The Daily Moth 11-20-17

November 21, 2017



November 20 News Briefs: Missing Argentine Submarine, Trump Puts NoKo on State Sponsored Terrorism List, Zimbabwe President Mugabe Refuses to Resign, Georgia Dome Demolished, and Border Patrol Agent Killed, Charles Manson Dies at 83, Trump Tweets Changing Decision on Elephant Hunting, Criticizes LaVar Ball and UCLA Players, and Calls for Suspension of Marshawn Lynch, Dr. Martin Keller Fired as Superintendent of WVSDB, Vows to File Federal Lawsuit, Interview with Deaf Filmmaker Chase Burton on Premiere of Short Film, “Mather”



Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, November 20. Ready for news? 




Here are five news briefs


  1. In Argentina, their Navy is looking for a submarine that went missing last Wednesday with 44 crew members on board. It seems like the captain called in a failure in its battery system before it disappeared, likely sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

    Recently two search ships picked up sounds of tools being banged against the submarine’s hull, which could be a sign that crews is trying to alert searchers on where they are. Hope they will be found — analysts say the crew have around a week before they run out of oxygen. 


  1. President Trump will declare North Korea as a “state sponsor of terrorism” — saying the country is run by a murderous regime, supports international terrorism, assassinates people, and threatens thew world with nuclear devastation. This means there will be even more sanctions against North Korea.

    They were on the list of state sponsors of terrorism from 1988 to 2008, but was removed by the Bush (43) administration in an diplomatic effort. Now they’re back on the list. 


  1. In Zimbabwe, their long-time president Robert Mugabe, now detained by the military who has taken control of the government, has refused to resign. People thought he would last night during a televised speech, but he didn’t and instead talked as if he was still president, talking about the country’s economic problems.

    The military “could” push him out by force, but they aren’t doing that, apparently preferring the process to be done legally. Now the country’s parliament is working to impeach him, and the process could take weeks. 


  1. The stadium Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia — was demolished by more than 4,500 pounds of explosives which sent it crumbling inwards with precision. There were two walls still standing, but they will be demolished. Right next to it was its replacement, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was protected by large fences with thick fabrics. The NFL team Atlanta Falcons used to play in the dome, but now have moved to the Benz stadium. The Dome hosted more than 39 million fans at over 1,400 events from 1992 to 2017 — highlights are two Super Bowls, the 1996 Olympics, three NCAA Final Fours. RIP Dome.


  1. Yesterday at the U.S. / Mexican border 100 miles away from El Paso, one U.S. Border Patrol agent died and one was seriously injured when several people used rocks to hurt them. The agent who died was Rogelio Martinez (36). His partner has not been identified. It is not clear who did this. The state of Texas now has a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Local news reported that it was done by undocumented immigrants.  The FBI is taking over the investigation. Trump tweeted that they would bring justice to those responsible and that they will and must build the wall.




Yesterday Charles Manson died at 83 at a hospital while still under prison custody. 


He is the notorious cult leader who ordered his family and followers to murder several people in two consecutive nights in a wealthy neighborhood in Los Angeles in 1969. 


The first night was August 9 — a Manson team broke in and murdered actress Sharon Tate, who was the wife of director Roman Polanski — she was 8 months pregnant at the time. They killed four others at the house. 


The next night, August 10 — another Manson team broke into another home, also in a wealthy neighborhood, and murdered a businessman and his wife. 


Both crime scenes were very bloody with the victims shot and stabbed. There were writings on blood on walls saying, “Death to Pigs,” “Rise,” “Helter Skelter.” 


The motive was that the Manson family wanted police to blame it on black leaders and start a “race war.’ Another reason is that Charles was angry at the music industry for not advancing his career. 


It was huge news at the time and put a great fear in Los Angeles. It took police several months to pinpoint that it was the Manson family who did the murders. 


Charles himself didn’t do the murders, but his leadership made him equally guilty. 


After a trial that lasted several months with national media attention,  Manson and four others were convicted and sentenced to death, but because the state of California had abolished the death penalty, they got life sentences instead. 


Now Manson is dead.




President Trump made several tweets over the weekend and today about controversial topics. 


1) Trump announced that he will hold on his administration’s decision to reinstate permissions on hunting elephant and big game in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Trump seems to be against permitting hunting -- saying this was a “horror show” and that it would be hard to change his mind that this actually helps them with conservation. 


