Affiliation: Appleton East

Updated: 8/16/13

Experience: I debated in high school for Appleton East. Although it is a small school in northern Wisconsin, my experience is predominantly on the national circuit at bid tournaments. My 2NRs in high school were about an even split between policy based arguments and Ks.

I have judged ~40 rounds on the Latin America topic.

Short Version (to be read during pre-round prep)

I believe debate is about hard work. If you do not believe the same or do not put much work into debate, you should not pref me.

I prefer good argumentation/execution above all else. I would much rather see someone get rolled on death good than a K team try to run a politics disad or vis-à-vis. As more of an abstract concept, you should do what you do best in front of me. I should not affect the strategy you were planning on running against the team you are now debating. Nearly everything in my philosophy is debatable, and you as a debater should realize that my opinions are merely that: things that are open to change. This is the part where I give the schpiel about me trying not to intervene except when only left with that option. Being involved in debate as a debater gives me an interesting perspective in that I try to judge as I think that my favorite judges did while adjudicating me. I genuinely believe I am better at judging debate than doing the debating first hand.

Long Version

  1. In complete honesty, I don’t believe I have the personal ethos to be like “I refuse to let this argument be read in front of me” and have probably read a variation of whatever you could possibly read at some time or another. The bottom line is that if you have a consult counterplan that some big wig coach wouldn’t listen to, don’t think that their opinions apply to all of us. This should NOT be interpreted as “I want to hear a time cube debate,” but more like, if someone can’t beat a cheater counterplan, then they deserve to lose to one.
  2. This should go without saying, but you can read as fast as you want. If you are fast at reading, and know you can do it reasonably clearly, we will not have problems. If I am telling you to be more clear while you are speaking, you will likely have heard you have clarity issues before.
  3. I am very firmly tech over truth. I believe a dropped argument is a true argument, except in the instance in which that argument is objectively false. It is worth noting, however, that you first need to meet the criteria of an argument before it has the ability to be dropped by the opposing team.

Topicality: I default to competing interpretations. Whenever I see a good T debate with the aff emerging victorious, it is generally because their interpretation is better for debate for reasons of limits or education rather than because it seems reasonable. Reasonability (taken in any other context of debate) seems silly, and seems to necessitate intervention. The times when I am likely to lean more towards reasonability are instances in which the neg reads arbitrary definitions or has trouble defending their own. Don’t get me wrong, reasonability is very good for the aff, but is not a round winner in all instances. The real question you should ask before embarking on a T debate while neg is if you have a contextualized definition that is specific in excluding the aff you are trying to prove is untopical. If the answer to that question is yes, you will likely do well in front of me providing you can argue T technically and proficiently. Clash and impact comparison is just as important in a T debate as in any other aspect of debate. Ks of T essentially function as impact turns, which means impact calc is still a must, but make it contextual obvi (or just don’t do it because it is dumb). Aspec, Ospec and all other relevant spec arguments are generally not round winners unless the other team is pulling even more intellectually deficient shenanigans. These arguments are better suited either on CPs for questions of competition or as instances of abuse on different T violations.

Counterplans: Bread and butter of a debate. They should be competitive both functionally and textually. While counterplans that only compete off one of those have won in front of me, my presumption is that they are not entirely competitive. Just as a precursor to reading my thoughts on which counterplans are most competitive, this should mean little when preparing for a debate. What I have found generally is people willing to run process counterplans are best able to defend them theoretically. I don’t roll my eyes when someone reads a process/consult counterplan, I just think there are often more strategic options. With all of that being said, I do think the best strategic decision for the affirmative when faced with a process/consult counterplan is to go for theory (in most instances).

