Extemp Files update

I updated the Extemp Files folder today, and with it the Government and LD-Values folders. A number of NX topics are covered in the latter two folders.

The Unfiled Articles folder is current through the end of September. There are no unfiled October articles right now.

For the PF people doing the Korea topic, see the relevant country folders in the Extemp Files folder. For those already working on the Guns topic for next month (or who want the info for their extemp files), I’ve updated the Gun Issues folder, too.

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 – over 42,000 articles right now (I haven’t purged the 2016 articles yet).. 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.

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Topics! – PF Nov ’17, LD Nov-Dec ’17

Public Forum Debate – 2017 November Topic Area: Gun Rights

Resolved: The United States should require universal background checks for all gun sales and transfer of ownership.

With the mass shooting in Las Vegas just as the topic was being announced, it’s either very timely or very awkward – every indication is that the shooter passed all the necessary background checks. To that extent, other examples will need to be used to justify the Pro side of the resolution. I do have a Gun Issues folder that goes back years that should have articles relevant to this topic.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2017 November/December Topic

Resolved: Wealthy nations have an obligation to provide development assistance to other nations.

An extension of the question of whether we as individuals have an obligation to help others in need – aid writ large rather than individually. With our obligations towards our own people in three different locations post-hurricanes, the question of who we should help first becomes relevant in a way it usually isn’t for variants of this topic. (Mexico was going to aid Houston until their earthquake.) For those into Political Science, this is a classic core-periphery question/situation. Remember that the LD-Values folder has a Philosophy subfolder, and that there’s a PSci (Political Science) folder (because that’s my major) as well. Do note that the resolution isn’t U.S.-specific; what obligations do the EU, Russia, and China have as leading economies? Examining Chinese projects in Africa and Latin America could prove interesting. Still, this is fundamentally a value question, not one of policy.

Topic recap/repost:

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2017 September/October Topic

Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.

Compulsory National Service was the 1968-69 CX topic – I remember it as the worst CX topic I had as a competitor. At the time the Selective Service System was in full swing, and many felt that everyone should have to serve their country.

Note that this wording has nothing to do with military service – civilian service is definitely an option. Since the resolution comes under LD (proposition of value), the policy issues that made the question miserable (to me) as a CX topic can be avoided. More on this one later.

Public Forum Debate – 2017 September/October Topic Area: Korean Peninsula

Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.

I’ve just updated the Extemp Files so there are a ton of articles available on this one.

In terms of the larger question (what to do about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs) think of a Venn diagram made up of circles representing the countries involved – North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, and even Russia. The resolution is a very specific subset of the larger question – what defensive actions should South Korea take. After South Korea’s recent government change, there was an initial rejection of the THAAD anti-missile system deployment. Events are overtaking that position – the files contain articles that now involve South Korea wanting not only its own missiles, but also its own nukes as well. It’ll be interesting to see where the real world stands when we actually start debating this resolution (October for my state).

Policy Debate – 2017-2018 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

Repost from this past spring, when the topic was announced:

This will be the third time I’ve coached/judged on this topic. When education reform came around during the 1972-73 season, the first ‘computers in education’ cases (when computers still involved mainframes and punch-card programming) appeared – so, how has that turned out?

One thing that was clear the last time we did this was that the only real way to improve educational outcomes was by what happens in the classroom – something that isn’t specific to school type (public/private/charter/whatever). The double ‘and/or’ construction of the resolution leads to a number of possible combinations. Identifying a specific problem will be important on this one – too nebulous, and solvency evaporates. Note also that funding-only cases usually lack inherency – you’re just expanding existing programs – though arguing that everything is fine except for funding might work. The Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles have Education subfolders worth mining. Few education problems are new, so older issues/articles are likely to still be valid (since we haven’t really done anything particularly successful to solve the problems).

A comment I made to an area CXer at Nationals, before she headed off to camp on this topic: What about an infrastructure case? With many schools in bad physical shape (poor facilities, and outdated materials), would improving facilities work as an Aff case?

Extemp Files update

I finally updated the Extemp Files and the Unfiled Articles folders!

I did skim the unfiled articles from over the summer (May-July) and pulled a lot from there to file, in no small part because of the North Korea PF topic. I still need to skim the August folder, and file more of the September articles I’ve pulled (though I’m current through Friday on North Korea articles). Much of what I’ve pulled and filed had to do with the summer’s big events – terrorist attacks, elections in Great Britain and France, problems in the Middle East, North Korea, health care, and the US withdrawal from the Paris accords on climate change. Lots of China and Russia articles have been filed, too.

More to come. Tons more to file.

Topics! – PF Sep/Oct ’17, LD Sep/Oct ’17, CX ’17-’18

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2017 September/October Topic

Resolved: In the United States, national service ought to be compulsory.

Compulsory National Service was the 1968-69 CX topic – I remember it as the worst CX topic I had as a competitor. At the time the Selective Service System was in full swing, and many felt that everyone should have to serve their country.

Note that this wording has nothing to do with military service – civilian service is definitely an option. Since the resolution comes under LD (proposition of value), the policy issues that made the question miserable (to me) as a CX topic can be avoided. More on this one later.

Note: there is a Novice LD topic that may be used in some areas – Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. This is the annual fall novice topic – it’s been used the previous two years, if memory serves me. Check your local tournament invitations to see which topic they’re using. (I’ve had teams show up having prepared for the wrong topic – it’s not a positive experience.)

Public Forum Debate – 2017 September/October Topic Area: Korean Peninsula

Resolved: Deployment of anti-missile systems is in South Korea’s best interest.

I’ve just updated the Extemp Files so there are a ton of articles available on this one.

In terms of the larger question (what to do about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs) think of a Venn diagram made up of circles representing the countries involved – North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Japan, and even Russia. The resolution is a very specific subset of the larger question – what defensive actions should South Korea take. After South Korea’s recent government change, there was an initial rejection of the THAAD anti-missile system deployment. Events are overtaking that position – the files contain articles that now involve South Korea wanting not only its own missiles, but also its own nukes as well. It’ll be interesting to see where the real world stands when we actually start debating this resolution (October for my state).

Policy Debate – 2017-2018 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

Repost from this past spring, when the topic was announced:

This will be the third time I’ve coached on this topic. When education reform came around during the 1972-73 season, the first ‘computers in education’ cases (when computers still involved mainframes and punch-card programming) appeared – so, how has that turned out?

One thing that was clear the last time we did this was that the only real way to improve educational outcomes was by what happens in the classroom – something that isn’t specific to school type (public/private/charter/whatever). The double ‘and/or’ construction of the resolution leads to a number of possible combinations. Identifying a specific problem will be important on this one – too nebulous, and solvency evaporates. Note also that funding-only cases usually lack inherency – you’re just expanding existing programs – though arguing that everything is fine except for funding might work. The Extemp Files and Extemp Backfiles have Education subfolders worth mining. Few education problems are new, so older issues/articles are likely to still be valid (since we haven’t really done anything particularly successful to solve the problems).

A comment I made to an area CXer at Nationals, before she headed off to camp on this topic: What about an infrastructure case? With many schools in bad physical shape (poor facilities, and outdated materials), would improving facilities work as an Aff case?

Extemp Files

The Unfiled Articles folder was updated a few days ago. While I’ve been able to keep up with pulling articles, the filing is woefully behind. The truth is that few use the pre-September articles once the season begins; I at least want to make what I have available, however unorganized. It’s still a quick way to scan for relevant material when compared to finding the same information on your own. The whole idea is to shorten your time on research so you can spend more time developing the arguments and positions you’ll be using.

There is a gap of about a week after Nations where I haven’t pulled anything; everything else is current.

I’ll be at the NDSA/CHSAA speech coaches national conference in Denver, from Thursday evening (8-24) to mid-day Sunday (8-27). If I hear anything interesting, I’ll pass it along.

Today’s question

Nationals is over, debate camps are working on actual (CX – Education topic) or potential (LD & PF) topics, and I’m trying to get caught up with pulling post-Nationals articles (still have the last week of June to cover, though I am current for July). So, slow around here for a brief period.

BUT…

…there are still questions worth pondering. The Washington Post had one this morning, already worded the way we like it:

Resolved: Barack Obama is better at Twitter than Donald Trump

Extemp Files Update – plus CX, LD, PF

The Extemp Files, LD-Values, and Government folders were updated yesterday afternoon, through March 6th. (I’m current with pulling articles, but not caught up with filing them.)

3-16-17: Files just updated again; now current through March 13th. Biggest edition is a ton of articles on the new Trumpcare proposal.

CX (China), PF (2-state/Middle East) and LD (housing): quick lessons from Nat Quals (ours was the first weekend in March). CX – you need to get more current material on what’s going on in China – too much of what I heard was dated and not applicable (though, often, the other team didn’t point this out – presumably because they weren’t current either). Hit the China folder for the most recent articles. There are some good ones on what Xi’s doing, and economic implications. PF – only judged one round, so not a lot of takeaways – but there have been a bunch of recent articles on the topic (Middle East folder), a lot of them analytical. LD – a longer post later if time permits (State this weekend, so jammed for time) – quick takes are that most people are sticking with homeless only – consider expanding to others who need adequate housing. Hit the Poverty folder; there have been a lot of recent articles on dealing with homelessness. Stats: there’s a 2011 figure I heard in multiple rounds about 2+M homeless; current is much less than that (600k?). Realize that while the recession peaked in 2008-9, there was a lag in people losing homes, so the 2M figure likely reflects the peak number of homeless during the Great Recession.

They’re complete through June 2016 (just before Nationals), and from Sept. 12 2016. 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 2016; 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.

Government folder: since the inauguration, I’ve been filing All Things Trump a bit differently. In the Elections subfolder, the articles since the inauguration have to do with the inauguration itself, the inauguration weekend protests, and with Trump appointments. There is now a Trump folder (which will eventually be moved to the Presidents folder, but not for a while) for things specific to him and to White House operations/people. Other topics concerning his actions will be found in the specific topic folders, mostly in the Extemp Files. Note that the Government folder has folders in it for both political parties, for Regulations, for Privatization, and an unfortunately active one for Corruption (including the potential for it).

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 – over 34,000 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.