Thursday, October 30, 2014

Message for Democrats

Liberal, progressive, secular democrats don't have a candidate in this year's race for Missouri's 7th Congressional seat. Or so it seems. The Democrat in the race, Jim Evans, is a former Republican who is more conservative than Billy Long in some ways.

Jim Evans has taken time to write a thoughtful statement of his philosophy and policy prescriptions. It is with respect that I take time to read his platform and engage with it, providing links to my own philosophy and policies. I realize only a handful of voters are going to read Jim Evans' platform, and fewer will read my reply. But here it is anyway.

I try to make the point that progressives and conservatives share many of the same goals. In education, for example, we all want kids to grow up to be responsible adults. No progressive Democrat wants his own kid to be a disrespectful unemployable shoplifting drug user. I believe the Libertarian approach in my own platform is the best guarantee of the goals shared by conservatives and progressives, who disagree ferociously on the means to the end.

Democrat voters would be well-served to consider thoughtfully the possibility of breaking out of the two-party monopoly and voting Libertarian.

Contemplating these two competing platforms and following even a handful of the links I've provided is like going back to college and taking an entire political science class. America's Founders were willing to do at least that much, risking "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Welcome to Valley Forge.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vine & Fig Tree

I just finished an interview with KSMU (National Public Radio), and as soon as it's available, I'll let you know on this blog. On Tuesday I spoke to a journalism class at the College of the Ozarks. In both cases I was able to remind listeners about the Vine & Fig Tree vision that made America the most prosperous and most admired nation in history. But in both cases the questions were oriented around the political campaign, and I find myself falling into the trap of talking like a legitimate political candidate rather than a wacko utopian extremist anarcho-pacifist. I'm not in the race because I have "hope" that I can win an election. I run to promote "wacko" ideas like these:

We've all been trained not to consider these ideas too seriously, if at all. I never get to (or feel constrained not to, or forget to) promote as much as I would like the extremist ideas I love. But maybe pretending to be more like a "mainstream" political candidate forces me to give a better introduction to these ideas, one that is a little less off-putting and extreme-sounding. I go back and forth on this question of strategy.

Here's a letter from the Journalism Professor at College of the Ozarks following my class interview:

Dear Mr. Craig,

Thank you so much for speaking to --and taking questions from-- our News Reporting class today.

It was a thought-provoking session, one that left our students with much to think over: what does it take to run for political office? why do people run for political office? how important -or dangerous- is political power? how much government is enough, or too much? what did the framers of our Constitution intend for our federal government to be - and to do?

And what did Thomas Jefferson envision for our nation when he said, "The God who gave us life gave us liberty"?

Your candid and thoughtful answers to our students' questions gave them a window on the political process - or at least the part of the process in which ideas are exchanged, explained, and debated.

Thank you for the gift of your time and thought. It is very much appreciated.

All the best to you --
My mother has been in the hospital the last two weeks, and this has allowed me to attend the League of Women Voters Forum, an interview with KWTO, and other campaign events. She returns home this weekend. That means I'll have to hire a qualified mommy-sitter to attend campaign events @ $130+ per day. At this time I have not yet raised enough money to pay my rent at the end of the month. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to "Vine & Fig Tree" which will help me pay the rent and hit "the campaign trail." There's a box at the top right corner of this blog, or you can save PayPal fees by mailing your check to

Vine & Fig Tree
P.O. Box 179
Powersite, MO 65731

(Note: "Vine & Fig Tree" is separate from my political campaign and does not endorse political candidates. I have an obligation to the Libertarian Party to be a decent political candidate, but since I really have no realistic chance of winning, I am freely using the campaign process as a platform to advance the "Vine & Fig Tree" agenda. I can neither campaign as a candidate nor work for "Vine & Fig Tree" if the bills don't get paid. Contributions are "fungible," as we all know.)

Thank you for helping me do what I love to do.

"Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art, Virginia Historical Society
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Virginia Historical Society
Lora Robins Collection of Virginia Art

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

League of Women Voters Forum

The League of Women Voters has invited me to participate in their Candidate Forum on Tuesday night at the Plaster Student Union. I'm grateful to the League, as sometimes Libertarian candidates are excluded from these kinds of events.

On Wednesday I'll post their questions and my answers, with some links (of course).

Here are the questions that were asked of the candidates, with some links to details on my website. I prepared these answers in advance of the Forum, but answered more spontaneously live, so these are not exact transcripts of anything I said.

  • Please provide a summary in four minutes or less of why you are running to represent the 7th Congressional district, what your legislative priorities would be if elected and how you compare and contrast to the incumbent.
I am running to give voters who want government bound down with the chains of the Constitution someone to vote for. I am the only candidate in the race who can be depended on to stick faithfully to the oath of office and not exceed the enumerated powers of the Constitution. My "legislative priorities" are to shrink government spending, beginning with the broken promises of the Republicans.
I am a Radical Libertarian
I am a Radical Christian
LP = Party of Liberty
Not all Libertarians are radical
Not all Libertarians are Christian
I'm with the LP because of, not in spite of, my being Christian
The biggest issue in 2016 will be whether Social Conservatives and Libertarians
     can join together and agree on a Presidential candidate who can
     defeat the Establishment Republican in the Primaries
     and defeat the Big Government Democrat in the General Election.
I am proof that the synthesis is possible.
LP Pledge: no initiation of force
Pacifist like Jesus commanded His followers

I am the Founder of a non-profit Christian ministry called Vine & Fig Tree          The V&FT vision | V&FT Home Page
V&FT: Every American in 1776 knew the Biblical allusion
             Americans today are utterly ignorant of the original American Dream.
"swords into plowshares" - anti-war, anti-compulsion, anti-coercion
My Campaign Theme is "Liberty Under God"
Liberty Under God is the Philosophy/Worldview that made America
            the most Prosperous and Admired nation in history.
Today: America is bankrupt and despised
"Liberty" = Freedom from the Initiation of Force
"Under God": The "Separation of Church and State" is a myth
       Separation of Government from "ecclesiastical bodies"
            Who can preach, baptize
            Taxing baptists to fund Presbyterians
       But not Separation of Government and God and His Laws.

Education is generally thought of as the solution to a number of pressing social and economic problems. Based on Representative Long’s voting record and public statements, he supports vouchers for school choice, and believes that the federal government should not be in the business of running schools. Instead he believes that state-funded vouchers should pay for privately-run education at private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, home-schooling, or whatever parents choose.
  • What are your views on public education? Do you believe the public school system should be privatized? Why or why not?
Education Is Very Important:
       Thomas Jefferson: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,
       in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."

Unconstitutional: Education is not among the enumerated powers granted to Congress in the Constitution.

Food is more important than education.
We trust parents to feed their children,
       without requiring them to send their children to
       Government Nutrition Centers to get meals.
We can trust parents to choose education programs for their children.
America's Founders would say Americans are
       Victims of educational malpractice       starving, suffering educational malnutrition

"Liberty Under God"/"Vine & Fig Tree" not taught in schools: Declaration of Independence
Religion/Morality relates to most other questions

Give parents choice: will choose
       Christian worldview
       work ethic
       respect adults

National Security:
Issues related to national security have been in the news quite a bit lately.
  • In terms of foreign policy, what do you think are the major threats to our national security?
  • What do you think is the strongest domestic threat to national security?
  • How would you address these issues if elected?
Not the greatest threat to the government
But the greatest threat to living securely under your own Vine & Fig Tree in Southwest MO?
The Greatest threat to this security is Washington D.C

Terrorists don't hate people of Springfield because we're free
     Terrorists hate the U.S. Federal Government because the
     U.S. Federal Gov't dropped a bomb on his cousin's wedding.
Osama told us why he attacked
U.S. Federal Government does not care about your security
     only the security of oil corporations
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible." [Washington’s emphasis] 
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801) 
The U.S. Did not protect us from box-cutters.

