Role of proper governance

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  • Open Mind Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    @ Happy Valley Heretic,

    You are correct that the problems created by one president carry over. But at some point, responsibility must be taken, especially when THIS President has so many failed promises. Cutting the deficit in half, (he did the opposite). Creating good jobs, (just more part-time jobs). Promised the hispanic community he would recreate the path to citizenship, I guess he forgot to...? Take responsibility for terrorist attacks. Oh he didn't know anything about Bengazi... NSA spying, he saw that on the 9:00 news.

    More people on food stamps, more people on unemployment, debt doubled. Failed presidency.

  • Zaruski SLC, UT
    Aug. 24, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    "The definition of a true right is one that when exercised does not violate the right of another."

    There are two proper definitions of a right, but yours definition doesn't fit either.

    There are negative and positive rights. A negative right is an action or activity where the entitling party cannot forbid the entitled party of carrying out.

    A positive right is an action or activity where the entitling party is responsible for facilitating or even providing for entitled party.

    An example of a negative right would be property or speech. The government cannot forbid us from owning property or self expression, but it is not responsible for providing us with a flat screen TVs or posters and markers if we desire to protest.

    Education and public safety, on the other hand, are positive rights, provided through public schools and police departments.

    Having said that, maybe you think health is a negative right, but I don't see why being healthy is that much different from uniform access to education or public safety.

    But the worst out of all of this is that you think you can go toe to toe about "rights" with a constitutional law professor.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Re: "The ten commandments are not part of the Law of Moses."

    According to "The Guide to the Scriptures" on the LDS website, the Ten Commandments are part of the law of Moses:

    "The law of Moses consisted of many principles, rules, ceremonies, rituals, and symbols to remind the people of their duties and responsibilities....Faith, repentance, baptism in water, and remission of sins were part of the law, as were the Ten Commandments and many other commandments of high ethical and moral value. Much of the ceremonial law was fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which ended sacrifice by the shedding of blood (Alma 34:13–14)."

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 5:10 p.m.


    The ten commandments are not part of the Law of Moses.

    The Law of Moses came later because of the disobedience of the children of Israel: Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus.

    The law Moses was to teach obedience, hence its strictness.

    And Christians are bound by the ten commandments. They are part of the higher law.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    To "MaxPower" you are fairly accurate in your understanding. However, you did say that " the Celestial way of life is very much communal". Since the United Order is a Celestial law, communal systems are NOT part of Celestial law.

    In the quote I provided, Elder Benson said "Is the united order a communal system? Emphatically not. It never has been and never will be."

    I don't know if you missed that or what. It is quite clear that the United Order, a Celestial Law, is not communal. If it Celestial Laws are not communal now, they won't be communal later.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 3:02 p.m.


    First, thank you for that lovely reference. I took the liberty of finding and reading that talk in its entirety.

    Here's how I understand it, and please correct me if I'm wrong. The United Order is the implementation of the Law of Consecration. This law, like any other celestial law, relies heavily upon personal choice. Those that participated chose to of their own free will. They would deed all of their assets to the Church, who would then deed back what that family needed according to circumstance and want. It then became their own property, but any surplus generated would go back to the Church.

    Communism on the other hand, requires revolution, and force. It's administered by man, not the servants of God.

    At no point did I say the Celestial Kingdom was Communist, I did however, and maybe in error say communal. In my view its communal in that the same property (The Father's) is shared. Each devotes their time and talents for the building up of the Kingdom. It's individualistic in that it requires individuals to make the covenants to live that law freely. Exaltation cannot be forced upon someone.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    To "MaxPower" let me give you some quotes that show that a Prophet has declared that the Celestial Kingdom is NOT communal.

    Elder Ezra Taft Benson said "as we read in Doctrine and Covenants 105:5, 'Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom.'.....It has been erroneously concluded by some that the united order is both communal and communistic in theory and practice because the revelations speak of equality. Equality under the united order is not economic and social leveling as advocated by some today....Is the united order a communal system? Emphatically not. It never has been and never will be. It is “intensely individualistic.” Does the united order eliminate private ownership of property? No. 'The fundamental principle of this system [is] the private ownership of property'"

    A prophet, quoting other prophets has emphasized the fact that when we creat Zion, and live a celestial law, we still have private ownership and are not living a communal system.

    Do you know something that the prophets didn't?

