By Joe Amditis

Recent Articles:


How patriotic are super-patriots?

As a columnist for The Daily Targum, I’ve repeatedly used my time on the public soapbox to criticize U.S. foreign policy. Because of the critical nature of my writing, I often encounter people who apparently feel the need to question my patriotism. Instead of taking the time to examine the facts and history of the issues I discuss, most simply choose to wrap themselves in the American flag as they spiral into fits of emotional hilarity and political hyperbole.


United States set precedent for immoral actions

The story of U.S. Army Col. James Steele is a long one that has its roots in one of the darker periods of American foreign policy, often referred to as America’s “Dirty Wars.” I’m talking of the course about the U.S. support for death squads and counterrevolutionary forces in Latin America, including El Salvador and Nicaragua.


Rethink stance on Syrian crisis

Amid the latest onslaught of tragic images and videos from war-torn Syria, the steady beating of Washington’s war drums has begun to sound. Reports of increased fighting and violence continue to pour out of Syria, and the establishment media pundits are jumping at the chance to uncritically promote U.S. involvement in yet another internal conflict in the  Mediterranean. Don’t fall for it.


Debating the future of the planet

This weekend, over 50,000 people descended upon Washington D.C. to protest the potential approval of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, making it the largest climate change demonstration in history. The proposed route for the pipeline runs from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada to the existing Keystone Pipeline System in Nebraska. The second segment of the XL pipeline system, named the Gulf Coast Project, would connect the existing Keystone pipeline facilities in Oklahoma to oil refineries in Texas.


Not your forefathers’ revolution

Sometimes I feel like I spend too much time on the Internet. I sit at my computer and scroll through endless pages of indiscriminate vitriol and intellectual diarrhea. It doesn’t matter if the conversation is about gun control, birth control, the war on drugs, the war on terror, climate change or regime change. The Internet is a place where, if it exists, there’s someone out there who hates it — and there is certainly never a shortage of people willing to argue to the death about it.


Holding information hostage

As a University student, I feel that I have much to be thankful for, particularly when it comes to the invaluable access to education, knowledge and information that the University provides to its students. It may have taken me a few semesters to truly appreciate the value of that access, but now that I see the profound and irrevocable effect it has had on my life, I cannot imagine the type of person I would have become were it not for something apparently as simple as free information.


It gets better, right?

I’m just glad it’s finally over.” That seems to be the most common answer I get when I ask people what they think about election season. To be honest, I don’t blame them for feeling that way. After a solid year of campaign commercials, nauseating 24-hour news coverage, and painfully scripted speeches, who wouldn’t want a break from the circus that American politics has become? This country spends a quarter of every presidential term immersed in frivolous election pageantry.


Issue of race not limited to admissions

I usually stay away from discussions about race. As a white male, there’s always a pretty good chance that, regardless of what I say or how I say it, someone out there will be offended. Therefore, I generally try to avoid discussing the subject in public whenever possible. But after hearing the oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, I started to think about race and affirmative action in university admissions programs and how they compare to the use of race in other decision processes.


No good deed goes unpunished

Death is a sobering and intriguing phenomenon that has the distinct capability to cause a great deal of pain and sorrow, while simultaneously invoking a sense of urgency and purpose that has served as a catalyst for revolution. The key components that allow us to distinguish one death from another are the circumstances in which the death occurs. Human beings have the ability to assign value and worth to an incident that would otherwise go unnoticed.


Saving Private Manning

I think that most American citizens — despite the current state of affairs in this country and other countries around the world — would like to believe that deep down, the U.S. government operates within a set of values that represents the concepts of justice and equality all of us were taught in school. We would all like to believe that, especially in cases that deal with our own citizens, all of the necessary steps are taken to ensure a fair, honest and decent legal process in the pursuit of justice.

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