Ironies 

California's Solar Shade Control Act protects solar panels from obstructions from sunlight, and in January, Santa Clara County officials sought to enforce the law against homeowners who themselves are staunch environmentalists. Since the back yard of Prius-owners Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett contains lush redwood trees that block their neighbor's panels, the county ordered that the trees be cut down.

Tolerance: In November, 70 petitioning neighbors said they were fed up with the Museum of Tolerance in West Hollywood, Calif. The final straw was the museum's application to expand its building, extend hours of operation until midnight, and reduce the buffer zone between it and nearby homes.

Officials of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, initially agreed to host the annual multi-denominational Austin Area Interreligious Ministries Thanksgiving celebration last year, but abruptly canceled when they came to realize that Muslims might actually pray there. Under criticism, the church said that it "hopes" the religious community "will ... be tolerant of our church's beliefs" that necessitated the decision. [Austin American-Statesman, 11-16-07]

In January, the Chinese retailers at Beijing's Silk Street Market, which is a notorious supplier of knock-off merchandise such as Louis Vuitton, announced that they would begin creating clothing and other items under their own SilkStreet brand, and they naturally issued the warning, "Anyone using the brand (without permission) will be held liable." [Reuters, 1-24-08]

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