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Travis Rowley: Some Rhode Island Liberals Can’t Reason or Read

Saturday, November 09, 2013


In the wake of an incident in which protesters at Brown University intentionally shut down an organized discourse between the campus community and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, I submitted a column last week titled “Progressives: Liars By Religion and Trade” – a piece that illustrated once again that liberals aren’t liberal at all, but rather are the intellectual offspring of totalitarianism.

Leading local progressives had defended this violation of free-speech principles simply by insisting that Kelly was a special kind of monster – most often by referring to him as a “racist” in order to justify the illiberal silencing.

What I called “the most laughable defense of the Brown protesters” was a blog-post written by the State’s top atheist agitator Steve Ahlquist. The basis for me saying so was the fact that Ahlquist, just weeks prior, had criticized Providence College administrators for “rescind[ing] an invitation to philosopher John Corvino of Wayne State University because his lecture would be in support of marriage equality.” According to Ahlquist, this was a regrettable “blow to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry.” 

Ahlquist would demonstrate just how much he truly cares about “academic freedom and intellectual inquiry” when he explained to everyone, “Why We Shouldn’t Listen to Ray Kelly” – the title of his recent article.

More Mind-Twisting

Atheist activists are fond of incessantly reminding everyone that all of their beliefs are grounded solely in “reason” – the implication always being that those who believe in God must naturally surrender logic in favor of parental brainwashing, or the comfort provided by believing in an afterlife and/or a God who loves them.

Ahlquist is no exception to the elitism so often expressed by the secular Left.

But Ahlquist’s rationale for his inconsistency represents the type of mind-twisting that only a professional liar – and someone who doesn’t believe in a God to whom he is accountable – could embrace.

This week, Ahlquist doubled-down  on his positions concerning the incidents at Brown and PC. According to our intellectual superior, these two episodes “are very different things.” Ahlquist wants his readers to recognize some sort of significant difference between having an invited speaker denied his platform by “people organizing for a cause” and when the same action is taken by college administrators – which represents “the authoritarian cancellation of speech.”

Why doesn’t Ahlquist consider PC administrators, and those who supported them, to be “people organizing for a cause”? 

As I explained in last week’s column: You see, “liberals decide which causes are just, and which are violations of conscience.” And who in their right mind would organize against such a righteous cause as same-sex marriage?

And as for the Brown protesters: Wasn’t that just a bunch of progressive gangsters acting like “authoritarians” – an admittedly “organized” mob that didn’t necessarily reflect the views of the majority?

No way. According to progressives, their violent mobs are always “the people.”

This is the intellectual chicanery that allows progressives to dismiss life’s rules whenever they are suddenly inconvenient to their political ends.


I consider Ahlquist’s defense of the Brown protesters, his subsequent defense of himself, and his counter-attack against me to be entirely worthy of our attention. We can learn a lot by listening to this treacherous blowhard.

Conversely, Ahlquist admits that I am a “writer who [he doesn’t] pay much mind to.” Sometimes I am an “amusing distraction” for Ahlquist. But my “manic style” and my “ridiculous rhetoric” and my “hyperbolic attacks on liberals and progressives are too extreme and careless to be of interest to any but [my] small coterie of fans.”

Okay then. Let’s dive in, shall we? Let’s see who people should be more inclined to trust: Me, or this atheist pudge.

Ahlquist writes, “Rowley’s assertion that my position represents a double standard completely ignores the fact that, if true, Rowley is maintaining the exact same double standard himself.” This is “because [Rowley] also supports one cancellation but not the other.”

It’s true. Ahlquist really doesn’t read my stuff. Here’s what I wrote about the incident at PC several weeks ago in response to Ahlquist’s take on the matter: “A free speech extremist myself, I’m not yet comfortable defending Providence College’s decision – at least as it has been presented in several media outlets. The College may have made their ruling in a manner that is inconsistent with basic academic principles.”


Saturated in ignorance, Ahlquist decided, “Though [Rowley] might have well made the case regarding his own dishonesty and double standards, his case against me is weak and ephemeral.”

Hilarious. Pure projection. Progressives just assume that everyone is as unprincipled as they are.

