Christ, what an asshole.
His statements are, however, fascinating in that they're a useful example of what a particular brand of conservative know-nothing seems to believe in these days. Where do they get this stuff? First Darwin was (falsely) accused of inventing Social Darwinism, and therefore, by extension, Fascist policies; now he's being directly credited with founding the Nazi party. Pretty weird - it's like a game of "telephone" that starts out with wrong information and just gets crazier and crazier. Then there's the increasingly familiar "FDR went back in time to start the depression" and "people on welfare are really rich" nonsense. The irony of this guy being in charge of education...
Anonymity online is one of these gray areas which allows people to explore and express who they really are. When who they really are is a hubristic asshole who thinks he can be an aggressive closet moron for years while attempting to have a public life, assuming he'd never get caught, then the dumbness is going to turn out to be the punishment.
Huppenthal said his posts are meant to correct "a lot of really bad ideas" on political blogs, not to insult. He said his reference to "lazy pigs" refers to a phrase in a nursery fable.
Sure, that sounds like it sincerely wasn't meant to insult anybody. Nice save, asshole. I can't tell if excuses like this are even expected to convince anyone, or dishonesty just flows out that naturally.
It boggles the mind that someone so ignorant could be in charge of education. It's not like it's even a little bit hard to look up these bits of history on that very same internet he's been 'anonymously' commenting within.
Of course, you are just referring to a phrase in a nursery fable, here...
They get this stuff from their life experience and environment. Most contemporary politicians are over 50. Which means that they were raised with parenting practices based on cruelty, manipulation and violence. This is how the world works for them.
As for conservatives, they usually come from conservative / religious background, which instills beliefs like "being rich is the result of being disciplined and being moral, ergo poor people are lazy and immoral," and "if violence doesn't work it's because you're not using enough of it", etc.
For more on this divide see George Lakoff's "Moral Politics" lecture. Completely changed my outlook on political (or any kind of PR) messaging: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9R9MtkpqM
Also, to him (and many representatives of his community), what he is doing is moral. It is a righteous battle that someone with enough guts needs to fight.
So, he is a "good guy"... raised in a certain way and programmed with certain beliefs which cause him to see good in a way very different from me (and possibly you).
I see it as logical. It is logical in a society where "education" means compliance, instilling certain worldviews or "values" (programming) etc. This is what the word means in U.S. public "education."
For such "education" to be successful, a society needs ruthless enforcers and righteous believers. This guy is perfect.
Now, it is true that there is a transition in our values. And this is why someone who was perfect for the role until some time ago may not be appropriate in the future.
They're usually just Dog Whistles.
Arizona's last Superintendent -- Tom Horne, who is now the freakin' Attorney General -- is constantly in some sort of legal trouble, some of it out-right ridiculous., Like getting speeding tickets a LOT (six in 18 months, according to this 2009 article) ... and which included speeding through a school zone.
Arizona knows how to pick 'em!
"The only factors which provide safety for children are [...] good schools on the positive side"
Given how horrible this guy's knowledge of history and world politics is, he could probably greatly improve the schools by getting out of the school system. Do it for the safety of the children, man!
What pseudonyms was his sister Valentine posting under?
Absolutely! The one where they find an asshole, and dress it up nice and fancy, but later find that what comes out is still all crap. Probably Aesop or something; obviously no insult is meant by that.
Well, I suppose he could be stupid enough to think so and defend his remarks accordingly. But really, describing welfare recipients as lazy pigs isn't a dog whistle, any more than ROT0 is an encoding scheme. The meaning isn't even slightly hidden; it's just a whistle.
And I sometimes wonder if anyone is really so deluded to think such a pathetic excuse would make people think they didn't hear it. But I guess that answers my own question, because it's probably much less than the delusion it would take to believe any of the other things he said.
The only place a guy like this could flourish as the head of public education is somewhere ignorance is valued and where the position is elected by a like-minded populous. It's not endemic to all public school systems in the US.
I read the article, but what is the background on this story? Who did the investigative legwork to determine that he was posting all this crap?
Arizoner. Helping Alabamans feel prouderer!
This guy seems like a perfect choice for the public schools chief if you belong to a party, or subscribe to a political philosophy, whose goal is to destroy public education. Put a no-nothing bigot in charge of schools, and they'll go to hell, "proving" that public education is doomed.
Well, I mean he's stating things that he obviously believes are hard facts but have no basis in reality (and then using them as the premise of his arguments). So he clearly read them somewhere or else he read something that made vague, misleading insinuations in particular directions that he further warped and exaggerated in his mind into faux-facts that he's been spouting. He obviously considers himself an educated person, but he must have started out reading things that were completely wrong, even if he then further distorted them in his mind. Which indicates to me that he's been educating himself via random crazy blogs and other highly suspect sources, at best.
And posting as 'Thucydides'... Holy Hubris, Batman! Does he sell herbal supplements as 'Hippocrates' on weekends for a little extra pocket money?
I wonder if he counts that as 'continuing education' for licensing purposes?
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