Skip to comments.‘Government is not spying’ (American Community Survey - 2010 census)
Posted on 05/04/2013 1:46:58 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
I cannot sit silently after reading Census Calling on Kaua`i (April 29, 2013).
The article is counter to my personal experience and I feel compelled to share my experience with you.
In the article the statements made by Mr. Gene Henry of the American Community Survey are counter to fact. This is not a letter representing one party or another. It is not an attempt to sway you to opt out of the American Community Survey. It is simply a recitation of fact.
In 2010 my wife and I received a letter demanding that we participate in the ACS. The notification stated that compliance was mandated by law, and that failure to comply could result in my arrest and imprisonment. The questions asked were extremely intrusive, and I responded that I was opting out of the program.
My personal belief is that this survey is an intrusion that goes well beyond information that a citizen should be required to provide. Questions regarding personal income, personal habits, personal health and related subjects are subjects that I choose not to share with anyone.
As Mark Twain famously observed, Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it. In my opinion the government does not deserve to demand the information required by the ACS.
When I notified ACS that I chose to opt out we initially received letters notifying us that this was not an option. My continued refusal resulted in a number of phone calls threatening reprisal if we did not participate.
My wife received an unannounced visit by an ACS representative demanding that she answer the questions in the survey. She wisely suggested that the ACS contact me. The following is a direct quote of my letter of formal complaint to the U.S. Census Bureau following my unannounced visit from Mr. Henry, the field representative quoted in your article. He is describing me:
I am a combat veteran and I see that Flag up there, but I dont see an American in front of me. 18 DEC 2010, 1320hrs
Your Field Representative Henry made this statement about me in front of my wife at our home in Hanapepe, Hawai`i. As she can attest, up to that point I was polite to Mr. Henry. He arrived unannounced and stopped us as we were entering our home carrying plate lunch.
I informed Mr. Henry that we were going in to eat, but he could come back in 30 minutes and I would speak with him. He insisted that he would require that I respond to the American Community Survey. His demeanor was combative, arrogant and demeaning.
I stated that as a matter of principle I chose to opt out of the survey.
Mr. Henry stated that he could view our IRS records and could turn us over to the Department of Justice. At that time he indicated the U.S. Flag that flies from my home every day, and made the offensive quote above. I am a retired U.S. Navy Commander who flew Huey gunships in Vietnam in support of the brown water Navy, the U.S. Army and the SEALS. For my service I was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 23 Air Medals and two Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry. I went on to complete 21 years of service to my country as a Naval Aviator and U.S. Navy Test Pilot. When Mr. Henry made this most offensive comment I ordered him off my property. Please see to it that he never returns.
Perhaps the Department of Commerce feels that its representatives can treat a U.S. citizen in this manner. I prefer to think not. I want to know how your Department will act to discipline Mr. Henry for his callous treatment of a citizen while serving as your representative.
I received a timely response from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau apologizing for the conduct of Mr. Henry and stating that I would not again be approached to participate in the ACS. It is now apparent that Mr. Henry was not disciplined but continues in his position to (potentially) strong-arm the people of Kauai into compliance.
For those of you who feel as strongly as I do I suggest you Google American Community Survey. You will learn that the threats of arrest and imprisonment for failure to participate are hollow threats.
I encourage every member of our community to examine their own beliefs and determine whether you want to share this information with the government. To paraphrase Mr. Twain, I dont think that in this case the government deserves it.
the census is entitled to the number of people within a residence. that is all that is required for the Cnstitution,
anything else is a push for marketing info and does not need to be complied with. I would love to see how they would spin it as a requirement
If there is “right to privacy” in the Constitution from the emanation of a penumbra, which is essentially the ruling in Roe v. Wade, there is certainly a right to opt out of this intrusive FedGov questionnaire.
I too did no respond the first time around. I too was sent another notice threatening action if I did not comply.
I did look at the forms, and the information requested was offensive on a number of levels.
Way too much personal information was requested. Way too much emphasis was placed on community and personal preferences. It was just a fishing expedition extraordinaire.
I find it’s best not to respond to these things. Once you refuse in writing, it makes it obvious you did receive it, you did review it, and you did make a conscious decision not to comply
By simply ignoring it, they don’t know if you got it, if you still live there, if you suddenly died, or what the reason for non-compliance was.
