The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from November 2016

On the road again

November 30th, 2016 · No Comments

“In order to grasp today’s capitalism we need financial analysis, but the phenomenon of financialization sucks oxygen from the atmosphere. It privatizes information that should be public, just as it commercializes everyday life and promotes a pattern of ‘uncreative destruction’ in which enterprises and work teams are continually broken up and re-assembled to take advantage […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Robin Blackburn

Iceberg fields and shoal waters

November 29th, 2016 · No Comments

“A well-regulated stock exchange is a phenomenal source of information for all market participants. It generates second-by-second data concerning the volume and price of trades, and its settlement system registers the identity of buyers and sellers. The analytic feats of the financial economists were themselves based on such data. Yet the advent of structured finance […]

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Tags: Economics · Robin Blackburn

A point from which to move the world

November 28th, 2016 · No Comments

“Resort to ‘leverage’ in the financialized world supposedly enables individuals and corporations to get rid of ‘unrewarded risk’ and maximize outcomes. While the word ‘debt’ has a negative ring to it, the word ‘leverage’ is positive; indeed it is now often used as a verb, as we leverage our assets in order to reach for […]

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Tags: Economics · Robin Blackburn

The god we worship

November 27th, 2016 · No Comments

“The subprime debacle and its sequels train a spotlight on financialization. When properly embedded in structures of social control, finance can help to allocate capital, facilitate investment and smooth demand. But if it is unaccountable and unregulated it becomes sovereign in the re-allocation process, and can grab the lion’s share of the gains it makes […]

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Tags: Economics · Robin Blackburn

What’s in a name

November 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“Place-names which pass into history often identify locations so unrewarding that only war could have rendered them memorable: Dunkirk and Alamein, Corregidor and Imphal, Anzio and Bastogne. Yet even in such company, Iwo Jima was striking in its wretchedness. The tiny island lay 3,000 miles west of Pearl Harbor and less than seven hundred south […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

‘Tis a fierce affection

November 25th, 2016 · No Comments

“One post-war estimate suggests that for every six Malineros murdered by the Japanese defenders, another four died beneath the gunfire of their American liberators. Some historians would even reverse that ratio. ‘Those who had survived Japanese hate did not survive American love,’ wrote Carmen Guerrero.” – Max Hastings, Retribution

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

For the suppression of evil

November 24th, 2016 · No Comments

“In considering the later U.S. firebombing of Japan and decision to bomb Hiroshima, it is useful to recall that by the spring of 1945 the American nation knew what the Japanese had done in Manila. The killing of innocents clearly represented not the chance of war, nor unauthorised actions by wanton enemy soldiers, but an […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

Liberation

November 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

“A pregnant woman, Carmen Guerrero, walked into the American lines, clutching a child in her arms. She had seen her husband tortured before her eyes, then removed to be shot. She neither eaten nor slept for a week. She wrote later, ‘I had seen the head of an aunt who had taught me to read […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

And here is what happened when we threw all that away

November 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

“I think that the rhetoric we Westerners use in trying to get everybody to be more like us would be improved if we were more frankly ethnocentric and less professedly universal. It would be better to say, ‘here is what we in the West look like as a result of ceasing to hold slaves, beginning […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rorty

Not asking much, guv’nor

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“You cannot have an old-timey Gemeinschaft unless everybody pretty well agrees on who counts as a decent human being and who does not. But you can have a civil society of the bourgeois democratic sort. All you need is the ability to control your feelings when people who strike you as irredeemably different show up […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Richard Rorty

Not shocks

November 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“If you want your books to be read rather than respectfully shrouded in tooled leather, you should try to produce tingles rather than truth.” – Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Richard Rorty

And sparks fly

November 19th, 2016 · No Comments

“The difference between genius and fantasy is not the difference between impresses which lock on to something universal, some antecedent reality out there in the world or deep within the self, and those which do not. Rather, it is the difference between idiosyncracies which just happen to catch on with other people—happen because of the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Richard Rorty

We have ways of making you pay

November 18th, 2016 · No Comments

“If the judgment debtor was concealing assets or had assets in the custody of others, the creditor had few remedies. The primary remedy a creditor did have in such a case was imprisonment for debt. Contrary to the misrepresentations fostered by Dickens and others, this was not a mechanism by which the poor were summarily […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Looks like we’re finding out

November 17th, 2016 · No Comments

“Let Us take Warning and give it to our Children. Whenever Vanity, and Gaiety, a Love of Pomp and Dress, Furniture, Equipage, Buildings, great Company, expensive Diversions, and elegant Entertainments get the better of the Principles and Judgments of Men or Women there is no knowing where they will stop, nor into what Evils, natural, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Though they may be able to exploit

