Friday, August 16, 2013


In honor of Ted Jotte inviting me onto The Dennis Ford Show tonight, I'm releasing to all our listeners the FREE ebook of the 2012 book VOICES OF REVOLUTION: Americans Speak Out for Ron Paul.  Though the book was targeted to Democrat and Republican voters during the 2012 election cycle, this book still stands as a testimony to the character of Dr. Ron Paul, the hope he inspired in countless patriot activists, and the book stands as a document for future generations to catch a detailed glimpse at an exciting time during a dark period of American history.

Ron Paul had a dream for a brighter future, and so did the many patriots who contributed their writings to this book, including Zach Foster, Ted Jotte, Jeffrey Tucker, and Senator Rand Paul.  Now the world can enjoy the book that won California State Polytechnic University's Golden Leaves Award.

Download the PDF to print or read on your computer!

Download the EPUB for your e-reader device!

If you have formatting problems with the EPUB file, download it for FREE from the Lulu Bookstore!

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This eBook is yours for FREE.  However, if you'd like to show your support for this project or this ongoing liberty blog, feel free to donate any amount you choose!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Localism: Remedy for Disunity and Recession

I came across the June 2013 issue of The American Conservative features a brief, yet insightful editorial, “Localism’s Green Shoots,” pointing to trends occurring spontaneously across America. Political scientists call this phenomenon localism.  The introductory paragraph acknowledges America’s high unemployment numbers, the wars in Afghanistan and Syria, and civil society’s struggle against the Surveillance State following the revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The editorial’s main body discusses the impact of those issues here at home: the economy is still in deep recession; more government spending, both at home and abroad, exacerbates the economic situation by inflating the money supply to fund government programs, consequently lowering people’s purchasing power and making it more difficult to save and invest; the War on Terror and unconstitutional surveillance cause the political situation to crumble as more Americans are convinced “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” has perished from the earth.

The editors point to several interesting nationwide trends, first of which is the expansion of farmers’ markets, accompanied by the growth of the “food rights” movement and public opposition to genetically modified foods (GMOs).  I have to agree with those choosing to purchase locally-grown non-GMO foods from farmers’ markets.  Part of this is because I dislike the idea of GMO producers receiving government subsidies[1] to grow food containing hormones and other chemicals harmful through human consumption.  When these companies receive taxpayer money to produce more, larger, unhealthy foods, they’re given an unfair advantage over other producers, especially small and independent farmers.  It remains unseen (in Bastiat’s terminology) that the government chooses winners and creates losers through marketplace interference.

Before I learned about GMO foods, I used to regularly partake in that chemically-altered variety of fruits, vegetables, and processed foods, but now I generally try to avoid GMOs.  My mother has several blooming fruit trees and a comparison of the natural, unadulterated fruits with much larger GMO fruits just plain creeped me out!  The fact that farmers’ markets thrive isn’t due to government intervention in agribusiness, but rather in spite of it.  This trend represents a protest against interventionist policies, not least against those intruding on farming and food production.

Another trend the magazine editors identified is the increased patronization of local, primarily non-corporate small businesses.  I don’t know exactly which of the thousands of consumer industry corporations received Stimulus or TARP funding from the federal government.  What I do know is that, whenever possible, I’ve participated in voting for local farmers and small businesses with my dollars.  In no way is this a revolt against the free market or against mass production of cheaper, more widely available goods and services; instead,  it’s a tiny market signal that yet another consumer has chosen locally produced, higher quality goods and more personable service than one would typically find in a mega-store chain.  It shows a fluctuation of preferences in an arena in which the consumer is theoretically sovereign.

There are cases where locally sold or produced goods are slightly more expensive than those mass produced by large entities.  These cases add credibility to Ludwig von Mises’ subjective theory of value,[2] stating that the value of goods or services is determined not by the amount of labor or production cost, but by the independent value judgment placed on it by individuals.  In my case, the subjective theory explains why I’d prefer to spend 5% or 10% more at the community hardware store than at one of the large department stores.  I find better, speedier service from workers at the community hardware store, and some of those workers are people I know personally.

Another of Mises’ theories that surfaces around localism is that of the necessity of saving money.  He writes in The Anti-Capitalist Mentality,[3] “Capital is not a free gift of God or of nature. It is the outcome of a provident restriction of consumption on the part of man. It is created and increased by saving and maintained by the abstention from dissaving.” If I’m to spend a little more at preferred small businesses, I need to save more by spending less money on other things.  I make subjective value judgments and then purchase whatever goods or services I think I need.

Some market theorists would argue that this brand of localism is a revolt against laissez-faire markets, but the truth is quite the contrary.  Through buying from smaller businesses, I’m feeding their growth with the intended outcome that they’ll one day compete evenly with large chains and influence the battle to mass produce goods and services that are cheaper and better.

The editors also made several allusions to a rebirth of scholarship in conservative ideas at the grass roots level.  These references point not to the big-government conservatism—neoconservatism—that characterized the latest Bush presidency; they refer instead to the paleoconservatism of a bygone era, in which self-styled conservatives—largely libertarian in their ideology—opposed undeclared wars, government intervention in markets, and the federal government overstepping the legal limits to its powers specifically illustrated in the Constitution.  Murray Rothbard elaborates on this topic at length in The Betrayal of the American Right.

The reborn paleoconservative/libertarian ideologies serve as a series of signals in the “marketplace of ideas” (as phrased by John Stuart Mill) that the preferences of “consumers” are shifting in favor of a freer market economy and less government presence in the whole economy and civil society.  Furthermore, localism is giving communities a deeply personal, interactive lesson in economics as human action: people helping people improve society.

[1] “Subsidies, GMOs, Obesity.” Rural Migration News, Vol. 10, No. 3. UC Davis. July 2004. <>
[2] The subjective theory of value is a major theme in Mises’ book Human Action, and adds weight to the thesis that economics isn’t about numbers, theorems, or formulas, but about individual people making choices on spending or acquiring resources.
[3] Von Mises, Ludwig.  The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, p. 84 via The Quotable Mises, p. 215.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Books and Politics: The Zach Foster Interview

Before being interviewed on David Welch's Blog Talk Radio show "Books and Politics," Mr. Welch sat me down for a written interview (reprinted here with permission).

You can download the mp3 of the full interview here or listen to clips and sound bites at the Political Spectrum Publishing YouTube page.

Zach Foster in Person!
Young but highly knowledgeable

It took nearly six months but I’ve finally booked a first ‘political commentator’ on my blog radio show. On the August 5th Books and Politics show I will interview Zach Foster who writes the popular and informative “Zach Foster Rants” blog and who is a highly respected political operative and commentator. The live interview is nearly a month away and I just couldn’t wait to find out what Zach has to say on some important issues so I persuaded him to do a ‘written interview’ in advance of his more comprehensive live interview on August 5th.

After reviewing his answers to my questions I’m glad I did and I’m quite sure everyone who reads the following will be thrilled to have a bit of advance notice of what to expect on the Books and Politics Show the first week of August. I hope you will all listen in the evening of August 5th at 7 p.m. California time for what will be a really great interview. And I hope you will be ready to call in with questions for a bright and uniquely experienced young man. The address for the Books and Politics Show is . Don’t miss it! Meanwhile please enjoy the following interview:

1.                  Zach, you are the first ‘political commentator’ I’ve had an opportunity to interview so could you tell the listeners a little about yourself, your background, and what you’ve done to qualify as a political commentator?

My political experience started when I was very young. I was a “guerrilla activist” supporting my local Congressman, David Dreier, and through volunteering for him later I got my first taste of campaigning. I’ve worked on numerous campaigns—from city council-level to the federal level—and am involved with several political organizations. My greatest privilege was working in the Ron Paul 2012 campaign. I’ve also majored in Political Science at Cal Poly Pomona and Social Sciences at Citrus College. Between my education and field work, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about.

2. I’ve read a number of your blogs and find them quite interesting. In fact I’m going to ask specific questions about a few but could you tell listeners where they can find your blogs, or if you prefer, rants?

My main source of tongue-in-cheek wisdom is my current blog, Zach Foster Rants. It can be found at .

3. Zach, you have a pretty strong opinion as to why we should not go to war with Iran. Could you explain why you feel this way?

Absolutely. While the Iranian Islamic Republic’s leadership delivers martial anti-Western rhetoric on a daily basis, by no means is this new to America. Our country dealt with this coming from the Soviet Union for seventy years. We’re better off letting Iranian people reach a boiling point and overthrow their leadership just like they overthrew the Shah in 1979.

4. Why not help them overthrow the Ayatollah like we overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

The Iranian leadership is already highly unpopular with its own people—we saw the massive protests in 2009—but if we attack them, it will make true the government’s propaganda painting us as the aggressors. Furthermore, we saw in the Iran-Iraq War how teenagers were routinely conscripted into the national militia to serve as bullet catchers on the front lines. This will certainly be the case in another war, and it will be a long, devastating war that was—and is—preventable.

Furthermore, I consider myself a Bible-believing Christian.  Jesus tells us to go around the world and teach the gospels.  We have missionaries working in secret in Iran but if there’s a war, they’ll have to leave, or they’ll be more persecuted than they already are.  Even worse, there’s no saving someone’s soul if they died in the war before they got to hear the Gospel.

5. While we are in the Middle East, so to speak, what did we do wrong in Iraq?

Several things, actually. While our troops certainly served with courage, distinction, and honor, I believe the Bush and Obama administrations have a lot of blood on their hands. I don’t think that war should have happened in the first place. We’ve learned that Saddam’s regime was actually keeping the radical Islamists in check, and the toppling of the Ba’ath party-state gave groups like the Mahdi Army and Al Qaeda in Iraq the opportunity to flourish and wreak havoc. Even worse, Paul Bremer was an idiot to disband the Iraqi army and police, essentially stripping the country of any law and order while feeding disgruntled, unemployed, armed young men into a growing insurgency. The list goes on.

6. One last Middle East question. What, if anything should we do about Syria? And before you answer let me tell you I think John McCain is an idiot suggesting we arm the rebels.

Nothing. There is no way our government can get involved in the Syrian civil war without being accomplice to murder. Assad’s regime has slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians, while the non-centralized rebel armies are saturated with jihadists who commit their own brand of atrocities. Helping the regime means helping a murderous dictator. Helping the rebels means helping Al Qaeda sympathizers. We see civil war continuing in Libya because the rebels were never centralized and the country is rampant with independent radical militias. This will also happen in Syria, where the war has been longer, deadlier, and nastier.

7. OK, enough Middle East for one interview. My next question concerns your February 2013 blog or rant, where you used the term 21st Century Libertarian. As you know I refer to myself as a 21st Century Libertarian and thought I coined the phrase only to discover you have also used it. What do you mean by the term?

It refers specifically to a libertarian—new or seasoned—who sees a unique situation and opportunity in our country. We see the problems of the twentieth century—war, economic depressions, social problems—being magnified, and we see the best solutions in libertarian ideas which can be practically applied through public policy. In some cases the government should take a libertarian approach; in other cases, it should take no approach at all.

8. In my book, Stop the Insanity Target 2014, which I believe you have read, I present an idea that could cut the cost of a four year college degree by up to 40%. Could you comment on that idea from a Libertarian standpoint and let me know what you personally think of it?

I like most of what you pitched there. EDX and Coursera are great learning tools. So is Liberty Classroom for civics and political science, Mises Academy for economics and banking, and the International Webmasters Association for web design and software engineering. I certainly like the idea of trading the certification for accreditation. What I don’t like is the idea of the federal government getting involved. The feds will not only have to create more bureaucracy to run this program, but are also likely to impose a one-size-fits all curriculum nationwide. I think such a program is better left to the individual states to manage, offering diversity tailored to the needs of a particular state’s population.

Note: I have a good answer for this concern but will save it for the radio interview. Be sure and listen!

9. Another subject discussed in my book is Social Security. Like it or not this has become a staple of American life and would be almost impossible to eliminate. Can Libertarians come to grips with the existence of this massive government program?

We’ve already come to grips with it because we see it for what it really is: a Ponzi scheme. The current retirees are being paid by the current generation of workers. The money those retirees paid into Social Security has long been spent on other programs. We younger libertarians would love to just opt out—keep our money and be completely responsible for our own retirements—because with government spending ever on the rise, we know we’ll never see a single Social Security check by the time we’re retired.

10. Ok, my last question. We both know Ron Paul is a dedicated Libertarian yet he chose to run for Congress, and most recently for President, as a Republican. My question is if you, Zach Foster, were to run for Congress would you run as a Libertarian, a Republican, or as I would prefer, as an Independent? And WHY?

I’d run as a Republican with a libertarian platform. We need to remember the difference between small-l and capital-L libertarians. One represents a worldview, the other represents a political party. I respect the Libertarian Party, but they rarely accomplish major goals because their party is rife with infighting. Besides, the system isn’t built to accommodate third parties. If there’s going to be major change, it needs to be brought from a major party.

Oops, I guess I told a little lie. I do have another question. I understand you have a book coming out in the not too distant future. Would you care to tell us about it?

I have two coming out, actually. One is a book all about the whole “Republitarian” movement, and I’m still working out a publishing deal. The other is a collection of my best articles and rants—working title Don’t Piss Me Off (with “don’t piss me off” graffitied over “don’t tread on me”)—which I’m self-publishing and making available for the lowest price possible.

Ok, not only a great interview but an advance notice of not one but two new books that will be available soon. Glad they are not out yet so my claim that Zach is my first non-politician, non-author, genuine political commentator is still true. On the radio interview I will find out more about when they will be available and how readers/listeners can get a copy! Zach, I really appreciate you taking the time to help with this written interview in advance of our live radio interview on August 5th. I’m sure a lot of people who read this will be sure to tune in. Meanwhile I’m really looking forward to the radio show.