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Friday, December 15, 2017

I hope to resume writing new blog posts

Note from Thomas Kraemer: "I hope to resume writing new blog posts for my personal 'Tom's OSU blog' page after I recover from some additional death of neural cells in a dispersed area of of my brain (as observable in a MRI brain scan of the posterior cerebral artery or PCA region). The brain death is being caused by indeterminable reasons and doesn't have any established cures or treatments, but it has physically disabled me further and worsened my low vision blindness to a point where Web surfing and writing blog pages has become almost impossible to do, even when using the good accessibility features built into the Windows Operating system and in some standard Windows internet browsers."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

OSU student TV show by gay Delta Lamda Phi frat boys

Gay Delta Lamda Phi frat frat boys Chris Hands and Ryan Lopez at Oregon State University are interviewed by Cory Zimmerman on a student TV station computer game show circa Aug. 16, 2017

PHOTO: The Oregon State University student-run KBVR TV station (the station's call letters were chosen to match the school's Beaver mascot), is broadcast in Corvallis both online and via the local Comcast Cable TV system, recently ran a TV show hosted by a gay OSU student Cory Zimmerman that discusses computer gaming, and he interviews two of his gay fraternity brothers, Chris Hands and Ryan Lopez (shown above) who are all are part of a recently colonized gay fraternity Δ Λ Φ (a.k.a. Delta Lambda Phi) that says it "focuses on creating a space for men of all sexual orientations and gender expressions to have the traditional Greek experience on campus." During the TV show, the frat brothers emphasize that just because they are chartered as a "male-only" fraternity in order to fit within the traditional Greek system on campus, they would be happy to consider accepting frat brothers of any biological sex or intersex, who sincerely identified as being male or did not want to identify as being one of the traditional binary gender categories. I know well a gay FTM (female-to-male) person who would have loved to have been part of a gay male frat in college, but was rejected from many male-only college educational classes because colleges routinely rejected admittance to all-male classes, based on the student's female birth certificate, depite the fact that the student had lived life as a man since birth. Amusingly, during the interview, one fraternity brother remarked how his frat brother next to him was such an "old" man to be 24-years old, compared to the typical 18-years-old college freshman. They also joke about how the video game "Daddies" they were reviewing has a name and content with nothing about gays or sex in it, but they still found it funny because they fantasized about the stereotype of a hot masculine top daddy as often seen in gay porno videos. Their discussion made me laugh because my first relationship with a man occurred with a guy who was 26-years old, when I was merely 18, and at the time I thought this "older" man was so old and mature, and he inspired me to match his maturity, but today when I see anybody below 50 years old they look very much like an immature baby who I would never have any interest in having a relationship with! The boys also describe thier love of drag performances, which gay history shows has always been poular with gan men. When I came out in the Stonewall era, drag was not appreciated by many younger activists, who dismissed it as being an artifact of an older generation of gay men from a former era when gay men were forced to stay in the closet. They also rejected it because they wanted to make the political point that gay man are like all men and therefore deserve equal rights, without being treated as second-class citizens like women were treated unequally in 1969 before Stonewall and the Women's Liberation Movement was successful. Today, both men and women have achieved equal rights, and the theatrical art of drag is still popular amongst most gay men today. I am finally able to appreciate it! For more about this gay OSU frat, see OSU Office of Student Life, Center for Fraternity And Sorority Life Web page, "Delta Lambda Phi," accessed Oct. 21, 2017 and OSU DLP website plus their DLP Facebook page for social media contact with the Delta Lambda Phi Colony - Oregon Facebook page. Also, my see previous post OSU gay frat Δ Λ Φ organized by student Cory Zimmerman (11/3/16)

I accidently ran across the above gay student TV show while channel surfing cable TV one day, but I was also able to find it on the student's Youtube channel version they mentioned during the show -- see below:

VIDEO: "Delta Lambda Phi Plays Dream Daddy || LGBTQ Representation," OSU KBVR TV posted Aug. 16, 2017. This OSU student run KBVR TV station program is available on Comcast Cable TV and online. The show's description says, "Join us as we sit down with Chris Hands and Ryan Lopez from the LGBTQ+ fraternity here at Oregon State University -- we talk about gay representation in games and pop culture while we play Dream Daddy." Delta Lambda Phi is the gay fraternity at OSU.

Monday, October 23, 2017

OSU Queer History Month 2017 and OSU library copy of my history

An Oregon State University student newspaper story by Sydney Sullivan, "OSU celebrates Queer History Month," OSU Barometer, posted online Oct. 16, 2017, says, "According to Cynthia Konrad, director of the Pride Center, Queer History month has been celebrated since the mid-1990s and was built around National Coming Out Day, which occurs on Oct. 11.. . . The events this year at OSU will be hosted by and in collaboration with numerous groups including, LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network, the Ettihad Cultural Center, the Women's Center, the OSU Queer Archives, the Rainbow Continuum student organization and the Pride Center, according to Konrad. . . Queer History Month should also be set apart from Pride month, according to Lucielle S. Balls, a community organizer, drag legend and queen of the beaver 2012. . ." I will have more to say on the history of student drag performances in a future post. (Also see previous post OSU students support drag, gay marriage and anti-gay newspapers (10/25/12))

The student newspaper story also says, "Natalia Fernandez, curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives and OSU Queer Archives, works with the OSU archives towards conserving queer history for future generations." She also says, "The OSU Queer Archives is one small part of the broader history of Oregon and of queer history in the United States. Our vision is for OSQA to highlight the stories within the university and its local communities and to also be a reflection of statewide and national issues and themes." Since its establishment in the fall of 2014, OSQA has strived to highlight LGBTQ+ stories already within the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center. The OSQA oral history collection alone has over two dozen interviews and counting. (I'll have more to say about the OSU Oral History Collection in a future post.)

Due to my worsening low vision blindness and disability, I have been unable to meet with Cynthia L. Konrad, director of the OSU Pride Center, as I have done with previous OSU Pride Center directors, however, I recently was able to send her an email request to update the two history pages on the OSU Pride Center website, so that they will both link directly to the OSU Library page that has a link to a PDF copy of my OSU history, instead of these two pages pointing offsite to a webpage that might change or even disappear in the future. Specifically, the two pages are -- "Our History" and -- "Welcome to the Pride Center! About Us" -- only one of the pages links directly to the OSU Library page below:

Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," printed to PDF from in 2010 permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives @ OSU

My history documents the first gay student group at OSU to be formally recognized by OSU administrators, which was formed in 1976 and has been continuously running under different names since then. It focuses on the history of queer students and staff located on the Corvallis Campus of OSU, but it also mentions activities in Corvallis and elsewhere to provide a historical context. It is not meant to be a history of Corvallis as some people have mistakenly thought by reading the short histories on two OSU history pages above.

See previous posts:

The Oregon State University Cultural Resource Centers ( accessed Oct. 23 2017) list the following Centers:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Voters should be wary OSU enrollment can decline as well as grow

headline 'H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs' Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2

PHOTO: Hewlett-Packard's plans to build a handheld computer research lab and calculator manufacturing plant in Corvallis is described in a newspaper article by John Atkins, "H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs," Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2. (See previous posts Don't Cali-fornicate Oregon and HP annexation history (6/14/12) and Apple demolishes old HP site in Silicon Valley to build 'spaceship' headquarters (3/17/16))

The local newspaper story by reporter James Day, "Corvallis annexation policies discussed," Corvallis Gazette-Times, Oct. 10, 2017, p. A3 posted Oct. 9, 2017 as "Economic development board backs annexations review", prompted me to write the following letter to the editor on the history of annexation laws in Corvallis, which is the small college town where the main campus of Oregon State University is located:

Some of the proposed changes to the requirement all annexations to Corvallis be approved by voters could reestablish the problems that made taxpayers angry enough to demand it in 1976.

After World War II, Corvallis quickly doubled in size and real estate developers were allowed to profit greatly, while sticking taxpayers with the bill for inadequate public services, such as sewer, water and streets.

It all came to a head in 1975 when Hewlett-Packard built a research lab and manufacturing plant in Corvallis, ironically just a few years before growth stalled out during President Reagan's administration due to high interest rates and declining enrollment at OSU after the Baby Boom Generation graduated.

The recent doubling in OSU enrollment has again led to growth problems in Corvallis, such as the lack of affordable houses, but voters should be wary that enrollment could drop again in the future, and the problems associated with unoccupied dwellings are even worse.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis faces growth issues," Gazette-Times, Oct. 17, 2017, p. A8 posted online as "Corvallis faces issues with growth" also see Link to previous Thomas Kraemer GT Letters)

Over four decades ago, I recall my OSU graduate school thesis advisor, who had lived in Corvallis since the 1940's, complaining about the problems with growth in Corvallis after World War II, and how other citizens actively supported the 1976 annexation law that required all new annexations be approved by voters. In fact, an old boys club of real estate investors were stymied by the new law and they were forced to pay for the costs of growth instead of the public. Even though the City of Corvallis has doubled in population over the last 40 years, developers have been forced to plan their new subdivisions to be compatible with the the city's growth plan. This has led to a much nicer city. The decline in OSU enrollment at OSU in the 1980's led to unoccupied dwellings. I saw how absentee landlords would often leave them to rot or attract sketchy tenants who probably raised the crime rate in sleepy Corvallis. Adding to these problems was a downsizing of Hewlett-Packard before personal computers and inkjet printers sales took off in the late 1980's.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Businessweek prints first gay marriage in Germany

 first gay marriage in Germany printed in Businessweek magazine Oct. 9, 2017, p. 9

PHOTO: The first same-sex marriage legally recognized by Germany was included in a miscellaneous list of news items from Europe in the print edition of Businessweek magazine dated Oct. 9, 2017, p. 9, which I could not find posted in their free online site. See story by Reuters Staff, "First "I do" as same-sex marriage comes to Germany," posted Sep. 30, 2017, which says, "Same-sex couple Karl Kreil and Bodo Mende get married at a civil registry office, becoming Germany's first married gay couple after German parliament approved marriage equality in a historic vote this past summer, in Berlin, Germany October 1, 2017."

See previous posts:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jack Baker & Michael McConnell in ad for LGBT History Month shown on cable TV

Jack Baker and Michael McConnell Comcast TV ad for LGBT History Month Oct. 2017

PHOTO: still frame of a TV commercial shown during a Corvallis Comcast Cable TV local ad insert during the "Rachael Maddow Show" on MSNBC at 6:53PM PT Oct. 9, 2017 that listed gay marriage pioneers Jack Baker & Michael McConnell as part of a promotion forLGBT History Month by "Equality Forum", which says it ". . . is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus -- Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the largest annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit. . ." (See "About LGBT History Month," accessed Oct. 10, 2017 and "Jack Baker & Michael McConnell," accessed Oct. 10, 2017) It is unclear if this ad was run coincidentally, or not, during Maddow's show (Maddow is a lesbian) and if it was run by Comcast as a public service, or if somebody else asked for it or paid Comcast to run it.

See previous post Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Obamacare repeal fails and penalty remains for not having health insurance

The failure of Republicans to repeal Obamacare prompted me to write the following letter to the editor of my local newspaper, and it was coincidentally printed the day after a 60 Minutes" show aired making the same point as me that the Obamacare penalty remains in force:

When taxes come due April 15, I bet many taxpayers will be extremely upset after finding out they owe thousands of dollars in tax penalties to the Internal Revenue Service because they did not sign up for Obamacare this year, based on the false promises it would be repealed by President Trump and Republican legislators.

In my experience, the IRS is legally bound to follow the Obamacare law until either Congress or a tax court ruling changes it.

Yes, I heard firsthand Trump verbally promise to issue an Executive Order, but my tax advisor is unable to find a legally issued copy, nor obtain a statement from the IRS how they will enforce the Obamacare penalty.

President Obama and Democrats are equally guilty of making false promises, for example, an age 60-65 years old family member was not allowed to keep a $136 per month Lifewise health plan, as promised by Obama, but worse, in order to keep seeing a longtime Corvallis doctor, as also promised, the cheapest Obamacare plan costs an unaffordable $659 per month for 2017, or $579 by changing to a Salem doctor.

I am sick of Obamacare boosters telling me I am wrong by disingenuously quoting only the much cheaper Obamacare rates available only to younger people.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Broken promises on Obamacare," Gazette-Times, posted Oct. 9, 2017 (also see Link to previous Thomas Kraemer Gazette-Times Letters)

See previous post Oregon Obamacare final rates and Republican's Health Savings Accounts proposal is not insurance (12/19/16) and Obamacare rates in Oregon hurt many voters just in time for the Presidential election (10/8/16), in which I quoted a good letter to the editor by Kim Wilson, "Letter: The root problem with insurance," Gazette-Times, Oct. 11, 2016, p. A7 posted Oct. 8, 2016, who mentioned the proposed Obamacare rates and made the case that the demand for healthcare is inelastic, because everyone wants to live at all costs, and the supply of healthcare is limited, therefore basic economic theories predict the cost should go towards infinity.

An interesting idea for healthcare financing was described in an opinion column by Paul F. deLespinasse, "As I See It: Make health care a regulated utility," Gazette-Times, Sep. 28, 2017, p. A6 (also published online as Paul F. deLespinasse, "Time to Regulate the Med-Pharma Complex Like a Utility," posted Sep. 26, 2017).

I agree with his premise that regulation would be one way to control heathcare costs, but this would not solve the problem of how would society ration healthcare, which is a politically incorrect way to say it because it sounds so mean and ugly, but ultimately essential because there is an inelastic demand for healthcare -- if someone had a pill to cure me, then I owuld be willing to pay anything for it.

As an investor in utility companies, I fully appreciate why utilities are regulated monopolies, however what is different with health care from the demand for utility services is the fact that a person does not have an infinite demand for electricity. However, most people have an infinite demand for medical care that would save their life, because most people would be willing to pay anything to live longer.

The author of the above opinion piece is today a Corvallis resident, Paul F. deLespinasse (see his "Biography," accessed Sep. 29, 2017), who was a Professor at Adrian College, located in Michigan and a private, co-educational college of liberal arts and sciences related to the United Methodist Church. He writes regular opinion pieves for my local newspaper.

Another letter by Nadine Sandbo, "Letter: Profits shouldn't drive health care," Gazette-Times, Oct. 1, 2017, makes the point "Prevention is not the focus, profits are," which I agree with, but don't think more prevention would solve the problem of inelastic demand.