Response to a comment about “In Washington the beat goes on”

by Ed Mattson


Today, the day after Thanksgiving, I decided to write a reply to a comment I received on one of the Internet sites which carries my articles. While I may occasionally mention specific replies in follow-up articles I author, this particular comment was to me, so offensive to every military Veteran who ever donned a uniform whether in peacetime or in war, it begged for a fitting response. So for those who have been willing put their life on the line in defense of the freedoms most of us hold dear, I hope I am able to temper my words to a meaningful dialogue.

The comments came in the wake of my article titled, in Washington the beat goes on, which appeared on numerous Internet sites including U.S. Secretary of Defense-U.S. Government Portal and the Veterans Directed Community Services website. At the heart of the article I pointed out the abominable waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government and that those elected to the highest offices in the land appeared to have only one goal in being elected and that was in creating power and a permanent seat in the bureaucracy with little regard to duties those offices demand, including accountability.

Government in Washington is not how it was imagined by the Founding Fathers wherein those elected to office would be part-time legislators who go to Washington to serve their term and then return to their home states to live under the laws they have enacted. The whole system has turned up-side-down with most legislators serving only for their own interests, enriching themselves in the process, and doling out gracious/lavish benefits to a dumbed-down bunch of voters with social services that are the envy of other countries. All this on the backs of hard-working taxpayers that have seen their family wealth and hope diminish through a punitive tax system. Most Veterans didn’t offer to put their lives on the line for a system of government that is so detrimental to our American way of life.

In the wake of Washington politics-as-usual, we occasionally see actions that go above and beyond the pale.  Over the last decade or so we have seen there is no bottom rung on the ladder to which the Congress and the Democrats in particular, along with the administration of Barack Obama, cannot find a way to go even lower!

My arguments in support of our never-ending downfall from greatness were well-documented by a step by step check-off list focusing on the total unaccountability and deference of those in power to the good of the country, and in particular to the unique waste, fraud, abuse, and lack of gratitude for those entrusted to the defense of our country…the military. With a Commander in Chief and Secretary of Defense that, in all appearances, display complete disdain for the .045% of the citizenry who choose  to serve in the military in favor of the bloated over-populated, under-worked, group of bureaucratic-perpetuating government workers at all levels.

When a government finds itself in a crisis situation whether the crisis is due to inclement weather or a financial crisis due to a financial shut down to our politics-as-usual chaos in Washington, I find it interesting that only “critical government workers” are required to report to work. Interesting phraseology “critical government workers”, as the Founding Fathers I am sure, never envisioned to form a government that would evolve into what it has become today…a government more resembling Santa Claus than anything else with freebies for 50% of the populace. bloated government

We have a government that is so big and so unwieldy that it only moves in one direction and that is GROWTH. Like the cult movie The Blob, in which a mysterious creature from another planet, resembling a giant blob of jelly, lands on earth. The resemblance to the Blob by today’s federal government is unmistakable. The voters waiting for their next government handout/entitlement, are like the people portrayed in the move refusing to listen to the teenagers who have witnessed the blob’s destructive power, as it just keeps on getting bigger devouring everything in its path…welcome to Washington DC. This should not be so.

According to James Madison in the Federalist Papers:

  1. The Constitution gives three types of power to the national government: Delegated (sometimes called enumerated or expressed) powers are specifically granted to the federal government in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
  2. Implied powers are not specifically stated in the Constitution, but may be inferred from the elastic (or “necessary and proper”) clause (Article I, Section 8).
  3. Inherent powers are not specifically listed in the Constitution, but they grow out of the very existence of the national government.

The Constitution also identifies reserved powers, which are set aside for the states. Unlike delegated powers, they are not listed specifically, but are guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Federalist Papers explain the motives of the Founding Fathers. Often when Supreme Court justices are trying to discern the founder’s intentions, they appeal to these writings. The Federalist Papers are the most important interpretative source of constitutional interpretation and give important insight into the framers’ intent and purpose for the Constitution.

The Constitution’s articles, and the subsequent Amendments, specify the prerogatives of the Feds. They are listed in Article I, Sec. 8; Articles II-V; Amendments XIII-XVI, XIX-XX, XXIII-XXVI. These prerogatives belong to one of the following categories:

  1. Defense, war prosecution, peace, foreign relations, foreign commerce, and interstate commerce;
  2. The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights (e.g the right to vote) and ensuring that slavery remains illegal;
  3. Establishing federal courts inferior to the SCOTUS;
  4. Copyright protection;
  5. Coining money;
  6. Establishing post offices and post roads;
  7. Establishing a national set of universal weights and measures;
  8. Taxation needed to raise revenue to perform these essential functions.

Those are the only prerogatives of the Federal Government! The Tenth Amendment states that all prerogatives not explicitly given to the Federal Government, nor prohibited of the states, are reserved to the states or to the people (i.e. individual Americans). So the Feds are not allowed to handle any issues not explicitly listed in the Constitution; their prerogatives are limited to what the Constitution explicitly states. According to Federalist Paper #45, paragraph #9… the federal establishment should be strictly limited to these tasks; all others should be reassigned to the states, local governments, and individual Americans.

With the above information in mind, my article posed the notion that we as citizens have allowed our elected officials to basically legislate away the very notion of limited government; that we have allowed those in office, by way of an apathetic voter block, to build in an almost impenetrable barrier of bureaucratic governmental agencies, regulators, departments, and rules to shield them from any semblance of accountability. As exemplified by the most recent government shut down, about 500,000 federal government employees, were deem as “non-essential”.

That’s 500,000 bureaucratic employees that, under the close scrutiny of any thinking voter would appear to be defensibly NOT NEEDED! Talk about dead baggage in an era when a national debt of $17 trillion mandates we must streamline government, demand complete transparency, honesty, efficiency, and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.

In my mind, to set the stage for a more limited, transparent and honest government, one first has to position the debate into WHY specific steps need to be taken. This starts with calling out our self-aggrandizing elected officials for the neglect and abuse they have perpetrated on the country. Next is to highlight the bloated bureaucracy, its inherent waste, fraud, abuse, and lack of oversight, and then recognize that there are necessities required by government including those who serve in the military to defend our way of life, as first responders, and those who provide the limited services outlined in the Constitution.

In service to the country, it is these “true servants” who earn the benefits to which they are entitled, along with the portion of the population that paid-in or contributed to mandated programs enacted by government (Social Security and Medicare). All others, except for those truly in need of safety-net programs, are not entitled to largess of the taxpayers just because they made a lot of bad choices in life and are being force to reap the consequences of their actions.

Getting back to the comments I received from that one reader who somewhere along to road to being an American, came up a few French fires short of a Happy Meal. The reader, simply named John, voiced his comment as follows:

“I would never encourage any of my kids to join the military. Since I never had any, I guess I don’t have to worry about it.
The U.S. military has been, for the past 130 years nothing more than hired thugs for multi national corporations….and israhell (sic).
Gen. Butler was right. Mothers don’t let your babies grow up to be soldiers…..
They’ll only get screwed over and such make the rest of their lives like hell, so much.”

As a Marine Veteran I am well aware of General Smedley Butler. Anyone having donned the Marine Corps uniform Smedley-Butlerwould have to have slept through boot camp not to be familiar with General Butler, and I have no problem with anyone wanting to quote the words of a true American hero…that’s why 95% of those of us joined the military to preserve the right of freedom of speech for everyone…even John. But let’s not get overwhelmed by the words of General Butler.

In his book titled War is a Racket, General Butler stated, “I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

For someone wanting to use an individual’s words to bolster his/her position, it is always best to read in detail the source of the words and the background of the individual doing the speaking. Butler was a true hero and became a prominent political figure. He was one of America’s important leaders of the liberal movement of the 1930s. Butler advocated military isolationism and was against American involvement in World War II early-on. His isolationist views are certainly unpopular today, and in fact are not compatible with the current geopolitical situation. His views, however, developed from 33 years of serving as what he called “a gangster for capitalism.”

