Open Letter to Florida Clemency Board

By Joanne Greenberg

Dear Clemency Board,

Felix Garcia celebrating his GED in 1984 Courtesy Pat Bliss. From Mother Jones Magazine.

Felix Garcia celebrating his GED in 1984 Courtesy Pat Bliss.
From Mother Jones Magazine.

I have been interested in the Felix Garcia case, for the last few years, and I have seen all of the material from that case, including the 2 hours of video interview on DeafInPrison.com. I know that he has exhausted his legal opportunities, but because there is a strong probability that Felix is not guilty of the crime for which he is charged, I am afraid that when he comes up for parole, he will not state that he is remorseful. And this will deny him parole.

Most recent photo of Felix with Pat Bliss.  Image credit Pat Bliss

Most recent photo of Felix with Pat Bliss.
Image credit Pat Bliss

However, nothing stands in the way of Felix’s being freed as an act of clemency. He’s already served a monumental sentence, but he has been able to create a life for himself, that will be useful and positive – on the outside. He will be able to do good things for himself and for the community in general; and especially for the Deaf community, which needs what Felix has to offer.

If we have any faith in rehabilitation, we certainly see rehabilitation in Felix’s case.

Joanne Greenberg was born in 1932, in Brooklyn, NY. She was educated at American University and received and honorary Doctorate from Gallaudet University – the world’s only college for the Deaf. She has written 2 books on the subject and has spent decades working with state mental hospitals for appropriate care for the mentally ill Deaf.

Event: HEARD launches #DeafInPrison Campaign

#DeafInPrison Campaign

HEARD created the #DeafInPrison Campaign to raise awareness about abuse of, and discrimination against, deaf prisoners across the nation. The Campaign, which officially launches on June 27th, aims to start a national conversation about these concerns, and to compel corrective and preventive action.

We are asking that you watch the film “Deaf In Prison,” then share your reactions, your stories, or any information you have, on social media, using the Hashtag, “#DeafInPrison.” The link for “Deaf In Prison” (the video) will be available for 48 hours beginning at 12:00am (EST) on Friday, June 27. Viewings will be hosted in numerous locations across the nation & we encourage organizations and individuals to host viewings if possible.

Many thanks to our dear friends at Facundo Element for their support with this Campaign and for their continued support of HEARD initiatives. Please visit our Campaign Event Page for more information and to find a viewing near you.

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hea...

International Symbol of Deafness / Hard of Hearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Note: HEARD’s campaign hashtag is #DeafInPrison, whereas our Web site’s name and principle identifier is DeafInPrison.com. We are affiliated with this campaign, in that we are allies of, and co-supporters of, HEARD.  We are separate entities, but some of our authors and contributors are HEARD members.

We have screened this film, and published a review. I would strongly suggest you join this campaign, watch the film – it is excellent – and follow through with the Hashtag posting.

If possible, we will be embedding the clip here, on DeafInPrison.com, as a convenience to our readers, and to help HEARD in the cause. If however, we can’t embed it for copyright reasons, I will republish this post or another post, reminding people, later on in June.

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“Felix Garcia” Music Video

By BitcoDavid

VLC wmv

VLC wmv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been working my – two baseballs in a sock – skinny, White butt off, on this video. As promised to you, back in January, we took Heather Hardy’s song and created this video.

I even had to drive all the way to East Overshoe, Maine - one of those, ya can’t get theyah from heah places, for some of the footage.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of my efforts, and those of Ms. Hardy, without whom, none of this would have been possible. And moreover, I hope this helps reignite your passions in the case of Felix Garcia, an innocent Deaf man, who’s wrongfully served 32 years, thus far, of a life sentence.

Some tech details:

6 video tracks, 4 overlay tracks, 11 stereo audio tracks. Edited on Serif MoviePlus X-6, and Audacity. Mixed in 1080p / 196KB / 16bit / 44.1Khz, mastered in 720p and presented here for Internet delivery at 512p / 64Kb, .wmv file format.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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#KeepASLInSchools Video Finally Done!

By BitcoDavid

It was like the 7 labors of Hercules!

All kidding aside, it was a great project and I am proud and happy to have been a part of it. So, without further ado…

As I am working more and more with Sign now, I’m learning some of the significant differences between ASL and English. In video, the most significant difference is speed. I have learned that even Native Signers cannot communicate at the same speed as oral speakers. Most videos have a video track and an audio track. In some cases you will also have a narration track and perhaps a musical soundtrack. In the case of this particular video, we had a video track, a narration track, a musical soundtrack and a captioned overlay track.

Chipmunk

Chipmunk (Photo credit: ogwen)

now you can generally speed-up or slow-down the video tracks, but the audio tracks have to maintain the speed they were recorded in, or they will change pitch. Radically, in fact. Preteen girls sound like grizzled old men, and grizzled old men sound like Alvin’s Chipmunks. (In fact, that’s the secret behind those chipmunk voices.) Oh, and don’t think you can rely on things like Pitch Shifters or Autotune to fix these problems, either. They won’t work.

English: David R Ferguson Audio Engineer

David R Ferguson Audio Engineer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the point is, when putting together a video, you start with the audio tracks and build around them, not the other way round. Great, but the audio tracks in this case are naturally 1 and 1/2 to 2 times the speed of the signed video tracks. Soooo, it was a lot of fun at the ol’ BitcoDavid audiovisual research lab.

Anyway, it’s all done and I sincerely hope you like it – and perhaps learn a little something from it.

My heartfelt thanks go out to Monica Hood of DeafInsight and all those who contributed to the project.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Marlee Matlin @ BHCC

By BitcoDavid

Image Credit BitcoDavid

Image Credit BitcoDavid

I can’t say enough about Marlee Matlin‘s appearance at Bunker Hill C0mmunity College in Charlestown, today. She was funny, enlightening, open, friendly and entertaining. She’s overcome much to enjoy the success she does, and her message transcends the Deaf community and speaks to the underdog in us all.

Ms. Matlin’s parents were supportive and nurturing, and they started her out in Sign, early. Unlike many parents of Deaf children, they learned the language themselves, along side her. So, Marlee was quite fortunate to have missed the gaping communication gap that many Deaf must endure.  Nonetheless, they were reticent about her going into acting as a career, and tried to dissuade her – in none but the nicest of ways.

She goes on to say, that it was Henry Winkler who initially gave her the confidence to try, and Winkler has remained a lifelong friend.

I wanted to shoot some highlights for you, but I was hesitant to video the whole show. She is after all a star, and I didn’t want Disney sending the Copyright Police out after me.

Marlee's English Interpreter. Photo credit BitcoDavid

Marlee’s English Interpreter. Photo credit BitcoDavid

There were several interpreters on hand to interpret signed questions as well as to convert spoken questions into sign, although Ms. Matlin can hear with her aids. Most interesting however, was the interpreter whom she apparently works regularly with, who read the English translation of her sign for the audience. I actually found that I could follow her, without having to listen to him at all. I’ve only been signing for about 9 months, but I could understand pretty much all she said.

After the speech was a Q&A. I raised my hand multiple times but wasn’t picked. I didn’t have a question for her. I merely intended to say – in Sign – “Hi, my name is BitcoDavid and I’ve been signing for about 9 months. I just wanted to sign to a genuine movie star – and have her sign back.” I had actually practiced that bit, the night before. But, alas it was not to be.

The auditorium was packed! I was glad to see such a huge turnout, but of course it made for difficulty getting in and finding a seat. Still, SRO is great for a Deaf performer at a one-horse community college. I couldn’t have spent my time any better.

Photo Credit BitcoDavid

Photo Credit BitcoDavid

There was also a mess of food I couldn’t eat -  Carbs, that old chestnut – and a book signing. I thought about hitting her with my ASL dazzle then, but the line was prohibitively long, and I only had a 2 hour parking window. In Boston, people have been murdered over parking spaces – so I decided not to push my luck.

Guess I’ll just have to wait and sign to the next Deaf movie star to hit town.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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Happy Saturnalia to All

By BitcoDavid

Joyce Edmiston is the owner of Xpressive Handz Blog. She has been a contributor to both the Stop Hearing Loss Bullying, and the Keep ASL in Schools videos. She is also a posting member of our FaceBook Group, ASL Learners by DeafInPrison.com.

Yesterday, she posted this video. It’s the perfect Christmas gift, Diabetically sweet. Add a puppy, and it would actually rot your teeth.

Enjoy.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Back From the Dead

By BitcoDavid

Well, I’m back. For the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been in Dante’s 9th circle of network upgrades. We now have a full terabyte – 4 processor hive for editing videos, and a domain controller running our 10 pcs in Active directory. I finally have my own registered domain name – BitcoDavid.com.

So we’ll be able to produce higher quality videos at a much faster rate, provide scripted hosting for files and applets that can’t be hosted on WordPress, run chats and online events and provide direct Internet access to large private files.

Anyway, I’m very sorry for the long hiatus in posting. A lot has been going on in the worlds of both the Deaf and the incarcerated, and now that all the hardware is back up to snuff, we’ll be renewing our commitment to regular posting and to providing our readers with up to the minute and original content.

In the meantime, Here’s Jimmy Kimmel‘s translation of what Thamsanqa Jantjie was really saying at Mandela’s funeral, and SNL’s take on the story as well.

***

More posts to come. It’s good to be back.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

ASL Kids do Wizard of Oz

By BitcoDavid

Have a half an hour to kill, and wanna have some great fun? You’ll love this ASL version of the Wizard of Oz, performed by Eyes Alive! they are an elementary school performing arts group at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. The kids are just great, and it’s good practice receiving Sign. Enjoy.

