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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Utah judge cites 1972 Baker gay marriage case

newspaper headline Utah judge approves gay marriage followed by Family Circus cartoon's Merry Christmas 12/25/13

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) UPDATE 12/25/13: An old-fashioned physical newspaper featured a headline about the Utah Judge's approval of gay marriage followed on the next page in same position with the "Merry Christmas" greeting from "The Family Circus" cartoon by Bil Keane. I am sure some gay children, who are still reading the "comic pages," were inspired by this headline on their way to a "Merry Christmas." (Photo of Corvallis Gazette-Times, Dec. 25, 2013, p. B5 and p. B7)

Recent selfie by Jack Baker and Michael McConnell shown by Oprah Winfrey Oct. 27, 2013

PHOTO: A recent selfie photo of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell was shown by Oprah Winfrey as she expressed her amazement over how "brave" they had to be in the 1970's to fight for the right to gay marriage. see previous posts Oprah impressed by Jack Baker's gay marriage activism in 1970s (10/28/13) and Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today (12/16/13)

Utah's State Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a Federal court ruling that addressed the U.S. Supreme Court's 1972 decision in the Baker v. Nelson case of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell. Here are are two comments on it by legal experts Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School since 1982, and Bloomberg's Lyle Denniston:

"Shelby found that Windsor made clear, as cumulative to prior Supreme Court decisions, that the Supreme Court's 1972 ruling in Baker v. Nelson holding that the issue of same-sex marriage did not present a substantial federal question was no longer a binding precedent on lower courts. He pointed out that the Supreme Court has said that a disposition on that ground ceases to be binding on lower courts when subsequent developments in case law render it obsolete. Shelby found that many Supreme Court cases decided since the 1970s, considered cumulatively, have created a substantial federal question." (Quoted from Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School since 1982, "Utah May Be the 18th Marriage Equality State," posted Dec. 20, 2013)

"Along the way toward his ultimate conclusion, Judge Shelby ruled that the issue of state authority to outlaw same-sex marriage is no longer controlled by a one-line 1972 Supreme Court decision in a Minnesota case, Baker v. Nelson. Opponents of same-sex marriage have often relied on that ruling, which said simply that such a ban did not raise a "substantial federal question."While some other courts have found that the Baker precedent still determines the issue, Judge Shelby said that all of those rulings had been issued before the Supreme Court ruled in the Windsor case last June. In that decision, the Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act's provision that all federal benefits keyed to marriage were limited to opposite-sex marriages violated already-married gay and lesbian couples' right to equality." (Quoted from Lyle Denniston, "Utah's same-sex marriage ban falls (FURTHER UPDATED)," posted Dec. 21, 2013, accessed 11:49 AM)

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC last night (Dec. 20, 2013) did a good job explaining the issue of how marriage laws have been traditionally treated as a matter of State law and the issues surrounding legal problems that can occur when State laws conflict with the U.S. Constitution and Federal laws, which is an issue with the Utah State Constitutional Amendment against same-sex marriage. Hopefully, this will not be a call to action from anti-gay theocrats for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage -- I haven't heard of anybody trying to propose doing such a drastic thing, except during the 2004 Bush Presidential campaign, when anti-gay marriage ballot measures were used as a wedge issue to get conservative voters out to reelect President Bush, including one on the 2004 Oregon ballot that that ended up creating a State of Oregon Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage.

UPDATE 12/25/13: Art Leonard, "What Happened Yesterday in Utah," posted December 25, 2013 details the importance of the expedited ruling and the irony of the Mormon Church's participation in the creation of the issues in this case.

Citizenship objective set by HP company founders Bill and Dave

cover and table of contents

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) Magazine article by Thomas Kraemer, "Printing Enters the Jet Age, How today's computer printers came to eject microscopic dots with amazing precision," American Heritage Invention & Technology, Spring 2001, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 18-27, cover and table of contents. The inkjet printer was originally developed at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis, Oregon to provide a battery-powered printer that could also work with the battery-powered portable computers and calculators also designed at HP in Corvallis in the late 1970's and early 1980's. See previous posts: History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12), OSU Linus Pauling using HP calculator in PBS documentary (8/2/12), Computer mouse inventor dies after inspiring Xerox PARC, Apple and HP (7/9/13), Google Android Sony SmartWatch apes HP-01 LED watch from 1977 (7/1/12)

The local newspaper story by Bennett Hall, "Hewlett-Packard raises its local profile," Gazette-Times, Dec. 14, 1023, p. A2 prompted me to write the following letter to the editor:

Bennett Hall's Dec. 14 story, "Hewlett-Packard raises its local profile," provided a quintessential example of the HP corporate objective to be a good citizen. Decades ago, I was fortunate to witness company founders Bill and Dave (as they humbly asked to be called) hold managers accountable for citizenship while attending company division reviews with them around the world. I am heartened that Corvallis is continuing to benefit from their timeless leadership.(Quoted from (as submitted without the minor edits contained in printed version) Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Good to see HP continue tradition of involvement," Gazette-Times, Dec. 20, 2013, p. A9)

It is truly encouraging to see good citizenship being valued again at HP, at least in Corvallis, after the series of questionable company CEO Managers selected in recent years by the HP Board of Directors.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gay marriage discussion in 1953 vs. 1963 and today

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: ONE Magazine was ahead of its time when it mentioned the idea of "homosexual marriage" in 1953 long before "same-sex marriage" or "gay marriage" became a cause of some gay liberationists in the 1960s. The first article was by E. B. Saunders (pseudonym), "Reformer's Choice: Marriage License or Just license?" ONE, Aug. 1953, cover, p. 10-12. It was edited by the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg and warned that if homosexuals obtained equal rights and acceptance of society, then they would be expected to follow the existing social conventions of marriage, including complying with the then common state laws forbidding cohabitation (living together without being legally married) and laws against adultery and extramarital (having sex outside your own marriage) or premarital sex, including sodomy, which under Oregon law forbid all oral and anal sex even for heterosexual married couples. Ten years later, the same ONE publication, also edited by Legg, featured an essay by Randy Lloyd (pseudonym), "Let's Push Homophile Marriage," Jun. 1963, cover, p. 5-10. It advocated a more proactive agenda to promote the advantages of "homophile marriage" to "gain the acceptance of society" and it described the author's personal experiences and advice on how to meet another "homophile" to marry, other than by using the "Pen Pal" classified advertising section of ONE magazine that was often used by men to solicit sex partners in their hometown (which was also the feature of "The Advocate" magazine's classified section that paid most of their bills to print this early gay rights magazine). Both of these articles are consistent with the conservative philosophy of its editor, W. Dorr Legg, who later founded the present-day Log Cabin Republicans, and therefore I suspect that Legg was very influential in the writing of both articles (if not actually writing them himself) and the articles probably represented Legg's own learning and evolution about the joys of being married during the ten years between the articles. (See James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" posted Aug. 11, 2003 and my previous posts OSU W. Dorr Legg homosexual marriage 1953 vs. CA Prop 8 2010 (8/22/10), Gay free speech victory 50th anniversary (1/18/08), Jack Baker gay marriage theory was right (4/8/09)) and Slippery slope argument against marriage equality is predictable (6/22/12)

