How do we kill the regulatory beast?

Posted by: Barthélemy Barbancourt

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Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.

It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration."

Consider the recent experience of Pascal Vieillard, whose Atlanta-area company, A-440 Pianos, imported several antique Bösendorfers. Mr. Vieillard asked officials at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species how to fill out the correct paperwork—which simply encouraged them to alert U.S. Customs to give his shipment added scrutiny.

There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.

Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation.

Our country currently spends $1.5 trillion a year more than we take in, yet 24 federal agents descended on a piano importer for not doing his paperwork correctly? Can we say overkill mixed with misplaced priorities?

How can anyone disagree with a "starve the Beast" philosophy after reading stories like this?

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jk noreen
Woody should appreciate this wooden controversy
written by jokin , August 30, 2011

Gibson CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz is a GOP contributor, while his top competitor, C.F. Martin & Company, whose C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood” which is the exact same wood that Gibson is being persecuted over. Gruppenfuhrer Eric Holder is at it again, he isn't even pursuing Gibson under the flimsy pretense of the Lacey Act, but instead acting upon some obscure law in India regarding native Indians processing their own natural resources. Of note, India has not requested or participated in any action against Gibson.

Nothing but a hollowed-out trifle, right Woody?



Barthélemy Barbancourt
Not trifle is it's your business
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , August 30, 2011

The funny thing is that Obama says he wants to create jobs while he bullies businesses. is it possible that he is too dumb to see the connection?

I know that no one will be investing in anything related to exotic woods until Barry is out of office. Add that small industry to drilling for oil and gas off shore, medical devices, cars, trucks, coal plants and any company that pays for healthcare benefits and pretty soon you have lots of jobs not being created thanks to Barry and his capricious regulations and prosecutions.



Nobody
...
written by Nobody , August 30, 2011

Jokin provide a link please. I know several interested people on this topic.

As an owner of both a Martin and a Gibson, I'm going to hide then. This is a tiny industry but a job is a job.

I think we need to do what the Canucks did to thier EPA-they cut thier budget by 40%.



Barthélemy Barbancourt
40% is a start
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , August 30, 2011

I think a 5 or 10 year moratorium on the EPA would really help. Just close the place down for a few years and see what actually needs done vs. what some jag-off dreamed up.

US Industries were getting cleaner each year prior to the EPA and lawsuits will keep them honest. The EPA is probably the #2 job killer in the USA today, next to Barry O. of course.



jk noreen
Here you go:
written by jokin , August 30, 2011

http://landmarkreport.com/andr...can-donor/

Could this finally be the symbolic overreaching bridge too far that ultimately sinks this oppressive Obama/Holder anti-business regime? Lots of guitar and music fans out there that only pay attention top politics when something as asinine as this hits close to home.



jk noreen
...
written by jokin , August 30, 2011

"40% is a start"
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , August 30, 2011

It worked for the Canadian economy and proved popular electorally for the Harper government. Are the Republican candidates paying attention to this proven vote-gathering strategy? ( this hit Rick Perry close to home, as the survival of the 3" long Dunes Sagebrush Lizard has been deemed more important than survival of the enitre West Texas oil industry by the US Fish and Wildlife Service).



Nobody
...
written by Nobody , August 30, 2011

While the EPA would be a start, we need to reign in Fish and wild life, BLM, Endangered Species Act, NLRB... Some serious head knocking needs to go on.

Thanks jokin, the link is off to my peeps.



Sequel
...
written by Sequel , August 31, 2011

If Gibson "shrugs" and right now the company is dead in the water, there goes the Les Paul, and many other legendary models.
Will musicians be outraged? Or will they continue to cheer these fascist tactics?
Will Cheryl Crow find it sad that Gibson ownership went over to the dark side requiring that they be crushed?



Barthélemy Barbancourt
Musicians are hypocrites
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , August 31, 2011

They whine about the environment, but they demand exotic woods for their instruments. A typical case of "do as I say not as I do."

They argue that you can't get the sounds they want with other woods, but they can't imagine anyone else having a rational reason to oppose the other enviro-wacko policies that they support.



Sequel
They are indeed hypocrites
written by Sequel , August 31, 2011

So what do you think?
Outraged at the feds for fucking with their Les Paul...
Or figure it serves the greater good to put the jack-boot to Gibson?

Fight "The Man" or Cheer "The Man"



Woody
musicians are hypocrites
written by Woody , August 31, 2011

I see you have the broad brush out again Bart. Poorly written lad and not well thought out again.


Nobody
Woodhead
written by Nobody , September 01, 2011

How are these actions not anti-freedom? How is this not Jack booted thug-ism? Hummmm?



