April 23, 2014 - This week, eldest son Shamus, now 16, is getting fit for his tux. He's making a high school prom appearance this weekend. He's a good, young man; caring and smart. And, thinking of how young master Shamus has grown, on what he's achieved and overcome these too few years, I had a flash back.
I knew I had written something about him when he was younger, so I went back and over lots of columns and came up with his one, to embarrass him.
The following is part of a column from 2002, Shamus was still four, going on 44. Enough of the build up, read on and go back to a time when Bill Clinton was still President of these United States.
May 29, 2002 . . . Shamus, the boy with the ever-growing brain, has started down logic's path. I can only hope, he will continue this journey -- one of asking questions and seeking truth. I hope to hell, he doesn't become one of the mindless sheep, gullible and easily herded with the flock and feel-good intentions.
The lad doesn't miss much. His blue eyes look everywhere and his ears are seemingly open (and while he hears everything, I don't yet know if he's always listening). But with what knowledge he has gained over the last four-and-a-half years, he is starting to draw conclusions.
Shamus Logic includes (but is not limited to the following).
n If the shirt, pants, socks, underwear and shoes you wear are considered "clothes," then if you only put on one sock for the day and head to work, you are wearing "cloe." Clothes, of course, being the plural of cloe.
n When mom or pops is driving, Shamus is fond of asking, "Why are we going this way?"
To which his mother will usually answer, "Because this is the short cut."
To which Shamus, the man-child thirsting for knowledge, truth, justice and the American way, will usually ask, "Then which way is the long cut?"
n Since the portion of his body connecting his elbows to his hands are called, "forearms," then logic dictates, the portion of his body connecting his knees to his feet must be called his "foreknees."
"Shamus, it's time for dinner. Sit your butt down at the table and start eating."
"Okay, Poppy. But, I think I'll sit on my foreknees."
n And, as there is a yesterday, then something he did last night was actually completed, "yesternight."
With that kind of unassailable logic, he's destined for greatness. I can also see that by the time he's a teenager, his mom and pop are destined to losing great gobs of hair as they try to combat unassailable, hormone induced, peer-pressure honed logic.
It won't be the simple, "Well, all the other kids are doing it" approach. To which we could say something equally as simple like, "If all the kids are jumping off a cliff, are you gonna' jump, too?"
I don't think it'll be that easy.
Were I a betting man, I'd say, Shamus will come up with something like, "Well, dear parents, part of the growth process is making mistakes and learning from them. Were I to miss this party, I would not make those mistakes I would normally have made were I to attend. Therefore, by disallowing my attendance at said party, you are -- in de facto -- depriving me of a growth opportunity . . ."
Maybe I should hope for less logic.
Back to the present.
Last week I wrote about Tax Freedom Day in Michigan. Here's an e-mailed response.
"Don, Tax freedom Day? According to your column that appeared in the 16 April edition of The Clarkston News, Tax Freedom Day in 2013 was 14 April. For me, at least, that is bovine excrement.
"In 2013, the net taxable income listed on my 1040 was $-11,750 (yes, that's a minus). I still paid $1,918 in federal taxes. How, you might ask, is it possible to have a negative income and still pay taxes? Quite simply, I am a small business owner and the Feds have something they call a 'Small Business Tax.'
"I was forced to pay taxes on the income my business made even though I had a net negative taxable income (which, by-the-way, includes the business income). For me, at least, tax freedom day for 2013 occurred in March of 2014 (yes, that's right, 2014).
"I worked about 440 days for the 'Man.' Obama can't say that I'm not paying my 'fair share.'" -- Randy
Okay, after reading Randy's letter, how many of you wanna' go live the "American" dream and start your own business?
E-mail your thoughts to Rush directly, Don@ShermanPublications.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org