Elizabeth Warren Wins Our Vote!

[Update (Sept. 5, 7:55 p.m. Eastern):  Welcome Instapundit readers, and many thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds for the Insta-relaunch.  His link has produced 1,852 unique visits in less than an hour, and at this point there are about 45 additional visits each minute!]

[Update (Sept. 5, 9:58 p.m. Eastern):  5,418 unique visits in the exactly three hours since Instapundit linked to this post.]

[Update (Sept. 6, 6:45 p.m. Eastern):  We just broke 10,000 unique visits to this post in less than 24 hours.  Thanks to readers for their interest, and for the many comments.  We’ve resized the posters, below, to improve the readability of the post — some readers remarked that they were too large, filling the screen.  For the full-size version, just click on the poster. Also, we hereby authorize anyone who wishes to reproduce any or all of the posters, both online and in the “real world,” as long they are reproduced without alteration.]

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Welcome to another academic year of blogging and postering from Harvard Law Unbound (HLU). For those unfamiliar with our work, we are members of the Harvard Law School community dedicated to the candid examination of corruption and conflict of interest at the Law School, and of its long-standing practice of censoring and otherwise chilling  politically incorrect speech. For remarks by prominent bloggers about our work, consult Prof. William Jacobson (here and here), Prof. Glenn Reynolds (here and here), Dan Riehl, and Scott Johnson.

(Disclaimer: as we’ve repeatedly stated, ours is an informal group not recognized in any way either by Harvard Law School or by Harvard University, and our group has absolutely no connection to Unbound:  Harvard Journal of the Legal Left.)

This blog post announces the results of the vote taken yesterday by the members of HLU. Inspired by Nick Gillespie’s blog post on famous “fake Indians” — and even more by John J. Miller’s 2006 National Review essay, “Honest Injun?” — we set out to determine, looking at all those who have been caught during the last century pretending to be of Native American ancestry, just who is the most egregious perpetrator of this particular type of fraud — in the vernacular, the most “dishonest injun.”

From a large number of initial candidates, we agreed on three qualifications necessary to make the final ballot. To be a finalist, someone must: (1) have no Native American ancestors; (2) have sought professional advancement via affirmative representations of Native American status; and (3) have asserted that status in at least one published book.

Below is our Letterman-style list of the five most “dishonest injuns,” arranged from lowest to highest total votes. By a wide margin, the two top vote-getters were the only  professors among the finalists.  We readily reached a consensus that their actions are especially dishonest because professors, given their high level of education, are especially aware of their legal and ethical obligation not to commit ethnic fraud for professional advancement.

We’re sad to report that one of our professors here at Harvard Law School, Elizabeth Warren, was the top vote-getter, narrowly beating out Ward Churchill, formerly of the University of Colorado at Boulder (after his status as a fake Indian was exposed, Churchill was fired in 2007 for academic misconduct).

As in the past, we have created a poster campaign in an effort to present the relevant information in concise and easily accessible form.  This is our first five-poster campaign. Images of all five posters appear below. Hyperlinks are provided so interested readers can readily check the sources on which we have relied.

On behalf of all members of the Harvard Law School community who would speak the truth but for the Law School’s climate of fear designed to chill politically incorrect speech, we register our shame that Elizabeth Warren continues to be a professor in good standing at the Law School, that she has not been sanctioned in any way for her long-running participation in academic fraud, and that the Law School has not even conducted an impartial investigation into the ample evidence of her wrongdoing. Hers is another stark example of the corruption (failure to hold insiders accountable) and conflict of interest (unwillingness to take prompt action that might hurt the Democrats’ hold on the U.S. Senate) which all too frequently manifest themselves at the heart of the current administration of Harvard Law School.

Biographical background on “Grey Owl” here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Biographical background on “Iron Eyes Cody” here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Biographical background on “Little Tree” here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Background biographical information on Ward Churchill here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Here, via hyperlinks, are the sources we relied on for each statement in our Elizabeth Warren poster:

# 1 Most Dishonest Injun
Elizabeth Warren, aka “Fauxcahontos”

1. Born (1949) and raised in Oklahoma City, named Elizabeth Herring. 100% white; all her ancestors are of Northern European extraction. None of her ancestors was a member of any tribe, and none even lived near  Native Americans. A great-great-great grandfather was a soldier who helped expel Cherokees from Tennessee in 1837.

