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Reading articles like this always raises my hackles - Massachusetts Law Professor Calls Care Packages for U.S. Troops 'Shameful'

In my military career, I've been extremely fortunate not to come in harm's way (though I've been close a few times). However, I have a great love in my heart for any man or woman who does so, our American servicemen and women, both uniformed and civilian. The US military is the only profession, as part of their oath, that take on that singular responsibility to lay down one's life if situations dictate they must. They do it voluntarily. However, I feel that police officers and fire fighters fall into the same category.

So I take it personally when someone, in this case Massachussetts law professor Michael Avery, exercises his free speech rights to call an extension of good will and support "shameful." The influence this person has as a professor has the potential to poison students and faculty alike. I'm glad that most haven't sided with him, and I agree with Suffolk University's stance that opinions like that ought to be open and discussed in the proper venue. E-mailing his professional opinion doesn't seem the right thing to do. It'd be like me stating something similar, and thus, seemingly attributing that as the Air Force's opinion on the subject. There are other platforms, like Facebook or other social outlets to vent this, which I'm totally for, as it becomes a personal opinion vs professional.

~ Shane

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Shane:

I would just really love to run into this scumbag at about 2 PM in one of my working class Queens bars.

http://michaelgraham.com/archives/meet-the-professor-who-thinks-it-rsquo-s-ldquo-shameful-rdquo-to-support-our-military-on-campus/

But what do you really know about “Professor” Michael Avery?

For one thing, he’s a big fan of Communist countries. While his fellow young men were fighting the Chinese Communists in Southeast Asia, Michael Avery spent 1968-‘69 at the University of Moscow, according to his bio.

He also enjoys traveling to Cuba—or at least, he claims he enjoyed his trip there in 2005. What was Professor Avery doing in Cuba? Supporting Castro and attacking America, what else?

Avery wrote in June, 2005:

“I was invited to attend an International Conference on Terrorism in Havana...The conference was presided over by Fidel Castro and included several prominent figures from other Latin American countries. I addressed the conference last Thursday, with Fidel in attendance. The theme of my talk was the hypocrisy of U.S. policy toward terrorism.”

He mentions Luis Posada Carriles, who he calls “a documented terrorist,” (I’d love to compare his “documents” to Castro’s, maybe pass them around among the political prisoners Cuba is holding), talks about all the media coverage he’s getting for Suffolk University, and then concludes:

“During the week I had an opportunity to hear and meet several people who had been the victims of U.S. sponsored terrorism, primarily during the seventies in Latin America. It was a very edifying experience.”

People accusing the US of crimes? For someone like Michael Avery, would could be more “edifying” than that?

Interestingly, while Avery likes to bash America and hang out with people who hate America, he’s yet to show any willingness to leave America. Gee—I wonder why?

---------------------------------------------------------------

We had a clown like this when I was teaching at Queens College and he was hanging out with me one night. He was a full professor in philosophy and he started to condemn the US and say what a wonderful country Russia was.

Bad move. I proposed that we take up a collection and drive him to Kennedy Airport and put him on a plane to Lenningrad. He was begging to be let go when we got to the TWA departure building.

Adam

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Adam,

Guys like this get under my skin. More so because they're a nuisance and not so much of a threat. This is probably one e-mail he distinctly wishes he hadn't sent, and likely to bury his "good name." I'm more irritated that he felt it his duty to inform his colleagues via a professional platform. It's not the 70s anymore where it was the public attitude to vilify soldiers as baby killers. There are tactful ways of getting his point across without having it backfire, and maybe addressing an important topic. His approach could have been more interogative to elicit discussion. Such was not the case.

But, I'll have that beer with you at 2pm and we'll see what happens if we cross paths with him ;)

~ Shane

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Adam,

Guys like this get under my skin. More so because they're a nuisance and not so much of a threat. This is probably one e-mail he distinctly wishes he hadn't sent, and likely to bury his "good name." I'm more irritated that he felt it his duty to inform his colleagues via a professional platform. It's not the 70s anymore where it was the public attitude to vilify soldiers as baby killers. There are tactful ways of getting his point across without having it backfire, and maybe addressing an important topic. His approach could have been more interogative to elicit discussion. Such was not the case.

