1,000,000 visits

by Henry on January 22, 2004

According to our log-analysis program, Crooked Timber received its 1,000,000th unique visit today; a nice milestone. I think it’s fair to say that none of us anticipated how well CT would do when we started it in July. Thank you all for reading us.

The poor complain …

by Daniel on January 22, 2004

The discussion on the Caroline Payne story below reminds me of a fine old piece of doggerel attributed to James Tobin:

The poor complain
They always do
But that’s just idle chatter
Our system brings rewards to all
At least, all those who matter

All talk, no action

by Henry on January 22, 2004

Two interesting perspectives on literary theory and related pursuits; one from “Elaine Showalter”:http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i20/20b00901.htm ^1^ and one from “Scott McLemee”:http://www.mclemee.com/id4.html (scroll down to January 10).

[click to continue…]

Maher Arar updates

by Brian on January 22, 2004

Katherine at Obsidian Wings has several more excellent posts on the Maher Arar case. Here’s the editorial

We don’t know all the details or explanations, but we know that something terrible happened. Our government took a man from an airport in New York City and handed him over to Syria, where he was tortured for 10 months. I think I’ve made a decent case that he was probably innocent; that this was done with the knowledge and approval of fairly important government officials; and that this was not some freak accident or isolated occurrence. …

As Ted Barlow said last November, “I support the vigorous investigation and prosecution of terrorists and terrorist suspects. But if this isn’t over the line, then there is no line.” It is not acceptable to me for my country to send people to be tortured on scant evidence, or on evidence gained from other torture sessions.

Since whatever happens to Canadians can happen to Australians, and whatever can happen to Australians can happen to me, I have a selfish interest in taking this a bit seriously. (On that note, I saw in yesterday’s Washington Post that David Hicks has finally got to have one meeting with a lawyer. (Actually it’s three meetings with a military appointed lawyer according to this story.) After two years in custody. Hooray for due process!) Of course hideous behaviour by governments is hideous behaviour by governments whether the victims are people like me or not, but when they are it’s a little easier to feel appalled by it all.

Back on Arar, today it seems that Juliet O’Neill has (or perhaps will be) arrested over this story she wrote on Arar’s case. In more ficticious news the Feds have arrested Robert Novak for his role in leaking Valerie Plame’s name.