Do you remember the Dakota Access oil pipeline debate (“The US should immediately stop construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline,” 2016-2017)? It pitted the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in South Dakota with an oil company who wanted to build an oil pipeline near their land. When we debated this topic several years ago, the pipeline had the “green light” to be built. Now, that light has turned “red.”
The 36K student scholars presented the History of the Subway at the 2020 social studies fair. I wonder if their debate team knows about this….
With all the hubbub over the next debate topic (whether election day should be a national holiday) and this November’s presidential election, did you ever wonder how New Yorkers with limited dexterity or other disabilities can exercise their right to vote?
This website shows how the Image Cast ballot-marking device (BMD) helps disabled citizens to vote.
A debate topic several years ago discussed whether a cash-free society would be the right way to go in the future. And for a while it looked as if New York City was going cash-free. Many restaurants started implementing a no-cash policy, and only accepted credit cards or other “digital currency” instead of cash.
That may be about to come to an end. The government got involved, and the New York City Council may pass a law that prohibits credit-card-only stores.
The New York Times has more information on this story.
This article argues that high school musicals are as important as sports.
What do you think?
The third topic of our debate season is “Washington D.C. should be a state.” It is a tough call. Already there is a Washington state over on the west coast. If Washington D.C. were to become our 51st state, what would we name it? New Washington? What if I sent a letter to my sister in Seattle, and it wound up in the Potomac River? So many questions…
The News Literacy Project is an organization that helps students learn to tell media fact from fiction.
Among other resources, they have a crop of videos that may be very useful for your student debaters. I watched the one entitled Double Check Your Facts and got most of the quiz questions wrong! Hah!
Watch the video and see how well you do.
For more information on The News Literacy Project and what they offer:
Did you hear about Seattle? They just outlawed single-use plastic straws and cutlery in the city’s restaurants and bars. Do you think this is a good idea? It sounds like Topic #3 of our 2017-2018 debate season.
This is the slide that appeared for the final debates.
When all is said and done, what does the 2nd Amendment mean to you?
In a new wrinkle to our 2017 debate topic, the NFL may start to fine players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
Our 2015 final debate topic was “Should private prisons be legal?” The New York Times published an article describing some of the serious issues related to a private prison in Mississippi.
Tragedy struck when a woman was killed by a driverless car. The car was an Uber taxicab, and there was a person in the car (though not driving at the time).
Uber plans to suspend its driverless car project for the time being.
Back in 2014, our debate topic was “In the future, all currency should be virtual.” Well, Israel took a step in that direction, when it passed a law to limit cash transactions between people and stores. They did it to stop different kinds of economic crimes, as well as to make sure the goverment collects all of the taxes to which they are entitled.
At the same time, bankers around the world met to discuss whether the countries’ central banks (the main governemnt banks) should issue virtual currency at all. They were afraid it could ruin economies and contribute to financing terrorism.
This morning is the start of Round 2. Here is the opening slide:
As we delve deeper into the topic of automated (aka self-driving) cars, we keep running into questions about self-driving trucks. Would the same rules apply? Do we need different laws for trucks than for cars? Which should come first? What about all the trucking jobs? We are curious to hear what the teams found out in their research. Round 2 begins next week. Are you ready?!
A November 2017 issue of the NY Times Magazine was almost 100% devoted to thoughtful articles about driverless cars. The subheading was “What happens to roadkill or traffic tickets when our vehicles are in control?” If you are interested in deep thinking, then follow the link below.
This soldier plays on the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the only one on his team to stand for the National Anthem. Here is his story:
It seems that even psychologists are interested in our first debate topic. An article in Psychology Today magazine suggests that we consider each side of the “stand or kneel” debate before making up our minds. That way, we won’t get into any fights on or off the playing field.
Well, the kids debated it in 2014, and three years later it is a reality. Look at this sign in a Japanese restaurant on 31st street in Manhattan. They only accept credit and debit cards…no money allowed! Which means that if you wanted to pay for your meal with dollars and coins, or if you are not old enough to have a credit/debit card, or if your credit card was turned down, etc., etc., you have to go to another restaurant. Bad luck if you are craving sushi!
The debate is over, but we just now came across a map showing some of the major sanctuary cities in the U.S.