But, I'll have that beer with you at 2pm and we'll see what happens if we cross paths with him ;)

~ Shane

Shane:

That would be my honor. By the way there is an update on Professor small dick...

http://michaelgraham.com/archives/update-on-ldquo-shameful-rdquo-anti-military-prof-at-suffolk-u/

"I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings" wrote Avery.

See now here I agree with him. I think these soldiers, or citizen volunteers like myself should stay here to kill people and I nominate Professor small dick to be the first in my Kill a Traitorous School College Asshole Now [KATSCAN] program.

Adam

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Bad move. I proposed that we take up a collection and drive him to Kennedy Airport and put him on a plane to Lenningrad. He was begging to be let go when we got to the TWA departure building.

What was the threat here? Clearly you can't force somebody to fly somewhere he doesn't want to...

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MISSION: Storm Professor small dick's Ivory Tower

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Secure: All his codes and accounts that this scumbag has unjustly acquired from the capitalist system he hates.

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Remove Professor small dicks' dick

Bury him at sea

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Return to base for drinks: 91603l59y3uswbk.gif

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Secure: All his codes and accounts that this scumbag has unjustly acquired from the capitalist system he hates.

He gets it from the socialist part of America: He's a professor.

That's why I keep hammering on the net-tax-receiving thing all the time.

Deep down something in his brain knows full well that in capitalism he'd be a nobody. Hence his hatred of it.

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The only corrective is to put the military members in a position where they do not require "care packages." That is, to bring them home at once.

Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of national security states. It permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security, as we saw during the Bush administration, and which continue during the Obama administration.

He is unarguably correct, both historically and in our experience since Nine Eleven. It has come to the point of inflicting verbal and even physical abuse in public venues, notably at sports events, for not making such obeisance to governmental symbols.

Somebody in academe finally has the cojones to say this out loud!

He gets it from the socialist part of America: He's a professor.

That's why I keep hammering on the net-tax-receiving thing all the time.

Deep down something in his brain knows full well that in capitalism he'd be a nobody. Hence his hatred of it.

Suffolk University is not a governmental institution. No one is coerced in order to pay his salary.

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Suffolk University is not a governmental institution. No one is coerced in order to pay his salary.

It's a law school.

Everyone is coerced to deal with the corrupted legal system.

So even if the school is financed entirly by the contributions of rich law firms with private clients in big business cases, that will have a strong parasitic component.

And that's presuming it is just that: No research projects funded by the government, no student loans handed out by the government, no laws protecting academia there, no laws regulating admission (anti-discrimination, etc.). The more of these things, the more that institution is a government institution, be there official funding or not.

There's more ways to extract values from free men than merely making them to pay money. The beneficiaries of such ways are also "net-tax-receivers", if those benefits outweigh their own contributions.

Don't get me wrong, I support the legal system, I'm not an anarchist. I just advise to distrust them.

EDIT: If somebody in the know could shed some light on the amount of government interference, I'd be interested to hear that.

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Suffolk University is not a governmental institution. No one is coerced in order to pay his salary.

Really...?

http://www.law.suffo...aid/federal.cfm

FEDERAL DIRECT STAFFORD LOAN PROGRAM

The interest rate for new Federal Direct Stafford Loans is a fixed 6.8%. A fee of .5% will be deducted from the loan amount at disbursement. The actual fee is 1% less an immediate .5% rebate which is retained by making your first twelve scheduled payments on time. The annual maximum award amount is $20,500. The aggregate maximum, including all prior Stafford Loan debt, is $138,500 combined for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Repayment begins six months after graduation, after withdrawal, or after enrollment drops below half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years but may be extended through various repayment plans. There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized.

Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan

The federal government pays the interest on Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans while you are enrolled in school and during the six-month grace period. The annual maximum loan amount is $8,500. The aggregate maximum, including all prior debt, for the Subsidized Stafford Loan program is $65,500.

There are lots more in the link. Some of this money goes to paying a piece of his salary. And that was just a quick check.

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The only corrective is to put the military members in a position where they do not require "care packages." That is, to bring them home at once.

Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of national security states. It permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security, as we saw during the Bush administration, and which continue during the Obama administration.

He is unarguably correct, both historically and in our experience since Nine Eleven. It has come to the point of inflicting verbal and even physical abuse in public venues, notably at sports events, for not making such obeisance to governmental symbols.

Somebody in academe finally has the cojones to say this out loud!

