It is hard to overstate the cynicism and cruelty of Vladimir Putin. He is willing to use orphans as his pawns in his public-relations battle against the West. That’s no exaggeration, given that he has just signed a law forbidding Americans to adopt Russian children. Approximately 650,000 of them live in orphanages and foster care including a substantial number who are sick or disabled and are unlikely to ever find a permanent home. Russian orphanages have a reputation for terrible conditions and rampant abuse. They are some of the grimmest places to live in the industrialized world.
I had an interesting discussion with a psychologist who has treated adults who were russian adoptees. She said that she and her hospital colleagues have concluded that the problems presented by those adoptees is related to the fact that little children are of little value in Russia. Instead, they are burdens.
The cynicism displayed by Putin is consistent with that valuation.
(My ELCA Lutheran pastor often does sermons on Jesus and the little children. He argues that at the time of Christ, little children were seen as burdens, of little value. So Jesus speaks in parables about honoring little children, for that reason.
Twelve years ago, when our son and daughter-in-law began considering a foreign adoption, the agency they chose to handle it was the highly respected Edna Gladney Center. We were given a list of the available countries and the "price list". The most expensive was Guatemala (lots of palms to grease), the least costly was Russia. But I had read about the bleak conditions in Russian orphanages and worried about a child´s ability to overcome such a terrible beginning. We chose China and have never regretted it. The Chinese are careful with their babies.
I suspect you understood my reference, #6. I meant the unwanted baby girls, who have been abandoned or given up, but are carefully nurtured in the government-run orphanages for foreign adoptions. I wasn´t embracing China´s policies, for goodness sake.
I´ve had a bit of respect for Mr.Putin in his loyalty to his country (wish we had a pResident like that), even though I totally disagree with his politics and dictatorial tendencies. That said, however: this is a bone-headed move. There are plenty of children - even white children (yes, there´s a legitimate racial element here) - in desperate need of adoption. This will only punish those in Russia´s "care".
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone":
Catholic Charities´ in the USA and in England forced withdrawal from their leading role in the child adoption adoption services because of state politically correct demand that children be put out for adoption to same sex couples, regardless of the future welfare of the children and the conscientious objections of the agencies concerned..
Here’s a little piece of advice for those in trouble with the law: If you don’t want to be arrested, stay off social media. You may recall that on July 28th, riots broke out in Huntington Beach, California following the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing competition. The melee resulted in property damage to stores in the area, small fires being set ablaze, toppling of port-a-potties, looting and fights in the streets and damage to police cars. As is common now in the age of social media, photos and videos of the chaos went viral online, and police promised to take advantage of
In a few short weeks, New Yorkers will choose between two candidates for city comptroller in the Democratic primary. One is Scott Stringer, a conventional Manhattan liberal. The other is a completely unhinged Manhattan liberal. His name is Eliot Spitzer, and for a man who styles himself the “Sheriff of Wall Street,” his real expertise is operating outside the law. As attorney general, he acted like some hick-town bully with a badge and a speed trap. But where it counted — in the courtroom — this sheriff seldom got his man. Then again, Spitzer’s goals in office have always been less about
By April 2007, it became harder for Travis to ignore some of the signs that Jodi’s jealousy was beginning to take over their relationship. Whether it was eavesdropping on his conversations, or digitally through his e-mail, she seemed to be growing more suspicious of him. Jodi and Travis continued to date, visiting Mormon holy sites in Illinois and Missouri. Still, traveling couldn’t mask the tension that was growing between them. When the two went to the home of one of Travis’ friends in Park City, Ill., Travis fell asleep on the couch with his cellphone between the couch cushions. Jodi saw it
I recently spoke to a football player who found himself within Michael Jackson’s orbit when the star shined like a supernova during the 1980s. His sweet tooth needing a sugar fix late one night, the athlete was directed to a giant room at Neverland that appeared as a candy store of the type one occasionally stumbles upon in shopping malls but never in homes. Inside, the King of Pop housed a life-sized bubble-gum statue of himself. Michael Jackson was made of soft stuff. A child may dream of Willie Wonka-style accommodations. No adult does. Whatever judgment the court issues in Jackson v. AEG,
Before he married his wife, former Congressman Anthony Weiner had a previously undisclosed relationship with an on-again-off-again congressional and campaign aide nearly two decades his junior. In pushing back against the publication of this story, the spokeswoman for his current mayoral campaign, Barbara Morgan, phoned The New York Observer‘s editor in chief. Partially confirming the relationship, she said the two “had a personal relationship.” (At that point, Ms. Morgan stopped mid-sentence to request the conversation be continued off the record.) In a cease-and-desist letter sent to The New York Observer today, an attorney for the woman said his client, Dolev Azaria, “vehemently
