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Renewed attack on Woody Allen a classic case of crowd irrationality

January 29th, 2018

No new facts behind unwarranted resurrection of long dismissed charge

Behavior reminiscent of McCarthy era in haste of young actors to abandon ship in face of female lynch mob

Alec Baldwin and Diane Keaton try to stem tide of unfair and uninformed prejudice, probably in vain

Times reviewers swept up by #TimesUp witchhunt, join in, though evidence still entirely against it

Mia and Woody and Dylan in happier days

The tidal wave of #MeToo #TimesUp condemnation of Woody Allen in the wake of Malone/Dylan Farrow’s renewed claims he lured her into the attic for twenty minutes at age 7 to perpetrate some invasive touching, in a house where he was surrounded by hostile women, including the watchful Mia Farrow, seems to be a very objectionable example of the way emotions now rule in public discourse at the expense of checked facts.

Woody now has to deal with Dylan’s adult Op-Ed, which denies the matter was settled years ago

The extent of the reaction against Allen is depressingly large and is still gathering force, now threatening his film making at the end of his notable career, according to this NYTimes article today:

    Can Woody Allen Work in Hollywood Again?

No more evidence is offered than before when the allegations were roundly rejected by the authorities in two investigations, so there is little excuse for the actors in his films who have turned against him in the current lynch mob atmosphere which ensures that any accusation of this kind instantly knocks even the most widely admired celebrity off his perch.

However, a very sound contradiction of this always evidently spurious accusation was written for the Daily Beast by the level headed maker of a 3 hr 12 min documentary (Woody Allen – A Documentary 2012) for American Masters on PBS on the topic of Woody Allen and his work, at the time the charge was earlier revived in 2014, four years ago, and all who still give any credibility to the long defeated story should read it.

    The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast


Twenty-one years after the first allegations that Woody Allen abused his adopted daughter, that incident is back in the news.
by Robert B. Weide
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast
01.27.2014 5:45 AM ET

As anyone with access to a computer knows, Woody Allen has been pilloried of late across the internet, over allegations that 21 years ago, he molested the daughter he and Mia Farrow adopted in 1985. Countless people have weighed in on this, many of them without the slightest idea of what the facts are in this matter. I consider myself allergic to gossip and tabloids, and go out of my way to avoid them. So when a celebrity is being devoured by the two-headed piranha of gossip and innuendo, I usually have minimal understanding of what they did, or were alleged to have done. Woody Allen is an exception.

I produced and directed the two-part PBS special, Woody Allen: A Documentary, that premiered in the U.S. on the “American Masters” series. I also supervised and consulted on the brief clip montage that aired as part of the recent Golden Globes telecast, when Allen received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement.

When I went online the morning after the Globes broadcast, I found more than one email asking if I had seen the previous night’s tweets from Mia Farrow and her son, Ronan. A quick search led me not only to the accusatory tweets, but to the explosion of internet chatter that followed in their wake. The more benevolent comments suggested Woody should rot in jail. Others were demanding his head on a pike.

Last fall, Vanity Fair magazine ran an article about Mia and her family, which included an interview with the 28-year-old Malone (née Dylan), who, at the age of seven, was at the center of Mia’s allegations that made headlines during the brutal custody battle between her and Woody. In the recent interview, Malone stands behind her mother’s accusation. It was the one-two punch of the Vanity Fair piece and the Farrow tweets that stirred up the hornet’s nest that had remained somewhat dormant over the past 20 years.

More

He abused me when I was seven, and I recall this devastating few minutes in the attic as I played with my train as though it was yesterday, and my vengeful mother and my loyal brother back me up even though they weren’t there

Dylan’s recent CBS TV interview on the validity of her memory at seven is tearful and adamant:

    Woody Allen Denies Molestation Claim – Dylan Farrow Give First TV Interview to CBS

The clincher: Here is Woody Allen’s interview on 60 Minutes in 1992 which makes it very clear that Mia Farrow is the one who has behaved very irrationally in the aftermath of her discovery that Allen had become sexually involved with her and Previn’s adopted daughter Soon Yi.

    Woody Allen defends himself on 60 Minutes in ’92

Woody Allen is my friend and I continue to believe him. It might be of interest to take a look at the 60 Minute interview from 1992 and see what you think. https://t.co/QVQIUxImB1

— Diane Keaton (@Diane_Keaton) January 29, 2018

@ABFalecbaldwin
1 of the most effective things Dylan Farrow has in her arsenal is the “persistence of emotion.” Like Mayella in TKAM, her tears/exhortations r meant 2 shame u in2 belief in her story.
But I need more than that before I destroy some1, regardless of their fame.
I need a lot more.
– Alec Baldwin January 28 2018

    Alec Baldwin Compares Dylan Farrow to Character Who Lied About Rape

(Daily Beast) In a series of tweets Sunday, Alec Baldwin compared Dylan Farrow to Mayella Ewell, a character in the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird who falsely accuses a black man of rape. Baldwin said one of the most “effective” tools in Farrow’s “arsenal is the ‘persistence of emotion.’” Not unlike Mayella, he said, Farrow’s “tears/exhortations” are meant to “shame” people into believing her allegations that Woody Allen molested her. He stated that he “needed a lot more” before condemning Allen. The tweets come after Farrow spoke about her alleged abuse on CBS News, and Baldwin called accusations against Allen “unfair and sad.”

And on it goes, as wide and encompassing as a flood rising:

    Scott Baio ‘Absolutely’ Denies Co-Star’s Sex-Abuse Allegations

Actor Scott Baio continued to adamantly deny sexual-abuse claims made by his former co-star Nicole Eggert, in a Good Morning America interview Wednesday. He admitted to having one sexual encounter with Eggert after she turned 18—although Eggert has alleged in previous interviews that she had sexual relations with Baio at the age of 17. New allegations from Eggert claim that she was lying in prior interviews “out of shame,” and actually started having sexual relations with Baio when she was just 14 years old. Baio pointed to Eggert’s inconsistencies as evidence of lying, and said the actress is someone “who makes things up” and that parents, families, and producers were on the set and make such an incident “impossible.” Baio and Eggert both starred in the 198os series Charles in Charge.

    Actor Scott Baio adamantly denies abusing underage co-star – AP Jan 31, 2018, 9:31 AM ET

Scott Baio adamantly denies a claim that he sexually abused an underage “Charles in Charge” co-star and says she seduced him when she was 18 and legally an adult.

On Tuesday, Nicole Eggert, speaking on “Megyn Kelly Today,” said Baio first molested her when she was 14, and they had sexual intercourse when she was 17. The age of consent in California is 18. Baio is more than 11 years older than Eggert.

Baio said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “false allegations” against him have “got to stop” for the sake of his wife and 10-year-old daughter.

He said his daughter “does not need to be hearing about this from friends at school.”

Baio said molestation would have been “absolutely impossible” on a set filled with teachers, relatives, crew members and producers.

During a consensual encounter when she was of legal age, Eggert told him that she wanted him to “be her first” sexual partner, Baio said.

Baio said they he remained friends after that encounter. He remembered Eggert as a “talented girl. We had a great time on the set. … Everybody got along.”

However, he added that Eggert “makes up” things, and he’s “not the first person” to become a target.

He was asked about Eggert’s remarks that she is exploring legal options and is considering filing a police report.

“Why would I have a concern over something I didn’t do?” he said. “Rather than take your case to social media … why not do it through the proper channels?”

Baio returned to the spotlight as an outspoken supporter of then presidential candidate Donald Trump, including speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Times reviewer confuses art with real life

Finally, it turns out today that the whole kerfuffle has lured the never very deep though usually deft resident Times movie critic A.O.Scott out of his crab hole to nip Allen’s Achilles tendon with a very sharp claw, Scott having for some reason decided that he has been wrong all along and that Allen is after all a child abuser, whose tendencies have been writ large to Scott’s newly critical eye in many of his movies, but never fully understood as evidence by Mr Scott.

Precisely where and how the aging critic revised his opinion of Woody Allen as an admirable creative artist who would have had better things to do than grope a seven year old in an attic for a few minutes once in his life while she played with a toy train is not clear from his text, which seems to report his change of mind without naming new evidence beyond his own imagination as the trigger for reversal of his opinion in public in the supposedly factually reliable Times, but no doubt more perceptive folk than this literal minded science writer will enlighten us. Till then, we will say that the fundamental mismatch in operation in Scott’s fluctuating imagination may be the intelligence of Woody Allen and his own.

MOVIES | ON SECOND THOUGHT My Woody Allen Problem By A. O. SCOTT JAN. 31, 2018

On the morning of the Oscar nominations, I was chatting with a stranger about movies, as one does. The conversation turned to Woody Allen. “My son has seen all his movies, and he thinks he’s innocent,” she said. “I’ve seen all his movies, and I think he’s guilty,” I said. There was not much else to say.

There is a lot more to say. The words we chose weren’t quite the right ones. Innocence and guilt are legal (and also metaphysical) standards, but when we talk about the behavior of artists and our feelings about them, we are inevitably dealing with much messier, murkier, subjective issues. It’s not just a matter of whether you believe Dylan Farrow’s accusation of sexual abuse — reiterated a few weeks ago in a television interview — or the denial from her father, Mr. Allen. It’s also a matter of who deserves the benefit of
the doubt.

The charge that Mr. Allen molested Dylan Farrow surfaced in 1992, in the wake of his breakup with Mia Farrow. That rupture was caused by Mia Farrow’s discovery that Mr. Allen was sexually involved with Soon-Yi Previn, who was her adopted daughter, though not Mr. Allen’s. His defenders (including his and Mia Farrow’s adopted son Moses) suggest that the allegation of abuse was the invention of a spurned woman lashing out against the man who had humiliated her.

The severity of that accusation, and Mr. Allen’s steadfast denial of it, had the curious effect of neutralizing what might otherwise have been a reputation-destroying scandal. “The heart wants what it wants,” he famously said, and what his 56-year-old heart desired was a 21-year-old woman he had known since she was a child. He married her, kept making movies, and the whole business faded into tabloid memory.

I remember the debating points vividly, which is to say I remember invoking them in arguments with friends at the time. Ms. Previn was not a minor. Mr. Allen and her mother had never lived together. He was not Soon-Yi’s father, or even her stepfather, even if he was the father of her half-siblings. And besides, Mr. Allen’s love life was personal, and therefore irrelevant. What mattered was the work.

For more than two decades, Mr. Allen’s credibility as an artist was undiminished. The reception of his movies fluctuated, but critics (myself included) often enough found reason to hail a return to form after a fallow period. He won awards, and actors clamored for the chance to appear in his films. Only now has that started to change.

The old defenses are being trotted out again. Like much else that used to sound like common sense, they have a tinny, clueless ring in present circumstances. The separation of art and artist is proclaimed — rather desperately, it seems to me — as if it were a philosophical principle, rather than a cultural habit buttressed by shopworn academic dogma. But the notion that art belongs to a zone of human experience somehow distinct from other human experiences is both conceptually incoherent and intellectually crippling. Art belongs to life, and anyone — critic, creator or fan — who has devoted his or her life to art knows as much.

Furthermore, Mr. Allen’s art in particular is saturated with his personality, his preoccupations, his biography and his tastes. One of the most powerful illusions encouraged by popular art is that its creators are people the rest of us know. This is not only because tales of their childhoods and news of their marriages and divorces feed our prurient appetites, or because we can peek into their lives on Instagram and Twitter. It’s also because they carry intimate baggage into their work and invite us to sort through the contents.

Whether you celebrate its authenticity or hate the TMI-ness of it all, this is unquestionably an age of self-display. And one of its founding fathers, without a doubt, is Woody Allen, the neurotic Narcissus of the Me Generation, the bridge between midcentury psychoanalysis and digital-era selfie culture.

Casting him aside will therefore not be so easy, which is part of what I was trying to say in that brief, stalemated discussion about his guilt or innocence. I could, I suppose, declare that I won’t watch any more of his movies. But I can hardly unwatch the ones I’ve seen, which is all of them, at least half more than once. And even if I could, by some feat of cinephilic sophistry, separate those movies from Mr. Allen’s life, I can’t possibly separate them from mine.

