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Archive for the ‘Crappy laws’ Category

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get away from the legalized marijuana issues.

I was talking with an acquaintance this week about idiocy of Washington’s tax scheme for legalized marijuana.  He’s a numbers guy and is well-versed in tax bureaucracies, and their miraculously functional illogic.  We had started out by discussing how the measure was sold in this state, which focused almost exclusively on “new tax revenue” and “being able to focus law enforcement on other matters other than marijuana-related offenses”.  (I’ve lived in this state for 13 years, and I can say I was aware of any great law enforcement push to enforce the laws when it comes to marijuana.  But then, that may be influenced by the fact that police departments pass out munchies to those openly defying the law, so there’s that…)  It also flies in the face of data which is pretty clear that we don’t have an epidemic of incarceration solely because of marijuana possession and use.

The dual-mindedness of the people in this state on this issue simply boggles the mind.  The state has undergone a crusade against smoking in which some counties decided that bad second-hand smoke studies were a good basis for banning smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants specifically set up to cater to smoking customers, and the state legislature followed shortly after with a ban on smoking in all public places, including within 25 feet of any doorway.  This was followed by local authorities moving to ban people from smoking in their own residences if they live in public housing.  The legislature, not to be out done, came back with a proposal to ban smoking in an automobile if there are children present.  And yet these very same tyrant wannabes needed a drool rag to wipe up after their tax lust.  I have yet to hear how all but banning the smoking of tobacco products can be an imperative for public health, and yet pot smoking doesn’t create some of the very same harms we’re preventing with the anti-smoking crusade.  The utter dishonesty of it sickens me.  Putting aside the addiction issue.  Putting aside the evidence (yes, I know that the studies are mixed) regarding how much longer marijuana impairs you than alcohol does, I defy anyone in the public health community to tell me that smoking tobacco is a public health threat that requires increasing restrictions on liberty, but that lighting up a joint is something that the government should be cool with.  But then, if there was any honesty, it would require an admission that the government is ok with harm to its citizens, as long as it is getting paid.

But then the police being able to concentrate on “other offenses” is really a poor argument too.  It isn’t an accident that as part of the move to legalize recreational marijuana use, the state legislature had to set limits for legal impairment for drivers with regard to their use of marijuana…meaning that they knew what everyone knew, and didn’t want to discuss.  That as with alcohol, there would be people who would not be able to stop themselves from using, and driving, and that like with alcohol, people would be harmed as a result.

And now, in the fashion we have come to expect in this country, it appears that even toking up isn’t immune to forces of entitlement and the playing of race cards, as this story in The Root demonstrates.

When I read this story earlier this week, I realized that if the Earth was going to have an extinction-level collision with an asteroid, I’d probably be up on the roof, writing “Hit Here First”.  Just the very idea that white people will get all the good weed is a fair condensed version of everything that is wrong with this country today.   I read the headline, and thought to myself that I would give my last dollar to be able to go back in time, and be right there to respond to Rodney King’s famous question with an emphatic “NO!”

We aren’t even fiddling while Rome burns any more.  We’re sitting in the ashes, and blaming each other because it is too hot.  With stratospheric “real” unemployment numbers, a government addicted to spending what it doesn’t have, and an educational system that would have made Ponzi blanch at its brazenness, people now want to worry that someone might get a better buzz than they did, simply because of their skin color.  And the people who are most worried don’t seem to care that each of those problems with society are magnified in “their communities”…a problem which the community organizer in chief is unable or unwilling to solve, opting instead to use race as a wedge, and pursue redistribution.  But then, smart people realize that the “If a man is hungry, take someone else’s fish at gunpoint and give it to him” is a plan that simply discourages fishing.

Then there is the “WHAT?” factor to the underlying logic.  I grew up next to a large urban center(and went to college in it) that was living under similar economic conditions before Obama and the Democrats took them nationwide.  It didn’t seem to affect the ability of persons of color to obtain Hennessy, Couvoisier, Tanqueray, etc.  In fact, I never once heard a concern uttered about the white people getting all the good booze.  The article suggests that we had to have Obama as President to get us to the point of seriously considering marijuana legalization.  It seems only fair that since he is intent on limiting the economy so that everything but the amounts we spend on his vacations and golf is a finite resource, that someone could now publish a piece about the fear of segregation of pot based on race and NOT do so as a work of satire.

Things like this almost make me want to root for the collapse of our civilization.  But instead, it may prove more profitable for those in power to simply let us fade away in a cloud of smoke and mellowness…as long as someone with a different skin color doesn’t get a better class of weed.  Maybe we could get Philip Morris to come up with a couple of premium blends.  Then we could solve the problem, AND make an evil corporation cool again.

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…and our “rulers” should be afraid…very afraid.

Heir No. One is studying the American Revolution in his History class at school, and concluded that John Adams was against suffrage for women.  I know this, because he was telling me about it, which sparked one of those fun conversations.

My wife laughed, thinking that perhaps they were watching the musical 1776 in class, and he extrapolated it from the letters between John and Abigail.   He told us no, that it was a different film and not a musical.

“Dad?  Do you think all the Founders were against women having the vote?”

“Hmmm.  I’m not sure that you are looking at the issue the same way they would have.”

“What do you mean?”

Over his shoulder, I could see that my wife had taken a heightened interest in the conversation, as the combination “Yes, what DO you mean?”  And “Here-there-be-dragons.” look on her face plainly stated.

“Well, for starters, education then wasn’t like today, and in many cases women didn’t go to school as long as some men did.”

I could see my wife’s expression relax just a bit.

“And then, there is the fact that there were an awful lot of men who couldn’t vote, either.”

“Why not?”

“Because in a lot of cases, men could not vote unless they owned property.”

“Why?”

“Because then they had a stake in the outcome.”

“I don’t think that should matter.  I think they should have allowed everyone to vote.  But then, it might just be because I have a compassionate heart.”

“Do you think that it is a good thing for people who can’t read and who don’t know math to vote?  If you can’t read, you can’t educate yourself about issues, or check on what politicians tell you.  You have to take their word for it.  Which means that they can lie to you, and you won’t be able to figure it out.”

“Oh…”

[Her] “This is why we keep telling you that math matters.”

“And what do you think happens when people who have less money than you do, or don’t own property, but want things from the government vote?”

“They tell government to take it from you and give it to them?”

“Exactly.  And do you think the fact that they don’t own what you own and are being taxed on, and may never own it, makes it easier or harder for them to vote for government taxing you on it?

“Easier.”

“Yes…because they don’t have “skin in the game”…you might hear the President say that phrase from time to time, but like the little fat guy in “The Princess Bride” who kept saying “INCONCEIVABLE!”, it doesn’t mean what he seems to think it means.  So to answer your question, I don’t believe that the Founders would have been completely opposed to women voting on the basis of them being women, but I think they would have opposed it on the basis of literacy (in some cases) and on the basis of property ownership.”

When he and the rest of his generation figure out how much the welfare state has stolen from them, I don’t think I’d want to be Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or a “Progressive” like Hillary Clinton.

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In the wake of the Republican Party’s ambivalence and contempt for conservative, small-government ideals, and a complete unwillingness to fight any of the battles that matter, I’m thinking it is time for a new political party, founded upon the ideals of a small and limited government, and a ruthless disdain for all things “progressive”, including the ubiquitous but erroneous belief that the individual is simply not competent to determine how to spend their money, their time, and their labor, because they will invariably make the “wrong” decisions, and that government can, and should better decide for you how to spend these possessions of ours, along with the belief that government has a duty to protect you from the consequences of your decisions, even if it must first enslave you to do it.

Power based on the spending of a shrinking pool of other people’s money is a zero sum game, and for far too long, government has been expanding into areas and spheres of influence in which it has not traditionally had ANY authority, while treating small business as a cash register till to be dipped into whenever it wants more money to fund welfare masquerading as “charity” and setting its sights on the wallets of individual taxpayers, using compulsion and decrying any protest as a “lack of generosity” because we’re sick of letting government “be generous” with our money, preventing us from doing so in a way that would require accountability from the recipients.

Government is broke, and regardless of the extraordinary proposition propounded by Congressman Keith Ellison and others, it has NO right to simply confiscate more money from those who actually earn it, and who by virtue of their status as producers in society, already bear an ever-increasing burden of supporting a profligate leviathan that spends its days issuing regulations and rules like a king of old issuing edicts and proclamations that only serve to discourage ambition and yoke entrepreneurialism to a stultifying collar of mediocrity, ensuring that instead of a rising tide to lift all boats, we’re dropped to a muddy and rocky bottom, with the rest of the broken wreckage of dreams and industriousness.  Those in Washington D.C. who are ostensibly there to represent our interests have lost sight of what those interests are, and have become part of a leviathan which is diligent in ensuring that its cogs never get sullied by the indignity of having to live under the same laws, rules, and regulations that it makes for us, while at the same time, turning a blind eye to the blatant lawlessness being practiced by its various components.

As government swells, it increasingly forces its way into the minutiae of the average person’s daily life, until the only right to privacy that it is willing to recognize is the right of a mother to snuff her child in utero; all else must be yielded to the state upon its demand, whether it is wage data, or the number of toilets in your home.  You cannot be forced to quarter troops in your home, but none the less, government believes it can compel you to disclose information about that could be gleaned from such an act.

