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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michael Reynolds

I'm going to have to apply my ten year rule to this.

At the point where you hear the dread phrase "A new study shows . . ." you start a ten year clock. During those ten years you have to ignore whatever the new study showed.

At the end of ten years the bell goes "ding!" and you are then free to believe the no-longer-new study. If you still want to.


And if there's been more confirming evidence -- one of your favorite words!

In fact, this finding will be ignored on the macro scale of sewage treatment plants, because it's just too expensive to put in systems that filter this stuff out unless it's proven that it's causing impotence and autism.

Will it be ignored on the personal level? Almost certainly. Environmental zeal has a limiting NIMBY factor (not in my booty, y'all).

Well, whatever happens to us, you know, we have it coming.


Great job Amba, and so quick too. Very impressive.

Believe it or not I'm not invested in discrediting the pill on environmental grounds -- the spiritual pollution is even worse in my opinion, but that's a topic for a different post. But I do find environmental harm that causes deformation of the reproductive system scarier than pollution that causes disease, such as cancer. It's creepy to think of an animal that is some bizarre mix of male and female, and it would be orders of magnitude creepier if we started to see large number of children born that way. (Flannery O'Connor has a short story, called "The Temple of the Holy Ghost," that features a person who is a mix of male and female and works in a carnival freak show. The person tells the audience: "God made me thisaway and if you laugh He may strike you the same way. This is the way He wanted me to be and I ain't disputing his way. I'm showing you because I got to make the best of it".)

Science can never free itself from moral and political questions (contrary to what embryonic stem cell research advocates often say) and this issue is no exception to the rule. There is no doubt that orthodox Catholics have siezed on this to discredit the pill, which they hate. But by the same token I have no doubt that the liberal culture machine that has given us the anti-global warming campaign will seek to spin the science on this issue so as to defend the pill.

Kevin Fleming

I heard Professor Tyrone B. Hayes of the Department of Integrative Biology at Berkeley talk about this; he's done quite a bit of research on role of steroid hormones in amphibian development, inlcuding pesticides like atrazine.

"A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows that the herbicide atrazine disrupts sexual development in frogs at alarmingly low exposure levels–30 times lower than what the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits in drinking water. Atrazine is the nation's, and possibly the world's, most commonly used pesticide.

Male frogs exposed to atrazine were demasculinized–the frog tadpoles grew ovaries in the testes and their levels of testosterone declined significantly, according to the University of California, Berkeley scientists who conducted the study. Other side effects include smaller than normal voice boxes and stunted reproduction.

More than 60 million pounds of the herbicide, used primarily on corn and soybean fields, were applied last year in the United States alone. Atrazine is now widespread in the environment, and has been detected in rainwater, snow runoff, and ground water.

"This is a red flag for children's environmental health," says Dr. Jennifer Sass, a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior scientist. "The report shows that atrazine is causing cells to stimulate aromatase activity, an enzyme which converts the male hormone testosterone to the female hormone estrogen. Humans also have aromatase, and it functions in this same way."

The EPA is currently re-evaluating allowable levels of atrazine in drinking water, which currently is much higher than the doses that caused the effects in frogs."


This is such a great post, thanks! I'm trying to come up with a silly comment about Al Gore and the size of his Chilean Sea Bass, but I can't quite make it.

michael Reynolds

It's creepy to think of an animal that is some bizarre mix of male and female, and it would be orders of magnitude creepier if we started to see large number of children born that way.

Yeah. Priests wouldn't know who to molest.


Actually, the first studies I saw (years ago!) about the deformed fish implicated synthetic estrogen . . . from cattle herds.

I expect that you could alter (possibly negatively) the ecology of any body of water downstream from any artifically large population of anything. People. Cattle. Anything. And it wouldn't even take hormones (synthetic or otherwise) to do it. And hasn't.

None of which is to say that synthetic hormones from birth control pills may not have contributed to the problem. But before getting too huffy about the lack of publicity, it might be well to look at how big a part of the problem they actually are. Certainly not the whole thing. And if they are 1% of the problem, any sensible ecological organization would concentrate on the bigger causes -- from good sense, not base motives.


I'd have said the same, wj, till I read that the guy at the Mote -- who would be a straight-up scientist -- said synthetic estrogens are "one of the most concerning," and stronger than the natural kind. It's all a bit perplexing -- I don't know much about what they make b.c. pills out of. In HRT, of course, the primary ingredient was Premarin, the name of which is derived from its source -- "pregnant mare urine." (How that stuff was factory-farmed is another pitiful story.) Is that "synthetic" or natural? How many women took that before its cover was blown (it's associated with a higher rate of breast cancer and heart disease), and how many still take it short-term, to get through menopause?

Peter Hoh

"High Windows." Lovely poem. I've pushed Larkin on this blog before, haven't I?


Fascinating information, some of which I've recalled reading in various places in obscure little articles in recent years.

I remember talking with a Cal Tech scientist a few years ago about synthetic pharmaceuticals. He was part of a group of scientists world-wide who had very real reservations about synthetic drugs for humans for other reasons. I can imagine he might have little difficulty accepting some of the concerns in this research.

I do like michael's ten year rule as I'm always cautious about research. I do believe, however, that chemicals account for far more problems in humans than is readily discussed. How much direct cause and effect is present is often the difficult to discern.


Interesting post, Amba. Puts a whole new slant on the fishing lure technology and marketing. (What color and pattern is appealing to YOUR sentinel species this season?)

The interesting part for the scientists is a whole new industry to cull dollars for diatrabes.

Current wastewater treatment standards call for 30ppm solids, 30ppm biological oxygen demand and 5-7% dissolved oxygen levels at effluent release to rivers. Inland stream levels require 10ppm on the solids/ BOD levels.

The metrics in the published studies are Lab Levels that do not extrapolate easily to the eco-scale that we live in. The male/ female ratios are simply a random sampling level and do not relate in ANY scale other than "creating a cause".

Ten years of study will definitely gnerate income potential for lots of folks. Maybe we should brainstorm a T-shirt business for this.

It was so odd to see the Catholic slant on this one, but then again, Jesus was a fisherman.


Michael, the gratuitous anti-Catholic remark is noted. Not that it will change your opinion about anything, but, fyi, the prevalance of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is not different than that by clergy of other religions and probably is, and even at its worst was, lower than that that currently exists among school teachers in our public schools. Obviously sexual abuse of children, particularly when committed by clergy, is a very ugly thing. But the sanctimony about it with regard to the Catholic Church, and the thinly veiled hatred behind that sanctimony, have also been quite ugly in their own way.


Dan, I think any reasonable person will agree that priests, teachers, and any other authority figure who molests those who are in their charge is a bad person. The angst that most people feel (myself included) is sanctimonious manner in whick the Catholic Church as an institution moved the pedophies from Parish to Parish and played out all of their legal remedies until they were painted in a corner of liability (versus, say, practicing what they preach)and stopping the infection in the church worldwide. Credibility is earned ... not deigned.

michael reynolds

I was wondering what was taking you so long to accuse me of hating Catholics.

Actually it's pedophiles I dislike. And I'd love for you to name the school district that has been bankrupted by pedophilia cases as so many dioces have been. Then perhaps you can point to some other institution whose hierarchy regularly protected its molesters.


The reason no school district has been bankrupted is that the statute of limitations against public entities is extremely short -- typically 6 months. In California the statute of limitatations for sexual abuse was eliminated -- except for the public schools, which remain protected by a 6 month statute of limitations. This means that if a kid doesn't sue by the time he is 18 and 1/2 years old, he can forget about it. By contrast, the Archiocese of Los Angeles was sued for cases going back 70 years.

The Department of Education commissioned Charol Shakeshaft, a professor at Hofstra University, to conduct a study of how extensive sexual abuse is in the public schools. She concluded that sexual abuse is probably more widespread in the schools than it was in the Catholic Church. It has also been reported that the reaction of school administrators often has been just like that of some bishops: in the face of a claim against a teacher, the teacher would often be moved rather than terminated. We all know of course how nasty the teachers' union can be if a teacher is terminated without the utmost proof of wrongdoing.

If you Google "Charol Shakeshaft" and study the reaction to her findings, you will find that the general take was "oh, she's exagerating" or "it's not as bad as she says." A reaction, I submit, that would be condemned with the utmost outrage if it were that of a bishop to an analogous report of a problem of abuse within the Church. I can also predict Michael Reynolds' reaction to the information that I am providing concerning the public schools: denial. The very sort of denial that got some bishops in so much trouble.

Just as outrage about environmental harm seems to evaporate if the pill is implicated, outrage about sexual abuse and professed concern "for the children" seems to evaporate if it can't be blamed on the Catholic Church.

michael Reynolds


You quote a single study by a single professor. On the other side of the ledger, literally billions in judgments. And you provide no evidence whatever on the question of reactions by heirarchies, just assumptions. "It has also been reported" doesn't amount to much.

In any case, "they did it too," really isn't very compelling as a moral argument made on behalf of God's church, is it? If priests were busily murdering people would you be arguing that "the bloods and crips do it, too."

We had a molestation case at a local private school here. The instant administrators learned of it they moved against the man and called police. They caught him as he fled. The administrators then contacted every parent at the school. They paid for counselling for the children involved. They were completely open with the media. They redoubled their vigilance.

A year later, when we applied to that school, the admissions person made a point of reminding us of the incident and proceeded to tell us how they had changed their procedures.

Of course those are just the actions of secular teachers and school administrators. Not the actions of men of God. Had the school administrators followed the typical bishop's standards, they would have simply moved the teacher in question to an affiliated school and savaged the victims.

Why you feel the need to defend the indefensible is a question only you can answer. But if you imagine that the rest of society is going to simply ignore, or quickly forget, the systematic cover-up of literally thousands of molestation cases, and the cruelty toward the victims, that has been repeatedly shown by Catholic leaders, you need to think again.

Catholicism may be your faith but it is also an institution. The institution may fairly be criticized (or at least that's what Martin Luther thought.) To criticize priests who not only molested children, but covered up that molestation, perpetuated that molestation, and attacked the vicims of that molestation, is not bigotry, it is simply a question of holding an institution accountable for contemptible behavior. Sorry, but the jokes are not anywhere close to going away.


I was right: denial -- "You quote a single study by a single professor." You are outraged -- outraged! -- about bishops turning a blind eye to sexual abuse but when presented with evidence of sex abuse in the schools you, like many others, do precisely the same thing.

I'm not arguing "they did it too" excuses the conduct of priests who molested. The issue isn't whether what they did is wrong, it obviously was and is. The issue is whether your joke reflected bigotry, and it does. Let us suppose that the press covered only sex abuse that was committed by rabbis and dutifully ignored sex abuse committed by others, to such an extent that people started make jokes equating rabbis with sex offenders. We would rightfully call that severe anti-semitism. Just as your joke was equally offensive anti-Catholicism.

michael Reynolds

Wow. So your argument is "I predicted you would deny the validity of my suspect evidence!" And therefore, ta da, you are a bigot. Yeah. That's totally going to work for you.

If the Reformed Jews or Orthodox Jews or Lutherans (pick a synod, any synod) or Baptists or atheists or Rotarians or ny other group routinely covered up wide spread molestation by its members, you know what? I'd be making mordant jokes about them.

Your pretense of victimization is absurd.


More denial. A Department of Education study done by Hofstra University professor is "suspect evidence." Catholic bishops have been severely castigated for turning a blind eye to much weaker evidence.

"If the Reformed Jews or Orthodox Jews or Lutherans (pick a synod, any synod) or Baptists or atheists or Rotarians or ny other group routinely covered up wide spread molestation by its members, you know what? I'd be making mordant jokes about them."

First of all, it is misleading to assert that Catholic bishops "covered up wide spread molestation." In some cases they were not aggressive enough in removing priests from ministry, often because the evidence against the priest at the time seemed to be to some degree uncertain or because the bishop believed that therapy had been effective. Errors in judgment of this sort do not constitute "covering up widespread molestation." In fact, such errors are, on a moral level, less egregious than the blind eye you turn toward the evidence of sex abuse in the public schools.

Second of all, you don't know what has happened among other non-Catholic clergy. You simply don't know. There is no reason to suppose the situation has been different in other religions. In fact, it is sheer bigotry to suppose that Catholics are somehow predisposed to covering up sexual abuse. A bigotry reflected in your "joke."

Finally, here is what an article on a website (The Awareness Center)about sexual abuse by Jewish clergy says:

"Over the years there have been many reasons why the Jewish Community kept silent about sexual crimes committed by individuals in our community. To this day there is a legitimate reason why we may want to remain silent. We have to remember that there is a large number of hate groups that would love to promote their propaganda by posting information about Jews who molest on their web pages and publications. Their eagerness is a reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and thriving.

Since the beginning of time, Jews around the world have been watched as if we were under a microscope. We can't ignore this fact. The question is what should we do? Can we afford to expose our vulnerabilities and show the rest of the world that we are also human? The truth is that we have a choice. We can choose to live in fear, or we can allow survivors of childhood sexual abuse a voice, so that we can take steps to make the necessary changes to heal our community.

When it comes to sexual abuse in any community (Jewish or non-Jewish), "silence is NOT golden." Things will never change unless we bring attention to the problem and work as a community to come up with solutions. In the secular world there is often talk about all sorts of issues (i.e. civil rights, anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and other forms of violence). We need to remember that whenever anyone wants to make a difference, make changes to the status quo, there will always be someone or a group of people who will attempt to destroy the efforts. Look at slavery, women's rights, democracy. Without taking risks, nothing would have changed. Without taking risks, our children WILL continue to risk sexual abuse from within our community."

The Jewish concern that the sex abuse issue will be used as a pre-text for anti-semitism is not unfounded. Just look at what has been done to the Catholics. (And, by the way, it is not the first time. The Nazis engaged in a similar persecution of the Church 1930s -- then too they trumpeted sex abuse by Catholic clergy to attempt to discredit the Church.) While the Jewish situation and the Catholic situation are not identical, the article that I've quoted above, written by Vicki Polin, strongly suggests that, with regard to reporting of sex abuse, the Jewish religious community has many of the same issues that the Catholic religious community has had. And there is no reason to suppose that Jews and Catholics are different in regard to concern about sex abuse unless, of course, one is a bigot and thinks otherwise.

michael Reynolds

So, where are the billion dollar judgements against other denominations?

You rationalized the lack of such findings against schools by citing one state where statutes of limitations were a factor. Obviously such statutes of limitation don't apply to any other religious denomination. Right? I mean, we didn't write laws that created different statutes of limitation by denomination. Right?

So where are the lawsuits? Where are the diocesan or synod bankruptcies? Where are the 660 million dollar judgments?

Are we to believe that only Catholics are litigious in these cases? After all the accusations come entirely from Catholics. The victims are Catholics, are they no? Catholic children. It's not Jews or agnostics accusing priests, it's your co-religionists. True or not?

How very telling it is that you show such concern for the heirarchy -- a heirarchy that has admitted to transferring pedophiles from one molestation opportunity to another.

I accuse the Catholic heirarchy of precisely those actions the Catholic church has again and again and again admitted to, and I'm a bigot? Show me where my snide joke, or any subsequent remark I've made, departs materially from what Catholic bishops have themselves admitted?

Facts are not bigotry, Dan. And if I'm an anti-Catholic bigot then I guess any number of bishops and cardinals are as well.


I see you're changing the subject to the relative size of the civil litigation, so o.k., I'll address that.

First of all, it is not just California that has extremely tight statute of limitations for claims against public schools and other public entities. It is standard state legislation across the nation.

As to comparisons with other relgions, you prove my point -- why aren't we hearing about the other religions? There have been very large civil lawsuits against individual Synagogues and individual Protestant churches and criminal cases against their clergy also (and against school teachers). But gee, we never see the LA Times doing extensive reports on the victims that are involved in this litigation. Why's that? It's true that these cases do not involve eye-raising figures like the recent LA Archdiocese case. However, that is a merely a function of the fact that the Catholic Church is both the largest single denomination in the U.S. and, in addition, is more hierarchical than any other religion.

It is undisputed that the rate of sex abuse among clergy of non-Catholic religions is no lower than it is among Catholic clergy. Yet Catholics, who comprise about 25% of the populace, get 95% of the news coverage. This leads to bigoted "jokes," like the one you made.

I'm done hijacking this thread. It was about the pill and pollution, not the sex abuse scandal. You've come forward with no facts or argument to refute my objection to your "joke." I noted at the outset that the facts about the prevalence of sex abuse among non-Catholic clergy would not change your opinion, and you have proven me right.

michael Reynolds

i agree on one point: we've hijacked the thread. I suspect we could go on for another 20 comments, but I'll tell you what: I'll let you have the last substantive word. And here's my olive branch:

It's creepy to think of an animal that is some bizarre mix of male and female, and it would be orders of magnitude creepier if we started to see large number of children born that way.

Yeah. Rabbis wouldn't know who to molest.


After all is said and done, it's pedophiles who wouldn't know whom to molest. And that's all I have to say on that subject right now.

I wanted to go back to what GN said. OK, GN, f**ck the fish. But this stuff is likely causing an epidemic of breast cancer. Follow my link in the piece. A big review study of many animal studies suggests that many common chemicals, particularly those that mimic estrogen, cause breast cancer in mice. They are believed to react similarly to humans. In some cases I think they are even transgenic mice, so they react even more similarly.

How can you blow this off?

On the other hand, in line with the people who say maybe the best thing to do about global warming is adapt to it -- maybe this intersex thing is the next wave for our species. Maybe the GLBT are ahead of the curve. It's the solution to sexism and overpopulation too! We're just evolving!


It's creepy to think of an animal that is some bizarre mix of male and female, and it would be orders of magnitude creepier if we started to see large number of children born that way.

Yeah. Rabbis wouldn't know who to molest.

Posted by: michael Reynolds | July 19, 2007 at 08:15 PM

After all is said and done, it's pedophiles who wouldn't know whom to molest. And that's all I have to say on that subject right now.

For the record, I'm with Dan. Ugly bigots like little m Michael think that enough parishioners will hide their heads in shame and commit spiritual suicide. In fact, they counted on the diminishing influence of the Catholic Church to push their agenda of pre-emptive war -- the Catholics are down: what can they say or do politically?

Don't count the Church out yet. As Dan explained, for every molesting priest and morally corrupt administrator, there were I'd bet 10 clergy teaching children, giving support and hope in growing communities. People like michael like to bash, they enjoy the feeling of topping something that has power way beyond what they think it should have. It's a power built from the people. And their children michael. Pretending your offensive "jokes" are helping any children, or bashing the Church will crimp their social programs, sorry there's just too many orders that aren't quitters like that.

Thanks for showing your ugliness publically michael. We take strength from it. And we know there's more of you hiding in polite society. Don't count out the Catholics -- don't take too much pleasure in all the settlements or judge the judgments on size. They were a big target for years; you got them financially where it hurts. The pews are still providing though...

Think there would have been so much concern for the "victims" and such a hot pursuit across the country dating back decades if liability had been limited to local parishes? I don't. They saw their chance, took it, and won financially big. The victims weren't in it for the money, but folks like michael surely were if you look at him equating the big-pocket defendants to the measure of their guilt.

Remember that priest who got bashed to death in prison? I see you there, michael. Same moral growth, same satisfaction at personal punishment. You're a sick man, because you're using those kids who were hurt, you're feeding on their pain again... for your own pleasures. Enjoy michael, and thanks again for your honesty.


Also, amba and michael,
that's a shame to make intersex children the butt of your joke like that.

You really think how masculine or feminine a child is determines whether or not they're molested? They're children for god's sake.

How bout a little sympathy for those born with physical deformities, rather than a "nobody would rape you!" juvie joke? If the evidence amba is presenting is so extreme (I'm waiting for that 10-year you know, study, before I stop peeing -- maybe China has the right idea in culling the female population, amba?), then making fun of the consequences as children are damaged doesn't seem that clever a joke, eh michael?


it's pedophiles who wouldn't know whom to molest. And that's all I have to say on that subject right now.

Cuz the pedophiles ain't picking on the standards you're suggesting...


"Buns and boobs", eh? What an insult. Most trolls at least make you think, challenging the current gush. You sound jealous.

You keep that up, coupled with your lack of reading on current events, and they're not going to invite you back for another appearance.

Why would you insult somebody's sister you don't know like that? Quit hanging with the likes of michael's humor -- it makes you ugly.

michael Reynolds

You're really quite a loon.


LOL, TITN -- loon or no, you have NO sense of humor! None!

For the record, it was the picture of Ann and the statue, not her sister, I was joking about, and quite in keeping with some of the kidding around Ann and I did on BHtv. Time will tell if she's offended or amused by my politically incorrect subconscious. Do you ever laugh??


You remind me of Carrie Nation, running around with a hatchet.


Running around with a hatchet giving harangues.


You're really quite a loon.

Better a loon than an ugly bigot any day, small "m" michael.

Catholic clergy care more about children than exploiting them -- their work will bear this out. You're small and ugly, micheal. I see you in that jail cell with the weapon raised above your head, joyfully bringing it down in the name of "justice". It's in you that ugliness. Keep the children out of it.


Yeah whatever amba.

Funny things a "troll" might write, but then you're not a troll, right? And I like humor. The funny kind. Think about it a bit before responding?


Oh, and while you're thinking... take another look at who was standing in the posterior picture.

I smell jealousy.... ! For good reason. :) (see, I like humor)


TITN and Dan,

Snarky, humorous attention to the insidious, sick behavior and subsequent denial by the power structure of the Catholic Church has a way of softening the vision of what these pedophiles have been doing for years.

The church got caught! Pointing at every other denomination and saying, "Well, what about them?" is like ratting out your siblings when you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

TITN, you paint quite a picture of what you fantasize Micheal doing in that jail cell. I wonder if you can envision a (7) year old bent over the table in the sacristy while his spiritual leader opens his robe ... and then pass me the hatchet, please!


"How can you blow this off?"

Amba, not blowing it off, exactly, and maybe it was a bit snarky. However, the information as released bears no equivalancy to factual finding that can be extrapolated for comparison to humans at this time.

My reference to the male/ female ratios from their "studys" is just that ... it is random. If I fill a darkened room with red and green marbles and send you to collect one hundred of them blindfolded ... you may be very concerned about the lack of blue marbles at the end of that study. How do you find, count and sort fish in a lake? I've been fishing for years and could use a tested method.

As to the purported contamination of the water system with constituencies of drugs, pesticides and all manner of toxics, consider this:

The average household produces about 150 gallons of wastewater with everything from cleaning waste, human waste and many unknown toxic substances and so forth. Waste treatment plants handle this and industrial waste contributions on a daily basis and meet the effluent standards I mentioned in my comment most of the time. Those standards, by the way, are based on the tolerance of gamefish (trout, bass, etc.) that are the sentinal for contaminated water and lack of oxygen. We do this treatment well.

The Delaware river had the largest catch of Cod since 1896 during the 1987 fishing season. That is a direct, measurable result of pollution control. Also, though I can't cite it in this comment, the St John's river in Jacksonville Florida had to curtail treatment because they made the water too clean, which allowed photosynthesis to create so much growth on the water surface that the D.O.(dissolved oxygen) levels to a degree that it caused a significant fish kill.

A long, windy explanation to make the point that with science comes trial and error and reams of documentation. Measured results and failures. I do not doubt that there are more things to learn about what we put in our environment, but can't see the panic response in this study. Micheal was correct in applying the ten year rule.

If you research the condition of the water supplies and resources through the industrial age it is easier to reach for a glass and turn on the fawcet. In terms of drug run-off causing the issues that are cited in these studies I take the approach of .... "I'm from Missourri - show me".

Ecologically, it bears study, hence the revelations to all manner of human malady is


As far as breast cancer is concerned, I think they need to do epidemiological studies of the concentrations of various chemicals in body tissues and hair (and breast milk -- some of that's been done) and then compare that to the incidence of breast cancer, correcting for other factors -- diet, genetics, HRT. They might or might not be able to tease those things apart.

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