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Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Hill newspaper reports that, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage rulings, House conservatives will seek to reintroduce a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. But revival of what's known as the Federal Marriage Amendment is said to be dead on arrival. And that's good news. For the last thing this country needs is an attempt to enshrine in the Constitution a contemporary act of overt discrimination. ... A Rasmussen Reports poll finds that among those who approve of President Obama's job performance, 26 percent say those associated with the tea party movement are a terrorist threat. That's right behind radical Muslims, who polled at 29 percent. Which gives you an idea why so many Obama supporters consider America's Founding principles a threat to their evolving European socialist way of life. ... The private, nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that adding a 10 percent tax on calories could lower the percentage of youth body fat by up to 9 percent. The study's authors call it “the most direct way of taxing obesity.” And we'll bet a 10 percent tax on silly studies that suggest regressively taxing the poorest among us, supposedly “for their own good,” could lower the percentage of silly studies by 100 percent. ... America celebrates its 237th birthday on Thursday. Take some time to actually read the Declaration of Independence. It will remind you, we hope, of your duty, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, to throw off despotic government and to provide new guards for liberty's future security.

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