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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Intersectional feminism and building renaming fads come to OSU

Barometer Sept. 15, 2017 p. 10-11 and p. 14-5 Cultural Centers Women's and Pride

PHOTO: The Oregon State University student newspaper's welcome back move-in issue for Fall, 2017 featured a two page spread of a map (center) highlighting the OSU Cultural Centers, such as the OSU Pride Center for LGBT students and Women's Center (Daily Barometer, Sept. 15, 2017 p. 10-11) plus the stories by Avalon Kelly News, "Women's Center works with all gender identities," OSU Ddaily Barometer, Sep. 15, 2017, p. 14 and Melinda Myers, "Pride Center provides safe spaces," OSU Daily Barometer, Sept. 15, 2017, p. 15.

Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver decal (10 cents) was sold circa 1975 and it was ''' to apply to a car window shows Benny carrying a slide rule and T-square, which are both obsolete engineering tools.

PHOTO: Oregon State University Engineering Benny Beaver mascot decal was a fad nearly half of a century ago when it was sold for ten cents to be applied on a student's car window. See previous posts Artist of OSU Benny Beaver engineer mascot decal used it for other schools (6/6/15), Slide rules, T-squares -- obsolete engineering tools (1/19/09), and OSU Benny Beaver Engineering Decal (12/9/06)

Anybody who has been around academia for decades has witnessed firsthand examples of how a few college fads will spread across across the nation, and sometimes even around the world, because the fad captures the imagination of students. Some fads prove to last and make permanent changes, such as the fad for "gay liberation," which slowly evolved to establish equal rights for LGBT people, but other fads will fade away and replaced by new fashions.

Two recent nationwide college fads that have risen in popularity at Oregon State University include the concept of "intersectional feminism" and researching campus building names to expose the unenlightened past of the people the buildings were named after, and then citing this research to request that university leaders change the names of the buildings named after racists or slave owners, etc.

The annual Fall welcome to OSU move-in issue of the student newspaper featured a series of stories describing campus resources, such as the OSU Pride Center for gay community members in the story by Melinda Myers, "Pride Center provides safe spaces," OSU Daily Barometer, Sept. 15, 2017, p. 15. She reports, "The Oregon State University Pride Center is a campus safe space intended for the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual) community. . . The Pride Center is a physical space, staffed by students, that provides connection to resources, community, and support for LGBTQ+ people and education for non-LGBTQ+ who want to be better allies"

Logically adjacent to the OSU Pride Center story, in the same Fall Term, welcome to OSU, issue of the student newspaper, is another story by Avalon Kelly News, "Women's Center works with all gender identities," OSU Ddaily Barometer, Sep. 15, 2017, p. 14. This story quotes Whitney Archer the associate director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement, and assistant director of the Women's Center, saying, "While our name is the Women's Center, we work with students from all gender identities and we strive to focus our work on gender justice through a lens of intersectional feminism." Also quoted in the story is Miriam Wojtas, a student leadership liaison at the Women's Center, saying that their mission is "continually fostering community that is intersectional - that way it serves as many folks as possible."

I have only casually followed the concept of intersectional feminism and my recent Google search led to an article by Alia E. Dastagir, "What is intersectional feminism? A look at the term you may be hearing a lot," usatoday.com posted Jan. 19, 2017, which lists how feminist scholars explain the meaning of intersectionality in their own words.

I first heard about intersectionality while reading the blog posts of a gay scholar, Wayne Dynes, "Identity," dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Sep. 11, 2017 who noteed how "The concept of identity politics is evoking current controversy . . . now it is thought that, we can be host to a basket of autonomous identities. That way the demon of intersectionality lies."

In an earlier blog post, Wayne Dynes, "Looking back at my career realistically,"dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Jul. 21, 2013, Dynes commented, "The general understanding of these matters is being fundamentally transformed by two factors: intersectionality and the trans perspective."

Another earlier post by Professor Emeritus Wayne Dynes, "Vagaries of the word queer," dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Jul. 16, 2017, declares the "queer" word to be obsolete and says, ". . . Queer Theory is collapsing, together with its postmodern cousins in the academy. No one that I know of speaks of queer rights or queer marriage. So the q word has not, despite the aspirations of some observers, become the overall label of choice. That function has been assumed by LGBT - not in my view the ideal solution, but it has in fact become the answer." However, after some analysis he notes, ". . . there is still a use for the queer label. In the current assimilationist climate there is a danger that our heritage (if I may use the term) of outlaw/outsider affirmation will be swept away. . . the word queer should still be employed for this, dare I say, heroic affirmation of the outsider tradition. But the q word is contraindicated as a generic term, and those of us who object to its hegemonic deployment are justified: it does not apply to us." Prof. Dynes was a participant of the homophile movement as well as a witness to the Stonewall era. (See his biography "Wayne R. Dynes" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Ju. 17, 2017) (See previous post Wayne Dynes declares 'queer' word obsolete plus Dan Savage on 'straight' truth (7/19/17))

Another recent nationwide campus fad, which is for student activists to research the origins campus building names, has come to Oregon State University in a manner similar to what has happened at other campuses, and it has led student activists to demand that the names of some buildings be changed because the person they were named after was a slave owner or racist, etc. While I see nothing wrong with doing this type of research to expose the racist past of OSU, I also think the activist students could make a more lasting contribution than just demanding the renaming of a building -- a name that could be changed again in the future if a large donation is made, such as what happened when the OSU football stadium was renamed "Reser Stadium" after a $40,000,000 donation was received from the founder of the Reser food company named after himself.

The professional Corvallis, Oregon newspaper, which is printed in the college town where Oregon State University is located, reported the reluctance of the Oregon State University President to change OSU building names because it would be insensitive to history (See the newspaper story by Anthony Rimel, "OSU announces series of meetings to evaluate building names," gazettetimes.com posted Aug. 31, 2017). The OSU buildings being reviewed include: Arnold Dining Center, which is named for a former Confederate soldier who became an OSU president; Avery Lodge, named for Joseph Avery, a Corvallis founder who the university said owned a pro-slavery newspaper; Benton Hall, which the university said was named for Benton County, which itself was named for white supremacist U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton; and Gill Coliseum, named for longtime basketball coach Amory "Slats" Gill, who student protesters have claimed refused to integrate his team. (A university historian has said there is no evidence Gill refused to integrate, but he only had one black player for part of a season.)

The University's administration leadership page says more on the subject: "Building and Place Names" Oregon State University, leadership.oregonstate.edu accessed Aug. 31, 2017, and also the regular page of OSU President Ed Ray quotes that is printed in every issue of the OSU alumni magazine mailed out to hundreds of thousands OSU Alumni members three times per year: Ed Said: Talk about renaming buildings is part of a crucial conversation. accessed Sep. 7, 2017 (PDF) printed as "Ed Said: Talk about renaming buildings is part of a crucial conversation" Oregon Stater, Fall 2017, p. 8 (PDF) inside of the OSU alumni magazine issue of "Oregon Stater," Fall 2017 Vol. 102, No. 3, p. 8. OSU President Ed Ray asks, ". . . what do you do? Do you put up a plaque with some background information that acknowledges the past . . ." and he also states, ". . .it's important in these cases to be more cognizant of history, to not always just erase a name and forget about it, but to put up plaques and share narratives, so we don't forget."

I agree with the OSU President's plaque suggestion, while I also believe that more can and should be done in a way to make a longer lasting contribution than to just "rename it and forget about it," as President Ray cautions, because who knows, it could be renamed again in the future, especially if a big donation was made, such as what happened after a a $40,000,000 donation was made by the founder of a food company who wanted the old OSU Parker football stadium to be renamed to "Reser" after himself.