On Sept. 3 1971, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were the first same-sex couple in history to be legally married. They married under the State of Minnesota marriage laws that did not specify gender at the time and despite court challenges to validate their marriage, no court has ever ordered the annulment of their legally performed marriage, including a 1972 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that marriage laws are only a matter of state law with no Federal interest.

A few months ago, in an email communication, Jack Baker mentioned that he and Mike had not been inspired by the 1963 ONE article advocating gay marriage and did not read it until much later. I only recalled reading the 1953 article, which today, in hindsight, was clearly written in a way that would satisfy both the conservative readers of ONE, who believed in marriage, and their readers who mostly used the magazine as a means of finding "pen-pals" nearby their hometown they could hookup with for sex.

UPDATE Dec. 21, 2013: quoted below is from an email Jack baker sent me with corrections or clarifications:

"(Jack quoted my post, added corrections and a comment:) "In Sept. 1971, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were the first same-sex couple in history to be legally married. They married under the State of Minnesota marriage laws that did not specify gender at the time and despite [two] challenges to [invalidate] their marriage, no court has ever ordered the annulment of their legally performed marriage . . ." Comment - That marriage ignited a contentious political debate and defined the gay agenda worldwide for 40+ years. Proof is in the pudding. " (Quoted from Jack Baker, "Related articles: What others say," Now is the time blog posted Mar. 19, 2012 and as edited Dec. 18, 2013)

I hadn't read both articles in many years and so I was pleased to be emailed a scanned PDF copy of the original articles, but I was quickly disappointed when I realized the PDF copies did not have the OCR text included that I require for reading with my low vision blindness. So it took me awhile to find a friendly grad student to read me the text. Included below are some of the thoughts that occurred to me upon reading both the 1953 and 1963 articles:

First, I think it is too simple to ask, "Who Owns the bragging rights?" to being the first to inspire gay marriage as we know it today. In fact, in W. Dorr Legg's 1963 article, on p. 6, he takes a long view of history and credits the "modern concept" of "homophile marriage" as "a product of our current homophile movement that commenced in Germany in the 1800's." Gay marriage was discussed in the German books of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, until he died in the 1930's after the Nazis burned much of his work. Also, Legg's magazine cites the possible example of the "homosexually married" Englishman Edward Carpenter. (Note: between 1953 and 1963, Legg had adopted the editorial convention of using the term "homophile" instead of "homosexual" for two reasons. First was for the legal and political reason of trying to separate the discussion of being "gay" (a slang term he uses in the Jun. 1963 article on p. 8 while referring to a "gay park" used for those seeking illegal "promiscuous" gay sex) from the person's sexual orientation. Second, Legg was an intellectual purist and hated the etymological mash-up of Greek and Latin in the word "homosexual."

The 1953 article made the assumption that for homosexuals to gain acceptance by society that they would have to follow the same restrictive sex laws and gender roles of men being the dominant bread-winners and women being the submissive stay at home mother concerned only with procreation, reproduction and raising a family. The article did not anticipate the sexual revolution of the 1960's and the contemporaneous women's liberation movement that helped the gay liberation movement. When I talk to college-aged students today, I can tell it seems like a fantasy tale to them that at one time in America a male college student could be put in jail for shacking up with his girlfriend, and that laws on adultery, sodomy and monogamy were strictly enforced by society, even if only rarely did anybody end up in jail or other legal trouble. (See ONE, Aug. 1953, p. 10)

Of course, unknown to the gay liberationists of the 1960's and 1970's was that the 1960's "free love" freedom to have sex with a large number of partners would cause the AIDS virus to surface, which led to the discovery of the HIV and the politics of AIDS. The politics of AIDS is sometimes credited with causing a shift toward gay marriage rights instead of the agenda of some gay activists for sexual freedom. However, be warned that the politics of this subject are still too heated for many, today, and I can only briefly mention them in this post.

On page 11 of the Aug. 1953 article, Legg uses the idea of "special rights" that later became popular for Republican groups in America to use when arguing against homosexual marriage. He says the tension between promiscuity and marriage is an old one and explains how societal pressures against the sexual promiscuity of homosexuals works against homosexual marriages being publically visible and known. He also raises the idea that "heterosexual marriage must be protected" and could be threatened by the "acceptance of homosexuality without homosexual marriage ties . . ."

On page 12 of the Aug. 1953 article is an interesting legal declaimer at the end of the article, clearly it was written by an attorney, asserting that nothing in ONE should be construed as encouraging anybody to do criminal sex acts -- clearly this was probably part of their legal fight for their First Amendment freedom of speech rights, which was at the center of attempts by society to censor any discussion of even changing the laws against homosexual acts. This is why I started the timeline for my history of OSU gay groups with the 1964 free speech movement of the University of Berkeley students, which a Corvallis resident participated in before he became an early leader of gay rights activity in Corvallis, Oregon. He was arrested for just showing a public display of affection for another man, something heterosexuals were doing with impunity. (See "Featured links sidebar to my blog and Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1964-2002," printed to PDF from in 2010 is permanently stored by the OSU Scholars Archives@OSU.)

In the June 1963 article on p. 6, Legg talks about why there is a "lack of history regarding homophile marriage through history." He asserts there are no references to gay marriage in ancient literature, but much of it might have been intentionally censored or destroyed. The only thing surviving he says is the notion of the homosexual love between adolescent Greek Warriors that is only transient, and the Greek concept of ephebophiles (older man loving the post-puberty adolescent boy, not pedophiles as often mistakenly claimed) instead of two adult men who are married.

