The Daily Moth 8-16-19

Rep. Tlaib will not visit West Bank; July 2019 is Earth’s hottest month; Trump considers buying Greenland; Hong Kong protests continue for 11 weeks; Mary Beth Miller, Deaf comedian and story teller, passes away

[Transcript] Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Friday, August 16. Ready for news?


Rep. Tlaib will not visit West Bank

U.S. Representative Rhasida Tlaib (D-Mich) said she will not visit the West Bank in Israel, even though Israel said she could come in on humanitarian grounds. She wanted to visit her grandmother.

Israel had previously barred Tlaib and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) entry after being pressured by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Tlaib released an official letter explaining her decision. She said that one of the conditions of the humanitarian entry was that she couldn’t speak out to criticize Israel’s policies. She said that this was oppressive and meant to humiliate her.

Israel’s Interior Minister responded by saying that Tlaib’s “hatred of Israel outweighs her love for her grandmother.”

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said Israel’s decision was a sign of weakness.

Tlaib and Omar are the first two Muslim female members of Congress and both are in their first year.


July 2019 is Earth’s hottest month

July 2019 is officially the hottest month on record for Earth. The NOAA announced this on Wednesday with an image of a globe that red blotches of spots that registered a “record warmest” temperature. The measurements are based on data that dates back 140 years.

The NOAA said nine out of the 10 hottest Julys have occurred since 2005 and the last five years were the five hottest.

The NOAA also said Arctic and Antarctic sea ice have reduced to its lowest point in July. They are 20% below average in measurements that date back 41 years.


Trump considers buying Greenland

The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump has repeatedly told his advisers that he would like to buy Greenland and have asked them to look into it.

Greenland is an autonomous territory that is a part of Denmark. There are 56,000 residents.

Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the island is open for business, but is not for sale.

America has a military base on Greenland — Thule Air Base. It is 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

In 1946, U.S. President Harry Truman offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100 million, but Denmark refused to sell.

The WSJ said Trump seemed to be motivated to buy the island because he heard that Denmark was having financial trouble because of its assistance to Greenland, which amounts to almost $600 million a year in subsidies and accounts for 60% of Greenland’s annual budget.

Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark for the first time next month.


Hong Kong protests continue for 11 weeks

The pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong has continued for 11 straight weeks. Several days ago protesters occupied Hong Kong’s international airport for two days and nights, which angered travelers and forced many flights to be cancelled.

There were videos and images of people being bloodied after violent struggles between protesters and Hong Kong police. Some protesters beat and detained those suspected of supporting China. The airport resumed operations on Wednesday.

The Chinese government has continued to criticize the protests, saying it was criminal. There are reports of increased Chinese military presence at the Hong Kong border. Satellite images show Chinese military vehicles at a stadium in Shenzhen. President Trump said everyone should be calm and safe.

Protesters said they had no choice but to occupy the airport so they could get attention on their concerns with China. Some protesters apologized for assaulting and detaining those suspected of being associated with China.

Actor and Kung Fu master Jackie Chan and “Mulan” star Liu Yifei both made statements in support of China and the Hong Kong police with criticism of the protesters.

Cathay Pacific Airways, which is Hong Kong’s top airline, said their CEO has resigned after criticism from China over Cathay’s employees participating in pro-Democracy protests. Two pilots were fired and the company warned its staff against participating in protests.

CNN said there is a huge online debate in China and Hong Kong on the protests.

The Daily Moth did a report on what the protests is all about and included interviews with Deaf Hong Kongers. The link is in the transcript.

The Daily Moth report on Hong Kong:


Mary Beth Miller, Deaf comedian and story teller, passes away

Mary Beth Miller, known for her involvement with theatre and her one-woman comedy shows, passed away on August 5.

Miller graduated from Kentucky School for the Deaf and went to Gallaudet University for her B.A. She also got other degrees from two other universities, Connecticut College and New York University.

Miller was one of the founders for New York Deaf Theatre and she was involved with the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) by acting and writing/directing original plays.

Her one-woman comedy shows were recorded on videotape. Here is a short clip.

Video from YouTube/California School for the Deaf:


My friend was chatting with my mother and noticed my head bobbing. My friend told my mother that she better check her daughter because something might be wrong. My mother said, “okay” and opened the door to see my mouth open. My mother was scared and had no idea what it was. She grabbed my legs and shook me upside-down. My head almost hit the ground. She shook me so hard that people passing by looked at me. Cars stopped. People wondered what my mother was doing. Finally, a huge piece came out of my mouth.

Video from “Language Landscape” by San Francisco Public Library


What can my hands do? There is so much opportunity to play with them. How did talking hands start? It started with fingerspelling CAT and COW or DOG at the same time. The left stayed the same but the right changed. So the left hand in sign language is passive, while the right hand is dominant. The right hand has signs that “strike” against the submissive left hand. So I decided to develop a character for both hands. The right is sweet, kind, willing, flexible, and understanding. The left is more strict, unwilling, not understanding, and easy to be jealous, because it is passive, of course. The hands always fight when I perform!

(Miller performing a skit that shows the two hands talking and fighting with each other)

Renca: Miller was a co-author of several sign language books for children, “Handtalk: An ABC of Fingerspelling & Sign Language” and “Handtalk Zoo.”

The Daily Moth reached out to Patrick Graybill, who used to work with Miller, to explain who she was as a person.


My first impression of her was when I was teaching at the Kendall school while she was a student at Gallaudet University along with my brother. I noticed that she was very funny, very creative, and she loved songs. She teased around with people a lot. Eventually I finally got to work with her at the NTD. Her personality was exactly the same then. I still remember clearly this one time when we had to rehearse for a scene. I was supposed to do one part and based on the script that the director handed me, I was to meet her at the park. I wasn’t aware that the director told her she was Death. She tried her best to give out hints and it took a while for me to decipher her hints. I’d enjoyed her humor so much, I hadn’t realized who she was and when I finally did, I was shocked! She liked to tease people. When I toured with her for her show, she always had people completely mesmerized by her humor, her teasing and her hospitality. We’ll miss her truly and people have been reaching out to me wondering why they hadn’t seen one of her one-woman shows in such a while. It was just time for her to begin to move on from us. Today, for me, it feels very odd because I don’t see her around anymore, but I feel she is in good hands.

Renca: Comments were seen on Facebook that Miller always brought so much laughter and joy to people. We thank Miller for her valuable contribution to our Deaf community. She will always be remembered.

LINK TO FULL STORY by Mary Beth Miller


That is all for this week. Thank you for watching “The Daily Moth.” Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!


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