To Trust … Or Not To Trust?

I find myself having mixed thoughts on this one.  The headline reads:

Senate Bill To Require Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Data By 2030 Census

The bill is called the Census Equality Act, and was introduced yesterday by Democrats in the Senate, notably Kamala Harris of California and Tom Carper of Delaware.  The rationale …

“The spirit of the census is that no one should go uncounted and no one should be invisible. We must expand data collections efforts to ensure the LQBTQ community is not only seen, but fully accounted for in terms of government resources provided.”

Harris and the other Democrats behind the bill say this information could help more LGBT people get access to Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers and food aid through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. According to a 2013 report by the Williams Institute, income levels of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are more likely than those of heterosexual people to fall below the federal poverty line.

Okay, so I think the bill is well-intentioned, and I cannot argue with any of the above.  They also claim that more comprehensive data about LGBT people could also help better enforce civil rights protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and prove those cases in court.  Hmmmm … maybe.

My fear is that in the current climate of ever-increasing bigotry, and ‘religious liberty’ laws intended to discriminate against any seen as ‘other’ by white Christian evangelicals, the additional data collected about the LGBT could be used in other, discriminatory ways.

“The Senate bill would require the Census Bureau to protect all sexual orientation and gender identity information it collects under the same privacy standards for other types of data. Federal law prohibits the bureau from releasing any census information that would identify individuals until 72 years after it is collected. But the agency can release anonymized data about specific demographic groups at levels as detailed as a specific neighborhood.”

Very reassuring … until you remember the face of our leadership today.  The term “Federal law prohibits …” disturbs me because as we have seen so many times in the past 18 months, federal law is easily enough changed.  And when one considers Jeff Sessions’ creation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” just two days ago that is fully intended to discriminate against the LGBT community, I see a disaster looking for a place to happen.

wilbur ross

Wilbur Ross

The U.S. Census Bureau falls under the auspices of the Department of Commerce, headed by Wilbur Ross, another wealthy ($2.5 billion net worth) Trump sycophant.  Already Ross has stirred controversy by adding the citizenship question to the 2020 census form, allegedly to “protect minority voter’s rights”, but the fear is that the intent is to identify non-citizens for the purpose of potential deportation.  Additionally, Ross failed to properly divest from his financial holdings and is the subject of an ethics investigation.  None of which is pertinent to the census question, but rather throws up red flags about his ethics in general.

I cannot help thinking about how, under a corrupt regime, one ruled by a group of people who disparage any who do not fit into their vision for the country, such as LGBT, might use such data.  Perhaps I am being overly-suspicious, but under the Trump regime, I haven’t seen much reason to believe that diversity is valued.

On April 26, 1938, the “Decree for the Reporting of Jewish-Owned Property” issued by Hitler’s government took effect.  Need I say more?

As I said, I am torn on this one, for I think the intent is good, but believe it could lead to something much more devious than the original intent.  Until 20 January 2017, I would have supported the bill, would have taken it at face value and trusted our government.  For me, that trust has been lost. Your thoughts?

75 thoughts on “To Trust … Or Not To Trust?

  1. “n April 26, 1938, the “Decree for the Reporting of Jewish-Owned Property” issued by Hitler’s government took effect. Need I say more?” Not to me. I’v been pointing stuff like this out to my family and friends for months and months now! And I don’t trust any of these people any farther than I could throw them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sends a chill down your spine, doesn’t it? When I first started making the comparison, most everyone said I was being an alarmist. Not too many are saying that anymore. No, I don’t trust any of them, and I fear that we have actually entered a new era where accountability is no longer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,

    It seems that we are not a trusting lot. After, the past 18 months, I’m certainly not trusting the likes of Wilbur Ross. I’m still worried about all the data that was collected from some states when the president set up that phony commission to study elections’ fraud.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Last time, back in 2010, I skipped several questions that I thought were really none of their damn business. In 2020, I fully intend to skip over the citizenship question.

      How are you doing? You’ve been quiet lately … you feeling okay? LuL

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      • Been busy running around. When you live in the city takes hours at worst. Where I live it takes days…
        But having said that I am scheduled for my surgery on Tuesday, if all goes well… With luck I will be doing better after that.
        But yes, I haven’t been inspired to say much lately. I’m a bit behind on my wordpress, and most everything has been said by the time i read a post. Once I get caught up i should be a bit more verbose… LuL, Jill.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OH!!! I am relieved that you will finally be getting the surgery, but at the same time, I will chew my nails all Tuesday. How long will you be in the hospital? Would it be possible for you to have Gail email me just a short note on Tuesday night to let me know that you are okay? I have crossed my fingers and will keep them crossed until I hear that you are out of surgery and doing fine. Hugs, dear friend. ❤

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          • I will send her your gmail address, and ask her to drop you a line.
            Please do not chew your nails, or hold your breath, or any use such worry device, since it is appreciated but energy-wasting. I prefer you write that post about yourself as I requested (unless you already did, but I have yet to find it and read it, in which case my apologies!), which will give me something exciting to read when I wake up properly Wednesday morning.
            By the way, my surgery is scheduled to start at 1:50 pm your time Tuesday, and should take about 2 hours if all goes well. So count on 4 hours, as my normal is twice what they expect to take. I do not have an average body, my blood and other systems are different from most people’s, so they usually have to find a difficult way to do an easy thing. Kinda like my personality, lol.
            But have no fear, Jill, I have been getting no progostications of any untoward events, so exmpect me to be back writing by Thursday or Friday next. 😻 LuL.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Okay then … no nail-biting or breath-holding, I promise! No, I haven’t yet wrote the post you requested, and am not sure if I can, though I have given it thought and tried to make a start. It just seems unnatural to me, I think, to write about myself, other than in a passing remark sort of way. I haven’t given the idea up, but am still struggling with a starting point, and then where to go from there.

              Somehow it comes as no surprise that you do not have an average body or average responses to things such as surgery! I think there is nothing average about you, my friend! You are unique. I’m happy to hear that you have no sense of gloom and doom over the surgery, and I will assume that all will go well. I’ll try to write something fun for you to read when you return home, even if not quite what you requested.

              Now, just be well and think happy thoughts. LuL.

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              • I’m just read you and Gronda about Qanon, and happy thoughts are not going through my head. But I will see what I can do.
                If you write an email to Gail at haloryclanton@gmail.com she will keep you informed of how things are going.
                Meanwhile, my alien body: As a teenager I had this fantasy of being from Mars, so while I was human I was not Earth-human, but Mars-human. It gave me the freedom to be different. Then along came “Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus” and blew my fantasy out of the water. I was little like the Men from Mars in the book, so now I don’t know where I come from anymore, maybe some moon of Jupiter or Saturn…

                Liked by 1 person

                • No, sadly neither mine nor Gronda’s blogs are likely to create any happy thoughts these days. They are not exactly what the doctor recommends. But just imagine, if reading them is hard, how it is to write them. 😥 As I was telling a friend a while back, I have never been so discouraged in my life.

                  I have put Gail’s email into my contact list and will send her an email tonight or tomorrow. Thanks!

                  Heh heh … I’ve wondered about that … just what planet you hailed from and how you settled here on planet earth! I can only imagine your disappointment when that book came out! Consider that you may be from a planet in an entirely different universe!

                  Hugs, my friend!

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                  • Different universe, nawwww….
                    Different Earth, maybe?
                    But the truth is I am from the same beautiful but boring planet as you, Sol III, otherwise known as Earth for some inexplainable reason.
                    Wouldn’t you love to be from planet “Excalibur, ” or “Xanchinicarella”? Maybe even Jill? Maybe Trump will change the name, if you can make it seem like his idea.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • These days, I might like to have a planet all to myself. Just to be me, with nobody to tell me how I ought to be, or to criticize, mock or condemn. I only require green grass, a forest, and a bunch of furry critters with whom I can communicate. Maybe a food source or two. And a river that runs wine. And a field of tobacco. 😀

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                    • You had me till the last two requirements, lol. Not that I want to restrict anyone else, but my planet would have no alcohol or tobacco. Low THC cannabis sativa seed oil would be a requirement though. Speaking of which, did you ever call the number I gave you?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I cannot help it that I would like my life to be unsullied by pollutants, or polluted people. There are two situations I cannot even pretend to stand: being the only non-smoker in a crowd of smokers, or being the only non-drinker at a party of drinkers. Neither circumstance is amenable to my staying there long. Not to put anyone else down, just exercising my rights to choose to live as I want to live..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I agree that you certainly have a right not to be subjected to the pollution of tobacco and alcohol. I also agree that being the only non-smoker in a room full of smokers would be horrible. I’ve actually been, from time to time, the only sober person amongst a crowd of drunks, and it is no fun at all! I don’t drink to excess — a single glass of wine is plenty for me. But I do smoke to excess — 3-4 packs daily, so you wouldn’t like it on my planet at all! 😉

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                    • Not on your planet, no. But I would surely like to have an open communication channel from my planet to yours.
                      In fact, isn’t that exactly whhat we already have. We have little in common physically, yet mentally we communicate almost daily. We may be on the same planet, but gor all intents andmpurposes we don’t even “know” that. We accept that we live on the same planet because we can travel aroundvthe planet and get from here to there, but is that really proof?
                      But that foesn’t matter either. Wherever we are, we can communicate, and that is all that is important.
                      haloryclanton@gmail.com is still waiting for a communique. Soon?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • OH!!! I had forgotten, but I just now sent her an email after seeing this comment. Thanks for the reminder!!!

                      Well of course there will be open communication between our planets! I think of it as c-mail … cosmic mail!

                      I am always amazed when I stop and think how close I have become to some people through this blog. A decade ago, I wouldn’t have believed it possible to form close friendships without ever meeting the person face-to-face, but today, some of my best friends are people I have never, and likely never will meet. Funny how that works.

                      Best of luck tomorrow, my friend. I will wait eagerly to hear the news that you are well and recovering. Hugs!!! LuL

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                    • Thank you very much, Jill. Gail has your address now, and has sent you a return email to make sure she has it right.
                      The internet is a paradox in itself, isn’t it. There is so much bad about it, yet so much good about it. One just has to be very conscious of what is being presented, and who is doing the presenting.
                      But everything can be manipulated, and I mean everything. Read between the lines. Trust is a very narrow line…

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. This would legally require people to “out” themselves, at least to the government.

    The Senate bill would require the Census Bureau to protect all sexual orientation and gender identity information it collects under the same privacy standards for other types of data. Federal law prohibits the bureau from releasing any census information that would identify individuals until 72 years after it is collected.

    Anybody who thinks they can trust in that must be an illegal alien from Neptune. Even information not publicly released would still be accessible to many of the fundamentalist night crawlers infesting the administration (and there are going to be some people like that in any administration), legally or not. And once it’s collected, the information exists and will still exist years and decades later. We can’t be sure who will be running things then or how the laws might be changed.

    Also, since many gay people won’t check the “gay” box because of such concerns, the government could use the data to announce that the gay population is smaller than it really is, something which would be used ad nauseam by the knuckle-draggers from then on.

    The census should be returned to its Constitutional purpose — counting how many people there are, period. No questions about race or how many toilets people have or any of the rest of this nonsense which is none of their goddamn business.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make excellent points, and one that I had not thought of. And the more I think about it, the more I think you are right, that many of the questions on the census form, especially the long form, could easily be used to discriminate or persecute specific groups. I’m sure that census information is how they determine where to draw gerrymandered district lines. It is a damn shame that we cannot even trust our government to know the colour of our skin, isn’t it?

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  4. Jill, I totally agree with you. I would not support such legislation. The reasoning doesn’t even make sense to me. If these citizens don’t qualify for SNAP, Medicaid or subsidized housing based on income they are going to qualify on sexual orientation? I can see that turning ugly real fast like “gay ghettos”! What are the thinking? Has everyone gone mad? Especially in this era of religious extremism. Just look at world news…too early for my brain. I’ll be back later.😲

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds wrong to me. Too much possibility for harm and danger to the people identified, especially in this hyper religiousity era we are in. We are either male or female or mostly identify as being one or the other. So just say what gender you feel that you are. No need for further information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, of course. Even IF we could trust our government, which we cannot, in the current climate of bigotry and hatred against any who do not comply with the rules of the evangelicals, I don’t trust society. There is a woman who lives across the street from me who takes pleasure in taunting our Arabic neighbors for wearing their hijabs. Adult people acting like elementary school kids! Sigh.

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  6. When I was but a child, my Mother indoctrinated all of us with these words : “What happens in the family, stays in the family.”…and it did! The husband, still missing in action, once told me : “Trust no one and you’ll never be disappointed.” So, adhering to their admonitions…NO to the Census Equality Act and NO Trust in the present government! My logic may be faulty; but given the times, I think that it is more than prudent. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will bite my tongue on the snarky comment that I thought about making regarding the person who told you to trust no one so as to never be disappointed 😉 But to the point, your logic is just fine … not faulty at all. Better safe than sorry, and in this case, we have 18 months of a leader and a Congress giving us absolutely no reason to trust anybody. I have every intention of leaving the ‘citizenship’ question blank in 2020!!! Yeah, I’m rather a rebel like that 😀

