Jun 17, 2009

NFL 09-10 topic choices released

The good guys at Victory Briefs have the scoop: ten topic choices for coaches to vote on for the 09-10 season.

My initial top five:
Resolved: In the United States, the principle of jury nullification is a just check on government.

Resolved: A just government ought to guarantee adequate housing for all of its citizens.

Resolved: Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

Resolved: Governments have an obligation to pursue and disclose the truth regarding suspected crimes by previous administrations.

Resolved: Compulsory inclusion of non-felons’ DNA in any government database is unjust.
There's a good balance here of morality, law, science/health (we never get enough in LD) and history.

My least favorite:
Resolved: It is just for highly indebted poor countries to repudiate their debt.
What's "highly indebted?" What's "poor?" Those terms are too squishy for my liking. The Internet (via the comments below) sets me straight. Random fact: Tim Geithner was involved in the original setup of the American approach to HIPC; I'm betting he didn't think he'd be helming the economy of a HIRC a decade down the road.


Anonymous said...

a highly indebted poor country or HIPC is a term of art... do some research before passing judgment on topics

LA Coach said...

Thanks for the remind, Anon. I was also a little concerned about interpreting that resolution, and I'm happy to see that there's a term of art to help guide us.

I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about these resolutions. The more I think about them, the better they get, but I had hoped for at least one less specific option (like killing innocents to save more innocents).

That said, I'm excited about the Nuclear Weapons resolution. It has a reasonably good tie to the college resolution, a base of research from previous years (I can't find the list of previous resolutions right now, but the morality of owning nuclear weapons has already been debated), and addresses a relevant but under-discussed element of contemporary life.

I also just sat down to parse out the immunization resolution and was amazed at how simple it really is, while still containing a solid conflict of values. It should be good if we get to use it.

Jim Anderson said...

Anon, thanks for the clarification; it appears that the official designation is actually "heavily indebted poor country," which makes me wonder if the VBI guys were transcribing from a piece of paper, or if the NFL is using the more colloquial phrase. (At the least, I anticipate some Negs running their own definitions to murky the waters.)

Also, one of the criticisms of the HIPC's criteria is that they are, in fact, arbitrary, which means my off-the-cuff late-night middle-of-the-tournament-shouldn't-I-have-better-things-to-do-other-than-blogging-about-next-year-already-especially-for-free observation is accidentally accurate.

LA Coach, I was longing for a general resolution, too, but I think we have a pretty good slate overall. Last year we ended up with mostly legal topics; I hope we get some more variety this coming season.

Anonymous said...

VBI is using the highly indebted countries topic for session one.


LA Coach said...

To what degree do you think external factors effect coaches' votes? All coaches (presumably) want topics that are balanced and deep enough to be educational and enjoyable, but how much weight does the Victory Briefs commentary or camp research decisions have on voting?

I'm curious to know if these things matter to you, and if you think they matter to other coaches.

Jim Anderson said...

LA Coach, interesting question. I've never given any consideration to the camp angle. From what my camp-bound students have described, the program goes over all the topics anyway, and although students and teachers end up having preferences, when it comes to guessing what topics get chosen, no one has any idea.

I've never heard another coach express that sort of sentiment, but then, I've never asked about it either. My totally random hunch is that it plays almost no role in the aggregate.

Anonymous said...

I think that camps definitely influence coaches' voting. Coaches choose the topics that their kids went over at camp. Their kids have an advantage since they already researched and debated the topic.

I don't know about the coaches whose kids didn't go to camp though.

ZacharyTaylor said...

I'm at NDF we're we've been doing the Patents topic. It's a lot more interesting than it seemed at first.