The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 1

Hot off the presses

February 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“Implying that actual news is synonymous with truth is bound to be erroneous: In reality, journalism is the first, not final, draft of history—provisional, revisable, susceptible to mistakes and at times falsehoods, despite the efforts of even the most scrupulous reporters.” – Sam Tanenhaus, “Who Stopped McCarthy?”

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law

Take me to the limit

February 18th, 2018 · No Comments

The Limits to Human Survival: The Four Threes

1. Three minutes without oxygen.
2. Three days without water.
3. Three weeks without food.
4. Three months without companionship.

– from Christy Gutowski, “7 Days Lost”

→ No CommentsTags: Verandah

A remarkable coinkydink

February 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“You know ‘journalist’ and ‘justice’ both begin with the same letter?” – Mister Caution, Alphaville

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The default setting

February 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“When people do not understand something, they tend to take a negative view of it and assume the worst.” – Justice Michael B. Hyman, Wing v. Chicago Transit Authority, 2016 IL App (1st) 153517 (Dec. 29, 2016)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Among other ways

February 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“A court abuses its discretion when it fails to exercise any discretion.” – Justice Mark Cady, State v. Hager (Iowa 2001)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Priorities and interpretations

February 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the plain language of two statutes is conflicting, courts will attempt to construe them together if such a construction is reasonable. With that said, legislative intent remains paramount. To that end, the more specific statute controls over the general statute, and the more recently enacted statute prevails over the older statute.” – Justice Terrence J. Lavin, Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota v. Envirobusiness Inc., 2014 IL App (1st) 133575 (Nov. 5, 2014)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Making every vote count

February 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“During a local election in Belgium in 2003, a single scrambled bit of information, almost certainly caused by an errant [subatomic solar wind or cosmic ray] particle, added 4,096 votes to one candidate’s tally. Since this gave an impossibly high total, the mistake was easily spotted. But had the particle hit a different part of the circuit it might have added a smaller number of votes—enough to change the outcome without anyone noticing. Moreover, as the components from which computer chips are built continue to shrink, they become more sensitive, making the problem worse. A modern computer might expect somewhere between a hundred and a thousand space-drizzle-induced errors per billion transistors per billion hours of operation. That sounds low. But modern chips have tens of billions of transistors, and modern data centers have millions of chips—so the numbers quickly add up.” – “Tales of Wonder,” The Economist, February 25th, 2017

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law

Not to be giving permission

February 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“Were it not for misdeeds there would be no forgiveness.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Good luck

February 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“Leave a place where there is injustice;
Abandon the house to lament its builder.
You can find another land in place of that one,
But you will never find another life.
Do not let the blows of fate concern you;
Every misfortune will reach its end.
Whoever is fated to die in a certain land
Will die in no other place than that.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Compare and contrast

February 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“Three things are better than three other things. The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth, a live dog is better than a dead lion, and the grave is better than poverty.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

The foundations of universal suffrage

February 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“Toil and hardship together with a lack of means teach a man bad manners and stupidity.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Arabian Nights

Thank goodness for that

February 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is many a grave sin that only shame has kept me from committing.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Same as it ever was

February 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“A story is told that a powerful king of the Israelites was sitting one day on his royal throne when he saw a man coming in through the palace door with an appearance that was both unpleasing and awesome. The king shrank back in fear at this as the man approached, but then, jumping up in front of him, he said: ‘Man, who are you and who gave you permission to enter my palace and come into my presence?’ ‘It was the master of the house who ordered me to come,’ said the man. ‘No chamberlain can keep me out; I need no permission to come into the presence of kings; I fear the power of no ruler or the number of his guards. I am the one from whom no tyrant can find refuge, nor can any flee from my grasp. I am the destroyer of delights and the parter of friends.’ When the king heard this, he fell on his face and his whole body trembled. At first he lost consciousness, but when he recovered he said: ‘Are you the angel of death?’ ‘Yes,’ said the angel, and the king then said: ‘Allow me a single day’s delay so that I may ask pardon for my sins and seek forgiveness from my Lord, returning the wealth that is in my treasuries to its owners lest I have to endure the hardship of having to account for it and the pain of punishment for it.’ The angel said: ‘Impossible—there is no way in which you can be granted this. How can I allow you any delay when the days of your life have been counted, your breaths numbered and all your minutes set down in the book of fate?’ ‘Give me just one hour,’ the king said, but the angel replied: ‘The hour has been accounted for. It passed while you were still paying no attention and you have used up all your breaths except for one.’ ‘Who will be with me when I am carried to my grave?’ asked the king, and the angel said: ‘Nothing will be with you except for your own deeds.’

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

In the old days

February 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“In the old days a certain king wanted to ride out one day with a number of his courtiers and officers of state in order to show off his splendid trappings to his people. He ordered his emirs and the great men of his state to prepare themselves to accompany him. He ordered the master of his wardrobe to bring out for him the most splendid robes that would suitably adorn him, and he had the best and finest of his pure-blooded horses brought out. After this had been done, he chose the clothes that he preferred and took his pick of the horses. Then he put on his clothes, mounted the horse and rode out with his cortège, wearing a collar studded with gems, pearls of all kinds and rubies. As he rode among his men, exulting in his pride and haughtiness, he swelled with pride, telling himself that there was no one like him in the world, and he started to manifest with a measure of haughtiness and vainglory that in his arrogance he would not look at anyone.

