Message to Liberal Democrats:
Liberty is the Best Path to Progressive Goals

Liberal Democrats do not have a candidate
in the race for Missouri's 7th Congressional Seat.
Here's an alternative.

This column contains the Platform for Jim Evans, Democrat candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Missouri 7th District. This column contains comments and links to the platform of Kevin Craig, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Missouri 7th District.
  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. You are extraordinary just for being here. I invite you to read each paragraph in his statement in the left-hand column, and then read my response in the corresponding paragraph across the page. (I have occasionally added links to my own website in Jim's statement. His platform contained no links.)

Democrats Don't Have a Candidate

I like Jim Evans. I don't think he's a "real" Democrat. He admits he's a former Republican. He calls himself an "Eisenhower Democrat," which is like a "Kennedy Republican." In some ways, he may be more "conservative" than Billy Long. The "Old Right" -- opponents of New Deal statism, people like Rose Wilder Lane and Missouri Senator Jim Reed -- would not recognize Billy Long, Roy Blunt, and the Republican Establishment as genuine conservatives.

In the November election, "liberals" don't really have a representative "liberal" candidate in the race; they can only choose between three different kinds of "conservatives."

But what is a "conservative," really? Hard-core Marxist-Communists in 1989-91 were "conservatives" because they wanted to "conserve" the old Soviet Communism which was crumbling in Russia and Eastern Europe. America's Founding Fathers did not want to "conserve" British Mercantilism in the colonies. As a Christian and a Libertarian, I want to "conserve" the Declaration of Independence, but I also want to "legalize everything" and "abolish everything" in Washington D.C. Is that "conservative?" Most "conservatives" don't think "libertarians" are "conservative."

Democrats Should Vote for LIBERTY
Rather than "Progressive Government"

The Libertarian Party is the party of Liberty. It stands for the proposition that people should be free from coercion, intimidation, compulsion, threats of violence, and the initiation of force. If you consider yourself a "progressive democrat," I would like to persuade you to vote LIBERTARIAN rather than "conservative democrat." I would like to believe that the Libertarian platform will do a better job of achieving your real goals.

I emphasize the word "real goals."
Is your real goal
to have a big teachers union and jobs for lots of democrat bureaucrats in a huge Department of Education,
or is your real goal
to help children become socially responsible adults?
You must distinguish ends and means.
I suspect most people in all parties share the same ends, but if we disagree on means, we accuse the other of denying the end:
"What? Cut federal spending on welfare? You just want poor children to starve!"
I don't believe that. I don't believe Republicans believe that.

Liberty Under God

My campaign theme is "Liberty Under God." I'm I am the founder of a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational ministry called "Vine & Fig Tree." The words Vine & Fig Tree come from verses in the Bible which the Library of Congress says were George Washington's favorite verses. Here's my favorite of many Vine & Fig Tree passages:

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the House of the LORD
Will be established as the chief of the mountains
And it will be raised above the hills
And the peoples will stream to it.
And many nations will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD
And to the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths."
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation
And never again will they train for war.
And each of them will sit under his
Vine and under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid.
For the LORD of hosts has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the Name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
from henceforth, even for ever.
Micah 4:1-5

Before getting to the specifics of the Jim Evans platform, I'd like to ask two questions:
     1. Do Democrats believe in God?
     2. Do Democrats believe in Democracy?
The answer to both questions was seen at the 2012 Democrat National Convention. Grassroots Democrats wanted to remove the word "God" from the Party Platform, but Party Bosses realized this removal would be red-meat for the Religious Right. So against the democratic process, the vote of the convention was overruled by the Bosses. Just like Republican bosses rigged their conventions to undemocratically exile Ron Paul.  I say this to Democrats and Republicans: your party bosses don't care about the party grassroots. The party bosses don't care about your real goals.

I have to admit: I just don't understand Democrats. My political views are close to those of America's Founding Fathers. They believed in God and did not believe in Democracy. There doesn't seem to be a place for "conservative Christians" in the Democrat Party. But there is a place for Christians in the Libertarian Party, as well as for those with "progressive" goals, once progressives (and Christians) realize that progress toward their real goals will be made better through Liberty than through government coercion and bureaucracy.

Is that an unfair thing to say? that progressives put their faith in bureaucracies and government coercion? From a Biblical perspective, the Hebrew word frequently translated "salvation" is also translated "victory," "deliverance," "security," "health," "welfare," "wholeness," "prosperity," etc. It seems like progressives believe "salvation" comes through the government departments of welfare, homeland security, the department of health and human services, etc. All of these government bureaucracies promise what the Bible calls "salvation." I believe more progress has been made toward social salvation by trusting in people, obeying "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," guided by "the Invisible Hand of Divine Providence," than by trusting in the monopoly of coercion we call "government."

Who is a Real Democrat?

"Democracy" comes from two Greek words, demos, "people," and kratein, "govern" [literally, to choose or seize, and the power to hold onto your choice].) Notice that the prophet Micah says "the peoples will stream to" the Kingdom of God. That's their choice. Do progressives believe that the People must be forced by government to do otherwise than the People choose? Should fundamentalist Christians be compelled to support atheistic government schools? Libertarians believe in "the separation of school and state." Parents should be free to buy a homeschool curriculum at Wal-Mart, or send their kids to any competing brick-and-mortar school outside the home. I believe that if parents have a choice, they will send their kids to schools that teach the Bible and "Liberty Under God." Progressive liberal secular Democrats might not like that choice, but do they have the right to threaten parents with violence (fines, prison, execution) or kidnap their children  if parents choose to teach their children the Bible or other ideas that offend secular progressives?

Who should have the freedom to choose: "the people," or the aristocrats in government bureaucracies?

Notice also that "the People" in the Vine & Fig Tree world beat their swords into plowshares. Do liberal progressives support the vast military-industrial complex,  U.S. imperialism, and nuclear weapons? I hope not. But sometimes the politicians that liberal progressives vote for feel they need to be "pragmatic" and "compromise" and vote for these things in order to get the votes they need for funding of their departments of health, education, welfare and progressive social salvation. Libertarians understand that "compromise" is government's middle name. They would rather lose liberty at the ballot box than lose liberty in public office by compromising with tyranny.

Who is a Real Liberal?

The word "Liberal" is obviously related to the word "liberty." Occasionally, you will find this quote on Wikipedia's Liberalism Portal:

The goal of liberalism is the peaceful cooperation of all men. It aims at peace among nations too. When there is private ownership of the means of production everywhere and when laws, the tribunals and the administration treat foreigners and citizens on equal terms, it is of little importance where a country's frontiers are drawn. ”
— Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, 1922.

But Mises was more of a conservative or libertarian, and "liberal" used to mean "libertarian." Progressive democrats don't seem to be enthused with the "private ownership of the means of production." Am I wrong about that?

Who is a Real Progressive?

One option on Wikipedia's Progressivism disambiguator is

"Progressivism is a broad political movement."

and when I click that link, I find the Wikipedia Progressivism page has this:

Sociologist Robert Nisbet finds that "No single idea has been more important than ... the Idea of Progress in Western civilization for three thousand years" and defines five "crucial premises" of the Idea of Progress as being: value of the past, nobility of Western civilization, worth of economic/technological growth, faith in reason and scientific/scholarly knowledge obtained through reason, intrinsic importance and worth of life on earth.

But again, like Mises, Robert Nisbet was a libertarian.
Libertarians like Nisbet and Mises believe in the kind of progress that is spontaneously chosen by the People, not the kind of "progress" that is imposed on them by their wise overlords in Washington D.C.

So why do I have such fears about:

liberal progressive democrats

when I am in favor of :

liberty, progress, and the people choosing
and being free from government veto of their choice?

These are questions I have about liberal progressives. If you'd like to educate me, call me:

(801) 7-KEVIN-0
(801) 753-8460

Best times to call: after 2pm, till midnight.
Seriously. I'd love to talk to a liberal progressive.

Now let's look specifically at Jim Evans' Platform. At left are links to the subjects on his website. "Lightening Round":

                                              1. Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits

 1.We both care about the elderly. I think the government gives Veterans a raw deal

                                              2. Deficits

  2. We're both concerned about deficits, but Jim Evans thinks they're OK sometimes.

                                              3. Taxation

  3. Jim wants "fair" taxation; I think that's a contradiction in terms.

                                              4. Conservation

  4. I've never met anyone who favors "rape, pillage, and waste" rather than "conservation."

                                              5. Climate Change

  5. I think the best way to deal with "Climate Change" is to deal with it  IF  it gets here
rather than try to prevent it. (I don't scare easily.)

                                              6. Clean Energy

  6. Everybody likes Clean Energy

                                              7. Class Warfare

  7. Nobody likes Class Warfare (right?)

                                              8. Public Education

  8. Everybody wants our kids to be well-educated

                                              9. Government That Works

  9. "Government That Works" is like "fair taxation" and "military intelligence"

                                            10. Torture

10. Torture: Jim and I agree.

                                            11. Surveillance

11. Surveillance: we're agreed.

                                            12. Same-Sex Marriage

12. Same-Sex Marriage: I oppose the initiation of any and all government force against homosexuals. But some people describe my position as "hateful" and "homophobic."

                                            13. Affordable Care Act

13. Affordable Care Act: not the best way to achieve "affordable care."

                                            14. Immigration Reform

14. Immigration Reform: I'm for immigration, but not government "reform."

                                            15. Abortion

15. Abortion: Jim wants to reduce it. I say why "reduce" but not "eliminate completely?"

                                            16. Second Amendment

16. Second Amendment: Jim likes guns more than I do, but also likes government regulation of guns more than I do.

                                            17. Conclusion  


Judging only by this table of contents, it doesn't seem like there's much of a difference between the three candidates in this race. To some degree, Billy Long is "concerned" about all the issues Jim Evans is concerned about. It seems like the differences are only a matter of personal style.

But the difference between the Libertarian Party and the other two parties is staggering. Even breathtaking. The Libertarian believes that nobody has the right to initiate force against you. The Democrat believes that the 51% can initiate force against the 49%. The Republican believes that the Federal Government can bomb other nations "back to the stone age." The two major parties are basically OK with the government taking over half of everything you earn.  The two major parties are basically OK with the United States having more people in prison than China, North Korea, or Iran. And, unfortunately, most voters don't really like the social vision of America's Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. When most voters are given the choice between

•   liberty (cutting all unconstitutional government spending, tripling your take-home pay, but requiring you to take personal responsibility for your children's education, paying tolls on roads, and giving to the poor or charitable organizations) and
•   slavery (government raises your kids, government takes two-thirds of everything you earn, government keeps the poor out of your neighborhood, government promises "security" for the "sheeple" and freedom from personal responsibility)

most voters choose slavery over liberty.

We're really talking about two different ideas of human society:

Liberty Under God
"Security" Under Bureaucrats

  • Liberty Under God is the vision of society that made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history.
  • "Security" Under Bureaucrats  has made America bankrupt and despised.


Government and Happiness

Jim Evans believes in a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” which serves the purpose of protecting “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I'm sure Billy Long would agree with this statement. All candidates do. Or at least they say they do.

The question is: what is the best way to get there? What transforms these campaign slogans into reality? (We'll have many opportunities on this webpage to ask that question.)

"Government By the People"

When Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, first heard the radical ideas of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson against the long-established doctrine of "the Divine Right of Kings," Rush was scandalized:

“Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.”

A nation with no king? It's like a headless horseman! Who will lead the nation? Who will govern the unruly masses?

