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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Baker marriage hits N.Y. Times front page only 4 decades late

Baker marriage on N.Y. Times front page May 17, 2015

PHOTO: The May 17, 2015 Sunday New York Times newspaper featured the 1971 marriage of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell on the front page, only four decades late, in a news article by Erik Eckholm, "Same-sex marriage? Done That, Back in 1971," New York Times, Sunday edition (as printed in Seattle) May 17, 2015, p. 1, 15 also published online as "The Same-Sex Couple Who Got a Marriage License in 1971" nytimes.com posted May 16, 2015. (See previous stories by Erik Eckholm, the legal correspondent of The New York Times) NOTE: The above is an original photograph taken by Thomas Kraemer (c) 2015 who grants limited copyright permission for it to be reposted by others provided a link and text citation is provided to this blog post.

I learned decades ago in business that if a news story was not printed in the "New York Times," then it will not be widely reported across America by other editors, and therefore the story will disappear and be forgotten. This is why I was so happy that Jack Baker and Michael McConnell finally succeeded in getting their story on the front page of the "New York Times" because editors around the world will see it and help spread the word about their pioneering marriage.

The editors of my small town newspaper should also be happy that they scooped the "New York Times" by publishing before the "New York Times" my opinion piece concerning Jack Baker's pioneering gay marriage and my reference to an obscure opinion piece on "homosexual marriage" that was published by a former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg in 1953. (See previous posts My opinion on upcoming gay marriage court decisions printed in local newspaper (1/28/15) and Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today (12/16/13))

One of the reasons Baker's marriage activism was suppressed by the New York news media for so long is because of the Washington, D.C. and N.Y. gay rights lobby groups actively opposed Baker's agenda of gay marriage equality and they instead wanted to first seek anti-discrimination laws and the repeal of sodomy laws against gay sex. The official reason given by the Human Rights Campaign was that they did not want to seek marriage equality because it might set a precedent against gay marriage that would be hard to break. In fact, lower courts refused to take the U.S. Supreme Court "Baker v. Nelson" decision seriously, even to this day as the "New York Times" story reported.

One nitpick with the story, the "N.Y. Times" reporter states that Baker and McConnell "lost their U.S. Supreme Court case," but he fails to state how the boilerplate decision, "dismissed for lack of a substantial Federal question," was often used by the U.S. Supreme Court back then to leave things up to state and not Federal laws, which in this case, Minnesota's law did not forbid same sex marriages and no court ever annulled their legally performed marriage, which had been done in front of witnesses and would be upheld as legally binding in normal court proceedings despite the lost County Records mentioned in the story.

The "New York Times" reporter correctly mentioned that many gay activists were more focused on legalizing gay sex and sexual freedom (this was pre-AIDS days when it was thought by medical doctors that all sexually transmitted diseases could be easily cured by a pill or shot) however, the reporter failed to document how the Human rights Campaign founder Steve Endean actively opposed Jack Baker's agenda of marriage equality in favor of compromise -- he had been a political opponent of Baker at the University of Minnesota. See my previous posts:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Student produces video history of OSU LGBT community

OSU student Kiah McConnell presents LGBT history at MU SEC

PHOTO: Oregon State University student Kiah McConnell displays her thesis poster, concerning OSU LBGT community history, May 14, 2015 in the Oregon State University Student Experience Plaza. See Oregon State University Pride Center, "Celebrating student excellence? We think so!" facebook.com posted May 14, 2015 and Courtnee Morin, "Undergraduate researchers honored for accomplishments, Annual event showcases research projects of students across, various academic fields of study" OSU Barometer, May 15, 2015, p. 1, 4

"Kiah McConnell, a senior in sociology, presented her research project regarding the LGBTQ+ community at OSU. McConnell completed her project, the OSU LGBTQ+ Community Film, a 38 minute video to address the LGBTQ+ history at OSU as well as the disparity in records at OSU for queer and trans students of color. The video was made in collaboration with OSU Queer Archives and features interviews with student leaders from the LGBTQ+ community at OSU. "I want this to be a beginning, not an end," McConnell said. "Something to be continued and added upon to promote the LGBTQ+ community at OSU." McConnell got help from the LGBTQ+ programs on campus such as the Pride Center, Rainbow Continuum and SOL, and hopes to have her film added into the archives and promoted through these programs." (Quoted from Courtnee Morin, "Undergraduate researchers honored for accomplishments, Annual event showcases research projects of students across, various academic fields of study" OSU Barometer, May 15, 2015, p. 1, 4)

I have not seen her film yet and hope to update this post in the future with links to where it can be watched online. See Natalia Fernandez, "OSQA ~ The OSU Queer Archives," Oregon Multicultural Archives Blog posted May 9, 2015 that says, "film was created by Queer Archives intern Kiah McConnell. . ." Also see Oregon Multicultural Archives Blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New director to be hired for OSU Pride center

Director's welcome webpage Allison Davis-White Eyes

PHOTO: Screenshot of Webpage "Director's Welcome," by Allison Davis-White Eyes, Ph.D. Director, Diversity & Cultural Engagement, Oregon State University, accessed May 12, 2015, whose department includes the Oregon State University Pride Center Web page dce.oregonstate.edu/pc, which included a link to the announcement: "NOW HIRING: Assistant Director for Pride Center ," dce.oregonstate.edu accessed May 12, 2015. (See previous posts OSU LGBT Services Jeff Kenney replaces Steven Leider (6/2/12) and OSU Pride Week 'Can You Queer Me Now?' 2015 (6/8/15))

We're currently seeking applicants for the position of Assistant Director of the Pride Center. This position is a 12 month, full-time, administrative position with a salary commensurate with education and experience. Required qualifications include a Master's degree in College Student Services, Gender Studies, Women's Studies, Social Sciences or related field. Experience working in a higher education setting regarding issues pertinent to the LGBTQIIA community and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, respectfully, with various stakeholders and constituents who hold a variety of cultural values, styles, and visions. The candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, and building community across intersecting identities. (Quoted from "NOW HIRING: Assistant Director for Pride Center ," dce.oregonstate.edu accessed May 12, 2015)

Link to job position description for "Assistant Director LGBT Services & Outreach," jobs.oregonstate.edu

See Allison Davis-White Eyes Instructor College of Liberal Arts and her Contact Allison Davis-White Eyes.

The OSU Pride Center page "About the PC History" includes a link to my history in the OSU library: Kraemer, Thomas, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," OSU scholars Archives.

Finally, a loosely related note to myself: I recently noticed that an automatic spell and grammar correction robot was trying to change the word I used, "interdisciplinary," to "multidisciplinary," in reference to the types of research I would like to encourage, and so I checked both my Oxford Dictionary and did a Google define:interdisciplinary, which said this worde is "of or relating to more than one branch of knowledge," whereas, when I did a Google define:multidisciplinary, it said this word is "combining or involving several academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to a topic or problem." Although either definition fits the type of research I want to encourage, for why it caught my eye, see previous post OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement (1/4/12) and also see previous post OSU mom's weekend edition included letter about pegging advice from Dr. Sex (5/2/15) where I mention, "More scientific answers have been slow in coming, which is why I founded the OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. My vision for this endowment is to enable multi-disciplinary academic research at OSU, ranging from the biological and computer sciences to the social sciences, which I hope will lead to fundamental discoveries and breakthroughs in the understanding of sex."

Here are some quotes from the complete job description:

The Department of Diversity and Cultural Engagement invites applicants for a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term Assistant Director Position for the Oregon State University Pride Center one of seven Cultural Resource Centers that serve the LBGTQ(Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-gender, Queer ) community. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Director.

This position will provide guidance and leadership for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, students, faculty, and staff through the administration of the Oregon State University (OSU) Pride Center. The OSU Pride Center is an affiliate of the Department of Diversity & Cultural Engagement (DCE) which is housed within the Division of Student Affairs and contributes to the university's mission by serving as an intellectual space that promotes meaningful dialogue, interaction, exploration, and reflection on issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and ability here in the US and abroad. . .

The Assistant Director reports directly to the administrator overseeing all 7 of the Oregon State University cultural resource centers (CRCs), and will consult and collaborate with CRC colleagues on larger issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. . .

Maintain institutional memory of LGBTQ+ activism and progress. . .

This position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a Criminal History Check and be determined to be position qualified as per OSU Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions and those in Youth Programs may have additional Criminal History Checks every 24 months.

(Quoted from Link to job position description for "Assistant Director LGBT Services & Outreach," jobs.oregonstate.edu)

I am curious about why the job posting says this "position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position" -- I'll have to do some research on the real meaning of this requirement. UPDATE: a quick search yields OSU Office of Human Resources, "Criminal History Check," Section: 0300 Recruitment and Selection Policy Number: 306 Revised: Friday, March 6, 2015 and it says it is will not lead to discrimination, as such policies have historically been used for in the past.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Boy kisses boy in 1961 Dobie Gillis TV show

boy kisses boy in 1961 Dobie Gillis TV show

PHOTO: Prior to the 1970's any reference to homosexuality was routinely censored by Hollywood movie and television producers for being obscene or disgusting to mainstream Americans, which encouraged subversive script writers to play the game of seeing what gay references they could slip past the censors, such as the above boy kissing another boy under the narrative guise of depicting brotherly love to his "big brother" guide assigned to him for Freshman Orientation at the fictional S. Peter Pryor Junior College in the 1961 TV Show episode, "The Ruptured Duck," of "The Many Lives of Dobbie Gillis," Season 3, Episode 1. The script writers, as cover, wrote the scene as a laugh line joke, but I am sure this scene resonated with many young gay men who had crush on the characters. The boy being kissed reacts in disgust and asks, "Are you some kind of nut?" To which the boy leaning in to do the kiss replies, "No, I'm just a normal American Boy." The first boy then asserts, "I think you got me a little mixed up!" All of these phrases were common code words for I'm not gay. A female star of this show was a closeted lesbian and so there were probably other gay people working on the show. (See previous post Closeted lesbian in 1961 TV show rejected for being too butch by CBS TV executive (3/16/15))

The boy on boy kissing scene was aired at the start of the third season when the Dobbie and his friend Maynard had just been honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where they had spent the previous season doing what all young men were required to do back then -- serve the compulsory military draft after graduating from High School, which had been the subject of the first season of the show. Ironically, their high school teacher coincidentally decided to leave the "starvation wages" of a high school teacher to get a "living wage" teaching at the nearby Junior College, which "accepted anyone with a high school diploma." I was curious if there was a gay reference in the Junior College name (the S. for suck?) and after a little bit of Googling, I found a reference to an Australian cyclist Peter Pryor (25 February 1930 -- 19 February 2005) . He competed in three events at the 1952 Summer Olympics and I am sure he was good looking and perhaps one of the shows script writers loved him -- or pehaps there is some other in-joke that has been lost to history.

Corporate research strategy book chronicles my grandfather's work at DuPont

left, title page of Elmer Kraemer, 'Advances in Colloid Chemistry, Vo1ume 1' 1942; right, Volume 2, initiated by Elmer Kraemer and published after his death included his photo and a biography of his life

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) a copy of the book by Thomas Kraemer's grandfather, which was published after he died, is stored in the Oregon State University library, including an old index card that was used to check out the book before the process was computerized decades ago with barcodes: Elmer Otto Kraemer, Floyd Earl Bartell, Samuel Stephens Kistler, "Advances in colloid science, Volume 1," Interscience Publishers, 1942). (See previous posts Elmer Kraemer, chemist, nylon, synthetic rubber pioneer (10/18/09) and Hermann Staudinger on Kraemer 12/16/09) , plus the Elmer Kraemer (Wikipedia) article.)

I, after having spent decades managing advanced research for an large international corporation, and also as the grandson of Elmer Kraemer, a research chemist who led research work at DuPont that led to the invention of nylon, I especially enjoyed reading the book by David A. Hounshell John Kenly Smith, "Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980," Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1988:

"Based on voluminous corporate records and extensive interviews with key employees, Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980 provides a comprehensive, critical study of research and development in a large US corporation. Du Pont was among a handful of US corporations that established formal research and development laboratories at the turn of the century to improve competitive positions in their respective industries. Initially, Du Pont's executives viewed R&D as an important though not central part of the corporation's strategy. However the gains made by the company's laboratories soon demonstrated that R&D would be a critical ingredient in the firm's success. The industrial research and development laboratory became a major part of corporate structure; science became a central part of corporate strategy." (Quoted from David A. Hounshell John Kenly Smith, "Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980," Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1988)

It was not surprising to learn that the R & D challenges faced by my grandfather were similar to the ones I faced while managing an advanced R & D lab for Hewlett-Packard located on the Stanford University Palo Alto, California campus in the heart of Silicon Valley near San Francisco during the period shortly after Steve Wozniak had left HP to join Steve Jobs and cofound Apple computer. (See previous posts Woz on net neutrality and Apple watch apes 1977 Hewlett-Packard marketing strategy (3/26/15) and History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12))

In the 1970's and 1980's, HP generally invested ten percent of their revenue in R & D to invent new products in each business division. This investment would pay for projects that would last from several months to a few years before the project was expected to generate profits and revenue from the sale of a real product to customers. The company co-founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, recognized that this type of investing might be too shortsighted and so they decided to devote one percent of their revenues to advanced research that might not pay off for a longer period of time. For example, in the 1970's this type of research led to the invention of handheld computers, the inkjet printer and the RISC computer architecture that is still used today in every Apple iPhone processor -- unfortunately, HP's profitable commercialization of RISC was dwarfed by competing Motorola and Intel CPU chips that most computer manufacturers adopted because UNIX operating systems and Microsoft's OS code were written specifically for these architectures.

I recall spending countless hours with both HP company founders and flying around the world to learn from HP customers what type of advanced research programs might lead to a real customer solutions within five years, while also generating enough revenue to be profitable, versus the type of advanced academic research that could best be done by a Professor and his students in an academic institution, such as Stanford University. University research rarely pays off, but fundamental discoveries made by university research programs can pay off very big because they can obsolete or transform entire industries.

In fact, much of research I did in cooperation with Professors at Stanford, MIT and Berkley, as well as other major universities around the world, led me to learn how allergic academia is to doing any type of research that might be too commercially oriented instead of academic research aimed at fundamental discovery. This is why I laughed when I read about the nickname for my grandfather's research lab at DuPont, "Purity Hall," because it was an obvious derogatory slam by other parts of the company who viewed his research as too academic and not practical enough to make any money in a reasonable amount of time to pay for the investment. In fact, his work led to the invention of nylon and what DuPont is today.

If course, as it has proved to be true over many years at HP and many other companies, it is impossible to predict what will be the next big invention, such as the invention of inkjet printers that eventually became more than half of HP's revenue, while other parts of the company were eventually sold off, such as electronic instruments, or went out of business. (See previous post History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12))

I haven't received it yet, but I recently ordered a transcript of the oral history of "James Burton Nichols," chemheritage.org accessed May 8, 2015, available for purchase via: Order Transcript bumber 0034 of "James Burton Nichols" oral history from chemheritage.org. Burton first worked with my grandfather as a graduate student, before joining him to work for the DuPont research labs. Nichols worked his entire career at DuPont before his oral history was taken, which includes several references to my grandfather. After I receive a copy of his oral history, I hope to post here my notes on what I learn.

Until I have a change to read Burton's transcript, here are some of my random notes and observations from reading the book by David A. Hounshell John Kenly Smith, "Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980," Cambridge University Press, Oct 28, 1988 with page number references to the book:

Also see previous posts My last supper is a Li'l Butterball Turkey and a Birthday Cake (11/26/14) and Sous-vide cooking method for steaks and eggs (4/24/13).

Friday, May 8, 2015

OSU Pride Week 'Can You Queer Me Now?' 2015

Headline 'Can You Queer Me Now?' Barometer May, 8, 2015, p.1

PHOTO: In a campy parody of an old telephone company slogan, "Can you Hear Me Now?," the Oregon State University Pride Week took back the word "queer" from the homophobes, who have historically used the word "queer" as an insult, and used it in the headline for a student newspaper story by Kat Kothen, associate news editor, Jasmin Vogel, news reporter, "'Can You Queer Me Now?' Pride Week critical to celebration, visibility of Oregon State University LGBTQ+ community," OSU Barometer, May 8, 2015, p. 1-2 dailybarometer.com posted May 7, 2015. I would be curious to know how much today's students understand about the history of the word "queer," both internationally and specifically on the OSU Campus where there was a huge fight over whether or not to name the OSU Pride Center the OSU Queer Resource Center. See previous post OSU Pride Week 2015 student editorial and Dr. Sex comments (5/6/15) and OSU Queer Resource Center documentary video review (10/20/10).

See previous posts and related links:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

OSU Pride Week 2015 student editorial and Dr. Sex comments

OSU Pride Week front page and p. 7 editorial Barometer, May 5, 2015

PHOTO: The front page of the Oregon State University student newspaper included a headline reference to the OSU Pride Week Staff, "Editorial: We are proud of Pride Week," Barometer, May 5, 2015, p. 7 dailybarometer.com posted May 4, 2015 that said, "Something we realized while we were discussing this staff editorial was how natural it felt that we were going to write a piece about Pride Week and its general awesomeness. It got us thinking that if we wound back the clock 30 or 40 years, we might be dealing with a strong negative response from the OSU community -- folks who might write in wailing sin and the end of days." (The editorial referenced this year's "Pride Week 2015: Can You Queer Me Now?" facebook.com accessed May 5, 2015. Also see Oregon State University Pride Center on Facebook and "Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University," OSU Women Studies facebook.com accessed May 5, 2015.)

Also of interest on the opinion page of the Oregon State University student newspaper editorial page was the regular column by Dr. Kathy Greaves, "'Overt sexuality' of Pride celebrations not overt or sexual," Barometer, May 6, 2015, p. 7 dailybarometer.com posted May 5, 2015, who said, "In fact, many Pride parades look a lot like Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or Mardi Gras in New Orleans where half naked people parade around and straight women bare their breasts to straight men in exchange for beads. So it clearly isn't just the homosexuals doing the naked thing." (See previous post OSU mom's weekend edition included letter about pegging advice from Dr. Sex (5/2/15))

Although I am happy to see the good publicity for OSU Pride Week, I was disappointed at how hard it was to find the OSU Pride Week 2015 Facebook Page -- a quick Google search failed me (I am sure Google and Facebook would insist this is NOT because they are competitors) and so I searched in Facebook, itself, but with no success. Then I checked the Oregon State University Pride Center home Webpage at dce.oregonstate.edu/pc and the Oregon State University Pride Center Facebook Page and found nothing listed in the Oregon State University Pride Center Facebook Events tab. Perhaps it is because I am legally blind (with low vision blindness) that I wasn't able to easily find it, but it appears that another reason is because one of the links to it had a graphic with text in it that made it obvious to sighted readers, but the digital image did not include the special hidden text that is used by the accessibility features of modern internet browsers and mobile devices, which would have made it easier for me and the Google search robot Web crawler to find it.

Something else I will need to search for later is more about he reference made to LGBT students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors. OSU is in a good position to be a national leader here.

Another side point I would like to note is about the Oregon State University Pride Center home Webpage -- somebody is remodeling it and there appears to be a broken link to my Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," printed to PDF from OutHistory.org in 2010 permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives @ OSU. When this is fixed, I hope the person doing it can consult with me or others about a better summary and use the OSU library's permanent links so that it will be less likely to become a dead link in the future.