The Tarantoad Beneath The Harrow

Also see:

10/11/02 - Malkin's Invasion: The Review

10/12/02 - Stomping The Tarantoad (Again)

[Vdare.com note: Kipling fans will recognize the literary reference in the title, those who don't can read the original poem here:

The toad beneath the harrow knows
Exactly where each tooth-point goes.
The butterfly upon the road
Preaches contentment to that toad.
]

Like all immigration enthusiasts, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page's Best Of The Web online columnist James Taranto (click here for a picture - steel yourself), just can't take criticism. Witness his violent reaction to my mention of him in my review of Michelle Malkin's new book Invasion in the first issue of The American Conservative magazine. Taranto huffed:

 

'Fair and Judicious'

"Our points will be fair and judicious."--Scott McConnell, an editor of The American Conservative magazine, which made its debut yesterday, quoted in the Washington Times

"Resendiz liked to fracture his women victims' skulls and rape them as they died. Their terrible deaths are on James Taranto's head--and on the heads of every single immigration enthusiast who has minimized this mortal threat to America."--British immigrant Peter Brimelow in The American Conservative's debut issue (not available online)

Interestingly, the item of ours to which Brimelow is responding concerned a piece that appeared on the nativist Web site VDare.com--which is registered in Brimelow's name--in which one James Fulford argued that "Arabs," by which he meant Arab-Americans, should not be permitted to serve on President Bush's Secret Service detail. Brimelow poses as an advocate of sensible immigration reform, and who could be against that? He does not help his case by publishing articles baldly advocating employment discrimination against Americans on the basis of ethnicity.

(Best of The Web, September 26, 2002)

There are number of interesting facets to this immigration enthusiast gem.

[1] Taranto feels no need to refute, much less explain, my point. Which was this: in a brilliant tour de force, Michelle shows in Invasion that the illegal alien serial killer Angel Resendiz was able to continue his murderous career – at least 12 Americans dead – only because he was able to cross the border repeatedly and because the INS and law enforcement authorities repeatedly released him. This is exactly the sort of border control failure that immigration enthusiasts have repeatedly dismissed and derided. Even after 9/11, Taranto was still at it, insisting perversely that "it's preposterous on its face to suggest that Mexican gardeners are a national-security threat."

So let me make my point fairly and judiciously clear, in case James Taranto still doesn't get it. Ideas have consequences. Editorials have effects. Those deaths are his fault, and the fault of his fanatical immigration-enthusiast employer. Those women's dying curses will drag the whole gang of them to hell.

[2] Still, Taranto does say that "Brimelow poses as an advocate of sensible immigration reform, and who could be against that?" Who? The Wall Street Journal Edit Page, that's who. What sensible (or other) immigration reform has it ever advocated?

The fact that Taranto feels obliged to make this rhetorical concession shows that immigration enthusiasts are under pressure - as they have not been since the mid-1990s.

Good.

[3] Instead of defending himself against my charge, Taranto simply repeats an earlier attack on us:

one James Fulford argued that "Arabs," by which he meant Arab-Americans, should not be permitted to serve on President Bush's Secret Service detail…[VDARE.COM publishes] articles baldly advocating employment discrimination against Americans on the basis of ethnicity."

The amazing thing about this is that readers can perfectly easily check for themselves and see that what one James Fulford said (once) was that this hysteria against racial profiling has gone too far. That's simply not at all the same as "articles" advocating discrimination against Americans (Click here for one James Fulford's reply to Taranto). But my long study of the multiple Tarantos - they're a common political type - has caused me to conclude that they are driven by a peculiar emotional agenda to which facts and argument are irrelevant. Whipping themselves up into a frenzy by deliberately distorting their critics' case is a key part of their modus operandi.

[4] Taranto did not feel obliged to follow blog etiquette and link to The American Conservative (you can subscribe by clicking here ) or to VDARE.COM (no subscription necessary!!). Note, however, that he did manage to find and to link to VDARE.COM's webhost, apparently because (very much to my surprise) it had posted my address and phone number.

Herein lies a tale. James Taranto was once a colleague of my wife's at the Manhattan Institute. We know him socially. He is perfectly well aware that I work at home, that she is gravely ill with metastatic breast cancer, that we have small children. Yet, in this most bitter of controversies, he went out of his way to make it possible for opponents to locate us.

Even warring Mafia Dons respected each other's homes. Of course, Taranto has written that he is, despite his name, not Italian but Levantine.

I do not propose to follow Taranto's example.

VDARE.COM readers should not contact the James Taranto whose Manhattan address and phone number can be found in the New York White Pages. Nor should they send abusive email to james.taranto@wsj.comjames.taranto@dowjones.com, or taranto@panix.com or even complain to the Chairman of Dow Jones (who is also Publisher of the Wall Street Journal) at peter.kann@dowjones.com  concerning the unchivalrous behavior of his employee.

October 01, 2002