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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My opinion on upcoming gay marriage court decisions printed in local newspaper

Kraemer newspaper opinion piece Jan. 28, 2015 and Mormon reaction

PHOTO: The local newspaper printed my opinion piece: Thomas Kraemer, "As I see it: A local retrospective on gay unions," (Corvallis, Oregon) Gazette-Times, Jan. 28, 2015, p. A9 and, perhaps only by coincidence, the editor printed on a previous page an AP story describing how the LDS Mormon Church is trying to tune its message on gay marriage: "Mormon Leaders: Protect gay rights, religious liberties," (Corvallis, Oregon) Gazette-Times, Jan. 28, 2015, p. A7 by Brady McCombs and Rachel Zoll. See previous post Jack Baker gay marriage theory was right (4/8/09)

The news from law professor, Art Leonard, "Supreme Court Grants Four Petitions to Review 6th Circuit's Marriage Ruling," posted Jan. 19, 2015, prompted me to write the following opinion piece, about the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the conflicting lower court decisions on gay marriage, and it was printed in my small college town city newspaper, which is owned by an Iowa-based newspaper chain:

A January 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, to reconcile conflicting lower court decisions on same-sex marriages, promises to end the debate that Corvallis citizens have waged for nearly four decades after the Gazette-Times published a two-page feature story titled, "Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,'" on pages 7 to 8 of the Jan. 9, 1976 issue.

This 1976 Gazette-Times article triggered many readers to flood the newspaper with angry letters to the editor asking how "gay marriage" could be mentioned in a "family newspaper" and threatening to cancel their subscription in response.

These readers' violent, angry and homophobic disgust reactions to "homosexuals" did not a surprise me because I had recently arrived at Oregon State University after doing my undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota, where I witnessed the law school student Jack Baker obtain the first decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage in 1972, which left it up to state marriage laws.

The 1972 "Baker v. Nelson" decision was recently cited by one of the conflicting lower court decisions as the reason it was required to accept state marriage laws against same-sex marriages.

Other lower courts decided that the 1972 "Baker" decision is obsolete and it conflicts with the Federal Constitutional rights of equal treatment under the law, regardless of gender, plus the right to move between states and still have your legally performed marriage recognized.

In the 1970s, I witnessed Jack Baker be viciously denounced by both mainstream liberals and even gay liberationists because they worried that promoting marriage equality would impede their goals of legalizing sodomy and ending employment discrimination based on sex, which was a goal shared with women liberation groups of the era.

In fact, late as 2004, Republicans were successfully sponsoring anti-gay marriage laws on ballots nationwide, including Oregon, to help re-elect President Bush and other Republicans.

Baker took refuge from his public vilification and maintained a private life by refusing to do public interviews.

These well documented facts, and perhaps some lingering grudges by some reporters and activists, have resulted in Baker's story being completely ignored by the mainstream media.

In a recent personal communication with Baker, I learned that today he is retired and still happily married to the same man, whose job offer, in the 1970s, as a professional librarian at the University of Minnesota, was withdrawn after they discovered he was gay.

As a detailed attorney, Baker also pointed out that his 1970 marriage was legally performed under Minnesota laws, which at the time did not specify gender, and he is still legally married because no court ever ordered it annulled.

Today, both men are working to document their history in a university archive and are helping the author of a proposed book, which ironically could be published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Until recently, Both Baker and I had not read the essay on "homophile marriage," which in 1953 had been published in an obscure academic journal edited by the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg, who as a conservative later founded the present day gay Log Cabin Republican group.

Despite Legg's earlier work, I view Baker as a genius, not a lunatic, to have recognized the importance of "gay marriage," as it was called back then, and I look forward to reading the happy ending to his decades-long struggle for justice.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "As I see it: A local retrospective on gay unions," (Corvallis, Oregon) Gazette-Times, Jan. 28, 2015, p. A9)

Also, see my previous post More examples of the 1972 Baker gay marriage case being ignored by history (1/14/15), which in response, Jack Baker emailed me a link to a good article on his 1972 case: Roger Parloff, "12 key moments that led to the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage case, Here, in a nutshell, is the 42-year backdrop for the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on gay marriage." posted January 18, 2015. Baker also referenced his friend, William Eskridge, Jr. John A. Garver, Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School, who represented a gay couple suing for recognition of their same-sex marriage.

Jan. 9, 1976 feature article by Anne Wood, 'Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,' on p. 7-8 of Corvallis Gazette-Times

PHOTO: Jan. 9, 1976 feature article by Anne Wood, "Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,'" on p. 7-8 of Corvallis Gazette-Times. One of the women profiled in the article came out in a letter to the editor of her student newspaper and she was active in early gay women's groups at Oregon State University. (See previous posts Gay 1976 newspaper controversy (5/3/06) and Thomas Kraemer, "Views on gays same," Corvallis (Oregon) Gazette-Times, Sept. 13, 2005, p. A11). See my previous post Gay 1976 newspaper controversy (5/3/06).

Also see the response to Arthur S. Leonard, "Supreme Court Grants Four Petitions to Review 6th Circuit's Marriage Ruling," posted January 19th, 2015 by Michelangelo Signorile, "Will Justice Roberts Join the Marriage-Equality Majority for All the Wrong Reasons?" posted Jan, 24, 2015 -- Mike says, "New York Law School professor Art Leonard, who has studied Supreme Court legal decisions on gay issues for decades, suggested as a possibility come June: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the majority and writes the decision himself, making it the narrowest possible ruling with regard to the ramifications for LGBT equality beyond marriage."

See previous posts:

May 18, 1970 Michael McConnell and Jack Baker married by Hennepin County Minnesota Justice of the Peace

PHOTO: May 18, 1970 Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were married by Hennepin County Minnesota Justice of the Peace. (See Ken Bronson, "A Quest for Full Equality," self-published May 18, 2004, p. 6-7, 48 (PDF) from Ken Bronson's Web site on Jack Baker's marriage and my previous post Life Magazine gay marriage 1971 (11/20/08))

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: Laws against same-sex marriage would not be passed until decades later. ONE Magazine was also ahead of the time when it mentioned the idea of "homosexual marriage" in 1953 long before "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage become a cause of some gay liberationists. (See James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" posted Aug. 11, 2003 and my previous post Gay free speech victory 50th anniversary (1/18/08))

UPDATE: 5/26/15 - See previous post Baker marriage hits N.Y. Times front page only 4 decades late (5/15/15) that includes a copy of my letter to the editor: Thomas Kraemer, "Some intriguing history on same-sex marriage," Gazette-Times, May 26, 2015, p. A7 and Editor's note: The Jan. 28 "As I see it" is available at The New York Times article is available at

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gay CEO of Abercrombie goes out of fashion but I still love his leather flip-flops

Old man Abercrombie Parody cover Businessweek Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2015

PHOTO: An "A & F Quarterly" magazine catalog (right) for Abercrombie & Fitch clothing received in the U.S. Mail Feb. 10, 2001 is shown next to a parody cover illustration, depicting an old geezer body, for the business magazine feature story by Susan Berfield and Lindsey Rupp, photo by Finlay Mackay, "Holding on to Relevance: The aging of Abercrombie & Fitch, Past Its Prime How Abercrombie & Fitch and CEO Michael Jeffries lost U.S. teens, Behind the decline of Abercrombie & Fitch and the fall of its mastermind, Michael Jeffries" Bloomberg Businessweek, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015, cover, p. 3-4, 46-51

The now 70 years old Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries was married to a woman before coming out as gay and he started working for A & F in 1992 at the age of 48. Due to slumping store sales, he is being replaced with a new CEO in 2015.

Jeffries is known for "wearing his usual cuffed jeans with a blue-and-white striped oxford shirt and brown flip-flops." This explains why his leather flip-flops have always been better than those you can buy anywhere else -- executives who actually use their own products often understand quality because they are their own customer.

I always found it ironic that the most homophobic of heterosexual college frat boys could be seen around campus wearing Abercrombie & Fitch clothing because it did not require any gaydar to detect the gay porno images created by photographer Bruce Weber with Michael Jeffries.

In any case, I suspect that much of the business problems are due to the simple fashion business fact that nobody wants to wear the clothing of their father -- A & F is now old enough to have the grandchild, of a frat boy who wore it, old enough to wear it!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

OSU computer printer demand refutes paperless computing predictions by HP

OSU student newspaper front-page showing line for computer printers Barometer, Jan. 16, 2015, p. 1

PHOTO: Despite predictions for decades of a paperless computer future, computer printers are still in high demand at Oregon State University according to a, ironically, printed on paper student newspaper caption that says, "Students wait in line for printing at the Oregon State University Valley Library. One of the printers failed earlier this week, but is estimated to be functional Friday, Jan. 16," and article by Chris Correll, "Printing takes time," Oregon State University "The Daily Barometer," Jan. 16, 2015, p. 1, 4 posted Jan. 15, 2015.

I can clearly recall discussions decades ago, while attending printer business meetings for Hewlett-Packard, worrying about planning for the future of "paperless computing" because it would cause customers' demand for HP printers, ink and toner to diminish and the sales would drop. Decades later, while many things that were previously done exclusively on paper are now paperless, such as many manuals and documents for both products and services, it seems that the demand for printing things on paper hasn't diminished as much as was predicted or desired by those who want to save money or reduce the environmental impact of printing, especially in Oregon where the economy is dominated by the lumber and paper product industries. This is good for HP's printer business profits and my stock holdings, but it begs the questions of why is paper still needed and is there today even a greater environmental concern than before?

See previous post History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12) about the article I wrote: 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 (PDF)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Telephone profiteering vs. public safety of 911 call reliability

front page story headlined 'Busy signals frustrate landline callers' Gazette-Times, May 8, 2009, p. A1

PHOTO: See previous post Comcast vs. Qwest phone problems (5/9/09) about the front page story by Rachel Beck, "Busy signals frustrate landline callers," Gazette-Times, May 8, 2009, p. A1. Also see editorial page "Roses 'n' Raspberries," Gazette-Times, May 8, 2009, p. A9

This front page story documented problems calling from a Qwest telephone to a Comcast telephone was predicted by engineers a quarter century ago when "Ma Bell" was broken up. A more serious concern is Comcast's self-disclosed issues with reliably accessing 911.

In fact, not long after I wrote the above post, I experienced problems with my CenturyLink phone service (formerly named the U.S. West or Qwest phone companies) and then more recently I read the editorial "Is last call near for landlines?" posted Jan. 13, 2015, which prompted me to write the following letter to the editor:

Perhaps I'm biased because I have a life-threatening medical condition, but the reliability of calling 911 is more important to me than the cost issue raised by the Jan. 13 editorial "Is last call near for landlines?"

Old-fashioned plain old telephone systems were engineered to survive a 1950's nuclear war or a natural disaster by hardwiring landlines to a downtown switch with a well-maintained emergency power backup system, which means I can call 911 even when my electric power is out for days.

Compared to landlines, 911 telephone calls are less reliable if made via an internet line, such as via a cable TV or Voice-Over-IP telephone phone service, and are even less reliable via a cellphone because it depends on multiple batteries that are often poorly maintained and short-lived during a power outage.

I recently became more concerned when I couldn't call 911 because the device that combines DSL internet lines with landlines was disconnected by an incompetent outsourced contractor hired to save money by the company of the very experienced landline technician who had to fix it.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Landlines clear winners over cell phones for reliability," Gazette-Times, Jan. 16, 2015, p. A9)

The editorial also made the point that phone companies make more money off cellphones and landlines, still used by only a third of Oregonians, and "are a drag on the profits of the companies that provide landlines, in some cases because they are compelled to do so by state law. That's why some telephone companies are lobbying to eliminate clauses in state laws known as "obligation to serve" requirements. These rules essentially give everyone the right to landline service. In California, the companies were able to persuade legislators to drop the requirement. . . . And that could trigger real headaches for elderly and rural Oregonians who suddenly could find themselves without reliable telephone service. Not to mention higher bills . . ."

The politics of this divides between promoting universal accessibility and the telecoms, who are trying to maximize their profits by eliminating the few remaining regulations and by cherry-picking only the most-profitable customers by serving only the city instead of the rural areas. State legislatures that are controlled more by city constituencies instead of rural interests are more likely to side with the telecom's lobbyist money that promises city folks that they will get faster 5G cellphones and fiber gigabit internet service to their home by allowing telecoms to do what they want. Of course, this may end up costing more because the radio spectrum required is just now being auctioned off by the FCC (after the transition to over-the-air digital TV is done) and so far the indications are that it will cost these private bidders much more than expected and therefore they will be even more motivated to charge customers more money to maintain their profit margins. What is a shame is that this spectrum is public property owned by everyone and there should be a requirement for providing universal access, but the Republicans over the last thirty years have slowly chipped away at these laws by calling them socialism and bad for the economy.

See previous posts Local newspaper moves to old building with a leaky roof (6/16/14) where I talk about the related "topic of research and discussion in engineering journals addresses the decaying of America's aging infrastructure by proposing how existing public policies to ensure public safety should be updated in the 21st Century." and the newspaper story that prompted it "Here's how to reach the Gazette-Times this week while we move," posted Jun. 4, 2014.

Un an unrelated topic, also on the same letter to the editor pages were the letters by Linda Jewett, "Letters: Here's another idea for former Gazette-Times building," Gazette-Times, Jan. 16, 2015, p. A9 and Linda Jewett, "Letter: Here's another idea for former Gazette-Times building," posted January 15, 2015 that suggested, "Perhaps Oregon State University could purchase the property and build a home on it for use by the current and future OSU presidents. In doing that, the president would have a Corvallis address, be able to walk to work, and most importantly, enjoy the ambiance of living in a college neighborhood. I lived next to the OSU campus for 23 years and experienced all of the above opportunities." -- I love this idea and recall when I was graduate student, the University President regularly invited students to his home that was an easy bike up Witham Hill north of campus. I won't know where the OSU President lives now -- perhaps this is being kept secret for security reasons, hut I don't know the actual facts today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More examples of the 1972 Baker gay marriage case being ignored by history

Baker et al. v. Nelson, United States Reports, Volume 409, Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court, October Term, 1972, Oct. 10, 1972 'dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.'

PHOTO: the first court case on same-sex marriage was initiated by University of Minnesota law student Jack Baker in 1970: Baker et al. v. Nelson, Oct. 10, 1972, "United States Reports, Volume 409, Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court, October Term, 1972," U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974, p. 810. The Appeal was "dismissed for want of a substantial federal question." Essentially, the court decided the case was a matter of state law and not federal law, leaving it to state law to decide the matter. See previous posts Supreme Court on Jack Baker's gay marriage case 42 years later (3/26/13), Arthur Leonard CA Prop 8 appeal still citing Jack Baker gay marriage case (8/3/12) and Baker v. Nelson 1972 Supreme Court order on gay marriage (7/22/09)

UPDATE Jan. 16, 2015: See post by Lyle Denniston, "Court will rule on same-sex marriage (UPDATED)," posted Jan. 16, 2015 who said, "From the point of view of the four states involved in the cases, their lawyers apparently will not be prevented from making arguments on two points to try to help them salvage their bans: first, that the Supreme Court settled that issue in a summary ruling in 1972 in the case of Baker v. Nelson, so that is the answer to both questions; and, second, that federal courts have no jurisdiction to rule on matters of domestic relations, including marriage, meaning that the regulation of marriage has to be left to the states to decide. . . . If customary practice is followed, the first case listed in the order -- the Ohio case Obergefell v. Hodges -- will become the historic title for the final ruling."

UPDATE Jan. 16. 2015: see post by Art Leonard, "Supreme Court Will Review 6th Circuit Ruling Against Marriage Equality," posted January 16, 2015, who said, "the Court announced that it would devote 90 minutes of oral argument to the question whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and 60 minutes to the question whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licenses and performed out-of-state." and printed as Arthur S. Leonard, "Supreme Court Decision to Take Up Marriage Cases Heralds Likely End Game," Gay City News, posted Jan. 16, 2015 without the Baker case mentioned (See below for more abut this editing).

I've written before about how and possibly why the mainstream press and back East media coverage of gay marriage has ignored the Baker v. Nelson case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972, which left it up to state law to decide on gay marriage. At that time Minnesota marriage laws did not specify gender and so Jack Baker and Mike McConnell were able to legally marry and they remain legally married because no court has ever legally ordered their marriage be annulled. For example, a new book on the history of gay marriage has no mention of the Baker case, despite the fact that it has been cited in nearly all of the gay marriage cases so far. (See previous posts Oregonian book review of new gay marriage history book (12/9/14), First gay wedding 1971 shown on WCCO TV 1973 aroused disgusted viewer reactions (8/2/14) and PQ letter on Jack Baker gay marriage activism vs. Steve Endean political goals (8/2/13))

Recently, I saw a most telling example of how Jack Baker is being intentionally edited out of history from a famous constitutional law professor who writes a weekly column for a professional mass circulation gay newspaper in New York City and who first posts his column submission on his personal blog the day before it is printed and posted on the newspaper's website. Usually his submission is printed word for word, except for a few minor edits or cuts in length at the end needed for space on the printed page.

However, this week the personal blog post by Arthur S. Leonard, "January 2015 Brings a Flurry of New Marriage Equality Developments in First Two Weeks of New Year," posted Jan. 13, 2015 specifically said, "The plaintiffs raised Due Process and Equal Protection challenges under the 14th Amendment, arguing that the ban violates their fundamental right to marry and discriminates against them because of their gender, gender stereotypes, and sexual orientation. The state's first line of defense was to argue that the Supreme Court's decision in 1972 in Baker v. Nelson that a challenge to Minnesota's ban on same-sex marriage failed to raise a "substantial federal question" was binding on the district court and obliged it to dismiss the case. As have most of the other federal judges confronting the Baker v. Nelson argument, Judge Duffey concluded that "doctrinal developments" in the Supreme Court since 1972, and most significantly the failure by the Supreme Court even to mention Baker v. Nelson in its 2013 decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, meant that he was not precluded from considering this case on the merits. However, he rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the state's denial to them of the right to marry violated a fundamental right, accepting the state's argument that all of the Supreme Court precedents concerning the right to marry involved different-sex couples and thus did not stand for the proposition that opposite-sex couples enjoy a fundamental right to marry."

However, for some unknown reason, all mention of the Baker gay marriage case is missing from the otherwise identical printed version of the newspaper article by ARTHUR S. LEONARD, "As Marriages Begin in Florida, Flurry of Legal Developments Elsewhere," City News posted Jan. 14, 2015

Yes, I do recall how the gay liberation activists after Stonewall were anti-gay marriage, because they were fighting for sexual freedom and equality and they sincerely believed that gay marriage would hurt their political cause.

Yes, Republicans proved that gay marriage was a great wedge issue that enabled them to win many elections over the last twenty years.

Yes, many back east gays in the media centers of the world still hold a grudge against Jack Baker for some excuse, such as he refuses to do interviews with them.

However, the Baker case and its history is well-documented, with many easy to find sources, and therefore it is inexcusable that the mainstream press continues ignore the pioneering work of Baker, which the majority of states in America now agree with by their marriage laws.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Atlanta fire chief fired after publishing anti-gay words similar to an OSU Professor's words in 1953

Lester A. Kirkendall booklet 'Parents, children and the sex molester' 1953 cover

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) cover of an eight page booklet by Oregon State University professor Lester A. Kirkendall, "Parents, children and the sex molester," published by the E.C. Brown Trust for The Oregon Coorinating Council on Social Hygiene and Family Life, Portland, Oregon 1953 (Oregon State University card catalog HQ71 .K5). See previous post OSU sex molester education 1953 (9/12/08)

I was reminded of Prof. Kirkendall when I read the news story "Reed: Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy," Atlanta-Journal Constitution posted Jan. 6, 2015 and commentary by Sean Mandell, "Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Is Fired By Mayor: VIDEO," posted Jan. 6, 1015. It prompted me to write the following letter to the editor:

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for his "judgment" and not his "personal religious beliefs," according to the Mayor Kasim Reed, after self-publishing a book calling homosexuality a "sexual perversion," comparable to bestiality and pederasty.

Similarly hateful assertions were published in a 1953 booklet to educate Oregon parents, which was written by the learned and distinguished Oregon State University Associate Professor of Family Life Lester A. Kirkendall, for the Oregon Coordinating Council on Social Hygiene and Family Life, in support of U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy's anti-gay and anti-Communist campaign.

In my opinion, the Constitutional rights of free speech and religion unconditionally permit all citizens to say ignorant or hateful things, however, these rights do not exempt publically appointed leaders from being held accountable for a higher standard of speech because they can choose to resign and then freely speak out if they disagree with public opinion.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Say what you will, but take responsibility for consequences," Gazette-Times, Jan. 9, 2015, p. A9)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Iowa Senator proves she has balls by bragging about castrating hogs

VIDEO: "Joni grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so she'll know how to cut pork!" -- At least according to the popular TV political advertisement of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa Republican). This ad was recently recalled during a recap of the top news stories of the year by the "NBC Meet the Press" television show. In my opinion, Ernst's mixture of sex, gender and power politics is so rich that analyzing it would make a good Ph.D. thesis. Clearly, Ernst was trying to convey with this ad that she had the balls to fight the men in Washington, D.C. for the power required to protect Iowa's political interests in Congress. The title of her video is an oblique reference to a movie where a man was forced to squeal like a pig when he was being anally raped -- a deep fear of many men because it represents being subjugated like a woman. (See Joni Ernst, "Squeal," uploaded Mar. 24, 2014 and her political campaign site

I was raised in Minnesota and therefore I was infused with the ethic of the corn-fed Iowa farmer at the Minnesota State Fair each year where rural 4-H farm kids would proudly show off prize winning hogs they had raised. It is clear to me from listening to Joni Ernst that she was infused with similar imagery, but had rejected the 1950's values of gender and power that would have insisted she grow up to be the dutiful farm wife and not a U.S. Senator who is expected to fight like a man to defend the State of Iowa during negotiations in any Washington, D.C. power struggles.

It is ironic that a conservative woman Republican would be elected from Iowa just a few decades after liberal Democrats led the equal rights movement for women in the 20th Century when the vast majority of Republicans and perhaps a majority of Democrats believed that a "women's place is in the home, barefoot, pregnant and raising the children." The "women's liberation movement," as it was called, and post-Stonewall "gay liberation" movement, were both considered to be so radical by most Republicans and even perhaps a majority of Democrats that they were vigorously opposed. Looking back, perhaps they were right it was radical given the radical social changes that have occurred during the last Century that are now considered good and normal, such as women in the workplace and same-sex marriages in the majority of states.

On a different but related note, I will be soon talking to the Oregon State University Professor Susan Shaw (also see Personal Website of Susan Shaw) concerning her research ideas and I hope to post about it in the future. In preparation for the meeting, I was able to download and read the Curriculum Vitae of Susan Shaw and was interested to find out she had written a paper in 199 on "S.C.U.M. Manifesto" that is in the book by Carl Singleton, "The Sixties in America," Salem Press, March 1999. It is related to the murder of the famous artist Andy Warhol who I was in love with back in the 1960's. (See SCUM Manifesto From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and SCUM Manifesto (Google Books) 2004 edition searchable)

See previous posts

Another note to myself for a future blog post -- the newspaper article by Alex Paul, "'What's important is that we continue to tell stories,'" posted Jan. 7, 2015 profiles the retirement of a local reporter Graham Kislingbury who received his degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene where he had worked on the student newspaper int he 1970's when the managing editor was Randy Shilts who went on to become a famous San Francisco Chronicle reporter during the AIDS criss of the 1980's. Shilts also wrote the books wrote "And The Band Played On" about the AIDS epidemic, "The Mayor of Castro Street" about Harvey Milk and "Conduct Unbecoming" about gays in the military.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Posting 'selfie' and 'wealthie' photos is the new guilty pleasure in cyberspace

Thomas Kraemer 2014
PHOTO: a quintessential example of a selfie of Thomas Kraemer. (See previous post Year 2014 in review - nine years of blogging)

Happy new year 2015 -- I'm still alive!

I love watching the evolution of language on the internet and the invention of new words because my English teachers always taught the subject very dogmatically and would mark me down for creative uses of spelling and grammar that did not match the rules they had learned decades ago and taught as being invariant. My English teachers always said, "If it is not in the school's dictionary, then it is not a word you can use in class."

For example, the fairly new word selfie is defined as a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media. Prior to the internet, it was typically egotistical dictators who would physically post their portraits everywhere to remind people that they are the leader and egotism is a human trait that has always motivated people to be exhibitionists, however, the more recent invention of internet technology has encouraged even the shyest and most private of individuals to post photos of themselves on social media.

More recently, I learned of the new word wealthie ( on a TV talk show in reference to people who post photos of expensive items that they recently bought, presumably to brag by showing off their wealth and to boost their self-worth. (See 'wealthie' definitions and "#wealthies - Say sayonara to the selfie, and hello to the envy-enducing wealthie (it's celeb endorsed)," posted Apr. 1, 2014)

I was raised by Depression-era parents who taught me it was impolite to show off your wealth, because it would it would make other people jealous, and it also make you a target of thieves, both of which I still believe are true reasons not to do it today, therefore, I have always felt a twinge of guilty pleasure and anxiety whenever I either post or read a post that looks like somebody is showing off their wealth. (See previous posts My new kitchen chairs finally match my Herman Miller table (12/13/14) and New laundry room attic vent installed for Speed Queen Washer Dryer plus future cooktop (12/6/14))

My first reaction is to wonder why somebody is trying to impress others by showing off their wealth and then if they are trying to sell me something I don't want to buy. In my current physically disabled state, I no longer feel any need to impress anyone, although I still would not want to make myself the target of a thief, and I am so sated with physical possessions that I rarely lust for anything new, other than better health.

Today, when I see other people's wealth, after overcoming my initial twinge of jealousy and repressed resentment, my more mature mind likes to analyze why they bought it and if it makes sense for either me or them. I hope the few readers who stumble into my blog from a search engine will also read my posts the same spirit -- I have no agenda other than one of trying to posts things to help me remember what I bought and the links associated with the products.

Speaking of showing off your wealth, I suspect a recent letter to the editor written by Warren George, "Letter: Thanks for the offer, but I decline this Medicare 'gift,'" posted Dec. 29, 2014 did not realize that his letter was flaunting his wealth, because in my view, Although I agree with his concern about the cost of healthcare, I hope he was just being ironic about his plan to burn up his Medicare card, because in my experience, only the an independently wealthy multimillionaire, or somebody who was sure they will never need medical care, would be able to take this risk, unless you are willing to accept charity medical care when you may need it. The cost of healthcare is not surprising to me, given that the demand for it is inelastic and therefore people are willing to pay anything for the limited resources of doctors and hospitals, just as is taught in theory to every Freshman Economics or Business major at OSU.