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Now four seasons strong, Bill O’Reilly’s nightly cable news program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” is one of the hottest shows on the air. In book form, The O’Reilly Factor has sold over a million copies and spent fourteen weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Obviously, Bill O'Reilly ...
Now four seasons strong, Bill O’Reilly’s nightly cable news program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” is one of the hottest shows on the air. In book form, The O’Reilly Factor has sold over a million copies and spent fourteen weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Obviously, Bill O'Reilly has made his mark. His blunt, ironic, no-holds-barred style has earned him a devoted audience–friends and foes alike–who send him five thousand letters every week. And with the wit and intelligence that have made him one of the most talked-about stars in both television and publishing, O’Reilly continues to identify what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s absurd in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of America.
“This book bristles with assumptions, assessments, and attitudes that will either have you bobbing your head in agreement or shaking it in disbelief. No wonder O’Reilly’s ratings are rising the way the stocks once did.” –Forbes
“Personal anecdote meets political discourse in [The O’Reilly Factor] where O’Reilly is in a pure, heartfelt state. He’s softhearted and enraged in equal measures. He’s hard-driven and bemused by where his drive got him. He’s the male sphinx as TV blabbermouth.”
–James Ellroy, GQ
If you know who I am, you know why I get letters like this one from a certain Linden S., who lives in Rochester, New York:
O'Reilly, dislike and contempt dominate your thoughts. So highly charged is your bias that it is a constant astonishment to realize that you are unaware of the effect of your own thinking. A thoughtful, deliberative person doesn't stand a chance with you.
That's only one letter, selected at random. They come in bushels every day. Something about me and my nightly news analysis program, The O'Reilly Factor, drives some people up the wall.
But, hey, I'm used to it. I didn't even have to have the top-rated cable news program to get the same response from my first-grade teacher. I was controversial in the first grade, Linden! I come by it honestly!
It took Sister Mary Claudia only to the second day of first grade at St. Brigid's School in Westbury, New York, to get my number. When she ordered our class of sixty six-year-olds to open our Think and Do books, I slumped in my seat and let loose a deep sigh. See, I have always had a thing about lies, lying, and liars--and this book was pure propaganda. The illustrations of kids smiling while doing math problems was a major lie. I knew that at six years old.
But Sister Mary Claudia didn't care and leapt on me like a mongoose.
"William," she shouted. "You are a bold, fresh piece of humanity! You will open your book and close your mouth. You are bold!"
Thus was laid down the course of my life and career, as writers of another age might put it. Ever since, I have starred in a series of confrontations with overreaching authority figures. Sometimes I was just being a pain in the rear. (Hey, you have to practice these things!) But a lot of the time I was challenging the prevailing wisdom because my sense of justice or truth was outraged. That outrage became my passion . . . and my vocation. Today I get paid a healthy sum for pursuing that passion on national television in prime time. The O'Reilly Factor has been on the air for four years, and they say the ratings are steadily rising while the overall prime-time ratings for cable news networks are sinking. Sister Mary Claudia, can you hear me over the harps?
Doesn't matter. If the good sister's not in touch, there are always people like the Reverend and Mrs. Dennis N. of Georgia:
Mr. O'Reilly, you have lost us as viewers. We are sure your lies are born of ignorance. Repent while you still can.
Thanks for the concern, but it's too late, Reverend.
If you've tuned in to The O'Reilly Factor, you know that I usually have five guests on my hour-long program. You might see me interviewing George W. Bush about the latest wrinkle in his campaign. Or bugging former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr about his refusal to go public with all he suspects about the Clintons and their sleazy shenanigans. Or getting former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta to admit that the Clinton administration doesn't know what happened to some $1 billion it sent to Haiti. Some people think Iâ€™m a tough interviewer, but I think Iâ€™m fair. And I'm appreciative of my guests. It takes guts for some of these people to come on the Factor, because they don't know which way I'm gonna go.
Sometimes I bring on my paid on-air consultants, like Newt Gingrich, Geraldine Ferraro, and Dick Morris. They don't usually agree with each other, as you might expect, and they don't usually agree with me. And I always begin each program with a "Talking Point." You'll see what I mean as you read this book, because I use a few here. And I always give the floor at the end of the program to viewer reactions, which are by far the liveliest in all of broadcasting. Some of those comments are scattered throughout these pages.
If you haven't seen The O'Reilly Factor, you might be wondering whether I'm conservative, liberal, libertarian, or exactly what. I hope you're still wondering when you do catch my program and also after you've read this book, my first attempt to put my thoughts in print.
See, I don't want to fit any of those labels, because I believe that the truth doesn't have labels. When I see corruption, I try to expose it. When I see exploitation, I try to fight it. That's my political position.
And in this book, just as on the Factor, I will not waste your time. Count on it. I will get to the pith quickly and undiplomatically--even if the pith pithes you off. Sorry, but that's not my problem. I tell it. You hear it. The truth is often annoying. It's always easier to look the other way. But it is essential that we all look at American life the way it really is today. If we don't do that job, we're gonna lose the battles to the frauds, fools, and thieves--the kind of people you are going to be hearing about in this book.
I love doing the Factor. I'm proud of my work. But television can be frustrating because there are so many subjects every day, and so little time every night. So I decided to write a book that would have no commercial interruptions and no director signaling me that a segment's got to end. I took my time writing this book, and I hope you will take your time reading it and thinking about my ideas. What I've tried to do here is give a blunt look at our times, which are very complicated. America in the twenty-first century can be a savage place, full of ridiculous situations and idiotic people. Life in the U.S.A. can also be fun and rewarding. But to make that happen, you have to separate the good from the bad from the ridiculous. I'm trying to help you do that . . . in a none-too-gentle way.
The O'Reilly Factor, the book, is divided into three sections. The first part of the book deals with what you as an individual are up against in your life as an American: That means things like your status in soci- ety, money, sex, and the ever-present media. Then we focus on personal relationships--the important ties that bind you to family, friends, and bosses. The final chapters concern America itself and what is happening to the country today.
I won't spoon over any Chicken Soup advice here. We're not gonna get "in the zone" or use New Age claptrap or find answers in any Mars-Venus conflict. This is just the straight story as I've lived it and you've lived it. You'll see.
1. THE CLASS factor
Note to Rev. Jesse Jackson: Sorry, Jesse. You're wrong. Racism gets all the ink, but the heart of America's somewhat unfair social setup is class, not race. This fact might cut into your power base, but it's true.
The question for this age in America is: What class are you?
Never thought about it? You should. Each one of us is born into a very specific economic and social class, regardless of color. Most of us remain in that class, for better or worse, until the day we die. The more observant among us can usually sum up a complete stranger's class background within minutes.
Politicians don't usually talk about class. It might open a dangerous door. Advertisers want us to believe we're all one class: the consuming class, equal as long as we keep spending. The rich want us to believe that anyone can make the quantum leap from bowling league to country club by just working a little harder. That's supposed to keep us motivated and quiet.
But does class really matter? Would every blue-collar family be happier and more productive if a long-lost relative died and a trust fund flew in the window overnight?
No, but class is not just about money. It is about opportunity for your kids or dashed hopes, about education or minds that close down for good, about enduring values or materialism that comes out as greed or self- indulgence or complete disregard for others. It is the bottom line, in a way, for every problem I talk about in this book. Class attitudes can be involved in unfair tax laws, or government indifference about our terrible drug problem, or what kind of entertainment is available at the local movie house. Class plays a role in gun control laws that restrict personal freedom for the little guy and in casual enforcement of drunk driving laws.
As someone once said, "Class in America is like sex in Victorian times: People believe that if no one talks about it, it will just go away."
Whatever I have done or will do in this life, I'm working-class Irish American Bill O'Reilly. No one ever told me or my sister that we were pretty far down the social totem pole while we were growing up in 1960s America. We took for granted that it was normal to buy cars only when they were secondhand, that every family clipped coupons to save money, and that luncheon meats were the special of the day. The municipal pool in our town on Long Island, New York, was pretty seedy, and we took the Greyhound bus to Miami for our annual vacation, but since air travel and private pools simply did not exist in our world, we never thought we were missing anything.
Ridiculous note: Deprivation works both ways, it seems. I'll never forget my astonishment reading that First Lady Jackie Kennedy learned about Green Stamps from a White House employee. This elegant, cultured upper-class young woman was delighted to find that these stamps, which were given out by retailers like supermarkets as a reward for shopping, could be redeemed for "free" electric blankets and the like. For a time, wealthy Mrs. Kennedy collected the stamps like mad.
My parents, who loved us both and wanted the best for us, believed that "the best" was playing it safe in life and not straying too far from the neighborhood. One of my grandfathers walked a police beat in Brooklyn, the other was a train conductor, my mother's mother was a telephone operator, and my uncle was a fireman. My sister became a nurse. I was expected to become a teacher or, if I got very lucky, a lawyer. My mother, not wanting me to become a nonconformist in the 1970s, would not rest until I wore a "leisure suit."
My father, who never made more than $35,000 a year while exhausting himself commuting daily from Levittown to New York City to work as currency accountant for an oil company, took for granted that college for his son meant one thing above all: employment security. He and my mother graduated from college, but they did not remember the experience as a life-altering event. Dad didn't want me rocking the boat or getting big ideas. He looked ready to throw up when I told him I was going to study abroad during my junior year.
"Why do you want to do that?" he snorted. "You could start on the football team!"
He didn't know, as I did by then, that the privileged classes saw the college years as an opportunity for learning a great many things that did not necessarily involve going home on weekends. Sure, some rich students I knew may have grandstanded about hangovers in Spain and sexy nights beside the canals in Venice, but they also learned from experience about different cultures and ways of thinking and saw firsthand some of the great achievements of European art and learning.
Of course, my father had never met such people of privilege, nor did he care to. He was proud of his spartan life with its fast foods, yearly three-week-long vacation, and four Robert Hall suits hanging in a small closet in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home. All of his friends lived much the same way and were just as proud.
Most of my childhood friends stayed in the neighborhood, married each other, and now live fairly comfortable middle-class lives. Some of them are happy, some aren't. But few of them realize how much their lives have been defined for them, even laid out for them, by a class system that discourages most of us from moving up the social ladder, no matter how hard we work.
Could some of them be happier or more productive if they had had the opportunity to go to graduate school to become architects or physicians or cancer researchers? Yes. It's not that one type of job is more important than another; it's that each of us should have the opportunity to use our own talents and follow our own dreams. A mind is a terrible thing to waste if you're held back by race or by gender. It is just as great a waste when you're held back by class. Right, Rev. Jackson?
|1.||The Class factor||4|
|2.||The Money factor||14|
|3.||The Sex factor||26|
|4.||The Media factor||38|
|5.||The Drug and Alcohol factor||54|
|6.||The Job factor||68|
|7.||The Parents factor||85|
|8.||The Dating factor||97|
|9.||The Spouse factor||108|
|10.||The Child factor||114|
|11.||The Celebrity factor||132|
|12.||The Politics factor||141|
|13.||The Race factor||155|
|14.||The Religion factor||163|
|15.||The Success factor||169|
|16.||The Friendship factor||174|
|17.||The Ridiculous factor||180|
|18.||The Bad factor||192|
|19.||The Good factor||201|
|20.||The Gratitude factor||213|
Posted December 26, 2011
This book is very satisfying to any decent person who enjoys politics. I may be young, but even I like it. Is very humorous, with opinions backed by information. This book is written forWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 28, 2006
...for those of you who don't know him well! To build on Bill's fundamental beliefs about the Judeo-Christian origins of the USA and whether we really are not: 1) Interest on loans is contrary to both teachings, as it preys on people who are in financial need. Also, in Deuteronomy every debt is to be forgiven every 7 years this also means any debt must be repayable within 7 years. Now look at the credit system in all areas of American life-- Judeo-Christian?? 2)Employers should not exploit employees by paying them poorly.We all need to eat-- hence our daily bread.How many go hungry or don't know where their food will come from? How many barely survive or survive by intermittent homelessness in the USA because of a minimum wage and federal poverty level that is grossly inaccurate? How many executives make hundreds or thousands of multiples in salary of the lowest paidworkers? Does Bill Gates of Microsoft give 500,000 times the value that the receptionist does? Does Bob Nardelli of Home Depot provide 500-1000 times the value your ordinary employee in the store gives? Ths system Jesus described under Caesar kept the poor from thriving -- sound like the U.S.? Examples of exceptions can be found but the average American has little chance of seeing true prosperity. 3)If you are wronged in America and it is civil, you must first have money to recover your losses in most non-personal injury areas. The monies to obtain representation are not cheap. For say an average Walmart employee ,the 'retainer' might be 1/4-1/2 of their gross annual income just to get started. Law is big business in the USA, a source of wealth building unto itself.Judeo-Christian??Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2006
This will give you a flavor for Bill's humor,priorities and qualms! But as a reader and viewer seeing how Bill looks down on the unsuccessful in American society, i must wonder how Bill would receive someone such as Jesus if he suddenly appeared today? Jesus was homeless,jobless and itinerant while generous to a fault and highly intelligent. In the material hierarchy of this society or most others( exceptions being 'aboriginal' cultures) Jesus might be labeled a failure in material terms by hardliners. If Jesus lived a less than socially acceptable life and did not judge those in that state, who among us is to judge? I like Bill and have enjoyed his past shows and admire his courage in bringing topics to light largely ignored by the mainstream but hope he can find more compassion in his heart. Not everyone who does not prosper is a loser and failure, Mr. O'Reilly. Do you consider Jesus a loser?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2004
Posted August 19, 2003
I'm a huge fan of The Factor and can tell you I wasted no time whatsoever in reading this book cover-to-cover. Even if you hate the man, you gotta admit that he does make some good points and makes you think. Enjoyable and to the point! I have a feeling I'll be a lot like him when I get a little older.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2003
The O'Reilly Factor is a very opinionated book, however the opinions are back up by facts. It doesn't drone on forever, it's short, simple, and to the point. Very imformative without being too wordy. Covers everything from morals to facts on drugs, parenting, jobs, to dating and sucess.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2003
Bill always is on target. I am an avid watcher of the O'Reilly Factor, and I can honestly say he holds a lot of my respect on his show and in his book. Thanks Bill for always being truthfulWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2003
Whether you like him or not, you can't deny the fact that he makes you question your own beliefs. I respect him as an intellect and as a journalist. Even though I may not agree with him on all issues, I enjoy hearing what he has to say. I think this is a great book that should be in everyone's library.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 3, 2002
There is no revolutionary philosophy here, just old fashioned common sense! O'Reilly is patriotic but ignores the fact that our government has let us down repeatedly.. Under Hoover the FBI ran rampant blacklisting such individuals as E.B. White,William Faulkner, Hemmingway.. Under the CIA's MK Ultra, prisoners like Whitey Bulger and unsuspecting military personnel were subjected to non-consenting drug experiments. The IRS, NSA and who knows how many agencies have been described as politically controlled in various media news programs. All sorts of illegal criminal operations from gambling,prostitution and drugs enjoy the support of local,state and federal law enforcement and their complements in state and federal corrections systems. Our churches shun far more than they serve and help and our policymakers export jobs to other countries such as Canada,Mexico and China under Nafta, which has taken many jobs away from Americans. In China, where much of the goods may well come from prison labor in a politically oppressive regime. Our Justice Department allows large amounts of foreign immigrants to come to the USA , enjoy education at our finest schools then allow them to return to their countries who many times later use such education against us or stay here and enjoy a prosperity that escapes perhaps 50-90% of the natural U.S. citizens. What say you, Mr. O'Reilly?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2002
