Ron DeSantis Really is “Florida Man” Incarnated

The guy who set himself on fire outside the Trump trial last week turned out to have been a whacky conspiracy theorist. He did what he did for utterly crazy reasons and was not doing it for Trump. He had driven up from his home in Florida, hence was also a “Florida Man”. In other words, what we had was just one more “Florida Man” news story – Florida Man sets himself on Fire outside Trump Trial for no rational reason.

“Florida Man” is actually a meme.

The term “Florida Man” has it’s very own Wikipedia page, where it is explained …

Florida Man is an Internet meme first popularized in 2013,[1] referring to an alleged prevalence of people performing irrational or maniacal actions in the U.S. state of Florida. Internet users typically submit links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes and other events occurring in Florida, with stories’ headlines often beginning with “Florida Man …” followed by the main event of the story.[2]

Given the reputation of the State has, it is perhaps wholly appropriate for Florida Man Ron DeSantis to also be Gov of that same state.

Famous, and perhaps far more correctly tagged “infamous”, for doing a whole slew of utterly bizarre and weird stuff while Gov …

… and on and on and on … just a long list of utterly bizarre and totally pointless stuff.

Book Bans

Yes, book bans is also very much his to own.

PEN America researchers notes that Florida continues to be the state with the highest number of bans — at 3,135 bans across 11 school districts. That’s about 72% of all book bans within the entire US.

The problem with doing a book ban is that you end up creating a double edged sword.

When he rolled out his vaguely worded book ban law he was specific warned that it would cause havoc. Now we are in the position to play the “I told you so” card, so much so that DeSantis has how to roll things back this past week.

When rolling things back DeSantis blamed liberal activists abusing the law, so …

…The Associated Press asked DeSantis’ office for examples of liberal activists abusing the law and it provided one: Chaz Stevens, a South Florida resident who has often lampooned government. Stevens raised challenges in dozens of school districts over the Bible, dictionaries and thesauruses.

…“When they need to make stupid stupider, they send me up. I’m part comedian, I’m part activist, I’m part artist. I just want a better society,” Stevens said. “I’m an idiot, but a smart guy at the same time.”

Permit me to explain.

The “idea” behind the book-ban law was the removal of books deemed “explicit”. The rather obvious issue you then face, as was demonstrated by Chaz Stevens, if you apply exactly the same standard to the Bible or even Dictionaries, then they also qualify for removal. You literally can’t have a law like this and then declare, “Ah no, not the bible”.

DeSantis blames Chaz, but literally everybody else blames DeSantis for cobbling up a vaguely worded culture-war law. He was literally warned during debates that the legislation was not fit for purpose, but went ahead with it anyway, and has now been forced to try and roll it back … a bit.

A Chaz commented, “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.“.

To be clear, the latest amendment does not resolve the book ban issue in any meaningful way, but instead tries to tighten things up a bit …

The original law allowed any person — parent or not, district resident or not — to challenge books as often as they wanted. Once challenged, a book has to be pulled from shelves until the school district resolves the complaint. The new law limits people who don’t have students in a school district to one challenge per month.

In other words, it is still open season for playing stupid games, DeSantis simply narrowed down how often people who are not parents can play.

Is it just one stupid Law?

Gosh no, we have lots to select from, and this “Florida Man” keeps on churning out even more stupidity.

Take for example the latest offering from DeSantis. He has just passed a bill (HB 931) that enables public schools to have religious chaplains.

During his press conference he was challenged about it all, and addressed concerns as follows …

“Some have said that if you do a school chaplain program that, somehow, you’re going to have satanists running around in all our schools. We’re not playing those games in Florida. That is not a religion. That is not qualified to be able to participate in this. So, we’re going to be using common sense when it comes to this. You don’t have to worry about it.”

So yes, you know exactly how this will play out. It is yet another vague law that opens the door to chaos and confusion.

The law itself is utterly absurd. It enables literally anybody to become a school councillor without any meaningful professional qualifications at all. All you will need is the title of “chaplain”, and for some religious groups, the only requirement for that is that you are breathing and believe what they believe.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Satanic Temple have told the Florida Gannett newspapers that they intend to take advantage of the law. The group claims IRS recognition as a church, so there is no legal way they can be excluded.

If a public school district or charter school is stupid enough to believe him, they’re in for a hell of a battle. If and when that happens, @GovRonDeSantis is not going to have their backs.

So yes, this latest will be yet another round of “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”.

When the satanists turn up to fill a role, then either the school backs down on this stupidity or they go to court and get chewed up, both legally and financially, by the Establishment Clause. Either way, remind them to send a “thank you” note to DeSantis for yet another round of chaos.

Actual Satanists?

OK, a side note. For those unaware, the Satanic Temple use religious imagery to push back against rather blatant breaches of the establishment clause, they don’t actually believe in a literal Satan, but instead play the role as in “Oh, so you want to impose your religion on everybody, OK then, how about this religion“, then they proceed to sit back and watch as evangelical heads go the full 360, explode, and finally withdraw. This latest “Chaplains in Public Schools” law is a case made just for them, and even more so because DeSantas also specifically invited them to come and play.

Florida man

He might no longer be the GOP Nominee, but this Florida Man was not too long ago a very viable presidential candidate. Scary thought – he will be back to try that again.

Sadly, he will remain Gov of Florida until 2026 so those poor folks down in Florida will have to continue to endure this Florida Man for a few more years.

He did however win an award

Political comedian Davram Stiefler goes up to DeSantis during a press meeting and grants him a participant award for his presidential bid …

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