Dog Poop

There’s a “lady” in my neighborhood who takes her dog for walks.  This is hardly unusual – there are a number of folks in the neighborhood with dogs.  This person stands out because of her unwillingness to clean up after her dog.  I’ve spotted the dastardly duo on neighbors’ lawns a number of times, but never in time to pop my head out of the door to remind her of her duty.  On occasions, there have been droppings on my own lawn, and while I don’t have concrete evidence to prove who the poopetrator is, I have a very good idea.

I’m not a “dog person”, but I have nothing against dogs.  What I do dislike is having dog poop on my lawn.  If I wanted dog poop on my lawn, I’d have a dog.  If you’re going to have a dog, you need to be accountable and clean up after your dog.  Even if this isn’t against the law in your town, this is just basic common courtesy to your neighbors.  Don’t be surprised if you gain a very negative reputation and that your neighbors become hesitant to pitch in when you need help with anything.  You show a complete lack of respect for their property – why should they lift a finger for you?

Bristol Palin

When the next season of Dancing With the Stars kicks off, the dace floor will feature luminaries such as Kurt Warner, Florence Henderson, and Bristol Palin.  For the last couple of years, we have been privy to the love/hate relationship between Bristol and Levi, with occasional commentary from Bristol’s mom.  Allegations have been made that Levi was trying to extend his 15 minutes of fame and would do anything to stay in the spotlight.

That might be the case, but Bristol is hardly staying in the shadows.  For a few months, she was working as a receptionist at a dermatologist’s office.  More recently, she has found more profitable work.  She travels around the country promoting abstinence.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with spreading that message.  The $15,000 – $30,000 fee she receives for each speaking engagements also helps build a college fund for Trigg.  Bristol also appeared on an episode of The Secret Life of The American Teenager.  Now, Dancing With the Stars.  What next – a regular gig on The View?  Is this a family trying to lead, or a family trying to achieve fame?  I was recently discussing Sarah Palin with a staunchly conservative friend of mine who commented “she’s not the leader of MY party.”

Privatizing Social Security

The last item might lead you to believe that I’m a hard core Democrat, but this isn’t the case.  I do lean left on quite a few issues, but I’m an unaffiliated voter who also agrees with Republicans on a lot of issues.  One of these issues is privatization of Social Security.  When Bush proposed this, I aligned myself with him and supported the idea – at least at a high level.

Those who oppose privatization – including lobbyists such as AARP – point to downturns in the market and suggest that those nearing retirement age could have lost substantial portions of their nest egg if they had invested in the market.  This is true – but it’s worth noting that you don’t need to invest in stocks to beat the return of Social Security.  Take a look at the rates of return for Social Security, according to a document on SSA’s web site.  The important table is table 1 (the second table in the document).  If you’re younger married couple at the medium earning level, you’re looking at a rate of return around 2.5%.  In comparison, 30 year treasuries are currently yielding upwards of 3.5%.  Is Social Security safer than treasuries?  Of course not –  both are backed by the US Government.  Essentially, the risk is the same.

NCAA Tackles Jeremiah Masoli On End Around

This one falls into the category of things that no longer grind my gears.  After being kicked off the Oregon football team for off-field transgressions, star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli transferred to Mississippi.  Generally, players who transfer must sit on year before they are allowed to play again (the year off doesn’t count against their eligibility). 

There is an exception that allows (but does not force) the NCAA to grant a waiver (making the player immediately eligible) if the player has completed his undergraduate degree and enrolls at another school in order to pursue a graduate degree in a major not offered by his old school.  This was the case with Masoli.  He is enrolled in the Parks and Recreation graduate program at Ole Miss – a degree not offered by Oregon.

Yesterday, the NCAA denied Masoli’s request for a waiver, saying that this type of waiver is intended to avoid hampering a student-athlete’s academic pursuits, rather than a way to avoid a punishment levied by his old school.  Good call, NCAA.