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The Friedman/McGaha Debate - The Day CSICOP Died!

From: Alfred Lehmberg <alienview.nul>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2004 16:27:46 -0600
Fwd Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 10:52:04 -0500
Subject: The Friedman/McGaha Debate - The Day CSICOP Died!


The Friedman/McGaha Debate - The Day CSICOP Died!

Lately, over the last couple of months, I've instituted a
personal attitude shift for myself that was a little more subtle
for me than it's going to be for another, perhaps. Three hots
and a cot provided by a small military retirement has provided
me a lot of time to think - out of the box - as I endure an
unemployment born of pique and persecution, unjustified and not
of my manufacture. I've come to some interesting conclusions as
a result of that thinking that are serious about cultural
criticism (to facilitate a more efficacious reality), so, I'm
trying to encourage as many individuals as I can to 'shift' with
me. I feel it's the future.

Why not? Each day that goes by seems to provide a little more
external validation for this invigorating attitudinal 'shift',
so bear with me if you can - and can decipher the "personal
code" I've been accused of writing in - <g> - because the
result, I think, is the more timely acceptance of an unavoidable
and quickly approaching future that we are all ignorant of...
and for which we are generally unprepared, myself included. I
think we would do well to prepare, more, for this future.
Presently, we are being denied, by our conflicted culture - its
governments, agencies, and institutions - the tools and
materials for that preparation.

That future could be wonderful, folks. We'd do well to be
reasonably prepared for it.

Before my "attitude adjustment," and while maintaining a general
profile as a confident proponent for the extraterrestrial
hypothesis (no apologies there!), I still endured an
undercurrent of personal embarrassment, actually, regarding any
discussion I might try to initiate regarding my ufological
activities, projects, or concerns... with the mainstream world
I'm immersed in... forgetting for a moment the off-line world of
friends and acquaintances also sharing that mainstream world
with me. Prudence locally practiced... seemed indicated. Lack of
it, apparently, got me disqualified from a second career, after
all... I was a tad gun-shy.....

On sidebar, If "the man" is going to deny a person a living wage
for lawful thinking out of the box... what will "he" do if a
person persists? I intend to find out.....

Anyway, I used to be oversensitive and demonstratively
'understanding' (ironic, that!) about the discomfort of persons
around me regarding the subject of UFOs, 'indulgent' of their
lack of ufological interest, and 'disappointed', more than a
little, by their own lack of understanding - their pitying or
scornful expressions and abrupt subject changes (if I tried
to bring the subject up cold?). What follows is a brief
composite conversation with the "mainstream," over the years,
for illustration...

"I saw a strange light in the sky this morning doing some really impossible
things..." I might start...

"Oh yeah..."? ...is the guarded response...

"Yeah... it looked like the shuttle or the space station going over, was
brighter than Venus, and..."

"...It likely -was- the shuttle or the space station going over..." he'd
interrupt.

"I've got an animated schedule from the NASA site that ruled them out...,"
I'd counter.

"Well - it was some other satellite, then... there's hundreds of them up
there."

"Well... yeah," I'd concede, "but none as bright as Venus... I get forecasts
on those too. Additionally, these lights..."

"...Still" He interrupts quickly, "...it had to be a satellite, or a plane
or a balloon, or something..." He shakes an impatient head...

"Well - it changed speed and direction, stopped, and was traveling more or
less due west..."

"So"?

"Well - it was comparatively erratic in flight and absolutely silent with
no navigation lights, ruling out a plane; balloons and satellites don't
abruptly change direction, rate of speed, and... stop. Moreover, satellites
generally don't go west."

"...Um-hmm... so it must be aliens, then, huh?" His pitying smirk begins its
slow bloom.

"Well, no, not necessarily... it just seems to be a logical thing to wonder
given that as the 'impossible' begins to be eliminated about UFOs...
...whatever remains, however improbable, might be the truth about UFOs..."

