Apr 1, 2010

Army officer disregards his oath of office


“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”


That is the oath of office I took when I enlisted in the Navy and every time I re-enlisted, as well as the oath millions of other Americans who wore a uniform took. Apparently, Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, an active-duty Army surgeon is disregarding it. Lakin is being hailed as a hero by the right for disregarding his oath of office and announced he intends to disobey all orders from his commanders, until President Obama produces a birth certificate proving he is a U.S. citizen.

My only question is how quick can Lakin be brought up on court martial charges? It should happen as soon as possible. Traitors do not belong in the military, especially a commissioned officer who is supposed to be held to a higher standard. He may be the highest ranking birther, but that’s what he is.

25 comments:

Bill said...

As a retired commissioned officer with personal experience, I can tell you that it is a common misconception that the commissioning oath and the enlistment oath are the same. They are not.

On accepting his commission, Lt. Col. Terry Lakin did not swear to "obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

On the contrary, Lakin swore to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God".

So, you see, his situation is quite different from what you think. For a very good explanation, see John P. Luke's older, but excellent piece entitled "DOMESTIC CHALLENGES TO THE OATH OF OFFICE: THE MODERN OFFICER‘S RESPONSIBILITY IN REVOLUTION."

I hope that helps to clarify the situation for you.

Communications guru said...

I had no idea that officers and enlisted take different oaths. So, you’re saying a commissioned officer interprets the U.S. Constitution? Gee, I always thought the U.S. Supreme Court did that.

I have one more question; when is the traitor Lakin going to be court-martialed and get his big chicken dinner? Or maybe officers don’t get those? Can you “clarify the situation for me?

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

What you have asked for is quite reasonable. There is, however, no short answer. I was in a hurry putting it together, but nevertheless, here it is:

Part 01

Ordinarily, I just ignore errors of fact in blogs; even egregious errors. Under the principle that “you can take men out of the sea, but you can’t take the sea out of men, with respect to your blog on Lakin, I felt embarrassment for you in the blatant misstatement of fact sitting out there for all to see. Stemming from my sense of kinship with a fellow sailor, I felt compelled to offer correction.

Regardless of what happens to Lakin as a result of the choices he has made, and I think that is important, it is more important for people to understand the situation more clearly and more fully. By this, I mean that Lakin, himself, is not the important issue. The important issue is the oath of office, its value as an oath, it’s legal status, and what the practical effect is of swearing such an oath.

When military members take the oath of office, they do so to gain legal authority to carry out the duties of their office. The oath compels they (a) commit to adhere to the American constitutional form and system of government and sustain these by obeying its laws; and (b) defend, protect, fortify, and maintain the physical United States, its republican form of government, and its constitutional laws and way of life from any home-grown person or persons who threaten to overthrow, destroy, or nullify these things. See Thomas G. Sadlo, Colonel, USAF,”Oath of Office: Can the Military Defend the Constitution Against Domestic Enemies?” Air War College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 2010.

I think you will agree that for an oath of office to have any meaning at all, it must first be understood. This means it cannot be taken as a perfunctory exercise or ritual. Second, it must not only become part of the basic structure of the office-holder’s conscience, it must operate to govern the office-holder’s behavior. Some background on the federal oaths of office will shed some light on the issue.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States states that the President-elect, “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:— "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." This is the only federal level oath of office where the wording is specified by the Constitution. The wording of all other oaths of office is specified by the Legislative Branch.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states that, “He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, … shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, …”

Bill said...

Part 02

Article VI of the Constitution states that, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, … and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, …, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution …”

Article III, Section. 3 of the Constitution states that, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort …”

What is the practical effect of the above? Again, just a bit of background. Having been a professional journalist, you may already have some of the background information in the sense that you must be aware of the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany in November 1945. “I was just following orders” was not a valid excuse, no matter how true it may have been.

Though still controversial, the Nuremberg Trial turned a spotlight on the oath of office. I accepted my first commission in 1958. That was only 13 years after Nuremberg. In that day and age, I learned that, as a sworn federal officer, it was my legal and moral duty to insure that whatever the orders I might give, they must be always be within the framework of my sworn oath of office. What is the practical effect of this? Does it sound like I must interpret the Constitution of the United States. The simple answer is: Yes. But, you say, how can that be so? I thought that only the Supreme Court could do that. Here’s the answer: the Constitution of the United States establishes three co-equal branches of government. That means that each of the branches is responsible for interpreting the Constitution. Why don’t more people know this? The answer is: they don’t study history.

