Technology Turns the Tables on Global Hegemons

May 25, 2018 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - Centuries ago, technology like sailing ships, guns, and steel armor enabled Europeans to appear on South American shores and appear godlike to the natives. Through a combination of spreading disease and wielding military, organizational, economic and of course technological superiority, Europeans subjugated the native populations and conquered an entire continent.

European and eventually American technological superiority granted each and every subsequent century to the West. As military and manufacturing technology began to proliferate more freely and more rapidly following the World Wars, nations found themselves finally armed, economically independent and organized enough to throw off Western colonization.

It is a process that is still ongoing, with brief instances of technological advances in the West providing an economic or military edge before quickly being mitigated by that technology's proliferation globally.

This decrease in lag time between Western technological breakthroughs and global catching up has put Western hegemony itself in danger. It is a danger Western policymakers have been spending greater amounts of time considering, and because of that, so should policymakers the world over on how to protect and even enhance the global balance of power this reduction in lag is creating.

RAND Fears the Future

In a recent paper published by the RAND Corporation, a US policy think tank funded by, and working for the largest military and economic interests in the Western Hemisphere, fears of how technology may further erode the West's technological and thus economic and military edge over a world it seeks hegemony over are explained.

RAND published an article titled, "Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security," which focuses specifically on computer-controlled manufacturing and in particular, 3D printing.

The article begins by claiming:
3D printers already produce everything from prosthetic hands and engine parts to basketball shoes and fancy chocolates. But as with any technological advance, new possibilities come with new perils.​​​​​​​

The 4 ways include:

  1. Hackers Could Use Printers to Cause Real-World Damage;
  2. Printers Could Enable New Criminal and Security Threats;
  3. Printed Guns Are Not the Biggest Risk and;
  4. New Manufacturing Capabilities Could Endanger Jobs.
While some of the concerns RAND covers are legitimate, particularly the danger of computer code being altered to produce sabotaged parts, these are fears that already exist across existing manufacturing industries worldwide with strategies already developed to test manufactured parts before their use for critical applications. 

Big-Pharma Novartis to Charge $475,000 for $20,000 Cancer Cure Funded by Taxpayers and Charity

August 31, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) While Americans squabble over irrelevant political diversions, a revolutionary breakthrough in human healthcare has yielded its first FDA approval - a therapy that literally cures otherwise incurable leukemia.

It is the first of many therapies that re-engineer human cells in living patients to reprogram more resilient immune systems and even repair damaged or aging organs.

Image: A virtual cure for leukemia - paid for by taxpayers and charity, hijacked and sold for nearly half a million dollars by pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. 

What would seem like headline news has instead squeaked through as a whimper - not because it is insignificant - but because of how this monumental breakthrough has been hijacked by special interests and how these interests plan on making Americans pay twice for its development behind a smokescreen of public ignorance.

Thanks to a media focused more on dividing and distracting Americans regarding irrelevant political charades, due diligence in researching the story was either sidestepped intentionally, or a result of unprofessional and incompetent journalism.

Taxpayers and Charity Paid First

For the past 20 years, American taxpayers through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) helped fund a revolutionary cancer treatment that sidesteps devastating and ineffective chemotherapy and instead, re-engineers a patient's own immune system to find and destroy tumors.

Image: LLS supporters organize events all over the country to raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research including the development of therapies and the funding of clinical trials. LLS money was key to what Novartis alleges is its own "breakthrough."  

In clinical trials, patients suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who were not responding to traditional therapies and would otherwise die, were not only cured, but would enjoy permanent remission.

The most stunning success story was that of Emily Whitehead, a young girl who is approaching her sixth year in remission. At the time of her experimental treatment in 2012, she was estimated to only have days left to live.

Image: Literally on her deathbed in 2012, Emily Whitehead has been cancer free after receiving treatment in clinical trials funded by charity. The media is now rewriting history, attributing the breakthrough and thriving patients like Emily Whitehead to Novartis.  

The revolutionary procedure has paved the way for similar "gene therapies" augmenting the human immune system to fight off and eradicate some of the most confounding diseases of our time.

GMOs and Big-Ag: Stop Being Scared, Start Getting Your Hands Dirty

August 17, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LocalOrg) - Urban farmer Curtis Stone who runs a successful urban agriculture business as well as workshops and free online videos to help others join the urban agriculture revolution, has recently put out a very positive message regarding GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the context of big-agricultural monopolies and what we can do about it.