...Blank look from the addressed, followed most usually by a
subject change or retreat, or even open hostility...

...Look. I know these people have lives - families, jobs, and
mortgages. Further, I know that it's me making the waves,
rocking their boat, or kicking at the last-century wooden spokes
of the wheels on their aggregate cultural applecart. I know that
I can be discomfiting with regard to my ready willingness to
question general reality or providing for an invalidation of
everyone's, too comfortable, status quo. I understand the need
to believe in something rock solid so the night shadows are held
at bay, and I can appreciate that it's difficult to contemplate
that "'everything' one 'knows' is 'wrong'"... That's what kept
me at bay with regard to a more strident and challenging
approach in some chance discussion with the ufologically
unwashed. This is what embarrassed me, reader, provided for my
over-sensitivity to an another's arguably specious or contrived
sensibilities, and compelled an understanding, an acceptance
even, of their lack of intellectual bravery. I figured they were
innocent and victims in the social duplicity just like I was. I
was worried about their feelings.

It's not that way anymore. I would be remiss if I didn't voice
my concern, express my opinion, or make my contribution to the
thought pool available. It's the least I can do, reader, when I
have the manipulating and programming thoughts of others imposed
upon me in an even more forceful manner, and in an authoritarian
way considerably less efficacious than I would dispense or have
dispensed to me. I'm expected to be honest, forthright and
dependable with regard to my society while my society is,
plainly, not honest, forthright or dependable to me in return. I
have difficulty respecting a society that has no respect for me.

I have solid ethics, myself, but my society, seemingly, has no
morals. This creates problems for me that are not of my
manufacture.....

You see, it's not my problem that the scales have begun to fall
from my own eyes. It's not my problem that I still have a
bravery honed, refined, and made baldly mandatory in the social
conditionings of two decades of combat, combat aviation
training, and troop leadership in the armed forces. It's not my
problem that another will choose to turn a blind eye to a
substantially abundant ufological evidentiary base... and
masquerade their equally blind ignorance with obligatory
debunker-isms, spoon-fed CSICOPian platitudes, and head-in-the-
sand congested worldviews! It's not my problem that people
prefer to trust the realities manufactured for them by a
thoroughly corrupted lap-dog and imposter mainstream, or put
their faith and cognitive stock into the canted thinking
contrived for them by those who would try to manipulate them to
ends the manipulated would not appreciate if we knew what those
ends were - no apologies here either! And remember: It's not my
song, folks, and you'd be remiss shooting the piano player. Do
enough of that and pretty soon you won't hear any music at
all... with the exception of the state approved!

It's not my problem, friends and neighbors! Rather, it's a
problem inflicted upon me by an imposed, encouraged, or even
nurtured cultural naivete - I once gleefully supported -  that
society was ultimately predisposed to provide the greatest good
for the greatest number. Upon discovering that the truth was
more... uh... 'oblique' than that - that society was actually
only interested in providing the credible [and grudging]
illusion of "providing the greatest-good-for-the- greatest-
 number". I'm compelled to hold the mainstream authorities,
their representatives, and their faith-based apologists to the
same fire that has been held to me, and protest, stridently (if
needs be!) where they can be found to be breaking the 'rules',
advantaging themselves in the codification of these 'rules', or
selectively interpreting the 'rules' to suit the aforementioned
few. That's a discredited CSICOPian charter, good reader! I'll
have no part of it.

The arguments and the credibilities of the 'mainstream' (and
CSICOPia!) are dead, flatly, become more decomposed and
odiferous with each accelerating second, and can no longer be
counted upon to be the common-sense-retreat-to-traditional-
solid-ground that a reflexive conservative apologist might,
shrilly, advise that they were. No. They're decidedly not a
"step back to better times." They're a step back to medieval
times of feudal social atrocity and the unrestricted lusts of
cold-fish and elitist psychopaths! Devoid of any responsibility
for fairness, and with zero regard for the sensibilities of
individual persons ground up in the institutional machines of
these "neo-lords of imposed ignorance", they destroy the middle
class, supplant the "freer republic" and replace it with an
anti-individualist "new theocracy" every bit as bad (for the
rising and the advancing of the individual human spirit) as
fundamentalist Islam. Even worse in many ways.

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

There is precious little hyperbole in the preceding and the
preceding is an apt citation in strong support of the ufological
attitude change - alluded to at the beginning of this essay. A
"standing room only" crowd witnessed the complete and total
demolition of all of CSICOPia 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 carnage on tape,
herself, for a small (tres reasonable!) fee. Goliath gets
stomped, again, by David.

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. He refrained from any gratuitous insult.
Mr. McGaha 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 presentation to
the other, lightly intimating that Mr. Friedman was a fool to be
discounted out of hand.

The reader will understand when I say it was perfectly obvious
who the fool, really, was. Mr. McGaha paid - and will continue to
pay - heavily, 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.
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."

A look of flawless innocence on his moon-like face, he resold
the Robertson Panel and the Condon Report as straight-up
peer reviewed reports born of balanced science... instead of the
admitted torpedoes to serious ufology they were first designed
to be and then actually were! There were dozens 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!!! All the descriptions of UFOs should be the same
to demonstrate verity, McGaha seems to think... ??? Astonishing.

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

His nose thrown high in almost laughing scorn he pontificated
during one of his pompous verbal faux-pas that there was
"...zero physical evidence of UFOs... PERIOD," and this was
after Mr. Friedman talked about what constituted physical
evidence, indicated some 5000 trace cases, and showed some
slides of same. What a feather-brained and oblivious thing for
Mr. McGaha to do and say.

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 - as malingering "little" people trying
to connect to something "big", patent misleaders, the credulous
mislead, or the weak-willed mentally ill! 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 pelicanists - as a thoughtless "believer" was simply
infuriating.

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 axe he ground in the answering of them!

Additionally, he was clear as churned mud with half of what he
said all evening, too - all of it airy proclamation of his
scientistic (sic) faith, bland misinformation, 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 when all it really was, was a demonstration that he had
no citation. "There are no UFOs... (wait for it!) ...Period"!

Oh, OK... Mr. McGaha said, "Period"! Everyone turn in your tin-
foil hat and laser pointer! We can at last disband and go our
separate ways"! Such is the verity and validity of McGaha's
citation: "Period"! Mmm... no.....

Doing more harm to his denialist CSICOPian position than would
have been forecast, Mr. McGaha's strutting patronization pointed
up the paucity of his facts, his startling ignorance regarding
the topic, his reliance on fallacy and misdirection to make his
point, and, finally, illuminated 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 individual human spirit.

He and his knee-jerk reactionary institution 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!

He's put me in 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! Couple the preceding with the stark
refusal of these persons to perceive that their 'emperor' (or
Mr. McGaha for that matter) is decidedly without a stitch of
clothing... and a mandated shift in ufological attitude is more
than justified!

Shift where - if it hasn't been clear? Shift from the apologetic
and unsettled 'fringe' as a reviled and dismissed "believer" -
 tas purposefully degraded by Mr. McGaha - to 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 fundage - is more in line
with where the mainstream should be, and so should be the
mainstream, in fact! These 'new' mainstreamers can be secure in
their more supportable convictions regarding the 'reality of
things' as it pertains to the ufological and its peripheral
issues... based on a stunning mass of "six kinds" of evidence
for same - anecdotal, photographic, historical/artistic, physical,
scientific, and personal!

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

It's a new age. Prepare to live in it. There's no other choice.
Oh, and pleasantly surprise both of us and try to do something
more than persecute me for reminding you of the just preceding,
and thanks. Regardless, I'll give as good as I get. Sincerity
and supported convivtion is my protector.

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





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