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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.