[eDebate] the sidelines of the topic writing process....

J T jtedebate
Mon Apr 7 14:49:54 CDT 2008

In terms of switch side debate...I see nothing inherently wrong with debating multiple sides of a given topic...I am also unsure why the topic was ideologically "irresponsible"--but I'll check previous posts....

That being said, "switch side debate" has become a little more...forcing affs to defend the USFG, etc.  But there should be discussion that speaks to the mechanisms (USFG action) and problems areas ("we shouldn't have to defend military intervention good").  Things in the world and debate (most notably the information revolution and the size of CEDA/NDT) are much different than when switch side debate began...specifically, where do we go from here?

I'm not sure what an alternative process would look like...Individual agents of action...totally undefined actors? In terms of the topic process, I think the discussion should be focused here...there will always be disagreements about people being required (i.e. under the bounds of topicality & predictability--which is never absolute) to defend USFG action, even if it is to correct a bad or oppressive policy---I think the answer lies somewhere in between the requirements and the general issues involved.  Examples from previous resolutions?  Who crafted these? (and what was the process like?)

What if the aff got to choose from several mechanisms instead of topic countries?  We have never had a resolution as such.

The fact that Massey initiates this issue every year is not a reason to dismiss it...it just means he (and others) feel passionately about the issue.  
Some of the older resolutions really could only be done by the USFG..(as supported by literature, even if not a real solvency "advocate"):

1932-1933 RESOLVED: That the Allied War debts should be cancelled.            
1939-1940 RESOLVED: That the United States should follow a policy            of strict (economic and military) isolation toward all nations outside            the Western Hemisphere engaged in armed international or civil conflict.            
1942-43 RESOLVED: That the United States should establish a permanent            federal union with power to tax and regulate commerce, to settle international            disputes and to enforce such settlements. to maintain a police force,            and to provide for the admission of other nations which accept the principles            of the Union. 
1949-1950 RESOLVED: "That              the United States should nationalize the basic nonagricultural industries."

Most "pre-switch side" topics defended USFG action

1923-1924 RESOLVED: That the United States should enter the World            Court of the League of Nations as pro- posed by President Harding. 
           1924-1925 RESOLVED: That Congress should be empowered to override            by two-thirds vote. decisions of the supreme court which declare acts            of Congress unconstitutional.
1948-1949  RESOLVED: "That              the federal government should adopt a policy of equalizing educational              opportunity in tax-supported schools by means of annual grants."
1951-1952  RESOLVED: "That              the federal government should adopt a permanent program of wage and              price control."
1952-1953  RESOLVED: "That              the Congress of the United States should enact a compulsory fair employment              practices law."
1953-1954  RESOLVED: "That              the United States should adopt a policy of free trade."

Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote: Hey Jackie,
 We dont agree on this stuff....I think this is our only big argument...none of this is intended as personal attacks.
 Its not the NDT topic meeting....Gordon is a CEDA officer...CEDA does the election of topic members.....Everyone elected is elected by CEDA.  Yes, I know, I am a secret agent of the NDT illuminati...its still true, they were Democratically elected by the CEDA membership.  Is your argument that the leadership of CEDA should secede without a mandate?
 In addition, it seems the voting process has proven that the majority of people who vote on topics, topic committee membership, etc etc etc disagree with your point of view on topics. Is your argument that you should get to circumvent the democratic process and write the topic yourself?  Should you be "more than an observer" if you arent elected to the topic committee?  If so, why is that exactly?
 I obviously disagree with the rest of what you write on this subject...But I think anyone could search the archives for the last five years and see why (since you have initiated exactly the same discussion as all those other years again).
Anyway, if you want a vote on secession....ok, put it to a vote...I believe you can suggest that at a business meeting. 
 If you want to run for the topic committee (I believe you have if I remember correctly) run.....Should observers be able to act as if they are members?  If so, why is that exactly?
 Hope your off-season is going well, and congrats on the NDT and CEDA nats(genuine),

 On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:44 AM, Massey, Jackie B. <debate at ou.edu> wrote:

For more transparency, we turn to


You got it
 More bureaucracy!

I attended the topic committee two years ago and have never been so disrespected by this community.  I was immediately tagged an antagonists, and definitely ignored through most of the process.
For those of you who do not attend, don't think that not being on the sidelines really makes a difference.  I wrote emails to edebate and I showed up in person, the results was another topic that was ideologically irresponsible and not respectful of the ideological differences in the debate community.   Actually, I think the correct assessment was that I was told to write a topic paper with wordings in it if I cared so much.
"but our task is to manage a process that can
help govern at least the vast majority of the thousands of debates that take
place each year."  (gordon stables, 08)

The result is to use bureaucracy to help manage the topic and have debates in the method and fashion about the content and substance those people who are on the committee prefer.
For us simple people who want a simple topic, we don't have a voice on the committee, tried, but the free and fair election process was successful in denying that voice.  I still don't understand why CEDA hosts the NDT Topic Committee meeting?
I don't see that things have changed, but rather I am starting to believe that things have gotten worse.

Look at the NDT booklet that lists the resolutions.  It's still debate, but if you look at the lengths of the wordings, you would think the information revolution was leading us the other way.  This means something.
One of the core issues I think that needs to be discussed to bridge such ideological agreements is switch side debate.  So if your getting all huffy puffy about my degrading remarks on the topic writing process, I challenge you to get involved on the discussion about what is "switch side debate" and what obligations the topic writing process has to this ideology.
I think many of the core disagreements may arise from such diverse understandings on the importance and meanings of switch side debate.

If you want to go on a rampage about this post now, you should save your energy for the switch-side debate discussion.


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