Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Front Page

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:56 am

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Front Page


Page 2, News OP/ED

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:54 am

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News OP/ED, Page 2

The Case for Obama’s Stimulus Package

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:51 am

page2obamaBy Press Date, President Obama will likely have already signed his $787 billion stimulus package into law. Once passed, the bill promises to be Obama’s first major step towards the recovery of an American economy that is in shambles. Money will be given to infrastructure projects, aid to homeowners and those facing foreclosure, and even legislation limiting the amount corporate CEO’s can be paid to $500,000 if they received any government bailout money. On top of that, Obama has to find a way to spend the second half of President Bush’s $700 billion bailout that was passed at the end of his term. But even before this money has been used, Obama is already facing some very hard scrutiny.

It is clear that the Republican Party has drawn their line in the sand when it comes to Obama and has refused to vote for his plan. Instead of supporting Obama’s ambitious plan to inject some life into a stagnant economy, they have made the bet that Obama will fail. This, they hope, will allow them to regain some more seats in the House and the Senate for the 2010 election. Of course this would imply that they are counting on two things: Obama to fail, and the American economy to be in ruins. Now I know the GOP is typically the party to point the un-American finger at their political enemies, but isn’t there something inherently counter-productive in wishing the worst on our economy so that they can benefit politically? Maybe things would have gone smoother if Obama had taken a page out of the Republican Party’s playbook and called the bailout the “Patriotic Stimulus Injection Plan,” or the “God Bless the Economy Act.” Not to mention that the only thing Americans would be rewarded with, should the Republicans pick up more seats in the next election, is a Congress that could more efficiently stall plans from Obama designed to help Americans.

Realistically, Obama’s lack of support from across the aisle should not come as too much of a shock. After the Republican Party was routed in both the 2006 and 2008 elections there are not very many moderates left. What is left behind are the hardcore conservatives in relatively safe districts. You know the 20-30% that still supported Bush towards the end? Think of these as the representatives of that small (crazy) group of Americans. As a result, they have little to lose by trying to make Obama look bad since they face a minimal threat of being voted out in the next election cycle.

Where Obama’s support needs to come from is the everyday American. His campaign of “Hope” meant a lot of things, but now that it has come apparent that there will not be a rainbow over the White House each day and that Democrats and Republicans were still not going to play nice, Obama needs to focus on just getting things done. The best he can hope for is winning over a few moderate Republicans in the Senate, although it is worth still reaching out as much as possible. The number one way he can lose his political sway is if he hesitates. So far he has emphasized quick action over anything else, and has alluded to this bailout plan as only “one leg of the stool” for rebuilding the American economy. If there is one thing that this first battle with Republicans should show Obama it is that politics will always be a rough business, and the best that he can hope for is that his side wins. The Republicans know that just going along with Democratic policies will only lead to continued Democratic success, which is why they are taking the opposite path. Of course one could also suggest that this is also incredibly selfish, and a great way to make a terrible situation even worse, but who am I to judge?

The next step for Obama will be holding businesses accountable for their actions. The idea that CEO’s should not be compensated for robbing their companies and the American people of their livelihood is a step in the right direction, although it is much more of a novel idea than it should be in our government. Obama has already announced that a plan to rebuild the American auto industry is already under way.

Personally I’m looking forward to the idea that by the time I am ready to buy my first new car that I will have more than one or two options for cars with over 35 mpg. Not to mention Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making her debut with a trip to Asia this week. So far Obama has been focusing almost completely on his domestic agenda, but expect to see a new foreign policy platform to emerge once Hillary comes back and gets her bearings.

As for us, the students, where many of us were members of the electorate that fell in love with Obama and what he had to say, it is time to see what he is made of. I’m ready to give him a chance, and probably a much longer chance than others to follow through on his promises. As long as he is active and making an effort to change the way things are I will not complain. It will take time for this stimulus plan and his legislation to come to fix the corruption that festered in Wall Street these last decades, and we all knew Obama had his work cut out for him. If Obama can get our economy on the upswing and Americans back to their jobs, then I think it’s fair to say that he is doing his job, too.