This book is basically an overview of his general philosophy. There are many topics O'Reilly could tackle. One such example is how even though the Fed lowered interest rates, interest on credit cards for millions of consumers did not fall accordingly. Many credit cards have a prime rate + a certain percentage and it follows if the prime falls so too should the interest rate. But banks like MBNA for example didn't lower their rates but raised them. There are cases where MBNA raised individual cardholder rates by 10% for no apparent reason! Or another topic: ignorance of the law is no excuse yet if you break the law it costs major dollars to defend yourself. Should we as Americans tolerate a government which makes the laws and which also knows that those laws can force many people into severe financial jeopardy or deny them justice outright simply because of finances? Another topic: is it possible that any major figure affecting public policy has first to be cleared by the intelligence community first? This,if true could signify that judges, politicians,celebrities, highest level law enforcement are in fact extensions of the intelligence community,contradicting separation of powers?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2002
Bill O'Reilly, possibly one of the best journalists in the media today, dares to go where others won't even talk about. He touches on issues that make you think. O'Reilly is obviously a moral man that simply wants to make the world a better place. In this book, O'Reilly takes another step in making America a country of moral values.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2002
I always heard how Bill O'Reilly was somone who didn't like Democrats and took shots at celebrities. So I read the O'Reilly Factor and I was impressed. It is such a good book. There are a lot of great 'factor' chapters in the book. Whether you like or dislike O'Reilly, you should give the book a chance, it will open your eyes and make you think. I am now a regular watcher of the O'Reilly FactorWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2002
O'Reilly hints at a class system in America but does not fully develop this thesis. O'Reilly appears to be constructively criticising America while acknowledging its demonstrable past present and prospective future potential. O'Reilly however does not mention things like how the credit scoring system in this country is a tool for social and economic stratification. One can have years of good credit followed by a time of hardship and doors will shut for that person for years because of the time of hardship. Good credit means little and bad credit means a lot. O'Reilly does not address how the credit system is often used by lower income people as supplemental income for wages out of sync with the cost of living and median incomes for their region of the country. Nor does O'Reilly address the hypocrisy of social programs, such as 'free care' in health care. In Massachusetts an individual can be homeless and earn less than $10,000 per year and still be hit with a $500+ medical bill after the free care petition is filed.This is because for 'free care' to kick in, a deductible is derived on extrapolated FUTURE earnings potential. One can be homeless and say find work at the end of the year, make less than $10,000 but have a mandatory 'deductible' of several thousand dollars BEFORE the 'free care' kicks in. Who do social programs cost,Mr. O'Reilly? O'Reilly is a big one on government responsibility and oversight. But O'Reilly does not discuss how the nature of many government agencies is not proactive but REACTIVE; meaning that these agencies will not act unless some outside catalyst is involved, such as a whistleblower complaint. The way courts and society treat whistleblowers, it is no wonder more people do not come forward in helping serve the public interest. Mr. O'Reilly discusses the generally pervasive apathy towards issues of broad social concern. Mr. O'Reilly, why not have some shows educating people how they can participate in government? Why not discuss the Federal Register and how this details inner workings of government? Or how accessible is the law to ordinary Americans? Law libraries are not so readily accessible as many have hours of use that bar normal working people from being available to use them.In one local district court, there is a law library in the court supposedly available for public use but when you go to use it you are kicked out because you are not an attorney.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2002
Although Bill O'Reilly seems to be a decent individual, I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Most surprising is that Bill O'Reilly could have gotten as far as he did in the journalism business while being such an aweful writer. I try to finished every book I start even if it's not all that enjoyable to read, especially if I'm going to criticize it later. But I've read several different books by political writers all over the spectrum, and Bill O'Reilly's book is by far the least enjoyable to read and certainly among the least inciteful or profound. An alternative title for this book could be 'A List of Bill O'Reilly's Opinions Excluding Any Significant Analysis or Reasoning'. This was a BORING, UNENJOYABLE book. If you feel you must buy this book because it is too important not to read you're mistaken as I was, but buy a used copy so you can save a buck. Whatever you spend it's too much!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2001
