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that the DOD might want, such as \(in the words of the Lubbock Avalanchebolts, shirts, livestock, furniture, poultry, and dairy products. “The small business, and we need to enhance that in any way we possibly can,” Combest said. services offices would provide official year-round registration sites. The Harris County Department of Social Services offers this service, and registers about 600 clients a month at its downtown Houston office. Similar programs exist in Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, and Michigan. 1/ A Texas public school is holding, informal bible studies. Fleming Middle School Principal W.B. Johnson organized the bible study class because he believes teaching students the Scriptures will make them “more responsible for their own behavior,” according to a Houston Post article last month. Johnson had sent a letter to parents through the children emphasizing the teachers’ concern for classroom control. Houston Independent School District Superintendent Joan Raymond said in a statement that the district does not endorse these classes. It Plays in Gilmer V An East Texas weekly, The Mirror in Gilmer, quoted extensively from former Observer editor Geoffrey Rips’s farewell editorial \(TO, ting that “Geoff Rips writes from a perspective that many in our reading audience would regard as left-wing radical, not to mention pinko socialist if not worse.” But The Mirror quoted the outgone editor on the dangers of “social darwinism” and economic concentration, and on the need for grassroots organizing, and added, “He just might be right.” Zappers Despite the progress some men have made in taking on a few of the responsibilities usually reserved for age-old job of preventing unwanted pregnancy continues to fall disproportionately on females. One new birthcontrol device, a small electrical object implanted in women, stops sperm dead by hitting them with a slight electrical charge as they swim upstream. The gadget’s inventor admitted that it possibly could have been designed for use in men, but that he, like many scientists looking for new methods of contraception, has concentrated his work on the female anatomy. The sperm zapper is now being successfully tested on baboons, and may appear on the market in a few years. Closer to actual use is RU 486, a new drug that “easily, inexpensively and privately ends pregnancy with apparent safety and fewer complications than surgical termination,” according to a recent column in the Chicago Tribune. RU 486 blocks the effects of progesterone, a hormone necessary to maintain pregnancy, inducing abortion in about 85 percent of cases. Some 40 to 50 million abortions are performed Barnes on Taxes //’ Ben Barnes and his partner, John Connally. may be facing numerous lawsuits, but that fact hasn’t seemed to diminish the former lieutenant governor’s sense of humor. Barnes told an overflow gathering of the Austin Young Lawyers recently that only half the lawyers had come to hear his speech. “The other half are here to serve me with some citation,” he said. Most of Barnes/Connally’s legal troubles relate to bank loans for their various businesses. So Barnes spoke with sincere conviction in announcing his opposition to changing the homestead exemption for loans, a matter again facing the legislature. Who should know better than Ben Barnes that a banker will take every piece of collateral the law will allow? Barnes spoke with great optimism about the future of Texas and urged his audience to support a healthy tax increase, especially for higher education. In the early 1980s, the University of Texas became the bestendowed college in the free world, Barnes said, but today UT’s faculty salaries are five percent below the national average. “Those who say we can get by without taxes are really being very short-sighted as far as the future of this state,” Barnes said. He predicted that 1987 will be the “most important year in the history of our state as far as what we do in higher education.” Pointing to huge increases in higher education funds, especially for research, in Massachusetts and California last year, while Texas was cutting such appropriations, Barnes said it is no wonder those states are beating Texas in the race for federal research dollars. It is clear that there is a direct link between research money and economic development, which translates into full office buildings rather than empty ones. And it should be clear that education is of paramount importance to Texans those of us who are already here and those yet to be born. What is not clear is exactly what this research money will ultimately be buying and whether we will have any control over it if our leaders make the commitment Barnes is seeking. Jo Clifton 1/ While failed banks get all the ink, a record number of Texas insurance companies also are failing paving the way for continued economic concentration in that industry. The State Board of Insurance’s Liquidation division currently oversees 96 active receivership estates with more than $60 million in assets. In contrast, the SBI dealt with only six receiverships in 1982, 12 in 1983, and 18 in 1984. Between 1983 and 1987, the liquidation staff has grown from 30 to 175 employees. But the workload is so great that most of the day-to-day functions of the Liquidation division must be handled by private sector consultants whose fees are subtracted from the ailing estates in receivership. V Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who was succeeded in Congress by Rep. Torn DeLay, R-Sugar Land, is now a former Republican. He is considering a run for President on the Libertarian Party’s ticket, according to the Houston Chronicle. Meanwhile, he practices as an obstetrician in Lake Jackson and stews about the gold standard. “I gave my strong support to the conservative side and things got worse,” he said. “The money-printing presses started rolling faster, and there haven’t been any major changes under Reagan.’ Courted by Coors v As part of its program to woo the Mexicano beer-drinker, the right-wing Adolph Coors company has given $3,000 to San Antonio’s Centro Cultural Aztlan for use in its 10th annual Segundo de Febrero Commemorative Banquet. The importance of combating the “English Only” movement was this year’s banquet theme. Under heavy attack for years from labor and minority groups, Coors continues to try to rehabilitate the company’s image. v Four million Texans 40 percent of the eligible citizens are not registered to vote. In an effort to reach them, the Austin-based Human Serve Fund has launched the Human Service Employees Registration and Voter Education Campaign, calling for legislative reform requiring state agencies to provide staff for voter registration services within the agencies. Locations such as driver’s license and state human 14 FEBRUARY 20, 1987