"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me?" ~ Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My current act of civil disobedience

I am now participating in Civil Disobedience. Just letting you all know. Maybe you will want to join in...maybe not. This seems like a small thing in the big scheme of life, but it is the small things that add up. 

Yup...I am a child of the 1960's/70's. I remember seeing things on TV about those "damn hippies" and sit-ins and protests. I was young, of course, and didn't really understand a lot of what was going on. Flash forward to today. We have Occupy Wall Street (or whatever city) going on. I have to tell you honestly, it is a very poor attempt to be like the protests were way back when. Those people don't seem to really have a clue as to what they are demanding and what the consequences of those scattered demands would be. There is no focus on issues. Many of the issues that some are yelling about are counter-productive. I don't disagree with some of what is being said, but they do not represent me and I seriously doubt they truly represent 99% of any group of people.

Anyway, I digress....back to my civil disobedient act.

Yesterday, I received the American Community Survey from the US Dept of Commerce/Census Bureau. WHAT?!?!

In 2000, I received the long form census. I filled out the part that is ACTUALLY mandated by the Constitution of the United States. An enumeration of the population. I happily told them how many live in this house and our names. I may have put down our ages. For race, I put Human. Yeah..a rebel, aren't I? (Husband had me put down white/non-hispanic for him. Whatever) The rest of the questions I refused to answer on the basis that they are just too invasive of my privacy. If my toilet flushes or not, how many miles I drive to work, if I am able to bathe by myself....yeah...they don't need that information.

In 2010, I filled out the regular census form. Again, number of people, ages, the very basics that are constitutionally mandated. No problem. Then along comes this "survey". Simply the rest of the long form census. I spent several minutes looking it over. Ummm...no. I am not going to fill it out. I am not going to answer their questions. They say that I am required by law. They say they could fine me.  I did some research on the internet.  Seems that I can find not one single instance of them ACTUALLY fining or taking anyone to court .  I suppose I could be the first.  We shall see.

So why am I drawing this particular line in the sand?  First of all, we all know that the government can't be trusted to keep our information secure.  There are countless instances of laptop computers being stolen along with the private information of individuals on those said computers. 

Secondly, there is the basic fundamental right of the individual to privacy.  The Constitution does say that the government should count the population every ten years.  I get that.  And there are some questions that I wouldn't mind answering that could be helpful to future genealogists.  I know I have gotten some info from old census records that were interesting...you know...names and ages of people living in a particular place.  I have never seen information regarding mental health, pregnancy, driving habits, detailed info on how much they spend on rent/mortgage/utilities. 

This is how I see it.  I see Big Brother/Sister constantly encroaching into our private daily lives.  This is just one more slope towards corralling all the good little sheeple.

Do you know the analogy of the frog in the pot of water?  Put a frog in a pan of cool water.  He is happy enough.  Turn on the stove and slowly heat the water. The frog just goes along, happily ignorant of what is happening to him.  Finally, the frog dies from being boiled alive, never having noticed. (According to snopes.com, this is not a true story but just a mythological illustration)

Ok....off the soap box....for now.