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Everything posted by jemmyc

  1. The new version has a more natural (less robotic) voice for time signals. There is also a menu item for setting the prep time for both sides at once. The high school parliamentary debate selection now conforms to the California High School Speech Association rules where points of information are allowed in rebuttals. The Palm Z22 version has been fixed.
  2. I like the UN topic because I'm getting bored of the same old mishandled ASPEC/OSPEC debates on the USFG I see every year. I at least want to see teams come up with fresh new ways to mishandle T. It would also be interesting to see what the new spin on "normal means" would be.
  3. jemmyc

    Dropped Arguments

    And they say there is no practical use for spreading in the real world. If the bill is 946 pages, it would take him about 54 minutes at that speed. Where did they get 8 minutes from?
  4. I found the primary source article from Vogel et al. mentioned in that Time article. The full text is available as a PDF: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1044&context=ageconfacpub The full text also contains refutations to excessive fossil fuel consumption in the production of switchgrass ethanol reported in previous studies. This study reported actual farm usage, whereas the previous studies were based on estimates. One of them (Pimentel and Patzek, 2005) reported a negative net energy output by assuming fossil fuels would be burned in the distillation and refining of the ethanol in addition to their overestimated agricultural fuel consumption. The Vogel paper refutes this by saying that the unfermented portion can be used to power the refining process and generate electricity. There is actually some confirmation of this in the refuted Pimentel paper itself. Pimentel reported a 1:11 kcal net energy return if switchgrass pellets were directly burned as fuel rather than converted to ethanol. Some of that energy yield could be directed to powering the ethanol refinery.
  5. Here is the link to the article from the Council on Foreign Relations: http://www.cfr.org/publication/18684/after_indictment_sudan_holds_its_breath.html Updated: March 5, 2009 Author: Stephanie Hanson In July 2008, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the International Criminal Court to indict the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, for abuses committed against the people of the Darfur region. The move set off a firestorm of controversy about whether it would obstruct efforts to bring peace to Darfur. "I cannot adjust to political considerations. Politicians have to adjust to the law," Moreno-Ocampo responded. After months of debate, the court followed through and on March 4, 2009, indicted Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Human rights activists heralded the move as a victory for the cause of international justice, but its ramifications for Sudan and its people will take months, if not years, to unfold. The Sudanese government's immediate reaction to the indictment was defiant. Following the warrant, it expelled ten international relief agencies (IRIN), leading to widespread concern about the hundreds of thousands of displaced Darfuris dependent on humanitarian aid. Bashir, who has long denied the ICC's accusations and called them a ruse for regime change, held a rally in Khartoum denouncing the court (IHT). At one point, the crowd chanted, "Down, down USA!" (CNN). It's unclear just how strong Bashir's support is within Sudan, however. Some analysts believe the case has created divisions within the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Nobody knows "how big that crack is," Omer Ismail, a Sudanese policy fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, tells CFR.org. He predicts that the embarrassment of dealing with an indicted ruler may prompt regional powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage a split in the party. Any weakening in the ruling party could irrevocably upset the fragile balance holding Sudan together. The NCP has fostered inequalities between Khartoum and Sudan's vast periphery that are seen as continuing to feed the conflict in Darfur and the unrest in the south. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in 2005 with strong backing from the United States, provides a framework for power sharing and wealth sharing between Sudan's north and south. The CPA does not clearly apply to Darfur, however, and one rebel group there that recently began a round of negotiations (AP) with Khartoum has pulled out in light of the ICC indictment. The ICC's warrant for Bashir is the most dramatic development in the global move toward increased transnational justice since the end of the Cold War. The United Nations created several ad-hoc tribunals following the Rwandan genocide and the mass atrocities in the Balkans in the early 1990s. In 1998, the arrest of Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet by British authorities created a precedent for the notion of universal jurisdiction in the view of some legal scholars. The International Criminal Court came into being in 2002 amid widespread feeling among human rights groups that a permanent body was necessary to address issues of genocide and mass atrocity. Yet international support for the court is still tenuous. The United States epitomizes the mixed global reactions to the ICC--it has not signed the court's treaty, but it supports the court's work in Sudan. As of March 2009, 108 countries had ratified the court's treaty. Amid uncertainty over the long-term impact of an ICC indictment, experts have urged the new U.S. administration to do everything from pressuring the Sudanese president to step down to seeking a deferral of the warrant. The UN Security Council has the ability to defer the ICC's warrant for one year. The International Crisis Group's Nick Grono suggests waiting before making a decision on a deferral. "Given that the indictment of Bashir may itself drive political change within Sudan, the Security Council in particular should set the bar very high, and demand demonstrated progress, before it considers a deferral," he writes in an International Herald Tribune op-ed. The Obama administration's policy toward Sudan has yet to coalesce. New UN Ambassador Susan Rice has termed the situation in Darfur "ongoing genocide," and the State Department responded to the March 4, 2009, announcement by saying, "The United States believes those who have committed atrocities should be brought to justice" (Reuters). Meanwhile, the administration is still assembling its top officials on Africa policy. The National Security Council adviser on Africa, Michelle Gavin, was appointed at the end of February (AllAfrica.com). Some expect the appointment of a new special envoy, and one candidate is a prominent activist on Darfur, John Prendergast. He wrote in January that following an ICC indictment, the United States should press for Bashir's resignation, but "the window of opportunity to exact coordinated pressure on Khartoum will not remain open for very long."
