I flipped the image horizontally so that it reads better from left to right. Here’s the original:

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It was bound to happen sooner or later — a “Florida Man” story featuring someone I’ve actually met!

But first, the story: Jonathan Crenshaw, a man with no arms and who weighs 90 pounds (41 kilograms), is a homeless man who makes a living painting on canvas by holding paintbrushes with his toes. He paints in front of spectators as a sort of street performance at Miami’s Lincoln Road Mall, an outdoor shopping mall on a pedestrians-only street just north of South Beach. I saw him hard at work on a painting when I visited last year, and threw a fiver into his donations can.

I’ll let the Miami Herald tell the most recent story about Crenshaw:

But on Tuesday, just after midnight, Miami Beach police say that Crenshaw stabbed one of those tourists. Crenshaw, police say, used a pair of scissors he clutched with his feet to stab Cesar Coronado, 22, who was visiting Miami Beach from Chicago.

According to the arrest report, Crenshaw said he was lying down when Coronado approached him and punched him in the head. He stabbed Coronado twice, put the scissors back into his waistband, and quickly walked off, police say.

Miami Beach officers found the victim lying on the ground, bleeding from his left arm. Paramedics took Coronado to Mount Sinai Medical Center.

If you want to know more about Crenshaw, Miami New Times — one of the best sources for oddball Florida news — wrote a profile about him back in 2011.

I’m not going to attempt to determine whose story is more in line with the truth — the homeless man with the long rap sheet, who says he was attacked by a couple of young troublemakers who thought he’d be an easy mark, or the young tourists who say they were just asking for directions when the crazy transient attacked them.

What I will remark on is the fact that a scrawny, armless man almost 50 years of age who sleeps on the street got the upper hand on a millennial half his age and infinitely more arms (mathematically speaking, 2 arms is infinitely more than 0).

It leads me to conclude that this isn’t really a “Florida Man” story, but a story about one or more of the following:

  • The power of the element of surprise, or
  • That old age and treachery will beat youth and exuberance every time, or
  • How Gen X kicks the Millennial generation’s sorry participation-trophy-clutching ass every time.

As a gentleman of a certain age, the final interpretation’s my favorite.

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Happy Independence Day!

by Joey deVilla on July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

And remember, kids: if your fireworks vendor has all their fingers, it means their wares are BO-RING. Fly-by-night fireworks stands run by sketchy-looking Florida drifters are your best 4th of July entertainment value!

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Happy Canada Day!

by Joey deVilla on July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

In honour of this day, and as a Canadian now living in the United States, here’s the most appropriate tribute I can find: Stewart “Brittlestar” Reynolds’ video, in which he explains Canada to its neighbour to the south. Here’s the video…

…and here’s the story behind the video, courtesy of the Stratford Beacon-Herald.

I’ll close with this classic video by Tom Brokaw about Canada, which was broadcast just before the 2010 Olympic Games’ opening ceremonies in Vancouver, Canada on February 12, 2010:

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Given the heat and humidity here, a good lawyer might be able to successfully argue that her actions were justified.

Kimberly Dunn of Lake City, Florida put an air conditioner up for sale on Facebook last year. Her husband, whom she was divorcing, and his brother came home to pick it up, and a scuffle ensued. The police report says that she first sat on the unit in order to keep her her and his brother from taking it away, and when her husband tried to remove her from the unit, she attempted to shock him with a pink stun gun.

When the stun gun failed, she took a handgun and shot her now ex-husband in the testicles.

The police say that the brother shouted “You shot my brother!” and choked Dunn until she blacked out. The ex-husband took the gun and brought it with him as he checked into a nearby hospital, after which Dunn was arrested.

Dunn said that she only meant to scare her husband and that the nut-shot was an accident. She had a court date on June 14th that she missed, and she now faces an additional charge: contempt of court.

In case you were wondering, Lake City is just southeast of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refugeyes, it’s a real place! — in that part of Florida where the phrase “Paddle faster; I hear banjos” is a survival strategy.

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Click the image to see it at full size.

Found via Tony Pierce.

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Click the image to see it at full size.

In case you’re wondering who the white-haired fellow in the suit holding the Bible is, that’s Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. He’s the one who defended the unconscionable practice of separating parents and children of families detained at the U.S. border by citing Romans 13 from the Bible:

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government, because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

This isn’t the first time Romans 13 has been used to justify terrible things. As an article in The Atlantic about how the chief modeas of the Trump administration are cruelty and denial puts it:

Just as Sessions reached for Romans 13 to justify the policy of family separation, so did the South’s theologians, such as Thornton Stringfellow, insist that scripture bestowed “the authority, from God himself, to hold men and women, and their increase, in slavery, and to transmit them as property forever.”

Here are verses 1 through 5 of Romans 13 from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, and they’re what Sessions is referring to:

1. Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.

4. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

Sessions is a Trump-style American conservative, and might rather that you forget about verses 6 and 7 of Romans 13, which tell you that taxes are a good thing:

6. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

7. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

And finally, there are verses 8 through 10, which basically say that “love your neighbor” is the law — everything else is a corollary:

8. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

9. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

10. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Stephen Colbert did a nice job summarizing:

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