Also on page 7 he discusses the problems of gay men meeting somebody for marriage that he says is proven by the popularity of the "Pen Pal" section of ONE where gay men seek somebody to write to and meet in their area of interest. I note that the need to meet another gay person also helped to pay the bills in the 1970's for "The Advocate" magazine with the paid classified advertisements from men seeking men and this same need similarly helped to start up emerging internet technologies, including the dial-up modem precursors to the internet, such as AOL (America Online) chat rooms and bulletin boards that were often used by gay men to meet each other a few decades ago.

On p. 8, in the list of the author's advice for how to meet other gay men for marriage, the article mentions the now archaic "Wassermann" test for "VD" (venereal disease) and how to get one from a private doctor by telling him you want one because you met a woman and had too much to drink. Tragically, he could not have foreseen how then common sexually transmitted diseases would later morph into AIDS in the future. However, the author's advice to "keep clean" remains good today.

The writing in these two articles provides a glimpse into how things were for gay people over a half-century ago, but it may be hard for younger people who were not alive then to understand the social meaning of the laws and restrictions on sexual behavior, even though few people were arrested or put in jail. These laws were used as an excuse to deny gay people all of the normal rights in society, such as to be employed, much less married.

I am too blind and too weak to write anymore, but I hope to say more on this subject in the future.

See my previous posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Year 2013 in review - 8 years of blogging

PHOTO: perhaps only as a parody, Thomas Kraemer takes a fuzzy selfie at the end of 2013 in order to keep up with the latest internet fad. Now if only the focus and lighting were better -- but hey, it simulates my current legally blind vision condition, which I forgive you, if you don't understand, because I couldn't understand it either just from just hearing other peoples' descriptions until after I had suffered from it myself. I may be blinder and weaker than last year, but I am still grateful to still be alive! Merry Christmas and Hallelujah to all! (See my previous post My low vision blindness is like seeing a captcha all the time (1/1/12))

After writing this blog for 8 years, I hope to be able to keep blogging through at least next year, even though my ability to post has declined from posting an average of once a day to only a few times per month during this last year. The reason I have continued to blog is it works very good as a Google searchable memory aid to help me form new memories, which has become harder for me to do with the type of stroke I had (Fortunately, I haven't lost any memories). I am also writing this blog as a gift to the few friends and family members who might read my blog in the future and enjoy our shared memories. I am clearly not blogging for any money or ego satisfaction, which I suspect is what drives many people to blog and to participate in online forum boards or other social networking sites, such as Facebook. (See previous posts Year 2012 in review - 7 years of blogging (12/23/12), Oregon POLST for Thomas Kraemer (12/4/13) for my physician's orders for life sustaining treatment (I hope to die naturally with minimum drama) and for my friends and family I wrote my previous post Obituary for Thomas Kraemer (1/4/12) for them on the event of my death.)

For my previous year in reviews and lists of favorite posts, see previous posts Year 2012 in review - 7 years of blogging (12/23/12) along with the 1,554 blog posts I wrote for my former blog: Year 2006-2011 in review - 6 years of blogging (12/1/11). The reason I moved to a new blog address is described in my previous post This may be my last post - customer feedback to Google (12/1/11)


Here are some key posts I wrote during the last year:

Here is a list of my selected previous blog posts and year end summaries:

In my previous post Year 2006-2011 in review - 6 years of blogging (12/1/11) I listed the following favorite links to posts and other things that I had written:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oregon POLST for Thomas Kraemer

a bright pink Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form or POLST for Thomas Kraemer Oregon POLST registry number OR19943 is shown next to a refrigerator magnet

PHOTO: a bright pink Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form or POLST for Thomas Kraemer POLST registry number OR19943 is shown next to a refrigerator magnet that is supposed to be followed by emergency workers who enter my house and by any hospital or other health care facility that may be treating me. It specifies "do not attempt resuscitation (DNR) and allow natural death (AND), No antibiotics, no artificial nutrition by tube. See previous posts POLST for Thomas Kraemer OR19943 (7/3/10) and Obituary for Thomas Kraemer (1/4/12).

I performed a Google search of my own blog to find my previous post POLST for Thomas Kraemer OR19943 (7/3/10) on this topic, but I decided not to read it before writing this post -- perhaps after writing this post I will read it and add any observations about the words I wrote nearly four years ago.

My first thought, after the passage of nearly four years since I had a POLST signed, is that I still have no intention (or courage, as another person thought I might lack) to commit suicide and my motives are only still the desire to die naturally without having futile heroic medical procedures performed on me that do not result in me being able to live independently and to enjoy life. Clearly, if somebody invented a way to repair the ischemic stroke damage that has made me legally blind and weak, then this blog post would instead be a summary of my learning about the treatment and also my decision to risk seeking the treatment or how I figured out how to pay for it.

My sensitivity on this issue is that most people, in my experience, assume you are "just depressed and want to die," if you are not heroically trying out every possible cure, even though the "cures" are making you sicker and weaker and are only causing healthcare costs to rise significantly for everyone. I have also been guilty of dismissing others' near-death feelings as only being "they are just depressed." Of course, with truly depressed persons, ignoring their cries for help can leave you with a guilty feeling that you were the one who pushed them over the edge and so I can forgive people for asking.

My second thought concerns my gratefulness to God, or my intelligent designer as the case may be, and to all of the people in my life who have made it worth living and who have allowed me leave behind a small contribution toward making Earth a better place for future generations, or more humbly I hope at least not a worse place.

My third thought recalls my experience witnessing the death of other people, including deaths of strangers I met dying of AIDS in San Francisco and the adjacent Silicon Valley when I was living and working there in the 1980's during the peak of the AIDS crisis just before HIV, the virus believed to cause AIDS, was discovered and also during the time when gay people were being blamed for being responsible, due to their "homosexual lifestyle," by both religious preachers and mainstream national politicians, including our U.S. President Ronald Regan whose movie actor friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS. Until the anti-retroviral HIV drug treatments were discovered in the 1980's, acquiring HIV often quickly led to visibly dramatic symptoms and death. I clearly recall walking along Castro Street in the gayest neighborhood in San Francisco in the 1980's and seeing one after another victim of AIDS being heroically rolled around in wheel chairs by their friends and families who had not abandoned or disowned them to die alone.

