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May 14, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-05-14

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'Rational activism': The
Rosenbergs examined

j ENTHIN "political activism' to anyone who
attended college during the turbulent sixties
and he'll conjure up visions of demonstrations,
sit-ins, and occupations of the dean's office. But
a new mood seems prevalent among activists
today, a quiet quest for ethical and open govern-
ment that seems a far cry from the impassion-
ed speeches of the last decade's rioters. The at-
titudes of those now seeking to yeopen the Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg case seem to typify this
new rationality.
Of course, the old-style rhetoric hasn't all died
away. For example, Sherman Skolnick, Chair-
man of the Citizen's Committee to Clean up the
Courts, charges that the Rosenbergs were false-
ly accused of selling atomic secrets to the So-
viets to shield the real culprit: Nelson Rocke-
BUT AMONG the grass-roots groups this sort
of fanaticism seems to have abated. The expla-
nation offered by LSA student Debbie Good, a,
member of the Ann Arbor chapter of the Com-
mittee to Reopen the Rosenberg Case, provides
a refreshing contrast and seems to typify today's
rational activism.
"It was a time when hysteria was useful to
politicians," she said, 'To those who needed to
somehow explain how the Soviets could make
their technological advance to explode the atom-
ic bomb when the only explanation that seemed
acceptable to the American people was the So-
viets' willingness and treachery, and not their
own science and political ambition."
Robert Meeropol, the Rosenbergs' younger son,
summed up the new attitude in a speech last
month when he said: "We are not re-opening this
case for the past but to safeguard the future.
The National Committee to Re-open the Rosen-
berg Case is not a defense committee. We are
not only out to clear our parents' names but to
expose the nature of their political frame-up
and creat one more rupture in government sec-
recy that covers up illegal acts."
DEBBIE GOOD sees her work on the Rosen-
berg case an as attempt to find the truth. "I'm
a history major and for me it's like tearing

pages out of an old book," she explained. The
historical record has to be set straight. The
thing that's so weird is that more than twenty
years have passed and yet there's something
that's still worth concealing by the FBI and the
Justice Department. At the very least, that
should arouse the curiosity of the people."
"My life feels like there's something missing
if I'm not involved in something like that," he
commented. "Nader calls it your citizenship
duty, something you have to do just because
you want to country function better. If you ig-
nore that, who else is going to do it?"
Indeed, to many members the Rosenberg case
seems to be just an issue they happened to en-
counter at about the time when they were be-
coming politically aware.
"IT'S ALWAYS disquieting when people say
'why that?'," one remarked. "Why not S-1 (the
controversial criminal code revision) or some-
thing? I happened to get involved in this case
at this point, when I happened to be ready for
PsychotherapistrDave Elingell, who has been
with the Ann Arbor chapter since it was reor-
ganized a couple of years ago, sees the specific
issue (the Rosenbergs) as far less important
than the imperative of fulfilling his "social obli-
The name of the game for the Rosenberg com-
mittee is "work within the system". The Na-
tional Committee discusses petitions, dimner
party fundraisers and court suits instead of riots
and sit-ins.
THERE'S STILL a shadow of the old para-
noid radicalism among some members of the
committee. Dave Klingell shamefacedly admit-
ted that he wasn't supposed to give out the
phone numbers of other members of the group,
even to a reporter, because some committee
members feared house bombings in retaliation
for their leftism.
"I don't think Ann Arbor is that kind of
place, though", Klingell said, and if this new
rational activism proves worthwhile, perhaps the
rest of the world won't be that kind of place

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, May 14, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552
Sheriff Reagan patrols
Panama Canal Zone
WE QUESTION whether Ronald Reagan's overblown
preoccupation with the Panama Canal of late stems
from a true concern for the future of the Canal or if the
spiel is merely a scheme to snare primary votes in con-
servative states.
Indeed, Reagan's campaign tactics in the Texas pri-
mary earlier this month included a strong dose of Canal
Zone conservatism, just the style conducive to wooing
Texas-sized votes.
While President Ford has advocated the ceding of
Canal control to Panama within fifty years, the Zone
remains a key factor in American influence in Latin
and South America - influence which smacks of rock-
ribbed imperialism. Reagan's latter-day jingoism not-
withstanding, an important fact must be noted-AmerI-
can control may result in an outbreak of violence by
Panamanians reminiscent of the turmoil of 1964.
What will Reagan say about the Canal in Kansas
City in August? Can he possibly be sincere in his pledge
to continue hegemony over the Canal Zone? Will Michi-
gan voters be misled by Bismarckian nationalism on
May 18?
News-Ken Parsigion, Tim Schick, Margaret Yao, Mike
Yellin, Barb Zahs
Edit-Jim Tobin
Arts-Jeff Selbst
Photo Technician-Steve Kagan

Letters to the Daily
hash bash tion the deeper purpose behind
the event People don't come

To The Daily:
of the Daily, a letter from
Michael Reed appeared which
tried to tell the Daily how to
write a newspaper article. Ap-
parently Mr. Reed has never
heard of the difference between
an editorial, a feature. and a
straight news article. He seems
to have them confused. The
article printed in the Daily was
a feature article. Mr. Reed's
first suggested substitute would
he a straight news article if
the factual errors were correct-
ed. Mr. Reed's third suggested
substitute would belong on the
editorial page - which is ex-
actly where it appears, in the
letters column.
It is not the duty of a news-
paper to editorialize about every
story; the paper would be too
heavy to read if it did. The
Daily published a feature article
concerning the Hash Bash.
which focussed mainly on indi-
But the Hash Bash is more
than that, much more. It is a
protest; a non-violent demon-
stration of civil disobedience
against archaic and absurd
Reed, the "form of leadership"
demonstrated by his letter ig-
nores the real crux of the mat-
ter. Mr. Reed is irresponsible
when he attacks a feature story
on the basis of editorial con-
tent. Mr. Reed is more irre-
sponsible when he fails to men-

all the way from Ohio and Illi-
nois just to smoke dope; they
can do that at home. They come
to be seen. They come to dem-
William Kincaid
April 14



To The Daily:

I quite agree with Michael
Routh's editorial point in the
May 5 Daily about the import-
ance of carrying out the evalua-
tion of student performance con-
scientiously. I also agree that
in some cases the use of forms
collecting student opinion about
teaching may contribute to the
anxiety and insecurity of in-
structors. However, his sugges-
tion that students give higher
evaluations to teachers from
whom they learn less is not sup-
ported by the data from the
many studies carried out in this
field. Itsis true that students are
sometimes deceived about the
amount they have learned from
teachers who give them high
grades, but the evidence in gen-
eral is that grades are rela-
tively uninfluential with respect
to student ratings. Moreover, a
large number of studies indicate
that those teachers who are
rated most highly do tend to be
those from whom students learn
the most.
W. J. McKeachie
Director, The Center
for Research on
Learning and Teaching
May 5

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