[eDebate] Skarb - and how is this even a debate??

Joseph Carver carrolltondebate
Wed May 13 08:52:46 CDT 2009

I think that perhaps you should do more reseaech before you isolate kids as
role models. I don't think that hard work alone satisfies the requirements
of what I want to see in my kids. And the picture that you paint of these
poor kids left out in the coaching cold is laughable. I should be so lucky
to have the kind of staff that they have. If you want a record of the
incidents I isolate, I am happy to back channel the 6 emails I got from
folks on this issue including directors of housing at camps, coaches etc.
This post is not to villify kids at Damien. In fact I would be surprised if
I have voted against them three times in two years. Just like any program
there are good kids  and there are kids who's behavior has been
Let's be clear- you are right that my problem with the direction the staff
has turned is diferent than the idea that it is inane to refer to kids who
have repeatedly acted in a way that is not in the spirit of what the
community is about as role models. Forgive those programs out there
fighting  for surivival with their west coast handbooks and a parent to
judge for not rallying to make sure that the kids at Damien get some
direction. They have all the direction that money can buy and they should be
held to a higher standard.

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Tara Tate <tara_l_tate at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I have zero knowledge of past issues that have been proven in regards to
> the Damien kids and their ethics.   I think eluding to past issues of
> illegitimacy of unethical behavior by the Damien kids when nothing has
> been proven is problematic.  Whether or not the Damien coaching staff needs
> to get their "shit together" is not an issue of whether or not these kids
> are hard-workers and need a bit of protection right now from
> mentors/educators in the community from the crisis at hand.
> It almost seems as if your argument might actually feed mine...if your
> argument is that the Damien coaching staff is not doing their job, isn't it
> even more paramount that coaches in this community stand up for these
> debaters?
> Tara
> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 16:57:23 -0400
> From: carrolltondebate at gmail.com
>  To: edebate at ndtceda.com
> Subject: [eDebate] Skarb - and how is this even a debate??
> In all fairness, Damien has 3 coaches. And it is not the first time that
> the issue of evidence legitimacy has been an issue with "these kids". Feel
> free to cite them as role models, the community has to have a standard and
> it should be enforced. I have known these kids a long time. And I like them
> alot but the impact of this sort of garbage has a much bigger impact than
> detracting one part time coach from a staff of 3 at a private school on the
> national circuit. Somebody needs to get their shit together. period
> carver
>   On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM, Tara Tate <tara_l_tate at hotmail.com>wrote:
>   One other piece of information that is now public is that Justin Skarb
> replied to numerous emails as John Marburry in the days prior to the
> TOC...emails from coaches/students that wanted more information about his
> qualifications, primary resources that "Marburry" used to write his paper,
> etc.  The deception continued after the article's publication.  Emails were
> written to these coaches/students as John Marburry.
> My primary concern right now is not what happens to Skarb.  I believe that
> the Damien coaching staff and administration have to make that call
> internally with the information they have.  My concern is for the Damien
> debaters.  Although I don't disagree with David's comments about Damien's
> evidence now being "suspect", I am so saddened by any consequences, intended
> or unintended, this has on the Damien kiddos.  I have used the Damien kids
> as a model often times for my own squad about a uniquely determined,
> hard-working squad who are innovative with their arguments and absolutely
> love the game...and the work that is put into being successful at that
> game.  I know that David was not implying that this was not accurate, but
> these kids uniquely deserve our compassion and understanding at this point.
> I hope the fact that uniquely hard working, smart, skillful teen-agers
> are at the heart of this crisis is not forgotten (again, not implying that
> David did that...his post just sparked me to dovetail off of him).
> Tara Tate
> GBS Debate
> ------------------------------
> From: dgm2109 at columbia.edu
> Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 12:52:05 -0400
> To: edebate at ndtceda.com
> Subject: [eDebate] Skarb - and how is this even a debate??
> The problem isn't that coaches write articles. You can read those cards and
> debaters should be able to make arguments about bias.
> The problem is when coaches purposefully hide the fact that they wrote
> them. This problem is made worse when it happens right before TOC and when
> the article includes cards just so happen to be a devastating negative
> strategy (one that was read by at least one team at TOC with the use of
> these cards).
> Let's be very clear about something: the Marburry character is COMPLETELY
> FALSE. Marburry is Skarb. The idea that Skarb just "contributed research" is
> laughably misleading, but it does show that the use of the fake name
> couldn't have been to protect Skarb's anonymity from non-debate people out
> to get him. And what's the practical consequence? The card obviously gets
> cited as Marburry, not Skarb! No debater facing this card would find out
> that Skarb had anything to do with it until AFTER the debate.
> Warming analogy: it'd be like if Skarb was paid $1b by the oil industry and
> then got plastic surgery to testify before Congress under the fake name
> Marburry. Him saying "I hired Skarb to contribute to some of the research"
> and presenting a biography with no other connections to the oil industry is
> not even close to "I am Skarb and I was paid $1b to testify before you."
> Here's a very simple question: which is really more likely?
> A. Skarb had to use a pen name because someone was out to get him.
> B. Skarb used a pen name to cloak bias.
> Here are some facts that can help you resolve this question:
> 1. Skarb put his name right after putting the fake name (at the bottom of
> the article).
> If it were really a pen name to protect his anonymity, why did he break it?
> To me, it seems much more likely that he put the name there to REINFORCE the
> idea that Skarb and Marburry are two separate people! I have no idea why
> putting his name in the article as a contributing researcher makes it more
> fair. In my mind, it HELPS the deception by reinforcing the idea that the
> author was not biased ---- intentional or not.
> 2. Zero other publications by this Marburry person.
> 3. Why was a comment posted --- AFTER toc --- by Skarb saying "embarassing"
> and clarifying that he's the author? Did his need for anonymity suddenly
> resolve itself? If it did, why would that be "embarrassing"???
> 4. The article --- which wasn't written for the purpose of debate --- just
> so happens to have cards that provide brink, link, and internal link and CP
> solvency all specific to several of the top TOC teams' plans? That's not
> even getting into the "one week before TOC" isues.
> 5. The very first comment on the article --- posted right after publication
> --- is obviously by a debater. "Disciples of 2A" posted "WTF MARBURRY WRITE
> SOME SPS GOOD ARTICLES." Now why would a debater be the first person to read
> and comment on this article, AND know that Marburry would understand what
> "write some sps good articles" means ---- unless Skarb told debaters about
> it?
> 6. What's the deal with the Norman Ornstein card in the comments? Maybe
> this is a joke like Andy's aliens thing. But it's not very funny. Why?
> Because it creates a headache when someone who doesn't get the joke actually
> cuts that card, thinking they found awesome evidence. These are young high
> school debaters.
> 7. I don't know if it's true, but on Cross-X.com's forum on this, someone
> suggested that: "just for the record, this article has been floating around
> the web since at least february, spammed all over the comments sections of
> space websites. it seems like it was only recently though that skarb's name
> became attached to it."
> 8. According to a Damien debater, "our coaches were responsible for the
> name Justin Skarb being attached to the article in the first place."
> -This issue was NOT unforeseen. The Damien staff knew that this could be a
> problem. I fail to see how attaching "research contributor" in any way
> avoids the bias problem, as I think I've explained above.
> If Skarb had posted this in circumstances that were obviously not intended
> for debate but instead for personal reasons, then I think there's nothing at
> all wrong. But this is so far away from such a scenario it's almost funny
> that anyone would try to defend it as such.
> This shouldn't be evaluated by the highest standards of ethics challenges
> in debates, because here we are not limited by the competitive format and
> time and research constraints of those situations. The purpose of this
> discussion shouldn't be a witch hunt. It should be a community discussion
> over what we think is appropriate or not, and fair warning in the future
> that this kind of behavior is not kosher. Even if Skarb didn't intend all
> this, he really should've been a lot more careful. My measure of INTENT is
> not "did he purposefully cheat," because that's not something that can be
> fixed in a forum. My measure of intent is "did he create evidence knowing
> that debaters could use it in ways that other debaters would think is very
> unfair, and fail to take easy remedialsteps?"
> I do have to say that this kind of thing is sad because I won't ever be
> able to look at Damien cards in the same light. That's not fair their
> debaters and coaches who put a lot into the activity and don't deserve that
> taint.
> Lesson: when you KNOW it could be controversial, DISCLOSE.
> David
> ------------------------------
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