The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from February 2017

Executive action

February 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“In using whatever means necessary to stem the attack against South Korea, the government of Harry Truman unquestionably acted in the best interests of the United States and of the world. But characteristically, that government took action in a manner that could only make later trouble. As with every major policy decision that Administration had […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Stormy weather

February 27th, 2017 · No Comments

“(1) How can a material thing (a mechanism?) be correctly said to reason, to have reasons, to act on reasons? (2) How can the unique four-dimensional non-branching world-worm that comprises all that has happened and will happen admit of a notion of possibilities that are not actualities? What does an opportunity look like when the […]

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Tags: Other Stuff

Better that way

February 26th, 2017 · No Comments

“I no longer wanted any buddies. Afraid I’d lose them. If I liked someone, I believed he’d get killed. Who needed the additional trauma? I sure as hell didn’t. If you get killed, I don’t know you and I don’t care. You’re just another number, another rifle—who cares. New people: ‘What’s your name? How ya […]

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Tags: The Korean War

A bird in the hand

February 25th, 2017 · No Comments

“I remember the bitter cold and the snow and never being warm. I remember always being hungry, never having enough rations or being able to find any food. I remember the chicken my buddy found, killed, and gutted. I remember how small and skinny it was and how I carried that chicken in my field […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Works both ways

February 24th, 2017 · No Comments

“Any system that holds the downtrodden wholly responsible for their sorrowful fate is plainly defective. So, equally, is any system that does not demand of people that they make the most they can of their circumstances.” – William A. Henry III, In Defense of Elitism

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Turning to the hard work

February 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Perhaps some people believe that equality requires a strictly proportional number of doctors, lawyers and poets from every ethnic group. More to the point, it requires addressing the huge disparity in medical and educational dollars spent on fortunate and unfortunate children.” – George Scialabba, “In Defense of Elitism”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Brothers in arms

February 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“That night I had the first watch. It was bitterly cold. Toward Hagaru-ri I heard the thump of artillery and saw flashes from exploding shells. I became very depressed. There were snow-covered hills all around and the wind bit into me. . . . When my watch was up I woke my buddy. ‘Anything happen?’ […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Advancing in the other direction

February 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“In the morning casualties lay all over the place. We dragged the dead down the slope like you would deer—slipped a rope around their boots and dragged. At the road the bodies were stacked in six-bys. Word was passed we were going to fall back. I believe those were the orders—‘fall back,’ not ‘retreat.’ Marines […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Praise the Lord and pass the frozen gravy

February 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“It was very, very late when we got back to the company and found the field kitchen there preparing Thanksgiving dinner. It was actually the day after Thanksgiving, but no one minded. We were served turkey and all the things that go with it on tin trays, just like aboard ship. Darker than pitch. We […]

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Tags: The Korean War

There were no re-takes, either

February 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“Believe me, sleeping in foxholes in a drizzling rain, cold and waiting to attack, dodging bullets, and going for three or four days with one small meal is not as romantic as the movies make out.” – Private First Class James Cardinal, I Company, 5th Cavalry Regiment (quoted by Donald Knox in The Korean War: […]

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Tags: The Korean War

How to make an anti-communist

February 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“The Communists gathered together all the opposition leaders, those friendly to America, and beat them terribly. Then they tied their hands behind their backs and shot them. More than fifty lay all over a small field in front of a school. When I got there relatives were claiming the dead and washing and cleaning and […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Korean War

Priorities

February 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“Much time was spent bullshitting. Talk was of home. We did not have any idea what [General] MacArthur was going to do next and we didn’t care. Food had top priority in our bull sessions. We smoked like fiends. Surprisingly, some of the conversations turned to sex. Up to then the only sexual references I’d […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Mr. Fix-It

February 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“Gender roles are often a predominant factor during fire and explosion incidents. Research indicates, for example, that women are more likely to report a fire or explosion immediately, while their male counterparts may delay reporting the incident, opting rather to engage in suppression or other mitigation efforts.” – “Roles and Norms,” Sec. 10.3.2.4.2, NFPA 921 […]

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Tags: Verandah

Les fleurs du mal

February 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The scene was in a wild ravine. First I saw piles of brightly colored silk gowns and black conical hats. Many of the corpses also appeared to wear Western-style clothing. In these mounds of ruffled clothing, I could also see parts of bodies, a head here, an arm there. While the company was somewhere between […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Suffer the children

February 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“I recall one day finding this little girl who couldn’t have been more than eight, trodding down the road crying hard. In her hands she carried a rusty tin of water. We tried to stop her because she was entering a dangerous area. She tried to get away from us; her screaming broke our hearts. […]

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Tags: The Korean War

The answer is, ‘Because.’

February 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“We begged the wounded lad to our front to hang on until morning when we’d be able to take him off the hill. With the first gray light the man lay quiet, then he was still. I lay there helpless, numb, sick clear through. I asked God in his infinite mercy, ‘Why so long?’ The […]

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Tags: The Korean War

A face of battle

February 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“Within a few moments I, too, was hit, first in the right arm, then in the chest. It felt as though I’d been hit in the chest by a sledgehammer. I could not breathe. Somehow, I gasped for air and lay panting until the initial shock wore off. To this day I remember the pain […]

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Tags: The Korean War

The Wrath of God

February 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“I was up on a hill that day at a machine-gun position with a master sergeant named Barber. We saw this long procession of people coming toward our line. I said to Barber, ‘What the devil is happening here?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ So I said, ‘I’ll go and see.’ I went down and […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Last rites

February 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“At this time the kid next to me got hit in the chest. I rolled him over and cut open his jacket looking for the bullet wound. A slug had gone right through his lung, in the front, out the back. There were no corpsmen up to us yet. The kid began to wheeze and […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Death and transfiguration

February 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“I motioned for him to get up and put on his shirt. He gestured he would like his cigarettes. I nodded. After he lit one I marched him to the rear where I met the South Korean police detachment that was assigned to the brigade. To a police sergeant I explained I had orders to […]

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Tags: The Korean War

Alternative facts

February 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“In the late fall of 1961, [President] Kennedy decided to up the ante in the ongoing but still relatively low-key guerilla war in Vietnam. At the time there were only six hundred American advisers in South Vietnam. His was the most dangerous of moves geopolitically. even if at first it was a limited commitment of […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Politics & Law · The Korean War

Just wait until the next one

February 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Perhaps all wars are in some way or another the product of miscalculations. But Korea was a place where almost every key decision on both sides turned on a miscalculation . . . . in the single greatest miscalculation of the war, MacArthur decided to go all the way to the Yalu because he was […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · The Korean War

From here to eternity

February 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“People say that life is short, but it isn’t short, it’s very long. When you make a mistake, you have to live with it for the rest of your life.” – Frank Abagnale (author of Catch Me If You Can)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Verandah

Getting it straight

February 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“The presence or absence of profit opportunities, not the presence or absence of freedom, is what has traditionally determined American policy toward other regimes.” – George Scialabba, “Gag Rule”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law