Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, August 05, 2013

I'm always amazed to find out that other countries have far worse issues and attitudes about some things than we do in this country. Immigration is an explosive situation in every country, and while we have zealots here, a do-noting Congress keeps the issue simmering just below the conflagration stage as the members worry about getting re-elected and pleasing their PACs before anything else. Even gay rights is an issue that has almost become an acceptable mainstream topic in most states, and civil unions, marriages and adoptions are almost routing. Not so in places like Uganda and Russia.
Today's issue is Russia and the political attitude towards homosexuality. Recent laws have been passed eliminating any kind of educational instruction about homosexuality (so kids can learn it on the streets like their parents did!). Marriage is out, and adoption by same-sex couples is a distinct impossibility. The city of Solchi, site of next winter's Olympic Games has declared that gay athletes and spectators will be subject to arrest! So what is an outraged group of gay people and the supporters of individual rights to do? Boycott the Olympics? No, boycott Russian vodka, that's what!
Stolichnaya vodka, a brand so famous that even I recognize it, is disappearing from the shelves at bars around the world and in this country as well. The shelves are emptying quickly as word of the legal outrages spread, and that potent combination of wheat, rye and raw alcohol might be very hard to find.
Like every situation, though, this one has a small glitch: Stoli isn't distilled in Russia. It is made in Latvia...admittedly part of the old Soviet Union, but no longer under the Red Thumb, though the Russian government has been trying to renationalize the brand for years to no avail.
So...the Russian government isn't being hurt by a boycott though its public image has taken a real beating, and it will be interesting to see what unfolds in February as athletes from around the world gather and drink...what? Coke?


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