Oct 18, 2013

Eyes on Texas: Self-Reliant and Safe for Screwballs

A roundup of news, columns and features about the state, from media around the world.

In a tongue-in-cheek column in the LA Times, David Horsey suggests that Texas should secede from the United States. According to the article, Tea Party Republicans, particularly Ted Cruz, are to blame for the recent government shutdown, and the only way to fix our “dysfunctional” political system is to eliminate Republican “safe-for-screwballs districts.” Since it would be a shame to lose a star on the flag, Horsey proposes inviting Puerto Rico or England to join the union.

TIME identified 10 reasons why people are moving to Texas and why Texas is America’s future. Noting that Texas has cheap living, cheap land and cheap houses, the article claimed that people moving to Texas are “a bit like the mythical cowboys of our past — self-reliant, for better or worse.” The article said not only are the “new cowboys” creating a state for other states to mimic, but also Texas is where Americans can go when they need a fresh start.

In a desperate attempt to drink with friends, Texan Rogelio Andaverde staged his own kidnapping in front of his wife. His friends, both wearing masks, dragged him from his Edinburg home at gunpoint and drove away. The UK Daily Mail reported that once the man returned the next morning, claiming his kidnappers simply let him go, police grew suspicious – and rightly so. They charged him with making a false report to police.

Joseph Levy, a research associate at the University of Texas’s Institute for Geophysics, was featured in a New York Times article as a scientist hurt by the government shutdown. Research on climate change, volcanoes, the family life of Weddell seals and more usually takes place in Antarctica around this time, but for Levy, his research on climate history came to a standstill. Although the shutdown has ended and Levy can now set up his instruments, he said, “Nature will have taken its course, and we will have not been there to see it.”