July 2009 Archives

Bill Miller has launched a blog devoted to the history of Tulsa and, in particular, to the history of Tulsa's buildings.

Most of the entries on the Historic Tulsa blog are about a particular building -- some well-known (Riverside Studio / Spotlight Theater), but many that are obscure (e.g., the William D. Whenthoff residence, a streamline Art Deco design by Joseph Koberling on College Ave. south of 11th Street).

If you're into Tulsa history, you'll want to add Historic Tulsa blog to your feed reader.

Coming up next Tuesday:

The Tulsa County Republican Party will sponsor a "MEET AND GREET" for all Republican candidates who are running for a Tulsa City seat in the September 8th primary election.

This event will occur on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Centennial Park, Central Center located at 1028 East 6th Street (two blocks west of Peoria on East 6th Street).

Refreshments will be provided. All candidates have been notified and we look forward to a very informative evening.

This may be your only chance to ask tough questions of Dewey Bartlett, Jr., whom the Karl Ahlgren-Fount Holland team seems to be handling the same way they handled the River Tax campaign -- stay away from debates, stay away from talk radio, and try to win with tons of money and tons of slick advertising.

There will be be a press conference at the BOK Center today at 2 p.m. to unveil the results of the PLANiTULSA "Which Way Tulsa?" survey, in which thousands of Tulsans expressed their preference among four scenarios for Tulsa's future growth. The survey results will be used to develop a vision as part of the City of Tulsa's first comprehensive plan in a generation. More about this after the results are announced.

Counterterrorism investigative reporter Erick Stakelbeck has some thoughts on the terror arrests in North Carolina. It's a disturbing situation:

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this North Carolina jihad cell is that it was apparently made up of mostly white converts to Islam. Indeed, Daniel Patrick Boyd looked like your typical good 'ol boy. He ran a drywall business with his family. Neighbors frequently observed him walking his dog (and here I thought that dogs were haram among jihadis) and so far have portayed him as a pretty unassuming guy. Frankly, Boyd had the perfect cover. Let's face it: a predominantly white, Christian rural area outside of Raleigh, NC is the last place you would suspect an Islamic terror cell to set up shop. And you probably wouldn't look twice at lily white Daniel Boyd if he were walking through airport security.

Stakelbeck's report includes a number of links to earlier stories jihad training and support in flyover country, including right here in Tulsa.

I've added the feed for Erick Stakelbeck's blog to my BatesLine blogroll headlines page -- check it out for the latest headlines from the blogs I follow.

I'm swamped at the moment, but there's plenty of interesting blogging elsewhere around Tulsa. Here are just a few examples:

Mayoral candidate Chris Medlock writes that the Tulsa World buried the story of his opponent, Dewey Bartlett, Jr., voting in support and praising Kathy Taylor's dodgy settlement on the Great Plains Airlines loan -- a settlement that cost Tulsa taxpayers $7.1 million that they didn't owe (emphasis added):

Dewey Bartlett (R) was named to the Airport Board by Kathy Taylor (D). Kathy Taylor thennames former airport Marketing Director Mary Smith (R) to the Airport Board to replace Carl Clay (R) who was an outspoken critic of the Great Plains/BOk settlement. Mary Smith was part of the team that sold Great Plains Airlines to the public, when they went after and secured $30 million in state tax credits. Mary Smith is now Bartlett's Campaign Treasurer!

Please understand, that what Dewey did was to help the current Democrat mayor (Kathy Taylor) brush under the table the single biggest scandal of the previous Democrat mayor (Susan Savage). The Bartlett campaign team made up two-fifths of the vote that needlessly gave away our property taxes to the tune of $28 for every man, woman and child in the city, and he won't even respond to the Tulsa World, who will do everything to put his response in the most positive of lights? Don't you think it's time for KRMG and KFAQ to invite Bartlett back on the air to respond to this action in this giveaway, as well as his support of Kathy Taylor's re-election before the Republicans had selected a candidate?

Listen to Pat Campbell's interview of Chris Medlock on Dewey Bartlett Jr. and Great Plains from this morning's show.

Steven Roemerman asks whether District 5 council challenger Chris Trail is a carpetbagger. (More about Trail and the District 5 campaign for the seat currently held by Bill Martinson when I have some time to write.)

In non-political news:

Jeff Shaw recommends La Hacienda and has photos of a day at the Tulsa Zoo.

Tyson Wynn has a YouTube video of clips of Bob Wills, going all the way back to performing "Take Me Back to Tulsa" in his first movie, Take Me Back to Oklahoma.

Brandon Dutcher celebrates the appearance of homeschooled college football star Tim Tebow on the cover of Sports Illustrated and links to an article about New Urbanists who are vocal supporters of school choice.

A Groucho-Marxist, at any rate: Groucho is reputed to have said, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

As a young man, considering his matrimonial prospects, Abraham Lincoln wrote:

I have now come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason; I can never be satisfied with any one who would be block-head enough to have me.

That's from a letter Lincoln wrote after his proposal of marriage was rejected by a woman to whom he wasn't attracted. (He proposed out of a sense of obligation from a frivolous promise he made to the friend of his potential fiancee.) His description of his first impressions of the woman in question is vivid:

In a few days we had an interview, and although I had seen her before, she did not look as my immagination had pictured her. I knew she was over-size, but she now appeared a fair match for Falstaff; I knew she was called an "old maid," and I felt no doubt of the truth of at least half of the appelation; but now, when I beheld her, I could not for my life avoid thinking of my mother; and this, not from withered features, for her skin was too full of fat to permit of its contracting in to wrinkles; but from her want of teeth, weather-beaten appearance in general, and from a kind of notion that ran in my head, that nothing could have commenced at the size of infancy, and reached her present bulk in less than thirty-five or forty years; and, in short, I was not all pleased with her.

A lot of Tulsans were outraged last summer when Mayor Kathy Taylor allowed the City of Tulsa to be added as a defendant in the Great Plains Airlines loan default case -- the Bank of Oklahoma's suit against the Tulsa Airport Improvements Trust -- then, within less than a day, agreed to settle said suit for $7.1 million. (If you've forgotten what that was all about, click through that link.)

What you may not know is that mayoral candidate Dewey Bartlett and his campaign treasurer, Mary Smith, as members of TAIT, also approved that $7.1 million settlement, with Bartlett praising Mayor Taylor for finding a way to get the City to cough up the money -- money that the City of Tulsa did not owe and money that is being paid by an increase in your property taxes. The Tulsa Beacon has the story in its current issue.

The story provides a quote from Bartlett at the TAIT meeting:

"It's something we need to do and I applaud the mayor and the Bank of Oklahoma for working out a deal... a lot of work went into this thing. It was a waste of energy. It's a new day and that's good news.

Here's the video of the entire seven-minute special meeting. The video has annotations to explain who the people at the meeting are, what they're doing, and the context of financing Great Plains Airlines -- the defunct airline that was supposed to provide non-stop service from Tulsa to both coasts.

Bartlett's question, "Is there any land involved?" is a reference to the original collateral used to secure the loan which BOk guaranteed -- a convoluted deal that the FAA inspector general condemned. There were several different parties that should have taken the financial hit for agreeing to this deal for financing GPA but none of them did. Instead it fell back, unjustly, on Tulsa's taxpayer, thanks to the conniving of the mayor that Dewey Bartlett endorsed for re-election.

The attitude that comes across in the video is, "All that matters is that all the big shots have their butts covered. Who cares about the taxpayer?"

A humorous illustration of the one-size-slow-go-rationed health care plan being proposed by Barack Obama and the Democrats:

(Via Chris Medlock.)

The City of Tulsa election campaign is underway. Municipal races, especially city council races, are driven by grassroots involvement. Candidates need supporters to go door-to-door distributing flyers. They aren't likely to receive massive donations (and you should wonder what's up if they do), so they need lots of small donations to pay for printing and postage. They need people to make phone calls to potential voters. Other needs include yard sign assembly, envelope stuffing, and clerical work. Your favorite candidate may need some help with web and social media skills, too.

Volunteers are needed all the time, but many candidates will hold volunteer events on weekends. Often there is food involved. Always there's camaraderie.

One such event is happening this weekend. The Chris Medlock for Mayor campaign will hold a volunteer rally this Saturday, July 25, 2009, at 11 at Johnson Park, 61st east of Riverside. For more info, contact the campaign via the Medlock for Mayor website.

Jim Mautino, who is trying to recapture his District 6 seat on the City Council from the current seatwarmer, is looking for volunteers -- you can reach him by e-mail at jbmaut at cox dot net.

There's an effort underway to try to land a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) franchise for Tulsa. The president of the league is in Tulsa today for a reception to which BOK Center premium seat holders have been invited, with a message from Mayor Kathy Taylor urging them to turn out and support this "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our city."

The e-mail has the over-the-top language we expect to hear from Taylor: "Bringing the WNBA to Tulsa is a civic investment that will add to the quality of life and benefit the growth and revitalization of downtown. It will provide positive encouragement and influence to young women, men and aspiring athletes."

Tulsa World Sports Editor Mike Strain has his doubts about a Tulsa WNBA team's chances:

The league has been unstable, with seven teams either folding, suspending operations or relocating since 2002.

And investors in this venture face a question: Is there demand for women's professional basketball in Tulsa?

That's a tough one to answer, but some evidence doesn't look good. Women's college games draw poorly in Tulsa. And the Tulsa 66ers' men's professional basketball team -- albeit a minor league club -- also has attendance that routinely falls under 2,000.

He quotes several reader comments, including this one:

DrewTU: This will have lower attendance than 10 AM movies on a Tuesday.

If private investors want to bring a team as one entertainment option among many for Tulsans, let it succeed or fail based on whether Tulsans want to spend their money to see the games. But this doesn't warrant the attention of elected officials or the waving of the "civic pride" flag to manipulate people into attending the games or sponsoring the team. We've already given them a $200 million subsidy for a place to play. They will qualify for the same Quality Jobs Act incentives that the Oklahoma City Thunder receives. That should be enough.

I was five years old, but I got to stay up late to watch the moon walk. We were at my grandparents' house in Nowata. My grandpa sold and repaired TVs, radios, and appliances (Johnny's Electronics), so he had a color TV. (We wouldn't have one for a few years yet.) Not that color TV mattered -- the only picture was a ghostly black and white image of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder.

To this preschooler, the Apollo missions seemed like a regular TV series: Apollo 7 in October 1968, Apollo 8 at Christmas, Apollo 9 in March '69, Apollo 10 in May. (Of course, there was a NASA TV series -- I Dream of Jeannie -- and that space program seemed to have a mission every week.) I knew the names of the spaceships -- Gumdrop and Spider, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Columbia and Eagle. The Gulf station at Washington and Frank Phillips Blvd gave away very intricate cardboard lunar module models -- the kind you put together with tab A and slot B. (We didn't know it at the time, but it's funny to think that the thin cereal-box cardboard was thicker than the LEM walls.) Like all five-year-old American boys in 1969, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up.

I've been reliving those eight days in July through a series of YouTube videos -- excerpts of ABC and NBC coverage of Apollo 11. While it's interesting to learn more about the behind the scenes, through newly released and restored film and interviews, it's been fun to experience the events and to share them with my children as most of us experienced them four decades ago. (Someone else posted the videos; I just created a playlist.)

The videos cover the launch, moon landing, moon walk, rendezvous, splashdown, and arrival on the USS Hornet. ABC used animations -- hand-inked cartoons -- and simulations -- guys in spacesuits in mockups of the CM and LEM -- to accompany mission audio and show what couldn't be shown by live video. Both ABC and NBC commentators left room for the astronauts and Houston to be heard. (I saw some of the CBS coverage on the History Channel; as others have observed, Cronkite didn't know when to be silent.)

Frank Reynolds anchored coverage for ABC, with science reporter Jules Bergman. The NBC coverage includes David Brinkley, Chet Huntley, and Frank McGee.

One of the excerpts has a long discourse by Huntley, with McGee chiming in, about priorities, about whether America's space program was just a series of bad decisions triggered by Sputnik. The two suggested that just as government had engineered a successful trip to the moon, government could fix hunger and homelessness if only the political will were there. (McGee said, "We have the technology -- the software and the hardware.") After watching this, my son and I had an interesting discussion on the fallacy behind the lament, "if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we solve complicated social problem X?"

Another segment has Frank Reynolds throwing it over to a very young Peter Jennings for a short ABC newscast with stories on Vietnam, Chappaquiddick, and a possible air traffic controller strike. The story on Vietnam was interesting -- the report insisted on referring to the Viet Cong as the "National Liberation Front," making it sound like an indigenous guerrilla movement rather than the arm of the Communist North Vietnamese government that it was.

In another segment, Rod Serling led a panel discussion on the moon landing with science fiction authors Frederick Pohl and Isaac Asimov, asking whether any of the authors had predicted a moon landing in their books.

An interesting historical note: After the moon landing and before the moon walk, Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon in conjunction with his congregation (Webster, Tex., Presbyterian Church) back home, using bread and wine and a chalice provided by his pastor. In 2003, the Episcopal Church recognized the occasion by making July 20 a lesser feast day in the church calendar: "First Communion on the Moon."

Here is the collect for the feast:

Creator of the universe,
your dominion extends through the immensity of space:
guide and guard those who seek to fathom its mysteries [especially N.N.].
Save us from arrogance lest we forget that our achievements are grounded in you,
and, by the grace of your Holy Spirit,
protect our travels beyond the reaches of earth,
that we may glory ever more in the wonder of your creation:
through Jesus Christ, your Word, by whom all things came to be,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.

The Rev. Mark Cooper, current pastor of Webster Presbyterian Church, tells more of the story:

At the time of the lunar landing Aldrin was an elder in our church. A communion kit was prepared for him by the church's pastor at the time, the Rev. Dean Woodruff. Since Presbyterians do not celebrate private communion, the communion on the moon was structured as part of a service with the congregation back at the church. Aldrin returned the chalice he used to earth. Webster Presbyterian continues to possess the chalice, which is now kept in a safety deposit box. Each year the congregation commemorates the lunar communion on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the landing.

Finally, an excerpt from Charles Krauthammer's recent column, The Lunacy of Our Retreat from Space

Michael Crichton once wrote that if you told a physicist in 1899 that within a hundred years humankind would, among other wonders (nukes, commercial airlines), 'travel to the moon, and then lose interest . . . the physicist would almost certainly pronounce you mad.'... Fourteen months from today, for the first time since 1962, the United States will be incapable not just of sending a man to the moon but of sending anyone into Earth orbit. We'll be totally grounded. We'll have to beg a ride from the Russians or perhaps even the Chinese.... But look up from your BlackBerry one night. That is the moon. On it are exactly 12 sets of human footprints -- untouched, unchanged, abandoned. For the first time in history, the moon is not just a mystery and a muse, but a nightly rebuke.

MORE: How They Built it: The Software of Apollo 11:

The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) systems on each craft were designed and built by teams of researchers and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), led by the late Dr. Charles Stark Draper, under contract with NASA. Garman was one of the many NASA workers who helped run, test and debug the fledgling MIT code that would run the Moon mission from launch to splashdown. Some dedicated hobbyists have even designed and built their own computers to replicate the original Apollo devices.

"The AGC was very slow, but very reliable and very small for that time in the history of digital computers," Garman said. "It was the earliest to use integrated circuits."

The software as it was designed was built basically from scratch by MIT, he said. How did they know what to start with? "MIT didn't really--they sort of made it up as they went along. Neither NASA nor MIT had built software for digital flight control and guidance systems in the past--no one had near this magnitude. So it took some soul-searching on both NASA and MIT's sides to write down requirements and create hard schedules and test plans."...

Jerry Bostick was 30 years old and was a member of Kranz's White Team for Apollo 11.

"I started out in the mission planning division, designing missions," he said. "We would write the requirements for all of the software in both the ground-based and the onboard computers, working primarily with MIT and IBM."

"We would give instructions to the programs by punching cards," Bostick said. "You had to wait at least 12 hours to see if it would work right." The early programming was done in the real-time computing complex in Houston using IBM 7094 computers with 64K of memory. There were no hard disks. All the data was stored on magnetic tape, with each computer having about eight tape drives. Most programs used for the mission were written in Fortran, Bostick said. "After Apollo 1, we upgraded to the biggest and the best equipment that government money could buy, the IBM 360 with an unheard of 1MB of memory. We went all the way from 64K to 1MB."

A nice note in the current edition of Urban Tulsa Weekly:

Dear Editor:

Sorry to see Michael Bates no longer has a column. He was the main reason I picked up a copy of your paper. I hope you will have him back soon.

-Lawrence Williams, Owasso

It's now been seven weeks since my last column, but I continue to hear from people who tell me they miss my weekly column. After that last column hit the streets, I explained here on BatesLine why I would not be writing for UTW, at least for now. If you missed that, click that link to get up to speed. The ball's in their court.

Back in the early '80s, my mother-in-law, Marjorie Marugg-Wolfe, started teaching at a vo-tech school in Springdale, Ark., and working with "displaced homemakers," women who, by reason of divorce or widowhood, found themselves looking for work after years of not working outside the home. Her involvement grew out of graduate research at the University of Arkansas. She helped women with resume preparation, learning how to present oneself in an interview (including learning how to dress for the job hunt), and getting additional education and training. Many of her clients still had children at home, and they often ran into financial obstacles that forced them to drop out of classes. It might be as simple as the car breaking down and needing to work overtime to pay for the repairs. There were expenses that financial aid through the school would not cover. So she started a scholarship fund in her home county, Benton County, to meet those needs.

Yesterday's Benton County Daily Record reported on a volunteer appreciation luncheon marking the 25th anniversary of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County. According to the story, since 1984 the fund "has awarded more than 4,987 scholarships totaling $3,478,943." According to the program website:

Designed to supplement existing government assistance, college grants and loans, the scholarships awarded by Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County encourage students to enter school and prevent them from dropping out of school because of unexpected financial hardships. Often times, scholarship funds are used for:
  • Transportation
  • Child care
  • Housing & utilities
  • Medical insurance
  • School supplies
  • Glasses
  • Computers and desks
  • Other day-to-day necessities
  • Clothing, food and necessities for children

Here are a couple of stories from scholarship recipients:

Christie Parvin-Vogel is one of the many whose lives have been changed by Single Parent Scholarships.

"I came into the program as a 19-year-old mother of a baby boy," Parvin-Vogel said. "I knew I needed to go to college and have an education so I could support myself and my child, but there were no scholarships available to me."

Through the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Parvin-Vogel was able to get two associate degrees and later a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and a master's degree in management information systems.

"SPSF has been a blessing to me not only because of the money, but because of you guys," Parvin-Vogel said, referencing a room filled with people who helped launch the program 25 years ago.

Another scholarship recipient, Geri Lovelace-Lee, told of her decision to apply for the Single Parent Scholarship Fund: "When I came to a crossroads where I found myself without a car, without a home, and I had these two children and a few pieces of furniture, I knew I had to do something. This program not only helped us with an education, but it came full circle. It helped with everything in life. Thank you," she said.

Anyone know if such a program exists in Tulsa?

Local links of interest:

A bunch of new posts up on Choice Remarks, the blog of the Oklahoma school choice movement, including a story about a left-leaning civil rights organization labeling teachers' unions "implacable foes of reform" and a survey of 1200 likely Oklahoma voters, 83% of whom say they'd rather not put their kids in a standard public school.

Mike Easterling has a profile of Tulsa mayoral candidate Chris Medlock in the current issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Over on his blog, Medlock writes:

Many thanks to UTW writer Mike Easterling, who very faithfully and accurately recreated our hour long conversation. I think it does a very good job of capturing why I am running and I hope you'll take a few minutes to read it.

Also in UTW, coverage of the demolition of the old Page Glencliff Dairy (Fields Downs Randolph more recently) on the north side of 6th Street between Kenosha and the Midland Valley right-of-way. It once was a landmark at a gateway to downtown. Back when the east leg of the IDL stopped at 7th/8th Street, that was my dad's route to his office in the Cities Service Building. The Page building had a billboard on top, advertising Page Quality Chekd products, and if I recall correctly, the billboard had a clock, letting downtown workers know how late they were going to be. The story is accompanied by a photograph, by Erin Fore, of an ironic juxtaposition. The story also has info on the block between 4th and 5th, Elgin and Frankfort, a block which includes the old Bill White Chevrolet dealership.

Jeff Shaw honors the Tulsa area's 36 National Merit Scholars.

Tasha has her weekly roundup of fun stuff to do in Tulsa this weekend. And her UTW column this week offers you some cost-conscious alternatives to cable TV.

Mike McCarville remembers watching the launch of Apollo 11 from the VIP bleachers at Kennedy Space Center.

If you want to relive the first moon landing the way most Americans experienced it, someone has posted about two hours worth of video from ABC and NBC coverage of Apollo 11, complete with Jules Bergman and cheesy animations and a news story about a moment of silent prayer for the astronauts at "Cominskey Field" (Pres. Obama's favorite ballpark).

Irritated Tulsan offered up his latest ten examples of Awesomely Bad Tulsa Architecture (including Sister Bertrille Stillwater National Bank) and made the Mid-Century Modern folks angry. Also, he's given all the mayoral candidates their mafia names.

Michael Mason and Jeff Martin have launched a weekly podcast called Goodbye Tulsa:

Goodbye Tulsa is a weekly program that tells the story of Tulsa through the lives of our friends and neighbors. A form of audio obituaries (and sometimes video obituaries), Goodbye Tulsa creates a lasting tribute to Tulsans who have passed away.

Each week, we invite friends and family of the deceased to share their stories about their loved one, and in doing so, they illumine the community around us in a way that enriches our experience and appreciation of life in Oklahoma.

The Goodbye Tulsa FAQ explains what to do if you have a story to tell and how to subscribe to the podcast.

Trait Thompson, an ORU alum, wrote earlier this month of a new day at Oral Roberts University, under new president Mark Rutland:

It is truly an exciting moment for all ORU graduates and former students. Our university has finally been completely transitioned from the overbearing hands of the Roberts family to a president whose chief goals are for ORU to be "warm, inviting, and transparent."...

For those of you who didn't attend ORU, it's hard to describe the atmosphere that was continually cultivated on campus by the Roberts family. Students were often told that attendance at ORU was a privilege and not a right. We were told that the rules kept us holy. We were told that the leadership of the school was beyond reproach or question....

In our 4 years there, we met kindred spirits and lifelong friends. We were influenced by professors who genuinely wanted to see us learn and succeed. They invested in us and considered themselves successful when we were successful. We put up with all the administrative crap because it was the cost of doing business, so to speak.

Now for a trip down the turnpike (before the tolls go up):

Charles G. Hill of dustbury.com has written a couple of interesting pieces recently on urban design issues. Back in June, Charles responded to a Joel Kotkin column about cities focused on attracting the young, unattached, and wealthy. In his latest Vent, he considers the woonerf and where it might fit in Oklahoma City's future. (The proposed 6th Street canal in Tulsa's Pearl District is a sort of woonerf or shared street.)

Doug Loudenback had an interesting piece a while back with both historical and present-day photos of Oklahoma City's Union Station, the railyard of which is due to be demolished for a rerouting of I-40. (The station building itself will remain, but it will no longer be capable of serving as the hub of a rail system. Back in April, I took a few pictures of the exterior of Oklahoma City Union Station, the yard, the platforms, and a nearby viaduct.

Nick Roberts has been posting up a storm at Downtown on the Range:

His alternative vision for Core to Shore, the redevelopment plan for the area between the present I-40 alignment and the North Canadian River. His proposal puts the new convention center just south of Bricktown. He would name the boulevard to replace the current I-40 alignment in honor of author Ralph Ellison.

Nick also has posted his thoughts on riverfront and canal-front developments around the country.

And he's posted a selection of porkulus projects from Sen. Tom Coburn's selection of 100 egregious wastes of money. Here's one:

Residents in Perkins, OK are actually paying a 60% increase in utility fees due to the city getting Stimulus funds for a wastewater treatment facility that the State was going to pay the full $5 million for until the city got Stimulus funds for it. Because of the stipulations attached to the funds, the cost for the project went up to $8 million while the Stimulus funds were only $1 million, leaving the small town of Perkins to pick up another $2 million.

And finally: Bob Burch of Boodachitaville says anime is all Edwards Deming's fault.

The three-day filing period for Tulsa's city elections is over.

First of all, congratulations to two of my favorite city councilors. Jack Henderson and John Eagleton were re-elected without opposition.

Of the three councilors unopposed yesterday, Rick Westcott and Bill Christiansen will have a primary, while GT Bynum will face Democrat Roger D. Lowry in the general election. Westcott drew a single opponent, Barton Ralph Rhoades, and Christiansen drew two: Phil Lakin, head of Tulsa Community Foundation and head of the organization building the new downtown Tulsa Drillers ballpark, and Scott Grizzle, who currently serves as president of Tulsa Now.

Former District 4 councilor Maria Barnes drew a primary opponent, Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commissioner Liz Wright. Both parties will have a primary in District 6.

Three more Republicans and three independents filed for Mayor, including perennial candidate Lawrence Kirkpatrick.

Here are the filings, by office and party. TulsaPolitico.com has a list of announced and filed candidates with links to their websites.


David Lee O'Connor, 307 S. 108th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 04/13/52
Dewey Follett Bartlett Jr., 1235 E. 30th Place, Tulsa, OK 74114, 03/16/47
Paul Alan Roales, 1804 S. 117th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 07/03/45
Michael David Tomes Sr., 7937 S. Yale Ave., Apt D, Tulsa, OK 74136, 02/11/48
Norris Stuart Streetman, 4532 East 8th Street, Tulsa, OK 74112, 06/21/56
Kevin Leroy Boggs, 1127 S. 157th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74108, 08/19/58
Christopher Scott Medlock, 2919 E. 82nd Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137, 12/20/57
John Porter Todd, 8111 E. 93rd #2210, Tulsa, OK 74133, 09/23/47
Nathaniel James Booth, 6820 S. Quincy Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136, 04/05/91
Anna Lara Falling,1947 N. Denver Ave, Tulsa, OK 74106, 09/08/68
Michael Lee Rush, 8956 E. 33rd Pl., Tulsa, OK 74145, 05/21/68

Robert Arizona Gwin Jr., 3113 S. 130th E. Pl., Tulsa, OK 74134, 06/18/73
Paul C. Tay Jr., 4004 S Toledo, Tulsa, OK 74135, 09/01/62
A. Burns, 1210 S. Cheyenne Ave., Tulsa, OK 74119, 12/22/26
Prophet Kelly Lamar Clark Sr., 243 E. 46 N. St, Tulsa, OK 74126, 07/08/72
Tom Adelson 2448 E. 26 Pl, Tulsa, OK 74114, 08/18/65

Cleon Burrell, 2124 N. Norfolk Ave., Tulsa, OK 74106, 02/20/70
Lawrence F Kirkpatrick, 1108 N. Harvard, Tulsa, OK 74115, 09/13/45
Mark Bradley Perkins, 2142 S. Florence Pl., Tulsa, OK. 74114, 11/04/78


Preston Lee Doerflinger, 7915 South Fulton Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136, 04/23/72
Lynn Anthony Ruemler, 7345 S. Sleepy Hollow Dr., Tulsa, OK 74136, 07/12/57

Phil Wood, 3622 S. Yorktown Place, Tulsa, OK 74105, 12/29/24 (incumbent)


Jack Ross Henderson, 2014 N. Rosedale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74101, 04/22/50 (incumbent)


Rick Dalton Westcott, 2508 W. 68 Pl., Tulsa, OK 74132,10/15/54 (incumbent)
Barton Ralph Rhoades, 3133 East 78th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74136, 07/30/51


Karl William Hulcher, 729 N. Delaware Pl., Tulsa, OK 74110, 08/16/62

Roscoe H. Turner Sr., 3415 E. Haskell St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 02/16/32

David Edward Patrick 5712 E. Tecumseh, Tulsa, OK 74115, 04/22/51 (incumbent)


Jason Eric Gomez, 2716 E. 13th, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/18/69 (incumbent)
Rocky R. Frisco, 1332 South Florence Place, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/26/37

Maria Veliz Barnes 1319 S. Terrace Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/28/60
Elizabeth Anne Wright, 1919 S. Florence Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104, 10/20/57


Christopher Eric Trail, 10611 E. 20th Street, Tulsa, OK 74128, 01/29/70
William Edward Martinson, Jr., 3521 S. Darlington Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135, 07/08/55 (incumbent)


James S. Mautino, 14628 E. 12 St., Tulsa, OK 74108, 05/11/32
Tadd Arthur Weese, 5005 S. 188th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74134, 08/02/71

Dennis Kurt Troyer, 12811 E. 13th Place, Tulsa, OK 74128, 08/14/40 (incumbent)
Mario Bobbie Choice, 3607 S. 124th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74146, 12/30/73


John M. Eagleton, 5748 E. 62nd St., Tulsa, OK 74136, 02/09/59 (incumbent)


William Lee Christiansen, 5106 E. 86th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137, 12/23/47 (incumbent)
Phillip Lawrence Lakin Jr., 4915 E. 104th Place, Tulsa, OK 74137, 08/05/67
Scott Manuel Grizzle, 7521 S. 68th E. Pl., Tulsa, OK 74133, 07/22/76


G.T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74015, 08/28/77 (incumbent)

Roger D Lowry, 4623 S. Louis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74105, 07/16/56

The second day of the three day filing period for Tulsa's city elections is over. Four more Republicans and a Democrat filed for Mayor, we'll have a Republican primary for Auditor, and all nine City Councilors have filed for re-election.

Five of the nine councilors -- Henderson, Westcott, Eagleton, Christiansen, and Bynum -- are unopposed. So far, Eric Gomez and Bill Martinson are the only councilors to face primary opposition. Legendary local musician Rocky Frisco, a libertarian-leaning Republican, is running against Gomez. Chris Trail, owner of Ike's Chili Parlor, is running against Martinson. David Patrick, the District 3 incumbent who had been elected in 1996, 1998, and 2002 as a Democrat, and in 2008 as an independent, has filed once again as an independent.

Depending on how the primaries turn out, the general election could have three rematches of previous elections: Turner vs. Patrick in District 3, Barnes vs. Gomez in District 4, and Mautino vs. Troyer in District 6.

Democrat State Sen. Tom Adelson and Republican former City Councilor Chris Medlock, both previously announced candidates, filed today. Anna Falling announced her candidacy for Mayor this morning but did not file today. She is the only announced mayoral candidate yet to file.

Here are the filings through today, by office and party. TulsaPolitico.com has a list of announced and filed candidates with links to their websites.


