The Republican Taliban has offered its budget. Taliban, you say? Really?
How does the Taliban work? They keep people stupid. Women are witches. Jews are another species. Westerners are degenerate. Only the "wise and powerful" Taliban leaders know what the Koran really says, because they're the only ones who can read, write, or tell everybody else what's real.
There was a time when the Muslim world was enlightened. They invented the writing and math that we use today. They were the center of the world for science. But then, in some places, the Taliban took over.
And don't for a minute think that it's really all about religion. Religion is just used to manipulate the useful idiots. It's really about money, power, and control. And that can only be held by thugs like the Taliban when the people are kept poor and stupid.
Here in America, there's a new Taliban rising. They fetishize guns, just like the Afghan Taliban. They fear women and education. They want to keep the people stupid and in chains.
They're the plutocrats and the billionaires who rose to power on the heels of Reagan's trickle-down economics. And now, what's trickling down to us is their stupidity.
As Mark Morford wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle's blog SF Gate, "Six percent of Americans believe in unicorns. Thirty-six percent believe in UFOs. A whopping 24 percent believe dinosaurs and man hung out together. Eighteen percent still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. Nearly 30 percent believe cloud computing involves... actual clouds. A shockingly sad 18 percent, to this very day, believe the president is a Muslim. Do you believe in angels? Forty-five percent of Americans do. In fact, roughly 48 percent – Republicans and Democrats alike – believe in some form of creationism."
So why do Americans believe in such absurd things? Because they're being taught these ridiculous beliefs in our nation's schools, and hearing them from our corporatized media.
All across America, our children are learning from the curriculum of the plutocrats and billionaires. In Louisiana for example, children learn about how hippies were dirty, rock musicians worship Satan, and climate change is one big lie.
But America's new Taliban isn't just controlling what's being taught in our classrooms. They're also dictating what's being shown on America's billionaire-backed corporatized media.
That's where the likes of Rupert Murdoch come in.
Thanks to Murdoch, millions of Americans are subjected to the mountains of misinformation and half-truths that pour out of Fox So-Called News on a daily basis.
There used to be a time in our country when the mainstream media actually had to report on the "news". But times have changed.
In 1986, Reagan ended the FCC doctrine that required radio and TV stations to actually carry "real news" as a "public service," and within two years the money-losing news services had come under network entertainment divisions and all news decisions since then have been made based on ratings.
Oh, and, the following year Rush Limbaugh started his radio show.
And now, plutocrat extraordinaires the Koch brothers are looking to buy several major American newspapers, so that they can dictate what Americans read in their morning paper.
The Kochtopus is interested in buying the Tribune Company newspapers, which includes the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Kochtopus is "interested in the clout they could gain through the Times' editorial pages."
Now, I can talk about all of this openly here, because most of the people who will vote for the new American Taliban don't bother to inform themselves with real "news", don't engage in critical thinking, and don't want to know what's really going on in the world.
They love their ignorance, their bigotry, and most of all, their Fox News.
From Thomas Jefferson to John F. Kennedy, we have always, as a nation, held high the ideal of a quality education for everybody.
As Jefferson wrote in a letter to George Wythe, his mentor, in 1786, "I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness... Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people."
Today, America faces a choice.
We can hand our country over to the new Taliban, and watch as the plutocrats and billionaires consolidate even more wealth, power and control over information in this country.
Or, we can fight for a progressive America, where there is a universal, high quality education for all, a strong social safety net and a broad and strong middle class.
This choice looms large in the current budget debate. The Republican budget cuts funding to education, the social safety net, and makes the rich richer while making the poor and middle class poorer.
Meanwhile, the Democratic budget requires the rich to pay something a little bit closer to their fair share, and uses those funds to strengthen education, the social safety net, and the middle class.
So America, it's up to you.
Your choice: Do you want the billionaire-backed Republican Taliban in control, or a Democratic America, where unicorns and dinosaurs are only talked about in children's fantasy books?