Jump to content
Nevr4you4getit

PF ... and yes I do realize.

Recommended Posts

Yes, I do realize this is a CX debate board, but I have to admit that I don't exactly know how to get this idea off the ground or know many other people on the debate circuit.However, this board seems to have debaters from almost every school in Nebraska on it; it didn't seem like a bad idea to begin here.

 

Hey, I know almost every school out there has atleast a few PF debaters and I wondering if there is any way you could help me get in contact with them?

 

Because:

 

Is it possible to either continue the December PF resolution through Janauary, or pick a new one ? It just seem that with the PF debaters I've spoken with that they seem to agree that the PF resolution for next month is shouldn't be what it is...

 

What exactly is this resolution, if your curious it is "Resolved: In a democracy, civil disobedience is an appropriate weapon in the fight for justice."

 

(Please,I'd really appreciate it?)

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think our school has any PF'ers on this site.

 

I also doubt that you will be able to organize a grassroots campaign to fight "the MAN" that is the National Forensics League on this issue.

 

However, I would most definitely be willing to trade LD aff and neg cases that I wrote on civil disobedience last year in exchange for your December aff and neg cases.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think control of the topic is in the hands of the tournament directors. I don't believe a group of PF debaters could simply agree that they will discuss some other topic than whatever was announced in the invitation.

 

There is no rule that any invitational tournament MUST use the NFL topic. If a coach or group of coaches wanted to offer another topic, they could. A few years ago, many coaches in South Dakota refused to debate the PF topic on Intelligent Design. So South Dakota had its own topic for that month. For three years, Colorado crated its own PF topic for our State Qualifying and State tournaments because we wanted to have the kids research topics instead of purchase materials from brief companies. I have seen tournaments over the years require LDers to debate a different topic than the NFL topic for that one meet. (It wasn't often, but it happened.)

 

One other thought -- I realize I was the first to write my reaction to this topic on this forum. However, it is not a dreadful topic and we will debate it. It might not be so bad, and it is only for one month. I have some kids really jazzed about debating civil disobedience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My idea is just that during the month of Janauary that we (all Nebraska pf'ers) either agree on debating a new topic, or that we continue the December topic into Janauary.

 

I noticed your reaction, and I posted in that board myself. However when I first saw the resolution my reaction was the same, what is this coming to LD?

 

It just seems to me that PF is about concrete evidence and numbers... not about personal opinions and limiting the debate to simple opinion with no concrete evidence to support it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm no longer debating but I want to put this out there. There is plenty of evidence, numbers and statistics, talking about civil disobedience working and failing. I truly don't see this being a purely moral issue, you can bring evidence in to it if you work at it.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my take : the topic word choice is pretty damned ironic. civil disobedience isn't a "weapon", nor does it "fight" for justice. quite the contrary.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally posted by T Peters:

There is no rule that any invitational tournament MUST use the NFL topic. If a coach or group of coaches wanted to offer another topic, they could. A few years ago, many coaches in South Dakota refused to debate the PF topic on Intelligent Design. So South Dakota had its own topic for that month.

 

 

Just a clarification that it was North Dakota and not South Dakota, and the coaches and the high school activities association worked in conjunction on this issue. You know what? The world didn't end and public forum continues to grow up in North Dakota. I wish South Dakota was as successful in getting new programs as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sincerest apologies to the debaters of the great state of North Dakota. Thank you for the correction.

 

 

Back to the original request: I think you need to get the coaches involved. I think you need to persuade your coach to contact other coaches to plead for a different topic of an extension of Iran. Also, I'm not sure you'll get far trying to extend the Iran topic since LD will be extremely similar.

 

And, yes, the wording is terrible. Although, the only reason civil disobedience is used is to fight against perceived unjust laws. Fights take weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't know anything about the problems with resolution. i'd guess it has something to do with a very similar LD topic not too long ago. i was making a joke about a topic i see as worded in a violent way that frames a question of largely nonviolent resistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting observation. My father and assistant coach, Lowell Sharp (who has been involved in this activity since the dawn of time and is in the NFL Hall of Fame) is the chairperson of the LD wording committee. They work very hard each summer to come up with value topics that are worded to avoid much policy discussion. It is when the coaches and kids get ahold of the topics that they become more policy-heavy. And that is only in some parts of the country (Colorado is very non-policy oriented in LD).

 

I'm not sure one topic in PF constitutes a trend toward value topics. According to one source, NFL chose this topic for PF in conjunction with the release of The Great Debaters, the Denzel Washington/Oprah Winfrey movie due out Christmas Eve. The debaters in the movie debate civil disobedience. Let's wait for a few more topics before we decry the movement of PF toward LD. (I don't think balanced budgets or military action against Iran specifically would happen in LD -- the Jan/Feb LD topic is about military action against nuclear threats as a generalization. LD topics are normally written as philosophical generalizations.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know... I can say I have absolutely no problem wit the resolution itself, it's just that its clearly a LD resolution not a PF resolution.

 

Maybe I just got spoiled with all the great PF topics we had last year.

 

It's sad that The Great Debaters is about PF and not LD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure it's about PF (since the event is only 5 years old). But LD and CX have definitive, unbreakable topic selection processes -- PF topics are chosen in some smokey back room by elves, or magicians, or somebody! Thus, since the rest of us never know what the topic will be, it's easy to loan it out to Hollywood.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that PF was just meant to be a form of debate without the stylistic craziness and jargon of policy and LD so that anyone could follow them (hence the name public forum), and that put more emphasis on persuasion and rhetoric and "pretty talking" than other forms of debate. I though the resolutions were to be about current events and shit, which would not exclude civil disobedience. I wasn't aware that PF specifically excluded questions of morality. If I'm wrong, can someone more knowledgeable than me clarify exactly what PF is supposed to look like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was under the impression that PF was just meant to be a form of debate without the stylistic craziness and jargon of policy and LD so that anyone could follow them (hence the name public forum), and that put more emphasis on persuasion and rhetoric and "pretty talking" than other forms of debate. I though the resolutions were to be about current events and shit, which would not exclude civil disobedience. I wasn't aware that PF specifically excluded questions of morality. If I'm wrong, can someone more knowledgeable than me clarify exactly what PF is supposed to look like?

 

I'm not saying I'm more knowledgeable than you are, I'm just expressing my opinion...

 

From my understanding PFD is the baby and hasn't exactly found an "identity"; but what does seem certain is that a resolution without actual concrete evidence,or stats is difficult to prove because it takes away from the actual proof.(Or whichever side you happen to be on in the debate, and essentially must prove is stronger to win the round.)

 

Previous topics, have had those statistics and concrete available evidence to prove that it is either affirmable or negateble. But when you can simply use theory to win an argument it seems that there is insufficient proof for support.

 

And just as a question, what type of statistics would you even begin to use to prove that civil disobediance is an "appropriate weapon" in the fight for justice; without using philosophy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Granted, I've never done PF and obviously don't know about it, but I think this resolution actually sounds pretty sweet (especially compared to some past PF topics, like the one about whether or not basketball players should have to wear uniforms or whatever the fuck assinine shit that was).

 

Anyway, it seems to me that you could do a lot of cost/benefit analysis on this topic. For example, the value of freedom and civil liberties versus the value of security (very pertinent right now and definitely valuable to talk about). You could also talk about when/if violent rebellion against a corrupt government is justified, get into a lot of possibly interesting discussions about the constitution, etc. There might not be stats that straight up say "hay this is how many ppl civil disobedience helps kthnx", but if you dig a little deeper there's going to be a looot of people writing on both sides of the issue.

 

Also, I don't think its necessarily bad for PF to get its feet wet in more philosophy/ethics based arguments. A lot of important questions can't be settled just with statistics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not saying I'm more knowledgeable than you are, I'm just expressing my opinion...

 

From my understanding PFD is the baby and hasn't exactly found an "identity"; but what does seem certain is that a resolution without actual concrete evidence,or stats is difficult to prove because it takes away from the actual proof.(Or whichever side you happen to be on in the debate, and essentially must prove is stronger to win the round.)

 

Previous topics, have had those statistics and concrete available evidence to prove that it is either affirmable or negateble. But when you can simply use theory to win an argument it seems that there is insufficient proof for support.

