Low Expectations?

After the firestorm involving Deaf Pundit’s ”Let Me Show You Reality!” blog article (now dropped from DR), we’re learning that DP’s article was dropped due to what DR/ DVTV editorship believes to be copyright infringement of Barb DiGiovanni’s video comment.  A blog written by DR editor Jared Evans reminds DR/ DVTV readers that Barb DiGiovanni’s and Amy Cohen Efron’s leadership puts them “out” there, quoting his words here:

“I think everyone needs to remember all the great things that both Amy and Barbara have done for us all. They have dedicated a lot of their personal time and energy as advocates for Deaf people, and especially Deaf children. They both care deeply about the Deaf community and in order to do that, they must be “out” there a lot of the time and speak out.”

There are also a lot of v/bloggers on DR and DVTV, including even those who are considered “unpopular” v/bloggers, who may not fit Jared’s description of  “leaders” but who do care a great deal about the deaf community and about its future nevertheless.

Another quote  from Jared’s post:

“Never forget that they both are humans and should be allowed to make mistakes now and then. They both should not be demonized for making minor mistakes and we must remember that these mistakes does not completely invalidate their hard work they have done nor their dedication to the Deaf community.

…Moreover, they are doing it using the new medium of vlogs, which is still in its infancy and not fully understood so they are blazing a trail when they push the envelope of political vlogging.”

Many DR v/bloggers have been around for at least two years, past infancy stage, and two years is plenty ’nuff time to learn leadership lessons and stop saying ” Who me?! I ain’t misbehavin’!”  How long does it take to realize that, as a leader, one sets an example by matching what he says with what he does.  How many leaders  go around saying, “Do what I say, not what I do?”  Parents are notorious for that line, LOL, but leaders can’t afford to set that kind of example. When followers see a leader do something that doesn’t match what he says, that is called a double message.

If Barb DiGi and Amy Cohen Efron are perceived as leaders in the deaf community, then it’s time for the community itself to expect that their leaders get off their high horses and match their messages with their actions.

Yes, leaders make human mistakes and the more quickly they apologize for them, the more people will realize their leaders are actually human and not some god/ goddess on a pedestal to be worshipped.  When a leader denies her incongruous behavior, red flags go up.  Deaf leaders are responsible for their own actions and shouldn’t expect the deaf community to cover their asses for them (no pun intended).   There’s been a pattern of deaf leaders getting away with behavior they won’t own up to, because the deaf community allows this behavior and protects them.   The same thing repeats with deaf organizations.

Do we have such low expectations of deaf leadership, is that what it is?



72 Responses to “Low Expectations?”

  1. PLassie Says:

    Great post and check this vlog explain leadership problems. Leader dont care and listen to Deaf comunity.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    good post, Ann_C. From reading the responses to Deaf Pundit’s vlog, I think it’s pretty clear that some people thought Barbara DiGiovanni did nothing wrong. She’s only human, she’s allowed to make mistakes, she’s allowed freedom of speech, she doesn’t have to be a leader and a teacher 24/7, mooning is funny, no big deal, and had nothing to do with her ability to be a good teacher, leader, and all around good person. Other people thought that the mooning video comment was, at best, tasteless and immature, and at worst, a bad example to set for children, especially for someone who holds herself up as a role model for parents of deaf children. Still others attacked Deaf Pundit herself for copying the video comment and posting it on her vlog, calling it a personal attack, vendetta, defamation, slander, libel, copyright violation, and the act of a psychologically disturbed person. Phew … what a circus.

    I agree with you that there have been some deaf leaders who had moral failings or character flaws, and committed major mistakes, if not outright felony crimes, and gotten away with it. I think this happens because the deaf community is a minority group who protects their own and strives to preserve its image. Sort of like how some schools for the deaf in the past concealed a child molester or pedophile in their midst, rather than protect children and admit to the community that it was going on, for fear that the school would close or people would lose their jobs.

    The saddest part was that after all was said and done, Barb did not apologize for her actions, but blamed others for doing wrong. I don’t know about having low expectations of deaf leaders, but I can tell you, I think less of Barb DiGi after this episode. Any credibility she used to have is — whoosh! — gone. I hope that minor lapse of judgment was worth it.

  3. Professor Says:

    Many people should take 15-week Everyday Ethics 101 — one of many topics: how to apologize. Cannot wait to see red flags go down.

  4. Anon Says:

    I suspect the Deafies think having a bad leader is better than having no leader. Not really about low expectations. But who knows?? I do not think even the Deafies know what they are really thinking sometimes.

  5. Anon Says:

    It was a mess, for sure. But I don’t think it’s quite about low expectations. I think that many think having bad leaders is better than having no leaders.

    OFC, I disagree with that. I prefer to have no leaders than bad leaders!

  6. Mel Says:

    Good post.

    I still feel bad about Barb DiGi’s public humiliation on Deaf Pundit’s blog with the video comment; however I understood her point.

    I saw the thread on how it really happened that caused her to do that.

    However a lot of people, including me, have high expectations of her and high opinion of her – even though I disagree with some things she say. I do not have a low opinion of her because of what she did – shit happens.

    She is a human being like the rest of us and made a mistake.

    But yes, I agree she could have apologized for that unfortunate action. If I were a leader, I would definitely apologize for that. I hope she would consider that.

    Deaf Pundit is one of my dear friends but I think she should also apologize – for posting that video comment because for one) it was hidden in a thread and two) it was already removed.

    BOTH should apologize in my humble opinion. I am not going to go after them for that.

    I have said my two cents and that’s all I will say. I won’t repeat it anywhere else.

    Have a great weekend.


    Mel (aka iammine)

  7. Mel Says:

    I’d like to apologize for the comment I made above – I realized that I did not talk to DP about the apology part first and made this comment in public instead.

    Tension is everywhere and emotions are high everywhere… so I’ll just go on a longer break from the DR/DVTV.

    Take care.

  8. perplexed deafie Says:

    Low expectations, how true! I was shocked about Amy Cohen Efron’s behavior related to porn video. Here is the url above that shares about her situation. She has been very quiet. A true leader would step out and apologize for behaviors. Clinton did apologize for his behaviors with Monica.

  9. Ben Vess Says:

    The great Dr. Einstein once said:

    “There are two things that are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; although, I’m not too sure about the former.”


    Good one, babe.

  10. Karen Mayes Says:

    *laughing* at Ben Vess’ comment… about Einstein’s quotation, I have never heard of it. Of course, we all are very sure about stupidity; we practice it in our lives, as well as seeing it in our daily lives. We all make mistakes, both intentionally and unintentionally.

    Yes, the emotions are running a little high in DVTV, but I sense a good spirit there also, coming at an effort to keep an open communication.

    Human nature is a VERY complicated marvel :o)

  11. Ann_C Says:

    PLassie, caught that same vid in Valhallian’s blog, love the dog version!

    Anon #1, yes, the deaf community has for many years protected their own kind, the criminals and perverts as well. The online v/bloggers are trying to change that part of their community by exposing the sexual, physical, and mental abuse that have occurred at some deaf schools, for example, and the perpetrators’ actions, even naming names. What I discuss here in my blog is a recurring pattern of leaders’ behavior of double messages and few people in the deaf community call on this behavior. It’s as though deaf leaders seem to know that they have the cocoon of the deaf community to protect them and absolve them.

