Is your liberty worth $100?

I’ve seen a lot posted here about what’s wrong and what can be done about it, but very little in the way of how to go about it. And I plead guilty to bring one of those who complains but does not propose any specific action(s) to help recover some small piece of our nearly-eroded liberties. But I realize now that I have in some small way been doing that for many years.

It is not a challenge to contribute to this, or march for that, or sign such and such. And you do not have to grab your weapons and fall in with the Minutemen, tar and feather a tax official, or throw some tea into the harbor. But it is an act of civil disobedience and it could cost you $100! *(see reference below) Hence the question of the title: Is your liberty worth $100?

Its the US Census that will be upon us in a bit less than two years, that once-every-decade snoop by the government to find out everything from how many flush toilets you have to how many live births a woman has had. Now that’s rather invasive, considering that the purpose of the census as given in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) is to apportion the legislature.

Since 1960, when I first was out on my own, I’ve refused to answer any question on the census except for how many people live here. I’ve had phone calls from government weenies and letters from bureaucratic weenies threatening me with jail for “lying”. I’ve even had them show up on my doorstep and demand that I answer the questions or go to jail.

But it hasn’t happened yet and it will not happen, because I do not lie about the one question I will answer. I cite the busy-bodies chapter and verse about fining me for refusal to answer, but to date I’ve never been summoned to appear before a US Magistrate and told to answer or pay the $100.

Considering what so many others have paid for liberty, the price seems reasonable for so little a piece of it.

Most sincerely,

T. J. Flapsaddle

Reference – 13 USC 221




Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers

(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully
, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized
officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency
thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized
officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions
on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey

provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title,
applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related,
or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall
be fined not more than $100.

(b) Whoever, when answering questions described in subsection (a) of
this section, and under the conditions or circumstances described in
such subsection, willfully gives any answer that is false, shall be
fined not more than $500.