By Lindianne Sarno
Our mail on Aug. 29, 2013, contained an unsigned letter announcing an American Community Survey. “Your Response is Required by Law.” The return address was listed as U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau, 1201 East 10th Street, Jeffersonville, Ind.
This document promises anonymity and orders “resident” at our address to go to https://respond.census.gov/acs to complete the American Community Survey online.
Resident’s response is required by law? The Constitution is the supreme law of this land. To be valid, laws and regulations cannot contradict the Constitution. This is my constitutional response to the so-called American Community Survey:
The U.S. Constitution authorizes one census every 10 years. Until 2020, any census other than the 2010 census is unconstitutional. The anonymous persons behind this survey cite “Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193, as changed by Title 18,” and impose a penalty for not responding. The law these persons cite is unconstitutional. An unconstitutional law need not be obeyed, and is a fundamental principle of American jurisprudence.
When we had disobeyed the unconstitutional commands in the unsigned letter for about a month, a woman called my home phone. She did not identify herself as an employee of the Census Bureau, and asked questions about structures on our road. She did not say, “I am calling from the Census Bureau to follow up on your lack of response to the American Community Survey.”
Instead, she posed as a friend of my homesteading partner, driving along our road looking for “a two-story home.” So much for anonymity. Midway through the call, she mumbled something about the Census Bureau. After hanging up, I realized this unprofessional phone call related to the American Community Survey.
Whoever you folks are at 1201 East 10th Street in Jeffersonville, Ind., you require me to: go online and answer your questions; submit to your electronic interrogation; answer questions you do not provide in advance; and, if I fail to respond, be subject to your unspecified penalty.
Those rules are Gestapo interrogation rules. Those rules spell tyranny. Who are you? You style yourselves the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce. But who are you really?
You raise a constitutional issue:
The Constitution protects citizens from tyranny. As a citizen who relies on the protection of the Constitution, I request your names and titles, the agency you work for, the corporations who control the agency you work for, the text of the statutes you cite and your proposed survey questions. Kindly send this information, as you sent your survey announcement, through the U.S. Postal Service.
Your response — or lack thereof — will be published. This “resident” declines to visit your web site, Census.gov/acs, and declines to call 1-800-354-7271. I transmit this letter to you through the U.S. Postal Service and by publication in the Homer Tribune.
I could have titled this essay, “How to Use a Constitution.” We Americans need not be lawyers to use our Constitution; just read the Constitution. The ethics-free dictators who have sneakily laid claim to the American people and America’s resources tell stories about the end of freedom. We, the millions of families of America, have better stories to tell. Freedom is achieved one choice at a time, one story at a time. Understanding your Constitution can help you recognize your place in the annals of freedom.
I wrote “Greensleeves,” — a saga in the annals of freedom — about a band of troubadours and their families, who knew exactly where they stood in the struggle between tyranny and free-will choice as it unfolded in Ireland, Scotland and Europe in the 1500s. Together, they served missions, evaded dangers and preserved free renaissance culture.
I believe Alaska will resound in the annals of freedom as a renaissance culture that demonstrated free-will choice and ethical culture back in the dark ages; when disrespectful barbarians were still bidding to overrun our planet with seemingly indomitable war machines.
Look 100 years into the future. Which culture won the hearts of the people? Which culture used their Constitution? Which culture was more attractive and had more stirring music? War machines are destined to junkyards. We denizens of the cosmic hamlet are destined to life eternal.
Lindianne Sarno studied constitutional interpretation with eminent Supreme Court watcher Professor Walter Francis Murphy at Princeton University, and studied law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
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