When I was young — much too young, but it’s too late now — my grandmother took me to see “Play It Again, Sam.” Most of the jokes went over my head, but a lot of them stuck in it anyway. “Did you hear another Oakland girl got raped?” Diane Keaton asks. “But I was nowhere near Oakland!” says Mr. Allen, who is playing a San Francisco film critic named Allan Felix. (“Play It Again, Sam,” released in 1972, is a bit of an outlier in the early Allen canon. It was based on Mr. Allen’s play but directed by Herbert Ross.)

Allan is sometimes visited by the specter of Humphrey Bogart, in trench coat and fedora. He has hard-boiled advice about “dames” and other matters. I had only the vaguest idea of who this apparition was supposed to be, but before long what Bogey was to Allan Felix, Woody Allen was for me. A mentor. A culture hero. A masculine ideal.

He sparked my interest in foreign films and old movies, in jazz and Russian literature, in Franz Kafka and Marshall McLuhan. Whenever there was a revival of “Sleeper,” “Bananas” or “Love and Death” in those pre-home-video days, I was there. My paperback copies of his first two collections, “Getting Even” and “Without Feathers,” were dog-eared from endless rereading. No present was ever as keenly coveted or quickly devoured as the hardcover of his third, “Side Effects,” which my parents gave me one Christmas. Mr. Allen’s prose made an even stronger impression on me than his films. His characteristic deflationary swerve from the lofty to the absurd, from high seriousness to utter banality, struck me as the very definition of funny.

The man himself was a plausible definition of sexy. The achievement of his early movies, culminating in “Annie Hall” (his seventh feature as a director) was to turn a scrawny, bookish, self-conscious nebbish into a player. His subsequent achievement was to turn himself into a serious filmmaker without surrendering that initial cachet. The Allen character in his various incarnations might be insecure, childishly silly, socially hapless (or all of the above), but he was never single for long. The aspects of his temperament held up for mockery — the hyper-intellectualism, the snobbery, the irreducible Jewishness — doubled as weapons of seduction. His self-deprecation was a tactic, a feint, a rope-a-dope, and he was plagued less by the frustration of his desires than by their fulfillment. As soon as the heart got what it wanted, it wanted something else. What impressionable, heterosexual, unathletic adolescent boy would not want a piece of that action?

O.K., fine. Not all adolescent males. But underneath the neurosis and the shrugging, stammering self-directed put-downs was a powerful sense of entitlement. The Woody Allen figure in a Woody Allen movie is almost always in transit from one woman to another, impelled by a dialectic of enchantment, disappointment and reawakened desire. The rejected women appear shrewish, needy, shallow or boring. Their replacements, at least temporarily, are earnest, sensuous, generous and, more often than not, younger and less worldly than their predecessors. For a very long time, this was taken not as a self-serving fantasy but as a token of honesty, or freedom from sentimental conceptions of domestic love.

There was a lot more going on, too. The imagination goes where it will. A recent Washington Post article dug deep into the archive of Mr. Allen’s unpublished writings and found ample signs of his preoccupation with very young women, something moviegoers have been aware of since “Manhattan.”

Part of the job of a critic — meaning anyone with a serious interest in movies, professional or otherwise — is judgment, and no judgment is ever without a moral dimension. Nor is it ever without a personal interest. What I find most ethically troubling about Mr. Allen’s work at present is the extent to which I and so many of my colleagues have ignored or minimized its uglier aspects. A sensibility that seemed sweet, skeptical and self-scrutinizing may have been cruel, cynical and self-justifying all along.

There is a powerful and understandable urge, as a consequence of the long-overdue recognition of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, to expunge the perpetrators, to turn away from their work and scrub it from the canon. It’s never quite so simple. Mr. Allen’s films and writings are a part of the common artistic record, which is another way of saying that they inform the memories and experiences of a great many people. I don’t mean this as a defense, but an acknowledgment of betrayal and shame.

As I said, there is much more to say. Reassessment is part of the ordinary work of culture, and in an extraordinary time, the work is especially vital and especially challenging. I will not blame you if you want to stop watching Woody Allen’s movies. But I also think that some of us have to start all over again.

There are 18 Comments so far at the time of writing this paragraph, most missing the point, though a couple nail it: There is no new evidence for Woody Allen’s guilt and his full exoneration therefore stands, abetted by the simple fact that there have never been any other accusations in more than two decades since, not to mention that it made no sense in the first place – the idea of momentarily grasping twenty minutes in an attic as a unique opportunity amid watchful and hostile women was always absurd given the decades before and after he could have acted without danger – and it still is, especially since like any honest and perceptive man let alone a creative comic genius Woody Allen has made it no secret from himself or others that he notices the attractions of very young women, which is just a simple fact of life in scientific terms, and while no one but a gross libertine of greatly retarded social understanding would act upon them by seducing too young teens, in the case of actual children normal instinct would need to be powerfully flipped from aversion to perversion, which Allen has shown nil signs of experiencing; if anything he has shown with his films that his social perceptions are very clear, so clear that he can play with them in all manner of interesting and amusing ways that inform his films.

Some points made in this discussion include these, in a very mixed bag of fellow traveling agreement based on strong emotion rejecting Woody Allen as a perfidious scoundrel newly placed on the target shelf for anti child abusers to shoot at, and those who argue that the evidence is totally lacking as before, and that he is condemned with trial or jury, all confused with the debate as to whether the sins of the artist are independent of the art, or vice versa. :

bill Madison 2 hours ago
‘What I find most ethically troubling about Mr. Allen’s work at present is the extent to which I and so many of my colleagues have ignored or minimized its uglier aspects. ‘

That is not what is troubling about his work. It is what is troubling about yourself.

Reply 48Recommend
Nancy is a trusted commenter Great Neck 2 hours ago
A brilliant essay, much needed for teaching of the way in which we come or really should come to understand the work of any artist who is productive over an extended time. What Mr. Scott clearly shows is the insistence of themes in the work of Allen, and these insistent themes even in isolation become troubling. Even in isolation we increasingly wonder, who is this film maker? The troubling psychology is all there on the screen over time.

Brilliant.

Reply 9Recommend
K. Mannion Kirkland WA 2 hours ago
Beautifully written article. I too remain conflicted. I grew up adoring Woody Allen — and still haven’t grown tired of the Annie Hall dress style. Jeez, I’m old.

I remember reading an Allen biography on the subway and every time it solicited comments from fellow riders — long before this conversation. At work, Allen was a client, one of the few who was polite as when I’d take my turn manning the phones at lunch. Many other industry-types were pretty egotistical. So my small, personal experience partially forms my point of view.

I can’t say I will ever stop enjoying his work and still look forward to new films. Even at his worst, it remains better than most of what comes along. The art. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia. Best.

On which even more comments are already coming in:
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An embarrassing misstep

All in all, the too precipitate publication of this evidence free mishmash of biography, opinion, and fantasy seems likely to be regretted by its author, who seems unable to separate the duties of writing informed though still inevitably subjective movie reviews and that of using the respected columns of his home paper to express a well thought out judgment on a factual matter, based on objective analysis of available evidence, in a matter of great interest to many people, and one which threatens unjust punishment of a man who there is no reason to think is not as innocent of a vile charge as he was reckoned to be by two thorough professional investigations more than two decades ago.

One can see why the editors were willing to publish it in the current competition for reader attention but it still seems unkind to Scott as well as ethically irresponsible, and not very good for the reputation of the newspaper.

But the bottom line is that Scott is the one that has made a fool of himself, in this embarrassing display of his inability as a very seasoned critic to tell the difference between art and real life.

PS Oops Comments have gone to 787. Here are the newer ones – aw heck, here are all of them. The Times doesn’t number them, although we are three decades into the personal computer age, so one wonders if they are trying ti hide them, or simply disdain them:

=====================================================
787 COMMENTS
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.The comments section is closed. To submit a letter to the editor for publication, write to letters@nytimes.com.
====================================================
Richard Grayson Brooklyn 5 hours ago
Has anyone considered the possibility that being a rapist or a child molester or a murderer or a swindler makes someone a better artist? It can make them a worse human being, certainly, but since I don’t have to know them personally, why would I care?

Imagine that irrefutable proof emerged that William Shakespeare had molested his daughter. What would that have to do with the quality of his plays? Would theaters stop all productions of “Hamlet”?

Art is messy. Artists have never been saints and have often been devils.

I prefer the evil to namby-pamby good. Perverted people can be great artists.

Ed L Belgrade, ME 5 hours ago
Why does NYT publish garbage like this? The author has no inside information and nothing to add but personal opinions. ALL straight males have a preoccupation with “young women.” In no movie does Woody Allen obsess sexually about a child. Using Allen’s movies where his character has a relationship with a “young woman” as proof of the ridiculous 1992 charges is just plain stupid. It’s beyond fallacious reasoning. The girl in question has become a professional victim. Why is her word more believable than the adopted son who states that Farrow badgered the girl into believing the story? I would think that Farrow’s documented history of weird behavior and instability is stronger proof of abuse than anything Allen has shown. Allen’s marriage to Previn is certainly no creepier than Farrow’s passing off someone else’s kid as Allen’s. It’s also no coincidence that Farrow and her professional victim daughter trot out this story during awards season, just to capitalize on Allen’s films. After the Kevin Spacey fiasco, it was just a matter of time before they trotted out their revenge/fantasy one more time.

7Recommend
Pvo Belgium 5 hours ago
From a European point of view it’s hard to grasp that a NY Times’ film critic tries a filmmaker in the public eye. Too bad Allen has become a cataclysmic failure to you, without considering all sides. In light of your article you should be forbidden to write opinions ever again about any artist’s work. Because, how could this be relevant, enriching or even professional: you boomerang an artist’s work in his face in the light of accusations that still need any – let alone full – proof. We get that there are two teams. It’s just painful to see a ‘famous’ critic granted permission from his board to rebuke Woody Allen’s work by means of his alleged ‘sick’ behaviour. You can even see it in his movies! And the fact this makes you objectively sick lately is emotional, nostalgic and painful to you. You can write what you want. Feel what you feel. But why do you feel the need to slaughter Allen’s work, to stop people from even remembering movies the way they want. In the NY Times? To make the accusations more credible? Should we really listen to you? Should we erase our Allen memories and re-think like you think? Feel like you feel? Poor Mr. A.O. Scott. I’m surprised there’s nothing about ‘why would actors work with Allen in this day and age’ or ‘why finance this pedophile’s projects ever again? You leave that up to your ever more manipulative colleagues of the exploitation press. Why did you choose in all freedom to be part of that rubbish? You have an ‘Allen problem’. Seriously?

6Recommend
Donna Ellis Austin, TX 5 hours ago
How about children who have to come to terms with being raised as the lineage bearers of their mother’s bitterness? Farrow was married to older men. Look also at published reports about her brother and his conduct. Are we reassessing her movies?

Disguised as an assessment of professional considerations, Scott’s piece reads as though he has a deeper, undiscussed personal interest in this particular matter, or even the topic in general. Maybe he should stop reviewing films and sort it out. But, please, not in public.

3Recommend
Robert Plone San Francisco 1 hour ago
There is some intelligent writing in this article, and it’s worth reading, but I have a serious reservation. The author’s premise is that an artist’s work and his behavior in his life outside his art cannot be separated. In his opinion to say otherwise, “as if it were a philosophical principle, rather than a cultural habit buttressed by shopworn academic dogma,” is obviously a mistake. He is not alone in this viewpoint. Some weeks ago, I posted an article by the chief music critic of the Times, Anthony Tommasini, who, wringing his hands, asked his readers if he should “put aside” his James Levine recordings because the maestro had been accused (so, by our usual legal standards, not necessarily guilty) of molesting adolescent boys. I responded then that even asking such a question, much less considering it, was ridiculous and I feel the same frustration with Mr. Scott’s premise. Long before this current wave of sexual abuse/accusation, into whose undertow Mr. Allen has been sucked, I have always separated the artist’s life/personality from his/her work. For me, any piece of art needs to be judged strictly on its own merits and nothing else. Now, I don’t pretend to claim or even know if this qualifies as “philosophy,” nor do I care; it is my deeply felt conviction.

