California Democrat Congressman Pete Stark tells the truth at a townhall meeting. He says, “The Federal Government Can Do Most Anything in this Country.” He didn’t emit and evil laugh like “muhuhahahaha!!!!” but I think it was implied.
At first I couldn’t believe he said it but then I thought that this is like the kind of thing a villain says in a movie when he’s monologuing while he should just be dunking the hero into the shark tank in a meat suit. They says things like “nobody can stop me now” or “I can do whatever I want.”
Let’s just hope Stark and his lib buddies keep monologuing until November because this meat suit is itchy and it kinda’ smells.
Brian at Weasel Zippers writes:
There are moments when things happen that really crystallize the reality of our circumstances. Here is video of such a moment.
It occurred at a Town Hall Meeting of California Democrat Rep. Pete Stark, when a woman asked him a brilliant question on the constitutionality of the ObamaCare Law. Essentially, she asked Stark how the law could be when it makes Health Care a “right,” thereby compelling others to provide and or pay for Health Care for other people. She argued this is a form of “slavery,” in violation of the 13 Amendment. Then she got to the heart of her question. If the Federal Government can do this, “what can’t they do?”
Stark’s answer is astounding. He said, “The Federal Government can do most anything in this country.”
The problem is that the elites in the government aren’t restrained by the Constitution or any particular morality but their own self preservation.
August 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm
I find his snide, condescending remark at the end of the video most appalling of all (I'm sure glad you're here to save it). What a jerk!
August 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm
That girl questioning him is annoying. Her analogy to slavery is tenuous. People do have a right to health care.
"The demands of the common good are dependent on the social conditions of each historical period and are strictly connected to respect for and the integral promotion of the person and his fundamental rights. These demands concern above all the commitment to peace, the organization of the State's powers, a sound juridical system, the protection of the environment, and the provision of essential services to all, some of which are at the same time human rights: food, housing, work, education and access to culture, transportation, basic health care, the freedom of communication and expression, and the protection of religious freedom. Nor must one forget the contribution that every nation is required in duty to make towards a true worldwide cooperation for the common good of the whole of humanity and for future generations also."
Health care is a human right according to God almighty. If you have a problem with it, tell him to butt out of your personal life.
August 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm
That quote is from the Compendium of Social Doctrine, 166. This document is just as authoritative as the Catechism.
August 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm
How does the church define a right? Does it differ from the secular political usage?
Is health care also a good? Assuming it's both, would health care be more of a good, or more of a right?
August 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Geoffrey Miller, healthcare for all already exists in this country. Just go to any ER and you'll see proof of that.
Speaking from the personal experience of knowing several "welfare queens", I can attest to the truth of how the system is routinely "gamed" by those too lazy to work. It isn't just a stereotype, promulgated by the rich for the gullible. It exists, despite the desires of those perpetuating class envy/warfare in this nation.
August 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm
And notice how Geoffrey omits the word "basic" in his arguments. Basic health care is fundamentally different from the coverage that is mandated in Obamacare. Basic health care is a right through ERISA. I agree with Geoffrey that she is a bit annoying with her questioning. I would rather her skip the first half of her speech and just let the question be, "What are the limits of the Federal Government's powers?" Stark's answer to that is the real story.
August 2, 2010 at 9:42 pm
My agreement with Mr. Miller ends with the tenuous nature of the argument by reason of the 13th Amendment. The 10th Amendment is a FAR better argument and one that needs to be reasserted in this nation.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
BTW, I will support Mr Miller's argument if it can be construed, as he has, that by "transportation" it should mean that the government should provide me a new Mercedes. Note, it does not say basic transportation as it does for health care, so I should be allowed to move about in a certain degree of class, provided by the government.
August 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm
It does look like the gentleman is eating shoe leather towards the end of this segment. 🙂
I don't like the language of "right" when it comes to health care. The word "right" as it applies to freedoms has been hijacked by those who feel entitled to things. Health care should primarily be seen as a work of mercy. It is merciful for us to provide what health care we can to those who need it. Those receiving the treatment should accept it as a gift. Enslaving the health care community to the "rights" of others destroys the charitable nature of health care and would ruin the spirit of mercy in which it is given by removing the sense of free will from the providers.
