right by their citizens for a change.

    lol

    1. (I do agree with you about the COVID stuff.)

      But... Thank your Florida culture-war hero for stuff like this...

      https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/disney-special-district-florida-taxpayers-could-face-a-1-billion-debt-bomb-if-dissolved.html

      Florida taxpayers could face a $1 billion Disney debt bomb if its special district status is revoked

      As long as "wrong people, cultural sinners", are PUNISHED-PUNISHED-PUNISHED, we'll be happy to pay just about ANY price to satisfy our "punishment boners"!

      1. See an article in American Thinker suggesting tolls from the I-4 entrances to Disney as a revenue source to pay off the bonds.

        Just sayin'

        1. Local politicians just LOVE to tax the non-locals who do NOT get to vote for or against them! See high hotel-users taxes, for example. This fits right in!

          (Me, personally, as a USA citizen? I advocate for heavily taxing all foreigners loving abroad, to keep us all living the high life!)

          1. Hmm, seems to me that the tolls would be charging the users of the facilities for the cost of the facilities. Almost libertarian in approach.

    2. Expect to hear more bad stories about Florida, true or not.

      1. https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article260176065.html

        Dave Barry: A warm Miami welcome for our New York friends relocating to the Sunshine State

      2. We can count on the Mary Poppins of Misinformation to steer us true.

        1. My censorship protects you, your censorship protects me.

    3. Nope. Totally not a shill for Team Red. Not at all.

      1. Triggered lefty #2.

        Tissues are to your left, by the bitch cubby. We'll stay stocked through midterms.

      2. Just for clarity, HAD DeSantis followed the fedgov path and locked down while sending elderly citizens to die in nursing homes, I would be a very vocal critic.

        As that has solely been the province of Dems, and Florida has weathered the pandemic better than almost any other state... I get to tweak progshit noses for being completely wrong as usual.

        1. Just for clarity, HAD DeSantis followed the fedgov path and locked down while sending elderly citizens to die in nursing homes, I would be a very vocal critic.

          No you wouldn't. I know this because you have not been a very vocal critic of all of the other Team Red governors who ALSO pursued lockdown policies. You would instead at every turn bash Team Blue governors while remaining silent about Team Red governors doing the same thing. Because that is what actually happened.

          Florida has weathered the pandemic better than almost any other state...

          Not even Dr. Bhattacharrya or Dr. Atlas claim this. Instead, the evidence says that both Florida and California did about as well in surviving the pandemic, despite each state having very different strategies. The *actual data* suggests that lockdown policies didn't help, NOT that failing to have a lockdown made things better.

          1. No you wouldn't.
            You're so tribalist you can't fathom that people would be opposed to sticking Covid patients in nursing homes regardless of the political affiliation of the politician who ordered it.
            You still don't think that Cuomo was wrong. He can't be for you because he wears the mighty (D).

            "I know this because you have not been a very vocal critic of all of the other Team Red governors who ALSO pursued lockdown policies."
            When Trump started advocating the mandatory vaccinations, Salted Nuts and many other commenters here criticized him vociferously. His own supporters at rallies booed him whenever it came up.
            In fact you and White Mike got mad that people weren't listening to their "cult leader".

            Because you're so tribalist that you couldn't imagine people taking a position different from the "leadership" of their affiliation, so like all progs, you constantly project your mindset onto us.

            Maybe your tribalism stems from the fact that you're a fifty-center. Maybe it's because lefties are dogmatically loyal to their priest class, maybe both.

            1. So, where's all the criticism of Team Red governors for their lockdown policies? Huh? I must have missed it over the very loud criticism of Cuomo and Newsom and Whitmer.

              When Trump started advocating the mandatory vaccinations, Salted Nuts and many other commenters here criticized him vociferously.

              Criticism over vaccines is not the same as criticism over lockdown policies. Your attempt to deflect on behalf of Team Red is noted.

              I'm not the fifty-center around here, you are. No argument is too dishonest if it means attacking the Left and defending the Right.

