Maher Arar

by Henry Farrell on February 16, 2006

Maher Arar’s case against the US government got “thrown out of court”: today. From my very limited understanding of the law, this wasn’t a surprising result, which isn’t to say that it’s not very disappointing. Both the US and Canadian governments appear to have behaved appallingly. The opinion (“long PDF”: is here; a press release from Arar’s attorneys is “here”: People who want to refresh their memory regarding Arar’s story can’t do better than to go back to Katherine of Obsidian Wings’ “synopsis”: of what happened (Katherine is very sorely missed).

Normally I do my comicsblogging at J&B. But this is just too important. (Tip to Farber, who also provides an executive summary, which unaccountably omits discounted Hulk Hands in the bathroom stall.)

Vault radio

by Chris Bertram on February 16, 2006

I’m currently listening to Bob Dylan and The Band, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, 30 January 1974, Madison Square Garden on “Vault Radio”: . The stream is from the archive of live shows recorded by Bill Graham at the Fillmore and other venues … now on to Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit”, Fillmore Auditorium, Feb 1967 … Elvis Costello, “Radio Radio”, Winterland 1978 … this is too good!

Via “Flop Eared Mule”: . Thanks Amanda!

Slap shots

by Ted on February 16, 2006

– Even though you can’t trust him to tell the truth about Democrats, I’ve always had a soft spot for George Will. He knows a few things, and he seems to have more on his mind than the care and feeding of Bush talking points. This column makes a strong argument that Congress should not allow the Bush Administration to win the legal argument that the ability to initiate warrentless wiretaps, in violation of FISA, is inherent in the President’s powers. If they do so, it will hobble the willingness of future Congresses to authorize military force, out of fear that future Presidents will make further power grabs. (Will believes that Congress should authorize the wiretaps without conceding the legal point, although I’m not sure if he thinks they should still be required to get a warrant.) (via Matthew Yglesias)

– Mickey Kaus might be the only blogger whose comment section is predominated by people who loathe him. This comment, on Mickey’s dishonesty about Brokeback Mountain‘s numbers, is a treat.

I never heard of this, either. I’ve got a funny vibe about the story, though, like it’s something that will get a lot more attention in history books than newspapers.

Oh Yeah, Except for Them, Obviously

by Kieran Healy on February 16, 2006

“Alan Schussman”: reads the letters to our school newspaper, the “Daily Wildcat”:, so I don’t have to. The context is an effort by Republican state legislators to “require that a U.S. flag be displayed”: in every public school and university classroom. Tucson Democrat Ted Downing responded that “This is not the proper way to bestow patriotism. If we want we should spend more on teaching American history.” Today in the “letters to the editor”: a number of University of Arizona students provide evidence that he might be right. Here’s Rob Monteleone (a senior), for example:

It doesn’t surprise me that someone who represents affirmative action wants to twist and distort the Constitution to suit the needs of poor, always-the-victim minorities. The Constitution was written so that all men would be treated equally. Whites, blacks and anyone else in this country … even the ones who don’t belong here.

As Alan remarks, “I’d suggest Amendments 13, 17, 19, and 24 as starting points for Ted Downing’s civics curriculum.”