When do you stop working for the Government and start to earn for yourself?
Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year, when people in the country have finally earned enough income to pay for just their contribution of taxes. Remember taxation is involuntary and enforced with civil and criminal prosecution – so the average person just has to do as they’re told and hand over the money over (under threat).
After all taxes are essential! Maybe less is going towards the healthcare system, already poor council services and education – including cutbacks for nurses, police officers and teachers BUT it appears that it is necessary to still fund illegal Wars, private corporation bailouts, Royal weddings and refurbs to Downing Street (that’s right £680,000 of taxpayer money this year is being spent by the PM. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)
Didn’t you know – the austerity cuts only apply to you the taxpayer!? How ironic!
So when is Tax Freedom Day?30th May 2011 (for Brits)
United Kingdom Britons will stop working for the government and start working for themselves on 30th May 2011. That means they will work for 149 days to pay their taxes in 2011 wit every penny earned taken by the taxman to support government expenditure (see above).
Apparently this is 3 days more than in 2010 due to the fact the government has raised VAT, in an attempt to help reduce the UK’s record budget deficit.
“The government is right to give priority to cutting spending and plugging the deficit. But as Tax Freedom Day shows, Britons are still desperately overtaxed. The fact that we spend almost five months working for the State – and only seven months working for ourselves and our families – is a shocking indictment of big, wasteful government.” – Tom Clougherty, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute
Find out more about how taxes work and how you can avoid working 5 months for the Government. Every man has the right to manage his affairs in order to minimise and avoid tax, it is his duty to do so.
Note: Tax avoidance is legal, whereas tax evasion is illegal.
“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.” – Judge Learned Hand
At least Tax Freedom Day falls on a Bank Holiday, so enjoy it with a drink in your and know that the rest of the Year belongs to YOU! (Just don’t wonder what the tax duty paid on the alcohol is funding)
United States of America
In the USA Tax Freedom Day for the country was 12th April 2011.
Tax Freedom Day varies among the 50 U.S. states, as incomes and state & local taxes differ from state to state so much that Mississippi was the first to celebrate its Tax Freedom Day on 26th March, just 85 days into 2011. Connecticut was the last, having to waiting till 2nd May, 122 days into 2011.
The Tax Foundation says this shift toward a lower tax burden since 2007 has been driven by three factors: The recession has reduced tax collections even faster than it has reduced income. The Bush-era tax cuts were extended in December 2010 for two additional years. As part of the tax-cuts extension, the Making Work Pay tax credit was replaced with the 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax. But even with today’s tax reductions, the Tax Foundation says Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.
“America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.” – Laurence J. Peter
Worldwide Tax Comparison
Many other organizations in countries throughout the world now produce their own “Tax Freedom Day” analysis. Due to the different ways that nations collect and categorize public finance data, however, Tax Freedom Days are not comparable from one country to another.
As well as lower DSS/LHA rents the Government is now using blackmail to get landlords to reduce their rents even further if they want to be paid direct. LHA was the way forward for landlords to get guaranteed rents but it seems as if the Government is putting the brakes on that too by making sure you are guaranteed much LESS!
LHA rents will now be capped lower for new tenants. Landlord groups have always campaigned against the draconian rules of local councils, making it difficult for landlords to collect rent from their tenants, even if the tenant chooses to have it that way as well.
When DSS to LHA changes originally came in, I was at a Council Landlord meeting and everyone was against the changes, whilst the LHA ‘speakers’ were there only to TELL people what they will be getting from the Government. Feedback? Well you can say what you want but the Govt / Council isn’t listening.
For example, if a tenant tells (lies to) the landlord saying they are waiting for the council to pay them, whilst spending the money that they have received. Should the landlord ask to speak to someone at the council, they are told they can’t because of privacy issues. If the tenant fails to pay or leaves without paying, the council tells the landlord that it is between them and the tenant and they can’t help. An easy way for the council to simply get out of having to deal with landlord requests, hence lowering their council costs, as time is money. Surprised? Don’t expect the council to provide you any service, it works well for them.
Now, yet another failed scheme for Government and a poor fix to what is a simple problem – pay landlords directly the market rents for properties that they rent to LHA tenants, otherwise house them yourself!
At least some bright sparks in Government are getting paid well to come up with such absurd initiatives. Even Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Steve Martin and Michael Caine had higher morals! Thank you Cameron and Clegg! Who’s looking after the people if it’s not the Government’s job to treat everyone fairly?
Unfortunately it becomes more difficult for landlords to rent their properties privately at a fair price if the house is in a ‘deprived’ area. So not only have house values come down due to the recent credit crunch, they are about to get lower as those that look at yield will now pay less for properties that now rent for less.
What would happen if Landlords told the council that they would only pay business rates and council tax to them if they reduced their payments? Oh that’s right, enFORCEment to make them pay! Now let’s not go there…
BIG-CON: THANKS FOR VOTING!
‘Del Boy’ wheeling and dealing over benefit tenants – Tuesday 5th April 2011
“Councils will be able to protect private landlords who have tenants on housing benefit from the government’s new regime for two years, it has been announced.
It means that councils will be able to make direct payments of local housing allowance (LHA) to landlords in exchange for them agreeing to lower their rents, for this period. After that, LHA will automatically be paid direct to the tenants.
The British Property Federation questioned the two-year deal.
It described it as a move that would see council staff having to wheel and deal with local landlords to reduce their rent in return for the comfort of getting paid direct.
Ian Fletcher, director policy at the British Property Federation, said: “This is ‘Del Boy’ benefit policy – seeking to trade a landlord’s right to be paid with the Government’s desire to reduce its expenditure.
“If this was really about protecting tenants, why limit it at two years, and not give an ongoing commitment to direct payment up until housing benefit is absorbed into Universal Credit?
“Landlords should expect to get paid for the housing they provide. That shouldn’t be contingent on lowering rents, or having to wait eight weeks under the current system.
“The Government would not dare treat other small businesses in such a way, but seems to think it is acceptable to allow people to rack up huge debts and treat landlords so badly.” “
Not only do the taxes you pay fund illegal wars, murder and death – but so now do the contracts that the Government use for clerical work. Below is an article provided by a contributor at www.PeacNewsLog.info on how you can fill in the details and stop Lockheed Martin profiting from your particular form.
Remember to enclose the supplementary form that they may have forgotten to enclose with your Census data. Download it here from Indymedia
Also note that if you are a landlord and have an empty let then don’t forget you have a legal requirement to fill in the census form for that property on Sunday 27th March.
The property owner needs to fill in the form – ideally paper version or online – for any unoccupied rented property. The sections that need to be completed are:
H1 (tick the last box in the list)
H4 (tick the last box in the list)
H7 to H11
For further details go to www.census.gov.uk
Remember it is most likely important to complete the census with essential data only to provide local councils information on budgetting for local services – and not returning it at all of course also means Lockheed Martin will still get paid anyway for doing nothing and you may get a fine!
So make sure you send it back, taking note of the information below and with the supplementary form available here: Indymedia
May the Force and Peace be with you fellow Jedi.
Stand side by side and peacefully say No to War! (aka. Government funded terrorism and murder, paid by taxes collected from the public/you). I am making a stand and welcome free and wise people to join the activism of being the change that they wish to see in the world! Have YOU had enough yet?
How to Fill In Your Census Form without Lockheed Martin Profiting
By admin2, March 20th, 2011 Lots of people are angry that the UK Census has, once again, been awarded to blood-soaked arms dealer Lockheed Martin. The following anonymous article sent to PN explains how you can fill in your Census form without benefiting Lockheed Martin or creating funding problems for local authorities.
(Updated as at 18-03-2011)
US Arms Manufacturer Lockheed Martin has the contract for the 2011 UK Census in March this year.
The arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin US makes Trident nuclear missiles, cluster bombs and fighter jets and is involved in data processing for the CIA and FBI. It has provided private contract interrogators for the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Lockheed Martin has the UK Government contract to collect the process the data for the 2011 census in March. (Observer, 20 February 2011)
If you do not complete the census form and answer all the questions (except “religion”), (or return this information on line) you could get fined £1000 and a get criminal record. The Green Party has, after some real soul searching, decided not to promote a boycott of the 2011 census after all because that could lead to further funding problems for local authorities. The census data are used to determine the financial needs of councils on the basis of the population data for their area.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Lockheed Martin is in it for the money. A principled stance by you to boycott the census will not hurt them, could provide the British Government with £1000 of your money and will make life harder for local authorities. The rational approach would be to take part in the census but make processing your return as expensive to process as possible for Lockheed Martin. Make sure that processing your return costs Lockheed Martin more that they allowed for in their tender. Don’t let them make a profit from your census return but do help to provide the data your council needs for its Government grants.
If you don’t send in your form, Lockheed Martin will still get its money and just make a higher profit for less work.
This year, for the first time, you can make your census return on line. Do not do this, for an on-line return is the cheapest and easiest option for Lockheed Martin to process.
The value of Lockheed Martin’s 2011 census contract seems to be about £150 million. See the ONS (Office for National Statistics) press release on web page:
The census form consists of 32 pages. The contract includes the processing of about 39 million census forms. This is approximately £4 per census return. This figure includes all overheads and Lockheed Martin’s profit margin, so that the company will have priced the direct processing cost per form at a lower figure. To make money out of such a contract, the handling and processing of the forms will have to be a high speed and highly automated operation. Every minute longer spent on a form than Lockheed Martin has budgeted for, will reduce their profit on the contract. It is realistic to assume that this extra cost to Lockheed Martin would be in the region of £1 per minute of extra time spent on your form if all the overheads are taken into account.
Let’s assume that they plan, using their high speed computerised scanning and data capture technology, to process a form in, say, 5 minutes from receipt at their processing centre up to finished data capture. If your form is going to take, say, at least 15 minutes because it is a little awkward to deal with (possibly longer if supervisory level staff has to resolve queries and problems), then you will have reduced Lockheed Martin’s profit by approximately £10, if not more. You can make it extremely time consuming by very simple means.
THE CENSUS PROCEDURE
Some time in March you will receive a census form in the post – probably addressed to “the householder” or “the occupier”, which someone in your household is obliged to complete. (Remember: Don’t do it on line). This must be done after the census day of 27 March. The “census day” is meant to be a snapshot of the entire population on that particular day. The form must be returned by post as “soon as possible” after 27 March. The Government website says “If you have not returned your questionnaire by 6 April, a census collector may call after that time (possibly around the end of April) to offer you any help”. There is no particular deadline line for returning the form.
Do not provide convenient contact details when filling in your census form or on any other piece of paper relating to the census. After all, nobody can force you to possess a telephone or email. Paper correspondence is much more expensive. Alternatively, accidentally change a digit of your telephone number and ditto for an email address. Everybody makes minor clerical errors, that’s just human nature.
