Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Friedman / Magaha Debate Part II

One shone, the other imploded...

Friedman / MaGaha Debate Part II
by Alfred Lehmberg


Last time in Part I, we suggested that everything we know is wrong, duplicity has surmounted the objectivity of truth told, and reflex apologies regarding the hurting of one's feelings, as regards the issue of UFOs, were no longer going to be made!  Rolling in, HOT!

...None of this is lost on you, sympathetic reader, none of it. The pretense of same only enrages indignation in me further!  No dog in the hunt, the appreciative reader knows that it is the answer sought which is entirely supplanted by the answer faced.

...Which brings me at last, albeit the long way around, to the Friedman/McGaha debate at TSUM on January 24, 2004, or what should come to be known as, "The Day CSICOP Died..."...

The lighting punk is lit, folks. The box of fireworks is opened. The fun starts.

There is precious little hyperbole in the preceding and the aforementioned debate is an apt citation in strong support of the ufological attitude change announced at the beginning of this essay!

A "standing room only" crowd witnessed the complete and total demolition of all that is CSIcopia—reflex reductionism and imagination dearth—in the person of one (decidedly less than intrepid) Mr. McGaha, apparently the only person in all of CSICOPia willing to stand toe to toe with Mr. Friedman in a controlled debate. The reader can witness the rout, the carnage... on tape, herself, for a small (tres reasonable!) fee. Goliath gets stomped, again, by David.  Goliath should pack it in.

The plainly one-sided debate began with Mr. Friedman, his usual faultless ufological rationality in full sail! He stuck to the facts, outlined his justifications splendidly, and did one more significant thing. Abundantly provoked? He refrained, himself, from any gratuitous insult.

Mr. McGaha, quite simply, failed to perform in a, remotely, similar fashion. His facts were blustery proclamations, his justifications were silly, specious, and unconvincing, and... he was sneering thinly veiled insult from one end of his unpracticed and facile presentation to the other, then not so lightly intimating that Mr. Friedman was a blithering fool to be discounted out of hand.  The porcine dog!  Well, that contrary hog was to be slow-cooked in a pit he'd dug himself for his effrontery, temerity, and trouble!

The reader will understand when I say it was perfectly obvious who the fool, really, was, reader! Be outraged by this affront to enlightened debate!

Mr. McGaha paid heavily (and will continue to pay, I suspect, considering this essay), I'm sure, for his easy insolence and reflex disrespect. He was rude, presumptuous, condescending, unclear, pedantic, arrogant, patronizing, and not a little duplicitous... ...where Friedman was the textbook opposite of these things, verily. Additionally, McGaha was a case study of Friedman's Four Laws of Fraudulent Debunkery... To wit:

1). "What the public doesn't know, we certainly won't tell them." 

...Or lie about it, Mr. Friedman?  See, a look of flawless innocence on his moon-like face, McGaha resold the "Robertson Panel" and the "Condon Report" as straight-up peer-reviewed examinations born of balanced science... instead of the admitted torpedoes to serious ufology they were first designed to be and then discovered, later, as they actually were! This is a result of well-documented criticism of the preceding reports and panels, reader! These duplicitous initiatives were designed to discredit UFOs... from the start!

There were more than a few of these anecdotes proffered by Mr. McGaha... some of them real head-scratchers... He claimed, for example, that the sheer volume of reports regarding different UFO appearances was proof they didn't exist! What?! All the descriptions of UFOs should be the same to demonstrate the remotest verity... McGaha expected us to believe... ?!?

Astonishing... smoke in tarnished mirrors... sounding authoritative but disintegrating in search for its audit trail like dog-dirt in even the lightest rain.

2). "My mind is made up, don't bother me with the facts." 

His literal nose thrown high in almost laughing and unjustified scorn, Magaha pontificated during one of his pompous verbal faux pas that there was " physical evidence of UFOs... PERIOD," and this was after Mr. Friedman had just talked about what constituted physical evidence, indicated some 5000 trace cases, and then showed some slides of same. What a feather-brained and oblivious thing for Mr. McGaha to do and say. An example of the "big lie" and cognitive dissonance in solicitous action...

3). "If one can't attack the data, attack the people. It is easier." 

A large portion of Mr. McGaha's presentation was taken up with insult to those of us decidedly not in Mr. McGaha's camp, deriding the abduction community, or dismissing the rest of anyone else with an open mind (...forgetting those thoroughly convinced, like myself...) malingering "little" people trying to connect to something "big" ... patent misleaders, the credulous mislead, or the weak-willed mentally ill!  Liars, dummies, and crazies, only.

Finally, dismissing the noted professor Dr. Peter Sturrock (...a trained scientist with more courage in a nail paring than can be found in a gaggle of soppy pelicanists or pompous klasskurxians...) as a credulously thoughtless "believer"! This was simply infuriating. Sturrock is one of a hand-full of men and women willing to be eye to eye with the deepest levels of our reality, whatever the reality really is.

It is only rank cowardice dismissing someone of Sturrock's reputation and caliber, out of hand.

4). "Do one's research by proclamation rather than investigation." 

I don't think Mr. McGaha answered one question asked of him that evening, at all, that sparks didn't just fly like angry bees off the CSICOPian ax he ground in his non-answering of them!  Additionally, he was clear as churned mud with half of what he said all evening, anywayall of it airy proclamation of his scientistic (sic) faith, bland misinformation, invalidated conventional wisdom, and pointless ideological saber rattling.

Moreover, his overuse of the expression, "Period," was amateur, ill-informed, and unconvincing. He used it like it was a citation all its own when all it really was... was a demonstration that he had no citation.

"There are no UFOs... (wait for it!) ...Period"!

"There are no physical traces... (wait for it!) ...Period"!

Oh, OK... ...Mr. McGaha said, "Period"! ...Everyone turn in your tin-foil hat and laser pointer post haste! We can, at last, disband and go our separate ways"! Such is the verity and validity of McGaha's citation: "Period"! 

Mmm-no... Reader! We're not idiots to be shined on, children to be wrongly inculcated, marks easily impressed with some sonorous proclamation... ... mere workers to be mal-employed!  Stuff that in a sunless place!

Doing more harm to his denialist CSICOPian position than would have been forecast, reader, Mr. McGaha's strutting patronization pointed up only the paucity of his facts, his startling ignorance regarding the topic he attempted to debate, his reliance on fallacy and misdirection to make his dissembling points, and, finally, his illumination of the certainty that the hallmark of CSIcopia is *reflexive thinking* in support of the *suspect status quo*... and not *reflective thinking* in support of the *advancement of human efficacy*.

He and his knee-jerk reactionary institution of shallow denialists spewing dismissive philosophies are the fuel on the fire of my rejection of same!

He allows me (...nay, compels me... provokes me... tasks me!) to pull off my gloves and be solicitous, no longer, of the specious sensibilities of persons with a ready sneer, a complacent ignorance, or a self-closed mind!

Why... McGaha's put me into a situation where I have to "start scaring the straights," (to quote Bill Murray), too, and that's regrettable... but, it's not me kicking the spokes out of their cultural wheels, but that their *spokes* were bad (or missing altogether) to begin with! The emperor is nude, brothers and sisters!  The universe watches us in trepidation, is this writer's intuition.

Couple the preceding with the stark refusal of these same persons to perceive that their *emperor* (or Mr. McGaha for that matter) is, and decidedly, without a stitch of cognitive clothing... and a mandated shift in ufological attitude becomes more than justified!

Shift where? Again... if it hasn't been clear...? That is, reader, to shift from the apologetic and unsettled *fringe* as a reviled and dismissed "believer" (as purposefully degraded by Mr. McGaha), the brave and un-conflicted individual... comfortable and confident that he/she holds the higher rational ground, would do the purer, more courageous science (given tools and fund-age), be more in line with where the mainstream should be, and so should be the mainstream, in fact!

These *new* mainstreamers alluded to can be secure in their more supportable convictions regarding the *reality of things* as it pertains to the ufological and its peripheral ancillary issues... based on a stunning mass of "seven kinds" of evidence for same (anecdotal, photographic, historical/artistic, physical, scientific, mathematical, and personal)!

Finally, it's seen that they discredit, themselves, the disrespect they prosecute for YOU, reading truth-seeker! They disabuse, themselves, the validity of the contempt they say they don't have for you! It's them the enemies of reason, reader, not yourself. The irony is rife! 

Moreover, the reader knows this is true the first time these officiators are observed pronouncing upon that which they have not remotely evaluated, themselves.  That sounds like prejudice and bigotry to me.

Look up with a hard new eye! It's down to you, reader. It always has been.

Unfounded and unsupported criticisms of canted and denying bias from this *former* mainstream remove it to the "real" fringe, friends and neighbors, and the higher pressure "open-minded" moves in to supplant the resulting void! That's when we take off in this new millennium, fellow motes, and not before! My feelings...

It is a new age. Prepare to live in it. There's no other choice. The non-nuanced sub-realities of the likes of Ronald Drumph or his mean supporters aren't remotely enough if you think man lives by bread alone, sour gruel from a grudging soup kitchen... or worse... ...I'd have a more satisfying board, thanks, and it's at hand.  Free lunch, and verily!

...And? The kingdom is at hand, too, remember.  It's our choices dictating our reality!  If we wanted heaven on Earth we would make it so!  The question is why we don't.

What lies at the approaching denouement, be it heaven or hell, reader, is a repudiation of a soullessness and misogynous domination by a God who has never known a woman, ironically. It is the discredit of a science that sets itself as the final arbiter with regard to questions on the reality of things... ...when it does not even do itself the courtesy of following its own rules or adhering to its own ethics... forget perform the remotest investigation upon that on which it would pronounce!

Step off! Don't debate definitions of science with ME, boyo! I'll rip you a new one! Science is going to be... ...what is accomplished in its name, the attitudes and motivations of the men and women practicing it... and for what reason... and how the past is bowdlerized to facilitate the fallacies of the mal-contrived future and Occam's abused razor to facilitate same! You know a tree by its fruit after all, reader, right?

Oh, and pleasantly surprise both of us, won't you?  Try to do something more than railing at me for reminding you of the just preceding, with my thanks. Regardless, I'll give as good as I get. Unblinking sincerity, examined faith, and supported conviction are my protectors and impervious to darts, sticks, and stones of a sneering skeptibunky hoi-polloi.

Lead... follow... but get out of my way.  If you're getting this? Buckle up.

To close: Buy the Friedman/McGaha debate disk by contacting Stanton Friedman at I'd wager Mr. McGaha won't be providing them.

Read on.