[eDebate] [Nick] Ag 2008-2009

Cameron T. Norris cameron.t.norris
Wed Apr 23 23:20:50 CDT 2008

Nick asked me to forward this:

Calum/Russell have done a pretty good job of pointing out something I'm sure
no one in this community has figured out: Russia has alot of nukes. Alot of
big nukes. In fact, if you didn't catch on to that whole "Cold War" thing -
Russia's nukes could destroy the planet.

I was just as shocked as the rest of you to find that out. However, I think
that Russell gets so aroused by all the Russian missiles is probably an
independent reason to reject.

1. Haven't figured out what a nuclear weapon is? Haven't realized that the
big war with Russia that's been coming for 60 years isn't going to come?
Want to read Nyquist's articles every week? Vote Russia.

2. Interested in discussing whether or not we're turning the planet into a
giant wasteland? Think that people starving around the globe just *might* be
important to talk about? Maybe you're just sick of watching cows killed?
Vote Ag.

My main goal is to defend Ag. I think it's a pretty sweet topic, and some of
the posters on here haven't given it due justice.

Alot of the args against Ag boil down to it's too aff biased.

A big objection is the economy DA. Apparantly, there are 17 DAs with an econ
impact (all ultimately the same, somehow...I guess that means any DA with a
Russia impact is the same too?) Would this DA be apart of alot of generic
neg strats? Yes. Reason to reject Ag? Just the opposite. As our Econ major
on the squad constantly points out, alot of debaters view the economy one
dimensionally (spending bad). There's alot more too it than that though. Do
I really need to point out that the complexity and dynamism of the economy
can make for some really interesting and creative DAs that make for fun
debates? The topic paper cites state economy DAs. Maybe not the most solid
position, but I think the point of their inclusion was to demonstrate how
diverse and unique some of the debates could be. These are not going to be
your average "Deficit spending bad!" debates. Is there a uniqueness
question? Well obviously. But someone's always predicting its going to get
better. Maybe the next President will turn it around. Who knows? Impact
uniqueness seems like hardly a reason to reject a topic.

There's certainly plenty of debate to be had. An article in the economist
(which ultimately concludes against economic growth), predicts: *More
controversial is the question of how long the weakness will last. Not very,
Mr Bernanke told Congress. Growth will strengthen in the second half of the
year, **nourished by lower interest rates and the fiscal package. In 2009,
he suggested, the economy would be growing "at or a little above" its trend
rate*, which the Fed is thought to put at around 2.5%. *Many investors seem
to agree that the downturn will be short as well as shallow. Share prices
have recovered* since the Bear Stearns rescue, even as economic statistics
have been gloomy. *The S&P 500* stockmarket index *is around 5% higher than
it was a couple of weeks ago and is still only 13% below its all-time high.

I don't mean to go overboard defending the economy DA, but I think it's
absurd that debates that have them will be boring. Let's make one thing
clear: if you want to run the econ DA, do it. But its by no means necessary.
There are still plenty of other DA options.

Food prices DA - sweet DA. Seriously. Food riots have started across the
globe. If we repealed subsidies, alot of ev says that would cause massive
disruptions, alot of violence and starvation. I imagine there are some
pretty great impacts to be reached. Dependent on the eco? Sort of, I guess.
But I don't think you can non-unique a starvation DA with "economy down now"
- debate is alot more nuanced than that.

Food Security - also a good DA. How its related to the eco? Who knows? Maybe
eco being down and food prices rising puts our food security at risk? Sounds
like an interesting debate to be had.

Trade Cred - It used to win rounds. There are people that write about it. A
lot of people. Enough said.

The DAs in the paper are generic to all aff areas. But c'mon - the lit on ag
subsidies is pretty deep. If you can't come up with a specific DA to cutting
ethanol or cotton subsidies..seriously? The aff areas of the paper talk
about how cutting subsidies for a certain set of crops could affect many
others. I'm not sure, but it seems like there will be plenty of interesting
debates not focused on an econ or 'tix DA.

Case debates are going to be sweet. The Ag people have alot of big
thinktanks and deep pockets, and they've funded a bunch of studies that say
subsidies are a good thing. Russell points out that "People will also have
cases on the Russia topic." While that's insightful, I think the point the
Ag people have continually made is that there is really developed literature
that's very specific to Ag affs. From what it sounds like, Russell typed
"Agriculture subsidies" in google, saw that the first 5 sites that popped up
were against them, and concluded there must be no good lit out there
defending them.

CP debates. They're good. Well-grounded in the literature. Are all CPs as
well-debated as Ag subsidies? Probably not. Russell's insight that 'all
topics have PICs' seems to sort of miss the point. The EU CP - apparently
stupid as well, because, gee, there might have to be a debate about whether
or not the US is key. To discount the EU CP because of that seems like a
"non starter" to me. As far as I can tell, Russell's only arg against caps
is that they don't solve. I'm glad he shared his opinion - I've always
wanted to read a Jason Russell card in a debate round. Plus, what about the
fund other crops CP? There are probably others that probably exist in the
literature. I'm not sure any of the Russia CPs are going to be as clear and
well debated.

This topic is sweet because it is domestic but has international
implications. That means flexibility. There's awesome in depth literature.
There is probably more specific, ideologically diverse literature for an ag
topic (or any domestic topic) than most foreign policy topics. Is there
controversy internationally? Yes ? that's what makes it a great domestic
topic. But there's also a lot of domestic controversy ? a lot of
opportunities for teams tired of discussing
big-nuke-war-with-russia-and-china scenarios will have some great options
and be able to talk about the way we're affected at home.

It's important to remember the topic paper is not the end-all of
negative/affirmative strategies. Yes, it outlines quite a few decent
examples of some generic neg positions. But once some of the smartest people
throughout the country immerse themselves in the literature, the topic paper
strats are just the beginning. What ag promises is an idelogically diverse
enough literature ground to make for interesting debates throughout the

That Russia is so big is an interesting point, but I think this has worked
sort of against it. In pretty much every foreign policy topic, from what
I've gathered, Russia not so subtly finds its way in. One of the first
debates at the ADI had a Russia war scenario, and it was all over the Middle
East topic. Plenty of people ran consult NATO with a Russia net benefit.
Plenty of people ran Russian-containment good/bad. It was a big component of
the Iran/Syria/Afghanistan debate.

Does this mean reject Russia? No. Russia would be a decent topic, but as
Kris said, it might be nice to get something new, especially after a huge
foreign policy topic. If you're caught between Russia and something new, why
not something new?

Russell, just because there's not an Oklahoma-specific DA mentioned in the
paper doesn't mean we have anything against you.
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