Month: April 2009

Extemp Questions for the Week of April 29th-May 5th, 2009

1.  Ten years on, what have schools learned from Columbine?questions
2.  Should only large industries have their carbon emissions regulated?
3.  How can Saudi Arabia placate its Shiite minority?
4.  Should the U.S. close the border with Mexico over swine flu?
5.  Is Ma Ying-jeou compromising Taiwan’s sovereignty too much?
6.  After his first 100 days in office, what term can best be applied to Barack Obama’s governing philosophy?
7.  Who was the biggest loser in South Africa’s recent elections?
8.  Do U.S.-led efforts to reconcile with Afghan insurgents need more transparency?
9.  Will a tentative agreement to normalize ties between Turkey and Armenia have positive affects on the Central Asian region?
10.  Should Cuba be allowed into the OAS?

Topic Brief: Swine Flu Outbreak

The last several years have been fortunate for the world’s medical watchers.  Fearing an avian flu pandemic across the globe several years ago, these experts have only had to watch the progression of the virus in isolated parts of the Eastern Hemisphere.  Also, avian flu never became a human-to-human transmission problem, reducing the urgency required or the threat of avian flu becoming a global problem.  However, the recent outbreak of swine flu, if it can be aptly called that since this strain of flu borrows from swine influenza, avian influenza (albeit not its most dangerous components), and human influenza components, which has infected nearly 1500 people globally at the time of this writing, can aroused fears that this is the next global flu pandemic.  This is compounded by the fact that swine flu appears to be spreading from person to person, regardless of their contact with infected animals.

This brief will attempt to sort through the mess generated by the latest swine flu outbreak.  This brief will provide some details concerning swine flu and its significance, measures currently being taken to stop the spread of the virus, and the implications it has for the globalization movement and President Obama.

Extemp Questions for the Week of April 22nd-28th, 2009

1. Will the tea party movement have an immediate impact on the American questions questions political system?
2. Does the PPIP need more safeguards?
3. Would South Africa be better off if the ANC were weaker?
4. Will the recent decision to classify greenhouse gases as a danger to public health have negative impacts on the U.S. economy?
5. How should the U.S. adjust its Somalia policy?
6. Will India’s parliamentary elections result in the eviction of yet
another incumbent government?
7. How will granting developing countries more power change the IMF?
8. Should Iran ease the sentence of Roxana Saberi?
9. Can China’s health insurance reform overcome skepticism from local
10. Is Obama right not to prosecute those involved in interrogating
terror suspects?

Topic Brief: Tea Parties & State Sovereignty Resolutions

In a time of federal bailouts for corporations, aid to homeowners who are facing trouble paying their mortgages, and budget plans that call for trillion dollar deficits, a segment of the American population has had enough.  Clinging to their signs and cries of showing Washington that power still rested with the people, 800 locations around the country were the site of “tea parties” last week, denouncing the policies of President Barack Obama and the Democratically-controlled Congress.

To supplement these protests, 24 states are considering legislation that would reargue the principles of the 10th amendment, the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that delegates all powers not given to the federal government to the states.  This showdown over the concept of federalism has intrigued constitutional experts, as well as some voters, who are seeing Texas Governor Rick Perry arguing that Texas has a right to succession (although Perry later toned down those remarks).

This grassroots action against the D.C. establishment will be analyzed in this week’s topic brief, which might be useful to extempers competing in U.S. extemp at NFL.  It may also be useful to extempers preparing for CFL, as the topic areas are slanted 5-3 in favor of U.S. issues.  This week’s brief will break down these competing ideas, providing background for the tea parties and their purpose, the fight in state legislatures over sovereignty bills, and an evaluation of how these actions could impact the American political scene.

Extemp Questions for the Week of April 15th-21st, 2009

1. Why did the Thai protests stop?  questions
2. Will America’s recent response to Somali piracy make the problem of piracy worse?
3. How should Australia handle Fiji’s suspension of its constitution?
4. Should Notre Dame rescind its invitation to President Obama?
5. Will state sovereignty resolution significantly alter the current balance of federal and state relations?
6. Should foreign law have an impact on U.S. court rulings?
7. can digitized medical records really reduce healthcare costs?
8. Will opposition protesters succeed in ousting Saakashvili?
9. What should be the world’s next move now that North Korea has vowed to quit nuclear talks?
10. Will the successful Phillips rescue enhance Obama’s security credentials?

Extemp Questions for the Week of April 8th-14th, 2009

1. How seriously should the U.S. take cyber attacks?questions
2. Can digitized medical records significantly reduce healthcare costs?
3. Considering the failure of its recent rocket launch, should the North Korea still be taken before the UN Security Council?
4. Is it a mistake for Silvio Berlusconi not to accept international aid for earthquake victims in central Italy?
5. Can Obama’s recent overtures to Islamic nations bear fruit?
6. Is Netanyahu’s idea of building up the Palestinians economically before a peace deal is reached DOA?
7. After their recent defeat in Iowa, should gay marraige opponents nationwide reconsider their legal strategy?
8. Should Norm Coleman concede?
9. Will recent shootings across the U.S. lead to stricter federal gun control laws?
10. Should the G20 have done more to reverse rising protectionism?

Topic Brief: G20 Summit Recap (2009)

The global financial crisis is truly a global phenomenon.  A crisis that centered around a lack of credit brought about by poor judgment by financial institutions has created an international recession and the World Bank estimates that global economic growth will decline by 1.7 percent this year, the first time such a decline has existed since World War II.  The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also weighed in on the financial crisis and backed up the World Bank’s claims in reporting that its 30 members will experience a 4.3 percent decline in growth this year.

With such gloomy outlooks on the horizon, and with some financial analysts believing that governments are doing too little to stop the recession from becoming a full blown recession, the gathering of the G20 in London, an organization whose twenty members make up 85 percent of global economic output, was watched closely by international markets last week.  The results of the summit ended up mixed, with the winners being the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and Angela Merkel of Germany and the potential losers being tighter restrictions on tax havens and most important of all, global trade.

This brief will provide some background on the G20 summit for extempers by analyzing the conflicting views that presented themselves at the summit, what the summit accomplished, and the spin and criticisms that have been leveled against the summit over the last week.

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