Monday, July 05, 2010

Comment on AP via Breitbart:
"Census worker taken to court for trespassing"

Census worker taken to court for trespassing

We fought a Civil War. The Federal Government won. The Census worker was an Agent of the government present to carry out a lawful government function that is authorized under the Constitution. The local police officer should be arrested for Obstruction of a Government Process. The quality of the Census worker and the poor quality of the ID they were issued is not the subject here. The person contacted had a duty to identify themselves and cooperate. If they had any question then they could have accepted the information from the Census worker with the identification codes for the property being inspected and the phone number for the office. Failure to identify yourself to an Agent lawfully present should be grounds for someone to be charged with suspicion of trespass or burglary themselves. Since the person who refused to identify himself or accept the offered forms could themselves have been some armed intruder on the property.

The Census has been very badly managed. Workers are under extreme pressure to turn in large numbers of completed forms. Supervisors do not routinely call contacted Respondants to verify information and ascertain the quality of the Enumerator's service. At the same time there is no incentive for the public to cooperate, except for advertisements appealing to their greed for more government services. This will result in widespread fraud as Enumerators give up on attempting to pry accurate information from the public and resort to using Google™ or simply inventing answers.

The same juvenile people offering fist bumps for refusing to cooperate with the Census are the ones who will complain about how a shoddy Census was used to justify a reapportionment that keeps the friends of Acorn in power.

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For over 200 years the government has conducted the Census. This is not a Liberal versus Conservative issue. To be Conservative means to participate in making the law, ensuring that it is honestly and impartially administered and obey it as it is an expression of the people's properly elected representatives. If the law is unjust then change it. In the case of the Census the excessive "long form" questions are no longer included.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations failed to properly organize the Census. The Bush Commerce Department should have done a much better job preparing the effort, educating the public, and ensuring that locations were accurately listed and properly surveyed. The Obama administration failed completely at the beginning by attempting to sucker punch Senator Graham into taking a Cabinet position, so that they would get their 60th vote, while moving the Census into the White House. That did not happen but precious time was lost and more important they tainted the public perception of the Enumeration that followed.

Anyone who uses the anonymity of the internet to boast of or advocate illegal activity, such as submitting a false official report, deserves to be tracked down and tossed into prison. The fact is that the law said that the forms should have been returned by April 1st. No one gets in trouble for that violation but the point is that when the Enumerator knocks on your door they know that you are already in violation for non-compliance with the US Code. They cannot leave forms with you to possibly be filled out sometime over the next few months if you so choose. Also they know that even if you sincerely believe that you complied it is possible that the records may show you as not having done so for legitimate reasons. For example if 10 years ago it was reported that an upstairs unit was separately rented at your address then they may need to verify who lives there and in how many residences. The Census workers are all sworn to secrecy and that means that they cannot tell you what they may have heard about your location. In fact the field worker will not be told what the office has, for the same proper reason of confidentiality. However failure to comply could result in the Census going to neighbors to find out what they can.

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(Reply to "Dooney")
You are wrong. Full Stop. This is another internet myth getting tossed around in an echo chamber. It is on the order of the people who assert, and this is where people are arrogant, that they "know" that the Income Tax is illegal or those who think that no one has to report to Jury Duty or carry an ID at the airport. All of these, along with the fantasy that you only have to yell how many people you want them to count through the door, is simply tin foil hat nonsense. The law is the US Code passed by the United States Congress. There are no optional questions on the Census. Every person has a duty to comply with the Census and to provide truthful answers to the questions the Enumerator asks in the performance of their duty. If you are reasonably uncertain as to the identity of the person asking the questions then you can ask for the Notice of Visit with the tracking information for your case and a phone number for the office. Failure to give the mandated information or giving false information is an offense.

If you think the Census asks questions beyond its authority bring a case before a US Magistrate and good luck with it.

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(Reply to "clickhiker" who agreed with me)
I am Conservative. Those who encourage contempt for the law and hope for a world of small authoritarian communities at war with the outside are not only very ill but are also among a type of socialists. They think that their ego can trump over the Constitution and their tiny band can defy the lawful government. It is a nostalgia for seccessionism I suspect. These attitudes are more at home in the corners of the Democratic Party than among Republicans. They do not seek to learn the law or improve it, they only complain that under the current gang they lack power. The Obama crowd have done everything to corrupt the process, that does not excuse unlawful behavior by others. The bottom line is that in this case the local law enforcement officer behaved unprofessionally.

