September Dukes and Bailey Cup Standings

The Dukes and Bailey Cup is an annual award given to the LD debater at the NDCA Championship Tournament who has amassed the most NDCA qualifying points over the course of the season.  Your top five tournaments count towards your NDCA points.  The data below include results from Wake Forest, Grapevine, Crestian, Greenhill, Yale, and Valley.  Any tournament can count towards NDCA credit.  If you would like your tournament included in the scores, please send the Contestants in Order report to me at palmer at tabroom dot com.

NDCA points are calculated by multiplying the winning percentage in prelims by the size of the field (with a cap at 100), with bonus multipliers for advancing in elimination rounds (2.3 for winning, 1.8 for finals, 1.6 for semis, 1.4 for quarters, 1.2 for octos, and 1.1 for clearing) and for geographic diversity (2.3 for 16+ states, 1.8 for 13-15, 1.6 for 9-12, 1.4 for 6-8, 1.2 for 3-5). The past three winners are Jordan Lamothe (’09 and ’10), Steven Adler (’11), and Noah Star (’12).

Also if you spot an error let me know; if your name or your school name was spelled differently at two tournaments or something, it’s possible you don’t have your full total credited.

Dukes & Bailey Cup Standings 10/1/2012
Place School Tournament Points Tourns
1 New Orleans Jesuit Jim Huang 588.24 2
2 La Jolla Ram Prasad 527.4 3
3 Lake Highland Terrence Lonam 476.84 3
4 Hockaday Katherine Qiu 447.36 3
5 Lake Highland Julian Alvarez 400.81 3
6 Brentwood Andrew Glantz 378 2
7 Bronx Science Shai Szulanski 376.8 2
8 Collegiate Matthew Agar-Johnson 360 2
9 St. Louis Park Richard Shmikler 355.2 2
10 Sacred Heart Adam Tomasi 354 2
11 Lexington Adam Hoffman 345 1
12 Stoneman Douglas Eli Hymson 343.17 2
13 Bettendorf Taylor Amey 340.21 3
14 St. Louis Park Leah Shapiro 336.72 2
15 WDM Valley Megan Nubel 324 1
16 University Saahil Jain 317.72 3
17 Scarsdale Josh Annex 312 2
18 Brentwood Max Shapiro 312 2
19 PV Peninsula Daniel Tartakovsky 303.6 1
20 Cypress Bay Robert Steirn 300.13 2
21 Flower Mound Matthew Gmitro 295.2 2
22 Strake Jesuit College Jonathan Acevedo 291.72 2
23 Walt Whitman Jessica Levy 291.32 2
24 Millburn Yang Yi 288 1
25 Walt Whitman Tori Seidenstein 281.2 2
26 Pflugerville Tillman Huett 276 1
27 Scarsdale Larry Milstein 270 1
28 Scarsdale Ben Ulene 264 2
29 Flintridge Sacred Heart Monica Amestoy 264 2
30 Scarsdale Noah Thaler 252 1
31 Southlake Carroll Djorn Patel 241.2 3
32 Syosset Michael Sullivan 240.45 2
33 Dowling Catholic Jon Langel 240 1
34 Winston Churchill Allie Woodhouse 240 2
35 Harrison Danny DeBois 237.6 1
36 Hockaday Chloe Naguib 237.6 2
37 Westwood Akhil Gandra 232.32 2
38 Hockaday Christine Chen 231.6 2
39 Cypress Woods Grant James 231.36 2
40 Kinkaid John Lewis 231.36 2
41 Reagan Rodrigo Paramo 231.36 2
42 Northland Christian Shania Hunt 227.04 2
43 Lake Highland Nikhil Nandu 224.96 2
44 Torrey Pines Benjamin Lu 224.96 2
45 PV Peninsula Arjun Tambe 223.2 2
46 Brentwood Jacob Chorches 222 2
47 Cypress Woods Jordan Durrani 221.76 2
48 Northland Christian Morgan Lawson 220.8 2
49 Katy Taylor Neel Yerneni 218.4 3
50 Strake Jesuit College J Stuckert 217.8 2

Top 25 single-tournament best scores

Place School Debater Tournament Field Geo W% Elim Points
1 New Orleans Jesuit Jim Huang Valley 100 1.8 1.00 2.3 414.00
2 Lexington Adam Hoffman Yale 100 1.8 0.83 2.3 345.00
3 WDM Valley Megan Nubel Yale 100 1.8 1.00 1.8 324.00
4 Bronx Science Shai Szulanski Valley 100 1.8 1.00 1.8 324.00
5 PV Peninsula Daniel Tartakovsky Greenhill 99 1.6 0.83 2.3 303.60
6 Millburn Yang Yi Yale 100 1.8 1.00 1.6 288.00
7 Pflugerville Tillman Huett Grapevine 100 1.2 1.00 2.3 276.00
8 Scarsdale Larry Milstein Yale 100 1.8 0.83 1.8 270.00
9 Scarsdale Noah Thaler Yale 100 1.8 1.00 1.4 252.00
10 Dowling Catholic Jon Langel Valley 100 1.8 0.83 1.6 240.00
11 Harrison Danny DeBois Greenhill 99 1.6 0.83 1.8 237.60
12 Flower Mound Matthew Gmitro Grapevine 100 1.2 1.00 1.8 216.00
13 Hockaday Katherine Qiu Valley 100 1.8 1.00 1.2 216.00
14 Palo Alto Travis Chen Greenhill 99 1.6 0.83 1.6 211.20
15 Sacred Heart Adam Tomasi Yale 100 1.8 0.83 1.4 210.00
16 Brentwood Andrew Glantz Yale 100 1.8 0.83 1.4 210.00
17 St. Louis Park Leah Shapiro Valley 100 1.8 0.83 1.4 210.00
18 St. Louis Park Richard Shmikler Valley 100 1.8 0.83 1.4 210.00
19 Lake Highland Prepara Julian Alvarez Valley 100 1.8 0.83 1.4 210.00
20 La Jolla Ram Prasad Crestian 83 1.4 1.00 1.8 209.16

 

  • Hello. I see that this thread is rather active so I will post my question here. I am a new LD debate coach in Louisville KY. My students want to travel to National competitions. One in particular went to Wake Forest this year. She is asking me about a plethora of theory positions. I have attempted to find blocks, cites and/or explanations for these with no results. Is there an LD theory resource somewhere? I understand there is a difference between “progressive” and non “progressive” tournaments. No clue what this means but the tournaments we are interested in traveling to are apparently “progressive”. For example we will be attending OVI in Dec. I do not have a background in LD. I debated policy in the early 90’s. Thank you.

    • anon123

      What’s your email? I’ll send you an ld theory backfile.

    • OVI isn’t progressive. When I debated there a few years ago the judging was (save for two or three judges) of lower quality than my local CFL circuit.

  • Chris and I have resolved our disagreements, not that there were a whole lot. We have different opinions on the meaning of the Reitan evidence and while the email I received indicated otherwise, Chris told me that the Hochberg evidence issue was just an issue of cutting and pasting the wrong thing into the email.

    • Chris Theis

      I want to thank Tom for what I thought was a very productive conversation and for his in-person apology to us. I am glad that we have cleared this up and agreed that it was a misunderstanding. I would also like to apologize to him for my tone last night. After seeing how this whole thing was affecting Daniel I was upset. I accept his explanation about the lecture, given it was a mix of real advice and horror stories it is understandable some kids could have confused the message.

  • Michael Fried

    Why is this shit such a big deal? Nothing can be done now…Look how much time theis is taking out of his day to have to justify himself…not that I’m on anyone’s side or care, in general, but like, this is a bigger issue than it has to be…

  • Chris Theis

    **Edited for formatting +1 clarification at 2:28 10/18**These new allegations are worthy of a response.1) I have talked to Daniel about the “Reitan” card that he cut for our excuse argument last year. People are picking up on “Reitan” as if the accusation is legitimate, but there’s nothing to it. Maybe I am missing something, but Reitan is just a definition of the excuse of violent acts. From what Daniel has told me it is accurately cut from the article. In one round last year someone made the claim that it was miscut, but according to Henry it turns out they were reading a straw man from the same article. Tom might like to think that his “calling us out” is the reason we “stopped running” the case. This is the first time that I have even heard about Reitan being “miscut”. We continued to run it and eventually months later we just found better cards that made more strategic version of the argument. Tom never called us out at all. When and in what form were we “called out”? If it happened I am not aware of it.The Reitan definition:”Traditionally, we distinguish between the moral justification of violent acts and their excuse. To say that an action is morally justified, as discussed above, is to say either that the act is morally permissible (despite the prima facie case against it) or that one can reasonably believe that it is morally permissible. To say that an act is excused is not to make any claim to the effect that the act is morally permissible. Rather, it is to say that the agent is blameless (fully excused) or less than fully blameworthy (partially excused) for performing an action whose moral impermissibility is uncontested. The paradigmatic case for fully excusing (but not justifying) impermissible behavior is non-culpable ignorance of relevant circumstances. Thus, for example, when Vitoria rejects the possibility of both sides in a war being just, he qualifies this response in the following way: Assuming a demonstrable ignorance either of fact or of law, it may be that on the side where true justice is the war is just of itself, while on the other side the war is just in the sense of being excused from sin by reason of good faith, because invincible ignorance is a complete excuse.20″2) Hochberg was accurately cut. I think some context is necessary here. I am told that Tom asked Henry for cites for this case last year and the emailed response contained not only cards from the case as read but also several other cards that were in the file. What happened was in the course of emailing Tom Henry copied and pasted “first three last three” from a different card (which was correctly labeled in the actual file as an extra card we never read, but was included in the email under the Hochberg cards). That card was NEVER READ in a round. Despite not having read the card or used it in any way, I’m told that we send the correct citation later anyway. Apparently, the website the card was from has since been taken down, but you can still find an indexed version of it.I don’t know what Tom is talking about when he mentions “cards” plural. Daniel went back and looked at the case. The cards we read are from this article:Herbert Hochberg, “Albert Camus and the Ethic of Absurdity” Ethics. Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jan., 1965), pp. 87-102).I see no issues with the article…the cards we were reading are all there.3) The ICC CP card was dealt with. Again, I’m sorry – it was an honest mistake. It was read in one round, which devolved into theory. Daniel’s opponent accepted the apology privately when we became aware of the situation. Daniel felt terrible for not double checking and he has certainly had to endure more than enough criticism for it.This discussion is especially perplexing because there have been a TON of instances of debaters miscutting evidence this year that are not getting any public attention. In talking to people about this situation many have told me about blatant evidence problems they have found while judging. I myself have dealt with three such instances already this year, ranging from staw men to debaters intentionally cutting out context that made evidence mean the exact opposite of what the author intended. In each case I just informed the team of the problem and I am pretty sure they all fixed the problem. We are open about our evidence – we will disclose this year at every tournament, for example, and we have always been happy to send cites. If we had any interest in hiding cards or otherwise misleading people, we wouldn’t make our evidence available and we certainly wouldn’t be open about mistakes we do make. I think if we were to look at the cards of every team on the national circuit, we’d probably see similar errors, though this isn’t to say that this is good or praiseworthy. Most teams don’t disclose, however, so the evidence is less likely to be checked. If we knew or intentionally did anything wrong, why would we disclose this card or any other card? I mentioned this in my last post.Lastly, if there is really an issue of “evidence ethics” and us as a “community”, it seems interesting to me that 3 of the 4 claims are from many months ago. It might be convenient to tarnish the reputation of PV when they start winning tournaments, but it makes it clear that evidence ethics is not what is at stake. The timing is certainly curious especially given that I have been told that people involved in this discussion both online and off have been saying how people should keep pushing this thread so that “VBI kids stop winning tournaments” Given the random Bietz insults in earlier posts, these conversations make me curious about what exactly the motivation is here.
    If some of those involved in this discussion are really so concerned about the ethics of education I am a little confused about some of the things they have advocated in the past. Tom, this summer you gave a lecture that suggested the following things, among others:A. Debaters should count up with their timers when their opponent and judge are not timing so that they can get extra time for speeches.B. Debaters should pretend to go to the bathroom during prep so their opponent can’t ask questions.C. Debaters should memorize evidence so that when their opponent asks to see “everything you read” you don’t have to hand them cards.D. Debaters should not put paragraph breaks in their cases and should use formatting that makes their cases hard to read.E. Debaters should represent their standard in CX so their opponent responds incorrectly.Also, while I am generally against handling these things in a public way I think the nature of this discussion warrants me bringing up the miscut evidence your team was running last year at TOC. In response to a K we were running or arguments that implied that everything was morally permissible you read cards from Stuart Sim’s “Empires of belief:Why We Need More Scepticism and Doubt in the Twenty First Century.” that you claimed said that we criticized (saying everything was ok) was good, when in fact the book said the exact opposite. From the book:“The work
    of such historians as Irving is not scepticism as we understand it, but, as we
    have noted before, the consequence of unquestioning belief in yet another
    authority. Holocaust denial is designed to clear the name of the Nazi party –
    or at the very least to make it less odious than the general perception has it
    these days. The ultimate goal is to remove the stigma from fascism, rendering
    it apolitically acceptable position that can then move to re-enter the cultural
    mainstream – as it keeps trying to do throughout Western Europe (with
    occasional limited success). But neither sceptics nor super-sceptics are going
    to accept that line of argument. Just about the only positive point one can
    make about Holocaust deniers is that they have roused super-sceptics like
    Lyotard to demonstrate that they do not, as so often charged by critics, sanction
    an ‘anything goes’ approach to philosophy and politics. The difference is that super-sceptics
    remain aware of the precariousness of their own position in making claims,
    recognising that their own philosophical base can never be totally secure. Lack
    of security, however, does not prevent them from having moral principles –
    their anti-fascism alone would be proof of that.”And again:“Super-scepticism is an extreme form of relativism, and that gives it problems with making value-judgements (even if these are implicit in difference feminism, in terms of an existing belief system being rejected). At first glance, it would seem impossible to make value judgements at all if one espouses such a position. There would be nothing on which to base them, no ground we could all trust –essentially the line taken by Jean Baudrillard, as we have just seen. If there were such a ground, consistency would require relativists to reject it as the product of faith rather than reason. Yet super-sceptics are just as concerned as the rest of us to be engaged in politics, and by no means do they find all political viewpoints equal – or congenial either. There is a general ‘leftish’ bias to be noted to postmodern thought (although there are some exceptions to this rule, and postmodernists in general are often accused by critics of being implicitly neoconservative). That means its practitioners would wish to exclude some forms of political discourse from the public forum – fascism, most obviously, and also most emphatically. How you manage to justify the value-judgements involved in condemning ideas like fascism is the central problem facing the postmodern thinker, and it calls for a certain ingenuity. But the philosophical difficulties encountered in doing so should not disguise the fact that such value-judgements do get made none the less. Whatever its critics may say, super-scepticism is not an ‘anything goes’ position that would condone
    any action at all.”Sim’s argument is just that a skeptical posture is good not that being skeptical of all value claims is good. In fact, this evidence looks like pretty sick evidence for OUR K. I might just put them in the file. This a straw man. It makes the exact opposite argument. I am sure it was not intentional, but that is the point. Mistakes happen.Again, not going to get engaged in the line-by-line anymore. Seriously, if you have a
    problem try talking to us first to make sure you have your facts straight.