Enough.

The time has come for the “Nunya Damn Business” Party.  A party that will not compromise on removing government from the performance of tasks it had no business doing in the first place.  A party that will shrink the current bloatocracy by eliminating laws and regulations that have long ago advanced beyond anything resembling a reasonable safeguard, and have turned into a rolling juggernaut that gets heavier, slower, and more intrusive with every attempt to bubble wrap people in an attempt to save them from themselves.  The Nunya Damn Business Party recognizes the concept of curtilage, and will not intrude upon individuals’ quiet enjoyment of their residences unless to  stop a crime.  It will not make increasing demands on the individual citizens’ time, in essence confiscating even more from those it is supposed to serve, not be served by.

Our society is on a collision course with itself, navigated there by a government that increasingly rejects any limitation on its scope or reach, that has created a class of dependents who are incapable of recognizing their chains, paid for more and more by a class that cannot help but to feel its chains.

Freedom is the answer for both, and the satisfaction of honest labor will do more to refresh American Exceptionalism and national solvency than any government entitlement or program.  Join me.

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Apparently, the sequester hasn’t affected the Census Bureau, because they CONTINUE to call my home.

Last night, to their bad fortune, they did so when I was actually here.
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I got another call from the Census Bureau last night.

It didn’t even register with the flunky attempting to intimidate me into giving them a host of information that is none of their business that telling me “Congress passed a law giving us the authority to collect data for them.” wouldn’t even be the slightest bit convincing to an attorney who has read the relevant sections of 13 USC and can’t find ANY authority for the scope of the questions they were asking, and she got very upset when I told her that they need to quit calling my home, as it is starting to border on harrassment.

Fed Flunky: Sir, if you do not answer the questions, I’ll have to make you as a “refusal”.

Me: You can mark me as a refusal, but that would not be true. The law says I can be fined if I willfully refuse to fill out any portion of the survey. I filled out the first page, and then wrote “None of your damn business” on the remaning 35 pages. Therefore I didn’t fail to fill out any portion of the survey, only the parts that are none of your business. Besides, I’d be seventeen different kinds of idiot to give you that information considering the federal government’s recent treack record with confidential data.

Fed Flunky: Sir, THAT’S not what the law means.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware I was speaking to another attorney. It must suck having to work a Friday evening for minimum wage.

Fed Flunky: If you have a law degree, you can defend yourself at the hearing.

Me: Is that supposed to scare me?

*click*

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If we can pay for this kind of idiotic pursuit of American citizens, and NOT enforce current immigration law, and not allow the government to perform the functions that it is SUPPOSED to be doing, like training for military units, then this government’s legitimacy should be loudly and frequently questioned.  Daily.

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Remember when Rush Limbaugh had forever tainted the reputation of professional activist and rabble-rouser Sandra Fluke when he called her an unflattering name when she demanded that a nominally catholic institution, Georgetown University, supply THOUSANDS of dollars to individual female students annually?  This was another major engagement in the “War on Women”, which forever proved that those eeeeeeeevvvvviiiiiillllll conservatives really hate women because they aren’t willing to accept the idea that a religious-based institution should be compelled to go against its conscience and guiding principles to supply contraceptives to students who voluntarily chose to attend the institution, knowing that this “demand” would be controversial, and frankly reveal those making the demand to be unreasonable, sniveling ingrates.  And when Rush happened to suggest that a law student at a top-tier law school who is obsessed with extorting THOUSANDS of dollars worth of contraceptives for individual students annually might be working toward a career in the wrong profession, an entire segment of society that would not recognize shame if it walked up to them, beat them up, and stole their money suddenly rediscovered the concept and, with all the outrage they could muster, rushed to her defense, claiming it was he who had sullied her reputation, while breathing fire, and sipping on kitten and puppy shakes.  It never once occurred to these stalwart defenders of Ms. Fluke’s virtue that perhaps it was she who had accomplished that with her dubious, attention-grabbing demands.

Flash forward a year, and we have the aftermath of a trial of an abortion “doctor” (yeah, Mengle went by that appellation also, and look what HE did) which the media had to be shamed into covering at all, despite the fact that his clinic was found to be filthy, not just unsanitary, filled with all manner of gruesome trophies collected over a lifetime of murdering both the not-yet-born, and the newly born, while largely not giving a damn about the health and welfare of his “patients”, leading to death for some of them.  Yet, like committed party members who were taken to the concentration camps and still denied the atrocities committed in them, the hardcore abortion proponents, in the face of undeniable evidence, maintained that this “right” was sacrosanct, and NO regulation of the “industry” would be tolerated. (Thus voiding the second of the three prongs of their decades-old battle cry “Safe, Rare, and Legal”.)  Against this backdrop, the state of Texas decided that some regulations should be put in place to maintain minimum safe conditions, so that women who decided to kill their unborn children might not have to be butchered by the incompetent, or contract deadly infections from unsanitary conditions and unwashed instruments.  Oh, and they decided that late-term abortion really shouldn’t be allowed either, so they inserted a provision in the bill banning abortions after 20 weeks.  (For the math-challenged among you, 20 weeks is 5 Months. )

The bloodthirsty harpie lobby remained true to their word, and attacked the law, bizarrely concluding that being prevented from killing your unborn child after you have carried him or her around in your womb for FIVE MONTHS is somehow a government seizure of your body, the rescission of an important constitutional right, and probably involuntary servitude as well.  On the night the legislature was to vote, one of their allies in the legislature filibustered until she could hold out no longer, then smiled as her co-conspirators in the galleries made a voice vote under normal circumstances impossible, and the time for passing the bill expired. 

The legislature has again taken up the bill, and the blood money lobby and its useful idiots have lost their collective minds.  Protests with these women using CHILDREN, carrying signs with coat-hangers (to protest a bill that would require SAFER conditions), replacing the Texas Longhorns logo with a uterus, reading a ridiculous “If My Vagina Was A Gun” poem, and protesting with a number of signs that can only lead a reasonable witness to believe that not only are these poor, put-upon women nothing more than the sum of their lady parts, but that they proudly think so little of themselves that they refer to themselves as “Hoes”.  Then the articles from the “bro-choicers“, who think that the unrestricted right to abortion is crucial, because otherwise, they might have to actually face the consequences of their animalistic, instinctual sport screwing.  (I knew that not all men in favor of unrestricted abortions were whiney, sniveling beta males…I just never expected the alpha douches to be so open in their support, or that these women would think so little of themselves that they would gladly accept it.)

The Sum of Her Lad

Which brings me to today, where these civil paragons of the pro-death movement discussed plans to attend today’s session and hurl body waste at legislators and at counter-demonstrators, which is yet more evidence of the depths that the “tolerant” left is willing to sink to in order to insure that the rest of us will do and allow only what THEY are tolerant of.  And then I saw this:

Dignity, Always Dignity

And this:

Dignity 2

To the adults who are throwing away every principle previously claimed as part of this private right to murder in the single-minded pursuit to retain the right to kill your children regardless of not just the hazard to them, but also to yourselves, that’s fine. I have no qualms with the world seeing you frantically rally around the only thing in life that you will squander everything to keep…your principles, the moral high ground you always claimed but never occupied, and finally, your dignity, in a way that makes it unmistakable that you always expected and demanded that everyone else think more of you than you obviously thought of yourself. Some of us knew that was the only bottom line that mattered to you, and the rest was for show anyway, even as we always accepted the idea that you could be more than the sum of your lady parts, and that it should be secondary to your identity as a person, rather than the beginning and end of your personal and collective raison d’etre.

But when you subvert children (and let’s be honest, the girls in the previous two pictures are CHILDREN), and convince them to debase themselves by embracing vulgarity and barbarity, so that your blood lust can continue to fund an industry that kills girls and boys indescriminately FOR MONEY, you have taken what was never yours to have, from children who could no more give their informed consent to be used in such a crass and callous manner than they could to having surgery performed without the consent of someone older and wiser, usually a parent or guardian. Unless she elects to have an abortion. In which case, she undoubtedly could be whisked away in the company of strangers to snuff her child without her parents’ knowledge or consent.

You are detestable, and will be a byword to future generations, to whom your madness and fatal self-absorption will be painfully obvious.

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So I have some friends who are screaming about Snowden being a traitor. I have friends who are saying he’s a hero.

To my friends saying he’s a traitor: We’ve had an out-of-control, lawless federal government for the last 5 years, that has been allowed to do so without any real consequence. Sooner or later, it was bound to spill over from the top on to the cogs.

To my friends saying he’s a hero: MAYBE letting the cat out of the bag before the election might have made him a “hero”. He didn’t do that. He admitted to holding back because he thought Obama would be better with this stuff than Romney. So the knowledge of the citizenry of it was still subject to someone’s political considerations…his.

But the questions I want to hear asked and answered are:

1. Who, specifically, decided to use the 4th Amendment as toilet paper on this particular subject?

2. Are our intelligence agencies STILL wiping their butts with our privacy rights?

3. Why are we supposed to think that there were “other avenues” for spilling the beans that would actually be effective when Representative Issa has being “gathering” data on Fast and Furious for how many years?