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:12 p.m.


    Of course you will still be an individual. That won't change. However, the promise we will receive the same things as Christ, who receives all His Father has. Basically we all share in the same infinite set of stuff. If it was divided out as property, we wouldn't be inheriting everything. Simple math really.

    DC 134 was written concerning earthly governments, the United Order was closer to a Celestial government, and we were unable to live that set of laws. In almost every instance of a Zion here on Earth we read they had all things in common. They knew that as the needs of the whole were met, there's too would be met.

    We are told, even commanded to be one, If ye are not one, ye are not mine. Christ begged his Father that we could be one as He and the Father are.

    The very essence of the Celestial way of life is very much communal. Yes, we will still be individuals, but we will be individuals with all things common.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    To those who would eliminate "choice" from our society via Health care and all the other 'social justice' issues, I would ask: To whom have you given your 'choice' (liberty) and what is it that makes compulsion such a rewarding feature of your life?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    To "MaxPower" umm....I don't think you understand what Joint Heirs means. All that means is that we will get the same things that Christ has. I will still be an individual, with individual desires.

    You realize that the concept of property is meaningless in the Celestial Kingdom. If you can create worlds without end, what meaning does property have?

    Here is the key that lets us know that it will not be a collectivist situation in the Celestial Kingdom. We are taught that we need to learn now how to live a Celestial life. How can we have collectivism if, as D&C 134:2 states "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." If you are to learn to control individual property here, why would that end in the celestial Kingdom?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    I do actually know the difference between the Declaration and Constitution. I was using the Declaration as a guide to the Founders' opinions.
    And yes we have too assigned the government the duty to handle health care. We've been doing it for years, perfectly lawfully, perfectly constitutionally. We did it through our elected officials, as provided by the Constitution. Medicare, Medicaid, insurance regulations. Now the ACA. Which is going to work just fine. All absolutely Constitutional. All safeguarding our God given right to life, by which our generation means, among other things, health care.
    Nobody says government 'owns us.' Government IS us. Through our elected officials, government does things We the People think need to be done. Again, all of it, all of it, perfectly Constitutional.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    Re: "We do not bound by or follow the Law of Moses, that was fulfilled in Christ. Maybe you should try the new testament."

    So Christians aren't bound by the Ten Commandments? In Matthew 19:18-19 Jesus listed the five commandments people should keep, but that was before the atonement, so maybe those are no longer in force, either. At any rate, I suppose Christians don't have to keep the ones Jesus didn't mention: "no gods before me," "no graven images," "not to take the name of the Lord in vain," "keep the sabbath," "not to covet one's neighbor's belongings."

    But whether the law about not reaping the corners of the field, not picking up forgotten sheaves, not gathering every grape, or harvesting every olive, but leaving them for the poor applies to Christians or not, it shows that "forced charity," which is what this part of the civil law of the Israelites amounts to, is not incompatible with God's teachings, because the law came from God himself ("And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying ...").

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    The letter: "President Obama's comment that health insurance is a "right" demonstrates how uninformed he is on the role of proper governance.

    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.

    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.

    It's pretty simple to see that a government trying to provide all these things to all people will shortly go broke. Forced confiscation (i.e. taxes) from some to provide unearned entitlements to others is a formula for disaster. It doesn't work.

    If we don't keep our current misguided administration in check our republic may be headed for fiscal ruin.

    James Green - Heber City"

    Mr. Green - I'd vote for you for President in a heartbeat.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 5:30 p.m.


    We do not bound by or follow the Law of Moses, that was fulfilled in Christ.

    Maybe you should try the new testament.

    Note: the Nephites also had to follow the law of Moses until Christ came to them.

    @LDS Liberal

    No one is advocating not following the law.

    But we have every right to change the law and change bad government if our freedom of conscience dictates.

    What good is freedom of conscience if no action can follow?

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:44 p.m.


