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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mr. gobley

Sissy Willis

Tell me again why you pay attention to anything Sy I can certainly fudge what I say Hersch writes.

Sissy Willis

Here's where the link to my previous comment is supposed to go:


Sissy -- in this case much of the information rings true regardless of the messenger and his slant. That our government is planning for the likely possibility of having to attack Iran to stop its nuclear program rings true. And well they should.

I haven't heard an administration rebuttal of this particular Hersh article, so far. Please alert me if there's been one. It's Iran that's reacting, saying that the U.S. is waging "psychological war." Is it possible that the admin wanted this article to appear as part of the climate of threat that they hope will force Iran to the negotiating table? It could even be disinformation by exaggeration.

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh, cripes, Annie. First of all, you've got to remember the First Law of Intelligence Leaks: they're always done to damage someone else. In this case, any leak to Sy Hersch is very probably being done to damage the President.

Then there's the Second Law of Intelligence Leaks: by the time it's been published, it's inevitably been filtered twice by people with an agenda --- and at least once by someone with a strong motivation to lie, that being the person who has an actual clearance and who would be likely to lose their own job if the leak could be traced.

Then it's worth remembering that someone at the Pentagon is making plans for practically anything you could think of. There's undoubtedly a plan for using tactial nukes against Communist separatists in Quebec. But if you look back in history, there've been similar stories about the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, and pretty much exactly the same story about the Iraq War.

Tom Strong

Gotta agree with Charlie here. There's a whole world of difference between "there's a plan to" and "there's intent to."

I don't have the highest opinion of Rumsfeld. But you'd have to be all kinds of stupid to propose "tactically" nuking parts of Iran to possibly prevent the production of a single a-bomb.


"the three Abrahamic religions, hell-bent on self-fulfilling their own apocalyptic prophecies, will turn out to have been a plague upon the earth."

I wouldn't really blame the western religions. People have been throwing rocks at each other forever, but now the rocks are nuclear.

There is no villain -- we can't blame the great scientists who made these weapons possible. I wouldn't blame those who develop the weapons either, since our survival depends on staying ahead of our enemies.

Modern civilization and advanced technologies, the thiings we all love and are proud of, are also the source of our worst nightmares. There is a universal law of irony.


real: Conservatives like to quote a man named Richard M. Weaver, whose book is called Ideas Have Consequences. Ironically, he is lamenting the abandonment of tradition. Here I am lamenting its persistence -- or its perversion, maybe, into what Jack Whelan calls "zombie traditionalism" -- but "Ideas have consequences" is one of those endlessly resonating phrases, like "By their fruits ye shall know them."

In this case, it's the idea that there is a Heaven or Paradise opposed to and better than earth, and a God who wants us love him and reject his creation, that is going to destroy this beautiful but imperfect world.


Yes amba I agree that religious fanaticism is a big factor. Muslim terrorists are more dangerous than communists ever were, because they do not value their lives or this world.

But we are threatened from both sides -- religion perverted into a raging hatred of life, and on the other side the dangerous creations of scientific progress.

I brought this up because progressives are saying they were right all along about the dangers of religion. They tend to worship progress and never see that it is much more dangerous than religion. Different religious sects and tribes could throw rocks at each other all day long without threatening our existence.


I always wonder about people who get excited about leaks that "the Pentagon is making plans to attack (x)!" Of course they are! That's their job, after all: to have plans worked out in advance, in case they are needed/wanted. Plans that aren't thrown together at the last minute without thinking things thru. (For an example of what the latter produces, see Iraq currently.)

Of more concern would be _which_ plans the civilians in charge of deciding foreign policy will choose to implement. Or, more accurately, have other people implement -- since the current crop seem to be very careful to keep themselves and their families far away from military service and other risks. On that score, and given their track record, things do not look all that promising.


Yeah, but Judaism does not view the "world to come" that way. It doesn't hold that "there is a Heaven or Paradise opposed to and better than earth." Its dogma on this subject is pretty diverse and sometimes self-contradicting (reincarnation or no? Heaven or no? Everyone gets there or no?).