“A man wearing shabby clothes stood in front of him and greeted him, and when the king failed to return the greeting he seized his horse’s rein. ‘Take your hand away,’ said the king, ‘for you don’t know whose rein it is that you are holding.’ ‘There is something that I need from you,’ said the man. The king replied: ‘Wait until I dismount and then you can tell me what it is.’ ‘It is a secret,’ the man said, ‘and I can only whisper it into your ear.’ The king bent down to listen and the man said: ‘I am the angel of death and I intend to take your soul.’ ‘Give me time to go home and say goodbye to my family, my children, my neighbors and my wife,’ the king asked, but the angel said, ‘You are not going to go back and you will never see them again, for the span of your life is at an end.’ He then took the king’s soul and the king fell dead from the back of his horse.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Seized days

February 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“This is the age of the ugly and puffed-up, who are characterized by stupidity and cruelty, full of hatred and hostility.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Arabian Nights

A limited time offer

February 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“Hasten to do whatever good deed occurs to you
For generosity is not always possible.
How many a man has held back from a generous action
He could have done, and then has been restrained by poverty.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Cut him some slack

February 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

When a man is short of money, distressed and preoccupied, he cannot be blamed for what he says, as this does not come from his heart.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Keeping the citizens united

February 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“If a rich man says something wrong, the people say:
‘You may be right, and what you say is not impossible,’
But if a poor man speaks the truth, they say:
‘You are a liar; what you say is wrong.’
Money invests a man with dignity and beauty in all lands.
Money is the tongue of those who seek eloquence,
And the weapon of whoever wants to fight.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Arabian Nights

Let that be a lesson

February 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit

Not to mention a profit center

January 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“It is a wise man who built the first prison, as this is a tomb for the living and brings pleasure to their enemies.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Arabian Nights

And, in fact . . .

January 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Caution is no guard against destiny and what is written in the book of fate is not to be avoided. Death, which carried off my grandfather, will not leave me, and if my father is alive today he may not be alive tomorrow.” – The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

But it has cookies

January 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“You who are seeking this vile world,
It is destruction’s net, a pit of sorrows.
It is a dwelling which may bring
Laughter one day, but will fetch tears the next.
Evil befall it! Its attacks never cease;
No price, however great, ransoms its prisoners.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Try it sometime

January 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Visit your love; take no heed of the envious,
Who will not help you in your affairs of love.
God in His mercy creates no finer sight
Than of two lovers lying on one bed
In one another’s arms, clothed in contentment,
Pillowed on one another’s wrists and arms.
If in your lifetime you find one true friend,
How good a friend is this; live for that one alone.
When hearts are joined in love,
The envious are striking on cold iron.
You who blame lovers for their love,
Have you the power to cure the sick at heart?
God in Your mercy, let us meet
Before death comes, if only by one day.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

That side is the toll gate

January 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“It is easy to be cynical about government—and rarely does such cynicism go unrewarded. Take, for instance, policy towards women. Some politicians declare that they value women’s unique role, which can be shorthand for keeping married women at home looking after the kids. Others create whole ministries devoted to policies for women, which can be a device for parking women’s issues on the periphery of policy where they cannot do any harm. Still others, who may actually mean what they say, pass laws giving women equal opportunities to men. Yet decreeing an end to discrimination is very different from bringing it about. Amid this tangle of evasion, half-promises and wishful thinking, some policymakers have embraced a technique called gender budgeting. It not only promises to do a lot of good for women, but carries a lesson for advocates of any cause: the way to a government’s heart is through its pocket.” – The Economist, February 25th, 2017

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Politics & Law

The barest necessity

January 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“If someone says: ‘Love starts with choice,’ tell them:
‘That is a lie; it all comes from necessity.’ “

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Enough to go around

January 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“You wrong Time if you ask it to be fair.
Do not blame it; it was not created for fair dealing.
Take what comes easily and leave care aside.
Time must contain both trouble and happiness.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Hand in hand

January 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is no wisdom without power.
Were they to try to pawn me and my wisdom,
Together with my books and my inkstand,
For one day’s worth of food, it would not work
And such a bargain would be thought contemptible.
The poor, their state, their life,
How dark they are with troubles!
In summer they cannot find food, and in the cold
They have to warm themselves over a brazier.
Street dogs attack them and they are the butt
Of every despicable man.
When one of them complains about his lot,
There is none to excuse him among all mankind.
Such is the life of the poor man;
It will be best for him when he is in his grave.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

That’s just the way it is

January 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“You have no power at all over your daily bread;
Neither learning nor letters will fetch it for you.
Fortune and sustenance are divided up;
One land is fertile while another suffers drought.
Time’s changes bring down cultured men,
While fortune lifts the undeserving up.
Come, death, and visit me, for life is vile;
Falcons are brought down low while ducks are raised on high.
Feel no surprise if you should see a man of excellence
In poverty, while an inferior holds sway.
How wretched is this kind of world
That leaves us in such trouble and distress!
In the morning it may be that things go well,
But I must drink destruction’s cup when evening comes.”

The Arabian Nights (trans. Lyons, et al.)

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · The Arabian Nights

Then there’s what you do with it

January 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“A victory for the wrong reason is still a victory.” – Practitioner’s Handbook for Appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2014 ed.

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

What it’s about

January 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“Power concerns the organization, arrangement, and distribution of material objects in physical space. Whatever ideas and ideals are brought to bear on this process are necessarily corrupted and weighed down by their contact with decaying matter. Politics, in other words, is the art of juggling corpses and anyone whose highest value is power stinks of the grave.” – Hans Abendroth, The Zero and the One

→ No CommentsTags: Hans Abendroth · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law