Should San Jose Skip The Census?

While San Jose may not exactly be the Capital of Silicon Valley, it certainly is at the center of many important things. The San Jose area is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. A lot of wealthy and smart people live or work in San Jose and its surrounding cities and towns. What happens here matters. I wonder if the citizens of San Jose would take it upon themselves to provide leadership for the rest of the nation by questioning the legitimacy of the 2010 Census in its present form.

The 2010 census isn’t as much about counting citizens and residents for the purpose of defining congressional representation as it is about sizing up and carving shares of the economic pie. It’s a consumer survey. Just take a look at the rhetoric. A full-page ad that appeared in Time magazine read, “If we don’t know how big our community is, how do we know how big our hospitals need to be?” The ad continues, “Fill out and mail back your Census form and help your community get its fair share of funding for the things that it needs-like better hospitals, schools, and roads.”

A recent article published by Fox News reported that city, county, and state governments all over America are suddenly “dusting off their welcome mats” for illegal immigrants in an effort to get them counted to increase funding. “Those undocumented residents will be worth a lot of money for the next few weeks.” Fox News reporter Judson Berger quotes William Gheen, president of Americans For Legal Immigration, who argues that counting undocumented residents “undermines” the electoral process…that, immigrant-heavy areas like Southern California will receive more funding and representation than immigrant-light regions like Maine. “[Gheen] said, counting illegal immigrants in the Census is part of a “de facto amnesty” policy.”

In a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, resident Cecil Chapman expressed his concerns. “Got my census form, and the more I Iook at the questions, the more it bugs me. The original intent of the census was to get an accurate count of the citizenry to assure adequate representation in the halls of government. So, what does my exact name, precise birth date and phone number have to do with assuring that we are adequately represented in Congress? “Decline to state” seems like a fair answer to those kind of questions. Very perplexing.”

The two Census questions dedicated solely to race and ethnicity are especially perplexing. What if everyone in San Jose refused to play the game and returned their Census forms with only one of the questions answered? (That is, “How many people live here?”). What if we all refused to identify our race or ethnicity? Wouldn’t such action demonstrate a serious effort to be seen and defined as a color-blind society?

47 Comments

  1. Amusing.

    Eighteen months ago, the moonbats were convinced that Bush stole the election in 2000, Karl Rove outed Valerie Plame, and “Bush lied” about everthing and anything, notwithstanding the fact that he was too dumb to lie.

    Now, the Oba-morons are sleepwalking in a dreamy trance believing that a creepy neighborhood political hack from the Chicago crime family “cares about them” and just wants to take a census so they know who great granny was.

    As W.C. Fields might have said, it’s a crime to let the suckers keep their money or their freedom.

  2. My, the paranoia’s just rampant.

    As someone’s who’s searched through old census records for family history, none of the information requested is new.  The 1900 census form also asked for name, relation, date of birth, sex, race, and whether you owned your home. 

    But it also asked such personal and invasive questions as if you were married, single, or widowed; how many years you were married; where you were born, and where you parents were born; whether you were a citizen, when you arrived in the US, your occupation, and your education.  How many Americans in 1900 were donning their tinfoil hats and demanding why the government needed to know their occupation?!  (And no, they didn’t ask whether you were a legal resident then, either.)  Some other years even asked how much your house was worth, and whether you owned a radio.

    To be honest, I love all that data.  I learned when my great-grandparents came to the US.  I learned when they married, and what they did, and whether they ever became citizens.  I learned something about what Vallejo, and San Francisco, and San Jose were like at the turn of the century, and where their neighbors worked, and what the typical jobs were.  And somehow, the government collected those records, and managed to keep it confidential for 70 years, and then opened it up as a resource for the common good.  Thank you to the people who set up the census and kept it running every ten years from the birth of the US til now, for once 1900 was gone, there was no chance to ever learn that information again.

    The summarized, non-specific data that’s available immediately is also useful for all the purposes said, whether to tell us how many congress critters we get, or how San Jose’s grown in the last ten years, and how big it might be in ten more.