    • Michael Fried

      Chris, why are you even engaging in these issues. I understand protecting your debate, but, why are you intentionally calling out another person–it just seems to inciting a larger flame war.

      One final note. This line “The ICC CP card was dealt with. Again, I’m sorry – it was an honest mistake” is hysterical.

    • anon94

      Why are you attacking Tom? He was the first one to call lifer at law an asshole and seemed to defend you. You could have easily corrected his accusations without personally attacking him.

    • I lol’d when I saw this.

      I wasn’t taking sides and didn’t say that either side was right or wrong (save
      for my earlier comments against Lifer).

      I don’t expect a response from Chris, but here are a few things:

      I’ll have to edit this post later about Reitan, because I don’t plan on going back
      and re-reading the article, but I disagree with the way that Reitan was
      actually used in the rounds I debated against it regardless of what the
      definition is believed to be. It’s possible that the cards themselves weren’t
      miscut, but that the taglines and extensions entirely misrepresented the cards.
      That was my original impression when I read the article myself.

      In regard to Hochberg: If that’s true, then I was mistaken. That said, I asked for
      the cites to the cards that were read only because the cites that were posted
      by PV didn’t actually exist in the article. After I received the first email
      from PV, they still didn’t exist and I was told that it was an entirely
      different set of cards. It’s possible that it was all an issue of
      miscommunication. If that’s the case, I apologize. If not, it’s on you. I can’t
      verify the cards in anyone’s files, so I’ve only been explaining my
      understanding of things. If you look very very closely, you can even see that I
      amended my original post at the request of Daniel, as he gave me new
      information. I’d have done the same if you’d told me these things, Chris.

      I don’t know what’s up with pushing the thread so VBI kids keep winning. That’s
      clearly not what I’m going for here. If you recall, I went to VBI for three
      years and NSD for one, though I only worked at NSD this summer – I was in Rome during VBI. I brought up the things that I did because I was asked by a couple of people to post what happened as I understood it. I didn’t make a big deal out of it back then because I don’t (or didn’t, prior to this last post) have a
      problem with you or PV. In fact, I really like Daniel and Henry. While you may
      have always been an asshole to me while I was a debater (and I know a lot of
      people had a similar experience), I believed Daniel when he said you’re a
      pretty good guy, and haven’t had a problem with you since graduating until now.

      Regarding the lecture at NSD, which seems to have stirred up a lot of controversy:

      1. It’s regarded as a “joke lecture.” When I was asked to give the
      lecture, I was told it was just to have fun and wasn’t serious.

      2. In our lecture notes we read, verbatim, “Not
      all of these strategies are ones that even we think are legitimate, but it’s
      important for you guys to know what’s out there so you don’t get tricked
      yourself. -This lecture is about AWARENESS.”

      3. I haven’t raised any concern about your educational character in the activity,
      Chris. In fact, in my conversation with Daniel the other day I mentioned how
      I’ve sided with you in regards to all of this and that I posted what I did
      because my own personal belief is that anybody should have access to any
      information about what’s going on. I’ve gone out of my way to remain fairly
      unbiased in my posting, and even asked Daniel how I could edit the post so that
      it didn’t seem as though I were criticizing PV.

      4.When did I ever claim that my views on debate were something that should be
      adopted? I have my own view of debate, but I don’t push it on other people
      (like some do) because I don’t think my view is universalizable. I guess it’s a
      good thing I’m not a Kantian.

      5.In response to a few of these points in that lecture:

      Regarding A:
      1.I told people not to use this, but to watch out for people who do.
      2.I thought of adding this because at ToC my junior year, I timed up. Since you,
      Chris, weren’t timing in that round, my opponent gave a four-minute 2AR and I
      couldn’t do anything about it. Thanks for that, by the way.

      Regarding B:
      1.This wasn’t in the lecture.
      2.The actual point in the lecture was something relating to “walking outside
      to fart,” in order to steal prep (something one of the lecturers had seen
      done in the past). We didn’t say that this is something people should do, we
      discussed how to prevent people from doing it.

      Regarding C:
      1. I added this to the lecture. Guess where I learned it? At a lecture at VBI.
      Thanks for that too.

      Regarding D:
      1. Yeah, that was in there as a possibility. We also discussed how theory can
      prevent this. Remember? The lecture is about AWARENESS.

      Regarding E:
      1. There are two possible things this might refer to:

      “Rephrase the rhetoric of your neg standard in such a way that
      makes it really difficult for your opponent to turn your argument. For
      instance, on the vaccines topic, [a team] originally ran a neg with an agency
      standard, but we were getting pummeled in debates because people would just
      kick the AC standard and go for turns on the NC. However, [they] modified the
      standard slightly to “preventing the contradictory willing of maxims,” and then
      suddenly no one had any idea how to answer the argument.”

      or

      “Never explicitly state the rhetoric of your standard, phrase it as a burden or
      something like that. Causes people to freak out because they don’t understand
      how the case functions.”

      Neither of these seems like a problem to me.

      I find the problem you have with my use of Sim pretty funny. The reason I find it
      funny is that we included these sort of statements in that K. Here’s a
      screenshot from the file: http://imgur.com/LUc54. Hmmm, maybe there’s a
      reason that I decided to include skep and the skep detractor K in the NC in
      octos despite knowing you had tried to prep it, and maybe there’s a reason you
      got stomped. If you recall (though seeing as the video was never uploaded [I
      guess since PV didn’t win], maybe you can’t), I said in that round that I only
      denied that morality exists objectively absent humans. I argued that
      constructivism was possible under the Neg’s view of Skep, and that it would
      negate. That was incredibly useful, given that the Aff’s argument for why there
      would exist some normative reason to drop me was that we could have
      *constructed* moral rules to follow and drop the evil patriarch Tom Cameron.

      But hey, if you’ve got a problem with my use of Sim, shouldn’t you try talking to me to get your facts straight? Or am I the only one that needs to do that?

      I find this shoddy attempt at an attack on me to be pretty juvenile given that I
      didn’t attack you, that any sort of miscommunication wasn’t from my end, that
      you weren’t at my lecture, and that I didn’t say “anything goes” when
      I cited Sim.

      Tl;dr: Have a nice day.

      • Chris Theis

        I just want to clarify a few things for the record. This will actually be my last post on the subject and I will be talking to Tom personally given that he just outside the round I am in right now…

        1. Reitan — I disagree. I think all of the judges who voted for the argument disagreed as well. It was a definition and it was not miscut. I am glad you edited your post after hundreds of people saw it.

        2. Hochberg — I just talked to Henry, he looked at the email exchange and what I said in my first post was accurate. Daniel checked the cards yesterday, they are there.

        I think it is really irresponsible when discussion students to make these types of claims without even trying to to get the facts, especially when the events happened last year. If it was an issue we could have discussed and resolved it then.

        3. Lecture — That may have been your intent but none of the three students I have talked to about it took it that way at the time. I have multiple copies of the notes all of these things were said. In any case there was obviously ambiguity and given that some debaters actually practiced all the things in that lecture, I think that is dangerous. If your intent was indeed to warn students (I don’t doubt that) then maybe in the future you should offer strategies to counter them.

        4 Sim’s — When these cards were run by whitman that was not the arg that was made. I watched one of the rounds the question was asked “is everything morally permissible” the answer was “yes.” It was also a struggle that took nearly twelve hours on the second night of TOC to get you all to even send the cites. I have no knowledge of the round you are talking about but the fact that you guys got it right the third time it was run is great, as I said I am sure the original mistake was not intentional. It might be unfair to hold you responsible for the way someone on you team ran the argument, if what you say about your round is true I am sorry. Also, our argument had nothing to do with you being a bad person, Tom. That is just not true.