TSA: no rational airline would treat passengers this way

U.S. =  Most dangerous and evil government on the planet.
   A couple of others might be more evil, but they are not more dangerous.

Currently, in the 7th Congressional district, nearly 18 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty level. Nearly 48% of single-mother families with children under 18 are living below the poverty line. Low wages are an issue in the district, even when considering the lower cost of living relative to the rest of the country.
  • If elected, what would you do to reduce poverty and improve opportunities for better-paying jobs in the 7th District?
Unconstitutional for Federal Government to engage in poverty relief/create jobs.

Poverty has been abolished: poor are rich vs. 300 years ago.
Poverty conquered by Free Market

Best thing gov't can do to reduce poverty:
            get out of the way of the creative energy of the Free Market
Single mothers: why hook up with an abusive, alcoholic man?
            this is a moral issue

Low Wages: Two things create high wages
**education** -- character, work-ethic, speak proper English, pants above crack
**capital** -- tractors, factories, computers, power tools,

Let parents choose schools which teach religion and morality.
Their children will enjoy high wages (if they want them).

Representative Long has been very outspoken in his opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Between Jan, 2011 and Dec. 2013, he voted to repeal the ACA, in whole or part, at least nine times.
  • Do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act? Why?
Obamacare should be abolished
Libertarians believe in the separation of medicine and state.
Republicans may possibly repeal Obamacare, but they will then replace it with Romneycare, or some other Republican version of socialized medicine.
Federal involvement in health is Unconstitutional (outside the enumerated powers of the Constitution)
Abolish government Licensing: We don't always need a doctor; a practitioner or nutritionist may suffice
Obamacare = gift to Big Insurance/Big Pharma
      NOT about your health

If Government requires Milk or gas to be sold for 50¢ / gal., what would happen?
Long lines
Death in Britain/Canada as people wait for "free" government health care to be rationed out.

Social Issues:
As you know, the issue of sexual assault in the military and on college campuses has received a lot of media attention recently. In February, 2013, Representative Long voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act that was passed in 1994 and meant to provide resources to improve the criminal justice response to violence against women and ensuring victims of sexual assault and their families have access to services and safety needed to rebuild their lives.
  • Would you vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act if elected? Why or why not?
Domestic Violence is not a Federal Issue

Resolve disputes at lowest level.

Women oppose this law.
The problem is overstated.

Women who have regrets the morning after
     use this law as a sword rather than a shield
     "Gov't Violence Against Men Act."

Imposes Feminist Ideology

Ignores root issue
religion, morality, virtue, character
Why are so many men abusive?
Why do so many women allow themselves to be used
     without requiring a commitment to marriage?
Our Constitution (our system of limited government) is designed only for a moral and religious people. We can't stop all evidences of social breakdown by increasing the size of government coercion. The answer to big government is religion and morality. The path to radical libertarianism is "Theocracy."

Women’s health and family planning issues generate lots of emotion and are commonly used as divisive issues during election cycles. Long has co-sponsored legislation including the Pro-Life Act prohibiting abortion information at school health centers, the Sanctity of Human Life Act that states that life and human rights begin at fertilization or cloning and Title X abortion provider Prohibition Act that prohibits providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity if they perform abortions.
  • What actions need to be taken in order to increase access to family planning and women’s healthcare services?
Abortion is murder
It is not "a woman's body" -- it is another woman's body. (or a man's)
A baby conceived today will likely live into the 22nd century.A mother could terminate that future for the sake of a few months of personal inconvenience.
The "Sanctity of Human Life Act" is valid, but doesn't save a single baby's life.
Ron Paul regularly sponsored a bill that would have reversed Roe v. Wade, ending federal overruling of state abortion laws,
          but Republicans regularly opposed it.
Billy Long voted to appropriate funds to Planned Parenthood.

