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On Second Thought

In this photo from Dec.10, 2013, Thamsanqa Jantjie, right, interprets in sign language for President Barack Obama during his remarks at a memorial service at FNB Stadium in honor of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, near Johannesburg.
In this photo from Dec.10, 2013, Thamsanqa Jantjie, right, interprets in sign language for President Barack Obama during his remarks at a memorial service at FNB Stadium in honor of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, near Johannesburg.
Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Apparently, the people in charge of a memorial service for Nelson Mandela last week decided to bring in a third base coach to flash signs at the hard of hearing.

No one was sure what was happening until President Obama tried to lay down a bunt.

Experts said the interpreter, Thamsanqa Jantjie, didn’t sign anything that resembled any actual words. He defended himself by saying he was signing in a special South African dialect. From now on, someone in authority should follow the president at all times, prepared to sign, “Where the heck is the Secret Service?”

Too bad Jantjie couldn’t have interpreted Raoul Castro as saying Cuba would soon hold free and open elections. At least that would have started a dialog.

Congress reached a budget compromise last week. Some Republicans and Democrats agreed to pass a bill that doesn’t include anything either side wants. It’s that kind of budgeting that keeps marriage counselors employed.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner surprised observers by lashing out at conservative critics of the budget deal, saying they had lost all credibility. In an attempt to reclaim credibility, the Ayn Rand Institute accused Utah Sen. Mike Lee of being just like Obama and Rush Limbaugh called Pope Francis a communist.

Joe Biden said last week that some of his ancestors came to this country illegally. Look for Republicans to begin a deportation hearing soon.

If state officials had been thinking back in the ‘80s, Utah would have installed a fan in those West Desert pumps that were supposed to keep the Great Salt Lake from flooding. That way they could suck stagnant Wasatch Front air into Nevada.

You know what they say about Utah. If you don’t like the weather, just chew on the air for a few weeks and it might change.

At least inversions don’t keep tourism officials from truthfully advertising that Utah’s outdoors will take your breath away.

The FCC is close to removing restrictions on cell phone calls during flights. Apparently, cell phones don’t interfere with the operation of airplanes. Many Americans are wondering how much we would have to pay engineers to develop planes that do malfunction when phones are used.

How long will it take until the first fun-loving airline passenger tries to order pizza delivery at 30,000 feet?

Jay Evensen is associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. E-mail him at even@desnews.com. For more content, visit his web site, www.jayevensen.com.