        5. Me being mean — I don’t think I ever interacted with you except when I judged you. I don’t know when not voting for someone because they don’t adapt became being a jerk, but if that is what it means then I guess I am… To be clear: I have absolutely no problem with you personally, never have. I just found your sudden accusations bizarre and troubling.

        My basic takeaway here is that it is irresponsible to make these types of claims about a student who has to go debate in front of the people reading this threat without making any attempt to find out what really happened. I am sure that you actually like Daniel and did not intend your post as an attack, but the effect is the same. I think you owe Daniel an apology.

        • We’ll talk.

        • TheBerkeleyBear

          I guess this doesn’t matter anymore, but I have an audio file of that lecture. The talk began with a discussion of the advocacy skills philosophy. IMO, Tom didn’t seem to support running tricks when he talked, but Anna and Matt did. Tom, aside from listing tricks, talked about awareness and the educational value of beating sophists. From my experience, most campers thought the lecture was just jokes. I think Chris’ debaters’ take-away came from what other panelists said.

      • The stuff about the lecture is bullshit (at least based on how it was perceived by students there). Similar to what Chris said below me, I have had numerous students tell me that, if anything, there was a subtle endorsement of those ridiculous practices. Not to mention, the prevalence of those strategies last year (and even my senior year) by debaters in TOC outrounds would make me skeptical that it was a mere lecture about “awareness.”

        Edited for grammar.

        • Given that Chris’ post was about 5 of the most ridiculous things from the lecture, your comment is pretty bullshit itself, not to mention that you don’t have the opinion of the majority of the students there, likely only the opinions of those who share your exclusive (and from my standpoint uneducational) views. A lot of the things from that lecture are, in my opinion, fairly legitimate practices. If you want to talk about it more, message me on Facebook or something.

          • I don’t know, I’ve heard and seen the same things as Jared and he and I have very different views on debate. Why don’t you post the outline and let the people decide? Why backchannel such an obviously important discussion?

          • Rebar Niemi

            FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

          • The outline isn’t mine. I’ve never had a problem giving out my own stuff. Even as a debater if people asked for cites I’d often just send them the cards, presuming I was the one that cut them.

          • TheBerkeleyBear

            I can give you the audio file I have, but I’m positive my description of the lecture is accurate. Also, “obviously important”? This is just being used to tarnish Tom’s credibility. Why does tearing someone’s credibility down deserve all this goddamn attention?

        • Part of the lecture endorsed an attitude about debate that I think is legitimate, which is that all of the strategic options available to a debater should be considered and utilized, and on behalf of everyone who gave the lecture, I think I can safely say that we all believe that strategy should be constrained by certain hard and fast rules, (e.g. time limits, not lying in cross-ex, not being clearly deceitful). Because some of the tricky strategies that we mentioned were clearly outside the boundaries of legitimate strategy we knew it was important to mention that we didn’t endorse all of the practices discussed in the lecture. As it has already been stated, we made that explicit in the lecture.

          I think I should have more clearly expressed which practices fall outside of what is clearly acceptable, I think it would have been wise to place them in a separate part of the lecture. Given that they were in the context of a lecture which also recommended that debaters should exhaust the strategic resources available to them, I can see how people could get the impression that we endorsed things in the lecture which were merely discussed, NOT ENDORSED. I apologize for having given off that impression and I should have done more to avoid giving that impression. I think the mistake was to not separate the clearly sketchy strategies from the legitimate ones and I should have done that.

          That being said, “subtly” or explicitly, I have never endorsed that students engage in clearly unethical practices, I have never encouraged any debater I’ve coached to do such things, and I never wanted to give anyone the impression that I think that taking extra prep time or not making your evidence available to your opponent is okay, and I’m sure the same goes for everyone who gave the lecture. Clearly, I have an opinions about what kind of practices are “educational”, how educational considerations should affect what strategies are deemed permissible, and what practices are in fact fair or unfair that are not adopted universally (in fact, there was an “anti-tricks” lecture given by dave mcginnis the same day as our lecture) and that is something the lecture WAS meant to express. But obviously, I think that strategy should be constrained by rules to ensure fair play. Look, I’m strict about making sure people don’t take extra prep time even to get out evidence or pull things up on their laptop, and I don’t like it when people do unfair things, I don’t usually even like it when people run ridiculous tricks in front of me or prefer it to seeing a more straight-up debate. I don’t tell any students I coach to do these things and I would reprimand them if they were.

          To give some insight into how the lecture was written: there was an idea to do a lecture largely about strategic considerations that people frequently fail to consider and these include: how you phrase your standard, the manner in which you phrase your answers to cross-ex, the way you construct and organize a case, etc. We wanted to talk about a lot of things people don’t think about both in case-preparation and in rounds, and also about strategies that people employ that not everyone is aware of. A lot of people lose to “trickier” debaters because they are unwilling to employ tricky strategies themselves. I have always noticed that there are a contingent of people who think that they are above using certain strategies because of some pedagogical or ethical dislike. Instead of a moral response to arguments to these tricky, sometimes abusive strategies, I prefer a response of either using theory where possible OR out-strategizing your opponent. Sometimes I think this means you have to out-trick the trickster. So part of the lecture was dedicated to explaining how strategy fits into debate, when it is advantageous to be employ certain strategies, and also a small rant about how people should be less moralizing about tricky strategies and should instead equip themselves with a repertoire of strategies to combat ‘tricksters’. That being said, a large portion of the strategies discussed in the lecture are not even when anyone would call a “trick”. But that is besides the point. We compiled a list of tricks and strategies that we’ve seen employed. As we started to dig deeper into the our memory of various tricky strategies that we had encountered before, we started to approach tricks that we’re questionable (e.g. hiding pre-standards arguments in AC’s, using confusing numbering systems for arguments in cases, etc.). At that point we decided it was obviously important to note that the list of tricks was NOT A LIST OF THINGS WE THOUGHT IT WAS OKAY TO DO, but rather a list of STRATEGIES THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY EMPLOY THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF. I mean I’m not trying to be obtuse but I don’t understand this statement “Not to mention, the prevalence of those strategies last year (and even my senior year) by debaters in TOC outrounds would make me skeptical that it was a mere lecture about “awareness.”. The prevalence of these strategies seems (to me at least) a plausible reason why people should be aware of them.

          While we all scanned our memories for tricks we had encountered before, some pretty ridiculous ones got mentioned. Some of the “sketchy” tricks in the lecture are so ridiculous, in fact, that we were literally laughing out loud as we were reading them, and I thought it would be clear to students that they shouldn’t try to take extra prep time by feigning digestive problems or memorize their case just so they don’t have a hard-copy to hand their opponent. That’s not an excuse, however. I think we should have given more consideration to the fact that the tricks had gone from “bordering on sketchy” to “obviously sketchy” and it would have been more responsible to separate and explicitly label all of the tricks we thought we’re DEFINITELY unfair to eliminate any possible ambiguity. I hope you could at least believe me that, as educators, we would not stand up in a lecture to students and publicly endorse that they take extra prep time, and we don’t take it lightly that there are alleged students who received such an impression (subtly, explicitly, what have you). And since I arranged the lecture outline, I’d like to just say, sorry: I definitely should have been more clear to avoid confusion and neglecting to be more clear is definitely not something I take lightly.

          Additionally I think it’s important to note that we did give people advice on how to prevent unfair practices from being used on them. For example, one of the things we discussed in the lecture (this part was added in extemporaneously and is not in the lecture outline) was debaters using normal cross ex as flex prep without agreeing to it with their opponent (e.g. when debaters spend 20 seconds in between each question in cx writing down answers the arguments they just inquired about). I mentioned how this trick infuriated me as a debater, and told the debaters that they should simply ask a debater engaging in this practice “so are we doing flex prep?” or something like that… (I saw a student who attended the lecture do this in a practice round I watched soon after the lecture and it stopped the other debater from using their CX as prep time).

          So in summary:
          a. We did not endorse people to cheat or practice clearly illegitimate strategies
          b. We have never endorsed the aforementioned strategies
          c. The ambiguity which gave people such an impression is my fault (since the person who arranged the lecture outline was me, and I should have distinguished the illegitimate tricks from the legitimate ones by separating them).
          d. The lecture did offer what is perhaps a controversial view, which is that people should think of debate in a far more strategic manner, and they shouldn’t refuse to run “tricky” arguments just to stand on a moral high-ground, and instead should adopt a viable counter-strategy, or use tricky strategies themselves to defeat their opponents. This is not the same thing as saying that it is okay to cheat, or saying that there are no ethical constraints on what strategies people should be able to employ (e.g. as time-limits, being honest, and making your academic resources available to your opponents, etc.)
          e. We accounted for the fact that some of the tricks in the lecture violated these constraints by informing the students that we weren’t presented a list of strategies we endorse, but clearly, since these allegations are emerging, it would have been more responsible if we had clearly distinguished the sketchy strategies, from the semi-questionable and legitimate ones to avoid ambiguity about our how we feel about blatantly unfair practices (we feel like they are bad and people shouldn’t do them).

          I went through the list of tricks and wrote something in red next to all of the ones I think are blatantly sketchy. Here is a link to the outline of the lecture; http://www.scribd.com/doc/110567195/Tricks-Lecture

          • Reasonable. I appreciate the lengthy reply, Matt. Thanks.

      • anonswag

        Tom don’t lie. You know you said to have a standard of respecting autonomy and define respecting as maximizing and autonomy as net benefits or something like that.

        Chris: Chill out, this was meant to be a funny lecture and construing it to mean anything else is ridiculous. It’s a debaters fault if they choose to adopt a strategy when Tom warned everyone that he didn’t support all of the strategies.

        • Yup, that was in the lecture. I’m not lying? That’s not misrepresenting it in CX, it’s a sketchy thing to do in a case, and I feel like it’s more unstrategic to do than it is strategic. I think Chris was talking about something else.

  • Chris Theis

    These new allegations are worthy of a
    response.

    1)
    I have talked to Daniel about the “Reitan” card that he cut for
    our excuse argument last year. People are picking up on “Reitan” as
    if the accusation is legitimate, but there’s nothing to it. Maybe I am missing
    something, but Reitan is just a definition of the excuse of violent acts. From
    what Daniel has told me it is accurately cut from the article. In one round
    last year someone made the claim that it was miscut, but according to Henry it
    turns out they were reading a straw man from the same article. Tom might like
    to think that his “calling us out” is the reason we “stopped
    running” the case. This is the first time that I have even heard about
    Reitan being “miscut”. We continued to run it and eventually months
    later we just found better cards that made more strategic version of the
    argument. Tom never called us out at all. When and in what form were we
    “called out”? If it happened I am not aware of it.

    The Reitan definition:

    “Traditionally, we distinguish between
    the moral justification of violent acts and their excuse. To say that an action
    is morally justified, as discussed above, is to say either that the act is morally
    permissible (despite the prima facie case against it) or that one can
    reasonably believe that it is morally permissible. To say that an act is
    excused is not to make any claim to the effect that the act is morally
    permissible. Rather, it is to say that the agent is blameless (fully excused)
    or less than fully blameworthy (partially excused) for performing an action
    whose moral impermissibility is uncontested. The paradigmatic case for fully
    excusing (but not justifying) impermissible behavior is non-culpable ignorance
    of relevant circumstances. Thus, for example, when Vitoria rejects the
    possibility of both sides in a war being just, he qualifies this response in
    the following way: Assuming a demonstrable ignorance either of fact or of law,
    it may be that on the side where true justice is the war is just of itself,
    while on the other side the war is just in the sense of being excused from sin
    by reason of good faith, because invincible ignorance is a complete
    excuse.20”

    2)
    Hochberg was accurately
    cut. I think some context is necessary
    here. I am told that Tom asked Henry for cites for this case last year and the
    emailed response contained not only cards from the case as read but also
    several other cards that were in the file. What happened was in the course of
    emailing Tom Henry copied and pasted “first three last three” from a
    different card (which was correctly labeled in the actual file as an extra card
    we never read, but was included in the email under the Hochberg cards). That
    card was NEVER READ in a round. Despite not having read the card or used it in
    any way, I’m told that we send the correct citation later anyway. Apparently,
    the website the card was from has since been taken down, but you can still find
    an indexed version of it.

    I don’t know what Tom is talking about when he
    mentions “cards” plural. Daniel went back and looked at the case. The
    cards we read are from this article:

    Herbert Hochberg, “Albert Camus and the
    Ethic of Absurdity” Ethics. Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jan., 1965), pp. 87-102).

    I see no issues with the article…the cards
    we were reading are all there.

    3) The ICC CP card was dealt with. Again, I’m
    sorry – it was an honest mistake. It was read in one round, which devolved into
    theory. Daniel’s opponent accepted the apology privately when we became aware
    of the situation. Daniel felt terrible for not double checking and he has
    certainly had to endure more than enough criticism for it.

    This discussion is especially perplexing
    because there have been a TON of instances of debaters miscutting evidence this
    year that are not getting any public attention. In talking to people about this
    situation many have told me about blatant evidence problems they have found
    while judging. I myself have dealt with three such instances already this year,
    ranging from staw men to debaters intentionally cutting out context that made
    evidence mean the exact opposite of what the author intended. In each case I
    just informed the team of the problem and I am pretty sure they all fixed the
    problem. We are open about our evidence – we will
    disclose this year at every tournament, for example, and we have always been happy
    to send cites. If we had any interest in hiding cards or otherwise misleading
    people, we wouldn’t make our evidence available and we certainly wouldn’t be
    open about mistakes we do make. I think if we were to look at the cards of
    every team on the national circuit, we’d probably see similar errors, though
    this isn’t to say that this is good or praiseworthy. Most teams don’t disclose,
    however, so the evidence is less likely to be checked. If we knew or
    intentionally did anything wrong, why would we disclose this card or any other
    card? I mentioned this in my last post.

    Lastly, if there is really an issue of
    “evidence ethics” and us as a “community”, it seems
    interesting to me that 3 of the 4 claims are from many months ago. It might be
    convenient to tarnish the reputation of PV when they start winning tournaments,
    but it makes it clear that evidence ethics is not what is at stake. The timing
    is certainly curious especially given that I have been told that people
    involved in this discussion both online and off have been saying how people should
    keep pushing this thread so that “VBI kids stop winning tournaments” Given the
    random Bietz insults in earlier posts, these conversations make me curious
    about what exactly the motivation is here.

    If some of those involved in this discussion
    are really so concerned about the ethics of education I am a little confused
    about some of the things they have advocated in the past. Tom, this summer you gave a lecture that suggested
    the following things, among others:

    A. Debaters should count up with their
    timers when their opponent and judge are not timing so that they can get extra
    time for speeches.

    B. Debaters should pretend to go to the
    bathroom during prep so their opponent can’t ask questions.

    C. Debaters should memorize evidence so
    that when their opponent asks to see “everything you read” you don’t have to
    hand them cards.

    D. Debaters should not put paragraph
    breaks in their cases and should use formatting that makes their cases hard to
    read.

    E. Debaters should represent their
    standard in CX so their opponent responds incorrectly.

    Also, while
    I am generally against handling these things in a public way I think the nature
    of this discussion warrants me bringing up the miscut evidence your team was
    running last year at TOC. In response to
    a K we were running or arguments that implied that everything was morally
    permissible you were cards from Stuart Sim’s “Empires of belief” that you claimed said that
    what we criticized was good, when in fact the book said the exact
    opposite. From the book:

    “The work
    of such historians as Irving is not scepticism as we understand it, but, as we
    have noted before, the consequence of unquestioning belief in yet another
    authority. Holocaust denial is designed to clear the name of the Nazi party –
    or at the very least to make it less odious than the general perception has it
    these days. The ultimate goal is to remove the stigma from fascism, rendering
    it apolitically acceptable position that can then move to re-enter the cultural
    mainstream – as it keeps trying to do throughout Western Europe (with
    occasional limited success). But neither sceptics nor super-sceptics are going
    to accept that line of argument. Just about the only positive point one can
    make about Holocaust deniers is that they have roused super-sceptics like
    Lyotard to demonstrate that they do not, as so often charged by critics, sanction
    an ‘anything goes’ approach to philosophy and politics. The difference is that super-sceptics
    remain aware of the precariousness of their own position in making claims,
    recognising that their own philosophical base can never be totally secure. Lack
    of security, however, does not prevent them from having moral principles –
    their anti-fascism alone would be proof of that.”

    And again:

    “Super-scepticism
    is an extreme form of relativism, and that gives it problems with making
    value-judgements (even if these are implicit in difference feminism, in terms
    of an existing belief system being rejected). At first glance, it would seem
    impossible to make value judgements at all if one espouses such a position.
    There would be nothing on which to base them, no ground we could all trust
    –essentially the line taken by Jean Baudrillard, as we have just seen. If there
    were such a ground, consistency would require relativists to reject it as the
    product of faith rather than reason. Yet super-sceptics are just as concerned
    as the rest of us to be engaged in politics, and by no means do they find all
    political viewpoints equal – or congenial either. There is a general ‘leftish’
    bias to be noted to postmodern thought (although there are some exceptions to
    this rule, and postmodernists in general are often accused by critics of being
    implicitly neoconservative). That means its practitioners would wish to exclude
    some forms of political discourse from the public forum – fascism, most
    obviously, and also most emphatically. How you manage to justify the
    value-judgements involved in condemning ideas like fascism is the central
    problem facing the postmodern thinker, and it calls for a certain ingenuity.
    But the philosophical difficulties encountered in doing so should not disguise
    the fact that such value-judgements do get made none the less. Whatever its critics
    may say, super-scepticism is not an ‘anything goes’ position that would condone
    any action at all.”

    In fact, this
    evidence looks like pretty sick evidence for OUR K. I might just put them in
    the file. This is exactly the same thing as the allegation about the ICC CP. I am sure it was not intentional, but that is the point. Mistakes happen.

    Again, not
    going to get engaged in the line-by-line anymore. Seriously, if you have a
    problem try talking to us first to make sure you have your facts straight.

  • In other news.. Jim Huang is number one on the NDCA rankings!

    • TheBerkeleyBear

      Yeah, he’s good stuff

  • PlazaMexico

    I leave for three months and this… I love it.

    • Rebar Niemi

      yo soy happy.

  • Rebar Niemi

    this board is making me tear up. its so good to see so many trolls back on the job like money don’t care. does an old crank proud.

    • TheBerkeleyBear

      but rebar, you’re still #1 in our hearts <3 <3 <3

  • Concerned Individual

    So what exactly happened at TOC 2009?

  • These allegations are very serious and should not be dismissed as the work of another “troll.” I’m usually sympathetic to the idea that if you have a personal problem with someone, you should resolve it privately, but what’s at stake here is not a “personal problem” between Lifer at Law—whoever that may be—and Chris Theis. What’s at stake is where we stand as a community on the issue of cheating and evidence ethics.

    Look—we have at least four separate allegations (TOC ‘9 Sudan DA, Hochberg Evidence, Reitan Case, ICC CP) of miscut, strawmanned, or fabricated evidence related to Chris Theis. Obviously TOC ’09 is the most egregious of these incidents. I understand making an honest mistake once, or even twice, but how can you suggest that someone who should know better would make the *same* mistake honestly that many times? Even novices are taught to double check the citations on all evidence pulled from backfiles. How could everyone on the Apple Valley and PV team fail to take the initiative to double check the citation from a crucial piece evidence, not once, not twice, but three times?

    Jake and Chris Palmer suggest that Chris has apologized, and there is little more beyond that that he can do. An apology seems like a woefully inadequate response. In what other competitive activity do we accept “you won a major championship while cheating, but you apologized so let’s move on” as the proper redress to a major rules violation?

    I have no problem with Chris, and I have no doubt that he is an excellent coach and camp instructor. But regardless of whether you are Chris Theis’s biggest hater or his staunchest supporter, you should be demanding an explanation of how a team with nationally successful debaters coached by one of the most successful debaters of all time could repeatedly fail to properly cut and cite their evidence. If we really care about substantive engagement and deep learning, we should demand more.

    • I am really interested in seeing a public response to this. I fully agree with Larry–4 times is unacceptable.

    • Anon427

      It seems pretty clear that the ICC thing isn’t remotely Chris’ fault. It was one miscut card that Daniel found from a backfile that he used in one round, as a turn against the AC (from what I understand, that’s how Chris explained it and no one corrected him). The idea that that supports some greater narrative of academic dishonesty by Chris himself is absurd.

      • Anon427

        …Maybe someone can sum up the reasons this is being downvoted? Maybe the language is a little strong (“isn’t remotely Chris’ fault”, perhaps?) but besides that it seems pretty reasonable. Was my description inaccurate? Or maybe this does prove why Chris is a no good dirty cheater and I’m just not seeing it?

        • Because the debate community is pretty asshole-ish sometimes. (BRACE FOR ONSLAUGHT OF DOWNVOTES)

          • anon94

            ask and ye shall recieve

        • Anon427

          …Hitler was awesome. Gay people are immoral. Michele Bachmann for president.

          If I’m just going to get downvoted anyways, why not?

    • Rule Person

      This post is not taking a stance on the comments made, just presenting the rules.

      https://www.nflonline.org/uploads/AboutNFL/District%20Tournament%20Operations%20Manual.pdf

      The link above is the District Tournament Operations Manual for the NFL.

      Regarding miscut evidence, it states:

      Depending on the severity, an offense MAY result in notification of said offense to their high school administration and chapter sponsor, loss of all district and/or National Tournament NFL points, including trophy and sweepstakes points for the offending student(s), and/or revocation of NFL membership.

      Although this is taken a bit out of context, I would consider reading this section (for the people interested in this shenanigan).

      RP

    • What further response do you want? Lifer at Law suggested leaving the community, which strikes me as unfair, unenforceable, and a bad idea since Chris is one of the best minds and educators in the activity. I didn’t mean to imply that an apology was sufficient — I was just saying that Lifer at Law was wrong to be so pissed off at Chris for not apologizing. So figure out some response between inadequate apology and ridiculous exile.

      The REAL lesson here is that there ought to be a standard procedure for this kind of thing. Anyone know whether tournament directors have done anything about evidence ethics before?

      • sorry that was me

      • Rebar Niemi

        basically, i think that there is a large group of people who were and are unsatisfied with the explanations that have been given here and in the past. on the one hand it seems absurd to perform some sort of investigation and vacate tainted wins or something, but on the other this is ppl’s timeXmoneyXloveXheartXcareerZfuture
        and we should take that seriously?

        i feel like the statue of limitations has likely elapsed here. i don’t think chris deserves some further punishment for whatever has happened, the events of which i cannot confirm. i do agree with jake that there should probably be s&p or SOP or some MO ya know.

  • Mathew Pregasen

    are you sure you still aren’t equivalent to diddly squat? O.o!

  • Mathew Pregasen

    Sincerely, I believe NSD should make/look into making a discussion page solely for general open discussion or some type of forum. The rather lengthy conversation in this post and in the Nov/Dec post tends to move us from discussing the meant topic of the post effectively. There is little to no discussion, at least highlighted at the top of thread on the Bailey Cup. If we moved these conversations elsewhere perhaps we wouldn’t deviate ourselves from NSD’s messages yet still be able to have these impactful discussions.

  • I’m thinking it’s time for the comment threads on NSD Update to:
    1) Require a name attached to a Facebook
    2) Get rid of “downvotes”

    • fascist

    • 1) Bad idea: it means that students in the activity can’t have a voice. As a debater, I would never even considered posting something that might draw controversy because of the political backlash resulting from it. Coming from a school with no coaches pulling strings for you all the time, that’s a pretty big disadvantage.

      2) Then get rid of upvotes too. Not like they actually make much of a difference.

      • Rebar Niemi

        YA SNEAK DISSERS NEED LUV 2!

        • Rebar Niemi

          loyalty is all i know #Omerta

        • I fucking hate sneak dissers

          • Rebar Niemi

            that’s just a strong way of saying you don’t like them.

      • I don’t think that’s true at all, Tom. Evidenced first off by the fact that we are capable of having a civilized conversation right now, (and neither of us have our names hidden) an ability that apparently one or more others lack, I think means that discussions – even when controversial – are typically acceptable when done nicely and with respect for those who disagree with you.
        But furthermore, students don’t need to have coaches to shield them if they try to express an opinion. I have yet to (and perhaps that means I’m lucky or just ignorant to the “meaner” coaches) meet any respectable or influential debate coach who will take offense to a student who privately and respectfully asks a tough question. And even if that was the case, that reflects negatively on the community, not the student themself.
        Lastly, if a student is genuinely – and rightfully – afraid to discuss an issue while being identified, there are certainly enough people willing to speak on their behalf (or “relay” I should perhaps say for fear of those over-eager K debaters) be it their coaches, a fellow student, a coach on the circuit, et cetera. I know that I personally will always help enable a student to voice their concerns in any way I can, and that I am – as always – willing to be there for any debater from any school if they need someone to confide in or assist them.

        So I guess what I’m saying is that legitimate concerns can always be voiced without backlash as long as they’re expressed properly. Illegitimate, false, hurtful, or just plain offensive “concerns” will thrive in an anonymous comment box and disappear in honest communication.

        • 1. We’re not students anymore.

          2. This conversation isn’t particularly controversial.

          3. My comment more relates to those who don’t have political power being scared shitless of being downtrodden because of their opinions (as I’ve seen happen before.

          4. I think some posts are intended to be public. Calling for someone to be shunned from the community, or inciting a discussion over someone qualifying to the toc without any bids doesn’t do much if it’s done “privately.”

          5. Is this a joke? I think it’s been clear for a long time that debate is a fairly toxic community. We know the community is reflected negatively upon when that happens, but it does happen. So people should protect themselves. It’s like you’re saying that people shouldn’t lock their houses because if someone steals something it reflects poorly on society. Sure, it may be true, but it’s a precaution that people should take because people suck. Welcome to the world.

          6. Students shouldn’t have to go through others…People should be able to say things they really need to.

          7. Making a post using one’s name shouldn’t contribute to whether the concern is voiced “properly.”

          8. Despite the existence of offensive things, there are legitimate points to be made within such posts. In addition, they convey the feelings of people that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I’m personally of the opinion that everybody should be able to say whatever they think without anyone else getting so offended, but that’s not the case.

          Think a bit more before you make ridiculous claims.

        • “So I guess what I’m saying is that legitimate concerns can always be voiced without backlash as long as they’re expressed properly.”

          You can’t be serious. You cannot possibly think that the debate community is actually democratic, or that people with power and influence are actually willing to be criticized.

          My understanding is that the more probable outcome of publicly criticizing influential members of the activity is that you get called a racist and then your kids get dropped and denied at-large spots that they pretty clearly deserved.

          But maybe that was just my experience.

  • If you think Daniel needs miscut cards to win, you’re just wrong and have probably never seen him debate. If you don’t think he needs miscut cards to win, then leave him alone. It was obviously an honest mistake.

    • AnonRocky

  • Chris Theis

    I guess I should probably address this because it seems to be
    getting out of hand and my debater is a little upset. I didn’t post earlier because I ry not engage with anonymous trolls. I would guess everyone else ignored your original post for the same reason. If you can’t put your name on your flaming I think there is good reason not to take it very seriously.

    To start I should say that I did not personally write or
    research the position in question. In fact, given the amazing amount of hard
    work my debaters have done this year I have only written one position for them
    at all. They like to guilt trip me with this whenever they can. I know that will
    shock those of you who dismissively and publicly call those brilliant kids robots. So, no I don’t think this represents any sort of pattern. That said, I take
    responsibility for not ensuring every card in our files was on the level. That
    is my job and missed this. I’m sorry. My bigger concern though is Daniel. Whoever you are you clearly have a problem with me, thats fine. What is not fine is dragging a 17 year old kid into that conflict. If you had a problem with something involving him the mature and responsible thing to do would have been to try to engage with one of us privately first. However, given that you won’t even sign your name to your posts I’m guessing that is a little much to expect from you.

    So, here is what happened. The card in question was found in a college policy
    backfile from the 02/03 topic.” This is why the
    citation did follow any of the normal citation conventions that our team uses,
    no full year, no first name, parentheticals instead of brackets, etc. If anyone wants to see the physical backfile
    the card came from that can be arranged (we only have a paper copy…). Daniel,
    when putting together the counterplan did not double-check to ensure that the
    card was not a straw man, I should have made sure that happened. This was not
    deliberate on his part. This card was just a turn that went well with a CP, he
    probably didn’t even have to disclose it, but he did. I think that shows he
    didn’t realize there was a problem.

    When the problem was pointed out to him he apologized to the
    debater against whom he ran the card. This was owned up to and resolved
    privately.By the way, I think that process was a great example of how disclosure can be a really positive thing…

    Keep in mind this position was run in one round, by one debater. It
    is wrong that this happened but I don’t think it is worth this level of public
    vitriol, especially when much more egregious things happen at every tournament.

    I will not engage this any further (don’t feed the trolls). If
    anyone wants to discuss the issue, talk to me privately, I will be more than
    happy to have a conversation with you.

    • Lifer at Law

      Hello Again Denizens of the Circuit,

      I was not planning on posting again, but the community’s response (particularly Mr. Theis’s response) to my last post has compelled it. I’d first like to point out that my last post only had one offensive sentence, a sentence which no one said anything about. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mike Bietz has a shit fetish. Wow that’s disgusting. Additionally, I’d like to clarify something that has caused some confusion with these posts. Referencing “Mr. Theis,” I refer only to the one and only, two* time TOC “Champion,” Chris Theis. Not to be confused with Squirrel Theis, Girl Theis, Asian Theis, WeissTheis, Tiny Theis, or any other Theislings out there. Sorry if I haven’t mentioned anyone – at some point there are too many to count.

      Next, I’d like to apologize to Daniel. My original post was targeted at Mr. Theis and only Mr. Theis. I recognize that Daniel is a fantastic debater and is responsible entirely for his own successes. I’m not trying to take away from that.

      Onto more substantive stuff, a few of you chose to ACTUALLY RESPOND to my last post. The first response came from Mr. Ryan Teebag, who suggested that Mr. Theis was not actually a cheater. Luckily the community has already responded to that one for me with all the down votes. Yes, Theis cheated (he even admitted it in his previous post!). I’m sorry you’ve been living under a rock your whole life and didn’t realize that. Second, let’s deal with Charles Riley Brainless’ response. I agree with Tom and Fritz; you’re a moron.

      Now onto the post made by Mr. Theis himself. Those of you who were calling for more evidence of my accusations: the most important part of Theis’s post is the lack of denial of most of his cheating allegations. I admit Daniel didn’t knowingly cheat at Greenhill. My goal was never to accuse Daniel of academic dishonesty. The point is, Theis is a cheater and he shouldn’t be revered in this community. Mr. Theis’s post was simply an attempt to hide behind his student and make everyone forget a simple fact: he’s a cheater. I didn’t bring Daniel into this — you did.

      Mr. Theis, it’s always convenient that whenever you miscut evidence, it’s somebody else’s fault. At TOC ‘09, it was “Cherian’s fault,” and at Greenhill this year it was “some random policy debater’s fault.” Take responsibility for YOUR actions and leave the community. Rather than acknowledging your cheating ways and apologizing to the community, or better, leaving, you hid behind your debater and tried to make me look like an asshole when I never called Daniel out and am simply trying to make the community an academically honest place.

      In terms of my anonymous posting, I’m sorry I can’t attach my name to this post. Doing that would be a death sentence for me in the circuit community because of Mr. Theis’s power. With his type of influence, we would not be able to stand anymore in the community. My claims are all still entirely valid. In that I’m only making the occasional joke, I don’t see how not attaching my name to this post makes it any less substantive (ok, I’ll admit the first paragraph is entirely humor).

      Theis should not be called the 2009 TOC champion, and he should not be allowed to hold a revered status in our community.

      Legal Regards,

      Lifer at Law, Esq.

      • Yes, because insulting people makes your position seem so much more persuasive

        • Also, my whole point was that I, and many other people, do not know the situation well enough to provide a substantive response. Personally, I never knew the full details, or any details really, so I was operating off of a reasonable assumption. I never claimed that he did not cheat, only that as someone who wasn’t there and hasn’t heard much about the issue I assumed that the situation was dealt with accordingly and given that Theis still has his title it seems like he was not to blame.

        • Mathew Pregasen

          Sure it does, look at the election.

      • Also, my whole point was that I, and many other people, do not know the situation well enough to provide a substantive response. Personally, I never knew the full details, or any details really, so I was operating off of a reasonable assumption. I never claimed that he did not cheat, only that as someone who wasn’t there and hasn’t heard much about the issue I assumed that the situation was dealt with accordingly and given that Theis still has his title it seems like he was not to blame. If you want to claim other wise, you have to show why the

      • Cypher19

        i crie evry tiem

      • Anon2012

        If you actually want to revoke his title, get in touch with JW Patterson or whoever runs the LD TOC. They probably never heard about it… So who would be considered TOC champion(s) instead?

        • J.W. Patterson gives a grand total of zero fucks.

      • As much as I’m not a huge fan of this “Lifer” person, I can verify that last year the Hochberg evidence that they were reading was mis-cited. I emailed them asking for the cites (for toc I was cutting every position people had run), because in the Hochberg article their citations didn’t actually exist. They sent me new ones, saying Chris had cut the article, and then when I responded again asking for cites (the new ones also didn’t exist), they said that some of the cards were actually from a completely different author on a blog that stopped existing. So the evidence they read was really from a non-existent blog, but cited from a qualified author in the journal Ethics.

        • Also, the Reitan case that they were winning a lot of rounds with was completely miscut. They did, however, stop running it when I called them out on miscutting it and gave people the answers to the position, that is, what the article really said.

          • What I’ve posted so far has been my understanding of things, though I’ve been asked to note that these cards weren’t directly cut Chris. I’ve been told that the cards were originally from an old file.

        • this happened to me too actually

      • Actually, it looks like Chris did take responsibility for his actions, acknowledge what he did wrong, and apologize to the community. He wrote, “I take responsibility for not ensuring every card in our files was on the level. That is my job and missed this. I’m sorry.”

  • I corrected these, because due to slightly different school spellings I docked Terrance L and Monica A some points.

  • Lifer at Law

    Hello denizens of the circuit,

    It’s unfortunate that nobody had anything substantive to say
    about Mr. Theis, so I thought I might try and instigate some conversation. The only pseudo-defense came from Grant Laverty, who claims that Mr. Theis, for some
    reason, does not have access to the internet or a computer. Given that he’s been typing up evidence
    and sending it to his debaters (and is a student at a university in a developed
    country), I can see little merit in this “argument.” Mr. Theis definitely has the means to “defend himself,” but
    probably knows that these accusations are 100% justified. The other response came from Tom
    Cameron, who told me not to be an “ass.”
    If wanting to make the debate community better makes me an “ass,” then
    so be it. Yes, it’s unfortunate
    that Mr. Theis has to be called out, but that’s HIS fault for miscutting
    evidence, not mine for being what seems like the only one who has the balls to
    call him out.

    The fact of the matter is that Theis has been cheating since
    2009. That’s 3 years and
    counting. 3 years of the debate
    community being totally fine with miscutting evidence. Given that nobody has responded to the
    factual validity of my claims (it’s all been “this is the wrong forum!”) and
    that such claims are commonly accepted in the debate community, there is NO
    QUESTION regarding the matter of Mr. Theis being a rotten cheater. Unfortunately, the debate community has
    adopted an extreme version of the “ends justify the means” approach. I guess this just goes to show that if
    you’re good enough, you can get away with literally anything. If Mr. Theis were some random scrub
    from a school you’d never heard of and he miscut evidence, he’d face multiple
    losses, high/low speaker point totals of 0, and community condemnation. However, this is not the case. Mr. Theis is a two-time TOC champion
    from a powerhouse program. We just
    over-fetishize the fact that he did so well and automatically assume that
    everything he does is the act of some sort of debate God. Well, debate fan boys of the world,
    it’s time to face the music. Your
    hero is a fraud, and ought to be treated like one. 73 of you were brave enough to upvote my previous post. Perhaps you’ll be willing to go a step
    forward and speak out. The debate
    community deserves better than a cheater as their best debater of all
    time. Kids deserve an educator in
    the back of the room who actually believes in academic integrity. Students deserve a coach who won’t
    deliberately miscut evidence for them for strategic gain and teach them
    strategies that will get them expelled from any college. Even if you disagree with me, voice a
    real opinion backed by evidence.
    Don’t tell me this is the wrong forum, because it isn’t. It’s time for the public to realize how
    much of a cheater and liar the venerable Mr. Theis is. Unless you’re Mike Bietz and have a
    huge shit fetish, let’s put an end to this bullshit.

    Regards,

    Lifer at Law, JD

    • Two things:
      1. This post is hilarious, but I (and I assume most of my peers) would take it much more seriously if you left your name.
      2. You need a life. Taking way too much time out of your day to rag on Chris, it’s almost like you are jealous or something.

      PS: I voted you up.

    • The reason why no one has forwarded a response is most likely because at least 90% of the debate community did not watch the rounds in which you accuse Daniel of having miscut evidence. In addition, even less of the community, and certainly very few of the people that actually post on this site, were at the 2009 TOC watching Theis. Most people would rather not make claims about things about which they have no knowledge. Personally, given that I was not at either of these event, I have assumed that al appropriate measures were taken and that the matter was looked into. I assume that claims of cheating were resolved and the fact that Theis is still considered the TOC champion of that year would seem to indicate that all such accusations were unfounded.

    • Which cards? Put up or shut up.

      Sure, ’09 TOC had issues but Cherian came clean about it; not sure what else they’re
      supposed to do. Ashes and sackcloth? Fifty lashes?

      Besides, topicality like whoa.

    • You think this helps?