[eDebate] missions

Paul Johnson paulj567
Thu Jul 9 20:23:12 CDT 2009

Your analogy to the energy topic proves precisely the point you are arguing against. The sharp contrast between the topic wording and the literature base in that case resulted in a series of affirmatives that were afraid of losing on "T means a cap" and so added a cap to their plan, even though almost no one in the literature base assumed that a number of affs which everyone ought to have been debating were debating. So you had the curious case of a CAFE aff or an RPS that included a cap, even though almost no one who professionally researches and writes in these areas believed that they needed to be pared with a cap.

The result was a community arguing in ways that registered a major disconnect with what the literature in the field argued ought to occur. Under the rubric of reasonability, who would argue that we ought not to have debated CAFE or RPS on the fossil fuels topic? (And I know you beat me on Gotta Have a Cap at Wake, so I assure you, my desire for the topic to connect with the literature base is a demand I'm comfortable with universalizing.) 

QPQ mostly worked out on the ME topic. That was awesome. And great. "constructive engagement" seemed to be a better term of art than "reduce consumption". This doesn't really mean that trust can be extended to the community at all times. That sort of empirical reductio doesn't really hold much water.

Remember, under three the governing phrase is "The United States Federal Government should substantially change its nuclear posture in one or more of the following ways". I am pretty sure "change its nuclear posture" combined with "negotiation AND implementation" means there's something that will always be held in common with the affs there. Nuclear posture means that anything included in negotiations would have to be something covered under "nuclear posture". So I think offering to reduce human rights pressure on Russia or something wouldn't count as changing our nuclear posture. Anything extra the aff does would be limited to something extra in the area of -duhn duh duhn duh- nuclear posture. Which seems to encompass anything we could define under role/missions.

On the other hand, if you are right about past topics, that means we'll always have hold outs (Harvard's excellent non QPQ aff on the ME, teams on the energy topic that refused to include a cap {b/c doing so meant losing to the PIC out of the cap counterplan and having to go for the "fuck" K}) and under the second topic these hold outs can expand to a wider panoply of multilateral options with different countries and organizations because they aren't specifically outlined in the resolution, unlike in Resolutions 1 and 3.

Now I too must get back to the business of camp.


--- On Thu, 7/9/09, Malcolm Gordon <malgor.debate at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Malcolm Gordon <malgor.debate at gmail.com>
> Subject: [eDebate] missions
> To: edebate at ndtceda.com
> Date: Thursday, July 9, 2009, 5:50 PM
> I agree with Jim.? The word missions
> is problematic.? Its best, most limiting interpretations
> (the ones that exclude specific country/region affs) are met
> by the word roles.? In fact, the only distinction i can
> find between missions and roles is that you can misinterpret
> mission to include hyperspecific tasks for nuclear
> weapons.? 
> Fortunately, that interpretation of missions is so
> underlimiting I am hard pressed to think of a scenario in
> which teams don't consistently win against said
> hyperspecific affs.? This harps back to my original
> sentiments on 2 vs 3-it is a robust T debate that will
> dictate the direction of the topic.? Those topics are
> always fun (on fossil fuels 'must have a cap' won
> the battle, and on middle east qpq won the battle for the
> most part).
> It is a poor word choice (that conclusion is based on all
> the evidence i have compiled, there could certainly be some
> as-yet-unfound distinctions between mission and role), but
> one we can survive.? It is not a deal breaker.? 
> Think of it this way-if your rationale for rejecting 2 is
> that there are some terms that maybe interpreted in ways
> that are completely unlimiting and unmanageable, you have
> just made the justification for judges rejecting that
> interpretation.? The assertion that "judges are
> defaulting to reasonability" seems strange given this
> topic, where the limits arg for the neg on missions is going
> to make it very difficult for the aff to win
> "reasonability."? the questionably topical
> affirmatives that might cause negs to lose T debates on
> reasonability (ps, if you are neg and keep losing T on
> reasonability when you go for it.....do more practice
> debates) are most likely reasonable and predictable (CTBT is
> a good example of this:? sure, there are some decent
> reasons it might not be topical under 2, but this isn't
> an aff that is going to jack your neg ground, or create an
> unfair burden).
> Also, your fear of and/or T debates....well i judged over
> 100 debates on the middle east topic, i can't recall one
> that was decided on and/or.? Inclusive is exclusive was the
> dumb one that some teams (see: WFU) actually won debates
> on.
> The notion that because advantage areas are largely the
> same makes three manageable is funny to me.? If advantage
> area was the only way we needed to limit topics, then why
> have mechanisms?? Community consensus seems to be decidedly
> against the idea that advantage area is a better limiter
> than mechanisms. But if advantage areas are the way you want
> to limit the topic, you have to reject 3.? The inclusion of
> a bilateral treaty with russia that, as worded, explicitly
> allows things not related to nuclear policy is not a good
> thing for the neg:
> "Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral
> agreement with Russia that
> at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear
> weapons"
> As long as the outcome of the negotiation changes posture
> AND the negotiation includes a reduction in numbers, the aff
> is topical.? There is no word the neg can rely on to limit
> the aff from offering completely non-nuclear incentives to
> achieve Russia's saying yes, or asking Russia for
> non-nuclear related items to complete the treaty.? Then the
> aff gets new advantage areas, which you claim is the best
> way to limit a topic.? You might be able to win that these
> affs are checked by at least, if you interpret at least to
> mean only....? 
> Under 2 this is not a problem because, first off, affs
> might not be able to do multilateral action.? Making an
> offer would run the risk that the aff does not reduce the
> role and/or mission.? This could be a deal breaker for some
> people, but I am only talking about specific affs.? Any aff
> that implemented an already negotiated agreement would be
> topical (for instance, CTBT we have negotiated but not
> ratified.? Ratification, however, ensures the aff has an
> immediate reduction).? 
> So, multilateralism is likely allowed, but not
> negotiations.? I don't think this is a major concern.?
> Modeling is not an unwinnable argument for me, and if you
> don't think you can win modeling, there are very strong
> unilateral affs that teams will have no problem defending.
> Second, if you do think all multilat agreements are topical
> under 2, the neg has more flexibility to prevent extraneuous
> offers because the resolution does not explicitly contain
> the term "at least."
> My views on multilateralism also point to another problem i
> have with some of your justifications for rejecting 2-i
> think we are taking the topic blog comments as gospel truth,
> when in fact they may not be.? Even since the meeting there
> has been a lot of research done.? As of right now we are
> all just talking about potential ways the aff could be
> topical.? Here is a good example, a quote you used: 
> Plank three ?and/or missions of its nuclear weapons?,
> allows for the smaller
> disarm cases, as the topic committee discussed ?MANCUSO:
> cutting warheads
> would reduce the number of missions? with the same
> modifier as plank one.
> Plank three also allows for the Russia concern to be
> topical under the blog
> discussion ?MANCUSO: SORT and treaties that required
> negotiation would limit
> the mission of the arsenal if it includes development and
> production of
> weapons?. It also means that the same bilateral
> discussion would be topical
> under two. The CTBT part of topic three is arguably topical
> under topic
> two?s 2nd and third planks, depending on how you look at
> it which, which may
> support the ?T, is good you should debate it out
> claims?, but in large part
> the community will likely determine that CTBT is topical.
> I don't agree that negotiations inherently limit the
> mission of the weapons-the outcome of negotiations do.? I
> don't think the only way CTBT can be topical is to argue
> it reduces our credibility.? In fact, if that's the
> only way to be topical affs will likely lose to the
> deterrence DA.? 
> My suggestion is that people assume that mission and role
> are synonyms when they are thinking about 2, until someone
> produces conclusive evidence that provides a distinction
> between them.? 
> Ok, my 15 minutes of typing are done, got another wave of
> lab evidence to sort through.? Sorry i didn't get into
> the "line by line" points you had on why three was
> kickass, but most of what I said gets to these concerns.
> malgor
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