[eDebate] quit whining - answer the question!

Martin Harris mharris02
Thu Jun 14 14:50:11 CDT 2007

Jackie on June 14th:


I am not saying USFG as actor is repugnant, nowhere have I said this in recent memory. ...


Your are such a negotiating freedom fighter Josh. Thanks for the help, but i never said we dont need USFG as an actor. In 
previous years i have questioned the need for this actor, but i wasnt even one of the people wanting china to be the actor last 

And your question was? 


Jackie on May 30th:


My TOP TEN reasons why i love this topic! ...

9 - U.S. as savior - we will do it right this time! 




Maybe I don?t get it, but it certainly read like your complaint 2 weeks ago was the USFG as an actor in all topics. I remembered it because it started me thinking about whether a more parli style R: This house should... resolution would work in policy. I decided it wouldn?t since US key cards will hedge against all alternate actor cplans when aff, but those same cards wouldn?t be offense (net benefits) for a US actor cplan against an alternate agent aff, and having to research nearly infinite agents would be a near impossible research burden if required to have carded evidence against them. So, my question is 1) what do you want the alternate topic to look like? 2) why do these perennial discussions always seem to happen in the weeks after the ballot is released but before voting and not the weeks BEFORE the topic committee meetings?


You say the topic committee doesn?t listen, and I wasn?t there the year you went, but I have been to numerous other topic committee meetings, and while you may think they are out to get the [insert whatever name you want for OU, Fullerton, Fort, Louisville, Towson... kind of teams] my experience wasn?t that at all. To be honest, on the treaties topic I tried to make a suggestion on phrasing with regards to SORT in a way that might ?box? in Fort Hayes and both Mancuso and Repko immediately said that had long given up worrying about hemming in Fort Hayes. They calculated that they would do what they want to do and ?rules? weren?t going to effect them. I don?t think any of the topic members phrase topics in a way to jack kritikal ground. Even Repko (yes I realize he isn?t on the committee anymore)  made some args last month about the need for more aff flex and topics becoming overly constrained. None of the choices on the current slate seem to dictate your plan. Hell, some of them seem to be multiple topics in one. What I HAVE experienced for the topic committee is the need for viable alternatives to address concerns of research burdens. I.E., when outrounds at the NDT/CEDA Nats start to happen how many NEW affs will people have ready to go? I understand aff flex to allow voice, but aff flex ALSO allows people to win by default. How do you propose to capture the flex YOU want and screen out the massive disadvantage people that choose to go straight case face when debating a brand new aff? And why is it that people think the ability to win because you opponent has nothing to say is respectable, much less necessary for ?small? schools to have competitive advantage? Is that the best we can hope for? I need an affirmative where the oppossing team is absolutely unprepared to win? That is what I should strive for? That is some fascinating debate there. 


I debated the middle east the last time it was around, and I don?t think it was framed well at all. The topic went the trend of the status quo so it nonuniqued almost all generic neg argument. Not to mention, the ?budget category? definitions include dozens, maybe hundreds, of mechanisms. Our NDT aff BOUGHT weapons systems FROM Israel. We didn?t lose that case once on topicality the three tournaments we ran it, but it certainly jacked the crap out of most people?s generic neg strats. Inherency was 4 minutes of status quo assistance/wmd programs (nonuniqued all your generic BMD/Sec Assistance bad arguments), and included 4 advantages that had taco to do with the middle east. People would spend 4 minutes reading no risk of Middle East war against the aff because that is all the generic research they had, and we wouldn?t answer a card because it answered none of our advantages. Fun for me, not so much for the people we debated. Why did we do it? Strategic as hell, and I let Fritch talk me in to stop walking into people?s files if I didn?t have to.


I have heard you wax nostalgic for the days of CEDA yore and while there were some fun times I also remember the schools who ran a new case every week, sometimes once in prelims, new in outs. I can?t count the number of strats I cut (for all my ex coaches, I did say CUT, not BLOCKED) that never got read because the second a team got wind that we might have some case specific neg they switched affs. How does your alts help create limits/space for ?traditional? debaters to operate in that arena?


That is the second rub. A debater like Martin Osbourne probably agrees with your personal politics more than you will ever know, but prefers to debate about stuff he doesn?t necessarily believe in. Trust me when I say I doubt anyone can reasonably accuse Martin of being a lover of the state or the ?man.? His personal politics have probably cost him more than any other debater I know with exception to maybe David McDonald. OU gets to debate kritikal 8 times a tournament in prelims. If Martin draws OU he gets maybe 7. Add Fullerton, Louisville and Idaho State to his draw and he is down to 4. I hate english, love math. Love science, not as much theater (not personally anyway). I like football, not so much baseball. I don?t disrespect English, I just prefer not to do it. I don?t roll into my poetry class and insist on presenting a calculus proof. Not because I don?t think calculus is important, but because that is not what THAT class is about. Likewise, I expect people in my poli comm seminar to talk about political communication. If I wanted to take philosophy of the mind, I would have signed up for that course. Why shouldn?t people be able to choose what style and format that pick to engage in? When Jim Hanson makes calls for policy only tournaments he isn?t saying you suck, he is saying that isn?t his cup of tea. Why is it that people can?t respect that? If I were to ask people what was wrong with the nazis, I think 99/100 the answer would relate to something about killing 6 million + jews and nearly eradicating the Romas from the planet. Controlling education is probably a couple of steps up from them eating meat and drinking water (also activities that nazis engaged in so I guess we should all just stop eating and breathing if we want to be anti-nazi). I?ll conclude with one of my favorite quotes from Jon Stewart.


?Please stop calling people Hitler. It demeans you. It demeans your opponent. And to be honest, it demeans Hitler. That guy worked too many years, too hard to be that evil, to have just any tom dick and harry come along and say ?You?re being Hitler??. You know who was Hitler, HITLER.?



Martin Harris
Systems Engineer ? Desktop Architecture

Technology Services - Drury University 
Office Phone: (417) 873-7497


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