Round three: Hate Crime Enhancements are unjust in the United States. Both Carleton teams were Gov, and were thus able to plan together. This will henceforth be referred to as David’s Round, because he was, in this instance, the man with the plan.
The man’s plan: language is fluid and meaningless—words mean different things to different people in different places at different times and in different contexts, and they can always be redefined by anyone at any time for any reason. Hence, we can’t judge language harshly based on our own interpretations of words—that’s absurd. So…let’s talk about hate speech.
“Hate Crime Enhancements”, by the way, is apparently a term meaning ‘laws that prosecute people for hate crimes’ (I might be wrong on this; feel free to judge me). So, for our plan, let’s find something that allows people to be prosecuted for hate speech, and remove that. Fortunately, we found just the thing: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to tolerate hate speech. Our plan would be to repeal this—how can we prosecute people for hate speech if we have no idea what they actually mean? Should we prosecute a British person for saying ‘fag’, when he’s talking about a cigarette? This opens up all kinds of possibilities for stupid, unjust punishments. Plus, isn’t the prosecution of speech acts like this unconstitutional?
David and Graham hit what was apparently the number four team in the country (despite the fact that the tab room may still think they lost the bye—we’re working on correcting this). Their opponents ran two disadvantages—one was mediocre (saying that the civil rights act is key to solving lots of stuff), and a better argument about why the case allows employers to turn a blind eye toward oppressive behavior. Apparently they opp made some smart strategic moves, fleshed out the impact story to the better disad a ton in the block, and generally did well enough to win, which they did.
Justin and Cal ran their case, and their opponents ran an extended K. The thesis of this was that we (the gov) try to solve for oppression without actually engaging with the oppressed people—without narratives or without identifying specific cases of oppression, then we (somehow—I didn’t really understand this much, which is my failing, not theirs) allow more oppression and strengthens existing power structures. As they informed us at length, this was a discursive pre-round impact, because discourse is real and plans don’t actually pass (shocker!), and so it should be evaluated before anything else. Furthermore, their alternative was using the ballot to reject us, and teach the gov not to talk about oppression without specifically addressing cases of oppression.
Oh, and then they spent a minute reading narratives about people being discriminated against, savagely beaten, etc.
Cal thought for a minute on this. He realized something: “Our case has four minutes of analysis for why language is meaningless, and seven minutes of reasons why condemning people for what you view as harmful speech is dumb. They don’t answer any of this. These things would seem to answer their K fairly well. Furthermore, if we can’t punish people for bad discourse…there’s no K.” Cal stood up, and demolished the K using our seven minutes of conceded pre-empts. He also called shenanigans on the K, by saying “I call shenanigans on this K”. He also gave offensive reasons why trying to understand things exclusively through narratives is bad. He also attacked the ‘pre-fiat impacts only’ framework.
The opp blustered for a while, passionately telling us that we needed to name names, and tell these stories. They gave examples of how language matters (something about Joe Biden? It was unclear), and said a bunch of times that our discourse shapes reality. They more or less dropped several things: our framework arguments about why aff framework choice is key to education, and all of the PMC analysis.
The PMR was somewhat muddled, but got across the points that needed to be there: our entire, conceded case says that we can’t possibly link to the K, that they can’t ever solve any of this, and that their action is what we directly criticize. This was enough. Moral of the story: don’t run Ks that the Gov spends seven minutes pre-empting.
Round four resolution: In the United States, cyber-security ought to be valued over an unrestricted internet. Both Carleton teams were opposition. The teams prepped different things: Cal and Justin prepared the Security K, while David and Graham focused more on some generic policy-ish stuff.
David and Graham’s opponents proposed a plan was to pass some cyber-security act, which would give universities funding if they researched the aforementioned cyber-security. The A-Team ran T: Over (which holds that to be T you have to actually achieve cyber-security through reducing access to the internet). Yeah, it sounds kind of whiny, but there’s some pretty decent stuff behind it—the resolution does seem to guarantee opp ground on that. By the block, Graham discovered that they were really quite extratopical as well, and so they went for that. They were right, and they won. Nice that stuff like that happens sometimes.
Cal and Justin had an…interesting round. The gov forced pornographic websites to have .xxx domain names, and had two advantages: first, child porn makes child predators more likely to commit crimes (and they solve this…how?), and second, if children accidentally stumble across porn, then they’ll grow up to be sex offenders themselves (if all adult websites have .xxx domain names, parents can limit their child’s access to this).
This didn’t really link all that much to the Security K, so Cal read a shortened version of it, along with T and a Counterplan. The CP was entirely improvised, but it had the government force all adult websites to use Tor domain names (meaning that, to access them, you’d have to download and install Tor, and then specifically seek the sites out).
The MG was decent, though thoroughly unspectacular. The MO kicked the K and went for T and the CP (which had no net benefits, but was actually mutually exclusive, so it seemed like a good idea at the time). However, the judge bought that there was a solvency deficit to the CP (because Tor can get hacked, I guess? It was unclear, and it was a pretty muddled round), and dropped Carleton. Ah well.
Here, the team took a quick break for district meetings. Even though literally everyone else told him not to go, Graham went, and, uh, boring stuff probably happened. I dunno. This story didn’t really go anywhere.
Round five: The United States should intervene militarily in Syria. Graham and David were opp, Justin and Cal were gov. Opp plan: T on ‘military intervention’, security K, and some sort of relations DA. Graham and David hit a pretty good team, and had to collapse down to T in the block. They lost on reasonability, because I guess you can do that sometimes. Anyway, they were in a close round against a very highly-ranked team, so good on them.
Cal and Justin sent the Army Corps of Engineers to clear out mines on the Syrian border, which they actually thought was a fairly clever plan (full disclosure: pretty much the whole thing was written by Azuza Pacific, and we just borrowed it from them). The opp, which was supposed to be a K team, ran T: Military must be combat brigades, a CP that sent Seal Team Six to assassinate Assad, and two Das about Syrian freakout leading to Russia or Iran or somebody nuking the U.S. The CP, badass and action-movie-esque as it was, didn’t really solve, and the DA’s didn’t really link, but that turned out to be the point. The opp collapsed down to T in the block, and they were pretty competent and very technically skilled debaters, so it was 12 minutes of non-repetitive, substantive theory arguments.
This accomplished its purpose, which was to hugely spread out the PMR. There was a hell of a lot to cover, and the tall half of Carleton EM was not up to the task. The judge decided in about seven seconds, and everybody agreed with him.
Hence, Carleton EM ended 2-3, and thus must win out to break. Admittedly, that’d be pretty epic if they pulled it off. But, y’know, we’ll see. The A-Team is 3-2, and thus only needs to go 2-1 to break. That is, uh, easier than going 3-0. So, yeah.
After rounds ended, the Carleton Crew retreated to their hotel. A few burgers and shakes later, we decided to continue a proud nationals tradition by watching godawful reality TV in the hotel. Tonight’s lineup: Swamp People, followed by South Beach Tow. Once the strange appeal of gator hunting blended with slapstick comedy wears off, there will presumably be sleep. Well, theoretically.