/* Just Say No. The American Community Survey
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Monday, December 31, 2007

INTRODUCTION... Stays on Top with a Phony Date

Helping You Make Informed Decisions— US Census Bureau Motto

My informed decision is NO! I won't answer the questions. I won't answer the phone. I won't answer the door. There. I said it. Do I feel better or more brave because I took a stand? No. Actually, I feel more uneasy because I feel far less free to speak my political mind than I ever have in my life. The overwhelming sense of foreboding I feel is deeply disturbing. I'm 60.

Most people don't even know about The American Community Survey (ACS). Sounds friendly enough, doesn't it? After all, we're all Americans, our sense of Community is important, and we love to voice our opinions, especially if someone is taking a Survey.What Ad Agency or PR Firm was paid for that extraordinary wordsmithing? Bureaucrats aren't that creative.

My ACS sat in the Junk Mail Pile for awhile because it was addressed to "Resident". Arriving next, a Fed-Ex from the "US Government Printing Office" and I thought, Now what? Opened the Fed-Ex, and it was a relief to see my renewed passport. Thinking these pieces of mail were somehow connected, I opened The American Creepy Survey (ACS). It must be a joke, a scam— who in their right mind would write down answers to these probing, intrusive questions and then just drop it in the mail? Where does the hard copy go? Who sees it? Who has access to it? It is not a survey using a mainstream definition— those are voluntary. This is an interrogation— your response is required by law and it feels like a strip-search of your personal information.

There is a glut of information about ACS and some fine editorial comment questioning privacy issues that I'll link to later. It took some creative Googling to find any personal accounts of other people who share my viewpoint. Most of the ACS protesters are buried deep in Google's pages, a few forum comments here and there, mostly dated.The ACS seems so easy to dismiss— until you get one. Am I obsessing about this, taking it too personal, being overly suspicious, distrustful, paranoid? Am I missing something? Noooooo, I don't think so.

Perseverance pays off! Imagine my surprise when I found a website called Survival Arts with the longest running ACS commentary dating from 2004! What a great read! Trust those gut feelings— it is them ,not us. Russell was going to take the ACS portion off and then it started getting busy— so busy in fact, his website stats showed bureaucratic interest.

Thank you Russell, for the inspiration and graciously donating your space for people like me. This Blog's for you!