What is the New York Times saying?

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In an article titled “Debate on Trump Project takes the Low Road,” about some troubling goings-on in the hamlet of Balmedie, Scotland, the lead paragraphs read as follows:

Since refusing to let Donald Trump buy his house, inconveniently located in the middle of Mr. Trump’s planned $1.5 billion development in the countryside here, Michael Forbes has had an unusual number of visits from local enforcement officers.

One, he said, came to see whether he was abusing his hens, his geese or his horse (he was not). Another came to see whether he had an unlicensed shotgun (he did not). And a third came to investigate reports that there was a flammable substance in an old tanker on his land (there was not).

Mr. Forbes, a fisherman and granite quarry worker who has lived here for 41 years, since he was 15, said he did not care and would not move, no matter who wanted him to. But the unpleasant attention he is getting, regardless of who is behind it, comes as no surprise to the scattered, battered opponents of Mr. Trump’s grand golf-and-housing project, which already has preliminary approval and may start construction early next year.”

Who is behind it? The story suggests that perhaps it is people sympathetic with, or somehow in league with, Trump. And this raises the question: If such forms of harassment warrant attention, are they only when they happen abroad, in quaint locales? How much harassment, most of it illegal and some of it improperly employing the arm of the law, happens on our fair shores, and even right in the New York Times’s hometown? Anyone who has been on the wrong end of the wrath of a landlord or developer knows that this is all too common—and deserves far more coverage that it has gotten in a news media long smitten with the delights of real estate speculation.

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