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There is no general right to Privacy that entitles people to tell the government to go away beyond what is given in the Constitution. The only grounds for refusing to provide the information could be under either the IVth or Vth Amendments. No special warrant is needed to gather information for the Census because it is specifically authorized under the Constitution. Complying with the Census is an obligation for every person on United States territory and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. That last means that foreign diplomats should be exempt but it would not shock me if they voluntarily complied. Just as there is no need for Customs to obtain a warrant before searching you at the border there is no need for the Census to obtain a warrant before asking you the questions approved by Congress. If anyone wants to make a case that the name, age, sex, race questions exceed that which should be asked without a warrant then go ahead and make the argument in a Court of Law. You may win although I doubt it. Right now they just ask the questions and accept your answers. Perhaps if challenged the Congress will then demand fingerprints from everyone so be careful what you ask for. In America we do very little to track people. In many parts of this country you can vote without producing any ID.

There is no argument to be made against the Census under the Vth Amendment because all Census workers are sworn to secrecy and no information will be shared with any Law Enforcement Agency so there is zero risk of self incrimination. In fact if you are a criminal with illegal aliens from Mexico in one room and Osama and his friends in another room, with some working girls living in a side room and a meth lab in the back for good measure, the smartest thing you can do is tell the Census. If there is a wiretap on your house they would almost certainly have to suppress the evidence.

The Census worker cannot arrest you but if you did threaten them so that they had to send out US Marshals to accompany an Enumerator for his own safety then that Law Enforcement Officer would not be sworn to secrecy regarding your personal information and they could arrest you if they discovered something illegal. Now this never happens but my point is that there is no reason to abuse the Agent and few people would act so foolishly towards a real LEO. The question of whether they have a right to be on the property is also misstated by many. They have a right to enter the property when under official business. An unlocked gate means nothing and if there is a bell or intercom and the Census worker identifies themselves then there is a duty to cooperate. If a locked gate is used to deny access because there is no accompanying bell that is simply a foolish way to live. There may be laws regarding the need to provide access to emergency services so walling yourself off and preventing anyone from communicating to request admittance could be not only unwise but illegal. The bottom line is that refusal to cooperate or at the very least refusal to arrange some other contact such as by phone will only result in further attention.

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(Reply to ACRScout)
That is the most fairly worded rebuttal I have seen today and I thank you for it.

Incompetence and disorganization or abuse make it much harder for the honest worker. This debate has put me in an awkward position because I am being accused of being some kind of Obamist for defending a legitimate government act that is unfortunately being badly managed. Part of the trouble may arise from the need to verify some addresses, due to possible historical uses or errors in prior years. Due to confidentiality it is impossible to determine that in each case. A much better management system is needed. The obstructions raised by the ideological deniers of even this most basic government function, one that I believe that conservatives should support, act like sand and increase inefficiency to the ultimate benefit of those like Acorn who do want to substitute wholesale fraud for the Census. That is why I suspect that some of the most vociferous critics here are really "moby" trolls sent to advocate disruption.

17 comments:

Reds Fan said...

Dear LOTM,

followed your link from Belmont.

I have been appalled as NEVER BEFORE by the politicization of what was supposed to be a benign and beneficial process - the U.S. Census.

ACORN is a thoroughly criminal, racist, anti-american organization, which has been shown to be involved NATIONALLY in vote-fraud, suborning perjury, tax-evasion, and providing advice to assist in criminal activities. But for a year prior to these infernal activities being exposed, OBAMA and his people were telling us that ACORN employees would be rewarded for their selfless efforts by being given jobs in the CENSUS.

SICKENING.

Then, all spring, we've been pelted and assaulted with a bunch of self-praising television commercials telling us how important it is for us to answer the census forms, 'cause otherwise, How can we know how many public transportation buses to have, or how many teachers and school buildings?

IDIOCY.

The underlying message is that we poor pathetic peons are utterly incapable of assessing and correcting the most conspicuous issues of resource allocation without the wise and beneficent intercession of the monsters of the sanctified one.

On this issue, I have to say that the current administration has ALL responsibility for "tainting and fouling the waters" surrounding the CENSUS.

LifeoftheMind said...

Welcome and thank you for the comment. My sympathies are with your views. My tone is from my responding to the comments at Breitbart, which edge towards the tin foil hat level that deny the legality of the Census, and probably the Income Tax.

Bad ideas, like maybe the tax code, need to be fixed and criminal organizations like Acorn need to be exposed and prosecuted. My point is that refusing to cooperate with lawful government workers only empowers those who thrive in a lawless 3rd World society.

Pascal Fervor said...

I too followed you link from BC.

I've read USC13-223. It is unconstitutionally broad. For instance, "or other building." Geeze. Most of us on the Right think the inroads to our personal business via the commerce clause is bad enough already without mixing in the legitimate portions of the census function.

LOTM: Since the person who refused to identify himself or accept the offered forms could themselves have been some armed intruder on the property.

They would need to possess reasonable suspicion to make such an assertion.

Furthermore, the census worker has been pressured to obtain info not authorized under the powers laid out in the Constitution.

To insist that he has that power is to engage in fraud.

Someone who is being asked more than "how many live here" is being pressured under color of authority to provide more than what is required. Abuse of power under color of authority is a felony. I imagine you know that, but you're willing to let that assessment be bent?

Many people have long sensed the added snooping is of an authoritarian nature -- but that it is much worse this year. Do you REALLY wonder why that is?

Just understand that in defending the excesses, it makes you appear too wobbly. You will distance allies even if there is some reasonable caution on your part by your readiness to see tin-foil hats.

Pascal Fervor said...

I fear my last sentence lacks the punctuation necessary to be clear.

You will distance allies -- even if there is some reasonable caution on your part -- by your readiness to see tin-foil hats.

LifeoftheMind said...

PF,
No offense taken and thank you for the concern. On the narrow issues I agree that the law, like most laws, could be improved. That is not an excuse for defiance and abuse of the Enumerators. There are two issues here;
1. the content of the Census and the law,
2. the conduct and administration of it.

The first is actually better than it was in the past. The intrusive "long form" has been spun off into another operation. That is why I feel that dogged refusal to see anything but the worst motives behind people asking the basic lawful questions when accompanied by assertive and wrong statements about what the law is "tin foil."

The second issue is a real problem. Obama undoubtedly has bad intentions and did attempt to subvert the Census. Fortunately due to the terrible economy he created there were many highly skilled and overqualified people available to do the work. The inefficiency, nepotism and sheer incompetence in the administration of the Census served to discredit the people doing the work and made getting an honest count that would support a fair reapportionment all the more difficult. Did you see the stupid no photo ID they issued to the workers?

Pascal Fervor said...

I've been posting for nearly 20 years now. Some tin-foil hatters are plants. Same thing with Bush derangement syndrome and now PDS. The plants work both sides. To what end? To knock down legitimate criticisms by painting all critics as in the camp with extremists. AVOID that blanket label. As you used it, you implied all critics are loons. And there is no end to that, as it will be used against you too -- probably has already.

Orwell was quite clear. Statism succeeds greatly by infiltrating and dividing its opposition into non-function. Fearing being labeled as "one of those" keeps working. It's akin you why you are correct that Obama gains by nonsensical Census protesters.

The moment one tosses in an MFM label like that -- a PC censoring device to be sure -- my BS detector goes off in the same way others employ Godwin's Law.

As you point out, there are legitimate concerns. But you too could be relegated to be among the tin-foil hatters simply by suggesting it.

There IS a clear violation of authority: Threatening homeowners with a $500 fine (under extension of the already excessively used Commerce clause) that is aimed at apartment house owners who bar access is indeed unconstitutional, no matter the low level of threat imposed by the questions.

They are really making that threat. Look into it.

BTW, It was Judd Gregg, not any of the Graham senators psst or present, who Obama tried to lure to Commerce. See my cartoon and you won't forget again. :)

LifeoftheMind said...

PF,
Did I really screw up on Gregg & Graham? May I copy your cartoon to my blog?

Breitbart needs better moderation. It is a very promising site but the level of commentary brings out the worst in everyone. That thread looks worse than anything I think that Michelle Malkin or Allahpundit would want on their sites, and I got tired of the "Rino" bashing directed at McCain from there that helped cost him the election.

You are probably correct that some of the worst is from agents provacateurs. It is important to deny them control of the forum or they will destroy it.

My hope is that the Belmont Club does not degenerate into that and also avoids an LGF level of control. Constant high level commentary, interspersed with pithy wit, are needed. Keeping it at that level will be a hard job for wretchard.

Pascal Fervor said...

Yes you did, and yes you may.

With all the money floating around to get the "right" people elected (oligarchic funding for statism), it's not hard to fund the mobies. Do you know you were the first to alert me to that term? I looked it up and the most used meaning is the one you used a few months back (I understood from context what you meant from my own experiences.)

What is needed are rational minds to catch the irrational wars that are started by the mobies and useful idiots and sops.