              1. So, where's all the criticism of Team Red governors for their lockdown policies? Huh?

                It was everywhere here, you dishonest shit. Were you blind, or are you just being "Lying Jeffy" as usual?
                Maybe you didn't notice because Cuomo, Newsom and Whitmer's fascist nuttery made everyone else look moderate by comparison, but the criticisms were definitely there. Or maybe you don't think that it happened because you're projecting your tribalism on everyone else again, and think that we're all like you.

                "Criticism over vaccines is not the same as criticism over lockdown policies. Your attempt to deflect on behalf of Team Red is noted."

                It's exactly the same, you fifty-centing piece of shit. How in the hell is it different?

                1. It was everywhere here,

                  Where? It was wall-to-wall CUOMO NEWSOM WHITMER WHARRGARBL. *Maybe* there was one comment somehwere where someone criticized Greg Abbott weakly. But 99.99999% of the criticism was CUOMO NEWSOM WHITMER. It was never about the principle of the matter, it was about bashing Team Blue *using* lockdowns as a vehicle for doing so.

                  It's exactly the same, you fifty-centing piece of shit. How in the hell is it different?

                  A vaccine is not a lockdown. Again as I wrote, " No argument is too dishonest if it means attacking the Left and defending the Right." YOU are the fifty-center.

                  1. "It was wall-to-wall CUOMO NEWSOM WHITMER WHARRGARBL"

                    1. Cuomo, Newsom and Whitmer were behaving like devils and Abbott's stupidity didn't reach the level of a good day for those three.
                    2. As a paid shill you were so busy running cover for Cuomo, Newsom and Whitmer you neither noticed or cared when we criticized (R) governors. And that's on you. Not us.

                    "A vaccine is not a lockdown"

                    I notice you left an important word I'd included in my response. Your so fucking dishonest. A vaccine mandate is a lockdown. Proposed internment camps, exclusionary practices and getting fired are effectively lockdowns.

                    1. 1. Cuomo, Newsom and Whitmer were behaving like devils and Abbott's stupidity didn't reach the level of a good day for those three.

                      In other words, the lockdowns were only useful tools for criticizing Democrats. Let's ignore the Republican lockdowns.

                      A vaccine mandate is a lockdown.

                      No it isn't.

                      Oh and something I missed in your original response:

                      When Trump started advocating the mandatory vaccinations,

                      Trump never advocated for MANDATORY vaccinations (to his credit). He occasionally RECOMMENDED that people get vaccinated. THAT is what got him booed.

                      So you lied in your original statement, and you continue to lie in your fifty-cent shilling for Team Red. Why again are you here?

                    2. "In other words, the lockdowns were only useful tools for criticizing Democrats. Let's ignore the Republican lockdowns."

                      Don't try to reword what I said into something else, Lying Jeffy. I was clear and everyone can read what I wrote. You're not tricking anyone.

                      "Why again are you here?"

                      To confound lying shills like you?

                    3. Also it's pretty obvious that you're being paid, Jeff. Is it actually fifty-cents? Because you're totally not worth it.

                    4. He's Nickel Crew.

              2. "the criticism of Team Red governors for their lockdown policies"

                This is also why everyone here treated DeSantis as a hero, which made you really, really mad. I can't believe that you have the guts to lie to us now about it.

                1. DeSantis was treated as a hero because he became the right-wing cultural warrior du jour.

                  1. Why would he be that?

                  2. Golly, a right-wing cultural warrior du jour. And what did he do exactly to earn that honour, and will you pretend it was something else to justify today's narrative?

                  3. You mean, by having the most effective Covid strategy, not surrendering essential liberties for percieved safety, eliminating sex talks with CHILDREN and eliminating special corporate priviledges?

                    Is this like how I'm supposed to be ashamed of being white after being told work ethic is the prime trait of cisheteronormative oppressors and that it's racist to presume Mexicans can read a clock?

