[eDebate] missions

Paul Johnson paulj567
Sat Jul 11 10:56:52 CDT 2009


Malcolm,

I appreciate your thoughtful response. However, we always assume that extra topicality is a crime. This is true of any resolution. Why would it not be true of this one?

The resolution says that negotiating and implementing a bilateral agreement that at least cuts is a way of changing our nuclear posture.

Of course it is! There is no other way to phrase this. It doesn't mean that you can add anything to Russia willy nilly. It says "at least" because there are numerous negotiating tactics and tools that relate to our nuclear posture. The topic committee probably wanted the resolution to reflect the literature (quite a notion, that!).

An aff that negotiated a deep cut, got russia to make a deep cut, and also stopped pressuring Russia on separatism or something would not be topical because we would make a deep cut (that changes our nuclear posture) and we'd stop giving Russia flak about ethnic separatism (thats not related to nuclear posture).

Your view holds the topic to be a commanding monolith, uttering absolute truth in the form of strict syllogism with a flaw:

US must change its nuclear posture
One way to do this is to negotiate an agreement with Russia that at least makes a deep cut in nuclear arms.
Therefore, any agreement with Russia that at least makes a deep cut is a change in nuclear posture.

But we have a missing middle term: that the intent of the resolution is to DEFINE "nuclear posture" as opposed to simply give an example.

Lets be clear: any agreement that results in a deep cut is, definitionally, a change in our nuclear posture. But the resolution says "change its nuclear posture" not "change its foreign policy towards russia". That is, the second statement does not DEFINE nuclear posture, it merely gives an example of a thing which is a change in nuclear posture, but does not exclusively define it as such. one can imagine many more affs that offer things related to our nuclear posture. 

On the other hand, a US action which does not change our nuclear posture just isn't topical, because the resolution says "change nuclear posture" then gives an example (an aff that negotiated and implemented a deep cut, and included more stuff, more stuff MODIFIED BY nuclear posture).

You have lots of faith in the community to keep the multilateral stuff out under 2. History demonstrates its unlikely, because contextual evidence, when ambiguous, leads to a less restrictive topic with debate idiosyncracies (adding a cap, for example, under energy) as opposed to a more limited topic. That means more than just Russia is in play under 2. NWFZ,s China, etc.

I feel we have probably reached a stasis point, and people are eager for more Stroube-Sanchez uselessness.


Best,
PJ

--- On Fri, 7/10/09, 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: Friday, July 10, 2009, 4:18 PM
> I must disagree with a few of your
> characterizations, Paul.? Most importantly, the way you are
> reading resolution three that allows it to limit out random
> bilateral russia affs.? 
> 
> "The United States Federal Government should
> substantially change its nuclear posture in one or more of
> the following ways"? 
> 
> 
> This is the governing phrase, how could I disagree?? And
> if it were the only thing relevant, it might be enough to
> limit out the strange bilateral affs.? (resolved: usfg
> should substantially change its nuclear posture; this would
> certainly exclude non-posture related concerns as extra
> topical).? Unfortunately, the resolution actually qualifies
> what constitutes said change with the phrase "in one or
> more of the following ways."? It is a particular
> statement that anything that meets one of the listed actions
> is considered a substantial change in nuclear posture.
> 
> 
> Therefore the additional qualifying phrase of:? 
> 
> "Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral
> agreement with Russia that
> 
> at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear
> weapons"
> 
> means that any aff that meets that sentence is, by
> definition, a substantial change in its nuclear posture.?
> So any aff that negotiates and implements a bilateral
> agreement with Russia that "at least" includes a
> substantial reduction in weapons is topical.? "at
> least" is a floor, not a ceiling.? There is nothing in
> that sentence that prevents affirmatives from adding things
> not related to nuclear posture, because the resolution has
> already dictated that as long as the deal contains a
> reduction in weapons, the negotiated and implemented deal
> meets the threshold.? 
> 
> 
> if the plank read "negotiation and implementation of a
> bilateral "arms control" agreement with Russia
> that at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear
> weapons", then I would agree with you.? The resolution
> would then say the agreement must exlusively be an arms
> control deal.? That qualification, however, does not
> exist.
> 
> 
> As far as your concern that topicality will often exclude
> things it would be nice to debate under a resolution....I
> agree, topicality tends to exclude affirmatives, as that is
> its purpose.? But no topic will contain all the salient
> issues because competitive equity is a consideration.? FMCT
> is a good example, it is just as important in the literature
> as CTBT, but likely even harder to win as topical under any
> resolution but 1 (even then it will be difficult to prove
> its a substantial change in posture).? On the treaties
> topic, we didn't debate law of the sea, or CEDAW, or the
> treaty on rights of the child, or landmines, etc.? On the
> courts topic, there were a littany of big cases that
> didn't get in (I was a HUGE advocate of putting Terry v
> Ohio in the resolution...get it, huge...cause i'm
> fat...).? This is inevitable and a very subjective voting
> determination for coaches.
> 
> 
> Your last point, about holdouts, is also inevitable.? But
> 2 provides very compelling negative interpretations that
> will limit these affs out.? If they are going to be so
> effective as to make even the most unlimiting interpretation
> acceptable under 2, they will under 3 as well.? Once
> we've crossed into that threshold, the difference is
> lost on me as to which would be worse.
> 
> 
> I also agree with Mancuso, while we might be afraid because
> missions and roles are largely redundant, it's not a
> deal-breaker as much as a reason we shouldn't be scared
> that the addition of missions will explode the topic.?
> Especially since there is good evidence that defines
> missions in a way that excludes hyperspecific country affs
> (don't retaliate against brazil if they nuke us, for
> instance).
> 
> 
> I understand people like 3 because it lists a few affs, so
> it will help in preparation.? But no one has given an
> example of affs that will be extremely unpredictable under
> topic 2.? I have only heard examples of how topic 3 allows
> interpretations that are very justified under the wording of
> the resolution and very unlimiting.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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