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CouldaBeenaContenda

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About CouldaBeenaContenda

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  • Birthday 01/31/1952
  1. Together? When I was young, I used to watch my father, who was in his late 30s at the time, grunt and groan when he worked around the house on his off-days, and I used to think, "Man, I sure hope I don't live to my late 30s!", but I don't ache or groan at all, and I'm about as physically capable now as I was 40 years ago. I guess that is because I've never worked hard enough to wear anything out.
  2. David Seikel, NDT Top Speaker and Finalist in 1969, and arguably, the most successful debater ever to not win the NDT (he won I think 11 of 15 tournaments he entered that year, and made finals in the other 4), died in 2012 at age 64: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?pid=156172448 One of his partners, Michael Miller (AKA, erstwhile cross-ex.com member TopSpeaker1970) was featured in the Debate Team documentary (© 2008).
  3. I'm not old. I'm 64. Terry McKnight was perhaps the last successful, slow talker, and truth be told, he got some wins just because a lot of older judges wanted debate to continue to sound like that. A lay audience could listen to a speech of his and come away from it having understood what he had said. McKnight's affirmative plan in the final round at Dartmouth was something to mitigate some injustices that he claimed Puerto Ricans endured in that era. I think it was to exempt them from the Selective Service System's military draft, and to do something for them regarding Federal Income Taxation. I don't know if that was the affirmative case he took to NDT that year, but he and his partner reached quarters.
  4. I just discovered that 1972 Top Speaker Terry McKnight of Canisius died in 2014. He had been 4th speaker in 1971. I saw him debate twice, beating Elliott Minceberg and Ron Marmer of Northwestern in Semis at Dartmouth in 1972, before losing in Finals to Dallas Perkins (now, Harvard coach) and Howard Beales of Georgetown. It was a pretty shabby final round, leading me to suspect that perhaps Canisius was breaking out a new affirmative case. That was the last year of the "old" system, where a team could qualify for the NDT either by winning one of the ten designated qualifying tournaments or by losing in Finals to a team that had previously qualified, yet neither team went to the NDT as a result of their finals appearance there that year, as Georgetown declined its invitation and Canisius had previously qualified. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/burlingtonfreepress/obituary.aspx?n=TERRANCE-ROBERT-MCKNIGHT&pid=173340418
  5. #1: Developing writing skill. Research skill? Too superficial to be practical. We all learn how to "mine" a book for quotes, while learning less about the subject than we would if we read it like normal people do. Too many debaters enter the world believing their disaster scenarios. I once read an interesting comment on e-pinions written by someone who had won the NDT a little over a decade ago and then discovered that his opinions on the likelihood of nuclear were not held in high regard by professionals who influence real world policy decisions on such matters. Perhaps someone reading this knows of whom I speak and can furnish a link to that post. It is a good read. As an old timer who can't/won't be taught new tricks, I don't know if Heiddeger is a he or a she, but I just can't fathom people committing entire competitive debate careers to arguing the same ideas over and over. Unfortunately for me and for the debate community, there don't seem to be any available transcripts for critics of the process to analyze. As far as I know, the last JAFA NDT final round transcript was published in 1985, I have read that transcripts of the next five final rounds were independently produced and sold, and I have never found any high school debate transcripts. #2. Free hotel rooms, meal money.
  6. Past NDT winners (all bio information from Wikipedia NDT page links): Laurence Henry Tribe (1961) is a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School. W. Barnett Pearce (1965) is co-Principal of Pearce Associates Elliot Mincberg (1973) Senior Fellow, People For the American Way Foundation Greg Rosenbaum (1974) is an American merchant banker. He is currently the co-principal owner and co-chair of the Dyton Dragons minor league baseball club. Robert C. Rowland (1976) is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas Stuart H. Singer (1978) is the managing partner of the Bowles, Schiller & Flexnerlaw firm's Fort Lauderdale, Florida office. He specializes in complex business litigation and represents clients such as NASCAR Carnival Cruise Lines, Florida Power and Light, and Tyco International.
  7. I never actually met him, but back in 1972, he and I were at a small banquet that was being held for the guest judges at Dartmouth's high school invitational, and Tuna was in his "showman mode", where he was telling stories aloud, to no one in particular, and as more and more people tuned into him, he'd start projecting a little more, so as to reach more people, and he'd say the silliest things, like, "A girl tapped me on the shoulder and said: 'Oh Tuna...Tuna?' and then turns as though looking at her and says, 'Yes?,' and then turns back to assume her character and says, 'Just checking!' " You read that and think, "Where's the joke?", but it was all in the delivery and the showmanship, which he had in abundance. He could keep people in stitches just by being his gregarious self.
  8. passed away a couple of days ago. He basically "made" international debate. He was in the first college debate round I ever saw, back in 1970, and he was quite a showman. He made semis at NDT the next year and went on to coach for the next four decades. A tribute thread over at the CEDA forum has about 180 entries. http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,6717.0.html
  9. I recently took a trial subscription to newspapers.com, a service that provides archive access to issues of a couple hundred newspapers through 1977. I am primarily interested in searching newspapers from the era of my youth, so that range serves my purposes. Unfortunately, they only have two newspapers from my home state of New Hampshire archived, The Nashua Telegraph and the Portsmouth Herald, but I know that some of the other major New England newspapers carried stories I would like access to. A month or so ago, I used a teaser search engine offer from some competing, archived newspaper service and it found an article reporting that my former college coach had finished in first place at his 1959 District Qualifier (he went on to make Quarters at NDT that year), but I didn't note the name of that archive service, nor of the newspaper. More recently, I found an article on Googlenews from the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World, reporting that he had won the 1960 Heart of America Tournament (5-0 Final Round, to boot!), but I do not know the scope of that archive, and neither of those aforementioned articles are accessible through newspapers.com. I'm probably going to withdraw from newspapers.com before my trial rolls into an automatic, six month or one year, single payment subscription. There is some other historic newspaper archive that has 1,900 newspapers in it and is free but they are OLD, as in, nearly all defunct, nineteenth century, southern newspapers and curiously, it includes no New Hampshire or Maine newspapers, and only one Hispanic Massachusetts newspaper. I have located three other newspaper subscription archives, but I didn't find any of their lists of included newspapers. Geneologybank.com, Myheritage.com Newspapersarchive.com I'd hate to have to go through the trouble of signing up for the "free-trial" or minimum duration subscription for each and then unsubscribe, just to find out whether they include newspapers that are of personal interest to me. Can anyone furnish me with the archive list of those sites, or the names of any other newspaper archive sites that I might consider? I don't think that the newspapers.com service gives me the means to directly, electronically store the pages I access, but it does allow me to "print" them, and one printer selection option that appears when I access the print menu box is, "fax", so if my computer's fax program stores a file copy of whatever I fax, then that might create for me a durable and manageable image of whatever page I fax. Still, I'd have to use some kind of optical character recognition to transform the content into editable form. Can anyone furnish me with advice on how to best transcribe any newspaper articles that are hosted as optically scanned pages?