4. How long before the various organs of government shift from tacitly acting on what it they are learning to openly acting on the knowledge?

5. Is NOTHING sacred? Is NOTHING to be retained by the citizens to themselves, but for the thoughts that they do not speak or write, or does the “terrible burden of governing” come with the expectation that the governors must know all in order to “keep us safe”? And if the answer to the last question is “Yes”, then how long before we the people are relieved of the terrible burden of having to make any choices?

I’d like to see some outrage from the likes of John Boener on the intrusion on our liberties, but I guess that was too much to ask.

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First, from the snoops who have announced themselves and expect me to help them:

I got a call from an employee of the Department of Commerce this evening, who was calling regarding their intrusive survey that they generously provided a shotgun invitation to.  She confirmed the phone number and address, and wanted to speak to the man or lady of the home.  I advised her that she was speaking to the man of the home, but that I had NO intention of answering their survey.  She asked me why that was.

I informed her that it was because their intrusive questions include ones that a prospective employer could not ask me, that some of them would be in violation of HIPPA laws if my doctor revealed the answers, and because some of them asked sensitive information that could be used to my detriment by identity thieves.  She started to say something, and I cut her off, saying, “Don’t try to tell me about how the information is “confidential” and would never be misused.  The revelations coming out of Washington D.C. over the last couple weeks are enough to dissuade me from ever believing that.

She said that she understood that some of the questions could be construed as personal, and that I could always decline to answer specific questions on that basis.  I responded by telling her that it wasn’t just about the questions being intrusive, but that they had clearly exceeded the statutory grant of authority which they felt empowered them to ask the questions in the first place.  Her response was that she understood, but it was Congress that gave them that authority so it could get the answers to those questions.  I told her that I didn’t doubt that they wanted the answers; no doubt they could be used to buy a lot of votes with taxpayer money.  She responded again that it was Congress who wrote the law.  I responded by telling her she just didn’t get it.  “I’m an attorney.  I’ve read the law that your agency relies on as its authority to ask me these questions.  The scope and the nature of these questions clearly exceed that.  It isn’t even a question.  You can’t blame that on Congress, they aren’t the ones sending the surveys and threatening me if I don’t play along.”  She assured me that it was not her agency’s intention to make anyone feel threatened.  I looked at the envelope with its bold-lined box on the front stating in bold all capital letters “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW”, and mentally uttered thanks that she had cleared that up.  I again repeated that the questions exceeded their authority. 

She responded, “I can certainly see your point.  But the fact is that Congress is who decided that they wanted the answers to these questions before the next decennial census, and that’s why they wrote the law.” For a second, I mulled over asking her how it is that Congress could decide that they could require a census more often than the decennial measure set forth in Article I, Section 2* of the Constitution without an AMENDMENT permitting them to do so, and then decided against it, since she clearly wasn’t equipped to have that discussion. 

She then suggested that I do the online survey, and simply refuse to answer the questions I felt were too personal.  I asked her who was going to pay me to do it.  She laughed.  I said “I’m serious.  I bill out at $200.00 an hour, and I don’t appreciate my government thinking that it has the right to essentially directly stick me with an unfunded mandate requiring me to give it an hour of my time I’ll never get back for something no reasonable person who believes in limited government would have any intention of participating with in the first place.”  She was almost at the point of pleading me to just fill out the survey, even if I only answered one question, and again invited me to do it online.  I told her that I would think about it, but if I do, I’m filling out the paper survey, and sending a letter that they won’t like very much with it.  She laughed and told me that they always welcome opinions.  I advised her that I’ll fix that, and she just laughed again before saying good night and hanging up.

…which brings me to the snoops who don’t announce themselves, and apparently have the ability to read every word I type online…

I kicked myself after hanging up for not saying that the survey was redundant, given the revelations today about PRISM.  I mean, why bother asking me when the NSA can (and probably does) monitor everything I do online.  I know, they want me to believe that the information would never be misused or illegally shared with other parties, but let’s be honest:

What’s stopping them from misusing or abusing the data that they never should have had in the first place?   

We all know the answer to that question. 

Nothing. 

 Which is why the data will flow to whoever finds it politically useful.  It isn’t like this Administration has any interest in actually going after real terrorists…the ones who actually kill people, and hate America, not the average Americans alarmed and enraged by the excesses, lawlessness, and tyrannies enjoyed by the Federal government, who it pretends are the terrorists.  After all, its ok if a few flunkies are sacrificed to quench the rage of the taxpayers.  It’s a very small price to pay for keeping the right people in power, and those who oppose them struggling to get a government boot off of their necks.  It provides the illusion of accountability without ever putting any of our self-appointed betters in any real jeopardy of having to answer to us.