Given these real possibilities, I have urged student activists to consider doing something that will be of a more lasting of contribution, which I also submitted as a letter to the editor of the OSU student newspaper:

Oregon State University will hold a series of meetings in September and October to evaluate four historic campus building names, which perhaps are named after racists or former slave owners.

I do not support renaming any building based only on contemporary cultural standards, even as somebody who was directly inspired in the 1960's by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to join his fight for racial equality and in 1970 by Jack Baker at the University of Minnesota to support gay marriage equality.

Although admittedly not an exact analogy, many OSU buildings were named after anti-gay individuals, and in response, with the help of a former OSU Pride Center director, plus OSU students and alumni, I wrote a history, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004" (link http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/43450 in the OSU Scholars Archive).

It documents a gay OSU football player arrested for violating an anti-gay Oregon law a century ago, and it describes how OSU students first came out as being gay in the 1970's, before evolving toward using LGBT for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, while also taking back the derogatory usage of the word "queer" for homosexual.

While I applaud the recent research work of student activists, I believe they should leave the names alone and seize this opportunity to make a more lasting contribution by creating educational programs that teach about OSU's unenlightened past, which could be given during orientation sessions, campus tours, and in relevant classes at OSU.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "INSERT LETTER HEADLINE," OSU Barometer, submitted and not publised as of Sep. 16, 2017)

The local professional newspaper has also printed reactions to OSU building name changes on their letters to the editor page, including one by Susan C. Hayes, "Letter: Report the facts about OSU names," gazettetimes.com posted Sep. 5, 3027 who states that ". . . Benton Hall . . . was named for the citizens of Benton County . . . It was the community's commitment by the citizens in 1885 to raise the $25,000 required by the Legislature to erect a building on the college farm that secured the state agricultural college for Corvallis. That building was originally called the Administration Building and, in 1947, renamed Benton Hall in honor of this citizen effort."

Another published letter to the editor is by P.M. deLaubenfels, "Letter: Don't change OSU campus names," Gazette-Times Sep. 8, 2017, p. A8 gazettetimes.com posted Sep 6, 2017 who asks, "Should Thomas Jefferson be dumped because he had slaves?" The letter writer P.M. deLaubenfels is a conservative who has an active Google Blogger page -- "Thinking About Music, Bicycling, Politics. . . .and a Little Science" gusquibble.blogspot.com blog by Paul F. deLespinasse -- and he maintains a, companion to his blog, Web page: Paul F. deLespinasse Web site at sites.google.com/site/superpublius/. He notes his age of 77 years in his post: Paul F. deLespinasse, "My new status, regular columnist at NewsMax," gusquibble.blogspot.com posted May 14. 2017, which links to Paul F. deLespinasse "Talking About Politics" Blog newsmax.com/Blogs/PaulFdeLespinasse/id-456/ and his other conservative writings. Dr. deLaubenfels is a retired emeritus professor from a small college in Michichagan, affiliated with the Methodist Church, who currently lives in Corvallis.

Unfortunately, all of the arguments against changing any buildings that are named after racists, including my reasons for not renaming any building, can be twisted by true racists as being support for their racists position, which is why I think it is important to make sure that OSU's unenlightened past is not forgotten so that OSU can continue to improve social justice by not forgetting its past.

See previous posts

A side note about the usage of the word "queer" as an identity. Many OSU students had adopted the "queer" identity by the 1990's and the controversy over it has largely vanished and it has become so common it has been declared dead in the blog post by Professor Emeritus Wayne Dynes, "Vagaries of the word queer," dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Jul. 16, 2017, who essentially declares the "queer" word to be obsolete and says, ". . . Queer Theory is collapsing, together with its postmodern cousins in the academy. No one that I know of speaks of queer rights or queer marriage. So the q word has not, despite the aspirations of some observers, become the overall label of choice. That function has been assumed by LGBT - not in my view the ideal solution, but it has in fact become the answer." However, after some analysis he notes, ". . . there is still a use for the queer label. In the current assimilationist climate there is a danger that our heritage (if I may use the term) of outlaw/outsider affirmation will be swept away. . . the word queer should still be employed for this, dare I say, heroic affirmation of the outsider tradition. But the q word is contraindicated as a generic term, and those of us who object to its hegemonic deployment are justified: it does not apply to us." Prof. Dynes was a participant of the homophile movement as well as a witness to the Stonewall era. (See his biography "Wayne R. Dynes" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Ju. 17, 2017) (See previous post Wayne Dynes declares 'queer' word obsolete plus Dan Savage on 'straight' truth (7/19/17))

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Michael Petrelis quits Blogger and moves to social network on Facebook and Twitter

The San Francisco gay activist Michael Petrelis announced that he quit posting on his Google Blogger blog page and has moved to social networking on Facebook and Twitter, just like our U.S. President (no insult intended!) See the post by Michael Petrelis, "It's been ages since I posted to my blog . . ," mpetrelis.blogspot.com posted August 22, 2017 where he links to his new social media hangouts at:

Michael Petrelis Facebook page "Silence=Death" facebook.com accessed Sep. 2, 2017

and

Michael Petrelis @MichaelPetrelis Twitter feed "Act & fight back! Proud queer advocate," San Francisco, CA twitter.com Joined January 2013 accessed Sep. 2, 2017 Still acting up!

I've linked to the Google Blogger blog posts by Michael Petrelis before, for example, see previous post Michael Petrelis, female condoms, PEG-ES enemas for gay men 3/14/09) that links to the post by blogger Michael Petrelis, "Anal Condom is No Pain in the Ass; FDA Approval Omits Sodomy," posted Mar. 13, 2009. Michael Petrelis was one of the first activists to push for adoption of other safer sex methods than just the original campaign of "use a condom every time."

With my low vision blindness, I have been unable to do much exploring in the current gay bar that is in fashion --- Facebook and Twitter --- in the social netowrking and social media area, but I have used Facebook for conversation with close family members, but never tried twitter because I am too verbose! However, if I was younger and in better health, I can easily imagine why I would be using both of them.

Over a decade ago, I was contacted by the Google Blogger developers, who were all excited about the then new and then still emerging social networking and social network applications, and they made some major enhancements to Blogger to make it more "social," but apparently these features are too complicated to be visible to casual users. In any case, I never was that interested because today I have had to narrow my social circles on purpose because I physically am unable to keep up the basic daily activities of living, to use the technical jargon medical doctors have taught me! Instead, I've turned my blog page into an low vision assistive device where I can use it take ntoes and search then using the low vision accessiblity features of Microsoft Windows. I am not blogging for the fame or fortune of it, and so I am happy with the fact that only a few of my best friends and family read my blog, although I've had a few controversial posts that have drawn big traffic according to Google Blogger stats.

For background information, see:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I was able to see Solar eclipse despite low vsiion blindness

Time lapse of solar eclipse on front page of G-T Aug. 22, 2017, p. A1

PHOTO: the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse as shown in a front page time lapse photo by Anibal Cortiz, "Shadow and Sun. Mid-valley thrills to spectacular solar show," Gazette-Times, Aug. 22, 2017, p. A1 -- I was able to see it despite my low vision blindness as it passed over Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon at 10:16AM, a time which is shown at the center of the photo. The shape of the moon as it passes by over the sun can be seen in the minutes before and after the total eclipse, as is shown to the left and right in the photo. These shapes and path in the sky matched what I saw through the special eclipse glasses I bought for the occasion. See the Corvallis professionsl newspaper story by Anthony Rimel, "On OSU campus, hundreds cheer totality," Gazette-Times, Aug. 22, 2017, p. A5 and editor Mike McInally, "Editorial: Eclipse lived up to its billing," Gazette-Times, Aug. 22, 2017, p. B5 gazettetimes.com posted Aug. 21 updated Aug. 22, 2017. Also, see previous posts Glasses for total solar eclipse Aug. 21 and OSU student newspaper story (8/8/17) and Total solar eclipse will pass over Corvallis and OSU (6/11/17).

