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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1) Thanks.

2) Yikes.

Eddie Thomas

If you look at the political ideologies of the rest of the world and of human history, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is trivial. They are different versions of classical liberalism. The nastiness between them is, to my mind, a sign of how close they are. People who are genuinely far apart in their beliefs typically don't waste time trying to win the argument, because they know that there is too little common ground to make the effort worthwhile.


A few other comments...

Obama is a fraud and a coward (like most other politicians).
Why do I say that? Because everytime something happens in realtiem that requires him to step up to the plate and prove himself, you see his instincts of damage control and spin click in. How is that new or different? How is that a change?

Michelle was very clear. I take her at her word. I don't think it's the end of world that she thinks that way. I had the feeling that she thought that way already (before hearing her statement). I've seen and heard that look and tone before many times. Her anger and frustration are very obvious.

I believe she meant exactly what she said. But instead of supporting his wife and speakign teh truth - Obama and his campaign freaked at what the political consequences might be, and spun the heck out of it. That is exactly what Clinton would have done (and most other politicians). It's a shame, but I accpe that it's part of the game. However, please spare me the hypocrticial self-righteous bullsh*t. McCain and Obama are both liars. They both pose as being something they are not. Both arrogant. Both self-righteous.

Obama is not different. He is an ultraliberal espousing very old, tired liberal views. How is that "looking forward"? That's the irony in painting McCain as old/yesterday. Obama sure LOOKS young and vibrant/modern, but his views are old school. And his oration style is one of black preacher. How is that new or different?

How upset are lefties going to be when he is leceted POTUS and he disappoints them? When the honeymoon ends, and the relity taht he's just another politician sets in? I see this every election cycle. The "believers" devote theie hearts and minds to candidate(s) only to be crushed once they realize that their idealist views are pure fantasy.

Beware the self-righteous. They are dangerous.


You overlook a couple of important factors...

Previously Obama refused to salute the American flag during the national anthem and claimed he wouldn't wear the pin on the lapel which all the Congress people were wearing cause it was as "false" patriotism.

Many people wrote those off as lapses or one time incidents but now we are finding out that it is a shared principle within his household.

They have never been proud of America? He doesn't believe in showing respect for the symbols of America and the sacrifices of men who have gone before him?

Just where does his allegiences lie?


Mike in NY: Well said. Amen. That anything human is perfectible is a dangerous belief. We've done remarkably well, considering!


"Christian: that's just wrong. Plenty of liberals have defended the country. My uncle, who was offered a government internship by the Roosevelts that would have exempted him from fighting, joined the Naval Air Force anyway and was killed in 1943"

The liberalism of the pre-Vietnam era is not the liberalism of today. I may as well reach back to the 1940s to find liberals who opposed open season on the unborn. So I stand by my view that liberalism as it is today does not love America enough to defend her.


To continue my "brain" metaphor, we moderates are the corpus callosum, attempting to keep a line of communication open between the two hemispheres. We're not trying to mush them together. We're trying to get them to complement each other and to contend without trying to destroy each other.

dave s

You're right that the left's current state of mind is a holdover from the 60's. (This, of course, makes them regressives instead of progressives.) And with the left, to be cool -- and we all know the left is really cool -- you must be a rebel. And to rebel is to declare authority bad. M Obama was pandering to her left audience, pure and simple.

The campaign's and her spin for damage control is insincere and manufactured. She said what she said. Even studying the full context of her speech one can not plausibly believe that she was speaking specifically, and only, about the political experience.

Moreover, she qualifies the statement to encompass "her adult lifetime." That period reasonably goes back 20 years to the mid-80's. Who was president? All from the other party except for the husband of her opponent. So, in one fell swoop she disses the leadership of both the right and of her opponent's husband.


"about certain Democrats' predominantly critical view of their country. Are the Obamas among those Democrats, or not?"

If you actually listen to Barak Obama's speeches, there's little doubt that they are. Obama's speeches are a litany of what some on the left believe is wrong with America, when you separate out the actual facts from the fluff.

for an interesting perspective.


Word DO matter. Michelle's statement is simply the way liberals talk about America. And the constant reinforcement of America as a negative force in the world is an infection that liberals are responsible for. There is no point agonizing what they may or may not FEEL - what they SAY, and say over and over again through the megaphone of the media - is what is poisoning our soul.