3Recommend
Gershon HEpner los angeles 1 hour ago
THE WOODY PROBLEM

Seeeming socially most hapless,
following his own directions,
Woody managed, dazed and mapless,
to arouse, despite objections
to his enchanting dialectic
of disappointment and desire,
to appease the apoplectic
with wit that made him an outlier,
aware of what they had not been
aware of till he made them think
about them, seeing on the screen
the sort of things one tells a shrink,
but does not tell the world unless
one is as great an artist as
this man, whom maybe God won’t bless,
not liking Woody’s kind of jazz,
but erring humans should not curse
because he may have done the sort
of things done by men who are worse,
and media men love to report.
Instead we should continue to
admire most of Woody’s work,
as, flawed as we all are, we view
the artist less as gem than jerk.

gershonhepner@gmail.com

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Bottom line

The overall conclusion we are forced to as an determinedly objective scientific observer of all this revealing discussion seems to be that the common assumption or premise of A.O.Scott and all the commenters who rush to join him in condemning Woody Allen out of hand is that emotions are enough to justify their excoriation of a man who previously they held in high esteem, without the necessity of getting their facts straight. This rush to judhgment based on what one feels rather than what one thinks seems to be the direction in which a very large segment of society seems to be moving under the influence of presumably inadequete education now colossally magnified by the ever larger portion of the Internet now careless of factual accuracy and increasingly subject to mob rule, where trolls triumph over cool reason at every turn.

It is a sorry spectacle to see a much respected movie reviewer set such a poor example, given his duty to resist this trend while occupying such a prominent perch.

Update:Times TV Reviewer Chimes In, Goes Thumbs Down on Alec Baldwin

What is it at the Times, is there something in the air, or do they know something we don’t? No sooner had the Comments storm provoked by A.O. Scott been cut short, than Dave Itzkoff in the Television section launched a take down of Alec Baldwin for saying on Twitter that he would wait for evidence before condemning his friend Woody Allen.

In the mind of Itzkoff this was unjustified, we gather, since all the sources he quotes tell him so, and he featured no one who supports Baldwin. But as to offering a good reason for his judgment he comes up as empty as Scott, offering none.

Two pieces in quick succession at the Times by two reviewers premised on the notion that Allen is guilty after all, when he was exonerated by investigating officials at the time of the alleged sin, and now the TimesUp tidal wave has condemned him again in the minds of two reviewers who really have no business taking sides in a social dispute in which they have no special expertise or inside knowledge — or do they? Is the Times sitting on some new data it has dug up, but not released to the clamoring public?

Inquiring minds want to know. Or has the standard of publication at the renowned paper sunk too low in matters of gossip where TMZ rules and the Gray Lady editors are afraid of being left too far behind in that unfamiliar arena?

Alec Baldwin Skewers Trump. And Supports Allen and Toback By DAVE ITZKOFF FEB. 2, 2018

Every couple of weeks Alec Baldwin takes the stage of NBC’s Studio 8H, the longtime home of “Saturday Night Live,” to impersonate President Trump. Mr. Baldwin portrays the chief executive as a blustering bully, imperious with the women on his staff, indignant with female authority figures and unfazed by the accounts of numerous women who say Mr. Trump sexually assaulted them.

But lately, after Mr. Baldwin removes his bright orange Trump wig, makeup and eyebrow glue and sheds this persona, he has been garnering attention for very different reasons, none of them funny.

In interviews and tweets, he has offered remarks in support of the prominent film directors Woody Allen and James Toback, friends and colleagues who have been accused of sexual assault. And he has bluntly minimized or dismissed women who say they have been victims, including Mr. Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, and Rose McGowan.

To their growing discomfort, some viewers and critics are finding Mr. Baldwin’s behavior to be offensive. They feel it is undercutting his satirical commentary on Mr. Trump and reveals a tone-deafness on the part of Mr. Baldwin and, by extension, “Saturday Night Live.”

“You have to be morally above the person you’re spoofing for it to be effective,” said Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, deputy editor of the feminist website Jezebel. “It seems like he is aligning himself with the more powerful people in these situations — not the accusers, but the accused.”

What’s worse, these critics say, is that in this #MeToo moment, Mr. Baldwin epitomizes a classic insincere male ally: With his star turns on “S.N.L.,” his scalding portrayal of Mr. Trump and his own pledges to be more conscientious about how he treats women, he has enjoyed the benefits of associating with this progressive, female-positive movement while falling short of its values.

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Comments 127 so far (before the Feb 3 print edition even reaches its readers)

This is the second piece in a matter of days in which a Times entertainment reviewer without demonstrating special knowledge of the case has launched an ad hominem assault on either Woody Allen or in this case his friend Alec Baldwin, who has merely reasonably said he will not condemn Woody if there is no new evidence. So does the Times know something we don’t? Some new data to which these gentleman are privy? If not why are they allowed to publish reports assuming he is guilty? This is the very definition of prejudice, which the news editors on the paper would not normally allow. Are the standards of the Entertainment section different?

Sflo Scotland 6 hours ago
Ugh this article distorts the facts so much it is beyond pathetic. Writer is just blatantly cherry picking statements by baldwin & making them appear in a different context than intended. E.g. rose magowan he only said that she took the hush money as he was explaining that he had repeated the newyork times question on if this was harmful to women he stated he did not think it was their fault as they could have been threatened or blackmailed into it. He was asking does the fact that this is an option available to abusers harm abused women. Toback he never supported it just hit him hard that his friend turned out to be that way hence why he needed time to get it straight in his own head. He never once supported Weinstein. Every1 needs to get over the voicemail it still gets rubbed in his face everyday after 11 years bad divorce and custody battle he was hurt handled his hurt badly and made a mistake his daughter adores him. By bullying women he clarified . by raising his voice in an argument as that can b seen as intimidating (hardly makes him a masoginist) he has been praised by female actresses such as Selma Hayek and kirsten stewart for willingly stepping aside in a scene to let them shine. Supporting them and treating female co stars as equals which many men in HW still can’t do for some reason. & as for WA he has every right to think he is innocent at least he has the integrity to be honest and say it whether WA is guilty or not no one really knows there’s no evidence

Reply 12Recommend
J New York 6 hours ago
From the plane incident and since then, it’s indisputable that Alec Baldwin is an insensitive lout.
Since he’s unlikely to change himself, he should be smart enough to be stay quiet on matters that people care about.

Reply 3Recommend
Dr. GM New York 6 hours ago
It is shocking what it is happening in the US regarding the Woody Allen case.

We live in a country where it is enough for someone to go on twitter claim s/he is a victim and accuses some of being a pedophile. disregarding any investigations on the subject. And he or she is automatically correct. No further…… investigations are needed.

All these brainless actors who joined the hate chorus against Allen …..do they have any access to the case?

They choose to believe a 7-year-old, Dylan Farrow – who was found to be probably couched by her mother to believe all these by a major hospital (specialized in child abuse during the 6-month investigation)

How responsible is that? Even if you want to give Dylan Farrow accusations a second thought the whole action is irresponsible and of tabloid quality,

That’s why we, as an organized society, have investigations by experts to tell us after responsible examination what MIGHT have happened. Of course, they might be wrong.

But if THEY err despite access to all evidence unavailable to the public what is the actors chance to know the truth?

Reply 15Recommend

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Poor Dave, one has to feel sorry for him given the skewering above. But given the fact that Woody Allen’s career legacy and future are at stake, he certainly deserves punishment for not standing up for fair treatment for targets of the new McArthyism. instead of joining in.

The Times itself has provided a very useful Timeline for those who are not familiar with the blow by blow of this fairly disgraceful assault on Woody Allen’s reputation since the early nineties:

Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow: A Timeline
A look at major events in the complicated history of Mr. Allen and the Farrow family.
By Sopan Deb and Deborah Leiderman
Jan. 31, 2018

Woody Allen is facing new criticism — including from some actors in his films — over allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow that he molested her in 1992 when she was a child. The Allen-Farrow story has its roots in the 1970s and encompasses several major events in the lives of Mr. Allen; his former partner Mia Farrow; and their daughter Dylan.

This timeline is based on New York Times articles and other news reports, which are included. It is a guide, not a comprehensive accounting, and will be updated periodically.

1977
Mia Farrow and her husband, André Previn, adopt a Korean girl, Soon-Yi Previn, who is believed to be around 7 years old.

1979
Woody Allen and Ms. Farrow are introduced at Elaine’s, the Manhattan restaurant, and later begin a relationship.

Image
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.”CreditMGM
1982
The couple’s first movie together, “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy,” is released. They will collaborate on 12 more films, including “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.”

1985
Ms. Farrow adopts a baby girl, Dylan Farrow, who was born in Texas.

1987
Ms. Farrow and Mr. Allen have a son, Ronan Farrow. Ms. Farrow suggests in a 2013 Vanity Fair interview that Frank Sinatra may have been his father.

Image

Mr. Allen and Ms. Farrow in the mid-1980s with four of her children, including Dylan Farrow (in her arms) and Moses Farrow and Soon-Yi Previn at right.CreditThe LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
December 1991
Mr. Allen adopts Dylan Farrow and Moses Farrow, one of Ms. Farrow’s sons, who she adopted in 1980. Mr. Allen, who is 56, begins an affair with Ms. Farrow’s 21-year-old daughter, Soon-Yi Previn around this time.

Jan. 13, 1992
Ms. Farrow discovers nude photographs of Soon-Yi Previn in Mr. Allen’s apartment. He later testifies in court that he thought the affair would remain secret.

Aug. 1, 1992
With the affair between Mr. Allen and Ms. Previn continuing, Ms. Farrow calls Susan Coates, a psychologist who had been helping the family, and describes Mr. Allen as “satanic and evil” and begs her to “find a way to stop him.”

More

All in all, a sad record of distortions of fact and attitude in the service of human flaws.

“>

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Substantial, informative review of vaccination out of control

January 28th, 2018

Want critical review of vaccines? Gary Null’s very medical science based and comprehensively informative review of worries about vaccines contrary to political reassurances by media, pharma and gov is free at prn.fm.

Take advantage of it. Not only correlation but also scientists concerns suggest that over-vaccination may well be catastrophically ruining the US population in a decade.

The principle of vaccination is valid and confirmed but that is no reason to give pharmas free rein over what is in vaccines and when they are applied and how often. Review is very necessary. A copy of this DVD should be watched closely by every parent and voter.

Deadly Deception, Exposing the Dangers of Vaccines, a film by Gary Null

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

It’s ten seconds before nuclear midnight, two key books warn

January 13th, 2018

Ellsberg plus 27 psychiatrists add up to imminent catastrophe for human race

Unpredictable Oval finger near out of control defense system button promises nuclear winter if luck doesn’t hold

Hawaii demonstrates potential of human error in nuclear defense

Crazy like a fox - or a mental patient?  Probably the latter, say 27 psychiatrists - with more evidence accumulating daily, it is clear, we'd say

Crazy like a fox – or a mental patient? Probably the latter, say 27 psychiatrists, with more evidence accumulating daily, it seems

Too soon to get out the strait jacket?

The professionally right wing leaning John Prideaux, US editor of the Economist, tells the BBC that the investigation and rating of Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder is out of order because Trump is currently showing exactly the same personality as he exhibited while running for election.

“He has been exactly the same person in office as he was on the campaign trail.” So “I think that attempts to say that .. maybe he has narcissistic personality disorder … are misguided (partly because you cant really diagnose someone’s mental health at a distance and partly) because he has behaved in the same way for the past couple of years”

Precisely why this bars assessing Trump’s clearly limited access to reality either social or physical is not explained, given that Trump provides daily evidence of his state of mind in tweets and public statements such as Haiti, El Salvador and Nigeria are “shithole”s compared to Norway which suggest an insane level of lack of imagination of social reaction and also of unwillingness to be better informed than his current mode as know-nothing President.

As to diagnosing Trump at a distance this is the objection many have made an excuse not to read The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which may well be the most important warning in book form apart from Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine of what is the real front burner crisis of the century: that if luck runs out we have a radioactive desert of a planet in our immediate future.

Trying to get the message to Congress

The Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee who is most responsible for the book is currently visiting Democrats in Washington to urge them to take the advice of the book seriously according to the Atlantic website yesterday.

    The Psychiatrist Telling Congress Trump Could Be Involuntarily Committed

A Yale professor says she’s telling lawmakers that the president may actually be “dangerous.”

ELAINE GODFREY JAN 12, 2018

Just a short time ago, the idea of an Ivy League psychiatrist privately meeting with members of Congress to convince them that the president is mentally unstable would have been the stuff of crazed conspiracy theories. But that’s exactly what Bandy Lee has been doing since early December.

As Politico first reported, Lee, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, briefed roughly a dozen Democratic lawmakers last month on the president’s mental state, which she describes as “dangerous.” Now, more meetings are in the works, and congressional staffers tell me that additional members of Congress are interested in attending.

The fact that so many lawmakers want to hear from Lee may suggest growing interest in removing Trump from office; Lee argues in the briefings that he should undergo a capacity evaluation to assess his fitness for duty. (The Atlantic’s James Hamblin has made a similar argument.) But lawmakers’ interest is notable, even radical, for another reason as well: In defiance of the American Psychiatric Association’s ethical guidelines, Lee is relaying her analysis of the president’s mental health without having ever examined him.

(More) Text of The Psychiatrist Telling Congress Trump Could Be Involuntarily Committed

For together the two books show that we have a markedly unstable and unpredictable so-called President in charge of a markedly unstable and unpredictable nuclear offense system.

More relevant and alarming than Fire and Fury

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump is $15 now at Barnes and Noble stores or on Amazon, and far more deserving of attention than the super best selling Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, which is really no more than a revealing account of the in fighting shenanigans of the low quality attendants surrounding a seriously flawed President, though Wolff deserves full credit for nailing down the central narrative of many conflicting and self serving accounts of all the White House staff who confided to him their version of what went on while he sat on a sofa outside the Oval Office.

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump should be added to Daniel Ellsberg’s equally intelligent and informed volume

, which was reviewed here in this earlier post, below:

The Ellsberg book is now $21.65 ordered from BandN on the Web, so for $50 or so or even $40 you can have in hand all you need to know to understand that the nuclear war Doomsday Clock is now ten seconds to midnight, and you may well not even have time to read either.

Cool and clear thinking about the bottomless chasm

Both books are exceptionally persuasive with unusually clear thinking on a very informed level. See the Amazon listing of

for many customer reviews of the book indicating how powerfully it impresses intelligent readers with the urgency of its analysis.

Hawaii Demonstrates Power of Human Error in System

Meanwhile today’s sensation (Jan 14 2018) is the huge alarm felt by Hawaiian residents yesterday who received a text warning on their phones informing them that “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter”, with back up radio warnings that “A missile may impact within minutes”, sending parents into a huge panic, with one mother stuffing her kids down a street manhole for forty minutes before the retraction came, with apologies, and the simple explanation that a careless emergency missile alert practice worker had “pressed the wrong button” and that the “system obviously needs to be redesigned” as Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton put it in the aftermath of this demonstration once again of how easily the vast consequences of exploding hydrogen bombs could be triggered by trivial human error, as has been demonstrated several times in the past where actual detonation by accident was only narrowly avoided.

An interesting point is that the culprit is said to have pressed the wrong button twice, after the warning “do you really want to do this?” preceded the second pressing.

Of course, anything that wakes people up to the current shape of the US and world nuclear system is a step towards escaping the public denial which rules everywhere in the face of the inconcievable. How many people know there are 450 Minuteman III smaller, sleeker missiles which have replaced the earlier Titans, in silos scattered around Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, each with three warheads able to deliver twenty Hiroshimas to wherever they are targeted, a monstrous overcapacity with no rational reason to exist by any measure, according to Harpers in December.

Meanwhile the response time of the US system to Putin or Kim Jong Un button pressing has been reduced from weeks in the late forties to half an hour in the late fifties, and fifteen minutes in the sixties to mere seconds today, with no time for any President to think, however sane and realistic he/she might or might not be, in any international crisis.

In 2006 the RAND corporation estimated that a nuclear weapon in a small cabin cruiser delivered to the port of Long Beach, Ca., could be the equivalent of 2/3rds Hiroshima power and set off by cellphone would kill 60,000, expose 150,000 to radiation with 8000 suffering serious burns, with six million trying to flee in cars, at a total cost of $1 trillion. Aaccording to Eric Schlosser (author of Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Penguin) writing in Harpers Dec also, North Korea exploded a device thirty times more powerful than that last September.

Schlosser’s book recounts all the accidents and errors we have miraculously survived to date, and suggest that the only good solution to this continuing teetering on the global precipice lies in old fashioned escalation of personal contact between diplomats and military leaders, where actual face to face contact can counter the paranoid delusions which fuel current policy.

NYT SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW Atomic Gaffes
‘Command and Control,’ by Eric Schlosser By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD SEPT. 12, 2013

Atomic Gaffes: ‘Command and Control,’ by Eric Schlosser
By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD SEPT. 12, 2013

A little over 50 years ago a South Carolina doctor (and the grandfather of this reviewer) treated a family for injuries sustained when a sudden, inexplicable explosion tore through their backyard. The injuries were not serious, and after spending the night at the doctor’s house they returned home to discover that the object in the 50-foot crater left behind their house was an atomic bomb that had fallen from a passing Air Force plane. The bomb had not been “armed” with its nuclear core; the blast came from the explosives intended to trigger a chain reaction. The crater can still be seen today.

That incident, which led to an anti-­nuclear movement in Britain, where the plane was bound, is one of many stories Eric Schlosser, the author of “Fast Food Nation,” tells in “Command and Control.” During the cold war, nuclear bombs fell out of the sky, burned up in plane ­crashes and were lost at sea. In the incident Schlosser describes in greatest detail, “the Damascus accident” of Sept. 18, 1980, the warhead from a Titan II missile was ejected after a series of mishaps that began when a repairman dropped a socket wrench and pierced a fuel tank. Tactical nuclear weapons scattered across Europe had minimal security; misplaced tools and failed repairs triggered serious accidents; inadequate safety procedures and poor oversight led to dozens of close brushes with nuclear explosions. People have died in these accidents, sometimes as a result of their own carelessness or bad luck, but often while doing their best to protect the rest of us from an accidental nuclear blast.

Schlosser’s disquieting but riveting book looks at every aspect of nuclear risk, examining problems with the command and control systems that in theory were supposed to provide presidents with the information they would need to make the decision on whether the United States should retaliate against a Soviet strike. Constructing the complex systems needed for this task — linking radar sites and monitor stations around the world into a single network for analysis and control — was well beyond the technological capacity of American engineers for much of the cold war, but they did the best they could. The system they created, which led among other things to the technology that gave us the Internet, was not only subject to glitches and crashes, it was also too brittle to survive any serious Soviet attack, too inflexible to give presidents good choices at what would have been the most critical moments in world history and too subject to error to be relied on. At various points, flocks of birds, sunshine reflecting off clouds and the rising moon over Norway set off alarm bells. One false alert went high enough up the command chain that a general woke the national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in the middle of the night; as he waited for confirmation before calling President Carter, Brzezinski decided not to tell his wife that Soviet missiles were on their way.

(More) Atomic Gaffes:‘Command and Control,’ by Eric Schlosser

Otherwise we are left with the level of imagination and intelligence exhibited by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Fox News Sunday who informed Chris Wallace that in the event of nuclear missile attack one good idea would be to leave one’s automobile and lie flat on the ground.

Hawaii Panics After Alert About Incoming Missile Is Sent in Error

(NYTimes)Hawaii Panics After Alert About Incoming Missile Is Sent in Error
By ADAM NAGOURNEY, DAVID E. SANGER and JOHANNA BARR JAN. 13, 2018

An early-morning emergency alert mistakenly warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on Saturday, setting off widespread panic in a state that was already on edge because of escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

The alert, sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, was revoked 38 minutes after it was issued, prompting confusion over why it was released — and why it took so long to rescind. State officials and residents of a normally tranquil part of the Pacific, as well as tourists swept up in the panic, immediately expressed outrage.

“What happened today was totally unacceptable,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “Many in our community were deeply affected by this. I am sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced.”

Officials said the alert was the result of human error and not the work of hackers or a foreign government. The mistake occurred during a shift-change drill that takes place three times a day at the emergency command post, according to Richard Rapoza, a spokesman for the agency.

“Someone clicked the wrong thing on the computer,” he said.

(More) Hawaii Panics After Alert About Incoming Missile

The

is by a Harvard professor who strives to provide reassuring balance but seems to be restraining his imagination a little too hard for comfort:

THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE
Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
By Daniel Ellsberg
420 pp. Bloomsbury. $30.
Is Nuclear War Inevitable?
By GRAHAM ALLISON – DEC. 28, 2017

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un trading threats with words like “fire and fury”; Pakistan deploying tactical nuclear weapons to counter Indian conventional threats; Russia enunciating an Orwellian doctrine of “escalate-to-de-escalate” that calls for early use of battlefield nuclear weapons; and major nuclear-weapons states modernizing their arsenals — nukes are back. The cruel irony: This is happening after eight years of a president who won the Nobel Peace Prize largely for his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

When the Cold War ended in 1991, nuclear weapons vanished from the minds of most Americans. Together with the Soviet Union, they were supposedly consigned to the dustbin of history. But the emergence of 21st-century nuclear threats — including the fear that terrorist groups will obtain this ultimate W.M.D. — has revived discussion about these devices of destruction. Among professionals, this debate can be found in government documents like the Defense Department’s Nuclear Matters Handbook and journals like the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Popular books like Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control” and David E. Hoffman’s “The Dead Hand” have exposed a wider audience to these topics.

Daniel Ellsberg’s new memoir, “The Doomsday Machine,” is the latest in this genre. Its title reminds us of a Big Idea captured by the legendary strategist Herman Kahn in “On Thermonuclear War.” To illustrate the problem posed by nuclear arsenals that many embraced as the best way to prevent war and aggression, Kahn imagined a “doomsday machine.” This multimegaton nuclear weapon would be buried deep underground. When detonated, it would split the Earth, killing all inhabitants. But since an enemy would never believe that a rational leader would press the button to set off such a device, the weapon would be connected to a network of sensors. If these sensors detected a nuclear attack upon the United States, the machine would explode and the Earth would be destroyed. Since other states would know that any attack would be suicidal, they would assuredly be deterred.

But what if the sensors malfunctioned? Could sane, responsible leaders bet the planet on weapons that could be activated by an accident, misperception or mistake? Of course not, Kahn explained, but the “mutually assured destruction” capabilities that emerged as a consequence of the United States-Soviet competition were becoming functionally equivalent to a doomsday machine.

(More) Text of NY Times review of Doomsday Machine

With luck the Hawaiian emergency alert incident will excite concern over the fundamental catastrophic risk inherent in the current situation, as the Times comments today, and the even handedness of this review and media comment in general will be set aside for crisis oriented attention and action as the clock ticks down to zero.

It was the sort of nightmare that had only ever been real for most people’s parents or grandparents — the fear of an impending nuclear attack. “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” read the emergency alert that residents of the Aloha State received on Saturday morning. “Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

The authorities quickly announced that the alert was a mistake. But it made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world’s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used.

(More)False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump’s Nuclear Risk

But till then the simple containment strategy practiced over seven decades so far with complete success will have to be what the world must continue to rely on, namely, the proven international political and diplomatic strategy of keeping our fingers crossed.

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Why Sauna Works

January 7th, 2018

Scientists in Finland confirm why sauna bathing is good for your health

Science has now proved the real physiological advantages that we all appreciated for centuries in Finland and other enthusiastic nations (Click twice on pics to enlarge fully)

Worth noting

The latest press release from the scientific study of activities that improve health reads as follows:

Over the past couple of years, scientists at the University of Eastern Finland have shown that sauna bathing is associated with a variety of health benefits. Using an experimental setting this time, the research group now investigated the physiological mechanisms through which the heat exposure of sauna may influence a person’s health. Their latest study with 100 test subjects shows that taking a sauna bath of 30 minutes reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance, while also increasing heart rate similarly to medium-intensity exercise.

Previously, the research group has published findings from a population-based study indicating that regular sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of coronary diseases and sudden cardiac death (1), hypertension(2) and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (3). Frequent sauna bathing has also been associated with a reduced disk of respiratory diseases (4) and lower CRP levels (5).

The experimental study carried out in the Sauna and Cardiovascular Health project provides new insight into changes that take place in the human body during and after having a sauna. The study analysed the effects of a 30-minute sauna bath in 100 test subjects. In particular, the objective was to analyse the role of vascular compliance and reduced blood pressure in the health benefits caused by sauna bathing.

Vascular compliance was measured from the carotid and femoral artery before sauna, immediately after sauna, and after 30 minutes of recovery. These vascular compliance measurements carried out in the experimental study constitute a new assessment method in a sauna setting.

