The census gig that is. Was told on Saturday that we are to turn everything in tomorrow. So that leaves me with 'What'll I do next?'
Its been an interesting, learning experience and its kept me out of the house; a good thing. A couple of days ago, wasted what amounted to an afternoon on a political blog, which mirrors slightly my own philosophy, but I also find it and many other political blogs- both left, right & center, that they are echo chambers, with participants tolerating no deviation from the 'party line' and thus disquieting. Reminds me of what I have read about post-revolutionary Russia, in which the fervent/feverishly minded Bolsheviks vied in showing how much more 'revolutionary than thou' they were.
What prompted this was a posting by some Libertarian, with some patent lies about the census and census takers. To wit:
1. Census takers have the right to forcibly enter your home- No they haven't. They do have the right to enter a gated community, they do have the right, just as a postal worker does, to open a gate on property to walk to the front door and knock.
2. Census takers will demand SSN and income. Where in hell did that lie come from……? Nope the closest thing a census worker asks is age on 01/04 and DOB and how the house is owned. A more saner poster also pointed out that the census of many years ago did ask what we would consider very intrusive questions, the one that sticks in my mind was, "Are there any feeble-minded people living here?'
3. A census worker will demand your cell phone information. A half lie. A contact number is asked for, but only for follow up if there is the need for such.
4. That census workers are cheats. That I took personally as one intellectual shut-in on that blog in one of his ad hominem attacks (the last refuge of those who have lost the capacity of arguing in a reasoned manner) on me, accused me by innuendo that I was cheating taxpayers by wasting my time trying to counter argue on the PC when I should have been outside pounding the sidewalks. Wrong again. The clock only starts for a census field worker when he/she leaves their home, gets into their car and leaves for their appointed rounds and stops when they return.
When that attack failed, I was accused of not being honest as I should be out there anyway. I pointed out that based on past visits, there was a right probability there would be no one at home again, so I was waiting for time to pass, rush hour traffic to clear as well, before going out later in the evening when someone would likely be home. So instead of going out and being paid by taxpayer dollars for what would be another fruitless visit, wait, catch the people at home and keep cost down. That did not seem to register and perhaps I was dealing with an ex-federal civil servant?
5. Census taking has been conducted every ten years since 1790 (I think) so why raise hell, spread lies about it now?
6. That you can be fined for not answering. Yes, that part is true, that it is a legal obligation and in an extreme case the federal government can levy a fine. But that decision is not the field worker's decision to make.
More than the ad hominem attacks, what really bothers me is the intellectual sound proofing many of these surround themselves with and the inability to listen and accept reasoned arguments.