All of my life experiences, both good and tragic, have taught me that no matter how bad things might actually be, complaining about it is futile and in some cases it can hurt people who have greater needs than you do. I also learned that going into denial about bad things, just to be polite and put a happy face on things, could be just as futile and also harmful to people who are searching for a more positive solution.

Finally, after rereading my current post and previous posts on this matter, I will confess that my words sound similar to other people I've known just before their own death, when everybody close to them commented on how "philosophical and religious" the person had became shortly before their death. Hopefully, this post is not a bad omen and confirms this theory. I certainly do not mean to offend or harm anybody.

As a token gesture, to counter the assumption of others that I've given up, I would like to layout some short-term goals I hope to achieve, both before and after I become unable to continue writing this blog. My first goal is to write my traditional year-in-review post in December and also at least one post in the year 2014 so that I can say I was able to blog from 2006 to 2014. Then, when I can't use this blog as a tool to compensate for my blindness and infirmity anymore, I hope to develop or acquire some new methods to continue on with my life as long as possible. Of course, I will reach my limits based on how much pain I am willing to endure and how much I am willing to let go of my independence by letting other people do things for me -- it is hard not to feel guilty that you are receiving such help when other people exist who are more deserving of help than you are from the standpoint that these other people could go and lead more productive lives.

Also, during 2014 I would like to make sure that my Oregon State University Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement continues to be legally set up properly for funding at the maximum level possible. For example, I am investigating the Schwab Charitable service as one of several things that I could use to lower current taxes and maximize my future charitable donations to the Oregon State University Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund, which I legally set up a number of years ago and that is planned to activate fully upon the death of me and my spouse. As part of my estate planning, I want to make sure that my IRA is amortized in equal monthly payments as soon as possible to reduce the taxes due from it by avoiding the required distributions that become greater and greater over tine and taxed at the full income rate.

. See previous posts Obituary for Thomas Kraemer (1/4/12) and OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement (1/4/12).

With that all said, I will end this post on a happy note, even though, of course, I would feel free to do otherwise!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Obama-care 'customer experience' onerous as IRS tax forms

Here is my latest letter concerning the health insurance political debacle (Note: I used the word sound-bite in my letter, as submitted, but an editorial mistake changed it to sound-byte, which is ironic, given the topic, but not a joke I intended to make!)

President Obama's recent apologies for cancelling rip-off health insurance, laudably in order to benefit everyone, didn't acknowledge or explain why so many peoples' favorite healthcare plans, which fully meet the Affordable Care Act standards, are also being cancelled only because the individuals unwittingly requested a change during the last three years, including minor changes that provided better coverage, such as requesting a lower deductible within the same plan.

I was unable to confirm this reason for cancellation, despite having spent hours over the last three years asking insurance providers and reading mainstream newspaper stories, until after insurance companies recently mailed out legal notices citing specific paragraphs in Federal regulations, comprising thousands of pages, which even the mighty Google search engine can't find with plain-English explanations on any official government Website.

I credit Obama for acknowledging during his recent press conference that these types of "legal complexities" will still be a problem, even if the Website is fixed, however, sound-bite journalists are not reporting it.

Sadly, I now expect the "shopping experience" for health insurance under Obama-care will be literally onerous as filling out IRS tax forms online!

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Even if ACA website fixed, issues with health insurance won't be," posted Nov. 25, 2013, p. A7)

UPDATE Nov. 29, 2013: The editor also ran the following correction and an apology for the newspaper's change of a word in my letter from as I submitted it. Apology accepted, especially because one of my three spell checkers tried to automatically correct the spelling of "sound-bite" to "sound-byte." The newspaper's spelling change caused my friends to check on me and joke that I would be thrown out of the professional engineering and computer society I have been a member of for over five decades and disowned by the Stanford University, Oregon State University and Hewlett-Packard organizations I have worked with to design the first personal computers and printers.

The Gazette-Times changed the spelling of a word in my letter ("Even if ACA website fixed, issues with health insurance won't be," Nov. 25, p. A7) from as I submitted it, "sound-bite journalists," to "sound-byte journalists." This is ironic, given the subject and a byte is eight bits in computer lingo, but I did not write this joke. Editor's note: We do apologize (Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Spelling change gave letter unintended irony," Gazette-Times, Nov. 29, 3023, p. A7)

UPDATE: 12/1/2013 - confirmation of my letter appeared in the local newspaper, but it was buried on the continuation page: Ryan Kost, Politifact Check Oregon, "Health care promise had expiration date," Sunday Oregonian, Dec. 1, 2013, p. B1, B2, posted online as "Did Rep. Kurt Schrader flip flop on whether folks could keep their insurance under Obamacare?" at

Some other random thoughts I had that I didn't include in the letter: This situation makes Obama look either clueless, like the "Dilbert" cartoon boss, or deceptive, like the stereotypical used car salesman, only intent on trying to further Obama's otherwise praiseworthy political agenda of healthcare for all.

A former U.S. Senator, who was the ranking Republican on the committee responsible for the Affordable Care Act, on CNBC accused U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy's Democratic staff members of writing the bill and regulation to intentionally eliminate grandfathered health plans as quickly as possible in order to get everyone covered by Obama-care, and also he accused them of intentionally designing it without any cost-containment so that it would fail in the direction of the single-payer model that they really wanted in the first place. (See CNBC Squawk Box Nov. 11, 2013, 5:30 AM PT)

Another clue of the politics involved were revealed in the article by Joshua Green, "Marco Rubio's New Plan to Unravel Obamacare," BusinessWeek, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 2013, p. 27-28 posted online Nov. 21, 2013. This article finally explained why the Obama administration keeps mentioning the need to sign up more young people. Although I don't generally agree with the political methods of Senator Marco Rubio, his Senate Bill, to abolish the "risk corridors" in Obama-care, directly addresses the reason Obama-care needs to sign up young people -- if they don't, Federal tax payers are on the hook for bailing out the health insurance industry, just like taxpayers did for the banks under President Bush's misguided policies of letting free market competition self-regulate the banks.

Of course, if Rubio was truly sincere about helping out, the article also points out that he could more easily "write a bill stipulating that risk corridors must be budget-neutral." This is another tragic example of letting private businesses keeping all of the profits and leaveing taxpayers responsible for all of the risk.

Also, on CNBC Nov. 25, 2013, an insurance company actuarial expert claimed that Obama-care changed the pool ratio of young to old in a way that would raised average premiums for young people, with the assumption they would get tax breaks, and lower premiums for older people. Once again, if not enough young people sign up, then the insurance companies -- actually taxpayers -- would be stuck paying for it. Likewise, this is another reason the law was written to eliminate as many grandfathered health insurance policies as possible.

