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Everything posted by robllawrence

  1. Just had an interesting thought. If Hillary Clinton becomes president, she should consider Bill for Secretary of State. He'd be confirmed, he could work pretty much non stop on the peace process where he already has some credentials. It could actually help his legacy, where he would be getting predominantly good press. I know it's unorthodox, but why not? Besides, she could keep an eye on the bastard.
  2. Couple of things here: The benefit of an exploratory committee is that you can raise funds, and hire staff without having to announce. One of the big hurdles in a race is getting the talent. So forming an EC gives you a chance to show staffers you can raise funds and thus, win. The purpose of announcing so early is to get those staff before others do. (Behind money, having talented political operatives is the most important aspect of success, and there is a limited supply.) And not to jump on Scu's bandwagon, but again I agree (on primaries.) I'd be willing to bet that McCain won't be "out by super Tuesday." And if you think McCain will burn in the south (not that bad a guess, I admit) but wait until you see Giuliani getting booed by his own party when he goes to South Carolina and starts getting asked about abortion, gay rights and his marital issues. Gallop has McCain at 27% and Giuliani at 31%. Not exactly a runaway, and that with a national skew. In South Carolina, it's currently 35/28 for McCain. In New Hampshire, it's a dead heat 26/25. Iowa, 27/26. Even assuming California is moved up that means it becomes high noon. If McCain wins it (not out of the question considering it's location and his level of organization...early primaries favor the bigger org) then it's over for Giuliani. If he wins, it likely puts him in the lead, but not prohibitively so. It makes it a race. But Republicans prefer to pick their guy early since Reagan's 11th commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.) Bottom line, I stick with my initial assessment. McCain will be the next president.
  3. First, that's a pretty good analysis. Not that it matters, but I generally concur with Scu. Second, I would be totally stoked about an Obama/Clark ticket. Like, that might be my number one choice, and I could literally see myself moving to Chicago to work for this ticket. As for Edwards, I think he might actually be positioning for another shot at VP. He doesn't help Clinton much because she's probably never going to win South Carolina. But a black man (who brings out the black south) and a charming and handsome home town boy, especially if they are running against McCain who probably won't be able to bring out the troops from the right, and crap what kind of sentence is this? Anyway, Edwards could help Obama in the South. I also think that Richardson is gunning for Secretary of State. A dem candidate might actually make that public earlier enough to help offset any harm to the hispanic vote...having him standing on stage raising Obama's hand in New Mexico for example. By the way, I could shuffle that another way...Obama/Richardson with Clark at State. I'd be OK with that too. As for Newt? No. I think he'll be kept on the short list, but his past, his negatives, and the enemies he's made on the hill keep him from being a serious candidate. I think a McCain/G ticket is interesting. McCain has a hard time with the base, and G won't help that. But those folks arent likely to vote for Obama or Clinton either...more about turnout, which could be a factor. On the other hand, he backs Clinton up in NY. If G wins the Nomination, I don't think he'll turn to McCain to get the base. Here's an interesting ticket...Guilliani with former OK governor Frank Keating. The commercials of 9/11 and OKC bombing footage alone would be worth 12 points.
  4. I agree. Now is the time to generally educate yourself. Buy a few books, or check them out. Now is the time to get some "big pictures". As suggested, you might put together some initial thoughts on what cases/positions will be out there. Worry later about the specifics. By the way, I've got some initial links up (right now it's the "big" sites on Africa, but it's a place to start.) debatelinks.com/links
  5. robllawrence


    Wow. (Calculates) That's now been ten years ago. What can I say, some of my favorite movies are "V for Vendetta", "Payback", and "Count of Monte Cristo", so yeah I probably have issues to work out. Heck, I still haven't gotten over losing in semis at state in '91 because a couple lame judges didn't buy our Yeltsin turns on the Gorbachev DA. And don't get me started on Matt Gerber and the Great Charles Page/BA feud. AND by the way, Astronomy Ed WAS topical.
