The Moody Gardens, Galveston. May god preserve them. (Galveston)

WTF Friday: Weird Science


Remember the good old days, before this massively dispiriting election cycle had begun? It was a simpler time. We were as children then, in a land of milk and honey. But time makes fools of us all. We’ve seen each other through hard times—hard, weird times. We’ve grown up, and now is the time to put away childish things. Grave challenges await us.

1) Do you know about Ukraine? You’re one of remarkably few Americans who do. Ukraine—a country so young it qualifies as a Millennial—has always been short on national and social cohesion. It’s being squeezed by a new Russian Empire. Ukraine’s new government is fragile, financially broke, and threatened on both sides by pro-Russian militias and anti-Russian fascists.

They’re holding an election on Sunday, and we’re showing our support. We’re sending election observers—emissaries of the great potential of Democracy, with a capital “D.” A sign of goodwill—that we have this new government’s back. We’re sending our best and our brightest—beacons of the shared values of the liberal democracies of the west. We’re sending Steve Stockman.

2) Stockman, perhaps the most incompetent congressman in living memory, is leaving his seat after a failed bid to defeat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. So the voters of Congressional District 36, in southeast Texas, have a heavy responsibility: They have to select a new representative to voice the people’s will in Washington, D.C. Their district includes the Johnson Space Center—our foremost center for manned spaceflight and a critical economic engine—which gives the district’s congressman a unique responsibility to champion the cause of space exploration and federal support for scientific and engineering research, at a time when NASA is in direly in need of direction.

So it seems less than fitting that the two men in a runoff to replace Stockman, former Woodville Mayor Brian Babin and tea partier Ben Streusand, have been arguing primarily over who’s more supportive of homeschooling. (Both homeschooled their kids.) A claim that Babin supports subjecting homeschooled kids to standardized tests—entirely fabricated, he says—has kicked off a mighty frenzy in the last week of campaigning, with both candidates struggling to position themselves as the one who’s supportive of the right to keep your kids out of public schools.

Neither Babin nor Streusand mention the Johnson Space Center—or anything to do with space—on their websites.

3) The Texas Nationalist Movement also have an important responsibility—to educate and promote the next generation of Texas Nationalists. The TNM’s been getting even weirder lately. They’ve appointed a cultural director, pined for the days of noblesse oblige, and have taken to calling each other blueshirts. At times, they can verge on seeming like the beginnings of a far-right or fascist movement—albeit, one without many followers.

With this in mind, perhaps, they’re softening their image—with a youth baseball team.

A group of young baseball players in Bowie Texas are turning the heads of Texas Nationalists. Not only do they play with heart, but they also wear their heart on their sleeves.

Yep! That star is none other than the Texas Nationalist Movement patch.
Speaking of heart, TNM Member Joe Mayfield has sponsored this group in the name of the TNM.

You might see Joe at some events wearing his circa 1836 wardrobe working to recruit members to the TNM and spread the word about our mission and goals, but, come game time, this Texian will be seen at the ballpark cheering on our team.

Did your dad once embarrass you at little league games? Just be glad he wasn’t a secessionist who dressed up like William Barrett Travis.

4) Up in the Metroplex, Chart Westcott, currently in a runoff with Morgan Meyer in Texas House District 108, has been circulating unusual mailers in his increasingly aberrant campaign: tickets to “Morgan Meyer’s Amnesty,” a fun fiesta brought about by Meyer’s plan to “giv[e] every illegal immigrant a ticket to permanent residence,” accompanied by a literal ticket at the bottom: “FREE DE FACTO AMNESTY: Good for any illegal immigrant. Never Expires. No fine print. Bring your friends!”

That’s a great deal—most coupons you get in the mail are worth far less. But if Westcott’s sending out the tickets, isn’t he the one offering amnesty? Kind of makes you think.

5) Speaking of NASA—and of taking responsibility—scientists from the former are holding out the possibility that the collapsing Antarctic ice sheet could guarantee a sea level rise of at least 10 feet, and that’s whether or not we put any more carbon into the atmosphere. (Spoiler: we will put much, much more up there.) That seems pretty—what’s the word I’m looking for here—bad! That seems really bad.

At a recent debate in the lieutenant governor. primary—approximately the 3,769th held—someone got bored of the usual questions and asked one about the climate. And so probable next Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick answered it.

When Galveston is underwater and scuba divers are taking fun offshore jaunts to explore the exciting, forbidden ruins of the Moody Gardens, let this be inscribed on an obelisk somewhere in The Woodlands: