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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, July 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Banks are loosening mortgage standards in a drive for higher profits. There are “two-mortgage” deals to reduce down payments and loan approvals for those with lower credit scores and higher debt/asset ratios. Isn't this what started The Great Recession? ... For a teaser headline for an Investor's Business Daily editorial, came up with this gem: “IRS rules Obama can write off his second term so far as a total loss.” That about sums it up, doesn't it? ... A new Harvard study suggests that lawmakers “are more likely to vote for global warming legislation after freak storms hit their home states or districts,” reports The Washington Times. Looks as if the climate cluckers' propaganda campaign is working. ... It took a Freedom of Information Act filing by Judicial Watch to get the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to cough up the fact that it has spent millions of dollars to collect and analyze, without any warrants, Americans' financial transactions and even to share that information with “additional government entities.” There's nothing this government doesn't know about us. ... We were thinking of recommending a return to carrier pigeons to conduct our most private dealings. But then we figured they, too, would be monitored — by drones disguised as pigeons.

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