What is privacy? Why should we want to hold onto it? Why is it important, necessary, precious? Is it just some prissy relic of the pretechnological past? We talk about this now because of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency revelations, and new fears that we are operating, all of us, within what has become or is becoming a massive surveillance state. They log your calls here, they can listen in, they can read your emails. They keep the data in mammoth machines that contain a huge collection of information about you and yours. This of course is in pursuit of a
My favorite media Web site, Mediaite, asks: “What caused NBC’s Meet the Press to fall behind Face the Nation and This Week?” MTP, you see, is at a 21-year low in ratings. I’ve got eight reasons, not mutually exclusive: 1. David Gregory is a weak host, the weakest of any Sunday show. I’ve documented the lame questions, the absence of follow ups and the blatant bias. That’s bad journalism and uninteresting TV. 2. Bob Schieffer has gotten feisty. He zings administration guests, asks probing questions, and gives snappy commentary. Given the choice between a Schieffer and a Gregory interview, I’d
“Staggering” is how Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves described the alleged crimes committed by former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson. Earlier this year, the two pleaded guilty to using nearly $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for luxury items, from gold-plated Rolex watches and Michael Jackson memorabilia to thousands of dollars in furs and other clothing. Today, the Jacksons received their sentences: Jesse Jackson Jr. will serve two and a half years in prison, with the possibility of a shortened sentenced for good behavior. He was also ordered to perform 500 hours of community
H ow much energy does it take to power your smartphone addiction? The average iPhone uses more energy than a midsize refrigerator, says a new paper by Mark Mills, CEO of Digital Power Group, a tech investment advisory. A midsize refrigerator that qualifies for the Environmental Protection Agency´s Energy Star rating uses about 322 kW-h a year, while your iPhone uses about 361 kW-h if you stack up wireless connections, data usage, and battery charging. The paper, rather ominously titled "The Cloud Begins With Coal: Big Data, Big Networks, Big Infrastructure, and Big Power," details how the world´s Information Communication Technology (ITC) ecosystem
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is headed for a monster re-election win, which will cement his place in the top tier of presidential contenders for 2016. Even better, the loony flank of the GOP has made him into the paragon of conservative sobriety.First, Christie took on irresponsible attacks on anti-terror policies. That incited Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to start popping off, inaccurately, about Christie’s money grab from D.C. (In true conservative style, Christie shot back that it is Beltway pols who take more from New Jersey residents than his taxpayers get back from the feds.)
If you don’t know about this stupid “news story” yet: Last week, Oprah Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight a dumb anecdote about trying to buy a handbag in some fancy shop in Switzerland, and the clerk — who apparently isn’t fluent in English — told her she couldn’t afford it, or implied it, or something. So of course, Oprah tried to turn that into a racist incident. Because why not? But then it blew up in her face, and now she’s backing off from it. Sort of. “I’m sorry I said an anonymous Swiss shopgirl was racist to me. I was just trying
With Washington politics deep in the August doldrums, it’s a good time to review. Victor Davis Hanson does exactly that regarding the scandals that have beset the Obama administration over the last year, and which the administration has dismissed as phony.(Snip)In sum, this is the most lawless administration since Warren Harding’s ninety years ago. Except those scandals came from below as Harding was, to put it mildly, a hands-off administrator, mostly interested in wine, women, and poker games. The Obama administration is very much a top-down administration. And the Harding scandals were mostly about money (Albert Fall, secretary of the interior,
The Washington Examiner is reporting that Obama "apparently" did not know about the extent of the violence in Egypt until National Security Adviser Susan Rice informed him of it on August 15. CNN´s Jack Tapper reported that the violence that has filled world news outlets for two days and has resulted in hundreds of deaths is just now reaching the president via the individual who infamously blamed Benghazi on a YouTube video. On August 15 Tapper wrote: This morning, the president had a phone call, a principals meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry, and
An Illinois Republican congressman told constituents at a town hall meeting on Wednesday that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton screamed at a fellow member of Congress two days after a U.S. diplomatic station in Benghazi, Libya was destroyed, merely for saying aloud that the attack was carried out by terrorist groups. [Snip] ´Two days after this attack,´ said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, ´we were in a briefing with Hillary Clinton and she screamed at a member of Congress who’d dare suggest that this was a terrorist attack.´ ´Now we find out that while it was happening, they knew it was a
From his first presidential campaign to the present, the president, his party and his administration have openly flouted existing laws, and it doesn´t seem there is any legal means of stopping him short of impeachment. As you may recall, the Democrats refused to fill vacant spots on the Federal Election Commission so that when the Obama campaign disabled the system to track contributions there was no way in 2008 to challenge and stop the practice and countless suspicious contributions, including many from overseas, found their way into his coffers.
