The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries Tagged as 'Economics'

Slipping away

May 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“In his attempt to keep planning for the war as closely held as possible, Lyndon Johnson would not give accurate economic projections, would not ask for a necessary tax raise, and would in fact have his own military planners be less than candid with his own economic planners . . . . The reasons for […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Economics · Politics & Law · The Vietnam War

Play balls

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Westy [General and former Eagle Scout William C. Westmoreland] at the Cercle Sportif, playing his last tennis game, at the end lining up the little Vietnamese urchins who had served as ball boys, street-tough from some of the meanest streets in the world, unlikely candidates for Eagle Scouts, learning the black-market rate before they learned […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Economics · Politics & Law · The Vietnam War

Crusts for the little people

May 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“If we get into this war I know what’s going to happen. Those damn conservatives are going to sit in Congress and they’re going to use this war as a way of opposing my Great Society legislation. . . . They hate this stuff, they don’t want to help the poor and the Negroes but […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Economics · Politics & Law · The Vietnam War

You can’t get there from here

April 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“To make it in America, to rise, there has to be some sort of propellant; sheer talent helps, but except in very rare instances, talent is not enough. Money helps, family ties and connections; for someone without these the way to the power elite can seem too far, too hopeless the challenge.” – David Halberstam, […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Economics

You can’t buy that

April 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“When Jefferson opposed the spread of manufacturing, Jackson opposed a centralized financial system, Lincoln criticized wage labor, the Progressives criticized the trusts, and numerous states tried to halt the spread of chain stores, they did so not only for reasons of distributive justice, but even more from a desire to preserve the material conditions of […]

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Tags: Abraham Lincoln · Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law · Thomas Jefferson

The house always wins

April 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“The romantic, reckless, very lucky Colonel John Charles Fremont stumbled down into northern Nevada from Oregon in 1843. Against all advice, he decided to cross the Sierras in winter. It was a mild winter, so he discovered Lake Tahoe and returned East in glory to write a best-selling account of the expedition. Three years later […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Drones for what?

April 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“I think foreign policy should definitely be taken out of men’s hands. Men should continue making machines, but women ought to decide which machines ought to be made. Women have far better sense. They would never have introduced the internal combustion engine or any of the evil machines. Most kitchen machines, for example, are good; […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · W. H. Auden

How that all turned out

April 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“In 1900 there were grounds for optimism about the coming century. Apart from bloody but brief contests between Prussia and Austria and Prussia and France, Europe had been at peace since Napoleon. The first great age of industrialization had vastly increased national wealth and standards of living throughout Western Europe and North America. A moderate […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Traveling light

April 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Own nothing! Possess nothing! Buddha and Christ taught us this, and the Stoics and the Cynics. Greedy though we are, why can’t we seem to grasp that simple teaching? Can’t we understand that with property we destroy our soul? . . . Own only what you can carry with you: know languages, know countries, know […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Economics · Lit & Crit · Verandah

The end of the world and we missed it

March 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“All too often ‘modernity’ has meant nothing more than the assault of capitalism on tradition, with enlightenment nowhere in view. Commodification, wage labor, and mass production have drastically undermined craft, regional, ethnic, religious, and even familial loyalties and virtues, substituting only the abstract disciplines of the market. Industrial capitalism may be readier than traditional societies […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

No matter how little sense they may make

March 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Because old beliefs are not simply displaced but persist within new ones, dominant ideologies cannot be merely refuted but must be demystified, which means that their plausibility must be acknowledged and accounted for.” – George Scialabba, “Moneybags Must Be So Lucky”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

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

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

Look behind you

January 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“I’m always more intrigued with the story no one is telling than the story everyone is telling.” – Liz Ann Sonders, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

No trespassing

January 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“In the premodern world, control reached to points and the lines connecting them; there simply was not enough prevention of motion to go around to cover an entire plane and bring it all under control. In the modern world, this changed, and the topology was inverted: control reached everywhere, and only isolated points were left […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

No pasaran

January 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“Define, on the two-dimensional surface of the earth, lines across which motion is to be prevented, and you have one of the key themes of history.” – Reviel Netz, Barbed Wire

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Small and determined to stay that way

January 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“Theirs was the America of the turn of the century, an America of sound business practices and old-fashioned virtues, of which they were exemplars. They did not owe money and did not depend on the government to employ them. They were the town leaders in an era when that leadership was almost exclusively white, male, […]

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

Same as it ever is

January 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“Probably as good a date as any for the beginning of World War II is July 1937, when Chinese troops clashed with Japanese invaders near Beijing, close to the Chinese-Manchurian border. If nothing else, it surely ended any hope of the rise of a modern, semi-democratic China under Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist or Guomindang Party, the […]

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Tags: David Halberstam · Economics · Politics & Law · The Korean War · The Second World War

Pissing with the big dogs now

January 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“Truman and his administration had spanned a critical moment in American history. America was changing, like it or not, from the America that had been, that is, the America that was powerful but did not yet know it and was hesitant to use its industrial muscularity internationally, to the America that would be America the […]

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

Blind being led by the blinded

January 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“Dwell on the past an you’ll lose an eye. Forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes.” – Russian proverb (quoted by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago)

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Garret troopers

January 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“The United States would go to war [in Korea] totally unprepared. The first American units thrown into battle were poorly armed, in terrible shape physically, and, more often than not, poorly led. The mighty army that had stood victorious in two great theaters of war, Europe and Asia, just five years earlier was a mere […]

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

Good luck with all that

December 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“To make the United States an effective democracy – to shift control over the state from the centers of financial and industrial power, now global in reach, to broadly based, self-financed and self-governing groups of active citizens with only average resources – will take several generations, at least. This is a daunting prospect for just […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

The still, calm center

December 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“In a violent, distracted, media-saturated world the most needed artistic resource is no longer a critique of the possibility of meaning—mass culture itself has become that critique. What is needed, rather, is the production of meaning that resists distraction. Consumer capitalism thrives by simultaneously creating human loneliness and commodifying a thousand cures for it. One […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Vizarts

The tired, the poor, the huddled masses

December 9th, 2016 · No Comments

“Who are the poor, and what do they need? 1.1 billion people have less than $1 a day of income. This is officially designated ‘extreme’ poverty. Another 1.6 billion have between $1 and $2 a day; this is ‘moderate’ poverty. This large slice of humankind either cannot, or can just barely, meet their basic needs. […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Living the lie

December 8th, 2016 · No Comments

“It is often said these days that America is a Christian country. If that’s true, then a great many Americans should be worried about their eternal salvation. According to Jesus, when He returns to settle accounts at the Last Judgment, He will separate the sheep from the goats, telling the goats: ‘Go, you damned souls, […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Other Stuff · Politics & Law

Slaughter in context

December 5th, 2016 · No Comments

“The U.S. in 1945 was a prisoner of great industrial decisions taken years earlier, in quite different strategic circumstances. In 1942, the commitment to build the B-29 long-range bomber was entirely rational. The programme reached technological maturity and large-scale production too late to make a decisive impact on the war. Yet it was asking far […]

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

Silent service

December 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

“By early 1945, Japan’s ability to provide raw materials for its industries, and even to feed itself, was fatally crippled. The nation could import by sea no more than a fraction of its requirements. An invisible ring of steel extended around the waters of the home islands, created by the submarines of the U.S. Navy. […]

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Tags: Economics · Max Hastings · The Second World War

Until they all fall down

December 1st, 2016 · No Comments

“The post-1972 take-off of financialization coincided with advances in computing capacity and the discovery of new mathematical techniques for valuing options and constructing derivatives. To begin with, these techniques were used mainly to reduce uncertainty and hedge currency risk. But before long it became clear that derivative swaps could be used to bamboozle tax authorities […]

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Tags: Economics · Robin Blackburn