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Screech

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Posts posted by Screech


  1. http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/muhlberger/2805/nomademp.htm

     

    Examples 1-3 are about nomad empires that conquered Iraq - the Seljuks, the Mongols, and the Timurid Empire.

     

    Obviously, Bedouins may have extended as far eastward as Iraq or even Iran - they were nomadic traders. But they only made up a significant portion of the population in North Africa.

     

    The Kurds are certainly a better example than Iraqi history as a whole. But are they really a good example of nomads who are resisting US attempts to control and militarize them? They've actually been supported and empowered by the US.

     

    I'm not saying Iraq has never had nomads; I'm saying that Iraq does not have a nomadic culture. It is the worst possible example of such, because if ANY culture could be said to not be nomadic, it's the one that settled agriculture arose and has persisted for 6,000 years in.


  2. I don't see how "why would you make an argument about nomadic Iraqi political culture when Iraqis do not in fact have a nomadic political culture and you are just making shit up" is an irrelevant or silly argument. If this does not in some fundamental way undermine the validity of your argument, there's some kind of problem. The article - which is second-hand opinioneering from the New York Times - to the extent that it actually contains examples, discusses Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. Which makes sense, given that Franchetti's specialty seems primarily to be Central Asian/European pastoralist cultures. When the article actually mentions Iraq, it's basically the reporter just making stuff up - referencing tribal leaders (not= nomads, FYI) and their sectarian affiliation (which, again has nothing to do with nomadism).

     

    Obviously, investing so much time critiquing one piece of evidence doesn't prove the entire argument wrong. Except if - and here's the kicker - there's only one piece of evidence in the entire file supporting this link, because it was made up by a reporter bullshitting a connection between some stuffy historian he had to write a profile piece on and a relevant controversy in order to gin up a good lede! Which was then exploited to ever-so-tenuously link two fundamentally different concepts - nomadism as a historical/social arrangement and nomadism as an idealized political strategy of avant-garde anti-capitalist polemicists - to make a debate argument.

     

    To say that Kazakhstan's political structure and culture is based on its nomadic past is a potentially defensible anthropological/historical/empirical statement. To say the same thing of Iraq is gibberish, because substantively, Iraq does not have a nomadic past. And worse than gibberish, it completely ignores the actual political and cultural heritage of Iraq, seat of Ancient Sumer, Akkadia, Assyria and the Abbasid Caliphate, home to the invention of law, mathematics and writing. At this point I just don't care if it makes for a good debate argument. It is saying that the actual history and culture of Iraq are irrelevant in the face of your desire to use incorrect assumptions to suit your political (or strategic) purposes.

     

    My god! There were nomads not in iraq! Aff must be stupid now. Oops.
    Yeah. Pretty much.

  3. This aff is ridiculous nonsense. Nomadic cultures in the Middle East were widespread at different times, but the strongest veins were found in Berber North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Iraq is possibly the WORST example you could pick out of all of these - it's the cradle of frigging (settled agricultural) civilization! Ancient Sumer! Akkadia! Assyria! If you want to pick a foreign culture to essentialize and appropriate to function as a political representation, you could at least do it accurately. The Greenberg evidence cites one historian whose topic is "maybe Iraqi nomads in the Bronze Age aren't quite as insignificant as we thought!"

    • Upvote 1

  4. The wordings could still change, so vote based on the topic area, not the specific wording.

    Alright, good call. I guess I prefer Latin America, because we DO tend to ignore it. It'd be sweet to hear about the B of BRIC. Plus, Brazil just got the Rio Olympics, which is the ONLY TIME any country in the Southern Hemisphere has gotten the games (outside of Australia, which has gotten them twice). I think they see it (rightfully) as their coming out party.

    I still like military deployment, but all the other ones are either over-covered or just nonsensical (the UN topic).

     

    This is definitely contingent on them getting a better wording though. Why can't the NFHS be more transparent?


  5. Well, I think it's a thoroughly interesting argument that most people are sort of dismissive of. We have this sort of assumption that our lives are better in an agricultural society, that length is more important than quality of life, or even that length IS quality of life. I recall an article by Jared Diamond (lost the URL) where he points out that when hunter-gatherers began converting to sedentary societies, rates of measurable diseases (ones that affect bones, the only thing we still have to test against) went way up, and life expectancy dropped 5-10 years. In fact, hunter-gatherers typically only had to work 20-30 hours a week. And then there's the ecocide of the modern eras, the nuclear weapons, the massively destructive wars, etc. But hey, we have science. And television!


  6. Some of the resolutions seem better-suited than others, mostly because of the breadth and depth. The health care topic leaves the narrowing to the literature, I guess... my first instinct is to say that there's relatively few ways to implement a universal healthcare system reasonably and topically, though I could definitely be wrong.

    The agriculture topic I actually quite like. The word "reduce" specifies that the policy has to be a pre-existing one, which narrows the field down immensely. Either the affirmative could eliminate one subsidy (corn or wheat), or the aff could pass a plan banning agricultural subsidies for a free market-type aff. The topic opens up a far more technical discussion of economics than any of the topics I've debated ("uhhh, you spend money! That's bad" "No it isn't!"), which I think is extremely desirable.

    The energy topic, I'm not sure about. I mean, I LOVE the subject matter. Energy is an amazingly important topic to discuss, and one will be central to the future of our species. But it seems to me like the word "incentives" is more than a little broad, encompassing everything that could possibly make anyone want to do anything. Is there a definition in the literature? Not sure.

    The Asia topic I just reject out of hand. It's even more broad than the Africa topic. The Wikipedia page lists three possible definitions of Central Asia: the Soviet Union one covering Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikstan (the four countries directly to the south of Kazakhstan); the "common definition" adds Kazakhstan; and the UNESCO definition even adds Mongolia, Afghanistan, and parts of India, Pakistan, Iran, eastern China (Jinjiang and Tibet), and southern Russia. Plus, there's no specification of what kind of "foreign assistance" the countries are to recieve. I am just a little bit skeptical of any topic that could include anything from giving more F16s to India to building a nuclear reactor for Pakistan to sending more American troops to Afghanistan to sending doctors to Uzbekistan to teaching Chinese children how to read English. It's just too fucking huge.

    I do agree that it's substantively different than the Africa topic because it includes all possible manner of foreign assistance. But that's what makes it shitty, so whatever.

    As for Immigration, I think the same thing applies as agriculture, that because it says reduce rather than increase, it limits the topic down to pre-existing policies. However, it sort of justifies very narrow cases, like allowing a single person who has been denied entrance to the United States. Sure, the neg can run substantial T, but that's basically it, and the Aff can spend ten hours writing a 65-point block against it. Of course, there might a reasonably good Hollow Hope sort of argument out there arguing that focusing our efforts on individual cases of citizenship and immigration just masks the real inequalities of the system as a whole - sort of an Elian Gonzales thing, though that's probably not the best example. I am really excited to finally see a topical Borders aff, and I think the debate there will be very rich and interesting. It sort of encapsulates the very foundations of any immigration debate - why do we keep people out of our country at all? Why are "our" citizens better than "theirs"? How does the division between "this" country and "that" one prop up inequality, injustice, and even war? Fascinating.

     

    I'd be fine with Immigration or Healthcare, but I especially like Agriculture. It's just new and fresh, something debaters don't think about but actually profoundly affects a lot of the political life in the country. First, the economy, both in a direct sense and in a theoretical, "what type of economy do we want" sense; second, our ability to produce food for people of our country and others; third, the political climate (imagine the impact this will have on congresspeople from the Midwest!); fourth, the science and mechanics of agriculture (repealing subsidies might encourage or discourage things like genetic engineering or hydroponics). There is sort of a paucity of critical ground, other than overt things like cap, neolib or statism. But I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. It might force people to actually investigate new critical ground in search of something relevant, instead of falling back on the same old critical authors. Someone might even come up with a good K of agricultural society, with an anarcho-primativism alt. Obviously the resolution is narrow, but that means we get really well-developed debates with a few strong positions that have been built up and researched over the course of a whole year.

    Of course, if someone can show me a good, narrow definition of alternative energy incentives, I am SO THERE.


  7. I'm wondering where post-modernism intersects with established theories in the human sciences. I'll admit (very readily) to being very inexperienced in both fields, but I am a debater, and I have taken a year of psychology in high school, so I do have a general understanding of the basics.

     

    It appears to me that most post-modernist writers dismiss the human sciences out of hand, by failing to even address them - other than to analyze their place in society. We seem not to have to care about their conclusions, just their role. Is this for some intrinsic reason, like a criticism of the scientific method? I've read some Foucault discussing the discourse of science, although not much, and I *think* I generally understand his argument. But the effects of scientific and regulatory discourse notwithstanding, doesn't the idea that research and empiricism does tend to accurately predict things have SOME merit?

     

    Just as an example, where does the overwhelming scientific condemnation of psychoanalysis even come into play with theorists like Lacan?


  8. Obviously, the Peace Corps is tiny. At a little over 7,800 current members, there is no physical way they can solve some of the major harms we attribute to the aff - AIDS, poverty, racism, biodiversity, overpopulation, etc. Even if they succeed in doubling their 2003 figure by next year, they'll have may''be 10,000 PCVs. How can they possibly get solvency for these massive problems, other than hugely increasing their scale (like, 10 or 20-fold)? Has anyone found any lit as to what size Peace Corps would be necessary, or any alternative solvency mechanism, like community-building?

    Or do you disagree with my assessment of their effectiveness entirely?


  9. I personally think this thread suffers from a lack of comprehensive understanding of what either side is arguing. Suffice it to say, straw mans abound.

     

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that the government story doesn't fit the facts. That does not imply a conspiracy. First and foremost, the proponents of the government story should actually figure out what that story is. For example, check out the NIST report on the collapse of the twin towers. Second, the people who question the official story should pick their battles. The debate shouldn't be about explaining hair-brained schemes about Mossad and Israelis dancing on rooftops, it should be about explaining how WTC7 collapsed and other questionable happenings on 9/11.

     

    The key point regarding 9/11 is that it's a huge government failure. Why do we automatically have to assume that the official story is correct given that government is prone to failure? There are legitimate questions that need to be answered. Not just for the civilian paying more taxes because of it, but for the lives affected by the tragedy.

     

    Look, I don't think anyone's arguing that the government report is 100% accurate. Even in the 9/11 Commission's report, they admit that there are some indefinite areas where vagueness exists. I'm just agreeing to the general gist of the report - hijackers took control of 4 airplanes, crashed them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, with flight 93 crashing in Pennsylvania. I don't think that that is something that can be dismissed simply by saying "governments screw up all the time."


  10. Frankly I'm not even that big of a fan of Nintendo, but that price... holy crap. No way I'm getting a PS3, what with the cost and all, and the 360 has 3, possibly 4 games that I actually want (Splinter Cell, Halo 3, any future Star Wars: Battlefront sequels, and Oblivion). But the Wii is really affordable, and I am rather interested in the whole "attachments" thing. My major problem with most video games, especially action games, has been that the controls are way too difficult to deal with - they fail to simulate real-life movement and make trivial actions much harder than they should be. Short of those crappy old VR games, the idea of the light gun seems to be the best way to accomplish that.

    Plus, I haven't played a Legend of Zelda game since Majora's Mask, and I'm going into withdrawals.


  11. As an atheist (AKA sinning, Satanist devil-worshipper), if I were ever elected to public office, I would pass legislation to make theft and corruption mandatory, as well as demand bi-monthly human sacrifices. Anything I can do to put sin back in the White House. And remember, it's not just a secular liberal political stance, it's a lifestyle.


  12. One of my favorite essays, "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus

    Note that the underlining is not a carding, it is a highlighting of sentences I feel are particularly interesting or critical in his argument.

