The Daily Moth 12-14-17

December 15, 2017



FCC Votes To Repeal Net Neutrality; Kentucky State Representative Commits Suicide After Molestation Accusations; Texas Representative Blake Farenthold Will Not Run for Re-Election After Sexual Misconduct Revelations; Two Doctors Accused of Doing Bizarre and Unethical Things To Patients; Four High-Profile People in Entertainment Industry Accused of Sexual Misconduct; Walt Disney Agrees to Buy Fox Entertainment Assets for $52 Billion; Report: ISIS Seized Weapons from U.S. Backed Rebel Groups; Irish Legislature Passes Bill Recognizing Irish Sign Language




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, December 14. Ready for news? 




The FCC Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality rules.


Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners voted “yes” to repealing net neutrality, while two Democrat commissioners voted “no.” 


This is a “win” for internet service providers as they can have more power and control over internet traffic and make money by controlling it. 


This is a “loss” for websites such as Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook — who worry they will have to make deals with internet service providers to keep their websites fast and effective. 


It has also raised concerns that small, start-up businesses that rely on the internet will have to pay high prices to make sure their websites or apps work well — that they could be crushed by larger internet companies who pay for “fast lanes” while they are stuck in “slow lanes.” 


Net neutrality rules were approved by the FCC in 2015 to prohibit internet service providers from speeding up or slowing down internet traffic on specific websites or apps. It also prohibited ISPs from providing better internet experiences for their own content. 

But those rules are now repealed, which means ISPs has the power — the FCC is no longer “policing” them. 


Will there be immediate changes? We don’t know, more likely not immediately, but in the future, we might see internet service providers offer new pricing for internet access that favor certain content over others. 


We might see ISPs offer “zero rating” — which would exempt you from data costs from certain websites that make deals with them, such as AT&T offering no data costs for DirectTV streaming. Now with net neutrality rules repealed, AT&T can offer “fast lanes” for DirectTV streaming. Will they “slow down” competing services? We don’t know yet. 


Chairman Pai said consumers will know what ISPs are doing — that it will be transparent and that we are still protected from being taken advantage of by the FTC Federal Trade Commission. 


Democrat commissioner Mignon Clyburn said he voted “no” because he is one of the millions of people outraged. He said the FCC is pulling out its teeth and abandoning their responsibility to protect consumers. 


The other Democrat commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, said she voted “no” because this process was corrupt and showed contempt for our citizens, and puts the FCC on the wrong side of history. 


There was some drama before the vote — as security guards entered the meeting room and told people to evacuate — not explaining why.  They searched the room with dogs. After a short time, the meeting resumed, with the repeal. 


After the meeting, there were protesters who put flowers on the ground to show that the internet as we know it is dead. 


There is currently no legislation that deals with this issue, so it’s up to the FCC to decide those rules, and they could be changed later. Some are calling on Congress to pass a bill, but with the Republican majority there, it is doubtful things will change in the near future. It seems likely there will be court battles in the future. 


This is going to be something we’ll see unfold in the future. One thing for Deaf people to watch — how will this affect our videophone/FaceTime experiences? We’ll see what happens.




Last night a Kentucky State Representative who was accused of molesting a 17-year old girl shot himself in the head at a bridge and died, his body found on the bank of a river below. 


His name was Rep. Dan Johnson ( R ), representing Mt. Washington. 


There was an investigate report released recently in which the girl, now 21, accused him of kissing and touching the her private parts at a New Year’s Eve party in 2012 at a church. That time, Dan was the pastor and apparently drunk that night. (That church was not a “normal” church — members often handled guns, there was drinking and dancing.)


The girl reported it to police, but they didn’t follow through with the investigation, dropping it. 


The girl is now a 21-year old woman, Maranda Richmond. She did an interview with journalists and described what happened. 


The report caused both Democrat and Republican leaders in Kentucky to call for him to resign, but he refused, saying on Tuesday morning at the church that the accusations were not true. 


Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon he posted a long statement on Facebook again denying the accusations. He said he loved God and his wife and his family. He then said he had a sickness that would take his life, he can’t handle it any longer. 


That message caused people to become concerned and call police, but they weren’t able to reach Dan. Then they found his SUV near the bridge and his body below it, and it appears to be a suicide. 


The Kentucky Governor Bevin tweeted last night that his heart broke for his family and asked for there to be no nasty or vulgar comments about his death.


Report Detailing Molestation Accustations:




Texas Representative Blake Farenthold ( R) announced he will not run for re-election after reports stated he had a sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director for $84,000 — using taxpayer money. 


Two former aides said he would often lose his temper, demean them, drank often, and often said inappropriate sexual things. 


It’s not known if he will resign before his term ends January 2019. 


He is the fourth member of Congress to get in trouble from sexual misconduct accusations.




Two news of doctors accused of doing bizarre and unethical things to their patients: 


1 — A British surgeon, Simon Bramhall, pled guilty to assault for “signing” his initials S.B. on a man and a woman’s livers during transplant operations in 2013. He used an electric beam — that is usually used to seal blood vessels — to burn the initials on the livers. This is not considered harmful because the marks will fade over time, but the woman’s liver didn’t heal right, requiring another surgery — that’s when other doctors saw it. He was suspended, but returned to work, then later resigned. He now faces consequences in the justice system over there. 


2 — A retired fertility doctor in Indianapolis, Dr. Donald Cline, is charged with lying to investigators in relation to a compliant that he used his own sperm into his patients during fertility treatments. Paternity tests show that Dr. Cline is likely the biological father of at least two of his patients’ children, but it is possible he is the father of 20 others in cases that go back to the 1970s. Those cases don’t appear to be treatments for couples — rather it was for cases where the patient thought she was getting donated sperm from other men, but it was his. There are no laws against doctors using their own sperm, but he’s charged with lying about it to investigators.




More accusations of sexual assault or harassment against famous men in the entertainment industry: 


— Music producer and businessman Russell Simmons was accused by three women of raping them in 1988, early 1990’s, and 1995. Simmons has denied it. He was previously accused by several other women of pressuring them to have sex with him, leading him to announce he would resign from his company Def Jam. 


— Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock have posted an confession that he is a part of the problem. He described how he caused a woman to feel as if she was raped in college, how he sexually harassed female staff, and that he had affairs with every wife and girlfriend he’s had. 


— PBS has suspended late night TV host Tavis Smiley after an investigation found that he had sexual relationships with several former employees who were subordinate to him — that they felt their jobs required them to continue that relationship and was stuck in a verbally abusive environment. Tavis has posted a Facebook video denying it and criticizing PBS for rushing to judgment with a sloppy investigation, saying he would fight back.  


— Actress Salma Hayek wrote an article for the New York Times about how Harvey Weinstein treated her during shooting of the movie, “Frida,” a project she was personally involved with. Salma said Harvey rededately badgered her for sex, and when she said no, it made him mad, causing him to try to sabotage the film and once threatening to kill her. She said Harvey required her to do a nude scene and she couldn’t say no because of the pressure, and had to take a tranquilizer during filming because she felt “sick” that she was doing it for Harvey. A spokesperson for Harvey denied this happened. 


So those four are the most recent and high-profile accusations, but there have been many others ever since the Weinstein scandal started. A New York Times analysis listed 42 different powerful men who lost their jobs since then.




The Walt Disney company has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $52.4 billion in stocks. 


Disney will own most of Fox’s media businesses, including their film and cable TV shows, as well as Hulu. 


Analysts say one of the main motivations for this purchase is so Disney can compete with Amazon and Netflix in video streaming services. 


This “ends” Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s long-time success with expanding his media business, but he will still have control over News Corp. 

This deal will have to be approved by U.S. government regulators.




A British organization that tracks how weapons are shipped and moved in various countries —Conflict Armament Research (CAR) — has issued a report on how ISIS was able to obtain their weapons. 


It said some of the weapons was from the U.S., most of them from Asian or European countries, and that they were able to manufacture weapons themselves. 


How did ISIS get some U.S. weapons? It is already known that ISIS was able to get many American weapons in 2014 when they overwhelmed and conquered many parts of Iraq after the U.S. military.


But this CAR report says ISIS was able to seize weapons from a secret CIA program started under the Obama administration. The CIA wanted to supply rebel groups fighting against ISIS or Syria’s al-Assad, but some those weapons ended up on the “wrong side” and made ISIS stronger on the battlefield.  


What weapons were they? 


— PG-9 73mm rockets. They were manufactured in Romania and sold to the U.S. Army in 2013 and 2014. Those rockets and containers were found in ISIS-controlled areas. 


— Antitank missile launcher tubes. They were made in Bulgaria and exported to the U.S. Army, then apparently sent to a rebel group the U.S. was supporting, but somehow those tubes ended up into ISIS’ hands within a few weeks. 


President Trump ended this secret CIA program in the summer. 


CAR’s report said 90% of the weapons were from China, Russia, and Eastern Europe — that had belonged to Iraqi and Syrian government military groups, but was claimed by ISIS when they became powerful. 


ISIS also made many weapons and explosive devices by buying chemicals and materials from local suppliers. This is concerning because it shows that various groups across the world have capacities to create their own weapons. One “big example” is North Korea — they can make their own ballistic rockets.  


Now weapons ending up in the wrong hands — CAR said their report shows that it is not effective for countries to supply weapons to groups that they don’t have control over, because they will go to the most organized and strongest groups.




In Ireland — their legislature (Dàil) has passed a bill to officially recognize Irish Sign Language. 


The bill is named “Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill” and was introduced by Senator Mark Daly. 


This will ensure that people have the right to use ISL, to place accountability on public entities to provide ISL interpreters and promote ISL, and to give people a right to use ISL in the courtroom. 


There will also be the establishment of a Irish Sign Language Council to regulate interpreters, teachers, and deaf interpreters. 


The Deaf community there has been fighting for this bill to be passed, saying it was their human right, that some suffered social isolation from not having access, and needed to be able to engage in cultural activities. 


Various Irish lawmakers gave speeches in support of this bill. There were people in the Dail who waved hands when it passed. The bill will now be handed to President Higgins, who is expected to sign it into law. 


Legislators said there would be a transition period of a few years with a goal of increasing the amount of qualified ISL interpreters available. 


According to media reports, there are 5,000 deaf ISL users with around 40,000 people in the deaf community who use ISL in the country. 


On the Irish Deaf Society’s Facebook page, it showed a video of two people cheering the news, saying the bill was based. They said everybody was happy and that it took many years to pass this bill. At the end of the video, Senator Daly came up and hugged the two people. 


Great news for Irish Deaf people. Congratulations on getting this bill passed.




That is all for this week. Follow Daily Moth on Facebook or Twitter for the latest. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light! 

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