DISCUSS THIS: Fantasy Forensics Round - 2012 Election Edition

Posted on September 07, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice


If you've been following the upcoming presidential election, then the past two weeks have been bursting with noteworthy events. With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions having wrapped up, Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan have been officially nominated by their respective parties. More notable than the nominations, however, were the speeches. 

So we're wondering, what if this were a tournament? I mean, sure, based on Bill Clinton's 49 minute speech, it would be a very, very, long round. But if you were handed a ballot and asked to rank the following six individuals based on the speeches they gave at their respective conventions, who would you award first place? 

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
Bill Clinton
Paul Ryan
Michelle Obama
Ann Romney

Join the conversation on Twitter and at Facebook

Image via Hollywood Reporter.

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DISCUSS THIS: Life Changing Performances

Posted on September 04, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice


Yesterday afternoon, news broke that actor Michael Clarke Duncan had passed away due to complications from a heart attack that occurred earlier in the summer. Affectionately known as a 'gentle giant,' at over six feet tall and 315 lbs, Duncan appeared in films such as Armageddon and his voice to Kung Fu Panda. His presence was hard to miss. 

His most recognized role, however, was his breakout performance alongside Tom Hanks in The Green Mile. An adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a death row prisoner with supernatural abilities, Duncan's portrayal of the sensitive Coffey earned him numerous awards and an Oscar nomination. Though the events of the film were set during the Great Depression, it struck a nerve with modern audiences. Viewers left not only talking about the performances, but the complicated message regarding the death penalty. 

Duncan's legacy is an important one for forensics. It is proof that powerful performances find a place in our hearts and minds. It is a reminder that performances are an opportunity to entertain, educate, and spark discussion. Even if we disagree on how we would "rank" a round or even interpret a text, pieces with a message force us to go from passive viewers to active participants in the discussion. Trophies are nice. But changing someone's mind about how they see the world is so much more impressive. 

So tell us: Have you witnessed a performance that changed your outlook on the world? (It can be an interp, speaking event, or even a debate round.) Have you ever discussed the message of a topic or piece when you went home? As a competitor, what subject matters are you interested in exploring?

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WATCH THIS: Henry Rollins Discusses Resentment

Posted on August 28, 2012 by Stephanie Alderdice

Be it in competition or in life, it can be easy to fall into the trap of resentment. There those who "have" and those who "have not." There are those for whom winning seems to come without effort or pain. There are those who seem to have more resources and greater assistance on their path to success. That annoying old phrase, "Life isn't fair," just continues to echo. 

On its own, one could devote an entire speech to the topic of resentment. Singer, writer, performer, advocate Henry Rollins does a beautiful job of addressing the anger and frustration that comes with inequity in his Letter to a Young American. Watch the video. Maybe it speaks to your own feelings of overcoming the odds in competition, maybe it applies to your life outside of forensics, or maybe you just want an inspirational spark for the upcoming season. Hopefully you'll find it as inspiring as we do.

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NFL LD Debate Wording Committee Announces Potential 2012-13 Debate Topics

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Corey Alderdice

After discussion and feedback during this week's 2012 NFL National Tournament in Indianapolis, the Lincoln-Douglas debate wording committee has announced the following ten potential resolutions for the 2012-13 season.  Half will be debated over the span of the next year. 

Resolved: The constitutions of democratic governments ought to include procedures for secession.

Resolved: When making admissions decisions, public colleges and universities in the United States ought to favor members of historically disadvantaged groups.

Resolved: United States Supreme Court justices should be subject to term limits.

Resolved: The United States is justified in intervening in the internal political processes of other countries to attempt to stop human rights abuses.

Resolved: In a democracy, voting ought to be compulsory.

Resolved: On balance, the privatization of civil services serves the public interest.

Resolved: On balance, labor unions in the United States are beneficial.

Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee universal health care for its citizens.

Resolved: Oppressive government is more desirable than no government.

Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system.

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Foundation Briefs and CDE Announce Partnership

Posted on January 17, 2012 by Corey Alderdice

Going forward, all of the products offered by CDE will continue to be offered at least through the end of the season. Similarly, all prior commitments will be honored. Beyond simply distributing our new and improved brief to you, we have partnered with CDE to modernize and update everything from the website to the product line so please be ready for those changes. As we go through that process, we will rely on you for feedback as this company always has been, and will continue to be, all about the customer.  This is your chance to tell us what you want to see from the CDE/Foundation Briefs partnership. 

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