Science Guardian

Truth, beauty and paradigm power in science and society

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

Supporting the right of exceptional minds to free speech, publication, media coverage and funding against the crowd prejudice, leadership resistance, monetary influences and internal professional politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, HIV(not)AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, information technology, religions and cults, health, medicine, diet and nutrition.



Halton C. Arp wki/obit/txt/vds/txt/txt/bk/bk, Henry Bauer txt/blg/ blg/bks/bk/txt/bk/vd, John Beard bk, Harvey Bialy bk/bk/txt/txt/rdo/vd, John Bockris bio/txt/ltr/bk, Donald W. Braben, Peter Breggin ste/fb/col/bks, Darin Brown txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/vd, Giordano Bruno bk/bio/bio, Frank R. Buianouckas, Stanislav Burzynski mov, Erwin Chargaff bio/bk/bio/prs, James Chin bk/vd, Nicolaus Copernicus bk, Mark Craddock, Francis Crick vd, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw txt/bk, Roger Cunningham, Charles Darwin txts/bk, Erasmus Darwin txt//bk/txt/hse/bks, Peter Duesberg ste/ste/bk/txt/vd/vd, Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman bio, John Fewster, Rosalind Franklin, Bernard Forscher tx, Galileo Galilei, Walter Gilbert vd, Goethe bio/bk/bio, Nicolas Gonzalez tlk/rec/stetxt/txt, Patricia Goodson txt/bk/bk, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Etienne de Harven bk/txt/vd, Alfred Hassig intw/txt, Robert G. Houston txt, Steven Jonas vd, Edward Jenner txt, Benjamin Jesty, Adrian Kent vd, Thomas Kuhn, Fred Kummerow, Stefan Lanka txt/txt/vd, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen vd, Paul Lauterbur vd, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, James Lovelock, Andrew Maniotis, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, Christi Meyer vd, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Luc Montagnier txt/txt/vd, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling prs/vd/vd, Eric Penrose, Roger Penrose vd, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick bio/vd/bk, Robert Root-Bernstein vd, Sherwood Rowland, Otto Rossler, Harry Rubin, Marco Ruggiero txt/txt/intw/vd, Bertrand Russell Carl Sagan vd, Erwin Schrodinger, Fred Singer, Barbara Starfield txt, Gordon Stewart txt/txt, Richard Strohman, Thomas Szasz, Nicola Tesla bio/bio, Charles Thomas intw/vd, Frank Tipler, James Watson vd/vd, Alfred Wegener vd, Edward O. Wilson vd.


Jad Adams bk, Marci Angell bk/txt/txt/txt, Clark Baker ste/txt/rdo/vd, James Blodgett, Tony Brown vd, Hiram Caton txt/txt/txt/bk/ste, Jonathan Collin ste , Marcus Cohen, David Crowe vd, Margaret Cuomo, Stephen Davis BK/BK,/rdo, Michael Ellner vd, Elizabeth Ely txt/txt/ste, Epicurus, Dean Esmay, Celia Farber bio/txt/txt/txt/vd, Jonathan Fishbein txt/txt/wk, T.C.Fry, Michael Fumento, Max Gerson txt, Charles Geshekter vd, Michael Geiger, Roberto Giraldo, David Healy txt, Bob Herbert, Mike Hersee ste/rdo, Neville Hodgkinson txt /vd, James P. Hogan, Richard Horton bio/vd/vd, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Johnson, Claus Jensen vd, Phillip Johnson, Coleman Jones vds, William Donald Kelley, Ernst T. Krebs Sr txt, Ernst T. Krebs Jr. txt,/bio/txt/txt/ltr, Paul Krugman, Brett Leung MOV/ste/txt/txt/tx+vd/txt, Katie Leishman, Anthony Liversidge blg/intv/intv/txt/txts/txt/intv/txt/vd/vd, Bruce Livesey txt, James W. Loewen, Frank Lusardi, Nathaniel Lehrman vd, Christine Maggiore bk/ste/rec/rdo/vd, Rouben Mamoulian txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/doc/flm/flm, Noreen Martin vd, Robert Maver txt/itw, Eric Merola MOV, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Michael Moore bio/MOV/MOV/MOV, Gordon Moran, Ralph Nader bk, Ralph Moss txt/blg/ste/bks, Gary Null /txt/rdo/vd, Dan Olmsted wki, Toby Ord vd, Charles Ortleb bk/txt/bk/intw/flm, Neenyah Ostrom bk, Dennis Overbye, Mehmet Dr Oz vd, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos ste/vd, Maria Papagiannidou bk, Thomas Piketty bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk, Robert Pollin txt/vd/bk, Jon Rappoport bio/bk/bk/ste/bk/bk/vd, Janine Roberts bk/bk, Luis Sancho vd, Liam Scheff ste/txt/bk/bk/rdio/vd, John Scythes, Casper Schmidt txt/txt, Joan Shenton vd/vd, Joseph Sonnabend vd, John Stauber, David Steele, Joseph Stiglitz bk/txt, Will Storr rdo Wolfgang Streeck, James P. Tankersley ste, Gary Taubes vd, Mwizenge S. Tembo, John Tierney vd, Michael Tracey, Valendar Turner rec, Jesse Ventura bk, Michael Verney-Elliott bio/vds/vd, Voltaire, Walter Wagner, Andrew Weil vd, David Weinberger bio/bk/blg/blg/BK/bk/pds, Robert Willner bk/txt/txt/vd, Howard Zinn.

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. - Arthur Koestler

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison. – Bertrand Russell

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. - Samuel Johnson

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

An old error is always more popular than a new truth. — German Proverb

I am Richard Feynman and I approve of this blog

Who does not know the truth is simply a fool, yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal. – Bertold Brecht

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

They don't erect statues to critics. - Prince Ea

A clash of doctrines is not a disaster, but an opportunity. - Alfred North Whitehead

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. – Samuel Johnson

Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: “This is the cause!” – Leo Tolstoy

The evolution of the world tends to show the absolute importance of the category of the individual apart from the crowd. - Soren Kierkegaard

Who does not know the truth is simply a fool, yet who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal. – Bertold Brecht

How easily the learned give up the evidence of their senses to preserve the coherence of ideas in their imagination. – Adam Smith

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. – Mark Twain

The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. If we watch ourselves honestly, we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. – Arthur Koestler

Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech. – Mark Twain

There isn’t anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can’t believe it. – Mark Twain

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. – Voltaire

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. – Voltaire

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.- Blaise Pascal.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. – Voltaire

The applause of a single human being is of great consequence. – Samuel Johnson

(Click for more Unusual Quotations on Science and Human Nature)

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Jun 2 Fri-4 Sun CUNY Left Forum 2017 at John Jay College

May 22nd, 2017

Will the President of the United States be swept away by the incoming tide of the massed resisters assembling at the 13th annual Left Forum?