    Professor, LOL, when I was working at management level in a national company, I was required to take a number of job harassment and employee relations seminars as part of my position. Unfortunately, for some v/bloggers it has taken too long to learn about setting an example in their v/blogs so that readers in turn learn from them. After all, among readers, there are also potential leaders.

    Anon #2, you may have a point there about better to have bad leaders than no leaders. To think that bad leaders is better than none is actually a low expectation. Don’t you think that by pressing leaders to take responsibilities for their double message actions would raise the deaf community’s expectations of deaf leaders? What good does it do the deaf community to merely protect their leaders from accountability for incongruous actions? Higher expectations would certainly make some leaders think twice before doing something as public as submitting a vid comment or v/blog that doesn’t match the public perception of them.

    Anon #3, yes, indeed a mess it was, but leaders are important to a community. Without it, there will be no public awareness of the deaf community and no training ground or role models for potential leaders.

    Mel, I understand how you feel, both Barb and DP have made many contributions to the online community here. Nevertheless, Barb did do something that not only reflects badly on her but on the deaf community as a whole. That’s why her action hurts us all. If there was an actual copyright infringement, DP may or may not be able to apologize, depending on what legalities there are. Many people are calling for apologies left and right, and I’m certainly not doing that. I’m only suggesting that a quick apology will serve a long ways in allowing the leader to lead and the deaf community can move on. Your response is actually a thoughtful, level-headed one– don’t take too long a break. 😉

    Perplexed Deafie, I saw the questionable video that Amy had once put on her blog a long time ago. It was a YouTube sensation, many bloggers were flapping mouths over it. Amy did have a response of disgust over the video, an appropriate response that she registered in her blog. She was not doing it to make an inappropriate wisecrack at another deaf person, which is what Barb did. There’s a difference. But I agree that putting the vid in her blog makes you wonder what Amy, who is a school psychologist, was thinking anyway.

    Ben, love that quote! Let’s hope that human stupidity doesn’t obliterate the universe…

    Karen, indeed we all make mistakes. Apology is a much harder thing to do, but it can make all the difference.

  12. White Ghost Says:

    Image vs. Unimage

    Michael Phelps is the one of hellva lucky that the police/sheriff waived the charges after they found there was no evidence on the drugs in the bong. The people who hung around him took several pictures and sold it to the tabloids. They earned the money from them, however, they pursued upon Michael Phelps for nothing. It was unfortunate.

    So, Amy Cohen Efron did not show the image of the porn (2 women and 1 cup — I think??) to the public in the vlog. The police/sheriff could find that there is no evidence against her. She could be the one of hellva lucky that she could not get the charge. I think she made a minor mistake in part.

    As for Barb Digi, she is the public figure. Obviously, we all know that it was the image. I know it was not easy for her in doing her part to the audience. Showing the moons to the audience is a such shame. She knows that she has made the strong violation in the DVTV’s R-list. She needs to apologize to Tayler, school and DBC.

    I read Valhallian’s blog, “Has Deafread/DVTV Turned Into A Chess Match?” It was a good blog. I thought I’d like to give you an example about Clinton, and the sexual harassment on the chess match. Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky and the medias were the pawns in black and Clinton was the king in white. Clinton survived and overcame the obstacles of the medias. It’s analogy to what Amy Cohen Efron and Barb Digi to go through the obstacles of the internet. They are the different leaders who are going into unparalleled path in the DR/DVTV.

  13. Candy Says:

    Wow lots of anon comments here. Granted at first, I felt that DP went too far because of how the information was put out by her. I felt that her first post was fine as it is. Turns out there was a lot more information that came out which reveals a lot more than meets the eye. After thinking about it over time, I have come to the conclusion that Barb does need to apologize to the community. It does not matter if a person has done a lot for the community. Unfortunately, being a professional such as a teacher, it requires her to have limited functions out in the public and as such, Barb should not have made that video. Even if she erred big time, she still needs to apologize. There are too much double standards going on. I think DR editors are playing favoritism time and time again.

    What does that mean? We contribute a lot to the community, that means we can do sh*t? And if we don’t contribute to the community, then we can’t? That is so messed up.

    At first I figured it was just a comment, but, I realized that, comment or not, everyone has to be careful of their words online, especially and more so if one is well known and a public figure of sorts.

    Good post.

  14. Candy Says:

    Mel, you always take a break after you felt you might have said something that might offend someone. lol Don’t run and hide, girl! 🙂

    I agree, Barb should apologize. DP should apologize. Amy should apologize for her role in her unappropriate behavior that somehow got unnoticed. DP never bothered to hold Amy accountable. Interesting. Taylor and Jared are MESSED up with not keeping their professional and personal feelings separate when it comes to being an editor. And, for that, they need to apologize.

    Heck! Everyone needs to apologize. 😉

  15. Anon Says:

    I find it interesting you don’t use a real name for Deaf Pundit while you spelled out a full name for Barb DiGi. She is known as Barb DiGi so why spell out a full name? I smell a sense of stirring trouble and you no better are making your blog a lower standard.

    What Barb did was to express her message to make a point which to me is not a big deal but it became a big deal when she was exploited by DP who illegally republished her video comment into a major vlog that was not even embedded but videotaped! Anyone has the right to express their thoughts even the leaders or teachers or whatever. What is the difference when you go to the beach and see many women wearing thongs?

    I don’t think it is a mistake but it is a mistake for people like DP who made a mountain out of a molehill. Barb doesn’t owe anything, DP does. Good golly, what is the world coming to?

  16. Dianrez Says:

    All three bloggers ended up embarrassed because many readers were extremely offended.

    Even if freedom of speech was involved, other parameters made their contributions *iffy* on basis of taste, courtesy, crossing the line, professional status, copyright, and so on. Readers publicly jumped on them. Hence their sticky situation.

    If all three were to apologize, it would get the mess over quicker and people would be more willing to believe that it wasn’t worse than a mistake or a temporary human weakness. Apologies have the effect of wiping the slate clean so that everybody can start over.

    Start over? Well, nothing wrong with going back and bashing “two girls and a cup”, whatever started the “reality” retort, and criticizing someone for a tasteless retort. Only this time, admonish gently using more classy words and describing, not copying the item.

    Better yet, forget it and move on to more important stuff like practical tips for dealing with situations that we meet as Deaf people.

  17. Ann_C Says:

    Anon #4,

    Deaf Pundit’s real name is Jeannette Johnson, OK? Many people online refer to her as either Deaf Pundit or DP, because it’s her name handle online. Barbara DiGiovanni is known to the online community here as Barb DiGi, as she does use this name in her Deaf Progressivism blog and in her comments to other blogs. Meaning no disrespect here, but I’m not trying to “stir trouble” as you imply.

    True, there is no big deal about making a satirical vid comment, but it is a big deal when a sarcastic mooning using live models is involved. Yes, anyone has the right to express their thoughts, although we forget that Tayler owns DR and DVTV and can do whatever he wants with ’em. Tayler has already implemented an R-list and put out guidelines for publishing.

