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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Richard Lawrence Cohen

In the Comments section of a great post the other day, which I linked to, Mr. Gobley had this to say about the self-proclaimed redemption of a born-again father who had previously abused his daughter:

"[T]he father may indeed be hiding behind a cloak of supposed forgiveness. In fact, if he has not begged his daughter for forgiveness, regularly, he has missed a key element in the process of redemption, and from what you say, he seems untroubled by it."

Saying you're sorry -- asking forgiveness not only of God but of the person you have hurt -- is precisely the sign by which we can tell if a conversion is sincere or not. If someone says, "I did it but, hey, that was a long time ago and I have different beliefs now, so I'm forgiven," then they're using conversion as a cloak.

Jack (CommonSenseDesk)

Amba, Many thanks!


Well, I count myself a conservative and I consider Rush Limbaugh a drug addict unless he kicked the habit in rehab. Bill Bennett has a gambling problem, or did. And it was filthy of Gingrich to dump his wife (she had cancer) for a younger, prettier woman. But that doesn't mean they don't have useful things to say about politics (Limbaugh), virtue (Bennett) and whatever Gingrich is talking about this week. I started reading those links you mentioned and came across this statement: "But let's focus on that sizeable contingent of Law and Order conservatives who would be satisfied to see half their fellow citizens hauled off in chains and who are also of the familiar "One phone call and I'll have your badge" type." I stopped reading on grounds I had been directed to just more bloviation. If you consider this sort remark "reasonable," I wonder what falls into the unreasonable category. One would never vote for Limbaugh, Bennett or Gingrich for their past behavior, or at least I wouldn't. But I don't think they should go down the memory hole, either. If the game was played by those rules, Teddy's river adventure, Bill's many escapades, Hillary's acquiesance in it all, not to mention her sapphic past, and, yes, Bush's wild youth would disqualify them from public office. Christians believe in repentance and a new start. What a shame the left doesn't.


Yes, you stumbled into some shameless liberal invective on those sites and you're shocked, shocked! Both sides indulge in that sort of rhetorical excess -- and both sides nonetheless have some good points to make. What's more, some of those writers took pains to say that not ALL conservatives are out to excuse everything that all conservatives do.

And yes, liberals should give credit for (and emulate) sincere repentance and a new start. The posts were saying that repentance should not be confused with denial, and should not be a handy way to wipe out responsibility for hurts done to others, without apology or restitution. (This goes for Kennedys and Clintons as well.)


P.S. do you stop reading when you encounter right-wing bloviation too, or only left-wing kind? In truth, they're both equally repulsive.


There is no one quite so self-righteous or hypocritical as a "reformed" sinner. Many of them continue to sin, often even the same sin as before, but since they have been "saved" it somehow no longer counts in their mind. Somehow they seem to think that it's not a sin unless they get caught.

Religious brainwashing triumphs yet again.

And Jjay - the Right believes in forgiveness for only those on the Right. Those on the Left they pound into the dirt, and then piss on the dirt. I don't think the Left is all that much better about it, but don't try to get self-righteous about how forgiving the Right supposedly is.

By the way, throwing out hyper-exaggerated comments such as "Bill's many escapades" and "Hillary's sapphic past," as if they were some sort of exotic porn production company, is just bizarre.


Repentance is inseparable from the promise to God not to commit that sin again. I'm curious, Sleipner, how you are able to observe the continuing sins of those who profess to be reborn or otherwise turn their backs on bad behavior. I thought only God knew these things. But perhaps you have the power of seeing into hearts not vouchsafed to the ordinary run of mortals, which explains how you can put ironical quotes around reformed. As for forgiving the those on the left who stray from the path of virtue, they first have to promise they will go and sin no more. Teddy is still knocking them back, Michael Moore is still lying. Has Bill not had many escapades, has not Hillary a sapphic past? "She had more women than I have," Bill told one of the women with whom he had consensual sex, as opposed to the forced variety that was his fall back mode.