    All this scare-mongering over what the government can do with the census records is at best misguided and at worst messing up a really nice source of historical records to push irrational fears and political spin.  Anyone who thinks that the government is going to use the census records against them is being naive, for there’s so many other databases where they could get so much better information – bank and credit card records, tax records, monitoring your car’s travels through OnStar, Googling your name, or just putting a computer chip in your brain during that lost evening after heavy drinking.  (Joke.)  Assuming that the census data is the only way an evil government could get this data on you shows a distinct lack of imagination.

    Come on, folks, fill out the census form, even with its limited questions.  Your grandchildren will appreciate it.  I hear if you wear a tinfoil hat when you’re filling it out, the government won’t see your answers.

  3. > I have heard that data collected for the census this year will include the
    > exact GPS coordinates of every residents front door.

    Uh, that information’s already out.  Between Google’s street view, or Microsoft’s maps data, or any of the commercial GIS data sets, or the GIS data sets that can be bought from the county, they already know where your front door is for *every definition* of “they”.  I’m sure FedEx and UPS bought all that data, and added to it so they know where your front door is, and which side to hide your packages on, and they also know who’s been shipping you packages, and who knows who else is poking at that data?

    I’ll say it again: worrying about the government using the census for gathering data for nefarious purposes shows a distinct lack of imagination.

  4. <Does it make Jews uncomfortable that a government headed by a president raised in a Muslim country, and identified in his youth as a Muslim might know the names, addresses, geographical locations, medical histories, income tax filings, and number of guns owned of all Jews in the United States?>

    Not only that, Obama’s a big proponent of high speed rail.  We all know what happened last time a government started collecting information on Jews and built lots of trains.  And this time they’re so much faster!

    I knew I shouldn’t have filled out that ADL survey.  It’s too easy for Obama to get it.  Before I know it, I’m going to be wearing a yellow star. 

    Bubba Shula always told me this day would come.

  5. Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.
    I gotta go now—I have a date with the Mad Hatter in Wonderland.

  6. Pete,

    Collecting information on race and ethnicity is not racist. It is crucial to seeing clearly what is happening demographically in our society. Are we living up to our commitment to the values of human freedom and equal protection of the law for all people of all colors. Color blindness is just the racial version of “don’t ask, don’t tell” which lets white people go back to those hallowed days before the civil rights movement and pretend that everything is fine because they don’t own any slaves or call people racist names to their faces.

    Pete, don’t pander to the white supremacist minority by blaming immigrants for our economic problems. 3 trillion dollars of our tax money has been handed over by congress (Democrat and Republican) to the financial industry and its owners. If you want to see justice, fight to get that money back. Don’t help the white supremacists in the minutemen by scapegoating immigrants. It is beneath a city council member in a city as racially diverse as ours.

    • If you had a class of 7th graders read my post and then your comments, they would wonder if there wasn’t a page or two missing in between.  Where do you read in my post that I place blame on immigrants for anything?  And, I’m not a member of the city council.

      • Sorry Pete, you sounded so much like Pete Constant that I just assumed it was him talking, since he appeared on stage at last year’s Tea Party protest where the Golden Gate Minutemen had gathered.

        I think it was your suggestion that the census is just a scheme to redistribute white wealth to undocumented immigrants and poor people. Or maybe it was your suggestion that we all stop answering questions about race on the census so we could claim to be color blind. Then white people would never have to hear about that uncomfortable legacy of white supremacy in the U.S. anymore and everything would be fine again, and you could go back to watching fox news.

        • Pete,

          I know you are hurt that I thought you were Pete Constant, but there’s no need to have a tantrum and stop using (or admitting to) your words. Again, I’m sorry.

          Now, back to what you said.

          You said:

          “What if we all refused to identify our race or ethnicity? Wouldn’t such action demonstrate a serious effort to be seen and defined as a color-blind society?”

          I said:

          “Or maybe it was your suggestion that we all stop answering questions about race on the census so we could claim to be color blind.”

          Then I ridiculed the idea of color blindness as just “don’t ask, don’t tell” for race and a cover for bigots to not talk about the history of white supremacy in the U.S. If you think color blindness is a legitimate way to deal with racism in the U.S., let’s debate it. But if you really really really don’t want to talk about racism, just say so. It makes a lot of white people really uncomfortable. I do understand and would only ask that you return the favor and not prognosticate about racial issues if you cannot defend your arguments. Racist scapegoating of immigrants and people of color in the U.S. has real effects on the lives of your neighbors and is not just the stuff of “rhetorical questions” about “skipping the census”.

        • The long and short of it is, you believe making decisions on hiring, contracts, and university admissions on the basis of merit, rather than on the basis of “diversity,” makes someone a right-wing, White supremacist bigot.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but fortunately your peculiar and irrational opinion is not shared by the majority of either Americans or Californians.  We passed Proposition 209 in 1996, and I’m quite sure we could pass something very much like it again.

  7. Where do these people come from?  Is there a genetic reason why conservatives are in the majority at the low end of the IQ pool?  Is there a school for the exceptionally stupid?

    How these people can exist in such a fantasy world shows how modern society has put a stop to evolution.  In the past, people this stupid would never live long enough to reproduce.

    • The fantasy world is the one where everybody gets everything they need for free. Oh, wait! They tried that in the U.S.S.R.

    • Wow!  Tough questions.

      Let me give it a try.

      > 1.) Where do these people come from?

      America.

      > 2.) Is there a genetic reason why conservatives are in the majority at the low end of the IQ pool?

      Yes.  It’s because conservatives are in the majority across the entire IQ pool from top to bottom.

      > 3.)  Is there a school for the exceptionally stupid?

      Actually, it’s an entire school system.  The public school system.

      > In the past, people this stupid would never live long enough to reproduce.

      The people who are not reproducing are called “liberals”.  They are aborting themselves early and often. 

      Hence, the improvement in the gene pool and the increase in conservatives.

        • > Interesting.  In addition to not being very bright, we need to add delusional to the conservative mix.

          Your life has been a disappointment, hasn’t it.

          I can understand why.

  8. > I wonder if the citizens of San Jose would take it upon themselves to provide leadership for the rest of the nation by questioning the legitimacy of the 2010 Census in its present form.

    A thought provoking analysis.

    I’m sure many people in the tech-savvy Silicon Valley understand how easy it is to merge or link together databases, and cybernetically undress people.

    I have heard that data collected for the census this year will include the exact GPS coordinates of every residents front door.  Combine that with the ethnic/racial data collected by the census, and the State of California’s database with the names of all owners of assault rifles in California, and someone at a computer workstation somewhere knows the names and locations of all white males with assault rifles.

    And, as we learned a number of years back, there are ostensibly “private” organizations like the B’Nai B’Rith Anti-Defamation League who make it their business to suck up data on persons that they are interested in.  Reportedly, persons who had unflattering views of the policies of the Israeli government were arrested by Mossad in Israel based on data collected by the ADL.

    And of course, data can flow two ways.  Presumably, ADL or similar organizations have a pretty good idea of who in the U.S. identifies themselves as Jews.  What if that data somehow was liberated from the custody of the private owner?

    Does it make Jews uncomfortable that a government headed by a president raised in a Muslim country, and identified in his youth as a Muslim might know the names, addresses, geographical locations, medical histories, income tax filings, and number of guns owned of all Jews in the United States?

    • “Presumably, ADL or similar organizations have a pretty good idea of who in the U.S. identifies themselves as Jews.”

      Not just paranoid, but also not true! Nowhere on the census form does it ask people to identify their religion.

      (I filled mine out and mailed it yesterday. I expect the black helicopters to show up over my house any day now…)

      • > Nowhere on the census form does it ask people to identify their religion.

        The census asks for “ethnicity”.

        Many Jews identify “Jew” as their ethnicity.

        When the government demands to know from a Jew what his or her ethnicity is, are you advising them to lie to the government?