From the Slate story on PRISM:

The Washington Post disclosed Thursday that it had obtained classified PowerPoint slides detailing the program, codenamed PRISM, from a career intelligence officer who felt “horror” over its privacy-invading capabilities. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the source told the newspaper.

Participating in the PRISM program, according to a selection of the leaked slides, are Internet titans including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. It was established in 2007 and is used by NSA analysts to spy on Internet communications as part of the agency’s foreign intelligence-gathering work. The analysts use PRISM by keying in search terms supposedly designed to “produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s ‘foreignness’.” However, the Post notes, training materials for the program instruct new analysts to submit “accidentally collected” U.S. content for a quarterly report, “but it’s nothing to worry about.”

According to the Post, the system enables NSA spies to monitor Google’s Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), photo libraries, and live surveillance of searches. If agents believe a target is engaged in “terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation,” they can use the spy system to exploit Facebook’s “extensive search and surveillance capabilities.  And PRISM can monitor Skype, the Post notes, “when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of ‘audio, video, chat, and file transfers’ when Skype users connect by computer alone.” In order to receive immunity from lawsuits, the participating companies are obliged to accept a directive from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to “open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA.”

Sure, sure.  That sounds like something that would never, ever, ever be abused by the federal government.  Especially under this Administration.  Just ask James Rosen or his parents.  Or the Tea Party groups whose First Amendment rights were treated by the IRS with all the care and concern one might give to a used kleenex.
Had Enough Yet?

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Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

[The underlined portion was modified by Section 2 of the 14th Amendment; the rest has never been altered by Amendment.]

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Economics and Statistics Administration
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU
1201 East 10th Street
Jeffersonville IN 47132-0001

Re: American Community Survey

Dear Sirs:

I am writing to thank you for your gracious requests that I take part in your American Community Survey…the requests that also prominently contained the admonition that “YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW.”   However, despite your shotgun “invitations” to take the survey, I’m afraid I must respectfully decline.

You see, while the Census is mentioned in the Constitution, it exists for the purpose figuring out the population of the country, and where people live, so that Congressional delegation size and apportionment may be determined for the states. As a citizen, I am happy to truthfully and accurately report to you how many people reside in my home. Unfortunately, that is as much of an intrusion into my privacy and my time as I am willing to tolerate from your agency, as I already informed you when I received the “long form” in the last census.

I appreciate your efforts to be as appealing as possible, however, the disclosure that filling out the paper questionnaire, that you sent to me unsolicited, should only take me about 40 minutes really doesn’t move me to comply with your attempts at information gathering. I am a busy attorney and a full-time parent. Spending the better part of an hour revealing not just information you have absolutely no business asking me to give you, but information that is of a sensitive nature, and could be abused to my detriment, and then expecting me to simply do it for free is truly unacceptable. If you were serious, you should be offering to pay me for an hour of my time, which I bill out at $200.00 an hour, by the way. You still wouldn’t be likely to get my cooperation, but at least I wouldn’t get the distinct impression that you all sit around laughing at what rubes the people you send these coercive “requests” to must be.

I’m going to be frank with you. I’m not going to give you the names, ages, birthdate, race, and relationships to each other of everyone who lives under my roof. As I’m sure you are aware, such information would be very useful to identity thieves, and while I might voluntarily share at least some of that information with other entities, such as banks or credit card companies, I would do so with the expectation of an exchange of value.

Likewise, I am not going to tell you what kind of home I reside in, when it was built, and when each of us came to live here. Nor am I interested in telling you the acreage. Much of that information can be gleaned online from county records, and I have no interest in doing that work for you. It is also none of your business whether or not I operate a business out of any part of the property, or how much was earned in the last 12 months from the agricultural sales on the property. You could learn the answer to either of those questions from the IRS, and regardless of unequivocal rules prohibiting them from sharing taxpayer information outside of the agency, recent events have proven them all too willing to do so.

It is none of the federal government’s business if I have hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, a bathtub or a shower, a sink with a faucet, a stove or a range, a refrigerator, or a computer, let alone what kind of computer or the number of computers. You don’t need to know if I have internet access, or what kind of access I have.

I’m not telling you how many automobiles are owned by members of this household, how we heat our home, the amount of our monthly electric bill, our monthly gas bill, our sewer and water bill, or the cost of fuels used in our home.

I’m not going to tell you if we have used SNAP benefits in the last 12 months, if we have a condo fee, or if we rent. I’m not going to tell you what I think my residence is worth, what my annual property taxes cost, or the cost of fire, hazard, and flood insurance for our home. I’m not going to tell you if I have a Deed of Trust on the property, or whether my property taxes, or homeowners insurance are included in my house payment. I’m not going to tell you if I have a second mortgage on the property, or how much I pay altogether for both if I do. All of this information is already known to other governmental entities, and again, I have no interest in becoming an unpaid data collector.

I absolutely will not tell you the education level for every person in my home. It is also none of your business what kind of health insurance we may or may not have. You don’t need to know if any of us has trouble hearing or seeing, if we have trouble remembering or making decisions, if we have trouble walking or climbing the stairs, or difficulty bathing or dressing ourselves. I’m not going to tell you if any of us have trouble with daily errands because of some infirmity.

Our marital status is none of your business. Nor is whether or not any of us has ever been divorced, how many times we’ve been married, or if anyone has given birth in the last 12 months. If any of us was currently in the armed forces, or had previously served, the federal government would already know, as it would also know if anyone here was receiving disability, and for what degree.

You don’t need to know if anyone here worked for pay last week, where we worked, including address, how we got to work, whether or not we shared a ride, how long it took any of us to get to work or to get home. You don’t need to know what kind of work I do, who I work for, the industry I work in, what kind of work I do, or what my duties are. You don’t need to know my income, or the sources of my income.

While I’m sure that knowing all of this information would undoubtedly be useful to Congress in their never-ending shopping trip to buy votes with the public fisc, the fact of the matter is that the federal government continues to expand far outside of the spheres of influence that it was intended to occupy, and as I pointed out, much of this information is known already to state and local authorities, who can at least claim with a shred of honesty and a straight face that they need to know as part of the exercise of their lawful authority. Conversely, the federal government has serious trouble delivering the mail, securing the borders, maintaining the interstate highway system, and running the military, let alone responsibly budgeting the taxpayers’ money…and those are all things that it actually has the lawful authority to do. When you start requesting data that state and local governments need to have, I can only conclude that it is a precursor to yet another usurpation of power or authority that was not specifically delegated to the federal government. While this information is desirable for these purposes, as well as other more innocuous purposes which I’m sure you would be quick to cite if we were discussing this face-to-face, the fact is I can glean the “real” purpose, and I don’t trust you with the information. Yes, I know that you included a nice pamphlet assuring me that all information that I give you won’t be shared, and that it will be kept strictly confidential. Given the recent goings on at the Internal Revenue Service, you really will have to forgive me for not relying on these assurances.  And yes, I took note of the stick you made sure I could see you dangling.  I understand that 13 U.S.C 193 states that ” the Secretary may make surveys and collect such preliminary and supplementary statistics related to the main topic of the census as are necessary to the initiation, taking, or completion thereof.”  However, the information you are attempting to gather is either (a) readily available by other means; (b) information that no other individual or entity would have a right to ask me, and I could sue if they did; and (c) I’m not persuaded that the requested data is preliminary OR supplementary statistics related to the main topic of the census, the purpose of which is clearly delineated in both the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3, and 13 U.S.C. 141.  I’ve read 13 U.S.C. 221, by which the federal government means to compel its citizens to participate in this invasion of privacy.  The fine is not overly large, and I have no intention of paying such a fine when you are requesting information that is none of your business, and cannot be reasonably said to comport with the parameters which are imposed on the scope of your data collection to begin with.

In closing, I would like to remind you of a salient fact that you, and your sister agencies in the federal government seem to have lost sight of:  Americans do not like a bully

As an attorney, I have become accustomed to the federal government finding new ways to waste time with various forms, demands, and entire redundant bureaucracies which delight in making citizens, the people for which it ostensibly answers to, dance like trained monkeys, and act under the mistaken belief that they have to simply accept this treatment from an entity which is out of control, and increasingly imposing burdens on the productivity and creativity of a nation while this same government insults, undermines, and lavishly lives off of these very same citizens.  Because I am used to this, I almost let it slide by me without comment, but the passive-aggressive nature of your correspondence regarding this survey was really just too much, especially in light of recent developments showing that the IRS and the Justice Department are out of control.  I hope by publishing this letter, other Americans will also resist your intrusion and presumption, at least that is my hope. 

Sincerely,
An American Citizen Fed Up With Federal Overreach, Presumption, and Arrogance.

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Conscious efforts to reduce the native population (through systematic abortion for convenience + hubristic junk science creating the impression that the hoi poli are killing the planet)

+

“gun control” that won’t do a thing to stop bad actors but WILL make it difficult or next to impossible for the average citizen to be legally armed

= new aristocracy with a population just big enough to serve but never big enough to be a threat.

Helen Keller could see this, and yet apparently we have rocket surgeons in the US Senate who can’t…or can they?

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Somewhere between the shampoo and the soap, I was pondering Sheriff Slow Joe Biden’s remarks about the Administration’s current gun control push and the President’s laughable remarks about “shaming” those who oppose further infringements on the right to bear arms by a government that was explicitly prohibited from engaging in the infringements which already exist.

Putting aside the issue of someone spending our money to have his children vacation at lavish resorts in the Bahamas and in Sun Valley when the economy is still in the tank and millions of American families can afford no vacation at all, let alone separate vacations for their children, I couldn’t help but consider that we have hundreds of “gun control” laws on the books now that simply aren’t being enforced.  I realize that our leftist betters who are always considering new ways of justifying the Federal government’s various attempts to circumvent the restrictions that the Constitution clearly places on it would justify these past ineffective measures as tacit decisions by “We the people” to allow the government the authority to infringe where no infringement was allowed.  I can even accept that there may be a measure of truth to this, as some people certainly would have been willing to surrender a measure of liberty for the illusion of security, much in the same way that the frog doesn’t really consider that the water he’s in just got a little hotter.  However, I’m not sure that we should accept the idea that liberty ensured by restrictions on Federal authority can be conceded by means of a “passive” waiver, that is to say, by not enforcing that restriction when a clearly prohibited authority is clearly usurped, when that act of usurpation in and of itself is not so onerous as to warrant an immediate, and vehement denial.  Such a belief cannot be logically defended, and if accepted, would fundamentally change the relationship between “We the people” and our government, and for the same reasons, the Federal government should be equally denied from arguing laches as a defense to any attempt to reassert the restrictions that have never been Constitutionally relaxed or rescinded.

Even the “Constitutional Scholar-In-Chief” understands that the Constitution ensures liberty by restricting what the Federal Government can and cannot do, even if he cannot help but to reveal his bias against that by referring to it by calling it a “charter of negative liberties” and lamenting that it prevents the Federal government from doing certain things for us.  (One of the inherent flaws in this viewpoint being revealed when you consider that when he is talking about “us” he only means some of “us”.)  If we were to accept that infringements that were enacted in another time were now acceptable, and allowed the Federal government the authority to enact even more infringements as long as it could justify them as “reasonable”, then all those who want an all-powerful state have to do is have a strategic long-term plan, and the will to carry it out in a creeping incrementalism over a period of decades in which emotionalism is used to justify the nibbles being taken from individual liberty, while at the same time, it can be asserted as the picture takes shape, that continuing infringements can be justified because it was allowed in the past…or because the Courts refused to uphold past challenges.  Essentially, such a philosophy fosters an adversarial relationship between the state and those who would be governed by it, because the state could, in time remove all restrictions lawfully imposed on it by the nation’s bylaws without ever calling for an upfront and open national referendum on the restriction itself.  As long as the state succeeds with its initial usurpation of that which was deliberately withheld from it, no further usurpation can ever be stopped; as long as they get away with it once, they would legally be allowed to get away with it again, while those who believe that they have been guaranteed such rights are slowly stripped of them, and rendered powerless to prevent it because their rights were not asserted from the start.  To allow this to either our representatives, or to nine (really less than nine) unelected men and women who are not in any way accountable for such extrajudicial activity is completely contrary to the idea of limited government on which this nation was founded, and encourages those who seek power, those of malicious intent, and those who are jealous of individual liberty, and the disparate impact that results from people being free to make their own choices about how they live, to subvert this founding principle at every opportunity.  Ultimately, it isn’t about safety, it is about control.

This is why despite having an entire Federal agency, with what would be an awesome name for a store, devoted to enforcing the infringements on the Second Amendment that previous generations mistakenly permitted, we still have crimes committed  with guns in this country.  It is why despite the fact that we have hundreds of laws criminalizing the ownership of certain firearms, and relating to the transfer, and use of firearms in crimes, crimes are still committed with guns in this country.  It is why, despite clear evidence of many of these crimes being broken in a manner that reveals itself to these Federal minders who are so empowered for our “safety” and “security” that the prosecution for these violations is shockingly, dare I say criminally low.  Against this stew of contradictions, and the constant drumbeat for more laws that the Federal government is still specifically prohibited from engaging in in the first place, one can only conclude that this drive is about control, and the ability to, through selective enforcement, prosecute certain people for engaging in activities that by the letter and the spirit of the organic law of this nation, remains, and always has been perfectly legal.

We need to say “NO!”  “HELL NO!”, and “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” until our self-appointed betters either come by the power they keep trying to assume for themselves honestly, by amending the bylaws, so that EVERYONE gets a say in the process, or until they get the message.

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