Census issues

| June 26, 2009 | 11 Replies

Here’s a topic I haven’t followed well enough, as became obvious to me when I saw this little gem of a video on Huffpo. I had NO IDEA that one of the reasons Those-Who-Hate-Government-But-Want-Government-to-Manage-Religion-and-Reproduction are threatening not to fill out their census forms is the fear of being placed in Internment Camps. Yep, that maven of legislative insight, Michele Bachmann, warns Glenn Beck of the dire consequences we may well repeat from the WWII era. She also laments the missing “are you here illegally?” question (because of course all undocumented workers would ‘fess right up to that on an official government form). My guess is that if that question were to be included, she would laud the potential camps as a place to put those illegal aliens after we sorted the Census forms into the “citizen,” “legal non-citizen” and “scum of the earth” piles and then rounded ‘em all up for deportation.

I find it impossible to understand how this woman was actually elected by actual human voters. Even Glenn Beck, one of the most unrealistic commentators out there, seems baffled by her statements – and I’m thinking that for a Republican, that’s hard to accomplish.

Take a look at the Census notebook given to members of Congress, containing the proposed Census questions and the justifications for asking them.  Note that two versions are included; the longer version will be distributed to a much smaller, but hopefully representational, portion of the population.

So here’s my question, DI readers.  How do you feel about a 25+-page census form?  Does the government need our phone numbers?  Should we be concerned that we are expected to turn over so much information about ourselves?  Why would you oppose sharing this information?  I’m guessing that if one opposes government involvement in our lives, one believes said government does not need demographic information on which to base programs, taxes, etc.  What else?  Just trying to parse through the pros and cons, and am interested in hearing some intelligent thoughts on the matter.

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Category: American Culture, Civil Rights, Community, Culture, Current Events, ignorance

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I am a writer and communication professional in St. Louis, Missouri, a crafter of jewelry, a disorganized optimist and most importantly, the adoptive mom of two China-born daughters.

Comments (11)

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  1. Geis says:

    > Does the government need our phone numbers?

    Don't they already have our phone numbers?

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    It's kind of stupid to include a question like "Are you an illegal alien?" on a questionaire. Like who is going to answer yes to that question? It's in the same ballpark as a frustrated mother asking her misbehaving child if he wants a spanking – ever heard a kid answer with "Yeah! Please?".

    There has been a lot of BS from talk radio about the local census that some cities take where they are using GPS enabled data loggers to get the longitude and latitude of buildings, with all kind of conspiracy theories as to why the need the geospatial data. It is really funny to hear these self-glorifying horses-arses spewing paranoia and sillyness.

    We have two of the worst ones in Tennessee, Fred Thompson and Phil Valentine.

  3. Stacy Kennedy says:

    The census is mandated by the Constitution; but most of the Republicans who are pushing this "ACORN wants to put you in internment camps" crap know that; I think what they're really worried about is how the Census is going to be counted and who'll have oversight.

    This is what gets me about the conservative punditry. Give them a real issue–and there does seem to be some legitimate controversy over how to conduct the Census, with the Obama White House favoring "sampling" while the Constitution calls for "enumeration"–and instead of intelligent discussion, we get hyperbole from some buffoon like Bachman which is aimed at the stupidest and most hostile members of their base.

    And when we point out that they're behaving like jackasses, we're a bunch of elitist snobs.

  4. Mindy Carney says:

    I agree, Stacy – I think it bears real discussion, yet we can't seem to have that, because we can't get past the rants. Oy.

  5. Tim Hogan says:

    Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Don't fill out the Census forms, yeah!

    Then the state that you reside in will get a lesser amount of money from any of those hated programs that will give the rest of us more highways, money for education and health care and anything else these yappers oppose!

    Oh, and their states will lose US House members or not get more US House members that they deserve!

    The whole thing sounds like a Rahm Emmanuel plot to have the GOP yappers further self destruct.

    Ooopsie daisies! I tipped the yappers off!

    It won't matter, they don't listen because they've put the Kool-aid on an IV, or get sub-cranial injections!.

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2009/04/27/repub

  6. Karl says:

    Conservatives have always been in favor of fulfilling the constitutional requirements of taking the census.

    It matters not to most people that the job needs to be done. What should matter is that its not done in a partisan fashion. Acorn is not a grass roots organization for the people, they have an agenda that is not free of political affiliation. There are court cases right now over this whole issue.

    Wake up!

    Just like elections, a publicly funded group should not be partisan or if it can be shown that they are they should lose their public funding.

  7. Tim Hogan says:

    Karl, what court cases? ACORN just won a lawsuit filed in Missouri to compel the Missouri Dept. of Social Services to comply with federal law and offer voter registration at sites where poor people get services. The former GOP Governor, Matt Blunt, was sued by ACORN for Missouri's failure to comply with federal law and register DSS clients if not registered. It cost Missouri taxpayers $450,000 in attorney's fees on top of the costs of compliance which should have been amortized over a number of years had we followed federal law.

    If anything, it is conservatives and the GOP which have failed and refused to comply with laws, and been entirely partisan in their actions with the public.

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2009/04/27/repub

    http://dangerousintersection.org/2009/06/22/us-su

    http://dangerousintersection.org/?s=Brainwashed+N

    etc., etc, etc.

    What are your facts to support your contention that ACORN "is not a grass roots organization for the people?"

    Do you know anything about ACORN except what you get with the far right wing racist neocon fascist corporatist Brown Shirt weblog echochambering yobbo yapper kool-aid?

  8. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    There is one very important function of the census that has the neocons shaking in their bunny slippers: the census is very important for determining the size and boundaries of voting districts.

    I suppose that many are afraid they'll lose the power to perpetuate the massive election fraud that was common in the 2000 and 2004 elections.

  9. Mindy Carney says:

    I love the Colbert Report. The June 29 episode is a classic, covering science, Twitter and the census. Here's Steven's "The Word" from that episode, and really, you should watch the whole thing and see Jeff Goldblum's eulogy of . . . Jeff Goldblum. Classic send-up of Twitter and instantaneous "news."

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-v

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