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Category: Resistance

Sometimes you need to say “no” to Big Brother

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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