Massed Resisters Sweep Away Trumpism at Left Love Fest

The great annual gathering of the enlightened

Myriad Sessions Include Vote Machine Hacking Again

Join us for Left Forum, 2017 (June 2nd – 4th) at John Jay College in New York City. John Jay College of Criminal Justice 899 10th Avenue.

Now in its 13th year, Left Forum has grown into one the largest annual convergences of the left. The 2016 conference featured over 350 workshops/panels, multiple musical performances and film screenings, a comedy show, and a large grassroots-organization/book fair. In 2016, over 4000 people – including artists, activists, and great thinkers from around the globe – were drawn to NYC to engage in critical discussions and debates, build coalitions, socialize with new friends and long-time allies, learn, reflect, and strategize for a new future.

Building our collective strength as a movement and as a community committed to social justice is more important than ever. Join us for Left Forum 2017

More on the Program - Sessions and Plenary

Science and Policy Treasure Trove at Vast BookExpo 2017

May 10th, 2017

Book Expo 2017 May 31 Wed-Jun 2 Fri: Nothing like this huge, multilayered annual celebration of books, the ultimate in handy briefings on the cutting edge on science and current affairs of every field. A great must-go event, bursting with books and book fans of every kind, booksellers, popular authors, and long lines for signed copies of current and future hits.

But the key aspect we have in mind is that it also contains academic press treasure troves of past, present or forthcoming individually polished gems of scholarship and independent research in science and other solid topics, works which unlike the daily or even weekly or monthly media news and talk shows benefit from authors who take personal responsibility for the accuracy and quality of their work, completed outside the confines of government and corporate walls where censors and pr spokesmen prowl.

So get excited about BookExpo coming up fast in NYC at Javits on May 31 Wed to June 2 Fri, it’s for all those interested in books on paper between hard or soft covers as the last easily available repository of the latest worthwhile information from independent authors that unlike the fleeting smartphone or desktop screen display does not vanish into virtual reality, but remains stationery on the page ready for reference with precise marking or emendation or query in the margin, inside real physical books placed within manual grasp on a nearby bookshelf, or displayed open on the desk next to the working screen, or on the bedside table to stabilise one’s last waking moment before peaceful slumber induced by the restful quiet of the night broken only by the turn of the page, that’s what we are talking about and looking forward to – Manhattan’s greatest annual showplace of ideas!

In our case, our particular interest is the state of the academic publishing industry as part of it gravitates to competing more significantly with the trade press, which renders a lot of deep data more accessible, and in the state of science publishing, especially in the first days of a new era where the new President of the US is apparently happy to remain in total ignorance of what science reveals about the state of the world and its future, and to contradict it whenever it conflicts with his personal interests and profit motive, or his belief in himself as the most admirable human being in the world.

A Year With Fish

April 26th, 2017

Paul Greenberg looks out at an anchoveta fleet in Peru. The fish is mostly ground up for use as feed on animal and fish farms.
Courtesy of FRONTLINE

Are fish good for you? PBS weighs in

Notes: Man spent a year eating no meat but fish with all its Omega 3 fatty acids and by the end he looked and felt great. But the medicine men told him tests showed he had no higher levels of OM3 than before. And much higher levels of mercury.
So he didn’t know what to think. He made a documentary about saving wild salmon etc though, and his audience on PBS last night (Apr 25 Tues 2017) knew what to do.
Eat fish.
Fair enough. Why do you think the Japanese are in such good shape?
He, however, thought he deserved at least one hamburger and ate that.
Sponsors came back, all was forgiven.


Nen York Academy Hosts Talk on How Vaccine Paradigm was Established

April 7th, 2017

From Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to a Video Game, Lisa Rosner, Outlines History of Advocacy

The Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton University is an Advocate Herself, She Says

Never Met a Respectable Scientific Critic of Reigning Wisdom
Vaccine advocate
Historian Lisa Rosner’s talk last night (Apr 6 2017) at the castle of established medical practice The New York Academy of Medicine turned out as advertised, an illustrated run through of how vaccines have been sold to the general public since Lady Mary Montagu wrote her famous letter to London from Turkey recounting how no one was worried about smallpox – which had killed her brother and left her scarred for life in England, where one in three died – in Istanbul in 1717 where they had children’s parties and rubbed them with mild smallpox scabs and thus “engrafted” they were immune to strong smallpox for the rest of their lives.

This historical entertainment was followed by a run through of her novel Internet game “The Pox Hunter”, which explores the art of persuasion, where you make choices of various approaches such as ‘scare’ or ‘flatter’ to influence people to be vaccinated instead of rejecting it resolutely out of unfamiliarity and mistrust.

All in all this rapidly delivered double talk was a reassuring parade of successful vaccine advocacy by a cultural historian who at the end of it confirmed that she was indeed an advocate for vaccination herself, had never encountered any respectable objection to the practice, and dismissed the recent expose film VAXXED, which demonstrates that the CDC sat on and then secretly disposed of evidence in its own study that indicated that vaccinations had led to autism among black kids, as “fake news”.

She said she was unfamiliar with any scientific studies which raised valid concerns, and viewed Andrew Wakefield, the much smeared English doctor and researcher who was a victim of pseudo journalist Brian Deere’s misleading reporting which resulted in the completely uncalled for loss of his medical license, as precisely the scoundrel that Deere had implied, when in fact as an indignant member of the audience pointed out Wakefield’s study had not asserted that vaccines caused autism anyway, but merely found that there seemed to be a correlation that emerged from a study of digestive ailments in 12 young patients that should be looked into further.

So all in all members of the audience at the Academy who had hoped for guidance on the tortured topic of whether there was anything to worry about with vaccines beyond the standard vaccine boosting by the established purveyors were disappointed, although Science Guardian did press upon her a printout of the exemplary page of Dr Suzanne Humphries’ site enumerating the reasons which have so far emerged from medical studies that review is called for in many areas of this highly remunerative field, where a single vaccine is reputed to be worth $1 billion in commercial payoff for the maker.

We did this even though it seemed unlikely that she would read it later with any receptivity, given that she is like most of the rest of us a fully paid up member of the human race who will very naturally find it extremely hard to change long held assumptions when they have been part of her entertaining public speaking, teaching and Web activity for some time, but we thought at least she might come up with appropriate answers to the widespread and growing skepticism which is threatening the routine creation of herd immunity to many diseases mild as well as dangerous, including whooping cough and measles which critics note had been largely suppressed with escalating hygiene before any vaccine arrived, though a suggestion that vaccines for them could be foregone drew a loud gasp of “Oh no!” from the audience, and a remark from an MD present of “Has anybody here seen an iron lung recently?” came in answer to any idea that polio could be conquered without a vaccine, although the Salk vaccine notoriously had to be withdrawn after causing too many cases of polio even though it was a supposedly killed agent, which presumably demonstrated how “attenuated” vaccines can transform into live threats through mutation, killing at least 200 in that instance, a phenomenon possibly accounting for the controlled BMJ study showing that of school age children who contracted whooping cough, 86% were fully vaccinated up to date, all of this information contained in the this very readable and calm account of the scientific doubts about the wisdom of using vaccines without careful review felt by the said Suzanne Humphries, a practicing doctor who has investigated the situation fully unlike others by at least reading the limited amount of science available on the defects of the massively established and promoted practice that the speaker, like most of us, takes for granted is beyond reproach, while all criticism is blocked by political prejudice and action, not to mention psychology, which includes the aversion to challenging speakers built in to such institutions as the Academy, where all present, even the questioners, feel it is merely good manners to curb dissent from the views of a charming presenter trying to enlighten them in lively fashion with the basics of the historical advance of the ruling paradigm.

Why was Mary Wortley Montagu’s smallpox vaccination initiative brought from Turkey beaten out by Jenner’s approach, and was she “Sophia a person of quality”, author of Woman not Inferior to Man (1739)

Lady Mary’s Legacy: Vaccine Advocacy from the Turkish Embassy Letters to Video Games
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Speaker: Lisa Rosner, Distinguished Professor of History, Stockton University
On April 1, 1717, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote her famous “Letter to a Friend” from the Turkish Embassy, describing the process of smallpox inoculation. With that letter, she became one of the earliest vaccination advocates, joined over the next three hundred years by celebrities and scientists, pop culture icons and heads of state, patients and game developers. This talk will explore the colorful and controversial history of vaccine advocacy, the most successful public health measure its beneficiaries love to hate.
My talk will explore the colorful and controversial history of vaccine advocacy, the most successful public health measure its beneficiaries love to hate. And it will feature a new interactive demo of The Pox Hunter: A Digital Game for the History of Medicine, proud to be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Lisa Rosner is Professor of History at Stockton College in New Jersey. She is drawn to the seamy side of medical history through her love of murder mysteries, anatomy drawings, and Scotch whisky.

Lisa Rosner is Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton University. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Recent publications include The Anatomy Murders (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and Vaccination and Its Critics (ABC-CLIO, 2017). She is the project director and game runner for The Pox Hunter, designed with Eduweb and developed in partnership with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia,

Having authored this rather expensive (in hard cover) tome, Lisa Rosner presumably is a good guide as to the truth and falsity of critics of vaccination, some of whom claim even that the principle has not been proven and that the decline in polio was independent of vaccination

Pox and the City: Edinburgh
A Digital Role-Playing Game for the History of Medicine
Blog Post Saturday, March 31, 2012
What’s in a Name? Or, Will Vaccination Turn Your Children into Cows?
When we think of vaccine, we think of injections. But when 18th century medical men thought of vaccine, they thought of cows. That’s because “vaccinae” is Latin for “of or pertaining to cows”, and the word entered the modern medical lexicon through the title of the famous 1798 work by Edward Jenner, “An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, a Disease discovered in some of the Western Counties of England, particularly Gloucestershire, and known by the name of the Cow-Pox.”

Many generations of admiring doctors and historians have noted this title without observing that Jenner was engaged in a bit of sleight of hand. The disease he described was, indeed known as the Cow Pox by those who had bothered to give it a name: the dairymaids and farmers who were most susceptible to it. The disease, as he noted, appears on the nipples of cows, and then is communicated to the dairymaids, and then “through the farm, until most of the cattle and domestics feel its unpleasant consequences”(1). It was Jenner, perhaps after consultation with his medical mentors, like John Hunter, who gave it the Latin name, starting with Variolae – the Latin medical term for smallpox — and adding to it the designation Vaccinae – of or from cows. Borrowing from other 18th century medical nomenclature, which listed first the genus, then the species of the disease, the term variolae vaccinae indicated that the genus, or general class of disease, was variolae, pox, while the species was vaccinae of, by, or pertaining to cows. Thus Jenner’s name did double duty: it both conferred a learned Latin pedigree on a disease of “cattle and domestics” and used conventions of scientific nomenclature to establish the relationship between smallpox and cowpox.

Vaccination expert and science dramatist Lisa Rosner

This learned convention was incorporated into medical journals like the Edinburgh-based Annals of Medicine, which put in the 1800 index next to Cow-Pox, See Vaccine. And now that Jenner had brought it to their attention, practitioners began to “see vaccine” everywhere. It turned out that this disease of Cow Pox, and its attendant immunity from smallpox, had been part of rural folklore throughout southern England. Doctors located a similar set of beliefs in the West Country. The “country people of Ireland,” it turned out, were also “well acquainted with the disease”, and gave it the name of Shinah (2). The eminent medical professors at Edinburgh University were hard-pressed to explain why their benighted countrymen should have so unaccountably failed to develop so useful a folk-belief, and concluded that the cows of Scotland’s dairy districts, like Fife, simply did not get “the genuine vaccine disease”(3). Eventually, though, they were able to find a gentleman, “a most ingenious artist,” who could remember that his parents had owned a farm near the Scots town of Jedburgh, and that his mother, “who occasionally assisted the maids in the concerns of the dairy, never had smallpox, though frequently exposed to the disease” (4).