Also, see the OSU student newspaper account of the solar eclipse by Sydney Sullivan, "'Totality' perfect, City, State, university officials reflect on eclipse expectations vs. reality," OSU 'The Baro,' Aug. 28, 2017, p. 4 dailybarometer.com or orangemedianetwork.com posted Aug. 28, 2017

See previous posts:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Google engineer fired after suggesting biological reasons for fewer women in engineering

Emily Chang interviews 'James Damore on his dismissal from Google,' Bloomberg Technology Aug. 10, 2017 2-3 PM Comcast Cable Channel 743

PHOTO: The question of why there are fewer women in software engineering than men is discussed by former Google engineer James Damore, who had been fired after writing an essay suggesting biological reasons, in an interview of him by a respected San Francisco Silicon Valley Bloomberg TV reporter: Emily Chang interview of former Google Engineer James Damore "Bloomberg Technology," as watched on Bloomberg TV Corvallis Comcast cable channel 743 2-3PM Aug. 10, 2017 -- online as, "Fired Engineer James Damore: I Feel Google Betrayed Me," (8:40) youtube.com posted Aug. 9, 2017

Sex discrimination against the employment of females in historically male dominated fields, such as engineering, has been an issue for decades that both universities and companies have tried to eliminate. Despite all of the successes, over the last fifty years, in increasing the number of women in engineering, there are still a significantly fewer number of females than males graduating with a degree in engineering or working in engineering. The above story of how this issue has surfaced at Google, prompted me to write the following letter to the editor of the professional newspaper in my college town of Oregon State University, which has a large shool of engineering:

The respected San Francisco Silicon Valley Bloomberg TV reporter Emily Chang recently interviewed a former Google engineer, James Damore, who was fired after writing an essay suggesting there are fewer female engineers due to biological reasons.

Damore insists he is not spreading alt-right propaganda and he intelligently raises the valid, but controversial, question asking how much does nature vs. nurture lead to the fact today that fewer women than men work in science, technology, engineering or math.

Damore believes that even though nature causes most men and women to be born with obvious physical differences, most people can do any occupation, including ones traditionally dominated by one sex, given the necessary nurture.

In reaction, the female Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that changing the underrepresentation of females is limited by the fact that only 16 percent of software engineering graduates are female at the universities where Facebook recruits new hires, which is a lower percentage than it was a decade ago.

Even if genetic reasons are discovered in the future for the lower percentage of females in S.T.E.M., it should be used only to improve educational and recruitment processes, instead of as an excuse to discriminate.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "It's no excuse for discrimination," Gazette-Times, Aug. 17, 2017, p. A6 and posted as "Letter: Improve processes, don't discriminate" gazettetimes.com posted Aug. 14, 2017 updated Aug. 15-17, 2017 also see Link to previous Thomas Kraemer GT Letters)

The real reason behind this firing of an employee by Coogle will probably never be made public due to employment privacy laws that make it risky for companies to disclose too much detail. In my decades of management experience at Silicon Valley technology companies I have seen many cases where the real reason is not what the employee publically claims the firing was due to, but the real reason for a firing was due to the employee being unable to work productively with other people. However, the "group think" and political correctness that the fired Google engineer complains about is also real in my experience, and I have seen this lead to so-called "affirmative action" hiring programs that fail to pick the best candidate for the job. In my opinion, affirmative action, defined as intentionally discriminating in hiring to make up for past discrimination, can be useful, but it should be done only with a court order asking a compnay to do it after the company has been found guilty of illegally discriminating in the past. This doesn't mean that companies should do nothing. For example, instead of discriminating intentionally to hire more women, the compnaies I worked for would proactively recruit new hires at universities with a larger population of minority students, such as Howard University, or with active programs encouraging women to major in engineering. I found that this often resulted in finding some really good engineering talent that was being overlooked by other companies who would hire students only from the universities where they had recruited at in the past.

For more background see, "Emily Chang (journalist)" wikipedia.org accessed Aug. 11, 2017, who hosts the cable TV program "'Bloomberg Technology,'" wikipedia.org accessed Aug. 11, 2017, and "Sheryl Sandberg" wikipedia.org accessed Aug. 11, 2017, who is chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook. In 1987, Sandberg enrolled at Harvard College. She graduated in 1991 summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in economics.

VIDEO: Emily Chang, "Fired Engineer James Damore: I Feel Google Betrayed Me," (8:40) youtube.com posted Aug. 9, 2017. Former Google Engineer James Damore has caused an uproar in Silicon Valley. This after he authored an internal 10-page memo asserting there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry. Damore, says he is "exploring all possible legal remedies," and that problems with the company's culture prompted him to write the memo. Bloomberg's Emily Chang caught up with Damore for broadcast exclusive. She started by asking about his reaction to Google letting him go.

See previous post Trump harms military readiness with misogynistic transgender ban (7/27/17)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Glasses for total solar eclipse Aug. 21 and OSU student newspaper story

solar eclipse glasses OSU student newspaper Jul. 2017 p. 1

PHOTO: the perhaps (instructions don't say if these are) folded backward cardboard and plastic framed glasses, required for viewing the solar eclipse Aug. 21, which I bought at a Corvallis Fred Meyer grocery store for $1.99 each on Jul. 28, 2017. The glasses are manufactured by Explore Scientific, LLC exploreone.com or explorescientificusa.com spearheaded by founder and President, Scott Roberts, who has spent over 30 years in the astronomy optics industry. The sales page for the Sun Catcher Sunglasses (2-Pack) $ 2.49 exploreone.com accessed Aug. 6, 2017 includes links to an article by Professor Michael D. Reynolds, "An Eclipse Primer," Free (PDF) www.explorescientificusa.com and a test report documenting the safety of these glasses per the standarad set by the International Organization for Standardization, "ISO 12312-2:2015, Eye and face protection -- Sunglasses and related eyewear -- Part 2: Filters for direct observation of the sun," iso.org Publication date : 2015-06 accessed Aug. 6, 2017. Also, shown is the cover of the student newspaper that included articles by Erin Dose and Sydney Sullivan, "Solar Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017," Oregon State University "The Baro," July 2017 cover story, p. 3, 8-9 dailybarometer.com July 31, 2017 posted online as "One million people to visit Oregon for celestial spectacle" and Sydney Sullivan, "Eclipse impacts on personal level," Oregon State University "The Baro," July 2017 cover story, p. 9 posted dailybarometer.com July 31, 2017. (A Facsimile of the printed newspaper dated Jun. 31, 2017 edition for Aug. is available at issuu.com)

The main NASA site for this eclipse, "Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 Aug 21" eclipse2017.nasa.gov includes links to the NASA Interactive Google Map that has been temporarily moved to the NASA, "Eclipse Maps" eclipse2017.nasa.gov accessed Aug. 7, 3027 due to high demand, at the link NASA Eclipse Interactive Map. A simple JPEG NASA map of Oregon Eclipse is also also available. NASA's calculation says my location at Oregon State University will start seing the partial eclipse Aug. 21 at 16:04:55.2 and start of the total eclipse at 17:16:54.1 ending at 17:18:38.6 in the morning.

The professional Corvallis newspaper also published a story by JENNIFER MOODY Albany Democrat-Herald, "Eclipse damage: Doctors can't help," gazettetimes.com posted Aug. 7, 3-17 with a quote from a doctor about the eye safety concern and the ISO standard mentioned above. It also mentions that "According to NASA, the moon's shadow will start creeping over the sun about 9 a.m. that Monday. Totality will hit the coast about 10:15 and in the mid-valley area a minute or two later." The editorial page included a photo of hardboard glasses to illustrate an opinion piece warning by the editor Mike McInally, "Editorial: Beware fake glasses for eclipse viewing," gazettetimes.com posted Aug. 6, 2017.

The student newspaper story said:

. . . according to Randall Milstein, an astronomy professor at OSU and an astronomer-in-residence for the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium. . . . while there is an eclipse somewhere in the world approximately every 18 months, a total solar eclipse has not crossed the entirety of the contiguous United States since 1918. . .

In Corvallis, the eclipse will start at 9:05 a.m. and end at 11:37 a.m. The moment of totality will occur at 10:16 a.m. and last for one minute and 35 seconds . . .

Another large event coinciding with the eclipse is 'OSU150 Space Grant Festival: A Total Eclipse Experience,' the first of many events that will occur over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year in celebration of OSU's sesquicentennial. Attendees will have the option of renting residence hall rooms for the weekend of the eclipse. One-person rooms in Wilson Hall, Callahan Hall, McNary Hall and Finley Hall are available for $265 for the weekend, while two-person rooms are priced at $375. Family-option rooms offered in Tebeau Hall, the International Living-Learning Center and Halsell Hall have already sold out, according to the festival's website. . .

(Quoted from Erin Dose and Sydney Sullivan, "Solar Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017," Oregon State University "The Baro," July 2017 cover story, p. 3, 8-9 dailybarometer.com July 31, 2017 posted online as "One million people to visit Oregon for celestial spectacle")

Another student newspaper story said:

Richard Watson, who serves on the board of directors for an amateur astronomer's club associated with the local Corvallis community, the Heart of the Valley Astronomers, has sought out four solar eclipses in his lifetime, traveling as far as Cabo San Lucas to see these spectacles. However, for the upcoming eclipse he will not have to leave his own home. . .

Tom Carrico, the head of the Heart of the Valley Astronomers, is helping the Corvallis community to prepare for these brief seconds of totality happening in August.

Though retired from human resources a couple of years ago, planning for the solar eclipse has become more than just a part-time job. According to Carrico, lessons that the Heart of the Valley Astronomers teach at the Corvallis public library have been selling out in a matter of minutes. . . .

In 1979, Randall Milstein, an astronomy professor at OSU, said he was able to witness a partial solar eclipse happen over the mainland United States while he was living in Michigan.

"That's the one thing I remember from seeing, not even a total eclipse, a partial eclipse in 1979, was that it was dead quiet. Everything just stopped. And that struck me as the most eerie thing," Milstein said. . . .

Like Carrico and Bradshaw, Milstein is putting on workshops throughout Corvallis and other cities around the path of totality in order to remind everyone this event can be very life-altering. According to Milstein, his workshops are intended to remind people totality will only be in Corvallis for a minute and 40 seconds and it will not be repeated.

"There are people who witness a solar eclipse and laugh, other people will sob, or literally fall backwards on the ground and just sit there with their mouth open. Some people will sing or hum, or there will be just dead silence," Milstein said.

(Quoted from Sydney Sullivan, "Eclipse impacts on personal level," Oregon State University "The Baro," July 2017 cover story, p. 9 dailybarometer.com July 31, 2017 posted online as)

Corvallis was on the edge of a total solar eclipse on February 26, 1979 and I recall watching it from upstairs in Hewlett-Packard's building 4 -- the first of two buildings completed at that time. There were no other buildings or large trees to block my view, and the open office plan allowed me to look south toward Eugene to see bright sunlight while turning my head to see the the windows turn dark on the north side of the building. All of my coworkers briefly paused to watch before going back to doing the engineering research and development work for handheld programmable computers (i.e. business and scientific calculators) plus HP's first personal computer and thermal printer.

I hope to see the Aug. 21st total eclipse in Corvallis, provided neither rain nor my low vision blindness prevents me from using the protective eyeglasses I bought for $1.99 at a grocery store on Kings Blvd.

Solar eclipse path Corvallis GT May 21, 2017, p. A1

PHOTO: The path and time of the total solar eclipse over that will be seen over Oregon State University and Corvallis, Oregon was printed in a graphic for the newspaper story by Bennet Hall, "Summer of the eclipse," Gazette-Times, Sun. May 21, 2017, p. A1, A4. Corvallis is set for Aug. 21, 2017 at 10:16AM lasting about 1 iminute and 40 seconds. The last eclipse in Corvallis occurred on Feb. 26, 1979. See previous post Total solar eclipse will pass over Corvallis and OSU (6/11/17)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump harms military readiness with misogynistic transgender ban

Trump's transgender ban on 700 Club CBN news Jul. 26, 2017 10:37AM PT

PHOTO: President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military is favorably reported by the Christian Broadcasting Network News a.k.a. CBN "700 Club" TV show hosted by the anti-gay Rev. Pat Robertson, which I watched at 12:37PM Jul. 26, 2017 on over-the-air Eugene, Oregon KLSR-TV Channel 34-1 via Comcast Cable Channel 705. This show was originally shown at 10:37AM PT on the Corvallis Comcast Cable TV Channel 739 Freeform (formerly named the CBN and Family Channel) that was started decades ago by Rev. Robertson, and also broadcast for free on the over-the-air Eugene KMTR-TV Channel 16-1 at 11:37PM (simulcast on Comcast cable channel 703). Rev. Pat Robertson apparently has a contract to air his show on the Christian cable TV channel he founded and he apparently pays local TV stations to broadcast his program via their free, over-the-air TV channels because disclaimers are displayed at the start of the program saying it may or may not reflect the views of the station.

When I woke up on Jul. 26, the live TV news broadcast I was watching showed the first of several tweets President Trump was sending, which dramatically teased the next tweet he had not yet written, and so the TV anchors joked how this provided viewers with a great motivation to stick around through the commercial break in order to find out out what Trump was going to say in his next tweet. The anchors also all gave their joke guesses as to what it would be.

A few minutes later, Trump finished his follow-up tweeting and it was quickly reported as a "breaking news" story on my local Corvallis newspaper's Website in an AP story by the Associated Press, "Trump bars transgender people from US military," gazettetimes.com posted Jul. 26, 2017 accessed 11:00AM (The next day print edition front page AP story was by Robert Burns, "Trump prohibits transgender troops -- Tweet catches Pentagon off-guard; decision draws denunciations," Gazette-times, Jul. 27, 2017, p. A1-A2).

This news story prompted me to write the following letter to the editor:

President Trump's Jul. 26 ban on transgender individuals serving in the military is essentially a ban on all women serving in the military, according to my heterosexual, cisgender female cousin who served as one of the first female officers in the U.S. military several decades ago, while also raising a family of children in an opposite-sex marriage to a man.

My cousin's father, a U.S. Marines General, was appalled by how many men in the military angrily discriminated against his daughter because they thought only "real men" could be warriors.

Trump is harming military readiness by discriminating against all women, when he welcomes gay military men, but not women, to serve.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Trump's ban harms the US military," Gazette-Times, Jul. 27, 2017, p. A8)

Also see the following links:

The editor also printed the letter by Michael Beachley, "Letter: Cheering crowds lead to chills," gazettetimes.com posted Jul. 26, 201 who notes how he watched "Donald Trump speaking to the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree about the evils of a free press, encouraging them to boo Barack Obama and other political opponents. They were cheering." This made him recal his trip "Nuremberg a couple weeks ago I went to the Nazi Documentation Center and saw a film of Adolf Hitler speaking to the Hitlerjugend, the Hitler Youth, encouraging them in undermining the values of the traditional structures of German society. They were cheering."

As an aside note, I noticed at the bottom of the letters page it had a search function that listed all of my past letters: Search gazettetimes.com "Thomas Kraemer" -- on Jul. 27 it returned 73 results, including the letter above. I also noticed that the email address of opinion@gtconnect.com for letter submission was no longer on the page, but it had a link to Submit letter to the editor form gazettetimes.com that had a form you could use, and it gave the option to "send us an e-mail at news@gazettetimes.com" -- an email address that is very similar to the Albany Democrat-Herald email address for their sister newspaper.

On the loosely related subject of President Trump trying to get his attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, I wonder if this is a fake attack on Sessions just to make it look like he doesn't trust Sessions, so that when Congress forces Trump to keep Sessions and Sessions's investigations exonerate Trump from any crime, it will look like it is believable instead of a conclusion fabricated by a Trump loyalists, which was the concern of many when Sessions was picked by Trump for the job.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pride March in small town across river from OSU

Pride story front page Midvalley Sunday G-Tp. A1

PHOTO: Front page newspaper story by Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd" reports on the Pride March in the small town of Albany, Oregon that is across the river from Corvallis and Oregon State University. Historically, Albany has been a very conservative rural town with many blue collar citizens employed in logging and lumber mills, which is in contrast to Corvallis's population of college students and professors who are more analytically minded, although not as liberal as a typical college town. Also see video by Jessica Habjan, "Video: Pride In Albany," gazettetimes.com posted Jul 22, 2017.

One speaker at the march noted how far Linn County (where Albany, Oregon is located) has come from the days when an ordinance was passed that took away the rights of homosexuals. (The specific ordinance is not mentioned in the newspaper, but I guess the speaker may be talking about the anti-gay measures successfully passed by Oregon anti-gay groups, which have not been repealed and are still on the books, such as Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages that has been overruled by the U.S. Supremer Court decision.)

"There were 550 confirmed marchers Saturday at Albany's first Pride March, an organized demonstration meant as a show of support and unity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. . .

Keith Kolkow organized the Albany event . . which began in front of the Albany City Hall. . . .

Notable in the crowd were at least a dozen representatives from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis. Congregation member Ann Hawkins said Christianity and LGBT rights are one in the same. . .

The march comes on the heels of a contentious July 12 city council meeting . . .

"I think the council meeting last week went a long way to energize people," said march co-organizer Jerred Taylor. . .

The march kicked off, moving north up Broadalbin Street, with drums and rattling cow bells and marchers chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia's got to go!"

As the procession made its way west along First Avenue, the marchers stretched for two blocks, with the marchers shouting "Black, white, gay, straight -- love does not discriminate!" . . .

One person shouted from his car, "Damn faggots! Marching for what!?" but an Albany Police officer emerged from his patrol vehicle to encourage the heckler to move along, which he did. . .

Albany City Councilor Ray Kopczynski also marched. . ." (Quoted from Neil Zawicki, "Message: 'We are all equal' Pride March in downtown Albany attracts a crowd," Mid-Valley Sunday Gazette-Times Democrat-Herald, p. A1,A6 posted online Jul. 22, 2017 as "Albany's first Pride March attracts robust crowd")

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wayne Dynes declares 'queer' word obsolete plus Dan Savage on 'straight' truth

OSU Queer Resource Center headline 'QRC passes unanimously,' OSU Barometer, Mar. 15, 2001, p. 1

PHOTO: At Oregon State University, queer activism peaked with the creation of the "OSU Queer Resource Center" or QRC as reported in a front page student newspaper story "QRC passes unanimously," OSU Barometer, Mar. 15, 2001, p. 1. The QRC would later become the present-day OSU Pride Center for LGBTQQII+ students. During the 1990's self-described "queer activists" took back the word "queer" from its former use as a pejorative term for homosexuals by proudly identifying themselves as being "queer," instead of using the word "gay," as had become the popular fashion after the Stonewall riot in 1969. The identity of "queer" was promoted as being inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities, similar to how the "gay" identity was embraced by both gay men and gay women after Stonewall, until misogynistic behavior by gay male activists caused many women to adopt their historical lesbian identity. A prior generation of homosexual activists, including the former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg, had a similar goal of inclusivity when they had adopted the identity of "homophile" during the 1950's and 1960's. Prof. Legg saw "homophile" also as a more correct English construction because it did not mix Greek and Latin, plus it communicated that "sex" was not as central to their identity, as mainstream society thought it was. The student newspaper story, shown above, said Christian Matheis voted as part of the ASOSU student fee committee to fund the OSU Queer Resource Center. Matheis was an early leader of the QRC. (See previous posts OSU Queer Resource Center documentary video review (10/20/10) and OSU QRC advocate Christian Matheis says farewell in 5,000 words (6/3/11))

I recalled the noble goals of queer activists in the 1990's and how it touched Oregon State University after reading the blog post essay by Professor Emeritus Wayne Dynes, "Vagaries of the word queer," dyneslines.blogspot.com posted Jul. 16, 2017, who essentially declares the "queer" word to be obsolete and says, ". . . Queer Theory is collapsing, together with its postmodern cousins in the academy. No one that I know of speaks of queer rights or queer marriage. So the q word has not, despite the aspirations of some observers, become the overall label of choice. That function has been assumed by LGBT - not in my view the ideal solution, but it has in fact become the answer." However, after some analysis he notes, ". . . there is still a use for the queer label. In the current assimilationist climate there is a danger that our heritage (if I may use the term) of outlaw/outsider affirmation will be swept away. . . the word queer should still be employed for this, dare I say, heroic affirmation of the outsider tradition. But the q word is contraindicated as a generic term, and those of us who object to its hegemonic deployment are justified: it does not apply to us." Prof. Dynes was a participant of the homophile movement as well as a witness to the Stonewall era. (See his biography "Wayne R. Dynes" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Ju. 17, 2017)

In my personal opinion, I see nothing wrong with the evolving fashions for how those with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity choose to identify themselves. In fact this is why I specified it in this generic way for my research endowment with the OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. I fully expect it will change again in the future as new generations learn and adapt to new information and fashions.

For example, after decades of studying sex and gender roles, it was only recently that I noticed how the space of sexual orientation and gender identity can be theorectically modeled with either discrete and or continuous variables in a three-dimensional space.

What made me think of this concept was the answer written by a popular Seattle sex advice columnist and gay man, Dan Savage, "Savage Love: Savage Love Letter of the Day: 100% Straight Guys Who Also Love Sucking Dick," thestranger.com posted Jul. 11, 2017. In an answer to a reader's question, Savage notes, "self-identification isn't always congruent with behavior and behavior isn't always congruent with desire and blah blah blah. Think prisons, pirate ships, and boardings schools --think situational homosexuality. . . A few more wrenches to throw in the werks: There are straight guys who don't have dicks, DICKS. A straight guy with a dick could find himself in a relationship with a guy with a vagina. (Guy with dick marries woman with vagina, woman transitions to male, couple remains married. Voila: a 100 percent straight guy is having sex on the regular with another dude.)"

I had also thought of the double standards Savage mentioned in his previous post, but the new thing that I specifically thought of while reading Savage's current answer is that there is an axis of gender or biological sex, which can described with the discrete categories, such as male, female, intersex, or described with continuous variables (e.g. 25 percent male, 75% female.) Also, there is another axis of sexual identity or sexual orientation, which can be described with the discrete categories of heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, or with a continuous variable. Finally, there is a third axis of sexual behavior, which Savage points out can be incongruent with your identity without requiring the excuse of being in a situation where you feel it is your only option. For example, sexual behavior can be described with the discrete categories of heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, which may or may not be the same as your sexual orientation or identity.

Any college freshman student taking a combinatorial mathematics class can easily calculate the number of possibilties for any given model. The simplest case is the one most people think of, which is you are either straight or gay, and either male or female, while your sexual behavior matches your sexual orientation. In this simple model, all humans could be categorized as one of four possibilities -- a person could be straight and either male or female. Or a person could be gay and either male or female.

If you expand this simple model to include the axis of either homosexual behavior or heterosexual behavior, then the number of catgegories increases by a factor of 2 to be equal to 8 total possibilities. One example would be a heterosexual male who identifies as being a heterosexual, but has sex with his male friends like the person mentioned in Savage's column. As you add in all of the other possibilities, the number of combinations literally expands exponentially, and if you include continuous variables, such as being a percentage part male and part female, then there are an infinite number of possibilities.

Like I said, I have no problem with each person choosing their own identity, and I fully expect the fashions will change over time for how people identify themselves. However, I hope to live long enough to see if and how these changes in identity fashion will take place over the next few decades. I am curious too, what will be the impetus for these changes?

Finally, a side note to Prof. Wayne Dynes of a still current current usage of the word "queer" by by the "OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) that document LGBTQ+ histories at Oregon State, Corvallis, and Benton County", including the OSU Queer Archives Oral History Collection (OH 34). (See previous post OSU Queer Archives collaborates with German Professor Bradley Boovy (7/7/17)). In my opinion, even though I would not have used the word "queer for this archive, it does cover the breadth of Archive well and I can't imagine it causing confusion in the future, even though it could become quaint as the term "homophile" in the future.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

OSU alumna Tim Weber talks on HP 3-D printers

Tim Weber HP 3-D printer talk GT 7/15/17 p. A1

PHOTO: OSU alumna Tim Weber of HP Inc. in Corvallis, Oregon talks about HP 3-D printers, in his keynote address at a local technology festival for da Vinci Days, as shown in the local newspaper article by Jim Day, "The 3D printing revolution underway: HP expert discusses technology in Whiteside talk," Gazette-Times, Jul. 15, 2017, p. A1-A2 posted online Jul. 14, 2017 as "The 3D printing revolution: Tim Weber discusses technology in Whiteside talk". For more information see the trade publication article by Lucas Mearian, Senior Reporter, Computerworld, "manufacturing: HP said it has 30 reseller partners in North American and Europe," computerworld.com posted May 8, 2017 that says, "After announcing its first revenue from sales, HP Inc. today said it is now focused on scaling up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing business that it believes will rival standard manufacturing technologies, such as injection molding. . . . HP claims its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers will enable mass production of parts through additive manufacturing (3D printing), instead of rapid prototyping, for which the technology is typically used. The new printers are unlikely to be used to produce millions or billions of production parts. Think, instead, in terms of hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of parts, HP said. The printer works by first depositing powder (about 100 microns thick, or the thickness of a standard sheet of paper) onto a print bed using a print bar that looks like a scanning bar on a typical 2D printer. The print bar has 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million fusing agent droplets per second in specific patterns as it moves back and forth across a print platform." Also see, official HP site, "Introducing the HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solution - New 3D printing technology for a new era in manufacturing," hp.com accessed Jul. 17, 2017 linked to from top Google search for "HP 3-D printer open platfrom standards".

Local boy made good Timothy Weber gave Corvallis a taste of the future Friday night with a 40-minute talk on 3D printing to kick off the summer da Vinci Days program.

Weber, a Corvallis native who received his doctorate in engineering from Oregon State University, called himself "head nerd" of HP Inc.'s 3D printing team. . .

Weber emphasized that HP "is not a materials company," and that it is working with high-wattage international partners such as BMW, Nike, BASF and Siemens on an open-platform basis that all but assuredly will accelerate the pace of innovation -- and change.

About two-thirds of the way into the lecture Weber lost this reporter, when he launched into a discussion of HP's multijet fusion technology. It didn't get any better when he moved on to fabrication of functional polymer nanocomposites.

Then he reeled it back in when he started talking about the things 3D printers will be able to do with color, elasticity and texture. His example was an automobile tire whose tread would be color-coordinated. When you see red peeking through the tires, you know it's time to head to the tire store. No more pulling quarters out of your pocket to measure tread depth! . .

(Quoted from Jim Day, "The 3D printing revolution underway: HP expert discusses technology in Whiteside talk," Gazette-Times, Jul. 15, 2017, p. A1-A2 posted online Jul. 14, 2017 as "The 3D printing revolution: Tim Weber discusses technology in Whiteside talk")

Tim Weber, after graduating with his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, joined my group at HP in the 1990's where I shared with him my knowledge of the HP Way that I had learned from experience over the prior two decades. Everyone who dealt with Weber saw him as being very smart and capable. It has been heartening to hear of his progress in the 3-D printer product arena. An interesting coincident is that the HP Corvallis Site was first envisioned and ordered built in the 1970's by a 1954 graduate of OSU John Young, to house the rapidly growing HP handheld programmable calculator business, which soon built HP's first portable personal computers. The first Corvallis HP building was occupied shortly before John Young became the first non-founder of HP to be named the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard (the original HP was recently split into four companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., Agilent Technologies, and Keysight Technologies.)

As a natural outrowth of the portable calculator and computer businesses, in the 1970's HP invented the first battery operable inkjet printers, which grew rapidly in sales after personal computers became common and the demand for printing rose exponentially. See previous post History of HP inkjet printers in American Heritage Invention & Technology (2/19/12) to read the original article text for my magazine article. My personal copy, a scanned PDF that is intended only for fair use under the copyright law is at this link: 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)

In my previous post Year 2016 in review - 11 years of blogging - Am I too blind to blog? *12/24/16) I also quote from related newspaper articles of interest by Staff, "Future of 3-D printing is topic of forum," Gazette-Times, Nov. 1, 2016, p. A2 and a follow-up article by Anthony Rimel, "HP Plans 3-D printers for manufacturing," Gazette-Times, Nov. 3, 2016, p. A2, online as, "HP exec says company's 3-D printers will lead to new industrial revolution," posted Nov. 3, 2016 that mentions Tim Weber, global head of 3-D materials and advanced applications for HP Inc. talking about. Clearly, he has adopted the HP founder's strategy that avoided dependence on the retail market, like inkjet printers ended up in, by focusing on 3-D printers and materials for manufacturers.

Also, my previous post HP 3-D printers praised by Jim Cramer CNBC Wall Street reporter (7/24/16) links to my letter to the editor (Thomas Kraemer, "High hopes for HP," Corvallis Gazette times Mid-Valley Sunday edition, July. 24, 2016, p. A10) and it preceded two related newspaper articles of interest by Staff, "Future of 3-D printing is topic of forum," Gazette-Times, Nov. 1, 2016, p. A2 and a follow-up article by Anthony Rimel, "HP Plans 3-D printers for manufacturing," Gazette-Times, Nov. 3, 2016, p. A2, online as, "HP exec says company's 3-D printers will lead to new industrial revolution," posted Nov. 3, 2016 that mentions Tim Weber, global head of 3-D materials and advanced applications for HP Inc. talking about. Clearly, he has adopted the HP founder's strategy that avoided dependence on the retail market, like inkjet printers ended up in, by focusing on 3-D printers and materials for manufacturers. Tim's PhD in Mechanical Engineering makes this a perfect cap to his career.

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

PHOTO: Given that the first non-founder CEO of Hewlett-Packard, John Young, graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in electrical engineering in 1954, and given his strategy was to locate HP divisions near universities to help recruit engineering talent, it made sense to move the Hewlett-Packard calculator factory and research lab to Corvallis, Oregon in 1975, which was first reported in the local Corvallis newspaper story by John Atkins, "H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs," Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2. (See previous posts HP breakup making Bill and Dave spin in their graves (8/11/15) , Don't Cali-fornicate Oregon and HP annexation history (6/14/12) and HP and Corvallis newspaper history (3/11/09) about the move of the Hewlett-Packard calculator division to Corvallis in 1975)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Homophile magazines in 1960's 'Perversion for Profit' film about U.S. Supreme Court obscenity rulings

Homophile magazine ONE May 1961 cover headline 'Homosexual Viewpoint'

PHOTO: The former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg's homophile magazine ONE May 1961 cover headline 'Homosexual Viewpoint' as shown in the 1960's movie "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com watched on Turner Classic Movie cable channel Jul. 9. 2017 2:30-3:00am PT

homophile magazine 'Mattchine Review' April 1961 cover shown next to homosexual porno magazines 'Physique Spectacular' and 'Man Alive' showing men posing provocatively'

PHOTO: The homophile magazine 'Mattachine Review' April 1961 cover is shown next to homosexual "pornography" magazines 'Physique Spectacular' and 'Man Alive' with men posing provocatively' on the cover are also shown in the movie "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com watched on Turner Classic Movie cable channel Jul. 9. 2017 2:30-3:00am PT

VIDEO: The homophile publications hhat are shown above in this post were featured in this 1960's film, made by Charles Keating and Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc. For background information, see "Perversion for Profit," wikipedia.org accessed Jul. 11, 2017. This so-called "homosexual pornography" is shown in the film as examples of obscenity that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is not protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution. While the Supreme Court has ruled that obscenity is not protected free speech, in fact, the former OSU Professor W. Dorr Legg's homophile journal "ONE" had had its free speech rights of publication upheld in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling shortly before this film was made. The film epitomizes the common anti-gay prejudices of the 1960's, for example, by conflating the ideas that homosexuals preyed on young men, turning them gay, and that homosexuals are part of a Communist plot to take over America. From: "Perversion for Profit_ Citizens for Decent Literature Film (1965)," youtube.com (30:57) posted Aug 16, 2012)

I finally got to watch the "Perversion for Profit" movie as shown on the "Turner Classic Movies" cable TV channel a few days ago. I knew that it had been created by an anti-pornography crusader who later became the head of President Richard Nixon's "Commission on Pornography." However, I had not heard about how much it focused on "homosexual obscenity" as the still frames shown above indicate. (See "Perversion For Profit"(1965), tcm.com and "Perversion for Profit," wikipedia.org accessed Ju. 11, 2017)

The producer of the film Charles Keating (December 4, 1923 - March 31, 2014) from the late 1950s through the 1970s, was a noted anti-pornography activist, founding the organization Citizens for Decent Literature and serving as a member on the 1969 U.S. President Richard Nixon's President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. He also stole billions of dollars from taxpayers by exploiting the loosened regulations on Savings and Loans in the 1980's that was championed by Republicans and President Ronald Reagan. (See Charles Keating From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The film's narrator, George Putnam (July 14, 1914 - September 12, 2008) was a famous L.A. TV news anchor. Putnam was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota. His radio career began on his 20th birthday in 1934 at WDGY in Minneapolis. (See George Putnam (newsman) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

I have not been able to determine what religious organizations were behind this. The Catholic Church was publically anti-pornography and anti-gay like many other churches back then. I am sure the film was made in reaction to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings on obscenity that were being issued during this era.

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 "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage became a cause of some gay liberationists. Former Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg was one of the major contributors to the ONE homophile magazine and he was a conservative who probably saw gay marriage as being a conservative value. (See my previous post W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942 (7/21/10) and James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" GayToday.com posted Aug. 11, 2003).

1942 Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg stored in the personnel files stored in the OSU archives, Corvallis, Oregon

PHOTO: Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg from the original paper in OSU personnel files that are now stored on microfiche in the OSU Archives, Corvallis, Oregon. The letter, dated 1942, was requesting a sabbatical leave to allow Dorr to spread his "Christian Science" religious beliefs to soldiers at Camp Adair north of Corvallis, Oregon during World War II. Legg was a cofounder of the 1950s homophile political movement for homosexuals and the present-day Loc Cabin Republicans. See my previous posts:

Friday, July 7, 2017

OSU Queer Archives collaborates with German Professor Bradley Boovy

OSU German Professor Bradley Boovy helps archivist for OSU Queer Archives create oral history videos

PHOTO: Still frame of Oregon State University Dr. Bradley Boovy, Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as accessed Jul. 3, 2017 from the video player provided for the OSU Queer Archives Oral History VIDEO: Item 11: Bradley Boovy, June 6, 2017. (Video is part of the "OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) home page - Archival collections and materials in the university's archives that document LGBTQ+ histories at Oregon State, Corvallis, and Benton County" including the OSU Queer Archives Oral History Collection (OH 34), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon. OSU Queer Archives (OSQA): ORAL HISTORIES & Videos. (Note: the provided video player does not seem to be accessible to Microsoft Internet Explorer browser users like me who are low vision blind and using some standard accessibility settings because the player controls, such as the play button, are not visible, as seen in the still frame above. I was still able to play this video, but only because I could guess at where to hit the button to play or pause the video.)

I am not trained in the library sciences, but I found it interesting to read the journal paper by Natalia Fernández, Bradley Boovy, "Co-Founding a Queer Archives: a collaboration between an archivist and a professor," "Archival Practice," Vol 3 (2016) (also HTML and PDF) This journal describes itself as "A peer-reviewed, open-access journal published biannually, Archival Practice provides a scholarly forum for discussion of real-world application of archival theories and practices in the modern archival repository. This may include archival acquisitions, processing, reference, outreach, preservation, or management in any archival setting."

A new phrase to me that was used in their paper was "intersectional community activism" as one of its core missions. This is clearly a cutting gedge concept because a Google define:"intersectional community activism" links first to the OSU Queer Archives, but a less restrictive search suggests it is "is intentional in exploring social concerns through multiple dimensions of identity" and links to a page discussing "Intersectional Community Organizing for Social Justice" as well as the book "Enacting Intersectionality in Student Affairs: New Directions" by Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe. This might be a good topic for a future post, if I learn more about it.

Links related to the OSU Queer Archives:

On Jun. 11, 2017, I emailed the second part of my oral interview answers to the OSU Queer Archives, which after it is posted in the Archives I plan to post a link to it from my blog page. Unfortunately, I was unable to do a video interview due to my low vision blindness and partial paralysis -- just visiting a doctor is hard for me to do today -- but I am still able to touch type my answers, albeit very slowly, over a couple of weeks of time. (See my previous post OSU Queer Archives request for my participation (1/28/17))

See previous posts and related links

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Baker-McConnell ask court to require County legally record their 1971 marriage

Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue June/July 2017, p. 81

PHOTO: Cover of "The Advocate" magazine print edition (left) included inside (right) a photo of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell being legally married in 1970 as part of the article by Jacob Anderson-Minshall, "Marriage Equality Was Won by Widowers - the love stories behind the landmark cases both ended tragically," The Advocate, Jun.-Jul. 2017, p.80-81 advocate.com posted 5/3/2017. (Note: This was a special 50th anniversary edition of "The Advocate") As a law student, Baker took his marriage equality case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Baker v. Nelson 1972) where the court's decision essentially said that marriage is decided by State laws and not Federal laws. Baker believes his marriage is still valid because Minnesota State law did not prohibit same-sex marriage at that time, and so he has initiated legal proceedings to establish that fact. (See previous posts Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue (5/22/17) and Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15))

The gay marriage pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell recently cc'd me on their email to a marriage law attorney working with them, Yale Law School Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr., which included a PDF copy of a legal brief they have filed in their quest to get a Minnesota court of law to require a Minnesota County to legally record their 1971 same-sex marriage that was legally performed under Minnesota State law at the time, and never legally dissolved by any court order. Blue Earth County, without any legal authority or a court order, refused to record the marriage retroactively after it was legally performed, despite the fact that no Minnesota law prohibited same-sex marriages at that time and later anti-gay marriage legislation was not retroactive before it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.

