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Birther math (retrospective)

Dr. Conspiracy

Besides attending a delightful birthday party yesterday, I spend quite a bit of time writing the series of articles, Birther math (parts 1-7) , that examined A Catalog of Evidence – Concerned Americans Have Good Reason to Doubt that Putative President Obama Was Born in Hawaii of 35 concerns over Barack Obama’s birthplace (and other things) by Mario Apuzzo.

When I studied Symbolic Logic, taught by the philosophy department of the University, we discussed the goal of that discipline: that a philosophical argument could be expressed in symbols and using the Predicate Calculus, a question could be answered logically and without controversy. When a dispute arose, philosophers would say, “let us calculate.”

How do you represent doubt and anxiety with symbols?

The application of this approach becomes difficult in practice due, I suppose, to the complexity of human thought, and to the fact that the answer one gets depends to a large extent on how the problem is stated, and here is where Apuzzo’s Catalog comes in. A great deal of what Apuzzo wrote would indeed be difficult to fit into the predicate calculus. How do you represent the truth or falsity of a question? How do you represent anxiety and doubt with symbols? Make no mistake, the Catalog is all about questions, anxiety and doubt; evidence and logical argument are rare. In fact I don’t recall seeing anything in his Catalog that would be admissible in court except perhaps in a closing argument and even there I can hear defense counsel objecting to every sentence. “Prejudicial” is a word that I think accurately characterizes the whole thing.

The Catalog is largely “spin”

My critics claim that I am a master of “spin.” While I am not shy about expressing opinions, I try to avoid bias. In the analysis of the Catalog, however, itself largely “spin,” my only possible response was often to unwind the spin, and that involves spinning something down — which is a kind of spin (spin here meaning to persuade that something should be looked at from a particular point of view). (Apuzzo says “you should look at this with suspicion” and I say “this is perfectly normal.”) I would much have preferred more claims from Apuzzo like the one where he says that Obama’s step grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya where I could factually reply that the transcript shows the translator as saying “Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii.” But alas, straightforward factual claims were rare.

It is nothing more than a smear.

A key word in the title of Mr. Apuzzo’s article is “doubt.” Apuzzo’s list is admittedly a catalog of doubts, not one of evidence. While Apuzzo is mostly content to cast doubt on true things, he sometimes stoops to outright lies such as number 32 where he says that”No one at Columbia [University] remembers Obama at Columbia.”(see Birther Math (part 7)). That fact that Apuzzo would repeat a lie like this, whether it came from an intentional disregard for the truth or from inexcusably sloppy research, points out what we are dealing with in his Catalog. It is nothing more than a smear.

5 Responses to Birther math (retrospective)

  1. avatar
    Black Lion June 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Apuzzo’s “list” is no different that the nonsense that the birthers are pushing over at the Post and Fail regarding the “offenses” that they feel the President is guilty of….

    Here is the list of reasons why Obama cannot be President and Commander-in-Chief and must be removed immediately:

    Questionable Allegiance to the United States. An individual must be of unquestioned allegiance to the United States to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief. Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include any involvement in any act of treason whose aim is to overthrow the Government of the United States or alter the form of government by unconstitutional means. To date, Obama has signed faux legislation which has given the government unconstitutional and unprecedented control over the auto industry, Americans’ health care decisions, and just yesterday, the banking industry. His next goal is to legalize between 12,000,000 and 20,000,000 illegal immigrants, which is unconstitutional on its face and will bankrupt the country. He further has failed to take action on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, instead choosing to go out on the town with his wife and play golf on Saturdays. While the waters, air, marine life and people are being poisoned by this disastrous spill, Obama fails to act in the interest of saving the nation from what could be the worst possible disaster in American history. Therefore, his allegiance to this country is in serious question.
    Foreign Influence. Contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries are relevant to security determination if they make an individual potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation or pressure. For example, if an immediate family member is a citizen of a foreign country or is a person to whom the individual has close ties of affection or obligation, that is reason for concern. Obama’s father, paternal grandmother, and cousin have Arabic and Muslim ties abroad. He campaigned for his cousin, Raila Odinga, in Kenya, and continues to interfere in Kenyan politics. Obama spent the formative years of his life in a predominantly Muslim country and very likely still is a Muslim. He reportedly admitted as much to the Egyptian Foreign Minister earlier this year.
    Foreign Preference. Acting in such a way as to indicate preference of a foreign country over the United States, including the exercise of dual citizenship, use of a foreign passport, accepting educational benefits from a foreign country, etc.
    Emotional, mental and personality disorders. Such as a pattern of high risk, irresponsible, aggressive, anti-social or emotionally unstable behavior, and/or information that suggests that the individual’s current behavior indicates a defect in his or her judgment or reliability. Some say that Obama has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and there is clear evidence that he is a pathological liar, particularly when it comes to our allies around the world.
    Personal Conduct. Includes refusal to complete required security forms, releases, or provide full, frank and truthful answers to questions. For openers, Mr. Obama, where’s the birth certificate, and I don’t mean the forged “Certification of Live Birth” online. And, what about the rest of your biographical records?
    Financial Considerations. Includes deceptive or illegal financial practices and other intentional breaches of trust. There are reports that Obama has had numerous social security numbers throughout his life. For what purpose? I’m guessing financial fraud. This issue has been raised in serious news forums, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has refused to address it.
    Alcohol and Drug Involvement. Improper or illegal involvement with drugs, including any drug abuse. There are credible reports, even from Obama himself, that he used crack cocaine and furnished/sold cocaine to another.
    Criminal Conduct. Allegations or admissions of criminal conduct, regardless of whether the person was formally charged. Obama could be guilty of a long of transgressions, including fraud, wire fraud, forgery, perjury, bribery of public officials, narcotics violations, etc.
    Security Violations. Noncompliance with security regulations, including unauthorized disclosure of classified information. What about his misuse and defeat of national security interests by withholding and covering up who he is?
    Outside Activities. Any service, whether compensated, volunteered or while employed with any foreign, domestic or international organization or person engaged in intelligence, defense, foreign affairs or protected technology. There is a report that Obama was employed by the CIA as a “go-between” with Al-Qaeda? As if that’s not enough, what about Obama’s well-documented socialist, Marxist and communist ties?
    Misuse of Information Technology Systems. Includes illegal or unauthorized entry into any information technology system, and illegal or unauthorized modification, destruction, manipulation, or denial of access to information residing in an information technology system. It is well-known that Obama’s passport file was breached and possibly sanitized by those trying to protect his identity/passport record to be disclosed to the public; there are at least two Document Locator Numbers for his Selective Service registration; and all of his educational records have been sealed. Now, Mr. Dasey and the United States Army, please tell me how Lt. Col. Terry Lakin should be investigated and possibly punished, but not Barack Obama! And tell me how this man, Barack Obama, whose real name is Barry Soetoro, can be Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States! Tell me who the real patriot is here! I tell you, Mr. Dasey, something is very, very wrong at the highest levels of our government, our courts, and in our military, and the very existence of our country as we knew it is at stake.

    http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/06/26/mr-dasey-our-very-survival-is-at-stake/

    In reading this nonsense you have to wonder about the mental stability of some of these birther posters. Do they actually believe this stuff? Sometimes you have to wonder….

    Of course the usual call for sedition by the Post and Fail….

    Larry Brian Radka says:
    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 3:55 AM
    I don’t think peaceful demonstrations accomplish much. This regime doesn’t care about them and pays little attention to them, just its Communist agenda! Real power comes out of the barrel of a gun, as our great American forefathers once proved. That’s something the Usurper and his minions might notice.

    Thanks for listing some of the reasons in detail why Obama “cannot be President and Commander-in-Chief” Tom. Obama, in fact, isn’t qualified for a job as a janitor in the White House, let alone qualified to be sitting in the President’s chair.

  2. avatar
    Black Lion June 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I guess the birthers now blame Obama for the BP disaster in the Gulf? I am waiting for them to blame him for cancer and smallpox….

    http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/06/28/dictator-obama-reaches-day-70-of-his-gulf-destruction/

    “Through his actions involving apparent criminal mischief leading to the destruction of entire ecosystems and their attendant wildlife–including but not limited to human life and livelihoods–Obama has placed himself firmly in the position of the most destructive and vicious leader of the USA that America has ever witnessed. And what has The Obama done to warrant such a statement? Let’s take a look.

    Obama’s federal government refused to allow any foreign skimmers to assist in collecting the gushing oil that had surfaced. Note: The tyrant initially cited the Jones Act (Merchant Seaman Protection and Relief) as his excuse–an act sponsored by unions and initially passed to protect merchant seamen from having to compete with foreign entities in US waters. Suffice it to say, this act has been suspended numerous times by true US presidents in times of emergency. Obama, however, had his excuse for additional and total destruction of a large portion of the United States of America and was unwilling to give it up.
    Obama’s insistence that “studies be effected” (aka “foot-dragging” and “fiddling while the Gulf States are decimated”) before anything would be done to assist the disaster-impacted Republican-run states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Note: Florida may be given a “pass” as soon-to-be former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist, now running as an “Independent” in the Florida Senate race, is giving strong indications that (if elected) he will vote with the Democrats.
    Obama orders Louisiana to stop protecting itself from the oil onslaught by ceasing the building of sand berms. Apparently, these sand berms were operating too effectively for The Obama. They worked, so Obama has ordered their building be stopped. Note: Obama gave Louisiana a death sentence and the dictator expects Governor Jindal and the rest of Louisiana’s residents to accept their deaths for the dictator and a suppressive-to- all-humans Obama Cap & Trade bill!”

    There is nothing more pathetic than blaming someone for something when you are using discredited and wrong information. Sometimes you have to wonder what the reading level and mental capacity of the readers who believe in the Post and Fail and WND are. So they have some up with some new “ideas”…..

