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I haven't seen a good Venezuela case all year.  VZ Oil may be the single worst case I've seen (although that may be the particular advantage story I've seen run a lot, which was completely nonsensical on top of the other problems any VZ oil case has to have).  No, correction, Dolphins is the worst case I've seen all year, but VZ Oil is close.

 

venezeula students was one of the better venezuela affs

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The problem with border infrastructure is significance.  It solves for maybe $7 billion dollars of additional trade... when the US-Mex trade is currently somewhere north of $500 billion.  Not significant.  The economy impact is laughable, and the other impacts are ridiculous.  My kids have never lost to Border Infrastructure - we beat it on Topicality: Significant every time.  Also, if you ever get to say 'non-uniques all DAs' in any context ever, that's your first clue that your case is bad - if there's no possible links, then there's something wrong with your story.

 

When I teach Inherency, I teach it as a procedural with an abuse voter.  Losing inherency means aff is the status quo, and that kills negative ground.  (But that's not the border infrastructure problem, particularly). 

Uh...do you come from a very lay area? I do as well, and I'm talking about the aff being good in the context of actual debate. 

 

Is T-Significance a thing? I know it's a stock issue, but it's outdated and covered by the advantages. If you mean something like T-Substantial, it's pretty easy to win that the aff is in the literature and is important to the topic, seeing as it is indisputably the largest Mexico aff on the topic and deals with the core issues of the topic (trade and economic relations). The problem with what you're saying is that the evidence doesn't exist. The aff evidence saying the plan improves trade is impressive and well-warranted. The best card I've seen for "Mexico not key to trade" is the Vilarreal card that says "Mexico trade is only 3% of the GDP" which is kind of a ridiculous claim. 3% is relatively huge when talking about the overall GDP, and the evidence isn't comparative. My measure for whether an aff is good is:

a. The aff evidence is quality

b. Negative offense is minimized by either just the nature of the aff or inherency tricks

c. Advantage ground is quality

 

Border infrastructure meets all three of my requirements. Intuitively, it makes sense that improving the border would improve trade (which works for lays as well). That's not even a problem with the perception-based advantages like trade leadership, TPP momentum, and trilateralism/relations.

 

Border infrastructure was easily the BEST Mexico aff at the least. Your problem with "non-uniquing all DAs" is not unique to border affs. It was a problem with all of the Mexico affs this year. I could easily say "we engage Mexico everyday in counter-narcotics - that non-uniques all Mexico DAs," but that doesn't mean the aff isn't relevant.

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@ktg:

 

Yeah, Substantial.  Eh, they basically replaced Significance by including 'substantial' or words like it in every resolution, because of the shift away from stock issues.  I use them interchangeably in my head.

 

We just run a 'must be 5% of US-Mexico trade' standard of substantiality for it.  We have specific legal evidence for a 5% standard.  Plans that are too small simply aren't topical, because they aren't substantial.  Plan: "sell a space shuttle to Mexico for $1 billion" isn't a substantial plan, even if there's no reason not to do it.  It doesn't matter how good Plan is, the resolution demands we talk about plans which are big enough to have DA ground.  Literature isn't enough to check abuse - there must be literature for enough negative ground to be fair to the negative team.  When you say it non-uniques all DAs, you're conceding its abusive.  The fairness argument is pretty strong here.  For example, I'm sure there's literature on whether Mexico should buy some more helicopters from the US or not (maybe not in English, since it would be from the Mexican government's perspective, but evidence none-the-less), but no one would think 'sell 5 helicopters to mexico' was a legit case.

 

My area isn't lay.  Which is why Inherency has to be phrased as a procedural with a fairness voter, and why I teach my kids to use Topicality on abuse instead of talking about stock issues.

 

And no matter how good your economics evidence is, it doesn't justify the big harms Border Infrastructure cases almost invariably claim on economics.

 

(We also run a CP on border infrastructure, but my kids have won on T every round).

 

My measure for whether an Aff is good includes: 'are the harms actually solved for by doing the plan' and 'are the harms big enough to dominate impact calculus in a round'.  Which is one place where Border Infrastructure fails, because either it claims harms too big for what it does, or it has to claim tiny harms that get swamped if the negative manages to win any risk of a link to anything.  And by actually, I mean, if we really did plan, would it have an impact of the kind being claimed.  Border Infrastructure fails the laugh test on its solvency for big economic harms.

 

Re: other Mexico affs - just because they non-unique common DAs is not the same as non-uniquing all DAs.  A strategic Aff is usually hard to link the common DAs to, and that's true for a lot of Mexico cases.  But there are still DAs or significant case turns that link to these cases, they just aren't common.  The moment you say all DAs are non-unique, you have theoretical issues, guaranteed.

 

And in many cases, like legalization, the inherency is basically 'people are unreasonably opposed to what is obviously the best policy option', so the right strategy is CP to do it even better, and find a DA to how they're doing it.  (Ie, any DA would be swamped by the advantages of these plans without a CP).

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@ktg:

 

Yeah, Substantial.  Eh, they basically replaced Significance by including 'substantial' or words like it in every resolution, because of the shift away from stock issues.  I use them interchangeably in my head.

 

We just run a 'must be 5% of US-Mexico trade' standard of substantiality for it.  We have specific legal evidence for a 5% standard.  Plans that are too small simply aren't topical, because they aren't substantial.  Plan: "sell a space shuttle to Mexico for $1 billion" isn't a substantial plan, even if there's no reason not to do it.  It doesn't matter how good Plan is, the resolution demands we talk about plans which are big enough to have DA ground.  Literature isn't enough to check abuse - there must be literature for enough negative ground to be fair to the negative team.  When you say it non-uniques all DAs, you're conceding its abusive.  The fairness argument is pretty strong here.  For example, I'm sure there's literature on whether Mexico should buy some more helicopters from the US or not (maybe not in English, since it would be from the Mexican government's perspective, but evidence none-the-less), but no one would think 'sell 5 helicopters to mexico' was a legit case.

 

My area isn't lay.  Which is why Inherency has to be phrased as a procedural with a fairness voter, and why I teach my kids to use Topicality on abuse instead of talking about stock issues.

 

And no matter how good your economics evidence is, it doesn't justify the big harms Border Infrastructure cases almost invariably claim on economics.

 

(We also run a CP on border infrastructure, but my kids have won on T every round).

 

My measure for whether an Aff is good includes: 'are the harms actually solved for by doing the plan' and 'are the harms big enough to dominate impact calculus in a round'.  Which is one place where Border Infrastructure fails, because either it claims harms too big for what it does, or it has to claim tiny harms that get swamped if the negative manages to win any risk of a link to anything.  And by actually, I mean, if we really did plan, would it have an impact of the kind being claimed.  Border Infrastructure fails the laugh test on its solvency for big economic harms.

 

Re: other Mexico affs - just because they non-unique common DAs is not the same as non-uniquing all DAs.  A strategic Aff is usually hard to link the common DAs to, and that's true for a lot of Mexico cases.  But there are still DAs or significant case turns that link to these cases, they just aren't common.  The moment you say all DAs are non-unique, you have theoretical issues, guaranteed.

 

And in many cases, like legalization, the inherency is basically 'people are unreasonably opposed to what is obviously the best policy option', so the right strategy is CP to do it even better, and find a DA to how they're doing it.  (Ie, any DA would be swamped by the advantages of these plans without a CP).

1. You ignored my argument that Mexico border infrastructure is the biggest Mexico aff on the topic - I can't think of a single other Mexico aff that is more substantial except for energy cooperation which arguably passed already. You virtually eliminate every Mexico aff from the topic...border cooperation is a long cry away from selling helicopters to Mexico. If the plan isn't substantial, I honestly don't know what is.

2. "Non-uniques all DAs" does not eliminate the aff. Just because leaders have come together and said we should do this, doesn't mean any policy has actually passed. The plan is still needed.

3. There is definitely enough literature on this affirmative. In fact, I think it has the most literature of any Mexico affirmative.

4. "No negative ground" doesn't mean the aff is unsubstantial, it just means that the topic neg core literature sucks, which is true of EVERY aff on the topic. The only stable policy neg ground on the topic is with Cuba affs. The issue of "no neg ground" is true of like 90% of the affirmatives on the topic.

5. Neg still has impact turns. I run an aff that says we should do the plan to improve global free trade and the manufacturing sector. Those are easily impact turn-able. The aff hits the core of the topic, which is trade policy and geopolitical economic relations, which obviously should be debated.

7. The aff is the only way to debate trade with Mexico. Any other aff that claims to improve trade with Mexico is probably utterly stupid or has an internal link chain with too many flaws. 

8. The issue of the aff claiming huge ground off the aff is, again, not unique to the border aff. People claim extinction from cooperating with the Mexican government over border aquifers. I think it's reasonable to say improving economic integration in North America does something to improve US trade and various industries.

9. There was an entire topic over infrastructure last year - if you can't generate some offense from this aff, you won't be able to against any aff.

 

I think my stance is solidified by one simple question: 

Would you rather hit border infrastructure or would you rather hit aquifers/intellectual property/space cooperation/student exchanges/<insert small aff that doesn't do anything>?

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IP is actually huge, much more substantial impact than Border Infrastructure.  The actual impact of Border Infrastructure is like $7 billion additional trade.  That's insignificant compared to $500 billion in total (legal) trade. 

 

TPP is bigger, and is a trade aff with Mexico

Narcotic Legalization is bigger

Money Laundering is actually bigger.  (Whether it qualifies as an increase in EE is an interesting discussion)

Grid integration has bigger realistic impacts.

 

And there are plenty of other potential cases with bigger monetary impacts than $7 billion.

 

(The 5% substantial standard needs context.  Border infrastructure is related to total US-Mex trade. If you look at its claimed harms, talking about economic collapse, you'd have to contribute a substantial increase to total trade. Grid integration is related to energy grid connectivity, so its 5% would be based on current grid infrastructure and energy exchange, and its primary harms story relates to energy grid stability and electricity supply relative to demand.)

 

(Finally, if leaders have agreed to do something, that is an inherency problem.  Inherency has to be a barrier which stops plan from happening now.  Otherwise its going to happen in the SQuo.  Maybe we just chose not to focus on inherency here, if you're claiming that's what the border infrastructure situation looks like.  I can't remember, not many teams run it near me, so we haven't spent that much time on it.)

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(Finally, if leaders have agreed to do something, that is an inherency problem.  Inherency has to be a barrier which stops plan from happening now.  Otherwise its going to happen in the SQuo.  Maybe we just chose not to focus on inherency here, if you're claiming that's what the border infrastructure situation looks like.  I can't remember, not many teams run it near me, so we haven't spent that much time on it.)

This is a stupid interpretation of inherency in my opinion. All you have to win on inherency is that a problem exists/the plan isn't happening. Having to win an inherent barrier is too outdated and ignores substantive debate. Your argument is also kind of infinitely regressive. Even if there is an inherent barrier, any aff can pass tomorrow.

 

The affs you noted, like IPR, laundering, and grid integration, also have no inherent barriers, per-say. Most of the inherency arguments there are about how the aff doesn't exist now. Even if political ramifications prevent repeal of the embargo, theoretically there could still be a vote tomorrow in Congress and the embargo could be repealed.

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I think you're misinterpreting inherent barrier.  Yes, the political situation could change tomorrow, but given the situation we have today, either there's a barrier to the plan or there isn't.

 

The IP case I know of is TPP, which has a real inherent barrier.  Other countries aren't seriously negotiating because the president doesn't have fast track authority, and they're wary of congress making post hoc amendments.  That's a real barrier.  If Congress gave Obama fast track tomorrow, the inherency would disappear.  But Congress is currently refusing to give Obama fast track - so for now, plan cannot happen.

 

Inherency is basically an argument that plan is happening or is going to happen even if we do nothing.  Your interpretation means that if its going to happen, if, say, congress passed a law already, but it hasn't been implemented yet, then you could still do the plan because the harms still exist.  Except plan is going to happen even if we do nothing - its future implementation is part of the status quo.  That's why we need an inherent barrier.

 

So if leaders have agreed to do something, and its just in the process of being implemented, then its going to happen.  You'd need specific evidence that whatever is happening in the SQ isn't going to succeed, and plan should be removing that impediment.  (For example, the TBA case that was viable early this year.  TBA had already been signed by Mexico and the US, but was waiting on implementing legislation in the US Congress.  That was specifically held up by a proposed amendment which was preventing passage.  That amendment was the inherent barrier which was preventing TBA from happening in the SQ.  In this case, Congress did eventually pass it - without the amendment.  The inherency went away - that happens - and now you can't legitimately run the plan.  But despite passing implementing legislation, I don't believe its actually entered into effect yet (would have to check the exact date), so under your standard you could still run the plan because it hasn't started to solve yet.

 

Basically, if plan is going to happen if we just wait, it doesn't have inherency.  And if just waiting is enough, its part of the SQ and thus negative ground.  Whether plan ends up actually happening or not, inherency needs to give us reason to think it won't happen without effort.

Edited by Squirrelloid
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You seriously think its okay for a plan which is currently passed and in the process of being implemented to be run as a debate case? :rolleyes:

 

If that passes muster in circuit debate, circuit debate judging is worse than I thought.

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You seriously think its okay for a plan which is currently passed and in the process of being implemented to be run as a debate case? :rolleyes:

 

If that passes muster in circuit debate, circuit debate judging is worse than I thought.

I think where you're wrong is that you assume that the border aff (or any aff without an inherent barrier) is in the process of passing. Just because it doesn't have a certain barrier doesn't mean it has passed. It could just be not on the agenda of congress right now. It could be off the radar. As far as I know, the talks that happened between Mexico and the US didn't actually solidify policy, but just said that there is a problem we probably should address sometime soon. 

