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In addition to the pre-Census letter and the Census questionnaire, I have now received the post-Census postcard. In the midst of this deluge of Census-related mail, I begin to suspect that this Census thing is just a method to bail out the sinking Post Office.

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I just received a letter in the mail from the U.S. Department of Commerce notifying me that I would be receiving a 2010 Census form in the mail. Now, I'm not one to second guess the U.S. government, but why am I receiving a letter telling me that I will be receiving a letter? Why don't they just send me the damn Census form once and be done with it? Isn't the 2010 Census-sponsored NASCAR enough of a reminder? The answer: the first letter is like a subpoena, requiring me to respond to the second.

The US Commerce Department admits that mailing these advance letters is an "important reminder" to people that they need to participate. Fun fact: According to United States Code Title 13, Chapter 7, Subchapter II, Section 221, anyone who refuses to respond to a census request could be fined up to $100. The same section of the US Code also states that anyone who "willfully gives an answer that is false" could be fined up to $500. And there's more! Section 222 stipulates that if anyone makes "any suggestion, advice, information or assistance of any kind, with the intent or purpose of causing an inaccurate enumeration of population to be made, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." But that's not all! Section 224 warns than anyone intentionally lying about his business or other organization "shall be fined not more than $10,000." Ouch.

So remember kids, don't ignore or lie to Big Brother, especially if he already knows where you live. And don't even think of trying to escape: his car is faster than yours.

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To be continued...


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