June 04, 2007
Lubbock or Leave It
Posted by Christine Hurt

You may have noticed my blog presence missing last week as I took the kids to see family in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas.  When I was in grade school, a popular bumper sticker said "Lubbock or Leave It," and the Dixie Chicks grabbed on to that challenge in a scathing song of the same name on their latest album, Taking the Long Way.  The lyrics present Lubbock as a hypocritical Peyton Place under a thin Bible Belt veneer.  After getting brushed up on the goings-on in my hometown, I would say the veneer is getting thicker and thicker.  Interestingly, I read an article in this month's Texas Monthly on the plane about how The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, campiness aside, was a rather true depiction of the Texas struggle between live and let live libertarians and those who would legislate morality and possibly religion.  At least in Lubbock, the libertarians are losing.

After taking office as mayor, David Miller, was criticized in the media for very quickly going back on campaign promises not to raise taxes.  In response, Mayor Miller asked the area churches to "[p]ray for the media to report  fairly, accurately, fully, and unemotionally. Commentaries from both TV and radio have been less than any of these. I don't mind the heat, but our city doesn't benefit from such divisive and slanted editorializing."  (Last summer, he also declared a day to pray for rain.  This summer is actually too wet, so maybe he'll pray for clear skies.)  In February, the Chippendale's dancers, who had sold out three shows, were arrested after starting their first show.  In May, Lubbock police used a dusty Texas law to arrest the clerk of a lingerie store for having six or more sexual devices for sale (Class A Misdemeanor).  If the clerk is convicted, he will have to register as a sex offender.  Lubbock County had also denied renewals of sexually oriented business permits to three "strip clubs," but a federal district court judge last week granted the clubs an injunction allowing them to continue operating after finding that the plaintiffs were likely to be able to prove that the renewal process was unconstitutional.

Interestingly, the letters to the editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal were virtually all against the new priorities in Lubbock's small law enforcement budget.  Some even pointed out that with so many unsolved murders, particularly murders of women, this war against sex toys and shows was a waste of resources.   

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