From the Editor’s Desk…

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:49 am

To Our Faithful Audience,

Well I’m not sure if The Tower got a sudden burst in popularity or if the janitors threw out all the issues we put around campus, but last week’s issue absolutely flew off the shelves. I’m going to go with the positive here and say you guys actually liked it, and if that’s the case, well then, awesome…I’m not even mad.

Personally, I’ve been looking foreward to this issue ever since I heard about Juicy Campus about a month ago. For those of you that don’t know, Juicy Campus is a place for students (mostly freshmen) to bash each other anonymously online. I’ll let Jake Scalici’s article do the talking, but something tells me we haven’t seen the last of this site or sites like it.

So enjoy, I think this is a solid issue.


Tyler Peckham

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:47 am


Drug Designed to
Lengthen Eyelashes

Is prescription medication the future of beauty? A new prescription drug called Latisse, designed to enhance your eyelashes, is now on the market. The beauty solution has been approved for the treatment of hair loss and the product’s maker claims, “it will thicken, darken and lengthen inadequate or skimpy eye lashes”.

Many women are excited about this new cure for eyelash deficiencies and eager to test it out. “I want to be able to look like I have makeup on when I don’t,” says Tammie Wilson of Roswell, Georgia.

Results are a long time coming though, with at least an eight week wait for visible improvement, many people not experiencing the full effect until a whole 16 weeks after they begin the regimen. And if you ever decide to stop taking your eyelash-enhancing pill, the results will be reversed, thus deeming it necessary for the rest of your life to dole out a rather steep $120 every 30 days for a new prescription, in order to maintain your desired eyelash exquisiteness.

First removing all dirt from the face, and then brushing the liquid across the top of the eyelashes with a small applicator, Latisse is expertly administered by a professional doctor. Adverse reactions may most commonly include itching, redness, hyper-pigmentation or a darkening of skin around the base of the eyelashes. It has also been found to help significantly decrease eye pressure in glaucoma sufferers.

With scientific makeup innovations such as these, the advancement in beauty techniques is seemingly endless.

-Teresa Barone

Father and Son
Re-united by

Chris Walker grew up his entire life without knowing his biological father. The only thing he did know about his father was his name- Clayton Hamilton.

When a man named Claiborne Hamilton got a job at the Richmond Police department where Walker worked, he got curious. After some conversations and questioning, Walker learned that Hamilton’s age, where he grew up, and friends he knew all could be possible matches to his long lost father.

To confirm his suspicions, he called his mother asking if she knew a Claiborne Hamilton. At first Walker’s mother insisted that his name was Clayton and not Claiborne, but after Walker asked about Hamilton’s old girlfriend’s nickname, Billy Joe, she knew that Hamilton was his father. “Billy Joe,” was the old nickname of Walker’s mother.

Soon afterwards, Walker called Hamilton to tell him the news. “It shocked me, but I always believed that there may have been a possibility at the time,” Hamilton said in an interview with the Richmond Times Dispatch. “When I first talked to him on the phone, I cried.”

Since then the two have undergone DNA testing to confirm that they are in fact father and son. The two even went in similar directions in their lives, first going into the military and later becoming police officers. Although few could expect that it would lead them to working in the same office where they discovered each other.

-Tyler Peckham

Lance Armstrong
has Bike Stolen

Lance Armstrong’s comeback into the world of cycling hit a snag after he had his bike stolen after the first day of a nine day race in California. The bike was taken from a team truck only hours after Armstrong had finished racing for the day.

This is Armstrong’s second comeback. The first being his famed 1998 return after recovering from testicular cancer that had ultimately spread to his lungs and brain.

Being highly resourceful, Armstrong had posted the theft on his Twitter account on Sunday, February 15 when he realized it was missing. The bike is custom made and is only used by Armstrong for serious time trials. Armstrong’s plea for the bike’s recovery was somewhat less professional, however. “There is only one like it in the world therefore hard to pawn it off. Reward being offered,” he wrote in a request to recover an extremely valuable piece of equipment.

The bikes of Armstrong’s teammates, Janez Brajkovic, Steve Morabito and Yaroslav Popovych were also stolen. As of press date, there has been no word on the status of the bicycles, but if Armstrong can get over cancer that plagued the two most important parts on a man’s body, let’s hope he can get over this bump in the road as well.

-Tyler Peckham

Page 3, News OP/ED

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:40 am

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News OP/ED, Page 3

From Great to Gone: Celebs Losing Sponsorhips

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:37 am

page3celebsIt looks like celebrities have been royally screwing up lately. First Michael Phelps gets caught smoking pot, then Chris Brown is arrested on charges of beating Rihanna. Not only do they have to face an incredible amount of public heat for their socially unacceptable actions, but they are also dealing with consequences greatly affecting their careers.
Both public figures have faced the loss of sponsorship from big name advertisers. Additionally, Chris Brown has been losing musical exposure as a result of the alleged beating he gave Rihanna.

Following the release of the photo of Phelps taking a bong hit, Kellogg Co. made a public statement announcing that they had decided not to renew their contract with the Olympic gold medalist. “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February, and we have made the decision not to extend his contract,” said Susanne Norwitz, spokeswoman for Kellogg.

Brown seems to have taken an even harder hit, not of marijuana, but in the loss of corporate support. Not only does he face the possibility of losing sponsorship from the Wrigley Corporation and the Milk Mustache campaign, but he is losing good exposure on the airwaves. Since the allegations against him, Sesame Street has removed re-runs of an episode featuring Brown and radio stations have been refusing to air his songs, due to the heavy volume of listener complaints.

The program director of Cleveland radio station 96.5 Kiss FM explains his reason for removing the artist from their playlists. “It appears that Chris has made some poor choices, we are following the lead of our listeners, and we will not be supporting Chris Brown on 96.5 Kiss FM in Cleveland until the alleged situation gets resolved.”

While this loss of support must be frustrating to the famous figures, it is entirely warranted. The simple fact is that these corporations are merely trying to be business savvy. They are protecting the future of their companies and the image that they are attempting to represent.
I must say that I do sympathize a bit with Phelps’ situation, which was seemingly a lapse in judgment, so unfortunately caught on camera.

Ashton Kutcher put it best saying, “God forbid he hit a bong. Go ask your 20-year-old kid what they did last weekend. I’m not saying it was a smart move. But he doesn’t need to be publicly outed for it.”

Unfortunately, however, he was publicly outed and Kellogg must face the image that he is now forcing them to represent. When a company is trying to tell you that their product is healthy for your body and then the man that they place on their boxes becomes known for an activity unhealthy for your body, it creates a conflict of interest. I’m all for fun just as much as the next person, but Phelps needs to be more careful about who he commits these devious acts in front of, knowing that he could very well face severe consequences affecting his Olympic career.

Brown faces even more career consequences, and rightfully so. I’d have to say that the image of a wife-beater (and let’s face it, that’s the image he gives off when people believe that he has abused his significant other) does not fare well with any advertising campaign. Who wants to buy gum from a company that supports domestic abuse? And as far as the radio station’s decision to drop his songs, they are facing the potential loss of faithful listeners. It’s a smart business move and simply that.

Weekly Green Tip

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:35 am


Americans are using up natural resources faster than ever.  Creating new bottles, paper, clothing, electronics, etc. requires a lot of energy to process the raw materials and turn them into the products we see in our everyday life.  A great way to save resources and energy is to RECYCLE!  When you throw your recyclables into a recycling bin on campus, the materials can be reused to create new bottles and paper with post-consumer content.

Starting on Monday, February 16th you can combine all your paper, metal cans, glass bottles, cardboard, and 1 & 2 plastics in any recycling bin with a clear trash bag.  Recycling is easier than ever, try it out!

If you have any questions about recycling, please contact the

Death-Row Bride: Childhood Marriage in Saudi Arabia

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:32 am

page3terroristsWhat little girl doesn’t dream of one day walking down an aisle dressed in white, surrounded by friends and family?  In July 2008, that dream turned into a nightmare for a 15-year-old Saudi Arabian girl.  The aisle she walked ran between death-row prison cells.  Her father gave her away to his cell-mate.  Shortly after her two-day honeymoon in the prison’s special quarters, she discovered she was pregnant.

Unfortunately, childhood marriages occur regularly in Saudi Arabia.  On December 26, 2008, CNN reported the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man. The girl’s father arranged the marriage to pay off a debt.  Judge Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib rejected the mother’s petition to annul the marriage, saying that the mother is not the girl’s legal guardian since she and her husband are separated.
Saudi Arabia currently has no laws determining the minimum age for marriage.  Fathers can give daughters as young as one year old in marriage, as long as the husband pledges to delay consummation until the girl reaches puberty.  While the law requires a women’s consent to marriage, some officials allow the woman’s guardian to grant consent for her.

The law may be silent on the issue of minimum age, but various religious opinions abound.  The BBC reported on April 12, 2005 that Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheik banned forced marriages, saying that the practice is not permitted by Islamic law.  Other religious leaders feel differently, including a top cleric who said, “’It’s not correct to say it’s not permitted…A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married.  Those who think she’s too young…are being unfair to her.”

For many families, childhood marriages are a matter of expediency rather than ethics.  According to an Arab News report on August 7, 2008, if a man is the single guardian of many daughters, he may give them in marriage in order to provide for them.  Poor families profit by receiving fees from the groom, while other families hope to prevent illicit relationships.

The myth that marrying at a young age protects girls is dispelled by the United Nations Population Fund report.  There are no official statistics regarding childhood marriage in Saudi Arabia specifically, but studies in Kenya and Zambia show that teenage brides are contracting HIV at a faster rate than sexually active unmarried girls.  In addition, girls age 10-14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy than women age 20-24.  Over the next decade, approximately 100 million girls under the age of 18 will be married.

The Saudi Human Rights Commission launched a campaign in September 2008 to set the minimum marital age at 17.  Through their diligent efforts, the dream of a vibrant childhood may one day be granted to every Saudi Arabian girl.

Burris Under Fire

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:31 am

Even after former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been impeached, Senator Roland Burris is still trying to get out from under his shadow. New allegations of perjury have been levied at Burris since the discovery that he may have been solicited to donate funds to Blagojevich’s campaign. Burris allegedly was asked to donate funds after he inquired about his name being mentioned on the list of possible successors for President Obama’s Senate seat while Blagojevich was still in office.

For his part Burris, denies any wrong doing. “I’ve always conducted myself with honor and integrity,” said Burris during a news conference on Sunday.  The information came out in an affidavit released last week by Burris. Republicans charge that this information should have come out during a hearing in front of the impeachment committee for Blagojevich last month. Many Republicans are calling for the impeachment of Burris.

This news does little to help the Democratic Party or President Obama that have already had to deal with the turning down of cabinet posts by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and former Senator Tom Daschle because of ethical and monetary concerns. The continuing drama of Blagojevich and Burris seems only to add salt to the wound.

“Clearly, it would have been better if Sen. Burris had provided this information when he first testified. Sen. Reid is reviewing the affidavit and will await any action by Illinois legislative leaders after they review the matter,” said a statement released by the camp of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As of Press date President Obama is yet to comment on the status of Burris. Burris’ Senate seat will be up for election in 2010.