My children are very imperfect, but if I spoke to them, and about them, in the way liberals speak about America, they would not only never improve - they would never grow up.


She says "really proud" referred to the level of turnout and political engagement she's never seen before.

Yeah, that's kinda the way I'd interpreted it, too, when I'd first heard it.

Disclaimer: I also was not taken aback at McCain's assertion that we may be in Iraq for 100 years. I thought the same thing Randy (Internet Ronin) did: We still have bases in all those WWII places.

Since I'm not rabidly partisan, I'm now off to check the DSM-IV to see what kind of loathesome mental illness I must have.

Maxwell James

Improvable is not the same as perfectible.

(This is in response to Sissy Willis, long ago).


amba said:

"Here's the damage control, and it's good. She does a good, composed, relaxed job of defending herself."

I disagree. All she did was issue a non-denial denial. It's very clear that she had no intention on claiming that she mis-spoke or that she did not fell shame of America during her adult life. Either one of those clarifications would have gone a long way at making her original gaffe a non-issue. As it stands now, she has made some segment of Americans nervous about her, and thus, her husband's true feelings towards this country.


She says "really proud" referred to the level of turnout and political engagement she's never seen before.

Sorry, Michelle, the issue is not the clarification what you ARE proud of NOW, it is that you specifically said you had NEVER been proud of AMERICA BEFORE.

I don't know how anyone can think your little rhetorical trick is "classy" - it is just more evidence that you think you can say anything you want and your coolness will get you a pass.


It resonates because it fits the story line. Just like the Howard Dean Scream fit the story line of him being a bit nuts, so it resonated with enough people that it sunk him. If someone with a reputation for being straightlaced had done it, people might have noticed, but only long enough to think it cute and "for once so and so let his hair down."

If Lefties weren't constantly acting as though they consider the United States to be the root of all evil in the world, then they could make comments like this and no one would notice. But because they do act that way (please don't argue this, just go read Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky for a few minutes and the point will be made sufficiently), don't be surprised when comments like this get pulled in as further evidence of what we already know.


I don't intend to argue that, Arminius, because it's true. It is not true of all Democrats. It's certainly true of the hard left, the "base," the academic and identity politicians. Does a Democratic candidate need them to win the way the Republican party needs the so-con Christian Right? And if so, how can we tell what's regrettable obligatory pandering and what's ideological fellowship? Obama could be a former radical, and his movement to the center could be quite genuine. Many people have followed that trajectory as (or if) they grew up. He would then retain the ability to talk to those people and to try to offer them enough to bring them into a center-left coalition. The question is, to what extent are the Obamas still with them in their hearts? It's one of the worlds they come from. If they have really changed, they should get credit for it. But how do we know?

Kevin Fleming

Amba, I noticed no one here gave much of a response to the items I copied foom the Trinity Church website, Obama's church.

Their writings are disturbing, I think, but Obama will be given a complete pass on this. Just watch.


I find the beliefs of Trinity Church and the statements of its pastor disturbing, but I think Obama can claim that those beliefs are not espoused by him, and we're not electing Jeremiah Wright.

Obama can rightly ask, "How many people agree with everything their pastor says?" And get a laugh.

Then why does he attend that church if he doesn't agree with their beliefs? And Obama can again reply, "I'm married. How many husbands agree with everything their spouse says?" And get another laugh.

Obama may in fact agree with Trinity's statements, but he can easily and plausibly deny it. There's no story to really pursue.

Papa Ray

While everyone here is right in talking about what she said, how she said it, and what she meant.

The bigger question about her and her husband is do they scare you or give you an uneasy feeling?

If so, you are not unlike everyone I have spoke to about them.

Think about that.

Papa Ray


Kevin -- I responded! (See 11:21) Got lost in the sauce. More to come.

Also mentioned it in another comment.


Papa Ray: Everyone?

I would ask you and "everyone" you know: do black people generally "scare you or give you an uneasy feeling"?


The messianic thing does give me an uneasy feeling. Is that what you're talking about?


You couldn't be more wrong. As a member of the "right-wing", let me tell you how I read that quote. Michelle Obama believes that America is fundamentally flawed but occasionally - like when people vote for her husband - it does good thing. Folks on the right believe exactly the opposite; America is a fundamentally good country that sometimes does flawed things.