    Had Barb used a funny cartoon instead to get her point across, that would have been a point well made. But instead she chose to use a tasteless live clip of a couple of mooning arses for her punchline, which doesn’t reflect well on her rep as a leader and on us, the deaf community. What has many women wearing thongs on the beach got to do with online video commentary on the deaf blogosphere? Nothing.

    My point here is that to resort to clips of mooning arses and such is that the leadership that uses such mires the deaf community in more muck. You ever hear how a company’s performance is reflected by the kind of management that runs it? Then you’d understand what I mean.

    DP was trying to call on why Barb DiGi used the mooning clip in her vid comment under another’s vlog. I don’t believe that DP is a prude, she has a notion of better expectations of deaf leadership, as do I.

    As for DP’s republishing Barb’s vid comment in a DVTV vlog aside from her own v/blog in DR, some may see that as excessive and maybe she could have used another approach. If there was copyright infringement, then DP has that to deal with. But DP was not the one making a mountain out of a molehill, Barb did that by herself when red flags started popping up about why she did her vid comment that way. I believe that the deaf community has a right to question such behavior as incongruous, as leaders do reflect the public image of the deaf community.

  18. kim Says:

    I never really understood if Barb’s family was actually involved in the mooning or if she simply attached some random ‘mooners’ to her comment. If so, wouldn’t that also be considered ‘copyright infringement’? I think it’s funny that whenever Jared wants to, he can come up with some kind of trumped up rule to pull the plug on someone. Have seen it a number of times now. Ah well. . . I have to remind myself that the people of DeafRead do not necessarily represent the Deaf community. It can get crazy in here sometimes.

  19. kim Says:

    Oh yeah– and I absolutely agree with you 100% It seems like some Deaf people are more equal than others.

  20. Professor Says:

    Barbara Kellerman — “When Should a Leader Apologize—and When Not?” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 84, No. 4, April 2006.

    Preview instance http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/5313.html

    Don’t forget to sign up for the course! 😉

  21. deafcdn Says:

    I absolutely agree with Dianrez’s comment.

    In addition, I think the climate at this time period is much different than the time period when Amy’s two girls and a cup v/blog was posted.

    I don’t know if people will agree with this, but back in 2007, people were much more tolerant at DR. At the present, I suspect DR is still dealing with the aftermath of the major firestorms last summer. People are much more cynical, disillusioned, and more apt to find fault in others than they were in 2007. Perhaps this is too simplistic? Things are certainly more complicated these days for sure.

    I’m not going to go after anyone. I have already made my views clear on DP’s blog, so I will not repeat them, except that now people will need to rethink their approach to things. And each one of us WILL slip up one way or another.

    To err is human; to forgive is divine.


  22. Joseph Pietro Riolo Says:

    I for one do not think that Ms. Barbara DiGiovanni and Ms. Jeannette Johnson need to apologize unless their heart leads them to do so in pure freewill manner. At the minimum, they should be able to held them accountable for what they did. I see that the latter knew what would happen and would be willing to hold her accountable for what she did. The former, I am afraid to say, seemed to try to rationalize away what she did.

    I do not intend to discount the powerful healing effects that an apology can have on the people. But, to demand these people to apologize is not what I would want to do.

    The claim that Ms. Johnson violated Ms. DiGiovanni’s copyright is a very coward way to avoid the issue of accountability and to place the blame entirely on the former. As noted by Ann_C and kim, one of leaders of DeafRead even took that route. To me, that is even more disgusting than the mooning itself.

    These problems have been ongoing for ages (I am exaggerating here; it is not ages, but at least for several years). What can we do to stop the problems from recurring? Is it impossible to prevent the problems from recurring all because we are human? I am far from perfect and could see myself in the similar situation if I were doing something foolish or stupid. Is there any way that we the human can handle the situation in more constructive way?

    In spite of the entire tempest around the mooning, there is one thing that I admire the most. It is the courage that Ms. Johnson demonstrated by speaking out what she felt about the mooning. I don’t agree with her value system (or morality) but I do admire her courage. I know I would die if I were to do the same thing as she did.

    Good post, Ann_C. I sometimes wondered if you ever clerked for a justice. 🙂

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain

  23. White Ghost Says:

    Shel —

    “In addition, I think the climate at this time period is much different than the time period when Amy’s two girls and a cup v/blog was posted.”

    Well, Amy’s action was intended to use the reaction for a pretty simple reason. There might be a firestorm against her at school and she might got reprimanded from the school officials. There was a problem: we won’t know if the school officials took a disciplinary action against Amy or not. DR/DVTV editors did do nothing to against her. Boom! One of the editors ran into to defend Amy’s. DR is still having a ‘double-standard’ problem. Favoritism? You bet! Nothing changes.

    Security for the identity and job in the v/blogosphere is now nowhere they can provide to protect for themselves. They cannot use the human shield. That’s tough.

  24. Paotie Says:

    Ann ..

    As Jared illuminates, it is acceptable by many “Deaf” people and groups to demonize others that do not conform with certain groups’ demands and philosophies. In fact, Jared suggests that only “humans” can be excused, and that all other non-Deaf people, bloggers and vloggers are NOT humans and should be “demonized.”

    Once upon a time, the DR Editors – like Jared and Amy Efron Cohen – compared advocacy to, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”


    Such a lovely Deaf culture.

    Ever seen a leader of the DBC/AFA/NAD ask their followers to REFRAIN from demonizing others? Ever seen any DBC/AFA/NAD leader ask their followers to be civil and respectful towards those who do not agree with their philosophies?


    Groupthink is more powerful than people may realize.



  25. Anonymous First Says:

    Joseph Pietro Riolo, you could not do something stupid or foolish if you tried. 🙂 Your comments have always been reasoned and calm (even though I don’t always agree with everything you say). You’re an asset to the deaf community and to the blog/vlog community. Wish we had more like you. I agree with you that Deaf Pundit showed tremendous moral courage in posting her vlog. We need more like her too.

    As for the two women and a cup video, I’ve never seen it and didn’t even know about it until recently. But Barb DiGi’s video comment was very, very public.

  26. Ann_C Says:

    Candy, favoritism has been around for ages and always will be, which is why others, who see or are at the receiving end of such unfair treatment, call on it. At least in this country we have the right to speak out.

    You’re right that there are v/bloggers who may not consider themselves leaders or aren’t considered leaders by others in the deaf community who still make contributions online. Some are watchdogs, bringing attention to a problem such as the Netflix captioning right now, others contribute deaf humor, stories and other entertainment, and still others who, as astute observers, write opinions and viewpoints on many subjects ranging from deaf education to politics.

    I’ve maintained that double standards are still being practiced on DR/ DVTV and that the editorship seems to encourage this. Many readers have noted why did DR moderator Amy’s blog about the “2 girls and a cup” get published with no more than a blink of the eye and Barb’s vid comment gets removed like next day. Makes the enforcement of guidelines seem arbitrary and not fair across the board. That’s a subject for another blog someday.

    Dianrez, I couldn’t agree with you more that we have bigger problems to focus on in this community, but a leader’s lack of accountability for her inconsistent action can become a big problem later on. It has reverberations that affect the deaf community. There will always be questions lingering about Barb DiGi’s viewpoints and does she have the level-headedness to lead. That’s why, as you said, an apology can wipe the slate clean, as it validates that she is human after all and not some revered figure who never makes mistakes and hides in a cocoon she expects to be there.

    Kim, the copyright issue is DP’s, not Barb’s. The details are sketchy at this time, but as I understand it, Seesmic, where the original vid comment was placed, has a policy of no re-recording of a video as it’s considered a violation of copyright. DP had placed a copy (?) of Barb’s video comment in her blog on DR and it also showed up in her DVTV vlog.

    Shel, DR and DVTV are coming of age, with more and more deaf v/bloggers entering and more readers are watching. Yes, it makes v/blogging more complicated, complete with having to watch what one writes/ signs, but DR and DVTV are beginning to reflect a richer exchange of ideas and opinions than they did at the beginning. Before, in 2007 and last year, v/bloggers were not as aware of online etiquette and guidelines were not well formed or not observed. V/bloggers’ behavior has also reminded the DR editorship that they still have their work cut out for them. Good quote, BTW.

    Joseph, I agree that issuing an apology of one’s own volition is a far more sincere one coming from the heart. Clinton was hounded into giving an apology, for example, and people to this day don’t believe his apology was sincere but more motivated by trying to salvage what remained of his political career.

    Ms. Johnson did say in her blog that she was aware she was breaking a Deaf taboo of “outing” a leader’s online behavior. Some regarded DP’s posting of the vid comment in a couple of sites as excessive, that her exposing a deaf leader was tasteless, etc, she got the gamut of reactions alright. But deaf people forget DP has also defended others, such as Shawn, against Mr. Sewell’s attacks. DP seems to have a knack for smelling hypocrisy, and the deaf community needs more people like her to give balance to what flies on DR and DVTV. I think she could have used better tactics, such as using a link or reference to the vid comment, as others would have seen the context in which Barb’s vid comment appeared. Even if she had done that, DP would still have been vilified for flying in the face of Deaf taboos, think about that.

    WG, a DR editor recently pointed out that Barb DiGi did mention in one of her previous blogs the school where she works, so it was common knowledge long before DP mentioned it. But I agree that revealing a v/blogger’s job or where they live or their real names (if they use a name handle instead to protect themselves and their families) is a no-no, especially within the deaf community, as it is a small one in which everybody knows everybody else. Privacy is an issue we all have to deal with one way or another.

    Paotie, you illustrate what we all need to practice– respect for others online even though they have different views. Demonizing others is bound to reflect back on those who do it, as evidenced by this recent mooning incident. That also includes DR editorship who have a tendency to look the other way, as it’s demonizing “by proxy”.

  27. CNW Says:

    I am somewhat chuckling at the copyright issue here. There is an exception, called fair use. What DeafPundit did here with the posting of the video was definitely not a copyright violation. It is a fair use because she posted the video to criticize it. That is one of the possible applications of the fair use exception.

    Copyright is intended to protect the income of the creator. In this case, please tell me how Barb DiGi plans to profit from this mooning video? Also, since the video itself was very short, the posting of the entire video in its length is certainly understandable and okay under these circumstances.

    Given these factors, what DeafPundit did here was NOT a copyright violation. To use Barb DiGi’s oft-used phrases, Barbara DiGiovanni needs to get her facts straight.


  28. Candy Says:

    Ann and Kim, to be clear…it was stated that Jeannette Johnson recorded Barb Digi’s video. She then used Barb’s video’s URL to past it on her blog (this method – embedding, is not a copyright violation at that point) Anyone can embed link. But, when Barb removed her video, the video that DP aka Jeanette Johnson embedded on her blog post disappeared. DP then added the copy that she created (not sure exactly – but I’m getting that it was recorded using her own equipment). Now, that is my understanding of how it happened. It it’s wrong, I’m sure we’ll hear about it.

    For everyone who screams copyright infringement, I suggest that they check out EFF.org. That organization promotes and encourage our online rights, they also cover copyright stuffs too. Do check out that site! I blogged about it once.

    Also anytime anyone posts a video in DR, it automatically goes on Deafvideo.tv aka DVTV.

    In regards to JPR and “sincere apologies.” If you look at what’s been happening in our society the past several years, you will see that it is sound public relations practice to apologize when any number of the public is outraged. Take for example, Bill Clinton. He got caught, so to speak, when it was known that Monica sucked him dry. Did Clinton really sincerely regret it? He only regretted being caught. He apologized because his public relations adviser(s) had his best interest at heart. I prefer that people apologize when they are sincere. However, for one to apologize when the public demands it, then one should so that the issue can be put to rest.

    CNW, copyright infringement might have happened when DP recorded Barb’s video. Copyright does not always involves profit. I suggest you check out EFF.org. If it is true that DP recorded the video, then she is tampering with a property that is not hers.

  29. Professor Says:

    Candy, what about fair use policy? I think DP used it for good criticism.

  30. Professor Says:

    I did not realize CNW mentioned fair use policy. Sorry for repeating it. Great minds think alike.

  31. Ann_C Says:

    Thanks, Candy, for the clarification about the disappearance of Barb’s embedded vid comment in DP’s blog in DR and her vlog in DVTV. So, it seems that DP found somehow a way to make a copy of the vid comment before the original disappeared altogether and she replaced the disappeared one with the copy. Smacks of “insurance”…but we may never really know how she did the copy.

    Copyright infringement has proven to be a tricky issue, especially with the internet. I’ve also read the “fair use” policy. What ppl forget is that the law can be interpreted so many ways, even in the courtroom. To be on the safe side, it’s better to just use a link and refer to the vlog or comment in question.

  32. White Ghost Says:

    Wish we could invite a copyright attorney to come right here in this blog to educate us.


  33. Joseph Pietro Riolo Says:

    Seeing that fair use was mentioned in few comments above, I thought I should mention that I discussed on the issue of fair use with Mr. Eric Gjerdingen in his blog post at http://valhallian.com/?p=121 (comments #12, #14 and #15). He made a good counterpoint. Reasonable people can disagree on whether there is a fair use in copying the entire video comment. I mention it not to show off about myself but to let the readers know of the brief discussion on fair use in other blog.

    A brief note for Anonymous First: Thanks for your kind comment. I learned many things from people that I watched and interacted with on the Internet since 1985. If I were to record every person that influenced me in any way, the list would be very long. My thanks to them including the bloggers, vloggers and commenters. I made some embarrassing and stupid mistakes in the past and I want the skeletons to stay hidden in the closet. 🙂

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain

  34. Candy Says:

    Read the link below, on Fair Use. Please read it. This site http://www.eff.org is a great site, especially when it comes to online issues.


  35. Candy Says:

    Blogger’s rights:


  36. Candy Says:

    CNW, I’m not a lawyer (obviously) and to answer your question, I’m not sure. I would think perhaps, again, I think DP’s recording is in a grey area. I have not checked Seesmic’s copyright policy. When people use Seesmic, they have to adhere to Seesmic’s policy and according to Barb, DP was in violation of copyright infringement. So, if anyone is familiar with Seesmic, perhaps he/they would want to elaborate on it more. Again, with any laws, anyone can go to court, and everything (pretty much) is arguable. Which is why we would see state appeals court overturning a ruling only to find the supreme court sustaining it and vice versa.

    Then again, I don’t think the original post about Barb Digi was about copyright, it was about ethics. And, like lawyers, Barb’s proponents are behaving like the scums of the earth: Lawyers, arguing copyright infringements. 😉

  37. Jean Boutcher Says:

    Joseph Pietro Riolo says:

    “Good post, Ann_C. I sometimes wondered if you ever clerked for a justice.”

    Joseph Pietro Riolo


    Mr. Riolo:

    Sorry to burst your bubble. Ann-C is opposite to all clerks of judges. Clerks are completely neutral. They put down eveything they hear what is said in court and nothing else.

    Jean Boutcher

  38. Jean Boutcher Says:


    You ask:

    “Ever seen a leader of the DBC/AFA/NAD ask their followers to REFRAIN from demonizing others? Ever seen any DBC/AFA/NAD leader ask their followers to be civil and respectful towards those who do not agree with their philosophies? Nuh-uh.”

    One commenter hated an official in the NAD and picked on him by writing about him on Deaf-L (owned by Dr. Miller [now defunct], a CEO immediately wrote in a private email and said, “Keep quiet!” The order was so efficient! Beauto! The offical was removed quietly. This CEO was fully aware that the deaf world is so small that it is very dangerous for the official to become ostracised and isolated. Brilliant move on the chess!

    By the way, it was good to see you again.

  39. Ann_C Says:

    Right, back to ethics, because this is about a person’s online behavior as presented to the deaf community in the form of a video comment with a couple of mooning arses under a deaf person’s vlog comment section.

    It wasn’t DP who did this, it was Barb, this pristine goddess who can do no wrong. *roll of eyes*

    C’mon ppl, no offense, you may be deaf, but you’re not blind.

    The two mooning arses was there for all to see. That was an intentional jab, no human “mistake” about that.

    If we absolve our leaders of such behavior, then the deaf community continues to stay mired in this mud-slinging muck, because our leaders are doing it. What does that say about deaf leadership?

  40. Valhallian Says:

    Ann, I totally understand where you are coming from, but at the same time, I also realize that many of us deafies have a strong preference to visual tools. That being the case, there are many situations where I may disagree with when it comes to a face to face situation, often there are times where I have to decide between coming up with a lengthy explanation or so I could do a simple gesture that would explain it all, such as flipping the bird.

    Is flipping the bird the professional way to do it, no, but it gets the point across quickly, depending on the situation and the role that I am referring to myself as being in, and in not so many words, its a real simple gesture that says it all. Now is it something I would use in every occasion, no, but in many occasions I would, and I have.

    Now Barb wanted to get a point cross quickly and simply, she resorted to a form of mooning, which quite did the trick, along with tossing an humorous sense. If she wanted to do something other than a mooning, she likely would have had to do a significantly longer vlog.

    Now, if she had done that as a teacher, I would understand what you are saying, if she had done it as a DBC leader, the same logic applies. But she did it as herself as a person, thats a totally different story, as she did it as herself as a person.

    Which brings up the question to ponder, are we all so dumb that we cannot differentiate between how she decided to present herself? as a teacher, or as a DBC leader, or as herself?

    I, for one, was quickly able to determine that she was speaking for herself as a person, and not as a teach, nor as a DBC leader.

  41. Joseph Pietro Riolo Says:

    Responding to Ms. Jean Boutcher’s comment: What you explained is called a clerk of court. It is a position in an administration that helps to run the courts like reserving rooms, scheduling rooms, calling people, sending letters and so on. The job of clerk of court is to record the proceedings in a court plus few other duties depending on the assignment of duties in an administration.

    When I wrote about clerking for a justice, I meant a person, usually a law student, that is hired by a judge to work for him or her as a clerk. The job of the clerk is to do a lot, lot, lot of researching and writing for the judge. Most federal judges have one or two clerks working for them. The Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court can have up to four (or five for Chief Justice) clerks working for them. The term of the clerk is usually very short, up to one year. Unlike the clerk of court, these clerks are usually asked by judges for their opinions on various issues so that the judges can see various perspectives on the issues. So, their opinions can be slightly or greatly slanted toward to whatever philosophy or doctrine they believe in.

    A brief comment on Mr. Eric Gjerdingen’s (known as Valhallian) comment: While I can understand your perspective, I want to mention (or repeat) that every individual has its own value system or ethics that is usually different from other’s value system or ethics. I learned over the years that whatever position that I hold, I can’t possibly satisfy everyone’s value system or ethics. One way to handle this is to acknowledge that each individual highly values his or her own value system and to recognize that my position is irreconcilable with his value system and leave it that way. This is a very long way of saying “agreeing to disagree”. That some people mocked or criticized Ms. Jeannette Johnson’s value system in harsh way is a sure way to ruin any hope for the civil discourse. I thought that the mooning was both funny and stupid but Ms. Johnson thought differently. This showed me that her value system is different from my value system and so, to answer your question (I am not sure if it is rhetorical or not), no, she is not dumb.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain

  42. Professor Says:

    Moral values and cultural ideologies play different roles in having various expectations for teachers, parents, children, and etc. However, from a taxpayer’s point of view, public backlash will be lessen with a simple public apology instead of pointing finger at copyright infringement.

    Ann_C’s correct that there’s getting away in pattern going on and on. Yes, some deaf leaders and deaf organizations are long familiar for evading obligations. It’s sad to see this happening (again and again).

  43. Candy Says:


    Let’s suppose you are a person that is highly regarded in MO’s deaf AND hearing public. You are involved with the state legislators and have been interviewed on the news channel. Pretty much everyone in MO knows you. You have aspirations to run for some local political office in hopes of improving the lives of deaf people one day. You are involved, also in DVTV, you decided to make a video responding to some jerk which was masked in humor and showed a video of two ladies exposing their breast (who they are does not matter.)

    What do you think your great citizens of MO will say about that video that got leaked to the public via media such as TV, Internet news, etc.?

    Ethics, baby!

    My job requires ethic re-training yearly.

    It does not matter what hat Barb was wearing (the more that I thought about it, I’m going to stick to what I learned in ETHICS.) All that matters is WHO Barb is in the community.

  44. Valhallian Says:

    Candy, I do see what you are saying but a couple things, exposing breasts and arses are two different things and one is much more severe than the other apparently. Remember the FCC’s hissy fit over Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction? I thought the FCC’s reaction was totally overkill, but again, that was just my own opinion. I haven’t seen the FCC pull off this type of reaction like that when it comes to mooning on TV. You are right, people have different values, the same goes for their beliefs and ethics.

    Joseph is accurate in saying that individuals have their own different values and ethics, but it does not necessarily mean that they are wrong either, nor dumb as he put it. My own values and ethics do change over time based on my own experiences in my life and in my travels. Traveling overseas and basking yourselves in other people’s cultures can do wonders in changing your values, ethics, as well as beliefs.

    Like this one time, I was on a fishing trip on the Amazon River in Brazil, we stopped by a town on the river. The locals were so happy to see us and they wanted to show off their town and give us a tour, which we gladly obliged. They kept speaking highly of their “aquatic museum” and when we got there, it was fish kept in the type of fish tanks that you see in the homes of millions of Americans. What they prided in their “aquatic museum” was something you could find in the homes of many Americans and think nothing of it.