I was barely able to read the 30 page legal brief, given my worsening low vision blindness, but for my own notes I have selected a few quotes below, which may be hard to read and understand due to the legal language that I was too lazy to edit into some less technical language:

"Cases

Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971)

Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972) . . .

Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. v. Nadasdy, 76 N.W.2d 670 (Minn. 1956) . . .

Obergefell v. Hodges,135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). . .

United States Social Security Administration, Survivors Planner: If You're Surviving Divorced Spouse, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou3.html . . .

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

James Michael McConnell and Pat Lyn McConnell a/k/a Richard John Baker (Appellants or the McConnells) appeal from the April 7, 2017 Order of the Honorable Bradley C. Walker, Judge of Blue Earth County District Court, which denied their Petition for a Writ of Mandamus and requests for injunctive relief. (Add. 1 (Order).) . . .

The basis for all claims is that the County and its local registrar improperly refused to fulfill their ministerial duties to record Appellants marriage certificate and to provide them with certified copies of the recorded certificate as required by Minnesota law. . . .

STATUTORY BACKGROUND

When Appellants were married in 1971, marriages in Minnesota were governed by Minn. Stat. ch. 517 (the 1971 Statute). . .

After the examination period expired, and once the license was issued, the 1971 Statute provided no authorization to revoke, withdraw, or invalidate an issued marriage license. . .

Finally, and relevant to this appeal, under the 1971 Statute, the clerk of court was required to record the marriage certificate. The statute affirmatively mandated that [t]he clerk shall record such certificate in a book kept for that purpose.Œ Id. á 517.10. The statute even imposed a penalty for failing to comply with the mandatory duty to record the marriage certificate. . . .

. . . only three specific types of prohibited marriages were deemed automatically void: marriages between close relatives; underage marriages; and marriages where one party was already married. . .

All other prohibitedŒ marriages, 5 such as remarrying within six months of being divorced, were not automatically deemed void by the 1971 Statute. Same-sex marriages were not expressly prohibited by Section 517.03, and were not made absolutely void by Section 518.01. . .

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

The McConnells are residents of the State of Minnesota. (Add. 12, K 4.) They were married in 1971 after being issued a marriage license by Blue Earth County. (Id.) The McConnells, who were 74 years old at the time the Verified Petition was filed, have lived together as a married couple for more than 45 years. (Id.) They have been continuously recognized as a married couple by their family members, friends and colleagues, and in their church and community. . . .

On September 3, 1971, well within the six-month period of validity of the Marriage License, the McConnells solemnized their marriage in a ceremony conducted by an authorized minister of the United Methodist Church. . .

Previously, the McConnells had applied for and been denied a marriage license in Hennepin County on the sole basis that they were of the same sex, a decision that was on appeal at the time Blue Earth County issued the Marriage License. See Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn. 1971), overruled by Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584, 2605 (2015). The Minnesota Supreme Court¡s decision affirming the denial of the Hennepin County license application was issued on October 15, 1971. Id. The United States Supreme Court opinion dismissing the appeal was issued in 1972. Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972), overruled by Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). . . . Connor received the Marriage Certificate on September 8, 1971.

Evidence submitted to the district court suggested that the County determined sometime before August 31, 1971¢that the Marriage License, although it had been duly issued, was defective, but the County provided no basis for the purported defect. (Add. 5.) The McConnells did not receive notice that the Marriage Certificate had not been recorded, and believed that it had been. . .

Forty-three years later, on September 29, 2014, Michael McConnell wrote to the County requesting three certified copies of the recorded Marriage Certificate. (Add. 15, * 24; Add. 28.) The McConnells sought the certified copies of their recorded Marriage Certificate for the purpose of securing certain Social Security benefits and for estate planning purposes. . . .

The United States Supreme Court, recognizing that marriage is a fundamental right, acknowledged the harm that flows from the failure to recognize a person ¡s status of being legally married. See Obergefell, 135 S. Ct. at 2601-02 (explaining that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter).

Respondents also argued that an adequate remedy for their failure to record the McConnells¡ Marriage Certificate would be for the McConnells to get married again. . . .

Remarriage would deny that the McConnells are already married, and have been so for many years. This fact has tremendous personal significance to the McConnells, their friends, and family. It also has legal significance, to the extent that a marriage of 46 years conveys additional rights and benefits in comparison to a marriage of just a few months.5 Therefore, remarrying would not be as complete, beneficial, and effective of a remedy as simply compelling Respondents to record the Marriage Certificate, as the law requires.6

The duration of a marriage can have legal significance in many ways, such as affecting retirement and survivor benefits available from the Social Security Administration, private pension rights, spousal coverage under employee health and welfare benefit plans, inheritance rights and others. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. á 416(f) (The term husband means the husband of an individual, but only if . . . he was married to her for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day on which his application is filed[.]Œ); United States Social Security Administration, Survivors Planner: If You're The Worker's Surviving Divorced Spouse, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou3.html (explaining that a 10-year marriage is required for eligibility for certain Social Security survivor benefits). . . .

First, there is no express authority in either the 1971 Statute or the current Marriage Statute that permits Respondents, after a marriage has been solemnized, and after the marriage certificate has been signed by the presiding official and returned to the County, to invalidate the marriage license or the marriage itself. The Marriage Statute expressly permits the clerk of court (or today, the local registrarŒ) to refuse to issue a license before a marriage occurs if, during the five-day examination period, it discovers that there is a legal impedimentŒ to the marriage. Minn. Stat. á 517.08, subd. 1 (1971); Minn. Stat. á 517.08, subd. 1b (2016). However, there is no express authority in the Marriage Statute for the clerk or the local registrar after a marriage license has been issued and a marriage has occurred to retroactively deem either the license or the marriage to be invalid. Neither Respondents nor the district court¡s Order identify any such express authority. . .

. . . the long-established rule in Minnesota is that once a marriage has occurred, it cannot retroactively be deemed a nullityŒ or voidŒ unless the legislature, by statute, has expressly declared that type of marriage void.

The legislature did not declare same-sex marriages voidŒ until 1997, at which point the McConnells had already been married for 26 years, and then did so only prospectively, not retroactively. See 1997 Minn. Laws ch. 203, art. 10, secs. 2 and 4. The 1997 legislation amended Minn. Stat. á 517.03 to, for the first time, expressly prohibit same sex marriage. At the time, á 518.01 declared marriages prohibited by á 517.03 to be void. However, the 1997 enactment was not retroactive; it expressly did not apply to marriages contracted within this state prior to March 1, 1979. 1997 Minn. Laws ch. 203, art. 10, sec. 4. The prohibition was repealed in 2013. See 2013 Minn. Laws ch. 74, sec. 2. Accordingly, not only was the McConnells marriage in 1971 not deemed void by the legislature at the time; it has never been deemed void. . .

CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, Appellants respectfully request that the Court reverse the district court's Order and remand the case to the district court for issuance of the requested writ of mandamus and injunctive relief."

(Quoted from State of Minnesota Court of Appeals, notice of case filing No. A17-0688, Apr. 27, 2017. James Michael McConnell and Pat Lyn McConnell a.k.a. Richard John Baker, Appellants, vs. Blue Earth County, et. al. Respondents - accessed Jul. 1, 2017 from 30 page PDF copy)

(See previous posts Baker included in new gay marriage history book (6/16/17), Book by Michael McConnell on his marriage to Jack Baker that led to the first Supreme Court case on gay marriage (12/29/15) and Baker on gay marriage in 1972 vs. 2015 reaction to Supreme Court ruling (7/17/15))