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Author Topic: Controversy Papers: Due Date and Submission Process  (Read 6368 times)
kevin kuswa
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« on: April 24, 2014, 02:05:21 PM »

Controversy Papers are due at midnight (PST) on Monday April 28th.  The Committee has voted to extend that deadline 24 hours for any author/s who need the extra time, although we ask that paper authors let us know that their document is "on the way" by this Monday even if it will not be turned in until the next day.

No papers turned in after Tuesday the 29th (at midnight, pst) will be considered for the ballot.  We hope to have the controversy ballot available by May 2nd.

To submit a paper:  It is easy. Post the paper here in CEDA Forums or email it to me (kuswakd at whitman dot edu) and I will post it here for you.  Please include primary contact information and a short description of what you would like the controversy to be called on the ballot.

Let us know if there are questions and good luck with the research and writing!

Kevin
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 02:54:40 PM »

The papers are coming in!  Exciting stuff.  Remember, if you need extra time, please let us know today that you have one coming in.  Once you contact us, the final deadline is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 29th) at midnight PCT.

In: Poverty, Russia, Definitions.

Coming: Labor, Criminalization

Others? Let us know.
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repko
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 01:18:21 PM »

Hoping to get a little dialogue flowing as the topic vote approaches.

Attached is at least one question for the authors of each paper.

 Best,

   Will 

* Threads on the ballot options.docx (24.78 KB - downloaded 310 times.)
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dstanfield
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 05:51:23 PM »

I appreciate all of these questions and would like to see the answers to them, that being said I was wondering how / in what forum the authors would respond to these questions. (since the point of this is to promote discussion I would like to know where that discussion will take place)  To echo some of Ricardo's concerns transparency of the process as well as community involvement in all of these discussions is both necessary and productive. 
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repko
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 08:28:49 PM »

Dan,

I haven't received any backchannels from authors. If I do, I'll encourage people to post publicly.

I should also clarify that while I posed the questions to paper authors, I'm curious about the take of non-authors as well. My point was really less these questions per se -- and was more about attempting to court more talk about the ballot options in the run up to voting.

fwiw, I am not on FB, but was told that some topic convos are happening there. More discussion on all forums = net gain in my opinion.

 Best,

   Will

 
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tomogorman
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 09:51:41 PM »

Not an author but have strong opinions about and support for Decrim

1. strongly favor an option that allows state and local solvency as well as federal.  I think you are going to end up with a very odd topic if you get stuck with USFG as an actor as USFG alone can probably solve for internet gambling and organ sales outright, but only model/spark movement for the rest (and I think practically nothing for physician assisted suicide/PAS as that is pretty much entirely a state concern now) which IMHO very negatively influences how the aff can access the core policy debates.  There is some discussion in the paper of having the court act under the 14th amendment and thereby ban state criminal laws against X.  My problem with that is such a court ruling would need to rely on very heterodox and novel interpretations of Constitutional Law (with the exception of PAS where there was actually a right to die court U.S. Supreme Court case Washington v. Glucksberg in 1997 that still lost 9-0).  Forcing the aff into that mold really divorces it from the core literature which assumes legislative action, and also leaves it vulnerable to the CP to have States + Congress legalize in the normal fashion with the net benefit of not creating a precedent relying on an extremely libertarian view of the Constitution.

2. Not worried about local laws as I assume the wording will require a change of law throughout the U.S. and thus any particular local ordinance would be too small to be a key advantage to the aff and would be vulnerable to a PIC.  Not even really sure how this could be a problem - can you give an example.  Also I don't think their are many unique local ordinances criminalizing the core areas - would be more concerned about this if we include public order and HIV offenses - which tentatively against.

3. Areas: strongly in favor of any/all schedule I drugs (not just marijuana), prostitution, organ sales and PAS.  Tentatively favor internet gambling - but worried about how strong the neg ground against that really is.  Tentatively disfavor HIV status, concealed carry, and public order offenses.  I think HIV status is somewhat off theme in that while the other laws are uniform against and illegal in themselves - HIV is not illegal in itself but only construed that way through over broad use of the statutes - think it will therefore risk either requiring too much of the aff (have to decriminalize even intentional HIV transmission) or too little (just have to reign statutes in while still leaving criminal the core areas they are directed against).  Concealed Carry I initially thought would be really good, but looking into I think is too broadly accepted in most states to be as big of a change as the other affs. Public order offenses I am worried about being neg as the ground against is going to be much more power tagged (racism, classism) than the ground in favor (people's right to peace and quiet) - willing to be sold on either of these though.  Strongly disfavor - immigration (this is another whole area of law  making it to big and overlap with the recent visas topic), drug use in sports (too niche - rest of topic is a broader social change), drinking age (same objection), abortion (off theme as abortion itself is legal and this would then be getting rid of various restrictions on abortion too different from core of topic).

4. Wording concerns (all I think solveable but worth brainstorming about)
a) legalize/decriminalize what; with respect to drugs options are possession, use and/or sale.  Just possession/use would obviously be very different than also sale.  Ditto prostitution where you can decriminalize the provider but not the purchaser.  Organ Markets - do we mean a free market or something like the Iranian model where you can sell to the government at set prices.
b) minors - not sure how to make this part of the wording elegant but would presumably not want to require that gambling, drugs, and prostitution be legal for minors.
c) drecrim vs. legalize with respect to the drugs debate - IMHO this is where the best debate is on marijuana (see for example Mark Kleiman's new book) - not whether to decriminalize but how.  If you make possession still a civil offense the disad is that its still probable cause for the police to search you and links to a whole bunch of Ks. If you make full on commercial sale legal you will have a new Phillip Morris and all of the bad health effects.  On facebook there was concern about whether the CP to legalize/decriminalize (whichever one the aff isn't stuck with) would be competitive or whether it would inevitably be plan plus.  I think these are good debates to try and have so want to brainstorm wordings that would make sure these CPs are neg ground.
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Paul Elliott Johnson
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 03:23:41 AM »

one interesting question will raises regarding "labor rights" phrasing is would that wording include "right to work" affs?!
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Paul Elliott Johnson
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 03:42:30 AM »

the "internationally recognized" language included in the topic paper would address this i suppose.
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JustinGreen
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 07:01:26 AM »

Will et al,

Thanks for the inquiries.  Addressing the concerns about Russia:
- No, we do not intend for the topic committee to allow for Affirmative engagement.  One of my personal beliefs is that a topic verb should have a designated direction to achieve a similar set of goals (increase pressure as opposed to "change foreign policy").  I do think it is likely a few teams will invest time and resources and attempt to say pressure is engagement; they are, IMO, on the wrong side of the definition and likely to lose on T.
- Uniqueness - Yes, it's definitely a thing.  We like that it is a topic that is currently changing.  Uniqueness effects both sides ability to get to impacts.  For instance, a Contention 3 pressure now would likely undermine any possibility for the aff to get a Relations add on.  For the neg - if pressure works, then the link overwhelms the UQ concerns to the DA's based around Russian Domestic Politics. 

Decrim v Legalization - Tom, what I don't understand is why Legalization would ever compete.  If the smart aff says "USFG should no longer consider marijuana use, production or distribution as a criminal activity."  They can still permute the "Legalize it" counterplan.  Still really don't want to go negative against marijuana decrim.

Justin
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tomogorman
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 07:55:09 AM »

Justin what if we made the aff say "USFG (and State and local goverments) should consider marijuana use, production or distribution a legal activity."

which I think would in and of itself prevent civil penalties, although I'll grant you that could be a T debate.

alternatively if we needed to be crystal clear aff could be required to say "USFG (and State and local goverments) should no longer consider marijuana use, production or distribution as a an activity subject to criminal or civil penalties."

I agree this is a key point that needs to be hammered out, because I agree it would suck to have continued jail penalties as your core neg ground on marijuana debates.  But it seems to me to be a fixable problem. Although I grant you I am less concerned than the mean person with whether the resolution looks pretty written out so I would be fine with something along the lines of:
-- There should be no criminal or civil penalties in the U.S. for participation in the following activities by adults: X list
-- The following activities should be legal for adults throughout the United States: X list
-- The USFG and all State and local governments in the U.S. should make the following activities legal: X list
-- The USFG and all State and local governments in the U.S. should eliminate all criminal and civil penalties for the following activities: X list.