See my previous posts Oregon Obama-Care health insurance rates are designed-by-committee Dilbert cartoon (5/22/13) and Medicare Part B premium mysteriously still undisclosed - smells like dirty politics (10/24/13) for my earlier thoughts on health insurance politics.

Perhaps not coincidentally to Sen. Kennedy's desire for single payer, many of the other articles, opinion pieces and letters to the editor in my liberal college town are pitching a single payer model for health care, which I to me seems just like a polite way to avoid talking about how we ration health care, in the most fair way possible, to meet the infinite demand for healthcare:

Finally, and totally off the subject, the article by James Day, "Neighbors, preservationists save 1912 Corvallis schoolhouse," Gazette-Times, Nov. 21, 2013, p. A1, A5 said, "In the 1910 Census, the Corvallis population was listed at 4,552, up 150 percent from 1900. Just 10,663 people lived in Benton County. The 1912 bond election for the Van Buren Street bridge was the first in which women could vote after statewide suffrage. Mrs. Gun Hodes cast the first ballot. Oregon Agricultural College had approximately 2,800 students enrolled in all programs in 1912. Source: Benton County Historical Society"

Monday, November 11, 2013

OSU Professor of German, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Corvallis Queer Film Festival

Berlin university students carrying away the library from the home of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld on May 6, 1933 for a May 10-11 Nazi book burning. New York Herald Tribune, May 17, 1933

PHOTO: Berlin university students carrying away the library from the home of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) on May 6, 1933 for a May 10-11 Nazi book burning, (New York Herald Tribune, May 17, 1933) See previous post Magnus Hirschfeld Book notes 37 to 39 - final post (11/2/10) for my notes Magnus Hirschfeld's research work on homosexuality.

Princeton University Library bookplate and title page of 1914 book by Magnus Hirschfeld, Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes' scanned by Google Books from library copy owned by Princeton University

PHOTO: title page and Princeton University Library bookplate in book by Dr. med. Magnus Hirschfeld, Arzt für nervöse und psychische Leiden in Berlin, "Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes," Louis Marcus Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1914, First Edition, Original from Princeton University scanned by Google Books. (download PDF of the first German edition from Google Books) See English language translation of Magnus Hirschfeld, translated by Michael A. Lombardi-Nash, Ph.D., "The homosexuality of men and women," Prometheus Books, 2000. See previous post Magnus Hirschfeld Book notes 37 to 39 - final post (11/2/10) for my notes on this book.

Nearly a Century has passed since when Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld first published his research book on homosexuality in 1914, which led the Nazi Party in 1933 to burn his research institute and send him into exile in France where he died in 1935 at the age of 67. Incredibly, Hirschfeld's pioneering research work was largely rejected by Stonewall-era American gay activists probably due to the lack of a good German to English translation. A good translation did not become available until the year 2000: Magnus Hirschfeld, translated by Michael A. Lombardi-Nash, Ph.D., "The homosexuality of men and women," Prometheus Books, 2000. (See my previous post Magnus Hirschfeld Book notes 37 to 39 - final post (11/2/10) for my notes on this book.)

My Grandfather Elmer Kraemer (See Wikipedia) was a famous German chemist, who led the team of chemists who invented nylon, and he was lecturing at the University of Berlin when the book burning of Magnus Hirschfeld's library occurred. I clearly recall my Grandmother Kraemer and my school textbooks describing this incident as being due to Hirschfeld being Jewish, but it is clear from historical records that the Nazi's were equally exploiting for propaganda purposes the fact Hirschfeld was gay and doing research Nazis said was promoting disgusting homosexual behavior and it was anti-Christian. The Nazi book burning of Magnus Hirschfeld's library alarmed my Grandparents enough for them to quickly leave Germany with my father on a boat for America.

To honor Magnus Hirschfeld, I am the founding benefactor of the Oregon State University Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity, (See previous post OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement (1/4/12)) As a result, I've been happy to see the formation of a new OSU department that might be a good home for some of my research funding being made available to any academic department at OSU. (See previous post OSU School of Language, Culture and Society is perfect for OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund (2/19/12 revised 6/9/13)) I've also noticed two new Professors whose research is related to the mission of my fund: Oregon State University Queer studies Associate Professor Qwo-Li Driskill (see previous post New queer studies professor, OSU Magnus Hirschfeld Fund and OutHistory mentioned in student paper (6/7/13) and "Bradley Boovy Assistant Professor of German and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies," Oregon State University Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies who introduces himself as follows:

"I came to Oregon State in Fall 2012 after completing my Ph.D. in Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. My research bridges cultural history, history of sexuality, queer studies, and gender studies and is informed by cultural studies and queer feminist perspectives. In my current project I examine transnational networks of exchange and collaboration in postwar gay publishing in West Germany, Western Europe, and the United States. I'm particularly interested in uncovering the ways in which these networks relied on and reinforced nationalistic and racialized ways of knowing and speaking about postwar gay male experience. In other words, how was gay identity in the postwar period constructed as exclusively White in the Western European and US-American contexts (i.e., the places where postwar "homophile" publishing was most visible)? And how do those racial legacies continue to inform dominant expressions of gay male identity to date?

"I teach courses both in the World Languages and Cultures Program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. In WLC I teach upper-division German courses along with courses on German-speaking cultures and media. My WGSS courses focus on men and masculinities and queer film. I am collaborating with colleagues from across campus to develop a minor in Critical Men and Masculinity Studies, which we hope to launch in Fall 2014."

(Quoted from "Bradley Boovy Assistant Professor of German andWomen, Gender, and Sexuality Studies," Oregon State University Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, accessed Nov. 1, 2013)

Also see Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Oregon State University "Program Faculty" accessed Nov. 1, 2013, which includes Mina Carson, PhD Associate Professor, History, Mirabelle Fernandes-Paul, EdD Director, Women's Center, Brenda McComb, PhD Professor, Forestry. Environmental & Social Justice; Transgender Studies, Brent Steel, PhD Professor, Public Policy. Gender & Environment, Gender and Politics, Vicki Tolar Burton, PhD Professor, English. Feminist rhetoric and writing; feminist approaches to religion.