  6. robllawrence


    Years ago through a quirk of fate I was subjected to this organisation my senior year. (We were a small CEDA program during the shifting period of the early 90s. A number of circumstances conspired to leave me the only member of a small debate team with any HS experience...it's a long story but suffice it to say I swear I had no choice.) Anyway, at that time, there were a LOT more programs. (Their website lists 6 teams???) I think most of those bailed to go to another org, like Parli or something called the Great Plains, or Great Midwestern or some such. If it's anything like it was then, your chances of winning seemed exactly random at good tournaments and completely impossible without "assistance" at other tournaments. I don't want to accuse anyone in particular, but in my worst most angry days in CEDA/NDT when we were getting our ass handed to us by some of the biggest names on the circuit, I still felt better than the complete hogwash and shenanigans at a NEDA tournament. It's really sad too, because they certainly did appeal to a lot of JuCos, regional schools, and new debate programs. Examples: I once lost a round to topicality on the word "Federal" because I used the Dept of Health and Human Services and "that's a state agency". Worse, though, I lost after they read this vio in the 2NC and demanded an immediate decision. I didn't even get a chance to respond before getting shafted. I lost a round to a team from the host school, who was wearing a sweatshirt with the school's letters boldly emblazened across the chest, with a judge from that school. I had a round in which the wife of one of the debaters had judged me two rounds earlier on the aff, and HE had a bye between the two rounds to spend two hours prepping my new case. Almost as bad as the blatent cheating and tab stacking which was no doubt what caused the decline in the org, is the incompetence. I'm not saying they are all dumb, or that lay judges are inherently bad. As I've said, there is something to be said for the stated objectives of the group. But many of the people they got to judge did not meet my basic standards even for "lay" judges. I've been judged by bus drivers and janitors before. But seriously, if you say anything that sounds even remotely intelligent, you are accused of using jargon and WILL lose. If you make more than three arguments per speech, total, you will be accused of spread debate, and WILL lose. By the time I graduated, I carried everything i needed for a tournament in a backpack and still had to be careful. Yes, by the time I graduated, I was winning some tournaments and getting speaker awards. But I'd rather have had the feeling I got breaking to double Octs at a large national tournament, or beating one of the top teams in the country with a good panel. Sorry for the rant, it's just a sore subject I guess still. I seem to recall posting a bunch on a NEDA vs CEDA thread a few years ago if you want to search.
  7. I obviously haven't been updating my own website for awhile now for personal reasons, but I did put up an Africa link section this week for those who might be interested. It's an easy interface for anyone willing to add links, and I'll update it occasionally as time permits. http://debatelinks.com/links
  8. Ding Ding Ding. Right, too, about definitions, although the SAS calls themselves the oldest and model for modern special forces. According to Stars and Stripes. Hence the quotes. also -- 550meters = 601.48 yards. 800 meters = 874.88 yds 3536 meters = 3866.97 yds My answers 500, 1000, 4000. Certainly not precise, but actually much closer than I thought I'd be. Not to whine, but I think you may have the upper hand on military trivia. If I'm ever on "who wants to be a millionaire" you can be my military trivia lifeline. Anyone wanna go "Amendments to the Constitution?"
  9. Taking a guess: max range-4000 yds Area -- 1000 yds Point -- 500 yds Of course, it's probably not going to be that generic, but those are "movie" numbers. Question: What group is the world's oldest "special forces" unit?
  10. Quick note: I just bought Obama's book "Dreams from my Father" at Borders this week. I've read the intro, the updated intro, and the first chapter. So far, it's pretty good. Looks like an interesting take on the history of the politics of race in this country through his family history.
  11. I've done this successfully once or twice. Usually it works when 1) the INR is the weaker partner and 2) they are already in prep trouble. If they spent 4 out of 5 minutes prepping the INC, then the 2 used 20 or 30 seconds, it stands to reason he's hoping for CX to look for stuff. Also, you can sometimes look over at the IN and tell if he's ready. If he's still digging, writing, or looking longingly at his partner for help, then taking no CX might be strategic. No it doesn't always work, but it can. Does it hurt your speaks? Possibly, but it depends on the judge and on what happened in the speech. I mean, if the 2NC just read generic answers to your frontlines and didn't do anything that creative, such that clarification isn't necessary, then it shouldn't hurt. Also, if I were the judge, I'd be thinking "hey, three fewer minutes of this godforsaken debate round" but that's just me. One time when this happened I had a 2NC boo hoo about how it was his CX too and demanded that I take it. So, I stood up and said "is that tie silk?" he said yes, I said "no more questions, thanks." On the other hand, what I noticed was that most of the time when this was a strategic option, we didn't feel like we needed it to win. In other words, we could usually beat them without any "tricks." But if it's a fairly close round, and the other team is in prep trouble, and the judge seems cool with it, I say go for it.
