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.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago