Sunday, January 23, 2011

Several reasons why American citizens should be allowed to carry guns anywhere they want to.

- If you are at your son's high school basketball game and the ref makes a terrible call, you can threaten to shoot him.

- If you are driving on the freeway and someone cuts you off, you can threaten to shoot him.

- If you come across an actual crime in progress, you can shoot the criminals or anyone else who is standing around that also has a gun out and looks like he might be a criminal. (Of course, there is absolutely zero chance that the police, when they happen upon the scene, or even another citizen armed to the teeth, that they would shoot you because, to them, you look like you might be a criminal.)

- At political events, if someone says something or displays a sign that you disagree with, you can threaten to shoot him.

- If you are at a bar and getting pretty sloshed while watching your favorite football team, you can threaten to shoot anyone who is cheers when the other team scores a touchdown.

- If you are coming back to your parked car and you see someone putting a flyer underneath the windshield wipers but you think he might actually be trying to steal your car, you can threaten to shoot him.

- If you are protesting at a Family Planning clinic, you can threaten to shoot anyone who works there or looks like they might even be thinking about going in the door.

Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona must have really by idyllic places to live in the 1880's, you know, because everyone had a gun and that made everyone extremely safe. Those shootouts in bars and the streets must have really been entertaining. It's really too bad that we don't allow those anymore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So, Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC, huh?

I just saw this at HuffPo. That figures.

I liked Countdown. I thought Keith got rather bombastic at times, sometimes at times when I didn't really think it helped our cause. And he certainly was full of himself at times. But I thought his special comments were, for the most part, spot on. I didn't watch his show all the time. I think I watched Rachel Maddow more often, after she got her show established. But Keith will be missed, that's for sure. He was saying things during the Iraq War that no one, absolutely no one else, had the guts to say on any sort of major broadcast media.

The entire staff at Fox "News" will always have a job, no matter how outrageous they get. MSNBC fires their only person they could remotely describe as a firebrand. I am sure that the wingers will be rubbing their hands in unadulterated glee for the next few weeks. I am sure they will take this as a sign that they were absolutely right in the viewpoint. (EVERYTHING that happens validates their viewpoint...) "We all have our jobs! We didn't get fired! Olbermann got fired. Therefore, we are right and he was wrong!" I am absolutely certain that is how it will be played.

I wonder who the right will now pick on the demonize and say that this person, whoever they pick, is "Just as bad as Glenn Beck. Both sides do it!" I suppose anyone will do. It doesn't even have to any sort of relationship to the truth, because the entire right wing will take up the banner and run with it, and it will then become "conventional wisdom." Rachel Maddow? Possibly. She is one of them "gays", you know. They could probably demonize Captain Kangaroo if he was still with us and they put their mind to it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

There is no possibility of understanding each other when we insist on having completely different realities.

In fact, I believe that we have reached the point in this country where the two sides, commonly referred to as “left” and “right” or “red” and “blue”, do not want to reach an understanding with the other side. All we want is to see the other side lose, hopefully with the added bonus of being humiliated at the same time, and generally lose all credibility for all time.

In support of this not terribly startling hypothesis, I give to you a very personal example; me. I generally look upon myself as a rather reasonable fellow during most of the day, subject to the periodic whims of bad temper and irrational wishes. But generally, I think we, as a nation, should do what is best for our people and the future of our nation. That’s pretty high-level stuff, of course, and rather simplistic. The devil is in the details, as they say. But still, I normally wish for whatever is best for us, collectively, and I am willing to rethink my position when presented with new information.

Still, I am at the point where I have absolutely no wish to understand the mindset of many on the right, because I am convinced they are batshit crazy. They have absolutely no concept of what they are doing, even on a daily basis, except to do or say whatever they think will make their enemies “lose” or “look foolish.” That’s it. They just open their mouths and spit out whatever comes into their minds that they think sounds the best in accomplishing those goals. I won’t go offer specific instances here. You can find them in abundance every single day. I will point to people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, most of Fox “News”, etc. as sources of what I think are insane ravings. I have absolutely no desire to try to look into their side of things, because I believe that would be akin to looking into the Mouth of Madness. There is no understanding possible, because it is impossible for a sane person to truly understand an insane person. All we can know is that person is insane. I experience difficulty when talking with my older brother or someone who used to be my closest friend, because I have to put it out of my mind completely that what I believe and what they believe are in total opposition. It takes as effort even at that level.

