Tag Archives: Jack Maskell

Mario Apuzzo, Esq. Is All Wet!!! (Part I, The Witch Test)

witch ski

Apuzzo Suddenly Realized That He Wasn’t On Solid Ground

Well, Mario Apuzzo, Esq. once again takes issue with my assessments of his arguments. Here is a link to his latest broadside at me, the Artsy-Fartsy Girl Reporter:

The Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the “Natural Born Citizen” Clause:  A Response to Artsy Fartsy Squeeky Fromm Girl Reporter

Artsy Fartsy Squeeky Fromm Girl Reporter (“Squeeky Fromm”) continues in vain to try to persuade the public that she has refuted my position that an Article II “natural born Citizen” is a child born in the country to parents who were its “citizens” at the time of the child’s birth.

http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-constitution-rule-of-law-and.html

For purposes of space, this article will only discuss his syllogisms, or logical form arguments. Part II will cover his substantive arguments. Before we discuss his arguments, let’s do some analogizing about tests! Back in Ye Olde Witch Hunting Days, there was a test designed to determine if a woman was witch. It was called dunking. The alleged witch would be trussed up, taken to the nearest river or pond, and tossed in. If she floated, she was a witch. If she sank, she was innocent. There was usually a rope attached, and the witches, innocent and otherwise, were pulled back up in the boat. This was a respected, and well established test dating back to the days of Babylon. Personally, I think it was more of an ancient form of the Wet T-Shirt Contest, but I believe a lot of Jungian stuff, so who knows.

Anyway, from a modern perspective, we can see that this test had absolutely nothing to do with proving whether or not the subject was a witch, and a lot more to do with Body Mass Index (BMI). A voluptuous, buxom woman, with ample hips, would be more likely to float, whereas scrawny little Girl Reporters would end up noodling catfish on the bottom. Theoretically, it would be possible to rig these tests. For example, if it was me, and a Mob of Angry Birthers said I was a witch, then I would put on my cast iron chastity belt, and slip some diving weights into my undies. I do not put this kind of thing past people in that day, either.

This may make it easier to understand what I was griping about when I wrote my “stabs.” They were in response to an Apuzzo article critical of Jack Maskell, who had written a 50 page memo for the Congressional Research Service, and Bob Quasius, a blogger at Cafe Con Leche Republicans, who relied on that memo to conclude Ted Cruz was most likely a natural born citizen. A copy of Maskell’s memo, and a pdf of it for easier reading, may be found here:

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/natural-born-citizenship/

Apuzzo attacked Maskell by using logical syllogisms.  I counter-attacked Apuzzo by pointing out that syllogisms are basically useless when it is the major premises themselves that are issue. And even more useless when an author plays fast and loose with them. That was the point that I made in my first article on this:

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/he-says-apuzzo-i-say-a-pazzo/

Perhaps it is my inherent witchiness, but neither that article nor the subsequent rebuttal article sank in.  So, that is why I am trying this analogy. The Dunking Test is a lot like those Logical Syllogisms. Neither are accurate tests of the truth, and both are subject to being rigged. This was the point that I made in my articles.  That syllogisms are as unreliable in determining the TRUTH of an argument, as tossing a witch into yon pond. Take for example this perfectly logically valid syllogism:

Major Premise:   All dogs can fly
Minor Premise:   Fido is a dog
Conclusion:          Fido can fly

While this passes the logically VALID test, in that its FORM is correct, it does not pass the TRUE test. How do we know that it is not true??? We must go outside the syllogism for that. It is our experience, and our judgement which tell us that dogs can not fly. Therefore, facts outside of the syllogism itself are necessary to determine the truth. That was the point I made to Apuzzo. That his methodology was flawed, and that by using syllogisms he would be unable to shine any light whatsoever on the issue, particularly because it was the major premise itself that was the subject of contention.

In the context of determining whether citizens at birth are legally equivalent to natural born citizens, using syllogisms is like using the Dunking Test.  You will get a result, but that result doesn’t mean anything.  But Apuzzo is not keen on the whole judgement external to the syllogism thingy. He complained:

And even though Squeeky Fromm comes to Maskell’s aid, she also does not present any evidence to show that Maskell’s major premise, as reconstructed by me, would be true. What she does in place of presenting any evidence that the major premise is true is just to say that the premise does not strike her “as being facially incorrect, invalid, or untrue.” From this statement we can see that Squeeky Fromm has very little understanding of informal logic and fallacies. An informal fallacy has the exact facial appeal that she relies upon. But when its underlying truth is tested, it fails

Nope. It is Mario Apuzzo, Esq. who does not understand. As in the Fido Syllogism above, where else could one go if one finds the conclusion that Fido can fly troubling??? And not something you wish to discuss deeply with Mental Health professionals. Here, between the double lines, is what I wrote which prompted that response:

====================

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 this thing.

====================

Summarizing this point, to determine whether or not a syllogism is TRUE, you have to go outside the syllogism. While outside, if something looks STUPID, then the syllogism is probably neither TRUE  nor SOUND.  Sooo, Fido can fly . . . strike[s] [me]“as being facially incorrect, invalid, or untrue.” With Maskell and Quasius, there were no such vibes.  There might be disagreement from the Birthers, but once again, that is why you don’t use syllogisms in situations like this. They are about as useful as trussing Maskell up, and  chunking him into a river to see if he floats.

Now, to discuss Apuzzo’s initial rigging of Maskell’s Dunking Test. In his original article, Apuzzo characterized Maskell’s take on this as:

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.

This is the same FORM, as Apuzzo’s Bubbles the Poodle example:

All poodles are dogs.
Bubbles is a dog.
Therefore, Bubbles is a poodle.

This is  a NOT VALID form, and it is also NOT the manner in which either Maskell, or the blogger Bob Quasius presented the argument. There was no reason to ever present Maskell’s argument in that particular form, except to set up a straw man.  Maskell’s position could be accurately presented by the two proper forms above. Apuzzo simply slipped some floaties on Maskell, tossed him in the drink, and then hollered, “Witch! Witch!” when Maskell floated to the surface.

That was my point. That was also what I said in my first rebuttal response to Apuzzo:

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/mario-apuzzo-esq-s-distributed-muddle/

In his latest article, Mario Apuzzo tangentially deals with these criticisms:

Squeeky Fromm tries to persuade that she successfully addressed my criticisms of Congressional Attorney Jack Maskell’s thesis (his major premise) that all born citizens are “natural born citizens.”  From her article we can see that she is starting to understand the world of logic a little better. But she does not admit the blunder that she made with the first part of my logical presentation in which I expose why to argue, that since all “natural born Citizen” are “citizens at birth,” and since Barack Obama is a “citizen at birth,” he is a “natural born Citizen,” is logically invalid.  We have to recognize this argument and show that it is invalid because it is one of the means by which Maskell arrives at his conclusion that Obama is a “natural born citizen.”

Second, Squeeky Fromm, underplays the second part of my logical analysis where I show, by converting Maskell’s invalid argument into a valid argument, that Maskell’s second argument is unsound because the major premises is false.  Maskell’s second argument can only be all “citizens at birth” are “natural born citizens,” and since Obama is a “citizen at birth,” he is a “natural born citizen.”  Maskell’s major premise in this argument would be all “citizens at birth” are “natural born Citizens.” Squeeky Fromm fails to understand the importance of the maneuver of taking someone’s invalid argument and making [it] valid. It is done to show that if the argument is to succeed, then its premises must be true. And it is here that I have shown that Maskell’s major premise is false and therefore also his conclusion that Obama is a “natural born citizen.”

Huh??? Well, if you can wave your hands and, “PRESTO CHANGE O!!!” make the syllogism VALID, why did you ever present the INVALID form??? Because we have already established that the TRUTH of a syllogism comes from outside the syllogism, because the TRUTH of the premises comes from outside the syllogism. Let’s go grab Bubbles, and see how this works:

All poodles are dogs.
Bubbles is a dog.
Therefore, Bubbles is a poodle.

Is Bubbles a poodle??? Who knows. The FORM of the syllogism is INVALID, but that does not mean the conclusion is false. That just means that you can’t get to the truth of the conclusion through the argument. Somebody has to outside, in the yard, and check Bubbles. Who may or may not be a poodle.

Now, let’s do an Apuzzo Abracadabra, and make the form VALID:

All poodles are dogs.
Bubbles is a poodle.
Therefore, Bubbles is a dog.

