The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from October 2014

The metatext

October 31st, 2014 · No Comments

“Metaphor and metonymy both, it strikes me, are devices of the lover; they are the devices of one who seeks to render or capture the other. What are the devices of the beloved? We don’t know, because it always the lover, never the beloved, who speaks. Why? Perhaps it’s the orientation toward unhappiness of literary […]

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Tags: Lightsey Darst · Lit & Crit

Watch yourself sleeping

October 30th, 2014 · No Comments

“The beloved is sleeping. The trivial, intimate things that you find out as a matter of course one night and from then on cannot help treasuring: how the other one sleeps, with this arm here or there, with a deep athletic breath or as if dead. Dreams — visible, like a cat’s, or sunken. How […]

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Tags: Lightsey Darst · Lit & Crit

Including the looters and pillagers

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments

“An individual who is observed to be inconstant to his plans, or perhaps to carry on his affairs without any plan at all, is marked at once by all prudent people as a speedy victim to his own unsteadiness and folly. His more friendly neighbors may pity him; but all will decline to connect their […]

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

Whip it

October 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities: Most governments are deficient in the first.” – James Madison, “The Federalist LXII”

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

They find ways of working together

October 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it, may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust. In this point of view, a senate, as a second branch of the legislative assembly, distinct from, and dividing […]

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

Tilting at windmills, too

October 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“Science is the one culture that’s truly global — protons, proteins and Pythagoras’s Theorem are the same from China to Peru. It should transcend all barriers of nationality. It should straddle all faiths too. The scientists who attack mainstream religion, rather than striving for peaceful coexistence with it, damage science, and also weaken the fight […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

We try to get it right

October 25th, 2014 · No Comments

“In America, like most of the civilized world, we do not just go through the motions of legal process in a fast and cursory manner. Court systems are not just an empty charade. The heart of law as we know it is due process. We decide cases on the merits, on the facts, on the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

In case we weren’t sure

October 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“Once upon a time, or so the story goes, the American military were developing a computer system that they could train to identify tanks on the battlefield. The approach involved connecting a ‘neural network’ to a camera. The training was to be done using photographs. So the design team went out into the field and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Verandah

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

October 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controuls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies […]

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

The United States of Nature

October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“In a state of nature, each man is free and may do what he pleases; but in society, every individual must sacrifice a part of his natural rights; the minority must yield to the majority, and the collective interest must controul particular interests. When thirteen persons constitute a family, each should forego every thing that […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Mobbing about

October 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“If it be true that all governments rest on opinion, it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual, and its practical influence on his conduct, depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. The reason of man, like man himself is timid and cautious, […]

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

His pen name was David

October 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“Three thousand years ago, David, according to the tradition, was the poet who wrote the Psalms. Even if you can’t believe that someone named David literally wrote the Psalms, the fact is that someone wrote them.” – Zachary Lazar, “In the Presence of My Enemies”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Imagine that

October 19th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“The design of civil government is to protect the rights and promote the happiness of the people. For this end, rulers are invested with powers. But we cannot from hence justly infer that these powers should be unlimited. There are certain rights which mankind possess, over which government ought not to have any controul, because […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Flowing up, not trickling down

October 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“We may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behaviour. It is essential to such […]

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Tags: James Madison · The American Constitution

The opinion that dare not speak its name

October 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“Speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, for it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people. The right of citizens to inquire, to hear, to speak, and to use information to reach consensus is a precondition to enlightened self-government and a necessary means to protect it. For these reasons, political speech must […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The definition of algorithm

October 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“An algorithm is defined by a sequence of steps and instructions that can be applied to data. Algorithms generate categories for filtering information, operate on data, look for patterns and relationships, or generally assist in the analysis of information. The steps taken by an algorithm are informed by the author’s knowledge, motives, biases, and desired […]

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Tags: Economics · Mathematics · Politics & Law

They don’t all need to be tried as adults

October 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“Because young people are exactly that—young—they need appropriate freedoms to explore and experiment safely and without the specter of being haunted by mistakes in the future.” – Executive Office of the President, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

The theory of how it’s supposed to work

October 14th, 2014 · No Comments

“In the investigation and estimate of criminatory evidence, there is an antecedent prima facie presumption in favor of the innocence of the party accused, grounded in reason and justice not less than in humanity, and recognized in the judicial practice of all civilized nations, which presumption must prevail until it be destroyed by such an […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

All that rises must converge

October 13th, 2014 · No Comments

“A democracy has the capacity—and the duty—to learn from its past mistakes; to discover and confront persisting biases; and by respectful, rational deliberation to rise above those flaws and injustices. That process is impeded, not advanced, by court decrees based on the proposition that the public cannot have the requisite repose to discuss certain issues. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

One would think this might be obvious

October 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“Government action that classifies individuals on the basis of race is inherently suspect and carries the danger of perpetuating the very racial divisions the polity seeks to transcend.” – Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Schuette v. BAMN, 572 U.S. ____ (2014).

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Tags: Politics & Law

Would you like another cup of tea, dear?

October 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“Faction and enthusiasm are the instruments by which popular governments are destroyed. We need not talk of the power of an aristocracy. The people when they lose their liberties are cheated out of them. They nourish factions in their bosoms, which will subsist so long as abusing their honest credulity shall be the means of […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

They need light, water, air, and good soil

October 10th, 2014 · No Comments

“Appellate judges are not obliged to act like potted plants. Nor like automatons, following only the path laid down by the parties without deviation or interruption. While the discretionary power to reach a new issue should be used with restraint, in criminal matters that restraint should be informed with due regard to the accused’s right […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Verandah

The laws of unintended consequences

October 9th, 2014 · No Comments

“All new laws, though penned with the greatest technical skill, and passed on the fullest and most mature deliberation, are considered as more or less obscure and equivocal, until their meaning be liquidated and ascertained by a series of particular discussions and adjudications. Besides the obscurity arising from the complexity of objects, and the imperfection […]

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

Showing up and doing the job

October 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“Energy in Government is essential to that security against external and internal danger, and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws, which enter into the very definition of good Government. Stability in Government, is essential to national character, and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence […]

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

Yep

October 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than prompted, by those occasions which require an […]

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

Watch your mouth

October 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is impossible to fight any war wholly humanely. In most respects, the Western allies displayed commendable clarity in their conduct of total war against an enemy bereft of civilized sentiment. Aerial assault, however, provided the exception. It was a policy quite at odds with the spirit in which the Americans and British otherwise conducted […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

You gotta have faith

October 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“—if a Constitution is not to be established unless it is impossible to abuse the Powers given to the Destruction of the Community, I will venture to assert that no Government can ever be established—for the Delegation of Powers is necessary to the Being of Society, and it is impossible so to guard them that […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Flapping

October 4th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Our soul possesses two broad and strong wings, which can bring us better and more permanent possessions than gold, honour or health. Our sharp intellect allows us to penetrate the secrets of nature, and lets us pursue that way as long as we modestly recognize our human weaknesses. But as for the ultimate secrets, which […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Or they may kick it in

October 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

“There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their merit, not only from the classes to which they particularly belong, but from the society in general. The door ought to be equally open to all.” – Alexander Hamilton, […]

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

Then there are those who possess them and don’t know how to use them

October 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

“In countries under arbitrary government, the people oppressed and dispirited, neither possess arms nor know how to use them. Tyrants never feel secure, until they have disarmed the people. They can rely upon nothing but standing armies of mercenary troops for the support of their power.” – The Republican, “The Principal Circumstances Which Render Liberty […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution