Edward Marcus and the Census Bureau strike again! Raise stakes.

Posted on May 27th, 2008 by bile
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Today I came home to another personally delivered envelope from Mr. Marcus on behalf of the Census Bureau. It looks like it was placed in the second floor’s mailbox and they noticed it addressed to “Occupants of: APT 1.” The “APT 1″ written in pen. It was the same envelope Edward delivered the first time and that he failed to give me on when we had our face to face chat. It has the same US Census 2010 pamphlet as before [page 7 & 8] and the same general warning letter [page 3] but as you’d expect there are some differences. If you look at page 2 there is the Request for Appointment slip. On the one received today the top section is again blank, the Census Bureau Representative and Telephone number are the same but the remarks say:

I am following up on the survey you received in the mail and did not return. I have been to your home and you have refused to allow me to interview you either in person or on the phone. Title 13 of the US Code imposes Penalties for non response to this survey. It is a very brief interview you can do on the phone by calling me. If you do not reach me leave a phone number & a time to call back.

In addition there is a new page which reads:

Please cooperate in our survey which is helpful to determining the requirements of households in your area.

Every resident of the United States is obligated to participate in this survey and there are penalties involved for not co-operating.

The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000. The U.S. Census Bureau may use this information only for statistical purposes. We can assure you that your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.

Tricksy they are. This is why the whole “ignorance of the law is no excuse” statement is absolutely ridiculous. They thugs in Washington DC obviously wanted to raise fines so instead of going through existing law and replacing values they go and add a new one that trumps the old values unless the law explicitly says it doesn’t. So this TITLE 18 > PART II > CHAPTER 227 > SUBCHAPTER C > § 3571 Sentence of fine reads:

(a) In General.- A defendant who has been found guilty of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine.

(b) Fines for Individuals.- Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense may be fined not more than the greatest of-

(1) the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense;

(2) the applicable amount under subsection (d) of this section;

(3) for a felony, not more than $250,000;

(4) for a misdemeanor resulting in death, not more than $250,000;

(5) for a Class A misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $100,000;

(6) for a Class B or C misdemeanor that does not result in death, not more than $5,000; or

(7) for an infraction, not more than $5,000.

(e) Special Rule for Lower Fine Specified in Substantive Provision.- If a law setting forth an offense specifies no fine or a fine that is lower than the fine otherwise applicable under this section and such law, by specific reference, exempts the offense from the applicability of the fine otherwise applicable under this section, the defendant may not be fined more than the amount specified in the law setting forth the offense.

According to Section 3559 since in Title 13, Section 221 there is no classifying letter grade and no imprisonment is authorized, refusal or willfully neglecting to complete the questionnaire is an infraction. According to Section 3571 as shown above an infraction can carry a fine of not more than $5,000.

So it appears that ol’ Ed is trying to intimidate me. I had told him prior I was well aware of the Census law and knew my fine was not more than $100. Well it seems my criminal code knowledge was lacking. Not that this changes anything. In a similar case where two individuals, Russell Kanning and David Ridley, had been issued a fine from the federal government for distribution of handbills and refused to pay the fine they were imprisoned for a period of time. Dave for 4 days I believe and I’ve not yet tracked down Russell’s length though I’ve sent Dave an email asking for the numbers and any info he feels is relevant. You can find his story here, here, here and here.

I found TITLE 13 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER III > § 241 Evidence interesting:

When any request for information, made by the Secretary or other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, is made by registered or certified mail or telegram, the return receipt therefor or other written receipt thereof shall be prima facie evidence of an official request in any prosecution under such section.

Does this mean that the hand delivered requests can not be prima facie evidence? Not that they need to worry as they sent me two booklets, a postcard and a letter which they likely have receipts for or could make up if need be.

Also interesting is I finally talked with the occupants of the other apartment in my building and found that they had been contacted by the Census Bureau separately and filled out theirs and returned it several weeks ago. They also informed me that they had been looking for me (our friend Edward Marcus I’m sure) but had forgotten to tell me. What are the odds that both apartment addresses would be chosen or are they just lazy?

