Naomi Ragen Should STFU

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.

—Justice William O. Douglas

If any of you have received Thought Police officer Naomi Ragen’s idiotic and reactionary e-mail this morning, which suggests a boycott of Google, I should hope you’re as infuriated as I am right now. Basing her entire position on a misleading writeup from yesterday’s Best of the Web, she presumes that, in its refusal to ban Jew Watch, Google has a shadier agenda in mind because it’s previously banned a website advocating child molestation. What both Ragen and BotW’s correspondents fail to take into account is that it is illegal to molest children, however it is not illegal to be an antisemite. In a free and open society, people are entitled to believe what they want, and to express themselves, whether or not their ideas are popular or even sensible. Nevermind that, as we noted yesterday, Google’s founder is himself a Jew. Censorship is just not an American value, nor, I should hope, should it be considered a Jewish value either. A European fascist value? Well… that’s another story.

See, rather than banning hate speech, Google chooses to contextualize it properly, instead. Holocaust revisionist David Irving, for example, was ticked off a couple years back, when Google branded him a Holocaust denier in its site directory. Better people should be able to see Holocaust revisionism and know how to recognize it when they see it, than they should remain ignorant and unsuspecting towards it. The same goes for run-of-the-mill antisemitism such as that promoted by Frank Weltner.

Bradford (whose column is simply flooring—thanks homes) is absolutely right—the answer to hate speech is more speech: not suppression of speech. Ragen and reactionaries of her ilk seriously need to ease the fuck up and get off Google’s back, and maybe even need to revisit Orwell’s 1984. Their actions do naught but reinforce the myths spread by the jackasses like Weltner on the opposing end of the spectrum and only justify their hatred further. Talk about counterproductive…

8 thoughts on “Naomi Ragen Should STFU

  1. Check out her follow up—clearly this woman just DOES NOT GET IT.
    Dear Friends,
    The protests against Google I’ve been sending out have generated a great deal of response, all of it intelligent. Some strongly agree with the idea that we need to ask Google to amend it’s search engine to put hate sites either lower down or remove them altogether. Others strongly oppose the idea that a search engine bears any responsibility for the results that come up when it simply reflects the number of hits the website is getting.
    Many asked for the names of alternative search engines. Yahoo.com, of course is one. I understand it also lists JewWatch but not at number one.
    A person very knowledgeable in computers said this: He disagreed that Google should change its technology. Whatever comes up, comes up. But if Google interfered and removed an offensive site in England advocating child molestation, then it has opened the door for requests for further interference.
    Certainly hate-mongering is also a serious crime.
    Still others pointed out that all this publicity is just helping JewWatch to stay on top.
    But the point that really resonates with me is this: Should we be spending our time and energy going after a search engine, when we could be using our efforts to have anti-Semitic sites like JewWatch made illegal and removed? Perhaps our lawyers on the list could advise us.
    In the meantime, I’m delighted that Google has been getting all our letters.
    IPO bound, they might use some of their creative energy into finding a solution not just to our problem, but the problem of all hate-mongering sites displayed by their search engine.
    All of this is food for thought. I welcome your ideas. We are in this together.

  2. Your quote from Justice Douglas is a good one (and it makes the best sound bite), but Justice Brandeis said it better… In his concurring opinion in Whitney v. California 274 U.S. 357 (1927), he wrote:
    “Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. 3 They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law-the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.”
    “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. To justify suppression of free speech there must be reasonable ground to fear that serious evil will result if free speech is practiced. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the danger apprehended is imminent. There must be reasonable ground to believe that the evil to be prevented is a serious one. Every denunciation of existing law tends in some measure to increase the probability that there will be violation of it. Condonation of a breach enhances the probability. Expressions of approval add to the probability. Propagation of the criminal state of mind by teaching syndicalism increases it. Advocacy of lawbreaking heightens it still further. But even advocacy of violation, however reprehensible morally, is not a justification for denying free speech where the advocacy falls short of incitement and there is nothing to indicate that the advocacy would be immediately acted on. The wide difference between advocacy and incitement, between preparation and attempt, between assembling and conspiracy, must be borne in mind. In order to support a finding of clear and present danger it must be shown either that immediate serious violence was to be expected or was advocated, or that the past conduct furnished reason to believe that such advocacy was then contemplated. Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, selfreliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only an emergency can justify repression. Such must be the rule if authority is to be reconciled with freedom. Such, in my opinion, is the command of the Constitution. It is therefore always open to Americans to challenge a law abridging free speech and assembly by showing that there was no emergency justifying it.”
    Wordier than Douglas, but what do you expect from one of the tribe?
    Keep up the good work, Mobius.

  3. Indeed. Besides, I like my antisemites out in the open where they make great targets –metaphorically speaking, of course, like for our sharp wits and satirical swords.

  4. Friends,
    I have been getting alot of mail about the search engine Google. What happens when you search “Jew” on Google? You are brought to Jew Watch, a vile anti-Semitic website. Well, people complained to Google about it, and they’ve been receiving form letters saying, gee, it’s not Google’s fault; it’s simply computer-generated according to certain criteria…
    Plausible, huh? Except that it’s total baloney. It seems that Google has been known in the remove offensive sites. As yesterday’s “Best of the Web” points out:
    “The Google search engine has been involved in a bit of a controversy of late.
    It seems that when you use Google to search the Web for the word Jew, the first site that came up was a vile anti-Semitic outfit called Jew Watch.
    (Earlier this afternoon, Jew Watch had fallen to second, after the entry for Jew in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, but as we write, the two pages have switched places again. We’re not providing a link to the offending site, because doing so would actually increase the likelihood of Jew Watch regaining the top spot.)
    As the New York Times notes, “a Web site calling itself “Remove JewWatch.com from the Google search engine!” is circulating a petition asking Google to remove the site from its listings.” No dice, says Google; “it trusts its automated program to rank Web sites accurately.”
    We hadn’t written about this up until now, because although we sympathized with the RemoveJewWatch folks, we found Google’s defense plausible. Until, that is, we learned this from the New York Times:
    Until February 2003, a user searching for a guide to the English city of Chester would have been presented with “Chester’s guide to molesting young girls” as the second entry. After officials from Chester complained, Google removed the site.
    There does seem to be something amiss with Google’s priorities when the complaints of Jews objecting to anti-Semitism carry less weight than those of “officials from Chester.” “

    Friends, Google is just about to go public with it’s IPO. Google is just a company trying to make a buck. Let’s not be intimidated. Let’s let them know we will not use Google until Jew Watch is banned from their search engine completely.We want them to stop hiding behind fake excuses and to be as sensitive to millions of Jews worldwide as they were to the officials from Chester.
    In the meantime, I will boycott Google, using the many other search engines that are around. Let us make sure that Google’s wonder boys, who are about to make their fortunes, realize that the drastic decrease in their numbers might cost them their yachts.
    You can make your voice heard by writing to:
    mailto:[email protected];
    mailto:[email protected]; mailto:[email protected];
    mailto:[email protected]; mailto:[email protected]
    Let’s take these cretins– and their business partners– on.

  5. how exactly would she codify a law that would make JewWatch.com illegal ?
    I’m afraid laws like this would be vague and would be abused immediately. Freepers, Dittoheads, LGF people, etc. would shut all left wing sites down in a second if they could.
    Right wing christians would try to use them to shut down sites they think are blasphemous, such as Planned Parenthood. Where would it stop?

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