Lab: RS
Email address: anarfish <at> gmail <dot> com

Date of debate: July 20

Debating on: impact drill - speech redo
Instructor/commentator: Nicole
- explain your impact first before talking about the cite
- explain why your criteria for impact calculus is better and put that at the top
- make sure you don't get bogged down on line by line of impact calculus

good job on the third take!

Date of debate: 7/22

Debating on: Word Pics
Instructor/commentator: Mulholand
Great job making the important tie-breaker arguments (high threshold for theory, education outweighs fairness, etc.). The strategic cost/strategic benefit argument is also very important, and you should move it up a bit in your order. The most important argument for you to win is that interrogating our language is essential to gain education about policy. If you can establish that, then you should be able to win your other arguments (that the Aff should be responsible for including the word in their plan, etc.). It's similar to saying "solvency advocate checks," but more offensive since it proves a positive educational benefit to comparing different language in constructing similar policies.

Date of debate: 7/25

Debating on: T 2ac for courts aff
Instructor/commentator: Eli
Comments: Rethink your counter-interpretation arguments. Think of them less as evidential proof that your aff falls into the topic and more as an argument about what the topic should look like. Also, your interpretation cards introduced some interesting directions for consideration, but I’m not sure that they fit your plan perfectly. Does the extension of a legal framework count as privatization? Probably not, given your explanation of the aff. Does the plan do things analogous to real estate development? Potentially (Homestead Act), but that’s something that needs some more evidence. When thinking about standards, think from the 2AR backwards – you should always have a plan in mind for winning that your interpretation is the best (or at least not that bad – with attendant framing arguments). Also, side bias arguments are important in framing the question of whether to allow a few more cases or not (assuming you win some pretty good defense against their education arguments). You did a nice job mixing up offensive and defensive arguments, and I enjoyed our conversation quite a bit.

Date of debate: 7/27

Debating on: 2AR vs. F-35
Instructor/commentator: Kathryn
Great job framing the debate in the overview. Your understanding of what matters is exactly right. Your discussion of why BMD is more key to heg than the F-35 could be more specific. Good job doing evidence comparison on the uniqueness debate. It's worth extending the argument that the plan wouldn't trade off with F-35 - that is attacking the worst part of most tradeoff DAs. Also, you can exploit the tension between the claim that it won't be cut now but would be cut as a result of the plan.

Date of debate: August 3

Debating on: Aff -- Practice Debate 3
Instructor/commentator: Kaczmarek
Comments: You are too efficient in the 2AC. What I mean by that is that you have so few words in each argument that they all need to be written down. Even though you are totally clear it is physically impossible to get down all the words. In a 1AR this would be devastating to the opposition -- in the 2AC you need a bit more analysis (or a least a few more words) for each argument. There was a pretty good case debate until near the end of the round. I think the neg might have done a better job of using your arguments to prove links to the kritik but you were correct to press for what it would look like in the world of the kritik alternative.

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: Practice Debate 4
Instructor/commentator: Miranda
1NR – Definitely a solid speech, but like the 2NC, you should go deeper on case. Read more cards. You’re doing a lot of great analysis, but the 1NR should also be used to outcard the affirmative on a lot of these questions. I actually think the 1NR should have taken politics – you have more time to read the evidence, so you can do better uniqueness work, etc. It would also avoid cross-x on tricky issues like the debt ceiling. Careful not to say “uniquely” too much, or your use of the word will become non-unique J.

Date of debate: 8/9

Debating on: Tournament rd 1 - SPS neg
Instructor/commentator: Charles

I like the depth of arguments on the case, and with the counterplan. This is a good 1NC to listen to. However, I’d be concerned that all the net benefits link to the CP. It seems likely to be unpopular and the satellite hardening probably links to the militarization arguments.
You need to slow down a little bit, especially on analytic arguments. It’s pretty difficult to flow. There are a LOT of cards that I only vaguely was able to follow. My flow is littered with question marks where I know you read a card but could not really clarify what the card is.
You also need to give the judge time when you switch flows and arguments. You are going 100% for the whole speech. There’s just no way to catch up.

I vote aff.

I’m primarily persuaded by two large-scale framing arguments in the affirmative rebuttals. I see the warming impact as tremendously large and basically conceded. I don’t buy the argument that intervening actors can somehow resolve warming because the aff has several cards that we are near the tipping point. On the DA, I’m persuaded by the aff’s argument that the uniqueness and internal link don’t match up particularly well.

This is by no means an absolute takeout to the DA. It just means that I’m reasonably confident it’s possible to deploy SPS without necessarily triggering the impact.

Overall, this was a great debate. The 2AC was fantastic, the block responded very well, and the rebuttals all did a nice job of identifying crucial issues. I like hearing a big case and DA debate. Thanks!

Date of debate: 8/9

Debating on: Round 2
Instructor/commentator: Kathryn
2AC – You started WAY too fast on the case. I couldn’t get most of your arguments. You need to slow down, especially on the tags, and really emphasize labels.
2AR – Pretty good. Some of your best arguments didn’t line up well with the 1AR so be sure to talk to your partner about what you want him to say in the 1AR in the future. Emphasize that they have no answers to Iran and center your impact calculus around that. You need more time on the Russia DA on the case.
RFD: The aff wins the Iran advantage. There is never a neg response to the argument that Iran would not sign the treaty and there is no neg defense against Iran. The countermeasures argument is an answer to Iran but it was not extended in the 2NR.
On the spending DA, the neg extends the Moody/Fitch link to answer the argument that the S&P downgrade was due to political factors, not economic ones. However, the aff is correctly making the argument that the credit rating agencies are concerned about Congress’s ability to control the current trajectory of spending and this is something they probably will not accomplish even without the plan’s spending. There wasn’t really an answer to this in the 2NR. This means there’s a significant risk the DA is inevitable.
The neg wins on the Russia turn. It is extended very well in the block and somewhat well in the 2NR. The aff undercovers it in both speeches. The 2AR asserts MAD solves, but the neg does an excellent job of explaining how it solves in the status quo but BMD will disrupt it because Russia will feel like the BMD would take out their second strike capability. They would strike immediately while the BMD is being built. None of the aff’s evidence about how heg checks is specific to Russia – the neg’s cards and arguments are much better (and this argument is not clearly in the 1AR). Because this will occur immediately as the BMD is being built and is a very large impact, the Russia turn outweighs.

Date of debate: 8/10

Debating on: Rd 6
Instructor/commentator: Nicole
A couple of things
I’m confused why the cx of the 1ac asks who the agent is, the aff doesn’t specify, and the neg doesn’t then read aspec. Especially given that it was disclosed.
Secondly, I think the neg block is spread too thin. The 1nr does not go in order on politics and both speeches have a tough time covering. The 2nc was excellent on a lot of the heg flow, but the CP is barely extended, etc. Some of this may have been strategic shadow extension – but some seems like it was problematic.

I think the aff wins a substantial portion of their Iran EMP Advantage. Even if the neg were to win a full risk of its economic decline doesn’t cause war arg, the 2ar did a great job of describing the totality of the economic decline that would occur that would prompt a war. Further, the 2ar explains why a black out in the US from the EMP would allow other countries to attack us in our moment of weakness. The global powers she lists – and described in her evidence – validate her claim of extinction as the final impact to this advantage.

I think the Politics DA is mitigated by a few factors
- I think the neg doesn’t explain why obama would get the blame. This seems like it should be a minor issue, but the neg seems to be answering the wrong fiat argument each time. Although the plan might be massively unpopular, it does not seem last if it would be tied to obama.
- The aff thumpers are significantly better and more persuasive than the neg’s “top of the agenda” card. The aff also gives a way to resolve this debate – based on the recency of the evidence – in the face of a lack of neg resolution on this question.
Without consulting the rest of this debate, it is clear that the neg can not win enough of this DA to outweigh the aff.
It is unable to turn the aff claims of EMP weaponization because there is not a specific 2nr discussion of those interactions and because of the concession of heg overarching sustainability preventing that advantage from being turned.

Date of debate: 8/11

Debating on: Round 8 Neg

Instructor/commentator: Zach R.


Great debate you guys. It was the best one I judged all tournament, and everyone should be proud of how they did.


2AR concedes defense that China will inevitably consume lots of oil and that Kuwait will build up stockpiles, taking out any risk of offense from the neg’s turns. The 2NR gets to the deterrence advantage with little time left and does little analysis, leading me to favor the aff’s solvency scenario. More importantly, the answers in the 2NR aren’t specific to aerospace and technological leadership, which the 2AR tells me are the key internal links to preventing space weaponization. I think the DA certainly outweighs the case because there was no impact calculus done in the 1AR, and considering the impact was clearly articulated in the block, I’m reluctant to give the 2AR new analysis. However, I do feel that the affirmative solves back the terminal impact to the disad.

The neg is clearly ahead on the link itself. The aff needs to do a better job acknowledging the distinction between fact and perception. They overwhelmingly win that SPS is not actually a weapon, but that question is largely irrelevant-instead, the moves of other countries depend upon how they perceive SPS. While the aff does make a couple of answers to perception, there are a couple of problems. The first response is UN investigations check-the 2NR tells me that their Glazer evidence says the UN hasn’t actually passed a resolution on this issue yet, and they won’t actually investigate. Limited 2AR time allocation here means that I take this argument at face value, regardless of truth. The second answer is that Obama’s diplomatic relations will check any improper perception. I think this argument is interesting and likely true, yet I think it’s largely new spin in the 2AR and probably could have benefited from more analysis.

However, the one place where the aff is ahead is on the link uniqueness. They’re telling me that the U.S. already sent up a space bomber – therefore, if other nations will react, they should have done so already. This argument is clearly extended through both the 1AR and 2AR, and I lack a response in any negative speech.

I vote aff because the aff solves back the terminal impact and the link is non-unique.

Date of debate: 8/11

Debating on: Tournament round #7
Instructor/commentator: Mikaela
Comments: 2AC – Good speech. Excellent coverage of the CP/DA. You could be a little stronger on the case. Also, your organization on the solvency flow is a little confusing and it seems like you’re skipping a couple of warrants at the end. In a debate like this, you should start impact calculus in the 2AC.
2AR – Great overall. You need to crystallize your offense a little bit more – what is going to win you the debate? An example of the type of arguments you should be making is when you talk about how the aff and DA access the same impact, so it’s a question of the internal link. Much more of this sort of comparison would be really helpful.
RFD: I vote aff. The debate comes down to who better accesses war with China. It’s very close, but I think that the affirmative is slightly ahead. First, the CP doesn’t solve Chinese weaponization. The aff’s evidence is better on this question, as it indicates that despite appearances, China would really use treaty negotiations as a delay tactic in order to build up its capabilities. The negative evidence and explanation is strong, but does nothing to overcome this warrant. On the primacy DA, the negative concedes that war with China is coming now because of the current arms race. The aff’s evidence that the plan prevents the war is also pretty strong. This makes it difficult for the negative to win offense.

Date of debate: 8/12

Debating on: doubles
Instructor/commentator: Eli
I voted aff because the China / hegemony advantage was more probable than the spending DA. The aff won that Obama is going to sneakily spend $500 billion on health care, so if the neg is right that a $44 billion BMD program would cause a downgrade, the status quo will probably do that as well. The neg won a small long-term spending link, but, given the emphasis on the DAs short time-frame, I didn’t think this was very likely relative to the non-unique. I thought the aff won that BMD would be effective – because neg authors are biased – and that current technology is enough to credibly dissuade competitors like China from challenging us in space.

2ar: You should have explained your terminal impact as independent of the DA impact – you discussed the relation between the 2, but didn’t assess your impact independently until the waning seconds of the 2ar. Really nice job on the case, and good selectiveness just extending the uniqueness arguments.


Date of debate: June 23
Debating on: Constellation aff
Instructor/commentator: Nicole
Awesome job! Best 1AC ever!