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#################### Geoff Seidner
‘I don’t want to be emotional but this is one of the greatest moments of my life,” declared Nelson Mandela upon meeting the Spice Girls in 1997. So I like to think he would have appreciated the livelier aspects of his funeral observances. The Prince of Wales, who was also present on that occasion in Johannesburg, agreed with Mandela on the significance of their summit with the girls: “It is the second-greatest moment in my life,” he said. “The greatest was when I met them the first time.” His Royal Highness and at least two Spice Girls (reports are unclear) attended this week’s service in Soweto, and I’m sure it was at least the third-greatest moment in all of their lives. Don’t ask me where the other Spice Girls were. It is a melancholy reflection that the Spice Girls’ delegation was half the size of Canada’s, which flew in no fewer than four Canadian prime ministers, which is rather more Canadian prime ministers than one normally needs to make the party go with a swing.
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”
Still, South African officials are furiously pointing fingers (appropriately enough) to account for how he wound up onstage. “I do not think he was just picked up off the street. He was from a school for the deaf,” Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for Persons with Disability, assured the press. But the Deaf Federation of South Africa said it had previously complained about his nonsensical signing after an event last year. Mr. Jantjie was paid a grand total of $85 for his simultaneous translation of the speeches of the U.N. secretary-general, six presidents, the head of the African Union, and a dozen other dignitaries. Ms. Bogopane-Zulu notes that the going rate for signing in South Africa is $125 to $165. So she thinks a junior official may simply have awarded the contract to the lowest bid.
That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. In the movie version—In the Sign of Fire—grizzled maverick Clint Eastwood will be the only guy to figure it out at the last minute and hurl himself at John Malkovich, as they roll into the orchestra pit with Malkovich furiously signing “Ow!” and “Eek!” But in real life I expect they’ll just double the motorcade to 240 vehicles and order up even more expensive reflector shades.
Also pondering security issues was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He returned home from the service to find that, while he’d been out hailing Mandela as the father of the new South Africa, his house had been burgled. One suspects that Mr. Mandela, for whom a little of the garrulous archbishop went an awful long way, would have enjoyed this rather more than he ought. Speaking of enjoying themselves, back in the VIP seats President Obama, Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and British prime minister David Cameron carried on like Harry, Hermione, and Ron snogging in the back row during the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup presentation. As the three leaders demonstrated their hands-on approach, Michelle Obama glowered straight ahead, as stony and merciless as the 15-foot statue of apartheid architect Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd that once stood guard outside the government offices of the Orange Free State. Eventually, weary of the trilateral smooching, the first lady switched seats and inserted herself between Barack and the vivacious Helle. How poignant that, on a day to celebrate the post-racial South Africa, the handsome young black man should have to be forcibly segregated from the cool Aryan blonde. For all the progress, as Obama himself pointed out, “our work is not yet done.”
"eNCA’s investigations have found that Thamsanqa Jantjie, who is being treated for schizophrenia, has also faced rape (1994), theft (1995), housebreaking (1997), malicious damage to property (1998), murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003) charges."
'What exactly do all those security guys in the Presidential motorcade do?'
"Obamacare has lost the uninsured. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released this week asked uninsured individuals whether or not they thought the law was a good idea. Just 24 percent said they thought it was. In contrast, half the uninsured polled said they thought it was a bad idea. As the Journal points out, that represents an 11 point drop in support for the law amongst the uninsured since September. The same poll also finds that 56 percent of the uninsured believe the law will have a negative effect on the U.S. health care system. Let that sink in: What that means is that regardless of how bad the old system—the system that for whatever reason left them uninsured—was, a majority of people without health coverage now think that Obamacare makes it worse."
The base of the ACA pyramid scheme is the young, who are in good health and have no money. They will wait until they are sick to join any no-one-can-be-refused plan. Perhaps the point of ACA was the Prog goal to overload the system and thereby manage the steady decline of America to second tier status in a world morally-equivalent thug regimes.
The economy has turned around? What is the debt at today?
We have a record number of people out of the work force
We have a record number of people living below the poverty line.
We have a record number of people on food stamps.
The gap between the wealthy and middle class is increasing?
OH! I know!!!! IT'S NEITHER. who's really trolling here?........... hating Obama is NEITHER conservative OR republican, NEITHER is opposing liberals, democrats, progressives, or whatever other names you come up for your perceived 'enemies'..... OK? :)
Yes. The Cloward-Piven Strategy wanted to federalize welfare by making it unaffordable at state/local levels. Combined with Alinsky, it metastasizes into a daily crisis only socialism can cure, so Progs believe. Reinterpreting the power of government isn't Democratic Socialism because the public did not vote on it knowingly.
Tens of thousands. In a country of 300 million people. Might as well be zero.
And, as always with this ACA mess, we are told that so-and-so number of people visited. This-and-that number established accounts. The other number completed an application. But HOW MANY PEOPLE GOT SOME FREAKIN' INSURANCE, ROLLIE?????
I think flagging was one of the things Mod said he likes.
Another is to do as dagny was doing yesterday: If you're positive it's a banned massive-denial-of-service ubertroll or a hijacker hacker impostor (not merely a lame-o with whom you disagree) just do a 1-word reply: troll. I tried doing this and flagging at the same time.
If there is an active serious spoofing attack going on, Mod is probably already watching it on the batcave radar..