Wednesday, March 7

Taking Oaths: Kent State University

As even a part-time instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I am required by the state of Nevada to take an oath (among other things). In fact, that is what I did today after mine could not be located. It is no big deal: I've signed similar state forms and oaths before (I'm also an appointed state commissioner, among other things) and I have yet to come across any document that would give me pause.

Today's oath read like this: "I [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States, and the constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of [insert title] on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury."

And as I put my thumbprint in the notary's book to confirm my signature to this oath, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, such an oath might prohibit me from contributing information (news) or opinions (specifically sympathies) to a terrorist blog (not that I would want to anyway), given most terrorists (at least the 100 plus named on Terrorist Exclusion List posted over at Kent State University) would fall under "all enemies, whether domestic or foreign."

From what I could find at a glance (I didn't look very hard), Kent State University (KSU) does not have a similar oath on file with its human resources department. However, it does have a document in accordance with section 2909.34 of the Ohio Revised Code, which asks: Have you committed an act that you know, or reasonably should have known, affords "material support or resources" to an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

Hmmmm... I'm not sure how I feel about this given by all accounts, despite some less desirable points of view, I have been told one of the professors there is a fine teacher. Not to mention, I also believe very strongly in our Constitution (if you're unfamiliar with it, you'll notice it comes before our government, even in the oath I presented above), including and especially the First Amendment (and the Second Amendment, which is about the only way you can ensure the First).

Anyway, it used to be, in this country, that taking an oath or signing a contract was pretty important stuff. It doesn't seem so as much today. Sure, I take them seriously, which is why I have passed on high paying accounts that violated my ethical standards (The Yucca Mountain Project and B.U.M. Fights among them). But the reality is that oaths, contracts, promises, and vows are just not important to some people. Or perhaps they are, at least while it serves them, to be broken at their leisure.

All of this brings me back to the accountability equation that revolves around Dr. Pino at Kent State University. At minimum, it seems to me, Dr. Pino may have surrendered some of his rights when he went to work for the government by signing the aforementioned contract (as we all do in one form or another), including: willfully supplying written material to purported terrorist blogs, I imagine. And at the very least, KSU might remind Dr. Pino of section 2909.34 of the Ohio Revised Code or perhaps ask him to re-sign it if he can. That might even be the remedy beyond simply asking that everyone forget it.



Rich on 3/8/07, 5:08 PM said...

Famous Last Words:

"One of the problems Kent State had with the blanket denial of Pino’s involvement with 'Global War' is that his department chair had already admitted that Pino had admitted to him that he 'contributed' to the blog." — Mike Adams at

Rich on 3/29/07, 4:50 PM said...

Famous First Words:

The Plain Dealer delivers a chilling article linked to Kent State University e-mail address. Guess who?


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