October 4th, 2010

[H&F] "One reason it's good to be a Jew in Germany"

Hi, all!

I'd like to let everyone know that alumni of USENET's soc.history.what-if have set up a new group blog, History and Futility.

What is this blog about? It deals with pretty much whatever we want. Co-blogger The Oberamtmann has the first post up, "One reason it’s good to be a Jew in Germany". It turns out that Germany's long-standing traditions of confessionalism and state control over churches has some interesting ramifications.

Go, read! And keep on reading us!

[LINK] "Industry Canada queried Bernier census claims"

Surprise, surprise. The federal government's claims that it received massive numbers of complaints from Canadians about the intrusiveness of the long-form census--some, apparently, even in tears as it was forced on them, fearing privacy violations and jail time--aren't very credible.

An Industry Canada employee questioned Conservative MP Maxime Bernier's claims in July that as minister he received about 1,000 complaints a day about the mandatory long-form census, internal documents obtained by CBC News show.

The former industry minister, now a Conservative backbencher, said in July of this year that he was blitzed by complaints when he oversaw the 2006 census as minister.

However, in a July 18 email found among documents obtained by CBC News through an access-to-information request, ministry employee Paul Halucha asked a high-ranking official at Statistics Canada whether the agency had any numbers to back up Bernier's statement.

Industry Canada's "internal survey of correspondence did not show anything close to a thousand a day," he wrote to Statistics Canada's Connie Graziadei, adding in brackets "we got a standard 25-30 a year."

The documents suggest officials inside the ministry responsible for the census were themselves caught flat-footed by Bernier's contention that the government had been inundated with complaints over the 2006 survey.

According to the documents, Graziadei replied with a breakdown of the 882 complaints Statistics Canada received for the 2006 short- and long-form census, which included 332 complaints about a contract the agency awarded to Lockheed-Martin for census data collection.

In her email, she said Statistics Canada received 22 complaints about the "intrusiveness of the questions." There were also 116 about the "subject matter" of the questions.