The Daily Moth 3-9-17

March 10, 2017



Wikileaks to Show Tech Companies CIA Hacking Techniques, 400 U.S. Soldiers in Syria to Aid Fight Against ISIS,  Los Angeles To Provide $3.5 Billion To Home the Homeless, Deaf Syrians Cope With War, Create New Sign Words, Judge Sued $5 Million for Ordering Deputy to Shock Defendant, and Deaf Man Appointed by DC Mayor to Serve on Disability Commission. 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, March 9. Ready for news? 




Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said they would allow tech companies to look at the leaked CIA spying blueprints (the second batch from the Vault 7 leak on Tuesday). This part has more details about how to break through tech programs, apps, and devices.


Wikileaks said they want to allow tech companies time to fix their vulnerabilities before the information is released to the public. 


Julian said he wants to protect journalists and people in the world from being hacked by those weapons — and since they use Google, Apple, or Samsung technology — Julian would give the tech companies time to build up defenses. 


Julian Assange criticized the CIA, saying they were very incompetent (not responsible) to create this technology and store it in one place without securing it. 


Google and Apple has made statements saying they have already updated their technology to prevent the hacking, but other companies said they are looking through the information. 


The FBI have started a criminal investigation of how the documents got to Wikileaks. 


The CIA said it is their mission to aggressively collect foregin information from overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile countries, and other enemies — but that the CIA is prohibited from electronically spying on people here at home and does not do that. 


Julian spoke from a press conference at the Embassy of Ecuador in London — he’s been there since 2012 — staying there to avoid being extradited (brought over) to Sweden on sexual assault charges or to the U.S. on espionage (spying( charges. 


USA Today Article:




The City of Los Angeles just voted to pass a sales tax increase to raise $3.5 billion dollars over the 10 years to provide housing for homeless people, prevent other people and families from being homeless, and provide services for people to overcome addiction and mental health challenges. 


The sales tax would be increased by 1/4 cent. The money be used to provide a place to live for 45,000 homeless people and prevent 30,000 people from losing their homes over the next five years. It appears the plans are to build 10 homeless housing projects and setting up teams of social workers and counselors. 


The Mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti, who was re-elected on Tuesday with 80% of the vote, is a big advocate for homeless people, saying it is better for the city’s economy, law enforcement, and health services when there are less people sleeping on the streets. 


The Guardian Article:




Two hundred U.S. Marine soldiers just arrived in Syria with howitzer guns to support the fight against ISIS’ “headquarters” in the city of Raqqa. 


There were also recent deployments of smaller groups of Army Rangers and military vehicles in Manbij, Syria — apparently to reduce the tension between Turkish fighters and Syrian militias and keep them focused on fighting ISIS. 


In total, there are 400 U.S. soldiers in Syria now. 


It appears the U.S. is also prepared to send up to 1,000 U.S. soldiers to Kuwait to provide support in the fight against ISIS.


There are already some U.S. artillery forces in Mosul, Iraq to support Iraqi military to take the city away from ISIS. That battle has been going on for several months now. 


It appears the U.S. soldiers will do the same approach in Syria — to provide weapons support while the Syrian soldiers will do the boots on ground fighting. 


It is a complicated situation for the U.S. military — as there are several armed Syrian or Kurdish groups that will want control of Raqqa when ISIS is pushed out — some of them are against one another and have different allies whether it be Turkey, US, or Russia. 


Those actions are giving us clues on how the Trump administration will approach its military strategy against ISIS.


Sadly, there was a report that at least 20 civilians, including some children, were recently killed by U.S. coalition airstrikes in Raqqa. 


AP Article:

NYT Article:




In Damascus, Syria — a deaf association is providing classes where they teach other Deaf Syrians sign language — with a focus on creating new signs that has to do with the war in the country. 


They discuss signs for ISIS, plane bombs, and have two different signs for the country to represent the al-Assad government (two fingers on hand) and the rebels (three fingers on hand) — to represent their different flags — and the sign for kidnapping. 


Check out this video clip from AFP News Agency. (Link to full video is below.)


The Deaf teachers said they had to create signs that did not already exist in their sign language vocabulary so Deaf people could exchange information and express their feelings. 


The group will post the signs on Facebook so others will know the signs — there are between 20,000 to 100,000 deaf people in Syria. 


One of the new sign creators’ name is Ryan Hommos (21, Deaf). Many in his family was killed in war by sniper fire — his mother, uncle, aunt, three cousins, his brother, and a baby sister died when they were in a truck escaping from war in their neighborhood. 


