/* Just Say No. The American Community Survey
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Monday, July 31, 2006

"My Name is Lisa Kalvelage"

Pete Seeger wrote the song "My Name is Lisa Kalvelage"— in 1972, about four housewives who in 1966 non-violently protested a shipment of napalm headed for Vietnam. It was early in the War Protest and the local police were dumbfounded to see such well-dressed, polite women involved in a rather unseemly activity. Lisa Kalvelage spoke up then and protested the Iraq War a few years ago

I've always been a Seeger fan, but didn't know about this song until
Bruce Springsteen's "The Seeger Sessions" came out. Always been a Springsteen fan too and I was thrilled to hear Seeger's material in raucous, rambunctious. Hootenanny Style.

Pete Seeger's name is synonymous with protest, and I enjoyed reading (and reliving to some extent) about his many activities and accomplishments. He was accused of being a Communist during the McCarthy hearings and was sentenced to 2 years in prison for "contempt". He fought that conviction until 1972 when he finally was exonerated. The
transcript of his testimony is on the website and may seem implausible in today's world. The McCarthy hearings are a history lesson with hindsight, applicable to now. The Power of those in Power has no boundaries and there is no such thing as confidentiality. I know if Pete were still writing songs, he would write a song about The American Community Survey. I can hear a chorus of lilting disdain about "more nosey than necessary census.gov" or "where does all the info go..."

The name
Lisa Kalvelage was familiar from childhood memories. The Kalvelages lived across the street and the Mom's name was Lisa and she came from Germany. Her daughters, Angela and Birgit were my friends. As a child, I remember liking "Mrs. Kalvelage" because she was interesting and different. Sometimes she wore a white nurse's uniform which seemed important somehow.

Adding today's words to my childhood admiration, Lisa Kalvelage had focus, efficiency, and determination. Her dining room table was full of boxes packed for Overseas. As kids, we helped by putting American cigarettes inside Jello boxes. I remember her explanation and my feeling of indignation— "That's not fair!" Lisa had family in Germany— was it East Germany?

That was the 50s, I was 8 or 10, and I don't remember when they moved away. Kalvelage and Lime Jello boxes are burned in my memory.

Within the same few weeks, I received my American Community Survey, went to the Springsteen concert, found the song "My Name is Lisa Kalvelage", read what she did and felt so proud. Seeds of involvement and protest are sown early on— might be in Lime Jello boxes right across the street.

Pete wrote a song about Lisa Kalvelage and I know if the Feds get pushy, Bruce will write a song about me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Look Who's Talking!

I'm searching within Blogger for "American Community Survey". So far I've looked at about 100 out of 2238 results. Google produces 426,000 results using the same search words. Some are personal blogs or websites without comments, some are active forums not particularily associated with the ACS. My temporary conclusion after reading so many entries and posts is this: No matter who you are or what your focus may be— when The ACS Census Packet arrives, the internet becomes your confidant, your soapbox, your therapist, your teacher, and a reliable source of information.

As I keep searching, I'll add more. This could be in the Links section but I wanted to add some commentary.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Celebrate Today

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident,that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

"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 abolish it, and to institute new Government,
laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
Safety and Happiness."

Let's celebrate those independent, brave words because they embrace the power of choice. I'm choosing not to participate in the American Community Survey. That's one choice and it is personal because, if for no other reason, My Pursuit of Happiness is seriously impaired. (This is taking up a lot of my time because Blogger can be infuriating and I'm a newbie. Every single facet of the ACS disturbs me— the justification, funding, questions, methods, conclusions, partisan bickering, and the whole-hearted support of everyone except the brave puny few who post here or might be reading this.

Wouldn't it be nice if today was part of Independence Holiday Weekend instead of a Tuesday that feels somewhat like a Sunday. Independence is a thoughtful word like memorial, thanksgiving, and labor. Wonder if anyone thinks about presidents on Presidents Day? Mid-July sounds good to me. People spend more money on 3-day weekends and I don't need the Census Bureau to tell me that.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bush Said No
Well... it seems like a no— probably had his flip-flops on. It is deep in the CNN archives from Campaign 2000 and worthy of reproducing here.
Links have a way of disappearing. Census 2000 had a LongForm similar to the ACS and it was mass-mailed to everyone on April 1, 2000 (no foolin'!). Enough media scrutiny and public discussion sent the whole ACS operation into stealth mode. Divide and conquer— stay under the radar. Make people crabby and more suspicious.
Census 2000 too nosey?
Republicans criticize long-form questions
March 31, 2000
Web posted at: 3:40 p.m. EST (2040 GMT)

Why answer them? It's required by law.
But presumptive GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush said Thursday
he's not sure he would fill out the detailed version of the questionnaire, which
goes to one in six of the country's 115 million households.
"We want as accurate a count as possible, but I can understand why people
don't want to give over that information to the government," Bush said Thursday
during a campaign stop in Milwaukee. "And if I have the long form, I'm not sure I
would, either."

The Texas governor stopped short of advising people not to complete the form.

But he said, "If they're worried about the government intruding into their personal
lives, they ought to think about it."

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/US/03/31/census.01/#2 (plan B if my links don't work, I'm a novice)

Worried about the government intruding into their personal lives? Oh, let me count the ways.