Monthly Archives: tammikuu 2017

The White House of Cards


Viikko 3


Date: Jan 17th, 2017
Motion: THB that Russian hacking determined the outcome of the U.S. presidential election
Role: MP (opp.)

So far, my side of the debate has focused on the technicalities of hacking that seem to have disproven or questioned that the end result could have been hacked. Moreover, the 2nd speaker spoke about the Upper and Lower House being also under the thumb of Republicans. This would upend the idea that the helm would be in other hands, had the most important election not been hacked.

I’m going to take a different approach and claim that Trump would have been elected President in one of the biggest and greatest nations in the world no matter what, or regardless. What’s more, all of my reasons are trying to elude ”substance” or avoid ”weight”. Instead, I’m trying to show through reasons that are shallow, superficial or superstitious that what happened, had to happen.

  1. The Role of the First Family  First of all, when they elect a president, they elect not only a president but a wife or a husband, a child or children, cousins, pets and others to inhabit the White House. In other words, the candidate who has a better assortment under his or her wing to offer has also a better chance of becoming elected. Donald Trump had Balkan-born wife Melania and a batch of grown-up and still growing children to show. Hillary Clinton had her aging husband, ex-president William and a grown-up, married daughter to like. Trump’s people were more numerous and they seemed normal to the casual eye. On the other hand, nobody is quite sure what is the real marital status of the Clinton couple after the controversial trials that marred the older Clinton’s last few years as President. The PR image of the Republican candidate simply weighed more on the scales to the people that chose to vote.
  2. Triumvirate of Boomer Births  If you haven’t noticed, Trump is the 3rd president to come from a (certain) Class of Boomer peers. Bill Clinton (Dem.) was the first 1946 birth as President. He was followed by George W. Bush (Rep.), and now the third guy in the same series is Donald Trump. All of these men have been born in the summer months of 1946 — June, July and August — so their election has something of a silent, unwritten bond underlying it. Why 1946? It’s the first cohort that was born right after the war. Even though the U.S. was not ravaged by the war, the austere spirit after the war may have left its mark on the very first members of the very first postwar generation (in a good way). And in Europe, which suffered from the war much more and endured worse privation afterwards, this cohort has proven equally powerful and vigorous. Boomers have taken much, and they still seem intent to take some more.
    As an aside, I want to put forward that it was claimed somewhere the NHL is lopsided when it comes to its player material. Allegedly, those boys and men who were born in the first few months of a given year have a statistical dominance in the League as players and goalmakers. What could cause this? My tentative theory is that because the birthday of these boys is in the winter or beginning spring and while they look forward to it, they are more cozy with a brutal, cold, hostile and masculine environment. This helps them win and put up with pressure. And so it is with these Boomer candidates, with the difference that they were born in an opposite season with a different set of qualities for a different environment.
  3. TV  Trump had been on TV before his election victory, while Clinton had not. If someone had asked me, ”what do you know Donald Trump for?” pre-election, I would have answered that ”he is the guy who gives inexperienced rookies a hard time on the show that’s called Apprentice. In Finland, the show was called ”Diili” or ’Deal’. Both candidates had a lot of money behind them. But, as much as Lady Clinton fraternized with the moneyed elites of the East and West Coasts, she couldn’t possibly have bought herself as much commercial advertisement time on TV as Donald Trump bought himself in appearing as the bossy host of the said show. That kind of air time doesn’t come cheap. You can have with less expense a full page in a quality newspaper, something Trump had done as early as the 80’s, when he was still only one of the countless tycoons in the U.S.A. So, it seems that the old adage, ”it’s the economy, stupid”, which has been oft-repeated as a form of saying that money, salaries, wages, jobs and job opportunities determine election outcomes, now becomes twisted and turned into ”It’s the Celebrity, stupid.”

These reasons, I think, are enough to dismiss the claims made by the gov. that the election was rigged and the result was a fraud. The roots for this current climate or crisis in politics go deeper. For all that, the coming months will give us more stuff to talk about, as befits the members of a debate society.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 58 sek
Arvio: Kesto jättää tilaa rebuttauksille, joita varmaankin sataa aiheen ”tulenarkuuteen” liittyen. Puhe on hyvin jäsennelty, interaktiivinen ja yllätyksellinen. Se on sisällöllisesti ja muodollisesti mallikelpoinen. Kuten hyvät popkappaleet, puhe rakentui tajunnanvirtana kahden istunnon aikana, yksi kirjaston kahvilassa ja toinen tietokoneella, joina ei ollut lainkaan miettimistaukoja.


Into the Unknown


Viikko 2


Date: Jan 10th, 2017
Motion: THB that life-extending medical procedures should be denied to the terminally ill
Role: Chair (opp.)

As the Leader of the Opposition, I’m going to offer a broadside against the motion of the govt., and I’m not even trying to rebut anything at this point. If I frame the debate as the captain of my ship, others after myself may go into detailed dismissals of the proposed motion.

The Principle of Care and Medicine  When we consider patients at a hospital, care does not differentiate between healthy & sick, well & ill people among the inmates. Life in itself is incurable, and set to end after a century or so. One may die at 27 or 117, but most people die somewhere in between. Besides, medicine is meant to help people in all circumstances. If people such as criminals, lunatics or prisoners are entitled to care, why should the terminally ill be somehow inferior to them? Hell, they torture people in Guantanamo; I can’t now remember whether it was an island or a piece of land, but even the prisoners at Guantanamo get treatment if they get unwell. So, if they are entitled to that care, why shouldn’t those be treated who are terminally ill?

