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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, June 16, 2010
 

The word "stimulus" has such negative connotations that the Obama administration chose to send a letter late Saturday to Congress urging it to pass a second such program but didn't use the word "stimulus," reports The Washington Times. Instead, the letter used the word "transition." Whatever the word, the premise is the same -- that government can spend us back to prosperity. That, of course, is a shibboleth. ... Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says the problem with the economy isn't consumers living beyond their means but that their "means didn't keep up with what the growing economy was capable of producing at or near full-employment." Translation: Pay no attention to the growing national and personal debt. Spend! Spend! Spend! Mr. Reich, you're nuts. ... It's pretty astounding that the federal government hasn't driven a stake through the heart of the proposed Pittsburgh-to-Greensburg high-speed magnetic-levitation train, better known as maglev. But this boondoggle, estimated to cost $5.4 billion -- that's billion with a "b" -- now has moved into the "public comment stage." To give you an idea how ludicrous the project is, planners say maglev will attract more than 40,000 riders per day if completed by 2014. It's waaay past time to stop spending money on this nonsense.

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