Each chapter is short and to the point. Even if you are a huge Fox News Channel O'Reilly Factor fan you will learn, more in detail, Bill O'Reilly's opinions-- short and sweet-- on so many topics relating to today--family, religion, success, the media, etc. He makes some great points. If you don't like O'Reilly I still recommend you read this book. I saw his book as informative because he's an 'insider' in the media and opened my eyes as to who is influening whom in modern day America. This book is well worth the read. The O'Reilly Factor is a book that will get you thinking and talking...and hopefully, more involved in the direction our country is moving.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2001
Mr. O'Reilly discusses his hard upbringing and hard work it took to get where it is and he did, especially when compared to peers in his success group. Mr. O'Reilly also was able to attend 2 of the finest schools- Boston University and Harvard. Here is an example of another: A man i'll call ' Tom' was put into state child care at 1 year old or so. The child later turned out to be cripple and spent more than a couple of years alone in the hospital with no visitors while being treated. On release to his biological mother, the child was released into a home where drugs,alcohol, suicidal and homicidal impulses raged between mother and stepfather. The stepfather was an outpatient at mental hospitals. Tom spent the next few years graduated from full-length wheel chairs to full leg braces (see 'Forrest Gump') to crutches. It would be ten years before the boy was given a clean bill of health. At 'home' , of which the child was not even aware who these people were, the child was beaten,tortured and perhaps sexually abused by the stepdad. Time and time again Tom,age 4, had to call in the fire dept for help as his mother collapsed in substance-related stupors. The family was forced to leave after the apartment caught fire one night By age 5 Tom was attempting suicide by throwing himself down stairs or trying to jump out of cars on the highway.Finally Tom was permanently removed from 'home' after police stormed the apartment to remove the stepdad attempting to stab death the mother with a large kitchen knife. For a couple of years Tom had spent an aggregate of perhaps 6 months total with the mother and 18 months bouncing around various foster homes or emergency placements. Over the next few years Tom was placed with a foster family where he was beaten, humiliated,burned and constantly told he and his family were no good. At school ,administrative personnel ' had to get him under control' by whipping him with a belt about the face,chest - anywhere. But some teachers did show kindness and this was the beginning of a change. Tom showed some signs of possible sexual abuse and was beaten for it.Tom was eventually moved after a few more placements to a residential program. On initial testing, Tom showed gaps in education from all the bouncing around but exceeded the scale of the tests on reading and vocabulary. Tom showed and was encouraged with special tutoring at the program. Several more foster placements put Tom in a home where they expected Tom to work at the family business, almost never did anything recreational and where the parents harped constantly about how much it cost to feed and clothe Tom even though the state reimbursed the mall or most of the expense. Again, the foster father suggested ' maybe he needs a good beating from time to time'. Another placement put Tom with a seasoned foster family who constantly belittled Tom's educational achievements and refused Tom to date and allowed Tom recreation only if he worked a job to pay for it. At 14 ,Tom was working fulltime during school vacations while other kids in the home were given money and allowed to date. If Tom objected to the constant ridiculing and harassment, he was told 'how about we smash your face in?'. Tom eventually attempted suicide and came very close to succeeding- so despairing was he in this home and his complaints of constant harassment and ridicule fell on deaf ears. Tom bounced around some more and ended up in a shelter for homeless teens. Testing on entry brought strong recommendations by the testing staff that Tom be enrolled in college immediately. Instead of college, Tom was sent to a hard labor camp breaking granite boulders with sledgehammers 12-15 hours per day in the hot summer sun at a program for kids in trouble with the law.Tom had no trouble with the law- he was just homeless. Tom was strip searched and had all his clothes and personal belongings taken from him and all communications were banned- no phone calls and only letters once pre-sWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2001
