- State Roundup: Union memo: Management threatens unsafe working conditions
- Performance review: Remote Treasurer employees pose problems
- Dimke: ‘I’m not going to retire’
- IMRF responds: Pay spiking against the rules
- Bill limits automated license plate readers
- Private uni’s subject to FOIA says House
- Guest Commentary: Earth Day or April Fools Day?
- State Roundup: Concerns raised about proposed change in DUI pot standard
- Bill would decrease pot penalties; small amounts would draw only ticket, fine
- Senate votes to restore human service cuts; bill moves to House for consideration
Guest Column: Letter to President Barack Obama re: citizen harassment
By Dan Sears
Dear Mr. President:
Do you realize that Big Brother, the Gestapo and the KGB could still be active by congressional law? Yes, right here in little Roscoe, Illinois (61073).
Last evening (Aug. 17) my wife and I were leaving (about 6 p.m.) for supper, and I noticed a strange car and person sitting in the road in front of our neighbor’s house. As we are somewhat rural, I turned around and went back, but by that time he was turning into another neighbor’s driveway, and sitting there. I thought perhaps he had located the party he wanted to visit. Oh no! He’s coming back, but by that time he was turning into another neighbor’s driveway, and I see our neighbor flagging us down from her back yard. We stop … she is shaking and on the verge of tears.
Apparently, this individual has been around before, and she found out he has been asking personal questions about her family, at other neighborhood houses.
I decided to confront the individual. He very “officially” flashed a neck badge at me, while he is still sitting smugly in his car, and told me he was from the “American Community Survey” and this was none of my business! I told him rather clearly, in words I’m sure he would not have any trouble understanding, that any strange person in our neighborhood, just sitting around was definitely my business.
Our neighbor informed this creep that she had called the sheriff to look into this. He, strangely, did not seem a bit concerned!
My wife and I left. When we got back, our neighbor called and told us the sheriff had been there, had investigated this guy and his car, and spent almost an hour talking to the person. Come to find out the American Community Survey is real! And if you do not complete and return their request for information form, they can send a “supervisor” to harass you into answering their questions (please note: this is not from the official Census Bureau, which we all try to respond to) but from an agency that looks like, sounds like, and could possibly be part of a scam, as far as the typical citizen is concerned! And better yet, if you still refuse to answer the very personal questions, from a very suspicious character, you could be fined $100 (per the sheriff’s information). Wrong, according to the Internet, our wonderful, caring, elected officials in Congress upped the possible fine to $5,000 in 1984! And even our local law enforcement agencies are not informed of this sinister, pompous group!
How much prying can a citizen tolerate before there is a “Mideast” mindset? Have you personally been investigated by this group? Why has it been a hidden agency? What do they need this information for (to stem uprisings?). How much of my tax dollars are spent supporting this dark group? I cannot even begin to imagine the cost of having these “supervisors” follow up on the form refusals. Is this some kind of Soylent Green department? What business is it of theirs as to what time I leave for work and get home … is this information supposed to help them gain entry and “bug” our suspicious residences?
Needless to say, we are really p—-d off!!! What other dark, undercover programs are the citizens being subjected to? I know you have your hands full, trying to keep the “wackos” appeased, but please give the loyal, hard-working citizens a break from this type of stealthy garbage!
I hope you can find a moment to address this issue and let us know what is going on.
Dan Sears is a resident of Roscoe, Ill.
From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2011, issue