Barthélemy Barbancourt
I don't think so
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , September 01, 2011

Read the article. It says that most musicians demand that the exotic woods are used to get the sounds they like. They are typical liberals that only care about the environment when it doesn't affect them. If these losers where serious, there wouldn't be a demand for these "blood woods" but there is, so guitar manufacturers have to import them.

Name one guitar player that doesn't profess to be a tree hugging enviro-weenie. I bet he also has imported wood grips while he whines about how evil corporations are killing the rain forest.



Sequel
...
written by Sequel , September 01, 2011

How about you Woody?

Fish and wildlife, along with some other fed outfits run SWAT raids on the Gibson guitar shops, and shut down the company putting all the employees out of work.
The issue seems to be whether the ebony was sanded or not.

Pro or con?

Now Martin uses the same ebony wood from the exact same suppliers for the fret boards but Gibson donates to Republicans, and Martin donates to Democrats.
Do you think this makes any difference?



Woody
...
written by Woody , September 01, 2011

Tobie Kieth!


Nobody
...
written by Nobody , September 01, 2011

Face it, to all but the most trained ear a fiberglass guitar sounds the same as a wooden one. Friggin Ovations were made of ABS plastic with a spruce front. The players want the wood.

If I want wood and someone is willing to sell it to me, why can't I have it?

One of the worlds most renowned custom guitar makers is in Circle Pines MN. (Olsen) has moved his wood stash off site. Can you blame him Woody?



Woody
If I want wood and someone is willing to sell it to me, why can't I have it?
written by Woody , September 02, 2011

I'm not going to touch that Nobody. Have a nice day smilies/smiley.gif




Sequel
...
written by Sequel , September 02, 2011

By your lack of answer I shall assume that the arbitrary government crushing of the Gibson Guitar company is okie-dokie with you.


Nobody
Seq
written by Nobody , September 02, 2011

Of eff'ing course he is down with that. Gibson is just an Americon icon with a few thousand workers, who cares? Not Woodrow.


Sequel
...
written by Sequel , September 02, 2011

Woody sez don't put words in his mouth. Fair enough. So I asked him; are you cool with it or not.
His refusal to answer says about as much as the dissembling BS that I expected.




Woody
Gibson is just an Americon icon with a few thousand workers, who cares? Not Woodrow
written by Woody , September 02, 2011

You don't have a fucking clue Nobody so why don't you not put words in my mouth. You so desperate for my thoughts on the matter; ok. I don't like the idea of the Federal Government strong arming businesses for frivolous reasons. I this particular instance we need to look further at what laws were supposedly broken and what the facts in the matter are. Sounds like some foreign import laws may have broken. True? I'm not sure. Is this grounds for "killing the regulatory beast" I think not. That is no more than a teabagger rally cry.


 tim-The Dyslexic Blogger
really woody your not really wanting to go there are you.
written by tim-The Dyslexic Blogger , September 03, 2011

"That is no more than a tea bagger rally cry."

Last time I checked the only tea baggers in this state are located around the area of Loring Park, and cloud 9. Now if that is your way of life, and you really like to swing that way Woody glad to know it, and I would really appropriate it if you kept your private life out of the board's conversations.

Myself I'm a member of the Tea Party, and proud of it I'm also an Army veteran dame that's two strikes against me according to your side. Let me give you a little information on this group because you obviously have drank too much of the Democratic miss information kool-aid.

This is a group of people from all parties, and all races that are bound together by one endering belief. We all have had enough of the way Washington runs things. If that scars the shit out of you as it appears to because your using the classic democratic dodging ploy of destroying or bringing derision upon thous they know to have a real message that talks to people.

Something that your party has lost somewhere in their past now all you have is a bunch of talking heads that cannot put forward an ideal that people can really get behind. Making the rich pay their fair share is not a rallying cry people can offer up to the masses with any sort of an answer as to what is fair.

When your side started calling American citizens terrorist or over using the term racist because we may disagree with the plans of the current sitting president is when they really lost any hope of keeping their offices, and shown just how scared they really are of the Tea Party.

Now your President has decided to not enforce another law that needs enforcing so that we are not overrun by illegal aliens. Care to tell me what your party is now going to call the Tea Party or any other groups that might step up and challenge this latest stupid idea of President Obama's. At least he had decided to drop the EPA's outrages idea of smog control's that would have driven how many more people out of work.

Who knows maybe he will finally see that his screaming about how much money President Bush spent and how badly it left the economy has nothing in comparison to the spending he has done in the last three years. One can only hope.



Nobody
Woodhead
written by Nobody , September 03, 2011

Give me a break. You don't give a shit about your boy shutting down American Cos. Did you call your Congressman? The calm, centerist, "we have to have the facts" is pure BS. We have enough "Facts". This is Chicago thugism.



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