My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

From blogout.justout.com: Queering the Census, one sticker at a time…

The 2010 United States Census, set to be disseminated in March or April, does not include questions of sexual or gender orientation. As the census helps to define the makeup of communities – and guides decisions about things like healthcare and public safety – some activists are calling for the LGBT community to become visible in this landmark study.

CREDO Action has partnered with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to offer one solution – a free sticker that LGBT people and their straight allies can stick on their census envelope. The organizations hope that this hot pink statement of presence will result in the inclusion of a tally of LGBT people in the next census.

Want to get counted? Get your free sticker and use it to seal the back of your census envelope before mailing the national survey back.

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6 Responses to “From blogout.justout.com: Queering the Census, one sticker at a time…”

  1. Mathew "RennDawg" Renner Says:

    The Census should have only 2 questions. How many people live here? How many are eligable to vote? Thats it. All other questions are not nessassary and UnConstitutional.

  2. Anonymous CL Says:

    Sigh… NOTHING in the Census is unconstitutional, since the Constitution says “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.”

    So anything passed by Congress and signed by the President in the past ~220 years that directly or indirectly needs additional data collection is what the Census Bureau has been lawfully directed to do.

    http://2010.census.gov/2010census/why/constitutional.php says:

    It is constitutional to include questions in the decennial census beyond those concerning a simple count of the number of people because, on numerous occasions, the courts have said the Constitution gives Congress the authority to collect statistics in the census. As early as 1870, the Supreme Court characterized as unquestionable the power of Congress to require both an enumeration and the collection of statistics in the census. The Legal Tender Cases, Tex.1870; 12 Wall., U.S., 457, 536, 20 L.Ed. 287. In 1901, a District Court said the Constitution’s census clause (Art. 1, Sec. 2, Clause 3) is not limited to a headcount of the population and “does not prohibit the gathering of other statistics, if ‘necessary and proper,’ for the intelligent exercise of other powers enumerated in the constitution, and in such case there could be no objection to acquiring this information through the same machinery by which the population is enumerated.

    United States v. Moriarity, 106 F. 886, 891 (S.D.N.Y.1901). In 2000, another District Court agreed and found that it there is no constitutional limit on collecting additional data, when necessary for governance. That court also said responses to census questions are not a violation of a citizen’s right to privacy or speech. Morales v. Daley, 116 F. Supp. 2d 801, 809 and 816. (S.D. Tex. 2000). These decisions are consistent with the Supreme Court’s recent description of the census as the “linchpin of the federal statistical system … collecting data on the characteristics of individuals, households, and housing units throughout the country.” Dept. of Commerce v. U.S. House of Representatives, 525 U.S. 316, 341 (1999).

    The legal authority has clearly been long-established and long-validated for the Census to ask just about anything. Some people might think such laws should be changed, but it is clearly following laws and constitutional interpretations as they currently stand, so stop with the foolish shouting claims it isn’t currently constitutional.

  3. Anonymous CL Says:

    That’s a general comment regarding all the people who say that kind of stuff all over the internet and elsewhere, not just RennDawg.

  4. Jonah Johanssen Says:

    You said:
    Sigh… NOTHING in the Census is unconstitutional, since the Constitution says “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.”

    . . . .

    Enumeration means: to COUNT. Some people appear to think that since the Constitution requires this task of ENUMERATION to be “directed by law” that this means that the law they make can allow them to ask whatever questions they want. The times, places and methods of carrying out the ENUMERATION should be prescribed by law, but the Constitution clearly says that they are taking an Enumeration and nothing more. It says “…IN SUCH MANNER as they shall by Law direct.” We are ENUMERATING in such manner as they shall by law direct.

  5. BailoutBenny Says:

    Jonah,
    Congratulations, you passed reading comprehension 101! It is obvious that the only thing the Constitution allows to be prescribed by law about the census is the logistics of the task. The Constitution clearly states the Census is an “Enumeration” and it clearly states that it must take place every 10 years. The time within the decennial year and the method of acquiring the enumeration are all that are left to Congress to “by law direct.”

    As an aside, using the Supreme Court as proof of the Constitutionality of a law seems to be a circular argument. There is an inherent conflict of interest in allowing the government to decide the constitutionality of a law it creates. Like defining a word by using the word in its definition.
    Besides, there are too many cases of judicial activism and corruption to put any faith in a verdict by the court. The constitution is not a “living document” to be interpreted and change with the times. It is as written, was decidedly written in plain English to AVOID interpretation, and should be read as such. “Interpreting” the Constitution means playing logical gymnastics to rephrase what the Constitution SAYS into what the interpreter wants it to MEAN.

  6. Jonah Johanssen Says:

    Indeed. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the “final say” in law. Since the powers of the Federal government are enumerated, applying meaning TO the Constitution (what is today called “interpreting” the Constitution) is unconstitutional as well.

    You said: “It is as written, was decidedly written in plain English to AVOID interpretation”. This is correct. To think that the Constitution HAD NO MEANING until the existence of the Supreme Court is absurd.

    James Madison did not just throw a bunch of random words on a piece of paper and say, “I hope the Supreme Court can figure this out!”

    There is also an underlying principle called “The Rule of Law” which inherently applies, and even Supreme Court justices are aware of this, though it is obvious that almost all judges are heavily influenced by their body politic and rule according to it, instead of ruling in cases of constitutionality according to The Rule of Law like they are supposed to. This is a big problem that even the founders tried to hammer out as best as they could.

    Politics and the Constitution are as oil is to water. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THIS.

    The Constitutional system of government under the U.S. Constitution most closely complies with the Laws of Human Nature and the laws of Human Rights, which both are a study in and of themselves, though really consist of well-defined principles that are inherent in nature and all living things. Our system of government is not based on something arbitrary such as monarchy, oligarchy, socialism, communism, democracy or anarchy. Although, it could be viewed as “organized anarchy” or “controlled anarchy” which seems like a paradox, but this is not a paradox. Think Ying and Yang. Think Einstein’s Laws on Relativity. You cannot have up without down, hot without cold, etc. Everything in relative to each other, and all is subject to the Laws of physics.

    This system of government will not work in a society that is already overly corrupt and UNETHICAL (like some middle-eastern countries—don’t give me a hard time with that: look at how some of them treat their women. What a shame). I do not mean MORALS (more on that in a second). John Adams said: “The U.S. Constitution was written for a people with a moral conscience. Without that moral conscience it is totally inadequate.” Insert “ethical” in place of “moral” and I believe you will have a much more unbiased and true statement. Mr. Adams was correct however in his thinking and this quote is a good example of the underlying principles which DO APPLY to the U.S. Constitution.

    Ethics vs. Morals: Ethics affect society at large (do not kill, do not steal, do whatever you want as long as you do not hurt others), while Morals affect only individuals (do not have sex until you are married, do not do drugs, do not eat fatty foods, do not watch THIS kind of movie, listen to THIS type of music, etc.). It is this understanding that will make the Constitution make sense to you.

    You must first understand RIGHTS, too, before you try to understand the Constitution. The subject of Rights is the CENTRAL PRINCIPLE under The Rule of Law. Without Rights, the rest of The Rule of Law and the Constitution don’t amount to a hill of beans. Your rights are inherent. Some call them God given Rights; I call them Natural Rights or Inherent Rights. But you will never hear me call them Constitutional Rights (unless maybe I’m about to be arrested in violation of my Rights–but I have never been arrested) because to do so indicates that these rights are being GRANTED. Look up the dictionary definition of Rights. Rights are inherent. They are not granted by the state: there IS NO higher authority to grant them. If rights were granted, they would NOT BE Rights they would be PRIVILEGES.

    Rights are derived from Property. The first property you own is YOUR BODY when you are born; this is why you have the Right to Life. You have the Right of Free Speech and Peaceful Protest since your mouth and your mind are exactly that: YOUR PROPERTY, and so, too, with the Right to a trial by jury. Since you have the Right to be free, unless you are given a TRULY FAIR TRIAL, how can you be incarcerated? That would fly in the face of any notion of justice. So, since the government is doing the arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating, you deserve the right to be represented in an equal manner AND to have a PUBLIC TRIAL, where members of the general public (the jury) can decide the facts of the case. Not YOU and not THE GOVERNMENT should decide the facts of the case. This is the most neutral way to ensure that your inherent human Right to be free is protected equally in any system of government. You had the Right to be free before there was ever government, so government cannot legitimately adjust or modify this Right. And so, the Constitution attempts to PROTECT (not give you, but protect) the Right of Habeas Corpus and so, too, the Bill of Rights. Plus, the Bill of Rights protects the Right to a trial by jury.

    Rights are, however, a two-sided coin. With each Right comes a Responsibility. For example: does a two year old have the Right to life? Yes. Does the two year old have the Right to keep and bear arms? No. The two year old does not understand completely what a firearm IS, nor do they understand that death is permanent. Yet, the two year old DOES have the right to defend itself, if it can, since the real Right in question here is the Right you have to defend yourself. The Right to keep and bear arms is derived FROM that Right, but since it is a deadly weapon in question here, and it’s power only properly used by an adult, the two year old cannot accept the Responsibility of this Right yet.

    Another example could be the fact that you cannot stand up in a crowded theater and yell, “FIRE!” if there isn’t one. Your Rights end and your Responsibilities begin when your abilities (which are your Property) infringe on other people’s Property. If you shoot someone who is not threatening you, you have damaged his or her property (to say the least). This is the same as causing damages to the viewers in the theater or the theater’s owners (they paid to see the movie, you have unnecessarily alarmed them, the theater owner could lose money, someone could “get hurt” or hurt their body (their Property). If there is ever a question of “who’s Rights are at stake, here?” or “what Rights are involved, here?”, break it down into Property.

    Back to the Supreme Court a bit:

    One trick used is to change the actual definition of legal words and terms over time. Try glossing through a number of different editions of Black’s Law Dictionary, looking for the same word or term. In law, words and terms can be or must be (depending on the word) actually DEFINED PER LAW PRACTICE STANDARDS, so as to avoid confusion. This is a very convenient way to fool the public too. Try looking up “income” in Blacks Law, or see what the Supreme Court has to say about “income”. Then re-read the 16th Amendment. Also, try looking up less controversial things like “marriage license.” Marriage licenses were originally issued only for interracial marriages after the civil war, and Black’s Law first edition states thus. Today’s definition is very different.

    It could be argued, however, that the Preamble gives that power to the GENERAL PUBLIC: “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution…” So if the public at large (we the people) established the Constitution, I suppose it is up to us to enforce it. If you are already familiar with the minds of our founding fathers (I would consider myself thus, having read around 50 books on the Constitution as well as several written by the founder’s themselves) then this is only logical since even the Declaration of Independence (which IS LAW-conversely if it were NOT the LAW, America would be part of England) states: “That to secure these RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR TO ABOLISH IT, and to institute new Government…” The People ARE “the governed” from which the government derives its existence (“just powers”).

    So obviously, the same authors who wrote our Constitution understood this relationship as well. WE instituted the government, therefore WE decide.

    But, again, as you had pointed out: in the case of the U.S. Constitution, NO ONE DECIDES. There should BE NO “INTERPRETATION.” Why can’t you make laws that are unclear? Because this would violate any notion of legitimate lawmaking standards and also violate of The Rule of Law.

    But, back to the Census: indeed there is a “law” on the books, albeit an unconstitutional one (hence the quotations before and after the word “law”), that says you could face a $100.00 fine for not answering. There are no enforcement provisions, however.

    NO ONE has EVER been prosecuted under this law. NO ONE has EVER been prosecuted for not answering the Census (same thing) so this is why [they THINK they can] put “Your Response is Required by Law” on the front of the envelope. If no one has ever been brought to trial over this, then how could the constitutionality of this “law” ever be challenged?

    In fact, the Census has said again and again that it has no intention of prosecuting people for not answering (because they know darn good and well they can’t), but “encourages people to answer. It’s your duty!” Matters of duty are subjective. Matters of Right are objective and I have the Right to “be secure in my houses, persons, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” because my information is MY PROPERTY.

    The census knows that if they start prosecuting people under this “law” that it stands the chance of being deemed unconstitutional by a court, then they won’t be able to LIE to you and tell you that you are “required” to answer. At this point in history, you can bet it WOULD BE thrown out. It would be a VERY simple case to make. The fourth amendment says POINT BLANK that you do not have to answer ANY questions the government asks you (unless, say, you know who murdered someone else–think of Property violations in this and it makes further sense).

    Also note: the back of the 2010 Census form states that you do not have to answer a government information collection unless it displays a valid OMB number. The OMB number on the front of the 2010 Census form DOES NOT EXIST (I went to the official government website and looked). This tells me that they know what they’re doing.

    They use these fraudulent OMB numbers on income tax forms, as well. Typically on a tax form, the OMB number displayed references a law that does not apply to the use of the form. Example: the OMB number on a 1040 form references a statute regarding environmental use taxes. This has nothing to do with a personal income statement (a form 1040). But, the government wants you to be confused about your Rights because if you are they can illegally extract taxes from you without your knowing. So, they tell you that they made up this OMB numbering system under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 to “ensure that there is no fraud. We want to make sure the form you receive is legitimate.” But they use this numbering system to commit fraud and violate the public’s Rights.

    Filling out any personal income tax form violates your fourth amendment Rights for the same reason the Census “law” does, and the Selective Service, too. But the income tax forms also (and especially) tend to violate your fifth amendment Right to not incriminate yourself as well. BUT, in the case of the income tax, the government obviously feels that the money at stake is much more important than gathering information about you that they already friggin’ have! So, they send armed IRS agents after you to take everything you have (without a warrant) then you can’t afford a decent lawyer. But, there’s a whole other subject.

    E-mail me at: new-world-allstar@hotmail.com if you would like more information on the income tax. The Supreme Court said: “The Sixteenth Amendment conferred NO NEW POWER OF TAXATION.” Many congressional lawmakers have also admitted over the years that there is INDEED NO LAW that requires you to pay. Most retort, however, that since the courts have prosecuted people for it that it is legitimate. This is obviously FALSE since the very first sentence of the Constitution says that ALL laws are to be written by CONGRESS (so much for presidential executive orders, too, eh?)

    Touche!