Both Republicans and Democrats are scandalized by radical libertarians, who believe the People can govern themselves in every detail of their everyday lives under 100% pure Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

True Democracy

If you really want government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” and you're OK with the people governing themselves without the watchful oversight and benevolent guidance of a God-appointed king, then you are ready to consider true democracy for the 21st century. (As we saw above, the word "democracy" comes from two Greek words which mean "the people make their choice."

Radical Libertarians believe the people (that is, each individual person) should have complete choice, and no politicians should choose for them. I don't have the right to "vote" for someone to choose for you. I don't have the right to "vote" for someone to "represent" my views and impose them on you by force. Nobody has that right. The implications of this basic principle are as scandalous in 2014 as Jefferson's ideas were in 1776.


I believe the People must govern themselves. James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," is reported to have said:

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves ... according to the Ten Commandments of God.

According to the Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, John Wycliffe, in the Prologue to his English translation of the Bible way back in 1384 (a century and a half after the Magna Carta), said:

The Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The Declaration of Independence speaks of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Blackstone said these laws can be found only in the Bible. I believe a well-governed, orderly, prosperous and peaceful society is the product of believing and obeying the Bible. America's Founders believed the Bible should be the core of our public education.

Limits of Choice

America was founded on the idea that nobody really has a right to violate "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Not without expecting consequences from "the Supreme Judge of the World." And not without expecting the disapproval of a Vine & Fig Tree-loving society. (Hopefully such social stigma would bother you; some people don't have "a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind").

Like Jim Evans, my platform contains Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


If we are created in the Image of God, our lives have meaning. If we are just cosmic accidents, un-designed descendants of cockroaches, life has no meaning. Thomas Jefferson said,

The God who gave us life gave us liberty


Jefferson said:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . ."

America's "Liberty Bell" quotes the Bible and exhorts us to

"Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV.X


When Jesus said "Blessed are the meek," He meant "Happy are the meek." We pursue happiness by creating and trading our property. We must be free to create, to own, and to trade our property. There are no "human rights" without property rights. There is no "freedom of the press" if the government owns all the presses.

Liberty. Under God. That's my platform in a nutshell.

When my opponents hear me talk about "liberty," they think "Anarchy!"
When they hear my reminders that America used to be a Christian nation, they think "Theocracy!
Our government-run secular schools and mainstream media have brainwashed us into rejecting the philosophy that made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history. The greatest export of this shining "City upon a Hill" has been the idea of "Liberty Under God." If that idea is not revived and exported around the world, we will slip into the darkest tyranny.

He believes that we have a right to fair participation with accurate information regarding the operations of government. Two-thirds of Missouri voters are not going to participate in this election. I don't blame them. I don't really want to "participate" in "government."

Government is so over-grown and complex that even Congressmen don't have "accurate information regarding the operations of government."

Only effective government can protect personal liberty and establish a fair economic playing field. Government doesn't protect our liberties. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were intended to protect our liberties from the government. The Government is the greatest threat to our liberties.

What is it that Jim Evans believes caused an "unfair playing field.?" Freedom?
What exactly is "unfair" about the playing field? Inequality?
Is it "unfair" that some people are more talented than I am and work harder than I do and therefore have more money than I do? Or is it unfair that even though I have chosen not to do business with a certain corporation, that corporation has gone to Washington D.C. and lobbied government to take money from me and give it to the corporation?

If the playing field is really unfair, I believe the government is the greatest cause of the unfairness. In 2008, the government took $3,000 from every man, woman, and small child in America and gave it to Wall Street Bankers as a bailout for their bad investments. The same thing happened repeatedly during the Obama Administration through the Federal Reserve ("Quantitative Easing").

Unequal is not unfair. I would rather be the poorest person in a nation that is rich and free, than the richest person in a poor nation oppressed by a socialist tyranny.

Jim believes that the Preamble to the Constitution states our mission quite well: "Our" mission, or government's mission?
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” James Madison has been called "the Father of the Constitution." Here is what Madison said about the "general welfare clause" of the Constitution.

What are "we the people" supposed to do to "secure the blessings of liberty?" First, we must acknowledge the Source of all blessings.

"We the People" have murdered more than 55 million of "our posterity" since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade.

When government was smaller, more people had a deep down gratitude for the blessings of liberty. Today we all have cell phones and also resentment and the spirit of "entitlement."

He is troubled by the corrosive effect of partisan political ideologies on the quality of government. He is dismayed by a political system that responds to lobbyists and big money special interests rather than the general welfare of citizens. I'm sure Billy Long could say these same words. All candidates say them.

But Jim Evans believes government should "invest" in special interests like "infrastructure," "creation care," and education.

Madison, Jefferson, Monroe, and many other founders said

  • the federal government should not be involved in "infrastructure."
  • They would say that government should not "invest" in things like "green energy" (Solyndra).
  • They would say that modern "education" has neglected the interests of children in favor of special interests like teachers unions, textbook publishers, social experimentation, and other special interests.

Lobbyists want government to give their special interests what consumers refuse to do. Libertarians like Ron Paul never even get contacted by lobbyists, who know that libertarians don't believe in taking from the People and giving the corporations what the lobbyists ask for.

Jim believes that in the modern high-tech world, general prosperity and widespread individual liberty is possible. Good government is the key. It has been said, "That government is BEST which governs LEAST." More government is the enemy of "the modern high-tech world, general prosperity and widespread individual liberty." Liberty -- a Free Market -- is the source of prosperity.
Jim knows that in many respects, life in America is great for most of us, yet there is still too much social and economic injustice. American [sic] continues to make progress in reducing the effects of bigotry and discrimination but we cannot rest in our effort to eliminate injustice and protect liberty for all people. What is "economic injustice?" Does the Constitution authorize the Federal Government to deal with "economic injustice?" No.

Is it stupid to discriminate between two people based on the amount of melanin in their skin? Of course. We should discriminate based on "the content of their character" not the color of their skin.


George Washington is reported to have said,

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. . . .

The ideas of "the nation-state" and "the government" are centuries old. They may have served as a transition from something worse, but now they have outlived their usefulness. They can no longer be a "dangerous servant." They serve no useful purpose at all. The entities called "governments" killed well over 10,000 people per day on average, every day, every year for the last 100 years, not including abortions. We will not make it to the 22nd century unless we repudiate the initiation or force as a solution to social problems. The "cure" is far worse than the disease.

 If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Keeping Our Commitments (Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits) I strongly believe that we have a duty to respect our elders and protect them from poverty. The question is, what is the best way to do that? I strongly believe "the government" is the greatest threat to the elderly, and the leading cause of their poverty. A few politicians admit that the current Social Security system will be disastrous for the elderly -- and the rest of us.
Whenever the pundits and politicians start blathering on about “entitlements” and decrying the future “unsustainable” burden they create, they are really just dishonestly attempting to steal the earned benefits of retired American workers. Sometimes this is for the purpose of handing over trillions of dollars to Wall Street casino operators and private health insurers. Sometimes it is the residue of opposition to both Social Security and Medicare from the ideologues that believe that every American ought to be constantly insecure economically at all stages of life. We need to face facts. Government is institutionalized theft. The government has already stolen "the earned benefits of retired American workers." Every penny you "contributed" to Social Security has already been spent on war or "invested" in Solyndra. It wasn't put away in a "lock-box" for your retirement. Social Security is just another tax.

I would like Jim Evans to name one person who believes "that every American ought to be constantly insecure economically at all stages of life." Nobody wants that. As always, the issue is ends vs. means. Good people with good intentions can produce bad results ("constant economic insecurity") when they choose the wrong means and work through a bad system.

"Government" is a bad system. Freedom and personal responsibility produces the highest level of economic security for the greatest number.

Whatever their motive, these Beltway, K Street and Wall Street predators are just wrong, wrong about the condition of these programs, wrong about the prescriptions they offer and wrong morally in their desire to default on the obligations America has to these older citizens. Your Social Security "contributions" have already been spent. They're gone. It's a done deal. You won't have any benefits when you retire unless they are confiscated from other, younger, workers. The problem is not candidates who have a "desire to default" in the future. We're talking about creating an orderly transition from a very bad system to a good one. The government is already committed to default. It is inescapable. We need to make it orderly rather than chaotic. 
Actuarial analysis of Social Security makes clear that it will be fiscally sound for another seventy-five years or more simply by equalizing the payroll tax on all wage and salary income. Presently, high income earners pay only for a portion of their earnings while lower income workers pay the same tax on every dollar of their earned income. This makes the Social Security tax regressive in that it taxes poorer workers at an effective rate that is higher than that of high income earners. The Constitution says that only gold and silver can be a "legal tender" in this country. But politicians have ignored the Constitution, and they have given us paper money which is destroying the economy, as James Madison and other Founders predicted. Politicians have testified under oath in government hearings that they are willing to give seniors Social Security benefits which cannot buy anything -- just so politicians can claim they paid "benefits" and kept their campaign promises. This is the mark of a sociopath who cares only for himself and nothing for the suffering of others.

Does government really keep its promises by passing out checks that cannot buy food?

The problem with Social Security is not that the tax is regressive (although it is regressive). The problem with the system is that it is an unethical "ponzi scheme" administered by a government that is made up of compulsive spend-aholics.

Government promises voters money and healthcare when they're retired. Government promises many things to many people. The government doesn't have the money to pay for these vote-getting promises. These promises are called "unfunded liabilities." The current total of these financial obligations is $222 trillion. That's $713,826.36 for every man, woman, and small child in America; almost three million dollars for every family of four. That's almost 16 times more than the total combined economic output of all of us as Americans and all of our businesses each year. That's insane.

Most of those liabilities are from Medicare and Social "Security." Feeling "secure?"

Medicare’s costs are reflective of a rise in the number of senior citizens, longer lives, advanced and expensive medical technology and the extraordinary charges incurred during the final days of life. It is also true that private insurance plans, funded by Medicare, which were allowed in the law as a means of reducing costs through private business efficiency, have proven to be consistently more expensive as a means of delivering care. Other Medicare-related costs have accrued due to the failure to allow for centralized Medicare price negotiations for drugs under Part D. Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting the nation. We need to follow an orderly process to abolish all entitlement programs. If we keep kicking this can down the road, voters will realize they've been lied to, all confidence in the dollar (and the government) will be lost, and there will be economic chaos, starvation, and riots.

At the same time we abolish programs, we need to remind ourselves that Americans are the most generous people on the planet. More generous, in real life, than politicians. We need to work on a local level to provide for the needs of those who are victims of politicians and their larceny. This is something that Americans can do, if we put our hearts and minds to it.

We are not "entitled" to anything.  That attitude is what is destroying us. We all have obligations to someone. We need to fulfill our obligations.

Traditional Medicare continues to demonstrate exceptionally low administrative costs while providing access to quality care for millions of Americans who could not possibly otherwise afford it. Medicare "administrative costs" are "low" because government doesn't spend much time guarding against fraud (cost: $60 billion per year) or shopping around for the lowest prices. Government spends all it wants to -- because it's somebody else's money.

For example, last year Medicare spent more than $21 million on pumps to help older and disabled men attain erections, paying about $450 for the same device that is available online for as little as $108. (Source)

"Your tax dollars at work."

Private health care providers have higher "administrative costs" because they need to be more efficient, less wasteful, and more competitive. Governments can afford to waste billions of dollars a year -- because it's not the government's money.

