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Everything posted by bRubaie

  1. I know people don't like the inelegant "and/or" but it would have improved the Latin America resolution. An Aff that engages with Cuba will confront a large Venezuela "alternate cause" and vice-versa. Saying "and/or" would've left the Aff a choice; broadening the scope of engagement would strengthen your solvency and advantage claims but you'd be vulnerable to PICs. Maybe the Aff would choose to strictly engage one or the other but I don't see any downside in affording them that choice. The original author's resolutions all included "one or more of the following." Can anyone with knowledge of the deliberations explain why this was modified? The EC topic resolves this by saying "one or more of the following." The list provides a limiting function while preserving Aff flexibility. The paradox of this is that the advantages Affs will claim in EC are more likely to be compartmentalized (specific to the country in question) while the advantages to Latin America Affs will likely be broad (trade/protectionism, etc.) I wish it were possible to flip flop which resolution allowed the Aff flexibility and which locked the Aff into a specific area. I'll be excited to work on either topic but initially favor Export Control.
  2. I think this is a great idea and just took part. I think the concerns voiced so far are reasonable but are not as strong as the reasons favoring the poll's existence. This information exists for other HS activities (namely, sports) and other forms of debate accomplishment (season-long performance, the Baker.) I agree that it's a little odd to rank HS kids but I think the downside here is minimal. The possibility of misinformed voting makes a lot of sense. I think this is the biggest concern. However, consider two counter-arguments; a. Direct observation is useful but so is evaluating the statistics. Many of these teams have attended 3+ tournaments and have a record. Many of them have won very tough debates, won several elimination rounds, etc. I tried to base my rankings on raw accomplishment (with some arbitrary judgment therein, admittedly) more than on direct observation. b. Look at the NCAA's top 25 Coaches poll for college football. The coaches vote even though 100% of their time is spent watching their own tape or that of direct opponents. The Coaches' poll isn't perfect, nor is the BCS, nor is the AP. The existence of all 3 provides a variety of opinions that recognize hard work and achievement. This poll helps to achieve the same effect for high school. The upside, meanwhile, is considerable. This is a great way to help programs demonstrate their success to their administration. Travel costs are difficult to sustain, particularly for public schools. Schools are more willing to accept these costs if they can boast about possessing a top-25 team. Very few schools in the country (by definition) are top-25 in ANY activity. This could help to cement school pride in a program and, more importantly, funding and support for hard-working programs and coaches. I agree that "rep" is stupid but it is also inevitable and it should be shaped by merit/performance rather than school name. Could you ever have envisioned a world where CK McClatchy (shout out to former labbie Spurlock) was ranked ahead of multiple-TOC champion Greenhill? On the flip-side, being ranked outside the top 10 didn't seem to stop Greenhill from charging to the finals of St. Mark's (and possibly winning, I haven't heard the result.) There is nothing objective about your rank in a poll. It doesn't speak to your potential, only to your performance so far. Performance can be measured without making a statement on potential.
  3. What's the net benefit? It's either the status quo and doesn't solve the case or it's an increase in funding and links to politics, spending, etc.
  4. My vote is for Eric Suni/Andrew Ardinger and Brian Nye/Scott Stinson from SME. They were the first to close out the 6A state finals (state championships seem like the most important barometer) and the only set of teams to qualify to the TOC from the same school in the same year. I'm not sure how they finished at DCI but part of that was by design (SME didn't attend DCI for a number of years due to ideological differences.) A little bit of extra love for my old college debate partner Andrew Baker for being top speaker at NFL in addition to being a finalist. What's more remarkable is that they only had three days to prepare (a duo from SME dropped out at the last minute.) Other names that merit (more) attention; -- Dylan Keenan of BVN: 2nd at NFL in extemp (and only because of a busted microphone), NDT Semifinalist and top speaker at college's biggest invitational (Wake.) -- Nate Johnson and Brad Hall of Manhattan: NDT Champion and NDT Finalist. -- Brett Bricker of Wichita SE: NDT Champion after never attending debate camp in the past. -- Andrew Jennings on Silver Lake: State champion in both Policy and Extemp, incredibly talented college debater.
  5. bRubaie


    Good post on this subject available here: http://utdebatecamp.com/2012/investment-in-the-infrastructure-topic/
  6. We went for politics against MSU here: http://www.debatevision.com/videos/24/quarters-wake-forest-2009-msu-lw-v-utd-br The only real thing I would tell you to take from my 1NR is not to cut the Peace Process DA lol
  7. Woodward wins the 2012 NDCA National Championship on a 3-0 decision. The level of applause revealed what a fantastically good debate this was. Congratulations to both teams on a fantastic debate and tournament run! 100 character version of decision: War turns structural violence/patriarchy, deterrence creates ontology security and Heg solves lashout. Thanks to everyone for following along, I hope you all enjoyed reading about the NDCA as much as I enjoyed the honor of getting to judge it.
  8. Woodward will affirm. The last two speeches will be given by the top two speakers at the tournament. Two notes: 1. Check out the Twitter address above (@Debate_Central) to receive live updates 2. We've rounded up a video and, assuming permission is granted by the participants to do so, will post the debate and decision on Debate Vision.
  9. Woodward will debate the winner of the Greenhill SU/St. Mark's BB debate in the finals. 2 ballots in the Greenhill SU/St. Mark's debate are in. Check Twitter to see the results as soon as they're announced!
  10. I did not sadly, sorry I can't be of more help!
  11. Finals pairing is available at http://goo.gl/Vpznt. Semifinals results are available at: http://goo.gl/Gp4qJ. Quarterfinal results are available at: http://goo.gl/VZAg1 Octos results are available at: http://debate-centra...=31&t=35842 Doubles results: CK McClatchy KS d. Little Rock Central WS on a 3-0. GBS SW d. Notre Dame BD on a 2-1 (Lee, Galloway, *Hardy) NOTE: Additional intel tidbits from debates I'm judging/results in a bit faster real-time available at https://twitter.com/.../Debate_Central NOTE: The Joy of Tournaments site has started updating the warm room -- more complete results (including the split/judge decisions in rounds) are up at http://www.joyoftour...e=2941&r=23&SE=
  12. I don't know if it is still useful to you all but I posted a fair bit of evidence on this subject at: http://debate-central.ncpa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=35814
  13. Mead's a Senior Fellow at CFR I don't know if this is still useful to anyone but I spent way too long researching this topic and posted an analysis of it at: http://debate-central.ncpa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=35815
  14. I've got a lot of love for PFD, but it doesn't require "more intellectual arguments." Instead, it requires more common-sense arguments. It doesn't require doing "twelve times as much research as policy debate" (even under this scenario it would require eight, or four in Kansas.) Instead, it often emphasizes analytical skills over research quality. Those are both arguably good things. PFD has come a long way since it was introduced in 2002-ish as Ted Turner debate in an attempt to model the CNN show "Crossfire." The topics (Wikileaks, College Costs, Aid to Pakistan, etc.) are often pretty neat. At the highest levels the students work incredibly hard and display great skill. In Kansas these issues aren't zero sum: CX and PF occur at different times, so why the fuss? I see where the disclosure idea comes from, but I don't agree with it for a few reasons: A) PFD predominantly caters to a crowd that is disenchanted with other forms of debate. It wouldn't want to model their norms. B. Disclosure is an evidence norm. It's for purposes of academic peer-review of the literature cited by student competitors. What makes PFD unique is that it doesn't require citing a volume of research or "cards." C) It would be burdensome. Teams would have to update it every month, and several times every month if they change their case.
  15. In a follow-up to the Reason-Roupe poll, there is a debate about whether traffic congestion is good or bad for American cities. Aff evidence/Traffic bad -- Traffic costs billions in lost employment and external costs -- destroys growth Staley, '12 -- Samuel, "Traffic Congestion and the Economic Decline of Cities," Reason Foundation -- Free market oriented think tank, 1-5, http://reason.org/news/show/traffic-congestion-and-the-economic. Neg evidence/Traffic good As a starting FYI: Some urban planners, however, say increased traffic congestion is good because it leads to people seeking alternatives like biking, public transportation etc. which has a positive effect on the environment. **NOTE -- I only cut the basic explanation but didn't underline this because this author is setting up a straw person -- he is just citing arguments he will later refute. I have included links to the authors he is citing beneath the card which *are* very useful to cut evidence from Staley, '12 -- Samuel, "Traffic Congestion and the Economic Decline of Cities," Reason Foundation -- Free market oriented think tank, 1-5, http://reason.org/news/show/traffic-congestion-and-the-economic. **Doig writes in an excellent Salon column available here: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/17/in_the_future_urban_bikers_go_faster_than_cars/. Among the highlights: ***King's cleverly named "20's plenty for us" group in the UK has a website -- perhaps not useful for cutting evidence outside of their 'myth-busting' section but an interesting read http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/Busting_the_myths.htm
  16. The Reason-Rupe transportation poll, a random, national sample of 1,200 adults by telephone, raises some very interesting findings, particularly for politics debates. Americans seem to strongly favor user-fees (like VMT) over tax increases (like the gas tax) Reason Foundation, '11 - Right-leaning think tank, "77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax, Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll Finds," 12-20, http://reason.org/news/show/reason-rupe-transportation-infrastr. A majority of Americans believe new transportation projects should be paid for with user-fees instead of tax increases, according to a new national Reason-Rupe poll of 1,200 adults on cell phones and land lines. Unsurprisingly, Americans hate taxes... Reason Foundation, '11 - Right-leaning think tank, "77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax, Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll Finds," 12-20, http://reason.org/news/show/reason-rupe-transportation-infrastr. The Reason-Rupe poll finds 77 percent of Americans oppose increasing the federal gas tax, while just 19 percent favor raising the tax, which is currently 18.4 cents a gallon. The public thinks the government wastes the gas tax money it already receives. Sixty-five percent say the government spends transportation funding ineffectively, and just 23 say the money is spent effectively. Surprisingly, they don't mind toll roads, particularly if they substantially alleviate traffic Reason Foundation, '11 - Right-leaning think tank, "77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax, Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll Finds," 12-20, http://reason.org/news/show/reason-rupe-transportation-infrastr. The survey shows Americans believe new roads and highways should be paid for by the people driving on them: 58 percent of Americans say new roads and highways should be funded by tolls. Twenty-eight percent say new road capacity should be paid for by tax increases. The Reason-Rupe poll finds broad support for user-fees. If a toll road would save drivers a “significant†amount of time, 59 percent of Americans say they would pay to use it. And 57 percent favor converting carpool lanes, or high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, into high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. Voters are much-less supportive of variably-priced toll lanes, however. Half of those surveyed oppose, and 39 percent favor, variably-priced tolls that rise and fall with traffic levels. The "free markets"/"private development" CP versus high-speed rail would likely have a good angle against politics Reason Foundation, '11 - Right-leaning think tank, "77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax, Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll Finds," 12-20, http://reason.org/news/show/reason-rupe-transportation-infrastr. As the debate over high-speed rail continues in California and elsewhere, a solid majority of Americans, 55 percent, say the private sector should build high-speed train systems where it thinks riders will pay to use rail. Just 35 percent of Americans believe federal and state governments should build high-speed rail systems where they think the trains are needed. However, they seem to like the "perm" as much as they like the CP Reason Foundation, '11 - Right-leaning think tank, "77 Percent of Americans Oppose Raising the Gas Tax, Reason-Rupe Transportation Poll Finds," 12-20, http://reason.org/news/show/reason-rupe-transportation-infrastr. As governments at all levels look for ways to pay for transportation projects, public officials should note that 55 percent of Americans support using public-private partnerships to build critical infrastructure projects. Just 35 percent oppose using public-private partnerships to fund highways, airports and other infrastructure.
  17. I couldn't agree more! The states CP will feature prominently in most negative debates and I'm not excited about it. I am very excited about the potential of this topic and want to get debaters started early in thinking beyond the States CP. Here's to hoping that a devoted push by great instructors like Antonucci this summer can help the better angels of our nature prevail. As a 2A on the Ag topic I thought of solvency deficits and theory arguments as working at cross-purposes. If the CP is "50 states all do the plan" then I think the Aff should be able to win that an unrealistic invented mechanism is theoretically undesirable. If they use an existing non-federal institution (National Governors Association, etc) then I think it should be possible to win a solvency deficit.
  18. Debaters will have no trouble finding excellent evidence on this topic. I will post great articles as I find and read them. Below are 15 cards from a recent Economist article entitled Life in the Slow Lane. This is a good primer for the topic, and the politics link (at the very bottom) and answers to the states counterplan are particularly good. Defining the scope of the problem: The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 America, despite its wealth and strength, often seems to be falling apart. American cities have suffered a rash of recent infrastructure calamities, from the failure of the New Orleans levees to the collapse of a highway bridge in Minneapolis, to a fatal crash on Washington, DC’s (generally impressive) metro system. But just as striking are the common shortcomings. America’s civil engineers routinely give its transport structures poor marks, rating roads, rails and bridges as deficient or functionally obsolete. And according to a World Economic Forum study America’s infrastructure has got worse, by comparison with other countries, over the past decade. In the WEF 2010 league table America now ranks 23rd for overall infrastructure quality, between Spain and Chile. Its roads, railways, ports and air-transport infrastructure are all judged mediocre against networks in northern Europe. It will get worse due to demographics The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 And worse looms. The country’s already stressed infrastructure must handle a growing load in decades to come, thanks to America’s distinctly non-European demographics. The Census Bureau expects the population to grow by 40% over the next four decades, equivalent to the entire population of Japan. It is a badly underaddressed, underfunded problem The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 The Congressional Budget Office estimates that America needs to spend $20 billion more a year just to maintain its infrastructure at the present, inadequate, levels. Up to $80 billion a year in additional spending could be spent on projects which would show positive economic returns. Other reports go further. In 2005 Congress established the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. In 2008 the commission reckoned that America needed at least $255 billion per year in transport spending over the next half-century to keep the system in good repair and make the needed upgrades. Current spending falls 60% short of that amount. Bad roads create tons of lost productivity; deaths The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 America is known for its huge highways, but with few exceptions (London among them) American traffic congestion is worse than western Europe’s. Average delays in America’s largest cities exceed those in cities like Berlin and Copenhagen. Americans spend considerably more time commuting than most Europeans; only Hungarians and Romanians take longer to get to work (see chart 1). More time on lower quality roads also makes for a deadlier transport network. With some 15 deaths a year for every 100,000 people, the road fatality rate in America is 60% above the OECD average; 33,000 Americans were killed on roads in 2010. The economic impact if nothing is done could be staggering The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Roads, bridges and railways used to be neutral ground on which the parties could come together to support the country’s growth. But as politics has become more bitter, public works have been neglected. If the gridlock choking Washington finds its way to America’s statehouses too, then the American economy risks grinding to a standstill. Trains are light years behind The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 There is little relief for the weary traveller on America’s rail system. The absence of true high-speed rail is a continuing embarrassment to the nation’s rail enthusiasts. America’s fastest and most reliable line, the north-eastern corridor’s Acela, averages a sluggish 70 miles per hour between Washington and Boston. The French TGV from Paris to Lyon, by contrast, runs at an average speed of 140mph. America’s trains aren’t just slow; they are late. Where European passenger service is punctual around 90% of the time, American short-haul service achieves just a 77% punctuality rating. Long-distance trains are even less reliable. Airports are...well, airports, and no one likes them The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Air travel is no relief. Airport delays at hubs like Chicago and Atlanta