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Uncle Sam…Off the Grid

April 17, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

It is that time of year in the U.S. “Beware of the Ides of March” is a famous warning to Julius Caeser. “Beware of the Ides of April” should be an equally famous warning from Uncle Sam. John and Paul once wrote, “(if you drive a car) -- I’ll tax the street; (if you try to sit) -- I’ll tax your seat; (if you get too cold) -- I’ll tax the heat; (if you take a walk) -- I’ll tax your feet.” Why? “‘Cause I’m the taxman, Yeah, I’m the taxman.” uncle sam.gifYep, it’s tax day and I hope that you will have filed by midnight tonight. Or filed your extension. More and more taxes are being filed online and that’s a good thing because I understand that it saves dollars per filing. Which, in turn, means fewer dollars are needed by the government for processing taxes, which means your taxes should be lower. Right? In sum, paying your taxes online saves me and you money. So, hat’s off to Uncle Sam for encouraging online filing.The Uncle Sam I’m talking about in this title, however, is my brother Sam. He is a new Uncle to my 10 week old, Jack, and he’s coming to visit this weekend. He lives in Black Mountain, NC, outside of Asheville and often has black bears in his yard coming down from the mountains looking for food or water. That’s neither here nor there. What is here AND there is the fact that he doesn’t have Internet access at his house. He could have it if he wanted, but he CHOOSES not to have it. Yep, no e-mail. Yep, no reading NYTimes (for free with registration) online. Yep, no checking sports scores or checking local events. No ease of online shopping. No online banking. No comparison shopping before making a big purchase. He says he just doesn’t want it. He’s had it before and has a computer perfectly capable of accessing the Internet. As someone who absolutely LIVES on the internet (and also makes a living OFF of the Internet), I just don’t understand where he is coming from. He’s got a cell phone, so he isn’t ANTI-technology, but he just doesn’t see the necessity of being online. Can someone help me understand? Thoughts? Anyone? Bueller? I want to make sure that before he visits Jack that what he has isn’t communicable. Thanks for any help in advance.ADDENDUM: Is asking for the rationale for NOT being on the Internet via a blog akin to posting written notices for a meeting of “Illiterates Anonymous”?

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