Archive for false patriotism

Top AZ school official: Ban Spanish! "This is America! I'm not being racist."


misspell10 no Spanish Please note the spelling

Meet John Huppenthal, an Arizona school official. A top Arizona school official. Keyword: School. Where he was responsible for the "public instruction" of, you know, impressionable kids.  Apparently, Mr. Responsible isn't fond of the Spanish language, which is likely spoken by many of the impressionable kids at the schools he oversees. Translated into his version of English that means, "You are not welcome here, brown people." To quote Superintendent Big Tent, "This is America. Speak English."

How so American of him. Give me your tired, your poor, your English Only. Your white. Your Republican.

What was that about America being a melting pot again?

melting pot


1. a pot in which metals or other substances are melted or fused.

2. a country, locality, or situation in which a blending of races, peoples, or cultures is taking place.


Pressure on the state's top school official to resign continued to mount Monday as more anonymous blog posts from John Huppenthal emerged.

Using an online alias, the superintendent of public instruction posted several comments on a conservative-leaning website calling for no Spanish language in the state.

In one post Huppenthal wrote, "We all need to stomp out balkanization. No Spanish radio stations, no Spanish billboards, no Spanish TV stations, no Spanish newspapers. This is America, speak English."

Not offensive enough? How's this? Superintendent Racist went on to say that he "doesn't mind" if Mexican food is sold, as long as the menus "are mostly in English."

Anyone know the English word for tamale? Or tortilla? Or burrito? Or a**hole, for that matter. I'm guessing El Pollo Loco may have issues with Señor Huppenthal, what with the name of the entire chain being so unAmericanly Spanishly balkanized and such.

And how about that First Amendment freedom of speech and press thing that conservatives rely on so often, right Sup. "patriot"? M.I.A. How exactly does he justify shutting down TV stations and newspapers that fall under that constitutionally protected right? Silly me, I forgot. IOKIYAR:


Señor Gilipollas then displayed a total lack of self-awareness when he followed all of that up with:

"And, I'm not being humorous or racist."

Well, he was half right. He sure isn't funny.

All these statements were made in 2010, and as reported above, under a pseudonym. Did I mention he also called welfare recipients "lazy pigs"? Project much, Hup?

Go here for more details and reaction.

misspell8Please note the spelling


La Cucaracha: 'Tis the treason for right wing "logic"


A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us.

Here’s today’s La Cucaracha:


"The election of an African-American president is in itself an instance of American exceptionalism"


“When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?”

The entire video is excellent, but starting at 3:25 or so is the nostalgic part... speaking of which, Frank Rich has a an excellent piece up in which he discusses (at length) the country's "declinist panic and hysterical nostalgia." I've excerpted a little of it below.

Lately I've had my own personal "panic" and moments of nostalgia, partly because of the current state of smeary, smutty, dishonest, money-driven politics, partly because of exactly what Rich writes so eloquently about, and partly because of my father's painfully slow physical and mental decline, the loss of too many friends (I hate the thought of how many times I've expressed condolences lately), and an extra helping of stress.

So yes, there have been better times, for me, for all of us. But when life gets you down, it's time to take action to improve matters, not to wallow and certainly not to exploit.

Unfortunately, using moments like these to their advantage is what all too many in positions of power and influence do, just when people are feeling their most vulnerable. Sadly, that's intentional. And even more sadly, it's often effective.


The wave of nostalgia for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry and for the vanished halcyon America it supposedly enshrined says more about the frazzled state of America in 2012 and our congenital historical amnesia than it does about the reality of America in 1960. ... If there’s one battle cry that unites our divided populace, it’s that the country has gone to hell and that almost any modern era, with the possible exception of the Great Depression, is superior in civic grace, selfless patriotism, and can-do capitalistic spunk to our present nadir. For nearly four years now—since the crash of ’08 and the accompanying ascent of Barack Obama—America has been in full decline panic. Books by public intellectuals, pundits, and politicians heralding our imminent collapse have been one of the few reliable growth industries in hard times. [...]

But given that the country has survived a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, and the quagmires of Vietnam and Iraq, is our current crisis proportionate to the doomsday hysteria—or have we lost perspective?... Or is something else going on here? A more revealing question raised by our declinist panic is why it has been accompanied by a strange parallel infatuation with American exceptionalism. This once little-heard term, sometimes wrongly attributed to Tocqueville, was coined by Joseph Stalin in a 1929 anti-American sneer. Now it is flung about as the ubiquitous, defensive measure of America’s global standing. And it’s often used, Joe McCarthy style, as a cudgel to bash those who are judged to have hastened our decline by being insufficiently jingoistic—notably the president [...]

If Romney fails to capitalize on his opportunity to be the last hurrah of this demographically doomed old guard, it will not be just because he is a parody of elitist noblesse oblige but because his own Americanism has been compromised by the outsourcing of his money to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland, and who knows what other exotic places that most Americans have never been to. [...]

Lost in all our declinist panic is the fact that the election of an African-American president is in itself an instance of American exceptionalism—an unexpected triumph for a country that has struggled for its entire history with the stain of slavery... That his unlikely rise has somehow been twisted into a synonym for America’s supposed collapse over the past four years may be the most disturbing and intractable evidence of our decline of all.


PhotOH! Mitt Romney-themed "narcissistic" Salt Lake City Olympics pins


Once upon a time there were Olympic games held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and little lapel pins were sold there.

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Romney -- who, let us never forget (because he'll always remind us), ran the Salt Lake City Olympics -- mentioned the pins during a speech at a Virginia fund-raiser, as an example of how he wants to unite Americans.

Here is Willard in his own words, sounding oh, so post-9/11 patriotic and uniter-y:

Of course, he failed to mention that the pins were made in China. But anyway.

But forget outsourcing and Romney's politicizing the Olympics just for a moment. There's another fun little aspect to this story that was only recently brought to my attention.

Over at NPR, in January 2012, critic and Olympics pin collector Ken Bullock talks more about Mitt's Olympic legacy:

"We have Valentine's ones with all the Olympic mascots around saying, 'We love you, Mitt,' " Bullock says, as he pulls up images of the pins on his computer.

"We have him pulling a sled of some sort where some of the mascots are saying, 'Are we there yet, Mitt?' "

Ken Bullock scoffs at what he calls "the Superman" pin, which features Romney "with a Clark Kent chin," wrapped in an American flag.

"I don't know how to put words to describe how narcissistic they are," Bullock says.

Three Olympic pin collectors and experts consulted by NPR say they've never seen pins like these featuring the CEO of an Olympic organizing committee.

"There have been plenty of big-headed CEOs for Olympic Games, but none has ever had his or her likeness on a pin," says Ed Hula, a veteran pin collector and editor of, an independent news organization that focuses on the Olympics. "Maybe it's an indicator that Mitt Romney has a sense of humor."

Maybe. Or maybe it's all about Mitt being all about Mitt. Whether or not he had anything to do with approving the design of the pins, the fact that three collectors found it highly unusual to have Mitt's mug all over them was, at the very least, amusing.

This story is not all that important, but it is another peek into Willard M. Romney's past, how others see him, and how he chooses to define himself.

H/t: Rumproast, Nellcote