Month: June 2008

Extemp Questions for the Week of June 17th-23rd, 2008

1. Are Musharraf’s days as Pakistani president numbered?

2. Is McCain running for George Bush’s third term?

3. Who will shape the new world order?

4. Will the recently brokered Somali peace deal bring stabiity to the country?

5. Is a windfall profits tax a good idea?

6. How can Lee Myung-bak best counter protests against his imperiled government?

7. Should there be a national ban on bilingual education?

8. Is Daniel Ortega undermining democracy in Nicaragua?

9. Should online gambling be legalized?

10. Did Hillary Clinton lose the Democratic nomination or did Barack Obama win it?

Strategy: The Rhetorical Point

by Jonathan Carter


Well, NFL fans, it’s time for the last brief of this competitive season. For those of you still on the g,o here is another brief dedicated to adding one more brilliant point when you have run out of ideas.  Rather than focusing on a global issue that affects anything this week, we are going to examine a secondary way to analyze all issues.  While we tend to focus on the direct impacts of things–what the leaders did, what the laws mandate, how the battles are being fought, etc.– we can also analyze the messages that are sent along with those actions.  For every mandate a law has, it also sends a message that effects people that may have no tangible relationship with the law.  Thus, when you are in a pinch you can always look at the rhetorical element of the question and add a brilliant extra point.  This brief will teach you how to pull off this particular rhetorical flourish.

Topic Brief: Oil


So, with it being NFL time and all that, we here at Extemp HOTtopics decided to revisit the topic of oil.  Now I’m sure you are all saying: “We’ve already talked about OPEC and how monetary policy affects oil prices.”  While that is true, this briefing is going to be a little different.  Specifically, since it is so late in the season, this briefing is going to focus a little less on facts and a little more on strategy.  Thus, while we will cover some new issues regarding oil (mainly the windfall profits tax) this briefing is more about explaining how oil as an issue can be the save all “I need another point” saving grace of extempers.  Therefore, this brief will go over some basic oil things that everyone should know, then examine how you can use oil to add a new level of analysis to all your rounds (including domestic social), and finial pose some non oil questions and give you an idea of how oil can be used to make your analysis more slick… Get it? Get it?

Extemp Questions for the Week of June 10th-16th, 2008

1. How much influence does the Dalai Llama have over Tibet?

2. Should Olmert resign?

3. Why is consumer confidence in the U.S. economy falling?

4. Has Africa become the new “great game” for the major world powers?

5. Should OPEC be happy about the current price of oil?

6. Has the EU expanded too quickly?

7. Will the 2008 electoral map be drenched in purple?

8. Is Scott McClellan right about President Bush?

9. Will stricter visa rules make the U.S. safer from terrorism?

10. Would a Obama-Clinton ticket sacrifice governability for electability?

Topic Brief: The State of Afghanistan


While the politicians talk about war in Iraq, there is that other country that we invaded and stuff is still happening there.  Since 200,1 the Taliban has regained some influence in the south of the country – although the marines recently won a major victory.  Further, opium production has been unchecked by anything but market forces and the government seems no more organized or in charge as it did years ago.  Since tens of thousands of US troops are still fighting to stabilize a nation and this war – for some reason – is much more popular than the Iraq war (despite the fact it too may be worthy of the moniker “quagmire”), this brief is going to reexamine what is going on in Afghanistan and what that means for that country, the region and the US.

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