VALLEY: Where do you draw the line?
Every year I call the Ministry of Natural Resources Department in Ontario and purchase my Canadian fishing license — an expensive transaction. But I do so because I fish the St. Lawrence River. And as most people are aware, somewhere in the middle of the river is the border that separates the U.S. from the Great White North. And since there’s no visual evidence of said border, I’m never quite sure where I am — country-wise.
CONFER: Political theater and debt ceiling
I wasn’t among the countless Americans who fell for the political theater when Gabby Giffords cast her “yea” vote for the raising of the debt ceiling. While many couldn’t see through their tears, I could see through the smokescreen and took it for what it was. It was a climactic moment much like you’d find in a Hollywood production and it was just as scripted as one. Washington higher-ups forced her appearance (against all good judgment) and wanted to paint it as something miraculous. By doing so, they were able to frame the debt debate in much the same way.
CONFER: Tax credits and corporate welfare
While brainstorming ways to overcome the federal debt and future deficits, the U.S. Senate’s Gang of Six came up with the suggestion that American workers give up — either partially or entirely — certain tax exemptions that cover mortgages, health insurance, retirement investing and charitable giving.
CONFER: Government: A corporation's friend
Countless small businesses like mine devote an incredible amount of time and money to ensuring tax compliance. From internal checks and balances to the utilization of outside accounting firms, we all dot our “I”s and cross our “T”s whilst we record and pay our annual and periodic taxes. Even then, no matter how exacting we may be in the details, it seems like the threat of a federal audit always lingers. The mere mention of the IRS sends chills up a businessperson’s spine.
CONFER: Overseas tax havens
U.S. corporations evade paying taxes by setting up shop in the Cayman Islands.That has been said so often by so many people that it almost seems to be an urban legend.
VALLEY: Huckleberry fish hound
A couple of weeks ago I was in my boat fishing in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. The boat is a modest 17-foot craft — I bought it from my friend Ralph. It has fewer bells and whistles than a piece of cheese, but it’s mine and it floats.
CONFER: The taxation obligation
Long-time readers of this column know that I personally despise federal income taxes. But for as much as I complain about them, I also understand that I have a legal and moral responsibility to pay them. I know that we could not do without constitutionally-authorized expenditures such as national defense.
VALLEY: Debbie does callous ... investigations
Somewhere in New Hampshire — Lebanon, to be exact — there’s an apartment complex that is using modern-day science to solve a messy situation. It’s DNA to the rescue. (Let it be known that there are other places doing the same thing.)
CONFER: When suicide becomes murder
Back when I was a scoutmaster teaching my scouts about first aid, I would ask them, “What’s the first thing you do when you encounter an injured person?” Most boys would respond with “call 911” or something along the lines of asking the individual what hurts.
VALLEY: This time the hole thing stinks
“Crossin’ the highway late last night.
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn’t see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are
You got yer
Dead skunk in the middle of the road”
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- VALLEY: Where do you draw the line?