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Bring Change, Buy Local
To be certain, these are perilous economic times.
As consumers, we still are frightened by high unemployment figures, a roller coaster stock market, bailouts of major corporations, and a general feeling that the worst may not yet be over.
With worry comes hesitancy to spend and discretion about items we do purchase. We’ve become a nation of picky buyers and rightfully so.
And that makes this the perfect time to buy from your local, hometown merchant. Unlike major companies and giant stores, your small town business owners are much more dependent upon every individual who shops — or, worse, doesn’t shop — in our stores.
We can’t stop our expansion plans into new markets; we’re unable to close unprofitable offices or shops located in some distant state; and we can’t downsize our workforce without having to look into the face of the employee we have to let go and whose family we know.
No, we’re throwing our lives and our faith into the small businesses we believe hold such great promise and value to our community. No corporate rescue or bailout is likely to come our way.
What we do offer, however, is a neighborly face and personalized service. We’ll go that extra mile to help because we know our livelihood depends upon it.
We’re more likely to have expertise because we’ve started a business with which we were familiar, and we’re more inclined to work that extra magic for you because we’ve invested more than our money — we’ve invested our dreams.
Instead of filling the coffers of mega-companies, let’s help our friends and neighbors right here in Galax and the Twin Counties, because every dollar we spend within our community signals the hope that better economic days are ahead.
Let’s be proud to support our local merchants. In the words of that smart high school student from last year: “Bring Change. Buy Local.”
Owner, Purple Feet Wine, Galax
Where has civility gone?
During a speech by President Obama to Congress and the American people concerning healthcare, a respected, distinguished and honorable member of Congress shouted out, “You lie.”
What has happened to decorum and civility? Not in politics or on the tennis court [Serena Williams] or award ceremonies [Taylor Swift].
The American people continue to watch one dog and pony show after the other. The Wall Street crowd gets richer and the banks give out $6 billion dollars in bonuses, while a growing number of poor souls who fell on hard times live out of a tent, a mobile home or homeless shelter.
If that is not bad enough, here comes Mother Nature with heavy rains, floods and death along with losing a home or business.
Through the news media one can see, hear, and read what sad, disgusting and sickening times people are facing with their families everyday.
Overseas the cost of freedom and the fight against terrorism comes at a high price to our brave souls in the military.
In Afghanistan, the commanding general wants 40,000 more troops. If he doesn’t get them the enemy will win.
Iran is shooting off missiles with threats to Israel. The United Nations is a joke at a time like this.
So if the United States or NATO do not act now, I hope Israel will strike hard without mercy.
Let the first bomb fall down the throat of the Iranian leadership. Let our government kick all Iranian diplomats out and close their embassies. Enough is enough. The free world can deny Iran’s very existence as they deny the Holocaust.
Prayer and thoughts go out to all who fight, die or are wounded in a just cause. To live in peace, the evil forces shall be defeated.
Congressman made disgusting charges
Florida Congressman Alan Grayson recently made disgusting charges against his Republican opposition on the floor of the House and all who do not agree with his arbitrary health care “option" that his Democrat cohorts are trying to cram down the throats of reasonable Americans.
Opponents don't want a one-payer system that would be politically controlled by the attitudes of Mr. Grayson, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ron Emanuel, David Axelrod, and various czars, where their influence will have control over your health care options, or allow them to delay payments or priorities, require your "cooperation" on future political matters, or "rewards" that would be parceled out by them.
These people have maligned every American not following their march towards a total national socialist government, and have referred to any opposition as Nazis, domestic terrorists, uncontrolled mob rule, racists, to even supporting a "holocaust."
You can see in the nightly news their anger and outright rage at their opponents.
Can you allow these kinds of "politicians" to have control on your health needs or those of your friends and close family?
Their intention was reveled with the database the White House had set up for collecting names and information of those they accused of "misinformation" about their single-payer stranglehold.
Pelosi's recent interview equated the tea parties to the fatal shootings of Harvey Milk and the mayor of San Francisco (shot by a Democrat 20 years ago), a warning directed against her political enemies for future retaliation reminiscent of Stalin, Hitler, the leaders of Iran, Libya, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iraq.
The "health care bills" put forth by the Democrats are about control over you, and your future actions that would prevent your participation in opposition to their future governmental control.
Every Democrat who is hiding behind a shield of silence while their associates vilely condemn responsible opposition should be voted out of office at every level, including the all important primaries.
Vote sensibly, or deny those who remain silent your "vote of confidence."
Scott E. Webster
Federal tax deduction on new vehicles
The "Cash for Clunkers" program for new cars may have ended, but the IRS wants to remind taxpayers that many people might overlook another available special tax break.
If you buy a new vehicle this year, there's a special federal tax deduction that can help you save money, in some cases hundreds of dollars.
The tax break allows people who buy a new vehicle in 2009 to deduct the sales and excise taxes they pay when they file their tax return next year.
The tax deduction is available on the 2009 federal tax return even for those who claim the standard deduction.
The deduction is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and applies to taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price for qualified new cars, light trucks, motorcycles or motor homes.
Generally, vehicles weighing 8,500 pounds or less qualify. This means that most new cars and many new trucks will qualify. New motor homes qualify, regardless of weight.
Buyers are entitled to a partial deduction if they earn between $125,000 and $135,000 ($250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers). The deduction is eliminated for those who earn more than these amounts.
To qualify, the vehicle must be new and purchased in 2009 after Feb. 16 and no later than Dec. 31.
Terry L. Lemons
Director of Communications
Internal Revenue Service
Small church helps regain faith
I would like to make it known to the public about a small church and its pastor and his wife. I am speaking of Calvary Baptist Church on Poplar Knob Road. The pastor is James Billings.
I am, admittedly, not a very religious person. My faith sort of comes and goes. These days I see more often than not people who profess to be Christians and then spend the major part of their time condemning and gossiping about others. I do not consider this to be a Christian way of life.
I have always believed that a church and its congregation are the for the purpose of helping others and living the life that they profess to believe in.
My mother lives in Galax and recently has been ill. On several visits to see her, I have met Pastor Billings and his wife Linda. These people have been so helpful and supportive in my mother's time of need.
When asked to help in certain situations, they have not hesitated to say yes and jump forward to help out.
It is small churches like this one that makes me regain my faith in people. They are not about making money and building a bigger church but are doing Christian work and services for people in the community.
I just wanted to publicly say "thank you" to this church, its congregation,
and especially its pastor and his wife.
Deborah F. Moran