One the other side, based on all evidence I have seen, the right has exactly they same mindset, or even worse. They truly believe that every single problem in this country has been created by the left. They don’t want to work with the left to make things better. They want to destroy the left. They don’t want to understand any of our thoughts or positions on issues that affect this country and its people. All they want to do is to crush their enemies. That is what they want.

There is no understanding possible between these two sides. I believe the term is called “irreconcilable differences.” It takes two to tango, as another old saying goes, and in this current situation we have, not only do the two not want to tango, they don’t even want to be in the same building with each other. It is pretty difficult to reach an understanding with each other and work toward constructive solutions to difficult problems when the two hate each other’s guts.

I doubt we are anywhere near the point of, say, what occurred in the now defunct Yugoslavia. But that wasn’t pretty. Or even Northern Ireland. I sincerely hope that we haven’t reached the point where killing each other seems like a natural reaction to real and perceived grievances. But given the rash of “lone madman” events that we have had over the last few years, and add in the case of the very powerful and sophisticated bomb in Spokane, Washington along the parade route on Martin Luther King Day, it seems as if the United States might be closer to those two examples than we might like to admit.

Friday, January 14, 2011

No, of course Sarah Palin “didn’t pull the trigger.”

I don’t know of anyone, even at the anonymous blog commenter level, has said that. No one has ever said that. Personally, I said something like Palin and the rest of the right wing “are culpable.” My dictionary says that means, “Responsible for wrong or error. To blame.” O.K., I accept that I maybe shouldn’t have used that word. I firmly believe the first part of that definition applies. In this case of the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford, they are indeed responsible for wrong or error. They carry some responsibility for bringing down the level of discourse in this country to the point that the whackjobs seem to think violence against people they disagree with is perfectly acceptable, even required. No, Palin, Beck, Rush, Fox News, etc. etc., are not directly to blame for her shooting. Obviously, the lunatic with a gun and some huge mental and emotional problems shot her and hold direct responsibility, for which he should receive the maximum penalty for his heinous crimes. No one has really ever said differently, even if the right-wingers want to parse words and meanings so they can attempt to look like the offended party here.

Here’s a bit of a post from Balloon Juice that is getting at the exact same point.

…the other (and I think more important) dodge that is going on is the attempt to pretend that everyone is blaming Palin and only Palin for the tragedy. It’s just nonsense. Yes, there was some lashing out at Sarah Palin over the crosshairs surveyor’s symbols, which is to be expected, but no one thinks that Sarah Palin is directly responsible for the murders. What is reasonable to discuss is a climate of hate and paranoid fear, fueled by lies and misinformation, that creates an environment in which lunatics like Loughner might be motivated to act out their revenge fantasies. For that, there is no doubt which party is responsible.

Exactly. This is just one more strawman set up to allow the right to assume their usual self-righteous posturing and totally avoid addressing the real issue at hand. What are they going to do about the venomous language that THEIR SIDE continually uses? Are they going to “tone it down” per Roger Ailes? Are they going to adopt a more thoughtful position that allows people to actually discuss issues, per President Obama? I sincerely doubt it. That would be wholly against their nature. That is what they do. As I noted previously, Glenn Beck refuses to acknowledge that he continually uses this kind of language, even though there is direct proof that someone can become so under the influence of Beck’s show that they want to go kill people.

This is really hopeless.

I am also rather upset by the current ongoing meme that somehow, criticism by the left (sometimes, yes, using very strong language) is somehow equally to blame for the degradation of the level of political discourse in this country. Quit making that ridiculous point! What, Democrats, liberals, progressives and people who just generally care about the state of our country are just supposed to sit down, shut up and take whatever lunatic ravings the right comes up with, because it would somehow degrade the level of political discourse if we complain about their lunatic ravings? What horseshit. If someone keeps whacking you with a two by four continually, even single day, are we supposed to sit there and take it because it might cause some people discomfort if we confronted the problem? Everyone has seen the movie, A Christmas Story, right? Did Ralphie cause problems because he finally got tired of the bully picking on him and his friends all the time? That was Ralphie’s fault? Or did he just get tired of getting shit from the bully, ever single day?

I know that hardly anyone reads this blog anymore. Most people come to look at the pictures… But don’t come to me as part of the problem. I am RESPONDING to the problem. Pointing out an issue is NOT the same thing as the issue itself. These two things are not equal. Quit pretending they are.

UPDATE: Good post at Washington Monthly about the Republican's "closed information system." This fits in nicely with what I was discussing above.

So, this is why Sarah Palin chose to resign as governor of Alaska?

This was her “higher calling?” This was what was so damn important that being the governor of one of the United States of American (only 50 of them jobs around, you know)? So she could put out silly-assed tweets, have her own “reality” show (carefully scripted, of course), and to go into full Whiney Grizzly mode when someone has the audacity to criticize her? THIS is it? Excuse me, but WTF?

I cannot for the life of me understand why Sarah Palin is newsworthy, much less considered to be a possible nominee for a major political party for the President of the United States.

You know who Sarah Palin reminds me of? Chrissy on that 70’s sitcom with John Ritter, “Three’s Company.” Chrissy was there, in my mind, for two main reasons. One, eye candy. Two, to drop in unexpectedly and make really extremely silly non-sequiturs that make everyone shut up for a minute to take in the full throated stupidity of the comment. For example…

Jack Tripper: And speaking of current events, did you read the *big* news in the paper this morning?

Chrissy: The May Company is having a huge sale on pantyhose.

Jack Tripper: Excuse me, Chrissy, that's not exactly a current event.

Chrissy: It is so, it's going on right now.

Doesn’t that sound almost exactly like Ms. ex-Half Term Governor?

"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

"All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years." --Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

"But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies." --Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck's radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Things I have learned in the last few days.

- Many, many people care more about easy access to guns than they do about people. Yet, I am assuming that these same people are the ones who are so against abortion, because "life is sacred."

- We must accept the occasional (yearly or less) massacre of U.S. citizens as the price of easy access to guns.

- Criticizing hateful and violence-filled speech may cause harm to someone. But the hateful and violence-filled speech itself is totally innocent and should never be targeted for any blame, ever.

- Reading Mein Kamph and To Kill A Mockingbird makes you a liberal, even if you attempt to assassinate a Democratic congresswoman.

- Some Republicans may actually agree with the some of the left's criticism of the hate filled rhetoric that is going on today. However, they are so scared about upsetting the right that they will only offer that criticism anonymously.

- Asking for some restraint about some of the violent imagery being used is the same thing as trying to censor certain words and suppress right wing radio.

- "Both sides do it", even though hardly anyone ever offers up concrete examples of hate filled rhetoric from the left. The examples that are given are usually pretty tepid, such as a Daily Kos diarist saying that Giffords is "dead to me." That is apparently exactly the same as Sarah Palin's gunsight mailings targeting Democrats and saying that her followers "shouldn't retreat! Reload!"

- Anything that President Obama does or says is absolutely the worst thing that he could have said or done and must be roundly criticized.

- Oh, here's a new one. Democrats support the shooter of Gabby Giffords and want to get him "off", as in not be convicted of any crime, because Democrats want to use this to blame Republicans. Thanks, Rush, for that wonderful insight. That's just brilliant. How much do you make a year, again?

Any other candidates?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Glenn Beck is delusional.

He is delusion in either one of two ways. Either he doesn’t remember what he has said in the past or refuses to believe it, or else he doesn’t think anyone will notice when he contradicts himself.

Either way, this guy is a fruitcake. He shouldn’t be in charge of a car wash, much less have a nationally syndicated radio show and an hour long television show on a major “news” network.

So, here is innocent Glenn (via Crooks and Liars):

Beck: Well, I don't use it (violent rhetoric) on or off the air, so I guess I'm in compliance, Media Matters.

Annndddd, here is crazy Glenn, the one that the innocent Glenn refuses to remember (from Rising Hegemon):

BECK: Hang on, let me just tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus — band — Do, and I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, “Yeah, I’d kill Michael Moore,” and then I’d see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I’d realize, “Oh, you wouldn’t kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn’t choke him to death.” And you know, well, I’m not sure.

Oh, gosh. Let me see. Is debating aloud choking Michael Moore to death violent rhetoric. Hmmmm…

I am almost as despondent about the response to the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords as I was the shooting itself.

I was correct that no one would ever consider that some of the imagery and inflammatory language may not be appropriate. Nope. The overwhelming response of the right has been very predictable. It’s not their fault. Those weren’t gun sights. How dare liberals use this incident to try to score political points. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for even thinking such a thing. Bill O’Reilly is terribly angry, and we all know he has never been angry at anything before, ever, at the New York Times and we should all condemn them.


It is all so predictable. And insane, too, of course. I would have never thought that people could be so stubborn, so insistent that their “side” is always right and the other side is always evil, and that all narratives absolutely must be adjusted accordingly, no matter the situation or the cost to American citizens and the country as a whole. The narrative must be preserved!

Here are some of my thoughts about some of the bigger narratives that have emerged in the last couple of days.

Narrative 1: The shooter is obviously mentally unstable. The use of sometimes violent rhetoric and imagery by the conservatives and right wing pundits of this country had no impact on this guy. He would have done what he did anyway.

My response: That is quite possibly true. We don’t know for certain. But given the political climate of this country right now and the real and threatened violence (see my previous post) that is coming from the right these days, don’t you think that it might be prudent to tone it down, even though there is may be no direct evidence that the shooter was motivated by political hate speech? Wouldn’t that be a wise thing to do?

Narrative 2: Both sides have a problem with out of control political hate speech.

My response: Nope. No they don’t. This is almost purely a right wing problem. See my previous post.

Narrative 3: Liberals want to control dissent by outlawing certain language.

My response: What a horseshit strawman that is. No one is saying that anything about censorship. We are calling for self-restraint. Those are two very different things. Morons.

Narrative 4: This country doesn’t need more gun control laws. We actually need less. If more people in that crowd had been armed, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.

My response: Yeah, that’s a really smart idea. Have all sorts of people open up with their weapons into a crowd that is already in shock. Lots more people would have probably ended up shot than they did. Plus, it wouldn’t have stopped the guy initially. He came up behind Giffords and shot her in the head before anyone knew what was happening. He then opened up with a semi-automatic pistol filled with 32 cartridges. And it is obvious that, even if this lunatic knew that everyone in the crowd was armed, he would have gone through with his attack anyway. He knew he was going to be caught and possibly gunned down, and he did it anyway.

Narrative 5: The gunman wasn’t a conservative! He was a leftist! He said his favorite books were Mein Kamph and To Kill a Mockingbird!

My response: You are now insulting our intelligence. This is just one more example of saying the first thing that comes to mind that could possibly, just remotely possibly, be true and conservatives think this somehow addresses the issue. The guy wrote tracts, although just barely coherent, about the evils of government and how the government wants to control the population by the use of grammar. He was also on about U.S. currency not being backed by gold and silver. Plus, he specifically targeted a Democratic congresswoman he didn’t like for assassination. Does that sound like a liberal to anyone? All you can come up with to support your position is the guy’s reading list? And when is Mein Kamph a favorite of liberals?

There may be more narratives out there. I may update this post if I think of more.

I’ll just leave you with the latest cartoon from Tom Tomorrow, via Salon. I think he hits it on the head.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

So, is this what Sharron Angle meant by exercising our Second Amendment Rights?

Here's what she said while running for U.S. Senator in Nevada.

“You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.”