Posted by: Jimmi

Jimmi, This is what she said additionally. "What I was clearly talking about was that I'm proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process," "For the first time in my lifetime, I'm seeing people rolling up their sleeves in a way that I haven't seen and really trying to figure this out -- and that's the source of pride that I was talking about."

Personally, I don't care if what she said, was what she meant. The truth is, conservatives are no better Americans than liberals. That is the bottom line here. And those who think otherwise, are self righteous. My opinion of course.


Ms. Obama's comments are extremely damaging because they are part and parcel of the ugly side of her party. Half of the party DOES hate America. And reminding voters in the mushy middle of that fact is a great way for Democrats to lose the election.

Posted by: stan

Hey Stan, not liking the Bush administration does not equal hating America.


For those who feel that the "really" make all the difference, note that she said it twice, with and without:

"For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country -- not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

See Michelle Obama: Two Speeches.

It's time for Barack to start wearing a flag pin and making sure that he communicates his pride and love for America so that the rest of us get it. He's got some ground to make up.


It's time for Barack to start wearing a flag pin and making sure that he communicates his pride and love for America so that the rest of us get it. He's got some ground to make up.

Posted by: huxley

He doesn't need to put his flag pin back on. How shallow does one have to get? Do actually think those who wear flag pins are more patriotic? I see no evidence that Bush loves America more. You have a mindset that most hard right subscribe to, and that is conservatives are not only better Americans, but better Christians. It's absurd and pitiful.


Spud -- Obama is a presidential candidate who won't wear a flag pin, who goes to a church whose web site characterizes America as a "captor society" preying upon blacks, whose spiritual mentor is friends with Louis Farrakhan, and has a wife who twice in one speech says that only now is she proud of America for the first time in her adult life.

This man wants to be president of the United States and he wants my vote and the votes of millions of other Americans who, like me, find his behavior and the people he surrounds himself incongruent with love of America, as she is--not some leftist utopia she might be if the Obamas were in charge to remake her as they wish.

I understand how that mindset works. For most of my adult life I was a leftist progressive and I wasn't proud of America either. In recent years I've come to realize what an amazing country I'm fortunate enough to live in. I'm proud of America now. I don't need my spouse or my favorite candidate to be winning to do so.


I understand how that mindset works. For most of my adult life I was a leftist progressive and I wasn't proud of America either. In recent years I've come to realize what an amazing country I'm fortunate enough to live in. I'm proud of America now. I don't need my spouse or my favorite candidate to be winning to do so.

Posted by: huxley

Where do conservatives get off thinking that conservatism equals patriotism and love of country. That illusion comes right out of the Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin play book. I don't have a problem with conservative thinking until conservatives inject that they are better Americans and patriots. It's repulsive.

Oh yeah, I don't see Louis Farrakhan as any less of an American, than say, Dick Cheney.


You're right about this being standard leftist sentiment - it's more of a personal reflection of their own narcissism than an actual comment about the US - Libs believe the US can't be any good because it doesn't do what tehy want - forget being the richest most powerful and influential country ever - there's insufficient arts funding.


Symbolism matters, except to an élite who are more sophisticated than that and think that flag-reverence is for rubes. (Which makes you, Spuddy, what -- an élite rube? Don't take offense, I love you.) A presidential candidate who won't wear the flag won't get elected, because more than 51% of Americans won't understand what his problem is.

I doubt that Obama has a personal problem with the flag at this point, but he knows some of his supporters do and would consider him a sellout if he wore it. No matter what y'all say, there is a rough symmetry between the problems Democratic and Republican candidates have with having to appease a zealous base the majority does not agree with. Huckabee is too close to the right base; Obama may prove to be too close to the left one. We may be looking at President McCain, despite the New York Times' astonishing attempt to smear him. (Are they the oppo research arm of the Democratic party??)


Spud -- I never said that "conservatism equals patriotism and love of country". I am saying that the onus is on Obama to persuade the majority of Americans that he is a patriot. You may not care about the flag pin and what Obama's church and his wife say, but to a large percentage of Americans it doesn't seem patriotic.

For the record, I am a registered Democrat, I call myself a classic liberal, and I voted for Hillary in my state primary.


Amba -- Nice blog! It took me a day to get your masthead photo.

Would Obama really be considered a sellout for wearing a flag pin? As I recall, Hillary and Edwards wore flag pins.

It seems to me that a presidential candidate running as a unifier--which Obama claims to be running as--ought not have a problem wearing a flag pin and thus signaling his feelings of patriotism to Americans on the right. His base ought to be mature enough to understand that Obama is speaking to the whole country, not just them.

Unfortunately, beneath all the transcendent One-America rhetoric, Obama is a nearly pure partisan progressive. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but it detracts from the unity message.

Anyone to the right of Obama has to wonder what kind of unity is offered if it seems to boil down to "Let's all stop squabbling over our differences and just see things my way."


Thanks Amba for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate it. As far as being a rube, I don't take offense easily. I have participated in too many far right blogs for that.

What I have a problem with many conservatives, especially the hard right, is self-righteousness. It's as though I'm suppose to apologies for having liberal views or something. Being a good American doesn't hinge on whether one is conservative or liberal. How many people are proud that America has legalized abortion? Michele Obama is as good American as those who criticize her.

We have a long way to go before election day so it's hard to know what's going to happen, but as far as the New York Times article goes, I'm not looking for a scandal, so I won't read it. But I do find it rather amusing that many of those who get bent out of shape over the NYT, have no problem with FOX TV, but I am one of those who believes there is no such thing as the MSM.

Thank you Amba for treating your audience with intelligence.


Spud -- I never said that "conservatism equals patriotism and love of country". I am saying that the onus is on Obama to persuade the majority of Americans that he is a patriot. You may not care about the flag pin and what Obama's church and his wife say, but to a large percentage of Americans it doesn't seem patriotic.

Posted by: huxley

I respectfully disagree. I think it's a non issue for most Americans. Obama doesn't have to prove his patriotism to me anymore than you do, It's obvious. Are you sure you're a classic liberal?


Spud -- Unlike you or me, Obama is running for president of the United States. Yes, he does have to prove his patriotism, as well as his intelligence, decency, and competency...for starters. That's what campaigning is about. We don't assume that everyone is worthy of being president.

If Obama is going to make a deal about not wearing a flag pin while surrounding himself with people who denigrate America as a "captor society" or who just discovered that they are proud of America for the first time because of the Obama campaign, I am going to wonder about his patriotism, as will millions of Americans. That's just the reality of it, whether you or Obama like it or not.


Huxley--proving his patriotism, is wearing his flag pin? How come I don't see any more patriotism in the other candidates? What do I have to prove that I'm a patriot? Why should I think you're more of a patriot? After all I don't think Michelle Obama has anything to apologies for. Why would I support a candidate that doesn't like his own country? I am an American.


"Why would I support a candidate that doesn't like his own country? I am an American."

Spud-- whaaaa? What does that mean?

Hey- get this... do you want a quaterback on your team to be able to throw and prove he can; or, do you take some dude's word that he CAN 'cause he sure can run his mouth fine-- and you know you'll be stuck w/this fella(able to throw or not) for 4 freaking yrs?

I think we called them tryouts in High School, spud. I wanna see the fella throw the damned ball.


"Why would I support a candidate that doesn't like his own country? I am an American."

Spud-- whaaaa? What does that mean?

It means, "why would anyone support someone to lead their country, who doesn't like his country."

Sissy Willis

Amba -- Here is what I mean by the tragic view of human nature, as blogged at sisu early and often:

"We believe deeply that the denial of 'life's dark side in ourselves' is the key to what's wrong with the utopianist world view . . .

"It's the tragic view of human nature -- vs. the left's utopian, blank-slate, noble-savage one that denies any such thing as human nature -- that acknowledges the dark side in all of us and tries to design political institutions -- the U.S. Constitution comes to mind -- that channel our potentially destructive human nature into productive self-fulfillment (can you say invisible hand?) that redounds to the good of the larger community . . .

"Approval amongst the members of one's group is all important for the psychological bonding that can mean the difference between survival and extinction, but some groups have more to feel good about than others, especially in this politically correct, self-esteem-without-effort era. We hold within us the potential for both extreme evil and extreme good . . . It all depends upon what we do with our human nature."

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