    It was an eye opening experience for me, these people practically had nothing, not even telephones or TVs, yet they were so happy!

    Those 4 or 5 hours on that tour in that small town alone altered my own values, ethics, and beliefs for the rest of my life!!! It taught me significantly more about materialism and taking things for granted. Now why did that happen? Simply because I took a trip somewhere and had quite an experience as a result of it.

    Now compare that to lets say for example, someone that has spent his or her entire life in an Amish town and has never been far away from that town, I would imagine that person’s values, ethics, and beliefs would not change over time. At the same time, I would not call upon that person as being wrong, nor dumb, altho that person’s values, ethics, and beliefs are drastically different from my own.

    As for political offices, rest assured that I would never ever want to run for political office, not even local as you suggested. However, I do want to encounter the political system in the hopes of improving the lives of deaf people one day.

    But it is somewhat hard to use your example in the political system when you see many politicians getting away with a lot of crap. An obvious example would be Clinton, while there is no video of him having his sexual romp with Monica, practically everyone knows of the vulgar actions he did with Monica and a cigar. Heck, even cigar sales immediately skyrocketed as a result of this. What does that tell you about many people’s values, ethics, and beliefs and are they wrong or dumb?

    This will always happen in politics, people will often get scrutinized no matter what. A recent example is Obama’s choice for a Supreme Court judge. I have not been reading up on this lately, but I am quite sure that it is the Republican party that is scrutinizing Obama’s choice . Now had John McCain won the election, became the president, and made a nomination for the Supreme Court, you can bet that it would be highly likely that the Democrats that would be scrutinizing the nominee,

    But bottom line is what you say about ethics is true, the mooning video is not something I would have done either. All I said was that I can understand why she did it, but I would not be attempting to rake her through the coals either and that is what is being done.

    People are whining over something where attention should be placed on more important matters, but this is happening because of people taking sides and supporting it, no matter what the controversial issue is. Just the same way that Republicans are raking Obama’s Supreme Court nominee…..only because she was selected by a Democrat president.

  45. Valhallian Says:

    oh and one more thing Candy, in reference to your subject about breasts, they are often commonly seen on public TV in Europe, which I have often seen with my own eyes on numerous trips to Europe. In many beaches in Europe, especially in the French Riveria, there are many topless women. Is this to say that all of these people are wrong? do they have low morales? do they have bad ethics?

  46. Ann_C Says:

    Valhallian, If I’m not mistaken, the FCC fined the TV channel that aired the Super Bowl game in which Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show. The FCC took a dim view of the claim that the wardrobe malfunction was an accident and slapped heavy penalties.

    Yes, a lot of politicians have gotten away with “crap”, that’s exactly the point. Clinton was hardly discreet with his Monica affair either, in a room just off the presidential office and White House staff looking the other way. The American public was to learn of all this “crap” that Clinton pulled and then watch him finally apologize with his eyes averted. Never mind that the media had a heyday with this subject. Imagine if there had been something such as a photograph or a film clip of Clinton’s “cigar” and Monica leaked out, would the American public have been as forgiving? I think extreme embarrassment would be a more apt description. After all, the president represents this country.

    The point is we’re talking about “crap” that DOES get aired publicly via some venue that thousands of people access, namely the internet, and how it reflects on a community. I’m well aware that Barb DiGi was making a sarcastic joke in response to another deaf person’s remark and using something that was visual for the punchline, namely the mooning arses.

    I’ve seen a few mooning arses on DVTV, and DVTV readers can attest to this. We’re becoming so inured to tastelessness to the point it doesn’t register much on the shock scale, true, but to see Barb, who is a well-known public figure in the deaf community, use this cliche with live models was a stunner, to put it mildly. Would you want a president who, when he gets exasperated with a heckler, flipping the bird? That doesn’t give a good impression and moreover, the gesture could incite a booing session and lower community respect for him.

    You may feel that Barb, the private person, not the public figure, was creating the joke out of fun. It’s okay to do that sort of thing in one’s private life among family and close friends, but to air it PUBLICLY via a public forum to make fun of another person’s view is an entirely different matter. Barb put the perception that the deaf community has of her as a public figure on the line.

    What is even more disturbing is how the deaf community is not making her accountable for that action and protecting her. Which gives her license to do something similar again.

  47. Valhallian Says:

    Ann C, you’re right, the FCC fined the TV channel that allowed the wardrobe malfunction and they slapped heavy penalties on something that is actually commonly seen on a daily basis right on television in Europe, nudity is quite common on public TV there. In fact, it is also in advertising and even in newspapers there.

    That being the case, many Americans are actually prudes the way I see it in this sense. I agree with you that the president should not flip the bird at a heckler, but I would have no qualms about it whatsoever if he did it to someone that totally deserved being flipped the bird at, for example the leaders of Iran and North Korea.

    Ann, you being a woman, wouldn’t you want to flip the bird at the Taliban a group that totally degrades women and treats them like crap? Let’s use this as an example.

    Are you going to want to give Taliban leaders some type of speech that you know will not get anywhere or accomplish anything or would you rather do a quick flipping the bird at the Taliban leaders? I, for one, would rather do the latter in this particular case, but in many other situations, I would likely opt for the speech aspect.

    Now as for your comment on the community and accountability, the American society in general did not make Clinton accountable for his actions with Monica, why should the deaf community hold someone accountant when that action was far less severe than what Clinton did ya know?

    Now I am not trying to say two wrongs make a right, then again I didn’t really see anything wrong with the mooning scenario. What I’m saying is that people’s values, ethics, and beliefs have evolved over time and we have to respect that.

  48. Candy Says:

    Valhallian, personally I don’t see anything wrong with it. If I had seen arses and breasts exposed, I wouldn’t be shocked. Sometimes it’s not about “me” but, what others feel that can make or break a person’s career.

    And, I think it’s unfortunate that guys can show their arses and not get too much flak while us woman get flak for showing our breasts in public in America. However, the more breasts we see being exposed and accepted, in general the values and morals have changed dramatically over the years. One has to wonder how far off is anarchy?

    So, the question is, do the majority of Americans feel strongly that public officials and those that work directly with the public should hold higher standards than the regular Joe? Sometimes we need to keep our own personal views separate from what is morally and ethically right or wrong. What happens if those do not need to be held to a higher standards, will the American see less credibility in that person?

  49. Valhallian Says:

    Candy, I personally do not think that women should get more flak for showing their breasts in public, at least no more than men mooning. If women want to moon and men want to expose their chests, I don’t have a problem with that either.

    I do think of men and women as being equal. People that think the exposing breasts could eventually lead to anarchy are unfortunately thinking the wrong way, simply because you do not see anarchy in Europe. At least no more attempts on it than there is here in the States when it comes to anarchy.

    However, putting more and more restrictions onto the freedom of speech is what actually could lead to anarchy.

    Unfortunately the public holds higher standards towards public officials than the regular joe and its my own opinion that shouldn’t be the case.

    After all, look at our declaration of independence, in there, Thomas Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

    While the word “men” was used 1776, if it were written today, it would actually say men and women. If all men and women are to be created equal, then how can we justify holding different levels of standards for different people?

    Now do you see why I think that public officials should be treated the same way as the regular joe?

  50. Ann_C Says:

    Valhallian, I dunno whether flipping the bird is considered offensive in Taliban culture, but I wouldn’t chance either a speech or a birdflip– such jihadists can issue a fatwah to have me killed long distance, heh.

    I’ll put it this way. If Barb DiGi’s mooning action is considered acceptable in the deaf community, what is there to keep other deaf leaders from doing the same to a person with a different view? All they have to do is point to Barb’s example and say, “If she can do it, so can I.” And so it goes down the line to the rest of the deaf community. If people don’t start calling a spade a spade and require accountability for a leader’s offensive actions, imagine what kind of a community the deaf community will become.

    Low expectations beget low standards of ethics.

    I’m not going to go into some questionable actions of some deaf leaders of deaf organizations in the past, but because the deaf community permitted these actions is the basis of why Barb DiGi feels she was safe to do a mooning clip as a sarcastic jab at someone else’s different view. Hope this helps some people to understand that respect has to start somewhere, and it has to start with your leaders.

  51. Valhallian Says:

    Ann, if another deaf leader pulled off a mooning episode, it wouldn’t bug me either. But ya know, I would hope that most of the other leaders would know that there are better ways to express themselves as opposed to mooning. You would not catch me mooning anyone, but you certainly could catch me flipping the bird 😉

    When you say about things being acceptable in the deaf community, I would imagine that you already know that there are a lot of things that are acceptable in the deaf community whereas it really isn’t in the hearing community. For example, the stomping on floors to get another deaf persons attention, that in itself would not faze a deaf person, but it could freak the hell out out of some hearing people. The deaf people do things differently that hearing people do. For example, deaf people are a lot more huggable than hearing people are. I could go on, but I won’t as I am sure you get the gist of what I am saying here.

    Then again, respect can start elsewhere, just as your parents, your friends, your co-workers, etc, why do we necessarily need leaders to get us started on respect?

  52. Candy Says:

    I thought the same at first, but Europeans are way different than Americans. It may take years before Americans have the same attitude as the Europeans. Maybe never. 😉

  53. Professor Says:

    Valhallian — Oh, I did not know I am paying European Union and Brazil tax. 😛

  54. Ann_C Says:

    I know that respect in the family comes from how parents set an example and provide love and support for their kids; respect in the workplace comes from how management treats company employees and how employees treat one another; and furthermore, that respect in the community comes from how leaders treat all members of the community, from the popular ones to the dissidents, and how community members treat their friends and foes alike.

    The family/close friends represent the private life of many people. The workplace is semi-public in the sense it is the company that provides either a product or service to the buying public. Companies have to maintain a consumers’ image of their products/services to bring in profits, so that employees can be paid and maintain their jobs and support their families. The community is a very public arena, in which many people from all walks of life join, for social relations and for public service.

    In turn, the community, and in this case, the deaf community, represents the public face of a group of people with something in common, in this case, d/Deafness and a culture that also comes with it. Leaders rise up through the ranks by the dedication and time they give to the community as well as by the example they set on how they treat others. Thereby they reflect the community’s public image. Leaders can give all the dedication and time in the world, but if they don’t set a good example of treating others fairly, even those with different views, and instead continue with offensive actions, their examples will reflect badly on the community.

    I’m well aware that deaf people do a lot of things differently from hearing people and have a very loving community. LOL, I’m deaf too. But that doesn’t mean we d/Deaf can’t hold up high expectations of deaf leadership.

  55. Valhallian Says:

    Candy – if we could actually get the American people in general to hold the same attitudes as Europeans, odds are that we would be seeing a significantly lower crime rate, especially sex related crimes as well.

    Professor – I fail to see your point, paying foreign taxes has nothing to do with it, I was just stating examples so show how and why I am more liberal than others, it is not saying that I am lowering my standards either. If I had never travelled overseas, rest assured that my attitude, values, and beliefs would not be what it is now.

    Ann, you are absolutely correct when you say that companies should maintain a consumer image of their products and services, but there are those that do it totally different from the norm. A good example would be the UFC where there president frequently drops f-bombs left and right to no end, even in the media, yet the UFC has risen to become a multi-billion dollar company. Of course there are people that don’t like it, yet they watch UFC.

    But that really wasn’t the point I was making earlier. It is just that I do not think we should raise the bar of standards any higher for public officials than what we hold for ourselves and our own friends, otherwise the concept of all men and women being treated equal as stated in the declaration of independence is voided.

    In other words, if you watch your friend moon someone and you chuckle at it, then you need to do the same everywhere else. However high you want to hold the standards is up to you, as that is your choice, but you also need to ensure that it applies to everyone else, regardless of their position or status.

  56. Jean Boutcher Says:

    Candy and Valhallian,

    Candy, I agree that Americans are different from Western Europeans. The puritian hysteria imbued and inculcated amongst descendants by New Englanders in the early 1700s still prevails in the USA. Albeit exercsing double standards, the number of puritan Americans in Congress are legion. Hardball critics who are rootedly pritan even exercise double standards. Amercans threw rocks at President Clinton while Europeans laughed at puritan Americans and constantly call American critics “hypocritic”. A typically puritan American woman would be horrified when a European saleslady feels her breast for the size or when a European woman kisses her on the mouth as a gesture of greetings. The American puritan behaviour or habit will never go away. Maybe you will ask — “What about Hispanic people in the USA?” Yes, they still do practise the 16th century Iberian puritanism! This belief was spread to England where some people were enemies of the Church of England.


    I wholeheartedly agree that cultrually deaf people are more huggable (and affectionate). Their greetings are as warm as those of hearng and deaf Western Europeans.

  57. kim Says:

    No one is the same everywhere. Only a weirdo stays the same in every situation. For example, when I’m working I act in a much more professional manner than I do when partying with girl friends. I would be seen as a party pooper if I acted like a librarian at a party. At work, I would be seen as irresponsible if I behaved the way I do at parties. So normal people behave differently depending on the situation. There are certain codes of office ethics people follow when they represent a company. Among friends we’re free to behave differently. Additionally I and many parents use a different personality with kids than with adult friends, though that is changing now that my kids have become adults.

    Still I ‘mother’ my kids when they get sick and I give advice more freely than I ever would to friends. So we all behave differently depending on the situation.

    Unfortunately when you represent an organization or company, one does need to behave more professionally. That’s just part of the responsibility of being a public figure. It is unfortunate that public figures are often held to a higher standard, but that is the way of the world, and most leaders understand it. Those who don’t buckle under the pressure and leave or are asked to leave.

  58. Professor Says:

    Most schools are tax-supported. School administrators, faculty, taxpayers and parents usually are the ones who go through political process of setting priorities on school’s goals. In New York, school tax is the largest portion of property tax standing at 61%. Most schools in New York depend heavily on public resources. If something goes wrong, then taxpayers will speak out. Taxpayers can hold their public school accountable for their actions/mistakes and to a higher standard. To the point, schools should check the community’s ethics pulse before making any sudden or permanent decisions.

  59. Ann_C Says:

    “Taxpayers can hold their public school accountable for their actions/mistakes and to a higher standard. To the point, schools should check the community’s ethics pulse before making any sudden or permanent decisions.”

    Translate that to:

    The deaf community can hold their deaf leaders accountable for their actions/mistakes and to a higher standard. To the point, deaf leaders should check the community’s ethics pulse before making any sudden or permanent decisions.”

    Gotcha, Professor.

  60. Valhallian Says:

    kim, your points are valid. The difference between us is really how high of a level of standard that we place mooning. While it is not something I’d do, but it isn’t anything that would have me raising the ruckus that occurred either.

    professor, I agree with your points as well. The question here is how many of the people that whined about the mooning situation are actual taxpayers at where the situation arose? Why are people getting involved in areas where they do not even pay taxes on?

    ann, I can understand your translation. the problem is that the deaf community will never come to an agreement on where the standards lie, simply because they will agree to disagree.

  61. White Ghost Says:

    Many points you have are valid. Out of my curiosity, Are the province governments in Europe set up the rules/policy about taking some pictures of topless women and the love-making scene on the beach? Just wondering.

    Professor and Ann_C, remember this is a very small deaf community that we have expected in higher standards to involve the community generally, especially, the taxpayers. Remember we are the citizens that follows the laws.

    Overall, I see you all having a good dialogue.

  62. Candy Says:

    Valhallian, you said : how many of the people that whined about the mooning situation are actual taxpayers at where the situation arose?

    Define taxpayer.

  63. Valhallian Says:

    Candy, I was referring to Professors comment on taxpayers and he was referring to property taxpayers as it is the property tax that pays for the school , teachers, etc and that is quite true. What I meant to say is that one that lives in lets say a city in california that pays property taxes, none of that is going to apply to the school that is in another state, so why should the californian property taxpayer whine if none of his or her tax dollars are going into that fund that pays for the school in another state? Get my gist now?

  64. Candy Says:

    Yes. But, many public schools do get federal funds. Especially those in the Special Education programs that involves IEP. But, I do get your gist, it does appear that way. Everything is not what it appears to be. Regardless of what, whom where, many programs get federal funding, ergo, we as taxpayers do have the right to object to pretty much anything.

  65. White Ghost Says:

    “Regardless of what, whom, where, many programs get federal funding, ergo, we as taxpayers do have the right to object to pretty much anything.”

    That’s very true, Candy! There’s a “what ifs”……If Socialism invade into USA, what would happen to “we” as taxpayers and the federal funding programs? :-/

  66. Valhallian Says:

    If you are talking about federal funding that goes to a particular school, then I suppose you would be entitled to toss in your actual two cents, but I am afraid I am grossly overestimating that value 😉 Guess we now have an idea how “tossing in my two cents worth” got coined 😛

  67. Ann_C Says:

    Valhallian, the Professor is referring to the fact, that in New York, which is the state in which the Rochester school that Barb GiGi works for is located, if something goes wrong, that taxpayers will speak out, especially since 61% of their property taxes go to the schools. Sixty-one percent is a pretty high percentage, considering other states don’t allocate nearly as much. Where I live, it’s around 20% of prop tax for schools.

    Of course, that doesn’t figure in the amount of federal funding that some deaf schools get as well, and the federal funding for IEP programs that public mainstream schools get in each state. So, yah, we taxpayers do have a voice about how funds for schools get spent.

  68. Valhallian Says:

    Well Ann, I understood what the professor meant, but since you bring up RSD, why would a california property taxpayer whine about what happens at RSD when none of his or her tax dollars go there as a result.

    But to address your point, I would imagine that the 61% would go primarily to the public schools whereas RSD likely gets its funding from the entire state, as opposed to the city of Rochester which likely significantly reduces the value of the tax per individual towards RSD that the people of NY pays towards it considering that have 19.5 million people in there. Let me give you a quick breakdown where I was able to find this information in a matter of minutes.

    I came across a 2007 Rochester newspaper article that said the school’s budget was 11.7 million, of which 10.7 is provided by the state. Quickfacts by the census show 8.5 million people employed in the private nonfarm employment sector which does not even include the public sector, so I would imagine its rather safe to say that there’s around 10 million employees when you factor in the public workers and the farm workers.

    Now what that means is that each of the NY taxpayers contribute $1.70 each a year towards RSD at most. RSD’s profile in LinkedIn show that they have 130 employees which comes to the equivalency of the individual taxpayers of NY paying less than two cents per year per RSD employee per year.

    Now if you are a NY taxpayer yourself, and you want to use your less than two cents a year contribution towards this teacher to complain about a mooning joke, be my guest.

    I do think it would make for good fodder on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien tho 😉 where he says “you can literally toss in your two cents, actually its less than that, and you get the right to whine about a teacher that showed a little harmless mooning humor” 😉

  69. Ann_C Says:

    A number of commenters, including myself, have gone off tangent here, bringing up a number of issues not really related to the subject of this blog, which is about why the deaf community has low expectations of deaf leadership.

    I don’t condone the actions of people who “report” online behavior to another’s place of employment or to the school where a person works or studies, unless the behavior is truly criminal. In BarbDiGi’s case, the mooning clip is questionable behavior for a teacher who is usually expected to set an example for children, but it is not a criminal action. What I am referring to in my blog is about the example of leadership that Barb DiGi presents to the deaf community.

  70. Shel Says:


    “Would you want a president who, when he gets exasperated with a heckler, flipping the bird? That doesn’t give a good impression and moreover, the gesture could incite a booing session and lower community respect for him.”

    Here’s an interesting Canadian tidbit that is parallel to the topic at hand here.

    One of our most famous (no, the most famous) prime ministers of Canada did EXACTLY that when travelling through Western Canada when the Westerners (read B.C. and Albertans) booed him and his policies (especially National Equalization Program..NEP… which singlehandedly decimated Albertan economy by siphoning oil-rich Alberta monies to other provinces). What happened after the flipping birdie incident was that he said “I didn’t say F…O… I said fuddle duddle”.

    Pierre Elliott Trudeau became lionized and worshipped by the Easterners (Ontario on throughout the Atlantic Provinces) and elected again and again. He was Prime Minister for 16 LONG years. Quite disgusting… I’m born and bred Albertan, and we Albertans despise him and the Liberal Party to which he belonged to this very day.

    This is pretty applicable here. Some people support Barb because she told off someone in such a visible way, and others demonize her.


  71. Ann_C Says:


    What you quoted was something I said, not Candy.

    Trudeau certainly held a fascination with Canadians, er, the Eastern ones anyway. Interesting that he got away with a flippinbird while Prime Minister of Canada. I don’t think a President of the U.S. would be able to get away with such a public gesture without making an apology, as the media here jumps on everything he communicates unfortunately. Recently Obama was taken to task for an icy glare at a journalist so far. But that’s hardly a gesture of rudeness.

    I just believe that as a leader, if one is to lead, he/she has to lead by professional and respectful behavior to all, friends and foes alike. I know leaders ain’t saints, but Barb DiGi could have apologized to the deaf community for the tasteless gesture. Had she issued an apology, she would have come across as more believable, both as a human being and as a leader.

  72. Jennifer Says:

    Ann, thank you for your comment on my blog. It meant a lot that you took the time to tell your story and share that with me. The support has made a difficult decision much easier. Thank you so very much.
    I am adding you to my Google Reader…I will be back 🙂

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