Keller @ Large: Education Doesn’t Always Make You Smart

BOSTON (CBS) – In his proclamation of the first Veterans Day on November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson said that the day should fill us all with “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

But not everyone shares that sentiment.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Earlier this week, a member of the staff at Suffolk Law School sent around an e-mail asking for donated supplies to put in care packages for our troops deployed overseas, including a Suffolk Law student who is serving in Afghanistan.

This request apparently infuriated a professor at Suffolk Law, who wrote in response:

“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. I understand that there is a residual sympathy for service members, perhaps engendered by support for troops in World War II, or perhaps from when there was a draft and people with few resources to resist were involuntarily sent to battle. That sympathy is not particularly rational in today’s world, however.”

The professor goes on to denounce Suffolk for having a large American flag hanging in its main atrium.

“This is not a politically neutral act. Excessive patriotic zeal…permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security….We need to be more mindful of what message we are sending as a school.”

This person makes it clear he doesn’t approve of our current military involvements, and the polls show most Americans agree.

But his targets prove once and for all that education and academic stature don’t necessarily make you smart.

Supporting our soldiers and honoring our flag are not examples of “excessive patriotic zeal” that “encourage excess.”

They’re expressions of community solidarity, and love of country.

If you think war is never a necessary evil, that’s fine, go ahead and enjoy dreamworld.

But for heaven’s sake, have the decency to confine your snide foolishness to the faculty lounge where it belongs.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • David Corbin

    Great commentary Jon…wish this could air on all of the networks. And a hearty “Thank you” to all of our veterans.

    • JohnC

      Times 2 David. Well said, Jon.

  • foamy

    Right on Jon! There are some out there that are trying vehemently to eradicate tradition and history from our culture – and unfortunately a LOT of them are in academia. This great republic was carved from the flesh and blood of men who stood up to totalitarianism, yet there are those in this day who are trying to send us back. The brave men and women who serve this country with distinction and professionalism deserve to be honored on this day, despite what some despot professor thinks. God Bless our troops, and THANK YOU!!!

  • Stephen Stein

    I find it shameful that the brave men and women who serve our country have to depend on HANDOUTS, instead of getting everything they need from a military budget that is greater than all others in the world combined.

    I find it shameful that our soldiers had to depend on DONATIONS to get body armor when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I find it shameful that phrases like “homeless vet” and “unemployed vet” are so common in our news reports.

    If we really cared about those whom our country has put in harm’s way, wouldn’t we find a way to equip them better in the field and take care of them better when they return?

    • BostonIrish

      Stephen, it’s obvious that the government would rather reduce the financial committment to our armed forces when they return home from whatever hell they came from, and sent there by the government. More than sad. Callous and unfair.

      • Stephen Stein

        I agree, Irish. I was surprised, though, that they did the same when they were IN THE FIELD, with insufficient armor, both for their vehicles and for their persons.

  • tsal1

    First and foremost thank you to all of the veterans who have served to make our country the finest in the world, to the men and women currently serving and to their families for also giving so much of themselves.

    I find this topic disturbing on so many levels that I won’t even begin to explain since I believe that any decent person feels the same. I also am brought to tear when I hear the terms Stephen Stein mentioned. I know people who are serving consecutive terms because they know there is nothing here to come back to. Shame on all of us for allowing this to happen.

  • Stickler

    We should honor those who serve and those who have served. We should also honor our history enough to remember that Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day, not Veteran’s Day as Mr. Keller writes above. Of course the sentiment is the same, but this is a basic fact that should have been checked (or just known).

  • massman

    This is a day to honor our veterans. This article however, is no way to celebrate these veterans. The only place I could find anything on Prof. Avery’s statement, was on Michael Graham’s webpage. Talk about people who are not very smart. I decided to read the entire statement, and not just the excerpts. Although I don’t agree with his entire statement, he makes some very intelligent arguments. I feel he’s wrong in targeting our soldiers, and there’s nothing wrong with an over-sized American flag. But the conversation about the sheer size, and cost of our military operations, and our involvement in other countries is rarely had. We spend one day honoring our veterans, yet how often do we see an article about a soldier coming home who has been horribly wounded? That is forever. Our veterans have fought to preserve the most important right we have as American citizens. Professor Avery chose to use that right to state his opposition to the military. That doesn’t mean he isn’t smart. And to downplay education, by claiming it “doesn’t always make you smart”, is a huge disservice. We already have enough :dummies” out there.

  • jaygee

    One has to remember that the feelings the good professor has are the same that others had regarding our involvement in WW-2, Korea, Vietnam etc, etc.
    Far too many times in the past 50 or 60 years, our politicians in Washington have taken it upon their themselves to have our military become the policemen of the world.Our young men decide to join up, as I did during Vietnam, only to find out that the war we were told was a necessary one, wasn’t. Our entry there was based on lies as was our entry into the Iraq debacle. The only difference now is that there is no draft so most young men today have others fighting and dying while they go partying on the weekend.
    As far as the un-named professor goes, had we stayed out of WW-2, the flag on his building might be a German flag and his curriculum might be a tad different.

  • fireman mark

    Maybe the ‘professor’ should be checked to see if he is a card-carrying member of the ACLU (American Clueless Liberal Union) or the Communist Party.He has the right to his free speech BECAUSE of American veterans like two of my brothers and my father.If the Prof.doesn’t like the way we honor and care for veterans then …..GTF out of America you loser!!

    • massman

      You are correct in attributing your protection of free speech to our veterans. They protect us from our foreign enemies infringing on this right. Just as the ACLU protects our right to free speech over here. They protect us from people like yourself. The uneducated, who believe free speech is only for those with similar beliefs. If not, GTF out. Right clueless?

      • fireman mark

        They only protect left-leaning losers like you massman.If you believe in hard work and capitalism (working for your money) they have no use for you.I’m hardly clueless.I guess you must have gone to Umass,the bastion of Liberalism! Go back to Russia or Yugoslavia where you belong.Just because HE’S a professor,I’M CLUELESS?Get a life you loser liberal socialist!!

      • Stephen Stein

        So Oliver North is a “left-leaning loser”? Good to know!

    • Italo

      It really is truly sad, Mark. Many in academia know a lot of facts and figures and make lifelong careers out of seeking and piling up educational degrees, but even more so most of them seem to be hardwired to be among the most common sense- and social skills-challenged communicators in our society. Go figure.

  • riggnn

    Since the professor saw fit to put his misguided sentiments in writing, what’s the problem with sharing his name so his students, and, more importantly, future students will know what to expect when walking into his classroom?

  • mikey

    Fifty bucks says Professor Moonbat here isn’t a veteran.

    • StanleyRamon

      $100 that he’s not American.

      • mikey

        Good point! I’m with ya.

  • massman

    Fireman Mark – Thank you for responding, while simultaneously making my point about the importance of education. The ACLU only protects left leaning losers? They defend the rights of everyone. The ACLU, just as the veterans, have been fighting for the same freedoms. I understand that many veterans believe they fought for their idea of an American way of life. But they are wrong. They are fighting for the freedom of all American citizens, whether or not they agree with their beliefs and opinions.You want Professor Avery to go to another country because he disagrees with you? I think your rant is clueless and uneducated. I would never want you to be forbidden to speak it. Our opinions will help others form their own opinions on different topics. And on a day when we are honoring those who served in our country’s largest socialist program, I thank you for your compliment.

  • fireman mark

    I wouldn’t let my A+ high scholl student even think of going to a college that had such narrow-minded quasi-commie professors who have an obvious dislike for the true Americans who support our soldiers who go into harms way to serve us.This guy is the reason why college professors should be paid to teach and teach only.Young impressionable students shouldn’t have to be subjected to their views.One of my older brothers came home from serving in VietNam and went to a Massachusetts State College where he was subjected to listening to a left-wing idiot professor.This Professor was telling his students “the way it really is” in Vietnam until he was corrected by someone who was actually there.By the way Massman, if you are a veteran then I don’t understand your mindset if you think the ACLU protects people from “people like me”.My guess is you are either too young to have been in Nam or got brainwashed at Liberal U. I am NOT a veteran but I support the men and women who are.This guy at Suffolk has a more valid opinion than me because he’s “educated?’ The biggest nuts aren’t always inside the nuthouse some of them are the ones who listen to the “nuts”.

    • tsal1

      fireman mark – I’m hoping by the time your A+ student gets to college he can be exposed to different ways of thinking and has the basics to form his own opinion. I know my kids did and I never labeled a school or anything else – I figured it would teach them to label and be judgemental

    • StanleyRamon

      My children actually got to choose their own future.

      • tsal1

        Stanley – that’s exactly what I meant and how it should be

  • emom

    Over the years I have seen many celebrations for our veterans. Having known many in my family and friends I was grateful they came home. I will say I am not a fan of war, But understand the reason for our troops to defend what we have and to protect us. I cringe when I hear a friend going to war, and praise god that they return safe.
    However, over the years, Veterans days has become a bit subdued, I mean it was an honor to be in a parade to honor our troops, so if you were in the parade, you dressed to such occasions. OK I mean scouts boys and girls dressed in their scout uniforms. They had some kind of float they either pulled or was driven that represented our troops. We would see more veterans young and old, emergency vehicles decked out with flags and other decorations.
    I just came from a parade, It was a nice parade, however, I was heart broken at the lack of honor, Girl scouts barely if at all wore their uniforms, brownies and daisy groups much the same. Non had a flag nor a pull float, most of the boys scouts did dress in their green and khakis. and one had a pull cart,, we had only a tiny amount of civil war folks in uniform and one lady dressed the part, there was one float but it represented the girls scouts only Not our troops, and none of the emergency vehicles had flags of symbolism of our troops.,
    But the many men and women young and old dressed in their military uniforms was more symbolic to see.
    I guess I remember the times growing up when all that participated in a parade on Veterans day and Memorial day. Showing their respect , honor and symbolism of our troops by not only wearing their uniforms but by carrying some sort of symbolic item for our troops whether it be a flag, float or decorations,
    I know this is a bit off from what the school proffessor did , But felt it was just as important in regards to our troops and how we as americans show our respect, honor and symbolism to them . If it were not for them and their many sacrifices we would not have a country to live in and a life of freedom.
    As far as the care packages go I remember many times as a girl scout back in the 60’s and 70s’ that we did gather items for some service men ,, and it was usually someone in our troop that had a father or other relative over seas,, Many received packages from home back then. so why is it a hassle to do so know. some may not be able to give , but many can, maybe we have lost sight of the meaning , symbolism and honor of why its so important.
    Maybe we are just becoming a selfish nation…. GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS.