    “A method to begin our take-back needs to start on the local level. One of my readers (“Debbie”) said she and a small group are going door-to-door in their respective neighborhoods to advise neighbors of what is going on with our now tyrannical federal government and asking for their help. She tells me that the initial response has been very encouraging and that the local movement is growing. Debbie wrote: “My motto has become “I can’t save the world, but maybe I can save my neighborhood.” That is what a few of us are doing, going door to door– engaging in issues in a very polite way, talking to people and doing what we can because that is still our right as Americans. “I can’t tell you what a good feeling it is to stop and talk to a young man doing yard work and ending up with a new volunteer because he is fed up too!” Debbie also says that all you need is a clipboard, paper and a pen.”

    And what would a P&E story be without the usual conspiracy nonsense….

    AuntieMadder says:
    Monday, June 28, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    You guys, I found another theory as to why Oilbama is allowing the Gulf to be destroyed. Try not to come to any conclusion until you read the whole thing and the linked pages from it.

    http://investigatingobama.blogspot.com/2010/06/gulf-of-mexico-intended-to-be-algae.html

    After reading it, I didn’t know what to make of it, mainly because I don’t understand the science. But it was compelling, so I spent some time searching for information that would debunk the theory or support the theory. I found nothing to debunk the theory. As for supporting the theory, I found nothing to support it, either, although I did find quite a bit that supports the science presented in it.

    If P&E News allows this comment to post and then if anyone reads the story linked to and at least some of the pages linked from there, please let me know what you think of it. Thanks.

  3. avatar
    Black Lion June 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    WND, under the guise of their “western journalism” moniker, have a winner of an article…

    “Rep. Darrell Issa, the conservative firebrand whose specialty is lobbing corruption allegations at the Obama White House, is making plans to hire dozens of subpoena-wielding investigators if Republicans win the House this fall.

    The California Republican’s daily denunciations draw cheers from partisans and bookings from cable TV producers. He even bought his own earphone for live shots. But his bombastic style and attention-seeking investigations draw eye rolls from other quarters. Now, he’s making clear he won’t be so easy to shrug off if he becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2011.

    Issa has told Republican leadership that if he becomes chairman, he wants to roughly double his staff from 40 to between 70 and 80. And he is not subtle about what that means for President Barack Obama.

    At a recent speech to Pennsylvania Republicans here, he boasted about what would happen if the GOP wins 39 seats, and he gets the power to subpoena.

    “That will make all the difference in the world,” he told 400 applauding party members during a dinner at the chocolate-themed Hershey Lodge. “I won’t use it to have corporate America live in fear that we’re going to subpoena everything. I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing.”

    http://www.westernjournalism.com/republicans-plan-to-hire-dozens-of-investigators-to-target-obama/

  4. avatar
    Black Lion June 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    The P&E is really outdoing themselves….Another winner of an article…The rabid birthers are now combining forces…..

    “Chalice Jackson, owner of Patriots Heart Network, in tandem with Scott Winchell and Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret.) of Stand Up America and formerly a military analyst at the Fox News Channel, have announced the launch of a new initiative which demands the resignation of “Barack Obama, his appointees, and his administration forthwith” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    The “NO CONFIDENCE! We Demand Resignation Petition Letter for High Crimes and Misdemeanors” can be found here and is downloadable and printable

    On June 5, 2010, Maj. Gen. Vallely gave a speech at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Virginia City, Montana in which he said:

    We now must call for the immediate resignation of Barry Soetero (AKA President Barack Hussein Obama) …..based on Incompetence, Deceit, Fraud, Corruption, Dishonesty and Violation of the US Oath of Office and the Constitution…And a call for a National Petition for new elections to select the next President of the United States of America must be initiated. We can wait no longer for a traditional change of Power and New Government.

    In the article Chalice, or Susan Merroni, is also interviewed….Of course she repeats the usual birther nonsense…

  5. avatar
    Majority Will June 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Black Lion: The P&E is really outdoing themselves….Another winner of an article…The rabid birthers are now combining forces…..“Chalice Jackson, owner of Patriots Heart Network, in tandem with Scott Winchell and Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret.) of Stand Up America and formerly a military analyst at the Fox News Channel, have announced the launch of a new initiative which demands the resignation of “Barack Obama, his appointees, and his administration forthwith” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”The “NO CONFIDENCE! We Demand Resignation Petition Letter for High Crimes and Misdemeanors” can be found here and is downloadable and printableOn June 5, 2010, Maj. Gen. Vallely gave a speech at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Virginia City, Montana in which he said:We now must call for the immediate resignation of Barry Soetero (AKA President Barack Hussein Obama) …..based on Incompetence, Deceit, Fraud, Corruption, Dishonesty and Violation of the US Oath of Office and the Constitution…And a call for a National Petition for new elections to select the next President of the United States of America must be initiated. We can wait no longer for a traditional change of Power and New Government.In the article Chalice, or Susan Merroni, is also interviewed….Of course she repeats the usual birther nonsense…

    Chiropteran Excrement Psychoses