It is obviously not helpful to make use of the “census helpline” phone number on the front page of the form (call centres are horrible to deal with) or the “Text relay”.
Any queries, requests for “Individual questionnaires” or additional household questionnaires, etc are best addressed in writing (but not including your phone number!) to”
FREEPOST 2011 Census, Processing Centre, UK (i.e. the Lockheed Martin processing centre)
And if they are too slow in replying, get the matter chased up by writing to:
Glen Watson Census Director 2011 Census Office for National Statistics ONS) Government Buildings Cardiff Road Newport South Wales
Inexplicably, the census form omitted to provide this address.
For other useful details, see the Government’s helpful Census 2011 Information website: www.2011.census.uk
The legislation which sets out the precise information requirements for England and Wales is found in “The Census (England and Wales) Order 2009” on:
The primary legislation is the Census Act 1920 (can easily be found on line), which also contains the bit about penalties for not complying.
YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS
There is no which lists everybody alive and where he or she lives in the UK. The databases which exist (electoral roll, television licensing, Inland Revenue, National Insurance, DHSS, NHS, DVLA, etc.) are not comprehensive and are all in incompatible formats. There is a reasonably comprehensive database of all postal addresses, with post codes, but this data base contains no people information at all. To capture the whole country, the census will no doubt have to rely mainly on the postal addresses data base. Checking whether information people provide on their forms is accurate or true could be done on the basis of some small random samples. It would, however be extremely expensive and an administrative and logistical nightmare to carry out such checks on a big scale and such an enterprise would probably violate data protection legislation if various other data bases are used. It is a moving target for whilst you are collecting the information, it changes all the time through births and deaths, people moving house, and so on. Cross checking against these diverse other data bases is by no means easy for if there is a discrepancy, it may not be obvious which of the databases you are comparing contains the error.
This is why the Government is honest when it calls the census “a snapshot” taken on one particular day, 27th March. It is the best which can be done using the census method without a comprehensive and continuous updating structure. A census is, for example, in general not an effective procedure for a permanent people registration system such as identity cards. Its usefulness will only last for a few years as statistical survey of the country. A census of this type is not a “big brother” project.
It is reasonable to assume that your personal data on census forms will be safe. The Government would run into the most enormous problems if they were not. If you are not convinced, you could use the traditional method to track down misuse of your personal data by making a very small change to your name. E.g. (accidentally) change one letter, or add or delete one. If you make this particular change on no other document, you will know the source of the data protection failure and can take the necessary action.
Some people think that the data are not safe because Lockheed Martin is a US company and the “Patriot Act” applies. Whatever the UK Government assurances on this point, the practical fact is that this data base will be of limited interest to the US Government because a) it is guaranteed to be inaccurate for all sorts of reasons (hardly any checking will take place – that would be far too expensive and time consuming) b) the detailed people information will get out of date quickly and will not be updated and c) those people who are of real interest to state agencies will easily evade being recoded by the census anyway – this is a really easy thing to do, e.g. by making convincing looking fake entries which are 99.999% sure to remain unchecked.
MAILING THE CENSUS FORMS
The census form will arrive though the post and is to be returned through the post. A post-free return envelope will be enclosed. This envelope will have a window which is intended to match a large bar code printed on the form. The Royal Mail will scan these bar codes, without opening the envelopes and will then forward them to Lockheed Martin’s “Data Capture Centre” for processing. If, for whatever reason, a form’s bar code cannot be read by the Royal Mail, it will have no option but to forward that form also to the Data Capture Centre, for that will be the only place where the envelopes can be opened under proper data protection safeguards.
Each page of a census form also has have its own unique identifying bar code (on one side of each page) and a page-number barcode on every page.To avoid confusion, the term “outer bar code” will be used for the bar code to be scanned by the Royal Mail, and “inner bar codes” for the other ones.
This aspect of the operation is described in the downloadable newsletter “Census Talk no. 4” (with a good picture) on web page:
Some interesting trial results of this system are found on “Census Talk – Special Issue” on the same web page.
CHECKING THE RETURN OF FORMS
The scanned returns by the Royal Mail will be forwarded to the QT (Questionnaire Response Tracking System) and matched to the mailing addresses list. This way, the census collectors’ management will know which forms have not (yet) been returned. (This information will be wrong for those forms of which the Royal Mail could not scan, of course, unless the Data Capture Centre acts promptly on those forms).
Non-returns (or assumed non-returns) will be followed up selectively by the census collectors, prioritising their efforts on geographical areas where the rates of return are low. This is done for socio-statistical reasons. Without such prioritization, they could obviously also waste a lot of time on scattered unoccupied houses and flats, which occur randomly in all areas.
This procedure is described in greater detail in “Census talk – Special Issue”, downloadable from the same:
It could happen that the outer bar code cannot be scanned because:
- The form was wrongly inserted in the envelope;
- A different envelope has been used;
- The outer bar code has been covered before the form was put in the envelope;
- Some or all of the outer bar code’s white spaces were filled in with black pen or otherwise obliterate.;
HOW LOCKHEED MARTIN PROCESSES THE CENSUS FORMS
Lockheed Martin will rely as much as possible on computer software, called “Data Capture and Coding System” (DCCS) which will scan your form and automatically enter the data. At this stage the “inner barcodes” are vital. You can see a picture of one of the machines doing this in action on Google Images, (search for “2011 census form”). You can also see pictures of scanning at work on Lockheed Martin’s own web-page
The Lockheed Martin data capture process will have the following stages, each of which has its own weak points.