Though Butler was not a member of the American Communist Party he did give speeches at Communist Party meetings in the 1930′s as well as many speeches for the League Against War and Fascism. When asked about the company he was keeping he noted, “They told me I’d find a nest of communists here. I told them ‘What the hell of it!’”  

Butler didn’t choose sides when it came to expressing his views on war. Butler could certainly be considered a liberal. He spoke out against the liberal FDR administration and broke his ties with anti-fascist groups when they called for war to defend against fascism. In 1935 he commented to a veterans meeting on the subject of the growing interest in the FDR administration to become involved in the conflicts of Europe that, “The political leaders of this country are for another conflict to cover up their blunders.”

Though most Americans today would agree that his isolationist views would have been harmful had they been followed by the country in regard to American involvement in WWII his views on imperialism and the economic implications of war are still as relevant today as ever. And yes, even most Veterans can agree that Butler was right about many motives which pertain to politicians sending American’s off to conflicts their stupidity and arrogance have made nearly impossible to avoid, but the remedy is not to denigrate those willing to defend freedom or stop tyranny, the answer is to rid the country of the elected officials who drive the country to that point. An interesting point by Butler:

“I  wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket”.  Smedley Butler

A point many of those who like to quote General Butler often over look regarding his disdain for war and the sometimes overbearing need to respond, forget that he died in 1940, well before the Japanese provocation of bombing Pearl Harbor, and the millions who became subject to the atrocities of Nazi Germany; and then there’s Korea, the invasion of Kuwait, and the 911 Terrorist Attack (this ought to bring the “911 Truthers” out of the wood work!)

As to the rest of John’s comments, I take offense to being labeled a “thug”, and I know most Veterans feel much the same way. We are Americans who value freedom and liberty for all our citizens and are willing to defend his right to free speech which probably wouldn’t be possible were in not for the 1.3 million military personnel who have died for God and Country. Had not those of the Greatest generation stepped up to defend our way of life in WWII John would more than likely be speaking to us today in German, Japanese, or even Russian, but then again he wouldn’t have a voice, would he?

I do congratulate John on one point, and that is his decision to not have any children, because he wouldn’t want to have to discourage them from joining the military. He did America a big favor by not diluting the “gene pool”.

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21 Comments for “Response to a comment about “In Washington the beat goes on””

  1. Mr. Mattson: I comment a lot, honing my skills, keeping my mind active and engaged. I love VT, and only wish I had the mindset and time to write for VT, get responses. I write what I do mostly about the JFK shame and embarrassment, but add my two cents to other topics. I rarely get a sniff, but this is not about me and my opinions. I do not want to be attacked by others, for I am not the smartest guy on the block, but far, far from the dumbest. Thus, I do not attack others and try to maintain some semblance of manners for I believe everything I say and do reflects who and what I am.
    We all are in this together, this is our country being stripped away from us. VT offers a wonderful service and will be instrumental when the time comes to keep us informed.
    I enjoy what your write, rarely disagree but if I do it is okay.
    James, Fetzer, Duff, Lendman, Henderson, all of you at VT are dedicated Americans I think, and devoted patriots. Thanks for your work and articles. Learned a lot from you, John, Roster, and many others.

    • Chandler,

      Thank you for the comment. I believe most who read VT are true Americans wanting only the best for the country. As such we probably all look at situations a little differently and that is what dialogue is all about. Our military has always played a vital role in the history of our country, and yes, more than we as voters should allow, the politicians, in their own self-interest, get us into situations where they feel obligated to use force. Much of the problem stems from financial interests, but then again many of those financial interests involve far more than those with skin in the game (money). Some of those financial interests have given us a way of life (energy, electronics, a man on the moon, etc) where the country and our people have benefited. Surely many of those conflicts could have been resolve if the politicos had done their jobs (oversight, governance, etc), which is why we need a steady flow of new blood in Washington, i.e. term limits and anti-lobbying for ten years after a politician leaves office…otherwise we continue to beat a dead horse.

      As a writer I too learn from those who comment on articles, probably more than from the research that goes into every article. many thanks for your input.

  2. I believe it was this man M.G. Butler who foiled the overthrow of FDR by, in part, a family named Bush back in 1932-33. He played along with the scheme until they neared the actual active overthrow and let FDR know the who, what when where why of it all. To me, this man is a hero. The government doesn’t do anything. Our government is the greatest government in earth ever. We have simply elected, or allowed to be appointed, deceptive liars who have no morals, no conscience, no concern and no soul to keep them above board and honest. Then again, “We the People…” have out of necessity, gotten a little lazy when it comes to holding these self-serving, arrogant and greedy men and women accountable.
    If any of us speak up too often and too loud like Dr. Cyril Wecht has in the JFK assassination, other departments of the government are used to harass, intimidate and financially destroy the person differing with the mainstream version. The people in government have lost their moral compass. Those like Snowden, and Manning among others whistleblowers are heroes and should be viewed as such. They have backbone, and a strong sense of patriotism. They’ve out country above personal profit or personal gain. Great article Mr. Mattson. Something we all should think about, .

  3. So once again Ed, you trot out you own form of fascism.
    You and other veterans are outraged by my remarks huh?
    So just consider the history of Amerika: the U.S. army slaughtered Indian tribes to the point of extinction. The military is and has always been a tool for multi -national corporations. The invasion of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philipenes oh, let’s not forget to mention the U.S. Army also slaughtered several hundred Philipino rebels who had aided the U.S. Army. What about all those campaigns in Nicaragua hmmmm?
    The U.S. involvement in WWI was instigated by jews for the purpose of creating a zionist israhell.
    The Viet Nam war was instigated for the profit of the MIC and the Vatikan. Since then every incursion the U.S. military has been involved with relates to corporat profit making. Either that or for israhell.
    Now you might believe I dislike the military, well, my own father served in WWII as a nose gunner on a B-24 Liberator 5th Air Force, 90th Bomb group, 321st sqdn. aka the Jolly Rogers. My older brother served in Viet Nam as a heli pilot. One of my cousins was killed in Korea.
    I guess you may have missed part of my point.
    And that is: why would anyone want to serve in a military where they are nothing more than hired guns for corporat profit and to steal the wealth of nations leaving the indigent peoples destitute?
    And after all that, the government then turns around and neglects its veterans: The Bonus March.

    • That there are so many Viet Nam vets is desperate need of treatment for PTSD and the disease brought onto them from exposure to toxic chemicals, Those who were exposed to nuclear testing, LSD, those who now suffer from the illnesses from Operation Desert Storm. Now we are going to reap what we have done to Iraq and Afghanistan: exposure to depleted uranium munition and nuclear explosions, toxic vaccines and more PTSD. From Afghanistan more of the same oh and let’s not forget the best reason for this invasion: Heroin.
      One more thing: The military has such a problem with sexual assaults surpassing even the civilian population so much so that encouraging women to enlist is stupid beyond belief.
      I may have sounded crass and ungrateful for the past sacrifices by those who put themselves in the line of fire. In spite of all this I still stand behind my statement. There is no good reason anymore to serve in a military where the veterans are treated like garbage to be used and thrown away. The past thirty years has shown they are nothing more than hired guns for multi national corporations and for the political purposes of Granada, the invasion of Panama, involvment in Lebanon, Somalia.The list ever keeps growing.
      Ed, what about the use of the military for DEFENDING OUR SHORES and not gallivanting around the world causing death and destruction at the whims of the NWO and israhell?

      • The number of homelessness among veterans is a national shame and the corruption that has gripped every facet of the government has compounded the problem.
        Thomas Jefferson was correct when he stated his concern for large standing armies. They tend to become political and corporat tools. After all, was not the presence of British troops in the colonies about preserving the profits of the Crown and British corporations?
        So this is where we are now: a nation trying to keep itself together despite the forces that are tearing it apart. Forces that have exerted so much control on the government in D.C.and the military to the point where we are all in a great danger.
        The danger is that should the U.S. involve itself in one more war in the middle east, it will bankrupt itself and the results will not be very pretty.
        So why? Our founding fathers only expected those of us to perform one service: Jury duty.
        I apologize for offending so many here but as I have stated previously and more to the point; the U.S. military does not serve in the defense of America but as a tool for multi-national corporations as well as for israhell.
        Stop being that instrument.
        This does not mean I am ungrateful for the sacrifices made by those who defended our freedom and liberty against those who would take it from us. Those who made the supreme sacrifice can rest in peace knowing they helped preserve freedom and liberty as well as freed millions from tyranny and enslavement.

        • John: I enjoy what your write. I read GHW Bush’s speech from 1988 delivered at the Republican National Convention. The misleading info in it turned my stomach. Lies, misdirection, fancy word folly, meaningless diatribe of tomfoolery and chicanery. Openly admitting he was not a great speaker this traitor went on to be elected POTUS This elementary deception is what got him elected but that is not on him, it is on us citizens. A failure on the part of the people of any nation to develop a common denominator amongst them picking a president makes them vulnerable to this abuse we see today. Very smart man John, who have many readers following along. Nothing personal here. You’ve corrected me in the past. I’ve learned from you. We are all in this together.

      • John,

        I am the first in line to advocate putting troops on our borders. Our country is NOT “right all the time”, however, it is by far the only country capable and often too willing to be the defender of freedom around the globe. Other countries should have the balls to stand up to inequities so it isn’t always American blood that pays the price, but they all have become too dependent upon us. It would save we the taxpayer many dollars and allow the government more funds to care for our Veterans, but I will always be against doling out our tax dollars to the phoney “sick, lame, and lazy- those not willing to take responsibility for their own man-made situations (lack of education, drugs, alcohol, and fatherless families). As to those who join the military, many have had their lives straightened out with the discipline gained and there are as many reasons to join for our youth as there are those who have signed on the bottom line. I find part of being a parent is to sometimes “suck it up”, grin, and still show support for one of my kids when I disagree with what they chose to do. It may work out, but in all cases it will be a learning event…that’s what growing-up is all about. We then have to be prepared to assist when things don’t go according to their dreams. I’m not talking about “enabling”; I’m talking about helping them re-group rather than casting them out.

  4. Thinking about point 5, coining money, there seem to be ways to make the Constitution flexible like a Blob if it suits the powers that be.

    Maybe there are other blobby points: “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

  5. While many in Washington should have known we were prime for the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, intelligence reports were continuously ignored by many in command and I suppose their enablers, the politicians. Those of us who lost family members on December 7, because battleship row was easy pickins’ lined up like ducks in a shooting gallery, have questioned why the high command in Hawaii was so lax in being prepared with such hostile activities going on in Asia and the fact we had made stringent demands to curtail Japanese aggression. We should have been better prepared, but for anyone to believe we were aware of the date and time of the sneak attack has not been proven and simply not accurate. We should have been prepared, or better yet knowing defense is a poor substitute for a great offense, we probably should have taken a preemptive action or at least had perimeter observation ships out at sea, but I do not believe anyone could have fathomed the attack as it came without a declaration of war. Hindsight is almost always 20-20, yet the depravity and evilness which will always be facing us, isn’t always discernible.

    I guess I will always be at odds with the 911 Truthers. Some see conspiracy and point to “evidence” that is neither provable and in some cases unprovable. It is like the Global Warming crowd claiming that a “consensus of scientists” believe in man-made global warming. That’s total hogwash. As a researcher (cancer), there is no such thing as a “consensus” in anything looking to be called “valid” in science. Science, to be valid, must be PROVEN, not a conjecture. The same must hold true for evidence…i.e. DNA is evidence. Eye witnesses are often discounted due to circumstances and not always considered the best evidence in many cases.

