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It is time for the United Status census. In the wake of debate and
demonic demographers’ dazzling displays of disingenuous duplicity, it is
time to count noses.

The U.S. Constitution requires the census to be taken once every 10
years. It is a necessary tool for establishing congressional
districts. However, that is all the Constitution requires, or intended,
the census to be used for.

A Libertarian gadfly recent wrote, “Ten years ago, I received the
census forms and only answered the constitutionally required question:
How many people live in our house. The census supervisor called me and
asked me to answer the balance of the questions. I said, ‘No, I don’t
have to.’ The supervisor tried to bully/scare me into completing the
form. I resisted and heard no more from the snoops. You can stick to
your guns and tell them no more than our Constitution requires and you
are within the law. This is a legal and effective means of defying the
government.”

We have all heard the cliché “Knowledge is Power.” It is. In fact,
in this, the age of digitized data consolidation, the most
formidable tool used and abused by government is the power derived from
knowledge and data collection.

Marketers lust for qualitative data. No longer content to know if a
prospect to whom a message is delivered is a he or a she, now they know
your age, weight, political party and a lot more. How much more? Mere
quantitative data isn’t enough; now the name of the game is qualitative.

Most major market radio stations know at least the following about
members of their potential listening audience (beyond if you are a he or
a she): age, education, cars owned, magazines to which you subscribe,
profession, associations and club memberships, recreational activity,
buying habits, credit card use, brand preference, military service,
number of televisions, video players, sound systems, computers owned
(and for what purpose), travel, bank, credit history, politics, religion
and more. Factoid: at one point the radio station I work for was the
most listened to in Marin County, and our listeners in that
county consumed more Brie cheese than anyone else.

Now the government wants in on the psychographic action. The same
government that is unable to keep confidential FBI files confidential
wants you to “trust” them. The same government that has routinely used
the IRS to harass perceived political enemies and sends America’s young
soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines into harm’s way for political
cover now wants you to tell all. After all, “We’re from the government
and we’re here to help …”

Kenneth Prewitt, Census Bureau director, claims it is your “civic
duty” to answer all the census 2000 questions. However, the
Libertarian Party says it is your patriotic duty to not comply beyond
“the one required by the Constitution: How many people live in your
home?” Prewitt crystallized what is wrong with the inflated process by
acknowledging the results of the census affect “power, money, group
interests, civil rights; in short, who gets how much of what.” Which is
precisely why the Libertarians suggest you boycott all but the one
required question.

According to the U.S. Constitution, the purpose of the census is
precise (and like most everything else in the Constitution and Bill of
Rights, limiting). That purpose is to make an enumeration — in other
words, an accurate count of Americans. Why did the framers prescribe a
nose count? To apportion congressional districts.

The long form of the census includes fifty-two questions. However,
the questions themselves are insignificant compared with how the data is
subsequently used (and/or misused). The additional (unrequired) data is
used to carve up a federal pie of almost $200 billion in taxpayer
money. The data and redistribution of the American wealth is justified,
rationalized, intellectualized and homogenized. It becomes the nexus
for expansion of government program inefficiencies, and establishes
government-mandated criteria to discriminate against taxpayers based on
a variety of inappropriate criteria.

The Libertarians claim, “Census information is used to forge the
chains that bind Americans to failed government programs, meddlesome
bureaucracies and a sky-high tax rate. So if you care about privacy,
genuine equality and old-fashioned American liberty, it is your civic
responsibility to just say ‘no’ to nosy government bureaucrats.” They
would have you say, “We live in an information age, but the only
information the government deserves on the census, beyond the number of
people in your home, is: None of your business.”

However, there are consequences to those who would cling to the
principle of constitutional authority. Anyone officially responding to
the Census 2000 invasion of privacy could expect pressure, bullying,
government harassment and a $100 fine. Besides, beyond the
inconvenience, the assault on what is becoming the anachronism of
privacy, why not just give Big Brother what he wants? What have you got
to hide? Oh sure, there is the case of the Mayor of Compton, Calif.,
who has 17 people registered to vote from his home, but hey, that’s
“tradition.” After all, the government only needs all that extra
non-authorized (by the Constitution) data just so they can take better
care of you. Privacy and freedom sound nice, but are they worth $100?

There is a story floating around cyberspace about a church service
that was allegedly interrupted by a squad of armed men dressed in black
with black ski masks covering their faces. They supposedly burst into
the full church and fired into the ceiling. The leader stepped forward
and announced, “If you’re not willing to take a bullet for God leave
now.” There was a stampede of parishioners who raced for the
exits. The minister was left standing at the pulpit with a mere dozen
remaining in the congregation. The masked leader announced, “OK,
preacher, we got rid of the hypocrites. You can continue with your
service.” The masked gunmen left.

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