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...
Thanks for your response. I’d imagine that’s probably the course of action most often taken.
It is intrusive though, and I don’t care for the idea they demand this under penalties and aren’t shy about threatening action to get their way.
Most of us try to be law-abiding citizens, and don’t relish being put in the position of diverging from that in the course of our daily lives.
Sorry for the lag in response.
...unless you are planning to give them a kick in the @$$ when they come to threaten you, that is...
I live in rural Texas. The County Sheriff is my friend. The conversation would go like this: (Threats, bit*hes, complaints and other noises by the ACS thug omitted...)
TXnMA: "You are trespassing, I tell you ONCE: Get off my property."
TXnMA: "You are trespassing, I tell you TWICE: Get off my property."
TXnMA: "You are trespassing, I tell you THE THIRD TIME: Leave. Get off my property!"
TXnMA: (now holding a loaded firearm) "On the ground/floor! Face down. Hands atop your head. Don't move!"
TXnMA: (to wife) "Call the Sheriff. Tell them I am holding a home invader/ trespasser at gunpoint. Ask them to send a deputy to enlighten this intruder re Texas trespass law."
TXnMA: (to intruder:) "Shut up! DO. NOT. MOVE! Any action on your part will be interpreted as an existential threat to me and mine, and I will take appropriate defensive action. STAY STILL AND QUIET!"
TXnMA: (to deputy:) "This perpetrator intruded onto my homestead, passing a clearly visible 'No Trespassing!' sign to do so. He then proceeded to verbally assault my wife and me with threats and personal insults. I thrice warned him that he was committing trespass, and ordered him to leave my property. As you can observe, he is still continuing his verbal assaults. I release the prisoner to your custody."
TXnMA: (to intruder:) "Are you in need of toilet paper before the deputy places you in his vehicle?"
DON'T MESS WITH TEXANS!
P.S. This is not vain imaginings. I recently did this exact same thing to an obstreperous, obnoxious Jehova's Witness who wouldn't take my refusals and warnings as an answer. The sole difference is that, when I placed my hand on my sidearm, he decided to beat feet to his vehicle and heed my third order to leave.
Apologies. Forgot to courtesy-ping you, as OP, to #22.
Mr. Henry, if you are reading this, my right index finger has periodic spasms. Sorry, I can't control them. Please move on to the next house (although Mr. Henry, my neighbor is a Bible toting, gun loving, veteran who has the same uncontrollable right index finger).
Commencing to ignore.
I am currently under siege in San Francisco for my refusal to answer this survey. They have called me over 10 times, sent me mounds of threatening letters and come to my door THREE times-—twice on Saturdays! Although I was out of the country for the first few weeks of the onslaught, now I am getting hounded on a nearly daily basis. I made one return call to the LA regional director and told him I would not answer and that the attempt to mandate my compliance was unconstitutional. But that didn’t stop them! TWO more personal visits and one telephone call. The intrusion is scary. And they wonder how Nazi Germany came into being!
I am shocked by most everything that is written here. First has anyone gone on to the Census website to see the data there? Do you know there is a Census app for the iPhone? The data goes back years, it is not exclusive to Obama’s presidency and it is transparent. It is not collected and hidden for a select group of end users. Census data is used by businesses, schools, hospitals. Anyone can access it.
As to Census workers threatening people or coercing them, I am unfamiliar with that being taught in any class, in fact, that behavior is exactly the opposite of Census training. That kind of behavior is MORE likely to lead to refusals and anger. It is completely counter intuitive.
Census workers have a right to enter your property and ring the doorbell. They can walk up your driveway and call out to you if they hear you in your backyard. Their job is to make personal contact so that they can collect the data. They will leave notices on your car if they have to. It is not meant to harass you, but to gain contact.
Census workers are hourly wage earners, so every time you avoid them you are costing the government money, because they have to keep coming back. AVOIDERS are the ones COSTING THE GOVERNMENT MONEY.
Census workers are there to collect data, not to harass you, but if you avoid them they follow protocol, they continually call and visit to try to make contact. Your avoidance simply escalates the contacts.
Census workers will talk to your neighbors. If you are on vacation for two weeks and a neighbor tells the Census worker, it saves trips and therefore it saves the government money from wasted effort. Census workers may ask your neighbors when you are home. Again to save unnecessary visits. Census workers may ask your neighbors about the household. If there has been a recent death it helps the Census worker to avoid asking for the deceased. People move and it helps the Census worker to know the names of the new people living in the household, so they can address them properly.
Census workers do not have access to IRS information. They do not ask for SSN’s or bank account information. And if one does this, make an excuse to end the interview and call the police.
