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The Great Debate, Part I

A good debate requires three components: a good format, proper moderation, and a topic which is amenable to this type of exercise. As someone who fancies himself to be a good, amateur “debater”, I was watching for those components when I listened to “The Great Debate” between Bill Murphy of GATA and Jeffrey Christian of the CPM Group, and hosted by veteran broadcaster Jim Puplava.

Regrettably, what I heard when I listened to this “debate” was a flawed format, poor moderation, and a topic which (though no fault of anyone) is simply not suited to this form of scrutiny. My apologies to readers for the need to conduct such a detailed review of this exercise. However, as I shall demonstrate clearly, the entire “optics” of the debate change radically, once such a methodical analysis is completed.

Bear with me as I analyze the somewhat tedious procedural fundamentals which must be properly understood. In return, I dangle this “carrot”: when it comes time to focus on the substance of the debate, I promise readers revelations which are arguably of even greater significance than Christian's infamous “100:1” admission.

First, the general rules of debate must be understood. While those unfamiliar with the legal process may view a debate as being very similar to what takes place in a court of law when two lawyers present their “case”, there are many, very significant differences. Most notably, a trial isn't bound by the artificial constraints of a time limit. Thus, (assuming the judge and lawyers perform their duties properly) in a trial there can be no obstructionism, or stalling – since ultimately every facet of the matter will be explored...

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