The Daily Moth 3-13-17

March 14, 2017



New Bill Introduced That Could Require Employees to Undergo Genetic Testing, S.D. Gov. Daugaard Signs Religious Freedom Bill, Kansas Deaf Students Sign Nat’l Anthem, Daniel Radcliffe Learns ASL and BSL, Bus Kills 38 in Haiti, and Updates with DAPL Pipeline




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! Hope your weekend was good. It is Monday, March 13. Ready for news? 




U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R, NC) has introduced a bill that could penalize people if they do not want to undergo genetic tests for their workplace insurance. 


This has to do with “workplace wellness programs” — some organizations provide a “health program” for their employees and offer discounts on their insurance if they participate. 


A part of this program is genetic testing, which would reveal what potential diseases we carry in our genes. 


Right now, It is not legal to force people to reveal their genes — because of ADA privacy protections and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), passed in 2008. 


Health insurance companies and employees currently can’t discriminate (increase rates) against people because of the genes they carry, but that could change with this proposed bill by Rep. Foxx. 


Her bill would allow employers to penalize employees with a 30% increase in their health insurance if they choose to not reveal their genetic information. 


This bill has opposition from House Democrats and almost 70 health/medical advocacy organizations. 


This could impact Deaf people — since a percentage of us are Deaf because of our genes, and we might carry a “deaf gene.” Could this be a slippery slope to a future where Deaf people have to pay more for insurance?




South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law a bill that will allow taxpayer funded agencies to refuse to provide any service if it conflicts with the agency’s religious or moral beliefs. 


Such services include adoption agencies or foster care services. This means child placement agencies can turn away LGBTQ couples who want to adopt, couples that have different religious beliefs (such as being Muslim), a re-married person who was previously divorced, or deny an extended family member from taking care of a child.  


The bill was criticized by the HRC Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU — they said LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system and many of them are rejected by their families because they are LGBTQ and that this bill would only make it easier for them to be mistreated in the system. They said the law would also allow agencies to deny to provide medical services to LGBTQ children.

Gov. Daugaard is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and is fluent in ASL. He previously sparked controversy within the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) when he was invited to speak at a 2012 NAD Biennial Conference in Kentucky. Some members were opposed to it because of the state’s ban against same-sex marriage. Daugaard ended up withdrawing from going, saying there was a schedule conflict. He was later invited again by NAD delegates at that conference to present at a 2014 conference, but did not attend. 


Bill Passage News Article:

NAD Reference: ///




Students from the Kansas School for the Deaf signed the National Anthem during Saturday’s Big 12 men’s basketball championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City between West Virginia and Iowa State. 


Students wore nice white polo shirts and jeans, lined up in a large semicircle behind the signer, and signed in unison. At the end of their song, a clip of two KSD students showed the audience two to sign “applause” with hands waving. People in the audience did the “deaf applause” — as well as the Iowa State mascot Cy the Cardinal and an Iowa State player. See those clips. 




Seems like doing the “deaf applause” gives good luck — as Iowa State won that game 80-74 and will play in the March Madness tournament. 


This is a continuation of a good relationship between the Big 12 and KSD. Last fall, the Big 12 organization donated $25,000 and had other supporters contribute another $25,000 to provide many upgrades to the KSD gym.


News Article/Video:

Big 12 Support of KSD Gym:




Daniel Radcliffe, the “Harry Potter” star, was filmed learning how to spell his name and signed, “I Love You.” This was posted by a Facebook group named, “Meet Stars With Sign Language.” Check it out:




Daniel also did a British version of his name.




Cool! This Facebook group is a Deaf British group that regularly meets various celebrities and teaches them basic British Sign Language and film it. They have many British celebrities signing and fingerspelling in BSL on their page. 


I reached out to them about how this FB page was started. They said a Deaf person from the group regularly went to take pictures with celebrities as a hobby — and when she noticed that many asked how to sign “thank you” or their name — they decided to start filming and posting. 


As it gained in popularity, they continued to do this, asking various stars to film them — first asking for permission. The stars are often happy to learn sign language and do spread it on their social media. 


Nice! Check out their page at the link below. :




In Haiti, a bus plowed into a crowd during a festival — killing at least 38 people and injuring 13 in a hit-and-run incident.


The bus was on its way to the capital city Port Au Prince — which streets were crowded with people celebrating the Rara festival. Apparently the bus hit two people on the street, but continued on for several miles, struck a group of musicians, and continued on to hit a second and third group of musicians. 


The driver ran away from the scene. Witnesses said they could see bodies still trapped under the bus. Terrible. Angry people flocked around the bus and tried to set it on fire, but police stopped them. The driver has not yet been caught — police are still looking for him. 


The Haitian president said he was deeply saddened by the terrible accident.




Updates with the Dakota Access Pipeline — last week a federal judge denied a request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes to stop construction of the final part of the pipeline at Lake Oahe. 


The tribes have appealed to request for a stop in any flow of oil until the appeal is resolved. They say putting an oil pipeline under a lake that they view as sacred is a violation of their right to follow their religion — and also have argued that it risks polluting their clean water. 


The oil company, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and the Army Corps of Engineers will have to respond by tomorrow to the appeal.  


The pipelines’ construction under Lake Oahe is almost finished and the CEO of ETP said the oil could start flowing this week — (if the federal judge allows it).


The Army Corps said they have finished cleaning up the three camps used by Water Protectors. They said a total of 835 industrial-size trash bins were filled and removed.


The oil pipeline’s momentum has gone full steam ahead ever since President Trump took office and signed an executive action to advance the construction of the DAPL pipeline and Keystone XL pipelines. 


News Articles: ///




That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 





















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