In a land full of economic woe, it is easy for something like a fresh climate change report to quickly lose public interest. With the help of a drama-hungry media, crises such as the debt-ceiling debacle easily cloud out all other matters. The report released last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hopefully refocuses our concern toward a more pressing issue: climate change.

Last week, I submitted a rather scathing column expressing my contempt for the Tea Party, of which I feel no remorse. I did, however, mention the Affordable Care Act, incautiously neglecting to cite sources to back up my assertions. I received a slap on the wrist from my readers, so it seems that I will have to return to littering my columns with hyperlinks and citations. You win, readers. You win.

In explicating his shrill sounding Symphony No. 5 in D minor, the composer Dmitri Shostakovich said: “It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying: ‘Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,’ and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering: ‘Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.’”

A sobering fact about writing for a college newspaper is only a small portion of the student population will actually care enough to read your piece. Even more disheartening is the likelihood that many of those who commit to reading will only survive halfway through the column before moving onto something “more exciting.” The futility of the whole matter gives way to endless scoff and scorn.

These first few weeks of the fall semester have been bursting with pleasantly sunny weather (aside from those searing hot days). Unfortunately, the consequence of this is the free speech zone again becoming a stomping ground for charlatans and pamphleteers. It is somewhat comical to witness bystanders and passersby running the gauntlet of clipboard-holders and outstretched hands. What is not comical is the sermon-on-the-mount fellow stalking in the shadows, wielding his bookmarked Bible,…

Former KGB operative and current Russian President Vladimir Putin recently submitted a disappointing and somewhat misleading op-ed to The New York Times regarding a Syrian intervention. It was contextualized as a “plea for caution,” addressed to the American people — sidestepping our representatives in an attempt to cull the hearts of uneasy citizens.

There is no greater frustration a lover of space can experience than witnessing the annual defunding of NASA’s budget. The horror is further complicated with nearly every mention of that glorified agency from the abuse of such trivial comments as, “Well, why are we even focusing our efforts ‘up there’ when we’ve got so many problems ‘down here’?”

As Congress is called forth from their August recess to decide the fate of President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapon stockpile, it seems both prudent and necessary that the United States commits — or rather, recommits — to remember well-forgotten struggles against familiar adversaries. It should also be the wish of my generation that tyrants such as Moammar Gadhafi, Assad, Hosni Mubarak and Saddam Hussein, sinister breeds of what has traditionally existed as the common enemy of mankind…

Twenty-two months ago, peaceful protesters in Syria culled the sympathies of the free world when they plunged themselves into the pro-Democracy movement now dubbed the Arab Spring. Their hope was to usurp the oppressive Assad regime and his loyalist Ba’ath Party. Time has not alleviated the suffering as buildings now lay in ruin, millions of refugees have fled to neighboring countries (a million of whom are children) and estimates of the dead count escalate every day.

I was making my rounds last Friday night, reading the columns and articles produced by my fellow writers here at the Iowa State Daily (yes, this is how I spend my free time) and I noticed that one particular piece, written by our very own satirist Alexander Maxwell, had received a considerable amount of attention.

A few events have occurred in the past couple of weeks that have breathed oxygen into the inflamed discussion of macroeconomic policy in the “Land of Opportunity.” The passing of Margaret Thatcher has, rather ironically (and perhaps serendipitously), coincided with the disintegration of the very-economic policies the Iron Lady championed.

For the last two weeks, I’ve written columns about how to “fix” the Grand Old Party. Now I’m going to spend my “word limit” expounding upon something truly personal (and more challenging) — the problems of my political party. In some respects, attempting to change your own political party forces you to examine your own faults. This column is somewhat of a reflection of my own political character and the sum of all the hope I have for the future of politics.

Last week, I promised I would deliver a list of comprehensive policy reforms that could be adopted by the Republican Party in order to breathe life into their political credibility. In this column, I detail my suggestions.

The modern Republican Party is commonly, and rather mistakenly, touted by many of its members as the “Party of Lincoln." While this used to be true, the Republicans are now merely a withered shadow of their former prestige. The party that once saved the Union is now the one damaging it.

To highlight the political divide of the 1960s, Bob Dylan wrote, “The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast, the slow one now will later be last,’” in his famous song “The Times They Are A-Changin.” The shifting of time will commence, with or without our adaption to it. Dylan would later explain that the title of the track wasn’t just a statement of fact but a feeling.

Hypothetical scenarios are too often held hostage to the wild fringes of imagination. I am sure Rand Paul’s misleading and outlandish comments about the Obama administration’s use of the drone program are subject to such presumptions. But, credit is due, as Paul’s 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s CIA nomination has brought forth a national discussion on the delicate balance between security and rights.

Another week passes, and again, Congress makes another irrational decision concerning the future of our economy. This time, it’s the sequester, quite possibly one of the dumbest policy decisions made by our representatives. I certainly agree with President Barack Obama when he says the sequester is an unnecessary self-inflicted wound.

Reports have recently been leaking out of the White House on the nominees for the directors of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. President Obama intends to nominate long-time environmental regulator Gina McCarthy to head the EPA and nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to the Department of Energy.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to President BarackObama’s State of the Union speech included a bold assertion concerning the recent global financial crisis: “This idea — that our problems were caused by a government that was too small — it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.”

Just this past week a bill was introduced to the Idaho state senate by Sen. John Goedde requiring high school students to read “Atlas Shrugged” and take an exam on it to graduate. He wasn’t being serious, though, as he has stated he has no intention of pushing the bill through the legislature. It was brought up merely to “make a point” about some of the arbitrary decisions being made by Idaho’s Board of Education.

There are times when regulations and restrictions drastically reduce the negative effects of business practices and individual actions. This can be immensely beneficial in certain circumstances (i.e. the risky derivatives market). It is difficult, however, to draw the distinctive separation between what is inherently democratic and what is totalitarian.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting upon some of the great minds of the past, and often I wonder if I could ever aspire to their level brilliance and produce something worthy of admiration. Somehow, when I try to produce something great, such as in my writing, I fall flat on my face. It seems I cannot possibly find the personal inspiration that will drive me forward, over the hump and into eternity.

The reoccurring appearance of the “Cory Jones” picture on Facebook has become quite irritating, and its frequency leaves me with a rather uncomfortable feeling. It is an imperative I put an end to this once and for all, as it seems to be contaminating the minds of so many social networkers.

Recently, I participated in a gathering of my peers, where discussions of mind-boggling ideas ebbed and flowed throughout the night. There, my peers contributed a great deal of their own thoughtful inputs. Yet, there were those who could only recite the workings of the intellectual juggernauts of old. The tone seemed to change, and it seemed as if some individuals were claiming to be intellectually superior to the rest of us.

A column published last Friday, written by Emma Rinehart, staked claim to the movie “The Hunger Games” as a champion advocate of the conservative ideals. She emphasizes what would seem to be a rather perturbing circumstance where President Barack Obama would steal the liberty and capitalist maneuvering right from under our feet.

Last week, I submitted a column concerning the deterioration of educated debate among the proponents of both the right and the left, where there is no doubt this is attenuating our former political prestige. Now, you’d think everybody, regardless of political affiliations, would indeed be in agreement, resoundingly, of debates supported by strong factual backing. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

The entirety of my Spring Break was filled with quite a raucous homecoming, having returned to my hometown, which, due to recent hostility toward my own political stances, I now treat with contempt. I was absorbed in online debates against the citizens of what was once my home. Yes, online debates, with all of their frivolity.

The political muscling of the week concerns a strengthened consortium in protest of “[Barack] Obama’s failure to restrain rising gas prices.” Ignoring the obsequious flattery, due in part to the ideological ditto-heads, the true issue should be addressed, especially because this is such a pressing one indeed.

The voter identification bill proposed through the Iowa Legislature may seem at first to be one of great intentions. I for one was initially in complete support of the bill. If voting is a right of the citizenry, then why should fraudulent activity impinge upon that right, and henceforth eliminate votes through one-to-one cancellation? After all, it is our duty as citizens to protect our voting rights and mitigate the possibility of fraud.

A recent column written by fellow columnist Barry Snell in response to a Monday column written by myself reintroduced many vital occurrences that contributed to the 2008 market collapse. Although, I feel that his article did not place enough emphasis on this great concavity. The recession was caused by numerous factors, and it would be foolish to place the blame simply upon low-income loan recipients. There are simply too many misconceptions about the recession, and, I suppose, it should…

A column was published last Thursday that conjectured "selfishness" as a reconciliation to the flaws in capitalism. I simply cannot allow this to justify the corruption in capitalism. The premise considers selfishness as inherent in human nature.

I find myself becoming increasingly aggravated by the use of religious doctrine in politics, especially from the likes of presidential candidate Rick Santorum and former candidate Rick Perry (and other such "evangelical politicians"). Modern politicians consistently attempt to compare a political issue with a religious exercise. This is a flippant disregard of the very essence of politics.

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