Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Senseless - an update

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it was a bright and sunny afternoon and I was sitting here eating dinner. Suddenly there was a knock on my door. Since I have no friends and I hate being interrupted during dinner, I ignored it. The person knocked again. Since I hadn't heard a car drive up I figured it was the neighbor boy coming for his payment for mowing my lawn. I made the mistake of answering the door. It was... a big ugly old census man! He breathed loudly, had a beard, and looked like he couldn't walk 1/4 mile to save his life. In other words, he was your ideal government employee.

He told me he was from The Census Bureau and had "a few questions that shouldn't take you no more'n' 5 minutes."

First he asked me to verify my address. Rather, he did not know what my address was. He had a stack of forms-- because apparently lots of people on my street didn't mail back a response-- and asked me which of the addresses was mine. "Is this [house #1] or [house #2]," he asked. I did answer that question.

Then he gave me a paper that included instructions for how to answer his questions. He asked me how many people lived here as of April 1st and if any of them lived elsewhere or had another address. I was polite in answering these so he seemed surprised when I would not tell him my name. He said, "Ya know, yer' required by law to answer these questions." I said, "No, I'm required to participate in the head count and that is all." Then I smiled sweetly. He said, looking puzzled, "Ya know, another lady just told me that!" He wrote, in big letters, REFUSED on the bottom of the page.

I proceeded with his questions politely, but would not answer much else. He asked for my birthdate and I said I would tell him the year but not the exact date. Then he said, "Yer gonna hafta do the math for me on that" in regards to figuring out my age. Then he said, "You know, you include more information than this on the IRS form." There are so many things I could have said in response, but I remained silent. He wrote REFUSED on the bottom of that page.

He told me that his supervisors were going to send him back to my house in a few weeks since I was not participating fully. I said that I understood that he was just doing his job and fulfilling his job expectations, but that I would not provide any additional information a second time around so it would be futile to come back. He said, "They'll send me back anyway."

Next he asked my race. I said "only Caucasian." He asked if I was Hispanic. I said no. He said, "Yeah, they're asking this so they can get more money for the Hispanics for going to school." Thrilling.

Then he had to check a series of boxes asking if I lived elsewhere during the year due to college, military, nursing home, etc. I said "just check no for all of those." He said he was required to read them to me individually.

Then he said, "I don't suppose you'd be willing to provide your phone number." This guy was perceptive.

He then told me that he would have to ask my neighbors to be proxies and have them answer the questions about me. Luckily, my neighbors know nothing about me except my first name and that I am that mean lady who always yells at their barking dogs to shut-up.

Finally the guy thanked me for my time and drove away to my neighbor's house all of 50 feet away.

Two thoughts:
1. I should have come up with wacky answers but in the spur of the moment I never think of witty responses.
2. For safety reasons, I should have told him at least 2 people lived here. :-( If he comes back that's what I'll say. It could be funny to give different answers than last time and say "Yes, I forgot that another person was living here on April 1st." More likely, I just won't answer the door again.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Government site accepts donations to pay down debt

This is hilarious.
"Welcome to the United States Treasury's site for making donations to help reduce the public debt. If you would like to make a donation, please fill in the required fields
and click the Submit Data button when completed."
"Thank you for your contribution which will be deposited to the account "Gifts to Reduce the Public Debt." Your contribution is accepted under the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 3113 which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to accept conditional gifts to the United States for the purpose of reducing the public debt."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Census Update

A census worker stopped by a few weeks ago.  He started his spiel and I told him one person lives here.   We went back and forth for about a minute:

"I'm just doing as instructed" he'd say.

To which I'd reply, "Yes I know that, but all you need to know is one person lives here.  You have the census info you need, take it to your employers."

"Just a few questions that will take 10 to 15 minutes."

"I'm sorry but I don't have 10 minutes (which was true since I was rushing to get ready and leave the house for a meeting), one person lives here."

A week or two later there was a "sorry we missed you" census slip in my door with a phone number to call to answer the questions.  I threw it away.

I was reminded of this today while reading a tax preparer bulletin board I frequent.

To my surprise and amazement, many posters were stating they were basically telling the census employees to take a hike.  Tax preparers as a group tend to claim they hold small govt views but are really large govt hacks.  Seeing a large number of them rebel against the census was pleasantly shocking.

A couple of interesting comments made in the thread regarding safety.  I don't think I need to make further commentary on the quotes:

1.  How do we know who these people are - except they are to have "badges" I am not passing out "personal info"
2.  they are anyone who applies for the job. No background check or criminal history check to my knowledge.

Of course a few people posted the "OMG take off the tinfoil hats this is just the census" type comments but those seem to be in the minority.  Maybe we're not doomed.

But then again maybe we are.  The following excerpts are a bit troubling:

"I asked her what I was legally obligated to answer other than 'two people and we're both American'. No answer to that and her reply was that if I did not supply her with the answers, the Census Bureau would ask three of my neighbors and get the answers from them. This questioning session ended badly at this point!"

"I asked the gal that showed up a simple question, which was what I was legally obligated to answer and she got in my face with the crack about getting the info from the neighbors. The crack about the neighbors threw me over. One of my 'three neighbors' was visited by her later that night."

"This year for an educational experience, I took the Census test and was offered a temp job as an enumerator. I have been going around my little town trying to complete questionnaires. I have yet to meet anyone that flat out refused to answer the questions. It is true that if you refuse to answer any of the questions, we are obligated to get the answers from a proxy such as a neighbor."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Next Meeting - Monday 05/24/10

The next meeting will be:

Monday May 24, 2010
5:30 to 8:00 pm

Panera Bread
28551 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, Michigan

We will discuss Stefen Molyneux's 4 part series on IP listed below and Chapter 12 of Keynes' General Theory:  The State of Long-term Expectation.

If you click on the numbered links, you will go to the search results for that podcast.  To hear the podcast, click on "Open Link" under the picture of chain link.  Or if the cut and paste works, you should be able to open the mp3 by clicking on "Open Link" below.

164. Intellectual Property Rights Part 1: Challenges - Why do we even have a problem? Hmmm, could that be the acrid stench of state power I smell?   Open Link
165. Intellectual Property Rights Part 2: Justice - How the media created its own problems with regards to property rights  Open Link

166. Intellectual Property Rights Part 3: Solutions - How an anarchistic society deals with intellectual property   Open Link

178. Emails of the Week Apr 5 06 - Corporations and Intellectual Property - My responses to brilliant listener criticisms!   Open Link

Our original plan for General Theory was to read chapters 1, 12, 22, 24.  Chapter one was chosen because it states the General Theory.  Chapters 12 & 24 were chosen based on the Wikipedia entry for General Theory  Chapter 22 was chosen because NewEdit thought it looked interesting.

Instead of reading the whole book we decided to read these selected chapters because the book looked tediously dull and boring as well as totally worthless.  Certain individuals, who will remain unnamed so as to not embarrass Richard, are having difficulty understanding this concept and believe it is impossible to understand chapter 12 without reading chapters 1 to 11.  This theory is hogwash. 

So far we have read the preface to the German edition, chapter 1, half of chapter 2, and part of chapter 12.  Having read these selections, our greatest fears have been realized.  This book is totally worthless.  Keynes is a fucking idiot.  Most of us also agree that Gary North's is a waste of time that will have absolutely no impact on the world & society.  We wish Richard well in his endeavor to read this worthless trash but will not be joining him. 

In regards to my April 19th prediction of a market correction, contradicting Richard & Xorps predictions of continued stock market rises, I would like to point out the accuracy of my prediction by mentioning that from my prediction on 4/19 to 5/6 the market did in fact correct by dropping 11%.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yay! I'm being sued.

Well, not really.  At least not yet. doesn't like my flippant use of the term "crooks" while referring to them on an internet bulletin board.  Kind of long, but full details at