Since the Adjunct Instructor position makes me a public employee of the state of Ohio, I had to fill out a Declaration of Material Assistance Form to ensure that I'm not a terrorist. The DMA form references the Department of Homeland Security's list of official terrorist organizations as designated by the U.S. Department of State.
OBVIOUSLY, I am not a terrorist. I am not a member of any terrorist organizations, and I would not knowingly give material aid to any terrorist organizations. Duh.
I find it surreal to think that our federal and state governments have developed a two-page form to seriously ask the following questions:
For each question, indicate either “yes,” or “no” in the space provided. Responses must be truthful to the best of your knowledge.
1. Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List? Yes No
2. Have you used any position of prominence you have with any country to persuade others to support an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List? Yes No
3. Have you knowingly solicited funds or other things of value for an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List? Yes No
4. Have you solicited any individual for membership in an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List? Yes No
5. 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? Yes No
6. Have you hired or compensated a person you knew to be a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List, or a person you knew to be engaged in planning, assisting, or carrying out an act of terrorism? Yes No
Who in their right mind would answer "YES"?!? Correction: Who in any state of mind would say YES to one of those questions?
Oh, wait, here's the kicker:
I hereby certify that the answers I have made to all of the questions on this declaration are true to the best of my knowledge. I understand that if this declaration is not completed in its entirety, it will not be processed and I will be automatically disqualified. I understand that I am responsible for the correctness of this declaration. I understand that failure to disclose the provision of material assistance to an organization identified on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List, or knowingly making false statements regarding material assistance to such an organization is a felony of the fifth degree. I understand that any answer of “yes” to any question, or the failure to answer “no” to any question on this declaration shall serve as a disclosure that material assistance to an organization identified on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List has been provided by myself or my organization. If I am signing this on behalf of a company, business or organization, I hereby acknowledge that I have the authority to make this certification on behalf of the company, business or organization referenced above.
"I guess I have to be completely honest, because I'm providing my signature at the bottom of the form." Everyone knows that terrorists prize their personal integrity enough to disclose their secret plans for destroying Western Civilization.
Unfortunately, my sense of mischieviousness is just enough to tempt me to check one of the "Yes" boxes, because I'm curious to see what would happen. Can you imagine the conversation with the government agents assigned to the case? "Which terrorist group did you provide with material support or resources? What kind of material support did you provide?" "Oh, I'm not telling you that. You'll have to figure that out on your own." (Fortunately, my senses of rationality and self-preservation are powerful enough to overwhelm my sense of mischieviousness and kick its butt.)
I shouldn't even joke about this sort of thing, least of all on a website. The government will probably be monitoring everything I write from now on, tapping my phone lines, and doing background checks to determine if any of my acquaintances are suspected terrorists.
(For the record, just in case any government agents ARE reading this, the whole "BP Refinery" thing was a JOKE. Besides which, my only involvement was reading the email sent from K.E. to A.N. Yes, I served as a personal reference for each of them when they applied for Top Secret security clearance, but I've already explained the whole situation to two different NSA agents, so it's time to let it go already.)
Seriously, I'd like to know what group of people sat in a room together and decided that this form was a good idea. How many hours have been wasted creating it, revising it, publishing it, training people on it, distributing it to all state-controlled Human Resource departments, getting employees and organizations to fill it out, and filing it away??? And who's really intent on destroying Western Civilization?