So, since the Nelson Mandela memorial there has been talk about the selfie, the handshake, and Sen. Ted Cruz walking out during Raul Castro’s remarks. But just when you didn’t think it could get any worse, the latest talk is focused on probably the least likely to be discussed person at the event: the sign language interpreter. Yep, given all the hoopla this week, I don’t even think anyone realizes that Nelson Mandela is actually dead. Yes, I’ve seen, read, and listened to more commentary about this guy being an arms length away from the leader of the free world than anything else.
As pundit distractions, social media commentary, and not-so-funny memes would have it, word on the streets is that the sign language interpreter was actually fake. Yep, the sign language interpreter at probably one of the world’s most historic events in the last century happened to be a mentally ill person with a very violent past. How did this guy get picked to do the job of being an interpreter for the hard of hearing at this even we’ll never know. Though investigating, I don’t expect any government official in South Africa to actually own up to improperly vetting this guy.
The vetting of a sign language interpreter who got within three feet of world leaders including President Barack Obama during Nelson Mandela’s memorial was being investigated Thursday after organizers admitted they were unaware of his violent history of schizophrenic episodes.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, was accused of gesticulating gibberish during Tuesday’s service. Members of the deaf community said his movements did not resemble any recognized form of sign language and some groups accused him of being a “fake.”
Jantjie told NBC News that he is currently receiving treatment for schizophrenia and had been violent in the past. He said he started hearing voices in his head during the Mandela event and hallucinated visions of angels flying into the stadium.
[…] The South African government said at a press conference Thursday that “a mistake was made,” adding that officials were “trying to establish what happened with the sign language interpreter.”
Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the South African deputy minister for women, children and persons with disability, said that the government was investigating the whether the interpreter had been vetted before the memorial.
“I do not think he was just picked up off the street, he was from a school for the deaf,” Bogopane-Zulu added. “Whoever saw him being able to communicate with his deaf peers, with his deaf friends, understood that he can speak sign language. [But] he could not translate. English was a bit too much for him…he became overwhelmed.”
Jackson Mthembu, a spokesman for the ruling National African Congress party, told NBC News Thursday that he was concerned that Jantjie’s qualifications or medical history had apparently not been taken into account before he was given close access to world leaders at the government-organized event.
“We are not aware that he was being treated for [schizophrenia]. He did not disclose it. That is another thing that is concerning to use because we are having this information for the first time,” Mthembu said. “This man was close to many presidents, including our own. We are worried about when we have procured him for activities for our own services. That is what we are concerned about.” (source)
I could see why something like this would be a serious concern. However, with me being the “glass is half full” type of guy, I can’t help but to look on the bright side of things. The way I see it, with this latest South African embarrassment, there is a sliver lining. Hey, the bright side: Under apartheid in South Africa, no black man would’ve never had the opportunity to even be a fake sign language interpreter. Besides, mo matter what you may say about the guy, fake sign language interpreter or not, at least he makes more sense than Sarah Palin when she speaks on political issues. Hell, and Sarah Palin is considered to be a normal person and not mentally ill like the South African fake sign language interpreter.
Here’s Palin’s latest garbage peddled by Breitbart.com:
No one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan’s compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending. Show me one Republican who got elected on that platform. Spare America the Orwellian word games. If the government is taking money out of your pocket to fund its growing Big Brother operations, it’s a tax. Whether money is taken from you via your phone bill, your airline ticket, or your income, it’s a tax. If politicians can’t be honest about this, it’s time to go home.
The TEA Party’s very acronym stands for “Taxed Enough Already.” We sent these politicians to Congress in an historic landslide election in 2010 with a mandate to stop the runaway spending train bankrupting our nation, not to wave to it from the station or – heaven forbid – increase its speed. And yet, here we are still pretending that there are no real world consequences to running up near trillion dollar deficits year after year with no end in sight.
So, where does this leave us? We can sit back and accept the increased spending “Compromised Plan” with increases in taxes and spending, or we can charge ahead to at least preserve the very modest Sequester cuts American workers already fought for. If we go with the first option, we simply kick the can down the road yet again and wait for the inevitable real world consequences of bankruptcy (see Detroit for an example of what’s in store). Or we can go with the second option and probably get clobbered by the media (so what’s new?!).
The Political Establishment will no doubt tell us that a budget battle will distract us from the fight against Obamacare. But that excuse is just the latest variation in the Establishment’s old canard that they’re keeping their powder dry for the next big battle which never seems to materialize because they’re always too busy waving the white flag and following the path of least resistance until election day.
Enough is enough!
Here’s the truth: The latest budget deal has no new tax increases (read here).