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must be signed and marked with a return address. Mail to Letters, Houston Breakthrough,/*. O. Box 88072, Houston, Texas 77004.
Let's Shut Down Seabrook
I would like to share the following information with Breakthrough readers. On
October 6, the Coalition for Direct Action at Seabrook, New Hampshire, along with
numerous Clamshell (anti-nuclear) groups throughout the country, will begin an occupation at the Seabrook nuclear power plant site. This occupation will differ from
others because the occupiers plan to live on the plant site until it is agreed that the
Seabrook nuke will never go on line. Arrest is not the objective and will be non-
This type of occupation was successful in Whyl, West Germany. On February 17,.
1975, construction was to begin on a nuclear power plant at this location but was
halted because several hundred people went to the site and blocked bulldozers, preventing construction for the day. The police intervened and ended this action. However, the following week, 28,000 people returned to the site from all over Germany
and from the French Alsace region. They overwhelmed the police, who were forced
A "village" was maintained there for more than a year. Houses were built as were
other structures serving as educational and social centers. Farming on (and off) the
site provided food for the occupiers. After work and on weekends people would
gather on the site to discuss local issues and offer whatever support they could. That
nuclear power plant was never built.
In the wake of TMI (Three Mile Island)-the most serious attempt by the oil/energy
and utility monopolies to cover up the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history-and
after the demonstrated irresponsibility of the government in investigating the disaster,
the time has come to act. The success of this occupation is dependent on the numbers
of people involved in this action and the first few days will be the most critical time.
However, it is equally important for as many people as possible to be involved in support work.
Involvement can include going to Seabrook (even for a short duration as an occupier or outside support person), donating money, and/or presenting this issue to individuals you know as well as groups that you are involved with for support and their
Seabrook, New Hampshire, may seem like a long way from Houston, Texas; however it is vitally important for the nuclear power plant at Seabrook never to open for
business. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Bikini, Utah, Seabrook, Detroit, Harrisburg, and Bay
City, Texas have much in common.
Seabrook is our anti-nuclear stronghold—a nationwide and worldwide symbol of
our resistance to nuclear power. Let's shut down Seabrook.
Editor's Note: For further information on the Seabrook occupation, you may call
the local anti-nuclear group, Mockingbird Alliance, at 666-5468.
"I would like to set the record straight."
A Breakthrough article by "Red Zenger" ("The People are the City," July/August
1979) was filled with inaccuracies regarding my professional research on representation of minorities on U.S. city councils. Specifically, the article misrepresented: (1)
my research findings; (2) the procedures governing publication of scholarly research;
and (3) my integrity as a consultant and academician. I would like to set the record
The results of my research on minority representation in 243 U.S. cities (1976),
as testified to in federal district court, showed that "socioeconomic conditions are
much more highly correlated with equity of minority representation than is the
council member election plan. Residents of smaller cities, characterized by growth,
greater wealth, and more highly educated populations are more inclined to elect
minority candidates to office than are residents of cities not so characterized regardless
of the plan of electing council members" (at-large, single member district, mixed, etc.).
This is quite different testimony than that reported by Zenger who stated that I
testified "inequality is due to socioeconomic factors such as lower education and
income levels among minorities" (Breakthrough, p. 9).
Zenger simply did not report the facts regarding publication of my research in the
Social Science Quarterly ("City Council Election Procedures and Minority Representation: Are They Related?" June, 1978). For an article to be accepted for publication
in a professional journal, the author must submit four copies of the manuscript to the
journal's editor. The author's name is then removed by the editor and sent as an
anonymous piece of research to three independent reviewers in the profession. They
recommend to the editor that the article either be accepted or rejected, or that the
author be asked to revise the article in line with reviewer suggestions and then resubmit it for consideration. It is the editor's decision as to what will finally happen to the
article. My article ("City Council Election Procedures . . .") was the result of an initial
request to revise and resubmit an article written by Professor Taebel (UT at Arlington)
and myself. The editor of the Social Science Quarterly, Professor Charles Bonjean,
University of Texas, requested that Professor Taebel and myself resubmit separate
manuscripts for publication because of a difference in focus of our individual research ... In no way did Professor Chandler Davidson participate in the publication
decision. It was strictly a professional decision made by the editor of the journal. The
sequence of events, as reported in Breakthrough by Zenger ("after Davidson howled in
the academic community, MacManus removed her name from the article . . .") was
totally erroneous and the innuendos malicious.
Zenger's attempts to discredit the findings of my research on the basis that I
received payment to conduct it was nothing but a cheap shot. First, the most recent
research on the topic shows that my findings in 1976 were correct. Second, the inference that receipt of a fee to complete a professional study by definition colors the
findings is ludicrous.
Two recent articles by Professor Albert Karnig (associate professor in the Center
for Public Affairs, Arizona State University) and Professor Susan Welch (chairperson,
Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska) using 1979 municipal representation data from 164 U.S. cities over 25,000 population report findings almost
identical to those of my study using 1976 data from 243 cities over 50,000. In fact,
both articles widely cite my earlier research . . .
My getting "paid by the City" to conduct research on the nationwide effects of
council member election plans on minority representation in no way biased the
results as has been shown by the Karnig and Welch articles ... It is ... no different
from any other professor receiving a grant from HUD or the Ford Foundation to
conduct research. What is rather ironic is that such a comment was printed in Breakthrough, a paper whose articles and editorials have on numerous occasions called for
greater use of minority consultants by Houston area local governments.
In light of my familiarity with current research conducted on a nationwide basis
examining determinants of minority municipal representation, I have felt compelled,
when questioned in Houston's feminist circles, to caution against assuming that single
member districts will automatically remedy minority underrepresentation on the city
council, particularly Mexican American and female underrepresentation. The evidence thus far simply has not shown this to be the case.
Dr. Susan A. MacManus
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Houston
Editor's note: Red Zenger, in last month's cover story, devoted three paragraphs to
Dr. MacManus' involvement with the single-member district issue. We do not believe
the reporting was either "totally erroneous," "filled with inaccuracies" or "a cheap
shot. "Nor were the "innuendos malicious. "
"The point is, " says Zenger, "that Dr. MacManus reached inconsistent conclusions
using the same data. The evidence is available for anybody who wishes to see it. The
19 76 trial transcript is in the Houston Metropolitan Archives at the Houston Public
Library. The article she co-authored with Taebel is available on request from the
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in San Antonio, and the third article appeared in the
Social Science Quarterly of Spring, 1978. "
In our October, 1977 issue, the same charges of inconsistency were leveled at Dr.
MacManus by Chandler Davidson, in his article "Women and Minorities At Large."
Before that issue went to press we informed Dr. MacManus of the allegations, and
suggested that she reply to them in that same issue. She declined.
"Yeast, spice and wheat."
Breakthrough is yeast, spice and wheat. My mind's reeling with ideas, on which I'll
act; the presentation is full of spirit and what is reported matters-all this from sitting
with the summer issue.
I don't know many feminist publications, but I've heard in California and New
York that Breakthrough's the finest.
(In Letters last month) B. J. Kolenda's sentence ". . . if this 'war expectation' is
ever to be broken up, it is up to women to do so, with the help of a few reasonable
men . . ." echoes my conviction; I'd like to join up with her."
Thank you, all of you.
Simone Withers Swan
New York City, N.Y.
"Keep up the good feminism."
It is impressive and wonderful that you get better and better. The regular features are
good. I especially enjoy the Commentaries by Nikki Van Hightower and Media Matters
by Gabrielle Cosgriff. A couple of issues ago, the excellent article on The Dinner Party
("The Dinner Party" and "Will Houston Host The Dinner Party?", June 1979) was
much in my conversation. Is Houston going to be able to have a showing?
The book review on The Violent Sex (reviewed by June Arnold, July/August 1979)
was strong and thought-provoking.
One feature I miss from the "old days" is the Pats and Pans column. I know the
content is still covered but I miss that particular brand of wit. Any chance of a reincarnation?
Keep up the good feminism.
Editor's note: Thank you for the kind words. Pats and Pans was fun while it lasted,
but there are just so many puns you can make on those two words. As for The Dinner
Party coming to Houston, read the exciting news on page 25.
"John Wayne didn't sit back on the film lot..."
I'd like to comment on Nikki Van Hightower's column on Marion Michael Morrison,
better known as John Wayne ("A Medal for Masculinity," July/August 1979). While
the article was an editorial and therefore, an opinion, there are two points where I
think she was in error.
First, Wayne was not awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor; that can only be
awarded to persons in the military for specific actions. Rather, Congress decided to
create a special gold medal for John Wayne and to make similar medals of bronze,
the latter for public sale to pay for the whole package. Congress has taken this action
31 times in the past 79 years, honoring such people as Jonas Salk, Walt Disney, Robert
Kennedy and Bob Hope. The action was proposed by Sen. Barry Goldwater, and those
who spoke in favor. . . included Elizabeth Taylor, Maureen O'Hara and Katherine
Hepburn . . .
I was very surprised to find Ms. Van Hightower so off-base and contacted her about
it while I was looking up this information. She said she had written what her sources
of information had supplied her. I apologize if it seems snide, but perhaps she might
check up on her sources . . .
Van Hightower also commented on why John Wayne was awarded anything, concluding it was to add more reality to a make-believe world. I would suggest we can also
see it as a way of acknowledging that dream world and the part it has played in our
lives. To acknowledge doesn't require acceptance of the total dream, that we incorporate it into our present, or that we try and further it. What we got from the movies
Wayne acted in depended on the direction we approached them from. Some see the
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