Immediately after 30 minutes of sauna bathing, test subjects’ mean systolic blood pressure reduced from 137 mmHg to 130 mmHg, and their diastolic blood pressure from 82 mmHg to 75 mmHg. Furthermore, their systolic blood pressure remained lower even after 30 minutes of sauna bathing. Test subjects’ mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, which is an indicator of vascular compliance, was 9.8 m/s before sauna, decreasing to 8.6 m/s immediately after. During sauna bathing, test subjects’ heart rate increased similarly to medium-intensity exercise, and their body temperature rose by approximately 2°C. The findings shed light on the physiological mechanisms through which health benefits, which have been observed at the population level and are caused by the heat exposure of sauna, may develop.

The findings on the effects of sauna bathing on the human body were published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, and the findings relating to the carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity measurements were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The study was funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes, and it was carried out by Professor Jari Laukkanen’s research group at the University of Eastern Finland. The project partners were Harvia Ltd., Velha Ltd., Pihlajalinna, Fintravel Ltd. and the Finnish Sauna Culture Association.

The test subjects were 100 clients of the Pihlajalinna health care service provider. Their background information was collected by extensive surveys and interviews, and their physical health was measured by a clinical exercise test. The study was carried out in experimental saunas provided by the sauna stove and sauna heater manufacturer Harvia Ltd. The experimental sauna setting was a careful simulation of the way people in Finland take a sauna in their own homes.

Research indicates that regular physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle promote cardiac health and prevent disease, but not all of the risk and protective factors are yet known. The benefits of regular sauna bathing on cardiac health observed in the population-based study can, according to this experimental study, be explained by the fact that sauna bathing reduces blood pressure and increases vascular compliance. However, further research data from experimental settings relating to the physiological mechanisms of sauna bathing that promote cardiac health is still needed.

Compare this with a typical set of claims from a lay source, at

    Sauna Benefits Will Impress

:

8 Sauna Benefits That Will Impress You

As you may know, saunas origin is mainly attributed to Europe, particularly in the Nordic region. The Finnish sauna culture is well-established and recognized all over the world. Wherever it might have originated, sauna culture has spread all over the world in modern times. This is because of the recognition of health benefits offered by a sauna session, by therapists and common people, alike.

More

So science has proved the key basic fact, the increase in blood flow and lowering of blood pressure that comes from dilation of the veins and arteries, but it remains to confirm the rest, though presumably the white blood cell count increase has been established, which a PubMed search should reveal.

One that seems clear is that saunas are anti-cancer, in that any temperature above 108 degrees kills cancer cells, which reportedly may be one reason why Japanese women have breast cancer less often than females in the West, while the increase in circulation brings more blood to the surface and benefits the skin. PubMed research should uncover some science to back these notions as well, with the anti-cancer effect sufficiently credible for practitioners such as Gil Lederman of Manhattan reported to have made a machine available to apply it in his treatment center.

Sauna introduces a mood of relaxation as the blood circulates faster and nearer the skin and sweat exudes toxins including one assumes the moral puritanism which afflicts the English and their offshoot colonies in North America

Sauna introduces a mood of relaxation as the blood circulates faster and nearer the skin and sweat exudes toxins including one assumes the moral puritanism which afflicts the English and their offshoot colonies in North America

More scientific information:

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine Warns that Strategic Air Command Still Risking Human Extinction

December 19th, 2017

World’s Greatest Whistleblower Reveals Insane Threat Endures

Multiple Hands on Button Could Set Off Planetary Doom Any Time

Audiences and media asleep at the switch, not realizing the import of his book

Daniel Ellsberg is predicting the end of the human race if the current nuclear plans are not changed at the top level he used to work in, so why is he smiling so blithely?

Barnes and Noble 86 St and Lexington saw the renowned Daniel Ellsberg (he who risked prison to release the Pentagon Papers in 1971, revealing that four Presidents in succession had misled the country to prosecute war without truthful justification) appear on Dec 6 Wed 7pm in its subterranean book talk room to present an even more astonishing and grim warning in his new book The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.

Ellsberg spoke of the immense, almost inconceivable dangers of America’s most secret plan for nuclear preemptive first strike formulated in plans he also Xeroxed on 1971, which he said live on today without revision, exposing all humanity to guaranteed extinction if ever implemented.

How the world may end for us

Having won the eternal gratitude of the American public for destroying their illusory trust in the federal government’s competence in prosecuting war in general with the Pentagon Papers revelation fifty years ago, Daniel Ellsberg is back.

Now he has an even more daunting and fearsome revelation, which is that Washington has been risking human annihilation for seventy years with insane plans for all out nuclear preemptive attack against Russia. The strategy was formulated by Strategic Air Command under Eisenhower and, according to Ellsberg, is still in place, having remained unchanged for seventy years.

This ongoing threat of human extinction is now now escalated with the unpredictable and intellectually challenged current President’s hands on the button – with many more hands able to loose off Armageddon, it turns out.

Ellsberg’s dire warning is based on documents he copied at the same time as the Pentagon Papers over fifty years ago in 1971, which were buried and eventually lost in a garbage dump as he fought his primary battle over the Pentagon papers, which he prioritized as an attempt to stop the Vietnam war.

As the world’s most public spirited official breakaway from the US government’s highest levels, his view was and is fully informed by his inside experience at the top levels of command, including the RAND corporation, and it puts us closer to midnight on the clock of human extinction than ever before at this moment, right now, and the whole dire prospect is laid out with alarming brilliance in his new book from Bloomsbury, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. .

The analysis is so disastrous in its implications which question the very survival of the human race that many may wish the world champion whistleblower had prioritized this side of his research revelations over the Pentagon Papers, since it involves the fate of all humanity rather than simply the deaths of mere millions in the Vietnam war.

Daniel Ellsberg is about to announce the possible extinction of the human race, but doesn’t seem too worried

Ensuring public attention

In an upbeat style which strangely highlighted the darkness of his message the author bounded on stage two weeks ago in what seemed a remarkably cheerful mood and first executed a couple of charmingly simple magic tricks where he made two red and green handkerchiefs disappear and reappear with accomplished sleight of hand.

The author of the Doomsday Machine can make handkerchiefs disappear and reappear, but not the Doomsday Machine at the Strategic Air Command

He then explained straightaway why he hadn’t mentioned all this planet dooming, nuclear insanity before, when half a century ago he had felt ethically and politically impelled to defend the constitution and risk prison by taking the lid off the idiocy, criminality and deceit of Vietnam policy. He explained that he had in fact written out early chapters around 2000 and given it to the editor of his autobiography Secrets around 2000, but it simply didn’t fit. The rival revelation was so important it needed its own book.

Overkill will doom human race

Now we finally have it in the form of an impressively thorough and intelligently written book which may be the most important release of the year if not the century, one that details the madness of Eisenhower’s early nuclear strategy in which any major attack from Russia was to be met by missiles on thousands of cities in Russia, China and Eastern Europe, preempting any possible counter, and involving the death of 600 million, according to the answer to a question which only Ellsberg thought to ask.

It is this insanity which according to Ellsberg remains unchanged policy at this moment.

The plan is an irrational extension of the World War II change in war tactics, well told in this book, where civilian populations became primary targets of German, then British and finally American bombing , a strategy of the ruthless extermination of innocent bystanders of government warmongering and diplomatic clumsiness which continues to this day.

On the nuclear level Ellsberg says planning still involves the same insane plan for an overwhelming first strike which later research has now shown would amount to the complete destruction of human life in nuclear winter and starvation..

Asleep at the switch? Daniel Ellsberg needs you to wake up and do something before it is too late to save all of us on earth[/caption]

In his appearance at Barnes and Noble this dire prospect seemed to run counter to Ellsberg’s fluent bonhomie in retailing his vision to a packed audience in Barnes and Noble’s underground book talk room of mostly gray haired admirers, many of the men typical Manhattan older shut ins from the look of them, so we asked him why he seemed so inordinately cheerful when predicting our extinction: was it for one of the following reasons?
-because he felt our luck would still hold, or that
-the absurdity of the generals’ thinking was so outrageous that one could only laugh, or was it
-because he personally was due to leave the planet soon anyway, or was it
-to make his dire message palatable enough that people would listen and act, or was it
-that he had faith that the intelligence of his critique would prevail when intelligence hadn’t had any effect for fifty years?

Ellsberg replied in public and in a brief chat afterwards that sadly he had little faith that intelligence would hold any more sway in the future than it had in the past, but that nonetheless he still had dwindling hope that things would work out, and in presenting his warning he did not want to seem hysterical though in fact that was appropriate, and his smiles mostly reflected the presence of his wife and other family and friends who had come to listen in support.

Wake up call for nuclear silence breakers

His real feeling was one of what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now”,, the note on which he ended his talk. It was, he said, up to us to wake up and do something about it now before it was too late, to be the “silence breakers” on this issue in the same way as the many women who were now coming forward to expose the vulgar and criminal depredations of the Weinsteins of the world, to the great surprise of the many men to whom they had never confided their oppression in the past.

[caption id="attachment_5696" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Among the handful of young people listening to Ellsberg’s appeal were two of his grandchildren, but where were the rest of his audience needed to save us from his prediction of nuclear doom?

Will media and public respond?

Looking around the room full of gray hairs, at least two of whom dozed off while he was talking, one wondered if he would have any more success in breaking the denialist apathy of the bulk of the democracy in which we live than other intelligent critics of the status quo have had, even though the legendary whistle blower may be sounding the greatest warning in history.

Fortunately public radio has just featured him in a Reveal segment, though the focus was on his Pentagon Papers and the drama of the New York Times publisher who made the decision in London airport to give the go ahead to the paper publishing the secrets he had copied on a rare Xerox machine in the office of an advertising agency at night, when the intervention of the Attorney General had labeled publication illegal, a story now told in the just released movie The Post starring Tom Hanks.

However the focus of this attention is not yet on his current revelation – listeners were merely advised to get his book and “check it out”, not that it involved the fate of humanity – and it remains a possibility that this book of the decade will float downstream in the torrential river of topics that the Internet yields daily without proper recognition of its stature and significance.

Many unknown layers beyond Top Secret

One portion of its content is most remarkable and valuable to all who are concerned by the huge problem of government escaping public oversight, especially as investigative reporting declines with the replacement of print by Web publication with less inclination and resources.

Ellsberg describes the astonishing fact that there are multiple layers of secrecy beyond Top Secret, where those who have access to them cannot mention them to anyone outside the group, which may not even include the President. If in doubt as to whether a close colleague or friend is privileged one has to go to a telephone and unbeknownst to them check whether they are on the list. Likewise, they have to do the same thing. Only then can one discuss the secret information with them, or even acknowledge that the higher level of access exists.

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

In These Times’ Chris Lehmann Nails Source of Trump Fantasy As America’s Delusion

December 15th, 2017

From the hottest most fact based progressive journal in America, In These Times (definitely worth a $20 sub):

How Trump is Norman Vincent Peale’s most successful disciple using “positive thinking” to sell delusion to America!

Chris Lehmann is an author to read – very nice choice of word = truth throughout.

The Self-Help Guru Who Shaped Trump’s Worldview

How the commander-in-chief succumbs to the perils of positive thinking.

BY CHRIS LEHMANN

Taking stock of the first official year of Trump in power means withstanding a multifront assault on reality. Presented in a relentless barrage of Make America Great Again hyperbole, the president’s crushing failures are magically transformed into unprecedented successes, and all expressions of dissent become the work of petty ingrates, ideological fabulists and privileged elites. His signature initiatives—the shameful tax bill and the mercifully stalled Obamacare repeal—become historic windfalls for the very middle- and working-class constituencies they deliberately set out to beggar, to say nothing of how Trump and his apparatchiks have disfigured basic and hitherto settled facts of history, such as the notion that the Civil War was fought over slavery.

At one level, these mind-bending pronouncements are the rancid fruits of a concerted assault on basic categories of meaning and signification. To the scattered forces of the anti-Trump resistance, the ongoing appeal of such bald lying is dumbfounding: Shouldn’t the truth win out—or at least count for something? But such befuddlement stems mainly from a key element of the Trump phenomenon, one that lies firmly outside their cultural frame of reference. Trumpism has taken root in our public discourse because it is squarely in the mainstream of American spiritual life. It is the most extreme, and perversely logical, application of the positive-thinking gospel.

