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Weird Press Releases, Volume IV: Libertarians don't want to be counted, dammit.


(You can find the previous volumes of this series here, here, and here!)

Libertarians don't play, y'all.

(That's Ayn Rand, a favorite thinker for many Libertarians, and she is NOT KIDDING WITH THAT HAT. She is also DEAD SERIOUS about the cigarette holder. Furthermore, she believed herself to have written COMPLETELY THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS and EXCELLENT DIALOGUE, DAMMIT, and don't you forget it.)

OK, here's the press release we got from the Libertarians today.
As always, bold portions are emphasis mine, with my comments italicized, and in parentheses.


(Why do they always say that? I know it's for immediate release. I have yet to receive a press release that requested HEY, SIT ON THIS ONE FOR AWHILE, WE'RE KINDA NOT ALL THAT SURE ABOUT THIS THING YET.)

March 16, 2010

Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222

Libertarians oppose census questions

WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath released the following statement today regarding the 2010 census:

(Data from which, by the way, is used in calculating the number of Representatives we get to send to Congress, in allocating federal funds for disaster victim relief, and to determine federal funds for infrastructure, such as bridges and tunnels, but also schools, hospitals, job training centers, and emergency services like emergency room resources and enough firehouses with enough firefighters to protect us from, you know, FIRE.)

"The Libertarian Party believes that the federal government's current census procedures are unconstitutional, unnecessary, and too expensive. We believe that the census is constitutionally limited to collecting only one piece of information about each residence: the number of persons living in it. We urge Congress to change the census laws to comply with this constitutional limitation.

"The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to provide for a census in order to apportion Representatives correctly. The Constitution does not empower Congress to use a census for any other purpose. There is no need for Congress to collect additional information such as names, races, ages, sexes, or home ownership status. Unfortunately, the federal government wants to use the additional information to fine tune its control over the lives and money of the American people.

(Dude. They're not asking us what we're reading, who we're hooking up with, or whether we're Communists (although Ayn Rand was totally in favor of that type of interrogation, having appeared as a friendly witness in front of the House UN-American Activities Committee in 1947). If "additional information to fine tune its control over the lives and money of the American people" is required by the Census Bureau to determine, say, how many homeless people there are and how many of us aren't the assumed-default White Guy, that's cool by me.)

"The 2010 census is expected to cost over $14 billion. A recent report from the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce indicates that preparations for the 2010 census have already been filled with waste and bloat. A proper census, limited to just a headcount, would be far less expensive.

(...A "headcount?" So the Libertarians don't want the government to ask us any questions, but they think maybe we should all just gang up in some giant stadium or at the Grand Canyon and be counted up by somebody with one of those little handheld attendance clickers or something?

Bored census worker: "Three million seven hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-one, three million seven hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-two ... we're gonna be here a while. You, behind the rock, would you move so we can see you? Are you the only one back there or what? Thanks. Three million seven hundred and thirty-six thousand four-hundred and twenty-three..."

Because that, I'm not down for.)

"Many Americans fear that the Census Bureau will not keep their information secret, and might turn personal details over to other government agencies. The Census Bureau promises that they will keep everything confidential, but they have broken that promise in the past. As David Kopel of the libertarian (<--why not capitalized?) Cato Institute has pointed out, during World War I the Census Bureau handed over lists of names and addresses so the federal government could search for draft resisters. And, shockingly, during World War II, the Census Bureau told the Justice Department which neighborhoods had high concentrations of Japanese-Americans. The federal government then used that information to find Japanese-Americans and imprison them in concentration camps.

(OK, this is bad. Census data should not be used to persecute anybody, clearly. But the alternative to census data being taken is...what?)

"As Congressman Ron Paul, 1988 Libertarian candidate for President, recently said, 'If the federal government really wants to increase compliance with the census, it should abide by the Constitution and limit its inquiry to one simple question: How many people live here?'"

(But then, see, you're not actually counting people. Say you're a census worker â?? hundreds of thousands of short-term jobs will be created by the 2010 census, incidentally â?? You knock on a door, somebody answers it. Perhaps a burglar answers it! Then the census worker asks the burglar, who doesn't live there, 'how many people live here?' and the burglar answers 'just me,' slams the door and laughs her ass off as she continues burgling the home of A FAMILY OF TEN, who not only had their Wii and vintage Fiestaware stolen, but won't even be counted as human Americans in the census data.)

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.


Oh, Libertarians. So are you planning not to comply? What's your actual plan for the census? Maybe address it through Facebook status update? ("Marvin Shoemaker is ONE WHITE GUY who lives ALL ALONE in a LIGHTHOUSE he inherited from his uncle, Census Bureau.")

Or give some misleading answers on your forms?

"We are five bobcats who live in a ravine, which we rent. Our names are Spivey, Trombone, Lunchmeat, Mark, and Mrs. Guerrero. Our ethnicity: motherfucking BOBCAT. We are BOBCAT-American."

Get more census material here.

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