The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Give them an inch

July 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a bastard kind of generosity, which being extended to all men, is as fatal to society, on one hand, as the want of true generosity is on the other. A lax manner of administering justice, falsely termed moderation, has a tendency both to dispirit public virtue, and promote the growth of public evils.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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From each, according to ability

July 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Nature, in the arrangement of mankind, has fitted some for every service in life: were all soldiers, all would starve and go naked, and were none soldiers, all would be slaves.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Good luck with that

July 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“It is a much pleasanter task to prevent vice than to punish it, and, however our tempers may be gratified by resentment, or our national expenses eased by forfeited estates, harmony and friendship is, nevertheless, the happiest condition a country can be blest with.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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The map of memory

July 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“Were a man to be totally deprived of memory, he would be incapable of forming any just opinion; every thing about him would seem a chaos: he would have even his own history to ask from every one; and by not knowing how the world went in his absence, he would be at a loss to know how it ought to go on when he recovered, or rather, returned to it again. In like manner, though in a less degree, a too great inattention to past occurrences retards and bewilders our judgment in everything; while, on the contrary, by comparing what is past with what is present, we frequently hit on the true character of both, and become wise with very little trouble. It is a kind of counter-march, by which we get into the rear of time, and mark the movements and meaning of things as we make our return. There are certain circumstances, which, at the time of their happening, are a kind of riddles, and as every riddle is to be followed by its answer, so those kind of circumstances will be followed by their events, and those events are always the true solution. A considerable space of time may lapse between, and unless we continue our observations from the one to the other, the harmony of them will pass away unnoticed: but the misfortune is, that partly from the pressing necessity of some instant things, and partly from the impatience of our own tempers, we are frequently in such a hurry to make out the meaning of everything as fast as it happens, that we thereby never truly understand it; and not only start new difficulties to ourselves by so doing, but, as it were, embarrass Providence in her good designs.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Famous last words

July 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“An optimist is not the first to shout ‘hurray,’ but the last to shout ‘we’re finished.’ ” – Andrey Stavnitser (quoted by Tim Judah, In Wartime)

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Men are so sensitive and fragile

July 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“She [Olena Maksymenko] was angry. She trained to fight, but she told me that only women with the right connections were being allowed to do so. ‘If there is a choice between a woman with training and a man without, they will choose the man.’ Women like her, she complained, were being shunted into HQ paper-shuffling jobs or detailed to cook for soldiers.” – Tim Judah, In Wartime

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Give it a try

July 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“I believe most men have more courage than they know of, and that a little at first is enough to begin with.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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The propagandist

July 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“A continual circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for truth; and the crime lies not in the believer but the inventor.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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We’ve got it made

July 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“Universal empire is the prerogative of a writer. His concerns are with all mankind, and though he cannot command their obedience, he can assign them their duty.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Let’s hope they’re worthy

July 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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I will drink from this cup

July 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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In other minds, not so much

July 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Another day at the office

July 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“To live beneath the authority of those whom we cannot love, is misery, slavery, or what name you please. In that case, there will never be peace. Security will be a thing unknown, because a treacherous friend in power is the most dangerous of enemies.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters”

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No alternatives

July 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Let our opinions be what they will, truth as to facts should be strictly adhered to.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters”

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Speak your mind

July 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters”

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Follow the money

June 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“The political characters, political dependencies, and political connections of men, being of a public nature, differ exceedingly from the circumstances of private life; and are in many instances so nearly related to the measures they propose, that to prevent our being deceived by the last, we must be acquainted with the first. A total ignorance of men lays us under the danger of mistaking plausibility for principle. Could the wolf bleat like the lamb the flock would soon be enticed into ruin; wherefore to prevent the mischief, he ought to be seen as well as heard. There never was nor ever will be, nor ever ought to be, any important political debate carried on, in which a total separation in all cases between men and measures could be admitted with sufficient safety. When hypocrisy shall be banished from the earth, the knowledge of men will be unnecessary, because their measures cannot then be fraudulent; but until that time come (which never will come) they ought, under proper limitations, to go together. We have already too much secrecy in some things and too little in others. Were men more known, and measures more concealed, we should have fewer hypocrites and more security.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters”

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They’re like that

June 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“In a small village everyone has long memories of other people’s history.” – Tim Judah, In Wartime

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What a fool believes

June 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“What is odd is how much rubbish people believe, disregarding what they must know from their own experiences or those of their families.” – Tim Judah, In Wartime

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Control freaks

June 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell, 1984

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Get it right

June 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“The honesty of the press is as great an object to society as the freedom of it.” – Thomas Paine, “The Forester’s Letters” (emphases in original)

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Shunning the shaming

June 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“As the domestic tranquillity of a nation depends greatly on the chastity of what might properly be called NATIONAL MANNERS, it is often better to pass some things over in silent disdain, than to make use of such new methods of dislike as might introduce the least innovation on that guardian of our peace and safety.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” (emphases in original)

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For instance, kidnapping children and holding them hostage

June 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

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Long live the king

June 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“In free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

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So there

June 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“A government which cannot preserve the peace is no government at all.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

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We can come up with an example

June 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent. Selected from the rest of mankind, their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

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Choose your poison, it chooses you

June 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest ; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” (emphases in original)

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From the specific to the general

June 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which their affections are interested.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

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Knowing the difference

June 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“A long Habit of not thinking a Thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of Custom.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” (emphases in original)

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Keeping and bearing

June 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.” – Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War” (emphases in original)

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Can you hear them calling

June 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

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