“I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, ‘my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?’ I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

It wasn't Harry Reid this time. It was Ms. Gabby Gifford, a U.S. Representative from the state of Arizona. Is this what Sharron Angle meant? If Republicans don't win at the ballot box, then they are free to use guns? If so, I guess she is getting her wish.

Is this the armed revolution that Glenn Beck is constantly referring to?

I'm just so sick of this. I am sick of living in a country where hypocrites seem to be always the ones that get to set the rules, and mentally unstable people are spoon fed hate filled rhetoric. Democrats and liberals are apparently considered to be fair game for no other reason than they have a different opinion than do the hard core conservatives.

I have actually been predicting something like this for about a while now, ever since crazy people started carrying guns to Town Hall meetings and rallies for Barack Obama. It was just inevitable. We have had many close calls and some idiots actually carried out their insane delusions. Did we just have a couple of explosive packages go off in Maryland at some government offices? I think I saw where the authorities thought that the sender was upset about some traffic policies or something. We had a maniac crash a small airplane into an IRS building because he was upset about his taxes. The message we are constantly hearing is that government is evil and you are fully justified in taking violent action against it. How can anyone I'm rather surprised that more people haven't gotten killed.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this will be the last straw. This will be the thing that pulls us, as a country, back from the brink. Perhaps. But I really doubt it. I really am waiting to see what Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and their kind come up with to excuse themselves. I can't see Beck or Limbaugh ever apologizing or rethinking their position, ever. They are paid to be bombastic assholes who are always right and never, ever will admit to a mistake. Oh, they will probably issue some half-baked statements trying to cover their collective asses, just like Glenn Beck did when Byron Williams became inspired by Beck's tirades to go shoot up the Tides Foundation. Oh, no, Beck had nothing to do with this! He's only an entertainer! A rodeo-cowboy! How could anyone believe that Beck had anything to do with that? I'm also waiting to see what kind of BS that the NRA comes out with. I am sure it will be some self-serving statement that acknowledges no guilt, deflects all blame, and probably tries to blame liberals somehow.

My heart goes out to all the shooting victims and their friends and families. I hope Ms. Gifford can recover so that she may live a full and meaningful life.

The remainder of my heart is a very black place right now. It is unfortunate, I suppose, that I don't believe in God, Heaven or Hell. Because if I did, I would sincerely pray for those people who advocate violence against those they disagree with the very hottest corner of hell for all eternity.

UPDATE: Some "morning after" thoughts on the Arizona shooting.

I see that many are calling for "both parties" to turn down the rhetoric. BS. I do not see ANYONE on the left, except for maybe a few little bloggers or anonymous commenters, ever calling for violence. Congress people do not do it. Rachael Maddow and Keith Olbermann are always highlighted as liberal commenters. I have never, ever heard them advocate violence. They are some of the ones asking for people to turn it down. This "both sides do it" crap is just that, crap. This is almost exclusively a right/conservative issue. Just look at this list of violence and threatened violence against prominent figures since 2008. Please. I do not see a whole lot of violence or threatened violence against the right or their organizations. This is NOT a problem for "both sides."

Even if this nut that shot the congresswoman yesterday and a whole lot of innocent bystanders isn't a tea party crackpot, even if he isn't a Glenn Beck fan like Byron Williams was (discussed above), even if he wasn't affected by Sarah Palin's election map with cross-hairs over many political races, there is still the issue of this intense and hateful rhetoric egging on people who may be so inclined. Because I am sure that the reaction from all this intense criticism by the left of the right's hateful BS is going to be something along the lines of "Hey, it wasn't our fault! This guy is just (one more) nut. You can't prove any connection."

I call bullshit. Human beings are incredibly easy to manipulate. Just look at TV commercials. Companies wouldn't spend billions of dollars trying to influence human behavior (in that case, buying their crap) unless it works. You can get people to believe anything if you try hard enough. My favorite example is the Hitler Youth. Of course, at this point, someone will know screech "Godwin's Law!" If you mention Nazis, then you are obviously not a serious person. My point here is to take that the Nazis took a very extreme position and were able to convince many people that they were like gods. So, why then isn't there a connection between this hateful bile that is filled with implied violence completely isolated from society? Propaganda works, especially for people who would like to believe whatever is being pushed in the first place.

So, Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, you do not get a pass here!! You are culpable in this horrific shooting. All that needs to be discussed is the extent.

UPDATE 2: Yep, I was right. That didn't take long. Those symbols on Sarah Palin's political map during the campaign, the one that said "Don't retreat. Reload!" Those were not gun sights. Those were "surveyor symbols."

Uh-huh. Yeah. And I'm Tinkerbell.

UPDATE 3: Here are some of the visuals I mentioned earlier.

This first one is the campaign material targeting, and I do mean targeting, some Democrats. Those do not look like "surveyor's symbols" to me. I find it just amazing that Palin and all of the conservatives right now will never, ever admit they were wrong about anything or apologize to anyone about anything. This could have easily been taken care of by, "Sorry. Yes, that was inappropriate. Our campaign shouldn't have done that." If that would have occurred, the story would have been over, for the most part. But trying to pass those off as surveyor's symbols? Please...

This next one is something was seen around the internets during the campaign last year. Nope, no visual imagery there. Move along, nothing to see here.

The next time I hear this "both sides do it" meme, I would like someone to give some examples like this from the left.

Earth’s magnetic poles are not moving! It’s all a liberal plot!

From Yahoo News.

An airport in Tampa, Florida, has had to temporarily close its runways to keep up with Earth's magnetic north pole, which is drifting toward Russia at a rate of 40 miles per year.

Fox News reports that the international airport was forced to adjust the signs on its busiest runway Thursday because pilots depend on the magnetic fields to navigate. The runway will be closed until Jan. 13, and will re-open with new taxiway signs that indicate its new location on aviation charts, the Tampa Bay Tribune reports.

This is just another example of liberal hysteria, attempting to destroy America from within. Exactly how that’s supposed to work, I am not really sure. But I’m sure that’s true. You can’t trust liberals with anything. There’s no doubt this is just one more example of junk science. There is absolutely no basis in fact for this. For starters, God would not allow such a thing to occur. The Bible says nothing about Earth’s magnetic poles ever moving, so it can’t possibly occur. God would not let airplanes land in a cornfield over to the side of runways. God intended for airplanes to land ON the runways!

Besides, if the Earth’s magnetic poles were really moving, eventually it would cause a whole lot more problems than just having some airport maps being wrong. A full flip of the magnetic poles, which those “scientists” tell us have happened with some regularity in Earth’s history, could eventually mean some big trouble for us as a human species. The magnetic field, we are supposed to believe, shields the Earth and its inhabitants from cosmic rays, whatever those are, and the solar wind. I have never seen the Aurora Borealis, so it must not exist. If Earth was exposed to these things from space which I don’t believe in while the magnetic pole situation was sorting itself out, lots of rather bad things could happen. So, I choose to believe that it won’t happen.

Damn Obama and this Magneto-gate! It’s all his fault.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How come snow removal doesn't fall under the umbrella of libertarianism?

Every time any major city has a big snowfall that overwhelms the ability of the local governments to keep the roads clear (and here in Seattle, that means about three inches), you always hear someone griping about how incompetent the local government is and how come all this happened? I am wondering (only rhetorically, of course) why all the tea bag conservatives aren't complaining to the high heavens about how much money all this snow removal is costing. "I don't want my hard earned tax dollars to be used in clearing streets that I DON'T USE! Let those other people bring cat litter to get their cars out of the ditch if they want to drive there. But why isn't the road in front of my house cleared off yet?"

It just seems incredibly odd (meaning "hypocritical") that you don't hear anyone complaining about the services that government provides at whatever level -- city, county, state or federal -- when their own self-interest comes into play.

Maybe we could move to a system like that local fire fighting district in Florida. If you haven't paid your yearly snow removal fee, then you don't get to drive on cleared streets after a snowstorm.