I liked this book and O'Reilly 's show but must point out some things. In the book, O'Reilly suggests a system in place that works to keep 97% of the population, the 'average' American, down. On his show, however, he had on an economic analyst (Heather Boushey)from the Economic Policy Institute who discussed study findings that at least 4 million Americans cannot make do on even $30-40,000 per year income because of high cost of living. O'Reilly said he does not believe it, preferring to take the standpoint that all individual failures to prosper are the fault of the individual. O'Reilly did not take into account some people really do have bad luck, have been blackballed, or that through no fault of their own external circumstances have thrown them into poverty. To make a blanket statement that all poor people are mentally ill,substance abusers,criminals or other defectives without reviewing each specific situation is judgemental and contradicts one of the beliefs he expounds in his book- that the system by its structure automatically creates a poverty class. O'Reilly has criticised many politicians but does not have on experts in non-political ,non-legal disciplines to comment. Mr. O'Reilly, why not have on sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, police officers, college professors to discuss who really is in power or to what degree 'the system' creates a casualty class? Politicians and lawyers are by and large in the power class and less objective. Once it is established that a poverty class exists by design, the questions that follow include: 1) who occupies it?, 2) what decides who will occupy it?, 3) are the means of escaping it practical and realistic? Bill discusses education concerns. Prior to the French Revolution, the population had a very high literacy rate but low living standards and a revolution was spawned. In Norway literacy is 100% but the quality of life is very high and no revolution exists. Is it in the genuine interest of America to have a very high literacy rate if the quality of life cannot be ensured? Bill appears to feel that too much emphasis is put on ' the kids' as a bargaining chip in sociopolitical matters. It does stand to reason that help is needed for kids but parents need it too in their ability to provide high quality care for those kids. The bible says to be 'fruitful and multiply' but does this still hold true when the global population reaches 9 billion or more and scarcity of resources threatens all? Shouldn't prospective parents honestly evaluate their ability to bring kids into the world and provide some reasonably high expected living standard for those kids before just doing it? At what point does the selfish need to have the parenting experience outweigh the feasibility of giving the child a decent life and not burdening the society as a whole with the child's care? Such generic care provided by society seldom conveys a high standard of life. Standard being a measure of happiness, not wealth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 17, 2001
Posted July 18, 2001
I watch O'Reilly's show every day and got some great laughs out of his book. One thing Bill has had stories on is foster kids but he seems to take the approach of foster kids as essentially bad kids. As an unwanted kid for almost 18 years, was i so bad to want a normal upbringing? Were years of neglect,abuse,humiliation, bouncing around,choppy education all my fault? Is it my fault i was born? How many nights as a young child did i cry myself to sleep, alone and afraid, until one day there were no more tears, just an emptiness inside.. that in one of the greatest countries on earth i could not find parents who really loved me? Did i have problems? For sure! Were they unsolvable? I don't think so. Mr. O'Reilly, in my experience i must have had no less than 60-75 state and state-subcontractor caretakers. A small percentage really cared about me and i could see that and that is what i responded to. But for a kid growing up under these circumstances, they forge real bonds with people in their lives while the caretakers there are in fact paid. On the side of the child, the bond is real but on the caretakers it more often than not is not real- it is an artificial relationship. In coming out of the system over the years my efforts to keep in touch with certain critical 'handlers' was not viewed as a good thing but as an 'unhealthy attachment'. So you also have kids looking for solid relationships unable to establish them by the professional parameters emplaced. Each child that successfully survives the rigors of navigating the system and is well-adjusted can in turn become a tax-paying, revenue-generating contributor of society. When i became an adult ,seeking answers about my own origins, i ran into a bureucratic roadblock worthy of a Dave Schippers or a Bill O'Reilly. Of files maintained to be in the hundreds of pages, 20% of the files were released and redacted sometimes up to 90%. This was the result after Ted Kennedy and many politicians' offices got involved. The amount of redaction suggested that the sanitization of records was not to protect me but to protect my handlers. Want a real challenge Mr. O'Reilly? The failures of our legislators,policymakers, economists, social engineers might be as simple as throwaway children and the circumstances that got them there.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2001
if you love his show, you will like this book he still stats his opinion strongly and puts some good stories in there along the why. for anyone in politics, you must read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.