The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from September 2014

A fool for a client

September 30th, 2014 · No Comments

“We are told that many criminal defendants representing themselves may use the courtroom for deliberate disruption of their trials. But the right of self-representation has been recognized from our beginnings by federal law and by most of the States, and no such result has thereby occurred. Moreover, the trial judge may terminate self-representation by a […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Verandah

We’re free to vote ourselves into slavery

September 29th, 2014 · No Comments

“As it is by comparison only that men estimate the value of any good, they are not sensible to the worth of those blessings they enjoy, until they are deprived of them; hence from ignorance of the horrors of slavery, nations, that have been in possession of that rarest of blessings, liberty, have so easily […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

It’s not carved in stone

September 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“A standing Bill of Rights is absurd, because no constitutions, in a free government, can be unalterable. The present generation have indeed a right to declare what they deem a privilege; but they have no right to say what the next generation shall deem a privilege.” – Noah Webster, “Giles Hickory I” (emphases in original)

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Taxation for dummies

September 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“To those who insist that he who pays the greatest share of taxes, ought to have the greatest number of votes; it is a sufficient answer to say, that this rule would be destructive of the liberty of the others, and would render them slaves to the more rich and wealthy—That if one man pays […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Honest to a fault

September 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“To provide for the general welfare, is an abstract proposition, which mankind differ in the explanation of, as much as they do on any political or moral proposition that can be proposed; the most opposite measures may be pursued by different parties, and both may profess, that they have in view the general welfare, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Watch closely

September 25th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“A writer screwing around and a writer hard at work look exactly the same to the untrained observer.” – Averil Dean, “Groove”

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Tags: Averil Dean · Lit & Crit

Civil v. uncivil government

September 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“The business of civil government is to protect the citizen in his rights, to defend the community from hostile powers, and to promote the general welfare. Civil government has no business to meddle with the private opinions of the people. If I demean myself as a good citizen, I am accountable, not to man, but […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Call it science

September 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“It ever has been the fate of system mongers to mistake the productions of their own imaginations, for those of nature herself: And their works, instead of advancing the cause of truth, serve only as false guides, who are ever ready to mislead us and impede our progress.” – John Stevens, Jr., “Americanus V,” Debate […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Verandah

Easy as pie

September 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“So great is the Wickedness of some Men, & the stupid Servility of others, that one would be almost inclined to conclude that Communities cannot be free. The few haughty Families, think They must govern. The Body of the People tamely consent & submit to be their Slaves. This unravels the Mystery of Millions being […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The good ol’ boys

September 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“It is not to be expected that a legislature will be found in any country that will not have some of its members, who will pursue their private ends, for which they will sacrifice the public good. Men of this character are, generally, artful and designing, and frequently possess brilliant talents and abilities; they commonly […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Generate some heat

September 20th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Too often, writers fear that in order to get attention in an over-stimulated world, they need to open with a car crash, a zombie apocalypse, an explosion of expletives, an alternate universe, or prose that turns cartwheels on the ceiling. It’s not that those things can’t work, but they’re certainly not necessary, and unless they’re […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Not what could be called equitable

September 19th, 2014 · No Comments

“The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property, is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is perhaps no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party, to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they over-burden the inferior […]

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Tags: Economics · James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

From here to eternity

September 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which […]

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Tags: Economics · James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Nothing’s free in freedom

September 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“The progress of a commercial society begets luxury, the parent of inequality, the foe to virtue, and the enemy to restraint.” – Cato V, “Can an American Be a Tyrant?”

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

We call it ironic detachment

September 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“The liberties of the people never can be lost, until they are lost to themselves, in a vicious disregard of their dearest interests, a sottish indolence, a wild licentiousness, a dissoluteness of morals, and a contempt of all virtue.” – Civis Rusticus, “Not to Condemn, but to Correct,” January 30, 1788, Debate on the Constitution, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

A vlad by any other name

September 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society: Of this description are the love of power or the desire of preeminence and dominion—the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. There are others which have […]

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Tags: Alexander Hamilton · Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Gnawed to death by foxes

September 14th, 2014 · No Comments

“The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to William Stephens Smith,” […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Jefferson

Works nearly every time

September 13th, 2014 · No Comments

“One of the easiest and most coercive ways to get someone to confess to a crime they didn’t commit, especially if that person is a woman, is to threaten them with the loss of their kids.” – Professor Steven A. Drizin, Center on Wrongful Conviction, Northwestern University School of Law

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Tags: Politics & Law

You gotta have faith

September 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“No man is a warmer advocate for proper restraints and wholesome checks in every department of government than I am; but I have never yet been able to discover the propriety of placing it absolutely out of the power of men to render essential Services, because a possibility remains of their doing ill.” – George […]

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Tags: Economics · George Washington · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Likely to need a few tweaks

September 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“The warmest friends and best supporters the Constitution has, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but they found them unavoidable and are sensible, if evil is likely to arise there from, the remedy must come hereafter; for in the present moment, it is not to be obtained; and, as there is a […]

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Tags: George Washington · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The basics

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments

“The inquiry is, what are the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states? We feel no hesitation in confining these expressions to those privileges and immunities which are, in their nature, fundamental; which belong, of right, to the citizens of all free governments; and which have, at all times, been enjoyed by the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

If you go left, I will go right; and if you go right, I will go left

September 9th, 2014 · No Comments

“There are certain unalienable and fundamental rights, which in forming the social compact, ought to be explicitly ascertained and fixed—a free and enlightened people, in forming this compact, will not resign all their rights to those who govern, and they will fix limits to their legislators and rulers, which will soon be plainly seen by […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Just so you know the difference

September 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“The fickle and ardent, in any community, are the proper tools for establishing despotic government. But it is deliberate and thinking men, who must establish and secure governments on free principles.” – Letters from the “Federal Farmer” to “The Republican”, Letter I, October 8, 1787

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Any patriotic act will serve

September 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is natural for men, who wish to hasten the adoption of a measure, to tell us, now is the crisis—now is the critical moment which must be seized, or all will be lost: and to shut the door against free enquiry, whenever conscious the thing presented has defects in it, which time and investigation […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Go balance your budget

September 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“Public credit is as necessary for the prosperity of a nation as private credit is for the support and wealth of a family.” – A Landholder (Oliver Ellsworth), “A Further Reply to Elbridge Gerry,” Connecticut Courant, December 3, 1787

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Will get fooled again

September 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“A dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us, that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism, than the latter, […]

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Tags: Alexander Hamilton · Politics & Law

Make sure you get it in writing

September 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, & what no just government should refuse or rest on inference.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, December 20, 1787, Debate on the Constitution, Part One (ed. Bailyn)

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Jefferson

The interlocking grid

September 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

“The great desideratum in Government is, so to modify the sovereignty as that it may be sufficiently neutral between different parts of the Society to controul one part from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controuled itself, from setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire Society.” – […]

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Jefferson

Social potpourri

September 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

“In all civilized Societies, distinctions are various and unavoidable. A distinction or property results from that very protection which a free Government gives to unequal faculties of acquiring it. There will be rich and poor; creditors and debtors; a landed interest, a monied interest, a mercantile interest, a manufacturing interest. These classes may again be […]

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Jefferson

Yeah, so be careful

September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

“It is more convenient to prevent the passage of a law, than to declare it void after it is passed.” – James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787, Debate on the Constitution, Part One (ed. Bailyn)

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Jefferson