Ken Strange ParadigmLast changed 2/14 8:53A EST
I'm a crazy, old man. You are strongly advised to strike me. If that didn't convince you, I hope the following will.
While I'm pretty much willing to listen to anything, the following are my biases. As much as I try to set aside my preferences, I'm sure they influence my understanding what teams say, what the warrants are, and ultimately my assessment of issues.
I firmly believe that the affirmative should advocate a topical plan. I think this is the only viable way for the negative to have a chance to prepare well. If defended well, there is some chance of my voting for an aff without a plan, and the odds are a little better if the affirmative at least talks about issues related to the topic.
On topicality, I prefer a standard slightly different from reasonability and competing interpretations. I think it should be negative burden to prove the affirmative interpretation is bad for debate, not just that the negative interpretation is marginally better. The best way to prove an interpretation bad for debate is limits – that the interpretation is so broad than the negative could never be thoroughly prepared to debate every possible case.
I do not think debate is role playing of federal actors. You're you and I'm me, and there is a debate about what we think the federal government should do. Fiat obviously doesn't assume anything really happens. Fiat is just ignoring the question of "will" and debating "should" in order to focus the debate on the merits of the idea/ policy.
I tend to be fairly liberal on counterplans, with competition being about the only requirement. PICs, agents, etc are fine. There does needs to be some limit on negative fiat for agents, but that can be debated out. Presumptively governmental actions are OK, and private actors are not.
K's and K affs with plans are fine with me. I am not that familiar with much of the literature. So, you should explain things thoroughly. Ultimately, these debates become matters of what makes sense to me.
Spin, explanation, and telling a good story are crucial to winning my ballot. Even more important is resolving arguments, and I am increasingly frustrated by debaters in rebuttals emphasizing their own arguments and never referencing opposing responses. 2NRs and 2ARs with lots of "they say…, but" references are more likely to win my ballot.
Please be clear. Start speeches at less than full speed. Pause a little before and slow down some on the argument tags. I hate it when I cannot tell that a card has ended and a new argument is being made. Please do not get quiet when reading cards. I know this is hard for you to believe, but if you stop to breathe at punctuation marks, you will be faster and clearer than the awful double gasping that so many of you do.