Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing

This morning I was looking at my email and ran across this article by Dave Ramsey. I will let the article speak for itself. Suffice it to say, I agree completely with Dave’s opinion on this subject.





Butt Scratching and Bass Fishing

by Dave Ramsey


A couple of weeks ago, I worked late like I sometimes need to do to run my business. It was a nice Tennessee summer evening, and I was enjoying the drive home. About 7:30, as I pulled to a stop light a few blocks from my office, I noticed a light on in the corner office of a friend’s office building. Through the twilight I could make out my friend’s silhouette as he bent over his desk. Being a fellow entrepreneur, I knew what he was doing.


He was pouring over some receivables. Some turkey hadn’t paid him, and he was trying to make his accounts balance so he would have the cash to make it another day. In that instant, I had a flashback to some of the ridiculous statements I’ve been hearing on the talking-head news channels and from some individuals during this political year. And I’ll be honest—I instantly felt the heat of anger flow through my body.


Let me tell you why. You see, my friend who I saw working late—we’ll call him Henry—is a great guy. He’s what you want your son to grow up to be. He loves God, his country, his wife, and his kids. He didn’t have the academic advantage of attending a big-name university. Instead, he started installing heating and air systems as a grunt laborer after he graduated from high school. He was and is a very hard and diligent worker, and before long, the boss taught him the trade. But when he was 24, after 6 years of service, the company he was working for got into financial trouble and laid him off.


Henry still had his tools, so he bought an old pickup to haul around his materials and tools, and suddenly he was in business. He knew about heating and air-conditioning, but not about business, so he made a lot of mistakes.


He persisted. He took accounting and management at the community college to learn about business. He started reading books on business, HVAC, marriage, kids, God, and anything else someone he respected recommended. Today he is one of the best-read men I know. Soon, because of his fabulous service and fair prices, he developed a great reputation, and his little business began to grow.


Henry started 15 years ago, and now he has 17 employees whose families are fed because he does a great job. He is in church on Sunday and seldom misses his kids’ Little League games. Sometimes he has to miss a game because some poor soul has their AC go out in the 96-degree Tennessee summer heat, but Henry makes sure they are served. He is, by all standards, a good man. He is, by all standards, what makes America great.


Henry and I are friends, and so he asked me some financial questions last year. I learned in the process that his personal taxable income last year was $328,000. I smiled with pride for this 70-hour a week guy because he is living the dream.


At the stop light that evening, I also thought of another guy I know—and that is where the anger flash came from. We will call him John. While John does not have the same drive Henry has, I can say that he, too, is a good man.


John also graduated from high school and did not attend a big-name university. He went to work at a local factory 15 years ago. When 5:00pm comes around, John has probably already made it to his car in the parking lot. He comes in 5 minutes late, takes frequent breaks, and leaves 5 minutes early. However, to his credit, he is steady and works hard.


Over the years, due to his steadiness and seniority, he has worked his way up to about $75,000 per year in that same factory. He seldom misses his kid’s ballgames, but most nights you will find him in front of the TV where he has become an expert on “American Idol,” “The Biggest Loser,” and who got thrown off the island. When he is not in front of the TV, he spends a LOT of time and money bass fishing on our local lake. He never works over 40 hours a week and hasn’t read a non-fiction book since high school.


This is America, and there is nothing wrong with either set of choices. Nothing wrong, that is, until the politicians and socialists get involved.


I have seen several elitist people on the talking-head channels make the statement lately that people making over $250,000 per year have a “moral imperative” to pay more in taxes to take care of the country’s problems. This is not only infuriating—it is economically, spiritually, and morally crazy!


Where in the world do these twits get off saying that Henry should be punished for his diligence? If you are John, where do you get off trying to take Henry’s hard-earned money away from him in the name of your misguided “fairness”? If you want to sit on the lake, drink beer, scratch your butt, and bass fish, that is perfectly fine with me. I am not against any of those activities and have engaged in some of them myself at one time or another. But you HAVE NO RIGHT to talk about “moral imperatives” about what other people have earned due to their diligence. That money is not yours! You want some money? Go earn some! Get up, leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home.


We are in a dangerous place in our country today. A segment of our population has decided that it is the government’s job to provide all of their protection, provision, and prosperity. This segment has figured out that government doesn’t have the money to give them everything they want, so somebody else has to pay for it. That is how the “politics of envy” was born. “Tax the rich” has become the mantra of the left, and this political season it has been falsely dubbed a “moral imperative.”


Ninety percent of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich. They are Henry. To tax them because you think it is a “moral imperative” is legalizing governmental theft from our brightest, most charitable, and most productive citizens.


If I can get a law passed that says you must surrender all your cars to the government because it is the “moral imperative” of anyone who owns cars to support the latest governmental program, that would be a violation of private property rights and simply morally wrong. This new “moral imperative” to redistribute wealth is no different from that. It’s the SAME THING!


Please, America, re-think the politics of envy! You are sowing the seeds of our destruction when you punish the Henrys of our culture.


If you think taxing the populace to support government programs is the best way—and I don’t—then at least tax every single person the same! There are very few Henrys out here who would squawk much about paying a set percentage of their income—if everyone else did, too. But this idea of some buttscratching bass fisherman saying government should tax his neighbor and not him—just because his neighbor has succeeded—must stop.


So the next time an elitist media talking-head starts telling you it is the moral imperative of our culture to tax my friend Henry, change the channel.


The next time you see someone wealthy who feels guilty and is preaching the politics of envy, change the channel.


The next time you see some celebrity who feels guilt over their income preaching socialism, change the channel.


And the next time you run into a misguided, butt-scratching bass fisherman who says the evil rich people in our culture should have their private property confiscated because that is fair… well just shake your head walk away—and make sure to vote against his candidate. If he and his type win, God help America.


© The Lampo Group, Inc. all rights reserved.










Inspiration for the Day

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.”
– Emile Zola (1840-1902)
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”
– Henry Ford (1863-1947)

“Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”

– George Eliot (1819-1880)

Lions and Lambs

“It is better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand days as a lamb.”

– Roman proverb

Lions and lambs – have you ever thought about them? Have you thoroughly considered the life each one leads?

The Lion is a leader, the King of the Jungle, a cunning and fierce warrior. He is the protector and the keeper of his domain. The Lion bravely protects its family (pride) from intruders and the lioness is a mighty hunter. He is loyal to himself AND his family. He doesn’t have to separate the two.

The Lamb, is a follower, content to be fed by its master, protected and kept safe from harm by those who watch over it. It has never had an original idea, or thought. Sure, it’s sweet, and cute…but it is also pretty helpless. It does what it is told, and its life isn’t bad…but it’s always the same.

Many times in my life I’ve been like the lamb. Emotionally waiting for someone else to care for me, because I sure didn’t care about myself. Lying down and giving up my own thoughts, dreams and ideas in hopes that in so doing I could gain the approval of those who I considered stronger, wiser and better suited to take on the challenges of the lion.

I was a doormat. Not only to my husband, but to my kids, my family, my friends and my church family. If someone said , “JUMP!” I’d say, “How high?” If they would tell me what they wanted I would move Heaven and Earth to get it for them. But I didn’t take care of myself, nor did I think would be okay to do so. I was lost to me. And lost is a bad, bad place to be.

I’m trying out the Lion’s role more now. I’m still a little tentative at times, but it’s getting easier. I have given myself permission to take care of me without feeling guilty! I go to the doctor when I need to, get massages, buy nice clothes and get my hair cut and styled regularly. I take the time to do things I enjoy, like photography, attending baseball games and reading good books.  I’ve mustered up the courage to do things I never thought I’d be able to do, like writing and posting my own photos on a blog for anyone and everyone to critique. When I see something that I want (education, better health, etc.) I go and get it (plan, work, save, expect). Life is to be lived and enjoyed. And it’s about making a difference in this world.

While I believe that a well rounded  life is a complimentary mix of both lion and lamb days, the lion days are delightful whereas the lamb days feel more like merely existing.

Excuses, excuses!

“A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn’t will find an excuse.”

I have made a lot of excuses for myself in the past. Excuses for my behavior, excuses for my actions or inactions, excuses for my weight, excuses for my lack of fitness, excuses for not getting out and taking photos like I want to…

When I ran across the quote at the top of this post I thought about my life and the excuses I’ve made for not achieving my “wants”.

I want to lose weight, but it’s too hard to give up the things I like to eat.

I want to be healthier, but I hate to walk in the Arizona heat (or the Colorado cold, or the Wyoming winters)

I wish I had a college degree, but I didn’t know how to pay for it so I got married at 18 and had kids soon afterwards. And even now that I’m an adult, it costs a lot of money to go to school! But I sure wish I had that degree.

I would exercise more if I had a gym membership, but they’re so expensive!

I would take a picture of that _____________ but I forgot to bring my camera!!

I wish I had read that book, but I just didn’t have time.

And the list goes on and on…

I think it’s time I quit making excuses and start doing the things I want to do.

I think it’s time for me to stop whining about what I miss out on eating and enjoy what I can eat that is good for me and still tastes good. So what if I can’t have ice cream, candy or a whole bag of chips every day! I can have seafood, fruit and an occasional treat. I can eat salads and learn creative ways to make them interesting and fun. I can learn new ways to prepare chicken and lean beef. I can eat more asparagus (I LOVE asparagus) and plums.

I just got a e-gift card to Amazon from my stepsons and their mom (Thanks T!) and instead of buying books (I’m so addicted to books!) I bought an exercise ball and some exercise bands and tubes for creating a comfortable, yet inexpensive, workout routine in my home. I also have a new book (just had to have this one) called Pain Free by Pete Egoscue and have been checking out his method of living pain free. I’ve heard really good things about this book and the Egoscue Method and, having read the first three chapters, I think it sounds doable. I hope to try this consistently for a few months and let you know how I feel about it then!

 I think I’m also going to sign up for at least one class at the community college. Maybe it isn’t a degree, but learning doesn’t have to stop just because I’m not in a degree program right now. There are many things I’m interested in and I’ve always LOVED school! The tuition at the community college level in Arizona is way cheap, so I have no excuses for not signing up. There’s one class on Web Page Development that sounds interesting and an Introduction to Psychology class that I think I would enjoy. I’m also interested in taking a photography class or a Photoshop class. So we’ll see what happens.

I am going to compose a list of books that I currently own, but haven’t read, and then read them and write a short review on each one, possibly on a new page on my blog. I love to read, and keep buying books at yard sales and on eBay and at book stores and at Costco…..you get the idea. But I haven’t read half the books I own! So I’m going to quit making excuses for not reading them and just do it!

Okay, so I’ll probably make more excuses from time to time. But at least I’m starting to recognize an excuse and am willing to take action to turn the excuse into an action.

I’m on the right track now!


In His Defense

My husband did not say I am a boring blogger…he said I had the same stuff up that I’ve had for a while and that is what was boring. He kept checking my blog and I hadn’t posted anything new in almost two weeks.

I’m glad he reads my blog.

My Husband Says My Blog Is Boring…

I know, I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. I have been busy with stepsons, my daughter and her husband visiting from Colorado, work, a birthday party (the big 5-0 for my sis-in-law) and I’ve been reading a good book that I have a hard time putting down (Spencerville by Nelson DeMille).

It’s been even longer since I posted any of my pix. But, since the kids were visiting this weekend and since we also had the birthday party I do have some fun things to add today.


This is my daughter, Laurie, and her husband, Cody. They flew in Thursday and went home to Colorado on Sunday. Aren’t they the cutest couple ever?

This is Ziggy, who is all dressed up in his grass skirt and lei for his momma’s birthday party.