Tim Freehan ParadigmLast changed 2/18 11:57A CDT
Yes, email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
POLICY DEBATE--updated FEB 2020:
--Old School Policy. University of Michigan Class of 1995. Get off my lawn. (Let's be honest, most of you will stop reading now. Please don't.)
--Co-Founding Member of the Never Spark Society
--Truth>Tech. But silence is concession. Also, see below on my new ASPEC Rule
--Quality of Evidence Counts. Massive disparities warrant intervention on my part.
--Not great with theory debates. Condo is okay. Other than that, see below.
--I love nuanced case debates.
--Prefer arguments that originate from Truth and Research. The more you respect the value of research in your round, the happier I will be.
--I am a better judge if the round is about substance rather than procedure or ethos. Full stop.
The Line by Line...
Advantage vs Disadvantage. I will always give more credence to the team that has a more consistent narrative and better explains causality from A to B to C. I can and will vote against an argument if cards are poor exclusive of counter evidence being read. Coherent and plausible stories with good evidence will always win out in my mind. You not understanding obvious political reality will cast a bit of a shadow over your credibility.
Not a big fan of Pre-Fiat DA's: Spending, Must Pass Legislation, Riders, etc. I will err Aff on theory unless the Neg has some really good evidence as to why not.
Counterplans. Run them. It is perfectly okay for Agents to be a part of the debate and I am not sure why whining about it via theory blips you have in your back files is the best course of action. The Negative having specific solvency will solve theory problems. No International Fiat and Object Fiat please.
PICs-- all good. But will err Aff on Theory when the PIC is just "we solve the Aff and a eensy weensy bit of something else."
Process Counterplans-- I mostly hate them. You had better have a solvency advocate and a good one and you had better prove why your "process" is somehow valuable and/or educational. This is another time I will err aff on CP theory debates.
K-Affs/Kritiks. If you lean on high theory or K Affs, just do yourself a favor and put me low or strike me. If you can't do that...
I am a big enough person to admit that I am not up on the literature and the pantheon of scholars that are presently utilized in Policy Debate. Also, I am not very smart. Nor do I feel that 200+ words per minute is the appropriate manner in which to discuss such high-minded topics. So here it is: I will vote on Kritikal arguments. But know that VERY few in-depth K debates I have seen thus far have been decided by anything more than me reading all of the relevant evidence and drawing many conclusions on my own. Sorry, but it’s the risk you run.
A K debater once told me they thought I got a bad rap against as a K judge. That may be true when you are on the Neg but KAffs are a tougher needle to thread with me. Its game over of you can't beat back a TVA.
Topic relevance is important.
If your goal is to use the K as a means to teach an old white male who engages with both capitalism and the state for a living something valuable, then I am all ears. I love being taught things and you have done the K justice. If your goal is to make blanket statements about why certain people are good or bad or should be excluded from valuable discussions then I am not your judge. We are all flawed.
I do not like “debate is bad” arguments. I don't think that being a "small school" is a reason why K's are good.
Topicality. I look at this argument differently than almost EVERY other judge on the circuit. Because it theoretically serves an external function that affects other rounds, I do give the Aff a fair amount of leeway when the arguments start to wander into a gray area. It has been pointed out to me that the requirement for Offense on the part of the Affirmative is something on which I place little value. Put another way, the Aff need only prove that they are within the predictable confines of research and present a plan that offers enough ground on which to run generic arguments. The Negative must prove that the Affirmative skews research burdens to a point in which the topic is unlimited to a point beyond 20-30 possible cases and/or renders the heart of the topic moot.
NEW RULE AS OF FEBRUARY 2020---I WILL DOCK YOU .3 SPEAKER POINTS IF YOU HIDE ASPEC ON T. .5 SPEAKER POINTS IF YOU HIDE IT ANYWHERE ELSE. RUN THIS AS A SINGLE OFF CASE PROCEDURAL ARGUMENT. REALLY GETTING TIRED OF VOTING AGAINST DESERVING TEAMS BECAUSE OF THIS. IF ITS SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR STRATEGY, THEN DON'T RUN FROM THE DEBATE. IF YOU ARE JUST HOPING TO WIN CHEAP, THEN IT WON'T COME AS CHEAP AS YOU WOULD LIKE.
Some arguments I hate:
“Spark” (Russia/China/Iran/NoKo strikes good are okay)
"New Affs Bad"
"T-USFG means all 3 branches"
ConCon CP (unless there is specific literature for Solvency)
A few additional notes:
I have yet to hear a debate about Floating PIKS or Intrinsic Perms that makes me understand them.
If you want to turn debate into games of Mario Kart or slam poetry, strike me. Respect the game.
Debate the evidence. It’s a lost art and, trust me, it’s a great skill to learn.
As I am a judge who likes to reward research, there is an argument that can solve many problems: Literature Checks Abuse. What I mean by this is that if you have a dubiously topical Aff, a seemingly abusive Process Counterplan, etc. I will tend to give a lot more leeway to the defense against theory claims. All you need to do is show me some evidence that your argument has a specific and valuable place in the debate and I am willing to overlook ‘PICS bad’ or other claims of this ilk because having a debate about X issue is educational.
I have romantic notions that well-reasoned assertions are good things. Feel free to think on your feet.
PUBLIC FORUM SUPPLEMENT:
I judge about 1 PF Round for every 25-30 Policy Rounds so bear with me here.
· I have NOT judged the PF national circuit pretty much ever. The good news is that I am not biased against or unwilling to vote on any particular style. Chances are I have heard some version of your meta level of argumentation and know how it interacts with the round. The bad news is if you want to complain about a style of debate in which you are unfamiliar, you had better convince me why with, you know, impacts and stuff. Do not try and cite an unspoken rule about debate in your part of the country.
Because of my background in Policy, I tend to look at things from a cost benefit perspective. Even though the Pro is not advocating a Plan and the Con is not reading Disadvantages, to me the round comes down to whether the Pro has a greater possible benefit than the potential implications it might cause. Both sides should frame the round in terms impact calculus and or feasibility. Impacts need to be tangible.
Evidence quality is very important.
I will vote on what is on the flow (yes, I flow) and keep my personal opinions of arguments in check as much as possible. I may mock you for it, but I won’t vote against you for it. No paraphrasing. Quote the author, date and the exact words. Quals are even better but you don’t have to read them unless pressed. Have the website handy. Research is critical.
Speed? Meh. You cannot possibly go fast enough for me to not be able to follow you. However, that does not mean I want to hear you go fast. You can be quick and very persuasive. You don't need to spread.
Defense is nice but is not enough. You must create offense in order to win. There is no “presumption” on the Con.
While I am not a fan of formal “Kritik” arguments in PF, I do think that Philosophical Debates have a place. Using your Framework as a reason to defend your scholarship is a wise move. Racism and Sexism will not be tolerated. You can attack your opponents scholarship.
I reward debaters who think outside the box.
I do not reward debaters who cry foul when hearing an argument that falls outside traditional parameters of PF Debate. Again, I am not a fan of the Kritik, but if its abusive, tell me why instead of just saying “not fair.”
Statistics are nice, to a point. But I feel that judges/debaters overvalue them sometimes. Often the best impacts involve higher values that cannot be quantified. A good example would be something like Structural Violence.
While Truth outweighs, technical concessions on key arguments can and will be evaluated. Dropping offense means the argument gets 100% weight.
The goal of the Con is to disprove the value of the Resolution. If the Pro cannot defend the whole resolution (agent, totality, etc.) then the Con gets some leeway.
I care about substance and not style. It never fails that I give 1-2 low point wins at a tournament. Just because you tie is nice and you sound pretty, doesn’t mean you win. I vote on argument quality and technical debating. The rest is for lay judging.
Relax. Have fun.