Ethics Quote Of The Week: Bill Bigelow


“The pretend war of celebratory fireworks thus becomes part of a propaganda campaign that inures us—especially the children among us—to current and future wars half a world away.”

Former teacher and current Howard Zinn disciple Bill Bigelow, in a jaw-dropping screed titled “Rethinking the Fourth of July”

Revolting and hateful right wing radio host Michale Savage authored an appropriately revolting and hateful book titled “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.” That kind of marginalization of dissenting opinions apes the tactic of recent totalitarian regimes, which often subjected political enemies to forced hospitalization as “insane.” Extreme ideological zealotry that refuses to acknowledge either the good faith or the possible virtues of opposing views is anathema to a functioning democracy, and the fact that we have a toxic amount of such zealotry right now is one of the reason our government isn’t working very well.  Nonetheless, when I read a statement like the quote above, I cannot help but ponder how any rational individual reaches the point where he would think such a sentiment was worth publicizing. I think it is a form of ideology-sparked derangement. That doesn’t mean that liberalism is a mental disorder. It may mean that intense indoctrination in leftist (or conservative) cant leads to progressive derangement.

How does someone come to see the colorful spectacle of fireworks as “pretend war”? The invention of fireworks predated the use of bombs as weapons. They are an art form, and nothing more nor less. All right, they are also fun. (Can’t have that.) Seeing celebratory firework displays as indoctrination requires a paranoid view of one’s country and the world. 

Paranoia is, of course, what the teachings of the late Howard Zinn encourage. To him, like the equally dark-minded America-hater Noam Chomsky, the United States of America’s creation was a curse on mankind, and led only to genocide, racism, death and oppression. Thus, to Zinn’s acolytes like Bigelow, celebrating the Fourth of July is celebrating evil. The approach of Bigelow to remedy this is familiar: he cites the environmental and health risks of fireworks..

“that terrify young children and animals, and that turn the air thick with smoke and errant projectiles. Last year, the fire department here reported 35 fires sparked by toy missiles, defective firecrackers, and other items of explosive revelry. The Washington State Department of Ecology warns that “Breathing fine particles in fireworks smoke can cause or contribute to serious short- or long-term health problems. They include: Risk of heart attack and stroke. Lung inflammation. Reduced lung function. Asthma-like symptoms. Asthma attacks.”

The horror. How did we survive the Fourth of July this long? This is all part of the now familiar strategy that the extreme left has fallen in love with: attempting to control thoughts and ideas by making inconvenient opinions more difficult to adopt. The less Independence Day is celebrated, the less special it seems. The less special it seems, the easier it will be for those who detest the ideals and history of the United States to undermine support for the nation’s beliefs and founding principles. This is the same tactic we see employed in the schools, when they enforce policies that make pictures, words and toys that reference guns taboo.

There was a time not so long ago that this kind of bile in the nation’s public discourse could be safely ignored as the harmless rantings of outliers, like the John Birch Society’s accusations of Communist conspiracies and tabloid assertions that the President was a Martian. In an environment, however, where all sides, including high elected officials, seem determined to promote division, and to demonize opposing views once divided,  Bigelow-like views of reality seem less unreasonable, and even defensible.

When almost everyone is deranged, it is those who are not deranged who appear crazy.




13 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Bill Bigelow

    • The Old World hates the new world because it is a perpetual reminder that the philosophy initially espoused by the New World is vastly superior to the Old World Order. Granted, the old world has successfully infiltrated and done its best, quite successfully, to undermine things here. They additionally hate the new world because the very “refuse” and despised humans the old world couldn’t stand, came here and showed them up.

  1. Washington State has a Department of Ecology? Say it ain’t so Jack. This Bill Bigelow guy probably got pantsed when he was younger and he’s been angry ever since it happened. So no fun for us.

  2. From Bill Bigelow:
    “But the yahoo of fireworks also turns an immensely complicated time in U.S. history into a cartoon of miseducation. ”

    What does this even mean? Because of fireworks, teachers give a simplistic view of events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War?

  3. I seem to recall that the idea for celebrating the 4th with fireworks was originated by Robert Fulton, the great inventor. However, since he invented the evil steam boat and the first working war submarine, I’d guess that would only add fuel to the fire as far as the crazy Left is concerned.

    • Nah, not to be pedantic but the first working sub was built by Cornelis Drebbel from Holland for King James 1st of Britain. However, the propulsion was by rowing so it wasn’t particularly dangerous. Fulton’s model was hand cranked and much more efficient. But the best was the Huntley which actually sank USS Housatonic during the Civil War.

      • Being a little pedantic, Wayne! (lol) Let me rephrase by saying that Fulton’s “Nautilus” was the first practical design for a long ranging attack submarine. It had a cigar shaped hull, a geared crank system for underwater propulsion and a unique collapsible mast and sail for surface travel. It was so revolutionary that no one would touch it. The rumor was that the Royal Navy rejected it because it was feared that it would be successful and make their huge wooden navy obsolete! Aside from the sail, CSS Hunley incorporated many of Fulton’s concepts.

        • At the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Warfare Systems Centre there is (or was) a large illustration of the first combat submarine.

          Turtle was the first submersible to use water as ballast for submerging and raising the submarine. To maneuver under water, Turtle was the first submersible to use a screw propeller. Bushnell was also the first to equip a submersible with a breathing device. Finally, the weaponry of Turtle, which consisted of a “torpedo,” or mine that could be attached to the hull of the target ship, was innovative as well. Bushnell was the first to demonstrate that gunpowder could be exploded under water and his mine was the first “time bomb,” allowing the operator of the Turtle to attach the mine and then to retire a safe distance before it detonated.

  4. Pingback: Portlandia: Lefty Teacher Whines Fireworks ‘Too Much Like Pretend War’ | pundit from another planet

  5. You’ll note that I was referring to a design for a “long ranged practical submarine”. I’m taking nothing away from Bushnell’s brilliant innovation or Sergeant Lee’s valiant effort against HMS Eagle in New York harbor. Eagle’s coppered bottom, a British innovation to protect its wooden warships against “shipworms”, served to save her from the drill Lee used to try and attach the time bomb. However, Turtle was powered and operated by one man and could not venture beyond a harbor. Nautilus was designed to operate at sea. Fortunately, Turtle’s bomb did serve to prevent her capture by a pursuing British longboat, as Lee detached it (with time growing short) and its detonation nearly destroyed his pursuers.

  6. A) this a ridiculous conflation.

    B) even if it did acculturate people to warfare. So? I’d much rather have a citizenry who, when circumstances call them to the bloody trial, will approach it like our ancestors, with a grim readiness to get it done without urinating their pants at the first sound of the drums.

  7. Jack,
    This is a complicated subject for me as are my feelings surrounding the Fourth of July overall. It represents America at both its very best and very worst, all at once. We get to enjoy the beautiful words that shape our founding documents, while being similarly reminded of all the times we’ve failed them.

    Thus, while I’m not saying I agree, having just experienced Houston’s recent “Pride” Parade (which included tons of incoherent shouting, an endless mass of humanity, and police checkpoints), soon followed by the repetitive thunderclap of fireworks this weekend, I distinctly remember thinking “So this is a glimpse of what it was like to live in Kiev.”

    The invention of fireworks predated the use of bombs, sure, but they’ve certainly been used as mimicry of them since. Mimicry which, even if unintentional, (in this case) seems appropriate. The land in which we dwell and the freedom that govern it were won at the cost of (many) many lives and likely, any future battles on their behalf will likely follow much the same pattern.

    Is it propaganda in support of war? No. But, maybe the 4th is the perfect time to think about it nonetheless ..


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