David Rodeback's Blog

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

Utah Archive
October 30, 2014

More on the Election

October 21, 2014

Tonight's School Boards Debate at Lone Peak High School
This post is at FreedomHabit.com. Link within.

October 20, 2014

David's Handy Little Election Guide . . .
Has been posted at FreedomHabit.com. Link within.

October 3, 2014

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

September 21, 2014

Why One Mormon Doesn't Go to Anti-Gay Marriage Rallies
They're asking why a lot of us don't go, but I can only answer for myself.

July 11, 2014

Things I Have Written and Things I Haven't
A couple of welcome and unusual experiences for this writer, some thoughts on how far we've come (or gone), and what happens when ideology and reality collide.

June 26, 2014

Old News Is Hilarious News
I read today that Brother Wayne Dodge was sentenced to 30 days in jail. I rewrote a song about him once . . .

May 27, 2014

Sacrifice Honored in Stone
In a couple of weeks, a new monument will appear in American Fork's Robinson Park.

April 1, 2014

New Hymns from the Sutherland Institute
How gentle God's commands!
How kind his precepts are!
Now we will do what God forgot:
We'll make them all state law!

March 20, 2014

Why I'm Wavering on the Caucus/Convention System
The Utah Republican Party might be able to extend precinct caucuses somehow to include those who want to attend but cannot, but it doesn't have a history of taking that issue seriously. I'm not sure reforming the system would solve the other problem: the Utah Legislature.

March 19, 2014

A Look Back at Eight Years as a Republican Delegate
For the first time in about a decade, I don't plan to run for delegate at my precinct's caucus tonight. But here on some thoughts on my work in that role in the past eight years and related themes.

February 11, 2014

People Get Arrested, the Opposition Reasons Poorly, and There's Something Governor Herbert Could Do to Help
I assert my religious freedom as constituting the right to worship as I please, while respecting others' legitimate rights; the right to preach whatever gospel I embrace; and immunity from being forced to worship in the manner of the state's or majority's choosing. Despite my personal religious views on sexual morality, this freedom is completely compatible with the presence of gays in my workplace and my apartment building.

February 5, 2014

I Am Unfit for the Utah Legislature
Not that this is news. I just wouldn't fit in. Lately, this becomes clearer every day.

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 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.

October 17, 2013

The Latest Debt and Budget Battle Is Over, and the War Goes On
It was just a battle. It wasn't the war. And here are some thoughts in the aftermath. There's a fun little surprise at the end of the post.

August 25, 2013

I (Re)write the Songs
Do you believe in "better late than never"? Today I'll assume you do. Though a few weeks have passed, one recent caper among the Utah Mormons still retains its full power to make me laugh. (Yes, I know: It's also rather sad.)

August 8, 2013

On Legislating Morality (Yours, Mine, and Ours), Part Two
Our American civic morality, its content and sources, and a difficult contemporary test case. The second post in a two-part series.

August 3, 2013

On Legislating Morality (Yours, Mine, and Ours), Part One
What is morality? Whose, if anyone's, ought we legislate? Does speaking of multiple moralities make me a moral relativist? A little-known morsel of relevant history from the Mayflower period. (The first post in a two-part series.)

May 21, 2013

Notes on the Convention
If you wonder what a state party convention is like in non-election years, or if you want to know what Utah Republicans did and didn't do on Saturday, or if you're in American Fork Precinct 9 and you want a report on my duties as a delegate, this post's for you.

May 17, 2013

"We Can't Be Late! We're Dele-Gates!"
(Ten points for any reader who correctly identifies the quotation in the title.) I'm off to the state Republican convention tomorrow. Here are some notes about issues that will arise there.

August 24, 2012

Scattered Thoughts
Ten paragraphs, ten different topics. Clue-finding trips, Paul Ryan, your dubious constitutional right to shoot out my windows, things that set my head to Akin', and more.

June 25, 2012

My Votes in the Republican Primary
Here's my take on the six races on my Republican primary ballot tomorrow. I'll even hazard a few predictions, not all of which make me happy.

June 21, 2012

Dan Liljenquist's Wishful Thinking
If Orrin Hatch weren't a great, conservative US Senator, I'd happily vote for Dan Liljenquist next week. Utah's controversial caucus and convention system worked well in this case; if there must be a primary, these two should be in it. Liljenquist is by far the best of Hatch's Republican challengers this year, but his campaign still prefers wishful thinking to reality on too many points.

June 5, 2012

Why Local Governments Lose Touch with the People, Part III
There's a structural and philosophical reason why the public often feels that its public schools are detached and unresponsive. It involves two different views of the proper role of the people's elected representatives. I'll explain here by looking at my own Alpine School District.

June 2, 2012

Why Local Governments Lose Touch with the People, Part II
If a local government near you seems out of touch with the people, the root problem may be structural. Here are some symptoms to watch for.

May 31, 2012

Why Local Governments Lose Touch with the People, Part I
Introduction. The legislative branches of our governments are supposed to represent the people in making law and overseeing the activities of the other branches of government, especially the executive. In too many cases the executive branch usurps legislative functions and interferes with representation.

May 29, 2012

The Hatch-Liljenquist Debate Debate
One is enough. More than two or three would be excessive. Eight is absurd, and the Liljenquist campaign is too smart not to know it. My thoughts on what's going on here . . .

April 21, 2012

My Post-Convention Report
Miscellaneous notes on today's state Republican convention, including the exciting, the intriguing, the wacky, and the weird.

April 20, 2012

One State Republican Delegate's Preconvention Report
My last post was long enough to reach the ground -- an old writing teacher's standard of length. But the ground was a long, long way down, even if the post was still a bit shorter than FreedomWorks' 44-page anti-Hatch document. This post is relatively brief, a summary of my thoughts and intentions on the eve of tomorrow's state Republican convention.

April 19, 2012

Why I Support Senator Orrin Hatch (Part Four)
In this fourth and -- at least for now -- final installment, I list and discuss criticisms of Senator Hatch's record which are true, in contrast to the lies and deceptions I discussed last time.

April 18, 2012

Why I Support Senator Orrin Hatch (Part Three)
An out-of-state group called FreedomWorks has led the effort to defeat Senator Orrin Hatch. Much of what they say about Hatch's voting record is false or deceptive. I assume FreedomWorks understands this, though I doubt the same could generally be said of the Utahans they've rallied to their cause.

March 13, 2012

Why I Support Senator Orrin Hatch (Part Two)
Four more reasons why I support Senator Orrin Hatch's reelection in 2012.

March 10, 2012

Why I Support Senator Orrin Hatch (Part One)
The right-wing zealots' long knives have been out for Senator Orrin Hatch since the 2010 convention where Senator Robert Bennett was defeated. I was a Republican delegate then; I helped defeat him. I wasn't anywhere near the anyone-but-Bennett bandwagon; there was simply a better alternative, Mike Lee. 2012 is much different.

December 13, 2011

Tonight in American Fork
After a long hearing in which more than 20 people spoke, the American Fork City Council tabled its proposed Housing and Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinances. Here's the mostly-untold story of how and why, plus my statement from the hearing.

December 1, 2011

A Practical Test of American Fork's Commitment to Freedom
In December the American Fork Council has an interesting and important opportunity to weigh competing principles and vote on the depth of our city's commitment to essential American freedoms.

October 20, 2011

Democracy of Sheep, Democracy of Thugs
Two crucial democratic pillars of our republic are under assault, from within government and without.

July 27, 2011

Nine Ways to Lose My Vote
Last time I described what I generally look for in candidates for local office, focusing on qualities more than issues. I also promised my readers a list of things candidates can do or say to encourage me to vote for someone else. That's today's topic.

July 25, 2011

What I Want in My Candidates
I recently held forth on the weeks or months potential candidates spend considering whether to run or not. This early phase of our electoral process is below the radar for most offices, but it's as important as anything in our politics. We must get the right kind of people on the ballot, so we can vote for them. Today's topic is how to recognize them once they're on the ballot.

July 7, 2011

A Crucial Phase
Election days are important in our democratic republic, and so are the campaigns which precede them. But one of the most crucial phases in our self-government comes much earlier. It ends with the filing period, but it begins long before.

November 3, 2010

Stream of Semi-Consciousness: Scattered Post-Election Thoughts
Winners, losers, turnout, 2010, and other thoughts, as they occur.

November 2, 2010

Breaking News: Not One, but Two Local Candidates Lead Double Lives
It's Election Day, or in other words, the eye of the storm. We're in the relative calm between the insanity of the election campaign and the insanity of the pundits' endless post mortems. This is the day when we real American bloggers exercise our God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed right to make fun of the candidates by pretending we write for The Onion -- but, conspicuously, with fewer expletives. (That's a disclaimer. Think about it.)

October 30, 2010

David's Handy, Idiosyncratic Election Guide, November 2010 Version
Here's a quick look at everything I expect to be on my ballot when I get to my polling place on Tuesday morning.

October 22, 2010

I Met the Candidates in American Fork
Here are some words I don't say every decade: I'm voting for a Democrat.

October 15, 2010

What the Words Mean, Part IV: Socialism
Today's word is socialism. We'll talk about it and its role in the present debate over the Alpine School District's official mission, goals, and values.

October 14, 2010

What the Words Mean, Part III: Democracy
Today's word is democracy. It has at least as long as history as republic and at least as many legitimate meanings.

October 12, 2010

The Zebra Effect
If you're a lion, the zebra effect makes it hard to distinguish specific animals in a running herd. In politics, well, stay tuned. I'm about to invent a meaning.

October 8, 2010

What the Words Mean, Part II: Republic
Today's word is republic. It's word with a long history, and that history matters.

October 6, 2010

What the Words Mean, Part I: Setting the Stage
A lot of what's being said these days in school board races and in the Alpine School District generally turns on the definitions of words with many definitions.

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 . . .

June 23, 2010

Disenfranchised? Not . . .
Ethan Millard claims that most of Utah's 1.5 million registered voters were disenfranchised yesterday. I think none of them were. What do you think?

June 23, 2010

Primary Aftermath
A quick look at selected election results from yesterday, and some analysis -- including my theory about how Tim Bridgewater narrowly lost a race he probably could have won.

June 21, 2010

I'd Like to Keep Being Spoiled
Not all of my elected representatives spoil me. Tim Osborn of the Alpine School Board does. I'd like to keep him there.

June 17, 2010

He Said, She Said, They Said, We Said
A brief exploration of the minor campaign flap du jour: Republican Senate candidate Mike Lee backing out of a debate. I guarantee we do not know the whole story, but there is ample reason to suspect that the real story differs somewhat from that of the debate's now-angry sponsors.

June 16, 2010

Anchor Babies and the Fourteenth Amendment
Does Mike Lee's and Tim Bridgewater's advocacy of denying automatic US citizenship to "anchor babies" (children born in the US to parents who are in the country illegally) mean they're ignoring the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, as some suggest? A little investigation removes all certainty; it's just not that simple.

June 15, 2010

RAQ: Utah's Senate Race and the System Generally
Recently Asked Questions and answers about the Mike Lee-Tim Bridgewater Senate race, the caucus/convention system, and . . . how do we really know what we're doing?

June 2, 2010

Lee and Bridgewater Debate in American Fork
Both candidates are conservative. Both spoke well and stayed on message. It was a good hour.

June 1, 2010

Primary Candidates Gather in American Fork (Part 1, Everything but Senate)
Primary candidates were (mostly) present or represented from three races in the first hour: Republicans for Utah County Commission; Democrats for US House of Representatives (Utah 2nd); and three candidates in a non-partisan race for Alpine School Board.

May 28, 2010

Labels as Alternatives to Thought and Effort
It is when labels become substitutes for serious thought and effort that they do us harm.

May 18, 2010

Join a Major Political Party. I Don't Care Which One.
To paraphrase our first president, it is the interest and duty of a wise people to restrain its political parties. At present, this is the only way to restrain and redirect our government. The only way to do that effectively in the short run or the long run is from the inside.

May 17, 2010

Lee over Bridgewater: The Abridged Version
Some people thanked me for the length and detail of my previous post. Some people asked for a shorter version, and here it is.

May 14, 2010

Mike Lee over Tim Bridgewater: My Explanation
I have wanted to evaluate the candidates thoroughly enough to be comfortable supporting one over the other. Meanwhile, you might say I've been staying not so much on the fence as within an arm's length of the fence. Now I'm finally ready to abandon the fence altogether and say, Mike Lee for Senate. Here's why.

May 11, 2010

Bravo, Daily Herald!
The editorial on Senator Bennett's defeat is excellent, insightful.

May 11, 2010

More Convention Notes and Aftermath
A real one-vote margin. An impressive twelve year old. A cautionary and revealing tale of closed and open primaries, in the context of Chase Everton's proposed caper.

May 10, 2010

Coup? Outrage? Right Wing Run Amok?
None of the three, actually. Senator Bennett was defeated Saturday in a proper, fair electoral process -- and he lasted longer in the voting than any of the right-wing radicals on the ballot.

May 8, 2010

Post-Convention Musings
I tweeted and tweeted and tweeted, and Facebooked. Why I'm not ecstatic about Senator Bennett's loss, even though I voted for someone else -- and it's not buyer's remorse. Some analysis of the Senate campaign. Some topics for the near future. A tribute.

May 8, 2010

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It's Off to [Convention] We Go . . .
We can't be late!
We're delegates!
Hi-ho! Hi-ho! (with thanks and/or apologies to Bloom County and the Meadow Party)

May 6, 2010

State Delegate Due Diligence, Part Two
Enough candid notes on the Republican candidates -- mostly the US Senate candidates in Utah -- to displease nearly everyone who wishes to be displeased.

May 5, 2010

State Delegate Due Diligence, Part One
Tonight, my notes on the delegate experience so far. Tomorrow, lots of little thoughts about the various candidates.

