William B. Rood
August 24, 2004
KERRY ASKS BUSH TO END SWIFT BOAT LIES
At a fund-raiser attended by about 750 people, Kerry said the attacks by a group of Vietnam veterans and former Swift Boat commanders have intensified "because in the last months they have seen me climbing in America's understanding that I know how to fight a smarter and more effective war" against terrorists.
"That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that. The president needs to have the courage to talk about it."
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group funded in part by a top GOP donor in Texas, has been running ads featuring veterans who served in Vietnam at the same time as Kerry and question his wartime record.
Group leader John O'Neill continued the attack Sunday on ABC's This Week show, saying that Kerry did not deserve his bravery medals because the swift boat under Kerry's command fled up river during an assault.
Kerry backer John Podesta fired back on the show, saying, " It’s lie and deny, the story keeps changing and changing…John Kerry served with distinction in Vietnam."
The White House and the Bush campaign have denied any direct connection with the Swift Boat group. "The president has made it repeatedly clear that he wants to see an end to all" advertising from outside groups, said Brian Jones, a Bush campaign spokesman.
But on Saturday, a former POW, retired Col. Ken Cordier, resigned as a volunteer from the Bush campaign's veterans' steering committee after it was learned that he participated in an anti-Kerry ad sponsored by the Swift Boat group. The ad criticizes Kerry's congressional anti-war testimony in the 1970s alleging U.S. troops engaged in atrocities in Vietnam.
"Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement," the Bush campaign said in a statement. "Because of his involvement (with the group) Col. Cordier will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney '04."
Earlier on Saturday, Kerry's campaign released a video comparing the controversy over Kerry's Vietnam service to attacks on John McCain during the 2000 Republican primaries.
The video, sent via e-mail to supporters, says, "George Bush is up to his old tricks" and shows then-Texas Gov. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain at a debate in February 2000.
McCain, sitting next to Bush, says that when "fringe veterans groups" attacked him at a Bush campaign function, Bush stood by and didn't say a word. McCain says a group of senators wrote Bush a letter that said: "Apologize. You should be ashamed."
McCain, also a Vietnam veteran, says Bush "really went over the line."
"I don't know how you can understand this, George, but that really hurts," McCain says.
The Swift Boat group also was being challenged by a Chicago Tribune editor who was on the Feb. 28, 1969, mission for which Kerry received the Silver Star. William Rood, 61, said he decided to break his silence about the mission because recent reports of Kerry's actions in that battle are incorrect and darken the reputations of veterans who served with Kerry.
"The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us," Rood said in a 1,700-word first-person account published in Sunday's edition of the Tribune. "It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there."
Rood said the allegations that Kerry's accomplishments were overblown are untrue and that Kerry came up with an attack strategy that was praised by their superiors. According to the Tribune, Rood's recollection of what happened that day in South Vietnam was backed by military documents.
Rood wrote that Kerry recently contacted him and other crew members, requesting that they go public with their accounts of what happened.
"I can't pretend those calls (from Kerry) had no effect on me, but that is not why I am writing this," Rood said. "What matters most to me is that this is hurting crewmen who are not public figures and who deserved to be honored for what they did. My intent is to tell the story here and to never again talk publicly about it."
Kerry also picked up support from Wayne Langhofer, who told The Washington Post he was manning a machine gun in a boat behind Kerry's and saw firing from both banks of a river as Kerry dived in to rescue Special Forces soldier James Rassmann, the basis for Kerry's Bronze Star.
Until now, the Post noted on its Web site, Kerry's version of acting under fire had come from crewmen on his own boat. It quoted Langhofer as saying he was approached by leaders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth several months ago but declined to join them in speaking against Kerry.
In Roanoke, Va., on Saturday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards also called on Bush to end the Swift Boat Veterans ads.
"This is a moment of truth for George W. Bush," Edwards said at a Democratic rally. "We're going to see what kind of man he is and what kind of leader he is. ... We want to hear three words: Stop these ads."
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
RESARCH SUGGESTS LANGUAGE HAS A BEARING ON COGNITION
August 24, 2004
"Does language sometimes define the content of thought? Are there people who cannot entertain certain ideas because their language does not have the words to express them? Are there concepts that cannot be translated into some languages?
"These questions have vexed linguists and neuroscientists for years. The general feeling has been that language does not limit cognition. However, a new study in the online version of Science suggests that the prevailing notion might not be correct.
"Peter Gordon, a behavioral scientist at Columbia University, conducted an unusual set of experiments with seven adults of the 200-member Piraha tribe of Amazonian Indians in Brazil.
"The tribe's counting system consists of three words – one that means 'roughly one,' one that means 'a small quantity' and one that means 'many.'
"Gordon asked the Piraha subjects to perform various tasks in which performance would be greatly enhanced by the ability to count. These included laying out the same number of nuts or sticks that he had laid out; distinguishing two boxes whose only difference was the number of fish drawn on their tops; and knowing when a tin can was empty after watching the researcher put nuts into the can and then withdraw them.
"Gordon found the Piraha were incapable of following or accounting for more than three objects. He attributed this finding to the fact the Piraha 'have no privileged name for the singular quantity'– in other words, no one, no notion of an integer."
I believe several times on this Blog site, I've mentioned that Christians who are Bible literalists don't have the language for the modern world nor for science, that they live in a world 2,000 years out of date. That's why they are so angry and uncomfortable with the world they find their out of date language trying to cope with. This bit of information further confirms it.
"My atheism. . . is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests." —George Santayana (Philosopher)