In the president’s biography and business career, the role of positive thinking is hiding in plain sight. From childhood on, Trump worshipped in the temple of the movement’s prophet, Norman Vincent Peale: Manhattan’s Marble Collegiate Church. Indeed, Peale presided over Trump’s first wedding in 1977. Trump’s father was a die-hard adherent of Peale’s preachments, as is his daughter Ivanka, who wrote in her 2009 self-help tract, The Trump Card, that “perception is more important than reality” and you shouldn’t “go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”

Peale’s midcentury self-help bible, The Power of Positive Thinking, is, at its core, a distillation of the message of the Christian faith into a series of achievement-minded axioms. “Picturize, prayerize, actualize” was Peale’s mantra, and he applied this simple formula to every facet of the believer’s life—but most especially to the sphere of material advancement, which was the surest sign of divine favor in the hermetic social world of Pealeism. The implacably right-wing Peale cheerfully described himself as a “missionary to American business” and made good on that by waging a relentless campaign against the New Deal, unions and other affronts to true-blue individual achievement in the pages of his popular self-help magazine, Guideposts.

So long as an earnest, aspirational Christian duly intoned the Bible’s maxims of lavishly rewarded personal faith, he (in Peale’s gospel, the achiever was almost always a man) was on the path to amazing worldly success. Keep incanting the scripturally sanctioned slogans of upward mobility, and a world of wonders will open before you:

This process will change you into a believer, an expecter, and when you become such, you will in due course become an achiever. You will have new power to get what God and you decide you really want from life.

The Power of Positive Thinking remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks and helped launch the modern self-help industry; more than five million copies remain in print today. Peale’s gospel became the success creed for a newly corporatized and prosperous American social order. Rather than harping on the dreary demands of socioeconomic justice and the hard work of equitably distributing the unprecedented mass bounty of the postwar American scene, the positive-thinking faith simply rejected personal failure as spiritual weakness. When Arthur Miller sought to sum up the cruel, fact-averse nature of our country’s unique brand of possessive individualism in Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman’s career credo was an outburst of pure Pealeism: “He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.”

This same process of magical thinking drives the Trump presidency. In the president’s alternate-universe Twitter feed, the polls continue to ratify his amazing and historic legislative successes, and it’s Hillary Clinton, not the scores of shady Trump campaign cronies, who has been colluding with the Russians. The twisted, incantatory logic of Peale’s positive-thinking gospel now drives the federal agenda. Take, for example, Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, the quasi-fascist office within Immigration and Customs Enforcement devoted to addressing the non-existent epidemic of violent crime committed by undocumented immigrants. It is testament to the White House’s collective will to reshape reality into its preferred dream image; immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes of any kind than the homegrown U.S. population, as study after study has shown.

The office bears that nonsensical title just so it can be rendered in press reports as VOICE—that is, the thing that it, just as nonsensically, pretends to grant to victims. In reality, as a recent Splinter report on the program has documented, VOICE is chiefly a vehicle by which informants enlist federal law enforcement to bring the hammer down in pursuit of petty personal vendettas.

Empirical facts can never penetrate this carapace of fantasy. Positive thinking works for its adherents because it makes them act and feel as if they can do no wrong. As Trump himself recounted in his 2015 book, Crippled America, “Reverend Peale was the type of minister that I liked, and I liked him personally as well. I especially loved his sermons. He would instill a very positive feeling about God that also made me feel positive about myself.”

To fact-check each and every truth-demolishing utterance of the Trump administration and return the public’s gaze to the actually existing historical record remains essential and indispensable work for journalism, and for the political foes of Trumpism. Unfortunately, it does nothing to dislodge the larger message of the positive-thinking cult of personality surrounding the president: the irrational, tribal faith that he alone can fix the many ills assailing the republic, as he famously announced from the podium of the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland.

The little-noted corollary proposition of the Pealeist creed is that the forces of negativity can never be permitted to gain serious purchase in the believer’s mind; at that moment, all the hard work of retraining your brain to achieve in the face of all seeming adversity simply unravels, as weakness and defeat swamp the poor beleaguered soul of little faith. This is why the dogged media reports on Trump aren’t simply repudiated, per the standard conservative critique, as the bad-faith distortions of a biased, elite-ridden journalistic establishment. No, in the Trump gospel, such reports are always and forever “fake”—that is, a metaphysical affront to the way that reality can and should be ordered. Opponents can’t be interlocutors who honorably dissent—they have to be warped “bad actors.”

All of this magical thinking works to systematically blind Trump and his followers to the raging hubris, racism, xenophobia and dishonesty that Trumpism breeds daily. But as the stout Cold War reactionary Norman Vincent Peale himself would likely preach if he were with us today, that blindness is a feature, not a defect, in the wonder-working hydraulics of the positive-thinking creed. The best hope is that the Peale gospel is also spectacularly ill-equipped to confront and process adverse truths that prove to be more powerful than it is. November 2017’s Democratic sweep in the bellwether Virginia elections proffered a rare, and hopeful, indicator that Americans can still recognize raging bullshit for what it is. After all, in the end, things didn’t exactly work out for Willy Loman, either.

CHRIS LEHMANN
Chris Lehmann, a contributing editor of In These Times, is editor-in-chief at Baffler and the author of The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream (Melville House, 2016).

As a non-profit, independent publication, In These Times relies on financial support from readers to keep the lights on and our reporters on the beat, covering the critical stories of our time. This year, we need to raise an additional $35,000 online from readers like you by December 31.

We try not to ask too often, but this is one of those times that we must. So please, if you want to continue reading In These Times now and into the future, make a tax-deductible donation today.

The Self-Help Guru Who Shaped Trump’s Worldview
How the commander-in-chief succumbs to the perils of positive thinking.
INTHESETIMES.COM

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Photoplus 2017 Javits Updates Camera Life for Professionals and Buffs

October 18th, 2017

Smaller but higher quality show outpaces smartphone threat

Fuji and Tamron win prizes and supporters

Panasonic Lumix quietly outshines Nikon and Canon

All eyes on the biggest and baddest photoexpo in the world

Largest Photography Conference and Expo in North America

Photoplus 2017 is upon us and there is much to look forward to in the evolving technology of the high quality hand held camera in the face of increasing competition from the ever more sophisticated and ubiquitous smart phone lenses, resulting in a huge array of options in the hand held camera on almost every level, designed to outpace the minicomputer in every smartphone which now can transform the limitations of tiny phone lenses (ironically many of those made by Panasonic),into results which have already allowed even movie directors such as The Florida Project’s Sean Baker to shoot an entire film (his debut,Tangerine in 2015) for theatrical release using an iPhone 5S.

Prizewinners on Thursday evening:

After the Press Preview of items vying for attention at the Show the highlight of the first evening is always the LUCIE Technical Awards. This year’s winners were:


BEST INSTANT CAMERA
*WINNER: Fujifilm instax SQUARE SQ10


BEST FIXED-LENS COMPACT CAMERA
*WINNER: Fujifilm X100F

BEST ACTION CAMERA
*WINNER: Olympus TOUGH TG-5

BEST SMALL FORMAT SYSTEM CAMERA
*WINNER: Panasonic Lumix GH5

BEST FULL FRAME SYSTEM CAMERA
*WINNER: Sony A9

BEST WIDE ANGLE ZOOM LENS
*WINNER: Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art

BEST MEDIUM RANGE ZOOM LENS
*WINNER: Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2

BEST TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS
*WINNER: Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

BEST SPECIAL PURPOSE LENS
*WINNER: Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art

BEST MEDIUM FORMAT SYSTEM CAMERA
*WINNER: Fujifilm GFX 50S

BEST CAMERA DRONE
*WINNER: DJI Mavic Pro

BEST CAMERA BAG
*WINNER: Think Tank Photo Airport Advantage

BEST TRIPOD
*WINNER: 3 Legged Thing Equinox Leo Carbon Fibre Tripod System & AirHed Switch

BEST CONTINUOUS LIGHT SOURCE
*WINNER: ARRI SkyPanel S120-C

BEST SPEEDLIGHT
*WINNER: Metz Mecablitz M400

BEST PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE
*WINNER: Capture One Pro 10.1

BEST SOFTWARE PLUGIN
*WINNER: Macphun Luminar

BEST BACKUP SOLUTION
*WINNER: LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3

BEST INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
*WINNER: Leica M10


Picks include

$7000 for soft effects at Leica

$7000 for soft effects at Leica

The black painted Thambar-M 90 mm f/2.2 lens for its M Cameras from Leica, reclaimed from 1935, which is all about soft focus and bokeh (out of focus effects), since the lens is undercorrected toward the outer edges of the frame, controlled by a stepless aparture ring. (Thanbo is Greek for blurred, it seems). Available in Leica stores in mid November for $6,990 including the hard leather case in the original style.

Another gem from Panasonic, but has the ZS70 menu been improved from the unpredictable ZS100?

Another gem from Panasonic, it’s $300 less, but has the ZS70 menu been improved from the unpredictable ZS100?

Distinguished advanced point and shoot from Panasonic: Available since May for about $400, the Lumix ZS70 is a new option for those that like the lowlight+zoom capabilities of the ZS60 and the ZS100, with much the same features as the ZS100 except with a 3x longer 24-720 mm x30 zoom, and thus rather less low light sensitivity (chip is four times smaller); but many will look closely before buying to see if the mysteries of the complex menu have been tidied up to permit speed and reliability of quick shots when options such as 4K or wi-fi suddenly get switched on by a misplaced thumb. Meanwhile, a tactile ring has been added around the four command circle on the rear, a new Light Composition mode saves a series of images and combines them with an emphasis given to brighter pixels, and the 3-inch touch display can be tilted upward.

The $229 PocketWizard flash transreceiver boasts an “infinite” intervalometer that lets you shoot endless frames at any interval you choose for as long as you have power in your camera, all on the 344 MHz frequency, which should mean less interference.

Canon’s new compact flagship, the $1299 PowerShot G1 X Mark III, will be the first in the line to feature a 24.3-megapixel APS-C-size CMOS sensor, with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a 24-72mm, f/2.8-5.6 (35mm equivalent) lens and a 2.36-million dot OLED viewfinder. The ISO range of 100-25,600 and continuous shooting speeds up to 7 fps with AF tracking or 9 fps with AF fixed at the first frame comes with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth, and panoramic mode in November 2017 for $1,299.

Pre-show advice from the show’s PR maestro, Scott Heath: Designed for professionals in the photographic and imaging industries as well as enthusiasts, PhotoPlus Expo showcases the latest advances in photography, digital imaging and filmmaking. Held annually at the Javits Convention Center, attendees have the opportunity to explore an inspiring array of photography and imaging products and services – all from the industry’s leading manufacturers. The show also offers seminars and intimate Photo Walks and Master Classes taught by world-renowned experts that focus on cutting-edge innovations and techniques.

NEW YORK (July 6, 2017) — If you love taking photos or creating videos and want to learn how to improve your skills, the annual PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from October 25-28 is a must-attend event. PhotoPlus is the largest photographic conference and Expo in North America where manufacturers showcase the latest technologies and renowned photographers and filmmakers share their secrets to success through dozens of educational seminars and photo walks. Early bird discounts on conference passes, seminars, and photo walks are available through July 11 by visiting photoplusexpo.com and free registration to the 3-day Expo is available through September 12.

“The PhotoPlus Conference and Expo provides extensive education and growth opportunities for professionals and enthusiasts alike ranging from lighting, portraiture, post-production, filmmaking, business classes, and so much more,” explains Mike Gangel, Show Director at PhotoPlus Expo. “Our vast schedule of photo walks, master classes, conference seminars, keynotes, and portfolio reviews, combined with our large Expo hall filled with hundreds of exhibitors demonstrating the latest imaging technologies, has created a wonderful playground for anyone who loves the visual arts.”

PhotoPlus Expo offers the widest selection of educational programming outside a formal university classroom. Presented by world class instructors, attendees will leave PhotoPlus with a new level of knowledge they can apply to their craft and their business.

Early Bird Discounts on World Class Education
Attendees of this year’s PhotoPlus Expo will have an opportunity to take advantage of special early bird pricing on several conference packages including discounts on Full Conference Passes, a 2-day Film package by Future Media Concepts (FMC), dozens of seminars and photo walks, three keynote presentations, and comprehensive programming for photography using Drones. Early registration ensures access to the widest selection of educational programming before sessions sell out, including more than 60 new classes.