He said he did not hear the shots and did not understand why his mother and cousins slumped down. He said when he saw his little sister’s head explode, he realized a sniper was shooting at them. Just terrible. His brother was later killed from shelling when he was playing soccer. 


He said he is nervous when traveling in Syria passing through security checkpoints, and that often the soldiers think they are mocking them with their signs. 


Other Deaf teachers there say the war has affected Deaf people as well as the entire country — causing divisions, many people leaving the country, and the remaining people becoming aggressive towards one other. 


They hope someday later all of them can meet together and share their language again.


[News Article:]

[Video clip] []




A Maryland judge, Robert Nalley, was sued for $5 million by a former courtroom defendant for ordering a deputy to electronically shock him. 


What happened: three years ago, the defendant, Delvon King, was was representing himself (acting as his own attorney) on a weapons charge. He had an ankle-bound “stun cuffs” that could be remotely activated. 


During the courtroom proceedings — the judge orders Delvon to stop talking. He wouldn’t stop. So the judge told the deputy, “Mr. Sheriff do it, use it.” 


The video shows the deputy pulling away a chair and activating the stun cuff. It has a 5-second burst — a 50,000 volt charge that will send electricity “dancing” on the skin. 




The man screamed in pain and the judge called for a five-minute break and walked away to his chambers, leaving the man writhing on the floor. 


Now Delvon is suing the judge — who has since been disrobed — saying the judge ordered the deputy to torture and electrocute him — violating his civil rights. Delvon is demanding a jury trial. 


The stun cuffs is available for sale to law enforcement and prisons on and it costs around $1,750 for a cuff. The transmitter has a 100-yard range. The website has reviews by deputies and sheriffs who say they are very impressed with the product and that judges have requested its use to keep safety in the courtroom. 


This lawsuit might make it explicit that judges can’t order its use if the defendant won’t stop talking. 


News Article/Video:




A Deaf man has been appointed to serve in the D.C. Mayor’s DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities. His name is Jarvis Grindstaff and he will serve a two-year term on the board. 


The Commission is focused on advocating for the rights and quality of life for all souls who are in DC — for residents, employees, and visitors. On the Commission, Jarvis will inform and advise the city on things that impact DC residents with disabilities. 


The DC Association of the Deaf (DCAD) announced it on their Facebook page. They said he was sworn in on March 3rd along with 87 other new members to serve Mayor Bowser. The DCAD said this is the beginning of a direct connection between DCAD and the Mayor’s office. 


Nice! I reached out to Jarvis for comment. I asked him two questions:


Jarvis: Hi Alex, I'd be happy to answer your questions

Alex: What do you hope to do as a Deaf person on the Commission? 

Jarvis: I’ve been on the DCAD and there are several agenda items that are difficult for it to be enacted through the DC Government because we don’t have a relationship with them. So it’s great that I’ll be involved and I can bring DCAD’s agenda items. For example, we want to establish a Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Some states have their own government offices for Deaf/HoH, but DC doesn’t have it and it’s ironic because there are many Deaf people here. Where are the support services — for interpreting, access, other things? There is an office, DRO Disability Rights Office, but they don’t really understand Deaf people. So this is a big project. 

Another thing is captioning in movie theaters. DC has great services, but it is usually on a voluntary basis by the theaters. We want to make it an once-a-week requirement like they do in Hawaii. 

A third big item on the agenda is on the metro/subway trains. They are planning a big renovation of the trains. I saw their designs for a new train and they only have one TV to notify people on the next stop. Suppose it is rush hour and the train is packed, people wouldn’t be able to see the TV. There should be five TVs, one on each side, so we can see it from all angles. 

So those are the little things that I will advise to the Mayor. 

Alex: How did you find this opportunity to serve on this Commission? The Mayor appointed you -- can you tell us how that process works?

Jarvis: I first found out through the DCAD — they notified us of this and I thought it was a great opportunity. The DC government has a disability rights office (DRO) and they hosted a Deaf Awareness Day. It was a great interaction with their staff and the DRO Director lives two blocks away from my home. (The DC state is small). So I applied for the opportunity last fall. 

The process went through MOTA — Mayor of Talent Appointees — they screened the applications. The final applications went to the Mayor’s table — and Mayor Bowser usually agree with what MOTA decides. So they let me know a month ago. It was great. 

Thank you for your time, Jarvis. 


DCAD Facebook Post:

Photo Gallery of Swearing-In Ceremony:




That is all for this week. Follow me on Facebook for the latest. You can donate to support the show at — Thank you to those who have donated! Have a wonderful weekend and… stay with the light! 


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