David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

Arts and Culture Archive
October 3, 2014

My Two New Web Sites Just Launched
I've been scheming this for years and working off and on since February . . .

August 2, 2014

Then a Cruel Joke, Now a Serious Policy Proposal
An idea I first encountered as a juvenile husband's cruel joke on his young wife is now seriously proposed as policy, to solve a problem which might be much smaller than we've all been thinking: the high divorce rate.

May 16, 2014

What I've Been Writing Lately
It's a movie about the American Fork High School Marching Band, and it premieres next week.

January 31, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part Five
Whatever happens in the tempetuous saga of marriage and the law, we must fortify a defensible position which allows us to protect religious freedom. We must counter the work of bullies and opportunists. And we must forsake a popular definition of religious freedom which doesn't even make sense.

January 28, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part Four
Some folks apparently think that the only questions pertaining to society's laws about marriage are, What is the will of God?, and its corollary, How can we best use our political power at this moment to enforce the will of God by law? I don't object to the first question, but its corollary is the stuff of tyrants. Other questions must be asked.

January 24, 2014

Rights and Rights and Right and the Right: Part Three
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it. If it does, let's take a little walk out back, after I tell you about my possible man-crush.

January 23, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part Two
If my willingness to embrace gay people as friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives, and fellow believers incurs the wrath of the God you worship, I am unmoved. The God I worship understands that the worth of every human soul -- yours, mine, everyone's -- is far greater than the sum of its actual or human-perceived sins.

January 22, 2014

Rights and Rites and Right and the Right: Part One
I am attempting to reason my way through, first, some basic American principles and, second, their possible applications to some thorny modern questions. Eventually -- not today -- I'll get to the question of same-sex marriage itself.

December 31, 2013

Brain Food, Networked Underwear, Antarctic Adventures . . .
. . . SAMs, drones, conspiracy theories, signs of the times . . .

December 26, 2013

Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene
From random acts of kindness to ducks and Swallow, from global cooling to gay marriage.

November 22, 2013

Big, Thumping Heart Redux
By request . . .

November 15, 2013

The Big, Thumping Heart of American Fork
. . . is in Indianapolis just now. It's a band. (We'll return to politics soon enough.)

August 22, 2013

Come As You Are: Reflections on Reunion
The personal context of my quoting Erma Bombeck last weekend at my high school reunion. Bubble bath is mentioned. Unmentioned but mysteriously relevant are: North Dakota's questionable existence, the theme song to Gilligan's Island, Burt Reynolds, the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music, wall telephones in bathrooms, and asking for autographs in embarrassing places.

September 24, 2010

I Almost Missed National Punctuation Day, and I Need to Unload My Desk
As I write, it's still National Punctuation Day, but only just barely. And I've been campaigning again . . .

September 7, 2010

Civilized People Do Not Burn Other People's Holy Books
A pastor in Florida plans to mark September 11 by burning copies of the Koran. You may have noticed that Americans have the right to do some un-American things, even if they're wrong.

June 19, 2010

RAQ: Other Stuff (Mostly Not the Election)
Recently Asked Questions about a general, presidential succession, the federal budget, yachting and golfing, the institutional of marriage, carbonated beverages, etc.

May 4, 2010

Forever Is, but Not Here
I hope I do not offend here by juxtaposing the solemn with the relatively trivial. The space-time continuum seems to have juxtaposed them for me, as it often does, and I, at least, am unoffended. In any case, you really should read the sonnet (not mine).

March 15, 2010

Dessert First, with Romance
This weekend there was Pi. And Pie. And Pie. And an opportunity to help an American soldier in Afghanistan win the heart of a Russian women with literary taste.

February 16, 2010

Limerick Housekeeping
. . . Which is not the same as housekeeping limericks. (Would those be limericks which keep house, or limericks about housekeeping? Dunno.) Things get a little strange by the end, anyway, once the discussion moves beyond an important life lesson.

February 1, 2010

Limericists of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose but Your . . . uh . . . uh . . .
As I post this, the Deadline of Deadlines looms. Entries to the Third Annual LocalCommentary.com Groundhog Day Limerick Contest must arrive in my Inbox by 12:00 noon, Mountain Standard Time, tomorrow -- that is, February 2, Groundhog Day.