     

    The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

    If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why he became the futile laborer of the underworld. To begin with, he is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods. He stole their secrets. Aegina, the daughter of Aesopus, was carried off by Jupiter. The father was shocked by that disappearance and complained to Sisyphus. He, who knew of the abduction, offered to tell about it on condition that Aesopus would give water to the citadel of Corinth. To the celestial thunderbolts he preferred the benediction of water. He was punished for this in the underworld. Homer tells us also that Sisyphus had put Death in chains. Pluto could not endure the sight of his deserted, silent empire. He dispatched the god of war, who liberated Death from the hands of the conqueror.

    It is said also that Sisyphus, being near to death, rashly wanted to test his wife's love. He ordered her to cast his unburied body into the middle of the public square. Sisyphus woke up in the underworld. And there, annoyed by an obedience so contrary to human love, he obtained from Pluto permission to return to earth in order to chastise his wife. But when he had seen again the face of this world, enjoyed water and sun, warm stones and the sea, he no longer wanted to go back to the infernal darkness. Recalls, signs of anger, warnings were of no avail. Many years more he lived facing the curve of the gulf, the sparkling sea, and the smiles of the earth. A decree of the gods was necessary. Mercury came and seized the impudent man by the collar and, snatching him from his joys, led him forcibly back to the underworld, where his rock was ready for him.

    You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the aburd hero. He is,as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth. Nothing is told us about Sisyphus in the underworld. Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain. It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

    If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

    If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and the sorrow was in the beginning. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Oedipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same time, blind and desperate, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well." Sophocles' Oedipus, like Dostoevsky's Kirilov, thus gives the recipe for the absurd victory. Ancient wisdom confirms modern heroism.

    One does not discover the absurd without attempting to write a manual of happiness. "What! by such narrow ways--?" There is but one world, however. Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. It would be a mistake to say that happiness necessarily springs from the absurd discovery. It happens as well that the feeling of the absurd springs from happiness. "I conclude that all is well," says Oedipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into it with dissatisfaction and a preference for futile sufferings. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.

    All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is his thing. Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. In the universe suddenly restored to silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. there is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that silent pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling.

    I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

     

    Yes, I know it's about suicide. The point is, there is no "absolute truth" in the universe, nor is there an "absolute purpose." The ultimate answer comes in many different forms, depending on who you talk to. Some say progress and development; why? Is it every human's goal to become better than what they were before? Some say god. Who cares if god exists or not? Why is to serve a higher power a "noble goal"? Some (indeed, even some absurdists) say happiness, but a life lived in complete happiness is like a life lived in complete security or comfort. It's desirable, but the mere fact that it is desirable doesn't make it an ends, only a state of being. No, the absurd life is, in a sense, the taoist life (a la "The Tao that can be followed is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.") - an acknowledgement that an ultimate goal, and ultimate path is impossible to find, and yet that it is our intrinsic desire as sentient beings to seek this purpose. The pointless life is seen, by some, as the ultimate torture. So, we go our merry way, wracked by bouts of existential angst, justifying or condemning our own actions with useless goals and purposes, ever fearing that our self-deception might be revealed to the only person we cannot bear to understand it: ourselves. We all have our Sisyphian task, ever rolling a boulder up a hill only to start over when it inexorably plummets back towards the bottom. There is no "top" of the hill, and none yet who have approached it. There are only those who walk away in frustration.


  13. It seems to me that the only Muslim groups we hear about on the media are the ones that have committed some attack, firebombing or shooting. What's more they're all strung up in a list, one after the other, so that when a few thousand people out of 1.8 billion stage an attack, it seems like they're "all out to get us." Maybe they do actually all hate us. But frankly, I'd like to hear a little bit more about liberal muslims, nonviolent muslims, etc. Some statistics, maybe, so it doesn't just seem completely out of proportion.

     

    EDIT: Yes, I did follow the link above. I understand that it was a page by Muslims who reject violence. My question is, does anyone know of any good statistical breakdowns of the global Muslim population, esp. in the Middle East/Northern Africa?

    • Downvote 2

  14. From www.activism.net/peace/nvcdh/discrimination.shtml

    This was originally taken from the Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Handbook by the Alliance to Stop First Strike, an anti-proliferation organization.

     

    Discrimination

    In this action, our struggle is not only against missiles and bombs, but against the system of power they defend: a system based on domination, on the belief that some people have more value than others, and therefore have the right to control others, to exploit them so that they can lead better lives than those they oppress. We say that all people have value. No person, no group, has the right to wield power over the decisions and resources of others. The structure of our organizations and the processes we use among ourselves are our best attempt to live our belief in self-determination. Besides working against discrimination of all kinds among ourselves, we must try to understand how such discrimination supports the system which produces nuclear weapons.

    For some people who come to this action, the overriding issue is the struggle to prevent nuclear destruction. For others, that struggle is not separate from the struggles against racism, sexism, classism, and the oppression of groups of people because of their sexual orientation, religion, age, physical (dis)ability, appearance, or life history. Understood this way, it is clear that nuclear weapons are already killing people, forcing them to lead lives of difficulty and struggle. Nuclear war has already begun, and it claims its victims disproportionately from native peoples, the Third World, women, and those who are economically vulnerable because of the history of oppression.

    All oppressions are interlocking. We separate racism, classism, etc. in order to discuss them, not to imply that any form of oppression works in isolation. We know that to work against any one of these is not just to try to stop something negative, but to build a positive vision. Many in the movement call this larger goal feminism. Calling our process "feminist process" does not mean that women dominate or exclude men; on the contrary, it challenges
    all
    systems of domination. The term recognizes the historical importance of the feminist movement in insisting that nonviolence begins at home, in the ways we treat each other.

    Confronting the issues that divide us is often painful. People may feel guilty, or hurt, or react defensively when we begin to speak of these things, as if they were being personally accused. But working through this pain together, taking responsibility for our oppressive behavior, is part of our struggle to end the nuclear arms race. Asking members of oppressed groups to be the catalyst for this change is avoiding our own responsibility for discrimination. Most of us benefit from some form of privilege due to our sex, or class, or skin color, or sexual orientation, but that privilege is limited. None of us alone has the power to end institutions of discrimination. Only when we struggle together can we hope to do so -- and when pain and hurt arise in that struggle, we can see it as a measure of the depth to which discrimination hurts us all, keeping us separated and divided in our strength.

     

    Racism, Classism, Sexism, Heterosexism and Militarism

    Part of struggling against nuclear weapons involves understanding the ways in which the oppression of particular groups of people supports militarism, makes the institutionalized system of war and violence appear "natural" and "inevitable." For instance, heterosexism, or the assumption that sexual relations are only permissible, desirable, and normal between opposite sexes, justifies a system of rigid sex roles, in which men and women are expected to behave and look in particular ways, and in which qualities attributed to women are devalued. Thus, men who are not willing to be violent are not virile -- they are threatened with the real sanctions placed on homosexuality (physical violence, housing and economic discrimination) unless they behave like "real men." The military relies upon homophobia (the fear of homosexuality) to provide it with willing enlistees, with soldiers who are trained to kill others to prove their masculinity. Sexism, or the systematic devaluation of women, is clearly related to this. Women have traditionally opposed war because women bear the next generation and feel a responsiblity to protect it. But feminists are not content to speak only from traditional roles as mothers and nurturers. Many activists see a feminist analysis as crucial to effectively challenging militarism. The system of
    patriarchy
    , under which men benefit from the oppression of women, supports and thrives on war. In a sexist or patriarchal society, women are relegated to limited roles and valued primarily for their sexual and reproductive functions, while men are seen as the central makers of culture, the primary actors in history. Patriarchy is enforced by the language and images of our culture; by keeping women in the lowest paying and lowest status jobs, and by violence against women in the home and on the streets. Women are portrayed by the media as objects to be violated; 50% of women are battered by men in their lives, 75% are sexually assaulted.

    The sexist splitting of humanity which turns women into
    others
    , lesser beings whose purpose is to serve men, is the same split which allows us to see our enemies as non-human, fair game for any means of destruction or cruelty. In war, the victors frequently rape the women of the conquered peoples. Our country's foreign policy often seems directed by teenage boys desparately trying to live up to stereotypes of male toughness, with no regard for the humanity or land of their "enemy." Men are socialized to repress emotions, to ignore their needs to nurture and cherish other people and the earth. Emotions, tender feelings, care for the living, and for those to come are not seen as appropriate concerns of public policy. This makes it possible for policymakers to conceive of nuclear war as "winnable."

    Similarly, racism, or the institutionalized devaluation of darker peoples, supports both the idea and the practice of the military and the production of nuclear weapons. Racism operates as a system of divide and conquer. It helps to perpetuate a system in which some people consistently are "haves" and others are "have nots." Racism tries to make white people forget that all people need and are entitled to self-determination, good health care, and challenging work. Racism limits our horizons to what presently exists; it makes us suppose that current injustices are "natural," or it makes those injustices invisible. For example, most of the uranium used in making nuclear weapons is mined under incredibly hazardous conditions by people of color: Native Americans and black South Africans. Similarly, most radioactive and hazardous waste dumps are located on lands owned or occupied by people of color. If all those people suffering right now from exposure to nuclear materials were white, would nuclear production remain acceptable to the white-dominated power structure?

    Racism also underlies the concept of "national security": that the U.S. must protect its "interests" in Third World countries through the exercise of military force and economic manipulation. In this world-view, the darker peoples of the world are incapable of managing their own affairs and do not have the right to self-determination. Their struggles to democratize their countries and become independent of U.S. military and economic institutions are portrayed as "fanatic," "terrorist," or "Communist." The greatest danger of nuclear war today lies in the likelihood of superpower intervention in Third World countries, fueled by government appeals to nationalistic and racist interests.

    All forms of discrimination are interrelated with economic discrimination, or classism. Classism justifies a system in which competition is the norm, and profit is believed to be a universal motivation. Thus, poor and working class people lack access to education, leisure time and frequently basic things like food and shelter. But a classist society blames them for their poverty, or devalues their particular way of living. Classism values certain kinds of work over others, and sets up a system of unequal rewards. Our society threatens the majority of our members with economic insecurity, forcing us to accept things the way they are for fear of losing the few things we've gained through hard work. Since most poor people are women, children and people of color, classism and other forms of discrimination work together to hide the injustice of our economic system.

    Poor and working class people feel the effects of the military directly, profoundly, and brutally. Vital social services have been cut to feed the Pentagon. Inflation, aggravated by the military budget, chews away at what is left after disproportionately high taxes are deducted from our pay. Poor people are prime military recruits, with historically little access to draft deferments or information about conscientious objection, forced by unemployment to think of the military as a "career opportunity." Our militarized society does not support cooperative and socially productive work, but counts on unequal competition and economic deprivation to provide workers in defense industries, miners in uranium mines, and soldiers in the armed forces.

    No human being is born with discriminatory attitudes and beliefs. Physical and cultural attitudes are not the causes of oppression; these differences are used to justify oppression. Racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, and all other forms of discriminatory attitudes are a mixture of misinformation and ignorance which have to be imposed on young people through a painful process of social conditioning. These processes are left unchallenged partially because people feel powerless to do anything about them. But the situation is not hopeless. People can grow and change. Many successful struggles have taken place against structures of exploitation and discrimination. We are not condemned to repeat the past. Discriminatory conditioning can be analyzed and unlearned.

    All people come from traditions which have a history of resistance to injustice, and every person has their own individual history of resistance to discriminatory conditioning. This history needs to be recalled and celebrated, and people need to listen to and learn from other people's histories. When people act from a sense of informed pride in themselves and their own traditions, they will be more effective in all struggles for justice and peace.


  15. We might be breaking a new aff at state, it all depends. As of now, this is our 1AC for the draft:

     

    Do you feel a draft in here? The government’s authority of conscription is real – the law’s still on the books, a full-scale draft is on its way, and current stop loss orders constitute massive compulsory military service

    Dickinson’05 (Tim, Rolling Stone, www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/6862691/the_return_of_the_draft, February)

     

    PLAN: The United States Congress should substantially decrease the United States Federal Government's authority to detain without charge by outlawing military conscription. Funding and enforcement are guaranteed; we reserve the right to clarify intent.

     

     

    Advantage 1 is Readiness

     

     

    A. The Iraq war is destroying the US military and it cannot continue without the draft – plan would force withdrawal and restore military readiness

    Brown ’05 (Daniel, Senior Staff, American University Law Review, Volume 55; J.D. Candidate, May 2006, American University, Washington College of Law; B.S. in Foreign Service magna cum laude, 1997, Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, American University Law Review, 54 Am. U.L. Rev. 1595, August, ln)

     

    B. Decline in military readiness sparks a pre-emptive Chinese war on the US

    Gaffney ’04 (Frank Jr. president of the Center for Security Policy, Washington Times, June 2, ln)

     

    C. War with China goes nuclear, bringing the end of civilization

    Straits Times 2000 (“No one gains in war over Taiwan”, June 25, ln)

     

     

    Advantage 2 is Soft Power

     

     

    A. The Bush Doctrine of unilateral hard power and overwhelming military primacy cannot survive without a full-scale draft – plan immediately shifts the US to a strategy of leadership and soft power

    Bookman ’05 (Jay, Pulliam Fellow for Editorial Writing, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 26, p. 7B)

     

    B. Soft power is the only way to preserve US leadership and the effective use of American military strength

    Nye ‘02 (Joseph, Dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, The Paradox of American Power, p 75-76)

     

    C. US leadership prevents global nuclear war

    Khalilzad ‘95 (Zalmay, Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senior Analyst at RAND, Washington Quarterly, Spring, ln)

     

     

    Advantage 3 is Slavery

     

     

    A. The government’s authority to conscript soldiers cannot be reconciled with a free society – the threat of a draft makes slaves of us all

    Hornberger ’04 (Jacob, B.A. in economics from the Virginia Military Institute, J.D. from the University of Texas, former adjunct professor of law & economics at the University of Dallas, http://fff.org/freedom/fd0406a.asp, Sept. 24)

     

    B. This slavery of the body and the mind to the state inevitably replicates Nazi atrocities and genocide

    Agamben ‘98 (Giorgio, professor of philosophy at the University of Verona, Homo Sacer, pg. 142-143)

     

     

    Advantage 4 is Gendercide

     

     

    A. The authority to draft only young men is “gendercide” – it conceptualizes all males as killers and targets, while setting up women in the same category as children: valueless except as the enemy ‘Other’. This is the root of all misogyny

    Jones 2000 (Adam, Ph.D. in political science from the University of British Columbia, Associate Research Fellow in the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, member of the board of directors of the Gender Issues Education Foundation, http://www.gendercide.org/gendercide_and_genocide_2.html, Journal of Genocide Research, 2:2, June, p. 186-187)

     

    B. Division is the strategy of oppression and violence – the draft separates women and men, us and the ‘Other’, into rigid and patriarchal roles which march us all to inevitable nuclear war

    Alliance to Stop First Strike ’87 (Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Handbook, October,

    http://www.activism.net/peace/nvcdh/discrimination.shtml)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And the cites for the GTMO aff, if we decide to run it:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Observation 1 is Inherency

     

    1. The Bush administration has fought improved rights for military detainees every step of the way

    Davies 2005 (Frank, Staff writer for Knight Ridder Newspapers"Guantanamo Detainees Remain in Legal Limbo, June 27, accessed 10/5/05 http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/11998787.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp)

     

    Thus the plan: The United States Federal Government will provide all detainees in US Military Custody access to a habeas corpus trial in general courts-martial and a lawyer with sufficient security clearance under Article 27 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

     

    Observation 2 is Solvency

     

    1. Detainees in military custody are denied access to lawyers and due process rights on grounds of national security, allowing Bush to extend detainment without charge indefinitely. Only by providing adequate legal representation can we ensure fair trials.

    1. Tayler 05(Letta, Staff Correspondant for Newsday, "Inside a Gitmo review", Newsday June 17, LN)

     

    2. The UCMJ offers far more constitutional protections than status quo military trials

    Dickinson 02 (Laura, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law, September, Southern Califomia Law Review, LN)

    Observation 3 is Advantages. Advantage one is Multilateralism

     

     

    1. Guantanamo Bay is symbolic of the US's disregard for international law. This human rights double standard devastates international credibility and soft power.

    Cole 04 (David, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, "Guantanamo Bay Continues as a Blot of Shame on the U.S", L.A Times February 22,

    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0222-04.htm)

     

    2.We must stop indefinite detainment without charge to repair the damage to international credibility

    Allen 04 (Kate, Director of Amnesty International UK, "Guantanamo Bay: Two Years Too Many", Guardian Unlimited, January 11,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,13743,1120604,00.html)

     

    3. Soft power is more important to hegemony than hard power

    Nye 02 (Joseph, dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, The Paradox of American Power, pg 75-76)

    4. Hegemony enables the world to avoid global nuclear war

    Khalilzad, 95 (Zalmay, [director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program @ RAND & current US Ambassador to Afghanistan] "Losing the Moment? The United States and the World After the Cold War," Washington Quarterly, Spring, p. proquest)

    Advantage 2 is Al Qaida.

     

     

    1. Indefinite detention without charge has alienated Muslim communities.

    Hassouri 03 (Parastou, ACLU Immigration Rights Specialist"War on Terrorism is like War on Immigrants,' American Civil Liberties Union, Febuary 19,

    www.aclu-nj.org/issues/immigrantrights/waronterrorismislikewaroni.htm)

     

    2. Increased support from Muslim communities improves our ability to stop extremist Muslim groups like Al Qaida.

    Khan 04 (Muqtedar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relationsat University of Delaware, A Practical Guide to Winning the War on Terrorism, "American Muslims as Allies in the War on Terrorism", p. 125-127

    http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/books/fulltext/practical/117.pdf)

     

    3. Al Qaida and groups like it are gaining power and support - our failure to recognize them threatens the survival of civilization

    Alexander 03 (Yonah, Director of Inter-University for Terrorism Studies in Israel and the United States Washington Times August 28, LN)

     

    Advantage 3 is Torture

     

     

    1. Physical, psychological, mental, and religious torture are rampant at Guantanamo Bay

    Hyland 04 (Julie, “Britons release devastating account of torture and abuse by US forces at Guantanamo,” WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE, 8/6/04,

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/aug2004/guan-a06.shtml)

     

    2. The US must end incommunicado detention and provide access to legal counsel to prevent torture.

    Amnesty International 04 ("Human Dignity Denied: Torture and Accountability in the 'war on terror' -Summary Report" October 27, <http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR511462004?open&of=ENG-326>, accessed 11-2-05)

    3. Torture dehumanizes the victim as well as the interrogator and justifies any atrocity in the illusion of "saving" lives.

    Levendosky 01 (Charles, editor and creator of Casper Star-Tribune's First Amendment Web Site . "Fear cannot justify the use of torture, nothing can.." First Amendment Commentary Tribune 11 Nov. 2001. Accessed 12 July 2005 <

    http://fact.trib.com/lst.lev.torturemurdershum.html>)

     

    4. Dehumanization is worse than nuclear war, environmental destruction, and genocide all rolled into one - it is a prerequisite of every atrocity ever committed.

    Berube 97 (David, Professor of Communication at South Carolina

    www.cla.sc.edu/ENGL/faculty/berube/prolong.htm


  16. I'm disputing that because the China topic (HS style) was beyond awesome. Although I've heard from friends that the Space topic in college wins this game hands down.

     

    Even a person who didn't debate that year can recognize that this is one of the worst topics ever, not the best. To quote my coach:

    "You could literally skip stones off the South China Sea and be topical."

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