  12. First of all, let me just say that we live in sad sad times when kids understand a statism K better than they understand federalism. But that's another story. Let me see if I can answer your Qs in order. 1. The CP should be non-topical on the word "Federal", if it is in the res, or by a definition of United States that = Fed. Otherwise, yes, the neg would have to justify topical CPs. 2. The CP is usually run in concurrence with a federalism disad which would argue that the action in question is not a federal power, so thus having the states do it wouldn't alter the balance. If you were having the states do something that was a federal power (which might make it hard to have any solvency evidence by the way), then the aff could argue that you are altering the "balance of power". The impact evidence on the disad though would all be about Fed overreach, not state. So they'd still have to impact it somehow. 3. There are various ways to implement on the state level, and a lot depends on the action as to which is the best way. In most cases, you do something which allows the states to implement in their own creative way, thus allowing 50 "state experiments" for solvency. There are also court based actions which could devolve the authority to act back to the states (See Lopez). If the action is something which requires coordination among the states, there are some "state compact" kind of arguments out there, but I don't tend to like them since they usually end up proving the necessity of federal action. Bottom line, the CP works best with the disad. It creates a way for the disad (which happens to be basically true, but without the impacts to typically win on its own because of the bizarro land of debate impacts) to win a round. The CP allows a way to solve the harms of aff without getting the disad, which then becomes a net benefit.
  13. Since no one actually answered the question "what is federalism" I'll jump in. It's more than just the belief that power should be devolved to the states. In fact, in reality that should have nothing to do with it. (You CAN argue that states do certain things better than the feds but that's a political consideration to be contended with on the counterplan level, not a constitutional consideration which has negative ramifications on the disad level.) Federalism is the belief that states retain the powers not explicitly given to the federal government. So, if the feds have the constitutional authority to do something (like raise an army or regulate interstate commerce for example) then there shouldn't be a link to federalism. If the case does something normally reserved to the states (education, most health care regs, most types of crime legislation, etc) then the case is an example of the fed trampling state's rights and leads us down the road to tyranny (if Tribe is to be believed) or is modeled by other countries and leads THEM down the road to tyranny (if Calabresi is to be believed.)
  14. HIV and Malaria Boost Each Other In Africa By Michael Smith, MedPage Today Staff Writer Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco December 08, 2006 SEATTLE, Dec. 8 -- In a spiral of infection and susceptibility, the African epidemics of HIV and malaria may be fueling each other, according to researchers here. A mathematical model, combined with HIV and malaria co-infection data collected in Malawi, suggested that the interplay of the two diseases heightens their effect in regions where both are found Laith Abu-Raddad, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and colleagues. In effect, they reported in the Dec. 7 issue of Science, HIV's effect on the immune system makes people more susceptible to malaria, while the febrile episodes of malaria make HIV more transmissible. A febrile malarial episode produces a transient increase -- by a factor of about 10 -- in the viral load of a person who also has HIV, the researchers noted. That increase raises the chance that sexual intercourse will transmit the virus by a factor of 2.45. "While HIV/AIDS is predominantly spreading through sexual intercourse, this biological co-factor induced by malaria has contributed considerably to the spread of HIV by increasing HIV transmission probability per sexual act," Dr. Abu-Raddad said. The model developed by Dr. Abu-Raddad employs a range of factors, including the time the increased HIV viral load lasts after a malaria attack and the effect the attack has on a person's sexual activity. The effect of the interplay between the two infectious diseases has been to increase the number of HIV infections in the region by tens of thousands and the number of malaria infections by millions, the researchers said. To take a concrete example, they applied the model to the town of Kisumu in Kenya, which has a population of 200,000 and a high prevalence of both HIV and malaria. Since 1980, the researchers found that the HIV-malaria interplay has resulted in 8,500 excess HIV infections and 980,000 excess malaria episodes cumulatively. In that relatively small city, the HIV prevalence rate is 8% higher than it would have been without malaria and the malaria rate is 13% higher than it would have been without HIV, Dr. Abu-Raddad and colleagues said. Between 1990 and 2005, HIV prevalence in the area has been about 25% -- a level reached more quickly with the help of malaria. "We estimate that an HIV prevalence that reached 24% in 1995 would have needed two additional years to reach this level in the absence of synergy with malaria," the researchers said. Some of the factors in the model are estimates and need better data, Dr. Abu-Raddad and colleagues said. For instance, the model assumes that a malarial episode will reduce the sexual activity of the patient, but it's not known how much or for how long. If sexual activity were reduced by 36% during the period when the HIV viral load is increased, the malarial impact on HIV would be eliminated, the researchers said. That translates into a complete avoidance of all sexual activity during and for eight weeks after a malarial fever. On the other hand, effective treatment for malaria -- in particular shortening the infectious period -- would completely eliminate the HIV impact on the spread of malaria, they said. The findings have clear implications for public health, said co-author James Kublin, M.D., also of the Hutchinson center. "We can reduce HIV/AIDS transmission by concomitantly treating HIV/AIDS co-infections with malaria as well as other diseases," he said.
  15. Huh. Good to know. I vaguely remember hearing something about a new primary schedule last spring, but didn't follow it. Yeah, I agree that Richardson (or someone) ought to make a relatively large move there to at least get on the stage. I'm assuming this has to do with the DNC polls saying the southwest is moving toward the dems because of the surge in latino voters. I don't suppose the Republicans are going along? That would likely solidify McCain's frontrunner status.
  16. I know for awhile on the college circuit this was an issue, specifically speed/amphetamines. Maybe it still is, I don't know. Most of the people I knew that tried it either stopped it, or failed out pretty quick. Aside from the obvious dangers, which are VERY serious (like having a heart attack and dying in the middle of the IAR), it's just not effective. First of all, it's very hard to predict the range of time that the drug will be most effective and which range of time you'll be crashing or needing another. For some people, you take it and 20 minutes later you're up. For others, it could be close to an hour. And when is it going to be wearing off? In the middle of the next round? Are you willing to just keep popping them the rest of the day? Who wants to manage meds at a debate tournament? Second, being "up" doesn't make you a great debater. I've seen people make really dumb mistakes that I feel they would not have otherwise made because they were under the influence. You might think you're burning it up, but really you sound like an idiot. Besides, dry mouth doesn't make for a great speech. Finally, and this too is a biggy, it's seriously screwed up. We're talking illegal, immoral, unethical, shady shady shady. You get caught, there are going to be serious ramifications that are much more significant than winning any debate tournament. Any slight and unpredictable edge you might get, if any, simply isn't worth the risk. Stick to Mt. Dew and Rage Against the Machine.
  17. Overall, some good points so far. Let me add one or two. 1. "Little" Organization -- Have frontlines, extensions and rebuttal points. In other words, be prepared. You can prepare a frontline set of answers to every known position. Then behind that, have a set of extensions backing up each of those answers in order, so that you can multi-point their answers. You might also include some sticky notes or frontlines to common answers so that you can respond in order and then add on more evidence. Finally, have a plan for what you generally are going to go for in rebuttals. Sure, that might change depending on what answers they hit hard and which ones they mull over or drop, but you ought to have an idea which are your strongest answers so that in a close debate, you are prepared all the way through the last speech. Usually, the biggest difference between a win and a win with good speaks is how much prep you did before the round. 2. "Big" Organization -- This is something hard to describe. Have a plan, in general for the round. Most teams eventually get pretty good at debating the minutia of each position, playing "small ball" so to speak. Good teams get good at seeing them all together. Everything you do should lead up to your eventual strategy for the ballot. Every question you ask, every answer you go for, it all leads to the last rebuttal. Having a nice overview, one that perhaps you've worked on in advance, along with just exactly the right arguments to create the story you've just told gives the judge the impression you're a master strategist, a puppetmaster getting the other team to do your bidding. Besides winning more, because your story will sound more coherent, you'll also see a jump in speaker points, win or lose. (Incidentally, that last sentence reminded me of a team I had that started breaking more not by winning more, but by cleaning up the rounds they lost. Basically, when they won they had good speaks, but when they lost they had the signs of looking like and acting like they were losing. We worked on image management for awhile so that when they hit some of the teams in the state that were "supposed" to beat them, they made them at least look like close rounds. Eventually, they even pulled off some upsets.)
  18. I'm not doing this as a direct response to Scu, it just got me thinking that we probably ought to have some poll numbers here. So here's what I've found recently: Rasmussen Oct 30-31 "If Hillary runs I will" Definitely vote for --30% Definitely vote against -- 39% Depends on who runs against -- 25% Gallup Nov 27 "Who would you like to see elected" Hillary --15% McCain -- 11% Obama -- 6% lots of 1s and 2s Unsure 33% Financial Dynamics (this is the Diageo Hotline poll) If the election were today, and these were the candidates: ................John McCain,®.....HillaryClinton,(D). Unsure 11/8-12/06... 45..............40 ..................15 7/20-23/06... 49...............37..................15 6/21-25/06... 50...............40..................11 5/18-21/06 ... 49...............38..................13 .....................McCain ...........Obama......... Unsure 11/8-12/06 39.....................35................ 26 The Fox poll mid october mirrors these numbers within a point or so. Newsweek Nov 9-10 Would you rather have a rep or a dem ......................Republican ... Democrat ...Other Party ... Unsure 11/9-10/06 ... 28 ... 48 ... 4 ... 20 5/11-12/06 ... 32 ... 49 ... 2 ... 17 It seems we want a democrat at this point, we just aren't sure who they should be. Interestingly, CNN did a poll on "Hillary Clinton" vs McCain, and "Hillary Rodham Clinton" vs McCain in mid october. Dropping the middle name changed the poll from Hillary winning 51-44 to her losing 48-47. Dumping Bill might indeed help her win. Of course, with 4.5% statistical error, it's barely significant. But she DOES appear with 'Rodham' on ballots thus far. most of these results are here: http://www.pollingreport.com/2008.htm Here's something interesting from an older ABC poll (March 06) -- Clinton favorable --52% Unfavorable 46% McCain favorable --59% Unfavorable 29% But, Clinton showed strong in-party support and weak cross party support. McCain's support was relatively stable across party lines (even fairly strong among self reporting liberal democrats). So, that would seem to indicate he would have a harder time than she at getting nominated, but an easier time in the general. It's a pretty interesting article. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/PollVault/story?id=1694406 ok, that should provide some fotter.
  19. Yeah, there's a big difference between now and 1990. First off, Bush had about a 63 percent approval in December and was about 45 days from invading Kuwait. Democratic frontrunner in those circumstances means approximately jack squat. Well, it means you have some name recognition. Heck, Bentsen was a frontrunner because he was willing to be a torchbearer/sacrificial lamb after 88, and because he said "You're no Jack Kennedy" to Quayle. Some folks thought maybe the ticket should have been reversed. But maybe you're right, it's pointless. Surely, Obama, Hillary, and McCain spending millions of dollars in the next two years will have NO effect on the race. Think of this as us picking our sweet sixteen teams before the season kicks off.