Oh, is Teddy still knocking them back? I thought he'd sworn off it for good, much as GW Bush has. It's interesting that a liberal friend just said to me yesterday that she's sure George W. still drinks from time to time. Apparently liberals say that about GWB, and conservatives say it about Teddy. If it isn't true, it's a smear. Unless you have actual knowledge of their conduct, why not give them both the benefit of the doubt?

This is what I HATE HATE HATE about partisanship!! The double standard. Smear the other side, excuse your own. The tactic appears virtually identical to me on both sides.



Thanks for the insightful post.

One interesting point: the "conservatives" you list are all neo-cons (except Gingrich, who, despite his image, is not consistently conservative). Not that any "side" is utterly innocent, but simply that the neos are notorious hypocrites.

Just look at the war to "liberate" Iraq. Ugh.



Do you regard the Iraqis as other than "liberated"? Put another way, do you seriously think they would like to be back under Saddam's heel? The polling says otherwise.


The question, Jjay, is whether or not they'll be any better off after we leave and some nutcase Saddam-clone takes control of the country we left in ruins.

Agreed, Amba, both sides smear the other. If I'm smearing one side I usually try to be generous with my smearage, because generally it seems as if both deserve it, though my general distaste of the Right tends to direct my disdain more in their direction.

I'll probably be moving somewhat towards the center in the near new (moderate) Republican bf & I are discussing a lot of things & moderating each other on some positions ;)


Last I noticed, it was the terrorists bombing and slaughtering civilians, not us. Shall we assume you're part of the Blame America bloc and weight your opinions accordingly? Look at the polls and you'll find most Iraqis feel they're better off and expect matters to improve even more. They have been given a taste of democracy and the appetite will only grow as time goes on. That's the best protection against a Saddam clone. Or perhaps you don't think they deserve democracy.

Marc Schneider


When you say "neos are notorious hypocrites," that's a pretty broad statement. Obviously, there are well-known neoconservatives that can be accused of hypocrisy. But your statement seems to imply that anyone that is "neoconservative" (whatever that means at this point) is a hypocrite. That's no different than using Michael Moore as a synecdoche for liberals.


Jjay, when you talk about morals of others, what does the left or right have to do with any of it. It's just like the patriot thing. Conservatives were all up in arms over Dick Durbin's statement awhile back. Whatever he said didn't make him any less of a patriot than GWB. I have no problem with conservative ideas and view points, but do I have a problem with conservatives who think they are somehow more Christian and patriotic than liberals. That is where I draw the line with conservatives who think that. With your statement's, "Christians believe in repentance and a new start. What a shame the left doesn't", and "As for forgiving the those on the left who stray from the path of virtue, they first have to promise they will go and sin no more" leads me to believe you are one of those conservatives who thinks conservatism has a lock on morality and patriotism.



Jjay, I think everyone deserves a fair chance in life, freedom from oppression, and a number of other rights. Whether that can only occur under this administration's slanted interpretation of "Democracy" is another question - I do think other alternatives exist that work for other countries, and that many countries' peoples are not prepared or educated well enough to understand and participate in a true democracy. Forcing them into the mold of what we would like them to be is utter hubris, and often misguided. It is like a parent whose child has a talent for and interest in acting trying to force them to become a doctor, just because doctoring is a family tradition.

A country as backwards as Iraq, where assassination is considered to be a polite political message, is not ready for democracy and likely won't be for decades to come. The moment we leave there the squabbling groups of fundamentalist children will begin dividing the carcass of their country, most likely via civil war, and whomever pulls together the most resources and support will replace Saddam. Whether he will be better or worse remains to be seen. The best case scenario (imo) involves the country splitting along ethnic lines, so that at least the resulting countries are not as likely to be performing genocide on their inhabitants.

I do not think this is a good thing, mind you, merely inevitable once Bush made the asinine choice to invade, and the even more disastrous decisions he and Rumsfeld have made since in running the war into the ground.