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jamesherndon3
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 09:37:20 AM »

Tom is handling stuff, but thought I'd respond:

Q1: What response would you give to Neg’s that feared that they’d be asked to defend too many local ordinances ?.. Are you confident that debate over the mechanism can help the Neg in those spots ?...

Starting caveat: I think if i could go back and re-do the paper I would have just written the legalize aff mechanism.  Legalize the following - and neg ground would stem from decriminalization as net less change. 

Now, the first part of this problem is what if the USFG is the agent.  I think the solvency, federalism, state interference type arguments are good for both the aff and the neg.  Your question is about the latter: What if the aff gets local ordinance x is bad.  Three part answer:
a.  'there is enough lit on the ICC that the specific ground was pretty researchable.'  You think there is a lot of lit on the ICC? Try a google scholar search on each of the areas in the paper.  While Justin has expressed fears about the quality of the marijuana aff [gasp a good aff]. I'm not sold that it is any more aff bias than the ICC, of NFU, both great affs that produced quality in depth neg strats all year long. 

b. Legalize would be a great check because it forces the aff to defend a core 'make this legal' claim.  counterplan grounds to do less would mean the aff would need larger changes and advantages.  Adding phrasing to decriminalize might create the same thing, but legalize would do it really well. 
But, obviously decriminalize is a possibility:

c.  debate over the mechanisms should help the neg in these spots.  not only can T concerns limit people, but just outside of topicality, the act of legalizing something has larger social connotations that teams should be able to defend.  The beauty of the topic is that we can have quality, if largely aff biased, debates about yes/no legalize things. 

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tomogorman
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 10:28:40 AM »

This is just brainstorming aloud - as I am still on team aff should be legalize - but if we wanted to give aff option of being decriminalize and still make CPs competitive maybe this would work:
AGENT should make the following activities legal OR replace criminal penalties with civil penalties.
Replace would place an affirmative requirement on an aff that wants to decriminalize to have civil penalties and thereby make the legalize CP competitive.  Affs would then generally want to think out their decriminalization regime so that they can defend against that CP.
(think it would have to be OR replace rather than must replace as civil penalties don't fit in the context of solving for PAS, gambling and organ sale affs)
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tomogorman
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 10:36:56 AM »

Also I think I grok the local ordinance objection now - is the concern that under a passive phrasing that you could be topical defending just one state/local actor.  Because I agree - that would be bad; however I don't think that is what is meant - but that all states could, e.g.:
Maryland should legalize marijuana - not T.
All 50 states and the Feds should legalize marijuana - T.
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 01:10:36 PM »

Hi Will,

Thanks for the posts/questions--you've always been thoughtful and concerned about the topic writing and I really appreciate that.  I apologize in advance for being cryptic on these--I suppose we will know soon enough what controversy gets selected and we'll go from there!  I share Joe Bellon's feeling that these things are hard to predict and I am almost always wrong, but it seems like it's a two horse race between Russia and Decrim.  I am obviously biased for Economic Inequality and Labor, but I also like definitions a lot.  Regardless of what wins, though, these early conversations will help guide us along and often prove to be very helpful.

Also, as a new facebook practitioner, I think there are some good conversations happening there about the controversies (mainly on the "College Policy Debate" page), but it is hard to keep track of the threads.  This is only tangentially related, but how do you all negotiate the threads there?  It seems as though certain conversations get pushed down to the bottom of the news feed very quickly and it almost makes more sense to start a new one instead of wading through everything to get to the key comments.  Too bad facebook does not allow more cataloging of the main threads.  I do agree with Will, though, that the more discussion, the better--we are talking about our topic for the next season (and some say that's the most distinctive aspect of policy debate--the focus on one topic and the emphasis on research).

