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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

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Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The New York Post, citing “sources,” says new H.J. Heinz Co. owner 3G Capital “has already dispatched a team of cost-cutters to Heinz headquarters in Pittsburgh.” Supposedly first on the chopping block will be the ketchup and sauce maker's “fleet of Gulfstream IV and V jets.” A source says 3G “does not want to be seen as cutting costs — or jobs — while people at the top still live the high life.” Which sounds as if the stage is being set, doesn't it? ... Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., says he wants to know why IRS agents are training with semiautomatic AR-15 rifles. The chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee says he saw the training firsthand at a federal firing range last month. The IRS defends such training. But asks Mr. Duncan, “Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?” Look for a new run on AR-15s by their “targets.” ... A study conducted by the staff of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., says advertising and outreach programs promoting food stamps increased six-fold between 2000 and 2011. Spending reached $41.3 million in 2011, the study concluded. Nearly 50 million Americans are on food stamps these days. Such surges in government dependence are what “progressives” consider to be a “success.” ... Officials at Joshua (Texas) High School turned off the microphone of valedictorian Remington Reimer when, in his commencement speech, he started talking about the Constitution, liberty and faith. The school must be run by former IRS employees.

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