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Frankly, if you didn't know this stuff, you need to read more

  • Aug 2, 2006
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+5
John Stossel is a breath of fresh air, demolishing myths on the left and the right. The troubling thing is that everything Stossel says is something that truly informed people should already know from their own diligent reading. For example, Stossel debunks the "cancer epidemic" myth by pointing out that it is primarily a disease of aging. Ben Wattenberg said that more than 20 years ago in his "The Good News Is That The Bad News Is Really Good." If life expectancy hadn't increased so much, there would be fewer cancers.

Does a well informed person need to be told that fast food doesn't make you fat, but eating too much of it (or anything) does? Stossel tells us that many product liability lawsuits don't make us safer, but just cost everyone money.

Stossel does a bang-up job of deftly skewering the global warming fearmongers who, of course, just want their slice of the financial pie.

Some of Stossel's points struck me as silly, such as having to tell people that talking to your kids about sex will make them want to have sex. The response: they're already thinking about it. Uh, if any parent thinks their kids have hit puberty without thinking about sex, they shouldn't have had children in the first place.

Okay, so I think nearly every truly functioning adult should have this knowledge. But not everyone reads a lot. And Stossel did enlighten me as to controlling cockaroaches: the bait works better than the sprays and "roach motels." Now I have to hope I never have need of that bit of knowledge.

Overall a very entertaining read.

Jerry

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More Myths, Lies, and Downright Stu... reviews
review by . March 11, 2012
But maybe I'm the one who would be surprised by the absence of reason in the world around me.  Seems like simple logic would tell people that funeral directors are often greedy predators, that bottled water is a ripoff, that government hurts more than it helps, but perhaps logic isn't so simple, and sense isn't so common as we would like.        Stossel (what is he up to these days?) for a while in the 90s and the 2000's was kind of an omnipresent mythbuster …
review by . July 24, 2006
This book explores, and explodes, many of the "urban myths" that abound in our culture. It also reveals that many of the things that we believe are true are not, and the reverse. Each segment is rather short, and capable of being read very quickly. I found it quite interesting, and learned (or unlearned) many things I had believed, or not.
About the reviewer
Jerry Saperstein ()
I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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About this book

Wiki

ABC News correspondent Stossel mines his20/20segments for often engaging, frequently tendentious challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposés of government waste and regulatory fiascoes, which are usually effective but lead inexorably to blanket denunciations of "monster government" and sermons on the wisdom of the market. Sloganeering—"Myth: The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) will make America less sexist. Truth: The EEOC will torment people and enrich lawyers"—sometimes crowds out objectivity. The author's complacent glosses on overpopulation and global warming ("we can build dykes and move back from the coasts") are especially glib and one-sided. Fans of Stossel's similarly opinionated bestsellerGive Me a Breakwill eat up this new book, but other readers may wince when the author's ideology overshadows the facts.
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ISBN-10: 1401302548
ISBN-13: 978-1401302542
Author: John Stossel
Publisher: Hyperion

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