Mar 13, 2015

EoT: Tiny Tattletales and Texas Separatists

Eyes on Texas, a roundup of news, columns and features about the state, from media around the world.

A Texas legislator wants to pay all the little tattletales in school to report their transgender classmates who use the “wrong” restroom.

The New York Daily News said State Rep. Gilbert Peña introduced a bill that would pay children who’ve suffered “mental anguish” from seeing transgender students in the restroom. The bill doesn’t address the tears and fears of transgender boys and girls who would be targets.

The Pasadena Republican’s proposal also would have parents of transgender children request alternative accommodations for their child’s restroom access, but schools wouldn’t be required to offer gender-neutral restrooms to them.

A Texas separatist group is taking delusion to the next level.

The New York Times reports that the Republic of Texas doesn’t believe Texas needs to secede – it never should’ve joined the United States in the first place. The group also makes its own silver and gold currency. And its members try to get out of traffic violations by handing police IDs identifying them as diplomats.

Historically, the group is best known for a 7-day standoff in 1997 with law enforcement in the Davis Mountains.

Last month, state law enforcement officials raided the group’s “joint session of congress” in Bryan after a Kerrville judge and lawyer received letters telling them that they must attend a Republic of Texas trial for pursuing a “foreign” entity. The judge and lawyer were handling a group member’s home foreclosure.

“They’re a harmless, clueless and interesting group of generally nice older guys with too much time on their hands,” said former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has received similar letters in the past.

Middle Earth has come to College Station.

Sci-Fi nerds in Texas are rejoicing after Game of Thrones writer donated a rare first edition copy of author J. R. R. Tolkein’s book, The Hobbit, to the library of Texas A&M University.

George R.R. Martin, 66, first bought the classic novel that included original art from Tolkein in a 2008 auction for an estimate of $122,000, according to Vanity Fair. Only 1,500 copies of it are thought to exist.

Although the New Jersey native has no educational ties to A&M, he’s offered the university’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives’ Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection his own personal collection of books, memorabilia and manuscripts since 1993.

By Ryan Fite