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  1. Here's a free November Public Forum Topic Analysis Video by Tim Perevozchikov!
  2. Here's a free Nov/Dec Lincoln-Douglas Topic Analysis Video by Shania Hunt!
  3. Op-Ed: How You Can Become a Better Congressional Debater By Martin D.K. Page “What is the current status of the Roma in Europe?” A fellow competitor asked me something along those lines during a debate on the Romani People during the 2010 Yale semifinal. It was a very basic but important question, and I didn’t know the answer. Because I didn’t know the answer, I dodged the question, saying that it “wasn’t the point.” Predictably, I did not compete in the final that year, and my ballots weren’t particularly kind to me. If you know me, you know I don’t like talking about my competitive career because what’s done is done. But this gaffe provides a great example of what happens when you don’t pay attention to the importance of topic knowledge in Congressional Debate. I had gone to camp the summer before and spent long hours working with my coach—I knew how to put an argument together and how to speak well. On that Sunday in September, that wasn’t enough if I didn’t understand the situation facing the Roma in the status quo. In all debate events, but particularly in Congress where the “Topic Analysis” isn’t a long-standing institution in briefs and practices, there is a near total focus on what arguments to make and how to make them. Holistic understanding of the broader context, history, and importance of topics is lacking. But as the Roma taught me, true success in Congressional Debate depends directly on how much you understand the fundamentals of the legislation and its subject. Success in debate depends on more than just claims, warrants, impacts, and refutations. In order to execute your speech effectively, you need to know what you're talking about. "Cards" are never enough. If you don't make an effort to understand the background, you’re depriving yourself of the unique educational opportunity to expand your understanding of the issues facing our world. Every issue you encounter in debate will have hundreds if not thousands of arguments on it—cutting two or three of them isn’t going to substantially increase your understanding of the issue. Understanding the broader context of issues will benefit you for the rest of your life and allow you to think critically about the issue rather than relying on arguments you find on the website of [insert Think Tank Name Here]. Where’s the fun in learning to argue if you aren’t learning to argue for yourself? Here at Champion Briefs, we’re trying to make it easier for you to accomplish this goal. The beauty of Congress lies in the challenge of preparing multiple arguments and adapting to what has already been said in the round. We want you to be able to continue to come up with your own arguments and think critically on your own, so we’re not providing written briefs for Congressional Debate. But with our weekly news videos and topic analyses for Congressional Debate legislation at major national tournaments, we hope to make it a bit easier for you to understand the basics of each topic that comes your way. The best way to do this is to keep up with the news every week. That way, you’ll already know the recent events surrounding most legislation, and you’ll be able to make connections between different regions and issues. While there is no replacement for fully reading The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, Isabella, Joe, and Miles are some of the smartest people I’ve worked with, and they will do more than just bring you the news. They’ll provide in-depth analysis and ask provocative questions that could lead you to interesting arguments or legislation ideas. Over the course of your Congressional Debate career, you’ll see many bills and resolutions that don’t pop up in the news every week. Plus, for tournaments, you’ll want something a bit more in-depth than news coverage on the topics. That’s why we’re providing in-depth topic analysis videos for elimination round legislation at a slew of National Tournaments this year. In addition to providing vital background, they also offer analysis and potential impacts of passing or negating the legislation. We hope that our affordable resources for Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Speaking can help you better wrap your head around the topics facing you in rounds. We want you to continue to think critically about topics and form your own arguments, but we hope we can give you some cool ideas. And we’ll make sure you don’t get burned by a basic question about the Roma.
  4. When I debated as a novice, I remember thinking that lay judges were “illegit,” and whenever I was dropped by a lay judge, I could just brush it off as bad judging. I’d just make myself believe that if someone who actually understood debate judged me, they would pick me up, because come on, obviously I was the best. The worst part was that this vicious cycle was reaffirmed by many of the people I talked to; I could tell another debater that I was dropped by an “illegit” lay judge, and they would just nod, agree and sympathize. These days, when I walk down the hall of a tournament and hear kids bashing lay judges, it makes me irrationally angry and annoyed. My mentality has changed drastically due to experience and observation, and I’ve come to appreciate the unique role that lay judges play in debate. My partner, Jeremy Andreades, explained our change best in last year of debate, remarking that we debated “flow” so rarely that it started to feel out of character, and as a result, our performance improved markedly. Continue reading...
