Friday, December 30, 2005

"I'm trying to tell you"



Note: When I was 19 I had a friend who refused to write poetry. Know why? Because in the Deaf school she'd been in growing up, her teachers had said Deaf people couldn't write poetry, or only crappy poetry. Uh-huh. So while some Deafies I've talked to dislike my obsession with music and poetry (I can understand why y'all avoid the singing) you'll still see it popping up here now and then. Just cuz.

Saw President Bush on my tv last night
Tellin my nation the country's all right
Well Mama lost her job at the store last week
And Daddy's got to close the farm to earn his keep
And it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

They were saying the Pressie had powers galore
"he doesn't deserve them" "but we're going to war!"
Well, Mama's got a wiretap on her Nokia phone
and Daddy's sweating it out in a jail cell alone
but it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

He was sayin somethin shallow bout the Clean Air Act
well my sister in New York gets asthma attacks
a whole lot of coughing since 11-oh-Nine
The government gave our money to Jack and Tom
but it's screw down, double thick, tinfoil hat
Don't listen to the wingnut he's just saying that

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bush and Bush continue to not have oral sex

Today George Bush, in an effort to boost his flagging poll numbers, once again raised the specter of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, claiming to have steadfastly continued the fine Bush tradition of not getting blown. "Can you demonstrate how you avoid having oral sex?" one reporter asked after Bush's speech in which, according to the Onion, no other member of his cabinet has had oral sex either. There was silence for five minutes as Laura and George stared at each other with implacable hatred. "As you can see," Bush continued, "Laura's blue dress is remarkably free of stains, and lipstick has fortituously refused to appear on my collar." When one reporter pointed out that Laura's teeth had been honed to a fine razor edge and that her gaping, salivating Discovery-channel-special jaws could be used to circumcise unsuspecting children, Bush refused to discuss what he claimed was a "national security matter."

The Onion notes there was no cream on the celebratory cake.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Monday AM News and Coffee Blog



dKossacks seemed to like my previous blog about Deaf people and culture. Any readers here have thoughts?

Some interesting news this morning. First, some politics; from Civilrights.org:

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) expressed its concerns about the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the United States Supreme Court. Of particular concern are Alito's previous rulings in the area of states' rights and his approach to federal laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and their families. ... NAD attorneys have reviewed Alito's rulings in the area of disability discrimination and congressional authority and are not certain that Alito will uphold laws that protect individuals' rights to participate in society. Accordingly the NAD is asking the Senate Judicial Committee to ask Alito questions similar to the ones they asked Chief Justice John Roberts before approving him.


They point out that Judge Roberts had to go through a similar process:

"It is critical that the Senate Judicial Committee gets a commitment from Alito that he will respect the ADA and Congress' authority to enact that and other civil rights laws. Senator Arlen Specter, the Republican Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee argued that Judge Roberts should directly answer questions about the ADA," noted Lange. "Senator Specter should expect the same thing from Judge Alito."


Glad to see the NAD on top of this. Next on the page: Deaf Nigerians protest corruption:

Deaf sportsmen and women on Friday threw caution into the winds, when they rough-handled the Vice-President of the Nigerian Deaf Sports Federation, Mr. John Yusuf at the National Stadium, Lagos.

The deaf athletes, who were 30 turned down all pleas from passers-by as they descended heavily on Yusuf, tearing his shirt and beating him for alleged misappropriation of a sum of N400,000.

Yusuf, after the fracas, tendered a letter of resignation as first Vice-President of the body to save himself from further assaults from his aggrieved colleagues.


No word on whether Yusuf is Deaf himself - but there is a long history of corruption in hearing people who take charge of Deaf clubs. So too of Deaf people - there was that scandal recently where Deaf people were selling pyramid schemes to others, and it seems this is happening in New York too. It's not just about money though:
The athletes, led by Bello Bala, among other things, asked for the cancellation of the recent elections conducted in the federation by Mr Elias Gora, which they claimed was fraught by fraudulent practices.

“The supposed recent elections was illegal, due to the fact that, Mr. Gora had already selected the would-be executives long before the elections without due processes,” Bala said.

He explained that, the vote of no-confidence passed by the entire athletes on the former executives, was as a result of financial recklessness and visionless leadership style and unacountability of the last board, led by Mr. Suleiman Kaita.

Wonder what Mr. Bala looks like - nice to see activist Deaf people all around!

Next up: Hearing people shocked Deaf people can play basketball:

In addition to hand gestures for each play, Horvath is constantly looking at the sideline to Erin Lynch, his interpreter, who signs to him everything coach Jack Freeman is saying to the team. During team huddles, he looks to Lynch to get whatever information is being forwarded to the team. And he never seems to miss a beat. But as with any situation requiring adjustment, sometimes there is regression.

‘‘I have to always watch and right next to the coach is the interpreter,” Horvath said. ‘‘The players, we’ve set up signs. Everyone is supposed to sign, but sometimes they forget, and I won’t know where I’m supposed to be, it’ll take a minute.”


The reporter is also surprised that this student has chosen not to go to Rockville, which is close by. Makes sense to me - he can visit his friends and take advantage of the facilities of the hearing school. Obviously this guy signs really well... and he's doing perfectly well in school and even becoming a celebrity of sorts. In related sports news:

The England Deaf Cricket team are to begin a recruitment drive to find more players as they look to build on their success at the second Deaf Cricket World Cup in India.

Australia have also expressed a keen desire to compete for the Ashes in England during the summer of 2007, meaning officials at the England Cricket Association for the Deaf (ECAD) know they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.


Deaf people playing cricket in cute white uniforms... almost like those kitten photos everyone keeps forwarding me. Go ECAD! England prevails!

General Jen thinks the script I want to work on right now is too long and complicated, and I agree - need something simpler in structure so I can get settled in to direction. Was up till 4 am working on the new script which is more of a silly family comedy - it's not too bad; becoming amazed at my newfound ability to buckle down. More on this as it progresses; I already know who I want starring in it, just need to get more settled on the script.

from a comment i posted on dkos



The fact is I am a deaf man. I have perspectives on the world by virtue of that difference. The difference itself does not prevent me from participating fully in the world with or without technology. The difference in perspective - who could tell what value that might have? It is, after all, difference in perspective which precedes discovery and progress. To make everyone too alike, in body and in mind, is therefore counter to progress.

If health is the concern, then the health of the individual should be considered, not some sort of comparative health which stacks everyone white or black or man or woman up against some abstract generated average individual. Can the individual function on their own and with others well in their own way? Can they make a contribution to the world? I don't even know if these questions are right. I don't know if any could be.

And where do parents come in? The parents of Deaf children often do not know about deafness or Deaf people. They get told. They get a perspective handed to them on a plate. Now, they may do more research on their own. Some say they should. But when you're in mourning over something somber doctors inform you about, and these people you trust give you information... you tend to accept it.

They are told more than just that their child is deaf. They are told there is a Deaf world and a Hearing world. They are told that sign language is bad and may leave their child retarded. They are given quite a bit of ideology.

I know some parents who have Deaf children. They learned to sign with their child. They were lucky to have the time and opportunity to be able to, yes, but the point is that they are very involved with their child's life. Their child is very involved with the family life. They communicate and care. There is no "Deaf world" and "Hearing world." All this is possible without technology or invasive surgery. Yes, it requires effort. But so do technological options. But the contigent of Deaf people who are against cochlear implants have much of this at heart. There is also the point that the intimacy gained from this work is quite valuable.

There is more to being normal than being able to hear sounds. Far more important things, that too often get lost in this hubblebubble. What is the goal? For all children to be safe and healthy? Most likely, then, very little of this genetic engineering is necessary. Is the goal to make everyone superhuman supergeniuses? Would that do anyone any good, including the geniuses?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ugh. Just got to the third part. No introduction. But they had one for the cubans and the australian. Why not the russian clowns?

Please forgive me if i sound pissy. waited three years for this crap. I've made five dvds so far and three look much better than this.

Deaf Way II DVD

I got it. Watching it now. The first part cut off at 11:08 so my grandma and I saw lots of fluffy clouds. Watching part II now. The cuban dancing is good and Rob Roy is awesome but I have NO idea who the hell was doing the videography-theyre zooming in really close and you can't see his whole body. I mean, PLEASE, next time, hire me, ok? I'm not too experienced but a blind monkey with one testicle giving himself a handjob could hold the camera more steady.

On the other hand-rob roy? Hot.

More later.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Oh hey, its Friday

Damn cold.

Mad, Mad Monday: Bush's Brain Segment

Lying here in bed with a bit of a cold (too many days walking through transit strikes?) and I had a thought.

Bush admitted to running a secret wiretap program recently. Now, he claimed this program would be to spy on terrorists; instead he used it to spy on PETA and other liberal groups. American groups.

Republicans are now saying Bush should go after and throttle the leaker for compromising national security. But you can't have it both ways, folks: Bush couldn't even keep the secret that he doesn't care about going after Osama bin Laden.

Still, in the end, he's right, Bush is: revealing the existence of this program is a huge threat to national security, because now terrorists everywhere know Bush is focusing on people trying to free fur rather than freaky fascists. Way to overdo the partisanship, man.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

mainstreaming improving?



Reader Jennifer sent me a link to this interesting link about a young Deaf woman in North Carolina who's apparently doing great in a mainstream program and very involved in all activities. This girl is exceptionally lucky for three reasons: an openminded school, a determined drive, and involved parents who learned ASL.

I was lucky because my parents were involved with my life. I believe most successful Deaf people have involved families. I did not, however, have an openminded mainstream experience. Consider:


  • At the age of 6 I wore my first hearing aid to school and was accosted repeatedly by a group of hearing kids who kept banging my head on the floor to try to knock out whatever was blocking my hearing.
  • At 9 they finally assigned me my first terp. Who proceeded to sit in front of me and speak Italian. Not ISL, actual Italian. You know? S'io credesse che mia riposta fosse? He left soon. Two tries later I got an uncertified terp and made do.
  • At the age of 10 I tried desperately to get involved with the theater group in my middle school - it looked like a ton of fun! No luck. They said I should be happy with speech class.
  • At the age of 12 I was assigned to an advanced math class but the teacher threw me out because she "didn't want a deaf child in her class." I didn't protest at the time; my interpreter refused to work with her, and since she was the only one I'd been able to find that was even remotely good, I had to, as usual, make do.


This is why I still support Deaf schools. I also believe what holds true for women's schools and men's schools holds true for Deaf schools - sometimes you learn better in an environment where you don't have to compete with certain things and deal with discrimination. I still get tired of going through the Deafsplanations. Yes, I can write. Yes, I can read. Yes, I can drive. Yes, I speak well, thank you very much (that never means much to me coming from typically bad-mouthed New Yorkers, grin!)

American wages fall



According to bonddad from dailykos (and this is worth quoting in full):

After inflation wage growth is still negative. Non-supervisory wages rose from $15.90/hour in January to $16.32/hour in November, for an annual increase of 2.64%. Over the same period the overall inflation gage has increased from 190.7 to 197.6, or a 3.61% increase. In other words, after inflation non-supervisory wages dropped .97% this year.

To make-up for this shortcoming in wages growth, consumers have taken-advantage of record low interest rates. Total consumer debt increased 9.1%, 11.1% and 11.6% in the first second and third quarter respectively. Total consumer borrowing over the first three quarters of 2005 was 929 billion, 1.158 trillion and 1.235 trillion, respectively. Total consumer debt outstanding increased from 10.4 trillion to 11 trillion from the first to third quarter of 2005. Total consumer debt outstanding now stands are 87% of US GDP.

Personal savings (gross income less all monthly expenditures) dropped from 47 billion to -132 billion from the first to third quarter of 2005. Unfortunately, there are no figures for contributions to various retirement plans for 2005 yet. However, over the last 5 years, the highest contribution level of all plans (defined contribution, defined benefit and IRA's) was 2.2% of GDP. This low figure combined with the record low economic savings figure of 3Q 2005 indicates that personal retirement savings was probably abysmal this year (again).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Song (for freedom)


Wrote the original version of this as a rant on DailyKos. Then ended up changing it a little with some feedback. The final version is here. Christ, whose holiday we will celebrate this weekend, was the champion of the poor, of truth, of freedom - he threw out the moneylenders, the liars in the temple. And Representative John Conyers spit in his face the other day, claiming Americans should be glad they are alive and willing to sacrifice their freedoms. To this Senator Feinberg replied: I wanna quote someone to you who once said, give me liberty or give me death.

They say "Go die for liberty,"
but take our liberties away;
they let our sons and daughters die
but live to lie another day;
Now Liberty's a golden thing
as strong and glowing as the sun
to lie and tarnish Liberty
means all the terrorists have won.

Now Liberty's a shining torch
(Just see the Lady in the east
whose Flammifer is held up high
whose robes are floating like the Sea;)-
What light can come from secrecy?
What light can come from squalid lies;
When darkness comes from infamy
It means that Liberty may die.

I choose to die for Liberty
I choose my freedom, like the Sun
I choose the dawn that feeds the land -
That rises, foaming, burning blue;
To burn inside the arms of Truth
Saved by the cloak of Liberty
As she holds fire from the land -
Land of the true and fierce and free.

Transit Strike: Day II



You can find out more about the strike at http://www.twulocal100.org/ which is the union website of the Transport Workers Union Local 100. I continue to support the strike. I only wish everyone had such a powerful support and would like to remind people who say that these are "greedy" and "selfish" that they are not LOOTERS but SURVIVORS and if they were white people in business suits we'd be bending over so they could sign the blank checks we give them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Transit Strike in NYC

Am in a cab with the Dominatrix Sparkly Spanker heading downtown. The streets in our area were deserted. Car service refused to take us downtown so we ended up finding a yellow cab at the GWBT. Took an hour or so to get to 96th then there was a checkpoint we had to go thru. Once past that no traffic and now speeding thru the 60's. Hope I get to Penn-need to get from there to the office. Though how anyone expects us to concentrate with all the excitement is beyond me.

Sorry no posts yesterday. I saw a couple interesting articles about the formation of a Deaf/hearing coalition in the middle east to discuss the formation of a pan-Arab sign language (which I thought was AMC-no offence to anyone. Anyone know more than me?) Will post link when i get to office.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

happi sundai



Not much to report on today. People still freaking out over Bush's insane statements and revelations. Much talk of impeachment or other form of punishment. Do I think anything will happen? No - but only because I don't want to be disappointed.

Deaf news today - again, not much. I saw this interesting bit about parents of Deaf children coming together in Hawaii to learn ASL with their children. I would LOVE to go to Hawaii to learn ASL with Deaf children right now. Still freezing in New York and many are concerned it'll get worse before it improves.


On a side note, Ridor is pointing out that there are still rumours stating Jane K. Fernandes, currently Provost at Gallaudet University, may be appointed to the position of President of the University. Ridor comments:

By itself, it does more harm than good to the welfare of Gallaudet Community. Dr. Fernandes has not set up a good relationship with faculty, staff, students and alumni. She created a lot of bitter resentments amongst the groups at Gallaudet. I heard the stories about how she has done to students, parents and staff at Hawai'i and in DC.


These are serious allegations - I appreciate his feelings, but I would suggest he back them up with facts. Too often Deaf people have serious concerns but they do not provide the proof to back them up. Even Ridor refers only to rumours in his post. He goes on to say that Gallaudet is important to everyone Deaf or hard of hearing. This is true. This is why I encourage him to find proof for his argument if there is one... yeah I guess I got courage to challenge Ridor!

I had my own experiences as an MSSD student with this individual and they were not pleasant. In hindsight, I realize I was not at fault in that incident, but at the time it was bewildering. I would be interested in seeing if others had similar experiences.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Oh my fucking god

Congress is apparently WORKING THROUGH THE WEEKEND for the first time in American recorded history. Yes, folks, its true; not since the Iroquis Confederation or League of Six Nations, when the Great Law of Peace of the Longhouse People was first established, not since the Deists led by Jefferson and Franklin and their ilk wrote the Declaration of Independence by the light of the fires of the Boston Tea Party, has a government on American soil WORKED OVER THE WEEKEND.

How else can you explain why its in headlines on Fox TV?

Saturday morning sunny-side-up

Ugh, slept 11 hours. Long week. The Wallace just made his tired Gromit some coffee and yummy oatmeal, so i have strength to blog (and do pushups. Ridor is shaming me with his commitment to, ah, physical change.

Watching CNN. Am happy to see the President getting totally hammered. His spying program is not going over well with the nation. Why? Because we do expect a freedom of privacy, and we don't want to be in prisons in exchange for the kind of protection George Bush can give us. This is the man who failed his country in two major disasters; look at the recent findings of the nonpartisan 9/11 committee, look at the suffering of the suddenly impoverished and destitute citizens in Louisiana and Mississippi. What cover can he give us? He's not JFK. He's no gunslinger, may it do ya fine, if I can borrow Stephen King's expression. He been relying on the strength of others, and much of that has been tapped and peeled away, or being poked at by Fitzgerald the Hardcase. He's asking people to trust far too much, even with his painted-clown-face version of Christianity and his pictures behind cardboard flight suits. Should it have happened long ago: yes.

But all cardboard crumbles. May it do ya fine.

Update: fuck! The president said Senate authorized his spying, senate fighting back saying none of them knew! Feingold ripping Pres a new one on CNN now.

Friday, December 16, 2005

newsprint and coffee blog (with cream and sugar)




  • Foxy Brown in *agony*: check it out

    Rap diva Foxy Brown took the stage yesterday to detail her hearing-loss agony - saying she hasn't heard a human voice in six months.

    "I have spent many confusing, agonizing nights crying in isolation and silence," Brown told reporters at a W. 57th St. soundstage owned by the BET network.

    "But today, I stand before you blessed with only the voice of God in my ears as a vessel of inspiration."


    Hearing voices Foxy? Meanwhile the article goes on to note that:

    The 26-year-old, Brooklyn-born artist, whose real name is Inga Marchand, wore a black leather Gucci jacket and a pair of tight Gucci jeans and was surrounded by supporters, including music and fashion mogul Russell Simmons.

    Brown is due in Manhattan Supreme Court on Dec. 23 for allegedly attacking a manicurist at Bloomie Nails on W. 23rd St. in Chelsea last year during a price dispute.


    Yeah, agony in Gucci. I included the last paragraph because, well, it's hilarious - she's wearing Gucci and complaining about prices at Bloomie Nails? Well, if she was deaf at the time, that makes sense... remember, Deaf people are cheap and smelly....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

New York Freezing City

It was 17 degrees when I left this morning-not sure what it is now. But my fingers aren't begging for Starbucks-type warmth so I'm thinking its just above freezing now. Thinking about all the homeless Deaf people in NYC without a place to even be warm (well, relatively-my place has pretty good heat and it was still a little shiver-and-shakey this AM.) Wonder if anyone knows how many homeless Deafies there are around?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Deaf Blog Awards 2005



By any standard the COOLEST thing about DBA2005 is the fact that I get to see so many Deaf bloggers! I added some of the more interesting looking ones to my links section. If you want to be there and you're not, send me your blogsite... but remember if I'm going through DMS (deaf man simmering) period of the day I may just publish a SCATHING CRITIQUE of your blog instead... grin...

I am apparently nominated for best Political Blog. I guess that's appropriate since it is a sociopolitical blog with occasional literary injections. I encourage everyone to vote for whoever you want... I really don't care, it's just cool that Ridor is doing this. Kinda proves he's a little more than the National Deafquirer.

a new implant fear?



From the Olympian in Olympia, Washington:

It was October at a church playground. Taylor, deaf for almost two years, ran to her father. She told him her cochlear implant — an electronic device that lets her hear — had suddenly fizzled.

It had been zapped by a static electric shock. Chris Zinderski hadn't switched off his daughter's implant because he didn't believe that static could really be a problem.


*clip and skip*

The type of clothes and length of the slide didn't matter much. But humidity did. In the cold, dry air of winter, Morley's daughters achieved charges of about 10,000 volts. Morley says that in the dry air of Tucson, Ariz., a colleague measured 20,000 volts after a slide.

In coming months, he will apply those voltages to test implants, which are rated to withstand 8,000 volts, according to Doug Miller, an engineer with Cochlear Americas, one of the manufacturers of the devices.


The story goes on to say that most of the materials they use today in playgrounds, made from PVC and cheap plastics instead of steel, have a higher chance of causing such shocks to implants. They can be repaired easily, if, of course, your insurance covers it.

Question to any Deaf people reading this: What does your insurance cover in terms of hearing aids and implants? Find out?

should've waited and saved the $$



Today in La Crosse Tribune: a success story about a Deaf woman being one of the first Deaf people to successfully navigate education at Western Wisconsin Technical College.

Ms. Stanek seems like a cool woman with a focus on exercise science. What struck me was the juxtaposition of the following quotes:

At age 5, she became the first child in Wisconsin to receive a cochlear implant, a device that would allow her to hear sounds but not speech.
(oh, NOW they recognize that the implants don't help you hear speech? jeesh.) And two:

Stanek, 24, was born deaf. She no longer uses the cochlear implants, she said, and cannot hear any sounds.


You know, I have friends who chose to get the implants as ADULTS. They are learning to use them perfectly well. Some can even speak on the telephone now. When I read stories like this about people who decide to stop using the implants, I wince. Why? Because that surgery turned out to be unneeded.

The big argument is that in order to fully develop, people must have the implants as children. But the point is language development, not hearing development, and sign language can do language development better and faster than cochlear implants can with their inaccuracy and years of required training (and repeat surgery.) Why not give adults the right to choose - and kids the freedom from such pressure? In the end it is parents who want the best for their children, have little knowledge and experience of Deaf people, and who are being persuaded by doctors in their expensive outfits who we must reach.

Ugandan Deaf Road Show?: In Uganda the Silent Theatre is putting on a new public education play about Deaf people. (Don't talk to Deaf people! Don't take candy from Deaf people! Keep your hands under the table so the Deaf people don't see you talking about them! Sorry, couldn't resist: it sounds like an Afterschool special.) They seem like a good group helped and started by friends in Sweden. An example of the international nature of Deafies...


Idaho school for Deaf and Blind in peril? Check out this link. Anyone know anything? Of course our Deaf schools are all in danger these days from misguided mainstreaming efforts.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

news and coffee blog



Interesting morning news roundup:


  • iPods to make entire generation Deaf. I can't wait for the day when ASL teachers target current iPod users. "Uh, you know, your hearing will be gone soon, right? Yep, that iPod Nano is currently burning your..." whatever hearing people have that burns.
  • Zambia Deaf have high, high rates of HIV. While it seems a few voices are speaking out from the Deaf community there they have little sign language and most activism is being done by the association of sign language interpreters of zambia. Anyone know anything about these people? They seem very religious as noted by this quote:
    Benefits are just too numerous to account and that we can not find suitable words to describe your well intended, but brilliant initiative. We humbly offer the entire WORLD BANK to the ALMIGHTY GOD, and that may your efforts be BLESSED continuously to bring positive difference/change on whatever you lay hands on world over. May you eternally receive SHOWERS of BLESSINGS as you work with the Deaf/Mute and Hard of Hearing globally.

    Why these people still calling us mute? Why? WHY?
  • Baby Boomers going deaf... hearing aids become fashion items! You read me. Read the article - they are comparing hearing aids to Lexus cars. If only they considered our sensitive fashion needs as carefully! But then Deaf people can't be counted on for money, right? Better to sell the good shit to rich people who need something so they can continue to iPod. *grin*


By the way, that last link? At the bottom is a description of a recent development in hearing aid technology:

The Extra hearing aids have fewer features than the Savia models. For example, Savia hearing aids have adaptive directional microphones that can pick out the direction of a speaker's voice while tuning out unwanted noise. The Extra devices have fixed microphones that simply assume that speakers are standing in front of the hearing-aid users. The Savia devices also can be adjusted with remote controls while Extra users will have to fumble with the devices in their ears.


Remote. Control.

Maybe I missed something. Is this normal? And if so, will Gallaudet have to come up with rules about them? Are there already rules? Like, Adjust your hearing aids before you come into the classroom because everyone's remote control controls everyone's hearing aid and you'll all get headaches from the electron flux?

hot naked morning blog



London's burning - or something. There was a giant explosion and now an equally giant plume of smoke is spreading over southern England, France and even Spain. I am waiting to hear from locals about this.

For the Hudson Heights clan - a Village Voice review of our area! Yeah we have a small Deaf neighborhood growing up here... looking forward to seeing this grow as we meet more locals etc. And as this review shows there's lots of things to do in all parts of new york!

Lastly- I said to hell with it and nominated myself for Deaf Blog Awards. I doubt I'll win anything but chagrin but - why not!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

deaf people are insane



or so says Rimjob on Dailykos. He was posting about overweight people who say it's okay to be overweight and saying that that is insane. He then said that it's similar to Deaf people who choose not to get a cochlear implant:

I just don't get the "Fat Acceptance" people. It sort of reminds me of the segment of the Deaf community that objects to Cochlear Implants. There are norms to the Human condition. Should people be made fun of if they don't fit that norm? Absolutely not, but it's illogical to argue that a feature that is defective or unhealthy IS normal. Saying that there is nothing wrong with being 300 pounds or not being able to hear, is just distrubing to me. Hearing, and not having a coronary because of being grossly overweight are pretty standard.


We're used to this aren't we? Since most people can hear, then hearing must be normal and the best way to live. Just like being straight, white, male, and rich. I tried to explain, but Magatsu got there first:

Well, I just don't get the 'hearies' (term for hearing people) who'd prefer to pick being blind over being deaf. Hearing is soooooo overrated while sight isn't. and never will be.

What's the 'true' definition of normal exactly? Look, I didn't attack you or your perceptions but I'm here to share what some deafies would think of what you said. You know, some of my deaf friends who had these thoughts that hearies themselves are not normal. I mean, who started the wars? Hearies. Who created the atomic bombs? Hearies. Who caused these mass-murder activities? Hearies. The list is near limitless... so should I declare you or any hearies as 'not normal' because of your nearly limitless list of violent activities? Or should I say that hearies and their 'grossly' violent activities is pretty standard? I'm definitely not going to generalize the hearies because I know that there are many good hearies (example: Howard Zinn, John Perkins or, not all but many Kossacks & DU'ers) as many as 'bad' hearies (example: rightwing conservatives).

Again, I didn't attack you or anyone (especially hearies) or anyone's perceptions, I'm here to offer you some deafies' view of hearies. What you said about deaf people insulted me, my deaf relatives and deaf friends that which made me post this comment. What's wrong with freedom of choice? I can understand your opinion of obese and I agree with you in certain areas but deafies have the rights to tell anyone to fuck off (emphasized) about Cochlear Implants.


The argument continues. Read more from Magatsu and other people, including me, at the thread - and feel free to participate - here.

For what its worth this reminds me most of my friend Butterfly's statement. She'd been a med student at Duke University. She reported students asked if Deaf people can think. So: can you?

can small fish live in a big lake?



it's funny. a lot of people where I work in a big uproar. me, I'm like, "So?" I work out in the community. a lot of CBO's can't really deal with the financial situation in the US today. the government's not helping very much. the community they serve often has little money.

then I see this e-mail from John Lee Clark up at ridor.blogspot.com:

Sign hey:

My name is John Lee Clark, and I am the publisher of The Tactile Mind Press. My wife, Adrean, and I started the company by establishing a print literary journal, called The Tactile Mind, offering the best in today’s signing community literature.

In the beginning, we knew that the journal would be a losing venture financially, but we hoped that the number of its subscribers would gradually grow up to and beyond the point where it would support itself.

Unfortunately, this has not happened. Our journal has received high praise for its physical quality and the quality of the work published in it. We are also finding it impossible to keep on pouring thousands of dollars and months of work into its publication. Before we close the publication, however, we would like to give the community a chance to save it.

So we are having a subscription drive. Our goal is 300 new subscribers by 31 December 2005. If we succeed, the journal will continue publication, and the new book-style issue we have already assembled, including the best of what we have already published in the first five years of the journal and new exciting material, will go to press
immediately. If we come short of the goal, we will close the journal and refund all subscriptions, old and new.

We have tried our best, but now the journal is in your hands. If you want to subscribe, you can order a subscription on-line at http://www.thetactilemind.com or send a check for $28 (for two annual issues of more than 200 pages each) to: The Tactile Mind Press, PO Box 581667, Minneapolis, MN 55458-1667.

The progress of the subscription drive will be posted weekly in our free e-zine, The Tactile Mind Weekly, and you can subscribe to it by sending your e-mail address to subscribefree@thetactilemind.com.

Hoping that the journal will continue, I am

John Lee Clark, Publisher


I too hope the journal will continue. It's great. And $28 is not very much. But this is their marketing plan? E-mailing deaf people my age for who $28 is kind of a bump? And right when they're announcing the magazine is going to close?

JLC, this would be my suggestion. PUMP YOUR ZINE. TTM is fucking AWESOME. It's the ONLY mature Deaf arts magazine in the US today. The closest thing I've seen is Deaf arts UK magazine. Send copies to all Deaf school administrators. Deaf programs in colleges around the country. Find other Deaf magazines and find someone to work as your marketing specialist. ASL programs are everywhere. USE THEM. Contact Deaf agencies OUTSIDE the US. Colleges. All colleges have a huge collection of journals. Deaf people have no money. Sell your work to people who do-the organizations and the schools and the universities. Libraries. Can you ask Deaf people to go to libraries and request Libraries order the books if they can't afford them themselves? I believe libraries take requests and suggestions sometimes. And TTMW is a great addition.

I'd also suggest getting a group of people together and having everyone publish their own magazine under one umbrella company. As I said, it's becoming rapidly clear that community based stuff cannot survive in today's world. Even the big companies - the only way they can survive is to borrow money from people. Look at freaking Enron. Also, what about advertising? Would be kind of cool to see a cochlear implant advertisement next to my anti-implant poetry.

I'm not trying to be a pessimist - but I wonder if we need to find ways to survive in a world increasingly hostile to the minority (the one without money anyway.) What do you guys think? Any ideas for TTM? Will you be subscribing? I wouldn't mind having a group of Deaf New Yorkers doing an awareness drive. A lot of us are writers or bloggers, from defBef to urbanversusrural.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

some things come slowly


written to pacts, with the knob in mind. not sure why, but she was. perhaps because St. Alleviator comes to us all...

Contemplating slowly the meaning of the julethide, the winter, the yule... the feast that calls the sun, the food and prosperity in the middle of desolation, the candle that burns in the snow.

In these days the king of the holly, the night and the shortened sun, is kissed and killed by his son and lover, the king of the oak, the strong light and the lengthened days. and as the summer waxes and then wanes, the oak becomes the holly, and springs forth the red berries: and knows one day his son, the strong one, the unyielding, will put unresisted his pretty hands around the neck of the one made weak by the poison of the winter berries...

And underneath it all, the moment of the kiss, when the darkness kisses the sunlight, and the young girl laughs and begs with her eyes at the strength of the dancing, running man, and they meet under the boughs of holly, red with the lips of winter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bang bang

Apparently WB news at ten is going to show a report about the new stress relief - shooting people. Apparently shooting people relieves stress.

This probably shouldn't be shared around Gallaudet campus.

New York was weird weatherwise today. This morning was freezing and snowy, the afternoon everything had melted, the evening blustery.

Finally got all my writing into binders (the General Jen will be happy. She's wanted to read some of this for ages.) Well, all the stuff from 2004-2005 anyway, which I felt was worth printing over at work. Housed it in some classy used d-ring binders from Accounting. Mulled it over the other day. Perhaps it's time to get serious. Will see.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Deaf Man Sues Strip Club

Douglas Marchbanks, 18, had the bright idea of suing a strip club. Marchbanks, a Deaf man, claimed that he was unable to fully access the services of Greased Lightning, a notorious haunt of truckers and priests.

It looked as it his case would be successful when one of the entertainers, a dancer named Melodee, came forward. She claimed that had Mr. Marchbanks simply asked her when they met in the club, she would have been able to provide access as she had formerly been an American Sign Language interpreter. She had "given him a tour of the dressing room." The jury asked why she had not volunteered the information to the guest; she casually replied "My hands were already full at the time."

if you live in Vermont or California, this might prove useful...



And if you don't, contact your senator and follow what Kevin Drum suggests:

IDENTITY THEFT....A while back I got an email asking me if I'd learned any good ways to stop identity theft during the research I did for my identity theft article earlier this month. The answer is yes — but only if you live in California, Louisiana, Texas, Vermont or Washington, the states that currently allow you to request a "credit freeze" from the three major credit reporting agencies. Bankrate.com describes what a credit freeze is:

With a credit freeze, no one can open any form of credit in your name. Your credit file is off limits to potential lenders, insurers and even potential employers. Here's how it works.

When you apply for a loan, credit card or cell phone, the company issuing credit contacts one of the three credit reporting agencies and requests to see your credit file. If you have a freeze on your account, the company will be told that it cannot see your credit file because your account is frozen. At this point, most companies would not allow the loan, issue the credit card or activate the cell phone.

But this does not mean that you won't be able to get credit for yourself or allow potential employers to run a background check. The three credit bureaus assign a personal identification number for you when you freeze your report. Using this PIN, you can lift the freeze when necessary.

In other words, you'll be notified whenever someone tries to take out credit in your name. If that someone really is you, you just unfreeze your credit report using your PIN and the credit is granted. Unfreezing costs a few dollars each time you do it.

The downside? If you open up a charge account or try to take out a car loan, you'll have to wait a few days until you're contacted and provide your PIN. No more driving off the lot the same day. Plus it costs a few dollars to freeze and unfreeze your account.

The upside? Almost no more risk of identity theft. Crooks can still steal your credit cards, of course, but that only costs you a maximum of $50 per card and doesn't wreck your credit report in any case. You just have to report them as stolen.

Thanks to Debra Bowen, who's currently running for Secretary of State here in California, I can request a credit freeze on my credit reports, and I'm planning to do exactly that. Other states are following suit.

But ask yourself this: why is this happening at a state level anyway? Why not at a federal level? And why do you have to pay for it? And why can't you make one request instead of having to send a certified letter to three separate companies? And why does it take "several days" to unfreeze your account each time you do it? Why not a few hours? In fact, why isn't a credit freeze the default option for credit reports in the first place?

Those are all excellent questions, and the answer is simple: because the credit industry doesn't like credit freezes and wants to make them as confusing and hassle prone as possible. But that's why we elect a government, isn't it? Call your representative and complain.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

You Don't Hate Mad Dogs



I wrote this diary on Daily Kos and thought it was fun enough to get posted here. Theyre having some silly argument over whether it's okay to hate Republicans and I put down my two cents.

Oh-kay.

I don't presume to tell anyone what they should or should not feel. Ain't my business. You keep your shit behind closed doors, and I'll keep mine.

But hey, since you done opened that entrance...

No.

I don't hate no Republicans. I don't hate no Democrats. Don't hate nothing and nobody.

Yeah, they fucked this country up. Yeah, they're doing stupid crap even as we speak. Frothin'-at-the-mouth stuff. Sure, they're trying to destroy the ability of us good-lookin' well-dressed purty-boy homos to, y'know, even be with each other. But they're mad dogs. You don't hate mad dogs. You do with mad dogs what they did with ol' Yeller. You love 'em and try hard but you know one day they're gonna do more than just froth. They gon' bite. And they infectuous. They gon' bite you and your children and your wife and your husband and your mother and your father. Ain't gon' stop. Gonna keep going til you all got the rabies. Then YOU be frothin' at the mouth, too. They already barking and rolling their eyes at each and every one of us. You gon lose your cool in the face of that?

Best avoid all that. Keep ya calm, keep yaself collected. Keep ya shotgun handy, because emotional reasonin' never helped nobody, and don't make their case for them. Makes 'em look like fools, and their men and women look like fools. Who listens to a mad dog more than once? When they done see what happens when it bites?

Besides, you get angry, you can't shoot straight. So says my Da, though he was talkin' mostly about lovin. In which, he says, you better off also avoidin' the mad dogs. Fightin' Dems ain't frothin Dems, and neither is fuckin' Dems. Keep your eyes peeled and yer pecker clean, is my advice.

Nuff said.

interpreters and natural reticence



Anyone think deaf people sometimes use lack of interpreters as an excuse to not try something?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

LIFTING HER LARGE AND ASKING EYES



SARAH MARIE PACK


The title of this blog was written by the poet John Greenleaf Whittier. What follows is my inadequate attempt to write a song about my feelings about the passing of my friend Sarah Pack. She was an amazing person whose thoughts and actions and interactions swung on her true caring for other people. I believe that when people leave this path, their bodies begin to go into the world around them. Phillip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass" said it all: that the cells and atoms of our bodies, remembering who we are, return to the sun, the sky and the sea. While she was in the hospital, Sarah told me both face-to-face and in person how much she wanted to be outside again. So I hope in a way this is true, and that she's part of the world around us now. Makes it a bit easier to think of her in the sun.

The Only Thing Missing Is The Moon

Where did you go the night is cold but I am warm
Sweet in my seat the demon driving northwards in the dark
Stars with their beats singing along my tape deck rattling
I feel your warmth so I am soft for all the cold is sharp but -
Where did you -

[chorus]
The only thing missing is the moon
Your face with the sunlight stored within
Your hands to glide the ride along
As we must go to journey on and
Where did you -
I've been riding this road so long
All I saw was the pavement ahead
The dashes turned to rivers
White and sunset red
You made us look at the stars
When the pain of the trip grew too great
You bit down with your courage
To make us swallow our shame -
Where did you -

[chorus]
The only thing missing is the moon
Your light in the night I travel through
Your laugh I miss, your eyes that kiss
As we continue on, I wish –
Where did you -

I'm not alone in the car
There are others just missing your face
The trip is long and far
We hope to come to a better place
Maybe you'll be there
Maybe we'll see you soon
For now I struggle with the question
Where did you -

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

CALL FOR TMOBILE USERS



Spam Attack!: Seems there is a huge T-Mobile problem today starting yesterday. Everyone I know with T-Mobile is getting huge amounts of spam. When people call they are told to change their e-mail address because the implication is the person did stupid things or distributed their e-mail stupidly. But since everyone I know is getting this shit, it's them, not us. You understand? I suspect someone's figured out a way to break into sidekicks again. Anyways, can people comment on, you know, if theyve been getting spam, because it's the kind of thing the deaf community can kick the ass of t-mobile on. Please comment posting your device and if you have received spam and what its from like "I have a Blackberry 7230 and I got spam from the CIA mofo!"

UPDATE: If you call T-Mobile will try to put you through the "Oh, use filters," and "Oh, change your email address," crap. Don't take it. They are having a nationwide problem and they just ADMITTED IT TO ME ON TTY. Will scan the TTY Paper in a minute. Anyways, neither of those solutions are useful. The admission:

Use freely.

FURTHER UPDATE: Now they admit again yes, there is a problem, and they are working on it. I discovered if you scroll up and look at the "To:" field you'll see the real spamming e-mail address - but they seem to be changing that now. Anyways, I'm hoping they actually, you know, do something. Soon. They just asked me to send them some spam to a T-Mobile G-mail account called blackberrypda@ you know where and it was blocked, I suggested they contact Google to ask them how they do it!

wind to thy wings, beloved


The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to the unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?


-John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

a little present for erfo



A few days late, but fuck it, i was never good at this stuff. Guess who has a blog? Guess who turned out to be intelligent?

Monday, November 14, 2005

ok, maybe this is the funniest



Check out this from the New Yorker.

the funniest thing I've seen all day



Surfing to Crooks and Liars I found this quote from Atrios, which I'd somehow missed:

Bush, who appeared almost playful, fastened the heavy medal around Muhammad Ali's neck and whispered something in the heavyweight champion's ear. Then, as if to say "bring it on," the president put up his dukes in a mock challenge. Ali, 63, who has Parkinson's disease and moves slowly, looked the president in the eye -- and, finger to head, did the "crazy" twirl for a couple of seconds.


This was followed by the BESTEST picture:



How would you subtitle this picture, dear readers?

UPDATE: As Ridor has commented on the video from which this photo is taken, I thought it was fair to put up the direct link.

Friday, November 11, 2005

smoking reduction plan, day 8



ok, not really day 8. i lost count. but it feels like an 8. OK?

Only had 3 cigs today which is acceptable considering my stress levels. On the plus side much accomplished so I don't have any, what do you call them, "Stress Futures" you know stress that doesnt exist yet but which you see coming from over the horizon?


Went to see the author of Wondering OutLoud (See my list of deafblogs) to provide deafblogger support. That was after an already long 9-hour day. You know, I don't mind working the overtime, sometimes I do wish they paid for it. In cash or diamonds, whichever is handier. Do ya?

Finished my annual re-reading of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and the Amber Spyglass. If you're a fan of Harry Potter or A Wizard of Earthsea you might quite like this series. It's very philosophical, but not very hard to follow, and very well-written.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Char

Is bitch queen. "Whatever happened to smoking reduction plan day number two" my ass. *fuming*

My feet

My feet are not my feet. When I was a child two aliens from outer space came to earth and gnawed off my real feet with sharp and bloody teeth. They then took the form of my real feet and attached themselves to my body, controlling my mind by means of a chemical agent they released directly into my bloodstream. They are extremely cold to the touch. They live by attaching themselves to the bodies of others they sleep with and sucking out the heat from their bodies until they freeze to death. Sometimes they just take all the blankets.

FEEDBACK TO APPLE: Include subtitles on the iPod!



Imagine being able to take video with you wherever you go. Imagine being able to watch DOOL you FOOL on the subway! Imagine having every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at your fingertips.

Well, with Apple all things are possible. Visit Apple's iPod Feedback Form to join me in asking Apple to make their devices all-inclusive!



iPods. Not just for hearies anymore.

Update: Apple iPod=No Subtitles



FUCK DAMN PISS SHIT GAH

*sigh*

From the blog of Russell Beattie:

See, even though I really enjoyed the shows, I couldn’t share them with my wife. She has some problems with her hearing, and isn’t a native English speaker. So in our house, the subtitles are always on the TV so she doesn’t miss anything. It was like this in Spain too, actually, when I was learning to speak Spanish. Subtitles helped a ton and are a great way to get used to a new language. The fact that iTunes Video comes without subtitles is disappointing, and not only isn’t a good solution in our house, it has stopped me from buying more episodes online. I’ll go buy the DVD instead.

Dear Apple: Please fix this. It’s a real problem those people who want to enjoy your service, but need subtitles.

-Russ

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The new Apple iPod

It can play videos and do lots of other cool stuff-but can it show subtitles and captions? Yes, deaf people aren't supposed to care about music, blah blah, this one does... And videos would be an equal coolness. Any experiences out there? Can someone share? Will crosspost at DailyKos maybe in case any users there can help. Oh, I can now blog from my pager, so hopefully will be blogging more often.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

day two, smoking reduction plan



as many of you know I have a love/hate relationship with smoking. On the one hand I consider tobacco indispensible for, say, long conversations. On the other hand, well, it sucks. So I decided to create what I call the Peace Pipe rule: I will only smoke at celebrations and during those aforementioned long conversations. The LC part of the rule has more to do with me enjoying smoking with certain smokers and not wanting to "lose" that - you know? So I figure this way I keep my lungs pretty clean while still having the occasional bit of fun.

Continued posting on the subject will ensue... anyone else here try to quit smoking? Wonder if we should start a deaf ex-smokers online support group blog thing.

Friday, October 28, 2005

post-cho ponderings



quite a few deafies came tonight for the Cho. She was very good and our terps were quite talented - I laughed a lot so, good sign.

Favorite quotes?

Mine: "The ho truth, and nothing but the truth!"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Incomparable Margaret Cho



So this morning around 11 I see this in the newspaper:



She's speaking tonight at 7 here in order to promote her new book:



I get in touch with the equally incomparable Airgood and Marconi, who will be actually interpreting, kind of like this (but not like this. OK?):



It's been a dream for a while to see a good comedian with a good interpreter. Deaf people know that most of the time an interpreter would rather have their balls ripped off than try to terp for a fast-talking Valley Vixen like this. Airgood would lick Cho buttock if he had the opportunity so I'm thinking it should be cool. Paged tons of deafies, so, hopefully, barnes and noble will look like this:



You can read the original article here:



I will post later on the goodness or lack thereof. -rainmound

Monday, October 24, 2005

the clippings of rainmound



today rainmound had psycho day. psycho idea came to me. instead of writing psycho words from psycho head, psycho would include NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS! Yes, the Grab utility on Apple is a fun and interesting way to spend my time, and this illustrated version of my day will help you people understand my mind. First:



Favorite morning comic. Then work work work. And:



Wilma was my biggest surprise of the day. As the picture shows she strengthened into a category 3 storm once again after passing over FLORIDA! The sunshine state only added warm Gulf waters to the screaming horror. Not one of the weather blogs I read predicted this, only that she would eat Alpha and go north!



As I said to my friend Beth later today, I'm feeling news overload. Environment: they signed legislation to drill in Alaska when drought is circling the world and the ice caps are melting. Bird flu going everywhere. The President apparently losing his control over his out of control administration. KB knows what I'm talking about. The following clip from cursor.org was the proverbial straw, camel, breaking for the back of:




Ahmad. Fucking. Chalabi.

As an excuse to get away from this world, I've been writing about others: I'm working on a book of Deaf myths and writing articles about disability and politics on Kos.

It works.

A little.

Sometimes.

Happy birthday to Darren F. My roommate just drives you nuts, doesn't she? *evil grin*

Friday, October 21, 2005

new post up at dKos



My new post on Daily Kos, Issues of the Body, is up. I don't expect everyone to like it - I promised Ridor it would be a little more bitchy. But I do hope it's gonna start discussion and head people back to my original point. And maybe we can get to what I want to be the next step, in my next post.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

short: news, updates, experiments



so it's been a while. news? my agency put up a collection for Katrina survivors now housed at Woodhaven Baptist Church and I feel we did fucking awesome. You know who you are. Thanks for giving. Tears. Truly.

Also, my hearing aid's fucked. The high humidity of September New York turned all sound into a buzz, then a bleep, and now it just kind of vibrates and emits feedback. My tendency to tinker and fix might have had something to do with it - but then again, might not, seriously. Anyways. This means I get to try a thought experiment I suggested at Haverford but didn't finish developing till Bristol.

I called it fetishization: the transformation of an object into a psychic medium, a focus of obsession. I felt some parents of deaf children practiced fetishization. I saw a Chinese film about a woman trying to find money to buy her son hearing aids; by the end of the film she was talking to the hearing aids. How many parents, faced with the choice of a hearing aid as the only medium of communication, turn that aid into the most important thing to be present when they are together? How does it affect people when they try to take them off?

Because I think sometimes unhealthy attachments develop between user and tool. I dunno, anyone see where I'm going with this? So I'm gonna monitor my state of mind over the next few days, see what comes up. Hearing-aid-free-life....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Help Through NAD:



"We have made it easy for people to donate on-line to help speed up the giving process," continued Bloch. To make a donation to the NAD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, go to http://www.nad.org/katrinarelief. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The NAD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

If you prefer to pay by check, please make your donation payable to NAD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and mail to: NAD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, 814 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Deaf and hard of hearing survivors desperately need your help to begin to rebuild their lives and their communities. Please do your part today to assist the members of our community who have lost so much.


As Ridor states, the American Red Cross discriminates against gay people, so I haven't donated to them, preferring instead to work directly with Deaf organizations so that my money doesn't go to racist hearing assholes. (Apologies to non-racist hearing non-assholes, but there it is.)

So what will the money be used for?

The NAD formed the NAD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund to directly aid deaf and hard of hearing Americans impacted by this tragic event. The fund will be used to assist organizations and schools who are providing resources to feed, clothe and shelter displaced deaf and hard of hearing survivors and their families and to enable communication access to needed programs and services.


Just fine - but if I were a NAD member, I might ask for the use of funds to be documented and transparent. I'm curious to see where the money goes and how it's used. Is there any coordination with other organizations? There are no links to the Louisiana School for the Deaf which seems to be the point location for Deaf survivors from Orleans. So what CONCRETE things will this money be used for?

csd: good work, but you need help on graphics



I continue to be amazed and pleased by the amount of work which CSD, technically a corporation, has put into providing aid to the Deaf evacuees from the Gulf coast. I am somewhat disappointed with the graphic on their 9/9 article which features an animated gif of a terrified (terrifying?) woman signing 'hurricane'.... guess which reaction is more important? yeah. but, still, the way she's signing it kind of reminds me of two lesbians at ben and jerry's. hurricanes move, people.

(what, i can't be tongue in cheek?)

Monday, September 05, 2005

no information: deaf in the hurricane



and isn't it ironic - hurricanes have eyes?

From the North Virginia Resource Center:

Katrina Experiences Sought

During the past week, many individuals, organizations and agencies have contacted NVRC to ask what we are learning about the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing people during hurricane Katrina and recovery efforts. During the first three days after the storm hit New Orleans we heard very little. With telephone lines down in the affected areas, wireless devices not working, and no electricity, all of the people in Katrina's path were struggling to survive and all communication was difficult.

The hearts of all our staff and Board go out to all those who have suffered during this terrible disaster, and our prayers are with you.

Stories are now starting to trickle in. We've seen a news report about a family searching for a deaf woman who was working as a caretaker in New Orleans and left behind, with no information about what was going on, when the person she was caring for was evacuated. We've heard about a late-deafened woman in hard-hit section of Florida who lost power but was able to depend on a hearing roommate who listened to a battery-operated radio for information.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the arrival at the Houston Astrodome of a man who was evacuated from New Orleans with his deaf daughter, and her daughter. The granddaughter uses a wheelchair that had to be left behind. They had been rescued by a National Guard boat.

A deaf couple was able to weather Katrina and recovery by staying at a daughter's house, using her RV and getting information from friends by pager when their TTY's battery died after 24 hours.


