[eDebate] Andy's response to Rashad

Josh Branson harobran
Wed Apr 9 16:13:37 CDT 2008


I won't waste everyone's time by arguing over a debate that took place 7 years ago....awww, sure I will:

1.  It was a 4-1.  See, five judge panels are part of the reasno that I think the NDT is better.  It reduces the chance that an aberrant decision could end someone's career.  (One person can make a wacky decision, but it's less likely that 3 will.  Pretty cool when you get that in the prelims, too).

2.  I don't remember the panel all that well.  The only three I remember are Adam Symonds (A++ preferred by us, CEDA, and voted for you), Corey Stoughton (for Catholic, maybe?) and David Magariel (who I think went pretty far at CEDA on his own).  While a lot of the NDT old guard watched that debate (which makes sense given it was the CEDA champs in a big quarters round), I don't remember any being on the panel.  If you have some specific complaints about judges and how they got it wrong, take it up with them.  Or take it up here on the internet.  It's entirely up to you.

3.  We said vaccines good.  We read cards from the Duke Medical Center, the NIH, etc.  You know, doctors.  People who actually know a thing or two about actual medicine.  You said vaccines bad.  You read cards by anonymous midwives who posted on the internet.  I remember commenting during that debate that you didn't read the qualifications for your cards because you were too embarassed.  I also remember this argument resonating with a few (maybe 4?) judges.  If, seven years later, there's some new, qualified evidence saying vaccines are bad, feel free to send it to me.  But your arguments were absolutely smashed by the medical community.  It wasn't close.  (And your attempt to say we read a Sacramento Bee card is laughable, if not delusional-- you can say I'm a fraud, arrogant, and despicable (and you're probably right), but you can't say that I'm dumb enough to write an aff that says vaccines are good and to roll to *my last NDT ever* only with evidence from the Sacto Bee saying vaccines are good).

4.  Your jokes about eggs are funny.  Then again, you always did have a flair for the dramatic.  Substance?  Not so much.  The egg argument, to explain it briefly, was this: you said vaccines are bad because a portion of the live attenuated virus is necessary for the vaccine to work.  That can mean that vaccines spread illness because, in layman's terms so that you can understand Rashad, every time you get a flu shot, a lil' bit of the live flu gets put in you.  We argued that your cards assumed a past form of vaccine manufacturing that ignored modern safety and sanitation methods, including flash pastuerization of the animal protein that contains the live attenuated virus.  (This card, I believe, was by someone from the NIH.  Again, you brought a midwife to the table).  The scramble, fry, etc., joke was a bit of 2AR drama that explained why your argument was wrong.  We explained that the chicken egg containing the LAV was sterilized so that the live vaccine died.  In short, no more bad stuff to be put in your body when you get a shot. Part of the reason you lost is you had no response to this argument.  Not that you can change anything now, but if you've come up with one in the past seven years, please send it along.

5.  Your argument is an insult to nontraditional debaters everywhere.  Something I admire a lot about nontraditional debaters is that they take their arguments personally and live them out in their every day lives.  Tell me, if you ever have children (or if you do now), will you have them vaccinated?  When you have control over another life, and its exposure to diseases that, while curable, could also be life threatening, will you vaccinate them or will you side with midwives who post anonymously on the internet over Duke, NIH, doctors, etc.?  When you realize that your child's lack of vaccination can cause a wildfire of disease to spread through other children who may also lose their lives to an illness, will you still risk other children's lives and not have your kids vaccinated?

6.  That quarters debate was good, and close, but ultimately you lost.  And I wouldn't hesitate to say that part of the reason you lost is that your style of debate (and by that I mean lightning fast blathering of indecipherable words that you contend constitute an "argument") made many of the judges (a) tend not to believe that you ever made arguments you claim you made and (b) diminished your credibility on crucial issues, such as qualifications.  Your partner gave a great 2NR.  A legendary 2NR.  But even the best 2NR can't change science.

As for everything else you said, I'm content to fade into obscurity.  I have no doubt that you're a phenomenal lawyer at a great big firm.  I have no doubt that you went to a great law school and excelled in your coursework.  (How nontraditional of you, by the way....)  But I don't care about individual debates that happened years ago, except for this quarters round of which I am particularly proud.

My CEDA joke was posted on a dare while watching the final four.  It riled up some people.  No one's come out and argued that CEDA is a better tournament than the NDT, of course.  A number of people have flamed me.  (So far I'm an obscure lawyer toiling away on lawsuits against real estate agents because I couldn't get into Iowa law because I'm an elitist monkey that only Hingstman could teach how to debate).  More people than that have gotten in touch with me, and it's been nice reconnecting with them.  I could get into more arguments with you and others about why the NDT is better than CEDA (hint: my arguments have nothing to do with elitism and everything to do with math-- no qualification requriements means more teams; more teams means more judges; more judges thins the pool, allowing random and abberrant decisions to be made; also results in more elims, such as quad-octos, where random abberrant decisions are made (a complaint oft voiced by Jason Russell, whose reply to me is my personal favorite)-- and the fact that the idea that the NDT old guard crowns a champion is downright laughable when the CEDA final is literally judged by the 11 division leaders whereas the NDT utilizes mutual preference judging and *none* of the committee old guard are on the panel).  But arguing with you and others is like pissing in the wind.  You won't change my mind.  I won't change yours.  And at this point, I have very little reason to care how debate, as an activity, ends up.  Maybe that makes me a bad person, maybe it doesnt.  I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons why I'm a bad person.

Either way, it's not a victory lap if you're stopped a quarter of the way through.  Glad I could help.


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