His underling message is to stop being paralyzed by fear and to start making a real difference by simply getting out from behind our computers, getting our hands dirty, and making with our own two hands the sort of world we want to live in.

He says so as part of a tangible movement producing alternatives to big-ag and big-retail that have turned the tide against monopolies and have given people a chance at building their own value for themselves and their communities.

While his message was specifically about GMOs and the agricultural sector, his wisdom easily carries over to virtually all other aspects of modern socioeconomic activity.

Break the Wheel 

It is a positive message that has been gaining traction as more and more people become frustrated with circular political debates, endless protests, and paralyzing fearmongering, all while the same handful of powerful interests benefit - far removed from the chaos they sow below.

Abusive monopolies are so, simply because they have the wealth and influence to be abusive. This wealth is gained by millions of people in the United States and around the world paying them for their goods and services month-to-month. This concentration of wealth was not accomplished overnight, and it will not be undone in an election, with the passage of a bill, or anything less than its undoing through decentralization and localization.

Reducing the wealth and influence of monopolies - regardless of industry - thus reducing their ability to abuse, requires directing our monthly income away from them and toward local alternatives.

Money channeled to local farmers around the world instead of a handful of ag-giants and retailers, means the wealth these current monopolies use to lobby, manipulate public perception, bribe, and otherwise coerce public policy with, no longer exists. It is wealth through local entrepreneurship that can be used as local people see fit.

Local alternatives create a decentralized version of the centralized monopoly they seek to replace, meaning that no single business has in its own hands the sort of wealth and influence existing monopolies currently enjoy. This creates a better balance of power and deters the sort of abuses excessive disparity invites.

Curtis Stone and others encourage people to create value and wealth for themselves instead of obsessing over political discourse, ideology, and fear. And the more people who choose self-empowerment over circular conflict, the more actual leverage we will have individually and collectively when actors such as agricultural monopolies, tech giants, or the defense industry attempt to coerce a people, a nation, or even a world into action that benefits none but a handful of monopolies. 

No Matter How Bad You Thought Big-Phama Was, This is Worse

A literal cure for cancer has been funded by charity, stolen by big-pharma, to be dangled over the head of the dying for profit. 

August 2, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Impropriety among big-pharmaceutical corporations has ranged from multi-billion dollar bribery rackets, to marketing drugs to patients for uses they were never approved for by regulators, to covering up known dangerous side-effects of medications they produce and sell.

More recently, big-pharma has been embroiled in a series of price-gouging controversies over equipment and treatments. This includes the hijacking of and profiteering from a revolutionary new treatment called gene therapy.

Gene therapy, the process of re-engineering human cells to either include missing DNA to cure genetic conditions or to arm the immune system to seek and destroy disease, has been the latest hopeful technology scooped up and plundered by big-pharma. 

Gene therapy promises a single shot cure to many of the diseases that have confounded humanity the most - everything from diabetes to cancer, to blindness, deafness, and even various effects of aging.

At least two treatments using gene therapy have been approved for European markets.

A third that has proven in clinical trials to provide permanent remission for leukemia patients who were unresponsive to chemotherapy, appears to be close to FDA approval.

The Literal Cure for Cancer, Dangled Over the Dying 

While the treatment - even under experimental conditions - costs approximately $20,000 to produce, pharmaceutical giant Novartis has swooped in and industry experts anticipate a markup leaving the price tag between $300,000-600,000.

The New York Times in a 2012 article titled, "In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia," reported that (emphasis added):
Dr. June said that producing engineered T-cells costs about $20,000 per patient — far less than the cost of a bone-marrow transplant. Scaling up the procedure should make it even less expensive, he said, but he added, “Our costs do not include any profit margin, facility depreciation costs or other clinical care costs, and other research costs.”
More recently, in a July 2017 Washington Post article titled, "First gene therapy — ‘a true living drug’ — on the cusp of FDA approval," its reported that:
Novartis has not disclosed the price for its therapy, but analysts are predicting $300,000 to $600,000 for a one-time infusion. Brad Loncar, whose investment fund focuses on companies that develop immunotherapy treatments, hopes the cost does not prompt a backlash. “CAR-T is not the EpiPen,” he said. “This is truly pushing the envelope and at the cutting edge of science.”

But it isn't Novartis that's "pushing the envelop," or at "the cutting edge of science." Charity-funded university researchers are.