    I am curious to see how you think the Celestial Kingdom will be? When we are "Joint-Heirs with Christ" in all that is Father has, where everyone shares everything the Father has. Sounds like a lot of sharing of the same property, almost like a ...communal owning of property.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    RedShirt,"To "pragmatistferlife" you are only continuing to prove my point. You said that "Russia failed because it failed to produce a middle class" while todays economists are point out that the US has a shrinking middleclass. The nation is being sucked into liberalism, and it is doomed to failure." Your logic baffles me but Russia failed because it went from feudalism to socialism. America has definitely has a shrinking middle class but it doesn't coordinate with liberal polices it coordinates with conservative economics and policies and it's only through progressive policies that the middle class hasn't completely collapsed, and that's the point, reality requires progressive policies to shore up the damage done by conservatives.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" no, "the United Order, post-Christ Nephites, 1st century Christians, Moses, Adam, and the City of Enoch" are not failed policies. The united order could be considered a failure, but that is another topic.

    The others worked great. They were all founded in liberty, and the people maintained control of their personal property. They were not collectivism, they were volunteerism based.

    Do you support socialism, communism, or other collectivist philosophies?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "LDS Liberal" if you want to go forward, why do you keep advocating the failed policies of the past? Did collectivism work for the USSR, Greece, or Spain?

    10:30 a.m. Aug. 21, 2013


    You mean like the United Order, post-Christ Nephites, 1st century Christians, Moses, Adam, and the City of Enoch?

    Ya, THOSE failed policies from the past.

    I say - bring it on!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" you are only continuing to prove my point. You said that "Russia failed because it failed to produce a middle class" while todays economists are point out that the US has a shrinking middleclass. The nation is being sucked into liberalism, and it is doomed to failure.

    If, as you say we need a strong middle class, lets see what 50 years of progressive and liberal policies have given us.

    "Shrinking Middle Class" - Huffington Post

    "Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds" - NY Times (Middleclass at its lowest level since 1970)

    "Eroding middle class falls to 51%, survey finds" LA Times.

    If " liberals and progressives have figured out how to support a middle class" why is it that the more liberal the government becomes, the smaller the middle class becomes?
    As I said before, liberalism and Progressivism will destroy us. Using your criteria and reports coming from liberal newspapers, you cannot deny the fact that liberal policies are doomed to failure.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    RedShirt, "it is the deslusional liberals and Progressives that will lose in the end. The policies that liberals and Progressives are pushing don't work, they never have and never will.". Sorry brother they not only work but always will. Blacks, and women can vote, we rely on SS, Medicare, water is drinkable, and air is breathable because of regulations, wilderness is still pristine because of restrictions, and Obamacare will be an integral part of our society and economy in 5 years. Again growth capitalism depends on a healthy consumer class while at the same time it seeks to destroy that class. There's only one solution and we've found it, progressive and liberal social policies.

    Your whole comparison to the communist world is simply massively misinformed. Our two worlds aren't anything alike. BTW Russia failed because it failed to produce a middle class, and we are succeeding because liberals and progressives have figured out how to support a middle class, despite our masters best efforts.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    To "Truthseeker" you obviously forgot about the anarchists and communists that were running rampant throughout the OWS camps. They proposed overturning the US capitalist system for a communist system. The Communist Party USA stood in solidarity with them.

    From the Occupy Oakland website "Eleven Reasons Overthrowing the Government Would Fix the Economy". I don't think they are advocating a simple philosophical change.

    From the Baltimore Sun "Occupy Wall Street protesters are the extremists, not the tea party" we see a quote from the NYC Occupy Wallstreet's Head of Communications where he said "My political goal, is to overthrow the government."

    How can you say that they OWS did not have goals of overthrowing the government when they themselves have stated that they are seeking to overthrow the government?

    To "LDS Liberal" if you want to go forward, why do you keep advocating the failed policies of the past? Did collectivism work for the USSR, Greece, or Spain? If Progressive policies are a step forward, then why is it that China had to allow capitalism to enter that country so that they could progress? Why did Bono recently state that capitalism (this requires conservativism) is best for relieving poverty?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "pragmatistferlife" it is the deslusional liberals and Progressives that will lose in the end...


    You make me LOL.

    This is what other "deslusional liberals and Progressives" have to say to you:

    D&C 18:22
    Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    It is the law and is now a right. Very simple concept. Medicare is a right unless Senator Lee repeals that. If he blocks funding, he will be in violation of the Constitution.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    "They were in full support of people that wanted to take down the legal government"


    The main issues raised by Occupy Wall Street were social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corporations on government—particularly from the financial services sector. The OWS slogan, We are the 99%, refers to income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.