2) Trump criticized LaVar Ball, the famous father of LiAngelo, one of the UCLA basketball players detained in China — for not recognizing or being grateful for his role in helping his son out of China. Last weekend, when ESPN asked LaVar to comment on Trump, LaVar said “Who?” LaVar added that everybody wants to make it seem like Trump helped him out and that they made a big deal out of nothing. Trump tweeted he should have left the players in jail (for several years). 


3) Trump criticized Marshawn Lynch, running back for NFL team Oakland Raiders (who played against the New England Patriots in Mexico City last night) for standing for the Mexican Anthem but sitting for the U.S. National Anthem. Trump said next time he should be suspended for the remainder of the season.

So those are three tweets that are controversial. 




Last Friday in West Virginia — their state Board of Education voted unanimously to fire Dr. Martin Keller, Deaf superintendent of the WV Schools for the Deaf and Blind.


I watched vlogs by WVSDB alumni and activist, Ruby Ennis Losh about what happened.  


Ruby said around 25 Deaf people went to the capitol last Friday to attend the Board meeting. She said the Board asked Dr. Keller whether he wanted the meeting to be in private or public, and that Dr. Keller chose for it to be private. 


After the meeting, the Board quickly made a proposal to fire Dr. Keller, it was seconded, and then all of them voted to fire him. Ruby said it was very quick and done without explantation. 


The Board then appointed two current WVSDB administrators to lead the school for now. 


Ruby said after the meeting, the group of Deaf people were able to approach State Superintendent, Dr. Steven Paine, and was told that it was a “personnel issue” and she was told that it meant it has to do with Dr. Keller himself, not with the school. 


Ruby felt it was audism, discrimination, and oppression — that Dr. Paine did this because he personally did not like Dr. Keller. She said she would continue to support and fight for Dr. Keller and is calling on others to join her. 


Local newspaper Charleston Gazette-Mail had several comments by Dr. Keller’s attorney, Christine Glover.


She said they will file a federal lawsuit to get his job back — that the lawsuit might claim that the firing was retaliation for Dr. Keller not doing an action that would result in the school closing and that the lawsuit might claim discrimination because Dr. Keller is Deaf. They say they have video evidence of Dr. Paine not being able to understand why Dr. Keller couldn’t speak by himself and making inappropriate comments. 


The lawyer revealed that the Friday meeting was to address Dr. Keller allegedly not being truthful on his job application for the WVSDB Superintendent — on if he was ever dismissed or requested to resign. The Board had a document from Dr. Keller’s previous workplace, the Georgia School for the Deaf, that showed he was terminated from his position as the assistant director of instruction. Dr. Keller said he had never seen this document before. 


Dr. Keller said when he worked at GSD, he wanted to leave the school to move to another position and wanted to keep that process “secret,” but that his supervisor found out and gave him a letter of separation. 


Dr. Keller said it was his view that this separation was not dismissal in the sense of negative, punitive action. 


The Gazette-Mail reached out to the Georgia Dept. of Education, who said Dr. Keller was terminated, but couldn’t give more information unless there was an open-records request. 


The state Board has not commented this, only saying it was a personnel issue. 


So that’s all the information I have to share with you. We have more information from Dr. Keller’s side, that he feels like the Board is against him and possibly using the Georgia School for the Deaf issue as a reason to dismiss him. 


I’ll be keeping my eye on this situation, as this process will probably take several months.




Here is an interview with Deaf filmmaker Chase Burton, who has worked with a team to create a short film, “Mather.” It will premiere on December 9 at a film party in L.A. that is open to the public. 


I’m going to show you a trailer for it (with sound, so turn it up if you have it) and ask him some questions. 



[Begin Interview] Alex: Hello! Can you introduce yourself, tell us what you do and how long you’ve been doing this?


Chase: Sure! My name is Chase and I’ve been making films for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was eight my dad gave me a camera to start experimenting with for a school project. I was thrilled, being very visual – my brother is a musician himself so I wanted something of my own, my own kind of art. So I’ve been immersed in filmmaking ever since. I started with wedding videos in high school to earn some cash and pay for all of my equipment. I’ve studied screenwriting at CSUN and cinematography at a college in Australia, where I studied abroad for one year. So I’ve always been in filmmaking but over the last few years I’ve wanted to do something more personal. After working on many short films, commercials and larger projects I realized I liked that ease of communication, so I founded my own company, BurtonMotion Pictures and incorporated all the best Deaf artists that I know on a personal and working level do I can get that high quality film experience and so far it’s been a great experience with the first film project, Mather.


Alex: Wow! And now Mather will premiere on December 9th, after 2-3 years of working on that film.Can you tell us what the film is about?


