March 10, 2010
More "Tales in Government Efficiency!"

So, Robert, you're sending me a letter to tell me that you're sending me a letter. How much did that cost?

Oh, and thanks for translating it into Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian and Vietnamese but I'm calling the ACLU and filing a suit on behalf of all the Persians you've decided to discriminate against, you racist.

Posted by MarkGriswold at March 10, 2010 10:59 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Korean, not Japanese, by the way.

Posted by: Sotosoroto on March 10, 2010 11:13 AM
2. Mark,
does it at all occur to you that the primary purpose of the mailer is to verify that the address is valid? and that the secondary purpose is to communicate to addressees? No?

Would you please consider coming to my law office for a billable 2 hour consultation about your desired law suit?

The ACLU would just turn you away, but we'd like your money.

Posted by: Genius on March 10, 2010 11:46 AM
3. Sotosoroto, I stand corrected. Aregato!

Genius, the letter was addressed to "Resident" so the only way it could be invalid is if the address itself didn't exist. If the address itself didn't exist the letter would be returned to sender from the post office, not from the non-existent front door. And last time I checked, the post office was a department of the Federal Government. Wouldn't be easier and cheaper, "counselor", if the Dept of Commerce just cross-referenced their list with USPS instead of wasting money and paper sending out letters? Besides, the way the post office runs, if the letter was "returned to sender" it would likely take more than a week to reach them, meaning that the census form would have already gone out by then ("about a week from now").

You're not a very good lawyer, are you? You also, apparently, don't have much of a sense of humor or you would have realized I was being sarcastic about contacting the ACLU.

Posted by: Mark Griswold on March 10, 2010 12:00 PM
4. Yeah, racism is funny.

Posted by: Genius on March 10, 2010 12:11 PM
5. Aaaah, Mark you thought it was a census letter, when in face it really is a senseless letter. (Hey, whatever it takes to keep gov't workers employed) :)

Posted by: Duffman on March 10, 2010 12:11 PM
6. Hey Genius the letter is racist, it doesn't have Ebonics, its also Anti Semetic, cause it doesn't have Hebrew.

Posted by: Mike336 on March 10, 2010 12:16 PM
7. Hey, I got one of these. What gives? Maybe I am hallucinating, but I am pretty sure I completed the census a couple of months ago. Why are these idiots pestering me again?

Posted by: Jack on March 10, 2010 12:18 PM
8. Don't forget when filling out the census, Question 9 for race, check other and write in "American"

Posted by: MIke336 on March 10, 2010 12:19 PM
9. @8 I plan to do that. It's none of their damn business.

Posted by: Palouse on March 10, 2010 12:44 PM
10. Jack@#7 You probably got the American Community Survey which the Census dept says it is using to replace the long-form census. I got "selected" for it, told them to pound sand.

Posted by: William on March 10, 2010 01:01 PM
11. Yup. Total waste of money.

The post office will provide a list of all deliverable addresses. They do this for government mailings on a regular basis.

There are lots of addresses that don't receive mail. That is what those people they are hiring are supposed to do.

Posted by: Vince on March 10, 2010 02:07 PM
12. We call it "Pulling a Michelle Bachman". There are two people living here, and that's all the information you get.

Posted by: Carol on March 10, 2010 02:36 PM
13. I'm pretty moderate...a raving liberal by the standards of this site, but I have to say there is a serious problem with the letter.

As far as I know, knowledge of English is REQUIRED to pass the citizenship test and obtain citizenship. Since only citizens are supposed to count for the census, why on earth would it be translated into other languages?

Posted by: Proteus on March 10, 2010 03:12 PM
14. The thing you did a couple of months ago was the "American Community Survey," the off-year partial census.

Posted by: Vatar on March 10, 2010 03:36 PM
15. Apparently the form comes in Redneck too! From ESPNnews.com

For last weekend's race at Atlanta, Greg Biffle was sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau in the first of a three-race, $1.2 million package.

"Get those Census forms in," Biffle quipped. "If you don't send your form back, I'm going to be at your doorstep."

Couple that with the Super Bowl ad and pretty soon you start talking some serious agency fees

Not bad for Gubmint work.

Posted by: Smokie on March 10, 2010 04:20 PM
16. @13 Proteus on March 10, 2010 03:12 PM wrote:
"Since only citizens are supposed to count for the census"

Not true. Read US Code TITLE 13 > CHAPTER 5 > SUBCHAPTER II > 141.
The census is to count population.

"why on earth would it be translated into other languages?"
Well, give it a little thought. In addition to counting the entire population as Title 13 stipulates, the majority of citizens obtain citizenship through birth. There is no mandate for babies to read/speak any language, and there have always been segments of the US population that never spoke English. Think Pennsylvania Dutch.

I don't know why this notification letter is such a cause of outrage, or why the census seems to scare a segment of the populations so much.
For all the bull one reads on this site and ones like it about the sacred Founding Fathers you'd think that the ingenuity of and usefulness of the US Census first administered by Thomas Jefferson in 1790 would be at least accepted if not well understood.

But then again maybe the Russian language at the bottom of the notification letter is a secret Socialist ACORN message to the Marxist-Leninists to round you up and put you in FEMA concentration camps?

wingnut much??? :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 04:46 PM
17. Why count illegal aliens? Why should they be counted and therefore given status, when they are A) Here illegally and should not be recieving any services. B) Not eligible to vote, if they are concentrated in a given district they should not be given any additional congressional representation.

Posted by: Smokie on March 10, 2010 04:58 PM
18. Mike 336 - It seems to me that a better answer to question 9 would be other and "human".

Posted by: RBW on March 10, 2010 05:05 PM
19. Smokie@17, have you read the Constitution lately?

Posted by: Bruce on March 10, 2010 05:09 PM
20. My apologies MarkGriswold.

Apparently your rant post against the US Census is part of the Republican National Committee fear propaganda strategy.

Attacking the 2010 US Census by stoking fear and using misrepresentation has been the plan for some time now.

The ONOZ! teh CENSUS folks are spending money to be successful! has been part of the plan by 2nd rate propagandists like yourself for some time now.

You go girl!!

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 05:13 PM
21. Mark, I'm not an expert on direct mail, but I know that people in the industry have a lot of data on what's cost-effective. It's possible that a heads-up letter increases the response rate in a cost-effective manner. Did you consider the possibility that someone in government might actually know more than you about something?

Posted by: Bruce on March 10, 2010 05:25 PM
22. Wow....
This is the first time *I've* ever been called a wingnut. Usually, I'm the one who calls others that on this site! I guess it was time....

Well Mikey, first, note that the census is supposed to count population specifically for the the allocation of Representatives to each state. I admit to being surprised that under current law, non-citizens and illegals are also counted, which seems counter-intuitive...and wrong. Since ONLY citizens can vote, only citizens should count in the census. JMHO.

Secondly, as I said, it IS a requirement to demonstrate knowledge of written and spoken English to pass the citizenship test. I would maintain that there are almost NO native born citizens who can't understand English. And yes, that includes the Pennsylvania Dutch! 2nd generation immigrant kids go to US public schools, and learn English there, if not at home.

Posted by: Proteus on March 10, 2010 05:25 PM
23. @17 Smokie on March 10, 2010 04:58 PM

"Why count illegal aliens?"

Congratulations!! You are just the sort of reactionary IDIOT Mark and the clown crew of posters at SP is trolling for.

How, pray tell, would you implement counting only US Citizens and legal residents?

LOL! :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 05:28 PM
24. Proteus@22 writes, "Since ONLY citizens can vote, only citizens should count in the census."

There are several problems with this:

1) The constitution says otherwise.

2) The census is not just for congressional representation. It's also to help society plan and allocate resources.

3) Even to the extent that the census determines Congressional representation, it is arguably fair to count several classes of people who can't vote: children (future voters), incarcerated felons (Republicans love this since jails tend to be in rural areas), and non-citizens (most of whom, whether or not they entered the country legally, pay taxes). This is all debatable -- but see #1.


Posted by: Bruce on March 10, 2010 05:39 PM
25. @22 Proteus on March 10, 2010 05:25 PM,

First, the US Census has always been a total count and the total has always included non-English speaking people.

Second, the PA Dutch example was provided as an example of a segment of the non-English speaking portion of the population at the time of the Founding Fathers. Another would be Native Americans and slaves. If you want an example of US citizen population segments which are not native language speakers, think Puerto Rico, New Mexico. 1 in 5 Americans are non-English speaking.

Third, for people applying for naturalization, English knowledge is required, but only to the level to take and pass a written test.

Fourth, the wingnut jab was not aimed at you specifically, but those who are up in arms over the 2010 census, a process which has occurred every 10 years since 1790.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 05:50 PM
26. "Don't forget when filling out the census, Question 9 for race, check other and write in "American""

@ MIke336 on March 10, 2010 12:19 PM
@ Palouse on March 10, 2010 12:44 PM
@ RBW on March 10, 2010 05:05 PM

Other than your right to protest, what on earth do you think is to gain by you and 0.001% of the population answering as you suggest?

Be sure to enclose a teabag in your return envelope!

ps. And don't forget, for every white person who protests as you suggest, the count will show the proportion of those brown, black and yellow people to be larger than it actually is. :-o

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 06:14 PM
27. MikeBS: Fourth, the wingnut jab was not aimed at you specifically, but those who are up in arms over the 2010 census, a process which has occurred every 10 years since 1790.

Yes, and since 1790, how many times was ACORN asked to participate in the data gathering? Hmmm, yeah, why would anyone be up in arms when ACORN, who has committed voter fraud in just about every major state, would be asked to "help"? What a bunch of WINGNUTS!

Posted by: Zarro on March 10, 2010 06:23 PM
28. @27 Zarro on March 10, 2010 06:23 PM,

ACORN! SOCIALISM!! Also too, FEMA Concentration Camps!!!

My term is WINGNUT, but the RNC definition for you is fraidy cat reactionary

:-p

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 06:34 PM
29. @27 Zarro on March 10, 2010 06:23 PM wrote:

"Yes, and since 1790, how many times was ACORN asked to participate in the data gathering? Hmmm, yeah, why would anyone be up in arms when ACORN, who has committed voter fraud in just about every major state, would be asked to "help"?"

ACORN and the 2010 US Census

ACORN will not be "in charge" of going door-to-door and collecting data from the American public, as Bachmann said. The U.S. Census will be in charge of that. Some of the 1.4 million people who get Census-taking jobs may learn about the job through ACORN. Workers who apply to the Census through ACORN have no better shot at the job than those who apply through any of the 30,000 other partners. That's it.

And despite Bachmann's claim, ACORN gets no money for signing on as a partner.

Once again, she is making a scaremongering claim about ACORN with facts that are ridiculously wrong. So we have to set the meter on fire once again. She earns another Pants on Fire.

Other Evil and Nefarious 2010 Census Partners

- American Baptist Churches of the South; American Blues Network; American Cancer Society; American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A; American Dental Association; Arab American Institute; Asian Americans For Community Involvement; Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

Does the stupid burn? :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 06:51 PM
30. I got one of these lame letters, too. Ridiculous

PS--Mikebs: ACORN should be nowhere near the census and all the Obamites know it. ACORN was charged with helping hire people for the census. What a joke---we all know what kind of people ACORN hires. What an insult to the taxpayers! You could probably trust the American Dental Association.

Posted by: Michele on March 10, 2010 07:30 PM
31. I disagree about the statement about who should be counted.

The Census we created by our founders for the purpose of counting all persons living in each state for the purpose of levying taxes on the states. The 16th Amendment changed that but the Census is still about a count of bodies. All persons residing in this country are to be counted. Citizenship status has never been used to determine that count.

Contrary to popular belief slaves were also counted. At that time slaves had less status than illegal aliens.

The census is a head count, nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Vince on March 10, 2010 07:30 PM
32. @ Michele on March 10, 2010 07:30 PM,

Let me be the first to offer my moral and financial support to your effort not to be countable. Fractions are too hard anyway.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 07:38 PM
33. @26 MikeBoyScout at March 10, 2010 06:14 PM

As shown on the census' own website, states are meant to use this data to "determine federal, state and local voting districts" and that "race data is used ... to plan and obtain funds for public services".

So you believe that race should be a factor in determining voting districts and the funding of public services?

That sounds mighty racist to me!

Posted by: It Takes A Village To Convene A Grand Jury on March 10, 2010 08:57 PM
34. @33. It Takes A Village To Convene A Grand Jury on March 10, 2010 08:57 PM,

Guess it takes a village of WINGNUTS to properly post an HTML link in a comment?

ps. "American" was the plurality ancestry selection for respondents to the 2000 census in four states. Guess what region those four states come from?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 09:08 PM
35. Hi all,

I was thrilled to see mention, by Mike Boy Sout, thanks, of Pennsylvania Dutch!

I'm from Pennsylvania Dutch country and am 1/4 PA/Dutch. In my class all the kids spoke English but many could understood Dutch, as the language was sort of dying with tv and us boomers. However, it wasn't unusual in the 50s and 60s in the countryside to run into folks who didn't any speak English, and they'd occasionally be rude about it. If you went back a few generations, English wasn't much good there I understand.

Also, there are lots of Hispanics in (especially) Northern New Mexico who are American as apple pie and to this day don't speak English--it's their right in the land of the free.


I had a girlfriend from New Mexico who griped that the school system robbed her of an easy chance to learn Spanish by not allowing the kids in her class who were Spanish-speaking kids to speak their language. Had they viewed it as an opportunity to teach both languages, she could have learned a tradeable skill.

It's about liberty. Let people speak their language, and btw, I could use help trying to learn Spanish, it's tough!

PS I didn't say there this letter was the best letter or expenditure, didn't follow the discussion close enough to have an opinion.


Thanks all,

new left conservative

(working on a definition, will have it some day)

Posted by: new left conservative on March 10, 2010 09:16 PM
36. Hi all,

Rereading my comments, it looks like English is the language I'm trying to learn. Sorry for the syntactical errors, next time I'll allot some time for a copy edit.

Best nlc

Posted by: new left conservative on March 10, 2010 09:26 PM
37. @35, new left conservative on March 10, 2010 09:16 PM,
Gracias a mi amigo. No es nada.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on March 10, 2010 09:26 PM
38. Hi all,

Rereading my comments, it looks like English is the language I'm trying to learn. Sorry for the syntactical errors, next time I'll allot some time for a copy edit.

Best nlc

Posted by: new left conservative on March 10, 2010 09:27 PM
39. MikeBS, don't lump me in with all the crazies that are opposed to the census. The census is actually one of the few core function of the federal gov't that I agree with. My point to the post was that it's stupid and inefficient to be sending me a letter telling me they're going to send me a letter. That being said, there should only be ONE question on the census form: how many people live here. As "It Takes a Village" said, asking people's race IS racist and it's this obsession with race that the left has that perpetuates racism in this country. There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's heritage or culture but it has no place on a government document.

And Bruce, I don't give a rat's ass if it increases the response level. I'm opposed to government spending money on marketing their programs. If the citizenry is too lazy or stupid to fill out a census form/vote/take advantage of their local library/etc./etc. then too bad for them. The ONLY time it makes sense for government to do any form of advertising is when there's a criminal on the loose and law enforcement is requesting the help of the citizenry to apprehend him.

Posted by: Mark Griswold on March 10, 2010 09:29 PM