From The City That May be a US Military Installation

The Carleton Debate Team is in Marshall, Minnesota! Where the land is flat but the debaters are sharp. Or so we hope. Also, the sky above Marshall is unusually glowy at night. We think either aliens or the government. Or both.

Traveling was fairly uneventful. We discovered a phantom gear on the campus cars – apparently, reverse does not always mean reverse; luckily, there are very few cars around to hit in this part of the state. But there were people laughing at us. After Cal Jong Un defied the will of the people and refused to pull over until he found a Casey’s, Chris managed to demonstrate the real life consequences of New Jersey not allowing people to pump their own gas. Probably the most real world education from the tournament so far.

Round 1: This house would insure MNsure

Ben/Josh argued that this house should insure MNsure by providing tax breaks for preventative care – their opponents made some very defensive claims about how many people would use these tax breaks. Ben/Josh are not entirely sure why this makes the plan a bad idea, but that’s okay. The best offense is good defense.

Amanda/Carolyn were opp – their opponents proposed a redesign of the web page and insisted that Amanda/Carolyn didn’t care about health care. They responded with the very persuasive argument “yes we do.”

Cal/Chris were also opp – the gov proposed hiring IBM for exactly $75 million to redesign the website. As the staunch defenders of the federal government that they are, Cal/Chris argued that falling back to the federal system was a better solution for solving health care problems. They added that the best way to build support for local government was to let MNsure fail. Which is a good reason why no state should do anything ever, as far as we can tell.

Round 2: This house would increase the minimum wage

Ben/Josh were opp. As this topic is also the LD TOC topic, Josh spent most of prep time laughing maniacally while writing a basic income CP with some literally on fire disads. It was unfortunate because the flows were wrecked for the round and the fire alarm forced an evacuation of the building, but ultimately the round occurred and involved some thorough economic discussions of minimum wage. Lol, just kidding, this is parli debate, there’s no time for that.

Amanda/Carolyn were gov. They proposed a raise of the minimum wage for tipped workers to the actual minimum wage – which might sound like a good idea, until you consider all of the doctors who will stop being doctors once they realize how lucrative the field of waiting is. Based on the judge’s reactions, Amanda and Carolyn are terrifying – which isn’t necessarily new information, but we’d hoped they would tone it down for the debates.

Cal/Chris were also gov. Totally not predictable. They indexed the minimum wage to CPI (which they later realized might theoretically cause the minimum wage to decrease, but whatever). Their opponents pointed out that this was pretty complicated.

Round 3: This house finds that the “Islamic State” (note the scare quotes) is a clear and present danger to the United States

Ben/Josh were opp, and their opponents case took a pretty cool turn – they argued that the rhetoric around the Islamic State caused oppression of Muslim minorities in the United States. This is unfortunately pretty clever, so Ben/Josh were forced to rely on their conservative bona fides and argue in favor of America’s role in the Middle East as preventing danger to America because secularism and democracy and freedom.

Amanda/Carolyn were gov, and managed to stay above the trend towards facts cases, because policy arguments are way cooler. Unlike George W., they do negotiate with terrorists – they argued that this was the best way to save American hostages, but apparently this would incentivize ISIS to kidnap more people. Cal has decided that Amanda is his heir as the sassiest member of the team. Carolyn sassed Cal on this point, so maybe there’s still some contention on the issue.

Cal/Chris were also gov, but are not cool enough to run policy and argued that the safety of embassy workers in Afghanistan shows a clear and present danger from ISIS/IS/ISIL/ISISILIS. Chris is upset by this characterization of this contention, claiming it is more complex. Their second round opponents probably would have thought it was too complicated. Cal yelled for the first time all tournament, and is relieved that his emotion has returned. Also, good news for America: the US has a bigger tax base than ISISILIS! Yay!

We’re getting ready for the last round. As a final note, the trend of the day has been installing Linux Mint as a VM in order to avoid giving Southwest Minnesota State access to computers. Cal wants to do this as an evening activity. Ben thinks this would be the epitome of turning down for what. Ben is also upset by repeated characterizations of his knowledge of Linux. Cal should watch out during the Senior Sendoff tonight.

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