David Lee O'Connor, 307 S. 108th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 04/13/52
Dewey Follett Bartlett Jr., 1235 E. 30th Place, Tulsa, OK 74114, 03/16/47
Paul Alan Roales, 1804 S. 117th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 07/03/45
Michael David Tomes Sr., 7937 S. Yale Ave., Apt D, Tulsa, OK 74136, 02/11/48
Norris Stuart Streetman, 4532 East 8th Street, Tulsa, OK 74112, 06/21/56
Kevin Leroy Boggs, 1127 S. 157th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74108, 08/19/58
Christopher Scott Medlock, 2919 E. 82nd Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137, 12/20/57
John Porter Todd, 8111 E. 93rd #2210, Tulsa, OK 74133, 09/23/47

Robert Arizona Gwin Jr., 3113 S. 130th E. Pl., Tulsa, OK 74134, 06/18/73
Paul C. Tay Jr., 4004 S Toledo, Tulsa, OK 74135, 09/01/62
A. Burns, 1210 S. Cheyenne Ave., Tulsa, OK 74119, 12/22/26
Prophet Kelly Lamar Clark Sr., 243 E. 46 N. St, Tulsa, OK 74126, 07/08/72
Tom Adelson 2448 E. 26 Pl, Tulsa, OK 74114, 08/18/65


Preston Lee Doerflinger, 7915 South Fulton Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136, 04/23/72
Lynn Anthony Ruemler, 7345 S. Sleepy Hollow Dr., Tulsa, OK 74136, 07/12/57

Phil Wood, 3622 S. Yorktown Place, Tulsa, OK 74105, 12/29/24 (incumbent)


Jack Ross Henderson, 2014 N. Rosedale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74101, 04/22/50 (incumbent)


Rick Dalton Westcott, 2508 W. 68 Pl., Tulsa, OK 74132,10/15/54 (incumbent)


Karl William Hulcher, 729 N. Delaware Pl., Tulsa, OK 74110, 08/16/62

Roscoe H. Turner Sr., 3415 E. Haskell St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 02/16/32

David Edward Patrick 5712 E. Tecumseh, Tulsa, OK 74115, 04/22/51 (incumbent)


Jason Eric Gomez, 2716 E. 13th, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/18/69 (incumbent)
Rocky R. Frisco, 1332 South Florence Place, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/26/37

Maria Veliz Barnes 1319 S. Terrace Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/28/60


Christopher Eric Trail, 10611 E. 20th Street, Tulsa, OK 74128, 01/29/70
William Edward Martinson, Jr., 3521 S. Darlington Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135, 07/08/55 (incumbent)


James S. Mautino, 14628 E. 12 St., Tulsa, OK 74108, 05/11/32

Dennis Kurt Troyer, 12811 E. 13th Place, Tulsa, OK 74128, 08/14/40 (incumbent)


John M. Eagleton, 5748 E. 62nd St., Tulsa, OK 74136, 02/09/59 (incumbent)


William Lee Christiansen, 5106 E. 86th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137 12/23/47 (incumbent)


G.T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74015, 08/28/77 (incumbent)


Former City Councilor Anna Falling announced her campaign for Mayor of Tulsa at a press conference this morning at North Peoria and Latimer Pl, at the north Tulsa campus of Cornerstone Assistance Network, the ministry founded in 2000 by Falling and her husband Chris Beach. Falling will run in the Republican primary, where she will face two other former city councilors, Dewey Bartlett, Jr., and Chris Medlock.

(Bartlett filed on Monday. Medlock officially filed his candidacy today just before noon.)

Falling served as councilor for District 4 from 1998 to 2000, winning an open seat. She was defeated for re-election in 2002 by the former incumbent, Gary Watts. In 2006, she ran for District 1 County Commissioner, finishing first in a crowded Republican primary but losing the runoff to State Rep. John Smaligo, who went on to unseat incumbent Wilbert Collins.

The backdrop for Falling's announcement was a group of blue-T-shirted volunteers painting a metal-walled warehouse at Latimer Pl. and N. Owasso Ave. which will serve as the Community Sharehouse, the Furniture Bank of Tulsa County. The center connects surplus furniture with those who need it, so they don't have to spend meager resources on "rent-to-own" furniture. According to Beach, the volunteers are young people and sponsors from the Presbyterian Church USA's Synod of the Sun. The organization has provided volunteers for the last several summers to make improvements to CAN's facilities.

During her remarks, Falling listed the difficulties facing the poor in Tulsa and spoke about the development and expansion of CAN, which provides resources and networking to help churches the poor gain self-sufficiency. She said she is running to help mobilize the churches of Tulsa to address the issues at the root of the city's problems:

Tulsa needs a new day, and today I'm announcing my intention to seek the office of mayor to facilitate a new old solution, as churches stand ready to empower their congregations to walk side by side and transform this city from the inside out. Together we can reverse the effects of single-parent homes, crime, poverty, below-average education, bursting budgets, and broken solutions. We cannot take life so lightly. Life is too short. We must embrace our purpose sooner rather than later. Join me today as we look to cultivate a new future for Tulsa.

Asked about controversy during her term on the Council, Falling said, "I love to step on toes, and I will look forward to the opportunity to bring about the right change in this community."

When I asked who was on her campaign team, Falling replied, "God is on my campaign team. How about that, Michael? I have a great crew of people on my campaign team. I have a great group of men and women who have been excited to stand behind me to do this race, and I would welcome any more that would like to do so."

If you follow BatesLine on Twitter (and you should), you'll have seen my tweet yesterday about Americans United for Life live-blogging the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. AUL has a legal focus, researching state and federal legislation, court cases, and court nominations that affect issues like abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

As soon as the nomination was announced AUL launched Sotomayor411, which provides the paper trail to show that, as bad as Justice David Souter has been on life issues, Sotomayor would be far worse. Another site, AskSotomayor.com, listed AUL's top ten questions for senators to ask the nominee and asked readers to vote for their favorite.

Veteran pro-life blogger Dawn Eden, AUL's Senior Fellow for Publications and New Media Outreach, is providing the Judiciary Committee play-by-play, with commentary from AUL president Charmaine Yoest. Eden is well-known for her thorough research on pro-life issues and for her knack for brevity, honed by years of headline writing for New York tabloids.

Here are a couple of updates from Okla. Sen. Tom Coburn's questioning of Sotomayor:

12:24 p.m. - Coburn continues critiquing Sotomayor's past statements. "You've taken the oath already twice, and if confirmed, will take it again." Reminds her of what the oath says -- "I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties ..." Notes that it doesn't reference foreign law, whereas Sotomayor has said we should take foreign law into consideration.

12:23 p.m. - Coburn says concerns over Sotomayor's past statements will guide his questioning. Is "deeply concerned" by Sotomayor's saying the law is "uncertain" and her praise for an "unpredictable" system of justice. We want justice to be predictable, he says.

Even if you aren't concerned about the sanctity of human life, a Supreme Court nominee who looks beyond the written Constitution and laws to "empathy" and foreign precedents as a basis for her rulings is a threat to the life, liberty, and property of every American, whether born or unborn.

Beyond the life-and-death issues at stake in these hearings, what AUL is doing should be of interest to organizations looking for social media best practices. Just as food needs to digested down into nutrients to get into circulation and reach all parts of the body, a complex news story needs to be digested into pieces that can easily be circulated via blogs and Twitter. There are sympathetic bloggers and Twitter users willing to spread the word, but they don't have time to do the digesting themselves.

Many organizations blast out detailed press releases to bloggers by e-mail (too often accompanied by unsolicited high-res publicity photos). These releases often sit unread and unblogged because they require too much time and effort to digest and turn into a blog post. They can't be turned into a tweet because the press releases exist only in e-mail and so can't be linked. Brief highlights that can be passed along with a couple of mouse-clicks, accompanied by pointers to more detailed analysis and documentation, are far more useful to a blogger/tweeter and more likely to circulate widely.

As James Lileks tweeted, "You want to be quoted? Speak in Lego pieces, not bolts of cloth."

I have only one suggestion for AUL: Post some of the live-blog updates to Twitter (@AUL) in real-time, with appropriate hashtags (#sotomayor and #sotoshow seem to be the most popular) with a shortened link back to the AUL's Sotomayor hearing live-blog.

The first day of the three-day filing period for the City of Tulsa's municipal elections is over, and we have eight candidates for mayor (four Democrats and four Republicans), two candidates for auditor, and competitive races in only two council districts so far, with only five of the nine incumbent councilors filing on Monday for re-election.

The Democratic field is so far a collection of perennial candidates: Accountability (Gene) Burns, Paul Tay, Prophet Kelly Clark, and Robert Gwin Jr. Clark and Gwin share the distinction of having run for City Council District 7 as Republicans.

David O'Connor, an east Tulsa resident, is one of the founders of Citizens for Fair and Clean Government.

The Tulsa County Election Board will update the list of candidates each day at 5 p.m. Here is the direct link to the 2009 City of Tulsa list of candidates. (PDF file.) Oddly, it's labeled a list of candidates for the September 8 primary, so it's unclear whether any independents have filed.

As expected, former councilors Roscoe Turner and Maria Barnes, both Democrats, have filed to try to take back their old seats. Turner's nemesis, Councilor David Patrick, did not file today, nor did his colleagues John Eagleton, Dennis Troyer, and Bill Martinson, although as far as I know all are expected to run for re-election.

I did hear an intriguing rumor over the weekend that Bill Martinson may run for auditor. The incumbent, Phil Wood, 85, has been serving since 1988, when he was elected the last auditor under the old charter. Wood runs a small but solid audit department, but I've criticized him for not doing more to publicize the audit department's findings or to campaign for more resources.

J. Bryan Osborne, who announced his intention to run for an open District 8 seat, withdrew following Bill Christiansen's decision not to run for mayor after all but to seek re-election.

Former City Councilor Anna Falling has announced a press conference for tomorrow morning at 10:30. It's unclear whether she plans to run for office or if she is simply taking advantage of the filing period to call attention to a non-governmental initiative. The press release states:

Anna Falling to Host a News Conference
to Discuss the Core Challenges of this Community
and How the Church Can Restore Wholeness

Taking what she has done for nearly a decade and a half - equipping churches to transform lives from poverty to purpose - Anna Falling will announce her intention tomorrow to take that vision to the City of Tulsa to combat problems that have plagued the core of Tulsa for decades.

Saying that it is no longer an option, Anna Falling will communicate that a change must take place to empower the churches of this city, along with other community organizations, to overcome issues that have resulted in greater crime rates, higher government costs, and band-aid decisions that have exasperated problems even worse decade by decade. The City's budget can no longer sustain the problems of this city and the people's remaining wellness cannot continue without a foundational core change in the way our issues are addressed. The City of Tulsa must facilitate congregations of this community to play an official and significant role in transforming our underlying social ills.

Here are the day's filings, by office and party. TulsaPolitico.com has a list of announced and filed candidates with links to their websites.


David Lee O'Connor, 307 S. 108th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 04/13/52
Dewey Follett Bartlett Jr., 1235 E. 30th Place, Tulsa, OK 74114, 03/16/47
Paul Alan Roales, 1804 S. 117th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 07/03/45
Michael David Tomes Sr., 7937 S. Yale Ave., Apt D, Tulsa, OK 74136, 02/11/48

Robert Arizona Gwin Jr., 3113 S. 130th E. Pl., Tulsa, OK 74134, 06/18/73
Paul C. Tay Jr., 4004 S Toledo, Tulsa, OK 74135, 09/01/62
A. Burns, 1210 S. Cheyenne Ave., Tulsa, OK 74119, 12/22/26
Prophet Kelly Lamar Clark Sr., 243 E. 46 N. St, Tulsa, OK 74126, 07/08/72


Phil Wood, 3622 S. Yorktown Place, Tulsa, OK 74105, 12/29/24 (incumbent)

Preston Lee Doerflinger, 7915 South Fulton Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136, 04/23/72


Jack Ross Henderson, 2014 N. Rosedale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74101, 04/22/50 (incumbent)


Rick Dalton Westcott, 2508 W. 68 Pl., Tulsa, OK 74132,10/15/54 (incumbent)


Roscoe H. Turner Sr., 3415 E. Haskell St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 02/16/32

Karl William Hulcher, 729 N. Delaware Pl., Tulsa, OK 74110 08/16/62


Jason Eric Gomez, 2716 E. 13th, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/18/69 (incumbent)

Maria Veliz Barnes 1319 S. Terrace Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/28/60


Christopher Eric Trail, 10611 E. 20th Street, Tulsa, OK 74128, 01/29/70




William Lee Christiansen, 5106 E. 86th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137 12/23/47 (incumbent)


G.T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74015, 08/28/77 (incumbent)

Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. A website called WeChooseTheMoon.org will be streaming the mission as it happened 40 years before. You can even follow the sequence of events on Twitter -- @AP11_SPACECRAFT and @AP11_CAPCOM.

I would love to watch and show my children some of the TV coverage from Apollo 11 -- Frank Reynolds and Jules Bergman on ABC, Frank McGee and John Chancellor on NBC, Walter Cronkite on CBS. If you know when any of that material is going to be aired or where it can be found on the web, please post a comment and let us all know.

Amsterdam has it all

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Robert N. Going, blogger, author, radio talk show host, and mover-and-shaker in the upstate New York city of Amsterdam, has given up waiting on the city's official website to go on line after "a year and a half and $20,000". He got a sneak preview of the under-construction site and was underwhelmed.

Pretty pictures. The writing is pretty mediocre, I think, but that's me. Given they copied the format from elsewhere, I find it difficult to believe this would have taken more than a week to put together if done by a couple of semi-bright high school students.

So he took matters into his own hands.

[UPDATE] OK, I hired a couple of semi-bright high school students and they worked on this for a couple of hours. Here's what they came up with. I deny responsibility for any of the content.

For what it lacks in pizazz, the City of Amsterdam, New York, website [proposed, unofficial, draft version] more than compensates with brutal honesty.

Welcoming. Accessible. Affordable. It's hard to imagine a better life than the life you'll find here, unless you've ever been anywhere else, or seen a movie, or watch television.

I mentioned in passing that I spent more time than I intended last weekend trying to upgrade a PC to a bigger hard drive. The PC (a Dell Dimension 2400) doesn't have room for more than one hard drive, so I put the new drive in a USB enclosure and downloaded a copy of Clonezilla Live, an open-source disk cloning program that runs on a bootable Linux CD. The software itself was easy to use, but in trying to do a disk-to-disk clone, it would finish copying the data then fail on an fsync call at the very end. Next I tried the image backup method -- create a Clonezilla image of the old, smaller drive on a MyBook external hard drive, then restore that image to the new drive. After some trial and error, I downloaded another bootable Linux tool, gparted, to get the partitions right before restoring the image to the new drive. I then installed the new drive in the PC.

Result: The system booted, the data was all there, but Windows XP thought the disk was still the same old size. (40 GB instead of 400 GB.) Going into the Computer Management tool under Disk Management, I could see that the partitions were there and recognized as the correct size, but when I looked at Properties on the drive, it still showed 40 GB with very little free space.

Finally it occurred to me to look at the instructions that came in the box. Sure enough, the Seagate kit included a CD with cloning software from Acronis.

That didn't work either. The Seagate software, which was based on DR-DOS, could recognize the MyBook, but not the drive in the external enclosure. I then tried numerous ways to connect the second drive to the IDE controller, but cable lengths and connector locations defeated me. This box was simply not designed to have a second hard drive installed.

Last try: I downloaded an updated version of the Seagate DiscWizard software. This version, also by Acronis, was Linux-based, had no trouble recognizing the drive in the USB enclosure, and made it easy to partition and clone the disk. Windows XP now correctly recognizes the drive's full size.

So my weekend would have been much more productive if I'd read the instructions in the first place. Then again, since the Seagate CD in the box didn't work, I probably would have tried Clonezilla next, so in all likelihood I'd have tried all the same experiments, just in a different order.

Clay Clark, a small businessman and Republican candidate for Mayor of Tulsa, issued a press release this morning announcing that he is withdrawing from the race to unify conservative Republican support behind former City Councilor and radio talk show host Chris Medlock:

Announced Republican Mayoral Candidate To Join Medlock Campaign

Clay Clark says he will be teaming up with the Chris Medlock For Mayor Campaign

Tulsa, Oklahoma - With the recent announcement of former city counselor and radio show host Chris Medlock's plans to run for Mayor of Tulsa, Clay Clark has decided to join the Medlock Campaign. "In my attempt to truly put priorities over politics, I feel as though joining the Chris Medlock campaign will provide Tulsa with the best chance to secure conservative leadership in the Mayor's office. After talking with our supporters and directly to Chris, it has become apparent that Chris and I agree on nearly all the major issues facing Tulsa. I believe that running against Chris would split the truly conservative vote, which would lead to the Mayor Taylor supporting candidate (Mr. Bartlett) being elected, and that would be like voting for Kathy Taylor Part 2."

Clark says that he will be joining the Medlock campaign on a full-time basis and that he has agreed to oversee the Internet Marketing and small business development aspects of the Medlock campaign.

Some quick links to local bloggers and other local news:

Tulsa Boy Singers will hold tryouts for new singers this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 6th & Cincinnati in downtown Tulsa. Boys from 8 to 18, in all vocal ranges, are welcome to try out. Just come prepared to sing a simple song like "Happy Birthday" or "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

(Somewhat related news: Mark Evanier links to a fascinating obituary for Bob Mitchell. Mitchell, who died at the age of 96, founded a boys choir in 1934 which he oversaw for 66 years. The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir performed in Hollywood hits like Going My Way and The Bishop's Wife. "Alumni include members of the Lettermen, the Modernaires and the Sandpipers...." Mitchell was an organist who played for silent movies in his teens and was organist at Dodger Stadium from 1962 to 1965. He began playing for silent films once again at age 79.)

Erin Fore has a cover story about "unschooling" in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly, in which she talks to parents and children in several Tulsa families that take an unstructured but highly motivated approach to home-based learning.

Steven Roemerman has a couple of new posts:

The Tulsa Police Department warns of a phony phone campaign soliciting funds in the name of Chief Ron Palmer. TPD Blog reminds readers never to give out your credit card number, bank account info, or any other personal information to an unsolicited caller.

Irritated Tulsan has some ideas on how to deal with the people holding those big "Shame on _____" banners around town on behalf of the carpenters' union.

Lynn Sislo reports great satisfaction using Tulsa's Apertures Photo for a digital photo enlargement:

Remember this? [A photo of a fawn.] I like it so well I got an (approximately 16″ X 20″) enlargement of it. This was a real "I LOVE modern technology" moment. I emailed the digital photo to Apertures Photo in Tulsa and a few days later the print was delivered to my house. It turned out fantastic and I didn't have to drive to Tulsa to get it. Besides the convenience it is a much higher quality enlargement than anything I ever got with film. Even the 5″ X 7″ enlargements I got from 35mm negatives were unacceptably poor but I have this huge print made from a digital image and it looks absolutely professional.

Jeff Shaw supplies some timely quotes from the Founding Fathers on the importance of honesty and virtue in government. Jeff has also posted a slide show of recent photos taken with 15-year-old Kodak 35mm film and an interesting entry on the April 1932 issue of the Etude Music Magazine. This particular issue featured interviews with Sergei Rachmaninoff and John Philip Sousa. The issue also contained sheet music, and the front cover is a Rockwellesque painting by Charles O. Golden of a boy conducting his friends in a little band, imagining that he is conducting a symphony orchestra. (More about Etude here.)

Dave the Oklahomilist has been blogging about a variety of important national issues, including Justice Ginsburg's comments about Roe v. Wade and "growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of" and the provisions in the Cap and Trade bill (Waxman-Markey) that will require intrusive energy efficiency inspections of your home.

Wendell Cox at New Geography blog remembers the original Dust Bowl and takes note of its reversal, as Californians move to Oklahoma for affordable housing and "hassle-free commuting."

bobwills.com, the official Bob Wills website, has launched a podcast called Bob Wills Radio, hosted by Jim Goff. Each episode features music and excerpts from interviews with members of the Texas Playboys. New episodes will go up each Monday at noon.

The inaugural edition features a 1983 interview with steel guitar legend Leon McAuliffe. Leon talks about how he came to play steel guitar, how he became a part of the Texas Playboys back in 1935, his friendship with Tex Beneke, and the beginnings of his band in Tulsa after World War II. His first band was a horn-dominated swing band, designed to set him apart from the western swing bands around. After touring the local dance circuit, Leon found that the audiences expected him to play western swing, so he canned the horns, hired some fiddle players, and switched back to western swing. (Harlequin Records has a disc of the big band version of Leon McAuliffe's band, from 1946-8.)

Toward the end of the podcast, there's a version of "T-U-L-S-A Straight Ahead," sung by Leon and backed by the Original Texas Playboys, the band made up of Bob Wills sidemen that performed from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. (For some reason, recordings of the Original Texas Playboys are really hard to find.)

Also on the bobwills.com website, you can purchase for download a 36-minute interview with Bob Wills recorded in 1949. Before you buy, you can hear a three-minute excerpt in which Bob Wills talks about their first dances at Cain's Ballroom, what kind of music you'd hear at Cain's before the Texas Playboys took up residence, and why they had to buy Cain's from Mr. & Mrs. Cain. (They started out at the Playmor, NW corner of 2nd and Madison, a second-floor dance hall -- retail below -- about half the size of Cain's.)

Former City Councilor and KFAQ talk show host Chris Medlock announced today at the Tulsa Press Club that he is running for Mayor of Tulsa. In 2006, Medlock ran an insurgent primary campaign on a shoestring budget against incumbent Bill LaFortune, finishing second with a respectable 34% in a four-way race, just nine points behind LaFortune.

From KOTV's story on today's announcement:

"As you can tell, I'm making no promises for bold new initiatives or sparkling new projects. It's time to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of city government to create a safer city, more livable city, the kind of city that children growing up in Tulsa today will remember as fondly as I remember the Tulsa of my childhood," said Chris Medlock, (R) Mayoral Candidate.

Medlock posted this summary of his platform on his campaign website, medlockformayor.com.

a mayor for ALL of Tulsa

I recently announced my candidacy for mayor. I am a firm believer that government should be open and transparent to the people it serves. I promise to bring Tulsa's focus back to the 98% of Tulsa that isn't downtown and to serve as a mayor for all of Tulsa.