 

And just as a question, what type of statistics would you even begin to use to prove that civil disobediance is an "appropriate weapon" in the fight for justice; without using philosophy?

maybe some stats about how successful movements that use civil disobedience vs those that take other approaches...i know its hard to quantify, but you could focus on like accomplishment of reasonable goals...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't always need statistics to prove an argument, they just seem usually more solid and authoritative. That might be why they chose the topic, to move the debate towards arguments crafted more generally with logic rather than just narrowly based on numbers.

 

There's a great deal of literature on this from the civil rights movement/black freedom movement and the other famous 60s movements. MLK Jr. and proponents of nonviolent civil disobedience had a number of arguments with the NAACP over the usefulness of their tactics. Similarly, the same proponents of nonviolence had debates with Robert Williams (and later Stokely Carmichael, then the Black Panthers) over the use of armed self-defence. There's a whole bunch of history one could use to argue for or against the resolution. You can generally measure the impact such movements had on national politics, on the presidents, and what successes they had versus what failures. I don't think I've read a single book on a 60s organization which hasn't made an argument about the worth of their tactics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was under the impression that PF was just meant to be a form of debate without the stylistic craziness and jargon of policy and LD so that anyone could follow them (hence the name public forum), and that put more emphasis on persuasion and rhetoric and "pretty talking" than other forms of debate. I though the resolutions were to be about current events and shit, which would not exclude civil disobedience. I wasn't aware that PF specifically excluded questions of morality. If I'm wrong, can someone more knowledgeable than me clarify exactly what PF is supposed to look like?

 

Actually, PF doesn't specifically "exclude" anything. But I think you hit the nail on the head at the beginning of your post. When it was created, it was supposed to be about current events. The appropriateness of civil disobedience in democracies is not a current event. While there are a few actions from time to time, especially concerning the war in Iraq, I don't hear the talking heads on Sunday morning news shows or CNN or MSNBC discussing whether Civil Disobedience is right. I don't read about this issue in the editorial page of the papers. When the topic came out, I even did a googlenews search to see if something was happening I didn't know about--not much there.

 

Of course, the American people talk about values and morality from time to time. I think that is the heart of the gay marriage debate, for example. It also is the basis to some of the objections to stem-cell research. It's just that we're not currently embroiled in a debate about civil disobedience. Most of the responses to this thread have included references to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s -- that's when we were involved in this debate as a nation.

 

I think the lowest point of the PF topic selections was the NBA topic. If my memory serves me correctly, the original PF topics were selected by the previous Executive Secretary of the NFL. After the hue and cry about the NBA topic, the system changed and selecting the topic was put into the hands of a committee of coaches (a mysterious and non-disclosed group of individuals). Since that time, the topics have been more reasonable: Kyoto Protocol, how to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief, gun control after Virginia Tech, the possible war with Iran, budget balancing efforts, the vision for post-war Iraq, the role of lobbyists, college early admissions programs, Israel/Palestinian relationships, Intelligent Design, etc. Most of these topics did deal with values and morals held by the American people, and some PF teams framed their discussions in terms of morality as opposed to practicality.

 

While I have had my issues with a couple of how these topics were worded, overall the committee has done a reasonable job of finding current event topics. The problem with this particular resolution is that the committee didn't create it -- it is the topic from a contest sponsored by the producers of the movie The Great Debaters.

 

As for statistics, etc., those aren't necessarily part of PF, but many of the recent topics do include references to "hard facts." Discussing economics, for example, does require some research into statistics. But making economic decisions also includes determining what our priorities are, and that may get into issues of morality, justics and equality.

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

 

Funny aside: NFL has a list of all the past topics for PF at http://www.nflonline.org/uploads/StudentResources/pftopics.pdf. However, that site doesn't list the NBA topic, which I'm pretty sure was November 2005. Are they too embarassed to acknowledge that topic? October 2005 about immigration and December 2005 about Katrina vs. Bush tax cuts are also missing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those of you who are interested in PF: you might want to visit a thread I started under Current Events. Our CX friends are helping me think of contemporary examples of Civil Disobedience. I am really reluctant in PF to look at only historical examples. If this event is about current events, then we need to have some current events to discuss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...