I must say that I was skeptical that an elected official could be as dumb as Thucydides, when Bob Lord first posed the question: “Do you think that blog troll Thucydides could be John Huppenthal?” to the rest of us here at BfAZ. Yes, Thucky defended Hupp regularly, but that was not enough evidence to prove anything except that Thucky was an ill-informed, right-wing blowhard, and we all know there are plenty of those people trolling the comment sections on the Internets. But after Lord started matching up the sole email address used by the multiple Huppenthal aliases– including Falcon9– and matching up computer IP addresses (including a computer in the Department of Education), the rest of us became believers.
I remember Falcon9 well from my days writing the Tucson Progressive blog on the TucsonCitizen.com website. Falcon9, Fraser, and Leftfield (I wonder who those guys are?) were constant commenters on anything to do with Mexican American Studies (MAS) and Tucson Unified School District.
After Lord broke the Huppenthal/Thucydides/Falcon9 story here on Blog for Arizona, other bloggers started combing their comment sections. The Democratic Diva, Expresso Pundit, and the Three Sonorans have all posted stories about Hupp’s comments on their blogs.
The threads of racism and classism run deep through Huppenthal’s writing: people on welfare are “lazy pigs”, MAS teaches hate, Mexican restaurants should print menus in English, Spanish media should be silenced, Che Guevara’s memory should be defecated upon, and so forth. The last time I checked on this site alone there were almost 300 comments from Thucydides in less than two years.
The main stream media has reported that Hupp’s comments date back to 2011, but I beg to differ. The first comment that Falcon9 made on my blog was on election day 2010– the day he was elected.
On my post: Parents & grandparents: Will you vote for children (Kotterman) or right-wing ideology (Huppenthal) on Nov 2? Huppenthal-the-sock-puppet chimed in with support for himself 20 minutes before the polls closed on Nov. 2, 2010.
Falcon9: Huppenthal has a plan to improve our schools. It can be expected to work: measurment of academic gains accountability at the school district level, measurement of parent and teacher job satisfaction. Bring Florida’s reading technology and methods to Arizona. These major items can be expected to improve the performance of our district schools, particularly Tucson Unified.
Tucson Progressive: I heard a lot of yapping about Florida’s plans being applied to Arizona. The big difference is that Florida FUNDED these changes and supports all-day kindergarten and other preparatory initiatives that Arizona has eliminated.
As long as Legislators continue to ignore the impact of poverty on educational performance, test scores will not improve. Parents, who are unemployed or are working 2 jobs or are afraid of being hassled by the cops or don’t speak English well, don’t have the time or skills to help their children succeed in an environment hostile to public education.
Later in November 2010 after Huppenthal had been elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction and former education head Tom Horne had been elected Attorney General, I posted this article: Paulo Freire: Huppenthal/Horne’s worst nightmare. Quoting myself…
Two of the most depressing outcomes of the 2010 election were John “I-love-charter-schools” Huppenthal’s defeat of Penny Kotterman for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Tom “what SEC violation?” Horne’s defeat of Felicia Rotellini for state Attorney General.
Why are these outcomes particularly disturbing? Because of the damage these 2 right-wing ideologues can (and most likely will) do to public education in Arizona. The Three Sonorans blog has kept us well-informed about Horne’s assault on Raza Studies at Tucson High School, but the campaign against public education is nationwide, and it goes well beyond what is happening in our own backyards.
Freire is Huppenthal/ Horne’s worst enemy. Freire encourages educators to teach students to think critically– not simply to memorize facts or preform for standardized tests. The Huppenthal/Horne attack on Raza Studies is just the tip of the iceberg. It is one tiny piece of the nationwide conservative movement to change public education — or eliminate it.
Public education is the great leveler. Public education has the power to empower– and that’s what the conservative puppets are afraid of. [Go here to read the whole story, which includes much more details about Freire's philosophy of education.]
This article about critical thinking vs test answer regurgitation garnered 16 comments, including 2 from Falcon9.
Falcon9: A lot of writing to cover up the fundamental message of hate. Just look at the murderous politics and death of prosperity that Freire’s philosophy spawned in South America.
Others took issue with his statement, including the Three Sonorans, which caused Hupp to go off on a tangent about Freire teaching hate. (You’ll remember that was a popular theme of Huppenthal’s and Horne’s during the 2010 election.)
Falcon9: Look at the title: the hate. It’s all about an oppressor, someone who is the enemy, no love here at all. No heroes who create wealth like in America, Steve Jobs. Just oppressors. Government is our friend, entrepeneurs are our enemies.
The rich in modern society are government beaucrats. In Arizona, the top ten education beaucrats walked away with pensions worth over $10 million each.
That’s the Obama culture which is our future, we are slaves to the new beaucrat class. Beaucrats in the federal government earning over $150,000 per year doubled in the last two years.
Since 1970, when Friere’s philosophy became populare, the ratio of rich income to poor income in Brazil has degenerated to 52. In America, that ratio is 7. What’s worse for Brazil, there per capita gnp is 8,000 as compared to America at 45,000.
There are consequences to philosophy and Friere’s philosophy has poisoned South America.
To be fair to poor Thucky, Huppenthal didn’t only defend his own reputation and policies; he also defended other right wingers in comment sections. Huppenthal as Thucydides started commenting on my posts on BfAZ in 2012, not long after I moved from the Citizen. His first comment defended now US Senator Jeff Flake’s dirty tricks during his race against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, here: AZ voting irregularities + misinformation + rule-bending + 600,000 uncounted ballots = statewide disgrace (video). On Dealing with the Devil: Should Maricopa County Latinos ‘Play Nice’ with Arpaio? (video), Thucky defends the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio and implies that the media is ignoring the positive stories about Arpaio’s relationship with Hispanics.
Thucydides: Murders in Maricopa county are down 50% in the last five years. Auto thefts are down 50%. DUI fatalities are down 50%. Thirty of those DUI fatality reductions are Hispanic children. As are most of the murders and car thefts saving Hispanic victims. Arpaio saved Hispanic families. A story untold.
Although multiple stories in the New Times, the Arizona Republic, Phoenix and Tucson television stations, and the blogs have well documented the racism of Huppenthal/Thucydides/Falcon9, there is another target of his hate: Tucson. Huppenthal not only hates Mexicans, poor people, overpaid union workers, government bureaucrats, and liberals, he hates Tucson and the University of Arizona. He went toe-to-toe with the Tucson Progressive and other Tucsonans in the comment section on this story: Tucson Chamber Wants Image Change: What Will Become of the ‘Old Pueblo’?
Thucydides: The surest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it. Only 7% of parents (National Research Center) rate Tucson an excellent place to raise a child. Since Tucson policy is set by Democrats, Tucson is a Democrat product. Phoenix isn’t much better (12%) but it has suburbs where 35 to 40 percent of parents rate their neighborhood an excellent place to raise a child. Tucson suffers from having a major research university. All such universities plague their local communities because professors like their governments fat and expanding. Professors are also curiously siloed, quite uninformed about what it takes to make government effective. [Hupp is an anti-university! This should be a question on the application for Superintendent of Public Education: Do you believe in the value of education? Emphasis added.]
Thucydides: Cash starved cities? The typical employee moving from a state job to a city job receives a 40% raise. The City of Phoenix compensation package averages over $100,000 per employee for the entire city. You could run an excellent city with half that compensation package, literally. And, City of Phoenix does not run an excellent city. Only 14% (Behavioral Research Center) of Phoenix citizens give City of Phoenix services an Excellent rating.
Tucson Progressive: The Arizona Legislature withheld millions of dollars from Tucson and Pima County. That’s a fact. When your budget is arbitrarily reduced by that amount, it hurts… kinda like a slow starvation.
I love how right-wingers deflect direct attacks on Republican lawmakers by beating up on workers. Can you spell “misplaced blame”?
MovingAZForward: Are you kidding? Misrepresenting the facts to support RW rhetoric doesn’t fly here. This is not the comments section of AzCentral.com.
Thucycides: Response to Movingforwardaz. In quality measures, only excellence counts. Phoenix is at 14 percent, the lowest excellence rating of any major city in Maricopa county. Same survey you are quoting. There is another word for the levels of service you are quoting: mediocrity. And, they are significantly short of being 100 prrcent mediocre.
Response to Pamela. When you over compensate 14,000 employees by 20,000 per year, thats 280 million dollars. If tgey are overcompensated by 50,000 prr year, thats 700 million. Thats where all the money is. Think of the benefits to the community of 700 million well organized dollars.
AZTerritory: Thucydides, you’ve been drinking the Sal DiCiccio tea . . his ‘numbers’ re: City of PHX employees have been debunked time and time again. You do yourself no favors by posting inaccurate and skewed-to-your-own-end ‘studies’.
Thucydides: They haven’t been debunked a all. The average comp level is the cost. These are enormously expensive pensions and taxpayers have to bear them.
Huppenthal’s years as a blog troll reveal a ruthless right winger who purposefully spreads misinformation to promote himself, his cronies, and their misguided, racist ideology– while slamming everyone who disagrees and anything that stands of his anti-government, anti-science, pro-business, white-is-right agenda. He is a disgrace to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. He should resign.