Let them fester over it. Don’t give them a poke in the eye by acknowledging it and then ignoring it.
Totally agreed on all your statements.
The problem is that all the people who did respond in full are ripe for the communist picking as well as census reporting spin particularly at election time.
Perhaps you could post a list of questions that the ACS wanted. Was there a statement that providing false information could be considered a crime? Was there any promise of confidentiality?
This is more police state BS. I understand that businesses are receiving these form requests as frequent as once a month.
It would have been interesting if the interaction was taped.
The more people who get right back in their face, the sooner they will realise tthat they have overstepped their authority. They already GPS'd every front door in the US.
FUBO and your unconstitutional "census".
We have received this survey several different times over a period of about 10 or so years. We throw it away. We have received a follow-up letter once or twice, but no threats were made, although the letters reiterated that we were mandated to reply and listed the supposed penalties.
So far, that is all that has occurred.
My question is "where is it when dealing with the TSA or no-knock/unwarranted raids? What about precluding Obamacare? -- It apparently only exists when talking about abortion... how very odd.
Here is the Census's site listing the current ACS questions. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/about_the_survey/questions_and_why_we_ask/
I dug into a couple of their links explaining why they ask various questions and distilled down to their core a lot of them amount to "so we know how to pass out federal money". That's more than enough reason to not answer anything on there.
I asked the same question about Obamacare. Apparently women's rights to their own bodies only apply to a few cubic inches of them during their fertile years. The other 99% belongs to the government.
Also following the ClowardPiven strategy, when you answer the question quickly you minimize their cost. If you make them send two copies, reminder letters, reminder phone calls and finally multiple personal visits you drive up their cost and make it less likely they can afford to do even more of it. Even if you do buckle under at least make it expensive for them.
Do we have proof that such a survey was completed by everyone in Congress including the Puke In Chief??
I did exactly as you stated, just the number of people living in the house. They sent someone out and told me I had to answer them all. I responded by saying I answered the questions they were Constitutionally allowed to ask and that is all I would do. They didn’t threaten, but told me how “important” this info was to my community, and I was basically robbing them of information they could use to get government funds.
I said that was too bad, and they left. That was 3 years ago.
“Do we have proof that such a survey was completed by everyone in Congress including the Puke In Chief??”
Nah, if we got that info, we would have to deport most of them!
Sounds like he was a typical US Census NAZI
I think that in this case, the best defense might be a good offense. The “Mr. Gene Henry” he cited has an identity, a home, possibly a family. However, much like many government cockroaches, he operates out of the shadows. He is reliant on hidden places to hide.
Federal employment is no guarantee of anonymity, nor that the privacy of the employee is respected or assured. Therefore, for Mr. Gene Henry to become publicly known might be an effective payback in its own right.
Calling for retribution against him is, of course, illegal. But there is nothing illegal about the public knowing that he is an oppressive government flunky, who seeks to harm others as part of his employment. So he should be treated appropriately, given no trust or respect; nor should his inquiries be responded to.
He is a public nuisance.
Thanks, and I agree with your conclusion.
Sorry for the lag with regard to my response.
This was several years ago by now, so to be honest I don’t remember a lot specifically.
They did want to know far more about my wife and I and our home than I was comfortable giving. They wanted to know about our neighborhood and community.
As I recall, it was an extensive set of questions that I wasn’t willing to comply with. By now I’m merely left with general impressions rather than specific questions.
I don’t recall a warning that provision of non-factual information would be actionable. There were warnings concerning non-compliance, fines and other. I don’t remember more than this specifically.
I agree that it’s more police state B.S. I was unaware that businesses were being hounded as you mentioned. Good grief!
Well, the interaction on our part would provide nothing more than a paper trail.
As for taped interactions, that would be interesting to watch.
Sorry about the delay in response.
I’m not going to give you grief over your response. I just don’t want to see it come back to bite you on the posterior.
I think non-compliance provides it’s own noticeable protest. They’re not blind to the fact they’re not getting the information they want.
Trouble is, if only one household in twenty does answer the community portion of the questionnaire, they’ll have the information they want whether you and I respond on that point or not.
Yes, I understand they have GPSed our front doors.
And yes, I have the same contempt you do concerning that.
Sorry for the lag in response...