May 3, 2010

An Evening with Neil Walter
Finally, my notes on a substantive evening with congressional candidate Neil Walter, touching on fiscal and economic matters, immigration, and other topics.

April 24, 2010

Notes and Numbers from the Utah County Republican Convention
There were a couple of surprises today -- at least to me -- in one of the county commission races. Parking was a challenge. Lots of good conversations were had among the delegates. And generally speaking, civility ruled the day at the Utah County Republican Party Nominating Convention at Mountain View High School in Orem.

April 23, 2010

Campaigns for County Commission
I'm studying candidates and issues a little more before tomorrow's convention, but here are some notes on the campaigns themselves, not so much the candidates and their issues.

March 20, 2010

Update on Republican House and Senate Candidates
The official list of Utah Republican candidates for the US Senate and House of Representatives, now that the filing deadline has passed.

March 16, 2010

Republican Candidates in Utah's Second Congressional District
Here's my initial take on Neil Walter and Morgan Philpot, who are vying for the Republican nomination to oppose incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson. At the end, there's a stellar quotation from Daniel Webster, which by itself is worth the price of admission (your reading time, I mean).

February 25, 2010

Where the Wild Thoughts Are
Join me for a few moments in imagining an alternate educational and political universe. Maybe it's crazy, but crazy can be therapeutic. And what if it's not crazy?

February 23, 2010

Media Coverage of Last Week's Town Hall Meeting
Also some mentions of the meeting in discussions of larger issues, and capers and potential capers on the parts of Congressman Jason Chaffetz and former Congressman Merrill Cook.

February 20, 2010

Reflections on Senator Hatch's Audience in American Fork
This long post is not intended to be a detailed report on US Senator Orrin Hatch's town meeting in American Fork on Wednesday, though it contains a lot of detail about things that were said there by the audience. It is more a collection of my reflections on that audience -- what they said, how they acted, how they fit into our participatory democracy. Fair warning is given: I do some name-calling. I identify some statements from the meeting as suggesting cluelessness, and some others as suggesting closed-minded right-wing zealotry. My months-old political optimism was threatened briefly by what I saw and heard; here I also explain what restored it. Finally, I tell you why I think all this matters.

January 29, 2010

One-on-One with Senate Candidate Tim Bridgewater
A brief look at field of challengers for US Senator Bob Bennett, and more lengthy notes on my 45-minute telephone interview with Tim Bridgewater last evening.

January 14, 2010

Mike Lee for Senate
Last week, Mike Lee declared his candidacy for US Senate, opposing fellow Republican Bob Bennett. I'll scrutinize the other candidates, too, but there's now at least one intelligent conservative in the race.

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?

November 3, 2009

A Quick Look at Election Results
Results of American Fork races and a few other races of interest in Utah and elsewhere.

November 3, 2009

Where to Vote and What I'm Watching
In addition to races of local interest, at least four are of national interest, in New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine.

October 30, 2009

An Invitation, a Photo, and Campaign Hanky-Panky to the North and South
The photo's about the AF rap flap. The invitation and the hanky-panky are not.

September 18, 2009

The Federal Government Can Have One-Sixth of Utah -- on One Condition
There's nothing a multi-term Congressman or Senator understands better than quid pro quo. So if they choose the quid, we get to choose the quo. See what you think.

September 8, 2009

Two Questions, Please, Senator
If enough others have the same questions, Senator Robert Bennett has a potential problem in 2010.

August 29, 2009

I Think I Found a Great Candidate
For a House or Senate seat, I mean. Will he run? For what office? Where do I sign up to help the campaign?

August 10, 2009

Three Utahans: The Nominee, the Religious Bigot, and the Racist
Thoughts on three Utahans who made the news last week in unrelated stories.

July 11, 2009

Excellent Readings
Climate change, Obamacare, Sarah Palin, Robert McNamara, a jobless recovery, American Fork, and more.

July 6, 2009

Some Very Recent Readings
Cap and trade and the EPA cover-up; affirmative action and the Ricci case; and miscellany featuring such names as Franken, Huntsman, Whitman, and Palin, among others.

July 3, 2009

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

June 19, 2009

A Primer for Aspiring Tyrants: Techniques Used by Experts
Tyranny is a growth industry now, you see. If you don't aspire to it, read this as opposition research.

June 11, 2009

Foolishness du Jour and a Perfect Rainbow
I really wish I had a photo -- of the rainbow and its setting, that is, not the foolishness.

June 5, 2009

Fleeting Wisps of Blogger Glory
A wisp for me from a reader's e-mail; a wisp for MFCC from the Deseret News.

May 29, 2009

A View of Governor Huntsman from the Left
Huntsman and conservative issues, Huntsman and China, Huntsman and Mitt Romney, Huntsman and 2016, etc.