Particularly in the twentieth century, scholars, judges, and sometimes Members of Congress claim that the U.S. Supreme Court has the “last word” on the meaning of the Constitution. Under this theory, if Congress disagrees with a Court ruling the only alternative is to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the Court. This belief in judicial supremacy overlooks much of the flexibility and political considerations that characterize the relationship between the judiciary and other elements of the political system: Congress, the President, the states, and the general public. See “Congress, the Court, and the Constitution”. See Louis Fisher, “Statement by Louis Fisher, Congressional Research Service, before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, January 29, 1998 See also. “Interpreting the Constitution: More than What the Supreme Court Says” by Louis Fisher, extensions: A Journal of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, Fall 2008, Special Orders, Library of Congress. See also, John P. Luke, Major, USAF, “Domestic Challenges to the Oath of Office: The Modern Officer's Responsibility in Revolution”. Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell, Air Force Base, April 2000. Available at: www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=t3&id=ADA425116

Lakin has chosen a course of action that still must play out. Unless he is a scoundrel, he is operating out of conscience. If he is operating out of conscience, then although we may disagree with him on all facets, we must support his right to so operate. If we do not, the entire system is a mockery.

I think a reasonable questions is: If Lakin were taking his stand with respect to the Bush/Gore election controversy of 2000, would you still be calling him a traitor, or would you be collecting funds for his defense?

Communications guru said...

Mr. Bill,

There is no “egregious error” or even an “error of fact on this blog.

I stand by what I wrote. Now, I might concede a point, and I’ll just call Larking a criminal.

One thing I learned as a professional journalist is how to break down complex issues into words people can understand and using as few words as possible to say what you mean. You used a ton of words to say nothing. Are you seriously claiming that this guy is not violating his oath because President Obama is not legally the President?

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Part 01

You have taken an interesting tack in your response; that of attacking the form of the message but not the substance. That seems to me to be an ineffective way to advance a meaningful dialogue. But, perhaps, that is not your intention.

Previously, you declared, “I had no idea that officers and enlisted take different oaths.” It is not clear to me that your declaration constitutes an actual admission of error. I can infer it to be so but, in so doing, I might make an error. I say this because it seems that despite your declaration and your having been presented with prima facie evidence of error, you retreat, “stand by what [you] wrote” and maintain that there is no error. May I suggest a short sojourn through DSM-IV?

Although you have stated that you “might concede a point”, it appears that whatever point you have conceded amounts to nothing more than changing a specific criminal status to a general criminal status. Frankly, I can’t give credence to that as much of a concession. Could it be that the impressions I have been offered are wrong; that “progressives” have a high degree of compassion for the underdog, and that “progressives” exhibit a high degree of tolerance for ambiguity, nuances in meanings and diversity of thought? And, what happened to the presumption of innocence on the part of the accused? You have him already convicted in your own mind and your words. In effect, you have taken the position that, “we should just give the guilty bastard a fair trial and then hang him.”

Not having examined enough of your material to form a solid opinion, I am, nevertheless, glad you learned one thing as a professional journalist. I have always admired people who know “how to break down complex issues into words people can understand and using as few words as possible to say what [they] mean.” It appeared to me, at first, that the issue at hand was really not complex. Either the enlisted oath and the officer oath are identical or they are not. It seemed pretty simple to me.

Bill said...

Part 02

Here’s what I see as a problem. Errors, fallacies, lies, etc. share a significant common characteristic; they can be stated very simply, and in few words. In fact, they normally work because they masquerade as simple fact. But, responses intended to dispel error, reveal fallacy, and refute a lie cannot be as simply stated. The low word ratio is always stacked in favor of the former and thus, must logically be stacked against the latter. That’s just the nature of things.

My response was not intended to resemble a news article presented in a terse, telegraphic style, nor was it intended to be a scholarly disquisition with copious footnotes. It was, to be succinct, a good faith effort on my part to carry out my stated intention for the stated reason.

No doubt, being the professional journalist, you are very conversant with statistical textual analysis, so I won’t have to provide one on my response. Suffice it to say, a significant part of my response was information from third party sources along with citations of those sources. If you want to take issue with the words of the Constitution of the United States, I suggest you contact James Madison through your local seer. As to the other authors, I will let you decide how to contact them.

