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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Jenny Mathis

Wow, this is beyond words. Creepy, macabre and sad. Not least because I was thinking of applying to work for the census this year, after all it only comes along every 10 years and it seems like it would be interesting to go to remote places to get the proper count. I never thought of it as being dangerous. Let's not just paint the whole right wing with a broad brush of murderer and "nutty" just because of this one instance, though. Political ideas don't kill people, people do.

Jim Howard

True right now we do not know about the death.
I loved doing the 2000 Census for the reason you mentioned. It was great meeting people and I lived in the area and learned the entire area. It was a great job.
I did have one crazy guy that went nuts because it was the government coming to ask questions. I suspect this time there will be a great many more people like him.
I hope the FBI finds out what took place and makes arrests and I hope this is not a sign of what is ahead for the the United States and the 2010 Census.


"These right wing people are nutty…I could see them killing a law enforcement officer, DEA, IRA or some other agent of the United States..but how sad that they take the life of a Census worker." How sad you can lump millions of people together as nutty murderers just because of one crazy guy. Some of my best friends are law enforcement. Isn't that just as bad as a census worker? "The right wing wave the flag and pretend that they love the old United States and they pretend to love the Constitution of the United States." Yes we do love this country, the ones who are actually passionate aren't out murdering people in the woods. How would you like it if someone decided you and all "left wing nut jobs" were crazy murderers because someone killed Glenn Beck and wrote CONSERVATIVE on his chest? Think before you stigmatize an entire group of people.

Joe Taibi

The census last time did seem to ask an awful lot of personal information that quite simply had nothing to do with getting a head count of who lives where. There was quite a bit in it of a controversial nature coupled with an extremely threatening tone concerning lack of cooperation. If it's similar in nature and content this time it will certainly provide plenty to cause the paranoid to go off half cocked. I don't remember doing anything more than filling out the very large packet of information however, no census people were directly involved.

Jim Howard

There were short form and long forms. My guess is one in seven got a long form. They were mailed out. If people mailed them back the the census worker did not come to the door.
Congress held committee meeting and demanded to know why each question was needed before the census.
But yes some of the questions were bad..I hated to have to ask some of them; do you have a working bathroom, do you have a working telephone etc.
This time I understand it is just a short form and very few questions.
I never heard any of the threatening tones...We were not allowed to tell them that there was a fine or anything like that...I had a few people that objected a bit and I just said let us go through the form and if there is a question you object to I will tell you why it is needed and if you still object we can skip it. Some questions we had to get an answer to there were a few that could be missed.
I had one guy came to the door in a rage..The only person that refused me..He lived in a very nice home..He had some money I am sure..I was not going to tell him anything about the law or a fine.. I was just trying to tell him what would happen if he refused.. He would not let me say a word..screaming and yelling..I was just going to try and tell him that if he refused me that a co-worker would be sent and then if he refused a supervisor would be sent and if he refused.. we would ask the people that lived next door and across the street until we got the data we had to have. Not sure what happened with him..My guess is that when someone came back he may have been at work or at the local NRA or GOP meeting.

Joe Taibi

Excellent points. There is always danger in generalization. Of course the fact the loudest hate mongers in the media these days purport themselves to be conservatives doesn't help matters in the least and what's needed is an equally loud denunciation of those tactics from the comparatively silent majority of clear thinking non bigoted conservatives.

The statement wasn't worded properly such to be aimed strictly at extreme rightists as intended rather than everyone who is a conservative.

So the entire group of which you speak (all conservatives) was not intentionally being stigmatized.

Put another way, Unless you consider yourself to be an extreme rightist, you weren't included in any way shape or form and I'm relatively certain you were aware of the intended differentiation even as you made your response.

Not everyone left/right of center is extreme although those with the simplest minds believe this to be the case because it's just easier that way.

Joe Taibi

The things you weren't allowed to say were precisely the things that gave it such a threatening tone as presented in the pages explaining the form itself.


I don't know what happened. As of now, nobody does. But I do know that making far-fetched accusations can stir up even more commotion than necessary. So until then, I think it is best to keep quiet until authorities release some more details. I love reading blogs, but as far as this story goes, I am very disappointed and shocked that some of the blogs out there have written such blatant misinformation about this.

I think the problem is that the police are not revealing anything about this incident, so naturally, albeit wrongfully, writers feel the need to fill in the gap with something to make it an interesting story. But how much of that is based on real information that the police have revealed?

Jim Howard

One thing I been saying we need to do is not discuss police and court matters the way we do in the press and most of all on TV.
So I think you are correct in your points...
My only problem is ... I KNOW what Fox "news" and the right would be doing if the shoe was on the other foot.
The other thing is...if this is the start of the Glenn Beck (Oklahoma City) effect we need to know about it soon so that we can get ready for the people that have been turned loose by Glenn Beck and the other crazies.
If this census worker is not the first sign then we can thank God that the wildness has not began yet. It will if the Beck and the others do not stop the insane crazy talk. If it turns out this one of the first acts of the age of madness then it may get the decent God fearing Republicans to try and take back control of their party.

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