View Full Version : Case Clarification
01-27-03, 07:32 PM
After losing to the notorious FAFSA drug requirement case, I did some research on the issue. The actual law isn't quite as severe as most people believe. In reality, the federal government requires everyone who applies for financial aid to respond to a question about drug-related convictions. If the applicant fails to respond to this question or answers yes then the fed gov restrictions come into effect. For anyone convicted of one drug-related crime, they (I don't use sexist or pc pronouns) lose federal loan eligibility for one year, two years for a second offense and indefinite disqualification for three offenses. There are two caveats to this law: a drug rehab class will remove the inelligibility and only signficant drug related charges fall under the law.
Can anyone suggest some offensive arguments for why this drug requirement is a good thing? We came up with loss of deterrence, masking, and removal of personal responsibility DAs. Owen ran a CLS shell but the impacts were weak. Are there any kritiks floating around about invoking the "black" or "African-American" populations. Beyond the standard "you shouldn't be speaking for others", I want a deeper argument, such as a "centering of black identity" bad K. Matt C., I know you've been reading some Bell Hooks lately, so hook me up!
01-27-03, 08:19 PM
Mitigation makes any DAs impact relatively more significant, and IIRC only a small percentage of students are affected.
I know also that there's a general perception that pot isn't a gateway drug, so I don't know how effective the following argument would be in the community, but a new study, "concluded that a twin who had used marijuana was between 2 and 5 times more likely to use other drugs or become dependent on drugs or even alcohol than his or her twin who had not."
I have class so I have to go, but I'll be back.
Although I could find a way out of this argument- many have been ignoring the pell grant funding crisis that developed last year... something to the tune of 1.3 million deficit. (ie: if we have restricted funds, we must limit the recipients and make a decision about who ought to receive those funds)
Many contend that it is acceptable to impose an extra regulation on a population that wishes to receive the "privilege" of "free" education.. (although I wouldn't be one to get into the education is a privilege vs. a right debate on that particular side.)
I've ran this case, but more importantly ran this campaign on my campus, and lobbied federally w/ it. The responses of every senator was the same... "That it is acceptable to ask individuals to abide by the laws of the country to receive free tuition".
Not saying that each one of these can't be easily beaten, but those some of the general against repealing the HEA DP in the "real world".
oh.. and there is the CP of a more inclusive regulation.
... HEA DP?
What does that mean?
Sorry- Higher Education Act Drug Provision.
The HEA is the act that specifies the regulations for institutions to receive federal financial aid.
( BTW it is up for reauthorization right now, and there are some sketchy bills being introduced-so heads up all finaid recipients)
01-27-03, 10:07 PM
So your original question was what to run against someone invoking the "black" or "african american" community?
I guess my first thought is the evils of codified race constructions in public law.
A good author-advocate might be Argentina's Antonio Vargas-Llosa who said, "My race, my government uses to kill me." [English was his 2nd language]. The arguement essentially based on the idea that while personal identification of race may be beneficial to communities and individuals, any officialized notation of race by the government is only the first step to total otherization of that group.
This is why the nazis could commit genocide against millions of people; after all, "they're not like us, they are Jews, or gypsies or homosexuals..."etc. A team may not use the identity construct of race to refer to a group of peolple while advocating a plan using the government or any other legislative authority without biting the full implications of what race categorization may entail. That's one arguement that may apply, hope it helps.
01-28-03, 12:35 AM
Play up the fact that rehab makes for regained eligibility, rehab = good, thus net benefit if law stays. Also, push on the fact that only 'serious' offenses (what... dealing/making??) get one in trouble, and then only serious trouble on the second one -- thus an incentive to stay clean.
I'd probably also push on the scope of the problem, how many are actually restricted and if you answer 'no' when you should really answer 'yes' will they ever catch you?? not likely, unless they plan to run multi-state background checks on all FAFSA applications, that would increase the cost yadda yadda yadda.... but removing the law would send the wrong message (i.e. drugs = ok) -- since the law isn't actually successful, the net benefit is in the SQ... you :)
01-28-03, 12:37 AM
I actually had some limited success last year with Ward Connerly. He is The Man behind the dismantling of affirmative action in California, and came to my campus to have a lecture. Had to be guarded by rent-a-cops because he has been assaulted elsewhere. Was so inspired I cut some cards from him and my Cabal of Conservative Cronies and ran a Race K on the Indian topic.
You can impact the heck out of this kritik depending on which authors you read for it (many of whom would LOUDLY disagree with Connerly on the implications for it, by the way), but the idea I ran was that government constructions of race "box people in" to an identity which may not be theirs in the first place, and which in any case will be inevitably coopted to oppress somebody. Better to do away with them all, yadda yadda yadda. Alternative to the plan was always "do the same but by economic qualifications instead of racial ones".