                  4. No jeff, the rightists don't, for the most part, behave like teenaged girls like you and your in-group. The bader-ginsberg, ocasio-cortez comics, action figures of those two plus fauci offer fascinating insight into the 'adults' and 'betters' in the culture. These things don't occur in the same way on the other side -the 'right' is capable of mocking, questioning, and disagreeing with its' purported leadership. The 'left' brooks zero straying from the narrative, no questions, and has no freedom. You almost always provide a picture-perfect demonstration of this with your ridiculous attempts at pretending to be fair minded and interested in individual liberties.

              3. Speaking from Alabama, I can't wait to get "Lockdown Kay Ivey" retired. Of course we don't talk about all these other Governors so much as they don't make the evening news. That does not mean we love them.

          2. You sound as single-minded as most of the Official Pandemic Hysteria Squad. Do you have any idea of how avoiding lockdowns might be better for the 99.9% of life that is NOT COVID?

            1. Do you have any idea of how avoiding lockdowns might be better for the 99.9% of life that is NOT COVID?

              Yes! Absolutely. There are definite costs associated with lockdowns. I think those costs are only now becoming evident for all to see. In hindsight something like "Focused Protection" may have been a better idea (although that plan also relied on a lot of wishful thinking as well).

              But in the context of this current discussion, almost every governor implemented some sort of lockdown policy, and yet only Newsom or Cuomo or Whitmer ever received any sort of criticism around here. And I am supposed to believe that IF DeSantis had pursued the same policies as Cuomo, that Salted Nuts or his buddies would have criticized him just as vigorously? That claim is ridiculous. No, they would have ignored the Team Red governors behaving badly because they are shilling for Team Red.

              1. "Salted Nuts or his buddies would have criticized him just as vigorously? That claim is ridiculous. No, they would have ignored the Team Red governors behaving badly because they are shilling for Team Red."

                This is why we call him Lying Jeffy, folks. The Republican governors were heavily criticized for the lockdowns here, and the only reason some Democrats were criticized more vigorously was because they went full fascist and were doing horrific shit.

                And if tribaljeff radical partisan wasn't a paid ideologue he wouldn't be shilling this hard for an obviously evil group of people.

                1. The Republican governors were heavily criticized for the lockdowns here,

                  Where?

                  1. Here, and you know it, you dishonest garbage.

              2. "In hindsight something like "Focused Protection" may have been a better idea..."

                You mean like Florida?

                And holy shit, I don't criticize governors that don't lock down their states. Imagine that, it's happens to be a Republican thing, because they don't believe the sky is falling like Dims. That makes me a bigot du'jour!

                Let me be clear about my support for Republicans - it is straight up the biggest "fuck you" I can give to the Democrats and the most reliable way to get your filthy grooming ilk out of politics.
                I am not fond of most Republicans, but I loathe almost every Democrat.

                1. You mean like Florida?

                  Florida didn't do Focused Protection. Did you even read the GBD?

                  And holy shit, I don't criticize governors that don't lock down their states.

                  Only 7 states did not have statewide lockdowns. 43 did. INCLUDING FLORIDA.

                  https://ballotpedia.org/States_that_issued_lockdown_and_stay-at-home_orders_in_response_to_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2020

                  I am not fond of most Republicans,

                  I don't believe you. You are straight up shilling for DeSantis and his crew.

                2. I am not fond of most Republicans, but I loathe almost every Democrat.

                  This.

                  1. Yes, chemjeff ....

      3. That's right. Criticizing Democrats, especially in the context of a single issue where they went hair-on-fire insane and imposed some policies that killed people (and then tried to cover them up), makes someone a Republican.

        Is there a name for the kind of stupid that sees the world as only A or B?

        1. Black-and-white-only, no shades of gray (certainly NOT 50 of them!), binary... OMG, I hate to think of the miss-udder-standings that could cum about if I called myself non-binary!!!!

          But most of all, I think of tribalism! Which we could use a LOT less of!

          Sad to say, I think it is genetically programmed, as is also, "do-gooder derogation". Between the 2 of these things, we pay some VERY heavy, unnecessary prices!

          Full details here...
          http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/ and http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ .

        2. Well, that depends on the standard that ought to be applied here: the correct standard, or the Reason Comment Board standard.

