Righting Wrongs – Bill’s Weekly Column


Righting Wrongs

On Friday, I did a live show at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, Long Island, in front of a packed house. The theme of the show was an exposition of how the state of New York and much of the country has gone terribly wrong.

My wingman for the show was the most popular morning radio guy in New York City, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg.

In order to understand America’s embrace of fallacious thinking, you have to accept one basic tenet: there is a right and wrong in the world. If you reject that, life becomes a shallow journey of selfishness.

My right-wrong education really began in 1917, when my 22-year-old grandfather was drafted in Brooklyn and sent to fight the Germans during World War I. John O’Reilly did his duty and became part of the “Lost Battalion.” His regiment began with 550 young men. Fewer than 200 made it back home.

Pop, as we called him, then became a New York City police officer and sired three children. You can just imagine the tone in that house.


My father, William O’Reilly, Sr., was also a military guy. A Naval officer who was sailing on the SS Oneida on its way to support the invasion of Japan in 1945.

The atomic bombings saved my dad’s life as he would have been in the first invasion wave, almost certain death.

My upbringing was simple: it was expected that you do the right thing, and if you did not – you paid a price. I got that all day, every day in my tiny Levittown home as well as with the nuns In Catholic school.

I paid a lot of prices.

The basis of this judgmental upbringing was also simple. The Ten Commandments. If you have forgotten them, they are on display inside the Supreme Court building.

Again, simple. You are to be honest, respectful, and peaceful. No malice. That’s essentially it.

In America today, right and wrong is no longer collective; it is now individualistic. The progressive left does not generally believe in punishment for hurting others. In some places, that concept has been obliterated. Violent criminals are released time after time. Drug addicts are given tax money to buy more drugs. Personal betrayal is an industry. The justice system has collapsed as perjury goes unpunished in courts of law. There is little right-wrong accountability. Instead, excuses for harmful behavior are legion. Almost everything is socially acceptable.

The result is a rapidly deteriorating quality of life here in the land of the free. We the people, are subjected to corruption and dishonesty on a daily basis. Unlike my upbringing, today’s kids see it every day.

Under my grandfather’s and father’s life code, I did not witness much evil growing up. But today, it’s literally in your face.

There is a right and a wrong. According to the polls, three-quarters of adults believe the USA is on the WRONG track.

They are right.

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