An improved Medicare for All system, such as that promoted by groups like Physicians for a National Health Program and National Nurses United, will be the best means of assuring that all Americans, regardless of age or income, have an equal opportunity for a long, healthy life. What is "the best way" to assure that all Americans, regardless of age or income, have an equal opportunity for groceries, clothing, housing, transportation, internet access, refrigerators, and everything else that we enjoy in our industrialized world?

Answer: not the government, but a Free Market -- "capitalism," not "socialism". The freer the market, the higher our standard of living. This is the clear lesson of the last two centuries, where free markets have brought prosperity, and socialist economies have suffered poverty and death.

I believe Americans are the most generous people in the world. We will not let the elderly starve. We will get our kids in the kitchen and make a delicious home-cooked dinner for anyone whose investments have gone belly-up -- provided they are willing to receive charity, and don't refuse it because they think they are "entitled" to other people's money impersonally seized and impersonally redistributed through the Social Security bureaucracy.

  The real goal is security, not a political program called "security." Actually, even "security" is not the goal, as America's Founders said anyone who exchanges liberty for security deserves neither. The real goal is honor. The Bible says "Honor your father and mother." "Rise before the hoary head." The elderly don't have security if the next generation is so self-centered that they will "off" their parents to save themselves. Consider this account:

Washington, D.C. does not have the answers -- it isn't even asking the right questions. The right questions were asked recently in a letter to the Los Angeles Times written by a school teacher. Mrs. Jones told the editors that she had taught in the public school system and enjoyed a successful and rewarding career. It was her habit to enter the classroom each day and address her students by saying, "Good morning, class." The students would respond, "Good morning, Mrs. Jones." Then they would get on with the day's tasks. This happened for many years until she finally retired.

Mrs. Jones decided that it was time to go back to teaching. She was, of course, a bit nervous about facing students again, so she prepared very carefully. She was relieved when she finally entered the classroom and saw all the bright, young faces. Certainly, the clothes and the hair styles were much different, but she reminded herself that these things always changed from year to year. With growing confidence, she said in a friendly tone, "Good morning, class." And a student sitting in the front row shouted, "Shut up, bitch!" All the other students laughed.

The first question Mrs. Jones asked the Los Angeles Times editors was, "What happened in America between 'Good morning, Mrs. Jones' and 'Shut up, bitch'?" And her second question was: "Who is going to do something about it?"

Entitlement programs will not do anything about it.

"Security" is a by-product of morality.

Veterans benefits also must be improved and fully funded. The excruciating physical toll of America’s recent wars, in which improved battlefield and surgical techniques saved many lives but left many permanently injured in traumatic ways previously largely unknown, will also exact a fiscal toll that is unprecedented. Americans should have exercised personal responsibility and looked into Social Security and learned of its financial insolvency. They should have made plans to live comfortably in their retirement without planning on the untrustworthy government to bail them out.

Veterans should have looked into U.S. foreign policy and learned that no U.S. war has ever been justified. Nobody is forced to enlist in a "volunteer army" Even when there was a draft, going to prison for a few short years would be a wiser decision than fighting for the interests of global corporatism and being crippled for the rest of your life.

These men and women have sacrificed their well-being for the security of the nation as they were ordered to do. They volunteered to serve, at grave personal risk, as testimony to their devotion to freedom. Whether the wars in which they participated were wise or unwise, their service must be honored by fulfilling the obligations and promises made to them and their families. Many veterans had no intention of "sacrificing" anything. It was a "shrewd career move." It was money for college. America's military defends oil companies, not farmers in Missouri. I avoided giving my life for transnational corporations; veterans should have done the same thing. I might choose to help a veteran who repents and now stands for liberty and peace; I shouldn't be compelled and forced to support a veteran who does not.

Wise people do not trust government promises.

Meeting our collective obligations to these seniors and servicemembers is a true test of national integrity. Jim Evans will strenuously resist any effort to shortchange these fellow citizens who have given so much to our country. "Integrity" is not a word that can be applied to unconstitutional "entitlements" and trillions of dollars of promises ready to be broken.
  More on Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans. All three are bad government programs that will destroy they American Dream before today's students die.  If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Deficits, Debt and Expanded Opportunity  
There are occasional periods in which public deficits serve a useful macroeconomic purpose in generating demand for goods and services when consumers and businesses are unable or unwilling to do so. Conventional economic theory also assumes that there will be periods in which public surpluses will help to stabilize the economy when demand outpaces supply. In this model, the national government’s budget is balanced over the business cycle. This idea is poison. It has already destroyed 95% of the value of the dollar. In 1974, Friedrich A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on business cycle theory. His work is part of the "Austrian School" of economics. Hayek showed that government debt causes recessions and depressions.  They do not "serve a useful macroeconomic purpose." They might appear to do so in the short term, but in the long term they do more harm than good. I reject "conventional economic theory," also known as "Keynesianism."
However, beginning with the unwillingness to fully fund operations of the Vietnam War alongside increased domestic expenditures, both parties have abandoned fiscally responsible policies. Through the use of constant tax cuts skewed to upper income earners, regardless of the circumstances, and to ongoing increases in both military and domestic spending, current consumption has been routinely financed by borrowing. "Swords into plowshares" is the only fiscally responsible policy -- the only policy that will get us into the 22nd century. Borrowing is not fiscally responsible. And when pursued through a policy of "fractional reserve banking," borrowing is theft.
This is unacceptable and is the cause for the structural deficits and debt increases of recent decades. A return to fiscal discipline and adequate revenues to cover annual expenditures is necessary. "Adequate revenues" -- raising taxes -- is not the solution to deficits.
Cutting spending
is the only answer.
Such deficits also serve as an income transfer program that primarily benefits large financial institutions, wealthy bondholders and foreign governments purchasing Treasury instruments. This is always true. In the real world of politics, there are no other kinds of deficits.
Bonded indebtedness should be incurred for the purpose of financing long-term investments in infrastructure, for example, that provide long-term economic gains and thus pay for themselves over time. It is especially desirable to borrow for such specific purposes when the cost to do so is extremely low. This is not true.
The short-term cost might seem attractive, but the long-term cost is always a cure worse than the disease. If someone with an idea for infrastructure cannot persuade consumers to fund his project, the project should not go forward just because he has the influence in Washington D.C. to use force against the unpersuaded.

As we saw above, politicians cannot be trusted, and are not competent, to pursue projects which "pay for themselves." In a Free Market, entrepreneurs make forecasts about which projects consumers will pay for. If their forecasts are correct, consumers will be served. If their forecasts are incorrect, their investors will absorb the loss, not the taxpaying public. In a Free Market.

Jim Evans believes that Americans know how to build a strong economy. "Americans" means individual Americans pursuing happiness in their businesses and charities. "Americans" -- meaning "politicians" -- do not know how to build a strong economy.
Those economic golden years of the postwar era were not a fluke. They were the consequence of smart conservative economic principles that were abandoned. Sometimes "golden years" are actually "Federal Reserve Note years" -- artificial "booms"; "prosperity" followed by a "bust."
These were the policies that generated the interstate highway system, national science and technology research and development and advances in higher education during that period. These are the policies we should return to today.





Libertarians believe in liberty, not "the government." We should "privatize" everything. We could start with the Post Office. Why can't UPS or FedEx deliver the nation's Christmas cards? They would be faster, cheaper, and more reliable than the government. I believe everything human beings could want to do can be done cheaper, faster, and more reliably by competing businesses in a Free Market ("capitalism") rather than by a government monopoly ("socialism"). Here's my privatization wish-list.

But many voters -- who might be OK with allowing competition for delivery of "first-class" mail -- still hesitate to vote for a libertarian. They don't even want to get started privatizing everything. They can't see very far down the libertarian road to complete privatization. In fact, the very first question that is usually asked of a libertarian (instead of agreeing with the obvious) is "What about roads?"

"Interstate Highway System"

This system was created for the Defense Department to move nuclear-armed missiles around the country. Government roads have subsidized oil companies and internal combustion vehicles at the expense of cleaner fuels and the transportation systems of the future (think "the Jetsons"). Congested government roads separate families, create a commuter culture, pollute the environment, promote "sprawl," subsidize "cubicle nation" rather than family-based businesses under their "Vine & Fig Tree," and arguably have not been good for America and the world. Unless you automatically believe that government planners make better plans than Americans in a Free Market, choosing from competing plans by businesses that assume all the risk rather than expecting corporate welfare and government bailouts.

Somewhere there's an entrepreneur with a great idea who would like to make money by getting you to work in 1/4 the time. So you can spend more time with your family.

"Science and Technology"

Over the years, government funds have been used primarily for "defense" (killing people and destroying their property and the environment) and subsidizing corporate special interests. This is unconstitutional. Let entrepreneurs in a Free Market invest in R&D, using their own money to develop and test their products, and taking personal responsibility for their forecasting.

"Higher Education"

The government loans billions of dollars to students, and that raises the prices of tuition. The brick-and-mortar university is probably a dinosaur that should be allowed to go extinct, rather than be government-funded. The Internet and the MOOC may be the wave of the future, but who knows? Let competition and freedom chart the path to the future, not politicians and lobbyists for a dying over-funded system.

  Politicians have a long track record of being bribed by special interests to fund projects which the People did not want to fund. The government encourages "rapid growth," and when this growth is exposed as lacking genuine public demand, the government continues to prop it up with subsidies and bailouts to avoid unemployment and the image of failure. "Creative destruction" is actually good for consumers in the long run -- let the horse and buggy industry die.
Jim believes that America lost its economic compass when Congress began enacting irresponsible tax cuts disconnected from budgetary realities, deregulating financial institutions, ignoring antitrust laws, entering into destructive trade agreements, and weakening workers’ rights. All unconstitutional programs should be abolished, all taxes should be abolished, all Federal Reserve bailouts of financial institutions should be abolished, all antitrust laws should be abolished, all restrictions on trade should be abolished, and government should not take the side of either "workers" or "management." The federal government has no authority under the constitution to do any of the things Jim Evans wants it to do in this section.
Economic injustice is reducing the general standard of living. Success is becoming less and less based on merit and more and more based on birthright and dumb luck. Upward mobility is declining. Hard work and responsible behavior no longer guarantee financial independence. People are becoming discouraged because they see an economy where “gaming the system” is more profitable than hard-work, innovation, or skill. Upward Mobility

The greatest cause of "gaming the system" is the Federal Reserve, which rewards well-connected people who have not worked or invented. The Fed puts trillions of dollars in the hands of these well-born gamers.

Jim Evans believes that America must reward work rather than financial speculation, genuine entrepreneurship rather than corporate asset shuffling and innovation rather than piracy. I'm sure Billy Long would agree with this.
I don't.
What does it mean to say "America" must reward work?
I work. You work. Do you and I have anything coming from "America?"
The only thing we have coming comes from the person who hired us because our work was valued.
Jim believes it is folly to ignore past success. He believes that growing middle-class prosperity is far more important than ideological experimentation. He will fight for an economic policy that is based on the success of the postwar period but adjusted for the modern world. Billy Long would agree with this. The devil is in the details. "Ends vs. means."

Why grow only "middle class prosperity?" Isn't this "class war?" See below.

Jim believes that a strong economy that lifts all people has many benefits:  
         • Lowers poverty and eases dependence on government welfare
  • Why is dependence on welfare bad if welfare is a "right?"
         • Reduces deficits
         • Helps small business
  • What if the business is small because consumers would rather patronize a big business? Who should choose where our money goes? We the people, or government aristocrats?
         • Lowers abortion rates
  • Why should abortion rates be reduced if abortion is a "right" and the unborn baby is just an unwanted blob of tissue?
         • Reduces crime
  • Isn't reducing crime an attempt to "legislate morality" and a violation of "the separation of church and state?" The government prohibits your local public schools from teaching students that God says "Thou shalt not steal." You have no "rights" if your neighbor is his own god and feels no obligation to obey "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." America's Founders did not believe that crime would be reduced by a "strong economy," but by religion and morality.
As a start toward essential fairness and rewarding work, he will fight to make the minimum wage a living wage. The increased spending power this will provide to low income workers and the new floor it will establish for other workers will generate a surge in revenues for local businesses and additional jobs in the local economy. This is the bottom-up “rising tide that lifts all boats” approach to economic growth that helped to build shared prosperity in the past. The "minimum wage" causes unemployment. Why not make the minimum wage $100/hour? Wouldn't that completely eliminate poverty? No, because nobody would have a job at all unless they had skills that produced more than $100/hr for the business that hired them. Younger workers looking for their first job and a chance to develop their work skills would never get a job at all if the minimum wage is too high. It is not a "floor," it is a ceiling, a barrier, a hurdle, an obstacle. If you can't make the mark, you don't get a job at all.  A low-wage job is better than no job at all.

Diligent hard-working laborers who take advantage of a low-wage entry-level job, learn skills on the job, move up the ladder, and are eventually high-paid workers who serve their country with their productivity.

It is precisely the reverse of the recent history of top-down redistribution of income and wealth to a very few in the vain hope that some of it will “trickle down” to the rest of us. Jobs "trickle down" from those who are wealthy enough to build factories and businesses that create those jobs. You never got hired by a poor person.

Every libertarian opposes government redistribution of wealth from anyone to the rich.

  The key to effectively dealing with deficits is to deal with the Federal Reserve. It must be abolished.  If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Fair Taxation No tax is "fair."

Taxation is theft.

The current IRS code is a bloated and arcane set of documents that serves as full employment program for tax attorneys and accountants but fails to serve the public interest. Abolish the IRS.
The federal tax code is the purest example of the power of big money special interests to purchase, or rent, government for their own private benefit. It is a direct product of the corrupt pay-to-play campaign financing scheme that distorts policy making. Everybody wants to use government for their own private benefit -- except Libertarians, who oppose the whole idea on principle. Progressive democrats want to use the government for their own private benefit -- that is, to benefit their own agenda.
The basic principles that should govern a program of “taxation with representation” are:  
  • Fairness. Fairness requires that persons with similar incomes and assets should be taxed alike. Fairness also requires that those who have more should pay more than those who have less.
  • Fairness | Why should the rich pay more? Why shouldn't everyone pay the same? Of course, the rich do pay more. But some people want the rich to pay even more.
  • Simplicity. A tax system is unsuitable for a democratic republic if it cannot be understood by the taxpayers themselves. Our present tax system is exceedingly complex and demands simplification.
  • Simplicity | Life is complex. Every individual is different. Some people appreciate being able to get deductions that mirror their unique style of giving and living.
  • Fiscal Goals. A tax system should be used primarily to raise revenue. It should not be used to subsidize business activity or to influence personal conduct.
  • Fiscal Goals | As a radical libertarian, I don't believe in any taxes at all. But if you're going to have them, why not reward productivity and virtue with lower taxes?
    Tax "subsidies": If I steal your wallet, remove 90% of your money and leave you with 10%, that 10% is not a "subsidy."
    The sole purpose of the IRS is to intimidate and get people "in line." Why doesn't the government just print up all the money it needs and spread the "inflation tax" evenly across the economy, instead of putting tax evaders in prison with violent felons?
  • Efficiency. Tax deductions, credits and exclusions usually confer their greatest benefit on wealthier persons and give little or no help to those who are desperately in need. The most efficient way to implement government programs is through direct appropriations, which are subject to annual budget review, and which relate benefits to needs. Tax subsidies should be rejected because they waste scarce government resources and are seldom subject to budget review.
  • Need | Those who are "desperately in need" don't pay any income taxes.
  • Efficiency | "Budget review" is a myth. Congress never even reads the budget. Nobody knows what's in it. Tax "loopholes" provide direct relief to victims of government extortion.
  • Burden Shifting. When tax breaks allow others to escape their fair share of the tax burden, others have to pay more to make up the difference. This shifting of tax burdens is an important source of the unfairness in the federal tax system. It must be halted.
  • Burden-shifting | "escape their fair share" is just rhetoric and slogans that appeals to envy.
  All these considerations completely miss the boat. If I put a gun to your head and demand, "Give me your money," I am a thief. "Taxation" is a nice word for "robbery". Abolish all taxes and charge a fee to those who actually use the government service. Charity for those who cannot afford the service if they need it. America's Founding Fathers fought a revolutionary war over a puny tax of three pence per pound of tea. We pay TEN TIMES MORE on every gallon of gas. The real tax burden today is twenty times greater than the tax burden that ignited the American Revolution. The entire IRS system is a thug-ocracy that is completely inconsistent with America's founding values. The entire system is grossly immoral and unAmerican. Repeal the 16th Amendment.  If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Creation Care, Stewardship and Conservation As the Founder of an organization called "Vine & Fig Tree," I am sympathetic to "Creation Care," "Stewardship," "Conservation," or any other form of "utopian agrarianism." Everybody believes on conservation rather than rape and pillage and leave nothing for posterity.

What is the best path to the goal of "creation care?" Libertarians want to take care of the environment, but history proves that government ownership of the environment is the worst way to care for it. Private owners take better long-term care of their property than bureaucrats. Disputes between private owners can be resolved by competing Dispute Resolution Organizations. "Progressive" Government courts have often sided with powerful polluters when their pollution was challenged as a "nuisance" or "trespass" on private property. The government said that pollution was necessary for "progress." A Free Market better protects an "environment" of private property. Caring for property is a moral value, but the government subverts morality. Pollution is immoral. Government assaults on private property are also immoral.

Whatever our differing faith perspectives, Ozarkers know that we did not bring the natural world into existence through our own actions. We also know that we do bear responsibility now for care of this gift of creation, whether we deem its origin to have been by divine act or non-theistic process. "Responsibility" is a concept that cannot be supported by a belief that the universe is an impersonal, random, cosmic accident. How does "personal responsibility" exist in an impersonal universe? Do foxes have a "responsibility" to "care" for chickens? Does man-the-accidentally-evolved animal have any "responsibility" other than to survive? Who says?
Growing up on a dairy farm, Jim Evans learned the importance of good stewardship of land and water resources at an early age. He’s always understood the fundamental interconnection between our lives and the health of nature. I didn't grow up on a farm. Nothing in my public school education taught me about a "fundamental interconnection" between my life and "nature." Aren't human beings a part of "nature?" Isn't New York City a part of "nature" like an ant-hill is part of "nature?" Aren't human beings just another species of "animal?"
From his early years as a hunter to his long history as an outdoorsman, Jim has also appreciated the need for conservation of habitat and wildlife. His experiences in the undeveloped countryside, whether they were from trail runs, camping, hiking, canoeing, hunting or fishing, are cherished moments he treasures and fervently desires to be equally available to subsequent generations. Q.: Why would a hunter want to "conserve" habitat rather than expand it? Who would stop him?
A.: Some environmentalists want "nature" to remain "wild" rather than domesticated in any way to serve the interests of humans, who are viewed as a "cancer" or "virus" in nature.

Foxes don't "conserve" chickens. The Indians ("Native Americans") hunted all there was and then moved on to where new game could be found. "Scientists" say the entire universe is going to die a heat death. Why conserve for the future and sacrifice our own immediate desires?

Jim believes that a common commitment to the preservation of the natural heritage of our beautiful country and precious Ozarks is a core value that we must affirm as a community and as individuals.  
We must act together in partnership to protect our watersheds and groundwater, our clean air and wild places. This is our charge as custodians of creation, as faithful earthkeepers. Who made us a "custodian?"
Additionally, as we look beyond our region to the nation and globe, we must hold true to our shared Ozarks principles and seek the same standards of responsible practice in our country and abroad that we insist upon and exercise here at home. Who decided what the "Ozarks principles" would be?
For some of us this will be a matter of sustainable economics or science, for others a matter of the call of scripture and for still others a matter of simple good neighborliness but for all of us it will be a matter of the quality of life or even survival for ourselves and our posterity. Why should we care about the posterity we have a "right" to abort?
  I'm asking a lot of snarky questions to underscore the basic foundation of our knowledge and actions. We are not given the answers to these questions in our atheistic public schools. As I said, caring for the environment is a moral value. Where do these morals come from?  We have a right to ask candidates:
  • How do you justify your concept of "responsibility" and your responsibility prescriptions?
  • How do you justify the violent, forcible imposition of your prescriptions on others by "the government?"

I am a Bible-believing creationist. I believe human beings were created by a personal God to "exercise dominion" over the earth. God has revealed His prescriptions ("the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God") to us. When we follow God's laws, we secure the "rights" with which we were endowed by our Creator. The "environmentalist" worldview worships the creation rather than the Creator. Hard-core environmentalists hate human beings, because human beings are created in the Image of God. God says "All they that hate Me love death" (Proverbs 8:36). "Environmentalism" seeks a planet where non-human forces have dominion over human forces. Vital reading in this area is George Reisman's essay, The Toxicity of Environmentalism. Reisman documents the pathological hatred of Man which too many environmentalists have had since the very beginnings of the movement. In his "Benediction to Alligators," John Muir, Founder of the Sierra Club, wrote:

"Honorable representatives of the great saurians of older creation, may you long enjoy your lilies and rushes, and be blessed now and then with a mouthful of terror-stricken man by way of a dainty!"

Would you trust this man's public policy prescriptions? If your child was in a conflict with nature, would you trust this environmentalist to protect your child, or protect the environment? PETA says a shark attack is "payback." Fanatic environmentalists are terrorists. "A rat is a pig is a dog is your boy."

 If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Climate Change  
From the wave of unprecedented meteorological events alone, most of us know that something is markedly different in the natural world in our lifetimes. The now frequently occurring phenomenon of “once in a hundred years” floods, droughts, fires, hurricanes, typhoons, tornados and other devastating incidents certainly has caused many of us, even if we don’t fully understand the science, to seriously ponder the possibility of climate change. Here are the facts as I understand them:
  • There haven't been "frequently occurring" "unprecedented meteorological events" as have been predicted for over a decade.
  • Too many Americans believe anything they are told if preceded by the words "Scientists say. . . ." Americans have very short-term memories.
  • We had "global warming" hundreds of years ago, and by all accounts this "greenhouse effect" increased agricultural productivity (plants love CO2) and human beings did just fine.
  • What proof is there that global warming would not be a good thing?
  • This medieval warming, occurring centuries ago, was clearly not caused by automobiles, air conditioning, or aerosol hairspray.
  • There has been no warming for 17 years, despite all our cars and CO2 emissions.
  • No proposal for dealing with global warming even claims to be able to do much more than lower the temperature of the earth a few fractions of one degree.
  • There is universal agreement that developing nations (consisting of more than three billion of the world's seven billion people) are in no mood to stop their historic rise out of poverty by cutting their energy consumption. Energy use is the key to a rising standard of living. If these nations do not jump on the environmentalist bandwagon, nothing Americans do by way of lowering their standard of living will have any effect on global climate.
  • The so-called "Climategate" scandal shows that some scientists are so dead-set on reducing human use of technology that they will skew the data and cover up evidence that conflicts with their hopes. The whole mess is not truly "scientific," but is agenda-driven.
  • Most human CO2 production is a result of government subsidies and protection. A libertarian society, with no big government, no central planning, no rapid industrial growth fueled by monetization of debt, might well be a very different environment.
  • Of course a decentralized libertarian society might not be any different if any "global warming" or "climate change" is caused by the sun or anything completely unrelated to human industry.
  • Most rumors of climate change are wrong.
  • Call me a "denier."

It would take a lot of space to really debate the "scientific facts" behind climate change, and then look into the future to see the many possible ways a free market might deal with any climate change that occurs, and do so without trampling on the rights of the people. I'm always willing to have that discussion. Truly scientific decisions are not based on "consensus."

What has become more evident to us may have long been evident to some of our wisest Ozarks sages.
A few years back, radio station KWTO celebrated a milestone anniversary. As part of its recognition of that occasion the station broadcast archived clips of some of the personalities that had shaped its history.
One of those featured was the late May Kennedy McCord, a renowned local folklorist and naturalist, who had a passionate following through her regular spot on the KWTO schedule and the column she wrote for the Springfield newspaper for many years.
In the piece that was aired, Ms. McCord was noting the changes she had perceived in the seasons in the Ozarks over her years of exceptionally careful observation. She spoke particularly of the discernibly warmer winters and altered weather patterns she had personally documented over her long life here.
Having experienced a wide range of periods marked by their weather-related identifications such as the drought of the 1930s or the extreme heat of 1954, for example, she was able to separate out the short-term anomalies from the long-term trend.
This commentary had aired in the 1960s or early 1970s, long before any phrase like “global warming” was known, long before Al Gore’s “inconvenient truth” was circulated and long before the latest IPCC report was drafted.
Indeed, her observation was one free of any contemporary contentious partisan taint but was simply the report of someone who was of a rural generation who carefully noticed, recorded and remembered every detail of their natural surroundings.
Is this just anecdotal evidence of climate change from a single observer, a single moment in time, a single place in the world? Yes.
But it is also evidence that is confirmed by property and casualty insurance companies, the vast majority of the scientific community, by an increasing number of investment managers and business executives and by our own experience.
Whatever the precise effect or cause, there is unmistakable evidence of some form of climate change. Over the centuries, maybe. In the last 17 years, no.
It may eventuate in some macro adjustment of the biosphere that is salutary, though that is the least likely outcome.  
NASA, DoD, USDA, NOAA, and other scientific authorities predict that it is far more likely that a long-term or permanent disruption of patterns of rainfall and consequent agricultural failures, widespread destruction of coastal communities and increases in environmentally driven migration will ensue. Along with this will be the ongoing prevalence of catastrophic weather events.

Many scientists reject "the consensus." 

As in other matters, conventional politicians cannot be depended upon to act in the public interest of the future against their personal interest in the present. But science and nature do not respond to the whims of politicians. Whether or not climate change is real or caused by human activity will not be solved by more pointless partisan public debate. It takes keen observation and powerful sophisticated models, not arm-chair quarterbacks beholden to special interest contributors, to objectively examine the evidence and offer informed forecasts. I wouldn't trust environmentalist "scientists" to create government policy. I certainly wouldn't trust politicians to interpret conflicting claims of environmentalist "scientists" and imposing their political policies on America.
In all this, it is surely hubris of the highest order to insist that human engineering can overcome any challenges of nature. It is folly of an equal magnitude to insist that humankind’s actions, whether through deforestation, global industrialization or burning of hydrocarbon fuels, have either no or a benign consequence-even if we cannot know all we wish to with certainty. I believe human engineering can overcome any challenges of nature. We are better able to overcome those challenges when they first start materializing, and allowing innovative entrepreneurs in a Free Market to deal with them, rather than imposing policies on Americans that will lower their standard of living without any guarantee that there will even be a problem in the future, or that our present sacrifices will affect those future problems. If the sea levels do start rising, beachfront real estate will become cheaper. Let the owners plan accordingly.

"benign consequence" -- The consequence of our CO2-emitting technology is a standard of living that keeps billions of human beings alive and enjoying life. In my eyes, that's "benign." The consequence of following environmentalist prescriptions will be the deaths of millions of human beings and the impoverishment of billions. That's "benign" in the eyes of environmentalists. But they delight in "terror-stricken men."

Therefore, it is also surely foolishness to stick our head in the sand. If the predictions of the scientific community are even close to accurate then the consequences of inaction will be devastating for future generations. If we make a high-tech preemptive strike against this enemy we create thousands of jobs and a lucrative new industry building the tools necessary for improved efficient use of energy and harnessing new clean sustainable sources of energy. I'm not sticking my head in the sand. I'm looking for evidence of sand.

"The Scientific Community" is not a monolith. There is wide disagreement. | Cornwall Alliance

Government action to prevent climate change will destroy thousands of jobs, throw millions into poverty, with no guarantees of changing the climate. Not worth the risk -- unless human beings are a "cancer" and a "virus" on nature. In that case, killing off a billion or so human beings would be a good thing -- even if the democide has no effect on climate.

 If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Clean Energy  
Jim Evans is not only an advocate for but an avid practitioner of clean energy technologies. He constructed the solar photovoltaic array that powers his house. He made conservation and efficiency modifications to his home that cut his utilities by half. He drives a Chevy Volt, the first mass-produced American electric car. That automobile is also fueled by the same solar panels that provide electricity to his home. I used to watch "Star Trek." I was intrigued by its view of future technology. The "Star Trek" future is a future of massive consumption of clean energy. Massive. Skyscrapers require more energy to maintain a hygienic environment than teepees. The transportation of goods around the world requires more energy than human beings 200 years ago could even imagine. Two hundred years from now, human beings will use no more petroleum than we now use whale oil. Einstein proved that there is enough atomic energy in an ordinary brick to light New York City for a year. The same energy that surrounds our entire planet and moves the needle on a compass can move a huge container ship across the ocean. Neither Jim Evans nor Billy Long know how to provide the energy that 10 billion people will need in the future. This is not a task for 434 Representatives in Washington D.C. This is a task for a global market of freedom, innovation, competition and human harmony.

Washington D.C. cannot plan the construction of a single pencil, much less the creation of new energy systems for the 22nd Century. Government should stop subsidizing the energy of the early 20th century.

Jim knows that the best energy future for America is one that is efficient, decentralized and renewable. He supports the use of solar, wind and biomass that is scaled to the individual residence, business, farm and factory. Solar cells and windmills cannot fuel our current standard of living. They cannot fuel the future.
As is true of his own situation, he favors systems that feed back into the grid and thus need to share power sourced from other fuels only very sparingly if at all. Nicola Tesla proved that electricity can be transmitted wirelessly. The "Grid" is a thing of the past.
Replacing massive fossil fuel plants with massive land-consuming solar and wind installations is not his ideal solution to the problem of energy substitution. Good.
Jim is not opposed to the use of fossil fuels as an energy source, but does oppose reckless extraction and accelerated depletion of these precious national resources. I am not opposed to accelerating the "depletion" of these "precious" national (?) resources. (If I have oil on my land, why is it a "national" resource?) Petroleum is the whale oil of the future. Let's move as quickly as possible to better energy sources.
He will therefore seek greater regulation of current practices such as “mountaintop removal” for coal and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” which permanently scar the landscape and poison both ground and surface water. He opposes marketing North American fossil fuel reserves on international markets when we still lack energy independence. Does leveling a hill and building homes for human beings "permanently scar" the landscape? In the perspective of evolutionists and the billion-year timeline, is any human movement of rocks really "permanent?"

"Energy Independence" is a myth, like "coffee independence," or "banana independence." Let's get our energy from the cheapest source, anywhere on earth. (Or better, let's stop using the word "let's" and "our." Individual human beings should be free to procure whatever energy they want, without politicians talking about "our" "national" resources.)

Even some biofuels have the intrinsic problem of massive water consumption during production and subsequent despoliation. This is in addition to various potential issues surrounding the grain production itself, again involving water use among other matters. All this "green energy" stuff isn't looking too good at this point, even by Jim's description.
Employing clean technologies and efficient use that preserves conventional resources is the genuinely conservative approach to our energy future. It builds on our heritage of self-reliance. It is a domestic resource not subject to foreign supply problems. It creates local jobs. It is prudent and frugal, virtues we have long recognized and admired. A "job" building windmills is a dehumanizing job if more abundant energy lies elsewhere. It is a job government should not try to create.
The Ozarks imports 100% of the fossil fuel used in the region. However, the Ozarks is an ideal locale for renewable energy from biomass, solar, and hydro and will benefit greatly from its wide use as dollars now exported from our region to giant global oil and gas companies and foreign countries will stay here in our local economy. Jim's own home shows what is possible. Why don't more consumers do as Jim has done? Should government compel them using threats of violence to do what Jim has done? Should government cut off their options, so that they have no choice but to do what Jim has done?
As our Congressman, Jim Evans will work hard every day to insure that Ozarkers can control our own destiny through our access to nature’s free gifts of renewable energy. I believe a future of clean energy will come about through true economic democracy, with the people making informed choices and taking personal responsibility rather than simply following the orders of politicians.
This is the good stewardship that our ancestors pursued for their and our benefit and that we must pursue for those who follow us as well. I don't believe politicians should take money from those with real jobs and give it to anyone claiming to be able to provide "green energy." The government had nothing to do with the development of petroleum, and will not be on the leading edge of developing the clean, abundant energy we'll be using in the 22nd Century. Freedom to invent and capitalize is what the world needs, not government planners.

 If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Class Warfare  
Many who oppose policies that benefit regular Americans condemn such policies as “class warfare.” Indeed there has been such a conflict over the past few decades. It has been fought by a very small minority of individuals and institutions against the middle class, working class and poor workers and citizens of our country. Government should not enact policies which "benefit" the middle class or the poor. Jim Evans already quoted the Preamble to the Constitution, which speaks of the "general welfare." Congress is not supposed to target special interests. A government policy which self-consciously seeks to take money from the "rich" and give it to the "poor" (the "poor" in America are richer than billions of other people on earth) is the product of "class warfare" thinking. We've all been infected by this thinking to too great a degree.

Envy is spiritual poison. Envy dominates politics. Envy deters development in the 3rd world.

In the October 12, 1974 issue of Business Week magazine, the following appeared as part of a commentary by an editorial staff member of the publication: Government debt and spending are certainly not "growing more slowly." But computer technology is growing more rapidly than ever. In 1974, the only people who had cell phones were John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola, using a handset weighing around 4.4 pounds. In 1974, the TRS-80 personal computer by Radio Shack was still three years away. Does anybody really have "less" today than they did in 1974? 

The Federal Reserve has created trillions of dollars for government growth and Wall Street speculation. That policy diverts purchasing power from genuine healthy economic growth.

“It is inevitable that the US economy will grow more slowly than it has. Some people will obviously have to do with less, indeed cities and states, the home mortgage market, small business, workers and consumers will all get less. It will be a hard pill for many Americans to swallow, the idea of doing with less so that big business can have more.

Nothing that this nation or any other nation has done in modern economic history compares in difficulty with the selling job that must now be done to make people accept the new reality.”

This is, of course, precisely the class war that these groups, comprising the vast majority of Americans, have experienced during this period. "Big business" can't do anything to hurt "the vast majority of Americans" without the weapon called "the government."

