Below is the full text of Angelaisms’ latest blog, instead of my usual teasing excerpt with linkie. I’m all veins-distended and hair-smoking angry AGAIN and I want all y’all to READ IT ALL. (We won’t need Obamacare if this continues much longer, cuz I’ll just have a stroke and DIE.)
If you like it and want to give the author an Atta Girl and make her feel good, plus boost her hit count so her editors at Misfit will see what a Super Blogger she is … click on this link.
Where else can you accomplish So Much Good with So Little Effort? 🙂 P.S., Bolding and colors are by CtH.
A Whole New Level of Nosy by angelaisms – October 10, 2013
We have now entered week two of #GovernmentShutDownCalypseGateNadoWeen2013™!!! Like you, I have been watching the antics of our very own Spite House with a mixture of disgust and bemusement – the former for obvious reasons, and the latter for the fact that President Stompy Foot seems to have so many flying monkeys willing to do his tantrumy bidding. Probably unlike you, however, this shutdown actually has had real consequences for me and my family. For one, my husband was on TDY (Temporary Duty) over on the continent, getting a bit of training finished up, and his class has been postponed until after the shutdown. For another, with the commissaries closed, I find myself having to shop for groceries at regular Hawaiian prices.
But there is a silver lining to all this, and not just me having my husband back in the same time zone for a bit. No, that silver lining is that the Census Bureau is closed, which means they won’t be knocking on my door anytime soon.
Now, before you give me a sideways “Have you gone crazy?” look after verifying that the current year does not end in zero, let me assure you that I am in complete control of my faculties. (Well, as much as I ever am.) I, too, was under the impression that the Census Bureau operated entirely within the realm of their Constitutionally-mandated role of counting people once every ten years. That is, until the American Community Survey arrived in my mailbox several weeks ago to disabuse me of that comfortable notion. (Silly me!)
The American Community Survey is an incredibly invasive little questionnaire that is sent out to about three million American households every year. In it, you are asked to provide to the federal government information on every single person in your household. We’re not just talking name/age stuff here – they want a complete breakdown of your income for the last year; full details on how and where you’re employed; total cost of your utility bills; what your home is worth; what kind of health insurance you have; how long you’ve been married; and whether or not you carpool, as well as when you leave for work and how long it takes you to get there. They also want to know if you have any disabilities, if you’re bilingual, whether you’ve been selling produce from your garden, and exactly what you studied in college. (Oh, how I wish I were kidding.)
Oh, and remember how I said they “ask” for this? Well, by “ask,” I mean you’re required to answer everything under penalty of law, and that penalty is a $5,000 fine. See http://solari.com/blog/a-solari-report-census-fines/
You may at this point be feeling rather indignant – “Surely,” you exclaim, “such information is not only well outside the legal purview of the Census Bureau, it’s not at all any of the federal government’s business!” Trust me, I’m right there with you. So you can imagine how well those fears of mine were assuaged when I got to this part in the ACS brochure:
Oh! Well, that’s alright then! After all, it’s not like any branch of the federal government has had any recent and embarrassing scandals involving the improper use and/or access of private citizens’ private information! And it’s not like the people involved in those scandals have gotten off scot-free! And anyway, nothing says “trustworthy” like demanding information to which you have no right in the first place, amiright?
As much as I would love to lay the blame for this little piece of [expletive deleted] at the feet of the Obama administration, a quick Google search will reveal that this survey was begun in 1995 and fully implemented in 2005. The really adorable part is that the ACS – a 40-minute survey that demands details of your life that are clearly none of anyone’s business – was designed in response to concerns that the regular census form was both too cumbersome and too invasive. In other words, we’re looking at business as usual as per the federal government: when your citizenry says you’re doing too much, the answer is not to back off (ha!), but to crank it up to eleventy.
(Also, the really funny part of all of this? I live on a military base. The federal government already has all of the information on my community they could possibly need.)
Well, here’s a whacky idea, Census Bureau: if communities, cities, states, and counties are as direly in need of this info as you say they are, then they can ask for it themselves. None of this information you’re “asking” for is any of your damn business. If, when you’re up and running again, you send someone to my home to ask me these questions in person (as your last postcard threatened informed me would happen), I will politely tell him/her exactly that. And if you try to fine me for not taking your crap – well, I may not have the largest of soapboxes. But I can get in touch with people who do.
Have a nice day!
@angelaisms is also happy to tell you on Twitter that details of her personal life are none of your damn business.