Coincidentally, see the press release by Bradley Boovy, Mark Floyd, "Inaugural Corvallis Queer Film Festival to begin Nov. 11," News and Research Press Telase from Communications Oregon State University, posted Nov. 6, 2013 and the newspaper's printed notice: "Darkside Cinema hosts Corvallis Queer Film Festival," Gazette-Times, Nov. 7, 2013, p. B3. The event is sponsored by the Oregon State University School of Language, Culture, and Society and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University.

Speaking of gay films, see the review by Daniel Borgen, ""Bridegroom": The Year's Most Important Film You Probably Haven't Seen Yet," posted October 31, 2013 - "Bridegroom . . . opened this year's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival-and, as has become customary for the fest, the first night's film played to a packed, emotional house."

I aw Bridegroom earlier on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel while looking to see her coverage of Jack Baker's gay marriage activism. I said I might say more about it, but the PQ review probably better reflects the film's very positive impact on younger and less jaded viewers than me! (See previous post Oprah impressed by Jack Baker's gay marriage activism in 1970s (10/28/13)).

Note that the first documented case of a gay faculty member at OSU dates from 1935, when Professor W. Dorr Legg was hired by OSU. He would later become famous as one of the founders of the homophile movement in the 1950's that predated Stonewall. See previous posts W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942 (7/31/10) and OSU professor recognized equality hypocrisy decades ago (6/5/12).

Also, see previous post OSU Scholars Archive has PDF of OSU gay history from OutHistory dot org (11//2/13) -- Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University Gay Activism 1969-2004," posted May 6, 2010 is the new link after the site was moved from the City University of New York to the University of Illinois Chicago. For a PDF copy as originally posted, see "MSS Thomas Kraemer" ScholarsArchives&OSU Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center and URI: accessed Oct. 26, 2013 that Redirects to Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," Oregon State University ScholarsArchive@OSU accessed Oct. 26, 2013 part of OSU "Collections Pertaining to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People in Oregon," Oregon State University Archives accessed Oct. 19, 2013.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

OSU Scholars Archive has PDF of OSU gay history from OutHistory dot org

Thomas Kraemer OSU gay history as posted in in 2010

PHOTO: scanned image, as originally posted in 2010, of my OSU gay history: Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University Gay Activism 1969-2004," posted May 6, 2010, which started by showing a two-page newspaper story from 1976 of Corvallis gay women coming out and wanting to get married. It was donated for public use to the Web site started by gay historian Jonathan Ned Katz at the City University of New York and then moved in 2013 to Prof. John D'Emilio at the University of Illinois Chicago, where a new Web site design broke the permanent link to it and the accessibility features built into modern browsers and PDF readers. To make it more accessible to OSU students and the public, my original history, including the embedded accessibility text, as it was printed to PDF in 2010, is available via the permanent handle URI: that redirects to the page Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," Oregon State University ScholarsArchive@OSU Oct. 26, 2013. (See ScholarsArchive@OSU -- FAQ for Center for Digital Scholarship and Services and their PDF brochure, plus the student newspaper story by "Freeware for mind: Open Access hits OSU", posted Oct. 15, 2013 printed as Gabi Scottaline, "Open source academia: Open Acess at OSU," The Daily Barometer, Oct. 16, 2013, p. 7)

Note: The Web page Oregon State University "Pride Center History," accessed Nov. 1, 2013, still includes an older link to the OutHistory piece by Thomas Kraemer. Also see my donations to the "Collections Pertaining to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People in Oregon," Oregon State University Archives accessed Oct. 19, 2013 that has stored some original printed copies of Thomas Kraemer Speech and Blog -- History of OSU Gay Student Groups 1976-2006, as documented through a speech and blog by Thomas Kraemer -- see previous postThomas Kraemer, "OSU queer history month speech," posted Sep. 30, 2006 that also has an old broken link to my OutHistory piece.

Another thing lost in the move to the new Web site were the excellent comments by Brian S. Varley, BA OSU 1986, who asked why I hadn't included more history from the 1980's to 1990's -- I agree and I had hoped to add to this history, but my health may force me to leave this task to somebody else -- doing this history would make a good Masters thesis topic for a student. I am glad that I did the older history first because it required me months of work to exhaustively read every local newspaper to find things that were not indexed anywhere. I would hope that the more recent events will be easier to find using more modern digital indexing methods. The reason I decided to do the older history first was I had been humbled by meeting with pre-Stonewall gay pioneers whose history I had ignored when I was younger. In particular, Randy Wicker and Jack Nichols both gave me a much broader view of gay history. (See previous post Jack Nichols biography with blurb of my book review (2/17/13))

Some specific people and events that Brian S. Varley mentioned included Karune Neustadt, Rev. Lois Van Leer, Merry and Harry Demarest, Annabelle Jarmillo, Attorney Jeanne Smith (who I should note wrote Thomas Kraemer's will and OSU foundation legal documents) Tom and Kip and others who were involved in fighting the Oregon Citizen's Alliance anti-gay Ballot Measure 8 that later was declared unconstitutional and followed by Measures 9, 13, 19, and 02-06. Measure 8 led to the rise of a group called "After 8" that hosted the Harvey Milk Award Event in Corvallis. Brian noted how the mid 1980's brought official support of the OSU Associated Students Group funding in 1984-1985. Brian and Evee were the GALA Presidents who were encouraged by the GLBT leaders he named as Tom, Kipp and Eddie Hickey. The many articles in the local newspaper and student newspaper need to be found and catalogued -- I had to spend several months full time in the OSU Archives and do exhaustive searches by reading every issue spanning many years to get the documents seen in my history. Brian recalled how in the mid 1990's how Neustadt and Rev. Lois Van Leer's relationship went public nationally when they appeared on TV and in print, including the Phil Donahue TV show and Time Magazine. He noted that their public exposure resulted in frequent death threats. In 1992, the Corvallis City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which he added seems like nothing today, but he joined others holding signs in front of City Hall. Brian didn't mention it, but another more recent thing I wanted to document, but I was only able to mention in the timeline, is all of the work leading up to the OSU Pride Center and the changing notions of gay or queer students.

Ironically, when I started writing my history of OSU in 2000, the items Brian mentioned seemed like recent events and I felt an obligation to dig deeper into the past and provide a broader perspective of gay history to OSU students. The opportunity I had to talk to some early pre-Stonewall gay pioneers made me realize how each generation likes to think everything is new and they often miss the common threads of human nature that have existed for all time. The more recent events that Brain mentioned are important and need to be documented as part of OSU gay history.

