Life in our small Southern California town has made big city Los Angeles TV news which occurs only occasionally. Seems some young gals swimming in their pool Saturday heard a voice screaming for help. Trying to pinpoint if this was a genuine call and from what location on their usual quiet cul de sac, they responded. A young man hollered back he was in desperate need of water -- that he was stuck in a chimney, had been all day since 3 A.M., and also needed assistance getting out.
Police and Fire Department authorities were called who after several hours of effort extricated the young man covered in soot from a chimney down the hill from the girls’ house. His explanation for being stranded in the chimney of a home whose owners were away was that he was looking for his drone. Following hospital treatment for dehydration he was arrested on a charge of burglary and transported to jail.
This past week’s events with testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing cannot be ignored. The hearing could have been avoided, the nominee spared his meltdown in front of a national television viewing audience and a woman spared possible further emotional trauma also.
All this Administration and majority political party leaders had been required to do was follow logical procedures – order further FBI investigation when accusations reached a level of credibility raising significant questions about the Supreme Court Nominee’s behavioral history. There is no excuse for this not to have been done, is insulting to women that it was not done and was a disservice to the Nominee.
The fact the FBI investigation has now been ordered but could be limited by this President and must be completed in a week reflects more about political considerations than a search for truth.
The responsibility for the politicization of this process is completely that of those who chose politics over seeking justice – the choice of this President and the Republican Party. Their accusations blaming others defy common sense facts for justice seekers. Also, false assaults on Senator Feinstein for respecting the ethical and moral responsibilities of confidentiality reveals just how crass her accusers have become.
This President and his political party leaders are an embarrassment to what was once a proud grand old party that more and more faithful followers, including friend(s) of mine have increasingly recognized -- this is one more assault and betrayal as they say -- they hadn't left their Party, until recently, and even more now, but say “...the Party left me.”
(FWIW I will state again that I am not affiliated with any political party, am an undeclared voter.)
New neighbors have been moving to our street this past year. This has been another real estate market we’ve seen here before when elevated home prices entice owners to sell and buyers are aplenty. Typically, such a period has been followed by a slow down with home values dropping slightly for a number of years before the up and down pricing process resumes again.
So it is, that in the ten or so homeowners on our southwest street section our immediate neighborhood has become even more diverse. I don’t know any of the people living further up our street as my friends there including an African-American couple have long since moved away, died, or both. Our little corner has all ages, widows, widower, young college agers, long term traditional families, same-sex housemates, hetero couples. We have European-American, Mexican-American, Indian-American (India) homeowners, and a couple renters -- the latter, interestingly, seem to be more reclusive.
A Chinese-American couple moved in down the street a year ago. I recently learned their first child will be born in a few months. Now a non-English speaking Chinese couple have moved next door this summer. I don’t speak, read or write Chinese so I decided to experiment with Google’s instant translation site. I don’t know what dialect it is but hoped that my new neighbors would understand.
I printed a page, front and back, of mostly simple sentences (both English and Chinese) introducing myself, offering the usual neighborly welcoming gestures. When I went to their door, handed her my greeting, I was pleased to see the lady of the house, nodding her head in affirmative recognition of the translation’s Chinese symbols.
She offered a fairly common English first name which started with an initial letter whose sound she struggled to produce. Though her tongue had been unable to position itself to clearly articulate an /l/ sound, her smile and affirmative nod confirmed I had interpreted her name production correctly.
My later research revealed that phoneme consonant sound is among those most difficult for Chinese speakers to produce. We weren’t able to speak long, but if they choose to have further contact I did refer them to the Google site I used.
I expect now there are likely some audio sites I haven’t explored yet that give instant translation.
Have you had foreign-to-you language experiences and/or translation devices or websites you’ve used to aid communication?