David Rodeback's Blog

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Miscellaneous Short Thoughts

Quick comments on American Fork City government, the law of gravity, Mr. Justice Alito, a couple of bills before the Utah Legislature, etc.

American Fork City and beyond: Councilman Shirl LeBaron's blog has some comments on the sales tax on food and its impact on municipalities, a warning about a state Senate bill that could unwisely tilt local land use regulations in favor of developers (S.B. 170), and a promising laundry list of changes in City government that are accomplished or in the works (all good, IMO, assuming they're delivered as advertised).

An Education Bill: H.B. 62 proposes to require Utah public school students to read at grade level before being advanced to the next grade. I've read it. It applies to first through third grades and seems to require adequate remedies and allow reasonable exceptions. It even gives the principal discretion to advance the student anyway, upon appeal. The Deseret News reports, and quotes local representative John Dougall (I'm a fan) in the process.

The merits and liabilities of specific proposals like this deserve examination and discussion, of course. I wonder how soon the general message will get through to the public education industry: If the system will not produce accountability on its own, sooner or later accountability will be forced upon it -- probably sooner.

Gravity -- It's the Law: Courtesy of Seth Godin's Blog, I came upon a link today to a site where I can buy classic "Gravity Poster," apparently the original published source of the dictum, "Gravity. It Isn't Just a Good Idea. It's the Law." I'm in a scientific mood; it's very tempting. (I don't get anything if you buy one, by the way. I just like the poster, so I included the link.)

Mr. Justice Alito: The Alito nomination survived cloture yesterday by a substantial margin (suggesting that at least a couple dozen Democratic senators are thinking about their political future) and went to a vote today: 58 yea, 42 nay, and we have a new Supreme Court justice. I hope he's the rule-of-law guy he sounded like.

State of the Union: I won't watch the President's State of the Union speech tonight; I'll be otherwise engaged. I might read it later; it's much faster. But I'm not sure how much most of it matters. Every department of the government gets a sop or two thrown to it, and the overall effect is rather tedious. But we'll see how it goes. Political junkie that I am, I am still more excited about Groundhog Day. (On that topic, stay tuned.)

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