What needs to change in debate? HS debate strategies.

factions are beginning to form in the debate community and i mean this with all seriousness. 

there are important issues that plague high school debate and the upcoming pushback by high school judges, coaches, administrators, parents and bystanders has been building for a very long time.

what is the pushback against? i won’t immediately say spreading, because while spreading is a part of it, it isn’t the biggest part. i respect spreading a lot. i think it’s pretty important to developing the ability to work at a very quick pace.

the issue is, however, the co-opting of high school debate by college debate.

and it is here, in the attempted emulation of strategy and spreading, that high school debate has lost its way. 

at some point the activity became an extreme specialisation and the comments of coaches, bystanders and judges mattered less and less against the perception of “camp glory.” it’s all camp this, camp that, camp files this, camp files that.

i won’t lie, open evidence is great. but the extent to which it provides for a normalised argument all year long is awful.

is anyone over 20 convinced that running u.s. should take more of another country’s oil is a good plan?

well, let me tell you that you’re facing a heavy opinion trend from people who take oil more serious than high school debaters. why would you pick this for students to run as a competitive argument in front of adult judges. where is the rational basis for a plan?

this resolution WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT POSTCOLONIALISM and learning about how some actions taken in u.s. history were morally wrong.

instead, this year we’re letting camps cut oil affirmatives for all the countries. but the issue is that we misunderstand the value of what we teach students at camps. the attitude of a camp seems to be that the integrity of the education is irrelevant to the amount of production and work students put in. this simply isn’t true and here the camps are simply irresponsible.

what does it matter when students’ debate cards aren’t true? well, they start to believe silly things are true, like the u.s. is a leading stopper of oil spills. when in reality, u.s. production has about as many if not more spills than the rest of the world combined. we should care about this, too. these students are the cream of the crop and they’re going to be a very big part of the future. they should be instructed to make better arguments than the u.s. should extract more oil.

i’m unconvinced by oil plans. and if you say that it’s because the u.s. extracts other countries resources already, please tell me if that’s a better argument to make.

i’m going to be introducing deontological topicality violations with my students this year. watch out, because oil will be my number one target. 

last year, at the varsity state finals, i laid it out before a round in my paradigms. “i’ve seen too many debates of students arguing past each other. too many debaters saying this card is against this card. too many debaters saying ours is newer, so prefer. i am thirsty for an actual analysis of the authors, their credentials to be saying what they’re saying and maybe even some assurance that the card isn’t mistagged.”

the other two judges immediately prompted the round that if either team pulled of what i had asked for their would likely win the round. they did.

it isn’t even that hard to pay attention to what i’m saying. we’re not against policy debate. we all love policy debate.

we do, however, want it to be more accessible.

when an unfamiliar administrator with the power to sign away the debate budget walks into the room and is immediately turned off by what she sees, that is a problem. the debate community is, however, mature enough to deal with this. please, debaters, realize that you are currently contributing to the demise of your beloved activity. 

debate is changing. the only policy debate expansion that’s happening is in the UDL movement. and why is that, though?

EDUCATION. the massive power and potential of the UDL movement is that it realizes high school debate for its potential impact on education. there is a focus on card-cutting clarity, factual evidence, oratory and rhetoric.

the meta debate is quickly becoming the most important one. most judges will still vote for you if you speak slower. most judges will vote for you if you slow down to explain why you’re running each card. most judges will vote for a kritik, if instead of simply reading cards and lining them up on the flow, you actually explain the substance of the kritik to the judge.

this is one of the biggest flaws that gets transferred over from college to high school debate. in college you run the full force of the kritik. you expect that everyone in the round has at least some sort of familiarity with the argument and can hit it absolutely head on. in high school it’s different. most of the time your judge will not have any sort of familiarity with the kritik that you’re running and instead you’re teaching them the kritik. the difference is immense. 

if the judge feels like you opened their eyes or taught them something with the kritik, how do you feel about your chances of winning that round?

a little ranty this morning, but i’m getting excited about the season and i wanted everyone to know that this year is going to be a very interesting one. plus if any high school debaters are willing to listen to me, hey that’s cool too.

KOZY-FM was Kansas City’s first FM radio station.

Everett L. Dillard operated an experimental station on 26.45 mHz from 1937 to 1939.  He applied for an FM license in 1940 and signed on K49KC in 1942 at 44.9 mHz.

Dillard later chose the KOZY call letters.  The station moved to 99.9 mHz before settling on 98.1 mHz.  The station went off the air in 1950, and Dillard requested the FCC delete the license in 1951.

KCBM-FM apparently signed on the 98.1 frequency in 1958.  It became KCJC-FM by 1962.  The station became KUDL-FM in 1969, a simulcast of KUDL-AM.  

The AM station flipped to a news format in 1975 with the call letters KCNW.  KUDL-FM kept an oldies format before flipping to a Top 40/Disco sound.  The station moved to soft Adult Contemporary by 1977.

Entercom bought the station in 1998.  It dropped KUDL-FM’s Adult Contemporary format in 2011 and began simulcasting KMBZ-AM’s news/talk format.  The FM station took on the KMBZ-FM call letters.

Source: Route56.com: History of KOZY

No Longer Unthinkable: Should US Ready For ‘Limited’ Nuclear War?

AI FORCE ASSOCIATION HQ: For more than 60 years, most Americans have thought of nuclear weapons as an all-or-nothing game. The only way to win is not to play at all, we believed, because any use of nukes will lead to Armageddon. That may no longer be the game our opposition is playing. As nuclear weapons proliferate to places that might not share our reluctance to use them in small numbers, however, the US military may face a “second nuclear age” of retail Armageddon for which it is utterly unprepared. Outside the US, both established and emerging nuclear powers increasingly see nuclear weapons as weapons that can be used in a controlled, limited, and strategically useful fashion, said Barry Watts, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, arguably the Pentagon’s favorite thinktank. The Cold War “firebreaks” between conventional and nuclear conflict are breaking down, he wrote in a recent report. Russia has not only developed new, relatively low-yield tactical nukes but also routinely wargamed their use to stop both NATO and Chinese conventional forces should they overrun Moscow’s feeble post-Soviet military, Watts said this morning at the headquarters of the Air Force Association. Pakistan is likewise developing tactical nukes to stop India’s much larger military. Iran seeks nuclear weapons not only to offset Israel’s but to deter and, in the last resort, fend off an American attempt to perform “regime change” in Tehran the way we did in Baghdad. The US Air Force and Navy concept of “AirSea Battle” in the Western Pacific could entail strikes on the Chinese mainland that might provoke a nuclear response. It’s precisely because US conventional power is so overwhelming that the temptation to turn to nuclear weapons to redress the balance is so irresistible. Ten years ago, the Iraqis sidestepped American dominance in the middle of the spectrum of conflict – regular warfare with tanks, planes, and precision-guided non-nuclear weapons – by going low and waging guerrilla warfare, for which the US proved painfully unprepared. In the future, nuclear proliferation means more and more countries will have the option to sidestep US conventional power by going high and staging a “limited” nuclear attack, for which we aren’t really prepared either. Indeed, some countries, notably a nuclear Iran with its terrorist proxies and North Korea with its criminal ties and special operations forces, could outflank America’s conventional military from both sides at once. So, could the US military keep going after losing an Army brigade or a Navy aircraft carrier to a tactical nuclear strike? “I don’t think we’ve thought about continuing to do conventional operations in an environment in which some nuclear weapons have been used, [not] since the Cold War,” Watts told me after his talk. “You’ve got to have equipment that continues to work in that environment, and, in general, we don’t.” For example, one of the ways the Army economized on its new “Nett Warrior” communications gear for foot troops was to scrap the requirement for its circuit to survive the electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, from a nuclear detonation, which can spread far below the lethal blast and radiation effects: Such shortcuts make sense for Afghanistan and Iraq, but not for Korea. “So there are a lot of things you might want to invest in, to put it mildly,” said Watts. One particularly controversial suggestion Watts offered is for the US to invest in new tactical nuclear weapons of its own. Currently, Watts argued, if an enemy attacks with a relatively low-yield atomic bomb, America’s choices for a response are limited to conventional strikes or thermonuclear weapons, with very little in between. “The problem is most of the warheads we’ve retained… are huge weapons,” Watts said. “The ones on the [submarine-launched] Trident missiles are 450 kilotons.” The Air Force’s B-61 warhead is small enough to fit in the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and its yield can be “dialed down” to as low as an 0.3 kiloton yield, but the B-61 is a 60-year-old design that’s been out of production for years, although old bombs have been modernized. Said Watts, “Congress’s absolute prohibition about developing new warheads… makes it very difficult for us to have credible nuclear weapons that could be used in a limited way, not at the Armageddon level.” Adversaries are less likely to be deterred by America’s nuclear arsenal if they decide we won’t strike back with our big bombs in response to a limited, low-yield nuclear attack on US troops. It’s even less credible the US will retaliate massively if the adversary stages the nuclear strike on its own soil as a last-ditch defense against “regime change,” as Russia has wargamed and as Iran is no doubt tempted to do. Least credible of is US nuclear retaliation for a nuclear attack that doesn’t actually kill anyone: An enemy with even modest space capability can detonate a nuclear warhead high in the atmosphere, where it will generate a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (or HEMP) that disrupts the electronics on which the US military depends without actually taking any lives. (Congress has held hearings on electromagnetic pulse in the past, albeit focused on threats to the American homeland rather than US forces abroad, but legislative interest has waned since the 2012 defeat of Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, the Hill’s foremost hawk on EMP). Whether it’s morality or lack of suitable weapons that holds the US back from retaliating to a limited nuclear attack in kind, the American military at least needs to plan for how to take an atomic hit and keep on going. “You may end up fighting a nuclear/EMP environment even though you’re not using those kinds of weapons yourselves,” Watts said. Watts is less worried about the threat of nuclear terrorism than he is about nation-states. He doubts Iranian mullahs, for example, would trust even their favorite proxies, Hezbollah, with a nuclear weapon. But he’s skeptical of the conventional wisdom that the Chinese have sworn never to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack on them. “If you start digging into the literature [by Chinese strategists], they say all the politically correct things in the front of the book about how we’re not going to use nuclear weapons first,” Watts said. As you read more deeply, however, he found an unnerving willingness to consider nuclear detonations to generate EMP, for example, under the special circumstances of what Chinese doctrine called “local high-tech warfare under informationalized conditions.” Such special circumstances might well arise in a Western Pacific war, perhaps triggered by a Sino-Japanese clash over the Senkaku Islands, in which the US came to an ally’s defense by waging a long-range AirSea Battle. In theory, both sides could swear off strikes on each other’s homelands and try to limit the fighting to the air and sea. But there’s one big problem: While America’s main weapons for a naval battle are ships, submarines and aircraft launched from carriers at sea, China’s naval arsenal depends heavily on long-range sensors and missiles based on land. The US would either have to take shots from Beijing’s best weapons without responding or escalate to an attack on China’s coastal provinces. Watts did not discuss this topic in detail, but another strategist at the discussion did. “The issue is escalation… if you cross the Chinese coastline,” said Peter Wilson, a national security consultant. “How do you keep the war regional?” Even if the US strike causes no Chinese casualties – for example, a precision missile or even cyber attack that shut down China’s power grid – “the reply may be a HEMP shot over Hawaii.” “We’ve gotten very used to bombing countries, going downtown and working our will” from Baghdad to Belgrade, Wilson said. When the target has nuclear weapons, however, even using America’s fading conventional superiority starts looking a lot more dangerous.

yea, debaters. get cutting. there’s no way you wouldn’t be able to use this somehow. it’s a very multi-purpose card.

At the Kalamazoo Urban Debate League our mission is to produce and support excellent critical thinkers in high schools through policy format debate. Historically, well-funded travel debate teams from pr…

There is no better day than the fourth of July to discuss fundraising. First of all, if you’ve made it this far into my post, please re-blog. Virality seems to one of the best ways to make things happen on the internet, and if you understand that we need your help.

Fourth of July is the official celebration of an American declaration of independence. That means we lump all of those independence things that happened over those early years of our country and celebrate them in one day. What kinds of things are we celebrating, though?

How about great american orators, who each shined a light for thousands living in the colonies to take common cause with those around them? What about the teamwork, albeit mostly white dudes, that went into drafting letter after letter to the British Monarch? What about all those debates? Federalism vs. anti-federalism, Hamilton’s views on monetary policy, and the different plans for counting state representatives. Debate has been fundamental to the United States as we know it, and debate will be fundamental to the country as it moves further into the 21st century. So, feel free to be patriotic about this today. Debate is incredibly important to a lot that we hold near and dear. For this reason, I ask you to consider reblogging, donating, asking parents to donate, or even sending this to that person you know who has done debate, because, with a history of a country like ours, we desperately need debate.

The Kalamazoo Urban Debate League (KUDL) is a non-profit organization. It was founded in March of 2013 to address the general lack of good support for middle and high school debate programs in the Southwest region of Michigan. This is a story that gets told over and over again, debate programs in the region have been cut with interests other than students in mind. If you’re on tumblr, you’re likely familiar with the motif that schools do not service students the ways they should.

This summer we are still very short on funds for our summer institute. Today, your donations will mostly go towards making sure that those doors are open for our summer institute. 

“Engineering is a good comparison,” Uihlein said. “In engineering, you combine physical sciences and mathematics into one medium … debate’s the same thing with the social sciences. Debate really is the point where students see how things like economics impact political decisions and how philosophical ideals and ideology are at work. It’s really that integrative aspect that engineering has as well.”

study on the effectiveness of policy debate as education.

"Students who participated in debate were 19% more likely to graduate from high school relative to comparable students who did not debate. Similarly, students who participated in debate were significantly less likely to drop out of high school than comparable students who did not debate. Overall, we estimated that 90% of students who debated
graduated high school over the study period, as
compared to 75% of comparable students who did not
debate (p < 0.01)….. Overall, accounting for propensity to debate, average cumulative GPA at high school graduation students who participated in debate was 3.23 (95% CI: 3.21 – 3.28) for as compared to 2.83 (95% CI: 2.82 – 2.84) for students who did not participate.”


Watch on postmodernityandpolicydebate.tumblr.com

Well, I made this about three months ago now. Since then, we’re founded and everything. We’re still a decent amount of work from opening for a summer institute but it becomes more and more a reality everyday. Watch the video, share it, or even tell your friends about it. Regional exposure in the Kalamazoo area is is what’s making this happen.

“This video serves as an entry for the Arcus Global Prize for Collaborative Social Leadership for a proposed Kalamazoo high school policy debate league. We lost the prize, but we don’t care.

I should also note that I put this video together in 3 days nearing the end of my SIP term and it is cut rather rough so I could get it in by the prize deadline. If anyone wants to contact me about funding or sponsorship you can e-mail me at Kurbandebateleague@gmail.com