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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 8:50 p.m.
 

The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector notes that the federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be “poor” if its pre-tax income is below $37,900 — even with full medical coverage. The “poor” threshold is $42,500 in Oakland, Calif., and about $40,000 in Washington, D.C., and Boston. Leviathan's new face of “poverty” in America is shockingly close to America's 2011 median income of just more than $51,000 a year. ... Manhattan Institute scholar Robert Bryce notes that the environmental protection crowd — namely the Sierra Club — has been strangely absent in defending the environment from the excessive noise caused by wind turbines. It's yet another stark example of the difference between “environmentalism” and “conservationism.” ... One of the uglier “fiscal reform” stories circulating in Washington these days is that the Obama administration and/or Congress wants to fiddle with the tax deferral of 401(k) savings plans. Currently, money invested in such plans is taxed only when withdrawn. Washington being Washington, count on it to treat middle-class investors the same way it treats “the rich” — taxing them twice (or thrice) then complaining that nobody is paying his “fair share.” What's Washington going to do when it runs out of people to rob? Once upon a time, Americans fought a revolution over such tyranny.

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