    OWS's goals include a reduction in the influence of corporations on politics, more balanced distribution of income, more and better jobs, bank reform (especially to curtail speculative trading by banks), forgiveness of student loan debt or other relief for indebted students, and alleviation of the foreclosure situation.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" it is the deslusional liberals and Progressives that will lose in the end. The policies that liberals and Progressives are pushing don't work, they never have and never will. China and the USSR are prime examples of how the end results of liberalism and Progressivism don't work. The USSR collapsed because it couldn't keep up, and China has had to give up some of its liberal/Progressive ideals to adopt capitalism and conservativism to prevent their economy from destroying them.

    SS, Medicare, and the other welfare programs will be our downfall, just like they have destroyed Greece and Spain. Eventually the entire US will wake up and find that the promises made by the government are empty and destructive.

    To "Paul in MD" the German medical system is poor, and cannot get the treatments that we have available here. Yes they pay less for their care, but they also get less in return.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Germany has a system that has both near-universal coverage and affordability. I haven't researched it thoroughly, but I think it may hold some lessons for us as a country that could solve some of the problems in our current/coming system.

    One issue I've noticed for a long time is how little is actually paid to a health care provider on behalf of an insured patient versus what is ultimately billed to an uninsured patient.

    I took a child to a lab for some standard blood work. They took a few vials, ran the tests, and billed our insurance. We paid a little, the insurance paid a little, and the rest was denied as being more than is reasonable and customary. The original $600 charge was reduced to something like $40. But what about someone without insurance? They get charged the full $600 because no one is watching their backs.

    From what I've learned, in Germany the government sets the reasonable and customary amounts by regulation, and every patient pays the same. THAT is fair, and leads to a system of affordable care. What we will have over the next few years doesn't.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    This is like watching a Roadrunner cartoon. You know the plot, you know the lines and you know the outcome. In the end conservatives will always lose because reality demands it. The irony of it all is that it is capitalist modernity that demands it. We will continue to have SS, Medicare, taxes, abortion, Obamacare, government regulations, on and on, actually pretty much everything the regulars here rail against. We have to, a growth oriented capitalist economy and society demands it, reality demands it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" you obviously didn't read it very well, that or else you don't understand the Tea party or what the Democrats are doing.

    The liberal Democrats are known for sedition. Just look at the massive support that the liberal Democrats gave the OWS kids. They were in full support of people that wanted to take down the legal government. That is sedition and bordered on rebellion.

    They do no hld sacred the freedom of conscience. Just look at Al Sharpton, Al Gore, Obama, or any of their supporters. If you don't agree with them, you are considered the enemy. They do not support freedom of conscience in any form. They support conformity of conscience.

    You should read the entire discourse. It states "A category of government activity which, today, not only requires the closest scrutiny, but which also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom, is the activity NOT within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing the wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test...."

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    To "Noodlekaboodle" lets take your scenario a step further.

    I have a poor family, my spouse and I have no disabilities. My spouse and I work for minimum wage, we have 10 children with no disabilities, and we need a place to live. Are you willing to pay $1000/month to support me. If you don't pay for me to live somewhere, we will die from exposure. Now, if you are willing to pay $1000 so that I can have a place to stay, are you willing to pay another $500/month so that we can eat? How about another $300/month so that we can have clothing. Now the problem is that winter is coming, and we need to heat the house you are paying for, so that will cost you another $200/month.

    Are you willing to pay $2000/month so that I can put little to no effort into supporting my family for the rest of my life? That means that over 40 years, because I want to retire at the age of 65, you will pay me and my family nearly $1 million.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    If you want a good take on "the proper role of Government"... google "Ezra Taft Benson role of Government" and watch it.


    OK, I admit - I have read it in years, but I guess neither have you ---
    because he said,

    "(I) believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, which protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience."

    That to me sounds more like today's Liberal Democrat than a Tea-Party Republican.

    I've been saying this for years now --
    I didn't leave the Republican party, the Republican party left me.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:13 a.m.

    Finally someone is speaking out with common sense and logic of why socialism does not work in a free society wether its health care, educaiton, or welfare. This program goes so far as to make individual buy insurance regardless of health care fraud over priced monopolized industry whether we can afford it or not. Health care is not a right as its says, only illegal aliens of socialist country's (Mexico, Africa, and refugees) have that notion. Insurance is private industry and the optional choice for health care. This is not true health care, its funding private industry by federal proclamation stripping people of their livelihood to feed and dress themselves.

