Disturbing Comments about a Census Bureau Story

Sorry I haven’t written ( sounds like I’m talking to my Mom), but I’ve been busy with the house and some work on my websites.

What brought me back to my blog were some disturbing comments from readers of a story about the Census Bureau. The stupidity and meanness of these comments is astounding.

The story at issue is about a report from the Government Accounting Office which states that the Census Bureau botched several fingerprints which were taken to screen temporary workers. Temporary workers are disqualified based on criminal records that include certain egregious felonies. The FBI did the background checks for the Census Bureau, and provided name-based background checks for people who’s fingerprints were unusable, or in FBI-speak, “unclassifiable”. But the name-based checks aren’t as effective. The GAO concluded, based on the effectiveness of the name-based checks and the amount of botched fingerprints, that there may have been two hundred people with histories of violent criminal behavior hired by the Census Bureau to go door to door. Although the census isn’t until 2010, these workers have already been canvassing, doing such things as verifying addresses.

This report prompted a series of hateful and idiotic responses by on-line news readers, and not surprisingly, some of the meanest and dumbest of these can be found at Fox News

If you’re in the mood to jump on the bandwagon and write a stupid comment connecting this story with unfounded and unrelated accusations about the Obama administration, or use this story as an excuse to to call for violence against innocent people in the name of patriotism, please consider the following:

If you’re a patriot, be counted. Don’t shoot the census worker. The census was created by our founding fathers. It’s in our constitution. We’ve been doing it since 1790.

Don’t blame Obama. The GAO report, which was released in October, concerns events that happened before March. The people in charge of hiring the temporary workers where almost certainly people who have been working at the Census Bureau long before the president took office.

Give the Census Bureau credit. The fingerprinting is a new requirement. It has never been done before. The 2000 census workers were not fingerprinted. This is important! It’s probably the reason some of the fingerprints were botched. The Census Bureau is improving their safety standards, not the other way around.

Relax. This whole story is being blown out of proportion. The Census Bureau will refingerprint employees with unclassifiable prints if they are used for another operation. Fox News doesn’t mention that, but it’s in the report. What happened won’t happen again, and all that did happen was new safety checks weren’t carried out as well as expected but were still better than what was done in the past.

Don’t be stupid. This isn’t a government conspiracy. It was a mistake made by people who were given a small amount of training on fingerprinting before officially doing so for the first time.

Finally. Can we just stop talking about ACORN? They have nothing to do with this.

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2 Comments

  1. whereigoreviews

     /  2009 October 11th

    I’m not much for political commentary but want to give you a quick back pat for not blaming/flaming Bush here. You could have. Easily. But you didn’t descend.
    Good job. pat. pat. pat.

    Reply
    • bnmng

       /  2009 October 11th

      Definitely not Bush’s fault. The GAO report isn’t a scathing report, at least from the way I read it. It actually compliments the Census Bureau for recent improvements, many of which happened during Bush’s watch.

      Thanks for the pats. I like pats.

      Reply

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