This year, Master Classes will be included with any 4-day conference pass (Wednesday-Saturday), 3-day pass (Thursday-Saturday) or 1-day passes (choice of any day, Wednesday-Saturday).

PHOTO+ Members
Members of PHOTO+ (PhotoServe.com and WPPI) will save 30% on all conference seminar pass options including a Full Conference Pass, One Day Conference Pass, individual seminars as well as Master Class, Photo Walk, and Drone+ purchases. Attendees can choose to become PHOTO+ members ($150.00) before or during the registration process to access exclusive discounts on conference passes, year-round vendor and product discounts, free subscriptions to PDN and Rangefinder magazines, discounts on contest entries throughout the year, and much more.

The price of a Full Conference Pass is $549.00 and a One Day Conference Pass is $299.00 for non-members. PHOTO+ members will save over $300 off the onsite price of the 4-Day pass and over $200 off the onsite price of the 1-Day pass when they register by July 11.

VIP Status
If you are looking to completely immerse yourself in PhotoPlus Expo, register as a VIP attendee and receive exclusive access, discounts, and opportunities for the entire duration of the event. With a VIP Expo badge, attendees will receive:
· Three-day admission to PhotoPlus Expo with instant badge pick-up at the VIP Customer Service Desk
· Admission and priority seating for keynote presentations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
· The Official PPE VIP Bag packed with special promotions from a variety of exhibitors. More than 100 bags will include a Golden Ticket that can be redeemed for a special prize valued up to $250, including photo gear, gift cards and more! Prize sponsors include B&H Photo and others. VIP status is extremely limited.

The Expo
More than 200 exhibitors and brands of imaging hardware, software, and accessories will be on hand to demonstrate the latest technology in the world of photography and filmmaking, conduct free educational presentations at their booth, and offer special discounts on products and services throughout the Expo.

Additional learning opportunities can be found inside the Adobe Theater, which will be conveniently located on the show floor. Renowned photographers, filmmakers, and educators will conduct 30-minute seminars during the entire Expo to provide attendees with additional tips and tricks for improving their craft, and their business.

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Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Into the Gray Zone – book by Adrian Owen warns us all of fate worse than death

August 31st, 2017

Is this the ultimate science book?

Or just reading far too much into fMRI?

Either way, its message is ominous

Dr Owen will hear you now

“Moving…gripping…profound, engaging…unforgettable…truly moving…inspirational…simply unputdownable…taking my evening bath while dipping into its pages I finished three hours later with the water cold…a real page turner….required reading…gripping…harrowing…real life scientific thriller.”

So ran the blurbs when Into The Gray Zone arrived a couple of months ago from Scribner and then George Johnson who wrote the ultimate “we are going to beat cancer don’t worry” book Cancer Chronicles weighed in last Sunday with this sober down to earth review of Into the Gray Zone and the problem it deals with.

He did a brilliant job of saying what the real message of this terrifying book is without saying how horrifying it is. What message?

That we all are going around risking a most horrible fate, which is to be locked inside our brains with senses all working and no way of communicating anything at all to anyone, since we cannot move anything, not even our eyelids like Stephen Hawking (sorry not entirely sure where movement stops with him, but I think its eyelid movement, isn’t it?)

Anyhow this Gray Zone is where Adrian Owen found about 20% of vegetative patients in a seemingly comatose state have ended up, when he tested them with new approaches using fMRI etc ie they watched a film and reacted emotionally to it and were able to show it in some way.

This morbid investigation adds up to one thing. Whether it may be some new viral disease like one patient or just stepping off the kerb while staring into your email we all have a slim but real chance of becoming trapped in the Gray Zone, unable to show any sign of life but fully aware of what is going on.

Don’t think your living will is going to help now that he has revealed that even total blobs know what is going on one fifth of the time ie one in five are conscious and aware. The docs wont follow its instructions for fear of being wrong and sued.

The wretched Owen has succeeded in showing that a fate worse than death is around the corner for us if we don’t tuck our smartphones away while walking around in NYC.

Should have called his book Night of the Living Dead.

NYTimes

Review by George Johnson of Into The Gray Zone

Posted by Anthony Liversidge | Categories: Science Guardian | No Comments »

Brain cancer, Senator McCain? Ask Manhattan Radiosurgery Pioneer Dr Gil Lederman for Second Opinion

July 20th, 2017

Triple Board Certified Harvard-Trained Specialist Has Treated Cancer Without Surgery for 30 Years

Evading Established Practitioners Who Try To Sweep Him Under Carpet of Silence

Lederman Explains Cancer Treatment With Extensive Radio Discussion of his Practice and Cases

Want to preserve your functioning and walk out of the office soon after prostate "surgery"?  Apply to Harvard educated triple board certified oncologist Doctor Gil Lederman

Anyone who undergoes a brush with cancer either in themselves or in loved ones should know about the existence and continued treatment success of the remarkable Gil Lederman of New York, who you may not have heard of even though he has an office at the center of Manhattan at 38th and Broadway and is constantly on the radio at weekends on either WOR or WABC.

On those two stations he often corrects the standard, predictable and often out of date advice served up to cancer patients by the authorities at the top of the tree of established medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Mt Sinai and other major cancer treatment centers in Manhattan, while freely discussing his methods and cases, often with the patient he has treated.

Meanwhile the established centers, busier than ever as Americans continue to die from cancer only less often than heart attacks and other circulation problems, both ailments magnified by the food processing industry, mostly don’t release their treatment data except to acknowledge their failure rate is much the same as thirty years ago.

So what should you do if you register an elevated reading on your PSA test and your longtime friendly and supposedly authoritative GP advises you that surgery is necessary, he or she not yet being aware yet that high powered committees appointed to look into such matters have twice in the last decade advised that elevated PSA readings by themselves no longer justify expensive intervention by surgeons anxious to remove your prostate before it turns cancerous, since there is virtually no beneficial effect apparent in the statistics of prostate cancer deaths from such action.

On the other hand what is certain is that a high proportion of prostate patients treated surgically end up with urinary malfunction that requires them to spend the rest of their lives in adult diapers, not to mention blighted sex lives in the wake of erectile difficulties.

Seeking a second opinion

So if you still want nevertheless to be “safe” and ameliorate your prostate cancer threat (only about 1 in 1000 of those treated would actually have come down with fatal cancer, statistics in the above papers show) with a modern approach which will preserve your normal functioning in both respects and even let you walk out of the doctor’s office an hour or less after non-invasive prostate treatment, what should you do? One option tops the list, in our opinion: Call Dr Lederman.

A major problem in cancer politics: how do outsiders in the media contact the distinguished John McCain to encourage him to assign his family and other advisors to contact Dr Gil Lederman for a second opinion on the questionable need to further assault his head with chemotherapy and radiation damage following his recent brain surgery?

Gaining a second opinion is always a wise course in assessing medical advice, but some effort should be made to avoid being referred to the doctor’s golfing buddy down the hall. From this angle the choice of Gil Lederman for consultation in regard to brain, body and prostate tumors has two advantages, his unmatched professional independence and his unusually wide ranging expertise.

Lederman is professional qualified to assess the tests and pathology reports as well as the treatment advice with which he is presented because he is qualified in three major aspects including radiology. So it is clearly worthwhile for all threatened with the deleterious regimens normally applied to cancer to head over to this Harvard- trained, triple board certified cancer doctor in central Manhattan at his office at 1384 Broadway (details below).

Now you might well think at first hearing that Lederman runs more radio promotion of his innovative cancer surgery technique on WOR and WABC Radio every weekend than seems dignified, but the compelling reason he has to do all this self-promotion is not that his newer, so-called “fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery” approach to all solid tumors from brain to breast to prostate is prima facie dubious, but because his reputation is constantly under assault as a threat to and a replacement for the standard slash, burn and poison treatment of cancer – the knife surgery, cancer causing broad beam radiation and toxic and often lethal chemotherapy – to which patients have been subjected for decades without much progress in benefits.

According to his publicly released data Lederman’s treatment, moreover, gets better results for many cancers than the conventional regimen (he claims 90% success is typical and, unlike most treatment centers, releases data to back this figure) and is far preferable for patients for one major reason It is non invasive and allows them to walk out of Radiosurgery New York, the treatment center Lederman runs at 1384 Broadway at 38th Street, in as little as an hour after a ten minute treatment without pain, nausea, or hair loss, or the later penalty of eventual death that is so often attendant on the conventional treatments still firmly in place at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and other nearby castles of established cancer knowledge.

Raising the drawbridge

Like medieval castles, those centers of traditional treatment raise the drawbridge at the slightest news of the approach of innovative knights such as Lederman with a kinder and more effective replacement for their favored, long established and very remunerative methods. Such pioneers outside their walls they either forget to mention to patients or actively disparage as “unconventional” and “nonstandard”, neither of which characteristics is shameful, given that is what makes progress in every arena of human activity.

One mild pejorative is “unorthodox”, as if independents and their novel initiatives and departures were practitioners of bizarre and outlandish methods and therefore charlatans outside the pale of a tried and true tradition followed by adherents of sound, tested, top of the line methods and skills, however ineffective. As it happens Lederman’s approach is now widely copied and available at many reputable institutions, though his refinements keep him in the lead in minimizing side effects.

The embarrassment those embedded in major institutions suffer in regard to Lederman’s success is compounded by the fact that he is one of their own, a Harvard postdoc who was in place at Dana Farber in Boston until he pioneered a new technique he adopted thirty years ago from Sweden. He is a radiation oncologist who is triple board certified in three main areas of cancer treatment, that is, medical oncology (chemotherapy etc) and radiation oncology, and internal medicine (Michael Reese Center at the University of Chicago), in other words he could hardly be better qualified to assess a new approach and its benefits relative to the standard one, and apply it, in any case where the standard approach has produced or promises less than optimal results.


Jimmy Carter in his nineties, who two years after non-invasive ‘stereotactic radiosurgery’ is reportedly cancer free at 93.

Lederman advocates his radiosurgery in multiple programs broadcast weekly on WOR or WABC replete with embarrassing revelations of how unsuccessful standard treatments have been in other hands, and quoting how in individual cases his very well established innovation has proven more helpful and effective, often featuring the patients themselves calling in.

There are indications that his latest success may well have been none other than the four brain tumors recently suffered by former president Jimmy Carter in his nineties. Carter two years later at 93 is reportedly cancer-free after non-invasive “stereotactic radiosurgery” at a location not specified in public reports but judging from Lederman’s broadcast references to it may have been at the hands of its leading pioneer in the United States, Lederman himself, for that at least is what he constantly implies in his public radio commercials which run along the lines of “You too can have Presidential treatment by coming to Radiosurgery New York”, and he seems to have known early that Carter experienced remission before being given the Merck immunotherapy drug Keytruda.

Lederman is of course prevented from saying so outright by medicine’s rule of patient confidentiality, so Science Guardian can only report on this point by noting that we called Lederman on the phone and when he called back introduced ourselves by saying we were reporting on his contribution to medicine in the face of resistance from the powers that be, and would like to interview him if possible, and being met with a stony silence then asked him point blank if he had treated President Carter, whereupon Lederman said abruptly “I really don’t do this kind of thing! Sorry” and vanished from the line without even a Goodbye. We put this down as an indication that we had put him on the spot with a question he couldn’t answer without contravening the rule of confidentiality, and therefore the correct answer was in the affirmative.

In public statements Memorial Sloan-Kettering is left in his wake ascribing the Carter success to the use of the Merck immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab), even while acknowledging that stereotactic radiosurgery was involved in his treatment and achieved remission prior to the use of the drug:
(Understanding Jimmy Carter:A Surprise Turnaround -Conversation with Jedd Wolchok on MSKCC blog). As noted, stereotactic radiosurgery is the name of the technique pioneered here by Lederman.

In addition to surgery and radiation, Mr. Carter received a new immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), which releases a brake on the immune system, empowering it to mount a stronger attack against cancer. The particular braking molecule targeted by this drug is called PD-1.

To get a better sense of what Mr. Carter’s surprise announcement means — especially for patients in a similar situation — we spoke with Jedd Wolchok, Chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

That’s why it’s good to do exactly what Mr. Carter’s physicians did, which was to control the brain metastases to the best of their ability — in this case with stereotactic radiosurgery — get him off the steroids as quickly as possible, and then initiate the immunotherapy.