  10. My freshman year, my young Civics teacher had just signed on as the new debate coach of our very successful debate program, and he recruited me relentlessly that late November and early December. I didn't join at that time, but three other kids in our classroom did, and near the end of the school year, we had a classroom debate with me as the fourth guy. We lost 2-1 but I was awarded 1st speaker. My teacher had actually gotten a college student who was on the debating team at the nearby state university to be one of the judges, and she was the one who gave us the win. The next year, my best friend joined at the start of the year but he was unsuccessful at persuading me to do so. Then, at about the same time in late November, they started recruiting me again, going so far as coming by my house on a Saturday morning and trying to drag me out, which they were unsuccessful at doing. The next week, I agreed to join, and we went negative and two of our three opponents were the two top teams in the state and we got killed. No way was I going to go "out" like that, so I stayed on for three more years. I didn't figure this out until I was looking at some old yearbooks, but the reason I was recruited both times was that each year, the debate team had someone on it who was also on the freshman basketball team who could not debate during basketball season because of scheduling conflicts, so they would have to have canceled entire four man teams if they could not find a replacement. My high school debate "career" ended three years after it started, losing a 2-1 decision in semis at the state championship, and I am not making this up, the judge who gave us the win in that 2-1 loss was in fact the same judge who had judged my first debate in Civics class and had given me that first winning ballot three years earlier. I never did get to ask her if she recognized me, as she might not have since I had grown nearly a foot and had gained about 60 pounds At my state university, Argumentation 404 Debate Workshop was a two credit course, which was half what a full credit course awarded, and could be repeated for credit four times. I just found online my school's 1981-1982 course catalog and they had, by that time, removed the limitation of the eight credits. I imagine they did that because there were only four perpetual, returning "slackers" willing to debate that year, just to get the free food and lodging plus the credits, and without them, the course would have to be canceled, and since its instructor had bamboozled the department chairman and the administration into thinking that coaching the debate team was such an intensive undertaking as for it to comprise about 2/3s of his "contact hour" responsibilities, there was no way he could allow that program to be eliminated, as he'd have to go back to working for a living. I began debate in the 1960s, and, having lived less than ten miles from a Strategic Air Command base that was surely on the Cold War target list, I debated in an era when "disaster DAs" had more connection to reality than they do now. I'm temped to say that the links to most nuclear war DA impacts I have read of recently were inspired by Rube Goldberg, but I suspect that most of you don't recognize that cartoonist's name. I may update this post later on when I have time to research it, but someone who won the NDT a decade or so ago debating for Northwestern and who, after graduating from Harvard Law, went to work at a think tank, was surprised to learn that the nuclear war scenarios that he had become so expert at debating were regarded as nonsense by real world policy making experts. When I was young, there was a popular PBS debate show of sorts called, "Firing Line", that was hosted by William F. Buckley. That is what I expected debate to be like. In the 1970s WGBH in Boston produced a show called, "The Advocates", that was sometimes moderated by Mike Dukakis and debated policy issues using a courtroom trial format, with counsel calling as expert witnesses some really big name politicians and scholars. People who contemplated joining a debate team in the 1980s or later may have expected something like the, "Prime Minister's Questions", which is still carried on TV today. No matter what the era, if we had been shown policy debate before we joined, this forum probably wouldn't even exist. Debate teaches writing skill and superficial research skills that can be domesticated to real world usefulness later in life, but by the time you have concluded your debate careers, all you have learned as far as research is concerned is how to "mine" a source for quotes, the more recklessly stated the better. Debate did nothing to improve my speaking skills, which were and are quite good, as I've starred in half a dozen plays and done radio broadcasting, both before my involvement in debate and after. But now, we're not young any more. Which brings to mind something that an old girlfriend of mine once said, "Guys treat me like I'm a dumb blond... and I'm not even blond!" That much, we can all agree on!
  11. Article written by Emory debate coach Ed Lee, on CNN website: I haven't found it posted here, but I don't navigate this site well. Needless to say this thread should be deleted if it is redundant. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/07/opinions/lee-who-won-debate/index.html
  12. Anyone ever had any? I just had my first one ever. The Index page here says that frivilous topics should be posted in the misc. section, but that advice is obsolete because there no longer is one. Needless to say, this post can be moved or deleted as the administration may see fit. # # # I was at Harvard, waiting for the tournament administrator to announce whether we had cleared or not. My partner in that dream was a girl who had, in real life, been part of the last debate program I was involved in. Funny thing was, we hadn't actually debated in any tournament rounds yet, and I never had debated with her either in real life or in that dream. It was then announced that we would be debating Kansas. My debate coach in the dream was my last real life debate coach, so it is reasonable to assume a dream setting of around 1980. I saw him sitting in the back of the room, talking to someone, and I said to him that we really needed him to use his personal clout to find out what Kansas was running for an affirmative case. He seemed slightly annoyed by my request but honored it anyway. He walked up to the front of the room, which was a liquor lounge like bar, and just asked aloud, "Does anyone know what Kansas is running for an affirmative case?" A few people said basically the same thing as one another: that they were running some kind of a case to improve how the U.S. Constitution could be ammended. Basically, they had a case to amend the amendment process. My partner and I weren't carrying any evidence (perhaps the most realistic aspect of this dream) and I had never seen her debate before (neither in this dream, or in real life, actually), and since she is a decade younger than me, I figured that I would at least make sure that we were on the same page as far as speaker duties were concerned. I told her that when I had debated back in the 1960s, the first negative commonly attacked the case on the grounds of significance, inherency and harm, and that the second negative attacked the plan on workability, plan-meets-need and disadvantages. She said that was the same distribution of responsibilities that she was used to, so I was comforted by that. Then I told her that while Topicality was usually argued by the second negative, if she thought of a topicality argument to use, it was OK with me if she used it herself, just because I was sure she'd be short on material as it was, and as second negative, I'd have more time to come up with other plan attacks. She made a reply that gave me confidence that she had an adequate grasp of how one argues topicality, and that pleased me greatly. Then, I told her that it was important that she make a nice flow sheet outline of the affirmative case, and since, in real life, I did know her to be a good flow sheeter, as she had been our novice judge and I had seen her real flowsheets, I was not surprised that when, in this dream, she showed me a few she was carrying and they looked pretty good. Then, I realized that I didn't have anything to write with so I left to get something. I walked out the front door of the building we were in, and saw that there was a store across the street. I could see, looking in the storefront window, that it was some kind of art supply store and it had some drafting supplies on display. The clerk was helping another customer and I kind of interrupted and asked if they sold pens and he gave me an indirect answer that was sort of a yes, but he went back to dealing with his customer. I looked around the room but I didn't see any pens, so I said out loud, to the two people nearest to me, that I was willing to pay $5 each for any of their own pens they would sell me. One girl had a pen that was a "stick" pen with a clear hex body and it was evident that the ink had leaked in it, meaning it would be undependable since pens like that can stop flowing at the drop of a hat. I took it anyway, and since no other pens were being offered to me and since I was afraid that enough time had gone by that we might be in jeopardy of forfeiting the round, I left the store with just that one pen. I woke up before I got back to the room where my partner was. # # # I find it amazing that this was the first debate dream I have ever had. When I worked in manufacturing factories back in the 1970s, I had work dreams frequently, and now, as an electronic field service technician, I have several work related dreams every year. Before that, I used to have the classic school anxiety dream that so many have had, where you remember that there was a class you had forgotten you had signed up for, and that you knew an assignment was due and maybe it was in your locker, but you couldn't remember the combination... or the locker number. Those dreams. I had 'em just like nearly everyone else, but I haven't had a school anxiety dream in decades. None of my work dreams have tended to feature either success of failure, so I can't imagine how the debate dream might have played out if it had continued.
  13. Are there any contemporary ones? Of any policy debates? The Journal of the American Forensic Association used to publish transcripts of National Debate Tournament Final rounds through 1985, and then some private transcribers produced the finals from 1986 through 1990, but I have not found any since then, and I have been assured by many that there are non newer. Are there any published transcripts of high school championship debates? I looked into voice recognition software, but reading the manufacturer's literature, they are not up to the task.
  14. "Coach, what do you think of your team's execution today?" - Post game interviewer, 1979 "I'm all for it". - Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McCay
  15. Not without a Wayback Machine. That last post was from January
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