          The correct standard of course is that the world is a complex place. There are very very few actual genuine heroes and genuine villains. Issues are complex and frequently have multiple dimensions and multiple valid points of view. Advocates for any of those points of view are generally well-intentioned and sincere.

          The Reason Comment Board standard, on the other hand, is that there are only two sides, Team Blue and Team Red, and one must owe tribal loyalty to either one. Criticizing Team Red means that you are on Team Blue, and criticizing Team Blue means that you are on Team Red. And actually, it is even simpler than that. It is truly about "good vs. evil", "liberty vs. tyranny", where Team Red is on the side of goodness and liberty, and Team Blue is on the side of evil and tyranny. So all issues are incredibly simple: if Team Red is in favor, then that is the side of goodness and liberty. If Team Blue is in favor, then that is the side of evil and tyranny. Easy peasy!

          So, which standard should be the operative one around here?

          1. For tribalists, it is all tribalism, all day, every day! It justifies their power-grabbing for THEIR tribe, and silences their consciences when they PUNISH-PUNISH-PUNISH the belongers-to-the-wrong tribe(s), as they satisfy their punishment boners! Last (and MAYBE least, on my list at least), it SAVES you from straining your brain, and puzzling through complexity, and BALANCING things!

            1. Anyone who claims to be libertarian, but shills antilibertarian Dem talking points like online censorship and a Ministry of Truth, is obviously the tribalist.

              You're a liar and a hypocrite, you deranged Nazi psychopath.

              1. Anyone who claims to be libertarian, but shills antilibertarian Dem talking points

                What do you call someone who claims to be libertarian, but shills antilibertarian Republican talking points?

                Answer: Mother's Lament

                1. What antilibertarian stance have I taken here, Lying Jeffy.
                  Name just one.

                  1. Well, that wasn't hard. Here's just one:

                    https://reason.com/2022/04/25/missouri-lawmakers-suggest-infantilizing-trans-adults-and-depriving-them-of-treatment-until-age-25/?comments=true#comment-9462966

                    You dishonestly pretend that if parents, children, doctors, counselors, and therapists all agree on gender-affirming care for transgender kids, that it constitutes "child abuse" and should be banned. That's not a libertarian point of view. That is the social conservative point of view.

                    1. Nothing libertarian about castrating kids under the age of consent no matter how you try to smooth it over with a weasel word invocation of mythical authority figures.

                      Only you would make unsubstantiated allusions to Top Men as your "libertarian" bonafides.

                      Oh, and not just castrating but fucking kids isn't libertarian either, you sick fuck.

                    2. They aren't YOUR kids. It's the social conservatives and the nanny-state liberals who want to collectivize all of the youth of the nation into one giant family that is to be taken care of by Daddy Government. And yes, while there is such a thing as child abuse, it is absolutely a stretch to say that a decision for a procedure that ALL PARTIES AGREE, including multiple licensed medical professionals, is in the best interests of the child, constitutes "child abuse".

                      Just say it: the state knows better than parents how to raise their kids. That is what is in your heart.

                    3. Yes! Mammary-Fuhrer loves our children more than we do! Her Perfect Love is powered by Her Perfect Christian Theology! (Which somehow also manages to bless Her Perfect Identity Theft and Her Perfect Urging Her Opponents to Commit Suicide! For some reason, She refuses to share Her Perfect Theology on these matters, though.)

                    4. They aren't YOUR kids.

                      We both know that minors under the age of consent are protected against molestation and castration by law, Jeffy.

                      Quit pretending that it's okay for perverts to violate those laws to indulge insanity and woke peccadillos.

                    5. Quit pretending that it's okay for perverts to violate those laws to indulge insanity and woke peccadillos.

                      And so here we have an excellent example of your "libertarian populism" being a lie.

