Apuzzo Was Pretty Sure This Wasn’t A French Poodle
First, why do I say a “PAZZO”??? In Italian, “pazzo” as a noun means a madman, lunatic, or bedlamite. As a phrase, “pazzo” means “off one’s rocker.” Some of the adjectival meanings are even more fun, including, but not limited to, “moony” and “batty.” If you don’t believe me, there is a Google Translate screenshot, redacted for sizing, at Note 2. below:
Next, I need to explain why I prefer the Apazzo pronunciation and spelling. Here is a link to his latest bit of drooling:
Once again he dives head first into a four inch deep pool of Aristotelian Logic to critique one, Bob Quasius of Cafe Con Leche Republicans
“The citizenship of Ted Cruz’s father is irrelevant. Ted Cruz was born a citizen of the United States based upon his mother’s citizenship and many years of residency in the U.S., per the federal statutes in effect at the time Ted Cruz was born. A natural born citizen is one who was born a citizen, as compared to someone not born a citizen and naturalized. Ted Cruz was born a citizen, and therefore he’s a natural born citizen.”
The purpose of this article is not to discuss all that is substantively incorrect with Apuzzo’s argument. I will save that for a future post. To show the problems with his logic it is only necessary to lift the legal covers enough to properly frame the issue. Since Poor Mario spends a lot of time jumping up and down about an 1875 U.S. Supreme Court case, Minor v. Happersett, let’s use it to set the stage:
Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides that “no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,”and that Congress shall have power “to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.
It is clear that the Minor Court views citizenship as natural born versus naturalized, since by 1875 most of those alive 88 years earlier on September 17, 1787 had died. What really wads up Apuzzo’s pantaloons is this statement from the 2011 Maskell Congressional Research Service memorandum, wherein the :
The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth,’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship ‘at birth.’” In this memo, he also added: “there is no Supreme Court case which has ruled specifically on the presidential eligibility requirements, although several cases have addressed the term ‘natural born’ citizen. And this clause has been the subject of several legal and historical treatises over the years, as well as more recent litigation.
See the Natural Born Citizenship link in the website header above for the entire memo. All that Maskell says is that most legal authorities think if you are a citizen at birth, then you are a natural born citizen. The Minor Court seemed to adopt the same view. That is a logical conclusion since the whole purpose for such laws in the first place was the desire of Congress (or before Congress, English kings and English parliaments) to extend the same rights of citizenship to those Americans born overseas as they would have had if they had been born inside the country. I would feel comfortable making that argument in court.
To attack this conclusion Apuzzo resorts once again to the FORMS and STRUCTURES of logical arguments. Here is what he does:
First, as to the formal logical fallacy, let us break down what Maskell and Quasius actually said into its logical form. I will use the following symbols: Natural born Citizen=NBC, and Citizen at birth=CAB
All NBCs are CABs.
All persons like Ted Cruz (born in Canada to a U.S “citizen” mother and non-U.S. “citizen” father) are CABs.
Therefore, all persons like Ted Cruz are NBCs.
First, it is a tautology to argue that a “natural born Citizen” is a born citizen. Second, this argument commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent (affirming that one is a CAB does not prove that one is a NBC). Third, this argument suffers from fallacy in that it violates the rule of the undistributed middle (the middle term CABs is not distributed in either the major or minor premise meaning the term has not been defined as belonging or not belonging within the class of NBCs). So, while the major and minor premises are both true, the conclusion, which equates a CAB to a NBC is false. We should see intuitively that the conclusion does not follow from the two premises. An easy way to see the invalidity of the argument is the following:
All poodles are dogs.
Bubbles is a dog.
Therefore, Bubbles is a poodle.
We know that this argument is not valid because, with dogs being comprised of more than just poodles, Bubbles can be a German Shepherd or some other type of dog.
Poodles??? The first thing that Apuzzo screws up is the form of such statements which is usually. Any undistributed middle is by his own hand. Let us obtain the proper logical FORM from here:
A properly constructed syllogism consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. The conclusion has a subject (S) and a predicate (P) which are derived from the premises. The major premise addresses the predicate, the minor premise addresses the subject and the two premises share a minor (or middle) term (M) which connects them. For example:
Major premise: All M are P.
Minor premise: All S are M.
Conclusion: All S are P.
Let’s compare this with Apuzzo’s form! Let M = poodles, P = dogs, S=Bubbles
Proper Logical Form Apuzzo Logical Form
Major Premise All M are P All M are P
Minor Premise All S are M All S are P
Conclusion All S are P All P are M
Major Premise All poodles are dogs All poodles are dogs
Minor Premise Bubbles is a poodle Bubbles is a dog
Conclusion Bubbles is a dog Bubbles is a poodle
Properly executed, you discover that Bubbles is both a poodle and a dog. In Mario Universe, assuming that Bubbles is a pit bull, then you end up giving a small child a pit bull for Christmas. But, even if Bubbles were a poodle, it would simply be a lucky guess because of the FORM. Apuzzo’s form is logically invalid and can not be relied upon to provide true answers.
Now, lets assume that Apuzzo is wrong about CABs and NBCs and that they are both exactly the same thing as believed by Maskell and the Great Weight of Legal and Historical Authority. Then let’s put the matter to the logic test in proper logical form:
Major premise: All NBCs are CABs
Minor premise: Cruz is an NBC
Conclusion: Therefore, Cruz is a CAB
Major premise: All CABs are NBCs
Minor premise: Cruz is a CAB
Conclusion: Therefore, Cruz is an NBC.
Yes, I can live with either conclusion. Neither strikes me as being facially incorrect, invalid, or untrue. It would all depend on the truthfulness of the premises. For example, if a court ruled that all CAB are NOT NBC’s, then Cruz may or may not be an NBC. Which brings you to the second big problem with Apuzzo’s whole approach to this thing. Which is, his whole approach to the thing.
Not only was his logical form screwed up, but the entire process of using syllogisms to provide an answer or enlightenment in this case is logically of little probative value. That is because it is the major premises themselves which are at issue. Are all natural born citizens also citizens at birth? Are all citizens at birth natural born citizens? If the major premise is incorrect, then the correctness of any conclusion arrived at as a result of that error would fall into the Lucky Guess category. Amazingly, Apuzzo gets to this exact same point when he says:
Second, now let us examine the informal fallacy of the Maskell/Quasius statement. Now we will test the truth of the major and minor premises of the argument. To do that, we need to help Maskell and Quasius a little by converting their invalid argument into a valid one. Here we go:
All CABs are NBCs.
All persons like Ted Cruz are CABs.
All persons like Ted Cruz are NBCs.
This argument is valid because if the major and minor premises are true, the conclusion must be true. But while the argument is valid as to its logical form, it is not sound, meaning that the major or minor premise or both are false. This adjusted Maskell argument is not sound because its major premise is false.
Yeah. Duh. If one’s major premise is screwed up, the conclusion may or may not be screwed up, but one is logically incapable of determining that fact from the form of the argument itself. One can construct valid arguments based on false premises and resulting in silly or sane conclusions all day long and end up nowhere. Sooo, what does Mario Apazzo, Esq. do after reaching this state of enlightenment???
Does he say to himself, “Well, CRAP! This process is getting me nowhere fast. Maybe I need to do a re-write because whatever I syllogism out is going to be totally dependent on the truth of the premises the person uses. Which is what we’re all fussing about in the first place. Back to the drawing board!”
OH Hell No!!! He goes on to construct a whole new set of major and minor premises and starts syllogizing all over again. He isn’t destroying Maskell or Quasius with LOGIC. . . He admitted himself that using logical forms doesn’t work unless one accepts the underlying premises. So all he is doing is just spouting off his opinion and glossing it over with some if, thens, equals, and therefores like he is Mr. Logic or something.
He’s PAZZO for doing it, PAZZO for doing it wrong, and PAZZO for thinking nobody would notice.
Note 1. Also see this from Wiki:
Note 2: Pazzo, in translation:
Note 3. The Image. This is La Bete, the Beast, from the French film, La Belle et La Bete (1946). This is an absolutely beautiful and fantastic film and if you have never seen it, please remedy that. Here is a little about it from Wiki:
Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a 1946 French romantic fantasy film adaptation of the traditional fairy tale of the same name, written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and published in 1757 as part of a fairy tale anthology (Le Magasin des Enfants, ou Dialogues entre une sage gouvernante et ses élèves, London 1757). Directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, the film stars Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais.
The plot of Cocteau’s film revolves around Belle’s father who is sentenced to death for picking a rose from Beast’s garden. Belle offers to go back to the Beast in her father’s place. Beast falls in love with her and proposes marriage on a nightly basis which she refuses. Belle eventually becomes more drawn to Beast, who tests her by letting her return home to her family and telling her that if she doesn’t return to him within a week, he will die of grief.
Upon the film’s December 1947 New York City release, critic Bosley Crowther called the film a “priceless fabric of subtle images,…a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas”; according to Crowther, “the dialogue, in French, is spare and simple, with the story largely told in pantomime, and the music of Georges Auric accompanies the dreamy, fitful moods. The settings are likewise expressive, many of the exteriors having been filmed for rare architectural vignettes at Raray, one of the most beautiful palaces and parks in all France. And the costumes, too, by Christian Bérard and Escoffier, are exquisite affairs, glittering and imaginative.” According to Time magazine, the film is a “wondrous spectacle for children of any language, and quite a treat for their parents, too”; but the magazine concludes “Cocteau makes about a half-hour too much of a good thing—and few things pall like a dream that cannot be shaken off.”
In 1999, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert added the film to his “Great Movies” list, calling it “one of the most magical of all films” and a “fantasy alive with trick shots and astonishing effects, giving us a Beast who is lonely like a man and misunderstood like an animal.” A 2002 Village Voice review found the film’s “visual opulence” “both appealing and problematic”, saying “Full of baroque interiors, elegant costumes, and overwrought jewelry (even tears turn to diamonds), the film is all surface, and undermines its own don’t-trust-a-pretty-face and anti-greed themes at every turn.” In 2010, the film was ranked #26 in Empire magazine’s “100 Best Films of World Cinema”.
This also explains the Image Easter egg.