[ExI] why do we need them?

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Sun Aug 4 16:08:48 UTC 2013

In the less-safe parts of the world, an embassy is a refuge for its country's
citizens. I face arrest, being beat up by thugs, don't have the fare to get
home — a consular office is a place of physical safety and access to
one's country's capabilities.

In theory, that could be accomplished with a private, global, personal
security insurance policy, but it'd be challenging to run one that could
survive in a country where it was needed. (See, however, the Weapon
Shops of Isher.)

More dated: When I was in Israel, struggling with textbooks in Hebrew
through high school, it was very useful that the American embassy had
a lending library that was intended to offer everything that would be in
an American high school's library. Before applying to colleges in the
US, I took the SAT and Achievement Test subject exams at the

The former use was already phased out for budget reasons while I
was there. (Luckily, I was able to snag the most useful books thanks
to a friend who worked there.)

The latter use is still necessary, although it could easily be done
under private auspices, as it is in the US.

-- David.

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