Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More Fuzzy Facts From Our Favorite Columnist

I gave Nick a good beating last week over an "article" he wrote lambasting one State Rep. Brad Finstad for having the audacity to suggest that immigrants should learn how to speak English. In a letter to the editor in today's Strib, Finstad fired back at Coleman:

Just as Nick Coleman states in a recent column that he hates to pick on young lawmakers, I hate to pick on veteran columnists who haven't completely studied the details of proposed legislation before making criticism ("Stern reminder for all at Capitol," Jan. 5).

In this case, Coleman blasted legislation that I'm sponsoring regarding immigrants and took the criticism to the level of a personal attack.


Gee this sounds familiar. I wonder if Finstad has a blog...

Anyways, he continues (emphasis mine):

My bill would require immigrants to make an attempt at learning English after one year if they receive welfare benefits. To me, this is not an unreasonable request. In my opinion, if you are settling in Minnesota and utilizing government welfare assistance, attempting to learn the language could help you become an even more productive citizen.

Coleman was correct about one thing: Many German immigrants settled in southwestern Minnesota, and few of them spoke English. He fails to point out that these immigrants didn't receive welfare benefits to create New Ulm and the other towns in the area.

For comparison, here's how Nick, in his trademark snarkiness (I just LOVE that word: snarky snarky snarky snarky snarky snarky snarky snarky...Sorry about that) describes the bill in question (emphasis mine):

Young Bradley, a second-term Republican from New Ulm, wants to require new arrivals to learn English in a year or lose their state benefits. I'd like to see Bradley learn a new language in a year...

Yes, our fact challenged uber-shithead has done it again. Here's a synopsis of the same law in two different universes:

The real-world version of the law: requires immigrants to BEGIN learning English AFTER one year of residency.

The Planet Nick version of the law: new immigrants must LEARN English WITHIN one year or STARVE TO DEATH.

Mangia merda e morta, Nick.

NOTE: I was given the impression by Nick Coleman's column, and went with it in my previous post, that indeed the bill required the mastery of a new language within a year. I suggested three to five years would be reasonable. I could not find the bill on theMN Legislature's website so all I had to go on was Nick's reportage. I realize that this was a stupid mistake. To the extent that my Vafanculo, Nick post incorporated "facts" from Coleman's column, I hereby issue a full retraction.

Which is more than the Strib will do.

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