                      Doctors and counselors and therapists and psychiatrists and all sorts of medical professionals examine these children and in their professional judgment, in which they stake their professional reputations and livelihoods, they don't regard their patients as "insane", or their prescribed treatments as being a mere "peccadillo". They presumably take their jobs seriously and they recommend what they believe to be the best course of action to the parents. And it's up to the parents to decide what to do. EVEN IF they are "woke" parents. But you cannot acknowledge the liberty of the "woke" parents, because the "hoi polloi" mob thinks that transgenderism is a bunch of baloney. So you will side with the mob against the cause of liberty. They are not your children and you need to butt out of the decision. And FOR THE RECORD, if it were my child, I would never agree to gender reassignment surgery for my child. It would just be too much for me to bear. But I cannot speak for other parents who love their children just as much as I love mine. All parents have to make tough decisions with their children and the last thing any parent needs is some asshole stranger butting in with their "opinion" on what to do.

                    6. "Doctors and counselors and therapists and psychiatrists and all sorts of medical professionals examine these children and in their professional judgment"

                      No they don't.
                      And in many places they can lose their professional licenses if they disagree with the child and their deranged, Munchausen-by-proxy riddled mother's self assessment.

                      It's a real problem because outside of a few quacks the medical consensus is that the current transgender fad is a Pathogenic Meme, in the actually sense of the word. Nothing libertarian about a corrosive psychopathology.

                      Also, how the fuck do you figure your "Top Men" argument, even a fallacious one, is remotely libertarian?

                      Populist Libertarianism is an actual thing, your brand of authoritarian Top Men "libertarianism" is an oxymoron.

                    7. No they don't.

                      Yes, they do. What, you think medical professionals don't examine the children under their care?

                      It's a real problem because outside of a few quacks the medical consensus is that the current transgender fad is a Pathogenic Meme

                      Really? You mean like this "consensus"?

                      https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/04/analysis-finds-strong-consensus-effectiveness-gender-transition-treatment

                      A new analysis conducted by researchers at the What We Know Project (WWKP), an initiative of Cornell University’s Center for the Study of Inequality (CSI), reviewed more than 25 years of scholarship on transgender mental health and found a strong consensus that undergoing gender transition can improve the well-being of transgender people.

                      The year-long review screened more than 4,000 studies and identified 56 that assessed whether gender transition improves the mental well-being of transgender individuals. The analysis concluded that 93 percent of the studies found positive effects from gender transition, indicating “a robust international consensus in the peer-reviewed literature that gender transition, including medical treatments such as hormone therapy and surgeries, improves the overall well-being of transgender individuals.”

                      We can argue all day whether any particular child who thinks he/she is transgender ought to receive gender reassignment surgery. But at the end of the day, our opinions don't matter because they're not our kids. Part of being a libertarian is accepting that other people make choices that we don't approve of. You can't do that.

                      Also, how the fuck do you figure your "Top Men" argument, even a fallacious one, is remotely libertarian?

                      But my argument is not a "Top Men" argument. I'm not arguing that the child should be forced to receive whatever treatment the doctor recommends. I am arguing that the parents should decide. You don't trust the parents to decide "correctly". You are even willing to label the PARENTS as mentally ill if they don't conform to the choices that YOU deem are the most appropriate ones.

                      Which is why your claim of being a "libertarian populist" is a lie. How would it NOT be a quintessential demonstration of libertarian populism to stand up for average everyday parents to raise their own children as they see fit? To trust that they know what is best based on the consultations they receive from medical professionals? You DON'T trust parents if they decide "wrongly" and you label a medical procedure "child abuse" because you disapprove of their decision. That is why you are not a libertarian populist, you are a social conservative populist - because your defense of parental rights is extremely conditional. Only if they make the "traditionally correct" decisions will you permit parents to raise their kids.

                    8. "They aren't YOUR kids. It's the social conservatives and the nanny-state liberals who want to collectivize all of the youth of the nation into one giant family that is to be taken care of by Daddy Government."

                      I think this is the stupidest thing you've ever written. And you write a lot of stupid things.

                  2. Oh, here's another one:

                    https://reason.com/2022/04/25/youtube-isis-videos-mean-the-supreme-court-could-reconsider-section-230/?comments=true#comment-9462075

                    Here, Mother's Lament wants to throw Disney executives in jail over protected speech. That's not a libertarian position, that is the social conservative CULTURE WARRIOR one.

                    Should I keep going?

                    1. Nothing libertarian about airing a video about little boy's stripping for adult men either. You seem to have libertarianism confused with pedophilia.

                      Is this really all you've got?

                    2. You want them thrown in jail for protected speech. That is not just unlibertarian but authoritarian as fuck.

                    3. Child porn isn't and never has been protected speech, you demented fuck. Children can't consent.
                      No libertarian on the planet would agree with you.

                    4. It's not child porn - there was no nudity and no sex. FFS the clip was broadcast on network TV which is subject to FCC 'decency' regulations. If the prudes at the FCC didn't think it was 'child porn' then it wasn't child porn. Your definition of 'child porn' is so broad that it encompasses perfectly legal activity even if it is tasteless and creepy.

                    5. "It's not child porn - there was no nudity and no sex"

                      What utter garbage. A child doing an erotic strip dance for leering men is sexual even if they didn't see his junk at the end.
                      You're not only pathetic for shilling for this pederast porn, you're evil too.

                    6. Yet one more example of why you are a social conservative and not a libertarian. The big job of libertarians is to defend liberty for its own sake. That means defending liberty when it is sometimes uncomfortable to do so. Libertarians defend the free speech of Nazis. Libertarians defend the due process rights of rapists and murderers. And libertarians defend free speech rights even for tasteless tacky creepy speech. When it comes to speech that offends you, AND when that speech comes from a cultural enemy of Team Red, then any pretense of your libertarian ideals goes out the window.

                      Bottom line is, you won't stick up for the liberty of the people you hate. That is why you are not a libertarian.

                  3. Here's another:

                    https://reason.com/2022/04/24/a-new-history-of-the-old-right/?comments=true#comment-9460791

                    Here, Mother's Lament is praising the virtues of populism. Here is a clue, populism is not libertarianism. Populism is ANTI-libertarian because the mob can just as well violate your liberties as any authoritarian government can. See: French Revolution, Russian Revolution.

                    You are not a libertarian, you are a populist social conservative. And you are fifty-center shill for Team Red because you have no real convictions, you are primarily animated by hatred for Team Blue.

                    1. If you were actually a libertarian instead of a DNC fascist paid to shill here, you'd know that Libertarian Populism is a thing.

                      Reason TV had a whole show on it: https://reason.com/video/2013/08/09/what-is-libertarian-populism/

                      You know what isn't libertarian, Jeff? The Top Man authoritarianism you push.

                      "because the mob can just as well violate your liberties as any authoritarian government can"

                      So can anyone. You're literally saying "what if's" and nothing here. You're so fucking dishonest.

                    2. But that's not what you are advocating. Libertarian Populism at its core must still stand for liberty. You stand for the mob. When have you ever taken the mob to task for something wrong that it has done? If your "libertarian populism" had even a hint of principle then it might make some sense. Yours however is just a naked appeal to the mob with protections of liberty as a distant afterthought.

                    3. That's exactly what I've been advocating.

                      You've invented you're own nutty definition and use it to slime everyone with, like the Nazi fuck that you are.

                    4. Also your definition of populism as "mob rule" is deliberately dishonest and purposeful sophistry.

                      Ochlocracy is mob rule, whereas populism is "a range of political stances that emphasize the idea of the people and often juxtapose this group against the elite".

                      I think that you are ignorant enough not to know that, but I also realize that you're dishonest enough to deliberately misrepresent the definition for the sake of your narrative.

                    5. IT IS MOB RULE. It suffers from the exact same defect as any other mass movement - it runs on emotions, not reason, and it is easily swayed by demagogues seeking power. And when have you ever stood AGAINST the mob in FAVOR of liberty? You cannot be a libertarian populist if you never stand up for liberty for its own sake.

                    6. "IT IS MOB RULE. It suffers from the exact same defect as any other mass movement - it runs on emotions, not reason"

                      Everything you've said in this sentence is absolute authoritarian horseshit. Nobody but a bootlicker for despotic imperials could write that.

                      The proletariat are no more likely to be governed by their passions than the gender studies professors and trust fund babies that make up your precious elite.