Democratic senator Mary Landrieu says she´s embarrassed to go to places in Europe like France and Spain because some Americans do not have health insurance. Landrieu, who is up for reelection in 2014, represents the state of Louisiana. “People are scared when they’re sick, and they’re much stronger when they’re well,” Landrieu said at a Friday lunch, according to the American Press. “It’s embarrassing to me to go to places like France and Spain ... and their workers all manage to have health insurance that can’t be taken away.” The report adds: Landrieu said Louisiana has “more working people that
Mideast: Christians in Egypt are again the target of Islamist Muslim Brotherhood supporters using the new violence as a cover for ongoing persecution. If Christians were burning mosques, the world would be outraged.Amid the raging violence in Egypt, a less-publicized war is being waged against Egypt´s long-persecuted Coptic Christians, this time using the excuse that they were somehow involved in the military´s ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood´s Mohammed Morsi from power. Coptic Christians comprise up to 10% of Egypt´s 84 million people.Ishaq Ibrahim from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
An Oklahoma federal judge struck down a state constitutional amendment that forbade its courts from considering Islamic law in judicial decisions. The constitutional amendment — approved by more than 70% of Oklahoma voters in 2010 — was part of a broader national push led by a handful of organizations that claim Islamic Sharia law is creeping into courtrooms. WSJ wrote about the anti-Sharia movement last year. Because the proposed amendment discriminated among religions, Oklahoma needed to show a compelling state interest to justify it, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange in Oklahoma City wrote in her decision. The decision, made on Thursday, largely mirrors
Mediaite’s Noah Rothman joined the panel on Fox News Watch Saturday, leading off a discussion about Oprah Winfrey and race, in light of the media mogul’s recent remarks about Trayvon Martin and experiencing racism in Switzerland. Picking up on themes from a column he wrote earlier in the week, Rothman said there’s “precedent” for Winfrey tying claims racism to projects she’s promoting, with this week’s example being her high profile return to acting in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. “This is something of a precedent,” Rothman told host Jon Scott. “It just kind of comes right before she’s promoting a project,
Boston - Gov. Chris Christie told Republican leaders his New Jersey successes were an example of winning GOP support from female and minority voters in a blue state. The party should follow conservative economic themes and the pledge of pragmatic governance, the one-term governor, (Snip) "I´m not going to be one of these people who goes and calls our party stupid," he said, alluding to Jindal, the Republican Governors Association chairman, who told the RNC in January the GOP had to "stop being the party of stupid." "There´s nothing wrong with our principles," Christie said.
A year and a half ago, a news story exploded out of Sanford, Fla. George Zimmerman, an armed, 28-year-old man of mixed white and Hispanic ancestry, followed and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American. The tragic episode was touched off because Zimmerman, out on neighborhood watch patrol, found Martin to be suspicious as he walked home from a store wearing a sweat shirt with a hood. As the days and months unfolded and more details emerged, the national media ran with the story, and along the way something became quite apparent to me. As captivating as this story was,
Washington — Clinton nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia. Why is it that America’s roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The closer it gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around. The Clintons’ neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they’re entitled to everyone’s money. Are we about to put the “For Rent” sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom? If Americans are worried about money in politics,
President Obama and other top administration officials rubbed shoulders with stars of screen and stage during an exclusive Martha´s Vineyard cocktail party hosted by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts earlier this week, according to a report from the New York Post. In addition to the president and first lady, top Obama fundraiser and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was in attendance, as was "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David and singer Carly Simon. (Snip)Other notables included Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, entertainment executive Peter Chernin, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
WASHINGTON -- New revelations from leaker Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency has overstepped its authority thousands of times since 2008 are stirring renewed calls on Capitol Hill for serious changes to NSA spy programs, undermining White House hopes that President Barack Obama had quieted the controversy with his assurances of oversight. An internal audit provided by Snowden to The Washington Post shows the agency has repeatedly broken privacy rules or exceeded its legal authority every year since Congress granted it broad new powers in 2008.