    This country gifts so many non americans with fake entitlements they have this perception that we are all with the same free services of governemnt. Its time to strip the economy of all federal aid to citiznes, foreign nationals, refugees, and local governemnt.

    And the government taxes these workers and dictate how they spend earned income. Its worse that socialism, its treason and terrorism. No health care is better than being forced to make insurance companies and wall street rich.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:12 a.m.

    What can I possibly reply to someone who states that education is not a right?
    What in the world would I think I could change about him?

    Even if we are simply cold hearted about the cost of healthcare and want to bring the public's share of it down, we can see that the Affordable Care Act is better than ignoring the situation. Multimillionaire doctors and pill-makers like it the way it is, but ordinary citizens are paying for the 911 calls and emergency room visits of the poor.

    This should have been handled by Nixon or, at latest, Reagan, not passed on until the costs have become the highest in the world for care that is not the best in the world, unless one is rich.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:13 a.m.

    Alma 1:37 They had universal health care in the Book of Mormon. Maybe it wasn't sponsored by the gov't. Read it. Health care is not about rights, it is a moral issue to me. We are our brothers keeper. President Kimball said so. Here in prosperous America people have to put donations jars in 7-11s to help pay for health care for a sick child. We are a better country than that. The health care debate is not about rights, it is about our humanity. If only those with health insurance or adequate financial resources can access health care what does that say about the Unites States. How can you earn a right to health care? If a parent denied medical care to a sick child they would be prosecuted for child abuse.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    If you want a good take on "the proper role of Government"... google "Ezra Taft Benson role of Government" and watch it. It's interesting philosophy on limited governance, something I think the founding fathers may agree with. Whether you agree with him or not, it gives you something to think about and talk about (even if you disagree with it).

    He's a product of his times, and his life, but I think he had some good insights into governance, human nature, and keeping Government from over-reaching and making men into pets.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    You're mixing The Declaration of Independence with the Constitution. Government has no rights to give. All rights belong to the people. Even the Bill of Rights is redundant. We already have those guarantees because the government can only LAWFULLY do those things that we have assigned to it. We have not assigned the government the duty to handle health care. That responsibility belongs to each of us individually. Each duty that we have assigned to the government is listed in the Constitution. All other duties are reserved to the States or to the people.

    The government does not "own" us. We are free to act for ourselves without government interference. We do not need a nanny. We are not toddlers and we certainly don't have the right to demand that others pay for our personal needs. Karl Marx was not one of our founding fathers, even if our present President finds it fascinating to take from those who have and to give to those who have not. George Washington would have called that stealing. Obama calls that his "right" as President. That's why government has no rights.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Re: "Do you have the right to pick another's pocket for your personal benefit?"

    Leviticus: "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field ... And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger." - Deuteronomy: "When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow ... When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow."

    That was the law among the Israelites.

    Wasn't it "forced charity"?

    Didn't those who ate the grain in the unreaped corners and from the sheaves in the fields, the ungathered grapes, and the unplucked olives "pick the pockets" of those who owned the fields, the vineyards, and the olive orchards "for their personal benefit," keeping from them some of the fruits of their labors and preventing them from maximizing their harvest?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    I hate to be the one to break it to the liberals and progressives.

    but police protection and fire protection are not rights, they are services bought and paid for by the taxpayers or "the people".

    Everything the government (the people) does comes out of the pockets of the people.

    In understanding the role of governance you must understand that fact. which is why a limited government and private charity is best.

    And therefore public assistance should be limited, though founding fathers believed there should be no government beneficence.

    In talking about rights one must answer this question:
    Do you have the right to pick another's pocket for your personal benefit?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    First, I completely disagree with you. Second, your the only conservative that says this, and I find it refreshing, as this is the crux of the argument. Liberals are more than willing to call healthcare a right, but it's just you calling it a commodity. But to let me understand what your saying correctly, i'd like to ask you a hypothetical question. If a baby is born with a heart defect that will cause it to die, but it has poor parents who can't afford surgery to save it's life, we should let it die. Right? I mean, it's a free market, if parents are too poor to save their child from a medical problem we should let them die, they are just a commodity, just like healthcare. I mean, we're just talking about digging up coal or natural gas, or making iPods. It's not like we are considering human life a commodity instead of a right.....