2. As a recent law school graduate interested in teaching, by the early 1980s she reinvented herself as part Cherokee, taking advantage of law school affirmative action hiring programs. On this basis she was hired by the U. of Houston, U. Texas, U. Penn., and Harvard.

3. To help sell the fraud she listed herself as a Native American in various professional directories, as early as 1986. She authorized U. Penn. and Harvard to falsely report her as a Native American in filings with the federal government, violating federal law.  She identified herself as “Cherokee” in a 1984 Native American cookbook put out by her cousin. (Her recipes weren’t Cherokee; she copied them out of the New York Times.)

4. Fraud began to unravel in April, 2012, while she was running for a U.S. Senate seat. Though incontrovertibly an ethnic fraud, she still claims Cherokee descent based on a fabricated elopement story and a reference by her mother’s sister to “high cheekbones” running in the family, even though:  (a) she reported her mother’s sister as “White” (not “American Indian”) on the 1999 death certificate she signed; and (b) after exhaustive research, her own nephew was unable to “document any Native American ancestry.”

5. Has repeatedly refused to meet with Cherokee geneologists (or even send staff to meet) to address her ancestry claims. Unlike “# 3 Most Dishonest Injun” Asa (Ace) Earl Carter, to date no Harvard professor has come forward to defend Warren’s work as a “cultural impersonator.” Not even family members defend her. Nonetheless she remains a professor in good standing at Harvard Law School, which has not even conducted an impartial investigation into the ample evidence of her academic fraud.

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More on the 2008 Cass Sunstein speech which inspired our poster campaigns

For those who may be interested, here is a bit more information on the 2008 Constitution Day speech by Professor Cass Sunstein referenced in our last post.  Professor Sunstein’s discussion of the dangers of balkanized speech fora inspired our poster campaigns, which seek to alert members of the Law School community about matters related to the Law School which they might otherwise not have occasion to encounter.

The speech, entitled “Free Speech in the Age of the Internet,” was delivered on Sept. 17, 2008.  It was covered by the Harvard Gazette, here, and by Harvard Magazine, here.

Below are two video clips from the speech.  (Given Harvard Law School’s censorship of our last blog via a bogus DMCA claim of use-of-name trademark infringement, and the possibility that it might seize on our use of these clips as a pretext to take down this blog, by making a similarly bogus DMCA claim of copyright infringement, we note: (1) these clips are hosted by YouTube, not by this blog; (2) they total only 8 1/2 minutes of Sunstein’s 77-minute speech; and (3) the entire 77-minute video of Sunstein’s speech is available for free on Harvard Law School’s website, here, so that these clips simply involve our effort to make “fair use” of the longer video, by giving our readers easy access to excerpts of the speech that may be of particular interest to them.)

The first clip provides the gist of Professor Sunstein’s warning about the dangers, especially in our internet age, of balkanized speech fora; his observations on the benefits of a rich free-speech environment in which people can encounter ideas different from their own, for example, by having printed materials presented as part of an “architecture of serendipity” which can lead unchosen, unanticipated encounters with ideas on matters they might not otherwise even have considered; and his quotation from John Stuart Mill’s remarks on the value “of placing people in contact with . . . modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar.”

In the second clip, taken from the question-and-answer session, Professor Sunstein suggests that then-Senator Barack Obama’s approach to politics may also help solve some of the balkanization of political speech, and he predicts that if the Republicans lose badly in the November, 2008 elections (as they did), Republicans will come to agree with Obama that their “father’s conservatism” is “not useful,” and they will refashion conservative thought into something more to liberals’ liking.

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Harvard Law School Fails Our Test: Its Censoring of Our Posters and Blog Betrayed Its Committment to Freedom of Expression

Before delving into the specifics of Harvard Law School’s bogus blacklisting of our blog, and other examples of censorship at the Law School showing this was not an isolated episode, we pause to observe that the Law School’s successful pressuring of WordPress.com, via DMCA claims, to delete our blog betrayed the free speech principles it had previously committed to following.  The Law School betrayed these principles even though we gave it the benefit of every doubt, and took care to eliminate any pretext on which it could censor our speech.

In blogging about issues of corruption and conflict of interest at Harvard Law School, we did nothing wrong.  All we did was take seriously past expressions about the honored place of free expression at Harvard University, and especially at the Law School.