Chase: Absolutely. Mather really means many things to me. The first thing I’d like to comment is that the title itself is a combination of the words ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’. That’s why the sign name is halfway along the face. I wanted to play with that concept of balance between feminine and masculine because in this world, I think that balance is off – with how we run our companies, how we run our government – that balance is off. So for me the film has a lot of deep layers and many different meanings. After you watch the film the first time, it could have a different meaning after you watch it the second it. So I feel that this film is more about a man who has a choice to destroy or create himself. In that film, he faces and struggles with this choice – and with a powerful feminine force that enters his life, he realizes, ‘I could do better’. In some ways I think it’s similar to the Deaf community because after many years working in the film industry I have often felt brushed aside by hearing filmmakers, including my own friends. So I wanted to be more aggressive and do my own thing. In some ways, I feel like this film is the backstory for recognizing this imbalance and creating a safe place for all of us to express our creative ideas.


Alex: That’s interesting! You showed a trailer that had some fascinating shots that looked like it was on a desert or something – similar to the recent Star Wars film. Can you tell us about the location you filmed at?


Chase: Yes, Star Wars is one of my favorite film series! I remember I used to set my feet up on my TV and feel the music, I could feel everything, the emotion, the music – and that’s part of the reason why I picked Coyote Dry Lake. It’s a flat area that used to be a lake many years ago. We also felt like that place had power! There were strong winds that would go up to 40, 50 miles per hour. I remember one time when I was there on set the winds went up to 60 miles per hour and blew away our 400 pound set! We had to call people in on FaceTime to come and help. We had to get a large truck to park in front of the set just to block the wind. So I feel in some ways filmmaking is a reflection of that inner battle to make art. While we were there, we had a very visible battle to make something special. That natural environment felt special to me. It feels like there’s no end, that it just stretches out forever. I could walk one mile in any direction and it would still look the same. It was just ongoing. So I wanted to play with that freedom of space, that open concept and it was a really fun experience.


Alex: So you’ll be premiering the film December 9th, can you tell us your about plan for that in LA, and how people can watch the film afterwards?


Chase: On December 9th we’ll be hosting what I call a “premiere party” because I want something more interactive. We’ll have a lot of pictures, set pieces, and everything in that space will be there create an open dialogue for sharing ideas – I want that energy of a group of people coming together to experience art. On that day, we’ll be opening to the public at 6pm and then we’ll start the screenings. Since this film is a short film, we’ll be showing it in blocks several times throughout the day. Once you buy a ticket, we’ll send you the screening time. Once you’re done watching it you can come out and enjoy the music, hang out with friends, buy drinks, food – I want to have that energy of a festival where people can be open with each other. I believe the Deaf culture loves to hang out under the lights and socialize with good energy. I want to follow that principle of doing something different, and LA is the perfect place for that. For the people who can’t make this event, I have the goal to tour with this film, but again, we’ll have to see what happens. I do have a few cities in mind, especially Austin – I love Austin, I used to live in Austin for two years, I think it’d be a great place to tour. I’m also thinking of D.C. and other cities. If you follow Mather on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll learn more as we go. And beyond that, we have many other projects in motion that we’re working on as well.


Alex: Wow! So Mather is your big film for 2017. I hope you’ll be able to tour to different cities. We’ll keep an eye on your Facebook page for more information.


Chase: Perfect, thank you!


Alex: Any final thoughts or comments you’d like to share before we conclude the interview?


Chase: I think in 2017 we’ve seen a lot of imbalance, a lot of turmoil in politics, and with art and everything starting to reframe itself, I think it’s really important as artists, as people, as citizens to step up and create that new narrative, that new direction towards how we want to move forward as a society. I think, as individuals we have to better at dealing with this imbalance between everyone. I want to create new opportunities for this, and I think it’s really important that we come together as a community (and also be inclusive of other communities) to really work together to understand each other's views. I really hope that Mather is a step in the right direction towards sharing new ideas, incorporating new skills, experiences, and backgrounds – everything all in one place.


Alex: It seems like your goal will succeed - but let’s wait until December 9th, right? One day at a time. You must be nervous to see people’s reactions, their feelings about this baby you’ve made that you’ll be sharing with the world.


Chase: [laughing] Right!


Alex: Well, thank you for your time, Chase.[End Interview]


That looks like an awesome movie. If you want to see it in LA on December 9, check out Facebook page Mather at @matherfilm or for information on how you can buy tickets. And for the rest of us who live elsewhere, we can only hope the team will travel to a location near you. 




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

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