LD – Mar/Apr ’16 – Promoting democracy in Middle East

Don’t forget to read previous posts on this topic.

Most of the following articles are part of a series looking back at the Arab Spring 5 years later. Going chronologically by when they appeared…

Robbins – When it comes to democracy, Egyptians hate the player but Tunisians hate the game

Beissinger et al – What the Arab uprising protesters really wanted

Marks – What did Tunisia’s Nobel laureates actually achieve

Brooke – Did the Arab uprising destroy the Muslim Brotherhood

Lust et al – Why fear explains the failure of Egypt’s revolution

Wehrey – Why Libya’s transition to democracy failed

Brown et al – Are we seeing Palestine’s spring at long last

Iran is holding elections this week. Are they a democracy, and if so of what sort? Do they meet the terms of the resolution?

The Iran Election – What’s at Stake – Q and A

The question of the role of sectarianism arises in many places in the Middle East.

Gengler – How Bahrain’s crushed uprising spawned the Middle East’s sectarianism

Is democracy the answer?

A Radical Idea to Rebuild a Shattered Libya – Restore the Monarchy

Ask the Aff: Is a coup justified to support democracy?

Wright et al – Are coups good for democracy

Does affirming the resolution’s call for democracy require modern norms? If modern norms (in this case, regarding women) are not present, is democracy possible?

Daoud – The Sexual Misery of the Arab World

This article about the Varieties of Democracy project/web site mentions different types of democracies – an important consideration with this resolution. What I can’t find on the web site is definitions of the different types. They have a codebook, but it’s massive and didn’t seem to have the definitions concisely stated. (If you poke around the site and find the definitions, let me know.)

Open data and (15 million) new measures of democracy

In the following article, Roger Cohen writes a speech he’d like to hear Obama give. Page 2 is the good stuff for this resolution.

Roger Cohen – Obama’s Implicit Foreign Policy

Another question to ask an Aff: Should we pursue regime change in the Middle East? This is a bit of a tangential question, explored by the NYT’s Room for Debate series. The link takes you to the topic page; there are five articles connected to it. (I don’t have pdf files for these.)

Pursuing Regime Change in the Middle East

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FX/NX/LD – Extemp Files update

The Extemp Files were updated late this afternoon, through today (end of February). This includes the Elections and Supreme Court folders.

Extemp Files instructions repost: The link takes you to a Dropbox folder; if a pop-over window saying something about setting up an account or logging in comes up, just close it.

The files are serious overkill – about 21,000 articles right now. There should be a way to copy or download individual articles when you find the ones you want in your files – try right-clicking the specific PDF file/article and selecting the ‘save link as’ option.

The four-digit numbers at the beginning of most of the file names (and the names of the sub-folders) are simply mm/yy codes so that you can tell how recent the article is at a glance.

Please don’t download the whole thing; it trips up my Dropbox limits and bad things happen that shut down access for others. If you need a full copy, let me know (see the About link for an email address) and I’ll make arrangements to get you a copy or share the folder (so that you get the updates as soon as I post them). Students who want to share the folder will need to have an OK from their coach – I don’t want to step on the toes of any coaches who prefer other methods of team research. (Several coaches already share the folder, if you’re a coach and are interested.)

L/D – Jan/Feb ’16 – Handgun ban

One district in my state has their qualifying tournament for State this weekend, and they’re still using this topic – so one last update.

The Gun Issues folder was just updated, through today’s articles.

Relevant articles:

Did your French gun control stop a single [expletive] person from dying at the Bataclan

Mikva et al – Effective Firearms Regulation Is Constitutional

More statistics…

The 2016 toll – 7,548 incidents of gun violence, and counting

Gun violence in America is out of control

Historical perspective on gun accidents…

Trigger Warnings

You can’t make this stuff up…

‘We do not need a militia of toddlers’ – If Iowa law passes, children can use handguns

An unexpected statistic…

What’s behind America’s sudden drop in gun production

Close to home, mental health issues and easy gun purchases…

Sue Klebold – If guns had been harder for my son to buy, Columbine might not have happened

PF – Mar ’16 – Okinawa

There is now a PF – Okinawa folder. I went through the extemp backfiles and the Japan folders to pull articles (a bit over 130) that are broadly related to the topic. There are four themes to the articles: Okinawa specifically, East China Sea territorial disputes between China and Japan, Japan’s military efforts (partly in response to Chinese actions), and U.S. support for Japan. The articles go back through 2010. Note the graphic files in the 2012 folder of the region, and in the 2013 folder of the base shift location – maps help understand the issue.

Start with the 2010 folder. Scan the article titles. Do the same for each subsequent year. This will give you a basis over time to see how the issues come and go. There are some gaps – most 2011 articles were about the tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdown, and there’s a May 2014 – July 2015 gap when this site was down – but there should be enough to give you a recent historical overview of key issues in the region. Besides the question of U.S. military presence there, be aware of Chinese territorial claims on Okinawa, and even an Okinawa independence movement.

