Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good card is good

Russian growth ahead: stocks, GDP, finances, tech sector: all looking good
Bloomberg 10  Bloomberg News `Worst Is Over' for Russia as Economy Rebounds, Templeton's Zhilyaev Says”  August 12, 2010 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-13/-worst-is-over-for-russia-as-economy-rebounds-templeton-s-zhilyaev-says.html
The “worst is over” for Russia as its economy rebounds from the global financial crisis and the government increases efforts to draw foreign investors, according to Templeton Asset Management Ltd. “Russia’s avenue for growth is plentiful,” Templeton Asset’s Gennady Zhilyaev said in a posting on Executive Chairman Mark Mobius’s blog yesterday. Efforts to boost technology investment, including the creation of the Skolkovo project, could help attract state, institutional and private funds to an industry that seems “immensely promising,” said Zhilyaev, a deputy director in the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, referring to Russia’s plan create its version of Silicon Valley in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo. Russia’s 30-stock Micex Index has gained 0.4 percent this year, compared with a 1.3 percent decline in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The gauge more than doubled last year, making Russia the best performer among the four largest developing nations including Brazil, China and India. Gross domestic product grew 5.2 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, accelerating from the 2.9 percent growth in the January-March period, government statistics released this month showed. The International Monetary Fund has forecast Russia’s economy to expand by 4.3 percent for the full year, helped by rising oil prices and an improving fiscal outlook.

Juggernaut # 4: Lift FDI restrictions

Overview:
We continue the Juggernaut Index with the number four case: Foreign Direct Investment. Russia appears to be moving towards an economic diversification, specifically by expanding their tech sector. The US should cash in by lifting FDI restrictions.

Juggernaut Rankings:

  • Significance: 8
  • Solvency: 10
  • Judge Appeal: 9
  • Topicality: 9
  • Researchability: 9
  • In-Round Debate: 8
  • Composite Ranking: 9

Premise:
Russia could potentially be a huge source of FDI in the coming years. A unilateral effort to eliminate barriers to Russian investment could provide a steady infusion of capital into the US economy.

Significance:
You have a couple good routes to go on significance. You can do a straight up economy focus, with impacts of jobs, income, economic recovery, etc. You can also focus on the relational aspect of trade and economic interdependence. Either way, the predictions are that Russian FDI will start heating up in the next couple of years. 


Solvency Mechanisms:
You don't need any. Its a unilateral mandate. SWOOT!

Topicality:
Umm..... Yeah. Not that hard to win. 

Links:





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Juggernaut # 5: Cyber Warfare

Overview:
Its time kick off the Juggernaut Index with the number five contender: Cyber defense. Actually, this case is my favorite this year. Its got some great impact scenarios that can easily become terminal in the 1ac, a good solvency mechanism, and overall judge appeal. The only catch here is tricky T-debate, but we'll talk about that later.


Juggernaut Rankings:

  • Significance: 9
  • Solvency: 9
  • Judge Appeal: 9
  • Topicality: 7
  • Researchability: 8
  • In-Round Debate: 8
  • Composite Ranking: 9

Premise:
The basic idea behind this case is that Russia presents a danger to US security in the form of cyber attack. Cyber warfare is when attacks are made on computer run civil/military infrastructure, with the goal of causing general internet mayhem. Basically, we get hacked. Many of us know how painful it can be when our facebooks get hacked. Well, that's nothing like NORAD getting pwned by some Russian military hackers. 


Significance:
The possibilities are potentially endless. Basically, anything that is run by a computer can be hacked. This includes electricity infrastructure, nuclear arsenals and missile defenses, communications, finance, etc. Epic affirmative impact scenarios are:
  • Domestic infastructure (electricity, gas, etc)
  • Military hack (missiles, defense communication)
  • Financial hacks (money stolen electronically)
All of these are huuuuge on terminal impact, and easy to research.


Solvency Mechanisms:
Here's where it gets good. The Center for Strategic and International studies just released a study which asserts that the reason the US is vulnerable to cyber attack is because we don't have enough hackers. Link below. They include a list of recommendations which would become your plan text. Solvency cards included in the article.


Topicality:
Here's where it gets interesting. Have you noticed that I haven't mentioned Russia? Well, neither will your plan text. So... what's the T justification? Well, the answer lies in the fact that to this day, there has been only one country in the world to use cyber warfare. They've done so twice. That country is Russia. They launched a cyber attack on Estonia in 2007, and then on Georgia in 2008. How does this help your T? Well, the resolution change removed the word foreign. Now the res is simply to change policy towards Russia. You will easily win this T by explaining that the res simply requires us to change a policy (directed at) Russia. Domestic cyber security measures are designed to respond to a threat that, to this very day, is only documented from Russia. That's your T. Run it right, and you won't lose this.

Links:








Monday, September 13, 2010

The Juggernaut Index

Every year when I competed, I created what I affectionately call "The Juggernaut Index." This power ranking of affirmative cases was accompanied by my stink list, the aptly named "List of Bad Cases." Please enjoy my official Juggernaut Index and List of Bad Cases, free of charge.


The Juggernaut Index

1. Biological Terrorism Early Detection: Impacts that outweigh nukes, immanent danger, and GAO approved solvency? Yummy. 

2. Ratify START: You have access to hard Advantages (terrorism, proliferation, safety) and ethereal ones (transparency, relations). Good research will get you out of all the dumb solvency presses. 

3. Reinstate BMD: You get to rail on how evil Iran is, talk about awesome tech, and there are sweet spikes that can get rid of all the lame DAs. Daniel Beasley and I went 49-7 on ballots with this case doing demo rounds at camps. Woot it up.

4. Lift FDI restrictions: Swo0t.

5. Cyber Warfare: This is the best case out there, IMO. I'm putting it at number 5 though, because the Topicality justification will be hard for some teams to win. I think its topical, but you'd need experience and theory knowledge to win it. 

The List of Bad Cases
(Ugh)

1. Abolish Foreign Aid: 45 million dollars don't matter. And you thought Climate Aid was bad.

2. Abandon START: There's no harms, no advantages, monumental DAs, and all the aff advocacy will be from Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. START me up.

3. Cancel Missile Defense/Cooperate on Missile Defense: Harms are basically just whiny Russians, and the DA is that we get nuked. I'll go neg on weighing. 

4. Cancel 123: Any neg could beat this with a Russo-phobia K and an 7 minute relations DA.

5. Jackson Vanik: I know, I know. Everyone says its unbeatable because there are no DA's. Actually, its very beatable because there are no advantages either. This is going to be the Russia version of abolish ethanol. Boring, insignificant, but very common. Write a big brief on this nao.