Why am I running for Mayor?

Tulsa has been losing its luster since the early 1980s. When I came to city government in 2003, we were facing one of the worst budget crises in the city's history. Something had to be done. And so Vision 2025 was put before the voters. We were promised cranes in the air. We were promised our investment in Tulsa's future would turn the city around in such a crisis. Now just six years later we are facing a budget crisis worse than the one we faced in 2003. What happened?

What needs to change?

Tulsa has been governed by the same small group of people for most of my life. Power has been concentrated among a handful of families and business people. We can't continue to head in the same direction under the leadership of the same small group. We must take this opportunity to ask, isn't it time for a new direction? For new leadership? I say it is... and the multitude of people who encouraged me to run for mayor for looking for that new direction.

The website has a "get involved" page for those who want to volunteer or request a yard sign.

Several videos of the mishap at Tulsa's July 4, 2009, fireworks show have been uploaded to YouTube; I've posted three of them after the jump. Here's KOTV's story on what happened:

"What happened was a mortar that went off - exploded either really close to its container, or inside its container, and caused a fire on the trailer, burning over into another trailer nearby," said Captain Michael Baker of the Tulsa Fire Department.

The blaze melted the electronics needed to control the fireworks show. No one was injured as a result of the explosion.

An entire trailer devoted to the grand finale, filled with 1,000 shells, had to be dismantled.

(Here's a link to Irritated Tulsan's incisive analysis of the fiasco and his "mommy-blog quality" photos of the sunset earlier that evening.)

Click through to see those videos.

Welcome home, John Sullivan


John Sullivan and Michael Bates, April 17, 2006. Photo by John Tidwell.Monday evening I attended a reception welcoming Congressman John Sullivan back from his month at the Betty Ford Center. Sullivan checked himself into the center for rehabilitation for alcoholism. Since his return, he has made himself widely available for interviews with print and broadcast media about the impact of alcohol on his life and his reasons for dealing with the problem proactively. (See below for links.)

Sullivan has said that he sought treatment because of the effect alcohol was having on his relationships with his family, and in particular that he wanted to set a better example for his oldest son, who is now a teenager.

The event was attended by his three Oklahoma Republican colleagues in the U. S. House -- Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, and Mary Fallin, each of whom spoke briefly in appreciation of Sullivan's work in Congress.

I've heard negative comments from a number of Republicans, in person and via e-mail, suggesting that it's time for Sullivan to step aside or expressing an intention to support a primary challenge against him.

If someone has a beef with Sullivan over his vote on the bailout last fall, I can understand. It was a significant lapse for him and for Sen. Tom Coburn, and I think that time has shown that the bailout was the wrong move for our economy. But I have to weigh that against Sullivan's consistent record as the most fiscally conservative of Oklahoma's House delegation, as a solid social conservative, and as someone willing to take a stand in support of genuine and effective enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, a position that puts him at odds with the Chamber of Commerce types. While I think his record is overwhelmingly positive on balance from the conservative perspective, it's certainly a conservative voter's right to decide use the bailout vote as a litmus test, although I think that's short-sighted.

But it would be wrong to push John Sullivan out the door because he sought rehabilitation for alcoholism. If Sullivan is punished at the polls for seeking treatment, it will encourage others in public life who are dealing with a personal problem like substance dependency or marital strife to keep hiding, instead of seeking help, until the problem blows up into a huge career-ending, family-wrecking scandal. Sullivan has been open about his decision to seek help for his problem with alcohol in hopes that others who need help will find the strength to seek it out.

It's telling that, of all John Sullivan's most vocal political enemies, on the left and on the right, not one has come forward with a damaging rumor alleging scandalous behavior on his part. If something were out there, it would have surfaced on one web forum or another. As I wrote in late May, when he announced that he had admitted himself to the Betty Ford Center, "I had never seen anything in his behavior even hinting at a problem and had never even heard rumors of a problem."

Some have complained about Sullivan's being on leave during the House's vote on the "Cap and Trade" bill. The margin was wide enough that Sullivan's lone vote would not have made the difference. The Democratic leadership's last-minute substitute bill made it obvious that they would keep rewriting the bill until they persuaded enough of their own members to vote yes for something. What passed was a 300-page substitute that isn't even complete. An entire section -- the heart of the plan -- hasn't even been written, much less approved. The Senate will pass a different version (maybe -- Sen. Jim Inhofe says it's dead in the water), there will be a conference committee, all sorts of unholy, corrupt provisions will be quietly inserted into the bill by the conferees and their staffers, and then it will go back to the House and Senate for approval. There are plenty of opportunities yet to kill this thing, and once the teeth are in the bill, there will be some substance that Sullivan and others can use to convert yes voters to no voters. Sullivan will be there when it matters.

Congratulations to John on seeking help when he needed it and on his successful completion of rehab. I'm happy to have Congressman Sullivan back in Washington representing Oklahoma's 1st District.


KTUL: Sullivan Got Sober for Family

Sullivan will tell you drinking did not hurt him that much. Even when he was drinking, he said he worked-out regularly and got his job done. It was his loved ones who paid a price.

"They wanted to do things, and I wouldn't the next day when I'm hung over or don't feel too good. I wasn't there for them either, and might be snappy with them, and tell them, 'Get outta here.' I'd argue with my wife, and I feel terrible about that. It's not the way I want to be." explained Sullivan.

For Sullivan failing his kids started with drinking when he was a teenager. He began by sharing some Coors Light with his high school buddies. He would drink on and off, binging and then giving it up for years. But abstinence was never permanent, so after breaking promises to quit he said he finally decided he had to put his family first.

KTUL: Sullivan: "People Or Things Didn't Make Me Drink"

"People or things didn't make me drink," he says. "That's not what it was. It wasn't like things were stressful. I just did. I'm an alcoholic ya know? And if I start drinking I want to drink more, not every time but eventually that does happen."

Sullivan says over time, the occasional binge evolved from light beer to vodka and a strain at home. He says he wants to make it up to his family and his constituents by turning it all into a positive.

"I'm sure some people are disappointed with me," he says. "But it's hard to apologize because I needed to get help and I did. And I wanted to come forward and do this in a way that was public because I want to help other people."

KOTV: Congressman Sullivan Discusses Time In Rehab

Sullivan said during his month long treatment he learned that he will face a long recovery, but that he can overcome it.

"I can't drink. When I drink, it goes in and I react differently than a normal person. The choice I have is to work hard, and do what I need to do, but also to not to drink the first one. It's not the tenth drink that gets me drunk. It's the first one that starts the process," said Oklahoma Congressman John Sullivan.

KOTV: Experts Say Sullivan's Battle Could Help Others

Sullivan says he appreciates all the support he's received, and pledges to remain honest about his treatment in hopes that others will choose to take the same steps he did.

"That's the reason I'm being so public about it, too. If it can help someone come forward to know that you need to get help, and you can get it. Don't be scared to do it, and you won't be judged or punished. But, come forward and do it," said Congressman John Sullivan.

(Photo above by John Tidwell, taken April 2006.)

This morning an off-duty Tulsa city planner tweeted a link to a "memorial" -- a petition seeking the impeachment of State Rep. Sally Kern. A number of the 150 or so signers commented that they consider Kern, who is, like Pres. Obama, Gov. Henry, and nearly every member of Congress and the State Legislature, an avowed opponent of same-sex marriage, an embarrassment to the state of Oklahoma.

Here's the text of the petition, which is intended to reverse the damage that the petition alleges has been caused by Kern to the state's image and reputation (emphasis added, but spelling and punctuation left as is -- consider the whole thing [sic]):

To the Honorable House of Representatives of the great State of Oklahoma

The petition of _____________________, a citizen of the State of Oklahoma, and of the United States, respectfully showeth:

That, Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, sets forth the article for impeachment and that in such article it states "The Governor and other elective state officers, including the
Justices of the Supreme Court, shall be liable and subject to
impeachment for wilful neglect of duty, corruption in office,
habitual drunkenness, incompetency, or any offense involving
moral turpitude committed while in office."

That, Jefferson's Manual section LIII, 603, states that impeachment may be set in motion by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern has displayed to the citizens of her district and of the great State of Oklahoma incompetency while holding the office of State Representative; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, the actions, public address, legislation, views of Sally Kern have had a negative impact on recruiting and retaining businesses to the State of Oklahoma; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern has committed acts of moral turpitude while in office; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern's primary agenda is insight hate and rage towards the citizens of the State of Oklahoma; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern has violated the convent of the seperation between Church and State; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern has wasted taxpayer dollars pening legilsation that has added no value to the great State of Oklahoma; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, Sally Kern has shown support to repress the freedoms, rights, and privliges afforded to the citizens of the great State of Oklahoma by states constitution and the constitution of the Unites States of America.; and

The memorial goes on to set forth that, In all of this Sally Kern has acted in a manner contrary to her trust as State Representative, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury and oppresion of the people of the State of Oklahoma.

In conclusion the memoralist says:
Having thus submitted to your honorable body the facts of his case, your petitioner begs leave to observe that it appears from those facts:

First. That said Sally Kern is no longer viewed as a representative of the people of the great State of Oklahoma.

Second. That said Sally Kern has in the view of these people displayed incompetency in her ability to perform, enact, and carry out the duties of a Representative for the State of Oklahoma.

Third. That said Sally Kern has displayed poor judgement and moral turptitude in the her actions thus far as a Representative for the State of Oklahoma.

Wherefore, and inasmuch as the said Sally Kern has violated the most sacred and undoubted rights of the inhabitants of the State of Oklahoma, your petitioner prays that the conduct and proceedings in this behalf, of said Sally Kern, may be inquired into by your honorable body, and such decision made therein to impeach, to appoint managers to conduct the impeachment trial in the Senate, and to inform the Senate of these facts by resolution (Manual Sec. 607; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 9) for trial and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the State of Oklahoma;

And your petitioner, as in duty bound, will pray.

Sincerely, We The Undersigned;

As serious as the allegations against Kern are -- violating "convents," moral "turptitude," "insights" of hate and rage, and "pening legilsation" (an act that looks awfully turptitudinous) -- someone needs to hold the authors and signers of this petition accountable for an assault on the English language. All y'all are making us look like a bunch of ignorant hicks.

Just saw a promo on OETA: Documentary-maker Ken Burns is planning a series on the Dust Bowl, in the same vein as his works on the Civil War, jazz, and baseball, and he's looking for help from Oklahomans:


I'm asking Oklahomans to help me with a new public television series I'm now working on: The Dust Bowl.

Like our earlier films on World War II, Jazz, Baseball, and The Civil War, we think the Dust Bowl is an important event in all of American history.

We're in the early stages of our research, but we know that Oklahoma will be a major part of the Dust Bowl story we want to tell.

We're looking for first-person stories of Oklahomans who lived through those hard, hard times, especially out in the Panhandle, where the Dust Bowl was the worst.

We hope to find people who can share their experiences with us - or their photographs, diaries, or home movies from the 1930s, to help us tell this important story.

If you or someone you know can help in this research project, please contact OETA at 1-800-846-7665

Or Send a Note to:

OETA Dustbowl Stories
P.O. Box 14190
Oklahoma City, OK 73113

All we need at this stage is a short, written note explaining how you could serve as a resource. Or, please call OETA with a brief description of your Dust Bowl experience. We'll take it from there.

Thank you for helping in this important project.

Ken Burns
Florentine Films

I don' t have any Dust Bowl stories in my family, but I have a couple of suggestions:

Run ads in California's Central Valley, places like Bakersfield and Fresno, where many Okies wound up and where their descendants still live.

Include western swing and its precursors (old-time fiddle music, Texas blues) in the soundtrack. Woody Guthrie may have been writing folk songs to tell the story of the masses, but the masses were at the neighbor's house, rolling up the rug, pushing back the chairs and tables, and dancing to the kind of music that Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Hank Penny, and Spade Cooley would forge into western swing.

In particular, Cindy Walker wrote a song called "Dusty Skies," which the Texas Playboys recorded in 1941. I don't remember where I read this, but it's said that Tommy Duncan choked up the first time he sang it, recalling the dust storms that devastated his family's farm in Texas. In his Guardian obituary of Cindy Walker, Tony Russell wrote of "Dusty Skies":

As delivered by Wills' vocalist Tommy Duncan, it is among the most affecting of country epitaphs, as true a memorial of its time and place as the Dust Bowl Ballads of Woody Guthrie.

(A side note: If you want to find good biographical sketches of western swing musicians, check the archives of British newspapers like the Independent, the Telegraph, and the Guardian.)

Here are the lyrics:

Dusty skies
I can't see nothing in sight
Good old Dan you'll have to guide me right
If we lose our way the cattle will stray
And we'll lose them all tonight
Cause all of the grass and water's gone
We'll have to keep movin' on

Sand blowin' I just can't breathe in this air
Thought it would soon be clear and fair
But dust storms played hell
With land and folks as well
Got to be moving somewhere

Hate to leave the old ranch so bare
But I've got to be moving somewhere

So get along dogies
We're moving off of this range
Never thought as how I'd make a change
But the blue skies have failed
So we're on our last trail
Underneath these dusty skies
This ain't tears in my eyes
Just sand from these dusty skies

After the jump, a video of the song. (The video is a bit odd, but it's Tommy Duncan's 1941 version on the audio.)

The morning began with the patter of a steady drizzle on the roof as I snoozed in bed. It was a good soaking rain, much appreciated by my lawn.

As tempting as it was to stay in bed listening to the rain, I decided to bestir myself and head out to the taxpayers' "tea party" at Haikey Creek Park. I arrived about half way through the festivities. The rain continued, off and on, but there was a good crowd (300 is my guess), I saw a lot of familiar faces, listened to a few speeches, and had a Nathan's hot dog.

Shortly after I got home, the power went out, affecting several blocks, including the grocery store. It came back on, but I didn't trust it to stay on, so instead of working on the computer, I left it off and worked on laundry and housecleaning. There was another short outage about 3. I took a nap while the clothes were drying.

The power seemed stable, so I went back to work on my computer project -- upgrading the hard drive on the kitchen computer. My attempt to do a direct disk-to-disk transfer using Clonezilla Live had failed once the night before, so I tried it again, and again it failed. (It failed on the final fsync call.)

About 8 I decided to go try to see some fireworks. My family was visiting my in-laws in Arkansas, and I didn't have an invite anywhere, so I drove around to see what was open (Blue Dome district was completely shut down), wound up at 16th and Boston, and started walking towards the 21st Street bridge. As I got close to the bridge, someone called my name. It was Maria Barnes, the once and possibly future District 4 councilor. She waved me over, and I sat down to chat with Maria and her family as we waited for the show to begin.

The fireworks began at 9, before the sky had turned completely dark. Word was that the early start was to try to beat the storms that were on the way. About 15 minutes later, we saw a whole bunch of fireworks go off near the deck of the bridge and more shoot up and explode. End of show. Maria's husband James said he saw a fire truck headed toward the launch site. Turns out a mortar misfired and the electronics for the remaining fireworks were destroyed.

Heading back to the house, I saw thousands of people in lawn chairs in the parking lots on the east side of Yale between 15th and 21st, as if they were expecting a fireworks show. But the Drillers were out of town and Bell's, which always had a great display, has been gone for three years. As I walked down to the store to pick up a few items, I saw a few rogue rockets here and there, accompanied by lightning in the clouds, but no show.

I brought back a free Red Box video rental (thanks 918 Coupon Queen!) -- Gran Torino, starring and directed by Clint Eastwood -- and watched it as I folded laundry and Clonezilla did its work. It's a wonderfully multifaceted story. You can read it as a meditation on the meaning of manhood. We're presented with several models to consider: Walt Kowalski (the main character, a Korean war vet and retired auto worker), his sons, the Hmong, Latino, and black gang members, the young priest, and the young Hmong man that Kowalski reluctantly takes under his wing. There's another angle dealing with the clash of cultures. The corrosive spread of gangbanger culture beyond its ghetto roots is another recurring theme. I think at some point I need to watch Gran Torino with my oldest son, followed by a long discussion. (The language is a deterrent to doing that anytime soon.) The movie reinforces my growing conviction that enculturation -- attachment to a healthy culture -- is more important than education in preventing crime and poverty.

Elsewhere in the Oklahoma blogosphere:

Nothing worked out quite as David Schuttler had hoped, but he did catch video of the final barrage of the River Parks fireworks display.

Irritated Tulsan has posted a collection of memories of Bell's Amusement Park. Shadow6's first date story is my favorite.

Tasha Does Tulsa took advantage of the long weekend to catch up on her blog-stalking. (And many thanks for the kind words, Natasha.)

Laurel Kane had plenty of visitors at Afton Station, despite the rain, and she made it down to Tulsa to see a parade of Gold Wing motorcycles on their way to watch fireworks at the river.

Brandon Dutcher links to a paper by Neil McCluskey of the Cato Institute. Far from being the bedrock of American liberty, public education often been used to oppress local autonomy and individual freedom:

Today, following decades of district consolidation, the imposition of statewide curricula, and threats of national standards, all religious, ideological, and ethnic groups are forced to fight, unable to escape even into the relative peace of truly local districts. The result is seemingly constant warfare over issues such as intelligent design, abstinence education, multiculturalism, school prayer, offensive library books, and so on. When diverse people are forced to support a single system of public schools, they don't come together, they fight to make theirs the values that are taught.

Today is a day to celebrate America's independence, to remember the reasons our Founding Fathers declared independence, to renew our commitment to the liberties that they sought to secure, and to thank the Creator for the rights with which He has endowed us and for giving us, in His providence, a nation in which those rights are acknowledged and protected.

Tasha Does Tulsa has details on a long list of Tulsa-area Independence Day events, including the fireworks shows at 21st and the Arkansas River, at the Jenks Riverwalk Crossing, at the Owasso High School stadium, in Sapulpa's Liberty Park, and over Lake Keystone.

And don't forget about the 4th of July "Tea Party," a demonstration against wasteful government spending, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Haikey Creek Park, east side of Garnett Rd. between 111th and 121st St. S. in Broken Arrow.

Blacklight Radio, an Internet music station based here in the Tulsa area, will be playing a patriotic-themed song every 15 minutes over the course of the day.

As you get ready to celebrate, take a few minutes to remember what led up to the American Revolution and the decision of the Continental Congress to break with Mother England. The online John Adams archive has a letter written on July 3, 1776, by the Massachusetts delegate and drafter of the Declaration of Independence to his wife Abigail, in which Adams bemoans the consequences of the delay in making such a declaration, but also recognizes the benefit:

But on the other Hand, the Delay of this Declaration to this Time, has many great Advantages attending it. -- The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

Adams was off by a couple of days -- we remember the 4th, the date when the final text of the Declaration of Independence was approved, rather than the 2nd, when Richard Henry Lee's resolution in support of making such a declaration was passed. And the number of approved Illuminations and approved places to ignite them shrinks year after year.

In another letter home on July 3, Adams wrote to his wife of the momentous decision made the day previous. Pay close attention the part I've highlighted, in which he looks ahead to the possibility of hard times for the nation:

Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony "that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do." You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the Causes, which have impell'd Us to this mighty Revolution, and the Reasons which will justify it, in the Sight of God and Man. A Plan of Confederation will be taken up in a few days.

When I look back to the Year 1761, and recollect the Argument concerning Writs of Assistance, in the Superiour Court, which I have hitherto considered as the Commencement of the Controversy, between Great Britain and America, and run through the whole Period from that Time to this, and recollect the series of political Events, the Chain of Causes and Effects, I am surprized at the Suddenness, as well as Greatness of this Revolution. Britain has been fill'd with Folly, and America with Wisdom, at least this is my judgment. -- Time must determine. It is the Will of Heaven, that the two Countries should be sundered forever. It may be the Will of Heaven that America shall suffer Calamities still more wasting and Distresses yet more dreadfull. If this is to be the Case, it will have this good Effect, at least: it will inspire Us with many Virtues, which We have not, and correct many Errors, Follies, and Vices, which threaten to disturb, dishonour, and destroy Us. -- The Furnace of Affliction produces Refinement, in States as well as Individuals. And the new Governments we are assuming, in every Part, will require a Purification from our Vices, and an Augmentation of our Virtues or they will be no Blessings. The People will have unbounded Power. And the People are extreamly addicted to Corruption and Venality, as well as the Great. [The letterbook copy of this letter includes the following sentence:] [ I am not without Apprehensions from this Quarter.]-- But I must submit all my Hopes and Fears, to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable [ as] the Faith may be, I firmly believe.

You don't often see politicians these days admitting to the possibility of hard times, much less praising their salutary effects on government and governed.

It's interesting, too, to see Adams' historical perspective of the events leading up to the war and the breach between Britain and America. He sees it not a process that began with the Intolerable Acts or the Boston Massacre, but one that had its roots 15 years earlier. The case to which Adams refers, dealing with Writs of Assistance, involves issues of individual rights and law enforcement that are still relevant today.


Alisa Harris posted a clip from the movie On the Waterfront on the World Magazine Blog in memory of Karl Malden. It's a powerful speech in which Malden, as Father Barry, gives last rites to a longshoreman who was ready to testify against the Mob and paid for his courage with his life. Father Barry finds in Christ the courage to take his own stand in the face of a hostile crowd. It had me in tears.

I came down here to keep a promise. I gave Kayo my word that if he stood up to the mob I'd stand up with him -- all the way. And now Kayo Dugan is dead. He was one of those fellows who had the gift of standing up....

Now what does Christ think of the easy money boys who do none of the work and take all of the gravy? And how does He feel about the fellas who wear $150 suits -- and diamond rings! -- on your union dues and your kickback money? And how does He, who spoke up without fear against every evil, feel about your silence?

You want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's making the love of the lousy buck - the cushy job - more important than the love of man. It's forgetting that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ. But remember, Christ is always with you - Christ is in the shape up. He's in the hatch. He's in the union hall. He's kneeling right here beside Dugan. And He's saying with all of you, if you do it to the least of mine, you do it to me!

And what they did to Joey and what they did to Dugan, they're doing to you -- and you -- you -- all of you! And only you -- only you with God's help have the power to knock 'em out for good!

(If you're reading this on the home page, you can watch the clip in the extended entry. Otherwise, scroll down.)

Less eloquently, I tried to make a similar point in my November 2, 2005, column in Urban Tulsa Weekly on faith and political courage:

But faith is more than reciting a creed or performing certain rituals. Faith involves confidence and trust. During a worship service you profess certain things to be true about God's nature and character. During the rest of the week, your true faith--what you really believe about God and his dealings with you and the rest of the humanity--becomes apparent in the way you live your life, and particularly in the way you deal with adversity.

For that reason, what an elected official really believes about God's nature and character affects how he conducts himself in office. Someone who has genuine confidence and trust in God as He is revealed in the Bible will have courage and persistence in the face of discouragement, danger, hostility, oppression, and injustice....

The usual pressure tactics won't succeed with the politician who reads and believes the Epistle to the Philippians. He turns his anxieties into prayers to his all-sufficient Father. You can threaten his job or his wife's job, but he reads that God will supply all his needs. You can threaten him with removal from office, but he is learning, with Paul, to be content in any situation.

You can threaten his reputation and position, but he is a follower and servant of Christ, who forsook his heavenly throne, "made himself of no reputation, and took upon [himself] the form of a servant." You can threaten his life, but he knows that "to die is gain"--the worst you can do is send him on to his heavenly home earlier than he expected. He expects to share in the sufferings of his Lord, but also in his Lord's resurrection.

If you're a Councilor steeped in Scripture you aren't going to be deterred when a big donor threatens to fund your opponent; when someone from the Chamber or the Home Builders corners you to cuss you out over a vote, or when the morning paper does another front-page hatchet job on you....

If we want elected officials who are fearless to do what is right, we ought to look for men and women whose character has been shaped by confidence in a God who is bigger than any adversary they may face.


From 2005, some reactions to that column, including this from Councilor Rick Westcott, then a first-time candidate:

I also think that a person's faith gives them a sense of identity which helps ground them in times of trouble. Because I know who I am in Christ, who God made me, because I know He has a plan for me, it gives me a sense of identity that isn't shaken by those who might attack me. I don't need the external validation that some seek from others.

Democratic State Sen. Tom Adelson announced on Wednesday his anticipated candidacy for Mayor of Tulsa. Reports of the announcement hint that many of Mayor Kathy Taylor's Democratic supporters during the 2006 primary were in attendance in support of Adelson. It will be interesting to see if Democrats who supported Don McCorkell and Democrats who belong to Just Progress will get on board with Adelson or if another candidate will emerge.

On Thursday, Republican City Councilor Bill Christiansen announced that he would not run for Mayor, but would instead seek a fifth term on the City Council. The announcement comes just a few days after an extensive phone survey, apparently on Christiansen's behalf, testing voter response to a number of "push-poll" messages about Christiansen. It seems reasonable to speculate that the results didn't look promising for a Christiansen victory in the Republican primary. The timing of the announcement would be about right: Assuming the poll that likely ran on Sunday and Monday evenings, the consultant would have had raw results early Tuesday and analysis ready for review by Wednesday.

Another factor may have been rumors that Republican former City Councilor and 2006 mayoral candidate Chris Medlock will run. Medlock was one of the names on the aforementioned survey. The electoral math of a three-way primary (with no runoff) between Dewey Bartlett, Jr., Christiansen, and Medlock might have created a vote split that would have worked in Medlock's favor. Christiansen may have been encouraged to step aside by special interest groups that have opposed Medlock in the past. As a radio talk show host, Medlock wasn't expected to run for anything, but that gig ended earlier this year as a result of Journal Broadcast Group cutbacks.

It's not known how Christiansen's change of direction will affect the candidates that were already lining up to succeed him. I wouldn't expect Phil Lakin to challenge an incumbent, particularly one that voted for the assessment district which is financing the ballpark that is being built by a company that Lakin heads. Christiansen could be vulnerable to a challenge, particularly if his Republican constituents would prefer a councilor more like John Eagleton, Bill Martinson, or Rick Westcott on fiscal issues. Will either of the two announced District 8 candidates, Bryan Osborne or Paul Wizikowski, stay in? Stay tuned.

With Christiansen's about-face, it now appears that all nine city councilors will seek re-election. That's never happened before. Jack Henderson (D-District 1), Rick Westcott (R-District 2), Bill Martinson (R-District 5), John Eagleton (R-District 7), and G. T. Bynum (R-District 9) have all either announced or are expected to announce, and none of them have drawn an opponent.

Districts 3, 4, and 6 are shaping up as rematches between current incumbents and the former incumbents they beat: David Patrick vs. Roscoe Turner in 3, Eric Gomez vs. Maria Barnes in 4, and Dennis Troyer vs. Jim Mautino in 6. Rocky Frisco is challenging Gomez in the District 4 Republican primary. A few other candidates had expressed interest in the District 6 Republican nomination prior to Mautino's announcement that he would run; so far (as far as I am aware) no other candidate has officially announced.


Steven Roemerman has put together a very useful Tulsa City Council relational database in Microsoft Access -- every councilor since its inception in 1990, including the exact dates of the terms they served. It's a must-have for all of us politically-minded nerds. The database was inspired by his skepticism over the proposed charter amendment that would change the City Council's terms changed to three years, staggered so that only three of nine are up for election in any year.

David Schuttler has an interesting clip of Bill Christiansen from a 2006 City Council meeting regarding the proposed south Tulsa bridge. (If you're on the home page, click the "Continue reading" link to see it.)

Tulsa County Republican Party Chairman Sally Bell praised four Republican Tulsa City Councilors for continuing to hold the line against Mayor Kathy Taylor's efforts to oust Michael Slankard from the City's Ethics Advisory Committee in a newsletter sent out on Wednesday. At a June 23, 2009, Council committee meeting five of the nine councilors (Jack Henderson, Rick Westcott, Bill Martinson, John Eagleton, and Bill Christiansen) indicated they would vote against James Kincaid, a District 9 resident and Taylor's latest attempt to replace Slankard. Six councilors rejected an earlier nominee to replace Slankard, Sandra Rodolf.

Although the newsletter singles out Republicans for praise (as you would expect in a Republican newsletter), it's worth noting that the group in opposition is bipartisan. Notice too that, even though Taylor has dropped her re-election bid, councilors have still opposed her position on several issues. That puts the lie to Taylor's suggestion that Council objections to her budget, nominations, and other decisions were motivated by attempts to gain partisan political advantage. (It also undermines Mayoral candidate Dewey Bartlett's complaints about partisan bickering.)

Republican Councilors Hold the Line on Mayor Taylor

Four Republican Tulsa city councilors have drawn a line in the sand with Mayor Kathy Taylor. Republicans Rick Westcott, Bill Christiansen, John Eagleton and Bill Martinson, along with Democrat Jack Henderson, voted to reject Mayor Taylor's pick of Tulsa attorney James Kincaid for the Ethics Advisory Committee. Mr. Kincaid was to replace Michael Slankard.

Mayor Taylor refused to re-nominate Mr. Slankard for another term after he requested that the Ethics Advisory Committee investigate Taylor's decision to send her private jet to pick up Councilor David Patrick (D) so Patrick could be present for the vote on the controversial assessment fee for the downtown ball park.

Mr. Slankard has served the Ethics Advisory Committee well, has a very good record of service and should have been reappointed according to the councilors.

The Tulsa City Charter allows for the mayor to make appointments and reappointments that then must be approved by the city council. The city council has the right to accept or reject any nominee.

Mr. Kincaid is Mayor Taylor's second choice. Her first choice was Tulsa attorney Sandra Rodolf. Ms. Rodolf was voted down on April 30, 2009 in a 6-3 vote. The five councilors listed above, along with Republican city councilor Eric Gomez voted against Ms. Rodolf's appointment.

When Republican elected officials stray off the "legal" or "moral" path - as in the case of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford - we don't sweep it under the rug. We hold them accountable.

When our Republican elected officials make a stand for what's right we need to stand with them by getting the word out. We know most media outlets won't do it.

We commend our Tulsa City Council Republican officials for making this stance. These councilors now need the support of a strong Republican Mayor. Let's work hard to give them that support in November.

It seems that if you wait long enough, you can get an answer to any question on the internet.

Each week, James Lileks posts photos of a vintage matchbook advertising a business. He usually is able to provide some information on the subsequent history of the business or what is now at that address. Quite some time ago, Lileks posted a matchbook for Harris Lunch, a cafe that seemed to have left no trace on the World Wide Web and mentioned mysterious menu items. He made a guess (which turned out to be pretty accurate), but concluded, "Who knows? These are the details we lose every day."

Because the place had a Ponca City, Okla., location, I posted a link to see if a BatesLine reader had any information. Last night, Al Harris, the son of founder U. P. Harris, found my entry via a search engine and left a comment with the history of Harris Lunch, $400 waffles, and preacher-style fried chicken. I tweeted it @Lileks, and he was kind enough to link to the find in today's Bleat.

This rediscovery of nearly-lost culinary history was made possible by a matchbook collector willing to share his finds on the Internet (in the most entertaining way possible), a blog with a local emphasis and searchable archives, and someone looking for traces of family history on the World-Wide Web.

Oh, and it turns out Lileks had another Harris matchbook, which he used for an episode of "Joe Ohio," which built the life story of a matchbook salesman, in serial form, out of an anonymous man's matchbook collection. This matchbook is for Harris' Fine Foods, mentions Preacher Style Chicken and $400 waffles, and locations in Logan, Utah, Grand Junction, Colo., as well as Kingman, Kans. (I remember reading it now, but it didn't mention any location in Oklahoma, so it didn't make the impression that the other matchbook did.)

UPDATED 2016/05/30 with new locations of matchbooks on Lileks.com

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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