January 30, 2010

Reminder: Limerick Contest Deadline Looms
As I post this, you have just over 72 hours to polish your verse and get it to my Inbox.

January 13, 2010

Accumulated Thoughts
On the Importance of Being Trivial. Things We'll Never Read. Doubly Cool. Watch Massachusetts on Tuesday. Thinking Democrats. What Do the Numbers Mean?

January 12, 2010

Groundhog Day Limerick Contest
You don't have to be Shakespeare to pen a limerick or two or three. And if you were Shakespeare, you couldn't enter this contest, because you'd be deceased.

January 1, 2010

. . . and happy new year!

December 16, 2009

On the Nature of Science
. . . And the sort of suspicions which are justified when people push science as something it is not.

December 15, 2009

More Accumulated Thoughts (Less Turkey)
Doubts about Afghanistan. Fiscal hypocrisy. Climate change hypocrisy. Something silly in the state of Denmark. Very little mention of Tiger Woods. Football and the Commerce Clause.

December 14, 2009

Accumulated Turkey-Related Thoughts
Thanksgiving turkeys, economic turkeys, pardoned turkeys, and more.

November 21, 2009

Excellent Musical Theater at American Fork High School
The celebrated magic of The Wizard of Oz is mostly lost on me and always has been. But the magic of American Fork High School's excellent performance of that musical last evening was not lost on me at all. This is a very enjoyable production, with much to recommend it.

November 17, 2009

Epilogue: Marching Band, Victory, and Justifying the Costs
Some hard questions are reasonable to ask, even if they seem harsh, as long as they are asked for the purpose of finding an answer. And humanity doth not live by bread alone (to borrow a phrase).

November 10, 2009

A community gives back.

November 9, 2009

AFHS Marching Band: Regional Champions Raising Money in a Hurry for Nationals
If I were a betting man, I think I'd bet that they can do it, too, even if the amount is about $250,000 and the deadline is approximately tomorrow.

October 26, 2009

American Fork's China Isle (A Brief Review)
Go there. Today. You might consider the Walnut Shrimp, but I get the impression you could throw a dart at the menu, order whatever it hits, and be just fine.

October 13, 2009

Pride and Grace and Courage and Some Tears
If it was the angels, one of them was named Heather.

September 24, 2009

happy punctuation day
in honor of national punctuation day i have written this post without using a single punctuation mark im sorry if that seems sadistic but you dont have to read it if you dont want to so maybe its not so much that im a sadist as that youre a masochist enjoy

September 21, 2009

Random Thoughts, Mostly Brief
An AARP radio ad, Kung Fu Panda philosophy, the divine attribute of omnipresence, the intersection of MoTab and Cougar football, and, best of all, goat sacrifice.

September 14, 2009

The Season's Last Concert in the Park
It's the Utah Premier Brass, so we already know it will be good.

August 21, 2009

Forgive Me. It's a Limerick.
A true limerick is a single stanza, but occasionally some literary derelict tries multiple stanzas. I have done so here, with apologies to whatever literary gods there be.

August 3, 2009

My primary mission in attending the American Fork History and Heritage Pageant tonight was to see how they did with my script. They did well.

August 1, 2009

American Fork History and Heritage Pageant
You might think a cemetery is a strange place for historical pageants; it seems just about right to me. In any case, the American Fork Cemetery is, for three evenings, the city's social and artistic hub.

July 31, 2009

At Large in the Bay Area
I'm back. Here are some highlights which have nothing directly to do with politics, life among the Mormons, or anything else I usually belabor here at the blog.

July 19, 2009

Ruminations on the Rush Limbaugh Quilt
Where do girly men, cigars, and air-conditioned politics meet? At the quilt show, of course. I was there. I was tricked into being there. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

July 18, 2009

On Parade (or at Least AT the Parade)
Results of this year's Steel Days Parade Political Straw Poll. My own Parade Awards, featuring everything from a world-class high school marching band (you know which one) to fake eyeballs.

