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Barry Friedman at Large

Will someone please answer the damn phone?

What’s that smell?

At its nitrogen facility in Enid, Koch Industries is planning to build a fertilizer plant that will increase production by more than 1 million tons per year. In a related story, the company also is thinking about buying metropolitan newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun.

Just hope when the Kochs are finished with the acquisitions, we’ll be able to tell the difference.

The KKK as a teachable moment

Arguing against a name change for the Brady Arts District, Mayor Dewey Bartlett said, “We use history as a teaching device, that is a very good use. We ... take advantage of his (early city leader and alleged Klansman Tate Brady’s) and our past and look for how not to do things and, hopefully, how to do things.”

Mayor, Strunk and White, line one.

The eclectic Brady Arts District is known for its entertainment, art and diversity. It is an immensely popular cultural/arts venue and a shining piece of downtown Tulsa’s revitalization. Do Tulsans today want Brady’s name attached to it?

I have a better idea: Just rename it the Clark District.

Who’s Clark?

Otis Clark, 109, died last year — believed to be the oldest survivor of Tulsa’s 1921 Race Riot.

The small print is even worse.

In the latest anti-abortion measure passed by our state legislature (which will be ruled unconstitutional in exactly 17. 3 milliseconds), the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Kyle Loveless, (R-Oklahoma City) said the measure also would allow people to sue physicians for failing to follow the new guidelines, even if the person mounting the lawsuit has no relationship with the woman obtaining the procedure.


Read it again.


Zeus wept.

There is talk yet again about bringing the 2024 Olympic Games to Tulsa.

(Stop snickering.)

OK, go ahead.

Aside from everything else, like hotels, infrastructure and coming up with the $3.5 billion needed to fund the project, how are we going to get local restaurateurs to serve past 9 p.m.? You know those Socialist Europeans and their late-night eating habits.

Rule 1

In the morning, upon waking, first kiss your significant other; then check Facebook.

To: Tulsa International Mayfest and Blue Dome Arts Festival planners; Re: Scheduling

Look, one of you take the first week in May, one of you take the last. It’s not that difficult.

“You’re a great crowd. Tip your wait staff.”

In his show, uh, speech, before the Tulsa Republican Club last month, Sen. Jim Inhofe cracked jokes about Democrats and then said of President Barack Obama, “Never in the history of our country have we had a president with so much disdain for every institution that made America great. I can’t leave my 20 kids and grandkids out there alone. I’m going to do all I can to stop this trend in this country.”

We’re not sure if Inhofe meant the trend of senators who make unsubstantiated, berserk statements, or the trend of senators who use their family as props to make unsubstantiated, berserk statements.

“Sorry, Officer, but Channel 8 told me not to stop.”

On the KTUL website, the station listed five ways to mitigate the high cost of gasoline.

Last item: “Eliminate left turns and stop lights.”

“Shannon, party of one, your heart’s ready.”

So, after Gov. Mary Fallin proposed spending $50 million in state tobacco tax revenue to underwrite private insurance for the 9,000 Oklahomans who would lose coverage at the end of the year (had she accepted Affordable Care Act funds, 150,000 Oklahomans would have had access at no cost to the state, but no matter), Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon poured both salt and sanctimony on the state’s uninsured.

“I have no plans to continue a government-run insurance program,” he said. “I simply do not believe it’s the government’s job.”

Seniors, veterans, you got that?

In which we channel Seinfeld ... You know how to bury the time capsule. You just can’t remember where you put it — and that’s really the most important part of the time capsule: finding it later.

In 1998, students at Tulsa’s Eisenhower International School buried a time capsule near a pole. Problem is — OK, two problems, but they’re related.

1. Someone moved the pole, and

2. Nobody can find the capsule.

Worse, the school is now moving to a new location, so unless the capsule is found quickly, the “Boogie Nights” VHS and Nirvana hoodie could be lost forever.

Ups and downs

UP … the Rev. Dr. Mouzon Biggs Jr. and Rabbi Charles Sherman, both recently retired. How religion should be done.

DOWN … Oklahoma State University head football coach Mike Gundy for not allowing quarterback Wes Lunt to transfer to a Pac-12 school or Central Michigan — yes, Central Michigan, one of OSU’s opponents in 2015 (2015!). There are some mitigating circumstances, but please. Lunt is not an employee; he’s not chattel. He’s a kid who’s not happy. Let him go where he wants. 

DOWN … Sen. Tom Coburn, who said he won’t vote for federal disaster assistance to Oklahomans — let me repeat, to OKLAHOMANS — unless the money is offset somewhere else in the budget.

DOWN … The 18-year-old Tulsan who, when cornered by a police dog, started kicking it in the head. Anyway, the dog then grabbed a hold of the aforementioned leg — as if to say, “Dude, really?” — and then chomped down. Later, the teen was charged with — and who knew such a thing existed — battery of a police dog.



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