Providers in this case are classified in two catagories. First, the primary health care provider would include those on the front line: physicians, nurses and their assistants. Secondary health care providers include those paying for the services. Used to be you paid for your own health care by working at a job which provided it, or you paid out of pocket. If you couldn't pay, you fell back on the charity of others in your community. Anyone ever hear of spaghetti dinners to raise money for a kid's leukemia treatments? Unfortunately not everyone has the funds to pay for their treatment nor can the funds always be sufficiently raised. However, we are not going to solve this problem by enslaving our taxpayers to the "rights" of others.
The government is more and more getting into the business of charity. My father always told me that the government should protect the people from outside threats and leave the domestic problems (ie: the economy, health care, welfare) to the private citizen. He was speaking about subsidiarity- let the little guys take care of the little guys on a local level through charities and hands on corporal works of mercy. When the government gets involved, suddenly the issue of poor babies needing food or impoverished people in the community needing heat and housing becomes "some one else's problem". People lose the sense of responsibility (Am I my brother's keeper?) and immediacy of an other's needs. Therefore, less gets done on a local level and the government has to pick up the slack.
The government, by getting involved too deeply in our lives is slowly killing the American spirit of self reliance and community togetherness that made us so great to begin with.
Thanks for letting me vent!
August 3, 2010 at 5:01 am
Healthcare is a right? Where is that in the Gospel? I don't think so — particularly government imposed healthcare. Healthcare is a need for a person with an illness or infirmity, but it is not a right. This talk of rights is ridiculous — sloppy thinking. We all have a responsibility to care for the sick — it is one of the corporal works of mercy. But it is not a right and certainly not the responsibility of government. I have two children with chronic, severe illnesses. I am not clamoring for the government to provide me and my family with healthcare. Universal healthcare in the US is an attempt by the government to assert control over who shall live and who shall die. I want no part of it.
August 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm
According to the "logic" Geoffrey Miller is attempting to use to justify forced universal health care, if I have a "need" for food, housing or transportation – all apparent human rights as he noted – then I am justified to break into someone's home, live there without permission, steal their food and take their car.
August 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Wow. Talk about a lack of level-headedness.
Listen people. By basic health care, it is meant that a little girl with a failing liver has a right to have the financial burdens entailed by a transplant covered. It also means grandma, who lives on a limited income, should get her arthritis medicine. It means correcting scoliosis so someone won't slowly crumple and suffocate to death in such a manner that it doesn't put folks in the poor house. It means providing plastic surgery after traumatic injury.
Only a truly evil and depraved individual in danger of denying the entirety of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could cooly argue that such things are not human rights, inalienable rights. We have the means to help these people, and in times past we didn't. But now that we do, withholding our gifts is a crime against humanity.
August 3, 2010 at 9:46 pm
"According to the "logic" Geoffrey Miller is attempting to use to justify forced universal health care, if I have a "need" for food, housing or transportation – all apparent human rights as he noted – then I am justified to break into someone's home, live there without permission, steal their food and take their car."
Don't be a jerk and try to use common sense in assessing the arguments and intentions of others rather than making a donkey-butt of yourself.
August 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Here's two interesting articles arguing for a government-ensured healthcare system from a Judeo-Christian perspective.
August 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm
MaroniteCatholic, if you check any facility dealing with AIDS & HIV positive folk, you'll likely find; A) They receive a smorgasborg of drugs for their condition. These items don't come cheap. B) Because of their condition they're more than likely unable to find work, so; C) the local, state & Federal government is picking up the tab courtesy of your tax dollars.
As for the examples you use, cite some source documents showing that more often than not these problems AREN'T addressed either through the government or private largesse. My guess is that you'll be unhappily surprised to discover the actual kindness in the American public. I say "unhappily" because it will take away the straw man arguments you favor.