So, what's being done about all these Deaf people, many of whom seem to be stranded without communication? Remember, Deaf people come from all classes and all walks of life: I have met Deaf people in NYC who can't afford televisions who did NOT know about the hurricane. Not inconceivable NOLA had a few of these. NVRC continues:

The Louisiana School for the Deaf is reported to be providing a temporary place for deaf people who are homeless, serving meals and washing clothes. However, the school could not take people who had health problems or require medication. There are also reports that many deaf people in Louisiana lost their homes and all their possessions, and some are now in the Houston Astrodome, feeling lost without communication and unsure where to turn for help.

Local news in one area of Louisiana does not have captioning or other visual information, so people who are deaf and hard of hearing are having to get their information from national news programs, just like so many of those in New York on 9/11. Unfortunately, those national news programs do not provide specific information about what is going on in their local area as their local stations do.-this is a huge problem all over the country. local news agencies - NY1 is among them - do not provide closed captioning. it's not likely the money will appear for this with Bush in charge.


So what's NVRC doing to help? Well, they got the word out, which is good, and they are attempting to pull together a report to better inform authorities about the problems Deaf people face:

NVRC wants to continue documenting the experiences of individuals during their preparation for Katrina, the storm itself, and the recovery process. It is our hope that in passing on these accounts we can educate emergency planners, public officials, human service agencies, disaster relief organizations, first responders and others.


It seems that NVRC and other local organizations such as CEPIN have been working with CSD to lead in the preparation of relief for Deaf disaster victims from NOLA:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Assistance Available for Hurricane Victims who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing CEPIN Regional Centers Standing by to Assist Displaced Individuals and Families

Silver Spring, MD [September 2, 2005] – Emergency assistance plans have been put in place for Hurricane Katrina victims who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) Project has designated CSD of Oklahoma and Northern Resource Virginia Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) as CEPIN contact centers for Hurricane Katrina victims and their families.

Agencies serving deaf or hard of hearing individuals in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina are reporting that their phone lines and offices are shut down for the time being. Coverage for pagers may be weak at times due to loss of network capabilities. As a result, people wanting to find information on recovery and rescue efforts in the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina are encouraged in Louisiana or displaced westward in Texas to contact CSD of Oklahoma during regular business hours at:

www.c-s-d.org (click on locations, then Oklahoma)
(866) 845-7445 Voice/TTY (Toll Free)
(918) 835-7445 Voice/TTY
(918) 835-6459 FAX
csdoklahoma@c-s-d.org

“We have people standing by at the CEPIN regional center, which is being facilitated by CSD of Oklahoma Division Director Glenna Cooper," said Dr. Benjamin J. Soukup, CSD CEO. "We recognize that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are often overlooked in disaster recovery and rescue efforts, and we are working hard to ensure that this does not happen with Hurricane Katrina. CSD of Oklahoma is working closely with the local Red Cross and other appropriate organizations, and they will be able to provide assistance."

"In addition to the victims, our office is also providing support and resources to the responders and volunteers to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing refugees are getting much-needed assistance," added Soukup.

For those wanting information in other states affected by Katrina such as Florida, Alabama or Mississippi, and displaced refugees in the Mid-Atlantic area, contact Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC).

"We are heartbroken seeing all the devastation that Katrina has brought upon people in the Gulf States, especially those who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and late-deafened," said Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director of NVRC.

Heppner added, "As part of CEPIN, we are eager to work with organizations and agencies to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing get the services they need, especially hearing aids or other devices vital to effective communication. At a time when their lives are turned upside down, we hope the last thing worry about is how they will be able to communicate with others."

NVRC may be contacted during regular business hours at:
www.nvrc.org
(703) 352-9056 TTY
(703) 352-9055 Voice
(703) 352-9058 FAX
info@nvrc.org

Volunteers who have experience in working with deaf and hard of hearing people and have training in First Aid, CPR, CERT, and other rescue efforts should contact one of the two regional centers to offer their services. The CEPIN website also has a list of statewide resources available here for the areas affected by the hurricane.

Thanks for NewYorkPack for that tip!

Anyone else preparing, donating or contributing to preparation for help for NOLA's Deaf disaster victims? NAD's page still has that letter up about the Mariott being okay, published August 31st. We've already seen what happens when we "leave the rescue efforts to professionals."

no information: deaf in the hurricane



and isn't it ironic - hurricanes have eyes?

From the North Virginia Resource Center:

Katrina Experiences Sought

During the past week, many individuals, organizations and agencies have contacted NVRC to ask what we are learning about the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing people during hurricane Katrina and recovery efforts. During the first three days after the storm hit New Orleans we heard very little. With telephone lines down in the affected areas, wireless devices not working, and no electricity, all of the people in Katrina's path were struggling to survive and all communication was difficult.

The hearts of all our staff and Board go out to all those who have suffered during this terrible disaster, and our prayers are with you.

Stories are now starting to trickle in. We've seen a news report about a family searching for a deaf woman who was working as a caretaker in New Orleans and left behind, with no information about what was going on, when the person she was caring for was evacuated. We've heard about a late-deafened woman in hard-hit section of Florida who lost power but was able to depend on a hearing roommate who listened to a battery-operated radio for information.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the arrival at the Houston Astrodome of a man who was evacuated from New Orleans with his deaf daughter, and her daughter. The granddaughter uses a wheelchair that had to be left behind. They had been rescued by a National Guard boat.

A deaf couple was able to weather Katrina and recovery by staying at a daughter's house, using her RV and getting information from friends by pager when their TTY's battery died after 24 hours.


So, what's being done about all these Deaf people, many of whom seem to be stranded without communication? Remember, Deaf people come from all classes and all walks of life: I have met Deaf people in NYC who can't afford televisions who did NOT know about the hurricane. Not inconceivable NOLA had a few of these. NVRC continues:

The Louisiana School for the Deaf is reported to be providing a temporary place for deaf people who are homeless, serving meals and washing clothes. However, the school could not take people who had health problems or require medication. There are also reports that many deaf people in Louisiana lost their homes and all their possessions, and some are now in the Houston Astrodome, feeling lost without communication and unsure where to turn for help.

Local news in one area of Louisiana does not have captioning or other visual information, so people who are deaf and hard of hearing are having to get their information from national news programs, just like so many of those in New York on 9/11. Unfortunately, those national news programs do not provide specific information about what is going on in their local area as their local stations do.-this is a huge problem all over the country. local news agencies - NY1 is among them - do not provide closed captioning. it's not likely the money will appear for this with Bush in charge.


So what's NVRC doing to help? Well, they got the word out, which is good, and they are attempting to pull together a report to better inform authorities about the problems Deaf people face:

NVRC wants to continue documenting the experiences of individuals during their preparation for Katrina, the storm itself, and the recovery process. It is our hope that in passing on these accounts we can educate emergency planners, public officials, human service agencies, disaster relief organizations, first responders and others.


It seems that NVRC and other local organizations such as CEPIN have been working with CSD to lead in the preparation of relief for Deaf disaster victims from NOLA:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Assistance Available for Hurricane Victims who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing CEPIN Regional Centers Standing by to Assist Displaced Individuals and Families

Silver Spring, MD [September 2, 2005] – Emergency assistance plans have been put in place for Hurricane Katrina victims who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. The Community Emergency Preparedness Information Network (CEPIN) Project has designated CSD of Oklahoma and Northern Resource Virginia Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) as CEPIN contact centers for Hurricane Katrina victims and their families.

Agencies serving deaf or hard of hearing individuals in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina are reporting that their phone lines and offices are shut down for the time being. Coverage for pagers may be weak at times due to loss of network capabilities. As a result, people wanting to find information on recovery and rescue efforts in the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina are encouraged in Louisiana or displaced westward in Texas to contact CSD of Oklahoma during regular business hours at:

www.c-s-d.org (click on locations, then Oklahoma)
(866) 845-7445 Voice/TTY (Toll Free)
(918) 835-7445 Voice/TTY
(918) 835-6459 FAX
csdoklahoma@c-s-d.org

“We have people standing by at the CEPIN regional center, which is being facilitated by CSD of Oklahoma Division Director Glenna Cooper," said Dr. Benjamin J. Soukup, CSD CEO. "We recognize that people who are deaf or hard of hearing are often overlooked in disaster recovery and rescue efforts, and we are working hard to ensure that this does not happen with Hurricane Katrina. CSD of Oklahoma is working closely with the local Red Cross and other appropriate organizations, and they will be able to provide assistance."

"In addition to the victims, our office is also providing support and resources to the responders and volunteers to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing refugees are getting much-needed assistance," added Soukup.

For those wanting information in other states affected by Katrina such as Florida, Alabama or Mississippi, and displaced refugees in the Mid-Atlantic area, contact Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC).

