December 14, 2005

My Nick Coleman Fix

I'll admit it, I was all excited to see a new Nick Coleman column up at the Star-Tribune, but then I read it and realized that it's just so incredibly stupid, illogical, petty and poorly written (even by Coleman's standards), that it just didn't seem fair to kick something into the dirt that was already dragged through the mud by the author himself.

But, I still needed a Nick Coleman fix, so I decided to fish a random story off the Star-Tribune Web page and give it the patented Nick Coleman treatment.

Smoking Ban Rollback Is A Tragedy For Us All
By Nick Coleman

Well, the Minnesota Association for the Promotion of Lung Cancer (MAPLC) got its way this week when Hennepin County commissioners shamefully voted to roll back aspects of its county-wide smoking ban.

That's right, about the only thing we Minnesotans had to be proud of has been yanked out from under us, like a kick to the teeth, like a puff of smoke in the face, like forcing someone to read my columns.

Okay, I just looked it up, and asked a couple of my colleagues, and it turns out there is no such organization called MAPLC. Well, there oughta be. In fact, I may just start MAPLC myself, just so I can complain about it.

Anyway, back to my point, whatever the heck THAT is. Oh, right, the smoking ban rollback. Like I was saying, this is a travesty. Those fat cat Hennepin County Commissioners went and passed a ridiculous amendment that will allow allows "so-called" traditional bars to apply for exemptions to the ban, exemptions that would be in place until 2007. This is obviously asinine, and I don't even know what asinine means! But it sounds like a swear word, so it should probably be banned. I like banning stuff. Where was I, again? Oh, yes, smoking ban rollback.

Well, I was just getting madder and madder, so I decided to go out and discover what a "traditional" bar was. Imagine my surprise when, in the first bar I went to, they were serving, if you can believe this. . . ALCOHOL!

Now, I'm no Constitutional scholar, but I think I know a thing or two, maybe three tops, about the Constitution, and if there's one thing I know, it's that alcohol is illegal in this country. The InterWeb even says so!

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

That seems pretty cut and dried to me!

I was just informed by my know-it-all colleague, James Lileks, that if I had read a little further I would have seen that the 18th amendment was repealed in 1933. Apparently, those turncoat fat cats on the Hennepin County board were members of Congress in 1933 or something.

Although I was admittedly crestfallen to learn that prohibition was repealed, I was still intent on reporting on this travesty of a smoking ban rollback, so I went straight back to that bar and ordered up a Shirley Temple and started bending some ears.

"I think it's great that people will have a choice of whether to smoke at bars again," said Tina McAfee, 26, who reeked of Jim Beam, cheap perfume, and who initially thought I had come into the bar looking for my son.

I imagine McAfee and her ilk won't be so rosy when they're hooked up to a respirator, coughing up bits of cancer-flecked lung tissue this time next year.

Because that's exactly what this smoking ban rollback is going to mean for Minnesota. Death, death and more death. And fat cats are going to get rich because they're going to find a way to make more potent tobacco out of human corpses.

I hate fat cats.

UPDATE: In addition to fixing the spelling error above, which was "poory written" (thank you very much flamingbanjo), I'd also like to point out that Mr. Cranky has almost certainly caught Nick Coleman in error.

Posted by Ryan at December 14, 2005 03:32 PM | TrackBack

Dude, it's scary how well you do Coleman.

Posted by: Clapper at December 15, 2005 08:57 AM

Reading Ol' Nick's column, something jumped out at me:
But first, let's talk about a Norwegian sailor named Johannes Larsen, who jumped ship in New York City and became an undocumented American. Larsen was the maternal grandfather of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, author of the Patriot Act, now a professor at Regent University, which calls itself America's "pre-eminent Christian university."

That's right: Ashcroft is a descendant of ship jumpers. How does that eagle soar, pal?

This information is preserved at the West Norwegian Emigration Center on the island of Radoy, near Bergen, Norway, and was brought to my attention by a reader. I called the museum and confirmed it with historian Jahn Sjursen, who prepared a family history for Ashcroft when the attorney general visited Norway in 2003.

"He jumped off ship," Sjursen said. I gasped: "Was he an illegal immigrant?"I think he did the paperwork and got [to be] American later," Sjursen said.


A quick Google got me Ashcroft's family tree:

Guessing that his maternal grandfather was somewhere between 20 & 40 when his mother was born gave me a good age range to work with.

Armed with 2 minutes of research, I went to the Ellis Island web site and found this immigration record:ÐS=420&pID=102476170647

First Name: Johannes
Last Name: Larsen
Ethnicity: Norway Norwegean
Last Place of Residence: Bergen
Date of Arrival: Nov 20, 1905
Age at Arrival: 20y Gender: M Marital Status: S
Ship of Travel: Caronia
Port of Departure: Liverpool
Manifest Line Number: 0010

Right age, right place of origin, right name. And I didn't even have to make a phone call to some yahoo in Norway who "thinks" he knows the story.

Sorry, Nick. No illegal immigration here.

Posted by: Mr. Cranky at December 15, 2005 01:28 PM

Whoa, Mr. Cranky, you do know your way around the Internet. That's some grade A Web-based detective work. You should really submit that as a letter to the editor of the Star-Tribune. I'd love seeing it.

In the meantime, I think I'll e-mail Nick the info you found. It will make me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that he knows he's wrong, yet again.

Posted by: Ryan at December 15, 2005 01:45 PM

I already submitted it to Nick and to the reader rep, with copies to you, the guys at Fraters, and the Guys at Powerline.

Just think - me, a lowly pajama-clad (okay sweater & jeans clad) non-journalist, finding out stuff that the mighty Nick Coleman can't.

Posted by: Mr. Cranky at December 15, 2005 02:52 PM

And as an added bonus, it prompted you to make the first post on your blog in almost a year.

Posted by: Ryan at December 15, 2005 03:05 PM

I try to refrain from correcting the spelling of others unless I'm specifically trying to piss them off (I'm getting better, really I am), but "poory written" from the beginning of your post really jumped out at me.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at December 15, 2005 03:23 PM
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