Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Sunday, December 28, 2014

American Community Survey

A week or two ago, I got a letter from the Census Bureau - my address has been "selected" to waste "approximately 40 minutes" filling out an online survey. Penalties to be imposed under U. S. C. Title 13, Sections 141, 193, and 221, as changed by Title 18. According to Politifact, penalties can be as high as $5000, but no one has been fined to date.

So, I'll go to and see what they want - then I'll decide wether or not to respond.

As the law states: "no person shall be compelled to disclose information related to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.". And since the US Government has no business infringing on my religion or practice thereof, perhaps my religion just changed to Islam, which mandates I lie to infidels...

From the census link:
You have accessed a UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT computer. Use of this computer without authorization or for purposes for which authorization has not been extended is a violation of Federal law and can be punished with fines or imprisonment (PUBLIC LAW 99-474). System usage may be monitored, recorded, and subject to audit. Any information you enter into this system may be used by the Census Bureau for statistical purposes, including but not limited to improving the efficiency of our data collection programs. For information regarding the use of this system, and how your privacy is protected, visit our online privacy webpage at Use of this system indicates consent to the collection, monitoring, recording, and use of information provided inside this system.
But - they promise the information I provide will be kept confidential...

OK. Logged in with my ten digit ID, which was xxxxx-06322. The same people responsible for the JugearsCare website must be responsible for the programming, as the box to accept the six-digit ID will only accept five digits.

Duh - you don't type in the '-'.

Onward. Starting time 1:47.

First question - am I filling out the survey for my address? Yes.
Second question - do I LIVE at this address? Yes.
Gives me a PIN in case the website times out in 15 minutes.
What is my name and phone #? Answered, phone # is the FAX line. Not lying yet.
Other people in the home? Just N. O. Yfb.
Any OTHER people? Here's where I list the pets...
Any OTHER OTHER people visiting? No. I don't know the names of the mice downstairs, anyway.
Any of the previously listed people not here right now? No.
Any of the previously listed people have another place they stay? No.
Now, let's ask about those others you listed-
Who owns or rents the place? Me. Rented from the Town of Beloit, County of Rock, State of Wisconsin, one tax payment at a time.
N. O. Yfb is "other nonrelative" Repeat for the four pets.
Now, it gets personal - "what is my sex?". Male. I'm surprised they didn't allow all the modern genders...

Ditto for N. O. Fyb and the pets.

What is my birth date? April 1, 1888 - the earliest they allow. All the other people and pets also born on 4/1, various years.

Am I "hispanic"? Tempted, but "no". No one here is "hispanic".

What race am I? Human.
What race are others? Truthful answers.
What best describes this home? Mobile home - the house IS shifting on the field stone foundation...
When was it built? Before 1939.
When did I move in? Truthful answer.
How much agricultural income? $1 to $999 - I sold a few dozen eggs at $1 / dozen at work...
Is there a business on the property? Yes. I DO have an FFL...
How many rooms? 1, no bedrooms.
What about utilities and appliances? None.
Computer? Coleco Adam running Ubuntu Linux (really!) Just not using it for this...
There's NO internet access at this mobile home - so how am I filling out this survey?
No vehicles - or should I be truthful and include the hangar queens? No - 0 vehicles. NOTFB.
Don't use no fuel for heat.
Does anyone PAY for electricity? No - I steal it...Extra info - electricity is free.
Does this household use gas? No, but we produce it.
Does anyone PAY for water and sewer? Extra info -water is free...
Do we use other fuels? No.
Did we get food stamps in the last year? No.
Is this mobile home part of a condom? No.
A bunch of questions about housing payments. Amazingly enough, all of them were $1.00.
Questions about me - I am amazed to find I am Terran, and speak Klingon. Unfortuantely, I don't speak English.
A bunch of personal questions - like when was I married. I told this thing I was born in 1888, so I put in 1492 - it tells me I was married "before I was 12". So, 12 is the minimum federal marriage age now? Changed it to 1942, ten years before my actual birth.
A bunch of questions about my job - I didn't work, as saying "yes" opens a bunch of new questions. I'm nothing if not lazy...
A bunch of questions about the "others". Imagination runs wild.

All done - 2:49. So much for "truth in advertising". It opened the log-in page, which I tried - and told me I already had finished.
Now - will the FAX line ring with a nosy human?

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