Friday, March 19, 2010


Lately there have been assurances from the federal government to go ahead and feel safe and secure answering all kinds of intrusive census questions regarding your personal life. Don’t worry. The information is safe. Commerce spokesperson Nick Kimball emphatically stated so recently. "All United States residents should be fully confident that the individual information they provide on census forms is protected from disclosure by law.” Well then, if we have the assurances of politicians and government officials, and the information is protected by law, why are some of “you people” unwilling to give away all your personal information to the government?

Perhaps it’s because the government doesn’t have a very good track record concerning their own constraints under the law in general and telling the truth in particular. For instance, perhaps I’m dating myself but my Social Security card reads in bold type right there on the front “NOT TO BE USED FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES.” In fact, there is a law against, and penalties proscribed, for people, such as everyone from the doctor to the banker, who ask for and/or use your Social Security number for identification purposes. That’s worked out real well, hasn’t it?

As for census information being protected, ask Americans of Japanese descent how well the government’s own laws “protected” them in 1942. Since our schools are too busy teaching kids to put condoms on cucumbers, and since educators, Hollyweirdos, and the press would never say anything bad about their Socialist hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt, perhaps yet another short history lesson is in order.

In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the American West Coast was in a panic over possible Japanese raids and even invasions. Newspapers of the time, showing the same accuracy they do today, carried headlines of Japanese bombers over LA and Japanese submarines practically under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The media in 1942 was just as accurate as it is today.

The government had to do something. And someone had to be blamed and punished. Lacking Hitler’s Jewish scapegoats or Stalin’s “Wreckers” and “Enemies of the State”, the good old “Trust Me” American Federal government decided they should go after Americans of Japanese descent.

So our buddy, our pal, Franklin the Great, Mr. New Deal himself, signed some Executive Orders, most notably E.O. 9066, and “Voila!”; certain classes of American citizens were instantly stripped of the right of habeas corpus as well as their 5th Amendment rights, which our own good ol’ Supreme Court recently shat upon again in the Kelo case. The citizens stripped of their rights, rounded up, and sent to interment camps included WASP military veterans, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and people who refused to answer intrusive census questions.

Whoops. My mistake. Those are the groups to be deprived of their rights in the near future if the health care bill doesn’t pass or Obama gets a second term. The people rounded up in 1942 were Americans of Japanese descent. Some of them were indeed not citizens, but they were legally in the country and laws at the time prevented foreign-born Asian immigrants from becoming citizens. Today, illegal aliens have more rights than U.S. citizens, but I digress.

More than 112,000 people, men, women, and children, were rounded up and hauled off to camps surrounded with guards and barbed wire, and located in some of the most Godforsaken places deep in the interior of the country. Just like the Jews in Germany, internees were only allowed to bring a handful of baggage. Long established farms and businesses had to be sold on short notice for pennies on the dollar. Personal property put into government storage was ransacked. So much for the Fifth Amendment. In 1948, an act was passed to compensate people who had lost property and financial wealth during the interments, but golly gee, wouldn’t you know it, the IRS had destroyed the tax records for the time period in question, making it almost impossible for the hastily moved internees to prove anything had been lost.

"We're from the government and we're here to help you." Army MP's try to get a handle on a dangerous subversive threatening the security of these United States.

Our stalwart defender of the Constitution, the Supreme Court, heard cases in 1944 and ruled that deporting a selected class of folks from military “Exclusion Zones” (read the entire West Coast) was indeed Constitutional. One of the entities created by the feds to handle the “resettlements” was the War Relocation Authority, or WRA. When bad things happen our government tends to heroically respond by creating huge new bloated inefficient government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security. In the 1944 case of ex parte Endo the Supremes did at least rule that the WRA had no right to subject loyal citizens to its procedures. Small comfort to those who had already been subjected to those procedures for two years in the camps in the meantime.

Not until the 1980’s were the other cases overturned when it was found out that in the interned plaintiffs' cases against the government they (the government) had altered, suppressed, withheld, and destroyed pertinent evidence so that it could not be used in court. Ask Randy Weaver or Richard Jewel or thousands of others how that works. How can we expect the government to be honest with us when it is incapable of telling itself the truth?

A former Supreme Court Justice, Tom C. Clark, noted of the whole affair, “The truth is—as this deplorable experience proves—that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves.” Amen, brother. That’s why the Founding Fathers put that pesky old Second Amendment in there.

Now what does my long rant have to do with the census anyway? Well, guess where the government got the information to round up folks and send them off to the camps. Why, from the “protected” information gathered in the 1940 Census, of course. Food for thought indeed as you fill out that questionnaire.

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