  5. Kenneth Waltz revolutionized the way international relations scholars approach conflict in international relations theory with his 1959 book "Man, the State, and War". Waltz claimed that theories fell into one of three explanations; government-level explanations, individual-level explanations, and system-level explanations. He noted that explanations of war were more or less persuasive depending on the actor in focus (or "unit of analysis"). Focusing on different actors at different levels could obscure or highlight different problems related to war theorizing. The "units of analysis" concept has utility outside of conflict theory. The debate over minimum wage is overwhelmingly discussed in terms of its impact on individual people. Proponents of the minimum wage tend to argue that it will help individual people escape poverty, that peoples' spending will spur growth, and people will not lose jobs from the minimum wage. Opponents of the minimum wage tend to frame their impact articulation in similar terms – people will lose jobs, people will spend less, people's job quality will decrease. As with war theory, focusing exclusively on individuals as the unit of analysis has analytical limitations. This article will begin with a different starting point and a different unit of analysis – the business. While businesses are discussed in the minimum wage literature, they are usually a secondary afterthought relevant to the extent they impact people; more/fewer people are employed by businesses, people will leave/stay at their business, and the like. Instead of treating the business as an afterthought, this article will foreground the business and outline a framework that amounts to "business impacts first". Continue Reading
  6. Resolved: Minimum wage laws benefit the United States economy The NCFL always has interesting topics, and this one is no different. I think the core subject of the resolution – the minimum wage – is timely, interesting, and academically rich as a subject for debate. The literature surrounding the minimum wage will be educational for most debaters, and may resonate with the personal situations many debaters find themselves in. Understanding both the common arguments and economic nuances of this debate will equip debaters with the tools to participate broadly in public discussions of the minimum wage. Defining Minimum Wage What is the minimum wage? Three important considerations when defining it: It's a floor. The minimum wage is the base payment per hour that employers can pay employees. It's important to note that this rate is a floor, not a ceiling – employers can voluntarily choose to pay employees more than the minimum wage, but cannot pay less than it. It's statutorily set. The minimum wage is determined by a series of local, state, and federal laws which set an hourly rate. The present federal minimum wage is $7.25, though many states choose to set a higher base minimum wage. The highest set wage matters. In practical terms, states may not set a minimum wage lower than the federal wage since companies which paid such a lower wage would still be subject to prosecution for violating federal laws, if not state laws. In that same vein, when states set a minimum wage which is higher than the federal minimum, companies operating in areas governed by those state laws have to pay the higher amount. For example, the minimum wage in the state I live in – Florida – is $7.93 per hour. If a company operating in Florida paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, they would be fine in federal terms but could be sued for violating state laws. As such, companies must pay the highest minimum wage legally set for the areas in which they operate. Continue reading
  7. Be sure to download Champion Briefs' March/April Lincoln-Douglas Brief for more analysis, tons of evidence, and more tools to help make you a Champion! https://championbriefs.com/store/janfeb2014ld Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict. Introduction The 2013 January/February resolution also acts as the Tournament of Champions topic so it entails a longer period of debate. I noticed as a competitor that longer debates mean that Aff cases I could win with in January were different than those that I could win with in April. This fact personally altered the types of strategies I would be inclined to run during the totality of the Jan/Feb topic. Personally, I would save the positions that I thought were the most strategic for the TOC, and engage on more topical debates during Jan/Feb tournaments to have a refined understanding of the best stock arguments. My topic analysis will, thus, explore dual-interpretations of the topic: “developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two conflict,†as some interpretations will be best suited for stock topical debate, while others may be appropriate in isolated strategic circumstances. Basic structural features about phrases in the resolution make this topic good for debaters who want to run unique interpretations in rounds. I never debated a topic that used the word “should,†so that initially stuck out to me after a first reading of the topic. “Should†functions as the evaluative term for this resolution. Evaluative terms are verbs that generate the source of burdens for both debaters. Typically, at least in the days of my debate career, resolutions used words or phrases like: ought, ought not, justified, unjustified, is permissible, is not permissible. Never have I ever seen a topic use the word “shouldâ€; so, to be honest, I initially laughed at the resolution thinking about the new ways debaters can spin the evaluative term “should†to alter traditional affirmative and negative burdens. Minimally, debaters need to be prepared to precisely define “should†to offset their opponent’s definition. On a more general note, however, the resolution seems extremely broad—another reason why interpretative issues will remain highly important. The resolution gives us the terms, “environmental protection,†and “resource extraction.