Monday, May 11, 2009

Census underway; you are being 'marked'

We awoke this morning to cloudiness. Unsettled weather is forecast for Maine for much of this week, although today in our corner should be mostly sunny. Our weekend was uneventful, but Gator Daughter did spend part of a very windy, cloudy, and rainy Sunday honoring her mother. Even though they couldn’t do outside stuff, it was a good visit.

The census which will be conducted in 2010 has begun. You are being marked by GPS. I got marked last Saturday when a young lady stopped by to ask just two questions, but that probably wasn’t the purpose of her visit. She was carrying a GPS recorder and while standing on our front steps talking with Gator Wife, pressed the button which logged the location of our house forever via GPS (Global Positioning System).

GPS is a series of satellites that can track a location by just a few feet for us peons and within inches for government operations. People who have those portable gadgets to find their way or who have a computer program to guide them (as I do) depend on GPS.

And now the U.S. Census Bureau, a part of the Department of Commerce, is depending on them to get an accurate picture of where people live and how many are living there. That information will be used primarily to establish new national election districts for Congress once the 2010 census is completed.

President Obama has also hired the Democrat support group Acorn to assist. It is unclear what Acorn will do in the process, but it has been accused of massive voter fraud in the last election. Some of its members have even gone to jail over the fraud. It is curious why that organization would be included in this official census.

The two questions, designed I would assume solely to keep the canvasser on the front steps long enough to get the GPS coordinates recorded, were simply, was (and she read the address off her clipboard) the correct address for this house? And were we (referring, of course, to GW and me) the only people living in the house? With the coordinates recorded, she thanked us and left. Seems to me the census was now already taken, too.

She did give us a half sheet of paper written in English on one side and in Spanish on the other explaining the upcoming census and how all our answers would be confidential under penalty of law. I guess the GPS coordinates aren’t included in that information.

There is an interesting discussion of the canvassing on one of the forums I like to read. The comments on As Maine Goes run from one poster who says this canvassing is a presidential plot to give more individual control to the government to others who say it is all legitimate. The original poster cites many news links (which you can get by reading the forum) to back up his argument. If you get only the home page, then click the “Public Square” link in the right corner.

It was, according to at least one of the articles, one of the reasons New Hampshire’s Judd Gregg declined the Obama offer of being the Commerce Secretary. He learned that Obama wanted to take the Census Bureau out of the Commerce Department and put it under the control of the White House. That takes all semblance of impartiality in the census process away. The President later backed down from this plan.

Question: Last week the Legislature passed a law, now signed by the governor that has banned button cell batteries that contain mercury beginning in 2011. Why are these batteries banned yet the same legislature and governor encourage the use of CFL light bulbs which also contain mercury and have a much higher chance of breaking and getting mercury into the air? I often think no one in Augusta has a single clue as to what they are doing. I am concerned as I hope to still be around in 2011 and I wear two hearing aids which require button cell batteries.


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