I hate to make this the third
posts coming soon–no I really mean it this time post in a row. Unfortunately, it seems that I will have to.
We’ve been having short-lived storms and power fluctuations for the past few days; and the result is, apparently, that sometime during the morning a power surge proved too much for our wireless router’s delicate sensibilities. Until a new one arrives, this means that L. and I have to take turns on the Internet, and I can’t use it from anywhere further away than an Ethernet tether on my laptop. And that effectively means that I won’t have much of an opportunity to post at any length over the next several days. (If you’d like to speed the process of my getting back up to speed–or just like helping out a hardship case–a new router is going to cost us about US$50.00; feel free to toss a few coins in the hat here.)
Whenever I complain about the annual tribute exacted by the State, one of the first responses that I always get is that the State has every right to demand taxes, because of all the public infrastructure services–roads, water, electricity, and all the rest that the State gives me access to. Of course, that is not quite an answer in the first place: since I never asked the government to provide me these things, it seems a tad rude for them to come up and demand payment or else. But let’s grant, for the moment, the legitimacy of the reply: if tax burdens are justified by the degree to which the government supplies useful services, then what have I got? Thanks to the leisurely pace of monopolistic road maintenance, the street in front of my house has been reduced from pavement to muddy dunes for the past three weeks; in the course of the roadwork my water has been turned off at unpredictable intervals for hours at a time; and now the electrical
service that my hard earned tax dollars were extorted to underwite has fried my router.
But since these are all government-provided or government-underwritten services in a liberal democratic polity, and since that means they are
accountable to the public rather than to the bottom line, I’m sure that I can just take my complaints down to city hall and, as with any responsible service provider, they’ll handle all my concerns in a polite and timely fashion. The troubles will, no doubt, be dealt with soon and I will be given compensation for any damage or inconvenience that their screw-ups may have caused–because, hey, it’s the government, so the people call the shots, right?
(And if you believe that, I have an 802.11b wireless router in tip-top shape that you might be interested in buying…)