Free Market Capitalism: The Greatest Lie Every Told

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths

By Mariana Mazzucato

Anthem Press (2013)

Book Review

This book totally shatters the lie that the free market makes the US the world’s greatest economic power. Mazzucato leaves the reader with absolutely no doubt the exact opposite is true: the US became an economic powerhouse after World War II as a direct result of massive government intervention – more so than any country in history except for China.

As Mazzucato’s research ably demonstrates, capitalism doesn’t work without massive state investment in research and development because no private investor (ie neither banks nor venture capitalists) will risk investing in new technologies that require 15-20 years to produce returns.

Without massive state intervention, there is no economic growth – anywhere. This is why austerity budgets adopted by most of the industrialized world have been so damaging. According to Mazzucato, austerity itself is directly responsible for current global stagnation (with a decade of near zero growth). Moreover industrialized countries with the lowest level of state-subsidized research and development (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) are the ones struggling the most economically.

The book mainly focuses on US programs that have financed technological research and development – via grants to universities and researchers, loans, loan guarantees, and subsidies. Not only does this funding support basic research (which venture capitalists almost never fund), but it also assists private corporations in commercializing these new technologies. She emphasizes that without strong support by alleged free market champion Ronald Reagan for massive state intervention (during the 1980s), there would have been no personal computer and Internet revolution the following decade.

The main federal agencies responsible for funding technological research and development (R&D) are National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)*, National Institutes of Health (funds research for nearly all new pharmaceuticals before handing them over to pharmaceutical companies), Small Business Administration, National Science Foundation (developed Google’s search algorithm), ARPA-E, and Department of Energy (helps private industry bring clean energy technologies to market).

Among other technological innovations made possible by federal R&D funding:

  • nanotechnology
  • biotechnology
  • Tesla electric vehicle
  • Apple computer, ipod, ipad, iphone, and SIRI (Apple bought SIRI from Stanford Research Institute aka SRI)
  • the jet engine
  • aerospace (space) technology
  • semiconductors, hard drives, microprocessors, hard drive, and RAM technology making personal computers possible
  • GPS
  • lithium batteries
  • fracking technology
  • nuclear technology (still massively subsidized by the state in all countries that employ it)

*NASA and DARPA were not only responsible for creating the Internet but for helping private industry to commercialize it.

 

 

The Ugly Story Behind the Laetrile Cover-Up

Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan Kettering

Eric Merola (2014)

Film Review

Second Opinion is a documentary about the deliberate cover-up of an alternative cancer treatment by Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, America’s foremost cancer research institution, and Dr Robert Moss, the Sloan Kettering science writer who exposed the cover-up.

As strange as it may seem Sloan Kettering themselves did the definitive research showing that Laetrile (aka Amygdalin and B17) is effective in small tumors in early stage cancer. Sloan Kettering even went so far as to apply to the FDA (in 1974 and 1975) for permission to conduct human Laetrile trials.

A year later, under massive pressure from the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society (both receive major funding from Big Pharma), the top brass at Sloan Kettering reversed themselves and falsely claimed that twenty laetrile studies over four years showed no beneficial effect whatsoever. As one commentator observed, if cancer patients could buy laetrile (made from apricot pits) for seventy-seven cents, they would never pay $70,000 for cancer chemotherapy.

Sloan Kettering Researcher Kanematsu Sugiura

The chief laetrile scientist at Sloan Kettering was an eight-five-year-old Japanese researcher named Kanematsu Sugiura. Sugiura was with the Center for over sixty years. His twenty studies showed that laetrile slows tumor growth, reduces lung metastases and relieves pain with small cancerous tumors.

Neither Sugiura nor Moss ever claimed that laetrile is a “cure” for cancer. Like chemotherapy, it merely slows the progression of the disease. However, unlike chemotherapy, it doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. Nor does it cause hair loss, extreme nausea and lethargy or immune shutdown.

Americans Defy FDA Ban on Laetrile

Although laetrile is far safer than the poisons used in chemotherapy, the FDA banned in in 1962. In the late seventies when Sugiura was doing his research, more than 70,000 Americans (one-tenth of all cancer patients) were illegally smuggling laetrile into the US from Mexico. There was also an extremely strong grassroots pro-laetrile group affiliated with the John Birch Society. They successfully lobbied 19 states to pass legislation authorizing laetrile use. They also persuaded Ted Kennedy to hold congressional hearing on laetrile. According to Moss, it was the pressure of these hearings that led Sloan Kettering to do additional (deeply flawed) studies which they claimed contradicted Sugiura’s findings.

Moss Starts Underground Newsletter

Since mainstream media refused to interview Sugiura or publish his findings, Moss decided to bring them to public view by starting an underground newsletter for Sloan Kettering employees called Second Opinion. In addition to exposing the Sloan Kettering campaign to discredit Sugiura, it also published articles about labor disputes, nursing and patient complaints and a clearly racially based dismissal.

Owing to its immense popularity, Second Opinion attracted mainstream media attention. In 1977, this culminated in a press conference in which Moss was forced to go public. Predictably he was fired and blackballed from the industry.

His wife helped out by getting a job, and Moss became a free lance writer, publishing The Cancer Industry in 1980. He has published a total of fifteen books about the capture of cancer treatment by the profit interests of powerful pharmaceutical companies. In 1991 he became an (unpaid) adviser to the National Institutes of Health on alternative and complementary cancer treatments.

In 2014, two German researchers finally (after forty years) replicated Sugiura’s findings. They have plans to launch human studies.

Unfortunately, since I first watched this documentary, the producers have made it pay per view. People can either pay $4.99 or wait till one of the Torent sites makes a free download available.

The CIA’s Medical Manhattan Project

dr mary's monkey

Dr. Mary’s Monkey

Edward T. Haslam (2007 TrineDay)

Book Review

How the unsolved murder of a doctor, a secret laboratory in New Orleans and cancer-causing monkey viruses are linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination and an emerging cancer epidemic

Dr Mary’s Monkey provides a detailed history of how the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines administered to three million baby boomers were accidentally contaminated with a cancer causing monkey virus known as Simian Virus 40 (SV-40). It also describes the massive cover-up initiated by the American Cancer Society and National Institutes of Health (NIH), which encouraged doctors to continue administering the contaminated vaccine.

The book skillfully interweaves the history of SV-40 with new information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s intelligence career released under the 1992 JFK Records Collection Act. Haslam focuses considerable attention on David Ferrie, a CIA pilot and Oswald’s long time friend and mentor. It’s believed that Ferrie first recruited Oswald to the CIA when he joined Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol troop as a high school student.

Why Did Ferrie Keep Hundreds of Mice?

Haslam’s memoir clears up a mystery that has troubled assassination researchers for nearly 40 years – namely the discovery, by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, that Ferrie was performing medical research on hundreds of mice in his apartment

Dr Mary’s Monkey also relies on police reports, Freedom of Information Act records and the secret files of ex-FBI agent Guy Bannister (who played a key role with Oswald and Ferrie in a secret CIA program involving anti-Castro emigres), as well interviews with scientific and medical experts and acquaintances of orthopedist Dr Mary Sherman*, who was conducting secret SV-40 research at Tulane at the time of her apparent murder.

SV-40**  and the Current Cancer Epidemic

SV-40, the monkey virus Dr. Mary Sherman and Ferrie were experimenting with, was first discovered in 1957. Originally known as “polyoma virus” (referring to its ability to cause multiple of tumors in mice), it was first identified by Drs Bernice Eddy and Sarah Stuart at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1960 Eddy discovered that the monkey kidney cells used to prepare the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines were contaminated with SV-40.

Instead of withdrawing the vaccine, the NIH destroyed Eddy’s career. A year later two other virologists replicated Eddy’s findings, and two polio vaccine manufacturers voluntarily withdrew their vaccine. Although NIH reportedly took steps to ensure that batches coming to market after 1963 were SV-40-free, they allowed doctors to inoculate a million more children (worldwide) with contaminated vaccine.

The New Orleans Medical “Manhattan Project”

Haslam believes the top secret experiments Sherman, Ferrie and Baker conducted in 1963 involved irradiating SV-40 virus with a linear accelerator, with the intention of a creating a biological warfare agent. Their hope was to create a mutated virus that would cause a “galloping cancer” that would kill its victim within weeks. It was Ferrie’s job to sacrifice the mice, dissect the tumors and identify and extract viruses that seemed the most virulent.

Sherman was working under the direction of Dr Alton Ochsner, a staunch anticommunist and known FBI and CIA asset. Freedom of Information act records reveal the FBI released him in 1959 to take a “sensitive position” at Tulane. The position, Haslam believes, involved running a kind of medical Manhattan Project to create cancer causing viruses. Ochsner’s stated mission was to find a vaccine against SV-40, presumably to prevent an epidemic of soft tissue cancers in children exposed to SV-40 via the polio vaccine. Numerous documents and witness statements suggest the true intention was to create a cancer causing virus for use in the assassination of Fidel Castro.

Oswald (on both the CIA and FBI payroll in 1963) comes into the story as a chaperone for Judyth Baker, a 19 year old girl genius who was assisting Sherman and Ferrie in their experiments. According to Haslam, Oswald was also the courier assigned to smuggle the fatal virus into Cuba. This meant Baker had to train him to look after the special culture medium that kept it alive.

Although Haslam’s original intention was to identify Dr Mary Sherman’s killer, in the end he concludes she most likely died from accidental electrocution while operating the high voltage linear accelerator. The top secret nature of her biological warfare research made it essential to conceal the circumstances of her death. Thus her body was massively mutilated (to make it look like a sex crime) secretly removed to her apartment.

*A Farewell to Justice by Joan Mellen confirms Sherman’s role in secretive experiments at Tulane, in which viruses were bombarded with a linear accelerator.

**Haslam devotes an entire chapter to the likely role SV-40 exposure, via the polio vaccine, has likely played in the current epidemic of soft tissue cancers. He cites National Cancer Institute Data showing a 50% increase between 1973 and 1988 in skin, lymphoma, prostate and breast cancer.

The SV-49 Foundation maintains a website devoted to the collation of SV-40 research. Except for a rare cancer known mesothelioma and a type of brain cancer, the official position of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is “more research is needed” to establish a definitive link between SV-40 and human cancers.