Monday, August 13, 2007
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Congress expands spying and Bush's powers
After seven years of trampling on the Constitution
with an illegal war, illegal wiretapping, and tor-
ture, one would think the last person the Dem-
ocratic-controlled Congress would trust with our Bill of
Rights would be President Bush. Or at least that's what the KELLYN JACKSON
Democrats promised in last year's election. But as Con-
gress acquiesced to Bush's demands to expand his admin-
istration's use of warrantless wiretaps, they might as well
have handed him the Constitution and a black Sharpie. I find myself fascii
The conveniently named Pro-
tect America Act, which revises
the Foreign Intelligence Act of
1978, was supposed to bring the
old law up to speed with the
Internet age. Because e-mails
are routed through foreign coun-
tries, conflicts have arisen about
what constitutes a foreign com-
munication, and the new law was
supposed to fix this confusion.
But instead of drawing a clear
line, the law basically gives the
president free reign to make these
decisions as it sees fit. By allowing
the executive to forego warrants
and intercept any communication
where at least one party is "rea-
sonably believed" to be from a for-
eign country, even petty e-mails
between Americans and friends
overseas are theoretically subject
to government oversight.
Worse yet, the only people
allowed to decide when the
administration is going too far are
within the administration itself.
The bill doesn't force the execu-
tive branch to go to the FISA
courts for warrants. This means
that a president with a history of
lying to the American people, a
vice president who lurks behind
the scenes and an attorney gen-
eral who can't remember what he
ate this morning are deciding if
you should be tapped.
Aside from being a gross viola-
tion of the Fourth Amendment,
this law is a striking example of
the power of American fear. At
the heart of this anxiety is Bush's
refrain that the terrorists are
always plotting to cripple our way
of life. Although the government
refuses to tell us who it has spied
on or even how much intelligence
has come from previous spying,
we are supposed to trust that the
president needs more conversa-
tions; more e-mails and more
authority to quell terrorism.
Ironically, the fight against
terrorism has become a bigger
threat to American freedoms
than the terrorists themselves.
Sadly, the only ones able to stop
this administration's abuses are
the Democrats in Congress, who
laid down at the president's first
command. Although the bill is
set to expire in six months, the
57 Democrats who voted for the
hypocritical Protect America Act
have already shownthey're just as
spineless and immoral as the pres-
ident they promised to oppose.
The Democrats didn't just for-
get the Bill of Rights. They forgot
their responsibility to check the
president. Perhaps their next act
should be to do their jobs.
Es not-so-new plastic surgery
show, "Dr. 90210" - reality TV's
version of "Nip/Tuck." While
the show's cosmetic surgeons
become famous in front of the
camera, the women (and men)
they work on become beauti-
ful. The most common proce-
dure performed on the show to
achieve this beauty is augmen-
tation mammography, or, more
commonly, the boob job.
Why? There are only three
justifiable reasons I can think
of for receiving one of these sur-
geries: construction, reduction
and reconstruction. Women
who have little or no breast tis-
sue whatsoever get the proce-
dure to feel more feminine. For
women who have had mastecto-
mies or have been involved in an
accident, surgery is necessary to
replace what was lost. Lastly, for
women whose breasts are large
a reduction eases most physical
pain and self-consciousness.
But these three reasons are
rare on the show. Instead, the
most frequent scenario is when
an already gorgeous woman
desires a fuller bust just because.
But is it reallyjust because?
For some, bigger breasts equal
success, both in the bedroom
and theboardroom. Alarger bust
or deeper cleavage is naturally
attractive, but hopefully, it's not
the reason he will propose or the
reason you'll get a promotion.
For others, it is self-esteem (or
the lack of it) that drives their
desire for new boobs. A new pair
has the ability to boost confi-
dence and improve self-image.
If it is more valuable to invest
in oneself intrinsically than to
enhance oneself externally, why
are women using artificial fatty
tissue and milk ducts to garner
glances from men and achieve
success at work? The answer is
simple: Although women have
made tremendous progress in
the last century, restrictions still
exist. These restrictions subtly
and psychologically impose upon
women the idea that in order to
succeed they need to accommo-
date the wishes of men.
But having the perfect body
is unattainable. Humans never
seem to have enough. Once
they have attained something
better they quickly adjust and
find themselves wanting more
and more. If a woman gets her
breasts done she may soon want
her neck, lips and tummy tucked
too until her body is only worth
what she is willing to put into it.
On the other hand, if she
invests her time, energy and
money into improving herself
as a person she may fair better
in the long run. Things such as
literacy, education and career
improvement are invaluable.
These are the things that
should matter more than the cup
size. Ifthese "reality" shows con-
tinue to perpetuate this image of
the perfect woman, we are going
to continue to undermine the
things that really matter.
Kellyn Jackson is an LSA
sophomore and a member of
the Daily's editorial board.
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Editorial Board Members: Cherri Buijk, Mike Eber, Kellyn Jackson, Jennifer Sussex,
Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya