FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Harvard’s Truth Problem

Question: What do John Roberts, Bernie Madoff, Elena Kagan, Richard Blumenthal, Allen Stanford, George W. Bush and Adam Wheeler have in common?

Answer: All of them have shown lack of respect for truth and honesty.

John Roberts told senators and the country that as a Justice he would merely call balls and strikes, not make the rules. Like in the Citizens United case where he ruled that corporations have first amendment rights! That’s strike three, John. Imagine: holding that corporations have first amendment rights is supposedly not making the rules! That’s not only strike three; it’s also a foul ball.

Madoff and Stanford were two of the all time liars of the financial world. Nothing more need be said about them.

Adam Wheeler is the young man who attended Harvard and lied about almost every aspect of his record, both to get into Harvard and in applying for other schools and honors.

Richard the Lyinghearted, who is running for Senator from Connecticut, lied about serving in Viet Nam. He also lied about being the captain of the Harvard swim team.

George W. Bush — enough said; his name, like Lyndon Johnson’s, is synonymous with the word lie.

Elena Kagan, as far as I know, didn’t lie herself, but she also didn’t see fit to significantly punish two famous liberal Harvard law professors who lied about writing their own books. Claiming all the credit for writing their own books, they either plagiarized parts of those books themselves, or had the offending parts secretly written by students who did the plagiarizing. Either way their claiming of full credit for writing the books was a lie. But this did not much move Kagan, who appeared not to care enough about the lie to strongly punish it, just as she seemed not to care much that a leading conservative professor she hired, and whom she lauded to the skies, is thought by many to be a war criminal and certainly helped pave the way for war crimes.

Of course, Kagan is a careerist, and punishing leading liberal professors at Harvard is not good for one’s career, while hiring leading conservative law professors is. Then, too, Roberts, Madoff, Stanford and Wheeler — and probably Blumenthal too — were also careerists. That is the nature of the game among the Washington, the political and the financial elite. As for George W. Bush, he managed to be a careerist while being talentless.

It is a curious thing, isn’t it, that of the seven people I’ve mentioned as not respecting truth, five have some connection with Harvard: Roberts, Kagan, Richard the Lyinghearted, Shrub and Wheeler. (And let us not forget one of the all time-kings of lies and careerism, Harvard’s own Henry Kissinger.) Perhaps those who think I was picking on Harvard for some no good, nefarious reason a few years ago when I wrote extensively about the plagiarism there, the ghostwriting there, and the stupid depredations there of The Great Summers, who helped importantly in leading us into economic disaster, will now begin to understand that my reason was not nefarious. Rather, it was a deep concern for truth, a commodity that has drastically shrunk in importance in this country since the early 1960s.

Because of its preeminence, Harvard sets the standard. The academic world follows its lead. It dominates the Executive Branch year after year. It dominates the Supreme Court. And it often has the presidency — yep, George W. Bush was a Harvard man (the biz school), as is Barack Obama. And what is the public lead that Harvard’s people show us? Is it respect for honesty and for the need for honesty in order to have a good society? Is it respect for truth? Is it respect for competence? Is it fair play for all regardless of their background? Nope. The lead we are publicly shown is dishonesty and careerism, which are ruining – or perhaps have already ruined — the country.

It has been my view for a long time that dishonesty is the worst of sins, because almost every national and personal disaster is facilitated by, is in fact made possible by and occurs because of, dishonesty of some type, be it outright lies, withholding of important information, or what have you. (Think Viet Nam, Cambodia, Iraq, Madoff, Stanford, etc.) And often in the vanguard of disasters wrought by dishonesty are persons trained at or connected to Harvard. As was once said (about Massachusetts) in a different context, what do they have in the water up there?

LAWRENCE VELVEL, co-founder and dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, is the author of Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam and An Enemy of the People. He can be reached at: Velvel@VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

WORDS THAT STICK

 

More articles by:

Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, is the author of Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam and An Enemy of the People. He can be reached at: Velvel@VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 18, 2019
Olivia Arigho-Stiles
Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia
Ashley Smith
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Macho Camacho: Jeffery R. Webber and Forrest Hylton on the Coup in Bolivia
Robert Fisk
Michael Lynk’s UN Report on Israeli Settlements Speaks the Truth, But the World Refuses to Listen
Ron Jacobs
Stefanik Stands By Her Man and Roger Stone Gets Convicted on All Counts: Impeachment Day Two
John Feffer
The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Shock Therapy and the Rise of Trump
Stephen Cooper
Another Death Penalty Horror: Stark Disparities in Media and Activist Attention
Bill Hatch
A New Silence
Gary Macfarlane
The Future of Wilderness Under Trump: Recreation or Wreckreation?
Laura Flanders
#SayHerName, Impeachment, and a Hawk
Ralph Nader
The Most Impeachable President vs. The Most Hesitant Congress. What Are The Democrats Waiting For?
Robert Koehler
Celebrating Peace: A Work in Progress
Walter Clemens
American Oblivion
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
Kathleen Wallace
A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia
Andrew Levine
Get Trump First, But Then…
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton
Ipek S. Burnett
The United States Needs Citizens Like You, Dreamer
Michael Welton
Fundamentalism as Speechlessness
David Rosen
A Century of Prohibition
Nino Pagliccia
Morales: Bolivia Suffers an Assault on the Power of the People
Dave Lindorff
When an Elected Government Falls in South America, as in Bolivia, Look For a US Role
John Grant
Drones, Guns and Abject Heroes in America
Clark T. Scott
Bolivia and the Loud Silence
Manuel García, Jr.
The Truthiest Reality of Global Warming
Ramzy Baroud
A Lesson for the Palestinian Leadership: Real Reasons behind Israel’s Arrest and Release of Labadi, Mi’ri
Charles McKelvey
The USA “Defends” Its Blockade, and Cuba Responds
Louis Proyect
Noel Ignatiev: Remembering a Comrade and a Friend
John W. Whitehead
Casualties of War: Military Veterans Have Become America’s Walking Wounded
Patrick Bond
As Brazil’s ex-President Lula is Set Free and BRICS Leaders Summit, What Lessons From the Workers Party for Fighting Global Neoliberalism?
Alexandra Early
Labor Opponents of Single Payer Don’t  Speak For Low Wage Union Members
Pete Dolack
Resisting Misleading Narratives About Pacifica Radio
Edward Hunt
It’s Still Not Too Late for Rojava
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Why Aren’t Americans Rising up Like the People of Chile and Lebanon?
Nicolas Lalaguna
Voting on the Future of Life on Earth
Jill Richardson
The EPA’s War on Science Continues
Lawrence Davidson
The Problem of Localized Ethics
Richard Hardigan
Europe’s Shameful Treatment of Refugees: Fire in Greek Camp Highlights Appalling Conditions
Judith Deutsch
Permanent War: the Drive to Emasculate
David Swanson
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
Raouf Halaby
94 Well-Lived Years and the $27 Traffic Fine
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Coups-for-Green-Energy Added to Wars-For-Oil
Andrea Flynn
What Breast Cancer Taught Me About Health Care
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail