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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bruce Jenner fits in Tim Gill's Republican lobbying strategy after gay marriage rights are won

Bruce Jenner says he is asexual at 1:44 into ABC interview Apr. 24, 2015

PHOTO: Bruce Jenner agitatedly telling Dain Sawyer he is "asexual, for now," and he will not be a "lesbian woman" after his transition, even though he will physically be a woman who was previously a man that had a heterosexual sexual orientation. (At approx. 1:44) Jenner told Dianne Sawyer that he was a Christian Republican and "This is my cause in life -- this is why God put me on Earth -- to deal with this issue," by helping transgendered children. Jenner agreed with Dianne that he should do this by lobbying his Christian, conservative, Republican friends to pass laws protecting transgendered individuals from discrimination. (At approx. 1:31) See previous post Bruce Jenner comes out as asexual transgender woman Christian conservative Republican (4/15/15).

The fact that Bruce Jenner is a Christian Republican conservative fits perfectly with the strategy of Tim Gill for gay rights activism after gay marriage rights are won -- that is lobby state legislatures to pass antidiscrimination laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT workers from being fired by a Christian employer who objects to gay marriage on religious grounds.

Tim Gill's gay rights activism strategy after gay marriage rights are won includes getting help from businesses and Republicans, such as former HP CEO Carly Fiorina who often tells other CEO's how it is bad for business to discriminate against LGBT employees. The key motivation for Gill's strategy is that most Americans, who already support gay marriage rights, are unaware that employers can legally fire somebody just because they are gay.

Leading this lobbying effort is Tim Gill's new organization Freedom for All Americans whose about page says, "Freedom for All Americans is a campaign initiative dedicated to ensuring that every American, regardless of where they live, is protected under the law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression - without allowing overly broad and harmful religious exemptions that will encourage employers, business owners or others to choose to disregard those protections."

Tim Gills' strategy is detailed in a well written article by Joshua Green, "America's gay corporate warrior: Quark founder Tim Gill is leading a bipartisan effort to bring the struggle for full equality to red states," Bloomberg Businessweek, Apr. 27 - May 3. 2015, p. 64-67, posted Mar. 24, 2015:

"In 1992, Tim Gill was living a Rocky Mountain version of the familiar tech dream. A sci-fi buff and self-described "pathological introvert," he'd earned degrees in applied mathematics and computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and then, in 1981, founded the publishing-software company Quark in his apartment, with a $2,000 loan from his parents. When Quark took off, Gill became rich. He eventually sold his stake for half a billion dollars. But in 1992, he was merely the multimillionaire chairman of a successful tech company.

Gill was also gay. . . .

Then, in 1992, Christian groups in Colorado began pushing a ballot measure, Amendment 2, that would prevent nondiscrimination ordinances against gays and lesbians and repeal those already in effect in Denver, Boulder, and Aspen. "It was a shock," says Gill. What was more shocking, though, was that some of his own employees supported the ban, openly and at work. One of them even placed a "Vote 'Yes' on Amendment 2" sign on her desk. . .

They'll coordinate these efforts through a new organization, Freedom for All Americans, with the goal of building momentum toward federal action. . .

The campaign won't lack for resources. OutGiving brings together the movement's wealthiest donors, collectively worth billions. Gill says he's spent $327 million already and will spend more. The new organization is prepared to spend $100 million in the coming decade. Although persuading elected Republicans won't be easy, he's counting on two new forces to help the cause: major Republican donors, including billionaire hedge fund founders Paul Singer and Dan Loeb, who are full partners in the new endeavour, and corporations and business leaders, such as's Jeff Bezos and Apple's Tim Cook, whose public support for gay rights-and in Cook's case, outspoken criticism of Indiana's law-has helped frame the national debate. . .

A victory on marriage will present gay-rights advocates with a curious challenge. Their campaign has been so high-profile, its recent momentum so swift, and the cultural shift so dramatic that a favorable ruling is certain to be recognized as a landmark advance for civil rights. Activists worry that the public will interpret this to mean that gays and lesbians have secured the same rights and protections as everyone else, when, in fact, that isn't the case. . .

By obstinately pushing the religious freedom law even amid a public outcry, Indiana Governor Mike Pence did something Gill's donor alliance might have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to achieve: He alerted people across the country to a form of discrimination few of them had ever conceived of, thereby helping to fix the problem Gill's strategists had identified in their focus groups. . . "

(Quoted from Joshua Green, "America's gay corporate warrior: Quark founder Tim Gill is leading a bipartisan effort to bring the struggle for full equality to red states," Bloomberg Businessweek, Apr. 27 - May 3. 2015, p. 64-67, posted Mar. 24, 2015)

The importance of Tim Gill's strategy to seek anti-discrimination protection, so that you can get married without being legally fired by a Christian employer who objects to your "lifestyle," is because the majority of Americans believe this is already illegal and can't happen. In fact there is still a large percentage of people who think it should be legal to fire gay employees and in my previous post Rebuilt OSU black cultural center had cross burning in 1976 (4/19/15), I cited an example of lingering anti-gay discrimination by Christians who feel they are victims of gay marriage, as described by a typical letter to the editor published by my local town newspaper's Sunday edition, which is also distributed in the more conservative rural areas surrounding my very liberal eCollege town:

Those who think gay marriage rights have been won quickly are ignoring the history of Jack Baker, who got the first decision by the U.S. Supreme court on gay marriage in 1972 that left it up to state law, and the former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg who went on to become a famous gay activist, Christian Republican and editor of an academic journal that published a discussion on gay marriage in 1953. See my previous posts:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bruce Jenner comes out as asexual transgender woman Christian conservative Republican

Bruce Jenner says he is asexual at 1:44 into ABC interview Apr. 24, 2015

PHOTO: Bruce Jenner agitatedly telling Dain Sawyer he is "asexual, for now," and he will not be a "lesbian woman" after his transition, even though he will physically be a woman who was previously a man that had a heterosexual sexual orientation. (Approx. 1:44) Earlier in the interview (approx. 0:29) he explained he had never been attracted to guys, insisted he was not gay, and graphically explained the widely accepted definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Screen shot approximately 1 hour and 44 minutes into Dianne Sawyer's interview of "Bruce Jenner: 'I'm a Woman'," posted Apr. 24, 2015).

Wow! Dianne Sawyer's interview of Bruce Jenner was good and she even got Jenner to say as a Christian, "This is my cause in life -- this is why God put me on Earth -- is to deal with this issue," by helping transgendered children and he agreed with Dianne that he should also do this by contacting his Christian, conservative, Republican friends in Washington, D.C. to pass laws protecting transgendered individuals from discrimination. (Approx. 1:31)

Dianne Sawyer showed photos of a May, 1982 issue of "Playgirl" that Jenner appeared in with his wife, which featured nude ale foldout pinups (Approx. 0:29 MIN.) to show how his body was admired for its physical beauty back then.

I clearly recall watching Jenner in the 1976 Olympics and I remember many gay men who read Jenner as being a beautiful and effeminate man, which back then was often interpreted as being a sign of being a gay twink (this is often known as having a gaydar sense for closet cases) despite the fact he was siring children in heterosexual marriages. As one of his sons recently said about his dad's coming out as being transgender, "It all makes sense now," that he knows that Bruce is a transgendered woman. (Jenner has been married to three women, had two children with each of them, and also adopted 4 step children, for a total of 10 children, including the "Keeping up with the Kardashians" of the E! TV reality show.)

Dianne Sawyer asked Jenner about the Russian competitor he beat in the Olympics, despite the lavish state funding his competitor received compared to Jenner's shoestring training budget, and Bruce laughed that he had recently met the man who was now old and overweight. Dianne at the end of the show noted that this competitor had jokingly told ABC, after learning about Jenner's transition, that he would now have to also be humiliated by having been "beat by a woman!"

Queer stone sculptures of naked men A.) Kroisos Kouros, B.) David, C.) Discobolus, D.) The Wounded

PHOTO: According to Dianne Sawyer's interview of "Bruce Jenner: 'I'm a Woman'," posted Apr. 24, 2015 (Approx. 0:26), In the 1970's the Olympian Bruce Jenner's body was compared to Michelangelo's famous Statue of David (1504), which is shown above (center B) as displayed in Galleria Dell'Accademia, Florence, Italy -- David represents the perfect male body. See previous posts Michelangelo - statue of David (1504) (4/21/09) and Gay sculptures (2/16/08)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rebuilt OSU black cultural center had cross burning in 1976

headline, 'Legacy continues at BCC,' Barometer Apr. 16, 2015, p. 1

PHOTO: Courtnee' Morin, "Celebrating Lonnie B. Harris, his legacy," OSU The Daily Barometer, Apr. 16, 2015, p. 1 said, "The grand opening event included speeches by people such as Jaymes Winters, Larry Griggs and Geoff Brooks, people who'd had personal ties to Lonnie B. Harris. They spoke of his legacy and how it can continue even now, after his passing, with the cultural center. Oregon State University President Ed Ray and the Vice Provost of Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole also spoke at the event. . . . The building itself is an homage to different African cultures using architecture and textiles in the building materials and decor that were inspired from cultures all across Africa, from the shotgun house styled gathering hall to the circular sitting room. The center will host many on-campus groups including the OSU National Panhellenic Council, the African Student Association, the Black Graduate Student Association, Black Student Union and the National Society for Black Engineers."

Oct. 20, 1976 front page of OSU Barometer with headline 'Black cultural center victimized by vandals'

PHOTO: front page story, "Black Cultural Center victimized by vandals," reported in 1976 that a burning cross had been placed on the lawn of the Oregon State University Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center just one year after the center was founded. Several students were caught and the university president gave them an "unspecified punishment," which upset many people on campus (See official campus student newspaper reports: Barometer, Oct. 20, 1976, p. 1, Oct. 21, p. 4, Oct. 22, p. 1, Oct. 25, p. 1, 11). The incident was also deemed important enough to be documented in the 1977 Beaver Yearbook (p. 271). See previous posts OSU cross burning 1976 (8/5/06) and OSU gay history at site (1/16/12).

The OSU black student center, which students placed a burning cross on its lawn in 1976, was recently torn down and rebuilt:

"The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center at Oregon State University is ready for its close-up. The center. located at 100 S.W. Memorial Place, is hosting a grand opening ceremony at 3;30 p.m. Wednesday, and the community is invited to participate. Lonnie B. Harris was the first director of the Educational Opportunities Program that was set up to increase recruitment and retention of black students at OSU. . . The center was built on the same spot as its predecessor, but the larger footprint includes expansive meetings rooms, study spaces and a large kitchen. . . The Harris Center is one of four OSU cultural centers with new spaces. The Native American Longhouse moved into its new building in 2013 and the Cesar Chavez Centro Cultural opened in 2014. The Asian & Pacific Cultural Center holds its grand opening April 29." (Quoted from James Day, "OSU sets ceremony for new center," posted Apr. 13, 2015)

Oregon State University's four cultural centers mentioned in the news story (for black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian American students) are always mentioned by University officials separately from the OSU Pride Center for LGBT students, which in my opinion is due to political sensitivities that I understand, but hope will not be issues in the future. For example, many racial minority students don't want to be compared to gay students for homophobic reasons similar to those held by some university officials and some state conservative politicians who believe gay students have "chosen their gay lifestyle or sexual preference" and therefore are undeserving of any help from taxpayers. However, a small shift in this political talking point could be heard from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Hispanic and the youngest Republican candidate for President, during his Apr. 19, 2015 "CBS Face the Nation" interview, when Bob Schaeffer asked about gay marriage and if being gay is a choice -- Rubio ironically said, "I don't believe people choose their sexual preferences" and added that gay marriage should be left to State Legislatures to decide instead of Judges, which is a point that still fits with conservative state rights dogma, but bravely goes against the theocratic Republicans who want to legislate, against secular gay marriage, based on their interpretation of God's word.

I am happy that four of the OSU cultural centers have been rebuilt and I hope that the university will also be able to give the OSU Pride Center the same attention in the future, as well as the Women's Center where gay activism started at OSU in the 1970's with the help of lesbian leaders.

The newspaper story about dedication of the newly built OSU black cultural center inspired me to submit the following letter to the editor of a newspaper that serves the small City where OSU is located, but the editor chose not to print it (UPDATE: 4/20/15 it was printed on Monday see link below):

In 1976, students placed a burning cross on the lawn of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center at Oregon State University, and they received only an "unspecified punishment" by the President of OSU, according to page 1 stories in the campus newspaper, starting Oct. 20, 1976, and the 1977 Beaver yearbook, p. 271.

Similar to 1976, when no students overtly considered themselves racists, today's students can still learn lessons from the Apr. 15, 2015 grand opening of their newly built cultural center.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letters: New black cultural center recalls context of the past," Gazette-Times, April 20, 2015, p. A?)

Some related links and thoughts:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

OSU student's defense of 'marriage apocalypse' reminiscent of 1960's gay liberationists

Marriage apocalypse opinion column by college student in Barometer, Apr. 10, 2015, p. 7

PHOTO: ironically, just as gay marriage rights are being won nationwide, heterosexual marriage skepticism is being expressed by the millennial generation in an Oregon State University student newspaper opinion page column by Brooklyn Di Raffaele, "United States better off without marriage," OSU Barometer, Apr. 10, 2015, p. 7-8. Note that this student's defense of 'marriage apocalypse' is more reminiscent of a 1960's gay liberationists and women liberationists, who rejected marriage a being only a tool used to oppress women, and not one supportive of the right-wing agenda to forbid gay marriages by eliminating all marriages.

What I love about living in a small college town is the constant opportunity to hear firsthand what is on the minds of the next generation of future leaders. My latest example came from an OSU Senior student in English who magnanimously states, "I am not saying that I think it is wrong to get married," while pitching her opinion:

". . . with new technology changing the way we view every aspect of life and societal changes toward gender and race. This century has brought all new technologies and ways of living that have made for better standards of life with new opportunities, and this is slowly phasing out archaic practices. Marriage is one of those practices that is losing its appeal and place in current society for many reasons." (Quoted from Brooklyn Di Raffaele, "United States better off without marriage," OSU Barometer, Apr. 10, 2015, p. 7-8)

I was amused to read this presumably heterosexual student's newly found skepticism about marriage because similar feelings were being expressed in the 1960's by both gay liberation and women liberation groups who felt marriage was an obsolete institution set up by men only to oppress women and that marriage could be eliminated if only lawmakers would repeal the blue laws against cohabitation and sex outside of marriage, including sodomy and gay sex. Likewise, my Grandmother, who lived in Sweden in the 1920's, thought Americans were religious prudes compared to the sexually liberated Europeans she knew who commonly "shacked up together" instead of getting married as required by many religions and American blue laws of the past.

The student columnist also cited the new concept of a "marriage apocalypse," which doesn't yet have a well-established definition when I tried a quick Google define:"marriage apocalypse" on Apr. 11, 2015, but Google deserves credit for returning a link to an interesting article saying, "The marriage apocalypse may be coming. Talk to any millennial and you can envision an America virtually marriage-free, with everyone happily single," by Carol Costello, Anchor, "Ready for the marriage apocalypse?" posted Apr. 7, 2015

In my opinion, the importance of gay marriage predicted by a few gay activists many decades ago, despite hostile resistance by mainstream gay activists of the era, provides an important counterexample to the century old idea that marriage is not important or it can be replaced by another institution. However, I do agree with the fact that marriage has historically been used to opress women and only recently have women been able to marry on an equal footing to men -- thanks in part to gay marriage activists and women liberationists. (See previous posts Supreme Court on Jack Baker's gay marriage case 42 years later (3/26/13) and My opinion on upcoming gay marriage court decisions printed in local newspaper (1/28/15))

Doctors' offices missing mechanical balance beam weight scales

Mechanical balance beam weight scale in bathroom next to stainless steel grab bar

PHOTO: Decades ago, every doctors' office regularly used a balance beam scale, similar to my bathroom mechanical balance beam weight scale that I've owned for twenty years and use to detect sudden weight loss due to medical reasons or from dieting. My bathroom scale is shown above, next to a stainless steel handicap grab bar I originally installed to be a towel bar because it looked better than the standard towel bars available back then, but today this "towel bar" also serves the more practical function of being something I can grab to steady myself and also a place I can hang up my low-vision support cane. See previous posts LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light (4/10/15) and Wheelchair accessible Speed Queen Washer Dryer replaces old Maytag stacker (7/7/14)

As a kid, doctors would always make a big deal about how accurate their balance beam scales were compared to the typical home mechanical spring scales.

Therefore, I was surprised to see on my recent visits to several doctors' offices that they had replaced their mechanical balance beam scales with electronic stain-gauge scales with large digital readings on LCD displays. None of them had any visible source of calibration, nor did any doctor seem to be concerned about their absolute accuracy because human weight can easily vary by pounds within a few hours for many individuals and doctors are mostly interested in relatively large changes in weight over a period of time.

The advantages of mechanical balance beam scales are they don't require any power or batteries, which makes them electrically safe in a medical environment, and they also don't require any regular maintenance, other than perhaps lubricating and periodic replacement when the mechanism wears out, which may the reason why they have disappeared from my doctors' offices where weight scales get constant use.

Friday, April 10, 2015

LED Pixi flat panel light replaces my laundry room light

Laundry room Pixi Light Model Number FLT12R27MD1622

PHOTO: I recently replaced my twenty years old laundry room's 60 Watt incandescent light bulb and fixture with a new LED flat panel light, reminiscent of the old "Star Trek" science fiction space age, which has a lower color temperature (2700 degrees Kelvin) than I've been able to purchase before: Pixi Light Model Number FLT12R27MD1622 S/N307V1-4B03D0562 bought at Apr. 2015. As somebody who suffers from low vision blindness, I have become very aware of the difference between lights with a lower color temperature (a more reddish light) versus bluer lights that have a higher color temperature. Yes, it is easier to get more light from the higher color temperature lights, but my eyes are unable to see these higher frequency light waves and I am able to see things better if they are lit with a lower frequency wavelength of light. This new LED lighting has enabled me to see better as I step inside from my garage to my mudroom, entry closet and laundry room area, where I recently had to replace some plumbing for my laundry tub and my new washer-dryer. (See previous post Wheelchair accessible Speed Queen Washer Dryer replaces old Maytag stacker (7/7/14))

I have been happy with this Pixie light so far -- it provides better light than what I previously had in my laundry room and I hope it lasts for decades because it will be very hard to replace when the light burns out, unlike how easy it was to replace the 60 Watt conventional incandescent lightbulb that was in my laundry room ceiling fixture. LED lights promise to last a long time, but there have been many reports of infant mortalities. The Pixie light uses much less electrical energy, which also will keep it cooler in the laundry room in the summer because the light generates very little heat, unlike the 60 Watt bulb that would get too hot to touch when on. Also, the flat Pixie light doesn't hang down below the ceiling like my old bulb fixture did, which means I no longer have to worry about hitting it when I take a storage box off of the laundry room shelf.

My biggest customer dissatisfaction point is that the box I bought at Home Depot was missing the installation instructions and I was unable to find them online without some searching. Also, the ground screw is hard to install on the back while holding the light in the air and connecting the pother wire connections. I suspect many installers will skip installing the ground screw to save time because the light will still work OK, but this could lead to accidental electrocution, if an electrical fault occurs inside the unit, and it could cause more RFI or radio frequency interference with other devices in violation of FCC rules.

See related links:

VIDEO: Pixi Lighting LED FlatLight Panels Installation Video (YouTube posted Feb 25, 2013) - Pixi FlatLight Commercial and Residential Installation video.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chris D'Elia confirms Justin Bieber is a 'power bottom' in their sexual relationship

Chris D'Elia at Justin Bieber roast Comedy Central 3/30/15

PHOTO: The TV sitcom star and comedian Chris D'Elia (35 years old) is asked by host Andrew Santino about Chris's "sexual relationship" with the twink pop music star Justin Bieber" (21 years old) -- "who is the top?" To which Chris replies without hesitation that Justin is the "bottom," and then he instantly agrees that Justin is a "power bottom -- "PROMISE!!!" -- during the uncensored cable TV channel show, "Roast of Justin Bieber, Red carpet pre-show" Comedy Central, Mar. 30, 2015 9:30PM-10:00PM as seen on Comcast Corvallis cable ch. 760 ((main roast show aired 10PM - 12midnight)). The host prefaced his question with a comment insinuating that Justin was feminine and Chis was masculine, which implied Justin is a bottom, by asking, "Judging from you stature, and your relationship, and your height, and your age (close up shot makes him look like a burly bearded dominant top compared to the effeminate looking Justin).

A quick Google define:"power bottom" finds many links to the sexual politics of Top, bottom and versatile, especially as used by gay men plus anybody into bondage-discipline and submission-domination. Historically, the common and rigid heterosexual gender roles in society assumed a man was always on top of the woman in a sexual relationship, both literally during sexual intercourse, as well as figuratively in terms of the man's power in the relationship to decide things and force the woman to accept his decisions, along with the rigid idea that only a feminine partner can be paired up in a love relationship with a masculine partner, even if they are both of the same biological sex. Most of the early derogatory sexual stereotypes of gays and lesbians are based these assumptions. (e.g. the masculine bitchy butch dyke top lords over her femme female lover, or the swishy effeminate male blonde twink is the bottom in the relationship with the masculine bearded top man.)

Although many people voluntarily adopt these types of rigid gender roles, there are many people who choose not to because it makes them feel repressed and restricted in their self-expression of love.

I hope this blog post doesn't upset Justin's "true Bieleiber" fans like it did a few years ago when they executed a denial of service attack on my blog because of what I had said about their teen idol, which I won't repeat here. I assume his fans are more mature today, as evidenced by the Comedy Central roast, and they won't take offense like they did last time. (See previous posts John Waters, Justin Bieber, Graham Norton do three-way (12/13/10) and Tina Fey molests Justin Bieber on Saturday Night Live (4/11/10))

OSU college town development politics over student housing project

letter on Corvallis development process below editorial comment GT 4/1/15

PHOTO: My letter to the editor about a proposed real estate development in my small college town, was placed directly underneath the main editorial in the print edition, which indirectly commented on my letter's praise for the "city planning and land use planning processes" -- speaking about the new City Manager, the editor wryly commented, ". . .the city's fondness for (how to phrase this delicately?) a protracted public process on virtually every issue will not come as any sort of shock to his system." -- yes, this should be expected in a college town full of academics and with two large employers of engineers. It is also a political strategy used by liberals in many towns to delay growth. (See Thomas Kraemer, "Letters: Want to halt 'The Hub'? Buy the land for a park," Gazette-Times, Apr. 1, 2015, p. a9 and "Editorial: Shepard's hiring opens intriguing possibilities," Gazette-Times, Apr. 1, 2015, p. A9)

My letter, uncharacteristically of me, initially sounds just like a Republican rant, but it also sounds like a liberal rant by expecting the government to protect citizens from developers:

In the 1970s, I attended my first Corvallis Planning Commission meeting concerning the Timberhill development after hearing about it from an Oregon State University professor who was upset that real estate developers had profited from a post-World War II building boom, fueled mostly by the growth of OSU, while taxpayers were stuck paying for the problems created by it.

In response, Corvallis strengthened its city planning and land use development processes, which in hindsight has greatly helped to keep Corvallis a nice place to live.

OSU's most recent growth has led to "The Hub," a proposed Timberhill student housing project, which is currently under review by the City Planning Commission.

In my experience, even if reasons are found to block this specific building today, higher density residential housing will inevitably be built in Timberhill because its master plan has included it for decades and now there is market demand for it.

The only way for Timberhill residents to stop this construction permanently, in both a fair and legal manner, would be to buy the property and endow a City park maintenance fund for it. (Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letters: Want to halt 'The Hub'? Buy the land for a park," Gazette-Times, Apr. 1, 2015, p. a9)

Here are links to some of the government pages and newspaper stories reporting on the development controversy I mentioned in my letter, as well as letters from others: