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JOM

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About JOM

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  • Birthday 09/03/1984

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    School's out for the summer
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    Top left corner of the country
  1. Sorry about the double post! Tragedy, the remorseless working of things, at work --
  2. Oh dear. Yes, judges should get paid. No, the activity won't survive (everywhere) if judges are paid. The coach in our school district is paid $17.00 for the season. I'm not making that up. That's what the school district thinks that debate is worth, based on a point system. The team used to go to 12-15 tournaments in a year. This year, 5 tournaments. Next year, zero, I would think. The debate coach is making, what, 3 cents per hour -- ? The kids are competing against high schools that send their students all over the country. By plane. Not by van that breaks down, regularly, on the highway. The kids in the broken-down van can't compete. It's not fun. I used to worry about it, but you know what? Debate will shake out. The rich schools will debate, the poor schools will debate (Urban Debate League). The lower and middle income schools won't debate. It's just a reflection of America. To be clear: Not blaming judges who want to be paid. Not blaming the Urban Debate League. Tragedy is the remorseless working of things. That's all.
  3. Oh dear. Yes, judges should get paid. No, the activity won't survive (everywhere) if judges are paid. The coach in our school district is paid $17.00 for the season. No, I'm not making that up. That's what the school district thinks that debate is worth, based on a point system. The team used to go to 12-15 tournaments in a year. This year, 5 tournaments. Why that many? The coach is crazy. She's making 3 cents per hour. The kids are competing against high schools that send their students all over the country. By plane. Not by van that breaks down, regularly, on the highway. The kids in the broken-down van can't compete. It's not fun. I used to worry about it, but you know what? Debate will shake out. The rich schools will debate, the poor schools will stop. The rich schools will fly around the country. The National Circuit will be the only circuit. It's a reflection of America. If you're not rich, say "Do you want fries with that?" To be clear: Not blaming judges who want to be paid. Tragedy is the remorseless working of things. That's all.
  4. Just to add a tiny bit of empirical data -- or anecdotal evidece. Whatever. Brorlob mentioned that speed turns people off. Speed especially turns off parents and adminstrators. And potential financial supporters (the local Bar Association, for example. Empirically speaking). In well-supported programs, it may not matter if parents are turned off. In programs that have little or no school support, where parent money and parent volunteer hours keep the program going, it matters. Why do parent volunteers keep the program going? Because not one teacher in the district will coach. Empirically speaking. This was also mentioned in one of the posts. Tpeters mentioned that the nuclear war impact paradigm turns debaters off. In fact, a kid on our team who has attended CX debate camp for three years and is in his third year of debating quit after one tournament. Why? "I can't stand debating the same six impact cards for another year." It's not that he can't hack it because he's stupid. He's very bright. Just bored. Judging does have a good deal to do with it, as brorlob mentioned. Judges from the debate community expect to hear those six impact cards and belittle, or don't understand, arguments outside the norm. My solution? Programs like ours should stop doing policy debate. It should be left to the National Circuit. Actually, this scenario likely will play out next year or the year after in our school (there's a recession on).
  5. If the topic were to be debated substantively, it seems that debaters would pay a lot of attention to defining terms -- "vigilante" in particular, and also "the law" - and to their resolutional analysis. Then debates might address the issues of vigilantism as it's discussed in the literature, with aff focusing on vigilantes as victims (battered women, people in crime-ridden areas who can't count on the police to keep them from being killed or robbed) while neg focused on vigilantism in the good ol' American sense, as "mob justice" that enforces the majoritarian will on minorities (post-Civil War enforcement of racial codes, Minutemen on the prowl for illegal immigrants). As for Batman -- that "macho white guy flies in to save us all" scenario is such a 20th century paradigm.
  6. I'm sending the Sarah Palin Debate Chart (comment 183) to everyone I know. It's the best summary of the debate that I've seen. LOL OMG.
  7. In our state, high schools have to fund any activity classified as a "sport." That's why the school paid $10,000 one year to rent a pool for the five-person swim team. Debate is not classified as a "sport," so the school is not required to fund it. And it doesn't.
  8. Perhaps I've been too influenced by the BBC documentary on Heidegger ("Human All Too Human", (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-858369328131624007) and would appreciate hearing about it if anyone knows of inaccuracies. But I was under the impression that Heidegger was indeed in Hitler's inner circle during the crucial early months of his regime, that he didn't quit the Nazi party, and that he was quite hostile to Jewish culture if not to individual Jews. The documentary emphasizes that he never disavowed the Holocaust, although it would have been logical for him to do so, especially since he was under scrutiny as a prominent subject of denazification. It also occurs to me that it's not a huge leap between his later anti-technology writings and the earlier writing glorifying the authenticity of peasants. The root of his technology writings does not seem unrelated to his interest in National Socialism. All of that is a long way from simply saying "Heidegger was a Nazi," which probably isn't a good argument. Especially with Zizek around to provide sound bites that could be used to back him up.
  9. Not cap and trade, but relevant to the point of emulating Europe: Here on our continent, on July 1 British Columbia implemented North America's first carbon tax while also sending out checks intended to make the tax revenue-neutral. Sounds like the rebates weren't progressive (low income people didn't receive larger checks than high income). http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/451327
  10. Also for Chevron -- this is a link to the executive summary of the Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change, which concludes that combatting climate change is possible and economically feasible: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/4/3/Executive_Summary.pdf The entire report is available at links from http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/stern_review_Report.cfm Sir Nicholas Stern, who headed the review, is a professor at the London School of Economics.
  11. For Chevron -- here's a link to James Hansen's ideas about what we have to do (starts on about page 30 of his presentation, all of which is worth reading): http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TippingPointsNear_20080623.pdf He's a scientist, not a policy maker, and has taken heat (heh heh) from the scientific community for making policy proposals. Of course, when non-scientists, such as Al Gore, come up with policy proposals, those who are so inclined can claim that they should be ignored because they're not scientists. All of which has been extremely beneficial for Exxon -- which has been raking in the dough, and sending a chunk of it off to the "skeptics." Don't forget to be skeptical of skeptics.
  12. "Don't watch documentaries... they have so much propoganda that it makes me puke." I read a book once that presented a point of view that I didn't like. Furthermore, it wasn't well supported. Therefore, don't read books. Some documentaries are credible, some aren't. One point of debate ought to be to learn how to evaluate the factors that make any factual presentation credible or not. I'd be interested to know what Chevron's sources are for the wildly inaccurate statements made about climate change in this thread. "It depends what you read": Please, read the reports on OUR government's Climate Change Science Program web site(http://www.climatescience.gov/). These reports have been prepared through scientific collaboration by agencies within our own, climate-change-skeptical federal government. For those of you who think that climate change won't have any effects for 100 years -- this ought to be a wake-up call. If you're still yawning, read the cover story in July's Discover magazine, on ocean acidification. I think that it's scary that CO2 has made some coastal waters so acidic that they dissolve shellfish shells. But maybe that's just me.
  13. That was an odd rant against Al Gore at the start of this thread. I assume that the author himself was "not a scientist"; many of our most important scientific decisions are made in legislatures and courts by non-scientists. The difference between Al Gore and many politicians (and judges) is that Gore is informed. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee thinks that he's not all bad: "Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted. By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world's future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man's control." Oslo, 12 October 2007 For those unfamiliar with the science behind climate change, one of the best popular sources is still a 2000 Nova/Frontline entitled "What's Up With the Weather?" It's out on DVD; your library might have it. It shows some of the multiple sources and forms of research that confirm temperature and CO2 records over the long term: ice cores, tree rings, records carefully kept in monasteries over hundreds of years. Science and politics are intermingled -- Fred Singer is prominently displayed in all of his glory, for those who want the minority point of view. Another good watch is Frontline's "Hot Politics" (2007), which you can watch entirely on line. It's worth it just to watch Frank Luntz crack up about the 2000 memo that he wrote, orchestrating the campaign to promote scientific disinformation on climate change. This board is living testimony to the continuing effectiveness of that campaign. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hotpolitics/ There's a profile of 5 of the most prominent climate change denialists (Seitz, Singer, Lindzen, Michaels, and Balling) at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hotpolitics/reports/skeptics.html.
  14. Baffled by references to ANWR as a big deal. As a time suck, maybe, but solvency??? "A recent report by the Energy Information Administration showed that there is anywhere between 5.7 billion and 16 billion barrels of "recoverable" oil in the refuge. Depending on where the actual number falls in that range, it could eventually reduce the price of oil by between 41 cents and $1.44 a barrel. Given that oil is trading at about $135 a barrel, that's not much -- and the price reduction wouldn't occur until around 2026. In fact, it would take at least a decade to extract a drop from the refuge even if drilling were approved tomorrow." LA Times, "Silly Season for Oil Policy," 6/11/08 http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-oil11-2008jun11,0,1249678.story If that's too "liberal" a source, try US News and World Report, 5/23/08 (or the original EIA report, of course): "EIA said its projection is that ANWR oil production would amount to 0.4 percent to 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030. The figure is low enough that OPEC could neutralize any price impact by decreasing supplies to match the additional production from Alaska, EIA noted." http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/national/2008/05/23/arctic-drilling-wouldnt-cool-high-oil-prices.html EIA is a statistical agency within the Dept. of Energy.
  15. I hope that Senator Tuba does some research about the IPCC over the summer. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-warming30-2008may30,0,5707556.story From the Los Angeles Times White House report backs climate change warnings After a court order and four years late, Bush administration scientists issue an assessment. By Margot Roosevelt and Kenneth R. Weiss Los Angeles Times Staff Writers May 30, 2008 President Bush's top science advisors issued a comprehensive report Thursday that for the first time endorses what most scientific experts have long asserted: that greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion "are very likely the single largest cause" of Earth's warming. The 271-page report could undercut opposition to the more aggressive provisions of climate legislation, which is to be debated in the Senate next week. The Bush administration had long resisted a congressional mandate, the 1990 Global Change Research Act, requiring the White House to report every four years on the science and impact of global warming and other environmental forces. A U.S. District Court in August ordered Bush to comply with a 2004 deadline for an updated report, after the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups filed suit. Sharon Hays, deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the report did not represent a changed assessment but "a rolling up of a whole bunch of reports on the science, showing that climate change is primarily caused by human activity of the last 50 years." The administration had earlier issued reports on the effect of climate change on transportation, agriculture and human health. But environmentalists celebrated what they saw as a long-overdue admission from an administration that has been reluctant to join global efforts to curb greenhouse gases, such as the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. "This report represents a stark shift in what the administration has been saying since 2001," said Philip Clapp, deputy managing director of the Pew Environment Group. "For the first time, it has had to admit that global warming is already having clear impacts in the United States, and the impacts are going to get worse even with the most aggressive action to cut emissions," he said. The report by the National Science and Technology Council and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program asserts that natural causes alone cannot explain recent extremes of heat and cold, warming seas and an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. It also shows that regions of North America could warm faster over the next few decades than the global average. In Los Angeles, heat-related deaths, which averaged 165 a year in the 1990s, could jump to between 319 and 1,182 by the 2080s, the report says. The warming climate also will accelerate the spread of diseases carried by water, food and insects. Among the most vulnerable people are the young, elderly, frail and poor, the administration's scientists concluded. The few positive effects of climate shifts are outweighed by negatives. For example, warming and higher levels of carbon dioxide are expected to speed up growth of forests and certain crops, but will also increase insect outbreaks and lead to more wildfires, which are likely to take a larger toll on crops, forests and property, the report predicts. Warmer, less-snowy winters will decrease winter road maintenance costs, but increased coastal and river-related flooding and landslides will cause more serious problems. Heat spells, the report says, "could cause railroad tracks to buckle or kink and could affect roads through softening and traffic-related rutting." The cost of heating is likely to fall, but the increased demand for air conditioning "would require the building of additional electricity production facilities (and probably transmission facilities) at an estimated cost of many billions of dollars." Industry representatives greeted the report with a shrug. "It's well known that autos represent about 20% of the total in the U.S. of man-made [greenhouse gas] emissions," said Charles Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Jim Owen, spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, said the power industry "abandoned the science debate years ago. It's universally recognized in our industry that climate change is very real." Nonetheless, said Kassie Siegel, climate program director for the Center for Biological Diversity, the report underscores "the reality and urgency of the climate crisis." "Administration officials have spent nearly eight years trying to deny and downplay the science," she said. "They just cannot do it anymore. They are boxed in by court order."
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