Offensive Obama Dog

So the piece of human debris who heads up the pet owner hating HSUS is all bitching and moaning because the Obamas bought themselves a shiny new Portuguese Water Dog, and didn't adopt a dog through a rescue.   Of all the BS to get butthurt about (other than all the other MAJOR Obama scandals), the head of the HSUS focuses on the means by which the Obamas obtain their dog and not even the way they treat their current one.  It is so typical.

As a purebred dog owner who manages a purebred dog rescue and owns both a bred-for-show dog,  a rescue dog, and all of her offspring because she came to us pregnant, I could give a crap whether the Obama family obtained their dog from a rescue or from a reputable breeder.  I believe that the procurement of a family pet is a very personal decision and every family has different needs.

Of course note the term "reputable" up there.  People who advertise their dogs for sale either in print or on the internet, or those who sell pets on the side of the road, are not, as a general course, what I would consider to be reputable.  If they're not screening you and matching you and guaranteeing their puppy's health, then beware.  If they don't have a waiting list, or if they don't work their breeding dogs in some way, whether it be in conformance or other activities, caveat emptor, I say.  See the kennel, meet the breeding stock, get health guarantees.  You're perpetuating a horrid industry if you don't do your due diligence.

But, on the flip side, rescue is not for everyone.  If you're willing to invest some time and love, these animals are grateful and show you a different kind of devotion you never knew was possible.  Unfortunately, most people are really enamored with the "idea" of rescue, but not so much the reality of it.  Almost every rescue dog has some sort of health or behavioral issue that owners have to work through, and some people just aren't suited for it.  And that's OK.

I am, however, stunned that the Obamas, who allegedly intended...but FORGOT...to take their dog on their vacation trip, were allowed by any breeder or rescue to have another dog.  Yeah, they had the means (our taxpayer means) to have transportation to return home and retrieve him...but they FORGOT him.  Whether you're boarding him, having a sitter come stay with him, or taking him with you...HOW IN THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU FORGET YOUR DOG?  To me, this says more about their choices than whether they opted for breeder vs. rescue.

Oh, wait, the Obamas don't care for their dogs themselves.  They have a professional, six figure salaried handler.  These idiots aren't dog owners.  And the fact that they've purchased a second dog to use as a political prop and toss aside when inconvenient is what I find offensive.


Snowflake Activism

So, the Russian government, acting out of a deeply held principle of 'gays are icky', is doing all kinds of things to make the LGBTQQIAAP community upset. Something about the Olympics, and making gay illegal again, and I dunno, frankly. It's not one of my pet issues, so I don't keep up.

First off, let's get real. It's Russia. The Russian government is currently headed up by a guy who used to be an enforcer for the KGB. Expecting them to act like college-educated American liberals think everyone should behave strikes me as borderline retarded. I was also in the military back when we spent a lot of times worrying about the Red Hordes rolling through the Fulda Gap and laying waste to the poor Western Europeans. In general, I'm not conditioned to think of Russians as great defenders of human rights for all, and so far, they've borne this view out.

So, anyways, in an attempt to make the Russian government stop hatin' on the homos, a vocal subset of the American LGBTQQIAAPOMGWTFBBQ community is boycotting all things Russian, including Russian vodka like that made by our good friends* at Stolichnaya. Leaving aside the fact that the Stoli sold here in the States comes out of Latvia, the whole thing is kind of incoherent to me. I'm not sure what the point is.

I mean, they can't seriously expect whoever runs Stoli in Russia to publicly come out against the government, can they? I guess the example of Mikhail Khodorkovsky is lost on these people. If you'd like to live a long happy life unencumbered by little things like prisons, you don't publicly challenge the state in Russia. Expecting other people to go to jail for you is a bit presumptuous, I think, especially since nobody here seems inclined to go to Russia and get arrested over the issue.

Honestly, the whole thing stinks of the current generation of slacktivism. Don't figure out an action or a plan likely to cause the change you want to see in the world, do something easy. In this case, drink Skyy or Absolut or Ketel One when you're out getting hammered instead of Stoli or White Gold. Then you can fool yourself into thinking you're doing something about the problem! You're aware! You're fighting the man!

Truth be told, you're still just sitting in a bar getting drunk. The Russian government doesn't give a shit what you drink, and doesn't really care if whichever conglomerate that currently owns Stoli makes a little less money. So, what exactly have you done but make yourself feel better? I sure don't think you've helped anybody in Russia out.

As a final note, actions like this have a long history of not doing a damn thing to influence governments. If SPI Group was doing something objectionable, a boycott is the perfect way to get SPI Group to change behaviors. But boycotting companies to make a government change? It doesn't work so well. Hell, we've boycotted the entire country of Cuba for longer than I've been alive and guess what? The government there is still a bunch of communists with an atrocious human rights record.

But hey, not drinking Stoli makes people feel better and makes them feel like they're doing something. And I am, after all, a libertarian, so, by all means, encourage it! Get your slacktivism on! Just don't be real surprised when your grand master plan of boycotting Latvian vodka doesn't lead to any substantive change in Russia's halls of power.

An addendum: the way to influence Russia through economics is to fuck with their oil and gas exports or their arms exports. Unless you're in the market for a few million cubic feet of natural gas or a dozen or so Sukhois, you're not in a position to matter.

*We have lots of Stoli at YPS Manor, sweetie darling.

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