Harvard’s University-Wide Statement on Rights and Responsibilities places great emphasis on Harvard being “a community ideally characterized by free expression, free inquiry, intellectual honesty, respect for the dignity of others, and openness to constructive change.”  It promises:  “The University must affirm, assure, and protect the rights of its members to . . . advocate, and publicize opinion by print, sign, and voice.”  Among the “essential” values Harvard promises to uphold “are freedom of speech and academic freedom,”and interference with this freedom “must be regarded as a serious violation of the personal rights upon which the community is based.”

Harvard Law School’s Community Principles set forth the Law School’s commitment to “free expression and inquiry.”  Two years ago, Dean Martha Minow wrote to the entire Law School community to reassert the Law School’s commitment to “important community principles and ideals,” including “freedom of expression.”

Two years earlier, in his 2008 Constitution Day speech, Professor Cass Sunstein expressed concern about the growing trend toward speech on controversial subjects being conducted largely on-line, with many consumers of information self-selecting forums which present information that mostly mirrors their existing views.  This trend, he pointed out, threatens to reduce the diversity of perspectives which traditionally has been characteristic of the public arena.  We share his concern.

Professor Sunstein expounded on the benefits of a rich, real-world free-speech environment in which people can encounter ideas different from their own, so that their deliberations and actions will tend toward productive moderation.  He quoted John Stuart Mill’s remarks on the value “of placing people in contact with . . . modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar.”

In particular, Professor Sunstein argued for greater reliance on printed materials, placed in public spaces, as part of an “architecture of serendipity” which can lead to “unchosen, unanticipated encounters “– the opportunity to brush, by accident, over headlines or photos that might not be self-selected, but that nevertheless hold the potential to change readers’ perceptions of matters they may not otherwise have even considered.

Inspired by Professor Sunstein’s advocacy of increasing the diversity of opinions people are exposed to, particularly though the use of printed materials placed such that people not otherwise attuned to the messages will encounter them serendipitously, starting in early April we and others acting under the “Unbound” label began placing posters around the Law School campus, addressing ethical issues raised by the recruiting efforts of large law firms on campus.  (You can read more about the “Firmly Refuse” campaign here and here.)

Next, a very small group of the original “Unbound” group, acting under the label “Harvard Law Unbound” (i.e., us), carried out what ended up (it did not start that way) amounting to a test of whether Harvard Law School is truly committed to freedom of speech at the Law School, even when (especially when) that speech is deeply critical of the Law School’s actions.

On the morning of Friday, April 20, about 10 hours before the President of Harvard University, the Dean of the Law School, and the former Dean (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan) would together dedicate the new Caspersen Student Center, named after Law School alumnus Finn M.W. Caspersen, those arriving at the Law School for the day (including alumni visiting for class reunions) serendipitously encountered this poster which we placed on bulletin boards around the Law School, with facts about Mr. Caspersen probably unlike those with which they were familiar (given the Law School’s uniformly laudatory coverage of Mr. Caspersen’s biography, for example, here and here):

A more detailed poster, and a parallel entry on our original “Harvard Unbound” blog (located at http://harvardunbound.wordpress.com), went into further detail about the spectacle of the Law School stripping the name of a selfless philanthropist, Edward S. Harkness, off the Harkness Commons, thereby dishonoring him, to instead honor cowardly tax cheat Finn Capersen — even though Harkness had given Harvard five times more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than Caspersen. A copy of the detailed April 20 blog post (including an image of the poster) is reproduced here.

We expected the Law School administration to be upset about our choice of topic, and timing, in implementing Professor Sunstein’s suggestions about how to ensure consideration of a diversity of information in the marketplace of ideas, via paper-based communication with passersby.  We expected some sort of counter-speech (though we heard none). What we didn’t expect was something reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel 1984 — that the Harvard Law School administration would respond by censoring our speech, and acting to erase it from the historical record.

We didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition. Then again:

Our nearly two dozen posters were all ripped down within two hours of being put up, so that virtually no one saw them, and thus virtually no one was aware of our blog, referenced on them. Within 24 hours, and without any prior notice to us of any complaint of confusion that might be caused by the name of our original blog, “Harvard Unbound,” based on a DMCA claim backed by the Law School administration, WordPress.com deleted our blog.  (Given the detail in our “About” page indicating that our blog was written by a small subgroup of the original “Unbound” group, it had not occurred to us to include at the top of the blog an explicit disclaimer of any  connection to Unbound — Harvard Journal of the Legal Left.  Instead of asking us to include such a disclaimer, the Law School used our omission as an excuse to have our entire blog deleted.)  But for a tweet by Ramesh Ponnuru, even the fact that the blog had once existed would have likely escaped attention on the internet.