  • tsal1

    emom – nice comments.

  • Ron

    Jon… I whole jearedly agree w/your critisizm of that dumb professor… My son (the SUPER LIBERAL) would agree w/him.. He evidently hasn’t served in the military, otherwise he would think differently… I’ve ALWAYS said every kid getting out of school should serve his time… I was in Korea, & the cadre in basic knocked some sense into me… I was a smart ass kid, but, they tore me down & showed me from right & wrong… I’ve been a centrist all my life, but lately I’m leaning conservative

  • fireman mark

    My child already has a mind of her own. She studies hard,gets great grades and appreciates everything she has. Tsal1 and Stanley: my daughter WILL choose her own future but the professors who are supposed to be teaching her can keep their “perspective” to themselves.If I’m the one paying THEIR salaries then they need to teach and keep their Socialist/Communist opinions to themselves.Stop trying to indoctrinate my kid into their “feel good” views on “taking care of the disenfranchised”.If people out there can’t feed em’..don’t breed em’. I’m tired of the Aunt Zunis and the illegal immigrant uncle.Before all you Titos get your panties in an uproar…my ancestors were Native American and LEGAL immigrants.This country’s downfall will be a result of too many receiving and not enough of us to give.I will sign off now as I have wasted to much time communicating with all you “educated” minion.

    • vb

      your comments for the most part are disgusting and NOT what america was found about. so xenophobic. All cultures, and other view points ARE WRONG but yours, aye?

      • Tsal

        Well I’m not big on labels but I do understand what you mean

      • Tsal

        I like your initials. They are mine also. And I mostly agree with all of your comments :)

      • vb

        tsal, they aren’t my initials, just some random letters! haha, but we do seem to always be in the same mind set, don’t we.

      • Tsal

        Well then they are great initials just the same and yes we do

    • massman

      You’re a very angry man fireman mark. Thank you for continuing to make my points.

  • BostonIrish

    Mark, you are jousting. It’s ok to have an opinion.But there’s no need to turn off because there are differences of opinion. It’s an open discussion of varying views and opinions, different perspectives. I’m an independent. I was a registered democrat. I am more right-leaning these days. Don’t sign off. Engage in the discussion. Mikey, Stanley, Stephen and Tsal have these types of disagreements too, as do most. It’s what gets us talking.

    Tsal, when did you become tsal1?

    • Tsal

      Hi BI. I am whatever it takes to post. Sometimes you have to be slightly creative on here. Sometimes im tsalt I agree with your comments to Mark completely. Nicely stated

      Happy Friday night to all. Mikey I am not on the deck tonight but cheers just the same.

      • Tsal

        I enjoyed the snow and the four days without power. I’m kind of missing that. Ok I’m ducking now. You enjoy as well. I think kind of like tsalt too was an iPad typo

      • BostonIrish

        tsalt, I like it. Enjoy the deck while it lasts. The snow will arrive soon enough.

      • mikey

        Spent the night by the woodstove last night tsal, felt great. Here comes winter – ugh. At least we’re here to complain about it!

        Hey Irish, Stanley and Stephen! You guys been hidin’ out or what?

      • Stephen Stein

        Hiya mikey…the comment system here has been really flaky for me. After a stretch where most of my comments just never showed up, I thought I’d take a break.

      • tsalt

        ummmm Mikey – you may not want to hear this but I LOVE winter and the bigger the snow storm the happier I am. I have this pair of snow socks that I got last year that I hold accountable for the great storms we had !!!!!

      • BostonIrish

        Mikey, same as Stephen. It was annoying to type a lot and have it disappear into cyberspace.

    • Tsal

      Haha. I rarely disagree with Stephen and Stanley and Mikey makes great points except when he makes me figure out early morning how old he is only to discover I’m older :(. Mark. BostonIrish is absolutely right. We all have different opinions but all are equally valid and important. Stay with us. We tend to grow on you,

    • StanleyRamon

      I’m always here lurking about. It’s been a busy summer. I also had some good comments disappear into the black hole, which happens here periodically. Wherever they go, there’s a lot of good liberal thoughts in there. Anyway, I figured I would punish Jon Keller and not comment for a while. :-) I suppose I’ve punished him enough.

      • tsal

        I for one am happy to have even more common sense comments here – wait did you call them liberal??

      • tsal1

        I sent an email to Jon the other day to ask about the comments not showing up – it’s happening to a lot of people – and is frustrating. Haven’t heard back yet so am hoping his tech people are working on it. It’s one of the reasons I never proof my iPad responses before posting. It takes long enough to type them on there and I want to post before they disappear

  • roudydowdy

    you are never alone with a schizophrenic

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