 If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

It was outrageous then and remains so now.

Supporting Quality Public Education For All Students Everybody wants "quality" education for all students -- progressives and conservatives. The problem is, both conservatives and progressives want to use the monopolized violence of the government to impose their own definition of "quality" on others. Libertarians believe parents should be able to choose the kind of quality education they want for their children, even if conservatives and progressives are horrified by their choices. Libertarians believe parents will have more and better choices without a government-imposed monopoly.

My own perspective: "Public schools" were invented following the Protestant Reformation ("sola Scriptura") to teach everyone in society the Bible -- the "common man," not just clergy -- and to inculcate "religion and morality." This is the worldview that made America the most prosperous and admired nation in history. Recall the story of Mrs. Jones, above.

If there is any consensus among Americans of otherwise divergent views, it is that education is the key to future opportunity and prosperity for both individuals and the nation. 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."

It is assumed that in order to create and sustain a future of high-tech, high-wage, high-productivity, high-value added jobs that education must provide the skills necessary for employment. Skills are also learned on the job. Children used to begin working with the adults at a much earlier age than today, where 26 year-olds are still covered by their parents' Obamacare. Most children don't need 16 years of classroom study to be ready for the adult world. A mix of books, work, and play (exploration, imagination) is probably a better recipe than schoolrooms.

But should parents be asking these questions and implementing their own choices, or should politicians be asking and answering these questions for the parents and imposing a one-size-tries-to-fit-all system on all parents?

Disagreement begins with questions regarding the reduction of education to “workforce development” to the exclusion of its historical role in producing thoughtful citizens and practitioners of the arts and culture. We should all be "lifelong learners" of arts and culture. What's better: a class on art, or a trip to the art museum?
Additional disagreement concerns the means by which education is to be available. Many argue that the public schools must be radically reformed or abandoned. These advocates often campaign for a redirection of public resources to private and quasi-private schooling. These same activists also often support intensive testing of students and evaluation of teachers via various data and metrics. Libertarians believe in the separation of school and state. All education should be private  -- the private choice of parents. There should be no "public" resources directed to education, which is to say, Smith the atheist should not be threatened with violence if he doesn't want to pay for the Jones family to teach their children the Bible. In a competitive free market of education, parents can provide a much better education for a fraction of the cost of "public" education. Charitable organizations will help poorer parents. Universities and schools were the invention of Christian and used to be staffed by clergy. In fact, the power of  private Christian charities to spread their world view through education is one thing that bothers some secular progressives, who object to children being exposed to a Christian worldview in private schools. This is why they mobilized a secular state to capture education: to override parental choice, homogenize thinking, and crush worldviews which compete against secularism.

Compulsory government-run education is the enemy of democracy, because it is the enemy of the People's choice. If you disagree, leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

If you don't believe parents can be trusted to educate their children, can they be trusted to feed them? Why not require all parents to send their children to "public" nutrition centers so that politicians can feed the children properly? If parents can't be trusted to educate their children, you don't believe in democracy. How can parents who can't choose between competing education systems choose between competing political candidates with competing visions for the education of other people's children?

Jim Evans and his wife Terri are both retired educators. Jim believes that only universal public education that cultivates the intellectual curiosity of students, promotes critical thinking skills and engenders a lifelong love for learning can truly meet the needs of young people and society. My first job after college was as a teacher. My mother taught in government-run schools for 30 years. Government run education has NOT done the things that should be done, that Jim mentions in the paragraph at left. America's students, once #1 in the world, are now #27. Literacy is at its lowest level today than at any point in American history.
He knows that the skills required for the modern economy are constructed upon the basic knowledge initially instilled in children in public schools. In his final years in education, Jim facilitated the implementation of a rigorous curriculum based on competitive international standards and coordinated a program that provides opportunities for a broader range of students to obtain higher education and career skills. Parents should be permitted to choose from competing curricula. They should not be compelled to use or pay for Jim Evans' curriculum, or that of any other politician. Even if the Evans Program is the best.
Jim will work every day in Congress to support the work of local classroom teachers and local schools as they help to empower the next generation of Americans through education. Government roads and government taxes (among other government assaults) have forced parents out of the home and away from their kids. No replicable evidence exists for rushing children into formal classroom study at home or school before age 8 or 10. Time with loving parents and exposure to "the real world" can create responsible adults. Parents should not be compelled to accept government substitutes. Libertarians believe in the separation of school and state.

Bottom line: children will be better educated if parents can choose from competing educational opportunities.  If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Restoring a Government That Works For Everyone Liberty under God works better for everyone than a government that thinks it  is  God.
“We are not rivals for power, but partners for progress. We are all trustees for the American People and custodians of our American heritage.” – John F Kennedy Government -- coercion, extortion, war --  is all about power: the power to impose one brand of “progress” on those who can't be persuaded to adopt  it voluntarily.
Jim Evans believes that partisan politics, lobbyists, special interest money exacerbated by the “Citizens United” case and media complacency has corrupted politics and taken control of government away from American citizens. I have no problem with the "Citizens United" case. Everybody should be able to work together corporately to support their favorite candidate. Government restrictions on this most basic freedom are clear violations of the First Amendment.

My problem is with "citizens" who are united in believing whatever they see on TV.

He believes that we must take back our government. Should we take back "our" Mafia? Should we take back "our" IRS? Or should we abolish them both? "Our" government is the most destructive and dangerous entity on the planet. We should not trust it. We should not "take back" the "divine right of kings." We should not "take back" today's "administrative state." We will never restore the kind of civil government that Jefferson and the Founding Fathers envisioned as a replacement for the "divine right of kings." It was a transition. We must move ahead to a "Vine & Fig Tree" world where swords have been beaten into plowshares and government interests are replaced with the best interests of "the peoples" who "stream" toward "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and take personal responsibility for their choice. We don't need to "take back" the horse and buggy. By the time the 22nd century rolls around, we should have abandoned "constitutional government" along with the internal combustion gasoline-powered car.
He believes that a fundamental right is the right to cast a vote based on accurate information and for that vote to have the same influence on an election as any other vote. Everybody agrees with Jim on this.
Jim believes in a system of “one person, one vote” and not “one dollar, one vote.” In a sense, I don't agree with this. We vote with our dollars every time we buy something. This is the best form of democracy. This is how people create a well-governed society. A terrible form of democracy is when the government takes our dollars and gives them to corporations that we already voted against.
Today’s campaign finance system is one of legalized bribery and extortion in which candidates and officeholders are played like jukeboxes with big money naming the tune. Campaign finance is not the problem. The problem is the power to pass out other people's money. That's "the tune." Congress should have no power to make music. (And the Constitution created no such power.) The federal budget is made up of trillions of dollars of unconstitutional special interest "tunes."
Secret unlimited contributions to “independent expenditure” campaigns distort elections and are wholly unaccountable. Ever more elaborate schemes are developed to thwart disclosure and frustrate transparency. The mainstream media wants the power to make "ad hominem" arguments. The call for "Transparency" is an admission that the facts of the ad cannot be answered, giving rise to the desire to know WHO created a campaign ad, so that opponents can say,

"Beware, Citizen; the XYZ group is not approved by your information gatekeepers. Do not listen to their ads."

"Disclosure" shouldn't matter. Just refute the ad. It doesn't matter who funded it.

The revolving door between the Legislative and Executive branches and lobbying firms taints all legislation and regulation. When past and/or future lucrative employment dictates decision making by elected officials, their staffs or regulators, the public loses every time. Agreed. Stop asking Congress to fund your pet project. Simple.
The present system is thoroughly corrupt. Minor reforms and tinkering along the edges will not be sufficient to restore a government worthy of its citizens. Agreed. Thoroughly corrupt. I mean that literally. Does Jim Evans? The Declaration of Independence says we have a right to "abolish" a system that becomes thoroughly corrupt. In fact, the Declaration says we have a "duty" to do so. We have long since passed that time.

If you disagree, please leave a comment on my blog or Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you.

Jim Evans is committed to systemic change that fundamentally alters the crooked campaign finance system, sharply restricts the power of lobbyists and revives the Founders’ concept of the citizen legislator. Keep the promises Republicans have been breaking since 1996: abolish government power to repay bribes.

The concept of a "citizen legislator" is a citizen who goes to the legislature for a week or two, passes necessary laws, and then goes back home to work in his real job. I don't know what that has to do with campaign finance. I should be able to take up a collection from my friends to elect a "citizen legislator." The federal government (that is, the already-elected legislators) should pass no regulations of that campaign finance activity whatsoever. None.

Jim Evans believes in a pragmatic, trans-partisan approach to moving our country forward. Before we can "move forward," we have to go back. Somewhere along the line we got off the path that leads to peace, and we became convinced that organized violence will solve our problems. Today, if you don't like your neighbor's choices, you're perfectly comfortable confiscating your neighbor's earnings, locking him in a dungeon, or bombing him "back to the stone age" (if your neighbor's "leader" does not conform to the policy dictates of your own "leader").
The Libertarian opposes the initiation of force.
This repudiation of violence and coercion is seemingly not at all "pragmatic," but rather "utopian." And it is frankly anti-partisan, because the two major parties are simply two wings of the same malevolent beast that has killed, crippled or made homeless tens of millions of human beings around the world in my lifetime, imprisoning millions of Americans and confiscating untold billions of dollars of property here at home. Democrats and Republicans are OK with all this, as long as they get "theirs."
Our common values of honesty, peacemaking, forgiveness, respect for life, love thy neighbor, do unto others, honoring our founding principles, advocacy for the least among us, stewardship of creation, honoring free will, and rejecting greed, are the foundation of his plan. No one honors "free will" better than libertarians, if by "free will" we mean "freedom to choose."
The American ideal to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the mission established in the Preamble define our purpose as he perceives it. See above.
He may be criticized for tackling controversial issues and for bringing a diversity of ideas into the conversation, but he makes no apology for adopting this approach. I'd be the last person to criticize another for being "controversial."
He believes that we are Americans and while our differences define us, they should not divide us. He believes that every American wants to live where liberty is secure and the American dream is attainable. And, he believes that every person is a rightful participant in democracy. The fact is, our differences do divide us. The problem is intensified when one side has access to the power of monopoly coercion ("government") to impose their different view or policy on everyone else. Liberty is made insecure by the power of coercion.
He believes that to by [sic] building unity, we can protect liberty, and grow prosperity. I have already mentioned Nobel prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek. He is well-known for his writings on "spontaneous order." It is not the job of the government to "build unity." Unity emerges out of free speech, debate, and voluntary choices by persuaded minds. Liberty is protected when government does not crush it. Prosperity is found in the freest nations, absent in the most centrally planned (except for the party leaders at the top).
In 1956, the Republican platform laid out an economic plan and a vision for bringing Americans closer to fully achieving the American dream.  
President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated:  
“In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people's money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”
By this definition, libertarians are unquestionably the most conservative.

The government can only "be liberal" with other people's money. The more "liberal" the government, the more totalitarian.

Jim Evans believes that Ike, the iconic leader of our nation during both war and peace, got it right. Fine intentions, but again, what's the best way to get there?
Jim Evans, progressive conservative and Eisenhower Democrat, seeks to take that truth to Washington and serve as a true representative of the Ozarks values of the Seventh District. Eisenhower was a "politician." I hope Jim Evans is not.

