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May 16, 2011

Paranoid Nation

Steven R. Berryman

Picture the psychiatrist couch cartoon. The therapist says: “Mr. Berryman, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not paranoid. The bad news is that everyone really is out to get you!”


I was reminded of this decades old joke upon listening to WFMD’s Frederick’s Forum radio show on Saturday, hosted by Pattee Brown and Adam Avery. Their guest was Frederick News-Post colleague Barry Kissin.


He needs little introduction from me. He’s a totally original, confrontational, activist, provocateur of a journalist/attorney/mouthpiece of liberal and “softy” causes, with a splash of political enlightenment that I personally identify with. Never discount this brilliant thinker.


But, by always being the challenger and Doubting Thomas of his pet subjects, I trust his instincts, and he does “get on to things.”


Interestingly people, including Ms. Brown, consider Mr. Kissin and myself to be polar opposites; on select issues, yes; but on an overall basis, no.


Yes, on issues where a liberal/conservative option is possible, such as immigration, poverty, social responsibility as a jumping off point – where divergent views thrive – we do typically disagree at least on the “approaches,” but our readers would be surprised at  where we do intersect.


As I stated on the Saturday’s forum, Mr. Kissin’s value is that he is truly unadulterated in content. That is not to say he is immature; he just has his own jumping-off point for many topics. “Out-of-the-box thought processes” understates what others may perceive as paranoia.


Where Mr. Kissin and I agree is in our deep mistrust of government – truly based upon past performance – and on their slaves, the mostly national media. Big media is variously construed as big media, mainstream media, or old school journalism. For economic purposes, they all report to “big government” for their pay checks in one way or another.


Just follow the careers of Juan Williams and/or Britt Hume to see the flip-flops for cash! And John McLaughlin’s panelist Michael Kinsley has been “spinning” for Bill and Melinda Gates, of Microsoft, for years.


This in the most exact George Orwellian way, as defined by the novel “1984,” as Mr. Kissin points out, and where I personally have found intersection with my viewpoint.


When a general opposition to our big-G government crops up – again and again – host Adam Avery of Frederick’s Forum points out that the old saw of how America has chosen to rule itself as “it’s the worst form of (G)overnment ever devised…except for all other forms of (g)overnment.”


Well, since Mr. Avery dwells in the superficial here, I would agree on that finite basis; but surely not otherwise. Deceit in American government communications back to its own people is severely compromised and flawed. The focus is on what they “think” we want to hear and – to quote actor Jack Nicholson – “We can’t handle the truth.”


Take energy, its convergence with the Middle East, healthcare-evisceration, you name it!


That the ends justify the means in our foreign and military policy is such an Orwellian understanding now that the very concept itself remains unchallenged, especially by the trained lap dogs of the mainstream media and their promiscuous counterparts, the talking-heads of all of the cable news channels.


My note is that “truth” is not in the eye of the beholder, but is something absolute and quantifiable. Government apparatchiks would have you believe otherwise “for your own good.”


Call me naïve if it suits your elitist ego!


“Mr. Berryman, due to your age, and the actuarial probability of any long-term success of the outcome of this expensive surgery, we have decided – after the new due-process – that these two pills, taken each four hours, until your esophagus closes down, is most cost-effective solution to your problems.”


Since “we” have chosen for you a best course of action that is also fiscally responsible, based on the greater good of our population, we know that you will appreciate our decision and agree. Further, we have a duly appointed (although not elected) board of 12 – including at least one physician – that has signed off on our final, non-appealable decision on your care.”


Rest assured that I feel duly “loved” in this scenario – right out of George Orwell’s pen – where we are headed, only with programmed opposition by the faint of heart, some of whom have been planted and co-opted to be our weak sisters of argument, just as Alan Colmes used to be set-up to oppose Sean Hannity…with a planned weak-man response to any issue.


Barry Kissin and I are watching and waiting, though…each from a separate vantage point.


Yellow Cab
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