22 responses to “The antifa follies: why suppressing rights like free speech is a bad idea”

  1. cailin rua

    Randall, I tried reading this Saturday night. I was too tired to finish it. It wasn’t published here until yesterday, I believe. The article appeared at UpriseRI originally, then disappeared, then reappeared here and then reappeared at Uprise. In the meantime, I had a couple of comments held in moderation at Uprise, which gave me pause for thought re: what you wrote about private parties “no platforming” people. I got a chance to finish reading your post yesterday morning:

    “Any society that denies free speech rights to some views, no matter whether the ban is imposed through official government action or by groups of private individuals who don’t want to let others speak, always ends up trying to suppress the words of those fighting for rights against the powers that be.”

    So, here I am at R I Future to find a reply I left for Leftyrite is now being held in moderation. Even if what I wrote is published it has a chilling effect on me and inhibits me in such a way that I don’t feel free to express myself fluidly.

    Still, I realize this is not my platform. I have linked to articles in reply to similar posts of yours which point out that the private news media is under no obligation to print everything that comes their way. I think Bob and Steve should also have that right, in spite of how I might stew over it in solitude.

    I also believe that institutions of higher learning have not only the right, but also the obligation not to publish junk science. Glenn Greenwald lost me there a while ago on that issue and Jonathan Turley is equally wrong when he wrote about the newest “free speech” dust up recently occurring here at Brown.

    Power differentials are involved. All speech issues exist within that context.

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  2. leftyrite

    Hi, Randall:

    You’re a different kind of thinker, and so am I.

    We may be fundamentally different.

    So what?

    This world around us is becoming stranger by the day.

    Think of the cafe at the Cable Car.

    October sun is shining in blue sky.

    A few leaves of beauty here and there.


    I like ’em.

    How ’bout you?

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  3. leftyrite

    Hi, caillin:

    I just read the fuller post of the above text and realized that t was your voice that I was reading.

    What? What?

    Look. Why would you have a comment about me “in moderation” in the first place.

    I’m your biggest fan!

    Maybe the moderation

    is just a figmentation

    of our imagination.

    My station, without elaboration,

    requires augmentation.

    Before which I take a nice vacation.


    (Go ahead. We’ll have a few laughs.–Arnie)

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    1. cailin rua

      Hi, lefty, how’s Poncho?

      Not sure this will get through . . . . stop . . . Come in Berlin, come in Berlin!!! stop . . .

      My reply was not “about” you. It was “to” you. I don’t have good filters. I can be very irreverent, too, and in this case probably blasphemous. There are political deities, y’know? At 67, some of us have little patience and even less wisdom; and it’s election season! C’est la vie until your “vie” isn’t anymore, I guess.

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    2. cailin rua

      Pancho, I meant Pancho, lefty, of course. Like a bird on a wire springed by my own hazel wand I am, preaching to a midnight choir, bitten by bugs that made me red, and hoist with my own mixed metaphors, too, I suppose.

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  4. leftyrite


    Seems to me that you just chose to move your geranium into better sunlight.


    That which has been provided,
    for our edification
    by means of sensation, perception,
    and ocean vacation.

    and coffee and pizza
    and starting a nation.

    Dappled sunlight is not far away.

    All poetry disappears.

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    1. cailin rua

      Lefty, lately I have been thinking about how rapidly Providence is becoming a city of shadowy, windy canyons. Winters drearier than ever are the forecast any weatherperson worth their salt would make.

      Since this is the “free speech” thread, I’m going to give things another try.

      I found this quote today:

      “Sashaying around the world on Open Society or Rockefeller or Ford money is fun!”

      From the same article:

      “After Clinton had reneged yet again on a promise to improve Arkansas’ miserly workers compensation and unemployment insurance benefits, a frustrated Becker told a national reporter that Clinton was the kind of guy who “smiles in your face, while he is pissing on your leg.” The corporate elite today, in philanthropy and the gig economy especially, will do the same.”

      I know, Trump, Joe Trillo, and Mike Stenhouse make all the above things look so good, don’t they? And, that my friends is progress. Stay in touch. Keep banging the rocks together . . .

      . . . Oh the article?


      Another good one is linked within this one: Just follow the underscored(here rendered in single quotation marks):

      “Further, all of these new forms will require philanthropic money. Getting involved in the ‘philanthropic industrial complex’ means that worker advocates spend much of their creative energy trying to figure out how to get money from groups like the Ford Foundation, which is headed by a PepsiCo board member.” I won’t bring up the former lobbyist for Monsanto and Bayer, this time around. I don’t want to be stoned to death by a rowdy Lynch Mob suffering from cognitive dissonance.

      To the barricades!, though.

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  5. leftyrite

    (falling onto the stage, like an idiot. Gets up, dusts himself off, creating a flour explosion.)


    Cailin: Here’s the thing about this mudflap. Plenty of lizards? On plenty of rocks? Sure!!

    But, there are only so many October days like this:

    Walk over to Prospect Park. Locate on your technology,”Lonely Avenue,” by Van Morrison.

    But, not just any Lonely Avenue. The one from, “One Night In San Francisco.”

    Watch Providence change for the eventual dawn

    as it nurtures herself on twilight.

    (If you’re not wearing headphones while doing this viewing, please disregard this message.)

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    1. cailin rua

      Get your coat and grab your hat? Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street? The prospect from the Point Street bridge hasn’t been spoiled yet, I suppose but what about Jeff Blydenburgh’s vision for Davol Square . . . is it just my cataracts?

      Here’s a bit of sunshine about the “4th branch of government – rich philanthropists” . . . . he says “innovation? we see that word everywhere but what about the disjunction between ‘innovation’ and progress . . . ” and onanonanon . . . I don’t know why I should trust him, considering his background w/ the Aspen Institute and McKinsey but here he speaks an abundance of truth. The elite charade of changing the world:


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  6. leftyrite

    Just went back and read more of Randall’s post.

    I seem to agree that turning what could be a debate into an immediate throwdown
    is probably not a good idea.

    We seem to take each other to the edge way too quickly.

    The role of screens intros collective response is, to me, unarguable.

    And there’s plenty more rough riding to come.

    How about some kindness in the mix? How about more authentic feeling for people
    outside our comfort zones?

    That way lies challenge.

    And, challenge is always good for our nervous systems.

    I’ll take thirty years of challenge over five seconds of bullying neglect any day.

    Make no mistake: This mess, all messes, are about market share.
    Until you enjoy the taste
    of a peach, and, for a brief second, throw that idol over.

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  7. leftyrite

    not that it matters, but:

    “The role of screens intros collective response,” doesn’t make sense to me, and I, supposedly, wrote it.

    That spellcheck of yours, guys, seems intrusive to me.

    I can mess up quite well on my own, thank you.

    At sixty-nine years of age, signs everywhere prove conclusively that I am no longer nineteen
    or twenty-nine.

    But, in retrospect, based upon lived experience, I will say this:

    When people start daring and double daring each other, bad things happen.

    When they start listening to each other more intently, borne of some kind of tight knit
    collective feeling of being under siege, they get odd.

    Odd is fine.

    Violence creates headaches for adults who work in emergency rooms, where needed resources can be very poorly used.

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  8. leftyrite

    This is a remarkable moment in our imperial history.

    The people, the electorate, have risen up

    in a measured, conscionable way.

    They will grow in the sun and the rain of our beloved


    Big Mama Thorton: “The only life I’ve ever known.”

    Carl’s Diggins. The railroad bridge under the station.

    “C’mon. Keep me where the light is.”

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  9. leftyrite

    Think it was the lop ears.

    They don’t play well.

    Our loss is the Berenstein’s gain.

    One courtly honeybear comin’ your way.

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  10. leftyrite

    Just a shout-out to those

    who can be justifiably proud of yesterday’s results.

    Young people moved the ball down to almost the other end

    of the pitch.

    We stop this; it’s inoculation.

    We fail to do so?

    How much do you like frontiers?

    My opinion: Give Trump a roast at the Kennedy Center.

    Lead him along into thinking he could be Alan King.

    Drop some cheese on the ground.

    This could be easy.

    Build him a club near Sikorski Helicopters.

    Would he like that?


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  11. leftyrite


    And incidentally, it was Berenstain,

    not Berenstein.

    This only works if you keep it in

    cartoon land.

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  12. leftyrite

    Go in the house and take a nap.

    Go in the house and take a nap, I say!!

    (after a discreet pause…)


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  13. leftyrite

    A radio show that is basically a talent search

    with a jaded sense of humor.

    Yet, this jade has been placed beautifully

    in the granite

    with stone working tools of floss.

    tools of floss!!

    you must be in dentistry!

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  14. leftyrite

    Finally, there’s no one left

    to take the stage.

    At some precise moment

    as yet undetermined, Jerome

    saunters out, makes a megahorn of his

    enclosed hands,

    and bellows out,

    for anyone to hear:

    “Yo, Trumpies. Your boy is a Beaut.”

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  15. leftyrite

    What if Clarence Thomas

    has done business

    with Whittaker’s Large Toilet Company?

    What then, huh?

    What then?

    What Cheer, Netop.

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  16. leftyrite

    Remember, in elementary school,

    when it would get cold like this

    and the little kids would break out their

    Three Stooges impressions

    as a response to it?

    Sorry, folks, I do.

    And, I’m going to tell you about it:

    Curley had a way of putting his head against the wall,

    at about a fifty degree angle

    and using his forehead as leverage

    while his tickle legs pretended to run.

    This was a hilarious sight.

    Seems to me that some kids,

    many times the naturals, but sometimes the improbable,

    could just do this– and be hilarious.

    There must have been at least one little kid

    in every schoolyard in Rhode Island

    who could do a hilarious Curley.


    Shine on!

    we need you now!

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  17. leftyrite

    …that was “ticklike,”

    not tickle, HAL.

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  18. leftyrite

    Are you a bright spirit or not?

    That’s what it comes down to.

    We can babble away our fate.

    Or, we can relate

    and work straight

    to build a state

    and determine our fate.

    Too late?

    Not if your spirit is bright.

    ( a dear friend confides) That’s right.

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