Thursday, December 27, 2012
Banning US Adoptions of Russians - Well Played
Here at 'Just Blowing Smoke' the Senior Editorial Staff (which is still on holiday, by the way) takes great pride in the use of irony and sarcasm, especially when doing so allows us to make a useless point. We're not even above using a bit a literary license to do so. On their behalf however. I am force to concede to such efforts being far outdone recently by a couple of groups not normally known for either their wit or their sense of humor, Congress and the Russian Government.
It seems that a law recently passed by our national society of jocularity (sometimes known as Congress) has called for sanctions against Russia for Human Rights violations. There's nothing necessarily new in this, but it has in turn angered at least one half of the Russian Parliament enough to unanimously pass a law banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans. The law needs only get passage of the lower house of the Russian Parliament before it can be sent to President Vladimir Putin for signature. President Putin, long known as a paragon of Russia's democratic virtues and a staunch defender of human rights (note the sarcasm and irony here); has indicated that he will sign this legislation if it reaches his desk.
Where to start with this one .....
Well we could start with the fact that there are probably a lot of kids who desperately need good homes and are already in this country. I know it's become rather fashionable in recent years to imitate celebrities like Brad and Angelina or Madonna and lend a hand to the offspring of foreign lands, but might this actually be something where 'America First' really does have some value? Is it really so tough out there for families who want to adopt that we have to import children in order for them to do so?
Of course many would tell us that children in other countries have it far worse than those in our own. While I think we in the US can concede that there are indeed far worse places than the US to raise a child (though sometimes you would be hard-pressed to convince extremists on both sides of the aisle that this is so), apparently there are those in Russia who would not agree however. Why otherwise seek to prevent US adoptions if there are better places to raise a child, like oh say .... Russia. After all, isn't this the same place where I pointed out just recently that one of Putin's Communist predecessors (Stalin) killed 20 million of his own people during his reign. Then again, perhaps such numbers only need to be factored in as part of 'Quality of Life' issues (unless an automatic weapon in the hands of a right wing extremist is involved).
Then of course there's the US State Department, which when it's not having trouble properly securing our Embassies, tells us that in the last 20 years, some 60,000 Russian children have come to live with new families in the US. Now while apparently the total number of adoptions per year in the US is not a statistic that anyone cares to track these days; in the last year that such a number was gathered (1992), there were some 127,000. If the numbers from Russia were averaged (3,000) and those of the US remained relatively constant, that would mean that adoptions of Russian children accounted for less than 2.4 percent of adoptions in the US. So even if it were to be passed, the ban would be little more than a symbolic protest at best.
Now don't get me wrong, one government (the US) telling another (Russia) that it doesn't like the way that they are treating their people is something that few countries would accept from any other nation. Then again, that nation in return telling the world, as well as perhaps its most vulnerable citizens that they cannot seek a better life somewhere else for no better reason than a guilty national pride seems equally ridiculous. Yet it's exactly because of such utter nonsense that some families are now left trapped in a bureaucratic limbo between two strutting asses for no better reason than they as individuals attempted to perform a simple act of human kindness, while their governments insisted on playing political chess with real human lives.
It is therefore on behalf of the Senior Staff here at 'Just Blowing Smoke' that we take singular notice of the superior use of sarcasm, irony, and nauseatingly arrogant political rhetoric on the part of both the United States of America and the Russian Republic for this particularly awful and somewhat twisted example of what passes today for 'Diplomacy'. It's not often that someone manages to do more damage to themselves than we here do through the use of language. Almost unbelievably however, they've managed it.
Well played! Well played indeed!