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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Owen
Heber City, UT

Forced confiscation (i.e. taxes) from some to fund never-ending war and banker bail-outs is a formula for disaster. It doesn't work.

Because we didn't keep our former misguided administration in check, our republic and those who have spent their lives contributing to social security may be headed for fiscal ruin.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

These daily rants about the "proper role of governance" and "government overreach" and socialism do have some merit.

However, they have been occurring for years and years, under R and D leadership.

Sure seems to me that the right was unconcerned about all the govt excess under GOP leadership.

One just might conclude that it is merely partisan politics.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Health insurance isn't a right. But I think basic health care for all should be something we can provide for ourselves, and it can be a role of proper governance.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Do we excuse "this" President just because there is a long history of lawbreaking in Washington? It has been said that Obama's intellect is far above average. If that is true, why can't he figure out the limits placed on him by the people who control all branches of government? Why can't he understand that healthcare is not in the Constitution? Why can't he understand that government cannot "seize" two car companies? Why can't he see that government cannot loan $500 million to Solyndra? Why can't he see that transferring wealth is not allowed? Does he think that he is above the law? Does he think that, because he is so "intelligent", that he can think for all of us?

Can't he understand that taxes (at least before Wilson) were apportioned among the states based on population, not on ability to pay and that the top rate was 7%?

It's not all Obama's fault, but he the person whose duty it is to set things right. It doesn't look like he has any interest in doing the right thing, including defending the Constitution against the people in Washington.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

"Therefore, things like housing, education, a job, a minimum wage, medical treatment and, yes, health care insurance are not rights at all. Those are things that must be earned."

So after someone "Earns" these things only to have them taken away in a single catastrophic event or health crisis, they can die in the gutter, perhaps in front of your home.

Awe another compassionate conservative, shows his appreciation of what it is like, to live in a society.
Where every man built it himself, lifts himself up by his bootstraps, and carries justice in their holster.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

We citizens have almost no understanding of the Constitution or of Constitutional Government. We have become our ancestors who look to a king to share the crumbs from his table with us.

We are Americans! We, not the government, are in charge. We hire temp workers to carry out the basics, but we reserve all freedoms and all responsibilities for ourselves. Health care is not a right; it is a responsibility. Each of us, individually is responsible for our own health care. We can, if we wish, help others with their health care expenses, but government does not have the right to force us to be charitable. That is part of the agency that our Creator gave us as part of mortality. Understanding rights vs responsibilities is something that Washington has backwards. Those politicians have assumed "ownership" of all rights and, unfortunately, too few Americans know that our "rights" have been hi-jacked.

Most things coming from Washington are not Constitutional. Lazy people would rather give up freedom than shoulder the responsibilities are part of being free. That suits those in power just fine. They like whiners. They fear liberty-loving Americans.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

More Americans are killed by microscopic "enemies" than all other combined.

Sickness, disease, cancers, etc. kill people each and every second.

You don't think defending and protecting one's "Life", liberty and pursuit of happiness against "ALL" enemies falls into that category?

But - no, only boogiemen enemies in Afghanistan who "might" attack us warrant $Trillion spent defending us...

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Do we excuse "this" President just because there is a long history of lawbreaking in Washington?"

No Mike, we don't.

We call them all out when they do. We don't do it selectively based on their party affiliation.

You attack Obama and the dems daily. You act as though they are night and day different from the GOP. Can you imagine your outrage if the Dems had championed NCLB? Or Medicare Part D?

You would be LIVID.

You rant daily about the unconstitutional nature of our current leadership. You mention healthcare, Solyndra and the Car Companies.

Do you realize that the GOP has fingerprints all over those things? Have you bothered to look into that? You might be surprised what you would find.

I have little doubt that had Romney won, he would be doing very similar things. The difference is that you would be happy and content.

If you held each party equally accountable you would have quite the quandary in the voting booth.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Could've sworn life was an inalienable right... but apparently making access to healthcare more affordable for people is improper. Go figure...

MaxPower
Eagle Mountain, UT

Does one have a right to police protection? Fire protection? Do we not all rely on someone else to help pay for these?

What about a right to be free from invasion of other countries? A right to redress of grievance if wronged? Who pays for these?

The letter writer's definition of a right is flawed. Rights are what we possess simply by existing. We don't earn them, nor are they granted. Our fundamental rights, as described by Jefferson and Locke are Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is the role of government, not to grant these, but defend these.

Where we disagree is on the scope of these items, and how to best fund them. Some would argue health care falls under right to life and liberty (how free is a man shackled by disease?) Others would argue it deprives them to the right of their property. Where the disagreement is does ones right to life trump another's right to property?

Tad
TOOELE, UT

Using the definition proposed, "The definition of a true right is one that when exercised does not violate the right of another. For example, if someone else has to pay for or provide service for me to exercise my right, it is not a right." Do we then conclude that children have no "right" to support from their parents? Does this definition apply to the "right to life" of the unborn fetus when abortion is at issue? Can we justify police, fire and ambulance services to protect the "right to life" when they are paid for by taxes? Are the "right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" so cherished in the Declaration of Independence really rights when we must protect those rights with the most expensive military in the world or the lives of those who have died defending our Constitution? There is not one single "right" guaranteed by the Bill or Rights or derived from it that comes without the cost of limiting the conduct of another or the expenditure of the public weal. This definition fails. A "right" is a principle of liberty so morally compelling that we, as a society, determine suffer the cost.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@JoeBlow,

Your rhetoric has gotten in the way of logic. You have assumed that I think as you do. I do not. I do not excuse lawlessness, no matter who sits in the Oval Office. You assume that just because you blame Presidents before Obama for Obama's excesses that I would do the same. I would not. Each of us, including the President is fully responsible for our own actions. Bush or Reagan or even Truman cannot be blamed for Obama's actions. Obama is responsible for every action, for every speech, for every trip, for every vacation, for every telephone call that he makes. You know that. I know that. He has been entrusted by the people to execute ALL the laws of this nation. He has taken an oath to defend the Constitution, yet he rejects the principles contained in that document. He, as Commander in Chief, is responsible to see that our military is used to protect us from all enemies who would destroy our freedoms, yet he leads the charge to have government distribute liberties to us.

You are free to admire Obama. I cannot admire him. His actions forbid it.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The only rights that a person has is the rights that other people give him. Usually rights are only given when traded for rights received. There are no God given rights, no human rights only the rights we give each other. Rights are not permanent, they come and go as needed. There are no golden rules for rights that place limits or conditions on what the rights may be.

The definition of rights given by the writer may appear in the dozen or so definitions in the dictionary but it is not the definition of rights for the rights of people living together in a society. Yes some rights must be earned by the labor of workers; it is the greed of people that make it so, not some commandment.

Mostly we give the rights to comfort and care to those who need it. In our society children do have the right to housing, food, medical care and even education. The have these unearned rights because our society says so and will enforce them if necessary.

Lightbearer
Brigham City, UT

I've read more than once in this newspaper that there is a "right to life" and that "all life is sacred." Well, if there is a right to life, it doesn't end once you leave the womb, and if all life is sacred, then the life of vagrant is as sacred as the life of a fetus or the life of a CEO. Or are the lives of the rich more sacred than the lives of the poor, after all? Is "all life" only "sacred" until we're asked to help foot the bill?

If all life is sacred, then everybody's life is sacred, independent of their place on the social scale or the state of their bank account.

If the right to life only means that you have the right to be born, but after you're born you don't have the right to food, shelter, and health care, then it's no right to life all all, but simply a "right" to try to survive. Even animals in the wild have that "right." Should we be a society of "survival of the fittest"?

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

Trust any article about Pres. Obama to bring out the crazies on both sides.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Mike said: Each of us, including the President is fully responsible for our own actions. Bush or Reagan or even Truman cannot be blamed for Obama's actions.

Your argument has no merit in reality, when a president takes office, there is not a clean slate and a zeroing out of the books, the sins of the former will alway become the problems of the new guy, to believe otherwise is partisan nonsense.

I realize these truths, and therefore do not blame Obama for every blade of grass that has died on the white house lawn while he has been president.

I also don't agree with your armchair constitutional blather, neither does the supreme court, that's the funny thing about opinions mine is just as valid as yours.

glendenbg
Salt Lake City, UT

The author's definition of rights is, to put it mildly, somewhat eccentric.

Rights are generally understood to mean something owed to or allowed of people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits slavery, torture, arbitrary arrest detention and exile,depriving persons of property and privacy and family. It also declares that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

These are not arbitrary or random statements and values. They were drafed and adopted for a reason. As a signatory to the UDHR, the US agreed with these statements. Health care is a human right.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

HVH,
So after you have earned all these things, is it fair for BO to confiscate them to pay for someone’s else’s health insurance?

LDS? Lib
Afghan boogeymen who MIGHT attack us? I guess you forgot that they did. (9/11)

And not worth the money to hunt them down? What did Jefferson say, “millions for defense, but not a penny for tribute”?

JoeBlow,
Yes, you DO excuse this POTUS, and libs accuse any who disagree with him of racism.

alt134,
life and access to health insurance are not synonymous. Sorry to burst your bubble

Ultrabob,
The only rights a man has are what other people give him? I guess you are joining LDS? lib in disagreeing with Jefferson. Nope, the rights do not come from others, and especially not from the government.

Lightbearer,
MA’s version of Obamacare did NOT increase access to healthcare. You analogy is therefore flawed.

HVH,
No, there is no clean slate, but each man IS responsible for his actions. He cannot dictate his circumstances, but he CAN dictate his reactions. Unless he’s a dem, then there is NO personal responsibility.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

I don't think insurance is a right. I think everyone has the right to purchase it though and that's all that "Obamacare" does.

What I do think people have the right to is to be healed with available cures. Laws make us go to the current medical system so we DO have a right to the extent that those laws make it more difficult to obtain remedies for illness.

A hundred years ago people didn't have to go to a government licensed, controlled, medical professional. The system has been made safer only for those that can afford access to it. Those that are left out, see it as much more dangerous and less helpful medical system the law has provided.

You can either make all drugs legal and completely deregulate the medical system or find fixes to re include the rest of the population that have been left out in the cold.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

It’s not remarkable when someone from the perch of his high horse goes on about rights. Anyone can do it. Most of us do it at one time or another. Some don’t seem to know when to stop. What’s rare is when the narrative is driven by responsibility. That’s the R word that seems to get lost in the fury.

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