Tuesday, July 06, 2010

More on the Census from Breitbart


(Reply to "Dooney" who called me an offensive troll)

Just because you think that all you have to do is yell a number at the Census worker to fulfill any legal obligation does not make it true. There are 4 types of questions on the form;
a. who lives here?
b. demographic information about residents such as birthdate sex
     and race,
c. information about the unit such as owned or rented and primary
     or secondary or vacant
d. identity of the person providing the information.
The last, which is the name address if a Proxy and telephone number of the Respondant, is essential to preserve the integrity of the process. You will never win an argument if you say you do not have to provide that. The second and third are the bare minimum left after the long form questions got removed. You may object to them but the proper way to change the law is through Congress. Some information about the status of the unit is needed to prevent double counting. I have no idea why they ask if the unit is owned or rented.

The questions are approved by Congress. If you think they are improper, such as those regarding race or whether you rent or own, then take them to court. If you think that this merits confronting the government with Civil Disobedience, like the lunch counter sit ins of the Civil Rights Era then I can understand that but you should understand that does not mean getting to do what you want. It does mean expecting and indeed demanding that the government take you into court. The only difference is whether you sue them or they arrest you, both end up in court. Personally I believe that we are better off have the legislature make our laws and changing them through the political process rather than challenging the law through the courts.

In America we make the law. There is nothing conservative in announcing that you think that the law is wrong and then you will abuse the functionary carrying it out. I have read the article about the Hawaii encounter. There is nothing in what the Enumerator did that I see as improper. If he did act improperly then the resident should have checked his ID and called his office to report the misconduct. Both men involved were police officers. They both knew that is the correct thing to do if you think a government agent is exceeding his authority. The resident instead refused to speak to the Census worker and ordered him not to do his job. He refused to accept the offered form, which was probably the Notice of Visit with the information needed to call the office and resolve the matter over the phone. The resident then called the local police to have them arrest a government agent who had properly entered his property. Government agents do have the right to enter your property in a publicly accessible place, ie to reach your door or use your intercom. For reasons I already explained no warrant is needed to conduct the Census.

People need to separate their distrust and suspicion of the administration that initially did attempt to misuse the Census from the actual legal requirement to conduct a Census as set forth by Congress. The first is understandable and I and others here who have attempted to explain the realities of what the process is and the rights and duties of all involved have made clear own own distaste for the management and the political operatives of the Obama administration. That does not mean that a refusal to cooperate with someone performing their job is justified.

Just because someone thinks the visitor may be connected to Acorn or Obama, which apparently was not true in this case and is in fact almost never true with the people actually doing the Census, is no reason to abuse them. If the resident had that suspicion he could have said "You aren't one of those Acorn guys are you?" If the response was "No, I'm a retired police officer doing a job" then any sane competent cop should have said "I don't like this but let's talk." The resident made bad assumptions and acted unprofessionally in escalating the situation. That is the kind of conduct that can get people hurt.

Finally your ad hominem attacks on me are uncalled for. You and others have responded to honest information that contradicts untrue statements that you want to believe. You have done so with personal abuse and invective. Nothing I have said is offensive except to those who wish to exclude any opposing opinion from the debate. That is conduct that I would expect in some left wing forum.

4 comments:

49erDweet said...

Well said, sir.

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you, there is a flood of abuse on the internet by people who seek to dominate discourse by repeating errors loudly (spoon banging) and then seeking to drive out other voices. A lot of this is fueled by paranoia masquerading as Libertarianism. The Breitbart article's response thread was shameful. That is the kind of assertive ignorance that fuels the Socialists.

On the Belmont Club there has been a similar seizure of the forum by people who got upset that the blog owner removed one commentator for serially hijacking his threads and promoting racism and sexism. This was used by a commentator whose stability I question to launch a personal attack on me and stalk me through the threads whipping up hostility towards me.

LifeoftheMind said...

Thank you, there is a flood of abuse on the internet by people who seek to dominate discourse by repeating errors loudly (spoon banging) and then seeking to drive out other voices. A lot of this is fueled by paranoia masquerading as Libertarianism. The Breitbart article's response thread was shameful. That is the kind of assertive ignorance that fuels the Socialists.

On the Belmont Club there has been a similar seizure of the forum by people who got upset that the blog owner removed one commentator for serially hijacking his threads and promoting racism and sexism. This was used by a commentator whose stability I question to launch a personal attack on me and stalk me through the threads whipping up hostility towards me.

49erDweet said...

Well said, sir.