Saving John McCain

If this speculation is true then the distinguished Senator John McCain, whose blood clot was revealed today on the news as hiding a brain tumor (primary glioblastoma) which was also removed, would be well served to contact Lederman for a second opinion before plunging into the usual combination of radiation and chemotherapy followup to brain cancer surgery. Reports have it that McCain’s family is reviewing options and one of the great advantage of consulting Lederman is. as we have noted, that he is uniquely well-qualified to review all the treatment to date of any patient referred to him.

And this is the point of this post. Anyone told by their doctor that they may have prostate or any other cancer susceptible to surgical intervention should seek a second opinion from Lederman, who can authoritatively review the biopsy and other evidence for choosing treatment. If a patient is so impressed that he switches to Lederman’s care, he or she should know that Lederman’s charges are usually far less costly that the more expensive standard options purveyed by what he calls “the super duper pooper hospital” across town, and his treatments are available on Medicaid and Medicare as well as standard insurance coverage.

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Cancer Action list: Phone 212 CHOICES (212 246 4237) for a copy of Lederman’s pamphlet and DVD, and for confirmation of his expertise and dedication to the best treatment for his patients listen to his many very accessible radio programs on WOR at weekends at 710 AM (Sat 9pm Sun 6am 1pm 3pm 9pm Mon 12am , and WABC at 770 AM Saturday mornings from 3:00am – 4:00am, 5:00am – 6:00am and 11:00pm – 12:00am. Radiosurgery New York with Dr. Gil Lederman can also be heard on Sundays from 3:00am – 4:00am), after first going to his website http://www.rsny.org/. Visit his premises at 1384 Broadway at 38th Street for a copy of his more complete information package and, if you have symptoms and have had treatment already, a personal interview to explore your options.
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Lederman has been using stereotactic radiosurgery for more than thirty years on Staten Island and in Manhattan in a form (‘fractionated’) in which he applies lower doses over a longer time period, with rates of success that are the envy of his dismissive rivals at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and other castles of medical convention such as Dana Farber in Boston, where he worked until he and a colleague were asked by the Harvard Medical Center to assess an innovative Swedish radiosurgery or radiotherapy. Both agreed it was a very promising and genuinely useful and superior innovation.

It was this assessment which motivated Lederman to leave and start his own practice (his colleague started the rival Cyberknife offshoot) and to pioneer in this country over thirty years the tool of his fractionated version of stereotactic radiosurgery first developed in Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, which in his experienced hands, he says, is superior to similar approaches now being used by those who are now following in his wake.

One of these is Cyberknife, which charges more and is advertised frequently in magazines like the New Yorker or New York Magazine, which uses a more expensive machine, higher doses of radiation and stabilizing screws into the skull when operating on brain tumors, according to Lederman, who used screws at first but then invented a kinder ‘stereotactic frame’ to hold the head in fixed position, for lack of which Cyberknife still delivers one massive radiation dose as per the Jane Brody description, according to listeners to the radio performance of Lederman, who also recounts he was once given a Cyberknife machine known as Accuray but returned it as useless for his purposes, details which we will check with Cyberknife, particularly to see if they still use screws into the skull and if their machines now cost $3 million. (Update:They don’t any longer – see below).

(The Cyberknife website is prima facie not reassuring, however. It’s patient safety section states “Most side effects of radiotherapy, including radiotherapy delivered with Accuray systems, are mild and temporary, often involving fatigue, nausea, and skin irritation. Side effects can be severe, however, leading to pain, alterations in normal body functions (for example, urinary or salivary function), deterioration of quality of life, permanent injury and even death. Side effects can occur during or shortly after radiation treatment or in the months and years following radiation. The nature and severity of side effects depend on many factors, including the size and location of the treated tumor, the treatment technique (for example, the radiation dose), the patient’s general medical condition, to name a few. For more details about the side effects of your radiation therapy, and if treatment with an Accuray product is right for you, ask your doctor.”).

Mainstream institutions have followed

If you are reluctant to believe Lederman’s departure from the norm is worthwhile, you should know that “stereotactic radiosurgery” was already being hailed in the New York Times by Jane Brody as a “miracle” in the eyes of patients more than 20 years ago in 1995, after a decade of development here:

Device Transforms Brain Surgery
By JANE E. BRODY
Published: July 5, 1995

TO Christine Tejada and her family in Brooklyn, the procedure known as Gamma Knife radiosurgery is nothing short of a miracle.

When she was 8, Christine was found to have a life-threatening blood vessel malformation in her brain and was scheduled to undergo risky invasive surgery that would have hospitalized her for perhaps 10 days and been followed by weeks or months of recovery and rehabilitation. Instead, she was treated successfully in Chicago without so much as a slit in her scalp.

The treatment, which involves no knife at all but rather hundreds of powerful, highly focused radiation beams aimed at the malformation, was done on a Thursday, she left the hospital on Friday and was back at school and up to her old tricks by Monday.

Gamma Knife surgery, technically known as stereotactic radiosurgery, is revolutionizing the treatment of some problems in the brain, including benign tumors in treacherous locations, like the brain stem or near the optic nerve. The $3.5 million machine replaces the surgeon’s scalpel with a single, high dose of gamma radiation emitted by a cobalt-60 source. The patient wears a helmet resembling a beauty salon hair dryer. The helmet has 201 small round holes in it that aim the radiation so that 201 narrow beams of gamma rays are all aimed at a single tiny target. The tissue being treated thus receives a very strong dose of radiation without harming anything along the way.

More

Four years later Jane Brody was mentioning it again though in more restrained terms, in her Oct 19 1999 column in the Science Times which listed stereotactic radiosurgery as a more modern approach to brain tumor surgery in respectful terms:

Since the mid-1980’s, the yearly total of Americans given diagnoses of brain tumors has doubled, and it is expected to exceed 100,000 this year. More than half the increase has occurred in people over 65.

Survival rates, too, have been inching up, thanks to improved diagnostic techniques and more precise and inventive treatments, like stereotactic radiosurgery (a pinpoint form of radiation) and laser surgery with a gamma knife. More progress is expected to result from some still experimental treatments, including immunotherapy, gene therapy and implanted wafers of chemotherapeutic agents…The three common cancer treatments — surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy — are most often used for brain tumors as well. But there are now highly sophisticated ways of “operating” on the brain, including the use of pinpoint radiation and laser beams that can destroy the tumor without damaging normal surrounding tissue.

So it should be noted that ‘stereotactic radiosurgery’ has been available for years at the Mayo Clinic and others as Gamma Knife radiosurgery :

Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses specialized equipment to focus about 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target with submillimeter accuracy. Although each beam has very little effect on the brain tissue it passes through, a strong dose of radiation is delivered to the place where all the beams meet.

The precision of brain stereotactic radiosurgery results in minimal damage to healthy tissues surrounding the target.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is usually a one-time therapy completed in a single day.

and similarly among many other locations Johns Hopkins Bloomberg offers stereotactic radiosurgery for brain tumors.

Lederman’s ‘fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery’ is distinguished, however, by the use early of the apparently safer and more effective delivery of a lower dose over a longer period, and in the case of brain tumors by involving a structure to hold the head in place which can also be applied to other parts of the body, rather than the tiny screws inserted into the skull once by other similar methods, such as Linear Accelerator and the GammaKnife, though evidently no longer by

    Cyberknife

a rival often advertised in print in the pages of the New Yorker, which has competed with Lederman from the beginning when he and its founder both were asked by Harvard thirty years ago to look into the Swedish use of multiple weak beam pinpoint radiation at the Karolinkska Institute.

Rivals adapt

According to current website descriptions Cyberknife and other pinpoint radiation approaches have followed Lederman’s lead now in applying smaller and more frequent doses, and abandoning the screws inserted through the skin to stabilize the position of the head.

Northwest Neurosurgery Institute in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the practivce of neurosurgeon Dr Mina Foroobar for example, advertises a non-invasive, head frame free technology where lesions are irradiated using “robotic radiosurgery, a non-invasive procedure that uses a computer-controlled robotic arm to deliver high-dose radiation to tumors anywhere in the body without the use of invasive frames”. The equipment is located at >Northwest Community Hospital where it is described in detail. “While the patient lies comfortably on the treatment table, CyberKnife delivers the treatment dose, continually checking and compensating for tumor position and patient movement throughout the session. Comparing real-time images to images produced from the pre-treatment CT scans, the robotic system instantly repositions each beam, as needed, before delivery. To help the patient remain stable (but not uncomfortably rigid), a soft face mask or vest is worn, depending on the area being treated. The progress of the treatment is controlled via video monitors and intercom to assure the patient’s safety and comfort. One to five treatments can be given and usually last 30 minutes to 90 minutes. ”

A New York magazine attack

If you google Gil Lederman you will come across a New York magazine story involving a musician’s wife suing Lederman to get back an inexpensive guitar which was autographed for his 13 year old son by the musician, George Harrison of the Beatles, two weeks before he died (after being transferred from Lederman’s care to UCLA), which in tone and content supporters complain is the kind of hatchet job which pioneers of progress in medicine can reliably expect, rather than any careful independent account of what might be upsetting the established apple cart.

Certainly Andrew Goldman makes clear that Lederman’s promotional side has been a characteristic of his initiative since the beginning, though he ignores why this may be a required element of Lederman’s pioneering work, which involves an uphill battle to establish an innovation which displaces the treatment of major institutions as the preferred option. Lederman counts only one urologist who will refer his prostate cancer patients to him for the lower recurrence and lower side effects he promises.

Prejudiced skeptics may find their caution reinforced by the cynical tone of the piece and some of the adverse anecdotal material included, if they forget failure is inevitable in treating as many as 30,000 patients, but a full reading of the piece proves it is less of a blow to Lederman’s stature than one might expect, especially if his overall success rate of some 90 per cent is accepted as accurate. However, the “creative” remark below is a solid blow which perhaps explains Lederman’s souring on the press.

Here is an excerpt that displays Goldman’s impetus, which may have been provoked by his interactions with Lederman, who is known to treat writers with impatience born of his long uphill battle with the established medical fraternity that they draw upon as sources to provide “balance”.

To put it kindly, Lederman seems to have a creative relationship with the facts, whether about his friendship with a former Beatle or the possibilities of a cancer treatment. From the beginning, the way that Lederman and the hospital advertised radiosurgery raised eyebrows in the medical community. “I’d pick up the Sunday Times and see these bold advertisements that said, ‘If you’ve been told you have an incurable brain tumor, come to Staten Island University Hospital,’ ” says Loeffler. “I thought that was a little deceptive, because if you’ve been told this, the reality is that it’s probably true.”

But true to his advertising, and for whatever it’s worth, Lederman was willing to treat patients whom most doctors would turn away. “How do you say to a patient, ‘Go home and die; we’re not willing to try’?” asks Bruce Tannenbaum, SIUH’s former manager of radiation oncology. “It’s not doing any harm, so it’s not unethical to do.” But another former colleague took a dimmer view of the program’s acceptance policy: “I got the impression that if a stray dog had insurance, Lederman would treat it.”

Depending on your point of view, when it comes to new technologies, Lederman is either a forward-thinking early adopter or unacceptably reckless. In 1996, he learned that at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, where radiosurgery had been invented decades before, two doctors had published preliminary results of a trial in which they used the same treatment on tumors below the neck. It was a controversial procedure because the body could not be stabilized as well as the brain: Organs move around, as much as a centimeter even in a restful state; the brain stays put. But the Swedes had received FDA approval for a device that they claimed stabilized the body enough to make radiosurgery both safe and effective. While many doctors weren’t yet convinced, Lederman, who had been performing brain radiosurgery for years, believed it would work on the body as well. He called Varone from Sweden to tell him about the revolutionary new treatment. Within two months, before there had been any independent scientific studies, Lederman became the first doctor in the United States to offer body radiosurgery.

And of course, he wasted no time in marketing the hell out of it. Any patient who called a toll-free number received a glossy pamphlet and video touting the procedure’s successes, followed by a personal call from the doctor himself. With liver metastases, which typically indicate an aggressive cancer, “we have a success rate of 95 percent,” says the pamphlet, which defines “success” as any cancer that shrinks, or at least remains the same size. How about pancreatic cancer, perhaps the most quick and deadly of them all? “Over 94 percent of primary pancreas cancers have been successfully controlled in the treated area.”

Rest of Goldman text in New York