[eDebate] Response to J. Russell, refined list tpoic example

Josh Hoe jbhdb8
Wed Jun 14 13:04:59 CDT 2006

I just want to mention that I am pretty sure all this talk of re-creating
the Supreme Soviet is getting Calum Matheson very excited.


On 6/14/06, scottelliott at grandecom.net <scottelliott at grandecom.net> wrote:
> Jason,
> No person has posted a single request that the topic selection process be
> re-openned to include (1) new case areas, (2) new S. Court
> cases/decisions, or
> (3) different topics. Your worry about openning the floodgates is not
> founded
> upon any credible evidence that "petitioner's are lining up at the door"
> waiting to have their new case added to the resolution list.
> Jason says that the TC has made their decision so these are the "topics we
> are
> saddled with." What a horrible standard to uphold. So, if the topic
> committee
> wrote a series of topics that were demonstrated to be clearly flawed (as
> demonstrated), or clearly biased to one side (also demonstrated depending
> on
> which interpretation of "overturn" and "Decision" you choose), or clearly
> moot
> (e.g the very case listed was, in fact, overturned) then Jason says you
> are all
> stuck with them. Nice standard. How Bolshevik of you. [Cue Soviet national
> anthem here]...Offical Proclamation of the Imperial CEDA TOpic Committee:
> "Today the Topic Committe has adopted this years "one-year plan" for
> college
> policy debate...similar to the Stalinist five-year plan, you must all work
> under its precepts, even though those precepts are demonstrably flawed.
> The
> CEDA/NDT topic cannot and will not be changed. That is all."
> Jason says the process would be "COMPELTELY" re-opened. I call BULLSHIT.
> The TC
> committee, as Gordon Stables has pointed out, can use their discretion and
> authority to prevent this from happening. They can limit the discussion to
> how
> to make the court cases already listed more precise and more limited. They
> obviously used their discretion to prevent discussion of these issues
> during
> the original topic meeting. (I suggest people go back and read the topic
> papers)
> Now they can use their discretion to let these
> issues into the discussion for a limited purpose. Nobody has said, "I want
> the
> TC to include Brown or Marbury vs. Madison." The entire discussion is
> whether
> overrule decisions are appropropriate when compared to alternatives such
> as
> overrrule holdings or overrule precedents and whether the specific
> holdings
> should be identified within those SPECIFIC CASES.
> This is not an ad hoc or posthoc change to the offical CEDA ballot. I
> thought
> the reason to post these topics was to foster comment prior to the listing
> on
> the offical ballot. So much for "transparency" and "community input." (I
> guess
> the CENTRAL COMMITTEE has spoken, so we should just shut up and take it in
> the
> ass like good commrades to the CEDA/NDT merger revolution.)  No
> official topic /resolution ballot has been forwarded to the Secretary
> of CEDA  and the CEDA Secrtary has not posted one or sent one out to
> voters. So,
> any changes would not be a violation of the CEDA Constitution.
> Additionally,
> this is not the same as the problems with the high school topic--where
> changes
> were made AFTER a resolution was voted on by the coaches. The change(s) I
> and
> others have suggested would occur PRIOR TO VOTING. If you think the
> changes
> suck, don't vote for them. Simple democracy at work--scary, huh?!
> Russell is clear that he opposes the re-openning of the process. ok. He is
> opposed. I am, in favor. He says black, I say white. Wow. Now everyone is
> clear
> where we stand.
> Jason then goes for the "gentleman's agreement" and "community norms"
> argument
> that
> I have read about in past posts. I doubt those are effective. I doubt that
> community norms have ever existed, and by the time one could come into
> existence, it would be the middle of the year, and I ask, How many teams
> were
> screwed during the development of the "community norm?" Jason, will the
> community norm count as a voting issue when Dartmouth breaks off twenty
> new
> affirmatives at the NDT, and, ironically uses the same arguments posted on
> this
> list-serve as to why they are topical? LOL.
> Jason and others are afraid that the narrowing of the topics would "write
> affirmative
> plans." I disagree. Overturning a specific precedent means that another
> precedent is put in its place. That is where Jason and Slusher can find
> their
> "maximum affirmative flexibility." I suggest that "maximum aff.
> flexibility"
> should be found in crafting plans that address the core issues of the
> cases
> listed, rather than allowing affirmatives to run to the corners of the
> cases.
> If anything, and I take it that you are with Slusher on the idea that
> affirmatives need more wins, my approach to the resolutions would prevent
> abusive negative strategies such as the PIC (for the most part) and the
> "distinguish" c-plan.
> I think if a list topics, as written, is chosen, life will be harder for
> small schools, and novice programs. This is just going to drive more
> people
> away from the activity.
> The re-wording of the topics could be done in just a few hours---at most.
> It
> would not
> change the "intent" of the original topic committee, it would, rather,
> refine
> their intent. For example, I just do not see how the Topic Committe can
> get
> away from:
> |  Resolved: the U.S. S.Ct. should overrule one or more of the following
> |  precedents:
> |
> |  (1) Gregg vs. Georgia's holding that the penalty of death is not
> invariably
> |  unconsitutional;
> |
> |  ...
> |
> |  (2) --- v. Morrison's holding that gender based violence is not
> substantially related to interstate commerce;
> |
> |  (3) Gratz v. Bollinger's holding that race based admissions criteria in
> |  education subject to Equal Protection analysis are to be evaluated
> using
> strict scrutiny by the courts;
> |
> |  (4) Planned Parenthood v. Casey's holding that the state can prevent a
> person from having an abortion after the fetus becomes viable;
> |
> |  ...
> |
> |  Now, these are simply, and blatantly, superior to the current list
> topics.
> There is just no way Galloway or Mancuso or Russell can get around the
> fact
> that the four examples I have given, as refinements of my original
> suggestions
> to Tim, are superior to their list topics as written.
> These revisions substantially reduce, if not eliminate, the problems
> addressed
> by myself and other commentators:
> |
> |  (1) These examples eliminate bi-directionality.
> |  (2) These examples focus the debates on the key points of controversy.
> Of
> course there are other points, like in Casey. But at least the example I
> have
> given prevents the Affirmative from arguing boths sides of the abortion
> debate
> for strategic advantage.
> (3) These examples, and the shift away from the term "decision" to
> "precedent"
> and "holding," prevent the abusive "distinguish" c-plan.
> |  (4) These examples virtually eliminate PIC's. Of course there will
> always be
> PIC's but the alternative, the lists as written with a "community
> consensus"
> that the affirmaitve must overrule the entire decsion, makes PIC's a
> guaranteed
> win for the negatives.
> |  (5) These examples are manageable for a small team, or for a program
> that
> has a lot of novices or JV debaters. it meets the "three tub" principle.
> |  (6) These examples provide a clear reason for decision for the judge.
> Either
> she agrees that the S.Court should rule the death penalty is
> unconstitutional in
> all cases, or she does not. She is not deciding whether Mr. Gregg had
> standing
> to sue under the 14th amendment versus the 8th amendment.
> |  (7) This gives the negative clear, case specific, ground to research
> and to
> |  formulate strategies. Heaven forbid a team actually write a case-hit
> again!
> I went back and read the topic papers posted on the topic blog/site. I was
> distressed to see theat virtually every one of my arguments were raised in
> those papers--but for some reason they were ignored by the Topic
> Committee. Nothing I have written is a "new argument in rebuttals," or
> "after
> the decsion of the CEDA voters.
> What is Jason and others so afraid of? Democratic choice? Why not place
> one
> version of the topic that is similar to the examples I have given on the
> offical ballot. If it loses, it loses. But, what happens if it wins. Is
> that
> what you are afraid of?
> Jason then does a nice, but futile, attempt at "smoke and mirrors--a
> rhetorical
> slieght of hand. "Its the process that is flawed--yeah, that's the ticket!
> We
> should reform the topic selection process AFTER everyone debates a crappy
> topic
> for a year." LOL That is a real hoot. I have a counter-porposal. It is
> called a
> PERMUTATION. (1) Re-write one list topic specifying the
> precedents/holdings
> that are to be overturned in those cases already listed. Place that one
> revised
> lsit on the ballot. (2) Reform the Topic Committe Process. (You should all
> go
> see "Thank You for Smoking," the hack for the tobacco industry does the
> same
> type of deflection as Jason attempts.)
> Jason then states that the topics will have no effect on critical
> affirmaitves,
> so the topic does not matter anyway. I agree that critical affirmatives
> may
> ignore the resolutions. But that is why "resolutionality," rather than
> "topicality" should be a voting issue. It is in no way a justification for
> poorly worded topics. Second, the topics do matter to those who run
> traditional
> policy cases. Third, the suggested examples I have given provide room for
> critical affriamtives to be topical. Look, if you cannot run a critical
> affirmative based on Gregg or on Casey, using the precedents I have cited,
> then
> you need to find another line of work/play. Fourth, I think the examples I
> have
> given actually strengthen the negative's hand against critical cases that
> are
> not topical--by saying there is plenty of room within these resolutions
> for you
> to develop a critical perspective. Fifth, just about any criticism you
> have of
> my examples cutting against critical affirmatives are "not-unique" to my
> examples, --they will usually apply to the case lists as written.
> One last point. There is a common argument that for the committee to go
> back and
> make changes will cut into their vacation time. My response--other than so
> what-- is I have given you numerous examples examples that you can place
> on the
> ballot by simply cutting and pasting into a word document. My estimate is
> that
> the TC could do this in as little at five minutes, including editing. If
> they
> want to "debate about," they could do it in 2 hours. Folks, this ain't
> "rocket
> surgery."
> Scott
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