Sunday, June 20, 2010

census and garden

If ignorance was a disability some people would be on full pension.

The good rain we has yesterday after noon was just what the stick pile garden needed, while reading the news this morning I came across this report about violence against census workers. The only thing I can figure is people are just crazy. we had a census worker come to our door and I ask her why since I had sent mine in and she got sort of sharp with me and said she didn't know why. I said oh, it doesn't matter come on in and I answered her questions and then ask her where she lived? over by Eureka Springs she replied but we moved here 3 years ago after we retired formally we lived in California. I ask her where in California and told her we lived in Sacramento for 4 years in the 60's. I have decided since she was so friendly after we started talking perhaps she had run in to trouble at one of her stops that day.
I laughed at the fact she said she wasn't a native and told her I knew she wasn't native because no one lived at Eureka Springs if they were native to our state.
Some of the attacks elsewhere represent random violence, such as a robbery at knife point in Richmond, Va., and a carjacking in Connecticut. In some situations, the job turned unexpectedly dangerous, as for the Baltimore crew leader who was fatally shot seven times while sitting in his car and the Wisconsin census taker who knocked on the door of a man who tried to drag her into his apartment.
Other workers were beset by mean-tempered animals. Wendy Soto, who was knocking on doors in California, still can't move two fingers after being attacked by a pit bull that pushed open a security door.
Among the more troubling were incidents that arose from residents' seething resentment that anyone from the government would seek their personal information.
Some people pointedly mentioned President Obama.
While conducting follow-ups in an upscale Seattle neighborhood, Grover Ellis said he came across a woman who considered him an agent of Obama, not the U.S. government.
"The idea of the census just enraged her," said Ellis, 64, stressing that the overwhelming majority of people he met were welcoming and responsive. "The way she saw the census, she was required to help Obama. And she wasn't going to do anything to help out Obama."
Police have been dispatched after confrontations between census takers and property owners who posted No Trespassing signs. As federal government employees, the census takers are not breaking the law by disregarding the signs.
But try telling that to a homeowner with a crossbow.
In a rural part of California's Nevada County northeast of Sacramento, two census workers told authorities that a man ordered them off his land. He mentioned his sub machine gun, then followed them down the drive with a crossbow in hand. No charges were brought against the resident, the sheriff's department said.
A homeowner in Marion, Ohio, called police, saying he had just used his baseball bat against a stranger on his property. The perceived interloper was a census taker who told police the resident flew off the handle as soon as he mentioned the word census. The census taker was struck in the forearm, warding off blows from the aluminum bat. The resident was charged with felonious assault.
Dallas regional director Gabriel Sanchez said occasional encounters with dogs and protective property owners are par for the course in any census.
"It's not that people are waiting to gun down a government worker or waiting to assault a census worker," he said. "Some people have a strong need for privacy and being left alone. I'm sure they would treat the FedEx man the same way."
Soto, the pit bull victim, says census takers should be permitted to carry weapons, such as pepper spray, to ward off harm.
"If I'd had pepper spray in my pocket, I probably would have had a good chance of not losing my hand," said Soto, 38, who was earning $15 an hour and saving for a vacation with her children and a used car.
The dog bit Soto in the stomach, leg and hand. The census is paying for her doctor's bills, medication and replacement clothing. She doesn't know when she will be physically able to return to her regular job as a special-education teacher's aide.
Steven Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said it is unlikely that the policy prohibiting census workers from carrying weapons will be rescinded. After the 2010 census is completed, officials will examine all incidents to determine whether changes are needed to reduce risks, for both workers and the public. The number of verified incidents might go down after analysis.
Chesney, for one, won't be back for another census unless she's offered an office position.
"I want to help my country," she said. "I want us to have funding for schools, and all the things that are involved with the census. But I'm not putting my life at risk."


thesouthernlady64 said...

This is just awful. People just do not like any kind of government workers. Years ago when I first started work for state government, we had to make home visits to people receiving food stamps and state aid. They treated us like we were dogs and we were there to help them. In the projects they would yell at us and make snide remarks to our back. We had to always go in twos when we went out. Ever heard the old expression, "biting the hand that feeds you"? Have a good week, Patsy.

Sister--Three said...

I heard about one of your sisters who went to the door where the census taker stood...with a 22 in her hand. He quickly did 'hands up' routine.