Tayla Slaw -- West Bloomfield High Scho

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Judging philosophy:

Talya Slaw
I debate for Wayne State, and coach for West Bloomfield HS.


1) Be nice. You should not be arguing with your partner during the debate and you shouldn't be overly aggressive during cross-x. Looking calm and confident instead of attacking your opponent will get you ahead ethos-wise.

2) Though I'm more comfortable in "policy" rounds (case vs. cp & da or case vs. da & case), I'm willing to listen to k's. That being said, don't assume I know what x philospher says (ie - explain your argument).

3) If you are going to read wipeout/timecube-style arguments, beware that it's an uphill battle. I'll vote for them, but it won't take much for the aff to win these rounds. I also think its very silly when 2a's kick case and go for wipeout/death good.

4) Good evidence is a good thing. But don't depend on me to call for your evidence after the round. You should be doing evidence comparison in the round.


DA's : I like Disads. Especially if they have a specific link and the impact turns/outweights the case. Impact calculus is a must in the round. It doesn't matter if the negative wins a massive internal link to US/Russia war if the affirmative also wins a massive internal link to global warming absent any comparison between the two. Timeframe/magnitude/probability comparisions are necessary in order to resolve the debate, otherwise I'm forced to be somewhat subjective.

-- Theory arguments on Politics are becomming more and more popular, but I don't think you (the aff) should go for just one of these arg's, even if its 100% dropped.

CP's : The more specific the better, the best CP's usually interact with the aff's case in a way that makes winning a solvency deficit tough or in a way that implicates the aff' solvency.

Topicality: The aff should be topical and T is never an RVI. I'm probably aff leaning here except when its fairly obvious the other team is reading a squirrelly aff. I am not a good judge for "should = past tense of shall", "reduce =/= eliminate" and other self-serving interpretations negatives read as a timesuck against obviously topical affs. That being said I am willing to vote on T, given that an interpretation, violation, standards, and voters are well articulated. Affirmatives should always make and extend a counter-interpretation.

SPEC arguments: Its unlikely that I will ever vote on OSPEC or anything silly like that....what I said above about topicality mostly applies here. I’ll vote on ASPEC, but I think a prerequisite to the neg winning these debates is that they win a resolutional basis. You may give a flawless 2NR on ASPEC but if you don’t convince me agent ground is key to the topic you probably won’t win.

Theory – I’ll say this first – I view theory through competing interpretations and will not vote based on personal prejudice. That being said here are some of my general opinions:

-Conditionality is cool, but it gets less cool as the number of worlds presented and the wackiness of the general negative strategy increase. 2 conditional worlds (1 K & 1 CP) is probably ok. Anything more becomes progressively less persuasive. Dispo bad is a really tough sell.

-Perm theory = probably never a reason to reject the team. Reject the argument not the team makes alot of sense here.

-Consult/Condition/Delay CPs – I think these CPs are absolutely devastating to aff ground unless the solvency evidence is case-specific. I won’t necessarily vote these CPs down on theory, but I am very receptive to the perm. Simply put, I think that the perm to do the counterplan is 100% legitimate and that severance based on time is stupid. That being said, a well-evidenced condition type CP with a solvency advocate that makes a functional-competition style argument about why the aff must be leveraged/conditioned can be quite persuasive.

-Performative contradictions – two examples:
1) Neg reads a states CP and a kritik of capitalism that links to the CP. Perfectly fine in my opinion, but debate it out.
2) Neg reads a kritik of war impacts and reads a DA with a war impact. Probably a bad idea. I will err aff here, so be ready for an uphill battle if you do this on the neg.

K's : I feel most comfortable in K rounds that involve a lot of interaction with the aff's specific plan and advantages. In other words, you're better off with a topic specific K, or something like Capitalism or Security with topic specific links rather than recycled Heidegger, Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Deleuze, etc. There should be a coherent link, impact, and alternative. Don't assume I know what you're talking about....I probably don't.

Affs are best answering the K at the alt and impact level as the neg will almost certainly win a link. Articulating why the alt doesn't solve the case and why the case outweighs the K impacts is usually the best strategy. I am also a fan of the impact turn.

Framework : should be brought up as early as possible. While theory might be part of this, I think both teams should be reading cards in a good framework debate. Winning frameworks will solve most of the other team's offense while providing for their own argument's legitimacy. If the negative wins the argument that their K is grounded in topic literature then the aff will need to win some (carded) reasons why an exclusive focus on policy debate is good or they will probably lose the race to the theoretical middle.

Performance/nontraditional debate – I'm probably not a good judge for this. If your idea of debate is reading "your personal story" every round, you better have a good, carded reason why this type of debate is good and "traditional" debate is bad. I really like debate, so if your argument is "traditional debate bad," its an uphill battle and I will be very persuaded by framework (even if the other team doesn't excecute perfectly). Performance and non-traditional debates are unpersuasive to me. While the activity isn't perfect, I am unconvinced this imperfection is a reason your opponent should lose and I am also unconvinced your version of debate is any better, if not extremely worse for the problems you identify.

Seasonal voting record:

TourneyDivRdAFF    NEG    Decision

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