May 21, 2009

Craig Frank's Folly
Zeal without wisdom is a dangerous thing, even when all it does is open its mouth.

May 16, 2009

Huntsman, Christensen, Cemetery, and Steyn
It almost sounds like a law firm, but it's really a state getting a new governor, a city getting a new fire chief, a minor update about cemetery expansion in American Fork, and a speech I suggest you read and re-read.

May 3, 2009

The Utah Children's Choir's 25th Birthday Party
It was a fine concert in a very comfortable hall.

April 26, 2009

More from the Convention: I Sided with Satan -- Again!
At least some of my fellow Utah County Republicans seem to think so. [Updated several times with more links, a made-up quotation about Satan Scanners (!), and a link to other blogs and some KSL audio. See the comments.]

April 25, 2009

The Utah County Republican Party Nominating Convention: Miscellaneous Notes
It was a full house. The Lincoln impersonators who sang the national anthem knew almost all the words. Some interesting things were said in speeches. And Senator Orrin Hatch is a class act.

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?

February 25, 2009

Selected Education Bills at the Utah Legislature
Here is brief discussion of several bills proposed in the Utah Legislature on the subject of education, with links to bill texts, status reports, etc.

February 23, 2009

Some FrontRunner Follow-Up
Miscellaneous notes accumulated on the FrontRunner junket.

February 21, 2009

FrontRunner: My First Ride
I'm riding FrontRunner today as a surrogate VIP, blogging occasionally along the way. There are also a couple of notes here about American Fork Mayor Heber Thompson's State of the City address, and a link to it at afcity.org, so you don't have to search for it.

November 8, 2008

A Look at the Election Results: Utah
Races for Governor, Utah House and Senate, and more.

November 4, 2008

Where to Follow Election Returns on the Web
(I can't tell you where to go on television, since I don't have cable.)

November 1, 2008

David's Handy 2008 Election Guide
My election guide this time mentions not only the races and referenda, but also suggests some things to do before you go to the polls, what to take with you, an important thing to check while you're still at the voting machine, some helpful things you could do afterwards, and a good way to track the presidential election returns, if you're into that.

November 1, 2008

Excellent Readings
Excellent readings, with excerpts in most cases. The categories and their (sizes) are: Not About the Election or Its Issues (small). The Howler of the Week (small). What We'll Get If We Get Barack Obama (large). Economics Generally (medium).

October 24, 2008

Shouldn't I Be a Democrat?
My biography says so. My education says so. My long residency in the Northeast says so. My dissatisfaction with state and national Republicans says so. But I'm not. Here's what the Utah Democrats would have to do to entice me.

July 16, 2008

Property Tax Increase Follow-up
Quick notes on how things are going, and a little bonus commentary on the Alpine School District budget.

June 25, 2008

The Utah Election and an American Fork Vote
It's Ellis, Chaffetz, and a big NO to rezoning the Carson property in American Fork.

June 23, 2008

I Can Vote on Only One Race Tomorrow
I actually considered not voting tomorrow, because my mind was so open, where the State Treasurer race between Richard Ellis and Mark Walker is concerned. Now that I have read the candidates' web sites, I find I have a preference, after all.

June 19, 2008

Jason Chaffetz and I Share a Common Geography
He's running in Utah's Third Congressional District, but he lives in the Second, as do I.

April 15, 2008

My Tax Questions
The IRS is notorious for answering tax questions incorrectly more often than correctly -- but, either way, if you get it wrong, it's your fault. So I'm not asking them. I'm asking you.

March 21, 2008

Alpine School District's "What Counts?" Forum
A local gathering of fellow-travelers and critics to discuss what constitutes great schools. I'll tell you what that has to do with last night's meeting of an unrelated American Fork City committee.

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.)

November 15, 2007

Bad Statistics: Denial and de Fanning of de Flames
Here I pick on the local and national media -- again -- for not getting their statistics right in the matters of violence in Iraq and local Boy Scouts of America executive salaries.

November 14, 2007

More Voucher Aftermath
A note on voucher-related political payback, the discussion of what to do with the state funds which cannot be spent on vouchers. I suggest we apply to funds to solving a specific, significant educational problem in Utah.

November 13, 2007

Voucher Aftermath
Some interesting and illuminating newspaper articles, some blog posts by Utah legislators, and a few thoughts of my own, including on how things will go in the next legislative session, where educational debate is concerned.

November 6, 2007

American Fork Wins. Utah Schoolchildren Lose.
Thoughts on today's election results.

November 5, 2007

David's Little November 2007 Election Guide
How I voted (early), and the outcomes I predict in American Fork, Salt Lake City, and statewide in the voucher matter.

November 5, 2007

Almost a Dozen Reasons Honest and Intelligent People May Have for Voting Against Vouchers
On the day before Election Day I, who already voted for vouchers, do my best to find some reasons why good, honorable, intelligent people might want to vote against them -- as opposed to the false or deceptive reasons filling the mailboxes and airwaves of Utah.

November 3, 2007

Illegal Anti-Voucher Flyer Drop at American Fork Wal-Mart
I was an eyewitness. I guess the law doesn't matter, if it's "for the children."

November 3, 2007

Provo's Municipal Broadband, and a Happy (Unrelated) Lawsuit Verdict
Two news stories of note.

November 2, 2007

Vouchers: A Report, an Ad, and an Op/Ed
That University of Utah report, a good recent ad about vouchers and future growth, and a good column in the Daily Herald.

October 31, 2007

George Will on the Utah School Voucher Referendum
Yes, Utah has the nation's attention for a few days.

October 31, 2007

Accountability? You Decide.
A careful look at the voucher bills themselves, focusing on fiscal and academic accountability.

October 29, 2007

The Rich, the Poor, and Utah School Vouchers
Someone asked me the other day, Won't vouchers benefit only the rich? Another related question is, Aren't the vouchers too small to help ordinary families? I'm not sure which family among the many I know is ordinary, but I do take up the arguments here, looking carefully at the bill itself and the opponents' reasoning.

October 27, 2007

Electronic Voting, and a Candidate's Homework that Didn't Get Done
First, I voted early, just to see if I hated it, and because I had already chosen all my votes. Second, here is a detailed look at actual data, which contradict one city council candidate's wild claim about violent crime American Fork.

October 19, 2007

Three Big Buckets of Money, and Other Voucher Details
. . . And how Radio Grandpa is lying, and Radio Mom is helping him do it.

October 18, 2007

KSL's Voucher "Truth Test"
KSL puts claims in pro- and anti-voucher ads to the test.

October 17, 2007

Accumulated Thoughts about the Voucher Debate
A surprise endorsement of vouchers, some notes on the anti-voucher playbook, and some logical thought.

October 8, 2007

Idle Thoughts from PTSA Meeting (not About Vouchers)
A logo, an applause sign, randomness, parliamentary procedure.

October 6, 2007

Another Voucher Meeting
Voucher opponents didn't bring their "A game."

October 4, 2007

Vouchers and the Public Schools
Here is the best explanation I can give of what may seem a contradictory fact: It is my commitment to and my belief in public schools which moves me to advocate school vouchers.

October 3, 2007

Buying a Used Car: A School Voucher Parable
It's a bird. It's a plane. Good grief, it's positively Orwellian.

September 27, 2007

Politics and Punch III: Vouchers and Other School Issues
Most of this post is devoted to gaping holes in school district officials' anti-voucher arguments, but there are a few other topics, too.

September 27, 2007

Politics and Punch I: Setting and Cast
Here I tell you who was there, where "there" was, what questions I submitted that didn't get asked, and so forth.

September 26, 2007

Yes, It Was a Push Poll on Vouchers
Ballot language on the voucher referendum, a push poll, things I didn't tell the pollster, some relevant cartoons, and another thought or two.

September 21, 2007

Political Facts of Life in American Fork
A quick look at some other folks' primaries, followed by a discussion of major ongoing issues in American Fork, as they relate to the election.

August 17, 2007

Did Governor Huntsman mean it? Has he thought this through? Or did exhaustion and emotion just get ahead of his reason for a minute? Admittedly, the duress was considerable.

August 8, 2007

ConventionNext: Salt Lake City Mayoral Candidates
As an outsider, I found the candidate forum interesting. But don't expect a broad spectrum of views from these candidates.

July 6, 2007

Orson Scott Card on How We Live and How We Ought to Live
Foreign oil, domestic poverty, and no highway is ever wide enough . . .

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 8, 2007

Hannity vs. Anderson: The Virtual Experience
I didn't attend the big debate, but I watched it later on the Internet. Here are my thoughts.

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 28, 2007

Utah County Republican Convention: During
Miscellaneous notes and the fate of the opposition to "Satan's Plan" -- which is their term for illegal immigration, not mine.

April 28, 2007

Utah County Republican Convention: Before
You might not think a county party organizing convention would be interesting. But I've never gone to a political meeting planning to vote against a resolution opposing "Satan's Plan." What should I wear? Does it mean something that I bought a black car yesterday, or that my official Chris for Congress water doesn't stand straight, but leans to the left?

April 27, 2007

Briefish Thoughts on Several Subjects
Relatively brief musings on a time machine, Vice President Cheney's speech, his detractors, Superintendent Henshaw and the "extremists," and what could cause me to leave the Republican Party after tomorrow.

April 13, 2007

A Mulligan
I respectfully ask the chair's permission to revise and extend my remarks . . .

April 11, 2007

I Actually Like Public Transit
Most of the time. It served me well today.

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 9, 2007

From the (Electronic) Mailbag
Three blog-related items arrived by e-mail last week.

April 4, 2007

Dorothy, This Ain't Panguitch Any More (Revised)
J C Penney wants to come to the Meadows in American Fork, along with some mixed-used development. This happy news prompts some more general thoughts about attitudes on the Wasatch Front.

March 14, 2007

The Arrogance of Dominance, and Vice Versa
In this lengthy post, I rip on Capitol Hill Republicans briefly, then Republicans in the Utah Legislature very slightly and ever so briefly, then Capitol Hill Democrats a little less briefly. Then I unload on the public education lobby at length, on the subject of vouchers and institutional arrogance. Finally, after you have paid the price in cognitive dissonance for a moment, I give you permission to call me names and think me evil if you really want to, because of my politics . . . but I still end up claiming a small victory. (This is truth-in-advertising: a long teaser for a long post.)

February 28, 2007

Miscellaneous Political Thoughts
Recycling in American Fork. The UEA checks its manners at the Capitol door. Who really represents me? An Oscar and a Nobel. And, finally, I manage to work the phrase barking moonbat into a sentence.

February 21, 2007

Holly Mullen: Excellent Blogger, Almost in Town
My long-time favorite American Fork blogger, DaltonGirl, does not share many of my political views. Neither does a new favorite, Salt Lake City's Holly Mullen. What does this mean? (I don't actually answer this question in this post.)

February 13, 2007

Infinite Shades of Grey
Some of our horror at the bad things which happen in "good" places, such as Salt Lake City, is rooted in our preference for black-and-white categories, instead of infinite shades of gray. That preference is actually dangerous.

February 9, 2007

A Utah Institute of Technology? Why Not?
The best idea I've heard lately is a little-discussed proposed direction for UVSC's future growth: a polytechnic university. (Think MIT, Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, etc.)

February 6, 2007

David's Plan for Utah's $1.6 Billion Surplus
There's something for everyone. One-fourth goes back to the taxpayer, and half goes to education, but not precisely how you might think.

January 24, 2007

Traffic School
Will Traffic School Guy be coming soon to a comedy club near you? He almost could. Here is the latest chapter in the continuing saga of my life as an alleged scofflaw.

January 19, 2007

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

January 17, 2007

Two or Three Recent Encounters with Local Government
Water, water . . . well, not exactly everywhere. Hot chocolate is also mentioned. And then there's my recent life on the other side of the law in the People's Republic of Rockyland.

January 11, 2007

Notes from American Fork
False alarms, a zoning overlay, dark fiber for ASD, a much-improved inner-block development, and, most interesting of all, American Fork leans on UDOT.

December 8, 2006

I Don't See . . .
I've tried. I just don't.

December 5, 2006

The Alpine School Board Just Doesn't Get It (or Look What the Mailman Brought)
What I wanted to say really isn't printable in a well-mannered blog, but it did have something to do with wasting my money.

November 22, 2006

Re(nick)naming the Delta Center
I decided to be a slave to fashion and tell you what I think about what we used to know as the Delta Center. In the process, I identify the best nickname I've heard from someone else and offer my own suggestion for a nickname, too.

November 7, 2006

Here's How My Predictions Fared
I got all the easy ones and broke about even on the hard ones -- which is better than the Republican Party did nationally, by the way.

November 6, 2006

David's Little Election Guide
Here's a quick look at all the races and propositions on my ballot, plus a few more which might be on yours.

November 6, 2006

E-Interviews with School Board Candidates
The only contested race for a seat on the Board of the Alpine School District is between incumbent Keith Swain and challenger Tim Osborn, in the district which includes American Fork. LocalCommentary.com sent the two candidates the same questions, with an offer to publish their answers. Here they are.

November 3, 2006

The Republican Rally and My Dark Inner Thoughts
How my political career ended yesterday before it even wanted to be begin, and my dark thoughts on the occasion of a Republican political rally.

October 16, 2006

Signs of the Times
Here are photos of some signs I saw in southern Utah this weekend. I'm still laughing. You should, too.

October 13, 2006

Twinkies, Anyone?
I never buy Twinkies. I don't like them. But I did today -- as a political statement.

September 27, 2006

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

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.

September 18, 2006

I Joined the Math Wars
Here's the text of a letter I sent last week to the principal and teachers at my children's elementary school.

August 23, 2006

Been Readin' My Dougall . . .
Catching up from vacation includes reading some blogs. Here's some good stuff from a familiar source.

August 9, 2006

How Does a Certified (Property) Tax Rate Work?
This gradually evolving article attempts to explain the Certified Tax Rate (CTR), which is used to calculate property taxes in Utah.

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.

July 21, 2006

Urban Musings
I spent the afternoon and evening in Salt Lake City and had a few thoughts along the way.

June 28, 2006

Quickly, Those Election Results
In case you haven't heard or seen them elsewhere, here are a few election results from yesterday's primary.

June 27, 2006

About that Closed Republican Primary
Is it good or bad that you have to be a Republican to vote in a Republican primary in Utah?

June 27, 2006

I Voted -- Electronically, this Time
Here's my report on the new electronic voting machines.

June 26, 2006

Apropos Tomorrow's Primary
The only incumbent I'd vote for in tomorrow's Republican primary is in a Congressional district I don't live in.

June 19, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes, Mostly Local
A local blogger, gravel roads, possibly offensive movies, and a letter that got a guy fired.

May 12, 2006

Miscellaneous Thoughts
Scattered thoughts which accumulated during a busy week -- on loan sharking, municipal broadband, science prowess, professionalism, and anti-Muslim graffiti.

April 29, 2006

Notes from the Utah County Republican Convention
Results of the convention and miscellaneous notes. Even bagpipes are mentioned favorably.

April 14, 2006

Exceeding the Bounds of Authority
The Sutherland Institute wants the Utah Legislature to assert authority that no government rightfully has. The Mayor of Kanab and a senior local church leader in American Fork seem oblivious to the bounds of their authority.

April 8, 2006

First Impressions of County Republican Candidates
Early notes on candidates for County Commission, County Attorney, County Treasurer, and County Clerk/Auditor. I'll even tell you which way I'm leaning on each -- but so far, I'm just leaning.

April 6, 2006

Notes from Utah's Dixie
Miscellaneous notes from Saint George, Utah, and the Utah League of Cities and Towns midyear event.

March 22, 2006

My Precinct's Caucus and My Party's Platform
I wasn't particularly pleased with either. The caucus was poorly attended and the platform is poorly written, whatever one may think of its political content. Do I expect too much?

March 11, 2006

Governor Huntsman, Sign HB77
Here's why I urge Governor Huntsman to sign HB77, which provides a mechanism for local governments and their voters to split school districts.

March 11, 2006

Recent Experiences with State and Local Governments
For once, American Fork City provided a happier experience than the State of Utah. I hope the good half of that is a trend.

March 2, 2006

We Three Kings (Kong): The Really Big Lobbies
Here's a look at three oversized, hugely influential lobbies in Washington and state capitals.

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 10, 2006

IHC's Leak and the Larger Security Question
IHC's recent leak of confidential (and presumably secure) medical records is only the tip of the informational security iceberg.

February 2, 2006

Notes on Utah Senate Bill 170
What's State Senator Al Mansell's agenda, anyway? And was he really kidding?

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.

January 24, 2006

How Can Part of the Constitution Be Unconstitutional?
Some propose the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides for the direct election of US Senators by the people of their states. At least a few of them call the amendment "unconstitutional." This doesn't seem to make sense . . . but we'll follow it where it leads.

January 19, 2006

"Utah Rocks," or How to Spend a Billion Dollars
A quick look at major points in Governor Huntsman's refreshingly brief State of the State speech, delivered Tuesday evening.

January 17, 2006

Systems So Rigid We Don't Have to Use Our Brains
Long ago and in a hemisphere far, far away, I lived for a few months under a government that was even more rule-bound than our own. Almost every good thing I saw happen there happened in defiance of some rule, regulation, or law. A few years after that, the system collapsed under its own weight. The same thing may happen here, eventually.

January 4, 2006

The Daily Herald's Web Site: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Generally speaking, for the past few years the Provo Daily Herald's Web site has been excrucriatingly slow and difficult to use. Now there's a new look and better performance.

November 12, 2005

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

October 6, 2005

Rocky Anderson Has His Own Brand of Intolerance
Let's hear it for Mayor Rocky, whose campaign to become a major national political (cartoon) figure is going just fine, thank you, if his goal is to become the next Al Sharpton. . . .

September 17, 2005

Counting Voters Brought a Pleasant Surprise

August 18, 2005

Yes, I Would Vote for a Druid

July 29, 2005

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

February 17, 2005

Another Lawsuit (Now It's Solicitors)

February 16, 2005

Petty Tyranny Loses by a Narrow Margin

February 8, 2005

They're Not Helping the Children

November 2, 2004

How I Voted, and Some Predictions

November 1, 2004

Christmas Already?

August 19, 2004

It's Too Good to Be True If . . .

July 31, 2004

Contrast: A Public School Ponzi Scheme and the Emperor's New Math

July 30, 2004

The Arts in Utah Valley: A Microcosm