I trust no man automatically because of the nature of the heavy handedness of those who know how to find and use handles. I have to put in my time with those I know and work with them so that they feel secure. I've blown it too many times in the past by not being prepared, by being naive. This is what I have to offer younger men. What to look out for and how to prepare. I'm actually thinking of opening a new blog for that purpose. Not sure what to call it or what subject/lesson I'd start with.

Pascal Fervor said...

Why did you eradicate the comment stream?

LifeoftheMind said...

When and where did I eradicate a comment stream? Do you think that I have closed off comments? When I get a spam entry, usually a chinese porn site link, then I delete that.

Pascal Fervor said...

Before I posted that question, there were 0 comments showing up here where there used to be eight. So that one should have been number nine.

Since then, and before I turned in early this morning, one old comment had returned to this thread -- so there were two. With your response greeting me now, the are again a total of eight, so many but not all of the old ones have returned. This one will make a new number 9, but there should be two more.

Maybe time will tell. Just another mystery of Blogger.

Among the other mysteries of Blogger is the Links feature. On any given day I might have 3 or 1 or 2 or no links to one of my blog entries. What was the phrase the King of Siam kept repeating?

LifeoftheMind said...

PF,
Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. The Grand Unified Conspiracy theorists join hands across the divide between right and left. The real work is in teasing out the signal of real events from the noise of events and then providing the productive with the tools, or just reducing the noise directed at them, so they can get on with life.

For myself I am busy with life and willing to communicate about obvious issues privately, via the link on this blog, with the few and not the many.

The King of Siam was wondering where the palace girls underthings went, along with his hair.

Pascal Fervor said...

Look at that: They're all back now. The mysteries of Blogger.

Don't you find that appearance and dribbling in reappearances odd? I don't recall that happening at my blog, but I'm rarely commenting there to have notice if it happened there. All I ever noticed were the on again off again links to sites that cited me.

Oh, it's definitely incompetence.

And that's Hanlon's razor you recited. Do you approve his absolutist terminology? I'd imagine you rarely say never given life's complexities where human's are concerned.

I like Heinlein's razor better, who added to Hanlon -- "but don't overlook malice." I prefer it because I like disappointing progressives like GBShaw who was counting on ignorance even as he mocked it.

Pascal Fervor said...

Why did you eradicate the comment stream?

Pascal Fervor said...

I too followed you link from BC.

I've read USC13-223. It is unconstitutionally broad. For instance, "or other building." Geeze. Most of us on the Right think the inroads to our personal business via the commerce clause is bad enough already without mixing in the legitimate portions of the census function.

LOTM: Since the person who refused to identify himself or accept the offered forms could themselves have been some armed intruder on the property.

They would need to possess reasonable suspicion to make such an assertion.

Furthermore, the census worker has been pressured to obtain info not authorized under the powers laid out in the Constitution.

To insist that he has that power is to engage in fraud.

Someone who is being asked more than "how many live here" is being pressured under color of authority to provide more than what is required. Abuse of power under color of authority is a felony. I imagine you know that, but you're willing to let that assessment be bent?

Many people have long sensed the added snooping is of an authoritarian nature -- but that it is much worse this year. Do you REALLY wonder why that is?

Just understand that in defending the excesses, it makes you appear too wobbly. You will distance allies even if there is some reasonable caution on your part by your readiness to see tin-foil hats.

LifeoftheMind said...

PF,
No offense taken and thank you for the concern. On the narrow issues I agree that the law, like most laws, could be improved. That is not an excuse for defiance and abuse of the Enumerators. There are two issues here;
1. the content of the Census and the law,
2. the conduct and administration of it.

The first is actually better than it was in the past. The intrusive "long form" has been spun off into another operation. That is why I feel that dogged refusal to see anything but the worst motives behind people asking the basic lawful questions when accompanied by assertive and wrong statements about what the law is "tin foil."

The second issue is a real problem. Obama undoubtedly has bad intentions and did attempt to subvert the Census. Fortunately due to the terrible economy he created there were many highly skilled and overqualified people available to do the work. The inefficiency, nepotism and sheer incompetence in the administration of the Census served to discredit the people doing the work and made getting an honest count that would support a fair reapportionment all the more difficult. Did you see the stupid no photo ID they issued to the workers?

LifeoftheMind said...

PF,
Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. The Grand Unified Conspiracy theorists join hands across the divide between right and left. The real work is in teasing out the signal of real events from the noise of events and then providing the productive with the tools, or just reducing the noise directed at them, so they can get on with life.

For myself I am busy with life and willing to communicate about obvious issues privately, via the link on this blog, with the few and not the many.

The King of Siam was wondering where the palace girls underthings went, along with his hair.