The Art of Tetman Callis

Some mature content; some puerile

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Here’s looking at you, kid

April 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“Totalitarian systems preclude civil society by withdrawing the right to privacy that is the foundation of liberal citizenship.” – Robert Huddleston, “Poetry Makes Nothing Happen”

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Czecho-Slovakia

April 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“Thousands tried to flee. Masses packed the railway stations, trying to get out to Prague. They had the few possessions they could carry with them ransacked by the squads of men with swastika armbands who had assembled at the stations, ‘confiscating’ property at will, entering compartments on the trains and dragging out arbitrarily selected victims for further mishandling and internment. Those who left on the 11.15p.m. night express thought they had escaped. But they were turned back at the Czech border. Their ordeal was only just beginning.” – Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis

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The Zen of Criticism

April 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“To judge a contemporary work of art correctly demands that calm, unprejudiced mood which, while susceptible to every impression, carefully guards against preconceived opinion or feelings. It requires a mind completely open to the particular work under consideration.” – Carl Maria von Weber, (Composers on Music, ed. Sam Morgenstern)

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Amateur hour in Mesopotamia

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“Experience at the end of World War II demonstrated that it is much more difficult to order the affairs of liberated nations than of defeated ones. This is because it is undesirable, if not impossible, to arbitrate their affairs with the same ruthlessness. If Washington’s twenty-first-century neoconservatives had possessed a less muddled understanding of the experience of 1944-45, had studied more closely Allied difficulties managing liberated territories in the Roosevelt-Churchill era, they might have inflicted less grief upon the world in our own times by their blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Max Hastings, Winston’s War

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How to believe the unbelievable, in an endless number of difficult lessons

April 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“British and American intelligence possessed enough information by late 1944, from Ultra and escaped Auschwitz prisoners, to deduce that something uniquely terrible was being done to the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, if the right conclusions had been drawn from the evidence. . . . [G]iven the known limitations of precision bombing even where good target intelligence was available, the case for specific action against the Nazi death machine seemed overborne by the overarching argument for hastening military victory to end the sufferings of all Europe’s oppressed people. The airmen could be sure that any bombing of the camps would kill many prisoners. It is the privilege of posterity to recognize that this would have been a price worth paying. In the full tilt of war, to borrow Churchill’s phrase from a different context, it is possible to understand why the British and Americans failed to act with the energy and commitment which hindsight shows to have been appropriate. Temperate historians of the period recognise a real doubt about whether any plausible air force action would substantially have impeded the operations of the Nazi death machine.” – Max Hastings, Winston’s War

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That day in history

April 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“Some illusions persist that the wartime Allies missed opportunities to promote the cause of ‘good Germans’ who opposed Hitler, rejecting approaches from such men as Adam von Trott. Yet the British seemed right, first, to assume that any dalliance of this kind must leak, fuelling Soviet paranoia about a negotiated peace and, second, in believing that the anti-Hitler faction was both weak and flawed. Michael Howard has written: ‘We know that such “right-minded people” did exist; but the remarkable thing is that . . . there should have been so few of them, and that their influence should have been so slight.’ Howard notes that most of the July 1944 bomb plotters were right-wing nationalists, who cherished grotesquely extravagant ambitions for their country’s postwar polity. The principal objective of most of those who joined the conspiracy against Hitler, as the Foreign Office perceived at the time, was to enlist Anglo-American aid against the Russians. It is easy to understand why postwar Germans sought to canonise the July bomb plotters. But it would have represented folly for Churchill’s government to dally with them, and there is no cause for historians to concede them exaggerated respect. A large majority of the July 20 conspirators turned against Hitler not because he was indescribably wicked, but because they perceived that he was leading Germany to defeat.” – Max Hastings, Winston’s War (ellipsis in original)

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If it’s the best you can do

April 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“Clarity is not the prize in writing, nor is it always the principal mark of a good style. There are occasions when obscurity serves a literary yearning, if not a literary purpose, and there are writers whose mien is more overcast than clear. But since writing is communication, clarity can only be a virtue. And although there is no substitute for merit in writing, clarity comes closest to being one.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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Thing

April 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there’s a ten-center handy, ready and able.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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Highly likely perennially timely

April 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“Adverbs are easy to build. Take an adjective or a participle, add -ly, and behold! you have an adverb. But you’d probably be better off without it.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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Stout and swarthy and brittle of bone

April 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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Lifting heavy letters, kicking out the jambs

April 17th, 2015 · 2 Comments

“Writing is, for most, laborious and slow. The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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The sprig of clever metaphor enlivens not the bland repast

April 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“Young writers often suppose that style is a garnish for the meat of prose, a sauce by which a dull dish is made palatable. Style has no such separate entity; it is nondetachable, unfilterable.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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Good luck, everyone

April 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“Who can confidently say what ignites a certain combination of words, causing them to explode in the mind? Who knows why certain notes in music are capable of stirring the listener deeply, though the same notes slightly rearranged are impotent? These are high mysteries . . . . There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

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A boxing of chocolates

April 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“Life is a lot like boxing. You’ve got to do your roadwork, and when you get knocked down, you’ve got to get back up.” – Sugar Ray Leonard

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How shall the will triumph?

April 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“In formal writing, the future tense requires shall for the first person, will for the second and third. The formula to express the speaker’s belief regarding his future action or state is I shall; I will expresses his determination or his consent. A swimmer in distress cries, “I shall drown; no one will save me!” A suicide puts it the other way: “I will drown; no one shall save me!” In relaxed speech, however, the words shall and will are seldom used precisely; our ear guides us or fails to guide us, as the case may be, and we are quite likely to drown when we want to survive and survive when we want to drown.” – William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (emphases in original)

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My enemy’s enemy is not my friend, but can be quite useful

April 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“For many years after 1945, the democracies found it gratifying to perceive the Second World War in Europe as a struggle for survival between themselves and Nazi tyranny. Yet the military outcome of the contest was overwhelmingly decided by the forces of Soviet tyranny, rather than by Anglo-American armies.” – Max Hastings, Winston’s War

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We’re all queer

April 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“I believe in aristocracy, though—if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke.” – E. M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy

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Call me lucky

April 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Ancients · Verandah

No waffles at the power breakfast

April 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“Clear leadership, violent action, rigid decision one way or the other, form the only path not only of victory, but of safety and even of mercy. The State cannot afford division or hesitation at the executive centre.” –  Winston Churchill, The World Crisis, Vol. 2

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Make me pine for you

April 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“Men should always be difficult. I can’t bear men who come and dine with you when you want them.” – Benjamin Disraeli (Max Hastings, Winston’s War)

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Such as tossing a few overboard or underbus

April 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“No great country was ever saved by good men, because good men will not go to the lengths that may be necessary.” – Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, “Letter to the Countess of Ossory”

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It has close contenders

April 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” – Winston Churchill, The River War

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Start with having one

April 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“Learning is a precious thing and knowing one’s mind is even more so.” – Virgil Thomson, Taste in Music

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Work it. Infinite repetitions.

April 4th, 2015 · No Comments

“For practical living, man needs to be free in his thought and responsible in his actions. But in dealing with art, responsibility of thought, which makes for slowness of judgment, and freedom of action, which makes for flexibility of taste, constitute the mechanics of vigor.” – Virgil Thomson, Taste in Music

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Coincidental that it is Good Friday

April 3rd, 2015 · 2 Comments

“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

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Ripe times await

April 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“Wait until you’re hurt before you start to cry. Wait until the fight before you get angry.” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

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And nobody’s friend

April 1st, 2015 · No Comments

“No animal has more liberty than the cat; but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist.” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

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It can’t

March 31st, 2015 · No Comments

“How can the world be made better if there are no children of us who fight against the fascists?” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

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Probable cause? We don’t need no stinkin’ probable cause

March 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“An officer’s use of deadly force is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. In determining whether an officer’s use of deadly force is objectively reasonable, a court must determine what was reasonable under the circumstances, considering the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of crime at issue, whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether the suspect resisted arrest or attempted to evade arrest by flight. It is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment for police officer to seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead, or to use a choke hold to restrain an individual when he or she poses no harm. It is also unreasonable for an officer to use deadly force on a suspect walking towards the police if the suspect’s hands are at his or her sides. Although the initial use of force may be reasonable, the continued use of deadly force in attempting to arrest a suspect may become unreasonable when such force is no longer necessary. An officer must warn a suspect that he or she might shoot, if feasible under the circumstances. The officer may be criminally responsible or civilly liable if the officer uses more force than is necessary to effect the arrest.” – Michele Hughes and Eric C. Surette, American Jurisprudence, Second Edition

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A good place to start

March 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“In combat there must be discipline. For many things are not as they appear. Discipline must come from trust and confidence.” – Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

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