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  7. In my opinion it is absolutely NOT a good idea to require people to disclose their sexual orientation on a census, no matter what your “good intentions” may be. It is no one’s business, and if Dems are so worried about LGBTQ rights, they need to get out there and do something about it, like sweep the November elections.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you! In the last census, I left blank a couple of questions that I thought were none of their bloomin’ business, and that was when we had a president I fully trusted! And you are so right … democrats really need to be getting their stuff together to make that dream of a blue wave in November come to fruition!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. You could predict and virtually guarantee deaths nationwide if that information got into the wrong hands and damn me if the wrong hands aren’t the hands at the top and the bottom of a certain bottom feeding food chain. Trump is not renowned for thinking things through but Sessions will know exactly what he’s doing with his new ‘church social act’ and the troops will be trained there.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … at the very least, I fear the data would be used in an attempt to humiliate and discriminate people, and worst case scenario, it would, as you say, lead to deaths. I don’t trust the government, first of all, and don’t trust the citizens either, ever since Trump signed his religious ‘liberty’ edict and the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the baker who thought he was too good to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

      It is interesting, though, that this is a proposal by democrats, especially Kamala Harris, who is very liberal-minded. It convinces me that there is some good intention behind it, but it’s just the wrong thing at the wrong time, I think.

      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Like you say, great idea on the surface but the info can be used in awful, harmful ways by regimes like the one we currently have. Every day I wake up and hope all this crude going on has just been a nightmare. But, unfortunately, it isn’t. Like the ant once said to the anteater, “You know what, anteater. You might catch me and eat me one day, but, until such a day comes, I’m gonna fight you and fight for my survival and the survival of all I hold dear until the last breath leaves my tiny body. So, bring it on, big boy!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am the same … I keep hoping to wake up one morning to find that it was all a terrible nightmare and Obama is still president! And then, when the horrible truth comes crashing into my consciousness, bringing me back to the real world, I just want to pull the covers back over my head and try again tomorrow. I do love your anteater story, though! Let’s all be ants!!! Ninja Ants!!! 🐜

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    • You know I can’t even say its a goid idea on the surface. Why do you think there is such a war on people of color? I remember “The BROWNING of America” fears were fanned when the Papa Bush was in office. The topic ran the circuit in all the talk shows and I remembering thinking back then, this is not going to turn out well. Now I’ve heard the likes of the lovely, white Ann Coulter make comments to the effect that race needs to be kept pure and separate so that we dont have the dumbng down of America. Can you imagine the panic in this era if they can see the numbers of LBGTQ? Look how well its turned out for the “browns”

      Liked by 2 people

      • I fully agree with your logic, and as I think about it, it must be census data that enables states to use gerrymandering in drawing their district lines, which is one of the things that enabled Trump to win the electoral vote in 2016. Bad idea all the way around.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with you Jill, very worrying. The data is needed, the LGBTQ community often is badly under served by community services and assistance. I dislike the citizen question and see only bigotry behind it. The constitution requires everyone to be counted, not that they be citizens or any reason that that information is needed. With the push of this administration to reward straight white Christians, and to minimize all others it is a scary question. I wonder what would happen if you simply did not answer the question or drew a line covering it? Can they force you to answer or tell them your citizenship? Are Americans soon going to be required to carry official paperwork on them at all times, to be show on demand to any authority? It does seem to be coming down to that. I live in Florida and the police and border patrol can stop you and demand ID. Hugs

    Liked by 7 people

    • Yes, those are my thoughts also. I do believe that the intention is good, but I have absolutely no faith that the information wouldn’t get into the wrong hands and be used for discrimination … or worse. Just out of curiosity, if you aren’t driving but are, say, walking down the street, or a passenger in a car, can they still demand your I.D.? For many people simply do not have photo I.D. That would, to me, be very unnerving, although … in truth, it is the same here if your skin happens to be dark. I have a friend who gets stopped on average once every two months, for no apparent reason. Needless to say, he is African-American. Hugs Scottie!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes they can. Florida has a stop and frisk law, and the border patrol can demand ID with in 100 miles of a border. That is all of Florida. Sad that in our country the authorities can demand you show ID and prove who you are. It is authoritarian. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I always assume no information is kept secret unless it stays inside your head! I also assume that as everybody in our family has been in the police or the forces or worked at Heathrow we don’t have any secrets. I haven’t got anything interesting to hide, but it is patronising of authorities to claim they want to know about people’s sexuality or gender issues because they might be poor or need medical help!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Six years ago I could have hoped that this information may have been used for good but in the political climate we have right now I desperately do not want our government having that information. It will take a long time for me to trust the government enough to think it is ok for them to collect that data.

    Liked by 3 people

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