July 3, 2009

An assortment of curious tales from the national scene, a couple of local notes, and a weird Mormon moment.

June 22, 2009

Random Thoughts
Obamacare, cemeteries, the census, Facebook, Philly cheese steak, and SLAPP.

June 20, 2009

Facing Facebook
I finally joined Facebook. I'm having fun and making plans. I still do not tweet, in case you're wondering.

June 9, 2009

Two Concerts in the Park (More to Come)
The family and I have now attended the first two concerts in this summer's Concerts in the Park series in American Fork. They were both excellent. But if you see a guy wearing his baseball cap indoors at church or at city council sometime soon, please do me a favor: knock it off. And more to the point, confiscate his cell phone, in case he's the guy who was sitting behind me last night in the Amphitheater.

June 8, 2009

Peggy Noonan Day (and Some Housekeeping)
Here are links to a few excellent, recent Peggy Noonan columns, and to some other things I've read lately, some as recently as today.

May 9, 2009

Three Good Things I Saw in American Fork This Week
Excellent work by a contractor on the pressurized irrigation project, a faster City response to a nuisance problem than we used to expect, and an excellent stage production.

April 22, 2009

Miscellaneous Thoughts
Beautiful music, ramblings about Earth Day, the national basketball championship you didn't hear about, a morsel of good news about property taxes in American Fork, and . . . have we lost our institutional mind?

April 10, 2009

A Recent Long Weekend in Obamaland
Washington, DC, that is. There was food. There was art. There was a very large gaggle of enthusiastic conservatives.

February 17, 2009

Good Food, and How to Make Good Policies Look Bad
The folks at Olive Garden cared, when I went there for dinner, about the quality of my experience and the impression they made. This is the principal difference between my Grilled Shrimp Caprese and the documents American Fork City provides to residents who wish to opt out of the newly-expanded recycling program.

October 18, 2008

Don't Slander Robin Hood (and Selected Readings)
The hero of Sherwood Forest stole from the government, not rich individuals. A few readings on the election, the economic meltdown, and other themes.

September 1, 2008

Blackmail Photos
From the American Fork Heritage and History Pageant, that is.

August 6, 2008

I'll Be Wearing a Badge. He'll Be Wearing a Dress.
American Fork's annual History and Heritage Pageant starts Friday evening, continues Saturday evening, and ends Monday evening. It's at the American Fork Cemetery, and I'm not sure I know how to make it sound as enjoyable as it really is.

June 10, 2008

Mr. Spock, My Childhood Hero
Yes, that Spock. My mother thought he looked like Satan.

March 20, 2008

My Bracket (and Lesser Things)
The Washington Post has my bracket; be a little patient with their web site. And I suggest three things to read about politics and/or education, in case you are one of those odd ducks who don't love college basketball.

March 15, 2008

Fredette, Fairness, Fairlie, (Non)Fiction, and Further Thoughts
A miscellany of accumulated reading-induced thoughts, some about politics, some about sports, some about other things.

February 16, 2008

Ah, the Humanity!
I could use a vacation. Show them you're the most important person in the room. And mind those foreseeable opposite consequences. (A veritable verbal mosaic of awareness ribbons, congressional deserters, cell phones, state and local legislators, defenseless wild bunnies and birdies, zealous residents, and boring neckwear.)

February 13, 2008

Last-Minute Valentinish (and Other) Thoughts
A link to winning limericks. Some Valentine's Day thoughts. Things to read if you prefer politics. Something to watch if you prefer math. A note on delegate counts.

February 1, 2008

The Genesis of "Groundhog Day (Observed)"
This official LocalCommentary.com decree changes the date on which Groundhog Day 2008 is celebrated, from February 2 to February 8, for reasons stated herein.

January 14, 2008

NIE, AF, Gitmo, AF the Movie, and More
. . . including a lawnmower analogy and the phrase, "if headlines were fishes" . . .

December 31, 2007

Christmas Music and Christmas Politics
The two don't really go together, but they coexist in my last blog post of the year, along with a bunch of Mormons, a former Southern Baptist minister, and some (other) really nice people.

December 3, 2007

About Town: Music, Negotiations, Ballots, and Irrigation
Catching up . . . and some thoughts on the American Fork Symphony's latest concert.

November 6, 2007

The Chance to Play Against Notre Dame
Not all the best sports writing is about baseball.

October 30, 2007

Dolphin-Free Oil Now Available in American Fork
World Class Auto Service on Main Street welcomes a new neighbor. Will Good Earth Natural Foods reciprocate? It might be amusing.

October 16, 2007

Meet the American Fork City Council Candidates, and Millie
The only thing these two topics have in common is that I mention them in the same blog post.

September 18, 2007

La Vigna da Campania
"The Vineyard of Campania," that is, if my Italian is correct. (Warning: I have never learned Italian.)

August 30, 2007

Utah Premier Brass
American Fork's summer concert series ends impressively.

August 14, 2007

American Fork Notes: Music, Arts
A very good band, a positively amazing band, and a major advance behind the scenes for the local arts community.

August 6, 2007

Concerts in the Park, and Bringing the Dead to Life in the Cemetery
You don't always have to pay for quality entertainment in American Fork.

June 5, 2007

The Paul Burnside Band and Other Local Notes
A band, an empty seat, and a long-awaited improvement in American Fork.

May 15, 2007

The Tsar's Singers
Four Russian men, four black robes, four music folders, and a tuning fork added up to something heavenly tonight.

May 12, 2007

Random Smokin' Thoughts
First, I have to say positive things about the Utah Jazz, because 'tis the season. Then I present my two-part plan for a kinder, gentler, less littered society. Preview: It's a pair of truces.

May 7, 2007

The Arts, the Jazz, the Debates, the Veto
Had I done any blogging at all last week, here are some things I might have blogged about.

April 11, 2007

Congressman Cannon and Multiple Bloggers as Lab Rats, or An Uneasy Hybrid of Political Junkie and Web Geek
. . . But don't get the idea that I didn't enjoy it. It was interesting on several levels.

April 10, 2007

Grab-Bag: Music, Vouchers, Freedom, and a Conservative Daydream
You might say it's leftover night. I happen to enjoy leftovers.

April 3, 2007

The Bracket: Seventh Grade 1, Blogger 0
One more look at the bracket. I was vanquished by my daughter's seventh-grade class.

April 3, 2007

Family Honk Evening
I knew the story of the Ugly Duckling, of course, but hadn't seen the musical. The bullfrog was standing ovation material.

March 26, 2007

Bracket Watch: It Ain't Pretty
This quick summary of my bracketological incompetence has a shocking, pathetic confession at the end.

March 19, 2007

More Madness
If you must know, though I haven't checked the math, I think I'm picking the winners of NCAA tournament games only very slightly better than would a trained chimp flipping a coin. That's the least of about three reasons why I don't bet on these things -- which is not even remotely my point.

March 19, 2007

Monday Evening at the Historic American Fork City (Recital) Hall
A pleasant Monday evening concert for the family, in American Fork's newest recital venue.

March 16, 2007

Basketball Heaven, Day Two
More of the same.

March 15, 2007

Basketball Heaven, Day One
This isn't about politics. It's more serious than that.

February 27, 2007

I Ran Away to Chicago -- in February!
I'd do it again, too. Art, pizza, Russian bookstores, a Chicago hot dog . . . And a flight delay led to an excellent lunch in Houston. (Note: This is not about politics. Not everything is, you know.)

February 20, 2007

The Sublime and the Quotidian
Vocal Works, the Crescent Super Band, a Maynard Ferguson tribute, and a church talent show.

February 14, 2007

A Little Valentine's Day Rerun
364 days ago, I offered a bit of advance help for this Valentine's Day.

February 2, 2007

More Groundhog Day Lore
Limerick contest winners, a local groundhog alternative, and more.

January 31, 2007

Groundhog Day Is Coming
Why Groundhog Day? What we're doing at my house. What you could do to celebrate the day. And a groundhog injustice in the making.

January 19, 2007

Some Sample Limericks
I couldn't resist -- I didn't really try -- and I am quite unapologetic.

January 12, 2007

More Local Notes
A quick report on the newly renovated City Hall, talk of two local jazz bands, and news of a skateboard park.

January 9, 2007

An Italian Deli, a Classic Movie, and a Little Christmas Gift from the American Fork City Council
Tony's Italian Deli on Main Street in American Fork, that is; and The Princess Bride; and . . . well, read it for yourself.

December 21, 2006

The Other Wise Man
Contemporary American chamber opera, professional wrestling, beauty, and power meet in my review of The Other Wise Man. (The production itself has all but one of these. Guess which.)

December 18, 2006

Wasatch Winds Wow
Okay, that's too much alliteration, but they wowed me tonight at their Christmas concert.

December 4, 2006

The American Fork Symphony's Christmas Concert
Here's my brief, selective review of tonight's concert, which I definitely enjoyed. Best of all were the vocal soloists. (Hats off, gentlemen. I said hats off!)

December 1, 2006

Musings While Trying to Fly Home from Albany
Superb customer service, a unusual late-November lightning storm, and comments on upstate New York cuisine . . . Not very political at all, really.

October 24, 2006

I'll Have My Longhair Music in Bright Orange, Please
I'm not a great fan of Halloween, but last evening's concert by Vocal Works, entitled "Wicked Good," was easily one of the best concerts I have attended in American Fork, besides being a lot of fun.

October 14, 2006

Random Thoughts
Okay, so the North Koreans have nukes, the Iranians soon will have, we're having an epidemic of school shootings, and the words "Speaker Pelosi" have a shot at being used together quite a bit next year. That shouldn't mean we stop laughing, should it? Here are some mostly apolitical morsels to assist you.

September 27, 2006

Locally: Five Short Notes
Broadband, 900 West, HDTV, Paris, and a meaningless statistic. Did you know lumpenproletariat is one word?

September 26, 2006

People Will Say We're in Love . . .
Now that was a fun evening.

September 20, 2006

I Blinked for Two Days, and Look What I Missed
I missed Talk Like a Pirate Day, a coup in Thailand, tax tweaks, and angry Muslims. I didn't miss a good cartoon or an undeservedly obscure anniversary.

August 29, 2006

Another Pleasant Musical Evening in American Fork
In describing the last of the season's concerts in the park -- actually, in the amphitheater in the park -- I manage to use the words expatiate, toddlerhood, and Klingon. Beat that. I dare you.

August 22, 2006

Concerts in the Park: Excellent!
A fine new community band, a renowned local brass band, and a young, local country singer shared the stage Monday in American Fork. Together, they made a fine musical evening.

July 30, 2006

Beauty and Brains
Maybe it's by design. Maybe it just happened. In any case, there was an impressive improvement in an important detail. Apparently it is not fanciful to hope for beauty and brains.

March 16, 2006

Basketball, Basketball, and More (NCAA) Basketball
The best part of the experience so far this year is new: CBS's free on-demand streaming video of NCAA tournament games.

March 15, 2006

Do Little Things Matter? And Avionic Flu . . .
In professional settings, how much does spelling count? How about typeface? How about good writing generally? And you'll want to read up on "avionic" flu.

February 20, 2006

A Late, Exquisite Valentine
Notes on a late valentine, featuring a fine restaurant, a favorite bookstore chain, and two first-rate musical ensembles.

February 18, 2006

This Week's Readings
Suzanne Fields, Paul Greenberg, and George Will head the list. Jeff Jacoby has a great euphemism. Paul Greenberg (in another article) holds up an excellent example of civic activity with style and class. And you get to read the phrase "ahistorical thumbsucking." (Beat that!)

February 15, 2006

Early Help for Next Valentine's Day
I sent my wife several e-mails yesterday with good and/or fun quotes about love. Here are most of them, in case you need them next year. My favorite, at least for yesterday's purposes? This one: Nunc scio quit sit amor. (If your Latin's rusty, google it.)

February 13, 2006

Quick Thoughts on Religious Freedom
Three quick thoughts on religious freedom.

January 13, 2006

Real Progress Is Often Slow, and Other Thoughts
Random thoughts on nuisance abatement, the Daily Herald's new Web site, pipe organs made locally, etc.

January 5, 2006

Things to Watch for in American Fork
I suppose that quite a number of American Fork residents who are interested in their city government, as I am, are watching the new Mayor and partly-new City Council . . .

December 9, 2005

Smart Stuff to Read
Steven Spielberg, Republican moral cowardice, Peggy Noonan on Iraq, and a good piece on immigration reform.

December 7, 2005

Recommended Readings
Recommended readings on Iraq, the President, Wal-Mart, abortion, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the 2008 presidential election, good books, oil company profits, "stupidization," and more.

December 6, 2005

A Musical Memory, Circa Christmas 1981

December 5, 2005

A Minor League Team, er, Symphony, Is a Good Thing

December 5, 2005

My First American Fork Symphony Concert

November 25, 2005

A Splendid Evening of Music in American Fork

November 19, 2005

The Music School and a (Crescent) Super Band

November 12, 2005

Local Gasoline Prices, a Pleasant Political Escape, and Good Readings on Many Topics

October 31, 2005

Good, Recent Readings

October 28, 2005

One Last Round with American Fork Mayoral Candidates

October 21, 2005

I Met the City Council Candidates (Again)

October 20, 2005

Eating Pizza in the Public Library with Candidates

October 19, 2005

Some Overdue Housekeeping: Commander in Chief, Open Meeting Statutes, a Flyer, and Selecting a New Police Chief (Not Necessarily in That Order)

October 15, 2005

Good Readings, Various Topics

September 29, 2005

I Met Even More Candidates, Part I (Or Is It IV?)

September 28, 2005

More Good Reads (and Procrastinating the President)

September 12, 2005

The John Roberts Inquisition, Plus Good Stuff to Read

August 31, 2005

LaVaughn, LaVerl, Hurricane Katrina, and the International Community

August 27, 2005

The West Wing

August 16, 2005

About Bullies: Look Out for That Passive Voice

July 29, 2005

4-H Talent Show at the Utah County Fair, A Year Later

July 22, 2005

An Assortment: From Art and Language to Constitutional Law and Foreign Policy

June 23, 2005

On Manners

June 18, 2005

The Great American Fork Chili Cook-off, and Dick Durbin and John McCain Cook Off, Too

June 17, 2005

Good Articles for Father's Day

June 16, 2005

Goodbye, Joan, You Were My Favorite

May 27, 2005


May 19, 2005

That Billboard on Main Street, American Fork

May 11, 2005

Common Sense: How not to Be Poor

April 22, 2005

Earth Day and Recycling in American Fork

April 19, 2005

Parenting, Social Security, and Pope John Paul II

April 16, 2005

Thoughts for the Day After Yesterday

April 8, 2005

Glam Rock Meets Home Teaching

March 31, 2005

Thoughts on the Late Terri Schiavo

March 22, 2005

The Weird Arts in American Fork, Revisited

March 8, 2005

Moosebutter: A Local Cultural Icon

February 28, 2005

Garage Jumping

February 23, 2005

Tom Hunter Goes, Jimmie Cates Comes

February 8, 2005

They're Not Helping the Children

February 2, 2005

Groundhog Day and the State of the Union

January 31, 2005

It's Time to Save the Harrington School

January 19, 2005

The Greatest Inaugural Speech, IMO

November 18, 2004

Supporting Our Troops

November 17, 2004

Mormons, Abortion Policy, Harry Reid

November 4, 2004

Political Miscellany

November 1, 2004

Christmas Already?

September 27, 2004

Paul Hamm, the Court, and Election 2000 Revisited

September 24, 2004

A Polite Young Pedestrian

September 21, 2004

A New Psychic in American Fork

September 11, 2004

Looking Back: 9/11, Part Two

September 10, 2004

Looking Back: 9/11, Part One

September 1, 2004

Stylianos Kyriakides

August 24, 2004

It's Bush/Gore 2000 All Over Again

August 5, 2004

Summer Reading: Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"

August 3, 2004

Mormon Satire: The Sugar Beet, RIP

July 30, 2004

The Arts in Utah Valley: A Microcosm