The military taught us to be charitable and to do good works in our free time. And so over the years I have done a lot of volunteer and charity work, both while I was stateside when I was on active duty, and much more since I have retired from active duty. One day, years ago, I was volunteering at a drug and alcohol detox center and I attended a Narcotics Anonymous meeting there out of curiosity. For those who might be concerned, this was an "open" meeting. The public was welcome. Before the meeting started, the person chairing the meeting mentioned that her cable company had accidentally gotten the settings wrong for her apartment and she was receiving all the premium movie channels free of charge. Since honesty was an integral part of her "progam", she said she was going to have to contact the cable company in the morning to alert them to this oversight. An addict going through detox overheard this and became extremely agitated. He began ranting about cable companies and their high prices and went on a tear for a while, ending his outburst with something I have never forgotten. "Cable should be free...LIKE THE ROADS!" Clearly, this man had never paid a tax dollar in his life. "Free...like the roads." For literally hundreds of years, Americans somehow eked out a cable-free existence. In history books, this was known as the Dark Ages. We old-timers had to get by on rabbit ears, some tin foil, and three channels. Maybe on a good day we could pick up a UHF channel or two. But now that some entrepreneurs managed to wire our entire nation with what Pink Floyd called "500 channels of shit on the TV to choose from" at astronomical expense, this entitled young junkie felt this service was now OWED to him. As if that was not bad enough, by not providing him this service for free, "like the roads", the cable companies are suddenly transformed into evil incarnate for withholding it from him. Something which has never existed before somehow becomes something to be demanded, and refusal of the demand means selfishness and immorality on the part of the provider. The provider is, through means never quite explained, imposing their philosophy on those making the demand for free service. The mere act of not giving something away is labeled as a war on whatever group is making the demand. All of this is based on the astonishing fallacy the service is "free, like the roads". It never enters the mind of the entitled that what they are demanding is the cost of the service be transferred from them and onto someone else. "Gimme this, and make that guy over there pay for it." To misdirect your attention from the cost tranferrence of this demand, the entitled will appeal to the emotions of the mob by rolling out a hapless victim. "Pity the sufferer", they say, "and give us ALL what we are demanding. What kind of hater would deny this person compassion?" This use of a human shield to get something for nothing is shameless and abusive, but nothing is beneath the self-absorbed mentality. If a landlord chooses not to have his apartment complex wired with cable and has decided the tenants can pay for their own cable to be wired up, is he sinfully withholding something from his tenants? That argument would be valid from the entitled's perspective. If the tenants roll out a homebound handicapped tenant to make their case, and the landlord then accedes to his tenants' demands and provides all of them with cable, but then adds the cost to their rent, why the hue and cry that would go up! Cable should be free...like the roads! When I speak of the "entitlement mentality" and use the expression "roll out the cancer lady", this is the kind of attitude I am talking about which is so rampant in our political discourse in this country today.