Left Forum 2016 rides into New York on Bernie’s Shoulders

May 18th, 2016

Those who support a humane society will gather on May 20 Fri (3pm-9pm) May 21 Sat (9am-9.45pm) and May 22 Sun (9am-9pm) at the John Jay School of Justice 524 W. 59St for the 12th gigantic meet of The Left Forum 2016, where it will be impossible for each of them to attend all the panel sessions and events they will be interested in, since there are 133 of these listed in the 88 page brochure which are squeezed into little more than two and a half days of programming.

Perhaps this represents the burgeoning interest in revising American politics to pursue a kinder and more enlightened democracy in which the old and poor and weaker members are not shoved to the side and trampled on by the rich elite who having read the witless philosophy of Ayn Rand are too busy skimming the cream of the economy and ever more of the milk to have time to protect them from their lack of concern for anyone else’s children, let alone save the Earth for all children including their own.

If so it is about time, as the extraordinary success of Bernie Sanders in the current election cycle seems to indicate, and perhaps that of Donald Trump too, both being indicators of the anger and contempt for the current system felt by the disadvantaged and indeed most of the advantaged.

Here is a short list of sessions we consider the plums in the Left Forum 2016 pie. Click the title links to raise the full page on each. L numbers mean lobby of the New Building, L2.– means upper Lobby, 1.– the first floor, 3.— 3rd Floor and 8.— the 8th Floor of the New Building, then within a block you have North Hall (9/10th Ave 445 West 59) with 2303 to 2507 on the 2nd Floor, and 3321 to 3326 on the 3rd Floor.

Politics for the people a la Bernie Sanders instead of for the cream hogs – the future of civilization explored

Conference information

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each year in New York City.

A letter from Naomi Klein about the Forum 2016

Left Forum 2016 Conference Schedule

Left Forum organizers are proud to present the full conference schedule for Left Forum 2016. Not only will attendees have hundreds of panels and workshops to choose from, but musical performances, special lunch time events, a diverse and sprawling exhibition, and exciting evening plenaries, all promise to make this year’s conference an exciting event.

Check out the schedule below or view it on the website.

HIGHLIGHTS (Click links for event full page)


Friday May 20th, 2016
Registration: 3:00pm – 6:30pm
Exhibitions: 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Session A: 5:00pm – 6:45pm
Computerized Election Theft, the Rolling Right Wing Coup, and How to Stop It in L2.85 (We can protest all we want, but if voters can be stripped from the rolls and elections can be flipped behind closed doors, the Deep Corporate State will always maintain power.) Joel Simpson, Chair; Jonathan Simon Election Defense Alliance; Mark Crispin Miller New York University; Bob Fitrakis Columbus State Community College; Mimi Kennedy Progressive Democrats of America; Virginia Martin Columbia County (New York) Democratic Election Supervisor.
Privacy, Surveillance and Secure Internet Access: Planning the Fight in L.76 (The almost complete destruction of privacy as a human right, coupled with severe surveillance and data confiscation has now become a major issue for social justice and revolutionary movements)
The Rise of Independent Media, Perspectives From the Progressive Left in L2.81 (the current state of Independent media, how it has been affected by the rise of Bernie Sanders) David Pakman, Chair; The David Pakman Show; Benjamin Dixon The Benjamin Dixon Show; Sam Seder The Majority Report; Nomiki Konst The Accountability Project; Paul Jay The Real News Network.

Chris Hedges makes it very clear which side he is on

Opening Plenary: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Capitalism and Militarism – At Humanity’s Peril: Organizing Our Power – Tariq Ali, Medea Benjamin, and Chris Hedges (Laura Flanders, Moderator)


Saturday May 21st, 2016
Registration: 8:00am – 7:45pm
Exhibitions: 9:00am – 7:30pm
Session 1: 10:00am – 11:50am
Film: To Begin the World Over Again — The Life of Thomas Paine NORTHHALLBUILDING 2450 (the visionary who saw democracy and independence more clearly than the other founders) The presentation is the last great work of legendary cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler (1922 – Dec. 2015) who made One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest and Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? National Educational Telecommunications Association Ian Ruskin The Life of Thomas Paine Productions:; Victor Madeson . Thomas Paine Friends,
Class Struggle in Popular Music 3.81 1.113 (how popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries–in different modes and genres–represents class and class struggle) Science & Society; Maria Damon, Chair Department of Humanities and Media Studies, Pratt Institute; Carter Mathes Department of English, Rutgers-New Brunswick;Rachel Rubin U of Mass, Boston, Department of American Studies; James Smethurst Department of Africana Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Situation in Ukraine on the 2 year anniversary of the fascist attack on demonstrators where 46 people were killed. 1.113 (A leader of the progressive movement from Odessa will join this panel)
Michael Moore’s”Where to Invade Next”: What can the Rest of the World Teach Us about Multiparty Democracy with Strong Left Parties? North Hall Building 2327 (This panel will include several experts on multiparty systems in nations featured in Michael Moore’s new movie plus Brazil.)
Zoned Out! Race, Displacement and City Planning in New York City 1.77 (New York City’s communities of color are facing massive gentrification and displacement resulting from unbridled real estate speculation and government land use policies that support it)

Session 2 12.00 pm- 1.30pm

What Next for the Movement Behind Bernie? L2.84 (How do we continue the fight against the billionaire class after the primaries?)
US-Cuba Relations Today: Fighting for Real, Full Normalization 1.103 (What has changed and what remains to be changed? The US economic, commercial, and financial embargo, while crumbling politically, remains entirely in place, as do travel sanctions. US companies continue to be sanctioned for relations with Cuba)
Trash Talk: Fighting Incineration & Achieving a Zero Waste Vision for Environmental Justice 1.117(New York City and Newark have both made commitments to Zero Waste recently. This panel will highlight the most recent industry attempts to reintroduce incineration to our region)
Overcoming Capitalism (Zero Books) 1.109 (how to transcend or overcome capitalism)
One Democratic State in Palestine/israel. In 2504 (to acknowledge the death of the “two state solution” and reality of the alternative, “one state solution,” whereby Israelis and Palestinians would live together as equal citizens before the law)
Occupy the Commons: Towards a Rational, Peaceful, Bloodless and Effective Revolution for Social Justice, Economic Equity and Human Liberation 1.73 (How does the current system further accelerate the vicious spinning circle of exploitation, widening the wealth-poverty gap, degrading the Environment and exploiting the Bio-commons?)
Climate Change and Capitalism 1.115 (why have efforts to mitigate climate change failed so far? What does this failure say about the nature of the system that is confronting climate change?)

