Another sign of our government at its very best

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

There is an old saying that there are only two things we have to do — die and pay taxes.

And so far, actor Wesley Snipes apparently hasn’t done either. Well, the first is obvious, as he is still living and breathing.

But the second one is very interesting.


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According to news reports, Snipes allegedly has not filed tax returns for a number of years, but he has received as much as $12 million in refunds.

Now, let me see if I understand this.

He didn’t sit down and fill out a 1040-EZ, or any other tax return form, according to the allegations, but he did ask for and receive millions.

How does that work?

I have received a refund in years past, but it was always based on my filing the appropriate forms.

How did Snipes get away with it, assuming the allegations are true?

I agree that if he is guilty he should pay the price. Of course they have to find him first. He seems to have dropped off the radar screen.

But what about the people in the IRS who approved those millions of dollars, money that you and I will ultimately be responsible for because we pay our taxes? Should they bear some responsibility for this?

It sounds to me like we have a problem with the IRS system. Surprised? I’m not.

And just so you know, I will file the appropriate paperwork early next year and hope that I am entitled to some money back. And if not, I will pay what I owe.

Who was the instructor?

Every time I hear a story on the news, or read something in the papers about the Cory Lidle aircraft crashing into the New York City building earlier this month, they always mention Lidle’s name but never the man who died with him. That person is always referred to as the “flight instructor.”

While Lidle may have been a baseball pitcher for a famous team, the other man was somebody also. He was a son, perhaps a father and husband, brother, uncle, or maybe even a grandfather.

I can only imagine what his family feels every time they hear another story about the tragedy, that Lidle and the instructor were killed.

I guess just because Lidle was some big shot baseball player and the instructor was just another of the 300 million or so regular people who inhabit this country that he didn’t deserve anything.

Well, that’s just flat wrong.

By the way, his name was Tyler Stranger.

The way this man has been treated isn’t unusual in the media.

Take for instance the crash that claimed the life of John F. Kennedy Jr., some years ago.

Just yesterday I read a story that referenced that crash and referred to the three who died that day as Kennedy, his wife and a friend.

In case you’re interested, they were his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister, Lauren Bessette.

How fat is too fat?

I heard Thursday there is a man on death row in Ohio who says being put to death by lethal injection would be cruel and unusual punishment because he is too fat.

Unfortunately I could not find any details on this story. I don’t know how fat this man is or what his crime is, but he has been condemned to death for whatever criminal activity he committed and was subsequently sentenced.

If he thinks the normal dose of the lethal injection will be cruel and unusual punishment because of his size, I have an option — give him a bigger dose.

Grant is the managing editor of the News-Herald. Contact him at