Friday, February 04, 2011

Thwarted: Government Plot to Assign Money and Representation to Its Citizens!

According to this article, New Orleans’ census is down by ELEVEN PERCENT from what it should be. As the story says, our current population is now the same as what it was forty years ago, in 1970! Now, as anyone who actually lives in New Orleans can tell you, the population of the Greater New Orleans Area is really at least as high as it was pre-Katrina. Traffic around town is a worse nightmare than it’s ever been, with even more idiotic drivers encountered than before August 29, 2005. True, there are still plenty of abandoned properties, but in terms of the number of people one actually sees around town, the population seems pretty much where it was pre-K, if not more. And no, I haven’t conducted my own scientific research to determine this. I’m only stating what anyone else around this city can also tell you.

The topic of scientific research brings me to my point. As many heard last year, there was great uproar about government “intrusion” into our personal lives. Many protested in the only way they knew how. No, not by shouting and demonstrating and defying tanks, like in Egypt or Tianamen Square. They defied the government by refusing to do paperwork. Yes, many of us recall the outrage that was fueled by the most insidious, dark and evil intrusion into our lives the world has ever seen: the U.S. Census.

Thanks to those citizens who stuck to the moral high ground and refused to kowtow to probing by the government’s shadowy agents and black helicopters, our city will now lose untold millions of dollars that could have been used for street repair, education, food assistance, city planning, emergency services, public spaces, medical clinics and neighborhood development. Thank you so much, ever-vigilant fellow citizens, for enabling our already third-world community to sink even farther into the nether regions of a backwater economy.

Many at the time of the 2010 Census cried “Intrusion!” and “Invasion of privacy!” and “Communism!” when those red and white forms arrived in their mailboxes (“Red! Just like the Commies!”). Those forthright and sensible citizens refused to fill the forms out and when the sweet little old ladies and soft-spoken gentlemen came by to gather the missing information, those same citizens saw to it that their requests for information went unanswered. Some old lady and gentleman census-takers may have been literally thrown out on their ear at the intrusion. The defiant householders then sat at their dinner tables, self-satisfied at their own actions, all taken in the name of Freedom.

Thanks to you, Louisiana is one of the states that will lose representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and its share of federal revenues because of its “decreased” population. How do “they” know what our population is? BY THE CENSUS! How do “they” know how much money should be allocated to our state and city? BY THE CENSUS!

For those that claim the 2010 census was an invasion of your privacy, let it be known that the census has been taken every ten years for two hundred and twenty years since 1790. It is nothing new! Didn’t you learn about this in high school? I clearly remember learning about the census in civics class in eleventh grade. Does it invade your privacy? I spoke to my census-taker, a kindly, white-haired gentleman about 65 years of age, who wanted to know if I lived at this address and if anyone else lived here. He didn’t ask for my phone number or my social security number or how many credit cards I had or what my favorite sexual position was or the color of the bullets in my guns. He didn’t even ask my name. Nor did he even accept a glass of iced tea I offered. He just wanted to know how many people there were.

How is this an invasion of privacy? For what possible use could there be for this information besides what the census is specifically designed to do, namely, determine the population? For those of you that would ascribe ulterior motives to the U.S. Census, such as finding out secret information that could be used against you, allow me to relate a story. After Hurricane Katrina, I applied for FEMA assistance. In the online application, it gave you a “quiz” to determine that I was indeed who I said I was. It was a multiple-choice quiz with five questions. “Which of the following was your previous…?” The government, specifically FEMA, knew exactly what my phone number was when I was a child, 40 years ago! They knew who my former roommate was from 25 years before. They knew my address from ten years earlier! They knew what kind of car I had driven in 1988. NONE of that information came from any census form!

If you’re worried about “government intrusion,” believe me, it’s too late to worry about that. Every detail of your life is stored away in some database somewhere already. Filling out the census is not going to make the life intrusion any deeper. Of all the dark and insidious ways the government can surreptitiously gather information on your persaonal life, the census is NOT one of them. Judging by the information acquired by the census form, not only is it the most innocuous form of official fact-finding, it is impossible to imagine that the information could ever be used for any purpose other than the stated intent - to gauge the number of people.

So to all you folks who refused to participate in the 2010 Census, thanks for your diligence in keeping our city and state in the third-world backwoods where you clearly feel it belongs. Just don’t complain when the pothole in front of your house doesn’t get fixed. Or when your kid doesn’t learn about the importance of the census because there weren’t enough teachers.

Just in case you didn’t get it by now, if you didn’t participate in the census, you’re a fucking idiot.


Clifton said...

I love this post.

Sean said...

Thanks, Clifton!

John said...

I wish we could ride around the city with an air raid siren minus the air raid siren noise and blast this message to all the blithering, useless, dip shits that live in our city.