The Daily Moth 6-28-17

June 28, 2017

Man Uses Car to Smash 10 Commandments Monument at Arkansas State Capitol, Former Venezuelan Police Officer Hijacks Helicopter and Fires Weapons at Venezuela Supreme Court Building, Lost Dogs Reunited with Family By Smell of Grilled Sausage, and Controversy Over Research Article That Says Sign Language Causes Reading/Speaking Delays in Children With Cochlear Implants 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, June 28. Ready for news? 




Outside of the state capitol building in Arkansas — a man drove his car into a newly-placed granite display of the 10 Commandments, destroying it. This happened before 5 am this morning. The 10 Commandments display was just placed on Tuesday morning, so it was less than 24 hours before it was destroyed. 


The driver is Michael Reed (32) and he filmed the destruction on his cell phone and posted it on Facebook. He drove his Dodge Dart up to around 20 mph straight into the display, which weighed 3 tons. He was arrested at the scene and his car was towed away. Crews came to clean up the pieces and took it away to storage. 


He actually did the same thing in the past —destroying a 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma in 2014. The man appears to have severe mental health issues who has shown bizarre views in the past. 


An Arkansas State Senator said what Reed did is the same as what ISIS does when they destroy monuments. He said the display will be rebuilt. 


The 10 Commandments display was erected after private groups raised $26,000 for it after passing legislation to allow it. It was controversial, with people opposed to it, saying it violated the U.S. constitution’s separation of church and state. 

The ACLU planned to sue Arkansas for it.

There was a previous Supreme Court decision that allowed a 10 Commandments display at the Texas State Capitol. The ACLU said the Texas display was there since 1961 so it was a historical part of the grounds, but said the one in Arkansas was “new” and would cause religious division.

So the ACLU might be looking at this situation and waiting to see if it is re-built and decide how they proceed with the lawsuit. Hopefully nobody drives into it again. 


Official Statement from ACLU of Arkansas: “We strongly condemn any illegal act of destruction or vandalism. The ACLU remains committed to seeing this unconstitutional monument struck down by the courts and safely removed through legal means.”





Fox News:




In Venezuela, a former police officer hijacked a police helicopter, flew it to the Supreme Court and other government buildings, shooting at it and throwing grenades in protest against their president Nicolas Maduro. 


The officer’s name is Oscar Perez and he is now being searched by Venezuelan authorities. Oscar said he did it because he was fighting against a vile, tyrannical government. 


Oscar is himself an actor who was in action films in the past, including scenes where he flew a helicopter while shooting below. 


There have been serious protests against in the country for several months after the president dissolved the National Assembly (the legislative branch). For example, suppose Trump dissolved the Senate and the House -- what would you feel?The protests has continued to now, with many dead and injured. 


It appears Oscar is on the side of the protesters, but there are some who suspect that Oscar is working with the Venezuelan president — since there were nobody injured or killed in the attack. Some think the helicopter attack will give the president an excuse to do more action against protesters. 


But Oscar has recently posted on Instagram a video of himself standing in uniform in front of others with masks and guns saying they are against this criminal government. 


President Maduro has called the helicopter attack a terrorist attack and said he has sent the military to capture the helicopter and Oscar.




In England — a man lost his family’s two mini schnauzer dogs while hiking on a foggy day. He notified his parents and they tried to search for them, calling for them, and even camped at the area while still calling for their names, but the dogs didn’t show up. 


They asked people on Facebook and Twitter to help out, and over 120 people and two drones responded, but after almost three days of searching, they didn’t find the dogs. They felt like there was no hope.


Someone had an idea — cook sausages — (here’s two different signs for it) — on a grill at the area where the dogs were last seen. As soon as they started grilling, the two dogs came out from the woods and were rescued, reunited with the family. 


They said they usually cook sausages on Sunday mornings at home, so it seemed like the dogs responded to the smell. 


Nice story. Maybe if you own dogs, you should start grilling sausages Sunday mornings and give it some pieces for insurance — in case you ever lose your dog. 


Telegraph Article:




There is controversy with a recent research article published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that says sign language will cause deaf children with cochlear implants to be delayed in speaking, hearing, and reading abilities. 


This study, led by Dr. Ann E Geers from the University of Texas at Dallas, studied three different groups of children who received cochlear implants by 3 years of age who grew up in homes with hearing parents. The research looked at how much sign language the children had at home and then analyzed their voice speaking, hearing, and reading skills when they are 9 years old to determine whether sign language helped or “harmed” their progress. 


The three groups were divided in “no sign,” “short-term sign,” and “long-term sign.” The study defined “sign language” as meaning either ASL, SEE, baby sign, Signed English, or Pidgin Sign). So it’s a very broad view of “sign language.” 


The study concluded that children with more sign language exposure had poorer abilities to recognize speech, speak clearly, and reading skills. It said over 70% of children who had no sign language exposure was able to speak appropriately while only 39% of children who had at least 3 years of sign langauge exposure were able to speak appropriately.  


This study had immediate reactions from at least 14 different scientists, researchers, linguists and doctors who criticized the research, either saying it was biased, flawed, or was too vague. I will discuss the opposition, but let’s look at a key person who is supportive of this research — Dr. Karl White, who is a long-time leader in the early hearing detection and intervention field. He wrote an article saying this study provides clear evidence that children who did not sign had better speech and language skills. 


Dr. Peter Hauser, a Deaf clinical neuropsychologist from NTID at RIT, wrote a response along with Dr. Adam Stone, a Educational Neuroscientist from Gallaudet and Geo Kartheiser, who is a Doctoral Candidate in Gallaudet’s Educational Neuroscience program. 


Their response said the study is flawed, dangerous, and made unjustified claims — and they fear this will be used as evidence that deaf children don’t need to learn sign language. They criticized Geers’ grouping together of ASL with other artificial, invented systems. 


Dr. Hauser said maybe the children who continued to use sign language showed that their CI and spoken language progress were not successful. He said the study might have it “backwards” — that it suggested sign language caused their hearing/speaking abilities to lag, while it’s the other way around — that the poorer reading scores shows that the children might have early-language deprivation. 


I was able to contact Dr. Hauser and discuss this article more, and he said it’s always a challenge for pro-ASL researchers and scientists to always keep up and respond to those kinds of studies. He said his biggest fear is that this kind of research would influence policy (our laws) and shift the U.S. into the direction of Denmark, who over 10 years ago, threw out sign language in favor of a nationwide CI/oral approach for all deaf children. Dr. Hauser said we in the Deaf community must keep on watching and responding.


Geers Article:


Karl White’s Article:  [To read Dr. Hauser’s response, click on “comments”]

Gallaudet VL2 Profiles:

Ann E. Geers Profile:




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



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