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Okay, God gave us our rights. Fine. And the Founders wrote a Constitution intended to protect and provide for those rights. Either way, Obamacare protects life, and is therefore entirely Constitutional.
    As for your comments about whiners, I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about. I'm surprised at you.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    Eric, I'm surprised at you. You know, just like I know, that we were endowed by our Creator with rights. Those "rights" are not parceled out by the government. Washington does not have a "vault" where it keeps our rights. God gave us our rights. Government was charged to safeguard those rights.

    There are so many whiners who keep telling us that Obama couldn't possibly be expected to do anything except fail. Obama will fail because he will not rise to the occasion and become a leader. He prefers to be a "whiner". His followers prefer to be "whiners".

    George Washington was not a "whiner". He could have pointed his finger at King George and told us that no one could bring forth a new nation. Lincoln could have blamed others. Truman could have told us that FDR had ruined everything. Kennedy could have coddled us. Reagan could have told us that Carter was to blame. Those Presidents knew what their responsibility was. He were not crying children who looked for an excuse. They did not tell everyone that no one could solve the problem. They were PRESIDENTS. Obama is not in their league. He is a "whiner".

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    Re: ". . . let's eject this silly argument and get down to the real question . . . ."

    Sure, liberals would love to just skip over that pesky rights issue, but, to real people, rights are important.

    Health care is distinct from ANY recognized "right." Because it's a commodity, NOT a right.

    Rights to speak, assemble, worship, remain silent, even phony rights, like aborting a baby, center about being left alone to pursue happiness. NOT to have it taken from someone else and reallocated.

    Even a non-constitutional, court-imposed "right" to legal counsel, becomes a right, only to enable government's decision to restrict freedoms.

    Were traditional commodities to become "rights," where would it stop? What other commodities are included?

    We know liberals will lurch next to subsistence, but, hey, I have a constitutional right to carry a gun. I can't afford one. Government owes me a gun, right?

    I have a right to travel, but no car. A right to work, but no skills. A right to speak, but no listeners.

    How do liberals intend to address all these "rights?"

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    To "Ernest T. Bass" thanks to Obamacare we are getting more uninsured families.

    From the National Review we read "Over 100K New Jersey Residents to Lose Their Affordable Health Plans under Obamacare." You asked for it, now you got it.

    Lets see what the US military has given us, and think about it and see if it is worth it.

    The US military has made the US the leader of the free world. Now, if we didn't have that military the US may be the entire free world. Can you imagine what would have happened in WWII if the US did not join in?

    The US has better access to healthcare than most of the entire world. In fact we have one of the best and most responsive system in the world? Do you want the US to kill off its elderly as they are put on wait lists, just like many Canadians?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:59 p.m.


    "To the LDS people out there that think government is so great and can help people like LDS doctrine teaches, you are wrong. Neail A. Maxwell said "You will also see that the living of one protective principle of the gospel is better than a thousand compensatory governmental programs...."

    That sounds like Neal Maxwell is suggesting that government programs pose a threat to religion for the hearts of the people. Whether that fear is valid or imaginary, it mustn’t be the basis for public policy that applies to all Americans, be they religious or not.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    I remember James "Jim" Green wrote practically the same letter in 2010 when the ACA was first signed into law.

    My response will be similar to what it was then...

    First of all, your narrow definition of "rights" could literally be used to eliminate any and every government service, program, or product out there. Police? They take my tax dollars. Firefighters? I haven't needed them directly! Why do they keep stealing money from me! Roads? Half the roads here in Orem I'll never even use. Military? I don't support the current wars or foreign aid, so why should the government steal my money?

    Secondly, it has already been determined that we have rights to health care and education. That ship has sailed.

    Finally, rather than argue this winless argument about "rights" why not come up with an alternative to the ACA? You and your ilk have no one to blame but themselves for Obamacare. From 2000-08 you folks had the White House and didn't reform health care. Since the ACA has been passed, you have offered zero alternatives. Momma always taught me to never complain unless you had a solution.

