Thanks… but no thanks

Posted on May 24th, 2010 by bile
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  • BUZZZZZ
  • Me: Who is it?
  • ???: Census, could I ask you a few questions?
  • Me: No thank you.
  • Census woman: It’s mandatory by the US government.
  • Me: No thank you.
  • Census woman: … “No… thank… you” …

Surprisingly I wasn’t left any fun or threatening notes like the last time I dealt with the Census Bureau.

Census vandalism: Who? Why?

Posted on April 15th, 2010 by bile
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Regardless of how you feel about the 2010 US Census or government data gathering in general I have to question the enthusiasm of and pushing to participate in this particular census. I wasn’t paying that much attention nor did I work in a major city at the time but I don’t recall anything about the 2000 census. No advertisements, no big pushes to make sure people participated, etc. Which brings me to the vandalism I’ve been seeing. I believe I’ve only seen it in the NYC subway system but it is rather common there.

There are stickers being placed on things throughout the subway which read just “2010 Census” or “Census 2010″. Little 2 inch stickers with some blue and green coloration and then a rectangle thats maybe 2 x 5 inches which is white on red. They are primarily placed on advertisements inside the trains. The posters on the walls as well as the long banner ads above are tagged.

What’s the deal? Is the Census department paying people to vandalize government property with stickers or is it some organisation working under them? Why are they doing it? Is it vandalism for one part of the government to deface the property of another?

Dear Resident

Posted on March 9th, 2010 by bile
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From a letter I received today from:

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Economics and Statistics Administration

U.S. Census Bureau

Washington, DC 20233-0001

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR

Letter body:

Dear Resident:

About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. When you receive your form, please fill it out and mail it in promptly.

Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community to get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Sincerely,

[Signed]

Robert M. Groves

Director, U.S. Census Bureau

Go to 2010census.gov for help completing your 2010 Census form when it arrives.

This should be fun. I guess they didn’t learn their lessons the first time.

Census worker found hanging in a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had the word “fed” scrawled on his chest

Posted on September 23rd, 2009 by bile
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http://www.sfgate.com/…

A U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had the word “fed” scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

Wow. The government is getting further out of hand and the Census Bureau certainly is playing it’s part… but should this turn out to be a murder it’s totally illegitimate. And I hope the perpetrator is caught and and appropriately punished.

It appears not so mandatory after all

Posted on July 21st, 2008 by bile
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May 28th was the last I heard from Census Bureau New York Representative Edward Marcus. Today, after nearly 2 months, I decided to give the New York office a call after reading that you can find out whether your address has been selected for the American Community Survey.

After pressing zero to talk with an attendant I told the person that I wished to confirm that my address had been selected. I was told I’d be forwarded to another department and that I needed to ask for the supervisor. When the  other department picked up I told the person I needed to talk with the supervisor and was asked for my name. After a quarter second of contemplation I said, “no.” I’m sure it came off a little harsh. The guy seemed a little taken back and hesitated for at least a second and just said “OK” and put me on hold. Next time its “I’d rather not.”

The supervisor picked up after maybe 10 seconds and I repeated my request. She asked for my county, then my zip, and then my full address. It appeared that the address did not come up as after she had entered the information she asked when I had been contacted. I told her the last letter which I had received was the end of May. She looked up May and confirmed that I had been selected. I then asked her what was next. I hadn’t received anything since that time. I was told that since I was part of the May, 2008 sample and I’d not gotten back to the representative that it didn’t matter any more. I ask: “So that’s it?” and she said: “Yes, the data would no longer be useful.” Unfortunately I forgot to ask about the fine which USC Title 13 clearly says I am to receive for not participating. Her demeanor was such that it seems that the fine hadn’t even been considered by her. She didn’t mention it and when I got my answer she was ready to end the conversation. Perhaps she’s a cold hearted bitch and didn’t mention it because she likes the idea of me being broadsided with a max $5,000 fine and she’s going to contact our friend Edward to let him know I called.

Assuming that’s not the case it looks like the census isn’t so mandatory after all. You just need to wait them out. I originally was going to call Mr. Marcus to ask if the supposed obligation to respond to the ACS had been waived or if I should be expecting a fine. I’ve sort of gotten my answer though it’s not 100%. Perhaps I still will. I’d be nice to have a Census Bureau bureaucrat tell me that all the hubbub and wasted ink and paper threating to fine me was just that.

They still don’t have my name

Posted on June 4th, 2008 by bile
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I spoke with the neighbor upstairs tonight. They told me that the Census Bureau rep who called did not ask for me by name nor did they give out any of my information or my name. The rep was told they did not feel comfortable speaking for me. No contact info was left but the number on caller ID is available in case I wish to use it.

I did some looking around the Net and read over much of Title 13 and was not able to find what gives the Census Bureau the authorization to request personal information from individuals who aren’t me. Likely the Secretary of the Department of Commerce can do whatever is necessary just as they can ask any questions they wish.