Featured Saturday Lunchtime Event 1: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Rage, Rebellion, Revolution and Song L.63 (Lecture Hall)
Featured Saturday Lunchtime Event 2: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Easter Rising – Songs of Freedom L.76 (Lecture Hall)
Black Box Theater Saturday Events
3.30-5.15pm Poetic Justice: An Afternoon of Emancipatory Lyrics Hosted by Shayla Cook
5.20-7.10 Comedy Show: Who Says The Left Has No Sense of Humor FEATURING: RANDY CREDICO, JOHN FUGELSANG AND RHONDA HANSOME

Session 3 Saturday: 3:30pm – 5:15pm
Transcending Material Scarcity 1.82 (Distribution of income by labor is almost universal but outdated in an economy where the major and increasing source of production is capital which is nearly all owned by a minuscule (plutocratic) few)
Silencing Dissent: False Accusations of Anti-Semitism Against Palestine Solidarity 1.119 (defenders of Israel have launched powerful and coordinated counterattacks to silence the movement of Palestininian solidarity)
Sanders’ Politics and the Path to Socialism 1.71 (relationship between the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and the budding mass movement)
Fukushima on the Hudson: The Risks Posed by Governmental Negligence at Indian Point 1.114 (Indian Point has one of the worst safety records of any nuclear plant in the country, a pattern of negligent safety enforcement, and presents multiple clear and present dangers to the region. Among them are ongoing plans to build a high gauge gas pipeline on site, which in the event of a pipeline explosion could trigger a nuclear incident.)
Criminal Justice Reform, or Justice Denied? 1.83 (This panel argues that reforms and decarceration mark instead the emergence of enhanced state control through greater coordination of criminal justice agencies and enhanced supervision and surveillance through private and non-governmental agencies)
Capitalism’s Right Turn: From Far Right Populism to Authoritarian Neoliberal State 1.100 (launching the 2016 Register on The Politics of the Right)
Bully Nation: How Militaristic Capitalism Creates a Bullying Society 1.63 (In order to assure domination, the militaristic capitalist elite must build a culture that reinforces and rewards bullying behaviors and values, both in the ruling institutions and in everyday interpersonal interactions. Book: Bully Nation by Charles Derber and Yale Magrass University Press of Kansas)
A Dialogue on Israel and Palestine With Tariq Ali and Norman Finkelstein L2 85 (No abstract)
Debate: The Left and the Sanders Campaign L2 82 (how socialists should relate to the Bernie Sanders campaign.)
Film Screening: All Day All Week: An Occupy Wall Street Story 3.79 (It is 2011. Three years into the global financial crisis, there is a growing sense that political and economic elites sold out the people. In response, a wave of revolutions spreads from North Africa to Europe, and even the United States. In New York City a small group of activists meet in the NY General Assembly to discuss the possibility of #OccupyWallStreet. On September 17th they go to the financial district and occupy Zuccotti Park. They rename it Liberty Square)

A Brief History Of The Future 1.107 (The activists soon find themselves in the center of a growing movement. They face many external challenges including the media, the unions, political parties, and police violence. However, it is the internal challenges that they cannot overcome.)

Session 4 Saturday: 5:20pm – 7:10pm
We Are Not Your Soldiers: Learn to Talk Students Out of Signing Up for War 1.123 (Veterans with World Can’t Wait’s We Are Not Your Soldiers project present what they do in a typical high school classroom where students are considering joining the U.S. military. Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans relate their experiences in occupying countries, boot camp and post-military service)
The TPP, TTIP and the Continuing Free Trade Onslaught, the View From Canada 1.73 (Unfortunately the onslaught of the neo-liberal regimes continues. Four Canadian experts will share their analyses and experiences fighting the latest round of mega-free trade agreements.)
The Donald Trump Presidential Campaign: How to Fight the Rise of Fascism in Our Time 1.125 (Some say Trump is a buffoon, but that was also said of Mussolini, and after the laughing stopped about a million died.)
Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated 1.82 (The harm done to the wrongfully incarcerated and their families is tremendous in all such cases. This panel will discuss action and strategies for dealing with wrongful incarceration.)
Turkey’s Denial of the Armenian Genocide and the Question of Reparations 1.119 (how Turkey rewrote history after the 1915 Armenian Genocide in which the Assyrians,and Pontic Greeks were killed, and the rest sent into exile. Anoush Ter Taulian will discuss the intergenerational trauma that led her to become a lifetime Armenian activist and Artsakh (the part of Armenian liberated from Azeri conquerors) veteran.)
Night Event: 7:30pm – 9:45pm
Saturday Plenary Black Liberation and the Sanders Groundswell: Prospects for Left Unity


Sunday May 22nd, 2016
Registration: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Exhibitions: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Session 5 Sunday: 10:00am – 11:50am
The Imperative of Nuclear Disarmament in an Increasingly Dangerous World 2511 (countries are in the process of modernizing or further advancing their nuclear weapons programs in a world where elites envision and plan for continually escalating competition for increasingly scarce resources)
So the Next Bernie Can Run as an Indie: The Ballots, the Dollars and the Debates L 76 (Even Sanders’ most ardent campaign supporters acknowledge the perils of running in the obviously undemocratic DNC primary system)
Reducing Fossil Carbon Use. Wind, Water & Solar or Nuclear Fission – Which Has Better Promise? 3.79 (It is technically possible to greatly reduce mankind’s use of fossil carbon fuels)
It’s Time for Alexander Hamilton the Leftist: Hamilton’s American System of Political Economy Is the Key to Defeating Wall Street and Finally Organizing an Economic Recovery Starting With Infrastructure 1.75 (Hamilton’s American System of protectionism, mercantilism, and dirigism can help us put an end to the free trade sellouts, unemployment, and immiseration of our own time. We will attempt to convince the Left to adopt Hamilton as a champion of economic progress and as a figure whose ideas are worth pursuing in our time. A case in point is the rebuilding of the US rail system, financed by Hamiltonian methods.)
How Would Thomas Paine and Henry George Plan a Rebellion? L2.82 (Thomas Paine promoted “Rights of Man” (2 vols) and “Agrarian Justice”. Henry George extended these ideas on “Progress and Poverty” into the 20th Century.)
Capitalism and Loneliness L2.84
(But while capitalism freed people from rural manors, social bonds and attachments were ruptured. Alienated labor rent communities asunder. Between its political economy, its fragmented social and mediated exaltations of the individual, we now live lonely lives of quiet desperation.)
Session 6 Sunday: 12:00pm – 1:50pm
Discussion With Cubans About Life Under Blockade, the Cuban Economy, and Mass Organizations During the Changing Us-Cuban Relations 1 103 (US blockade, and the continuing damage this inflicts on Cuba)
Unifying Independent Media: Creating Networks for Bloggers, Freelance Journalists, and Livestreamers 1.92 (The coverage that is shown on TV is framed to discredit and demonize those participating in actions on both a local and national level)
The Transatlantic Slippery Slope – Suppression of Freedom of Expression from Israel to the US 1.121 (In 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the “Anti-Boycott Law”, thereby legitimizing the suppression of dissent in Israel. Passed in 2011, the Anti-Boycott Law makes the call for the boycott of Israel (including of the illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory) a civil tort, and joins similar laws and policies designed to chill and curtail internal critique of Israel and Israeli policies. In the United States, dozens of anti-BDS laws have been proposed/enacted in both the US Congress and at the state level, mirroring the Anti-Boycott Law in Israel and with the aim of suppressing or punishing activism for Palestine.)
The History of Interracial Desire: From Slave Narratives to Obama 1.67 (In this panel we work against the backdrop of the scientific debunking of race as a genetic reality and move to read it as a culture of power….the narrative of romance is being re-invented in the cause of radical egalitarianism.)
Marxism and Religion: Cooperation and Contradiction 1.108 (The relationship between Marxism and religion has historically been sometimes antagonistic, sometimes cooperative)
Berning Down the House? Left Populism and Its Limits L.76 (A conversation on the promise and limits of the Bernie Sanders campaign.)
Bernie v. The Greens: What Can the Government Actually Do to Fix Our Economic Mess? L2.85 (UMASS Amherst Economics Professor Jerry Friedman made headlines with his breakdown of how we can actually accomplish Bernie Sanders most challenging goals, including job growth, single payer health care, free public university tuition and paid family leave. Jill Stein is the Green Party candidate for US President with some ideas of her own about reorienting the economy toward environmental and social justice.)
Bernie, Capitalism’s Crisis and Democratic Socialism: What Next? L2.84 (examines the Bernie Sanders campaign in its relation to capitalism’s triple crises: economic decline accompanied by intense psychological stress and a crisis of hegemony with deep political challenges.)

Lunch Session Sunday: 2:00pm – 3:40pm
Chasing Utopia: A Roundtable on Workers Co-ops and Socialist Strategy L.63
(a broad diversity of perspectives among the leading advocates and critics of the workers cooperatives in relation to socialist strategy, SAM GINDIN, GAR ALPEROVITZ, SHARRYN KASMIR, AND RICHARD D. WOLFF New School LEO PANITCH, MODERATOR/INTERLOCUTOR)
Black Box Theater Sunday Events
2pm-3.40pm Sing in Spanish (and English)- Chorus as Community – The Power of Singing Together FEATURING: BERNARDO PALOMBO, RUBEN GONZALEZ, MARIO CANCEL, HUDSON VALLEY SALLY, & LUPE RAMSEY (NARRATION)
4pm-6pm Waking Each Other Up! The People Have the Power Ist Act: Upsurge! 2nd Act Literary Warriors

Session 7 Sunday: 3:40pm – 5:40pm
Cuba Speaks for Itself: a Panel With Cuba’s Ambassador to the United Nations L.76 (Ambassador Reyes is a veteran of Cuba’s military campaign in Angola and Southern Africa, which was the decisive factor in the military defeat of the South African apartheid state)
What is the role of Marxism Leninism in the US and the world today? Is it time for a new US Marxist Leninist party? 1.109 (Lacking a non-sectarian, revolutionary but realistic party, effective in mass struggles, the masses have been subject to right wing forces.)
US Militarism’s Expanse and the Need for a Movement to Cut Military Spending and Invest in Human Needs 1.123 (to call for an end to war, to protest drone attacks and nuclear weapons modernization, to wage campaigns to cut the military budget, to stand up in our communities to bring attention to the futility of war, and to demand a full focused effort on diplomacy and redirection of resources to meet human needs and protect mother earth)
The Endless “War on Terror”: US Drones & Targeted Killing 1.127 (he US military is now training more pilots of unmanned vehicles than of fighter/bombers)
Rethinking the 1950s: How Progressives Survived the Great Terror 8.61 (during the ‘50s, sex was as threatening to the nation’s moral order as communism)
Private Prisons as Profit Factories — How Banks & Wall St Control & Profit from the (In)Justice System 1.81 (the money machinations that lie behind private for-profit prisons)
Sunday May 22 2016 Closing Plenary: 6:30pm – 9:15pm Rage, Rebellion, Organizing New Power: A Hegelian Triad
Gymnasium, 4th Floor, Haaren Hall.
(left) The most dangerous philosopher in the West and the Elvis of cultural theory
Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian-born philosopher and psychoanalyst. He is a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana. Aside from these appointments, Žižek tirelessly gives lectures around the globe and is often described as “the Elvis of cultural theory”. Although, more seriously, as British critical theorist Terry Eagleton confers, Žižek is the “most formidably brilliant” theorist to have emerged from Europe in decades. Many, in fact, now consider Žižek to be “the most dangerous philosopher in the West.”

(right)Decency is her aura as she works to report on the hidden side of news

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,200 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press.Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration.” PULSE named her one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
Panels, Workshops and Events 1-66

Panels, Workshops and Events 67-131

Left Forum List 2016 Approved Panels

Download Left Forum 2016 Program Guide (88 pages)


VAXXED Festival Premiere and Panel Today In Village

April 24th, 2016

Vaxxed having been reluctantly censored out of Tribeca by Robert de Niro it will be festival premiered today Sunday April 24 ar 2pm-4.30pm at the Manhattan Film Festival Player’s Theater, 115 Macdougal Street just off Washington Square and Sixth Avenue below West 3rd, next to Cafe Wha and Comedy Cellar.


The full panel assembled for Tribeca

The same key sources rounded up for the Tribeca Festival will form a panel after the show in the small screen area in front of the 299 seats in this cosy cinema in a three window wide, three floor brownstone, including Andrew Wakefield the much maligned but heroically unbowed researcher who first raised the alarm about MMR and autism in a BMJ paper about MMR and infant gut problems, when autism showed up in 8 out of 12 affected children.

Judging from his clear eyed and steady gaze, and the uncompromised intelligence of his stance on MMR use, Andrew Wakefield always seemed trustworthy - and now is vindicated by revelations in his film of egregious data erasure by the CDC
(Photo) Judging from his clear eyed and steady gaze, and the uncompromised intelligence of his stance on MMR use, Andrew Wakefield always seemed trustworthy – and now is vindicated by revelations in his film of egregious data erasure by the CDC.

Wakefield was hounded out of medicine by the investigation of the London Sunday Times correspondent Brian Deer, who after seven years managed to get Wakefield’s medical license cancelled for allegedly fraudulent dealings which had no real bearing on the actual science of his paper, or the issue. it seems clear. The paper was withdrawn by the BMJ, although nothing in it was disproved, and responsibility for any alleged flaws in the arrangements of the study was shared by 11 other coauthors, one of whom sued at high cost to fend off the loss of license and reputation and won, thus by implication vindicating Wakefield and the others.

The Deer’s work on the topic and his allegations are fully assembled at his site Wakefield’s defense against all this attack is contained in his two books which are available at this page. Up to date material on Brian Deer’s performance is available at Truth Barrier written by investigative journalist Celia Farber and at Age of Autism:An Elaborate Fraud Part III: A Mother of Two Autistic Children Demands Accountability From the British Medical Journal

Here are the panelists’ bios for the Q/A immediately following the Players Theater screening today at 2pm-4.30pm:

The Panelists at VAXXED: FROM COVER-UP TO CATASTROPHE and Description Notes

New York Times Coverage of the affair since its beginning

We watched the movie ‘Vaxxed’ so you don’t have to: STAT reporter reviewer struggles to avoid the main point of the film, aided by editor who slaps on a headline amusingly reminiscent of the Nature editor who famously adopted the same stance in dealing with Peter Duesberg on the HIV/AIDS error.

VAXXED Movie Exposes CDC as Playing Politics with Autism Vaccine Link Study

April 22nd, 2016

CDC Group Shredded Data in Definitive Study Showing Early MMR Correlated with Sevenfold Jump in Autism Among Healthy Children

Revelations Threaten Multibillion Dollars Worth of Claims by Parents of Damaged Children

Unless Film is Censored, Huge Decline in Vaccinations in View, and Renewed Outbreak of Dormant Diseases

Manhattan Film Festival Steps Up to the Plate, Matches Tribeca Cancelled Show and Panel

Contrary to the advice of the chorus of docile hacks in the media condemning VAXXED for claiming a seriously alarming correlation between early MMR and autism, which was covered up by the CDC, we would recommend it as an impeccable study of the scandal, clear, accurate and straightforward.

The emotional impact on parents of autistic will be devastating, and the threat to the MMR vaccination program will be just as lethal as the powers and interests involved fear, it seems clear. In fact the huge institutions both governmental and commercial that will lose reputation over this affair both in the US and around the world are surely right to be alarmed at the showing of VAXXED, as indicated by their strenuous efforts to ban it, successful now again at the World Festival in Houston. For if enough people see and understand this movie, it seems certain that for the next few years the public’s faith in all vaccinations will be dangerously low, incurring outbreaks of diseases more threatening than measles.

The movie vindicates with its incontrovertible evidence Andrew Wakefield’s scientific judgement over a decade ago that the link between autism and MMR should be carefully investigated. This was correct. And it suggests that it was much against the public interest that Sunday Times correspondent Brian Deer’s seven year hounding of Wakefield for his financial dealings and study setup arrangements was successful, in that it resulted in Wakefield losing his medical license and his reputation for good science pursued on an academic level.

In the film Wakefield comes off as a very clear headed and honest scientific truth teller with a very clear message in science, which is that the CDC played politics with the truth, in order to preserve public confidence in vaccinations and prevent the activism excited by Wakefield’s pronouncements from upsetting the program.

The film, which was directed by Wakefield to his credit, wins immediate acceptance even in skeptical minds for its condemnation of the CDC by playing recordings of telephone calls from CDC scientist William Thompson to a scientific author and journalist. Recorded by the author, this acts as incontrovertible testimony from the CDC scientist and biostatistician who was actually responsible for the statistical data and analysis on the key study in question, which was designed to be the CDC’s definitive study on the possible link between MMR and the escalating rise in autism.

This honorable whistleblower’s testimony and the printed out evidence of erased statistics which was sent from the CDC by Thompson shown on camera confirm that data on 3000 kids studied for reactions to early MMR indicated two groups suffered autism at much higher, statistically significant rates, as much as sevenfold above normal. In one group of black kids the rate rose by 300%, and in a group of so called “isolated” cases, where no other health problems had been noted, they rose by 700%.

The data was sat on for two years and then with agreement in a group meeting was dumped into the waste basket and finally shredded, much to Thompson’s personal chagrin and later deep shame when meeting parents and their damaged children. Fearing that what was done was illegal, he kept paper and flash drive records of the erased data and hid them away, fortunately for the public interest in policy based on good science.


