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 'The American Constitution'

So be careful

December 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“A master is not justified in putting his tow to every test which she will survive, if she be fit. There is a zone in which proper caution will avoid putting her capacity to the proof; a coefficient of prudence that he should not disregard.” – Judge Learned Hand, The T. J. Hooper, Circuit Court […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Some other time

November 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“The morning of the election I thought about what it means to vote for a woman. Voting for a woman felt like voting for respect, for tolerance, for justice, for peace, for empathy, for righteousness, for equality, for color, for movement, for understanding, for listening, for strength, for kindness, for hope, for openness, for braveness, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Proportionality

November 17th, 2017 · No Comments

“When a person exercises a common right, without negligence or malice, to render such action a nuisance, and therefore to hold the defendant liable, it must be such an act in itself as to be a nuisance to all or to a majority of the persons living in the neighborhood, and not simply, by exceptional […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Not to mention the MAD years

November 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“There had been a deep and unsubtle optimism among Americans. The Great Depression and Pearl Harbor created a different sensibility that suspected that prosperity and security were an illusion, with disaster lurking behind them. There was a fear that everything could suddenly go wrong, horribly so, and that people who simply accepted peace and prosperity […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Not so clever by half

November 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“If there is a choice in explaining a government action between a Machiavellian, clever, ingenious plot to achieve that result and sort of blind, bumbling, well-meant incompetence, choose number two all the time.” – Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence (interviewed by Kathy Gilsinan in The Atlantic)

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Distillation

November 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“When we consider the nature and the theory of our institutions of government, the principles upon which they are supposed to rest, and review the history of their development, we are constrained to conclude that they do not mean to leave room for the play and action of purely personal and arbitrary power. Sovereignty itself […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

For those keeping track

November 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“The fourteenth amendment to the constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says: ‘Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ These provisions are universal in their application, to […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The thousand points of light

October 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The hope of mankind does not lie in the action of any corporate body, be it ever so powerful, but in the influence of individual men and women who for the sake of a greater have sacrificed a lesser aim.” – Kenneth Walker, Diagnosis of Man

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Away all boarding parties

September 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“In the Year of Our Lord 1682 To ye aged and beloved, Mr. John Higginson: There be now at sea a ship called Welcome, which has on board 100 or more of the heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. The General Court has […]

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Tags: Economics · The American Constitution

The long way down

July 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“America has no real alternative to continuing imperial decline: the big questions are simply how fast and how peacefully. The problem is that the arms industries will fund any and every Presidential candidate and, whoever wins, those industries will demand to be fed. It is unclear, though, whether Americans at large are willing to accept […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Not just another word

July 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“What is free speech supposed to be free from? Political and legal restrictions, presumably. But commercial fraud, libel, perjury, declaiming in a stranger’s living room, and shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater are all uncontroversially restricted forms of speech, whose boundaries are nevertheless sometimes contested. Those contests are resolved—and hence the boundaries of ‘free’ speech […]

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

Newsmakers

June 26th, 2017 · No Comments

“There is a schizophrenia about the power of the press. At times, we still think of it as an objective bystander, narrating events—and many of its leading practitioners portray it this way. In American democracy, however, the press is part of the policy process. As Washington reporters from top newspapers and the networks know well, […]

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Tags: Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · The Forever War

Not all it’s cracked up to be

June 25th, 2017 · No Comments

“There are few more durable illusions in American life than the omnipotent presidency. For fear of appearing weak, incumbents rarely draw attention to the minimal powers accorded them by the Constitution and established practices of American government. Their critics in Congress and the public avoid mentioning this inconvenient fact because letting the executive off the […]

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Tags: Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · The Forever War

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

As heavy as all that

August 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.” – Dean Young, “Believe in Magic?”

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

And this is why the Internet is free

January 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“Of all the rights of the citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security, and that involves, not merely protection of his person from assault, but exemption of his private affairs, books, and papers, from the inspection and scrutiny of others. Without the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Busybodies on the government payroll

January 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” – Justice Louis […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Catch it if you can

January 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Free speech is your right, if you dare

June 27th, 2015 · No Comments

“The limits on defamation actions for statements made about public figures exist because of concerns for free speech. False statements are bound to be made in the course of vigorous public debate. One of the prerogatives of American citizenship is the right to criticize public men and measures. Such criticism, inevitably, will not always be […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

And the trial is life (that’s also the sentence)

June 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

“I am guilty of the most serious crimes you can be guilty of in America: I was born poor and black” – Ralph Poynter (as quoted by Jean Stevens in “In Defense Of”)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Unintelligible in any language

May 8th, 2015 · No Comments

“The minute you read something and you can’t understand it, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer. Then if you give it to another lawyer to read and he don’t know just what it means, why then you can be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.” – […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The American Constitution

Assuming that’s its purpose

May 6th, 2015 · No Comments

“A litigation system must be workable. It does little to advance underlying policy goals to have a system that is too complex for trial courts and jurors—who in the last analysis are linchpins in our litigation system—to implement.” – Kenneth S. Abraham and Albert Clark Tate, Jr., compilers, A Concise Restatement of Torts

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

No citations to brickbats

April 29th, 2015 · No Comments

“Self-help may be resorted to, not only to reveal the falsity of the defamatory statement and to vindicate the reputation, but also to punish the defamer and retaliate against him. In earlier times the principal method of this type of self-help was the clan or blood feud. It was supplanted for a time by the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

In my profession, we call it ‘extortion by lawsuit’

April 28th, 2015 · No Comments

“Defamation actions have not infrequently been brought—or jury verdicts have been rendered, irrespective of the plaintiff’s motivation in bringing the action—not to compensate for actual pecuniary loss or to vindicate the plaintiff, but instead to cudgel the defendant and to mulct him for substantial damages that may be like a windfall to the plaintiff.” – […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

And it’s not cricket

January 19th, 2015 · No Comments

“Conduct calculated to intimidate and distract those who, though in an adversarial position, have independent responsibilities and important roles in the effective administration of justice cannot be countenanced. The adversary system depends on the effectiveness of adversary counsel. Our rules of procedure are designed in large measure to bring to litigation adversaries who have an […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Remaining within the four corners

January 14th, 2015 · No Comments

“The authoritative statement is the statutory text, not the legislative history or any other extrinsic material. Extrinsic materials have a role in statutory interpretation only to the extent they shed a reliable light on the enacting Legislature’s understanding of otherwise ambiguous terms. Not all extrinsic materials are reliable sources of insight into legislative understandings, however, […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Not just another lawyer

January 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Sounds like an altogether better prospect

December 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“There are two extremes equally dangerous to liberty. These are tyranny and anarchy. The medium between these two is the true government to protect the people.” – James Iredell, July 30, 1788 (quoted in Debate on the Constitution, Part Two, ed. Bailyn; emphases in original)

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution