[eDebate] To be blunt

Josh jbhdb8
Tue Jul 17 18:21:21 CDT 2007

Give me a bit of a break here Eric,

My parents were poor, I qualified for a magnet school by testing well.  For
my entire childhood we lived above a dry cleaners in NYC where my Dad worked
four jobs so we could live and eat.

I did not start debate until I was a sophmore and didnt go to a camp until I
was a junior (Trinity - not a Elite Factory) and I paid for that with money
I raised working after school and during summers. Before our squad (three of
whom went on to college debate) we were primarily known as an LD school.  I
did, somehow, manage to get to the Wake Forest Institute before my senior
year and learned a TON.  That was a privledge and it made a huge difference
in my ability to debate in college.  We were also all lucky to get a really
great policy coach my senior year.

I did get very lucky in my first chance by having great coaches like Sherry
Hall and Sue Stanfield and Mark Deloach....All of them helped a TON.  That
was a privledge as well.  Obviously, I had great teammates and coaches at
UCO.  That was a privledge and I was lucky to be there.

Now, why you would go to the ad homs about my background...not sure, you
know I went through a lot..Had a lot of problems....Have demons....Why you
acting like you are the only person who understands the pain of the world.
I know you have done all that stuff too...But stop playing class warrior
with me...we have known each other too long.

You say:  If objective proof is our standard then that just shows how
bankrupt and culturally
marginalizing this activity is.

JBH: I am probably crazy here but what is this mumbo jumbo.....Now we are
supposed to declare civil war based on feelings?  Really?

EM: Josh casts me as denigrating the accomplishments of Regis and Wyoming.
This is a total mischaracterization.  Both of these schools would have
succeeded despite the lack of a cooperative.  You said it yourself
Josh, good coaches with motivated debaters will succeed despite all
obstacles.  Is this the standard that we want to aspire to though?

JBH: All of the people from those schools talked about how much the
cooperative helped with their success that year.  Yes, having great coaches
working there probably helped....Not sure I get your point...It was a
cooperative, great coaches worked at it, people improved.  That was Matt's

EM: Interesting that Josh does not coach novice debate EVER, but is full of
advice for others about how to be more successful at it.  Walk a mile
in our shoes, then come back to me with proposals and I will give them
credence.  Having coached literally hundreds of novices, I can tell you
that only by changing the system in ways that makes the activity more
accessible to everyone will policy debate thrive.

JBH: Once again, you should probably read a bit more carefully.  I have
actually coached novices.  At one point I coached a program that was very
novice heavy.  My point is that I am not as good at it.....Not that I am

novices. I quite specifically said that the topic and the topic process has
a value and that teaching elite debaters ALSO has a value and that we should
work together to try to make a system that works for all of us.  I
explicitly went out of my way to show you respect and ask for middle
ground...Your response, ad-hominem attacks on me.  Great.

EM:  BTW CEDA survived
and thrived for over a decade debating nothing but policy topics.

JBH: Yup, not sure I get your point on that one.

EM: You can't seriously believe that the merger has been good for the
community.  There is not one shred of your "proof" that can possibly
support this conclusion.  I have talked to the man that gave you your
second chance in debate and he straight told me that he doesn't know
how we compete.  He says that we are at the same place he was in 1989
but there is no CEDA for us to switch over to and be competitive.

JBH: Yes, its hard as hell to be competitive....Try it when you have NO
budget and have to give up your entire summer to raise one and then spend
the whole year teaching kids and cutting cards....Its a real HOOT..Believe
it or not, niether member of my current top team were high school superstars
(although Adam did qualify for the TOC his senior year).  We work really
really hard to compete...and raise a budget.  Why is it I am wrong to put in
this work?  Why should I hate my debaters for being successful....Why should
I say "what your doing has no value."  Are you serious?  I talk to "the man
who gave me my second chance" every few months and have since I left. I
think I have a better than decent handle on his feelings.

As to your questions about the community.  Once again, your historical
memory is off.....This all happened BEFORE the merger...The same four
schools dominated every tournament....Programs were leaving in droves.
Start whatever community you want and it will happen again and again and
again.  Topics are not the problem.

EM:  Josh, I have know you since we were both in high school and you have
always existed at the most privileged pinnacle of debate and academia.
>From your stint at the magnet school to your job today, there has never
been a time when you have had to deal with anything but the top level
of debate, so I understand your desire to maintain your position.  But
I tell you this, as a friend, if we don't find a way to make our
activity more accessible, your position of privilege won't exist much

JBH: Thanks for that.....Good to hear...If that is true, why cant you muster
the votes to change the process?  The majority agrees with Topics and with
the SQ.   I do appreciate the history lesson on myself.

EM: I agree that what we do has tons of value.  That does not mean that it
can't be made to be more valuable to all of us.

JBH: Cool, sketch out what is so different about the world as you suggest it
should be....You cant be troubled with proof?

EM: Will's championships prove what I had already said.  We didn't need the
merger to prove how valuable CEDA was.  We were already there.  Unless
it is your contention that the merger magically made Mich. State
debaters better, they didn't need the NDT to prove their value.

JBH: No, my point was that Will enthusiastically disagrees with what you are
saying....I know this because I have had long discussions with him on the
subject.  He believes that the best way to success is a) Raising your game
(learning whatever you dont know) b) Building into your program whatever it
lacks and c) Working your butt off.  BUT, he is a former CEDA person and did
win two NDTs.

I really cannot believe how fast you went negative on me dude....I was
really trying not to do that this time.

Finally, I have no problem with what Ede said, I believe in Democracy...yes,
even when I lose (notice I am not in Canada currently).

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