Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Amendment: It's For Jerks, Too

Maybe it's especially for jerks; without Freedom of Speech (or tenure), Massachusetts law professor Michael Avery might be out of work and in the hoosegow by popular acclaim.

As it is, I'm using my free speech to call him out for a heartless schmuck,* and that's being nice: he's of the opinion (and happy to share it) that it is "shameful" to send care packages to U.S. troops. Huffs the professor, they "have gone overseas to kill other human beings."

Um, yes and no, prof -- they were sent. Amusing as the Arlo Guthrie song is, the services tend to react badly if you start jumpin' up and down in the recruiter's office, shouting, "Kill, kill!" Given their druthers, I'm sure nearly all the troops would just as soon have stood in bed, or had a nice, indoor, continental-U.S. job doing something safe, like teaching law. But those are not their circumstances and it's not their job. The politicians sent 'em out to kill (so to speak), politicians all across the spectrum; the pols who told you "we" were waging peace and spreading democracy and who omitted mentioning not everyone in far-off lands agreed with that goal and/or the means. You've probably voted for pols who voted to send the soldiers; it's hard not to.

And, prof? This sending of care packages? It's a voluntary act; people collect small, useful items and send them, stuff like sunblock and lip balm, the sort of things a law professor can easily pick up at a corner drugstore but a soldier overseas often cannot. Nobody is forcing you to help in the effort.

Nobody is forcing you to shut up, either -- but you might want to remember that although "War is the health of the State" is true as far as it goes, it's not all that healthy for the individual soldier. It's no crime to send them some minor comfort, even if you think they shouldn't be where they are. Maybe you'd be wanting to stop sending care packages to the U.S. Congress, instead? They call those "taxes." Good luck.
* Originally I used "weasel," but that would be an insult to mustelidae everywhere.


Nathan said...

As usual, Yiddish has the best epithets.

DaddyBear said...

The right to free speech does not shield you from public ridicule.

Stranger said...

"Professor" Avery was a student of the University of Moscow, 68/69. As in Mockba, CCCP. No, not a tourist guide for the MGB after that, Avery returned to the US and became a Yalie. After which he became a professor of "Constitutional Law."

Nuff said. Except that Avery's avian, as in headless chicken, outburst will cost any school that employs him.

And that is a nice pair of lips on Avery's mug. Marilyn's makeup man never drew a prettier set.


Robert Fowler said...

He's a Cuba loving communist. I think he should move there so he can live out his days in paradise.

og said...

Freedom of speech should not shield you from the consequences of that speech. You should always be free to say what you want, but be prepared for the punch in the nose that follows some of that speech.

Radio DJ's want to make it about the freedom to tell off color jokes. Leftist jerks want to be able to cast aspersions with no consequences. neither of those is part and parcel of the first. "I can say whatever I want and you can't do a thing about it" is the way academia has presented the First to the addlepated youth, and they assemble in poor hygeine zones to express their incoherent misunderstanding of the meaning of that portion of the bill of rights.

Anonymous said...

I clicked on the link. The face of an herbivore, the face of decadence, the twin brother of the famous Soft Man James Wolcott stared back at me.

In my heart, I knew what I would find out. Serves me right for clicking on links.

Mike James

Bubblehead Les. said...

So what does Prof. Avery think of "That Man" whom he elected to be President's Secretary of State's recent comments about the death of Khadaffy? You know, where Hillary said "We came, We saw, We killed him."

Or does his Anti-Military Stance only apply to the Right?

P.S. Perhaps Professor Avery should head over to the University Library and check out a History Book or two about the Russian Revolution. You know, that little event back in 1917 that would have FAILED if the Bolshies didn't have the support of the ordinary Russian Soldier who would have LOVED to receive "Care Packages" while facing the Kaiser's Troops?

Drang said...

I won't comment on the person about whom you've posted, because I can't without violating the rules above this here posting box.

I only chime in hereto mention that, without reading the post, my comment was going to be the first sentence you wrote.

And that WV is sulierin. As in what this guy's doing to his employer's image, in y eyes.

Derfel Cadarn said...

I am informed that cost the taxpayer 1 million dollars to keep a soldier in the field per year. One cannot help but imagine that various required sundries would be included in that munificent sum. In an all volunteer military if our servicemen and women wish to feel comfortable they should have stayed home. I am a freedom loving person I truly uphold the Constitution and all the principles upon which this nation was founded. If any would like to call me a communist or other such bullshit please feel free ,but know that in the true origins of this republic fo;lks like me are better patriots than you.

Joe in PNG said...

I do wonder what the opinion of the Professor would be about the foreign deployments of the Red Army from 1945-1991?

Anonymous said...

To call you a communist requires that I possess at least a gram's worth of respect for you as a man, Derfel.

To think of you as a patriot would require administration of a powerful hallucinogen.

Mike James

Ed Rasimus said...

Derfel, if you wish to make a stunning point, you take the cost of the military and divide by the manpower to get an astonishing number of dollars to put a shooter in harm's way.

But if you can honestly assert that the tab is going to include the amenities of a comfortable life when living in a tent in the dirt of Afghanistan "or you should stay home" you display the fact that you have never served.

Fortunately there are a few Americans left who do not think the way you do yet.

I don't need to call you anything. Certainly not a communist. I merely need to note your statements.

og said...

"I am informed that cost the taxpayer 1 million dollars to keep a soldier in the field per year."

Really? Well, your information on the cost of the soldier per year is about as good as your grammar.

You don't take the cost of prosecuting a war and divide it by the number of soldiers. The cost of the soldiers themselves is actually ridiculously small; most of the cost is the equipment, the supplies for that equipment, etc.

"I am a freedom loving person I truly uphold the Constitution and all the principles upon which this nation was founded"

Maybe you would be, were you even aware of those principles, but obviously, you are not. A communist at least has some sort of well thought out ideology, however ignorant it might be. You, Derfel, are a sheep. Hope you're prepared to be sheared, and I hope you make good wool, or you'll have another destiny.

Roberta X said...

Derfel: Amazingly enough, the .mil -- anybody's .mil -- is more concerned that J. Random Soldier has adequate food, water and ammunition than if he or she has chapped lips, dry skin or a pleasant reminder of home.

As far as the Pentagon (or the Kremlin or MoD) cares, the individual soldier is one more part in the machine, to be tended to as you might fuel up and maintain a tank, no less -- and certainly no more.

(Those who understand the difficulty of central planing -- the inhumanity of it -- should appreciate the scale of the task facing a military force: it's all centrally planned. A mint on one's pillow at bedtime is not in the cards; simply providing pillows is a monumental achievement.)

If you would like for the "man behind the gun" to be more than a cog in the Juggernaut, this is your chance to touch their heart on a one-to-one basis. Uncle Sam can't send 'em each a funny card, a hand-knitted muffler or more than basic toiletries. A volunteer effort...can at least try.

This isn't about winning a stupid merit badge for patriotism. It's not about anyone's opinion of Projecting Force in Deepest Outlandishstan, it's about providing a little human touch to some fellow citizens who are a long way away from home, doing hard work under circumstances that are often quite difficult.

If you'd rather kick in to help your local homeless shelter or whatever, nobody'd think twice. But whinging and preening over a voluntary effort and your reaction to it is, at best, unseemly.

warlocketx said...

That's truth, with insufficient emphasis. The First Amendment is designed especially for jerks.

Nobody gets slung in jail for agreeing.


Kirk A said...

On another note, it is just a week shy of the annual story-telling about the day the dump was closed. Circles & arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. Love it.

On the other hand, I too will happily contribute to those care packages for those who fight for our freedoms. One of my favorite tee-shirts proclaims, "If you can read, thank a teacher. If you can read English, thank a Marine."

Anonymous said...

this retired sailor use to LOVE recieving care packages from anyone who was thoughtful enought to send then! I don't know of any of our service persons who don't enjoy the thoughtfulness of the peaple we serve exp at this time of year! I know you were a nice person Roberta but my opinion of you and Tam have gone up 1000%!!! Thank you for looking after our troops.

Walt Hamilton EM1SW (ret)

Drang said...

Considering that, when deployed, one is surrounded by people dressed the same way you are, with whom one lives, eats and works pretty much 24/7, without the relief of even checking out to go to whatever they call "The Ville" locally, where one would be surrounded by a) those with whom one works and lives 24/7, or b) people who don't dress, look, or talk like you one little bit, even if the military could provide you with things like beef jerky or candy or cookies to nibble on or books to read, CDs to listen to, or DVDs to watch during down times, let alone chapstick or baby wipes, the cards and such would STILL be a tremendous morale booster. "Do they know we're here? Do they know what we're doing? Do they care?" are always questions on a soldier's mind.

Don M said...

We like free speech. The traitors tend to self identify.

Jerry said...

+1 with Don M, if you don't see it....there it is. And by the way, I 'wub you too, Bobbie. And pat Tam on the head for me, she's a smart cookie.

John B said...

As Trace Adkins pointed out.
The Constitution protects you from the government.

Not from me.

I intend to seek him out and empty a chamberpot upon him.

How's that for Neo-Victorianism?
Or Freedom of Expression!