In terms of the Labor Topic questions, Craig Hennigan is our group's expert, but I think PJ is right that "internationally recognized" rights makes the explosion of rights affs less worrisome.  It is still a unions topic, but unions are rapidly changing form, requiring a consideration of what labor rights are.  Both in Gordon's 2008 paper and the new version, we talk about labor rights as a way to center the question of collective organizing.  In other words, how can we enhance collective organization?  One way is to protect labor rights, although the other modifiers will play a big role in preventing small rights affs.  Some of that (as with all the topics) will depend on the agent questions.  Is the right to work aff topical?  It certainly could be--it's a big part of the debate and one of the reasons individual states are so different in terms of the abilities to unionize.   The short answer in terms of Will's question is that "labor rights" would be modified by "internationally recognized" and if that does not happen, we would still have good topicality debates about how that action must take place.

The Economic Inequality topic...the questions about opportunity depend a bit on the aff case in terms of generating competition.  I would not read too much into the "economic inequality vs. opportunity" debate--there are some good cards there, but I think the bigger way to approach that (for getting negative ground) is a focus on "economic"--there are great debates on whether to emphasize class as the primary indicator of inequality or not.  There is a lot of that in the big paper from a few years ago.  I know there is a lot of reading to shift through on this controversy, but I feel strongly that the best way to make these papers work and not come out in a rushed way is to build on them year after year.  The other questions deal with social movements and Occupy.  I like your willingness to entertain those directions, Will--I am still a little worried about Bellon coming after me with the Burchardt rhetoric reader and a sharp knife Smiley.  The bottom line is that debate is changing in some very exciting and powerful ways and I think looking at agents like "communities," "social movements," "local groups," etc. makes sense.  In the context of economic inequality, Occupy would be one of those options and would be a fascinating experiment on agency and fiat.  The wording choices will definitely include at least one USFG option, but the time of diversifying our agent options is upon us and adding some research to those new possibilities is the idea.  More on this shortly, thanks again for the questions.



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mikemaffie
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 02:31:51 PM »

Its been awhile, but I thought I would drop in on the labor conversation...I’m in a MS/PhD program in labor relations and have been doing graduate work in this area for a few years.

Im not sure “internationally recognized” gets it done on limiting the number of possible affs. The ILO has eight fundamental conventions, but many of them would be less relevant to a USFG actor (forced labor, worst forms of child labor, right to organize and collectively bargain). These are either already covered in the National Labor Relation Act or are generally not targeted at the US.

It is also hard to figure out how they would factor into a “collective organization” topic. The USFG doesn’t really tell unions and management the content of their collective bargaining agreement…but they do set some limitations on what both sides have to agree to bargain about (mandatory), can be bargained about (permissive) and cannot be discussed (prohibited). These conditions are all rooted in when a union can legally go on strike…but aspects like child labor are not really central to collective organization/action as much as protection of specific categories of workers…

The other way to go would be a more expansive list, but even if you just look at the ILO…there are a ton of different labor conventions. If you want to scroll through all of them, here's a good list: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:12000:0::NO:::

RE: Right to work.

There is a distinction between protection for individual employees (ADA, ADEA, Fair Labor Standards, Genetic Information Nondisclosure At, etc) and protection for labor organizations. I think it would be hard for the affirmative to make the case that right to work laws, which allows individuals covered by collective bargaining agreements to not financially contribute to their union, would (strengthen/help/improve, whatever verb is selected) the ability of those labor organizations to function. The data on this is one-sided.

Labor rights are usually thought of as the rights of multiple people acting as a labor organization (or to form a labor organization). Section 7 of the NLRA (the foundation of virtually all labor protections in the United States) protects “concerted” activity – not individual activity (so if you individually approach your employer about forming a union – they can punish/fire you without violating the NLRA. Be sure to bring a friend).

If you consider “labor rights” to mean the most generic “any form of work is labor”, then you are essentially writing a topic that would allow affs to improve protections for privacy at work, strengthen anti-discrimination laws, end/implement right-to-work, raise the minimum wage, legally permit tele-commuting, abolish employment at will, end drug testing, end employer captive audience meetings during union drives, allow employees into the workplace for union drives…

… I don't want to sound like Im down on the labor topic…I actually think it's a good area to debate…but its important to get the wording right because too narrow of a topic will mean the affirmative can't really do anything to protect workers or help unions, but the topic gets very big very quickly.
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