Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Search Firm Proposals to be Placed on City Site

Just heard from acting city manager John Fitzpatrick that the executive search firm proposals will be placed on the city's website sometime Thursday. Officials told the Northwestern today that we should have a new manager in place by June 1. Also, councilor Jess King will be answering questions about the process Thursday at 3.

2008 is shaping up to be quite a year for democracy in city government, eh? No challengers to the legislative incumbents and then the public gets to watch us hire the executive branch.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We Need Local Architecture Critics!

Bruce Murphy, who is arguably the best political writer in Wisconsin, in his most recent "Murphy's Law" column for Milwaukee Magazine laments the mediocre state of architecture criticism in the Milwakee Journal Sentinel since the retirement of the great Whitney Gould. Money quote:

Gould covered every major architectural development, pushing for more quality and educating not only the public, but her own editors, helping create a constituency for good urban design. Great cities depend on this kind of discussion: Good architecture attracts more good architecture, making cities sexy, attracting more development, and ultimately adding more property tax value that helps cities pay for services. There are many players in this complex process, but Gould’s role was important, and the editors’ support of her reporting made this one of the rare mid-sized cities with a full-time architecture critic.

Gould's architecture criticism graced the pages of the Journal Seninel for 12 years. Last year in her last column before retirement, she said:

In every project, this question should be foremost in the minds of all the major players: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, is this the building you'd want to be remembered for? And if the answer is no, what are you going to do about it?

There's another question that needs asking: What messages are we sending when we build? When we put up cheap, throwaway buildings, we waste resources and degrade our surroundings. When we sanction pseudo-historical knockoffs, we're not honoring the past; we're cheapening it. By sending off echoes of echoes of echoes, we're also saying that we have no new ideas, no faith in the future.

Oshkosh and indeed all of the Fox cities badly need some architecture criticism. Perhaps that is something that contributors to Main St. Oshkosh could take on. Jim Kunstler's "Eyesore of the Month" feature is a good example of how to do this kind of criticism in a blog-friendly manner.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Woodstock Spirit In Baraboo

Last September, while doing some research for the Woodstock unit of the rock music course, I discovered that the legendary Richie Havens was scheduled to play at the Al Ringling Theatre in Baraboo on January 26. So we set out to see the man most famous for his electrifying opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock concert. Richie said that many young people born way after Woodstock come to his concerts, but it was a mostly older crowd at the Ringling, including even some of those Buddha bellied baby boomer gents with ponytails. (the guys who swear they were at the original Woodstock.). Richie's an icon to these folks, and he certainly did not disappoint.

Baraboo, a charming small city of around 12,000 in population, does seem like a nice place for aging hippies. Though most known for its famed circus, the city council actually endorsed Natural Step development in 2005. The city website claims Baraboo also plays an important role in the history of journalism:

The circus wasn’t the only thing that put Baraboo on the map. Newspaper history was also made here. As the story goes: “When his partner quit to fight the Civil War, Editor Ansel H. Kellogg kept the Baraboo Republic in publication by ordering two pages of printed war news each week from a Madison newspaper & printing Baraboo news on the blank sides in his shop. Other newspapers joined in buying the ready prints & Kellogg developed his idea into the first syndicated newspaper. Today, every newspaper in the nation subscribes to articles from national & international news sources – they’re called boilerplates. Few small town newspapers could exist without this important source for reportable news & it all began here in Baraboo.”

I didn't catch the name of the baby boomer introducing Richie, but he made an Obama-ish statement to the effect that the country was ready for change. The networks had announced Barack's landslide primary victory in South Carolina shortly before the start of the 8 p.m. concert, so maybe there was some connection. Richie Havens actually performed at Bill Clinton's 1993 inaugural bash, though his spiritualism and sense of the sixties as a positive time of transformation seems pure Barack.

Richie opened the concert by telling a story about how folk singers learned songs in Greenwich Village in the early sixties. He said that after performing a song he attributed to a local folkie, a young man came up to him in tears and said that was the best performance of the song he had ever heard. The young man was Bob Dylan and the song was "All Along The Watchtower." That's the song Richie opened with in Baraboo.

Joined by an electric guitar player and violist for most of the evening, Richie played some old favorites but quite a few newer tunes that were well received. There was quite a bit of nostalgia for the boomers, including an engaging story about watching the Superman tv show as a kid and being amazed at how the intro mentioned truth, justice, AND the American way--as if the American way doesn't have anything to do with truth and justice. He closed with the Woodstock anthem "Freedom," in which he included some lines from the Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again." For an encore he played Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm" and closed with an a cappella version of Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful."

My only disappointment was that he did not play "Handsome Johnny," one of the greatest anti-war songs ever written. Oh well, we can still hear and see the Woodstock version on YouTube.

There's a positive energy about Richie Havens that represents the best of the Woodstock generation. He won't be back in Wisconsin during 2008, but you can find his concert schedule here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

City Manager Search Firms

The city of Oshkosh received proposals from three executive search firms wanting to help us hire the new city manager. A committee that includes councilor Jessica King will soon recommend one of the firms to the common council. The three firms are:

1. The Par Group, LLC (Lake Bluff, IL).
On the Web:
Contact: Heidi Voorhees, President (

Proposal Highlights: The proposal claims that Par has "conducted 43 recruitments for City Manager/Administrator in the past three years. We currently have 13 such positions under recruitment." They claim that the recruitment process, "from the beginning to the date of appointment of a Candidate--should take no more than 90 days." The proposal includes a satisfaction policy that says: "Should the appointed City Manager, at the request of City Officials or the Manager's own determination, leave the City within the first 12 months of appointment, we will, if desired, conduct another search for the cost of expenses and announcements only. In addition, in accordance with the policy of our firm, as well as established ethics in the executive search industry, we will not actively recruit the placed employee for a period of five years."

2. Public Administration Associates, LLC (Oshkosh, WI)
On the Web:
Contact: William D. Freuh, Partner (

Proposal Highlights: The proposal claims that "PAA has placed over 156 Managers/Administrators. In the past six years it has assisted in the third most Manager/Administrator recruitments in the United States and more than ten times as many as any other firm located in Wisconsin." The proposal includes a suggested time frame in which the Manager would be hired by around the middle of May. PAA's satisfaction policy states, "We only bill the city after the appointment of the new Manager. If no acceptable applicant is found or if the selected person quits or is terminated for cause within one year, we redo the process for expenses only."

3. Slavin Management Consultants (Norcross, GA)
On the Web:
Contact: Robert E. Slavin, President (

Proposal Highlights: The proposal claims, "Mr. Slavin has conducted or assisted in the conduct of more than 600 successful executive searches throughout his career . . . We have significant local government recruitment experience in the Midwest and all regions of the United States." Slavin's proposal includes a list of cities in which they've helped place minority and women candidates in managerial positions. They also envision a 60-90 day precess and say that "our recruiting efforts will ensure that applicant pools are both capable and diverse." Slavin guarantees to "redo the search if the position is vacated, for any reason, within two years of the employment date of a candidate selected by the City through our efforts. We will never actively recruit any candidate who we have placed nor will we actively recruit any employee from a client organization for at least two years from the completeion date of an assignment."

On January 22 the common council received a memo from Purchasing Agent Don LaFontaine saying, "At this point I have not included any fee structure because the committee has questions concerning fees and by releasing the fee structures now may impact our ability to negotiate a more favorable price for the city." Next week the committee plans to interview each firm and check references.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gannett Empire Invades College Press

Remember that scene in Oliver Stone's Wall St. where young Bud Fox pleads with sultan of greed Gordon Gecko to tell him "how much is enough?" That's the question that today needs to be asked of the Gordon Gecko of the print media, the Gannett Corporation. As if Gannett's purchase and subsequent dumbing down of scores of once privately owned and independent city newspapers wasn't enough, they now have the student press on their radar screen.

The Rocky Mountain Collegian, an independent voice for Colorado State University since the 19th century, is under threat of a Gannett takeover. According to the Collegian:

Student leaders, staff and faculty are crying foul after CSU President Larry Penley held a closed-door meeting to discuss a potential takeover of the student newspaper by the Fort Collins Coloradoan -- a move that could forever change the operation of independent student media at the university.

Bob Moore and Christine Chin, the executive editor and publisher of Gannett-owned newspaper The Coloradoan, attended the meeting in which they proposed a "strategic partnership" with the Collegian . . .

Neither Student Media professional nor student staff were privy to the meeting. Katie Gleeson, president of the Associated Students of CSU, said the meeting was planned weeks in advance and, according to a release from Penley, had been proposed late last year.

Collegian staff became aware of the secret meeting an hour prior through an anonymous tip.

Gannett currently owns two college newspapers in Florida. Student press and independent media advocates should follow events at CSU closely as the situation could portend a broader Gannett strategy of gobbling up student newspapers all over the country. That would be a devastating blow for student journalists and communities currently served by the independent college press.

For its part, the Collegian is taking a strong editorial stand:

The Collegian is not for sale, not interested in a "strategic partnership," a one-night stand or any other form of fraternization with corporate media. We prefer independence, and we'll fight for it.

For the sake of independent media and the possibilities of a journalism not rooted in the bottom line, let's root for the students fighting to preserve the Collegian.

RIP: Pat Gentile

At Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, I heard from a friend that Pat Gentile recently passed away. Pat was a member of the "Five Rivers Five" group that last year was recognized for its stand on openness in government by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.

Pat was a feisty, passionate woman who did not mince words or suffer fools gladly. I first met her in 1996 when I was running for state assembly, and saw her on occasion at a variety of rallies and other events since then. When the Oshkosh Common Council refused to place an advisory Iraq troop withdrawal referendum question on the ballot, Pat was so incensed that she called some of the the "No" voters and let 'em have it. In many ways she was an older, female version of Doug Boone. A study released today by the Center for Public Integrity -- detailing the false statements leading the US to war--confirms everything Pat and Doug had been saying about the Bush Administration. The full study can be found here.

Pat was a voice for great progressive causes, and wasn't afraid to get "in the face" of power. In fact when I think of her I am always reminded of a quote from the great Mother Jones: "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser."

I feel honored to have known and been friends with Pat Gentile.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Main St. "Vision"

Today's Northwestern story on "Palmeri's Main St. Vision" is a bit misleading. First, Paul Esslinger was the one who first suggested closing Main St. to vehicular traffic. I merely expanded on that suggestion at the last council meeting and then blogged about it.

Second, I do not yet have a Main St. "vision." What I want is for our so-called professional government to act professionally; in this case, that means providing us with at least two models of Main St. reconstruction and do a better job of educating the public (and the elected officials) of the benefits and disadvantages of each. Simply saying "that can't work here" or "it didn't work there" is just not good enough anymore.

Third, it is not at all surprising that the majority of business owners quoted in the Northwestern story express real fears about closing Main St. to vehicle traffic. How could it be otherwise at this point? There has been no public education about what such a plan would entail, and the city administration at the last meeting did not want to begin a serious discussion of anything other than the DOT proposal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Akcess Offering Reduced Occupancy Rate To Local Law Firm

I attended today's meeting of the Redevelopment Authority to listen to Tim Rikkers of Akcess Acquisition Group provide an update on The Waterfront project. Of most concern to me is the status of possible tenants for the office building, since the entire development project depends on the office building being successful. Here's what Mr. Rikkers had to say about the status of tenants:

*He still has a signed letter of intent from a financial institution. The financial institution will occupy half of the first floor, but that is not enough square footage to break ground on the project.
*Akcess is in serious negotiation with a local law firm interested in renting space. Not surprisingly, occupancy cost is the issue under negotiation. Rikkers said that Akcess is willing to provide the law firm with an 18 month reduced occupancy rate. After 18 months, the rent would be brought to market rate. Rikkers will address the Common Council on Tuesday, and by then he wants to be able to announce that Akcess and the law firm "agree in principle" to the deal.

Redevelopment Authority member John Bermingham asked if there are negotiations going on with other potential tenants. Rikkers said what he has said many times in the past, which is that he has talked to all the major businesses in town. This time he added "if you build it they will come."

