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December 10, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-10

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0

OPINION.
Page 4 Wednesday, December 10, 1980 The Michigan Daily

Edieb tuigan aile
Edited and managed by'students at The University of Michigan

Red Squads
Were they watching you?

0

Vol. XCI, No. 80

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Mt 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

The prophets were wrong'

SH, WHAT horrible predictions
they made.
Prospective professors wouldn't
want to come to the University to
teach. Professors already here would
be embarrassed and would pressure
their superiors. The public wouldn't
understand.
Haven Hall (and any other haven of
professors' offices) was abuzz with
such dire prophesies one year ago, as
the University prepared ,to comply
With a state law requiring public
disclosure of faculty and staff salaries.
Fortunately, none of the predictions
appears to have become a reality. The
public has seen the wide differences in
salary levels between medical school
professors and English professors, and
has understood those differences are
justified in terms of the marketability
of the educators in the business and
professional world (notwithstanding,
Robert Tisch's oft-heard rantings
about cutting President Harold
Shapiro's salary to pay for program
costs).
We have heard no horror stdries of
professors from other universities
declining job offers here for fear their
salaries would be disclosed.
And professors here have not flocked
to their department chairpersons

demanding raises because they feel
they are underpaid, thus undermining
the University's salary system based
upon raises for merit.
Indeed, not much at all has happened
since faculty salaries were first
published a year ago. Initial curiosity
died quickly, and no real negative ef-
fects of any kind have been felt.
We are happy that no problems have
arisen, for salary disclosure was a
long-needed step at this public, state-
supported university. Both those inside
and out of the University community
have a right to know how their tax
dollars are being apportioned to
professors, who are state employees.
And, if there exist any unjustified
discrepancies in the faculty salary
schedule, what better method than
salary disclosure to ferret them out?
So look through today's Daily to see
how much your professors earn, if your
curiosity gets the better of you. But
don't be surprised if your favorite
professor earns less than your least
favorite - the research of the latter
might be far superior to that of the
former. Salaries are based upon merit,
as well they should be. The better
teachers and researchers deserve
more than their less outstanding
colleagues.

Last month, the Michigan State Police
began informing some current and former
state residents that they were the targets of
police spying by police surveillance units
referred to as "The Red Squad." The Red
Squad illegally collected information on more
than 38,000 individuals and organizations
engaged in legitimate political activity. The
men and women listed in the surveillance
files, compiled between 1950 and 1974, will be
given the chance to request their files upon
notification.
The Red Squad, now disbanded, was set up
in the 1950s by Michigan under a law which
made it possible to create a special state
police surveillance unit. It was established to
investigate suspected communists and sub-
versives but it was eventually found in
violation of the U.S. Constitution. Before it
was eliminated, the Red Squad was respon-
sible for inexcusable tactics used in spying on
people exercising their democratic rights and
freedoms.
THE EVENT THAT brought the house
down on police intelligence abuse in Michigan
was the 1974 state police investigation of the
Michigan Association for Consumer Protec-
tion. The group filed a class action lawsuit
that eventually revealed- a vast network of
political spying that included not only state

By Steve Berkowitz
and local police, but federal agencies and
large corporations which used the infor-
mation to harass and fire potentially active
employees.
Files were kept on students, professors,
journalists, union members, attorneys,
politicians, and others, and, in some cases,
the Red Squad supplied information to
private employers and government officials.
Those who became the targets of these
flagrantly illegal activities may have unjustly
lost job possibilities, been denied credit ap-
plications, refused educational opportunities,
etc.
Red Squads across the United States have
been known to infiltrate groups in order to
disrupt their day-to-day work and sabotage
their successes. They have propagated false
and damaging information on those in-
dividuals and groups that have spoken out
against the government on such issues as
busing, women's rights, high ulitity rates, the
Vietnam War, environmental and consumer
protection, and an economy run by a'nd for big
business. Many times, the police would copy
license plate numbers from cars parked in the
vicinity of demonstrations and citizens,

meetings even though the, owner of the car
might not have been involved in the demon-
stration or meeting.
HAVE WE REALLY gotten rid of McCar-
thyism, or has it just been replaced by secret
police organizations that go around using Big
Brother tactics, at the taxpayers' expense, on
people exercising their human and civil liber-
ties? The shocking, covert actions by the Red
Squads have made the work of people in-
volved in the movement for social change
more difficult and dangerous than necessary.
We must voice our concern now over these
and similar actions or face the potential for
further abuse by our city, state, and federal
governments.
Richard Sobel, president of the National
Lawyers Guild, will be the featured speaker
at a forum on police surveillance to be held
tonight at 7:30 p.m., The forum, entitled "Was
the Red Squad Watching You?," will also
feature the documentary film, "The In-
telligence Network." The event will take
place at the Friends Meetinghouse, 1420 Hill
Street, Ann Arbor.
Steve, Berkowitz is an LSA senior
working as an investigator in the Student
Legal Services office.

I

I

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Profs must share frugality, too

The other Lennon legacy

W HEN JOHN LENNON was felled
by an assassin on Monday night,
he left behind a magnificent legacy of
music-certainly the greatest gift the
40-year-old musician and songwriter
left us. But he touched the world in
other ways, too. He was not the first ar-
ts figure to get involved with political
issues, but he was' often among the
most vocal and visible.
Some ten years ago, Lennon was
asked his opinion about capital
punishment. He said he thought
execution a bad idea; he didn't see how
it solved anything to turn such violence
against criminals.
Yet Lennon's feelings on the matter
didn't stop law-and-order types from
voicing their own objectionable views
on the issue, even as many Americans
were first hearing the terrible news.
New York City's Mayor Ed Koch, once
known as one of the nation's most
liberal congressmen, renewed the
crusade he began during his election
campaign suggesting that citizens
have a right to see the perpetrator of

such violent crimes killed by the state.
As has been repeatedly demonstrated
in public opinion polls, most
Americans agree.
What has also been repeatedly
demonstrated-not through polls but
through history-is that a majority
(even a vast one) can sometimes be
wrong. Most Americans, after all, sup-
ported slavery, U.S. involvement in
Vietnam, and Richard Nixon.
Capital punishment will not solve the
problem of violence in America; it will
contribute to it. If we are sick of living
in such a perilous environment, we
ought to start about the difficult task of
disarming the dangerous, rather than
slaying them after the fact.
Just as we mourn Lennon, we mourn
to see so many of our countrymen
stooping to embrace a base part of
human nature-the desire for
revenge-as political principle. We
ought to be fighting that element of the
human personality, not touting it as a
tool of public policy.
John would have been the first to
agree.

To the Daily:,
There is something disturbing
and beautiful in the joint
statement by R. S. Ganapathy
and David Robbins on "Sharing
Scarcity" (Daily, November 21).
Disturbing because it calls for
personal sacrifice now; beautiful
because it goes straight to the
heart of the matter and addresses
the moral problem: Faculty is
the privileged group and it should
be able to see how badly affected
are those who are less privileged.
'I think the time has arrived for
a more serious discussion that
goes 'beyond mere economic
arguments and beyond the usual
cliche: We must keep our com-
petitive edge.
We are entering times of
scarcity, not only at this univer-
sity but as far as the whole nation
is concerned. A faculty that holds
the torch of enlightenment should
be enlightened enough to provide
an example of unselfishness and
by exemplary restraint pave the
way towards the path of shared
frugality. Only then we can en-
courage others to do likewise.
I think "shared poverty" is a
bad phrase. I much prefer the
idea of shared frugality: I would
be interested in the opinions of

other faculty members, par-
ticularly in view of our larger
responsibilities as the custodians
of the social order.
I hear that there are some
professors in this university who
earn $100,000 and more annually.
No teacher/researcher deserves
this kind of money, particularly
in view of the salaries of other
teacher/reseachers and in view
Sof our contribution to society. Our
knowledge is not that important;
I should like it to be otherwise,
but it isn't otherwise. Medicine is
no exception; indeed, medicine is
increasingly becoming a major
liability to this society.
I also hear that there are lots of
people employed by the Univer-
sity who fear for their future.
Here is a letter I recently
received from a secretary:
"I wish to applaud your
courageous stand on "Shared
Frugality: Time for examples"
appearing in today's University
Record. I hope other faculty
members will join you in your
view. As a person who is self-
supporting and getting a little
older, it's quite scary to wait and
wonder if the funds in your area
will be cut and you will be out
looking for work again; and if you
manage to hold on to your job you

still know that there will be no
raises for some time while in-
flation eats into your cash
supply steadily. Thank you." .
I just don't think it is right or
just, or indeed, even sensible that
some people would earn $100,000
a year and others would be fired
so that fat cats can become fat-
ter. We are not only a repository
for knowledge. We should also be
the possessors of some wisdom.
Our wisdom should inform us

that if we sow injustice we shall
reap the bitter harvest of strife,
misery, unhappiness, and
ultimately, violence. Our wisdom
should also inform us that this
country was founded on the
premise of giving a chance to all,
especially those less privileged.
-Henryk Skolimowski
- Professor of Philosophy
Dept. of Humanities
College of Engineering
December 8

6
I

Teaching not all pleasure

x
^
.:x'
«.t

To the Daily:
It is a bit annoying to be asked
mildly silly questionsby a
-newspaper reporter ; but one
' wants to be polite and give honest
answers. It is much more an-
noying, though, to be misquoted.
When your reporter, Greg
Davis, asked me what I would do
during Christmas vacation, I told
him that, among other things, I
would be grading exams and
papers and preparing for next
term's courses. I also made a
general remark about enjoying
my work. But those two remarks
were not connected, whereas in
his article in your .Sunday issue
he makes it appear as if they
were.

I want to emphasize that there
is nothing enjoyable about
grading papers and exams. It is
mean, degrading work, which as
a teacher I resent having to do;
Nor is there anything enjoyable
about preparing syllabi, book
lists, and similar administrative
chores that- precede the pleasant
activity of teaching: that, too, is
sheer drudgery.
It is important to me to let your
readers know that even a
professor's pleasant life requires
some loathsome tasks.
-Alfred G. Meyer
Professor of Political
Science
December 8

A world government

4

Review acfailed stunt

To the Daily:
Many people support the
United Nations hoping thus to
better the world. My contention is
that they must now begin to
prepare for the next step, which is
a world government under con-
stitutional law, agreed to by all
nations, with a world court to
which all international problems
must be taken, and whose edicts
can be enforced by an inter-
national police force. This the
United Nations cannot do, not
being a government, though it
has been, and will be, of the
greatest value until such an in-
ternational government can take
its place.
Peace may be the opposite of
war, but the only alternative to
war is the rule of law.
Since modern technology has
drawn the countries of the world
into a single, global community,
that community must be gover-
ned not by some self-serving in-
terest, but by a world gover-
nment under constitutional law.
That is the only way we can ever
achieve a lasting peace. -
Our present efforts toward

agreement not to use poison gas
in World War I? It worked only
until the crunch came. Further-
more, when we, as pacifists, ask
our nation to disarm, or limit ar-
maments, are we beingfair to all
the non-pacifists (who have an
equal right to their belief) when
we ask them to give up their only
protection? We don't even tell
them how disarmament can be
safely accomplished. We may be
willing to' be martyrs to the
cause, but we are asking them to
be victims of our belief. Again I
ask, is it fair? Also, any suc-
cessful peace plan must be able
to control, and direct into accep-
table channels, the violent
element latent in all society.
The only fair and practical way
to disarm is to have a world
government under constitutional
law with an international police
force capable of protecting the
nations, large and small, as they
completely disarm. Since such a
police force would cost so little
compared with the present ar-
mies of the world, think of the
money saved for worthwhile pur-
poses.
Greed and lust for power may

r/ .
's .
t
1 y.
. f
.
"

To the Daily .
What is wrong with reviewer
Dennis Harvey? His review of
The Stunt Man (Daily, December
2) contained several glaring
inaccuracies. He continually
refers to the title character as
Burt, although we never learn his
actual name. "Burt" is merely
the name of the dead stunt man
whom actor Steve Railsback por-
trays. There is no scene in which
"the helicopter lands
menacingly" and the director
"gets out to yell 'Cut!' " In their

misrepresents his meaning, since
the comment is meant as an in-
sulting response to the director's
potentially racist enthusiasm for
the violence of the Vietnam.war.
I'll let other flaws pass to con-
clude with this one: The Stunt
Man is not Richard Rush's first
film. He directed Thunder Alley,
Hell's Angels on Wheels and
Psyche Out (both with Jack
Nicholson), Getting Straight, and
Freebie and the Bean, among
others.
When one considers Dennis

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