The Stars and Stripes of Corruption

This week Josh Hadley presents a potentially polarizing look at political corruption though the lyrics of former Dead Kenneys frontman Jello Biafra.

We live in a country called the “Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave” but it is actually the land of the corrupt and the home of the bought and paid for.   The corruption of both america (it no longer deserves capitalization) itself and of the american spirit (not to mention the american dream) is complete and I bet that not a single one of you noticed past how it effects you on a personal level.

Finally got to Washington in the middle of the night
I couldn’t wait
I headed straight for the Capitol Mall
My heart began to pound
Yahoo! It really exists
The American International Pictures logo

stars 1Did this ideal that we were taught about what america should be… did it ever truly exist?  Are we nothing more than patriotic automatons that can no longer fathom the reality of reality (could we ever)?

I looked up at that Capitol Building
Couldn’t help but wonder why
I felt like saying “Hello, old friend”
Walked up the hill to touch it
Then I unzipped my pants
And pissed on it when nobody was looking

Do we use our own sense of right and wrong, true and false to cloud what we see or do we rebel out of a sense of simple rebellion without the knowledge of why we are doing so?   We talk big yet when the time comes most of us remain silent.   Is that human?  Is that the new american way?

stars 2Like a great eternal Klansman
With his two flashing red eyes
Turn around he’s always watching
The Washington monument pricks the sky
With flags like pubic hair ringed ’round the bottom
The symbols of our heritage
Lit up proudly in the night
Somehow fails to see the homeless people
Passed out on the lawn

If america was what it claimed, would we put party politics and hollow rhetoric above the fidelity of being human or is it that we are human which makes us libel for these actions?  If the parties and special interests are all that matter, then does america actually exist or are we just a loose conglomeration of opposing  interests and always looking to undercut the next guy?

stars 3So this is where it happens
The power games and bribes
All lobbying for a piece of ass
Of the stars and stripes of corruption
Makes me feel so ashamed
To be an American
When we’re too stuck up to learn from our mistakes
Trying to start another Viet Nam
We like fiddling while Rome burns at home
The Boss says, “You’re laid off. Blame the Japanese”
“America’s back,” alright
At the game it plays the worst
Strip mining the world like a slave plantation

There is an apparent transparency to the corruption yet it continues unabated.  Everyone knows that Washington and it’s populace are corrupt and yet no one cares so long as they have a little piece of that corruption for themselves.  “I saw that and I will tell… unless you cut me in”…

stars 4No wonder others hate us
And the Hitlers we handpick
To bleed their people dry
For our evil empire
The drug we’re fed
To make us like it
Is God and country with a band
People we know who should know better
Howl, “America rules. Let’s go to war!”
Business scams are what’s worth dying for
Are the Soviets our worst enemy?
We’re destroying ourselves instead
Who cares about our civil rights
As long as I get paid?

How did we as a people get lead into a war based on lies (okay all wars are based on lies but this one was based on baldfaced lies)?   How did no one speak up in opposition to these lies?  We were lulled into a place of soft minds and heavy hearts, we were called “unpatriotic” for not supporting the lies and they didn’t hang themselves with the rope we gave them, they hung us instead… the gallows full of the actual patriots.
stars 5

The blind Me-Generation
Doesn’t care if life’s a lie
So easily used, so proud to enforce
The stars and stripes of corruption
Let’s bring it all down!
Tell me who’s the real patriots
The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags?
Or the people with the guts to work
For some real change
Rednecks and bombs don’t make us strong
We loot the world, yet we can’t even feed ourselves
Our real test of strength is caring
Not the toys of war we sell the world
Just carry on, thankful to be farmed like worms
Old glory for a blanket
As you suck on your thumbs
Real freedom scares you
‘Cos it means responsibility
So you chicken out and threaten me
Saying, “Love it or leave it”
I’ll get beat up if I criticize it
You say you’ll fight to the death
To save your worthless flag

On this road to war, after what can only be called a false flag attack all the way back in 2001, why was it that those who brought rationality and thought the situation through were impaled on their own words for daring to bring those very things?  Why do I get vilified in my attempt to point out the flaws of our system?   Are we all tacit idealists without the courage of our own convictions? At what point do you wipe the mud from your eyes and see the validity of those who oppose the masses and their mass think?  Are we doomed to be destroyed with not our own hubris but with our of lack of competing thoughts?  I know of another society not so long ago whom also governed as such… and it did not turn out so well for them or their people.

stars 6If you want a banana republic that bad
Why don’t you go move to one
But what can just one of us do?
Against all that money and power
Trying to crush us into roaches?
We don’t destroy society in a day
Until we change ourselves first
From the inside out
We can start by not lying so much
And treating other people like dirt
It’s easy not to base our lives
On how much we can scam
And you know
It feels good to lift that monkey off our backs

  How is it that those who are the most opposed to fascism use it as the very tool to ensure “freedom and democracy”?   Why do we let them claim victimhood when they are in fact the victimizers?  History has revealed that burning the village is not a way to save it.
stars 7I’m thankful I live in a place
Where I can say the things I do
Without being taken out and shot
So I’m on guard against the goons
Trying to take my rights away
We’ve got to rise above the need for cops and laws
Let kids learn communication
Instead of schools pushing competition
How about more art and theater instead of sports?
People will always do drugs
Let’s legalize them
Crime drops when the mob can’t price them
Budget’s in the red?
Let’s tax religion
No one will do it for us
We’ll just have to fix ourselves
Honesty ain’t all that hard
Just put Rambo back inside your pants
Causing trouble for the system is much more fun
If america is truly about the free expression and exchange of ideas then why so often is it the case where doing just that is punished and those to who oppress ideas are hailed as heroes of “freedom”?   How does blatant self interest in the name of america become the standard rather than the exception?  How do century old religious ideals influence the reality of people who may not share those ideals?  Why is the position of power in the church overlooked while child sex abuse happens on a staggering scale yet recreational usage of a natural herb is chastised?
stars 8

Thank you for the toilet paper
But your flag is meaningless to me
Look around, we’re all people
Who needs countries anyway?
Our land, I love it too
I think I love it more than you
I care enough to fight
The stars and stripes of corruption
Let’s bring it all down!
If we don’t try
If we just lie
If we can’t find
A way to do it better than this
Who will?

Why am I called a modern hippie for daring to think and speak of the problems america has?   How am I not a “real mercan” because I choose to not wave a flag and I choose to look for the flaws in a vain attempt to fix them?   Sticking your fingers in your ears only exposes more problems, it does not solve any of them.   Hear No Evil.  See No Evil.  Speak No Evil.   These are the signs of one that is indoctrinated, not that one is patriotic.   I am more patriotic than thou as I wish to fix a broken system rather than insist it is working just fine as is; that is true patriotism.
Bloody headlines in the news each day
stars 9Drug “crisis” everywhere
So much comes in so easy
It’s as though someone wants it there
It would be a little obvious
To fence off all the slums
Hand out machine guns
To the poor in the projects
And watch ’em kill each other off
A more subtle genocide is when
The only hope for the young
Is to join the Army and slowly die
Wall Street or Crack Dealer Avenue
The last roads left to the American Dream
To claim that politics and race have nothing in common is more of that willful ignorance; race and politics are intertwined as much as the very DNA that constitutes the very being of us.  Race and any special interests involved in race need to be forgotten if we are ever meant to proceed as a single race (that being human).  No race is better nor worse than any other and that extends to gender and sexuality as well.   We are all the same in the ways that matter and choosing to use the little differences between us as a wall instead of a door only limits us… it does not enlighten us.
stars 10

Only one road leads to this neighborhood
Little kids wanna sell drugs when they grow up
The folks might get just a little upset
If they knew where that dope comes from
From Columbia to the Contras
To our Air Force bases, where we trade it for guns
The moral equivalent of a serial killer
And his CIA friends
Call the shots from the White House
But now that we own the media too
Those stories just aren’t run
More crack-more panic-more cops-more jails
You see emergency-total war
You see a black face-you see a crackhead
You see a black face-you see Willie Horton with a knife
You see Willie Horton with a knife
You see one Willie Horton you’ve seen them all
They’re everywhere, I know
You asked for it, you’ve got it
Drug suspects have no rights at all
Property seized and sold before trial
Labor camps-on American soil! ?

Willful ignorance is ignorance all the same.  If you chose see the problems you can also chose to see the solutions, yet if you chose to ignore the problems only more problems surface as the cracks in the system grow larger until the center can no longer hold.  Any kind of special interest will only look out for itself and always for that special interest in and of itself.  Special interests do not want problems solved, if the problem gets solved the special interest is stripped of it’s validity and therefore must always, always, keep the problem going so long as it (the special interest) exists.
stars 11They burn the bodies you never see
Just like in Chile or Guatemala
People just seem to disappear
Just like Rome
We fell asleep when we got spoiled
Ignore human rights in the rest of the world
Ya might just lose your own
As the noose of narco-militarism
Tightens ’round your necks
We worry about burning flags
And pee in jars at work
To keep our jobs
But if someone came for you one night
And dragged you away
Do you really think your neighbors
Would even care…
You supported the Patriot Act.   You didn’t?   Well you failed to stand up to it and you therefore supported it and look where it got you?  It got you a dictatorship under the guise of a democracy.   Don’t think so?   Are you able to protest near a sitting president?   Nope.   Is the government monitoring you without a warrant?  Seems like that is a yes.  Do the alphabet agencies need legal means to turn your life upside down?  Seems not.   Is it just a matter of time before you step on the toes of someone that can make you disappear?  It is.   Don’t ever think you are safe, don’t let them win and most of all, don’t swallow what you are told is the truth of a situation, always question those in charge, question me even.   Don’t let them win the battle for your mind or your will.

*Inspiration and original words by Jello Biafra (even if he does not know it).   My contributions to his work are weak and meaningless in comparison to the power of his original words.

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