"Both Warren [Buffett] & I insist on a lot of time being available almost every day to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. We read and think. So Warren and I do more reading and thinking and less doing than most people in business." - Charlie Munger

Monday, February 28, 2011

Why didn't I join the debate team in middle school?

Hi all,

I am working on a really interesting art-related blog post right now, but in the meantime I figured I would post Talita's new debate topics, to see if anyone has any interesting feedback. I've learned from helping her put together her debate outlines, that these are always topics worth knowing more about anyway.

Aside from simply posting the topics, I want to let you all know how incredible the debate program is, and how worthwhile of an activity it is to get your children (current or future) involved in from an early age (earliest they can become formally involved is usually 6th grade, and in some cases 7th grade). Debating develops so many skills for young students; they become more comfortable with and/or interested in: public speaking & oral communication, critical thinking, knowledge of current events and the social sciences, reading, research, reasoning skills, and, not to mention debate involvement is almost always correlated with significant increases in GPA (grade point average)! Aside from these things, I have noticed that being on the debate team gives kids the opportunity to associate and socialize with other kids who are especially dedicated to academic achievement and learning, which can never hurt, if you ask me...

Anyway, here are the topics...let me know your thoughts (note: debaters must come to the tournament prepared to argue both the opposition and the proposition for all of the below topics):

1. The United States should significantly expand its use of nuclear power.

2. Single sex education does more good than harm.

3. The California lottery should be abolished.

4. Public funding should not be used to attract professional sports teams to cities

If I have time, I will also try to post concise versions of our outlines for all of the topics...probably after the tournament.


  1. I'll just touch on the first one. Actually the United States has no choice but to expand nuclear power, and it still won't be enough. Check out "Our Energy Challenge" by the late Rick Smalley, Nobel Price winner (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3912283210008435127#). I actually attended the lecture and it is an extremely important message to hear, not only for the US but for the world. The upshot for the US is, we must convince a generation of students to become experts in the hard sciences, or else our energy future is a grim one.

    Let me know if this comes out in the debate!


  2. Ahhhh, Mr. Cohen, it is so nice to have you back in my [academic] life! Thank you so much for the posting; your insight is greatly appreciated. I will watch the video now and pass it along. I will also let you know how the debate plays out.

  3. Shocking timing on this one. I think we can now all agree that nuclear power should not be expanded where natural disasters are likely. It seems like its entire future may be in doubt though. The race to find alternative energy hastens, or at least it should!

  4. "In fact, the incomes that are paid to players and executive staff of the teams will generate a substantial amount of income tax revenue." - CASE CLOSED
    You were the best debate coach, and also the hottest.
    I am positive the young boys of Curtis could NOT wait to be coached. Haha

  5. Hi Brian, yes, the timing on this debate topic was pretty crazy! Our team won, doing a fantastic job of arguing the proposition for the nuclear topic, which was certainly a difficult thing to do considering it was the day after the Japan disaster, while their nuclear facilities were spinning further and further out of control. I have always had doubts about expanding our use of nuclear power, considering all of the associated risks, and we have certainly seen these risks brought to life over the past week. I really enjoyed doing the research for this topic. Brian, if you are curious to see our complete outlines for the prop and opp, email me ak@keepme.com and I will send them to you.

  6. Brooke, you are funny. Thank you for coming to support !