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Category: Resistance

Sometimes you need to say “no” to Big Brother

The times they are a changin’

Yep. Times are a changin’. And the Times it is a changin’ — even if only slightly. Ten years ago, the New York Times published a snarky piece about that tiny group of loons and wackos who objected to census snoopery. Among other things, the author, Gail Collins, quoted my pal Jim Bovard. Here’s a portion of her snarkfest: How many of you out there have strong reservations about the United States Census? May I see a show of hands? I thought so. Everybody’s cool. Once again, the radio talk-show circuit has plunged us into a violent debate about an…


A Pict Song

Still need some bucking up after Sunday’s ObamaCare disaster? Well, here’s one small reminder that even we ignored and “powerless” individuals can — and will prevail. Okay. Maybe not exactly in our most idealized way …


“Help” the census!

An anonymous correspondent chides me: You’re WRONG, Claire! You shouldn’t be slyly urging readers to resist the census. Instead, we should be helping the census, just as all the ads and promos say. I live in a rural area in [state deleted] and I noticed that dedicated census workers had hung forms in big white baggies on the doorknobs of dozens of places I knew to be either abandoned or mere weekend or vacation cabins for people who live in cities. You don’t think all that effort should go to waste, do you? I sure don’t! So I helped the…


Another reason to dis the census

I’m still traveling, but now I’m in a place where I can satisfy my news addiction. It seems that a lot of 10-year-old articles about the census are turning up right now. Which isn’t a bad thing (though some of them should have been updated first and most should be more clearly marked for what they are). Ran across this one by Dave Kopel that reminds of yet another reason to tell the census-taker to go to hell: because information about you will be sold to marketers and some of it could quite easily be personally identifiable. The main thing…

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Will Grigg: The most liberating word

I expect a lot of people will have already seen this piece from the amazing Will Grigg today. But I just had to have it here for posterity. “The most liberating word” is NO. (And would that the Rs really were “the party of no,” as the Ds have taken to calling them. Then we might have a shot at political freedom. Instead, the responsibility of “no” falls to us.)


Encounter in a small town

ACT I, SCENE I A restaurant reminiscent of the Hog Trough Grill & Feed. It is mid-afternoon and only two tables are occupied. A MAN and WOMAN enter and seat themselves at a booth toward the back. Immediately, they notice a one-foot tall, brightly colored, three-sided CARD. There is one on every table. From the lack of ketchup stains, wrinkles, and fingerprints, the enormous cards appear to be newly placed. The woman plucks the card from their table. WOMAN (READING): United States Census 2010. It’s SAFE! It’s EASY! It’s IMPORTANT! It’s used to allocate more than $400 billion of federal…


Census: arrogant or desperate?

Shazam. $2.5 million bucks for a 30-second SuperBowl spot to advertise the census. $138 million (or more) for the entire Cooperate with Your Masters campaign. In 28 languages, yet. Are these folks Soviet-style arrogant, spending money on their Big-Bro agenda as if the poor taxpayers actually had any? Or are they flat-out desperate because more and more people are realizing that census resistance is a safe, no-nonsense, and ever-increasing way for people to send a go-to-hell message to Washington? Or both? A couple of months ago, on a visit to the Big City, my friend and I had to scoot…


Even kaleidoscope artists are freeing themselves

I’m on a couple of listservs for kaleidoscope builders and collectors. Yes, every tiny interest group has a list these days. In fact, the kaleidoscope world even has its own membership society, which holds regular conventions. As you might guess, it’s been hard times for kaleidoscopes the last few years, as it has for arts and luxuries in general, so the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society has cut its conventions from annual to bi-annual. One of those rare conventions is coming up and people on the lists are talking about whether they’ll be there or not. “Or not” seems to be a…


More on the census and GPS tagging

In today’s earlier post on the census, I mentioned that, starting last year, census workers have been sent out to record the GPS coordinates of every residence in the U.S. Some people were surprised by that. So here are a pair of backgrounders. The first is totally mainstream — an NPR article from 2006 extolling the planned GPS program and mentioning its potentially “life-saving” virtues. (Although it does note, too, that private companies and others would sure like to get their hands on all that juicy data.) The second is a more recent, more speculative, and more alarmist piece from…


The census and the death of civil society

One more reason to resist the census, courtesy of that great thinker and great lady, Wendy McElroy. One way in which civil society breaks down — and social engineering ascends — is by making individuals turn against each other so that the peaceful activities of my neighbor are seen as harmful to me. Most of the current arguments for participation in the American census are based on the idea that my desire for privacy damages society. How? Last year one of my acquaintances was thrilled to get a job doing preliminary census work (e.g. GPS tagging other people’s homes). She…