After the data is collected it is stripped of all identifiers, in exactly the same way any other research is completed. The data is then aggregated, put in a pot and stirred. No one can go to the census website and put in John Smith at 22 xxxx St in Anywhere, USA and see his personal data, but they can find out what percentage of people in Anywhere, USA walk, bicycle or drive to work.
The Census surveys are designed to collect data to run the country and keep abreast of trends. One of the trends is bicycling, a trend that requires bicycle lanes. It is not surprising that questions about bicycles and bicycle lanes is on the latest American Housing Survey.
And for those of you who mentioned Germany, consider this, in 1987 Germany stopped conducting censuses and now finds itself short of over 3 1/2 million people. This is like losing 3 major cities. All their projections for the future are wrong. They have an impossible situation on their hands from the erroneous belief that they did not need a census.
In Canada they decided to make the Census “voluntary.” Guess what happened? Nothing. Now they have nothing, but big black areas with no data and no statistics to support doling out funds to these areas.
I hate telemarketers, because my home is my castle and they are invading it, trying to sell me things I have no interest in. Even after being on the “Do Not Call List” I get calls every damn day. But census workers are not telemarketers. They are data collectors for your town, your state, your country, think of it as the easiest community service you can ever do. Give them the data and unlike telemarketers and door to door sales people they won’t be coming back for years and possibly NEVER if you fill out and return the survey when it is first mail to you.
I am shocked that YOU consider this government intrusion fine and dandy! I really don’t CARE what data the census is compiling (outside of its Constitutional mandate) and I don’t believe that the census has any function OTHER than what is written in the Constitution! Does an iPhone app make the intrusions OK in your mind? Shocking!
I am entitled to my privacy and given the fact that the government has absolutely zero ability to protect my privacy I must be the final decision-maker about what I do and do not disseminate. Are you even familiar with what is asked on that survey? It’s outrageous!
The sole purpose of the American Community Survey is, in the words of the Census Bureau itself, “To provide more government services”. I don’t want more government services provided!!! I want FEWER government services provided. When I told one Census worker I was not going to comply with the survey he spoke down to me like one would to a small child and said, “Don’t YOU use government services?” and I told him in strong terms, “NO I DO NOT!!!” To me, this is what is WRONG about the direction of the country. To you, apparently, it is the opposite. And you are a freeper?
LOL... you certainly are the useful idiot for Govt Goons!
Oh, I wouldn't want to inconvenience the government by costing them money no would I?
I filled out the minimum required info on my census as prescribed by the Constitution.
The government morons told me I was breaking the law by not filling out everything. I told them to arrest me.
2013 still not in jail.
Despite not having an effective program of PII protection, Timberlane this week asked us to provide a LOT of information that they do not need to educate our kids to an untrusted third party through an insecure database. I encourage all parents to contact the SAU and ask that this database be taken offline and purged of all PII data. Heres why
Refused the last one sent in with none of your business answers - couple of years ago. New ones received.... 2 plus post cards and today phone call. Funny how this is a “random” survey, but they have my phone number from the Census. Will not be responding.
I plan on having my iphone ready to record any and all violations of my Constitutionally protected rights by any monkey they send to harass me or my family.
The government is not spying, but it is trying to get responses so that it can better govern, Henry said. If people are not responding then they are governing themselves.Experience tells me that when a representative of the government says "the government is not spying", it means they're spying.
So received long form for official census on 2010. I only answered questions they are required to ask for ten year census and not the others. They sent several demands, but nothing else happened.
Received this new ACS in July this year and then a second form in August. Two messages left on my voicemail, multiple calls from them....I do not answer (two per day). Today... Sunday at 10:47 am, we had a visit. Husband answered the door, dogs barking so he had to go out onto porch and shut door... Despite that I could hear every word this woman said, as she was shouting...”I am with US Government Census...you have failed to return your questionnaire. Husband told her we did return our census, she said that was different and this form was also required by law . I opened the door and told my husband he does not have to speak with her and she threatened me with fine and imprisonment. I told her I know my rights and she said I was ignorant of the law, but I said, perhaps so, but not ignorant regarding my rights.
If government has so much money they have to search out where to “dole it”, then I would posit we are Taxed enough already”! Also...you are no conservative.
Good for you! I love telling these Democrat retreads where to get off.
I could not understand why this woman was shouting when she spoke, but I think they are trained to do that so they are more intimidating.
Intimidation, pue and simple IMO. Not just you, but the neighbors as we’ll.
Plus, no doubt she was trying to embarrass you for not being a good citizen in front of those neighbors.
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