The Art of Tetman Callis

Some mature content; some puerile

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 1

The age of innocence

July 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“In April 1917 the United States, with an army of 133,000 men, entered the war in which the belligerents had more that six million men engaged on the Western Front alone. The European national forces were organized into armies each containing three to five corps, each corps usually consisting of two divisions. The American army had no organized military unit higher than a regiment. Although the divisional structure existed on paper, no American soldiers since the Civil War had taken the field as a division, with all the coordination of infantry and artillery, of staff and field, of intelligence and operations, that that requires. All this had to be learned and put into practice. A national army fleshed out to ten times the size of its existing regimental skeleton had to be created, which meant recruited, officered, trained, equipped, shipped overseas, assembled, supplied, coordinated in its arms and branches, and further trained before it could fight. For this task the General Staff had made no arrangements or any general plan of mobilization.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

→ No CommentsTags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Great War

The value of the negative corpus

July 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

“There are no two ways about it—patrols are the eyes of the small infantry unit. Sometimes these patrols will discover just where the enemy is and just what he is doing. This, of course, is information of the highest value. But more often than not, they will bring in only negative information; they will report that the enemy is not in such-and-such a place and is not doing this, that, or the other thing. To the intelligent leader, information of this type is frequently of the greatest importance and he will impress that fact on his patrols. As for the leader himself, he must never lose sight of the value of patrols nor allow this important duty to degenerate into a routine, slipshod, you-do-it-sergeant affair. Since the success of a battalion, a regiment, or even a division, will frequently depend on the conduct of one small patrol, patrols must be hand-picked, carefully instructed, and given a clear, definite mission. These three things play a vital part in the borderland between success and failure.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

Read the report, jefe

July 1st, 2015 · No Comments

“Reconnaissance may never be omitted during battle. No difficulties of terrain and no exhaustion of troops or leaders should cause it to be neglected. Careful reconnaissance requires time, but unless the information acquired reaches the commander in time to be acted upon, the reconnaissance is valueless.” – German Army Infantry Regulations (as quoted by George C. Marshall in Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

Tho’ it mayhap be one hope forlorn

June 30th, 2015 · No Comments

“The core of the military profession is discipline and the essence of discipline is obedience. Since this does not come naturally to men of independent and rational mind, they must train themselves in the habit of obedience in which lives and the fortunes of battle may some day depend. Reasonable orders are easy enough to obey; it is capricious, bureaucratic or plain idiotic demands that form the habit of discipline.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

→ No CommentsTags: Barbara Tuchman · Joseph Stillwell · The Second World War

Blame-shifting is inherent

June 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“All living generations are responsible for what we do and all dead ones as well.” – Joseph Stillwell (as quoted by Barbara Tuchman in Stillwell and the American Experience in China)

→ No CommentsTags: Barbara Tuchman · Economics · Joseph Stillwell · Politics & Law · The Second World War

They prefer the U.S. Treasury hold the lien

June 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“A home mortgage is the most common example of secured debt in our society, but practically any valuable possession can secure a loan. We really do mean anything, tangible or intangible—a car, a collection of tattered law books, a debt that a third party owes to the borrower, the borrower’s rights under an esoteric contract (such as a musician’s right to receive royalties from a song each time it gets downloaded to an iPod), or a plaintiff’s rights to collect money from a lawsuit. Even a tenant’s interest in a lease or a farmer’s grazing rights on land can be pledged as collateral for a loan. Once you learn the legal power that a lender gets from having collateral, you’ll wonder why lenders ever loan money without taking a security interest.” – Nathalie Martin and Ocean Tama, Inside Bankruptcy Law (emphasis in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

Free speech is your right, if you dare

June 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“The limits on defamation actions for statements made about public figures exist because of concerns for free speech. False statements are bound to be made in the course of vigorous public debate. One of the prerogatives of American citizenship is the right to criticize public men and measures. Such criticism, inevitably, will not always be reasoned or moderate; public figures will be subject to vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks. While false assertions have little value, imposing liability for all false statements relating to public figures would have a chilling effect on speech about public figures, and freedoms of expression require breathing room. Without limitations on defamation actions, destructive self-censorship would occur limiting free speech. Given the importance of the free and open exchange of ideas, a public figure is prohibited from recovering damages for defamatory criticism unless there is clear and convincing evidence the defamatory statement was made with actual malice.” – Justice Crothers, Riemers v. Mahar (internal quotes and citations omitted)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

No cowboys, neither

June 26th, 2015 · No Comments

“The subordinate infantry commander has at his disposal only one sure means by which he may secure timely and vital information—infantry patrols. A well organized and properly conducted infantry patrol may operate successfully in spite of unfavorable weather, poor visibility, and difficult terrain. Successful patrolling demands the highest of soldierly virtues. Therefore, the selection of personnel for an important patrol must not be a perfunctory affair. The men should be carefully selected and only the intelligent, the physically fit and the stout of heart should be considered. One careless or stupid individual may bring about the death or capture of the entire patrol or cause it to fail in its mission. The moron, the weakling and the timid have no place in this hazardous and exacting duty.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

Andale en la calle

June 25th, 2015 · No Comments

“To succeed we must go fast and to go fast we must go where the going is good.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · George Marshall · The Second World War

They don’t stop bullets

June 24th, 2015 · No Comments

“A frontal assault against wire and machine guns produces nothing but casualties—and a few medals for bravery among the survivors.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Great War · The Second World War

And the trial is life (that’s also the sentence)

June 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“I am guilty of the most serious crimes you can be guilty of in America: I was born poor and black” – Ralph Poynter (as quoted by Jean Stevens in “In Defense Of”)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Those cats was killin’ people

June 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

“The original judicial approach [to products liability law] had favored the corporation under the theory that fledgling manufacturers needed time and resources to develop their products. The theory was that this ‘breathing space’ would help the United States develop economically, and this increase in overall economic health would essentially work its way down to every member of society. In practice, exactly the opposite occurred. The manufacturers and corporations, like spoiled children, indulged themselves and failed to apply their profits toward improved safety and better design of products. In an environment in which profits are the only yardstick, all other considerations, even those concerning injuries to consumers, take a back seat.” – Neal R. Bevans, Tort Law for Paralegals

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

We are legally allowed to help each other, within limits

June 21st, 2015 · No Comments

“The rescue doctrine is a rule of law holding that one who sees a person in imminent danger caused by the negligence of another cannot be charged with contributory negligence in a non-reckless attempt to rescue the imperiled person. The doctrine was developed to encourage rescue and to correct the harsh inequity of barring relief under principles of contributory negligence to a person who is injured in a rescue attempt which the injured person was under no duty to undertake.” – Justice Murray, Ouellette v. Carde

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

An extraordinary thing that happened

June 20th, 2015 · No Comments

→ No CommentsTags: Verandah

I’m grateful I’ve never had to do this

June 20th, 2015 · No Comments

“As the infantry nears the hostile position the supporting fires are forced to lift. Then must the riflemen themselves furnish both the fire and the movement. At this stage, fire without movement is useless and movement without fire is suicidal. Even with both, the last hundred yards is a touch-and-go proposition demanding a high order of leadership, sound morale, and the will to win.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

All these men had names

June 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“And so, at the appointed hour, this brigade of 6,000 highhearted and determined men stood up and at the word of command fixed their bayonets, shouldered their rifles, and marched forward in quick time and in step to assault an intrenched enemy armed with machine guns. One can only surmise the thought in the minds of those German gunners as they saw the dense and serried waves of skirmishers marching stolidly toward them. As the leading wave approached the German position the French artillery lifted and the enemy’s artillery, machine guns and rifles opened with a concerted roar. The leading wave went down, the others surging forward were literally blown apart. In a matter of minutes the attack had melted away. A few men reached the wire in front of the German position, but there they were forced to take cover in shell holes. The entire brigade, nailed to the ground by a merciless fire, could do nothing but wait for nightfall.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Great War

And orientation to the ground

June 18th, 2015 · No Comments

“Maintenance of direction is a hard job and it cannot be solved without thought and effort.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

Long crawl to HQ

June 17th, 2015 · No Comments

“So long as anyone, including the commander, can walk, crawl, or roll, an infantry unit is not ‘out of communication.’ ” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

My daddy was an army man

June 16th, 2015 · No Comments

“In the end, for military people, it’s the family that makes a lot of the sacrifices. They are intrinsic to military members being successful.” Admiral Michelle Howard, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

Ten miles north of Duxford

June 15th, 2015 · No Comments

“Ten miles north of Duxford on a broad thirty-acre slope along Madingley Road lies the American Military Cemetery at Madlingley, a tiny village just west of Cambridge. There are 3,811 Americans buried here, 24 of them unknown. An occasional rose lies at the base of a marble marker, though fewer now than a generation ago, as the personal links between living and dead dwindle. A 472-foot Wall of Remembrance bears the names of 5,125 men, all missing in action.” – John McDonough, “Return to East Anglia”

→ No CommentsTags: The Second World War

Not every risk need apply; line forms at the back

June 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“The risk reasonably to be perceived defines the duty to be obeyed, and risk imports relation; it is risk to another or to others within the range of apprehension.” – Chief Justice Cardozo, Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co.

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law

Words mean things — but what?

June 13th, 2015 · No Comments

“The term ‘proximate cause’ is applied by the courts to those more or less undefined considerations which limit liability even where the fact of causation is clearly established. The word ‘proximate’ is a legacy of Lord Chancellor Bacon, who in his time committed other sins. The word means nothing more than near or immediate; and when it was first taken up by the courts it had connotations of proximity in time and space which have long since disappeared. It is an unfortunate word, which places an entirely wrong emphasis upon the factor of physical or mechanical closeness. For this reason ‘legal cause’ or perhaps even ‘responsible cause’ would be a more appropriate term.” – William Prosser, Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law

A hero is unmade

June 12th, 2015 · No Comments

“On August 12 [1942] the Japanese High Command in Tokyo ordered Lieutenant General Haruyoshi Hyakutake’s Seventeenth Army to take over the ground action on Guadalcanal, and Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka’s Eighth Fleet to take over at sea. The nearest thing at hand for Hyakutake’s use was a 2,000-man force of infantry, artillery, and engineers under Colonel Kiyono Ichiki that had been put together as the landing force for Midway. Tanaka put the first echelon—some 900 men—of Ichiki’s force ashore on Guadalcanal on August 18. What happened now was a calamity for the Japanese. Without waiting for the rest of his men, cocky Colonel Ichiki sent those he had across the sandspit at the Tenaru River against the Marines on the night of August 21. He lost 600 men, accomplished nothing, and expressed his chagrin by committing suicide.” – George McMillan, “I’ve Served My Time in Hell”

→ No CommentsTags: The Second World War

Come here right now

June 11th, 2015 · 8 Comments

“Special emphasis should be laid on the language employed in orders. Leaders of all grades should be trained to test every word, every phrase, every sentence, for ambiguity and obscurity. If, by even the wildest stretch of the imagination, a phrase can be tortured out of its true meaning, the chance is always present that it will be. Short, simple sentences of simple, commonplace words, will go far toward making an order unmistakable.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ 8 CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War

And it helps if the plan is feasible

June 10th, 2015 · No Comments

“Regardless of the occasional exception, the fact remains that planless action is an open invitation to disaster.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · George Marshall · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Whenever convenient

June 9th, 2015 · No Comments

“Texas common law is fundamentally premised on individuals’ responsibility for their own actions.” – Justice G. Alan Waldrop, Carter v. Abbyad

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

Good luck with that

June 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“Even if information be lacking, the leader must produce decisions. In most cases a poor decision will be better than no decision at all. Negligence and hesitation are more serious faults than errors in choice of means. No rule can tell us how to time decisions correctly.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · George Marshall · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Because words mean things

June 7th, 2015 · No Comments

“At law, an ‘accident’ refers to some event that did not involve human fault. When a bolt of lightning strikes a house, that is an accident. When a car rolls down a hill because the parking brake was not set and the car hits a pedestrian, that is not an accident; that is negligence.” – Neal R. Bevans, Tort Law for Paralegals

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

Gimme it or you’ll be sorry

June 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“As a general rule, it is not duress to threaten to do what one has a legal right to do. Nor is it duress to threaten to take any measure authorized by law and the circumstances of the case.” – Judge McCord, Spillers v. Five Points Guaranty Bank

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

We’ll have him to tea

June 5th, 2015 · No Comments

“Maneuvers that are possible and dispositions that are essential are indelibly written on the ground. Badly off, indeed, is the leader who is unable to read this writing. His lot must inevitably be one of blunder, defeat, and disaster.” – George C. Marshall, Infantry in Battle

→ No CommentsTags: George Marshall · The Second World War