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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 cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

State Auditor General Gene DePasquale returned to his native Pittsburgh last week to shill for increasing the government-mandated minimum wage. He says hiking it $2 per hour, to $9.25, would, in part, lessen the burden on taxpayer-funded public relief programs. Considering such a hike would destroy jobs, hurt minorities the most and increase the public burden, Mr. DePasquale deserves lumps of coal and buckets of clinkers for public policy malpractice. ... Chile has taken a deucedly leftist turn, returning former President Michelle Bachelet (2006-10) to office. But this time, she's a socialist who ran on a platform of jacking up corporate taxes to make higher education “free.” But as Investor's Business Daily reminds, that will actually increase the cost of education while lowering its quality. Socialists never learn. ... John Podesta, Barack Obama's newest senior hatchet man, er, adviser, brought in to bail out the president's flagging second term, likened House Republicans to “a cult worthy of Jonestown.” Mr. Podesta, an old Bill Clinton hand, later apologized. But the GOP should not accept his apology. Instead, it should use his words against him in next year's midterms, highlighting how “progressives” really practice “civility.” ... R.J.O. Intermediate School in Kings Park, N.Y., removed the most significantly religious lyrics of “Silent Night” during this month's fifth-grade chorus performance — so as not to offend those of other faiths. But remember, there's no war on Christmas.

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