    So stop complaining.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    What we need are more uninsured families.
    That will finally make America great again. Those poor Canadians, Europeans and many other countries who have national healthcare. They just don't know what they're missing.
    Too bad they don't fund a massive military instead of a population with access to healthcare.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    NICE obfuscation - one of the better ones I have seen in a while!

    life and health insurance are not the same thing. Some could argue that access to health care enhances and lengthens life, but Obamacare, for which you argue, does NOT enhance access to health care, only insurance. The failure of MA's program to increase access to health care proved that.

    all Obamacare does is ensure you have a RIGHT to purchase insurance? You really are attempting to pull a switcheroo - Obamacare FORCES you to buy insurance. By your analogy, I not only have a right to smoke, but I MUST smoke!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    Re: "The highest traditions of civilized man make minimal provisions for the tribe’s . . . most unfortunate members."

    As America's pre-Obamacare system did, but Obamacare cannot.

    Pre-Obamacare -- sick people go to the nearest hospital emergency room, and are cared for, regardless of ability to pay. Care is funded by cost-covering tax incentives and near-universal insurance premiums.

    Obamacare, on the other hand, is admittedly too complex and punitive to attract many of the poor, who, liberals contend, can't afford or aren't competent, even to procure a government voter ID, let alone arrange health care. It's particularly cruel to the 30 millions Americans and 14 million illegal aliens purposely left out of coverage.

    Further, in classic Cloward-Piven tradition, the Obamacare scam is DESIGNED to collapse the system -- drive hospitals, doctors, and health insurers out of business, such that, not just the poor, but all Americans are denied "minimal provision."

    Obamacare will inevitably produce near-universal American suffering, often-fatal suffering among America's poor -- the exact opposite of the "highest traditions of civilized man."

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    To "atl134" who says that gestation isn't considered part of the human lifespan? We count gestation weeks, and medical professionals guess at how long a person has been growing in the womb.

    Why do you only consider somebody alive once they leave the womb?

    To the LDS people out there that think government is so great and can help people like LDS doctrine teaches, you are wrong. Neail A. Maxwell said "You will also see that the living of one protective principle of the gospel is better than a thousand compensatory governmental programs—which programs are, so often, like 'straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.'"

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    Sorry, I forgot that to conservatives the right to life applies only to time periods that aren't even counted in the lifespan of a human.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    As a society, we have already determined that health care is a right. If I am sick, I can go to an emergency room and get treatment "for free." Of course, others will have to pay for it, but the point is that by guaranteeing treatment through this last-resort and expensive method, we have indeed determined that we consider health-care a right. So let's eject this silly argument and get down to the real question, which is, How can we provide this right to all citizens in the most high-quality, cost-effective manner possible? It seems we keep asking the wrong questions. Small wonder we keep arriving at inadequate answers.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Whether health coverage is a right is not the point. The highest traditions of civilized man make minimal provisions for the tribe’s weakest and most unfortunate members. Without that, life is just a struggle for survival, but survival as what?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That's how the Declaration defined 'rights.' The Constitution did not specifically enumerate 'access to health care,' because they didn't have health care--they had incompetent doctors working under a preposterous theory of medicine. But they did understand that life, and its continuation, was a right. So as we move through the 21st century, it's perfectly Constitutional to say that access to universal health care is a fundamental human right. Obamacare is a step in the right direction.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Re: "As a signatory to the UDHR, the US agreed with these statements. Health care is a human right."

    Disingenuous liberal sophistry.

    As even liberals know, the US entered reservations, understandings and declarations [RUDs] to its acceptance of the Declaration. One RUD notes that, consistent with the US Constitution, the Declaration is "not self-executing." This RUD was necessary to gain the required two-thirds supermajority in the Senate.

    In essence, that means NOTHING in the declaration is binding on America or Americans, unless and until Congress passes a law, or laws, implementing its provisions.'

    Congress has not done so.

    Not even Obama's seriously flawed, completely unworkable, thoroughly communitarian socialist, political-legacy showpiece health-care confiscation law does that.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Re: "Forced confiscation (i.e. taxes) from some to fund never-ending war and banker bail-outs is a formula for disaster."

    Agreed. But, even more expensive and destructive is forced confiscation (i.e. "taxes" -- according to SCOTUS) to fund never-ending socialist vote-buying and crony capitalist subsidies of policies and enterprises that are designed to fail, beggaring taxpayers, destroying freedom, but advancing political careers and enriching political friends.

    Like Obamacare.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    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.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    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”?

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:10 a.m.

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

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    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"?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:37 a.m.


    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.

  • Tad TOOELE, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    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.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    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?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:15 a.m.

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

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    "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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    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...

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    "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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 12:38 a.m.

    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.