Elsewhere on the Jim Evans website are the following

Additional Issues

Second Amendment  
Jim Evans believes in gun rights for law-abiding citizens. He has been a hunter and marksman and holds a current conceal-and-carry permit. He does not favor nor will he support any effort to confiscate guns legally owned and used. Jim also believes that reducing gun violence is a critical public health goal and will seek Constitutionally-sound means of doing so. I repudiate the Second Amendment.

I also repudiate all gun control laws.

America is awash in guns and the United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment provides for an intrinsic individual right to possess firearms (subject to forfeiture of that right by causes such as criminal conviction or mental health impairment). These two facts render moot nearly all proposals for the regulation of gun ownership on the one hand and fears of weapons confiscation on the other. The Second Amendment was not intended create a new right for individual gun collectors, hunters, or sportsmen to own guns. It was intended to preserve a right to overthrow a tyrannical government by force. As a Christian, I deny the right to overthrow governments by revolutionary violence, based on numerous verses in the Bible. That means I oppose the American Revolution and War for Independence. It was wrong of America's Founders to kill Christians from Britain over taxes 1/20 the size of taxes today.

Any politician who takes an oath to "support the constitution" and the supports any form of federal gun control violates his oath of office and takes the Lord's name in vain.

James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," originally opposed the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. He said the Constitution created a government of enumerated powers, and there was no power enumerated in the Constitution empowering the government to control guns. The federal government has no authority to pass any gun control legislation whatsoever. The federal government has no right to ask for a fake gmail address from a guy driving a truck full of bazookas. That's my take on the Second Amendment vs. Gun Control.

Tragic incidents of children’s deaths from an irresponsible owner’s failure to properly exercise gun safety and horrific mass shootings challenge the public’s commitment to the fundamental right of self-defense and other protected categories of gun ownership. In these circumstances, understandable calls for restrictions and greater personal responsibility become daily media content. Too often, a predictable and unproductive public shouting match ensues that does little to either illumine the relevant issues or prevent future losses of life. Gun violence among citizens is certainly a problem. Not nearly as big a problem as government gun violence. During my lifetime, the federal government has killed, crippled, or made homeless tens of millions of innocent non-combatant civilians. That beats domestic "gun violence" by orders of magnitude. And, really, I do believe "gun violence" is a big problem. But there is no "constitutionally sound" way for the federal government to deal with domestic gun violence (except to abolish government programs that increase violence).
Additionally, the horrendous toll of firearms victims in large urban areas provides a constant national reminder of the deadly consequences of irresponsible gun use. This particular violence is, however, more a product of drug policies and consequent gang warfare than of any particular type of firearm and will diminish only when superior alternative economic opportunities are available to young people in the affected neighborhoods and cities. The "War on Drugs" is unconstitutional, and yes, it creates most of the violence.
Nonetheless, there are many legitimate concerns regarding current gun access that must be addressed. This can be done without infringing on Second Amendment rights. Nope. No such regulations are constitutional. America's Founding Fathers would be appalled at government restrictions on guns while that same government has secularized public schools.
What should be pursued now are policies and practices that “level the playing field” for all gun purchases via an enhanced universal instant background check system (a position previously advocated by the NRA for many years), integration into that system of data more comprehensively identifying persons disqualified by mental health issues, agreement by manufacturers and dealers to link appropriate firearms use and safety training to acquisition, and protection of responsible dealers by rigorous enforcement of laws regarding “gun trafficking” for criminal purposes. Schools need to teach "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." A public school teacher is presently prohibited from telling students that God says "Thou shalt not kill." Inner city kids are barbarians. Don't blame inanimate objects like guns.

The U.S. Federal Government is the largest arms dealer on the planet. All gun registration laws are a prelude to a government crack-down on "the competition."

  I agree that gun violence is a problem. The violence is all tied together. We use military violence to impose our will on other nations through war, and political violence to impose our will on political factions that don't get out the vote as effectively as we do. I favor beating swords into plowshares. I am anti-war and pro-peace. I oppose violence. Go ahead: call me a pacifist. Each of those four links has dozens of links to other parts of my platform. I am an "extremist" on every issue. I try to be an intelligent and courteous extremist. If Missouri voters were to elect me as the first Libertarian in Congress, there would be a significant new conversation on peace and gun violence.

Jim Evans believes that abortion reduction, as has occurred during recent years, enhances human dignity and is thus fundamentally good and a goal to be continually pursued. He also believes that men and women should have broad access to all means of family planning so that they can exercise their intimate right to choose when they conceive and rear children. Jim further believes that, in making such decisions, couples should act with responsible moral judgment and that communities, through both local agencies and public policy, should act to provide the support necessary for pregnancy, birth, raising children and adoption. There's no reason to reduce abortion any more than there is to reduce appendectomies. Unless unborn human beings have a right to life. Then all abortions are murder. Churches and charities should expand their outreach to unwed mothers or others tempted to murder their children. That is not a job for the federal government.
There is perhaps no issue more fundamentally divisive and subject to demagoguery than abortion. This is, in itself, tragic. Each side relentlessly demonizes and caricatures the other so that dialogue becomes impossible. Labels like “pro-life” and “pro-choice” have frequently become reduced to little more than bumper stickers devoid of the deeper complex meaning they each symbolize. Roe v. Wade may be relatively settled law but hearts and minds remain both divided and subject to political exploitation. Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional and should be overturned. Not a single person who signed the Constitution would agree that the federal government has constitutional authority to alter state abortion laws.
In the end, calls for either widespread criminalization of abortion or unrestricted abortion on demand are both unacceptable alternatives. The former will not effectively end abortion but will cause the very real consequence of the loss of women’s lives and an unconscionable compounding of the suffering of women who suffer miscarriages by routinely subjecting them to homicide inquiries. The latter endorses the use of procedures that sear the conscience of most Americans and denies the advances in neo-natal intensive care that have moved the point of “fetal viability” closer and closer to conception. All abortions should be illegal. All murders should be illegal. Punishment is a separate issue.

Name one prosecutor who would bring a miscarriage to trial if all abortions were illegal. Name one. Is there one on record voicing such an intention? Ridiculous.

This last point is good, and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made this point about Roe v. Wade: the decision is on a "collision course" with itself. The Court said the states could regulate abortion late in pregnancy if late-term abortion were too dangerous, but not early in the pregnancy if medical technology could not save a premature baby. But medical technology is making abortions "safer" even if later, and babies "viable" even if earlier.

The Roe framework . . . is clearly on a collision course with itself. As the medical risks of various abortion procedures decrease, the point at which the state may regulate for reasons of maternal health is moved further forward to actual childbirth. As medical science becomes better able to provide for the separate existence of the fetus, the point of viability is moved further back toward conception.

Roe v. Wade is a very bad case. It should never have come before the Court, it was wrongly decided, and should be thrown out.

What is required is a good faith commitment to comprehensively eliminating the demand for abortion by encouraging abstinence, enhanced education regarding human sexuality and pregnancy, wider availability and use of contraceptives, including all those which prevent uterine implantation, easy access to affordable adoption and minimizing economic need as a cause for seeking termination through public programs for pregnancy support.
  • "encourage abstinence" -- remarkable for a Democrat.
  • "morning after" contraception is no different from "month after" or "9-month after."
  •  adoption is hobbled by government regulation
  • "public" programs for pregnancy support means "government" programs. But this is not the government's role, according to the Constitution.
Men, as equal partners in procreation, must act as such and assume their role and responsibility as fathers. Though only women bear children, women should not be expected to bear the entire burden of parenthood. Agreed.
It is also imperative that the sanctity of life be fully affirmed after birth by public investment in the well-being of mothers and children regardless of their marital or employment status. "Public" investment means "government" investment. James 1:27 says true religion is helping children without parents and women without husbands. Why should the government usurp this role?

The issue of abortion is not unrelated to the issue before: gun violence. The root cause is the belief that we can kill any other human being who gets in our way.

Immigration Reform  
Jim Evans knows that America is a nation of immigrants forged by waves of newcomers from whom most citizens are descended. He believes that the Biblical call to “welcome the stranger” as a practice of hospitality has served us well in the past. Jim believes that immigrants can enhance our communities and that diversity is good. He believes that public policy in this area must also entail respect for law and acknowledge the complications that unregulated immigration poses for our economy and society. I have written a great deal on immigration.

The Declaration of Independence criticized the king for impeding immigration. Nothing in the Constitution gives the federal government any power to prevent me from hiring a Mexican for my business.
The borders should be open, as the Statue of Liberty says.
Government should get out of the profligate welfare business.
Private property must be respected.
With this foundation, immigration will raise our standard of living.

No country can truly claim sovereignty if it cannot effectively control its own borders. Given contemporary challenges to domestic security this truth is additionally imperative. However, when trade policy, i.e. NAFTA and CAFTA, creates massive dislocations in the indigenous economies of neighboring states, there is an attendant and reciprocal responsibility to address the consequences of such policy-induced emigration and immigration. We should follow the Constitution and sovereignly open our borders.
The first step is to simply acknowledge this causal link and change the policy by restoring tailored trade arrangements that are mutually beneficial to the people of each country. I'm not convinced that Trade Policies are creating "massive dislocations" and increasing immigration. (I oppose most trade agreements for other reasons.)
Second, acknowledge the role played by domestic corporations in systematically recruiting, transporting and exploiting many of these immigrants and holding them fully accountable for their actions by criminal prosecutions and substantial civil penalties. The Federal Government has no constitutional authority to regulate a voluntary agreement between an immigrant and a domestic business.
Third, acknowledge the real job displacement that has occurred by such massive unregulated immigration by fully compensating the workers who lost their domestic employment due to such dislocation. This is a matter of simple social justice. This is utterly unworkable. Any American who can be displaced by an immigrant -- especially an "illegal" one -- needs to upgrade his job skills to better serve his country.
Fourth, as economic conditions in the countries of origin improve, provide incentives for the voluntary repatriation of immigrants. What does "voluntary repatriation" look like? How is it not already voluntary, if desired?
Fifth, continue to aggressively deport and incarcerate immigrants without legal status who are convicted of criminal offenses or are conclusively high-risk security threats.  
Sixth, provide a flexible means of procuring legal status for those immigrants engaged in specific and traditional agricultural employment or pursuing specific educational opportunities.  
Seventh, provide a long-term means for procuring legal status for immigrants with immediate citizen family members and other law-abiding long-term immigrant residents. All immigrants are already legal; it's the laws that are unconstitutional.
Eighth, continue to enhance extant border security by both technological and personnel means. "Securing" the Borders against the choices of people is undemocratic. Even Passports didn't exist a century ago. The fences that keep "them" out will someday be used to keep us in.

Affordable Care Act  
Jim Evans believes that we should “repair and replace” the Affordable Care Act. He has always believed and continues to believe that the best approach to national health care is through an improved Medicare for All program. Jim opposes all efforts to simply “repeal and revert” as such an action will leave millions again uninsured and subject to health care access and affordability sharply limited by giant private health insurance companies. Much opposition is simply in denial that more than half of all health spending already comes from public dollars. If Billy Long wins the election, we will not lose "Obamacare." It will just be renamed. It was a Republican idea, and once they control the Senate, Republicans will re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and call it "The Republican Healthcare Plan" or something, but it will be Obamacare.

Libertarians believe in the separation of medicine and state, just like we believe in the separation of computers and state. A Free Market has brought the price of computers down so far that a welfare-recipient carries around more computing power in his iPhone than all of NASA had 35 years ago. The Free Market system was making health care more and more affordable before 1965. Medicare caused healthcare costs to explode, and Obamacare will seal the coffin. Don't believe claims about lower "administrative costs."

