Travelin’ Man

If we get “my” four states  — WY, MT, UT, and ID  —  odds are we’ll have 34 by the summer solstice.  And wouldn’t that be sweet.  The granddaddy of this movement, Lew Uhler, told me today that he should be able to pick up my travel expenses, so there’s no excuse for me not to go to each of them myself.  My preference would be to drive.  I can get to Salt Lake in a day, and from there Boise, Helena, and Cheyenne are all a day’s drive apart.  Winter driving is no big deal, and I’ll have 4 wheel drive.  I’d be able to stop by Bozeman and see two of my sons.

If I’m testifying before committees this wouldn’t work  — no way to line them up in succession.  I’ll talk to our sponsors and Bill and Dave about that.  It’s really better to lobby members individually, prior to the hearing, as opposed to public testimony before the committee.

Utah doesn’t go into session until Jan. 26th, so this would be a February trip.  We’ll see.

I’ve never worked with a better set of guys than Dave Biddulph, Bill Fruth, Scott Rogers, and the rest of the Task Force.  It’s been over a year now.  No hierarchy or titles, no egos, no infighting or backstabbing  — no one has any issues.  We all have our faults, but we tolerate one another.

I’m going to ask the whole Task Force to join me on August 21st, 2017 at Jackson Lake, Wyoming, at the foot of the mighty Tetons.  We’ll watch the total eclipse of the sun.

And congratulate one another.


We’ll be ‘competing” with the CS people in a number of target states, including Wyoming and Montana.   The policy of the Task Force is “all of the above”  — we don’t discourage legislators from voting for the CS plan.  And, logically, there’s no reason a CS advocate to withhold support for the BBA.  We’re 21 states ahead of them, and if we win we’ll be setting a precedent they can use to their benefit.  So in theory there should be no conflict.

I’m thinking we should be magnanimous and praise the CSers.  Their plan is much more comprehensive than ours.  We want an Amendment Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment, and then adjourn.  They’re much more ambitious.  Any amendment which reduced the power and scope of the federal government would be allowed.  Want to get rid of abortion in this country?  Propose an amendment stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion.  Don’t like the IRS?  Pass an amendment to repeal the 16th Amendment.  If you’re in the mood, abolish the EPA.  Oppose nation building overseas?  Pass an amendment to make it unconstitutional.  And when would a CS convention adjourn?  Why would it adjourn at all?  It can be a permanent fourth branch of the federal government.

There’s a radical streak in me that this all appeals to.  But I’m 69, and I’ve learned over the course of my life that radical change freaks people out.  They’re afraid of the unknown, and doubt their capacity to control it.

So I say we praise the CS proposal to the skies, stressing that its possibilities are limited only by the imagination.  God only knows what could come of it.  But also point out that there will be a great more opposition to a CS, and that, practically speaking,  an orderly BBA Convention is a necessary precondition of their own success.

Why can’t we all just get along?

Freedom and the Internet

A diamond is buried in the “cromnibus” recently passed by Congress —  potentially giving Republicans a decisive advantage with millennials.  The Obama administration, in the name of “net neutrality”, was proposing to regulate the internet as a public utility.  This legislation will prevent it.

Republican presidential candidates should make this an issue for 2016.  Millennials love the freedom of the internet, and know, after Obamacare, that the government would cock the whole thing up if they regulated it.  If Rand Paul or John Kasich don’t pick this ball up and run with it they’re not as smart as I thought they were.

In this, as in so many things, Obama and the Democrats are on the wrong side of history.  They’re the contemporary equivalent of the Catholic Church 500 years ago.  Back then Gutenberg and his printing press enabled the destruction of the religious monopoly of the Church, in the process moving from a medieval to a modern world.  Today the internet is an assault on the state itself, along with other ossified institutions such as the media and academia.  It is revolutionary.

Politically, nothing is more important than breaking the communication stranglehold of the media.  For a hundred years they have been in the vanguard of the progressive project, agitating and propagandizing.  Stories that don’t advance the narrative are killed.  Think Walter Duranty and the cover up of the Ukrainian famine.  Twenty years ago, when Matt Drudge used the internet to break the Lewinsky scandal, he was like Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door.

The diffusion of knowledge is the death of tyrants, and the internet is the most radical change in the transmission of knowledge in human history.  In the past, fundamental changes in the means of communication transformed the world.  When we learned to speak, we became human.  When we learned to write, we became civilized.  The printing press created the modern world.

The internet changes everything.  It bends the long arc of history toward truth, and freedom.

We’re going to win.

Winter Solstice

For the next six months, as we get to 34, each day will be longer than the last.  My timeline is the summer solstice.  That would allow the political process of Article V to culminate in a vote, on Nov. 8, 2016, to ratify a BBA.

Bill, Dave and I share a vision.  We part ways on how to get there.  To them the Task Force is stealthy, hoping to sneak its way to 34 before anyone notices.  I see the campaign for the BBA as a concrete political manifestation of a much larger phenomenon  — the drive to take back our freedom.  And I want the campaign to be seen as such.  As it will be, when it is seen.  And the sooner it is seen, the stronger it will be.  That’s why Kasich is a godsend.  His interest, and ours, are the same.  And he has the power, by virtue of who he is, to let this campaign be seen.

The way I see it, right now, we’ve got a real shot at Wyoming because of him.  If he were to pull out, for some reason, I’m very concerned that we could lose Wyoming.  That would be a severe blow, but not fatal.  If, in March of 2016, Virginia becomes our 33rd state,, I think Gov. Mead could be convinced to call a special session to make Wyoming the 34th and deciding state.  I don’t think we get Virginia until then, after the legislative elections of November, 2015.  This will be one of the few actual elections in 2015, and will hopefully feature a debate on a BBA through Article V.

Even without Virginia and Wyoming we could get to 34 by 2015. But we’d have to run the table, no mean feat.  And our two suspect Resolutions would have to hold up, contra Natelson.  What Natelson doesn’t see is the political aspect of aggregation.  The Congressmen who will vote on it aren’t judges, they’re politicians, who can be counted on to vote in their own self interest.  For Republicans in 2015, that will be to aggregate.

How far the drive to take back our freedom goes is up to us.  Who knows how far we can go?  We do know it began on a date certain.  October of 2013, the Obamacare website fiasco, the revelation of the great liberal lie.  At that point the ebb tide against freedom hit low water mark, was spent.

If we win, it will be with the flood.

Anchors aweigh

Matthew Monforton in Montana, Tyler Lindholm in Wyoming.  We’ve got sponsors and bills in our top two targets.  Both young, smart, and dedicated.  And, I’m betting, easy to work with.

We’ve set sail, and like all sailors we now rely on the wind and the tide.  They’re with us, and will only grow stronger.  We’ll rig the ship the best we can, and if the Good Lord is willing we’ll make landfall.

It would be an historic voyage, into uncharted waters.  As we get closer we’ll begin to smell the land, and if we have to we’ll row to shore.

This blog is a log of the journey.  If it’s successful the entire crew, mentioned here and there, will be recognized for what they are: