If you don't see any new blogs under this byline for a while, don't worry too much. I may just be hiding from the Census Cops.
As related not too long ago by a certain articulate, eminent Blogger (me), the official United States Census is mandated for this year of our Lord two-thousand-ten (or maybe it's twenty-ten?).
This Census is a part of the prime law of the land, the American Constitution -- the document which makes us a free nation, and free men living lawfully in our homes.
As part of their constitutional mandate Congress passed certain laws to affect the counting of the populace under whatever limitations practical politics prescribe.
From all reports the American court system has upheld the right of Congress to gather whatever they consider an appropriate count.
And, as previously detailed, this Blogger faithfully and honestly completed the form received without succumbing to any temptation to fudge a little in hopes of getting a few extra bucks for Clay County. As previously said, "It is just too much trouble to lie on an official, constitutionally mandated government form. Lying to the fed's got Big Al Capone ten years in Alcatraz."
Then in the mail arrived another demand from the feds. Seems we'd been selected to take part in a survey. We are assured they chose according to address and "not you personally" but "as part of a randomly selected sample." If it's from the United States Department of Commerce it must be true. Besides, my response is "required by U.S. law."
The survey itself is 28 large pages, with 20 questions about our dwelling place and almost 50 questions about each individual who lives in said dwelling on the day the survey is completed.
¿Habla usted español? Must I only admit to being of Spanish origin if I live in Arizona?
Have Sex? There are only two choices as to sex -- I am one of the two, but could think of alternate choices which some others might demand inclusion.
Which Race? Don't know federal or Indiana law (nor Arizona), but in Missouri I could be convicted of multiple murders and not have to give my race. Having done some minor research into the subject of my origins, not sure I know the right answer as to what my "race" is.
By candlelight? Didn't keep track of what it cost for heat and electricity last 12 months, if I don't care why should anyone else?
Hold an Auction? For how much could we sell our "one-family house detached from any other house"? In this market the only way to know that would be to have our past Realtor sell the house in time to fill out this "survey" on time. They're good enough real estate folks to do it, but we really don't want to move just now.
Hasn't the Supreme Court also said a few things about the right to privacy?
If accused of some horrendous crime a suspect may have no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in a jail cell or back of the cop's car; but he does have such an expectation in his own home.
Nowhere in these official documents does it delineate the penalty for not answering questions. It might be that if caught by the Census Cops I'd spend the rest of my life in Leavenworth. Until a court of competent jurisdiction rules the questions do not violate my right to privacy, however, I may just not get around to filling out this "survey". For now I'll have to be content with being a fugitive.
Does any local attorney practice in Federal courts?
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.