Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Houston Neighborhoods Should Relocate To Suit Strip Club Locations

The City of Houston has won a long legal battle with a strip club called The Penthouse Club. The city asserted that the club was too close to a residential neighborhood. A court has upheld Houston’s claim. Click here for the details. It seems the city soon intends to go on the offensive with a number of these lawsuits.   

My view is that the neighborhood should be made to relocate. We can’t let people get in the way of lawful business places. Neighborhood relocation would be a source of jobs for movers and, if we forced the people way out along the highways, new home construction.  Even better, maybe we could move the people to a remote location and then build a new highway to reach the new population center with all the new houses. 

No–That’s not really my view.

I’m glad to see an assertive city government advocating for people at the expense of sexually exploitative business places. Would you want your wife or sister or daughter working at one of those clubs? I think we could make that a test of people’s libertarian notions about these places. We’ll put your daughter up on stage dancing around the pole.

Many political issues are questions of morality—Far more than we realize can be classified as such. Decisions of who we tax and to what extent are questions of morality. How we spend tax money and for what purposes are also moral questions.  

Morality, and the debates at the ballot box and in city halls and legislative chambers around the nation between competing ideas of morality, are a foundation of politics and public policy.

So go Houston! Get rid of as many strip joints and such places as legally possible.

January 2, 2009 - Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , ,


  1. I do not see the benefit of removing the work places of so many single mothers, and the sole means of working class women who wish to authentically work their way through university.

    I find these establishments repugnant and depressing. However, they do serve a social purpose. Of the three people in my life who took this route to better their social standing, one is a Ph.D level professor, one is a suburban “soccer mom”, and the third committed suicide at 29 after being hopelessly chemically addicted for more years than those who loved her ever knew.

    The cost is sometimes high, but the cost without this particular foolishness is certain to be higher. The objective of such measures superficially appears noble, but can the objective truly be any more than helping to remove the working poor from any particular community?

    Comment by angrystan | January 2, 2009

  2. angrystan–Thanks for the comment and thank you for your support of this blog in 2008.

    This is the kind of question people go around and around over. And I appreciate you did not make it a question of “who you are to say where people can go?” and all that stuff that these arguments often end up at.

    The city is not—on the record at least—looking to ban these outfits. It is not likely they could ban them. The city is, of course, making it as difficult as possible to operate in Houston.

    I’ve no doubt that people who work at these places need the money. At the same time, people are right to feel that they do not want these places where they live. And if the laws are applied, it won’t be a matter of shifting the clubs to a poor part of town. It will be about moving them to where there are not many people living nearby in any case.

    It seems that in time a balance can be found in Houston between the clubs right to exist and what kind of neighborhood people want to live in.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 2, 2009

  3. Morality aside, according to the news “The city of Houston says its plans to bring another case against 30-40 similar businesses operating in January. ” with such a depressed economy and strip joints getting record “dancer’s job requests” this would probably do more damage than good.

    I agree that clubs should follow the law, but who gave permission to open the club in the first place? Was it legal first and then new laws passed and made them illegal? Who gave them a liquor permit?

    And to answer your question: “Would you want your wife or sister or daughter working at one of those clubs?” The answer is no, but that has nothing to do with it, since I can’t impose what a daughter, wife, sister will do, it’s their decission. Close a club for the right reasons, not becuase it does not go with your “values and morals”. And that applies to any type of business.

    Comment by Rick | January 2, 2009

  4. Rick—Laws can change.

    I can’t imagine people work in those places because they really want to. They are compelled in some measure because they need the money. We seem happy for others to do our figthing, low wage labor and sex work for us—Maybe we would have a different view of it all if this stuff hit a little closer to home.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 4, 2009


    Comment by JACK | April 5, 2009

  6. Good work HPD.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | April 5, 2009

  7. Your profile defines “broad acceptance of people regardless of who they are” as an essential government role. Sooo… what about people who like to get lapdances? Or women who are naturally exhibitionists, who find stripping to be one of the few legally-sanctioned outlets for said exhibitionism in a morally prude society?

    Yeah, I said it.

    The “I just did this for college/money/etc” meme is common in red states because it’s a means for the stripper to reconcile her occupation with a heavily-religious culture that screams SEX IS BAD, YOUR BREASTS ARE SHAMEFUL.

    But hit a West Coast city – I’m talking Portland, SF – and see how far you get telling the strippers that it’s not their choice, that they’re “compelled in some measure.” I’m pretty sure you’d get smacked in the face.

    Of course, there’s a decent argument that if we got rid of the sexual prudery, the amount of strip clubs would seriously diminish. If everyone was getting a healthy amount of sex I seriously doubt there’d be a huge market for lap dances.

    But before I go all Euro-snob and start extolling the virtues of secular morality and nude beaches, I feel compelled to point out: this is AMERICA. We’re ALWAYS going to have a somewhat cloistered sexuality. Look at the guy whose blog I’m posting on, and then ponder this: the first colonists were a people so extremely, annoyingly religious that they kept getting kicked out of every country they moved to. You may know them as the “Puritans.”

    Our visual landscape of strip clubs and charismatic megachurches is an outgrowth of this odd intersection between sexual desire and Calvinist morality. Yeah, you could probably get rid of both, and we might even be healthier for it, but why would you want to do that? Why make Houston into just another sexually-liberated Netherlands, where naked, youthful breasts are the province not of dank smoke-filled buildings but of sandy beaches and public swimming pools?

    No, *keep* the stripclubs, keep the megachurches, keep Treasures and Centerfolds and Joel Osteen broadcasting his prosperity gospel from Greenway Plaza to 5 different continents, keep all of it. It’s beautiful.

    Comment by keephoustonhouston | April 11, 2009

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