Rather than carp about this turn of events, or attack the Law School administration for censoring our speech in violation of its prior commitments to freedom of expression, we decided to take the high road, give the Law School administration the benefit of any doubt (after all, we had not included an explicit disclaimer in our original blog), and give the administration a second chance to live up to its professed principles, taking care this time to ensure there could be no credible ground for the administration pressing to have our blog deleted.  We laboriously recreated our blog, exactly as it existed before, changing only the title (to “Harvard Law Unbound”), and the web address (http://harvardlawunbound.wordpress.com), and adding an explicit disclaimer that our blog had no connection to the Journal and was not authorized in any way by Harvard Law School (see here and here).  We then added new posts about the scheduled May 23 visit to campus of the Class Day commencement speaker, Attorney General Eric Holder, and about our new series of posters (four in all).

We then published and publicized the blog via various e-mails to members of the Class of 2012 and others, and put up the posters, during the afternoon and evening of May 21 — two days before the Attorney General’s visit, in order to ensure ample time for counter-speech by anyone interested in the topic we chose to address: the “Fast and Furious” scandal in which the Attorney General is currently embroiled.

Again adhering to Professor Sunstein’s ideas for creative use of spaces that are open to large numbers of passersby, to deliver information they might not otherwise be exposed to, due to our efforts those at the Law School and reading our blog were able to see this attention-grabbing poster:

This was merely our “teaser” poster, to interest readers in our topic. The other three posters went into considerable detail about the deadly, “insane” Operation Fast and Furious overseen by the Attorney General, and about the evidence that the Attorney General lied to Congress concerning when and what he first learned about the Operation.  You can view the other posters here.  Our blog post introducing this new phase of our project is reproduced here.

Harvard Law School failed this test of its commitment to freedom of expression.  If it disagreed with our message, the Law School administration was free to put up its own posters, and/or place a message on its own website.  But it made no effort of any kind to engage in counter-speech — no effort to provide members of the Law School community with a perspective different from our own.  It simply censored our speech, and acted to remove it from the historical record, just as it had done before.

All of our posters (nearly three dozen this time) were ripped down within hours of them being put up, so that no one in the intended audience (graduating students, their families, and their guests attending the Class Day activities on May 23) ever saw them.

Based on another — this one entirely bogus — DMCA claim made by the Law School administration, our blog was deleted, again, even faster than it was deleted the first time.  As documented contemporaneously on Professor Jacobson’s website, the bogus DMCA claim was made at 11:34 a.m. on May 22, and our blog was deleted less than six hours later.  The only difference is that this time our blog did not vanish down a “memory hole” reminiscent of 1984, thanks to Professor Jacobson, who preserved it for historical purposes in PDF format here, where it has now been viewed 2.257 times (as of 1 p.m. on June 2).

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Harvard Law School’s Bogus Journey Into Blog Blacklisting

We are a small group of dissenting Harvard Law School students whose “Harvard Law Unbound” blog, focused on protesting corruption and conflict of interest at the Law School, was blacklisted last week by the Law School, which pressured our WordPress.com host into deactivating the blog.  (For more background, review our old “About” page, reprinted here; our new “About” page, here; and the archived version of our blog, here, which we’re pleased to see more than 2,000 people have already viewed [6/2 update:  2,056 views when we launched this new blog yesterday; now up to 2,257!]).

The Law School administration didn’t file a lawsuit regarding our blog, and thus cannot claim to have persuaded a neutral judge that its objections had any merit. Instead, it pressured WordPress.com to blacklist our blog by threatening it with legal action.  It did so notwithstanding our timely and well-documented objection that we had done nothing wrong.  In the face of Harvard Law School’s legal threats, WordPress capitulated and deleted our blog.