Spud - one thing that always gets lost in those conversations. Since when is ones patriotism and morality the sole measure of their worth? Especially when the Right judges morality almost solely on sex, which except in cases of nepotism is largely irrelevant.

I like to think that politicians should be judged on their capability, intelligence, trustworthiness, honesty, understanding of the issues, understanding the potential results of their decisions, and other such practical and useful issues.

As long as it doesn't interfere with the adequate and unbiased performance of their job duties, I don't care who they sleep with, or whether or not they blew their nose on an American flag.


Sleip --

How much acquaintance with actual Iraqis is your condescension based on? That just sounds like an ignorant stereotype.

Actually Iraq has quite a modern and intellectual tradition, going back before Saddam, including more freedom for women (which continued in a twisted Saddam kind of way) than in most Arab countries.


By the way, Sleip -- about you probably becoming more moderate: Ain't love grand? :)


"A country as backwards as Iraq, where assassination is considered to be a polite political message, is not ready for democracy and likely won't be for decades to come."

Says who, Spud? Japan was incapable of democracy, according to the best thinkers of the time. But a few years of firm-- very firm -- guidance by a procounsul and voila! The Germans? Same story. They were believed to be Junkers to the core, so worshipful of authority and any man on a white horse that parliamentary democracy didn't have a chance. Guess what? Expand your reading from left talking points and you'll be surprised what possibilities occur to you. On another point someone brought up, Durbin compared the U.S. to the Third Reich and afterward weepingly recanted on the floor of the Senate. Sure they were crocodile tears, but if he's willing to own up to his mistake, why continue to defend it?


The difference is radical fundamentalist religion...until and unless the various religious factions in Iraq moderate (or at least stop hating each other) there is little chance for democracy to succeed. Religious hatred, more than almost any other type, is blind to compromise.

I think Iraq has a very similar situation to the Bosnians vs. the Serbs last decade, they have generations of hatred built between their populaces, and a measly little attempt at democracy will do nothing to change that.

If and when I see moderation and compromise occurring (and not immediately followed by an assassination of those involved), I'll believe that Iraq has a chance.

Amba, you very well may be right about Iraq, but what I've read about in the news bears very little resemblance to the country you're describing. The fact that they're attempting to incorporate Sharia law into the constitution is enough for me to firmly place them in the 18th century, at best.


Jjay, just a note to say you have me mixed up with someone else.


Jjay said, "On another point someone brought up, Durbin compared the U.S. to the Third Reich and afterward weepingly recanted on the floor of the Senate. Sure they were crocodile tears, but if he's willing to own up to his mistake, why continue to defend it?"

Now that someone was me. I wasn't defending it. All I was saying, was that Durbin wasn't less patriotic than President Bush for saying it.


Spudly- Durbin may well be as patriotic as Bush, but he sure has a hell of a way of showing it. Maybe he's just not as smart. hah. When your country is at war and it means the lives of defending soldiers are at stake; oh yeah, so patriotic to call these soldiers Nazis or Pol Pot despots. Good point, Durbin!!

I beg to differ on his apology. He never said he was sorry and mistaken in the words used... he was sorry we MISUNDERSTOOD his intent and usage. Cause, we must be pretty stupid not to be able to read between the lines his concern for the appearances of the US or those poor criminals, detainees or hostages being held w/out counsel. Not that they would dare blow us up or conspire against the fairness of the US. They sure will now, though, won't they?? See the seeds of hate and distrust Bush has planted?(I don't know, can you read my sacasm between these lines?)

These soldiers are not defending oil. They are defending the right of a people, held hostage by tyranny, to live a future (free)(liberated)(without terrorism)(without assasinations)(without domination of religion)(without surpression of women-including habitual RAPE)(educated) with promise.


That's what Bush wants us to think...but we wouldn't have involved in this unwinnable war at all were it not for oil, Bush's ego, and his desire to pump up his political capital by appearing to be doing something about terrorism. Of course all he's doing is stoking the flames of radicalism.

Just look at all the other places in the world that have situations as bad or worse than Saddam propagated - most of Africa for starters. Why are we not there? Surely we could fix a lot more problems with fewer resources.

The big problem is that anyone who believes the war is a mistake is being labeled as anti-American, anti-soldier, and even pro-terrorist. McCarthyism has returned at last - they always do say these things run in cycles.


And Karen - Sharia law, being incorporated into the constitution, is a huge problem for the women of Iraq. It has all sorts of lovely punishments that apply only to women, and restrictions upon what they are allowed to do, assuming their male relatives let them.

No matter what happens, with a radical fundamentalist religious regime in place, the people of Iraq will never be free.


Karen said, "These soldiers are not defending oil. They are defending the right of a people, held hostage by tyranny, to live a future (free)(liberated)(without terrorism)(without assasinations)(without domination of religion)(without surpression of women-including habitual RAPE)(educated) with promise."

But then I have to ask, why do they hate us?


Who is *they*? Iraqis? Those held hostage and tortured in front of family members and brain-washed to believe all infidels are evil and must die? Or the monster-minds behind the brain-wash?

Power. Greed. Money? Twisted in a peaceful Faith used to kill and maim, maim and kill... till drunk on blood lust?

Who is *they*? Sliep...The radicalfundalmentalistreligious regime IS the problem!! They control and there is no choice. Doesn't that piss you off? NO CHOICE. It pisses the hell outta me and I'm the conservative here. I thought Liberals would be incensed over rape rooms and no education and all those atrocities and all they can bitch about is a Koran that never was flushed and NaziAmerican soldiers "that had no concern for human beings" via Dickie Durbin.

Oh yeah. It's the oil thang again, eh? Well, France was smart enough to stay outta the ruckus. Course, they were illegally trading w/Iraq for... Wheat? Pork bellies? Oh, OIIIILL... that's called not shitting where they eat. Go, France. (i'm sorry so snarky tonight. So much for my panties. Is *snarkasm* a google-word?


Karen, here is a list of U.S. action's in the middle east that may give you a different perspective than you currently have.

1947-48: U.S. backs Palestine partition plan. Israel established. U.S. declines to press Israel to allow expelled Palestinians to return.

1949: CIA backs military coup deposing elected government of Syria.1

1953: CIA helps overthrow the democratically‑elected Mossadeq government in Iran (which had nationalized the British oil company) leading to a quarter‑century of repressive and dictatorial rule by the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.

1956: U.S. cuts off promised funding for Aswan Dam in Egypt after Egypt receives Eastern bloc arms.

1956: Israel, Britain, and France invade Egypt. U.S. does not support invasion, but the involvement of its NATO allies severely diminishes Washington's reputation in the region.

1958: U.S. troops land in Lebanon to preserve "stability".

early 1960s: U.S. unsuccessfully attempts assassination of Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim.2

1963: U.S. supports coup by Iraqi Ba'ath party (soon to be headed by Saddam Hussein) and reportedly gives them names of communists to murder, which they do with vigor.3

1967‑: U.S. blocks any effort in the Security Council to enforce SC Resolution 242, calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war.

1970: Civil war between Jordan and PLO. Israel and U.S. discuss intervening on side of Jordan if Syria backs PLO.

1972: U.S. blocks Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat's efforts to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

1973: Airlifted U.S. military aid enables Israel to turn the tide in war with Syria and Egypt.

1973‑75: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq. When Iran reaches an agreement with Iraq in 1975 and seals the border, Iraq slaughters Kurds and U.S. denies them refuge. Kissinger secretly explains that "covert action should not be confused with missionary work."4

1975: U.S. vetoes Security Council resolution condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.5

1978‑79: Iranians begin demonstrations against the Shah. U.S. tells Shah it supports him "without reservation" and urges him to act forcefully. Until the last minute, U.S. tries to organize military coup to save the Shah, but to no avail.6

1979‑88: U.S. begins covert aid to Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before Soviet invasion in Dec. 1979.7 Over the next decade U.S. provides training and more than $3 billion in arms and aid.

