Month: March 2014 Page 1 of 4

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 31st-April 6th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. What steps does Guinea need to take to control the spread of the Ebola virus?
2. Are the National Front’s gains in local French elections a sign of things to come?
3. How can Myanmar’s authorities sell the need for a national census?
4. Will crackdowns on social media solidify Erdogan’s political position in Turkey?
5. How can the international community capture Joseph Kony?
6. Should Pakistan send weapons to the Syrian rebels?
7. Will the Taliban’s attacks on Afghanistan’s electoral infrastructure backfire?
8. Is Libya exporting its unrest to other African nations?
9. Will a recently passed foreign investment law give a much needed boost to the Cuban economy?
10. Was Vitali Klitschko wise to drop his bid for the Ukrainian presidency?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 31st-April 6th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Will the Ukrainian crisis cause America to change its foreign policy toward Taiwan?
2. Has Chris Christie overcome “Bridgegate”?
3. Will Taco Bell’s decsion to serve breakfast help it gain market share?
4. Does the United States need a good relationship with the Vatican?
5. If it stands, how will the Chicago NLRB’s ruling that Northwestern’s football players can unionize impact collegiate athletics?
6. Is another “Dust Bowl” looming?
7. Will the arrest of Raymond Chow set back the American gun control movement for decades?
8. If you were a Republican moderate, how would you take back control of the party?
9. How should states handle tenure for teachers?
10. Is Texas’s 2013 abortion law constitutional?

2014 Colorado High School Activities Association State Tournament: Denver East Sweeps Both Categories; MBA Participants Slater and Glaser Duel it Out in International Extemp; Segal Wins USX

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Last weekend the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) State Tournament took place in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and two new state champions were crowned. International Extemp was a battle between two MBA Extemp Round Robin participants, as Gabe Slater of Denver East High School captured the state title over Jack Glaser of George Washington High School. Denver East High School had three of the six participants in the International Extemp final round.

In United States Extemp, Evan Segal of Denver East High School defeated Kayla Blessinger of Kent Denver School to win his first state title. George Washington High School, which had the most competitors in the United States Extemp final round, had Margaret Schaack place third.

All of the finalists at the tournament earned an automatic qualification to this year’s Extmeporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. Eight competitors managed to secure this automatic qualification and they are represented in italics in the results listing.

Here are the results of the 2014 Colorado High School Activities Association State Tournament:

2014 NFL Nationals: NFL Qualification Boards Updated (3/28)

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NFL Overland Park

We have a lot of updates to make to this week’s NFL Nationals qualification boards.  The boards now include qualifiers from the Carolina West (NC), East Los Angeles (CA), East Texas, Greater Illinois, Idaho Mountain Rivers, Inland Empire (WA), Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Northern South Dakota, Pittsburgh (PA), Puget Sound (WA), Rushmore (SD), South Carolina, Sunshine (FL), Tall Cotton (TX), Tennessee, Valley Forge (PA), West Oklahoma, Western Washington, and Yellow Rose (TX) districts.  Thank you to all of those who sent us updates and results and thank you to the NFL districts that posted their results on Joy of Tournaments.

You can access the qualification board by clicking on “Quals 14” on the right hand menu on the main page, or by clicking “Quals 14″ on the top menu if you have clicked on a content post.  You can also place your cursor over the Quals 14 label and this will allow you to click on sub-menus for the International and United States Extemp qualifiers.

There are still lots of districts that we do not have results for.  If you know the qualifiers from your NFL District from previous weeks or after this week’s district tournaments conclude, please e-mail the following information to [email protected]:

  • The name of the NFL District and the state that is located in
  • The names of those who will be ATTENDING nationals in IX and USX. Please do not send us the names of those who technically qualified, but opted to go in another event. We only want the names of those who will be going in the categories to avoid confusion.
  • The schools those competitors attend.
  • IF your district has an automatic qualifier from last year’s NFL Tournament (a competitor that reached finals or semi-finals in IX and USX) and that person will be going back to NFL in that event, please let us know.

R&D from Prepd: The Energy Security Trust Fund & Energy Security

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides resources on President Obama’s proposal for a Energy Security Trust Fund which would use taxes generated from oil and gas production and/or consumption to supply $2 billion for renewable energy research over the next ten years.  This is viewed by the President as a way to combat America’s dependence on foreign oil and uses the model of the current gas tax that pays for upgrades in infrastructure.

 

R&D from Prepd: Taiwanese Protests vs. China Trade Deal

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides resources about student protests that have broken out in Taiwan in response to the Taiwanese government considering a trade pact with China.  China continues to claim Taiwan as a piece of its territory under the “one China” policy, while Taiwanese nationalists continue to assert that they should be recognized as an independent entity.  China’s Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949 after they lost the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong’s Communist faction.

 

 

Tips for Dealing with Economic Questions

by Logan Scisco

Whether you do International or United States Extemp, you will have to answer questions on economic issues.  In fact, at the NFL National Tournament it is not uncommon for extempers to run into multiple economic rounds since the tournament has a tendency to divide business questions from those pertaining to the economic policies of national governments.  Therefore, being able to handle economic questions is an important skill for a successful extempers and this strategy piece will provide some tips to approach economic questions.

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of March 24th-30th, 2014

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quiz-01Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

To access a list of all our old quizzes, click here.

2014 National Catholic Forensic League Grand Nationals: Extemp Topic Areas

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ChicagoThe topic areas for this year’s National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament have been released.  There are nine topic areas.  Since the tournament is eight rounds, one of these topic areas will not be used.  The topic areas are:

  • US Politics
  • US Legal & Constitutional Issues
  • US Foreign Policy
  • US Economic Policy
  • Medicine, Science, and Technology
  • Education (International and Domestic)
  • Foreign Economics
  • Foreign Leaders
  • International Conflicts and Civil Unrest

NCFL Grand Nationals utilizes an interesting question writing system where coaches, competitors, and fans of the event can send questions about these topic areas to tournament officials.  Those who are interested in sending questions about any of the topic areas above are encouraged to e-mail them to [email protected] by April 18, 2014.

Extemp Central is happy to announce that Gabe Ferrante of Iona Preparatory (NY), last year’s NCFL National Champion, will be writing a free analysis of this year’s topic areas.  This analysis will identify major issues in each area extempers should be aware of, provide some strategy tips on navigating the tournament, and provide some sample questions from each topic area that extempers can practice with before the tournament.  We hope to release this topic analysis sometime during the first week of May.

America’s Heroin Crisis

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In modern times, American policymakers have loved to declare war against a social or medical problem.  In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty.  In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared simultaneous wars against cancer and illicit drugs.  And President George W. Bush declared a war on terrorism after the September 11th attacks.  Fighting an idea or a long-term problem usually opens policymakers up to criticisms that such wars are unwinnable and unfairly raise public expectations.  The war on drugs is a case in point, as the United States has committed billions of dollars over the last forty years to halt the use and smuggling of illicit drugs.  In fact, prior to September 11th there were concerns that American forces would become involved in the Colombia civil war between its government and the FARC, a group of communist rebels that use the drug trade to bolster their coffers.  The war on drugs has been criticized for punishing low-level offenders, which has had a disproportionate impact on minority males, and largely failing to solve America’s drug problem.  Recently, heroin use in the United States has become a significant problem as the federal government has cracked down on prescription drug abuse and two weeks ago, on March 10th, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the United States facing an “urgent public health crisis” concerning heroin.  The death of Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman last month due to an overdose of heroin and other drugs has also contributed to raising national awareness about this issue.

This topic brief will explain the history of heroin use in the United States, the reasons given for the recent surge in heroin usage, and policy solution (some of which are controversial) that may help federal and state authorities reduce heroin use and overdoses.

Readers are also encouraged to use the links below and in the related R&D to bolster their files about this topic.

R&D: America’s Heroin Crisis

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Here is today’s premium R&D to accompany today’s premium topic brief on America’s heroin crisis.

 

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of March 24th-30th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Would a Hillary Clinton presidency disappoint Democratic liberals?
2. Will 2014 be the year that the U.S. housing market makes a complete recovery?
3. Is the liberalism of Millennial voters overstated?
4. How can Republicans win the Illinois gubernatorial election?
5. What steps can local school districts take to reduce a racial gap in discipline policies?
6. Is the U.S. prepared for another Cold War?
7. What impact will recent recalls have on General Motors recovery?
8. PACs: democratic benefit or impediment?
9. Can President Obama’s plan for an Energy Security Trust Fund successfully reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil?
10. Will affirmative action policies continue to pass judicial muster over the next decade?

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of March 24th-30th, 2014

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HOTtopics1. If you were Vladimir Putin, what would be your next annexation target and how would you accomplish this goal?
2. Do the arrests of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon help or hinder the Philippine government’s efforts to squelch the CPP?
3. Are South Korea’s military exercises with the United States counterproductive to its efforts to build a better relationship with North Korea?
4. Has the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 become too politicized?
5. Will May’s South African national elections lead to Jacob Zuma’s ouster as ANC leader?
6. Will the proposed trade deal between Taiwan and China hurt Taiwanese businesses?
7. Is Moldova the next Ukraine?
8. What does Abdullah al-Thinni need to do to improve Libya’s security situation?
9. Should the European Commission allow Italy to breach the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact?
10. Will the removal of Gustavo Petro from office impair the Colombian government’s negotiations with the FARC?

2014 NFL Nationals: NFL Qualification Boards Updated (3/21)

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NFL Overland Park

The qualification boards for International and United States Extemp have been updated to reflect results from the Eastern Iowa, New York City, and Western Slope (CO) districts.  We have also made a modification to a qualifier in United States Extemp from the Western Ohio District.  Thank you to all of those who sent us updates and results.

You can access the qualification board by clicking on “Quals 14” on the right hand menu on the main page, or by clicking “Quals 14″ on the top menu if you have clicked on a content post.  You can also place your cursor over the Quals 14 label and this will allow you to click on sub-menus for the International and United States Extemp qualifiers.

There are still lots of districts that we do not have results for.  If you know the qualifiers from your NFL District from previous weeks or after this week’s district tournaments conclude, please e-mail the following information to [email protected]:

  • The name of the NFL District and the state that is located in
  • The names of those who will be ATTENDING nationals in IX and USX. Please do not send us the names of those who technically qualified, but opted to go in another event. We only want the names of those who will be going in the categories to avoid confusion.
  • The schools those competitors attend.
  • IF your district has an automatic qualifier from last year’s NFL Tournament (a competitor that reached finals or semi-finals in IX and USX) and that person will be going back to NFL in that event, please let us know.

R&D from Prepd: Russia’s Annexation of Crimea

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D covers Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  95% of Crimeans voted on Sunday to join the Russian Federation and Ukraine is preparing to withdraw is military forces from the area.  The West has condemned Russia’s recent actions and they have placed sanctions on Crimean politicians and Russian government officials who have participated in the annexation controversy.  Western nations have also dubbed the referendum illegitimate due to the presence of Russian forces in Crimea during the vote.  Russia contends that their interference in Crimea was meant to protect its Russian-speaking population and that the vote is a fair expression of self-determination by the Crimean people.

 

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