I’ll provide a PDF of the new documents tomorrow.

2008-05-27 Census papers

Posted on May 28th, 2008 by bile
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Find here: census_papers_2008-05-27.pdf

In case I’m partially blind or missed yesterday’s envelope

Posted on May 28th, 2008 by bile
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Today as I walked up to my home after work I noted the all too familiar U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau envelope taped to my door. Two in two days. I must be important for Mr. Marcus/the Census Bureau/the US taxpayers to be spending the money on gas to deliver this envelope. You’d think the USPS would be more efficient. In any case…

This envelope instead of “Important information from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce regarding your residence” being printed on the front [page 6] it has “Updated penalty information.” Inside it contains no trifold pamphlet [page 4,5] and no form letter explaining why I should need to participate [page 1]. What it does contain is another copy of the “Request for Appointment” note [page 3] with better centering of “Edward Marcus” and “201-927-4763″ and the same text in the remarks box. It also contains the print out of the law indicating the Title 18 US Code which overrides the Title 13 fine [page 2]. That’s it. However the print out is structured a bit differently. I’ll try to reproduce it below in HTML and you can compare it to yesterday’s. I’ll scan these tomorrow for archival purposes and true comparison.

Please cooperate in our survey which is helpful to determining the requirements of the households in your area.

Every resident of the United States is obligated to participate in this survey and there are penalties involved for not co-operating.

The American Community Survey is conducted under the authority of Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141 and 193, and response is mandatory. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100.

Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000.

The U.S. Census Bureau may use this information only for statistical purposes. We can assure you that your confidentiality is protected. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you and all other respondents strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.

Wouldn’t “from a fine not more than $100 to not more than $5,000″ be worded better as “from a max fine of $100 to max $5,000.”

2008-05-28 Census papers

Posted on May 29th, 2008 by bile
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Find here: census_papers_2008-05-28.pdf

Clarification and information on my current census situation

Posted on May 30th, 2008 by bile
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I don’t believe in any of my posts on my ongoing census ordeal I’ve claimed the census was the official decennial census. However over at the MLP‘s blog Serf City I had and was asked how it was I got a 2010 census request in 2008.

It really hadn’t dawned on me to look into how they go about collecting the census and while the law says they can have other surveys the pamphlet they gave me [page 4,5] says “United States Census 2010″ on the front lower right. I figured “The American Community Survey” title was just some fancy thing used to get more people to fill it out. “It’s for the community! To help the children and fix the roads!” type guilt trip. Turns out I was incorrect. The ACS according to Wikipedia:

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a project of the U.S. Census Bureau that replaces the long form in the decennial census. It is an ongoing statistical survey, and thus more current than information obtained by the long form. Many Americans found filling out the long form to be burdensome, intrusive, and its unpopularity was a factor in the declining response rate to the decennial census. In 1995, the Bureau began a process to change the means of demographic, housing, social, and economic information from the census long form to the ACS. Testing began in 1996, and the ACS program began producing test data in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The full program is expected to be implemented by 2010.

Not surprisingly Ron Paul has commented on this:

You may not have heard of the American Community Survey, but you will. The national census, which historically is taken every ten years, has expanded to quench the federal bureaucracy’s ever-growing thirst to govern every aspect of American life. The new survey, unlike the traditional census, is taken each and every year at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. And it’s not brief. It contains 24 pages of intrusive questions concerning matters that simply are none of the government’s business, including your job, your income, your physical and emotional heath, your family status, your dwelling, and your intimate personal habits.

The questions are both ludicrous and insulting. The survey asks, for instance, how many bathrooms you have in your house, how many miles you drive to work, how many days you were sick last year, and whether you have trouble getting up stairs. It goes on and on, mixing inane questions with highly detailed inquiries about your financial affairs. One can only imagine the countless malevolent ways our federal bureaucrats could use this information. At the very least the survey will be used to dole out pork, which is reason enough to oppose it.

Keep in mind the survey is not voluntary, nor is the Census Bureau asking politely. Americans are legally obligated to answer, and can be fined up to $1,000 per question if they refuse!

I introduced an amendment last week that would have eliminated funds for this intrusive survey in a spending bill, explaining on the House floor that perhaps the American people don’t appreciate being threatened by Big Brother. The amendment was met by either indifference or hostility, as most members of Congress either don’t care about or actively support government snooping into the private affairs of citizens.

[more]

The Wikipedia entry links to  a World Net Daily article from November, 2007 which reads in part:

Another month is coming, and another 250,000 forms are being mailed out in the U.S. Census Bureau’s perpetual American Community Survey, which demands responses to personal questions about a family’s lifestyle, housing accommodations, work schedules, physical and mental disabilities, income and the like.

That means roughly 250,000 times recipients will see the warning that participation is required by law, and there are penalties including fines for not answering each question. But, in fact, U.S. Census Bureau officials say they’ve never had anyone prosecuted for refusing to provide those intimate details to the government.

“The Census Bureau has never prosecuted anybody,” spokesman Clyve Richmond told WND. “We try to work with people and explain how useful the information is.”

The very next line is:

As WND has reported, the U.S. Census Bureau switched from the surveys once every 10 years, called for in the U.S. Constitution, to annual surveys sent to three million households, to keep the government’s data more up-to-date.

So maybe I wasn’t all that off. They’ve moved the (IMO) unconstitutional long form component from the decennial census to a rolling survey and plan on getting rid of the long form for the 2010 head count census.

2008 American Community Survey Questionnaire

Posted on May 30th, 2008 by bile
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2008 ACS Questionnaire – English |  Spanish

Persons

  1. Name
  2. Relation to first person surveyed
  3. Sex
  4. Age, Birthday
  5. Of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
  6. Race
  7. Place of birth?
  8. Citizen?
  9. Year came to USA?
  10. Attended school/college in past 3 months? Grade?
  11. Highest level completed?
  12. Ethnic origin?
  13. Speak a language other than English?
  14. Live in home 1 year ago?
  15. Covered by health insurance?
  16. Deaf?
  17. Difficulty remembering/making decisions? Walking, claiming stairs? Dressing or bathing?
  18. Because of physical, mental, emotional condition have difficulty doing errands?
  19. Marital status?
  20. Past year got married, widowed, divorced?
  21. Number of times married?
  22. Year last married?
  23. If female, given birth in past year?
  24. Any grandchildren under 18 in home?
  25. Been on active duty in military?
  26. When?
  27. Have a VA service-connected disability rating?
  28. Paid for work in past week?
  29. Where did they work?
  30. How do they get to work?
  31. How many people ride to work?
  32. What time do they leave for work?
  33. How long to get to work?
  34. Were they laid off from work last week?
  35. Last 4 weeks, looking for work?
  36. Last week, could have started if offered?
  37. When last worked?
  38. Past year, work 50 or more weeks?
  39. Past year, how many hours per week?
  40. Private employee? Government employee?
  41. Employer?
  42. Business type?
  43. Category?
  44. Job work type?
  45. Most important duties?
  46. Income earned in past year broken down
  47. Total income in past year

Housing

  1. Building description
  2. When was it built
  3. When did you move into the building
  4. How many acres
  5. Sales of agricultural products from property in past year
  6. Is there a business on the property?
  7. How many separate rooms in the building, bedrooms?
  8. Does it have: hot/cold running water, flush toilet, sink with faucet, stove, refrigerator, telephone?
  9. How many automobiles?
  10. Most used fuel for heating?
  11. Cost of electricity,gas last month? water/sewer, heating fuel in past year?
  12. In past year did anyone receive food stamps?
  13. Building part of a condominium?
  14. Is the building owned, rented?
  15. Whats the monthly rent?
  16. What would it sell for now?
  17. Annual real estate taxes?
  18. Annual payment for fire, hazard, flood insurance?
  19. Have a mortgage, deed of trust, contract to purchase, or other debt on this property? What’s the monthly payment?
  20. Do you have a second mortage or home equity lone on this property?
  21. Total annual costs for property taxes, rent, fees?