Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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As is said here in France:


I'm sure you can get the meaning of that phrase.

Elyas Bakhtiari

Gore definitely shot himself in the foot by so vehemently distancing himself from Clinton. It's hard to speculate though since a Supreme Court vote could have changed the results.

But 2004 was winnable for Democrats. Even after they picked the most dull, uninspiring candidate possible, it was still winnable. Bush was that bad. But the most genius thing Republicans (presumably Rove) did was the gay marriage amendment proposal. They had no realistic intentions of getting it passed, but it stirred up a controversy that brought a lot of social conservatives to the polls.

Add to that the vile Swift Boat Veterans campaign and Kerry's decision to make the campaign about his war record, and I would say Rove could add the 2004 election to his resume.

But even with all of the scandals and Republican losses this year, 2006 won't be any better if Democrats can't get it together.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

Bush was ripe for a fall in 2004. Kerry lost it, not just because he acted like a doormat under Republican criticism and refused to attack Bush's record (early in the campaign particularly) -- these mistakes because he let his advisors tell him how to run the campaign -- but also because he was utterly lacking in charisma.


Richard, do you think that the people realized he was lying about his Faith and therefore, how could he be truthful about anything else to his people?


Jack: mais naturellement.


Karen, I think you have to realize that 2/3's of Americans support legal abortions in the first trimester and, furthermore, would be turned off by a Catholic who not only scrupulously followed every Catholic teaching but intended to legislate that teaching for a largely non-Catholic population. You may not consider John Kerry Catholic, but then again most Catholics use birth control, so . . . .

I believe a liberal Catholic is just as Catholic as a conservative one.

Bottom line: conservative Catholics were never going to vote for any liberal or moderate Democrat anyway, so you guys were squarely in the Republican "base."
Had Kerry done things that would have pleased you, he would have lost a great majority of his most ardent supporters. Kerry needed to get liberals and moderates to vote for him. If he had tried to get conservatives, he would have lost the liberals.

As far as the topic at hand goes, despite my liberal lean on social and environmental issues, and my moderate stance on fiscal issues, my major concern was foreign policy.

This will sound naive to some, but I tend to think that most of the foreign policy screw-ups have occurred. Then and now, I wanted someone committed to a stable Iraqi democracy who would not pull-out prematurely.

We have seen the effect that a rabid base can have on social policy: Terri Schiavo, Constitutional Amendments, the Nuclear Option, Snow-Flake babies, etc.

And frankly, I did not want our foreign policy in the hands of MoveOn and did not feel that Kerry had it in him to do what's necessary in Iraq or to stand-up to his base.

I was very embarrassed by how badly Kerry whooped Bush in the foreign policy debate, however. So, in the end, NOT being in a swing state, I copped out and went third-party for the hell of it. In retrospect, if someone put a gun to my head, though, I think I would pull the lever for Bush. Not happily, but again, I feel that most of the major screw-ups in foreign policy have occurred and that only Bush is committed to making the best out of bad situation. I'm sure he does not want a failed Iraq as his legacy. With Kerry, if it failed, well, just blame it on Bush.

And if it you look at Iraq so far, his instincts to push through the transition to the interim government, the push to have elections on time, the push to have the constitution written on time, all seem to have been well-chosen. As it stands, I really don't see what other major alternative we have to the current strategy of moving the political process forward and training the Iraqi troops. From what I understand, neither Europe nor we really have many troops to spare, and that it would take a massive increase in the number of troops to secure Iraq boot-to-neck-style (a la Mighty Middle's suggestion) (like a million troops). As it stands, the insecurity in Iraq, perversely acts as a goad for them to build up their troops. Maybe a draft is in order, but do you think anyone would support it? And do you think Kerry of all people would institute one?

In any case, I'm not sure that Kerry could be doing better now, and I doubt that he is as committed to victory as Bush is. Maybe we would get more moral support from Europe, but I don't think we would get many troops from them, and I believe they are in fact currently helping us in non-troop areas.


I mostly agree, Adam, but credit where credit is due: "the push to have elections on time" came from Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, not from the Bush Administration.

