L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 69, April 15, 2000
by E.J. Totty
Special to TLE
Well, I got the census form in the mail today. Would you believe me if I told you that this is the very first census that I have received a form for?
Imagine my trepidation when I eyed its envelope. ... Okay, you don't have to imagine that.
So, I think to myself: Is it really that bad? I think it might be interesting. It might interest me to see what the "big" commotion is all about.
The front of the delivery envelope says "Your response is required by law" in bold print. Okay, I say to myself, the law of the land does say a census of the 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." (note: the capitalization of certain words is as they appear in the original document.)
Well, that's simple enough. All that's saying is that the Congress needs to know the actual number of the citizens residing in the several states, so that they may be properly signified in the House of Representatives.
But wait -- what're all those other questions? Why are they asking them? Do they have the authority to know? Government power is the exercise of original authority as it is provided for in the body of law known as the United States Constitution.
It would have been a ludicrous result for the founders to, on the one hand write a Constitution, and thenceforth ament it with a "Bill of Rights," among those rights being the implicit guarantee of privacy, and then pursue a course of action that would have invaded upon that privacy with a subsequent edict of lesser standing. The Bill of Rights amends the content of the original document. Therefore, any subsequent law based upon the original Constitution that does not take into consideration (in this case) the full impact of the Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth amendments, is not valid.
So, I say to myself, how does this affect me? Well, it's "show time," as the Jackboots said, when they proceeded to burn down Mt. Carmel.
The antis are fond of calling us gunnies "psychotic," paranoid schizophrenics, and a whole slew of other 75 cent expressions. Cool! I can have fun with that!
The very first question is: "How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2000?"
Well, gee, it's not even the middle of March yet. Caesar should beware, eh?
I guess I'm going to take advantage of "Me", Myself, and "I", and that "whole slew of other 75 cent expressions." How many people live in this house? Well, I suppose I could count all the clothes in my wardrobe, and extrapolate how many different combinations that makes ... Okay, I have 351 and a half people living here. A "half"? you ask. Yeah, so one of my sox is missing, big deal.
I'm supposed to include various dependants and others who have no other place to stay, as well as those who might spend "most of the time here while working" even if they have another place to stay. Hmm, so we can count the hookers, and the next door neighbor ladies too, eh?
But I can't count those who live here, and spend most of their time some place else? Well, I guess that leaves my wife, my son and my daughter out to dry somewhere. They only spend 11.5 hours a day here, and the rest elsewhere (only heaven knows where for sure ...)
Next question: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home -- Owned with a mortgage, without a mortgage, rented, or "occupied?" Boy, that's a good question. I have a deal with the bank to pay them back the money I borrowed from them to buy this place, but the county (in the name of the state) is collecting money under duress, and calling is "real estate" taxes. So, I really cannot answer the question -- honestly. On the one hand I have a title, and on the other hand, I'm pay the state rent.
Question number 3 complicates question number 2 even further. But let's have some more fun. Whom shall I say is person number "1"? Well, it could be Thor, or it might be Rin-Tin-Tin, (yeah, I was a dog in a former life). Hey, I know! Napoleon! (And who cares which one?)
Get this: In question number 4, they want to know his "phone number."
In question number 5, they want to know his sex. What if he were an undifferentiated hermaphrodite? Do you check both boxes? Oooooops! You can only check one! What do I want to be today ...?
Question 6 wants to know his age ... Boy, if filled those three boxes with zeros, that could only mean one of two things: I'm extremely old, or -- I'm not there ...
Questions 7 & 8 want to know what "brand name I am." I was contemplating several varieties of mixture, and interpolating the results to latin, and converting it to Germanic. That ought to raise some eye brows! (Hey, Joe! Check this out. I can't even pronounce it. What the hell is that?!!!)
And we're only beginning here, there's room for 11 more people on that form. And golly, it asks what relation they are. Anyone for some good old fashioned fun at the expense of the Appalachian natives? How about if person number two is my brother/son, and person number three is my sister/nephew, person number four is my uncle/grandson, person number five is my father/brother, and so on.
The Census Bureau estimates that the form will take about 10 minutes to complete. Not if your from my family! We've got a jigsaw to figure out, and I still don't who the hell that new kid is related to, although he bears a spitt'n image to uncle/brother Bob ...