August 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm
"MaroniteCatholic, if you check any facility dealing with AIDS & HIV positive folk, you'll likely find; A) They receive a smorgasborg of drugs for their condition. These items don't come cheap. B) Because of their condition they're more than likely unable to find work, so; C) the local, state & Federal government is picking up the tab courtesy of your tax dollars."
Supporting them doesn't bother me a bit. And to be honest, your implication that it would bother me to have my tax dollars going to help them is rather repellant. Moreover, I am disgusted by a man who would consider them unworthy of such assistance and I ask that he repent immediately for judging such sensitive matters so callously.
"As for the examples you use, cite some source documents showing that more often than not these problems AREN'T addressed either through the government or private largesse. My guess is that you'll be unhappily surprised to discover the actual kindness in the American public. I say "unhappily" because it will take away the straw man arguments you favor."
My only quip against the post is that healthcare is indeed a human right. As long as it is provided, the details of how do not concern me.
August 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm
I shall call the witnesses of faith to my defense against the selfish quibbling of "tax dollars" and "my hard-earned money." Everyone has a right to basic healthcare, and yes, even at your expense.
St. Ambose (De Nabuthe, c.12, n.53, cited in Populorum Progressio of Paul VI): “You are not making a gift of your possessions to poor persons. You are handing over to them what is theirs. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. The world is given to all, and not only to the rich.”
St. John Chrysostom (Hom. in Lazaro 2,5, cited in CCC 2446): “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.”
St. Gregory the Great (Regula Pastoralis 3,21, cited in CCC 2446): “When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”
The Decretals (Dist. XLVII, cited in ST II-II, q.66, a.3, obj 2): “It is no less a crime to take from him that has, than to refuse to succor the needy when you can and are well off.”
St. Ambrose (cited in ST II-II, q.66, a.6): “It is the hungry man’s bread that you withhold, the naked man’s cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man’s ransom and freedom.”
St. Gregory the Great: “For if everyone receiving what is sufficient for his own necessity would leave what remains to the needy, there would be no rich or poor.”
St. Basil: “Are not thou then a robber, for counting as thine own what thou hast receivest to distribute? It is the bread of the famished which thou receivest, the garment of the naked which thou hoardest in they chest, the shoe of the barefooted which rots in they possessions, the money of the pennyless which thou hast buried in the earth. Wherefore then dost thou injure so many to whom thou mightiest be a benefactor.”
St. Bede: “He then who wishes to be rich toward God, will not lay up treasures for himself, but distribute his possessions to the poor.”
August 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm
First, note that St. Gregory the Great spoke with the authority of the ordinary Magisterium, so his quotations above should be reviewed. Also, consider that the first quotation from St. Ambrose was taken from an encyclical letter by Paul VI.
Leo XII (encyclical letter Rerum Novarum, 1891): Every person has by nature the right to possess property as his or her own […] But if the question be asked: How must one’s possessions be used?, the Church replies without hesitation in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: ‘One should not consider one’s material possessions as one’s own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when other are in need.’ […] True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for one’s own needs and those of one’s household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly one’s condition in life. […] But when what necessity demands has been supplied and one’s standing fairly provided for, it becomes a duty to give to the needy out of what remains over.”
Pius XI (encyclical letter Quadradesimo Anno, 2931): “The right to own private property has been given to the human by nature, or rather by the Creator himself […] At the same time a person’s superfluous income is not left entirely to one’s own discretion. […] On the contrary, the grave obligations of charity, beneficence and liberality, which rest upon the wealthy are constantly insisted upon in telling words by Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the Church. However, the investment of superfluous income in secureing favorable opportunities for employment […] is to be considered […] an act of real liberality, particularly appropriate to the needs of our time.
