By Bill O'Reilly
Hurricane Irene has killed at least 37 Americans and caused billions in damage on the East Coast. There's nothing anybody can do about nature. It happens.
The good news is the authorities seemed to be pretty well-organized and chaos was kept to a minimum, even though many people got hurt. There were few reports of looting or violence of any kind, and most people seemed to cooperate in the evacuations.
Out on Long Island where I live, the center of the hurricane was about eight miles to the West of my home. The storm wasn't as bad as many people feared; heavy rain and winds about 60 miles-per-hour where I was.
Now, during the storm, I didn't even lose electricity and could watch Shepard Smith log hours on Fox News. He did a very nice job, by the way. And then a strange thing happened. About four hours after the storm passed through, the electricity went out. And eight hours after that, the cable went out. And they both stayed out. So I'm thinking: Why did that happen? If the storm is gone, why did the infrastructure collapse on Long Island for hundreds of thousands of people after the fact? I still have not been able to get an answer to that question.
The Long Island Power Authority, LIPA, charges the highest public utility electricity rates in the country, and right now about a half million of their customers are without power.
New York City did better. Con Ed reporting few problems.
But there's a big problem though with America's infrastructure in general. Irene was not a catastrophic storm, but one of the largest utility companies in the country, LIPA, could not handle it. If the USA is ever hit by a major natural disaster or a nuclear incident, this country will be in big trouble. The truth is that our electrical services are fragile and antiquated and are easily knocked out.
So my advice to you is this: Buy a generator if you can afford to and stock up on non-perishable stuff you will need if you don't have electricity. In this high-tech age, we're all way too dependent on machines, and as we all know, machines can go down very fast.
In my community, folks pulled together. The guys at the Villa Milano restaurant even opened up, feeding folks who didn't have power. When I asked my pal Eli why he and his crew braved the storm to come in, he said "because Albanians are crazy." The guys are half Albanian and half Italian.
All in all, Hurricane Irene was a bad storm, but it did bring out good in many Americans.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
You may remember a thoroughbred named The Factor who was very close to competing in the Kentucky Derby this year before he got hurt. Now The Factor is making a comeback.
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ANNOUNCER: Homeward bound now. The Factor takes the advantage. Smiling Tiger is battling. Camp Victory, Crown of Thorns, coming home gamely on the outside. The Factor is holding on. The Factor, Smiling Tiger, Camp Victory on the outside and Crown of Thorns. The Factor will win it, and The Factor, all heart, takes the Pat O'Brien.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I love that. So The Factor won at Pat O'Brien Stakes in Del Mar, California. Of course, the horse is a patriot. How could he not be?
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: email@example.com.