Lab: CO
Email address: apprentice828 <at> gmail <dot> com

Date of debate: 7/1/9

Debating on: SPS clash drill
Instructor/commentator: Charles
Really good on the DA – good explanation of the distinction between the uniqueness argument and the level of link provided by SPS. And good explanation of the distinction between perception arguments and the factual question. I even think you should be a little more aggressive about closing off new 2AR arguments there.

On the case, I think you need to develop more of a ‘status quo sustainable’ argument. Even if you win your alt cause, it might not be sufficient. Maybe this just means developing the claim that their terminal impact is unreasonable and unqualified.

One other thing on the case: things are a little too tagline focused. It takes you 10-15 seconds to really get into the substance of the argument, which is a problem when time is limited.

Good arguments on the uniqueness debate for the DA. But the best structure for the 2NC is to extend your card including warrants, answer their card, and then read evidence.

Nice job on the link debate for the DA.

You don't need to extend every argument on the case. You don't really do anything with the "1000 years" card, so it's probably not worth investing the time there. Focus on the ones you have more solid arguments for.

It's almost an aff argument to say 'positive feedbacks are empirically denied.' It just suggests that we haven't hit the positive feedback loops yet.

Date of debate: 7/22

Debating on: Condo
Instructor/commentator: Mulholand
Good job. I think it's right to establish the argument that conditionality is key to negative flexibility and that negative flexibility is good since it lets us attack the affirmative at multiple levels and ultimately make better decisions. I also like the argument that time/strategy skew is inevitable. I would add that conditionality improves strategic thinking, by forcing the affirmative to pick and choose their best response while letting the negative make a choice about what gives them the best opportunity to win. You should add an argument about the necessity of conditionality for logical decision making.

Date of debate: 7/22

Debating on: conditionality
Instructor/commentator: Charles
The first half of the 2NR was very good. You laid out your major offense and defensive arguments and explained them well. The second half was a bit weaker, mostly because it included a lot more taglines vs. developed arguments. You extended ‘negation theory’ but didn’t justify or explain what that means, for example.

You’re a little bit unclear when going really fast. Could either slow down or clear up just a little bit.

Date of debate: 7/23

Debating on: 1AC reading
Instructor/commentator: Charles
Work on enunciation. You are pretty clear in terms of getting the words, but it could be communicated better if your intonation varied more and it sounded more like normal speech.

Date of debate: 7/30

Debating on: Space Militarization Aff
Instructor/commentator: Miranda
1AC – You’re slurring words together a bit on the card text – try enunciating more and varying your tone more. Flowing your cites was easy though, which was nice.

1AC CX – You have a tendency to say “um” a lot in cross-x – try to curb this habit. It will make you sound more confident. Don’t keep talking after the timer stops.

1AR – Wow! This was one of the best 1ARs I’ve heard in a long time. You extended exactly the right arguments and allocated your time correctly. A couple of areas for improvement – on the security flow, you should specifically answer the claim that your authors are biased because they are in the military industrial complex – list qualifications and argue why being in that complex is actually good – just a little more argument engagement. I’m pretty sure the 2NC dropped the second perm on the K, so you should extend that as well. You should work on efficiency, because while you got through the 1AR just fine it would have been even more devastating with more arguments and a little more time on the last disad. All in all, a really good speech.

Date of debate: 8/1

Debating on: 2AR
Instructor/commentator: Mulholand
Comments: Nice job providing reasons to prefer AND impacting those reasons (i.e. we post date and that's tremendously important since the outlook on the budget changes daily). Also nice work providing "even if" statements (i.e. after you say the F-35 is key to air power, you also say investing in the F-35 is key to air power EVEN IF it doesn't provide any substantive advantages). You should point out that the timeframe permutation is intrinsic (it adds a temporal delay in the passage of the CP) and say it's illegit for that reason. Nice work explaining why the CP solves every advantage specifically. I would add in a meta-claim that the private sector is key to all space projects inevitably (even if the plan goes through the government, the work probably gets completed by private contractors) and that this mechanism empirically solves (see the space shuttle, for example). I would be careful about reading a specific link to SPS on the DA (as opposed to links to spending), since this arguably links to the CP (which provides tax incentives for SPS and is, thus, still a major change in energy policy/priorities).

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: practice debate 3
Instructor/commentator: marissa
I'm not sure how far it gets you to focus on weaponization inev in the 1AR because ultimately even if you win that, the CP provides them some uniqueness that maybe they could solve for some weaponization. Try to work on efficiency in the 1aR- if you were a little less wordy on some of these explanations you could extend more stuff on the counterplan. on the k they have good spin on why "defensive" weapons are just a cover- you need a more explicit answer to this.

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: redo 2NR
Instructor/commentator: Eli
Comments: Really nice job. Good extension of key positions and I liked the cross-application of realism to their international norms advantage. For improvement, I'd suggest eliminating a bit of inefficiency / circular talking in a few points (time frame of nuclear war, permutation answers, CP solvency related to developing SBSP). Also, go line-by-line on the DA - think of the 2nr as writing the ballot and use embedded clash only selectively.

Date of debate: 8/9

Debating on: Tournament debate 3 - aff vs. Coates-Welsh and Neustadt
Instructor/commentator: Eli
I voted neg on the argument that the K provided a better approach for thinking through all of the 1ac harm areas. I thought the neg won that Chinese ‘offensive’ military action is dictated by the US’s expectation that they would act in a realist manner, that there’s a difference between rogue state capability and intention and it’s racist to assume a correlation, and that the ideology of hegemony prompts constant, paranoid intervention that causes the threats it is intended to stop. These really solid ‘K turns case’ arguments made me think more favorably about the alternative’s attempt to reframe the way we think about security issues; it in fact may be more fruitful to start with the question of how to approach the problem before rushing to a solution, and it is likely try or die for this approach.

In the 1ar, focus down on the ‘threats are real’ / realism debate and the alternative solvency debate. You should probably read some more cards on all of these issues, since the block pulled pretty far ahead of you on the link / impact turn debate in terms of evidence quality.

Date of debate: 8/9

Debating on: Round 4
Instructor/commentator: Chander
Voted aff.
CP solves warming – the 2nr is framed around warming as the central issue – you double cover warming on the CP and go for it on case defense. This is problematic because with so little ink on the heg advantage, the aff is going to kick warming and go for the heg advantage instead.

The disad link is severely mitigated by the 2nr’s concession that the aff only pays for 1 demonstration, and private companies take care of it from there on out. You do get a small risk of a perception link argument.

Resolving the econ turns heg/ heg turns econ debate is a little tough because neither rebuttal answers the I/L of the other, no rebuttal does I/L comparison or timeframe comparison as to which is triggered first.

To resolve this, I go to the solvency debate to determine if the aff really does only happen by 2030 – that card only says however by then to solve warming, SPS will have to be scaled up significantly. Instead, their NSSO evidence is quite good that they can solve by 2012. Thus, I think hegemony prevents massive escalation of nuclear war and sovles the disad given the severely mitigated link.

Date of debate: 8/11

Debating on: Aff Round 7
Instructor/commentator: Zach R


In the 2NR, the negative claims there is a distinction between discourse and method, and that while discourse may be irrelevant, the aff’s method is not and substantially affects the plan. The 2AR ignores this distinction, and instead insists that policy comes before discourse, and that the neg evidence is bad because it does not speak to discourse (which, if the negative is to be believed, is probably true, but that’s because it speaks to method instead). At this point, it becomes easy for me to check in for the negative on them being the only ones who address method, which is key to solve the world’s problems.

I do think the negative’s alt solvency is substantially mitigated by the conceded aff argument that other nations will inevitably act in a nationalist manner, thus precluding the cooperation necessary to solve global problems. However, this doesn’t truly address the inevitability of the terminal impact of extinction in a world without cooperation. While the neg likely doesn’t solve, their try or die framing is unanswered in the 2NR. Combined with the fact that I don’t think the aff can solve at all because of the framework distinction explained above, I do the only thing I think has a chance of solving extinction and vote for the k.

I vote neg.


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