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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Randy (Internet Ronin)

Birthday wishes and congratulations to your dad. 90 years is a remarkable achievement. He looks much younger in the pictures you've shared (as does your mom if she is anywhere near the same age). Have a wonderful time.


Thank you, dear friend.


Huckahypocrite. Love the word play.

"Poll-greased slithering." Put me in mind of this clip from David Letterman, in which slithering on a greased pole is discussed at the 3 minute mark.

My bold prediction: Obama will not select Edwards as a running mate. He needs someone with executive experience. A former general would be even better.


Do you have one in mind? (I know what I'm doing up at this hour, but what are YOU doing up at this hour?!)


I concur with peterhoh. He will choose someone with executive experience.

To be honest, Sen. "Shrillary" Clinton may have more experience though I think she underwhelms because so much of "her experience"--"35 years..." is former Pres. Clinton's experience. She sounds shrill and comes across as not liking to be criticized or questioned (we've already been there, no?). Sen. Obama needs to begin putting more of the substance of his campaign into his hopeful message. Former Sen. Edwards, in my opinion, was the winner, and I do like him. Again, I just can't go for the shrill politics, and Sen. Clinton as you say, "her baggage is dragging" and no matter how "realistic" she sounds, we need more than realistic right now. We need hopeful realism. She don't have it and can't manufacture vision. Sens. Obama and Edwards have vision...they just need to put the realism of their own campaigns stands forward. Besides, hope has a tendency to shift what is possible; in other words, realism is a moveable notion.


hope has a tendency to shift what is possible; in other words, realism is a moveable notion.

So very true, and should be kept in mind by all those (myself at times included) who dismiss it as only empty rhetoric. Hope is energy, a prerequisite for doing anything, even though you still need to know what it is you intend to do. If not for that energy, we would still be living in caves.


Prediction for the Democrats:
Failing that, Obama and some other Governor. But Richardson combines executive experience with foreign policy experience, and thus covers Obama's nominal weaknesses. (I actually think that, rather than weakness, Obama shows more sense on foreign policy than most of the Democrats' would-be candidates, but that's another story.)

For the Republicans:
I could believe almost any combination is possible at this point. By February, we may begin to have some clarity. But right now, picking names at random is as good a way to get an accurate prediction as any.



So very true, and should be kept in mind by all those (myself at times included) who dismiss it as only empty rhetoric. Hope is energy, a prerequisite for doing anything, even though you still need to know what it is you intend to do. If not for that energy, we would still be living in caves.

Sure, but it's much like his other buzzword, "change." I don't "dismiss ... as only empty rhetoric" the invocations of these magic totems because they can't have meaning, I dismiss them as empty rhetoric because in context, they are very specifically and deliberately devoid of meaning. Advocated as freestanding goals, they are empty rhetoric. Hope of what? Change of what, to what, and how? Obama's rhetoric is a rorschach: the scam is that he talks vaguely about hope and change, and you as a listener are supposed to think of what you hope with change and project those feelings onto him. That way, he doesn't alienate anyone who might support him with any kind of nagging specificity (what's to disagree with? He's for hope! Who could disagree with that?), and he doesn't have to make any promises he might later be accused of breaking (insofar as change is going to happen even of Obama sleeps through his term; in this world, as Peter Gabriel put it, the only constant that I'm aware of is this accelerating rate of change.)

I think it's instructive to compare how Newt Gingrich speaks about change. Newt uses change to open a conversation about what changes need to be made. Obama uses it as a punchline, making it sound distressingly like a Yogi Berra-ism (the invocation of it's so empty that you always wonder "am I missing the joke here?").


Simon, too bad there's not a candidate promising compassionate conservativism, because, you know, who can be against compassion?

I'll match your Peter Gabriel with Lou Reed. Apologies for the crappy sound quality.

Actually, I agree with much of your analysis of Obama's rhetoric. It's time for him to start talking policy and proposals.

Tom Strong

Well, he already has specific proposals up for Iraq, for healthcare, for energy. I don't think he's been vague about his intentions with these proposals at all (with the exception of Iraq, but every politician is vague about Iraq). They're pretty clear proposals, and voters can choose whether or not to support him based on their content.

Obama's use of "change" as a soundbyte is unfortunate, but hardly unique to him. Almost all of our politicians now speak in soundbytes. If voters want more specifics, they can find them easily enough.


Tom: if you look at what Obama actually proposes, it's a recitation of the same tired, discredited liberal cant that everyone else on the platform is reciting. There's no substantive difference between him or Edwards, for example - they're both subscribers to the politics of envy, surrender and mass murder. So how do you square that with his rhetoric of conciliation and moderation? That's what reall drives me up the wall about him - that he tries to appropriate the language of moderates as a cheap facade for old-school liberalism. He isn't interested in compromise and conciliation - he's barely comprehending that there are people who disagree with his own views.


"the politics of...surrender and mass murder."??? This is a man who, when asked about terrorism, suggested that we should be concentrating our efforts in Afghanistan. And that, if Pakistan could not, or would not, go after bin Laden and his boys who are hiding out on their territory, we should go in and do the job for them.

You can call that many things. (It may even be a bad idea.) But "surrender" does not appear to fit at all at all.

Tom Strong


First of all, if you want to refer to your political opponents as subscribing to "the politics of envy, surrender and mass murder," then this is going to be a very short conversation.

And yes, I recognize that it's probably referring to Obama's own use of the "politics of fear." Touche. But I'm guessing you look the other way when your fellow Republicans invoke the "culture of death."

And just so you know where I'm coming from, I consider Bush to basically be a centrist. An ineffective one, and overly influenced by a some more extremist groups, but a centrist nonetheless.

Tom Strong

Second: I'll acknowledge that Obama's policy proposals are pretty similar to those of the other Democrats. There are interesting and I think important differences, though; for instance, Obama is the only one whose health care plan doesn't include a mandate. Since I'm not keen on being forced by the state to purchase health insurance from a private company, I find his plan the most reasonable of the three.

His reluctance to match Edwards in proposed troop reductions in Iraq is also significant to me; it suggests that he recognizes that many outcomes are still possible in Iraq, and that he wants to leave some cards on the table.

But let's agree that Obama is still basically a typical Democrat in his positions. That doesn't mean his claim to being able to work across partisan lines is illegitimate. There are many ways to work across the aisle, and he has developed a good reputation in this regard.

In my opinion, being temperamentally moderate is as if not more important than bucking your parties conventional wisdom, a la Lieberman or Hagel. Both of those gentlemen have earned their reputations as mavericks; they've also both ensured that, at least in the current climate, they will never be President. Bucking your party means something very different as a President than it does as a Senator.

Tom Strong


He isn't interested in compromise and conciliation

How do you know? Obama may have a history of voting down the line with his party, but that it is in a period when both Democrats and Republicans have embraced highly partisan tactics.

Cooperation isn't a matter of simply offering what your opponent wants. Like negotiation in business, it involves asking prices and tradeoffs. So Obama's stated positions don't really have that much to do with the results he expects to achieve, so much as the starting place he expects to negotiate from.

Which is why mavericks such as Lieberman, McCain, and Hagel are so detested within their own parties. They are often seen as far too eager to negotiate with the opposition - their asking price is set too low for their own party. Obama shows more willingness to negotiate means than some Democrats (notably Edwards), while still keeping to his own party's ends.

Randy (Internet Ronin)

While it is obvious from my comments here and elsewhere that I'm not particularly a fan of Obama, Simon, your comments here and elsewhere strike me as being way over-the-top. In the final analysis, Obama is pretty average Democratic politician with an extraordinary amount of charisma. As to his policy proposals, or lack thereof, he is no better or worse than the almost the entire lot of them, Democrats and Republicans. Specifics lose votes, generalities don't. The huge difference between him and almost all of the others is he is emphasizing the future in his PR and the rest are dwelling on the past in one way or the other.

Tom, as for your point about Obama and compromise/negotiation. I've still seen little evidence of it in his legislative record or his proposals. His reply last night to the question about the troop escalation in Iraq was yet another example of a wasted opportunity to unify rather than divide. If he really believes what he said, he's an ignorant simpleton when it come to foreign policy. I don't think he is, so I have to conclude he was lying to gain votes, too proud to admit he may have erred, too invested in his own scenario to acknowledge reality. A lot like the current incumbent, if you ask me. His scripted speeches are inspirational, uplifting and unifying. His off-the-cuff remarks are as partisan, divisive and mean-spirited as the others. He's just better at getting away with it.

Oh, and Simon: Gingrich is a pretty good thinker but it turns out he was a pretty lousy administrator as Speaker of the House. Bomb-throwers rarely make good executives.

Tom Strong


I don't really disagree with anything you're saying. If you've read the link I posted, it makes pretty clear that Obama's reputation for working across the lines comes mostly from wonkish policy proposals that are important but basically uncontroversial. So there's fair reason to doubt that he would be unable to translate that skill to the limelight of the presidency.

Similarly, with regard to Iraq I'm sure he was lying to gain votes; I just think all the others are, too (with the possible exception of McCain). They all want to reduce the situation to something simpler, more manageable and understandable than it actually is. And my main concern about Obama is exactly that he is too much like George W. Bush.

If I see him in a more positive light than you do, it's mostly because I think he has a moderate temperament, is genuine (if perhaps naive) in his desire to work across the aisle, and is willing to think and rethink through problems carefully. I have no proof for any of these beliefs; they're just impressions formed from watching the man carefully in a variety of contexts.

But I also think this is true to some degree or another of several of the candidates. I don't really see the field for Democrats or Republicans as being all that bad this year.


I added a bit more about why I think Sen. Obama and Gov. Huckabee have something going on:

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