  6. If only it did not conflict with our state quals. Are they still using the "one laptop per judge" and paperless ballot system?
  7. Link: Plan ensures survival of the Jabberwocky. Turn: The Jabberwocky bandersnatches children which will lead to human extinction. The only way children can fend themselves from the jaws of the Jabberwocky is by exercising the wishful thinking of their mentat powers which are activated upon consumption of the spice and everything nice. As children age, they develop a tolerance to the spice and require more spice and nice things to maintain their mentat which will lead to spice depletion. Running out of spice and nice things causes mentat exhaustion and postressmatic disorder in children which makes the Jabberwocky even stronger. Impact: The worm is the spice. The spice is the worm. Spice depletion leads to sandworm extinction and loss of biodiversity. Turn: The only way to slay a Jabberwocky is by a vorpal sword, the forging of which causes vorpal water contamination and vorpal depletion. Impact: Strip mining of vorpal metal causes clinically proven vorpal tunnel syndrome and loss of habitat and biodiversity. Turn: Jabberwocky survival trades off with Jabbawookie survival. The Jabberwocky, being more supercalifragilisticespialidocious than its closely related dessert cultivar, the Jabbawookie, a large furry slithmy sluglike hairless Saskwatch that eats only prolititians, brings it to the brink of the dodo bird and loss of biodiversity. Impact: Jabbawookie extinction allows prolititians to profligate. Prolititians distim the economies, wrathing the trade federation, which will lead to globalplanetary economic collapse and nucule war. Counterplan: Consult Doshistan to reinvigorate the frumiously sleeping green ideas of the gostak into enthusiatic apathy. Solvency: Complacent activism of the gostak prevents dosh distimming and lets the Jabberwocky go the way of the dodo bird in place of the Jabbawookie. Net Benefits: Letting the Jabberwocky go the way of the dodo bird prevents child bandersnatching, spice depletion, and Jabbawookie extinction. Jabbawookies are key to preventing interglobular war. Jabbawookie populations are easier to control. They vulnerate to jedite blades, avoiding vorpal spice depletion. Photonic fermentation of midichlorine precipitates the return of jedite, making it a renewable resource, unlike vorpal fuels. Jedite is key to restoring balance to the farce and peace and stability in the insulverse. Evidence: Herbert and Lucas cards postdate Carroll cards.
  8. The new version is out. It has an updated user interface, always on top window, and less verbose spoken time signals during speeches. I also added the NFA LD format. This version should work on Windows Mobile Standard smartphones without touch screens. Get the latest and greatest in debate timing technology at http://debate-ie-timer.sourceforge.net/.
  9. The timer will be always on top in the upcoming release. I had to hack SuperWaba in order to do it (gotta love open source). However, it will not be possible right now to make it optional. It can still be minimized, which I don't see as being any different from another program on top hiding it. Will this be a problem for anyone?
  10. I completely agree with that assessment. Kritiks end up being thought of as generic DAs, because a lot of debaters run them like that, especially at the level of impact analysis. Kritiks and DAs address fundamentally different questions about their advocacy and operate on different levels of abstraction. Kritiks are philosophical and/or metaphysical arguments. DAs are arguments about cause and effect and hypothetical real world events. This is what the typical debate would look like if it were a battlefield: The aff plan is like a tank and DAs are like land mines and other ground forces. The kritik is like a jet fighter, and operating at 10,000+ ft, is beyond the reach of mines, grenades, and tank shells. The neg, seeing that their target is on the ground, lands their fighter squadron onto the ground to engage the enemy tank platoon, hoping to get a better shot that way. As the neg drives their warplanes down the road to impact analysis, they say to themselves, "Our planes outnumber their tanks, and besides, jet fighters are way more faster and agile than tanks. We clearly outweigh them. We'll get 'em good with our 30mm cannons. It doesn't matter that tanks have 120mm cannons, since jet fighters aren't tanks and aren't vulnerable to land mines, rocket propelled grenades, and other tanks like they are." A more appropriate alternative would be like using laser guided weapons, but it takes special training to learn how to operate the equipment to acquire and designate targets before you can even fire. It is comparatively more straightforward to use a point-and-shoot weapon like a 30mm gun, so debaters naturally default to an alternative that is conceptually easier to grasp. The problem is that those are only easier to use on the ground, on the level of the tank, DAs, and hypothetical outcomes of policy actions, not on the level of the kritik, 10,000+ ft at mach 2 where guided missiles work best. To say that a kritik does not have to be unique is like saying that a jet fighter is invulnerable to land mines and grenades. It depends on where it is deployed.
  11. The latest SuperWaba can generate additional .CABs for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 that also work on smartphones without touch screens. I will put them in the upcoming release of the timer.
  12. Since time signals always count down for speeches and CX, I will have it drop "Left", so it will say something like "One Minute." Since time signals for prep currently can count up or down, those will still be verbose. That may change also if people think prep time should always count down as well. I'm keeping the beep, because I know people who are still using Palm PDAs that are only capable of beeps. Currently, the time limit can be set in minute increments using the +/- buttons on the side. Resetting the timer will set it back to the time limit, but not necessarily the time remaining. If I add another GUI control for setting the time remaining, how can the difference in semantics of these two ways of setting the time be made obvious to the user? Some of that unused whitespace is reserved for the extra buttons that show up in the Neg block. But, the color coded start/stop buttons sound like a good idea. Does your Windows Mobile phone have a touch screen? There are different editions Windows Mobile for non-phone PDAs, phones with touch screens, and phones without touch screens. I know the timer works on PDAs and phones with touch screens, but I am not sure if it works on phones without touch screens.
  13. Can you suggest something more specific? I am preparing the next release. I propose a slightly larger menu button and a View Prep Time button next to it so that you can look at the prep remaining for both sides at any time more quickly. I will also change the "Reset All" option in the Options menu to something like "Reset Round" or "Restart Round", which I think better describes the purpose of that option.
  14. Most likely for much longer than you have. Now we're getting somewhere. Develop that line of argumentation further. How will you convince the judge that multiple counter-examples against the resolution are less educational than a single topical CP? What criteria are you using to measure education? How does a plan-centric debate that ignores affirmation/negation of the resolution promote specific education or research? The more you connect the dots for the judge the better. Why can't a non-topical CP be just as plan-centric? Aren't almost all CPs, whether topical or not, weighing net benefits against the plan? Are the plan-centric and resolution-centric standards really competing standards? Does it diminish education if a CP meets both standards? Why should the judge use education as a standard? Is education a voter or a paramount value? If it is such an easy point to win, then why do so many teams have a hard time explaining it in the round? I have judged teams who wowed me with their mastery of K, but I have yet to see a single debater play the education card without putting me to sleep. They gloss over the analysis and simply repeat the "X is better for education" line speech after speech.
  15. I also prefer to skip the oral. Another problem with oral critiques is that the debaters may not remember everything I tell them several rounds later. With written RFDs and comments, they have a record that they can review with their coaches. Ballots that have just "oral critique" written in the comments section are my coach's pet peeve, because it gives her no feedback on what her student needs to improve on. Most of the time I feel that my oral explanations don't come out as clearly as my written ones. There have been times where the debaters start "clarifying" their arguments in response to my oral critiques and I had to remind them that there is no 3rd rebuttal in policy debate.
  16. I would have to disagree with the first 2 replies. Isn't wind also an alternative energy? Unless your CP does it through an agent other than the USFG and/or not through incentives, it falls within aff ground. In other words, your CP is topical and affirms the resolution rather than negates it. 1NC: Neg runs a topical CP. CX: Aff asks Neg, "Are you affirming the resolution?" or "Are you saying that the USFG should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the US?" If neg answers no, they contradict themselves. If they answer yes, they will have a hard time hiding the silliness of neg running an aff case no matter how hard they froth at the mouth about "ground" and "education".
