Final Word from Wednesday, February 15, 2012

As the snow piles up on the sidewalk, watch what the citizens do with it. Often they shovel it into the street, building up huge mounds and preventing some of the parked cars from extricating themselves once the snow turns to ice. Asked why they do it, they say haughtily that there's no other place to put the white stuff, thereby absolving themselves of the mess they're creating in the street. They're a bit like the authors of the new petition, "Let's not exclude ourselves from Europe." The main argument given for urging Petr Nečas to sign up for the EU fiscal compact is that there is no place else to go, because the Russians are eager to fill the vacuum left if the CR disqualifies itself from Europe. The authors pay no heed to the warning signs that unconditional acceptance of the treaty will strengthen the EU's dictatorial tendencies. Sometimes there truly is no other place to put the snow, but it's wise to look at all the options and to work things out with the neighbors before imposing a hardship on others that will remain until the thaw comes. [Czech Republic budgetary European Union winter]

Glossary of difficult words

to do, give or pull a snow job on someone - (slang) to make an effort to deceive, persuade or overwhelm someone with insincere talk; 

to extricate - to free (someone or something) from a constraint or difficulty; 

haughtily - arrogantly superior or disdainful; 

white stuff - snow (but also cocaine, so be careful!); 

heed - careful attention; 

hardship - severe suffering or privation; 

thaw - a period of warmer weather that melts ice and snow; a relaxation of controls or restrictions.

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