  20. McCain beat Bush in New Hampshire. He shouldn't have near the problems this go around with evangelicals so he'll likely win SC. (I'd expect a few McCain surrogates to go after Huckabee early, or invite him to be VP, to stop McCain from bashing Falwell etc in South Carolina.) Presumably, he'll win Michigan. Whoever's left at that point will be getting hammered in fund raising, which means, a few southern states aside, McCain wins across the board. Age? He's as healthy as a horse, and the average life expectancy is a lot older these days. In 1980, yeah Reagan was a few years younger, but he also looked and acted like an old man. McCain looks ten years younger. Thus, he will be the next Republican candidate for president. Hillary might not even attempt Iowa, leaving it to Vilnasack instead and focusing on New Hampshire. She should win there, although Obama could give her trouble if he camps out. They'll both have problems in South Carolina so who knows who wins there. She'll probably win Michigan, but then lose Illinois again to Obama for obvious reasons. Super Tuesday decides the candidate. If any of the other candidates can hang on until then (Midwestern Vilnasack for example) they could at least spoil in the south and maybe even split the convention. More likely, they'd avoid that mess in hope for a cabinet appt. Vilnasack makes a great secretary of Ag. So, you have a carpetbagging New Yorker, and a guy named Barak Hussein Obama campaigning for deep southern votes. No matter who wins, they'll lose in November. The Dems win New York, Illinois, Michigan, PA, Ohio, Hawaii, Oregon and Louisiana, probably California, the usual strong holds, maybe one or two more. (They will pick up either a strong southern VP candidate like Edwards or a southwestern candidate like Richardson in hopes to get a few regional wins.) McCain wins everywhere else -- Texas, Florida, the South, the other "western" states...electorally, it's not far from '04 except that some of the battleground states won't be quite so close. I think McCain can pressure the dems in places like Pennsylvania and California more than they can pressure him in the Southwest, or Florida. John McCain, for better or worse, will be the next president unless the above math changes dramatically in the next 18 months. Incidentally, check out this electoral calculator if you're interested in the horse race. http://www.opinionjournal.com/ecc/calculator.htm Oh yeah, one other point about McCain. I have a feeling there's a reason he's been Bush's lapdog the last few years. Bush will support his candidacy, meaning the party will support it. He's your guy.
  21. Keep in mind here I haven't read either the case or the counterplan, so I'm just throwing in my initial thoughts. How about reading evidence that development was key to solving AIDS. In other words, you say "AIDS funding hurts development" (I'm thinking funding tradeoff disads, corruption, etc.), "DDT key to development" (in terms of crop production, wealth creation, worker health, etc) and then "development/wealth creation is critical to solving AIDS" (This works as a PMN that the CP solves for, but not the plan. You say that without new growth, education, health, standard of living improvements, you can't solve AIDS, and then give the CP as a method of solving. Just a thought.
  22. Anything written by J Gordon Edwards, I think was his name. Entomologist from San Jose State and apparently a schill for the DDT industry.
  23. I ran this as a case in college on a topic about media distortion...don't remember the specifics. But I do remember the evidence was among the most incredible I've ever read. We're talking hundreds of millions dead since 1972 (from malaria, sleeping sickness, and lost food production due to uninhabitable land). Stuff like that. It's the kind of case that starts "By the end of this speech x people will be dead". Good times. Check Scientific American for a 20th anniversary special edition. It's all DDT good articles.
  24. Here's an interesting addition to the debate: US Constitution. Amendment 13. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Edit: OK, here's the relevant case law according to usconstitution.net In Butler v Perry (240 US 328 [1916]), the Supreme Court wrote: [The 13th Amendment] introduced no novel doctrine with respect of services always treated as exceptional, and certainly was not intended to interdict enforcement of those duties which individuals owe to the state, such as services in the army, militia, on the jury, etc. The great purpose in view was liberty under the protection of effective government, not the destruction of the latter by depriving it of essential powers. Butler did not directly concern the draft. It addressed laws that required able-bodied men to work on state roads for their maintenance when called by the state. However, its implications for the draft are clear and a case decided just two years later (Arver v US [245 US 366 {1918}]) set it in stone: [A]s we are unable to conceive upon what theory the exaction by government from the citizen of the performance of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation as the result of a war declared by the great representative body of the people can be said to be the imposition of involuntary servitude in violation of the prohibitions of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are constrained to the conclusion that the contention to that effect is refuted by its mere statement. My opinion: that's crap. It basically says the constitution didn't mean the draft because serving and contributing to defense is a "supreme and noble duty", and I suppose, outside of the constitutional boundaries. I'd say that was a matter of opinion. In that later cases admitted that it was ok for one to be opposed to the US form of government (so long as they didn't present a clear and present danger to it), it would seem clear that this line of reasoning does not stand. Also, this non-textual approach to one's duty would likely not stand when compared to conservative "strict text" approaches among many of the current justices.
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