Developer Vows to Use Pig Farm As Revenge
“Now maybe when I go to negotiate with these people I’ll get a little better response,” [Steve] Nagel told The Spokesman-Review newspaper.
But county and city officials doubt that Nagel will follow through, noting that threats to go into the hog business have become planning dispute cliches.
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Party Needs a Tax Plan Before Next Elections
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Both consrvative and liberal elites favor flat taxes — the flatter the taxes are, the better they like them!
[U.S. Senator Ron] Wyden sees 2006 as offering a replay of 1986, when President Ronald Reagan signaled his interest in tax reform and Democrats (who controlled the House then but were a minority in the Senate) seized the initiative from him. Bill Bradley, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, teamed with Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri to shape the bill that Reagan signed.
Wyden has introduced what he calls the Fair Flat Tax Act of 2005 as the starting point for what he expects to be a major debate next year on tax reform. “I think it is a certainty that Bush will put this issue on the agenda in his State of the Union address,” Wyden told me in an interview, “and the Democrats have to be prepared to offer an alternative that makes sense.”
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Media Tycoon Conrad Black Indicted for Fraud
Disgraced international press tycoon Conrad M. Black, who stepped down as head of his media empire in 2004 amid charges that he and other executives looted the company, was indicted on eight counts of wire and mail fraud in Chicago today.
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said the high-living Canadian — who renounced his citizenship in 2001 to accept a British lordship — helped steal $51.8 million from Hollinger International Inc., which at one point had owned the Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and the London Telegraph, as well as a majority of Canada’s English-language papers.
Fitzgerald issued an arrest warrant for Black, 61, whose whereabouts are unknown. He faces as much as 40 years in prison and $5 million in fines if convicted on all charges. Fitzgerald said he would seek Black’s extradition if he does not turn himself in.
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Josh Connole, a 27-year-old member of a tiny environmentalist commune in southern Californiawho was arrested by the FBI on suspicions he was one of the eco-terrorists who had firebombed four nearby Hummer dealers dealerships in the summer of 2003.
A Joint Terrorism Task Force had targeted Connole, an anti-Iraq-war protester, and the Vegan commune he had been living with in a Pomona, Calif., and had developed a political profile of the group. The investigation discovered that the owner of the house and his father had posted statements on websites opposing the use of fossil fuels, that the owner had ties to a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, termed by the FBI as an “anarcho-vegan food distribution group.” In addition, the FBI found that the father of the owner had conducted a “one man’ daily protest” outside a Toyota office, was interviewed for an article called “Dude, Where’s my Electric Car!?” and posted info on a Web site announcing “Stop Norway Whaling!”
When Connole noticed the surveillance and went to authorities to report it, he was arrested and held for four days, often chained to the floor and repeatedly urged by FBI agents to confess.
He was released after William Cottrell, an environmental activist, wrote to a newspaper claiming responsibility for the attacks and mocking authorities for arresting the wrong man. Cottrell was ultimately convicted and sent to prison.
Civil libertarians have criticized cases like this where political information has been increasingly collected by agents since then Attorney General John Ashcroft relaxed FBI guidelines in 2002. As Connole’s lawyer put it; “How does advocacy of electric cars become the basis for suspicion?”
The FBI has agreed to a $100,000 settlement of the wrongful arrest suit brought against them by Connole, although a spokesperson for the FBI claimed that it was “a good faith mistake.”
Vegans and environmentalists should take note–you are now subject to political profiling!