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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Teamwork V State Rep. Paul Ragsdale, D-Dallas, leader of the Black Legislative Caucus, issued a tepid press release concerning Texas investments and current repression in South Africa. Ragsdale warned that state investments in businesses with South African operations should be reviewed not because of the morally repugnant South African regime but because the unrest in the country may make investments there bad risks. This may be true, but where was this black legislative leader when House Speaker Gib Lewis made his trip to South Africa paid for by that country’s government? For that matter, where was he during Rep. Robert Saunders’ pesticide bill \(TO required once you’re on the Speaker’s team. V According to Nuclear Battlefields, a new book published by the Institute for Policy Studies, Texas and Michigan are tied for sixth place out of 28 states in the nation in deploying or storing nuclear warheads. Here, ranked by number of warheads, is a list of the top six: South Carolina, 1,962; New York, 1,900; North Dakota, 1,510; California, 1,437; Washington, 1,172; and Texas and Michigan with 630. V A 1983 study of Moral Majority of Texas which has just come to the Observer’s attention says in effect that the organization as a political force is a paper tiger in Texas and the country. James David Fairbanks, associate professor of government at the University of Houston Downtown College, said in a paper for the Southwestern Political Science Assn. that the Moral Majority in Texas, dominated by independent conservative Baptist ministers, bears no resemblance to a serious political machine. “[Jerry] Falwell’s Moral Majority sounded from descriptions he and other leaders gave that it might be . . . a political machine, but machines depend upon tight organizaton, discipline, and large numbers of loyal members. The Moral Majority, at least in Texas, has none of these,” Fairbanks concluded. “There is no support for Falwell’s claim, or the claims of many Falwell critics, that the Moral Majority is a wellorganized political machine with great power.” For his study Fairbanks interviewed nine of the ten members of the executive board of Moral Majority of Texas and ran a questionnaire on the group’s lobbying influence by 101 members of the 1981 legislature. fro The next U.S. Comptroller may be Robert L. Clarke of Houston, an old friend of Treasury Secretary James Baker of Houston. Clarke, a lawyer who has represented banks since 1968, has numbered among his clients Allied Bancshares, Inc., Houston, and First City Bankcorp of Texas, Houston. V “They are stealing our system and we will not take it laying down,” Luman Holman, chairman of the Federal Land Bank Associations of Texas, told the Wall Street Journal. He was talking about a confidential study by top officials of the Federal Farm Credit System which recommended converting it into a centralized national bank holding company. / Soldier of Fortune, the magazine favored by mercenaries and assorted war nuts, celebrates its tenth anniversary with the current August issue. In a magazine that is always full of surprises, this month’s issue does not disappoint: four members of the United States Congress are represented in the letters column congratulating Soldier of Fortune for ten years of publishing. California Republican Sen. Pete Wilson, the former mayor of San Diego, commends Soldier of Fortune for upholding “the ideals and principles of American society,” and praises the magazine’s “reputation for journalistic excellence.” The magazine, which has been in the forefront of the efforts to assist Nicaraguan contras, also drew praise from Alabama Democrats Sen. Howell Heflin and Rep. Bill Nichols, and from Alabama Republican Rep. William L. Dickinson. Others who wrote fan letters: Charlton Heston and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fish Story V The National Dish of East Texas, fried catfish, may be in danger in some counties along the Trinity River. July fish kills in the Trinity have left hundreds of thousands of catfish floating belly up. “When you kill 100,000 fish at a whack, it’s got to have some effect on the population,” says Dennis Palafox of Texas Parks and Wildlife. He explains that low levels of dissolved oxygens in the water killed the fish in Anderson and Freestone Counties, downstream from Dallas. “Heavy rains in the Dallas-Fort Worth area cause a rise in the river, and that resuspends oxygen-demanding sediments,” says Palafox. Oxygendemanding sediments are the bacteria that break down effluent. The bacteria require oxygen, and manage to get it before the fish do. Palafox, TP&W’s Pollution Surveillance Program Leader, says about 400 million gallons of treated sewage are released into the Trinity daily. But, he explains, “when you treat sewage, you’re only removing about 80 to 90 percent of what comes in. There’s ten percent left over that the river has to assimilate.” That leaves 40 million gallons of untreated sewage going into the Trinity daily. “That’s too much for that river to handle,” says Palafox. “We know the river has reached its capacity to assimilate even treated sewage.” Add to this urban runoff, which includes pesticides, chemicals, petroleum products and general gunk, and you’ve got a dirty river. Analyses of fish caught live in the Trinity have detected traces of zinc, lead, arsenic, copper and mercury in the fish tissue. Also, DDE, the result of broken down DDT, has been found in fish tissue. Anderson and Freestone Counties filed a federal lawsuit against the fastgrowing City of Dallas in June to limit sewer hookups there. The plaintiffs claim that Dallas’ Central Wastewater Plant just south of downtown has been releasing more untreated sewage than the law allows. The state seems to agree, and gave the city until Aug. 4 to come up with a plan for eliminating the illegal discharges. Dallas officials say urban runoff has been killing the fish. But Palafox says no other Texas rivers are experiencing similar fish kills downstream from large cities. “If a river is in such bad shape that it can’t assimilate urban runoff, it’s in pretty bad shape.” V While the Austin City Council worries about citing prostitutes for “beckoning,” recently appointed County Court-at-Law Judge Tony Jimenez has introduced a program in which convicted prostitutes may undergo free counseling and testing for sexually transmitted diseases as part of their probation. Jimenez plans to order counseling at the Sexually Transmitted Disease Center in San Antonio, then let the defendant decide whether to take the tests. Test results will be kept confiden 14 AUGUST 16, 1985