My history received many views after it was mentioned in the student newspaper opinion piece by Irene Drage, "Rainbows, glitter, short-shorts in the pride parade," Barometer, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 (Irene Drage is a senior in English). Drage mentions that Thomas Kraemer is the founding benefactor of OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. She describes how she learned that LGBT people rarely have a family member who can pass on their cultural history like other minority children usually have.

Kristina Schafer of Portland, Oregon also called me to give me positive feedback -- she plans to send me a letter via U.S. email so that I can send her my OSU History.

See previous post Thomas Kraemer, "OSU professor recognized equality hypocrisy decades ago," posted Jun. 5, 2012 to see the copy of a letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg that was scanned from the original paper OSU personnel files that are now stored on microfiche in the OSU Archives, Corvallis, Oregon. Karl McCreary of the OSU Archives was able to show me Legg's OSU personnel file and give me a copy under an Oregon Public Records law concerning older files becoming public after enough time. This letter proved Legg resigned from OSU during World War II, when the student population had dropped, and he became a Christian minister at the military Camp Adair in Corvallis. This file eliminated the confusion that some back East historians had concerning whether Dorr was a Professor at OSU or at the University of Oregon. Also, the gay activist Michal Petrelis filed a Freedom of Information request with the FBI that showed the source of this confusion about Legg -- Legg's FBI file erroneously stated Eugene, when all of the addresses the FBI documented where Dorr lived were clearly in Corvallis and not Eugene. See previous post "FBI files on gay OSU professor 1956" (7/7/10).

See previous posts:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oprah impressed by Jack Baker's gay marriage activism in 1970s

Recent selfie by Jack Baker and Michael McConnell shown by Oprah Winfrey Oct. 27, 2013

PHOTO: A recent selfie photo of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell was shown by Oprah Winfrey as she expressed her amazement over how "brave" they had to be in the 1970's to fight for the right to gay marriage. After Oprah's other guests mentioned the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2004 as being an inspiration for their own marriages, Oprah mentioned the history of the U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage case brought by Jack Baker in 1972 and also showed video clips and photos of their marriage ceremony and appearance on the David Susskind Show. (See all of this approximately 35 to 36 minutes into the show "Oprah's Next Chapter: Gay in Hollywood," Season 2, episode 41, (2013) on Oprah Winfrey Network as seen 9-10PM PT on Corvallis Comcast Cable channel 220 OWN Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (See previous posts CA Prop 8 documentary mentions Baker's 1970 gay marriage case (8/28/13) and PQ letter on Jack Baker gay marriage activism vs. Steve Endean political goals (8/2/13))

Oprah's OWN cable channel featured this new episode of her show at the end of an entire day of gay-related programs, starting with a 4:30-6:30 PM rerun of her interview with Lady Gaga on being bullied for her gender variance. This was followed from 6:30-8:00 PM with Oprah's interview of Jason Collins, the first professional NBA ball player to come out as gay while still playing, and his non-gay straight twin brother. Then from 8-9 PM was a rerun of Oprah's interview of Neil-Patrick Harris, a former child TV star, who had been outed as being gay in 2006 by blogger Perez Hilton, along with his husband, David Burtka, who are both now fathers of twins. After the "Gay in Hollywood" episode ended, the OWN channel ran the documentary film "Bride Groom" by Linda Bloodworth Thomason from 10 PM to Midnight -- I have not had a chance to watch it yet, but I might blog about in the future.

I had not watched Oprah in years and so I had forgotten how every thing she does is filled with drama, heart, emotion and sometimes tears. Therefore, it was quite a compliment to Jack Baker that she would mention his story because it seems so boring, non-dramatic and analytical engineer-like compared to the usual human interest stories done by Oprah. I normally am not attracted to such a tear jerker style of programming, but I have to admit that all of the shows mentioned above were so well done that I watched them and the time seemed to fly by quickly because I was so absorbed in the stories.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Medicare Part B premium mysteriously still undisclosed - smells like dirty politics

I just watched the Oct. 25, 2013 U.S. House committee hearing on why the Website used by most States has been buggy and it wasn't system tested very much before rolling it out. (Oregon is using the site run by the Oregon Insurance Division for Obama Care Health insurance plans that start Jan. 1, 2014.) Of course, Republicans are shamelessly using this hearing as part of their campaign to undermine Obama-care, but equally shocking was the testimony that suggests the Obama administration is trying to hide the true costs by a last minute decision to not allow shopping without registering first. (I was surprised that no Democrat gave the excuse that they did this to prevent a denial of service attack by Republicans.) It will be interesting to hear the testimony of Obama's political appointee next week.

I've written before on healthcare politics: See previous post Oregon Obama-Care health insurance rates are designed-by-committee Dilbert cartoon (5/22/13)

A recurring thought I have had is that the demand for healthcare is effectively infinite because we all want to live forever, and therefore the issue with healthcare insurance is how society can best meet the sometimes conflicting goals of being both fair and compassionate in the way limited healthcare resources are allocated. Clearly, a capitalist free market system can be fair, in the sense that you can pay for the exact healthcare you want, however, such a system can lack compassion because many people who are in need may die because somebody with more money can have an optional medical treatment. Likewise, a totally socialist medical system could be compassionate because it can make sure those in the most need get the healthcare they need, but this could be unfair because it might happen only at the expense of everyone else who are not allowed to buy what they want in healthcare resources are limited.

I thought some more about these concepts when Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini appeared on MSMBC to discuss Obamacare and he pitched the idea that healthcare costs can't be managed unless Congress sets an overall budget for how much we want to spend in America on healthcare. Obviously, America is rich, but it can't afford to keep everyone alive forever. This thinking prompted my letter to the editor:

The Oct. 13 Associated Press story by Stephen Ohlemacher, "Social Security raise to be among lowest in years," speculated the government shutdown might be a reason for the delayed announcement of the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) that is provided by law to Social Security beneficiaries.

I smell dirty politics -- the same COLA factor is also used to determine "Original Medicare" premium increases that have always been available before September and printed in the approximately 200-page paperback book, "Medicare and You," mailed annually to all Medicare Beneficiaries so they can choose a healthcare plan during the open enrollment period in October. Mysteriously, for the first time in at least 15 years, page 4 says, "2014 Medicare premium and deductible amounts weren't available at the time of printing," but the book included prices for all of the privatized Medicare and Part D prescription drug coverage plans favored by Republicans.