        It would be a crime for them to lie to the government.  It’s also a criminal act on your part to advocate that other people lie to the government.

        • > I would argue that Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity.

          A wonderfully irrelevant and off-point observation.

          Whoopi Goldberg and Sammy Davis Junior may have embraced Judaism as their religion.  But the question is, what do they respond to the census-takers when asked (actually, COMMANDED) to report their ethnicity under penalty of law.

          Jews have historically maintained that “Jew” designates ethnicity, and “Judaism” refers to religious tradition and practices.

          It’s not at all clear what the term “Jewish” refers to.  Does it mean “sort of like a Jew”?  One well known personality made his identity clear: “I’m not Jewish, I’m a Jew”.

          Hillary Clinton’s onetime political guru, Micheal Lerner (editor of Tikkun magazine) published a famous essay in Village Voice (May 18, 1993, pp 33-34) entitled “Jews are not White”.

          In the former Soviet Union, “Jews” were recognized as a separate “nationality”, where the term “nationality” really referred to “nations” defined by ethnicity.

          Well, then, if Jews are NOT “white” and they self-identify their ethnicity as “Jew”  (not “Jewish”, not “Judaism”), then how do they lawfully respond to the census?

          And, is it a good idea for Jews to identify themselves to a government that used census data to round up and intern residents and CITIZENS of German, Italian, and Japanese ethnicity in World War II?

          And should Jews have any concerns about handing over all-encompassing lists of demographic and population information to a government headed by a President with a very murky and ambiguous background, who once traveled to Pakistan on an Indonesian passport, and who has friends and supporters like Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan?

          Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, . . .

        • Don’t forget that the President is not an American, and that he came from another planet, and that his wife is really a double-agent, and that his children are actually robots put here by his masters to spy on what really goes on in the White House.
          Oh, and thanks for looking out for the Jews. I’ll bet that is high on your priority list, right after we defeating this current non-American president.
          BTW—None of the Jews I know are listing “Jew”, “Jewish”, etc. under ethnicity on the form. What do you make of that?

        • > Don’t forget that the President is not an American, and that he came from another planet, and that his wife is really a double-agent, and that his children are actually robots put here by his masters to spy on what really goes on in the White House.

          > What do you make of that?

          What do I make of it? 

          It really confirms that you don’t have any kind of serious, substantive response, so you just threw up some incoherent drivel hoping it would be funny.  It wasn’t.  Just stupid.

          Don’t give up your day job.

        • > Oh (Hebrew National) Baloney. “Jew” is not listed in the section asking about ethnicity.

          Well, DUH-UH!

          MOST ethnicities are NOT listed in the section asking about ethnicity.  That’s the point!!

          So, if the census provides a short list of ethnicities, none of which applies to you, what are you supposed to do?  Lie to the census and say that you’re “white” when you’re not?

          Would you go further and point out to the census that “white” is not an ethnicity?  Or, would you just grin the grin of the clueless and be whatever ethnicity the government wants you to be or gets the most affirmative action benefits?

        • Or, would you just grin the grin of the clueless and be whatever ethnicity the government wants you to be or gets the most affirmative action benefits?

          Doesn’t sound clueless to me.

        • Some people see it as primarily one, some see it as primarily the other.  Objectively, its both.

          Although what that has to do with the Census is beyond me.  Even if the government knew the specific square footage where each and every Jewish man, woman, or child in the USA slept each night, what would it do with such information?  Other than possibly check that data against the White House Hanukkah card mailing list?  Oh noes!!!

        • > Even if the government knew the specific square footage where each and every Jewish man, woman, or child in the USA slept each night, what would it do with such information?

          Well, Kevin, let’s put on our thinking caps and think about things that the nice man from the government does or did in the past, shall we?

          1. It taxes people.
          2. It audits people
          3. It arrests people.
          4. It confiscates property.
          5. It invades privacy.
          6. It drafts people.
          7. It relocates people.
          8. It interns people.
          9. It imprisons people.
          10. It deports people.
          11.It executes people.

          To be fair, though, the government DOES do NICE things for people.

          1. It gives them free food stamps.
          2. It gives them FREE healthcare.
          3. It gives them cheap housing.
          4. It gives them sub-prime mortgages which they don’t have to pay back.
          5. It gives them wonderful schools for their children to drop out of.

          My guess is that the government will use the census data on Jews just to ensure that it is providing enough Kosher food in the food stamps program.

    • Don’t you see?  The census is just a government ruse to make you think they don’t already have all your information.  They don’t need you to fill out a form, they can read your mind!  Good thing my foil hat protects me.

        • Aren’t you listening?  No amount of poor spelling can keep the government from taking what’s yours!  You need to completely cut yourself off from the grid.  I only venture into society on rare occasions to buy Froot Loops and post comments on web sites (anonymously from a public terminal, of course).

          Here’s a free tip: if you wear your foil under a hat, they can’t tell you’re on to them.

        • > Here’s a free tip: if you wear your foil under a hat, they can’t tell you’re on to them.

          This is a stale joke.  You’ve only used it twice in your last two posting.

          Why don’t you get some new material.

          Better yet, why don’t you hire some writers to do your material for you, cheapskate.

        • <This is a stale joke.  You’ve only used it twice in your last two posting.>

          Who’s joking?  This is serious!  All my free tips have to do with foil.  If you want the rest, you have to first prove you’re not one of them.  Simply send me $20 and a letter from a doctor confirming you have a belly button.  Decode the following text for my address (hint – it’s a PO box):

          AJWJIOTUQ*%[email protected]!JKGJKLSWJTOQWJKLAJTKLJAL:K

        • > Who’s joking?  This is serious!  All my free tips have to do with foil.  If you want the rest, you have to first prove you’re not one of them.  Simply send me $20 and a letter from a doctor confirming you have a belly button.  Decode the following text for my address (hint – it’s a PO box):

          Dear Lame-ster:

          Clearly you’re the last to know, but you’re done.

    • I too am a skeptic of the idea that the Federal Census Bureau has any legitimate purpose in knowing the first & last name, middle initial, date of birth, and home telephone number of my wife & myself, but with all due respect, I don’t think we need worry too much about Barack Hussein Obama the Magnificent (sounds vaguely Muslim-esque, don’t ya think?) returning to his Muslims roots, and leading a nationwide anti-Semitic pogrom.

      I suspect that by collecting unneeded data (I’m sure the American people will benefit greatly by having my wife’s middle initial on file), the Census Bureau dorks are just wasting our hard-earned tax dollars, which is par for the course at this late stage in the American experiment with democracy.

      I rolled my eyes while filling it out, but my completed Census form is in the mail.  I still consider filling it out something of a civic duty, even if the buffoons presently running the Federal government (whether Obama’s Democrats, or Bush’s Republicans), no longer command either my respect or my loyalty.  Maybe the data will be of benefit to some future regime that is, you know, actually worth a damn.

  9. San Jose Inside used to be a forum for well-reasoned debate with postings by people who really cared about California and San Jose, although from differing viewpoints. 

    Now, SJI actually hosts a posting by a “blogger” who is implying that San Jose should lead a movement to boycott the census.  Talk about bad for San Jose and America.

    It’s sad what has happened to SJI and sad that so many Americans are out to sabotage a process that occurs every 10 years.  We are all better off if we have an accurate accounting of what America looks like.  This census form is actually shorter and asks fewer questions than any census form from the last half century.  But now that Obama is President, folks here think it is some kind of nefarious plot.  Good thing this attitude is a small minority of thought in our country.  Otherwise, God help us.

    • What’s your name?….Re-read the post.  I didn’t call for a boycott of the Census, I suggested that people only provide the necessary information which is “how many people live here?”  By the way, why does it matter what America “looks like?…what matters is what America does.

      • Campbell once again gets caught in one of these Minuteman
        moments.  He clearly adovcatea boycotting the census and I am sure Pete is eager to push sovereignty declarations.

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