In order from most legitimate to least:
Advantage CPs (ran individually)
Plan Inclusive Counterplans (not including word PICs)
Actor CPs
Multiplank CPs
International CPs
Multiactor CPs
Conditions CPs
Threaten CPs
Process CPs
Consult CPs (i.e. commissions, qtr, etc.)
Delay CPs

Theory: I don't mind theory. I default to rejecting the argument except in the instance that the debate proves irrevocably altered by the theory violation (i.e. condo). I went for condo a decent amount while in high school and think it can be a round winner but only in select circumstances. In round abuse is probably a pretty standard prerequisite to getting me to vote on theory unless you can somehow convince me otherwise. I find myself leaning neg on condo (and most questions of theory), but closer to the middle than most judges you will probably find. Being double twos in the later part of my high school career, I am sympathetic to negs that run 2 CPs and a K, but could also paint a very reasonable picture of someone going for condo in that scenario. It will truly come down to how well you argue theory in that instance. On this thread, I believe performative contradictions in a debate beg the question of why the aff couldn’t sever their representations/methodology/whatever in a similar fashion. I don’t find “they introduced those reps/methodology/whatever first” to be a captivating argument or even a logical response to perf con. A defense of multiple worlds debate being good is probably a better answer, or better yet, just not contradicting yourself. Dispo is probably condo in disguise, and if you are running a CP/K dispo together, you will likely find yourself in a pickle. Otherwise, cheap shots are a reason to reject the argument and not the team, but first need to rise to the level of being an argument. Saying “politics isn’t intrinsic” is not an argument. In the instance that someone were to drop that in the block, then you explode on it in the 1AR, I would likely not credit their arguments in the 2NR as being new simply because you didn’t make an actual argument until the 1AR. I also believe theory is a question of competing interpretations, but could see a more logical argument for reasonability on a theory flow than a topicality flow.

Criticisms: I like GOOD K debates. I have a good background in psychoanalysis specifically, typical reps Ks, and then random flourishes of epistemology based k tricks I would typically deploy while running more normative kritiks. This should mean relatively nothing to a talented debater. If you are actually good at running the K, the amount of background I have in the literature should be relatively irrelevant. I generally think that the framework debate is a race to the middle in who allows the most ground for both sides. Affs should probably be able to weigh their advantages but that shouldn’t discount questions of ontology/method/reps/etc. I can play out many instances in which the aff wins they should be able to weigh their impacts but then loses on the K turning solvency, so that is something you should look out for if you are aff. Link/impact questions are more important to me than the alternative provided you are making the proper framework arguments. As Gabe Murillo once told me, alternatives are generally 2 things. 1. Dumb and 2. Uniqueness counterplans for your K. As such, so long as you can defend that your alt can solve whatever you are criticizing, it can be as dumb as you are willing to make it. Good Neg K debaters will: Employ all of the typical K tricks (Framework, Method First, Epistem. First, Reps First, Floating PIKs, etc.); have a short overview (if necessary) articulating their position on the K in the 2NC, but a larger overview in the 2NR that would reasonably answer most levels of the K debate via embedded clash, and be talented technical debaters that do not group the perm debate. Good Aff debaters answering the K will: Leverage FW as a reason they should be able to weigh their advantages, have a defense of their method/reps/etc., make perms (double bind is probably most captivating), and attack the link of the K.

K affs/Performance: These are generally fine. They are better/more easily judged if they include a topical plan text and defend the resolution, but if your thing is running an aff with a plan you don’t defend because the state is bad or whatever then that is cool too. I find topicality arguments to be more captivating than less definitionally sound framework interpretations. I don't think that non-traditional debating is bad, but I do think resolution based debating is good. That means I probably slightly err neg on an "ideal" topicality debate, but if you are a non traditional debater and win on it often, I will be a more than adequate judge for you.

Disads: Obviously they are good and you should run them. In the context of the current high school topic, case/disad being in the 2nr makes for a very winning strategy, especially because every aff on this topic is dumb.
I love a great politics debate more than anything. Refer to my theory section above about cheap shots/politics theory for more information on that. If you have generic evidence, it’s important to frame the disad in the context of the aff. Do impact calc – absent so your disad holds little relevance to the aff. If your turns case argument is garbage, it won’t get you very far unless dropped, if it’s well developed, it could be a round winner. For the aff: Don’t just contest the impact, differentiate your aff from the generic link; if the impacts of the case interact well spend some time drawing differentials/making comparisons. Conceded turns case arguments in the 1AR can be problematic if developed properly.\