(0. Scanning of “outer bar codes” or otherwise registering receipt of the form, when this has not been done by the Royal Mail)
1. Opening the envelope and preparing the form for scanning;
2. Scanning the form into the computer database; (The computer “reads” the form)
3. The computer software assigns meaning to the scanned information, i.e. it decides which of the information which it reads is acceptable as census data and which is to be rejected in the form of an error message.
Any information which, somehow has not been read or generates error messages on the computer is keyed in manually.
4. Dealing manually with queries arising form incomplete or ambiguous scanning information.
5. Downloading the information into databases for statistical and other reports. Recording the form on microfiche and/or filing the paper form for storage (for at least 100 years);
Stage 1: Physical preparation
The form is out of its envelope. The spine is sliced off (it is in booklet form. It is checked for anything which might obstruct scanning, in 2 respects: a) visual obstructions to the scanner and b) factors which might make the paper feed mechanisms go temperamental (like in normal photocopiers).
a) could be things like post-it notes, loose bits of paper and other detritus, stains, obviously unreadable barcodes, etc.
b) could be of the form of additional staples, tears, folds, creases, spots of stickiness such as a marmalade spillage or a fragment of bluetack, improvised repairs of torn sheets with sellotape, additional pieces of paper glued to the side, etc.
The forms have become a pile of loose sheets, ready for scanning, except those for which it is already obvious that scanning will be unsuccessful.
At this stage, scanning means only: passing though the scanner and some computer “reading” can take place. Whether or not meaningful information can actually be successfully transferred from the form to the computer depends also on several other factors.
Scanning will take place at a rate of 15,000 double sheets per hour. Manually keying of data is vastly slower and much more expensive.
Stage 2. Computer scanning of the information on the form.
The bold little inner bar codes on each page are page numbers to scan for the compute. The fainter “wavy” barcode on one side of each page is the form’s unique identifier. Through the combination of these two inner barcodes, the pages of the form can be read in complete random order, even if different forms are all mixed up. Without these inner barcodes scanning will, probably, be entirely impossible (unless there is a facility on the scanning machine to manually type in any un-obliterated number codes printed beneath the barcodes – as in a supermarket – but that would very be slow and cumbersome (An attempt could, conceivably also be made in such cases to make use of the “Personal Internet Access Code” printed on the front page. (better obliterate that too?)
Without form identification and page number identification, scanning makes no sense, for there would be nowhere for the information to go to.
(Look for such stuff on every page). Bar codes can be rendered ineffective by neatly filling in some or all of the white gaps between the bars of with a black pen or entirely covering with stickers – do not use post-it notes for they are easily removed. Do not allow any complete horizontal strip (however narrow) of the complete barcode to remain. (Many people “blacked in” or obliterated bar codes to great effect on Poll Tax forms in 1989-1991 and greatly increased their processing costs). Make sure you don’t miss any other codes and serial numbers. They, and other codes of symbols, numbers, etc, are best entirely obliterated with black pen or stickers. Don’t miss any!
You sometimes hear that barcodes can be made unreadable by rubbing a candle over them. I think that this is an urban myth (they can be read through transparent plastic!) I have been unable to find any technical reference to the candle wax method.
Lockheed Martin has software to scan handwritten entries and ticked boxes on you form (at very high speed. first extensively used in the US census of 2000 and then in the UK census of 2001). Anything which obstructs the automatic scanning of the information and involves the need for a human intervention obviously considerably increases Lockheed Martin’s processing costs. Luckily, Lockheed Martin and the Office for National Statistics (NOS) have provided some helpful descriptions of its computer scanning system of census forms in non-technical language on the internet links given above. I urge you to read these
Look again closely at Lockheed Martin’s own picture on web page:
It would appear that what is actually shown on this picture is the “stage 2” process of form identification scanning, using a BAR CODE on the form
If form identification using scanning of bar codes or other codes fails at the processing centre, the form will have to be checked in manually on a computer screen against its ADDRESS entry of the mailing data base. This will makes the whole identification process of that form an order of magnitude more time consuming. The postcodes in the mailing addresses would be very important in such cases a) to speed up de address search and b) to decide which one is the correct address option if the street name occurs several times in a town or city – especially large places like London. (People who believe that a particular letter or digit of their post code printed on their form is not the right one, should obliterate it firmly and write the one they think it should be instead – don’t miss any such post codes; there could be more than one.)
Stage 2: computer scanning of information entered on the form.
Lockheed Martin’s software can read ticked boxes and both lower case and upper case letters where each letter is written in its own little box. It looks for writing in places on the forms where you are expected to write
The bits to be filled in by you will be white on the form and the bits which the computer is not meant to read are coloured. (Anything which you write or tick in the coloured part of the page cannot be read by the computer and will have to be keyed in by hand).
A few examples of the form’s pages can be found on Google “images”. Search e.g. “uk census 2011 form”
If (God forbid!) you wrote something down all wrong, you could either crossed it out firmly, and write the information somewhere else with a helpful arrow to the place where it should have been written, or you could glue, sellotape or staple another piece of paper in the approximate place on top of the erroneous entry and write the correct information on it. In either case, the computers scanner will not be able to read the information and will refer it back to a human being to deal with.
