[eDebate] Pluratity and other nonsense

Kelly Young kel1773
Wed May 23 22:39:21 CDT 2007

Apparently I have become the asshole that represents the topic
committee. Scott just called me a Nazi, which is f@#%ing bullshit, but
whatever, Scott can say what he wants since he is ignorant that we
asked for wording papers and input for a month and he chose to response
in the last 24 hours while ignoring the wealth of discussion and papers that we released during the process (well, and he was the first to call me an asshole,
numbnutz etc when I responded to unsubstantiated claims).  Of course I am waiting for the grant Korcok posts since he offered zero response to the working resolutions while we worked on them (at least Scott offered commentary on them during the process rather than after).

Anyway, I feel as though Beth raises some reasonable questions, so I
will respond as to how I best remember the committee's discussion, but
reserve the right to not speak for the entire committee (if I am
incorrect, please any of the other committee members or observers
please follow up):

1) the second and fourth resolutions say 'them' (plural) referring to
government (singular).  I think usually the pronoun used to refer to a
single government is 'its.'  Wondering what the rationale for that is.

Yes, we actually had about a 30 minute to hour conversation about this with both Chairs of English departments and a book editor. All of those sources agreed that "them" is an aesthetically awkward way to refer to either singular or plural. We were trying to avoid saying "its" because we said "one or more of the following". We didnt want the second half of the resolutions to be singular to infer that you could only do CE towards one nation.
2) if you offer a security guarantee to, for instance, Iran and the PA, does
it have to be the same security guarantee?

No, that is why we worded the resolution to be "guarantees(s). You cyould conceivably offer different CEs to both Syria and Iran. The only place we tried to control some directionality on this issue was in relation to including Israel. The reason for "trilateral" was in hopes that the aff made a proportional s guarantee to Israel and PA/Syria or Iran. 3) seems like one way to read the resolutions that include the 'only of
offering' wording (#3 for instance) is that your constructive engagement
should a) consist only of offering a trilateral SG or b) consist only of a
bilateral SG (the difference being that a) is only an offer and b) is the SG
Yes, these resolutions are meant to be only security guarantee affirmatives. Since a trilateral and bilateral offer basically overlaps on this topic, it would allow the aff to offer the s guarantee to Israel and one other nation (read Syria or PA or Iran). As i have posted on the CEDA topic blog, the offer is still a solid commitment from the aff plan---they have to guarantee that the US has made the offer--if not, the nag should be able to school them out of the INC. The wording should not be read as allowing a highly conditional plan. The literature uses the term "offer" a guarantee to ensure that the affirmative doesn't do something like place troops in Golan/Gaza without first receiving agreements from Israel and Syria/PA.
4) if it is only an offer can the plan mandate the US following through on
the offer? especially when it must consist "only of" a security guarantee or

Yes, the plan must guarantee that it follows through IF the target nation meets the conditions to receive the guarantees. The reason we used the wording "constructive engagement" is because it suggests a diplomatic quid pro quo exchange of offer for demands. If Syria says "hell no", then the affirmative does not have to place troops on Golan. Smart affs will have to include "syria/Israel" whomever will say yes to plan.
5) do you already have to have constructive engagement in order to increase
it? do you have to have the particular type of constructive engagement -
security guarantees or foreign assistance - that is specified by the rest of
the resolution?

We discussed this for a while. The age old bad T debate that "increase" means to "build upon". We used the "increase" language because for the majority of the topic nations--e.g., Syria, PA, Iran--we have zero C Engagement now. Thus the easy T answer should be "we are a 100% increase in CE from the SQ". Obviously with Egypt and Afghanistan, we have some level of engagment now, so the increase is even easier to measure.
KellyKelly M. Young, Ph.D.
Director of Forensics/
Assistant Professor
Communication Department
Wayne State University
585 Manoogian Hall
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 577-2953
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