I am somewhat saddened, but not surprised that you found the words of the Constitution, the Constitutional expert, the conscientious USAF officers and mine to say nothing. I leave it to others to decide on their own whether any of the words mean anything.

As to whether I am “seriously claiming that this guy [Lakin} is not violating his oath because President Obama is not legally the President”, I made no such claim. My offering has to do with the oath of office. You are building a straw man, seizing a point I have not tried to make. I have already established the point regarding the oath. The concept is, obviously, not one that you feel you can get your head around. Whether Obama is legally the President or not is not my call. I can only wonder: what if Lakin is right?

Communications guru said...

Mr. “Bill”

The problem is I have not been “presented with prima facie evidence of error.” I asked you a pretty basic question, and you declined to give a direct answer.

No one was asking your response to “resemble a news article presented in a terse, telegraphic style, nor was it intended to be a scholarly disquisition with copious footnotes.” How about a direct answer?

I’m still waiting for that answer.

Bill said...

Please restate your direct question so that I may give you a direct answer.

Communications guru said...

Sure, I’ll do it like Jeopardy.

The answer is Lakin is being hailed as a hero by the right for disregarding his oath of office and announced he intends to disobey all orders from his commanders, until President Obama produces a birth certificate proving he is a U.S. citizen.

The question is, are you seriously claiming that this guy is not violating his oath because President Obama is not legally the President?

Whether the oath of office is to uphold the orders of the president or support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same there is no question that President Obama was legally elected President of the United States and legally eligible to hold that office.

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Thank you for the restatement of your direct question, "are you seriously claiming that this guy is not violating his oath because President Obama is not legally the President?"

I won't do it like Jeopardy, so here is my direct answer to your "direct" question, "I made no such claim."

I now ask you, sincerely, as well as directly, "Is my answer direct enough?"

If you believe my answer is not direct enough, please help me out by explaining why it is not.

If you want to debate other aspects of Lakin's position, we can do that, too.

Communications guru said...

Thanks. There’s nothing do debate. The guy deserves and will get a court-martial and a BCD.

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

You are welcome. I now ask you, directly, "Did you learn anything from our exchanges?

Communications guru said...

No, not really; was I supposed to? Actually, I did learn the oaths of office for enlisted and commissioned officers are slightly different. However, there is no doubt this guy is disregarding his oath of office and is not fit to be an officer. Don’t you agree?

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Part 01

You are a “guru”, as you self-label. That means you must consider yourself to be someone who has great knowledge, wisdom and authority and who uses it to guide others. In your case, you are a person with knowledge and skills in journalism. You are, therefore, a skilled wordsmith. You know about words, their meanings and their uses, as well as abuses. You are a master of the loaded question. You were, after all, a professional in the field of print journalism and you run a blog.. I do not have your knowledge and skills in journalism. Recognizing your talents, I will respond, subject to correction. (Again showing the word count ratio in operation.)

You asked (in answer to my question, “did you learn anything from our exchanges?) “was I supposed to?” To your credit, you say you “actually, … did learn the oaths of office for enlisted and commissioned officers are slightly different.” Based on this statement, it is obvious to me that, as a teacher, I let you down on that one. In truth, the oaths are not “slightly different”, they are vastly different. Apparently, by itself, the information I provided you was not sufficient to enable you to discern the size of the gulf between the two oaths. And, it was certainly not sufficient for you to further discern the concomitant, immensely significant ramifications of those differences. For this, I am sorry.

You also conceded, though indirectly, that Lakin cannot be a traitor because his acts do not meet the Constitutional definition of treason. Although you still label him a criminal, that status remains to be determined. If he is convicted of a crime, then, and only then, can he be a criminal.

I believe that it is not for me to say if you were “supposed to” learn anything, at least in the sense of “you should have”. On the other hand, I believe I can say what I think you “could have” learned, assuming that you didn’t know it before I presented it. For example, you could have learned:

that the Constitution established three, co-equal branches of government;
that the Constitution requires all officers to swear an oath of office;
that the Constitution prescribes the exact words to be spoken in the oath of office only for the President;
that the Legislative Branch prescribes the words to be spoken by all other officers;
that interpreting the Constitution is not the sole province of the Supreme Court;
that, from the birth of the Republic, interpreting the Constitution has also been the responsibility of the Executive and Legislative Branches; the States, and the people; (from the papers written by Louis Fisher);
that there are legal ambiguities inherent in the commissioning oath (from the papers written by Major Luke and Colonel Sadlo for the Air University);
that the Nazi officers who were convicted and executed incident to the Nuremberg Trial because, among other reasons, they did not, on moral grounds, challenge the legitimacy of some of the orders they received.