As you may be aware, levels of economic inequality have been rapidly increasing and are now at the highest level since 1928, the year before the Great Depression. The top one percent of families now control nearly 40% of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 90% control 25.6% of the nation’s wealth.
  • Do you see increasing income and wealth gaps in the U.S. as a problem? If you do see them as a problem what would you do to address the issue if elected?
Inequality is not a problem.Envy is the problem
We were all equal 500 years ago. Equally poor. Except for the king.
Today: Inequal but advanced, civilized,
    wealthy beyond imagination
    we are all richer than those kings, even though some are richer than others.
I would rather be the poorest member of a rich society
       than "equal" to other members of a poor undeveloped society.
The question is not whether Jones is richer than we are, but
       How he got to be richer than the rest.
Serving consumers and being rewarded by them is not a problem
      it's a benefit for consumers.
Using Force or Fraud is a problem

Bush Bailout - $3,000 taken from every man, woman, and small child in America
      and transferred to Wall St. Barons.
Inflation = fraudulent transfer from savers to borrowers.

envy = bad health,
laws based on envy = poverty

Representative Long sponsored the Superfund Common Sense Act that amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 to exclude manure from the definition of “hazardous substance” and “pollutant or contaminant” for purposes of such Act.
  • Would you have voted on this amendment? Why or why not?
Federal laws on manure are unconstitutional
Manure is natural
It is only a problem when there is a concentration of big agri-business
Gov't Agriculture subsidies go to rich
Centralized government favors Concentration over decentralizationEPA targets families
Big corporations use lawyers, lobbyists to evade regulations

Resolve disputes locally, competing DRO's

Approximately 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and that humans have contributed, at least in part, to climate change. Do you believe that the scientific evidence supporting global warming is accurate, or do you believe it is a hoax?
  • If you do believe the scientific evidence, what, if anything, can be done to address the issue?
Apparently nothing can be done:  Name one proposal that would significantly reduce warming.
There has been no warming for 17 years.
The 97% figure is misleading.
Many scientists reject "the consensus." Oregon Petition. | Heartland Institute.
The cost of cutting CO2 emissions by reducing energy use can cost millions of jobs, potentially millions of lives.
The benefit of doing so is what: avoiding bad weather?
The "Greenhouse Effect" might actually be good for everyone.
      Plants thrive on CO2 - increased productivity could end human hunger.
But this may be the heart of the problem: many environmentalists hate human beings.
They regard human beings as a "cancer," a "virus," and believe the planet would be better without any human beings
The Toxicity of Environmentalism

According to a statement on Representative Long’s website, he supports researching “clean coal,” offshore drilling, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to produce more energy domestically and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. According to his statements, he opposes a tax on carbon, and has signed a pledge to not support such a tax. He also voted to repeal weatherization assistance for low-income persons, and opposes EPA regulations of greenhouse gases.
  • Should the U.S. be limiting federal regulations of air pollutants and investing more resources in fossil fuel extraction, or should we be focusing more on regulation of pollutants, and investing in sustainable sources of energy such as wind, solar, and hydroelectricity?
There is enough oil and natural gas in Alaska to provide all U.S. energy needs for over a century
But there are better forms of energy on the horizon.
Government "investments" are bad for everyone (except the corporation that receives the taxpayer subsidy, like Solyndra)
They are almost a mark of mental illness.

Kevin Craig is on a train that leads to "Liberty Under God."
You may favor smaller government, but not want to go all the way to "anarcho-capitalism."
Vote for "Liberty Under God," then write a letter to Billy Long and your favorite media (newspaper, blogs, social media, radio) explaining that you like the direction of Kevin Craig's train (smaller government) but you don't want to go as far as he does. But at least he's going in the right direction: Billy Long and the Republicans (and Democrats) are going in the wrong direction.