Oregon Organic Farm Threatened With Forced Herbicide Use Reaches Settlement With County

Last weekend we featured two articles (HERE and HERE) describing a controversy involving the forced use of chemical herbicides on an organic farm that according to County officials was out of compliance in controlling noxious weeds that were threatening neighboring farms and crops.

The 2,000 acre organic farm in North Central Oregon is facing what could be an existential threat to its operations after county weed control authorities sent notice mandating that the farm use chemical herbicides to eradicate weed growth.

I attended the public hearing held at the Sherman County seat located in Moro, Oregon. Due to a very high volume of interest expressed by residents and those outside the community, the venue was changed from the County Courthouse to a gymnasium at the Sherman County High School. There was a great deal of uncertainty manifest in this hearing with strongly held opinions on many sides and one can say with near certainty that the publicity generated caused turmoil in this small community. In fact, the concern was so great, that a number of law enforcement officials were dispatched to the area to provide security to address a worry that things might get out of hand. But in the end the two sides reached an agreement that precludes the forced use of herbicides–and offered both a carrot and stick for both parties to strongly consider.

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McCabe: FBI Agents Were “Vocal” In Their Dissatisfaction Over Failure To Indict Clinton

Andrew_McCabe_official_photoHillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziThe testimony of Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday grabbed headlines in his direct contradiction of the White House claim that former FBI Director James Comey has lost the support of career agents.  McCabe made clear that the rank and file were (and remain) entirely supportive of Comey.  However, I thought the most interesting aspect of the hearing was a brief discussion of the 2016 decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. McCabe, who is viewed by many Republicans as having problematic links to the Clinton camp (through his wife who ran for office with their financial support), said that the failure to indict Clinton produced “vocal” opposition from the agents investigating her conduct.

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The United Arab Emirates Arrests Vacationing Couple For Sex Outside Of Marriage After Doctor Discovers That Ukrainian Woman Is Pregnant

The United Arab Emirates have supplied the most recent example of the Sharia legal system in the Muslim world.  South African Emlyn Culverwell‚ 29, and his Ukrainian fiancée Iryna Nohai, 27, were arrested after Nohai wemt to the doctor over stomach pains.  In the UAE doctors appear to have no notion of confidentiality (or humanity) and informed the police when he discovered that she was pregnant.  Since she had not yet married Culverwell, that meant that they had violated the Islamic code against sex outside of marriage — even though the impregnation occurred outside of the UAE.  They are criminally charged.

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$5,000 Hamburger: One Claims It Was ‘Absolutely Worth It’. No, It Was Not.

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

(Hamburger Stock Photo)

While I consider myself to be more of libertarian and believe individuals should be able to spend their money as they please, no matter how foolishly, there are times where conspicuous consumption is so insulting and demeaning to those who have little it can only be described as a bit immoral.

I read a review by Robert Frank of CNBC of a restaurant that serves a Five Thousand Dollar Hamburger created by Chef Hubert Keller’s “Fleur” restaurant at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The articles author claims the burger was “absolutely worth it.”

Obviously, I don’t doubt the quality or the hype–reportedly twenty-eight of these burgers have been reportedly sold so far–congratulations to them for being such a good business model and their windfall but what is the social cost to this level of arrogant consumption given that ordinary people must work to pay for basics.

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Ninth Circuit Briefing Completed Today For Ruling On Trump Appeal

200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgdepartment-of-justice-logo1 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will have a completed record for its review of the lower court’s stay of the Trump immigration executive order this afternoon. While much has been made of the court declined to issue an immediate stay of the lower court under the earlier emergency motion, the decision was very predictable. The Court instead ordered for an expedited response from the states of Washington and Minnesota. That argument is complete today. What remains is a relatively rare procedural process in seeking to review a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the issuance of a written opinion, let alone a permanent injunction.

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TRUMP NOMINATES NEIL GORSUCH FOR THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT

ap17024739756097President Donald Trump has made his choice for the Supreme Court and it is Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49.  With the selection, President Trump would be submitting a jurist with unassailable credentials and proven intellect.  He is also someone with a proven conservative record, though there are a few blind spots for those who want a nominee vaccinated against what conservatives view as the David Souter virus — a creeping condition where a conservative gravitates to the left of the Court with time.  Last night, The Hill newspaper ran my column on Gorsuch and his unquestioned qualifications.

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Mr. Mnuchin’s Mortgage Marauders

By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”

-Ambrose Bierce, “The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary”

I have frequently criticized media coverage of legal issues. For example, news reports often attribute significance to orders on routine procedural motions that is wholly unwarranted. And even reporters with legal backgrounds are not clear and understandable in their explanation of court rulings to laypersons. So when I came across reports that Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin’s bank had filed a mortgage foreclosure action against a 90 year old Florida widow over 27 cents, I was skeptical.

But the story interested me because the subject of the suit resides in Polk County, only an hour’s drive from where I live. In addition, with the advent of electronic filing in court proceedings, I knew that I could access the court files online and review the actual record in the case. I have now done so and have concluded that the stories have been misleading, but not for the reasons one might expect. What has happened to Ms. Ossie Lofton of Lakeland, Florida is worse than what has been reported.

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