†The vagueness of protection and extraction means that the resolution does not have many natural topical limits. There are infinite policies that states can justify in the name of environmental protection or resource extraction; this resolution uniquely allows debaters to employ radically distinct ground under topical interpretations of these terms as they seek fit. In this way, the core substance of the resolution is itself up for debate—in thinking about the topic then, debaters should feel prepared to discuss, research, and investigate a plethora of different types of examples of protecting the environment and extracting resources. Indeed, the vagueness of these terms should force debaters to think about crafting uniquely strategic cases that get out of traditional pitfalls that stock debate entails for their respective side. Finally, the phrase “when the two conflict†confuses me for multiple reasons, and I’m sure will provide for non-clashing debates. The resolution employs two conceivable plural subjects, first a plural subject “developing countries†and a double comparison between “environmental protection†and “resource extraction.†As such, the pronoun “two†at the end of the resolution, in the phrase “when the two conflict†becomes unclear—what exactly is the conflict of the resolution? Is the conflict between two developing countries, or is it a general conflict between environment and economy? There are multiple different types of cases that different interpretations of the phrase “when the two conflict†can bring about. As such, debaters must take the time to carefully choose interpretations of the NFL’s 2013 Jan/Feb resolution. Key Terms Developing Countries: This term will be the source of many T and kritikal positions. Negs will run topicality based upon what particular conception of developing countries the Aff chooses to defend in round. There are multiple interpretations of “developing countries.†On the one hand, developing countries are states that are developing, so the resolution may be a question about the obligations of all states in the world. In topic literature however, the term of art “developing countries†seems to be exclusive of developed countries, in which the modifier “developing†carries the connotation of that the country is “less-developed.†Under such an interpretation, the Aff would defend the resolution as a question only about third world nations. In this sense, topicality can inevitably be run on which of the two interpretations of “developing countries†the Aff chooses to defend. More importantly, the latter interpretation of “developing countries,†which paints these countries as having lesser or worse off living standards than first world countries, seems to open up good kritikal and possibly even pre-fiat ground for negatives to criticize affirmative’s discourse. To compensate, many Affs will specify a group of countries internationally recognized as and considered to be developing. Specification of particular developing countries will be very common for the duration of the topic so debaters should feel the need to explore countries they are interested in and think about unique cases for those countries. The most substantively engaging positions will be ones that are the most in-depth and use great empirical evidence. My favorite thing about the new resolution is the use of a new evaluative term, should. This topic forces debaters to come up with new round-applicable interpretations of the word “should.†“Should†implies there is reason that motivates action. The substance of the reason that motivates action is not a specified condition of the word should. In this sense, “should†differs from words like ought, because ought seems to imply a moral obligation so fuels the normativity of morality in debate rounds. Should does not seem to imply morality. This leaves the gaping question, what type of reason is sufficient to argue for the prioritization of environmental protection over resource extraction? Because of this, I think this topic uniquely encourages debaters to investigate different political theories that motivate state action. Arguments about the cosmopolitan, realist, or moral nature of the state should be clarified or defended in frameworks of affirmative cases, otherwise I think debates may lack clash. Additionally, I think both sides can make new types of permissibility arguments regarding the nature of should, and, as such, new clash over permissibility will exist on this topic. Debaters should challenge themselves to think of warrants for permissibility for each side based off the word should, and be prepared to defend against converse interpretations. On a different note, “should†seems to imply a very straight forward efficacy-based interpretation of the resolution, so “should†can be argued to wholly justify a comparative worlds util-based policy approach to adjudicating rounds. I suspect this will motivate a great majority of debaters to run plans. Prioritize is one of the more straight-forward terms in the resolution as it seems to imply the aff must show environmental protection should come before issues of resource extraction when the two conflict. But, debaters can always find a way to problematize even the seemingly most innocuous word like prioritize. Affirmatives must be careful to watch for negative debaters who try to argue the resolution is false based upon a nuance in the meaning of the word prioritize. Environmental Protection is officially defined by the Organisation for Economic co-Operation and Development: “Environmental protection refers to any activity to maintain or restore the quality of environmental media through preventing the emission of pollutants or reducing the presence of polluting substances in environmental media. It may consist of: (a) changes in characteristics of goods and services, ( changes in consumption patterns, © changes in production techniques, (d) treatment or disposal of residuals in separate environmental protection facilities, (e) recycling, and (f) prevention of degradation of the landscape and ecosystems.†The vast number of actions that qualify as “Environmental Protection†means the affirmative likely has a lot of ground to cover and should pick a policy that appeals to them. Alternatively, the resolution may be interpreted as a more general question, in which the principle of protecting the environment is the source of affirmative ground. In such a case, specification would be unnecessary as the resolution would be a more abstract question. On a different level, “environmental protection†is vague, which leads me to ask myself a few questions. Does the Aff assume solvency for environmental protection? Can the Neg win by proving that environmental protection is impossible? Conversely, does the Aff win merely by proving they help the environment? Although some will probably try to argue such positions are sufficient, logically, I think they are not due to the word “over.†Over implies the Aff has the burden to prove environmental protection must specifically be prioritized above resource extraction. As such, does this mean the Aff must not only prove that they can protect the environment and that protecting the environment is good, but also that resource extraction is bad? This seems to imply a rather large burden of proof for affirmatives, something strategic negative debaters should strive to exploit. Resource extraction is convoluted because there are questions of what counts as a resource, who is extracting the resources in the resolution, and if such resource extraction is the cause to environmental degradation claims that Affs will be making. I think that negatives should invest in specific examples, or counter plans, that defend a specific resource extraction. The ambiguity over resource extraction means that the Neg will likely be able to choose from multiple types of counter plans, ranging from actor CPs, advantage CPs, PICs, to normal CPs arguing for a specified implementation of resource extraction against environmental protection policies. Potential problems for specification arise out of concerns that the Neg’s counterplan need be specific to the environmental problem that the Aff specifies; debaters must be prepared to theoretically defend the interpretation they deem best. “When the two conflict,†is a phrase that the framers of the resolution use to purposefully instill clash in rounds between the principles of environmental protection and resource extraction. The problem however, is this might give the Aff a burden to prove that there exists a specific conflict between environmental protection and resource extraction. In other words, can the negative win by proving resource extraction and environmental protection do not conflict? In my mind, the framer’s include the phrase “when the two conflict†to prohibit negatives from winning rounds in this way. Notice, this has larger strategic implications for negative counterplans since affirmatives can argue that the phrase “when the two conflict†refers to counterplans that solve for environmental protection harms being unfair. Minimally, I think the phrase “when the two conflict†has the potential for breeding frivolous apriori and T debates based upon the words “two†and “conflict.†Concerns A) Debatable Interpretations of the phrase: “developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two conflict.†Thinking about putting together the key terms to form a single coherent interpretation of the resolution is daunting, but reasonable, debatable interpretations of this resolution will resemble: 1. Benefits of environmental protection outweigh those of resource extraction when the two conflict, so affirm. 2. Two developing countries are conflicting over a specific environment-resource issue, and environment should come first. 3. As a global community, all developing countries have obligations to prioritize environmental protection. This third interpretation gives rise to positions about environmental obligations, what will function as the source of vast Affirmative topic literature. Indeed, arguments about the existence of moral obligations against resource extraction will make up a great basis of affirmative philosophical ground. Negatives will strive to provide reasoning why resource extraction is normatively good for the state. As such, the clash of the substantive debate is very predictable. Good Empirics. Debaters will want to defend empirical scenarios that they find interesting. Boring, antiquated policy DA’s about environmental disasters in the nineties will be accounted for on this topic. As such, debaters will need to cut new empirics about environmental disasters, extinction, and diseases. Much like with the Nuclear Weapons topic, when debate about nuclear extinction became more contested, typical extinction scenarios were prepared for, so new environmental extinction scenarios ought to be justified with empirics from the status quo. C) Negative’s and T. This resolution will have tons of Topicality issues. The Neg will most likely be able to garner violations from any term in the resolution which presents