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Keep It Pithy: Useful Observations In A Tough World (2013)

Keep It Pithy: Useful Observations in a Tough World (2013)

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3.52 of 5 Votes: 1
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038534662X (ISBN13: 9780385346627)
Crown Archetype

About book Keep It Pithy: Useful Observations In A Tough World (2013)

Keep It Pithy: Useful Observations in a Tough World by Bill O’Reilly“Keep It Pithy" is an interesting look at a Bill O’Reilly’s political philosophy. It’s a journey in which O’Reilly looks back at his original thoughts and takes an updated look at them. Best-selling author and conservative talk-show host icon Bill O’Reilly shares his views over the years in a rapid straightforward manner. What does this Secular Progressive (S-P) reviewer have to say about this book? Find out. This direct 162-page book includes thirteen chapters broken out by the following three parts: 1. State of the Union, 2. State of Yourself, and 3. Keeping it Pithy. Positives:1. A well-written, concise book.2. An interesting look at O’Reilly’s views over the years and whether or not they have changed much.3. An easy to follow format that readers can easily reference back. Very accessible and dare I say fun to read.4. Candid thoughts. I appreciate the bluntness; it’s actually refreshing so allow me to extend the courtesy. “I’m not likely to disagree all that much with what I’ve opined in the past. Exceptions are notable, and I will note them. Most of these quotes from my writings will require no explanation. My core values have not fundamentally changed.”5. To a critical thinker like myself some of the philosophy does resonate with me. “Hard work and discipline lead to economic success. Government handouts and unsupervised policies of pity only rob people of incentive.” Agreed.6. I’m pleasantly surprised by some of his takes. “I know this much to be true: It is not easy being a minority in the United States. Not only are you outnumbered, but the crushing weight of irrational ignorance is, generally speaking, directed toward you far more than it is at the majority. Sometimes whites in the USA overlook racial bias entirely because it does not affect them.”7. Kudos to Mr. O’Reilly for tackling the clerical sex scandals. “When Cardinal Law learned of abusive priests, did he leap up in outrage, throw out the perverts, and call the cops? No, he did none of those things, according to his own sworn testimony. Instead, he kept the situation quiet so it wouldn’t hurt his standing in Rome.”8. Provocative. O’Reilly is anything but boring. “But forcing all incoming freshmen to read any book praising a specific religion does violate the mandate that public universities have to live by in order to receive tax dollars.”9. Interesting look at money, “In short, this country has developed a ridiculous blind spot: the power and glorification of money.” I’m a capitalist and so is Mr. O’Reilly but I understand where he’s coming from and agree.10. A reasonable look at dealing with fear. “I believe that overcoming fear is an essential key to living a useful and honorable life. Taming fear also trains a person to stand up to injustice. This is very important.”11. Kudos again to Mr. O’Reilly for the following, “On the other hand, religious fanatics who demonize gays and other alternative groups aren’t covering themselves with glory, either. Yes, I know about the references to homosexuality as “an abomination” in Leviticus, but I also know what the Old Testament says about slavery.” Wow, I agree.12. My favorite quote of the book. “Tammy, it is your right to believe in the Bible and live according to it. It is not your right to impose that belief on anyone else. I happen to believe that all Americans have a right to make a living and have a lifestyle free from religious judgment. As long as gays or any other group do not intrude on you, they should be left alone.”13. There are some interesting exchanges in the book. My favorite and most compelling discussion was with Fox news contributor Sandy Rios regarding a story involving openly gay Ellen DeGeneres, J. C. Penney, and a conservative family organization known as One Million Moms.14. The book is full of lists and I do l like lists. There is a list on what O’Reilly believes or the No Spin Zone commandments. Including, “I believe that global warming is real.” I do too.15. An interesting rant-fest illustrated by celebrity headshots.16. Three examples of what influenced O’Reilly to change his mind, quite good: the presidential election of 2012, the Iraq war, and gay marriage.Negatives:1. My biggest bone of contention is O’Reilly’s misrepresentation of atheism and the so-called negative impact it has on society. I will illustrate some examples in which the contrary is the case and use some of his comments to show you so.2. The Constitution was largely devised by James Madison and is a secular document. There is no mention of God, Christ or any Supreme Being to be found in ANY part of our document! BTW Madison was also in charge of drafting what ultimately became the First Amendment. The great Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was the inspiration behind the First Amendment. His response to the Danbury’s Baptists letter from October 7, 1801, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus BUILDING A WALL OF SEPARATION between Church and State.” The caps are my emphasis. This was Jefferson’s vehicle at the time to make a major public policy announcement. 3. “The tired ‘separation of church and state’ argument is used again and again to justify attacks on spirituality in the public square.” Really? Our secular Constitution is intended for ALL Americans not just for Christians. The public square is per definition public, for all. It’s precisely this separation (and a tax-exempt status) that has allowed religions to flourish in America. Separation of church and state is one of America’s greatest contributions to the world. It’s a concept that is a model for religious liberty and has given our citizens more religious freedom than any other nation. The question you must ask yourself does separation harm religion and the unequivocal answer is NO!4. “Almost every social change the secular-progressive movement wants to achieve is opposed by religious Americans. Therefore, the more the S-Ps can diminish religious influence in America, the faster their agenda can become a reality." Actually, religion has been perhaps the biggest obstacle toward progress in society. Let’s take a look at gay marriages. The Bible considers gay sex as an abomination punishable by death. Death? Is this the kind of society we want to live in one that would most closely reflect Uganda than say Denmark?5. “The rise in dysfunction parallels the rise in secularism, no question about it.” Really? Have you taken a look at the globe lately? Secular countries/societies as a whole are not only more functional but are generally better in every meaningful metric. Theocratic countries are the epitome of dysfunction. Please refer to Phil Zuckerman’s excellent book on this topic, “Society without God”. 6. “So, if everyone was religious wouldn’t the world be a much better place in which to live? Of course it would. And if there is no God at the end of it all, what does it matter? You’re in the ground or scattered to the winds. If the deity is a fraud, you won’t possibly care. You’re gone.” Pascal’s Wager Mr. O’Reilly…please don’t insult the intelligence of your readers.7. Disagree on the following pithy subject, “4. Understand and respect Judeo-Christian philosophy.” Being able to criticize bad ideas is a hallmark of being American. An immoral passage in the Bible such as Thou shall not suffer a witch to live needs to be called out. The endorsement of slavery and not just indentured servitude needs to be called out and that’s why I’m proud to be an American because I have the freedom to do so. I can’t morally respect such beliefs.8. A good point that illustrates why I’m a nonbeliever, “If you have to convince someone to be your friend, the concept of friendship falls apart. Like love, you can’t force it.” A deity that espouses the idea of “love me or go to hell” is not worthy of my worship.9. Very little supporting material. No note or links to references.In summary, this was actually a fun and breezy book to get through. Surprisingly, I have more in common with Mr. O’Reilly than I anticipated. Some of his ideas resonate well with me while my biggest bone of contention has to do with most matters concerning religion. I did not reject religion because I lack a moral foundation I reject religion and specifically the Abrahamic religions precisely because of my superior moral sense. Any book that endorses slavery, the death of witches, the killing of women for not being virgins on their wedding night, the death of gays just to name of few is not worthy of being a moral guide. I hold myself to higher standards and I’m accountable to my fellow human beings and my fellow citizens and so should you. Worth reading even if you are a S-P just like me. Further suggestions: “Culture Warrior” by the same author, “A Nation of Moochers” by Charles Sykes, “No, They Can’t” by John Stossel, “Things That Matter” by Charles Krauthammer, and “Society without God” by Phil Zuckerman. I saw this book sitting around a friend's house so I asked if I could read it. This work is a compilation of brief "pithy" observations, predictions, and short interviews that O'Reilly has done over the last twenty years. The author in his introduction even stated (and I'm paraphrasing): "You're probably not going to learn anything new here, this is all old stuff most of my fans already have heard, but if you want to read the book I won't stop you."The book is only 130 pages long and has plenty of white space and many photographs. Therefore, you can blow through this entire work in about thirty minutes if you are so inclined.On the positive side, some of O'Reilly's observations are relatively entertaining and witty. Furthermore, the author's tone is not as nasty or negative as most of his counterparts in the right-wing punditry. O'Reilly does show a certain sense of humor and the ability to make light of himself, which is evident to anyone that has witnessed his interactions with his friend and political opposite, Jon Stewart.I would recommend this work only to "fans" of O'Reilly's commentary.

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No flow to this book, just snippets of Mr. O'Reilly's opinions from the past and current.

author whose great insight is enlightening for readers....


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