Elyas Bakhtiari

And frankly, I did not want our foreign policy in the hands of MoveOn and did not feel that Kerry had it in him to do what's necessary in Iraq or to stand-up to his base.

Since when have Democrats had a base? It is Republicans who pander to a base of fanatics.

But what you mentioned has always bothered me. I have heard a lot of people who 1). Dismissed their Democratic social and economic views in favor of foreign policy concerns and 2). Assumed any Democrat would be weak in the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.

Kerry never said he would pull out of Iraq. In fact, he said he would stay the course and bring in a few international friends to help out. You admitted that Bush was responsible for the foreign policy screw ups before the election, so why pick a proven screw-up?


Go Sistani! I'm not a detail-fiend on these issues, so all corrections are appreciated, but doesn't Bush at least deserve credit for agreeing with Sistani and insisting that elections occur on time despite domestic public calls for delay?

Since when have Democrats had a base? It is Republicans who pander to a base of fanatics.

Huh? I agree that the risk of pandering is perhaps less on the part of Democrats given the example of Clinton and Democratic leaders' reluctance to get anywhere near Sheehan, but a base does exist, and I would consider them fanatical.

I receive MoveOn and PFAW emails, God knows why, and I find a lot of their rhetoric to be hyperbolic. And hell, they do raise a boatload of money for Democratic politicians.

Kerry never said he would pull out of Iraq. In fact, he said he would stay the course and bring in a few international friends to help out.

But didn't he make a promise to start bringing troops home within a year? And don't you think Bush's base makes it far easier to "stay the course" than Kerry's? To me it was very easy to imagine Kerry attempting to cobble together something with the UN, start withdrawing troops, and then let the whole thing slowly implode and deteriorate. And if it did, well, it was inevitable. Bush got us in there anyways.

I wasn't alive at the time, but were anti-war activists, or the general public for that matter, dismayed when Vietnam fell, or did they just feel, well, it was going to fall apart anyway?

I agree that at the time it was gamble to vote Bush, but I think many have noted a much stronger diplomatic presence in the second term, Bolton notwithstanding. Remember Bush sucking up to Europe soon after he was elected. There's no more axis-of-evil speeches but lots of talks, talks, talks. I really think he actually HAS learned something.

So to sum up
(1)Bush had a pro-war base that would permit him to stay the course, even in the face of public restlessness and opposition
(2)Bush had legacy reasons not to let the whole thing go up in flames
(3)Kerry had neither of these things and had shown foreign policy weakness in the past by voting against the Reagan buildup and the first Gulf War
(4)Kerry expressed willingness to start bringing some troops home soon
(5)Kerry's toughness, given his background, seemed more like a reasoned political strategy than something, as Bush would say, that he "feels in his core."

I'm sorry but a party whose base includes red-blooded, pickup-driving, deer hunting, gun-owning, and at times jingoistic Americans (I'm none of those things) is much more likely to support continued presence in Iraq rather than a party whose base sometimes sings peans to the Iraqi "resistance" and decries American "Imperialism." Kerry was an anti-war activist, after all, right?


Well, Adam: I had to look up jingoistic- four outta five ain't bad!!! We say Jeezum Crow up here. And deer season starts in about three weeks :)!!

If I ship organic milk, which you know I do, but go against all the policies that would make me organic; then if I get caught, say, using penicillin or hormones or even Bag Balm, for crying out loud... I'm no longer organic. Even if i do these things secretly, i am no more organic than the conventional dude down the lane.

Liberal Catholics would use penicillin if they were organic. Birth control, support abortion (at any time, because no matter the stage of development-it's growing = it's life.) It may not be smart enough or big enough for you to agree me,for the value to be equivilent to your idea of life, but I've always said the only difference between the unborn and the newborn is TIME. We won't rehash, 'k?

I, too, am emabarassed for Bush because the man cannot speak in public. He says all things w/a grin and I think it's nerves. He's uncomfortable as hell. Probably cause he knows there's nothing he can say that will be accepted by the *Left*, w/all due respect, Spud.

What about WMDs? Haven't they found mj bomb building factories and caches of things and evidence of biological use and assembly?