The same applies to box ticking. There will many of boxes to tick. It is so easy to tick the wrong boxes in all the excitement. It is best to firmly cross it all out and write in the margin, or wherever there is some space, something like: “Sorry, it should have been this one”, with an arrow pointing in the approximate direction.
The text, to be printed by you in little boxes, one for each character, will be read by so-called “Optical Character Recognition” software (you can look this up on Wikipedia and follow links). The software cannot read joined up writing. (Writing which ignores the boxes, and/or which is joined up, cannot be read by the software).
The software reads each written character – each one in its own little box – and will then decide, using a statistical analysis, which letter or numerical digit is the best fit to the handwritten shape. It will have a kind of “pictures dictionary” of all the various ways people hand-write characters and numbers and will compare what it sees on the form with the dictionary at various levels of confidence. Lockheed Martin is very proud of the sophistication of its “optical character recognition” software and the extremely wide diversity of people’s writing it can read, but that could also be its weakness. (If you draw little pictures, random shapes or fantasy symbols or characters from other scripts in various unused boxes, the software may well try to read them and try to guess which letters or numbers have the closest resemblance to your little scribbles. It might produce unpredictable and rather odd prose as a result).
The software will probably have an in-built spell check and correction facility to provide alternatives to misspelled words (like normal word processing software). (It is likely to have problems if you leave out the spaces between words, especially when combined with spelling mistakes).
The lack of vertical symmetry in both the census pages’ barcodes and in pictures seen of the reading machines suggest strongly that the software cannot read “upside down” and pages will have to be fed in all the same direction.
Writing text upside down (i.e. rotate the form upside down when you write entries) is likely to be extremely effective, with the added advantage that it would also substantially slow down subsequent manual keying in, for the operator would be confused and would have to work from “bottom to top” for text, but from top to bottom for ticked boxes.
The web-link below is rather technical but gives a good insight in the economics of scanning in paper census questionnaires, and the trade-off between speed and accuracy:
Everything which the scanning software cannot read will produce a “no data” or “error” message and will time consuming require manual attention.
The software will also detect a) “contradictions” and b) “uncodable text”. Uncodable text is text which does not match any pre-set words in a “coding dictionary”. The purpose of this software feature is to prevent logical nonsense to be downloaded into the census database. It will in the first case refuse to accept them and in the second case require a re-definition to be keyed in manually.
A “contradiction” occurs for example if 2 contradictory boxes are ticked, or 2 boxes are ticked when the form instructs you to tick only one box.
a) “Contradiction” examples are: Tick both boxes “Male” and Female” (adding, if you wish, words like “undecided” or “it all depends”, etc. wherever you find space to write, to show that you are taking the question seriously and don’t just tick any old boxes), interchanging day and month in the date of birth boxes (the 12th day of the 28th month) Similarly, tick contradictory boxes for religion, occupation, nationality, ethnic identity, etc. All such cases will generate an error message and will need to be examined by a human processor, who will have to decide what (if anything at all) can be keyed in manually to represent your answer to the question.
b) The case of “uncodable text”. There are two types of text in the software: “free text” and “coding text”. “Free text” would for example be the entries “first names” and “surname”. It is not possible to list in advance all the possible first names and surnames people could have in the UK. Just about every arbitrary piece of writing (i.e. every conceivable string of symbols, however random, but as long as the computer can read them) will therefore be accepted as a valid data in such a case.
“Coding text” is text for which the computer is programmed to assign every word it recognises as being in a pre-defined “dictionary”, to one particular choice of a limited number of categories. The census form will, as much as possible, encourage you to use words which occur in such pre-defined dictionaries. If the word(s) you use is/are not in the pre-set “dictionary”, a human operator will have to look at it and then have to decide, as a human decision, to which category your word(s) should be assigned. This “coding text” system will be used if you could not possibly have a ticking box for every option (such as occupation, nationality, etc), but the word(s) you write down as an answer to the question are expected to be meaningful to the type of question asked.
For example, in question 22 if you are German, and enter “German” as the answer to the question “nationality”, it will be scanned and coded to “Germany”. If you write instead “Bundesrepublik Deutschland” or ditto “Republica e Shqipërisë” if you are Albanian, or “The Realm of her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” whilst ticking the “other nationality” box in question 15, such words and expressions will not be recognised as “coding text” and a human analyst will have to decide what they mean.
All this is best explained by quoting Lockheed Martin’s own description of the “Occupations” section of the census in its method description. Each census answer must in that case be coded to one of some 350 job codes in the “UK Standard Occupational Coding Index”:
“The system uses sophisticated software trained with thousands of examples of correctly coded responses to automatically recognise approximately 70% of the responses. Unrecognised responses are sent to highly trained operators to code. Coding is a difficult and expensive process (Emphasis added) but our automatic coding software combined with highly productive user tools makes it possible to code all of our data accurately with a small number of operators”.
For example, the words “doctor”, “general practitioner”, “surgeon”, “Dentist” etc, will all be assigned by the computer to a code which could perhaps be “medical/professional”. The software may well be sophisticated enough to recognise “tree surgeon” as belonging in a different occupational category, but what about the antiquated job title of “barber-surgeon”: would that be a hair dresser or medical practitioner?
In cases where the census form obviously wants to put you in some category or other by writing down one or more words instead of, or in addition to, box ticking, time consuming human decisions must be taken and manually keyed in whenever “coding text” is written in unusual or unexpected terminology. They are many way to do this. You could be an “oral surgeon” or write down “I repair people’s teeth”. Neither answer will be recognised by the software as “dentist”; or you could simply add random words: “(salad cream) office (snorkelling) manager”. Only a human processor can analyse responses of this kind and attempt to code them to an occupational category. This technique can be applied to all kinds of “coding” questions on the census form. Remember: “Coding is a difficult and expensive process”, says Lockheed Martin.
Religion: a mixed “box ticking” and”coding text” example:
This is optional (all other questions must be answered by law). Because of the computer scanning of text, it is not really helpful to decide that you are a Jedi Knight or that you worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster and nobody else is really bothered about it. Instead, tick for example a couple of contradictory religion boxes (e.g. “Jewish” and “Sikh”) and add something like “undecided” as coding text. The census designers will no doubt have forgotten to create a category for this eventuality but they will have to put down something. (Except, possibly, if you use additionally the “no religion” option in your selection of several boxes and the census has cleverly provided for the coding category “agnostic”). None of this matters in any way in real life, but it all takes time to process manually, costs Lockheed Martin money and provides paid employment. The same logic applies to other “category” questions. TIME = MONEY and EVERY LITTLE HELPS.
Questions which you find intrusive or which violate your privacy
It is not likely that people at the processing centre (who are only doing a job because they need the money) will be very interested in your principles of feelings about this (and if they are, they cannot do much about it). Refusing to answer such questions could, in principle, cost you £1000 and will make no difference whatsoever to Lockheed Martin. It will be more effective to tick a few random boxes and write some random stuff in the text sections, then cross it all out again, and write something like “I don’t understand this. Please explain” This will take up time to deal with in the processing centre. You cannot be fined for not understanding a question or for being confused by it and you have made the effort. It is hard to imaging that the Lockheed Martin processing centre would act on this, for it would be very expensive and an administrative nightmare to try to get back to people about such responses – especially if they did not provide convenient contact details (see above).
Stage 4: manually dealing with any answers which could not be read, or given meaning, by the computer.
It is likely that a a significant proportion of forms will in any case need some manual attention, because Optical Character Recognition is not 100% reliable, and there will be coding queries . At this manual stage 5, the “inner barcodes” are again vital to enable to manual data clerk to register the form quickly and link it to entries already made. Without those bar codes, a manual address search would first have to be made.
Stage 5: downloading the data, microfiching the forms and/or filing of the paper forms. This stage could, in principle, be influenced by Stage 5 below.
Possible Stage 6 Following up after you have sent the form.
It is easy to make a mistake or even to forget to answer a question – we are all human after all. No problem: just write to the processing centre (Addressed to “Census Processing Centre” in whatever place name you remember from the form) to tell them to put it right on your form. A considerable amount of clerical work could be involved.
It all depends at which of the above five stages your form is when your follow up letter arrives at the processing centre. If it is, for example, sent very soon after the form is sent off – if not at virtually the same time – the form could well be not even at stage 1 (the form is in stacks of mail not even opened) and it would be hard to find your form to add your letter to it. Someone would have to keep track of your letter and monitor when your form turns up to be processed. At each subsequent stage of the form your letter would have a different effect on the clerical work involved.
Since the information of the forms must be transferred to the computer with at least 98% accuracy, and Lockheed Martin must be able to demonstrate that they are achieving this accuracy, it is probably necessary for the processing centre to find you form to staple your letter to it, even if the information is already on the computer. If you supply a missing answer, keep a copy of your letter so that you can prove that you made a real effort to comply with your legal obligation to answer all questions.
NO NEED FOR OVERKILL
Life is short and there are more rewarding things to do with your time. You only need to choose a few of all those suggestions above to make your intervention an effective one.
No doubt, only a small minority of census forms will be “prepared” using the methods suggested above, but those forms will be randomly distributed amongst all the others (if the outer envelope carries no signs). Such randomness increases their effectiveness, for they unexpectedly interrupt the flow of the operation in its various stages.
Companies (that also includes Governments, Police and the Courts) only want to do business with you if they can get money out of you – otherwise they are not interested in what you have to say or think. The bigger they get, the more control they have and the lower your chances of talking to a real human being.
Human beings are trying to communicate with one another – but are trying to be stopped by those in control. With Twitter and Google blocked in countries where there are protest against the Government, does that seem right? Whereas the internet used to be like the Wild West and a new free frontier to be explored, they now want to control the information flow. Wikileaks, whether right or wrong in your opinion, tells the truth about what is going on. In return, instead of being honest and open, they are told there sharing of the documents is illegal? Yes, even sharing the truth is wrong if it affects big business (like the US Govt). They want to govern the internet, control the information flow and tax the money made on it, in as many new ways as possible. So much for “freedom of speech”. Let’s milk that too!
Who want’s the control? Government, legal systems, courts, banks and other monstrous corporations all intent on making profit at whatever cost. As these man made entities grow bigger and more powerful, they no longer represent or provide services to the human beings that created them. They now only exist to increase in size and number, even doing business with each other as long as they can make a profit.
If the computer says No then tough, you don’t exist! If the computer pulls up your details for any reason, then expect a bill in the post or investigation. They are always looking to find new ways to charge you and take your money, which you worked damn hard for with your own body and sweat. With the stroke of a pen, they will try to steal it.
You are no longer treated as a human being but a number or a cow to be milked.
But imagine what would happen if you didn’t feed the cow, milked it till it was dry and then continued to pull on it’s udders? Well for the profits to continue for the farmers (or your owner that treats you as a slave) they have to continue milking the cow till it dies.
Now would it not make sense to stop killing the cow and give it a rest and something to eat or drink? Of course it would – but these companies don’t make sense, just money. The organic robots that work for them think it is their job to serve these companies and treat humans as numbers. The companies are not able to have a conscious, as they are fictious pieces of paper that require people to animate them. It is a shame that those that work for these systems forget who really pays their wages. These ‘employees’ function in a similar way to humans, as in they need to eat, sleep and shit – but they differ in the fact they are only able to ‘calculate’ as opposed to think or feel, like real beings.
When was the last time you were able to talk to your bank and be dealt with fairly as opposed to being just a customer to charge extortionate fees who is an annoyance so dealt with by a distant call centre and charged extortionate fees? When was the last time a police officer cared about what you had to say and followed up on a report you made, instead of treating you like a criminal instead? When was the last time you knew someone went to court and got justice instead of an automatic fine or steam-rolled by corporate lawyers? When was the last time that an MP, government official or Prime Minister kept their promise? When was the last time a company dealt with you, with respect and integrity, instead of passing you around an automated phone system, telling you to press various buttons before saying they are too busy?
Government bail-outs in your best interest to stop the economy collapsing? Well that will explain the Bank CEO bonuses then won’t it! Who’s there to check on them? No-one but themselves, so it’s a pretty easy job to get around anything you would probably be fined or go to prison for. Students protest but that doesn’t stop the government going back on their promises and increase student fees regardless. More job cuts and increased unemployment, just what everyone needs, right?
Police cut-backs – now that can’t be a bad thing. If you’ve not heard the ads “It’s probably nothing but…” Yes, you are now being asked to Police your neighbours and family if they act suspiciously or do something strange. Not because they are terrorists – but they can be investigated and some revenue generated.
Inflation through the roof? There’s lots of reasons for that but don’t talk about all the money being printed and new ways to extract it from you. Are you in business? Great, you’ll be loving all the taxes and legislation you have to comply with then. Pensioners going to get hit hard in retirement? Who cares about them… except the pensioners themselves – but have they got anything left to take…
What happens when they can’t get enough money directly from us? They’ve milked the individuals, they’ve milked the economy, they’ve milked the resources of the Earth, so what next? Well the Banks and your Government collude to milk it’s citizens for a few trillion more, from them and future generations. Yes, that’s right – they want future income NOW! Who is there to stop them? Oh, they run the show and don’t care what you think because they don’t think or feel.
Looking at the bigger picture human picture… North Africa and the middle east has erupted in violence because people can’t afford to feed themselves and their families. Other countries have had enough of their dictators.
This is also a sign of how things are likely to be around the rest of the world. It’s only a matter of time, as people can’t keep up with their bills and afford to feed themselves. They are calling for change and it won’t come by itself, it requires people taking decisive and organised action to assert their rights.
Did you know the UK froze Colonel Gaddafi’s assets in the UK on Sunday Feb 27th 2011, having been doing business with happily till then, having stalled his request for his money back till the UN Resolution was passed?
“Officials were working hard to string out the Libyans until the order was in place,” one source said. “It was worthy of Yes, Minister as officials did their best to hinder any efforts to move the banknotes.”
So he was not a criminal (legally) till the guardians of international law, the UN said so. And now his assets have been frozen but the UK Government and UN Council have done nothing to actually help the Libyan people. This money is not the milk but the cream for the Govt., as they say actions speak louder than words. The money belongs to, not the UK or Gadaffi, but the Libyan people it was taken from!
Ever been messed around by your bank when you want to access your own money, just so they can check in case you’re a criminal? Well that’s a different matter – just be aware they will do what they want, whether it be against the law or not.
With man-made and natural disasters sweeping the planet, the Earth is calling out to stop the madness created by the governments and capitalist who only use their calculators but forget to make allowances for humanity.
We are all connected and the problem and therefore the solution is us. Yes, that means you! What can you do? If there is something you care about – take a stand and say enough is enough. People around the world are starting their personal lawful rebellion.
Find other people that are passionate about the same things that you are and get together. Talk to each other about how you can create change by standing for what you believe in together. Like-minded groups of individuals protesting together about local taxes and problems – and demanding change from their elected representatives.
Refuse to spend money with companies who’s business practices they disagree with. Even the UK Government think it is OK to pay a Arms dealer and defence (attack) contractor like Lockheed Martin to do the UK census. Yes that’s right, the taxpayer is paying for services from a company that will use the profits to KILL people. Right or wrong? If you’re having difficulty answering that one then you probably already work for the government and are hoping they do not cut your job soon.
Then when it comes to bigger issues, such as student fees or job cuts, all these groups can come together if they believe in the same thing. Even if the Government makes promises and ignores you, it is not a reason to give up. Change is possible and happening. It requires organised effort and action.
Share information. If you read something that you believe someone else should know about, like this article, share the link on facebook, twitter via email and tell others in as many ways as possible.
Be it a Jedi on a Census form or refusing to pay an unjust bill or fine from the Government. They can’t lock everyone up! Get to know your ‘rights’ because those that abuse them aren’t really going to tell you what they are, else they wouldn’t be able to screw you as easily.
You still have a chance whilst you are alive to make a difference, use that last bit of energy to kick back and say enough is enough. Get educated and read anything that opposes the mainstream media/noise/dogma to get a balanced view, from which you can then decide which is right for you.
Stop the milking NOW!