In order to help me improve my skills at receiving (reading) other people’s Sign, I watch a lot of ASL videos on YouTube. I stumbled upon this, and loved it so much, I decided to post it. These kids are amazingly talented, for Grade school, and the Sign is exceedingly watchable. The video has an interpreted audio track, and subtitles. So everybody can enjoy it.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

This Video Will Rock Your World

By BitcoDavid

Jeffrey Swartz posted a link to his latest blog story on the ASL Learner’s group. He makes numerous valid points on his own, but at the bottom of the post he embedded this video. After watching it, I knew I had to post it as well. This video is utterly amazing, and it will change your whole perspective on Sign, Deafness and even Cochlear Implant technology. It is a long video – just over an hour, but once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop. Rachel Coleman is an amazing woman, and her story is both moving and inspiring. Trust me, if you don’t absolutely love this video, I’ll… well, you’ll just love it.

Also worth noting, the video has flawless embedded captioning. You will not need to turn on the YouTube automated captioning thing, which is known for its 30% accuracy.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Excellent Interview Video on Solitary from WGBH

By BitcoDavid

The following video comes from Boston’s WGBH TV.

The video presents a number of interesting facts regarding solitary confinement, including that it’s expensive, and poses a public safety threat. We know it’s torture, and we know that it destroys minds and crushes souls – but many argue that prisoners deserve no better. Well, this video provides a counter argument that even the staunchest crime and punishment type, can understand.

Simply that it costs us taxpayers up to 3 times as much to break men in solitary, as it does to house them humanely. Further, since people do occasionally get released from prison, it does society little good to create psychotics – and then send them back to the public.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

A Must See Video Says it All

By BitcoDavid

I got this from PrisonMovement’s Weblog‘s  FaceBook page. This video says exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people, all along. A great watch, from Beyond Bars and Brave New Films.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

26 Minutes in the SHU

By BitcoDavid

Much thanks and respect to Moorbey who originally posted this – well originally for us, anyway. It was actually posted on YouTube by KQED News. It was shot by the security camera in one of the exercise pens at Pelican Bay. I post it here with the following nugget of food for thought. This video is 26 minutes long. If you find it terminally monotonous and boring – think what 10 years must be like.

Peace. Out.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

LockUp / X’ed Out: A Video Documentary

By BitcoDavid

This video was originally aired on MSNBC, but I found it on BGTV. I can’t caption it, because it’s 45 minutes long, but it’s a YouTube embed, so you can use their automated CC button if you need captioning.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Amazing ASL Video Informs About Domestic Abuse

By BitcoDavid

This video, originally posted to YouTube by DeafHope, was featured on Bellamie Harvard’s The Broken Phoenix Blog.

Not only is the message powerful and enlightening – but the Sign is beautiful. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to sign this well.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Stop Hearing Loss Bullying Video Now Online

By BitcoDavid

I was chatting over a plate of Edamame, with my good friend Quentin Tarantino  the other day, when he said, “BitcoDavid – dude! You did such a great job on Shanna Groves’ Stop Hearing Loss Bullying campaign video, I’m totally jealous of your immense talent.”

Well, all kidding aside – I’m deeply grateful to Shanna for allowing me the opportunity to work on such an important project with her. Shanna has agreed to do a couple of Supporter Contributions for us. She’s an awesome writer with a great deal of experience and insight. I’ll be getting that ball rolling in another day or so.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Broken Sign: Important Announcement from BitcoDavid

By BitcoDavid

I must admit, I learned this the same way a Japanese rock singer learns an American song. Nonetheless, I’m pretty proud of myself.

If you would be interested in doing this, use the contact form below. Please hurry, the window of opportunity is closing fast. Shooting is scheduled for the 1st week in June.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Marsha Graham Part 2

By BitcoDavid

I strongly suggest you watch these two videos. Ms. Graham’s personal story is fascinating, and her insight into the Deaf Community and law enforcement is both informed and entertaining. — BD

[OK. It looks to be good now. I went back to the original mpeg, re-edited it and re-rendered it.]

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Marsha Graham’s Presentation Part 1

By BitcoDavid

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

Here’s the Conclusion of The Brookline PD’s Presentation

By BitcoDavid

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

First Video Installment – Brookline PD

By BitcoDavid

In order to maintain some continuity, I opted to make the first available video installment, the 1st section of the presentation by the Brookline Police, so as to fit in with the previous post. The video isn’t captioned, but there is a live interpreter in frame. If you need more help understanding it, let me know and I’ll caption a version for you – but the manual captioning method that I use is very time consuming and labor intensive – so if you can possibly live with this, I’d be grateful.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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