November 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“Credulity and the Want of Foresight, are Imperfections in the human Character, that no Politician can sufficiently guard against.” – John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, April 14, 1776

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Remember the Ladies

November 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The things they did

November 14th, 2016 · No Comments

“Some civilians found themselves herded out of their homes by Japanese who asserted that shellfire made them unsafe. They were taken to an assembly area on Plaza Ferguson, where there were soon 2,000 under guard. Young girls were then separated and removed first to the Coffee Pot Café, then to the Bay View Hotel, where […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

This happened

November 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“The most repellant aspect of the Japanese defence of Manila was their systematic slaughter of the city’s civilians. The Japanese justified this policy by asserting that everyone found in the battle area was a guerrilla. Over a hundred men, women and children were herded into Paco Lumber Yard along Moriones and Juan Luna Avenue, where […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

Not something that has changed much

November 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“At the November 1943 Cairo Conference, President Roosevelt insisted upon anointing China as one of the four great Allied powers, assisted by Stalin’s acquiescence and in the face of Churchill’s contempt. Yet Roosevelt’s crusade to make China a modern power languished in the face of poverty, corruption, cruelty, incompetence, ignorance on a scale beyond even […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

Be careful what you wish for

November 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“Bandits come and go. Soldiers come and stay.” – Chinese peasants’ saying (quoted by Max Hastings in Retribution)

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · Politics & Law · The Second World War

As per the usual

November 10th, 2016 · No Comments

“After Pearl Harbor, Chiang [Kai-Shek]’s armies began to receive massive American support in kind and in cash, much of which the generalissimo and his supporters pocketed. Since there was no overland link between British-ruled India and Chiang’s territories between 1942 and early 1945, all supplies had to be flown five hundred miles ‘over the Hump’ […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Time of the nadir

November 9th, 2016 · No Comments

“The [Japanese] occupation of Manchuria and eastern China was mercilessly conducted. Unit 731, the biological warfare cell based near Harbin, was its most extreme manifestation. Beyond hundreds of Chinese prisoners subjected to experiments which invariably resulted in their deaths, often by vivisection, the unit sought to spread typhus, anthrax and other plagues indiscriminately among the […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

A fruitful victim

November 8th, 2016 · No Comments

“Historians of Asia assert that the Second World War properly began in China, rather than Poland. In 1931 Japan almost bloodlessly seized Manchuria—the north-eastern Chinese provinces, an area twice the size of Britain, with a population of thirty-five million people, hitherto ruled by an old warlord in uneasy cohabitation with a Japanese garrison—to secure its […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · The Second World War

Uncountable

November 7th, 2016 · No Comments

“China’s wartime sufferings, which remain unknown to most Westerners, were second in scale only to those of the Soviet Union. It is uncertain how many Chinese died in the years of conflict with Japan. Traditionally, a figure of fifteen million has been accepted, one-third of these being soldiers. Modern Chinese historians variously assert twenty-five, even […]

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Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

The great endeavor

November 6th, 2016 · No Comments

“The wartime expansion of the U.S. Navy was an extraordinary achievement, which should never be taken for granted. Between 1941 and 1945, its tonnage swelled from three million to almost thirty. Of the service’s total war expenditure of $100 billion, more than a third went to ship construction. . . . Mare Island Navy Yard […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · The Second World War

No winning for losing

November 5th, 2016 · No Comments

“The British and Japanese fought each other on the Burman front for forty-six months. Burma thus became the longest single campaign of the Second World War. It cost the Japanese only 2,000 lives to seize this British possession in 1942, but a further 104,000 dead to stay there until 1945. The largest country on the […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Mr. Officer

November 4th, 2016 · No Comments

“Societies run by civilians proved vastly better able to organize themselves to fight the Second World War than those dominated by military men, of which Japan offered the most notable example. It is hard to overstate the extent to which Anglo-American wartime achievements were made possible by the talents of amateurs in uniform, fulfilling almost […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · Politics & Law · The Second World War

Same as it ever is

November 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

“Even before Pearl Harbor, Japan was divided by widespread poverty, and by tensions between city and countryside, peasants and landlords, soldiers and civilians. For all the government’s strident nationalist propaganda campaigns, conflict had deepened rather than healed domestic divisions. There was bitterness that the rich and armed forces still ate heartily, while no one else […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · The Second World War

Of Hobbesian nature

November 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

“From a place where only the law of the strongest prevails, no one returns unharmed.” – Rik Coolsaet, “Facing the Fourth Foreign Fighters Wave”

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Forever War

On top of it

November 1st, 2016 · No Comments

“If you’re a super well-developed, gorgeous rich guy who is being watched by all the girls, then you might be less pissed at the world.” – Adil El Arbi (Director, Black)

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Tags: Economics · Verandah