Animal Testing  Here I’m going to contradict myself a little after what I just said, but I think that life-extending procedures extended to the terminally ill would reduce the amount of animal testing that we need. If medical procedures, and especially experimental treatments are tested on terminally-ill patients, as they will die anyway, we lessen the burden on animals, and so forth on our conscience. The terminally ill are a special-interest group. They may act as ’guinea pigs’ for medical research, but for that purpose we need their written permission, their signature. We in the opposition would rule out those who are non compos mentis, as we cannot consider them eligible to make this kind of choice. We think that organisations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) would approve of this stance of ours, as not so many real guinea pigs would be needed to be tested, if humans tested their own ”poisons” on themselves.

Finally, I will delve into the repercussions of this proposed bill, should it be passed:

Freezing of Eggs/Tadpoles/Bodies  If we consider any kind of medical procedure of a life-extending nature to fall under the jurisdiction of this motion, it would also affect the business of artificial insemination, which is not insignificant in scale and scope any longer. A dying person’s last hope may be a child to be delivered after his or her passing, in which case it would very cruel to snuff out the possibilities for this. For, if a person was diagnosed as terminally ill, then that person would surely be denied the right to donate or receive sperms and eggs, the activity which revolves around banks that put them in nitrogen tanks as a form of life-extension. Moreover, the prospects that cryogenics offers are even more daunting (to the government). Some individuals may opt to bypass this silly piece of legislation-to-be altogether in allowing their bodies to be frozen for the time being or into the far future, so that they could be cured later on, when this particular piece of legislation has passed (into oblivion) and/or there is a working clinical procedure to cure their ailment.

For these reasons, I’m asking you to reject this proposal of the government. I’m looking forward to hearing my colleagues (Niko, Alexis and Ella) continue in the same spirit.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 7 min 19 sek
Arvio: Puhe on roolissaan napakka, kipakka ja loppuaan kohti väittelylle ominaisen science-fiktiivinen, vaikka jotain muutakin olisi varmasti voinut lopetukseen käyttää. 15 minuuttia prep timea ei vain ole kovin suosiollista luovalle ajattelulle. Kokonaisuutena puhe on hyvä, ja siitä olikin muiden helppoa jatkaa.

It’s a MAD World


Viikko 1


Date: Apr 16th, 2013
Motion: THB that the EU should acquire centralised nuclear weapons for protecting its member states
Role: MP (opp.)

The problem with the European Union  EU member states have never been inclined to use force of any kind against any enemy, not even when the minion would have been the USA, an often trigger-happy ally. The EU does not have offensive tendencies nor even defensive willpower, even if firepower.

The problem with nuclear power at large  Researchers at the CERN and its new-fangled particle collider have had continuous problems in trying to find that elusive ”bozo named Higgs”. At power plants, nuclear power has had a bad record on its safety in unusual circumstances, and there is the eternal question regarding the safe burial of the used-up uranium and other by-products. Fukushima happened, and has not yet ended. In Finland, the building of the country’s nth reactor has been a prolonged agony. There is still no end in sight to the project. In consequence, nuclear arms, as belonging to the class of ABC arms (atomic, biological and chemical weapons) — today known as Weapons of Mass Destruction — are enveloped in the verdigris of time. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

The parable with Margaret Thatcher  Nuclear arms are exactly the same thing as Thatcher’s career. They span the same rhetoric, trends and years. Thatcher was born in 1925, around the same time nuclear research got under way and into results in Germany and the US. Thatcher was elected from Finchley, North London, to the House of Commons in 1959, when nukes were starting to proliferate. Thatcher became PM 20 years later, in 1979, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Her reign lasted for the duration of the Eighties, during which time nukes became unfashionable, having cast a pall over the lives of an entire post-war generation. She resigned in 1990. The oblivion of nukes was marked by 2004, when Ms Thatcher got dementia and Ronald Reagan, her keen ally, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s, died. She herself died on Apr 8th, 2013, and her funeral is tomorrow. Such should be the funerary procession of nuclear weapons as well. And do you want to know the funniest bit when it comes to this debate? The stumbling block of Thatcher’s career was the European Union — and so should the EU be in this case of ours as well when it comes to nukes or nuclear weaponry.

The problem with nukes  Nukes can not be used against either a small or a big enemy. With small ones, they lead to overkill and massive collateral damage. With big ones, they lead to mutually assured destruction, traditionally abbreviated as MAD. Also, modern wars occur between lesser entities than nation-states. Threats come from amorphous and decentralised hubs of insurgency and subversion.

With these words, I would advise you to reconsider the said motion ”This house believes that the E.U. should acquire centralised nuclear weapons for proctecting its member states”. Thank you.

Arvio: Edustajapuheeksi tämä on tarkoitustaan vastaamaton. Siinä käydään läpi yleisiä asioita, joita voisivat käydä yhtä hyvin läpi puolensa ensimmäinen tai viimeinen puhuja. Lyhytkin tämä on. Uutta ainesta edustaa kolmas kappale valtionpäämiehettärestä Maggiesta. Puheen keskinäinen vuo asiasta toiseen on kuitenkin hyvä, varsinkin puolessavälissä puhetta.