[eDebate] Andy, The issue is not creativity within a topic--but whether you have a burden to affirm the topic

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Wed Jun 27 09:19:11 CDT 2007


Simple: Because it was not agreed to by both teams in advance. If prior to the
round, both teams agree. The I am o.k. with that. But for you to unilaterally
get to choose the resolution and impose it on the negative, seems
"super-abusive" to me.

Scott

Quoting Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com>:

> I think i am arguing for stricter application of it as a concept. I think
> ken sherwood is arguing that his students have been put in a box where
> creativity is the only way out...why is it ok to assault the topics validity
> by hiding in an unforseen corner of it, but not ok to offer another topic
> that you will be willing to be bound by.
>
> On 6/27/07, scottelliott at grandecom.net <scottelliott at grandecom.net> wrote:
> >
> > That is why  I bitch and complin so much when poorly worded topics are
> > drafted.
> > That is why, when I am writing a topic paper on solving global warming,
> > alomst
> > a year in advance, I am more concerned with topic wording than on finding
> > and
> > explaining the a problem area.
> >
> > Two examples; Everyone says, Gee we should debate Mid-East policy. Then
> > they
> > have two or three days to craft resolutions on one of the most complicated
> > topic areas ever. Next year, everyone will, for some reason, say Yeah,
> > let's
> > debate Relations with South America, but will have the same difficulty
> > crafting
> > meaningful resolutions in just two days.
> >
> > Finding cases within a resolution that are "super abusive" is the function
> > of a
> > poorly worded resolution. But that does not deny the original issue that
> > topicality, as a concept, should be a voting issue.
> >
> > Frankly, I would love to debate Resolved: The United States should remove
> > all or
> > nearly all troops from Iraq.
> >
> > Quoting Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com>:
> >
> > > My argument is that all the aff flex permitted under  current
> > resolutions IS
> > > the problem, Many of your examples prove my point about arguments that
> > > intentionaly skew and muddle research ground being permitted by simply
> > > having the aff give a performative nod to the topic, "i at least  have
> > an
> > > intepration" aff that you either a) could have never guessed or b) sets
> > you
> > > up to turn all of your opponents args are super abusive. The ones you
> > point
> > > out distract more i feel from the good debate at the core of the topic
> > than
> > > simply debating iraq...but i get your argument...
> > >
> > > On 6/27/07, scottelliott at grandecom.net <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > I want to clarify one point Andy brought up. Creativity within a
> > chosen
> > > > resolution is fine with me. In fifteen years of coaching and judging
> > > > debates, I
> > > > can literally count on one hand the times I actually voted negative on
> > a
> > > > topicality violation. In fact, i can only remember voting for T once
> > in
> > > > the
> > > > past ten years. It was an impressive T debate that I still use as an
> > > > example to
> > > > students. (Emory vs. miami on the issue of whether a carbon tax was a
> > > > "regulation")
> > > >
> > > > These Mid-East resolutions, because they are so flawed, make it
> > extremely
> > > > easy
> > > > for affirmatives to offer interpretations of the resolutuon that were
> > not
> > > > intended by the Topic Committee. While I am sure they all want us to
> > > > debate the
> > > > "Grand Bargain" with Iran, almost literally word for word the terms of
> > the
> > > > resolution, there is still plenty of room for people to debate
> > important
> > > > issues--just as important as getting out of Iraq, or whether we should
> > > > wipeout
> > > > smallpox as a species.
> > > >
> > > > One quick example: Some people riduculed my question of whether
> > > > governments in
> > > > exile would be topical. Well, given that the PLA now has two decidely
> > > > distinct
> > > > governments, would anybody suggest that a case for constructive
> > engagment
> > > > with
> > > > Abbas, the West bank PLA government would not be topical? There is
> > PLENTY
> > > > of
> > > > literature on the subject. And, of course, it turns the hell out of
> > any
> > > > Israel
> > > > disads. Alternatively, Jimmy Carter is calling for constructive
> > engagement
> > > > with
> > > > the PLA government of Hamas in Gaza. Would that also be topical? So
> > now
> > > > there
> > > > are two topical cases--CE with the "government of the PLA" that are,
> > in
> > > > fact,
> > > > mutually exclusive (I'd love to see the plan versus counter-plan
> > debate,
> > > > one
> > > > takes Fatah, the other takes Hamas for a real throw down).
> > > >
> > > > The government of Syria refuses to recognize that a soveriegn
> > government
> > > > of
> > > > Lebanon exists. Does engagement with the controlling factions of
> > Lebanon
> > > > really
> > > > constitute engagement with the government of Lebanon?
> > > >
> > > > Is Hamas a "government" because it controls territory in Gaza? They
> > did
> > > > win the
> > > > election by the way.  If so, does Hamas in Lebanon constitute a
> > > > "government" of
> > > > Lebanon, given that they control certain land areas and political
> > > > districts of
> > > > southern Lebanon?
> > > >
> > > > Notice that the resolutuions to be voted on do not say "national
> > > > governments
> > > > of..." It just says "government of"..... Does this mean we can work
> > with
> > > > the
> > > > Iranian Caspian Sea conservation district to save the sturgeons
> > without
> > > > necessarily having to engage the National Government being run by
> > people
> > > > calling for the extermination of Israel?
> > > >
> > > > That is just a play on the term "government."
> > > >
> > > > "foriegn aid" and "security guarantees" have huge amoutns of room for
> > the
> > > > teams
> > > > willing to put it on the line. I would tell you, but I want to have a
> > few
> > > > cases
> > > > left to run this Fall.
> > > >
> > > > The issue for me, and I bet for Ken and Jim and others, has NEVER been
> > > > whether
> > > > teams should be able to creatively interpret, or creatively affirm the
> > > > resolution. The only only issue is that they actually affirm the the
> > > > resolution, either through a plan, or through some other form of
> > > > affirmation.
> > > > This provides everyone-aff., neg., and the judge, with a clear
> > starting
> > > > point
> > > > for discussion and debate. And, if the affirmative chooses to use
> > their
> > > > time to
> > > > affirm something other than the resolution, they should not pick up
> > the
> > > > ballot.
> > > >
> > > > Scott
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
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> >
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