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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Ruchi Agashe (NEI Education) vs. Opposition: Omid Abaei (DeBakey )

Judge: Aloysius Chan (Anglo-Chinese Junior College)

Resolution: RESOLVED: The United Nations should adopt a resolution decrying or demanding an end to the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

  • Ruchi Agashe
    Ruchi Agashe
    vs.



    Omid Abaei
    Omid Abaei
    Click to begin

    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at April 22, 2014 01:21:35AM EST by Ruchi Agashe

    Citations

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    http://www.unep.org/delc/Portals/119/UNEP.Guidelines.on.Compliance.MEA.pdf

    http://www.epa.gov/mercury/exposure.htm

    http://www.opsociety.org/issues/mercury-in-seafood

    http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/facts.

    http://www.wspainternational.org/Images/159_the_case_against_marine_mammals_in_captivity_english_2009_tcm25-

    8409.pdf#false

    Posted at April 23, 2014 02:27:12AM EST by Omid Abaei

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    1. (self-sufficiency- 39%) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2008/02/26/reference/japan-needs-imports-to-keep-itself-fed/#.U1cxq_ldWXQ

    2. (Japan imports 60% of it's food)
    http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/international-markets-trade/countries-regions/japan/trade.aspx#.U1cXNvldWXQ

    3. (Fishermen income)
    http://japandailypress.com/who-is-inhumane-a-discussion-regarding-dolphin-fishing-in-taiji-2743059/

    4. (average Japanese income=$24,147)
    http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/japan/

    5.(No Taiji citizens have mercury related illnesses or health problems) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/05/10/national/taiji-locals-test-high-for-mercury/#.U1c12PldWXQ

    6. (Taiji citizens are healthy and refuse to change their culture. This would lead to political backlash) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/05/10/national/most-taiji-residents-rest-easy-refuse-to-change-diet/#.U1dcfvldWXQ

    7. (Shinzo Abe defends the dolphin hunt)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/world/asia/japan-defends-dolphin-hunt-after-kennedy-criticism.html?_r=0

    Posted at April 24, 2014 01:28:54AM EST by Ruchi Agashe

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    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 25, 2014 02:19:26AM EST by Omid Abaei

    Citations

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    1.(No Taiji citizens have mercury related illnesses or health problems) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/05/10/national/taiji-locals-test-high-for-mercury/#.U1c12PldWXQ

    2.(Taiji citizens are healthy and refuse to change their culture. This would lead to political backlash) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2010/05/10/national/most-taiji-residents-rest-easy-refuse-to-change-diet/#.U1dcfvldWXQ

    3. (Minamata disease discovered in 1956; 9 years before Taiji dolphin hunt started)
    http://soshisha.org/english/10tishiki_e/10tishiki_e_1.htm

    4. (Affirming the consequent)
    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/afthecon.html

    5. (Method of hunting is more humane 2014)
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/20/world/asia/japan-dolphin-hunt/

    The rest of the evidence/claims I referred to are already cited in my previous speech.

    Posted at April 26, 2014 12:33:22AM EST by Ruchi Agashe

    Citations

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    None available for this speech.

    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 26, 2014 10:25:14PM EST by Aloysius Chan

    Category Ruchi Agashe Omid Abaei
    Use of evidence: 2.7 3
    Delivery skill: 3 2.6
    Coherence of arguments: 2.6 2.6
    Responsiveness to opponent: 2.6 3.1
    Identification of key points: 3 3
    Comments: Your case was competently executed, so compliments for that. However, the points, while logical in themselves, were somewhat tangential - mercury poisoning is not exclusive to dolphin meat (as Opposition rightfully pointed out), while dolphinariums are somewhat indirectly linked to the motion. Perhaps you could stress more on the inhumane aspect, and prioritize that as your main argument/stance.

    As for your rebuttals, most of them were hinged on the Minamata incident, which Opposition rightfully pointed out was non-analogous. Evidence from Taiji itself, or perhaps other seafood-transmitted mercury poisoning cases, would be more appropriate. Ultimately, your rebuttals in closing - that you would leave it to the citizens to decide - undermined your earlier case, given Opposition's characterization of them as being resistant to any change.
    While you did tackle Proposition's argumentation, much of this was based on a refutation of facts. While this is a valid method of rebuttal, and I did credit you for it, perhaps a tackling of the logic rather than the illustration would be more effective - contesting the suitability of a ban in the first place, how it would actually exacerbate the harms, and so on.

    As for your constructive case, your fisheries argument contained two angles - that of food sufficiency, and individual benefit to fishermen. Proposition rightfully pointed out how the first prong was somewhat illogical considering the vast scale of the Japanese economy, and in itself, was unconvincing to me, given the general fact that dolphin meat is a niche delicacy rather than a staple food. Perhaps emphasis on the second idea, on fishermen's livelihoods, which interestingly went un-rebutted by Proposition, would be more compelling, and capitalized on earlier, rather than left till late in your rebuttal speech.

    The decision is for the Opposition: Omid Abaei

    Reason for Decision:

    Before I proceed, I'd like to thank both speakers for what was a very interesting debate to follow, and for your dedication in participating in this competition.

    I felt that this debate boiled down to three key issues:
    1 - Safety of dolphin meat
    2 - Impact to Taiji's economy and residents
    3 - Humane treatment

    On the first point, the safety of dolphin meat, Opposition was able to contest the notion of dangerous dolphin meat more effectively, by stating that it's not exclusive to dolphin meat, and that the harms of mercury poisoning were not directly linked to the motion's issue.

    On the second point, Opposition was able to convince me that Taiji would suffer if the dolphin hunt were to end, given that it comprised a major portion of the townsfolk's livelihoods, and that it would lead to more diplomatic pressure between the international community and Japan. This idea was not sufficiently rebutted by Proposition.

    On the third point, Proposition forwarded the very salient idea that dolphins were being inhumanely treated. I initially expected this to be the centre of the debate, but given how it played out in actuality, both sides never really made a big issue out of it, and Proposition did not emphasize or capitalize on this enough to hurt Opposition's frame. This meant that I could not credit Proposition by much.

    Thus, the debate went to the Opposition.


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