a challenge to Aff debaters. Aff debaters should think about embedding their own affirmative cases with offensive theory. Negatives could possibly violate the offensive theory that Affs lay out in the constructive structurally offsetting Negative advantages on the T debate. Offensive theory for the Aff can speak to anything from specifying which types of Neg counterplans are unfair to limiting the type of ground resource extraction that the Neg can access. Having embedded theory in the constructive will allow debaters to combat negatives reading a lot of theory in the 1NC by garnering new offensive theory violations in the 1AR. Affirmative Positions Beyond interpretational issues remains the substance of the topical debate: whether developing countries should choose to protect their environment rather than extract resources. Util AC. The most stock approach to this resolution on the Aff will be arguments that trace the route of all bad impacts back to environmental degradation in an effort to argue environmental protection must be prioritized over resource extraction. For these affirmatives to be topical however, this Aff case will need to speak to a few justificatory steps. First, any affirmative case that wants to win off of environmental destruction being bad must win inherency evidence and reasoning why there is a current crisis in the status quo that can be solved. Second, for this scenario to be topical, the Aff must show that a source of environmental degradation conflicts with resource extraction. The big question for the Aff is whether the Aff has to prove resource extraction always upsets the environment or just sometimes. Util affirmatives would be more strategic if they defined a particular form of environmental protection that is uniquely beneficial. This will allow the Aff to wield highly specific evidence about an environmental disaster resulting directly from resource extraction to strategically prevent the Neg from garnering benefits from resource extraction. As the topic expands, there will be a myriad of different util plans that affirmatives run. Affirmative debaters should stay open-minded about the plan they run and should feel free to explore different types of positions. This topic lends itself to very interesting ground and has few limits so debaters should feel comfortable pushing their research limits to try to find a position no one on the circuit has heard. At the TOC, some of the best cases are plans that are new positions that other people have not heard before so are ill-prepared for. This means one thought debaters should have in their head when researching for the plan-util debate is how predictable their plan is, and if there are ways to make the plan more strategic. On the contention level, Aff cases should focus on rigorous impact scenarios explaining that environmental degradation may reach the point of no return so there exists a status-quo obligation to deprioritize resource extraction. Evidence that speaks to this question will definitely make these cases more strategic. Debaters running this case need to be prepared to compare impacts of environmental degradation to the multi-billion dollar benefits derived from resource extraction. Comparison may come in the form of weighing impacts but alternatively, and more strategically, ought to come from an interpretation of what impacts are most important under util, IE what truly makes us most happy. Such a framework move can help affirmatives when wading between arguments in the 1AR. Deontology AC. This affirmative position will argue the principle of preserving the environment for people to be treated as ends in themselves deontologically justifies developing states prioritizing environmental protection over resource extraction. This AC will most likely have Kantian based framework, but could also be combined with cosmopolitan-esque arguments to justify unique obligations between preserving land and humanity’s unconditional end status. The framework for this case must begin with an interpretation of what type of reason is sufficient to justify why developing countries should do something. Practical reason surely could be used as a meta-ethical warrant for why the standard must be deontological. The Aff would then need to provide links between deontology and practical reason. From there, this Aff could argue that the state has unique obligations as a political actor, and that global obligations create particular cosmopolitan duties. These arguments are not necessary for this framework to function, but could add critical strategic value in preempting likely Neg self-interest frameworks. Once the Aff justifies a deontological standard, there exists a plethora of substantive contention level arguments that the Aff can explore as to why environmental protection ought to be prioritized above resource degradation. Affs can argue that the environment is the source in which humanity’s existence lies, so is the ground for people to actualize practical reason. This would likely provide moral obligations for the government to protect the environment as a basis for its constituent’s ability to reason and be valued as ends. An alternative form of offense to a deontology standard on this topic can be found through deontic criticism of self-interest, and resulting prohibition of resource extraction. International Contracts AC. A third type of affirmative position will be an AC about international contracts that developing countries agree to speaking in favor of prioritizing environmental protection over resource extraction. UN agreements as well as multiple International Environmental Agreements (IEA) would be the source of sufficient Aff ground. Interestingly though, this Aff need not take the framework of a typical legal-contract affirmative. There are two main routes of constructing a strategic contract-affirmative on this topic. Both lend themselves to different types of debate as one will embrace a legal (or possibly skeptical) form of obligation, and the other will most likely be utilitarian and resemble a plan-like Aff. Both have unique strategic upshots. The legal contracts standard will trace reasons why developing countries have legal obligation to follow contractual agreements. These arguments can be derived from the nature of states identity as legal actors, or morally from the nature of following promises and agreements. This Aff can justify a framework of following international contracts by simply adopting a standard of following international contracts. This standard can appeal to states having the utmost obligation to follow international contracts from multiple normative perspectives beyond legal issues. For example, the affirmative can push the terrible political impacts that states experience from not following international contracts. A standard justifying international law from a utilitarian or ends-based perspective can allow this AC to be run in plan-like fashion. The contention level consists of reading a few international contracts that developing countries agree to which speak in favor of prioritizing policies of environmental protection. A more strategic contention level argument in my eyes would explore the specific agreements that developing countries have in the status quo and why those international agreements are necessary to procure long-term prosperity in the region. Lots of topic literature about developing countries speaks to the multilateral conditions imposed on countries from environmental degradation. Harms from the environment transcend boundaries, so if the cause of environmental damage is in one country, it may affect others around it. This provides countries with reasons to adopt agreements through international contracts with other countries to prioritize the protection of the environment. For this reason, international contract AC’s are extremely topical and interestingly substantive on this resolution. Affirmative Positions Realism NC. The most obvious negative position is a realism Neg. The Neg justifies a standard of self-interest to logically argue that developing countries should prioritize resource extraction. This Neg would be strategic because it could probably be very short, and would likely clash with the Aff’s standard very well. Realism Negs can be framed as amoral, so would allow negatives to possibly employ skepticism against Aff standards. Beyond that, however, realism will likely conflict with most affirmatives that describe universal or external obligations on states to prioritize the environment. Realism explains that states act in self-interest so are not concerned with global problems. Contention level arguments will be related to the nature of the resolution. Simply, resource extraction benefits self-interest more than environmental protection. The Neg can explain that the principles of resource extraction align strongly with those of realism, so states should not prioritize environmental protection. Realism argues that states should be allowed to do whatever they want in their borders, and so strongly justifies developing countries extracting resources within their sovereign boundaries. But, negatives may also want to have impact scenarios that demonstrate the benefits to self-interest from empirical resource extraction scenarios to combat affirmative arguments of environmental harm. Note that to prevent a normal util debate, this realism NC ought to be constructed in a more philosophical lens. Resource Extraction CP. A different negative approach to the resolution will be a type of counter plan that specifies a scenario of resource extraction that is justified in a policy-making context. The way this NC becomes strategic is not necessarily based in its end-based impacts, but rather on advantage-solving structure. Thus, the most strategic counterplan on this topic is one that extracts natural resources to solve environmental problems, and then additionally accrues other benefits. There are overall strategic questions of whether the Neg is burdened to show that the CP has additional advantage beyond environmental solution. Can the Neg win by merely proving that resource extraction is necessary for and solves environmental protection? I think negatives certainly may want to make this claim. Kritique of Developing Countries. Another strategic negative position that will most likely garner strong violations every round is a criticism of the affirmative’s focus on developing countries. When affirming, debaters are tied to the rhetoric of the resolution. The term “Developing Countries†historically attaches itself to the recognition of an inferior class of people so has colonially oppressive and racist content latent within it. As such, negative debaters will likely be able to garner criticism related to the dehumanizing discursive effect of labeling people and countries as developing. This K is strategic in a few different ways, starting from the standard it should function under. The standard of the K could be a standard for judging appropriate discourse. The Neg would begin by explaining the normative importance of discourse. Then, they would derive a specific framework for analyzing discourse as appropriate or not. This framework would explain why the rhetoric that the Aff embraces is discursively oppressive and harmful, so ought to be voted down. In this way, the K would inherently function pre-fiat, so before the post-fiat arguments of the