"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 2010 Census and Your Constitutional Requirement

**AUTHORS NOTE** Portions of this article were posted on May 11th, 2009 on this blog. I promised to repost it again closer to the actual time of the census, so this is it. The situation has changed a little between now and then, so I am reposting the relevant information, taking out what is not applicable anymore, and adding some new information. Feel free to go back and read the old post HERE.

Let it be known that I am not a lawyer! This article is a matter of opinion and should be treated as such. You are personally responsible for your own actions. Consider yourself disclaimed!

“Then Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel." --1Chronicles 21:1, NIV

What is the Census? 
  • The census is a count of everyone living in the United States every 10 years.
  • The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
  • The next census is in 2010.
  • Your participation in the census is required by law.
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census.
  • Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute $400 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

Let’s take a look at these points. The census does take place every 10 years, it is mandated by the Constitution, and your participation is required by law. Though it is true that it takes less than 10 minutes to complete, this statement is a bit misleading. A proper constitutionally directed census should take less than 10 seconds. More on this point later. It says that Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census, but who is it protecting your information from? We have heard numerous stories of government computers and flash drives being lost or stolen. Personal information is leaked all the time. But how can Federal law protect your information from a government who might use that information for its own selfish needs? It can’t! The census is used to rearrange congressional districts, and depending on who is in power at the time, this can have devastating consequences on the political landscape for the next ten years. I love how they throw in the $400 billion in pork earmarks, to make you somehow feel guilty about not cooperating.

Article I Section 2 of the US Constitution
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (This last sentence was obviously repealed by the 14th amendment.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. 

The two key phrases here are 1: Enumeration and 2: in such a Manner as they shall by Law direct. Enumeration is the only thing mentioned here. The Constitution is mute on collecting data such as age, race, religion, marital status, sexual preference, household income, political preference, genealogy, fertility of women between the ages of 14 and 50 living in your home; number of toilets, televisions, and telephones in your home, etc. (These are all questions that have been asked on past census forms!) So, as the Constitution directs, the only information you are required to give is the number of people living under your roof. That is it!

Someone long ago decided to take the second key phrase and pervert it into an information gathering scheme. “In such a manner as they shall by law direct” only applies to how the count shall be taken. It does not mean that Congress can pass new laws on other information that can be gathered in a census.

The “controlling law” for the US Census is found in Title 13 of the US Code. The head count is the only part of the census that is called for by the Constitution. The code for the enumeration can be found in 13 USC 141. In this code, the census is directed to be taken in 1980 and every ten years thereafter, and that the count is to be taken on April 1. The returns must be completed within nine months for use in apportionment of representatives. The code also specifies a mid-decade census be taken in 1985 and every ten years thereafter. This count need not be a head count (sampling may be used) though the data cannot be used for apportionment. This last part, I view as completely unconstitutional!

Here is a list of questions that will be on the 2010 census form. I presume that this is just the short form, and a lucky few of you will be urged to fill out the long form with all of the personally intrusive questions. Anyway, here is what the short form will look like:
  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
  2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
  4. What is your telephone number?
  5. Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1's name?
  6. What is Person 1's sex?
  7. What is Person 1's age and Date of Birth?
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
  9. What is Person 1's race?
  10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? SOURCE

 If you go look at the text from the source I provided, they tell you how long each question has been a part of the census. They also try to explain the rationale behind why they are asking the question in the first place. I find it funny that they do all of this. They tell you exactly how long they have been violating the Constitution, and then try to explain their reasons for doing so.
There are fines for non-response and for false response as well, though the amount has risen from the 1790's $20. Today failure to respond can result in a $100 fine; providing false answers is a more severe offense, and carries a $500 fine. News reports from the 2000 census, however, indicate that punishment for failure to respond is not usually enforced. The controlling section of the Code is 13 USC 221.

Title 13
Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers 
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.
From the US Census Bureau’s website, under questions you may have, one of the FAQs is: What if I don’t fill the form in? The answer is: “Many residents who do not complete and return a 2010 Census form will receive a replacement form. If no form is mailed back, residents can expect a personal visit from a census taker some time after March 2010. The census taker will ask you the questions on the form, record your answers and then submit the form for your household.”

It goes on to say, in the section, about your census taker: “Your participation in the 2010 Census is vital and required by law, (Section 221, of Title 13 of the U.S. Code). However, rather than rely on criminal charges, the Census Bureau is very successful in getting participation by explaining the importance of the questions we ask and how the information benefits our communities.” These must be some REAL persuasive people. To me, this says that there will be no penalty, other than some people continually knocking on your door. If you’re like me, and you travel all the time, you won’t even have to deal with that!  If that fails, I do not mind giving up a 100 Federal Reserve Note for the chance to stick it to the man!

So what does all this mean for you and me? It doesn’t matter if they send me the short form, the long form, or the new-fangled American Community Survey; the only answer I will fill out on the 2010 Census paperwork is the number of people in my household. I plan to take a red fat-head Sharpie marker and write a big number on the first question, and the first question only! Constitutionally they will get what is required of me, the number of people living in my house. That’s it, that’s all; they won’t get anything more! I am pretty sure that this will be followed by the Census Bureau with a phone call or a visit in person to my home. If I happen to be home when said statist thug arrives at my door, my response will be, “Unless you have a warrant, I suggest you get off my property. If you come back to my house, or try to talk to my neighbors about me, I will call my lawyer and file a harassment suit against you. Are you prepared to go through the legal hassle of a restraining order?”

Be sure to take extra care when dealing with these people. Don’t be surprised if they go to your neighbor’s homes and ask them questions about you. This is what they are getting paid to do. Collect information on you and your family.

The US Census Bureau already has a back-door program in place for those of us who will not comply. If they can’t get you, they will go after your kids. Now, I am sure that any freedom loving person who frequents my blog will probably not send their children to public schools, but if there are some of you out there, be sure to take a look at this. CENSUS IN SCHOOLS

In the end, if you refuse you will get letters in the mail threatening legal prosecution. You will get phone calls from the Census Bureau threatening prosecution. Get informed and know your rights. If you really feel threatened, contact a lawyer and let him deal with it. Call your Representatives and Senators and let them know how you feel. Read through Title 13 of the US Code. Write an editorial for your local newspaper. A simple web search will find thousands of blogs and message boards with people who have done this very thing. Educate yourself; stand up for your right to privacy, and DON’T BACK DOWN!

Again, let it be known that I am not a lawyer! This article is a matter of opinion and should be treated as such. You are personally responsible for your own actions. Consider yourself further disclaimed!

See you at Galt’s Gulch!

Further Reading
The Census and Despotism By Lew Rockwell  (article originally published in 2000)
U.S. Census Bureau Now Under Direct White House Control
U.S. Census Bureau Plans to Mark GPS Coordinates of Every Front Door In America
2009 American Community Survey Questions
The Surveillance Society: Trading Freedom For The Illusion Of Safety

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