The Harvard Law School administration’s legal threats were based on what law professor Glenn Reynolds (“Instapundit“), an expert in the area of high-technology law (among other areas), termed a “bogus DMCA claim.”Only Bill and Ted can say it better:

Our situation has also attracted the attention of law professor William A. Jacobson, of “Legal Insurrection.” In two posts on May 22 (here and here), he gave detailed attention to Harvard Law School’s bogus assertion, made pursuant to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, that the title of our blog supposedly violated the use-of-name trademark rights of Harvard Law School and/or “Unbound — Harvard Journal of the Legal Left,” because readers might somehow believe our blog was authorized by, or otherwise affiliated with, the Law School and/or the Journal.  This objection was legally frivolous — utterly bogus — because at the very top of our blog was posted an explicit disclaimer of any such authorization or affiliation (photo of the top of our old blog with the disclaimer, here; copy of our old “About” page, incorporated by reference into the disclaimer, here).

Could it be that none of the administrators at Harvard Law School speaks English?  Unless they simply acted in bad faith, it’s difficult to come up with another explanation for their professed confusion about whether we claimed to be speaking on behalf of the Law School or the Journal.  Perhaps we should have enlisted Chris Tucker to check into whether or not the administrators at Harvard Law School speak English:

Assuming they do speak English, the Law School administrators could hardly have missed our disclaimer.  Professor Jacobson, himself a Harvard Law School graduate, personally called it to the attention of the Dean of Students in an e-mail sent several hours before our blog was blacklisted.  See here.  Professor Jacobson’s followup post, after our blog was blacklisted, is here.  Writing on the Breitbart.com website, Dan Riehl also covered the blacklisting of our blog, here.

Clearly, the Law School administration knew that given our prominent disclaimer, there was no risk of confusion, and thus no infringement of any trademark use-of-name rights which might exist (itself questionable, based on a search of registered trademark databases; more on that later).  It made a bogus DMCA claim anyway, because it wanted our blog blacklisted, immediately, before the May 23 visit to the campus by Attorney General Eric Holder, which was the focus of our most recent posts.  It achieved its objective, but only through baseless legal threats delivered to our WordPress.com host.

Beyond simply wiping away our past content, these baseless legal threats deprived us of the platform we needed to publicize, late in the afternoon of May 22, our second series of posters about Holder (the first 4-poster series, unveiled on May 21, dealt only with the “Fast and Furious” scandal).  It also disrupted the planned protest of Holder during his Class Day speech — given the aggressive and unlawful actions the Law School administration took to censor our blog, those who had planned to protest Holder cancelled those plans for fear that if they proceeded the Law School administrators would have them arrested (until this blatant act of censorship we had assumed, based on the precedent set last fall when protestors disrupted a Harvard speech by Newt Gingrich, that a loud but non-violent protest of a speaker would not constitute an arrestable action).

As best we can determine, to date the Law School administrators have not disputed the conclusion (based on the facts then available) of Professor Reynolds and Professor Jacobson that the Law School’s DMCA claim was bogus.  Apparently it doesn’t matter to them that well-credentialed and respected lawyers have concluded that Harvard Law School has no qualms about lodging bogus legal claims in order to suppress speech critical of Harvard Law School.

This is not the first time that Harvard Law School has been silent in the face of well-documented allegations of wrongdoing, in particular allegations that it filed a claim that was false under the governing federal law.  It is currently facing allegations that it filed multiple false claims in violation of federal law regarding the purported Native American ancestry of Professor Elizabeth Warren, an allegation made by Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and recently analyzed by Professor Jacobson and by Michael Patrick Leahy.

We have launched this new blog in hopes that others with an interest in preserving free speech on the internet will join in our effort to hold Harvard Law School accountable for its bogus censorship of our blog, and specifically to call on it to withdraw its baseless DMCA objection, and authorize WordPress to reinstate our blog, so that we may continue to use that as a platform for future criticism of various aspects of Harvard Law School without interference from Harvard Law School.

We anticipate making a series of posts regarding the blacklisting of our blog, and we plan to continue pressing our objections to Harvard Law School’s blatant censorship of dissenting speech as long as needed to secure a victory for free speech, not just for us, but for anyone else wishing to criticize Harvard Law School or other educational institutions that might be tempted to file bogus DMCA claims in the future if this precedent stands. Feel free to e-mail us at HarvardLawUnbound@gmail.com.  Thank you.

Note that we’ve chosen a deliberately provocative, indeed outlandish, title for this new blog — “Harvard Law School is Bogus” — to guarantee as best we can that Harvard Law School will not file yet another bogus DMCA claim seeking to have this blog taken down, based on supposed confusion over whether someone might think this blog is authorized by, and speaks for, Harvard Law School.  We trust that not even Harvard Law School administrators can work up any confusion about this blog.

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