Despite the Tribeca and other censorship VAXXED is finding venues. This suggests that consequences will build.

VAXXED has ended at the Angelika (last showing was yesterday Thu Apr 22 at 3.20pm) but will be shown on Sunday 2-4pm at the Manhattan Film Festival with Wakefield and Polly on stage following the projection. It will also be shown at the Village East cinema 5 times a day for the next week or longer (that’s the same chain as Angelika).

Meanwhile a crack reporter writing on the controversy has learned there will almost certainly be a Congressional hearing by the House Oversight Committee on the issue of the CDC’s behavior in this matter aiming to take the sworn testimony of William Thompson, the very honorable CDC whistleblower noted above who did the statistics for the CDC study, whose group after two years followed instructions from higher ups and tossed and shredded the key data, showing three fold and seven fold increases in autism from MMR among a black kids group and an otherwise healthy “isolated” group.

What with another CDC whistleblower suit in Utah, following a successful suit in Italy against MMR on autism grounds, a forecast that there will in the end be at least two whistleblower billionaires from this seems reasonable, once these honorable people get their deserved payouts.

Moreover, the real issue remaining to be opened like a can of worms is this question: If three vaccines are too many, what about the sixty others children are now being given? Did Julie Gerberding the CDC head and policymaker when this was happening jump to a sinking ship in 2009, or to what will eventually or soon become a sinking Merck? Interested observers wait to see. Perhaps this scandal will sink other large bodies as well as Merck and the CDC.

Are we perhaps entering a new era where even the NIH will be held to account for HIV being the wrong cause of AIDS, a fact that should be obvious to anyone with high school science? Are we witnessing a crumbling of the politico-scientific structure that will remind us of the effect of Katrina in submerging Lower Manhattan, or perhaps the wreckage of the New Jersey coast?

It could be the latter, or even global warming level damage, and one certainly understands the strenous pushback being mounted to VAXXED.

The storm gathers, Manhattan Film Festival steps in

Following censorhip of VAXXED by the Tribeca Film Festival, though without Robert De Niro wavering from his personal support of the film’s merit deserving a wide audience, the Mayor of Houston has seen fit to join the lemming rush to blind the public to its message, and so has the Huffington Post, continuing in the grand tradition of its founder Arianne Huffington that the authorities must never be flouted.

Now the Manhattan Film Festival has burnished its image as an alternative to Tribeca by stepping forward and scheduling a screening of VAXXED at the Players Theater at 115 Macdougall St (below Washington Square) at 2-4.20 pm on Sunday Apr 24, which will be followed by the very panel which was going to assemble at the canceled Tribeca projection.

The film will screen at 2:00pm on Sunday, March 24th at the same time as its original Tribeca slot, with a panel discussion moderated by Sharyl Attkisson (Emmy Award winning investigative journalist) to follow with Dr. Andrew Wakefield (Director), Del Bigtree (Producer), Polly Tommey (Producer, co-founder Autism Media Channel), Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, and Mark Blaxill.

“Vaxxed” investigates how the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the government agency charged with protecting the health of American citizens, concealed and destroyed data on their 2004 study that showed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The information was revealed by a Senior Scientist at the CDC, William Thompson, who revealed the information to Dr. Brian Hooker. This alarming deception has contributed to the skyrocketing increase of autism, potentially the most catastrophic epidemic of our lifetime.

The film was initially accepted at the Tribeca Film Festival with a world festival premiere slated for April 24th. However, after the film was announced on March 21st, there was an unprecedented media pile up calling the film “anti-vaccine” by journalists who had never seen the film, based on mis-information about the director, Andrew Wakefield. After Robert De Niro posted a public statement supporting the film on Facebook on Friday, March 25th, the coordinated backlash was so strong that the festival called Cinema Libre Studio later the same day, revealing that the festival’s “sponsors’ interests” were a factor in their decision to pull the film, without giving the filmmakers a chance to defend their film against the “anti-vaccine” mislabeling.

Distributor Cinema Libre Studio’s Chairman, Philippe Diaz explained the precedent set by the Tribeca ouster in a recent MovieMaker Magazine Op Ed: The Tribeca Precedent and the Framing of Vaxxed

Following the Tribeca de-selection, Vaxxed opened theatrically on April 1st at the Angelika Film Center (NYC), where it has grossed nearly $60,000 in three weeks. It opened in Los Angeles (Laemmle Monica Film Center) on April 15th grossing $15,000 during opening weekend as well as the Pasadena Playhouse 7 and in New Orleans (Chalmette Movies). On April 22nd in NYC it moves to the Village East, holding in Los Angles, and widens to Tempe, AZ (Harkins Valley Art), San Diego (Angelika Carmel Mountain) with a limited schedule at the Laemmle Claremont 5. On April 29th it opens at Landmark Theatres in San Francisco and Berkeley, in Santa Ana, CA (Regency South Coast Village) and Detroit, MI (Emagine Novi 18) with additional cities (starting 5/6) including Dallas, TX (Angelika Dallas), Plano, TX (Angelika Plano), Honolulu, HI (Consolidated Kahala Theatre); Atlanta, GA (Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 5/13) and Philadelphia, PA (Landmark Ritz Five, 5/20) with more theatres to follow.

FILM LINKS: | @vaxxedthemovie |


Official Selection – NYC Festival Premiere – Manhattan Film Festival
The Players Theatre (115 Macdougal St, NY, NY 10012)

Sunday, April 24th @ 2:00pm

There will be a Q&A immediately following the screening (a reprise of the original Tribeca Film Festival panel) with Dr. Andrew Wakefield (Director), Del Bigtree (Producer), Polly Tommey (Producer, co-founder Autism Media Channel), Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, and Mark Blaxill. Moderated by Sharyl Attkisson (Emmy Award winning investigative journalist).

So now Tribeca looks evil in flouting the Constitutional protection of free speech, and the Manhattan Film Festival attracts attention for its understanding of same, which should of course be the keynote of any film festival, especially in the new age of the documentary.

Obviously definitive research is needed to settle this question outside the realm of government and commercial politics, as well as other questions such as how has experience of countries other than the US and the UK differed and if so why?

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