Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Taffetas!!!

Last night was opening night for The Taffetas at Pinnacle Dinner Theatre in Littleton. Why do I care? Because my wife is in the show.

The Pinnacle is a new dinner theatre in the Denver area that just opened a month ago. For all you long-time, Denver theatre buffs, it is in the theatre formerly known as The Ascot. It was re-opened as The Pinnacle by David Pritchard of Country Dinner Playhouse repute.

I went to see the show last night, and I have to say, all biases aside, that it was really good. The theatre is great. It's huge and has a very classic style.

The food was good too. Granted, it wasn't like eating at Del Frisco's or Flemings, but for dinner theatre food, it was great. Also, it was served by the waitstaff - no waiting in the buffett line at the Pinnacle.

The show was great too. It was opening night so there were a few minor gaffes, but all in all, it was very entertaining. Now, you may be saying, "Your wife is in the show, of course you liked it." And you'd be right. However, I generally read and learn the lines and music to every show my wife is in. When we started going through the script for The Taffetas, I have to admit I was less than excited about it. But hearing the four-part harmony and the blending of the four female voices was really more than I expected. The show was entertaining and moved along very well. Although the songs are from an era that my parents would appreciate, I found myself enjoying the wholesome goodness of the lyrics from a period in America's history filled with innocence and patriotic pride.

As I said before, the theatre is huge for a dinner theatre, and since it just opened, there were very few people at the show. Once the theatre-going public discovers the charms of The Pinnacle, it promises to be the premiere dinner theatre in Denver.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New Hugh Book

I ordered my copy of Blog yesterday. Now I just have to wait until mid-January to read it. I wonder if Hugh will make another trip to Colorado for a book signing?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Happy Festivus For the Rest of Us!!!

December 23rd marks Festivus!!!

Click here and here for the Festivus story and for all your Festivus holiday supplies (greeting cards, airing or grievances worksheet, and feats of strength challenge card).

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Workable Plan for Social Security Reform

Courtesy of Free Republic and ACUF:

The Trustees would do well to consider a masterful proposal incorporated in a bill co-sponsored by Sen. John Sununu and Rep. Paul Ryan that meets all of the general ideas advanced by President Bush:

(1) Out of the 12.4% deducted for the payroll tax, workers could choose (not be forced) to shift to personally owned individual retirement accounts: 10% of the tax on the first $10,000 in wages would be invested each year, plus 5% of the tax on any income above that amount. These new accounts would be owned by the worker rather than by the government.
(2) The average individual investment would be 6.4 %, roughly the amount of the present employee contribution, invested in approved private mutual fund-like instruments modeled on the Federal Employee Thrift Retirement System. For new workers, the contributions would be large enough that all retirement benefits would be paid by the accounts and none would come from the government accounts, eliminating this government obligation. Those who were already working but choose to add private accounts would receive part of their benefits from the present system and part from the accounts, with all workers guaranteed at least as much as existing Social Security benefits would provide.
(3) For those in the present system who choose not to participate, the benefits would remain the same, as would survivors and disability benefits for all, supported by the other 6% of the payroll tax for the later.
(4) To pay for transition costs (a) the growth of federal government spending would be capped at 1% per year for 8 years and then continued at that rate until all debt was paid, (b) revenue to the federal government would be increased as a result of the higher investment return from the private accounts (the present value of which is estimated by Martin Feldstein to be $10-$20 trillion), and (c) the short term Social Security surpluses until 2018 would pay all additional costs plus funds from selling existing Social Security bonds to the Treasury (as the law envisions).
(5) Once the transition costs have been paid entirely, the remaining funds generated by the reforms would automatically trigger an actuarial reduction of the payroll tax (which the Chief Actuary estimates would eventually result in a payroll tax of only 4%, equally shared by employee and employer), primarily to support survivors and disabled benefits, since most workers would have shifted to private accounts by then.

Under this plan, Social Security would achieve permanent and growing surpluses by 2030, instead of going into the red starting in 2018.

Social Security Reform is a tricky thing, and this is the first detailed proposal I have seen to address it. There are a lot of dependencies in this plan, and it is likely that, even if it was put into motion, it would be sidetracked or altered by subsequent Congresses or Administations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bad Ag!

Another story from my alma mater:

Texas A&M students started camping out to buy tickets for this year's SBC Cotton Bowl on Sunday. The matchup features the Aggies taking on Tennessee in Dallas on New Year's Day.

According to Fox News, there's one student who wasn't generating much holiday cheer. Thursday morning at 4:30 a.m., an unnamed woman strode past sleeping fans and took her place at the front of the line.

When the dozing students awoke and protested, the woman grabbed the sign-up list of students, some of whom had been waiting for days, and ate it.

There is nothing in GALP (Generally Accepted Line Principles) that can even come close to justifying this. If there is a group of people waiting for something, you don't just go to the head of the line. Especially when there is a system for maintaining the line. Respectful members of society just don't do this.

When I went to A&M, we camped out for tickets and the list system was in effect. It is a very fair way of honoring a place in line while still allowing students to go to class or go to sleep.

I've heard that in other countries, the line concept is not followed. Instead there is more of a herd mentality. However, in the U.S., especially in Texas, and most definitely at Texas A&M, there are conventions that everyone adheres to. This girl is lucky that all she got was a guy grabbing her wrist. On some less courteous campuses, she's likely to have suffered much worse.

Lies and the Lying Liberals That Tell Them

Donald Luskin takes Paul Krugman to task for lying about Social Security reform:

"If the liberal establishment is so sure that reforming Social Security with personal accounts is such a terrible idea, then why do they have to lie about it?"

The whole Social Security reform debate is complicated. It's a good thing NRO has some experts to help put it into context.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Catching Up With the RMA

Since the election, the RMA has continued blogging, but on a number of different subjects:

Michael at Best Destiny is taking on the debate over charter schools.

Clay Calhoun has a link to the world's best Christmas tree.

MangledCat is trying to bring Hugh to Utah.

Mount Virtus has moved to a new site.

Damascus Road, Exultate Justi, Exvigilare, The American Kestrel, The Daily Blogster, Thinking Right, and View From a Height all continue to provide their usual insight to state and local affairs.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Easing In

When you get in a swimming pool, there are 2 ways to do it: 1) Jump in. 2) Ease in gradually. I have chosen to do the latter with respect to my return to blogging...

This morning's DP/RMN letters page has an example of someone who does not understand media bias:

Bad news all 'round
Re: The Post's front page, Dec. 16.

Does anyone else see the eerie convergence of issues on the front page of Thursday's Denver Post? Bush's multibillion-dollar missile "defense" system fails; United says it has to renege on labor contracts or it will go bankrupt (and Denver, which has subsidized the airline heavily, will be out thousands of jobs, not to mention being left with an overbuilt terminal with no flights); money intended for scholarships at CU has gone to booze and country club memberships; and Bush wants to limit the little guy's ability to sue the almighty corporation.

The 70 percent of families living paycheck to paycheck? They can go to a "blue Christmas" service, which "offers hope to the joyless."

How many examples of greedy leaders with misplaced priorities do we need before we change our leadership?

Anne Button, Denver

Anne, do you really think that these are the only 5 stories in Colorado and the world that were worthy of the front page of the DP? Perhaps it's less an issue of leadership in the government and more of an issue of the media reporting only the bad news to influence our views of our leaders.

Now for the part about easing in...

All I had to do was look to the previous page in the newspaper to see Dave Kopel's most recent column on the media:

...If you don't think that the Iraq war has been an unmitigated disaster, then you're irrational, claims News columnist Paul Campos ("At the breaking point," Dec. 7, and "Who killed Cody Wentz?" Dec. 14). As a columnist, Campos was merely articulating, in an especially blunt way, the general view of the mainstream media. And if all you knew about the Iraq war came from the international news sections of the News and Post, you might agree...

...Thanks to weblogs, you can read the actual views of real Iraqis, rather than relying only on Western reporters who don't speak Arabic or Kurdish. The Iraq Blog Count ( provides a consolidated list. While Iraqi bloggers have never been shy about criticizing what they see to be errors of the American occupation or about arguing Iraqi politics, the vast majority of them are delighted that the Saddam regime is gone, and that free elections are near...

Thanks for backing me up, Dave.

Back In Action

After nearly a month of not blogging, I am back and ready to rock!