  17. There are only trace amounts of hydrogen gas in earth's atmosphere. The vast majority of hydrogen is bound in molecules like water, natural gas, hydrocarbons (fossil fuels), and organic molecules. Hydrogen has to be extracted from these by an expenditure of energy (e.g., electrolysis of water). To get hydrogen from water, you have to put in more energy than you get out. Currently, the most economical source of hydrogen is natural gas, but you lose energy every time you convert it from one form to another because of the laws of thermodynamics, so it is more energy efficient to just use the natural gas directly instead of converting it to hydrogen. Either way releases CO2 anyways. There is currently research in extracting hydrogen from renewable biomass. Here is an example from a scientific journal (It mentions that hydrogen is currently derived from fossil fuels.): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v418/n6901/abs/nature01009.html Only the abstract is freely available. An abstract is a summary of the purpose and findings of the research conducted by the author(s) of the article and is written by the author(s). It appears before the introduction of the article in the printed form in research journals. For the purposes of debate, I think it should be fine just to cut the abstract for an evidence card. Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken on this. But, I still think it is far more acceptable than cutting some text from a blog. If you find yourself against a hydrogen aff, the first thing is to pay close attention to their plan text for how or where they get their hydrogen from. If it is not explicit in the plan text, ask them during CX and/or glean it from the cards they read in 1AC. Some definitions of "alternative energy" include nonrenewable natural resources like natural gas, while others exclude nonrenewable natural resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_energy#cite_note-2 If you are going to run T you must first confirm that their plan derives hydrogen from petroleum or natural gas and you must also have a very good reason to prefer the counter-definition that exludes nonrenewable sources ("fairness and education" aren't it). If they are not clear on the hydrogen source, you are better off attacking their solvency/advantages claims with the reasons mentioned in the 1st paragraph of this post. I will look for more articles when I have time.
  18. Don't forget that college computer/bookstores also have student discounts on their computers. You may save hundreds by buying from the campus computer store.
  19. I competed for 3 years (2 years in policy debate), but never won an award or broke at a tournament in any event, so I can empathize with you. I was the only one on the team who never won a single award while others were bringing home trophies at their first tournament. I felt left out. My coach simply encouraged me to keep plugging away and that someday my turn would come. It never came, at least not in trophy form (or even paper award form). I also had my share of flaky debate partners. The worst one left me stranded after a tournament where one of our varsity debaters lent us her tubs of evidence. Neither my partner nor the owner of the tubs wanted to take them home with them. After an argument between the two of them, my partner went home without telling me even though we came together in the same car. I was lugging the stack of tubs around the now empty campus looking for my partner when my coach saw me. She had to go quite a ways away to drive me and the tubs to my house; she lived in another city far from her students. I also had to look for stand in partners. I had to grab someone not on the team for the only state qualifier I ever went to and brief him about debate the day before the tournament. He picked it up quickly. There were other discouraging things that I had felt were happening exclusively to me, but I kept at it. Even though I never won an award, debating, doing my own research, and writing my own cases and counterplans made me a better and more confident writer by the time I graduated. I consistently earned A's (only 2 B+s) on my college research papers and essays, something that I could not pull off before doing speech and debate. I realized that debate was key to developing skills that transferred over to other areas of my education, so debate was important enough to me that I returned to help my team by judging for them and driving them to tournaments after graduating from college. I have been judging for over 15+ years now. I even developed an award winning debate timer. I also discovered that shortly after I graduated from high school I had left my own legacy on the team. My stand-in partners and their siblings, who probably would never have developed an interest in debate had I not begged them to help me, went on to enjoy and do well and win at tournaments. Even if you don't win, keep at it and you may gain something valuable that does not collect dust and take up shelf space.
  20. The web site for Speech and Debate Timekeeper is http://debate-ie-timer.sourceforge.net/. The source code as well as the binaries for the latest release are available from the downloads section. It is written in Java and the source distribution includes an Ant build script and instructions on what you will need to compile the sources. What do you want to change? Maybe I will incorporate it into the next release.
  21. jemmyc

    California State

    OCSL has their state quals for policy debate Feb 29, Mar 1.
  22. I'm assuming you are talking about Speech and Debate Timekeeper for the Mac. I unzipped it on a G4 with OS X 10.4 without any problems. What OS version or program are you using to unzip it? Also, do you remember the link to where you downloaded the timer?
  23. In S. I. Hayakawa's book Language in Thought and Action, he talks about the two-valued orientation (e.g., good vs. bad) and how the reinforcement of the two-valued orientation in high school and college debate diminishes or destroys (he used stronger language in the 3rd edition) the educational value of the activity. I read that book before kritiks started showing up at the high school level, and I had an idea of cutting cards from those chapters on two-valued and multi-valued orientations for a critique on debate, but I decided not to because a k of debate implies neither side should win/lose. How to work that into favoring one side, I could not figure out.
  24. I would also add that eloquence or delivery by itself should not determine the winner (speaker points measure that), but the arguments presented. I know of lay judges who, after judging IEs all day, would vote against one side for fidgeting and saying "um" and "ah" too much while speaking even if they thought that side gave better arguments.
  25. The link to the apimac timer is here: http://www.apimac.com/timer/index.php At what point did you get an error message saying that the zip file is corrupted? Were you able to at least save the zip file onto your computer or did you have trouble unzipping it?
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