Well it all depends on how you define Catholic. In many ways, I tend to think of Catholic in a similar same way as I do Jewish. Meaning, if you were raised in a Catholic family but no longer practice, you are still Catholic to some degree because you were raised Catholic. I guess I feel that if a person was raised Catholic and still attends mass and doesn't convert to another religion, that person is still Catholic, like John Kerry. As I said, it's in part a cultural thing like Judaism is.

However, let's try a more ambitious case. Let us say there is a person, say Angela, who attends mass as frequently as possible, often daily, recites the rosary several times a week, volunteers in a shelter, believes that salvation comes through Jesus Christ, recognizes Rome as the head of her church, but--in keeping with the theme of the post--believes that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, not because she considers abortion good, but because she believes that a blanket ban on abortion would cause more suffering than good--or would be a LESSER evil--is Angela still a Catholic?

Now, I understand that, technically, I guess the Pope gets to decide who is and isn't Catholic. But even if the pope doesn't consider Angela Catholic, don't you think that she's more Catholic than not? And get this, what if some future Pope lays out different criteria--liberal criteria--then maybe Angela would be Catholic under these criteria.

If you want to deny people the Catholic label and drive them out of the Church if they're unwilling to rigidly adhere to Church Doctrine, well, the Episcopal Church is waiting for them.

I think, however, it is wiser not to force people out. After all, look at the example of Jesus. He certainly wasn't applying a rigid list of criteria against people--the publicans, the prostitutes, and the sinners!

But what I really think you need to do is to distinguish between your goal and your means. Your goal is to limit abortions as much as possible, right? From what I understand, abortion rates are actually a lot higher in some foreign countries where abortion is ILLEGAL. Seriously, what if banning abortion is like prohibition? Would you approve a ban on abortion if it would actually increase the abortion rate? Or if it would only reduce the number of abortions by a very small amount? Would creating a black market and forcing women to bear children against their will, not to mention the huge cost of law enforcement be worth a neglible decrease in the abortion rate?

I know, to you, a life is a life is a life, and murder is murder is murder. But, to speak frankly, this kind of "principled," dogmatic attitude that completely ignores real-world consequences really, excuse my French, fucks up this country and the world big-time.

Why? Because this firm insistence on principle obstructs the very gains you desire. Once on C-SPAN, I saw this fairly conservative bioethicist, appointed by Bush, lament how the intransigence of the pro-life movement prevented anything from being done to legislate cloning. Certain pro-life groups and representatives were obstructing the passage of a bill that would regulate cloning because it was not stringent enough. However, the Democrats and moderate Republicans would not sign such a stringent bill. Therefore, do you know what happened? Nothing passed at all, even though everyone agreed that we should have at least moderate restriction because the hard pro-life side refused to sign onto anything that was not EXACTLY as they wanted it.

I think it would do well for you to study the case of Ireland. As I understand it, for quite some time, they were living under a Pope-acracy, under strict Catholic law. No condoms, no birth control, etc. However, relativly recently, the whole thing collapsed and just legions and legions of young people left the Catholic Church because it was too strict.

(Some conservatives favor a smaller, purer Church, but is this really Christian? Is this spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth? I have no problem if the Church says, ideally, people should not use condoms, etc. But if they turn people out of the church for these and similar matters, how are you fostering the purpose of Jesus? I think it's fine to say "this is better" and "this is best," but I have a problem with "must.")

And look at Iran. From what I understand, a lot of the kids there party and drink (Muslim kids drinking!) and are atheists--and all this in a THEOCRACY.

Bottom line: you can't force people to be moral. It will likely backfire as it did in Prohibition, Ireland, and Iran.

In many ways, I feel that the staunch inflexible pro-life side is in cahoots with NARAL to PREVENT stricter abortion laws. Meaning, you guys shoot yourself in the foot to some extent. By insisting on everything, you get nothing.

Most people, Democrat and Republican want to reduce the abortion rate. Most everyone who is pro-choice knows of the fetus pictures and the grotesque details and has heard a life is a life is a life, but they STILL are pro-choice--for practical reasons. I don't believe people should drink, but I don't support prohibition. Likewise, I don't favor abortions, but I don't support a blanket ban.
Point being, your arguments have convinced all the people that they're going to convince and you're very unlikely to get many more staunch pro-lifers. Think about it. 2/3's! of the population support abortion in the first trimester! However, almost everyone would like to drop the abortion rate.

Second and final bottom line: if pro-life people focused their efforts on people VOLUNTARILY not having abortions and limited their LEGAL efforts to only the extreme cases--third trimester for instance--you would be much more successful. People vote for pro-choice politicians not because they like abortion, but because they're afraid that the pro-life politicians secretly desire, or overtly desire, to ban all abortions at all times--and to hell with the black market, to hell with the costs of law enforcement,and to hell with what women want. The take-home message is that when you insist on everything, you may walk home with nothing.


Hey, dude... I thought we weren't going to get into it???

OK. You are, for the most part, correct in what you say... and I think that if Roe V Wade were overturned, then the states laws kick in. Good. I like this, because then we (and maybe even you, Adam) can slowly pull in the reins of abortion, which right now are legal to TERM (well, maybe 38 weeks).

i pick on Kerry because he is a public figure... he is advocating against the Church for all the world to see when he votes for Laws against the teachings of the Church. Do you actually think I am judgemental and stupid enough to start kicking people out of my Church when we all get along by Grace? None of us deserve to be there?

I think Angela is a great person, BTW. she isn't flaunting her faith for the world to see, though. Hell, Kerry is staying and I have no say and- no- I don't know his heart. That doesn't mean I have to like him or respect his disrespect of his fellow sheep(baabaaah) and his Sheperd.

Just because you know i believe life should be valued equally from conception doesn't mean I can't converse and compromise to lessen the use of abortion slowly. God, you must think me pretty ridged, eh? Do I seem that way?

I doubt as many Catholics are pro-abortion as you believe, but birth control is another thing-many, many Catholics disregard this *open to life* teaching. What, would i kick them out of the Church, too? We all belong-just don't freaken' flaunt the opposing position as if it were what the Church represents, as well. (Kerry, Leahy, Kennedy)

I just want you to know that i am very far from perfect, Adam. I have always seen the log in my eye. Sin isn't biased, it gets to us all.

Besides,I'm a Centrist wannabe, remember? ;)


Well Karen, you always seem to bring up abortion in almost any conversation. And I've seen you write many times things like: ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. PERIOD. Almost out of nowhere.

And since you call out Kerry numerous times on his Catholicism, so, to be honest, you DO seem very rigid--at least on this issue. Your continuing participation with us heretics and your response show otherwise, though. Nonetheless, always bringing up abortion and always doing so in a very strict manner does indeed make you look like a bit of a nut. I don't say this to be rude, but I'm the kind of person who believes a friend needs to be honest with a friend.

And you do seem to listen to right-wing radio too much. I mean WMD's--what? If there were really clear evidence, I'm very sure Bush and co. would be trumpeting it, not changing the subject--and I consider myself pro-war. A little NPR might balance you out. I dunno.

In the case of Kerry, he never said the Church was wrong, he even said that he believed abortion was wrong, according to his faith; however, he didn't feel that he could LEGISLATE his faith for others. It's fine if you don't like him--I liked him primarily because he was articulate and, I have to admit, socially liberal.

I must have really been effective if you now want to be a centrist!

In any case, here is a very clear way of explaining my point.

Consider this thought experiment. Two presidents are given the same (and sizable) budget to tackle the problem of abortion.
(1)The first president is a staunch pro-lifer who manages to outlaw abortion throughout the country. The budget is used to enforce this law.

(2)The other president is a centrist who believes that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. He (or maybe someday she!) uses the same budget to invest in programs to reduce the abortion rate. He also manages to pass moderate restrictions on abortion.

The question is under which president would the abortion rate be lower? (Remember that people will still have abortions EVEN if it is illegal.) My money is on the centrist. Unless the buget is absolutely gargantuan and we send out the secret police to monitor women, the centrist will be more effective.

So to be parabolic: who has done the Lord's work? The centrist who claims to be pro-choice but actually reduces the abortion rate significantly, or the pro-lifer who only moderately reduces it and at the same time leaves a black market and crime in the wake of his policy?

I think we always need to keep our eye on results, not principles. The staunch pro-lifer has this problem: Many of them imagine that a ban would solve all of their problems, and the abortion rate would drop to zero. What they fail to realize is that laws mean NOTHING if people do not want to follow them. Therefore, the wise pro-lifer aims to get people to voluntarily forego abortion rather than ban it. Why? Because principle means NOTHING if more kids are aborted.

The wise pro-lifer doesn't care about whether abortion is legal or illegal. She cares about the abortion RATE: she cares about saving lives. Therefore, she adopts the most EFFECTIVE strategy possible: that is (I believe) moderate legal restrictions, intelligent government programs, and CULTURAL initiatives.

(As an aside, I think for this to work, condoms MUST be a part. Why? Because people both want to have sex and don't want to have kids. The Pope needs to understand LESSER evil. If he wants to say that condom use is not ideal, fine. But for God's sake, you're really cutting off your most effective tool for reducing abortion if you foreswear condom use. It's the thing about demanding everything and getting nothing. I'm all for people exercising sexual restraint, but until everyone embraces monastic discipline, we need to be PRACTICAL. Condoms may not be "kosher" but certainly it's better to use a condom than have an abortion or have a kid you can't feed.)

So try to wrap your head around that. Centrist pro-choicers may actually be more anti-abortion than pro-lifers--in terms of results! Tell that to the pro-life crowd. And realize you can still think abortion is muder no matter the stage and adopt a centrist STRATEGY. I'm not asking you to change your beliefs. I'm talking solely about strategy.

If people could focus more on results than on principles, I think the world would be much better off. Osama Bin Laden and Stalin, I'm sure are (were) quite principled. I'm not against principles, but I think they need to be used as guidelines not inflexible rules. Principles and laws are only one tool in the moral toolbox and must be applied with skill.

[Dumb little intellectual exercise:

To flesh this out in terms of categories, a person would have two designators to indicate their position on abortion.

Moral Position:
0=abortion is morally neutral (pro-abortion)
5=abortion is usually the wrong (or right) decision half the time (ambivalent)
10=abortion is always wrong (anti-abortion)

Legal Position
5=moderate restrictions and a desire to reduce abortion rate voluntarily (centrist)
10=complete ban (legalist).

So I guess, I'm an ambivalent centrist with anti-abortion leanings. I hope I've convinced you to be an anti-abortion centrist, Karen. But maybe not.]


Karen said, "I doubt as many Catholics are pro-abortion as you believe, but birth control is another thing-many, many Catholics disregard this *open to life* teaching. What, would i kick them out of the Church, too? We all belong-just don't freaken' flaunt the opposing position as if it were what the Church represents, as well. (Kerry, Leahy, Kennedy)"

I doubt very much that people of any faith and even atheists, are actually *pro-abortion*. The abortion debate when you reduce it to the lowest common dominator, is whether abortion should be legal or not, and not about whether one is anti-abortion or pro-abortion.To judge Kerry, Leahy and Kennedy as bad Catholics, because they don't believe abortion should me made illegal has nothing to do with whether they are good or bad Catholics. I don't pretend to be a good Christian, but I do believe that Christ preached not to judge others. I haven't seen any evidence that the three you mentioned, are any less of a Christian than the politicians you admire.


I don't think you're giving Rove enough credit. The fact that these guys managed to get gay marriage initatives on so many ballots (11 states, I believe)..pulling out the Christian conservative voters was a huge boon for them.

Second, there is evidence of malfeasance on the part of the voting in Ohio, most noteably toward the GOP. While I understand that most people right it off as "conspiratorial", it's there, and may have in fact tipped Ohio to Bush. Similar malfeasance probably occured in Florida, too.

That's not to say that Kerry wasn't an uninspiring candidate. He was. But undoubtedly the Dems could have chosen another Clinton and would still have had trouble.


That should say "most people WRITE it off"...

This is what happens when you get annoyed at the GOP. LOL


Carla -- yeah, that's why I once typo'd "Repuglicans"!

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