The owners of this property in Carmel, Calif., wanted to build a starter castle. The California Coastal Commission generally doesn't allow new building in coastal communities, especially ugly starter castles. So the dude decided to "remodel" his existing home:
Apparently, this fits the definition of "remodeling" in Monterey County, believe it or not. The CCC, however, required him to take 4 m (12.5 ft) off the top of his proposed refit, so it will wind up being only 3 stories tall.
Gotta draw the line somewhere, I guess.
What I'm reading right now (and what Anne can't wait to borrow):
It appears we're finally going to have an impartial, thorough investigation into the run-up to the Iraq war, conducted by an governmental organization with the power and motivation to do it right: the U.K. House of Commons.
That's what happens when you have a 36% approval rating.
I'm glad someone agrees with me. :)
From today's Chicago Tribune:
"The president could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people: 'Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, there are things that I would have done differently. But now that I'm here, I'm going to work with both Republicans and Democrats to find the most responsible way out,'" [Illinois U.S. Senator Barack] Obama said. "Imagine if he did that, how it would transform the politics of our country."
—Guest blogger Anne
First, Andy Borowitz has a hi-larious report today:
In a ploy designed to put House Democrats on the spot, Republicans in the House of Representatives today insisted upon a floor vote on a new resolution banning the drowning of kittens. While few in the House expected the kitten-drowning resolution to pass, the House GOP leadership hoped that by calling for the floor vote they might force Democrats into an embarrassing position that they would have to explain to their constituents back home during the Thanksgiving recess.
Second, more seriously, Paul Krugman (reg.req.) says it's time to leave Iraq:
The fact is that we're not going to stay in Iraq until we achieve victory, whatever that means in this context. At most, we'll stay until the American military can take no more.
Mr. Bush never asked the nation for the sacrifices - higher taxes, a bigger military and, possibly, a revived draft - that might have made a long-term commitment to Iraq possible. Instead, the war has been fought on borrowed money and borrowed time. And time is running out.
From Molly Ivins' column today:
One of our better political commentators, Tom Tomorrow, has boiled down our entire current political debate to one question: "Are they stupid, or are they lying?"
Dan Savage's Op-Ed today (reg.req.) asks a reasonable question:
If the Republicans can propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, why can't the Democrats propose a right to privacy amendment? Making this implicit right explicit would forever end the debate about whether there is a right to privacy. And the debate over the bill would force Republicans who opposed it to explain why they don't think Americans deserve a right to privacy - which would alienate not only moderates, but also those libertarian, small-government conservatives who survive only in isolated pockets on the Eastern Seaboard and the American West.
Thanks to Angela Riccetti for this one.
The Code Project has today publicized details about Sony's DRM CreepyWare that lets Sony know what CDs you're listening to. It also hides in the bowels of your Windows operating system and can't be un-installed without downloading a buggy patch from Sony.
I'm all in favor of protecting copyrights. But this is creepy, and more offensive than the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of 1998.
Update: The L.A. Times has the story now.
Anne and I were shocked—shocked!—to learn on NPR's Morning Edition that the Food and Drug Administration ruled against allowing Plan B to be dispensed without a prescription, before the scientific panel had released its findings.
It was shocking because they actually had a scientific panel looking at the question.
Paul Krugman's column (reg.req.) in today's New York Times explains "adverse selection," and why it means that free markets don't work for health care.