    As to soldier being put up on a pedestal simply because they wear the uniform is like saying all doctors are excellent. In any group there are deviations from the norm both above and below the mark, but were it not for those willing to, as stated by General Smedley Butler, defend our homeland and Bill of Rights, you and I wouldn’t, in most likelihood, be having this exchange. As a Veteran however, I would entrust my life to those with whom I served and probably 90% of those Veterans I have met since leaving the military so many years ago. General Butler was one of the most decorated Marines in history, but his views and my views on many issues differ greatly. I however, do agree in many of his thoughts about our politicians who are to blame for the many wars we have had to fight, but totally disagree with having anything to do with liberal progressives and willingness to socialize with those in the American Communist Party. That doesn’t dissuade his valor or his service to country. His words regarding fighting for some financial gain are probably more true than not but totally non-applicable for our involvement in WWI, as he died in 1940 before those decisions had to be made. Initially he was against Roosevelt’s wanting to support Europe against Germany, but that no doubt would have changed after Pearl harbor and had he been alive to witness Hitler’s atrocities.

  6. Regarding the truth about 9/11: there IS provable evidence that shoots your “19 Arabs with boxcutters did it” theory out of the water. Burning jet fuel and hydrocarbon fires from office furnishings, etc do NOT burn hot enough to melt steel. And buildings do not collapse neatly into their own footprint at near free fall speed unless all of their supports are simultaneously “pulled”. It was controlled demolition. Period. The NIST report and the 9/11 Commission are a whitewash and a coverup. I suppose you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of JFK as well.

    Watch the video produced by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.****

  7. Sure thing, Israel troll.

    And the USS Liberty was not deliberately attacked by Israel despite the unanimous opinion of every surviving crew member:
    — [ ]

    NOTHING you or Israel would have us believe should be trusted. NOTHING! Yes, that includes your account of your precious Holocaust.

    Your clumsy attempt to ingratiate yourself with us

  8. Ed, I just realized you are the author of this article which (of course) makes you part of Veterans Today.

    I have a lot of respect for VT so I apologize for being so harsh. Nevertheless, I have to wonder if you read much of what your VT comrades write. It doesn’t seem like it.

  9. …is beneath contempt.

  10. Pat,

    I receive 500-600 emails each day not to mention the overdose of email for Viagra et al. I read a lot of “stuff”, but since I deal with many of the AO and Depleted Uranium exposure related cancers as well as PTSD, I do not get to read too many of the other VT writers’ work…it’s almost always related to those that parallel medical issues. As an advisor to Warriors2Citizen, Cancer Group, and sundry other Veteran situations, I am having a difficult time finishing my new book titled “Down on Main Street” which discusses the many problem facing the country today. It will be book number 3 if I can get it done. The consulting work I do for a multi-media company, mainly targeted to creative programs for medical and legal issues is needed to put a few rubles in the bank so it’s not a simple “retirement” I’ve developed. With my articles often appearing on many venues however, I am able to read works by a variety of writers so it’s not that I am tuned-in to only one zone.

    I will let folks know when my new book will be available and as usual, will be interested in comments (actually both pro and con).

  11. you do need to make the time to read Jim Fetzer and others about mini-nukes destroying the WTC, completely false flag controlled demolition as excuse to enact PNAC planned wars.
    as for Pearl Harbor, they knew and had moved the more valuable ships out of harms way, leaving what was left to BE attacked, to get the people behind the idea of going to war, does make it a false flag event. I understand ya getting uppity about John’s comment and I understand that actually defending this nation would be an honorable thing, but that hasnt been the reality for a very long time. traitors in DC sabotaged our economy and wrote tons of “laws” to PUT people into their “privatized prison system” that offers military as a way out. they get to guard opium crops, get exposed to depleted uranium, then they’re neglected and regarded as potential terrorists when they return home?!! excuse me, but which is more offensive now?

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