So it looks like under the best case scenario, the class A office building will open later in 2008 and feature a bank and a local law firm.

Also at the meeting, Rikkers announced that the hotel will no longer be a Country Inn & Suites (as originally proposed), but a Cambria Suites. The Cambria has a "boutique" feel. Rikkers said that a $60,000 partially refundable application fee has been paid to Cambria. The Cambria Hotel will have its own restaurant, but the featured eatery will be a Montreal Bread Company franchise (they've got some cool jazz on the website, which is a good sign). I may have misunderstood Rikkers, but I think he said that the hotel restaurant and the bread company will share a kitchen.

As for the "Campus Continuum" plan to build condos on the site, Rikkers said "no one is building condos right now" and so this will have to wait. (Isn't it kind of chilling to consider that the city came this close to breaking ground on the Five Rivers Resort only a couple of years ago?)

As noted, Rikkers will update the common council on Tuesday. Do you have any questions you would like the council to ask him? Post them here or email me at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

On Obama: Confessions of a Public Speaking Teacher

September of 2008 represents my 25th anniversary as a teacher of public speaking (PS). Most PS teachers, myself included, regularly bring into the classroom videos of prominent public speakers. The purpose of showing the videos is to provide students with examples--good and bad--of how real life speakers attempt to adapt ideas to audiences and audiences to ideas. Especially during presidential election years, I try very hard to expose the students to the rhetoric of the leading candidates.

I remember how frustrating it was in the 1980s to have Ronald Reagan anointed by the corporate media as the "Great Communicator" in spite of the fact that he rarely seemed even to have a grasp of the words coming out of his mouth. Reagan's rhetorical success did not surprise me, however, as all PS teachers know that sometimes the clueless can strike the right chord. Aristotle called that "pathos."

In 1984 I thought Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale had some good ideas. In fact, one of my all time favorite speech lines comes from Mondale's 1984 acceptance speech:

By the start of the next decade, I want to walk into any classroom in America and hear some of the brightest students say, "I want to be a teacher."

Great words--but Fritz could not strike the chord like Reagan.

Barack Obama strikes the chord. Appropriate for someone from Illinois, his speeches have a Lincolnesque depth hiding behind a surface level simplicity. Obama's ability to move people with platitudes and abstractions is met with suspicion by activists who, I fear, have bought too much into the "managerial" vision of the presidency. That is, the vision of the presidency as a place where we send someone who has "clear plans" to "fix our problems."

We should all know by now that any meaningful change that has taken place in this country did not happen because of the politicians in Washington who are more often than not a barrier to meaningful change. All the changes worth talking about have been the result of people acting at the street level and pressuring the elected officials to do the right thing. Obama is the first establishment party candidate in a long time who does not seem threatened by social movement activism.

The Roman rhetorician Cicero said:

Wisdom without eloquence has been of little help to states, but eloquence without wisdom has often been a great obstacle and never an advantage.

The great public speaker, for Cicero, reflects that union of wisdom and eloquence. I'm not ready to say that Barack Obama reflects that union, but he sure as heck comes closer than anybody else running on the Democratic or Republican sides.

I'm not completely naive, and way back in 2006 I expressed concern about "Barack Obama Incorporated." All I'm really saying in this post is that it's nice, for a change, to have an establishment party candidate in place who provokes a discussion of the great principles of rhetoric outlined by Aristotle, Cicero, and other great teachers of the art of public speaking.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kucinich Calling For New Hampshire Recount

Dennis Kucinich, who came close to endorsing Barack Obama in Iowa, is now asking for a recount in New Hampshire. According to a Kucinich press release, he sent a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State asking for a recount because of “unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots.”

Let's leave Dennis' affinity for Barack aside for a moment and consider the following hypothetical: it's November, and the Democratic nominee for president is leading the Republican by double digits in reputable polls released a day before the election. Come election day, the Republican wins by 2 percentage points. Under that scenario, should Democrats demand a recount?

Here's some
data from the Brad Blog:

Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%

Brad says:

Kucinich says that he's calling for a "recount". While it may seem a quibble, the fact is that until now, 80% of New Hampshire's ballots have been "counted" only by a hackable, prone-to-error, Diebold optical-scan machine. The systems were entirely programmed, serviced and controlled by one somewhat less-than-reputable company (LHS Associates). The machines are the very same model shown being hacked in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Hacking Democracy, in which the results of a live mock election were flipped via the gaming of the machine's memory card.

Even a Republican candidate may call for a New Hampshire recount. Albert Howard of Ann Arbor paid the $1,000 fee to get on the New Hampshire ballot. According to the Detroit Free Press:
"Howard, one of 42 so-called minor candidates in the primary, received 44 votes in the primary, according to the official tally. But at one point during the night’s vote counting, Howard said his tally was over 170 votes, making him wonder what happened."

Hmm . . .

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Minister Cheap Shots The CEO

Minister Huckabee is running the ad below in Michigan. Listen to the cheap shot launched at CEO Romney in the last line. I think it's hilarious.

Main St. Plan

The Main St. reconstruction plan presented to the common council last night by DOT reps (see Northwestern coverage here) is very much like our city budget: not bad, just not very bold or innovative. Certainly a more pedestrian friendly and aesthetically pleasing Main St. would be an improvement over what's there now, but I felt very frustrated by the fact that city planners and the DOT did not seem very receptive to taking a serious look at alternative models of Main St. reconstruction. After the meeting councilors received an email from retired Oshkosh North High School journalism teacher Ron Harrell that expresses the frustration very clearly (posted here with Ron's permission):

It was painful for me to watch, as I know it was for some of you to sit through, tonight's meeting with the DOT "experts." I can't believe how little vision was applied to the Main Street project from the DOT and some of our city planners. Tony, you hit it on the head when you used the WiFi example to illustrate how, if things like WiFi aren't incorporated, the project will already be obsolete before it's completed. Have there been any visioning sessions? Did BID members fully understand what this project would mean to their businesses? How many of these businesses are operating on a shoestring right now? Jess made a good point about how planning for the Convention Center might be impacted, yet Jackson didn't seem to feel there might be a problem. Bryan made good points about signage. Paul, Dennis and Burk made their points about bike paths, sidewalks and the like. I finally stopped watching because it looked like we were going down the paths we've traveled before--paths leading to a dead-end, not to the future. Hopefully someone will take the bull by the horns and get some people with vision to sit down and explore the myriad possibilities and problems that exist.

What ideas do you have for Main St. reconstruction? Paul Esslinger and I argued that we should at least take a serious look at turning Main St. into a Madison style State St. (Before dumping loads of tired arguments about why something like that can't work in Oshkosh, can't we at least try to imagine some reasons why it can?). Post your ideas here or email me privately at

Finally, I hope our friends over at Main St. Oshkosh take an active interest in this issue. If we don't get Main St. reconstruction right it could be literally 50 years before there's another opportunity to do something that will turn our downtown into the thriving community center it deserves to be.

Happy Birthday Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page, legendary guitar hero of Led Zeppelin, turns 64(!) today. Zep are best known as heavy metal icons, but I think the album of theirs that holds up best is "Led Zeppelin III." IMHO that album contains some of the best folk-rock ever recorded.

Page now sports his natural gray/white hair, looking very much like rock's elder statesman.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Censored in 2007, Part 1

If you get a chance to go to New York City, be sure to visit the Strand Bookstore at Broadway and 12th Street in Manhattan. They've got a remarkable selection of used books that you can literally spend an entire day browsing. I spent my first 21 years in NYC and have been back many times since and yet somehow did not make it to the Strand until now.

After getting yourself a used book, stroll on down to Ferrara's Cafe in the heart of Little Italy at 195 Grand St. You just can't find Italian pastry like that anywhere in the midwest.

And now part 1 of the top 10 censored stories of 2007. A version with pictures can be found here.

Censored in 2007, part 1

Every year since 1976 Sonoma State University's Project Censored has identified news stories "underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored in the United States." Censored 2008 (Seven Stories Press) laments the death of habeas corpus rights as a consequence of Congressional and Bush Administration approval of the “Military Commissions Act” as the top censored story of 2007. A summary of Project Censored’s top censored stories of the year can be found here:

Inspired by Project Censored, every year I dedicate two columns to the top ten stories that were in my judgment censored by the local corporate media. As long as corporate media remain the most watched, read, and listened to sources of information, we need to demand more ethical and thorough coverage of issues.

And now the censored stories:

No. 10: Taxpayers Clean EAA’s Crap. Last August the Oshkosh Common Council approved hefty rate increases for sewer and water services. Just out of curiosity, I asked the Director of Public Works how much the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) paid for waste treatment services during their annual fly-in. Come to find out that in 1986 the city manager waived EAA’s fee. Taxpayers clean EAA’s crap in spite of the fact that all other large events (e.g. Country USA, Lifest) pay the fee. Had EAA paid up in 2007, the city would have received $10,758.

Councilor Paul Esslinger contacted EAA management and was able to get them to agree to start paying the fee beginning with the 2008 convention. What a shame that corporate media censorship allowed this outrageous corporate welfare to go on for more than 20 years.

No. 9: The PAC’s Financial Status. Most people agree that the Appleton Performing Arts Center (PAC) is an asset to the Fox Cities. The cultural, educational, and economic benefits of bringing Broadway caliber shows to northeast Wisconsin cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, the establishment press’ coverage of the financial condition of the PAC is typically shallow and incomplete.

For a more complete analysis, search Jo Egelhoff’s site. Jo’s a strong supporter of the PAC, which is why she understands that its long-term viability requires candid assessments of financial stability. As noted by Jo, “reveling in Lion King successes must not be allowed to cloud our thoughts about the financial picture over there.”

No. 8: Valley Media Caught Napping On WMHI Chaos. In early September, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel broke a disturbing story involving dozens of acts of violence and sexual aggression at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute (WMHI). Local blogger “The Chief” concludes, “The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel simply asked the right questions and did their homework. The Northwestern did not.” Indeed, the entire Valley press corps has for years neglected to perform substantive and persistent coverage of living conditions in area treatment and correctional facilities. Check out The Chief’s post on how the Oshkosh Northwestern got scooped:

No. 7: Gannett Fleeces Taxpayers. The Gannett Empire, rulers of northeast Wisconsin print media, editorially fancies itself as a fiscally conservative advocate for taxpayers. Yet when municipal governments want to advertise a variety of city services, Gannett has no problem accepting taxpayer money for that purpose. As of early December, city of Oshkosh taxpayers in 2007 had been taken for over $24,000 by the Oshkosh Northwestern for advertising not required by law. In 2008 an effort should be made to find out the extent of taxpayer fleecing in all Wisconsin’s Gannett occupied territories: Appleton, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marshfield, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, Wrightstown, Door County, Kewaunee County, Oconto County, DePere.

Gannett also makes tons of money from taxpayers due to a legal requirement that full texts of ordinances be published in the “official” newspaper. A bill working its way though the legislature would allow cities to publish only summaries of ordinances in the official paper if the whole text is on the Internet. Hopefully that bill will pass in 2008 to halt at least some of the corporate press’ taxpayer fleecing.

No. 6: Sham “Anti-Tax” Rally In Madison. In mid-October, with the Governor and the Republican assembly still at a budget impasse, a group of 300-350 “anti-tax” advocates were met by 700-800 state worker counter demonstrators at the Capitol in Madison. Local media failed to expose and get outraged by the fact that “anti-tax” group was sponsored by “Americans For Prosperity,” a Washington, D.C. based outfit with a track record of sponsoring right wing causes all over the country.

According to the Madison Capitol Times, “Americans For Prosperity was founded in 2003 with money from one of the Koch Family Foundations, which . . . rely on revenues from the vast oil and gas fortunes accumulated by family patriarch Fred Koch and passed on to his billionaire sons, Charles and David Koch.”

None of the corporate media in the entire state picked up on the fact that on the UW Madison library mall the same day as the budget rallies, UW students and speakers from civil liberties organizations tried to raise awareness about the Military Commissions Act and its impact on habeas corpus rights. What a stunning display of the media’s twisted priorities.

Next Month: The Top 5 Censored Stories of 2007