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Dallas is Where Hope Goes to Die

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.




2/18/2014 THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JIM KNIGHT, KNIGHT REPORT ANCHOR: Welcome to the Knight Report for February 18th, 2014. Tonight, we'll be talking about the big vote today on Capitol Hill. Did the majority leader get the numbers from her own party to end a filibuster? Or has she lost control of not just the moderates, but her own party. But first, we have Dr. Jonathon Prothero. He cured cancer but he's still controversial. Some say he stole their research and the vaccine he's planning on giving away for free should be theirs to sell, right after this commercial break.

[Pfizer Pharma]

[McDonalds]

[Knight Report Promo]

[Viagra]

KNIGHT: And we're back. Welcome to the Knight Report. Our first guest tonight is Dr. Jonathon Prothero. He single-handedly cured cancer and, in a stunning move, plans to offer the vaccine at low or no cost to every man, woman, and child who wants the inoculation. He's been called a modern day Jonas Salk, but in other circles, he's known as a thief. Before we bring the doctor on, we have two Knight Report regulars to discuss the debate. On one hand, we have Dr. Jacob Michelson, he runs the left-leaning "Center for Science in the Public Interest" and next to him, we have Rick Chambers of the Center for Democratic Policy, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Thank you for being here, gentlemen…

DR. MICHELSON: Thanks.

RICK CHAMBERS: Thank you, Jim.

KNIGHT: I want to start with you tonight, Rick, because I'm a little confused about this. Your organization has been one of the loudest voices in calling for the prosecution of the man who cured cancer.

CHAMBERS: Well, simply put, we're on the side of the property owners who all live in a society of laws. Dr. Prothero stole intellectual property that didn't belong to him. And, although his goal was admirable, he built the vaccine on research paid for by Pfizer.

KNIGHT: So, you think he should be held liable for billions Pfizer is presumably going to lose by not being able to sell this formula?

CHAMBERS: Trillions…

KNIGHT: Trillions?

CHAMBERS: We're talking about the cure to cancer. People around the world would be willing to pay top dollar for what Prothero wants to give away for nothing. Quite frankly, it's criminal.

KNIGHT: Let me bring you into this conversation, Dr. Michelson. What do you think about that? Sure, he cured cancer, but he broke the law and hurt a lot of influential people doing it.

DR. JACOB MICHELSON: What's missing from this debate is the Dr. Prothero didn't actually steal anything. Pfizer filed a patent on a gene that is involved in cancer growth. It wasn't like he broke into the laboratory and stole three fourths of the formula and just finished it up and released it before Pfizer could. He funded his own research and found that the cure involved a certain gene set that Pfizer patented for use. This is a loophole in patent law we're been working hard to lobby congress to eliminate.

KNIGHT: So, he's like a modern day Robin Hood…?

MICHELSON: But as I've said before, he hasn't stolen anything.

CHAMBERS: That's a pretty backwards view of the situation, Jake. No matter how benevolent his goals were and how hard you and your liberal friends lobby congress to change the laws of ownership, the fact of the matter is that Pfizer owns the patent on the exclusive right to exploit anything that affects that specific piece of genetic material. Prothero stole the use of that patent, costing a major American corporation trillions of dollars. This is a grave crime of the highest order.


This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.

Comments

Citizen Andy said…
One small tweak: The Speaker of the House can't break a filibuster. filibusters are only in the Senate, so it would be the Majority Leader.

Other than that: gripping, excellent commentary about our media and corporate culture. I also like that this happened in Dallas, which I always find to be a bleak, corporate city with absolutely nothing to set it apart from any other city except that it is BIG. Generic, stifling, and big-- kinda like walking into a Mr. Mac suit store.
Bryan said…
Damnit, I knew that, too....
Ned Ludd said…
As the French philosopher, Jean-Pierre Proudhon said, "What is property? Property is theft."

It is as true today as when he said it 150 years ago.
Norm said…
That was fun. Oh and you shamed him to a new post at http://mostlyanecdotal.org
John said…
One problem is that Pfizer/drug companies would only have control of the US gov't. The European health bodies would already be issuing the "vaccine" while the US debated, especially if he released the cure on some sort of worldwide accessible web of pipes and tubes. I wonder if they'll have that in the future.
Tristan Sender said…
A very interesting argument, that whilst fictional, is very close to the truth.
So many people in the world today do not have access to the lifesaving drugs they need because they cannot afford the prices the pharmaceutical giants charge.
However the pharmaceutical companies would argue that their ability to patent drugs and charge for them is what drives the future research and development of new drugs.
Cheers for the great read.
Ethan said…
That was a great read. I thouroughly enjoyed it. If you'd like check out some of my stuff here http://shortstoriestogrowon.blogspot.com/

From your posts I would enjoy getting feedback from you on what I could improve. Again great posts and now favorited.
tomprothero said…
Hey did you write this? How weird, my surname is Prothero and my cousins name is Jonathan. Not a name you hear everyday!
Bryan said…
Indeed, I did write it. And no matter what name you make up, it seems as though it's a real name...
DK said…
Hey, the story is quite nice... I haven't finished, but I really like the idea.
I found the beginning a bit too slow, though...

Keep up the good work!
Giri said…
Interesting story with a sharp criticism of contemporary media, business and law.

I am an aspiring writer from India. Please visit my fiction blog storywheel and leave your comments.

Best regards.
DK said…
I finished it... I find the end really surprising and intense, but I was left a bit dissatisfied I think. Still, the piece is really good!
Matab said…
Wow..I love this..believe it or not this how things are now
Accept less obvious and never revealed in media in that exact manner
There are cures for cancer and diabetes and autism
Try getting that out of the media
Pharmacuetical companies will lose all their money and doctors would make half wht they make now

Oh and great writing! Can't wait to read more of ur work :)

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