[eDebate] What's in a name?

Abers catspathat
Wed Apr 8 16:54:50 CDT 2009

I somewhat agree with what your saying, I think the teams who read the CAFOs
aff turned out a wide variety of extremely good K affs. However, almost no
critical authors write articles or book chapters that focus on subsidies.
Other than a few exceptions, the majority of the solvency for the K cafos
affs actually advocated a number of other solutions that adressed the
problems in CAFOs much more directly. My problem with the topic was more how
the discussion was bracketed. A truely topical affirmative couldn't even end
all support to all factory farms, just those the government lables "cafos,"
there was also no topical way to discuss the implications of grazing
subsidies or the Animal Damage Control program that kills millions of
animals at the whim of farmers.

My point is maybe there should have been more than 1 area of the 10 area
topic that was designed to have K ground.

On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:19 PM, Richard A. Garner
<richardgarner at gmail.com>wrote:

> "because the topic was agriculture subsidies and everyone just assumed
> there would be sweet K ground. Shocker, there wasn?t."
> Actually, the topic committee's strategy of critique-inclusive area writing
> since Indian Country, particularly beginning with the 'withdraw from NATO'
> part of the Europe topic, has been extremely successful. CAFOs attracted
> nearly all of the critique-affirmative teams this year; in fact, almost all
> of the teams that ran critical affirmatives and didn't run CAFOs would have
> run affs that didn't conform to normative interpretations of the topic in
> any case.
> I did not see CEDA Finals, as I was not there. However, my understanding
> was that OU was aff., and my additional understanding is that they ran CAFOs
> all year long. I may be wrong. However, their aff was CAFOs, and they
> usually said subsidizing them was bad. They had a robust theoretical defense
> of that (see: Marting Heidegger), but if you would have said CAFOs are a
> good practice, would they have shirked that discussion? Would a negative
> have taken it up in the first place? I don't know for sure, but I think the
> answer to both of those questions would generally be 'No.'
> I only interject because this has been brought up several times, and I
> doubt the asummptiveness of this assumption.
> RG
> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 4:23 PM, Abers <catspathat at gmail.com> wrote:
>> While there is clearly a vocal group of debaters who want to distance
>> themselves from the federal government, I think this discussion discounts a
>> lot of debaters who actually like talking about and directing the focus of
>> their speech act towards questions of federal policy. I would absolutely
>> agree that there are problems with the USFG fetish, but the solution
>> proposed to completely eliminate federal government action from the
>> discussion seems to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Scott Elliott
>> points out that at CEDA people did not want to debate the topic; yes because
>> the topic was agriculture subsidies and everyone just assumed there would be
>> sweet K ground. Shocker, there wasn?t. And by K ground, I don?t just mean
>> affirmatives that exclusively defend federal government action. The problem
>> with the agriculture topic, for the k affirmatives, was the literature
>> discussing alternate ways to view subsidy policy either from different
>> perspectives or in alternate philosophical frameworks wasn?t there. However,
>> frequently this literature does exist and it?s possible to read affirmatives
>> that, rather than explicitly defending federal government action as an act
>> of imagination where congress passes a law etc etc, counter define what the
>> ballot and debater?s relationship to the statement of the resolution should
>> be. I think these affirmatives, like our broiler chicken aff or Towson?s
>> Palestine aff that they read on the Middle East topic, show it?s possible to
>> discuss perspectives on and about different policy actions taken by the
>> federal government without being assimilated into it or whatever while still
>> retaining a (at least somewhat predictable) relationship to the topic that
>> the negative can prepare for.
>> This seems, at least to me, to be the middle ground. Essentially its; here
>> is the resolution, how can you as a debater educationally relate to it. This
>> leaves debaters who want to pursue affirmatives that follow a more
>> traditional rout (though traditional is probably a bad word to use
>> considering I don?t think debate affs in the 1980s had 14 extinction
>> scenarios and probably read a bunch more inherency cards) an avenue to
>> debate how they would like to. Gives ample K aff ground based in ?topic
>> literature.? And preserves debate as a forum for political awareness about
>> what the federal government is doing. Debate is basically the only place,
>> besides possibly the daily show, where I as a student, feel compelled to
>> figure out what exactly the federal government is doing with the money we
>> give them. At risk of starting another debate, we live in a place where
>> individual input can actually affect government proceedings and policy.
>> Don?t we as individuals who support a government have some responsibility to
>> educate ourselves about what that government is doing? If debate is not the
>> place, does not serve this function, why should we even be doing it. Seems
>> like we should be out being real activists. Which, to me, all comes back to,
>> how do we know what to protest, which is where I think the importance of
>> ?policy? in policy debate arises.
>> Abe Corrigan
>> Gonzaga Debate
>> On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Alfred Snider <alfred.snider at uvm.edu>wrote:
>>> Scott Elliott says change the name.
>>> It is a little disconcerting because many debate formats debate about
>>> policy issues.
>>> Some have said to call it "cross examination" debate, others say
>>> "research" debate.
>>> Yet, other formats have cross ex and not every "policy" debate in
>>> CEDA-NDT has evidence.
>>> A proper name would make things clearer to those outside but break our
>>> link with past debaters who use the policy moniker.
>>> I would like to agree with Kevin Kuswa and others that a serious problem
>>> is the USFG fetish.
>>> Some years ago I wrote a topic paper using the agent "we." By this I
>>> would mean those people in the room who were debating about an idea. Not
>>> that they should go out and implement some plan, but that for the
>>> purposes of this debate they were the objects of persuasion.
>>> The term in the worlds format is "This House" which means the same thing
>>> as we, as it refers to those gathered in that room.
>>> I would prefer we or This House, and as illustrated by the discussion so
>>> far, then we could have a choice of agents. Let's face it, USFG does not
>>> equal
>>> Another concern is the unwillingness to debate the topic. Yes, that is a
>>> problem, for preparation, for publicity, for training judges, for
>>> bringing in new coaches, for a lot of things. I like the freedom of
>>> speech aspects, though.
>>> I will be interested in following this discussion.
>>> Tuna
>>> --
>>> Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna
>>> Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics
>>> University of Vermont
>>> Huber House, 475 Main Street, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
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