Topics – LD Nov/Dec ’16, PF Nov ’16

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2016 Nov/Dec

Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.

This one has to do with holding police officers responsible for their professional behavior, specifically when that results in injury or death to civilians with whom they interact. The articles I have on this aren’t in the Extemp folders, though they are in Dropbox; I’ll post a link to what I have soon.

Public Forum Debate – 2016 Nov Topic Area: Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)

Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.

Ah, privacy again. Two key things to consider: 1.) If you have a commercial device that’s connected to the Internet (be it a household device or your vehicle), what does the company providing the device/software do with the information it collects about your usage habits? (The purpose of business is to make a profit, and the methods of doing that aren’t always moral – see: Wells-Fargo phantom accounts.) 2.) Connecting something to the Internet pretty much guarantees it can be hacked. What threat does that pose not only to your privacy, but also to your safety? Keep in mind that we already make these trade-offs with our present on-line activities. Bruce Schneier’s book Data and Goliath discusses what’s done with the data, once collected. I get PC World newsletters daily (legacy of an old tech job), and they have numerous articles on both IoT devices and internet security.

Topic recap:

Policy Debate – 2016-2017 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.

See the Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles – look for the China subfolder.

And, from a recent email to the coaches in my state:

Here are the Novice Policy (CX) Case Areas as set by the NFHS. 
A number of tournaments use these as the case areas for novice and/or JV Policy (CX) divisions. Be sure to always carefully read the tournament invitations. 

2016-2017 NFHS Policy Debate Novice Cases for China

  1. Cooperation with China in Outer Space
  2. Signing a Bilateral Investment Treaty With China
  3. A grand bargain on Taiwan: Repealing the Taiwan Relations Act in exchange for Chinese concessions in the South China Sea
  4. Eliminating the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Installations in East Asia in exchange for China’s assistance in stopping North Korean nuclearization.

Public Forum Debate – 2016 Sept/Oct Topic Area: U.S. Constitution

Resolved: In United States public K-12 schools, the probable cause standard ought to apply to searches of students.

I do have an Education subfolder in both the Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles folder (links above, under the CX resolution). The resolution would seem to be as much about the adult/juvenile distinction as the question of probable cause.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2016 Sept/Oct

Resolved: Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power.

In the Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles folders, look for both the Nukes and Energy Independence subfolders. If global warming is as serious a problem as scientists say it is, the nuclear power provides the energy on which we depend without carbon emissions. On the other hand, nuclear power leaves us with some serious (and seemingly eternal) waste disposal issues. Nuclear plant costs can be extreme, and the risk of terrorists compromising the plants or a plant’s fuel may also be factors. (Footnote: you can get a great deal on a partially-built plant in Alabama right now – really!)

LD is value debate – should you argue this resolution from a strictly value standpoint, or would a real-world approach be more appropriate?

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Novice Topic

Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

More on this one later. In my state, with novice tournaments in October and varsity not beginning until November, this may be the only LD topic we see.

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