We do not have a "Free Market" in healthcare. We haven't had a Free Market health care system since at least 1965. Tying insurance to employers is a relic of post-WorldWar II tax avoidance. There was no reason for government to get involved in health care. It was a Democrat voter registration drive. Reverting to pre-Medicare levels of freedom from government regulation and subsidies will drop the price of healthcare like the drop in prices of computers. Low prices increase access. Today's consumers of medical care don't know the prices of anything they're buying, so competition is crippled.

Hospitals were created by Christians, not politicians. Private charity is better than indebted government "entitlements." Prof. Ronald J. Sider notes;

If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left over for evangelism around the world.”
Book Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton Institute PowerBlog

Do Democrats believe "the People" (demos) should choose (kratein) their own medical care, or be forced to get healthcare from the government? If you believe "the People" are too greedy to take care of the poor and elderly as a charitable task, why do you believe they would vote for politicians to take care of the elderly at a much greater cost? In other words, why have a democracy? Why not just entrust our lives to our wise and benevolent overlords in Washington D.C.?

Perhaps no current policy controversy has such a twisted and hypocritical history as that of “Obamacare.” Its derivation is wholly from conservative and Republican sources, extending from President Nixon to Stuart Butler and the Heritage Foundation to Newt Gingrich and anti-Clinton Congressional Republicans to Mitt Romney’s “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. This is true. Obamacare Is Not a Revolution, It Is Mere Evolution. Republicans are to blame as much as Democrats for destroying low-priced competitive Free Market in healthcare. During the six years of the Bush Administration that Republicans had complete control of all three branches of government, Republicans could have completely pre-empted Obamacare by making real progress toward the "separation of medicine and state." But Republicans actually support Obamacare and "Romneycare," and government "care" in general. Republicans will not repeal Obamacare.
During that period the policy was championed by its advocates as a “personal responsibility” and “market-driven” response to either “single-payer” national public health insurance or employer-mandated coverage (aka “Hillarycare”). During that same period its detractors, liberals and Democrats, routinely denounced it as ineffective and a giveaway to Big Pharma and the private health insurance industry. A valid point. Big Pharma and Big Insurance have been present at every stage of the planning of Obamacare. Not the herbal supplement people or the raw milk people or any non-AMA-approved cancer therapies.
However, when this approach of individual mandates and public subsidies was reluctantly adopted by the late Senator Ted Kennedy, long the champion of national public health insurance, and then President Obama as the only available means of procuring insurance reform and something approximating universal coverage, the two sides immediately switched positions. This is the nature of our current abhorrent tribal politics. But partisan Republican hypocrisy does not legitimize our move from American Free Enterprise of the past to regulation-crippled semi-capitalist healthcare of today to "single-payer" fascist and socialist health care of tomorrow.
The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act contains some beneficial insurance reform provisions related to the prevention of private rationing of health care via denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, lifetime limits, allowance for extended coverage of adult children, etc. However it is also seriously flawed, especially because of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Medicaid expansion mandate. The resultant refusal of various states, including Missouri, diminishes or eliminates the goals of universal coverage and minimizing cost-shifting. Insurance is no longer insurance if government requires coverage for "pre-existing conditions." This is obvious in the case of an uninsured homeowner whose house burns down and then applies for fire insurance to cover his "pre-existing condition," then stops paying premiums as soon as the insurance company has rebuilt his house. This is unethical

Obamacare is likely a plan to destroy health insurance qua insurance and move to single-payer.

At this juncture, the best course is to facilitate widespread initiatives at the state level such as state-based single-payer plans, public insurance options, managed care systems or publicly-supported consumer cooperatives. Such an approach is federalism at its finest and may well produce the best policy for the nation as a whole until Medicare for All is enacted. Medicare for All is a disaster. It means rationing medical care. It eventually means government bankruptcy, and increasing levels of death while people wait in long lines for "free" medical care.

Jim Evans believes that all law-abiding American citizens should be free from unwarranted invasions of their communications and safe from un-Constitutional searches, in whatever form, of their persons and property. He also believes that contemporary conditions require vigilance as regards our personal and collective security. All domestic spying is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Benjamin Franklin once proclaimed that those who would trade liberty for security deserved neither. However, existential threats which did not exist in Franklin’s era, such as nuclear and chemical/biological weapons, caused most freedom-loving Americans to willingly consent to “national technical means” for monitoring the activities of adversaries during the Cold War and afterward. Today, the very real experience of non-state terrorism visited upon our soil has caused many truly conscientious citizens to very reluctantly accept the collection of “metadata” and similar infringements on pure privacy as, paradoxically, necessary for the preservation of a broader freedom. The Free Market -- Wal-Mart, Microsoft, the Home Shopping Network, Oprah -- have no incentive to manufacture nuclear and biological weapons. Now the State will protect us against these threats? The State  is  the threat.

The Cold War was a myth. The Soviet Economy, like all socialist economies, was a basket case. The danger is always "defeat," not destruction.

The phony choices given to the public of genuinely universal intrusive “1984”-like surveillance or complete abdication of any responsibility for protecting the physical safety of the citizenry are both wholly unacceptable. The greatest threat the to physical safety of the people of Missouri is Washington D.C., not ISIS. A SWAT team sent by some federal bureaucracy is more likely to seize a Missouri farm or throw a "flash" grenade in a child's playpen than mideast terrorists.
The real issue is that of trust, or lack of same, in the authorities utilizing such methods. The absence of a reliably independent judicial oversight in such matters is at the heart of such concerns. What is desperately needed is the creation of a courts infrastructure, not subject to ‘capture’ by the various executive, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, to objectively monitor, authorize and, when necessary, restrict government activity. The government can never be trusted to police itself. The "independent judiciary" is still a part of "the government," and the government's #1 enemy is the people it oppresses.
Government derives its powers from the people and its legitimacy from the consent of the governed. It is therefore not acceptable that any governmental activity be exempt from the eye of responsible representatives of the people. "Representative government" is now a proven failure. The People of the world need to beat "swords into plowshares" and abolish continent-spanning governments.

Torture Torture
Jim Evans is unalterably and unequivocally opposed to the use of torture by any element of the American government against any person anywhere. Agreed. But during my lifetime, the federal government's military machine has killed, crippled, or made homeless tens of millions of innocent non-combatant civilians. Torture is just a small part of the package of swords we will not beat into plowshares. Mere "reform" is hypocrisy.
As an Army veteran of the Vietnam era, Jim knows very well that some of his peers were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were roundly and appropriately denounced as crimes against humanity by American leaders and citizens. "The Water Cure" -- U.S. torture in the Philippines, in the late 1800's "They swell up like toads."
What was wholly unacceptable then, as practiced by agents of a foreign power, remains wholly unacceptable now, as practiced by agents of our democratic republic.  
First, torture is morally wrong. It’s just that simple.  
Whether advocating or acting in the name of Jesus, another religious tradition, fundamental American ideals or common conscience, persons of faith, patriotism and ethical integrity must stand and speak together in opposition to this degradation of human dignity.  
Many have done so already, working across the partisan, religious, racial, ethnic, gender and other “lines” that so often serve to divide us. From faith leaders to lay believers and non-believers, millions have joined together to protest the use of torture in their names.  
Second, torture doesn’t work. This is not seriously in dispute. It is in dispute, but even if it "worked," it would still be immoral.
Whether from the testimony of American POWs or the results of the many investigations examining the policies and practices of the past dozen years, the fact is that torture does not produce useful actionable intelligence. What it does produce is anything the tortured believes that the torturer wants to hear. The end product is bad intel and greater hatred of America.  
An extraordinarily large number of retired military leaders and intelligence officers have spoken out against the use of torture. The very persons whose experience and expertise ought to have immediate standing in this debate are in general consensus that torture is wrong and ineffective.  
Jim Evans is committed to telling the truth and pursuing a principled politics that acts for the common good. Ending torture is, for him, a priority for restoring the pride of citizens in our government and the good will of citizens of the world for our country and its precepts. I agree that torture is a problem. But the federal government tortures entire nations. The violence is all tied together. We use military violence to impose our will on other nations through war, and political violence to impose our will on political factions that don't get out the vote as effectively as we do. I favor beating swords into plowshares. I am anti-war and pro-peace. I oppose violence. Go ahead: call me a pacifist. Each of those four links has dozens of links to other parts of my platform. If Missouri voters were to elect me as the first Libertarian in Congress, there would be a significant new conversation on war, peace, and torture. It's not a conversation Democrats and Republicans have been having in earnest.

Same Sex Marriage  
Jim Evans believes that it is ethically desirable that all persons be accommodated in their commitments to consensual, loving, permanent adult relationships and that it is legally obligatory to treat all citizens with equality under the law. Jim also believes that religious freedom, as defined by the Constitution, inherently provides for the right of religious bodies to accept or reject any or all such arrangements as defined and sanctioned by the State. Every single person who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution believed that homosexuality is contrary to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." In a majority of states, a majority of voters have indicated their agreement with America's Founders. The results of democratic elections have been overturned by a handful of unelected federal judges. The Founders would regard this as tyranny of the basest sort. Contrary to the constitutions of men and the laws of God.
Most of the public debate regarding same-sex marriage has failed to acknowledge that there are two very different uses of the word “marriage” at issue. There is “marriage” as commonly employed culturally and religiously and there is “marriage” as meant by civil authority. The former use refers to a covenantal or sacramental relationship, within Western tradition between one man and one woman, while the latter use refers to a common contractual relationship between consenting adults largely concerned with matters such as disposition of property and children upon dissolution. Government should be "under God." Civil government should acknowledge the Bible's definition of "marriage." Up until a few years ago, it did.
Even “traditional marriage” has been continually subject to re-definition in both law and practice over the past several decades. The implementation of “no-fault” dissolution and subsequent rise in the rate and number of divorces, the prevalence of re-marriage and consequent new family structures and the wide-scale displacement of “marriage” by cohabitation are evidence of such changes. "Marriage" has never been "re-defined" to include "no-fault" divorce. Failure to live up to standards should not justify changing the standard.
Long ago, the Church ceded to the State the granting of “marriage” licenses and the defining of “marriage” under civil law. In so doing, there is thus no legitimacy to denying equal protection and civil equality to any consenting adult desiring to enter into such a contract. In reality, all such State licenses are civil unions and should be recognized as such. Licenses were always given based on the Biblical definition of marriage.
However, there is also no legitimacy to denying the free exercise of religion to any community of faith regarding that body’s acceptance or rejection of such arrangements. No church, temple, mosque or synagogue can or should be required to conduct “marriage” ceremonies which they do not recognize as authentic. Those who want homosexuality legitimized want the church silenced, then destroyed.

When the government takes sides against "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," all bets are off. The First Amendment means nothing if the laws of God mean nothing.

As a libertarian, I oppose "homophobic" bullying on the schoolyard and anti-family bullying by federal judges. "The Government" is the most phobic bully on the planet.

  Liberals and Progressives should ask this question: what are my real goals?
• Are my real goals simply electing a certain political party, or simply to increase funding for a certain federal bureaucracy?
• Or are my real goals more substantive, and should my goals be promoted by educating, inspiring, and empowering the people to make a voluntary choice rather than imposing ideas they presently abhor through extortion and threats of violence?

Liberty or compulsion: which makes a better world?

2010 Edition