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.


…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



On an Island Named for Ice, the Poets Are Just Getting Warmed Up

The link is included for the graphic in the article; the PDF version, minus the graphic, is in the Poetry folder (updated last night, through the end of November). I’ve enjoyed the Icelandic fiction I’ve read (Indridason takes up a bookshelf, and Ingolfsson is on my Kindle), which occasionally involves excerpts of often ancient texts, but I can’t say that I’ve read any modern Icelandic poetry.

I listen for pieces that might translate well into Poetry Interp pieces for competition, which is why the following NPR story caught my ear:

‘A Poem For Peter’ Recalls One Unforgettable ‘Snowy Day’

Doing a piece that’s a poem about a book – and one that judges and other competitors might remember fondly – is an interesting possibility. The social significance of the original book is noteworthy, too.


CX (and FX) – China

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

The question of what happens between China and the U.S. during a Trump administration is guaranteed to be a topic you’ll encounter in FX, and is likely to be the source of various advantages and disadvantages in CX. The following NPR report is worth listening to:

Trump’s Hotels In China Could Be A Conflict For The President-Elect

I hadn’t heard the figures before – plans for 20 to 30 new Trump properties spread around China. Does he come down hard on China and lose those developments, or does he curry favor with them to get his projects approved?

The last time we did a China topic in CX (mid-1990s) we learned that the government owns a *lot* of businesses. The PLA (People’s Liberation Army – the Chinese military) at the time had a good percentage of the members of the military involved in running their business interests. That raises the question of Trump’s business dealings not just with private businesses, as he would be in other countries, but with entities that are business extensions of the Chinese government. The NPR story touches on these concerns.

Extemp Files Update

The Extemp Files were updated late last (Thursday) night, through yesterday’s articles. They’re complete through June (just before Nationals), and from Sept. 12th through last night. 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 most recent 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 that explore how Clinton lost (and where the Democrats go from here), how Trump won, and where Trump might be going.

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 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.) Specific topic subfolders can be shared as well.