“Inner storms will continue growing, creating outer storms. Metaphysical teachings will continue to go mainstream. Government will get bigger before getting smaller. Stabilization and the rebound of financial markets will occur through private innovation; they’re not going to heal themselves. This is the beginning of great change…”
2012 – A look at the possibilities beneath the prophecies – Mike Dooley, www.TUT.com
Have you got the message yet?
The planet is being milked of it’s resources for profit as well…
The oil is being taken out of the veins, the air is being polluted so life can’t breathe, the trees being cut down, all in the name of profit!
Remember those nut cases predicting the end of the world in 2012? With the Mayan Calendar ending in 2012, which is actually the end of an age and the start of a new one. How about those saying there is going to be a pole shift? With earthquakes and increasingly erratic weather and natural disasters don’t you think it is possible. Alien contact? Let’s not go there – but since your Government isn’t going to save the world, who is? Are you now thinking maybe those nut cases weren’t so crazy after all!?
Natural disaster are sweeping the world. Do you think there have been more or less than average? Even the planet is shouting for us to STOP! Cut back on consumerism. Don’t agree with the politics of a business you deal with, then stop giving them money. It’s in your hands.
The change is coming and actually here already! You may not be able to see the changed world yet – but just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.
Not a very festive blog but read on if you want to know what the heck is happening in Europe and who’s next… Who let the PIGS Out?
The Global economy is a mess right now, Governments want it one way, Banks another and the People… well you just watch the News right now – they have the final say! There’s a lot of strange energy around right now, I’m sure you’ve noticed it even if you don’t know what I mean – it appears negative but it’s change for the best.
American and World Government and their Leaders have no need to manufacture Bad News anymore… it’s really here! We won’t discuss The illegal Wars, WikiLeaks Julian Assange or anything else – lets keep it European today!
Watch this great little video showing the background to The Crises of Capital then read on…
Never mind ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’, you should be asking ‘Who Bailed the PIGS Out?’ They used to talk about investing in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India & China) now it’s all about the Bankrupt PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) aka PIIGGS (to include Ireland and Great Britain). Luckily the EU are making plans to bail them all out… Who has the printing press for all these Dollars and Euros being flooded onto the market? Unfortunately the money is only making it as far as the Fat Cats in Governments and Banks!
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Banks, Governments and Corporations do NOT have a conscience or spirit – they require human beings to animate them. When you ask their employees to tell the truth, be honest and do the RIGHT thing – they will not speak up and represent themselves but go to a Lawyer (pronounced liar) to re-represent them (all paid for by the corporation with your money). As when given the option to be honest, they choose not to! After all who would bite the hand that feeds them? Even if it was slapping the rest of their family and telling them to as well, before it put leftovers in their mouth – having had the main meal itself!?
You can’t bury or hide the truth, as it always comes out.
The Real Pigs are in Government and Banking! [My comments are in italic square brackets in the quotes below]
EU agrees on permanent eurozone rescue fund
“EU leaders have agreed to set up a permanent mechanism to bail out any member state whose debt problems threaten the 16-nation eurozone.
This year Greece and the Irish Republic have received emergency EU bail-outs.
The 27 leaders, meeting in Brussels on Thursday, agreed that in 2013 the permanent mechanism would succeed the eurozone’s 750bn-euro (£637bn; $1tn) temporary bail-out fund[how temporary and where does it come from? ONLY $1 TRILLION!], the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
The summit comes amid continuing concern about stability in the eurozone, as national debts and deficits have soared above the EU’s targets.
Portugal and Spain have been under financial market scrutiny since the Irish Republic was forced to take an aid package of 85bn euros (£72bn; $113bn) last month. [Do you need to be forced to something if it was in your best interests? Short answer – NO!]
The European Central Bank (ECB) has been buying billions of euros of sovereign debt to ease the pressure on the countries seen as most vulnerable in the eurozone. It is to double the reserves it holds – to 10.8bn euros, from 5.8bn euros at present. [Yes, the ECB will own you too if your country accepts any money – oh, actually don’t worry, you should be more concerned about your country milking you before the ECB!]
They used to write about ‘Blood on the Streets’ in the Great Depression – well it’s back!
(UK) Bank’s variable mortgage rate rise alert
“Two-thirds of the country’s 12m outstanding mortgages – held by eight million borrowers – are now on floating deals.
This means they risk seeing their monthly repayments jump if there is any change in the Bank’s base rate – which is currently held at 0.5%.
Combined with next month’s VAT increase from 17.5% to 20%, deep cuts to public spending, rising unemployment, and the soaring cost of everyday goods, household finances are facing an unprecedented squeeze. [You thought it was bad already, prepare to be bent over a barrel!]
‘A relatively small increase in interest rates could have a fairly sizeable impact on the housing market at a time when the market is already pretty weak,’ said Jonathan Loynes, chief economist at Capital Economics.
The forecaster said house prices were 20% overvalued and could fall by that amount in the next two to three years.
Among the worst hit by a rate hike would be those who stretched themselves to get on the housing ladder in the past two years.
The average tracker mortgage charges interest of 3.51% while a typical two-year fix has a rate of 3.54%.
Although this is seven times the Bank’s base rate, banks do not borrow the money they lend on to customers quite this cheaply. Typically they pay between 0.75% and 1.5%.” [That’s right, nearly 500% mark-up (on your Govt. loaned money) – but only for those of you that can afford the large 25%+ deposits required to get on the housing ladder]