Ahlquist’s struggle with basic reading comprehension continued.

He wrote, “Later, Rowley runs a quote, ‘Racism is not for debate!’ without attribution and which is something I never said…The quote being attributed to me in this manner is simply a lie or sloppy editing from someone who does not bother to check his sources.”

The only problem with Ahlquist’s analysis is that, if he hadn’t clearly started reading my column somewhere in the middle of it, he would have read the following excerpt more toward the beginning: “That’s how simple it is for progressives to silence anyone they consider to be a threat… Simply express severe moral outrage…This week the Brown protesters screamed, “Racism is not for debate!”

Ahlquist decides: “Rowley runs a quote…without attribution.”

Later on, I would clearly compare the Brown protesters’ justification of their actions to the one Ahlquist was offering them, which was this: “By being uncouth and civilly disobedient, Kelly’s opponents got their message out: We don’t tolerate racism in Rhode Island.”

“Racism is not for debate!”

And now I feel a little bit like Will Hunting, who is horrified of the prospect of spending “the rest of my life sittin’ around explaining sh*# to people.”

Does anyone still think Steve Ahlquist employs “reason” more than the average person?

Seriously, I mean, this guy is a complete idiot.

Now It Gets Weird

Ahlquist also took issue with my claim that, while he didn’t “[offer] Providence College such a flattering comparison,” he had “compared the Brown militants’ actions to the civil disobedience of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.”

The liberal sage wrote, “In one misrepresentation, Rowley writes [that I] compared the Brown militants’ actions to the civil disobedience of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.”

Well, in defense of the Brown protesters Alhquist had indeed argued, “India wasn’t freed because Gandhi waited for the Q&A period at the end of a British diplomat’s talk to make his points, and MLK did not politely request an end to centuries of racism. These great civil rights leaders demanded their rights…Both MLK and Gandhi spent time in prison for upsetting the status quo, doing things those in power thought were jailable offenses at worst and ‘uncouth’ at best.”

But in order to counter my “misrepresentation,” Ahlquist explained, “I mentioned Gandhi and King because comments online had compared the Brown protesters unfavorably to these great civil rights leaders, intimating that Gandhi and King were at all times politely mannered and were never given to displays of uncouth behavior… later added that King and Gandhi were considered uncouth lawbreakers in their time by the authorities and that both served time in jail for their actions.”

So, in the same breath that Ahlquist calls it a “misrepresentation” for me to assert that he compared the Brown protesters to Gandhi and MLK, he admits that he compared the Brown protesters to Gandhi and MLK.
I’m just blown away by all the “reason.”

Who Should You Trust?

The rest of Ahlquist’s piece is pure pettiness, marked by an obsession over the fact that the hyperlink to his article within my column last week was “broken.”

Relax, Steve. It’s fixed now. You big baby.

Ahlquist informed his readers that “unlike Travis Rowley, I always endeavor to include links to the articles I am citing” – an obvious attempt to have the public begin to distrust my perspectives and the evidence I present in favor of them each week.

But Ahlquist even gets this accusation wrong.

In fact, it’s not merely an accusation. It’s just another lie. 

“I am occasionally the target of [Rowley’s] arguments,” Ahlquist explained to his readers this week. Certainly, then, Ahlquist is aware of the fact that I always allow my readers to link back to his articles each time I decide to dismantle his nonsense. For instance, HERE and HERE.

Oh, and HERE – where I write, “Ahlquist’s post comes highly recommended by this writer.”

I suppose Ahlquist’s oblivion should come as no surprise when we consider the fact that Ahlquist represents the secular-progressive Left, a political faction that takes pride in their refusal to entertain competing perspectives.

Put another way: By virtue of being a secular-progressive, one simply can’t be trusted to have a solid grip on truth or reality. These are people who admittedly don’t pay much attention to the other side, and continuously license themselves to lie.

The fact of the matter is that Steve Ahlquist certainly has the ability to reason. And, yes, he can read. But the problem with Steve Ahlquist is a spiritual one. He’s a progressive. And an atheist on top of that – which means he is a liar by religion and trade.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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