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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Dan, I want to stop talking about this now. Believe it or not, it's very painful.


Amba it pains me that it pains you. But it does not at all surprise me that it is a painful subject. The pain is a sign of health and life. Not as a debating point but as a friend I just would like to suggest that becoming pro-life is a way to overcome the pain. This is how Karin Stark and many others have done it. Maybe they won't mean anything to you because they come from the Pope and the Catholic end of the universe, but these words, which are from Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), seem wise to me:

"I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life."


Jason, that's obfuscatory. The people ultimately settle all questions; they have settled some questions in the Constitution, and by the same instrument, committed the balance to the democratic process, either at the state level, the federal level, or both. That the people have in the past voted for bad laws is irrelevant; they will no doubt vote for bad laws again - indeed, if or when Roe's overturned, I fully expect several states to continue to permit legal abortion, laws at least as pernicious as slavery, in the minds of many. Whatever our normative view on what abortion laws ought to be, there's no genuinely persuasive argument - indeed, barely a serious argument - that that the Constitution settles the question. Ergo, it's to be fought over on the floors of your state legislature and mine.


Not as a debating point but as a friend I just would like to suggest that becoming pro-life is a way to overcome the pain.

Pro-life and Pro-choice are meaningless phrases. It's more accurate to use pro-abortion and anti-abortion. I know of no one who is pro-abortion. Those who believe roe v wade should be overturned does not make a person anymore "pro-life" than those who do not think the law should be overturned.


Spud, that demonstrates only the imprecision of language; by your own concession, few people are pro-abortion (there are some), but since we have to use labels to describe people, we're stuck with finding a best fit.


Dan: It's absolutely not high school biology saying that life begins at conception. That's religion. Biology states--and only states--that conception produces a fertilized egg. That's what you fry up for an omelet and what you dab on some crackers with a bit of Brie, but is that life? Are you eating the living offspring of fowl or fish when you indulge your carnivorous desires?

Nay, friend, biology makes no such claims whatsoever. Conception is this and only this: the production of an embryo that might be viable. Life, on the other hand, lies somewhere between there and birth, at least according to biology.


It's nothing of the sort, Simon, and I'm disappointed you'd attempt such a shallow escape. Obfuscatory? Hardly. It wasn't when the majority wanted slavery intact, was it? It wasn't when the majority wanted women to be ineligible to vote, was it? Shall I go on? No, the will of the majority stands only when it is socially acceptable and not oppressive. See the history of the SCOTUS and its many decisions that have put to rest inflammatory societal issues by way of constitutional decisions. Also, see the Constitution for how it attempts to ensure the majority cannot oppress or suppress the minority (equal protection and all that jazz).

The people do not settle all questions. The rights of people, the will of the people, and the law settle all questions—in that exact order. If the people decided all issues definitively, women wouldn't vote, all non-whites would be slaves, Japanese would be in internment camps, and the list of travesties would go on and on. I beg you to investigate the history of this country, of the Constitution, and to fully realize the comparison of "the will of the people" versus "the will of the spirit of the Constitution." Too many presume to know something with which history and precedent disagree.

And on that note, out of respect for Annie, I'm excusing myself from this discussion. Too many appear willing to stab and tear at her emotional flesh with little regard for what they don't understand (i.e. have never experienced and/or can never comprehend). I find that appalling, repulsive, and, unfortunately, predictable.

the will of the majority stands only when it is socially acceptable and not oppressive.
To the contrary, it has stood until the majority changed its mind, until the majority realized that given set of laws was morally unacceptable. In the civil war amendments, the majority prevailed: slavery was abolished, blacks obtained the right to vote, and in the view of many of us, the fourteenth amendment also outlawed segregation, but was considered a dead letter until Brown. The problem with your theory of women's voting rights is also perilously thin: far from the majority standing in the way of women's rights, the battle of ideas was won. The people did settle that question: who do you think ratified the Nineteenth Amendment?

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