While this may be a correct statement, his source for the comment is the big flag in the law building. That's just absurd. Having dozens of flags all around the university where everywhere you turn is nothing but red, white and blue... that might be indicative of excessive patriotic zeal. Not one flag.

~ Shane

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Shane:

FYI:

One hint as to why Mr. Roughsedge is leaving Suffolk: He sent the letter from Afghanistan, where he is currently serving in the Army Reserves.

Dean Camille Nelson

Suffolk University Law School

120 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02108-4977

Re: Letter of Resignation

Dear Dean Nelson,

I am writing to express my disgust over the comments of Professor Avery and resign my position as a member of the adjunct faculty. You probably have no idea who I am because we have not had the opportunity to meet. For almost a year I have been serving in Afghanistan in my capacity as an Army Reserve officer. I believe I am (or was) the only member of the faculty who is currently serving this nation.

In your message posted online, you claim that “it is the robust exchange of ideas that makes for a great university” and that Suffolk “has a well-deserved reputation for supporting armed services personnel in the pursuit of their J.D. degrees and career goals.” You should know then that in the eight years that I have taught a course on terrorism and the law at Suffolk, faculty members, including Professor Avery, have held symposia on Guantanamo Bay detainees and the war on terror every year. Although I have been asked to participate in similar discussions by Harvard, the Fletcher School, the Army Judge Advocate General School and have made numerous appearances on New England Cable News, not once in those eight years have I ever been invited to offer an opposing viewpoint at any of the Suffolk symposia. My students would attend those discussions and report a complete lack of balance or differing viewpoints.

I now understand why. To Professor Avery, I am simply a killer. It is convenient to say to the world that he is simply one professor among many with academic freedom and freedom of speech, but this claim glosses over the truth. Professor Avery is one of the most influential professors in the school and it is well known that he lobbied vigorously both publicly and behind the scenes on behalf of your deanship candidacy. From a legal standpoint, you certainly know that Professor Avery’s First Amendment rights protect him from the government taking adverse action against him for his hate speech against the military, but it does not prevent Suffolk University from taking action against him.

You reference academic freedom as essential and I agree, but there was nothing in Professor Avery’s email that suggests any novel legal theory or thesis. Professor Avery could have simply ignored this email that was completely unrelated to his duties as a professor, but instead he chose to send an email to the entire faculty stating his personal disapproval. Taking action against Professor Avery would in no way threaten academic freedom at Suffolk any more than firing a professor who reveals membership in the Klu Klux Klan.

Professor Avery has engaged in hate speech against a class of citizens who ironically do not enjoy the same First Amendment rights. Members serving in the U.S. military cannot speak out on matters of politics or personal opinion if doing so would tarnish the reputation of the military. Suffolk apparently does not live up to these same ideals and standards. A senior member of the faculty has brought shame upon the institution and all who support it, yet he will no doubt be celebrated for his courage at the next faculty dinner or next visit to Cuba. In the words of Professor Avery, “[w]e need to be more mindful of what message we are sending as a school.”

I have a moral obligation to exercise my First Amendment right of freedom of association and choose not to associate with Suffolk University Law School anymore. This is a sad moment for me because I know that the students do not agree with Professor Avery and I truly enjoy teaching. However, I must go else I am tarnished by the association. The only way for the students and alumnae to stop this invasion of radical thought by Professor Avery is to do likewise: transfer from Suffolk, stop donating money and stop supporting this hate speech.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Roughsedge

Kabul, Afghanistan

Thank you, Bob, for standing up when your nation needs you—both in Kabul and in Boston.

http://michaelgraham...ashing-faculty/ <<<picture of Bob participating in a school ceremony via Skype from Afghanistan

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"Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of national security states" [italics added] is close to being a tautology; it doesn't tell you what's excessive and what isn't. This took no courage at all on Avery's part. Academics have been talking that way since the early cold war, more than 60 years ago, and they'll probably be talking like that 60 years from now. In his milieu he would have needed more courage to question this assertion than to repeat it.

It isn't the issue anyway. What Suffolk objected to was his using his school email address as a political vehicle.

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Adam,

I read something about Professor Roughsedge resigning. He brings up some very good points about association among other things. That's a gutsy move on his part. I wonder if Suffolk will do anything with regard to Professor Avery with the fallout. I'm curious to see what will transpire in the coming days as a result. Will students bail? Will other faculty members? I'll be keeping a watchful eye out.

Thanks for posting the letter to the dean.

~ Shane

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