1980‑88: Iran‑Iraq war. When Iraq invades Iran, the U.S. opposes any Security Council action to condemn the invasion. U.S. soon removes Iraq from its list of nations supporting terrorism and allows U.S. arms to be transferred to Iraq. At the same time, U.S. lets Israel provide arms to Iran and in 1985 U.S. provides arms directly (though secretly) to Iran. U.S. provides intelligence information to Iraq. Iraq uses chemical weapons in 1984; U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Iraq. 1987 U.S. sends its navy into the Persian Gulf, taking Iraq's side; an overly‑aggressive U.S. ship shoots down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290.

1981, 1986: U.S. holds military maneuvers off the coast of Libya in waters claimed by Libya with the clear purpose of provoking Qaddafi. In 1981, a Libyan plane fires a missile and U.S. shoots down two Libyan planes. In 1986, Libya fires missiles that land far from any target and U.S. attacks Libyan patrol boats, killing 72, and shore installations. When a bomb goes off in a Berlin nightclub, killing three, the U.S. charges that Qaddafi was behind it (possibly true) and conducts major bombing raids in Libya, killing dozens of civilians, including Qaddafi's adopted daughter.8

1982: U.S. gives "green light" to Israeli invasion of Lebanon,9 killing some 17 thousand civilians.10 U.S. chooses not to invoke its laws prohibiting Israeli use of U.S. weapons except in self‑defense. U.S. vetoes several Security Council resolutions condemning the invasion.

1983: U.S. troops sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force; intervene on one side of a civil war, including bombardment by USS New Jersey. Withdraw after suicide bombing of marine barracks.

1984: U.S.‑backed rebels in Afghanistan fire on civilian airliner.11

1987-92: U.S. arms used by Israel to repress first Palestinian Intifada. U.S. vetoes five Security Council resolution condemning Israeli repression.

1988: Saddam Hussein kills many thousands of his own Kurdish population and uses chemical weapons against them. The U.S. increases its economic ties to Iraq.

1988: U.S. vetoes 3 Security Council resolutions condemning continuing Israeli occupation of and repression in Lebanon.

1990‑91: U.S. rejects any diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (for example, rebuffing any attempt to link the two regional occupations, of Kuwait and of Palestine). U.S. leads international coalition in war against Iraq. Civilian infrastructure targeted.12 To promote "stability" U.S. refuses to aid post‑war uprisings by Shi'ites in the south and Kurds in the north, denying the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons and refusing to prohibit Iraqi helicopter flights.13

1991‑: Devastating economic sanctions are imposed on Iraq. U.S. and Britain block all attempts to lift them. Hundreds of thousands die. Though Security Council had stated that sanctions were to be lifted once Saddam Hussein's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were ended, Washington makes it known that the sanctions would remain as long as Saddam remains in power. Sanctions in fact strengthen Saddam's position. Asked about the horrendous human consequences of the sanctions, Madeleine Albright (U.S. ambassador to the UN and later Secretary of State) declares that "the price is worth it."14

1991-: U.S. forces permanently based in Saudi Arabia.

1993‑: U.S. launches missile attack on Iraq, claiming self‑defense against an alleged assassination attempt on former president Bush two months earlier.15

1998: U.S. and U.K. bomb Iraq over the issue of weapons inspections, even though Security Council is just then meeting to discuss the matter.

1998: U.S. destroys factory producing half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supply, claiming retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and that factory was involved in chemical warfare. Evidence for the chemical warfare charge widely disputed.16

2000-: Israel uses U.S. arms in attempt to crush Palestinian uprising, killing hundreds of civilians.

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