Doing an initial skim of the article titles should give you an idea of what you want to return to for a more in-depth examination. Keep in mind that the situation in Okinawa is an evolving one, and it’s your responsibility to know accurately how it has evolved and what the current situation is. Has much changed between 2010 and 2016 on the key issues for closing bases there?

Other things to look for in the Extemp Files : Check the China and Philippines folders. What you’re looking for is Chinese activity in the South China Sea (which threatens shipping lanes to east Asia) – some major actions in the last two weeks in particular – and Philippine concerns for that same area. During the war in Vietnam, we had a major naval base at Subic Bay in the Philippines. It was closed years ago, at their request. Now there’s talk of reopening it, due largely to concerns about Chinese expansionism. Also look for articles in the China folder on their military upgrades. (Our responses, in terms of military hardware and technology, can be found in the US Military folder – I added several relevant articles within the last week.)

Footnote: After North Korea’s nuclear test and missile launch (with a satellite, not a warhead), we sent four F-22 stealth fighters to South Korea, for flybys to remind the North of our capabilities. The news report I listened to on the move said that the planes flew out of Okinawa. (Not everything is about China.)

 

FX/NX/LD – Extemp Files update

The Extemp Files were updated this morning, through yesterday. This includes the Elections and Supreme Court folders.

The Gun Issues folder was just updated, too, for the last time (since the new topic starts next week).

Extemp Files instructions repost: The link takes you to a Dropbox folder; if a pop-over window saying something about setting up an account or logging in comes up, just close it.

The files are serious overkill – about 20,000 articles right now. There should be a way to copy or download individual articles when you find the ones you want in your files – try right-clicking the specific PDF file/article and selecting the ‘save link as’ option.

The four-digit numbers at the beginning of most of the file names (and the names of the sub-folders) are simply mm/yy codes so that you can tell how recent the article is at a glance.

Please don’t download the whole thing; it trips up my Dropbox limits and bad things happen that shut down access for others. If you need a full copy, let me know (see the About link for an email address) and I’ll make arrangements to get you a copy or share the folder (so that you get the updates as soon as I post them). Students who want to share the folder will need to have an OK from their coach – I don’t want to step on the toes of any coaches who prefer other methods of team research. (Several coaches already share the folder, if you’re a coach and are interested.)

FX/NX/LD – Extemp Files update

The Extemp Files were just updated, through this afternoon (Thursday). This includes the Elections folder.

There is a new folder in the Extemp Files – Supreme Court – for the uproar over replacing (or not) Scalia. Only the February articles are included; the bulk of them are from within the last week. I don’t know if anyone will encounter SCOTUS (Supreme Court Of The United States) questions, but I’d prefer for everyone to be prepared, just in case.

The Gun Issues folder was just updated, too. More material on the next LD topic (democracy in the Middle East) will be posted shortly.

Extemp Files instructions repost: The link takes you to a Dropbox folder; if a pop-over window saying something about setting up an account or logging in comes up, just close it.

The files are serious overkill – about 19,000 articles right now. There should be a way to copy or download individual articles when you find the ones you want in your files – try right-clicking the specific PDF file/article and selecting the ‘save link as’ option.

The four-digit numbers at the beginning of most of the file names (and the names of the sub-folders) are simply mm/yy codes so that you can tell how recent the article is at a glance.

Please don’t download the whole thing; it trips up my Dropbox limits and bad things happen that shut down access for others. If you need a full copy, let me know (see the About link for an email address) and I’ll make arrangements to get you a copy or share the folder (so that you get the updates as soon as I post them). Students who want to share the folder will need to have an OK from their coach – I don’t want to step on the toes of any coaches who prefer other methods of team research. (Several coaches already share the folder, if you’re a coach and are interested.)

NX – Elections

I just updated the Elections folder in the Extemp Files; there are already over 400 articles from February alone. Winnowing through them for the best articles is a challenge – it depends on what facet of the issue you’re considering and what position you want to take.

For the moment, lets go with three articles that get into some of the reasons why the current election cycle looks the way it does. With a specific look at the problems Republicans face, Edsall gets to a key question – what if both parties nominate lemons?

Edsall – What About Ted Cruz

Why are Trump and Sanders doing so well?

Sargent – Donald Trump explains American politics in a single sentence

“We’re being ripped off, and Trump and Sanders are the only two candidates who are really saying that.” – Sargent’s rephrasing of Trump’s comment. (The article goes into why that’s the sentence that explains the election so far.)

This sets up the next quote…

Blow – White America’s ‘Broken Heart’

Bill Clinton, in Iowa: “We are going to share the future. The only question is: What will be the terms of the sharing?”

It’s a very good question to ask yourself during the next few months (and years). What’s your answer?