affirmative. Thus, on a structural level, a Neg K run on the Aff about their harmful discourse would allow the Neg to strategically function on a level higher than the AC. Good luck in the coming months! About Michael Fried Michael Fried attended and competed for University School of Nova Southeastern University and graduated in May, 2012. He competed in LD Debate throughout his entire four years of high school. He qualified to the Tournament of Champions three times, reaching Semifinals as a Junior and Octos as a Senior. He won Apple Valley, the Crestian Classic, the Florida State Championship (twice), the Dowling Invitational, and The Dowling and Harvard Round Robins. In addition, he was a finalist at the Greenhill Invitational and reached late outrounds at the Glenbrooks, Emory, Blake, Valley, Harvard, and the Bronx Invitational. In total he amassed 14 TOC bids. This past year, he coached the 5th ever Freshman to qualify to the Tournament of Champions and a student to the Finals of the Emory Tournament. Michael is currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley. Be sure to download Champion Briefs' March/April Lincoln-Douglas Brief for more analysis, tons of evidence, and more tools to help make you a Champion! https://championbriefs.com/store/janfeb2014ld
  8. Be sure to download our April Public Forum Brief for more analysis, tons of evidence, and more tools to help make you a Champion! https://championbriefs.com/store/apr2014pf Each of our Public Forum briefs include topic analyses by the Champions of 2013 NFL Nationals, NCFL Nationals, and the Tournament of Champions! Topic Analysis by Christian Chessman Introduction The April 2014 topic for Public Forum Debate deals with a perennial problem that faces the developing countries generally and the people of India specifically – the apparent tradeoff between economic development and environmental protection. Because industrial and post-industrial countries have already damaged the global environment severely during their development phases, modern developing countries face an unprecedented dilemma. These countries face a choice between the cheap, readily available forms of economic development that hurt the environment, and an impending ecological catastrophe in the form of global warming, biosphere collapse and species extinction, and toxic aerosolized and pollution. The best policy choice depends in part on determining who the policy is being designed to serve. The April 2014 topic takes a particular approach in restricting debaters to analyzing the impact of development and environmental degradation on the people of India specifically. On face, this disproportionately limits negative arguments because the effects of degradation are global in nature, while development is a primarily local phenomenon. Negatives can no longer point to many of the documented effects of global warming in other countries when weighing impacts. A topic without this restrictive wording affords the negative the ability to point to the 19,000 Japanese people killed by global warming induced super-tsunamis last year – but the April 2014 topic restricts the relevance of such impacts. As this example demonstrates, debaters that win rounds on this topic will make their impacts as specific to India as possible. Read more at: https://championbriefs.com/blog/april2014ta About Christian Chessman: Christian Chessman is an Honors graduate of the University of Florida, receiving his degree in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude. As a debater for Suncoast High School, Christian won eleven bids to the Tournament of Champions, cleared at NFL Nationals, and took fifth place at the International Public Policy Forum two years running. At the University of Florida, Christian competed successfully in almost every form of competitive speaking event. In Policy Debate, Christian won seven individual speaker awards, and was the tournament champion at the Appalachian State Invitational (2010) and the Georgia State University Invitational (2011), the finalist at the Towson National Debate Tournament (2012), and the fifth place team at the American Debate Association National Tournament (2012). In collegiate Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Christian was the 2011 Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association (FIFA) Champion. In collegiate Extemporaneous Speaking, Christian was a 2011 FIFA Finalist. In parliamentary debate, Christian was the 2013 tournament champion at the James Madison Cup, beating international teams to win a prize of $10,000 for his school. Christian has also won fourteen individual attorney awards at American Mock Trial Association tournaments, and qualified to nationals every year he attended college. Christian is currently a private debate coach while waiting for decisions from law schools.
  9. @Dr.FoxOnSocks: The posts from the last few days were not directly from our staff but were from friends of staff members who wanted to help us out. I was just shown your response and it is actually the best piece of advice that we could have gotten. Our goal is to focus more on what you were talking about (a better, more in-depth, and more useful brief) and we are working on how we will go about doing that. We don't want to appeal only to novices who don't want to do work, which is why we're going to follow your advice. I'd like to apologize for the "spamming" that my colleague brought to this forum and thank you for your advice. If you (or anyone else) has any other input about what you want out of a brief, feel free to email it to Suggestions@championbriefs.com or just post it on the forums on championbriefs.com.
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