Bill Redpath to be on Comedy Central

The National Chair of the Libertarian Party of the United States is set to appear on John Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central. Thursday, at 11pm Eastern, Bill Redpath will be interviewed on the popular comedic news show. Redpath will have an opportunity to explain the Libertarian Party position on the census.

h/t to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for the tip

8 thoughts on “Bill Redpath to be on Comedy Central

  1. Rob Power

    I’m already nervous about this.

    The first question I predict from John Stewart:

    “You said on the LP website that names should not be collected as part of the census. Is there any way other than by collecting names for us to prevent fraud by those who want to increase the representation of their state by falsely inflating the number of people who live in their home?”

    I hope Bill has a good answer to that one.

    Seriously, the argument that the Constitution calls for a head count, and thus nothing can be asked other than how many reside at an address, is not persuasive, either from a Constitutional standpoint or from a common sense standpoint.

    Sticking to the argument that race/origin/sex/homeowner/renter are simply not NECESSARY questions for the census to do its Constitutional job is the only way to keep Libertarians from looking ridiculous.

    I cannot think of a way to minimize census fraud other than asking, at minimum, name and possibly birth date. Those two pieces of information alone should be enough for the computers to detect fraud.

    If you don’t have a good answer to the explanations given on as to why a certain aspect of the census is unconstitutional, then please don’t claim it’s unconstitutional.

    Something can be Constitutional and still be a bad idea (like declaring war on a country that didn’t attack us). But claiming that something is more than just a bad idea, but also unconstitutional, when no reputable Constitutional scholar agrees with you, doesn’t make Libertarians look very smart.

  2. Mik Robertson

    I did an hour with one of the radio talk show hosts from Pittsburgh on this subject not long ago. The issue is not so much whether it is constitutional for the census to ask certain questions, but whether there is authority for the census bureau to mandate responses.

    The census bureau should be able to ask all of the questions they want, but a mandated response should be limited to the constitutional mandate. If people want to voluntarily answer other questions about race or other aspects of their lives, then fine. The racial information is pretty much user-defined anyhow.

    The problem is not so much with the decennial census, which is limited to 10 questions with the exception of a few experimental forms, but with the American Community Survey (ACS), which is also conducted by the census bureau. That survey is billed as being part of the decennial census even though it is conducted throughout the period.

    The ACS asks all of the intrusive personal questions that were on the long form of the decennial census 10 years ago. From what I have heard, the census bureau is being pretty heavy-handed and claiming response to the questions on the ACS is mandatory under Title 13.

    The main issue is that even though it is claimed this information will remain confidential for 72 years (then it becomes part of the public record), that assurance is only good until the law changes. There are certainly enough legitimate issues with the census and the way it is handled for Bill Redpath to get an hour’s worth of material for the show.

  3. AroundtheblockAFT

    Mr. Power, stating the names of the occupants has no effect on fraud. Since ss# are not given, the census bureau has no way of knowing that the seven people listed as Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, etc. exist or not. If a conspiracy existed to artificially pump up the numbers in a certain district in any meaningful way, then it would be simple to do whether or not just numbers of occupants was given.

  4. paulie

    by James W. Harris

    Census Non-Cense
    Millions of Americans received the 2010 Census this month.

    The cover letter demands in bold type: “Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today.”

    That letter is dated March 15.

    The first census question is: “How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?”

    Sorry, guys. Couldn’t fill out my census this year. My crystal ball was in the repair shop.

    * * *

  5. paulie

    * ONE MAN’S ANSWER TO THE CENSUS: “Yes, we are a family of 17 Antarctican immigrants who belong to the Jedi Order, and live with our pets whom we have married in three-and-a-half-way marriages. Kent McManigalWe have no clue whose children these are living among us. We have 3 bathrooms, but no indoor plumbing. Our electricity is provided by our tank of electric eels. Our house has 197 3/4 rooms if you count the 8 other spatial dimensions which are wrapped around us. …You’ve got a little string of 7th dimension on your elbow even now. Please don’t take it with you when you leave, since that is where my archaeopteryx sleeps. But, it’s time to bow to the carpet slugs now, so I must go. May you serve the picklewarts with gusto!” — Kent McManigal, “Preparing for the census,” Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner, January 30, 2010.

  6. Michael Seebeck

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    The answers are simple:

    1. We haven’t had constitutional representation in the House, that is, one representative per 30,000 people as mandated by the Constitution, for decades anyway. Maybe they ought to get the proportions right first and then worry about any fraud potential.

    2. Since not everyone does get counted, the numbers are only an approximation anyway.

    (Note: I was not counted in 2000–they couldn’t find my new house. And yes, I know that proper proportions would mean the House would have some 10,000+ members. The 435 number is statutory, and is overridden by the proper application of the Supremacy Clause. The net effect would be inertial gridlock, by sheer volume, and that would be good for Liberty.)

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