Friday, March 14, 2008

The ACS Came To My House!

Just about an hour ago. I guess they decided to skip the phone call operation altogether.

Brendan answered the door and the woman identified herself as coming from the Census Bureau and wanted to know if we had received our survey. Brendan said that we had but that we didn't want to fill it out.

No problem! All she REALLY needed to know was how many people lived in the house and their ages. She "didn't even need to know our names." She glanced over at the children--one of whom, I am extremely proud to say, was completely nude. (I was still in my pjs myself--it's been one of those days.)

I find it interesting that she immediately told us that she only really needed the number of people and ages. In the survey, you are supposed to fill out everyone's complete names and dates of birth. Plus 26 more pages of information. Hmph.

Anyway, Brendan started to tell her how many people lived here when I reminded him that this is not a census year and that we should not even answer that question.

I walked up to the door and said something like, "We're not going to answer any questions. No thanks."

She seemed more than a little surprised at our refusal. Either she's new, or only a very, very small minority of people completely refuse to cooperate. She just stared at me for a few seconds, and then remembered:

"Well, you know, this is mandatory."

So I said, and I will admit to being more than a little flustered by this point, "Oh, sure, I know that. Come back with a warrant. Goodbye!" And I closed the door.

Now the "warrant" comment was perhaps just a teensy bit of an overreaction, I realize! But damn, it was sure fun to say! :o) Never in a million years would I have imagined something like that coming out of my mouth. I honestly don't know where it came from!

So now I'm sure we're on a list somewhere. My understanding is that they will often pay more than one visit. Our 90 days is up at the end of the month, so hopefully, we won't have to go through more than a couple additional polite-but-forceful refusals.

Ryan had a couple of questions while it was all going on, when I first stepped in and said that we weren't going to answer their questions. But then he got distracted--I'm sure he'll have more questions later.

So there it is--I knew it was going to happen and it wasn't horrible. We stood our ground and were appropriate in front of the kids, which was the most important part. Go us!


Mrs. C said...

Lookit me do the wave for you all by myself.


Monica said...

Oh boy. Well, Jenn! Good for you. That took some balls.

Census Bureau, if you are reading reading, some of the American people would like you to know something simple. The 10 year census is Constitutional, and only for the purposes of Congressional redistricting. The information that you are asking for is simply none of the government's business, and there ARE people in Congress that oppose what you are doing.

Although I don't necessarily support Ron Paul as a candidate, here are some great things that he has to say about your efforts to intrude into the lives of Americans:

I'll make a few brief quotes from it, as I think it is important.

"It contains 24 pages of intrusive questions..."

Yes, and not only that, it takes time and effort that no American should have to take for a project that will be used largely to dole out pork with their own tax money. Talk about adding insult to injury!

"The census also represents a form of corporate welfare, since the personal data collected on hundred of millions of Americans can be sold to private businesses. Surely business enjoys having such extensive information available from one source, but it’s hardly the duty of taxpayers to subsidize the cost of market research."

Amen to that.

"The founders never authorized the federal government to continuously survey the American people.
More importantly, they never envisioned a nation where the people would roll over and submit to every government demand."

I'd like to say that this type of simple refusal against intrusive government actions is very inspiring to me. If an ACS survey comes to my house, I'll refuse to fill it out, too.

It's time to show some unity and get this country back to its founding principles, folks, and away from the police state America is becoming.

Michael Stone said...

Wonderful, lass. Well done!

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks, Mrs. C, Monica, and Michael!

I'm pumped, I really am. I hope they leave us alone, but if they don't, then I'm ready.

Spread the word about this Census Bureau nonsense, too. It's appalling, the information that is "mandatory" for us to hand over to the feds.

Thanks again for your support!

Rational Jenn said...

Oh, and Monica--about Paul's remark:

...but it’s hardly the duty of taxpayers to subsidize the cost of market research.

He's right on....not only should we not have to pay for it, as taxpayers, but we should not have to be forced to give over that personal information about ourselves to boot.

This victim will provide no sanction!

The Atomic Mom said...

Thanks again for sharing this. I seriously was awake all night stewing about this!