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28 February 2010


Steven Frisch

I believe you are referring to the classic Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man".
A great deal of modern angst can be found in the Twilight Zone. Might I suggest a few other episodes:

Walking Distance--in which a middle aged man learns that he should be looking to the future rather than living in the past

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street--in which the residents of a town prove that suspicion and xenophobia are the best way to destroy society

and finally,

A Thing about Machines--in which an aging ill tempered snob who believes that his opinion is more important than anyone else's begins to believe that machines are conspiring to destroy his sanity

Steven Frisch

Oh and this might help next time:


George Rebane

Ah yes, those great Twilight Zone episodes; all worthy of watching again. Thank you Steve.

Steven Frisch

Rock on buddy!

RL Crabb

But if we follow the Geneva Convention rule and just give name rank, etc. to the Census, won't they just waterboard us?

Steven Frisch

The extended census survey is voluntary--there is no requirement to participate. There never has been a mandate to participate. This is a classic example of the forces of reaction claiming intrusions into rights that simply do not exists, and then acting as though it is fact

Steve Enos

So amazing that George stated "In the military you are taught that the Geneva Convention requires a prisoner to give only his name, rank, and serial number".

Guess George forgot that under Bush-Chaney the Geneva Convention went out the window and it was time torture. But that was O.K., right, because we are the USA and we can do whatever we want and answer to no one but God and God gives us divine direction and authority as we the one and only!

George Rebane

Bob, you are probably right. After three episodes, we stopped waterboarding the Islamic terrorists, that is now illegal. But no one has said anything about US citizens being out of bounds for such ministrations.

SteveF, please check the law as codified at 13 U.S.C. 221, and states:

“(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.”

And you can also visit an organization that I believe you may respect. http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/frequently-asked-questions-national-census

SteveE, actually non-uniformed agents of a foreign power or terrorists have never been protected under the Geneva Convention, it only considers uniformed members of an organized military. In any case, the GC allows for the summary execution of captured foreign agents caught out of uniform, which has been the ante-GC practiced custom of civilized countries for centuries.

Dixon Cruickshank

Exactly correct on all counts George - i was also pretty sure they had a fine in there for not answering, thanks for clearing up these small items for the guys

Steven Frisch

George I think if you check your info on the census you will find that answering the short form, the 10 question form, is required. Answering the long form, or the American Community Survey, is voluntary. Many of the questions Mr. Day is referring to in the video are in the American Community Survey, which, by the way a friend of mine who works on the census just told me the Bureau has discontinued this year. They only do the ACS in in between years to update census estimates.

The point is the same--what the hell are you afraid of? If it helps us provide better service why not answer a few questions? We answer more personal questions for loan officers and credit applications every day. We respond to political polling that asks about what we believe. Are we so opposed to our government that we would resist them having the tools they need to do a good job?

Steven Frisch

By the way, reading through the ACLU web site I don't agree with them. But if you are really concerned about privacy you might want to overturn the Patriot Act. But then from your previous posts I think you support the patriot act. Do you really not see the inconsistency between opposing census takers asking if you have a dog or a cat, and allowing the FBI to see your library card records?

George Rebane

The ACS survey has already been mailed out to its sample. To people of my background the any in "... any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey ..." seems to be pretty clear. But then I may have missed some important stuff since getting off the boat.

Were we in an acknowledged war against fascist Islam, and the privacy invasions of the census and Patriot Act were made clear to us as required for victory, I would willingly do my part. But under the steady stream of misinformation and lies that have come out of Washington over the years, I can only attempt to hew to the Constitution. Still, I feel that I MAY be acting like the law-abiding German in 1935. From what you have made known through your written sentiments, I believe that you ARE acting like that German. But I may be wrong.

Steven Frisch

Look who's calling the kettle black. You are equating answering question with the US Census Bureau with joining the Hitler Youth? Or going along with the Nuremburg Laws?

You are off your rocker.

George Rebane

SteveF, I did no such thing. But I have discovered that our knowledge bases have a negligible intersection, and that we subscribe to totally different inference systems. And you also have me at a disadvantage - you claim to know exactly what I say and mean, while I am left stumbling in the dark trying to decode your missives. This makes communicating with you something between frustrating and impossible.

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