are as bad as any in Europe. Air travel still relies on a ground-based tracking system from the 1950s, which forces planes to use inefficient routes in order to stay in contact with controllers. The system’s imprecision obliges controllers to keep more distance between air traffic, reducing the number of planes that can fly in the available space. And this is not the system’s only bottleneck. Overbooked airports frequently lead to runway congestion, forcing travellers to spend long hours stranded on the tarmac while they wait to take off or disembark. Meanwhile, security and immigration procedures in American airports drive travellers to the brink of rebellion. Solvency mechanism: raise oil taxes The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Some in Washington would rather take their cut further away from consumers. A tax on oil, rather than petrol, could be a little easier for consumers to stomach. America’s big oil producers signalled openness to a similar policy during negotiations over the ill-fated but bipartisan Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill. It could return as a means to fund infrastructure. Solvency mechanism: direct user fees The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Economists press for direct user fees. An early Obama administration flirtation with a tax on miles driven attracted little support, but some cities have run, or are thinking of running, pilot schemes. Congestion charges present another possibility. State governments have increasingly turned to tolls to fund individual projects, but tolling inevitably meets stiff public resistance. Meanwhile, Manhattan’s attempt to duplicate the congestion charges of London and Stockholm failed to win the necessary political support, despite the offer of a generous federal subsidy in return for trying the experiment. An earlier attempt to auction scarce landing and departure slots at New York’s three large airports faced stiff resistance from airlines and was ultimately killed. Solvency mechanism: infrastructure bank The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Whatever the source of new revenue, America’s Byzantine funding system will remain an obstacle to improved planning. Policymakers are looking for ways around these constraints. Supporters of a National Infrastructure Bank—Mr Obama among them—believe it offers America just such a shortcut. A bank would use strict cost-benefit analyses as a matter of course, and could make interstate investments easier. A European analogue, the European Investment Bank, has turned out to work well. Co-owned by the member states of the European Union, the EIB holds some $300 billion in capital which it uses to provide loans to deserving projects across the continent. EIB funding may provide up to half the cost for projects that satisfy EU objectives and are judged cost-effective by a panel of experts. American leaders hungrily eye the private money the EIB attracts, spying a potential solution to their own fiscal dilemma. But there are no free lunches. To keep project costs down, the bank must offer low rates, which depend in turn upon low capital costs. That may be impossible without government backing, but the spectacular failure of the two government-sponsored housing organisations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, illustrates the dangers of such an arrangement. The EIB mitigates this problem by attempting to maximise public return rather than profit. To earn funding, projects must meet developmental and environmental goals, along with other requirements. But giving the bank a public mission would invite congressional oversight—and tempt legislators to meddle in funding decisions. The right balance of government support and independence may prove elusive. Budget crises could give a boost to public-private partnerships. Partnerships can be a useful way to screen out poorly conceived projects that are unlikely to generate the promised returns. No private firm will bid to build and operate a project that will probably fail to cover its costs through toll or fare revenue. Well-designed contracts can also improve incentives by giving the construction firm a long-run interest in the project. Infrastructure projects built through public-private partnerships in Britain and Chile, where the arrangement is far more common than in America, have sometimes, though not always, been completed more cheaply and quickly than public plans. AT: States Counterplan -- formula-determined block grant programs fail -- they create perverse incentives that DAMAGE infrastructure The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 The federal government is responsible for only a quarter of total transport spending, but the way it allocates funding shapes the way things are done at the state and local levels. Unfortunately, it tends not to reward the prudent, thanks to formulas that govern over 70% of federal investment. Petrol-tax revenues, for instance, are returned to the states according to the miles of highway they contain, the distances their residents drive, and the fuel they burn. The system is awash with perverse incentives. A state using road-pricing to limit travel and congestion would be punished for its efforts with reduced funding, whereas one that built highways it could not afford to maintain would receive a larger allocation. Formula-determined block grants to states are, at least, designed to leave important decisions to local authorities. But the formulas used to allocate the money shape infrastructure planning in a remarkably block-headed manner. Cost-benefit studies are almost entirely lacking. Federal guidelines for new construction tend to reflect politics rather than anything else. States tend to use federal money as a substitute for local spending, rather than to supplement or leverage it. The Government Accountability Office estimates that substitution has risen substantially since the 1980s, and increases particularly when states get into budget difficulties. From 1998 to 2002, a period during which economic fortunes were generally deteriorating, state and local transport investment declined by 4% while federal investment rose by 40%. State and local shrinkage is almost certainly worse now. AT: States Counterplan -- state programs are horribly mismanaged The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 States can make bad planners. Big metropolitan areas—Chicago, New York and Washington among them—often sprawl across state lines. State governments frequently bicker over how (and how much) to invest. Facing tight budget constraints, New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, recently scuttled a large project to expand the railway network into New York City. New Jersey commuter trains share a 100-year-old tunnel with Amtrak, a major bottleneck. Mr Christie’s decision was widely criticised for short-sightedness; but New Jersey faced cost overruns that in a better system should have been shared with other potential beneficiaries all along the north-eastern corridor. Regional planning could help to avoid problems like this. NEG -- Econ/Politics/potential Oil Prices link The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 The rehabilitation of America’s transport network will be neither easy nor cheap. To make the necessary repairs and upgrades, America will need to spend a lot more. In a deficit-conscious environment, that will require new revenue. The most straightforward first step would be a rise in fuel-tax rates, currently at 18.4 cents a gallon. But petrol-tax increases are even more unpopular than deficits, and rises may prove riskier as oil prices increase. NEG -- Very good politics link The Economist, '11 -- "Life in the slow lane," 4-28, http://www.economist.com/node/18620944 Mr Obama is thinking big. His 2012 budget proposal contains $556 billion for transport, to be spent over six years. But his administration has declined to explain where the money will come from. Without new funding, some Democratic leaders have warned, a new, six-year transport bill will have to trim annual highway spending by about a third to keep up with falling petrol-tax revenues. But Republicans are increasingly sceptical of any new infrastructure spending. Party leaders have taken to using inverted commas around the word “investment†when Democrats apply it to infrastructure. Roads, bridges and railways used to be neutral ground on which the parties could come together to support the country’s growth. But as politics has become more bitter, public works have been neglected. If the gridlock choking Washington finds its way to America’s statehouses too, then the American economy risks grinding to a standstill.
  19. The infrastructure/transport topic is awesome. If that sounds crazy to you, I understand; before researching things like the gas tax and the infrastructure bank, I would've been right there with you. However, consider the idea of a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax. Sounds pretty boring at first, right? (I used to think something like "Cars...taxes...highways...can someone please talk about foreign policy?!") When this proposal was debated in the Financing Commission it was anything but boring. "The Financing Commission recommended a number of solutions, but the most talked-about was an eventual shift to a VMT tax to measure and charge for road use. Under the system, GPS devices would track how many miles, and on what roads, cars drive. Drivers would then pay per-mile fees, with the possibility of adjustments for vehicle weight, fuel efficiency and road type." Read more: http://www.politico....l#ixzz1c6uee7Ap I don't think it takes much to show why this could be very interesting to debaters, too. -- K debaters should be salivating (government GPS follows your car everywhere, collects the data AND charges you...does that link to something?) -- Neat PIC ground (Different per-mile fees, adjustments for fuel efficiency, etc.) -- Politics -- issues like infrastructure bank, VMT, gas tax, etc. are enormously politically controversial -- Meaingful T debates -- do Affs which alter revenue collection with the *goal* of increasing investment (tax affs like VMT, gas tax, etc.) actually *increase investment*? I haven't heard the words "effects topicality" in years. This trend isn't limited to VMT. There are lots of experts on each side writing about those details in infrastructure/transport. If you've ever asked yourself "what happened to high tech policy strategies?" this seems like the topic for you. There is some good work on both infrastructure and the gas tax that's been published recently. Hope this stuff helps!
  20. Your description of the history doesn't sound very promising. If this is what happens when coaches judge then I agree, it isn't worth it. I disagree that "no one is to blame" for the behavior you describe. Those coaches are responsible for being immature and unprofessional towards their colleagues. I share your sympathy as a coach. Debate heightens emotions. Adding the attachment felt to certain students and the importance of a national qualifier makes it even harder. Regardless, head coaches frequently judge each other's teams in my district without this level of acrimony. These are not meek-mannered folks. Mr. Huston, Ms. Ferguson, Mr. Mahoney, etc. all put in an unbelievable level of overtime because they're so competitive. While I've witnessed enormous disagreements, none reached the levels you're describing. After the coach who disagreed with my districts decision posted "Hate Rubaie" for a month, "Still Hate Rubaie" the month after and called it "stupid" (among other things) to dozens of my friends, it became pretty clear their feelings were hurt and I had to say something. Instead of losing sleep over it or escalating things, I told them I'd be happy to discuss the decision with them in a professional way. While we certainly aren't friends, no one's leaving the district. I could still judge his team objectively if invited to do so. If a couple 25 year olds can do this I'm not sure why the grown-ups I viewed as role models couldn't do the same.
  21. -There has been a call for more judging by coaches. Clearly you don't expect the head coach of a program to be judging at a different tournament than they are competeing, do you? No, but that isn't part of the proposal I raised. -And who do you think runs the tournament? Coaches. -And do you really want someone judging who has access to the tab room and therefore can identify the implications of the round for their own teams? Yes. -That isn't at all to say that coaches are unethical, far from it, but I would never want to put my friends in an ethically challenging position on purpose. I don't think it's ethically challenging. You vote for the team that wins the debate. You have to trust your colleagues to do the same. If you don't, you entrust the fate of the most important competition of the year to what is sometimes no better than random chance. I've been on the other side of this equation, yelled at for making a controversial decision to decide the final qualifier spot at the NDT district tournament. I'd still take that over the prospect of my team missing the NDT because the troops shouldn't be in Cyprus during Christmas 100 times out of 100. I also suspect that the environment is (hopefully) a bit less direct in high school and folks treat each other professionally. I don't want to force coaches to burn the candle at both ends or be forced to judge. Is there a middle ground? Perhaps an exception to Dubois' rule stating that a judge may recuse themselves if they have any concern about the ability to make an objective or accurate decision? For other reasons? If a coach doesn't want to judge, that's fine. But if they want to they shouldn't be greeted with suspicion; they should be welcomed and encouraged to judge.
  22. Hi Nobium! It's up at http://debate-central.ncpa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=35758 Also, you can find extra answers to these things that Bricker put together for our lab at http://www.debatecoaches.org/files/download/1387. The Aff answers are at the bottom. Either locate the section labelled '***AFF' by opening your document map and scrolling to the bottom or by searching the document for the same '***AFF' heading. Hope that helps!
  23. EDIT: I didn't realize there was a page 4 because I'm an idiot. Mr. DuBois expresses everything I say below more eloquently above. I definitely understand everyone's frustration. I'd like to make three points that I think are slightly outside the norm (going WAY back to the Extemp days here...) 1. The judging pool at districts should attempt to reflect the National Tournament pool. EKNFL has an odd history. In 2007, Shawnee Mission West made the Finals but were alternates (3rd) out of districts and only were able to attend at the last minute. Imagine if they'd had an extra month to prepare? They would have had time to write a new affirmative MORE than 16 hours before the start of the National Final Round. EKNFL may have been able to claim a national champion, an incredibly special and rare feat. SMW Baker/Weiner weren't an anomaly. In years past, teams that won the state tournament also missed qualifying. I don't mean to suggest that any team "deserves" anything. The competition is held for a reason: everyone is equal when they arrive, and anyone can win any given debate. I also agree with the sentiment that says "you should have to win in front of any panel." I simply think that panel should attempt to reflect the one used in the national tournament to ensure the success of the district at the national tournament. 2. The judging pool at NFL Nationals is not "contemporary." It is, however, highly reflective of the high school debate community. I don't mean this to imply anything bad about the nationals pool. I used to take the term "national circuit" to imply that the majority of debates take place at a high rate of speed and focus on argument resolution. I figured Kansas was in the minority. NFL Nationals disproved this belief. There are far more "traditional" debaters, coaches and districts than most assume. Among your 12 prelim round judges at NFL, the breakdown goes: 6-8 experienced coaches that most KS debaters would call "old school" 3-4 "contemporary" coaches, who are almost always on a panel with an "old school" colleague 1-2 inexperienced coaches who are new to policy debate and accompanying their school as a supervisor. 3. If possible, the panels at district should contain more coaches. As a caveat, I haven't been around the EKNFL District tournament in quite some time so things may have changed. When I attended a clear preference was extended to placing "non-coaches" in debates. The thinking was that these folks would be less biased. I wish it hadn't been this way. I always learned more when the district's best coaches judged us. It didn't matter to me that we didn't always agree about what debate should look like. If Mr. Anderson, Mr. Skoglund, Ms. Smith, Ms. Miller, Ms. Wood etc. judged us they would always be very objective and we'd always respect their decision, even if we thought we'd won. They were great educators and judges. We shouldn't sacrifice education for a false belief in objectivity. Perhaps they were unbiased, but I still can't help shaking my head at the ballot that sent us home on a crucial 2-1 my Junior Year, which only said: "I voted Neg because it's un-Christian to send UN peacekeepers to Cyprus right before Christmas." Conclusion: I think the EKNFL district should attempt to reflect the national tournament. This doesn't require hiring more "contemporary" judges but instead respecting and utilizing the educators in your district as judges whenever feasible. We should trust each other enough to be honest and respect each other's decisions. This would be more objective and educational than utilizing "lay" judges without the constraints mentioned above.
  24. I researched ACTA as one of our new NDT politics DAs last year. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The reason the negotiations were shielded is that negotiators wanted to avoid the pitfalls of multilateral negotiations (formal publishing, unanimous edits, leaks, etc.) Evidence about this point: Shayerah Ilias, ’10 – Analyst in International Trade and Finance, “The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues,†CRS, 3-12, PDF, http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA521223. However, the ACTA, as currently being crafted, would be an agreement that would be independent of any particular organization. On the one hand, advocates of this approach suggest that it allows the United States and other likeminded countries to advance global IPR protection more efficiently and with greater flexibility. They also assert that the ACTA is an innovative agreement that would not fit under the current rubrics of the WTO or other international organizations.58 A fact sheet released by the USTR stated: “We feel that having an agreement independent of a particular organization is an appropriate way to pursue this project among interested countries. We fully support the important work of the G8, WTO, and WIPO, all of which touch on IPR enforcement.â€59 On the other hand, some critics charge that the decision by ACTA participants to hold these negotiations outside of the prevailing multilateral framework is intended to bypass the concerns of developing countries or other stakeholders representing various public interests. ACTA imposes few new regulations on U.S. citizens. To earn the Hollywood lobbying dollars, Obama has been very aggressively enforcing copyright protections. The primary purpose of the treaty was to attract Eastern European and Asian nations to join. Congress would howl over any prosecutions justified solely under ACTA. Why? Because they're enraged that the administration negotiated a treaty without their advice, consent and 2/3 vote. If the administration tries to do anything too crazy with ACTA it's very likely to attract tons of controversy (exactly what ACTA hoped to avoid) Of course, I suppose all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. There are admittedly few public documents and I'm certainly no expert. However, as a debate nerd who devoted way too much of their life to an argument that never was, I wouldn't worry. http://techdailydose.nationaljournal.com/2010/03/obama-reiterates-support-for-f.php http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20030956-281.html#ixzz1DVabaqSp http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49192.html#ixzz1Dae1niTB http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/10/acta-treaty-or-accord/
  25. Thanks Evan! I'm really glad it was helpful. I will avoid posting a link to respect the advertising policy but I just want to point out that this is just one of a series of posts on this topic. The others had folks smarter than me, like Bricker, giving unfiltered advice and are even more useful. P.S. Evan, I've worked on my arcade basketball game. I can't walk out with a bag full of basketballs like you did at NFL but I'm working on it
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