LD Nov/Dec ’16 – Limit Qualified Immunity

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

Final thoughts, from NPR:

Why Police Shooting Trials Put Juries In A Bind

How We Engage In ‘Discipline Theater’ In Policing And Parenting

The ‘Discipline Theater’ story makes reference to this report:

Military-Trained Police May Be Less Hasty To Shoot, But That Got This Vet Fired

If officers are held to a standard where shooting is encouraged, and punishment occurs when they don’t, then what does that do to the Qualified Immunity question?

Update: This article will be in the files at the next update – after we’re done with this resolution. So, a direct link to the article:

The inexplicable prosecution – and vindication – of Ray Rojas

Same question as above: if officers (and prosecutors) are trained to react in this way (improper no-knock standards, and charging victims), where should the the Qualified Immunity line be drawn?

Extemp Files Update

The Extemp Files were just updated, through yesterday’s articles (Wendesday). They’re complete through June (just before Nationals), and from Sept. 12th through this afternoon. Articles in the gap will be added as time permits. I have tried to find all the China articles in the gap after Nationals for the CX people. The files now begin in January; 2015 articles are now in the backfiles.

The Extemp Backfiles folder is available, too. With some political issues, global and domestic, having existed for years, there are some gems to be found here.

I’ve also update the LD-Values and the Government folders, which contain a multitude of topics, some going back years. The latter has the Elections and Supreme Court folders; the former has the Racism-Discrimination and Drugs folders for the LD topic (limit qualified immunity).

Note that the Elections folder now has two files for November. 1116a covers the first part of the month, up until Election Day. Of more use to the new Extemp questions you’re likely to encounter is 1116b – the post-election articles. The 1116b folder has over 1700 articles. The 1216 folder is available now, and has over 800 articles so far.

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 – almost 25,000 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.) Specific topic subfolders can be shared as well.

Extemp Files Update

The Extemp Files were just updated, through yesterday’s articles (Thursday). They’re complete through June (just before Nationals), and from Sept. 12th through this afternoon. Articles in the gap will be added as time permits. I have tried to find all the China articles in the gap after Nationals for the CX people. The files now begin in January; 2015 articles are now in the backfiles.

The Extemp Backfiles folder is available, too. With some political issues, global and domestic, having existed for years, there are some gems to be found here.

I’ve also update the LD-Values and the Government folders, which contain a multitude of topics, some going back years. The latter has the Elections and Supreme Court folders; the former has the Racism-Discrimination and Drugs folders for the LD topic (limit qualified immunity).

Note that the Elections folder now has two files for November. 1116a covers the first part of the month, up until Election Day. Of more use to the new Extemp questions you’re likely to encounter is 1116b – the post-election articles. The 1116b folder is up to over 1700 articles. The 1216 folder is available now, and has over 450 articles so far.

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 – a bit over 23,000 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.) Specific topic subfolders can be shared as well.

Topics – PF Jan ’17, LD Jan/Feb ’17

New topic day!

Public Forum Debate – 2017 Jan Topic Area: U.S. Military

Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

Starting point: Extemp Files – folders: US Military – Cyber, Russia, China, and possibly US Foreign Policy. Do we increase spending because our military has been worn down by our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq? Because Trump will take us into Syria? Because we’ve used too many bombs against ISIS and the Taliban and need to restock? Because our technological lead is shrinking? Are Russia or China active threats? Do we need more spending on cyberwar prep – defense and/or offense? Are we still the ‘Cops of the World’ (an old Phil Ochs protest song from the Vietnam era – I think that Spotify has it). Is Trump changing focus from Asia to the Middle East, and if so what are the implications? This topic seems to have more possible arguments on both sides than other recent PF topics have had. The Extemp Backfiles have the same folders and the 2015 articles may be worth skimming.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2017 Jan/Feb

Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.

It’s trigger warning and safe space time!

Starting point: The LD-Values folder has a Free Speech folder in it. Of more use, though, may be the Education – College folder. You’ll want to go back beyond the 2016 articles on this topic. (Sidebar: There should be several articles throughout the folder about writing college admission essays, too – they show up periodically every year.) The folder covers a multitude of topics, so some digging through the files may be required.

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.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2016 Nov/Dec

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

Public Forum Debate – 2016 Dec Topic Area: Federal Drug Policy

Resolved: The United States should end Plan Colombia.

All topics can be found on the NSDA’s Current Topics page

NX/FX – Post-Election Extemp

Extemp questions, centering the way they do on current world events, routinely involve regime change issues, with Duterte in the Philippines being one of the most recent examples. And while U.S. presidential elections are a form of regime change, nothing in my decades-long personal experience comes close to what we’re about to encounter – not even the Bush/Obama transition.

What this means in term of extemp questions is that everyone writing them for upcoming tournaments has a huge (yuuuge?) variety of topics about the upcoming political transition available to them. The question that follows from that has to do with what you, as an extemper, have to do to be ready for questions that will only come around this season.

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Colorado Rules

While this posting is mainly for my team, this information applies to anyone in Colorado.

The following link is for the CHSAA handbook governing speech and debate in Colorado. It’s long – 86 pages (down from 124 last year, when it covered Tournament and Festival rules) – and much of it is of interest only to coaches in the state. CHSAA rules govern only the district tournaments that qualify competitors for the state championship tournament, and for the state championship tournament. While they do not officially apply to invitational tournaments, those tournaments traditionally use the CHSAA ballots.The qualifying tournaments for Nationals (NSDA/NFL) are a whole different matter and this information does not apply to those tournaments.

(For my team: Colorado is divided into two levels – Tournament and Festival – with each having their own specific set of events offered. Broadly speaking, larger schools do Tournament events, and smaller schools do Festival events. Schools are allowed to ‘compete up’ – and we’re one of those. Our enrollment numbers put us in the Festival category, but we choose to compete as a Tournament school – in no small part to have the full range of debate events available to us.)

2016-17 CHSAA Speech Tournament Handbook

Note that this is the Tournament handbook; there is a separate Festival handbook.

The sample ballots and event descriptions start on PDF page 58:

Drama 58-59, Humor 60-61, Poetry 62-63, Duo 64-65, POI 66-67, O.O. 68-69, Informative 70-71, Extemp 72-73, NX 74-75, IX 76-77, PF 78-79, LD 80-81, CX 82-83.