                      In fact the first 1000 names in the Baltimore phone book would be more prudent and less emotional and cultish than anyone at 430 South Capitol Street.

                    7. You dishonestly avoided the core question:

                      And when have you ever stood AGAINST the mob in FAVOR of liberty? You cannot be a libertarian populist if you never stand up for liberty for its own sake.

                      No one doubts that you are a populist. But you are not a libertarian populist. You are a social conservative Team Red culture warrior.

              2. "You're a liar and a hypocrite, you deranged Nazi psychopath."

                Pure projection by an "expert Christian Theologian"!

                Mammary-Necrophilia-Fuhrer, Supreme Demonic Director of Decay, Destruction, and Death, will now SPEAK! HARKKK silently and RESPECTFULLY, all ye lowly heathens, as She Directs Death, and announces WHICH few of us MIGHT deserve to live, and WHO all deserves to DIE-DIE-DIE!!!

                https://reason.com/2022/01/25/did-these-three-officers-willfully-deprive-george-floyd-of-his-constitutional-rights/?comments=true#comment-9323626
                “You should really join ᛋᛋqrlsy, ᛋᛋhrike. You two goosestepping fascists offing yourselves would definitely be a mitzvah.”

                -Quote MammaryBahnFuhrer the "Expert Christian Theologian"

                So Mammary-Necrophilia-Fuhrer, Supreme Demonic Director of Decay, Destruction, and Death... WHEN are You going to STOP stealing the IDs of Your victims, and then posting kiddie porn in THEIR names, and then blaming THEM?

                Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!

                1. I stand by that statement 100%, ᛋᛋqrlsy. You can make the world a better place. You can be just like the guy who shot Hitler.

                  1. You can not STAND the idea that I'm a better (more data-driven, more benevolent) person that You are, right, Oh Perfect One?

                    You know, Mammary-Fuhrer, your “species dysphoria”? Whereby you have an evil, inhumane spirit stuck in a human body? Let’s call it what it is… It is an EVIL spirit! It does NOT lead to your Happy Place!

                    Whether your evil spirit is merely metaphorical, or metaphysical, Mephistophelian, or Manichaean, it really doesn’t matter much. (I can say that it is a waste of time to bother to look for it under your bed, or in your closet, is about as far as I will go). The rest isn’t worth arguing about.

                    All I can say is, whatever its nature may be, your evil spirit is NOT going to lead you to your Happy Place!

                    Healing often starts with understanding. Start here: M. Scott Peck, The People of the Lie, the Hope for Healing Human Evil
                    https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684848597/reasonmagazinea-20/
                    People who are evil attack others instead of facing their own failures. Peck demonstrates the havoc these “people of the lie” work in the lives of those around them.

                    1. M. Scott Peck would punch you in the face if he were still alive, for using his book as attempted cover for your dishonest bullshit.

                    2. So You can Perfectly "channel" M. Scott Peck from the Great Beyond the Beyond? Can You channel Jesus also? What does Jesus say about Your Perfect Identity Theft and Your Perfect Urging Your Opponents to Commit Suicide?

                    3. Well he wrote a book condemning lying psychopaths and you're a lying psychopath who's trying to use his book to reinforce you're dishonesty, so yeah. I think he'd be extremely pissed with you.

                    4. M. Scott Peck STRONGLY opposed suicide, and the metal and spiritual forces behind suicide! And YOU, Oh Perfect Servant of the Evil One, AGREE with said forces! As is shown by Your Perfect Recommendations for others to commit suicide! QED!

                    5. M. Scott Peck make exceptions for pedophilia apologists like you, Sqrlsy.

                      Be a hero, Sqrlsy. Make the world a better place. Like I said, you can be just like the guy who shot Hitler.

                    6. What comes around, goes around, Perfect Servant of the Evil One! You are NOT on the path to ANY kind of Happy Place! Change horses NOW, if You know what's good for You!

          2. Advocates for any of those points of view are generally well-intentioned and sincere.
            Shilling for those who would kill you in a flash because "their hearts are in the right place" is literally how we got here.

  6. Meh. If progressives get their way, at least half the population will be declared incompetent (i.e. not embracing progressive ideology and not submitting to progressive policy). We constantly hear about how deviant we are: racist, sexist, homophobic, exploitative, etc. Once they complete our mental (moral) assessment, they can then put our possessions into a public trust, and put us into supervised care.

    1. I hear they even deliver your bags to you at the camps!

  7. The new law requires courts to grant permission for guardians to sign DNRs

    Another 3 minute hearing with a joking judge? That'll fix things up right proper!

    1. that's the first thing that came to my mind!

  8. WTF - Welcome to Florida

  9. And when the Fed finally issues the crypto-dollar, the Disinformation Czar will be able to freeze anyone's money without a warrant, if they say or do anything off script.

    1. Just like with the trucker protesters, Canada has always been the initial testing ground for American authoritarian left ideas.

      Everything crazy that Trudeau is doing in Canada right now is what the Democrats have planned for the States.

    2. At least until the Emergency is over.

  10. When this happens to Sleepy Joe, I want a clear view of the republican crybabies at Kamala's swearing-at ceremony. Voters evidently prefer a prohibitionist geezer Kleptocrat to a girl-bullying prohibitionist geezer kleptocrat. Eventually they'll learn that LP spoiler votes speed up these transitions.

    1. President Kamala Harris would be the best thing that could ever happen to Republicans. Joe is an addle pated fool, but he's old and probably has dementia. She has no excuse for being such a dipshit.

  11. This isn't just a Florida thing. The article briefly mentions Nevada. The New Yorker article is worth reading:
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights

    Or just Gooble the names "April Parks" and her partner in crime "Jon Norheim". Parks eventually went to jail sentenced to 40 years, unfortunately Norheim didn't. They pulled this guardianship scam on dozens of people, sold their belongings, and kept the proceeds. This was the inspiration for the Netflix film "I Care A Lot".

  12. I find it odd that this essay focuses on Florida even as it admits that Florida is better than many other states and has improved recently thanks to De Santis.

    1. Right? The author even says Florida has "relatively stringent oversight." And Florida clearly made reforms in response to abuse of the system. So why make the headline about Florida, and not guardianship abuse generally?

      I don't recall which state it is- Missouri, maybe?- but there's an ongoing issue with guardians ad litem for children and a pay-to-play scheme. The allegation is that court appointed GALs are shaking down parents for favorable reports to the court. And I'm sure there are countless other cases of guardianship abuse throughout the country. This isn't a Florida thing.

      It's a difficult issue. Some people are incompetent to handle their own legal affairs and need a guardian, but any system that gives people money and power is ripe for abuse.

  13. I live in New Jersey where I was declared mentally incompetent several years ago. I have a court appointed lawyer in charge of my medical decisions and finances. It sucks.

    There's court oversight, but it's insufficient. The court hearing that resulted in my incompetent status lasted a couple of minutes. The judge asked me if I had anything to say for myself. I told him that some of the accusations made against me in the petition for incompetency where false. The judge said, "They aren't accusations, they are assertions," and then ruled that I was incompetent.

    If I was actually accused of a crime, I would get months of a trial, and my lawyer would cross examine accusers, but because it is a mental health matter, the accusations made against me were just written up and given to the judge without anyone taking a witness stand.

    1. Curious as to who sought to have you declared mentally incompetent.

      1. Me too... and why.

    2. Welcome to libritarian ism.

  14. See, we can still get good reporting here. As long as there's no Democratic or Republican side to the issue. [Gulp]...is there?

  15. Read also Rachel Aviv's reporting about Nevada's guardianship program:
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights
    It stands out even among Aviv's other often-painful reporting...

  16. Absolutely chilling and a shame that it's happened to anyone. I can understand why such a system would be in place, but it needs better regulation.. Thanks for bringing this to light.

  17. Thanks for your beyond belief blogs stuff. looking for a Accountant Bedford

  18. Impressive article. It's actual journalism with data and facts just like you could occasionally read 40 or 50 years ago. I'm guessin' CJ didn't do J School at Columbia.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.