Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Little Thugs

It's 7:45 PM. The family has finished dinner and it's now dark outside. There's a loud and insistent banging on the front door. For a moment it flashes through your head that a neighbour is in need of help. Perhaps there's a cop on your front door for some unknown reason. Then there's a moment of clarity and you know who's there, before you even turn on the porch light and open the door. It is yet another small thug from the Census Bureau.

After having ignored their mailings and told them in their previous 3 visits that you have no intention nor desire to participate in their American Community Survey (.pdf) they have sent someone who is abrasive, loud and attempting to be forceful. What's a body to do? Sure, you could take the suggestions of some folks and get a pack of security Dobermans, but that's not likely to occur. You can continue to say no to people who obviously do not comprehend that no means no. It's certainly a conundrum and one I do not envy anyone else.

Why would anyone resist answering the questions on this "survey"? It's not like the Census Bureau has lost numerous laptops with confidential information, right? And what about the questions? Doesn't the government have a right to know if you have toilets? Or how many vehicles you have? How much you paid for your home? How much you spend on utilities? How much you make and whether or not you're depressed? What about how much you pay to insure your home? Doesn't the Census Bureau have a right to that information? They seem to think so.
"Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers ... . 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."

-- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States

Here you have it. The so-called Supreme Law of the Land in these United States where a census is concerned. A census is for the purposes of apportionment of taxes and representational government. No more. No less. And yet....what we are graced with in the American Community Survey is no less than the single most intrusive questionnaire I have ever seen, short of a psych test. All for the purposes of reapportioning wealth as far as I can tell. The entire practice is odious in the extreme for those who care to look. This thing has nothing to do with redrawing Congressional districts to insure equal representation, it is purely about social engineering and data mining; a purpose for which there is no Constitutional intent implied.

There are implied threats and coercion involved as well. Monetary fines for each question you refuse to answer. Greater fines for each answer which is "wrong", (monkey wrenchers take note) and a couple of granddaddy fines should they choose to levy them, (you should keep your fingers crossed on that one, folks). So what are you to do when they come knocking? You can just keep saying no and keep hoping they'll go away, ( as a certain blogger is currently doing) or you can surrender to them and allow them the information they desire. It's up to you.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Ain't People Odd?

A few posts back I announced to the world that I was pretty much done with the voting gig and immediately noticed some rather odd behaviour from certain quarters. Some folks have thought that my voting cessation is equal to a resignation from the fight and have even gone so far as to wish me well, as if I were leaving for new pastures. A couple of websites affiliated with political libertarianism have removed links to UnCivil Defence ( apparently not voting somehow makes your words less than they were. Go figure.), a couple of people have pretty much ceased all communications and there is a definite feeling coming from some quarters that I am no longer part of "the body".

It's all rather odd, when I stop to think about it. Nowhere have I announced a cessation of my previous activities, (other than voting and supporting the purely political) or even intimated that such was the case. I have simply taken the decision to pursue the battle for hearts and minds rather than waste efforts on vain political pursuits. That some people within the same organisations wish to pursue politics is of no matter to me and I wish them well with that aspect of our, (I hope) mutual journey towards deconstructing the State, (as opposed to becoming the state).

I, like many people whom I have come to know and respect, recognise that the political not only is not working it is antithetical to libertarianism and the movement for freedom in general. As a friend recently told me,
"One can't vote more freedom into existence..."
All we can really hope to do is educate more people. Kindle the flames of freedom in a few more hearts and hope that they, too will become missionaries in the battle for hearts and minds and spread the word. Political libertarianism is one small facet in the battle to dismantle the anti-freedom machine. It is not, and never should be the end all and be all of libertarianism. Without winning the battle for hearts and minds and letting folks know exactly what libertarianism is, (and is not) political libertarianism shall never succeed in any meaningful way. I, like a few others think we need to get back to the basics.

You see, folks I haven't given up. I've just chosen not to surrender to the system. If that somehow makes me and the place I rest my writings less your style of libertarian, then so mote it be. If this is the new "big tent" Libertarianism then it must be pitched upon the grounds of some country club rather than in the green fields where everyone can get to it and that's rather sad. I choose to not hide who and what I am for the sake of a few pieces of paper in a ballot box, nor do I wish to sit silent when people ask what libertarianism is, because of political expediency. Political libertarianism will continue to fail unless we engage the hearts and minds. Yes, we're going to scare them. It's inevitable that some will be frightened when we offer to take away their lollipops and replace them with something more wholesome.

Lies are lies. Theft is theft is theft and armed robbery is no less so when the people doing it are "elected". These are things we believe and should always be proud to stand on. I haven't changed my spots, significantly...have you?

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