Gaudium et Spes (Vatican II, 1965): “God has intended the earth and all that it contains for the use of all people and all peoples. Hence justice, accompanied by charity, must so regulate the distribution of created goods that they are actually available to all in an equitable measure. […] Therefore, in using them everyone should consider legitimate possessions not only as their own but also as common property, in the sense that they should be able to profit not only themselves but other people as well. Moreover, all have the right to possess a share of earthly goods sufficient for themselves and their families. This is what the Fathers and Doctors of the Church had in mind when teaching that people are obliged to come to the aid of the poor, and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods.”
Paul VI (encyclical letter Populorum Progressio, 1967): “Private property does not constitute for anyone an absolute and unconditional right. No one is justified in keeping for one’s exclusive use what one does not need, when others lack necessities.”
John Paul II (encyclical letter Centesimus Annus, 1991): “It will be necessary above all to abandon a mentality in which the poor – as individuals and as people – are considered a burden, as irksome intruders trying to consume what others have produced.”
August 4, 2010 at 1:16 am
MaroniteCatholic, it is hard to argue with those points. However, Christ himself said to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and unto God what belongs to God. He did not say that Caesar was to enforce that we render (or don't as is so often the case) unto God. What belongs to God in this case are acts of charity and mercy in the form of health care. It is not for Caesar to force us to give unto God what is His. That is my argument. I agree wholeheartedly with you in that if we are to call ourselves Christians we must first look to the needs of others (health care in this case, food and shelter in others). However, the government has no business enforcing acts of goodwill – such coercion destroys the charitable nature of acts.
Charity (in fact all love) has to be freely given. Once compelled, it is no longer charitable. Just as something sinful that is compelled at gun point (hypothetically) is not sin since your will was not free to chose the good. As is the case of all government welfare subsidies: welfare, social security, food banks, etc, no matter how well intentioned the program, they are truly misplaced. The government has no business compelling charity. By doing so, it destroys the very spirit of charity it hopes to encourage.
Once charity is compelled, it brings about a spirit of entitlement in those who receive and a strong sense of resentment upon those from whom it is taken. Those who receive no longer receive the spiritual benefits of accepting charity, such as gratitude and humility (true humility, not humiliation). Those who have things taken from them no longer receive the spiritual benefits of generosity and compassion. Instead it turns the dependents against the well-off as they demand more and more "rights" to be supported by the better off. Those who have wealth are turned against the dependents by their ingratitude and by the injustice of having what was rightfully earned by their hard work stolen by those who could not work for it.
So, in the end the devil has the last laugh as the haves refuse to give to the ungrateful havenots because their hearts have been hardened by government stealing what should have been a free will offering to those in need. The havenots are resentful against the haves because they have become used to having things handed to them on a platter and are never satisfied.
August 4, 2010 at 3:31 am
Maronite Catholic, "your implication that it would bother me to have my tax dollars going to help them is rather repellant."
There was no such implication, other than in your own mind. Maybe YOU have a problem with helping AIDS & HIV positive folks? I don't because many of them would love to get back in the workforce.
Go back to school and learn how to read. Then you can come join the adults. Run along now, thats a good boy.
August 4, 2010 at 5:29 pm
If we had a right to health care then God would give it to us because he gives us every good thing…
What we are required to do as individual Christians cannot be given over to a corporation or state (or Church) to accomplish.
The question when did YOU see is not to YOU ALL, it is to you personally. There are many people on the earth today who are starving, homeless, etc. chucking some money in a can isn't cutting it – but we are all too busy w/our own lives to do the work of the Lord.
All those quotes of the fathers are directed to each of us also, not to some government. So, Maronite Catholic, have you followed the teaching and distributed all your stuff and now devoting the rest of your life to caring for your fellow man? But even so, do you have the ability to do brain surgery? Yet you make a leap now that you can require someone else to perform brain surgery w/out converting them to Christianity.
Jesus said give all YOU have away. He never said "TAKE"/"TAX" someone else and give their stuff away or turn them into a slave to do your will/fulfill your idea of what someone else's needs or "rights" are.
Jesus said LOVE. If you want to ensure people get their "rights", become a lawyer.