[eDebate] Ag topic and Russia (AT: Monte)
Wed Apr 23 01:43:46 CDT 2008
Re: cedablog topic at
>>>"Advantage/area discussion? Uhm, ok, Im game. Give it a shot?
We've not had a Russia topic either, in spite of its dramatic
significance to everything, including global agriculture. And, as
I recall, there were at least 6 affs on last years constructive
engagement topic that dealt with ag. The energy topic for sure had
dramatic ag intersections. The Europe topic did as well. This
argument is, frankly, sophomoric."
I think people are overstating the "dramatic significance to
everything" Russia has. Yes, Russia is big and bad and has tons of
nukes. There would be some cool advantages. But I don't think a
Russia topic somehow accesses everything under the sun and then
some. There are advantages to solely focusing on pressing domestic
issues with global implications. Let's not forget the agriculture
topic is not hurting for advantage areas. Agriculture accesses
environmental advantages of every kind, domestic and global
economic advantages, trade advantages, global poverty and wealth
disparity advantages, energy advantages, relations advantages
(esp. Brazil and G-20), etc. This isn't the courts topic (which I
actually liked, by the way).
Agriculture affs on the middle east topic? You'll have to remind
me what these were. I think some people read a farm bill politics
disad. Maybe you're referring to the opium eradication affs? I
think it's safe to say the topic paper goes in a completely
different direction. Contrast this to the fact that almost every
area of the topic last year had a Russian containment disad, or
some sort of possible Russia advantage. Our aff had a Russian
containment good scenario all year, and I know we weren't the only
ones (Starr evidence, anyone?)
Also, I think Cormack more or less addressed the Europe problems.
Europe had 20 different topics in it that were tangentially
related. The amount of agriculture debates were few and far in
between and the agriculture topic never received the thorough
investigation it warrants. Also, the only people still debating
that debated Europe would be fifth years this coming season.
>>>"Finally, a comment. I think this paper looks better than it is
in reality, especially relating to neg ground. The disads are all
politics/econ, which are, literally, ensured on every topic in the
history of debate. They are "the reasons things dont get done" and
not "the reasons we choose topics". We should look for a central
area of reasonable controversy over intrinsic disadvantages to the
topic area, of which there are none unique to agricultural
subsidies except the two most generic disads of all time. All of
your remaining 12 econ disads are still, in the end, econ disads.
So, thanks, but no thanks."
AT: politics disads- so what? Politics is inevitable every year.
The elections links and PC links for farm subsidies are amazing.
It's probably the most political issue of any the topics minus
maybe health care. Might as well make politics less contrived if
AT: only econ disads- wrong. The topic paper outlines many
different disads and is one of the few papers to actually provide
full generic neg sections with evidence. You've got trade
credibility (which really doesn't have to do with the econ),
hegemony arguments, competitiveness (which is sorta similar to
econ, but has completely different link and internal link
stories), food security, relations disads, etc.
Also, what exactly is the impact to having more econ disads? I
think it's time we start having more, and better economy debates,
especially if we're starting to head into a recession. These
disads aren't exactly your standard "biz con bad" contrived
scenarios either. Forget that "most generic disad of all time"
junk. We're talking about policies that would have *significant*
impacts on world food prices and state economies. Not to mention
the potential impact on energy markets, investments, global free
trade and the Doha Round, etc. Sure, there might've been some
econ disads last year... but none that really went deeper than
reading a Bearden card. If there's a substantial and intricate
economy debate to be had, I say we should have it.
>>>"Also, these CPs are weak at best. Conditions, no thanks. That
CP is not competitive, and conditions CPs are literally inevitable
on any topic not a uniquely educational or balancing function of
this topic. Also, the nearly all cap on virtually any topic means
that your "do less" CP prolly doesnt compete. No one is going to
write into their plan a specific benchmark. Welcome to modern
I think the topic paper does one of the best jobs of outlining some
of the specific CPs that would be available. I mean, the Russia
paper doesn't even really outline what some of the generic CPs
would be. I'm worried that it would be another year of consult.
Maybe there are some other good specific CPs (I legitimately don't
know). However, agriculture has a substantial debate in the lit
over the effect of caps vs. complete removal. 'Nearly all' is not
the same as just cutting a couple bucks, which a lot of lit says
is enough to get the ball rolling. I am told that people didn't
really have competition problems on the Europe topic when
caps/limits CPs were read.
The condition CPs absolutely compete- most of the trade credibility
disads are contingent on people freaking out because we don't work
out a deal with the EU first and make them reciprocate. Condition
CPs are inevitable, but they usually take the form of bad consult
CPs whose competition is contrived from some card that never really
says "X country wants to be genuinely, prior, binding, truthfully,
consulted about issue X." On the other hand, there is good lit
that specific deals (usually regarding either manufacturing or
beef tariffs) with the EU are necessary to solve and key to
avoiding trade disads to getting the Doha round talks running again.
Plus, let's not forget the other CPs we researched as well- there's
a good EU counterplan, increase subsidies for other crops CP,
remove other trade barriers CP, etc.
>>>"With these criticisms noted, the topic appears to be some aff
suggestions with very little negative ground provided. In my mind,
topics should start with some interests in negative ground and
move later to the affs, not vice versa. I believe a lot of people
I think that's a view that probably has to be justified. Are you
seriously suggesting we just go find a cool disad and think of ways
we can write topics so we can read those disads? Then we get
problems like the courts topic, where there aren't really any
solvency advocates and the neg wins most rounds on artificial CPs
like distinguish. I think instead we should be worried about
good, specific aff proposals in the literature that actually have
solvency advocates. The neg will find ways to win. It's not like
we're debating in the pre politics/CP/K/consult era.
Finally, I want to say I don't have any real problem with the
Russia topic. I think it's a pretty cool foreign policy topic.
But if Russia is voted on, some students will have debated THREE
of their four years on foreign policy. Their ONE domestic topic
would've been the courts topic. I think that if we have the
opportunity to debate a timely domestic issue that is also very
debatable in the context of the game, it outweighs a foreign policy
topic. Vote agriculture.
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