Of course, on the Sunday talk shows, Republicans incited confusion by blaming mismanagement by Obamacare and they claimed Democrats were willing to accept budget cuts by changing the method used to calculate COLA, which nonpartisan economists say is already less than what elders actually face.

Shame on both Democrats and Republicans for neglecting the real issue -- we all want to live forever and allocating limited healthcare resources can't be done fairly and compassionately, by either Republicans' privatized healthcare systems or Democrats' socialized medicine plans, unless Congress sets an overall budget for healthcare.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Inaction of GOP, Democrats is suspect regarding health care info," Gazette-Times, Oct. 24, 2013, p. A1)

Here are some links to healthcare insurance information I've been reading:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Soldier's funeral bumps OSU drag queens off front page

Soldier's funeral bumps OSU drag queens off front page Oct. 21, 2013

PHOTO: a soldier's funeral bumps Oregon State University drag queen show off front page of the OSU student newspaper and the local Gazette-Times newspaper. See previous post OSU students discuss ethics of blackface, drag and definition of trans-asterisk (5/24/13) and the following articles and opinion pieces:

Friday, October 4, 2013

OSU student paper prints multicultural LGBT story next to crime reports

Barometer print layout Police Beat next to Bowling for Sol LGBT Oct. 4, 2013

PHOTO: The OSU student newspaper printed the "Police Beat" list of crimes reported on campus next to a story bout the Sol LGBT student group by Kaitlyn Kohlenberg, "Bowling with SOL, Multicultural LGBTQ group on campus hosts bowling night Thursday in MU basement," Barometer, Oct, 4, 2013, p. 2. I am sure this layout was done unintentionally in the deadline rush to press, but nonetheless it is deeply ironic given to the history of people in America, especially non-white people, who have a minority sexual orientation or gender identity being defined as criminals or dismissed as psychiatric cases. Fighting to overcome these negative stereotypes was a key strategy of early gay rights leaders. The above story is an example of the progress achieved over the last century because the biggest issue today appears to be how student groups can be more inclusive of people from all backgrounds. The editorial board is clearly sensitive to the meaning of this popular section (See Editorial, "Why we have a police beat," posted Sep. 29, 2013.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 moving and redirection to new page needs to be fixed

UPDATE Oct 6, 2013 - the new external Website for my OSU history broke the permanent link to it. The new page is poorly laid out compared to the old Wiki technology version and it is unprintable and inaccessible to those with low vision blindness because it overrides the accessibility features already built-in many internet browsers for decades. Even mighty Google made the same mistake until being forced to add better accessibility to the Chrome Browser and Mobile Android operating system Version 4.2.2 in 2013. Even my own Google Blogger blog page still has the same problems with accessibility because it will not allow for text to be selected and then automatically resized and rewrapped by the user's screen width. I have worked around this issue by forcing a small screen width and using a simple template. Many other Web sites have same accessibility problems, which they have worked around by adding an optional printable page of plain text that will display using high-contrast black text on a white background to allow text size color and text margin wrapping to be changed by the user's standard browser program or printer functions instead of forcing a fixed text size or page width that is cut off and forces horizontal scrolling due to poor Web page design. It would have also been better for any new site design to support the old page layout and links to it until articles could be reformatted for the new content management system they are using. Also, automatic redirection from the old permanent link should have been provided since these old links have been referenced by librarians. Broken will cause a loss it readership.

NEW LINK FOR Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University Gay Activism 1969-2004" accessed Oct 6, 2013 contains links to the following poorly laid out sub-pages instead of including everything on one page as the Wiki version did:

I hope to see if I can get this article reposted in a format that is easier to read and also get an automatic redirection from the old link that has been linked to and published by librarians and others.

UPDATE: Sep. 2013 NOTE the Web site is being moved to a new system and there may not be an automatic redirection to the new site nor printable pages and accessible text for those with low-vision blindness. Hopefully, these issues will be fixed soon.

(See previous posts OSU gay history at site (1/16/12) and OSU gay history at (12/7/10))

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slide rules and trade books at OSU bookstore R.I.P.

Newspaper article on new store for Beavers

PHOTO: newspaper article about the demise of the old OSU Bookstore deciding to stop the sales of trade books and moving to a new Beaver Store location to concentrate on selling OSU logo merchandise next to the college football stadium. (See for "OSU Beaver Store Grand Opening Sat. Sept. 21, 2013 8AM to 5PM" accessed Sept. 16, 2013 and OSU Beaver store hours and "A store for Beavers, OSU's traditional bookstore is no more; here's why students fans and faculty can regard that as good news," online version "A store for Beavers celebrates its new location," posted Sep. 21, 2013, p. A1, A6)

Here is my letter to the editor commenting on the article:

Calibrated slide-rules, previously required for science and engineering students, were missing from the list of products no longer being sold in what was formerly known as the OSU Bookstore, in addition to the trade books and typewriters mentioned by OSU Beaver Store manager Steve Eckrich. (Saturday, Sept. 21 article, "A store for Beavers,")

College bookstores -- including the one at OSU -- were the first stores where Hewlett-Packard sold their revolutionary handheld computers and calculators, instead of only via dedicated traveling salesmen, because in 1972 HP had no experience selling products through retail stores.

A 1954 OSU electrical engineering graduate and the first non-founder president of HP, John Young, led the transformation of HP from designing electronic instruments to selling retail computers and printers worldwide.

In 1976, Young scolded me for asking if his allegiance to OSU played in the decision to build the HP Corvallis Division because he viewed moving near an engineering college only as a practical business decision to benefit from university research and to recruit engineering graduates.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: OSU bookstore among pioneers to carry new HP technology in '70s," Gazette-Times, Sep. 24, 2013)

UPDATE Sept. 30, 2013: I noticed the editor added em dashes to my letter instead of using parentheses. His edit is fine with me, but I had wondered why he was using em dashes so much until I read his editorial: Mike McInally, "Think Too Much :-) There's power in punctuation," Gazette-Times, Sun. Sept. 29, 2013, p. A8 -- the editor grumbles about the default settings of Microsoft Word automatically changing hyphen-hyphen to em dashes and :-) to smiley faces. I agree! I recall the column by James Kilpatrick years ago had some good advice on how to use em dashes as a "that is" type of thought break.

See previous posts: