The Art of Tetman Callis

Some mature content; some puerile

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The people behind the business

December 19th, 2014 · No Comments

“A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends. An established body of law specifies the rights and obligations of the people (including shareholders, officers, and employees) who are associated with a corporation in one way or another. When rights, whether constitutional or statutory, are extended to corporations, the purpose is to protect the rights of these people. For example, extending Fourth Amendment protection to corporations protects the privacy interests of employees and others associated with the company. Protecting corporations from government seizure of their property without just compensation protects all those who have a stake in the corporations’ financial well-being.” – Justice Samuel Alito, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 573 U.S. ___ (2014) (emphasis in original)

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Modern war comes to old town

December 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“The boulevards were deserted save for the troops coming back into the town [Louvain]. New houses were burning that had been intact in the afternoon. After passing the Porte de Tirlemont, we began to see people again—little groups that had come out into the streets through a craving for company, and stood huddled together listening to the fighting in the lower part of the town. In harmony with the policy of terrorising the population, the Germans have trained them to throw up their hands as soon as any one comes in sight, in order to prove that they are unarmed and defenseless. And the way they do it, the abject fear that is evident, shows that failure to comply with the rule is not lightly punished. Our worst experience of this was when in coming around a corner we came upon a little girl of about seven, carrying a canary in a cage. As soon as she saw us, she threw up her hands and cried out something we did not understand. Thinking that she wanted to stop us with a warning of some sort, we put on the brakes and drew up beside her. Then she burst out crying with fear, and we saw that she was in terror of her life. We called out to reassure her, but she turned and ran like a hunted animal. It was hard to see the fear of others—townspeople, peasants, priests, and feeble old nuns who dropped their bundles and threw up their hands, their eyes starting with fear. The whole thing was a nightmare.” – Hugh Gibson, August 27, 1914, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium

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The end of the old world

December 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“I stopped at the Palace to sign the King’s book, and ran into General Jungbluth, who was just starting off with the Queen. She came down the stairs and stopped just long enough to greet me, and then went her way; she is a brave little woman and deserves a better fate than she has had. Inglebleek, the King’s Secretary, heard that I was there signing the book, and came out to see me. He said that the Queen was anxious I should see what had been done by the bombs of the night before. He wanted me to go right into the houses and see the horrid details. I did not want to do this, but there was no getting out of it under the circumstances.

“We drove first to the Place du Poids Publique and went into one of the houses which had been partially wrecked by one of the smaller bombs. Everything in the place had been left as it was until the police magistrate could make his examination and report. We climbed to the first floor, and I shall never forget the horrible sight that awaited us. A poor policeman and his wife had been blown to fragments, and the pieces were all over the walls and ceiling. Blood was everywhere. Other details are too terrible even to think of. I could not stand any more than this one room. There were others which Inglebleek wanted to show me, but I could not think of it. And this was only one of a number of houses where peaceful men and women had been so brutally killed while they slept.

“And where is the military advantage of this? If the bombs were dropped near the fortifications, it would be easy to understand, but in this instance it is hard to explain upon any ground, except the hope of terrifying the population to the point where they will demand that the Government surrender the town and the fortifications. Judging from the temper they were in yesterday at Antwerp, they are more likely to demand that the place be held at all costs rather than risk falling under the rule of a conqueror brutal enough to murder innocent people in their beds.”

– Hugh Gibson, August 27, 1914, A Journal from Our Legation in Belgium

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The race to make life pointless

December 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“Both squadrons were now steaming southward on slightly converging courses—the British to seaward with the setting sun behind them, and the Germans nearer the land. And now began the saddest naval action in the war. Of the officers and men in both the squadrons that faced each other in these stormy seas so far from home, nine out of ten were doomed to perish. The British were to die that night: the Germans a month later. At 7 o’clock the sun sank beneath the horizon, and the German Admiral, no longer dazzled by its rays, opened fire. The British ships were silhouetted against the afterglow, while the Germans were hardly visible against the dark background of the Chilean coast.” – Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

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The second is to keep your head down

December 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“The first rule of war is to concentrate superior strength for decisive action and to avoid division of forces or engaging in detail.” – Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

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Do it like this

December 14th, 2014 · No Comments

“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” – William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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Don’t tell anyone

December 13th, 2014 · No Comments

“Every person in the least conversant in the history of mankind, knows what dreadful mischiefs have been committed by religious persecutions. Under the colour of religious tests the utmost cruelties have been exercised. Those in power have generally considered all wisdom centered in themselves, that they alone had a right to dictate to the rest of mankind, and that all opposition to their tenets was profane and impious. The consequence of this intolerant spirit has been, that each church has in turn set itself up against every other, and persecutions and wars of the most implacable and bloody nature have taken place in every part of the world. America has set an example to mankind to think more modestly and reasonably; that a man may be of different religious sentiments form our own, without being a bad member of society.” – James Iredell, July 30, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn)

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So cut it out

December 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“In war all repetitions are perilous. You can do many things with impunity if you do not keep on doing them over and over again.” – Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

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You’ll hit the ground pretty hard

December 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“You must maintain your composure in the airplane or you will die. You learn that from your first day flying.” – Captain Alfred C. Haynes, United Airlines Flight 232 (1989)

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They do it anyway

December 10th, 2014 · No Comments

“Those who govern should be the last people to help decide who should govern.” – Chief Justice John Roberts, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, 572 U.S. ___ (2014) (emphases in original)

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Try harder

December 9th, 2014 · No Comments

“No instrument of writing ought to be construed absurdly, when a rational construction can be put upon it.” – James Iredell, July 25, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn)

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Those were the days…

December 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“A man can still control a small part of his environment, his house; he can retreat thence from outsiders, secure in the knowledge that they cannot get at him without disobeying the Constitution. That is still a sizable hunk of liberty—worth protecting from encroachment. A sane, decent, civilized society must provide some such oasis, some shelter from public scrutiny, some insulated enclosure, some enclave, some inviolate place which is a man’s castle.” – Judge Jerome Frank, United States v. On Lee, 193 F.2d 306 (2d Cir. 1951)

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This is why little gets done

December 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“The ability to wait while conditions develop is a requisite of practical policy.” – Otto von Bismarck, Die gesammelten Werke (trans. Craig)

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And so they bet it all, and so they lost

December 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“The world on the verge of its catastrophe was very brilliant. Nations and Empires crowned with princes and potentates rose majestically on every side, lapped in the accumulated treasures of the long peace. All were fitted and fastened—it seemed securely—into an immense cantilever. The two mighty European systems faced each other glittering and clanking in their panoply, but with a tranquil gaze. A polite, discreet, pacific, and on the whole sincere diplomacy spread its web of connections over both. A sentence in a dispatch, an observation by an ambassador, a cryptic phrase in a Parliament seemed sufficient to adjust from day to day the balance of the prodigious structure. Words counted, and even whispers. A nod could be made to tell. Were we after all to achieve world security and universal peace by a marvellous system of combinations in equipoise and of armaments in equation, of checks and counter-checks on violent action ever more complex and more delicate ? Would Europe thus marshalled, thus grouped, thus related, unite into one universal and glorious organism capable of receiving and enjoying in undreamed of abundance the bounty which nature and science stood hand in hand to give? The old world in its sunset was fair to see. But there was a strange temper in the air. Unsatisfied by material prosperity the nations turned restlessly towards strife internal or external. National passions, unduly exalted in the decline of religion, burned beneath the surface of nearly every land with fierce if shrouded fires. Almost one might think the world wished to suffer. Certainly men were everywhere eager to dare.” – Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

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I dunno, maybe because people are stupid

December 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“The First World War is a mystery. Its origins are mysterious. So is its course. Why did a prosperous continent, at the height of its success as a source and agent of global wealth and power and at one of the peaks of its intellectual and cultural achievement, choose to risk all it had won for itself and all it offered to the world in the lottery of a vicious and local internecine conflict? Why, when the hope of bringing the conflict to a quick and decisive conclusion was everywhere dashed to the ground within months of its outbreak, did the combatants decide nevertheless to persist in their military effort, to mobilise for total war and eventually to commit the totality of their young manhood to mutual and existentially pointless slaughter?” – John Keegan, The First World War

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They were fat but none too happy

December 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is difficult today not to sympathize with the condemnations, worse or better informed as they have been, of the generals of the First World War. In no way—appearances, attitude, spoken pronouncement, written legacy—do they commend themselves to modern opinion or emotion. The impassive expressions that stare back at us from contemporary photographs do not speak of consciences or feelings troubled by the slaughter over which those men presided, nor do the circumstances in which they chose to live: the distant chateau, the well-polished entourage, the glittering motor cars, the cavalry escorts, the regular routine, the heavy dinners, the uninterrupted hours of sleep. Joffre’s two-hour lunch, Hindenburg’s ten-hour night, Haig’s therapeutic daily equitation along roads sanded lest his horse slip, the Stavka’s diet of champagne and court gossip, seem and were a world away from the cold rations, wet boots, sodden uniforms, flooded trenches, ruined billets and plague of lice on, in and among which, in winter at least, their subordinates lived.” – John Keegan, The First World War

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Dying in France and in vain

December 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

“There is nothing more poignant in British life than to visit the ribbon of cemeteries that marks the front line of 1 July 1916 and to find, on gravestone after gravestone, the fresh wreath, the face of a Pal or Chum above a khaki serge collar staring gravely back from a dim photograph, the pinned poppy and the inscription to ‘a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather.’ The Somme marked the end of an age of vital optimism in British life that has never been recovered.” – John Keegan, The First World War

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That’d be a thing to see

December 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

“There are two objects in forming systems of government—Safety for the people, and energy in the administration. When these objects are united, the certain tendency of the system will be to the public welfare. If the latter object be neglected, the people’s security will be as certainly sacrificed, as by disregarding the former. Good constitutions are formed upon a comparison of the liberty of the individual with the strength of government: If the tone of either be too high, the other will be weakened too much. It is the happiest possible mode of conciliating these objects, to institute one branch peculiarly endowed with sensibility, another with knowledge and firmness. Through the opposition and mutual controul of these bodies, the government will reach, in its regular operations, the perfect balance between liberty and power.” – Alexander Hamilton, June 25, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn)

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The evil of the wealthy is hereby deemed of benefit to all

December 1st, 2014 · No Comments

“It is a harsh doctrine, that men grow wicked in proportion as they improve and enlighten their minds. Experience has by no means justified us in the supposition, that there is more virtue in one class of men than in another. Look through the rich and the poor of the community; the learned and the ignorant.—Where does virtue predominate? The difference indeed consists, not in the quantity but kind of vices, which are incident to the various classes; and here the advantage of character belongs to the wealthy. Their vices are probably more favorable to the prosperity of the state, than those of the indigent; and they partake less of moral depravity.” – Alexander Hamilton, June 21, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn)

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Get real, you dreamers

November 30th, 2014 · No Comments

“It has been observed by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved, that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government.—Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity:—When they assembled, the field of debate presented an ungovernable mob, not only incapable of deliberation, but prepared for every enormity. In these assemblies, the enemies of the people brought forward their plans of ambition systematically. They were opposed by their enemies of another party; and it became a matter of contingency, whether the people subjected themselves to be led blindly by one tyrant or by another.” – Alexander Hamilton, June 21, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn)

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Maybe… maybe not

November 29th, 2014 · No Comments

“The most damnable thing in the world is a servile copyist!” – Admiral John Fisher (quoted by Winston Churchill in The World Crisis)

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Take two aspirin and call me in the morning

November 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is customary for thoughtless people to jeer at the old diplomacy and to pretend that wars arise out of its secret machinations. When one looks at the petty subjects which have led to wars between great countries and to so many disputes, it is easy to be misled in this way. Of course such small matters are only the symptoms of the dangerous disease, and are only important for that reason. Behind them lie the interests, the passions and the destiny of mighty races of men; and long antagonisms express themselves in trifles. ‘Great commotions,’ it was said of old, ‘arise out of small things, but not concerning small things.’ The old diplomacy did its best to render harmless the small things: it could not do more. Nevertheless, a war postponed may be a war averted. Circumstances change, combinations change, new groupings arise, old interests are superseded by new. Many quarrels that might have led to war have been adjusted by the old diplomacy of Europe and have, in Lord Melbourne’s phrase, ‘blown over.’ If the nations of the world, while the sense of their awful experiences is still fresh upon them, are able to devise broader and deeper guarantees of peace and build their houses on a surer foundation of brotherhood and interdependence, they will still require the courtly manners, the polite and measured phrases, the imperturbable demeanour, the secrecy and discretion of the old diplomatists of Europe.” – Winston Churchill, The World Crisis

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Or to being shot down like dogs

November 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“Society can only exist if the normal, if the virtuous, and the slightly deceitful flourish, and if the passionate, the headstrong, and the too-truthful are condemned to suicide and to madness.” – Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

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Baby, it’s cold outside

November 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness to exist.” – Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

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Surprise, surprise

November 25th, 2014 · No Comments

“The instances of honesty that one comes across in this world are just as amazing as the instances of dishonesty.” – Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

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In case you’ve lost track

November 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“You never merely write; you write to someone.” – Deborah E. Bouchoux, Aspen Handbook for Legal Writers (emphasis in original)

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A meet and joyful noyse

November 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“Reasons briefely set downe by the auctor to perswade every one to lerne to singe.
First, it is a knowledge easely taught, and quickly learned, where there is a good master, and an apt scoller.
Second, the exercise of singing is delightful to nature, and good to preserve the health of Man.
Third, it doth strengthen all parts of the brest, and doth open the pipes.
Fourth, it is a singular good remedie for a stutting and stamering in speech.
Fifth, it is the best meanes to procure a perfect pronunciation, and to make a good orator.
Sixth, it is the onely way to know where Nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voyce; which guift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand, that hath it: and in many, that excellent guift is lost, because they want Art to expresse Nature.
Seventh, there is not any musicke of instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made of the voyces on Men, where the voyces are good, and the same well sorted and ordered.
Eighth, the better the voyce is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God therewith: and the voyce of man is chiefely to be employed to that ende.
Since singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learne to singe.”

— William Byrd, Psalmes, Sonets, and Songs

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Come falling down

November 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“The proud tower built up through the great age of European civilization was an edifice of grandeur and passion, of riches and beauty and dark cellars. Its inhabitants lived, as compared to a later time, with more self-reliance, more confidence, more hope; greater magnificence, extravagance and elegance; more careless ease, more gaiety, more pleasure in each other’s company and conversation, more injustice and hypocrisy, more misery and want, more sentiment including false sentiment, less sufferance of mediocrity, more dignity in work, more delight in nature, more zest. The Old World had much that has since been lost, whatever may have been gained.” – Barbara Tuchman, The Proud Tower

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Busybody do-gooders

November 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“Like a crack in a plank of wood which cannot be sealed, the difference between the worker and the intellectual was ineradicable in Socialism. Organized Socialism bore the name Workingmen’s Association but in fact it was never any such thing. It was a movement not of, but on behalf of, the working class, and the distinction remained basic. Although it spoke for the worker and made his wants articulate, goals and doctrine were set, and thought, energy and leadership largely supplied by, intellectuals. The working class was both client and ultimately, in its mass strength, the necessary instrument of the overthrow of capitalism. As such it appeared as Hero; it was sentimentalized. In the illustrations for an English pamphlet commemorating the London Congress of 1896, the workingmen appeared as handsome strong-muscled Burne-Jones figures in smocks accompanied by indomitable women with long limbs and rippling hair.” – Barbara Tuchman, The Proud Tower

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You, who are on the road

November 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“A careful education of youth, and strict family government, will operate like leaven—and lay a foundation to hope for better fruit from the rising generation, than ought to have been expected from the generality of those at present on the stage, had we considered the dissipation of the times when their manners were forming. Children that are taught obedience to their parents, and subordination to their superiors, and in early life initiated in habits of virtue and industry, will not fail to make good citizens.—Civil government may lop off the excressences of vice; but good education establishes principles in the mind, and prevents the vicious shoots.” – David Howell, “Solon, Junior”

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