Bill said...

Part 02

If I had included the information, you could also have learned:

that the oath sworn by a commissioned officer is exactly the same oath sworn by each newly elected member of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United State;
that the enlisted oath is the spoken acknowledgment of the creation of a contractual relationship between the enlistee and the government for a term of years. (This is why the paper you signed was called an “enlistment contract” and unless the government said otherwise, you had to serve out the term of your contract. In other words, you could not just resign at will).
that, as opposed to an enlistment, a commission is not a contract for a term of years, but is open-ended;
that an officer serves “at the pleasure of the President”. (The President has broad latitude of action. For practical purposes, the President can offer a commission to anyone he pleases, at any time he pleases, at whatever rank he pleases.)
that a commissioned officer can resign his commission at will at any time (with certain exceptions, of course);
that the offering and acceptance of a commission fall under a set of rules that are different from the rules governing enlistment contracts. (This is only one of the reasons why officers are held to a different set of standards from enlisted men.)

Although we have the individual right to question them and to draw political conclusions about them, neither of us is able to judge the legal merits of Lt.Col. Lakin’s actions. All we know at this point is that he has stated that he has no choice but the distasteful one of inviting his own court-martial. At great peril to his career and future he has chosen to disobey what he believes to be illegal orders.

We may impute Lakin’s motives and disagree with them. We may deplore his choice of course of action. Like it or not, as a sworn federal officer, his choice is not only well within his legal prerogatives, it is one of his responsibilities. In this regard, you may recall from your own personal experience, that a service member is under no obligation to follow an unlawful order. Having made his choice, however, it is up to a court-martial to make a ruling on whether the order was lawful or not. In a sense, Lakin could be considered a kind of Conscientious Objector. He may be a total nutjob embarked on a Quixotic adventure, but you still have to give him credit for standing up for what he believes.

It is on a technical legal basis that I do not agree with you that Lt. Col. Lakin is “disregarding” his oath of office. I believe he is doing something far, far more serious than “disregarding”. He is, in fact, mounting a direct challenge, on legal grounds, to the legitimacy of the orders he might receive. (I believe he could be doing this under a variation of “The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine”. This is an extension of the “exclusionary rule” used in criminal justice proceedings.) If you ever covered the criminal justice beat, this terminology will be familiar to you.

There is more that you could have learned, but I leave that for another time.

Communications guru said...

In truth, the oaths are slightly different. It’s pretty clear Larkin has violated his oath, and I can see no way that can be disputed. Now, these things you claim I should have learned from you I already know, and some I do not agree with. Interpreting the Constitution is the sole province of the U.S. Supreme Court. That has been clear since Marbury v. Madison that formed the basis for judicial review.

There is no way you can compare Larkin’s criminal act to that of Nazi officers and the Holocaust, and to do so is rather disgusting. There is absolutely no basis for this guy to refuse to follow lawful orders because there is no moral or legal basis to do so. There is simply no question that President Obama was elected legally, can legally hold the Office of President and he is a natural-born citizen of the U.S. Numerous birthers have floated this crap, and the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear cases challenging Obama’s qualification to be president because it’s no doubt he is a natural born citizen.

Larkin is little more than a birther. Your statement that “he has chosen to disobey what he believes to be illegal orders” is simply not valid, nor is it “well within his legal prerogatives.” It is clear Larkin is disregarding his oath of office. Give his BCD so he can join the other teabaggers and be their martyr.

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Part 01

It is time for both of us to acknowledge that you and I do not share a common understanding of the word “slightly” as well as a few other words, and leave it at that. I sense that you are working within a closed system of emotional beliefs that preclude reason.

It is just not true that I claimed you “should have learned from me” when, in fact, I specifically disclaimed that. For you to state such a falsehood means you are either not reading what I said, you are not understanding what you read, or you are choosing to mis-characterize what I said. Another manifestation of operating within a closed system, I guess. (Or, maybe you are just baiting me … which is OK. Baiting is a legitimate tactic.) Are you baiting me, or do you really believe the falsehood?

That you disagree with me with respect to the interpretation of the Constitution is certainly your right. If you are riding to the rescue on the Marbury case, however, you are riding a lame horse. Even so, I suspect that, at this point, it is perhaps useless for me to point out that what you think you know about the effect of Marbury v. Madison is just not true. It never has been. It is a myth ( widely held, to be sure, but a myth nevertheless) that interpreting the Constitution is the sole province of the U.S. Supreme Court. Even a relatively casual, but unbiased, examination of historical documentation will prove that. If such an examination is not convenient, an unbiased study of current newspapers will show the same thing. Whether you allow yourself to see it or not, however, is another story. Have you ever done any real investigative reporting or searched out primary sources, or have you always relied on secondary and lower echelon sources and spun things into alignment with your views?

Savvy people know that the United States of America is not a democracy. Savvy people know that it was founded on democratic principles but designed to operate within a republican form of government. Savvy people know that, because of this, in a democratic republic, questions of constitutional law require a political dialogue that involves all three branches of the national government, all fifty states, and the general public. Yet those who teach constitutional law (political scientists, law professors, historians) tend to focus on Supreme Court opinions and what the academic community says about them. No doubt that simplifies a class presentation. Professors and their students are relieved of the need to discuss how constitutional values and doctrines actually emerge, and how often it is the case that the Court does not have the final word or even any word at all.

Contemporary presidents have helped spread the myth of judicial supremacy. The veto power remains available to them to block unconstitutional legislation, but they often prefer to let legal disputes slide to the courts and find resolution there.

Journalists and reporters play a key role in promoting judicial supremacy. When the Supreme Court hands down a decision, newspapers typically treat it as final and definitive. Writing in The Conservative Media blog in 2010, Kevin Shopshire wrote, “Interpreting the Constitution is the sole province of the U.S. Supreme Court. That has been clear since Marbury v. Madison that formed the basis for judicial review.” Writing for the Washington Post in 1996, Joan Biskupic said that the importance of the Supreme Court is not in the number of its cases but rather “in the court having the last word. The justices are the final arbiter of what is in the Constitution.” It is true that the Court is the final “arbiter,” but that voice is final only within the judiciary. It is not the final voice on constitutional law, as is evident throughout U.S. history.

Bill said...

Part 02

In 1997, Senator Arlen Specter called the Supreme Court “the ultimate arbiter of determining what the law will be.” It is ultimate within the judiciary, but not necessarily within the federal government or in the country. Specter continued: “[W]e know since the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Marbury versus Madison, the Supreme Court of the United States has been the preeminent institution, because the Supreme Court of the United States has the last word.” That position overstates what Chief Justice Marshall said and intended in the Marbury case, and fails to acknowledge that many “final” decisions of the Court have either been reversed by the elected branches (both by constitutional amendments and regular legislation) or have been abandoned or substantially modified by the Court.

It is a misconception to think that the protection of individual rights depends exclusively or even primarily on the courts. The struggle for rights generally comes from individuals who decide to oppose government abuse or challenge conventional legal doctrines, often at great cost to themselves. Opposition to slavery came from the public, not from the judicial, executive, or legislative branches. Individual Americans, untutored in the fine points of law, viewed slavery as repugnant to fundamental constitutional principles, including those embedded in the Declaration of Independence. Citizens felt no obligation to defer to courts or legislatures.

It is my understanding that journalistic ethics, alone, should tell you that defendants at trial are treated only as having “allegedly” committed crimes, until conviction, when their crimes are generally reported as fact. Your continuing insistence on prejudging Lakin as a criminal does not speak well to your acceptance of the “presumption of innocence” of an accused which is a keystone civil rights concept in the United States. Is this lack of presumption of innocence just your view, or is it the view of all progressives?

Mr. Shopshire, though excessively repetitious, you express yourself very well and very forcefully, so you can be confident that your view of things is very clear to me. I am confident that the obverse is not true. In this regard, one thing I find it fascinating is that you continually recycle your opinions in paraphrase. I get the impression that you think that each succeeding iteration of your opinions is an argument in support of your original, unsupported opinions. Is this fallacious thinking a new phenomenon with you or is it of long standing?

Let me try to make clear, once again, that there is “no basis for this guy [or any other guy, for that matter] to refuse to follow lawful orders”. I don’t know anyone who would question that. But (to beat a dead horse again) that is not the issue. The issue is: are the orders Lakin refuses to obey lawful or are they not. The resolution to that is a matter that can be determined only by a trier of fact, not by us. By the way, Lakin is not the first officer to raise questions. He is only the most senior officer to do so. Although he has no visible support among active duty officers (for obvious reasons), he has received support from at least one retired officer. Paul Vallely, a retired Major General of the U.S. Army and national-security-policy expert says Lt. Col. Lakin has “a valid point”. In a radio interview, Vallely said, “I think many in the military – and many out of the military – question the natural-birth status of Barack Obama. …” I have taken no position of the matter.

It is my opinion that hurling pejoratives does nobody any good. It may generate lots of heat, but certainly no light. Repeated activity of this kind tends to result in one’s sullying one’s reputation for journalistic integrity or, if you prefer, journalistic objectivity. Is the copious use of pejoratives an integral part of your communications repertoire?

Bill said...

Part 03

Since my statement “he has chosen to disobey what he believes to be illegal orders” is a quote directly from Lt.Col. Lakin (without attribution in the original), you have neither factual or logical basis for declaring it to be “simply not valid”. Those are his words and you have no way to refute them. Likewise, you are in a very poor position to judge whether or not Lakin’s choice is or is not “well within his legal prerogatives.” By itself, your initial, total ignorance of the existence, materiality and substantive issues contained of the commissioned officer’s oath of office is ample evidence of that. Is operating from such an abysmal position of ignorance a habit of yours or is it representative of progressives in general?

As for me, I have learned a few things from our exchanges.

Communications guru said...

I sense that you are working within a closed system of emotional beliefs that preclude reason.

You certainly did claim I should have learned from your torrent of words that say very little. You said, “Did you learn anything from our exchanges?” Then you say, “There is more that you could have learned, but I leave that for another time.” It also seems you have a very large ego.

You have not presented a single fact to make me change my opinion of this guy.

“Riding to the rescue on the Marbury case?” I stand by what I wrote.

The issue is Larkin is nothing but a birther and has violated his oath. There is absolutely no basis for this guy to refuse to follow lawful orders because there is no moral or legal basis to do so. There is simply no question that President Obama was elected legally, can legally hold the Office of President and he is a natural-born citizen of the U.S. There is no valid proof he is not, and you can see his birth certificate for yourself.

He is a birther, and no matter how many words you write and skirt the issue, that’s the point. There is absolutely no question that President Obama is a natural born citizen. None. The only person hurling around pejoratives is you, whoever you may be.

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Let me get one thing straight. Are you seriously claiming that Lakin is a birther? OK, OK. I got it. I got it. I’m just being facetious. You don’t have to keep shouting your mantra at me.

You are missing something really, really important in our exchanges, and it is not because you are having difficulty understanding my tenth-grade English. What you are missing is this: I am not looking to change your mind. I am looking to understand what’s in there. To me, the Lakin issue is strictly a peripheral issue. It is what it is.

Here’s the deal. Of two values, Clarity and Agreement, it is Clarity that is important to me. If you have read Steven Covey’s first work, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” you know that Habit 5 is: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Learn how to communicate clearly and listen to others. I am merely trying to follow the rules laid out in Habit 5. But, that’s just me. You don’t have to try that.

Look, here’s a great opportunity for you. Why don’t you just think of me as a possible recruit for the progressive view and you are the recruiter. Sell me on your program. As a communications guru, this should be right up your alley. You might even have some fun.

You’ve got a blank slate. You can start out from the beginning. What is your philosophy? What do I need to do? Explain to me the who, what, when, where, why, and how of joining up.

Communications guru said...

Hell yes. Are you seriously claiming Lakin is not a birther? To me, Lakin and birthers are the issues. If you have something to add on those subjects, be my guest. Otherwise, I’m not interested in your side issues.

Bill said...

Mr. Shopshire,

Thanks for the reminder that this blog is about Lakin.

As to what you call side issues, I have become seriously interested in getting to understand progressives. Do you have a suitable forum? If not, can you refer me to one?

Just so you know, progressives may understand the information in your header box. I do not. It is cryptic. I do not understand the code words.

Thank you, also, for taking the time and effort you have put into our exchanges. I do not doubt you take what you say seriously — so seriously that you don’t see when someone is pulling your leg.

Steve Sizemore said...

@ Bill - I applaud your continuous attempts to stay open minded and ask legitimate questions. That takes patience.

@ Communications guru - Being in communications myself, it saddens me to say that your moniker in no way reflects your true self. You did not communicate at all...you merely berated your guest with your point of view...repeatedly.

Close mindedness is so 1990's sailor...try actually listening to people's opinions and you might one day learn something.