David Rodeback's Blog

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Monday, June 22, 2009
Random Thoughts

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


I've been assuming that the big impetus behind socialized medicine, including Obamacare, whatever that may turn out to be, is the consolidation of political and economic power in the hands of Democrats in government. Power is so much more seductive that mere money, after all. However, if taxpayer-funded medical care turns out to be like taxpayer-funded retirement (Social Security), it could be a cash cow for a while. You see, Al Gore's lockboxes are fictional. The government is not saving your Social Security taxes to pay for your retirement. It's using them to pay current recipients, and here's the fun part: for years surpluses have gone into the federal budget. One wonders: could Obamacare work the same way, at least for a few years or decades? Could it give Congress a whole new pile of money to spend on other stuff?


Here in American Fork, as in most of Utah, I believe, we seem to expect local government to provide our cemeteries. That's getting to be a problem in American Fork, where the admittedly beautiful American Fork Cemetery is almost full (widely known) and also heavily subsidized (not so widely known). But cemeteries don't have to be publicly funded; they are often private businesses. We'd see that happen here in north Utah County, if taxpayer-funded subsidies didn't allow the price of a plot to be kept so low that no private competitor could stay in business trying to compete. A cemetery in Indianapolis provided an amusing view of what life -- er, death -- might be like with private cemeteries: a buy-one-get-one-free sale. Yes, that's one plot.


A couple of weeks ago I noted that the Obama administration is setting itself up to tamper with the 2010 US Census, which affects representation in Congress and the distribution of lots of federal dollars. Here's Orson Scott Card explaining why that's a big deal. (The essay is from February, but no matter. By the way, Card is a Democrat.)


To recent musings about Facebook I add these two thoughts: (1) It wouldn't be much fun if I didn't have an actual life, full of interesting people. And (2) if you're on Facebook and you have a maiden name, and you're not including it, you might as well be hiding from those of us who knew you before you married what's-his-name.

East Coast Credentials, Philly Cheese Steak Style

I haven't eaten at the Downtown Philly in American Fork, but it may be time to renew my East Coast credentials and check it out. Here's a Deseret News review and the establishment's Web site.


I read three or four articles about a recent court decision in a case that interests American Forkers who have been tuned in to city politics for . . . I confess . . . for longer than I have. It's a bit complicated. The Deseret News article made the most sense.

Leisa Hatch comments (6/25/09):

This article from Court News is pretty straightforward in regard to the SLAPP issue as well.

David Rodeback comments (7/2/09):

A minor technical point I learned yesterday: Facebook also allows a "full alternate name," if you don't like putting your maiden name in there between your first name and your married name. (I don't have a maiden name myself, but some of my best friends do, you see.)

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