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sigh, why is quote totally failing today?  Must be the ie11 upgrade...

 

@ktg: that may be why we're not going after Border Infrastructure on inherency, and I'd totally accept: 'The US and Mexico agreed it was a problem, but no specific legislation was ever proposed' as a barrier.  Hard to do something as a government without legislation.

 

All I mean by barrier is 'reason to believe plan won't happen anyway'. 

 

If the actual situation is: "the US and Mexico talked about it, and the US is doing something now to address border infrastructure", that's a serious inherency problem.  Actually, that is the situation with Renewable Energy.  ('Spend more money on it' is not a valid plan in most circumstances).

Edited by Squirrelloid

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sigh, why is quote totally failing today?  Must be the ie11 upgrade...

 

@ktg: that may be why we're not going after Border Infrastructure on inherency, and I'd totally accept: 'The US and Mexico agreed it was a problem, but no specific legislation was ever proposed' as a barrier.  Hard to do something as a government without legislation.

 

All I mean by barrier is 'reason to believe plan won't happen anyway'. 

 

If the actual situation is: "the US and Mexico talked about it, and the US is doing something now to address border infrastructure", that's a serious inherency problem.  Actually, that is the situation with Renewable Energy.  ('Spend more money on it' is not a valid plan in most circumstances).

Yeah I think you guys just had a misunderstanding about what was meant by inherent barrier.

 

I don't know what national circuit you're debating in where you need to frame inherency as a theoretical issue, but in my circuit judges will vote on it as a presumption. Maybe K judges are more lenient than "policy" judges on this point.

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Removed AMLs from my list.  I can imagine a good version of this.  The version I've actually seen isn't so good.

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As expected, I mostly agree with Squirreloid, except that I can't legitimately include the TPP+IP Aff because I wrote it :) But I will include his Autodefensas Aff as my favorite critical Aff of the year.

 

AML and Maquiladoras/Women of Juarez both have really good harms stories and really awful solvency; they could be awesome Affs if someone bothered to research a real plan (in a sense, Autodefensas is Maquiladoras + actual solvency). Trafficking (PROTECT/Garza) is similar but at least has some OK solvency evidence; Trafficking (PROTEJA) is similar but worse.

 

Many Embargo Affs, both of critical and noncritical varieties, are solid, and are only weakened by being so obvious and common.

 

Marijuana/Narcotics legalization is strong, and the best way to deal with it is pretty subtle (glg, after CDC, I'll send you our Neg to see what you think you'd do about it).

 

My early expectations about this topic seem to have been correct; it's hard to write a good Aff because the only real Cuba plan is "end the embargo," it's hard to increase EE with Mexico because it's so high already, and Venezuela is too messed up to make any predictable policy there.

Edited by Edgehopper

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Marijuana/Narcotics legalization is strong, and the best way to deal with it is pretty subtle (glg, after CDC, I'll send you our Neg to see what you think you'd do about it).

 

I'd probably kick the aff and go for baudrillard

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AML and Maquiladoras/Women of Juarez both have really good harms stories and really awful solvency; they could be awesome Affs if someone bothered to research a real plan (in a sense, Autodefensas is Maquiladoras + actual solvency). Trafficking (PROTECT/Garza) is similar but at least has some OK solvency evidence; Trafficking (PROTEJA) is similar but worse.

 

I found a solvency advocate or 2 that were kind of viable for this aff, but they're few and far between and rather squirrelly. However, once you find a good policy solvency mechanism, it's one of my favorite affs this year.

 

I saw this awesome solar power decentralization aff in semis at state, and it was a cool, semi-critical spin on grid integration. The only problem was G2G, but I loved the rest of it.

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My favorite non critical affirmative this year would probably be "Send one coast guard ship to Venezuela" that Bingham NS read at Greenhill because it's just soooo damn funny.

 

Favorite critical aff would have to be the Good Neighbor aff that  Green Valley reads, the Bataille aff that Rowland Hall KG read, or the Selfish Giant 1AC Bingham NS read.

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My favorite non critical affirmative this year would probably be "Send one coast guard ship to Venezuela" that Bingham NS read at Greenhill because it's just soooo damn funny.

 

Favorite critical aff would have to be the Good Neighbor aff that  Green Valley reads, the Bataille aff that Rowland Hall KG read, or the Selfish Giant 1AC Bingham NS read.

 

 

He all is Bingham NS -__-

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saw in person: every aff that wasnt ours kinda sucked (ethical embargo)

saw on wiki: it's between ce byrd fatal strategies and cedar ridge assata.

 

lol no chance. We read that aff in one debate all year. 

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