Now, the FORM is VALID, but is the conclusion TRUE??? Who knows? Is Bubbles a poodle? Perhaps Bubbles is a cat. The point is, you still have to go outside the syllogism to check whether or not the premises are true. Now, as a matter of Advanced Syllogisms,  I will tell you, that even if both premises are TRUEish, and the form VALID, the conclusion could be false. Here is a picture of Bubbles, the poodle. She is on the right:

lackey

[Robert Byrn (Sir Kay, The Seneschal) and Mimi Berry (Bubbles, Hand-maiden to Queen Morgan Le Fay) in the 1943 revivial of A Connecticut Yankee. Creator: Valente, Alfredo — Photographer. Created Date 1943.

Because, a poodle is also a lackey, or a servile person.  So, some poodles are dogs. Some aren’t. This isn’t just nitpicking. Syllogisms come in flavors, or moods. About 256 of them, t0 be precise. Out of that 256 possible moods, only 19 forms are considered VALID. Personally, I haven’t counted them.

http://math.fau.edu/schonbek/mfla/mfla1f01syl.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllogism

The relevance here is, that there is a very good chance a premise on the Ted Cruz issue would come out as, Some Citizens-at-Birth are natural born citizens. The law is not a real good place for logical FORMS. One reason is that classifications change. Another is that words are often subjective in meaning, or admit to having more than one meaning. For example, is naturalization a statute to be viewed separate and distinct from the Article II natural born citizen characterization, or is naturalization more properly viewed as a process,  complete with citizenship tests. In the law, lines are seldom hard and fast. This is why you have judges and juries. Somebody has to look at laws and decide what the words mean, and how they are to be applied, and to what facts they should be applied.

That was my point to Mario Apuzzo, Esq. Regarding Ted Cruz, the question of whether or not he is a natural born citizen, is open. Most people, myself included, think this will resolve in his favor. But it will not be resolved from presumption and the making of syllogistic premises. It will be decided by going to the law, and trying to decide the meanings of the words, and the intent behind them. If he wishes to be relevant in that process, Mario Apuzzo, Esq. needs to forget Aristotle, and start reading up on case law and statutory construction.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. The Image. This is Alfredo Mendoza, a former water skiing champion.

Alfredo Mendoza was the premier male water skier in the world during the early 1950s and he turned his tournament successes into a professional career as a skiing star at Florida’s Cypress Gardens. Mendoza first learned to water ski at Lake Tequesquitengo southwest of Mexico City in 1949. His fascination with the sport, coupled with his viewing of a film of show skiing at Cypress Gardens, convinced him to change from his earlier ambition of becoming a bullfighter. Mendoza captured the jumping and overall gold medals at the 1953 World Championships in Toronto, Canada. He repeated as jumping and overall champion at the world meet in Beirut, Lebanon two years later and added the slalom gold medal to his victory string.

http://www.iwsf.com/halloffame/89AlfredoMendoza.htm


The Paraclete Jumps To Another Wrong Conclusion

Chinese Checkers Is More Difficult When You Lose Your Marbles

Well,  Leo Donofrio, Esq., aka The Paraclete, ventured out of his comfy nest made of twigs and bird droppings to attack the 53 page CRS Memo by Jack Maskell, entitled Qualifications for President and the “Natural
Born” Citizenship Eligibility Requirement. The Birthers are going crazy because this memo utterly destroys the two citizen-parent nonsense along with several other imaginary legal theories. The complete memo can also be found at The Birther Think Tank under Natural Born Citizenship in the Header area above.

Donofrio’s dismissal of the entire 53 page report and his entire post is presently based upon his reading of one whole sentence in the report, although we are promised additional quibbling in the future. Excerpts:

The complete refutation will be available soon, but for now I will highlight one particularly deceptive example which illustrates blatant intellectual dishonesty.  On pg. 48, Maskell states:

In one case concerning the identity of a petitioner, the Supreme Court of the United States explained that “[i]t is not disputed that if petitioner is the son” of two Chinese national citizens who were physically in the United States when petitioner was born, then he is “a natural born American citizen ….”221

The petitioner was born in California to parents who were both US citizens.  His father was born in the United States and was a citizen by virtue of the holding in US v. Wong Kim Ark.  His mother’ place of birth was not mentioned.  Regardless, she was covered by the derivative citizenship statute, and was, therefore, a US citizen when the child was born.

But the Supreme Court never said that.  Here’s what they actually said:

“It is not disputed that if petitioner is the son of Kwock Tuck Lee and his wife, Tom Ying Shee, he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States, is a citizen thereof, and is entitled to admission to the country. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 , 18 Sup. Ct. 456.”  Kwok Jan Fat v. White, 253 U.S. 454, 457 (1920).

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/debunking-the-new-natural-born-citizen-congressional-research-propaganda/

Donofrio commits at least two major errors. Let us first deal with whether or not Jack Maskell was being deceptive in his characterization. Here are excerpts from what the Supreme Court said in the Kwock Jan Fat case:

In January, 1915, Kwock Jan Fat, the petitioner, intending to leave the United States on a temporary visit to China, filed with the Commissioner of Immigration for the Port of San Francisco an application, as provided for by law, for a “preinvestigation of his claimed status as an American citizen by birth.”

He claimed that he was 18 years of age, was born at Monterey, California, was the son of Kwock Tuck Lee, then deceased, who was born in America of Chinese parents and had resided at Monterey for many years; that his mother at the time was living at Monterey, and that there were five children in the family, three girls and two boys.

But, while it is conceded that he is certainly the same person who, upon full investigation, was found, in March, 1915, by the then Commissioner of Immigration, to be a natural born American citizen, the claim is that that Commissioner was deceived, and that petitioner is really Lew Suey Chong, who was admitted to this country in 1909 as a son of a Chinese merchant, Lew Wing Tong, of Oakland, California

It is not disputed that if petitioner is the son of Kwock Tuck Lee and his wife, Tom Ying Shee, he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States, is a citizen thereof, and is entitled to admission to the country. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649.

It is better that many Chinese immigrants should be improperly admitted than that one natural born citizen of the United States should be permanently excluded from his country.

Here is a link to the case:

http://supreme.justia.com/us/253/454/case.html

Sooo,  the Kwock Jan Fat Court itself said:

[I]f he was born here, when [his parents] were permanently domiciled in the United States, he is a citizen, and that it was  better to err on the side of  a natural born citizen when they released him from imprisonment.

Maskell cited the Kwock Jan Fat Court as EXPLAINING:

the Supreme Court of the United States explained that “[i]t is not disputed that if petitioner is the son” of two Chinese national citizens who were physically in the United States when petitioner was born, then he is “a natural born American citizen ….

Sorry Paraclete, but I don’t see any big difference.  The Court does not go into the citizenship of the parents. After reading what they say, one is left with the sense that it is the place of birth not the citizenship of the parents which provides the citizenship.  Else why go into “ he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States“?  Plus, “permanently domiciled in the United States” certainly leaves open the implication they were indeed Chinese nationals.  While the fact the father was native born would have probably made him a natural born citizen also, there is no other information provided to the court on that point. The Court does not go into it in their analysis.

That was an accurate summing up of the case. I would not have phrased it the same way as Maskell, but his statement is far from being deceptive. Unless of course one doesn’t like the natural born citizen language. Maybe this is just proof of what I have said all along. Two citizen-parent Birthers are reading comprehension challenged.

Now, let us deal with Donofrio’s second major error, his analysis of Kwock Jan Fat’s parents’ citizenship status. Donofrio waxes pompously:

Having been born in the US of parents who were citizens, petitioner was indeed a natural-born citizen.  But Maskell’s frightening quotation surgery makes it appear as if the petitioner was born of alien parents.  The Supreme Court rejected that contention.  And Maskell’s ruse highlights the depravity of lies being shoved down the nation’s throat on this issue.  I can imagine Mini-Me sitting on his lap while this was being prepared.

Well first, from above, the Kwock Jan Fat Court characterized the parents simply as permanently domiciled in the United States. The Court does not go into any kind of analysis of their citizenship status. Several statements were made by white citizens prior to Kwock’s year long trip to China.  None expressly called Kwock’s father a citizen, although they did note he was born in America and registered to vote.  No documents were presented, and this would have simply been hearsay evidence.  But this was offered simply to prove that Kwock had been born in America, not to prove the citizenship of his father.  As a legal matter, no one on the Court knew or cared what citizenship the father adhered to.  No evidence was submitted that the Father was either a diplomat or invading soldier. And that is additional evidence that the two citizen-parent stuff is nonsense.

Further, at the time of Kwock Jan Fat case, the Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect. Wiki says:

The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by Chester A. Arthur on May 8, 1882, following revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Those revisions allowed the U.S.  to suspend immigration, and Congress subsequently acted quickly to implement the suspension of Chinese immigration, a ban that was intended to last 10 years. This law was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.

The Act also affected Asians who had already settled in the United States. Any Chinese who left the United States had to obtain certifications for reentry, and the Act made Chinese immigrants permanent aliens by excluding them from U.S. citizenship.After the Act’s passage, Chinese men in the U.S. had little chance of ever reuniting with their wives, or of starting families in their new homes.

Between 1882 and 1905, about 10,000 Chinese appealed against negative immigration decisions to federal court, usually via a petition for habeas corpus. In most of these cases, the courts ruled in favor of the petitioner.Except in cases of bias or negligence, these petitions were barred by an act that passed Congress in 1894 and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. vs Lem Moon Sing (1895). In U.S. vs Ju Toy (1905), the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that the port inspectors and the Secretary of Commerce had final authority on who could be admitted. Ju Toy’s petition was thus barred despite the fact that the district court found that he was an American citizen. The Supreme Court determined that refusing entry at a port does not require due process and is legally equivalent to refusing entry at a land crossing. This ruling triggered a brief boycott of U.S. goods in China.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed by the 1943 Magnuson Act, which permitted Chinese nationals already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens and stop hiding from the threat of deportation. It also allowed a national quota of 105 Chinese immigrants per year. Large scale Chinese immigration did not occur until the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965. Despite the fact that the exclusion act was repealed in 1943, the law in California that Chinese people were not allowed to marry whites was not repealed until 1948.

Even today, although all its constituent sections have long been repealed, Chapter 7 of Title 8 of the United States Code is headed, “Exclusion of Chinese.” It is the only chapter of the 15 chapters in Title 8 (Aliens and Nationality) that is completely focused on a specific nationality or ethnic group.

In 2011, the US Senate passed a resolution apologising for past discriminatory actions such as this act.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act

The is no evidence that Kwock’s father ever applied for certification for re-entry, something required for Chinese born here even 22 years after Wong Kim Ark.  And after reference to the Chinese Exclusion Act above, it was far from certain that Kwock’s father would have automatically been presumed to be a citizen without proof of his birth place, which would default to him being deemed a Chinese national a reasonable characterization.

And, another thing that Donofrio misses, is that the dog didn’t bark.  Similarly, the Kwock Jan Fat Court didn’t engage in an analysis of the parent’s citizenship.  The Court’s characterization is simply that they were permanently domiciled in the United States. And it stopped there.  Because the two citizen-parent stuff is just imaginary Birther law. Looking back at the facts, we can engage in that analysis, but that court didn’t.  Real courts don’t do imaginary law very well. There was no reason to inquire into their citizenship status anymore than there was to in Wong Kim Ark. 

It is important to keep in mind where we are in this discussion. A 53 page memo was written which devastates the two citizen-parent theory. In response, Leo Donofrio picks out one sentence of that memo to try to destroy its credibility. That in itself is a silly enterprise, but entirely predictable. The Birthers have a history of ignoring Reality to maintain their theory. It is not surprising that they would attempt to ignore 52+ pages of well documented legal memo to keep up their delusions.

Finally, let me give the Paraclete one last kick in the seat of the pants. How dare YOU, who have made up this two citizen-parent nonsense up out of thin air accuse anyone of misrepresenting anything?  YOU, who mangles and distorts cases like Minor v. Happersett into false precedent. What makes you think that YOU, the inventor of The Donofrio Shuffle, where you substituted the words from the dissent into the majority decision, without cites, have any right to criticize anyone? Remember The Donofrio Shuffle:

How To Do The Donofrio Shuffle: You Put The Wrong Quote In, You Take The Right Quote Out; You Put The Wrong Quote In, And You Twist It All About. . .

Go, Leo. Go in peace. Go in anger. Whatever,  just go.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1: Chinese Checkers. There is more than one way to play. Wiki says:

In the capture variant, all sixty game pieces start out in the hexagonal field in the center of the game board. The center position is left unoccupied, so pieces form a symmetric hexagonal pattern. Color is irrelevant in this variant, so players take turns hopping any game piece over any other eligible game piece(s) on the board. The hopped-over pieces are captured (retired from the game, as in American checkers) and collected in the capturing player’s bin. Only jumping moves are allowed; the game ends when no further jumps are possible. The player with the most captured pieces is the winner.

The board is tightly packed at the start of the game; as more pieces are captured, the board frees up, often allowing multiple captures to take place in a single move.

Two or more players can compete in this game, but if there are more than six players, not everyone will get a fair turn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_checkers