"We are heartbroken seeing all the devastation that Katrina has brought upon people in the Gulf States, especially those who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and late-deafened," said Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director of NVRC.

Heppner added, "As part of CEPIN, we are eager to work with organizations and agencies to ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing get the services they need, especially hearing aids or other devices vital to effective communication. At a time when their lives are turned upside down, we hope the last thing worry about is how they will be able to communicate with others."

NVRC may be contacted during regular business hours at:
www.nvrc.org
(703) 352-9056 TTY
(703) 352-9055 Voice
(703) 352-9058 FAX
info@nvrc.org

Volunteers who have experience in working with deaf and hard of hearing people and have training in First Aid, CPR, CERT, and other rescue efforts should contact one of the two regional centers to offer their services. The CEPIN website also has a list of statewide resources available here for the areas affected by the hurricane.

Thanks for NewYorkPack for that tip!

Anyone else preparing, donating or contributing to preparation for help for NOLA's Deaf disaster victims? NAD's page still has that letter up about the Mariott being okay, published August 31st. We've already seen what happens when we "leave the rescue efforts to professionals."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Louisiana and Mississippi


[UPDATE: some minor editing. Thanks to Wally.]

A little searching found me the webpage of the Louisiana School for the Deaf which states:

AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE KATRINA:
The devastation in south Louisiana is extreme and the LSD community is greatly saddened and concerned, especially for our students and families from the affected areas. As of Wednesday, August 31, school is back in session. Any LSD staff members who are in an emergency situation should contact their supervisors as soon as possible. As of Wednesday morning, we have no Internet access at school, but our school e-mail and telephone systems are working.

We hope that all of our students and their families are safe and sound. We are very anxious to hear from all of them.


So. I would really like to find out more about what's happening down south with Deaf people. A quick search shows some interesting links:

  • Catholic Parishes in the south: "I am Richard Luberti, a Redemptorist priest of the Vice-province of New Orleans. In July 1988, I began ministering to the Catholic deaf communities of the dioceses of Lafayette, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Biloxi, Mississippi. All three dioceses have long-established deaf communities. Each diocese has a center for the Catholic deaf and an administrator." Sounds like the hurricane hit some pretty big Deaf communities.
  • Greater New Orleans Association of the Deaf: Doesn't seem to have been updated for a while.
  • Deaf Action Center of New Orleans. This webpage really showcases the vibrancy of Deaf culture in NOLA. Again, does ANYONE know of anything we can do to help Deaf people down there?
  • Another Catholic Charities of New Orleans webpage - when I see it on the list in Google, it says "Hurricane Help for Deaf!!!!!!!" But the webpage will not load - server problems in New Orleans? That kind of sucks.


Anyways, the situation is getting pretty damned serious and people are looking for someone to blame. George makes it so easy. From Wonkette:

That the Bush administration diverted funds from the rebuilding of the New Orleans levees to Iraq is by now well-known. What you might not have heard is that the people cleaning up the mess are really pissed about it. A tipster informs us that down in New Orleans, they have a name for the flood waters that have invaded the city: Lake George.


From kos:

The administration specifically cut the funds to fix these specific levees, in order to specifically divert that Corps money to Iraq, despite urgent warnings and predictions of catastrophic disaster if the levees were breeched. The administration specifically cancelled the Clinton-backed flood control program to preserve and restore the wetlands between New Orleans and the gulf, instead specifically opening parts of that buffer zone for development.

Nobody anticipated this disaster? It was identified by FEMA as one of the top three likeliest major disasters to strike America. (That link, one of countless stories, was from 2001, by the way.) It has been a major disaster scenario for years. Everybody anticipated it, which makes this single statement by George W. Bush possibly the most dishonest, lying, craptacularly false thing he has ever said in his presidency -- even surpassing his now-infamous State of the Union Address. Truly, this is President Bush's blue-dress moment.


So there's some serious concerns, legitimate concerns. And what does this president do when people share their concerns? Blames them, of course. Hunter of Daily Kos has the response:

Oh, I'm touched. Utterly touched. After 9/11, the entire Republican Party went en masse to get Twin Towers ass tattoos. The Republican convention was a wholesale tribute to crass exploitation, the sets themselves designed to evoke the aftermath of the attack. Every domestic and international policy this administration -- no, this entire Republican government -- has produced has been heaved up before the public while waving the spectre of 9/11 as the catch-all vindication of every administration whim. Every tax cut, every civil rights issue, every budget cut, every budget expansion, no matter how tortured the logic must be, has some Republican senator standing on the Senate floor and proudly raping the corpses of that day as justification for their particular agenda item.


Meanwhile, what are our Deaf organizations doing to help alleviate the suffering of Deaf people in New Orleans and Mississippi? National Association of the Deaf rushes to let people know that the hotel they're using for the upcoming fundraiser is okay (not that it matters. Apparently at the last fundraiser they had people dress up as homeless bag ladies to beg attendees for money. So, now they can hire real bag ladies.) From their press release:

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) will monitor the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the surrounding areas and the possible impact on holding the 48th Biennial NAD Conference there. A Marriott representative recently informed the NAD that there was no structural damage to the New Orleans Marriott Hotel where the 2006 NAD Conference will be held.


Well, thank the Heavens for sparing that, although in the face of thousands of dead people it seems a little insensitive for the first concern to be the location of a conference. They do have some words for any Deaf people who might have been hurt in one of the largest disasters in American history:

"The NAD has been asked by some what we are doing for deaf people in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. At this time it is best to leave rescue efforts to the professionals. Once the lines of communication are re-established, the NAD will be in touch with State Association presidents in the affected areas to assess their needs. NAD members are urged to monitor communication issues encountered during this difficult time, so that we can better educate emergency personnel on the importance of getting visual information out to the public,” he continued.


Ok, cool. I'm glad NAD made the attempt to communicate with the rescue professionals. It would be great if NAD could coordinate efforts with local deafies to find temporary homes for Deaf refugees and maybe start a fund for people to donate so we can get interpreters for Deaf people who need emergency medical services... and homes, and clothes. We should try to support our own, don't you think? What about contacting local Deaf organizations to do the coordinating? Look, I understand the rescue professionals need to do their job first, but it'll be a hella lot easier later on if we have the Plan Planned.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

post 150: CALL FOR INFO



1. Does anyone know anything about Deaf schools or institutions or organizations in Louisiana, particularly the N'Orleans and Biloxi areas? Anyone know if they need help? We po' deafies, sure, but maybe we can find extra clothes and set up a point person to send them out.

2. New Orleans is gone. Sorry. We lost the city. Maybe we wouldn't have lost the city if the President had not cut millions of dollars to the Corps of Engineers and taken away the national guard (who tend to be responsible for maintaining the levees.) Maybe we wouldn't have lost the city if he'd been paying attention instead of, apparently, playing guitar - no, he couldn't have stopped the hurricane, but maybe he could have, for example, picked someone to oversee the disaster efforts? N'Orleans Mayor is bitching about just that.

3. Ridor posted this interesting thing on his blog:

If people really wanted to keep New Orleans intact -- Jason Lamberton and I had a conversation via the IM recently and frankly, we had the same thing in mind. In fact, we IMmed each other at the same time of our "imagineable solution' for the city of New Orleans -- drain Lake Pontchartrain. It was frightening that we had the similar idea.

Simply close the flow into the Gulf of Mexico (mainly because it is on the same sea level) and drain the lake as much as they can -- sell the water to the West -- perhaps New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona or California? Build a massive pipeline from the lake to the southwest -- hell, Alaska did, did they?

Try to keep the lake down as much as 15 to 30 feet below the city. It is a possibility. Hell, the city of New Orleans can make bottled water called Lake Pontchartrain -- yeah, I know the lake itself is salt water but ... we can remove the salt and make bottled waters! Not bad idea ... the possibilities are endless -- they can simply drain the lake to prevent it from breaching the levees ever again.

We cannot get rid of hurricanes but we can modify the arrangements *around* us -- the only option is to close the lake and drain!


Only problem is, this lake is huge. I mean, huge. I think it's cool to try to think of new ideas, but why not just build the city where, you know, it can't be hurricaned into the ocean again?

Besides, it takes a LOT of energy to remove the salt from water. Not to mention all the fish and animals in the local environment who survive because of the lake. And the further outlying regions that depend on those fish and animals for food... you take away the lake, you start a chain reaction where land and animals die off. We could wind up with a hot desert, or maybe even more hurricanes (who knows how the weather will be affected if you remove a large body of water.... and put it somewhere else?)

God, this sucks. I miss N'Orleans.