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    • The Lack of Belief In Good
      Are humans good, bad or neutral? It’s an old philosophical debate, and not just in the West. Confucius thought they were born neutral, for example, while the later Confucian Mencius felt they were good, noting that everyone who saw a child fall into a well would be horrified. Others, including many Confucians and the Christian church, with original sin, have […]
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Nothing to see here in Florida. Move along.

The Washington Post reports yesterday that a new Covid variant that originated in Columbia has now been found in Florida. It doesn’t have a Greek letter yet. Delta is racing through the unvaccinated now almost everywhere. Gamma is on its way and might be an escape variant. And now this new Florida variant would be epsilon? Seems like too many syllables. How about lambda. Or kappa.

But that’s about all we know about Florida because it is one of those states that reports case numbers when it wants to. And it hasn’t wanted to for about a week. (See 1point3acres.com for all the data).

All the usual suspects conveniently not reporting numbers including the big kahuna of Florida.

Maybe it’s a schedule thing but considering their recent stratospheric spike, you’d think they’d want to keep their residents better informed. Just so they can keep their mask and vaccine options open.

OT: I heard a funny story yesterday that in Missouri the publicly vaccine defiant are going to get vaccinated wearing masks. Not the kind everyone wears but masks that disguise who they are. They don’t want their friends and families to know they’re getting the shot. It kind of reminds me of the reports of young female abortion protestors sneaking into planned parenthood when they have to make a choice.

Anyway, let’s take a look at Florida’s running average, shall we? This is about a month’s worth of data:

Even if we take into consideration that Florida is aggregating their case numbers from around the state and reporting only periodically, that is a massive anomalous spike on July 23. And after that, not a single case for about a week. It’s like the virus arrived, partied all weekend and then got the hell out of Florida the very next day.

Amazing.

If you squint, you can almost see Florida turning blue right before your very eyes.

It’s not just Florida. Arkansas is also deep in delta. Dr. Michael Bolding in Arkansas reported this sad situation:

A doctor in Arkansas says dying Covidpatients beg him for a vaccine, and he has to tell them it’s too late.

“I see someone daily – for the last three weeks – that is possibly dying, certainly very sick, that asks if they can get their vaccine,” Dr Michael Bolding told CNN. “And it is heartbreaking to tell them that that time has passed, that that was five to six weeks ago to prevent this.”

I do feel sorry for the poor suckers who bought Ron DeSantis’s message to the MAGA crowd. But as BFF used to say, “You gives’em books and gives’em books and all they do is chews on the covers.”

Republicans, please don’t help #freebritney

The more that comes out about Britney Spears’ conservatorship, the more Kafkaesque her dilemma appears to be. I can’t understand how it is that we can completely strip an adult American citizen of all civil rights, especially a high functioning, hard working adult who appears to have been put under this arrangement fraudulently. How did conservatorships fly under the radar??

Senators Liz Warren and Bob Casey are investigating the problem and have requested data from HHS and SEC to understand the nature and scope of the conservatorships in each state. That seems logical. Understand the problem before proposing solutions. The biggest problem so far appears to be that state appointed conservators, whether they are family members or guardians, have a conflict of interest in ensuring that the conservatorship continues indefinitely, allowing them to “isolate, medicate and liquidate” the conservatee’s assets.

This is what is happening to Britney. Her father, Jamie, was in control of her person and from 2008-2019 and now is the single conservator of her estate. He controls every aspect of her life because he controls all of her money. Britney was assigned a lawyer by the court who was supposed to represent her. He was paid $10K a week to make sure her best interests were served. He never told her that she had the right to petition the court to end the conservatorship. You figure that one out.

In all this time, Britney has not been able to choose her own lawyer. The court said she lacked capacity to do so. A couple of weeks ago, this changed. All the sunlight on her case lately seems to have had an impact on the judge in this case who suddenly realized that there was never a finding of incapacity filed for Britney in 2008. Imagine that! How did THAT sneak by the first judge who put Britney under her father’s thumb forever? The conservatorship has been “voluntary”. Again, no one told Britney. Her court appointed lawyer promptly resigned when this happened and the lawyer she picked, Matt Rosengart, got right to work. First thing he did was petition the court to remove Jamie Spears from being a conservator of Britney’s person and estate. It’s a sort of “starve the beast” maneuver. The motion is pending a September 29 hearing. That should be a biggie.

The amount of money in her estate has been called “shockingly low” by Forbes magazine. In the past 13 years, she’s been earning hundreds of millions of dollars from her tours and Vegas residency. But her estate is still the same $60 million that she started with in 2008. Where is the money she earned since 2008? Well, some of it has been used to pay the conservators, Jamie’s expensive lawyers, the business manager that Jamie chose, the talent manager that Jamie chose, Jamie’s personal PR team, the security team that Jamie hired for himself and the stasi security team he hired to form Britney’s domestic panopticon.

There are cameras in her house watching everything she does. Think about that.

Anyway, Republicans have heard her cry. Matt Gaetz has been slinking around the free Britney movement. I guess no one told him Britney is too old for him. And Republican Nancy Mace, has introduced the Free Britney Act. Wait, it’s been shortened to just the Free Act. It looks like Charlie Crist has signed on to it. Florida strikes again. His involvement probably has something to do with the large number of elderly conservatees in Florida but their condition is vastly different from Britney’s. They’re really apples and oranges. Whatever is written for elderly people with dementia who may be vulnerable to undue influence will not apply to a high profile, young, competent, hard working, high earning pop star whose family was annoyed with her cutting them out of her business life.

Did you notice that “Free” had to be in there somewhere? Somebody please give Republicans as thesaurus.

Maybe they need a dictionary instead. The title of the bill is Orwellian. There is nothing in the bill that would help free a conservatee who shouldn’t be in a conservatorship from a conservatorship. No. All this bill does is allow the conservatee to request a different state appointed guardian. The conservatee would also get a state case workerhu. This caseworker would be paid from a pool of money granted by the federal government based on the number of conservatorships in the state. If the youtube legal Eagles are reading this bill correctly, the impact would be that more conservatorships would be created because the cut of the grant to the states would be directly proportional to the number of conservatees in that state. Way to go, Republican thought experimenters!

There is no provision for the conservatee to petition the court to get out of the conservatorship. These arrangements are notoriously difficult to get free from as Britney’s case has shown. The conservatee literally has no civil rights. They have the legal standing of minor children. An accused ax murderer has more rights than Britney right now. Crist and Mace’s bill does nothing to change this. The conservatee would have the right to petition the court for a new guardian but the court would still be the entity who chooses the guardian. There would be a caseworker assigned to the conservatorship as well. The caseworkers would come from a pool of state appointed caseworkers who would be paid according to the share of money the state has been granted for this purpose and according to the number of conservatees in the state. The caseworker would be tasked with reviewing the conservatorship and submitting reports. But conservatorships like Britney’s are already reviewed on an annual basis and up until recently, her reports of conservatorship personhood and estate abuse have been ignored by the court.

So, the Republican Free Act would do nothing of the sort for the conservatee. It would just give the conservatee the right to replace the ruthless and greedy family conservator she knows with a possibly equally ruthless and greedy conservator she doesn’t know. Did I mention there is no accountability or penalties in this bill? Why should we be surprised. Oversight smacks of regulation and Republicans don’t tend to write bills that have provisions for accountability. We will just have to rely on the goodness of the conservators’ hearts and their incorruptibility in the face of so much money.

You may be wondering why the Governor of California, Democrat Gavin Newsome, hasn’t stepped in and freed Britney himself. Isn’t this all his fault?? I’ve actually heard this accusation in the comments sections. It’s not clear to me that the Governor has any role to play in this matter and probably wouldn’t get involved anyway until the full extent of the fraud is known. The ACLU has filed briefs on behalf of Britney for the violation of her civil rights. But I’m guessing that now that there’s a media frenzy and the court has finally started to look into its own culpability, the conservatorship will likely end soon. Like in a matter of months. Probably not soon enough for Britney but there’s no way this can go on now that everyone knows how badly she’s been screwed by her conservators and their lawyers and how her money has been squandered with the court’s permission.

As for whether it was all Gavin Newsome’s fault to begin with, this would be incorrect. The Spears conservatorship was created in 2008 when Republican Arnold Schwartzeneggar was a two term Governor. So, you know… there’s that. Not that he was personally involved or anything but someone should probably look into how the probate court judges and the chummy conservator lawyers are appointed or were appointed back then. It looks like a racket.