I don't know if this necessarily applies to your case (presumably they aren't going to propose eliminating the restrictions just for blacks) but reading some Connerly and D'Souza is a good way to come up with kritiks that they'll NEVER expect to hear in a college debate ;)
01-28-03, 01:55 AM
I had read of an interesting take on the notion of boxing the Brandon and Patrick intimate:
I cringe when I hear the phrase "a member of X race" ('check one box') as it assumes a homogeniety that is simply unfair, myopic, singular, and often simplistic. That is, if I were to summarize the "African-American experience" (as if there was only one African American experience-- which is hilariously misguided) in a box I place a label that removes the various lenses that create a cultural identity (of several identities) vis a vis the creation of one's sense of self. I also create a notion of indentification that does not assume a fluid sense of self that alters and (gasp!) grows over time.
It's a basic K that entails a recognition of the ever changing concept of self, and that said self is in perpetual flux (variables that include Race, sexaulity, gender, and cultural identity/ies entail the same system of perpetual change)as all of these concepts dependent upon any number of variables. Read as: To place one inside of X box destroys that rubric of layers of the self.
Shotter, Collier, Nakayama, and Ringer all discuss such important ideological complexities (in reference to discourse concerning the creation of the Self, cultural identity/ies, the experience of Othering and establishment of privelege, and the Queer movement respectively); each author is exceptionally fascinating.
01-28-03, 02:09 AM
well scooter, with that kind of intersectional approach i dont think you get the same story as you do out of D'Souzas (horribly morally repugnant, i might add- in "The end of racism" he claimed that blacks lack of sucess had nothing to do with their race- it was their inferior culture that led them to failure) of not looking at difference, its seems like it would call for looking all all the different oppressions that people face, not just ignoring them. I've never liked d'souza- saw the book, thought it would be cool, and it was like a steven king novel, only scarier.
01-28-03, 03:20 AM
I agree w/ Patty. I have beat that case 3 times with the rehab argument which pretty much kicks out legitimate DA's while giving advantages of getting addicted people to treatment.
And secondly that FAFSA is a privledge and not a right and that the govt. has a responsibility to protect the intrests of it's taxpayers (like not allowing for the easily obtainable pell grant to be used for drug money) I also know there are alarming statistics that point to the amount of pell grant money that is defaulted (not only for drugs but that is certainly a player)
So when the government asks addicted people to seek treatment before using funds the value of Utilitarian Justice is upheld (greatest realistic justice for all involved) Addicts can still go to school and get help. We taxpayers (ok YOU taxpayers) get to be safe in the knowledge that no one is buying weed from me with your pell grant tax dollars.
01-28-03, 04:14 AM
Just a picky point, but there is much more to FAFSA than pell grants... student loans are also involved...
How about this one, the program also prevents students who are unlikely to finish school from getting loans they will not be able to repay -- look at it this way, if someone is addicted to drugs to the extent that they are convicted of major drug crimes -- then they are not likely to complete their program of study, but they will be stuck with student loans they cannot repay without an adequate education... and once they get straight, they can come back to school with a realistic expectation of being able to pay back those loans.
Additionally, Pell grants are intended for only the poorest students and should be reserved for those with the best chance of completing their education and making a contribution to society...
01-28-03, 06:27 AM
How about this one, the program also prevents students who are unlikely to finish school from getting loans they will not be able to repay
This is a crucial point. Running this case one time, my partner slipped and made the admission that those with drug felonies are significantly less statiscially likely to finish school (before y'all bring out the dan jokes, it wasn't him) This fact, when impacted correctly, as it was here, can cost the round.
01-28-03, 06:32 AM
I like the D'souza idea. My only concern is that the hegemonic leftists of the debate world will castigate anyone who mentions Dinesh. Just because he doesn't blame the police or the media for the problems of the people that we label "African-Americans," doesn't mean he is morally reprehensible. I like Chris Rock's argument that no one worries about the media while at an ATM in the middle of the night. Maybe we need to start a new thread about the racially paternalistic tendencies of debaters. I admit that I'll claim saving oppressed minorities, the poor, or sea-turtles as an advantage whenever possible.
Matt, don't you have any esoteric pomo crap regarding race construction?
Lastly, does anyone sense that the performative paradigm is slowly edging its way into parli. It seems like everything I heard at the LB warmup this weekend was a pre-fiat voter. Some of my rounds turned into who could out-PC the other team. I sense that paradigm debates will become more and more important throughout this season.
01-28-03, 07:00 AM
I dunno, in the northwest and rockies, i heard plenty of pre-fiat voters as a debater. Maybe this is just a regional rarity.
Oh, Grant, GT says hey. He was pretty surprised you started debating. You guys coming to WWU?
01-28-03, 03:09 PM
I am not sure that rehab is such a great argument. First, the gov team will probably be claiming that gov regulation of fafsa is a new form of surveillance with easy to fit impacts (panoptic power bad). The powerful new links off of rehab will only hurt you in front of a left-wing judge. In all honesty - any one of us who has smoked up is at risk of losing their shirt - now if we find it easy to win legalize cases is it really going to be that hard to win that rehab feeds the war on drugs good mentality? Also, rehab is mighty expensive and could disproportionately impact poor people. Defending the SQ is pretty rough if you know your critic leans left. I think you are much better off going with a counterplan.
If you want to totally transform the round (and throw the gov team for a loop) why not counterplan with ban all financial aid and implement Bruce Ackerman's stakeholder society which provides finances for all young citizens regardless of future plans. After all, why should the gov only help people who are going to college? And if you have read about a stakeholder society you will have prepared great answers to the usual responses of an econ position. The opp advocacy solves back for all of case, avoids the disadvantage of penalizing young citizens who don't want to go to college, avoids the whole drugs good/bad issue, captures (perhaps artificially) a host of benefits for society, and the permutation is pretty rough because the counterplan eliminates financial aid altogether. Then if you want to you can include some conservative arguments like race shouldn't be considered or you can go further left with a set of arguments about how colleges and financial aid create well tempered subjects that are easy to govern preventing a truly classless society from ever emerging. So the gov is one more cog in a capitalist machine and the counterplan bounces you out. Now there may be great answers to this position - but you get weeks to plan the round and they get a few minutes... If not this counterplan then there have got to be a half dozen other options (legalize drugs, have free public universities, courts vs legislation for implementation etc.) Why take the traditional opp ground when that is exactly what the gov hopes and plans for?
01-28-03, 03:52 PM
We might go to WW if we can get some money. Hopefully we won't have to choose between WW and Willamette.
01-28-03, 09:45 PM
actually grant, Dan Liebson and i were talking about something that could help you- indicting them for fractionalizing movements- like, talk about how they separate races on the basis of difference-but all those races are oppressed- whereas "white" is just "white"- its a monolith, a giant unstoppable force of a class marker (i hope if im misinterping this, brandan or dan can correct me, i've only talked with dan a couple of times) so we should never refer to specific races- instead of "african american", "latino", or "insert minority", we, the oppressed, should make our own monolith- we can be "Brown". thats the only way we can fight "white", is to coalace into one group identified on the basis of class. its kind of neat, i thought, and you could make it into a neat discourse K.
P.S. liberal hedge has nothing to do with it grant- you aint gonna win that "my culture is better than yours" is not genocidal- i dont really think that people would drop you for running d'souza, but if someone knows D'Souza and what he says, it links you into shit that hard to beat without linking yourself further.
01-29-03, 03:46 AM
>>P.S. liberal hedge has nothing to do with it grant- you aint gonna win that "my culture is better than yours" is not genocidal- i dont really think that people would drop you for running d'souza, but if someone knows D'Souza and what he says, it links you into shit that hard to beat without linking yourself further.>>
Thats practically the DEFINITION of liberal hedge. Its impossible to answer the position without linking further, because even *touching* the postmodern "all viewpoints are equal" orthodoxy gets you slapped with a genocide impact. Answering the impact magnifies your link... to the same impact.
Postmodernism is usually identified as a liberal philosophy, but if you don't believe me, check out back issues of the National Review (as close as a standard bearer for right-wing opinion leaders in the US as there is). They go back and forth on the "is Western culture inherently better than Arab/Islamic/Middle Eastern culture always/now/etc". Why doesn't the Nation have the same debate? Because that opinion is decided, handed down on plaques to Prophet Said et al, and absolutely not open to inquiry.
P.S. There are good conservative arguments pro and con on the Middle Eastern question, by the way -- but good luck trying to get any of it out in a debate round.
01-29-03, 07:36 AM
Quite good comments. The same can be said of ethnocentrism. If my centrism is of a better culture, then the impact to my ethnocentrism is positive. Certainly no one would argue that the current characteristics of Arab culutre are superior to the Anglo tradition.
