Joseph Rhee Paradigm

Last changed 17 November 2021 6:27 AM EST

Update for LD: most of my paradigm is geared towards policy - read the general section, add me to the email chain, scroll to the Lincoln-Douglass section, have fun.

joe (he/him)

little rock central ’22, have been every speaker position. did the whole TOC thing if that matters.

as a 2N, enjoyed impact turns (see: spark, russia war good, prolif good), topicality, Ks of liberalism/security

as a 2A, enjoyed medium sized plan affs with 2 big advantages (mostly impact turned DAs), K affs with large criticisms of debate, redefined words in the topic (I read a plan in Korean before), the *race war* aff, affs that materially did stuff without the USfg, etc. basically everything except high theory (I did read Deleuze once).

email chain, not speechdrop: joerhee779 at gmail dot com. Email chain should be: Tournament - Round # - Aff team code (Aff) vs Neg team code (Neg). Example: Michigan - Round 6 - SF Roosevelt LT (Aff) vs LRCH GR (Neg)

you must give a content warning if your speech includes mentions of suicide, self-harm, or sexual violence. this is non-negotiable.

flex prep and cx are fine and good, speech and prep times are non-negotiable, only 2 speakers per team, don’t care about ins and outs.

the old version of my paradigm was rambly and unnecessary, so I have tried to make it as succinct as possible, the top part (this) is the essentials, although i left it in if you care about tiny details.

i would strongly prefer you keep your camera on but won’t force you to.

if you're unsure who I judge like, here's who I would love on a 9 person panel:

Izak Galllini-Matyas, Josh Moncure, Jyleesa Hampton, Magi Ortiz, Mac Cronin, Brianna Aaron, Azja Butler, Debnil Sur, Greg Zoda

5 minutes before a round - general section (tl;dr):

1. Problematic arguments are an instant L 26. This doesn’t mean death good is off the table, just not any ism being good (includes Malthus). The closer you toe the line, the more intervention I am allowed to do. Obviously don’t harm yourself or anyone else.

2. Don’t adapt to me. My only stylistic preference is that you do line-by-line and explain the impact to each argument, or what the implication of an argument is for the larger debate. I have spent my career researching both ‘camps’ of arguments – plan affs, political engagement, kritikal negation, kritikal affirmatives, impact turns, etc. I’ve genuinely heard it all and am glad to adjudicate a PIK versus K aff debate as well as an impact turn versus plan aff debate.

3. Tech over truth, as long as the argument is not blatantly untrue (2016 elections DA in 2021, Trump circumvents while not in office, saying they didn’t read a card when they did). This doesn’t mean I have to agree with the argument, just that it’s not objectively untrue.

4. Arguments consist of claims, warrants, and implications. Dropping an argument with solely claims and warrants does NOT mean you can’t debate the implication.

5. I will take the path of least resistance. Make my decision as easy as possible, go for the easiest strategy, and you will be rewarded.

6. Disclosure is usually good, but if it's new just don't drop new affs bad. I also won't act like disclosure burdens are always equitable, but I can't for sure know just based on your school name.

7. Don’t just read blocks. You definitely need them, but don’t only read them. Trust me, I can tell.

8. Signpost. Signpost. Please. They say, 2AC 1, Cap unsustainable f subpoint part 2, I don't care. Just do it.

9. CX is binding, and a speech where you can greatly boost your speaks by not being too aggressive while still holding your ground.

10. Have fun. Debate is pretty mundane already with all that's going on. I will visually cringe if you make a bad joke, but boost your speaks and laugh if you make a good one.

Specific arguments (longer):

Negative Kritiks: I felt the need to move this to the top because I know many teams will look for this first. They are strategic, and I’ve thought of them a lot.

a. Use your theory to problematize the AFF’s assumptions or advantages. This doesn’t mean you intrinsically need case defense, but it definitely helps if for example, you are making claims about securitization and then have cards on the advantage that say their impacts are fake. Another example: you read a link about "spectacularizing extinction" and have cards that say extinction's inevitable. Be creative!

b. Overviews should never exceed 2 minutes. I will flow straight down regardless of what you tell me.

c. Link specificity wins debates, and quotes are preferred. Links must have impacts, which to me just means - if you have a link it needs to mean something - if the aff's hypothetical imagination uses a form of futurism that's anti-Black, what does that cause? Why should I care?

d. Kritik framework debates are usually won by impact cal. Winning what debate is/should be for knowledge helps but say why I should care more about your framework DA/impact. Creative neg interps that include some aff offense are helpful, but I'm down to exclude the aff if you win it's good. I will not vote for a permutation of aff and neg interps that was not introduced in the debate. Framework must go one way.

e. Alts must solve the links. I'm increasingly confused what my ballot does to enact the alt. Alt arguments seem much stronger if they are about epistemology rather than if they affirm some material action, but I need an explanation of what voting neg does for that. If you kick the alt, I need to know what I should evaluate that generates uniqueness for the links or if the non-unique link just outweighs the AFF (harder, but doable given good impact calculus).

f. I’m familiar with most kritiks. Explanation is always preferred, especially with postmodernist things. At a base level, I must understand what you’re kritiking, how the affirmative demonstrates this, what this causes, and why this outweighs or turns the affirmative.

During my career, I commonly read anti-blackness arguments, primarily from Moten and Harney, Wilderson, Sexton, Warren, Mbembe, Wynter, Weheliye and Sharpe. I also read many kritiks based around Asian identity, Ks of security institutions, capitalism, liberalism, the nation state, etc. This does not mean that I can’t evaluate other kritiks, and in fact love innovation. This just means you must explain the things listed above, for every kritik, regardless of whether I’ve read it. Conversely, I won't fill in the gaps for your explanation just because I know what your author says.

g. Impact calc. Do it. Not just "extinction for whom". IF case impacts don't matter because of framework, tell me.

Aff (Plan) vs Neg (Kritik):

a. a nuanced defense of your aff’s pedagogy is very cool and will be rewarded. However, the case outweighs + framework strategy is just as viable.

b. Impact turns are underutilized, but obviously don’t say racism good. State good, heg good, cap good, are all very winnable.

c. Usually alt solvency deficits are just true. Neg teams suck at explaining alts.

d. My main gripe with 2As versus kritiks is they are either too defensive, or shotgun arguments even till the 2AR. Choose a couple main pieces of offense by the 2AR.

e. Perms must say more than do both. I would much prefer texts of perms to be longer and be fewer than 7 perms back-to-back. I will reward nuanced perms and punish lazy ones (similar to my philosophy on all 2As).

f. Figuring out neg thesis claims through reading 1NC evidence and CX and answering them with smart analytics is much better than spamming 5 progress possible cards and 10 state inev cards.

Neg (Framework) vs Affs (Kritik):

Read it and have answered it a lot.

a. I much prefer you to read this like a topicality argument with a defense of predictable limits and procedural impacts like clash and fairness, but the framework style movements/lawyering/topic education impacts are fine too.

Fairness: ‘Intrinsic good’ is not an argument, it is two words. Say why having an equal ballot is an intrinsic good because preserving engagement is the best model of debate. This usually means you have to win debate is good, but that shouldn't be too hard imo.

Clash: Iteration turns case is a good argument, but make sure to say clash isn't JUST a case turn. It has external value.

b. That being said, everyone needs to do impact cal. Winning procedural impacts alone is not sufficient, and you must win why they outweigh or turn the aff’s impacts. Aff teams must also win their impacts outweigh or turn the neg's impacts.

c. Winning framing questions like what the ballot does are essential for impact comparison. Additionally, you should tell me what of the Aff's offense you solve and why the risk of your impact outweighs the small part you might not solve.

d. Debate is probably a game. It is definitely more than that. Contesting either is wrong and unstrategic. Saying one aspect matters more is the most strategic way to approach this. See: "competitive incentives overdetermines content" or "ethics precedes forum".

Aff (Kritik) vs Neg (Framework):

I’m fine with the direction of the topic aff and impact turn affs. Read both, enjoyed many.

a. That being said, you must have a reason why debating the resolution is bad, NOT why the topic is bad (I won't auto-vote you down for this, but it just makes it way easier for the neg to win - they can just win the resolution is good).

b. I'm down for these AFFs, but also will pull the trigger on presumption pretty quick absent a tie to knowledge production/materiality/framing argument for how to evaluate the 1AC's methodology.

c. Role of the ballots are usually framing issues of what to do as a judge more than just the ballot doesn’t signal a win-loss. The ballot does signal a win-loss, just tell me what else it does and why.

d. Utilizing case against framework is both strategic and good. Do that. Explain why procedurals don't bracket content.

Aff (Kritik) vs Neg (Other):

a. The Neg is not racist/homophobic/sexist because they negated the Aff.

b. Both teams should utilize case way more.

c. Read policy AFFs as CPs---its not like they can run theory against you or perm it.

d. In that same vein, read weird DAs, cheaty stuff, word PICs, obscure Ks, to put them out of their comfort zone.

e. Seriously, don't drop case please, put impact turns on case or other nifty tricks, not just 9 scenario planning or state good cards, i.e. read heg good, libism good, realism good, etc.

f. For 2Ns, please don't just read FW and Cap, be a bit more creative (I actually prefer you spam and then figure out what to go for in the block). I would much rather you read impact turns and a SPEC argument than just FW and Cap. However, the Cap K is severely underrated as a 2NR option.

Topicality vs Aff (Plan):

a. Topicality is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue (this is one of my immutable positions).

b. Teams need to slow down reading their T blocks.

c. T is probably a question of competing interps, but teams should make reasonability more offensive, i.e. substance crowd-out could be pretty legit if your interps are very close.

d. Reasonability without a counter interp is non-sensical. Tell me why debates under your model are good.

e. If the AFF no links everything, T becomes really convincing. In-round abuse is preferable, but usually it ends up being model debates anyways (so win competing interps)

f. Tell me the violation, and compare what your interp solves vs what theirs doesn't. Don't just sound like you're complaining that the 1AC didn't read the resolution exactly, explain why it matters.

g. Small affs are cowardice.

Procedurals that aren't T:

similar to T, just impact it out on both sides, procedural debates are hella stale most times, so if you can explain it well, I'll be impressed. Most of these are arbitrary anyways, so explain well.

Do I vote for ASPEC? If it is warranted, lower threshold if you actually have evidence. AFF: just answer ASPEC.

Disadvantages: Good for good ones, bad for bad ones, like all other arguments.

a. Tricks and smart link turns case arguments are super nice.

b. I can be convinced link frames uniqueness or uniqueness frames the link, my opinion has shifted a lot on this.

c. That being said, actually read uniqueness.

d. Generic links are ok but at least contextualize them in the block.

e. Internal links should be defended heavily, these are probably the worst part of DAs, yet explained the least.

f. Sometimes you should just be reading these DAs as turns, but I'll let you use your judgement.

g. I really want the AFF to straight turn a DA. Please do it if you can.

Counterplans: cool.

Always do these things:

a. explain why its competitive and why there is a clear net benefit.

b. explain why perms link to the net benefit.

c. weigh the net benefit against the solvency deficit (sufficiency framing or something like that)

d. I don't really get too much advanced CP theory. I have taught my novices to go for intrinsic perms and read intrinsic perms good, but that's about it.

Functional and textual competition are probably good but doesn't necessarily have to be both for you to win it.

e. Linguistic and/or kritikal CPs are cool (see: Stick-up, Nommo)

Aff (Plan) vs Counterplans:

a. solvency deficits need an impact.

b. if perm do the CP results in the aff, make it a reason why the CP is illegit.

c. Read more than just "do both-it solves".

d. I lean aff a little bit on 'cheating CPs'. Neg teams would be well off explaining mechanism distinctions.


a. Condo is probably the only reason to reject the team other than ethics violations.

b. Condo's likely good, but limited condo is way easier to convince me on.

c. Other stuff is most likely just reject the argument. However, superior Aff debating can change any of these dispositions.

d. Theory is kind of hard to determine definitively what claims are true, so impacting that out with warrants is your best chance although there's obviously a higher threshold than substance. Everyone reads huge blocks for these anyways so whatever.

e. Judge kick is probably fine, because I think in a world where the 2NR is going for a CP, DA and case arguments, the 2AR isn't really giving 2 different 2ARs since they have to answer everything anyways. If the Aff doesn't extend condo, judge kick is legit, but I will probably forget unless you say it.

f. T comes before theory.

g. Perf con is a better solvency takeout for alts (especially epistemology) than to reject the team, same with vague alts.

Impact turns:

a. Love them for the sole purpose that they cause unique clash.

b. Spark is cool, but idk why AFF teams aren't reading more offense than just 'nuke war causes extinction'. Read space col good.

c. Cap good, heg good, and other impact turns against K Affs are really fun to watch.

d. I'm down for most impact turns (even death good, wipeout, and animal suffering outweighs human suffering), just try and structure the speech well, these get hella messy.

e. Always send a card doc if you are going for an impact turn.

Case: Don't drop case on both sides.

a. A 2NC or 1NR that is all case is always fun if you are good at explaining things.

b. I like DAs on case as turns. 2As usually spend less time on it because it's not "as much" of a threat.


a. Teams should read more smart analytics than bad cards.

b. Newish args/cards are ok in the 1AR if the block adds new cards/answers to your 2AC arguments with new warrants.

c. Time your 1AC. Please.


a. I did one LD tournament in 9th grade, and had a bad experience with a racist judge because it was in Arkansas. Nothing against LD, just to say I have little experience BUT I will do my best to make your round as safe and welcome as possible.

b. I know very little about Hegelian and Kantian philosophy, and don't plan on being yelled at for 3 speeches about the deontological nature of good will.

c. That being said, I am open to being taught any argument, just know I have zero prior knowledge.

d. Everything else should be fine - having value criterion is important, theory is meh but I'll vote on it (although if the other team has a kritikal argument about why theory matters zero I might be persuaded the more memey your condo shell is), traditional is fine, "progressive" kritikal debate is more than fine.

e. Above all else, assume I know literally nothing about your author, argument, ethics, and debate from ground zero, do impact cal and you should be fine. The more like policy, the more likely I am to understand.

Speaker points (policy and LD)

I think my points aren't too inflated, but my coaches might disagree.

anything below 27 - you most certainly violated the two rules at the top of my paradigm

27.1-27.6 - you lacked organization and refutation of your opponent's arguments, but you're getting there!

27.7-28.2 - you did refute arguments, but lacked strategy and dropped some things here and there - you're definitely improving!

28.3-28.6 - you answered key arguments, were civil while holding your ground, and made some mistakes. you're probably right in the middle of the pool, and I think you might break

28.7-29 - didn't drop arguments, had good strategic vision, and made minor mistakes. I think you will break

29.1-29.4 - very good execution, clear speaking, and consistent strategy throughout the debate. I'm sure you will break, and you probably will win an elim round or two

29.5-29.8 - near perfect speeches, great strategy choices, great clarity, and not a jerk. I think you will be in late elims, and you deserve a speaker award

29.9-30 - rarely expect to give this out, one of the best speakers ever, I think you will be a top 3 speaker at the tournament, possibly win the tournament, and expect to hear good things about you outside this round

Questions? Email me.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Bentonville Tigers Eye HS 2021-09-28 NCX R2 Little Rock Central KC Little Rock Central BP Aff
Little Rock Classic HS 2021-09-22 NLD Quarte Cabot Aurora Moran Little Rock Central Blanche Finzer Neg
Little Rock Classic HS 2021-09-22 NLD Octos Cabot Sophia Wylie Little Rock Central Xeno Jones Neg
Little Rock Classic HS 2021-09-22 NLD R3 Cabot Tyler Phillips Cabot Aydan Pruett Aff
Little Rock Classic HS 2021-09-22 NLD R2 Cabot Aurora Moran Cabot Carter Peeples Aff
Little Rock Classic HS 2021-09-22 NLD R1 Cabot Angela Abbott Cabot Avery Hill Aff
Arkansas Forensics and Debate State Championship HS 2021-03-30 NCX R3 12 Leenhouts & Mian 12 Patil & Shrivastava Neg Neg 2-0
Arkansas Forensics and Debate State Championship HS 2021-03-30 NCX R2 12 Patil & Shrivastava 12 Baker & Mills Neg Neg 2-0
Winter KRL Tournament HS 2020-12-28 CX Semi-f KRL Townes Schultz 1offASPEC Archan Sen & Eric Li Neg Neg 3-0
Winter KRL Tournament HS 2020-12-28 CX R3 1offASPEC Archan Sen & Eric Li KRL Brett Cryan & Ryan Wilkinson Aff
Winter KRL Tournament HS 2020-12-28 CX R2 Theydy Hunter Foster KRL Brett Cryan & Ryan Wilkinson Neg