But you'd have to be all kinds of stupid to propose "tactically" nuking parts of Iran to possibly prevent the production of a single a-bomb.

Yes you would. Unfortunately, one can say, without being ridiculously offbase, that this administration has been all kinds of stupid on a number of policy fronts. I'm not saying that's what's happening here, but dismissing it out of hand as something that "they'd never do" doesn't go as far as it used to.


Do you even see the irony of spreading your thoughts on the dangers of progress through this technological medium?



I see irony in everything. As I said, there's a universal law of irony.

When I say our problems are caused by science and technology I am not blaming anyone. In fact my point is that there is no villain to blame. Anyway, I'm a software developer so it would be ridiculous if I were opposed to technology.

People don't like dilemmas very much. They would like to think our problems can be solved by spreading capitalism, by ending capitalism, by encouraging religion, by abolishing religion, by conquering nature, by returning to nature, etc.

We can't solve our problems once and for all; we can only stumble along in darkness and try our best. The results might not be pleasant for us in the short term, and we have to trust that God always has our best long-term interest in mind.


Bro: I know, but then how did Judaism give birth to these other two?? Was it a recessive mutation, something like Tay-Sachs disease??


amba? Are we all as bad as THAT?


Great question. There is a messianic aspect to Judaism, of course, which (as in the Shabbatai Zvi case) can lead Jews to throw everything over because they believe a better world is manifesting. (Communism was another false messiah, in that respect.) But I also think it goes back to the brutal political history of that region, and of the pre-Abrahamic faiths: a willingness to sacrifice ourselves, each other, and our children for the sake of the gods, and what they can deliver.


"a willingness to sacrifice ourselves, each other, and our children for the sake of the gods, and what they can deliver."

But is that different from other regions? Things like human sacrifice and cannibalism seem cruel from our perspective, but weren't they practiced all over the world?

Judaism, Christianity and Islam were all recorded in writing, but there must have been thousands of other religions and cults that were lost to us because no one wrote them down.

I think Judaism did give rise to a tradition of intolerance, mainly because of its monotheism. Polytheistic religions were much more common, and they could more easily tolerate or assimilate each other. The prophets of Yahweh were always fighting the losing battle of trying to prevent Judaism from incorporating other gods.

Christianity was, partly, an escape back to polytheism with its mother, father and son family of gods. I also read somewhere that Christianity was one of many mystery cults popular at that time -- mystery cults taught their followers how to become immortal.

Anyway, I think we focus too much on the 3 well-known western religions. We only know about them because there were people in the middle east who could write, and who happened to record them.

Other religions were probably at least as strange and cruel, from our perspective (and we would probably seem strange and cruel to them). One thing that differentiated Yahweh-worship from other cults of the area was the complete lack of human sacrifice, which is illustrated by the story of Abraham and Isaac. Gods typically required sacrificing your first-born son, and Yahweh was different because he allowed animal substitutions.

I don't know if that was because he was a more humane god, or just because it was such a male-dominated religion and they didn't like the idea of killing male offspring.



We can't solve our problems once and for all; we can only stumble along in darkness and try our best. The results might not be pleasant for us in the short term, and we have to trust that God always has our best long-term interest in mind.

Strangely, (considering that I think we disagree on close to everything) I agree with all of this except for the trust in God part.

In fact, if I may revise and extend my remarks...


Glad we agree on something Pooh. If we disagreed on everything, neither one of us could be described as an ambivalent centrist.

By "God" I mean whatever it is that keeps things going along for us. Obviously something guides us, since we have almost no idea what's going on. We don't know what the person next to us is thinking, let alone what they will do tomorrow, or what everyone else in the world is doing or thinking. How could we possibly make a sensible decision, when so much is unknown?
Almost all of our decisions rise up from the subconscious -- in other words, from God knows where.


To everyone,

don't panic!

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