01-30-03, 12:44 AM
well, first off, pomo isnt either liberal or conservative- like, you can say its liberal because its not blatantly racist, but its sort of conservative in its hatred of the welfare state (foucault).
next, i dont htink anything useful would come out of a discussion about who has the best culture- and if you want to talk about anytype of bias, i think it'd be more likely that if the argument would be seen as legitimate, there be a little more bias on the side of the "West is Best" bullshit. but in reality, i think its a discussion thats just flat out wrong, and really no different from one thats about "what the strongest or most efficient race" is, since people dont rreally choose their cultures
value judgements across cultrues are pretty dumb- its really elementary to explain- when you say things like "my enthnocentrism is good" you're always viewing it from the perspective of your own culture... is circular. Grant, i really doubt that there are all that many cultures that say "well, my ethnocentrism is negative because my culture is way crappier than grants". no kidding you think its positive.
on the last point- i wouldn't take arab culture and weigh it against the american one- and i certainly wouldn't say "well, this one is way better than that one". its not something that can be weighed- and im damned sure that there are plenty of arabs out there who would argue with you about the superiority of your culture and the mighty anglo tradition- certainly.
01-30-03, 12:58 AM
While me being from an anglo culture makes me more prone to believe that it is a superior culture, this in no way makes it impossible for me to objectively argue that it is in fact a better culture. Yet, this isn't the point. Pat's important point is that pomo's relativistic view of the world makes it impossible to argue about the merits of a culture. This isn't eugenics. It is a reasonable discussion about things such as property rights, rule of law, the role of the individual, and sexual rights.
01-30-03, 02:18 AM
Pat's important point is that pomo's relativistic view of the world makes it impossible to argue about the merits of a culture.
I'm not sure if I can agree on this one, PW. I would have to say that first, it can be argued that we are in a post POMO age, but that is beside the point.
I would say that the funk that I am in concerning the above statement is the notion of a singular POMO that entails a consideration of all things as relative--thus without a consideration of a single unifying concept, in particular, that of a "right" (which could, it can be argued, be used as a weighing mechanism for "merit").
Beyond that, I would also argue that although a belief in cultural relativism might be part of the philosophical and ideological identity of those who define themselves as POMO, being a cultural constructionist is POMO as well ( I am thinking of Simons here), a field which holds a belief in a universal right regardless of cultural constraint. The goal is not to suggest that all of culture is relativistic but instead to understand how each culture constructs itself in relation to that universal right (often, I admit, through discourse).
To further the contention, I would argue that POMO advocates (I am thinking in particular of Shotter here) note that discourse which assumes that there is no inherent right is simply not even a consideration of POMO philosophers-- in fact, he contends that a realization of the importance of human life predates the use of language and represents a fundamental aspect of humankind (predating therefore, even Bakhtin's notion of the universal [word] utterance—and hell, that thing is supposedly about as old as air.)
Still thinking on this one, but I don't think that all of POMO is always that relativistic.
01-30-03, 03:25 AM
>>Pat's important point is that pomo's relativistic view of the world makes it impossible to argue about the merits of a culture. >>
Yeah, I guess thats a pretty good description of what I mean. Maybe more precise would be "The fact that pomo is considered as Holy Writ in the debate community makes it impossible to argue about the merits of a culture while simultaneously trying your best to win the round".
(Want empirical evidence? Scroll up two posts to the part about "its elementary really". This takes one of the conclusions of postmodernism and reduces it to an axiom of debate law.)
On the discussions about the works of particular pomobabblers -- got to admit, I don't know much about either of these two, but I'll trust you. Regardless, pomo as it is practiced in debate (you know, kritik-friendly philosophy lite) is relativist to the core. Well, OK, except when they contradict themselves. ;)
01-30-03, 04:04 AM
Good points. Just wanted to let you know that I was using gross generalizations about post-modernism, which of course implies that such a thing as post-modernism exists, to make my point. Along with Pat, my main gripe is with a certain strain of thought that is dominant in the policy and palrli communities.
01-30-03, 10:57 PM
Regardless, pomo as it is practiced in debate (you know, kritik-friendly philosophy lite) is relativist to the core.
I have to agree here-- wholeheartedly. I think that Patty has noted this in Parli as well: Soundbyte philosophy. I know that I have had some __great__ discussions about POMO-- they often occured in disclosure. I am not suggesting a disclosure discussion (although I do dig it) but instead a quandry. I think that Matt and PW are suggesting somewhat of the same issue (along with a perception that all that is conserative is all bad, which is extremely unfortunate not to mention arguably unfair if not, well, wrong, as I noted with Sam on more than a few occasions):
Is POMO being presented so quickly (under my little c, point 1: Foucault and Derridas and, if I can fit him in, a sprinkle of Levinas for good flavor and what the hell! here's a bit of hooks!) that such a rich and potentially interesting field comes across as disjointed, ephemeral, simply mundane, or just plain wierd?
But then I wonder if that is not just the nature of the beast of Parli?
I am not sure, nor am I sure that there is even a solution-- or should be one.
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