Lubbock, TX - A hearing on a proposed tax increase had just started at the county courthouse here Monday when Grace Rogers, a retired teacher, addressed local leaders. Ms. Rogers said she supported the idea of increasing the property tax to 34.6 cents per $100 valuation from 32.9 cents to finance the hiring of additional sheriff’s deputies — with one reservation.
It was that, she said, “it does not fund a paramilitary to create an insurrection and rebellion against the United States.”
Her comments might have sounded absurd at some other time, in some other place. But these days in Lubbock, a West Texas city known as the birthplace of the 1950s rock ’n’ roll pioneer Buddy Holly, Ms. Rogers’s request was timely and appropriate, under the circumstances.
A few days before, the county’s top elected official, County Judge Tom Head, made an appearance on a local television station to generate support for the tax increase. He said he was expecting civil unrest if President Obama is re-elected, and that the president would send United Nations forces into Lubbock, population 233,740, to stop any uprising.
“He is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.,” Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. “O.K., what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”
And if the president did send in United Nations troops, Mr. Head continued, “I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. O.K. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you.’
“Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there,” Mr. Head said. “I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”
Mr. Head, a Republican who serves as the county’s emergency management director and presides over the commissioner’s court, made international headlines. He has not apologized, though he said that his statements were taken out of context and that he was using civil unrest only as an example of how he must prepare for worst-case scenarios.
On Monday, Mr. Head sat straight-faced and calm at the hearing as more than two dozen residents sounded off on the tax increase and his statements. In an interview, Sheriff Kelly Rowe said he never had any discussions with Mr. Head involving any Obama-related uprisings or invasions, but he declined to say what he thought of Mr. Head’s remarks.
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